Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Little Levi-Lovin' with Moses McGuire

I was introduce to the incredibly talented author, Josh Stallings last year when his debut novel Beautiful, Naked & Dead was pretty much forced on me by my good friend, Fiona Johnson.  It was love at first lap dance... or was that pole dancing? Hmmm... whatever it was, my heart fell even harder for the guy with his return in Out There Bad.  Moses might be an ex-con, ex-marine, ex-husband in debt to the ex-wife and ex-bookie, but if there's one thing I've noticed about Moses McGuire it's that the guy has a strong desire to be loved. His love life might not have worked out for him over the last couple of books, but I'm sure one day a lovely lady will come along and sweep him off his feet... even without a lap dance or two. Well, here's hoping, anyway.

Josh was kind enough to send me an excerpt from Out There Bad showcasing a lovely little scene with Moses and one of his love interests.  Its perfect for Sabrina's Month of Love, and  it was the first scene that came to mind when I sent Josh an email requesting a little something for the blog. The fact that he chose this particular scene makes me think Josh knows me a little too well... After reading it this morning and seeing the reference to red velvet curtains, I couldn't help but add a recipe for Moses McGuire Red Velvet Cupcakes... I know,  I know. I'm hopeless with the cupcake thing! Enjoy!

Warning:  this scene does contain strong language, so... considered yourself warned.

