Sunday, May 23, 2010

VBT Pit Stop #2 with Lorrie Struiff

Everyone has secrets. Homicide Detective Rita Moldova has a secret, a crystal amulet from her Roma bloodline that allows her to see the last image a victim had seen in their eyes before they died. Now, a ritual killer is terrorizing her town and the crystal’s magic has suddenly stopped doing its job. 
 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?

Today I'd like to welcome Lorrie Struiff,  author of Gypsy Crystal.  Please give her a warm welcome,  and thank you so much for being with us today Lorrie.


Thank you so much for having me here today. And, a warm welcome to all of you readers.

                           WHAT IS NEEDED FOR A GOOD STORY

Have you ever started reading a novel and fifty pages in, your eyes start glazing over? Or the same scene is described for two pages? The characters are cardboard- stiff?

You look again to see the name of the author who wrote the book. "Really?" you ask. Then you try to stay with the novel, but again with your eyes glazing until you must put it aside and reach for another book in your TBR pile. The story is not holding you, it's boring.

So, what is needed for a good story?

The best stories have a strong theme, a fascinating plot, a fitting structure, unforgettable characters, a well-chosen setting, and an appealing style. The story must be well written to capture the imagination.

Great stories make a promise. They promise fun, excitement, and to take you along for a great
read. The reader trusts the author to deliver on that promise.

People decide if they like a novel after reading only a few pages. Great stories are rarely aimed at everyone. The most effective stories match the world view of a tiny audience--a target audience-- and then that tiny audience spreads the good word on the story.

In Gypsy Crystal, my theme follows the mystical lore and traditions of the Roma people. Imagine a homicide detective with a secret amulet that mysteriously helps her in her job. The plot of capturing a serial killer who is loose in her town, and the pacing of the structure slowly building with twists and turns to rise to a dramatic end. My main characters, Rita and Matt, spark feelings in the reader as well as with each other. The setting for my story takes place in a location I know well and adds to the authenticity. The story is trendy and fits with the paranormal style prevalent in today's popular novels.

Is Gypsy Crystal well written? That is for the reader to decide. But I think it will grab you from page one and your eyes will not glaze over because you will be too busy turning the pages. The novella has many surprises in store for the reader. Try it, I think you'll like it.


        Rita Moldova's best-kept secret, a crystal amulet that shows her the last image a victim
had seen when they died and has helped propel her career as a homicide detective  until
prostitutes start dropping.

        A ritual killer dubbed the Ripper by the media is terrorizing her town and it's Rita's job
to help end his killing spree. The problem  Rita's mystical amulet, passed down through her
Roma bloodline, has failed for the first time in memory to do its job  and it's making it a real
bitch for Rita to do hers.

        To make matters worse, the FBI has sent in hunky agent, Matt Boulet, to lead the case
and Rita finds herself attracted to him.
        When Rita visits her mother  a gifted seer in her own right ­ and her uncle to glean what
she can about the history of the amulet and the lore of their clan, she learns much more than she
bargained for, and the truth is too much for her to swallow.

        As the investigation continues, Rita learns she can't deny the lore of the ancients, or her
growing feelings for Matt Boulet.


    Detective Rita Moldova peeked around the corner to make sure the hallway was empty. Making a quick right turn, she slipped into the autopsy lab to have a few minutes alone with the body. She tucked her white shirt tighter into her jeans and zipped her windbreaker to stay warm in the chilly room. The harsh odor of
formaldehyde hit her nostrils and stung her throat.
    Her heart twisted at the sight of the young, auburn-haired woman lying on the stainless steel table. A white sheet covered her to the navel; bruises blemished the once pretty face. Contusions marred the pallid skin from elbow to shoulder. The gash on the front of her neck gaped, exposing open veins and torn tissue.
    Rita flipped her thick, dark braid back over her shoulder, snapped on one latex glove, leaned over the corpse, and peeled back an eyelid. In her bare hand, she clasped a star-shaped crystal hanging from the gold chain around her neck, an endowment from her maternal Roma bloodline. The crystal heated in her palm, warm energy pulsing up her arm to her shoulder. The face captured in the victim's eye coalesced and stared back. Rita drew in a sharp breath. Bobby Driscoll! She had known him since high school, and now he worked as a uniform in her precinct. What the hell was going on?

