Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hello, friends! I've been trying to post announcements about the recent super deals my publisher has offered on my eBooks. Today (and tomorrow), Mazurka is on sale for 99 cents. Below is a brief description, followed by Chapter One from the novel. If you haven't read it yet, I hope you'll take advantage of this unique and very special deal. ;o)
                                                                                                                        -  Aaron

MAZURKA eBook - 99 cents  (today and tomorrow only)

Gus LeGarde’s brother-in-law is framed for a neo-Nazi’s murder, plunging them into a sizzling cat-and-mouse gamed that chases through Paris and Vienna and lands them in a terrorist training camp deep in the Austrian woods, where they battle a group of radicals training to take over Dusseldorf.
copyright 2011 Aaron Paul Lazar, all rights reserved

Chapter One

We’re going to die on our wedding day.
The right wing dipped and the storm raged, battering the massive Boeing 747. Overhead bins snapped open, disgorging travel bags and paraphernalia into the aisle. Cries of alarm filled the air and cold sweat wet my brow.Camille grabbed my arm. “Talk to me, Gus. Take my mind off it.”

Her complexion waxed green and she brushed damp curls from her forehead, leaning back with eyes squeezed shut. A bolt of lightning burst against the window as the aircraft wobbled its way toward Paris.

I forced a smile. “I think we’re over land now. Almost there.”

Her eyes blinked open, searching mine. Hope glinted momentarily until the plane shuddered again, reinforcing her deep-seated flying phobia. I wondered how I’d ever get her back on the plane for the return trip to East Goodland, New York.

I twisted the overhead air vent, letting the tepid air ruffle my hair. With a deep 
breath, I collected myself and tried to sound natural.

“You’ll love Paris, honey. It’s so full of color and motion and … people. An amazing assortment of people.”

Her eyes darted to the window. “Uh-huh. Tell me more.”
Another bolt of lightning flickered, blinding me. I braced myself as the plane rocked. The wing quivered in counterpoint to my heartbeat; its metallic stutter growling in protest.

“Notre Dame is spectacular, dark and mysterious. The view from the bell tower is incredible. It’ll take your breath away.”

She shifted in her seat and shot me a glance.

“You were there with Elsbeth, right?”

I looked into her eyes. No jealousy lurked there.

“Yes. Ten years ago. Our anniversary.”

My throat clogged. Elsbeth, my soul mate, my fiery partner, had been murdered five years earlier—shoved from the cliffs of the Letchworth Gorge.

Camille kissed her fingertips and gently pressed them to my mouth. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you sad.”

I flashed a half smile.

“It’s okay.”

She sat up with interest, ignoring the rocking aircraft.

“Let’s talk about Paris.”

I turned to her, taking her hands in mine. “What’s the first thing you want to do when we arrive?”

“Besides kiss the ground?” she asked.

I laughed. “Yeah. Besides that.”

Rain splattered against the window, dancing in parallel conga lines as the high wind smeared it against the glass.

“I want to walk along the Seine and find a café. I was craving fresh croissants and strawberries before my stomach started to flip flop.”

A sudden gust caught the plane, sheering it sideways. I nearly lost my lunch. 

Mopping my forehead with my sleeve, I tightened my seatbelt. Camille froze, plastered against her seat. When the plane stabilized, the captain’s voice boomed over the loudspeaker.

“Folks, this is Captain Wilcox. Sorry for the bumpy ride. I’m going to try to fly above the storm. Meanwhile, please remain calm. Observe the seatbelt sign and stay in your seats. As soon as it’s safe to move about the cabin, I’ll let you know.”
Camille took a deep breath.

“Where’s our hotel?”

“On the right bank. Just around the corner from Notre Dame. Walking distance to the Musée D’Orsay, the Louvre, the Jardin de Tuileries. A perfect location.”

The left wing dropped and the plane pitched. She grabbed my hand.

“If we make it at all,” she said.

Without warning, the jet plunged, diving through the clouds. A volley of flames erupted from the engine outside our window. Camille’s eyes widened and a sob burst from her lips. My head snapped against the headrest and the force of the descent pinned me to the seat.

Oxygen masks dropped and dangled elusively in the air. I pried one hand from the armrest and fumbled for my mask. Reaching for it, I snagged it and stretched the elastic strap around my head. Camille caught her mask, placed it over her mouth, and looked at me. Terror flared in her eyes.

I clutched her hand as a kaleidoscope of images flitted through my brain: Camille in her wedding dress, my grandson’s impish smile, our dogs, Max and Boris, asleep by the fire.

We plummeted through a time continuum that blended slow motion with eternity. I struggled to remember the crash position and my heart drummed beneath my ribs. The captain’s voice thundered over the loudspeaker, words muffled beneath the roar of the descent. Craning my head against the heavy force, I faced 
Camille. It was surreal. A dream. A nightmare.

Abruptly, the aircraft stabilized. A stainless steel coffeepot rolled down the aisle and lodged against my foot. The fire in the engine extinguished and the plane ascended as innocuously as it had hours earlier from Dulles Airport.


You can read further on my website:

P.S.I'm also looking for more reviews of Mazurka - this came out when I was laid off from Kodak and still consumed by finding a new day job. I never promoted it like I should have - and would love some more reviews to be posted up on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Myshelf, etc. etc.  Let me know if you want to do this and we can set it up together. ;o)

Thanks everyone! Hope you have a great Sunday!

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