And what better way to celebrate than a guest blogger? Today, I welcome Dakotah Black, talented author of Pinked. Enjoy!
On community living:
COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION LIVING IS DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH
What – you think I’m kidding? I’m been an association manager for well too long and I can tell you being so up close and personal that it’s no picnic. Now why would I say that? Well… let me count the ways. I have the highest designation which takes years to achieve – PCAM (Professional Community Association Manager) and that sad part is – it hasn’t seemed to matter. During the now twenty years I’ve worked with some of the most difficult people who have been everything from attorneys to politicians and almost all of them know how to manage communities. It’s been a tough job and I honestly wouldn’t recommend it for anyone unless they have a lot of patience and some of the stories I could write for real would blow you away. People seem to love to argue who live in homeowners associations and I think that’s that nature of being human but it’s really troublesome. When people ask me what I do I always tell them I’m a professional babysitter of large children. I also talk about kids playing in the sandbox quite a bit.
Now, it’s really not that I’m bitter. We all have careers in industries that can be difficult from time to time. At least managing communities has given me delicious and very wicked ideas. I’ve also had the joy of working with some of the sweetest folks who strive to do nothing in their community but make every life better.
But I’m not giving you rather wicked stories about the nice folks. That wouldn’t be any fun, would it? In truth I’ve been embroiled in lawsuits about everything from the wrong placement of a satellite dish to the reason owners can’t pay their assessments all the way to the extreme including the fact that the wrong color flowers were planted. I kid you not. I’ve been threated with a gun on more than one occasion, lawsuits – just about every week and bodily harm in the weirdest of ways, which I’m saving for use in my books.
What some owners don’t understand is that developers are generally forced these days to make a neighborhood an association with dues and rules to follow. Unfortunately many homeowners are far too busy to actually READ the rules most state laws allow them the time to digest before they sign on the dotted line. Then they move in and gasp at the fact they can’t paint their house purple or plant anything they want wherever they want. So the conflicts begin. Can you imagine sitting in a room with grown individuals who argue literally for hours about allowing a fifteen-inch tall statue in the front or a seventeen inch? Guess what – I’m not exaggerating at all.
What exactly is PINKED going to be about? A twist of course. Since burnout rate for managers is three years you can see I’ve way over due for a crack in the armor. PINKED is in truth a highly comical side of associations where almost anything can and will happen. My worlds are campy and fun and allow me to ponder killing some of those people who’ve attempted to make my life a living nightmare. You know what they say, kill them off in a book. So I have in the most creative and bizarre fashion.
The series is set in a fictional gated community association and you’ll always have some regular players including Nicky French, a ballsy girl who takes no… well not a lot of… to the hero sexy cop, Tyler Deverall who has to deal with the insanity of the murders and Mick St. Simons – a very passionate Aussie implant and the bar owner of The Flamingo Rustler – the happenin’ bar and grill located smack across the street from the gated community. Leopard’s Pointe is a huge homeowner’s association with several sub associations and lots of wicked personalities. Scheduled right now for sixteen books you’re going to get a taste of every wacko living in and out of the community. Throw in a hint of the mafia, a lot of interesting politicians and a burly chef who can make a mean seafood pasta and it’s going to be a lot of fun.
The website is going to become more and more interactive with The Flamingo Rustler not only having its own page but recipes created just for the series. Join me at http://www.dakotahblack.com. I also have a blog spot nestled in the website which is http://dakotahblack.wordpress.com/ where I’ll give you tastes and snippets.
I look forward to having you as a part of my world and here’s the premise for the first story. Let me know if you have any wicked and wild tales – I do change the names of the innocent or not so innocent but we can always plan their demise in tantalizing fashions. email@example.com
Here’s a little taste of my first – see what you think.
PINKED – COMING FROM REBEL INK PRESS ON OCTOBER 17TH
“Nicky! Your God damned beefcake hotshot developer has managed to get his fat ass impaled on the pool gates. Now I’ve got blood everywhere and people screaming. What are you going to do about it?” The gravelly chastising voice bellowed like a bull in a china shop, insistent and imploring. The man was cranky as hell.
