Hopefully you’ve already heard about Iron Rods, the best little fictional strip club for women in Texas. If you haven’t let me fill you in.
Iron Rods is the first book in a series about a rundown strip club for women in Austin. At the beginning of Iron Rods, you learn that the club is a bone of contention between the owner, Austinite and half-crazy old man, Lyle Truitt and his estranged New Yorker son, Bennett Truitt. Suffering from neglect and mismanagement, the club is in bad shape, including the shoddy dancers. Then Tatum Reynolds, a down-on-her-luck University of Texas graduate with a Master of Dance degree, takes over and begins its slow return to its former glory.
In book one, several strippers, past and new, make an appearance. I’d like to give you an opportunity to meet one of them – my favorite – the Masked Man.
The Masked Man is exactly that. He auditions for a place on the stripper team wearing a mask and never takes it off. The only things Tatum knows about the mystery man is that his real name is Mack Garner, he speaks with aScottish accent and he has to keep his true identity under wraps.
Interviewer: Hello Mack, if indeed that is your real name. Congratulations on being selected as one of the strippers for the new and improved Iron Rods.
Mack: Thank ye. And Mack is my real name. My accent may be as fake as a three dollar bill, but I carry it off well enough. Dinna ye think?
Interviewer wipes mouth from the pooling drool: Yes. Absolutely. Nothing like a good looking man with a Scottish accent.
Mack: The ladies seem to like it well enough. The more they like what they see and hear, the more they like to tip. Ye ken?
Interviewer: Oh. I ken, alright. So just between us and everyone reading this blog, why the need for all the secrecy? I mean, really. It’s not like you’re an FBI agent or a guy under the Witness Protection Program, right?
Mack: *chuckles* I ken what you’re doing, Lass, and it won’t work. What I will tell ye is that I have a job where my work as a stripper would be frowned upon. And I dinna want to lose my job.
Interviewer: Fair enough. Then let’s talk about how you got into stripping. Have you done it long?
Mack: No, not at all. I’ve never stripped before, except maybe for a few lasses I dated. And then it was before I took them in my arms and had the kind of sex with them that curled their toes. But I have danced since I was a kid looking for something to do with my time. I grew up with my granddad, Jamie McKenzie, who truly is from Scotland, and I got into dancing after school to keep myself out of trouble until ol’ Jamie could come fetch me.
Interviewer: No stripper experience? That’s surprising. Didn’t Tatum Reynolds, the manager of Iron Rods, make you the lead stripper?
Mack: Aye. She did. I’m as stunned as you. Clearly the woman has a keen eye.
Interviewer *swallows hard*: It wouldn’t take a keen eye to see you’re an extremely handsome man with talent. So, um, do you have a girlfriend? Any women in your life?
Mack: No girlfriend. The only woman in my life is my boss and she about drives me crazy. She has a stick up her backside that’s hard to get past. I wish she would lighten up a bit. Get off my back and into my bed.
Interviewer: Excuse me? I didn’t hear that last part.
Mack: I said I wish she would get off my back and smile a bit. The woman never smiles.
Interviewer: Now that you’ve had a chance to meet the other strippers, what do you think of the “Men of Iron Rods”?
Mack: For the most part, they’re a fine group of fellas. There is one though that seems to have a pretty fair-sized chip on his shoulder. Not sure what his problem is – yet. But I have a feeling we may bump heads if he doesna watch his step.
Interviewer: Interesting. What’s this man’s name?
Mack: I dinna know what his real name is. Dinna care, really. His stage name is Archangel. Thinks he’s the bloody star of the show. But we all know who that is, now don’t we?
Interviewer *nodding furiously*: Yes we do. Speaking of stage name, what’s yours?
Mack: Ack, well, we’re still figuring that out. Tatum has been saying that the hot thing going on these days is BDSM. What the bloody hell is BDSM?
Interviewer: Does she mean Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism?
Mack: Well, well now. I dinna ken for sure. Is that what that means? I had no bloody idea. Verra interesting.
Interviewer: Tatum is right, you know. BDSM is extremely popular these days. I’m curious to find out what she has in mind.
Mack: You and me both, Lass. You and me both.
Interviewer: That about does it for our time today. Anything you want to say before we wrap up this interview?
Mack: Aye. My story, Masked Secrets, is the second book in Brenna Zinn’s Strip Club series. If you liked Iron Rods, book one. You’re gonna love Masked Secrets.
Click HERE to purchase Iron Rods from Amazon.
To read more about Iron Rods, Masked Secrets and the third book in the series, Dirty Politics, go to www.IronRods.NET.
Here’s an excerpt. Enjoy!
Watered-down drinks were the last straw. The wild concoction of emotions brewing within her bubbled over. The time for calm had passed. She needed action. Something to release the rage and hurt trapped inside. She’d had enough of being stomped on by life, and by God she would not sit still while this seedy little club stepped on her as well.
Tatum picked up both drinks and marched to the bar, fury feeding her temper. Something in her day was going to go right, and having a decent drink to dull her pain wasn’t too much to ask for. So what if Conan the bartender looked as though he could snap her in half. If he so much as blinked the wrong way, she’d jump over the counter and make him wish he’d never poured a drink in his life.
The bartender had his broad back to her and appeared deep in conversation at the end of the bar with another man she hadn’t noticed before. How she could have overlooked the stranger was a mystery.
The man looked up and made eye contact with Tatum. Out of nowhere, fire popped and sizzled through her, scorching senses that had been dulled by the oppressiveness of the club. For a mesmerizing moment, she stared at the stranger, unable to look anywhere else.
