Saturday, June 24, 2017

I want to share something really beautiful with you...

Hi, folks!

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Father's Day last Sunday. One of my three daughters, Allison, made me a scrumptious lunch of home made gyros. Yum...

My eldest daughter, Jenn, stopped by with granddaughter Bella (almost 9) who presented me with a special grandfather's card from her and her two sweet brothers. It really made my day.

Now, I didn't have very good luck, per se, this weekend, because my rototiller and lawn mower both died, but I'm wishing you all lots of luck in the eBook giveaway that's going on this week. See below for the link and details.

Most of you have downloaded or read mysteries, suspense, or love stories from me. But today I wanted to share something new with you that a friend has just released. It's a gorgeous collection of poetry by acclaimed writer Magdalena Ball, owner of the Compulsive Reader website. I have to admit, I don't read poetry often enough. You'll usually catch me reading or listening to a mystery. But this book, Unmaking Atoms, has grabbed me by the heartstrings, and I can't stop reading it. 

(scroll down for more news)
Maggie's poems are deep and poignant, and they really make you think. I sensed great loss as I was savoring every piece, so skillfully did Maggie relay her emotions through her lovely tapestry of words. Here are just a few snippets to give you a feel for the collection.

https://www.amazon.com/Unmaking-Atoms-Magdalena-Ball-ebook/dp/B01MR0KHBS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1497950693&sr=1-1


From "Luminous Air"

The rain was full of ghosts
that night
the air luminous
with immortality


From "The Last Report of the Day"

I was a little girl then
all my unspoken need
pulsing like a lighthouse
your untranslatable language
transmitted through my pores
a scent you recognised.

You didn’t need to say anything
the battery of signals
that battered you
like we’ve all been battered
I felt those signals in my shoulders
hunched against a rising wind.


Atomic Mess(reprinted with permission)

When your last
fractured breath came
condensation of
a lifetime, I wasn’t ready
but you were

pulled in constricting circles
battened the hatches
bolted the door

I felt the cut at thirty thousand feet
watched the cord slacken
lost the sonic heartbeat
before I arrived

after that
there was more silence
than I knew existed

fearless, you slid
into the atomic mess
safe from a life that assaulted
you at every turn

in all this quiet
how will I hear that song
your breath exhaled into cold air
gypsy lullaby
on my lips

does inheritance
provide solace
now you’re no longer
here reminding me
to be brave?
 
 

Unmaking Atoms on Amazon


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Last of all, I probably should tell you a little bit about my own books. I'm in the process of re-releasing and recovering my favorite of all my 26 books: Don't Let the Wind Catch You, a Gus LeGarde Mystery set in 1965. Here is a sneak preview of the new cover. Since this book takes place on horseback in the woods - sunny woods, foggy woods, stormy woods, ghostly woods, I thought the following cover art would be very appropriate! Isn't that an inviting trail? You can still check out the older version here on Amazon for a little while. ;o)

Next time I'll share my current plight of not knowing what to write next. It's a strange place for me to be in, but maybe you folks can help me with some ideas, eh?

https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Wind-Catch-LeGarde-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00ECNEOTE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1498323547&sr=1-1&keywords=don%27t+let+the+wind+catch+you
 
Happy reading, and don't forget to take pleasure in the little things.

Aaron Paul Lazar

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Catching up with Kim Smith

Good day, Murderers...

Sorry, I have sort of been missing. As some of you know, my hubby has been sick and my time has not been my own. But he is home from the hospital and now I find I can do more of my old schedule. I am actually writing again! How did that happen? LOL

So, it's late spring and the weather has turned "mid-south" nasty as my character Dwayne Brown would say. It's been rainy and hot, and we even had a storm blow through last weekend that took a lot of trees and power lines with it. A lot of Memphians have been without power for days now. I think a power outage (of short duration!) is a perfect time to read. It's even fun to read under the covers, with a flashlight, like back in the day of my youth.

SO, what are you reading, folks?

