Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Anastasia in Barcelona

by Lois Winston

Back in May my husband and I took a Mediterranean cruise, traveling to Toulon and Villefranche, France and La Spezia, Civitavecchia, and Naples, Italy. The cruise left out of Barcelona, Spain. Since neither of us had ever been to Spain, we flew in a day early and hopped aboard one of those double-decker sightseeing buses for a whirlwind tour of the city.

I’ve seen those buses just about all my life in New York. I’m constantly accosted by tour guides whenever I walk around Times Square (something I try to avoid!) So I had a very negative opinion of them. I changed my mind in Barcelona. We were able to plug into an audio system that gave us lots of information about the city as we drove around and were able to get on and off the buses at our leisure throughout the day as we explored various sights. The bus stops are clearly marked, and I don’t think we ever had to wait more than five minutes for one to pull up to take us to our next destination.

Parc Güell
Barcelona is a city of amazing architecture, everything from Gothic churches to Antoni Gaudi's Modernista masterpieces  to modern skyscrapers. However, it was Gaudi’s work, especially his mosaic covered Parc Güell, that made me fall in love with the city.

Parc Güell staircase leading up to terrace and marketplace
Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, to send Anastasia on an adventure in Barcelona? And that’s just what I did in Mosaic Mayhem, the second Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mystery which is now available.

ceiling of Parc Güell's Sala Hipostila marketplace
Anastasia is thrilled at the prospect of three days in Barcelona. She thinks all she has to worry about are making sure her passport is still valid and finding someone to care for her semi-invalid mother-in-law while she’s gone. However, within hours of arriving, she’s staring down the barrel of a gun and trying to convince a Spanish crime syndicate they’ve kidnapped the wrong woman. So much for a romantic getaway...

mosaics decorating terrace of Parc Güell
Mosaic Mayhem is available as an ebook from the following vendors:


Award-winning author Lois Winston writes the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series featuring magazine crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack. Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the series, received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Kirkus Reviews dubbed it, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” Other books in the series includes Death By Killer Mop Doll, Revenge of the Crafty Corpse and the ebook only mini-mysteries Crewel Intentions and Mosaic Mayhem. Lois is also published in women’s fiction, romance, romantic suspense, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Visit Lois at, visit Emma at, and visit Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, Follow everyone on Twitter @anasleuth.


Suzie Tullett said...

There's nothing like exploring a new destination to get the creative juices flowing. I've never been to Barcelona - it looks absolutely beautiful x

Angela Adams said...

Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing.

Lois Winston said...

Suzie, you should put Barcelona on your "must see" list.

Angela, thanks for stopping by!

Mona Risk said...

I went to Barcelona and loved the city. I can see how it inspired you. We took the same type of bus to visit Naples. Great pictures.

Vamp Writer said...

Very neat pictures! I've never been to Spain but Taiwan (the good China) has a lot of mosaic work on many buildings & nice people too. I'm sure you'll agree that family events as well as places often can stimulate creative juices, even those initially causing emotional discomfort. Finding out that my late father had a tryst while he was stationed overseas is what started my series of novels.

Lois Winston said...

Mona, since we were on a cruise, we only had 1 day in Naples and spent most of it at Pompeii. We did get to a few of the sites around the harbor, though, including Castel Nuovo.

Glad you enjoyed the pictures, Vamp Writer. You're so right about family stimulating the creative juices. Lucille, Anastasia's communist mother-in-law, is taken almost entirely from my own mother-in-law.

Deborah Sharp said...

Have always wanted to see Barcelona, especially after the Woody Allen movie of a few years back, Vicki, Cristina, Barcelona. Looks lovely!

Lois Winston said...

It's definitely worth the trip, Deborah. I've been meaning to watch the movie again to see if I can spot places we went.

Kathleen Ernst said...

I once enjoyed visiting Barcelona, although I'm not a fan of Gaudi. But it sounds like the *perfect* spot for Anastasia!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Kathleen! Anastasia had an interesting visit.