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becke_davis
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Guest Blog by Author LOIS WINSTON!

Today's guest blogger will be familiar to a lot of you who are regulars here - LOIS WINSTON!

 

Check out Lois' website here: http://www.loiswinston.com/

 



 





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BIO
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. She lives with her husband a stone's throw from 
Manhattan (assuming you can throw a stone across the 
Hudson River.)

WRITING AWARDS 
- 2008 Winter Rose Award for Excellence in Romantic Fiction, 1st Place
- 2008 Laurie Awards, 1st Place
- 2008 More Than Magic Award, 1st Place
- 2008 Beacon Awards, 2nd Place
- 2008 Golden Quill Awards, Finalist
- 2007 Readers and Book Buyers Best Award, 1st Place
- 2007 Beacon Awards, 2nd Place
- 2007 Laurel Wreath Awards, 2nd Place
- 2007 Golden Leaf Awards, Finalist
- 2006 Golden Leaf Awards, Finalist
- 2006 Reviewers' Choice Awards, Finalist
- 2005 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award, Finalist 
- 2004 St. Martin's Press Malice Domestic Competition, Finalist
- 2004 Dorchester Publishing American Title Competition, 1st Runner-up
- 2004 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award, Double Finalist

FUN FACTS
- Favorite color: black because it's so slimming <G>
- Favorite drink: vanilla latte
- Favorite dessert: creme brulee
- Favorite city: Manhattan
- Favorite vacation spot: a cruise to anywhere 
- Favorite activity (other than writing): going to Broadway shows
- Favorite mystery author: Janet Evanovich
- Favorite modern movie: Shakespeare in Love
- Favorite classic movie: Casablanca
- All-time Favorite TV show: M*A*S*H
- Favorite Broadway show: Wicked
- Favorite song: just about anything written by George and Ira Gershwin
- Favorite singer: Andrea Bocelli
- Favorite actor: Pierce Brosnan (that man can star as the hero in any of my books!)
- Favorite actress: Meryl Streep
- Pet peeves: reality TV, people who don't answer their emails or return phone calls

- Person I'd most like to meet: Leonardo da Vinci 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author LOIS WINSTON!

Events:

 

 

September 12 , 2011
Noon - 1pm 
Hungry Readers Book Club 
Manville Public Library 
100 South 10th Ave.
Manville, NJ
FMI: 908-722-9722 

September 15-18 , 2011
Bouchercon 2011
The Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel
St. Louis, MO

October 21-22 , 2011
Fiction Writers Bootcamp
keynote speaker
Hampton Inn
St. Augustine Beach, FL

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CONTEST
Over at Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers (Anastasia's blog) we host guest authors every Friday. Post a comment during the week to be entered in weekly drawings. Also check back here for announcements of periodic reader contests.

ARTICLES ABOUT LOIS WINSTON 
NJ Monthly magazine, June 2009 issue

The Westfield Leader, November 8, 2007

Star-Ledger I Am NJ profile, June 23, 2007

The Westfield Leader, July 20, 2006

Norristown Times Herald, February 5, 2006

Suburban News, February 8, 2006

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Death by Killer Mop Doll  

 




BOOK 2 OF THE ANASTASIA POLLACK CRAFTING MYSTERIES 

 

available January 2012 from Midnight Ink

 

 

Overdue bills and constant mother vs. mother-in-law battles at home are bad enough. But crafts editor Anastasia Pollack's stress level is maxed out when she and her fellow American Woman editors get roped into unpaid gigs for a revamped morning TV show. But before the glue is dry on Anastasia's mop dolls, morning TV turns crime drama when the producer is murdered. More sleaze than star quality, former co-hosts Vince and Monica are top suspects - and investigating lands Anastasia in the killer's unforgiving spotlight. 



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[ Edited ]

 

KEEPING WHODUNIT A MYSTERY


by Lois Winston



I recently completed the third book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series. I should be receiving page proofs for the second book, DEATH BY KILLER MOP DOLL, within the next few weeks. That book will be out the beginning of January. So I now have three mysteries under my belt. The big question that plagues me, though, is how mysterious are they?

When an author sets out to write a murder mystery, she usually knows from the start whodunit. Even if she doesn’t, at some point in the writing process, she has to decide whodunit. It’s a murder mystery. There has to be a murder and hence, a murderer. The challenge is to keep the reader guessing throughout the book. And let me tell you, that’s one huge challenge when you already know whodunit.

Did I leave enough clues? Too many? What about red herrings? Plot twists? Am I being too obvious or too subtle? Will the reader guess from the very beginning whodunit? That’s my biggest fear, and I’m sure it’s true for most other mystery writers. Conversely, will the reader buy into whodunit? Another big fear.

Before I turned to writing mysteries, I wrote humorous women’s fiction and romantic suspense. In the romantic suspense, the bad guys were point of view characters, so readers knew who they were. The suspense was all about the heroine being able to figure out who was framing her and turn the tables on the bad guys. I can’t do that in a mystery. Mystery readers come to a book with a different set of expectations.

With ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN, the first book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series, I succeeded. Very few readers have mentioned via reviews at various online sites and on Goodreads that they knew who the killer was from the onset.

There will always be those readers who figure out whodunit early on. I’m one of them. When I read or watch a mystery, part of my criteria for liking it is whether the author or screenwriter was able to keep me guessing right up to the end. Few succeed. Then again, I don’t consider myself a typical reader/viewer. I’ve got too much of my grandfather’s DNA in me. As Chief Detective of Essex County, NJ, he was responsible for bringing down a host of gangsters and other crooks and murderers from the 1920’s up until his death in the late 1950’s.

