Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Read an Ebook Week is here!

Hello Everyone!

Just a short post to let you know that March 1-7 is Read an eBook Week. My publisher, Twilight Times Books, celebrates Read an eBook Week by making several titles available as FREE downloads from their critically acclaimed catalog. You will find fantasy, mystery, science fiction, historical and a lot more at http://twilighttimesbooks.com/freebies.html.

Among the selections will be An Elfy on the Loose by Barb Caffrey, Behold the Eyes of Light by Geoff Geauterre, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden, Death on Delivery by Anne K. Edwards, Don't Let the Wind Catch You by Aaron Paul Lazar, Jerome and the Seraph by Robina Williams, Monkey Trap, by Lee Denning, No Place for Gods by Gerry Mills, Rue the Day by Ralph Freedman, Schooled in Magic by Christopher Nuttall, The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival by Stephanie Osborn, The Storks of La Caridad by Florence Byham Weinberg, Touch of Fate by Christine Amsden and Who is Margaret? by Celia A. Leaman.

So get over to http://twilighttimesbooks.com/freebies.html and add some new stories to your e-reader.



Monday, March 2, 2015

Excerpt from RISE TO POWER, by Uvi Poznansky - from the new book set AT ODDS WITH DESTINY

Good morning, all. Tomorrow there is a book collection being released which sets a new level for all omnibuses. This one offers ten critically acclaimed, best selling authors all in one place - and each book is only NINE CENTS. It's crazy, and it's a super deal. The really cool part of this is that in AT ODDS WITH DESTINY, each full length novel is BOOK ONE in a series. So if you fall in love with an author and his characters, there are many more to turn to in their stable of works!

Here's the link for tomorrow's release. You can also pre-order today, if you wish. I'll be featuring some excerpts for these amazing books here and on my personal blog, www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com in the next few weeks. So stay tuned!

