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Lois Winston Books In Order

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Publication Order of Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries Books

Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death by Killer Mop Doll (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Crewel Intentions (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Revenge of the Crafty Corpse (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mosaic Mayhem (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Decoupage Can Be Deadly (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Patchwork Peril (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Crafty Crimes (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Stitch to Die for (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Scrapbook of Murder (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Drop Dead Ornaments (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Sew Deadly Cruise (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Empty Nest Mystery Books

Definitely Dead (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Literally Dead (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Gertie Books

Talk Gertie to Me (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Elementary, My Dear Gertie (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Someone to Watch Over Me (As:Emma Carlyle) (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lost in Manhattan (As:Emma Carlyle) (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hooking Mr. Right: A Romance with Recipes (As:Emma Carlyle) (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Four Uncles and a Wedding (As:Emma Carlyle) (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Magic Paintbrush (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Finding Mr. Right (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Moms in Black: A Mom Squad Caper (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Once Upon a Romance (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Top Ten Reasons Your Novel Is Rejected: And How to Avoid Them (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

Bake, Love, Write: 105 Authors Share Dessert Recipes and Advice on Love and Writing(2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
We'd Rather Be Writing: 88 Authors Share Timesaving Dinner Recipes and Other Tips(2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Lois Winston is a women’s fiction, mystery, chick-lit, romance and romantic suspense author who has also authored nonfiction under the pen name Emma Carlyle and her own name. According to Kirkus Reviews, her bestselling “Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery” series was a mature answer to Stephanie Plum. In addition to her prowess as an author, Lois is an award winning needlework and craft designer and also literary agent who makes use of her experiences in the craft industry to create the settings and characters in her novels. Up until very recently, Winston worked on three careers and it was from this that she got the inspiration for her award-winning mystery series. Until she retired last year, she had spent several years editing and designing in the consumer crafts industry. Much of the work was with craft book and magazine publishers as well as kit manufacturers that needed designers and experienced editors. However, she also loves to carry around a nasty glue gun and has the scars to show that she uses it. Still, it has been worth the pain as it provides some inspiration for some of her novels.

Winston began her writing career in romance when she published “Talk Gertie To Me” in 2006. The novel was more of a humorous fictional account rather than a romance but it provided the motivation to continue writing. In 2007, she wrote the single standing romantic suspense “Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception.” She decided to shift gears and wrote a mystery with “Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun” the debut of the “Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries” published in 2011. After selling the manuscript for her debut in 2009, she was offered the chance to join her publishing company as an associate. For a time, she juggled several careers as she was now a designer, agent and author. But then her agency closed down after nearly five decades in publishing. The publishing industry had experienced major changes with the shift towards self-publishing, and the retirement of an agent and the death of two, made the owner decided that he had had enough. After this, she decided to concentrate on her writing and she could not be happier. Lois Winston now has more than twenty novels, two novellas, a collection of short stories and contribution to the “Happy Homicides” mystery series.

The inspiration for her blockbuster “Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries” was born when her agent had a conversation with an editor. The editor needed someone that could write a crafting mystery series and his agent believed he was the perfect fit given his experience as designer and editor of craft consumer magazines. While he had never read any fiction in the genre, he learned that shop owners were the leads in most of them. However, she wanted something different made the lead in his novels a crafts editor that worked for a women’s magazine. Lois Winston got the idea for the novel from worrying about money after her husband lost his job. Even though she was working three careers, none provided her with enough money to provide for her household without her husband’s help. Since “HBO” was still running “The Sopranos,” she set her series in her state and wrote in the Mafia. Combining these elements with the painful burn she recently had got from her hot glue gun, the novel began to take shape. While Anastasia the lead was facing some difficult circumstances, Lois writes quirky characters full of humor which is what makes her series stand out.

Lois Winston’s “Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun” introduces Anastasia, a woman who has been called the spunkier, feistier and more mature Stephanie Plum. She is no superhero who conquers all before her but just an ordinary woman that does her best to find the resources inside of her to overcome some very difficult circumstances. She works as a crafts editor of a women’s magazine and is having a great life when her husband suddenly drops dead. She discovers that he had been a gambling addict and had cleared out their bank account and was also deeply in debt to the mob. A mobster has been coming around asking for his money and she knows things are bad when her colleague is found dead and glued to her office desk. Things only get worse when the police start to behave in a way to indicate they believe she is responsible for the murder. Then some gangsters break into her house three times and the fact that he is living with mother in law with strong Communist views that demands special treatment only makes Anastasia’s life more difficult. Lucile her selfish and narcissistic mother in law start taking up more space in the house even as she struggle to feed her two teenage boys and pay the house bills.

In “Death by Killer Mop Doll,” Anastasia gets a reprieve as the mafia loan shark is out of the picture and her money problems are lessened somewhat. But she still has to deal with the obnoxious mother in law and her pets and the stress of editing a ton of articles given that she is the editor of a women’s magazine. Rest is hard to come by as it is, until someone decides that the editors of the magazine also have to prepare 15 minute segments on the company-owned radio shows. This will require at least a day to prepare and that is if nothing goes wrong. Moreover, they will not be paid for those extra fifteen minutes which means its more work for nothing in return. As expected, something does go wrong on the very first day as someone vandalizes some of the craft and the set. The higher-ups were hoping the second day would go a little better until Anastasia’s mother’s latest fiancée, who also happens to be the director of the program is found dead. He had been found in the crafts closet and the police confiscate all her work which means there will be no shooting for that day. But she has bigger issues to deal with as the police believe her mother is the prime suspect. It is now up to Anastasia to clear her mother from the very serious charges before things get out of hand.

Lois Winston’s “Revenge of the Crafty Corpse” opens to tough woman Anastasia in another tricky situation. She just got the opportunity to earn extra money as a crafts and arts instructor at a nursing home and she takes it. She is now working two jobs and her life is a little better particularly in light of the fact that her mother in law has to live in a rehab nursing home while recovering from a recent surgery. Her mother in law is put in a room with a 96 year old woman who is a crafts expert though she also entertains the gentlemen of the home at night. Her room mates’ nightly activities usually cause a raucous situation with the staff and residents and until a resident turns up dead and Lucille is fingered as the prime suspect. It is up to Anastasia to once again try to get her mother in law out of a sticky situation.

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