A Day in the Life of Mandy Tanner by Beth Groundwater

Fatal DescentAfter all the dangerous waters I had to negotiate in Deadly Currents and Wicked Eddies, I thought I’d take a break from patrolling the Arkansas River in Colorado as a river ranger and go back to being a whitewater rafting guide, this time on the Colorado River in Utah (in Deadly Currents). But I forgot how much work it is being a rafting guide!

Before this trip for twelve tourists even started, trouble came sniffing around our heels like a camp squirrel begging for a handout. Our best guide, Gonzo, forgot some important gear when he provisioned the trip and had to scrounge it from another outfitter. And I had to juggle the tent assignments when we found out that one “family” really wasn’t a family and didn’t want to sleep together. Rob, my fiancé and co-owner of RM Outdoor Adventures, keeps telling me that things will work out, but I’m not so sure.

First of all, I’ve never rafted the Colorado River, let alone guided a group down it. I just hope I can follow the leads of the other guides through the rapids and keep my raft from flipping. Second, we’re stuck with these tourists for five whole days in Meander and Cataract Canyons, a hundred long miles of river to paddle, and we don’t expect to see another soul on the trip. That’s because we’re going off-season in the fall, after the other outfitters have all closed up shop. This is part of Rob’s plan to extend our business into the spring and fall seasons by offering unique trips, like this combination climbing and rafting trip. I sure hope his plan works. I’m not very happy about the climbing guide he hired, though. Tom “Cool” O’Day seems kind of sleazy to me.

But I’m excited, too. I’m looking forward to doing some sightseeing along the Colorado—exploring native American ruins and rock art, a petrified wood forest, the cliff Thelma and Louise were filmed jumping off in their car, and the beautiful Doll House formation high up on the canyon rim. I hear the Milky Way is magnificent to see at night, too, since there’s no light pollution in the canyon. And running the huge rapids in Cataract Canyon is supposed to be a blast, even in the fall, when the water flows are lower, but still much higher than what we have on the Arkansas River.

I know I’ll be working my ass off from dawn until long after dusk, setting up and breaking down camps, cooking meals, training our tourists to paddle the rapids, and keeping everyone entertained and safe. That’s a rafting guide’s lot. I can count on Rob and our two guides, Gonzo and Kendra, to chip in and do their share of the work. I just hope Mr. Cool and the tourists chip in, too. And that the tourists give the guides a good tip at the end of the trip. Hopefully that’s all I’ll have to worry about. I sure don’t want any injuries, or for anyone to have to swim a rapid.

Well, time to go to the trip meet-and-greet at Milt’s Stop & Eat, supposedly the best burger and shake joint in Moab, Utah. After a long day of prepping and checking everyone in, I’m ready to chow down on some of their tater tots that everyone keeps talking about. And we guides are all primed to get the tourists excited and in the mood for fun. On most multi-day trips, personality problems crop up and have to be smoothed over, and I can see the potential for that in this group. But no more than usual, really. No one seems ready to kill anyone else yet.

Beth is giving away one (1) copy of FATAL DESCENT. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the author. Contest ends June 14 and US entries only.

Meet the author:
Bestselling mystery author Beth Groundwater writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series (A Real Basket Case, a Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist, and To Hell in a Handbasket) and the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner (Deadly Currents an Amazon #3 overall bestseller, and Wicked Eddies, finalist for the Rocky Award). The third books in both series will appear in 2013, starting with Fatal Descent this month. Beth enjoys Colorado’s many outdoor activities, including skiing and whitewater rafting, and loves talking to book clubs. Please visit her website, blog, Facebook page and Goodreads page.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

31 responses to “A Day in the Life of Mandy Tanner by Beth Groundwater

  1. I want some of those tater tots, in fact I’d like the recipe. Dee

  2. I am familiar with the Basket mysteries, but haven’t tried this adventuresome mystery series yet! Would love to visit Colorado River with Mandy! Thanks!

  3. Have not read this series -but it looks good.

  4. This series sounds awesome , would love to win a copy !

  5. Being a whitewater rafting guide sounds serious enough in itself, much less all that she encounters.

    Thoughts in Progress

  6. Can’t wait to order the gift basket series, and this new adventure mystery series sounds awesome. Please enter me into the giveaway. Thanks so much, and good luck to Beth on her upcoming books.

    Good Morning, Dru.


  7. You’re not the only one who would like that tater tots recipe, Dee! So would I, and so would a lot of people who visit Moab, Utah! Thanks for the good luck wishes, Cynthia, and thanks to you all for your interest in the series and entering the contest. Good luck! – Beth

  8. I’ve been interested in this author’s Basket Case series for a while. I’m always up for anything involving park rangers – I used to work for my state’s State Parks Division. I’d sure like to add this one to my TBR pile. dz87507 at gmail.com.

  9. Well, this is the third attempt to leave a comment. Something went Wonky with my Twitter connection to WordPress. I love technology. NOT LOL
    Anyway, I’ve been trying to say how much I enjoyed meeting Mandy. She is a very interesting character. mcm0704 (at) gmail.com

  10. I’d love to win!

  11. This sounds like a great book for a rainy afternoon. Got it on my list now. Thank you!

  12. Lisa Garrett

    I would like to know more about river rafting.

