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Please welcome this week's featured author, who will be familiar to many of you: LOIS WINSTON!


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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
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.)

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- 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

- 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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Jan. 28-29, 2011
Space Coast Writers' Guild Conference
Book signing open to the public 
International Palms Resort and Conference Center
Cocoa Beach, FL


March 19, 2011
Liberty States Fiction Writers "Make Something Magical" Conference
Book signing open to the public 
Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel

Iselin, NJ


April 29 - May 1, 2011
Malice Domestic Convention 
for fans and authors in celebration of the traditional mystery 
Hyatt Regency 
Bethesda, MD 

In celebration of the release of ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN, l'll be on a blog tour from the end of December through the end of January and will be giving away 5 signed copies. To enter, simply post a comment to any of the blogs on the tour. Find the schedule on the homepage

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

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

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers 

Midnight Ink

Liberty States Fiction Writers

Romance Writers of America

Sisters in Crime

Mystery Writers of America

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[ Edited ]


"Crafty cozies don't get any better than this hilarious confection...Anastasia is as deadpan droll as Tina Fey's Liz Lemon..." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review 

"Winston has hit a home run with this hilarious, laugh-until-your-sides-hurt tale. Oddball characters, uproariously funny situations, and a heroine with a strong sense of irony will delight fans of Janet Evanovich, Jess Lourey, and Kathleen Bacus. May this be the first of many in Winston's Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series." -- 
Booklist, starred review

“North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum. Funny, gutsy and determined, Anastasia has a bright future in the planned series.”
 –Kirkus Reviews




A debut mystery featuring innovative crafts projects

When Anastasia Pollack's husband permanently cashes in his chips at a roulette table in Vegas, her comfortable middle-class life is suddenly kaput. She's left with two teenage sons, a mountain of debt, and her hateful, cane-wielding Communist motherin-law. Not to mention stunned disbelief over her late husband's secret gambling addiction, and the loan shark who's demanding fifty thousand dollars.


Anastasia's job as crafts editor for a magazine proves no respite when she discovers a dead body glued to her office chair. The victim, fashion editor Marlys Vandenburg, collected enemies and ex-lovers like Jimmy Choos on her ruthless climb to editor-in-chief.But when evidence surfaces of an illicit affair between Marlys and Anastasia's husband, Anastasia becomes the number one suspect.


Publishers Weekly

Crafty cozies don't get any better than this hilarious confection, the first in a new series from crafting expert Winston (Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception). After Anastasia Pollack's husband, Karl, drops dead after gambling away their money in Las Vegas, the crafts editor for the supermarket rag American Woman opts to keep her head up and her glue gun loaded even if Ricardo, an annoying mobster, begins harassing her for the 50Gs her husband "borrowed."


Unfortunately, Anastasia's glue gun is the weapon used to kill Marlys Vandenburg, the glam but obnoxious AW fashion editor, making her a prime suspect. Anastasia is as deadpan droll as Tina Fey's Liz Lemon, and readers can't help cheering as she copes with caring for a host of colorful characters, both human (e.g., Lucille, her grumpy Communist mother-in-law) and animal (e.g., Ralph, a Shakespeare quoting parrot), while trying to nab a very sticky murderer. (Jan.)


More Reviews and Recommendations



Lois Winston (Westfield, NJ) is an award-winning author of romantic suspense and humorous women's fiction. She worked for several years as a crafts editor, and is also an award-winning designer of needlework and crafts projects. Visit her online at


More About the Author



Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun

by Lois Winston


(Excuse the odd link - "Add Product" doesn't seem to be working tonight)

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Love, Lies, and a Double Shot of Deception 

By Lois Winston

Dorchester Publishing

Copyright © 2007 Lois Winston 
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-505-52719-6 


Chapter One

Five and a half months later


Winter wonderland, my ass.

The stinging wind whipped at Emma's exposed cheeks and brought tears to her eyes. Lowering her head, she trudged around the enormous mounds of black snow piled along the curb, searching for a semisafe path to the sidewalk. Finding none, she grabbed a parking meter and hauled herself over the smallest of the soot-encrusted icebergs. Some people would go to any lengths for their morning cup of java, and she was one of them.

