When I Have a Whole Pie by Romance Author Lorrie Unites-Struiff

When I Have a Whole Pie

I have visited and read so many blogs lately, my head is spinning.

Authors write about the importance of book covers, promoting their novels, the nuts and bolts of the writing process, etc. Any writer could make a long a list of all the blog info and book promotions bombarding the net. This is all free information.

I have read sites advertising to help authors advertise for a small or large fee—depending on what package an author wants to purchase. Other sites that will—for a fee– make author’s bookmarks, business cards, etc.

There are sites advertising to make beautiful covers and trailers for books, or to help you self-publish your work, even to help improve your manuscript—for a fee.

Well, of course no one wants to work for no monetary gain, I understand and agree with business ventures. But the competition for an author’s meager royalties is fierce and honestly, quite scary—to me.

With the warnings of so many scams on the net, how can you tell which ones are legitimate?

Let’s face it; the net has taken over the world. And I feel that everyone wants a piece of my tart. I’d say pie, but my earnings so far don’t warrant pie-size. Perhaps when I get a few more novels out there, I’ll proudly say pie.

So what do I do?

Well, I’m still going for the freebies with author blogs, like today with Susan who has been kind and generous enough to offer me a guest spot. I’m still a little fish swimming in an ocean of new releases.

But let me share what I have learned as a newbie for you other newbies out in the great big webworld.

Some say to “network” although I’m not quite sure of the meaning of that word. I have it in my head that it means go to conferences, talk to well-known writers and editors, and learn about the business end of publishing. I have done that and yes, I’ve learned a lot, but much is still gobbly-gook to me. And the publishing world is going through the biggest upheaval of all time right now.

My advice is to make author friends. I have met many, some you “click” with immediately, some you don’t. But, I find all of the authors to be very helpful in guiding me on the right path. They have trod the same path I am now walking.

I’m proud to say that I have made some very dear author friends who have given me some solid advice. I’ve made friends that I will walk, in turn, many miles for. All of these advertisements that I have read, I can ask, “Do you know of anyone that has tried this outfit, and are they legit? How did it work out for that author? Or for you?”

I trust them, and trust is built through sincere friendships. Friendships are built by helping each other when called upon, or just to chat in general about the novels and the business of getting your name out there.

So, when I have a whole pie, guess who I will be asking about the pay-for-help and purchasing promotional material sites?

Now, let me offer you a peek at 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.

Excerpt and part of the first page.

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?

For more info, and to read the fab reviews about Gypsy Crystal, please visit my website at


Gypsy Crystal is available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.


–Lorrie Unites-Struiff

About Susan Hanniford Crowley

Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Author
This entry was posted in Lorrie Unites-Struiff, paranormal romance, romance, Romance suspense, Writer's Life, Writing Topics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to When I Have a Whole Pie by Romance Author Lorrie Unites-Struiff

  1. Hello Susan, thank you so much for having me as a guest today. I have met so many wonderful, helpful authors, and I hope all the newbies out there do the same as I suggested when they need advice or have a question.

  2. cmkempe says:

    Lorrie — great advice! You’re so right about making author friends; that is the essence of networking, especially for a lot of women authors, who find it easier to push someone else rather than themselves. I see a lot of writers who seem to spend all their time promoting rather than writing (or chasing down pirates, another time suck). The more stories you have out there, the easier it is to fan them out in front of people and let them choose what they like.

  3. Cate Masters says:

    Hey Lorrie, you’re so right about not knowing what works and what doesn’t. Like you, I wish I could figure it all out! But also like you, I agree that making lasting connections with other authors is invaluable, whether on a personal or professional level.
    I always love the excerpts and background info on Gypsy Crystal. Your extensive research is evident without overwhelming your readers. Kudos on that, it’s the mark of a great writer. Wishing you many many sales, my friend.

  4. Marva says:

    Thank you! The warnings against the scamsters should be repeated hourly. After all the time I’ve spent in this ‘biz’ I’ve seen just about all and, almost, got caught with one or two.

    I’m very glad you took your guest spot here to help newer authors learn caution.

  5. I agree, Lorrie. The friendships you make along the way are priceless!

  6. Darla Boyle says:

    Hi Lorrie,

    I’m still working on my first novel so I’m not even a fish in that ocean of new releases. Yet. LOL
    A friend is currently on a blog tour and her time is eaten up by a lot of promoting that she either doesn’t have time to write or is burning out.
    (I read on one of the blogs where someone said something like…”Writing is the easy part, the hard work comes after.”)
    When I think about getting published, I get excited but I find myself dreading all the time it takes to put into self-promoting.
    Do I take a break from writing to promote? If so, how much time? (I’d do both but my brain doesn’t work that way.)

  7. Maggie Dove says:

    Hi Lorrie,

    Loved the excerpt and the advice. That pie seems awfully delicious!!!! I’m sure it is in the oven and will be in reach sooner than later.


  8. Great post, Lorrie! I agree with you about making author friends. They are so helpful and supportive in numerous situations.

    My success is still a tart as well, but I enjoy every lick of it. Oops, can you tell I write erotica. Lol.

    Best of luck with Gypsy Crystal! It’s an awesome story.

  9. I’ve made so many author friends and like lorrie says, they help me immensly and I hope I give back to them. I believe that working is about helping each other as well as casting your rod into the deep. When my big ‘pie’ comes along, I’ll be sure to share it with all those who have helped me and those I meet on the way.

  10. So many great ideas in this post and in the replies. I agree with Lorrie that author friendships are invaluable. Now only do they help you with the nuts and bolts but they provide a sounding board for the inevitable author woes.

    Marva is spot on with having to be ever vigilant about the scams on the net. I always figure that if they sound too good to be true, then they’re not.

    And the ones that cost a lot and might even work? Well, either I don’t have the money or would rather spend it on taking a trip.

    But, man, do they ever sound good. The scam artists promising success in publishing, promotion, editing, marketing, whatever are probably raking in the dough—after all, that’s why they’re in the business. That leaves the rest of us to tough it out in the trenches.

    So it’s writer beware.

    And thank you, Margaret, for mentioning the idea of sharing that pie with those who have helped along the way as well as others met during the journey.

    We are, after all, a community and that might be one of the best ways to insure the continued success of books.

    Saludos from Mexico.

  11. Thanks for dropping by. I hope I get a few more responses.

    See Newbies, these gals know what they are talking about.

    Support each other, make wonderful friends who lead you down the right path.

    Don’t get caught in scams.

  12. Cathy Carlson says:

    Lorrie, I liked your article. It’s very informative and shows another part of publishing that I didn’t know about.

    I agree with your advice and wish you well in all your writing.

    Take Care

  13. Marcy says:

    Great post, Lorrie. I just had another writer friend who joined a group of new authors to promote their books together. You have given great advice to your readers. If we stick together, we’ll be successful in the end. Thanks for your words of wisdom.

  14. Dave Cushing says:

    Great post, Lorrie. I am one of the lucky ones that works in technology and have been using the ‘net for many years. That still doesn’t help me with getting things published 🙂 Your advice rings so true, especially since many take what they read/see on the ‘net at face value.
    I am glad that I have author friends (like you) that are willing to point me in the right direction from their experience. Thanks Lorrie!

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