Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Personal Favorite for 2018: Lady Blues by Aaron Paul Lazar!


Genesee River
I strolled along Main Street with Siegfried, my best friend and brother-in-law, unable to shake the song repeating in my head. I’d played it for my Opera 101 class yesterday at school, and since then, kept hearing Marcelo Alvarez singing “Che gelida manina,” from La Boheme...

If interested, all the music from this book, is provided in next post!

Because Camille and I had seen him perform in this role last fall in New York City, it made me long for Lincoln Center, or at least a really good hot pastrami sandwich from a decent deli.
Why I thought of food at that particular moment was a mystery, because we’d just finished a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, home fries, and bacon at Clara’s Diner. I shrugged and let the warm spring air caress my face and bare arms. The sun felt good after the lingering cold of March. I reveled in the feeling of freedom, happy to have no appointments or chores looming in the near future, and looking forward to a leisurely stop in the village bookstore. A warm breeze teased across the Genesee Valley, filling me with a curious sense of exhilaration. Just past the bagel shop, from the top of the ridge where our historic village of Conaroga, New York perched, I stopped for a minute to enjoy the view. Rolling hills swelled in the distance, coated green with winter wheat. I wanted to stay put and soak it all in, but Siegfried was rapidly disappearing into the crowded street. With his blond ponytail swaying behind him, his long legs ate up the ground. I hurried after him. “Hey, buddy. What’s going on?” I wasn’t sure why our trip to the bookstore warranted such an effort.
He frowned, walking faster. “Ja.”
What kind of an answer was that? Had he even heard me? “Sig? You okay?”
I loped for a few paces and caught up with him. Rushing along the sidewalk in front of Victorian homes with deep porches and brightly-colored gables, we finally reached the commercial part of the village, jogging side by side past quaint shop windows offering flowers, travel dreams, gourmet pizza, and works of art. A bus belched smoke and rumbled past us, its gears grinding. The advertisement on its broad side read, “Got Milk?” Beneath the text, a smiling actress wore a milk mustache. I glanced down at my black tee shirt. The slogan, “Got Opera?” had produced a few confused grins from customers at
the diner, where Siegfried and I enjoyed our breakfast. “Hey, what’s the hurry, big fella?”
Siegfried didn’t answer. I wasn’t sure why he seemed so distracted, but I responded when he motioned for me to quicken my pace because over the years, I’d learned to trust his sixth sense and recognized something in his expression that spelled danger. We crossed the street, almost at a run now. Siegfried frowned at something on the other side of the road. I followed his line of sight and realized he wasn’t headed for the bookstore, but for Thom Kim’s tailor shop.
Siegfried had been doing a lot of business there lately. A man of his height required the help of a tailor from time to time, but he’d found dozens of excuses for alterations in the past few months. A loose button here, a burst seam there. He’d been visiting the shop almost twice a week, and I wondered why. “Why are we hurrying?” I asked again.
He burst into a sprint, shouting now. “Look!” He lunged ahead of me, his sea blue eyes trained on the top floor of the building. I smelled it before I saw it, then looked up. Smoke...
A scream erupted farther down the hall. Lily. “Get her!”
I shouted over my shoulder, stumbling toward Thom.
Siegfried quickly ducked into the smoke, following the direction of her cries...
~~~

Lady Blues:
forget-me-not

By Aaron Paul Lazar



From the front cover to the end of the book, I loved everything about Lady Blues! When I read Aaron's latest book, Murder on the Brewster Flats, earlier this month, I was pleasantly surprised that one of the main characters had been married--and I didn't know it! Well, that set me on the search where I found a Gus LeGarde Mystery which I had not read! Wow, am I'm so glad I caught my omission. Because Lady Blues became a personal favorite for me...

Gus LeGarde is a professional musician and teaches at a local college, so his books are always filled with music, which as you all know, I really enjoy exploring (please see next post for all music pieces included). But it was the two main mysteries that I was enthralled with--Gus had befriended a man in a local residence for older people:  What had happened to the woman his new friend kept asking for... and What had happened to the patients as a result of new medicine...

On the other hand, an unusual mystery came with a young woman who whom Gus and his family gave shelter when the tailor shop in which she worked with her brother caught on fire! The question was--why was Lily's back full of both old and new marks of abuse? A not-surprising answer to this but sad..

