It is our pleasure to feature Ann Charles and her new book to our blog.
Ann, a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in English resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, children, and a sassy cat. She has written six mystery novels as well as literary and non-fiction.
"It's no wonder Nearly Departed in Deadwood won the best overall book for the 2010 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense!" ~Susan Schreyer, author Death By A Dark Horse
"Nearly Departed in Deadwood is a delightful mix of on the edge suspense and laugh-out-loud humor. Ann Charles is a star in the making!" ~Gerri Russell, award-winning author of Seducing the Knight
The first time I came to Deadwood, I got shot in the ass.--Violet Parker
Characters—Violet Parker and her best friend, Natalie
Setting—Violet’s desk at her office, Calamity Jane Realty
I groaned and leaned back in my chair. “I’m so screwed.”
Natalie nudged the sweating coffee toward me. “Have a hit of caffeine. It will make it all better.”
I took a drink. Icy sweet. “Yum, caramel. I owe you one.”
“No, you owe me five.” Natalie stretched out her long, bronzed legs and crossed them at the ankles. Her cutoff jean shorts, tennis shoes, and dirt-smudged tank top were typical for a pavement-sizzling summer day. “I got your message. How can I help?”
There were five people I could lean on when life kept smacking me with a flyswatter. There was Aunt Zoe, but she had already done too much; and Quint, my older brother, but he was somewhere in the Great White North taking pictures of polar bears and snow; and my parents, who were vacationing in Maine until the end of the month. That left Natalie, the sister that my real sister was too busy to be.
“I have a house to flip.” I took another swig of caffeinated courage before diving into my request. “But it needs some serious work. The kind involving the tools that you carry around in the back of your pickup.”
Natalie spent most of the year playing caretaker at a popular resort just south of town.
I leaned forward. “I’ve called every contractor and handyman in the area. Only one guy could fit me in, but I would’ve had to sell some naked pictures to Playboy to afford him, and I know how you feel about your privacy.”
She grinned. “How long do you think this will take?”
“A couple of weeks.” Or more. I crossed my toes since she could see my fingers. “I’ll give you half of my half of the commission.”
Natalie stroked her chin. “Forget the money. Make it one favor owed—no questions asked.”
“When do I start? This afternoon?”
“Sure, but aren’t you going out with Mr. Clean tonight?” Natalie’s current boyfriend was draped with muscles, had a shaved head and a hoop earring.
“No. Mr. Clean cheated on me with some face-pierced whore with a tramp stamp.”
I grimaced. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. He was just another in the long line of losers I keep winding up without. I swear to you, he’s the last one. I’m taking a year sabbatical from men.”
“No, your year is over.”
The absolute tone in her statement made me blink. “What do you mean?”
“I found the perfect guy for you.”
“You mean he likes poor, desperate, chubby mothers who mooch off their friends and families?”
“You’re not chubby.”
“Either put up the cash for a tummy tuck or shush up.” Natalie’s grin took the sting out of her words. “Anyway, you’ll love him. He collects Star Trek stuff.”
Ever since I wore pigtails on a daily basis, I’d had a crush on James Tiberius Kirk. Natalie had always confused my adoration for Captain Hottie for an all-things-Trekkie passion. Big difference.
I shook my head. “No blind dates. You know what happened last time.”
“How was I to know he had that open sore?”
Just the memory of it made me want to scald my hands clean. “Nat, you know I’m not interested in a relationship right now.”
“Who cares about relationships? I’m talking sex here. You need something to take the edge off.”
“That’s what yoga is for.” Not that I did that anymore. Lately, my morning sun-salute ritual involved a middle finger and several curse words as I fumbled for my sunglasses.
“Yoga is for a different set of muscles.”
“Why are you pushing me on this?”
“I want you to stick around town.”
“You think me going out with this guy will accomplish that?”
“No, but helping you find the one will. We have to start somewhere.”
She didn’t get that there was no “one” in my life, only “two,” and they didn’t leave me much time for sex. “No. Absolutely not.”
“You owe me a favor, remember.”
I could tell by the firm set of her lips that I’d have better luck stapling pudding to a wall than winning this battle. “Fine. Give the guy my cell number and have him call me.”
“I will, but I think he’s leaving soon for some comic book convention, or something along those lines, so don’t expect him to call right away.”
Never would be too soon.
You can purchase Ann's books at the following locations:
Barnes & Noble http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Nearly-Departed-in-Deadwood/Corvallis-Press/e/9780983256816/?itm=1&USRI=nearly+departed+in+deadwood+a+deadwood+mystery
It’s also available online at Borders, Diesel eBook Store, Sony Reader eBook store, and others locations. Just type in Nearly Departed in Deadwood, and you’ll find it.
Contact Ann at
Ann is donating an ebook copy of her book to one lucky winner, so don't forget to leave a comment. And thank you for stopping by.