Thursday, January 06, 2011

Lois Winston, Guest Blogger

Oh, do I have a fun interview for you today!  Lois Winston is launching a new series for Midnight Ink, the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries.  The first book is Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun

Lois' bio on her website says, "Lois Winston straddles two worlds. She's an award-winning author of romantic suspense, humorous women's fiction, and mystery. She's also an award-winning designer of needlework and crafts projects for magazines, craft book publishers, and craft kit manufacturers. Like Anastasia, the protagonist in her ANASTASIA POLLACK CRAFTING MYSTERIES series, Lois worked for several years as a crafts editor. A graduate of the prestigious Tyler School of Art, she often draws on her art and design background for much of the source material in her fiction.

Lois Winston chose to do an interview today, and I think you're going to enjoy it.  Thank you, Lois.


An interview with crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack

by author Lois Winston

Lois: Hello, Anastasia. Would you please tell everyone why you’re the subject of this interview?

Anastasia: Oh good, we’re starting with an easy question. You’re interviewing me for Lesa’s Book Critiques because I’m the protagonist (and star!) of your new series, The Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries from Midnight Ink.

Lois: The first book in the series was just released, wasn’t it?

Anastasia: ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN came out January 1st. New year, new series.

Lois: You refer to yourself as a crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth. Care to explain?

Anastasia: By profession I’m the crafts editor at a women’s magazine. The reluctant sleuthing was sort of forced upon me when I discovered the dead body of our fashion editor glued to my office chair. When the medical examiner ruled she was murdered with my glue gun, I became Suspect Numero Uno in the eyes of the detectives investigating the case.

Lois: They believed you had both motive and opportunity, didn’t they?

Anastasia: I was framed! Marlys collected enemies like she collected Manolos, but the detectives didn’t seem interested in looking elsewhere. I realized if I didn’t find the real killer, I could wind up wearing a neon orange jump suit for the next twenty years. I’m far from a fashionista, but even I know orange isn’t my best color. Besides, I’m a single mom. Who would raise my kids?

Lois: You lost your husband recently. Tell us about that.

Anastasia: Karl permanently cashed in his chips at a roulette table in Las Vegas. He was supposed to be at a sales meeting in Harrisburg, Pa. As if that weren’t enough of a shock, within days I learned he’d wiped us out, leaving me with a Mt. Everest of debt and a loan shark demanding fifty thousand dollars. One day I’m living the American dream; the next day I’m on the verge of living out of a cardboard box.

Lois: Well, we won’t give away any more of the plot since we’re hoping people will want to buy ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN, but tell us about the other members of your family. You have quite an eclectic household.

Anastasia: You should know. You created all of us.

Lois: True but humor me for the sake of the readers of Lesa’s blog.

Anastasia: Our family used to consist of Karl and me, our two teenage sons, and Ralph. He’s the Shakespeare quoting parrot I inherited from my great-aunt Penelope Periwinkle. However, a few months before Karl died, his mother moved in with us. Lucille is a die-hard, old-school communist and the most cantankerous person you could ever meet. She doesn’t have a kind word for anyone except her dog Manifesto (although the boys and I call him Mephisto the Demon Dog.)

Having Lucille with us was bad enough. Having Lucille with us without Karl running defense is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. And if that weren’t enough, shortly after Karl died, my mother’s fifth husband also died. So Mama’s now living with us, too. Mama claims to descend from Russian royalty. She’s also a past-president and current social secretary of the Daughters of the American Revolution. So you can imagine how well she and Lucille get along. Then there’s Catherine the Great, Mama’s extremely corpulent white Persian. If Mama and Lucille don’t set off World War 3, Catherine the Great and Mephisto the Demon Dog will.

Lois: You do have your hands full.

Anastasia: Which is all your fault, by the way.

Lois: Yes, but I did create a sleuthing sidekick for you, didn’t I?

Anastasia: Cloris McWerther, food editor and best friend. She’s Watson to my Sherlock. She also supplies me with to-die-for goodies whenever I’m running late and don’t have time to grab breakfast. You should try her mango and macadamia muffins.

Lois: Everyone will be able to try Cloris’s muffins if they visit Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen -- -- on January 9th. Cloris has given me permission to post her recipe there.

Anastasia: Don’t be a killjoy and post the calorie count.

Lois: I promise I won’t, but for now we’ve about run out of time. I’d like to thank Lesa for posting this interview and Anastasia for allowing herself to be the subject of it. You can read the first chapter of ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN at In addition, Anastasia and her fellow editors blog at Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers,, where you’ll find crafts projects, recipes, guest authors and more.

I’m doing a blog tour and book giveaway this month in celebration of the release of ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN. You can find the schedule at both my website and at Anastasia’s blog. Everyone who posts a comment to any of the blogs over the course of the month will be entered into a drawing to receive one of 5 copies of ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN. (If your email isn’t included in your comment, please email me privately at to let me know you’ve entered so I have a way of getting in touch with the winners.) In addition, I’ll also be giving away an assortment of crafts books on selected blogs, so look for those as well.

Thank you, Lois and Anastasia for a fun interview.  And, good luck to both of you.  (I think you're going to need it, Anastasia.)

Lois Winston's webpage is
Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun by Lois Winston.  Midnight Ink, ©2011. ISBN 9780738723471(paperback), 301p.


