Six months after her husband dies, fifty-eight-year-old Florence Loughton falls in love. She falls in love the moment that Hector stretches out his tiny little neck and licks at the smooth tan skin of her face. She soon forms an unlikely bond with twenty-six-year-old Trey Barkley, Hector's dog walker. Trey doesn't seem to mind that he walks dogs for a living or that he still lives with his parents, but when his whole world is set on end by a brief chocolate bar encounter, leading to his arrest for a murder he may or may not have committedthreatening his livelihood, his freedom, and the sanity he's worked so hard to maintainhe minds. He minds very muchespecially considering that it's the murder of his only real friend: Mrs. Florence Loughton. Detective Seth Wooley is initially confident in his quick arrest of the crazy-ass dog walker. Every clue indicates that Trey Barkley is the murderer. Easyexcept Seth just can't seem to shake the fact that sometimes things are just too damn easy. The Chocolate Debacle is a captivating story where two lonely people come together and form an odd friendship that comes to an abrupt and troubling end on the day Flo dies.
|Publisher:||Goodman Beck Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Karen Winters Schwartz was born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio. She wrote her first truly good story at age seven. Her second-grade teacher, Mrs. Schneider, publicly and falsely accused her of plagiarism. She did not write again for forty years.
Educated at The Ohio State University, both Karen and her husband have shared a career in optometry in Central New York's Finger Lakes while raising two daughters together.
Karen is the president of NAMI Syracuse (National Alliance on Mental Illness), a strong advocate for mental illness awareness, and a sought-after speaker at health association events and conferences across the country. Karen knows firsthand the devastation that mental illness can wreak on a family. She has talked to hundreds of families who have dealt with the frustration of a broken mental health care system. She has experienced the price of stigma and has felt the isolation that ignorance, misunderstanding, and judgment can inflict on everyone involved. She knows how these misconceptions delay and thwart necessary treatment—at its best leading to loss of jobs, productivity, and relationships, at its worst leading to tragedies such as suicide, violence, and mass murder. She has also experienced the joy of the recovery of a loved one, stressing early detection and treatment as the key to this success.
Her critically acclaimed debut novel on mental illness, Where Are the Cocoa Puffs?: A Family’s Journey Through Bipolar Disorder, was released by Goodman Beck Publishing in September 2010. Its widely praised follow-up, Reis’s Pieces: Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia, was released in the spring of 2012, and her third novel, The Chocolate Debacle, was released in the fall of 2014. Her books are not only honest and engaging stories—they are also advocacy tools, educational tools, and a comfort to those dealing directly and indirectly with mental illness.
Through her books Karen opens up discussions about the need for empathy and the impact of the negative stigma associated with these neurobiological brain disorders. Through literature, she educates while entertaining, elicits empathy while telling a great story, and advocates by reaching those who just don’t “get it.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I had read Karen's first two books, Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? and Reis's Pieces, so I was eager to get my hands on this third novel of hers. The Chocolate Debacle did not disappoint and sees Karen continually improving as a writer. The book takes a serious and expert (Karen is the president of NAMI Syracuse) look at the societal effects of mental illness, and, as she did with her first two books, Karen uses her vivid storytelling as a means to educate and elicit empathy.
I love a good mystery novel. With The Chocolate Debacle I got that and so much more! This is a tightly written whodunit and a beautiful story. Not only did I fall in love with Hector—the cute little dog on the cover—I fell in love with Flo Loughton, his owner and the murder victim. Winters Schwartz brings Flo Loughton to life, as she does all her characters. I read the book in two sittings. Filled with subtle humor and depth, The Chocolate Debacle is a book that will linger with me for years to come.