And it pissed the bejesus out of her. “Who the hell are you?” Nicky French fumbled in the dark trying to make sense of why in God’s name she had answered the phone at all in the middle of the night. She sat up. The blood bammed against her forehead so hard it was like tiny and very noisy munchkin men were inside her brain beating to the tune of Michael Jackson’s Beat It.
She thrashed in the direction of the phone and her hand slamming into something. The crash was loud enough to wake the dead. “Holy fuck!”
“What do you mean who is this? Get a grip girl! Do your job! This is Ray!”
Nicky struggled with the covers that had captured her like a prisoner of war, tumbled out of bed and fell directly onto her face. “Ray who?”
“Your God damned Board President. That’s who! You know, the one your lousy firm works for?”
Nicky fought her way to the bathroom, cordless phone still in her hand. Ray Switzer. Oh yeah. Famous in his mind anyway. The cranky old guy ran -- and she merely thought the words with a chagrin on her face -- ran the Board at Leopard’s Pointe, the Premiere Community Association in Chesterfield. Yeah right. She growled. “Ah...Ray. Why exactly are you calling me again in the middle of the night?”
“Are you deaf, girl? The damn developer’s down here on the top of the pool gates. Fucker’s dead as a damn doornail. Causing quite a stir too I might add. Shit woman, I think a party’s ready to break out. Hold on! Marge - stop that. You can’t take pictures with a dead man for Christ’s sake!” Huffing and puffing rumbled through the phone.
Nicky heard muffled excited voices that had to be hovering directly behind Ray. God, the man drove her absolutely nuts. No, the freaking community drove her nuts. That’s because only nut cases lived there. Yep, her favorite saying remained in the forefront of her mind. You move into a community association, check your brains at the door. Hush girl! Association Management is your chosen profession. Remember?
“No! It won’t make good newsletter material! Sorry Nicky. Damn these women drive me crazy!” Ray huffed.
Who the hell was he talking to? “So are you serious, Ray? Is there really a dead man’s body somewhere in the community?” Groaning, Nicky stabbed at the light. The florescent beams hit her squarely in the eyes. She winced and her head bounced to the moon. Damn! She shouldn’t have had that last fuzzy nipple or pink navel or whatever the hell Ruby forced her to have. Her best friend could make a party out of anything.
“Dead as a damn heart attack, girl. And you wouldn’t believe the rest of it. Get the hell down here now! Oh holy hell! I gotta go, Fred’s bringing out the cheese whiz. Jesus H. Christ! Fred...Fred!”
“Ray. Ray!” Snarling, Nicky realized Ray hung up. She dropped the phone with a thud and held onto the bathroom counter. The entire world swooned by her like a bad case of the heebie jeebies. What the hell is the crazed old fool talking about? Somehow she doubted William Barrington the third – and she was required to address the retired ex-New York judge that way -- was somehow nestled into the closed pool in the middle of the night. But then again, she found two kids in the back of the bathroom doing the nasty just last week. And the damned pool had been open what, a week?
Inhaling deeply, Nicky balled her fists and glared at herself in the mirror. She was thirty-one going on a hundred, easily. The damn community had aged her just in the last year alone. There was nothing like two separate cases of raw sewage spewing into several condominium units around a given holiday to boil your blood. She turned on the cool water and splashed a handful in her face remembering she wasn’t on call, not this month. Yet Ray baby knew all of her phone numbers and called her outside of business hours on a regular basis.
Nicky, why haven’t the pool chairs come in?
Nicky, why aren’t we on budget for grounds care?
Nicky, I can’t stand the damn painter. Can’t you fire him and hire another?
The majority of the time Nicky felt like a battering ram for the entire community. Still, something was up. Ray wouldn’t call her unless something was going on in the melting pot of humans. The question was, was she sober enough to drive? She fumbled back into the bedroom and stared at the crimson bold-faced digital clock. Three am? How long have I been asleep, like an hour?
Why no officer. I haven’t had a thing to drink. Just going to visit the community I manage in the middle of the freaking night!
You betcha that excuse would fly. All the way to jail.
Ciao babies xxx
Thanks for dropping by, Dakotah!