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becke_davis
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Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

[ Edited ]
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

Beth's website is here: http://bethgroundwater.com/Home.html

 

 

About Beth Groundwater

 

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! 

 

A middle-school English teacher almost squelched my love for telling stories when she graded assignments on grammar, punctuation and sentence structure versus content. A good student, I learned to focus on form versus function to get the grade--something I had to unlearn later. During my high school senior year, I took an independent study in English and wrote fiction and poetry, which was critiqued by a college professor. They came back covered in red ink, but I learned a lot, including how to handle criticism!

 

After that, I obtained a college degree in Psychology (useful in character development) and Computer Science from the College of William and Mary in 1978. I wondered why I double-majored in the two fields that attracted the weirdest students at the college. I now think it's because of my lifelong interest in developing solutions to convoluted puzzles, be they software algorithms, understanding what makes a person tick, or solving a mystery story's "what if?"

 

I was a software engineer and software project manager until my retirement in 1999. Once management discovered I was a rare commodity--a software engineer who could write, I wrote countless manuals, design documents, final reports, marketing proposals, and technical papers that I presented at conferences. I also married, obtained a Masters Degree, and reared two children. I had no time to read the newspaper or watch TV, let alone write fiction. But once my husband and I met our retirement savings goals, I yearned to create stories again.

 

I've been writing fiction since retiring and so far have finished seven novels, a novella, and numerous short stories. I was active in two critique groups for over five years, but now meet with one. To learn the craft, I studied writing books, took workshops, went to conferences, and entered contests, some of which I won or placed in (see my resume). I attended my first writers' conference, the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, in 1997 and still attend regularly. I'm also a big believer in networking. I belong to the following writing organizations: Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Pikes Peak Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society. I am the Membership Chair for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.

 

On my long road to publication, I collected over 100 rejections on my short stories in order to get nine published, including one in Wild Blue Yonder, Frontier Airlines' in-flight magazine, one which was translated into Farsi, and one which was performed in live theatre. I also spent almost three years getting rejected by 89 literary agents before one decided I might have some talent and took me on. Two months later, he negotiated the contract for my first published novel. I am now with my second agent. Am I bragging about my persistence? No. I'm just telling prospective authors what it takes. Keep at it!

 

I enjoy the many outdoor activities available in my home state of Colorado, including downhill skiing, hiking and biking. Also, I love water sports, particularly whitewater rafting/canoeing and snorkeling. If a water slide is around, I'm on it--more than once. Growing up as a military brat, I also enjoy and thrive on travel. I'm the family travel agent and have planned trips for us to Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand and all over the USA, including Alaska and Hawaii. I've loved to read since I was a child, and I read at least two novels a month. I savor those monthly meetings with my Book Club, and not just for the gossip and wine!

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

Beth blogs here: http://bethgroundwater.blogspot.com/

 

She's going to be signing books at Barnes & Noble this month:

 

Saturday, June 22, 2013, 1 – 3 PM
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
795 Citadel Drive East, Colorado Springs, CO 80909

 

 

My Agent:

Sandra Bond, Bond Literary Agency

 

My Publishers:

Midnight Ink

Five Star Publishing

 

Writing Organizations I belong to:

Murder Must Advertise

Mystery Writers of America

Mystery Writers of America - Rocky Mountain Chapter

Sisters In Crime

Sisters in Crime: Guppies

Short Mystery Fiction Society

Pikes Peak Writers

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers

 

Information on Mystery Books and the Mystery Community:

Stop, You’re Killing Me!

Mystery-Cozy.com

Independent Mystery Booksellers Associations

DorothyL mystery discussion list

Mystery Scene Magazine

Reviewing the Evidence

Spinetingler Magazine

Mysterical-E

Crimespree Magazine

Over My Dead Body

 

Midnight Ink Mystery Author Friends: 

Shannon Baker

Jessie Chandler

Elizabeth Spann Craig

Vicki Doudera

Kathleen Ernst

Jennifer Harlow

Linda Joffe Hull

Sue Ann Jaffarian

Darrell James

Jess Lourey

Alice Loweecey

G. M. Maillet

Alan Orloff

Cricket McRae

Maggie Sefton

Joanna Campbell Slan

Deborah Sharp

Lois Winston

 

Five Star Mystery Author Friends:

Mike Befeler

Linda Berry

Peggy Ehrhart

Barbara Graham

L.C. Hayden

Peg Herring

Maria Hudgins

Molly MacRae

Michael Mallory

June Shaw

Patricia Stoltey

 

Other Colorado Mystery Authors I Know:

Kathy Brandt

Margaret Coel

Diane Mott Davidson

Christine Goff

Robert Spiller

 

Other Favorite Mystery Authors:

Sandi Ault

C. J. Box

Craig Johnson 

William Kent Krueger

Margaret Maron

Sharyn McCrumb

Ann Parker

Sandra Parshall

Louise Penny

Nancy Pickard

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Dana Stabenow

Jeri Westerson

 

Crime Lab Project:

As a mystery writer, I support a non-profit organization that works to increase resources for abysmally underfunded crime labs throughout America, and I hope you will, too. To learn more, go to: www.crimelabproject.com

 

American Rivers:

As a “river rat” from way back, I’m a long-time contributor to American Rivers, which protects and restores America's rivers for the benefit of people, wildlife, and nature, and I hope you will consider contributing, too. To learn more, go to: http://www.americanrivers.org/

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

Please welcome BETH GROUNDWATER!

