September 15, 2011

Made It Moment: Beth Groundwater

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 8:01 am

Deadly Currents

As I type, Beth Groundwater might be cascading down a Class IV rapid in Utah. Actually, it’s two hours earlier in Utah, so she is probably asleep. But the point remains–Beth writes a most unusual series that blends mystery, whitewater, and river ranger sleuth Mandy Tanner–while being a most unusual person herself. Please read on to learn Beth’s unique experience with making it.

Beth Groundwater

I’ve had many significant moments in my writing career that defined me as a multi-published mystery author. Some that come to mind are signing with my first literary agent, signing my first book contract, holding a copy of that first published book (A Real Basket Case) in my hands, being short-listed for a Best First Novel Agatha Award, and obtaining good reviews from all four of the Big Four review publications for one of my mysteries ( Deadly Currents).

However, my true “Made It Moment” occurred fairly recently, on June 18th of this year. On that day, I was honored to be the Parade VIP in the parade for the FIBArk (First in Boating on the Arkansas river) whitewater festival, the nation’s oldest and boldest whitewater festival that takes place annually in Salida, Colorado. You see, my March release, Deadly Currents, is the first book in my new Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventure series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner.

Mandy lives in Salida, and the story features FIBArk events. The festival planning committee knew about my book and some members had read it, so they made the logical decision to invite me to be that year’s parade VIP.

You know you’ve “made it” when you get to sit on the back of a PT Cruiser convertible and wave to crowds lining the streets! I could hear the townspeople saying to each other, “Oh, that’s that author,” as I went by. They knew about me because the local bookstore, The Book Haven, had been displaying copies of Deadly Currents, the Salida Citizen had published an interview with me, and I’d been interviewed the day before on the local radio station, KSBV, The River Rat.

I was famous (at least in Salida)!

I can barely describe the thrill of those few minutes, the shivering elation I felt at being honored for my writing. As I smiled and waved at people and they returned my waves, my heart was truly almost ready to burst from pride and happiness. It was an absolutely amazing experience, especially when we pulled into the heart of downtown, where the crowd was 4-8 people deep, and the parade announcer introduced me. And it’s an experience I will remember and savor for years to come.

Needless to say, my book signing that afternoon was a huge success.

The icing on the cake was when the Shelf Awareness email newsletter, which is delivered to librarians, booksellers, publishers, agents, and thousands of other members of the book trade, accepted my husband’s photo of me in the parade for their Image of the Day, with the title “ Groundwater Is Whitewater Star.” Man, oh man!

You know, I’m not even sure hitting the New York Times bestseller list would top that moment. (But I’m game to try! ;-)

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). A Real Basket Case will be re-released in November in trade paperback and ebook. Beth also writes the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures mystery series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner. The first, Deadly Currents, was released in March, 2011, and the second, Wicked Eddies, will be released in May, 2012. Beth enjoys Colorado’s many outdoor activities, including skiing and whitewater rafting, and loves talking to book clubs. Please visit her website at and her blog at


  1. And the parade of life goes on. Sounds exciting.


    Comment by Arthur Levine — September 15, 2011 @ 9:08 am

  2. Jenny, you’ve done a nice job here. Love your colors (not to mention your writing).

    Comment by Doctor Barbara — September 15, 2011 @ 9:26 am

  3. Beth, I would definitely call being in a parade as a Made It Moment to remember.

    Comment by Nancy Morse — September 15, 2011 @ 9:36 am

  4. Oh, that is cool!

    Comment by Savvy — September 15, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  5. What a great Made It Moment. Congrats!

    Comment by Sandy — September 15, 2011 @ 10:14 am

  6. Man, that would be so AWESOME! Congrats and continued good luck with your books!

    Thanks for another great “moment” Jenny!

    Comment by Shirley Hicks — September 15, 2011 @ 10:16 am

  7. Hi Jenny and Jenny’s readers,
    Actually, I’m still in Colorado, packing for my multi-day whitewater rafting trip down the Colorado River. My husband and I will be hitting the waves on Saturday, after driving to Breckenridge, CO today to pick up our camping gear at our second (and hopefully soon to be only) home and to Moab, Utah tomorrow to check in with the outfitter. This is all research for book 3 in the RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series–but it will also be a boatload of fun!

    It’ll be hard to top the excitement of that parade, though, which, yes, Shirley, was downright AWESOME!

    Comment by Beth Groundwater — September 15, 2011 @ 10:34 am

  8. Beth, that’s fantastic!

    Comment by DeAnna — September 15, 2011 @ 11:00 am

  9. Fantastic, Beth! That truly was a “made it” moment. I’m reading Deadly Currents right now and love it. What a great start to a series. Have a safe trip!

    Comment by Susan M. Boyer — September 15, 2011 @ 11:08 am

  10. Outstanding Made It Moment, Beth. It made me smile just to read about it.

    Comment by Marja McGraw — September 15, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  11. Jenny: Haven’t stopped by in a while but I like the design with the “support the author” tag. That is so cool!

    Beth: I love your moment. Parades are an American icon and being an honored guest sounds so great! Will have to add that to my to do list for the summer! Have fun rafting! We are thinking of a family trip next spring to the East Coast. Haven’t been in 20 years since meeting my husband on a trip of a life time!


    W.S. Gager on Writing

    Comment by W.S. Gager — September 15, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

  12. What an absolutely wonderful Made It Moment! It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving gal. I just can’t believe you didn’t invite me to sit next to you! (J/K!!) Enjoy your trip.

    Comment by L. C. Hayden — September 15, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  13. So glad to see you all here! Arthur, that made me grin :) Wendy, glad you’re back and if you make it to the east coast maybe our paths can cross for some writerly night out or something. Savvy, Nancy, Sandy, Shirley, and Marja, great to see you, and Susan, nice to meet you and thanks for stopping by the blog!

    Comment by jenny — September 15, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

  14. Welcome, L.C.! I wish I could’ve been in that parade beside Beth, too–or better yet (for me) on the raft today :)

    Comment by jenny — September 15, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  15. What an outstanding moment, Beth. I look forward to seeing you in Longmont this November when we sign together! You and I and Ann Parker should have a really fun night.
    Michelle Black

    Comment by Michelle Black — September 15, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

  16. Thanks for the comments, everyone! I’m in Breckenridge now, and we’ve added the camping gear to our packing pile in the car. We head out tomorrow am for Moab. Mchelle, I’m looking forward to signing with you, too, and Jenny, yes, let’s go rafting together! :) LC, you make a wonderful travel companion, and I’m sure you would absolutely rock as a parade VIP. Susan, you made my day by saying you’re loving Deadly Currents. I hope you love it all the way to the end!

    Jenny, thanks again for inviting me to visit your blog!

    Comment by Beth Groundwater — September 15, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

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