Friday, November 30, 2012


Hi, Stan. I'm happy you are here today. You have quite a story to tell the readers.

For some reason, I want to start with your bio. That, to me, is very moving.

SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 grandchildren, and a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007). He served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Army National Guard in October 2004; he was mobilized for active duty for almost three years after his enlistment. He continues to serve in the Guard, where he holds the rank of staff sergeant. He is a published photographer and photojournalist, an aspiring painter, and is studying for a degree in anthropology—hopefully to someday work in underwater archaeology. He has wanted to be a writer since he was 15 years old; his first short story was published in 1992, after which it wasn’t until 2001 that he had another short story published. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories, and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, Ruthie’s Club, Lucrezia Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others. As of December 2011, he became the latest homeless Iraq war veteran in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I'm thinking readers may want to know if you are still a homeless vet. Perhaps you'll get to answer that in the comment section if a readers asks. But for now, tell us about some of your Christmas memories.

            Christmas is for kids. There’s no doubt about it. Of course, it’s nice for adults to have a good Christmas too, but still, Christmas is for kids.

            The only Christmas memory that remains with me from my childhood is of crawling around the Christmas tree on my hands and knees one year. I studied the brightly wrapped and ribboned packages, touched them, and even jiggled a few in an attempt to guess what might be in them. It was no use—I didn’t have x-ray eyes and the muted sounds from within didn’t offer useful clues. I finally reached the breaking point. In that moment of despair the proverbial light bulb went off above my head.

            During my travels around the tree the family cat often watched and sometimes joined me. I picked the startled cat up and tossed him onto the packages piled under the tree. Of course there was a loud paper-filled crash followed by frantic scrabbling. The cat disappeared into the hallway. BUT, there were rips in several of the packages. I cautiously lifted the tears and excitedly peeked inside. Of course, my grandparents came in and saw the torn packages.

            In answer to their stern, questioning looks, I pointed at the family cat peeking from the hallway and announced, “The cat did it.”

            A favorite memory of Christmas is the year when my wife and I had enough money to put on a good Christmas for our daughter and two sons. But most of all, I spent the better part of a month using papier mache, chicken wire, and plywood to construct a “bluff” separated from a “plateau” by a ravine. Using wood dowels of various sizes, I constructed a gatehouse and gate on the bluff, and a castle on the plateau. Okay, it looked more like a western fort—but my wife and I populated it with knights and demons. I also constructed a “race way” on another piece of plywood. The surprise of my oldest son at the sight of the castle, and the surprise of my youngest son—they were both under 10 years old—at the sight of the raceway can’t really be described. I think they were happier than when they received expensive store-bought toys. A couple of years ago my oldest son who is now in his 30s and a father, mentioned the castle. He told me that castle was still his favorite present.

            Only six years ago, I spent Christmas Eve in a tent with a plywood floor, and ate Christmas dinner in a brightly and garishly decorated messhall. I missed my kids and grandkids—but far better that I wore a uniform and was deployed to a war in an ancient land than my kids or grandkids. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were a little lonely, but the loneliness was offset by spending it with good friends, Soldiers I had served with for years, and was now deployed with. Telling jokes and laughing, and enjoying a good meal with one another, even though some of our comrades were escorting supply convoys in Iraq, did a lot to ease some of the loneliness.

 So this Christmas, remember that Christmas is for kids. Forget about getting the latest and greatest toy, or thinking that brightly wrapped quantity matters more than love and caring, or that you may have to punch out someone reaching for the latest gadget before you can; forget “midnight shopping rage,” “aisle rage,” and “holiday parking lot rage.” Play “Feliz Navidad” or “Deck the Halls” or “What Child Is This” or “The Little Drummer Boy” (the last two are my favorite songs), go for a walk with the ones you love, go to a Christmas service and sing your heart out. Look for something simple that will bring a smile to your child’s face. Those smiles are more important than all of the fancy gadgets in the world.

           MERRY CHRISTMAS! 
What a lovely post, Stan. Thank you for sharing it with us. Now, why don't you tell us  about the book you are promoting today.
Looks like you have quite a few talented authors in the Christmas Collectables. Would you care to explain more about it?

