Dear Reader,

For once in my life, I’m going to keep something short and sweet—this note to you. My editor will be amazed.

I am often asked how I came up with the title of this book, DANCE OF THE WINNEBAGOS.

Once upon a time, I was playing hangman at work with one of my coworkers, who is also a very talented artist (that has nothing to do with this story, but she really is amazing and I like to crow about her, even when not mentioning her name). It was her turn to come up with a word, and she added a lot of spaces on the white board. After I landed two consonants and a vowel, the board looked like this:

T _ E    _ _ _ N _    _ _    T _ E    _ _ _ _ E _ _ _ _ _ E _

I was feeling pretty ambitious that day. I took one look at this puzzle and yelled, “The Dance of the Winnebagos!” (I know, the letters don’t match up—I’ve never done well in spelling bees.)

My coworker laughed, hung my poor stick man, and then wondered what in the heck The Dance of the Winnebagos was.

I said, “I don’t know, but it would make a great book title, don’t you think?”

This game of hangman kick-started my brain. A weekend of plotstorming with my critique group fleshed out the story even more. Before I knew it, I had a fun cast, an intriguing mystery, and a book that practically wrote itself.

After I finished it, this book caught the interest of my agent. It was also a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest. But being that it’s a mix of genres (my usual style), my agent and I couldn’t find a home for it with a publishing house. Now, years later, it will finally have its chance in the spotlight, and I can’t wait to share Claire’s story with you.

I picked Arizona as the setting, because I lived there for a year and loved every minute of it. I picked a beagle to share the limelight with Claire, because I’m a fan of Snoopy.

For those of you who have read my Deadwood Mystery series, you may remember that Claire Morgan is Violet Parker’s childhood neighbor, as well as Natalie’s cousin. Harley Ford is Natalie’s grandfather, too.

And now, this short note has become a little long, so I’ll wrap it up with a tip of my cowboy hat.

Welcome to Jackrabbit Junction!

If Claire Morgan had known she’d be chaperoning a senior citizen sock hop, she wouldn’t have given up smoking. Yet here she was stuck in Jackrabbit Junction, Arizona, with an ornery old man, his smartass dog, and a parade of blue-haired babes.

When Claire’s grandfather and his army buddies converge in the Arizona desert, it’s her thankless job to keep them out of trouble with the opposite sex. But when she finds a human leg bone and partners with a reluctant geotechnician to dig up secrets from the past, trouble finds her. She’s losing her heart. Worse, if she doesn’t stop digging, she could lose her life.

To celebrate, I'm giving away a $50.00 giftcard from Amazon to one lucky reader! All you have to do is:

1. Visit my author page on Facebook. LIKE my page please! If you've already liked my page, please hit the FORWARD link in the footer of this email and share it with at least three friends.

2. Then send an email with your full name and mailing address to If you chose to forward this newsletter to friends, please include their email addresses in your email. Be sure to mark the subject as ‘AC-Winnebagos’. That's it!

No Facebook? No problem! Just share this newsletter with three friends by hitting the 'Forward email' link in the footer of this email for Step 1 and then follow through with Step 2.

You'll be entered into the contest. Deadline is January 14, 2013!

Thank you and Happy Reading!!

Ann Charles

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