“Buy me drink?” she said, absentmindedly tracing her finger down the line of her dress, pulling my attention to her breasts. They were mounded by a push-up bra into marvelously lush cleavage.
“Nice move,” I said, my eyes following her finger, “but unnecessary. I already noticed how good you look.”
“I don't know what you are talking about,” she went wide-eyed and innocent.
“You're hot, you know it. I know it. I'm way out of my league here, so I'll buy you a drink, chit some chat while you scope your next victim, but you have to turn down the heat, ok?”
“Spasibo, it was much work, pretending to like a big handsome man like you.” She smiled broadly, showing me that gap in her teeth. “Betty, please, a Rémy,” she called to the bartender.
She had expensive taste when someone else was paying. I wondered what she drank when it went on her tab. I ordered myself another McCallans that I probably didn't need, but sure wanted.
“Na zdororve!” she said, clinking my shot glass with her snifter. I knew she got a cut of any booze the chumps bought her, but I didn't care. It was worth every penny to sit listening to her accented broken English.
“Scorpio, yes?” she asked.
“I don't know.”
“What is your birthday?”
“October twentieth. What? Why are you grinning like I just dropped a hundred on the stage?”
“Scorpio. Casanova, Scorpio the lover. Ruled by Mars, a lover and warrior.”
“And you?” Astrology is pure mumbo jumbo, but I would have said anything to keep the conversation going.
“Me, Aries. We are fire and water.”
“Is that a good thing?”
“Yes.” She slew me with a look of deep longing. “My beautiful man, I knew you were for me, first time I saw you,” she said, simply as if it were an obvious fact.
“I thought we agreed you were going to dial it back,” I said, hoping she would turn up the heat.
“Scorpio,” she shook her head, mulling the thought over, “I have to be very careful with you, if I fall for you it would be very bad for business.”
“Why me? Look around, plenty of younger, richer guys here.”
“They are boys dressed like men. You are man.”
“Dressed like a boy.” I smiled looking down at my Pogues concert shirt, faded jeans and Doc Martens. I spent my nights looking after girls, but here was a woman. My back straightened and my chest puffed slightly. She made me want to be the man she seemed to think I was.
Katy Perry blasted happy pop over the sound system. I noticed Earl and his schoolgirl had disappeared into the VIP room, so I guessed his date was going fine. Over our drinks, Katerina told me she was from Yaroslavl, a small city two hundred miles from Moscow. “When I was fifteen, my mother passed away and left me to take care of my baby sister and my pig of a father.”
“Sounds rough.”
I never knew my old man and by the time I was sixteen I was in the Marines being shot at by towel heads in the Root. To get away from my drunk mother, I had stolen my big brother's birth certificate and they shipped me off to that jug fuck in Lebanon. I didn't tell Katerina any of that, I just told her I had grown up poor, too. We had a bond that children forced to grow up too soon share. A bond of pain and longing. A bond of anger and the desire to be loved. Over our words, a separate conversation flowed between our eyes, a conversation of longing and need.
“Come, I'll dance for you. I want to.”
“Sorry, I don't do that anymore,” I said, with zero resolve.
“Yes, I know... come.”
She took my hand and led me willingly across the room and through the red velvet curtains into the VIP room. Earl must have gone home while we were talking, because we had the room to ourselves. It was a low ceilinged dimly lit cave of lust. Plush crushed velvet tuck and roll surrounded the room like it was one big low-rider Chevy. There were several tables with chairs and candles. Generally the couch is $35-$40 bucks and the chairs are $20-$25. That's before tip, but only about half the pricks tip the girl who dances on them. The law states that the man cannot at any time touch the girl, she can touch him, but not in a lewd manner. Trying to legislate morality is like trying to hold back the sea with a chain link fence.
Katerina pushed me down in the soft padding, over the speakers, Cee Lo Green started singing about wishing he had enough cash to keep the girl. She put her knees between mine and pried them open, moving slowly ever closer. I was used to lap grind, make a guy come and get on with your day dances. But she was seducing me, one move at a time. As she swayed closer, I could feel the heat emanating from her before any skin touched. Her lips brushed across my cheek, I could feel her breath, smell the faint cigarette mixed with brandy. Just when I thought she would kiss me she pulled back. It took all I had not to pull her down on top of me. The song ended and Katerina rose up taking a small step back. Her eyes flicked down to my lap.
“One more, yes?” she said.
“Why not.” I fought to sound like I could take it or leave it. Chili Peppers' Breaking the Girl filled the air around us.
Katerina slowly unfastened her shirt, letting it drop to the floor. She stepped out of her leather skirt and stood for a moment so I could look at her. She had a ragged appendix scar. A small jailblue tattoo started on her hip and ran down disappearing into her thong. It was maybe two inches long, a straight line with a cross bar near the top and below it a second line set more diagonally. Marina had a similar tat, it must be a Russian thing.
Looking up at Katerina, I knew whatever she wanted was hers, she was that beautiful. Sounds shallow but there it is. Moving between my legs, this time she pushed her leg until it was against my erection. I let out a shudder as she began to stroke me with her thigh. Moving up she brushed her breasts across my face, I kissed her ivory skin. She didn't pull away. She moved slowly down, I kissed her neck, and then she brought me her lips. Gift of all gifts, a real kiss. Hookers and strippers alike will tell you they will fuck and suck all day long, but to kiss is just too personal.
Katerina's lips pressed against mine. She bit at my lower lip, her eyes were closed and her breathing had the rhythm of arousal. Her hand wrapped around the line in my jeans, she let out a small gasp. I ran my hand up her thigh. Continuing the kiss, I pulled her down on top of me. And like two Catholic teenagers, we went at. She ground herself against my bulge, pushing her tongue into my mouth. How many songs came and went while we pounded against each other I haven't a clue, I was lost in the rush. Her breathing turned into a deep rasp.
Suddenly her eyes popped open in crazy surprise. She sank her teeth into my shoulder to muffle her scream. Then like a rag doll, she collapsed into the couch next to me with her head on my shoulder.
“Oh, oh... you didn't finish... I sorry... I,” she said with weak but genuine concern.
“Ain't nothin but a thing.”
“Hush... you smell so human.” I nuzzled her neck.
“You don't cover up with a bunch of perfume, you smell human.”
Her eyes drifted closed, maybe she wanted to block out the room around us.
“What's your name? It's not ‘Katerina’.”
“You don't like it?”
“It's fine, just not yours, least not the one you were born with.”
She thought about this for a long moment, screwing up her fine features. “What is your name?”
“Moses McGuire.”
“That's funny.”
“The only book my mother ever read was the bible. Brother's name is ‘Luke’. Guess we're both lucky we didn't get stuck with ‘Jesus One’ and ‘Jesus Two’.”
She opened her eyes, making sure I knew what she was giving me. “Anya Kolpacolva.”
Somewhere out in the club, the DJ was calling for all the girls to line up for a two for the price of one lap dance special.
Anya let out a laugh. “Oh my god, how long have we been here? You are bad for business, I know this the moment I see you.”
“Do you mind?”
“No,” she said laughing. Jumping up, she pulled on her shirt and skirt in faster time than an Indy pit crew. Reaching down, she tugged me up and out of the couch. Arm in arm and giggling like high schoolers, we walked out of the VIP room.
When I slipped $200 into her purse she rolled her eyes but she didn't refuse. She had rent to pay like everyone else.
From the bar, I watched the money mating dance gyrate around me. Anya slipped like a shark through the sea of men, hustling them, then stopping by to give me a wink or a kiss in between trips to the VIP room. I realized one of these fat fucks was gonna wind up dead if I didn't get out of there soon.
“Want a dance?” Anya had slipped up behind me while my concentration was on buying a last shot of scotch.
“Love to, but I'm broke.” I don't know why I lied, fact was I had a wad in my pocket and more cash stashed in my hideout hole in the car. I guess I was hoping she would offer me a freebee, a way she could show that I was different than the other slobs.
“We have ready-teller.” She made it sound sexy, purring like it was some exotic love toy.
“Do I look like the kind of guy they'd give a bank card to?”
“Everyone has bank card.”
“I don't.”
“Too bad,” she was leaning into me, making sure I got a grand glimpse down her dress at what I was missing. She kissed my neck. “You are so bad for business.”
“When do you get off? I'll take you to breakfast,” I whispered.
“A date?” She closed her eyes, smiling inwardly at the idea. “No, not tonight.” Past my shoulder, she surveyed the room for her next client.
“Whatever.” I turned back to the bar, trying to pull off indifference, though petulant may have been closer to the effect.
“Here.” She was on the move, she slipped a piece of paper into my hand. “My cell number, call me.” She started to disappear into the crowd, then turned back. “You do have a cell phone?”
“Nope, but I've got some change and a working finger.”
“My beautiful man. Are you sure you are American?”
“Only because my parents fucked here,” I said. Anya laughed, running her hand through my hair. I gave her a stolen kiss the manager didn't see and promised to come back the next night. Then stumbled out into the evening.

