Monday, February 28, 2011

My Virtual Book Tour Begins Tomorrow

Tomorrow, my virtual book tour to promote the March 8th release of Deadly Currents begins! And, every time you comment on one of my guest blog posts you will be entered into a contest for a free copy of Deadly Currents. So, I suggest you comment on every one to increase your chances! The schedule for the tour is posted on my author website (along with a photo of me rafting the Royal Gorge on the Arkansas River in Colorado).

My tour hosts and I have worked very hard to make this a varied and interesting tour. There will be interviews with characters, articles about the setting, rafting, etc., reviews of the book, live reports from the Left Coast Crime conference, and interviews with me. Please join in the fun!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Goodreads Q and A Discussion Group Opens

Tomorrow, I will reopen my Goodreads Q&A discussion group to answer questions posed by participants. It will be active from February 28 through April 9, to help promote the March 8th release of Deadly Currents, the first book in my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner.

If you are a Goodreads member, please join the group and feel free to pose any questions you have for me there. You can post questions early, and I'll work my way through them. I'm looking forward to talking to mystery readers there!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Tarot Card Reading

At a charity silent auction awhile back in Breckenridge, CO, I bid on and won a Birth Chart Analysis and Tarot Card Reading to be performed by Lisa White, whose business is Holistic Life Strategy. I thought the analysis and reading would be fun and enlightening and looked forward to it. This afternoon we sat down for the Tarot Card Reading, and Sunday, after she emails me my Birth Chart, we'll discuss that over the phone.

Lisa brought a number of decks over for me to draw from. She explained that the cards are used as a communication medium for our souls to make things known to our conscious selves. The issue I wanted to gain insight into was my husband's and my planned move to Breckenridge after we sold our house in Colorado Springs, which seems to be stuck.

We started with Archetype Cards to get more insight about myself, and I drew three:
Martyr - learning the transcendent nature of service to oneself or a cause
(I've always been active in service. I had pulled out of my Colorado Springs service committees/positions in preparation for the move, but since the house hasn't sold yet and I haven't gotten involved in new causes in Breckenridge, my soul is missing the positive feedback I get from performing service.)
Queen - owning your own power, being self-assured and centered
(I'm a Leo and a first-born and a natural leader, so this fit with my personality. Lisa also interpreted it to mean that before I plunge into committing to too much after we move, the Queen should set boundaries for me.)
Lover - unbridled appreciation for passions/interests/others
(We interpreted this to mean that my passion for the outdoors is infusing itself into both my writing and choice of where to live and should also direct my service work, which it is, as I'm planning fundraiser booksignings of Deadly Currents to support river preservation nonprofits.)

Then it came time to draw from the Tarot deck to gain insight into the question of what's holding up the house sale and move. The three cards I drew were:
Harmony - Lisa interpreted this as the need to make choices in relationships.
(My husband and I need to start planning for the physical process of the move and to make choices we agree on. Also, we need to work on how we can maintain relationships important to us (such as my critique group) after the move.)
Conflict & Defeat - Lisa interpreted this as the reason that we had been unable to sell the house is that we were in conflict over it, dreading all the work of the move, and had let that dread prevent us from going forward.
(We need to begin again the process we had stopped of shedding possessions, bringing other possessions up to Breckenridge and planning for the physical move process.)
The Horse King - representing assistance and control
(We need to be more proactive in controlling and preparing for our move, and getting assistance in the process, versus just waiting for the house to sell.)

I was happy with the insights I gained, and I'm looking forward to the Birth Chart Analysis. I'll fill you in on that, too. If anyone who lives in Summit County, Colorado would like to use Lisa White's services, contact me at my website, and I'll give you her phone number.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tagging Books on Amazon

If you go to the Articles page of my website, the first article there is "How to Help the Author You Love". It lists ways in which you can help the author you love find new readers, and conversely, ways you can introduce readers you love to an author you think they'd enjoy. The article doesn't cover easy, free ways you can spread the word about your favorite author that are available in the new world of social networks (such as using the "recommend it" feature on the author's book page on Goodreads to recommend the book to your Goodreads friends).

One easy, free way to help the author you love on-line is to "tag" his/her books on Amazon. You can assign search terms called tags to the book. Then if someone uses the "Products Tagged With" option in the Amazon search window, then types in one of the tags, your favorite author's book will be included in the books shown.

Smart authors put their own suggested tags on their books, so all you need to do is to click on those tags to agree with them. For instance, I've put tags on the trade paperback and Kindle versions of my upcoming release, Deadly Currents, on Amazon. To support me, all you need to do is click on these two links, page down to where the tags are listed and click on each one. Easy peasy! The more times people click on tags such as "adventure," "mystery," "colorado," "women sleuths," or "whitewater rafting," the higher up on the list Deadly Currents will appear when someone searches for Products Tagged With one of these terms.

