Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review for CRESCENDO by Deborah Ledford

copyright 2013, Aaron Paul Lazar

Crescendobook three in the Steven Hawk/Inola Walela psychological suspense thriller series, follows in the fast-paced and mesmerizing tradition of Staccato and Snare, the first and second books in the series.

I’m not going to rehash the plot here, because there are already a plethora of summaries in reviews previously posted. What I do enjoy writing about, however, is the reaction I have to novels, and how the characters or plot affected me personally. I know, it’s a bit narcissistic, but those are the types of reviews I like to read, not just plot rehashes. ;o)

Since I read the first book in the series, Staccato, I’ve loved the character Inola, a Native American cop who’s constantly having to prove herself to her police department colleagues in the relatively backwoods town of the Bryson City, North Carolina. In spite of her stubborn nature, her inability to communicate with those she truly loves (Steven and her grandmother, Elisi), and her insistence on going out on her own despite obvious dangers that threaten – you can’t help but love her. Tough, focused, and smart, she’s everything you’d want in a heroine.

I particularly enjoyed her vulnerability in this book re. the evil villain’s charms. When she is told her bullet most likely killed her best friend and partner, Cody, she is understandably traumatized. She’s removed from her job, believes she is responsible for Cody’s death, and is obsessed over the mention of a missing child at the scene of the accident that opens the story. These three items weaken her confidence and resolve, and she’s inexplicably drawn to a fellow sympathetic listener, Preston, who happens to be a delicious villain. Preston—a wonderful actor—charms her into his arms. Problem is, Inola’s currently living with and involved in a relationship with the rugged black Sheriff, Steven Hawk. 

There were many memorable scenes, including Inola’s visit to the villain’s hotel room, the shivery cold chase scenes through the woods, and the amusing scenes with the IT jailbird who is released to help out the cops. My favorites, however, were those showcasing Inola’s grandmother Elisi and the young abandoned boy they rescue from a hotel room. Her loving attention to this boy broke my heart, and I felt instantly moved. Although it seems Elisi didn’t connect with Inola when she was delivered to her to be raised, she apparently has grown and changed over time, and has a great deal of love to share.

I have recently learned that Ms. Ledford is planning a fourth book in the series – hurray!

Recommended by Aaron Paul Lazar, www.lazarbooks.com.

Title:  Crescendo
Author:  Deborah Ledford
Publisher: Second Wind Publishing
Genre: Thriller
Kindle eBook: $4.99
Trade Paperback: $14.36
ISBN-10: 1938101340
ISBN-13: 978-1938101342
Author’s website: deborahjledford.com

Here's a bit about the author, Deborah Ledford:

Deborah J Ledford’s latest novel, CRESCENDO, is book three of the Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series from Second Wind Publishing. Other novels include: SNARE—The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist and the NM-AZ Book Awards Finalist, and the classical music-themedSTACCATO. Part Eastern Band Cherokee, she spent her summers growing up in the Great Smoky Mountains western North Carolina where her novels and quite a few of her literary and short stories are set.

Three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, Deborah’s award-winning short stories appear in numerous print publications as well as literary and mystery anthologies. She is also a professional content editor and is most proud to be Lead Editor of three award-winning Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths Chapter (AZ) anthologies.

She lives in Scottsdale, AZ, is pack leader of two awesome Aussie Shepherd boys and one extremely patient husband. Currently working on a new suspense thriller series, the screenplay for SNARE, and launching audiobook versions of the Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller trilogy which will benefit the advancement of Native American language and culture.


Reviewed by Aaron Lazar, copyright, 2013

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

DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)
UPSTAGED (print, eBook, audio book)  
MAZURKA (print, eBook, audio book)
FIRESONG (print, eBook, audio book)
VIRTUOSO (~2014)

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

FOR THE BIRDS (print, eBook, audio book)
ESSENTIALLY YOURS (print, eBook, audio book)


WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1, 2, 3 (ebooks and audio books)

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 http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (2013), SANCTUARY (2014), and VIRTUOSO (2014).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dora Machado: Four Reasons Why Reading Is My Best Summer Escape

Okay, folks! 

Today's the day to help rocket our talented author friend Dora Machado to the top of the charts! If you were considering buying The Curse Giver, click on the link to get your eBook version. The sale price today is $3.99!

Thanks for helping zoom this book to number one!

