Wednesday, October 05, 2011


Cherie Marks, Author
For me, food evokes many emotions. Maybe that’s why I chose to write food into my debut story, INTO THE FIRE.

My grandmother is the best cook in our family, but don’t ask for a recipe. Oh, she’d gladly share it, but the truth is, it’s never the same twice. Yet, her food is delicious every time.

My memories of my grandmother often revolve around food. When I was very young and spending the weekend with her, she’d stay up late with me (I was a nightowl even then) and feed me strawberry milk and just-jelly sandwiches. Only a grandmother could get away with that.

Her traditional southern cooking is still my favorite. I’d choose Granny’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, pinto beans and creamed corn over any four-star restaurant meal. I’m not the only one. Granny’s rolls are well-known up and down the country road she lives on.

But my favorite memory recently was this summer when I was able to help her fix breakfast for our family on our vacation and a trip to The House of Blues for a Gospel Brunch with my father and her. These are two memories that will stay with me forever.

Food plays a big role in my short story, INTO THE FIRE. The hero and heroine are chefs with a romantic past, but are now competing against each other and trying to resist a sizzling attraction. I loved writing this story and watched shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef America to get ideas.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Any food linked to your memories? Comment here to be entered into a drawing for a PDF copy of Into the Fire.

Available Now!

Months after he stole her affections—then her executive chef position—Shyann and Luke meet again under sizzling circumstances, competing head-to-head on a televised cooking show called Kitchen Twist. Each arrives with a motive: Luke intends to win back Shyann’s heart, even as she wants closure on the not-so-tasty heartbreak he once served up.

Luke knows culinary masterpieces require a delicate touch, but that knowledge is tossed out with the leftovers as he works to show Shyann he’s not such a bad guy. Now he pushes his skills to the limit to win the competition and satisfy a bet.

Can two top chefs resist each other as they move out of the pan and into the fire?


Silence reigned for half a minute before he reached out a hand and touched hers like a breezy whisper. Her head went a little fuzzy at the warm contact. He shouldn’t still be able to affect her so strongly.

“I regret it went down the way it did, but why did you show me the exit before giving me a chance to explain, not to mention—dress? Enlighten me, sugar cheeks?”

With a jerk, she pulled her hand free. He was really asking for it. Sugar cheeks? Seriously? Now she knew he was only messing with her. She could give as well as she got.

“Tell you what. You win tonight, and I’ll give you your chance. You lose, we go our separate ways, and you walk out all by yourself, big boy.”

A crooked grin formed on his face as he reached a hand toward her hair. He fingered an escaping curl before she pulled away, leaving his hand hanging in mid-air.

“You can call me big boy all you want, but I’ll do you one better. How about if I win, I take you to dinner, and you let me explain the whole situation?”

She felt her eyebrow rise and knew he’d read it as interest, but she didn’t care at the moment. “I honestly don’t want to hear any explanation from you now or ever, but if I win? Which I will, of course.”

“Then I’ll leave it up to you. If you want me to walk away, I will.” He took a step closer, placed his hand on her shoulder, and leaned down, his mouth right next to her ear. “But if you want me to call you darling, sweetheart, and sugar cheeks all night long, I’ll do that too.”

I love to hear from readers, writers, and in-betweeners, so please e-mail me at



INTO THE FIRE available at from The Wild Rose Press,

Cherie, thanks for sharing today.

Readers, thank you for stopping by! Remember to leave your email with your comment to enter Cherie's giveaway. The winner will be announced on Wednesday.


Cherie Marks said...

Thanks for having me, Caroline! I'm so excited to be here on RELEASE DAY!

Susan Macatee said...

Congrats on your new book release, Cherie! That's a hot cover!! lol

Cherie Marks said...

Thanks, Susan! It's a Rae Monet, and she is one of the best!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Cherie, thanks for coming by. I hope we have a lot of visitors drop by.

Jennifer Jakes said...

My favorite memory is sitting with my grandpa as he ate his "soakie" which was strong blk. coffee poured over a slice of bread topped with several spoons of sugar. (This was a bed-time treat)
I must have been about 5 when I decided I wanted to try soakie. So grandpa fixed me a bowl. . . and I managed to eat it b/c I wanted to be like him. But I laugh now thinking about the faces I must have made. I bet he retold that story to all the adults. HA HA

AJ Nuest said...

Congrats on your special day, Cherie! Love the cover for Into the Fire and that excerpt -- steamy! Great, job and here's to a boatload of sales!

Cherie Marks said...

Thank you for stopping again, Jennifer! Ha-ha! I can't believe you ate the whole thing.

A.J., you're so sweet. Thanks for stopping by.

Calisa Rhose said...

Hi Cherie! I already won the book but had to say I love memories of my grandmother's cooking. Anything she made was my favorite. But I especially loved her pot roast with slow simmered brown gravy- that was the best thing ever for mashed potatoes at another dinner. I don't know how Nana did it, but everything always tasted better when she made it. That and my mother's fried chicken.

Calisa Rhose said...

Shoot- HaPpY ReLeAsE DaY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lilly Gayle said...

This sounds like a great story. And I love the cover.

Cherie Marks said...

Thanks, Calisa! I hope you enjoy the book.

Cherie Marks said...

Lilly Gayle,

Thanks for coming by!

Cherie Marks said...


Thanks for having me today! It was a great release day!

Ilona Fridl said...

Cherie, Great excerpt! I wish you many sales! As far as food memories go, I remember an applesauce my grandma use to make for holidays. She'd melt Red Hots into applesauce until you could stand a spoon into it. Tasted sweet and cinnamony.