Monday, April 14, 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop


Hello, MB4 friends!

Maria DeVivo, a great gal and fellow Twilight Times writer, author of the incredible story, The Coal Elf, tagged me for a Writing Process Blog Tour. I absolutely love talking about writing, so I jumped on the opportunity to chat with you today about the process.

I’ll answer questions about my work and my mysterious methods, and will subsequently tag three wonderful writers to continue the topic. 
 But first, please check out Maria’s book, which has over 100 reviews on Amazon!!   Here's what her readers are saying:

the-coal-elf-novel
 "Just when you think you've reached a safe place in a DeVivo story, she plunges you into terror again.  No author can wrench your stomach into knots like this lady."
-Dechen Paldron
"Great characters and just a good story."
-Eric T Healy
"Do yourself a favor and read The Coal Elf--I highly recommend it."
-Daniel Springer

  
Q. What are you working on?  I'm up to my ears in books this year, so I thought I'd share the status with you below!

 1) A new boxed eBook set of Double Forté: A Gus LeGarde Mystery, Book 1, Upstaged, Mazurka: A Gus LeGarde Mystery, and FireSong will be released soon by Twilight Times Books. Cover art by Kellie Dennis is ready and will be revealed soon.

2) SPIRIT ME AWAY, book #8 in LeGarde Mysteries, is undergoing its Beta reads right now and will be probably released within the month. Cover art by Kellie Dennis is done and will be revealed soon!

3) For Keeps: A Sam Moore Mystery, Book 3, will be offered next week for 99 cents!

4) Devil's Lake, a new standalone suspense, is 3/4 done and cover art is ready (again, thanks to Kellie). Will be revealed and released soon.

5) Starting on LeGarde #7 cover and final edits - VIRTUOSO should be ready in a few months.

6) Next comes final edits and polished on LeGarde #9, UNDER THE ICE (Counterpoint), the books 3 and 4 in Tall Pines (already written) SANCTUARY and MURDER ON THE SACANDAGA. They should all be out by fall I hope.


Q. How does your work differ from others of its genre?


A. My books are pure country, and by that I don’t mean country as in heart throbbing, twanging singers, I mean they are steeped in the woods, fields, lakes, rivers, and mountains of the Genesee Valley and Adirondacks of New York State. Sometimes we go abroad (Mazurka takes my characters to Europe), and sometimes we go back in time (Tremolo: cry of the loon is based in Maine in 1964), but my characters are always surrounded by nature and its beauty. 

You’ll inhale the aroma of the fetid earth when you fall into a pile of leaves if a villain’s chasing you, or you’ll taste the buttery potatoes Gus just dug from his garden and cooked for his family, or feel the sweaty back of a horse beneath your bare legs while you’re cantering along a trail in the woods. My characters will always let you know how they’re feeling inside, and for the most part, they try to set good examples of loyalty, morality, and courage in the face of horrible villains. 

Caution: You may also feel a voraciously hungry after reading the LeGarde Mysteries, where Gus cooks weekend feasts for his friends and family.  I have been blamed for screwing up my readers’ diets in the past. 


Q. Why do you write what you do?


A.  Obsession, I guess. I can’t stop the stories that percolate in my head. I also need an escape from real life—frequently—and I’m just thrilled to be able to run wild in my parallel universe. To love, live, chase villains, and pursue happiness. It’s a blast. And it's cheap therapy. ;o)


Q. How does your writing process work?


A. A nugget of an idea will set in my subconscious for a while, based on a television show, movie, book, news report, or family event. Anything can get the muse rolling. For example, when the news reported the kidnappings of those poor girls in Cleveland by the creepy Ariel Castro, I couldn’t stop thinking of how horrible it was. I kept picturing those poor women in that boarded up house. Eventually, the story I’m working on now, Devil’s Lake, was born. It morphed quite a bit from the original inspiration, and opened up a new genre for me.


Normally, once I get this idea and can’t stop thinking about it, I picture a broad, sweeping idea of a story. I start to think about twists and turns. I pick a locale. Next, I picture the first chapter. And then the real writing starts. Once I put fingers to keyboard, the story evolves in a way that is almost out of my control. But I have to be actually physically writing it for it to “come out.” Isn’t that odd? Sometimes I feel like a conduit for my characters. I’m just fingers and they use me. LOL. 


That's it! Thanks, Maria, for asking me to participate in this fun blog hop!