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

More about Beth's new release:

 

Fatal Descent  

 

Overview

 

Between a rock and a hard paddle

 

Mandy Tanner and her fiancé Rob are leading an offseason rafting-climbing trip in Utah’s remote Canyonlands. Experienced guides, Mandy and Rob know they have to keep their cool after one of their group, Alex Anderson, appears to have become bear bait. Walled off from the outside world with eleven shell-shocked clients and miles of Colorado River whitewater ahead, Mandy’s nerves threaten to unravel when she learns that Alex’s death was not the work of a homicidal grizzly. Whether it was a crime of passion or the random act of a psychopath, Mandy fears that if they don’t root out the river rat among them, another camper will be running the rapids in a body bag.

 

Praise:
“A remarkable book by an author who clearly knows and loves her territory. Don’t miss it!”—William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author of the Cork O’Connor series

“Once again, Groundwater, mixing mystery with outdoor adventure, comes up with an excursion that will please most comers.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A thrilling journey . . . filled with river lore, vivid descriptions . . . and loving depictions of the varied characters.”—Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

Author
Beth_Groundwater
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the warm welcome, Becky, and I'm happy to be here as an official guest, though I do hang out with the group, occasionally reading posts and commenting infrequently. I'm really pleased with the reception that my June 8th release, FATAL DESCENT, is receiving from reviewers, with positive reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Review being joined June 1st by one in Library Journal that said in the Verdict,

 

"Groundwater’s third entry (after the Left Coast Crime Rocky Award finalist Wicked Eddies) is marked by an outdoorsy intensity and authentic sports chatter sure to resonate with Nevada Barr readers. Her methodical, gentle buildup mirrors the river’s course so that when the characters hit the rapids, life jackets are a must."

 

The book even merited its own sub-heading "River Tales," and who could complain about being compared to Nevada Barr!?

 

FATAL DESCENT takes Mandy Tanner from the upper Arkansas River in Colorado to the Colorado River in the remote Utah Canyonlands, specifically Meander and Cataract Canyons. I had fun researching the new location and highly recommend my outfitter Tag-A-Long Expeditions. So, I'm ready to answer questions. Fire away!

 

Fatal Descent  

--
Beth Groundwater, http://bethgroundwater.com/
DEADLY CURRENTS, 03/11, A REAL BASKET CASE re-release, 11/11
WICKED EDDIES, 05/12, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET re-release, 11/12
FATAL DESCENT, 06/13, A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 11/13
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maxcat
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

Hi, Beth, welcome to the forum. I need to check out your books as I haven't any but there do interest me.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Beth_Groundwater
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

Love your quote, Maxcat, and from its content, I suspect you will enjoy my RM Outdoor Adventures series. The first two books, before FATAL DESCENT, are #1, DEADLY CURRENTS and #2 WICKED EDDIES. The first takes place during the FIBArk whitewater festival ("America's Oldest and Boldest Whitewater Festival") and the second takes place during a fly fishing tournament.

 

Deadly Currents  

 

 

Wicked Eddies  

--
Beth Groundwater, http://bethgroundwater.com/
DEADLY CURRENTS, 03/11, A REAL BASKET CASE re-release, 11/11
WICKED EDDIES, 05/12, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET re-release, 11/12
FATAL DESCENT, 06/13, A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 11/13
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!


Beth_Groundwater wrote:

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the warm welcome, Becky, and I'm happy to be here as an official guest, though I do hang out with the group, occasionally reading posts and commenting infrequently. I'm really pleased with the reception that my June 8th release, FATAL DESCENT, is receiving from reviewers, with positive reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Review being joined June 1st by one in Library Journal that said in the Verdict,

 

"Groundwater’s third entry (after the Left Coast Crime Rocky Award finalist Wicked Eddies) is marked by an outdoorsy intensity and authentic sports chatter sure to resonate with Nevada Barr readers. Her methodical, gentle buildup mirrors the river’s course so that when the characters hit the rapids, life jackets are a must."

 

The book even merited its own sub-heading "River Tales," and who could complain about being compared to Nevada Barr!?

