Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off by Carolyn Brown

The Red Hot Chili Cook Off Cover

Thank y’all so much for inviting me and the cast of The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off  to visit Book’d Out today. We’re enjoying a recipe blog tour and talking about different foods that play a part in The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off.

For those of you who are hearing about this book for the first time, it’s the second in a trilogy set in Cadillac, Texas. Lenny Joe Lovelle has been bitten by an acute case of terminal stupidity. He’s been cheating on his wife, Carlene, one of the three cousins (Alma Grace and Patrice are the other two owners) who own Bless My Bloomers, a lingerie shop in Cadillac. Lenny Joe’s mother, Kitty, has accused Alma Grace’s daddy of coming on to her and Sugar Magee—that would be Alma Grace’s mama—has moved into the upstairs bedroom above the panty shop. Yes, it’s quite a twisted up mess but in the south a good hot cinnamon roll for breakfast can cure a multitude of sins…even if one of them isn’t a low-down, scumbag, cheatin’ son-of-a-bitch of a husband.

First a little excerpt and then the cinnamon roll recipe and your chance to win 1 of 2 great prizes!


(NOTE: the panty shop is in an old two story house and there are three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. Carlene has moved into one and now Aunt Sugar is in one of the other bedrooms.)

The aroma of hot cinnamon slipped up the stairs, through the crack under Carlene’s door, and made its way through the feather pillow she’d crammed over her head to keep out the noise of Aunt Sugar’s snores.

A week ago she’d packaged up a cute little bright red outfit and rang up the sale to Bridget who was going to Vegas with her sugar daddy. That little red pair of panties didn’t have a tenth of a yard of fabric in them. Hell, they didn’t have enough material in them to sag a clothesline and yet they’d turned her world, her family, and the whole town of Cadillac upside down.

She carefully removed the pillow from her head and got an even stronger dose of the cinnamon rolls. What would the scent of cooking do for sales? Would it make the customers hungry and they’d leave without buying anything?

She rolled out of bed, peeked out the door, and made a mad dash to the bathroom before Aunt Sugar claimed it. Mama said that Sugar always took two hours to get presentable in the morning. She didn’t go to breakfast without checking for stray eyebrows, chipped fingernail polish, and saying her morning prayers. Carlene didn’t know if Sugar prayed in the bathroom but she didn’t have time to wait two hours before she went to work.

She passed Sugar on the landing on her way back to her bedroom. Fully dressed in a cute little sundress and sandals, her makeup was perfect, and her earrings glittered in the sunlight filtering in from a bedroom window.

“Good mornin’, darlin’. Did you know that you snore?” Sugar asked.

“Yes, ma’am. And good morning to you, Aunt Sugar.” Carlene smiled. “You’re runnin’ a little late. Alma Grace and I’ve already had devotionals and I ordered cinnamon rolls from Clawdy’s. Trixie was good enough to deliver them for me.”

“Guess I’d better get on the ball if I want to grab one. Patrice loves cinnamon rolls and she’ll eat them all,” Carlene said. “After morning prayers, I’ll be back downstairs. Now you run along and get dressed in something pretty. If Lenny comes by again, you want to look nice.” Sugar blew her a kiss.

Carlene dressed in a fitted bright blue dress with a scoop neck and long sleeves. It was Friday and the appointment calendar said that two wedding parties were coming from Sherman so Alma Grace would need help. She picked up a necklace of chunky blue, yellow, and red stones wet with sparkling crystals between the different colors and fastened it around her neck, then added the matching bracelet and earrings. She carried her high heels down the steps and padded barefoot to the kitchen.

She took one look at the pan of cinnamon rolls and said, “Shit, Alma Grace! You can’t take them right out of the middle. That’s not playing fair.”

Patrice caught the last sentence as she pushed the door open. “She’s right. No taking them out of the middle. Did Aunt Sugar get up this early and get food already?”

“She gets up early every morning. We have devotionals before I come to work.” Alma Grace ignored them and removed her second cinnamon roll from the center of the pan. “And she is always dressed with her makeup done and jewelry on, too.”

Patrice cut two big rolls from the middle of the pan. “We’ll treat this like a Scrabble board. I’m playing off Alma Grace’s choice. So praying is done for the day?”

Alma Grace sighed. “Oh, no! Mama is upstairs doing her morning prayers now. And Daddy says he’s going to church at the CNC with me until she gets over her hissy and that means I can’t sit beside or flirt with Jack Landry. Come on Pat-tee, help me out here.”

“You call me that again and I’ll smack you right in the mouth. You know I hate nicknames,” Patrice said.

Alma Grace slid a nasty look toward Carlene. “Don’t look at me. I didn’t make Jamie kiss Kitty or Kitty kiss Jamie or your mama move in here,” Carlene said.

