Thursday, April 28, 2011

On the Road Again ...

I'm over at Inkspot today, talking about the glamorous life (HAH!) of an author on book tour. Please read the post and let me know what you think. Even better, if you live in Virginia, Maryland, or near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I hope you'll come to one of the events on my East Coast Book Tour. See the Appearances page of my website for details. And wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Review from the 2000 Year Old Librarian

Doris Ann Norris is affectionately known by her many, many friends as the "2000 year old librarian." A retired library director, she is renowned in the world of mystery fiction. She served for five years as the Library Liaison on the national board of Sisters in Crime. She will be feted at the 2012 Bouchercon conference as the Fan Guest of Honor. I first met Doris Ann at a Mayhem in the Midlands mystery conference in Omaha, Nebraska, and I immediately felt a kinship with her as we swapped recommendations of favorite mystery books and authors.

When Doris Ann speaks, people listen, because she's known to have impeccable taste in mysteries. That's why I was absolutely thrilled when she posted a glowing review of my recent Deadly Currents release on the DorothyL email discussion list of lovers of the mystery genre. When I emailed her to thank her and ask her if I could share the review on my blog and website, she said, "You're welcome and you can certainly print any part you want. I'm looking forward to the next one..."

So, I won't copy her whole review here (you can search the DorothyL archives for that), but here are my favorite parts:

"Beth Groundwater has left wicker for water in Deadly Currents. Her new series features a river ranger (and former guide), Mandy Tanner of Salida, Colorado as she helps to make the Arkansas River safe for tourists and casual and more ardent adventurers who love (or just want to try) whitewater rafting.
Fast-moving and exciting, Deadly Currents is a most enjoyable mystery with a strong heroine of whom I wish to see more. From the blurb on the back of the book, I had no trouble seeing Beth as a 'river rat' and find these adventures more entertaining than gift baskets. Get on board for this series."

- Doris Ann Norris, the 2000-year-old librarian

Thank you, Doris Ann! In a related note, over 180 library systems that subscribe to the Worldcat Interlibrary Loan network already have copies of Deadly Currents on their shelves. Pick up a copy from your favorite bookstore or library and read it now!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Skiing Easter in Breckenridge

Last week, I had three book promotion events on Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday, and this Thursday, I leave VERY early in the morning on a 10-day trip back east that will include 9 promotion events. In between, I needed a break from writing and promoting, so I did something completely different--I went skiing. I made some final powder turns for the season and got my legs good and achy during the last three days that the Breckenridge ski resort was open to the public.

Friday, I got back into my ski groove after a three week break since the last time I was on the boards. Saturday, my husband and I skied with friends Arlene and Jay. And, we had our picture taken with the Easter Bunny! In the first photo below, I'm solo with the bunny. In the second photo, my husband is the one with the white beard and dressed in blue.

Sunday, our college-age son came up with a friend of his to snowboard the mountain. I chatted with them briefly at the top of the Imperial Chair, but I didn't meet up with them again until we broke for a late lunch at 1:30 PM. Mom is too slow for these guys (including my husband!). I had one spill, blowing out of both skis in heavy, wet snow on the Boneyard run. There's a reason that black-diamond slope has that name! I managed to collect my gear and get going again, though.

At 2, the luau began on patio outside the T Bar at the base of Peak 8. Free samples of roasted pig, discounted drinks, rocking music, a roaming beach ball, and resort hospitality staff handing out chocolates all added to the festivities. My pina colada in a real coconut hit the spot! Folks came in all sorts of costumes, including Vikings, grass skirts and loud shirts, a banana, Nemo the fish, a penguin, a dog, and of course, lots of bunny ears.

After some libations, the young men hit the terrain park, and my husband and I hit the hot tub back at our Breckenridge home for a much-needed soak. The guys (and a young woman from school they found at the T Bar) joined us for an Easter dinner of ham, yams, broccoli, and homemade chocolate chocolate chip cookies made by my pastry chef son before they got in their cars for the snowy drive back to Denver.

Today, after laundry, cleaning, and catching up on email, we'll head back to Colorado Springs. Refreshed and relaxed, I'll start packing and finalizing plans for my east coast book tour.

