- by Charlotte Hubbard
With the success of the “Twilight” series and the new TV series “The Gates,” it’s obvious our fascination for things paranormal continues. “What evil lurks in the hearts of men”–or women? Well, The Phantom knows–and Enquiring Minds wanna know, too!
Even as I begin a new Amish series of squeaky-clean romances, the kind Beverly Lewis and Cindy Woodsmall have so successfully published, I delve into the secrets and temptations and human inclinations that my characters try to hide from God…the sides of our souls that scurry from the light. Envy, greed, murder, succumbing to temptation…we’re all in there! Our dark sides are never out of reach, really, and my characters in Willow Ridge will strive to admit and forgive these tendencies.
And then there’s the other me who writes erotic romances as Melissa MacNeal. Now that gives my pastor something to pray about! It also gives Christian and inspirational editors pause, and I’m fully aware they won’t buy my work because they feel anything sweet Charlotte writes about must surely be, well–tainted, by that other stuff I publish.
And I’m OK with that! I thank God every day that I’m such a diverse writer, and that this ability to write on both sides of the Dark line has kept me published over the long haul.
(And yes, I’ll eventually get to the Chocolate part I’m taunting you with visually!)
So even as I delve into the soul secrets my new Amish characters are dealing with, my November book, SEXUAL SECRETS, features Maria Palladino and the Darington twins…a 3-way romance they flaunt throughout most of the story, even though their decadence flies in the face of Victorian morality. Once this trio learns about Lady Darington’s dirty little secrets, however, the hero, Jason, decides he wants Maria all to himself and they’ll play it straight once they marry. I suspect that because they’ve given their “badness” a chance to play itself out, they’re ready to give “goodness” a chance…although poor Jude’s none to happy about it!
Is there common ground here? Something that reconciles the desire for redemption with our tendency to be wayward? I found it this morning! And rather than moralize or delve any further into the human condition, I’ll simply say: DARK CHOCOLATE. It’s all you really need to know about heavenly decadence–and here’s a recipe that would delight my Amish baking ladies while satisfying the SEXUAL HUNGER my Victorian lovers create! Devour a couple of these sinfully delicious dark-on-dark cookies and I’m guessing you’ll see the light (or you’ll just keep snarfing them and think “Hey–temptation! Is that a BAD thing?!”
1 ¼ C. butter or margarine, softened
2 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
¾ C. Hershey Special Dark cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 bag Hershey Special Dark chocolate chips.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter/margarine and sugar, then blend in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients and mix into the dough, adding the chocolate chips last. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased/parchment papered baking sheets and bake 8-9 minutes. Cookies will be soft and puffy. Allow to cool on the sheets about a minute, until they settle around the chips, and then cool on a rack. About 5 dozen.