of 30 Days of Giveaways with the Allure Authors
Because it's my birthday I wanted to give away a present to one lucky winner! All you have to do is list the name of all the allure authors and enjoy reading a few excerpts from the prizes to be given away! Comment for your chance to win!
Three books and promotional items for one lucky winner. Play with me, read with me and have a fabulous day. I plan to!
Wild Wild Women of the West II
Touch of Magic by Myla Jackson
Catarina Novak settled the heavy purple cloak around her bare shoulders, pulling the tie-string away from choking her throat. Lightning danced in a circle, held tight by her assistant Nora Jane Sims. The cloak spooked the solid white Arabian stallion she'd inherited from her mentor, The Amazing Mancini.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Nora Jane fought to hold the stallion steady.
Leaving their bags at the hotel in Abilene, they'd ridden out early that morning before the sun rose to prepare for her introduction to potential theater patrons. Now, half a mile east of the city, they prepared for the grand entrance to the Golden Garter Theater and Saloon. This would be Catarina's first magic show without Marco Mancini. The old magician had insisted she was ready, telling her she was as good, or better, than he had ever been.
That had been a few minutes before he'd passed on due to a nasty bout of pneumonia.
Cat wrinkled her nose at the smell of the stockyards, reminding herself that horrendous stench was the smell of money. The town was teeming with cowboys, merchants and cattle. There should be a good crowd at the theater tonight. Especially if she made a spectacular display and enticed more people to come to the show.
"I have to do this. We need the money to pay our hotel bill and get us to Chicago." Catarina settled the cape over the hindquarters of the stallion and reached out. "Let me have the reins."
"I don't know about this. I can get a job washing clothes or something. You don't have to do this, you know. Lightning only likes to be ridden by men.""Nonsense, as a laundress, you'd never save enough money to get to Chicago and your sister. We have to do this. Besides, Lightning won't know the difference between me and Mr. Mancini, other than the side saddle."
Nora Jane shook her bright copper curls. "You don't weigh no more than a tumbleweed Ms. Catarina, and that horse knows it. Why he could throw you so fast you won't know what hit you until you wake up dead."
"I'm an excellent rider. Don't worry about me, nothing bad will happen." She hoped her streak of bad luck and little accidents didn't jinx this show. She and Nora Jean needed the money to stay alive and move farther east. "Now, I have to get or I'll miss the afternoon crowd in town."
"I don't know." She handed Cat the reins but held the strap by the horse's mouth. "Lightning ain't likin' that cape, none."
"He'll have to get used to it." She glanced down at the black satin dress sprinkled with painted silver stars and smiled at the gift Signor Mancini had bestowed on her before their last show together. Her vision blurred. If not for Mancini, she didn't know what might have become of her. He'd taken her in as a young widow when her husband died of pneumonia on their way out west.
She didn't have time to ruminate on the past. Her future awaited. "Let go, Nora Jane. I have a job to do."
The redhead stepped back. "Break a leg, Ms. Catarina."
"Thanks." She took a deep breath, turned her mount in the direction of the Golden Garter and sank her heels into the horse's flanks.
Trace Adams trudged across the busy Main Street of Abilene, Kansas, bone-weary and covered in dust and grime from months on a cattle drive from Amarillo, Texas.
"Can't wait for that drink you promised me a hundred miles ago." Jay Tyler clapped his hat against his thigh, sending up a puff of dust.
"And you'll get that drink. You and the boys worked hard."
The excitement of reaching Kansas was more over the prospect of a bath and a new set of boots and clothing, than from actually delivering the animals. Sure, he was glad to get his herd to the stockyards and he'd be even happier to get paid for the six hundred head of longhorns he'd driven over hundreds of miles with minimal losses. But what he wanted most was a clean body, a soft bed and twenty-four hours of uninterrupted sleep.
"Well, since we're finally in Abilene, have you made up your mind?" Jay asked.
Trace took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Nope."
"You can't keep Martha hanging." Jay pounded him hard on the back. "You need to shit or get out of the outhouse."
"I know. It's just that we've known each other all our lives. I've never thought of marrying anyone else, but still."
"What you need is to sow a few wild oats. Ride a few other fillies before you settle on the mare of your dreams."