Patrice slapped Alma Grace on the shoulder. “Stop blaming Carlene for everything that happens. I swear if you got a pimple you’d figure out a way to make it her fault.”

And now for the cinnamon roll recipe that they use over at Miss Clawdy’s. It’s the same one I use in my kitchen here in southern Oklahoma.


  • 2 cups hot water, not boiling
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 T. or two packages of dry yeast

Mix together and set aside until it bubbles.

  • Add 3 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon salt

Stir well! Now add 2 to 3 cups of flour to that. More flour makes stiffer dough which makes heavier rolls. Less flour makes lighter rolls. Put into a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for one to two hours until double in size. Punch down and roll out on floured surface to about ½ inch thick. Cut up two sticks of butter into think slices and arrange on top. Cover that with brown sugar (I usually use about two cups) and then shake cinnamon over that. Roll it up and cut into one inch sections, place in two 9×12 cake pans. Let rise about an hour, covered with a cloth, and then bake at 350 degrees until light brown. Turn upside down onto cookie sheets or heavy duty foil if you are taking it to a friend’s house. Ice with a powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and milk glaze while still hot.



Do you have a favorite bread recipe? Share it in the comments (along with your name and email) for your chance to win one of two prizes courtesy Sourcebooks:

Prize #1: a print copy of The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off

Prize #2: A Carolyn Brown Prize Pack

o Print copy of The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee

o Print copy of The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off

o Cute recipe card set—so the winner can save the recipes shared along the tour!

*This giveaway is open to US and Canada only – Closes April 13th 2014*


Be sure to follow along on The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off Recipe Sharing Tour!

  Learn more about The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off and find out some delicious recipes from Carolyn and other readers along the way. Chances to win at each stop!

April 1: Carolyn Brown’s Facebook Page

April 2: Dew on the Kudzu

April 3: Fresh Fiction

April 4: Book’d Out

April 7: Book Reviews & More by Kathy

April 8: Chick Lit Central

April 9: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

April 10: Bitten By Love Reviews

April 11: From the TBR Pile


To Purchase The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off:

Amazon Barnes and Noble Books-a-Million Chapters/Indigo IndieBound iBooks Sourcebooks


More Than the Chili’s Heating Up Cadillac, Texas Carlene Lovelle, co-owner of Bless My Bloomers lingerie shop, found a pair of fancy red-silk panties in her husband’s briefcase, and all hell is breaking loose. She custom-made those fancy bloomers herself—and she remembers the bimbo who bought them. If her husband had a lick of sense, he’d known there are no secrets in a town like Cadillac. Carlene’s cohorts—and their mamas—plan to exact revenge on Lenny Joe where it’ll hurt the most: break his ten-year winning streak at the prestigious Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off. Never before has a woman dared to compete. But the ladies of Bless My Bloomers are cooking up a storm…and it seems the whole town is taking sides in the showdown. Welcome to Cadillac, Texas, where the chili is hot, the gossip is hotter, and friends stick by each other, no matter what the challenge.

Praise for The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off:

“With a cast of characters that will leave readers grinning, Brown’s latest is delightful, humorous “chick lit”… Fun, fun and more fun is on hand in a story that wins a blue ribbon in both originality and wit.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars “Fun, fresh and hilarious… The author showed that laughter is the best medicine and a sure fire cure for the toughest of challenges in life.” —Chick Lit Reviews “The characters are vibrant and engaging, the story is endearingly off beat and full of down home folksy charm. A wonderfully heartwarming and highly entertaining novel.” —Book Reviews and More by Kathy



Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with more than sixty books published. Her bestselling cowboy romance series include the Lucky trilogy, the Honky Tonk series, Spikes & Spurs, Cowboys & Brides, and the new Burnt Boot, Texas series. She has also launched into women’s fiction with a Texas twang. Born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma, Carolyn and her husband make their home in the town of Davis, Oklahoma, where she credits her eclectic family for her humor and writing ideas. For more information, please visit


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. carolyn brown
    Apr 04, 2014 @ 23:18:20

    Good morning everyone. Looks like it’s going to be a lovely day in southern Oklahoma. Maybe even a day to make cinnamon rolls! Looking forward to seeing your recipes and reading your comments today. The door is open; come right on in.



  2. Ch Admirand
    Apr 05, 2014 @ 01:54:22

    Morning, Mz. Carolyn! Wonderful excerpt.Whenever I read your books, I find myself smiling 😉 Can’t wait to read more! Thanks for your cinnamon roll recipe. Since you asked, and you know me … can’t get me out of the kitchen, I’m cutting and pasting my non-traditional Irish Soda Bread recipe to share 😉

    Non-Traditional Irish Soda Bread
    C.H. Admirand
    A twist on the traditional favorite from the Emerald Isle. With a hint of sweet, this bread is delicious with a cup of tea. For variety, try it toasted with sweet cream butter or your favorite jam.

