Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reworking Older Titles (The Lord Keeps Me Humble!)

Hello, friends!

I hope you've had a successful start to 2015. Did you make any resolutions?

I'm ashamed to say I didn't. I'm just plugging away at the jobs I've had on my plate for a while. Now that I've come up for air, I'm shocked that the end of January is in sight. How did that happen?

I’ve just finished putting the finishing touches on Under the Ice, my last Gus LeGarde Mystery. This makes ten in the series, and although I “never say never,” and may well write some more with these characters in the future, I’m breathing a sigh of relief, because some of these books have been waiting to see the light of day since 2006.

Because my head is so full of characters and stories begging to be released, for some reason I write too fast for a traditional publisher to keep pace with me. Especially since they aren’t uniquely devoted to just me. Heck, it wouldn’t be fair for all the other writers in the company to sit around and wait while my publisher focused on me, would it? So, I had a selection of older LeGarde books I’d written years ago, just languishing in the publishing queue.

When I decided to go ahead and put them out myself, I worked hard at it for a year and a half. In addition to a few new titles I managed to write (Devil’s Lake and The Seacrest) and two new books in my Tall Pines series (Sanctuary and Betrayal), I managed to polish up and release Lady Blues, Spirit Me Away, The Liar’s Gallery, and now, coming in a week or so, Under the Ice.

This last book, Under the Ice, was the toughest to edit and make presentable to the world. I’d written it in 2006, and just because of crazy timing issues, I hadn’t touched it since.

I thought it stunk.

Really. When I read it over during the course of three months, chapter by excruciating chapter, I was bored to tears. Maybe it’s because I’ve been writing thrillers and love stories since then. Maybe it’s because I was fitting this “do” job in between writing new, fresh stuff. But I was convinced it might be the worst of my series, and it honestly did need some very tedious editing.

Another issue that happened during this rewrite is that my Microsoft Word program stopped highlighting the misspellings and grammar mistakes. I tried one day to fix it, but couldn’t easily pinpoint the problem. That made for a lot of potential mistakes. Since then I’ve researched it and got it all back in working order. For the record, it was hardly an intuitive fix.

When I sent the book out to my first line of defense, two editors who work for me from the beginning to help me save face when I release the book to its next phase, the Beta Reader Phase, they found quite a few errors. I fixed them, and tried not to make even more mistakes in the “fixing,” (which does happen, as I’m sure you have all seen), and then shipped off the manuscript to about seventeen wonderful volunteers who have various amazing skills they are willing to share with me for the simple reward of “reading the story before it’s released” and also getting their personally inscribed print copy as a thank you. I love these folks, as you might imagine.

I’ve never had so many typos, extra words, missing words, case issues, and inconsistencies as they found in this book. Wow. I’m telling you, the Lord really kept me humble with this one. I think we must’ve had over 200 corrections, and I thank God for my Beta team, because mostly every single reader found a different selection of mistakes than the others! Some readers are best at catching action inconsistencies. Some are wizards with commas. Others have the knack of spotting that extra “to” or missing “a” in my prose. If it weren’t for all of them, however, I’d be flame-faced embarrassed when the book was released.

Because my own brain “reads” what it THOUGHT I “wrote,” I can’t find these errors. My brain thinks it’s so smart, integrating and upgrading the words before I interpret them. But dang it, I hate it. I wish I could spot my own mistakes.

Well, after all is said and done, my readers came back to me with comments like, “This is your best work yet,” “It flowed so well,” “I think it’s my favorite,” etc.

It just goes to show you. A story I hated editing “piecemeal” was actually well received when read as a whole entity.

Once this upcoming release of Under the Ice is done on January 30th, 2015, I am finally going to be free to write fresh, new books in any order I feel like. What a luxury! To tell the truth, I’ve already plotted and started writing a sequel to The Seacrest: a love story, and am halfway done with a sequel to Devil’s Lake, called Devil’s Creek.

After that, who knows? I just know I’ll be having a blast with whatever stories beg to be released next.