Whenever he could make it, Gus played for Sunday morning services for residents at a senior citizen's home. One man was known as "the piano man" since he could not tell him his name. But, amazingly, with Gus's bringing music to the home that day, Gus was able to bring out the older man and begin a conversation. Gus knew that he would come back to visit. As time went by, Gus was given a name and then in a somewhat mixed-up question asked--Do you know her? Although all personal memories had been taken, he was able to remember the lady he loved...

But as Gus continued to visit, he noticed that the man was becoming more verbal, more communicative--and learned from his nurse that many of the patients were improving and regaining their memories! Until they again lost them...

How I wish that the main issue of the medication being given to patients could have been true. Wouldn't it be wonderful if a new medication allowed patients who had lost their memories, to be able to regain them?! It was in this part of the book that the danger and suspense grew as the families and staff began to question just what was happening to the patients. 

Lazar weaves magic into his books...readers feel refreshed and vibrant as they leave from their visit to the LeGarde home, where the food is plentiful, mostly homegrown, and friends are welcomed for Sunday dinner when Gus takes over as chef... And it was so gratifying for those who have come to care about Siegfried to watch as he falls in love and looks toward a future of his own with a loved one...after so very long!

And Lady Blues? This mystery had a wonderful closing! I can't wait to have you read it and love it as I did! Go on...check it out right now!


GABixlerReviews



Aaron Paul Lazar is obsessed with writing. He's completed twenty-seven books to date, and has earned twenty literary book awards. He writes mysteries, suspense, love stories, and more. You'll usually find him writing his heart out in the early hours of the day - preferably in the dark, quiet hours when no one else is awake in his bustling household. Visit his website at www.lazarbooks.com to sign up for a free book and to learn about future deals.

Aaron Paul Lazar wasn't always a mystery writer. It wasn't until eight members of his family and friends died within five years that the urge to write became overwhelming. "When my father died, I lost it. I needed an outlet, and writing provided the kind of solace I couldn't find elsewhere."

Lazar created the Gus LeGarde mystery series, with the founding novel, DOUBLE FORTÉ, a chilling winter mystery set in the Genesee Valley of upstate New York. Like Lazar's father, protagonist Gus LeGarde is a classical music professor. Gus, a grandfather, gardener, chef, and nature lover, plays Chopin etudes to feed his soul and thinks of himself as a "Renaissance man caught in the 21st century." There are twelve books to date in this series.

The creation of the series lent Lazar the comfort he sought, yet in the process, a new passion was unleashed. Obsessed with his parallel universe, he now lives, breathes, and dreams about his characters, and has written eleven LeGarde mysteries in addition to four other series.

One day while rototilling his gardens, Lazar unearthed a green cat's eye marble, which prompted the paranormal mystery series featuring Sam Moore, retired country doctor and passionate gardener. The green marble, a powerful talisman, connects all three of the books in the series, whisking Sam back in time to uncover his brother's dreadful fate fifty years earlier. (THE DISAPPEARANCE OF BILLY MOORE, TERROR COMES KNOCKING, and FOR KEEPS)

Lazar's books feature breathless chase scenes, nasty villains, and taut suspense, but are also intensely human stories, replete with kids, dogs, horses, food, romance, and humor. The author calls them, "country mysteries," although reviewers have dubbed them "literary mysteries."

"It seems as though every image ever impressed upon my brain finds its way into my work. Whether it's the light dancing through stained-glass windows in a Parisian chapel, curly slate-green lichen covering a boulder at the edge of a pond in Maine, or hoarfrost dangling from a cherry tree branch in mid-winter, these images burrow into my memory cells. In time they bubble back, persistently itching, until they are poured out on the page."

In 2009, Kodak laid him off after 28 years of service, and during the year he had off (before he landed in his job with KB America) he had time to explore and reconnect with his environment. Little did he know that several trips to the Adirondack Mountains would reawaken his passion for that part of the country. A new romantic mystery series was started entitled Tall Pines Mysteries: FOR THE BIRDS, ESSENTIALLY YOURS, SANCTUARY, and BETRAYAL.

In between all the novels, Lazar published three short writing guides based on his many years of writing advice blogs, entitled WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1-3. These are available in eBook and audio book formats.