Friday, April 22, 2011

An Evening in Salida, Colorado

Salida, Colorado is the setting for Deadly Currents, the first book in my Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures mystery series. Yesterday, I spent a lovely evening there. It began with a 4:30 - 5:30 PM book signing at The Book Haven downtown, a wonderful independent bookstore with a very friendly owner and staff.

The next two photos are from that event. The first shows two local outdoorsmen on the left and Stew Pappenfort, the Senior Ranger for the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, on the right. Stew is my go-to expert for the series. Note his ranger uniform and the radio mike slung over his shoulder. The second photo is of a woman who was traveling in Colorado and whose Kindle broke on the air flight. So, she was in the bookstore looking for something to read and picked up a copy of Deadly Currents. She and her husband were going on to Colorado Springs, so I gave them some advice about touring the Garden of the Gods Park there.

After the signing was a lively exchange with the store's bookclub, from 5:30 - 7:00 PM. They had picked Deadly Currents for their monthly discussion and had lots of interesting questions for me. The next two photos are of most of the members of the group. Note the yummy treats!

Finally at 7:00, five of us headed over to The Fritz tapas bar to share some delicious small plates and conversation about Salida and books before I jumped in my car and headed up to Breckenridge, Colorado. I'm joining my husband and son in celebrating the last weekend of the ski resort being open for the phenomenal 2010-2011 season, with over 500 inches of snow total.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Top Ten Review Blurbs for DEADLY CURRENTS

During the few months before the release of Deadly Currents, the first book in my new Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures mystery series, and during the month after the release, I've been collecting review blurbs from print and on-line book reviewers. I posted a few of them as they were published, but I decided to gather them all up and share a short blurb from my top ten favorites with my blog readers. Needless to say, I've been very, very pleased with and thankful for the reception Deadly Currents has received from reviewers.

If you have read Deadly Currents, I'd love to hear what you think of it, either personally, by contacting me at my website, or even better, on-line at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, or anywhere else other mystery readers could see your reviews.

Here's the Top Ten:

“Readers who enjoy fast-moving stories and wilderness environments will keep turning the pages of this promising series debut.”
-- Booklist Online, January 24, 2011

“Groundwater kicks off a new series that combines outdoor action with more than a modicum of old-fashioned detection.”
-- Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2011

“This enjoyable first in a new cozy series from Groundwater introduces Mandy Tanner, ‘a brand new seasonal river ranger’ on Colorado's Arkansas River.”
-- Publisher's Weekly, January 10, 2011

“With a fresh locale and a spunky ... heroine, this is a promising new series by the author of the gift-basket designer Claire Hanover mysteries.”
-- Library Journal, March 1, 2011

“Groundwater’s novel is filled with river lore, vivid descriptions, and loving depictions of the varied characters who make up the tight-knit community.”
-- Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, June, 2011

“This was a wave-smashing soak-yourself-to-the-bone ride and I’m looking forward to the next adventure in this energizing series.”
-- Dru’s Book Musings, March 17, 2011

“The novel moves like a category five: raging, foaming, and churning all the way to the end. Hold on to the covers of this novel, the pages turn quickly, as racing through this whodunit is not an option.”
-- Gelati’s Scoop, March 1, 2011

Deadly Currents leaves the readers thirsty for more. The writing is simple but superb, the characters come alive--rising from the pages because of their realistic depictions and dialogue.”
-- Miami Books Examiner, March 5, 2011

“Those who enjoy environmental mysteries – Sandi Ault’s Jamaica Wild series, Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series, C.J. Box’s Joe Picket series, ... to name just a few – will welcome this new addition to their ranks.”
-- Mystery Series Examiner, February 20, 2011

“In Deadly Currents you will be taken through the rapids just as fast and just as deadly as the river itself. She will also give you one last Class IV ride at the very end as she reveals the true killer. Reading Deadly Currents has made me feel as though I’ve actually ridden the river myself.”
-- A Book and A Dish, March 16, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Breakthrough on a Final Climax

I had a breakthrough on my Work-in-Progress the day before yesterday. My Work-in-Progress is the third book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series. The manuscript has been drafted, and I've been submitting chapters to my critique group, performing edits before and after each submittal.