I am working on yet another Karen White novel entitled The Beach Trees. It is a lovely summer read and I am enjoying it a lot. I started reading a Daniel Silva book but stopped because I realized I had read it before! That's a bad thing when you have read so many books that you actually forget the ones that you read.



Well, I don't mean a bad thing, but more like a wonderment. Amazing, isn't it?

That's about all I have to get you all caught up this week, fans. If you want to know more about what's going on with me and mine, look me up on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kimsmithauthor or at my blog over on KimSmithAuthor.com - and I will do my best to get in here and bring you more writing tips and tricks soon.


Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Giveaway - Complimentary Mystery

Hi, folks!
 
Yesterday morning the sun defied the weatherman's prediction of gloom and rain and gave us a nearly perfect day. As I walked among the hills on the ridge west of Conesus Lake thinking up new scenes for the next book I'll write, I was transported by the fragrance of honeysuckle and Dame's Rocket floating on the breeze. It's hard to explain how delicate and intoxicating this scent is -- and how ethereal. You can't just walk up to a honeysuckle bush and inhale. No, you have to be upwind of many bushes clustered together to get the whole effect.

 
In honor of Memorial Day and the fallen soldiers who fought so bravely to keep us free, I've decided to give away my very first novel, Double Forté, book 1 in the 11 book LeGarde Mystery series. 

I wrote Double Forté when my father died. I needed some kind of solace, an escape, and a bit of cheap therapy, if you will. 

And it did help, for I based Gus on my father, who was a piano player, professor, passionate gardener (like me), and lover of the arts. Gus is grieving for the loss of his soul mate when the story opens, and plays Chopin etudes to help heal his pain. 

He has a strong moral compass, and when he's not cooking big feasts for his large family, you can often find him chasing bad guys. 

Double Forté is a satisfyingly riveting tale with an appealing hero, whose love of music and gourmet food is as fundamental as his courage.” - Laurel Wemett, Finger Lakes Magazine

 
Complimentary eBook:

-- a romantic mystery set in the Finger Lakes region --

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About the story:

Gus LeGarde is mourning the loss of his wife Elsbeth, who leapt from the Letchworth Gorge cliffs four years ago. He plays endless Chopin etudes on his antique piano and lavishes love on his family and dog, but nothing buries the pain or answers the burning questions.

Why didn’t she say goodbye? What prompted her to jump? And how will he be able to live life without her?

Harold, Gus’s arrogant son-in-law, is caught in several love affairs, and begins to verbally abuse Freddie, Gus’s daughter. With a two-year-old grandson in the mix, Gus worries it’s escalating and warns Harold that he’ll be out of the house the next time he messes up.

When Harold’s law partner goes missing, a police search in the Gus’s woods reveals a shocking find. The mystery deepens, the plot twists and turns, and Gus’s innocent friend is set up to take the fall. In the deep cold of winter, threats erupt from the dark woods, spinning events out of hand, and Gus braces for the fight of his life.
 
 

*** Romantic country mysteries set in the Finger Lakes region ***

2.   UPSTAGED
3.   MAZURKA
4.   FIRESONG



Get your free copy of Double Forté at any of these sites:








Happy reading and as always, be sure to take pleasure in the little things!

Aaron Paul Lazar
www.lazarbooks.com

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Eden Rising by Andrew Cunningham; review by Aaron Lazar

https://www.amazon.com/Eden-Rising-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00DEJZZK4/ref=la_B00EOWSPCA_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1495972122&sr=1-7

Hi, folks.

On this very special Memorial Day weekend, I'd like to give thanks to every service man and woman who ever lost their lives fighting for our freedom. Let's also thank their families for consistently supporting their beloved men and women. And for those who are still serving -- God Bless!

In the following review, there are two heroes who end up fighting for their own lives much like soldiers do. Although it isn't a military story per se, it reminded me of the courage it takes to survive and protect those we love.

Please check out Mr. Cunningham's other titles as well, they are all wonderful reads!

