Monday, July 12, 2010

Lorrie Struiff: Authors Supporting Authors Blog Tour


How do you unwind, or find that much needed alone time? That precious time is what I call escapism.
I’m a writer and my ideal escapism—in my imagination—is an isolated cabin in the woods. No phones, no TV, no disruptions of any sort. And most of all, I’d have no pressure to muddle my overcrowded brain.

Alas, I have, like people in all walks of life, constant decisions to make. Do I get my hubby’s prescriptions filled today? Maybe I should get the wash done, clean the house, plan meals for the next three days, or go grocery shopping, etc. Hmm. Should I answer emails, follow blogs, write or concentrate on the outline for my next story?

Wow, my real life is filled with a lot of pressure. I’m sure you know the feeling. At times, it’s too much to bear. Some cope better than others, but I’m the type that still needs that quiet time alone to soothe the jangly nerves. To do a balancing act and find some mini-escapism time to regroup.

Personally, I have found the best escapism, for me, is in books. When all is finally quiet in the house, all family members in bed, I open a book. Be it thriller, paranormal, romance, historical fiction, or sci-fi, I forget real life for a little while and escape into another world.  I breathe deep, snuggle back in my tilt-back chair, and sink into the world the author has built, whether the novel takes place in the present, past or future time period.

In all the novels, be it thrills, chills, sweet romance, or adventure, I’ve escaped into them all. I was the characters facing Cujo and walking along with Odd Thomas speaking to spirits.  I accompanied John Corey as he battled the evil men on Plum Island. I’ve been a member of the Camel Club helping to keep a good eye on what is happening in Washington.

I’ve flown the galaxy to different planets with Jean Luc Picard and visited DS-9 to meet aliens. I watched Odo sink into his bucket to catch a nap.

I’ve also been a member of a Tac Team with the strong characters who fell so deeply in love while in the midst of a dangerous mission.

I’ve sailed on wooden ships flying the Jolly Roger. I’ve accompanied courtesans into the palaces of great monarchs. I even went with James Bond on all his spy missions. What a thrill.

Now, you know I’m talking years and years of escapism, or reading the once upon a time favorites.

What better type of escapism than to live another’s life for a while? Leave your headaches behind and enjoy stepping into another world for a few hours of alone time and getting your mind off your real life problems.

In my novella, I will take you into Rita’s world. One filled with Roma mysticism and clan folklore. Rita wears a magic crystal amulet that has been handed down through her maternal bloodline.  But, will the amulet be enough to help her to face the battle with her police task force to stop a serial killer?

Join me for a bit of escapism. Come along on the wild ride of danger, heated romance, and the unexpected twists in Gypsy Crystal.

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.

A piercing scream echoed from the alley between Red’s Bar and The Totem Pole. Adrenaline shot through her veins. Jesus, it’s the Ripper!

Rita yelled for Sully, folded her fingers around the Glock in her purse, and headed toward the mouth of the dark alleyway. She bent low near the entrance, then eased around the corner. A cat yowled, then leaped to the ledge above her head. Rita jerked and flattened her back against the cold bricks of the building. Tiny feet scurried across her shoe. She gasped and kicked out her foot. The glare of headlights behind her swept the overflowing garbage cans, creating a macabre dance of shadow and light against the walls. Brakes squealed. A car door opened. She didn’t turn to look, instead she hugged the rough bricks and slid further into the alley’s depth hoping to spot the Ripper. Quickly, she hunkered down behind a trashcan, the rancid smell of old grease turned her stomach.

“I’m here,” Sully said, crouching behind his open door, the car’s headlights left on. “Wait, Rita. Boulet told us not to go it alone.” Sully tipped a flashlight beam around his door to sweep over the trashcans, the brick walls, and then his light flashed on the green dumpster twenty feet ahead on the left. He lowered the beam to the cement. A woman’s bare legs protruded from behind the large green bin. 

Rita’s eyes darted from side to side, watching for any slight movement in the shadows. Nothing. Every nerve in her body strung tight, she bent low to approach the dumpster.

Tires skidded behind Sully’s car. A door opened, and running footsteps approached her. A firm hand folded over her pistol while the other held her arm in a vice-like grip. She yanked away, spun, and looked up into heated eyes. “Don’t ever hold onto my gun arm like that again.”

“Then next time follow orders,” said Matt.

I live in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. Many of the locations I wrote about in Gypsy are copied from the areas around me. I used false names of course, but if anyone from my county reads the book, I’m sure they’ll recognize a few spots.

The quaint old century mall I used is now torn down to the foundation.  The river road is real and just as scary as in the book. Not for the faint of heart.