- Aaron

Four Reasons Why Reading Is My Best Summer Escape
Dora Machado

1) Reading is stress free: There are no traffic hassles, rigid schedules, cars packed to the brim, siblings breathing each other’s air in the back seat, kids asking "Are we there yet?", long lines, crowded attractions, heat waves, summer storms, lost tourists, packed hotels, stagnant pools and stale all-you-can eat buffets. You also get to avoid the long check-in lines at the congested airports, the intrusive security screens, the late planes, the sullen flight attendants and the psycho pilots. It’s just you and your book.

2) Reading is safe: You don’t need helmets, kneepads, safety glasses, spare paddles, lifejackets, lifelines, first-aid kits, mole skin, tetanus shots, oxygen tanks, water purification tablets, safety harnesses, emergency beacons, medivac insurance, shark repellent or bear spray. Seriously, I’ve owned, worn or used all of these at some point in my vacations. In hindsight, I don't know what the heck I was thinking. Your risks of contracting the Norovirus, the Hantavirus or the SARS Coronavirus are dramatically reduced when you stay home. Same goes for Malaria, Yellow Fever and Dengue. The way I see it, I don't need a GPS to locate my favorite reading corner. My cats double as wildlife without the need for a high-end Swarovski scope. And I’m a lot less likely to activate my SPOT (personal satellite emergency tracker) while parked on the couch.

3) Reading is exciting: Experience adrenaline’s thrill without suffering the consequences for your actions. It’s like distance trekking in Spain without the blisters or Colorado mountain biking minus the Rockies’ steep hills. Expeditions, explorations, adventure, intrigue, mystery, hardship, elation, failure, redemption, lust, love, high-stake gambles: You get to live through it all without losing your camera, sunglasses, wallet or ATM card. Yep, I’ve lost of all those. To top it all, you get to dangle at the cliffhanger without breaking any bones or dramatically increasing your chances for developing some serious osteoarthritis down the line.

4) Best of all, reading is the greatest bargain around: A bunch of great books are free on Kindle and Nook. Libraries also offer great variety at no cost. You can get a great read for $0.99. The Curse Giver, my latest novel, is out on e-book, and all of the Stonewiser novels are on sale this summer. Digital or print, a book is the season’s most fashionable accessory. Compared with overpriced airline fares, luggage fees, unpredictable gas prices, seedy hotel rooms and unexpected hospitality taxes, reading is the best deal out there and by far my favorite summer escape.


 Click on the image to buy the book at Amazon.com!

Dora Machado is the award winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books July 2013. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She lives in Florida with her husband and three very opinionated cats. To learn more about Dora Machado and her novels, visit her website at www.doramachado.com or contact her at Dora@doramachado.com.  
Subscribe to her blog at http://www.doramachado.com/blog/ sign up for her at newsletter at http://doramachado.com/newsletter.php, Description: https://email17.secureserver.net/images/social_media/icon_sm_facebook.gifFacebook and Description: https://email17.secureserver.net/images/social_media/icon_sm_twitter.gifTwitter.

For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, visit  http://twilighttimesbooks.com/TheCurseGiver_ch1.html.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Story Behind The Curse Giver by Dora Machado

Hi, folks.

As I mentioned Friday, I am going to feature several articles by the very talented Dora Machado, whose new Twilight Times Book, The Curse Giver, is being released today. Here's the second piece.

If the story intrigues you, we encourage you to download it on Wednesday, the 17th, as part of my support for Ms. Machado! Let's blast this book!

Please help me welcome her back to the blog today! Welcome, back Dora!

Aaron Lazar

The Story Behind The Curse Giver


Dora Machado

The Curse Giver was an accident, a professional indiscretion, if you will, conceived during one of my little escapades, and born out of unchecked passion. Yep, I might as well come clean. Even the most disciplined writer can be unfaithful to her projects, and no matter how thoroughly taken one is with one's current novel, the danger for a tangent is always there when venturing into the world of research.

So there I was, researching one book, working hard to finalize the Stonewiser series, when I came across this insidious concept that kept disrupting my train of thought.

Now, to understand the story behind The Curse Giver, you must understand me and my writing habits. I'm not easily distracted. When I'm writing a novel, my brain goes into hyper mode. I'm disciplined, motivated and focused to the point of obsession, which is why The Curse Giver was such a surprise to me.

The subject of curses has always fascinated me, not only because curses are such a vital part of magic and fantasy, but also because they are so prevalent to the human experience. To be honest, I had always been intrigued by the subject, but didn't delve into it, until one very late night—or was it very early morning?—when the wind rattled my window as a coastal storm blew in from the sea.

