Basket of TroubleJob: Gift Basket Designer

Hi, all. I’m a little shy about appearing here on Dru Ann’s magnificent blog, because writing is not really my thing. Creating beautiful gift baskets is! My name is Claire Hanover, and usually you can find me either out delivering gift baskets or in my basement workshop in my home in Colorado Springs constructing gift baskets on the beat-up oak dining table I rescued from a church yard sale. Two walls of my workshop are lined with plastic shelves that hold baskets, packing and wrapping materials such as Spanish moss and colored cellophane, fabric remnants, and clear boxes labeled “Ribbons,” “Tags/cards,” “Plastic/dried flowers,” “Candy,” “Hot sauces,” and more. The floor is usually littered with ribbon scraps, paper shreds and such, and I’m happily humming along to Enya, Yanni, or some other soothing CD while I work.

But today is different. I’m nervous as heck. I’m about to attend the grand opening of my brother Charley’s trail riding stable, and I so want his new business to do well. I’m bringing a gift basket that I decorated with vintage horse tack and a bow made from a horse-themed bandana. I filled it with some of Charley’s and his wife Jessica’s favorite treats—such as horehound candy for him and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory chocolates for her. I hope it adds to the festivity of the occasion, and I hope lots of people come!

I’ve been thinking about volunteering today to help with Jessica’s hippotherapy nonprofit, too. She uses horseback riding to provide physical and occupational therapy for all kinds of clients, from kids with autism or Down’s syndrome to adults with cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis. Since Jessica and Charley recently moved from Durango to Colorado Springs, on my suggestion, she’s also making a fresh start and has to find new clients for her therapy. I’d like to help her out if I can. Both Charley and Jessica have been working so hard lately to get ready for this opening. I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed, hoping they both succeed, and that my suggestion proves to be a good one.

The LAST thing they need is some disaster to crop up, such as, shudder to think of it, a murder like the others that have been dropping into my life lately. Oh God, that would be awful! I’m praying that nothing like that happens and that all of their wranglers live long, boring lives! Oh, my husband Roger’s got the car running and he’s calling for me. I’ll just grab this basket (Oof) and head out to the car. Wish me luck. I hope I don’t need it…


You can read more about Claire in A Basket of Trouble, the third book in the “Claire Hanover” mystery series, published by Midnight Ink. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.


Beth is giving away one (1) copy of A BASKET OF TROUBLE. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends November 12; 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, To Hell in a Handbasket and just released, A Basket of Trouble) and the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner (Deadly Currents, an Amazon #3 overall bestseller, Wicked Eddies, finalist for the Rocky Award, and released in June, Fatal Descent). Beth enjoys Colorado’s many outdoor activities, including skiing and whitewater rafting, and loves talking to book clubs.

Please visit Beth at: website | blog | Facebook | Goodreads

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