"I'm not buying a horse." No, Martha wasn't a horse, but Trace felt like a horse trader being stuck with one horse to choose from and he was chafing at the prospect. Not that Martha wasn't a good horse-woman. She was one of the best, a fine solid woman with everything a man wanted and needed for a ranch wife. When he'd left, she'd insisted on a parting kiss-their first. A chaste kiss for the proper woman. For he two months he'd been on the trail, he'd thought about that kiss and how he'd felt nothing-no spark, no connection, no stirring in his loins.
Perhaps Jay was right. He needed a comparison, a chance to experience other women before he settled with Martha. The catch being, he was more or less promised to Martha. Trying out other women would be like cheating on his future wife. He respected Martha too much to cheat on her. No, he had to make this decision without perusing the corral of other fillies.
When he and Jay were only halfway across the thoroughfare, a loud whooping sound caught Trace's attention. Men gathered on the broad boardwalks, every one of them facing to the east. A shout went up as a cloud of dust blew their way.
"What the hell?" Jay turned to face Main Street.Too tired to really care, Trace made it across to the front entrance of the Golden Garter Saloon, bent on ordering a whiskey before tackling the job of cleaning up.
As he set his foot on the boardwalk, he turned to Jay.
"Whoa, will ya look at her." Jay's mouth hung open, his eyes wide.
Emerging from the cloud of dust was a solid white horse racing through the street at breakneck speed. Perched in a sidesaddle on its back was a beautiful woman with a long, flowing black mane of hair, as beautiful and wild as the horse she rode. She wore a star-sprinkled black dress and a purple cape that appeared to be choking the living daylights out of her. By the way she leaned back on the reins, she was no where near in control of the rampaging horse and if she didn't slow the horse soon, someone was likely to get hurt.
"Damn, that horse is a run away," Jay said.
Without thinking, Trace leaped off the boardwalk onto the hard-packed dirt of Main Street and directly into the path of the charging horse. When he didn't move out of the horse's way, the horse planted his hooves in the dirt, skidding to a halt. Then he reared, his rider hanging on to the saddle horn, her eyes wide, her long black hair swirling around her face.Trace reached out, captured the reins and brought the horse back to the ground.
When all four of the horse's hooves were firmly planted on the ground, the woman grasped the string around her throat and pulled it away from her skin, a thin red line marring her pearly white throat. She gulped air for several seconds and then turned a brilliant smile toward the men lining the boardwalk. With a wide and graceful sweep of her arm, she shouted, "Gentleman, let me introduce myself." In a voice only Trace could hear, she said, "Step away from the horse."
"Are you crazy?" He held the horse's nose down. The animal's ears still lay back against his head and the whites of his eyes shown. If he let go, the woman would be flat on her butt in the dirt. But then maybe she needed that lesson.
"I need the room for my entrance," she hissed for his ears only. For the crowd, she stood in the single stirrup and waved her hand again. "I am the Amazing Catarina, magician and mesmerist extraordinaire!" After she said the words, she gathered her skirts and jumped from the horse's back. When she hit the ground, she flung her heavy purple cape in a sweeping arc.
The cape flapped in Trace's face. The Arabian stallion reared again, lifting Trace from the ground. Holding on with all his might, he fought to calm the horse.
The woman continued. "Join me at the Golden Garter tonight at eight for daring feats of magical wonder and delight."
When she waved her cape again, the horse leaped forward, taking Trace with him, dragging him down the length of Main Street. All he could hear over the thundering hooves, so dangerously close to his own feet, was the woman saying, "See? I can make a cowboy disappear with just the wave of my cape."
Laughter followed him to the end of the street and out onto the prairie.
Wild Wild Women of the West II
Second Wind by Myla Jackson
A nicker sounding suspiciously like laughter erupted from Ranger's full equine lips.
"Can't get no respect. Even from my damned horse." He glared at Ranger. "I'm a desperate man. If praying will help, by God, I'll do it. Despite your snickering."
He dropped his chin and searched his memory for the fancy words he remembered from when he'd attended church as a child. Hell, the last time he was in a church was when he went with his mamma at least twenty-five years ago.
Twenty-five years and none of the words came to him. Nope. Nothing.