This book excerpt is from Uvi Poznanski's RISE TO POWER. I believe her writing is quite lyrical and poetic, and it really inspires me. See what you think, and if you want to read more, here's the link to the new book set:
Rise to Power
I hear the jingle of keys. To my ears, it is such a lovely sound...
“Come,” I cry out, “crack it, crack open the door! Step into my chamber... If my memory isn’t playing its tricks on me, you must be the first to visit me here for quite a long while…”
No one answers.
“Come in,” I plead, hoping that no one could catch the shaky tone of my voice.
My fever is gone. In its place, now come severe bouts of shivering. I try, as best I can, to control myself. I slow down the chattering of my teeth as I call out, “Of one thing I’m sure: Reading what I’ve been working on—which, for lack of a better term I would call a memoir—you would think me a madman.”
Suddenly I suspect there is more than one of them out there. Putting my ear to the iron door I hear them shuffling their feet on the other side, without uttering a single word. To make them speak to me I let myself admit, out loud, “You’re right. Perhaps I am.”
There, through the keyhole—I can somehow sense it—an eye is observing me.
There are limits to power. When afflicted by an unexplained illness, even a king can be placed in quarantine. The words freeze on my lips, Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony… My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?
I am tempted to kick the door, to startle them—but the isolation in this place is such that it forces me to talk, because I need to hear a human voice, and I need someone to listen.
So I call out, “Perhaps it’s me who’s confused,” but I refuse to believe it.
The door creeks on its hinges, only to reveal two shadows stirring out there, one blurring the other. They let silence reign over me, so in spite of myself I start wringing one hand with the other.
I hang my head over these knuckles, over these pale, veined wrists which I hardly recognize as mine, finding myself overcome by a new enemy, one I never expected: the chill of old age.
In my youth I became famous for being a fine, eloquent speaker, with a particular talent for eulogies—but now it seems that my listeners have left me. Why write another psalm? Who would read it? Who would take it to heart?
Being abandoned is not something I take lightly. I want to tell the crowds to come back to me, and not only to take a listen—but to adore me, too!
Glancing at the shadows, “Come in,” I beseech. “Let me see, let me touch you. Talk to me… And let me tell you my story.”
Where will I start it? From my childhood, from the first time I came to the court. The moments of my life are vivid in my mind, too vivid to be dismissed as merely the wishful thinking of a locked up old man. My fingers still carry the sense, the cold touch of Saul’s crown, when at last I laid my hands on it. And I know, in a way that no one else can begin to imagine, how heavy it is.
This was the thing—or so I thought, back then—the very thing that would make me what I wanted: larger than life.
Larger than life? I start laughing, at myself most of all, only to be startled by echoes. I listen in alarm to the way they peel, pealing away from the walls.
“Listen,” I say, “whoever you are: I am a poet, a bard. For me, reality is a hard thing to grasp, at least your kind of reality: one that’s confined, as if by a straightjacket, to the task at hand. Trapped in such a life I would feel... Oh, what’s the right word? Condemned.”
Somehow I catch them, out there, holding their breath. They must be astonished by my unstoppable chatter, and by the unstoppable echoes of my chatter.
“Yes,” I stress. “Being a Philistine, you may think that such a reality sets you at ease, that it removes any doubt in your head as to your purpose here.”
One shadow separates from the blackness behind it, and all of a sudden he cannot help himself, and his voice bursts out, “Don’t call me a Philistine!”
I say, “A bit touchy, aren’t you!”
And he says, “I’ve killed my share of those bastards, out on the battlefield. Everyone knows I’ve earned my medals, being in your service for so many years. I’ve bloodied my hands for you! So now, listen to me: you owe me.”
I am in no mood to offer an apology. Instead I tell him, “You bloodied your hands for your own sake, for the thrill of the kill.”
He says nothing. Over his silence I say, “Now then, consider this: even as you’re trapped here, in this reality, your mind—just like mine—would misbehave. It would fly, swinging wildly to and fro, far away from this place. But enough about you. It’s me we are talking about.”
I can hear him taking a step back. In a minute he will slam the door shut.
To hold his attention, “True,” I grant him. “My grasp on life is somewhat looser than yours. For an isolated man it may be a strange thing to say—but trust me: it sets me free.”
“Ha!” he sniggers.
“Oh, stop it!” I wail. “What, you think I’m deaf? Don’t you laugh at me. It makes me doubt myself, question my own sanity.”
Then I bang, bang, bang the wall. I close my eyes. Here I am, a child again... And at once my ear catches a thud. Then come the echoes, shrill echoes singing all around the royal court, as the spear has hit the wall, missing me by a hair.
“Wake up,” says his voice, a bit softer now.
In a flash the wick of a candle is lit. It flares up and then, in an instant, darkness curls away into the far recesses of this space. The flame seems to lick the gilded decorations of the door as it swings open. Having stepped in, a man leads a figure clad in a dark coat into my presence.
He lays a hand on my shoulder, trying to steady me. Then he whispers, “You must be dreaming again.”
“No!” I shake my head. “No, no, no! If this were a dream, I would have forgotten it, the way most of us do come morning, which lets us focus on the task at hand. But what if your task—now that all is lost—is to remember? Reflect on it. Think of the ways the mind works, yours and mine. Perhaps we’re more alike than you wish to admit.”
