06 August 2009

Bouchercon Guest Blogger #1 -- Beth Groundwater

Since Bouchercon is coming to Indianapolis in a few months and since Word Nerd is in Indianapoils and attending Bouchercon, she decided to allow some Bouchercon-bound authors to take over her blog in the coming weeks.

Kicking things off this week is Beth Groundwater. Take it away Beth...

Many thanks to Bethany for inviting me to submit a guest article to her blog prior to my appearance at the Bouchercon conference in Indianapolis.

My mystery books feature a Colorado Springs gift basket designer as an amateur sleuth who solves murders that fall in her lap (literally, in the first book!). The first book, A Real Basket Case, was released March, 2007 and was nominated for a 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award (named for Agatha Christie). To Hell in a Handbasket, the second in the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, was released May 15th this year. Claire has a part-time gift basket business in the basement of her home and puts together different types of gift baskets in the books.

I’d love to answer any questions you have about what it’s like to write a craft-based mystery series, so please submit them in a comment here. To whet your appetite, here’s a favorite gift basket recipe that I hope you’ll enjoy and use for someone who adores all things mysterious.

Recipe for a Mystery Lover's Gift Basket
Color scheme: black, red, and either white or gray
Container: black-painted basket, bucket or box, with a lid or handle sticking up, from which you hang fake spider webbing
Stuffing: dried Spanish moss or red-dyed tissue paper, shreds, or wood shavings
- A Real Basket Case and/or To Hell in a Handbasket mystery books
- CD of eerie music such as Mystery Movie Scores or Mystery Sound Effects
- Pocket-sized mystery party game or travel Clue game
- Movie DVD: Clue, Mousetrap, an Alfred Hitchcock or Sherlock Holmes movie, or a movie collection (Mystery Classics: 50 Movie Pack)
- Chocolate or bubble gum coins or other mystery-related chocolate shapes such as blood drops, knives, or guns (see http://www.chocolatepen.com/pieces.html for a sample vendor)
- And a selection from the following list:
-- Magnifying glass
-- Pair of play handcuffs and/or sheriff's badge
-- Rubber knife
-- Glasses, nose, mustache disguise
-- Skull-shaped/logo item(s): tea-light candle holder, squeeze ball, notepad, drinking cup (see the Halloween collection at http://www.orientaltrading.com/)
-- Bottle of stage blood from a costume or makeup supply store, or make your own (see chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/fakeblood.htm)

Unlike my amateur sleuth, Claire Hanover, I do not have a gift basket business of my own. My business is writing mystery novels! I live in Colorado Springs, where I defend my garden from marauding mule deer and wild rabbits and try to avoid getting black-and-blue on Colorado’s black and blue ski slopes. I have loved to read since I was a child and savor those monthly meetings with my Book Club, and not just for the gossip and wine. For more information about me and my books, and to sign up for my email newsletter and enter a contest for free mystery books, go to: http://bethgroundwater.com/.


Camille Minichino said...

Why am I not surprised to see Beth here? If Claire Hanover got around as much, she'd be an internationally known sleuth!

I always love your "recipes" Beth and have used several very successfully.

Sheila Deeth said...

Mystery classics 50 pack. Now, how do I persuade someone to make up that gift pack for me?

Beth Groundwater said...

Feel free to copy this recipe folks, and give it to a relative or friend before the holidays, saying "Here's an idea of what to give me. Now what kind of gift basket would you like?"
- Beth

Vicki Lane said...

Nice post, Beth! Are you doing a session in the craft room at Bcon?

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Beth,

This gift basket sounds like an excellent idea. I had to go back to make sure you had some chocolate in there, but you passed the test. See you at Bouchercon!

Vicki Lane said...

Fun post, Beth! And will you be in the craft room at Bcon?

Beth Groundwater said...

Yes, Vicki, I'll be doing a session in the craft room at Bouchercon. I'm really looking forward to the conference. It will be my first Bouchercon, so if anyone has any tips for this newbie, I'd love to hear them!

Neil Plakcy said...

I nominate Beth to jazz up all the author baskets at the silent auction!

Deborah Sharp said...

happy to see Beth kicking off this great idea for guest bloggers. I'm bringing my Mama Rides Shotgun book to B'con, and can't wait to see Indianapolis (my first trip!) and meet my fellow authors. Cheers!

Beth Groundwater said...

Oh no, Neil, I'm not as good at creating gift baskets as Claire Hanover is. She's the expert, I'm the amateur! ;-)