A SHOT IN THE 80% DARK By Amber Royer – Book Blitz and Giveaway

A SHOT IN THE 80% DARK
Bean to Bar Mysteries, Book 4

by
AMBER ROYER
Cozy Mystery / Culinary Mystery / Woman Sleuth
Publisher: Golden Tip Press
Date of Publication: July 15, 2022
Number of Pages: 285 pages
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Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop is thriving. Despite everything she’s been through with the murders she’s helped solve, Felicity is ready to take on new challenges. So when a local museum offers her a contract to create a chocolate replica of a gigantic sailing ship sculpture for a gala celebrating Galveston’s history, she jumps at the chance to combine chocolate-crafting with art.

The project is fun – right up until there’s not just one but two dead artists on the scene, and Felicity has to change gears back to detective. Logan, Felicity’s business partner and previous bodyguard, and Arlo, Felicity’s ex who is now the cop investigating the case, are split on which victim they think was actually the intended one. Felicity may have to take some chances, both emotionally and in luring out a killer, to determine the truth.

Can she find out how Galveston’s history relates to the murders, unmask a killer, and prepare 2,000 chocolate desserts for the gala all at the same time?

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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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With its increasingly diverse and representative cast of characters, absolutely amazing competence porn, exciting and fascinating whodunit cases, mouthwatering food descriptions, and excellent sense of place, Amber Royer’s Bean to Bar Mysteries is quickly becoming my favorite cozy mystery series to read of late.

There’s a lot going on in A Shot in the 80% Dark, all of them good.  Somehow, Ms. Royer is introducing the entire fifty thousand population of Galveston into her stories and she’s managing to make each of those characters distinct, memorable, real, and relatable. I especially admire her utilization of notoriously difficult side characters — pets and kids– to further the plot. Renoir, the museum’s cockatoo, is a scene-stealing star.

I am in awe of the displays of expertise and artistry in this series. From 3-D printing to Vietnamese coffee preparation, to SCUBA diving, and to sugar work using isomalt, I learn so many new things that I may be able to apply to practical use in the future. The author’s exhaustive research on various competencies and historical details leap off the pages of the book.

Naturally, I appreciate the procedural aspects of crime solving, but that is a basic requirement of the genre so I won’t dwell on that. What I really love to highlight is Ms. Royer’s deep knowledge of Galveston and how she completely transports the readers to the coastal resort city with her words. Traveling through books is never more true than in this story.

Life is too short to walk around waiting for relationships to solidify themselves.”

The only thing I’m not one hundred percent on board with is the love triangle between Felicity, Arlo, and Logan. It was handled well here and there seems to be forward progress so it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book.

Huge thanks to Lone Star Lit for the opportunity to be in the tour and to Ms. Royer for providing me with a digital copy of the book to read and review.

4 Four-half-stars


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Autographed copies of A SHOT IN THE 80% DARK
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OUT OF TEMPER by Amber Royer – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

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 
Scroll down for Giveaway!

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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In times of overwhelming stress, there is no better escape for me than losing myself within the pages of a great book. I almost always take refuge in Romance books because of their promise of happy-ever-after or at least happy-for-now, but I also seek comfort in cozy mysteries with their assurance that whodunit will be revealed and villains will get their comeuppance. When the cozy involves chocolates, an adorable dog, and romantic elements, it immediately gets taken out of my Mount TBR and into the Read and Reviewed Library.
Out of Temper is the third book in the Bean to Bar Mysteries series but the first work of fiction by Amber Royer that I’ve read. It exceeded my expectations of being well-written, properly researched, and suitably paced. While there were numerous minor characters introduced, it never got confusing or overwhelming. They added to the list of suspects and provided the necessary red herrings and misdirections required to make the story exciting and move the plot along. Ms. Royer cleverly maneuvered each of Felicity’s interactions with the suspects in such a way that convinced me I knew who did it and then immediately change my mind the second another character appears. I pretty much suspected everyone except for Satchmo. I loved him. I now want to adopt a beagle.
I like Felicity. As far as reluctant amateur sleuths go, she’s a believable and relatable one. I also like both Logan and Arlo. They’re handsome and capable. At this stage in the series, their little love triangle is fine. I just hope Ms. Royer doesn’t stretch it too long that it gets tiresome and starts to turn off readers. Maybe have Felicity decide which one to have a relationship with after a couple more books. It shouldn’t take twenty-five books. For what’s it worth, I’m Team Arlo. Second-chance romance for the win.
If love is real, you don’t want to let it go. You never know how much time you really have.”
I love me a good competence porn and that scene with Felicity doing the demonstration on chocolate tempering deserves all the stars I can give. Ms. Royer’s description of the process, the special pieces of equipment, and the products–basil-infused brownies! bread pudding-inspired truffle!–had me dog-earing pages and pages of the book for reference and re-reading. It also made my mouth water so much, I had to grab a bar of chocolate to enjoy along with the rest of the exciting story.
Thanks to Ms. Royer and Lone Star Lit for providing me with a paperback copy of Out of Temper to review and the opportunity to get away from the real world for a few entertaining hours.
4 Four-half-stars

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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