One too many Flying Broomsticks and a phobia about Halloween aren't the only thing chasing Isabelle Crane into the darkness. She's got one very real-life family legend on her -- err -- tail.
Praise for The Headless Horseman
"If you like your erotica galloping fast, then Marteeka Karland's Jack-O-Lantern: The Headless Horseman is just what you need. It's light and humorous in all the right places. A fitting read for the season."
-- TMC Reviews
"Marteeka Karland puts an alluring spin on this legendary character that I didn't see coming and I hated to see it end."
4 Nymphs! -- Amethyst Nymph, Literary Nymphs
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Jack-O-Lantern: The Headless Horseman
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2006 Marteeka Karland
An Authorized Excerpt
Isabelle Crane knew she shouldn't have had that last Flying Broomstick. The drink always knocked her on her ass, but they were sooooo good. As a result, she'd stayed far longer than she'd intended. It wouldn't have been such a big deal if it hadn't been this night.
Her family didn't exactly have a great track record with Halloween. OK, so she wasn't that closely related to the famous Ichobod Crane, but he was her great-great-great-great-great-uncle's first cousin. Twice removed. Or something like that. Anyway, she had the same last name. And she was related. Sort of.
So Halloween scared her. She was the superstitious type. It had to be a bad omen that she had to walk home, alone, in the dark, on Halloween night when she hadn't planned on it. This would never have happened if it hadn't been for him. The Headless Horseman had come to life right before her very eyes and hadn't at all had the effect on her he should have.
She'd seen him standing in the corner of the living room at the party. When she'd inquired of her best friend, who was throwing the party, as to his identity, Betsy had merely shrugged, not even looking in his direction. "Beats me. I don't know half the people here. I invited ten people, who must have each brought ten people, and it just snowballed from there."
Whoever the man was -- and the broad shoulders and tall, muscular frame combined with the arrogant way he held himself left no doubt he was all male -- he was the sexiest man she'd ever seen. Well, the sexiest man without a head. He was dressed in black with a flowing cape. He even had a silver-handled sword belted to his side and those incredibly sexy knee high boots.
The strangest thing about the whole event was that Isabelle could have sworn he was staring at her the entire time. Yeah, it was hard to tell since the man had no head, but it was just something about his body language. Like he was sizing her up, trying to decide if she was going to be his next victim. He gave her the heebie jeebies.
And made her hot.
In all her thirty-five years, she had never seen a man to match him. It was the way he held himself. Pure, unadulterated, sinfully sexy man. All night, he'd stood there, never making a move toward her or anyone else. Nor did anyone approach him. It was as if Isabelle was the only person to actually see him.
Anyway, it had creeped her out enough that she'd had an extra drink… or two… and as a result had stayed a couple three hours longer than she'd intended. Which left her where she was now. Walking home. Alone. In the dark. Thinking about mister tall, dark, and headless.
The crescent moon in the star-filled sky didn't shed much light but seemed to make the shadows more pronounced. Isabelle pulled her coat closer around her, which did nothing to ward off the chill. Not that it was particularly cold. She had a sudden case of the chills.
Her headless horseman might be creepy, but he also made her nipples hard and her pussy cream.
This wasn't getting her home. Picking up her pace, she continued on with renewed purpose. It was almost midnight. She should have taken a cab. Now, on this dark road surrounded on either side by forests, there was little hope of flagging down anyone. She hadn't seen a single car since she'd started walking.
Then she heard it.
Off in the distance. Behind her.
A galloping horse?
No way. She had to be hallucinating.
No. There it was again. And a whinny.
Isabelle turned around slowly, like an actor in some B movie. Silhouetted by ambient light, a lone figure on horseback raised his hand in the air and pointed at her. He held in the other hand a giant pumpkin carved into a terrifying jack-o-lantern. The horse reared and neighed once, and galloped toward her.
The Headless Horseman.