Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year From Aaron Paul Lazar!

Fireworks during the Ring of Fire. The red lig...Image via Wikipedia

While we celebrate and ring in the new year, I'd like to thank each and every one of you for your support.
I often tell folks that my favorite part of being an author is connecting with my readers. It's the truth. I love you guys. And I'm humbled that my stories seem to inspire, comfort, thrill, or entertain. Armchair traveling can be a great escape, and let's face it, we all need a break sometimes, right?

I take great pleasure in the fact that you relate to Gus LeGarde, to Siegfried Marggrander, to Camille, and now to Sam and Rachel Moore. And for the first time in a long time, I might actually have one book of each series to give you in 2011, plus a few more books in my NEW series.

Yep. Another one. I know it's nuts, but I couldn't help myself. Having that laid-off year between "day jobs" gave me the chance to get reacquainted with the Adirondacks, and to fall in love all over again with the majesty and beauty of the region. It was just natural that a new series based on the Sacandaga River, in Hope, NY, would be born. There are already two books under contract and scheduled for release in 2011/2012 in the new series featuring Marcella and Quinn Hollister, antique dealers from Honeoye, NY, whose lives spin out of control when secrets from the past catch up with them.

Up Next:

The next book on the docket is FIRESONG, the novel that brings Gus LeGarde back to East Goodland to face some of the most tangled and baffling mysteries of his life. The cover is done and I'm working on the final polish. Fingers crossed that we'll have it out in print soon.

Healey's CaveHonors for HEALEY'S CAVE

"To Aaron Paul Lazar for Healey’s Cave. A mystery has never made my Nobel list before but this one deserves the description “literary mystery.” It’s been called “lush,” “lyrical,” and “absorbing.” It is a fine example of how genre fiction can cross the line from entertaining to fine art." - Carolyn Howard Johnson
I don't enter many writing contests. I know, I know. I probably should. But all these extranneous things I do for promotion or awards take away from writing time, and it kills me. I need to write. I need time with the characters in my parallel universe(s). So I avoid the stuff other than pure writing more than I should.

This year, though, at some prodding from my publisher, I sent out HEALEY'S CAVE to a few places. It seems they liked it. ;o) The book made it to the top two finalists for the Allbooks Editor's Choice Awards Mystery category. The winner will be announced in January.

I'm pleased to say award-winning Carolyn Howard Johnson also seemed to like the book, and picked it for one of her top choices for her Back to Literature column 2010 on the site.

Thanks to Allbooks and Carolyn Howard Johnson for these honors.

Coming Soon - the second Moore Mystery

The next Moore Mystery has been titled. It's called TERROR COMES KNOCKING and was named by a great friend and supporter of my books. Thanks to Don Harman, from Charlotte, North Carolina, for suggesting the title. TERROR COMES KNOCKING puts Sam and Rachel Moore through more heartstopping trials. The green marble is back, Billy hasn't gone off to visit the angels yet, and daughter Beth goes missing. It should be out in 2011, as long as I continue to make good progress on the final polish. You can read an excerpt from it soon. Stay tuned to the website devoted to Sam and Rachel, at

Introducing Tall Pines Mysteries
Two new mysteries are due in print in 2011/2012 - FOR THE BIRDS and ESSENTIALLY YOURS. These mysteries are set in the gorgeous Adirondack Mountains, and have just a touch of the paranormal entwined in the plots. They're full of humor, nature, terror, and I've been told they're a little bit sexy. For the first time in my life, I'm telling a story from a woman's POV! Hey, I figured it would make me a better writer. And it's good to get inside a woman's mind once in a while. Or so my wife tells me. Stay tuned for more about this new contemporary series. I think you'll like it!

Call for Beta Readers

Got time? Like to read? Have an eagle eye?

Does it drive you nuts when you spot an error in a finished book?  Me, too. But it's nearly impossible for me to catch all my own errors without the help of my Beta Readers. My brain just integrates the words into what they're supposed to say, and I miss mistakes all the time. Plus there are those little inconsistencies that drive me insane. Like when I left the duct tape on Billy Moore's mouth in one scene, and he started talking in the next. Or like the time I called Sam "Gus" in Healey's Cave. Gheesh.

I could use some help. I'm looking for the average reader who can breeze through my books in efile format, find the occasional typo or inconsistency, and get the manuscript back to me within a month or so. In return, you'll get your name in the acknowledgements and a free copy when it comes out.

Interested? Email me so we can see if you fit the profile!

We're finally "Kindling!"

Who ever thought this old dog could learn new tricks? Me, who was always a little leery about eBooks and who pontificated about the joys of holding a print book in my hands. Okay, so I still love that feeling, BUT, I bought my wife a Kindle for her birthday, and she has told me it's the best present she ever received. She's downloaded and read a dozen books in the past month, and is now helping me proofread my manuscripts on her Kindle, too.

Since I figured out how to do all this without even trying hard, I'm now reading books on my iPhone, and they also appear on the Kindle and my Mac laptop, totally synced together. It's actually a blast, and I'm liking being able to travel places without a million pound suitcase filled with books.

Healey's CaveWhat they are saying...about Healey's Cave...

"Sometimes it's reading what folks say about your work that makes you glow the brightest. Here are a few wonderful remarks from reviewers and readers alike for Healey's Cave, the debut book in the Moore Mystery series. "

"Lazar sketches the relationship of man and wife in soft strokes, like a lovely pen and ink drawing on fine paper. A grandparent taking delight in the love of his grandchildren, is a pastel portrait framed in gold. Childhood friendships drenched in sepia tones are like old photographs in a long forgotten album taken from the shelf. Flowers in a garden, horses long gone from their stalls in a barn, the feel of leaf mold in the hands of a man who loves the earth—are sense memories so strong, that individuals spontaneously manifest themselves in complete fullness upon the page..."