As she yanked open the door to Chapters and Verse, the "Spring Movement" of Vivaldi's Four Seasons greeted her. Someone had a really warped sense of humor. Or hoped the power of positive thinking could affect weather patterns. Still, the music held a reminder that the harsh realities of early February in Philadelphia would eventually give way to sunshine and flowers come late March. Maybe. Last year they'd suffered through one of their worst blizzards ever the first week in April.

Emma shivered, thoughts of daffodils and crocuses quickly replaced by the chill rippling through her damp body. Shaking the moisture from her hair, she deposited her coat on a chair in the café, then headedfor the coffee bar.

"Morning," said the barista. "The usual?"


With her morning shot of caffeine and sugar in hand, Emma trolled the stacks of books, occasionally pulling a volume from the shelves and sliding it under her arm. She needed the predictability of this daily routine. It helped her get through the rest of the day. Every day.

Why the hell do I stay?

If she had any courage, she'd leave. Sell the house. Move away. Start over. But she couldn't leave, and her reasons had little to do with a lack of courage. Life in Emmaville was just too damn complex. One part guilt, one part masochism. But how could she leave the only tangible reminder she had of life before everything had turned to shit?

So she stayed, losing herself in work that at least gave her the satisfaction of knowing her efforts helped others. She pushed herself each day until exhaustion overcame her and she fell into nightmare-riddled sleep. Tomorrow morning the cycle would repeat itself. I'm a twenty-first-century Sisyphus, eternally damned to live out an unending punishment for my sins. Not that she had a clue as to whatever sin first condemned her years before, but she'd certainly committed a whopper since then. Whether a sin of omission or commission, it hardly mattered. The result was the same.

Still, what would be the harm in a short escape? She deserved that much, didn't she? Emma closed her eyes and conjured up a distant memory of a sunkissed Adriatic coastline. Hell, why not? She opened her eyes and headed for the travel section.


Logan Crawford's mind kept drifting back to the events of last night, an evening definitely not worth remembering. Even her name escaped him. Normally it wouldn't have mattered, but this time he was saddled with Candi-Randi-Bambi-whatever-the-hell-her-name-was for the length of his stay in Philadelphia. As head of the city's redevelopment office, she was his official escort-slash-liaison, the person assigned to make certain he chose the City of Brotherly Love as the East Coast site for his corporate headquarters. And last night Candi-Randi-Bambi, a woman who wore her ambition emblazoned across her surgically augmented chest, made it abundantly clear just how far she'd go to get him to sign on the dotted line. And it was far from brotherly. Or sisterly.

Logan doubted he was the first billionaire businessman she'd bedded in her quest up the corporate ladder, but he'd wager a good portion of his sizeable fortune that he was the biggest-the wunderkind West Coast urban developer who was giving The Donald a run for his money. Only Logan had better hair-as the media was quick to point out.

With a snap of his fingers, he could provide Candi-Randi-Bambi with an express elevator straight through the glass ceiling, and she knew it.

No way in hell.

Last night when he stared down into Candi-Randi-Bambi's come-hither eyes, he saw the reflection of a disillusioned, unhappy man. And damn, up to that moment he hadn't even realized he'd been disillusioned or unhappy. He had wealth; he had power. So what was up with the sudden emptiness and dissatisfaction?

Beryl would say it was because he led a shallow life devoid of emotional commitment. As much as he protested to the contrary, he knew she was right. Maybe it was time to leave the bimbos to Trump.

Struck by the epiphany, he'd bolted from Candi-Randi-Bambi's bed. They'd used each other. She'd spread her legs hoping to advance her career; he'd taken advantage of the offer. Sex without emotional entanglements, the pattern of his adult life. He got the release he needed, and the woman got a notch on her bedpost. Only this time it hadn't worked. After thirty-eight years, Logan Crawford realized it was time to grow up. Only damn it, he didn't have a clue how.

Still reeling from the self-revelation, he'd canceled his morning appointments and headed his rental car north, needing some time alone to think. After driving for half an hour, he found himself in a quiet, upscale section of Philadelphia. A bookstore on top of a hill beckoned like a siren.

For the rest of his stay in Philadelphia, he vowed to spend his nights curled up with a good thriller rather than a cheap thrill. Now all he had to do was find one. At the moment he couldn't even find the damn fiction section in the boundless maze of shelves that wound around the first level of the two-story megastore. Lost in the travel section, he spun on his heels and-




Excerpted from Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception by Lois WinstonCopyright © 2007 by Lois Winston. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.



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To contact Lois send an email to:


To sign up for Lois's author newsletter send an email directly 
or email Lois at:

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Winner of the 2007 Readers and Book Buyers Best Laurie Award 

Two years ago Nori Stedworth fled the conservative mentality of both her parents and Ten Commandments, Iowa, for Manhattan. She loves her new life -- until one devastating afternoon that culminates with the arrival of her mother. Mom is suffering from middle-age meltdown. Her only identity is as a wife and mother, but her husband is a workaholic, and her daughter is halfway across the country. Grandchildren would give her life new purpose. If only Nori would come to her senses and marry town mortician and most eligible bachelor Eugene Draymore.


To that end, Mom sets off to bring Nori home. But when she meets Nori’s neighbor, her plans take an unexpected twist, and she’s thrust headfirst into a career as the next Martha Stewart. Suddenly, she’s a somebody in her own right and reconsiders returning to her old life.


As a coping mechanism, Nori resurrects Gertie, her adolescent imaginary friend. A laptop mix-up lands her musings in the hands of Mackenzie Randolph, a talk-radio station manager on deadline to boost sagging ratings or lose his job. He knows he’s found the answer to his prayers when he reads Nori’s make-believe correspondence.


And maybe he’s found much more.


Meanwhile Dad, with Eugene in tow, comes in search of his AWOL wife. Tempers flare when Mom refuses to return home. However, when she and Dad hear Nori on the radio, they unite to “save” her from the corruption of both Mac and Manhattan.


And that’s when things really get interesting.


“ of the most unique, enjoyable, and hilarious stories I have ever read. From the opening page I was completely hooked, laughing out loud at times. I think everyone will be able to relate to this story, as we all have a little bit of Gertie inside us. The secondary characters touched my heart and brought the story to life making TALK GERTIE TO ME a definite must read. This is Lois Winston’s debut novel and I think she is going to be an author to watch out for in the future.” Dina Smith,, 5 stars


“Absolutely hilarious! At one point of the book I tried to read the story out loud, with different voices for each character. But I could not keep a straight face and I kept snickering. This novel is like two stories in one. Nori and Connie take turns telling what is going on in their lives. Oh, and the secondary characters are just as colorful as the main ones!...Author Lois Winston deserves a standing ovation for this gem!” Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews, 5 stars


“Wow! Where’s this book been hiding? The storyline is fresh, offbeat and substantial.”Flavia Knightsbridge, Romantic Times




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Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers


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



featuring guest mystery authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors; and the occasional contest



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12/27/10 - 12/31/10 -- 
Barnes & Noble Mystery Bookclub

12/29/10 -- Mysteries and Margaritas 

1/2/11 -- Type M4 Murder

1/3/11 -- Suspense Your Disbelief

1/3/11 -- Dames of Dialogue

1/4/11 -- Suspense Novelist

1/5/11 -- Mystery Writing is Murder

1/6/11 -- Lesa’s Book Critiques

1/7/11 -- author Nancy J. Cohen’s Blog

1/8/11 -- Poe’s Deadly Daughters

1/9/11 -- Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen


1/10/11 -- Mysterious Musings


1/11/11 -- author Beth Groundwater’s Blog


1/12/11 -- Jungle Red

1/12/11 -- Auntie M Writes


1/13/11 -- Killer Hobbies


1/14/11 -- 1st Turning Point


1/17/11 -- The Naked Hero


1/17/11 -- Birth of a Novel


1/19/11 -- Crime Writers’ Chronicle


1/20/11 -- Get Lost in a Story

1/20/11 -- Paul D. Marks blog


1/21/11 -- Hearth Cricket


1/24/11 -- Marilyn’s Musings


1/25/11 -- author Kate George’s Blog


1/26/11 -- Dot Dead Diary


1/31/11 -- Candid Canines



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[ Edited ]

Hopeful Romantic
Late-blooming novelist fantasizes about success





On a recent Saturday, Lois Winston had her hair done and drove from Westfield to the B*****s bookstore in Bridgewater to talk about and sign her latest book, "Love, Lies, and a Double Shot of Deception," a mystery romance novel.

