Friday, March 6, 2009

Guest Blogger Charlotte Hughes

Please welcome our guest blogger Charlotte Hughes!
Award winning author Charlotte Hughes began her writing career publishing newspaper and magazine articles before becoming a New York Times best selling author. Charlotte makes her home in Beaufort, S. C. Best known for her FULL series with Janet Evanovich, she has written over 40 books, ranging for the 3 mysteries she wrote for Avon to Mira’s HOT SHOT. Her newest release, NUTCASE centers on Atlanta psychologist Kate Holly and the humorous antics of her friends, family and patients. In the process she learns that the life of a psychologist is enough to drive anyone nuts. Readers are invited to visit Charlotte online at, where she also blogs regularly.
And today you can see she's talking about one of our favorite subjects -- chocolate!

“Hello, my name is Charlotte Hughes, and I’m a Chocolate Addict”

I have never met a box of chocolate I didn’t like. Any writer worth her salt knows that writing and chocolate go hand-in-hand. But when I get a craving for it, WATCH OUT. There’s only one thing worse than someone driving under the influence, and that’s a woman on a ‘chocolate run’ in the middle of the night wearing her faded Disney cartoon pajamas.

When I get stressed and tired from writing, I automatically start searching for the chocolate stash that my husband keeps hidden from me, at my request, so that he can dole out ‘reasonable’ amounts to me after I’ve had a good writing day. A ‘reasonable’ amount is the actual serving size listed on the back of the package along with calories and fat grams. Like I’m supposed to be satisfied with seven M&M’s right? Only a gnat could get full eating seven M&M’s. And who cares about chocolate when the writing is going well? Chocolate is for those days when every word you write is crap, and it takes a crap-load of chocolate to make up for it.
But how can you NOT love chocolate? Not only does it taste good; it’s good for us. It raises serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain which helps with writer’s blues and/or outright depression. And it tastes a helluva lot better than Zoloft! Oh, I know what some of you health freaks are going to say; exercise does the same thing. Well, guess what, I’d rather have a chocolate bar.

Chocolate lowers anxiety. Once chocolate becomes an author’s best friend, she never has to stress out over her career alone. Deadlines, new contracts, and advance money do not upset a writer’s apple cart as long has she knows where to go for help. And what about all those hours at the computer – fatigue and sore muscles are no longer to be feared because chocolate promotes alertness and lessens pain? Who knows, one day the morphine drip could be obsolete!

Research shows Chocolate also raises good cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, thins your blood, reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease. The health benefits of dark chocolate are even better! And get this, since it comes from a plant even vegetarians can eat it! It seems chocolate contains antioxidants found in green tea and various fruits. Let’s see. . .eeny meeny miney mo. . . green tea – yuck – or chocolate?

Despite this good news, take heed, because chocolate can be addictive. If you fear you or a loved one might be hooked on chocolate, take the quiz below:

Symptoms of a Chocolate Addict
Answer Yes or No

____ Once you start eating chocolate you are not able to stop until you eat it all or become sick.
____ You lie to loved ones about how much chocolate you eat.
____ You have tried and failed to cut back on the amount of chocolate you eat.
____ You get the shakes if you go too long without chocolate.
____ You spend more money on chocolate than shoes.
____ You have felt guilty about how much chocolate you eat.
____ You feel annoyed when people criticize you for eating too much chocolate.
____ You need chocolate first thing in the morning to get over your chocolate hangover from the night before.
____ You’ve tried hiding chocolate from yourself.

If you’ve answered yes to all the questions above, odds are you have a chocolate stash somewhere in your house. And that makes me think of a funny question: How many of you have a chocolate stash? Also, where’s the funniest place you’ve ever hidden it?


  1. I have a chocolate stash sometimes my kids find it :(

  2. Fun post, Charlotte.

    I have q chocolate stash, but there's nothing hidden about it. It sits out on the counter right beside the water filter pitcher, and as far as I'm concerned, it's just as crucial to my well-being.

    I buy the super-dark 70-85%cacoa bars. Some of those are manufactured without soy lecithin--an ingredient I have to avoid. They're also lower in sugar and fat.

    Because my chocolate isn't available everywhere,I never travel without some.

    My food sensitivies take out most sweets/deserts. Here's one indulgence I can have, AND it's good for me. Did I get lucky, or what?

  3. Welcome to the blog, Charlotte!

    Luckily (or perhaps not so lucky), I come from a family that has always enjoyed chocolate, so I've never had hide it away! But perhaps I should start hiding it-from myself!