So getting back to the next two books in my series, I will be holding my breath until the reviews begin to come in, hoping I have once again kept the majority of readers guessing right up until I reveal whodunit.

What about you readers? Does figuring out whodunit early on take the enjoyment out of reading a mystery?


* * *

 

Award-winning author Lois Winston writes the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries for Midnight Ink. Visit her at http://www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com


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LoisWinston
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Re: Guest Blog by Author LOIS WINSTON!

Thanks for inviting me, Becke!
Lois

 

Lois Winston
http://www.loiswinston.com
http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com
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becke_davis
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LoisWinston wrote:
Thanks for inviting me, Becke!
Lois

 


Hi Lois! It's great to have you back again! I'm looking forward to the release of your new book - January will be here before we know it! Have you already got Book 3 in the works?

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becke_davis wrote:

LoisWinston wrote:
Thanks for inviting me, Becke!
Lois

 


Hi Lois! It's great to have you back again! I'm looking forward to the release of your new book - January will be here before we know it! Have you already got Book 3 in the works?


Becke, Book 3, tentatively titled REVENGE OF THE CRAFTY CORPSE, is finished and was turned in to my editor a few weeks ago. 

Lois

Lois Winston
http://www.loiswinston.com
http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com
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LoisWinston wrote:

becke_davis wrote:

LoisWinston wrote:
Thanks for inviting me, Becke!
Lois

 


Hi Lois! It's great to have you back again! I'm looking forward to the release of your new book - January will be here before we know it! Have you already got Book 3 in the works?


Becke, Book 3, tentatively titled REVENGE OF THE CRAFTY CORPSE, is finished and was turned in to my editor a few weeks ago. 

Lois


I love your titles, Lois! Are they your creations, or does your publisher come up with them?

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author LOIS WINSTON!

I don't think I mentioned Lois' blog: http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com/

 

KILLER CRAFTS & CRAFTY KILLERS

 

the blog of Anastasia Pollack, crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth

 

 

Stop by and check out the fascinating blogs and guest blogs!

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LoisWinston
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Re: Guest Blog by Author LOIS WINSTON!

Becke, Book 3, tentatively titled REVENGE OF THE CRAFTY CORPSE, is finished and was turned in to my editor a few weeks ago. 

Lois


I love your titles, Lois! Are they your creations, or does your publisher come up with them?


ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN was all mine, Becke. DEATH BY KILLER MOP DOLL was a tweak by the publisher. The working title was MOP DOLL MURDERS, but it was decided that we should go with a title that maintained the cadence of the first book. It's too soon to tell whether or not the working title of REVENGE OF THE CRAFTY CORPSE will stay or be changed, but it does have the same cadence. Lots of people get input, trying to determine the best title possible for each book.

Lois Winston
http://www.loiswinston.com
http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com
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Re: Guest Blog by Author LOIS WINSTON!


LoisWinston wrote:
Becke, Book 3, tentatively titled REVENGE OF THE CRAFTY CORPSE, is finished and was turned in to my editor a few weeks ago. 

Lois


I love your titles, Lois! Are they your creations, or does your publisher come up with them?


ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN was all mine, Becke. DEATH BY KILLER MOP DOLL was a tweak by the publisher. The working title was MOP DOLL MURDERS, but it was decided that we should go with a title that maintained the cadence of the first book. It's too soon to tell whether or not the working title of REVENGE OF THE CRAFTY CORPSE will stay or be changed, but it does have the same cadence. Lots of people get input, trying to determine the best title possible for each book.


One reason I like your titles is that they remind me of the old Perry Mason books by Erle Stanley Gardner (without "The Case of", of course, but the cadence is similar):

 

Perry Mason and the Case of the Velvet Claws 

The Case of the Horrified Heirs 

The Case of the Fenced-in Woman    

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eadieburke
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Re: Guest Blog by Author LOIS WINSTON!

Welcome Lois:

 

I have read and enjoyed these books and your humor. Can't wait to read the next installments. Hope you enjoy your visit with us!

 

Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun 

Love, Lies, and a Double Shot of Deception 

Talk Gertie to Me    

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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One reason I like your titles is that they remind me of the old Perry Mason books by Erle Stanley Gardner (without "The Case of", of course, but the cadence is similar):

 

Lois Winston
http://www.loiswinston.com
http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com
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LoisWinston
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Re: Guest Blog by Author LOIS WINSTON!


eadieburke wrote:

Welcome Lois:

 

I have read and enjoyed these books and your humor. Can't wait to read the next installments. Hope you enjoy your visit with us!

 

Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun 

Love, Lies, and a Double Shot of Deception 

Talk Gertie to Me    


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much, Eadie! I hope you enjoy the next installment of Anastasia.

Lois

Lois Winston
http://www.loiswinston.com
http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com
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maxcat
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Re: Guest Blog by Author LOIS WINSTON!

Hi, Lois, I loved your blog. I was brought up on whodunits from Nancy Drew to Agatha Christie. Agatha was a good whodunit writer in that she kept the reader interested in the mystery and then turned tables on him with a murderer that the reader never thought of. It's a challenge these days to open a mystery and keep one thinking about who murdered who. But I'm still glad that the whodunits are still being written.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost