Archive for August, 2013

Dora Machado’s Stonewiser award-winning fantasy trilogy to be available FREE on Kindle

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Dear Romantic Fantasy Fans,

Mark your calendars!

For the first time ever and for a limited time, Dora Machado’s entire Stonewiser award-winning fantasy trilogy, published by Mermaid Press, will be available FREE on Kindle.

WHEN? THIS WEEKEND!

From Saturday August 31 to Monday September 2

stonewiser-theheartofthestone-156x240

Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Stonewiser%3A%20The%20Heart%20of%20the%20Stone

Winner of the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award for best Debut Novel

Finalist for 2009 Foreword Book of the Year Award for SFF

Between truth and deception, between justice and abuse, a stonewiser stands alone with the stones. Or so begins the stonewiser’s oath. But what happens when a rebellious stonewiser discovers that lies have tainted the stone tales?

In a world devastated by the rot’s widespread destruction, only the tales preserved in the stones can uphold the truth and defend the Goodlands. In this world, stone truth is valued above anyone’s word, and stonewisers are the only ones capable of retrieving the tales from the stones, the only link between past and present, order and chaos.

Sariah is the most gifted stonewiser of her generation, but her talent does not atone for her shortcomings. A survivor of the Guild’s brutal training, she is curious, willful and disobedient. Yet not even Sariah is prepared for what she finds when she steals into the Guild’s Sacred Vaults: A mayhem of lies and intrigues that shatters her world.

Hunted, persecuted, and betrayed, Sariah must make an unlikely alliance with Kael, a cynical rebel leader pledged to a mysterious quest of his own. The fate of their dying world depends on their courage to overcome centuries of hatred and distrust. But not even the grueling journey has prepared them for what they are about to discover. Because nothing is really as it seems, and the truth is more intricate and devastating than they ever suspected….

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9780979968242 (2)Stonewiser: The Call of the Stone

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Stonewiser%3A+The+Call+of+the+Stone&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3AStonewiser%3A+The+Call+of+the+Stone

Winner of the 2010 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Gold Medal for SF/F

Finalist for the 2010 ForeWord Book of the Year Award for SF/F

Sariah’s reward for revealing the stone truth: a death sentence.

The executioners have arrived and Sariah, the most powerful and controversial stonewiser of her generation, has been judged and condemned to death. For the last few months, Sariah has been hiding in the Rotten Domain, trying to find the elusive tale capable of uniting a divided people teetering on the brink of a catastrophic war. As she is dragged to the nets, where an eel rave has been stirred to maximize her execution’s gruesome spectacle, Sariah knows she cannot escape her sentence. She is guilty of the crimes for which she’s been condemned and no one, not even Kael, the Domain’s foremost rebel leader, can save her from the executioners’ righteous justice.

But Kael is more than just a formidable warrior; he is also a cunning strategist and Sariah’s steadfast lover. Risking all he has, he bargains with the greedy executioners, bribing them into delaying Sariah’s execution, buying her precious time and a last chance to realize the mysterious legacy that the stones have imposed on her. The agreement is hardly a reprieve. It encourages a mob to hunt Sariah for ransom, banishing her from the Rotten Domain and imposing heavy fines on anyone who tries to help her. Worse, it requires her to wear an irremovable, mysterious bracelet. If she doesn’t return to the executioners with the tale in hand when the allotted time expires, Kael and his kin will be ruined and the bracelet will kill her.

Hunted by the executioners, the Guild and the Shield, Sariah and Kael embark on a desperate search. Their journey will take them to the depths of the Rotten Domain, where Sariah must wise a guiding beam out of the wild tale stored in a stone-carved game. The beam will lead them through the warring Goodlands—where the rot is on the move—to the land beyond the Bastions, where a zealous people guard an ancient stone that could hold the key to their search. Along the way, Sariah and Kael must overcome deadly traps, torture, heartbreak, agonizing defeat and devastating losses in a desperate attempt to avoid war and answer the mysterious call of the stone.

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9780979968259Stonewiser: The Lament of the Stone

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Stonewiser%3A+The+Lament+of+the+Stone&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3AStonewiser%3A+The+Lament+of+the+Stone

Winner of the 2012 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Silver Medal for SF/F

Finalist for the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Award for SF/F

“Do you know why the stones grieve?” the woman said to Kael. “Not for a soul, I’ll tell you that much. The stones don’t grieve for the passing of a lowly woman or the madness of a smitten man. They don’t mourn death, or lost love, or broken dreams, or loneliness or despair. Yet you will make them wail. For you, the stones will weep.”

In their most perilous adventure yet, Sariah, the rogue stonewiser who stunned the world by discovering lies in the stones and defying the all-powerful Guild, and Kael, the rebel leader who against all odds loves her, must find a stolen child, the only one capable of setting rule upon chaos, preserving the future of stonewising, and defeating the rot ravaging the land. The stakes couldn’t be higher. The coveted child they seek is said to be an abomination. He is also their son.

It’s a daunting challenge. Their child is in the hands of a deceitful enemy who has fled to a mysterious ruler, a rival deity with unfathomable powers pledged to destroy the goddess and eradicate stonewising from the world. Worse yet, the land is engulfed in strife, the rot is spreading faster than ever, and Kael is haunted by a malevolent curse compelling him to kill the woman he loves.

In a dangerous journey fraught with shocking twists, Sariah and Kael must do more than defeat their foes, unravel the mystifying forces vying to control their lives, and discover the mysteries of ages past. They must challenge the stones, defy the goddess and confront their cursed fates. Because only by embracing their destinies do they stand a chance to save their child and their world.

For those of you audio book lovers, the first book in the series, Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone is now available from Audible. Be sure to check it out!

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Dora Tapestry 1 June 2013 (480x640)About Dora Machado

Dora Machado is the award winning author of the Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, from Twilight Times Books, available July 2013. She is one of the few Latinas exploring her heritage and her world through the epic fantasy genre today. She holds a master’s degree in business administration and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown University. She was born in Michigan and grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a bilingual fascination for writing, a love for history, and a taste for Merengue.

After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She enjoys long walks, traveling, and connecting with the amazing readers who share in her mind’s adventures. She lives in Florida with her indulging husband and three very opinionated cats. Visit her at www.DoraMachado.com.

99 Cents!

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Hello there!

I just found out that 99 cents can get you The Curse Giver and three other fantastic new releases from Twilight Times Books, but only in the next 48 hours.

Indeed, The Curse Giver, my newest release, will be on sale for only 99 cents on Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24. If you haven’t gotten around to purchasing The Curse Giver, today and tomorrow will be your best chance to get it for only 99 cents!

Three additional releases from Twilight Times Books are also offered for 99 cents for the next forty-eight hours, including Dragon Fire by Dina Von Lowerkraft, Don’t Let the Wind Catch You by Aaron Lazar, and Lucid by Natalie Roers. Please help me celebrate and support my talented fellow TTB authors by purchasing their books!

Scroll down to learn about these wonderful TTB novels, available for only 99 cents, but only for today and tomorrow.

Enjoy!

D.

The Curse Giver from AmazonBuy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Curse-Giver-ebook/dp/B00DSUQL4I/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377230945&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Curse+Giver

Lusielle’s bleak but orderly life as a remedy mixer is shattered when she is sentenced to die for a crime she didn’t commit. She’s on the pyre, about to be burned, when a stranger breaks through the crowd and rescues her from the flames.

Brennus, Lord of Laonia is the last of his line. He is caught in the grip of a mysterious curse that has murdered his kin, doomed his people and embittered his life. To defeat the curse, he must hunt a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in the foulest of ways. Lusielle bears such a mark.

Stalked by intrigue and confounded by the forbidden passion flaring between them, predator and prey must come together to defeat not only the vile curse, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their demise.

Dragon's Fire

Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Fire-ebook/dp/B00ECNEZ6G/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377230520&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Dina+Von+Lowekraft

Some choices are hard to live with.
But some choices will kill you.

When seventeen-year-old Anna first meets Rakan in her hometown north of the Arctic Circle, she is attracted to his pulsing energy. Unaware that he is a shape-shifting dragon, Anna is drawn into a murderous cycle of revenge that pits Rakan and his clan against her best friend June.

Torn between his forbidden relationship with Anna, punishable by death, and restoring his family’s honor by killing June, Rakan must decide what is right. And what is worth living – or dying – for.

Lucid

Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Lucid-Natalie-Roers/dp/160619027X/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377230654&sr=1-3&keywords=Lucid

Disfigured at birth and ostracized at school, Travis Hunter dreams of acceptance and secretly yearns for the affection of a beautiful young woman named Corrine. When a mysterious doctor promises to help Travis through something called lucid dreaming, Travis gets more than he ever bargained for and soon finds himself learning the secrets of love and life in a fantastic unconscious world.


Don't Let the Wind Catch You

Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Let-Wind-Catch-ebook/dp/B00ECNEOTE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377230847&sr=1-1&keywords=don%27t+let+the+wind+catch+you

When young Gus LeGarde befriends Tully, a cranky old hermit in the woods who speaks to an Indian spirit, he wonders if the man is nuts. But when the spirit rattles tin cups, draws on dusty mirrors, and flips book pages, pestering him to find evidence to avenge her past, things change fast. What Gus doesn’t understand is why his mother hates Tully and forbids him to see the old man. What could Tully have possibly done to earn this distrust?

Faced with long-buried family secrets and danger, Gus summons courage beyond his years in this poignant and powerful telling of the sultry summer of 1965.

Fantasy’s “Real” Heroines

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Have you ever wondered what makes fantasy heroines real?

I do. All the time. Perhaps it’s because I write fantasy. But I also read a lot of fantasy and I really appreciate a heroine who is powerful not because she’s magical but rather because she’s real.

Lusielle, the heroine in my latest novel, The Curse Giver from Twilight Times Books, turned out to be a remarkably “real” fantasy heroine. In hindsight, I really liked her and I wanted to learn more from the very character I created. I wondered what made her so compelling.

But first, let me tell you a little bit about Lusielle. In the novel, she’s a powerful healer, on the run, accused of a crime she didn’t commit. She’s about to be burned for her crimes when the Lord of Laonia saves her from the pyre. He’s not her savior. On the contrary, he’s deadly to her. A mysterious curse giver has cast a virulent curse that can’t be defused or defeated. The curse requires the Lord of Laonia to murder Lusielle in order to save his people from destruction. So this is how the story begins, with Lusielle wondering if she should help the bitter lord pledged to kill her and the Lord of Laonia set to kill the only woman who can heal more than his body—his soul.

