Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Lois Winston & Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide

Posted October 15, 2019 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, Lois Winston, mystery/suspense / 13 Comments

Please join me in welcoming Lois Winston, author of Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide, to the blog today to share a fun craft post with us that’s perfect for getting in the holiday spirit!

An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery #8

GENRE: Cozy Mystery
RELEASE DATE: October 1, 2019
PAGES: 212

Two and a half weeks ago magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack arrived home to find Ira Pollack, her half-brother-in-law, had blinged out her home with enough Christmas lights to rival Rockefeller Center. Now he’s crammed her small yard with enormous cavorting inflatable characters. She and photojournalist boyfriend (and possible spy) Zack Barnes pack up the unwanted lawn decorations to return to Ira. They arrive to find his yard the scene of an over-the-top Christmas extravaganza. His neighbors are not happy with the animatronics, laser light show, and blaring music creating traffic jams on their normally quiet street. One of them expresses his displeasure with his fists before running off.

In the excitement, the deflated lawn ornaments are never returned to Ira. The next morning Anastasia once again heads to his house before work to drop them off. When she arrives, she discovers Ira’s attacker dead in Santa’s sleigh. Ira becomes the prime suspect in the man’s murder and begs Anastasia to help clear his name. But Anastasia has promised her sons she’ll keep her nose out of police business. What’s a reluctant amateur sleuth to do?

Christmas craft projects included.

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Christmas Pasta Too Good to Eat

by Lois Winston

I write the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries. Anastasia is the crafts editor at a women’s magazine. Beginning with the untimely death of her duplicitous husband in Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the series, she’s found herself not only juggling massive debt, but continually tripping over dead bodies. (Hey, it’s a cozy mystery series. What would cozy mysteries be without dead bodies?)

Crafting mysteries often include craft projects, but because patterns don’t work in e-books and print novels, I have to come up with projects that can be made without them. I also want projects that are easy enough for even the most novice crafter to complete without frustration.

In both Drop Dead Ornaments, the seventh book in the series, and Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide, the eighth and my most recent release, I feature quick, no-talent-required Christmas crafts using easy-to-find supplies.

If you’re of a certain age, chances are back in kindergarten, Sunday school, or at a Brownie meeting you covered at least one cigar box with macaroni, probably as a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift. And chances are, even if you’re a diehard crafter, you haven’t thought about crafting with pasta since then.

Well, get out the pasta because I’ve got some great Christmas ornaments you’re going to want to make, and they’re perfect for crafting with your kids or grandkids.

The only materials you’ll need are uncooked miniature pasta wagon wheels, tacky glue, wax paper as a work surface, a toothpick for applying the glue, and some thin ribbon or cord for hanging loops.


The ornaments shown are approximately 5” – 6”. You can make yours smaller if you’d like. These ornaments were created without patterns. You can also use large cookie cutters as templates. If you decide to use the cookie cutters, trace them onto a piece of paper. Place the paper underneath the waxed paper. Arrange the pasta in horizontal rows to fit inside the drawn shapes. Glue pasta together as described below.

I like the natural look of the pasta, but you can also spray paint your pasta ornaments in gold, silver, or any other color or let the little ones go wild with brushes and some acrylic or glitter paint.


  1. Arrange the pasta on the waxed paper in the desired shape.
  2. Squeeze a puddle of tacky glue in one corner of the waxed paper.
  3. Working in horizontal rows, glue the pasta in each row together. Allow the individual rows to dry. When completely dry, glue the rows together.
  4. After the ornaments are completely dry, tie ribbon or cord through a hole at the top of the pasta wheel to form a hanging loop.

For more easy-to-make craft projects, check out the Monday posts on Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers, the online version of the women’s magazine where Anastasia works.

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 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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What about you? What interests you most about Lois Winston’s craft post and/or Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide?

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13 responses to “Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Lois Winston & Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide

  1. Cheryl Arcemont

    You are a new-to-me author! Thank you for the chance to win Handmade Ho-ho Homicide. I love cozy mysteries. I haven’t read many craft cozies so this would be a great introduction to your series.

  2. AmyJo M.

    Love mysteries, especially when they revolve around holidays. This looks like a fun read to help me relax during stressful holidays. Thanks for offering the giveaway. I love to craft! Those ornaments are adorable! Absolutely going to make them!!

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