Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, RACHEL TRAUTMILLER, and her favorite recipe for COWBOY QUESO!!
Echoes Of The Past Book 1
BY RACHEL TRAUTMILLER
One bullet and a three-story drop. An upstanding cop sentenced to life in prison. Case closed.
For FBI Agent Jordan Bening, danger lurks at every turn. Always has. In the years since his mother’s murder, his life has been about vindication, defense—and finding evidence to overturn one resounding courtroom gavel. Not only because the guilty verdict put his best friend’s favorite uncle in prison, but because he knows the real murderer is still out there. Watching. Waiting.
And the killer is sending a message: Silence has a price.
FBI Agent McKenna Moore doesn’t believe her uncle—a solid, dependable, well-liked, and hardworking former detective with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department—could have committed murder. It’s a truth she’s never uttered to anyone, especially Jordan. Not even after their impromptu reunion and subsequent drunken nuptials.
When the murder of the wife of Charlotte’s most influential family brings Jordan and McKenna together for the first time since the wedding, the pair is plunged into an investigation that takes an unexpected turn from bad to worse with evidence that shouldn’t exist. Evidence that should be safely locked away and labeled in another case. Another crime.
Evidence that leads right to both of them. To a moment in time when they made their choices and vowed to keep the silence. He left. She stayed.
They were never supposed to reunite.
**This book is part of a series and has been EDITED AND REFRESHED. Reading the books in order will heighten your enjoyment of the characters within each story.**
© 2014 Rachel Trautmiller
I TRIED CALLING you.
Yes. He had. Twice since her plane had touched down in Charlotte days ago. Both times, she’d let it go to voicemail. Both times there’d been a message she couldn’t bring herself to listen to.
You’re a heartless robot.
She sat in her chair. Glared at the desk facing hers. Waited for the moment when Jordan walked through the door and pretended that every bad encounter between them had never happened.
That every bad thing had never happened. When it had been a few hours of conversation in a different city, it had seemed possible. Having her friend back was like taking a full breath after being revived, if even for a little while.
It wouldn’t work. The past was here. The proof of death. The missing people from their lives. And there wasn’t any way for either of them to pretend his mom was still alive and her uncle wasn’t in prison.
There wasn’t any way for this to not be awkward.
But she could be civil to him. She’d given him back his ring—a step in the right direction. They’d sit down, discuss this like adults and she’d, what? Demand he sign divorce papers and reconsider working at the Charlotte field office?
That was a surefire way to get him to stay.
McKenna flipped through last night’s pictures of their victim. Instead of seeing a woman with sightless eyes, a bruised neck, and blood pooled in misshapen circles where hands should have resided, she pictured Jordan and how he’d looked hovering over the crime scene right alongside Amanda. As if he belonged right there with his deep blue eyes and just-rolled-out-of-bed blond hair, the stupid black suit that lent him a seriously professional air all while showing off his toned physique.
As if he understood how a crime scene worked and knew where to look for evidence. Because he did.
And when Rupert returned for another round of verbal backlash, Jordan had stepped right in. Silenced the other man as if he knew all about McKenna’s former relationship with him.
Jordan had even beat Amanda to the punch.
A knock sounded on the door seconds before Jordan walked inside the small domain. He took in their desks, an armoire, and a small basketball hoop in the corner before his eyes landed on her, intense and sure. An electric current zipped through her body.
“Nice office, Slick.”
“Thanks.” She picked up a piece of paper and scanned the words. They didn’t make any sense.
“It’s nice to see you, too. I haven’t been doing much since I got back into town. Went and saw some family, some friends. You know how it goes. Thanks for asking.” He sat down at the desk that was now his, grabbed the small basketball from where it sat in a holder between their desks. “It sure is good to see you after all these years.” A lazy lob put it through the hoop. He put his feet up on the edge of the desk. “And you’re as beautiful as ever.”
She dropped the paper onto her desk. “What are you doing?”
“Getting us past the awkward stage.” A grin took over his face.
Something flopped around in her stomach. She refused to acknowledge it. That was what had gotten her into this mess. A little misplaced attraction. “You think a bunch of small talk will fix everything?”
“That’s gotta be better than tucking tail and running.”
“I learned from the best.” The minute the words left her mouth, she wanted to take them back. Wanted to squash every hidden emotion jammed in her voice and cover the truth lying at her feet.
His mother had died. He’d left. She’d stayed. End of story.
