"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Guest Post by Cheryl Carvajal, Author in the Death by Chocolate Anthology

Is It Love, or Is It Chocolate?
Today is St. Valentine's Day, the day where tons of people give each other tons of chocolate. It's a great day, truly, both because of the chocolates and because of love. We all know the feeling--that rush of adrenalin, the inability to breathe when the one we love enters the room, the blush, the fears, the hopes, the elation of that new relationship. It's something we search for, something we cling to once we've found it. But how do we fall in love?

He's hot, but is he for real?

For some, it's sheer lust at first sight. Cuteness, nice eyes, even better body, and the list goes on. For others, it's almost gluttony, where you cannot get enough of the person--like a huge box of chocolates you keep pulling the lid off of, until the box is empty. Many people are inspired by status or wealth, choosing partners from the upper class, or those who have expensive cars or lots of money to spend. Even more get that spark from clandestine romances--the danger adds to their feelings, making them mistake them for true love.

But none of that lasts. What happens when we get older and flabbier? What happens when the box of chocolates is empty? When the money is gone and we lose everything, or when money isn't enough? When the affair comes out in the open? Then we find out we weren't nearly so in love as we thought, or weren't in love at all.

You see, love doesn't happen at first sight. Love is something that develops and grows over the long haul, as we see more and more of the people we truly are. In our anthology, this theme comes through as clearly as the delicious taste of chocolate: Kira Saito's heroine Claudia finds her love grows as she learns to know--and trust--the boy from school. In my story Sweet Witchery, Catalena sees all too clearly what love is not, and she must be strong enough to fight for the love she knows is true. In Suz Korb's story, Kate discovers her love is far more than she believed, but that knowledge helps her survive frightening circumstances.

To be true, love shows in action. It's not "in his kiss," but in what he does to protect, defend, and help you. Lucy Swing, Nikki Jefford and Stacey Wallace Benefiel all give us heroines who have to figure out whether their love is villain or hero, finding proof only through supernatural means. Sometimes the one who seems to be the ideal is nothing short of evil, it turns out, and we can't always trust words, or kisses. With time, the truth comes out.

That's perhaps the best lesson there is. Only time can tell us for certain whether love is real and lasting. Lust dissolves into a steady warmth, long and lasting. Instead of gobbling up the chocolates all at once, we eat them bite by tiny bite, savoring everything to the fullest. Our love only grows when we face harsh circumstances, and we find life easier to bear if we are together.

This day will soon be over, but if you eat your chocolates slowly, the box you get will last far longer. And isn't that what it's all about, enjoying your box of chocolates as fully as you can?
Speaking of chocolates, please enter our Death by Chocolate contest! (
U.S. only--sorry if you live somewhere else!) Post a comment to this blog entry telling me your own insights into love and chocolate, and I'll randomly select a name to win a free e-book of Death by Chocolate along with a box of my favorite chocolates.

Delicious chocolates... and even more delicious reading! It doesn't get any better than this!

All images are from  Simon Howden /FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Death by Chocolate- The paranormal young adult anthology with a cocoa twist.

Back in Time by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

Nothing in Aurelia Lemon's life is turning out how she'd planned. She's unemployed, unattached, and her family bakery is on the verge of closing. To make matters worse, the guy she dumped in high school is doing well and getting rich off of one of her departed mother's recipes. It would take a miracle to right everything she's done wrong. Or maybe just a phone call and the chance to go Back in Time. 

Sweet Witchery by Cheryl J. Carvajal

Catalena is only one of many dreamers in a small medieval town in Romania. When the witch Ramnusia opens her chocolate shoppe, suddenly dreams turn into reality. The chocolates are divine, but their power is greater than their sweetness. Miracles abound, dreams come true, and Ramnusia's magic confections become the talk of the town. But if these chocolates can make dreams come true, will they win for Catalena the deepest dream of her heart? 

Spellbound by Nikki Jefford

Two months after dying, Graylee Perez wakes up in her identical twin sister, Charlene’s body.

As the daughter of a witch, can anyone blame her mother for attempting to bring her back to life? Only now Gray’s stuck sharing her sister’s body 50/50 in 24 hour shifts.