"Aaron Lazar is a master storyteller. The sense of intrigue never dims in this book. As we look over Sam Moore’s shoulder into the fire of the green marble, we are drawn with him into an experience of the paranormal, seeing into the unseen worlds he unearths, never to rest until we know the whole truth about what happened to his brother Billy—and to the others."

-Natalie Neal Whitefield

"Opening the pages of Healey’s Cave releases a delightfully diabolical mystery with a chilling paranormal plot. Exceptionally written, this book will capture readers with a unique chase for a murderer that transcends time and space."

-Joyce Handzo, In The Library Reviews

Since it's the season of giving...

I meant to make a special offer on books before the holiday season flew by. But I guess I had a pretty good excuse for not getting to it sooner - my eldest daughter just tied the knot with our new son-in-law, Geoffrey Hall on the night before Thanksgiving. That weekend, daughter Melanie accepted a proposal from new fiance' Jay Carbonneau, and shortly thereafter, Allison said yes to her honey, Jason Wolfanger. Life has been hopping!

So, in celebration of my three daughters finding their soulmates and agreeing to a lifetime together, I'd like to offer a book deal I've never done before.
BUY ONE BOOK, get the next FREE.
 That goes for DOUBLE FORTE', UPSTAGED, TREMOLO, MAZURKA, AND HEALEY'S CAVE. This is a one time deal that I don't intend to repeat any time soon. So if you have Christmas money that's burning a hole in your pockets, or want to get started collected birthday gifts for family while the price is hot, email me and we'll get this done! Email:

Review: Final Book in Lazar Marathon Surprises and Delights!

loons in the mistImage by Steve took it via Flickr
Tremolo: Cry of the Loon

By Aaron Paul Lazar

I have sooooo enjoyed the opportunity to read all of the books this month that have so far been written by Aaron Paul Lazar. That included all of the Gus LeGarde series, and the first in his new series, Healey's Cave!

Tremolo: cry of the loonBut Tremolo: Cry of the Loon took me on an entirely different trip--back to my childhood! Because, you see, Tremolo is a Gus LeGarde novel that takes us back to when Gus was just 11 and is involved with his first mystery. Yes, Siegfried and Elsbeth, the 10-year-old twins are both there and we get to know Siegfried as the little genius he was. I especially enjoyed that Elsbeth, as well as Siegfried, became "blood brothers" with Gus--while Gus was eyeing an older woman of 15!

Gus' grandfather owns a summer resort/fishing camp and the family, friends and other patrons are enjoying the time in this quiet area.

At that time, children spent most of their days on their own exploring and were even allowed to swim and take boats out on the lake. In fact that's where we meet Gus and his friends. But a mist and then a deep fog fell while they were out and through a series of events, Gus' grandfather's boat capsized! At first they had trouble getting on shore and then weren't sure where they were.

Finally realizing they were on the other side of the campsite, they started through the woods and that's when Gus saw her--a young girl was coming toward them, she was bleeding around her mouth, her eyes frightened and, after almost colliding with Gus, she ran quickly in another direction.

Soon they heard a man calling, "Sharon," and running after the girl. Siegfried had quickly pulled Gus and Elsbeth into the woods until he had passed, but they could smell the whiskey and saw and heard his anger. They assumed the man was her father and hoped she would not be hurt any more once he caught her!

But Sharon never came back...

And Gus couldn't forget the terror he knew Sharon had been facing...

The summer was not to be as quiet as previous years, as thefts began to happen and a mysterious woman showed up who had men guarding her from anybody's contact. On the other hand, there was time for roasting marshmallows, sleepovers, swimming and boating, after taking on additional chores since one boat had been lost already...

So what did you do during summer vacations when you were young. No matter what, I guarantee that, like me, Aaron Paul Lazar will pull you backward as he explores the summer through the eyes of three young friends as they talk about the mysteries surrounding them and another little girl. The ending was not quite a surprise but surely was excitingly tense as the Blood Brothers solved all the mysteries, almost as accidents!

Don't expect the Hardy Boys...these children are unique and special in their own fact I'd like to see a "Young Gus" spinoff for the LeGarde series! It's bound to be a hit with the younger audience, just like Tremolo is easily recommended for older children and teens, as well as adults! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting these kids and you will too!

Book Received Via
Facebook Reviewers Roundup

G. A. Bixler

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review: Book Teaches Children to Pray and Praise...

Young girl prays before eating school lunch of...Image Wikipedia
100 Prayers

God Loves to Hear

100 Praise Songs

By Stephen Elkins

For me, one of the most joyful things from my childhood was learning new choruses to sing. Was it that way for you? There were Sunday School performances, Bible School, and even Church had choruses to learn and sing. And many children are called upon to learn to say the prayer before a meal, or again at the various church activities in which they participate.

100 Prayers God Loves to Hear, 100 Praise SongsBut some children don't have that opportunity as much these days! That's why I chose to share about the children's book, 100 Prayers God Loves to Hear: 100 Praise Songs. Besides the book, there are two CD's as well! Hearing the music makes it so much easier to learn the songs, don't you think?

The very first thing I did was to check out the song titles--there are both old and new ones! And the old ones have been arranged by the author. So here's how the book is set up:

Here's an example using a Christmas Carol we would have heard recently:

The title of the two-page set up is "What Can I Give Him?" First there is an opening about the topic. Then there is the suggested prayer which in this case is taken from the song, "The Little Drummer Boy."

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb.

If I were a wise man,
I would do my part.
Yet what can I give Him?
Give my heart.

