Monday, December 6, 2010


Anastasia Pollack, star of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries ( Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun available in January), used to be a very generous person. She volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and at a local soup kitchen. She wrote yearly checks to help fight cancer and pollution and support her political party of choice. She bought cookies from the Girl Scouts, peanut brittle from the Boy Scouts, and wrapping paper from the high school band. She never passed by a Salvation Army Santa without emptying the change in her wallet into his kettle.

Yes, Anastasia Pollack used to be a very generous person. I say “used to” because all of that changed the day she discovered her recently departed dead louse of a spouse had gambled away all their savings and left her in hock up the wazoo to every conceivable creditor, plus his sleazy (is there any other kind?) loan shark.

So Anastasia isn’t in the giving mood right now. As a matter of fact, if things don’t start going her way pretty soon, she might just find herself and her kids dining at the soup kitchen and asking Habitat for one of those houses she helped build. Winters in New Jersey are far too cold to live in a cardboard box on the sidewalk.

The trouble, though, is that all those folks who used to benefit from Anastasia’s kindness don’t seem to understand that she’s now destitute and unable to help them. She still gets requests for money on a daily basis. She files the letters directly into the recycling bin.

As for the phone solicitations, at first she politely explained that not only can’t she increase last year’s contribution, she can’t contribute at all this year. That didn’t deter them from continuing to call at all hours of the day and night. Just like the bill collectors. Anastasia is now convinced that those same bill collectors volunteer at charity call centers in their spare time. They’re ruthless in their pleadings, trying to guilt her into writing a check. They even leave messages on her answering machine when she’s not home or doesn’t answer the phone!

So if any of you charitable organization workers are reading this, bug off. You can’t get blood from a stone. Move on to your next victim…uhm…donor, and leave my poor protagonist alone. Have a little compassion. She’s got enough troubles, what with that loan shark breathing down her neck.

ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN, the first book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series, recently received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. If you’d like to learn more about Anastasia and her motley crew, you can read the first chapter at


Joshua Corin said...

Congrats on the starred reviews, Lois!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Josh!

Kelli Stanley said...

Seconding Josh on the starred reviews, Lois--way to go!! :)

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Kelli!

Shane Gericke said...

And thirding Josh and Kel on the congrats ... last night I read the starred review in PW. Reviewer was incredibly generous, which was so nice to see.