I am due to submit the chapter containing the final climax tonight. I had been dissatisfied with it, however, and knew it needed fixing. The stakes needed to be raised, and I needed to "make things worse" for my heroine. I had to give her a bigger test that she could pass and prove that she is worthy of the title "heroine."

As the time approached for that climax scene to be shared with my critique group, ideas on how to fix it stewed in my brain. First came the idea on how to spin the situation more out of control and put a life in danger. Then I had to figure out how Claire was going to save the day!

That idea came a couple of days before the rewrite. Finally, I had a free day with no appointments, and I sat down to edit that scene, vowing to stay off the Internet until it was done. Eight hours and eight new pages of text (plus many rewritten pages) later, I was done.

The scene now has a lot more tension and conflict. I'm pretty pleased with the result. I hope my critique group will be, too!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Meet the Faces Behind the Books

Last Sunday, April 17th, I participated in Englewood Library's annual "Meet the Faces Behind the Books" event. About sixty Colorado authors descended on the library to talk to patrons about their books, which covered the complete gamut from fiction to nonfiction, children's to adult. A hoard of library staff and volunteers worked behind and in front of the scenes to make the event a success, and I want to shout out a big thank-you to all of them, but especially to the Event Coordinator, Deb Parker.

After an entertaining carpool ride from Colorado Springs to Englewood with Cicily Janus, author of The New Face of Jazz, we checked in at the library at 11:30 AM. The next half hour was spent filling out paperwork, consigning extra books into the bookstore, setting up our table displays, and exchanging "how-do's" with fellow authors. Some of those whom I already knew I hadn't seen in months and others I'd just seen two weeks ago at the Pikes Peak Library District's "Mountain of Authors" program.

I managed to get two photos (see below). The first is of me with Carolyn Jennings, author of Hunger Speaks, Deb Parker, and Jeanne Stein, author of the Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles. The second is of me with Deborah Coonts, author of Lucky Stiff, and Cicily Janus.

At noon, the authors, volunteers, and staff were invited to a sumptuous reception, which is shown in the photo below. As we snacked on the goodies, the library staff welcomed us and thanked the authors for coming. Then all of the authors took a turn stating their name and what they write.

At one, the doors opened to the public, and I was too busy to take any more photos until the event came to an end at three. I handed out lots of postcards and chatted with many mystery readers. I even signed a few books! I was glad I brought consignment copies because the store sold out of theirs and needed to dip into my stash. After the ride home with Cicily, I plopped into my easy chair and fell asleep halfway through the Sunday crossword puzzle.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Chocolate Fountain Signing

No, I didn't sign the chocolate fountain, but it was featured at the signing that I held at Beth Anne's Book Corner last Saturday. Beth Anne has a chocolate fountain that she has brought out for past signings, so I struck a deal with her that I'd bring the fruit and pound cake for dipping if she'd haul it out for my signing of Deadly Currents at her store.

Bonnie Mathis, a fan of the store and my previous books who has become a friend, and her husband Danny came for the whole signing, and he graciously took photos. A few of those are shown below, and Danny and Bonnie are with me in the first one. My friend Ron, in the last photo, even wore a kayak T-shirt in celebration of the whitewater river venue for Deadly Currents. It was a fun event, with good times and good company, and I had my fill of chocolate to boot. Beth Anne really knows how to put on a good signing!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Guest Post about "Water Rights as a Mystery Subplot"

Today, I am a guest on the Buried Under Books blog. I talk about one of the subplots that I wove into my Deadly Currents mystery, the issue of water rights. This is a huge issue, especially in the Western United States, where water has always been scarce. There are predictions that fresh water soon will become the most fought-after resource in the world. With all the competing needs for a scarce resource, there’s plenty of room for conflict—maybe even murder! ;-)

Please read the article and join in the discussion in the comments. Do you enjoy reading mysteries with global-issue-related subplots? What are some of your favorites?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Sad Day When a Publisher Goes Under

Virtual Tales was the publisher of my science fiction novella, The Epsilon Eridani Alternative. I chose them for this one-off project because, even though they were small, they had a good reputation and put out quality products in trade paperback and ebook formats. I was extremely pleased with everyone I worked with there during the process of getting the novella published, and I thought the cover art they produced absolutely rocked!