More narrative continues the story, along with a beautiful picture of children, angels, or Biblical characters that supports the prayer. Then each of the two-page spread concludes with "My Little Prayer Reminder" such as:

We must move from asking God to take care of the things that are breaking our hearts, to praying about the things that are breaking His heart.--Margaret Gibb 

Finally, in the top upper corner, the child is told which song is part of that day's praise activity.

The song "With All My Heart (I Will Praise You)" on CD1 is recommended! (pps. 14-15)

How Cool Is That?! And there are 100 of these two-page sets so that the child can read just two pages for the day and have a complete prayer, short lesson and a song. I think this book should be given to every child under age 10...or 110! Well, aren't we all children of God?!

The book itself is padded covered for added protection as well as beauty with a picture of Jonah and the whale on the front. It includes children from multiple races and countries who learn about God and Jesus as their Savior. The stories follow both the old and new testaments and are told in contemporary language that is easy to understand and apply to the child.

What an excellent way to teach children how to pray and praise! Here's one of my favorite prayers:

Lord, many wonders
Your hands have made;
The sun to shine brightly,
Trees to give shade.
But the wonder of wonders
Made like no other
Is jelly spread thick
On good peanut butter!

What better way to start the new year than saying the following included prayer together with your children:

Another year is dawning
Dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting
Another year with Thee.

Another year of progress,
Another year of praise
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days

And to help your children learn the new song, "Another Year is Dawning." Parents, help your children start the new year with 100 Prayers and 100 Praise Songs! God's Waiting to hear us pray and sing to Him! Let's Do It All Over The World! Surely you know this is a "Must-Read" in my opinion!

Book Received Via
Amazon Vine Program

G. A. Bixler

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review: Suspenseful Legal/Medical Thriller Important Novel for Women!

Breast Implant side viewImage via Wikipedia
Murder By Another Name

By Jo Stone

Important Information for women is the primary topic of a new mystery by Jo Stone! Indeed, the title tells it all! No way around it a product that results in death is Murder By Another Name...

Jo Stone is an attorney who has tried many silicone gel breast implant cases—I think that for some books, the professional credentials are essential, don’t you? Stone received her Juris Doctorate at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I appreciate her efforts to share her knowledge through her very realistic and exciting fictional novel!

Murder by Another NameDr. Dan MacNamara, a plastic surgeon, handled many breast implants for his patients. But not all surgeries were successful in the long-term. In fact, the wife of the President of the main corporation who supplied the implants had been affected by her implants—her breasts were slightly asymmetrical but those of a 25 year old. But when she touched them, she could not help but be sad and disgusted—they had lost all sensation except pain. Her breasts were hard and when they were subjected to bath water they became discolored and even more painful. Though her husband had convinced her to have them, he had not touched her since. She knew nobody would want to touch her...

It was exciting, then, when Dr. MacNamara learned of a newly created process that prevented the later hardening changes. In fact, Dr. MacNamara had been acting for the company to recommend and speak to groups across the country. Of course, there was the added benefit that the sales rep traveled with him most of the time and he was enjoying their affair...

But as Dr. MacNamara is hurt and in critical condition in the hospital, as a result of a car bomb that had killed his lover and the sales representative, one of the women who had received implants with MacNamara as her doctor, was also in critical condition.

Pamela Lawson had been disturbed by the way child birth had affected her breasts and, finally with her husband's support, though he said he loved her as she was, she had received the new implants. Happy with the result, life had moved on but then Pamela had begun having major health problems.

Fortunately, there had already been considerable medical research by a team of doctors in Canada, who had successfully had the new implants removed from the market there. But though they had shared the results in the U.S., they were not as successful in having their results verified.

But women with transplants were now sharing information and looking toward the legal arena to gain compensation for the problems they were having. Slowly one lawyer began to obtain a complete and thorough knowledge of all legal, medical, and other issues surrounding both the older versions and the newer versions that many surgeons were now using. One thing was definite--Pamela Lawson's life was on the line due to those implants and they were going to sue the company!

Murder by Another Name is an excellent well-written true-to-life drama that is both a warning as well as an example of how loopholes in regulations can be used by companies to miss the usual safety  procedures and move ahead with the production of new products. And, if, by chance, that company is run by someone who cares only about the bottom line, it can indeed result in murder--no matter how the death occurs!

So not only is this an excellent drama that should concern every woman, it is a tense suspenseful legal procedure thriller that anyone who enjoys medical mystery or legal novels will find a page-turner! High recommended!

Book Received Via
Bostick Communications

G. A. Bixler

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The prisoner's dilemma is an example of game t...Image via Wikipedia
Jerusalem Spring

By Fares Aoun



...A Must-Read!

I love when writers decide to use fiction to tell an opinion or express concern about some situation. Fares Aoun has created a powerful, brilliantly conceived method and story to do just that. I applaud this work and consider it a must-read, especially given I read the book from front to back in one sitting. The impact for me was dramatic; I hope the impact for some will be enlightening...

Jerusalem SpringIt is the 1960s and somewhere in the south, readers find themselves inside a segregated prison. A new group is coming in and we see how the all-white guards treat the new prisoners. There are two who are highlighted; one is very young and has been hurt somewhere and is in bad shape. Another who was on the bus is helping him. The identity of these individuals is "13," and "12," the latter.
Immediately trouble begins because 12 was trying to get somebody to help 13. There would be no doctor tonight, but the warden, at least, ordered that 13 be given food that night. He never received any from the guards. After the mandatory shower, etc., the guards literally pushed them forward into a room at which other prisoners stood at the bars and quickly closed the door. They were in a large, long hallway; the prison was extremely overcrowded and though the warden kept insisting that no further men be sent there, nothing changed.