Aaron Paul Lazar
www.lazarbooks.com




I have to admit, I have never read a post-apocalyptic science fiction thriller before. But I have read other books by Andrew Cunningham and absolutely loved them, so I had to try book one in his Eden Rising trilogy.

I opened the book in an airport on a day of full travel, and I finished it two days later when flying home from my business trip. I couldn’t get this story out of my mind, and kept thinking about it constantly. I was almost angry when my flight was on time, because I needed to finish the story before I got home and life took over the way it does.

I was hooked on page one when Ben and Lila were sent into an ice cream freezer to do inventory by a jerky boss. When the “event” hit, they were the only ones who survived in their town and soon realized that they’d lost everyone they loved – parents, siblings, friends, teachers…they were all gone.

The amazing odyssey these kids went on made me constantly think, “How would I react in this situation?” “Could I survive like they did?” “Could I kill if I had to, to survive or protect an innocent life?” And it didn’t bother me that they grew up so fast. When life changes around you, I suspect that you would change, too. And these kids went through hell.

The author never lets you relax. There are frequent scenes where our heroes’ lives are threatened and when they are separated. I practically held my breath until they were reunited.

Well written, easy-to-read, and a great adventure, I highly recommend Eden Rising to anyone who loves great suspense, deeply developed characters, and to those who love to imagine the impossible, as the author has done so splendidly in this story. 

 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Win over 30 Mysteries with Humor and a Kindle Fire!

Hi, folks!
There's something about sunlight filtering through the petals of tulips that drives me wild. Of all the garden images that come to mind, this is one of the most glorious, don't you think? This year's crop of tulips is blazing across my flower beds - purple, white, red, yellow, pink, and more. I'll sprinkle in a few pix as we go today, just for grins. ;o)

I planted peas on Easter day, when we had soaring temperatures. I swear, I was in shorts and barefoot all day. The peas are now 4" high and thriving, in spite of the recent spate of COLD and RAIN we've had. But I know the warmth will come back soon...won't it? 

I'd best stop blathering about gardens, though, or I'll never get to the point of this post. Today I'm here to share some neat stuff: 

Freebies. Chances to win. A new book review. And some news.

I know that we have all kinds of readers who visit MB4 these days. Some of you like romance, some are suspense lovers, and plenty of you are mystery buffs. For those of you who like mysteries with a bit of humor, check out this new contest.

Today through May 22nd I'm involved in another Booksweeps contest where you could win over 30 mysteries with Humor (including For the Birds, the first book in the four-book Tall Pines series featuring Marcella and Quinn Hollister) and a new Kindle Fire. Of course, most of you know you can check out all my books as always at www.lazarbooks.com, where you can read excerpts, synopses, see all the series laid out in order, and more.

Here's a link for the contest if you wish to enter. It's good through May 22nd, the day by which I hope to have planted my tomatoes. ;o)

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My peas - thriving in our cool spring
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What I'm Reading:

I'm going to start sharing reviews of books I'm reading with you each time we talk. Let me know if you like that idea, okay? Today, it's Wisdom Spring by Andrew Cunningham. I loved this book!

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Wisdom Spring is one of those books that lingers in your mind and heart long after you've finished the story. I listened to the audiobook version, and was pulled into the lives of Jon Harper and Jessica Norton from page one. I finished listening to it over a week ago, and I'm still missing the characters. Yes, it was that good.

What I loved most about this unpredictable and unique story was not only the great chase scenes, love scenes, deep characterization, and beautifully rendered images of the countryside covering a wild cross-country drive across the States, through Canada, and all the way to Alaska, but it was the author's absolutely pure and beautiful writing style. Easy to read without being overly simplified, yet deep enough to say a lot within a few words, Mr. Cunningham is a supremely talented writer.


I also appreciated the author's ability to avoid being mired in traditional thriller genre rules, and to allow a mystical connection between the female protagonist and a loved one. I appreciated that aspect of this story and how it helped lead the troubled couple to their salvation.

One of my favorite characters was the intellectually challenged man, Clyde, in Alaska who held one of the key clues to solving the mystery of the corrupt politician and the evil empire that backed him. He was just a gem!

