Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Giveaway: free romantic mystery

Hi, folks!
Yesterday morning the sun defied the weatherman's prediction of gloom and rain and gave us a nearly perfect day. As I walked among the hills on the ridge west of Conesus Lake thinking up new scenes for the next book I'll write, I was transported by the fragrance of honeysuckle and Dame's Rocket floating on the breeze. It's hard to explain how delicate and intoxicating this scent is -- and how ethereal. You can't just walk up to a honeysuckle bush and inhale. No, you have to be upwind of many bushes clustered together to get the whole effect.

In honor of Memorial Day and the fallen soldiers who fought so bravely to keep us free, I've decided to give away my very first novel, Double Forté, book 1 in the 11 book LeGarde Mystery series. 

I wrote Double Forté when my father died. I needed some kind of solace, an escape, and a bit of cheap therapy, if you will. 

And it did help, for I based Gus on my father, who was a piano player, professor, passionate gardener (like me), and lover of the arts. Gus is grieving for the loss of his soul mate when the story opens, and plays Chopin etudes to help heal his pain. 

He has a strong moral compass, and when he's not cooking big feasts for his large family, you can often find him chasing bad guys. 

Double Forté is a satisfyingly riveting tale with an appealing hero, whose love of music and gourmet food is as fundamental as his courage.” - Laurel Wemett, Finger Lakes Magazine

Complimentary eBook:

-- a romantic mystery set in the Finger Lakes region --


About the story:

Gus LeGarde is mourning the loss of his wife Elsbeth, who leapt from the Letchworth Gorge cliffs four years ago. He plays endless Chopin etudes on his antique piano and lavishes love on his family and dog, but nothing buries the pain or answers the burning questions.

Why didn’t she say goodbye? What prompted her to jump? And how will he be able to live life without her?

Harold, Gus’s arrogant son-in-law, is caught in several love affairs, and begins to verbally abuse Freddie, Gus’s daughter. With a two-year-old grandson in the mix, Gus worries it’s escalating and warns Harold that he’ll be out of the house the next time he messes up.

When Harold’s law partner goes missing, a police search in the Gus’s woods reveals a shocking find. The mystery deepens, the plot twists and turns, and Gus’s innocent friend is set up to take the fall. In the deep cold of winter, threats erupt from the dark woods, spinning events out of hand, and Gus braces for the fight of his life.

*** Romantic country mysteries set in the Finger Lakes region ***

Get your free copy of Double Forté at any of these sites:

Happy reading and as always, be sure to take pleasure in the little things!

Aaron Paul Lazar

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Eden Rising by Andrew Cunningham; review by Aaron Lazar

Hi, folks.

On this very special Memorial Day weekend, I'd like to give thanks to every service man and woman who ever lost their lives fighting for our freedom. Let's also thank their families for consistently supporting their beloved men and women. And for those who are still serving -- God Bless!

In the following review, there are two heroes who end up fighting for their own lives much like soldiers do. Although it isn't a military story per se, it reminded me of the courage it takes to survive and protect those we love.

Please check out Mr. Cunningham's other titles as well, they are all wonderful reads!

Aaron Paul Lazar

I have to admit, I have never read a post-apocalyptic science fiction thriller before. But I have read other books by Andrew Cunningham and absolutely loved them, so I had to try book one in his Eden Rising trilogy.

I opened the book in an airport on a day of full travel, and I finished it two days later when flying home from my business trip. I couldn’t get this story out of my mind, and kept thinking about it constantly. I was almost angry when my flight was on time, because I needed to finish the story before I got home and life took over the way it does.

I was hooked on page one when Ben and Lila were sent into an ice cream freezer to do inventory by a jerky boss. When the “event” hit, they were the only ones who survived in their town and soon realized that they’d lost everyone they loved – parents, siblings, friends, teachers…they were all gone.

The amazing odyssey these kids went on made me constantly think, “How would I react in this situation?” “Could I survive like they did?” “Could I kill if I had to, to survive or protect an innocent life?” And it didn’t bother me that they grew up so fast. When life changes around you, I suspect that you would change, too. And these kids went through hell.