The race is on for Gray to find a way back into her body before Charlene purges her from existence.

Warlock Raj McKenna is rumored to meddle in the black arts, not to mention he’s after Gray’s invisibility spell and worse – her heart. But Raj might be the only one powerful enough to save Gray from fading away forever. 

Bloody Valentine by Lucy Swing

One by one the girls of Hollow High disappear and when Bailey receives a heart-shaped box filled with chocolates she might be next.

Sweet Torture by Kira Saito

Sixteen year old Claudia Bernstein is obsessed with two things: chocolate and Dante Torres. However, being an invisible minion to Upper East Side princess Beatrice Wildenbert isn't helping her get anywhere with her dream guy.

Everything changes over Christmas break when Dante actually starts noticing her.

But are Dante's intentions as pure as they seem? When Claudia finds herself in the middle of a cruel prank, she decides to take revenge. But is revenge enough? Or will she finally realize that her own worst enemy is herself?

The Girl with Three Heads by Suz Korb

Kate wakes up on the morning of the Death by Chocolate fundraiser event to discover she has two extra heads resting upon each of her shoulders. She is not pleased about this. She's even more displeased when she discovers the head on her right shoulder (which looks like Santa Claus, complete with fluffy white beard) is actually Zeus, lord of lightning, or something like that. The head on her left shoulder? Yeah, it's the head of Hera; goddess-of-looking-like-a-blonde-bombshell and getting on Kate's nerves by shouting in her ear all the time.

Will Kate ever rid herself of these two extra heads? Will she ever get to experience an actual kiss from a boy without extra-head-situation interruptions? Join Kate as she struggles to survive being flung into the Underworld, as well as eventually landing upon
Mount Olympus.

Just because she's got two extra craniums doesn't mean either head is an extra set of useful brains.

Author Bios

Stacey Wallace Benefiel is the author of the Zellie Wells trilogy, the Day of Sacrifice series and The Toilet Business, a collection of essays. She lives in an orange house in Beaverton, OR with her husband and their two young children. For more information about Stacey and her other works, please visit her website: http://staceywallacebenefiel.com

Cheryl Carvajal goes by the name Shakespeare at her two blogs: http://creativeartsanonymous.blogspot.com/ and http://notwritinganythinganymore.blogspot.com/ You can also contact her by email at shakespeare824@hotmail.com Over the last decade she has ventured into YA writing. She has three degrees in English, teaches Zumba and works on her writing with help from her husband who is president of Bainbridge College, Georgia.

Nikki Jefford is a third generation Alaskan now residing in the not-so-tropical San Juan Islands with her husband, Sébastien, and their Westie, Cosmo. She is the author of Entangled. Visit Nikki at www.nikkijefford.blogspot.com

Lucy Swing is a mother of two and a wife to a Firefighter/Paramedic. She is the author of the upcoming paranormal YA romance novel "Feathermore". She is a Goodreads author and you can find out more about her writing endeavours on her website http://www.LucySwing.com

Kira is a magic junkie and loves writing YA paranormal romances. Some of her heroes include: Jack the Pumpkin King, Willy Wonka, Larry David, Princess Jasmine, the vampire Lestat, Andy and her Maltese Costanza. You can email her at kirakatwritingservices@gmail.com and you can find out more about Kira on her website http://kirasaito.blogspot.com/

Suz Korb loves comedy. She also loves magic. She loves, loves to inject these key elements into her paranormal stories. She also loves, loves, loves cereal and eats way too much of it whilst novel writing. She’s an expat of the USA now living in England, a mother of two and the author of The Bedeviled Trilogy. To find out more about Suz Korb’s books visit her website at www.suzkorb.com


  1. I enjoyed your post. I think a lot of people show their love, especially on Valentine's Day, with a box of chocolates, which there is nothing wrong with.


  2. I agree... nothing wrong with it. The only time I've objected is when I was doing Weight Watchers... but thank goodness that's over!

    One of the best pleasures in life, chocolate. Why not indulge? And kudos to you for visiting my posts all over!

  3. Way to go, BN100! You win this particular prize by default. I'll be e-mailing you today for your other info. Thanks for entering!


In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.