Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Excerpt from The Luck of the Weissensteiners by Christoph Fischer

In WW2 Eastern Europe, two families—one Jewish, one Catholic—fight for survival amidst deception, fear, distrust and betrayal. In the entangled web of political, religious and familial loyalties, can love endure?


Hi, folks!

http://www.amazon.com/At-Odds-Destiny-Uvi-Poznansky-ebook/dp/B00SHYGG7C/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425214222&sr=1-1&keywords=at+odds+with+destiny
I'm very excited about AT ODDS WITH DESTINY, a new book collection just released which in my humble opinion sets a new level for all omnibuses.

This one offers ten critically acclaimed, best selling authors all in one place - and each book is only NINE CENTS. It's crazy, and it's a super deal. The really cool part of this is that in AT ODDS WITH DESTINY, each full length novel is BOOK ONE in a series. So if you fall in love with an author and his characters, there are many more to turn to in their stable of works!

I'll be featuring some excerpts for these amazing books here over the next few weeks. So stay tuned!

Aaron Paul Lazar
www.lazarbooks.com

***

Here's the synopsis to get you started: 

 

In the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe and re-draws the visible and invisible borders. The political climate in the multifaceted cultural jigsaw puzzle of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes more complex and affects relations between the couple and the families. The story follows them through the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after.

But this is no ordinary romance; in fact it is not a romance at all, but a powerful, often sad, Holocaust story. What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences. This is a wide-ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck.

 

And here is the excerpt:

Wilhelm with his good looks could have his pick of the girls and his eyes were clearly set on Greta, which secretly made Jonah a very proud father.

“Does he not mind you being Jewish, that German book boy?” Jonah asked her one evening over dinner.

“I am not sure he even knows yet,” Greta told him. “The way he talks about the Jews, it doesn't seem to have any reference to me at all.”

“How does he talk about the Jews?” Jonah said with raised eyebrows.

“He just mentions them in passing, like... so and so is a Jew so we do not have his books in our shop. I don't think he has an opinion about it himself,” Greta guessed.

“But the name Weissensteiner, that is a Jewish name! He must know,” insisted Jonah. “I often wished we could have changed that. It would make life easier, wouldn't it?”

“It only sounds Jewish to you because you know that it is,” disagreed Greta. “It could pass as a German name to a naïve young man, which I think Wilhelm just might be.”

“In that case you should bring the matter up soon before this 'book lending' goes any further,” Jonah lectured.

“He seems very smitten with you my darling daughter. It wouldn't hurt to get it out of the way before you waste any more of your time on him or any of his time on you, unless of course you were only in it for the books?”

“No I am not just in it for the books father,” she admitted. “I like him. I think I really like him. He is very interesting. He thinks a lot.”

“Oh he thinks a lot does he?” Jonah said with a little sarcasm in his voice. “Then it is important that he learns to do something as well, thinking alone will only give him a headache.”

“Do you like him father?” Greta asked, ignoring his previous statement.

“Does it matter if I like him? You must like the goy and make sure he does not mind your family,” her father warned. “I'll like him enough if he makes you happy; even if he thinks all day until his head hurts. If a thinker you want, a thinker you shall have. You have the pick of the men, my beautiful. Trust me. Make sure you chose a good man and that you do really like him.”

“I do like him, father. He seems such a gentle man from what I can tell from our short meetings but I still need to get to know him better,” she admitted.

“You take as long as you like to make up your mind. I hope you realise that he has already made up his mind about you. It is written all over his face how enchanted he is. He could accuse you of playing with him if you let him visit this often and your decision is not the one he hopes for. You must not lead him on. Be careful, you know, because I don't think we need to wait much longer for a proposal from this one.”

“I am not so sure. There are plenty of girls who make eyes at him, maybe he just loves talking about books. That could be all he wants from me,” Greta said more to herself than to her father.

“Yes, if you were a fifty year old librarian that probably would be all,” Jonah said with a roaring laugh. “Why is he not content talking about his Goethe with the old men in his book shop then? I tell you why, they are not his type. Always remember that men of his young age mainly think with their loins. Once they have satisfied such needs, they may not be interested in your views on books anymore and go back to the shop to discuss literature there. An attractive girl like yourself always needs to choose wisely.”

“I don't think he is like that, he is so serious,” Greta defended.

“Yes he is serious, the Germans often are. Now let’s hope his seriousness is good for something and makes him worthy of you,” Jonah laughed.

http://www.amazon.com/At-Odds-Destiny-Uvi-Poznansky-ebook/dp/B00SHYGG7C/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425214222&sr=1-1&keywords=at+odds+with+destiny



Biography:

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath.  He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.
Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; 'Sebastian' in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. "Time To Let Go" , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller "The Healer" was released in January 2015.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/Weissensteiners
On Goodreads: http://bit.ly/12Rnup8

On Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1bua395
Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/OtmyZh4Dmc/?autoplay=1
B&N http://ow.ly/Btvas

 



Monday, March 02, 2015

Excerpt from RISE TO POWER by Uvi Poznansky, from the new book set AT ODDS WITH DESTINY

Good morning, all.

Tomorrow there is a book collection being released which sets a new level for all omnibuses. This one offers ten critically acclaimed, best selling authors all in one place - and each book is only NINE CENTS. It's crazy, and it's a super deal. The really cool part of this is that in AT ODDS WITH DESTINY, each full length novel is BOOK ONE in a series. So if you fall in love with an author and his characters, there are many more to turn to in their stable of works! Here's the link for tomorrow's release. You can also pre-order today, if you wish.

I'll be featuring some excerpts for these amazing books here and on my personal blog, www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com in the next few weeks. So stay tuned!

