The Key to All Things

A fantasy adventure romance by Cindy Lynn Speer

Every day, Lady Avriel hears the bards sing about the greatest love story of all times, a heartbreaking romance between a human nobleman, Captain Edward de Vere, and the beautiful Queen of the Fae, who shattered his heart when she abandoned him to accept her throne. Avriel secretly longs for the sad and romantic captain as she works as a double agent, serving at both human and fae courts to keep the peace between the two kingdoms.

But for three hours every night she remembers a completely different world, where the greatest love story is a lie, and Edward belongs to her. She believes this reality to be the true one, even if no one else does. The world has fallen under a spell, and it is up to Avriel to find its source and undo it.

To set things right, Avriel must face the all-powerful Elder Fae and confront the darkest powers that rule her destiny – only to learn that if she proceeds, her actions will bring chaos and open her kingdom to destruction. Is this a choice she is willing to make to bring her love back?


I am the queen of sometimes. Sometimes I am a wife. Sometimes I am a spy. It just depends on what time of day you catch me.

There is a story that sits in the back of my head, and I remind myself of it every time I lie down to sleep. It is the story that recounts everything I had, and everything I lost. It is not the story you know, about war and love. You believe in the tale of Catherine of the Willows, a part fae who fell in love with Edward de Vere, Captain of the King’s Guards. You al-ready are nodding, you know the story like you know your own face in the mirror. It’s been told to you thousands of times. Catherine and Edward fell in love. They married despite their love being forbidden. And then, when the story should have ended with everyone having their happily ever after, the unthinkable happened. Catherine was chosen to take the fae throne. And with that, came a terrible decision. She could keep her mundane life, her marriage, or she could sacrifice her identity and become the Sapphire Queen of the Fae.

She sacrificed. And as she rose, Edward fell. Tossed aside, he became the tragic hero.

Here is the truth, if you would have it. There were three men who were like brothers: an inventor, a pirate, a romantic; warriors all. And there was a woman, Avriel, neither all fae nor all human, and she lived between the worlds of the human and fae courts. Avriel was the one who enchanted Edward, Avriel was the one he wed, and everything should have been the happily ever after of the stories: flowers and sunshine and perfection.

So why don’t you remember it this way? I don’t know. No one remembers. They know of these three men – Edward de Vere, and Merrick d’Marison, and Stephan d’Valerian, and all the things they did. They sometimes remember the woman – me, Avriel, now a background character in a much grander story. But no one remembers the truth. In one brief moment everything’s changed, and I do not know how, or why.

All I know is that Edward, my husband and the love of my life, does not remember who I am. But that is not as bad as it would seem. For, you see, except for three blessed hours each day, from nine until midnight, I don’t remember him, either. Or, to be more precise, I don’t remember that he was once mine. He’s just an attractive soldier who once was the Captain of the King’s Guard but now fell from grace, and all I can do is hide in the shadows and long for him.

Each time the clock chimes nine, I remember what it was like to taste his kisses, to have him lean close and whisper in my ear, to fight by his side. I remember what it was like to be powerful and in control of my destiny, to have friends who respected me.

It used to hurt, the remembering. At first it would paralyze me. I used to think I was mad. I would sit in my room and stare at the wall, wondering what to do. There was no one to talk to, to turn to. Everyone had been taken from me.

Oh, I cannot lie. It still does hurt. But I force it away, and instead I consider the day behind me, and the day ahead of me, and I take out some paper and write down some notes. They are different, depending on what needs to be accomplished. I place each note where I will see it in the morning, out of sight of the mirror, because there is a fae courtier who controls me, who can see through mirrors, and who would not allow me to proceed.

One step at a time. We will solve this. I will have my life back.

~Follow the rest of the tour

An Interview with Cindy Lynn Speer

-What inspired you to become a writer?

I make a joke that I read a book and thought I could write a better ending. And that is true, it made me realize that I could write…because I thought…oh. I can do this. Let me try. And I did, and realized that I had stories in my head that I could put to paper. I’ve always been a heavy daydreamer – the life inside my head is vastly better – and putting it down on paper was really wonderful feeling.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

Merrick, who is a secondary character, is a captain. He used to sail ships, but now he captains an airship. I’d go see if I could spend time with him, get him to take me up in an airship, because he’s handsome, charming, sweet, brimming with good humor and excellent stories, and, well. Airship.

-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)

Avriel would reveal that she thinks she might be going mad. Many days she finds a note in her room, in her own hand writing, that tells her to do certain things. And she does them…because if she doesn’t, she feels awful. Like the world is off kilter. If you had caught her sometime during the hours of nine until midnight, she would have confessed that she is not mad (she remembers a different world, and she writes those notes to herself in the hopes that someday, the world she knows to be true will be the world everyone remembers) but that she is scared. Scared that if she manages to change the world back there will be a price, that it will hurt people. That even if she frees everyone from the spell that deceives them, and her husband remembers her…maybe…just maybe…he won’t want her back.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

Hmmm. Not Edward. He can drink an Ogre under the table, and he drinks the cheapest, most horrid stuff. Avriel is not much of a drinker. I think Baramis. I know he’s kind of evil, but I think he would have really interesting stories to tell.

-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?

Ask who their second is, of course. I would choose rapier and dagger as my form – it’s my best, and I suspect, if the dwarf brings an axe or a longsword to the field, I can close and use my dagger to finish them. If not, I am fairly skilled with a rapier…

Or I’d apologize. I mean, there aren’t a lot of Dwarves around anymore, and I’d certainly hate to embarrass them by defeating them in a duel.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

Contemporary fiction. I think it’s important? And I often read it, but I have no talent for it. I’ll be going along fantastically, then a vampire comes around the corner, and he’s been cursed by the fae and has to find three items before the seventh day of the seventh month…

Ooh. That sounds interesting. Excuse me…

About Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy is the author of the Amazon bestselling The Chocolatier’s Wife, and it’s sequel, The Chocolatier’s Ghost, among others, including the brand new Key to All Things. She loves reading, taking road trips, hiking, pretending to garden (really, I need to feed my poor tomatoes) and sword fighting. You can find out more about her at or her Facebook.


Cindy Lynn Speer will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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