Ranger nudged him with his soft muzzle.
"Okay, okay. I'm gettin' to it." Seth cleared his throat. "Dear Lord-" Lightning flashed, the glow penetrating Seth's eyelids. "I know it's been a while-" Thunder rumbled. "Okay, it's been a long time. Nothin' gets by you, does it?"
Another rumble shook the earth beneath Seth's knee.Ranger pawed the earth.
"If you could see it in your heart to send me a woman, I'd be much obliged." His words ended in a rush. "There, I prayed." Seth straightened and plunked his hat on his head. A brilliant flash of lightning ripped through the clouds, skimming across the ground.
Seth jumped back as if the bolt aimed at him.Ranger pushed Seth with his nose.
"Oh yeah, I forgot." Seth dropped back down to one knee, tipped his hat and said, "Amen."
When he rose, he glanced toward the east, half hoping...For what? A woman to come riding across the prairie and straight into his arms?
Seth snorted. "That'll happen about as soon as it starts raining women from the sky." Thunder added to his harsh laughter.
Ranger reared and backed away.
"What's wrong with you? Never known you to be afraid of a little ol' storm."
Fat drops of rain splashed against his face. "Come on, let's go back to the barn. The good Lord ain't gonna deliver her here in the middle of nowhere."
As Seth swung up into the saddle, another clap of thunder shook the air. "A man could be struck by lightning out here without a tree within miles." A flash struck so close the light blinded him.
Just as he settled into his saddle, something struck him from behind, knocking him clean off his horse. He landed on his chest, the force of the fall knocking the air from his lungs. With his face full of buffalo grass and dust, he couldn't breathe.
What the hell?
As soon as he could suck in enough breath to refill his lungs, Seth rolled to his side, drawing the six-shooter from his holster.
What he saw was unlike anything he'd ever seen in his entire life.
A balloon as big as his barn blew over his head dragging what looked like a giant basket along the ground. The basket hit a knoll and tipped over. A door sprang open, spilling some of its contents into the tall prairie grass before moving along, pushed by the strengthening storm.
Seth's gaze followed its path until it disappeared over a hill.
Ranger trotted after the monster balloon.
"Whoa, boy. Where do you think you're goin'?"
When the horse reached the small knoll where the basket had tipped, he stopped and nickered.
"Find something?" Rubbing the lump on the back of his head, Seth tromped through the tall grass. As he closed the distance between himself and the horse, a moan rose from the ground. For a moment, Seth thought the wind made the noise. Then another followed the first. Nope. That wasn't wind.
Seth loped to the spot and looked down. He blinked his eyes and looked again.
"No, I'm not believin' this. That ain't what it looks like. No siree. That bump on my head musta been worse than I thought." He pressed the rising lump, pain shooting down the base of his neck. "Yup, definitely seeing things." Seth grabbed for Ranger's reins.
The horse jerked free and nodded toward the aberration on the ground.
"Don't tell me you're seein' things too." Seth glanced around for his hat before he realized he'd stuck it back on his head. "It can't be real." His gaze returned to the inert form. "But it sure looks like a woman."
His imagination had conjured a woman. She lay on her side with her back to him, naked as the day she was born, but fully growed, judging by her length and the full swell of her hips and thighs. A full mane of golden tresses flowed down over her shoulders to tangle in the buffalo grass.
Alluring Tales: Awaken the Fantasy
Out of the Shadows by Myla Jackson
"They're cockier than usual tonight," TJ Evans whispered to his partner as a gang of five young men ambled down the deserted streets of inner-city Houston, kicking soda cans and talking loud enough to wake even the undead. "As expected. They're looking for anyone who might have ignored the mandatory evacuation order."
Ryan nodded in the dark. "Probably getting hungry."
"Good, when they're hungry they don't always think straight."
It was the witching hour, the time of night you didn't want to be out on the streets with all the creepy and dangerous people littering the hours between midnight and four.
TJ and Ryan crouched behind the abandoned automobile they'd chosen as cover for their mission. As cops assigned to the Houston Special Task Force, they were responsible for keeping the streets clean of the worst kind of riffraff, and the guys headed their way qualified-young, aggressive and vampires. He recognized them from the sketches at the station.