This book excerpt is from Uvi Poznanski's RISE TO POWER. I believe her writing is quite lyrical and poetic, and it really inspires me. See what you think, and if you want to read more, here's the link to the new book set:

http://www.amazon.com/At-Odds-Destiny-Uvi-Poznansky-ebook/dp/B00SHYGG7C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1425130094&sr=1-1&keywords=at+odds+with+destiny
  

Rise to Power
Prologue

I hear the jingle of keys. To my ears, it is such a lovely sound...
“Come,” I cry out, “crack it, crack open the door! Step into my chamber... If my memory isn’t playing its tricks on me, you must be the first to visit me here for quite a long while…”
No one answers.
“Come in,” I plead, hoping that no one could catch the shaky tone of my voice.
My fever is gone. In its place, now come severe bouts of shivering. I try, as best I can, to control myself. I slow down the chattering of my teeth as I call out, “Of one thing I’m sure: Reading what I’ve been working on—which, for lack of a better term I would call a memoir—you would think me a madman.”
Suddenly I suspect there is more than one of them out there. Putting my ear to the iron door I hear them shuffling their feet on the other side, without uttering a single word. To make them speak to me I let myself admit, out loud, “You’re right. Perhaps I am.”
There, through the keyhole—I can somehow sense it—an eye is observing me.
There are limits to power. When afflicted by an unexplained illness, even a king can be placed in quarantine. The words freeze on my lips, Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony… My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?
I am tempted to kick the door, to startle them—but the isolation in this place is such that it forces me to talk, because I need to hear a human voice, and I need someone to listen.
So I call out, “Perhaps it’s me who’s confused,” but I refuse to believe it.
The door creeks on its hinges, only to reveal two shadows stirring out there, one blurring the other. They let silence reign over me, so in spite of myself I start wringing one hand with the other.
I hang my head over these knuckles, over these pale, veined wrists which I hardly recognize as mine, finding myself overcome by a new enemy, one I never expected: the chill of old age.
In my youth I became famous for being a fine, eloquent speaker, with a particular talent for eulogies—but now it seems that my listeners have left me. Why write another psalm? Who would read it? Who would take it to heart?
Being abandoned is not something I take lightly. I want to tell the crowds to come back to me, and not only to take a listen—but to adore me, too!
Glancing at the shadows, “Come in,” I beseech. “Let me see, let me touch you. Talk to me… And let me tell you my story.”
Where will I start it? From my childhood, from the first time I came to the court. The moments of my life are vivid in my mind, too vivid to be dismissed as merely the wishful thinking of a locked up old man. My fingers still carry the sense, the cold touch of Saul’s crown, when at last I laid my hands on it. And I know, in a way that no one else can begin to imagine, how heavy it is.
This was the thing—or so I thought, back then—the very thing that would make me what I wanted: larger than life.
Larger than life? I start laughing, at myself most of all, only to be startled by echoes. I listen in alarm to the way they peel, pealing away from the walls.
“Listen,” I say, “whoever you are: I am a poet, a bard. For me, reality is a hard thing to grasp, at least your kind of reality: one that’s confined, as if by a straightjacket, to the task at hand. Trapped in such a life I would feel... Oh, what’s the right word? Condemned.”
Somehow I catch them, out there, holding their breath. They must be astonished by my unstoppable chatter, and by the unstoppable echoes of my chatter.
“Yes,” I stress. “Being a Philistine, you may think that such a reality sets you at ease, that it removes any doubt in your head as to your purpose here.”
One shadow separates from the blackness behind it, and all of a sudden he cannot help himself, and his voice bursts out, “Don’t call me a Philistine!”
I say, “A bit touchy, aren’t you!”
And he says, “I’ve killed my share of those bastards, out on the battlefield. Everyone knows I’ve earned my medals, being in your service for so many years. I’ve bloodied my hands for you! So now, listen to me: you owe me.”
I am in no mood to offer an apology. Instead I tell him, “You bloodied your hands for your own sake, for the thrill of the kill.”
He says nothing. Over his silence I say, “Now then, consider this: even as you’re trapped here, in this reality, your mind—just like mine—would misbehave. It would fly, swinging wildly to and fro, far away from this place. But enough about you. It’s me we are talking about.”
I can hear him taking a step back. In a minute he will slam the door shut.
To hold his attention, “True,” I grant him. “My grasp on life is somewhat looser than yours. For an isolated man it may be a strange thing to say—but trust me: it sets me free.”
“Ha!” he sniggers.
“Oh, stop it!” I wail. “What, you think I’m deaf? Don’t you laugh at me. It makes me doubt myself, question my own sanity.”
Then I bang, bang, bang the wall. I close my eyes. Here I am, a child again... And at once my ear catches a thud. Then come the echoes, shrill echoes singing all around the royal court, as the spear has hit the wall, missing me by a hair.
“Wake up,” says his voice, a bit softer now.
In a flash the wick of a candle is lit. It flares up and then, in an instant, darkness curls away into the far recesses of this space. The flame seems to lick the gilded decorations of the door as it swings open. Having stepped in, a man leads a figure clad in a dark coat into my presence.
He lays a hand on my shoulder, trying to steady me. Then he whispers, “You must be dreaming again.”
“No!” I shake my head. “No, no, no! If this were a dream, I would have forgotten it, the way most of us do come morning, which lets us focus on the task at hand. But what if your task—now that all is lost—is to remember? Reflect on it. Think of the ways the mind works, yours and mine. Perhaps we’re more alike than you wish to admit.”
“I’m nothing like you,” he insists.
It is then that I come to my senses, and by the scars on his hand I know who he is. Joav is my blood, my family, one of the three sons of my older sister, Zeruriah. He is the man I have trusted to become my first in command. But these days, he is a stranger to me. Everyone is.
“I thought you admired me,” I say.
“I did,” says he. “But this I know: it’s a risky place to be, stuck in your shoes.”
“And I thought that risk excites you.”
“No, not anymore. Risk is for the young.”
Thrashing around, I start kicking at this thing and the other. “I’m far from being stuck,” I shout at him over the metallic din. “And there go my shoes! Here, see? I’m barefoot!”
Over my words, Joav raises his voice. “Stop that,” he cries, which in any other royal household would be an unheard of thing to do in the presence of a monarch. He points the candle at the thing I have made fly, with such clink and clank, across the chamber.
Now I catch its glitter, flashing out from the shadow down there, in the corner, reflecting the dance of the flame.
“Why d’you kick the crown?” he grumbles. “D’you even know who you are? Do you? Then, tell me: what’s your name?”
“Guess it, will you?” I narrow my eyes with suspicion, refusing to confide even in him. “Can’t you see? I’m a boy, reaching for the crown.”
Joav bites his lips. Perhaps, like me, he is tired of this game. I know what he wants: recognition, which I am too stubborn to give. “No, David. You’re not a boy anymore.” He dares to contradict me. “And the crown is yours. I mean, it’s yours to lose.”
“Don’t I know it,” I sigh, gathering the thing to my chest.
Joav smiles at how hard I clutch it.
“At this point,” he chuckles, “the only power you still have is the power to give it away.”
“What? Give it away? I’ll do no such thing.”
“You’re going to depend on your successor,” he says, and there is a tone of warning in his voice. “Choose well, your majesty. If you do, perhaps he’ll let your legacy live on.”
With that, Joav turns around to face the figure standing there, so quietly, behind him. She is holding a pile of silk sheets and wool blankets. With a firm hand he pushes her forward, in my direction.
“Don’t be angry with me,” he says, removing the dark coat from her shoulders and flinging it aside. “I’m just following orders, and so does this girl. She’s yours to keep.”
“I have no use for a girl. What I need is a woman.”
“Bathsheba is asleep.”
“I see.”
“Really, she is.”
“She is? Is she, really? I haven’t forgotten how hard you fought for me. What have you become, Joav? A has-been war hero?”
He peers into my eyes, surprised to realize that I recognize him.
“In my name,” I press on, “you used to lead our nation into great wars, and now, look! Look at you, doing the bidding of a woman! I suppose my dear wife told you what to tell me. And she instructed you to cover me with blankets, and most of all, to keep me still.”
He gives no answer, other than hanging his head in shame before me.
“The Queen knows me all too well,” I growl. “It’s her I need.”
He holds himself back from repeating, Bathsheba is asleep. And I go on to groan, “She knows she should be here.”
“In her place, here’s the girl. Your wife told me to bring her.”
“I’m too cold for that—”
“The girl knows it,” says he, “and she knows her duty. I made sure of it.”
“What’s her name?”
“Abishag. She’s sure to keep you warm.”
With that he sets the candle down on the bedside table, and gives me a sly look under those hairy eyebrows of his, which seem to have thickened even more with age. Then he leaves the chamber, not before breathing in my ear in his coarse, scratchy voice, “Listen, why are you being so difficult?”
“Me? Difficult?”
“I went to plenty of trouble to find this one. Virgins aren’t easy to come by anymore.”
I am just about to say, They never were—but Joav has already disappeared. So there I am, left standing opposite the girl, and finding myself drawn towards her, perhaps because of the fresh fragrance of soil and fruit emanating from her skin. For the first time I take a close look at her.
This is awkward. I take a step towards her, and can almost guess her thoughts. These words may be on her mind, “Don’t stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun… My mother’s sons were angry with me, and made me take care of the vineyards… My own vineyard I had to neglect.”
She turns her head, and her long, dark lashes flutter nervously over the cheekbone. By the flicker of the flame I can tell that they are unpainted, and so are her lips. She must have been brought directly here, to my chamber, with no proper preparations at the women’s quarters, let alone a dab of perfume.
Thank God for that! I hate proper preparations, and I cannot stand that nauseating mixture of fixatives and solvents they call perfume.
Her face and bare, slender shoulders have been bronzed by the sun. I notice that her feet are large, just like mine, and her toes are still soiled from the long journey, like some farm girls I used to know.
The girl is a long way from home. I know it, because so am I.


