I’m one of those writers with two pen names, and I still run into readers who don’t know that I am one and the same. Last week, I attended the Romantic Times Conference in Dallas and it reinforced the fact readers still don’t get the connection. I’ve been torn between my Elle James commitments and my Myla Jackson commitments and have toyed with the idea of merging the two into Elle James. But then there is the matter of the UGLY STICK SALOON…
I don’t want to let go of the Ugly Stick Saloon. In fact, I’ve incorporated the saloon in my Elle James’s Billionaire series and hope to do more of that. So for the time being, I’ll be co-mingling Elle James and Myla Jackson at the Ugly Stick Saloon. At least until I can come up with a way to do justice to the transition. Soooooo….
The Ugly Stick Saloon Rides Again!
May 26th will be the next Myla Jackson release of an Ugly Stick Saloon book.
BOOTS AND THE BACHELOR
A cowboy takes a woman and her son under his wing…and teaches their hearts to fly.
Angus McFarlan’s mother can’t be serious. Sell the ranch? Yet Mom has a point. Bringing the Rafter M out of bankruptcy has kept Angus and his brother too busy to date, let alone have children to inherit the legacy.
The last thing Angus wants is to get half-naked for the Ugly Stick Saloon’s Annual Cowboy Auction, but it’s a jump start into the dating scene. His buyer turns out to be a Dallas businesswoman, all legs and curves—a challenge to unwrap from that sexy, buttoned-down suit.
CEO Gwendolyn Graves has no time for a relationship. All she needs is a male role model for her young son, Dalton. She never thought her bachelor cowboy would impose conditions of his own. Like make her agree to spend time with him. Alone.
As Angus teaches Dalton what it means to be a man, he and Gwen discover a passion that ignites flames they thought they didn’t have time to fan. And soon find themselves learning how to open their hearts and be a family. Just when they start thinking longer term, Dalton’s father re-enters the picture—and trouble isn’t far behind.
Warning: Quiet, sexy cowboy and woman in a tight suit get all unwrapped and tangled in the sheets in Texas.
Copyright © 2015 Myla Jackson
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
“That’s what we need,” Colin commented.
“What’s that?” Angus asked.
“A relationship like Audrey and Jackson have.”
“Those are so few and far between.” Angus slid off the stool. “Ready to go?”
Colin’s brows wrinkled. “Come on, Angus. Stay. I’m getting a kick out of watching this whole process.” He glanced around the room. “I can’t wait to see the next schmuck they conned into this.”
“Might be worth it if they were auctioning off a cook. With Mom on strike, we’re going to suffer.”
“Shh. Charli’s about to announce the next cowboy.” Colin leaned forward, a grin spreading across his face. “Gotta see who will be the next sucker.”
“Ladies, this next hunkilicious man is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some lucky woman. He’s tall at six feet two inches.”
“Ahhh,” the crowd sighed as one.
“He’s got black hair and amazing gray eyes.” Charli dragged it out, spurring their anticipation.
Angus shook his head. Somewhere behind the stage or in the crowd, a cowboy was probably shaking in his boots, dreading the moment his name was announced and he was paraded around the stage like a pony.
“Descended from strong Scottish warlords, he’s a true-blue, honest-to-goodness, rough-around-the-edges rancher with big, calloused hands.” Charli paused and winked at the women. “You know what that means.”
The women screamed and clapped, beer sloshed and laughter followed. Every numbered paddle in the room fluttered.
Colin elbowed Angus in the ribs. “I could swear they’re describing you.”
Angus leaned forward, his heart stuttering against his ribs. He drew in a breath and held it.
“Ladies, our next offering will be for not one, not two, not three dates with this hunka hunka burnin’ love. The lucky winner gets four dates with a man some would call a horse whisperer, a real-life cowboy, boots and all.” Charli stared across the room, straight into his eyes. “One of Texas’s most eligible bachelors, Angus McFarlan!”
Colin shouted, “Hot damn!” Then he laughed so hard he doubled over, a hand pressed to his side, and fell off his stool.
How could this be? “I didn’t sign up for this,” Angus said, but wasn’t heard over the shouts and catcalls from the hundreds of horny women in the crowd.
Still sputtering, Colin pointed a finger at him. “You should see your face. I can’t believe she did this.”
“Who?” Angus would like to get his hands around the throat of whoever had played this rotten trick on him.
“Who do you think? Mom!” Colin slapped Angus on the back. “You’re in it now. These women won’t let you back out.”
“Come on up to the stage, Angus.” Charli crooked her finger and grinned. “The ladies want to see what they’re getting for their money.”
Angus turned to run, but was blocked by Greta Sue, the bar’s bouncer.
