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.
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.
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.
Preparing My Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club Books for Publication
Although working with new characters and a new plot is exciting, my favorite part of the process is having a “finished” book that needs editing and revising to perfect it. I enjoy this part because while it lasts, I don’t have to face a blank screen or an empty imagination.
Once the story is in hand, these are my next steps.
1. Share the manuscript with my critique group.
I’m what’s known in the trade as a seat-of-the-pants writer. That means I begin writing without knowing exactly where I’m going or who my characters will be. Once I’ve reached “The End” the first time, I share with my critique group. This wonderful group of fellow writers from the US, UK, Australia, and Europe will be the first readers of the book. I never share until I’ve figured out the entire story, although I do sometimes discuss plot issues with my husband.
I rely on my critique group to point out any bits that are unclear, confusing, repetitious, or not well written, to tell me where I need to add emotion and description or where to take them out, and to point out any hanging plot threads. I’ve been working with this group for over seven years and they always help me write better books.
2. Evaluate the critiques I receive and prepare a revision.
I’m always thrilled with critiques that give me a fresh viewpoint on my story. These are the ones that inspire me tackle revisions.
3. Send the final manuscript to my editor, Pam Berehulke.
Pam is amazing. I send her what I think is a clean manuscript, and she shows me time and time again why I need her to find all the glitches, errors, and infelicities.
4. Work on a cover.
The basic Babbling Brook cover was designed by Kit Foster. I added the orchids and chose the colors for the three books (soon to be four).
5. Apply Pam’s corrections and do the final formatting for both print and electronic editions of the books.
Probably the nitpickiest and least fun of the entire process.
6. Send out advance copies to early readers so they will be prepared to write reviews once the book is released.
I’ve been blessed with wonderful fans, so this part of the process is a joy.
7. Upload electronic and print versions to Kindle Direct Publishing. Let early readers know the book is “live” so they can post reviews. Also inform my mailing list members that the book is available.
8. Arrange promotions for the book.
Along with formatting, promotion is not a favorite activity. But it is essential. Over 5,000 books are published each day which means Amazon is adding nearly two million books a year to the ones already available to readers. In this avalanche of riches (for readers), I consider it a major miracle that readers continue to discover my books.
9. Begin writing the next book.
Sometimes an idea starts pushing at me before I finish the current book and sometimes it remains more elusive. But I’ve found that if I keep an intention to write in mind, ideas show up.
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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