My good experience with Virtual Tales made it even harder to bear when I heard the sad news that after five years of struggle, with no profits, the board has decided to close the company's doors. I can certainly sympathize with the principal players who want their life back, so they can work on their own writing projects, after toiling for years with no pay. I'm sad to see it happen, nonetheless.

And, in keeping with their solid, ethical reputation, Chairman Dave Law and Director of Marketing & Promotions Sheri Gormley, are trying their best to soften the blow of the closing for their editors, cover artists, authors, and everyone else involved. They've contacted other small presses to arrange for them to accept resumes from staff and manuscripts from authors for consideration. They've provided signed Return of Rights letters and final manuscript files to the authors in a timely manner. They promise to pay royalties on book sales made in the final royalty period, even though they personally are volunteering hours and hours of unpaid labor to close the company gracefully.

All I can say, Dave and Sheri, is that it was a tremendous pleasure working with you both, and I wish you huge success in your writing projects. You are definitely a class act!

And for those of you reading this, The Epsilon Eridani Alternative is currently still available for sale from select on-line vendors in trade paperback. Those few paperbacks could become collector's items in the future--you never know!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

From Cyberspace to Real Space

I spent most of March in cyberspace, promoting the March 8th release of Deadly Currents on a virtual book tour. I've switched gears in April, coming out of my basement writing office to conduct signings and other appearances in real space. I have one or two events every weekend except Easter weekend. I took that weekend off and scheduled an event the Thursday prior to it instead.

April 28th, I step on a plane to head for the east coast and a whirlwind week and a half of appearances. In the meantime, for those of you who live in Colorado, here's what I have to offer in the way of signings:

Saturday, April 16, 2011, 1–3 PM
Beth Anne’s Book Corner
1532 North Circle Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80909

Beth Anne will bring out her chocolate fountain, and I'll bring the goodies to dip into it. For chocoholics, this is an event not to be missed! And as a chocoholic myself, I have to admit that it's the one I'm looking forward to the most. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011, 1–3 PM
Meet the Faces Behind the Books
Englewood Public Library
1000 Englewood Pkwy., Englewood, CO 80110

If you click on the link, you'll see a list of the dozens of authors who are coming to this event. I sure hope the authors don't outnumber the patrons. Seriously, though, you'll find books for every age and taste imaginable. You could knock off your whole birthday gift list for the year in one afternoon!

Thursday, April 21, 2011 4:30–7 PM
1 Hour Signing followed by open-to-the-public Book Club Discussion
The Book Haven
128 F Street, Salida, Colorado 81201

For those of you who don't live in Salida, make a day trip of it, come early and tour the setting for Deadly Currents. If you haven't seen the inside of Victoria Tavern, that's a must-see, as is the downtown whitewater park. You may even see a kayaker in the river, working on his or her moves.

And, if you like to discuss books with other thoughtful readers, this is the event for you. After the one hour signing, I'll be sitting down with the store's book club and anyone else who wants to join us for a discussion of Deadly Currents. Have you seen the list of book club discussion questions I prepared for the book? Go HERE. If you are in a book club and would like me to visit your club, either remotely or in person if you meet within an hour's drive of Colorado Springs or Breckenridge, contact me at my website.

PS. Don't forget that I'm running a photography contest. I'm looking for photos of Deadly Currents in its "natural setting" (eg. bookstores and libraries). Please enter! The odds of winning are very good. :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Repeat of "Justice is Served"

I posted the blog below at Inkspot, the blog for Midnight Ink authors, but some readers told me they had trouble reading it with the black background, so I repeated it here for them. Enjoy!

Readers of mysteries, like those of romance novels, expect a certain type of ending. Romance readers expect the hero and heroine to be together in the end, living "happily ever after." In mysteries, readers expect justice to be served. The killer meets a fitting end, be it death itself, arrest and conviction, or some other suitable punishment for taking a human life. In that way, readers experience closure and its accompanying sense of satisfaction.

Closure is a psychological term. In the European Review of Social Psychology, cognitive closure was defined as "a desire for definite knowledge on some issue and the eschewal of confusion and ambiguity." So, people have an innate desire for a firm solution as opposed to enduring ambiguity. People's need for closure varies. Those with a high need for closure prefer order, clear rules, and predictability.

