Monday, July 19, 2010

Virtual Book Tour - Lorrie Unites-Struiff

Amulets , Gypsies , Fortune Tellers and their Crystal Balls. It is a way of life that many either choose to follow , have an open mind or disregard as pure and utter nonsense . For me , I have a friend who is into the New Age way of Life and they believe in Crystals, Horoscopes etc whereas for me , growing up in a Christian household I have been told that these things weren't to be trusted as that is the Christian View. Now I am at an age where I can make my own decisions and though I stand by God and go to church etc , I still read Horoscopes and when it comes to the Occult or New Age beliefs I stand forth with an open mind - always the best thing to have when faced with an unfamiliar circumstance.

Today's author Lorrie Unites-Struiff has written a book that touches base on the New Age with a hint of Supernatural and Mystery twinge to it. In today's post I will review her book "Gypsy Crystal" and for readers today, I have an interview with the author as we read why she choose to write this particular book/genre.

Review : Gypsy Crystal -Lorrie Unites-Struiff- 2010

Meet Rita Moldova, Detective and a Gypsy. Rita has a gift , ever since she was able she has been able to sense the victim's last moments and most of the time view the Killer, helping the station catch the bad guys. Until now , it seems like the town has a Jack the Ripper copycat on hand and Rita's crystal is not working as it should be. Unable to move forth the station has acquired the help of Agent Matt from PCU . Drawn to Matt , Rita can't help wonder who he his and why she is reacting to him this way? . Has he got a gift or are they connected somehow and why ?. As the case worsens , Rita goes undercover and encounters the Jack the Ripper Copycat and then this is where the book starts to pick up pace and get more exciting and thrilling as the Killer is connected to Rita and her family. Rita, her family and Matt are now in danger . Can Rita and Matt catch the killer before Rita loses everything she loves and will she discover the real reason why the killer reacted to her in the way he did or will it remain a mystery?.
Filled with a variety of characters from Police Detectives, Agents, Gypsies, Fortune Tellers and Supernatural beings.
Gypsy Crystal is a nice quick read that has something for everyone and will keep you in a trance that will have you suprised and thinking is it over already, I want more adventures of Rita and Matt .

Interview with Authoress: Lorrie Unites-Struiff

Hello Paula and readers.
Thank you so much for allowing me a spot on your blog. It’s a thrill to be here.

1)What inspired you to write your book?
A friend treated me to lunch at a quaint little restaurant, a spur of the moment invitation. They had a fortune teller and for a bit of fun, we had our fortunes told. I was determined to keep my mouth shut and not offer any information. I was surprised at how much she could tell about me. I was also surprised when a few of her predictions came true. Not only in general terms, but hard and solid. The woman stayed in my mind for a few months. I started playing the ‘what if’ game that many authors play for plots. The gypsy fortuneteller became Anna in my book, my main characters mother.

2)What was it that made you choose the genre?
I have written many short stories in various genres, but I find myself leaning more toward the paranormal. I like reading a story that is a bit off the beaten path of real life. Not too far off, but enough to give the story an extra oomph. I love thrillers, strong female characters who are still womanly. I put the two ideas together and came up with Gypsy Crystal.

3)Is there anything of you in your characters?
Not in Gypsy Crystal. Perhaps in the anthology I’m writing, but I’ll get to that later.

4)Has your characters or writing been inspired by friends/ family?
No again. And how boring that must be. All my characters live only inside my head. Need I say I have an overactive imagination?

5)How did your book deal come about?
Very surprisingly. I had queried only two publishers. Eternal Press sent me a contract within a week. I’m not sure if I fainted or just phased out for about thirty minutes. I had to read the email a few dozen times to believe my eyes.

