A Study in Chocolate by Amber Royer - Blog Tour with Character Guest Post and Giveaway


Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand is expanding, as it has become a gathering spot for the community, despite having been the scene of multiple murders. Artists she met while doing a chocolate sculpture are now working out of the shop. So when Felicity is invited to tea by an eccentric art collector, she’s intrigued, especially when she gets asked to pose for a portrait done with chocolate on chocolate. However, when a murder takes place the next day at the same historic house where the tea was held, one of Felicity’s artist friends becomes the main suspect.

When the killer threatens that, unless Felicity unravels the murder, one of her two love interests will be the next victim, she finds herself unwittingly at the center of a puzzle, with a Sherlock Holmes obsessed murderer who wants to be the next Moriarty – and wants to cast Felicity as Sherlock.

Felicity starts finding unexpected connects between her friends and acquaintances, and has to deal with the idea that someone who knows her is a murderer. At the same time, she has to keep her business running, despite construction dust and unruly customers – and an unexpected order for thousands of truffles.

Satchmo the retired police dog turned therapy dog returns to help her sniff out a few clues, and the kidnapping of Ruffles, the quirky artist’s cat, helps lead Felicity into the puzzle. Can Felicity solve it in time to protect the people she cares about from becoming additional victims?

Character Guest Post by Ruffles the Cat

Hi! I’m Ruffles, and I’m an emotional support cat. My owner and I appear in (so far) two books of the Bean to Bar Mysteries by Amber Royer. My owner isn’t the protagonist – though he’s complex enough that he could be – but I do play an important part in the books that I’m in, especially in the book that just came out. In A Study in Chocolate, I wind up in the house where an art collector was murdered. The series stars Felicity Koerber, a craft chocolate maker in Galveston, Texas, who winds up becoming an amateur sleuth after an employee dies at her grand opening party. She meets me in the fourth book in the series, and now, I get to be on the cover of the current release.

My owner, Gently, suffers from anxiety, due to trauma that happened before I found him, looking all sad, in a parking lot. At the time, I was still a kitten, just out on my own after I got tired of spending my days in a broken drain pipe with my six brothers and sisters. Gently likes to say I was lost, but cats can’t get lost. I could have found my way back to Mama if I’d really wanted to. Even if I had been wandering for a couple of days. I was on the hunt for something to eat, and there was Gently, holding a box of take-out fried chicken, standing right by his car. Most cats would have only thought about how to get the guy to feel sorry for them, to score a piece of chicken. But it really got to me, how alone Gently looked. If I’m really honest, I was starting to feel that way myself, having gone on the road and gotten far from home. It was a moment where we needed each other.

I know a cat might seem to be a weird choice for the whole emotional support gig. I’ve even heard someone tell Gently that cats are too selfish to be emotional support animals. But that’s not exactly a fair look at cats. While it’s true that only dogs and miniature horses can be registered as service animals, I’m far from the only cat that’s been registered as an ESA. Yes, there are times when I’m completely absorbed in my own interests – like watching that squirrel that likes to hang out by Gently’s bird feeder – but I can tell when Gently is about to have a panic attack, and then I know I have to drop everything – even if I should find a way to get my paws on that thieving squirrel -- and go calm him down. Just him petting me can sometimes stop an attack from happening, but sometimes purring really loud helps too. (People outside the pages of my book have extensively studied cat behavior. There have been a number of studies about how we sense and use emotional cues, and anecdotal evidence of us “alerting” to medical conditions.)

Cats and coffee seem to go hand in hand. Cat cafes are big in Japan, where many apartment homes do not allow people to have pets. So people go to cafes where they can interact with them, further showing how relaxing and fun we can be to be around. These cafes are now catching on in the States, where many of them have animals that are adoptable – a win-win for both the humans and cats. My author recently visited a cat café in Hawaii that was responsible for the adoption of over 2,000 cats. If you want to sample how being around a cat can reduce your own stress, spend an hour or two hanging out at a cat café.

But I digress. We were talking about me, and my particular human, which happens to be two of my favorite subjects. When Felicity first met me and Gently, Gently was a suspect in a murder she was trying to solve. By now Felicity knows Gently is a really good guy. My human would never hurt anybody! I know maybe I sound biased, but it’s true. So when, at the beginning of A Study in Chocolate, Gently has a public disagreement with the art collector who later winds up dead, Felicity has to know that the argument had nothing to do with the guy’s death. Even if the police seem to have their doubts. But I’m sure I can convince Felicity to help change their minds – even if it means tracking down the real killer. After all, she’s caught murderers four times before -- and she didn’t even have a cat to help.

About the Author: 

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.

Author Links:

Website: http://www.amberroyer.com

Blog: http://amberroyer.com/blog/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amberroyerauthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Amber.Royer.Author/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoA_29HV2nPmRnox9LPVanw

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amber_royer

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Amber-Royer/e/B00PFV4CGM

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8144619.Amber_Royer

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