Well, that’s easy. I’ve been a book junkie since childhood, so I’d probably be working part time at a local public library or at least volunteering there. And to paraphrase an old proverb: You can take the librarian out of the library, but… Well, you get it. I still visit the library to check out books for writing research, as well as for some pleasure reading. And if I weren’t writing, I might have time for more reading. My to read list is ridiculously long.
Reading Dog, dreamstime.com license
Last year I joined the local branch of AAUW, the American Association of University Women, and was immediately roped into doing publicity for them. If I weren’t working, I would happily avail myself of all the wonderful interest groups they have. As it is, I’m enjoying the International Interests group that studies foreign policy issues. Here a link to the AAUW branches, in case anyone is interested. It’s a wonderful organization with lots of lovely, intelligent women. I might learn to play Mah-Jong or brush up on my high school Spanish.
And of course, I would travel, as often as I could afford and manage. I have quite a wish list of places I’d like to see before I die.
And soon I’ll have this adorable little distraction underfoot. My niece and I were just approved to adopt a small female puppy. Is she cute or what?
What about you? What would you do if you had more time and enough money?
Anastasia Travels to Barcelona—and Winds Up Kidnapped!
by Anastasia Pollack
A few years ago author Lois Winston traveled to Barcelona, and I tagged along, at least in my imagination and hers. Of course, Lois being Lois, she didn’t exactly let me enjoy the trip. Somehow, thanks to her, I wound up getting kidnapped. Lois then turned my harrowing experience into Mosaic Mayhem, one of the three Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mysteries, featured in Crafty Crimes.
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, is a gem of a city that sits on the Mediterranean. It’s founding is steeped in legend heralding back to the time of the Romans. Today it contains one of Europe’s best-preserved Gothic-era medieval city centers as well as the whimsical creations of Antoni Gaudi’s Modernista style architecture and modern skyscrapers.
La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
La Sagrada Família, a basilica that looks like it was constructed from wet sand dripping from the heavens, is the most visited tourist attraction in all of Spain. Begun in 1882, the design and construction were taken over by Gaudi a year later, and it’s still under construction today. (If you look at the upper right of the top photo, you’ll see a crane from the construction site.)
Parc Guell, Barcelona
While working on La Sagrada Família, Gaudi lived in a house situated in Parc Güell, a masterpiece of municipal gardens, mosaic-clad terrace walls, and fanciful architectural elements reminiscent of the witch’s house from Hansel and Gretel.
Parc Guell mosaic terrace, Barcelona, Spain
La Rambla is a tree-lined pedestrian boulevard filled with shops and restaurants that runs for three-quarters of a mile through the heart of Barcelona from Plaça de Catalunya to the harbor.
La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is also home to many wonderful museums, including Museu Picasso which houses an incredible collection of Picasso’s early work and plays a pivotal role in Mosaic Mayhem.
An anthology of three Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mysteries, companions to the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series.
Crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack receives a desperate phone call from former American Womanfashion editor Erica Milano. Erica is now in Witness Protection and living under a new identity in Western Pennsylvania. But someone is stalking her, and Erica has compelling reasons why she can’t go to the police or notify her Witsec handlers. Anastasia is the only person she can trust to help her, and she knows Anastasia won’t let her down. After all, Erica once saved Anastasia’s life. But will Anastasia be able to return the favor before the stalker strikes?
So much for a romantic getaway…When cash-strapped mom and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack is offered an all-expense paid three-day trip to Barcelona, her only worries are whether her passport is still valid and arranging care for her semi-invalid mother-in-law during her absence. However, within hours of landing in Europe, she finds herself staring down the barrel of a gun and needing to convince a Spanish crime syndicate they’ve got the wrong person. Why do people on both sides of the Atlantic keep trying to kill this pear-shaped, middle-aged single mom, and magazine crafts editor?
After rescuing her elderly neighbor Rosalie’s quilts from a rainstorm, crafts editor Anastasia Pollack discovers Rosalie unconscious at the bottom of her basement stairs. Rosalie’s estranged niece Jane arrives to care for her during her recovery, but Rosalie suspects Jane’s motives are less than altruistic, going so far as to accuse Jane of trying to kill her. Is Rosalie’s paranoia a result of her head injury, or is there something more to her accusations? And can Anastasia uncover the truth before it’s too late?
USA Today 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 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.