Ah, Tam! Ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin!
In hell, they'll roast thee like a herrin!
-- Robert Burns, Tam O'Shanter
Boredom has turned Annie into a witch of Alloway. But when notorious rock star Tam returns to his home village for a special Hallowe'en gig, it's more than the dead that Annie raises!
Tam finds his homecoming surreal. A gig in his old Scout Hall, the sexy girl in the wings who seems strangely familiar -- and then the dancing fiends in the graveyard that force him to make an unexpected life decision.
Robert Burns would turn in his grave!
Praise for Witch of Alloway
"Witch of Alloway packs quite a punch, creating an illusion of haunting nights and one chance at survival for its heroine and hero. I enjoyed reading this book for its spooky theme and the unusual underlying menace that you could feel throughout the book. I loved the visual description of the characters, their bad to the bone demeanors and their explosive union."
-- Sheryl, Ecataromance
"This one is a 'don't miss' spooky, scary scorcher."
5 Hearts!-- Annie, The Romance Studio
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Jack-O-Lantern: Witch of Alloway
An Authorized Excerpt
Annie was a bad girl.
Everyone had always said so and Annie knew it to be true. She didn't mind -- she liked being bad. After all, there was nothing else to do in Alloway. But this Hallowe'en she felt especially, deliciously wicked. The hottest band in the western world was playing here in the Alloway Scout Hall, of all unlikely places, and without paying a penny, she had the best view. Backstage in the wings. And even better, she hadn't actually come to see the band. She'd come to talk to Nick the Janitor about tonight's Sabbat. That made her gleeful.
Mind you, Tam was still a lot easier on the eyes than Old Nick, who was, for once in his life, obliging enough to be absent from his post. Crowded out by the young and muscular roadies no doubt, though most of them seemed to be now round the front of the stage enjoying the show, leaving Annie with nothing to do but ogle the band.
Well, ogle Tam.
Tam was the lead guitarist, and though he didn't sing, it was he who always tended to steal the show. On and off stage. He still had the wildly rumpled black curly hair that she had longed to run her fingers through in high school. His face, lean and high-boned, wore the much publicized dissipation of rock and roll very well. A little harder, a little more lined and weary, he was still the most exotically beautiful male she had ever seen. And his body…
Annie swallowed, watching the rhythmic swaying of his lithe hips inside the tight black jeans. He wore no shirt over his broad, tanned chest, only a short black leather jacket, completely open to reveal tantalizing glimpses of skin whenever his body swung in her direction.
He played that guitar better than the Devil himself, coaxing wild chords and oddly sweet melodies from the raucous rhythms. He began to move around the stage, lifting the guitar high, crouching low, performing for the crowd with practiced ease, and yet his concentration on the music, on his art, was total. Sweat glistened on the side of his brow, ran back into his hair as he threw his head back.
Oh yes, he was better now, far better than the last time he'd played here five years ago. Annie allowed herself to be mesmerized by the music as much as by Tam's entrancing profile. With resignation, she recognized the return of that old ache she thought had vanished with adolescence. The ache in her stomach, her heart, her throat, the ache of not having Tam.
The spell broke with the outbreak of enthusiastic audience applause. Annie curled her lip with cynical amusement at her brief reversion to that younger, sillier self. Tam the gorgeous high school rebel had been unattainable to a shy yet defiant fifteen-year-old. Tam the rock star was simply not on the same planet as the bored witch of Alloway. Even if he deigned to attend this tiny "homecoming" gig -- a PR stunt if ever she'd seen one.
As Tam lifted the guitar and slid the strap over his head, Annie eased her shoulder off the wall and looked around again for Nick. Instead she saw one of the roadies approaching, a short, stocky individual with a shaggy beard and a beer stained T-shirt with joint burn holes dotted across the chest. He carried a white towel in one hand and a plastic bottle in the other.
Amused, she wondered how he would deal with her, and rested her shoulder back against the wall to find out.
Moving quickly, he gazed right past her on to the stage. Hmm, ignoring her presence? Novel technique. Then, with a jolt, she realized why. Although the band had started to play again, someone was coming off the stage, and the roadie was handing him the bottle. A scheduled break for…
… Tam. So close to her she could smell the earthy scent and sweat of his body below the subtle, spicy mask of some far more expensive body spray than was common 'round here. Her heart gave one serious lurch, and for the first time in years, Annie wanted the wall to open up and swallow her. And yet neither man had even looked at her.
On stage, the singer -- Johnnie, another Alloway man -- was chanting out words to the relentless drum and bass beat.
Tam's hand, long, strong and capable, reached past her body and took the roadie's bottle with a word of thanks. The roadie grunted, laid the towel on Tam's shoulder and walked off the way he'd come. Not overly bright.
Quickly, Tam swept the towel over his face and down his throat and chest before letting it drop to the floor. Then he lifted the bottle to his lips and drank.
With conscious courage, Annie followed the bottle with her eyes, but he gazed straight ahead, apparently still unaware of her existence. For some reason this relieved her ridiculous tension. She relaxed more easily against the wall, let her head fall back against the cool bricks while she studied him in the shadowed half light. The keyboard had broken into the chant, supplying much needed melody on stage. And yet to Annie it sounded flat without Tam.
Something stirred in the base of her stomach, twisting lower with a sweet, intense ache.
Unhurriedly, Tam lowered the bottle and turned his head. His gaze struck her, hard. Those gorgeous dark brown eyes that had so troubled her adolescent dreams were more intense than ever, full of mocking amusement that seemed to be aimed at the whole world. Including himself.
"Who are you?"