Archive for the ‘humor. comedy’ Category

Laughing Out Loud

Friday, December 26th, 2014

I know that I’ve been MIA for quite some time now. As someone who is trying to pass herself off as a comedy writer, I debated sharing “non-comedic” information; but I hope to reach out to those of you who might need a bit of Christmas cheer in your stocking.

 After a long battle, I lost my mom—my best friend—to cancer on March 25, 2011. The details aren’t important. What is important is how I got through it and how others who have written to me got through tough times as well.

We looked for reasons to laugh.

I published my first book in 1987, and since that time I have received hundreds of letters from readers who have suffered hardships—illness, death, divorce, unemployment—you name it, and they thanked me for making them laugh during those bleak periods.

When it was time for me to move on, I could not wrap my head around writing a 90K-100K word book. Fortunately, I was offered a position with a very nice agent; critiquing, line-editing, and mentoring new authors, which I did for a couple of years. I’m glad I had the opportunity because anyone who has ever tried to write a book knows how isolating the task. That was the last thing I needed. I found working with new authors very therapeutic, and I made a number of friends in the process.

Once I decided it was time to get back to the business of writing, I discovered the market had changed drastically and e-books were very popular. So I pulled out a couple of old romances and began the process of updating, revising, polishing, and more revising. At times it was tedious, but I realized something I had forgotten. I was pretty damn funny. As in laugh-out-loud, belly-busting, stitch-in-the-side funny. It sort of made up for all those blasted revisions. (Big eye-roll.)

It felt good to laugh. It felt wonderful! The dark clouds above me parted, and I was suddenly surrounded by pure sunshine. (Okay, I’m exaggerating. The only thing that reminds me of pure sunshine is laundry detergent with a bleach alternative, but this is my article, even if some of it is over-the-top.)

My romances will never earn a Pulitzer or hit the NY Times, but they weren’t meant to. They were written to entertain.

I was so thrilled to realize I had not forgotten to smile or laugh that I purchased a whole slew of old Archie and Jughead comic books! I put them in a basket beside my bed, and I actually read them. What a great idea! Instead of watching the eleven o’clock news and hearing all the awful stories—believe me, those stories will still be there in the morning—I had a blast reading about Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica.

Despite times of sorrow, we eventually have to get back to the task of living our lives. I don’t know about you, but I would rather do it with a smile on my face.

Excerpt From See Bride Run! a Romantic Comedy

Thursday, December 25th, 2014
Romance Novel Book Cover

See Bride Run
Charlotte Hughes




Buy the book in Kindle format from Amazon






Sam Ballard had just accused his head waitress, Darla Mae Jenkins, of cheating at cards when she suddenly noticed the commotion in front of the Dixieland Café.

“Great balls of fire! Would’ja get a load of that!”

Sam swiveled around on the red vinyl counter stool and gave a low whistle at the sight of the white stretch limo sitting in the middle of Main Street. “Well, now. I wasn’t aware of any celebrities visiting Pinckney. Must be here for the Okra Festival,” he added. He’d barely gotten the words out of his mouth before he noticed smoke seeping out from beneath the hood. “Uh-oh, looks like trouble in Tinsel town. I’d better go see about it.”

“Hey, wait for me,” Darla said, following him out of the restaurant. A number of people had already gathered on the side­walk, including Mott Henry, the town drunk. From the looks of it, he hadn’t shaved or bathed in days. He watched the excitement for a moment, then turned and moseyed down the sidewalk toward the liquor store, ob­viously more interested in buying his next bottle than the commotion in the street. The Petrie sisters, still spry in their eighties, stood at the edge of the crowd, each holding a brown sack from Odom’s Grocery. They craned their necks to see over a group of teenage boys. “Is anyone in there?” a man in the crowd called out. “You can’t see diddly with them tinted windows.”

“I can’t figure it,” Darla said. “Why would anybody put tinted windows in a danged limo? Shoot, if I was riding in one of those suckers, I’d want the whole world to see.”

Sam was amused by the town’s response to the limo. One would have thought a flying saucer had just landed on Main Street, and everybody was waiting for the hatch to open. It just proved the town needed more in the way of entertain­ment. Mechanic, Bic Fenwick, owner of Fenwick’s Towing and Garage, happened by at that moment in his tow truck. He parked on the side of the street, climbed from his truck, and hurried over. “What’s goin’ on?” he asked Sam.

Sam shook his head. “I just got here. Darla and I saw smoke coming from beneath the hood. I figured I should investigate.”

Bic knocked on the driver’s window. “Hey there, did you know you got smoke comin’ out from under your hood?”

