Thursday, February 14, 2013

A new Blog Hop!

Hi, all!  

These Blog Hops have become pretty popular. Today's venture features a new Twilight Times Books author, Dora Machado. We welcome Dora to the TTB stable of authors. ;o)

Dora Machado is the award winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series. She holds a master's degree in business administration and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in history from Georgetown University. She was born in Michigan and grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a bilingual fascination for writing, a preference for history, and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She enjoys long and winding walks, traveling, and connecting with the amazingly clever readers who share in her mind's adventures. She lives in Florida with her indulging husband and three very opinionated cats.

To learn more about Dora Machado and her award winning novels, you can email her at, find her on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

Here is the blog hop list of links:

Please check them out at your leisure! 

The Stonewiser Series

What would happen to our world if our history was erased? What would our world be like without books or without the internet? Without the history and assurances that those sources provide? What would happen to our sense of self, to our culture, to our institutions, if we didn't have any reliable way to trace our past?

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Debut Novel
  • Finalist for the 2009 ForeWord Book of the Year Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Winner of the 2010 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Gold Medal for SF/F
  • Finalist for the 2010 ForeWord Book of the Year Award for SF/F
Dora Machado is the author of the award-winning Stonewiser series, which tells the story of Sariah, a powerful stonewiser who can imprint and retrieve tales stored in rock, the only thing that can withstand the rot destroying her world. But even the stones aren't telling her the whole truth anymore...

"Stonewiser is a finely crafted fantasy with unique concepts, and a vivid living world that will draw readers in and not let go." – Midwest Book Review

"Machado's descriptions are rich in detail – you'll feel the eels nipping at your toes – and her characterization is strong. Sariah is well developed and faces brutal conflicts in this story of adventure, politics and magic." – Romantic Times

"Once in a while, a new fantasy/adventure comes out that doesn't travel well-worn paths in the genre but instead gives us a vivid new world, an exciting set of original characters, and page after page of non-stop intrigue, action, twists, revelation, and fun. STONEWISER is the best to appear in years." – A reviewer.


Now, for my part of this venture, I’ve been asked to answer the following questions. I know you've seen these before, but in case you missed them, here they are again!

1: What is the working title of your book?

Virtuoso: a Gus LeGarde Mystery

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

When my daughter Melanie was a student at the Eastman School of Music, the setting called to me. It just needed to have a mystery happening in those hallowed halls! Also, we took my grandson Julian to the Rochester Museum of Art many times, and I used to stand in front of one particular Monet painting for long periods of time. I decided it deserved a place in one of my mysteries, too!

3: What genre does your book fall under?

Mystery and Suspense

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Male lead – Yannick Bisson (he plays William Murdoch in Murdoch Mysteries) as Gus LeGarde

Female lead –  Jessica Brown Findlay (she plays Sibyl in Downton Abbey!)  as Camille Coté:

5.0 Synopsis of your book?

Art and music collide in this special edition based on Dale Lazar's ancestor, Emma Cunningham. When a handsome but decadent Greek tenor from the Eastman School of Music stalks Gus’s stepdaughter, Shelby, Gus rallies to protect her innocence. He asks for help from his old friend, Byron who works at the college. Gus and Byron become involved in an investigation dealing with a Monet canvas found in a plane wreck. Is the painting real, or fake? And why are people dying to protect the secrets? Through it all, Gus discovers a shocking tie to the past through the artwork of his great, great aunt, Emma Mabel Clark. 

6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will be submitting it to my publisher, Lida Quillen at Twilight Times Books, soon.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About two months.

8: What other work of fiction would you compare this story to within your genre?

9: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Shelby is put in serious danger in this episode – she’s now a fully blossomed teenager who falls madly for a young Greek tenor at the Eastman School of Music. It drives Gus and Camille mad!

 Thanks for stopping by and don't hesitate to drop me a line at aaron dot lazar at yahoo dot com. ;o)

Monday, February 04, 2013

Getting Mileage Out of Older Titles

copyright 2013, Aaron P. Lazar

We writers have to start out somewhere. Our first books, whether published or not, typically give us shivers when we go back years later to re-read them. Some writers don’t like to look at that early stuff, it just destroys their egos. I know how I felt when I did that seven years after writing my first novel. Oh God, how could I have been that bad?

