Filed under: Excerpts Jul 3, 2016
Here’s an exclusive excerpt from Shell Shocked by Jessica Payseur that you won’t find anywhere else!
When Dominic agrees to join his boyfriend Alec and his kids for a weekend away at the annual Eggstravaganza in Mount Angus, Wisconsin, he’s expecting a boring, if kitschy, experience. He isn’t expecting to discover Alec is cheating on him, and he certainly isn’t expecting an exploding cow to drop him in the middle of a deadly mystery.
Suddenly single and surrounded by a town’s worth of suspects, Dom finds himself oddly drawn to playing the sleuth, especially if it will get him closer to Kiko, the owner of the niche shop Yolks on You.
Together the two men navigate a web of intrigue and lies, and the sniping of a jealous Alec, in a town filled with murder and Easter-themed mayhem. Will they manage to make it through the Eggstravaganza alive, or will the murderer leave them much more than just Shell Shocked?
“I was under the impression you’d let me pick you up?” said Kiko as Dom shut the door.
“I’ll fall for it one of these nights.”
“I had my hopes set on tonight,” said Kiko. Dom paused fractionally, and then their eyes were meeting. He’d leaned closer to buckle his seat belt, and for a moment Kiko was certain they’d end up kissing again. He even leaned forward slightly, but Dom was backing up, smiling.
“Here where anyone can see? Here, I snagged you a few eggs so you wouldn’t have to miss out. There’s chipotle, avocado bacon, buffalo, three different kinds of regular…”
“I’ll have them when I get back to Yolks on You, thanks,” said Kiko, backing out of the grass.
“Chad doing all right?”
“Yeah,” said Kiko. “He’s enjoying the painkillers. The amount of shrapnel they pulled out of him…” He shook his head.
“You saw it?” asked Dom, then when Kiko nodded, “Shouldn’t that be evidence?”
“I thought so too, but I guess not for investigations in Mount Angus.”
“Wow. They really do need our help solving things.”
Kiko scowled at that. He really didn’t think meddling was wise. Unfortunately, the more he indulged Dom in it, the more he found himself interested. The culprit was very likely someone he knew, and he wanted to find out who.
“You said you were thinking about the explosive?”
“Yeah,” said Kiko, turning onto the road into town. “I think it was in one of the eggs. Once it went off, the eggs themselves turned into weapons—there were toys in some of the ones for the Grand Hunt, not to mention the plastic shells themselves can cut deep. Chad had a lot of plastic embedded in him.” He paused and swallowed, trying not to think about projectiles piercing into flesh in a mere instant. “He also had bits of metal in him.”
“Part of the bomb?” asked Dom.
“That, or some of the eggs were stuffed with metal scraps for maximum damage.”
Dom let out a low whistle.
“Someone really wanted to hurt people.”
“Or kill them. That first one took out a cow,” said Kiko. Dom frowned.
“Why not set it off on Buddy Miller, then?” he asked. “Unless he was the one who planted the explosive…”
Kiko shook his head, pulled into the back of Yolks on You.
“It could have been something that went off after a certain amount of time, or more likely after it was moved. That would make more sense. Buddy places the egg wreath around Buddy Angus, which triggers the explosion. Chad was moving the boxes when it happened the second time.”
Kiko sat staring at the back of his store after he’d turned the engine off, trying to settle his stomach. He felt vulnerable suddenly, unable to figure out who would be doing this. No one he knew would want to kill anyone, he was sure. But perhaps he just didn’t know the people in Mount Angus as well as he thought he did.