Wednesday, November 6, 2013

AMUSE ME by Christy Gissendaner

In Greek and Roman mythology, the Muses are nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences. This is a new twist. ~DM


As the Muse of Comedy, Thalia believes that laughter is the best medicine. This time the joke’s on her when she ends up as a showgirl in modern day Vegas.

With two left feet, but courage to spare, she dances her way into the heart of Ryan, a divorced rancher who is in town for a poker tournament.

It’ll be the showdown of the century when Ryan must battle Zeus for the love of this Muse.



“Read ’em and weep.”

Ryan Harris glanced at the cards in front of him and grimaced. Two queens. His hand only consisted of an ace and ten of diamonds.

Carter, his youngest brother, whooped and reached for the chips on the table between them. “I won again!’

“Beginner’s luck,” Ryan muttered. In his heart, he felt a stab of panic. If he couldn’t defeat a twenty-one-year old, how in hell was he going to win the satellite tournament in the morning? He’d be facing some of the sharpest poker players in the nation. Too much was riding on the game to go home a loser.

Carter separated his chips into colored piles and reached for the deck of cards. “Another game?”

Ryan pushed away from the table they’d set up between their beds and stretched. “Not right now.” He glanced at his watch. “How about dinner and a show?”

Carter was on his feet in a flash. “If we hurry we can make it to the eight o’clock showing of Scorch.”

Ryan laughed at the eager expression on his brother’s face. Since arriving in Vegas that morning, all Carter had talked about was the posters he’d seen advertising the latest female revue. The pictures of half-naked women hadn’t done much for Ryan, but it was definitely up a college junior’s alley. “What about supper?”

“We can eat after the show.”

Ryan gave in. Maybe it would help take his mind off the tournament. He called the front desk and had two tickets comped to his player’s account. After the money he’d dropped at the casino over the years, it was the least they could do.

They reached the theater just as the lights dimmed. It wasn’t hard to find their seats since he’d wrangled two front row tickets. Carter fidgeted in his seat as the curtain lifted. He leaned over to speak in a mock whisper. “Do you suppose they get naked?”

Ryan glanced around cautiously to see if anyone had overheard. “It’s not a strip show, Cart.”

“Yeah, but this is Vegas! Anything goes, right?”

“Not quite.” Ryan slumped down in his seat and turned his attention to the stage. Once he’d been like Carter, but that was before he’d learned how fickle women could be. Ever since Dawn left, he’d not been much interested in looking at women. His time was consumed by the family business and his semi-professional poker career.

Loud music started thumping from the speakers. Ryan winced. Why hadn’t he thought of bringing along a bottle of aspirin? Resigned to two hours of hellacious torture, Ryan slumped even farther in his seat. He rested his elbow on the back of Carter’s chair and cupped his forehead. He cut his eyes to the stage, too much of a man to not look at the dancers at least once.

His attention was immediately caught by the tall redhead in the center. The others began to dance, but she stood there with a tiny smile on her face. She looked left, then right, then left again. It appeared as if she was trying to catch on to the dance. Ryan released his grip on his forehead and sat up straighter. He wasn’t sure if it was part of the act, but he was curious to see what came next.

The dancers provocatively jiggled their hips. Red did the same, nearly three beats behind the others. When they kicked their legs and spun around, she was nearly knocked over. She caught her balance, clumsily mimicked their move, and did a shuffle to the side. She eased toward the wings as if she was about to dart offstage, but the dancers linked arms and began a can-can number. She was hooked by her elbows and brought back to the center of the floor. Ryan glimpsed the frustration on her face and knew without a doubt that it wasn’t an act. Why would a girl who didn’t know the dance number be allowed onstage? Whatever the reason, it made for an interesting performance.

Christy Gissendaner
About the Author

Christy Gissendaner is a romantic comedy author and believes that laughter and love should go hand in hand.

Christy lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. She’s always hard at work on her next novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything resembling a vacation!

To find out more, please visit