For more details, excerpts, and to read some fab reviews, visit my website at
Gypsy Crystal is available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.


Lorrie said...

Hello, P.

Thanks so much for having me here today.
Maybe our guests will tell us their idea of the perfect escape.
Let's hear from you folks.

Amber Stults said...

I have two ways of escape. Besides reading books there are the movies. Old musicals and Cary Grant movies are the best ones for escape.

Margaret West said...

I escape into fantasy too. I used to hanker after Odo. Okay, he used to dissolve into a blob sometimes, but aren't we all like that occasionally lol
I escape into books. My husband says I have my deaf ears on when I read, because I hear nothing except the characters voices. I'm there, beside them, fighting in their court, untill the final page it turned. Then its back to the real world full of worries and work.

lo said...

I agree with Amber about escaping into Cary Grant films. He was the best. As a writer, I also escape into epic books or books with series, like Harry Potter books.
I read Gypsy and wonder if there will be another book with Rita as the protagonist? I am hoping so (another escape for me??) What do you think, Lorrie?

maria altobelli said...

Good morning,

Paul and I lived out in the boonies of Minnesota for fifteen years. That should have been the ultimate escape but there was a lot of work to surviving in the boonies. I escaped then into books. We practically read out the local bookmobile (well, except Westerns and Romance --- sorry if I stepped on toes).

After that, we moved to Mexico --- another place considered a perfect escape. That's when I started to write in a big way. That was my escape.

Once I started to write in earnest and think I might be able to actually do something with the writing, I walked the dogs for escape. We have three (one is blind)so that leaves two to walk. Let me tell you, I walk those dogs a lot.

And then there's Tai Chi.

And I still read a lot. The great thing about Lorrie's Gypsy Crystal is that it hooked a person not at all keen on romance or paranormal and kept her going to the end.

By the way, Patti, there are some very striking book covers featured on that slide show.

Great post, Lorrie

Lorrie said...

Oooh,Amber, Cary Grant. Yum. Yes, one of my favorites too. So dashing.
Arsenic and old Lace is still one of my favorites. "Charge!"

Margaret, Odo was one character I thought was fantasic. What an imagination the writers had. Of course I liked Quark too.

I know you like to read epics, Lois. I've seen them. You have great taste in reading material.

Maria, you are the true nomad. Love to travel, living in Mexico now. I can't wait until your book finds a home.

Marva said...

I'd have to go back to work to escape. I do tend to procrastinate doing things I don't like. Heck, I have plenty of time...later. Seems like 'later' is getting later all the time.

But like everyone else here, reading is my diversion from guilt-tripping myself for not doing the stuff I ought to be.

By the way, everybody definitely snag a copy of Gypsy Crystal. It's very good escapist reading.

Lorrie said...

Later sounds good to me too, I've been staring at the same sentence I wrote for 15 minutes.
Marva, you just signed with EP. I can't wait until the release of your book. The small blurbs I have read on your site, well, this one sounds like a must read.

Cate Masters said...

Ah, if only I could absorb books through osmosis. So many great reads, so little time. :) I do my best, though, and sneak in a read whenever possible. Mine are more like mini-escapes, but still as needed.
I love that you incorporate local settings into your stories.

Darla said...

Hey Lorrie,

Maybe we could be neighbors-our isolated cabins in the woods. But can I at least bring my computer? No internet though, emails and Facebook would distract me too much. :)

Funny thing Margaret said about the deaf ears. When I'm reading, on the computer or watching a movie, my Mom always accuses me of ignoring her. I tell her that I'm just THAT into the book, my story or the movie.
One time, I was in my bedroom, reading a suspense novel, and never heard my husband come in the door, never heard him come into the bedroom. I screamed like I was being murdered. He thought it was funny...the jerk. lol

I used to take the bus to work and on more than one occasion, I missed my stop because I was so engrossed in the novel I was reading. I even got on the wrong bus once. I was reading at the bus stop and never quite closed my book when I got on. I was halfway to Timbuktu before I realized my mistake.

Many years ago, after an extremely stress filled day at work, I decided to listen to a soundtrack-just music. I put the headphones on, sat back in my huge ratan chair and began to relax to the flute and violins. Then the banging drums and screaching flute started. I nearly had a heart attack! I think after that I needed a tranquilizer.

Now, I mostly relax with my writing or reading a book...though I am very aware of my surroundings.

All my best,

Cathy said...

Hi Lorrie, Very nice article. I felt as if I was along with you on those journeys.

You're right, there's nothing like escape from real life. I do it constantly by reading and writing.

Your Gypsy Crystal is the perfect vehicle to whisk its readers into another world. I love it.

In fact, I think it's about time for me to read it again.

Congrats on a job well done.