One of the reasons Lusielle comes across so real in the story is that her passion for her occupation is very tangible. Practicing her craft lends her authority and, perhaps more importantly, many opportunities to grow and learn throughout the story. She takes her trade very seriously and so did I. All of the healing practices and ingredients that Lusielle uses in The Curse Giver are based on authentic medieval practices. Most of her potions’ components come from historical sources. I think that the concrete elements of her practice make her more real to the reader, more credible and therefore more compelling.

Another important aspect to Lusielle’s realism is that she’s not perfect and she knows it. She works hard but things don’t always go her way. She’s made mistakes—a marriage without love that led to years of abuse and slavery, years that, by her own admission, she won’t get back. And yet she’s also resilient, capable of looking forward, able to dream a different life and willing to pursue it even when it entails breaking the rules and loving someone who is ultimately pledged to kill her.

Along those lines, relationships bring a solid sense of reality to Lusielle’s story. Friendship is very important to her, and her often confusing feelings for the Lord of Laonia reflect the full gamut of the human emotions that are so familiar to all of us.

But I think that the elements that make Lusielle most real are her willingness to challenge her fears, her ability to learn from her experiences, and the confidence that she develops as she learns. Courage and learning go hand in hand. Sure, there’s some powerful magic in the story, but ultimately it’s Lusielle’s knowledge, reason and awareness that make all the difference. See, I think heroines who learn, change and adapt throughout a story are not just cool, they’re also real, because change is required of all of us in order to better our lives and we thrive only when we learn from our mistakes.

****

Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She lives in Florida with her husband and three very opinionated cats. To learn more about Dora Machado and her novels, visit her website at www.doramachado.com or contact her at Dora@doramachado.com.

For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, visit  http://twilighttimesbooks.com/TheCurseGiver_ch1.html.

Subscribe to her blog at http://www.doramachado.com/blog/ or sign up for her at newsletter at http://doramachado.com/newsletter.php,

Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

CurseGiver_Front Cover Final

Amazon: http://amzn.to/12AOH3Z

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/16EbUzM

All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/14TXNbC

Are All Writers Egoists? A Guest Blog by Aaron Lazar

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

As some of you might remember, today is the official release and book bomb day for Aaron Lazar’s Don’t Let the Wind Catch You, which is available at http://amzn.to/1bxNnB7 for only $2.99.  And just in case you want to learn more about this talented author, here’s a funny and endearing guest blog by Aaron Lazar.  Enjoy! D.

Are all Writers Egoists?

Writers are terribly self-centered.

Now, don’t get offended. I’m not really talking about all of you. I’m pretty much talking about me.

Strangely enough, I don’t think anyone in my non-writer life would label me an egoist. Or an egotist, for that matter. I had to look up the difference, but there isn’t much of a distinction, as far as I could tell.* Anyway, I can’t picture someone calling me either one of those. At least not to my face.

With my family, colleagues at my day job, and with neighbors and friends, I try to be a good listener. I try to be generous. I take time to be there for them, to encourage them when they’re down, to support them when they’re mourning. I care about family and friends and frequently make sacrifices for them.

I sound pretty great, don’t I?

Ahem. Read on.

In my writerly world, I am horrified to admit that I have recently come to learn I’m a HUGE egoist.

Look at the first few paragraphs in this piece. How many times did I use the word “I?” TWELVE! It’s always all about what I think, or what I noticed, or what I wrote. Isn’t it? (Of course, I guess it might be hard to write about what you think or notice. LOL.)

I started to ponder this recently when I had a confrontation with a friend, and she pointed out to me how much I write about **me**. After a bit of soul searching, I realized she was right.

But it got me to thinking.

I try to be a good guy. I really do. This is in spite of all the stupid things I do, like dribbling my red herbal tea on the new carpet at work yesterday (I spent an hour cleaning it) and consistently forgetting to attach files to emails. If it can be screwed up, I’ll do it.

So, I’m an egoist and a klutz.

That’s not all. No. Not only am I all of the above, I’m mean.

REALLY mean.

I am merciless to my characters. I put them through the wringer time and time again, without care for their suffering. I torment them. I make them endure horrible losses. I hurt ANIMALS, for God’s sake. Okay, so I rescue them in the end, but what kind of a jerk does that to poor, defenseless animals?

Sigh.

I suppose we writers can always pretend to sit back and be the philosophical documenter, the great observer, the quintessential Hemmingway-esque witness of life. But however life presents itself – brutal or tender, seedy or majestic – all fiction comes from our inside our own minds. It’s all about how we see it. How we imagine. How we think our characters would feel.

Isn’t it?

So, how do we compensate for being such egoists?

It’s not as bad as it sounds. It certainly isn’t hopeless, and I’m pretty sure we can redeem ourselves.

Maybe we can find redemption by setting good examples through our characters’ actions while they’re in the midst of dashing here or there during the page turning suspense.  One thing I never intended to do with my three mystery series was to teach lessons about nurturing a family, tending to a disabled wife, dealing with trauma or loss, or being a good father or grandfather. Those things just found their way into my books, because my characters do that stuff in their everyday lives. To my surprise, my readers have come back and thanked me for doing just that. It humbles me to think that by including some amusing family scenes in the middle of the mayhem, I might have actually done some good. One fellow actually told me I made him a better dad. And another wrote to say I got him through his chemo. Like I said, it’s all pretty darned humbling.

