I'll put the full disclosure information right up front. I know Beth Groundwater very well and consider her a good friend. In 2007, we were two of the mystery authors on the Mystery Through the Ages panels (with Mike Befeler, Linda Berry, and Robert Spiller), and also enjoyed presentations and signings with thriller author Bonnie Ramthun and Five Star historical romance authors Joanne Sundell, Janet Lane, and Leslee Breene. You'll hear more about these and other Colorado authors over the next few months.
The launch party for Beth's second Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery, To Hell in a Handbasket, was held yesterday in Colorado Springs. Although the first book was set in Colorado Springs, book two takes place in Breckenridge, Colorado, when Claire and her family head to the mountains for a ski vacation. But all goes to hell in a handbasket when her daughter's boyfriend's sister is killed on the slope.
I'll buy my signed copy next weekend when Beth passes through Northern Colorado, but I can already tell you the first book in the series, A Real Basket Case, was an entertaining mystery with excellent plot twists. The second promises to be the same. Kirkus Reviews (April 1, 2009) said, "Groundwater's second leaves the bunny slope behind, offering some genuine black-diamond thrills."
Beth has been a powerhouse in networking and marketing, pursuing creative and energetic ways to promote her books. I asked Beth for a few comments regarding her efforts, and this is what she said:
"First, promotion takes a lot of time & planning! I set aside April - June to work full-time on promoting TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET, and I'm working at least 40 hours a week doing just that, with no time for writing fiction. I wrote all the blog articles for my tour (& a New Books essay for the June Mystery Scene) in April (if I hadn't, I would have lost my mind in May!) & booked most of my June northwest tour dates in April. This month (May) is the blog tour, contacting media along my tour route & sending out ARCs, and booking Colorado signings in June & July. Next month (June) I'm on the road. Then I'm taking a breather in July & August.I caught a few of the blogs along the way as Beth did her virtual tour. My favorite was on The Lady Killers blog on May 4th: a reporter, Ina Bigjam, interviewed Beth's protagonist, Claire, about the death of the young woman on the slopes. To find links to the rest of the blog tour, visit Beth's website.
And you never know what magic will happen down the road from your promotion efforts. I've gotten radio interviews from Facebook connections, blog site visit requests from Goodreads friends, book club invitations from library visits, you name it. It all feeds on itself."
And for some great photos of Beth's most recent activities, including pictures from Mayhem in the Midlands, a mystery convention held in Omaha in May, take a look at Beth's blog. Here's hoping she brings back another back of photos from her upcoming real life tour.