Petit Fours » A group blog of authors writing in different genres

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Welcome, Author LARISSA REINHART !


I love figures of speech, idiomatic expressions, and interesting pairings of words.  The South is famous for the creative turn of phrase, but in my Midwestern hometown, we like to toss interesting words together, too.  I moved to Georgia sixteen years ago.  Since that time, I’ve adopted some local vernacular.  Y’all is just too convenient not to use. Shopping carts are now buggies and instead of sick, I’m feeling puny.

Mid-westerners are less prone to hyperbole and similes, but they do like metaphors.  Metaphors are replacements for something we’d rather not say aloud.  Actually, much of what we think is better not said aloud.  I grew up hearing so-and-so was “three sheets to the wind.”  I kept picturing my mom’s laundry line until I learned what it actually meant.  My mother would accuse me of having “champagne taste on a beer budget”.  One of our neighbors looked “ridden hard and put away wet”.  I often had to “eat crow”.  Still tastes bad…

However, my favorite figure of speech is the Southern spiritually back-handed compliment of blessing someone.  Basically it means we don’t have to say a person is an idiot behind their back. “Poor Bill, bless his heart, he got the short end of the smart stick.”  This means Bill’s not just dumb, he’s one fry short of a Happy Meal.  We can be sweet and still say our minds!

My Cherry Tucker mysteries take place in a small, rural Georgian town.  Naturally, the prose is full of metaphors and similes, something you’re told not to use as a writer.
However, if you’re familiar with small, Southern towns, you would know that people don’t speak directly.  Where’s the fun in that?  You have to talk around the subject and take your time doing it.  I use some familiar sayings in Portrait of a Dead Guy and Still Life in Brunswick Stew, but I also make up some of my own, which is great fun.

Here’s a short selection of my favorites from Portrait of a Dead Guy:

“They paired up better than sausage and biscuits.”
“It wasn’t that Wanda was flashy, she just shopped above her raising.”
“There wasn’t much more to say unless someone started handing out shots of Jack with a Loretta Lynn song on the jukebox.”
“Casey couldn’t find ambition if it drew her a map and hired a sherpa.”


Because it’s the Christmas season AND because Larissa is our Guest Chef today in the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales’ kitchen, she is sharing one of her favorite recipes.



This is a Christmas tradition in my mother’s house and was my favorite cookie as a child. During the holidays,  you will always find foil-covered log rolls in my mother’s fridge.  Ask her for one and she’ll cut you a thick slice of marshmallowy-chocolate goodness. The colored marshmallows surrounded in a ring of chocolate looks like a stained-glass window.

  1. 1/2 c margarine or butter (or as my mom calls it, oleo)
  2. 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  3. 10 oz package (2 c) colored marshmallows, small size
  4. Powdered sugar
  5. 3 pieces of wax paper about 10-12 inches each.
  • Sprinkle about 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar over each of the three pieces of wax paper to cover. The sugar helps to keep the chocolate from sticking.
  • Melt chips and margarine in a microwave (of course, mom does hers over boiling water on the stove). 30 second intervals at 50% power, stirring between, until all the chips are melted and smooth. Pour marshmallows into the melted chocolate and mix to cover.
  • Pour marshmallow mixture evenly between the three pieces of wax paper. When pouring, make an even layer length wise.
  • Form into log rolls by rolling the wax paper. Fold paper on the ends and along the length to secure the log roll. Wrap in foil and chill until hard.
  • Slice as needed and keep refrigerated. They will last six months. (“Well, if you forget them,” mom writes)


In Halo, Georgia, folks know Cherry Tucker as big in mouth, small in stature, and able to sketch a portrait faster than buckshot rips from a ten gauge.  But commissions are scarce.  So when the well-heeled Branson family wants to memorialize their murdered son in a coffin portrait, Cherry scrambles to win their patronage from her small-town rival.

