About Dreaming in Chocolate
A story of love, hot chocolate, and one little girl’s wish for her mother that will make your heart melt.
With an endless supply of magical gifts and recipes from the hot chocolate café Penelope Dalton runs alongside her mother, she is able to give her daughter almost everything she wants. The one sticking point is Ella’s latest request: get a dad. And not just any dad. Ella has her sights set on Noah Gregory, her biological father who’s back in town for a few months – and as charming as ever.
Noah broke Penelope’s heart years ago, but now part of her wonders if she made the right decision to keep the truth of their daughter from him. The other, more practical part, is determined to protect Ella from the same heartbreak. Now Penelope must give in to her fate or face a future of regrets.
What Susan had to say about writing Dreaming in Chocolate
Dreaming in Chocolate was the third novel I started. You’ll notice it was not the third one I finished. After knocking out the first 50,000 words, I knew it needed a lot of work. I’m not scared of hard work, but I had no clue how to fix it without scrapping the idea and starting from scratch. And that just felt demoralizing after spending so much time on it already. So, I set it aside. Wrote three other books. Revised those books. Learned so much about how to write books. Got an amazing agent. Got an offer on one of those other books.
When the offer on The Secret Ingredient of Wishes came in, the editor asked what else I had. It’s an exciting question to get because it usually means they want more than one book from an author. But it also means if you don’t have something already done (and for me, the two remaining manuscripts were young adult, not women’s fiction like the editor was wanting), you have to come up with a stellar idea quickly! My agent and I talked and she loved the idea of this novel I’d shelved. So, I wrote a four-sentence description of what I wanted the book to be (you know, if I ever got around to working on it again), and she sent it off to the editor. And the editor offered on it too.
There was lots of celebrating at first. Followed by a year of focusing on The Secret Ingredient of Wishes since it was the first book scheduled for publication. Then it was down to me and this hot mess of a book I’d all but abandoned. I trashed most of it to start. But I loved the characters and the heart of the book, and I knew what it would take to get the book into shape. Those other three books I finished in between had given me the tools I needed to finally make Dreaming in Chocolate into the book it wanted to be all along. Then it was all about butt in chair, hands on keyboard until “the end.”
And today, that book that might never have seen the light of day if I’d given up on it, is hitting shelves and e-readers. (Cue excited flails!)
What people are saying
Dreaming in Chocolate is a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Winter 2018 Okra Pick!
“Readers looking for a feel-good story with a little bit of enchantment sprinkled in will eat this one up. A pleasantly sweet tale about true love, fate, and family.” — Kirkus Reviews
“This story of intricate secrets and one little girl’s final wish will warm your heart with the importance of family and love.” — PopSugar
“It sets the “typical” tropes just slightly off center and creates fresh layers of the unexpected. The small‐town setting provides the perfect backdrop for the story…Overall, this novel is a Hallmark movie mixed with chocolate and a delightful dash of the “just maybe”!” — RT Book Reviews
“Dreaming in Chocolate is an endearing and beautifully spun tale of three generations of women and the enchanted chocolate shop that they share. A story of broken hearts, missed opportunities and the sometimes excruciating realities of motherhood, Susan Bishop Crispell teaches us that, even in a life surrounded by the mystical and inexplicable, sometimes, finding true love is the real magic.” — Kristy Woodson Harvey, author of Slightly South of Simple
“Come for the life-changing chocolates and opinionated apothecary table, stay for the enchanting eight-year old and complicated secrets. After reading Susan Bishop Crispell’s charming DREAMING IN CHOCOLATE, you’ll want to take up residence in Malarkey, sip magical hot cocoa, and change your own fate!” — Amy E Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
“In a world where people too often lose faith in second chances, happy endings, heart’s desires and homemade miracles, Susan Bishop Crispell’s DREAMING IN CHOCOLATE makes me a believer again. This tender story about unthinkable loss and the strength of a family’s love to bring them together as they face a future that is uncertain, is a reminder that the most powerful magic any of us possesses is hope.” — Kimberly Brock, award winning author of The River Witch
“Set in the world where salty caramels inspire truth telling and bittersweet truffles conjure happiness, the real magic of this warm and enchanting romance is found in the love the characters have for each other. A sweet treat for fans of Joanne Harris and Alice Hoffman.” — Louise Miller, author of The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living
“Like a good piece of chocolate, Crispell’s latest is sweet and utterly satisfying. Perfect for fans of Sarah Addison Allen, this is a real treat of a novel.” — Colleen Oakley, author of Close Enough to Touch
Susan Bishop Crispell earned a BFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Born and raised in the mountains of Tennessee, she now lives twenty minutes from the beach in North Carolina with her husband and their literary-named cat. She is very fond of pie and is always on the lookout for hints of magic in the real world.