“Protolanguage, Cookie Dough, and Mistletoe.” Christmas Collectibles 2010 Anthology, Midnight Showcase Fiction (Melange Books), November 2010.
ISBN: 978-1-61235-095-0
BLURB: Christmas is a time of good cheer and gift giving. But sometimes the gift giving can be more important than anyone could imagine…
EXCERPT: The world was a stinging, churning cloud of smoke and dust. The air was so hot that it parched a throat already dry and sucked the moisture out of the exhausted body so that the skin resembled charred leather. Muffled popping sounds hurt already ringing ears and brought a reaction of crouching with hands clenching desperately at empty air. Blind skeletal hands thrust forward desperately as a way was sought out of the thick, scorching clouds.
            Screams echoed within the boiling clouds as the skeletal hands burst into bright, smoky flames…
* * * *
            Tommy Simpson shot upright from his bed, gasping wildly as his wide eyes swept the darkness of the bedroom. He ran a hand across his face and sat down on the edge of the bed with his painfully throbbing head lowered. A glance at the digital clock showed 12 – but was it midnight or noon?
            He stealthily opened the door and looked down the hallway; dim lights flickered in the living room. He wrinkled his nose and smelled coffee and cooking food, and heard the tinny music of “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” Over all hung the sweet, mysterious aroma of burning cedar wood.
            He ventured down the hallway and peeked into the kitchen.
            “Hey sleepy head,” a fleshy, full bodied woman with long black hair dressed in a thin t-shirt and jean shorts cheerfully greeted him. “It’s about time you got up. It’s noon!”
            “Aunt Jenny?” he whispered in surprise.
            “The one and only,” Jenny Danner, Ph.D., laughed. “Coffee? I assume that now that you’re a man you drink coffee?”
            “Uh, yeah,” he nodded as he rubbed his painful temples and ventured to the bar stools that lined the wood and granite island between the kitchen and dining room. “Coffee, beer, rum and coke, and rum and egg nog, too.”
            “Didn’t your mom tell you I was visiting?”
            “No. She’s kinda wrapped up in her boyfriend, Willy Deal the used car salesman.”
            “Well, I’m visiting for the holidays,” she said as she placed coffee, sugar, and Irish creamer before him. She held a dirty beer mug up. “Rum and egg nog last night?”
            “It’s the holidays,” he replied half-heartedly as he prepared his coffee…
Protolanguage, Cookie Dough, and Mistletoe
I'm intrigued., Stan. The book sounds like a wonderful collection of Christmas stories. Thank you so much for sharing with us today.

  How about leaving Stan a comment folks. We would both love to hear your thoughts.

Sorry readers, you have to scroll down into the orange below the post to find comments. It's a little hard to see, but it's there. - FIXED

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Welcome Larraine Wills

Welcome to my blog, Larraine. So nice to have you here today. I hope you're all relaxed and comfy after the holiday.

So, hmm, you say you love science fiction. Tell us about it.

Who loves science fiction? Me!

If you’re with me, are we foolish for even considering the possibilities put forth in science fiction? Even 20 years ago, the idea of a phone small enough to fit into your shirt pocket was science fiction. A computer in your phone that connected you to literally millions—through the air? Home computers you could hold in your lap, or even one hand, and you could talk to and see someone thousands of miles away in real time? So why not space ships and worm holes, and light sabers, and best of all, aliens? Do any of you know the cell phone was a direct result of the communicator used in Star Trek as well as other advances? Honest. I watched a documentary on how the series inspired inventions. Here’s another example:

            "When I designed the UI (user interface) for the Palm OS back in '93,

my first sketches were influenced by the UI of the Enterprise bridge

panels,'' said Rob Haitani, product design architect for Palm-One Inc.,

the Milpitas firm that makes the popular handheld personal computers.

 Rather than continue, here’s a site to explore on technology advances written about by non-scientists in the Star Trek series before they happened in one of the best know examples of Science Fiction.

