A Crafty Collage of Crime by Lois Winston – Guest Post: Inside my Author’s Head by Anastasia Pollack

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A Crafty Collage of Crime (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery)
by Lois Winston

About A Crafty Collage of Crime

A Crafty Collage of Crime (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – New Jersey and Tennessee
Independently Published (June 16, 2023)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 258 pages

Wherever crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack goes, murder and mayhem follow. Her honeymoon is no exception. She and new husband, photojournalist (and possible spy) Zachary Barnes, are enjoying a walk in the Tennessee woods when they stumble upon a body on the side of a creek. The dead man is the husband of one of the three sisters who own the winery and guest cottages where Anastasia and Zack are vacationing.

When the local sheriff sets his sights on the widow as the prime suspect, her sisters close ranks around her. The three siblings are true-crime junkies, and thanks to a podcaster who has produced an unauthorized series about her, Anastasia’s reputation for solving murders has preceded her to the bucolic hamlet. The sisters plead for her help in finding the real killer. As Anastasia learns more about the women and their business, a host of suspects emerge, including several relatives, a relentless land developer, and even the sisters themselves.

Meanwhile, Anastasia becomes obsessed with discovering the podcaster’s identity. Along with knowing about Anastasia’s life as a reluctant amateur sleuth, the podcaster has divulged details of Anastasia’s personal life. Someone has betrayed Anastasia’s trust, and she’s out to discover the identity of the culprit.

Craft project included.

Inside my Author’s Head
By Anastasia Pollack

I’m a fictional character, and I reside within my author’s brain. It’s rather crowded up there in the folds of her gray matter, and it’s getting more crowded all the time. With the release of A Crafty Collage of Crime, Lois Winston, my author, has now written twelve cozy mysteries and three novellas featuring me in the eponymous Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries.

Within the confines of her brain, a huge assortment of secondary and tertiary characters are also constantly vying for attention. Some are completely ignored after their one and only book appearance, but others occasionally pop up in recurring roles in other books. I like some of these characters and don’t mind sharing space in Lois’s brain with them. Others? Not so much.

And then there are the dead bodies. Lots and lots of dead bodies. Although they take up valuable brain real estate, at least they’re silent neighbors. For obvious reasons.

Other than my husband, who dropped dead at a Las Vegas casino prior to the opening of Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the series, all these dead bodies were victims of murder. And for some unknown reason, my author has decided that I’m the perfect person to discover these victims and get involved in finding out whodunit.

How does being the crafts editor at a women’s magazine prepare someone for investigating murders? I drew plenty of bodies in art school, but they were all very much alive. Forensics 101 wasn’t offered as an elective.

According to my author, I’m the perfect person for such a task because she writes cozy mysteries, and cozy mysteries feature amateur sleuths. No need for Forensics 101 or any other law enforcement courses. She expects me to wing it. Scratch that. She forces me to wing it. Because the thing about being a character in your author’s head is that you have no free will.

I can complain, though, and I’ve certainly done my share of complaining. Wouldn’t you if you were a character whose author had decided your recently deceased husband gambled away all your savings, hadn’t paid any of the bills in months, and left you in debt to a loan shark? Not bad enough? She also dumped his nasty communist mother on me. Still not bad enough? Don’t forget to factor in all the dead bodies.

Being a character in Lois’s brain, I know what she’s thinking, and those plots she cooks up are never good for me. Even when she does something nice, a dead body or two always shows up—which is exactly what happened when she recently sent Zack and me to a winery on our honeymoon.

About Lois Winston

USA Today and Amazon bestselling author Lois Winston began her award-winning writing career with Talk Gertie to Me, a humorous fish-out-of-water novel about a small-town girl going off to the big city and the mother who had other ideas. That was followed by the romantic suspense Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception.

Then Lois’s writing segued unexpectedly into the world of humorous amateur sleuth mysteries, thanks to a conversation her agent had with an editor looking for craft-themed mysteries. In her day job Lois was an award-winning craft and needlework designer, and although she’d never written a mystery—or had even thought about writing a mystery—her agent decided she was the perfect person to pen a series for this editor. Thus, was born the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, which Kirkus Reviews dubbed “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” The series now includes twelve novels and three novellas. Lois also writes the Empty Nest Mysteries, currently at two novels, and one book so far in her Mom Squad Capers series.

To date Lois has published twenty-one novels, five novellas, several short stories, one children’s chapter book, and one nonfiction book on writing, inspired by her twelve years working as an associate at a literary agency. To learn more about Lois and her books, visit her at www.loiswinston.com where you can sign up for her newsletter and follow her at various social media sites.

Author Links

Website: http://www.loiswinston.com

Newsletter sign-up: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/r2e9v1

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/anasleuth

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anasleuth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/722763.Lois_Winston

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lois-winston

Purchase Links:
AmazonKobo Barnes & Noble Apple Books


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