Sunday, April 12, 2009

Message from Aaron Lazar; and an Invitation to Host the Virtual Book Tour for MAZURKA

Hello, folks.

It's been so long since we've connected. I miss you all dreadfully. Unfortunately, it's been essential to focus my energy in other areas for a little while.

For those who don't know - I went on hiatus from Murderby4 when I was laid off from Kodak on January 30th, 2009 after 27 years of service, along with 1300 other employees.

The process has been much like recovering from a death in the family. Except this time it felt as if I was attending my own funeral. The shock, fear, grief, anger, and final acceptance felt familiar, too. Sort of like when my dad passed away, but of course not as severe, and the process was more accelerated than when one loses a loved one.

I may no longer be Aaron Lazar, the engineer who works at Kodak, but I'm alive. I'm not taking cancer treatments. I'm able to pursue my passions and play with my grandkids. And God willing, life will go on for a few more decades.

I must admit, however, that I've gone from the deepest despair to soaring heights of optimism - sometimes all in the same day. And I finally know how someone could feel so cornered, so helpless, so alone that they might consider taking their own life.

Of course I didn't. I wouldn't, for the sake of my loved ones. I couldn't, because I couldn't get past my own inherent passion for life and people. But for the first time in my life I actually knew what it felt to be momentarily touched by those feelings.

Pretty scary. Terrifying, actually.

Luckily it was just one moment of panic, and my dear wife came through for me. I told her how I felt, and she said, "You know, if you did that, I'd have to do it, too. I couldn't live without you, honey." The love that poured from her eyes filled my heart with relief and joy. If she loved me so much, nothing else mattered. I got past it, and never felt that way again.

It was so bizarre, because I've always been the one who "fixes" things. When my wife got MS, I stepped up to the plate and took over the jobs she no longer could do. It felt good to be able to help, to nurture our daughters, to dive in and be the rescuer, so to speak.

When my friend's daughter died, it was so horrible. But I was able to be there for him, to hold his hand at the funeral, to help him get through it. When my daughters reached their own crises in their lives, I was able to offer sanctuary for them, to guide them through their troubles, to help them get back on the path to success and health. But this was the first time I was the subject of such need. It was very odd and uncomfortable, and I didn't like it. Not one bit!

However, I'm delighted to say I've survived the whole ordeal and am currently feeling peaceful and optimistic. I've been dutifully doing my "homework" at the career search firm whom Kodak hired to help us through the process. The twelve study modules and associated classes are behind me. I've got a few recruiters on the lookout now. I've been to a few job fairs, and I'm networking like crazy. I know something wonderful will turn up. And meanwhile, while I'm working hard to find a new job, I'm also writing again.

It feels SO good to be working on The Aviary (my thirteenth book) after more than a month of writing nothing but cover letters! The stress relief is phenomenal, and of course being able to take charge of my parallel universe has great appeal, especially compared to the world where I can't control anything! LOL!

Best of all, this week my publisher contacted me about Mazurka's upcoming release. She's been cautious to release books in this economy, but Mazurka (and Healey's Cave) on on the release schedule for June and August now. I'm delighted, because they've been ready to go (cover art, back cover blurbs, etc.) for many months. I also received a copy of the ARC (advanced release copy) of Mazurka in pdf format. And I'd like to offer it to those of you who would like to host a Mazurka Virtual Book Tour in June.

Everyone who hosted Tremolo: cry of the loon is naturally welcome to do so again with Mazurka. And I'll certainly welcome new folks, as well.

The idea is to get the word out about this fourth book in the LeGarde Mystery series, in one of many possible ways:

-Book Review, posted on your blog, my blog, and/or book review sites.
-Interview with the author or any of the characters
-Essay written about the topics covered in the book with references to the story
-Radio Interview
-Or any other creative venture you'd like to pursue. For Tremolo, Bob E. ("Lady Bess" Elizabeth E. from published a piece written by her cat about Tremolo. It was superb! And others interviewed my characters Gus LeGarde or Siegfried Marggrander. The possibilities are limitless.

All I ask is that you read the book (in pdf format), and join the tour in June. You may pick your own day or week to feature it, and it may be on your own blog or anywhere else in cyberspace. Like I said, it's about getting the word out, plain and simple. ;o)

The print version will be available mid summer. Last year I sent print copies to everyone on the tour (over 30 people), which cost me a pretty penny. Since I'm laid off now, I have to do this a little more frugally! I hope you understand and don't hate reading ebooks. ;o) I always prefer to hold the book in my hand, but I know how much printer ink costs these days, too, so it's not trivial any more to just print it out.