 Centuries ago many of the things Galileo wrote and drew pictures of would have been called science fiction, had the term existed then.  Helicopers? Really? Look at all the things Jules Vern wrote about: trips to outer space before they even had planes or Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and his submarine.

To quote W. Clement Stone, Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve,” He was a businessman and author, not a scientist, but the same thing applies.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science,” and Science does not know its debt to imagination.”

What does a scientist like Albert Einstein think? The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.” Did Einstein read something, maybe Jules Vern, and then wonder? I have no idea, but such wondrous possibilities are out there, and I like wondering, imagining, and writing about it. When it comes right down to it, the story is the people (or aliens) and what they might be able to do. The science or science fiction, is the background, but it has to be believable. I won’t bore you with more Einstein theories. Think about what’s possible or plausible and how much the imagination of writers through the centuries has contributed to science by planting a seed of wonder. for more excerpts and info on all my books, fantasy, western and romance.


How about we tell the readers about your book? Wow! A Sci-fi romance. Intriguing.
What a great cover Larraine. I love it.
How about a blurb
From the atrocities of war a decision was made to save their race and their world. Protection of those of paramount value must be assured by any means. Ships orbiting their planet were built. Only when their planet would not support even war, the last and lowest, the military, were sent to the ships.
From the age of seven when his training began, Jaylon knew only military. Guard duty in the Paramount lounge should have been easy duty though he was warned by his peers to never trust the Paramounts, especially the woman. Many played a game, flirt with military, and report them for punishment for breaches of protocol. His secret assignment, discover the trickster and the method behind the self-moving, sometimes attacking objects.
From the first night, Tieanna caught his attention. She didn’t flirt. She tormented, using a formidable weapon, the truth. Hidden behind the lies, corruption, and betrayal of all but the chosen few, was the Paramounts’ fear, resurrection of the Bastards of Ran. Surely they and their powers were no more than legend. Who could believe in powers of the telepathic mind to healing with the touch of their hands? Jaylon did not. Still, if the belief of the Bastards, and their belief all were equal, revived then too would revolt and treason?
Wow, tempting blurb. Sounds exciting.  How about giving us a little more with an exerept? Love to read it. Don't tell anyone, but I love Sci-fi, too. Here's a space picture for you.
“Meeting closed, dismissed,” the governor said. He quickly amended the order when Jaylon was the first to turn to go. “You stay, trooper.”
Governor Edwrin loosened his collar as he leaned back in his chair. The man was not nearly as pompously formal in private. The change didn’t mean Jaylon cared for or trusted him more. Even informal, he was offensively condescending.
“At rest, trooper.” He waited while Jaylon spread his feet and clasped his hands behind his back. “I want to know what you’re seeing, in your words.”
“I don’t know what you mean…sir.”
“The people, damn it, what do you see in their faces?”
“Fear and curiosity primarily while it’s happening,” Jaylon answered truthfully. “A restlessness when it isn’t. Some of your people appear to have difficulty sleeping. There’s a lot of movement during the night, although much of it does not reach into the lounge, and they exhibit shortness with one another.”
“Go on,” he urged when Jaylon paused.
“I don’t see anything malicious in the incidents. Only two were directed at a specific person, without intent to injure.”
“Didn’t you say you saw fear in some of the faces?”
“From not knowing what’s doing it, not of injury, a condition which would disappear as soon as you release the information on how it’s being done,” he stated, baiting the man.
The governor’s eyes dropped. “Such a disclosure would alert the culprit to the fact we do know.”
Certain they didn’t, Jaylon baited further and said, “Surely knowing how gives you a clue as to who it is by the knowledge they’d need to accomplish it.”
“We have some of the most brilliant minds in the universe on this ship. I can name you ten who are as good in one field as they are in another.”
Jaylon could say the same for more than ten in the trooper’s section. He held the thought and asked, “Why is it being done?”
“Have you ever heard of the Air Dancers?”
One corner of Jaylon’s mouth lifted in reaction. “The Wane King was centuries ago and a fairy tale,” he commented dryly, holding back his opinion of a mythical race of people with the power of making things dance in the air with their thoughts.
“Horror story,” he corrected.
On the verge of saying if any of it was true, the horror was in what was done to those people, Jaylon wisely held his tongue yet again.
“They were the essence of evil,” the governor went on, “using charades and theatrics to control ignorant peasants. If they had not been destroyed, our world would have been far different than it is.”
As far as Jaylon was concerned not much could be worse. Their world didn’t exist anymore. What survivors there were lived on ships with a rigid caste system, the lower classes being controlled by the higher, with fear between castes and within castes, with little to see in the future. Even if they were going to another planet, as Tieann’s words implied, not orbiting their own war devastated one, he didn’t see the Wane King could have done any more damage.
“From the marker you left in the book, I could see you hadn’t gotten far enough to read of the atrocities those witches committed.”
The comment let Jaylon know what had happened to the book they’d never returned to him. He finished the second Tri Ed Tieann sent to him, the one he suspected the governor didn’t have knowledge of since it was delivered during one of the times the guard-eye was out. From it he knew more of the history of the Wane King followers. They had been accused of some atrocities, while the real horrors had been committed against them, not by them.
“Sacrifices and torture,” the governor went on.
The Wanes did not make or advocate sacrifices, human or animal, and the only torture had been done to them. Jaylon, however, did not argue the points made by the governor.
“When they attempted their revolution, any who opposed them were murdered by the thousands, men, women, and children.”
They were murdered by the thousands, again a correction Jaylon did not bother to make. He asked instead, “What do fables have to do with what happened in the lounge?”
“We believe an attempt to revive the Wane King cult is being made, using the sciences to produce false claims of supernatural powers.”
The corner of Jaylon’s mouth twitched again. They didn’t know how it was being done any more than they knew who.
“Greed, trooper, and a desire for power are behind this. We must stop it before whoever it is gets a foothold and more lives are lost because of an ancient religion based on fear and superstition.”
According to the legends he’d read, and heard all his life, it wasn’t a religion. In the simplest terms, it was a race. Though there were many who had adopted their philosophy, they had not possessed the special abilities legend attributed to the Wanes.
“We cannot have this spread to the lower classes; why you have been ordered not to discuss anything you see and why I confiscated the book Tri Ed Tieann so carelessly gave to you. Why she chose that particular volume for a trooper is beyond me. I can think of any number of subjects more appropriate.”
Jaylon didn’t ask appropriate in what way. He knew he wouldn’t like the answer. “She didn’t choose it,” he told him. “It happened to be the nearest to hand when the subject of a trade came up.” Not a lie, it was the top book when she insisted he take at least one of the two.
“Have you made any other trades?”
“No, sir,” he said, not a lie, either. The others had traded; he had not, and the second book had been a gift.
“Good. I believe it’s better if the classes do not inter-relate on any level. They are simply incapable of understanding one another. Any contact can only lead to problems such as occurred on your second night.”
While the problem had been occurring, Jaylon would have agreed without a second thought. He would have believed a Paramount could not have anything in common with anyone in the military, or any other lower class, or have any degree of regard for anyone they considered inferior. Since the assignment he saw things differently. Them, as individuals.
MuseItUp Publishing
I'm impressed, Larraine. Thanks so much for joining me today to tell the readers about your book. Leave a comment folks. Do you love Sci-fi as much as we do? And a romance? lol. I certainly do.


Saturday, November 24, 2012


Hello Lynn Crain. It's wonderful to have you do an interview for us and show us your books. Welcome to my blog. Make yourself at home.

How about we do a bit of an interview while you're here. I'll ask some questions. Ready? I know you want to  start by telling us what you are thankful for.



Hi Everyone!


Hope all of you in the US had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Living in Vienna, Austria, makes it hard to celebrate the holiday sometimes. Last year, we were lucky as we knew friends would be coming to celebrate with us. This year, before we even had a chance to decide what we were going to do, my husband discovered that he would be working. Kinda put a damper on things but we decided to celebrate the holiday with some of his collegues on Friday evening.


It gives me time to be thankful, even though I’m in a foreign country. I am thankful for my family and friends, who miss me as much as I miss them. I am thankful for all the readers who drop by to visit my various blogs. I am very thankful for other authors who are tolerant of my foibles as I try to be on time and get my stuff to them early. Alas, this time I did not...and I must apologize to Lorrie.

No problem, Lynn. Don't worry about it. I'm just glad you're here.


Thanks, Lorrie, for allowing me to participate in your blog. I really appreciate it. To show my appreciation, I am answering every question you gave me.


When did you start writing? I started writing at a very young age. When I was twelve, I loved to write poetry and sold one that same year.


What genres do you like to write in? What genres don’t I write in would be a better question. I love all genres. The only one I know I won’t write in is mystery. I could never keep all the red herrings straight. I write sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, historical, tame to sizzling, and I even have a horror romance going that’s more about the science than the horror. All have some kind of relationship in them, some are very romantic and some are not.


Is there something unique about you that you’d like to share with the readers? I can’t really think of anything unique. I call myself oddlynn because one of my critique partners years ago told me I wrote the ‘odd stuff’ and it kind of stuck. I have in almost everything. I also like words with x in them even if I have to make them up. LOL!


Who is your favorite character in your stories? I don’t really have a favorite...I love them all equally...but if I had to pick it would probably be Logan MacKenzie. Why? His a hot Scot, just like my husband. LOL!


What do you find is the most difficult part of the writing process? Staying focused. I get bored easily. It’s why I have so many projects, I hop from thing to thing.


Who gives you the best encouragement to keep writing? My husband. He knows it is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. When we decided to move here for economic reasons, one of his personal reasons was that it would give me more time to write.


Do you have a critique group or a special author circle? A critique group that I’ve been with for a really long time.


Do you have any pet peeves? Only with my children. LOL! I’ve given up on them with my husband. There were all men in our family and we had days where I could hardly get a word in edgewise. And they say women talk a lot!


Where is your dream place to live and why? After living in Europe, I’m not sure I have a dream place to live. I’d always wanted to be here and now I am, I seem to think about home a lot. I love the ocean, so maybe I’d try an island somewhere. Then again, I love Montana. I might go there when I get home.


What is your favorite holiday and why? I love the fall and winter. So, starting from Halloween and ending at Valentine’s Day just about covers it.


If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would purchase? Geez. That’s hard. I’m not sure I’d purchase anything as I think I’d pay off any bills I might have first. Once that was done, I would get me a bigger house with a pool, both here AND at home.


Who would you want stranded on a deserted island with you? My husband. He is my best friend and we’ve been together for a long time. And I’ve always told him if Hugh Jackman showed up, he might have to make himself scarce. LOL!
Nice, Lynn.  Here is Lynn's Bio for you new readers.


Lynn Crain has penned over 25 novels in  romance in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and contemporary romance, erotic to tame in nature. She always knew that writing was her calling even if it took years at other professions to prove it. She has belonged to EPIC and RWA for more years that she cares to think about. Currently, she lives in Europe while her husband of nearly 30 years pursues his dream of working internationally. Her state-side home is in Nevada where family and friends wait patiently for their return. You can find her hanging out at A Writer In Vienna Blog ( and various other places on the net (;; ). Still, the thing she loves most of all is hearing from her readers at


Check out Lynn’s latest work:


The Harvester

Her destiny lies in a distant galaxy when two Earth-bound Scots steal her heart...will love supersede the past she left behind?


Oasis in the Desert

Left in the desert to die, Mya must learn to believe in miracles so she can have a long, happy life with the man she loves.


A Lover for Rachel

Rachel Hamilton comes to Stonehenge to celebrate her birthday on Summer Solstice, only to find herself trapped beneath the massive rhyolite bluestones with sexy wizard, Dewin Kingston, who convinces her that she is the key to their escape.


They look like wonderful reads, Lynn. Thank you for sharing them with us.  Now, let's get comfy with a cup of tea and chat while your fans leave comments.                 
 And thank you so much for visiting my blog.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hello Heather Haven

Hello, Heather Haven. So nice to have you on my blog.

First, let's learn a bit about you. Let me ask you some questions.

When did you start writing?