“Come on, cowboy, we’ll get you there in one piece.” Greta Sue grabbed his hand in her manlike grip and charged forward like a linebacker breaking through the defensive line of an opposing football team.
Angus tried to free his hand, but Greta Sue held tight. Short of hurting her, he had to go along.
Women touched, pinched and kissed his cheeks as he passed through the crowd. One of them caught hold of his shirt and wouldn’t let go. With Greta Sue pulling him one direction and his shirt going the other, the buttons gave, popping one at a time until the last one ripped free of the fabric. The shirt came off as he was pushed and shoved from behind, with Greta Sue leading the charge in the front.
The only good thing about making it to the stage was that Greta Sue released his hand and the women couldn’t pinch his ass. Angus stood, glaring at the rabid females, rubbing his butt and wishing he were anywhere but there. The exit seemed so far away. He spun, hoping to duck out the back of the stage, but Greta Sue stood behind him, her arms crossed, feet spread.
He could knock her down and make a run for it, but his mama had taught him better than to hit a woman, no matter how manly she might be. Getting through the crowd to the exit was not even the slimmest possibility.
Charli stood to the side, with that damned silly grin on her face. “What will you give for four dates with this mass of purely masculine muscle?”
Angus closed his eyes and prayed no one would bid. That he’d be allowed to walk free of this huge embarrassment. When he got home, he’d have a long talk with his mother about volunteering him for charity events he had no desire to be a part of.
“Five hundred dollars!” a woman shouted, waving her paddle from the middle of the room.
Angus’s hopes for a humiliating but commitment-free escape melted away as the first paddle rose high in the air.
“Do I hear seven-fifty?” Charli prompted.
“Yup!” Another paddle shot into the air.
“One thousand. Do I hear one thousand dollars?” Charli barely got the words out before another paddle rose.
“Me!” the woman cried out.
Angus stared out into the mass of eager female faces. “Ms. Fenton?” Was that the gray-haired librarian he used to visit once a month as a kid?
“That’s right, sweetie, I might be old, but I’m not dead.” She winked at him. “At least not yet. And I’d like a little beefcake to keep me warm for four delicious dates.”
Angus’s eyes widened. Holy shit. What was it about a cowboy auction that got the young and old single women to come out of the woodwork and blow their hard-earned cash on a few measly dates?
“Fifteen hundred anyone?” Charli stared around the room.
Angus did too, wondering if anyone would outbid Ms. Fenton and rescue him from four dates with a woman old enough to be his grandmother but with a wicked grin that frankly had Angus quivering in his boots.
The bidding stalled and Angus had to do something to get it going again, or he would be spending the next month taking Old Lady Fenton out to dinner. Not that she wasn’t nice and all, but the way she was rubbing her hands together made him as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
Desperation drove him to do something he would never have done in a million years.
Angus tightened his abs and shoved a hand through his thick hair, pausing like the models and weightlifters did to show off the hard-earned six-pack definition across his belly. He hadn’t gained those muscles in a weight room. Tossing hay bales and lifting heavy fence posts did that to a man over the years.
God, he felt silly, but the crowd surged forward and eyes widened.
“One thousand going once…” Charli started.
“Fifteen hundred!” The woman who’d shouted was probably in her forties.
Angus nodded. Better. He couldn’t expect the younger ladies to have that kind of money. Dating a cougar wouldn’t be bad. Hopefully, she wouldn’t expect more than the four dates and he’d be done. Free to spend time with his horses.
“Turn around!” another woman shouted.
“Come on, Angus,” Charli said. “Turn around and let the women see the whole package.”
He frowned at her.
“It’s for a good cause,” Charli cajoled.
“Come on, Angus,” Colin’s deep voice called out over the others. “Show ’em whatcha got.”
Angus made a slow turn and paused with his back to the crowd, feeling incredibly stupid.
“Fifteen hundred going once…” Charlie gave a long pause, “…going twice…”
“Five thousand dollars!”
Angus spun toward the sound of utter insanity, searching the faces for the one woman who’d shouted.
Every face in the crowd turned as well, and they all seemed to be looking at the lady standing beside Mona at the bar. The auburn-haired woman who’d, for a brief moment, reminded Angus of someone who’d stolen his heart so many years ago. His chest tightened, and he squinted against the stage lights, but couldn’t quite make out her face.
About the Author
MYLA JACKSON also writing as New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author ELLE JAMES is a former IT professional and retired Army and Air Force Reservist. She writes cowboys, romantic suspense, mysteries and paranormal romance that keeps her readers lovinng, laughing or on the edges of their seats to the very end of every book. When she’s not at her computer, she’s traveling to exotic and wonderful places, snow-skiing, boating, or riding her four-wheeler, dreaming up new stories.