Sam chuckled. “I’d say it was a given, Bic.”

“Well, you never know what people can see with them tinted windows,” Bic said. He pressed his face against the window and squinted. “You want me to take a gan­der at what’s under your hood?” he shouted, as if the tinted windows might interfere with the person’s hearing as well.

Sam figured whoever was in the limo was having a good laugh. The window whispered down some five or six inches. Sam found himself looking into a pair of incredibly pretty green eyes, so pretty, in fact that he tried to think of the exact color and decided they must be what people referred to as Kelly-green. Her face was equally pretty, framed by hair the color of ripened wheat. Some kind of net clung to the fat curls, and Sam thought he caught sight of a pink tiara. He leaned forward. “Excuse me, miss, but you can’t leave this thing sitting in the middle of the road. You’re blocking traffic.”

As if to prove his point, a man in a pickup truck blew his horn. Sam waved him around. Annie gave an enormous sigh. As if her day had not been bad enough. She had spent the last half hour trying to make it from the interstate to the town of Pinckney before the limo died because she could not bear the thought of walking eight to ten miles in her wedding gown. Not only that, she was furious with Snedley. How could a paid chauffeur not know the limo was on the verge of having major problems? She supposed she should cut him some slack because his prostate problem had probably garnered much of his attention.

“Did you hear me, miss?” Sam asked. “You’re going to have to move your vehicle. You’re blocking traffic,” he repeated.

Annie could not hide her annoyance. Did the man think her daft, for Pete’s sake? She knew she was blocking traffic, but there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it. “Thanks for your input, Einstein,” she said loudly, “but it won’t budge so I don’t have much choice in the matter.”

Bic looked at Sam. “Einstein?” he repeated. “I don’t think she appreciated what you said.”

“Well, lucky for me I’m not trying to win a popularity contest,” Sam told Bic, even though he was peeved that the woman had resorted to name calling. “I need for it to be gone before my early bird customers arrive,” he added.

“How come you’re worried about people parking at the curb?” Bic asked. “You’ve got that big parking lot on the side and back of the restaurant?”

“Because a couple of my early bird customers are in wheelchairs, and some of the others just have a hard time getting around. It’s easier for their families to park in front of the restaurant and help them to the door.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” Bic said. “Maybe I can figure out what’s causing all that smoke.” He addressed the woman inside of the car. “Miss, do you see a hood release in there?” he asked and told her where to look for it. He glanced at Sam and rolled his eyes. “’Least that’s where you’d find a hood release in most cars. No telling where they put ’em in these big suckers.”

“Probably next to the wet bar and Jacuzzi,” Sam said quietly. The woman in the car might have the prettiest green eyes he’d ever seen, but damned if he was going to get involved in a verbal tussle with her. Sam heard a metallic click, and Bic opened the hood. Smoke billowed out like a mushroom cloud.

“Jeez, Louise!” Bic said, backing away from the vehicle and snatching a cloth from his back pocket which he used to wipe his face.

“What’s going on here?” a voice said. Sam turned and found himself staring into Sheriff Harry Hester’s face. He was so bald that most folks called him Howie—for Howie Mandel—behind his back.

Bic answered. “This here limo is putting out more smoke than a bonfire. I’m trying to figure out what’s causing it.” Sam leaned close to the sheriff. “There is a lady inside. I may as well tell you, she’s a bit mouthy.”

“Oh, yeah?” Hester said. “We’ll see about that.” Sixty-year-old Marge Dix elbowed her way through the crowd. Most considered her a sourpuss. “Would you just look at that?” she said, her voice bristling with in­dignation. “Here we have starving people in this world, and we got folks driving cars the size of mo­bile homes. I hope whoever it is doesn’t plan on settling in Pinckney. I just can’t abide such vulgarity. Makes me ill, that’s what it does.”

Darla, who had been quiet up to that moment, pretended to give Marge a sympathetic look. “Then I wouldn’t look if I were you, Marge, honey,” Darla said. “If something made me that sick, I’d march right home, lock the doors, and pull the shades.”

Marge regarded Darla. “The Bible says we should store our treasures in heaven.”

“Some of us don’t want to wait that long for nice things,” the waitress replied.

Sheriff Hester stepped closer to the limo and tried to peer at the woman through the crack. “Miss, I need to see your driver’s license,” he said, “and I may as well tell you, a little kindness goes a long way in this town so you might want to be a bit more tolerant of our citizens.”

“You go, Howie,” Darla said.

Hester shot her a dark look. “Watch it, Darla Mae, or I’ll write you a ticket for having an eighteen-wheeler parked in your front yard last weekend.”

