About 'Red Hot Murder'
Charlie Kingsley’s tea customers have two things in common:
They rave about her teas.
AND they have a knack for attracting trouble.
There’s never been a connection between the two … until now.
One night, one of Charlie’s customers passes out, only to wake up to her fiancé dead in her home and no memory of what happened the night before.
But one thing she DOES remember is drinking a cup of Charlie's tea.
Charlie knows it wasn’t the tea, but everyone else is suddenly blaming her, so she has no choice but to get to the bottom of this mysterious death.
The phone rang, jerking me out of a sound sleep. I fumbled for it, my heart instantly in my throat. At that hour of the night, I automatically assumed it was my sister, Annabelle, calling from New York with terrible news.
But then I reminded myself it was more likely someone like Dana, calling with a middle-of-the-night tea emergency. Again.
“Charlie?” The voice was so choked with tears, I could barely make it out.
“It’s me,” I said, swinging my legs out of bed as fear started to take hold again. “Who is this?” I almost asked if it was Annabelle, but I wasn’t sure if I could get the words past the lump in my throat. Plus, it sounded nothing like my sister. Was it my best friend, Pat? No, it didn’t sound like her, either.
“It … it … it’s me,” the voice said between sobs. “Cherry.”
“Cherry?” I wasn’t sure I’d heard her right.
Cherry burst into a fresh bawl. “You have to come,” she said. “He’s not moving. You have to help him.”
“He? Do you mean Marcus?” My mind raced as I thought about her romantic surprise date. “Is something wrong with Marcus?”
Another hiccup. “Please come. He needs help. I need help.”
“Cherry, if there’s something wrong with Marcus, call 9-1-1.”
“You don’t understand,” she cried. “I don’t remember. He wasn’t here. So, I don’t even know how he was attacked.”
Attacked? What was she talking about? Was she in the middle of a bad trip? Was THAT the romantic surprise? I tugged a hand through my wild, brownish- blondish hair, trying to decide if maybe I should hang up and call 9-1-1. “Cherry, what is going on? Talk to me.”
“I ca … can’t. Please just come. Hurry.” There was a click, and the phone went dead.
I stared at the receiver. Really, the smart move would be to call 9-1-1 myself. I had no business heading over to her house in the middle of the night, especially if I was going to end up in the middle of some dangerous situation. Best to let the professionals take care of it.
Yet … her voice tugged at me. She sounded terrified … like something had gone very wrong.
What she really needed was someone in her corner she could trust.
Before I was even aware I had made the decision, I was striding over to my closet to pull on a pair of jeans and an oversized University of Wisconsin sweatshirt. I headed into my en suite bathroom to quickly brush my teeth, wash my face, and try to do something with my wild hair. I finally managed to gather it into a loose ponytail, although a few tendrils had snuck out and were framing my face. I stared at myself in the mirror. My hazel eyes were puffy from lack of sleep, and I looked far older than my early thirties.
Well, it’s not like you’re going to a party, I scolded myself. If you’re gonna do this, then hurry up and do it.
I left the bedroom and hurried to find my keys.
About Michele Pariza Wacek
A USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author, Michele taught herself to read at 3 years old because she wanted to write stories so badly. It took some time (and some detours) but now she does spend much of her time writing stories. Mystery stories, to be exact. They're clean and twisty, and range from psychological thrillers to cozies, with a dash of romance and supernatural thrown into the mix. If that wasn't enough, she posts lots of fun things on her blog, including short stories, puzzles, recipes and more, at MPWNovels.com.
Michele grew up in Wisconsin, (hence why all her books take place there), and still visits regularly, but she herself escaped the cold and now lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.
When she's not writing, she's usually reading, hanging out with her dog, or watching the Food Network and imagining she's an awesome cook. (Spoiler alert, she's not. Luckily for the whole family, Mr. PW is in charge of the cooking.)
Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
# # # # # # # # # # # #