“I’m nothing like you,” he insists.
It is then that I come to my senses, and by the scars on his hand I know who he is. Joav is my blood, my family, one of the three sons of my older sister, Zeruriah. He is the man I have trusted to become my first in command. But these days, he is a stranger to me. Everyone is.
“I thought you admired me,” I say.
“I did,” says he. “But this I know: it’s a risky place to be, stuck in your shoes.”
“And I thought that risk excites you.”
“No, not anymore. Risk is for the young.”
Thrashing around, I start kicking at this thing and the other. “I’m far from being stuck,” I shout at him over the metallic din. “And there go my shoes! Here, see? I’m barefoot!”
Over my words, Joav raises his voice. “Stop that,” he cries, which in any other royal household would be an unheard of thing to do in the presence of a monarch. He points the candle at the thing I have made fly, with such clink and clank, across the chamber.
Now I catch its glitter, flashing out from the shadow down there, in the corner, reflecting the dance of the flame.
“Why d’you kick the crown?” he grumbles. “D’you even know who you are? Do you? Then, tell me: what’s your name?”
“Guess it, will you?” I narrow my eyes with suspicion, refusing to confide even in him. “Can’t you see? I’m a boy, reaching for the crown.”
Joav bites his lips. Perhaps, like me, he is tired of this game. I know what he wants: recognition, which I am too stubborn to give. “No, David. You’re not a boy anymore.” He dares to contradict me. “And the crown is yours. I mean, it’s yours to lose.”
“Don’t I know it,” I sigh, gathering the thing to my chest.
Joav smiles at how hard I clutch it.
“At this point,” he chuckles, “the only power you still have is the power to give it away.”
“What? Give it away? I’ll do no such thing.”
“You’re going to depend on your successor,” he says, and there is a tone of warning in his voice. “Choose well, your majesty. If you do, perhaps he’ll let your legacy live on.”
With that, Joav turns around to face the figure standing there, so quietly, behind him. She is holding a pile of silk sheets and wool blankets. With a firm hand he pushes her forward, in my direction.
“Don’t be angry with me,” he says, removing the dark coat from her shoulders and flinging it aside. “I’m just following orders, and so does this girl. She’s yours to keep.”
“I have no use for a girl. What I need is a woman.”
“Bathsheba is asleep.”
“I see.”
“Really, she is.”
“She is? Is she, really? I haven’t forgotten how hard you fought for me. What have you become, Joav? A has-been war hero?”
He peers into my eyes, surprised to realize that I recognize him.
“In my name,” I press on, “you used to lead our nation into great wars, and now, look! Look at you, doing the bidding of a woman! I suppose my dear wife told you what to tell me. And she instructed you to cover me with blankets, and most of all, to keep me still.”
He gives no answer, other than hanging his head in shame before me.
“The Queen knows me all too well,” I growl. “It’s her I need.”
He holds himself back from repeating, Bathsheba is asleep. And I go on to groan, “She knows she should be here.”
“In her place, here’s the girl. Your wife told me to bring her.”
“I’m too cold for that—”
“The girl knows it,” says he, “and she knows her duty. I made sure of it.”
“What’s her name?”
“Abishag. She’s sure to keep you warm.”
With that he sets the candle down on the bedside table, and gives me a sly look under those hairy eyebrows of his, which seem to have thickened even more with age. Then he leaves the chamber, not before breathing in my ear in his coarse, scratchy voice, “Listen, why are you being so difficult?”
“Me? Difficult?”
“I went to plenty of trouble to find this one. Virgins aren’t easy to come by anymore.”
I am just about to say, They never were—but Joav has already disappeared. So there I am, left standing opposite the girl, and finding myself drawn towards her, perhaps because of the fresh fragrance of soil and fruit emanating from her skin. For the first time I take a close look at her.
This is awkward. I take a step towards her, and can almost guess her thoughts. These words may be on her mind, “Don’t stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun… My mother’s sons were angry with me, and made me take care of the vineyards… My own vineyard I had to neglect.”
She turns her head, and her long, dark lashes flutter nervously over the cheekbone. By the flicker of the flame I can tell that they are unpainted, and so are her lips. She must have been brought directly here, to my chamber, with no proper preparations at the women’s quarters, let alone a dab of perfume.
Thank God for that! I hate proper preparations, and I cannot stand that nauseating mixture of fixatives and solvents they call perfume.
Her face and bare, slender shoulders have been bronzed by the sun. I notice that her feet are large, just like mine, and her toes are still soiled from the long journey, like some farm girls I used to know.
The girl is a long way from home. I know it, because so am I.
Later that night, when the girl has fallen asleep, I slip out of bed. The blanket keeps her warm, which you can tell by her moist, rosy cheeks—but it is of no help to me. Her pupils move under the eyelids, as she dreams of being somewhere else. She utters a cry in her sleep, and turns away from me. I take a step back. Then I start pacing back and forth across the chamber.
This palace is richly decorated, because such was my ambition in recent years: to show the world the finest of marvels in a new city, which is mine: the city of David.