Annie gave another sigh. She should have taken a chance and gone back inside the church for her purse. She wished she could magically disappear; instead, it looked as though she was going to suffer her share of indignities. “I’m sorry Sheriff, but I do not have my license with me.” Annie waited, knowing he would derive a great deal of pleasure from that fact.

“Oh, really?” Sheriff Hester looked about the crowd. “Seems these rich folks don’t have to follow the same rules as the rest of us,” he said.

“That’s precisely what I’m talking about,” Marge Dix said to Darla. “Some people think they are better than us normal folks.” Marge looked at the sheriff. “Driving without a license carries a stiff fine, doesn’t it, Sheriff Hester?”

Sam frowned. He’d never cared for Marge Dix who was the town busybody.

“A fine?” Hester said. “Oh, yes. Not to mention possible jail time.” A smile twitched the corners of his lips. He was obviously enjoying himself. “She’d better show me a registration for that thing, or there’ll be a hanging in the courthouse square.” Several in the crowd chuckled.

Darla threw up her hands. “I don’t believe what I’m hearing.” She looked at Sam. “Do something!”

Sam pulled Hester aside. “I would tone it down if I were you,” he told Hester. “You don’t want to get hit with a lawsuit. If someone can afford to drive a car like this they probably have enough money to keep a lawyer on retainer.”

Annie was past being angry; she was furious. The man was no better than her father; out to make people feel small and stupid. “Then get your rope ready, Barney Fife,” she yelled as loud as she could, “because I don’t have the registration either.”

Darla laughed out loud. “You go, girl!” Several of the onlookers cheered.

The sheriff colored fiercely. He stepped closer to the limo and leaned forward to get a better look at Annie. “Sam was right; you do have a mouth on you,” he said, “but as an elected official, sworn to protect the citizens of this town, I do not appreciate you acting disrespectful to me.”

“Let’s get something straight, Sheriff,” Annie said. “First of all, I’m no threat to anyone. I don’t own a weapon and never have. You are free to search my vehicle. “Secondly, I have the utmost respect for law officials, but I will not tolerate being publicly ridiculed just so you can look like a big shot. Further, I don’t know that you aren’t some kind of nutcase who would actually hang me in the courthouse square, shoot me, or lock me up for the rest of my life so I consider that a threat. However, I do have rights so I’m allowed to call my attorney, and when he is finished with you, you’ll regret ever laying eyes on me.” Annie smiled. So what’s it going to be, Sheriff?”

“She’s good,” Darla whispered to Sam.

Sam shrugged. “Not bad,” he said.

In a flash, Sheriff Hester’s demeanor changed. “How’m I supposed to know this automo­bile belongs to you?”

“You could give her sodium pentothal,” Marge sug­gested.

Annie didn’t hesitate. “This vehicle belongs to my father. I borrowed it.”

“You borrowed it,” Hester said flatly. “Who is your father?”

Annie glanced at the woman beside him, Marge something-or-other, who was clearly the town gossip. “I would rather not say at this time.”

Hester seemed to understand. “Okay,” he said to the crowd. I want everybody to back away from the vehicle. Not you, Bic,” he added quickly. “You keep looking under the hood; see what you can find out.” Bic nodded and went back to what he was doing. “As for the rest of you, if you insist on hanging around you can stand on the sidewalk. You, too, Marge,” he added. He looked at Sam and Darla. “I would appreciate it if you two would stay put.”

“That’s not fair!” Marge said.

“They’re witnesses,” Hester said, sounding irritated with her, “not that I should have to defend my decision. Now move to the sidewalk or go home,” he added. Marge gave him a dirty look but did as she was told.

Sheriff Hester turned back to Annie. “I hope when you speak to your attorney you’ll tell him I did not drag you to the station for questioning, that I allowed you to sit in your daddy’s comfy limo with the window rolled down only a few inches, and that I assured you every word would be handled in the strictest of confidence. This is not how I normally conduct my, um, interviews.” He produced a small notebook and pen. “Now, then, where were we?”

“You asked me to give you my father’s name,” she said. “It is Winston Hartford. I am Katherine Anne Hartford, although I prefer to be called Annie since it is less formal.”

“And where are you from, Miss Hartford?” Hester asked. “Atlanta.” Sam let out a low whistle. Darla and Hester looked at him. “What? Hester asked. “Am I missing something?”

“Depends,” Sam said, not taking his eyes off Annie. “Your father wouldn’t happen to be in the iron and steel business?”

“Yes,” Annie said. “Very impressive,” Sam replied.

“Do you know her father?” Darla asked before Hester had a chance.