Another truly special aspect of Wisdom Spring was the ability of the author to show the pain of loss. Jon, the main character, has lost his daughter and subsequently split up with his wife. He has nothing to live for, is driving forward in a black shroud, and had he not stopped to pick up Jess in the pouring rain, he may not have made it through the day.

I've read several of his other books (Deadly Shore, All Lies, and Fatal Lies) which were also absolutely delightful. I hope to read more. I highly recommend this book to all who love a good suspenseful thriller!

Tremolo is getting a new cover!
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Thanks to Kellie Dennis for this beautiful new cover for Tremolo. This is one of the "young Gus" series within LeGarde Mysteries, set in 1964 in Maine. Stay tuned for the new release of this old-time classic. 

You can read all of the synopses and excerpts from LeGarde Mysteries and more here.

I hope you get a chance to step outside and enjoy the incredible beauty of spring this weekend. And if you get rain like we're expecting, cuddle up with a good book. 

Happy reading,

Aaron Paul Lazar

www.lazarbooks.com

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Enter to Win over 55 Cozy Mysteries and a Kindle Fire!

Hi, folks!
I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the signs of spring that seem to be popping up all over. After months of not walking outside on my beautiful hills, I finally managed to carve out some time this past weekend for two good walks. Yes, it was still FREEZING (34 and foggy on Saturday, 38 and sunny on Sunday) but the fresh air felt so good, and reconnecting with the beautiful hills overlooking the Genesee Valley has regenerated my spirit. I heard red-winged blackbirds, mourning doves, cardinals, and woodpeckers, sure signs that spring must be coming. Although we actually have a little snow predicted tomorrow, I'm still holding out hope for next week when the temperatures are supposed to dance into the seventies! ;o)

By the way, I want to offer a welcome to my new readers and a warm embrace for my steadfast supporters, some who have been reading my books since 2004! Thank you.

Today I'm involved in another Booksweeps contest where you could win many cozy mysteries (including Double Forte', the first book in the eleven-book series featuring Gus LeGarde!) You can check out all my books as always at www.lazarbooks.com, where you can read excerpts, synopses, see all the series laid out in order, and more.

Here's a link for the contest if you wish to check it out. It's good through April 10th, my sixth grandson's first year birthday. ;o) I hope you win!

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I also wanted you to know I'm thrilled to announce two new audiobooks that were recently released. The third book in the Bittersweet Hollow series, Devil's Spring, is narrated by the talented Gwendolyn Druyer, the same lady who brought you all the unique voices of Portia, Boone, Grace, Anderson, Dirk, and Daisy in Devil's Lake and Devil's Creek! Here is a link to an audio sample of Devil's Spring:

http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Devils-Spring-Audiobook/B06WV8GK4V/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1491472519&sr=1-2

Last, but certainly not least, it's been a long time coming, but I was finally able to convince Erik Synnestvedt to come back from his insanely busy production schedule to narrate the third "young Gus" book in the LeGarde Mystery series, Voodoo Summer! 

In Tremolo: cry of the loon and Don't Let the Wind Catch You, Erik created a memorable world with perfect voices for young Gus, Siegfried, and Elsbeth. He also mastered the Maine accents for Gus's grandparents, and brought to life Gus's parents as well as Oscar and Millie Stone, and many other featured characters in these books. Now, he's done it again in Voodoo Summer,bringing to life "Willy DuPont," the young black girl who works in the nearby Seven Whistles fishing camp on Great Pond, in Maine, and who becomes an important part of Gus's life. You can listen to Erik's sample here: 
Listen to Voodoo Summer Sample
http://www.audible.com/pd/Teens/Voodoo-Summer-Audiobook/B06XNSRZ19/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1491472965&sr=1-1
If you possibly can, head outside and breathe in some of that fresh, spring air. It will do you worlds of good. ;o)

Next time, as promised earlier, I will share some of my reviews for new books I've discovered. Some of them may even be free, so stay tuned!

Happy reading!

Aaron Paul Lazar

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