Following is a complete list for anyone who’d like to take a look at my stable of books, most of which are in eBook, print, and audio versions.

Happy writing!

Aaron

DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)
UPSTAGED (print, eBook, audio book)  
TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON (print, eBook, audio book)
MAZURKA (print, eBook, audio book)
FIRESONG (print, eBook, audio book)
DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (print, eBook, audio book)
THE LIARS’ GALLERY (print, eBook, audio book)
SPIRIT ME AWAY (print, eBook, audio book)
UNDER THE ICE: COUNTERPOINT (coming soon 2015)

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

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

STANDALONES
THE SEACREST (print, eBook, and audio book)
DEVIL’S LAKE (print, eBook, and audio book)
DEVIL’S CREEK (coming soon)

WRITING ADVICE: 

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

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, thrillers, love stories, and writing guides, 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 releases, UNDER THE ICE (2015) and DEVIL’S CREEK (2015). Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of "cheap therapy." Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers!



Thursday, January 08, 2015

FREE Kindle eBook - first time ever - SANCTUARY: A TALL PINES MYSTERY

http://www.amazon.com/Sanctuary-Tall-Pines-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00MU76KCS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420729093&sr=8-1&keywords=sanctuary%2C+lazar

Limited Time Offer

Free Kindle eBook, January 8-10th

For the first time ever, this award-winning mystery is available for free.
Download your copy here:

FREE SANCTUARY DOWNLOAD

Synopsis:

The safest place they know is about to become the most dangerous…

Marcella’s husband, Quinn “Black Eagle” Hollister, severed ties to his family and friends on the Seneca reservation years ago. He rarely mentions his past—until his young cousin Kitty collapses on the couple’s doorstep in the dead of a rainswept night.

After two Seneca men break into their home with intent to kill, the Hollisters flee with the mute and injured girl to Tall Pines, their cabin in the Adirondacks. Marcella, unable to bear a child of her own, unleashes her motherly instincts caring for Kitty. As the girl slowly recovers, they start to piece together who wants them dead, and why.

But their pursuers are canny and relentless. The next attack drives the trio from the sanctuary of Tall Pines, deep into the mountain wilderness.

In spite of their best efforts, the unthinkable happens and Kitty is kidnapped. Marcella and Quinn track her back to Tall Pines--where they find themselves facing an army of murderous Seneca who'll stop at nothing to protect their dark secret.

Friday, December 26, 2014

THE SEACREST: a love story, FREE Kindle Download, Dec. 26-28th.

From Aaron Lazar, a post-Christmas gift to you! Free Kindle eBook from Amazon, Friday through Sunday, 12/26 - 12/28, 2014. Pick up your copy today!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Seacrest-A-love-story-ebook/dp/B00G1TDBRI/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1419593564&sr=1-4With 100 5 star reviews on Amazon, The Seacrest has also won some nice awards this year:


2014 Best Beach Book Festival WINNER, Romance category 2013 

ForeWord Book Awards, Romance, FINALIST 

***



Hope you enjoy this excerpt from chapter 4.

