Guest Chick—Heather Redmond

Becky here. One of my favorite things about cozy mysteries are the punny titles. Heather writes two different series, and when I saw that her latest Charles Dickens title was Grave Expectations, I laughed out loud. But today I’m excited she’s talking about her new series … it sounds grave, er, great too!

Hello, Chicks!

Thanks so much for allowing me to visit today. I’m having fun with my first cozy mystery series—the Journaling mysteries—and I feel so much at home in my amateur sleuth Mandy Meadows’s life.Journaled to Death cover

I’m writing today in a complete post-holiday slump. The last of my eggnog coffee isn’t cutting it. We had our first at-home Christmas this year, after having always travelled for the holiday. I had the husband and kid home for about seventeen days straight (but who’s counting). Every day I wondered, “How can three people use this many towels?” as I ran the washer yet again…

Honestly, I wish I had Mandy’s energy! With her divorce just finalized, she’s working full time as a hospital barista, as well as putting in hours on a thriving side-hustle as a vlogger (video blogger) focused on art journaling. She’s a single mom to a teenager and has a tenant as well. Whew! Those Seattle mortgages are tough to cover. She’s doing it all, except dating. That’s where she draws the line with the kind of schedule she’s keeping.

My version of life falling apart is getting a manuscript needing edits back just before the holidays, or having my computer die on me just before my edits are due. Mandy, on the other hand, has to deal with her tenant tumbling to his death on her basement stairs. At least it’s an accident, or so she thinks until the homicide cops turn up.

One of the worst things about having to pack up her daughter and leave the house while the police process her tenant’s death, is that Mandy has to leave her journal behind. How can a busy person survive without their running to-do list? Creative outlets have always kept me sane as a working mom, and Mandy is left without her productivity and art tool. However, that irritation is nothing compared to the horror of discovering she’s a murder suspect. She has to come up with her own version of a murder board in order to figure out who the killer is before the police arrest her instead.

Not only that, when the police allow her back home, her house is less of a sanctuary than usual, with her ex-husband creating drama, evidence of a prowler, and her daughter insisting that their dead tenant is now haunting the basement. Her entire neighborhood seems drama-prone, between falling skateboarders, random car accidents, and the local dentist turning Lothario. At least the University of Seattle Hospital’s Coffee Bar is her sanctuary, until the ER doc the nurses have nicknamed “Dr. O’Hottie” starts asking her out.

Okay, I have to admit some of these are fun problems. But certainly not all of them, especially when I tell you that the tenant who died was Mandy’s own beloved cousin, and she didn’t know him nearly as well as she thought she did.

I really loved writing this story, set where I grew up, in Seattle, on a street where one of my oldest friends lives, in a house very similar to hers. I’ve never been a barista, but I’ve spent a lot of time watching the world pass by in hospital coffee bars, and I’ve been a journaler like Mandy for years. Yes, this series is very personal to me, and I hope readers enjoy Journaled to Death.

What is your favorite creative outlet?

Heather Redmond original shotHeather Redmond writes two mystery series, A Dickens of a Crime, featuring young Charles Dickens in the 1830s, and a Seattle-set cozy mystery series, the Journaling mysteries. Her latest Dickens title is Grave Expectations, book 2 in the series, and Journaled to Death is book 1 of her cozy series. She also writes romance as Heather Hiestand and lives in Washington state. Her website is https://heatherredmond.com. Please subscribe to her newsletter for updates and contests, available from the home page of her website.

Find your copies at Amazon or at Heather’s website.

 

 

 

 

26 thoughts on “Guest Chick—Heather Redmond

  1. Okay! Thanks for the intro.
    This cozy sounds so fascinating. I am picking it up today to read this weekend at daddy’s where the cable is disconnected (I hope). This poor character sounds exactly like a divorced woman should sound like. I love her already!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for visiting us here, Heather! I loved “Journaled to Death” and have “Grave Expectations” on my list. Looking forward to it!

    As for my creative outlet … I make purses from old books and board games, but I’m frustrated with how little time I get in my workshop these days. As soon as I hit these book deadlines, maybe I’ll schedule a full week of workshop time.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Journaled to Death sounds fab — thanks for hanging out today with the Chicks, Heather! I buy fancy journals and then never actually “journal” in them, but they look pretty on my desk. Maybe 2020 is the year I start journaling!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. “My version of life falling apart is getting a manuscript needing edits back just before the holidays, or having my computer die on me just before my edits are due.” = So much yes

    Thank you for visiting us! So excited to read your new series, Heather!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Such a fun post, Heather! Thank you for visiting. I journaled for years, from high school through marriage – clearly, mostly about boys! – and kept them all. I love looking back at them. In fact, I’d been trying to remember where I’d stumbled upon a cool local exhibit of handmade Mardi Gras costumes and had about given up when I looked in an old journal and discovered that I’d written about it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s great that you found your notes! I have important family history comments buried in last year’s journal. I don’t want to lose it!

      Like

  6. The new series sounds great!

    I got serious about my writing when I quit work to become my mother’s caregiver. It took me away from the real world of problems. I could create my own world, solve every problem neatly, and laugh while doing it.

    Having said that, I hope I never get a manuscript needing edits back just before the holidays, or have my computer die on me just before my edits are due. That would be awful!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I kept a journal for a few years back in high school and college, but “keeping” should be taken with a grain of salt: Yes, I did “keep” it, but I rarely wrote in it. And what I did write is so embarrassing that I keep telling myself I need to burn the thing so no one else ever sees it.

    Thanks so much for visiting the Chicks today, Heather! Congrats on the new series–I love Seattle, and it sounds like a terrific premise–and read!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s so nice to meet you, Heather, and thanks for hanging out with us Chicks today! Your books sound fantastic—looking forward to reading them. Like Vickie, I’m fond of buying cool notebooks (and planners), but rarely write in them. Sigh.

    Like

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