Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Killer Compilation

Please welcome Lois Winston to Killer Hobbies today.  Not only does Lois write a kick-butt mystery series, she's now partnering with 9 other authors to offer you all a killer deal!  Tell us about it, Lois!
I started out writing romance. My first published, Talk Gertie to Me, was women’s fiction with a strong romantic element. One of the two female protagonists was a crafts maven, a Midwest version (in other words, kinder and gentler) of Martha Stewart. My second published book, the romantic suspense Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception, featured a heroine who was a doll designer.

When I began writing, I was told, “Write what you know.” I knew crafts. I designed crafts projects for craft book and craft magazine publishers and needlework kit manufacturers. So when an editor told my agent that she was looking for crafting mysteries, my agent suggested I try my hand at writing mystery. I fell in love with the genre and have never looked back.

Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, debuted in 2011. To date there are five full-length books in the series and three mini-mysteries. A lot has changed in the publishing world in the past five years, though, and awhile back I made the decision to walk away from my publisher. However, that didn’t mean I had decided to walk away from Anastasia. I’m still getting her into trouble with dead bodies and still including craft projects in each book. I’m also finding new ways to introduce her to new readers.

One of those ways was to get together with a group of nine other authors to publish Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries, an ebook collection of full-length mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by ten critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novel in the set is the first book in an established multi-book series—a total of over 3,000 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, and cozy mysteries, with a combined total of over 1700 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4 stars. Titles include:

Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, an Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery by Lois Winston—Working mom Anastasia is clueless about her husband’s gambling addiction until he permanently cashes in his chips and her comfortable middle-class life craps out. He leaves her with staggering debt, his communist mother, and a loan shark demanding $50,000. Then she’s accused of murder…

Murder Among Neighbors, a Kate Austen Suburban Mystery by Jonnie Jacobs — When Kate Austen’s socialite neighbor, Pepper Livingston, is murdered, Kate becomes involved in a sea of steamy secrets that bring her face to face with shocking truths—and handsome detective Michael Stone.

Skeleton in a Dead Space, a Kelly O’Connell Mystery by Judy AlterReal estate isn’t a dangerous profession until Kelly O’Connell stumbles over a skeleton and runs into serial killers and cold-blooded murderers in a home being renovated in Fort Worth. Kelly barges through life trying to keep from angering her policeman boyfriend Mike and protect her two young daughters.

In for a Penny, a Cleopatra Jones Mystery by Maggie Toussaint—Accountant Cleo faces an unwanted hazard when her golf ball lands on a dead banker. The cops think her BFF shot him, so Cleo sets out to prove them wrong. She ventures into the dating world, wrangles her teens, adopts the victim’s dog, and tries to rein in her mom…until the killer puts a target on Cleo’s back.

The Hydrogen Murder, a Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—A retired physicist returns to her hometown of Revere, Massachusetts and moves into an apartment above her friends' funeral home. When she signs on to help the Police Department with a science-related homicide, she doesn't realize she may have hundreds of cases ahead of her.

Retirement Can Be Murder, A Baby Boomer Mystery by Susan SantangeloCarol Andrews dreads her husband Jim’s upcoming retirement more than a root canal without Novocain. She can’t imagine anything worse than having an at-home husband with time on his hands and nothing to fill it—until Jim is suspected of murdering his retirement coach.

Dead Air, A Talk Radio Mystery by Mary Kennedy—Psychologist Maggie Walsh moves from NY to Florida to become the host of WYME's On the Couch with Maggie Walsh. When her guest, New Age prophet Guru Sanjay Gingii, turns up dead, her new roommate Lark becomes the prime suspect. Maggie must prove Lark innocent while dealing with a killer who needs more than just therapy.

A Dead Red Cadillac, A Dead Red Mystery by RP DahlkeWhen her vintage Cadillac is found tail-fins up in a nearby lake, the police ask aero-ag pilot Lalla Bains why an elderly widowed piano teacher is found strapped in the driver’s seat. Lalla confronts suspects, informants, cross-dressers, drug-running crop dusters, and a crazy Chihuahua on her quest to find the killer.

Murder is a Family Business, an Alvarez Family Murder Mystery by Heather HavenJust because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez, has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve.

Murder, Honey, a Carol Sabala Mystery by Vinnie HansenWhen the head chef collapses into baker Carol Sabala’s cookie dough, she is thrust into her first murder investigation. Suspects abound at Archibald’s, the swanky Santa Cruz restaurant where Carol works. The head chef cut a swath of people who wanted him dead from ex-lovers to bitter rivals to greedy relatives.

If you haven’t yet met Anastasia, here’s your chance to get to know her, along with some of her fellow sleuths. I can promise you crafts, laughs, and killers galore (but no gore,) along with sleuths engaged in various other professions, from a professor to a baker, to a radio talk-show host and much more.

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Bio: USA Today 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 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. Visit Lois/Emma at and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, Follow everyone on Tsu at, on Pinterest at, and onTwitter at Sign up for her newsletter at


Maggie Toussaint said...


I enjoyed reading your route to Anastasia! Publishing has indeed changed in the last five years, and I have no idea what will happen to it in the next five years. I've never been an official craftsperson, but I've always enjoyed arts and crafts projects for friends and family. I think that's why I respond so well to your series ((smile)). Anyway, I'm glad you thought up the idea of 10 first-in-series books, and I'm honored to be part of the collection.

Camille Minichino said...

How nice to be among friends! As a Killer Hobbies alum, I'm always lurking. Thanks for the visit from Lois and Anastasia!

Heather Haven said...

A great blog! I have no crafts, although maybe Norman qualifies as one. He is a work in progress. But I do love reading about them, especially in mystery books. And my situation with my first publisher is similar to yours. Thanks for including me in the 10 First-in-series. This is a blast!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks for stopping by, Maggie, Camille, and Heather! I'm thrilled that you're all part of Sleuthing Women.

Cynthia Sample said...

All of my favorite authors in one anthology. I've read all of these books but I purchased it anyway. Such a deal!

Jonnie Jacobs said...

Loved hearing about the geniesis of a series. I'm not clever enough to do crafts in real life but I do enjoy crafting mysteries. I've learned a lot about hobbies I'd otherwise know nothing about. I'm pleased to be associated with such talented people.

Camille Minichino said...

A true supporter, Cynthia Sample! Thanks.

Vinnie/ said...

I am really enjoying this opportunity to learn a little more about each of my cohorts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the short descriptions of each book in the set. That pushed me over the edge of decision, and I just bought it. Most of these are new to me, and I am looking forward to getting to know everyone's work.
Llyn K.

Lois Winston said...

Cynthia and Llyn, sending you cyber kisses for your support!

Jonnie, I know for a fact that you're very clever. I've read your books. ;-)

Vinnie, I agree. Doing a blog tour about Sleuthing Women has had the added benefit of all of us getting to know each other better.