The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club Tour and Giveaway! with Guest Post from author Ann Warner

The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club – Book 1

by Ann Warner

Genre: Cozy Mystery 

In Book One of this cozy mystery series, a morose parrot with a reputation for biting sums up Brookside Retirement Community for reluctant resident, Josephine Bartlett. But when Brookside turns out to be a setting for art theft, dodgy dealings, and…naked poker it becomes vastly more interesting. Josephine investigates the unusual goings on with friend and handwriting expert, Lill Fitzel. And the two befriend a young woman Josephine tries to prevent from making the same mistakes she has made.

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Guest Post

Settings Mentioned in the Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club Books

The books in my Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club series are among my most personal as they are set in Cincinnati where I live. That means any time I need to check out a location, all I have to do is get in the car and drive there. With camera in hand, of course. So much easier than sorting through photos and more distant memories as I've done for my other novels.

In addition to the detailed information afforded by the setting, another source of inspiration for these books is my experience as a member of a community chorus (Circle Singers) that performs mainly in retirement communities and nursing homes. Although I didn't realize it at first, I was picking up colorful details I would later be using in these novels. For example, one of the communities 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. The parrot had only a brief appearance in Book One, but comes into his own in Book Three.

During the writing of the book, after I decided Josephine was a secret financial wizard who spent a portion of her lawful gains on a painting, I had to pick a painting. Not being an artist or particularly artistically literate, I resorted to Google and discovered Edward Hopper.

I settled on Hopper in large part because I found his images intriguing, but also because at the time Josephine acquired her painting, his work was affordable. The painting I bestowed on Josephine is Sea Watchers, which can be viewed here:
It was only after I began researching Hopper in greater depth that I discovered Josephine's purchase had so wildly appreciated in value, which led to the painting playing a major role in Books One and Two.

The second painting mentioned in Book One also exists outside my imagination. Domenic Demeri's medium was watercolor, so it's difficult to convey the beauty of his paintings in a photograph, but here's the best I could manage. Although it's never going to be worth a tiny fraction of what Sea Watchers is, this painting has afforded a wealth of enjoyment to its owners.

And finally, here are a couple of pictures of the downtown Cincinnati area which is located along the Ohio River.

The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club – Book 2

Josephine, Devi, and Mac’s story continues. Devi and Mac are falling in love, but a complication comes along in the form of Mac’s pregnant ex-wife. As for Josephine, with the excitement of unmasking the Brookside thief and Devi’s being shot now over, she’s finding Brookside Retirement Community (aka Babbling Brook) as dull as she initially expected it to be. Until, that is, she gets involved with a man who suspects her of being a criminal mastermind. Finding love at this late date is something Josephine never expected, and it’s her Edward Hopper painting that plays matchmaker.

The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club – Book 3

Josephine Bartlett is back, joined by a colorful cast of friends: her partner in mystery-solving, Lill Fitzel, flamboyant ex-beauty queen, Myrtle Grabinowitz, former attorney/current novelist, Philippa Scott Williamson, Brookside’s thief, Edna Prisant, good friends Devi and Mac McElroy, and last, but not least, love-interest Norman Neumann.

When new resident, Lottie Watson, loses at Naked Poker, she tells a bizarre story about her husband disappearing in the LA airport. Josephine and Lill, intrigued enough to investigate, discover there are more ominous goings-on than a simple disappearance. Meanwhile, Josephine ignores the mysteries of her own heart.

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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.

Ann's novels about strong characters facing interesting challenges take advantage of the many unusual settings she's traveled to or lived in including New Zealand, Australia, Peru, San Francisco, Alaska, Colorado, Boston, and Puerto Rico. As well, her experiences as a toxicologist have added fillips of intrigue to many of her stories.

In Ann's novels, the consequence of choosing to love or not to love is an underlying theme, as characters face crises and complications that force them to dig deep within themselves to discover their own resilience.

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