July 2nd, 1997

We played with the beach ball for about an hour, laughing and churning up sand three hundred yards up the beach, away from the sunbathers and family picnics. After the first few nervous minutes, the whole thing felt very natural, as if we were just kids and there were no boy-girl elements to be embarrassed about.
But there certainly were boy-girl elements.
I watched her tawny arms as they flailed and whapped the ball and marveled at her long, delicate legs when she ran back and forth along the quiet stretch of sand we’d chosen. Her eyes had a way of widening in mock horror when I tossed it too high and she missed it, quickly followed by a wide smile that dizzied me.
She had a nice figure, with slim legs, a narrow waist, and pretty shoulders. Her one-piece black suit covered areas I tried not to stare at, but couldn’t help wanting to. I wondered how it would feel to touch her. Probably softer than silk. Her hair cascaded along her back, bouncing dark against her summer brown skin.
We collapsed on the sand with the ball between us, breathing hard and laughing.
“You’re pretty good at this,” she said.
I leaned back on my arms and chuckled. “So are you. For a girl.”
She sat up and hit my arm. “What? For a girl?”
Afraid she’d storm off, I took her hand and pulled her close to me. “I’m just kidding! Really, you’re good, even for a guy.”
She smiled that lazy, sweet grin again and I felt my heart melt.
“Okay. That’s better.”
“I haven’t seen you at my school. Are you from around here?” I asked.
“I just came back for the summer.”
“Back from where?” I said. “Reform school?”
She hit me again and I knew I deserved it.
“Just for that, I’m not telling you. You’re horrible!” Her smile belied her words.
I grinned back at her. “So, what’s your name?”
“Guess.”
“What?”
“Guess.”
“Okay.” I sat up, furrowed my brow, and placed fingertips against my temples, staring at her. “I’m getting something. It’s coming.”
She laughed and poked my chest. “Oh, really? What do you see?”
I gave it a shot. “Jennifer?”
She snorted. “No!”
I tried again. “Sarah?”
She giggled. “Heck, no.”
I tried to think of the most popular names of our generation, hoping it was one of them. “Allison?”
“Uhnt-uh.” She shook her head.
“Give me a hint.”
“No.”
“Oh, come on!” I frowned. “How can I guess?”
“You have to.”
“Okay. Hannah? Jessica? Carly? Jenna? Lisa?”
“No, no, no, no, and no.”
“Hey. How ‘bout if I tell you my name?”
“What is it?”
I hesitated. “It’s a weird one.”
“Tell me.”
“Okay. It’s Finn.”
She tilted her head. “That’s not weird. I like it. Finn.” She seemed to taste the letters on her tongue, enjoying the feel of it. “It’s different. But nice.”
“Okay. Your turn.” I sat forward expectantly.
“Nope. I’m not telling. You have to keep guessing.”
I ran through all the names I could imagine, and didn’t hit on it. Frustrated now, I flopped back on the sand. “Okay. Then I’m gonna make up a name for you.”
She made a face. “Really?” Quickly, she leaned over me, her face blocking the sun.
In a sudden rush of feeling, I wanted to pull her to me, to smother her in kisses, to taste the salt on her skin.
“Okay, what’s it gonna be? What’s my new name?”
“Let me think.”
Her hair danced over my bare chest. I caught it and played with it. “You are sweet. I could call you Honey.”
“Boring,” she said.
“How about Candy?”
“Sexist,” she pouted.
“Bambi?”
“Even worse! I’m not a playboy bunny!”
“Okay, Well, you look delicious. How about Cupcake?”
She hissed. “That sounds like a chubby girl. Or a pony.”
“Okay, okay. Let me think. Maybe I need some inspiration. How about a kiss?”
At first I thought she’d reel back and hit me. But to my surprise, she lowered her lips to mine, stopping just an inch apart. “Okay. Just a little one, though.”
I reached my arms up to her neck and pulled her toward me. At the last minute, just as I felt the soft sweetness of her mouth brushing mine, she pulled back.
“Nope. Too soon.” She got up and laughed, twirling around with the ball. “Come on. What’s my nickname?”
I sat up, trying to control the heat surging beneath my bathing suit. “Okay. I’ve got it.”
“What? What is it?”
“Sassy.”
She pranced toward me. “I love that! Okay. From now on, I’m Sassy to you.”
Her father appeared out of nowhere, his face a study in disapproval. I think he hated me from the moment I’d asked her to toss the ball around. I also figured he’d probably seen us lying near each other, and got nervous.
He glared at me. “Time for lunch. Let’s go.”
There was no arguing with his stern tone. She tossed him the ball and wiggled her fingers at me. “See ya ‘round, Finn.”
I grinned like an idiot. God, she was cute. “Okay, Sassy. See ya.”
I watched her link arms with her father and sashay away from me. The sun winked on the brilliant sand, almost blinding me. As if hypnotized, I stared with slack jaw until I could barely make out her figure among the crowded, colorful throng of beach-lovers.
Sassy.
Oh, Sassy. You’re the one for me.
*** 