Black hair groomed to perfection, a handsome face with an honest-to-God square jaw and wearing the kind of slick suit and tie she’d only seen in magazine ads, he looked like a modern-day aristocrat. Some big shot who was completely out of place in a dive like Iron Rods.
Why such a good-looking man was here to do anything beyond strip she didn’t know and didn’t give a flip, she reminded herself. Tonight she was on a mission to forget her troubles and find some kind of satisfaction. If the stranger couldn’t help her in either regard, then he was little more than eye candy.
She plunked down the cocktail glasses. A harsh thud sounded as they hit the wood counter. The bartender glanced over his shoulder. His face still appeared impassive, though his eyebrows now arched a bit higher on his forehead.
“Yes?” he asked.
Tatum steeled her resolve and straightened her spine, hoping all six feet of her looked formidable to a man who probably crushed boulders with his bare hands. “If these drinks have a shot of pure vodka in them, then I’m the governor of Texas.”
The bartender said something to the stranger then turned around and made his way to where Tatum stood. Her skin grew cold as she noticed the hint of a grin pull at the corners of his lips. How could a person look more intimidating with a smile on his face?
“You saying I watered down your drinks?”
Though the music in the club was loud enough to vibrate through the floor and up her calves, she easily heard his deep bass voice. A tremor of fright added to the quaking in her legs. Scared or not, she’d started this and she wouldn’t stop until she had two cocktails to her liking.
“I’m saying there’s no more alcohol in these glasses than there is in the Colorado River down the street.” Allowing the full impact of her feelings to give her strength, she took a step closer and pressed her stomach onto the padded vinyl that trimmed the bar. “My friend spent a lot of money for these drinks and I aim to make sure we get what we paid for. So how about you taking that unopened bottle of vodka there on the back shelf and trying one more time?”
The large bartender’s nose flared and the muscles in his thick neck and arms flexed. Before he had a chance to say a word, the man at the end of the bar spoke.
“It’s okay, T. Do as the lady asks.”
The big man shot her a look that could have frozen hell. “Fine. As the lady likes.” Without breaking his glare, he roughly grabbed two glasses and dropped them on the counter before reaching for the vodka.
And just like that, the polished stranger in the fancy suit single-handedly shut down her attempt at blowing the steam she’d built up.
In a perverse way, Tatum didn’t feel appeased. She might have gotten her way, but pumped-up energy still surged in her system. If only she could punch a wall or kick over a chair. She needed to do something, anything, to relieve her bottled-up tension and lock down the pheromones that unexpectedly decided to show up to the party.
The good-looking man wasn’t making her struggle to calm down any easier. Over the stacks of papers littering the end of the bar, he stared at her, and not in a pleasing way. He appeared amused, almost smug, as though she had just provided his evening’s entertainment.
She pushed her attraction aside and allowed her irritation to hitch a half notch.
“Are you the manager here?” she asked, making her way down to the end of the bar.
He punched the end of the pen he held and tossed it onto an open file. “I guess you can say I am. Is there a problem?”
His tone sounded a little too bored for her liking. He might not be hard to look at, but he had pompous ass written all over him. “As a matter of fact there is. Have you taken a good look at this place lately? It’s a dump. The lighting sucks, the dancers aren’t good-looking and couldn’t dance to save their souls, and the bartender is serving lousy drinks.”
He tilted his head. “You don’t say.”
His prissy, holier-than-thou attitude provided just the spark she needed to stay ignited. “Yes, I do say. You should be ashamed of yourself and this place. It’s the worst club in Austin.”
“And yet you’re here.”
"I—” Tatum started, but faltered in the wake of his unexpected retort. She blinked several times, too flustered to speak. Weren’t managers supposed to be nice to their customers? Even rich, snobby managers?
The stranger stood and Tatum’s gaze continued up until her head tilted back. Powerfully built, he not only stood several inches taller than her, he dominated the space around her. Though he might not be as humongous as the bartender, he radiated a fierce but intelligent intensity that commanded her attention. Here was a man used to getting what he wanted.
“You think someone else can do better?” he asked.
Her mouth watered as she watched the play of muscles behind his snug shirtsleeves and listened to the deep voice that poured over her like warm molasses. Good Lord, the man was virile.
Not permitting herself to be influenced by intimidation or lust, she raised her chin and said the first thing that came to her mind. “I think a drunk monkey could do better.”
“You looking for a job?”
Her mouth fell open at his audacity. She might be fast on the uptake, but he was faster and better.
Perturbed, Tatum planted her fists on her hips. “You calling me a drunk monkey?”
* * * * * * * * * *
Strip Club Series, Book 1.
By Brenna Zinn
Book Length: Novel
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc.
* * * * * *
Brenna Zinn Bio and Contact Information
I remember reading about Texas in an Illinois grade school and thinking I probably would never see the great state where real cowboys ride their horses to work every day and everyone wears western hats and boots. Then again, I never dreamed I would elope in Gibraltar with a Navy man who hailed from the Lone Star state. But here I am, smack dab in the middle of Texas, still married to the same wonderful man and boasting not only the greatest daughter on the planet, but three dogs that are as big as long horns.
In between grade school and now, my journey through life has taken me all over the United States, as well as many places throughout the world. Using my travel experience as a guide and peppering in interesting characters I’ve met along the way, I love nothing better than weaving tales of romance and leaving readers yearning for adventures of their own.
Discover more about Brenna Zinn and her books at her website www.brennazinn.com
On FaceBook at Brenna Zinn
At Twitter at @BrennaZinn
On GoodReads at Brenna_Zinn
And at the Iron Rods website: www.IronRods.NET