“I know of him,” Sam said. He looked at Hester. “Miss Hartford is heir to one of the biggest iron and steel companies in the southeast.”

Annie blushed. She always felt uncomfortable when people discussed the family finances.

Harry hooked his thumbs inside his belt. He seemed to ponder Sam’s words. “If that’s true, then I’m very impressed, but without a driver’s license or other form of ID, there’s no way to prove it.”

“You can’t disprove it,” Sam said.

“My father’s picture, as well as his business and other ventures are all over the Internet,” Annie said. “As is information about me.” She looked at Hester. “I would hope that would serve as an I.D. for now.”

For now, what I’d really like is for you to step out of the car,” Hester said.

Annie paled at the thought. A number of people were still watching from the sidewalk, including the nosy blabbermouth, Marge. Annie would be the laugh­ingstock of the town once they saw her in all her wedding garb. “I would rather not,” she said.

The sheriff looked surprised. “Is there a problem? Are you handicapped in some way? Do I need to send for a wheelchair?”

“No, nothing like that,” she said quickly. “It’s just—”

“I have been very patient with you, Miss,” he said. “Now, please remove yourself from the vehicle.”

Giving an enormous sigh, Annie hit the automatic door unlock and reached for the handle. The sheriff stepped back as she opened the door and tried to extri­cate herself from the front seat of the limousine. Her cheeks flamed a bright red as the crowd stared in disbe­lief.

The woman in the waitress uniform hurried over and tried to help her. Once Annie was out and standing among them, everybody stared. “Oh, my Lord,” Darla said. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

Annie longed to crawl beneath a large rock and never come out. Sam stared as well at what looked to be hundreds of yards of white satin and lace that made up the most elaborate bridal gown he’d ever laid eyes on. She still wore her veil although it hung askew, and her tiara looked as though it was barely hanging on. Seeing her face in the light was almost humbling. Her facial bones were delicate and very femi­nine, her skin flawless and glowing. Her mouth was full and sexy as hell. He could not help but stare openly.

Romance Novel Book Cover

See Bride Run
Charlotte Hughes

An Excerpt from New Romantic Comedy Release See Bride Run!

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014


Romance Novel Book Cover


From See Bride Run!

by Charlotte Hughes                Buy




The wedding had the makings of a fairytale. The groom, Eldon Wentworth, was charismatic, movie-star handsome, and came from old money. Eldon had studied abroad, traveled the world, and was considered one of Atlanta’s most eligible bachelors.

Annie Hartford was lovely with her fresh-scrubbed look, large, Kelly-green eyes, and blond hair that tumbled past her shoulders. Her gown—an haute couture Oleg Cassini—was a stunner: a strapless ball gown with a jeweled bodice that shimmered when she moved. From the waist, creamy satin spilled down multi-layered crinoline, creating a voluminous skirt.

A frothy veil was fixed in place by a small tiara with pink diamonds. It had shamed even the larger tiaras with their ornate multi-karat white diamonds, all pulled from a safe in Tiffany’s and placed on a velvet tray for her perusal. Most people would not suspect how unique—not to mention costly—the pink stones were, but Annie had been raised in an environment where women recognized a precious stone at fifty paces, and most husbands purchased at least one ridiculously extravagant car.

That was Annie’s world. At twenty-nine years old, Annie Hartford was sole heir to a billion dollar empire.

Now, on her wedding day, Annie paced about in one of the church’s parlors—it was difficult to sit with all the crinolines—her thoughts swirling like confetti riding a wind gust.

Sitting on a velvet settee, the Hartford’s long time employee, Vera Holmes, fretted. At sixty-something, she was still attractive. She had decided on her sixtieth birthday to stop coloring her hair, and the soft dove gray color only emphasized her nice skin. She was usually calm, but not today. She had picked off most of the light pink polish on her nails.

The wedding planner, Susan, had gushed over the bridal gown and tiara before quickly going over what they’d practiced at the rehearsal. “My assistant will tap on your door once the last of the attendants get near the altar, and you’ll join your father in the narthex. Don’t worry; my assistant will see that your gown and veil are arranged perfectly before you make your way down the aisle. Also, do not let the number of guests intimidate you,” she added, “and remember to smile.” She hurried from the room.

Are you okay?” Vera asked.

“I’m perfectly fine,” Annie said. She knew the guest list of six hundred was her father’s way of showing off, as were the six hundred lobsters flown in from Portland, Maine during the night; and the small orchestra presently playing Mozart’s Eine Klein Nachmusik, to early arrivals. Winston Hartford did not want an old lady with blue-tinted hair playing the organ at his daughter’s wedding.

Annie glanced at the wall clock beside the door.

