featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Did you know that I’m not the only crafty character author Lois Winston has created? Long before she conceived me, she gave birth to Connie Stedworth, the Martha Stewart of the Midwest (but being that she’s from the Midwest, Connie’s a much kinder, gentler version of the crafting diva.) Connie first made her appearance in Talk Gertie to Me, the first book Lois ever sold. Unfortunately, she was stuck in out-of-print limbo for several years. A few years ago Talk Gertie to Me and the novella romantic mystery sequel, Elementary, My Dear Gertie, became available as ebooks. Now, Talk Gertie to Me is finally once again available in print and for the first time, so is Elementary, My Dear Gertie. Both also have new covers.

If you enjoy the humor of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, you won’t be disappointed with Talk Gertie to Me and Elementary, My Dear Gertie. A word of advice, though: due to the hysterical nature of these books, it’s best not to read them while drinking anything. And if you enjoy the crafts that are included in the mystery series, you’ll find one of Connie’s trademark crafts in Talk Gertie to Me.

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Two years ago Nori Stedworth fled the conservative mentality of both her parents and Ten Commandments, Iowa, for Manhattan. She loves her new life—until one devastating afternoon that culminates with the arrival of her mother. Mom Connie is suffering from middle-age meltdown. Her only identity is as a wife and mother, but her husband is a workaholic, and her daughter is halfway across the country. Grandchildren would give her life new purpose. If only Nori would come to her senses and marry town mortician and most eligible bachelor Eugene Draymore.

To that end, Mom sets off to bring Nori home. But when she meets Nori’s neighbor, her plans take an unexpected twist, and she’s thrust headfirst into a career as the next Martha Stewart. Suddenly, she’s a somebody in her own right and reconsiders returning to her old life.

As a coping mechanism, Nori resurrects Gertie, her adolescent imaginary friend. A laptop mix-up lands her musings in the hands of Mackenzie Randolph, a talk-radio station manager on deadline to boost sagging ratings or lose his job. He knows he’s found the answer to his prayers when he reads Nori’s make-believe correspondence.

And maybe he’s found much more.

Meanwhile Dad, with Eugene in tow, comes in search of his AWOL wife.Tempers flare when Mom refuses to return home. However, when she and Dad hear Nori on the radio, they unite to “save” her from the corruption of both Mac and Manhattan.

And that’s when things really get interesting.

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In this novella sequel to the award-winning Talk Gertie To Me, two years have passed since the happily-ever-after that isn’t doing so well. Nori Stedworth has moved in with the love of her life, Mackenzie Randolph, much to her parents’ displeasure. They’re coping as best as parents from Ten Commandments, Iowa can. They want Mac to make an honest woman of their daughter, and that means nothing short of marriage. Mac is all for exchanging I do’s. He’s even bought the ring, but before he can pop the question, an explosion hurls him and Nori right into the middle of a murder investigation. Gertie, Nori's alter-ego, can't help but lend her acerbic wit to the twists and turns as the town is turned upside down in the search for a murderer and arsonist, and yet another scandal envelopes the not-so-pious residents of Ten Commandments.

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Angela Adams said...

Connie gives a great interview!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Angela!