I’m passing the baton to: 


 Picture


Ring of Lies



http://www.booksleavingfootprints.com/graphics/bury-coverFINALe-200.jpg

Thursday, April 03, 2014

What Happens When Two Music Men Get Together in a Mystery?


http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Blues-forget-me-not-LeGarde-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00IS6EXG0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396533441&sr=8-1&keywords=lady+blues
copyright 2014 Aaron Paul Lazar

Gus LeGarde’s affable, but pushy, minister from his local church is always pressuring him to play piano for extra church services on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes it’s the local prison, sometimes it’s nursing homes, but in Lady Blues: forget-me-not, Reverend Hardina asks Gus to accompany the hymns at the new Bello Mondo Manor, a beautiful new facility for Alzheimer’s patients.

Gus has his plate full on Sundays, literally, as he always prepares an afternoon feast for his extended family and friends, including the dear Reverend Hardina. So when he’s asked to do even more for his church, he hesitates. How can he get it all done?

On this particular Sunday, he agrees, however, and is shocked to find a “jewel” of a chapel at Bello Mondo, featuring real stained glass windows, beautiful woodwork, velvet drapery, and most shocking of all, a pipe organ. He wonders how the place can afford such luxury, and uncovers ties to a big drug company.

Meanwhile, the residents in wheel chairs and bathrobes seem dead to the world in their pews, until they hear the music. They sing their hearts out when Gus plays familiar hymns like “Rock of Ages” and “Morning Has Broken.”

Most interesting is an elderly gentleman dressed in a black suit and red bowtie, who stands and conducts the hymns with his pencil, and whose fingers move in concert with the notes, as if he’s playing piano. Gus learns that this fellow—dubbed “the music man” by Kip’s nurses—has been in homes since he was dropped on their doorstep by the Armed Forces in 1946.

Kip Sterling doesn’t know his own name—but he speaks Gus’s language, spouting jazz terms like “cadence” and “interlude” and “riff.” He’s also obsessed with “his Bella,” but nobody knows who she is.

Because Gus is a music professor (actually based on my own father who was a pianist and professor of music) the Bello Mondo nurses suggest that maybe he can connect with Kip through music. Although Gus’s expertise is in classical works, including his obsessions with Chopin, Khachaturian, and Puccini, he also is passionate about jazz and blues, and strangely enough, plans to write a book on Ella Fitzgerald and her generation. He befriends the old gentleman, and when a new medicine starts to restore Kip’s memories, things heat up.

Music is woven throughout the Lady Blues story, from Gus’s “Opera 101” and “American Composer” classes he teaches at the local university, to his daughter Shelby, whose voice is startlingly beautiful and to whom he’s teaching Ella Fitzgerald’s songs at home, to Bella’s background as a bluesy nightclub singer… it ties the book and the entire series together.

I’ve even put in a plug for my good friend Paul Stuart, who is an award-winning composer in his own right. He’s written operas and symphonies that are played worldwide, and I refer to them within the story.

Side by side, both “music men” piece together the puzzles, which reunite long lost lovers and shed light on a historical mystery dating back to World War II.

You can check out LeGarde Mysteries here at www.lazarbooks.com, and can read them in any order. ;o)



In book 10 of the LeGarde Mystery series, Gus unravels twin mysteries of an abused Korean seamstress and a 1940s jazz ingénue whose pianist lover disappeared overseas on the same night Glen Miller’s plane was lost in English Channel. Gus helps an Alzheimer’s patient reclaim his identity, while dodging a drug company who will silence any witness to keep the truth of their breakthrough Alzheimer's treatment under wraps.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lady Blues: Food Matters in a "Literary Sine Wave."


copyright 2014 Aaron Paul Lazar

http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Blues-forget-me-not-LeGarde-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00IS6EXG0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1395274623&sr=1-1&keywords=lady+blues

Gus LeGarde, the main character in Lady Blues: forget-me-not, has always loved to cook for his friends and family. Every Sunday he invites his mother-in-law, her cop boyfriend, the reverend from church, his daughter’s fiancé, elderly family friends, Oscar and Millie Stone, and anyone else who he happens to befriend in each new book in the series of ten mysteries starting with Double Forté.

I didn’t plan it this way, but when I wrote the first book and every novel since then, I’ve employed the device of tension and release, or what I like to call the "literary sine wave." I feature an action vignette first – someone’s being chased or there’s a tornado coming, or a saboteur is pulling nasty tricks backstage on high school kids…then when the scene fades, I “pan” to a family vignette. Gus is cooking, or playing with his grandkids, or walking through his gardens. Family is shown in their every day chaos or quiet, and I use these scenes to encourage my readers care about Gus and his family, who will be most definitely threatened in scenes to come.