Needing to know his present situation, 12 immediately started to look and walk around and when no food came, he tried to find somebody to help 13.

Finally, he came upon one man in a cell--all the doors were kept open so the crowded group could at least move around, but the toilets were broken and the smell horrendous.
Joe was alone in his cell with stacks and stacks of books. Everybody knew that he was this warden's inside man, but at least he got one slice of bread for 13.
The warden and his wife were both individuals who did not discriminate nor feel differently about those of other races. His wife wanted to leave the south and go somewhere else and start a family because of the tense racial situation. Unknown to his wife, the warden had already started the transfer process months ago; but he didn't want to raise her hopes. The warden was a good man most of the time; he hated what he sometimes had to become in order to do his job. But when a fire, and then a kitchen riot erupted, he became who he felt he had to be to do his job. And then hated his actions because they were similar to his father's...

Even Joe was surprised at how the warden was treating those who had been caught in the riot, even if they personally hadn't been the instigators. For Joe and the warden had become at least cordial and the warden got Joe his books and was even discussing his taking college courses...

Readers may stumble just as Part II begins in present time but will quickly continue on.

Because, actually, the same story continues! Yes, there are a few slight changes--Joe is now called Yusef. The prison becomes a "camp" of people. Scott is still waiting to transfer...

From the author (p. 223, Acknowledgments) "My mom raised us to treat others the way we would want to be treated. My Dad taught us to tell the truth and stand up for the weak." From the Dedication--...this book [is dedicated] to my children and to every child throughout the world with the hope that we adults will give them a better place to live.

I pray with that hope too... If you also have this book and share it. I'm also hoping the author's next book runs along similar lines! Can there ever be a happy ending? I have a feeling this author has much to say to the world...and I want to read it!

Book Received Via
Blogger LinkUp

G. A. Bixler

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Review: If you like to Give Holiday Books - This One May Work!

Image by Ben Lawson via Flickr
Snow Globe Done Right
The Snow Globe

By Sheila Roberts

Do you have one or more snow globes in your home? I do and I love the tiny scenes within that become alive just by shaking to create a snow blizzard! So the title of this book was what called to me. Sheila Roberts has created a delightfully warm story that is just right for the season!

The Snow GlobeGoing back all the way to the time the first one was made, the Snow Globe in the story was created about Christmas time, 1880. A loving sister had commissioned it for her brother whose wife had recently died. He had been so devastated that his entire family was worried about him, so his sister who lived in France where they were just starting to make them, had sent it to Chicago with the note, that his sister hoped it would bring him comfort...

The glass globe contained a small toyshop that looked like his father's toyshop in his village in the Bavarian Alps. In front of the toyshop stood a beautiful angel with golden hair and blue eyes who looked like his Liesel!

But one day, the shop keeper looked into the globe and the angel's hair was now brown. He shook the globe again and her hair looked darker! It was just two weeks away when a man and woman entered the store. Except the woman's dark hair and sweet smile made the shopkeeper think he had seen her before...

And soon he realize that he had! In the Snow Globe!

It was this story that Kiley was told in the antique shop that had purchasd the globe. She was immediately drawn to it and it was explained how it had been passed down from generation to generation, always bringing hope when someone needed it most. Kiley was almost broke, she had lost her job, and worse, had lost her financee to her younger sister! She had no money to buy such a beautiful antique, but the owner offered it at 50% off... Kiley needed hope because with Christmas coming, she knew it was going to be extremely hard to attend the normal family gathering, and see her former fiancee with her younger, beautiful sister!

And then one day Kiley saw a different toyshop in her globe--and it was located near her!

Kiley had two good friends who were with her that day when Kiley purchased the antique. One was excited about the story that she told them; the other was skeptical and thought she should have saved the money. Of course, she was very conscious about money since she had been working so hard to pay for the extensive renovations she had done to her home.

Without going into each of the stories, I'll just say that the snow globe was passed on to each of those friends and each saw something different in that globe! And you'll never guess where it is right now, perhaps waiting for YOU to give you hope for the future!

A stocking stuffer for sure...and better yet why not find a suitable globe for your loved one and gift it with the book! It's bound to make that special one on your shopping list know you love them! I thoroughly enjoyed this and turned to my snow globe received last year from my wonderful nieces and created my own blizzard! Who knows, one of these here on my shelves just might be magical too!

Book Won Via
Book Tribune

G. A. Bixler

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review: Jennifer Chase Spread Her Wings For Latest Novel!

A black Labrador Retriever.Image via Wikipedia
Silent Partner

By Jennifer Chase

Wow,  I was pleasantly surprised with Jennifer Chase's latest novel, Silent Partner. Her usual, main leading characters were still involved, but they took a somewhat minor, but important role and took chances that could lead to their identity and activities. I can't help but wonder if this will lead into a different future. However the book is partially in memory of Jennifer's long-time Labrador friend, Trucker. What it resulted in is a wonderful thriller starring dogs who are trained for action as silent partners in war or with the police. Kudos, Jennifer, for this spotlight!

Silent PartnerThis is only Chase's third novel, but she became a favorite author for me by her second I was pleased to have the opportunity to read the manuscript for Silent Partner.

Jack Davis' partner was Keno--a black Labrador, who was the lone Labrador on the K9 force. Keno was an excellent partner but sometimes did not follow commands/procedures. Instead he would put himself in danger rather than his partner.

I loved the line, "Just because you sleep with me doesn't make this any easier..." Jack was trying to discipline his partner who had once again allowed adrenaline to make him act without command. Keno's response was to give him a sloppy kiss... You got to love a little humorous side to any situation, right?

There was a serial killer working in the area. But there was also a money reason behind the activities. The only issue was that the killer also killed because of his own desires, so there were many police involved in a case that was not easy to get a handle on.