6)What are you working on now?
Oh, I’m working on my favorite character of all. Winnie Krapski. I’m putting together an anthology of her short adventures. You see, Winnie is a bit over middle age and a widow. One day she hugged a cherry tree during a lightning storm. She didn’t want to get her new perm wet. A bolt of lightning hit the tree causing Winnie to have a near-death experience. Now she has a gift, one she prefers she didn’t have. She can see and speak to dead people and was drafted into the Call on the Dead (COD) club by Fat Phil Phillips. Their mission is to grant the dead one last reasonable request before the casket is closed so the deceased may truly rest in peace. Oh my, the trouble this gal gets into. Absurd comedy, but readers enjoy her antics and I love writing about her.

7)How have you enjoyed doing publicity?
I’ve never been one to like blowing my own horn, so doing publicity is hard for me. Thank goodness for the kind authors who have invited me to showcase on their blogs and have guided and held my hand for the process. I know it’s a necessity and I do think paranormal/thriller/romance readers will enjoy the story. I think they will enjoy the gypsy lore and traditions I have included. So I have been promoting to the limit with the help of many good friends even though I find it difficult to tell readers how pleasurable they will find my story. I’ve received fantastic reviews.

8)Had you previously written anything?
I’ve had many short stories printed in e-zines, from historical fiction, humor, horror, paranormal, and memoir. I do the genre hop. I like spreading my wings.

9)How long does it take you to write each book?
My first longer piece is Gypsy Crystal, but I’m sure it won’t be my last. I think it took me almost a year between writing other pieces.

10)Which comes first for you - characters or plot?
That is a tough question. I think I would have to say characters. Only because I love to take odd characters, mix them together and see what sort of a plot I can come up with for them. I once took an early era based western sheriff who was afraid of critters and gave him an escaped organ grinders monkey as the foe that hid in his office--humor of course. Oh, BTW, the monkey won.

11)How did you get into writing? Did you always want to become a
I have been an avid reader all my life. I lived in books. One day about nine years ago, I decided, hmm, writing a story looks easy. (Authors make it look like a breeze) Little did dumb me know.
So, I tried my hand at writing and found I had soooooo much to learn. I’m also a person who happens to love to learn. So, I set out to learn, and here I am. And believe me, folks, it’s not as easy as the wonderful writers make it look. I have a new respect for all authors.

12)If you had to have dinner with any 3 famous people dead/alive, who
would you choose?
Elvis Presley. I’d ask him to sing for me.
Nora Roberts. I’d love to pick her brain.
Ben Browder. I’d just sit there and drool.

13)What's your favorite vacation spot in the world?
A quiet cabin in the woods with only my books and computer. Any remote place will do.
Of course that is my dream vacation spot and unrealistic. So, I guess my second choice would be a cruise to the Caribbean for two weeks. Socializing with different types of people also gives me traits to use for my characters, not to mention all the good food and great entertainment. The Port of Calls to look forward to. And oh, yes, I’m a souvenir junkie.

14)What are your goals for 2010?
To finish the above projects I have started. That alone will give me a sense of accomplishment.

15)What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Keep butt in chair at the computer and write. Join a good, helpful critique group. Nothing teaches you faster than both. Develop a thick skin. Oh, and don’t give up your dream. Writing is a never ending process of learning and with each piece you write, you learn more.

16)To finish off, do you have a favorite quote from any off your
books and what is it?
“Foolish wishes bring fools pain.”
Taken from an R-rated sci-fi novella that I started a few years back and as yet remains unfinished.

“Gypsy Crystal” is a paranormal/thriller/romance published from Eternal Press, March, 2010
It is now available on Amazon in both E-reader formats and print.
For more info and reviews, check my website. http://struiff.wordpress.com/
Everyone has secrets.
Homicide Detective Rita Moldova has a secret, a crystal amulet from her Roma bloodline that shows her the last image a victim had seen before they died. Now, a ritual killer is terrorizing her town and the crystal’s magic has suddenly stopped.
FBI agent, Matt Boulet, is sent to lead the task force and gives the group strange orders. Worse, Rita senses he is holding back a deep dark secret about the killer.
When she confronts her seer mother’s advice, she learns another secret about their clan that she finds impossible to swallow.
Rita swims through a whirlpool of confusion as the investigation continues. Can Rita deny the lore of the ancients? Can she deny her growing feelings for Matt Boulet?


