A morose parrot with a reputation for biting perches in a small cage in the lobby of Brookside Retirement Community. For Josephine, a reluctant resident, he sums up the place which friend and handwriting expert, Lill, has dubbed Babbling Brook (in honor of the missing waterway and the more exasperating residents). However, Brookside turns out to be more interesting than Josephine expected, as it becomes the setting for art theft, other dodgy dealings, and…naked poker. Investigating the unusual events, Josephine and Lill befriend Devi Subramanian, a young woman Josephine tries to prevent from making the same mistakes she has made.
I continue to be amazed and delighted at the subtle ways inspirations arrive. Case in point: Four years ago, a neighbor hired a tree-cutting crew that chopped trees, felling them onto our property. Then they left.
Although the neighbor assured us he would contact the company and arrange for them to come back to clean up the mess, months passed. Then one day the newspaper had a front-page article about tree-cutting scammers, and the company used by our neighbor was named the worst of a bad lot.
Armed with that information, I visited our local police department to see if the company could be charged with trespassing and property damage.They could not. Although that may sound like an unlikely inspiration for a novel, this visit resulted in my meeting an officer who was to become the model for a character in a book I didn’t even begin to write for another three years.
You’ll meet him as Detective Darren McElroy in The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club – Book One, And yes, there is a Book Two. As for the tree contretemps, 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 such random events can often be mined for story gold.
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