The next day, another signing at another bookstore, this one on Route 10 in Ledgewood. The following Thursday, she was at a bookstore in Marlton in South Jersey. In between, she was holed up in the office of her cozy Westfield bungalow, writing for hours at a time.

While the drop-dead gorgeous heroes of her novels sweep their heroines off their feet, sometimes literally, and live pretty much happily ever after, real life is different, including for romance writers.


Romance, it turns out, is not for the faint of heart.


Romance, in fact, is actually a lot of hard work. That hard work is finally paying off for Winston:

A second novel just out, a committed editor and a slew of proposals in the works, she's on a roll after toiling for years on manuscripts that saw their fair share of rejections.


As good as her writing is -- and she's won dozens of contests -- it's also the writing workshops, learning the nuts and bolts of the publishing world, updating her Web site, participating in blogs that have helped her become one of the few whose work actually becomes a book.


Getting published

"I look at this as a business," says the pragmatic Winston of her work. Her five-year plan? "To be on the New York Times best-seller list," she says with a smile, brushing her auburn hair from her brown eyes.


That's a tall order in the romance book biz. Of the 10,000 members of the Romance Writers of America, about 1,700 have been published, according to Gail Freeman, president of the New Jersey Romance Writers, of which Winston is an active member.


"If you go to Harlequin or Silhouette," she says, referring to two of the largest romance publishers, "you'll see a slush pile of unsolicited manuscripts, 6-foot stacks along the hallways, thousands of submissions a month.


"Lois has been honing her craft for years. The woman is so persistent and so professional. She's hard-working and takes it very seriously," says Freeman, of Neptune City. She herself has been writing for 10 years, in the genre of "paranormal historical"-- one of her manuscripts involves an undead 1,000-year-old Scots warrior who finds love with a modern woman--but has never been published.


Finding a niche in the multi-bracketed romantic market is important to success. There's historical, paranormal--usually involving vampires or werewolves-- historical paranormal, contemporary and a hot new genre, erotica, which features more, and more graphic, sex scenes without crossing over into pornography.


These categories have their loyal followings. "There are readers who will only read Scottish historicals," Winston says.


Probably the most successful Jersey romance writer, Eloisa James, a k a Mary Bly of Summit, a Shakespeare professor at Fordham University, has sold millions of copies of her Regency and Georgian era English historical romances. Eager fans attend her readings and join her chat rooms to dish on her dukes and duchesses.


Winston, 55, is comfortable in the "contemporary" category, which includes elements of chick lit and suspense romance. Besides being able to dispense with researching 18th-century undergarments, it allows her to brandish her decidedly contemporary wit.


Here´s an excerpt from her first novel, "Talk Gertie to Me" (Dorchester, $5.99, paper), published last year:


I motioned to my laptop dangling at his side. "You were reading my files." 
To his credit, Mac flushed with guilt. At least he was man enough not to lie his way around the flagrant violation of my privacy. "Yes, well, actually, I want to talk to you about that." 
I stiffened. "Talk about the height of hubris! You read my diary and then expect me to discuss it with you? I don´t think so." 
Mac blanched. "Your diary!" 
"What did you think you were reading, a download of "Crime and Punishment"? 
"I thought it was e-mail correspondence you had saved to a Word file. Are you telling me that you´re Gertie? Damn! This is too good to be true." 
"What?" I grabbed my computer, shoving his at him. "You, Mackenzie Randolph, are a pervert." 
He grinned at me. "And you, Nori Stedworth, are the answer to both our prayers." Then, instead of taking his computer and handing me mine, he placed his palms on either side of my face and kissed me. 
I should have yanked myself out of his grasp. Kicked him in the shin. Spit in his eye. 
One of the above. 
Some of the above. 
All of the above. 
Instead, I did none of the above. Instead, I kissed him back.

A crafty past 

Winston is also "branding" herself by including crafts, such as embroidery, in each of her novels. It allows her to adhere to the old adage to write what you know, since crafts were her career before she began to write in her 40s.


