Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Let's go "Into the Fire" with Cherie Marks

There were nine commenters who left their email addresses, and RANDOM.ORG chose commenter number 9 so my winner is Nay Nay (Renee).
I will be in touch shortly to ask what format you want for this. Congratulations, and let this be a lesson to everyone-leave that email addy if you want to win.

Today we are welcoming Cherie Marks to My Odd Little World. She has a new contemporary romance just released last week called Into The Fire. In honor of this release, Cherie will be giving away three prizes to randomly drawn commenters during the tour: there will be two $10 gift cards to The Wild Rose Press, and one $10 gift card to Amazon.com. And I will be buying one commenter on my blog a copy of Into the Fire for their very own. My winner will be chosen using RANDOM.ORG for fairness.

Before the Q & A, here's a brief bio of today's visiting author, Cherie Marks.

 It all started with an old fashioned typewriter.  When my family brought it home, all those stories and characters rolling around in my head could finally get out.  The press and click of the keys satisfied in their own right, but when I pulled out a finished page, I knew this was for me.  Since then, I’ve graduated to a laptop, but the stories still find a way out.

I’m a breast cancer survivor, a teacher, a wife, a mother, and from the very beginning—a storyteller.  Always a hint humorous and honest to a fault, I love to make people laugh and smile.  My goal in life is to achieve tact and stop procrastinating.  The battle wages on.   


The Writer

What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?
I’m discovering the best thing about being a writer is the community.  So many times when I’ve doubted myself, the writers I count as friends have been there to build me back up.  The worst is the doubt that creeps in because I over-analyze as so many writers do.

What fuels you as an author to continue to write?
Coffee and chocolate!  Oh, oooh!  I mean the dynamics of telling a story.  The interesting characters and their situations that unfold as the book develops keep me writing.  I’m a problem-solver, and a story is the ultimate problem to solve for me.

Was there someone instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

          It’s probably a little corny, but I have to say my mother inspired me to write.  Although it hurt a little, she was honest with me about my lack of any singing talent, pushing me to work with my natural strengths instead. She was patient with my earliest writing attempts and encouraged me to submit my best work.  I’ll always be grateful for her for being my first editor.

Where do you research your books? What kind of research do you do?
I’m a true woman of the new millennium.  Most of my research is done online.  I don’t know what we did before the internet was so prevalent.  Oh, yeah, that’s right, spent all day Saturday taking notes from thick, dusty books at the local library.  Achoo!  Actually, I still like to visit the library, but it’s mostly for pleasure reading nowadays.

Plotter or Pantser? Why?
I’m so a plotzer. I know some of the major plot points before I put down word one because I’ve thought them all out in my head, but I don’t use physical outlines or write a synopsis beforehand or anything like that. I’ve tried, but like others have said, it takes all the wind out of my sails and destroys my creativity to plot every little move out ahead of time.

The Person

When you get a chance to read, what books do you love to read?
I’m a huge Kresley Cole fan currently, and I got to meet her at RWA10 in Orlando.  She was sweet, funny, and personable and gave me a little heads up about her most recent book, before it was published!  So, I’ll always read anything she puts outs. Other authors I like to read are Rachel Gibson, Michael Crichton, J. m. Madden, Lori Wilde, Carrie Ryan, Kellie Kamryn.  So many books, so little time.

What bores you as a reader?
Not much.  I’m a true bibliophile.  Very few books I’ve met that I didn’t enjoy something about.

Do you have a secret talent?
My secret talent is my grammar skills.  I’m not perfect, but grammar and spelling come easily to me.  It’s one of the reasons I went into education for the day job.

What is your favorite time of day?
I have an hour all to myself every weekday in the mornings, and though it flies by, it is my favorite time of day.  I use it to clear my head and think things out.  Sometimes, I even use it to write because it’s the only time of day, I’m sure to be uninterrupted.

What do you think is romantic? What does the word Romance mean to you?
Romantic is flowers, dates, hand-holding, and kissing—all the things we normally associate with romance, but as the early passion turns to a comfortable love, romance changes a little.  My husband of 15 years is one of the most romantic men I know.  He scrapes my windshield in the winter, he does household chores, he encourages my writing.  All of these are romantic to me.  The most romantic thing he’s ever done though was stand beside me through a recent cancer battle.  Not only did he stand beside me, but he continued to make me feel like a beautiful, viable woman, even with one breast and bald.  That time is a recent memory now, and he’s still my one, true love.  Now that is romance to me.

