And the winner of my BOOTS AND LEATHER blog tour
was Joanne on the Long and Short Reviews Blog.
BY Myla Jackson
Using Voodoo and passionate persuasion, panther shape-shifting brothers woo an abducted heiress over to their side of the bayou.
Warning: Two hot panther shifters, one sassy heiress and the bayou will never be the same...
Fear and adrenaline spurred on Catherine, as she rushed for the front door, easing it open. Out on the porch, which served as a dock, she located a small dugout canoe with one paddle.
Never having canoed a day in her life, she shrugged. The task couldn't be that hard. She untied the rope mooring the canoe to the dock. Gathering her dress's long skirt, she stepped off the dock and into the tiny boat. It rocked crazily and she nearly fell in. She flopped down on the bottom of the boat, biting hard on her bottom lip to keep from crying out.
As the canoe settled, Catherine breathed for the first time in what felt like hours. Carefully, she lifted the single paddle and dug it into the water like she'd seen on the movies. The craft slid forward, bumping into one of the poles the house stood on.
She gasped and glanced up at the house. Nothing stirred, no one came out and shouted. She pressed the paddle against the pole, pushing the canoe away from the house and out into the open water.
With her pulse galloping, she dipped the paddle into the water on the right side. The canoe shot forward and to the left. She lifted the paddle and plowed it into the water on the left side. Soon she had a rhythm going and the distance grew between her and the house.
When she'd gained sufficient distance that even Luc couldn't swim and catch up, she laughed out loud. "No one keeps a Boudreaux prisoner for long."
A shadow moved on a stretch of land beside her.
Catherine's heart shot into her throat. She squinted, trying to make out what it was. Gold eyes gleamed in the dark underbrush. If she wasn't mistaken, the animal was a cat. A big, black monster of a cat. No, the creature wasn't a cat at all, but a panther, larger than any Catherine had seen in a zoo.
Her heartbeat skittering into panic mode, Catherine dug her paddle into the water so deep her fingers got wet and the canoe turned away from the shoreline and the large feline. Again, she struck out on the same side, desperate to put enough water between her and the animal. Instead, the canoe spun in a circle.
The gold eyes flashed and the panther's mouth opened, long sharp teeth glinting in a flash of sunshine. It growled, a paw stretching out, claws extended.
Her heart thumping hard against her chest, Catherine knew she had to paddle on the other side to straighten the boat and get away from the cat. Her wets hands shook badly as she swung the paddle to the opposite side. The wooden oar slipped from her fingers and plunged into the water, shooting away before she could grab it.
The cat in the shadows surged forward.
Catherine lunged for the paddle, the canoe tipped and she fell in, her long dress weighing her down, dragging her to the bottom.
Usually a good swimmer, she panicked, her arms flailing as she struggled for the surface. Her legs tangled in the long skirt, forcing her arms to do all the work. By the time she reached air, her lungs burned, her arms strained and she couldn't decide whether she was more afraid of the panther or of drowning.
Struggling to tread water, while her dress pulled her downward, Catherine's gaze panned her immediate surroundings. The stretch of land where the panther paced the water's edge was closest, but out of the question. Other tiny islands lay much farther away. What looked like a log floating in the dark water could be a temporary reprieve until Catherine decided what to do. The log was almost as close as the panther and seemed to be moving her way.
Then the log blinked.
Catherine's blood ran cold, her arms and legs stopped fighting the water for a moment and she sank, water washing up her nose. She kicked upward, back-paddling toward the land, panther or no panther. She'd rather take her chances with a panther than an alligator.
One minute the alligator was there, the next he was gone.
Catherine glanced down at the murky water. Where'd he go? Dear God, he'd gone down, heading directly for her. She turned and swam as fast as she could, straight for land, the black panther and assuredly death.
Five feet from shore, she could taste her salvation. She'd make dry ground and then have to fight off the panther. At least she could breathe on land.
Just a few more feet. Her arms ached, her feet barely helped so hampered by the skirt of her long gown, but Catherine pushed on.
Then long, sharp teeth scraped across her skin, snagged her dress and yanked her backward and underwater. Her chest clenched.
Other Authors Participating in Snippet Saturday:
Megan Hart:Read in bed! Leah Braemel Eliza Gayle Mandy M Roth Lissa Matthews Mari Carr McKenna Jeffries Myla Jackson Taige Crenshaw HelenKay Dimon Lauren Dane Shelli Stevens Delilah Devlin Jody Wallace