In his twenty-first book, Lazar has jumped genre. THE SEACREST: a love story, now winner of many literary awards, is poised to capture hearts across the globe. Book 1 in the Paines Creek Beach novels (set on Cape Cod), this also launched a series, and is followed by THE SEACROFT and THE SEADOG.

When the news was filled with stories about the girls captured for ten years by that monster in Cleveland (you know who he was...), Lazar was compelled to write a book to honor the women involved. Thus was born the Bittersweet Hollow romantic suspense series, featuring award-winning DEVIL'S LAKE, DEVIL'S CREEK, and DEVIL'S SPRING.

The author lives on a ridge overlooking the Genesee Valley in upstate New York with his wife, daughter Allison, two little grandsons, two dogs, and four cats. With a total of six grandkids now, he finds grandfathering to be one of the most precious and important times of life, and spends as much time as possible with Julian, Gordon, Isabella, Christopher, Luke, and Joey.

Lazar has been featured in many magazines and newspapers and has given dozens of radio interviews over the years. You can keep up with him here:

www.lazarbooks.com
www.murderby4.blogspot.com
www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com

Contact him at author@lazarbooks.com.

Summary of series:

LEGARDE MYSTERIES (country mysteries set in the Finger Lakes)

GREEN MARBLE MYSTERIES (mysteries with time travel and a ghost)

TALL PINES MYSTERIES (sensual women’s mysteries set in the Adirondacks)

PAINES CREEK BEACH SERIES (love stories by the sea)

BITTERSWEET HOLLOW SERIES (romantic suspense involving kidnapping)

LEGARDE MYSTERIES
1. DOUBLE FORTÉ
2. UPSTAGED
3. MAZURKA
4. FIRESONG
5. TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON
6. DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU
7. THE LIAR’S GALLERY
8. SPIRIT ME AWAY
9. UNDER THE ICE
10. LADY BLUES
11. VOODOO SUMMER
12. MURDER ON THE BREWSTER FLATS
THE LEGARDE MYSTERIES OMNIBUS

GREEN MARBLE MYSTERIES
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF BILLY MOORE (formerly Healey’s Cave)
TERROR COMES KNOCKING
FOR KEEPS

TALL PINES MYSTERIES
FOR THE BIRDS
ESSENTIALLY YOURS
SANCTUARY
BETRAYAL
TALL PINES BOOK SET

PAINES CREEK BEACH, love stories
THE SEACREST
THE SEACROFT
THE SEADOG

BITTERSWEET HOLLOW, romantic suspense
DEVIL’S LAKE
DEVIL’S CREEK
DEVIL’S SPRING

WRITING GUIDES
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volume 1
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volume 2
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volume 3

AWARDS:

Devil’s Lake
• 2015 Finalist Readers’ Favorites Awards
• 2015 Semi-finalist in Kindle Book Review Awards

The Seacrest
• 2015 Semi-finalist in Kindle Book Review Awards
• 2014 Best Beach Book Festival WINNER, Romance category
• 2013 ForeWord Book Awards, Romance, FINALIST

The Seadog
• 2016 Best Indie Book Awards, Romance, WINNER

Double Forté
• 2012 ForeWord BOTYA, Mystery, FINALIST

Tremolo: cry of the loon –
• 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

For the Birds
• 2011 ForeWord Book Awards, FINALIST in Mystery
• 2012 Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Top 10 Reads

Essentially Yours
• 2013 EPIC Book Awards, FINALIST in Suspense
• 2013 Eric Hoffer Da Vinci Eye Award Finalist

The Disappearance of Billy Moore (formerly titled Healey’s Cave)
• 2012 EPIC Book Awards WINNER Best Paranormal
• 2011 Eric Hoffer Book Award, WINNER Best Book in Commercial Fiction
• 2011 Finalist for Allbooks Review Editor's Choice
• 2011 Winner of Carolyn Howard Johnson's 9th Annual Noble (not Nobel!) Prize for Literature
• 2011 Finalists for Global EBook Awards

Terror Comes Knocking
• 2013 Global Ebook Awards, Paranormal – Bronze

For Keeps
• 2013 Semi Finalist in Kindle Book Review Book Awards, Mystery Category

Spirit Me Away
• 2014 AuthorsdB book cover contest, Silver medal.

Under the Ice
• 2015 AuthorsdB “Bronze” Cover Award