Guest Post

HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE? Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts. Answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact cj

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Lyrical Pens has a special treat for all you readers and writers today…

cj Sez: …A guest post written from the perspective of Anastasia Pollack, the protagonist character in Lois Winston’s novel GUILTY AS FRAMED. Read on, folks. This is going to be interesting.

This Jersey Girl is Here to Stay
By Anastasia Pollack

My author Lois Winston recently relocated from New Jersey to Tennessee to be closer to family. Lois was born and bred in the Garden State and except for a stint in Philadelphia and its suburbs, has lived in New Jersey her entire life. Until now.

  When Lois created me, she created another Jersey Girl, maybe because she never had a daughter of her own, only sons. And although Lois had the temerity to make me a reluctant amateur sleuth instead of one of the heroines in her romance novels, for which I’ve never forgiven her, I’m glad she chose New Jersey for the setting of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries

  When you grow up in New Jersey, you develop Jersey ‘tude. You have to in order to deal with all the insensitive comments from the rest of the country. We’re the butt of many a late-night comedian’s joke—even those who happen to live here. I have no idea why. I’ve been to most of the other forty-nine states in the U.S., and in my opinion, many of them fall far short of New Jersey.

  Out-of-staters think we’re nothing but strip malls. To them I say, come visit Westfield or Haddonfield or Princeton or Summit or Chatham…I could go on and on. We have dozens and dozens of quaint towns, many of which have been used as settings in movies and TV shows. And no matter where you live in New Jersey, within a relatively short time you can be in the mountains or down the shore. (Yes, we call it down the shore. Other people go to the beach or the seaside but not those of us from the Garden State.) Plus, if you live in the northern half of the state, as I do, you’re a short train or car ride from Manhattan. Theaters and museums galore!

   Jersey has culture, sports, and cow pastures. Horse farms and high-rises. We’re home to the famous and the infamous. We probably have more authors per capita living in New Jersey than any other state.

  We even legally own the Statue of Liberty, but try telling that to New York. However, since they usurped our national landmark, we took their beloved football teams. That’s right, folks, for those of you who live in other parts of the country, both the New York Giants and the New York Jets play in New Jersey.

  However, because we’ve had to put up with so much negative press and razzing for so long, those of us from New Jersey have had to develop a tough hide. We’re also known for our sense of humor, which runs more toward snark than Minnesota Nice.

  I’ve had to channel my inner Jersey Strong to cope with what Lois has dumped on me—kidnappings, Mafia loan sharks, a communist mother-in-law, and more dead bodies than I can count at this point. I cope with it all by channeling my Jersey ‘tude and sense of humor. 

  But right now, I’m getting a bit nervous about whether Lois will allow me to continue living in New Jersey or if she’ll force me to move to Middle Tennessee. She tells me you can take the girl out of New Jersey, but you can’t take New Jersey out of the girl. That sounds ominous. I’m hoping she’s only toying with me. But if she isn’t, I just may go on strike and give her a whopping case of Writer’s Block. We fictional characters do have some tricks up our sleeves. 

cj Sez: Thanks, Anastasia. New Jersey owns the Statue of Liberty? Wow. (That's my learn-something-new today.) A whole lot of good information there. Please take a minute or two and introduce us to your creator and multi-genre author, Lois Winston. 

  USAToday and Amazon bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston 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. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Learn more about Lois and her books at her website where you can also sign up for her newsletter and follow her on various social media sites.


  And, of course, we need to introduce Anastasia’s latest mystery, Guilty as FramedAn Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 11

  When an elderly man shows up at the home of reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack, she’s drawn into the unsolved mystery of the greatest art heist in history. 

  Boston mob boss Cormac Murphy has recently been released from prison. He doesn’t believe Anastasia’s assertion that the man he’s looking for doesn’t live at her address and attempts to muscle his way into her home. His efforts are thwarted by Anastasia’s fiancé Zack Barnes.

  A week later, a stolen SUV containing a dead body appears in Anastasia’s driveway. Anastasia believes Murphy is sending her a message. It’s only the first in a series of alarming incidents, including a mugging, a break-in, another murder, and the discovery of a cache of jewelry and an etching from the largest museum burglary in history. 

  But will Anastasia solve the mystery behind these shocking events before she falls victim to a couple of desperate thugs who will stop at nothing to get what they want? 

Buy Links


cj Sez:  That’s it for today’s post. Thank you so much, Lois Winston and Anastasia Pollack, for stopping by and sharing those fascinating facts about New Jersey.

  Authors, if you’ve got a new book (or an old one that needs a bit of a boost) you, too, are invited to do a guest post. You can answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact 

  You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Prayers going up for your health and safety this year.

P.S.  The Haunted Bookshop has signed paperback copies of my books in stock. TO ORDER my author-graphed books or any book of your choice on-line from an indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: 

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  1. CJ, thanks so much for featuring Anastasia on the Lyrical Pens blog today. And between you, me, and your readers, she doesn't have to worry. She's staying put in NJ--at least for now ;-)

  2. cj Sez: We are so happy you came by. And I bet Anastasia's fans are ecstatic to learn that Anastasia is staying put in NJ. Best wishes for great sales and reviews.


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