Here, I thought, is a new center of power, commanding a view of our twelve tribes, yet set upon newly conquered territory, one that does not belong to any of them. With the divisions that afflict us, Jerusalem is yet to become a symbol of our nation, our unity.
At this point, the city has no history yet. Erected log by log, with cedar trees imported from Lebanon, and slab by slab, cut out of the hardest rocks in the Judea mountain range, this city will become my mark, my political statement. It will stand for hope.
Alas, it is so far from where I grew up. Bethlehem seems like a place lost in fog. I have lived in Jerusalem for decades. Still, it does not feel like home.
Without even knowing it, the girl has reminded me how I ache to see the soaring mountains, the rolling fields around the place where I was born. Even the trees smell different, back there. I long to go back. One thing is clear to me: this is not the first time in my life to be locked up—but perhaps it is the last.
I unfurl a papyrus roll, and start scratching minute Aramaic letters in it. The flame has died out some time ago, and already the tip of the wick has lost its glow. I stand up, stare around me, and in my confusion I think, What is this? Where am I?
I am an old man, it is late at night, and I am gathering my thoughts, somehow...
In exhaustion I curl on the floor, and peer at the darkness, at the way it tumbles over the ceiling, over the stone walls, painting everything gray.
It is an uncertain color, which reminds me of certain places in the Paran wasteland, the caves in which I used to hide back then, when I was a fugitive.
I remember: I could spot the fingerprints of other fugitives before me, mark upon mark, one blood smear over another fading into the decayed matter, trying to record a forgotten history, the history of those who had been conquered. I used to wonder who they were, and asked myself if I, too, am destined for oblivion…
At other times, these walls remind me of the interiors of burial places in depths of the pyramids. Great artists were summoned there to paint invented scenes, scenes from the lives of entombed monarchs. I tell myself, such is the way to ensure your legacy!
What is at stake here is the virtue of the office, the sanctity of the crown, which I tried to preserve most of the time—but certainly not always… My appetite for sin would get out of control, and threaten to undermine my best efforts to establish myself, establish my glory for all to cherish. Even so, future generations must revere my name.
I made sure of that.
At the time I gave orders to imprison quite a few of my court historians, for no better reason than a misspelling, or a chance error in judgement, for which they tried to apologize profusely. Of course, to no avail. They never saw the light of day again. I knew I was right, because who are they to strive for something as misleading as reporting the bare facts?
Both Saul and I were anointed to rule the nation, which without fail caused a civil war. We fought over something larger than the crown. Ours was a battle between two contending versions of history. The outcome would decide who would be called a hero and who—a villain.
And having won that struggle, I was not about to allow the scribes in my court to report any faults in me, any wrongdoings. My record would be clean. There was, I decided, no truth other than mine.
But now, quite strangely, I find myself in need of telling my story, of reporting it just the way they tried to do, those damn fools: with no spins. Faithfully. Perhaps it serves me right for throwing them in jail.
The tip of my pen is dull, and the ink has dried—but that cannot stop me from writing. Nothing will. I am grasping for power once again, but in a different way than I did back then. This time I can see, with great clarity, that power does not come from the crown. At long last I have no urge anymore to keep my grasp on it.
Now I know, power comes from within, from something else entirely: my skill with words. I wish I would have recognized it a long time ago, on my first visit to the royal court. Perhaps then I would have become a poet. Not a king.
It is still a long time from daybreak, and the girl’s breast heaves as she mumbles something, some unclear word. She is so close at hand and yet, so far out of my reach.
When I was first crowned king over my own tribe, I was such a vigorous young man that no illness could keep me away from my dear wives and concubines. If I would catch a cold, all of them would be sneezing. Not so this girl. Unlike all the women I have had since then, she is immune to my weaknesses. She is the one I will never know.
I am here with her, yet this chill is meant for me alone.
I hold my breath until she lulls herself back to sleep. Faint shadows start dancing on the wall. I read the shapes, trying to invent someone, a listener.
I whisper, Come in... Call me insane, who cares? Who really cares if you refuse to trust me, if you insist on clinging to your kind of reality, which is as dull as it is solid... Mine, I insist, is not a dream.
But even if it is... Even so, it is true! How can you deny it? Here is my story. I am opening it up to you.
I can see why at first glance what you see here—these letters which I jotted here, on these papyrus rolls—may seem scattered, even scary. I understand why you step back from my door, why you look over your shoulder to find the guard...
Come in! Will you? Will you read these scribblings? Can you see my sword, which I have drawn here, look! Can you see it the way I do, lifting out of the ink and into the air, turning magically over, around and around, right here in the center of the space?
If you can, then—by the flash of it—I shall take you along, to leap with me into the surface of the steely thing. Down into its depths. Into my reflection.
★ Kindle  Nook ★ Apple 
★ Kobo ★ Smashwords ★ 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Read an eBook Week - check out the free eBooks this week at Twilight Times Books!

