Guest Post: Friendship Can Be Complicated by Autumn Ellis from Grand Openings Can Be Murder

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Character Guest Post

Friendship Can Be Complicated
by Autumn Ellis

I’m Autumn Ellis, Felicity Koerber’s best friend.  Felicity is the protagonist of the Bean to Bar Mysteries, which only makes sense since she is a bean to bar chocolate maker with a logical mind.  I’m not jealous of her getting to be the center of everything.  Everyone who’s ever taken a writing course knows that it stinks to be the protagonist because being a protagonist is about being forced into change – usually by a series of unpleasant events.  No thank you.  I’ll stay over here on the sidelines.    

Felicity and I have been through everything together, since middle school to now, when we’re in our thirties.  Felicity was there for me when my Dad left – and when, years later, he showed back up clean and sober and wanting a chance to make up for lost time.  I was there for her when she went through the breakup with her first serious boyfriend, though I’ll never understand why she dumped Arlo, who always seemed like a sweet guy to me.  But you don’t have to understand to be supportive.  You just have to hold the Kleenex box and dole out hugs.  

We were there for each other in the good times, too.  Felicity was front and center at my first book launch party, taking pictures.  She even made me a cake, and it came out great, though she’s never baked before in her life.  I should have known then she’d wind up working with food, even though she was studying to be a physical therapist.  I was maid of honor at Felicity’s wedding.  I liked Kevin.  He was genuinely a good guy, and he made Felicity happy.  What I didn’t like was him taking the job in Seattle, and Felicity moving up there with him.

Things happened in those years while Felicity was gone.  At some points, it felt like everything in my life was falling down, poised for change – and not in a good way.  Like I’d become the protagonist of a random and broken story, as erratic as the weather here in Galveston.  How could I tell Felicity about it, when she was so happy and had her life together?  She was my best friend, but I stopped telling her everything.  Started presenting a filtered version of my life during our frequent phone calls and texts.  I figured I could keep that up until everything sorted itself out, and I did.  Felicity came home to visit her family a couple of times a year, and we’d meet up for a few hours.  There have been plenty of good things in my life, too, enough to fill a few hours at a go.  So it felt like everything was okay between Felicity and me.

But then the unthinkable happened: Kevin died.  And Felicity decided to move home.  Her in-laws were taking Kevin’s death just as hard as she was, and they kept seeing her as a reminder of what they’d lost.  She told me they’d return her calls but had stopped inviting her over to visit.  That must have hurt, as much as anything else.  So she quit her practice, came home, and decided – of all things – to open a chocolate factory.  I don’t really get it.  Felicity had worked hard in college, worked hard to make her practice a success.  But we all grieve in different ways.  Hers apparently involves roasting beans and hopping on jets to hike through the rainforest.

But having Felicity close again means seeing her in person.  She still has no idea about half of the things that happened to this town while she was gone.  And that’s probably for the best.  And now, one of her employees has been murdered, so she’s stopped trying to find out about the past, thank goodness.  At least about my past.  She’s more focused on Emma’s past, which seems more complex by the second.

You would think, as a writer, that I’d get to be Watson to Felicity’s Sherlock.  Only – I’m not a writer anymore, and Felicity has been looking to Logan to help her with the investigation.  That’s probably a smart choice.  Logan used to be a bodyguard, so he’s in a better position to keep her safe.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t be adding in my two cents as the case progresses.

An Idyllic Chocolate Shop. An island with dramatic weather. And a murder- Grand Openings Can Be Murder by Amber Royer @amber_royer

About The Book:

Felicity Koerber has had a rough year. She’s moving back to Galveston Island and opening a bean to bar chocolate factory, fulfilling a dream she and her late husband, Kevin, had shared. Craft chocolate means a chance to travel the world, meeting with farmers, and bringing back beans she can turn into little blocks of happiness, right close to home and family.

She thinks trouble has walked into her carefully re-built world when puddle-jump pilot Logan Hanlon shows up at her grand opening to order custom chocolates. Then one of her employees drops dead at the party, and Felicity’s one-who-got-away ex-boyfriend – who’s now a cop – thinks Felicity is a suspect. As the murder victim’s life becomes more and more of a mystery, Felicity realizes that if she’s going to clear her name in time to save her business, she might need Logan’s help. Though she’s not sure if she’s ready to let anyone into her life – even if it is to protect her from being the killer’s next victim. For Felicity, Galveston is all about history, and a love-hate relationship with the ocean, which keeps threatening to deliver another hurricane – right into the middle of her investigation. Can she figure it out before all the clues get washed away?

Book Links: Amazon / Barnes and NobleApple Books / 
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About The Author

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 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.

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