Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Something Borrowed, Something 90% Dark - A Guest Post & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Aunt Naomi to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Aunt Naomi on the pages of the Bean to Bar Mystery series by Amber Royer. Something Borrowed, Something 90% Dark is the sixth book in the series and is being released today!

5 Reasons my Niece Should Quit Being an Amateur Sleuth . . . and 1 Reason She Shouldn’t!

Hi! I’m Felicity Koerber’s Aunt Naomi. I’m a house flipper, currently flipping a boutique hotel on the beautiful island of Galveston, Texas. Felicity has taken a suite in the hotel, which is only appropriate since she is helping me finance the project, with money from the settlement after her husband’s death. Felicity had come a long way in moving forward in life, after moving home to Galveston and starting a chocolate business. She even has two love interests now for a second-chance romance – Arlo, who was her first boyfriend, back in high school. He’s now a cop. Oddly, they reconnected after one of Felicity’s employees was murdered at her shop’s Grand Opening, and he was assigned the case. The other one, Logan, was once her bodyguard – long story, but is now her business partner. My main problem with all of this is that they both keep getting Felicity caught up in murder investigations. I can see the appeal. I even had a try at being an amateur sleuth myself, back during that first case, but I realized quickly that it was not for me – and shouldn’t be for Felicity – for the following reasons.

5. It’s dangerous! Felicity has been threatened and nearly killed multiple times while trying to solve mysteries. And let’s not even talk about the time she and her friends got locked in a shipping container and left with the expectation that they’d run out of air. That had been a narrow escape! And recently, with the fire at her shop. Felicity has asthma – even though she’s undergone that experimental treatment to get rid of it. Bad air conditions still trigger her symptoms. But she seems willing to risk it to stop murderers.

4. It gives her a weird reputation. My niece moved back to Galveston to open a craft chocolate business. She wanted to travel the world to meet chocolate farmers, and to be known for producing excellent chocolate. And I know she wants to make friends in the community, here on the island, and to reconnect with people she knew before she and Kevin – her late husband – moved to Seattle. But now she’s “That Girl”. The one who always seems to wind up in the middle of murder investigations. I’ve heard people say they don’t want to get too close to her, for fear they’ll be next.

3. It takes a lot of time. Felicity has been trying to grow her business. And I’ll admit that by taking on extra employees, she has been able to keep up so far. Logan has even become her business partner, which was a big deal, because the chocolate shop was originally Felicity and Kevin’s dream for after he retired, which he didn’t live long enough to do. Letting go of part of that to share her business was a big benchmark in her rebuilding her life. But I would hate for her to lose sight of her dream entirely, chasing murderers to bring justice to people who don’t even stick around to thank her.

2. It has to be taking a mental toll. My niece is one of the sweetest people I know. I mean, she has flaws just like anyone. And yes, she may have not taken into account what other people are feeling at times, like with her breakup all those years ago with Arlo, or the misunderstandings she had with the bookstore owner last year. But she had a genuinely good heart and she’s always sorry for making missteps. And now she’s been seeing all these dead bodies. At least one of the murders, I know, she actually saw happen. As far as I know, she isn’t displaying symptoms of PTSD, and so far she seems able to process everything that has happened, but all of this has to be adding up mentally.

1. It makes ME worry. Every time Felicity comes home late, or when I hear an unfamiliar noise in the hotel. (Who am I kidding? This is a really old building. There are ALWAYS unfamiliar noises.) But every time something happens, I worry that someone is trying to silence Felicity for getting involved in their business. I’m getting close to finished with the hotel. But when it’s ready to flip, I don’t want to lose Felicity. I think she’s ready to get her own place, if she loses the privacy of having a suite. She isn’t going to want a spare room in whatever house I flip next. My husband works offshore, so I don’t know if I’m ready to lose her company. And if she isn’t living here – I’m going to worry about her that much more.

So, you see, I have laid out a reasonable case on why Felicity should quit sleuthing and focus on her chocolate business and her relationships. Only – I can’t see her doing that and being happy.

There’s only one reason I have for her continuing to be an amateur sleuth, but it’s a doozie.

1. She’s good at it. Felicity seems to empathize with people well, and they open up and talk to her in ways they wouldn’t talk to say Arlo in his official capacity. She is able to put together clues in a way I would probably miss. And it’s because she cares about people that she feels like she HAS to step in where needed. Take the events that have been unfolding over the last couple of days. Her friend Tiff – who is also my friend, since Tiff has been helping with the hotel flip and we’ve started hanging out together after – has been accused of murdering a childhood friend. That friend breezed into town, stole a few things, and wound up dead at an open house Tiff was hosting. Tiff’s main job is as a real estate agent. But you don’t see me trying to solve the murder. Yet, Felicity can’t help but try.


 Something Borrowed, Something 90% Dark (A Bean to Bar Mystery) by Amber Royer

About Something Borrowed, Something 90% Dark

Something Borrowed, Something 90% Dark (A Bean to Bar Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 6th in Series
Setting - Texas
Golden Tip Press (September 12, 2023)

Print length: ‎ 301 pages Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand is hosting the friends and family coming into town for her best friend Autumn’s wedding. As matron of honor, Felicity has a ton of tasks to complete – including making chocolates for the gift bags. She doesn’t have time to solve another murder. But when one of the bridesmaids becomes a prime suspect in the death of a visiting real estate agent, Felicity has to put her detecting skills to use again to keep the wedding plans from getting derailed. She’s already nervous about the impeding deadline she’s given herself to finally choose between her two love interests – and figuring where life goes once she makes her choice. But add in a missing pigmy goat and a new coffee shop that wants to partner with her, and she’s frazzled. She begins to discover that not everything is as it seems among the wedding guests. Can she handle the wedding preparations, pull off turning her shop into a concert venue, and unmask the killer – before anyone else dies?

About Amber Royer

Amber Royer writes the CHOCOVERSE comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series, and the BEAN TO BAR MYSTERIES. She is also the author of STORY LIKE A JOURNALIST: A WORKBOOK FOR NOVELISTS, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She blogs about creative writing techniques and all things chocolate at www.amberroyer.com. She also teaches creative writing and is an author coach. If you are very nice to her, she might make you cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes, of course.  
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