Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Excerpt & Giveaway: GRAND OPENINGS CAN BE MURDER

GRAND OPENINGS 
CAN BE MURDER
Bean to Bar Mysteries Book 1
by
AMBER ROYER
Categories: Cozy Mystery / Woman Sleuth / Romance
Publisher: Golden Tip Press
Date of Publication: February 2, 2021
Number of Pages: 266 pages

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Felicity Koerber has had a rough year. She's moving back to Galveston Island and opening a bean-to-bar chocolate factory, fulfilling a dream she and her late husband, Kevin, had shared. Craft chocolate means a chance to travel the world, meeting with farmers and bringing back beans she can turn into little blocks of happiness, right close to home and family. She thinks trouble has walked into her carefully re-built world when puddle-jump pilot Logan Hanlon shows up at her grand opening to order custom chocolates. Then one of her employees drops dead at the party, and Felicity's one-who-got-away ex-boyfriendwho's now a copthinks Felicity is a suspect. 

As the murder victim's life becomes more and more of a mystery, Felicity realizes that if she's going to clear her name in time to save her business, she might need Logan's help. Though she's not sure if she's ready to let anyone into her lifeeven if it is to protect her from being the killer's next victim. 

For Felicity, Galveston is all about history and a love-hate relationship with the ocean, which keeps threatening to deliver another hurricaneright into the middle of her investigation. Can she figure it out before all the clues get washed away? FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

PRAISE FOR GRAND OPENINGS CAN BE MURDER:

"With as many unpredictable twists and turns as the hurricane approaching Galveston, Grand Openings Can Be Murder is an intriguing cozy mystery set in a new chocolate shop along the island’s historic Strand. Readers will love learning about the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process while the store’s owner, Felicity, pursues truth, justice, and the perfect chocolate bar." 
Diane Kelly, Award-winning author of the Death & Taxes, Paw Enforcement, House Flipper, and Busted mystery series.

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Excerpt from GRAND OPENINGS CAN BE MURDER

with introduction by author Amber Royer 

Grand Openings Can Be Murder is the first book in the Bean to Bar Mystery series. In it, Felicity is a craft chocolate maker who becomes a sleuth after her employee dies at her shop/factory’s grand opening party. I wanted to use this idea of grand openings and new beginnings as a metaphor for Felicity starting her character arc in this first book. She’s been dealing with grief and being stuck in the past, and I want the mysteries she solves to force her to move forward. 

As this is the first book, she has no background in any of the techniques sleuths use, and she’s trying the best she can to figure it all out–sometimes to comic effect. This scene is her first ever attempt to tail someone. She is joined here by Autumn, who has been her best friend since eighth grade. Autumn used to be a mystery writer, but her knowledge of sleuthing techniques is all theoretical. The person they are tailing is Carmen, Felicity’s surviving assistant–and the first obvious suspect in the case. Knightley is Felicity’s lop-eared bunny, who is pictured on the chocolate bars Felicity makes.

Like Rufus said in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure: They get better.

____

“Look!”  Autumn is pointing ahead of us.

Carmen is running up the cement steps, her hair wet, wearing a rash guard, but she’s got on sneakers and is holding her cell phone. She hops into her car and takes off. If she had a surfboard with her, she’s left it on the sand. What could have created that kind of panic?

I pull out into traffic, following Carmen’s car. I feel ridiculous. Really, how hard is it for someone to realize they’re being followed by a catering truck?  But Carmen doesn’t seem to be trying to lose us. She’s driving in a clear path along the Seawall, and though she’s speeding – which means we’re speeding, which I rarely do – she signals her turn towards the center of the island well in advance.

“Where do you think she’s going?” Autumn asks.

“Maybe the hospital?” I guess. That’s the direction we’re headed. “If she got concentrated caffeine from her roommate, maybe her roommate figured out what she did with it and threatened her.”

“Mmmmm,” Autumn says appreciatively. “Maybe you should have been a writer. That’s a good plot twist.”

I laugh, even though the situation is serious. If Carmen is a killer, we could be stumbling into blackmail, a second murder in progress . . . all sorts of things I’m not prepared to handle.

“Here comes the hospital,” I say, but Carmen hasn’t put on her signal or her brakes.

We overshoot the building, and I’m less sure we’re right about Carmen. Which makes me feel even more ridiculous about chasing her. Autumn and I exchange a look, equally puzzled.

Carmen pulls up short at a squat white brick building. The sign has a stylized picture of a dog, a cat and a bird. She tries to get out of the car, but she hasn’t taken her seatbelt off. She takes a few seconds, struggling with it the way someone does when they’re in a panic. She looks up and notices us.

Autumn waves at her.

“I guess I have to park,” I say, heat in my face, despite the dropping temperatures.

What are we doing at an animal hospital?  More importantly, what are we going to tell Carmen we’re doing here?  We can’t exactly admit that we think she’s a murderer.

Carmen manages to get herself out of her car, realizes she’s forgotten to lock it. We catch up to her in the time it takes her to fumble out her keys. She doesn’t even ask why we’re here, without even having Knightley in tow.

 



   



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 technique and all things chocolate at www.amberroyer.comShe also teaches creative writing for both UT Arlington Continuing Education and Writing Workshops Dallas. If you are very nice to her, she might make you cupcakes.
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GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
ONE WINNER
Autographed copy of GRAND OPENINGS CAN BE MURDER
and a $25 Gift Card to Dandelion Chocolate
(US only. Ends Midnight, CST, February 19, 2021)


FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:

2/9/21 Excerpt Texas Book Lover
2/9/21 BONUS Guest Post Hall Ways Blog
2/9/21 BONUS Promo LSBBT Blog
2/10/21 Top Ten That's What She's Reading
2/11/21 Review Missus Gonzo
2/12/21 Playlist All the Ups and Downs
2/13/21 Review StoreyBook Reviews
2/14/21 Author Interview Rebecca R. Cahill, Author
2/15/21 Review Forgotten Winds
2/16/21 Scrapbook Page KayBee's Book Shelf
2/17/21 Review The Page Unbound
2/18/21 Review It's Not All Gravy


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3 comments:

  1. Fun! Coffee,coffee, coffee! Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for featuring me!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This sounds like just my kind of book! I am rolling at the thought of trying to follow someone unnoticed in a catering truck.

    ReplyDelete