Anastasia Travels to Barcelona—and Winds Up Kidnapped! #TuesdayTravels @Anasleuth

Tuesday Travels

My new Tuesday Travels banner.

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

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

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

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

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.

Crafty Crimes Bundle

Crafty Crimes

An anthology of three Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mysteries, companions to the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series.

Crewel Intentions

Crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack receives a desperate phone call from former American Woman fashion 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?

Mosaic Mayhem

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?

Patchwork Peril

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?

Buy Links:


About My Author:

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.

How To Connect with Lois online:

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog:
Twitter at

Newsletter sign-up:

Prague’s New Town & Hidden Places #TuesdayTravels

Tuesday Travels

Tuesday Travels is back with a post about Prague’s New Town and some interesting places we visited. I didn’t mean to put Tuesday Travels on hiatus for six weeks, but July was an exceptionally busy month, what with the #AuthorLove event, and I can only manage so many blogs per week!

Rebecca and I signed up for a walking tour of Prague’s hidden places. We weren’t sure what to expect, but we weren’t disappointed. The tour took us to areas we hadn’t explored yet, including some real oddities. Like this moving statue of the head of Franz Kafka called Metalmorphosis, by eccentric Czech artist David Černý, known for once having painted a Soviet-era tank pink. This statue is made of metal plates and is constantly in motion, making it difficult for newcomers to figure out what it is. Wish I’d thought to take a video rather than just a still shot. You can view ten controversial sculpture’s by Černý here

Kafka Head statue

Our guide took us to two vintage shopping malls. The first, Lucerna Palace, was built in the 1920s, in the old, solid architectural style. It’s beautiful inside, but also graced by another strange sculpture by David Černý, this one of Czech hero, King Wenceslas, riding a dead, upside-down horse! It’s apparently supposed to be an ironic twist to the heroic statue of the king in nearby Wenceslas Square.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I was glad our walking tour included Wenceslas Square, as teh included tour in our river cruise/tour did not take us here. Wenceslas Square is the center of Prague political activity. This is where people gathered to watch first the Nazis march into Prague, followed by the Red Army 5-6 years later. The square is also where peopled gathered to protest and/or revolt, in both 1968 revolt and the Velvet Revolution of 1989 when Soviet hegemony ended peacefully. Here are a few of my photos of Wenceslas Square. You can see what a beautiful day it was.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I couldn’t resist including a photo of the brewery, as Budvar aka the real Budweiser, is my favorite Czech beer. I had some on draft while we were there and it was delicious. Sadly, the bottle I bought here was skunky. But beer is always better on draft.

On the way back to Old Town we stopped at another vintage mall, Černá Růže (Black Rose) built in the 1930s in a historic palace. Actually, it is two buildings joined by an arcade, one from the 1840’s and the other from the 1930s, though the site has been occupied since the Middle Ages and was once a coaching inn. The day we were there, the ceiling was decorated with a delightful display of colorful umbrellas. It was prophetic as our beautiful September weather disappeared in a rain storm as we entered October.

The mall contains a large outlet of the Moser crystal shops, located in the older of the two buildings. The crystal pieces were lovely, but outside of my price range.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We passed the headquarters building of the Communist Party, which is appropriately red.

Commie Party HQ

Communist Party HQ, Prague

I’ve rambled on too long here, so I’ll stop. Next week, Prague Castle up close.