Friday, June 7, 2013

Review/Interview: Fatal Descent by Beth Groundwater

Mystery, Suspense

E-Arc from NetGalley

Midnight Ink

Release Date:
June 2013

Mandy Tanner and her fiancĂ© Rob are getting ready to lead a tour group on a raft-climbing trip through the Utah Canyonlands. They are taking a motley group of travelers, which should prove to make for an interesting excursion, especially since there’s some family dissension and a little unwanted flirting going on amongst the group.

When one of the travelers is apparently the victim of a bear attack, things take a very nasty turn. Evidence shows that this might not have been a bear attack after all. Mandy and Rob are determined to protect their clients at any cost whether from a bear attack or something even more sinister.

All of this and Mandy has to deal with her soon-to-be mother-in-law who is happily planning their wedding. Mandy would rather elope than deal with the wedding plans.

This is the third book in Beth Groundwater’s exciting RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery series. I haven’t read the first two yet, although they are both on my Kindle. However, it didn’t seem to matter. I quickly fell in love with the two main characters, Mandy and Rob. I loved them immediately and I felt like I didn’t miss anything by not reading the first two book, but I definitely plan to read them soon. I need more of this series!

The author paints a vivid picture of the setting which made me feel as if I was on the trip, too! Each character was perfectly portrayed and the mystery had me at the edge of my seat. Beth Groundwater is a new-to-me author that I will be reading all the time. I totally enjoyed this book!

FTC Disclosure: NetGalley provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

For reading challenges:
2013 ARC Reading Challenge
2013 E-Book Reading Challenge
What’s in a Name Reading Challenge

Interview with Author Beth Groundwater

Please join me in welcoming author Beth Groundwater to Socrates’ Book Review Blog. Beth is the author of two mystery series – the RM Outdoor Adventure series and the Claire Hanover Gift Basket Designer series.

Thank you for stopping by, Beth.

1) How and when did your writing career begin?

I wrote stories as a child, and I always knew that I would return to writing fiction someday, though I had to wait until I’d retired from my career as a software engineer to have the time to tackle a novel-length manuscript. That was in 1999. I continued to work on and learn from that manuscript for a few years, while publishing a few short stories, before I put it away and began work on a new one, which became A Real Basket Case. I signed the publishing contract for that book in 2006.

2) What are the differences between your two mystery series?

The Claire Hanover gift basket designer series is a craft cozy series, so it has minimal sex, violence, and foul language. The RM Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner is an outdoor adventure-based softboiled series, so it can have a tiny bit more foul language and violence and some sexual petting, though the act itself is always behind closed doors. Also, there's quite a difference between the heroines. Claire Hanover is in her late forties, married with grown children, lives in an upper middle-class home in Colorado Springs, and has a part-time gift basket business. Mandy Tanner is in her twenties, has a boyfriend and a dog, and lives in a small cottage with scavenged furniture in Salida, Colorado.

3) How did you come up with the idea for each one?

I have elements of both Claire Hanover and Mandy Tanner in my background. I used to live in Colorado Springs, and I now live in Breckenridge, Colorado, the setting for the second book in Claire's series, To Hell in a Handbasket. When I wrote A Real Basket Case, I was about Claire's age, though I'm older than her now. I don't have a gift basket business, but I create them for family and friends and charity auctions. As for the RM Outdoor Adventures series, I’ve been a “river rat” for many years myself. I took PE classes in canoeing and kayaking in college and continued paddling whitewater rivers back east while I worked in the Northern Virginia area. After moving to Colorado, I began rafting the rivers in my new home state, particularly the upper Arkansas River, which Mandy patrols for her job. And, I've enjoyed attending the FIBArk (First in Boating on the Arkansas) whitewater festival for many years, which is featured in the first book of the series, Deadly Currents. So, both series are based on my personal experiences and interests.

4) Do you outline your series? Do you know exactly what direction each series will take?

I don't outline the series, though I do outline each book before I write it. I really don't have any idea where Claire and Mandy's lives are going to lead me in each series. I just develop those ideas when I sit down to plot each book.

5) Are there any authors that influence or have influenced your career?

Many mystery authors, particularly in Colorado, have lent me their advice, expertise, and book blurbs along the path of my career, and I am very grateful for their support. These include Margaret Coel, Maggie Sefton, Robert Spiller, Kathy Brandt, Diane Mott Davidson and others. Also, reading books written by these authors, and other favorites (William Kent Krueger, Nancy Pickard, Sharon McCrumb, C. J. Box, Louise Penny, etc.), have helped me hone my own skills in mystery writing.

6) Do you have any favorite authors and/or books to recommend?

See my answer to #5!

7) How did you feel when you learned you were going to be a published author? Lots of celebrating going on in your house?

Oh yeah! In fact, on my website is a photo my husband took of me signing my first book contract, with a bottle of champagne and a glass sitting nearby, ready to be popped open and drunk. You can see it at:

8) Besides books, do you have any other hobbies?

My hobbies include lots of outdoor sports, including downhill skiing and snowshoeing in the winter and whitewater rafting, hiking and biking in the summer. My husband and I also love to travel, both in the US and internationally, and I plan our trips.

9) Do you get much interaction with your readers? I would imagine it’s easier for authors these days with the Internet.

Yes, I love to get email from readers, and there's a Contact Me button on my website ( for doing just that. Readers can also find me on Facebook ( or Goodreads ( I usually try to attend two mystery conferences a year, choosing from among Malice Domestic, Left Coast Crime, and Bouchercon, and I talk to as many readers as I can at those. Also, after each release, I do signings in Colorado bookstores, and sometimes outside the state. Readers can sign up for my email newsletter at my website to keep track of my releases and appearances, both in-person and on-line.

10) What upcoming books can we look forward to seeing from you?

The third book in the RM Outdoor Adventures series, Fatal Descent, will be released officially tomorrow, on June 8th, though readers can buy copies now (see for links). It involves both whitewater rafting and climbing and takes Mandy Tanner to a new river, the Colorado River in Utah. The third book in the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series, A Basket of Trouble, will be released on November 8th. It includes horseback riding and hippotherapy (the use of horses for occupational and physical therapy). And, of course, there are murders to be solved in both!

Thank you for visiting us. We look forward to reading more of your books!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like some interesting books. Hmm, I really got my husband to finish his short stories and continue his book...


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