Friday, January 13, 2012

Lois Winston, Guest Blogger

It's my pleasure to welcome Lois Winston back as this year's first guest blogger. And, once again, Lois is working with a partner. So, thank you, Lois and Anastasia!

Guest blog 1-13-12 LESA’S BOOK CRITIQUES

Last year when Lesa invited me to do a guest post on her blog, I interviewed Anastasia Pollack, the crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth protagonist of my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries. Lesa has invited me back for another guest blog as part of my month-long blog tour to celebrate the release of Death By Killer Mop Doll, the second book in the series. So I thought it only fitting to bring Anastasia along with me once again, especially since I’d never hear the end of it if I didn’t.

Anastasia: You’ve got that right, sweetie. Besides, you owe me.

Lois: How so?

Anastasia: Are you kidding? Look at the life you’ve written for me! Every time I turn around, you’re dumping more problems on me, not to mention dead bodies. And what’s with that communist mother-in-law?

Lois: Well, it is a murder mystery series.

Anastasia: Admit it; you really have it in for me.

Lois: Go ahead, blame me. After all, it is National Blame Someone Else Day.

Anastasia: I’d blame you no matter what day it was.

Lois: Why don’t you tell everyone what you’re blaming me for this time.

Anastasia: In
Death By Killer Mop Doll it isn’t bad enough that you’ve got me dealing with overdue bills and constant mother vs. mother-in-law battles. My stress level is maxed to its limit when my fellow editors and I get roped into an unpaid gig for a revamped morning TV show. Before the glue is dry on my mop dolls, morning TV turns crime drama. The studio is trashed, a member of the production team is murdered with one of my knitting needles, and a blackmail plot is uncovered. And guess who lands directly in the killer's unforgiving spotlight? Moi! Thanks to you!

Lois: At least I’ve created an exciting life for you.

Anastasia: I could do with a little less excitement, thank you very much! How about writing me into a vacation on a tropical island for the next book? You owe me after what you’ve put me through first in Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun and now in Death By Killer Mop Doll.

Lois: I’m not making any promises.

Anastasia: You never do.

Lois: I’m guessing many people don’t know what a mop doll is. Why don’t you tell them?

Anastasia: You’re changing the subject.

Lois: Not really.

Anastasia (sighing):
A mop doll is a doll crafted from a cotton string mop, those mops you often see janitors using in office buildings.

Lois: Ugh! Really?

Anastasia: Not used string mops! Ones that have never come in contact with a bucket of Mr. Clean.

Lois: Good to know.

Anastasia: Anyway, crafters are very resourceful people. We’re constantly finding new uses for readily available materials, and cotton string mops are readily available in just about any hardware store, home store, or supermarket.

Lois: How did this come about?

Anastasia: At some point in the late 1980’s, these dolls started popping up at crafts fairs, first in California, then throughout the country. Suddenly, mop dolls were all the rage, and mop head manufacturers were selling tens of thousands of mop heads to craft stores. Like all trends, though, the mop doll craze eventually went the way of the pet rock -- until now, thanks to me.

The picture shows you with a mop doll at Bouchercon this past September. You’re the one who looks like she’s fighting a cold.

Lois: I was. Tell us about the mop doll in the photo.

For anyone attending The American Library Association’s Mid-Winter conference January 20-24 in Dallas, Midnight Ink will be raffling off this hand-crafted mop doll during the opening reception Friday evening. Librarians and reviewers in attendance are encouraged to stop by the Midnight Ink booth #1459 to register for the drawing.

Lois: Anything else you’d like to tell readers of Lesa’s Book Critique?

Anastasia: Sure, they can read more about me (and you) at your website: In addition, my fellow editors and I blog at Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers,, where you’ll find craft projects, recipes, guest authors and more.

You have anything you’d like to add?

Lois: I’d like people to know that I’m doing a blog tour and book giveaway this month in celebration of the release of Death By Killer Mop Doll. The schedule is posted at 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 win one of 5 copies of Death By Killer Mop Doll.
In addition, I’m giving away 3 copies of Death By Killer Mop Doll on Goodreads,

Anastasia: I guess that about wraps things up except to thank Lesa for inviting us.

Lois: Absolutely. Thanks, Lesa!

Lois Winston is the author of the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries published by Midnight Ink. Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the series, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. The new year brings with it the release of Death By Killer Mop Doll, the second book in the series. Read an excerpt at Visit Lois at her website: and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: You can also follow Lois and Anastasia on Twitter @anasleuth.

Death by Killer Mop Doll by Lois Winston. LLewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2012. ISBN 9780738725857 (paperback), 302p.


SandyG265 said...

I love the title.

sgiden at

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, SandyG265!

Pat Dale said...

Kind of reminds me of the sock monkeys my MIL used to make for my daughters. Only, I guess they'd have to be pretty long to wrap around a person's neck to strangle them. LOL
Mop Dolls, Sock Monkeys, Draft Dodgers, ahoy! Let's craft it up. Cheers, Lois and Anastasia!

Karen B said...

More books for the must read list! Love the title.

Carol N Wong said...

This one sounds so cute. I admire the writer for thinking this one up!


Jane R said...

What a cute post! And looking forward to reading about Anastasia's latest adventures. Thanks!

Lois Winston said...

Yes, let's craft it up, Pat!

Thanks, Karen and Carol.

Lesa said...

Thank you, again, Lois. And, thanks for mentioning it on DorothyL, as well as the giveaway!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks for having me as a guest, Lesa!

Mary said...

Boy, what character you have created. I like her. And I agree a nice murder vacation in Hawaii would be fun. Think of the reseach..the sun, the beach...awwww!

Beth Hoffman said...

What a cute and clever post, and the book sounds charming too!

Rita Horiguchi, writing as Rita St. Claire said...

This book sounds like a lot of fun!

Lois Winston said...

Mary, I'll have to give that some thought. Right now, it's really cold. Hawaii is sooooo tempting! And I'd be able to write the trip off!

Thank you, Beth and Rita!

Tallulah Grace said...

Great cover and title!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Tallulah!

Liz said...

Enjoyed Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun. Can't wait to see how Anastasia handles her latest woes.

Nancy said...

The title is so catchy and the plot sounds really good. What draws me in is the interesting characters. I want to read about the mother versus mother-in-law problem!

jeff7salter said...

I really enjoy dialogs between a character and her creator.
Fun stuff.

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Nancy! I can promise you major mother vs. mother-in-law problems in this series.

Jeff, I was wondering when you'd show up today! ;-)

Karen C said...

Enjoyed the post and the dialogue between the author and character; love the mop doll.

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Karen!

Anonymous said...

I just bought the the e-book for ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN for just a couple bucks. I admit I was pulled in by the title. Imagine my surprise when I found you here! I'll need to buy your new book now!


Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Sandie! Hope you enjoy both books.

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