Below is the synopsis of the book. Contact me at if you'd like to participate.

MAZURKA: A GUS LEGARDE MYSTERY (book four in the series)

Author: Aaron Paul Lazar

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

ISBN: pending

Publication Date: June 15th, 2009

Pages: 223

Price: $18.95

Publisher: Paladin Timeless Imprint of Twilight Times Books

When Siegfried receives a puzzling invitation to visit an ailing relative in Germany on the eve of Gus and Camille's wedding, their honeymoon plans change. Siegfried - Gus's socially challenged brother-in-law - can't travel alone, so they gather the gentle giant under their wings and fly to Paris.

After luscious hours in the city of lights, a twist of fate propels them into a deadly web of neo-Nazis. A bloody brawl on the Champs Élysées thrusts Siegfried and Gus into the news, where a flawed report casts Siegfried as the Nazi leader's murderer, sealing his death warrant.

While Siegfried recovers in a Parisian hospital, Nazi terrorists stalk Gus and Camille. Hunted and left for dead in the underground Parisian Catacombs among millions of Frenchmen's bones, they barely escape. Siegfried is moved to safety at his aunt's in Denkendorf, where he learns a shocking family secret about Chopin's steamy past.

The calm is soon shattered, when the threesome is plunged into a cat-and-mouse game where the stakes are lethal and the future of Europe hangs in the balance.


For those of you who love to write, remember to take pleasure in the little things and write like the wind!

- Aaron

To learn more, visit:


Marta Stephens said...

Aaron, I know how overwhelming life can be--have lived through my own hell these past few months. But the strong ones do survive and live to tell about it. You and I are among them.

Welcome back, dear friend.

s.w. vaughn said...

Hooray!!!!! :-)

I highly recommend that everyone read Mazurka. It's fantastic.

Aaron - listen to your wife. She is wise. LOL

So glad you're doing so much better!

Kim Smith said...

Aaron, you are on the calendar for Introducing WRITERS! for Mazuka. I am very excited about this book and cannot wait to chat with you about it!

thewriterslife said...

Hi Aaron,

I don't think you know who I am but I run Pump Up Your Book Promotion which does virtual book tours for authors. I would be more than willing to host you on a few of my blogs. Some are syndicated into USA Today, Chicago Times, etc. I would love to host you on either of them. Email me at and I'll send you the details.

Sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do and quiting the 9 to 5 might be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Dorothy Thompson
CEO/Founder Pump Up Your Book Promotion

thewriterslife said...

Uh, I think that's quitting...been a long day...

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Marta, I know you've been through a terrible time this year with the passing of your dad. I'm still not over my father dying and that was eleven years ago. Bless you for hanging in there and keeping up your strength! And thanks for always encouraging me. ;o)

SW - yeah. I must listen to my wife more often! Ha! She snapped me right out of it. And thanks for your undying support, my friend. I count on you more than you'll ever know!

Kim, I can't WAIT to go back on the show and talk about Mazurka! We have such fun when we chat live, don't we? I'm really looking forward to it. ;o)

Dorothy, of COURSE I know who you are! LOL! Marta raves about you all the time! You've been a wonderful partner with us here on MB4 and we welcome you and your authors with open arms. ;o) Thanks so much, I'll contact you off line :0)

Bonnie Kozek said...

oh aaron,

since i'm new to this blog i wasn't aware of your struggles. but, i think you must be a very courageous man ... a very special kind of husband, father, grandfather ... and although i haven't yet read your books, i bet you're also a great writer. i know it's terribly cliched, but still ... the only moment we have is the moment we are in. the only breath we have is the one we are taking. it is the indomitable human will to survive that keeps us moving forward, even in the face of tragedy. keep the faith.


Sheila Deeth said...

I've met you briefly on gather Aaron, but I feel like I know you much better after this article. Wishing you well with the job search, and offering sympathy and encouragement - we were there not so very long ago.

I have a very new blog, so I'd love to host you.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...


How incredibly sweet of you to share your thoughts - I so appreciate it! Thank you!

Sheila, you're on the list of reviewers for Mazurka, and I'll look forward to helping "christen" your new blog!