Publisher: Artistic Origins Inc (June, 2014)
The characters you loved in Hot Chocolate are back with more escapades of life in Houston’s wealthy River Oaks.
Lila Mae is in a tizzy over the Chocolate Ball – a huge event that she and her sisters, Dorothea and Madge, host every year. But due to unusual circumstances, Dorothea and Madge dump everything in Lila Mae’s lap. If it weren’t for Julian Gillespie of Event Is King, the Chocolate Ball would have melted.
Wolfram, Lila Mae’s new astrologer, gives clues of things to come. This leaves Lila Mae and her sidekick Amelia with brows furrowed.
On her day off, Amelia decides to bake a chocolate blueberry pie. She discovers she needs to make a grocery run. When she returns home, she discovers her kitchen door is slightly ajar. Arms loaded with groceries, she toes the door open.
Three things catch her attention: a vase of flowers on the kitchen island that was not there when she left the house, her marble rolling pin covered with blood… and a dead body on her kitchen floor.
Amelia’s eyes drift toward the dining room and beyond – is the house empty, or is there a murderer inside? She backs up, turns and hurries outside. After setting the bags on the ground, she slips back into the kitchen and snaps a picture of the dead guy. Then she calls Detective Chance Walker, Lila Mae and finally… 9-1-1.
Praise for Hot Chocolate:
“This cozy mystery is a raucous romp. A light, quick read, it is laugh-out-loud funny all the way through except maybe for the scene when the murder victim is discovered and the scene when the murderer declares themselves tho even those two scenes have elements of slapstick visuals incorporated into them.
The plot is quite masterfully constructed and kept me guessing right up to the moment the culprit was revealed and that is not easy to do as I’ve read or watched so many mystery stories I often figure it out well before the halfway point.
Where the story truly shines though is through the characters of which there are many yet each one is fully rounded and uniquely eccentric.
Food itself is nearly a character in the story and several of the recipes featured in scenes are included in full at the end of the novel.”-Joy Renee Davis, Joystory
“Hot Chocolate is a captivating tale with vivid and fun characters. I could almost visualize myself socializing with them, and I definitely enjoyed their interactions with one another. They felt like real sisters, albeit high-society ones.
All the players are in place, and we think we have them figured out. So when something unexpected happens one night at the bowling alley, the Alcotts, Bambi, and countless others are caught up in a mystery that had me turning pages rapidly. Who or what could be responsible for the shocking events? What will Bambi discover when she starts searching through her husband’s dresser drawers and files? And what other surprises await the Alcotts?
Through all the excitement and intrigue, we are gifted with wonderfully descriptive moments in the lives of the characters, including the delicious food they enjoy. The dishes are presented so realistically that I could almost taste them. As a final pleasing treat, there are several wonderful recipes at the end of the book. A five star read.”-Laurel Rain Snow, Chocolate and Mimosas
“Hot Chocolate is a light-hearted Southern comedy. The Alcott sisters are the epitome of Southern culture. They are each other’s fiercest enemy and closest companion.
One of my all-time favorite shows is Designing Women. The Alcott sisters, Dorothea, Lila Mae, and Madge could be the Sugarbaker women. Picture Suzanne Sugarbaker every time you read something about Dorothea and you’ll be rolling on the floor laughing every time she hollers and faints. It doesn’t get better than this.
The plot is well written and from the very first page there is no doubt these women live chocolate as much as the company they own makes chocolate. From the cocoa colored Bentleys to the hot chocolate they start their day with, this book is full of chocolate – what could be better than that?! The characters were dazzling creatures and full of spunk making the book an enjoyable read. I found no grammatical errors and the book ended with a surprise you won’t see coming, a definite plus in book world.” – Donna McBroom-Theriot, My Life, One Story At a Time
“I never read anything by Dawn Greenfield Ireland before, but she definitely knows how to write mysteries the way I like them. The story is filled with twists, turns and eccentric characters that are essential in writing a cozy mystery. It’s fast-paced and keeps the readers on their toes. There are also some giggles and a dash of romance thrown into the mix. At the end, she includes some yummy recipes that are featured in the book. Suddenly I’m in desperate need of a hot chocolate with some marshmallow fluff.
