Thursday, September 9, 2010

Guest Blogger, Hannah Reed

It is my pleasure to welcome author Hannah Reed as the special guest blogger today here at Thoughts in Progress.

Hannah’s current release is BUZZ OFF, the first installment in the Queen Bee Mystery series. Hannah joins us today to talk about “A Mystery With Motive.”

I’ve been hooked on mysteries ever since I discovered Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew as a child. And I knew I had to write them after my husband pointed out that all my short stories involved murders – usually women killing their husbands - which made him a little nervous. I understood his ‘point of view’, but I went on killing anyway, writing and publishing seven mysteries under my real name, Deb Baker.

For me, there is nothing as interesting as creating personalities and situations, and watching the characters come alive. Most of the time, they take control of my writing. Every day is a new adventure. And I love to make readers smile. The best fan letter I ever received came from a woman with breast cancer who was going through chemo. She said the only times she laughed during that difficult period in her life was when she read MURDER PASSES THE BUCK.

Something, though, was still missing from my work. I wanted to continue writing in the style my readers enjoyed, but including more of the things I was passionate about – the natural world, small town living in Wisconsin, relationships between humans and the earth. Why couldn’t I pass on to my readers important concepts while entertaining them at the same time? I called my next three-book contracted project ‘Mysteries with Motives.’

The Queen Bee mystery series, under my pen name Hannah Reed, began to take form. And it felt so right. Especially after

spending time in the local beekeeping association’s beeyard (aka apiary), helping introduce new queens and bees to hives.

I really want to have my own honeybees living right in my backyard like my protagonist, Story Fischer, does. But my usually tolerant husband nixed the idea (for now. We shall see.), and so I’m a wannabee. That doesn’t mean I can’t make a difference.

What exactly does ‘Mystery with Motive’ mean? As Jim Cramer of Mad Money would say, “My job is not just to entertain you, but to educate you.” With this series, I hope to bring more awareness to issues concerning the decline of honeybees, to encourage planting bee-friendly flowers and more cautious pesticide use, to advocate local honey use, and to show my readers the difference in personalities and behaviors between yellow jackets and honeybees.

I tell you, those yellow jackets have been throwing suspicion on innocent honeybees for way too long. It’s time to expose the real culprit.

Each of my Mysteries with Motive involves a murderer who had means, opportunity, and motive. I simply added one of my own

motives to the mix. And it feels so right.

Give BUZZ OFF a try. I promise you will like it. And visit me at for more fun facts about honeybees and some yummy honey recipes.


BUZZ OFF will be available online, at the big box stores, and through local independents. But for a signed copy, contact Martha Merrell's Books,

Hannah, thanks for guest blogging here today. I’m glad you decided to do a ‘mystery with a motive.’ BUZZ OFF is both educational and a very entertaining mystery.

A little background on Hannah: Hannah Reed is the pen name of author Deb Baker who can be found at As Deb (her real name) she has authored THE GERTIE JOHNSON BACKWOODS ADVENTURES and THE DOLLS TO DIE FOR SERIES. In her youth, Deb dreamed of working as a private investigator or as an undercover cop. So when Deb began writing a new series, the QUEEN BEE MYSTERIES, she did something she always wanted to do -- she went undercover with an alias!

Hannah was one of her all-time favorite names. Reed was her great-grandmother’s maiden name. So she put the two together. As it turns out, the author Hannah Reed is much younger than Deb Baker. She’s also more daring, more willing to step right into the midst of any sticky situation, and she’s not afraid to tell it like it is. As Deb says, “Look out! When Hannah’s around, big trouble is sure to follow.”

Now Hannah has a book trailer to share with us for BUZZ OFF, enjoy.


  1. Mason- thanks for hosting Deb. If I were her husband, I would be very worried indeed :-)

    Deb- I love the idea of Mysteries with a Motive, and this is a very important message that is going out.
    Incidentally, I pre-ordered the book in India, and should get it next week.

  2. I love the trailer! It really makes the book sound intriguing. :-)

  3. Mason, thanks for sharing this excellent guest post.

    Hannah, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on your writing and your trailer. I love the music.

  4. Sorry, I'd shoot down the idea of bee hives in our yard, too.

  5. Hannah, thanks so much for guest blogging here today. You and Story have given me reason to look at honey bees differently from now on.

    Rayna, I agree. Maybe Hannah's husband should rethink about the bees (he shouldn't upset his wife).

    Charmaine, I love the book trailer. It mentions the snoopy neighbor who is a blast.

    Cassandra, thanks for stopping by. The music in the trailer is catchy.

    Alex, you never know what you're missing if you had bee hives in your yard. :)

  6. Mason - Thank you for hosting Deb.

    Deb - Thanks for sharing what you mean by a mystery with a motive. I think most of us who love books also enjoy learning. For a crime fiction fan, being able to learn something new as well as enjoy an engaging mystery is a real added bonus! It's nice to know that's one of your focuses. I wish you all the best with Buzz Off

  7. Ack...Blogger is acting up today! If you end up with this comment twice, Mason, feel free to delete me!

    It's great to see Deb here today...she's an online friend of mine! Great person, great writer--and I love that she was able to incorporate her love for the outdoors into such a great mystery!

  8. Thanks for having Hannah.

    Congrats Hannah on your book release. I'm looking forward to reading about Story. I picked up the book yesterday and will get to it when the pile I'm working on dwindles down to one. Not to worry, I have only three in that pile.

  9. The secret life of bees indeed...

  10. I LOVE the book cover!
    Thank you so much for the great blog. This is the first time I have been introduced to Hannah Reed's work and I have already visited her site to find out more.

    Buzz Off is now in the super long, but super exciting to be read pile. I am glad I got to drop in!
    Terry Kate
    Romance in the Backseat

  11. When I was growing up one of my parents' friends was a beekeeper. I loved the fresh honey, but remember being scared to death to be around the bees.

  12. I love the idea of mystery with a motive! I love edutainment! Best wishes for success with BUZZ OFF!

  13. Thank you, Mason, for allowing me to guest post. Love all the interesting comments! Edutainment. I might have to use that one.

  14. What a great post. I actually just started Buzz Off today and have already seen your touch with education in there!

  15. That first paragraph by Deb is very funny!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.