"Ready, Ryan?" TJ asked.
Ryan nodded and fitted a wooden dart into his crossbow.
About the time he was set, a woman emerged from an evacuated apartment building, carrying a laundry basket piled with belongs. The vampires whooped and made a beeline for their first unwilling victim of the evening. Halfway to her car, the woman spotted the men, her eyes growing round. She darted a look from her car standing against the curb and back to the doorway as if debating which she could make faster.
"She's mine." The short, stocky vampire wearing a black T-shirt and sporting dragon tattoos on each arm led the way.
The woman dropped the basket and dove for the car, fumbling to fit her key in the lock.
"It's show time." TJ pressed the stock of his recurve crossbow against his shoulder. "Let's go."
The two cops stepped from behind the rusted-out vehicle.Ryan called out, "Halt or I'll shoot!"
TJ snorted and sighted his weapon on the man in the lead. "You're such a rookie."
But the shout brought the gang of men to a standstill, and they turned toward the two cops. Their leader laughed out loud. "You're kidding, right? You want us to stop?"
"Houston Police, step away from the woman," TJ said, his weapon at the ready.
"And who's going to stop us? You?" The guy with the tattoo dragons threw back his head and laughed, his long white incisor teeth reflecting the light from the nearby streetlamps.
"Can't say we didn't warn you." With his hand firmly wrapped around the grip, his sights targeting the first man's chest, TJ squeezed the trigger, sending the solid wooden dart straight into the man's heart.
The laughter died on the tattooed man's lips and his eyes widened. As he glanced down at the wooden dart embedded into his heart, his body jerked and then jerked again. Within seconds he shook so hard he fell to the earth, screaming, his flesh dissolving into dust until the wind lifted his remains and blew them away.
The other four men stared down at where their leader had been. By the time they looked back at the two cops, Ryan squeezed his trigger, another dart flying into the chest of the nearest man.TJ had already reloaded and fired off his next round when the gang of three remaining vampires turned and attacked. He was able to fire his last round into the heart of one, dropping him in mid-lunge. Neither TJ nor Ryan had time to reload. They moved back, pulling wooden stakes from the knife sheaths on their belt.
The two vampires left standing leaped onto the hood of the abandoned vehicle and roared, flashing their teeth. The bigger vampire growled and dropped to the ground, stalking toward TJ.
You're in luck. I believe the only good cop is a dead cop."
"Is that so?" TJ said. He braced his legs for the attack, adrenaline pulsing through his veins giving him an almost orgasmic rush. God, he loved his job! "We may have a bit of a problem. I believe the only good vampire is a dead vampire."
The vampire leaped at TJ, knocking him to the ground. For a moment, TJ's hand loosened around the stake. If he didn't get it into the vamp's heart quickly, he didn't stand a chance. Vampires had superhuman strength and resilience. TJ's only advantage was his ability to think under pressure. His opponent clamped clawlike hands into his shoulders and leaned forward, his lips peeled back from long, wicked teeth.
"No!" TJ yelled, acting as though the vampire had him now. But when the teeth neared his neck, TJ raised his hand in a sudden upward thrust, driving the stake through the man's ribs into his heart. He collapsed on top of TJ, his body shuddering and twitching as he withered into a cloud of dust scattered by the wind.
TJ rolled to his feet, brushing the dust from his shirt.
The other vampire had Ryan pinned to the pavement.
"Need help, partner?" TJ asked, retrieving the stake from the ground.
"Nope," Ryan grunted, straining to keep the vampire's teeth from sinking into his neck. "Got this one under control."
TJ chuckled. "Looks to me like he has you." He raised the stake and plunged it through the vampire's back into his heart. "Come on, quit playing around. It's nearing daylight and the end of our shift."
Ryan remained pinned for several more seconds by the dying vampire. Then he stood and brushed the dust from his shirt. "You take all the fun out of the job."
"You'll get over it." TJ glanced around for the woman in time to see the taillights of her compact car disappearing around a corner. He stared down at the dirt on his uniform and sniffed. "God, I hate the smell of dusted vampires. What say you and me head for the station?"
Ryan stooped to gather his recurve crossbow. "You're on."