#HTP Hell To Pay by Pamela Fagan Hutchins


Hell To Pay

Pamela Fagan Hutchins



USA Best Book Award-Winning Series, Cross Genre Fiction.
Third book in the Emily series, a spin-off from Katie & Annalise.

Big-haired paralegal and former rodeo queen Emily thinks she’s got her life back on track. Her adoption of Betsy seems like a done deal, her parents have reunited, and she’s engaged to her sexy boss Jack. Then client Phil Escalante’s childhood buddy Dennis drops dead, face first into a penis cake at the adult novelty store Phil owns with his fiancée Nadine, one of Emily’s best friends. The cops charge Phil with murder right on the heels of his acquittal in a trail for burglarizing the Mighty is His Word church offices.

Emily’s nemesis ADA Melinda Stafford claims her witness overheard Phil fighting with Dennis over a woman, right about the time Phil falls into a diabetic coma, leaving Nadine shaken and terrified. Meanwhile Betsy’s ultra-religious foster parents apply to adopt her and Jack starts acting weird and evasive. Emily feels like a calf out of a chute, pulled between the ropes of the header and the healer, as she fights to help Phil and Nadine without losing Betsy and Jack.

She says her first book came out in 2012 and that her latest, Hell to Pay, is the seventh book in the series. The books all have ties to Texas, with “an interrelated cast of kick-ass female protagonists.” She says the novel’s heroine (“a former rodeo queen turned paralegal”) returns to her home town in west Texas and discovers an extremist cult has set up shop and is terrorizing the local townsfolk.


Read a Teaser 
Chapter One Excerpt
Disco lights whirled around me, or was it the room? My inner party animal had atrophied, not that I’d ever been a real heavyweight. If it wasn’t for the fantastic people-watching—and the fact that this was the celebration party for the burglary acquittal of our firm’s client Phil Escalante the day before, and his engagement to Nadine, one of my best friends in Amarillo—I’vebagged this shindig. Instead, there I was with tendrils of fake smoke floating past my face, ten
feet from a DJ dressed in a black latex fetish costume and spiked dog collar and A tall woman maybe ten years older than me appeared out of the low lights and sidled up to me, engulfing me in the odor of cigarettes. Her vanilla hair sported a generous dollop of dark chocolate roots, which was pretty funny to me since she had a body shaped like a cone. A waffle cone. A waffle cone with sparkly sprinkles from the spinning ball overhead. Behind her trailed a paunchy man of roughly her height. His eyes had locked on me in a way that made my skin crawl with leeches that weren’t there.
Rick James’s “Super Freak” ended. The silence in the cavernous L-shaped room was immediate and complete, but short-lived. A clamor of voices from the one-hundred- or-so guests resumed, their voices echoing off the bare walls and “Hey, Foxy Loxy,” the man mouthed at me. Or did he? Surely not. It was hard to tell with the lights playing tricks on my eyes.
The woman spoke past me. “You and your wife got any plans later?” Her bellow seemed to fill the room to its farthest corners, even with all the other voices. I winced and shrank under the eyes that shifted our way.
Not Jack, though. The horse rancher cum criminal attorney was nothing if not unflappable. His topaz eyes twinkled. “Emily’s not my wife.” 
The man surged toward Jack. “You’re not together?”
“I’m his fiancée,” I said through my recently tightened braces and painfully rubber-banded teeth, leaving out “and he’s my boss.” I waved my big, fat teardrop-shaped diamond at him to accentuate my point, then I pinched Jack’s arm where my hand was looped through its crook. I’d capitulated to the mouth gear when my childhood orthodontist saw the gap between my front teeth and insistedneeded Invisalign then, filled my mouth with metal instead. Payback for never wearing my retainer, I guess.
The man and woman looked at each other and nodded. She asked, “Care to join us? We’ve got a room at a no-tell hotel nearby.”
Jack’s whole body shook and I didn’t dare look at him. I was a sucker for his laugh. In fact, I was a sucker for everything about him, from his lived-in boots to his permanent tan to his Apache cheekbones. Before either of us could think of an appropriate response, Phil interrupted.
“Millie, Pete, leave my poor friends alone.” He clapped a hand on my shoulder and gently pushed me aside to clap his other onto Jack’s. “They’re not swingers. And this isn’ta swingers social. I’m out of the business.”
The space between Millie’s eyebrows narrowed and puckered as drops of
light rained down on her face. “It’s a free country, ain’t it?”

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Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long emails, best-selling, award-winning mysteries (WINNER USA Best Book Award, Fiction: Cross Genre, Finalist) and hilarious nonfiction. The Houston Press named her as one of Houston’s Top 10 Authors (2014).She is a recovering attorney and investigator who resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and in the frozen north of Wyoming. Pamela has a passion for great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, traveling in the Bookmobile, and her Keurig. Visit her at http://pamelafaganhutchins.com or drop her a note pamela at pamelahutchins dot com. 

And if you would like her to visit your book club, women’s group, writer’s group, or library, all you have to do is ask.

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  • BellyBytes
    Posted at 10:52h, 24 May Reply

    I admire you Inderpreet for finding time to read so much and manage a blog post on every book you read. I can’t imagine it’s easy for you with a hectic life as mother and army wife too!

    • Inderpreet Kaur
      Posted at 01:14h, 25 May Reply

      Thank you Bellybytes. Trust me, I am lagging behind on a lot of posts. 🙂 I love books and writing and blogging so don’t mind the schedule.

      • BellyBytes
        Posted at 06:18h, 25 May Reply

        But you still manage to blog everyday and read every day! This whole year I’ve managed to read just three books when at one time I could read that many in a week and do my other chores as well

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