I can’t really remember, but I do know that as a teenager, I was writing a column for the Miami Beach Sun, now defunct. For the record, I was born and raise in Florida. My first writing job wasn’t much of a creative outlet. It was more the comings and goings of people who lived in a large high rise, but for a seventeen-year old kid, it was terrific. And I got paid $25 a week! I did it for almost a year.


What genres do you like to write in?

Mysteries or suspense are my subjects of choice for novels. When you write, you’re in your head all the time. I want to have a good time in there. For my short stories, I write whatever strikes my fancy. And, seriously, that would be almost any genre.


             Is there something unique about you that you’d like to share with the readers?

I like to write about survivors and family connections. First, it isn’t so much what gets thrown at us in this life, but how we handle it. Then I tend to write about protagonists within families that share love, a positive attitude, respect, and humor, humor, humor. Humor will get you through anything. It doesn’t make the problems go away, but it sure makes them more bearable. I would also like to add that blood ties aren’t all that make up a family. We choose our family as we go through life. There’s that saying, ‘you can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends’. But you can and we do! We choose a spouse or life partner, we choose heart sisters and brothers. We have mentors who act like parents, people we learn from and look up to. All these people make up our family. What the saying should be is ‘You can choose your family; you just can’t choose the blood ties. They’re with us forever.’ Of course, some family members do unload one another, and I find it so sad. Family is about people who are supposed to love us, nurture us, protect us, and vise versa. It’s really sad when that doesn’t happen for whatever reason.


             Who is your favorite character in your stories? Why?

Don’t make me do that. I love them all, even the louses. I know them, feel for them; they live in my heart. But I must say, my two protagonists, Lee Alvarez from the Alvarez Family Mystery Series and ‘Percy’ Cole from the Persephone Cole Vintage Mystery Series are two women I admire, even though they are poles apart in many ways: location (California vs. New York), time frame (today vs. 1940) and station in life (Lee is a privileged Stanford graduate and Percy is a struggling street-smart gal). Both women live true to themselves, look out for the underdog, and are survivors. I adore them.


             What do you find is the most difficult part of the writing process?

Finding the time to write! Where does the day go? Between my home life (hubby, two indulged cats), promoting my books, teaching a class in beginning writing, I find I have less and less time to produce my work. I hate that.


             Who gives you the best encouragement to keep writing?

My husband, Norman, my family, and all my friends. It’s amazing how supportive people can be when you’re smart enough or lucky enough to surround yourself by the right people.


            Do you have a critique group or a special author circle?

Yes, yes, yes. I couldn’t survive without my writing groups, writing friends, and special writing buddy, Baird Nuckolls. She and I meet and write together, at least once a week. It’s a very special time. I encourage everyone to find and share a form of osmosis with writers you can trust, who value the work, your contributions to the craft, and help you find your muse.


    Do you have any pet peeves?

Mostly I have pets with the occasional peevish side. Take Ellie, my black cat. She applied for a job as a witch’s assistant this Halloween. I tried to help her with the reply to the want ad, but she insisted on fifty bucks an hour for sitting on a silk pillow and looking intent. She felt her eight-hour day should consist of two thirty-minute breaks, with one two-and a half hour lunch. This would be for a minimum of six days. Amazingly, she didn’t get the job! I think what did her in was the mandatory hourly snack. Anyway, Ellie is still pouting. To pacify her, I gave her an increase in her allowance and have stopped rationing little porkpie’s treats. There’s a pet peeve for you.


    Where is your dream place to live and why?

Waikiki, Hawaii. If you’ve been there, you know why. Any place that has the scent of flowers in the air is my kinda place.


           What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas. Not sure why. Guess I believe in peace for mankind.


    If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would purchase?

A lung for a friend of mine who has Lupus and needs a transplant. Bet you didn’t expect that sort of reply from me, but if I had a million bucks, that’s what I’d do.


    Who would you want stranded on a deserted island with you?

Believe it or not, my husband. Norman is my best friend, as well as my soul mate. I wouldn’t mind having some sun block, either. I tend to burn. Norman feels some air-conditioning and tequila, would be in order, too.


    Tell us something about yourself that we don’t know.