It just so happens that when we’re the “lower” half of the sine wave, beneath the x axis, if you will, in those quiet times, Gus tends to be cooking.  

I’ve pulled meals from my own life every time I need material for these scenes. Yes, every meal Gus cooks, I’ve probably just cooked the weekend before I wrote that chapter. Yes, in a large family feast. Yes, for lots of family around a table much like Gus’s. But how Gus and I are alike is an article for another day.

Some of my readers have expressed interest in recipes from the books. In Lady Blues, I do feature a fair amount of comfort food.  Problem is, I don’t cook by the book. I just sort of estimate everything and throw things together. That’s how Gus does it, too. But today I’ll try to make things a bit more specific. ;o) Use your own judgment, though. If you need more or less of something to make it work, just do it. We don’t stand on ceremony in the LeGarde…er…Lazar household.

Here are a few of the meals Gus cooked in Lady Blues: forget-me-not. I’m not a recipe writer, I’m a seat-of-the-pants cook. So I hope the quantities I estimated here will work for you.

Scalloped Tomatoes (that’s right, not potatoes!)

This dish is very popular in my house. It’s also very fattening, but we don’t care when it’s a special occasion. It’s also very easy to make. I use frozen tomatoes from my garden, defrosted and drained, but you can use chopped canned tomatoes if you have them, or whole roma tomatoes, canned or fresh. I leave the skins and seeds in, and they taste just fine.

This will feed a huge crowd, and I bake it in an enormous rectangular baking pan, but you can use whatever is handy and cut the amounts in half if you’re serving a smaller family.

Ingredients (roughly estimated)

- 8 cups chopped, diced, or whole plum tomatoes, drained of all liquid (squish ‘em in a colander)
- 8 cups Mozzarella or cheese of your choice, shredded
- 1 pound butter
- 1 box of coarsely crushed ww Saltines or regular Saltines (other crackers or crumbs can work) (I put them in a big baggie and mash them with a rolling pin.)

Directions

1. Melt the butter and mix with the crushed crackers. (You can add parsley or any seasonings you prefer, but it doesn’t need much!)
2. Build layers of tomatoes, cheese, buttered crackers (like lasagna) until the dish is full. I usually get about three layers of each.
3. Cover with shredded cheese and/or crumbs.
4. Bake for ~ an hour until the cheese is melted and crispy on top.

That’s it!

(I told you it was fattening, but it’s so delicious, it’s worth the calories!)

Homemade cranberry sauce with pears

This is so easy to make, I often prepare it when we serve baked turkey legs, or turkey patties. I made it for Thanksgiving, too, but I’m the only one who likes it over the gelled type of canned cranberry, LOL. I buy bags of cranberries around Thanksgiving and freeze them for the whole year. That way, I can just grab one from the freezer and make this in 15 minutes.

Ingredients

- One package fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1-2 cups sugar or sweetener of your choice (I used Blue Agave sometimes)
- Two pears, skinned and diced
- Cinnamon
- Nutmeg

Directions

1. Place frozen or fresh cranberries and pears in a large stockpot and cover with water.
2. Boil until nearly softened.
3. Add sweetener at the end to make it syrupy. If using sugar, you need several cups to counteract the delicious tartness of the berries.
4. Sprinkle cinnamon and a little bit of nutmeg.

Gus LeGarde is now officially proud of you.  ;o)


 Bavarian Cabbage

This dish goes great with pork chops, mashed carrots and parsnips, or a pork loin roast. Adjust the flavors as you go to suit your taste.

Ingredients

- One head red cabbage, sliced
- Six tart apples, peeled and sliced.
- Two onions, thinly sliced
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Vinegar OR Apple cider, about 1 cup
- Brown Sugar, about 1 cup, but add more or less to taste
- Clove powder, just a tiny sprinkle at the end.

Directions

1.     Sautee onions in EVOO until translucent.
2.     Add red cabbage and apples, apple cider (or vinegar).
3.     Cook down until the cabbage and apples are tender, keep stirring.
4.     Add brown sugar to taste halfway through cooking. The color will become more purple/blue as the dish cooks down.  
5.     Adjust flavors until it has a sweet/sour taste and sprinkle just a touch of clove powder in at the end. 