Forty-five minutes until show time . . .

Annie had not been looking for a husband when she ran into Eldon Wentworth at Hartford Iron and Steel, a 300,000 square foot facility of warehouse and processing center. The facility was massive by Atlanta’s standards and had grown from the small company her great-great grandfather founded in 1930. She and her father were meeting for lunch to discuss an upcoming conference.

Eldon had been at the plant looking at ornamental iron for a property he had purchased. When he spotted Annie, he hurried over and introduced himself. “I attended Duke University with your brother,” he’d said. “I spoke to you briefly at the funeral, but that was what . . . almost ten years ago? Hard to believe.”

Annie looked him over. Dark blond hair, perfect teeth, medium build. Snazzy dresser; Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater, designer jeans, and Armani loafers. He was good looking enough that, under normal circumstances she might have noticed and remembered him; yet unlikely at her brother’s funeral. She shook her head. “I’m sorry.”

“I completely understand,” he’d replied. “I just wanted you to know that I was proud to call Bradley a close friend.”

“Thank you,” Annie said.

Eldon had gone on to share funny tales of her brother’s antics. Annie felt Bradley was nearby, laughing right along with them. “I was the quiet, well-behaved twin,” she said, “and Bradley was the mischief-maker. Hard to believe we shared the same real estate for nine months.” Eldon looked surprised. “Did you not realize Bradley had a twin sister?” Annie asked.

He was prevented from answering when they heard a noise in the doorway. Winston Hartford stood there, looking from one to the other. Annie froze. Despite the passing years, Bradley was seldom discussed in her father’s presence. His death in an auto accident still held the man in a grip. Grief had changed the landscape of his face, scoring deep lines across his forehead and each side of his mouth. His heart seemed as brittle as the leaves on the azalea bushes after a freezing rain.

Annie had watched in disbelief as her father shook Eldon’s hand and invited him to lunch, where they shared stories of Bradley’s shenanigans. Annie could not help but wonder if Eldon was just a likeable sort or if her father was finally chipping away the wall that contained his anger.

Thirty-five minutes . . .

Annie and Eldon dated only three months before becoming engaged, at which time Winston Hartford began grooming Eldon for a managerial role at the plant. Annie had to bite her tongue. That her father did not think a woman capable of running Hartford Iron and Steel was a constant irritant.

With the wedding only weeks away, Annie ran into Bradley’s best friend from high school and college, nicknamed Jimbo. He had taken Bradley’s death especially hard.

“I heard you were engaged,” he’d said. “Who is the lucky guy?”

“Eldon Wentworth,” she’d said. “An old friend of Bradley’s. You should hear some of the funny stories he tells.” She noticed Jimbo’s frown. “What’s wrong?”

“Your fiancé is a liar, Annie. Bradley and Eldon were not friends,” he’d said. “To my knowledge, they never even spoke.”

Annie was stunned.

“Eldon wasn’t at Duke very long. He was expelled during the second semester for cheating on an exam.”

“Why would he lie?” she asked.

“It’s no secret that you are the sole heir to a mega fortune. You need to dump the guy as quickly as you can and be done with him.”

Thirty minutes . . .

Annie had called Eldon and immediately broke off the engagement. “You’re a pathological liar. You and Bradley were never friends. You did not even know he had a twin when we met, which I find odd since he and I spoke by phone almost every day. I also know that you were kicked out of Duke for cheating on an exam.”

“You’re overreacting,” Eldon had said. “Your dad loved hearing the stories and so did you. I gave you what you wanted.”

Twenty-five minutes . . .

When Annie arrived home several hours later, she was summoned to her father’s study. It reminded her of the time he had called Bradley and her in to announce their mother was leaving, and they would live with him. They’d been four years old at the time and did not quite grasp it until later.

“What do you think you’re doing breaking off your engagement?” he demanded.

“Eldon lied,” she said. “He never even met Bradley.” She filled him in.

“I demand that you stop repeating rumors about Eldon. He comes from one of the oldest, most well-respected families in Atlanta?”

“Pass the business to me, Father,” she’d said. “I know more about running Hartford Iron and Steel than most of your managers. I worked in the plant for five summers while growing up. I have ideas, good ones.”

“Your place is by your husband’s side, running the family estate, looking after the Hartford Foundation, and—”

Annie interrupted. “Giving dinner parties for your customers, sending hams to the employees at Christmas for ten years,” she added. “I deserve a chance to prove myself within the company.” She swallowed. “Or I quit.”

He looked shocked. “Do not speak to me that way.”

“I’m not going to marry a liar and a cheat just to make you happy,” she had said emphatically. “I refuse to be bullied by you any longer.”

