Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **AUTHOR SPECIAL** with TESS THOMPSON!
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, TESS THOMPSON, and her favorite recipe for COCONUT BONBONS!
A Chance O’Brien Novel Book 4
BY TESS THOMPSON
In the sweltering summer heat of Houston, a serial killer murders and mutilates prostitutes before posing a signature white lily next to their bodies.
After Homicide Detective Chris Castillo finds his captain’s business card clutched in the hands of a deceased Gentleman’s Club owner, it triggers a manhunt for a serial killer targeting Houston sex workers.
HPD Captain Chance O’Brien and his wife, Special Agent Macy Adams, join forces with Detective Chris Castillo to stop the killer before he strikes again.
Chris is a tough guy with a soft heart who rescues a retired police dog, and then takes in a homeless boy who witnessed one of the murders.
When Chris’s ex-wife Dani is assigned to the case, it forces the couple to relive painful memories from their past together. Tension grows between them when Dani agrees to go undercover in the club where two of the victims worked. She soon becomes a target and puts herself in danger despite Chris’s concerns.
Dani reluctantly accepts Chris’s protection, and as the case continues, Chris and Dani try to resist the mutual attraction that once brought them together as familiar emotions resurface.
Will they be able to reconcile their past and reunite? Or will Chris’s life be shattered by losing Dani again?
A candy apple red, four-inch stiletto lay in the middle of the downtown Houston alley next to a woman’s body discarded like yesterday’s trash. The hot, sultry late summer air and the light rain that had fallen earlier did little to dampen the rising temperature of the early morning. The heat from yesterday’s scorcher had escaped the buildings and was lingering in and oozing from the adjacent buildings. The fetid stench of over-filled trash cans permeated the air.
As Detective Chris Castillo approached the crime scene, he searched his mind and tried to recall where and when he had met the responding officer before. She answered his question when she said, “Good to see you again, Chris. It’s been a few years. We were in the academy together.”
“Yes, sure. Yeah.” Names rolled around in his head, and finally, he said, “Officer Mora, isn’t it? The call said a woman’s body was found. Possible homicide.” Chris moved closer to the victim and took in the scene. The woman lay on her side, and her long blonde hair was splayed out across the dirty asphalt where dark red blood had pooled on the ground. It appeared that she died where she had fallen, and this was the scene of the crime.
“Did you check for identification?” he said, his eyes squinting into the rapidly rising sun.
“I haven’t touched the body except to check for respiration and see if she had a pulse. Looks like there’s a purse under her arm, which probably has identification, but I was waiting for forensics to arrive to roll her over.”
Chris took in Sylvia Mora’s face. Besides having a web of tiny lines beginning to form around her eyes, she didn’t look much different than she had twelve years earlier. She was an ordinary-looking woman with brown eyes. Her dark brown hair was pulled back into a bun.
He remembered his girlfriend Dani teasing him about Sylvia having a crush on him. At the time, he’d only had eyes for Dani, and they’d married a year after graduating from the academy. He quickly blocked all thoughts of his past life along with all the what-ifs and turned back to the crime scene.
“What are you doing here on the scene?” Chris asked.
Sylvia seemed taken aback and said, “Well, I’m doing my job, Detective Castillo.”
“Sorry, I guess that didn’t come out quite right. What I meant was, I’ve seen or worked with most of the patrol officers in my precinct but not you.”
She smiled now and said, “I requested a transfer from southeast to this precinct. I’ve seen you a couple of times but couldn’t get your attention to say hello. I guess we’ll be working together from time to time.” She shuffled her feet and said, “How are things going for you? I heard about what happened, and I’m sorry.”
Chris didn’t want to talk about his personal life with a woman he barely knew and was relieved when the medical examiner’s van pulled into the alley.
“If you haven’t done so already, search the alley to see if you can find a weapon,” he said without looking at Mora.
Sylvia didn’t look happy and gave him a curt nod as she walked in the opposite direction from the van.
Several months earlier, the county had acquired a new ME when Doctor Cantrell retired. Doctor Esposito was a transplant from New Jersey, and the cops’ gossip mill said she was in her mid-forties and moved to town with her husband, who was some big shot for Exxon.
Chris had worked closely with her on a couple of homicides and knew her to be highly professional. She wasn’t hard to look at either with her short, light blonde hair and expressive green eyes.