Hello, folks.

Once a year, Twilight Times Books offers a lovely selection of their titles for free. And it all starts today! From March 1-7th you can get the following titles for free. 

Twilight Times Books FREE OFFERINGS

Two of my books are offered here - both favorites of mine since they are set in the sixties and are told from my protagonist's eleven-year-old mind.

Tremolo: cry of the loon  (free all week, click above link)

When eleven-year-old Gus LeGarde sees a girl fleeing an attacker in the dark Maine woods, he and his friends spend the rest of the summer hunting for her on horseback and in their rowboat, only to face the wrath of the nastiest villain ever to haunt the Belgrade Lakes.

  • 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Grand Prize Short List
  • 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Honorable Mention, Eric Hoffer Legacy Fiction
  • 2011 Global eBook Award Finalist in Historical Fiction Contemporary
  • 2011 Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award – 2nd place Mystery
  • 2008 Yolanda Renée's Top Ten Books
  • 2008 MYSHELF Top Ten Reads

Don't Let the Wind Catch You (free March 3rd, click above link)

Don't Let the Wind Catch You is the sequel to Tremolo and takes place in summer 1965.

When twelve-year-old Gus LeGarde and his two best friends, Elsbeth and Siegfried, stumble on a hermit’s cabin in the woods in the summer of 1965, they’re unprepared for Tully, the crotchety old man who sticks his head out the window and threatens to shoot them. But more surprising is Tully’s best friend, a young Indian girl spirit, Penaki, who reveals herself to the children by forming patterns with butterflies, rattling tin cups, drawing on dusty mirrors, and flipping book pages.

Tully’s past is shrouded in mystery, and Gus can’t understand why his mother hates Tully so. Gus is drawn into an intriguing mystery that reveals long-hidden truths about his grandfather, with even deeper ties to the Ambuscade and the history of the Genesee Valley region. Will Gus’s findings rewrite the most brutal chapter in the history of Livingston County?

