Thursday, May 30, 2013

Appearing on Gelati's Scoop GZONE!

Tonight at 7 PM Eastern time, 5 PM Mountain time, I will be interviewed by Giovanni Gelati, writer of the well-known Gelati's Scoop blog, on his blogtalkradio show, Gelati's Scoop GZONE. To listen to the show live, go HERE. You can also call in with a comment or question at 1-949-270-5955.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Preparing for a Book Signing

Fatal Descent, the third book in my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series starring whitewater river ranger/rafting guide Mandy Tanner, will be released on June 8th. I have scheduled eight book signings to occur in the six weeks after the release date. I have a busy summer coming up!

The first signing will actually be on Saturday, June 8th, at the Next Page Bookstore in Frisco, Colorado, from 3 to 5 PM. (Hint: if you want to order an autographed copy to be mailed to you, place an order with Next Page before the event or with Black Cat Books (click on the Fatal Descent link above for info), my official bookstore supplier for autographed copies.)

Scheduling a signing, though, is not all there is to it! First comes the selection of an ideal date and time for that venue. In the case of Next Page Bookstore, this signing will take place on the same weekend as the Ten Mile Creek whitewater kayaking events in Frisco, Colorado, including a One Mile Race, Rodeo, and Best Trick competitions. And, the signing is timed to end well before the first kayaking event. Coincidence? Nope!

Second task is inviting a whole gang of folks to come. In the case of this event, it will be a fundraiser for the Gore Range chapter of Trout Unlimited, with the store donating 10% of the proceeds to the chapter. That means the event will be included in the chapter newsletter going out to all of the members. Also, I will create a virtual event for the booksigning on Facebook and Goodreads and invite all of my virtual friends on those sites who live nearby to come. I'll also send a special mailing to my email newsletter subscribers who live nearby, asking them to come.

Third is arranging for local media coverage. Both a Trout Unlimited representative and I have contacted the local newspaper, the Summit Daily News, and the Midnight Ink publicist has mailed a review copy of the book to the Arts and Entertainment editor. A feature article to appear in the newspaper the day before the event is planned.

Fourth is doing whatever else you can to assure the success of the event. I will email an invite to my book club. Also, I've arranged for a copy of the book to be given out as a door prize at the Breckenridge Resort Chamber mixer tonight, and the details of the June 8th signing will be announced along with that.

So, you can see that a "simple" book signing is not as simple as it seems and actually entails a lot of work on many people's part!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Criminal Element and a Goodreads Giveaway

I've got two things to report today. First is an article I wrote for Criminal Element, "a community website featuring daily content for fans of the crime and mystery genres in all of their forms." The article is titled "Murder in the Great Outdoors." It is about the subgenre of mystery novels whose settings are in the outdoors, such as my RM Outdoor Adventures series. You can read the article HERE. It includes a summary of the series of some of my favorite authors in this genre, including Dana Stabenow. The cover art for Dana's latest release in her Kate Shugak series, Bad Blood, is shown below. Please leave a comment at the bottom of the article to let me know what you think of it and to tell me the name of YOUR favorite outdoor mysteries author.

The second thing to report is that I've started a Goodreads giveaway for two free copies of the third book in my RM Outdoor Adventures series, Fatal Descent, that will be released on June 8th. The cover art is shown below. If you are a Goodreads member, you can enter the giveaway by going HERE. Good luck!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Today's Mystery Author Guest: Chrystle Fiedler

As promised yesterday, fellow mystery author Chrystle Fiedler is visiting my blog today. To read her bio and see her photo, please page down to yesterday's post. Also, Chrystle is running a contest for a free autographed copy of her latest release, Scent to Kill, the cover art for which appears above. Chrystle will select the winner tomorrow evening from among those who leave a comment today or tomorrow.

Below is Chrystle's guest article.

