From The Singing of the Dead, the eleventh Kate Shugak novel:
December 24, 1897
She walked out on stage wrapped in fifty yards of sheer white chiffon, a pair of high-heeled shoes with jeweled buckles, and nothing else.
There was a second of stunned silence in the packed, smoky saloon, before deafening and prolonged approval threatened to raise the roof.
She waited, a faint smile on her face, for the first roar to moderate and pitched her voice to be heard. “Good evening, gentlemen, and welcome to the Double Eagle’s Christmas Eve auction.” Her voice was husky, with the slight hint of an accent she tried to control. She let her smile broaden, giving it her special up-from-under and through-the-lashes look, part Madonna, part whore, all woman, and added, “I’m the best present you’ll ever find under any Christmas tree you ever saw.”
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