Books by multi-award winning author, Aaron Lazar: 

LEGARDE MYSTERIES

DOUBLE FORTÉ
UPSTAGED
TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON
MAZURKA
FIRESONG
DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU
THE LIARS’ GALLERY
SPIRIT ME AWAY
UNDER THE ICE (coming soon)
LADY BLUES


MOORE MYSTERIES
HEALEY'S CAVE
TERROR COMES KNOCKING
FOR KEEPS

TALL PINES MYSTERIES
FOR THE BIRDS
ESSENTIALLY YOURS
SANCTUARY
BETRAYAL

STANDALONES
THE SEACREST
DEVIL’S LAKE
DEVIL’S CREEK (coming soon)

WRITING ADVICE
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1, 2, 3

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, 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 releases, UNDER THE ICE(2015) and DEVIL’S CREEK(2015). Contact him at aaron dot lazar at yahoo dot com.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

HOLIDAY DEALS and FREEBIES!

Happy Holidays!

Hi, folks! I know the Christmas season is a busy one, so I'll keep this short. I have several new offerings and a few deals I wanted to share today. See below and let me know if you need something for Christmas so I can get it to you on time!

Blessings,

Aaron


DEAL #1: For the next few days, the Kindle version of Betrayal is on sale for 99 cents. This is book 4 in Tall Pines Mysteries, but it can be read as a standalone.

DEALl #2: The audiobook was released yesterday! I have FREE coupons which I'll give to the first three readers who want to LISTEN to this story via Audible.com. Our narrator, Gwendolyn Druyor, is Hollywood perfect! She will astound you with her talent.




 DEAL #3: This popular love story will be FREE (Kindle) from December 26th-28th. Be sure to get your copy if you haven't read it yet. And be sure you are over 18, for this is for adults only.









Yesterday I received print copies of my new book, Sanctuary: A Tall Pines Mystery. The book including shipping is $18.00 (signed to whomever you wish). The audio version is also available now, so you can listen while you drive, work, or play. ;o)

DEAL #4: If you buy Sanctuary (print book) from me, I'll take 50% off any of these print books: 
For the Birds
Mazurka
Healey's Cave



See all Aaron's books at http://www.lazarbooks.com



Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Coming Home - A Facebook Event Where You Can Win Audiobooks from Amazing Authors!




The wind is singing winter blues
Whispering with her is a muse
Let her notes take you away
Swifter than a reindeer sleigh
Home awaits... Before you travel
Take a moment to unravel
Our story, our plot
And the gifts that we have brought
Let me tell you who we are
Come to us from near and far--


***

The days are short, the sun a spark
So faint the shine at the edge of dark
You shiver in the grip of ice
Home seems far, as under glass--

To read more click here:
 
http://uviart.blogspot.com/2014/11/let-me-introduce-you-to-my-author_28.html



To join this event, click here and hit the "JOIN" button at the top of the page!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Devil's Lake - free download, TODAY!

http://www.amazon.com/Devils-Lake-Aaron-Paul-Lazar-ebook/dp/B00LNFP8XU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1417465403&sr=1-1&keywords=Devil%27s+lake 


Today - download Aaron Lazar's new romantic thriller for free! (click on image for link)


After two years of brutal captivity, Portia Lamont has escaped and returned to her family’s Vermont horse farm—only to find her parents gone to New York to try an experimental treatment for her mother’s cancer, and her childhood friend Boone Hawke running the farm. 

Like the rest of her family, Boone has never given up hope that Portia would return. But when she turns up battered, skinny as a twelve-year-old boy, afraid of everything and unable to talk about what happened, he does the only thing he can—try to help her heal. He summons the town doctor and Portia’s parents, and sets out to put this beautiful, broken woman back together again. 

Through her family's love and Boone's gentle affection, Portia gradually comes back to herself, and starts to fall for her old friend in a whole new way. But one thing threatens her fragile hope for recovery: The man who took her promised that if she ever escaped, he'd kill her. Slowly. And someone is definitely watching her...waiting to make his next deadly move. 