Enjoy!!

Aaron Lazar
www.lazarbooks.com
 

Friday, March 07, 2014

A Miracle Cure for Alzheimer's Disease?

copyright 2014, aaron paul lazar



http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Blues-forget-me-not-LeGarde-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00IS6EXG0/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394222795&sr=1-10&keywords=lady+blues
I can’t help myself.

I wrote about a fictitious cure for leukemia in Essentially Yours (Tall Pines Mysteries, book #2) because my cousin suffers from this dreaded disease and I wanted so badly for someone to find a cure. I can’t help but imagine the day when a real cure arrives, and somehow, I was compelled to write about it.

My grandmother died from Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of ninety, in 1997. This woman was a powerhouse of personality. I based my character Maddy Coté in the LeGarde Mysteries on her flamboyant and gushing mannerisms in Gram’s honor.

Gram was a real rebel for her day. Imagine a “grandmother” DYING her hair BLOND in the fifties! Whoa, now that was a shocker. She always wore colorful outfits, loud chunky jewelry, gave loud smacking kisses, and smashed me to her bosom when she saw me. And worst and most shocking of all, my grandmother drank BEER. Yes, a green bottle of Narragansett accompanied every meal.

Indeed. She was one wild woman.

And I adored her.

I will never forget how the illness stole her away from us, and how I felt the first time she didn’t remember me. I also remember the intensely personal and amazing moment when I sang one of “our songs,” to her, and she came back to me for just a few minutes, calling me by name and saying “Isn’t it nice to be with family?” just before the curtain fell again and she disappeared forever.

Sigh. It still makes me very sad.

So, here I am seventeen years later, making up a miracle cure for the dreaded disease that has affected so many people. I just hope it’s prophetic.  

In Lady Blues: forget-me-not, my protagonist Gus LeGarde, befriends an elderly gentleman, Kip Sterling, in a new nursing home for Alzheimer’s patients.

Gus refers to himself as “a hopeless romantic, a Renaissance man caught in the twenty-first century.” No stranger to passion or heartache, Gus lavishes love on his family and dog as he mourns the loss of his lifetime soul mate, Elsbeth, in the first book of the series, Double Forté. He teaches music at Conaroga University, imparting the love of the classics to his young students. Gus is passionate about French Impressionist painters, gardening, and cooking lavish gourmet meals for his family and friends. His rambling, 1811 Greek Revival farm house lies among the rolling hills and bucolic splendor of the Genesee Valley. He plays Chopin etudes to clear his mind and feed his soul, and has an impeccable inner moral compass. By the time we get to Lady Blues, book ten in the series, he has fallen in love with and married Camille Coté, Maddy’s daughter. 

Now, back to our story about the miracle.

When a new drug called Memorphyl starts working on Kip and memories start to bubble to the surface in this fascinating fellow, all kinds of trouble is stirred up. But one persistent memory keeps on bugging him, and he asks Gus for help.

Back in 1946, Kip lost the love of his life, Miss Arabella Mae Dubois, affectionately known as Bella, a lusty and talented blues singer he met in the Harlem clubs. Kip is obsessed with finding her, and Gus promises to help.

Now that I think about it, the Bella I created here actually has quite a bit in common with my grandmother, personality-wise. Hmm. Interesting parallels, I think. Bella and Kip, a biracial couple in a very intolerant age, were quite the rebels, themselves.

Wouldn't it be great if someday, somewhere, somehow, we really do get a cure for Alzheimer’s? What if all the memories came pouring back, and patients in nursing homes began to be released back to their families?

I love the idea. Hey, maybe if I write about it enough, it’ll come true someday!

Aaron Paul Lazar
www.lazarbooks.com

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

DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)     http://www.legardemysteries.com/doubleforte.htm
UPSTAGED (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)
VIRTUOSO (~2014)
LADY BLUES (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)
MURDER ON THE SACANDAGA (~2014)

STANDALONES
THE SEACREST (2013)
DEVIL’S LAKE (2014)

WRITING ADVICE: 

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, 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 SANCTUARY (2014), DEVIL’S LAKE(2014), and VIRTUOSO (2014).


Connect with Aaron!

Facebook (personal page)
Linked In
GooglePlus

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gus LeGarde is a Better Man Than Me (or is he??) by Aaron Lazar


copyright 2014, aaron paul lazar

My readers often ask, “Are you Gus LeGarde?

