Monday, February 6, 2012

Review and Giveaway: Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate by Dawn Greenfield Ireland

Publication Date: October 20, 2011
Publisher: Artistic Origins Inc.
File Size: 441 KB
Format: E-book 
Genre: Cozy Mystery

(Received for an honest review from Virtual Author Book Tours)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Dawn Ireland on the WEB: website, twitter

Excerpt from Hot Chocolate (Amazon Look Inside Feature)


Meet the middle-aged Alcott sisters: Madge, Lila Mae and Dorothea, heiresses to the Alcott Chocolate fortune and mavens of Houston’s elite River Oaks.

Madge ambushes Lila Mae with Dorothea’s manipulative plea: she can’t care for Bernie, their 92-year old father, any longer. Lila Mae explodes in a hissy fit—she had warned Dorothea years ago that they should put Bernie in an assisted living center.

Robert, Lila Mae’s astrologer, warns of impending problems and he’s rarely wrong.

The sisters call a meeting with Walter Branson, their solicitor. They discuss Bernie’s nurse Bambi Chaline, a blonde bombshell who looks more like a hooker than a nurse.

Arrangements are made for Bernie to be transferred over to Lake Sides Assisted Living Center in the Uptown Galleria area and a severance package is drawn up for Bambi.

Jimmy Ray Chaline, Bambi’s bowling alley husband, is enraged that Bambi was let go. He hires ambulance chaser Mark Slade to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.

The suit is thrown out of court further fueling Jimmy Ray’s rage. Bambi had been more than satisfied with her bonus, letters of recommendation and praise from the Alcott clan.

When Jimmy Ray fails to return home from the bowling alley that night, a series of events unfold that shocks the entire Alcott family and their extended members.


Dawn Greenfield Ireland's first foray into the cozy mystery sub-genre could not have gone better. Hot Chocolate is a novel that will leave readers laughing out loud and wondering how in the world they couldn't figure it out until the last page. Ireland's quirky and imaginative characters steal the show in this book and readers will find themselves drawn to the three Southern sisters with a penchant for sleuthing.

I was certainly surprised at how well a non-fiction writer could turn the tables and create a very believable and funny whodunit. Dawn Ireland's sense of humor shows through in just about every part of this book, from her off beat characters to her snappy dialogue. I always find it interesting to see how an author who writes cozy, can lighten the subject of murder. I think Ireland does it best by giving the reader a cast of characters that would be funny in whatever kind of book they ended up in.

The Alcott sisters are typical high society women who are anything but predictable. I loved the fact that Ireland gives each sister a very distinct personality. Dorethea was the "baby" of the family and it showed in her attitudes and behavior. Lila Mae was a very zen gal who's astrologer became a great secondary character, as well as, her possible boyfriend, Chance. And Madge the oldest sister has very unusual habits. All three women are so fun to read about. Even the minor characters are well fleshed out and very intriguing. There isn't a dull one of the bunch. 

The mystery aspect of the book was very well written. I thought I had it figured out a time or two bur Ireland proved smarter than I am and kept me in the dark til the bitter end. When Jimmy Ray doesn't return from the bowling alley one evening it's up the Alcott sisters to figure out what happened to him before they end up as suspects. I thought the motive to investigate was a good one and the story was believable. Jimmy Ray and Bambi reminded me a lot of characters you might find on "Who's Earl?" They were fun, quirky and kept the story moving in the right direction

This is a great start of Dawn Ireland and I'm sure we'll see more of her work. Overall I thought it was a great cozy debut and I recommend it to all my readers. The ending was a little abrupt, but that certainly didn't take away from the charm and humor of this book. The characters were simply amazing and Ireland has a real knack for description. There are some mouth-watering recipes at the end of the book that readers will enjoy trying. I hope to read more about the Alcott sisters in the near future. They are quite the amateur sleuths. 

Hot Chocolate is available now in E-book format from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Dawn Greenfield Ireland has been writing stories since attending summer camp around the age of seven. To date she has five completed novels (science fiction and contemporary), 15 completed screenplays (one optioned in 2009) and as many scripts in various stages of completion. She is the author of two award-winning self-published books: The Puppy Baby Book and Mastering Your Money. Many of her screenplays have won awards.


I have one e-book copy of Hot Chocolate up for grabs! This will be an International giveaway since it's an e-book. So all of my non - US readers have a chance at this one. 

~ You must be a GFC follower or an e-mail subscriber to participate.
~ This one is international!
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST February 20th.

1. Please leave a comment in appreciation to the author on THIS post.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds like a good book to cozy up with.


Dawn Ireland said...

Thanks for such a wonderful review of my wickedly funny cozy! I can't wait for you to meet Benny, Chewie, Jingo and Carmichael in the second book, Bitter Chocolate!

Dawn Ireland

Kathleen O said...

I love the characters of this story. And how wonderful to use the chocolate industry in your story. We can enjoy it with our the calories.. lol


justpeachy36 said...

Thanks for stopping by Dawn!

rhonda said...

Hot chocolate love it in any form.looking. toward to the book.

cyn209 said...

always up for another cozy mystery to read!!! thank you for this giveaway!!!!!

Linda Kish said...

Great review. This sounds like such fun to read.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

lag123 said...

I look forward to reading this!!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

srivalli said...

This sounds like a great cozy mystery! Something I would enjoy!

Carol N Wong said...

Thank you so much for this review I love quirky,quirky,quirky and laughing out loud so this a must read for me.


In Julie's Opinion said...

Oohhh, this sounds like a great cozy mystery!! I would love the chance to read it for myself! Thanks so much for the awesome review and giveaway:)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway. I can't wait to read this book.

bn100 said...

This sounds like a very enjoyable read. I liked your review.

catslady said...

I enjoy debut authors and finding somone new to follow - sounds like a great cozy mystery.


Carol M said...

This sounds like a fun read! Thank you for the giveaway!

Peggy Ann said...

Heard only good things about this book!

Anonymous said...

sounds like a fun read! thanks for the giveaway.