Today’s excerpt is from Chili Con Carnage (all jalapeño is about to break loose) by my good friend and brainstorming partner Kylie Logan. Chili Con Carnage is now available at your favorite bookstore. Here’s what Kylie says:
Romance is supposed to be the spice of life. But Maxie Pierce is so done with bad relationships. Besides, she has more important things to worry about. Her daddy, Texas Jack Pierce, king of the chili cook-off circuit, is missing and in his place, she has to team up with her irritating half sister, Sylvia to promote the family business at the Taos Chili Showdown. Maxie thinks romance is a bad idea? Wait until murder gets in the way!
Chili Con Carnage is book #1 in the Chili Cook-Off mystery series that follows Maxie’s adventures as she travels the cook-off circuit.
Yum! Good thing a recipe is included in each book.
Too bad I didn’t look where I was going. The tall, thin heel of my left shoe met Carter’s instep and the results were predictable. He yelped and jumped back. I called out a, “Sorry!” and stepped forward. Sylvia saw her opportunity and made a move to get between us. While she was at it, she knocked into me and my bowl of chili sloshed, slid, and flew out of my hands.
I almost got a hold on it before it hit the ground but let’s face it, bulky costumes to do make for graceful movement. At the same time my stilettos nearly slipped out from under me, I got one outstretched hand under the bowl, tried to close my fingers around it–
And batted it right at Carter.
By the time I steadied myself on my feet, it was too late to do anything but watch the remarkable way the plastic bowl adhered to his shirt and the globs of Texas Jacks’s secret recipe chili that slid down his chest and left red, greasy streaks in their path.
“I’m so sorry!” I was, and I tried to prove it by blotting the paper napkin I’d brought along against the chili that dotted his torso. “I didn’t mean to . . .well, what I mean is that I did mean to . . . Except not like this.”
Carter didn’t speak. But then, his teeth were clenched so I guess it would have been kind of hard.
“I’m so sorry!” Yes, I said it before, but in situations like this, it never hurts to repeat that sort of thing. “I lost my grip and I . . .” There was a bit of ground chuck near Carter’s collarbone, and with two fingers, I carefully picked it off. “Not to worry! You’ve got another shirt,” I told him, remembering his earlier conversation with Amanda. “It’s in the RV. I know, I know . . .” I held up one hand to stop him, though I wasn’t sure if it was to stop him from going to get the shirt himself or just to keep him from punching me in the nose. When I moved toward the dressing trailer, I didn’t bother with any dance steps. “I’ll get your red shirt.”
Before anyone else could move, I raced over there and grabbed the door handle of Carter’s RV.
And nothing happened.
It was a bad time to look inept, what with the entire production crew, Carter Donnelly, Nick, Sylvia and most of my fellow Showdown vendors watching in stunned silence. Rather than admit I was a weakling, I braced a hip against the RV and tried again.
This time, the door popped open, and for one second, I felt nothing but relief.
That is, until something big and heavy fell out of the doorway.
It wasn’t until I was lying under it on the blacktop that I realized it was Roberto’s body.
Next week I’ll begin excerpts from a new anthology, The Christmas Wedding Quilt, featuring novellas by me, Sarah Mayberry and Janice Kay Johnson.