Red Zone by Kelli Hughett

Red Zone

About the Book

There’s nothing random about this murder.

When Marcy Farris comes face to face with a murder victim at a high school football game, she’s plunged into a game no one wants to play. Despite police conclusions, she knows it wasn’t a random murder. Could she be the next victim? To defeat her opponent, she’ll have to tackle painful memories of her husband’s suicide. He may have made one too many enemies before he died.

Struck down by an injury in his prime, former NFL linebacker, Jack Briggs, wonders if there’s life after football. The game changes when he meets Marcy. She’s his heart’s number-one draft pick. Now, Jack’s got to prove to Marcy they’re on the same team.

There is no overtime in the game of murder. Marcy and Jack must discover the madman behind the murder before the killer has a chance to score the game-winning drive, and exact his revenge on Marcy.

Sometimes, an athlete’s biggest play is made off the field.

Book Excerpt

Alternative music thrummed down the stairs. Brant’s voice boomed. “Is your cell phone on silent or something?”

Marcy checked. Sure enough, she’d forgotten to take it off silent after Bible study last night. She was getting as bad as her mother who never remembered to take her phone off vibrate. “Not any more.” She called back.
She tossed the phone onto the couch and jumped when it rang immediately.

“My boy came through for me.” Her heart leapt at the sound of Jack’s voice.


“I texted Brant to see if you were purposely ignoring me, or if you had phone troubles.”

“What if it’s both?”

“I’m going to pretend you never said that. Did you make your plans?”

“I fly out tomorrow.”

“What time’s your flight?”

She shouldered the phone and carried the laundry basket back to the laundry room. “Why do you ask?” She couldn’t hide the playful tone. Her heart thumped like a giddy seventh grader when he called?

“Thought I could pick you up in New York since I fly out tonight. Save you renting a car.”

Marcy tempered her excitement. What was his agenda after picking her up? “Are you sure that’s not too much trouble?”

Jack exhaled. “I’m staying at a hotel near the airport. What time do you get in?”


Jack cleared his throat. “How have you been coping with everything?”

She shouldered the phone and searched her hands again. They were raw from washing. Should she tell him her fears? “I know I sound like a paranoid freak, but there was nothing random about this murder.”

Jack coughed. “I’ve been thinking I should tell you Lisa was on her way to get an interview with me – ” His voice trailed off.

Marcy’s heart shot into overdrive. “You mean the day of the murder?”

“She’d sent me a few texts requesting an interview earlier in the week, but I had no idea she was coming to Colorado.” He paused. “Did Carter say anything about the interview?”

She chewed a fingernail. “He never said. Are you pulling a Brett Favre comeback or something?”

Jack chuckled. “Hardly. I can’t imagine why she wanted an interview. My endorsement for Honda of Greeley?”

Moisture left her mouth. “I don’t think I can think about it right now.”

“Agreed. Can I meet you at the airport tomorrow, then?”

Marcy bit her lip. “I’ll make you a deal.”


“Come to church with Carter and me on Sunday.” Marcy cringed. That would show him.

“It’s important to you?”

“It’s a big part of my life.”

“Then it means a lot that you’d invite me. I’m in.” The tone of his voice warmed her entire body.

She bit her knuckle to stifle a girlish giggle. “Thanks.”

“What hotel are you staying at?”

“I’m staying near the church where the funeral will be held. The Garden Overlook.”

“I’ll have it pre-programed into the GPS.”

She ran a hand through her hair, aware of a smile so big it hurt. “Thanks, Jack. I’ll text you when I get in.”

“Perfect. Have a safe flight.”

Her heart bounced like a basketball. How could she, stay-at-home mom, driver of the mini-van and bookkeeper of Girl Scout troop 774, keep the attention of a former NFL player? He could have any woman he wanted, why pick her? She hugged her middle. The old butterflies weren’t dead, as she’d suspected.


About the Author

Kelli Hughett’s love for the game of football and heart-pounding romance combine to strengthen the voice in Red Zone. Kelli earned a degree in Women’s studies from Bear Valley Institute of Denver in 1998. A home school mom-turned-suspense writer, Kelli writes suspense with His fingerprints all over it. She delights in speaking to women’s groups and teaching children.

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