Guest Post: Out of Temper by Amber Royer

   
OUT OF TEMPER
Bean to Bar Mysteries, Book 3
by
AMBER ROYER

Categories: Cozy Mystery / Women Sleuth / Romance 
Publisher: Golden Tip Press
Date of Publication: February 1, 2022
Number of Pages: 264 pages 
 
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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?
 
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Social Media: if it feels like it enhances the experience, go with it. 

Guest Post by Amber Royer

There’s a lot going on in my Bean to Bar Mysteries series involving social media.  My protagonist, chocolate maker Felicity, is concerned with ways to show off her travels for chocolate sourcing trips and showcasing her products for potential customers.  Her best friend Autumn makes a living selling jewelry on Etsy. 

And then there’s Ash.  Ash is a blogger, and in Out of Temper he gets a bigger role than ever.  Felicity has called him to task for irresponsible journalism in the previous two books.  This time, Ash has to deal with the fallout from an expose he posted in the past—which now gets him accused of murder.  He asks Felicity for help, and when she starts actually looking at his website, she realizes she knows less about Ash than she thought.

We are living in a time where so much of life seems to happen electronically.   I just found out that the novel writing classes I teach are going to be virtual again this spring.  Writer’s groups and conventions for readers have options now for virtual meetings.

I find myself thinking about the pros and cons of different technologies.  There are definite opportunities for miscommunication.  But there are also ways technology has prevented me from feeling so isolated during this Pandemic.  I recently got a Quest VR set (we have had another VR system for a long time), and I already have a virtual pet (Bogo) and a virtual garden (Fujii).  I also found software that allows you to create a virtual museum gallery.  I just couldn’t resist building an exhibit for my Bean to Bar verse.  Here is a walkthrough I recorded that explains what I put in the gallery and why.

Out of Temper is set on a cruise ship, where Felicity has been invited to do chocolate making demos.  Gearing up to market the book, I’ve been looking through a lot of info on cruise ships, and wound up finding an amazing sale and booking a trip (after reading up on the extensive disease-prevention precautions).  Looking at the list of shore excursions, there are even augmented reality/virtual reality tours for historically significant places.  I don’t know about that one.  On the one hand, it’s a cool use of technology and might add to the experience.  On the other hand, I’m going to be in Mexico.  I had to cancel a trip to Mexico to visit friends, right when the lockdowns first happen.  If I’m going to get to go somewhere, I want to actually be as present as possible in person.  Yet, I still plan to document the entire trip for social media.  Obviously, I’m going to be bringing the book and taking pictures with it all over the ship.  Which is part of the job of being a modern author.  And doesn’t make me feel less present at all.

A lot of what Felicity goes through dealing with how she feels about social media is personal.  I think the key takeaway: if it feels like it enhances the experience, go with it.  If it makes you feel disconnected from what is actually going on in real time in person, take a step back.

 
 
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 also teaches creative writing and is an author coach. Amber and her husband live in the DFW Area, where you can often find them hiking or taking landscape/architecture/wildlife photographs.  If you are very nice to Amber, she might make you cupcakes.  Chocolate cupcakes, of course! Amber blogs about creative writing technique and all things chocolate.


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Signed copy of Out of Temper +
chocolate bar from French Broad Chocolates!
(US only, ends midnight CT, 3/5/2022)



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