A Day In The Life Of Claire Hanover by Beth Groundwater

Hi, Claire here. I was a little intimidated when Dru Ann Love asked me to share my typical day with her readers. I mean, how interesting can a day spent with a middle-aged housewife with a part-time gift basket business really be? Sigh! I’ll try my best to jazz it up some.

Since I’m sharing EVERYTHING, I’ll tell you that my “day” usually begins with waking up a couple of times in the early morning with hot flashes. I can’t wait until I’m done with periomenopause and my thermostat goes back to normal!

My husband Roger and I live in the Coyote Hills neighborhood of Colorado Springs, though I wish I still lived near my best friends Ellen and Jill (more about them later). Weekdays, I get up around six-thirty when his alarm goes off and fix his breakfast and coffee before he leaves for his job as a CFO for a mid-sized technology company run by a small-sized tyrant. Sorry, I’m prejudiced. That man just works my man way too hard.

Roger’s and my kids are grown, so once the “big kid” is out the door, I don’t have many other family responsibilities. I’ll usually spend the mornings, and some afternoons, on my gift basket business, creating baskets, delivering them, shopping for supplies, handling orders, and so on. I have a workroom in my basement filled with baskets, ribbons, artificial flowers, packing and wrapping materials, and other odds and ends I use to decorate my creations. I also keep a stock of Colorado-based foodstuffs and other products, because my Colorado Collection baskets are very popular, especially with real estate agents. For other baskets, after I interview the giver about the recipient and pick a theme and a color scheme, I’ll shop for the gift items that will go in the basket. I try to stimulate all five senses and really match the person’s interests and personality. I guess that’s why I have so many repeat customers. I have to admit that I’m kind of proud that.

Often these days I have dinner by myself, a bowl of canned soup and crackers, usually, in front of the TV because Roger’s boss has him working such long hours. You know, I thought that once the nest emptied, Roger and I would have more alone time together. I dreamed about snuggling together while watching a movie, ski trips, hiking together, maybe even dancing. But that hasn’t happened. If I want to dance, I’ll have to do it alone.

Some days, not as often as I should, I’ll take a walk in the nearby Garden of the Gods Park for fresh air and exercise. That’s going to change soon, though. I let my best friends Ellen and Jill talk me into taking an aerobics class with them starting tomorrow. Who knows, maybe I can flatten my pouchy stomach and lose a few pounds? I’m more likely to collapse in exhaustion, though, before the class is half over. But Ellen says that doesn’t matter; the women who come aren’t that athletic. They’re there to drool over the instructor, Enrique, who she says is prime, grade A eye candy.

I have a feeling that my life is about to get a lot more interesting!
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You can read about Claire Hanover (and the unfortunate Enrique) in the first book of her series, A REAL BASKET CASE, which was re-released in trade paperback and ebook on November 8th. When the book came out in hardcover, it was a finalist for the Best First Novel Agatha Award. TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET, the second book in the series, was released in hardcover in 2009 and will be re-released in trade paperback and ebook in November, 2012. That will be followed by a third new book in the series, BASKETFUL OF TROUBLE, in November 2013. To find out more about Claire, the books, and gift basket design, visit author Beth Groundwater’s website at: http://bethgroundwater.com.

Contrary to what many readers think, Beth Groundwater does not have a gift basket business. She does, however, enjoy making gift baskets for family, friends, and silent charity auctions. Beth lives in Colorado, loves writing mysteries set in her beautiful state, and enjoys its many outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, and whitewater rafting. She loves talking to book clubs, too, so if you want her to meet remotely or in-person with yours, contact her at her website (http://bethgroundwater.com).

** Beth has generously offered to give away one copy of A REAL BASKET CASE. To enter, you must leave a valid e-mail address in the comment box with your comment. One entry per person and this is open to anyone with a U.S. mailing address. Contest ends on November 14th at 6pm EST. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will be notified by e-mail and has 2 days to respond. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **

30 responses to “A Day In The Life Of Claire Hanover by Beth Groundwater

  1. Linda Kuzminczuk

    Can’t wait to try this series…can really relate to waking up with hot flashes! Kuzlin@aol.com

  2. If memory serves, Claire’s days really aren’t boring at all. LOL

  3. Hot flashes – ugg! Been there, done that but still happens. This sounds like a great cozy read with lots of added spice.
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

  4. This sounds like a series I would really enjoy! I’d love to start out with the first book!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  5. I haven’t read this series yet but certainly intend to! Claire and I could be best friends! I used to live in Colorado, we are empty nesters and my husband still works long hours. I’m looking forward to meeting Claire!

    jrobinson12 (at) austin (dot) rr (dot) com

  6. Oh you’re so right, Mare! Once Enrique gets shot in her bedroom, Claire’s life gets pretty darned exciting. 🙂

    And yes, Linda & Karen, I still experience those hot flashes, too. This is an example of “writing what you know.”

