Karen’s Killer Fixin’s
with K.A. LUGO!
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, K.A. LUGO, and her favorite recipe for TRAX’S SNAX (Homemade Dog Cookies)!!
Jack Slaughter Thriller #1
BY K.A. LUGO
Fallen San Francisco homicide detective, Jack Slaughter, closes the door on the home where his perfect family has been brutally snatched from him. Moving across the city, he works as a private investigator to fund his own investigation into what happened to his family—who killed his little girl, Zoë, and where is his wife, Leah?
Every three month for the last three years, Jack receives a simple text telling him where he can find his missing wife. There’s a body at each location, but none of them are Leah.
Jack hates missing person’s cases, but they’re his bread and butter. He only takes the case to find Carl Boyd’s missing wife because the details of her disappearance closely match Leah’s. He hopes by finding Bonnie Boyd, he’ll find his own wife.
Following the leads in the Bonnie Boyd case, Jack discovers someone has been killing women all over the city for the last three years, a fact Jack’s ex-partner and still best friend, Ray Navarro, has neglected to tell him. The city has a serial killer and officials haven’t been able to find a single lead on the person they’ve dubbed The Butcher.
Could Bonnie Boyd’s disappearance be linked to The Butcher? More important, was Leah one of The Butcher’s victims? Could he have gone so far as to murder a child?
With every clue Jack weaves together, the more his own life unravels.
Jack Slaughter Thriller #1
BY K.A. LUGO
San Francisco, California
“Is it her? Is it Leah?”
Jack Slaughter’s heart hammered a hole in his chest as he watched the rail-thin form of the newly-made detective, Paul Travers, stride toward him. If he could read the man’s expression and body language, Travers seemed more amused by Jack’s presence than annoyed.
When Jack started lifting the crime scene tape to duck under it, Travers pushed him back with a firm hand on his shoulder.
“You gotta stop turning up like this, Jackie.” Travers’ flippant voice grated on Jack, almost as much as the man’s ruddy complexion and brassy hair. His voice edged on being just a bit too high and too nasal to want to listen to for long. Jack didn’t know how his best friend and former partner, Ray Navarro, could stand it.
With a hand still on his shoulder, Travers nudged Jack back. He made a shooing motion with his other hand. “Why don’t you just go on home and let the professionals do their jobs?”
Travers’ condescending tone made Jack want to punch him in the throat.
“Where’s Ray?” He followed Travers’ gaze over the man’s shoulder and saw Ray standing over the victim’s body several yards away. It appeared to have been positioned at the foot of a tall pine at the dead-end of the road. “I want to talk to him.”
Travers caught his gaze and looked back. “Go home, Jackie. You don’t belong here.” He emphasized the word you. They both knew why Jack was no longer Ray’s partner, nor on the force.
Ignoring the little pissant, Jack shouted over the man’s shoulder. “Ray!” His friend looked up and gave a quick wave to acknowledge he’d seen Jack. He finished up with a CSI, then made his way over.
“What are you doing here, Jack?” When Ray reached up to shake hands, Jack palmed his cell phone into Ray’s.
“I told him to go home . . . partner.”
In Jack’s opinion, Travers seemed to take every opportunity to rub it in that he now occupied Jack’s former position. It didn’t escape his notice that Ray also cringed at the word partner. Jack knew his leaving the force had been a blow to his friend too.
He gazed directly into Ray’s eyes, trying to keep the anxiety he felt from his voice. “I got another one.”
“Jack—” Ray sighed, gazing down at the phone’s screen to the open text—Spreckels Lake.
Since the very first text he’d received—You’ll find your wife in the Panhandle—there had never been anything more than the next location. The texts came every three months, as if on schedule. Every one of them led Jack to a body, but none of them were Leah. If the texter was trying to drive him crazy, it was working. But he couldn’t risk that the guy was crying wolf. Even after three years, Jack still showed up . . . just in case.
Ray handed back the phone then threw his hands onto his hips. Jack could almost hear the gears working in his friend’s head as he gazed around Spreckels Lake with obvious concentration.
This was a beautiful location. Jack remembered bringing his family here, but pushed the memory from his mind. He gazed away from the water, trying to breathe. He knew the answer, but he had to ask it anyway. “Is it her?” Even he heard the waver in his voice.
“You gotta let me do my job, man. You gotta trust me. If this was Leah, you know I’d tell you.”
“I know, but—”
“No buts, Jackie,” Travers cut in, edging up closer to him as if posturing. “You’re not a cop anymore. You don’t belong here. Go home.”
Jack starred at Travers with a look he hoped said, go ahead and touch me again, pissant, I dare you. He must have got his point across because Travers hesitated before stepping away, his back noticeably erect.
“I’m sorry. Paul’s right. You don’t need to be here. It’s not her.” Ray’s voice remained calm. Jack knew the tone, as he often used it to try defusing situations with suspects and distraught families.
“You’re just a distraction, Jackie.”
“Paul!” Ray’s warning tone made Travers jump, as it did those around them.
In his heart, Jack knew when a victim’s family turned up on a crime scene, or tried insinuating themselves into an investigation, it only disrupted the process. More times than he could count, the time he’d spent dealing with the family would have been better served on the investigation.
Jack shrank away from the crime scene tape, his energy evaporating. “You’re right, Ray. I’m sorry. I just can’t risk that the one time I don’t respond to the text, it really will be Leah.”
“I know, Jack. I know.” Ray put his hand on Jack’s shoulder this time, drawing Jack’s attention. “But this isn’t her. Go ho—” Ray stopped short, both knowing Jack hadn’t been home since that night three years ago. “Go back to your place. I’ll stop by after my shift. We’ll talk then, okay?”