Why I Write Cozy Mysteries

Reality is over rated. At least I think so. Instead, I find comfort escaping into the world of a cozy mystery. Before I wrote cozy mysteries, I read them – Agatha Christie’s tales of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes and Dashiell Hammett, and watched them – Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse, and Murder, She Wrote which I’ve recently rediscovered on Hallmark TV.

Whether it’s in these pages or by watching these shows, I escape, like you do, to the coziness of quaint country villages, dappled country lanes, inviting stores on the high street, and of course, lovely rose-covered cottages; inside, a cup of tea waiting.

Of course, the world of the cozy is in stark contrast to the murderous crimes committed there that shatter the peace and serenity. But we also know the detective will figure out the puzzle, catch the killer and put things back in their proper place. That’s incredibly satisfying to me as a writer as well, to have the power to put things back into balance.

My natural remedies mysteries are also set in a classic cozy setting, in this case, a real, idyllic fishing village on the East End of Long Island in NY called Greenport. When I was growing up, the area was somewhat depressed, but within the past two decades, Greenport has come into its own as a tourist destination with upscale eateries and boutiques sandwiched between Mom and Pop hardware stores, diners and retro stores.  Forbes Magazine has even named Greenport one of the prettiest villages in the U.S.

I’ve always had an interest in natural medicine so I made my cozy protagonist, Willow McQuade, a naturopathic doctor who takes over a health food store – Nature’s Way Market and Café  – after her Aunt Claire meets an untimely end. The store is located in a lovely 3-story yellow Victorian house with a water view. Inside, it’s cozy too, with a homey feel, yummy cooking smells and the scent of essential oils, herbs and flower essences.

To complete my cozy universe, I gave Willow a hunky ex-cop love interest named Jackson Spade, an adorable rescued dog and two rescued cats, loyal friends and workers and the spirit of her Aunt Claire to guide her.

Writing the natural remedies mysteries also gives me a wonderful chance to share what I’ve learned about natural cures with readers. It’s amazing what you can find in your kitchen and garden that can soothe and heal you. That’s a cozy feeling too.

In Scent to Kill, my latest natural remedies mystery cozy, I focus on the practice of aromatherapy, the use of essential oils to improve health and well-being. As I’m writing I can smell the lavender, jasmine and roses.

Whether I am writing my cozies, reading or watching them, I experience the same comfortable, homey, and safe feeling, knowing that no matter what happens, that all will be well in the end. Where else can you get that guarantee? Cozy mysteries are one of the best antidotes to reality I’ve found. How about you?

For a chance to win a copy of Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery just leave a comment here!

Here’s the scoop on Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery:

Scent to Kill is a well-crafted mystery…Devotees of natural medicine and aromatherapy will enjoy the tips that appear at the beginning of each chapter and scattered throughout the text.”
Publisher’s Weekly

Willow McQuade, naturopathic doctor, along with her hunky ex-cop boyfriend Jackson Spade, attend a party for a psychic TV show that is filming on Long Island’s idyllic East End. However, Willow is much more interested in visiting the estate’s lavender farm, seeking inspiration for the new aromatherapy workshops she'll be holding at her store, Nature’s Way Market and Café.

Before the party is over, Roger Bixby one of the producers, is dead and the police suspect murder. Roger was working on the show, MJ’s Mind, with Carly Bixby, his ex-wife and the new girlfriend of Willow's ex from L.A., TV writer/producer Simon Lewis.

After Willow leaves the party, she gets a frantic text from Simon asking for her help. Since Simon had a fight with Roger earlier in the evening, and because of his death is now the primary shareholder in Galaxy films, Willow's ex becomes the prime suspect. Simon begs her to crack the case and clear him of the murder. MJ McClellan, the psychic and star of the show also asks Willow for help. She hires Willow to provide natural remedies, including aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture and yoga to soothe the agitated crew of her show.

To find the killer, Willow has to deal with ghosts in a haunted mansion, a truly dysfunctional family, death threats and “accidents,” while trying to untangle a homicide identical to one committed during prohibition. Thankfully, Jackson has been hired to provide security and is there to watch her back and help Willow solve this spooky mystery.