    4 cups Hecker’s unbleached flour
    ½ cup sugar
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    ¾ tsp salt
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1 ¼ cups buttermilk
    1 cup sour cream
    1 tbsp flour, for dusting

    Heat oven to 350. Sprinkle flour on a cookie sheet

    Combine 4 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

    Blend eggs, buttermilk and sour cream in a small bowl. Stir into flour mixture. Knead dough in bowl; dough will be very sticky. Shape into a ball; place on the cookie sheet and cut a cross along the top of the dough. Sprinkle with flour.

    Bake in 350 degree oven for 65 to 75 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, turn onto a wire rack to cool.



  3. zippykim314
    Apr 05, 2014 @ 02:35:22

    Hey Miz Carolyn.
    It’s me following you around. I don’t have a favorite because I like all bread. Bread is my only weakness. I guess that’s why I can’t loose weight. Oh well, if hubby wants a skinny girl, he knows where the door is and he knows to not let it hit him in the ass! Kim Cornwell



    • carolyn brown
      Apr 05, 2014 @ 03:06:07

      Thank you for following me around…you know I love you! Love that comment about the skinny girl. As you know, Carlene isn’t a tiny little thing either and Lenny Joe finds out pretty quick that she’s got that door attitude, too!



  4. ginaconkle2013
    Apr 05, 2014 @ 03:24:58

    Hi Carolyn,
    I used to make homemade wheat bread when I was teenager, but I can’t remember the recipe. The best part of those baking adventures was slathering butter all over bread hot from the oven. Sometimes the loaves came out dense as a brick and other tempting and soft. Thanks for the cinnamon roll recipe.
    Take care-



  5. Cheryl Brooks
    Apr 05, 2014 @ 04:09:22

    Congrats on the new release! Here’s my favorite bread recipe. I don’t make it very often because I’m cutting back on carbs. 😦

    Whole Wheat Bread

    Mix together in large bowl and let stand until foamy:

    1/2 cup warm water
    1 tbsp brown sugar
    1/4 tsp ginger
    2 pkgs yeast

    Then stir in:

    1 egg
    1 3/4 cup warm milk
    3 tbsp melted butter
    1/2 cup honey
    1 tbsp salt
    1 cup whole wheat flour

    Add 5 to 5 1/2 more cups of whole wheat flour one cup at a time, stirring in the first 4 and kneading in the rest until you have a smooth, non-sticky dough. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in bulk.

    Knead dough and shape into two loaves. Let rise in greased pans until nearly doubled in bulk. Bake at 350 for 45 min. If you make smaller, individualized loaves like the two in the picture, you can make 8 of them and you only need to bake them for 30 min.



  6. Kelli Jo Calvert
    Apr 05, 2014 @ 08:37:42

    Can’t say I have a favorite bread recipe, but I sure do love to eat some bread!! Nice and hot and slathered with melting butter!! Cannot wait to read The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off!!



  7. Joanne Kennedy
    Apr 05, 2014 @ 11:24:03

    The only bread I can make is something called Dilly Bread that my mother Betty makes. I had never had it anywhere else until my friend’s mother, also named Betty, served it to me at dinner one night. Both Betty’s are married to men named Don, and both make Dilly Bread. There’s some cosmic force at work there, but darned if I know what it is. Some kind of Mom Magic, I suppose!
    Sorry I don’t have the recipe handy!



    • carolyn brown
      Apr 05, 2014 @ 14:48:02

      Hey, everyone…thank you so much for the recipes and the comments. I’ve been away from the computer this evening watching a high school musical play, Once Upon a Mattress. Two of my granddaughters had parts in it and it was amazing (of course)! It was wonderful to come home and find all these great recipes and folks who’ve stopped by to visit!



  8. marcy shuler
    Apr 05, 2014 @ 12:29:05

    The book sounds like such fun! This bread is easy and addicting:

    Pull-Apart Cheesy Party Bread
    1 unsliced round loaf (1 pound) sourdough bread
    1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1/2 cup chopped green onions
    2 to 3 teaspoons poppy seeds (optional)

    Cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise in 1″ slices without cutting through the bottom crust.

    Insert cheese between cuts. Combine butter, onions and poppy seeds(if used); drizzle over the bread. Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet.

    Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Unwrap; bake 10 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.



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  10. bn100
    Apr 11, 2014 @ 11:34:18

    No fav bread recipe

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com



  11. writenote1
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 12:42:26

    My fave is a no-knead recipe I found on Gourmet Girlfriend. I make one-two batches a weekend. It works best for me if I prepare the dough about 3pm and then let it sit overnight, ready for proving in the morning. It’s fantastic toasted even a couple of days after making.



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