Recognition, filled with a hint of regret, flashed through Jordan’s eyes—a quick blip she might have missed if she hadn’t been paying attention.
Or had she imagined it?
She picked up a pencil, flexed it between her hands. “If things were different, you might have done the same thing.” It had been her first response upon waking—maybe not the best—but first.
She could do this. She was one hey-there-was-a-mistake-let’s-move-onconversation away from normalcy.
“The way I see it, we’re in the same boat.”
The pencil snapped in her fingers. “You need to have your eyes checked.”
His gaze flicked to the broken pieces. She set them aside.
“It’s not like you to play the victim.”
“The victim?” He couldn’t be serious. “Don’t pretend—”
He set his feet on the floor and leaned toward her. “We met up.” His voice was firm. “Had a good time. We were both drunk. I figure that gives us fifty-fifty liability.”
“That’s not how I remember things.” Not that she could remember much past the chapel. Waking up in his hotel room had pretty much spelled the details out in perfect print. Panic had taken over after that.
He tilted his head. “You really want to point fingers?”
No. She didn’t want to have this conversation at all. Ever.
“I could start with the fact that my savings account is minus about four thousand dollars. That doesn’t include a receipt I have for two tattoos, tickets, and elevator rides up to Insanity at the Stratosphere.”
McKenna resisted the urge to check her body for ink. She didn’t have any tattoos, didn’t want any. As far as she knew, Jordan didn’t either.
As if he could hear her thoughts, he cocked his lips to the side, a grin forming over them. That smile was…enigmatic, alluring. It did stupid things to her brain.
Really stupid things.
“This isn’t a joke.” It was an impending disaster. When had he changed from the boy next door to, oh, she was not going there. She needed to ditch this emotional seesaw. Now. Stop confusing lost friendship with whatever this was.
“You gonna spit it out or keep staring?”
Rachel writes novels filled with murder, mayhem, and romance that leave her readers wanting more incredible twists and turns.
SIDE NOTE: A night-light may be required. Some bleary-eyed mornings have been known to occur. Coffee is recommended.
Rachel began weaving tales well before she could actually write. Those early stories included danger and mystery, Barbies and G.I. Joes, a few sensational heroes and their villainous counterparts. Sometimes the hero had to time warp through a hole in her backyard to save the damsel in distress and sometimes he only had to outwit the aforementioned villain.
Nowadays, she leaves the Barbies to her extremely cute daughter (who loves to create her own stories). When she’s not riveting readers with the chaotic and sizzling mess of her character’s lives, she can be found poolside with her husband, daughter, and two super snuggly dogs. She enjoys football, reading, spending time with her daughter, discussing the NFL draft with her husband, and spending time with friends and family. She also loves anything to do with the FBI, law enforcement, and the military. Although she’s extremely knowledgeable about time travel, she has never admitted she’s used this technique herself…
Links to Rachel’s website, blog, books, etc.
Linked (Book 1): www.amazon.com/dp/B00NZ8FAZO
Disconnect (Book 2): Aftermath (Book 3): Obsession (Book 4): Knight Revival (Book 5):
Threshold of Danger (Book 1):
You can also stay up to date with what my characters are doing via:
Website:Facebook: Twitter: Pinterest:
Amazon Author Page:
Sign up for my mailing list here:
I hope you enjoy the recipe Rachel is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 411 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
This warm and savory Cowboy Queso dip is loaded with ground beef, your favorite ale, tomatoes, black beans, and fresh cilantro. Perfect for watching the big game with friends.
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes optional
- 3/4 cup Pale Ale or your favorite kind of beer
- 1 16 oz. block Velveeta cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup Shredded Pepper Jack cheese
- 1 14.5 oz. can Rotel Tomatoes partially drained
- 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup red onion finely diced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
In a large, high-walled skillet over medium heat, brown and crumble the ground meat, adding in desired amounts of salt and pepper.
Once it’s nice and brown, drain any excess grease, toss in the crushed red pepper flakes and add the beer. Let the beer reduce for about 4-5 minutes.
Add in the cheese and let it melt and simmer, stirring occasionally.
Once the cheese is melted, stir in the beans, red onions, and cilantro. Add the tomatoes and some of the juice from the can, only if you want it to be a little thinner in consistency. If you’ve already reached your desired level of thickness, don’t add any juice.
It’s quick and easy and gone at any party, so make a double. 🙂
Thanks, Rachel, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!