As a bonus, you’ll find dozens of natural aromatherapy cures throughout the book that can improve your health. I think you’ll be surprised as how much they can help you feel better in mind, body and spirit!

Thanks, Chrystle! Now, who has a comment or question for Chrystle Fiedler? Good luck in the contest!    

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tomorrow's Guest: Chrystle Fiedler

Tomorrow, fellow mystery author Chrystle Fiedler will guest on my blog. Also, Chrystle will run a contest for a free autographed copy of her latest release, Scent to Kill.  She will choose the winner from among those who leave a comment.

Chrystle Fiedler is the author of Scent to Kill, (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster) the second in the NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY series, Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery, the non-fiction title The Complete Idiot's Guide to Natural Remedies (Alpha, 2009), co-author of Beat Sugar Addiction Now! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), currently in its fourth printing, the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! Cookbook (Fairwinds Press, 2012) and The Country Almanac of Home Remedies (Fairwinds, 2011). Chrystle’s magazine articles featuring natural remedies have appeared in many national publications including Natural Health, Vegetarian Times, Better Homes & Gardens and Remedy.

In her guest post tomorrow, Chrystle talks about why she writes cozy mysteries, and I'm sure you'll be intrigued by her article. Then, please make a comment or ask a question in the comments, and good luck in the contest!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mystery Book Clubs on Goodreads

On Wednesday, I posted a list of Facebook mystery book clubs that I participate in. Today, I'm turning my attention to Goodreads. For my blog readers who are members of Goodreads, you may be interested in joining one or more of the following mystery book clubs on the site where I hang out:

Cozy Mysteries

Cozy Mystery Corner

The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group

mystery lovers

And, here's my Q and A group, where you can ask me any question you like and commune with fellow readers of my books!

Q and A with Beth Groundwater

If you participate in a Goodreads mystery book club that is NOT in my list, please give me the name and a link to it in a comment, and I'll join it!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mystery Book Clubs on Facebook

For my blog readers who are members of Facebook, you may be interested in joining one or more of the following mystery book clubs on the site that I participate in:

Mystery Most Cozy

DorothyL     (an extension of the long-running well-known discussion listserv)

The Mystery Reader

Murder and Mayhem Cozy Mysteries

Make Mine Mystery

BOOKED - The Crime Fiction Club

Mystery Readers' Corner   (no author promotion allowed)

If you participate in a Facebook mystery book club that is NOT in my list, please give me the name and a link to it in a comment, and I'll join it!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference Coming in October

The Colorado Watershed Assembly, Colorado Riparian Association, and Colorado Foundation for Water Education have joined forces to put on the eighth annual Sustaining Colorado Watersheds conference this fall, October 8 - 10, at the Westin Riverfront Resort in Avon, Colorado. The theme for this year's conference is "Water: What is the New Normal?" and workshops will explore how baseline shifts in demographics, climate and precipitation, technology, use of water and land, and public perceptions are affecting Colorado well as how we who care about Colorado watersheds are or should be responding.

Since I write the RM Outdoor Adventures series that is set in Salida, Colorado on the Arkansas River, I have an ongoing interest in seeing not only the Arkansas River, but ALL of Colorado's watersheds (including the Blue River watershed that includes Breckenridge, Colorado, where I live) are kept clean and healthy and flowing at a sustainable level. I hope if you, too, are interested in preserving Colorado watersheds, you will consider attending this conference!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Swiftwater Rescue Conference Coming in October

The American Canoe Association has made plans for a Swiftwater Rescue Conference this October on the Tuckaseege River in Dillsboro, NC. These conferences and swiftwater rescue classes are training grounds for river rangers such as Mandy Tanner, the protagonist in my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series. I observed a swiftwater rescue class before writing Deadly Currents, the first book in the series.

