Character Guest Post
Hi! I’m Ash Diaz, and I’ve just been told I’m a secondary character in the Bean to Bar Mysteries. Which is ridiculous. Why would someone choose Felicity Koerber as a protagonist instead of me? Well, I guess there is the fact that Felicity has gotten herself menaced by killers, a couple of times now, and she responded by catching them. Whereas I’d probably be dead. Or have run away.
But you never know what life is like when you get drawn into a situation, you know. I might have protagonist material in me. You don’t know. I’m a blogger, and I have that journalistic nose for news, so I’d bring an entirely different set of skills to the table. Felicity has called my journalistic style irresponsible, but you have to push, you know, if you’re going to get to the truth. I’m not sure if I would dare to call myself a misunderstood genius – but I have a lot more potential than Koerber or her friends would have given me credit for. If I had the chance to tell the story from my point of view, I’m sure it would have more literary merit. Maybe I should do one of those true-crime podcasts. Like on Only Murders in the Building, but talking about cases that happen around that chocolate shop. In one of my blog posts, I called Greetings and Felicitations – and maybe Felicity herself – a murder magnet. So the setting would be perfect.
And I’ve been helping Koerber already, by bringing attention to her chocolate shop, so a podcast would be great for all the business in that area of the Strand. (In case you’re new to Galveston, Texas, the Strand is the historic shopping district smack in the middle of the island.) I mean, Felicitations could be just another bean to bar chocolate enterprise. Her chocolate is good and all. And her pastry chef, Carmen, makes some of the most unique baked goods I’ve ever tasted. She’s always combining traditional recipes with innovative technique and infusing them with culinary herbs. A lot of what she makes shows off her Latina heritage, which must be as important to her as mine is to me. But that would hardly be enough to make Felicity’s shop a tourist draw. But with the whole murder magnet angle, she gets visitors from across the country who want to see those silly books she collects after every case.
I’ve even gotten her a gig doing demos of her chocolate on a cruise ship because of her notoriety. My cousin Liam is activities director for Sunset Cruises, and he’s put together a Murder Mystery Themed Cruise, where Felicity should be able to network to her heart’s content. Only – I never expected Liam to invite Flint Bates. Bates and I have a, erm, negative history, after an expose I did of him on my blog. He’s a famous mystery author, so I can’t blame Lima from snagging the chance to put Flint’s face on the event fliers. But Flint’s a jerk, and he could well make this cruise uncomfortable.
I immediately got into a fight with Flint when I spotted him on board, and now nobody can seem to find the guy. Flint’s new girlfriend even asked me if I’d seen him since our dust-up – and since he accused me of having a secret. Which I don’t. I have no idea what he meant. I hope he didn’t fall overboard or anything. After all, the first person they’d be looking at is me. Though, obviously, I’m not the kind of person who would do something like that. Just ask Felicity. She’ll vouch for me.
Oooooh. I just got a notice from the ship slipped under my door. Let me open it. It says I have free services available at the spa. Liam must feel bad about the whole Flint thing. And my knuckles could use a bit of soothing where I punched Flint. Let me show you the spa. It’s not a long walk.
Sorry we had to go past all those shops along the way, but isn’t this space gorgeous? All creams and whites – it’s totally an aesthetic I enjoy. And it smells like lavender. And they have the plushest robes. Let me go change real quick. Hey!!!! I’m stuck in the changing cubicles!!! Go get somebody to let me out! Hey! Are you still there?
I have a feeling I might be in trouble here. But you’ll have to read the book to find out.
About Out of Temper
Felicity Koerber's bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston's historic Strand has been the scene of two murders - both of which she has been instrumental in helping solve. So when she gets invited to demo her chocolate skills aboard a cruise ship sailing out of the local port, she's excited at the chance to get away from the shop long enough to regain her equilibrium. She even brings her best friend along, and makes plans for time at the spa. But when she gets on board, she finds out that she's been booked for a mystery-themed cruise, and said best friend, Autumn, has to finally deal with the real reasons she quit writing mysteries. Only - if that wasn't stressful enough - it doesn't take long before there's a real murder on the cruise, and someone Felicity knows becomes the prime suspect. When said suspect asks her for help, she can't exactly say no, can she?
Felicity finds herself surrounded by cruise goers who all had connections to the victim - and finds that both Logan (her business partner, whom she recently kissed) and Arlo (the cop who was once Felicity's first boyfriend, before she moved away from Galveston) are dealing with the case until more official help can arrive. How will Felicity survive the ensuing awkwardness?
One thing that helps: the retired police dog turned therapy dog she meets on board. Satchmo helps Felicity deal with being back on the water after tragedy in her past - and also helps her uncover a vital clue to the case. Can Felicity unmask the killer and keep a friend from being framed before all the suspects leave the ship?
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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