Can examples like these make up for my weaknesses and faults? For that great big ego? For my incessant ranting about me???

Man. I sure hope so.

***

–Egoist, noun

1. self-centered or selfish person ( opposed to altruist).

2. an arrogantly conceited person; egotist.

Egotist, noun

1. a conceited, boastful person.

2. a selfish person; egoist.

*****

About Aaron Paul Lazar

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. The award-winning and bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, 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 www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (August 15, 2013), the author’s preferred edition of UPSTAGED (FEB 2013), and SANCTUARY, book #3 in Tall Pines Mysteries in JULY 2013.

Help us drive Don’t Let The Wind Catch You to Amazon’s top rankings by purchasing it on August 15th, 2013 at:

DontLettheWind-cover-front HI RES

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ECNEOTE

A Review from Here Interview with Dora Machado

Monday, August 12th, 2013

This is one of my favorite interviews that I’ve done this year. It asked some tough questions and it really made me think. It is reprinted with permission from:

http://reviewfromhere.com/2013/08/07/interview-with-dora-machado-author-of-the-curse-giver/comment-page-1/#comment-36989

Enjoy! D.


1. Could you please tell us a little about your book?

Of course! I’m very excited about my new fantasy romance, The Curse Giverpublished by Twilight Times Books. The Curse Giver is about an innocent healer called Lusielle, who is betrayed and condemned to die for a crime she didn’t commit. When she’s about to be executed, Lusielle is rescued from the pyre by an angry, embittered lord doomed by a mysterious curse. You might think that Bren, Lord of Laonia, is Lusielle’s savior, but he isn’t. On the contrary, Bren is pledged to kill Lusielle himself, because her murder is his people’s only salvation.

What ensues is a dangerous journey, where Lusielle and Bren have to escape their ruthless enemies and unravel the mystery of the terrible curse that ails the lord of Laonia. They also have to overcome the distrust they have for each other, struggle with the forbidden attraction between them, and defy the boundaries between love and hate and good and evil to defeat the curse giver who has already conjured their ends.

2. Who is your biggest supporter?

My family, especially my husband, who was the one who encouraged me to seek publication. I don’t think I would have ever undertaken the journey to publication without his support and encouragement.

3. Your biggest critic?

I’m my biggest critic! It’s a heavy burden because I’m always questioning myself , but it’s also an advantage because I’m driven to do more and better.

4. What do you feel has been your greatest achievement as an author?

Hmm, that’s a tricky question. I think I would have answered this question quite differently a few years ago. When I first started writing, I measured achievement step by step, the first completed manuscript, the first full edit, the first acceptance letter, etc. Then came the day when Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone, my first novel, was published and I remember thinking that it was my greatest achievement ever; that is, until it won the Benjamin Franklin award for best debut novel in 2009. I thought I was hot stuff then!

After The Heart of the Stone came two more award-winning novels. When I finished the Stonewiser trilogy, I was absolutely sure that completing the series was by far my greatest accomplishment. But then came The Curse Giver and here I am, once again, enjoying this moment but also redefining my concept of achievement.

You see, these days, I’ve come to realize that a writer’s journey is not about a moment or a book. On the contrary, a writer’s journey entails many moments, some lived far away from any sense of achievement other than the occasional appreciation for a well-constructed sentence or an awesome plot twist. To me, an author’s accomplishments are not measured in terms of books, awards, sales, reviews or accolades. An author’s accomplishments are defined by his or her ability to bring enjoyment to the reader. These days I feel most accomplished when I hear from a reader who has connected with my stories or who has been touched by my writing.

5. What do you feel is your biggest strength?

As a writer, I feel like one of my biggest strengths is plot design. I love an interesting, fast and complex plot that surprises with clever twists. I also feel like my characters come across real and vivid and that my stories are enriched by the quality of the relationships between the characters. But perhaps my biggest strength as a writer is the passion that I bring to both the craft and the story. It’s a passion that sustains me and permeates every line I write and every character that inhabits my stories.

6. Biggest weakness?

That would be a long list! Self-deprecation, maybe? Seriously, now, let me think about that.  I think I’m shy and sometimes reticent to step into the public eye. I want to be writing all the time. I have been known to neglect my own blog or skip a FB post in favor of writing some more.

7. What do you feel sets The Curse Giver apart from others in the same genre?

The theme is a complete departure from the usual and a fresh take on magic and fantasy. The relationships are powerful, conflicted, deep and daring.  The world and the settings are diverse and inspired by my multicultural life experiences. The issues are neither white nor black but rather complex and nuanced. There’s a lot or realism to my fantasy and I’m not afraid to mix a powerful, edgy romance with a truly epic fantasy story.

8. Is there anything you regret doing/not doing?

I wish I would have started writing my stories sooner!

9. What is your favorite past-time?

I love traveling and I find a lot of inspiration for my stories along the way. In fact, I was traveling through Peru when I was writing The Curse Giver. I also love hiking, despite the huffing and puffing, which might explain why I’m answering your questions at 37,000 feet on a jet bound from Colorado. Of course I love reading, but that’s a given. My most favorite past-time involves spending time with my family.

10. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I want to thank you again for having me and giving me an opportunity to reach out to your readers. If you like fast-paced, plot-twisting fantasy, epic, dark, and yes—why not?—incredibly romantic fantasy, give The Curse Giver a try. I’m betting you might like it.

****

Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She lives in Florida with her husband and three very opinionated cats. To learn more about Dora Machado and her novels, visit her website at www.doramachado.com or contact her at Dora@doramachado.com. For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, visit  http://twilighttimesbooks.com/TheCurseGiver_ch1.html.

Subscribe to her blog at http://www.doramachado.com/blog/, sign up for her at newsletter at http://doramachado.com/newsletter.php,

Facebook and Twitter.

CurseGiver_Front Cover Final

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/12AOH3Z

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/16EbUzM

Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/14TXNbC

Stuff is Happening: A Guest Blog and a Review of The Curse Giver by Jerry Hatchett

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Congratulations are in order for my good friend and talented techno-thriller author, Jerry Hatchett. His free Kindle giveaway of Seven Unholy Days netted over 63,000 downloads in only five days. That’s huge folks! In the middle of the well-deserved celebration, Jerry found time to review and recommend The Curse Giver because–well–that’s the kind of generous guy he is. Here’s Jerry’s blog. Enjoy! D.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stuff is happening!

Sorry for the long dry spell without a post, folks. Life got busy and the blog got back-burnered for several weeks. I’m excited to share some news with you about Seven Unholy Days. I ran a free promo on this, my most recent novel, for the Kindle edition. The promo was a stunning success that exceeded my wildest expectations. I know many of you reading this helped to make that happen, whether it was downloading yourself or helping spread the word, so: THANK YOU!

Kindle Cover

http://amzn.to/10tDIVN

5 DAYS: 63,546 DOWNLOADS

Even better, once the free promo ended and the price went back to its normal $4.99, Seven Unholy Days has remained on Amazon’s list of bestselling technothrillers. I am appreciative and humbled by the kind reviews that are now pouring in almost daily.

Moving on, I have a couple authors/books I want to share with you. If you’ve followed my blog long, you know I don’t often do this, and the reason is simple: My credibility with you is everything. I absolutely do not trade reviews with other authors. I don’t buy reviews. I don’t do sock-puppet reviews. The first and most important purpose by far for reviews is to inform and benefit the potential buyer, not the seller. I fervently believe this to be true whether I’m reviewing a book or an automatic litter box or a pair of athletic shorts.

With all that said, if you enjoy fantasy novels, I have a couple authors I can wholeheartedly recommend for you to explore.

First up is my longtime friend and so-very-talented fellow author, Dora Machado. Her Stonewiser series was award winning and highly acclaimed for good reason, and I of course invite you to check out that trilogy. But her latest work, called The Curse Giver, is positively excellent. I enjoyed it immensely and I’m not really a fantasy reader. It’s a big, rich, robust tale told with Dora’s characteristically splendid prose, and it’s a joy.

CurseGiver_Front Cover Final

http://amzn.to/11X5VKd

Next, I’ve discovered another author of (darkish) paranormal fantasy novels who is really going to be something special. Her name is Lea Ryan and I was honored to recently read her upcoming book called Pestilence Rising. You can read about it on Goodreads right now and it will be available September 18th on Amazon. Ryan’s a great storyteller, but what will really hook you with her writing is her amazing gift of language. She has that intangible ability to write sentences and paragraphs and pages that are almost melodic. Discover her now. That way, in a few years you’ll be able to say, “Oh, I was reading her way back when!”

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18269885-pestilence-rising

Finally, a new chapter is coming SOON for The Projectionist!

Thanks for your patient loyalty!

http://jerryhatchett.blogspot.com/2013/08/stuff-is-happening.html

An Interview with Aaron Paul Lazar

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

As you may know, this week we are celebrating my fellow TTB author, Aaron Paul Lazar’s upcoming release, Don’t Let the Wind Catch You. I thought perhaps you would like learning about this wonderful writer and the mysteries he writes so well. Enjoy! D.

BANNER windcatchyou

Q) How was writing Don’t Let the Wind Catch You different from the other books in the LeGarde Mystery series?

A) When I write from “young Gus’s” POV, I need to let myself go back to that eleven or twelve-year-old inside me. It was an age I remember with great clarity and with intense nostalgia. I simply try to be me (or Gus) at that age and let the story flow.

Sometimes I have to look up when certain songs or events took place, because I don’t remember the precise year they came out, etc. And of course I’d already created the characters of young Gus, Siegfried, and Elsbeth in Tremolo: Cry of the Loon, so it wasn’t hard at all. It can be almost like a magical trip back to childhood for me, which is probably why these types of books are among my favorites.

Q) Where does the German influence come from? Brigit Marggrander, the twins’ mother, has a real problem dealing with her past life in a Nazi concentration camp. How did this come into your story?

A) When I worked for Kodak I lived in Germany for months and visited frequently, thus my passion for German culture. And my daughter, Melanie, performed in “The Diary of Anne Frank” when she was in high school. I’d sit in the back of the auditorium during rehearsals and as time went on my hatred for the Nazis deepened. So I had to include some kind of theme here for my German twins’ mother. Also, I have always been fascinated by stories about asylums, especially in the older days. I realize that in the fifties and sixties mental illness was often considered an embarrassment, and people frequently went years without help like Brigit does in this side-plot of Don’t Let the Wind Catch You.