I know that I personally have a strong need for closure, and I suspect the same is true of most mystery readers. This need is what drives us to solve the puzzle of "whodunnit" along with the sleuth. We're struggling to close the gaps in our understanding of the situation by looking for clues, interpreting the behavior of suspects, etc.

Sometimes that driving need for closure can cause us to reach a conclusion too early that is erroneous, as described in this article in Psychology Today. And there are plenty of mystery authors that use that to their advantage in devising plots. They plant "twists in the tale" in their stories to drive readers into make one or more false conclusions before finally revealing some new information that leads to the real killer or the real explanation of what's going on.

But knowing "whodunnit" isn't enough for those of us who love reading mysteries. The murderer also has to be punished for their misdeed(s) so justice is served. That is true closure. We understand what happened and the characters receive their rewards and punishments as they deserve them. As I said before, sometimes a punishment is delivered within the legal system, and sometimes it occurs outside the legal system, but it's always fitting. And most mystery authors I know spend a lot of time devising an ending that is fitting and satisfying for their readers.

In my recent release, Deadly Currents, my protagonist, whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner, is faced with a decision near the end. She has discovered who the killer is and has a choice on how justice should be served. She makes that choice based on her character--her upbringing, ethics, beliefs, and training. Her choice brought a satisfying closure to me, and I hope it does for my readers, too.

What about you? Do you have a strong need for closure, to not only understand what happened and who the killer was, but also to see that justice is served? Have you ever been disappointed in the ending of a mystery that didn't provide that satisfying closure to you?

Saturday, April 09, 2011

First Entry in my Photography Contest

On April 1st, I announced my photography contest, awarding an autographed copy of Deadly Currents to the person who could take the best photo of the book in its "natural setting," such as a bookstore or library. I've received the first entry in the contest from Michelle Auffant of Scottsdale, AZ, and it's shown below.

As you can see, it's very creative. Michelle used the sketch setting on her camera to take an artistic photo of Deadly Currents in a virtual bookstore on her Nook, on her desk at work. I had suggested in my contest announcement that entrants let their imagination run wild. Props, costumes, characters (people or animals), interesting lighting, etc. were all encouraged. Michelle not only did that, she made a creative interpretation of what constituted a bookstore.

What do you think of her photograph? Can you top it with one of your own? If you think so, take a photo of Deadly Currents in your local library or bookstore and send it to me at my website.

Click on "Contact Me" and please provide the following information in the email:

- your name (First name only is okay, if you want.)
- your email address (This won't be shared. It's for me to contact you if you win.)
- the name of the bookstore or library where the photo was taken
- the city and state where the photo was taken
- the photo in a .jpg file
- permission to post the photo on my blog

Hurry! The deadline for the contest is midnight MST on April 15th.

Friday, April 08, 2011

A Guest Post about "The Outdoor-oriented Mystery Subgenre"

Today I am a guest on The Stiletto Gang, a blog by women writers on a mission to bring mystery, humor, and high heels to the world. My article is about the outdoor-oriented mystery subgenre and how my recent release, Deadly Currents, fits into that subgenre. I hope you'll read it and comment on the post. Do you enjoy reading outdoor-oriented mysteries? Are you an outdoor enthusiast yourself, or do you prefer to just read about the challengers of the great outdoors?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Deadly Currents in a Top 20 List, a Review, and a Giveaway

I'm absolutely thrilled that on-line book reviewer Giovanni Gelati has included my new Deadly Currents release on his list of Top 20 Novels of the First Quarter of 2011. The company my book is in includes Harlan Coben's Live Wire, James Patterson's Tick Tock, and Robert Crais's The Sentry, among others. Very heady company! You can see the whole list HERE.

A complimentary 4-star review for Deadly Currents has appeared on Once Upon a Romance. Reviewer Mary states, "Getting to the end of the book is like riding the whitewater, many ups and downs."