The ACA conference will include sessions on the future of swiftwater rescue, cinching systems, steep creek rescue, safety trends, boat unpinning, and other fascinating (to me!) topics. I wish I could attend, soak up all the knowledge, and interview river rangers there, but unless a sugar daddy comes up with funding for me, I'll have to sit by the sidelines for now and dream. If any of my blog readers is going, take notes and photos for me, please!!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

One Month to Launch for FATAL DESCENT!

In one short month, Fatal Descent, the third book in my RM Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger and rafting guide Mandy Tanner will be released by Midnight Ink. Here's the blurb:

"A fast-paced locked-room mystery in Utah’s awe-inspiring canyon lands

River guide Mandy Tanner and her fiancé Rob Juarez, owners of RM Outdoor Adventures, are leading an off-season rafting and climbing trip on the Colorado River. The unfamiliar topography and a lecherous local climbing guide have Mandy on edge — but that’s nothing compared to the trouble the clients bring. When a young man is found dead, everyone on the trip is a suspect. Since there’s no way out of the Colorado River’s steep canyons, it’s up to Mandy and Rob to solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again."

The book has already received some great reviews (see below), and both Amazon and Barnes and Noble have a special preorder price for the trade paperback of only $8.51 (save 43% off list)!

"The tension runs high in Groundwater’s absorbing third RM Outdoor Adventures mystery … Scenic descriptions and folklore add atmosphere to a suspenseful tale." -- Publishers Weekly (for full review, go HERE)

"Groundwater’s books keep getting better. The mystery is well written, but the scenery takes pride of place in this exciting story." -- Cayocosa72 - Book Reviews (for full review, go HERE)

I'm busy making plans to promote the launch, writing articles for mystery magazines and blogs, setting up signing events, organizing contests, etc. I hope some of my blog readers will be able to join in the fun! Stay tuned here and to my website and sign up for my email newsletter, if you aren't already, to be privvy to the plans!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Storytelling in Anoher Medium

I am blogging today at Inkspot, the blog for Midnight Ink authors, about reviewing films for the Breckenridge Festival of Film, applying my storytelling skills to another medium. Have you ever attended a film festival? If so, which one? What did you think of it? Please share in a comment there!

Friday, May 03, 2013

The Ark Sharks

Since I write a mystery series featuring a whitewater river ranger and rafting guide, the RM Outdoor Adventures series, I am interested in all things related to whitewater rafting and competitions in the sport. Recently my local newspaper, the Summit Daily News, ran a feature article on the Ark Sharks, a local world-class competitive whitewater rafting team based right here in my hometown of Breckenridge, Colorado. All the members of the team work as river guides in Colorado, with most of their time spent working the Arkansas River, thus the name Ark Sharks. When they aren't working, they like to play on the river with kayaks, canoes, or any conveyance that is river-related. Here's their Facebook page, an interview with them, and a video of them in action.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Library Appearances

As part of the local celebrations of National Library Week, I appeared at three library author events in Colorado during April. First was the Pikes Peak Library District's Mountain of Authors. Here I am at the event, holding the cover art for my upcoming June release, Fatal Descent.

I had a great time reconnecting with Colorado Springs friends at the event, including librarians, readers, and fellow authors. At the next event, the Longmont Library's Colorado Author Open House, I got to sit next to mystery author friend Linda Berry and hear all about her adventuresome trip to Antarctica. After the event was over, Linda and I met up with librarian Sherri Jennings and her husband to share a bottle of wine and swap stories. What an interesting day!

The final event last weekend was the Englewood Library's Colorado Author Open House. While there, I shared a table with friend and fellow author Jeanne Stein. She has her pitch fine-tuned down to three words, "Urban fantasy, vampires." If people look interested, she continues. I'll have to figure out how to follow her lead!

I talked to both Jeanne and fellow mystery author Mike Befeler about avenues for self-publishing. More and more traditionally published authors are considering turning to self-publishing for standalone titles, backlist titles, short story collections, or other projects outside of their mainstream traditional projects. It's a whole new world out there! Below is a photo that Mike took of Jeanne and me, and below that is a photo of all the participating authors.