Q) Will you ever write a story that shows what happened to Siegfried in 1966? (The boating accident that made him lose his math genius and left him partially mentally impaired)

A) I do plan to write a sequel to Don’t Let the Wind Catch You, and it would make sense for it to take place the next year, in 1966. So stay tuned!

Q) How hard is it to take a fully mature adult character and portray him as a child? You did this with Gus LeGarde, Siegfried, Elsbeth, and also made Gus’s parents, The Marggranders, Oscar and Millie Stone, and the LeGarde grandparents thirty years younger in these “young Gus” stories.

A) It was actually a lot of fun to take the “adult” part away from my main characters who started in Double Forté (book 1 in the series) and bring them back to 1964. (Tremolo) I decided to show Siegfried, the gentle giant in Double Forté who lost his mental acuity, before his accident. It was fun to portray him as a bright, math genius who also excelled in orienteering. Bits of Siegfried transcend across time, of course, and can be found in the pre-accident young boy as well as the mature adult who works in Freddie’s veterinary clinic and around the LeGarde homestead.

Q) Where did you learn so much about horses? It seems like you really know the details. Research? Or first hand experience?

A) Ah, my horse chapters are among my favorites, mostly because I miss my own Morgan horses my wife Dale and I used to ride every day. We were both horse fanatics—one of the reasons we bonded so well before we were married. We talked horses all day long, cared for, rode, bought, and sold them. But mostly we adored them. When we were married, Dale brought her little Morgan mare out to live with us in Upstate New York, and I purchased my first sixteen hand high Morgan gelding. Oh, the rides we had. It was Heaven. As a child I also rode the woods with my buddies. But we never met up with a hermit or a little Indian ghost!

Q) You cover a difficult subject in this book with great sensitivity. Were you trying to teach a lesson in anti-bigotry here by “showing, not telling” how Gus reacts to the discovery that his grandfather loved another man?

A) I didn’t plan to do this – it just came about. I wanted to have a scandalous secret that was revealed over time, and it just happened to involve a gay couple who sadly had to give up their love because of the morés of the time. In hindsight, I think Gus’s reaction to this “taboo” subject was authentic. He hadn’t been tainted by discussion of homosexuality being an “illness” or that it was wrong. People didn’t discuss such things in those days, not openly, and especially not with children. I grew up when Gus did and never even heard about gay people until I was in college.

So I’m proud of Gus for his understanding and compassion, and glad that maybe in hindsight he can help folks young or old learn to accept people who don’t fit into a supposedly “normal” mold. I realize, also in hindsight, that I have included mini-lessons in all my books about accepting those people who aren’t perfect, like Siegfried (mentally damage) or Cindi (Downs Syndrome, from Upstaged), or Penelope (gay lover of Sam Moore’s daughter in For Keeps), or Raoul Rodriguez (transgender in For the Birds) or Slim (Huge black convict in FireSong), etc.

Q) Why did you choose mysteries? Was it an easy choice, or did you have to make a conscious decision?

A) I always read mysteries, since I was a kid. I used to read Hardy Boys, Agatha Christie, and all the “animal” mysteries I could get my parents to buy on the Arrow Book Club in elementary school. I remember reading about Black Diamond (a horse) and lots of dog stories. My folks read and adored John D. MacDonald and I, in turn, fell in love with the Travis McGee mysteries of the master, Mr. MacDonald. They also had Rex Stout, Agatha Christie, PD James, and more mysteries always available in plentiful quantities. I guess it was genetics. I was born to two mystery fanatics. So I really didn’t depart from the genre. When I began writing, it was almost a defacto decision to create a mystery.

Q) Do you enjoy writing?

A) I love the process of writing. It’s as if I’m living in the movie in my mind. It’s a fantastic escape mechanism and I crave the process like a drug addict. Lately I’ve had to do more promotional efforts and I must say, I don’t enjoy that as much as the pure process of creating!

Q) Do you write in a specific place or time of day? Do you keep a notebook to jot down ideas?

A) I write mostly in the early morning hours or the later, quieter moments of the day. But I can write anytime, anywhere. I have been known to write some great scenes in a hospital, waiting for family to come out of surgery, or in the airport, waiting for a plane to Germany. It seems whenever I have a moment to myself, it is the “perfect” time to write. Although I must say my favorite time to write is the dark, early hours of morning.

I don’t keep a notebook, but there is a file I have on my computer with “ideas for stories” that I occasionally refer to. Usually I have an idea brewing for one particular story that seems to overpower me. I think about it constantly. I dream about it. And then the new book begins to take shape. That’s my typical process.

Q) Do you know the end of a novel when you begin? Do you ever change your planned plot in midstream?

A) I don’t always know the endings in advance. I usually know the beginning and the general themes I will use. I start to write and let my characters take over, then as the themes deepen and become more complex, the ending seems to fall into place. If you’ve read my works, you’ll know I usually like to end my stories in an upbeat, positive fashion. People still die, someone is still hurt, but in the end, the stories resolve to a positive outcome.

Q) Do you discuss your work with family or friends?