Her medical assistant, Marcus Garza, followed Exposito out of a van imprinted with the County Institute of Forensic Science logo. Chris didn’t much care for the man. He seemed a little too gleeful for someone who was around dead bodies all day. Chris nodded in recognition and then greeted the doctor.
“Detective Castillo, I understand we have a deceased young woman. This heat is oppressive, and it can’t be doing any good for the body. Let’s bag her quickly and get her out of this alley as soon as possible.”
She squatted down next to the woman and looked up at Chris. “Any sign of a weapon?” She turned the body over and explained to Chris that she would do a cursory examination to determine the degree of rigor mortis and lividity.
“Haven’t found one close to the body. I told the responding officer to check the rest of the alley.”
“Good, the absence of a weapon close to the body would rule out suicide. She’s not quite in full rigor, and it’s difficult to tell the time of death due to the outside heat.” Esposito pointed to the discolored skin. “The pooling of the blood tells me she most likely was killed here. There is no exit wound, but from my preliminary examination, I would state she was killed at close contact with a single gunshot wound to the chest.”
“That could mean she either knew her assailant or wasn’t afraid of them.”
“That’s possible. It’s also possible she was surprised and didn’t have time to turn and run. But it’s not my job to guess.”
Chris put on a pair of gloves and reached down to slide the strap of a small black clutch purse down the victim’s arm. He opened the bag and said, “Doesn’t look like a robbery. A wallet is here along with credit cards.” He quickly counted the money inside and said, “Two fifty-dollar bills and a couple of twenties.” He removed her Texas driver’s license and quickly calculated her birthdate. “Name is Jordan Beck, age thirty-two.”
Esposito stood and removed her gloves and said, “I guess you now have the unpleasant job of notifying her next of kin.” She turned her head and told Garza, “I’m done here. Let’s head back.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Calling out to one of the attendants, he said, “Okay, you heard the doctor let’s bag her up and tag her.”
A disapproving look passed over Esposito’s face as she walked toward Marcus Garza, pulling him aside. Chris was glad to see that the doctor didn’t appreciate the other man’s attempt at humor and was sure he would get a well-deserved tongue lashing.
Chris placed the purse in an evidence bag and wiped the sweat from his brow with his arm as he leaned down to get a better look at the victim. “She’s holding something in the palm of her hand,” he said. Forcefully prying her fingers apart, he pulled out a crushed business card and stood to read it.
“What the hell?” he said as he scrutinized the wrinkled paper.
“What is it? What’s wrong?” Esposito said as she stepped toward him with Marcus trailing close behind.
“I’m not sure, but this business card belongs to my boss, Captain O’Brien.” Chris continued to stare at the card embossed with the Houston Police Department logo and the name Detective Chance O’Brien. He held the card out for her to see.
She took it from him and then lifted her shoulders as if to say, so?
Marcus looked at the card in her hand and said, “Chance hasn’t been a detective since his promotion to captain almost three years ago. What is our deceased doing with his old card?”
Charlene Tess and Judi Thompson are sisters who live over 1400 miles apart. They combined their two last names into the pen name Tess Thompson and write novels as a team.
Judi Thompson has been writing since her early teens. She lives with her husband Roger in Texas. She is a retired supervisor for special education in a local school district.
Charlene Tess is a retired writing teacher and writes educational materials for TeachersPayTeachers.com. She lives with her husband Jerry in Colorado.
Links to Tess’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
Tess Thompson (aka Charlene Tess and Judi Thompson)
I hope you enjoy the recipe Tess is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 568 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.
These are easy to make and are Gluten Free.
1 stick butter
1 can Eagle Brand milk
Bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Vegetable shortening or oil
1 stick butter at room temperature
2 cups (16 oz) powdered sugar
½ can Eagle Brand milk
1 cup chopped pecans
¾ cup shredded coconut
Roll into balls and place on waxed paper.
NOTE: Just for fun, I put one whole almond inside each ball to make it taste like an Almond Joy.
Refrigerate or freeze until cold.
Melt a package of semi-sweet chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of shortening in the microwave. (Do it about 30 seconds at a time until melted so it won’t scorch.)
Use toothpick to swirl each in melted chocolate. Let sit until hardened. Store in air-tight container and refrigerate.
Thanks, Tess, for sharing your stories with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read these books!