The clay tablets that popped up on my screen dated from 600 BC and were part of the library of Nineveh, also known as the library of Ashurbanipal, the oldest surviving library of cuneiform tablets. This is the same collection that gave us the famous Gilgamesh epic. Visually, the tablets weren't much to look at, chicken scratches on clay. But the translated words had an impact on me.

"May all these [gods] curse him with a curse that cannot be relieved, terrible and merciless, as long as he lives, may they let his name, his seed, be carried off from the land, may they put his flesh in a dog’s mouth.”

I know, hardly an inspiration for most. Me? I immediately thought of the man who had been thus cursed, of the pain and hardship such curse would bring upon him and his people, of the character that eventually became Bren, Lord of Laonia in The Curse Giver.

From there on, the curses flowed before my eyes, mysterious ones from ancient civilizations in Egypt, India and the Far East; thin lead tablets dating from the Greco-Roman world, judicial prayers, secret invocations, warnings and love spells that streamed into my consciousness. I knew I should get back to my original research, and yet I was smitten with the subject.

There were curses quoted from the Bible, medieval curses, real and forgeries, Viking, Celtic, Germanic, Visigoth, Mayan, Incan, Hopi, you name it. There were ancient curses but also modern curses, some associated with Santeria, voodoo and the 21 Divisions, religions that are common in the Dominican Republic where I grew up.

Who would cast these curses and why? What kind of creature could be capable of such powers? What would motivate a person to curse another one? As I explored these questions, a character profile began to emerge in my mind, someone whose understanding of good and evil was very different from my own.

Sorting through the research, I could see that some curses had practical applications to make sure people did what they were told. They served as alternate forms of law enforcement in lawless societies. Some were obviously malicious. They were meant to frighten and intimidate. Some were more like venting or wishful thinking. It turns out that mankind has been casting curses since the beginning of time and will probably continue for as long as we have the imagination and faith to do so.

A new question formed in my mind. Once cursed, what could a person do to defend himself? A third character emerged from this question, Lusielle, a common remedy mixer, a healer of hearts and bodies, someone who didn't realize the scope of her own power until it began to transform her life.

Eventually, I wrestled myself out of the trance. I had a book to write and a series to complete. I had deadlines. But my little detour had made an impact. The concepts were at work in my subconscious, coalescing into a new novel, fashioning these powerful characters who demanded their own story. My encounter with curses had been but a slight detour from my research plan, a tiny deviation, an indiscretion to my schedule, but the seed had been planted and The Curse Giver thrived, even if I didn't know it yet.


Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books, July 2013. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She lives in Florida with her husband and three very opinionated cats. To learn more about Dora Machado and her novels, visit her website at www.doramachado.com or contact her at Dora@doramachado.com.

You can subscribe to her blog at http://www.doramachado.com/blog/, sign up for her newsletter at http://doramachado.com/newsletter.php, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter. For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, go to http://twilighttimesbooks.com/TheCurseGiver_ch1.html.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

How Fantasy Meets Reality and Reality Enhances Fantasy, by Dora Machado

Hi, folks. 

I hope this finds you all well! As part of a book blast coming up next week, I am going to feature several articles by the very talented Dora Machado, whose new Twilight Times Book, The Curse Giver, is being released on July 15th. I'd love to encourage you to download it on Wednesday, the 17th, as part of our support for Ms. Machado.  

Please help me welcome her back to the blog today! Welcome, Dora!

- Aaron Lazar

How Fantasy Meets Reality and Reality Enhances Fantasy, by Dora Machado

copyright 2013, Dora Machado
Fantasy is a subversive genre, requiring the mind to bend and the imagination to flex. I love the genre's creative freedom, the opportunity to rethink, redesign and reinterpret the human experience in fresh and diverse settings, and the mysteries that magic brings to the human equation. But above all, I love realism in fantasy—the idea that even the most powerful magic is grounded to our sense of self, fueled by the choices we make, and rooted in the people we are. To me, a dose of gritty realism authenticates a story, validates my characters, and makes my worlds "real."

This is exactly what I've tried to do in my books, and my latest novel, The Curse Giver from Twilight Times Books, is no exception. The Curse Giver is about an innocent healer named Lusielle, who is betrayed and condemned to die for a crime she didn't commit. When she's about to be executed, Lusielle is rescued from the pyre by an embittered lord, doomed by a mysterious curse. You might think that Bren, Lord of Laonia, is Lusielle's savior, but he isn't. On the contrary, Bren is pledged to kill Lusielle himself, because her murder is his people's only chance at salvation. Stalked by intrigue and confounded by forbidden passion, predator and prey must band together to defeat not only the vile curse obliterating their lives, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their ends.
I know what you're thinking: How can a classic fantasy like The Curse Giver bring a sense of realism to the reader?
I can think of many ways, but I'll limit my discussion here to three very specific ways in which reality enhances a fantasy story.

