Monday, October 22, 2018

Book Tour

I'm so excited to be a stop on the blog tour for
Book 7 in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting
by Lois Winston

Anastasia Pollack’s son Alex is dating Sophie Lambert, the new kid in town. For their community service project, the high school seniors have chosen to raise money for the county food bank. Anastasia taps her craft industry contacts to donate materials for the students to make Christmas ornaments they’ll sell at the town’s annual Holiday Crafts Fair.

At the fair Anastasia meets Sophie’s father, Shane Lambert, who strikes her as a man with secrets. She also notices a woman eavesdropping on their conversation. Later that evening when the woman turns up dead, Sophie’s father is arrested for her murder.

Alex and Sophie beg Anastasia to find the real killer, but Anastasia has had her fill of dead bodies. She’s also not convinced of Shane’s innocence. Besides, she’s promised younger son Nick she’ll stop risking her life. But how can she say no to Alex?



Winners will be chosen after November 4.
at the end of the tour

3 lucky readers will win an
eCopy of 

USA only

Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.

LKBR:  Thank you for being here today, Lois!

LW: Thanks for inviting me, Lisa!

LKBR: Please tell us a bit about the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries.

LW: Anastasia Pollack is the crafts editor of a women’s magazine. When the series opens (in Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun), she’s recently widowed and has discovered her husband had a well-hidden gambling addiction which has left her with debt equal to the GNP of Uzbekistan and a loan shark breathing down her neck. She’s also stuck with her semi-invalid communist mother-in-law living in the home Anastasia shares with her two teenage sons, a Shakespeare-quoting parrot, and her oft-married, self-proclaimed Russian princess mother. As the series progresses, Anastasia takes on various moonlighting jobs to keep from losing her home and having to move her family into a cardboard box on the street—all while dealing with dead bodies that seem to appear on a fairly regular basis ever since the demise of her husband.

LKBR: How did you come up with the concept?

LW: My background is in the consumer crafts industry. I worked for many years as a designer, project coordinator, and editor for craft book and magazine publishers and kit manufacturers. However, I began my writing career in the romance genre. One day an editor told my agent she was looking for crafting cozies. My agent thought I’d be the perfect person to write one because of my background. 

Then I burned my finger while using my glue gun, and inspiration (along with a title) struck.
Unfortunately, that particular publisher dropped their cozy mystery line shortly after my agent submitted Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, but the series did eventually sell to another publisher.

LKBR: What are your future plans for the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries? Any hints or spoilers you can give us about the next book?

LW: I will continue to write about Anastasia as long as readers want to read about her. As for hints or spoilers in the next book, I haven’t begun to think about it yet. Once I finish promoting the release of Drop Dead Ornaments, I’ll turn my attention to Book 8.

LKBR: Is writing an energizing experience, or does it take a lot out of you?

LW: Writing is hard work and often a frustrating experience. Sometimes your characters absolutely refuse to go where you want to take them. Other times your muse deserts you. Still, it’s an experience that comes with a huge sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when you finally type “The End.” Chocolate helps.

LKBR: What sort of research do you do for your books? Is it more computer-based or hands on?

LW: Much of my research is computer-based, but I also pick up the phone and call experts. I’ve spoken with everyone from funeral home directors to FBI agents. I’ve found that most people are quite willing to talk about themselves and their professions because they want authors to get their facts right.

I also set my books in a real town in my home state, which eliminates the need to do location research.

LKBR: What is your writing process? Place, time of day, by the hour or word count?

LW: I have absolutely no process other than I write in my office on my laptop, taking periodic breaks to hop on the treadmill so that my butt doesn’t expand and my heart stays healthy.
As for length of writing time during the day, I write until my mind needs a time-out to recharge. So that varies as well, but I generally accomplish at least 1,000 words a day.

LKBR: How do you come up with character names?

 LW: I’m one of those authors who absolutely can’t use a placeholder name for a character. I need to find the perfect name before I begin writing. If I don’t, the character refuses to cooperate. I use everything from a dog-eared baby-naming book to a Social Security reference site that lists popular names by year.