Jack looked past Ray’s shoulder to the lifeless body. He watched as technicians carefully placed a protective tarp over the victim, telling him the CSIs had retrieved all the scene evidence they needed and now waited for the coroner’s removal.
Dumping the body at the lake had been a bold move. Even at this dead-end in the road, Golden Gate Park attracted a huge number of people, homeless and visitors alike. Someone had to have seen something.
“Can you use an extra hand?”
“Sorry, Jack. You know I can’t. I gotta get back. I’ll see you later, at your place.”
“Don’t bother.” Jack didn’t have to look back to know Ray watched to make sure he was leaving.
From behind him, he heard Travers ask, “What’s with that guy?”
“Lay off, Paul,” Ray said. “You’d react the same way if your daughter had been murdered and your wife was still missing.”
K.A. Lugo is a native Northern Californian who grew up in Carmel-by-the-Sea, part of a larger community founded by artists and writers, including John Steinbeck, George Sterling, and Jack London. Over the years, she’s worked with several Carmel notables, but it was in 1997 she left the employ of Clint Eastwood to live in Ireland for six months. It was during this time she met the man she would marry and relocated to live in Ireland.
While always writing since a very young age, K.A. earned her keep in Ireland as one of the country’s foremost travel consultants who also wrote travel articles about Ireland.
Since 2005, K.A. has published fourteen titles in genres including romantic suspense, erotic romance, cozy mystery, and now thrillers.
Slaughtered is the first in the new highly acclaimed Jack Slaughter Thriller series, set in San Francisco, a city close to K.A.’s heart.
K.A. loves hearing from readers and promises to reply to each message. Please visit her socials to stay up-to-date on this exciting new series.
Links to K.A.’s website, blog, books, etc.
K.A. Lugo also writes romance as Kemberlee Shortland: http://www.kemberlee.com
I hope you enjoy the recipe K.A. is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 444 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.
Note from K.A.: Jack often made these cookies for his retired police dog, Trax. His daughter, Zoë, loved getting her little hands dirty mixing the dough. We hope you will too.
For this recipe, I’m using just three ingredients. Optional ingredients at the end.
This is a super easy four-step recipe to make fabulous dog cookies: Measure, Grind, Make, and Bake.
And this recipe is ideal for dogs with grain allergies, food intolerances, and/or Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Disease.
Preheat your oven to 375F/190C
2 cups of good quality grain free dry dog kibble (if your dog is on prescription food from the vet, use that, but remember, these types of foods are usually grain-heavy in these types of foods)
1 cup+/- generous hand full of fresh parsley (leaves and stems)
1 cup tepid-to-lukewarm water
Dump the kibble and parsley into the large grinder cup, screw on the four-blade attachment or grinding blade and grind the ingredients until everything has a grainy consistency.
To the bowl, add about 1 cup of tepid-to-lukewarm water.
- If the water is too cold, the ingredients won’t mix properly.
- If the water is too hot, the dry ingredients of the dog food will separate…meaning all the fats will come out and it will be gross. Trust me.
This is the fun part, and the part kids will really enjoy. Get your hands into the bowl and mix the water into the dry ingredients. Mix well, making sure you get any tiny lumps incorporated. 1 cup of water should do you as long as you can press the mix together and it holds…somewhat like making pastry.
!!Water amounts vary between humid or dry areas.
If the mixture doesn’t hold together, add a tiny bit more water until it does. Add about a tablespoon at a time.
Turn the dough onto a board or a clean worktop and press the ingredients together.
Once you have your ‘dough ball’ ready, you can either roll out the dough to an even, flat sheet and use cookie cutters to make your cookies, or you can shape them by hand. I prefer shaping by hand. My hands are already in the mixing bowl, so why not?!
Pinch off a small bit of the dough at a time and shape. Place directly on non-stick cookie sheets.
Make the cookies any size or shape you want. Consider your dog’s size and weight. While these cookies are generously sized for this demonstration, I normally make them smaller and a little thinner. Aim for pastry thickness…1/8 inch or thereabouts.
This recipe should give you 36-48 quarter-size cookies. Space the cookies close together as they will not rise while baking.
Once you’ve used up all of your dough, pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes and turn over the cookies. Bake for another 10 minutes Close the oven door and turn off the oven. Let the cookies cool as the oven cools, which will pull out any leftover moisture from the cookie.
When the cookies are cool, you can then put them into your dog’s cookie jar and serve as normal.
- These cookies will NOT be hard like store-bought cookies. There is no flour as a binding agent, just the natural oils from the food, and a small bit of water.
- These cookies will also absorb any moisture in the air, so be sure your cookie jar is somewhat airtight.
This is a very versatile recipe. You can —
- replace the parsley with mint if your dog has stank-breath
- mix a tablespoon of smooth peanut butter into your water for peanut buttery cookies
- add a pinch of ground garlic to help as a natural defense against pests like fleas (not a 100% alternative but it will help)
- use strained chicken natural broth (simmer bones in water for a couple hours, or use a good quality store-bought broth…no salt added!) in place of water for a richer flavor (this is useful if your dog is on a senior food which often lacks flavor compared to normal adult foods)
- add in some finely chopped dried cranberries or dried dates for a sweeter cookie
Use your imagination, keeping your dog’s dietary needs in mind at all times.
WARNING: You may find your dog(s) gathering at your feet while you’re making these cookies. It’s no harm to let your dog have some of the dough, as it’s just ground up dog food with some water in it…there are no raw ingredients here. He/She will love it!
I’d love to hear how your pets liked their new treats!
Note: Watch your dog’s dietary requirements. These may be cookies, but they’re made with dog food. Too many cookies will result in weight gain. Ain’t that always the way with cookies?!
Thanks, L.A., for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!