Kay said...

I think this book sounds great and I'll definitely be on the lookout for it. Persians and parrots and mothers - great combination that sounds like it definitely needs a good muffin recipe! LOL

Love to enter the contest and you can use this email for me:


Lesa, thanks for hosting Lois!

Lesa said...

My pleasure, Kay. And, I hope someone from my blog wins the contest!

DarcyO said...

What a fun protagonist and a great choice for a sidekick. I will be putting the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries on TBR list.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

Lesa said...

Sounds fun, doesn't it, Darcy? Good luck with the contest, and I hope you enjoy the books!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Lois is a Midnight Ink friend of mine and I can't wait to read this book! Anastasia sounds believable and smart and the mystery looks fun.

Caridad Pineiro said...

Love hearing from the character herself. Great blog.

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Kay, DarcyO, Elizabeth, and Caridad! And thank you, Lesa for inviting me to be a guest here today.

Lesa said...

Definitely my pleasure, Lois. As I said, it was a fun blog. Thank you!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

OH, I've already had the great fun of reading this book..and I laughed out loud again and again!

It's truly clever, truly hilarious--and from the reviews I'm seeing--it looks like the hot shot reviewers agree.

Congratulations! And happiest of new years to you both..

PoCoKat said...

Sounds like a great book! Would love to win!

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Hank!

PoCoKat, good luck. Your name is in the pot.

shirley said...

Looking forward to meeting Anastasia and her friends.

boots9k at wowway dot com

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Shirley!

Meanwhile, I need a huge favor from as many people as possible. Thanks to a reader down in Virginia, I learned yesterday that a printing error occurred in some copies of ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN. The last 48 pages are missing. At this point we have no way of knowing how many books are missing pages. The reader purchased her book at a Borders. The other copies at that store were also missing 48 pages. I’ve checked at my local Borders in New Jersey, and those books were also missing 48 pages. My author copies, the books I’ve bought from Amazon, and the books at my local Barnes & Noble are all fine.

The favor I’m asking is if you happen to be in a bookstore, would you please check the store copies of ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN? The correct version should have 302 pages with the last page being the author bio. The books with missing pages end at page 254, mid-sentence. If you come across books with missing pages, please let the bookseller know. There is a procedure in place for booksellers to deal with printing errors.

Also, if it's not too much trouble, please shoot me a private email -- -- to let me know if you did find any defective books. Thanks so much!

Lesa said...

That's just lousy, Lois! Thanks for notifying my readers here, though, and I'm sure they'll check before buying the book. Thank you!

LSUReader said...

This books sounds like such fun. Count me in, please. (Email in profile.)

sjlibber said...

I finished reading Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun yesterday. It was a fun read, but I really felt sorry for Anastasia. She has had a run of bad luck. I can't wait for the next one.

Lesa said...

I'm glad Hank and Sjlibber spoke up, saying what a fun book this was. Thank you. Nice to know it's getting good comments!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, LSUReader! I'll enter you in the drawing.

Sjlibber, thanks for enjoying the book. I'm sorry you have to wait an entire year for the next book, but it's already written, and I'm hard at work on the third in the series.

Lesa, I couldn't believe it when the reader emailed me yesterday! I'm glad she took the time to tell me, though. I've been calling around, and it looks like the problem may be contained to just a handful of states. At least, I'm hoping so!

Helen Kiker said...

Lesa, thanks for hosting this interview - your website is one of my all time favorites so I agree that it would be nice for someone here to be a winner of Assault With A Glue Gun. I if not me (LOL) then one of your other fans.

Helen Kiker

jeff7salter said...

Well, Lois,
It surely is getting difficult to track you down.
For all my effort I hope I win the drawing for one of your books.
I like your interviews with Anastasia ... they give me some great ideas (for farther down the line in my own career).

Lesa said...

Thanks, again, Lois. Your interview generated a great deal of traffic today. Thanks for taking the time to interview Anastasia. And, good luck with Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun.

Helen, I really appreciate your comment that my blog is one of your alltime favorites. Thank you!

Lois Winston said...

Helen and Jeff, I've got you both down for the drawing. Good luck to both of you!

Lesa, it was my pleasure. Thanks again for inviting me.

Lesa said...

It was fun, Lois! And, I hope one of my readers wins. (grin)

caryn said...

am I too late to enter? I only allow myself to visit blogs a couple of days aweek and scan back over the previous couple of days at my favorite sites.
Lois, the book looks like it's funny and funny is something all of us can use in the winter I think. At least I know I can!
Caryn (

Lois Winston said...

You're not too late, Caryn. I always check back a day or two later to see if anyone else has posted a comment. I'll add you to contest pot.

Patg said...

I'm late too. Sounds like a great mystery and an interesting protag.

Cindy Sample said...

What a hilarious interview. I can't wait to read this book and learn about a family more dysfunctional than mine. Of course I hope I'll win a copy. BTW, I'm heading to Borders today to spend my bonus bucks so I'll see if there are any books with missing pages. Thanks again for the laughs.

Lesa said...

Good luck, Cindy. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. I always ask the authors to make it something they enjoy, knowing readers will enjoy it as well.

Lesa said...

LSU Reader,

Congratulations! You won one of the books on Lois' blog tour. You need to contact her at