And then an old friend of Jack Davis was murdered in her bed. There was evidence that her boyfriend, who was into many criminal activities had been there and the police were soon out to find Darrell! When Jack got to the crime scene, he reconnected with Megan, with whom he had once been involved. Megan and her sister had known Jack since they were small and Jack had come by their house on the day their father had murdered their mother. He watched as his friends had been taken away from that terrible scene, remembering that Megan had looked at him as if asking him why this was happening.

The sisters had inherited more money than they would ever need, but they still lived together. Megan had been fighting her need to stay indoors for quite some time; it wasn't totally incapicitating, but she would need a major reason for going out. When Megan saw Jack, she immediately turned to him for help and protection and they became involved again, even though Jack knew that she had to be considered a suspect and was totally involved with their case. Jack realized that he still had feelings for Megan. Like Keno was prone to do, Jack acted with his heart not his head...

Emily Stone and Rick Lopez  came to town  looking for a missing person but when they saw all the action, they decided to just stay and watch--and later found that their search had been ended by the killer, so they continued to watch, wanting to make sure her killer was apprehended...and help when they could without getting too involved.

The ending threw me off but then that's what makes for those climatic endings isn't it? There is lots of action with both police and the K9 unit. It's quite different from those books or movies that use the dogs to sniff out drugs or people. These dogs are trained to take down a criminal and keep him there--good for the police; really bad for the bad guy who can't get away from those powerful jaws!

I would have preferred a happier ending, but that didn't detract from this great suspense novel that keeps you at the edge...throughout! Thanks again for highlighting the K9 squads who are helping our men in blue! Have you read Chase yet? This is a great one to start with since there is little connection to the first two. My guess is though that you'll go back to read her from the start! Highly recommended...

Book Received
From the Author

G. A. Bixler

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review: Mazurka "Must" be Spotlighted in Gus LeGarde Mystery Marathon!

Mazurka (A Gus LeGarde Mystery)


A Gus LeGarde Mystery

By Aaron Paul Lazar

Lazar is the first—the very first author who forced me to go to the back of the book to find out about a character. I didn’t read anything; I just made sure the name appeared again—I didn’t want to grieve if I didn’t have to! Ok, I’m giving away a little by saying that, so I’ll stop and just add that Aaron Paul Lazar’s characters in this series are so wonderfully created that I’ve become attached to them!

And no wonder! Would you believe that he changed a Honeymoon Trip into a Fantastic Mystery (for readers, that is)? I didn’t know whether to be irritated or excited!

You probably realize that Mazurka has now become my favorite in the Gus LeGarde series. They do indeed keep getting better, but I absolutely loved this one!

Gus and Camille are now married—you’ll see a wonderful rerun of the wedding near the end of the book—what a clever idea for sharing this important moment in such a unique. touching way! Gus and Camille had decided to first stop in Paris and then on to Vienna for their honeymoon. But since that early decision there had been a slight change.

Siegfried’s great aunt had requested Sig come to Germany—her health was bad and she had asked for a visit. If you’re following the series, you will know that Sig is the twin brother of Gus’ first wife who was now dead. Sig had also been Gus’ best friend so when he became his brother-in-law, he had moved to live on their property. As you may also know by now, Sig was hurt in an accident when he was twelve. Although he still has moments of brilliance, especially related to math, and has learned to drive a car and other things, his mental capabilities had been limited at that time. Interestingly, he had reverted to speaking the German he had known as a child and was quite comfortable in planning a visit with his relatives.

Sig wasn’t quite sure that he was not interfering with the honeymoon, but Gus and Camille both loved Sig and assured him he was welcome. Except...none of them could have realized what was awaiting them!

From all over the world, with one even on the plane with Gus’s small group, young men who were referred to as neo-Nazis were planning major terroristic maneuvers. So while Gus, Camille and Sig went to their hotel in Paris and began to tour, a major leader of the Nazi group also arrived. It was during their first shopping trip that the leader spotted Sig. With long blond hair pulled into a ponytail, Sig’s tall body stood out in any crowd, so as he waited outside for Gus and Camille to come out of a shop, the Nazi leader, thinking he was talking to a local German man, yelled out to Sig.

That was the worst thing he could have done. For Sig didn’t quite understand what was happening, but he did know that the Nazis had killed many of his family,  Sig was part Jewish and he screamed that back to the man. Instantly a fight began and during that fight Sig was seriously injured and one of the young men accidentally killed the leader, while aiming for Sig.

But to the young rebels, they didn’t care who had pulled the trigger. Sig, and Gus and Camille who had by then joined Sig were at fault. Revenge was what came after that!

The excitement, danger, and anger against the group who were imitating the old Nazi regime affects everybody in various countries, but only a few know of the chase after Sig, Gus and Camille. Sig has made it into Germany where he will recuperate, while Gus and Camille decide that it is all right to proceed to Vienna, although that, too, proves to be wrong. While there, they hear that a bomb has destroyed the home where Sig was staying!

Against the fear and hatred that is stirred by this terrorist group, Lazar as placed a beautiful family intrigue. During the time that Gus and Camille are still in Germany, his great aunt shares a precious secret that has been handed down from generation to generation and now would go to Sig. At the same time, she is joyous to learn that her niece had a daughter about whom she have never heard—an important fact since the secret was to be handed down through the female side of the family. Sig was the one who quickly mentioned that it should go to Freddie who had received the formal name that was part of the story—Fredericka. This story in itself is worthy of its own short story and I commend Lazar for making it so realistic and beautifully presented within the overall novel! Indeed the title reflects this family heritage and fits so well within the overall theme of the Gus LeGarde Mystery series.