Also, the Mystery Writers of America is having its April book giveaway contest for readers, and my Deadly Currents is included in the prize pile. To enter, go HERE.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Justice is Served

Today is my day to post at Inkspot, the blog for Midnight Ink authors. My article, titled "Justice is Served" is about the search for closure in mystery novels. Please read it and comment. Do you have a strong need for closure, to not only understand what happened and who the killer was, but also to see that justice is served? Have you ever been disappointed in the ending of a mystery that didn't provide that satisfying closure to you?

Monday, April 04, 2011

Mountain of Authors

Last Saturday, I participated in the 5th Annual Mountain of Authors program put on by the Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) at the East Library branch in Colorado Springs. The event began for us authors at 11:00 am, when check-in opened up. For that first hour, we registered our books with the Friends of the Library volunteers who would be handling book sales, set up our tables, helped ourselves to the author and staff lunch buffet, and schmoozed with each other. I ran around during this hour and took as many photos of the participating authors as I could (see below).

Alice Scott and Bev Sninchak, with guest.

Jeanne Stein and Rod Summitt.

Stewart Green and Mario Acevedo.

DeAnna DeAngelo and Rebecca Dunning.

Richard Gibson and me.

Nancy Mills and Terry Odell.

Carol Hightshoe and K. D. Huxman (Karin Huxman).

Evangeline Denmark and Donita K. Paul (daughter and mother).

M. J. Brett (Margaret Brettschneider) and Jim Ciletti, the Poet Laureate of the Pikes Peak region.

Doris Baker and Parker Blue (Pam McCutcheon).

Mike Hamel and Barry James Hickey.

Then at noon, the doors opened to the public. Three writer friends served on the 12:30 - 1:30 PM Panel on Paranormal Fiction: Mario Acevedo, Parker Blue (Pam McCutcheon), and Jeanne Stein. Kirk Farber moderated. The panel is shown below.

From 1:30 - 2 PM was the Author Showcase, when each attending author took 2 minutes to talk about their books, and the Golden Quill Award was presented to Stewart Green. After a half hour break, when attendees could visit the author tables, the second panel was held from 2:30 - 3:30 PM on Publishing. Moderated by Tim Blevins, the panel included Doris Baker, owner of Filter Press, Teresa Funke, owner of Victory House Press, and Nancy Mills, President of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. Doris and I serve on the Mountain of Authors planning committee, she as a publisher representative and me as an author representative, so we've gotten to know each other well. The panel is shown below.

After another half hour break for schmoozing, selling, and signing, Keynote Speaker Jerry B. Jenkins, author of the Left Behind series, spoke from 4 - 5 PM. He's shown in the photo below. The event finished up with a final book signing and reception, complete with sparkling cider and treats such as chocolate-dipped strawberries, decorated cupcakes, cannoli, cheesecake and more. Yum!

The hard-working library staff put on a well-attended and well-run event. I'm already looking forward to next year's Mountain of Authors!

Friday, April 01, 2011

New Contest!

I am announcing a new contest! If you missed out on my virtual book tour contest and my Goodreads giveaway, and have already subscribed to my email newsletter to enter my subscriber contest, here's a new one for you.

This is a photography contest. The prize is a free autographed copy of my new release, Deadly Currents, the first book in the RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner.

I want to amass a collection of photos of the book in its "natural setting," meaning bookstores and libraries. So, I'm asking you, my blog readers, to take a photo of Deadly Currents in your local library or bookstore and send it to me at my website.

Click on "Contact Me" and please provide the following information in the email:

- your name (First name only is okay, if you want.)
- your email address (This won't be shared. It's for me to contact you if you win.)
- the name of the bookstore or library where the photo was taken
- the city and state where the photo was taken
- the photo in a .jpg file
- permission to post the photo on my blog

That's it! As I receive the photo entries for the contest, I'll post them on my blog and ask for reader comments.

I'm looking for the most creative or original entry, so feel free to let your imagination run wild. Props, costumes, characters (people or animals), interesting lighting, etc. are all encouraged. I'll weigh reader comments on the photos in my decision, but the choice of the winner will be all mine.

There are just a couple more rules. I want to give the book away soon, so the contest will end at midnight MST on April 15th. And, there will need to be at least 10 entries for me to give away the prize. So, encourage your friends to enter (the ones who have less photography talent than you, that is ;-) ).

Good luck!