First, the quickest and most effective way of establishing a link between fantasy and reality is by connecting the story's main themes to humanity's enduring themes. The Curse Giver, for example, is inspired by our ancient, deeply rooted belief in the power of curses. You can find curses in every culture on earth. It's one of those concepts that transcends background and ethnicity and binds us to our common original ancestors. It's primordial to the human experience.
The curse that inspired me to write The Curse Giver was a tangible object, ancient words inscribed on clay tablets dating back to 600 BC, a desperate attempt at protection, a warning and a promise of punishment. Curses are familiar to all of us and whether we believe in them or not, they are an intriguing part of our history, an irresistible taunt, a "real" mystery that none of us can resist. I think that realism filters up through the story from the inspiration source. We can anchor our fantasy worlds to reality by connecting them to our history and beliefs.
In more concrete ways, reality betters fantasy when it comes through pure and simple in the details. Settings provide great opportunities for realism. For example, The Curse Giver's river-centered world is inspired by the great American waterways: the Colorado River, which I have rafted often; the Mississippi River, which I've had the opportunity to explore; and the Amazon River, which has always intrigued me. Setting and landscapes offer some great opportunities for realism in fantasy and so does geography, especially when the details are vivid, concrete and deeply woven into the heart of the story.
But ultimately, real characters make real worlds. Realism achieves its maximum expression through the human experience as characters tackle the story. For example, in The Curse Giver, Bren, the Lord of Laonia, is a warrior. To be real, the concrete details associated with his trade have to be right. Research is fundamental. I relied on medieval primary sources to make Bren real. From his weapons to his fighting moves, to how he thinks to how he acts—
everything about him has to be consistent and make sense, even if he exists in a fantasy world.
The same is true about my heroine, Lusielle. By trade, she is a remedy mixer, an ancient occupation to the human experience. I spent a lot of time researching medieval medicine, herbalism and the use of ingredients for healing in human history. Lusielle's potions and ingredients—the concrete elements of her practice—make her more real to the reader, more credible and therefore more compelling as a character.
Realism is important even when tackling the villainous and the mysterious. The curse giver stalking Bren and Lusielle wields some potent magic. But is magic really the defining element that makes the curse giver powerful? Evil as the curse giver is, as the story develops, the reader has to ask the hard questions: What's this creature's real nature? What is her motivation? What is the "real" source of her power?

I won't spoil the story's twists just to make a point, but trust me: Fantasy explores some very "real" themes, such as the tenuous boundaries between love and hate, virtue and vice, magic and belief, justice and revenge. These questions, which are at the heart of any good and complex plot, also contribute to realism in fantasy.
But beyond the details, what makes these characters real is their willingness to make choices, fail, cope, learn, adapt and change; to establish emotional connections and engage in each other's quests; to suffer loss, grief and love, just like we do in the real world.  Magic is a powerful element in fantasy. No doubt about it. And yet ultimately, what matters most is the strength within. Because in the end, realism in fantasy is all about connecting with the powerful reality of our own humanity.


Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books, July 2013. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She lives in Florida with her husband and three very opinionated cats. To learn more about Dora Machado and her novels, visit her website at www.doramachado.com or contact her at Dora@doramachado.com. For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, visit  http://twilighttimesbooks.com/TheCurseGiver_ch1.html.

Subscribe to her blog at http://www.doramachado.com/blog/, sign up for her at newsletter at http://doramachado.com/newsletter.php,

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Sunday, July 07, 2013

Writers and Readers - I Need Your Help!

copyright 2013, Aaron Paul Lazar

Hi, folks.

I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend if you live in the good ole' USA, and that you are enjoying life regardless if you live elsewhere. I know we have followers from all over the globe here on Murderby4, and we welcome you all with open arms.

I'm in a bit of a quandry. Can you help?

I'm writing something new. Something brand new for me. And I'm not sure that I'm settled on my approach.

You know my usual genre is mystery, suspense, sometimes tinged with a bit of time travel or mild paranormal activities. Right?