Aaron, you are getting better and better and I can’t wait to read the next in this series, as well as all of your future books! Aaron Paul Lazar has officially been added to my must-read favorite author list! I loved Mazurka...but I truly do recommend you begin at the beginning of this series. As mentioned above, the characters are so important that you just must meet them long before Mazurka “happens!”

Book Received Via
Facebook Reviewers Roundup

G. A. Bixler

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Review: Tels Will Rule The Future! Are You One of Them?


By Paul Black

What a cool book! Soulware by Paul Black is Book Two in the Tels Series, although this book easily stands on its own. In fact, the series is Winner of The Writer’s Digest Book Award for genre fiction. Soulware received the Silver Medal in the Science Fiction category.

And this is indeed a wonderful example of a science fiction novel. It is a story that centers on Jonathan Kortel. He may look like he is human, but he is so much more. He has a telekinetic gift. There are others who have this gift, so many that they have formed a secret group called the Tels. But Jonathan is the most special of that group—and that makes him both the most dangerous as well as the most in danger!

Why? Well, even though Jonathan lives far in our future, greed and the lust for power seems never to go away. A hierarchy has been established within the Tels so that each individual is tested and assigned a grade based upon ability. Abilities, however, are not stagnant, they continued to grow in strength and thus, individuals may “move up” in the hierarchy.

The Biolution also changed the future. At that time, many industries that had been the leaders in the world’s economy were destroyed. The ability to create synthetic oil had not been foreseen by the Middle East and when it happened, a final act of terrorism showed their anger—an untested biothermonuclear weapon totally eliminated what once had been the Hawaiian Islands!

Actually, the Tels had been around since the 1960s and became most influential in changing Khrushchev’s mind about the nuclear missiles in Cuba... But the Tels quickly realized that the power was not political; it was in the corporate sector. American Tels formed an investment front for their activites...

Black does some very strange and fun things that have come about in this Biolution, especially about clothing. Imagine having your clothes actually be alive, molding to your body... or imagine an animal “printed” on that cloth that moves from place to place and even disappears into secret places... You’ll enjoy these flights of imagination as much as I did, I am sure...

Because of their abilities, the Tels are in control of the world now, even if humans don’t actually realize it! But as power corrupts, the Tels split into two rival groups, one of which is called The Agency.

Jonathan had joined The Agency and had worked for quite some time but he was getting to be known and, like those individuals in the old west who were constantly faced with those that wanted to see “who was faster to draw his gun,” there were many who came after Jonathan just to see if his power was indeed...more than they had...

And even Jonathan had begun to wonder just how powerful his abilities had become. He noticed that testing was not being handled the same. And then he learned that he had been genetically implanted with bionanoware...the “lab boys” called it Soulware... But he also knows that his friend received a similar implantation and he was dead now!

Did I not tell you this was a cool book? And Black not only has an expansive imagination, he writes it so effectively that we read it like the newspaper telling how everything is going to be in the future and miss the dangers—almost! Will humans begin to evolve into future Tels? Who knows? But it is certainly fun and exciting to read about the possibilities. Or perhaps, Black writes of the future so well, because he is already one of them...

Science Fiction at its finest...Check it out! You won’t be sorry...

Book Received Via
Science Fiction Reader.Com

G. A. Bixler

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review: I Love My New Kindle Cover!

Zipper slider brings together the two sidesImage via Wikipedia
Kindle Case

By ecandy designs

They may not have come to me as official Holiday presents, but there are two things I was excited to get recently! Soooo, since they fulfilled my wish list, I’m calling them presents—just ones already opened!

First, a company for whom I’ve been reviewing for years, purchased a Kindle for me! How cool is that! Now, as everybody knows, I am always backed up with a stack of books to read, so I’ve only begun to explore how to use my new Kindle...

Kindle Cover and Case for the Kindle 2 with Reversible Zip Closure by ecandy (Fits 6" Display, 2nd Generation Kindle)But one thing I immediately noticed—it just sat there. It was an important addition for my love of reading, but it reminded me of cell phones, for which I’m still a holdout, although it is based more on my lifestyle than not seeing the advantages...

Anyway, I was so happy to see just what I needed on "Blogger Linkup"!

Ecandy designs was offering a Kindle Cover for reviews! I offered my review for it immediately!

First of all I’ve always taken care of books I read as much as possible, so I wanted to do the same for my new Kindle which would replace hundreds of future books. All you have to do is snuggle the Kindle directly into what looks like a small notebook or computer cover—but fits exactly for your reader.

I received what is called the “Black Licorice Paisley” which would have been my selection if I had been buying is covered in swirls, lines and all sorts of figures in basic black and white. It is beautiful! Jelly Bean is also available according to the package and there are also two available for the latest Kindle 3 in Tuxedo Swirl and Sable Faux Suede.

After slipping the Kindle under secure 4-cornered picture-like holders, I was ready to go. The back easily folds back for reading and closes snugly and zipped when not using. I also checked out that you can zipper the major part of the cover and leave just the bottom open so you can keep your Kindle plugged in for charging, as desired.

One small addition has been added that is/can be very helpful. It has a zippered side pocket that can store money, a key, a credit card or what might be needed to allow you to grab your case and head outside to read or take it along with wherever!

Because the cover folds completely to the back and held that way, you have total access to all keys of your Kindle and can easily click page changes with no problem. While I’ve only been reading instructions for now, I’m all ready to click page after page of my latest novel!

Now I don’t know about you, but, the Kindle, like with cell phones, seemed to me to be very thin and narrow—dare I say it—quite naked! With the Kindle cover, there is a thick padding and the zippered security makes me feel much more secure in “shoving” my new electronic reader into my purse to head out!
What more can I say...I’m ready to go anywhere, covered—and ready to read! I love my Kindle’s new case! You will too, I guarantee it!