Her father had slammed both fists on his desk. “You will marry Eldon,” he’d shouted. “You will walk down the aisle wearing the dress and tiara that cost me a fortune. You will not embarrass me in front of six hundred people, not to mention the media. Do you know how I know?”

Annie remained silent.

“I just got off the phone with my banker. I have frozen all your accounts and canceled your credit cards. Your fancy sports car is not available to you at the moment. If you leave this house it will be by foot and with only the clothes on your back. You will be homeless.”

Annie felt as though she’d been punched in the chest. She wondered if he had done the same thing to her mother or worse. That would explain why the woman had seemingly dropped off the face of the earth.

        Ten minutes . . .

Vera and Annie gazed out the window of the church where her father’s white stretch-limousine was parked. The plan was, once she and Eldon had taken their vows and the photographer his pictures, they were to be driven to the St. Regis where three adjoining ball rooms would accommodate the reception and luncheon. She and Eldon were to spend the night and board a plane for Venice the following day.

“What are you going to do, Annie?” Vera whispered, bringing her back to the present.

Annie looked at her. “I’m not going through with it. I’d rather be broke and homeless than marry a man I detest.”

Vera smiled and said, “I knew that would be your answer. I slipped two thousand dollars inside your purse. I can drive you to a friend’s house. She will be a good friend to you as well, Annie.”

“Oh, Vera,” Annie said, feeling the sting of tears. “I can never thank you enough for everything.”

Vera was tearful as well. “Would you like for me to call your father in?”         Annie dreaded it. Six hundred wedding guests. Her father’s wrath would fly into her face like a horde of angry hornets.

And then it hit her: Winston Hartford was too smart to take a chance on something like this happening. He had changed her entire life within three hours of her breaking off the engagement; he’d had weeks to come up with a plan should Annie try to weasel out of the wedding. But what else could he do to her?

She feared the answer was standing right in front of her. He would go after the only person she had left that she really loved.

Annie frowned when the chauffeur suddenly jumped from the limo and hurried toward the back of the church. “What’s wrong with Snedley?”

“He has prostate trouble, the poor man,” Vera said. “Runs to the men’s room every fifteen minutes.” She sighed and headed for the door.

“Wait!” Annie said. “Where does that door lead?” she asked, motioning to a solid oak door on the opposite side of the room.

“To the back of the church,” Vera said. “The Sunday school rooms and offices,” she added, “plus a big kitchen and a couple of dining rooms. Why?”

“Does Snedley ever leave the keys in the limo? Is there a spare?”

“I don’t know. Why are you asking?”

Eight minutes . . .

“I need for you to detain him when he comes out of the men’s room so I can get away.”

“Get away?” Vera frowned. “How?”

“I’m going to make a run for the limo.”

“Oh, Lord!” Vera said. She looked like she might faint.

“I don’t want you and Snedley to get into trouble. All you have to do is say you had no idea I was planning anything.”

Vera nodded.

Someone knocked on the door.

Five minutes . . .

        “That’s the assistant,” Vera said. “Just a minute,” she called out softly. She looked at Annie. “Check the ashtray for keys. I seem to recall something about the ashtray. Now, listen carefully,” she said. “Take the interstate south to Pinckney, Georgia. It is three hours away. Find Lillian Calhoun. I’ll call you when I feel it’s safe. Your father will be watching me.”

Annie nodded.

Another knock, this one impatient . . .

Two minutes . . .

        “I love you,” Annie said and kissed her on the cheek. She threw open the door, gathered an armful of satin and crinoline and raced toward an Exit sign. The limo was parked some thirty feet away. Fortunately, the media had set up their cameras at the front of the church. There was nobody in sight.

It suddenly occurred to Annie that she had left her purse inside the parlor. “Dammit!” she said. She had no money, no driver’s license or ID, no clothes, nothing! Just a stupid wedding gown.

She could not risk going back. It was now or never.  To  continue you can Buy See Bride Run!