Well, this summer I decided to try something completely new. It's probably going to end up in the romantic suspense genre, but it's really just a story about love and life, about betrayal and discovery, about loss and how one can survive in spite of terrible odds.

The new book is called The Seacrest, and it takes place in Cape Cod, Mass., in a fictional town by the sea not unlike Brewster, Mass, one of my family's favorite vacation spots.

Here's the deal. I decided from the get-go to write this book with two intertwining storylines. Same characters, just seventeen years apart. Alternating chapters, I go from summer 1997 to summer 2013, slowly revealing the story of young love between Finn and Sassy; and fast forwarding to the current day, where Finn is reeling from the double loss of his wife, Cora, and estranged brother, Jax.

My head is spinning a bit from not writing a serial story.

Sure, I've written flashback scenes plenty of times.

I just haven't done it for every other chapter for the whole danged book.

I know this is a common approach in contemporary and classic fiction, but I wonder how you, the reader, and you, the writer, feel about it.

Does it confuse you? Do you have to stop and say, "Wait, what year are we in?", or are you okay with this jumping back and forth in time?

I'd love your thoughts on the issue. It's not too late for me to change it all and just start the story in part 1 (1997) and then move forward to part 2 (2013).

Thoughts? Ideas?

Meanwhile, I'll keep going.

Would you like a sneak peak at the rough draft? I'll be doing a cover reveal in the months to come - I'm pretty excited about this one!

Here's chapter one, of my newest venture, The Seacrest. 

- Aaron 


Chapter 1
July 2, 2013

Life can change in the blink of an eye, and this blink came when a cop car cruised up the white shell driveway toward The Seacrest on a hot Saturday in July.
I’ll never forget the moment. You know how folks remember where they were when John Lennon died? Or when President Kennedy was assassinated? It was like that, every detail engrained in my brain forever.
A fresh breeze laden with the scent of the sea rustled the blue hydrangeas growing along the driveway. I’d soaked through my dark green tee shirt, having just weed-wacked around the edges of the pasture. I was about to hammer back the fence board where Libby’s favorite mare had kicked it loose, because of said weed-wacker.
She’d yelled at me for that one, rightly so, and the sting of her words still sounded in my head. How stupid can you be, Finn? What’s wrong with you?
I held the hammer loosely in one hand, watching the car circling the long drive toward me.
What now?
Libby’s father, my employer, held great power on Cape Cod. Rudolph Vanderhorn sat on so many boards I’d lost count. His father’s fish canning company made a fortune back in the eighties, and he and his daughter had enjoyed the proceeds of that enterprise ever since.
It could be a visit from the local authorities. They stopped by every few days to discuss town matters with my boss. But the blue light was flashing, which didn’t look like a casual visit.
A shudder went through me, and I turned cold. Something bad had happened. I sensed it.
The front door opened, and Rudy watched them approach, hands on his hips and white hair blowing in the sea breeze.
Libby stopped hosing down her big white mare, who thankfully hadn’t hurt herself in the crazy fit she’d thrown earlier. Dark hair blew around the girl’s face and she stared with open curiosity at the cruiser.
Time froze.
The patrol car drove past the front porch with the impressive columns and portico, past the six-car garage, along the driveway to the barn, and rolled to a stop ten feet from me.
Police Chief Kramer and Deputy Addison Lowell got out and ambled toward me, their eyes somber.
I dropped the hammer. It thudded to the grass at my feet.
“Finn?” Kramer said. “I’m afraid we have bad news.”
There was nothing worse than hearing that bad news was about to be delivered. My brain went wild, imagining the worst scenarios. But somehow I didn’t quite picture what he was about to tell me, which frankly, was unimaginable.
“There’s been an accident,” Kramer said.
Lowell kicked the dirt on the edge of the path. “Car went over the cliffs,” he added, not looking at me.
I looked from Kramer to Lowell. “For God’s sake, guys.”
Kramer pulled out a piece of paper. “Sorry. I regret to inform you that your wife, Cora Mae McGee, and your brother, Jaxson Robert McGee, have been killed in a vehicular accident.”
Deputy Lowell added. “We’re real sorry, Finn. They went off at the Newbridge cliffs.”
“Into the ocean,” Kramer added. “Dead on impact.”
I stared at them, numbness creeping up my spine. “What?”
“Er, look, we’re real sorry to have to bring you this news.” Lowell did look remorseful, and he offered a hand when I lost my balance and grabbed for the fence.
Libby and her father appeared in seconds, but in the dreamlike state of denial and shock I caught only brief snatches of their words, as if the wind had grabbed them away and teased me with them.
“What happened?”
“Bad accident.”
“She died?”
Who was with her?”
And so on.
Libby took my arm and guided me into the big house, where I stood woodenly against the refrigerator while Frizti bustled her big, ample self about the kitchen making tea and pushing fresh blueberry muffins at the officers.
Someone guided me into a chair. I sat, numb. Silent. The voices warbled around me.
Cora is dead.
It wasn’t real. Couldn’t be real.
Jax is dead.
I hadn’t seen my brother in ten years.
Ten years since I’d even talked to him. I sometimes drove by the blueberry farm, thinking of my old life. But I never stopped.
Ten years since my parents died in that fire. Since I lost my little sister Eva. Ten years since my family burned because of that cigarette smoldering in the couch.
Ten freaking years.
I didn’t even know what Jax looked like anymore. Had he lost hair? Gained weight? Turned prematurely gray like our father did at age thirty?
Ten years.
A shudder passed through me, making a great gulping sound sputter from my throat. I think I started to hyperventilate.
I locked eyes with Libby, whose mouth was moving. I couldn’t hear her.
Cora is dead.
Jax is dead.
I lay my head on my arms, convulsing silently.
One thought roamed around the edges of the shouts of denial and disbelief. One thought refused to go away, in spite of the enormity of what was happening to me.
        What the hell was Jax doing with Cora?