Random Questions:

Aliens have landed on the planet. What are the three things you would tell them that are great about this planet?
Chocolate, romance books, and Ryan Reynolds

You’ve been given the honor of naming a planet, what would you name it?
Ryan Reynolds (see previous answer)

If you were in a rock band what would the name of your band be? What would your rocker name be?
The RR Rockers.  Rocker name would be Missus Reynolds *sensing a theme here*

If you could write in any other genre what would it be, and why?
I’d love to write thrillers or mysteries.  To me they seem so effortlessly written, but having made an attempt or two, I know it takes a lot of attention to detail.  Maybe one of these days, I’ll follow in the footsteps of Janet Evanovich.

Where can we find out more about you and your work?

Book Trailer--http://youtu.be/lXrDrRC1daM
Into the Fire available at http://tinyurl.com/3mfn3zj

And finally, have you got a sneak peek excerpt from your current work in progress you can share with my readers and me?

This is the first few paragraphs of a work-in-progress titled, Who’s the Cake Boss
            “Mmmm.  So good.”  The sound of a finger popping free of two of the most delectable lips Evan Taylor had ever seen nearly buckled his knees.  The sensuous sounds Lindsey Kincaid made tightened his mid-section.  He glanced surreptitiously in her direction as she scooped another finger through a bowl of fudge icing she’d just finished mixing.  Was it just him or did she have a smirk on her face?  It was almost enough to send him packing.
            Freaked-out of his mind was not a feeling he felt—ever.  He’d parachuted out of planes, base-jumped from cliff-sides, swum with sharks in open water.  You name it, he’d done it.  But the feisty female rolling fondant and mixing all sorts of sweet concoctions at the station next to him scared him like nothing else.  She was mystery and perfection rolled into one, and though at one time she thought he could do no wrong, now nothing was further from the truth.  His one time apprentice had improved her skills over the last year, but it was obvious she’d just as soon toast his lower marshmallows than talk to him now.
            Considering they were stuck together in a traveling kitchen trailer that made the family camper look like a mansion, how they felt about each other didn’t matter though.  It was all part of the television competition Who’s The Cake Boss, and they were both vying for the $100,000 prize.  But working next to her blew his level of distraction to near-impossible heights, meaning he might as well stand back and watch while she created the winning cake.  He’d enjoy that considerably more anyway.

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?

Excerpt from 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 midair.“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.”

Thanks to Cherie Marks for stopping by today, and I wish you much success with Into the Fire. I have my copy, and will post a review here once I have read it. Remember, I will be giving one commenter a copy as well, so be sure to leave your email address in your comment so I know where to send it. Winner will be chosen using RANDOM.Org for fairness: duplicate comments will not be considered.


  1. A most insightful interview thank you. I love having some background.


  2. Very nice interview! Loved the excerpt from the both the wIP and Into the Fire...Looks like both will be fun to read. Thanks for the giveaway!


  3. Let me just say, I am so excited to be here. It's going to be a great day. I just know it.

    Marybelle, always good to see you.

    Maria, thank you for the fuzzy-feelings your compliments gave me, and thanks for stopping by.

  4. What an excerpt and I enjoyed this interview. Congrats, Cherie on your new release!

  5. Loved the excerpt and would love to finish so please choose me for the giveaway. You are a new author for me and would love to get this book. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
    GFC & blog follower: Chris Bails

  6. I enjoyed learning about you, Cherie! I'm a fan of Ryan Reynolds too. :) Your excerpts are wonderful. Congrats on your new release!


  7. Fun blog! Great to get to know you, Cherie. I enjoy your sense of humor. Blessings on your survivorhood, and here's best wishes on becoming the next Janet Evanovich!


  8. AnnaM. doxisrcool at aol dot comTue Oct 11, 11:44:00 AM CDT

    What an excellent interview! So many things you said about being a writer resonated with me. Thank you for the insights.


  9. What a great interview. I really enjoyed the random questions "Chocolate, romance books, and Ryan Reynolds." Love it!

    I look forward in reading Into the Fire; it sounds great.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Thanks, Diane. Can't go wrong with Ryan.

  12. I hope I made you smile a little, Lynne.

    I'm glad you could relate, Anna.

    Good to see you again, Tracey.

  13. Congrats on your success!

    I loved your definition of Romance and your hubby sounds like a top-notch guy!

    Enjoying your tour, loving the excerpts and have added your book to my 'want to read' list!

  14. Hubby is amazing, Christine. I'm very blessed.

  15. wow i love the way you did and the info gave
    about the book and info on you

  16. Thanks, Nancy, for hosting me, and thanks to everybody for stopping by!

  17. We really should name a planet after Ryan Reynolds.


  18. I hope it's not too late to enter for the book. I would like to get "Into the Fire". It sounds great.

    reneebennett35 at yahoo dot com

  19. I can't wait to read this book sounds very good! Thank you for the great giveaway!
    tishajean@ charter.net