Sunday, October 2, 2011

Into The Fire

Into the Fire by Cherie Marks
Food is important in any culture. 

For almost a year, I didn't have a kitchen table, which is practically unheard of in our culture.  Even if people only use it as a flat-surface storage, most households have a table in their kitchen or dining room.

We sold ours in a yard sale because it had grown too small for our family of five, but we decided not to replace it right away.  We ate in the living room instead, using the large ottoman as a table.

I missed my table.  Who knew how much having a table to sit around and enjoy a meal with my family would mean to me?  I missed my table so much my mother finally bought us a particular one I'd wanted for a long time.  It went on sale, and she couldn't resist.  Who was I to say no?

Statistically speaking, children who eat with their families around the dinner table at least three times a week are less likely to get involved with drugs, alcohol, and other risk-taking behaviors.  This has been promoted for a while now, and I believe it.  Quality time is invaluable.

And some of my best family memories growing up were around a table covered in all the foods I loved to eat and even some I didn't.  Sundays and holidays were always special, and the food was often the highlight of the day.

Maybe that's why I was drawn to the aspect of a televised cooking competition in which two chefs with a romantic past go head-to-head against each other, all the while trying to resist the combustible attraction between them.  As a result, I wrote a short story titled, Into the Fire.

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

“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

“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

“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.”

Do you have any food memories around the table?  Comment for a chance to win a $10.00 gift card to Amazon or BN. Don't forget to leave your e-mail along with your comment.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to download your copy of Into the Fire available Wednesday, October 5, 2011 from The Wild Rose Press.

Cherie Marks
Book Trailer--


Karen Michelle Nutt said...

We always sat at the table every night for dinner. It was so much a part of growing up that I can't think of one event that stands out more than the others.

With my own family, we did a good job of sitting at the table for dinner, but as the kids got older and had sports and jobs, dinner was eaten at all times of the night. lol

I miss those days we all sat down at the same time.

kmnbooks at yahoo dot com

Maria D. said...

We still sit at the table in the kitchen to eat and talk even though now it's just mom, dad and I since my sisters have gotten married and have homes of their own. It's also where we meet when we have meals with them and my fondest memories are of when my sisters & brothers in law would announce a new addition to their family over a meal with us. I think families who eat together also find it easier to stay in touch.

Thanks for the giveaway


mnjcarter said...

I can't remember one night growing up that we didn't all eat at the same table, except when my dad was out of town for business. No TV in the kitchen and you ate everything on your plate. No griping about what you were given to eat, didn't always like it, but NEVER would have complained. Usually though everything was pretty good, mom was a great cook, and everything from scratch, no boxed stuff. I cherish those times alot and would like very much for my family to be like that. However, with their jobs, sports, and schoolwork, it's often impossible since they aren't even home at dinnertime. Oh, to go back in time. When did life get so crazy??

Lynne Marshall said...

I remember a lot of laughter around our family dining table, also many an argument. My mother would always say dinner wasn't the time to argue, but we did anyway. Mostly I remember the laughter, though. Oh, and the food. Mom was a great cook!
Fun blog. Best wishes on your blog tour.

Jennifer Jakes said...

I agree that having a family meal is the best!
My memory of them at least, I have 2 younger brothers. When we were little, the youngest LOVED to make our middle brother laugh until he either squirted milk out his nose or take a spit-take. He would spray the entire table.
Little brothers- gotta love 'em. (Of course they are both taller that me now. LOL)

Cherie Marks said...

Gotta love those dinner table stories. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

June M. said...

My favorite memories around the table are of holidays and families. Great memories of the past, especially of my grandfather who is now gone.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Caroline Clemmons said...

Cherie, like you, some of my best memories growing up were listening to my parents talk around the dinner table. And I agree that kids who eat with their parents are less likely to get into trouble. For one thing, it means their life has structure, which is very important in raising children. For another, it probably means the parents respond to the children.