    Visit my website for more info. and to read the reviews.

Gypsy Crystal is now available in print and MultiFormat e-book at Amazon Struiff/dp/1770650415/ref=tmm_pap_title_0


Lorrie Unites-Struiff is a native of West Mifflin, twenty minutes from downtown,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She writes short stories in different genres that have appeared in various publications and anthologies. When she is not sitting in front of her computer, she's often found checking out bookstores, leading her writing workshops, or having lunch with local authors.

Be sure to leave a comment here today,  and follow Lorrie on her tour,  leaving a comment along the way for your chance to win a copy of Gypsy Crystal.

Also by leaving a comment today,  you will be entered into a drawing to win a writer pack and a surprise book from BK Walker Books. Winner will be drawn Friday,  May 28th. 

Good luck!  Thank you again for chatting with us today Lorrie.  You have been very insightful and I just love the excerpt.  I can't wait to read your book,  it's on my list :).


Unknown said...

You seem to be cropping up everywhere and that's a good sign. I don't need to win a copy of your book because I've already enjoyed the prize--reading Gypsy Crystal. For those who haven''re in for a treat.

Cate Masters said...

Great post, Lorrie. Best of luck with Gypsy Crystal, it sounds like a fantastic read.

Tabitha Shay said...

Great piece, Lorrie,
u just keep on going, girl....Tabs

Diane Scott Lewis said...

Lorrie, I enjoyed your excerpt,your story sounds exciting and I can't wait to read it.


Enjoyed your insight. Thanks. Also, I downloaded your book. It was a really great read. Thanks. What are you working on now? What do you feel about keeping the same character and writing a sequel? I ask because I liked her alot. Lois

Unknown said...

Thanks gang, I really don't know what I'll be working on next. There are a lot of ideas churning in my head. Soon, I better well get started on one.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your post and the excerpt. I must read Gypsy Crytal.

Cellophane Queen said...

Just got my printed copy yesterday. It's all lined up in the batting (reading) cage. Of course, I read it in e-format already, but I, like many others, like that book in hand feel.

Congrats on your new book, Lorrie.

Margaret West said...

Better late that never, Lorrie. Fab blog and excerpt. LOVE it!!!!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for spotting me on your blog BK. I loved being here. And thanks to all my friends for their comments.
Hope to catch you all on the next pit stop.

Darla said...

Hey Lorrie,

I agree with you 100%. When I pick up a book, I look at the cover and title. If that grabs me, then I read the back cover and if the story pulls me in immediately, I open it up and read maybe the first five pages to see if the inside's as good as the outside.
The majority of the time, it does. But every once in a while, I have a hard time getting through those five pages. That book gets put back on the shelf. :(
With yours, the cover and title are fabulous. The back cover pulled me in right away. And with the first five pages, you manage to create and promise suspense. You do a great job creating a scene with your words. I can almost hear the crunch on the tires on the gravel.

Great job, Lorrie. I hope your book does well and I'll be looking forward to more in the future. So, sit you butt in that chair, and get to it. Your fans want more!!!

All my best,

Kelly A. Harmon said...

Nice post. The part about the "target audience" really resonates with me. A book which is well written -- and to use your phraseology: has a strong theme, a fascinating plot, a fitting structure, unforgettable characters, etc. -- still won't appeal to everyone.

maria altobelli said...

Thought-provoking post, Lorrie. I'm reading The House on Via Gombito right now which is a compilation of writing by North American women abroad. I gravitate toward any travel tale and yet can find my eyes glazing over from time to time on this one. Maybe it's a matter of a different time (the book was published in 1991) or my personal preference, but there's way too much description in many of the stories for my taste.

The words are beautiful, I can savor each one on my tongue but they leave no lingering aftertaste. Sometimes the point of the story gets lost in the prose.

You are so right that you cannot please every reader. Me thinks when an author tries to do that, the prose gets so watered down it pleases no one.

You have a great bead on your target audience, that's for sure, but also you draw in new readers who might not be interested in the genre exactly but are interested in your writing style. You therefore create a new genre of readers --- the Lorrie Struiff genre.

Now that's a nice combination.

Frances Macias Mossman said...

Great article and I have to agree, Gypsy is a great page-turner!

Great blog post, and a Great Writer! Kudos Gal.