  13. Barbara Tobey

    Love to live vicariously. Definitely too chicken to have this type of adventure for real.

  14. Jan Mackinem

    Love this series and I’m anxious to read this next installment. I would love to win a copy!

  15. Debra Woloson

    I am going out today & get the 1st book in this series. I caught myself already holding my breath. (how dumb when I’m on oxygen no less. LOL) It’s “a sign” for me to get into this series due to my family talking today about going tubing or rafting this summer. Of course mom is expected to dog sit at home but I’m planning to sit under a tree & read this series! Thank you for the contest.

  16. I have to laugh. That introduction just screams “Danger! Beware!”

  17. I’ve seen this book in a couple of places this week and I’m just becoming acquainted with the series. It looks like it could be quite interesting, please enter my name for the chance to win a copy. Thanks.

  18. This is a great addition to the series. I loved it. Do not enter me in the contest as I already own, read, and immensely enjoyed this book.

  19. Thanks, everyone, for your comments! Denise, it sounds like this series is ideal for you, with your interest in/experience with rangering. My series has been compared to Nevada Barr’s early books, before she got into what I call “icky stuff.” The RM Outdoor Adventures series is classified as soft-boiled, just a little edgier than cozy, and not as dark as Nevada Barr’s later books.

    Maryann, I’m so glad you persisted and succeeded in making a comment! I find Mandy to be a very interesting character, too, having lived with her through 3 books. She’s not all sunny and sweet, that’s for sure!

    Lisa, you will learn a LOT about river rafting by osmosis through reading the books, but I also suggest you look for a whitewater rafting outfitter near you and giving it a try on a gentle run (class II and class III rapids). Going with a professional company means you’ll have a guide in the raft with you who can teach you how to use the paddle and how to stay in the raft, and knows which way to go through the rapids.

    Barbara, living the exciting life vicariously is the whole point of the RM Outdoor Adventures series!

    Debra, you made ME LOL! Please don’t hold your breath too much while you’re reading the books! I think after you try Deadly Currents, you’ll be “hooked” on the series and want to go on the Wicked Eddies, which features a fly-fishing tournament and more whitewater rafting.

    Many thanks to Mo and others of you who are acquainted with the series, maybe from reading a previous book, and are recommending it to others. It’s through word-of-mouth recommendations like yours that create success for authors!

  20. Being a rafting guide has always sounded like fun to me. Then again, I love all things connected with the water.

  21. You’ve drawn me in, Beth. Now draw my name 🙂 Thanks. judydee22002@yahoo dot com

  22. Penny Tuttle

    I’ve enjoyed the previous books in this series and can’t wait to read this one. Love outdoor adventure mysteries. Thanks for the giveaway.

  23. Beth, I’ve read all your books, and each one was wonderful! I’m very anxious to read this one.

  24. Thanks for your comments, Mark, Judy Dee, Penny and Linda! Mark, I, too, am a lover of all things connected with water. I was on a hike this morning and was drawn to the burbling stream along the path and stood transfixed on the little bridge crossing the stream, just watching the water flow under my feet. Also, I loooove water slides, and at pools, on cruise ships, at water parks, you’ll find this middle-aged woman standing in line with all the little kids to go shooting down that wet slide! Linda and Penny, thanks so much for the praise of my previous books. That means so much to me!

  25. Thanks Beth for letting us into Mandy’s world.

  26. Just found this blog. Where in the world did you get the name for your character, Mandy Tanner. That is my daughter’s name. She too is an adventurous one. Sounds like a great series.

  27. I’ve only read the Claire Hanover Gift Basket Designer Mysteries. And, very happy to see that a 3rd is coming later in 2013. But I do look forward to starting this series – RM Outdoor Adventures Mysteries. I enjoy finding a series that is established with several that I’ve not read. I’ve heard many exciting stories from my boss about their kayaking trips on the Gulf & rivers; but, I’ve not done more than tubing down the Guadalupe & San Marcos rivers several years ago.

  28. Wow, Kim! Interesting to know that your daughter has the same name and sense of adventure as my character. I pulled the name out of the air. Is your daughter’s name short for Amanda, too?

    Linda, I’m so glad you’re ready to plunge into my RM Outdoor Adventures series, too. And I can’t wait for A BASKET OF TROUBLE to come out in November. It’s been toooo long between books in that series (all related to my change in publishers)!

  29. Yikes, I get a chance to win one of your great books. I truly enjoy reading, them. I get a good laugh, while trying to figure out who done-it. Can’t wait to read this awesome mystery. Going to add this one to read list, move it ahead of others. Thanks Beth, for writing wonderful books, for all of us readers, to enjoy. You are amazing how you able to keep us in suspense til the end . I told my kids, that I want “A Basket of Trouble” for C’Mas. Wondering, what Claire got into, this time. I have read the other two, could not put them down, til I was finish ( read them in a day).

  30. Contest is closed.