As many of you know, I’m a mom with a full time job as well as an author. And while all of that is challenging enough, the pandemic has brought many fresh and special new problems. To free up some of my time I’m relinquishing one of my Stiletto Gang posting days to the fantastic Lois Winston. Lois is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling and award-winning author who 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. Lois will be posting on the second Wednesday of the month and I thought I’d sit down and find out a little more about her as she comes on board.
Q: What do you write?
I started out writing romance and romantic suspense and was first published in chick lit with Talk Gertie to Me in 2006. However, back in 2003, while waiting for that first sale, my agent suggested I try writing a crafting mystery. She knew an editor looking for one. With my background as a crafts designer, my agent thought I’d be the perfect person to write such a series, even though I’d never written a mystery. I gave it a try, and in the process discovered my true literary calling. My Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series sold in 2009. Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the series, came out in 2011. I’ve since published nine books and three novellas in the series, plus two books in my Empty Nest Mystery Series.
Q: What got you excited and started you on your writing journey?
I’m not someone who always knew she wanted to be an author. In the mid-90’s I was going through an extremely stressful period, taking on as much freelance design work as I could because my husband was out of work for an extended period of time. One night I fell into an exhaustive sleep and had a very strange dream—strange for me because I usually don’t remember my dreams. Also, the people in the dream were all strangers. Weirdly, the dream kept unfolding night after night like chapters in a book. Finally, I decided to write it down. When I finished, I had a 50,000 word romance that spanned thirty-five years!
The writing bug had bitten me. Long story short, I joined some writing organizations, learned what I was doing wrong, honed my craft, and signed with an agent. After many years of rewrites, that totally unpublishable romance transformed into a 90,000 word romantic suspense and became Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception, the second book I sold.
Q: Do you solve the mysteries in novels & movies or do you sit back and enjoy the ride?
I should have had an inkling that I’d eventually wind up writing mysteries because I have an uncanny knack for figuring out whodunit early into most books, movies, or TV episodes. I love when I’m wrong and fall for a red herring, but it doesn’t happen often. My grandfather was the captain of a large county police force and responsible for the apprehension of many gangsters and other bad actors back in the day. I figure I inherited a large dose of his detecting DNA.
Q: And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask… what are your favorite shoes?
At this point, any that are comfortable! I’m afraid my sexy heels days are over, thanks to foot surgery a few years ago after an injury and arthritis that developed in that foot as a result. So now my shoe closet contains mostly Sketchers with cushioning inner soles.
Connect with Lois!
- Website: www.loiswinston.com
- Newsletter sign-up: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z1z1u5
- Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/anasleuth
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anasleuth
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/722763.Lois_Winston
- Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lois-winston
It’s release day for The Cinderella Secret and my latest book baby is already racking up some stellar reviews!
5.0 out of 5 stars Aiden and Ella kick ass together!
Fast paced, super enjoyable romantic thriller. I love these characters!
5.0 out of 5 stars I NEED the next book
I fell in love with these characters while reading the first book. Now I get to come back and fall in love with them all over again. One of the things I liked best about this book was that we got to peel back even more layers of the masks these Deveraux youngsters shield themselves with.
5.0 out of 5 stars Don’t miss a word!
I am so enjoying this series as the author’s style of writing makes you not want to miss even one word. The humorous and sarcastic interaction between this blended family highlights their closeness.
The Cinderella Secret is book 2 of the Deveraux Legacy series and I have loved every second with my characters. I’m so excited to see that readers are too! In celebration of its release week, The Cinderella Secret and book 1, The Second Shot are both ¢.99 through 10/23!
Want to read now? Buy it here>>https://books2read.com/Cinderella-Secret
Want to learn more about the series? Read more here>> https://bethanymaines.com/the-deveraux-legacy/
Want a chance to celebrate and get free books? Join me in these Facebook Groups!
- We Give a Hoot! 10/19 – 5pm PST / 8pm EST
- Dirty Bad Boom Boom Room – The Cinderella Secret Take-Over Party!
10/20 – 1pm – 5pm PST / 4pm – 8pm EST
I once had a cousin/uncle/grandparent-ish person (he was my second cousin once-removed if you want to get technical here, but the point is that he was in his eighties and I was around ten, you get the idea) who once posed the question that I probably wasn’t supposed to hear – what’s the difference between naked and nekkid? Naked is simply having no clothes on. Nekkid is naked, but with intent. In other words, the difference is subtle and mostly to do with what you intend to do about it. Which is how I feel about old and vintage.
My general preference, when given a choice, is for old things. Which is to say I like old books, old furniture, old clothes and my grumpy old dog. Although, usually I say vintage, which is the same as old, but with character. I don’t want new things (unless they’re electronics and sometimes not even then). I want the things I’ve become accustomed to and work for me. Which is why sometimes, even when something gets actually too old to use, I still hang on to it. Recently, my favorite skull-n-crossbones mug developed an unfortunate hairline crack that resulted in it weeping tea over everything. It was unusable but I hung on to it for two weeks. What was I planning on doing with this mug? It wasn’t fixable. It wasn’t art. Did I think it would magically heal itself? It wasn’t until I had resigned myself to it’s passing that I was able to let it depart into the recycling bin.
I don’t think my preference for the old and familiar is particularly unusual. I think most of us are little grumpy about being forced into new things. We’re uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. On the other hand, studies seem to indicate that actively being in a place of uncertainty and learning keeps Alzheimer’s at bay. Being used to a little discomfort makes us appreciate what we have and have grace for those who also in discomfort. And I think that if a few more people were used to being told no and being a little more uncomfortable then they wouldn’t lose their cool and have public temper-tantrums in the middle of Target (why is it always Target?). Perhaps we need new things periodically just to remind us that sometimes we don’t always get to keep our favorite mug. And sometimes we need a new mug to tell us that everything will be OK. As long as it looks vintage.
And Now…. Book News!
The Cinderella Secret is coming 10.19.20 and there are gifts, prizes, and sneak peeks for you to delve into! The Cinderella Secret is a romantic thriller that continues the Deveraux family saga, this time with Aiden Deveraux, the handsome lawyer going up against Ella Zhao who blames the Deveraux family for her father’s death. With family secrets and thrills at every turn, The Cinderella Secret delivers a one-two punch of passion and action that will keep readers turning the pages.
Pre-Order The Cinderella Secret on all ebook platforms: https://books2read.com/Cinderella-Secret
Bonus Gift (but just for my friends)
The Lost Heir, a Deveraux Legacy prequel novella, will be released in December, but members of the Blue Zephyr Press / Bethany Maines newsletter will receive it on October 19 with the release of The Cinderella Secret!
Join here: https://bethanymaines.com/the-deveraux-legacy/
Want a chance to win a free copy of The Cinderella Secret? One lucky winner will also get a copy of Book 1 – The Second Shot. Giveaway ends 10.17, so snag your entry now!
Enter at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54817893-the-cinderella-secret
Try Before You Buy
Read Chapter 1 of The Cinderella Secret!
Read here: bethanymaines.com/cinderella-secret-chapter-1/