***

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. A bestselling Kindle author of 22 books, including three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, 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 release, UNDER THE ICE. Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of "cheap therapy." Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers!



Monday, December 01, 2014

Welcome to the "Wined, Dined, and Read" Blog Hop!





I am pleased to be invited by Uvi Poznansky, author and artist extraordinaire, to take part in this delicious blog hop! Uvi Poznansky is a California-based author, poet and artist. “I paint with my pen,” she says, “and write with my paintbrush.” Uvi writes across a variety of genres: Apart From Love (contemporary fiction, Rise to Power (historical fiction), A Peek at Bathsheba (historical fiction), A Favorite Son (biblical fiction), Home (poetry), Twisted (fantasy) Now I Am Paper (children’s book) and Jess and Wiggle (children’s book.)


Please stop over at her blog to read her scrumptious excerpts from her lovely and diverse novels! Thank you, Uvi!

Now, come along and see what you think of my taste in wine, food, and books.

If your main character were a glass of wine, which one would they be?
Quinn “Black Eagle” Hollister, of the Tall Pines Mystery series, would be a glass of Seneca Shores RED KNIGHT: “Soft, East to Sip, Mellow. Big YUM Factor.” My lady readers have all fallen in love with quiet, soft-spoken, and beautiful Indian brave with the dark, glossy hair and turquoise eyes, so I guess they’d agree with the “yum” factor!

Describe your book in one meal:
 

Let’s talk about BETRAYAL, the new Tall Pines mystery. Here’s a scene with the love triangle formed by Quinn, Marcella, and Sky.

It started to snow again. Hard. And by the time I had the tuna sandwiches on and carried them to the table, the view outside was pure white. The wind howled like a desperate, injured wild animal, making me shiver and go for my heavier sweatshirt.

Quinn and Sky worked on the fire side by side, almost like young scouts trying to earn their merit badges.

Oh, God. There was that image again of Sky making the Boy Scout sign.

In that damned cave.

Where I’d practically attacked him.


I shoved the mental image down and opened a bag of Fritos. “Want chips, men?”

Sky nodded and Quinn agreed. “Sure, babe.”

“Want some milk to drink, too? I know we have tea, but…” 

Again, they both said yes, thanks, as if I’d offered them some kind of nectar of the gods. 

I glanced at them while I poured the milk. They ate their sandwiches with gusto. Of course, they both looked like Greek gods, and there was no way around it. Tonight I’d be swimming in a pool teeming with testosterone. Or something like that, because there was no way Sky was driving out of here in the blizzard.

An hour later, I made final cups of tea, finished washing the dishes, and proposed a game of Scrabble. Quinn got the board out and Sky stoked the fire. We laid out the letter trays on the dining room table near the stove. I shook the velvet bag to mix up the letters. “Go ahead, Sky. You pick first.”

He dug into the bag and brandished his letter. “B,” he said.

Quinn nodded in approval. “Good one. You’ll probably go first.”

I held the bag out to Quinn. “Go ahead, honey.” 

Quinn reached inside, stirred the tiles with his long fingers, and pulled out his trophy. With one eyebrow in the air, he pronounced, “Oh, weird. I’ve got a B, too.”

I looked from Sky to Quinn, pulling my own tile out of the bag. “X.” 

Quinn shot me a half-smile. “You’ve gotta choose then, Marcella. Pick between us. Who goes first?”

I sat glued to the chair, looking between them. What had my life come down to, when even playing a simple game I froze trying to choose between them. I was ridiculously aware of the appalling parallel. “I can’t pick. Go again.” I held up the bag.

Sky put up a hand. “That’s silly. Quinn can go first.”

Quinn disagreed. “No. You’re the guest. You go first.”

I shook the bag and laughed. “Okay, this is crazy. I’ll go first. We’ll go counterclockwise. Me, Sky, Quinn. Now pick your seven letters.”

We’d been at it for about forty-five minutes, and I was staring in disbelief at all the horrible letters on my tray, when the phone rang. I jumped up, glad for an excuse to get out of my turn. “Go ahead, guys, just skip me.”

