Here’s a truth about writing: sometimes research is dry, boring, and tedious. Sometimes, however, you find yourself spending hours…or days…watching videos that feature Channing Tatum and assorted handsome hunks dancing their tight little buns off. Is this a great job or what?
I never know what I’ll pick up from my research. For instance, the video below showed me there’s a huge variety in the types of dancing out there. This was something my hero, Tucker “The Full Mountie” Montgomery, experienced firsthand when he returned to his off-season job and found a new, up-and-coming “Nordic god” had twerked his way into Tucker’s headliner spotlight. Watching “Ragnar the Bold’s” hip-hop, twerky kind of dance made Tucker realize he was done with that part of his life. Here’s the scene where reality hits home:
He forced himself to focus on his breathing as he stood in the wings of the stage and watched Ragnar the Bold shake his ass. The man could move, Tucker had to give him that. A touch of hip-hop in his routines seemed to appeal to a younger crowd. Toss in a few slides and spins that made the women in the front rows gasp and blink and you had instant sex appeal.
What did I just see, he could almost hear them thinking to themselves. Was that his junk?
All part of the show. Tucker had played a little peek-a-boo when he first started. It was all fun and games as long as there wasn’t some jerk from the morality police sitting in the front row with a video camera. Tucker leaned around the curtain far enough to look at the first few rows. Excited, happy, and lusty women shoulder to shoulder clapping and stomping their feet. Just what you wanted to see if you were about to strip and shake your booty for them.
Now, full disclosure, I haven’t seen Magic Mike XXL on the big or little screen, but it’s on my list. I doubt that the plot is high concept–or any concept other than making money–but it still looks like fun. And Andie MacDowell reminds me of my heroine, Amanda. Here’s a scene from Tucker’s final American Male dance:
Sure enough, the Maroon 5 song Sugar started, and as usual, the beat worked its magic. He’d gone round and round with management to get a more provocative song, which fit his mood. The lyrics of this one seemed to hit a little too close to home, but once the words triggered the memory of one little taste of Amanda, the rest of the routine came naturally.
As part of his trademark moves, he got a running start and slid off the end of the stage so he could snake his way through the front rows looking for a likely partner. Someone like…
“Holy crap,” he swore, holding out his hand to a girl with chocolate brown hair and eyes that said, “Me, me, pick me.”
The girl he held in his arms every night in his dreams.
Amanda. And every morning he awoke with more broken pieces. He had a million of them.
Do I care why she’s here?
Not if she was ready to pour a little sugar on him.
He picked her up, legs straddling his waist.
“Come on, Sugar, I’m right here. Are you with me?”
He spun them about, lifting her to the stage, where the show called for him to pretend to kiss her. Could he stay in character–keep the mask on long enough to survive the pain twisting his insides into a thick, hard knot? He swooped and shook his ass. She laughed and clapped, obviously playing the willing victim.
But when he pressed his hips to hers, she grabbed his butt cheeks and squeezed hard. He bucked and rolled off her. He made a naughty-naughty gesture, shaking his finger at her. The crowd went nuts. He did a few squats and twirls to the music, then gave her his hand and pulled her to her feet.
Amanda was here. She looked hot. And available. And damn if he’d let her go again.
Now, in addition to watching sexy men dance and strip, I also had to do research at Yosemite Zip Lines because Tucker is building a zip line outside of Marietta, Montana and I’m nothing if not thorough. ;-) In fact, we took my husband’s four brothers and one of their wives along to help me get the full experience. What a rush!
Here’s my very own ZIP from Yosemite Ziplines in Mariposa, California:
As you can see, I had a lot of fun researching this book. I hope you’ll get a kick out of Tucker’s and Amanda’s story, too. Have any of you ZIPPED before? Or watched a male burlesque show? Inquiring minds want to know…and one winner will be drawn from your responds for the prize package below.
Happy reading, everyone.
Write to Deb in the comments and you could win Montana Cowgirl in paperback and the Magic Mike movie!