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March 11, 2011


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Beth Groundwater

Thanks for having Cynthia and me on as guests today, LadyKillers! I hope everyone will join me in offering prayers for the people of Japan and find some way to contribute to the earthquake relief efforts. I know an interview with a fictional character seems trivial in comparison, but maybe Cynthia can provide you with some relief from today's tragedy, and I hope you'll take the time to read her interview.
- Beth

Michele Emrath

Sounds like Beth has created some interesting characters. The town itself sounds like a character I'd like to visit! Way to go, Beth!


Beth Groundwater

Thanks, Michele! Salida is indeed a lovely place to visit, with many interesting real-life characters. :)

Maryann Miller

What fun it always is to meet a character like this. Thanks.

Enjoy the rest of your tour. I agree that it is hard to focus on what we need to be doing in the face of what happened in Japan today.

Camille Minichino

Thanks for stopping by, Beth, and for introducing us to Cynthia, who would surely join us in offerings of help to the victims in Japan.

Do you ever worry that the delightful, big-hearted Cynthia will overpower Mandy?


I can vouch for the charm of Salida... and Beth, your characters sound like great fun. Can't wait to pick up a copy of Deadly Currents at Left Coast Crime!
And I agree... the events in Japan are overwhelming. A sober reminder that Nature (earthquakes, tsunamis, even the power of a mountain stream) is a force to be reckoned with and always taken seriously...

Margaret Lucke

Congratulations on the new book, Beth! Cynthia and Mandy both sound like good friends to have.

Linda McDonald

Cynthia sounds like a fun character. For me, the main character's BFF is an important part of the story. And yes, the tragedy in Japan is so sad. I've been watching a lot of the news reports. I find though, that reading novels is my way of escaping just for a bit, even if it is only for a short time.

Linda McDonald

I meant to add a question for you. With this new book, it is not considered a cozy mystery, is it? What are the differences in the writing of it with regards to your cozy mysteries?


Beth Groundwater

Thanks for your comments, Maryanne, Camille, Ann, Margaret, and Linda!

Cynthia may be delightful and big-hearted, but as readers will learn in book 2, Wicked Eddies, she is more a victim than a heroine like Mandy. So, no, I don't worry about her overpowering Mandy. Mandy needs her friend, though, and vice versa.

I'm looking forward to seeing you again at Left Coast Crime!

My editor calls this new RM Outdoor Adventure Mystery series a "softboiled" series versus a "cozy" series. It's still not as gritty, bloody, gory or sexy as a thriller can be, but it does push the boundaries of the cozy genre. For example, we see Mandy and her boyfriend Rob engage in a little foreplay, but when they go in the bedroom, one of them kicks the door shut before we can go in there with them. :)

With my Claire Hanover gift basket designer cozy mystery series, I write about many emotions, but I hold back a little when it comes to exposing the raw underbelly of dark emotions. In this series, I have the leeway to dig deeper into those dark emotions and darker topics, and I do.

As for the force of nature, there's no force more powerful than that of rushing water, and the videos of the Japan tsunami attest to that. That's why whitewater rafting and rangering can be dangerous. I invite everyone to come to the Poe's Deadly Daughters blog over the weekend to read my post on "The Dangers and Excitement of Whitewater Rafting."

But in the meantime, Cynthia is waiting to answer your questions here, and I'm available, too.


Hi Cynthia,

I'm glad you're BFF with Mandy. Would you be interested in being a river rafting guide?

Beth Groundwater

Hi Dru,
Thanks for the question! I was getting a little bored waiting for one. :)

I like hanging with the river guides who come to the Vic, and I've even gone on a few rafting trips myself. And, one part of their job is a lot like mine: having to put on a happy face for the customers even when you feel like s**t and they're being perfect asses.

I make better money than the guides, do, though, being a bartender, and it's a year-round job (with benefits!). They all have to find other jobs in the winter. Many go somewhere else and many end up working for Monarch Mountain as ski patrollers, ski instructors, lifties, or even bus drivers.

I don't think I'd want to give up the steady paycheck. Plus, it's fun and rewarding being a bartender. I'm a combination social hostess, psychologist, and mix master. I'm proud of all the drink recipes I've memorized, though most of my orders are just for plain beer or shots.