I laugh and tell them, “Hardly. Gus is a much better man than me.”

I genuinely mean it when I say it. 

But is it really true?

When I started writing the LeGarde Mystery series, I planned to base Gus on my father – a wonderful Renaissance man and a talented pianist/music professor. At the time, he’d just passed away from cancer, and I was overwhelmed with grief. The idea of starting the series as a testimony to him was appealing, and it provided some serious therapy.

Dad and I were a great deal alike. We both nurtured huge gardens, cooked, and loved kids and dogs. So, as I began to write, particularly in the first person POV, Gus ended up being a lot like me.

So, am I Gus LeGarde? And is he a better man that me?

Gus and I are very much alike. So much so that my friends always think it’s me in the stories, and I often get asked questions like, “What was the name of the book where you and Camille went to Europe with Siegfried?”

We do look alike. We have the same wavy dark hair with silver sprinkled at the temples. The same hazel eyes. The same shoe size. But he’s twenty pounds thinner and more fit than I am. Hey, I’m allowed to dream, right?

Gus and I grow expansive gardens, cook lush feasts for our families, adore our grandchildren, and dote on our dogs. We’re good husbands, and responsible citizens. We live in big old houses in the country, and are crazy about nature, particularly the Genesee Valley and Finger Lakes regions of upstate NY. We love to ride horses and love to swim. We devour mysteries and read in bed before going to sleep.

However, Gus can run for miles without getting an asthma attack. He can hold his own in a fistfight, lucky devil. I get out of breath if I jog for more than a half mile, and I’ve never been in a fistfight in my life. Call me a pacifist. I’ve always used words better than fists, I guess.

Gus can play a flawless Chopin etude without even looking at the music. His artistry is perfect, his skills precise. I struggle through the simplest Chopin waltz.

Gus is drawn to trouble, ferrets out the villains, and fights to uphold honor for the common good. I struggle get through my day to day existence and only write about courage and upholding justice. I sure believe in it, but I don’t really participate, do I?

Let’s talk about church. Gus is a better parishioner than I ever was, even when I regularly attended our local Methodist church. He’s on all the committees; plays organ for church services when needed at local nursing homes and prisons, and is an outstanding parish leader. I used to do some of that, until the committees took up far too much of my writing time and we lost the best pastor we’d ever had. I became discouraged and let the organized religious part of my life go – especially when my grandchildren moved in and going to church meant losing precious hours with them. Right now, they’re foremost in my life. I know God understands. ;o) And I will go back to church when they’re older and life settles down a little. I miss it.

Wait just a minute, now. Gus has a lot more time than me, doesn’t he? Hmmm. There may be something to this line of reasoning. He lives five minutes away from his job where he teaches music at the local university. I drive 35 minutes each way to work, twice a day. That’s a lot of driving. And he teaches a few classes a day and is free to hunt scoundrels and investigate evildoers to his heart’s content. I’m stuck at work at least eight hours a day.

Now I’m starting to get jealous. Which is really sick, since he’s my own invention.

Gus also has Siegfried, his gentle giant brother-in-law who chops his wood, mows the lawn, feeds the livestock, and cleans out the horse stalls. Wow. Gus really has it easy. No wonder he has time to chase down the villains!

I’m warming to this angle. Let’s see…

Gus has another advantage – Mrs. Adelaide Pierce! I’ll admit, I always wanted the “real” Mrs. Doubtfire, and I invented Adelaide because I longed for her in my own life. During the weekdays she shops, helps with the grandkids, does mountains of laundry, cooks meals, and cleans the house. Sigh. Those jobs fall to me most of the time, since my wife is disabled. And I do lovingly care for my sweetie pie, bringing her meals, monitoring her meds, and generally loving her a whole lot. We both weave chair seats on the side, to make extra money. Hey! There’s something Gus can’t do!

And I just thought of one more thing. I take photos. Some of them are nice. And Gus doesn’t have a clue about photography. He’s got a good eye for art, but he leaves the photography to his adopted father figure, Oscar Stone. But Oscar’s a better photographer than me. He’s published coffee table books galore. Wait a minute, let’s not get off on that tangent.

The next time a reader asks me if I’m Gus LeGarde, I might hesitate before spouting my usual answer.