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Literary Awards - they can soothe the writer's soul...

Once in a while it's nice to stop and take stock in your accolades. When I feel down about my books or sales, I remind myself that at some point in time, someone liked them enough to suggest they were worthy of awards, LOL! And you know you can't sell books all the time like Dean Koontz or James Patterson, so it's good to pat yourself on the back once in a while. Just don't let it go to your head!

Here's the current list of bigger awards that my children (er..books) have earned.

DOUBLE FORTÉ - 2012 ForeWord BOTYA, FINALIST, Mystery. 

What's DOUBLE FORTÉ about? - Gus LeGarde’s life essentially ended four years ago, when his beloved wife leapt to her death. Today, Gus lavishes love on his family, trying to bury the pain. But trouble arrives when his arrogant son-in-law’s business partner goes missing, and Gus’s innocent friend
is set up to take the fall.

TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON – 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Grand Prize Short List; Honorable Mention in 2013 Eric Hoffer Legacy Fiction; 2011 Global eBook Award Finalist in Historical Fiction Contemporary; 2011 Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award – 2nd place, Mystery; 2008 Yolanda Renée's Top Ten Books; MYSHELF Top Ten Reads 2008 

TREMOLO Logline: When eleven-year-old Gus LeGarde sees a girl fleeing an attacker in the dark Maine woods, he and his friends spend the rest of the summer hunting for her on horseback and in their rowboat, only to face the wrath of the nastiest villain ever to haunt the Belgrade Lakes.

FOR THE BIRDS – 2011 ForeWord Book Awards, FINALIST in Mystery; Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Top 10 Reads for 2012

What's FOR THE BIRDS about? Treasure. Secrets. A 50-year-old unsolved bank heist. See Marcella run for her life across the rugged Adirondack Mountains. 

ESSENTIALLY YOURS – 2013 EPIC Book Awards, FINALIST in Suspense; 2013 Eric Hoffer Da Vinci Eye Award Finalist

EY review blurb: "Aaron Paul Lazar’s novel Essentially Yours will keep you feverishly turning pages not only to find out what happens next, but to bathe in the sensuality of his vivid descriptions that draw you into his story and keep you there through all the excitement and fear and romance." Joan Hall Hovey, author of The Abduction of Mary Rose.


HEALEY'S CAVE – 2012 EPIC Book Awards WINNER Best Paranormal; 2011 Eric Hoffer Book Award, WINNER Best Book in Commercial Fiction; Finalist for Allbooks Review Editor's Choice 2011; Winner of Carolyn Howard Johnson's 9th Annual Noble (not Noble!) Prize for Literature 2011; Finalists for Global EBook Awards. 

A bit about HEALEY'S CAVE: When Sam Moore discovers a peculiar green marble in his garden, it links him to his vanished little brother and thrusts him back in time, where he battles a faceless serial killer to untangle the maddening mystery and stop the murder of his beloved grandson.

You can see them all at http://www.lazarbooks.com/

If you prefer to listen to books, you can hear them all (including free samples) here.

Thanks for letting me do a little self-validation today, and remember, if you love to write, Write Like the Wind!

- Aaron