LKBR: Is it difficult to write characters of the opposite sex? Do you have someone you use for advice?

 LW: I’ve never really found that to be a problem. I do field research, observing and taking note of the Y-chromosomes around me. Everything becomes fodder for character development.

LKBR: Do you read reviews of your books? If you do, and a review is bad, what effect does it have on you? (I know some reviews are mean as opposed to constructive.)

LW: I’ve learned not to read reviews. I’m very insecure and thin-skinned. I realize that not everyone is going to love my books. Taste is subjective. I have no problem with someone writing a negative review as long as the comments are thoughtful and objective, but when I come across a nasty review posted by a troll, it ruins my day. So I’ve stopped looking.

LKBR: What are 3 things readers may not know about you?

LW: 1) As a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut, but I quickly learned NASA wasn’t interested in vertically challenged candidates who suffer from motion sickness. 2) When I realized the astronaut gig wasn’t going to work, I set my sights on Broadway, another unrealistic career choice since I can’t sing, dance, or act my way out of a paper bag. 3) I’m the granddaughter of former county police captain responsible for taking down quite a few gangsters back in the day. So maybe I was pre-ordained to become a mystery writer.

LKBR: Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books?

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog:

LKBR: Thank you so much, Lois, for letting us get to know you better!

LW: The pleasure is all mine, Lisa! Thanks again for inviting me on your site.

Drop Dead Ornaments
An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 7


DROP DEAD ORNAMENTS is my first book in the series. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed it! While reading the first 6 books in the series would have fill in a few blanks for me, author Lois Winston did a great job of keeping me from feeling lost.

I love protagonist Anastasia Pollack. She’s witty and funny, and she can be sarcastic at times. In many ways, we have all those things in common. The rest of the cast of characters were wonderful to get to know. Such an eclectic group.

A great whodunit, with riotous twists and turns, DROP DEAD ORNAMENTS was a fast, exciting read that really keep me on my toes. I’m going back and starting the series from the first book. I don’t want to miss a word of this amazing series. 

About the Author


USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

Author Links 
Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: Pinterest: 

Purchase Links

Amazon    B&N    Kobo   iTunes 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


October 22 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
October 22 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 22 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
October 23 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW
October 23 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 23 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
October 24 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! - SPOTLIGHT
October 24 – The Ninja Librarian - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 25 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
October 26 – Laura's Interests - REVIEW
October 26 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 27 – T's Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews - SPOTLIGHT
October 28 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 28 – Island Confidential - SPOTLIGHT
October 29 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
October 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy - AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 30 – Jane Reads - REVIEW, GUEST POST
October 30 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 31 – StoreyBook Reviews – CRAFT POST
November 1 - Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 1 - The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
November 1 - I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
November 2 - The Montana Bookaholic - CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 2 - The Book's the Thing – REVIEW
November 2 - Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 3 – My Reading Journeys - CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 3 – The Self-Rescue Princess – REVIEW
November 3 – Here's How It Happened – REVIEW
November 4 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 4 – Melina's Book BlogREVIEW
November 4 – Curling Up by the Fire – REVIEW

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  1. Thanks so much for featuring Drop Dead Ornaments today, Lisa. I'm glad you enjoyed the book and now want to read the others in the series. Happy Monday!

  2. Any book by Lois Winston is a treat. I am a long-time reader.

    1. And I thank you for that, Grandma Cootie! Reading your comment was a great way to start my morning.

  3. Thank you, Lisa for a wonderful review and Q & A session and I enjoyed getting to know more about you, Ms. Winston. My mom loves Anastasia and especially Christmas cozies so winning this for her would make me a very happy daughter!

    1. Thank you, Shannon. Please tell your mom how much I appreciate her enthusiasm.

  4. This looks great--I'd love to read it!

  5. I’m really ready to read this one! New author to me but I’m enthralled!

    1. Thanks, Renee! Although you can read the books in any order, I always find it's more enjoyable to read a series in order. So you might want to start with Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun.

  6. This book sounds wonderful! Have added it to my TBR list and can't wait to read it.