Beth Groundwater

PS. That last comment was mine!
- Cynthia

(I'm borrowing Beth's login.)


Cynthia -- Do you have a favorite drink you like to mix? I know some are pretty fancy.
And what is your favorite drink to drink? :-)

Beth Groundwater

Great question, Ann! I like to make layered shots, because they aren't easy, so I can show off my pouring skills, and they're pretty to look at. My favorite for Halloween is a candy corn shooter:

1/3 oz Galliano
1/3 orange curacao
1/3 oz cream

As for me, like most of my river rat buddies, beer's my beverage of choice. I'll drink most anything in a can if it's cold, but if someone else is buying, I like Amica's Bomber Blonde Ale. Kinda goes with my whole blonde joke schtick with Mandy, and it goes down real smooth. Amica's is a pizza and microbrew pub right here in Salida:

--Cynthia out!

Gayle Gresham

Oh, this is a book I have to read! Salida is a charming town, but it is no stranger to murder. It has a very colorful past which I am enjoying researching and writing.

Susan J. Tweit

Looks like a fascinating series! Beth, will you be coming to Salida's best indie bookstore, The Book Haven, to do a signing?

Arletta Dawdy

Hello Cynthia, Mandy and Beth,
I wonder what life was like for you, Cynthia, before the Vic and Mandy?

Beth Groundwater

Hi Gayle,
Thanks for your comment. Salida is indeed a very interesting place. Are you writing a historical nonfiction book about it? Please tell me more. It will have to go on my TBR list.

Hi Susan,
Yes I have a signing at The Book Haven scheduled for Thursday, April 21st, 4:30 - 5:30 PM, followed by a discussion about Deadly Currents with their book club, that will also be open to the public. I hope to see you there!

- Beth

Beth Groundwater

Hi Arletta,
Beth wrote a lot more about me in the second book of her series, Wicked Eddies. I'm not sure I'm comfortable about revealing those dark events that happened in my past, but my new therapist says it was good for me to reexamine them.

I don't want to tell you anything that will ruin the surprise for readers of Wicked Eddies. But, I will tell you that I grew up in Salida, so it's home for me. My folks later moved to Connecticut, and my dad died of lung cancer there a few years back. My mom's still there, and she and I aren't very close. My therapist says I should work on that, but I'm not sure I want to.

I ran away from home when I was sixteen and wound up in a youth shelter in Santa Fe, where I earned my GED. I waited tables after that, then decided I'd earn more money as a bartender, so I saved my tip money and went to bartending school in Denver. Then I came back home to Salida and started tending bar at the Vic, where I've been ever since.

- Cynthia

Beth Groundwater

Thanks, LadyKillers, for allowing Cynthia and I to visit! I think I can speak for her when I say we enjoyed it very much. I hope we whetted your interest, so you'll pick up a copy of Deadly Currents and read it.

- Beth

Lori Orser

I've only been through Salida twice, coming and going to Thing One's parents' "cabin" (trailer... not a cabin in MY book) but I would really have loved to be able to stay awhile. I'd also like to try rafting that river, as long as I had a good guide and assurance that I wouldn't fall out. Beth, this sounds like a great start to a fabulous series, and I'll have to check it out. I love mysteries!

Heidi M. Thomas

Beth, your character sounds like someone I'd like to get to know!


Thanks so much for stopping by The LadyKillers, Cynthia and Beth.
It's been great fun to learn more about Mandy's BFF and about this new series.
Wishing you the best on your virtual book tour and with DEADLY CURRENTS! :-)

Beth Groundwater

Thanks for your comments, Lori and Heidi!

Glad to hear you're a mystery lover! You've got a lot of great books to choose from among my blog hosts, as well as my own.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Mandy Tanner, too, who is the heroine of the series. :)

Gayle Gresham

Beth, you can read more about my Salida family history and research at http://ColoradoReflections.blogspot.com Yes, I am writing a creative nonfiction book about a cattle rustling story in the 1880's. And I am thinking I may just have to make a research trip to Salida April 21st!

Sheila Deeth

This is fun. I love these interviews. Mandy seems so real.

Beth Groundwater

Thanks for your comments, Gayle and Sheila,

I'll check out your blog and I'd love to meet you in person on the 21st.

Mandy IS real--to me, at least. :)

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