Wht candy would your book be? 

BETRAYAL would best fit as a York Peppermint Patty. Set in the deep, snowy cold of the Adirondack mountains, it’s also surrounded by the rich chocolate of yearning and desire.

What does your book smell like?

My characters are in love with essential oils. Here’s one section that definitely applies!

***

I saw him now—clearly. He stood in the doorway with Dak on a taut leash. Quinn’s eyes almost glowed in that early morning light, intense against his dark smooth skin. His strong jaw was set, determined. His glossy dark hair fell over his shoulders, and on his open-necked denim shirt the turquoise bolo—the one that matched his lovely eyes—lay flat on his chest.

I sat up. “Quinn?”

As if he’d seen an angel appear out of the darkness, Quinn’s face came alive. He and Dak ran to me, all legs and arms and flapping furry tail. I had no wires attached, so they tumbled onto the bed with me. I was kissed and licked and hugged and snuggled by man and canine. The whole thing made me laugh so hard and so long that I couldn’t breathe, almost like a tickle-fest from childhood.

“Babe.” His eyes caught mine and searched them. “You’re back.”

I leaned forward to kiss his soft lips. “Yeah. Hi.”

“Hi, yourself.” He stretched out on one side of me and Dak curled at the bottom of the bed. “Oh, Marcella.” His voice grew hoarse with emotion. “I’ve missed you so much.”

I breathed in the scent of him, the comforting, familiar, and oh-so-lovely scent of my man. I got a wisp of something else, too. Maybe Cedarwood?

I sat up. “Where are my oils? I need them. I need my Frankincense.”

He leaned over and opened the drawer in the little table beside me. “Here you go. We kept them near you. But the docs wouldn’t let us touch you until you were ready to see us.” He lowered his eyes. “Maybe I should have fought it. I wanted to hold you and kiss you and slather you with the oils.”

I put a finger to his lips. “It’s okay. They did what they thought best. Maybe I needed a timeout, who knows.”

His eyes met mine, probing. “Not surprising, after all you went through, babe. But are you gonna be okay now?”

I hugged him tight, rubbing my hands on his back in small circles. “Yes. Now give me some of that Frankincense. I want to douse myself in it.”

He turned sideways and plucked the red-labeled bottle from the drawer. “Here you go.”

I uncapped it and drew in a greedy breath full of the aroma. A woodsy, warm, heady scent filled the room, elevating me with feelings of hope and well-being. “Oh, that’s so good.” 

We shared the oil, rubbing it on our temples and the back of our necks, then lay on the bed unspeaking, just holding each other.

Your book’s snack would be:

Tangy, sweet Honeycrisp apples and sharp cheddar cheese made in New York State.

Describe your most memorable meal:

Sometimes, simple is just so good, right? Here’s a nice meal prepared for Marcella by her former lover, Sky Lissoneau.

I looked at him. His jeans fit well, worn at the bottoms and snug around his hips. He wore an old green and black flannel shirt that complemented his eyes. In a flash, the old memories invaded my brain again. Sky and me together at the State Fair. Our first kiss. Our first time in his parents’ pontoon boat. The rocking waves. The way he took such exquisite care of me, my body, my needs.

He dumped the bags on the kitchen counter, putting some away and keeping some items out on the shelf. “Quinn’s not coming back?”

I shook my head. “He didn’t come up this time.”

He stole a sideways glance, now obviously curious. “Okay…Well, I’ll cook the steaks if you want. No need for both of us to eat alone.”

So, he still didn’t have a girlfriend to eat dinner with?

It seemed impossible. Sky is a gorgeous man with a big stout heart and plenty of love to share. Sure, he could be brooding at times, and he’d work himself to death if someone didn’t drag him out of his lab most days, but he was a real catch. Especially up here in the wilderness where there weren’t many young single men around.