Romance Novel Book Cover

See Bride Run
Charlotte Hughes

See Bride Run Now Available For Kindle

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

(Click here  to buy the book)

 I’m happy to say that See Bride Run! is now available as Kindle(TM) ebook. I  love inventing kooky characters and writing hilarious, laugh-out-loud scenes. In See Bride Run! Atlanta billionaire heiress Annie Hartford has no desire to marry a man she doesn’t love; but her controlling father has been calling the shots for his 29 year-old daughter her entire life. Only this time he has pushed Annie too far.
Unfortunately, there are 600 wedding guests waiting for the beauty to walk down the aisle in her designer wedding gown and diamond tiara. (Oh, and did I mentioned her father had 600 lobsters flown in the night before from Portland, Maine?) The posh country club has opened three ballrooms to accomodate the wedding party. Annie knows if she is to escape it is now or never. She hijacks the family limo and heads south, only to have it break down in small town Pinckney, Georgia.
Annie, who has never wanted for anything, suddenly finds herself homeless, penniless, with only the clothes on her back — yup, you guessed it — her wedding attire which is worth more than a Lamborgini or two. Small town lawyer and restaurant owner Sam Ballard has been unlucky in love, and the last thing he needs is a red-hot blond in a short waitress uniform who seems hell-bent on breaking every dish in his Dixieland Cafe’. But he can’t possibly fire Annie, the whole town has fallen in love with her, and Sam is dangerously close to losing his heart to her as well.

Can rich girl Annie find happiness living in a garage apartment, wearing second-hand clothes, and making her way about town on a borrowed bicycle? Can he trust that Annie won’t run home to daddy when her new life presents one obstacle after another? Truly, See Bride Run! delivers a wonderful cast of characters. I so enjoyed revisiting their lives. I wish I could have joined them for pie and coffee at the Dixieland Cafe’. And so will readers!

The digital copy was released exclusively on Amazon(TM), just in time for Christmas. The print version of this romantic comedy will follow by Christmas, so if you need a great stocking stuffer look no farther. Digital rights for other platforms will be available this spring. I love hearing from my readers. Please let me know what you think of See Bride Run! by reviewing it on Amazon (TM). I look forward to reading them.

 Romance Novel Book Cover
Buy See Bride Run! a classic romance.

Some Cover Ideas for Reader Feedback on Two Contemporary Romance Covers

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

I just thought I would run a couple cover ideas by everyone for my romance as it was coming out. It is now here and you can buy it with a click.

Blue or Red? What about the text? SeeBrideRunfontrightfront or SeeBrideRun-Blue Let me know on my twitter account, in comments below, or by email what you like best. The book is due out as soon as we can get the final touches (like December 23rd).

I Am Back!

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

After a lengthy absence, I’m excited to announce my upcoming e-book, See Bride Run! It’s a hilarious story about an adorable young woman who will do anything—and I mean anything—to get out of marrying a man she does not love. It will be available just in time for Christmas, exclusively at Amazon. The print version will follow on its heels so if you’re looking for a stocking stuffer, look no farther! In February, just in time for Valentine’s Day, please look for Tall, Dark, & Bad. I know how much you readers love Bad Boys! Long before I began writing the Full House series with Janet Evanovich and my Crazy series for Berkley Jove, I wrote almost 30 funny romances for Bantam Books’ Loveswept line. The books, approximately 60,000 words, have been “lovingly” updated, revised, and polished for your reading pleasure; and will be re-released over the next couple of years, along with a brand new series I’m writing that takes place in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Be sure to check my website where I will announce upcoming titles. In the meantime, I’m sending you many warm holiday hugs. I hope this is your best Christmas ever!

The Many Faces of Charlotte Hughes

Monday, January 18th, 2010

 Hi to everyone! I’m working hard, trying to promote my brand new book, HIGH ANXIETY, but I wanted to come up for air and set something straight: I am NOT dead.

I discovered, quite by accident, that there are at least three other women bearing my name. (And, here, I thought I was special.) I hope I have my information right, but it seems one of them is 115 years old, the other one just died at 85, and the last one is po’d at some man and spewing bad language all over the place. Of course, it’s difficult to talk about men without using bad language, am I right?

I hope I don’t live to be 115. For me that would mean adult diapers, gumming food, and wearing my bra around my waist because I don’t think breasts were created to live 115 years.  As for my butt; we’ll, I shudder to think of it because I’ve seen my butt at 55. It happened by accident — I sure as hell wouldn’t have done it on purpose — as I was getting in the shower and happen to glance over my shoulder at the huge wall mirror. The only person who has a bigger butt than me is my aunt on my mother’s side of the family, and she’s not doing well. If she dies that means I’m going to have the biggest butt in the family.

I’m not even sure I want to live to see 85. By then, what’s left of my mind will have been long gone. My kids will hire a caretaker for me named Cruella or Attila. Medicare and social security will be nonexistent, and I’ll have to eat cheap dog food as opposed to healthier ones like Pedigree or Science Diet.

As for the woman spewing curse words over some man; well, that could have easily been me.

Romance Junkies Reviews HIGH ANXIETY

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009


Kate Holly should have known

better, but she ignores her track

record and offers to cover a

colleague’s anger management

group at a local church. If she

only knew the chain of events that

an act of kindness would set off.