    I hope you enjoy the series, too, Carol & Jane! I certainly have fun dreaming up interesting adventures for Claire.
    – Beth

  7. I’ve always admired the creative thought that has to go into making those baskets. They aren’t cheap either. I would love to win a copy of Beth’s book to enjoy on a quiet afternoon.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

  8. Have not read this but it sounds GEAT!!!!!

    nlb1050(at)yahoo(dot)com

  9. You hear of women who go through this everyday. Empty nesters with alot of time on their hands. Seems they need a job like Claire has, Gift Baskets. Their very popular and make wonderful gifts. I think lots of people enjoy getting them but without a murder included. LOL! Sounds like a really good book to read. Thanks for the chance to win.

    TerryParrish 2010 (at) hotmail (dot) (com)

  10. Another fun book that you are recommending—I can hardly wait to read this one—I think I can really relate.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  11. Thanks for your comments, Nora, Nancy, Terry, and Suekey!

    Yes, gift basket design is a creative endeavor, and I have to say that Claire is a lot better at it than I am, though I do put them together for friends, family & charity auctions sometimes. Good luck to you all in the contest, but even if you don’t win the free copy, I hope you’ll read A Real Basket Case soon and let me know what you think of it t my website, Facebook page, or whereever. – Beth

  12. Claire is so very real. Thanks for her story. She’s a lot of fun.

  13. Another new series to look forward to, ( new to me at least )
    jplungas at gmail dot com

  14. this sounds like a great series to read

    idlivru1(at)gmail(dot)com

  15. What a wonderful idea. The book sounds great.
    cluculzwriter at yahoo dot com

  16. Thanks for your comments, Sonny and Josephine–and for your contest entries! I do hope you’ll both get hooked on the series.

  17. Please include me in your giveaway. i would love to read this book.
    Thanks
    Debbie

  18. This one sounds great!

  19. I’ve already said, Beth–so admire the way you juggle two series–this one sounds like a hoot 🙂

  20. I am looking forward to reading this sounds great. Put me done for it.

  21. Hi Debbie, Julie, and Jenny,
    Thanks so much for your comments, and good luck in the contest! Yes, Jenny, juggling two series can be a challenge. I’m in the middle of writing river ranger Mandy Tanner’s third book while trying to remember what Claire Hanover did in A Real Basket Case!

  22. I realized I missed acknowledging a few comments along the way, which must not have been approved before I posted each of mine. I just want to make sure that Risa, Joylene, and Karen know that yes, you’re entered into the contest for a free copy of A Real Basket Case, and I appreciate your comments!

  23. shirley nienkark

    Love giving and getting gift baskets. The book sounds like fun.

    boots9k at wowway dot com

  24. Jacqueline Seewald

    Hi, Beth,

    A very creative post. You’ve made Claire come alive for readers.

  25. Hi Shirley & Jacqueline! Thanks for your comments, and Jacqueline, Claire is very much alive in my mind. 🙂

  26. I am very excited to read this book, and looking forward to reading more. Thanks for the networking Beth!

  27. Tricia Douglas

    When I look at your photo, Beth, on the back flap, I imagine that Claire looks a lot like you do! I was really worried about Claire in A Real Basket Case, because I naturally worry about everyone and especially Claire’s disasterous situation she got herself into! She definitely should have thought twice before accepting that massage!!! Especially at her own home! Maybe I’m just too old-fashioned, but Enrique a little too macho for my tastes! Didn’t she know better? Just one question: how much does Claire charge for her beautiful baskets? I imagine that the large ones much go for at least $150???

  28. I can relate to Claire in so many ways! Fun blog!

  29. Contest is closed.

  30. Congratulations to our winner: Debbie!