The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club by Ann Warner Book Tour and Giveaway :)
When Thomas died, I discovered he’d shifted control of our assets to our son, and one of Jeff’s first decisions was where I would live. It was obvious from the speed with which he accomplished my move, he’d been planning it for some time. Had he asked my opinion, I certainly wouldn’t have picked Brookside Retirement Community. For one thing, there’s no brook, and for another, the cutesy bird-and-flower theme is simply annoying. Although I have an apartment and I’m free to interact with other residents, or not, as I choose, I still wouldn’t have chosen to live here. The hallways are lined with both fussy bird prints of dubious quality and flamboyant floral bouquets in need of dusting. Each wing of the complex (there are five) has a combination bird-and-flower name. I live in the Morning Glory-Mourning Dove wing—or GloryDove for short. I suppose that’s better than the Snapdragon-Titmouse wing. I’ve already noticed people who live in SnapTit tend to hesitate when asked which wing they’re in. Carrying the theme beyond pictures and floral arrangements, each wing has its own glass-fronted cage filled with tiny birds that dart about and tweet continuously. Next to the mandatory enclosure of birds in the front lobby sits a morose parrot in a cage so small it can’t even spread its wings, let alone do a quick flit. I feel sorry for the parrot who, like many of the residents here, is in his nineties, but I do steer clear of him. He has a reputation for biting, not that I blame him. If someone confined me to a small cage next to the roomier quarters of luckier members of the species and forced me to listen to all their nonstop celebrating, I’d bite too. So far, the only bright spot has been Lillian Fitzel. When I told Lill that, she laughed that deep, rich chuckle of hers. “Me a bright spot, Josephine? Why, I’m as black as the bottom of my granny’s favorite cooking pot.” Lill’s the one who said Brookside should be rechristened Babbling Brook, a tongue-in-cheek reference to both the nonexistent waterway as well as the more irritating residents. Jeff parked me here because he considers me elderly, but I’m only seventy. Much too young to be shut away with a bunch of old people, fake flowers, and birds. I’ve decided I won’t have it. I’ve spent fifty years living a life of duty and restraint, and I’m not wasting another minute. As soon as I get my financial and legal affairs in order, I’m out of here.
Raised in an Air Force family, Ann grew up to be a clinical chemist, toxicologist, and university professor, but her life took an unexpected turn in 2001, when she began writing fiction. Her debut novel, Dreams for Stones, was a finalist for the Indie Next Generation Book Award in 2007.
A number of years ago, a tree-cutting crew hired by a neighbor chopped down several trees, felling them onto our property and damaging some of our trees. Then they left. We visited the neighbor who assured us he would contact the company and arrange for them to come back to clean up the mess.
Several months passed with nothing happening. Then one day the newspaper had a front-page article about tree-cutting scammers and named the company used by our neighbor as the worst of a bad lot. Armed with the newspaper account, I visited our local police department. At the least, I wanted the company charged with trespassing and property damage. I was informed that wasn’t possible.
I know that sounds like an unlikely inspiration for a novel. But this particular chain of events resulted in my meeting an officer who was to become the inspiration for a character in a book I didn’t even know I was going to write for another three years. You’ll meet him as Detective Darren McElroy in The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club – Book One.
The other inspiration for this series came about because of my membership in a community chorus that performs in retirement communities and nursing homes. Although I didn't realize it at first, I was picking up colorful details I would later use in these novels. For example, one of the communities we visit has a parrot named Coti who bites women but seems to like men. My parrot has a different approach to men than does Coti, but he has the same irascible temperament. I do want to emphasize by the way that Brookside Retirement Community (aka Babbling Brook) is entirely fictional.
As for the tangled tree contretemps...after considering our options, we hired someone to clear away the debris, sent the modest bill to the neighbor, and he paid it. End of that story! But a reminder to me to pay attention to all the random events in my life, even the most mundane. For I never know what will provide the impetus to write my next story.