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.

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Monday, August 12, 2019


Rejection is something with which most authors are quite familiar. Even very famous writers—everyone from Voltaire to Stephen King received their share of “thanks but no thanks” letters from editors. So it’s no surprise that Lois Winston, she who writes about me, collected a thick stack of rejection letters before selling her first novel.

There’s some speculation that the tide finally turned in Lois’s favor after her agent bought her a handcrafted Voodoo doll in New Orleans. This was not just any souvenir Voodoo doll, though. This was a Voodoo God to Overcome Rejection. The instructions stated:

Your doll is a medium to focus on a problem or desire. You can personalize with hair, small photo, or any small personal item. Tuck them into doll. To make a ceremony, every morning and every evening light a candle or incense stick. Stick pin in doll—heart for good, stomach for bad. Say aloud three times your desire or intention. Concentrate on your objective for three minutes. Repeat for nine days.

Lois refuses to say whether or not she performed this ceremony, but she did eventually sell her first book and has gone on to publish many more, including eight books and three novellas about me. Recently she received a proof copy of the trade paperback of Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide, the eighth Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, shown above with the Voodoo God to Overcome Rejection.

Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide (Pre-order ebook now; print available 10/1)
An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 8

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?

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