So, have some fun with it! Search for your favorite books on Amazon and click on their tags. Or, search for Products Tagged With a search term that best describes the kind of books you like to read. Then find books you like and click on their tags so they come up higher on the list. And, if you decide to tag my books, I'd really appreciate it!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Brand New Cover

Here it is, and it's soooo cute! This is the new cover art for the trade paperback/ebook version of A Real Basket Case that Midnight Ink will release this November. I think the artist did a great job with the gift basket theme for the series--gift tag, bow, basket. Plus, the artist tied in the Colorado Springs setting (see the mountains out the window?), and the location where Claire Hanover, my gift basket designer, meets the future victim--a neighborhood gym. And it definitely has a craft cozy mystery subgenre feel to it.

So what do you think of it? Would this cover call out to you if you saw it on a bookstore shelf?

Monday, February 21, 2011

15 Days Until Deadly Currents Release

In just 15 days, Deadly Currents, the first book in my new RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series featuring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner, will be officially released. And what better way is there to celebrate that countdown milestone than with a wonderful review! Carol Thomas, who writes the Mystery Series Examiner column, said:

"Those who enjoy environmental mysteries ... will welcome this new addition to their ranks. Mandy Tanner, a young and inexperienced ranger, shows the same protective devotion to the natural world as do these other series protagonists."

To read the full review, that emphasizes the environmental slant to the series, go HERE.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Very Cold Week in Steamboat Springs

I just love living in Colorado! Along with whitewater rafting, hiking, and biking in the summer, I enjoy skiing in the winter. And, I get to write about those activities in my mysteries. Recently my husband and I spent a week in Steamboat Springs with another couple who are long-term, close friends and avid skiers like ourselves. I blogged about the trip and shared some photos today at Inkspot. Check it out and leave a comment there about your most recent vacation!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My "River Story"

One of my favorite nonprofits, one that I've donated money to since the early 1980s is American Rivers. The nation's leading river conservation organization, American Rivers is dedicated to protecting and restoring the nation's rivers and the clean water that sustains people, wildlife, and nature. They focus on removing obsolete and unsafe dams to restore natural flows, preventing harmful and destructive projects such as logging or mining, protecting wetlands, encouraging treatment of stormwater and wastewater, promoting water conservation, and educating the public on global warming and other forces that threaten our water supply. Just this month, they opened a Colorado office to focus on my state's ailing rivers--and my river ranger protagonist Mandy Tanner's state.

Both my character Mandy Tanner and I enjoy recreating and working on Colorado's rivers. We have a vested interest in keeping those rivers healthy. As a result, I've been working with American Rivers and local river watershed conservation organizations to see how the release of Deadly Currents, the first book in my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series, can help raise awareness of river and water issues--and maybe raise some funds to support river conservation, too. You'll hear more from me about this as events and plans solidify.

In the meantime, I've contributed my "River Story" about how I fell in love with free-flowing, natural rivers to American Rivers' website and their upcoming newsletter. To read the story, go HERE and page down to the heading "Whitewater Experiences Motivate Mystery Author." Click on "Read More" to find out about my early whitewater canoeing experiences and more. Then, if the article, and the issue, interests you, go HERE and make a tax-deductible donation to American Rivers. I can assure you that they'll put the money to good use.

Monday, February 14, 2011

An Appearance on Red River Radio

Today, I am scheduled to be a guest on Red River Radio, a blogtalkradio host. I will be talking to Dellani Oakes on Dellani's Tea Time show at 4:00 PM EST, 2:00 PM MST. You can tune in then and listen to me and Dellani's other guests in real-time, or you can listen to the show later after it's archived. Follow the link and the directions given there to listen. Also, I hope you'll ask a question or make a comment while you're listening!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Love Letter to Writers' Spouses

Today I am a guest on the Lipstick Chronicles blog. It is maintained by multiple very talented authors, many of whom are friends of mine, whose motto is "Just keep reading and nobody gets hurt." In keeping with their week-long celebration of Valentine's Day, my guest post is a love letter to writers' spouses, particularly my own squeeze, Neil. Writers' spouses are a special breed, providing much needed material, physical, mental, and emotional support to us in our often frustrating careers. They deserve a very special thank you.

How has your spouse supported your creative endeavors, whatever they may be? Share the story with us in a comment on my guest post at Lipstick Chronicles, then go give your spouse a hug and say thanks!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A lovely box of books!

It's a day to celebrate! My author copies of Deadly Currents, the first book in my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series, arrived. This is my third published novel, and if you count the large-print versions of A Real Basket Case and To Hell in a Handbasket, and my science fiction novella, The Epsilon Eridani Alternative, it's the sixth box of author copies that I've received. I'm still just as excited as when I received my first, though! The slick feel of new covers, the smell of fresh ink, and the weight of my printed words resting in my hands still gives me a thrill.