BEAUTIFUL, NAKED & DEAD is available from in PRINT and for  KINDLE.
OUT THERE BAD is available in PRINT  and for both the KINDLE and the NOOK.

Josh Stallings is your average ex-criminal, ex-taxi driver, ex-club bouncer, film making, script writing, award winning trailer editing, punk. Over his time in Hollywood he wrote and edited the feature film “The Ice Runner,” a Russian/American co-production. “Kinda Cute for a White-Boy” an independent feature he directed and co-wrote with novelist Tad Williams, won best picture at the Savanah International Film Festival. He also wrote “Ground Zero Texas,” a best selling Sony video game with Edward Neumeier (writer of RoboCop). His first novel BEAUTIFUL, NAKED & DEAD is garnering great notice from readers and reviewers alike. OUT THERE BAD (Moses #2) Will be published early summer. He is currently working on the third Moses McGuire novel. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Erika, his bullmastiff Nelson, Lucy the lab pit mix and Riddle the cat.

You can read more about Josh Stallings at his website HERE!


Ginger said...

Great excerpt--made me happy for the day! I loved the quote about legislating morality. Thanks for sharing.

Jacqueline said...

Fun stuff Josh and thank for sharing the cupcake receipt. Luv both.

Elizabeth said...

Glad, but not surprised, Moses made the cut for the Month of Love.

McDroll said...

He's mine! Mwahahaha!

Thomas Pluck said...

I was also kicked in the arse by Fiona until I read these books and I didn't regret it one bit. Josh is a great friend of mine now, and he writes like a man possessed. You will know his name. And Mo McGuire will inherit L.A. from Joe Pike and Elvis Cole in due time.

Josh Stallings said...

Thanks for letting a bit of Moses loose on your page. I was laughing with Erika when she said "Can you see Moses going into designer cupcake shop?" A Pandria, yes, cupcakes, not so much. I too hope he finds true love, with or with out a lap dance. He just needs a woman bullheaded enough to put up with his violent ways.

Sabrina Ogden said...

He'd look good in a cupcake shop, especially while eating cupcakes. I couldn't resist adding the recipe when I red the "red velvet curtain" line. It is the month of love and all that... and I've got a serious love for cupcakes... and Moses. Moses comes first, of course. =)