Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Get Lost in a Story with Beth Groundwater

Hello Get Lost in a Story Readers:  Today, I'm excited to welcome fellow Coloradoan and talented author BETH GROUNDWATER to answer some challenging questions.  But you'll learn very soon that Beth is all about challenges.  Please welcome Beth Groundwater!

Wicked Eddies blurb & review:

Fly fishing is dangerous? River ranger Mandy Tanner had no idea until days before a huge tournament in Salida, Colorado. True, the Arkansas River can be a man-eater, but the rapids weren’t responsible for driving a hatchet into the neck of would-be competitor Howie Abbott―a secretive man who may have been cheating. While casting about for suspects, Mandy seeks clues from Abbott’s family members, including her best friend, bartender Cynthia Abbott. But when Cynthia becomes the prime suspect, Mandy realizes she’s wading into deeper, more hazardous waters than ever.
"Once again, Groundwater, mixing mystery with outdoor adventure, comes up with an excursion that will please most comers.”

-- Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2012

To Hell in a Handbasket blurb & review:

An icy demise snowballs in book 2 of this Agatha Award-nominated series. Gift basket designer Claire Hanover is reluctantly enjoying a spring ski vacation with her family in Breckenridge, Colorado, when a bloodcurdling scream cuts the frigid air. Claire is appalled to find the sister of her daughter’s boyfriend dead on the slopes. Others assume the girl’s death was an accident, but Claire notices another pair of ski tracks veering dangerously into the victim’s path. To protect her daughter as incriminating clues surface, Claire unravels a chilling conspiracy.
"Groundwater's second leaves the bunny slope behind, offering some genuine black-diamond thrills."

-- Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2009


DONNELL:  Beth: Welcome to Get Lost in a Story. If you could live anywhere on earth, where would it be?
BETH: Right where I am now, in beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado! My husband and I had a vacation home here for years, while we raised our children in Colorado Springs. We moved here full-time last December, and we never looked back! We venture outside almost every day to hike, bike, ski or whatever and have been warmly received into the social scene.
DONNELL:  If you’re not writing, where will we likely find you?
BETH: On the trail—skiing, hiking, or biking, that is! Or, in the evenings at a play, party, or movie, and about three times a year on an adventurous 2-3 week trip, usually overseas. We have a long bucket list of travel spots to work our way through.
DONNELL:  You’re planning an important social function.  Just everyone will be there.  Which of your characters do you want to attend?  Who do you hope won’t crash the party?
BETH: What a fun question! From my RM Outdoor Adventures series, Cynthia Abbott, the bartender best friend of the protagonist, whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner, would be a great party guest, with her blonde jokes and welcoming personality. I’d put her to work mixing drinks behind the bar. And, from my Claire Hanover gift basket designer series, I’d invite drug dealer and BBQ restaurant businessman Leon Fox. Why a criminal? Because once you meet Leon, you’ll see he’s a boisterous character who lights up any room he enters and can really get a party going. He’s a great help to Claire in solving murders that affect her family, too.
As for those I hope won’t crash the party, all of the murderers from both series, of course! I can’t tell you who they are, because I don’t want to give away the endings of the books. But, I want my party guests to feel safe, so they can focus on the fun. ;-)
DONNELL:  What’s in your refrigerator right now?
BETH: Lots and lots of fresh organic fruits and vegetables from my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares from Grant Family Farms. I’m trying to be healthy and lose a few pounds, and I’m having fun trying to “hide” veggies such as rhubarb and beets that my dear hubby doesn’t particularly like in creative recipes. Also in the fridge are foods to go with those fruits and vegetables, such as whole wheat wraps, chili cheese curds, chicken sausages, Greek yogurt, snow crab legs, white wine, beer, and dark chocolate bars.
DONNELL:  You’ve written two series now.  Who is Beth Groundwater more like, basket designer Claire Hanover or whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner?
BETH: I’m a little of both. I’m closer to Claire in age and life experiences (with two grown children and a husband, like her), but Claire is braver than I am, sticking her nose in where it doesn’t belong—and could get cut off! I like to think I’m smarter than her, though, because I write her out of the fixes she gets herself into. I’m an outdoorswoman like Mandy Tanner, and I love the thrill of whitewater rafting, as she does. However, she’s much younger than I am, has a lot to learn still about relationships and life, and like Claire, she’s braver than me!
DONNELL:  What was the first story you remember writing?  What was the first story you remember reading?
BETH: My first forays into fiction writing were my Freddie stories when I was in fifth and sixth grade. My protagonist, Freddie, had all sorts of wild adventures, including visiting an underground mole city after burrowing down in a giant screw-mobile. Freddie was a boy, because back in the sixties, I thought girls weren't supposed to have adventures. I know better now! And I was a huge Nancy Drew mysteries fan. I read every book in that series that I could get my hands on before moving on to Agatha Christie, Edgar Allen Poe, and Victoria Holt.
DONNELL:   What would you say is the most unusual thing you have in your closet?
BETH: Since moving up to Breckenridge, the closet in my writing office here has become the storage area for all the stuff we decided not to sell or give away but that we also haven’t found a place for yet. Peering in there, the most unusual thing I see is a robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex toy that I gave my techno-geek hubby for one of his birthdays.
DONNELL:  If you could meet anyone in this world, past or present, who would it be, and why?
BETH:  I would invite Jimmy Carter, Mother Teresa, and Jesus Christ to dinner. From this list you might think I was a very religious person. I do attend church somewhat regularly, but I’m not an over-the-top evangelist. Instead, what intrigues me about these people is the combination of their peaceful, loving demeanor and their power to cause tremendous change for the better in society, resulting in the foundation of a new religion, a huge relief effort for the poor, and the spread of democracy. Both Jimmy Carter and Mother Teresa are Nobel Peace Prize winners, to me the most important award in the world, and they were both motivated by their strong beliefs in Christianity. I’d love to have the opportunity to discuss faith and God with Jesus, his son, and to observe what Jimmy Carter and Mother Teresa would ask him.
In anticipation of the November re-release in trade paperback and ebook of To Hell in a Handbasket, the second book of the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, I will offer an autographed copy of that book or of the first book in the series, A Real Basket Case, to one commenter.
BETH:  When I write my mystery novels, I usually try to interweave at least two subplots with the main mystery plot, one of which is a romance. My question for readers is, when you read a mystery novel, do you expect or prefer a romantic subplot, or would you rather focus on just the mystery to be solved?
Bio: Bestselling mystery author Beth Groundwater writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series (A Real Basket Case, 2007 & 2011, a Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist, and To Hell in a Handbasket, 2009 & 2012) and the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner (Deadly Currents, 2011, and Wicked Eddies, 2012). The third books in both series will appear in 2013. Beth enjoys Colorado's many outdoor activities, including skiing and whitewater rafting, and loves talking to book clubs. Please check out her website at and her blog at
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. If an INTERNATIONAL name is drawn, mailing the book or supplying an electronic version will be the decision of the donator. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

