Wednesday, December 23, 2020

A Christmas Like No Other

A Christmas Like No Other

By Lois Winston

When I was a child, we didn’t have much in the way of holiday celebrations. Without going into lurid details, let’s just say my parents never should have had one child, let alone four. However, the one thing I did learn from them was how not to be a parent. As a result, I’ve always made sure holidays were a big deal in my family — decorating, tree trimming, cookie baking, listening to holiday music, and watching holiday movies are some of our favorite activities. I even enjoy shopping for those perfect gifts for everyone. And always topping my holiday list is gathering with family and friends. 

Of course, Covid-19 has forced us to pare that down severely this year, but instead of moping, I’ve decided to focus on next year’s holidays when—hopefully—this awful pandemic will finally be behind us. First up on my to-do list will be booking a flight to California to visit our son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren we haven’t seen for what seems like forever, except on FaceTime.


For much of my adult life I juggled three careers at once. I’m now retired from two of them and concentrating full-time on my writing. I’m used to spending my days working from home. That’s the one part of my life that hasn’t been impacted by the pandemic. Escaping into the world of Anastasia Pollack, my reluctant amateur sleuth, has been a way for me to block out all the horrible things that have occurred during 2020. 


She, of course, would have it otherwise, but I get it. She didn’t ask to go from a normal life as a middle-class working wife and mother to a debt-ridden single-parent who constantly stumbles across dead bodies. Then again, conflict is the name of the game when writing, and cozy mysteries do need their fair share of dead bodies. Readers kind of expect that. Besides, otherwise, what would an amateur sleuth do for 300 pages?


So far, I’ve written nine novels and three novellas in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series, but the action has taken place over little more than a year at this point. When the series arc brought me to December, I knew I was going to have fun writing a Christmas mystery. As a matter of fact, I had so much fun writing Drop Dead Ornaments, Book 7 in the series, that I decided to write a second Christmas mystery. Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide, Book 8, picks up days after Drop Dead Ornaments ends.


Hey, there’s nothing like a little murder with your eggnog and gingerbread cookies, right?


As a holiday gift to my readers, the ebook edition of Drop Dead Ornaments is currently on sale through the end of December for only .99 cents.


Happy holidays, everyone!


Drop Dead Ornaments

An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 7


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?


Buy Links



Apple Books


USA Today and Amazon 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 a former literary agent and 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.



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  1. Nice post, Lois. We're celebrating Christmas via Zoom. And I'm making good headway with my reading list. Best of luck with Drop Dead Ornaments!

  2. Thanks, Kathleen! Have a great Zoom Christmas!


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