As the clock ticks toward the deadline, Cherry faces more trouble than just a controversial subject.  Her rival wants to ruin her reputation, her ex-flame wants to rekindle the fire,  and someone’s setting her up to take the fall. Mix in her flaky family, an illegal gambling ring, and outwitting a killer on a spree, Cherry finds herself painted into a corner she’ll be lucky to survive.

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After moving around the Midwest, Japan, and the South, Larissa lives in Georgia with her husband, daughters, and Biscuit, a Cairn Terrier. She loves small-town characters with big attitudes, particularly sassy women with a penchant for trouble.   PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, a 2012 The Emily finalist, and a 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner.   STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW, A Cherry Tucker Mystery #2, releases in May 2013.

When she’s not writing about southern fried chicken,  she writes about Asian fried chicken at her blog about life as an ex-expat at . She and her friends also chat weekly about books on their Little Read Hens Facebook page and You can find Larissa chatting on Facebook;  Twitter; and Goodreads.   She loves pinning on Pinterest.  Her character, Cherry Tucker has her own Pinterest site now, too, for her love of DIY clothing, art, and Southern food.  You can also find more information on her website at

Mary Preston - December 12, 2012 - 3:23 am

This recipe looks a little bit like the rocky road we make. YUM!!!

Marilyn Baron - December 12, 2012 - 6:38 am

Thanks for blogging with us today. Your post was cute and your book sounds great. Thanks also for your recipe. I wanted to ask you about an expression I first heard a Midwesterner say. “I want to go with.” Not I want to go with “you.” Just curious. I haven’t heard people in the South say that.

Linsey Lanier - December 12, 2012 - 7:20 am

Now I really can’t wait to read Portrait of a Dead Guy. As a fellow transplanted Midwesterner, I smile at the “bless her heart” phrase, too. In Chicago, we’re not so tactful, lol. Loved this post, Larissa. Thanks for being here today. :)

Larissa Reinhart - December 12, 2012 - 7:53 am

Thanks so much for having me on, ladies! I’m thrilled to be here.

Mary, hope you enjoy the recipe. I now have 3 foil-covered logs in my fridge. I let my children make the one in the picture. It’s that easy. Tasted great, too, although it’s not perfectly round…

Hey Marilyn, thanks for having me here. I think it took a college grammar professor to help me realize you’re not supposed to leave articles dangling. We do say ” I want to go with” (I probably still say that). You is understood. Your driving, right? Who else am I go with?

Hey Linsey! Chicago is a whole other ball of wax than my little farm town! I grew up in Illinois, too, but we consider Chicago a separate state. Did you know you have your own accent? LOL. Da Bears. Da Bulls…

My students in Georgia (I taught high school) used to make fun of how I said legs. They said it sounds more like Laygs. Which is ridiculous. Now time to go make some Aygs. Y’all want to come with? ;-)

Maxine - December 12, 2012 - 8:00 am

Loved the post, Larissa. Congratulations on all the awards with Portrait of a Dead Guy. I plan on reading both books. They sound great. I also like “your favorite” sayings. Thank you for joining us today.

Larissa Reinhart - December 12, 2012 - 8:29 am

Thanks Maxine! I hope you enjoy Cherry Tucker. She’s a hoot to write. I have a lot of fun with her.

Pam Asberry - December 12, 2012 - 9:32 am

Your post made me laugh out loud, Larissa! “She shopped above her raising”-snort! Thank you for blogging with us today. I can’t wait to check out your books!

Terri L. Austin - December 12, 2012 - 9:32 am

Love the metaphors. The ones my midwestern mother used would curl your hair! Cookies look good, too. Great post, Larissa! Loved Portrait of a Dead Guy and can’t wait for Still Life in Brunswick Stew.

Larissa Reinhart - December 12, 2012 - 9:39 am

Thanks Pam! I’m so happy to be here!

Jerrie Alexander - December 12, 2012 - 9:59 am

Good morning! I’ve read Portrait of a Dead Guy and can honestly say I loved it. Your sense of humor makes the reader feel as if an old friend is telling the story.