Growing up poor in the Weequahic section of Newark -- she and her parents and three siblings shared a two-bedroom apartment -- Lois Siebel loved reading as a child, but her talent bloomed in art. She graduated from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, the city where she met her husband-to-be, Rob.


"My kids always tease me that I married for a green card because, if we got married, I would be eligible for in-state tuition," she says with a laugh.


She began designing kits for the burgeoning craft industry. The couple moved to the suburbs and had two sons, Christopher, now 32, and Scott, 29. Back in the '70s, working women had few child-care options, so Winston worked at home while her sons were in school.





Winston speaks at a book-signing in Ledgewood.

She designed kits for cross-stitch projects, such as samplers; for cloth dolls, for every kind of needlework except knitting and crocheting. A design for an afghan inspired by early American samplers won an award.


It was after a meeting of the trade group that she began to dream, literally, of romance writing.


"I was at a conference of the Society of Craft Designers (now the Craft and Hobby Association), and I dreamed a chapter every night, a romantic story that just started unfolding," she recalls.


Convinced that she had a book in her, she wrote a 50,000-word manuscript that spanned 35 years. "It was unpublishable, although I didn't know it at the time," she says.


Working on writing 


The experience taught her that she needed to work on her writing, so she plunged into workshops and networking with other romance writers, many of whom she has helped, as well.


She learned techniques such as point of view. But her dialogue, snappy and witty, comes from herself, her friends agree.


"I guess it didn't surprise me that's the genre she likes because of her sense of humor," says long-time friend Ruth Vogel, a clinical psychologist in Manhattan.


"She has a very dry wit, a funny, quirky sense of humor," says Charity Scordato of Edison, a lawyer who has published 15 romances, including a paranormal series, under the pen name Caridad Pineiro.


Of all her characters, Winston says the one most like her is Gertie, the caustic, critical but warm and witty alter ego of heroine Nori Stedworth, a girl from Ten Commandments, Iowa, transplanted to New York. Nori, channeling Gertie, becomes the host of a hit radio show.


Uncomfortable scenes 


Unlike many romances, Winston's work is very plot driven, with deft twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. In "Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception," the tension rises as her heroine, newly widowed socialite Emma Wadsworth, is framed for the murder of her evil husband, as she meets and falls in love with a Trump-like real estate developer (with much better hair, of course). The action takes place in the tony Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia and includes a romantic winter weekend in deserted Cape May.


She consulted with a city police officer to make sure the legal and criminal details were right.


Of course, there are the obligatory sex scenes, which Winston, grandmother to Jack, 3, and Zoe, 1, said she's not crazy about writing. But what would a romance novel be without them?


And, of course, there are the inevitable questions about the reactions of her family members to the steamy couplings. At least, she says dryly, "that's what they ask me at my husband's holiday parties."


Son Scott, an animator who built her Web site, confesses those scenes are the reason he hasn't read the books from start to finish. 


"I think her writing romance was more shocking than the fact she wrote a book. I don't want to put my mom and the subject matter in the same frame," he says.




Nonetheless, he adds, he's immensely proud of her and attests to her work ethic.


On a visit to her son Christopher and his family in the Bay Area, she and her husband drove six hours north to attend a wedding, Scott recalls. "She stopped at every single Borders and Barnes and Noble to sign stock (books). I've gone to book signings where they didn't promote her and two people were in the audience, and she will sit there and convince those two people to buy it," he says.


Like most family and friends, Rob, her husband of 35 years, didn't know what she was doing until she was well into the project.


"I was surprised because it was covert at first," he says. "She wanted to be sure she was going to be successful. When she found her first agent, and she knew this was not going to be a hobby, that's when she shared with me what she was doing."

Now he's her biggest fan. One of the couple's castles in the sky is that Winston will become successful enough to buy a place in Manhattan -- Sutton Place or Park Avenue -- where they can indulge their passion for theater.


What does he think of his wife's second act as a middle-aged writer of sexy romance novels. 

He doesn't exactly answer the question.  


"She's a young woman! She's got a lot of life left; we both do!" he exclaims with a touch of indignation.










He might not be a hero in a novel, but if that's not romantic, what is?


