70% Dark Intentions

 


70% Dark Intentions (Bean to Bar Mysteries)
by Amber Royer

About 70% Dark Intentions


70% Dark Intentions (Bean to Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher – Golden Tip Press (July 20, 2021)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-10: 1952854105
ISBN-13: 978-1952854101
Digital ASIN : B091KMVY8P

Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand is bringing in plenty of customers – in part due to the notoriety of the recent murder of one of her assistants, which she managed to solve. Things seem to be taking a turn for the better. Her new assistant, Mateo, even gets along with Carmen, the shop’s barista turned pastry chef. Felicity thinks she’s learning to cope with change – right up until one of her friends gets engaged. Everyone’s expecting her to ask Logan, her former bodyguard, to be her plus one. But even the thought of asking out someone else still makes her feel disloyal to her late husband’s memory — so maybe she hasn’t moved on from her husband’s death as much as she thought.

Felicity isn’t planning to contact Logan any time soon. Only, Felicity finds ANOTHER body right outside her shop – making it two murders at Greetings and Felicitations in as many months. That night, Mateo disappears, leaving Felicity to take care of his pet octopus. The police believe that Mateo committed the murder, but Felicity is convinced that, despite the mounting evidence, something more is going on, and Mateo may actually be in trouble.

When Logan assumes that he’s going to help Felicity investigate, she realizes she’s going to have to spend time with him – whether she’s ready to really talk to him or not. Can Felicity find out what happened to Mateo, unmask a killer, and throw an engagement party all at the same time?

Excerpt

“Sounds great,” Mateo says.  He opens the back door, and steps backwards through it. “I’ll just-” 

He breaks off his words with a squeak as he trips over some guy who’s standing there, about to knock on the door.  Mateo lands on his butt.  The other guy stumbles backwards, leaning heavily against a giant box on a dolly.  The edge of the cardboard caves in under his weight.  I’ve ordered a piece of equipment for the shop that could have showed up in a box that big -- but it isn’t supposed to be here until next week.  Unless they made a mistake on the date. 

That must be it.  A thread of excitement bubbles through me.  I gesture at the box.  “Is this what I think it is?” 

“Optical sorter,” the guy announces.  “Free setup is included with the order.  Where do you want it?” 

I eye the box, greedy to see the machine inside.  “I thought you were delivering it next week.” 

The guy squints at me.  He’s a tall white guy, built like a refrigerator and bald as a cue ball.  “You want me to take it back and come back next week?” 

“No!” I say, more loudly than I intended.  “Please.  I need it set up in the bean room.” 

He nods and gestures to the doors for cargo deliveries, which are usually kept firmly locked.  They lead directly into the bean processing area.  “Let’s do this.” 

I’m conflicted.  I love tinkering with machines.  It’s one of the things that drew me into the whole chocolate making business.  That, and the fact that my late husband and I had wanted to do something amazing together.  I want to stay and try out the sorter. 

But my best friend Autumn said she has good news to announce.  And she’s waiting at Chalupa’s to tell me and the rest of our friends.  I hope she’s going to say that she’s started writing again.  Maybe even that she has a new book contract. 

“I can stay, and help get this where you’ll want it,” Mateo volunteers. 

“What is this thing?” Carmen asks. 

The geek in me is excited to tell her, “You know how I have to sort through all the beans to get rid of rocks and plant material and such before I can start roasting them to make chocolate?” 

“Yeah.  It’s like the least fun part of watching you work.”  Carmen gestures back inside, towards the kitchen.  “That’s why I prefer baking.” 

“This machine does all of that automatically.”  I step over and pat the cardboard box.  I’d like to at least see the sorter before I leave, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.  “I know it’s a bit of a splurge for an operation our size, but business has been good despite all the negative publicity.” 

Because of the negative publicity,” Carmen says. 

I nod.  “That’s fair.”  I’m still not happy about Greetings and Felicitations being the chocolate shop that all the murder-geeks stop at, like my factory is a tourist attraction.  But they seem to be a group with a lot of pocket money.  So I have no choice but to humor them. 

“I’ll stay with Mateo,” Carmen says.  “I’d like to see how this thing works.” 

Mateo looks at me.  “I don’t know if we should run it.  Felicity, don’t you want to be the first one to use the machine?  I know I’d want to if it was mine.” 

I do want to be the first to play with the shop’s new toy.  But I also want Carmen to know I trust her.  I tell them, “Y’all feel free to try it out.”  I point at Mateo.  “But don’t use that bag of beans from the farm that you brought me.  I’m still trying to figure out what to do with it.” 

The beans are Criollo Porcelana, which many consider the finest variety of cacao in the world.  It grows in smooth, ivory to pale green pods, and the beans are famous for being low in astringency while being deeply nutty.  The particular ones I’ve got are from a farm Mateo visited, in Venezuela.  I need to do something special with such special beans.


 

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 for both UT Arlington Continuing Education and Writing Workshops Dallas. If you are very nice to her, she might make you cupcakes.

Author Links

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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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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for featuring 70% Dark Intentions. It was such a fun book to write, I have been having a blast finally getting to share it.

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