The night ends in near disaster

 when an elderly patient pulls a gun

on her daughter-in-law and Kate tries to disarm her.



After giving her statement, Kate goes home to her fireman ex-husband who she has been nursing back to health. So she won’t stress him out, she tells him the class went fine. Her attempt backfires when the story hits the front page of the newspaper the next morning. Angry, Jay storms out to go volunteer to fight the wildfire sweeping through drought-ridden Florida.


Kate’s day goes from bad to worse when her best friend and receptionist, Mona, calls her that she can’t come in because of a bad case of hives. Kate is determined to run her office on her own, but Mona calls Kate’s mother who is more than glad to help. But when Dixie turns the office on its ear, Kate breaks down and calls a temporary employment agency. What she hadn’t counted on was being sent someone more disturbed than her patients.


After noticing many disturbing habits, Kate discovers that the temp, Abigail, refused to put a colleague, Thad Rizer, through in regards to a patient, Kate realizes she needs to fire Abigail.  Her life becomes one high tension moment after another at that point. Is Abigail behind the stalking? Or could it be someone that Kate doesn’t even suspect?


HIGH ANXIETY is filled with colorful characters that are a riot to read about. Ms. Hughes has a witty way with words. The story itself will keep you on the edge of your seat. Three dimensional characters and believable situations make this a fun read. Don’t miss it!



By Romance Junkies Reviewer: CinLee 

Top Pick Review of High Anxiety from Night Owl

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

5 STARS NIGHT OWL– Kate Holly is a psychologist with a few issues of her own. She swore that she wouldn’t marry a fireman when her fireman father died in a fire when she was 10 years old. She did. She has a tendency to count to calm herself down. For things like the pencils on her desk. Kate is also impulsive and caring. That’s why she took care of her ex-husband, Jay, when he was hurt. Of course, she had planned on stopping the divorce but some how it didn’t happen. Mona Epps is Kate’s receptionist. She doesn’t have to work but does because she’s Kate’s friend. She also has a tendency to “treat” Kate’s patients while their waiting based on Dr Phil. Mona is very conscious of her looks so when she got a rash, there was no way she was coming to work. After Kate tries to run the office alone, and then, with her mother manning the front desk, Kate finally calls a temp agency. They send a temp right over, Abigail Davis. Abigail seems friendly enough but maybe too friendly. She seems to be slightly off to Kate but she can’t figure out why. Can Kate deal with Abigail until Mona can come back to work? 

Well, my summary can’t even come close to giving you an idea of all the fun things going on in this hilarious story. There is something going on from beginning to end with Kate finding herself dealing with a gun waving senior to worrying about Jay fighting a large fire in Florida to delivering a baby in Mona’s bathtub. 

 On of the best things about this story are the quirky characters. Not a one doesn’t have some sort of issue or problem which only adds to the humor. Mona while a fashion plate has a hillbilly type mother who is a midwife and healer. Kate’s mother lives with her twin sister where they make a living by turning junk into art. They also still dress alike which can be strange. Their roommate is one of Kate’s patients, a former Marine who has gender issues. 

As strange as all of these characters are Abigail is even stranger and scarier. The really weird thing is, I could actually picture all of these people and all of the situations that they found themselves in. Ms Hughes does a wonderful job describing things so you feel as if you are there and involved.  

While there is a bit of a romantic flavor to this story, I couldn’t call it a romance. There is also a mysterious element, yet it’s not exactly your normal mystery novel. What this book can be called is entertainingly funny.  This was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down. I also couldn’t help laughing as Kate goes from one interesting situation to the next bringing with her chaos and hope.  

This is the third book in a series. I haven’t read the first two yet, and that is a definite yet. I plan of finding them as soon as I can. I didn’t need to read them to thoroughly enjoy High Anxiety. I just like Kate that much. This is one series that will be on my automatic buy list and one that I can’t wait to share with my family and friends.            

                              Terri of Night Owl Reviews 5 stars

Michelle Obama’s Arms

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

I want Michelle Obama’s arms!

Hey, I know you guys have noticed that our new First Lady has awesome arms, but what I want to know is how she got them. I hate flabby underarms, but mine are headed in that direction. I used to do aerobics religiously. I even used weights. I’m thinking of starting back.

Notice I said I’m “thinking” about it. I don’t want to rush into anything. Anyway, I’d love to know what exercise is good for underarm flab. Also, is there anything to be done about inner thigh flab? I’m not just talking about muscles that need tightening; I’m talking about the added flesh that makes thighs unattractive.

 If anybody out there knows the secret to getting rid of this flab, please let me know!