I started to unpack the food I’d brought in from the van earlier, stowing the fish in the freezer and the apples in the crisper. I turned the refrigerator’s cold setting from low to medium, and checked the cabinets. We’d really cleaned them out last fall before we closed Tall Pines for the winter. It was slim pickins. Some canned goods. Stale coffee. Steak sauce. Powdered creamer. A jar of spaghetti sauce. A bottle of olive oil and some seasonings. I’d definitely have to go shopping in the morning.

I filled a bowl with water for Dak and poured his kibble into another dish. “There you go, sweetie.”

With big tail wagging, my pal slurped some water and began to devour his supper.

“He’s grown a lot in six months,” Sky said, looking up from the frying pan. He’d begun to sauté mushrooms and onions in butter, and it smelled fantastic.

I leaned down to pat Dak, ruffling his glossy, long fur. “He has. He gained another seven pounds. He still thinks he’s a lap dog, though.”

“Don’t they all?” He grinned and added the steaks to the pan. “I don’t know how you feel about nuked potatoes, but if we wait for them to bake we’ll probably starve to death. At least I will,” he winked. “I skipped lunch.”

I realized I had, too. My stomach rumbled as if in agreement. I laughed and covered my mouth. “Oh, me, too. I’ll just pop ‘em in the microwave, and we can bake them for the last few minutes. Maybe it’ll crisp up the skins?”

He’d already ripped open a package of Boston lettuce and begun to rinse it under the faucet. “If you want to, you can chop the pepper, tomatoes, and cucumbers.”

“Sure.” I closed the microwave, set it to ten minutes, and selected a knife from the box. I slid a cutting board down from the hook on the wall and grabbed a yellow pepper.

In silence, we stood side by side preparing the salad. When the bowl was full, the steaks were just about ready. I took out the potatoes, wishing I’d thrown them in the oven before he arrived. They weren’t very crispy.

We filled our plates and sat in the now warm dining area. Dak settled on the floor at my feet, and I glanced at Sky across the table.

Before he picked up his fork, he reached for my hand, catching my eyes with his. “Okay. So are you gonna tell me what’s going on now?”

I slumped in my seat feeling lost, yet aching to spill my guts. “I guess.” Mechanically, I picked up my fork and started to carve a piece of steak, dipping it in the A1 sauce I’d miraculously found in the cabinet. Maybe if I concentrate on the dinner, I won’t fall apart.

He leaned forward. “So? Where is he? Where’s Quinn?”

It wasn’t going to work. My face crumpled and my voice hitched. “I…I left him.”

Sky’s eyes widened, staring at me intently. “You what?”

“We’re having some issues. I needed to be alone.”

He put a huge chunk of butter on his potato, smearing it around with his fork. With deliberately slow motions, he asked, “Is this about the baby? Callie told me you had to give her up today.”

I nodded, not trusting my voice. Instead, I took a drink of sweet well water.

“I’m really sorry about Kimi. I know it must’ve hurt like hell,” he said.

I nodded and chewed, not trusting my voice.

“Are you officially separated?”

I spoke in a tiny voice I barely recognized as my own. “I don’t know what we are. I just need time away. To think. To try to get over it.”

“I’m sorry, Marcie. I thought you guys were pretty solid.”

“We are. I mean, we were.”

“Do you think you’ll patch things up?”

I hung my head. “Honestly? I don’t know.”

One food word to describe your writing style:
Scrumptious.

What will someone find you eating/drinking when you’re really into a good book?

Slices of dill Havarti cheese, tart Snap Dragon apples, and a glass of good Riesling.

Sweet or Salty?

That’s a tough call, for I love eclairs as much as Marcella does in the Tall Pines Mysteries, but I also love Cheesits!

http://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-Tall-Pines-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00N2134W0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0VCNQFGD88CV98PRS33E

Thank you so much for following along with our blog hop! Please check out these authors who will be taking part in the near future.

Barb Caffrey, author of the An Elfy on the Loose. You can check it out, here.

Dina Von Lowenkraft, author of Dragon Fire. Come on over to Amazon to take a look!

Maria DeVivo, author of The Coal Elf, found here.