A) I used to drive my wife crazy, asking her about what Gus LeGarde (my first protagonist in LeGarde Mysteries) would do, or what she thought of one plot twist or another. Lately, however, I’ve been giving her a break. I think I used to drive her mad! These days, I sometimes run my plot ideas by my wonderful mentor, Sonya Bateman, who is a superb writer and a great teacher. She’s shared so much with me over the years and I know my writing has improved dramatically because of her influence.

Q) The Genesee Valley is almost a character in your novels. Have you always lived there?

A) I moved to the Genesee Valley in upstate NY (just south of Rochester, NY) in 1981, the same year I married Dale and the year I started working for Kodak. Two years later, we had our first of three daughters, and we have lived here and loved it ever since. I can’t think of another place on earth I’d rather spend my days, it is so beautiful, with the rolling hills and the Finger Lakes.

***

About Aaron Paul Lazar

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. The award-winning and bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, 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 www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (August 15, 2013), the author’s preferred edition of UPSTAGED (FEB 2013), and SANCTUARY, book #3 in Tall Pines Mysteries in JULY 2013.

Help us drive Don’t Let The Wind Catch You to Amazon’s top rankings by purchasing it on August 15th, 2013 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ECNEOTE

Dont Let the Wind Catch You Button 300 x 225

An Indian Soul: a guest post by Aaron Lazar

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

As many of you know, I have just recently returned from a trip to the West, where I had the chance to rekindle my fascination with ancestral Pueblo cultures at Mesa Verde National Park. So when I came across this wonderful post, written by the talented mystery writer Aaron Lazar, I had to share it with you guys. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did! D.

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An Indian Soul

I’ve always been fascinated by Indian* culture. Not from a touristy point of view, mind you, but more from a strong, unyielding pull that comes from deep inside me and seems to grow stronger with every year.

I’m not sure why this is happening, but I do know I have some native blood flowing in my veins. My grandmother told me that one of her French Canadian ancestors married a native woman. I’ve been proud of that fact all my life, but went along blindly accepting the fact without asking more questions until it was too late. My grandmother and father both died in the same year—1997—and there’s no one else to query about which tribe my great, great, great grandmother may have belonged to, or where she lived in Canada. I do know that my grandmother was born in a little town named Beau Rivage, near Quebec, and that it no longer exists because of an intentional flooding done to create a lake, or some such thing. Some folks have suggested our tribe was the Metis, but I have no proof. I never asked my grandmother more than that. Sigh. I really wish I had.

But there’s something inside that draws me to the woods and outdoors with such a visceral pull, I can’t resist. I’m deeply happy when I’m hiking in the woods, tending my gardens, or sitting beside the Sacandaga River. I frequently imagine what life would have been like as an Indian brave—hunting, tending orchards, managing crops, running through the woods all day. It’s more than an occasional speculative thought. I seem to think about it a lot.

I believe God intended us to live as one with nature, managing our woods and fields carefully, without chemicals. This concept starkly contrasts with the lives many of us have now, sitting in an office behind a computer screen. Our bodies aren’t meant to do that, they’re meant to move and bend, with the strength and agility that comes from activity. If only we could somehow recapture the beautiful, natural ways of our ancestors who lived and nurtured the land, I know we’d eliminate high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and more.

When I started to write my Don’t Let the Wind Catch You, the sequel to Tremolo: cry of the loon, I decided to make the ethereal spirit who shows up in chapter 1 an Oneida Indian.

The Iroquois Nation, whose people call themselves the Hau de no sau nee, consists of six individual tribes located in the northeastern region of North America. The Six Nations includes the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. I chose the Iroquois tribes because I know people of this tribe once lived and walked on the same trails I frequent, and it seemed fitting, you know?

Penaki, or Penni, as she’s affectionately known, pesters young Gus and his friends to find evidence in an old abandoned house that is rumored to still harbor the virus for the Genesee Valley Fever, which killed hundreds in the late 1700s. She needs to be avenged by having the truth come out, so she can be released from her earthly bonds.

When I write about Native Americans, whether it’s Don’t Let the Wind Catch You or my new Tall Pines series, I feel most inspired while sitting by the Sacandaga River, In Hope, New York, or hiking the deep woods nearby. I picture the land before roads bisected its wild beauty, before electric poles marred its view, in a time when man had to rely on his skill and wit to survive.

Like I said, I’ve always been fascinated by this culture. In lieu of going back in time to live life among the trees and rivers, I guess I’m creating a new world, where treachery may lurk around each corner, but where natural beauty abounds, as well.
I’m definitely enjoying the ride.

You can read the first chapters in Don’t Let the Wind Catch You by clicking on the title. Let me know what you think by contacting me at aaron dot lazar at yahoo dot com.

Aaron Paul Lazar

*I’ve read a lot of books on Indians lately, and have been educated to discover that most tribes don’t like being called Native American, they prefer either their tribe name (like Seneca or Cherokee), or native people, or Indian. So I’m trying to dump the PA term from most of my discussions to honor them.

Aaron Lazar’s newest release, Don’t Let the Wind Catch You is now available from Twilight Times Books.

DontLettheWind-cover-front HI RES

Don’t Let the Wind Catch You by Aaron Paul Lazar
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ECNEOTE

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (2013), SANCTUARY (2014), and VIRTUOSO (2014).