Kindle Cover Via
Ecandy Fashionable Cases & Covers
For Your Personal Electronics

G. A. Bixler

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Review: Catholic Father Calls Out to Conquer Cancer Within!

Posthumous Recognition and Cause for Canonisat...Image via Wikipedia
When will the Church leadership ACT?!
Pedophilia: Cancer Within

By Patrick Bascio

I was very sorry to learn that Father Patrick Bascio died prior to having his book, Pedophilia: Cancer Within published. He was a brave man in writing it; may it speak loudly to proclaim not only Father Bascio’s concern, but also the hundreds of thousands of people who share his anger at the world’s increasing sexual abuse, especially of children!

Pedophilia Cancer WithinIt has long been my personal concern that the church does not deal adequately with the issue of human sexuality—and I speak not only about the Catholic Church but also for many of the Protestant denomination churches I have attended during my life. In the Catholic Church, perhaps because of the size of the membership, we have long heard about the cases of sexual abuse by priests. Perhaps it is not so prevalent that Protestants Pastors are involved, but I know from personal experience that there is much sexual abuse also happening by supposed devout church members. In every organization in the world, there is always a mixture of good and evil people. Dare I say that it is so much worse when it is within the church! Is it not the right time, as Father Patrick Bascio has done, for the good to speak out and demand action by the bureaucracies that allow greed and power to prevail?

Father Bascio approached his concern in an indirect manner that did surprise me however. Obviously the requirement for chastity is a major reason why sexual activities have happened among priests. Perhaps it is not as well known, however, that there are a large percentage of priests who are homosexual. He quickly points out that being homosexual does not also mean that the individual is a pedophile. However, statistics show that many pedophiles are homosexual. Thus by increasing the number of homosexual priests, there is an assumption that pedophilia will also increase. Present estimates for homosexual clergy is 20% or higher, but James G. Wolf concluded from a questionnaire that the figure is between 40 and 60%. Frequent sexual activity is claimed by about 37%. Yes, statistics are for the Catholic Church.

Now, you will be correct and as verified by Father Bascio, homosexuality is still proclaimed to be a sin by the Catholic Church... (Whether you believe this is not the issue in my opinion.)

Yet the Church continues to admit more and more “sinners” as priests?

I personally found it very ironic that, as included by Father Bascio, the Catholic Church continues to be adamant that women may not be permitted to become priests. If I understand that correctly, “male sinners” are chosen to become priests rather than faithful women who feel they are called...


Ok, I’m taking a little liberty with this review. Maybe I’m speaking a little on behalf of the Father who is no longer able to speak out on his book and opinions.

The remainder of Pedophilla: Cancer Within is an excellent discussion of the bureaucracy of the Church and how an administrative group within that hierarchy may well be a reason that prevents positive action. I’m not going into further details about the inner workings of this or any other organization that may breed the opportunity for personal greed and power seekers to negatively affect that organization. When an individual is placed in a position of power, they have only two choices—do what is right, or do what is wrong, but perhaps a means of gaining financial personal gain and power. Each of us must choose.

Men who were members of my protestant church sexually abused me, as a pre-teen, and I have heard many similar stories about those in the Protestant pulpit or lay leadership throughout my life. Pedophilia has been in this world for too long. And now sex slaves are being trafficked!

Father Patrick Bascio was brave enough to identify the cancer within his church. For me, it was a reminder that there are still good men and some are willing to speak out against their peers and those who have power over their positions. But there is still not enough said and done...

If you are one of those standing for good, reading Pedophilla: Cancer Within just might help you formulate your future thoughts and actions. I understand another book by Father Bascio is also being published posthumously, covering a similar subject. You can be sure I’ll be reading that also! Are you as good and brave as Father Patrick Bascio? Will you speak out and act? Cancer can only be cured in one way—it must be eliminated, deleted, conquered!

Book Provided by
Branden Books

G. A. Bixler

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Review: Fantastic Fantasy - Better than Harry Potter? My opinion--Yes!

Steering wheel in wood for older large sailing...Image via Wikipedia
Mark hung on the wheel as if he were part of the ship...

The Snowmelt River

By Frank P. Ryan

I simply cannot begin to give you an adequate overview of The Snowmelt River! It is, for me, undoubtedly the best fantasy novel I’ve ever read. From the front cover, which was beautifully created by Mark Salwowski , through to the back, Frank P. Ryan has created an epic adventure that just does not stop! The New York Times acclaimed the book “Book of the Year.” Better yet, this is the first of a 4-novel series, each completely different but with the same characters. Frankly, it is hard to believe that there could be more after the first—it is that expansive in the storylines.

The Snowmelt River: Snowmelt River Pt. 1 (Three Powers)And then there are the characters! The four children range from 17 down to 11 as the story starts. Each has become an orphan either early or later in life. I think it is fair to say that Alan Duval is the main character in this first book, although each of the children is amazingly spotlighted. Duval is the only American; having lost his parents just recently, he has been living with his grandfather, Padraig, who is an early but important character, who has the necessary knowledge to help the children...

Help them? Yes, for each of them have been having dreams and hearing a voice calling from far away. Through Padraig’s guidance, they begin to see that it is their destiny to follow and find that voice.

Kathleen Shaunessy had been Alan’s first friend when he arrived at his grandfather’s home and they soon became closer. Mark and Mo Grimstone are the other two children, who had been adopted, were not really from the same family and hated their stepparents—let’s just say readers will too, but I have a feeling their parents are going to be back, even after Alan, Kate, and Padraig helped them escape!

