That’s Life. Remember the song? For those of you who are too young, it was one of Frank Sinatra’s later hits, back in the mid 1960’s. The song is about life’s ups and downs and no matter how many times you fall flat on your face, you’ve got to pick yourself up and go on.

My name is Anastasia Pollack, and right now I’m trying my darnedest to pick myself up and get on with my life after being stomped flat by Karl Pollack, my dead louse of a spouse. You see, unbeknownst to me, Karl led a double life. While I thought he was at a sales meeting in Harrisburg, PA, he was actually dropping dead at a roulette table in Las Vegas.

Worse yet, after his death, I discovered he’d raided our savings and gotten us into hock several stories above my eyeballs. And did I mention the loan shark? Karl owed him fifty grand, and he doesn’t care that Karl is dead.

Then there’s the murdered body I discovered in my office. I’m the crafts editor for a women’s magazine, and on my first day back to work after the funeral, I found our fashion editor glue gunned to death with my glue gun.

I once lived the American Dream. Those days are now gone forever. Now I struggle to keep a roof over our heads. Not only do I have two teenage sons who can eat in a day what I eat in a week (and I’m far from anorexic), I’ve got my Russian princess mother and my curmudgeonly Communist mother-in-law living with me. They cohabitate as well as oil slicks and wildlife.

Then there are the non-human residents of Casa Pollack. First, there’s Ralph, the Shakespeare quoting parrot with an uncanny knack for spouting situational appropriate commentary. Rounding out the household are Catherine the Great, Mama’s corpulent white Persian cat with an attitude to match her name, and the commie’s French bulldog, Manifesto. Really, who names a dog after a communist treatise? I call him Mephisto, given his devil-like demeanor. Needless to say, Catherine the Great and Mephisto fight like — you guessed it — cats and dogs.

What I wouldn’t give for a vacation, which won’t happen in this century unless I win the lottery. But since you have to play to win, and I don’t have a spare dollar to my name…

Anyway, that’s what my life is like, thanks to author Lois Winston. I’m still trying to figure out what she has against me. I asked her once why she couldn’t have written me as tall, thin, and rich, but she handed me some nonsense about the need for goals, motivations, and conflict in fiction.
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You can read more about me in ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN, which received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist and is the first book in the “Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries” series. Kirkus Reviews called it, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” (Lois says she wants that engraved on her tombstone.) Click here to read an excerpt. My second adventure, DEATH BY KILLER MOP DOLL, will be out in January. Find a sneak peak here.

The “Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries” are written by award-winning author Lois Winston who also writes humorous women’s fiction and romantic suspense.

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

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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