Later that night, when the girl has fallen asleep, I slip out of bed. The blanket keeps her warm, which you can tell by her moist, rosy cheeks—but it is of no help to me. Her pupils move under the eyelids, as she dreams of being somewhere else. She utters a cry in her sleep, and turns away from me. I take a step back. Then I start pacing back and forth across the chamber.
This palace is richly decorated, because such was my ambition in recent years: to show the world the finest of marvels in a new city, which is mine: the city of David.
Here, I thought, is a new center of power, commanding a view of our twelve tribes, yet set upon newly conquered territory, one that does not belong to any of them. With the divisions that afflict us, Jerusalem is yet to become a symbol of our nation, our unity.
At this point, the city has no history yet. Erected log by log, with cedar trees imported from Lebanon, and slab by slab, cut out of the hardest rocks in the Judea mountain range, this city will become my mark, my political statement. It will stand for hope.
Alas, it is so far from where I grew up. Bethlehem seems like a place lost in fog. I have lived in Jerusalem for decades. Still, it does not feel like home.
Without even knowing it, the girl has reminded me how I ache to see the soaring mountains, the rolling fields around the place where I was born. Even the trees smell different, back there. I long to go back. One thing is clear to me: this is not the first time in my life to be locked up—but perhaps it is the last.
I unfurl a papyrus roll, and start scratching minute Aramaic letters in it. The flame has died out some time ago, and already the tip of the wick has lost its glow. I stand up, stare around me, and in my confusion I think, What is this? Where am I?
I am an old man, it is late at night, and I am gathering my thoughts, somehow...
In exhaustion I curl on the floor, and peer at the darkness, at the way it tumbles over the ceiling, over the stone walls, painting everything gray.
It is an uncertain color, which reminds me of certain places in the Paran wasteland, the caves in which I used to hide back then, when I was a fugitive.
I remember: I could spot the fingerprints of other fugitives before me, mark upon mark, one blood smear over another fading into the decayed matter, trying to record a forgotten history, the history of those who had been conquered. I used to wonder who they were, and asked myself if I, too, am destined for oblivion…
At other times, these walls remind me of the interiors of burial places in depths of the pyramids. Great artists were summoned there to paint invented scenes, scenes from the lives of entombed monarchs. I tell myself, such is the way to ensure your legacy!
What is at stake here is the virtue of the office, the sanctity of the crown, which I tried to preserve most of the time—but certainly not always… My appetite for sin would get out of control, and threaten to undermine my best efforts to establish myself, establish my glory for all to cherish. Even so, future generations must revere my name.
I made sure of that.