Without telling any of the details, soon the four are in a different world and when they wake up they meet Granny Dew...This is one cool lady, or at least I think she is a lady; I’ll just add, think spiders...

Immediately Granny Dew forces them to eat something so “icky” that they couldn’t help but gag... The three older children were given crystals, Alan received one that was pushed into his forehead—he’d had a birthmark that was covered thereafter! Mo, the youngest was not given a crystal. Strangely, Granny Dew gathered her into her arms, as if she was a baby, and cuddled her as if she were cherished...

But Granny Dew was just getting them ready...

Dressed in similar clothing as Granny Dew (think spiders again) they set out and next found themselves coming toward a village with bear-like people (you’ll find out just how closely they resemble that animal). Soon Alan realized that his crystal allowed him to immediately understand their language. He learned much from their Shaman and soon discovered they had been expected. In fact they were seen as the saviors of his people. Alan was soon deemed to be Mage Lord! Of course, not all of the people believed they should follow the guidance of the Mage Lord, especially Snakoil Kawkaw—I’m including his name because he is one of the lead “bad guys” and will continue far into the book. However, for now, he is defeated and soon it is decided that in order to be saved, the people would have to flee from their homes.

One of the very cool non-human characters is the Temple Ship, shown on the front cover. The ship was just as the name implied, it was the place of worship and had been there since before any of those alive now had lived; it was deteriorated and not seaworthy, and it was felt that they would have to use just their smaller fishing craft in order to leave. However, Alan received a message that they were to take the ship. In faith they were to proceed to use it and Alan would be the captain. Actually, Mark became most intimately involved and learned to love the ship; he was at the wheel most of the time, at one time in an amazing way! In fact, soon it appeared he was giving life back to the ship—for as they proceeded to set sail, the old parts and the body were renewed, new sails formed! That’s my one big example of the magic that is happening throughout this book—too much and too cool to share outside of the storyline as it actually occurs!

And I haven’t even introduced you to the Shee (an all-female culture, think big cats), the Storm Wolves, Shikarr, the villains, or who it was who called the four into this world! Readers, adventure, magic, fantasy and so much more await you in Frank P. Ryan’s The Snowmelt River! Some of the magic is downright wonderfully scary! Some of the beauty of the characters as they fight for their rights is eloquent in presentation.

And wait until you hear the Song of the River! This book is a powerful, outstanding book, dare I say far superior to Harry Potter? It’s true, in my opinion! Movies? I’m not sure...they’d have to create 3-4 movies to cover each book adequately, again, in my opinion. For me, books are the way to go to get the full hair-raising impact of this masterpiece of fantasy! I’m already looking forward to the next book and that doesn’t happen often for me. Given my age, I’d have to say the book is suitable for ages 9 to 99! A must-read for Fantasy Lovers. Will make a wonderful holiday gift!

Book Provided Via
Author’s Den

G. A. Bixler

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Review: Second Book in Gus LeGarde Series Became My Favorite...

Two hippies at the Woodstock FestivalImage via Wikipedia


A Gus LeGarde Mystery

By Aaron Paul Lazar

If you enjoy stories like Sister Act II or others where students are brought together to perform in a major production, then you will enjoy Upstaged just as much as I did! In fact, having extensive information and character involvement with music just might place the Gus LeGarde Series versus Sam Moore a little ahead for me. But no matter what, Aaron Paul Lazar is a wonderful storyteller and has the ability to create characters for whom you care about. Adding mystery and suspense is just like icing on the cake!

In addition to being a social worker, Camille, Gus' fiancee directs the musical productions for the local high school. And since she has the inside track with Gus, it was quite natural that he help by playing the piano for rehearsals. In fact, it was a musical that Gus had written ages ago, Spirit Me Away, that was going to be performed.  Everybody was excited to wear the hippi clothes from the '60s and pretend they were heading for Woodstock!

Upstaged: A Gus LeGarde MysteryBut even at the very first rehearsal/tryouts, nasty things started to happen. The first was a snake being tossed from above into the costume room. Mrs. Bigelow, a mother and volunteer helping with the performance was the one screaming as the first incident occurred to disrupt and cause problems. As he is often the hero, Siegfried, who was also a volunteer, quickly came, and took care of the snake...

Even though Mrs. Bigelow was the brunt of this action, she got over it quickly as she tried every way possible to ensure her daughter Lisa played the leading role. The problem was that there was someone better for that role and everybody knew and accepted it except this stage mother, who was vocal about favoritism for everybody except for her daughter. And, later, when the lights unexpectedly went out and Camille was pushed off the stage, it was natural to wonder if jealousy could have led this mother into such an act.

As the delightful activities regarding the production are enjoyed by the characters as well as the readers, one particular student who was dating Molly, the lead, had hoped that he would be chosen to play against her, but didn't get chosen. When he tried to argue with Molly and got physically and sexually aggressive, so much so that Gus had to get involved, he was questioned extensively about the other problems. Especially later when Molly did begin to date the student who had been selected as the male lead.

Even the school principal came under careful scrutiny until he talked to Gus and asked him to intervene on his behalf by sharing a secret from his past that would not be made public...

Because as the actions got progressively more dangerous, the police had been called in and now everything seemed to be under control, with protection provided for the opening night.  But nothing could have prepared them for what actually occurred!

What a climatic ending!

And what a wonderfully written and suspenseful novel! In addition to the great whodunit, we learn and grow to love the ongoing characters. Gus and Camille are getting closer and they share a beautiful miracle, amidst everything else happening...You've just got to admire Lazar. He writes a stirring family-oriented story, while setting up a terrific tale that keeps readers totally involved! I loved this one!

Book Acquired Via
Facebook Reviewers Roundup

G. A. Bixler

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