  4. Welcome to the blog, Charlotte. I have a stash hidden in a bowl in a cabinet my kids never use. My dad, who has been staying with me, commented the other night as i doled out some Hershey's kisses, that I seem to have a steady supply and a secret stash. I told him he must never speak of these things outside my walls. LOL

  5. LOL It's in the tin marked coffee.

  6. Charlotte,

    I always say, never mind the diamonds, chocolate is a girl's best friend. Followed by good coffee. I won't mention the third on my list. :-)

    I'm not an addict, but I always have some. Kisses, M&M's,Dark Chocolate is a favorite. I have to hide some of it or it mysteriously disappears (my husband and 14 year old son like chocolate) and since I live 7 miles from the nearest town, 'dashing' out to get chocolate isn't easy--if you can find a place open in my fly-speck town after 9 pm. The local mini-mart knows me by name. :-)

    I loved your facts about chocolate.

    Congratulations on Nutcase. I'll be sure to have some M&M's with peanuts to keep me company while I read it.

  7. I have this book sitting on my kitchen table waiting to be read. :) Now I want to take the rest of the day off and get started. Think you could talk to my boss for me? ;)

  8. BethRe:

    You need to hide your chocolate in the ironing basket or dishwasher. Kids won't go any place where there is work to be done.

  9. Mary Margaret:

    Glad you found your way around those food sensitivities. What is life without chocolate, right?

  10. Danielle:

    There is no way to hide chocolate from yourself because I've tried. You have to get someone else to hide it from you. That person will, of course, become your best friend.

  11. Welcome to the blog Charlotte! It is wonderful to have you with us.

    Nothing wrong with a chocolate passion. It is good for you, as you point out. Healthy even. As is ice cream - 'cream' is right there in the name and we all know dairy is one of the food groups. Licorice is fat-free. Cakes and pastries are made of grains - another food group. And if you wash it all down with non-fat milk (dairy again) or sugar-free soda that cancels out the calories as everyone with any intelligence knows, or even go for the essential for life water - then all is good!

  12. Thank you for visiting us today, Charlotte!

    My chocolate stash is See's bordeaux. No one dares touch it either.


  13. Charlotte~

    Welcome to the blog!

    I love chocolate and my kids know that if they've done something really bad, if they come to me bearing a Ghirardelli Dark & Raspberry bar, they'll probably get off scott free. My son uses it often and I love him for it. My boy not only knows how to work the system, but he's learned how to keep a woman from killing him. Both very useful skills, especially when you're him.

    I have to agree with Linda, See's is the finest chocolate made.

    As for where I hide my stash...well, lets just say its in a very safe place.

  14. Hi, Marie Force:

    Well, now I know your family secrets. Don't worry, they're safe with me. :)

  15. Hi, Cheryl Brooks

    What an awesome idea! Wish I'd thought of that!

  16. Sia:

    Yes, chocolate and coffee is an absolute necessity! I prefer Godiva and Starbucks French Roast. I figure I can afford it since I don't spend money on shoes or pantyhose.

  17. Carmen:

    Your boss obviously don't have his priorities straight. You may have to change jobs.

  18. The perfect addiction. But the sun's shining, and the chocolate budget's broke, so I guess I'll just have to make do with a walk.

  19. Welcome to the Casa-Babes blog, Charlotte! Thanx for joining us and for such a fun post.

    Of course I have a chocolate stash! It's up in the cupboard next to the stove behind the olive oil. The DH puts it there to make it more difficult for me, but I LURVE a challenge!

    I worked in a candy store when I was in college and my fate was sealed ever after. DARK CHOCOLATE all the way! ;-)


  20. I do not have a chocolate stash. I do have this addiction to driving three miles to the store to buy Reese's Peanut Butter cups.

    Now, my mother has a chocolate stash. But she has good reason. Dad is diabetic. She hides her chocolate among her boxes and boxes of fabric locked in her sewing room. I'm sure one of these days we'll find all kinds of chocolate in places we never expected.


  21. Hi Charlotte,
    I loooove to talk about chocolate, but not as much as I love to let it melt on my tongue.

    My stash is in my "undies" drawer. It's the only place in the house safe from the chocolate-mongers who would devour it all.

    And it makes my lingerie smell so yummy.

    Great post.

  22. I usually hide it in a closet in the spare bedroom; not too different. Everyone in my office knows the only candy I eat is chocolate!

    Pat L.