At the time I gave orders to imprison quite a few of my court historians, for no better reason than a misspelling, or a chance error in judgement, for which they tried to apologize profusely. Of course, to no avail. They never saw the light of day again. I knew I was right, because who are they to strive for something as misleading as reporting the bare facts?
Both Saul and I were anointed to rule the nation, which without fail caused a civil war. We fought over something larger than the crown. Ours was a battle between two contending versions of history. The outcome would decide who would be called a hero and who—a villain.
And having won that struggle, I was not about to allow the scribes in my court to report any faults in me, any wrongdoings. My record would be clean. There was, I decided, no truth other than mine.
But now, quite strangely, I find myself in need of telling my story, of reporting it just the way they tried to do, those damn fools: with no spins. Faithfully. Perhaps it serves me right for throwing them in jail.
The tip of my pen is dull, and the ink has dried—but that cannot stop me from writing. Nothing will. I am grasping for power once again, but in a different way than I did back then. This time I can see, with great clarity, that power does not come from the crown. At long last I have no urge anymore to keep my grasp on it.
Now I know, power comes from within, from something else entirely: my skill with words. I wish I would have recognized it a long time ago, on my first visit to the royal court. Perhaps then I would have become a poet. Not a king.
It is still a long time from daybreak, and the girl’s breast heaves as she mumbles something, some unclear word. She is so close at hand and yet, so far out of my reach.
When I was first crowned king over my own tribe, I was such a vigorous young man that no illness could keep me away from my dear wives and concubines. If I would catch a cold, all of them would be sneezing. Not so this girl. Unlike all the women I have had since then, she is immune to my weaknesses. She is the one I will never know.
I am here with her, yet this chill is meant for me alone.
I hold my breath until she lulls herself back to sleep. Faint shadows start dancing on the wall. I read the shapes, trying to invent someone, a listener.
You.
I whisper, Come in... Call me insane, who cares? Who really cares if you refuse to trust me, if you insist on clinging to your kind of reality, which is as dull as it is solid... Mine, I insist, is not a dream.
But even if it is... Even so, it is true! How can you deny it? Here is my story. I am opening it up to you.
I can see why at first glance what you see here—these letters which I jotted here, on these papyrus rolls—may seem scattered, even scary. I understand why you step back from my door, why you look over your shoulder to find the guard...
Come in! Will you? Will you read these scribblings? Can you see my sword, which I have drawn here, look! Can you see it the way I do, lifting out of the ink and into the air, turning magically over, around and around, right here in the center of the space?
If you can, then—by the flash of it—I shall take you along, to leap with me into the surface of the steely thing. Down into its depths. Into my reflection.

http://www.amazon.com/At-Odds-Destiny-Uvi-Poznansky-ebook/dp/B00SHYGG7C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1425130094&sr=1-1&keywords=at+odds+with+destiny
 
★ Kindle  Nook ★ Apple 
★ Kobo ★ Smashwords ★ 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Read an eBook Week - FREE OFFERINGS!

Hello, folks.

Once a year, Twilight Times Books offers a lovely selection of their titles for free. And it all starts today! From March 1-7th you can get the following titles for free. 

Twilight Times Books FREE OFFERINGS


Two of my books are offered here - both favorites of mine since they are set in the sixties and are told from my protagonist's eleven-year-old mind.

Tremolo: cry of the loon  (free all week, click above link)

http://twilighttimesbooks.com/freebies.html
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.


  • 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Grand Prize Short List
  • 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Honorable Mention, 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
  • 2008 MYSHELF Top Ten Reads


Don't Let the Wind Catch You (free March 3rd, click above link)

Don't Let the Wind Catch You is the sequel to Tremolo and takes place in summer 1965.


http://twilighttimesbooks.com/freebies.html
When twelve-year-old Gus LeGarde and his two best friends, Elsbeth and Siegfried, stumble on a hermit’s cabin in the woods in the summer of 1965, they’re unprepared for Tully, the crotchety old man who sticks his head out the window and threatens to shoot them. But more surprising is Tully’s best friend, a young Indian girl spirit, Penaki, who reveals herself to the children by forming patterns with butterflies, rattling tin cups, drawing on dusty mirrors, and flipping book pages.

