Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome Lois Winston!

Please join me in welcoming Lois Winston today. She’s stopping by Hearth Cricket on her January blog tour for her new Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Death by Killer Mop Doll.

And what, you may ask, is a mop doll? Well, read on!

Death by Killer Mop Doll-low res

International Creativity Month

by Lois Winston

Did you know that January is International Creativity Month? I personally think that every month should be devoted to creativity, but I like the idea that January has been designated the specific month for celebrating creativity because it’s the month when Death By Killer Mop Doll, my latest Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, debuts.

I’m also thrilled to be back doing a guest blog at Hearth Cricket because Cricket and I have so much in common. We’re both crafty people, and we both write crafting mysteries for Midnight Ink. And although Sophie Mae and Anastasia are quite different protagonists, they, too, have crafting in common.

In Anastasia’s latest adventure,
overdue bills and constant mother vs. mother-in-law battles at home are bad enough. But crafts editor Anastasia Pollack's stress level is maxed out when she and her fellow American Woman editors get roped into unpaid gigs for a revamped morning TV show. Before the glue is dry on Anastasia's mop dolls, morning TV turns crime drama when the studio is trashed, a member of the production team is murdered, and Anastasia has no clue her snooping has landed her directly in the killer's unforgiving spotlight.

So what exactly is a mop doll, you might ask.
A mop doll is a doll crafted from a cotton string mop, those mops you often see janitors using in office buildings. Before you scrunch up your nose, these dolls are made from unused string mops, ones that have never come in contact with a bucket of Mr. Clean.

As readers of Hearth Cricket know, crafters are very resourceful people. We’re constantly finding new uses for readily available materials, and cotton string mops can be found in just about any hardware store or supermarket.

Back in the late 1980’s, these dolls started popping up at craft fairs, first in California, then throughout the country. Suddenly, mop dolls were all the rage, and mop head manufacturers were selling tens of thousands of mop heads to craft stores. Like all trends, though, the mop doll craze eventually went the way of the pet rock -- until now, thanks to my crafty amateur sleuth, Anastasia Pollack.

Lois Winston and mop doll

On Friday evening, January 20th at 7pm, Midnight Ink will be raffling off the mop doll shown in the photo at the opening reception of the American Library Association’s Mid-Winter conference (Jan. 20th-24th) in Dallas. Librarians and reviewers in attendance are encouraged to stop by the Midnight Ink booth #1459 to register for the drawing.

For those of you who don’t win the raffle, you
can find directions for making your own mop doll in Death By Killer Mop Doll. I promise it’s incredibly easy. And after all, it is International Creativity Month, so why not get creative with a mop in a way so much more fun than cleaning floors?


Lois Winston is the author of the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries published by Midnight Ink. Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the series, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. The new year brings with it the release of Death By Killer Mop Doll, the second book in the series. Read an excerpt at

Visit Lois at her website: http://www.loiswinston.com
and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog:
You can also follow Lois and Anastasia on Twitter @anasleuth.




As part of Lois’s virtual tour throughout January, she’s giving away 5 signed copies of Death By Killer Mop Doll. To enter the drawing, post a comment to any of the blogs on the tour. The full tour schedule can be found at her website and the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog (see above.) In addition, Lois is also giving away 3 copies of Death By Killer Mop Doll on Goodreads, http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/15173-death-by-killer-mop-doll.


  1. Looking forward to reading this one. Good luck on your blog tour Lois.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Lois! I can hardly wait to read Death By Killer Mop Doll!

  3. Thanks for having me, Cricket! And thanks for stopping by, Cindy.

  4. Looks like I'm going to have to keep hopping if I hope to catch up with you during this new month of guest appearances.
    Do you plan to stop and take a nap during January? Or do you go 24/7 the entire month?

  5. I'm one of those people who always feel crummier after taking a nap, Jeff. So no, I doubt I'll be taking one any time soon.

  6. This mop doll is so cute. I wouldn't be surprised if this latest book doesn't revive the craft and we'll see mop dolls popping up all over the place! I think I'm going to have to try and make one, too.

  7. That would be cool, Jane. Let me know if you do make one.

  8. just downloaded Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun over the weekend on my Kindle!! this next one would certainly be a nice complement!!!

    thank you for the giveaway!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  9. What fun, Lois! I think one of the dogs in my series would like a mop doll, but they can't have mine!

  10. Hope you enjoy the book cyn209.

    Sheila, not sharing with your dogs?

  11. Lois, being an avid crafter and writer myself, your books are such fun. Nice looking doll! Best wishes to you.


  12. Thanks again for being my guest, Lois! And thanks to everyone who stopped by!

  13. Sounds like a fun book.

    boots9k at wowway dot com

  14. Sounds like a fun book! A couple of weeks back, my teenage daughter confronted me with a mop doll mop that she'd found in a box of crafting stuff her grandma gave her, wanting to know what I thought she should do with it.

    I think my three sons are now using it as a weapon.

  15. Lois, your series sounds like fun. Since I'm a big fan of Cricket's home crafting mysteries (even though I haven't been crafty in years), I'd love to read yours too. The doll is adorable. I wish I was going to be at the ALA Conf.

  16. I love the mop doll. It's been awhile since I've taken the time to craft so this sounds like a good project. Your series sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for the giveaway.:)