Friday, April 07, 2017

Enter to Win 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!

(scroll down for more news)

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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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day! Today we're talking about Writing Love Scenes!


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Writing Love Scenes

Aaron Paul Lazar


When I first started writing the LeGarde Mystery series in 2001, my daughters were teenagers. I was very careful to imply desire, to hint at bedroom scenes, and to be sure all references to intimate sexual relations were confined to a healthy marriage.
After all, I couldn’t let them think that Dad “thought” like that, or that I blithely wrote about all the things about which I constantly warned them.
Raising girls in the late ’nineties and early in the millennium was not easy. Social pressures abounded. From what I heard, most of my daughters’ classmates lost their virginity in middle school, and if you were one of the few who didn’t have a boyfriend, you were an outcast, a reject who wasn’t worthy of friendship.
As you can well imagine, it drove me nuts.
So I was very careful not to write about things I preached against, and thus my first and even second mystery series were quite wholesome. Not that Gus and Camille had more than a Victorian relationship until they were married. Sure, Gus longed for Camille in a very real and normal fashion. But he respected her past—a sad life with her abusive ex-husband—and he also had trouble ridding himself of his longtime allegiance to his wife Elsbeth, who’d died before the first book was written.
By the time I was working on my third LeGarde book, my star-crossed couple was finally united in marriage, and I wanted to write their honeymoon consummation scene. It was important for me to show Gus’s tenderness and his gentle treatment of his bride. And after all, my fans had been waiting a while for this moment. I had more than a few letters from readers (mostly men), asking when Gus was gonna get the girl, so to speak.
Something funny happened around the time I wrote Mazurka. I realized that my girls were not reading my work, (not much, anyway) nor were they in the least excited about Dad’s writing career, awards, or publishing credits.
No, their lives consisted only of real relationships, school plays, and boys, boys, boys.
How do you think I got this sprinkling of silver on my temples?
As difficult as it was in this phase of their development, it did free me up to write a bit more spontaneously. So I penned the scenes with tasteful romance, including only a few references (again implied) about the actual acts involved.
With a feeling of relief, over time I relaxed and, where it seemed appropriate, included some new scenes for my readers, including a love scene in the shower after Gus and Camille were almost killed in the underground Parisian Catacombs. It was an affirmation-of-life type of scene, and gave me the freedom to begin to experiment writing about sex and lovemaking. This is rather tame in nature, mind you, and since then I’ve graduated to sizzling love scenes that I’ve included in my romantic suspense series (Bittersweet Hollow series, Devil’s Lake , Devil’s Creek, and Devil's Spring and my Paines Creek Beach series, The Seacrest, The Seacroft, and The Seadog.)
Here’s a short scene I inserted into Mazurka just before it went to press. It was a first step in crossing over the “purely wholesome” boundary which I’d put up for myself in earlier years. I hoped to imitate the impressions I’d gained over the years from John D. MacDonald’s writing. I adored his love scenes, and often wanted to see if I could do it, too. I'm sure I’m not even close here, but see what you think.
“The soap and water streamed down her skin, intimate in its contact, curving along her hips and down her thighs to her feet. As we lathered each other, a mad desire to celebrate life consumed me. My lips touched hers. She hesitated for a moment, looked up at me through long, wet lashes, and then kissed me back.
It was different from the first time, almost frantic now. There was no shame in her eyes, no glimmering ghosts of our past. Although some of my injuries ached when we pressed together against the shower wall, the warm, moist coupling washed away the blood and pain.
When it was over, we embraced beneath the spray. Without warning, I choked up. She began to shake and looked at me. I recognized the hot burst of emotion that seared and welled in her eyes.
I fluttered sweet kisses over her mouth so she wouldn’t cry. She circled my waist with her arms, and kissed me back urgently. Dark hair streamed down her back as the water flowed through her sodden curls. She lay her wet face against my shoulder and held me tight.”
In hindsight, this passage is pretty tame, isn’t it? But it felt like a huge leap for me when I “allowed” myself to write more freely.
By the time I’d written many LeGarde Mysteries and three Green Marble Mysteries (featuring Sam and Rachel Moore), I realized no matter how many free copies I’d give my daughters, they just weren’t interested in reading at this time in their lives.
Now they’re all adults with husbands and kids. I knew it was time for me to let loose with whatever I wanted to write. And if they somehow, someday discovered that Dad had thoughts like a real man, well, so be it. (grin)
Here’s a scene from Essentially Yours, book 2 in the Tall Pines Mystery series, where I’m not only writing a romantic scene, but doing it from a woman’s POV. Let me know what you think. It’s definitely spicier than my two previous forays into this realm.
“Unbidden, scenes from our youth tapped at the edge of my mind’s vision. I felt the warm breeze blowing across my bare back while we lay in Sky’s family’s pontoon boat in the middle of Honeoye Lake at midnight. His feathered touch traced my spine; his fingers trailed around my hips and lower. I pictured the blond curly hair on his strong, young chest; the hard body that lay beneath the soft fuzz.
Damn. He’d been amazing. And he’d really cared about how I felt, if I’d been satisfied. I figured I’d been lucky. Most teenage boys rushed to conquer their hill, uncaring of the pain or condition of their lovers’ bodies. And most girls just took it, thinking it was part of the “first time,” anticipated hell.
Yet, Sky had read extensively before he approached me, looking up oriental techniques I’d never heard of. He’d known about special places that make a woman moan in pleasure. Made me moan in pleasure. Focused and careful, he’d done embarrassing things that made me crazy, disappearing beneath the blanket for long spells of time. He’d worked on me until moisture coated all of my tender parts. And he’d waited until I was so ready I didn’t think I could wait another second.”
Since these books were written, I’ve released several love stories and romantic suspense books. These types of novels—while certainly not erotica—allow for much more specific love scenes than a cozy mystery or an adventure story. If you read them, however, be forewarned, they contain explicit content. The “heat level” is about the same sizzle you might find in bestselling contemporary romance stories on the market today.
         In my humble opinion, there’s room for a little romance in almost every genre. Mysteries, thrillers, suspense, fantasy, and even science fiction can all be spiced up a bit without dropping suspense or departing from the main story. So don’t feel hamstrung when you write your next book. If it fits into your story, give yourself the freedom to explore your characters’ life in the bedroom, too. 