Tully’s past is shrouded in mystery, and Gus can’t understand why his mother hates Tully so. Gus is drawn into an intriguing mystery that reveals long-hidden truths about his grandfather, with even deeper ties to the Ambuscade and the history of the Genesee Valley region. Will Gus’s findings rewrite the most brutal chapter in the history of Livingston County?

All week


Book Reviewers Talk about their Craft by Mayra Calvani, Editor
How I Wrote My First Book: the story behind the story by Anne K. Edwards and Lida E. Quillen, Editors
Practical Tips for Online Authors by Lida E. Quillen
Touch of Fate by Christine Amsden
Tremolo: cry of the loon by Aaron Paul Lazar
Who is Margaret? by Celia A. Leaman

Sunday, Mar. 1st -- An Elfy on the Loose by Barb Caffrey
Sunday, Mar. 1st -- Behold the Eyes of Light by Geoff Geauterre. Book I in the Eyes of Light series.
Monday, Mar. 2nd -- Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden. Book I in the Cassie Scot series.
Monday, Mar. 2nd -- Death on Delivery by Anne K. Edwards.
Tuesday, Mar. 3rd -- Deeds of a Colored Soldier During the Rebellion by F. W. Abel.
Tuesday, Mar. 3rd -- Don't Let the Wind Catch You by Aaron Paul Lazar.
Wednesday, Mar. 4th -- Jerome and the Seraph by Robina Williams. Book I in the Gaea series.
Wednesday, Mar. 4th -- Laughing All the Way by Darrell Bain.
Thursday, Mar. 5th -- Monkey Trap by Lee Denning. Book I in the Nova Sapiens series.
Thursday, Mar. 5th -- No place for Gods by Gerald Mills. Book I in the James Foster Adventures series.
Friday, Mar. 6th -- Rue the Day by Ralph Freedman.
Friday, Mar. 6th -- Schooled in Magic by Christopher G. Nuttall. Book I in the Schooled in Magic series.
Saturday, Mar. 7th -- The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival by Stephanie Osborn. Book I in the Displaced Detective series.
Saturday, Mar. 7th -- The Storks of La Caridad by Florence Byham Weinberg.
Saturday, Mar. 7th -- Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine Issue Sept/Oct 2005
Saturday, Mar. 7th -- Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine Issue Jan/Feb 2006
Be sure to check out the official web site for Read an E-Book Week. A number of publishers are offering give-aways during the week. For example, Smashwords is offering hundreds of free ebooks.
http://www.ebookweek.com/


Click here to access free offerings:

Twilight Times Books FREE OFFERINGS



Happy reading!

Aaron Lazar
www.lazarbooks.com




Saturday, February 28, 2015

Devil's Lake - only 99 cent today!

Hello, friends.

I believe this is the best book I've written to date - of all the 22 published works, that is. Let me know if you agree? 

- Aaron Lazar
http://www.amazon.com/Devils-Lake-Aaron-Paul-Lazar-ebook/dp/B00LNFP8XU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425126355&sr=8-1&keywords=devil%27s+lake

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.

AMAZON BUY LINK


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lost Shots, by Aaron Paul Lazar





How long will it take before we can burn images stored in our brain onto a computer? Do you think it will ever come to pass? I hope so, because even though I used to dabble in art in college, I never inherited the landscape gene. I could do portraits, from live models or pictures, but I didn’t have the knack to capture a glowing sunset or wavy grasses, or a frothy seascape. Perhaps, with the proper training, I could make a decent stab at it, but for now the only way I can immortalize scenes of nature is through the lens or with my pen. Figuratively speaking, that is, since I haven’t written books with a pen and paper in many years.

Lately, I’ve been lamenting potentially award-winning photos that I’ve missed. Lost shots. Those showstoppers, the gorgeous scenes I couldn’t acquire because of unsafe driving conditions or a timetable that didn’t allow lollygagging. I still see them, clear as cold lake water, simmering and shimmering in my mind’s eye.

The first lost shot occurred one fall, many years ago. We’d been scurrying around all morning, getting ready to deliver chairs to our customers. One of my side jobs, besides engineering, writing, and photography, is chair caning. My wife does the hand caning, and I do the rush, splint, flat reed, and pressed cane. Every Saturday morning, we load up the van with chairs and head for Honeoye Falls and East Bloomfield, where we deliver them to the shops that hire us. My wife and daughter were with me that morning, since we were going to squeeze in a little breakfast at George’s, our favorite small town. We were hungry. We were late. And I forgot my camera. Of course, this was before iPhones with their handy dandy cameras.

It happened only five minutes from the house, and I’ll never stop kicking myself for not turning around to go back. The night had been cold, and the morning dawned sunny. Frost crackled under our shoes as we tromped across the lawn, and there was a freshness to the air, heightened by the icy morning. We traveled north on Lakeville-Groveland Road, and when we passed Booher Hill, I glanced eastward. This is one of my favorite stretches of land, where multiple layers of trees, fields, and hills delineate the ridges that cradle Conesus Lake. When the sun rises over the eastern shore, it kisses the lake valley with rose, orange, lavender, and hot yellow.



This morning, however, the sun had risen hours earlier. But what greeted my eager eyes was not the sun, but a cloud.

I’m talking about a fully-fleshed, cotton ball cloud. It sat directly on top of the lake, lying like a thick eiderdown on the water. This cloud was not filmy, like mist or fog. It wasn’t transparent. It was rock solid puffy white, and it rose at least 1000 feet over the lake, stretching north-south along fourteen miles of the narrow trench carved many years ago by a glaciers. I’ve never seen anything like it before, and fear I’ll never see it again.

The memory is sharp, but I really wish I could show it to you.

The next two scenes that haunt me happened in winter. The frustrating part was that I had the camera with me both times, but just couldn’t stop because it wasn’t safe to pull over on the snowy roads.