I hope you'll celebrate with me. The official release date of March 8th is getting closer...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The All Mystery! Newsletter

I've subscribed to the All Mystery! monthly email newsletter for awhile now, and I really enjoy reading it when it arrives in my inbox. Each month has a theme, such as "Romance and Murder" for February and "The British are Coming!" for January. The newsletter highlights a few mystery authors with new releases that match the theme, gives information about and review blurbs for their books, provides BUY links for the books, and lists the websites of all the authors featured in previous issues. It's short and sweet and interesting.

I recently contacted the editor to see if I could arrange for my 2011 releases to be featured in future issues. She was very friendly and accommodating. So, Deadly Currents will be featured in the June "Murder At Work" issue and the paperback/e-book release of A Real Basket Case will be featured in the December "Cozies for Christmas" issue. If you're interested in mysteries, I suggest you sign up to receive this free e-newsletter! Also, you can read the back issues for free at the website.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A Day in the Life of an Author in the Promotion Phase

Yesterday was a cold, blustery, snowy day that never got above 10 degrees. Perfect for sitting in front of the computer and getting stuff done. But, since the release date for my Deadly Currents book is just one month away (March 8th), that "stuff" wasn't writing or editing fiction. Instead, here's what I did:

- Confirmed plans for a blogtalk radio show (Dellani's Tea Time) I'm participating in on Valentines Day and made sure I knew what phone number to call when.

- Wrote a guest post for one of the blog stops on my upcoming Virtual Book Tour and found and attached photos to that post and two others.

- Finalized dates/times for two signing events and almost a third, talked to the CRM (Community Relations Manager) of the Citadel Mall Barnes & Noble store in Colorado Springs where I'm doing my launch event on March 17th to make sure balloons and cookies are okay, and pushed a few more event plans down the road toward confirmation.

- Wrote up questions and directions for my fellow panelists on my "Murder in the Great Outdoors" panel at the Left Coast Crime conference in March since I'm the moderator. Our panel is from 11:30 to 12:15 on Friday, followed by a signing. If you're going to be at the conference, please come! We've got some great surprises in store for you.

- Made final arrangements for a two-car carpool to drive from Colorado Springs to Denver for the February meeting of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of MWA Thursday.

- Took a break to shovel the driveway, planning to go out and run some errands, then changed my mind because it was too danged cold!

- Wrote and scheduled two posts for my own blog, sent review quotes to Mystery Lovers Corner for the Deadly Currents book page there, and sent my bio in to the author liaison for the local Pikes Peak Library District's Mountain of Authors event (mark your calendar for this free event on April 2nd!).

-Skimmed through hundreds of yahoogroup, DorothyL, etc. emails and responded to some, did the same with hundreds of Facebook status updates, and caught up with my friend requests on Facebook and Goodreads.

- Oh yeah, I did do some fiction writing work. I sent synopses on my two 2012 books (Wicked Eddies and the paperback/e-book version of To Hell in a Handbasket) to my editor at Midnight Ink. And, I got word from my agent that the acceptance advance check for Wicked Eddies arrived and she'd be sending it to me shortly. Yee haw! That's my Left Coast Crime traveling money. ;-)

Monday, February 07, 2011

My Author Website

For those of you who found my blog directly or from Facebook/Networked Blogs or any route that wasn't through my author website, you may not have seen my author website in awhile or at all. In anticipation of the March 8 release of the first book in my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series, Deadly Currents, my website guru husband has made quite a few upgrades to the website.

All of the stops on my March virtual blog tour are listed HERE (along with a photo of me rafting the Royal Gorge in Colorado). I'll be running a contest for a free copy of the book for those who comment on my guest posts or interviews on the tour, so this is an easy way to find out where I'll be each day.

And, if you want a chance to visit with me in person, all of my personal appearances that have been confirmed to date are listed HERE. As new appearances get confirmed, they'll be added. I love to talk to fellow mystery readers, so please visit me at one of my events if I'll be near you!

If you're curious about Deadly Currents and would like to learn more, please visit its Book page HERE. You'll find a summary, reviews and blurbs, excerpts, and discussion questions for your book club if you decide to read and discuss it together.

Elsewhere on the website, you can sign up for my email newsletter, find out about me personally, and more.

Now, I'd like to ask for some feedback. What do you think of the website? Our goal was to make it very easy to navigate. Did we succeed? Is anything missing that you would like to see there? What suggestions do you have for improving it? Thanks!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Deadly Currents is now in the Kindle store!

The timer is counting down to the March 8th release of Deadly Currents, the first book in my new RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series featuring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner. At least it's counting down in the Groundwater household! As part of that countdown, the e-book has just appeared in the Amazon Kindle store, and is available for preorder along with the trade paperback version of the book. You can order it HERE.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

My Guilty Pleasure...

I'm a guest over at Crimespree Cinema today, talking about about my "guilty pleasure," my favorite movie that I watch over and over, and I explain why. Please take a look, and leave a comment there or here about your own guilty pleasure movie!