***

Today, in honor of Valentine's Day, I'm featuring a romantic mystery set in the wintry Adirondacks Mountains for 99 cents. Betrayal: a Tall Pines Mystery is book 4 in the series, but they can be enjoyed in any order. ;o)

https://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-Tall-Pines-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00N2134W0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487070040&sr=8-1&keywords=betrayal+a+tall+pines
 

Marcella Hollister realized a lifetime of hopes and dreams when she was given custody of a child. A cousin of her half-Seneca husband, Quinn, the baby’s mother was murdered in a political plot—and Marcella, who’s never been able to have children of her own, formed an instant bond with little Kimi.


Then a distant relative comes forward to claim Kimi—and Quinn, who Marcella thought understood her pain better than anyone, allows them to take the baby without a fight.

Confused and deeply wounded, Marcella takes off for Tall Pines, their secluded Adirondack cabin. She hopes the peace and natural beauty of the mountains will help clear her head and decide whether to forgive Quinn…or leave him.


But the situation at Tall Pines is anything but peaceful. Her high school lover, Sky, arrives to help out—and Marcella discovers her old feelings may not be as distant as she thought. Worse, a serial killer is stalking young women in the area. And when a teen girl whose mother works with Sky goes missing, Marcella and everyone she cares for wind up dead center in the killer’s sights. 

***

Check out Aaron's books and get a free copy of Devil's Lake at www.lazarbooks.com.


http://www.lazarbooks.com

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Spring-Bittersweet-Hollow-Book-ebook/dp/B01N3PGKI1/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1483010096&sr=1-1&keywords=devil%27s+spring

Hi, folks!

I hope you and your loved ones enjoyed a wonderful holiday. It can be a hectic time of year, and when the new year comes 'round, sometimes it's nice to sit back and relax with a good book. Lots of folks get Kindles for Christmas, and if you have an ereader of any kind, I hope you discover some intriguing stories that transport you to other worlds.

I wanted to let you know Devil's Spring is now available on Amazon! It seems we've waited forever for this January 1st release, doesn't it?

The eBook is on sale for its premier launch for only $0.99, but will go back to its usual price of $2.99 in a few weeks. So get your copy soon!

The print book is also available through Amazon, but the audiobook won't be here for a few months. Fortunately, we've won the services of Gwendolyn Druyor again, so we can hear the familiar voices of Portia, Grace, Anderson, Boone, Daisy, Dirk, and more. ;o) I'm so excited to start this project!
Devil's Spring ebook
Devil's Spring paperback
Bittersweet Hollow Romantic Suspense series:

1) Devil's Lake  (free)
2) Devil's Creek
3) Devil's Spring

These books can easily be read in any order. ;o)
 

http://www.lazarbooks.com


If you'd like to read more excerpts from my other mysteries or love stories, stop by Lazarbooks.com to check them all out. And thanks in advance for any reviews you leave on Amazon. Writers love to hear how their stories and characters affect their readers. So, don't be shy!

Next on the horizon? I plan to start writing book 12 in the LeGarde Mystery series soon. Stay tuned.

Here's to a Happy New Year and healthy 2017!

Aaron Paul Lazar


www.lazarbooks.com