The first was a scene I pass every day on the way to work. Normally, I admire the textures and contrasts of this spot with an almost casual, see-it-every-day insouciance. I do take pleasure in the old barns, dilapidated farmhouse, antique cars in the open sided shelter, and the young Thoroughbred who paces in a small paddock. And each time I pass the old milk shed, I admire the faded white paint and the attractive timeworn look it has from years of exposure to sun and wind. My fingers itch for the camera here most mornings, but it’s private property, 6:30 in the morning, and its positioned near a country intersection, which makes it a bit awkward to stop and snap pictures of this venerable old building.





This particular morning, however, snow blasted sideways across the road in such ferocity and beauty, it quickened my heartbeat. It was a fierce burst of white, constant and rippling, blinding whoever crossed its path. The contrast electrified me. Deep turquoise metal-sided barn, cement block barn nearby, white post and board fence swaying in the storm…they were simultaneously shadowed and revealed by the spraying snow.

But I didn’t stop. I worried about arriving late to work, and the sides of the road looked very slippery. So… another lost shot.

Later that week, they closed the whole county for whiteouts. I had to get home, I was determined to get home, and I sure as heck didn’t want to spend the night in my office. So, I spent an hour and a half dodging blinding whiteouts, and finally made my perilous way down Groveland Road, almost home. Another half mile, and I’d be safe in the driveway.



And then I saw them.

Snow devils. Cyclones of white. Billowing and flowing over the hills to the west, up the sides of the valley, rolling across the fields like massive sheet-white tornadoes.

My jaw dropped. My insides thrilled. And I gripped the steering wheel tighter to stay in the snowy lane. I didn’t get the shot. Once again.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not really complaining. I’ve captured dozens of deeply satisfying photos and have been blessed with pastoral scenes of breath-taking beauty year-round. I’ve snapped hundreds and hundreds of photos. But those lost shots… they keep haunting me. Which, I guess, is why I’ve written about them today. When visions haunt me, they spill out of my fingertips.

There is one consolation. The images still reside in my brain. And someday, maybe soon, I’ll download them and be able to show you. ;o)

***

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)
DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (print, eBook, audio book)
THE LIARS’ GALLERY (print, eBook, audio book)
UNDER THE ICE (print, eBook)

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)
SANCTUARY (print, eBook, audio book)

LOVE STORIES
THE SEACREST (print, eBook, and audio book)
THE SEACROFT (coming soon)

ROMANTIC THRILLERS
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, THE SEACROFT: a love story and DEVIL’S CREEK.


Sunday, February 01, 2015

Read an eBook week - FREE OFFERINGS!

Hello, folks.

Once a year, Twilight Times Books offers a lovely selection of their titles for free. And it all starts today! From March 1-7th you can get the following titles for free. 

Twilight Times Books FREE OFFERINGS


Two of my books are offered here - both favorites of mine since they are set in the sixties and are told from my protagonist's eleven-year-old mind.

Tremolo: cry of the loon  (free all week, click above link)

http://twilighttimesbooks.com/freebies.html
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.


  • 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Grand Prize Short List
  • 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Honorable Mention, 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
  • 2008 MYSHELF Top Ten Reads


Don't Let the Wind Catch You (free March 3rd, click above link)

Don't Let the Wind Catch You is the sequel to Tremolo and takes place in summer 1965.


http://twilighttimesbooks.com/freebies.html
When twelve-year-old Gus LeGarde and his two best friends, Elsbeth and Siegfried, stumble on a hermit’s cabin in the woods in the summer of 1965, they’re unprepared for Tully, the crotchety old man who sticks his head out the window and threatens to shoot them. But more surprising is Tully’s best friend, a young Indian girl spirit, Penaki, who reveals herself to the children by forming patterns with butterflies, rattling tin cups, drawing on dusty mirrors, and flipping book pages.

Tully’s past is shrouded in mystery, and Gus can’t understand why his mother hates Tully so. Gus is drawn into an intriguing mystery that reveals long-hidden truths about his grandfather, with even deeper ties to the Ambuscade and the history of the Genesee Valley region. Will Gus’s findings rewrite the most brutal chapter in the history of Livingston County?

All week


Book Reviewers Talk about their Craft by Mayra Calvani, Editor
How I Wrote My First Book: the story behind the story by Anne K. Edwards and Lida E. Quillen, Editors
Practical Tips for Online Authors by Lida E. Quillen
Touch of Fate by Christine Amsden
Tremolo: cry of the loon by Aaron Paul Lazar
Who is Margaret? by Celia A. Leaman

Sunday, Mar. 1st -- An Elfy on the Loose by Barb Caffrey
Sunday, Mar. 1st -- Behold the Eyes of Light by Geoff Geauterre. Book I in the Eyes of Light series.
Monday, Mar. 2nd -- Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden. Book I in the Cassie Scot series.
Monday, Mar. 2nd -- Death on Delivery by Anne K. Edwards.
Tuesday, Mar. 3rd -- Deeds of a Colored Soldier During the Rebellion by F. W. Abel.
Tuesday, Mar. 3rd -- Don't Let the Wind Catch You by Aaron Paul Lazar.
Wednesday, Mar. 4th -- Jerome and the Seraph by Robina Williams. Book I in the Gaea series.
Wednesday, Mar. 4th -- Laughing All the Way by Darrell Bain.
Thursday, Mar. 5th -- Monkey Trap by Lee Denning. Book I in the Nova Sapiens series.
Thursday, Mar. 5th -- No place for Gods by Gerald Mills. Book I in the James Foster Adventures series.
Friday, Mar. 6th -- Rue the Day by Ralph Freedman.
Friday, Mar. 6th -- Schooled in Magic by Christopher G. Nuttall. Book I in the Schooled in Magic series.
Saturday, Mar. 7th -- The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival by Stephanie Osborn. Book I in the Displaced Detective series.
Saturday, Mar. 7th -- The Storks of La Caridad by Florence Byham Weinberg.
Saturday, Mar. 7th -- Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine Issue Sept/Oct 2005
Saturday, Mar. 7th -- Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine Issue Jan/Feb 2006
Be sure to check out the official web site for Read an E-Book Week. A number of publishers are offering give-aways during the week. For example, Smashwords is offering hundreds of free ebooks.
http://www.ebookweek.com/


Click here to access free offerings:

Twilight Times Books FREE OFFERINGS



Happy reading!