I have absolutely no idea. I put everything out there. How about this: I am the daughter of a couple that met during the heyday of Ringling Brothers Circus. My mother started out as a First of May (chorus girl) and rose to become a specialty act. My father was an elephant trainer. They met, married, and had me. I have recently written a mystery noir, which should come out within the next few months, using all the tales and stories Mom told me of her daily circus life as a backdrop for my murderous book. It took me six-years, on and off, to get it done.

Wow, talk about interesting, I bet they told you many stories. Ahem, let's get on with the introducing of your great book.


Tell us a bit about it. The title is as intriguing as the cover.
Lee Alvarez’ ex-husband, Nick -- a man she divorced with joy in her heart and a gun in her hand – sprints back in her life only to disappear again. She’d love to leave it at that, but could he be responsible for the recent death of her cousin, who keeled over at the finish line of a half-marathon in front of hundreds of spectators? As PI for the family run business, Discretionary Inquiries, Lee follows the clues to Vegas, where she joins forces with Shoshone PI, Flint Tall Trees. Together they uncover a multi-million dollar betting syndicate, a tacky lounge lizard act, and a list of past but very dead runners, plus future ones to off. At the top of the ‘future’ list is the love of her life, Gurn Hanson. Hoping to force the culprits out in the open, Gurn and Lee’s brother, Richard, vow to run San Francisco’s famous Palace to Palace footrace in only a few days. Can Lee keep the two men she loves from hitting the finish line as dead as her cousin? With more at stake than she ever dreamed possible, Lee is in a battle against time to stop the Alvarez Family’s 12K race with death.

This third offering of the Alvarez Family Murder Mystery Series is a finalist for the EPIC Best eBook Mystery 2013. Published by MuseItUp.
Buy page for Death Runs in the Family:
Heather's blog at:
Again, wow! Looks like a lot of action in your book. Right up my alley.

That's me, Lorrie, running to my E-reader to purchase a copy. Follow me folks.

Leave a comment for Heather. She  and I would like to hear from you.

Thanks again, Heather, for being my guest today. It's been fun.





Saturday, November 17, 2012


 I remember, as a child, playing in a sandbox with toy cars and trucks. Building ramps of piled sand for car crashes. I remember dressing my dolls in the utmost fashion and having long conversations with my other dolls about shopping, and having parties to invite noted celebrities. And, most of all, I remember my uncle Tommy who would sit with all the neighborhood children on our porch at night and tell us spooky stories that sent chills up our spines.

I guess I never really grew up. I’m still playing in an imaginary sandbox causing car crashes and with dolls mixing it up with handsome celebrities. I still love spooky stories. But, now I write all of them from my mental sandbox.

Speaking for myself, as an author, I love to create worlds where spine-chilling creatures roam in the present or far future. I love to create characters in everyday life that have thrilling adventures, ordinary people facing extraordinary events. They then become heroes, lovers, or villains. What a fun playground to write in.

And, I must admit, as most readers, I love escapism. I love walking in my character’s shoes as he/she struggles with life threatening moments, a good old fashioned brawl, or a lover’s spat.

Paranormal is a big trend in novels, TV and movies. Imagine meeting a vampire on a dark street. Is he a good vampire or bad? Imagine having a conversation with a newly deceased’s spirit to grant their last request. Would you like to have a dashing, new-age Indian Shaman channel your uncle’s spirit?

Yes, my imaginary sandbox has no bounds. I am not tied to the ordinary laws of our world. I can make my own world.

In “Gypsy Blood,” I have done just that. I took some gypsy mysticism and lore, stirred in a full cup of paranormal and added a dash of sexy romance.

I guarantee you thrills, chills, and a fast moving adventure. Come and meet Rita, my homicide detective who uses her mystical amulet from her Roma heritage to aid her career. Meet Matt who has followed a serial killer from New Orleans to Rita’s city. Read and let the chills begin.

*     *     *



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 read my published works page for more of my stories.



Lorrie Unites-Struiff is a native of West Mifflin, twenty minutes from downtown, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She writes short stories and novellas in different genres that have appeared in various publications, anthologies and E-readers. 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.