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  1. Beth, congratulations on the reissue of To Hell in a Handbasket and on all your success. Your answers are thought-provoking. I'm also delighted that your enjoying your new home in Breckenridge, although we miss you!

  2. Greta interview, Beth and Donnell! Congratulations, Beth, on both the new Mandy Tanner and the reissue of To Hell in a Handbasket! Breckenridge sounds like a really fun place to live.

    I really like romance sub-plots in my mysteries. That's what I most often read--books that are a blend of both, and that's what I write.

    Best of luck with the new and re-release!

  3. Nice interview. These books sound good.


  4. I want to come forage in your fridge, Beth! You're well-stocked.

    As for romance, I like the added tension that provides, but don't need detailed bedroom scenes in my mysteries. I once had an audio book playing in the car when I pulled up to collect my food from Taco Bell (my fridge looks nothing like yours) and I had to hit the off button quick! Steamy stuff was going on.

    1. LOL Kaye, I would have paid money to be in the passenger side of the car at that one :) Thanks for dropping by

  5. A day late, but welcome to GLIAS, Beth. Your books sound fun.


  6. I don't think I expect a romance in mysteries normally. BUT I always prefer a bit of romance in my mysteries!

  7. I forgot to answer your question, Beth. I don't need a great deal of romance, but I think some humanizes the sleuth. We're not robots after all and having a love interest even if he/she doesn't act on or follow through is always intriguing. Will she or won't she. So my answer is yes.

  8. Sandy Shaw,
    I drew your name as the winner in my book giveaway contest. Please contact me at my website,, and we'll arrange the mailing details. Congratulations!
    - Beth

  9. Thanks, everyone, for your comments! I love your audiobook story, Kaye. Very funny! May and Susan, I'm glad you enjoy some romance in your mysteries. I do, too, though I don't need all the "plumbing details."
    - Beth

  10. Nice Article! Thanks for sharing with us.

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