Before Rita had time to get her fingers on the gun, the man had shot out of the door, yanked her forward, and somehow shoved her headfirst onto the front seat. She skidded over the vinyl bench seat, her nose and cheek hitting hard, blocking her breath for a moment. Rita yelled; the door slammed shut. She scrambled to sit upright, gagging when she inhaled the dank, moldy scent of the interior. A metal object, hanging from the roof above the mirror, clunked heavy against her head. She swallowed the acrid taste in her throat.
The driver’s door opened and the man slipped inside. One corner of her mind wondered how he could have possibly run around the front of the van so fast.
Rita rubbed her bruised temple and twisted the door handle. It was stuck. She rammed her shoulder into the door. It didn’t budge. The window was up. Her purse with the gun lay on the sidewalk. She worked the lock button and slammed into the door again. The impact sent shock waves down her arm to her fingertips. Shit. The van was rigged. Rita looked at the serial killer, her heart banging against her ribs, her breathing short and shallow. Tapping the mic with frantic fingers, all she could do was pray.
The man grinned.

Gypsy Crystal is available in PRINT and Multiple E-book formats at Amazon
Visit my website to read the reviews and more info


Lorrie Unites-Struiff lives in West Mifflin, twenty minutes by parkway to downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has two grown daughters who have left the nest but not her heart.
Lorrie is the founder of the Waterfront Writer’s Workshop in her area, and after seven years has passed the baton to allow her more time for writing. She has many short stories published and is now working on her next project.


  1. Hi Paula,
    Thank you for the nice review and for having me on your blog today.
    I'm glad to see you enjoyed my novella. Whew! It's always great to hear a reader really got into it.
    I hope the guests that stop by will leave me a comment, whether they have already read Gypsy, or not.

  2. As always, a great interview, Lorrie...I love Gypsy romances, mysteries...one of my favorite settings...Best of luck with ur book....Tabs

  3. Hi Lorrie -
    Who would ever have thought of a restaurant visit inspiring a novella? That was so cool to read. Do you have any other strange encounters like the fortune teller story? If so, is there a book in those? How do you determine when an interesting event is worth writing about?

  4. Congratulations Lorrie,

    I've read some of your short stories and as much as I love the voice of Winnie, I still think my fav is Splat (which sort of has a Winniesque voice). I'm glad to hear you're working on a Winnie anthology. I can't wait to see what trouble she gets herself into this time around. lol

    I agree with Lo, how cool is it to have a story inspired by a luncheon with a friend. I'm curious as to what predictions came true.

    All my best,

  5. Great interview, Lorrie. Fun questions as well. I loved the one about the three famous people at dinner. Can't say I know who the last one is but from the drool, guess he might be worth a Google.

    See, your fans aren't the only ones who want to see more of Rita and Matt. Reviewers do as well. Maybe add a sequel to your to-do list for 2010-11. Ducks, shouts, "Gypsy Crystal is a fun read," and runs for cover.

    Maria Altobelli

  6. Ben Browder...drool is right. I loved Farscape and when he took over in Stargate.

    Ahem, back to the book. Gypsy Crystal is a great read. It's perfectly set for the further adventures of Rita and Matt against the dark side. Hint hint.

    Get it. You'll like it.

  7. Great interview. I love the unusual elements in Gypsy Crystal. Really looking forward to Winnie's story too.
    Congrats on the great review!

  8. OMG! I just Googled Ben Browder! All I have to say is if I'm not invited to dinner, can I serve it.

  9. Im with Darla , I didn't realise who Ben Browder was either , so I googled him. I'd accompany you to dinner with him Lorrie :)


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