Aaron Lazar
www.lazarbooks.com




Friday, January 30, 2015

UNDER THE ICE - now available!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RBU83YM?ref_=pe_870760_118561140

Today the print and eBook versions of Under the Ice (LeGarde Mystery #9) are available on Amazon.com.

AMAZON LINK

LeGarde Mysteries can be read in any order, as standalones or part of the series. ;o)


What do you do when your past comes back to kill you?

After escaping her abusive husband, life is finally good for Camille LeGarde and her daughter, Shelby. She has a great relationship with her new husband, Gus, who also loves Shelby like his own child. But the LeGarde family’s fragile oasis is shattered when the man of Camille’s nightmares is released from prison.

Greg Robinson never wanted to be a father. But he’s playing the biological card for all it’s worth to get close to Shelby, so he can realize his true goal—revenge against Gus LeGarde, the man who “stole” his wife and daughter.

Lured by the promise of connecting with her real dad, Shelby vanishes, sending Gus and Camille on a desperate race through the worst ice storm of the century to find her before Robinson can act on his chilling threat…

If I can’t have them, neither can you.

-->

Chapter 1


Camille threw back the comforter and peered at the alarm clock. “Isn’t she home yet?” My wife had been dozing off and on for the past few hours, and her words were slurred from sleep.
Lying beside her, wide-awake, I answered in a tight, angry voice. “No, she’s not.”
She flopped back on her pillow with a loud sigh. “Geez, Gus. It’s almost twelve-thirty.”
I’d been worrying about my teenage daughter for two hours now, imagining the worst possible scenarios. An accident. Rape. Kidnapping. Dead in a ditch.
Curfew was ten-thirty, and Shelby was way past late. This wasn’t the first time she’d been in trouble over the past few months. She’d been pushing her limits since she got her license.
The full moon shone on the floorboards and rays of light bounced off the walls. Max—our half Dachshund/half Husky mutt—snuffled in his sleep, stretched his legs, and thumped his tail against the bedspread. Boris, our longhaired mini-dachshund, snored contentedly; his hot-water-bottle-body warmed my feet.
“Should we call her?” Camille mumbled.
“I’ve left four messages already. But I can’t sleep until I know she’s safe.” I reached over to the nightstand to grab my phone. I scrolled down to Shelby’s name and tapped it. It rang. And rang. And rang.
“Hi! This is Shelby. I’m busy now, but I’ll call ya back. You know the drill.”
I grumbled into the phone. “Shelby. It’s Dad. You’re over two hours late and we’re worried. Call me.” Scowling, I thumbed it off. “She’s killing me, Camille. I don’t think I can take much more.”
“Huh?” Camille mumbled. She’d almost fallen asleep again. She flopped an arm over my chest and said, “Didden she pick up?”
I wiggled my legs in a futile attempt to get comfortable. “No. She’s not answering.”
Camille finally sat up, yawning. “Wait. Are you sure she’s not already home? Maybe she sneaked in while you were sleeping.”
I hadn’t been sleeping, but I heaved another sigh, threw back the covers, and stomped to the window. My bare feet froze on the wooden floorboards. I peered out into the dark night through elegant, frosty designs on the cold glass. The familiar shape of Camille’s VW Beetle was conspicuously absent from the snow-covered parking area stretching between the house and the barn.
“The bug’s still gone.” I let out an exasperated sigh. “Where the hell is she?”
“Try Alicia’s cell. They went to the movies together.”
“Okay. But if she doesn’t pick up, I’m going out to look for her.”
I got back in bed, reached for my cell again, and found Shelby’s best friend’s number. We’d entered dozens of her friends’ numbers since Shelby got her license several months ago.
“Hello?” Alicia sounded groggy.
“Hi, Alicia. It’s Mr. LeGarde. I’m looking for Shelby.”
She hesitated one second too long. “Uh... she’s not here, Mr. L.”
“When did she drop you off?”
 The bedsprings squeaked in the background, and I imagined the girl rubbing sleep from her eyes and sitting up in bed. There was another pause.
“Er…I’m sorry, but our plans changed at the last minute. Work needed me to stay late, so I didn’t get out ‘til after the movie started. I’m not sure where she went.”
Anger and fear vibrated in my chest. I wasn’t sure which was the stronger emotion. “Alicia,” I said with forced calm. “Do you have any idea where she might be? We’re really worried.”
“I guess she might have gone to the Meyers’ party.”
“Stan and Lucy Meyers?” I said.
“Yeah. Steve threw a big party tonight. His parents are—”
I interrupted. “Out of town?”
She was silent.
“Alicia?”
“Yeah. I think they’re in Florida or someplace like that. I’m sorry, Mr. L. But I’m sure she’s fine. She probably just lost track of time.”
I thanked her and hung up. I’d already pulled on my jeans and a shirt when tires crunched against snow in the driveway. 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RBU83YM?ref_=pe_870760_118561140

