Book Excerpt: 'Sammy's House'

"Sammy's House" is Kristin Gore's follow-up to 2004's "Sammy's Hill."

The sequel finds the heroine, Sammy, working as a research staffer for the vice president. The 20-something handles crisis after crisis. She soon learns the president has fallen off the wagon and is secretly drinking. Even though Sammy's party is in power, the opposition remains fierce.

The book has a more serious tone than its predecessor. You can read an excerpt from "Sammy's House" below.

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It was when she started stripping that everyone realized something was wrong. This was an official White House event. A somewhat boring, completely respectable cruise on the Potomac River to thank everyone in the West Wing for the hard work that had won the election. But it was no longer boring. Until the woman whipped off her tailored black jacket to reveal a star-spangled bra and a surprisingly elaborate dragon tattoo, the only remarkable thing about this cruise was that it was nineteen months late. The celebratory boat ride had been promised long ago, in the first month of our new administration, but no one minded that the business of running the country had continuously delayed its actual launch. Victory was prize enough?who needed a cruise?

I tore my eyes away from the increasingly explicit show to scan the crowd for RG. He'd gone below deck to take a call from President Wye, and I was relieved that he still seemed to be there, unaware of these antics. He was the vice president, and as a member of the White House staff, one of my duties was to protect him from public embarrassment whenever possible. That job had become significantly harder in the last thirty seconds. I looked quickly around for help, but most people seemed frozen, capable only of staring with wide-open mouths. The stereo system played on, its background hum now transformed into a striptease soundtrack. Someone needed to shut it off. Someone needed to shut her off. I searched for the Secret Service agents posted throughout the boat. Would they get involved only if they deemed the stripper a security threat? By now, she'd reached a point where concealed weapons seemed an impossibility. Upon closer examination, the dragon tatooed on her shoulder appeared to be wearing a tufted pink tutu. I pondered its significance. Perhaps this unknown woman, who until a minute ago everyone had taken for an inhibited waitress offering shrimp dip and taquitos, belonged to a hard-livin', rough-and-tumble gang of rebel ballerinas. She was certainly nimble, judging by the ease with which she was now pirouetting out of her panties.

I was blinking from the flashes, both photographic and pornographic, and had just noticed the tattoo of a tap-dancing minotaur on the stripper's upper thigh when Harry Danson, the president's chief of staff, suddenly pushed through the crowd and covered her with his jacket. She tried to shrug it off, but Harry was very firm. It's in his job description.

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