Monday, October 21, 2013

Hot Chocolate by Dawn Greenfield Ireland Excerpt

Hot Chocolate by Dawn Greenfield Ireland
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Hot Chocolate is available as an ebook and paperback. It is 477 pages long, including reviews, snippets from the book, acknowledgements and dedications, the entire story told in 44 chapters. At the back of the book you will find eight mouth-watering recipes, and a look at book two in the Hot Chocolate series: Bitter Chocolate.


Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Hot Chocolate
by Dawn Greenfield Ireland
The mantle clock softly chimed eleven times in the expansive corner office belonging to Walter Branson.
The trim, middle-aged attorney was prepared for his clients’ histrionics, as was typical of the three Alcott sisters, who now sat in leather chairs on the opposite side of his gleaming mahogany desk. A weathered brass hat and coat rack, mounted on the wall by the door, sported three different Greek fisherman-type caps, Walter’s favorite design.
His largest account and longest, most endearing relationship with any client dated back to 1962 when Bernard Alcott had walked into Walter’s tiny one-room office that was situated over Wilson’s Funeral Home near downtown.
“What’s that smell?” young Bernard Alcott said as the embalming fluid fumes wafted through the vents in the floor.
Alcott needed help in establishing a corporate identity and a business plan but he didn’t have a lot to spend. Walter was already familiar with Bernard’s little chocolate business: Walter’s wife, Zoe, had craved Alcott chocolates through two pregnancies. The funeral home smell did not deter Bernard Alcott, and Walter was thankful for his very first paying client; he proved to Alcott that he was more than just a recent law school graduate. He intervened and saved Alcott Chocolates more than once from business deals that were not in Alcott’s best interests. As his company grew and prospered, Bernie Alcott rewarded Walter by making him the legal advisor for the entire Alcott Empire – both the business and personal dealings. By that time, the Alcott net worth was about one point five million dollars.
Now, Alcott Chocolates was an international icon and Bernie Alcott’s personal fortune was around eight point two billion dollars. Alcott Chocolate specialties were known far and wide. One could order a chocolate herd of buffalo, a replica of the White House in any flavor desired, or simply a box of assorted sumptuous chocolates.
With locations in most metropolitan areas across the country and thirty-two locations abroad, Alcott Chocolates were available to a diverse group of followers. Kings, queens, sultans, and presidents were fond of Alcott Chocolates and were often entertained by the Alcott family.
A parking lot eventually replaced Wilson’s Funeral Home, and Walter hated to see his first office torn down. He had moved his offices out of downtown in the late ninety’s and settled the staff in offices on West Gray, an area where his upscale clients felt more comfortable.
“The girls”, as Walter was fond of referring to the three Alcott sisters, were icily keeping their distance from one another. Lila Mae, blotchy and with her jaw set, waited patiently.
“Now, Dorothea, I understand that you need a break from taking care of Bernie,” Walter began.
Dorothea Divine, dubbed “the baby” or the “Divine one,” by Lila Mae and Madge, sat erect in the straight back, rolled and pleated burgundy leather chair. Recognizing the climate for an impending eruption, Walter did not have to wait long.
“Walter, Daddy is completely senile and has to be watched twenty-four seven. Why, I can’t even let the children entertain him for a moment unless there is adult supervision,” Dorothea burst, claiming a lace-edged hanky from her purse and dabbing at her Cleopatra eyes.
“Oh please, spare us,” Lila Mae spat. “What children? Yvonne and Charles are away at college."

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