We really are one and the same soul – with a few minor perturbations. His thoughts are my thoughts. When he mourns his first wife, I tap into the feelings of fear and grief I experienced when my wife almost died, when the threat of her demise hung over our family. When Gus mourns his father’s passing, it’s my grief he’s feeling. He cherishes his grandkids like I do mine, with the same fierce sense of adoration and protection I feel toward my little buddies, Julian and Gordie. And when he picks his sun-ripened tomatoes, or his juicy plums, or his aromatic basil, he’s raiding my garden. Each meal he cooks has been my real-life creation, and every book he reads I’ve read.

And there’s one important fact here we must address…I created Gus. He wouldn’t have “life” it it weren’t for me. Ha. So there!

It’s an interesting relationship, this author/character thing. Kind of crazy. And impossible to ignore. Now that I’ve analyzed it to death, though, I think I’ll get cracking and let Gus take me on another mission. ;o) 

***

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

DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)     http://www.legardemysteries.com/doubleforte.htm
UPSTAGED (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)
VIRTUOSO (~2014)
LADY BLUES (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)
MURDER ON THE SACANDAGA (~2014)

STANDALONES
THE SEACREST (2013)
HOLLOW JUSTICE (2014)

WRITING ADVICE: 

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, 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 Twilight Times Books releases, SANCTUARY (2014), and VIRTUOSO (2014).
 

Connect with Aaron Lazar!

Facebook (personal page)
Linked In
GooglePlus

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sharing the Love, Paying it Forward, or Just Being a Nice Guy, Aaron Lazar



Hello, friends and fans!

I hope this finds you all well. It's been a very cold and snowy winter up here in The Finger Lakes region of western NY (brrr...) But it's also a wonderful time to burrow deep down in a good book, whether your creating or reading it. 

I'm working on my 22nd book now, and am having a blast. It helps that Bittersweet Hollow is set in the nice, hot summer in Vermont, on a Morgan Horse Farm, no less!

Today I want to talk about cross promotion. 

I love my writer friends. They have carried me through terrific doldrums and stood by my side when I've received awards. They've helped me through writer's block, taken my hand to lead the way in how to promote, and given me amazing links to new propositions, like audio books. 

My writer pals are the best. 

Sure, I may not have met most of them "in person," but I feel as if I know them almost intimately. 

You can't help but share your life's troubles and vent a little when you're writing to each other every day to swap chapters of your current WIP. And when your personalities "click" that can lead to a life-long friendship. So, when I say I care about these folks, I mean it. And I love to share links to their books.

Many of these friends end up in my acknowledgments. With eBooks, I can now put their website links right up front to help spread the word. That feels good!

Sometimes my characters are just setting down a book they've been reading when dialog is about to unfold. Imagine that! Occasionally I'm lazy, and I just pop in the current book I've been reading, or one of my all time favorite authors, like John D. MacDonald. Sometimes I'm just inspired to feature one of my friends' books, too. 

For fun, I went through my twenty-one books (some published and some still in the queue) and searched on "reading" and "books" to see what titles I've had my charactersenjoying over the years. Now, I realize I need to get some of my other pals' books out there, too. If you're not on the list, don't feel bad. You'll likely make your way into a Gus LeGarde or Sam Moore Mystery soon! (I know I used one of Kim Smith's books in one of my novels, but I couldn't find it. Maybe she can remind us!)

Here's the list:


FireSong (book 5 in Gus LeGarde series): TheEmpty Copper Sea by John D. MacDonald.
and The Devil CanWait by Marta Stephens

Counterpoint (book 8 in Gus LeGarde series) (not yet available): Ham Loaf Hawaiian, by Pete Pellissier Crab Cake & Pepper by Frank Weaver, Jr.

Lady Blues (book 10 in Gus LeGarde series): The Moor, by Laurie R. King, HUNTED by SW Vaughn, Laurie R. King, The Art of Detection.

For the Birds (book 1 in Tall Pines Mysteries): Master of None, S.W. Vaughn
Healey’s Cave: The Scent ofGod, by Beryl Singleton Bissell, Tread Not on Me, by R.C. Burdick


For Keeps (book 3 in Moore Mysteries): The Lonely Silver Rain, by John D. MacDonald, Hunted, by S.W. Vaughn


I realize that not all my books included subtle hints on other books to go check out - now I'm going to make it a point to feature several of my author friends books in EVERY title I release! Maybe you can try it, too, and help give your writer pals a leg up.

Stay warm if your up north like me. And remember - spring's coming soon!

Aaron Lazar
www.lazarbooks.com

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 Twilight Times Books releases, SANCTUARY (2014), and VIRTUOSO (2014).