In honor of “Best Friends Week” at LadyKillers, Cynthia Abbott has agreed to be interviewed. She is the best friend of whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner, the 27-year-old protagonist of Deadly Currents. The first book in Beth Groundwater’s RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series, Deadly Currents was just released March 8th. Let’s make Cynthia feel welcome!
Well, I'm 29, a real 29, not a 29 many times over, like some of the women who come in my bar like to claim. I'm just two years older than Mandy, and man, do I lord it over her. But she's going to have her chance to get back at me when I turn 30. I'm dreading that. I might have to start acting like an adult!
As for looks, I guess I hold my own. I'm a brunette, and I tie my long hair back in a French braid so it's out of the way while I'm pouring drinks. I've got a beautiful tattoo on my left arm of a hummingbird drinking nectar out of a flower. I'm thinking of getting something like it on my other arm when I turn 30. Like most of the folks in town, my standard outfit is a pair of jeans and a shirt, though I usually like to show a peek of cleavage, especially at the bar. Helps with the tips, if you know what I mean.
2. What do you do for work?
I tend bar at the historic Victoria's Tavern in downtown Salida, Colorado. Locals call it the Vic. It's an old Western saloon built in the early 1900's, and it has a gorgeous long polished wood bar. The stamped tin ceiling keeps the noise out of the rooms above, but it makes it really loud in the bar.
It's a hopping place, especially on the weekends. Rafting guides, tourists, and river rangers stop by to drink a few beers and tell stories after a day on the Arkansas River. Some great Colorado rock bands swing by and play on the weekends, too. The pay's not great, but the tips and the people and getting to hear all the juicy gossip in town make up for it.
2. How did you and Mandy Tanner meet?
She came in the bar with a bunch of rafting guides a few years back. It was off season and kinda slow, so we got a chance to talk. That was before she took the river ranger job. We just clicked. We like the same music, feel the same way about protecting the Arkansas, have the same opinions about some of the people in this town. I see Mandy a lot in the Vic, but since I'm busy pouring drinks, we usually don't get to talk much. So, we try to hang out at least once a week when we're both off work. It's hard sometimes, since she works during the day and I work in the evenings.
3. How would you characterize your friendship with Mandy?
We are BFFs, and we wear friendship bracelets we give each other on our ankles to prove it. If Mandy’s gets too frayed or breaks, I make her another one. And she does the same for me. If one of us in trouble, the other one drops everything to help.
But that doesn't keep us from teasing each other. Since Mandy's a blonde, I've stocked up on blonde jokes to tell her every time she comes in the bar. Sure, she rolls her eyes when I tell them, but I know she secretly gets off on them. Here's a short one:
Why does a blonde have T.G.I.F. written on her shoes?
“Toes go in first!”
4. What do you think about Tom King's death?
That guy was such a slimeball that, frankly, I really don't care that he died. But I do care about what his death is doing to Mandy. She can't seem to let it go. She did a damn good job pulling two people out of the Numbers, before they got chewed up and spit out of the those killer rapids. But she's blaming herself for Tom King dying on the river bank after she pulled him out. And she had nothing to do with it!
I wish I could knock some sense into her. In the meantime, I'll be watching out for her at the bar. Make sure she doesn't drown her sorrows, if you know what I mean.
Thanks, Cynthia! Okay, LadyKillers readers, do you have a question for Cynthia Abbott? What would you like to know about her? And feel free to ask a question of author Beth Groundwater, too. She’ll be monitoring the comments along with Cynthia. Remember, everyone who comments will be entered into a contest for a free copy of Deadly Currents.
If you’d like to see what the other stops are on Beth Groundwater’s virtual book tour and what other characters in the book will be interviewed, go to: http://bethgroundwater.com/2011_Virtual_Book_Tour.html. If you’d like to order an autographed copy of Deadly Currents, go to the website for Black Cat Books (http://manitoubooks.com/) and click on "Contact Us”. Either call the phone number or fill out the form with your contact information.
Beth Groundwater writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series (A Real Basket Case, a 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist, and To Hell in a Handbasket, 2009) and the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures mystery series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner. The first, Deadly Currents, will be released March 8th.
Beth lives in Colorado and enjoys its many outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, and whitewater rafting. She loves talking to book clubs, too, and not just for the gossip and wine! Please visit her website at bethgroundwater.com and her blog at bethgroundwater.blogspot.com.
The Arkansas River, heart and soul of Salida, Colorado, fuels the small town’s economy and thrums in the blood of river ranger Mandy Tanner. When a whitewater rafting accident occurs, she deftly executes a rescue, but a man dies anyway. Turns out, it wasn’t the rapids that killed him—it was murder. Tom King was a rich land developer with bitter business rivals, who cheated on his wife, refused to support his kayak-obsessed son, and infuriated environmentalists. Mandy’s world is upended again when tragedy strikes closer to home. Suspicious that the most recent death is connected to Tom King’s murder, she goes on an emotionally turbulent quest for the truth—and ends up in dangerous waters.