Chapter 2


I stomped downstairs and waited in the doorway between the kitchen and the great room, arms crossed and brow furrowed.
Shelby breezed into the kitchen, pulled open the refrigerator, and grabbed a carton of orange juice. “Hi, Dad.”
“‘Hi, Dad?” I mimicked, frowning. “Are you kidding me?” I stormed into the kitchen after her. “Where were you? You’re two hours late.”
She avoided my eyes and poured a glass of juice. “Uh. At the movies. Remember? With Alicia.”
“Seriously? You’re going to lie about this?”
She turned an innocent face to me. “What? Why—”
I took a step toward her. “I just talked to Alicia.”
Her expression tightened. “What’d she say?”
“She spilled the beans, Shelby. You’re in big trouble.”
“Why?” she said, too casually.
“A party, Shelby? For crying out loud. When the parents aren’t home?”
“Nothing happened.” Shelby casually leaned against the refrigerator. She took another slug of juice and rolled her eyes. “Curfews are dumb. It’s Friday night. I don’t have school tomorrow.”
I wanted to give her my standard lecture about privileges and rules and loss of freedom if the rules were broken. But this was the second time in a month she’d flagrantly ignored her curfew, and worse, she seemed unconcerned about the consequences.
“The rules don’t change for the weekend, you know that. Your mother and I were worried sick.”
“I don’t know why.” She flounced to the cupboard and reached for a pack of Oreos.
“You’re grounded.”
Her eyes flashed in anger, and her lips compressed. She tore open the package of cookies and ate one.
“This time it’s not just for one day, it’s for a whole week. No car, no phone, no computer, no television, no anything,” I said, just getting warmed up.
“You can’t do that!”
“I’m not done,” I said. “The grounding is for breaking curfew. I haven’t punished you for lying to me yet. That translates to a weekend of chores.”
“What?” She spat the word at me.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know how else to get through to you. You’re using your mother’s car every night. Your attitude is disrespectful. You’re hanging out with kids we don’t even know, who are probably drinking alcohol. God knows what went on at that party tonight. You promised to stick to a schedule, to be home by ten-thirty every night.”
She rolled her eyes again and took two steps toward me. “You can’t tell me what to do. You’re not my real father.”
She’d stuck me with a proverbial knife and twisted it in my heart. I felt it, as authentic as steel, and staggered from the blow.
Camille padded down the stairs. “Shelby! What’s wrong with you? Gus is the only father you have now. He adopted you, for God’s sake. He’s my husband, and I won’t have you talk to him like that.”
“But, Mom! He said I can’t—”
“Whatever Gus said, goes.” She paused for a moment and her voice hardened. “Unless you’d rather go live with your ‘real’ father, in prison?”
Another low blow.
Shelby fumed. I walked past her to pick up the glass and put it in the sink. The scent of smoke wafted from her hair. It wasn’t cigarettes. Suddenly, I was transported back to Woodstock. The sickeningly sweet stench of marijuana rose from my sixteen-year-old daughter.
“You smoked pot?” I yelled.
Camille leaned over and sniffed Shelby’s hair. Her eyes widened. “My God, is this how you answer our trust? Is this how it’s going to be?”
Shelby looked wounded. “I can’t believe you’d think I would— Arggghhh! You never trust me. Neither one of you.” She screamed and ran up the stairs. Seconds later, a baby began to wail.
The sounds of my twin granddaughters’ cries were distinctively different, and I recognized Celeste immediately. I bounded toward the stairs.
Camille turned off the kitchen light, followed me upstairs, and continued down the hall to our room. Shelby’s door slammed at the far end of the house. I snorted in frustration and then peeked into Freddie’s bedroom. My daughter lay sound asleep on her queen-sized bed. Her wispy gold hair covered her face. The poor thing had worked extra long hours this week at her veterinary clinic and was exhausted. I pulled her door closed and hurried to the twins’ bedroom.
Celeste sat up in her crib, her copper-colored hair curled in tight ringlets and her peaches and cream cheeks damp with tears. “Opa. Binky.” She pointed to the blue pacifier she’d thrown on the floor.
It landed nub up, so I grabbed it and handed it back to her.
She tossed it aside and lifted both arms to me. “Uppy.”
I picked her up. She snuggled into my neck, collapsing against me. I grabbed the pacifier, one more time. This time, she accepted it. I settled in the rocking chair with her, rubbing her back. The wooden slats creaked as we rocked on the hardwood floor. Back and forth. Back and forth. I hummed “Rock-a-bye Baby,” feeling her warm breath on my neck.
Marion, Celeste’s dark-haired twin, slept quietly in her crib, sucking on her pacifier as it moved in and out of her rosebud mouth. Her cherubic face was lit by the glow of the tiny night-light.
Ten minutes later, Celeste’s breathing slowed and she relaxed in my arms. I kissed her soft cheeks and lowered her into the crib. She squirmed, lifted her head for a moment, and flopped back on the mattress. I held my breath and said a little prayer, then crept backwards out of the room.
If only they didn’t have to grow up.
I wearily shuffled down the hall and leaned into my grandson Johnny’s room. I watched his chest rise and fall several times. He lay on his back, with both arms and legs spread-eagled. A soft snore escaped him. The purple balloons from his birthday party last Thursday bobbed on the bedpost. They’d lost air and were wrinkled. I couldn’t believe he was already five.
        When I finally crawled into bed beside Camille, I collapsed onto my pillow. After a few minutes of tossing and turning, I finally drifted off to sleep, fretting about the teenage condition and worrying about what lay in store for us tomorrow.


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RBU83YM?ref_=pe_870760_118561140