I had to stop over and check out the cookie recipe. Sounds like one I need to try out.

Good luck. I can’t wait for your next release.

Larissa Reinhart - December 12, 2012 - 10:12 am

Thanks Terri! Even your daughter can make these cookies.
Stop laughing.

LynDee Walker - December 12, 2012 - 10:30 am

Oooh, Larissa, those sound yummy! And what a fun project to make with the kids. Thanks for sharing. And y’all grab PORTRAIT while it’s on sale — it’s a great mystery and laugh-out-loud funny. The funeral scene is priceless.

Cathy Perkins - December 12, 2012 - 10:55 am

What a fun post! I remember Portrait of a Dead Guy from the Daphne – looking forward to reading the rest of it. :-)

And wait, we’re not supposed to use metaphors and similes?

Anna L. Davis - December 12, 2012 - 1:51 pm

I love metaphors just in general, but I especially like the humorous spin you put on them in Portrait of a Dead Guy. As a born and raised Texan, I’ve grown up with this mentality. You sum it up so well… “you would know that people don’t speak directly. Where’s the fun in that? You have to talk around the subject and take your time doing it.” LOL.

Alicia - December 12, 2012 - 2:08 pm

Wonderful book! I remember reading this saying: “There wasn’t much more to say unless someone started handing out shots of Jack with a Loretta Lynn song on the jukebox.” It had me laughing so hard! :D The humor in PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY is fabulous, Larissa! Also, I need to jot down this recipe to try… Thanks!

Kathryn Jane - December 12, 2012 - 4:27 pm

Hey Larissa,
Love the sound of your book!
…and we used to make that marshmallow log all the time… nothin better than discovering a missed one in the freezer in February. Of course, I rarely let that happen. :-D Also add nuts for fun and sometimes we’d roll one portion in coconut too!

Sandy Elzie - December 12, 2012 - 4:43 pm

Hi Larissa,
Love the post….and the recipe looks yummy. I love your metaphors…and I probably know some others, but my mind is blank!

Thanks so much for joining us today.

Sia Huff - December 12, 2012 - 5:02 pm

Hi Larissa,
Portrait of a Dead Guy sounds like a fun read. Small towns are an entity of their own. Wishing you many sales.
And thanks for the recipe. Happy Holidays. :)

Larissa Reinhart - December 12, 2012 - 6:01 pm

Sorry for the wait, y’all! My other life as mom interrupted my computer life. ;-)

Thanks LynDee. And hey, Cathy Perkins, I say use whatever works!

Thank you Anna and Alicia for your kind remarks! I’m glad you enjoy the metaphors!

Kathryn Jane–Rolling in coconut sounds like an amazing idea! I am going to try that next time. My girls are big coconut fans. They’ll love it!

Thanks Sandy! I’m so glad to be here today.

Thanks so much, Sia! That means a lot!

Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn - December 12, 2012 - 6:31 pm

PoaDG is moving it’s way up my TBR pile. I’m looking forward to the read, Larissa. Love the blurb, the ‘isms’ and the cookie recipe. Thanks for being with us today and for sharing!

Larissa Reinhart - December 12, 2012 - 6:35 pm

Thanks Carol!

Can’t wait to see many of you again at the next GRW meeting. I’ve had a busy fall, but hope to get to some meetings this winter!

And by the way everyone, I probably should have mentioned this and forgot *headslap*. Right now Portrait of a Dead Guy is available for 99 cents as an ebook on Kindle & Nook!

Misty Dietz - December 12, 2012 - 6:48 pm

I am totally making these!! I love the metaphors and of course I loved this book! :)

Susan Carlisle - December 12, 2012 - 10:03 pm

I love the title of your book. Thanks for sharing your cookie recipe.

Larissa Reinhart - December 12, 2012 - 10:40 pm

Thanks so much, Susan! And thanks for having me here. I’m a big fan of the Petit Four authors, too!

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