Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Guest Author: Lorrie Struiff

Welcome readers and authors,
I first want to thank my host for having me here today.
Let me tell you how I got the inspiration for Gypsy Crystal.

Once upon a time, a good friend, an author in her own right, insisted she treat me for my birthday.
I won’t tell you which birthday, so don’t ask.
My friend took me to a quaint little restaurant where the food was scrumptious. Lo and behold, they had a gypsy fortuneteller seated at a table in the corner. Of course we indulged in both the food and having our fortunes told. The gypsy fascinated me and a few of her predictions have come true. She nailed my lifestyle and my hopes. Needless to say, it was an interesting and fun birthday celebration.

When I returned home, my thoughts stayed with the gypsy. Being an author, I love to take interesting characters, mix in a few troublemakers, and plot storylines for them. This gypsy impressed me with her intelligence and her thoughtful chosen words, so I researched the gypsies of yore and found some very interesting reading. Their mysticism and beliefs held me captive. I admit I am often carried away with research. Isn’t every writer?  Hence, Rita Muldova came to life, a homicide detective of Roma blood, her mother the gypsy seer and her uncle, a great baker.
Following today’s popular trends of many readers, I decided to use, and yes, add a little… well…okay, a lot of mysticism of my own. Ahem, literary license we call it. What is a story without a love interest? I gave her a handsome hunk from Voodoo City. My kind of guy. Yum. Throw in a serial killer, a good friend, and we have a wild ride of a story.
I hope you enjoy the ride.

Gypsy Crystal by Lorrie Struiff.

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?

Thank you Lorrie for joining us here today at From the Shadows and sharing with us rare insight into the creation of Gypsy Crystal!  For more information about today's guest author, visit Lorrie at her website.

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.


  1. I think you're a lot like me, Lorrie. People inspire me to write too. Great blog

  2. Great post Lorrie! Sometimes I think the universe conspires to throw clues at us, and we have to be savvy enough to pick up on them. It may have been fate the gypsy was in the restaurant that day. Love the excerpt! Best of luck with Gypsy Crystal.

  3. Loved the Guest post and your book looks great! It's added to my TBR pile!

  4. Loved your birthday story and how the Gypsy fortune teller inspired you. Amazing sometimes the things that gives us ideas for a story. Best of luck with your new release...Tabs

  5. Thanks for stopping by, ladies. So glad to see you here. Yes, fate sure has a way of stirring the imagination.

  6. Hi Lorrie-
    What a fun and interesting story! Glad to hear that life itself can inspire such an interesting book. Loved the blurb and can't wait to read the book. thanks for the cool story.
    Great Read!
    L.J. Sayers

  7. I did enjoy the ride very much! But now I want some of Uncle Dragus's brownies! Num!

    Maybe you should include "The Best Recipes of Uncle Dragus" in the back of the book.

  8. Excellent post, Lorrie. Gypsy Crystal is one of those books you just can't put down until the very end. :)

  9. Thanks gals.
    Other than the brownies, maybe we should include uncle's recipe for goulash, too. Yum.




  11. Great excerpt, and nice story of an "ah-ha" moment. Love to hear what inspires other authors! Best of luck with Gypsy Crystal!

  12. Maybe the Gypsy fortune-teller woke up the morning of your birthday, Lorrie, and did a tarot reading for herself. That's when she learned how later in the day, she'd tell the fortune of a woman who was destined to write a really cool mystery about the Roma.

    That would have been you. She just gave you the extra nudge.

    Well, it could happen. Fun post and Gypsy is a great read. People can be entertained and learn about a different culture at the same time. Nice mix.

    Maria Altobelli

  13. Brownies and Goulash? You're making me hungry! :)
    Dragus for me is what I'd call a scene stealer. Don't get me wrong, you did a fabulous job with all your characters but Dragus just made me smile.

    So which birthday was this? I know, you're virtually smacking me upside the head right now. :)

    Curious as to which fortunes came true.
    Great story. I love to hear what inspires other writers...it inspires me.