All week

Book Reviewers Talk about their Craft by Mayra Calvani, Editor
How I Wrote My First Book: the story behind the story by Anne K. Edwards and Lida E. Quillen, Editors
Practical Tips for Online Authors by Lida E. Quillen
Touch of Fate by Christine Amsden
Tremolo: cry of the loon by Aaron Paul Lazar
Who is Margaret? by Celia A. Leaman

Sunday, Mar. 1st -- An Elfy on the Loose by Barb Caffrey
Sunday, Mar. 1st -- Behold the Eyes of Light by Geoff Geauterre. Book I in the Eyes of Light series.
Monday, Mar. 2nd -- Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden. Book I in the Cassie Scot series.
Monday, Mar. 2nd -- Death on Delivery by Anne K. Edwards.
Tuesday, Mar. 3rd -- Deeds of a Colored Soldier During the Rebellion by F. W. Abel.
Tuesday, Mar. 3rd -- Don't Let the Wind Catch You by Aaron Paul Lazar.
Wednesday, Mar. 4th -- Jerome and the Seraph by Robina Williams. Book I in the Gaea series.
Wednesday, Mar. 4th -- Laughing All the Way by Darrell Bain.
Thursday, Mar. 5th -- Monkey Trap by Lee Denning. Book I in the Nova Sapiens series.
Thursday, Mar. 5th -- No place for Gods by Gerald Mills. Book I in the James Foster Adventures series.
Friday, Mar. 6th -- Rue the Day by Ralph Freedman.
Friday, Mar. 6th -- Schooled in Magic by Christopher G. Nuttall. Book I in the Schooled in Magic series.
Saturday, Mar. 7th -- The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival by Stephanie Osborn. Book I in the Displaced Detective series.
Saturday, Mar. 7th -- The Storks of La Caridad by Florence Byham Weinberg.
Saturday, Mar. 7th -- Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine Issue Sept/Oct 2005
Saturday, Mar. 7th -- Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine Issue Jan/Feb 2006
Be sure to check out the official web site for Read an E-Book Week. A number of publishers are offering give-aways during the week. For example, Smashwords is offering hundreds of free ebooks.

Click here to access free offerings:

Twilight Times Books FREE OFFERINGS

Happy reading!

Aaron Lazar

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Devil's Lake - available today for 99 cents.

Hello, friends.

I believe this is the best book I've written to date - of all the 22 published works, that is. ;o) Let me know if you agree? 

- Aaron Lazar

After two years of brutal captivity, Portia Lamont has escaped and returned to her family’s Vermont horse farm—only to find her parents gone to New York to try an experimental treatment for her mother’s cancer, and her childhood friend Boone Hawke running the farm.

Like the rest of her family, Boone has never given up hope that Portia would return. But when she turns up battered, skinny as a twelve-year-old boy, afraid of everything and unable to talk about what happened, he does the only thing he can—try to help her heal. He summons the town doctor and Portia’s parents, and sets out to put this beautiful, broken woman back together again.

Through her family's love and Boone's gentle affection, Portia gradually comes back to herself, and starts to fall for her old friend in a whole new way. But one thing threatens her fragile hope for recovery: The man who took her promised that if she ever escaped, he'd kill her. Slowly. And someone is definitely watching her...waiting to make his next deadly move.


Aaron Paul Lazar

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Just do it

Good morning Murderers! I hope this cold wintry day finds you warm and fulfilled. Let me say this is not going to be a cheery post but it will be a rather necessary one.

Recently, my family and friends have been experiencing a lot of loss. My kids especially have been hard hit. It hurts to lose someone and it hurts just as bad when someone you love loses someone.

Having said that, do you have plans for your digital world if you should leave the real one?

For an author, with content galore, who is going to carry on for you should you pass away?

I haven't done anything about this yet but you can bet I will soon. I mean, I have books, and blog posts, and videos, and audio files that must be protected, carried on, and in some cases, taken down.

Don't make your online life another thing that a family member has to figure out how to fix. Just go on out there and make some kind of contingency plan for what will happen to your online profile.

Facebook recently posted an article about what to do with your FB stuff. And I am sure other sites have info as well.

I am going to go get arrangements made for this myself so don't feel like you are alone. It is a necessary thing folks. We all must die at some point and it would be a total shame for all of our content to die with us - but if that is what you want, then you totally should make sure it is planned.

Have a blessed day, Murderers. Make it count.