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

LEGARDE MYSTERIES
DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)
UPSTAGED (print, eBook, audio book)
TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON (print, eBook, audio book)
MAZURKA (print, eBook, audio book)
FIRESONG (print, eBook, audio book)
DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (coming 2013)
VIRTUOSO (~2014)

MOORE MYSTERIES
HEALEY’S CAVE (print, eBook, audio book)
TERROR COMES KNOCKING (print, eBook, audio book)
FOR KEEPS (print, eBook, audio book)

TALL PINES MYSTERIES
FOR THE BIRDS (print, eBook, audio book)
ESSENTIALLY YOURS (print, eBook, audio book)
SANCTUARY (coming, 2013)
MURDER ON THE SACANDAGA (~2014)

WRITING ADVICE:

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

Close Encounters of the Night Kind Reviews The Curse Giver

Monday, August 5th, 2013

I’m excited to share this new review of The Curse Giver by Close Encounters of the Night Kind. My favorite lines? “My only regret is that I only have five spiders to give this book. It truly deserves many more. Hats off to you Dora Machado for such an amazing read!”

Here’s the review in its entirety:

What an original and phenomenal read! I was immediately swept up in this enchanting world of magic, mystery, and lore. It was a page-turning and once I started, I could not put it down! The world-building was so vivid that it was so easy to get swept away in the fantasy.

Lusielle was by far my favorite character. She already had a horrid life and was betrayed by all the ones she thought cared for her. She was thought to be a witch and damned to burn at the stake. This scene was so well written, you could actually feel the heat from the flames a they were reaching to engulf her. She had known nothing but pain and suffering, but still she soldiered on and helped people that didn’t deserve it. She persevered though everything that was thrown at her and remained true to herself. She didn’t become bitter and in fused with hatred even though she had just cause. She truly was the hero of this wonderful book.

Bren had an equal amount of bad luck. Cursed for an unknown reason by his father’s misdeeds, he watched as everyone he loved died around him. The last of his line, he struggled through the riddles of the curse, trying desperately not to save himself, but the land and the people he loved. She wrote a wonderful champion in Bren, who remained steadfast and hopeful throughout this tale. He was a good man who cared about his people.

This was a fascinating and enjoyable read!! I haven’t read a book in this particular genre that I have enjoyed this much in a long time! My only regret is that I only have five spiders to give this book. It truly deserves many more. Hats off to you Dora Machado for such an amazing read!

http://closeencounterswiththenightkind.blogspot.com/2013/08/review-and-guest-post-of-curse-giver-by.html

Another Great Review for The Curse Giver

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Here’s another great review for The Curse Giver, from Tiffany at http://caughtinasnyderwebb.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-curse-giver-blog-tour-reviewgiveaway.html.

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MY REVIEW!!!!!!

This book was a doozy, coming in at about 500 pages!!! I thought I wasn’t going to like some of it, but I loved every page. I’m finding it hard to express my thoughts, though. There is just so much to say. I’ve read other books with curses incorporated into the story, but never with anything quite like this book. I felt the doom in the air and I swear it was like watching a movie unfold. The emotions were very real and frightening as the characters stood toface the curse. The book is told in 4 different POVs, so that we know what is going on away from the main characters. Those characters are Hato, Severo, Bren and Lusielle. I usually shy away from books with that many POV because things can become confusing. In The Curse Giver, however, I didn’t find myself confused- I just wanted MORE. The adventure (if that’s what you want to call it) was more like them running for their lives and it was exhilarating and I never knew what to expect- that my favorite part. I know I said there is so much to say, but I don’t want to spoil anything. Just know that the world building is brilliant and the characters were well developed. Aside from that, get ready for the ride of a life time.

Overall: An Epic Fantasy Adventure that will keep you up throughout the night.
(no, really. O.O)

Bren is a tortured man after witnessing his father’s -and then his brother’s painful deaths. He knows the curse is going to take him next, but he will do anything to save Laonia. Even kill a woman that bears the goddesses mark. He knows his duty and will fulfill whatever he needs to do. But underneath all that, there is a man crying out for help who actually HAS a heart. And there just might be one person that can help him. Too bad he has to kill her.

Lusielle was orphaned at the age of 16 and then married a horrible man. He beat her and did other unimaginable things to her. Even after all that, she keeps her head up and back straight. She is full of strength and proves it time and time again. She cares deeply for anyone injured and helps to ease their suffering- with her gift as a remedy healer.

Hato is a grumpy old man- but loyal to a fault. He has also like Bren in the fact taht watched his friend’s downfall. He does everything he can to help Bren who is Laonia’s only hope and the last of his line.

Severo: I had my doubts about him, but I came to like he just like the other characters. He and Lusielle had some funny moments together as well as some terrifying ones. He is defiantly a guy that you want on your side.

5 STARS

Quotes:

“We’re not going down!” Bren shouted. “Do you hear? Heave! Come on, my pretty girls. What are you? Afraid of breaking your nails? Heave!”

~Bren

“When she dresses like that—”

Elfu growled. “Don’t stare at my mistress’ bosom!”

“I’m not!” Severo flushed.

“I’ll beat you up—”

~Severo and Elfu talking about Lusielle

Bren waited, pondering the strange turn his life had taken. Either he was a desperate man or he was becoming increasingly creepy. Both, he decided, smirking in the dark.

~Bren

For more reviews from Tiffany, go to http://caughtinasnyderwebb.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-curse-giver-blog-tour-reviewgiveaway.html