Additional Insight:


Favorite books: The "Stephanie Plum" series by Janet Evanovich; suspense novels by Sandra Brown; the romance novels of Susan Elizabeth Phillips 

Last Broadway show seen: "110 in the Shade" 


Favorite musicals: "Wicked," "The Producers," "Ragtime"


Fantasy careers: Astronaut, only she has motion sickness; or a Broadway star, only she can't sing or dance


"I dreamed a chapter every night, a romantic story that just started unfolding."
-- Lois Winston


Published June 24, 2007

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Please welcome LOIS WINSTON!!!!



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Oops - I almost forgot, Lois sent this message to share with all of you:


Christmas Cookie Rules...

1. If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.

2. If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.

3. If a friend comes over while you're making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend's first cookie is calorie free, (rule #1) yours is also. It would be rude to let your friend sample alone and, being the friend that you are, that makes your cookie calorie free.

4. Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.

5. Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas cookies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.

6. Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have three and green ones have five - one calorie for each letter. Make more red ones!

7. Cookies eaten while watching "Miracle on 34th Street " have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.

8. As always, cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage.

9. Any cookies consumed from someone else's plate have no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. We all know how calories like to CLING!

10. Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories. It's a rule!

So, go out and enjoy those Christmas Cookies - we only get them this time of year!
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Re: Please Welcome Author LOIS WINSTON!


becke_davis wrote:

Please welcome LOIS WINSTON!!!!



Hi Becke! Thanks so much for inviting me to join you here this week. Right now we're in the middle of a blizzard, so fingers crossed that the power doesn't go out! We've already got about a foot of snow on the ground, and the weather report says we could get 18"-24" before it's over. If I didn't have ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN coming out in less than 2 weeks, I think I might be tempted to hibernate until spring!


Lois Winston
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please Welcome Author LOIS WINSTON!

Hi Lois! Thanks for letting us kick off your blog tour, in preparation for the release of ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN! And thanks for this excerpt, too:



Copyright 2010 Lois Winston
I hate whiners. Always have. So I was doing my damnedest 
not to become one in spite of the lollapalooza of a quadruple 
whammy that had broadsided me last week. Not an easy 
task, given that one of those lollapalooza whammies had 
barged into my bedroom and was presently hammering her 
cane against my bathroom door.
“Damn it, Anastasia! Hot water doesn’t grow on trees, you 
Some people can’t start the day without a cigarette. Lucille 
Pollack, Monster-in-Law from the Stygian Swamp, can’t start 
hers without a sludge load of complaints. As much as I 
detest cigarettes, I’d much prefer a nicotine-puffing motherin-law, as long as she came with an occasional kind word 
and a semi-pleasant disposition. Unfortunately, marriage is a 
package deal. Husbands come with family. And mine came 
with a doozie to end all doozies.
My mother-in-law is a card-carrying, circa nineteen-thirties 
communist. When she met me, it was hate at first sight. I 
bear the name of a dead Russian princess, thanks to my 
mother’s unsubstantiated Romanov link -- a greatgrandmother with the maiden name of Romanoff. With 
Mama, the connection is more like sixty, not six, degrees of 
separation, and the links are coated with a thick layer of rust. 
But that’s never stopped Mama from bragging about our 
royal ancestry, and it set the tone for my relationship -- or 
lack of it -- with my mother-in-law from Day One.
I suppose I didn’t help the situation by naming one of my 
sons Nicholas and the other Alexander, even if they were 
named after my grandfathers -- Alexander Periwinkle and 
Nicholas Sudberry.
“My kingdom for a bedroom door lock,” I muttered. Not that I 
had much of a kingdom left. So it would have to be a really 
cheap lock.
“About time,” said Lucille as I exited the bathroom amidst a 
cloud of warm steam. “Some people have no consideration 
of others.” Raising one of her Sequoia-like arms, she waved 
her cane in my face. “Those boys of yours have been 
camped out in the other bathroom for half an hour doing 
what, I can’t imagine.”
Lucille always referred to Nick and Alex as those boys, 
refusing to use their given names. Like it might corrupt her 
political sensibilities or something.
“Three minutes,” she continued ranting. “That’s all it takes 
me to shower and all it should take any of you. I’m the only 
person in this house who gives one iota of concern for the 
earth’s depleting resources.”
She landed an elbow to my ribs to push me aside. 
Manifesto, her runt-of-the-litter French bulldog -- or 
Mephisto, the Devil Dog, as the rest of the family had 
dubbed the Satan-incarnate canine -- followed close on her 
heels. As he squeezed past me, he raised his wrinkled head 
and growled.
As soon as they’d both muscled their way into the bathroom, 
my mother-in-law slammed the door in my face and locked it. 
God only knows why she needs her dog in the bathroom 
with her. And if he does know, I hope he continues to spare 
the rest of us the knowledge.
My Grandma Periwinkle used to say that honeyed words 
conquered waspish dispositions. However, I doubted all the 
beehives in North America could produce enough honey to 
mollify the likes of Lucille. After eighteen years as her 
daughter-in-law, I still hadn’t succeeded in extracting a single 
pleasantry from her.
Of all the shocks I sustained over the past week, knowing I 
was now stuck with Lucille topped the list. Two months ago, 
she shattered her hip in a hit-and-run accident when an SUV 
mowed her down while she jaywalked across Queens 
Boulevard. Her apartment building burned to the ground 
while she was in the hospital.
Comrade Lucille put her political beliefs above everyone and 
everything, including common sense. Since she didn’t trust 
banks, her life savings, along with all her possessions, had 
gone up in flames. And of course, she didn’t have insurance.
Homeless and penniless, Lucille came to live with us. “It 
won’t be for long,” my husband Karl (Lucille had named him 
after Karl Marx) had assured me. “Only until she gets back
on her feet.”
“Literally or figuratively?” I asked.
“Literally.” Karl liked his mother best when two rivers and an 
hour’s drive separated them. “I promise, we’ll find 
somewhere for her to live, even if we have to pay for it 
Trusting person that I am -- was -- I believed him. We had a 
moderately sized nest egg set aside, and I would have been 
more than happy to tap into it to settle Lucille into a 
retirement community. Lucille had recovered from her 
injuries, although the chances of her now leaving any time 
soon were as non-existent as the eggs in that same nest.
Unbeknownst to me -- formerly known as Trusting Wife --
Karl, who handled the family finances, had not only cracked 
open, fried, and devoured our nest egg, he’d maxed out our 
home equity line-of-credit, borrowed against his life 
insurance policy, cashed in his 401(k), and drained the kids’ 
college accounts.
I discovered this financial quagmire within twenty-four hours 
of learning that my husband, who was supposed to be at a 
sales meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, had dropped 
dead on a roulette table at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. 
The love of my life was a closet gambling addict. He left me 
and his sons totally broke, up the yin-yang in debt, and
saddled with his mother.
If he weren’t already dead, I’d kill him.
     Without a doubt, a jury of my peers would rule it justifiable 
With Ralph, our African grey parrot, keeping a voyeuristic 
eye on me from his perch atop the armoire, I dried myself off 
and began to dress for work.
They say the wife is always the last to know. For the past 