 

FATAL DESCENT takes Mandy Tanner from the upper Arkansas River in Colorado to the Colorado River in the remote Utah Canyonlands, specifically Meander and Cataract Canyons. I had fun researching the new location and highly recommend my outfitter Tag-A-Long Expeditions. So, I'm ready to answer questions. Fire away!

 

Fatal Descent  


 

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!


Beth_Groundwater wrote:

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the warm welcome, Becky, and I'm happy to be here as an official guest, though I do hang out with the group, occasionally reading posts and commenting infrequently. I'm really pleased with the reception that my June 8th release, FATAL DESCENT, is receiving from reviewers, with positive reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Review being joined June 1st by one in Library Journal that said in the Verdict,

 

"Groundwater’s third entry (after the Left Coast Crime Rocky Award finalist Wicked Eddies) is marked by an outdoorsy intensity and authentic sports chatter sure to resonate with Nevada Barr readers. Her methodical, gentle buildup mirrors the river’s course so that when the characters hit the rapids, life jackets are a must."

 

The book even merited its own sub-heading "River Tales," and who could complain about being compared to Nevada Barr!?

 

FATAL DESCENT takes Mandy Tanner from the upper Arkansas River in Colorado to the Colorado River in the remote Utah Canyonlands, specifically Meander and Cataract Canyons. I had fun researching the new location and highly recommend my outfitter Tag-A-Long Expeditions. So, I'm ready to answer questions. Fire away!

 

Fatal Descent  


Do  you hae a favorite among your books, Beth? Were any of them easier - or harder - to write than the others?

Author
Beth_Groundwater
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

No fair, Becke! That's like asking a mother if she has a favorite child. If she's smart, she'll say she loves all her children equally, and I'm doing the same. I love all my "children" books equally, for different reasons, because they are all different. I don't have a favorite.

 

As for which was the hardest to write, I would say A Real Basket Case, the first book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer series. It was my second book-length manuscript (the first never got published), so I was still learning how to write a novel. Also, I really had to plot and plan and squeeze Claire into inviting massage therapist Enrique to her home, because that is normally something she would never do. I had to box her into it, with her best friend's help. ;-)

 

A Real Basket Case  

--
Beth Groundwater, http://bethgroundwater.com/
DEADLY CURRENTS, 03/11, A REAL BASKET CASE re-release, 11/11
WICKED EDDIES, 05/12, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET re-release, 11/12
FATAL DESCENT, 06/13, A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 11/13
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!


Beth_Groundwater wrote:

No fair, Becke! That's like asking a mother if she has a favorite child. If she's smart, she'll say she loves all her children equally, and I'm doing the same. I love all my "children" books equally, for different reasons, because they are all different. I don't have a favorite.

 

As for which was the hardest to write, I would say A Real Basket Case, the first book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer series. It was my second book-length manuscript (the first never got published), so I was still learning how to write a novel. Also, I really had to plot and plan and squeeze Claire into inviting massage therapist Enrique to her home, because that is normally something she would never do. I had to box her into it, with her best friend's help. ;-)

 

A Real Basket Case  


When you sold the first book, did you contract for more in the series? I'm just curious whether you planned this as a series from the start, or if you envisioned it as a stand-alone.

 

What's your favorite part about writing a book? Your least favorite?

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Beth_Groundwater
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

Hi Becke,

My first book contract was for the hardcover edition of A Real Basket Case with Five Star Publishing. They only buy one book at a time, so it was a one-book contract. I'd already written the rough draft of To Hell in a Handbasket, though, while I was waiting for A Real Basket Case to sell, so I soon was able to submit it and get a contract from Five Star for that hardcover.

 

I planned for both the Claire Hanover gift basket designer books and the RM Outdoor Adventure books to be series when I wrote the first one. However, I have no overarching plan for either series. I put everything I can think every, every problem I can throw at my protagonist, in each book and hold nothing back for a future book. I want each project I'm working on at the the time to be the best possible story I can tell. And, I know myself well enough now to trust that when I begin a new book, the ideas will come, and I don't have to save anything from a previous project for it. So, I can't tell you what's going to happen next in Claire's or Mandy's lives. They'll tell me when I revisit them!

 

My favorite part of writing a book is the early exploratory phase where I'm conducting research, profiling characters, and creating the scene outline. It's the most creative phase of the work. Writing the rough draft is a true slog, but there are often times when I'm "in the zone" and the characters are talking and interacting with each other, and I'm just a secretary taking down notes. I love that! I do enjoy editing, so that's probably my second most favorite part after the creation phase. And as for promotion, I like talking to readers face-to-face or in forums such as this, but driving around for signings, organizing interviews and newspaper articles, writing guest blog posts, and all that "administrivia," not so much.

--
Beth Groundwater, http://bethgroundwater.com/
DEADLY CURRENTS, 03/11, A REAL BASKET CASE re-release, 11/11
WICKED EDDIES, 05/12, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET re-release, 11/12
FATAL DESCENT, 06/13, A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 11/13
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!


