Monday, September 11, 2023

Something Borrowed, Something 90% Dark by Amber Royer | Book Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway


Something Borrowed, Something 90% Dark (A Bean to Bar Mystery) by Amber Royer

About Something Borrowed, Something 90% Dark

Something Borrowed, Something 90% Dark (A Bean to Bar Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting - Texas
Golden Tip Press (September 12, 2023)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 301 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0C9YXTC7

Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand is hosting the friends and family coming into town for her best friend Autumn’s wedding. As matron of honor, Felicity has a ton of tasks to complete – including making chocolates for the gift bags. She doesn’t have time to solve another murder. But when one of the bridesmaids becomes a prime suspect in the death of a visiting real estate agent, Felicity has to put her detecting skills to use again to keep the wedding plans from getting derailed. She’s already nervous about the impending deadline she’s given herself to finally choose between her two love interests – and figuring where life goes once she makes her choice. But add in a missing pigmy goat and a new coffee shop that wants to partner with her, and she’s frazzled. She begins to discover that not everything is as it seems among the wedding guests. Can she handle the wedding preparations, pull off turning her shop into a concert venue, and unmask the killer – before anyone else dies?

About the Guest Post by Amber Royer

Ten Tips for Planning the Perfect Bridal Shower

In Something Borrowed, Something 90% Dark, Felicity Koerber, as matron of honor for her best friend’s wedding, is tasked with planning the bridal shower.  She plans a lovely tea – only, being that the book is a cozy mystery, of course nothing goes to plan.

But she did put a lot of work into her vision of the perfect shower for Autumn.  Here’s some tips, based on what she learned, both from researching the etiquette for bridal showers and from her actual experience.

10.  Don’t plan anything else the same day. – It may be tempting to tell yourself you will have time to get everything done, especially when things come up unexpectedly.  For instance, having to rescue a missing goat.  These seemingly mundane tasks will inevitably take longer than expected, and put you behind on your busy schedule.  Remember, you’re the hostess.  It’s your job to be greeting guests, not to be busy investigating clues, or putting yourself in a position to be kidnapped right before the party.   

9.  Make sure the theme matches the bride’s personality. – A tea party was actually perfect for Autumn.  Felicity knows that one of Autumn’s favorite drinks is London Fog, and that her BFF sells vintage jewelry on Etsy (despite being independently wealthy).  Autumn is all about elegance, and she loves antiques.  While Autumn also has a more exuberant side, and has accompanied Felicity to less structured parties, she also likes to be in control when all eyes are on her.

8.  Make sure there’s a gift registry. – This makes it easier for anyone who doesn’t know the bride’s taste.  Unfortunately, it also makes it more difficult to lie about why you’re in a fancy jewelry store that definitely wasn’t part of that registry.  Especially to someone who knows that you already bought a present for the bride.  Maybe being so organized has its downsides.

7.  Create a Theme-Appropriate Music Playlist. – Felicity knows Autumn’s taste in music well enough that she created a hits parade of background jazz to be played while guests were arriving and enjoying their tea.  Fortunately, she shared this playlist with the bridesmaids.  Kaylee took over hostess duties in her absence, and was able to look like a genius.  Kaylee and Felicity started out with an antagonistic relationship, and though they’re friends now, it is still awkward to feel upstaged.

6.  Have some fun activities.  Felicity opted for party games, such as the one where participants fashion a dress for volunteer “brides” out of strips of toilet paper.  Which is fine, I guess, now that the pandemic-related toilet paper shortages are over.  She bought some prizes for the games, but said prizes never made it to the venue.  As Felicity is a bean to bar chocolate maker, she should have called someone from her shop to send over chocolate to be used as prizes while she was rushing to the tea room.

5.  Keep conversation polite and upbeat. – This is not the time to be asking people where they were at the time of the murder, or if they have a motive.  Again, I know this can be tempting, as you may have many of your suspects gathered in one room.  But this is supposed to be the bride’s day.  You want everyone to remember it as fun and stress-free.

4.  Dress appropriately. – The dress code will be different, of course, depending on whether the party is poolside, at a ski chalet, or at a fancy restaurant.  Whatever the dress code is, make sure to list it on the invitations.  And as host, you should follow the instructions you gave your guests.  As an amateur sleuth, Felicity should have realized the possibility of everything going sideways and her not getting back to shower and change and made other arrangements.  Sweat-stained tees are not a good look for tea parties.  Perhaps she could have had one of the bridesmaids bring a backup dress to the venue just in case.

3.  Don’t steal the bride’s thunder. – This obviously means not trying to dress better than the bride, or to have better etiquette skills than the bride.  Most people would instinctively know not to do that.  But it also means not making announcements of your own during the bride’s party.  Especially if they are strange or confusing, such as suddenly blurting that your love interest’s ex-girlfriend’s father has gone missing and might be dead.  Even if you feel altruistic for investigating the matter despite the complicated history, don’t elevate yourself by congratulating yourself for being a moderately good person. 

2.  Pamper the bride. – This means that whatever the bride wants, you should do your best to make it happen.  Shower her with gifts, and positive words of advice for her upcoming nuptials and happy married life.  This is especially important if you balked at the idea of accepting your bff’s request to become her matron of honor in the first place, because you thought she was rushing into something with a guy she barely knew – only to realize later that you were the one with the problem, because you were still grieving and not ready for others to move on with their lives without you.

1.  Stay to help clean up. – Even if the chapter ends by then and it happens off-screen.


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 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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