This book is delicious!”- Yvonne, Socrates Book Review
“I love reading a good cozy mystery and when it’s paired with good old fashioned southern charm and whit well I’m sold! “Hot Chocolate” by Dawn Greenland Ireland gave me that plus a plenty of offbeat characters,along with a fast moving plot with a murder mystery woven in, sprinkled together with a liberal amount of humor in to make this a book that I just couldn’t read fast enough!
As I read this story I couldn’t help but think that it would make an awesome movie. Set in the south with more than a few quirky characters that had me laughing out loud on several occasions.As I read the story I found the characters getting stuck in my head and could just imagine their southern twang.
If you enjoy reading a fast paced mystery that has more twists than a winding country road, along with vivid descriptions of people, food and places that will grab your imagination and hold on tight until the final page your certainly going to enjoy “Hot Chocolate.” I loved this author’s storytelling ability and look forward to reading more of her work.”-Brenda Casto, VW Stitcher
Dawn Ireland is the CEO of Artistic Origins Inc, a 100% woman-owned publishing and technical writing service company that has been doing business since 1995. She’s an award winning independent publisher and author of The Puppy Baby Book , Mastering Your Money, and Amazon Best Seller Hot Chocolate(the first in the series, and her fifth novel). The Hot Chocolate audio book was awarded the AudioFile Earphones Award on Valentine’s Day 2014.
Her family feature film screenplay A Girl and Her Dogwas awarded a Kids First! Endorsement by the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media in October 2012 and optioned by Shadow Cave Productions in February 2013.
Originally from Feeding Hills, MA, Dawn migrated to San Antonio in 1968, then when her first son was one years old, her family moved to Houston where work was more plentiful. After 40+ years of heat and humidity, she has her sights on the Pacific NW.
Dawn is the co-author of the animated screenplay Memoirs of a Dog which won the Spirit Award of the Moondance Film Festival (children’s category) September 2011. Her dark comedy Plan B was a finalist in the Table Read My Screenplay script competition in 2010 and years before that, Standing Dead won the Women in Film and Television (Houston Chapter) screenplay award.
Stay tuned for The Last Dog (futuristic/sci-fi 2015), and Spicy Chocolate (2016).
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How I chose chocolate for the drink in the series
Bitter Chocolate by Dawn Greenfield Ireland ~ Virtual Book Tour
Aging is not for the fainthearted! About a decade ago, I developed a strong sensitivity to caffeine so I had to stop drinking iced tea. This was not good as I drank tea every single day, all day and into the night. In my kitchen tea was brewed by the vat – either on the stove on in a sun tea jar. Sensitivity to regular coffee followed soon afterwards. I tried decaf coffee in every flavor known to mankind, but it lacked the ability to satisfy my morning requirements.
One of the workplaces stocked packets of hot chocolate so I tried a cup and found it pretty good. Then I began reading the ingredients on the label and went on a quest to find a product that did not have soy, fructose, wheat, food coloring, and chemicals with long strange names I could not pronounce, followed by a bunch of abbreviations.
As luck would have it I found a Whole Foods 365 brand of organic hot chocolate. It was divine! I bought a round tub for home and one for the office. I topped it off with office decaf coffee and found love in my morning cup once again.
At this point I determined that my love for café mocha would transcend to my characters in Hot Chocolate and sure enough, Lila Mae and Amelia loved my café mocha! Everyone they serve it to loves it!
Then tragedy struck. Whole Foods stopped carrying my hot chocolate! I about freaked out because I was almost out of stock. When I was at a different grocery store I saw the exact same round tub, minus the 365 on the label, but identical in every sense, price included. I stocked up.
A year later, the same tragic story – the product was discontinued!
So, for the past month I’ve been in the experimental mode. I bought all the organic ingredients and commenced to make my own hot chocolate. I’m up to batch four. The first batch had too much dry milk. The second didn’t have enough of the vanilla sugar. The third was almost a complete failure – too much cocoa and not enough sugar. Talk about gagging strong cocoa! I may have the fourth batch as close to perfect as its going to get.
If any of my current ingredients is discontinued I don’t know what I’ll do!
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