Beth_Groundwater wrote:

Hi Becke,

My first book contract was for the hardcover edition of A Real Basket Case with Five Star Publishing. They only buy one book at a time, so it was a one-book contract. I'd already written the rough draft of To Hell in a Handbasket, though, while I was waiting for A Real Basket Case to sell, so I soon was able to submit it and get a contract from Five Star for that hardcover.

 

I planned for both the Claire Hanover gift basket designer books and the RM Outdoor Adventure books to be series when I wrote the first one. However, I have no overarching plan for either series. I put everything I can think every, every problem I can throw at my protagonist, in each book and hold nothing back for a future book. I want each project I'm working on at the the time to be the best possible story I can tell. And, I know myself well enough now to trust that when I begin a new book, the ideas will come, and I don't have to save anything from a previous project for it. So, I can't tell you what's going to happen next in Claire's or Mandy's lives. They'll tell me when I revisit them!

 

My favorite part of writing a book is the early exploratory phase where I'm conducting research, profiling characters, and creating the scene outline. It's the most creative phase of the work. Writing the rough draft is a true slog, but there are often times when I'm "in the zone" and the characters are talking and interacting with each other, and I'm just a secretary taking down notes. I love that! I do enjoy editing, so that's probably my second most favorite part after the creation phase. And as for promotion, I like talking to readers face-to-face or in forums such as this, but driving around for signings, organizing interviews and newspaper articles, writing guest blog posts, and all that "administrivia," not so much.

 

In researching your books, have you ever come across anything that shocked or surprised you?

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

Beth - What are you working on now? Do you  have a release date for your next book? (No pressure!)

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Beth_Groundwater
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

[ Edited ]

becke_davis wrote:

 

In researching your books, have you ever come across anything that shocked or surprised you?


Oh yes, I'm often surprised by what I find out while researching my books, and those surprises can often give me ideas for new scenes or new elements to put in my scenes. For instance, while researching FATAL DESCENT, I learned about cryptobiotic soil and how fragile it is, and I used that information in a very critical scene. For those who are interested, here are a couple of links with more information about cryptobiotic soil:

 

http://www.nps.gov/cany/naturescience/soils.htm

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptobiotic_soil

--
Beth Groundwater, http://bethgroundwater.com/
DEADLY CURRENTS, 03/11, A REAL BASKET CASE re-release, 11/11
WICKED EDDIES, 05/12, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET re-release, 11/12
FATAL DESCENT, 06/13, A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 11/13
Author
Beth_Groundwater
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!


becke_davis wrote:

Beth - What are you working on now? Do you  have a release date for your next book? (No pressure!)


This is a very busy year for me, Becke! I have two releases in one year--the first time for me. My next book, A BASKET OF TROUBLE, will come out November 8th. It is the third book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer series. I should be getting the copy-edited manuscript for it soon to review.

 

A Basket of Trouble  

--
Beth Groundwater, http://bethgroundwater.com/
DEADLY CURRENTS, 03/11, A REAL BASKET CASE re-release, 11/11
WICKED EDDIES, 05/12, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET re-release, 11/12
FATAL DESCENT, 06/13, A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 11/13
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Beth_Groundwater
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

Fatal Descent 

 Just to let everyone know (and to brag a little :smileywink: ), FATAL DESCENT has received some great reviews from 3 of the "big 4" review publications. Here are some pull quotes:

 

“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, April 8, 2013

“A late-season rafting trip spells trouble for a river ranger doubling as an adventure tour guide.”
    -- Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2013

“Groundwater’s third entry (after the Left Coast Crime Rocky Award finalist Wicked Eddies) is marked by an outdoorsy intensity and authentic sports chatter sure to resonate with Nevada Barr readers. Her methodical, gentle buildup mirrors the river’s course so that when the characters hit the rapids, life jackets are a must.”
    -- Library Journal, June 1, 2013

--
Beth Groundwater, http://bethgroundwater.com/
DEADLY CURRENTS, 03/11, A REAL BASKET CASE re-release, 11/11
WICKED EDDIES, 05/12, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET re-release, 11/12
FATAL DESCENT, 06/13, A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 11/13
Distinguished Wordsmith
Fricka
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Re: Please Welcome Featured Author BETH GROUNDWATER!

Welcome back, Beth. I really enjoyed Deadly Currents and Wicked Eddies, and am looking forward to reading Fatal Descent. My niece's husband is from Page Arizona and before their marriage worked as a river raft guide during the summer seasons. I think of him when I read your stories, especially all the details about what it's like to be on a lively river. ( I personally am a flat-lander, so there is no way I would even THINK about going on a river raft ride! Thus my enjoyment of the mileau in your books is strictly vicarious.)

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie