Thursday, March 1, 2018

Stripped Down: A Naked Memoir by Stacey Keith

Down: A Naked Memoir
Stacey Keith

Autobiography, Memoir

DOWN: A Naked Memoir is a look back at a surreal world kept carefully
hidden from public view. This chronicle of life in the skin trade
follows the meteoric rise of Stacey Keith, a girl scarcely out of her
teens whose eye-popping assets launch her from wet T-shirt contests
to the catwalks of Houston, strip bar capital of the world.

overnight, she is discovered by a famous porn star, who Svengalis her
onto the pages of Playboy, Penthouse, and dozens of other men’s
magazines. While strutting her stuff onstage and across the country,
Stacey makes the fateful decision to head to Hollywood. She’s got
everything a girl could want: fame, attention, endless piles of
cash...but no idea what awaits her. 

Internet porn overtaking men’s magazines, everyone from her
Mafia-boss road manager to her smarmy talent agent pressures Stacey
to do more than just flash her flesh. Uber-boob filmmaker Russ Meyer
verbally abuses her; rocker Don Henley tries to use her. Yet through
it all, from the warped misogyny of Playboy to the S&M dungeons
of the Pacific Palisades, Stacey’s dark, self-deprecating humor
will leave you laughing, crying and rooting for her at every step of
the way.

.99 cents!**

* Amazon

Excerpt 2

Mobsters are to gambling what junkies are to speedball. It’s the entire mobster mindset encapsulated in a pair of dice: ego, testicles, luck, and an extra dose of superstition. I realize this when Ralph takes me to an Indian casino in Ledyard, Connecticut. I’ve never seen anyone more excited. The casino is the gift-strewn Christmas tree and Ralphie the little boy who comes war-whooping down the stairs.
I’m wearing a crushed red-velvet cocktail number that looks as though it’s been sandblasted to my skin. Ralph’s got on his best banded-hem golf shirt. And as outrageous a cliché as we are for mobster and mistress, we actually blend in with the clientele at the casino: boobs, bling, and peroxide blondes repeat like a pattern on the carpet.
The casino is a Disney version of Monte Carlo. Boat-sized crystal chandeliers shimmer from the ceiling. Shiny new concept cars slowly rotate on platforms in the lobby. Waitresses in fishnets and flouncy rumba pants hustle to provide free, watered-down alcohol to the dice-rattling alcoholics. The sounds are the same as a pinball gallery—clinking, rolling, slapping. The endless pumping of canned air onto the game floor does nothing to dispel the staleness of cigarette smoke. Nearly everyone looks tired and washed-out and unnaturally alert.
Ralph rubs his hands together and looks around. “I’m heading to the blackjack tables. Where are you going to be?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never been to a casino before.”
“What?” Ralph seems genuinely shocked. “Do you ever pull your fucking head out of a book?”
“Only when I’m having an orgasm.”
“Christ. Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do.” He snaps his fingers at me in a way that I interpret to mean ‘get your wallet.’ I pry out one of Sammy’s hundreds. I don’t particularly want to part with it, seeing as how I had to sit by the creep to get the thing.
“I got no time to explain how you play blackjack, so you’re going to take that fuckin’ C-note there, give it to the broad at the counter, and she’s gonna give you some quarters. Then you’re gonna take the quarters and play those fucking slots.”
I look at the slots. I look at Ralph.
“Okay, Christ, lemme show you.” He marches me to the counter, pushes my hundred at the lady behind the Plexiglas deflection shield. In exchange, I receive a Big Gulp full of quarters. Ralph calls them “qwahtahs.”
He herds me to the nearest slot machine, one halfway down a row of similar machines that look like huge gleaming jukeboxes. Impatiently, he feeds the thing quarters and then pulls a handle. We wait. Wheels spin inside a window. Nothing. He does it again.
“Got the idea now?” he says.
“Uh. Yeah.”
He turns to leave.
“What combination wins?”
“You want three of a kind.”
For a moment I watch Ralph haul ass to the blackjack tables. He goes straight to the ‘Invitation Only,’ which must be one hell of an invitation. They probably harvest your organs if you can’t pay. I feel a little unprotected without Ralph. He’s so big and strong and sure of himself.
I feed the machine. I pull the lever. An unmistakable clatter of coins. What do you know—maybe fifty dollars’ worth lay in a pile on the metal tray. I scoop out the coins, then feed the machine again. On my third try, I win another twenty, then fifty. I’m on a roll.
The old lady next to me, wearing a glen plaid tam o’shanter and smoking a cigarette, rasps, “I get first dibs on your machine if you go to the can. I’ve been here since four o’clock and I’m down by a hundred.”
Since four? Just pulling that stupid lever? I glance around. Everyone else seems engrossed in their respective addictions. I feed the machine.
This time the quarters fall so copiously and noisily, I don’t know where to put them all. Apparently sensing my distress, the old lady hops off her stool and then returns with four more Big Gulp cups. The machine is still belching out quarters.
“What the hell, honey,” she says, “are you speakin’ French to the thing?”
“I don’t know—it keeps giving me money,” I apologize. Using my hand as a slide shovel, I coax the coins into three of the four cups. I have no idea how much money I’ve won.
My heart’s beating faster as I line up the cash-heavy cups beside me. I’m worried that somebody might steal them. I wonder if Ralph will be proud of me. Maybe this is chump change compared to the stakes he plays for.
I quickly fall into a rhythm: feed the machine, pull the lever, wait for the wheels to stop spinning.

Keith is the award-winning author of the Dreams Come True series
(Kensington Books), DREAM ON, SWEET DREAMS and DREAM LOVER, in
addition to A WEDDING ON BLUEBIRD WAY with New York Times Bestseller
authors Janet Dailey, Lori Wilde and the talented Allyson Charles.

Twice a
Golden Heart finalist, Stacey has won a Maggie, two Silver Quills, a
Jasmine, a Heart of the Rockies, and over fifteen other first-place
finishes in Romance Writers of America contests. 

avid writer of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and short stories, Stacey
doesn’t own a television, but reads compulsively—and would, in
fact, go stark raving bonkers without books, which are crammed into
all corners of the house. She now lives in Civita Castellana, a
 medieval village in Italy that sits atop a cliff, and spends
her days writing in a nearby abandoned 12th century church.

two things she is most proud of are her ability to cook pasta alla
genovese without burning down the kitchen and swearing volubly
in Italian with all the appropriate hand gestures. 

the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

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