week I’d wracked my brain for signs I might have missed, 
niggling doubts I may have brushed aside. Even in 
retrospect, I had no clue of impending cataclysm. Karl was 
that good. Or maybe I had played my role of Trusting Wife 
too well. Either way, the result was the same.
Karl and I hadn’t had the best of marriages, but we hadn’t 
had the worst, either. We might not have had the can’t-waitto-jump-your-bones hots for each other after so many years, 
but how many couples did? That sort of love only exists in 
chick flicks and romance novels. Along with the myth of 
multiple orgasms. Or so I’d convinced myself years ago.
Besides, after working all day, plus taking care of the kids, 
the shopping, the carpooling, the cooking and the cleaning, 
who had the energy to put into even one orgasm most 
nights? Even for a drop-dead-gorgeous-although-baldingand-slightly-overweight-yet-still-a-hunk husband? Faking it 
was a lot quicker and easier. And gave me a few extra 
precious minutes of snooze time.
Still, I thought we’d had a pretty good marriage compared to 
most other couples we knew, a marriage built on trust and 
communication. In reality what we had was more like blind 
trust on my part and a whopping lack of communication on 
his. Most of all, though, I thought my husband loved me. 
Apparently he loved Roxie Roulette more.
Could I have been more clueless if I’d tried?
The theme from Rocky sang out from inside the armoire. 
Dead is dead only for the deceased. The widow, I’m 
learning, becomes a multi-tasking juggler of a thousand and 
one details. Our phone hadn’t stopped ringing since the call 
from the hotel in Las Vegas.
But this wasn’t the home phone. I opened the armoire and 
reached for the box of Karl’s personal items the funeral 
director had given me. No one had bothered to turn off his 
phone. The display read Private Call. “Hello?”
“Put Karl on.”
“Excuse me?”
“Don’t play games with me, Sweet Cheeks. Hand the phone 
to that slippery weasel. Now.”
“I’m afraid that’s not possible.”
“Make it possible. You tell him Ricardo’s run out of patience,
and he’s run out of time.”
As an auto parts salesman for a national wholesaler, Karl 
dealt with his share of lowlife Neanderthals, but Ricardo 
sounded lower than most of the run-of-the mill Neanderthals 
in the auto industry.
I wasn’t in the mood for any macho-posturing Soprano
wannabe. “If this concerns an order you placed, you’ll have 
to get in touch with the main office in Secaucus. Karl passed 
away last week.”
Silence greeted my statement. At first I thought Ricardo had 
hung up. When he finally spoke, I wished he had. “No 
“Your sense of humor might be that warped, but I can assure 
you, mine isn’t.”
“This his missus?” He sounded suspicious.
“Look, I’m sorry about your loss,” he said, although his tone 
suggested otherwise, “but I got my own problems. That 
schmuck was into me for fifty G’s. We had a deal, and dead 
or not, he’s gotta pay up. Capisce?”
Hardly. But I now sensed that Ricardo was no body shop 
owner. “Who are you?”
“Let’s just say I’m a former business associate of the 
deceased. One you just inherited, Sweet Cheeks. Along with 
his debt.”
I glanced at the bathroom door. Thankfully, Lucille’s three 
minute shower was running overtime. I lowered my voice. “I 
don’t know anything about a debt, and I certainly don’t have 
fifty thousand dollars.”
Although both statements were true, after what I had 
recently learned about my husband’s secret life, he probably 
did owe Ricardo fifty thousand dollars, the same fifty 
thousand dollars the casino manager in Las Vegas said Karl 
gambled away shortly before cashing in his chips -- literally -
- at that roulette table.
But what really freaked me out as I stood half-naked in 
nothing more than my black panties and matching bra, was 
the thought that there could be other Ricardos waiting to 
pounce. Lots of other Ricardos. Behind my husband’s 
upstanding, church-going, family-oriented façade, he had 
apparently hidden a shitload of secrets. What next?
Ricardo wasn’t buying into my ignorance. “I happen to know 
otherwise, Sweet Cheeks, so don’t try to con me. I’ll be over 
in an hour to collect.”
There are five stages of grief. I’d gone through the first 
stage, denial, so fast, I hardly remembered being there. For 
most of the past week, I’d silently seethed over Karl’s 
duplicity. With each new deceit I’d uncovered, my anger 
grew exponentially. I knew Stage Two, anger, would be 
sticking around for a long time to come, sucking dry all the 
love I once had for my husband.
Ricardo became that proverbial last straw on my 
overburdened camel’s back. “You’ll do no such thing,” I 
screamed into the phone. “I don’t know who you are or what 
kind of sick game you’re playing, but if you bother me again, 
I’m calling the police. Capisce?”
Ricardo’s voice lowered to a menacing timbre. “I wouldn’t do 
that if I were you, Sweet Cheeks.” The phone went dead. 
Along with every nerve in my body.
And I thought I had problems before?


Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please Welcome Author LOIS WINSTON!

Lois - An author I know recently mentioned that when she is interviewed she tends to be asked the same old/same old questions. She asked her fans for suggestions for interview questions, and they came up with some great ones. So, even though these aren't original, I'm going to post a few for you:


What are you most likely to be doing when you Really Should Be Writing? 


Who was your favorite character in your books, and why?


Was there any particular scene that you had difficulty writing, and why?


What is the weirdest thing you do when writing to get into the process?


What is the worst interview question you were ever asked?