It’s a natural phenomenon and quite common, to tell the truth.

So, what do you do?

Many writers are getting the rights back to their early books, some which were back-listed or abandoned by traditional publishers, and they’re rewriting and re-releasing them in various venues. Many are releasing their word as eBooks when they were originally just in print format, and lots of writers are jumping on the self publishing bandwagon which has almost overnight become less of a dirty word and distinctly cooler and unquestionably much more “acceptable” in the publishing industry today.

Are you in that boat?

I’m still writing new mysteries in my three series (, but I had a chance recently to take two of my earlier books back from the original publisher and have them re-released through my current publisher (Twilight Times Books) as “author’s preferred editions.”

Original 2004 cover     New 2012 Cover 
                                       by Ardy Scott

Original 2006 cover    New 2013 Cover 
                                      by Ardy Scott

I had the freedom to rewrite these stories with refined writing skills (compared to those awful first books) as well as to change some plot lines or add new chapters. You can read about the “do-over” here.

Something really cool happened with the second book in the LeGarde Mystery series, UPSTAGED. When my audio book narrator went through the manuscript, he came back to me with a very important observation. He said, “Aaron! There is SINGING in this book! What am I supposed to do with that?”

He referred to all the musical theater lyrics I wrote for my characters to sing in the musical within the mystery entitled “Spirit Me Away,” that Gus LeGarde wrote back in the sixties when he was a student at the Boston Conservatory of Music. I’d forgotten about all those songs embedded in the text.

I decided to ask my daughter Melanie Carbonneau, an unemployed singer with seven years of voice training and two masters degrees, to write some songs to go with the lyrics, record them, and issue them as a CD to go with the book(s).

Isn’t that the coolest thing? So now the songs (you won’t believe how gorgeous they are!) are embedded within the audio book narration, will be offered as an accompanying CD, and are good enough that we are considering making this fake musical into a REAL musical!

I know, I told you it was cool.

We do need to write the script based on the story within a story in UPSTAGED, get a good composer friend to write an overture, etc. for it, get the music transcribed, etc. and figure out how the hell you submit a musical to Broadway bigwigs, but we plan to forge ahead.

And all of this is because I wanted a do-over. Neat, huh?

You can get a taste of Melanie’s singing and songwriting here, and pre-order the CD if you like the sound of her voice. 

Audio Book Cover Art

 CD Cover Art

Please take a listen to some of Melanie's songs here and let us know what you think? Can't you picture a bunch of young singers dressed in sixties attire, singing their hearts out with this?

Feel free to add your comments about how YOU are taking advantage of new options with your older books. We'd love to hear from you.

Remember, take pleasure in the little things and write like the wind!

Aaron Lazar

Twilight Times Books by multi-award winning, Kindle bestselling author, Aaron Lazar:

DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)
UPSTAGED (coming 2013 author’s preferred edition, print, eBook, and audio book)  
MAZURKA (print, eBook, audio book)
FIRESONG (print, eBook, audio book)

HEALEY'S CAVE (print, eBook, audio book)
FOR KEEPS (print, eBook, audio book)

FOR THE BIRDS (print, eBook)


WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1, 2, 3 (2012, audio books coming 2013)

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases, DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (2013), author’s preferred edition of UPSTAGED (2013), and SANCTUARY (2013).

FINALIST 2013 EPIC Book Awards * WINNER 2011 EPIC Book Awards, BEST Paranormal * FINALIST 2011 FOREWORD BOOK AWARDS * WINNER 2011 Eric Hoffer BEST Book, COMMERCIAL FICTION * 2X FINALIST Global eBook Awards 2011 * Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award – 2nd place 2011* Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Top 10 Books of 2012 * Winner of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s 9th Annual Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize for Literature 2011 * Finalist Allbooks Editor’s Choice Awards 2011 * Preditors&Editors Top 10 Finalist  * Yolanda Renée's Top Ten Books 2008  * MYSHELF Top Ten Reads 2008  * Writer’s Digest Top 101 Website Award 2009-2012

Saturday, February 02, 2013

BLUEBIRD: a new ballad from the musical UPSTAGED. (coming soon in CD, eBook print, and audio book coming soon!)

Check out this heart-wrenchingly beautiful song written by Melanie and me (music, Melanie; lyrics, Aaron) It will bring tears to your eyes!