The author never lets you relax. There are frequent scenes where our heroes’ lives are threatened and when they are separated. I practically held my breath until they were reunited.

Well written, easy-to-read, and a great adventure, I highly recommend Eden Rising to anyone who loves great suspense, deeply developed characters, and to those who love to imagine the impossible, as the author has done so splendidly in this story. 


Monday, May 15, 2017

Win over 30 Mysteries with Humor and a Kindle Fire!

Hi, folks!
There's something about sunlight filtering through the petals of tulips that drives me wild. Of all the garden images that come to mind, this is one of the most glorious, don't you think? This year's crop of tulips is blazing across my flower beds - purple, white, red, yellow, pink, and more. I'll sprinkle in a few pix as we go today, just for grins. ;o)

I planted peas on Easter day, when we had soaring temperatures. I swear, I was in shorts and barefoot all day. The peas are now 4" high and thriving, in spite of the recent spate of COLD and RAIN we've had. But I know the warmth will come back soon...won't it? 

I'd best stop blathering about gardens, though, or I'll never get to the point of this post. Today I'm here to share some neat stuff: 

Freebies. Chances to win. A new book review. And some news.

I know that we have all kinds of readers who visit these days. Some of you like romance, some are suspense lovers, and plenty of you are mystery buffs. For those of you who like mysteries with a bit of humor, check out this new contest.

Today through May 22nd I'm involved in another Booksweeps contest where you could win over 30 mysteries with Humor (including For the Birds, the first book in the four-book Tall Pines series featuring Marcella and Quinn Hollister) and a new Kindle Fire. Of course, most of you know you can check out all my books as always at, 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 enter. It's good through May 22nd, the day by which I hope to have planted my tomatoes. ;o)

(scroll down for more news)

My peas - thriving in our cool spring
What I'm Reading:

I'm going to start sharing reviews of books I'm reading with you each time we talk. Let me know if you like that idea, okay? Today, it's Wisdom Spring by Andrew Cunningham. I loved this book!


Wisdom Spring is one of those books that lingers in your mind and heart long after you've finished the story. I listened to the audiobook version, and was pulled into the lives of Jon Harper and Jessica Norton from page one. I finished listening to it over a week ago, and I'm still missing the characters. Yes, it was that good.

What I loved most about this unpredictable and unique story was not only the great chase scenes, love scenes, deep characterization, and beautifully rendered images of the countryside covering a wild cross-country drive across the States, through Canada, and all the way to Alaska, but it was the author's absolutely pure and beautiful writing style. Easy to read without being overly simplified, yet deep enough to say a lot within a few words, Mr. Cunningham is a supremely talented writer.

I also appreciated the author's ability to avoid being mired in traditional thriller genre rules, and to allow a mystical connection between the female protagonist and a loved one. I appreciated that aspect of this story and how it helped lead the troubled couple to their salvation.

One of my favorite characters was the intellectually challenged man, Clyde, in Alaska who held one of the key clues to solving the mystery of the corrupt politician and the evil empire that backed him. He was just a gem!

Another truly special aspect of Wisdom Spring was the ability of the author to show the pain of loss. Jon, the main character, has lost his daughter and subsequently split up with his wife. He has nothing to live for, is driving forward in a black shroud, and had he not stopped to pick up Jess in the pouring rain, he may not have made it through the day.

I've read several of his other books (Deadly Shore, All Lies, and Fatal Lies) which were also absolutely delightful. I hope to read more. I highly recommend this book to all who love a good suspenseful thriller!

Tremolo is getting a new cover!
Thanks to Kellie Dennis for this beautiful new cover for Tremolo. This is one of the "young Gus" series within LeGarde Mysteries, set in 1964 in Maine. Stay tuned for the new release of this old-time classic. 

You can read all of the synopses and excerpts from LeGarde Mysteries and more here.

I hope you get a chance to step outside and enjoy the incredible beauty of spring this weekend. And if you get rain like we're expecting, cuddle up with a good book. 

Happy reading,

Aaron Paul Lazar