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Friday, October 12, 2012

Multi Award-Winning Author's New Mystery Reviewed

Title: For Keeps: A Sam Moore Mystery
Author: Aaron Paul Lazar
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
eBook: $4.99
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I turned the last page of For Keeps by Aaron Paul Lazar and sat with my mouth open repeating the word “wow” over and over again. I was mentally exhausted from the waves of emotion that I had just ridden for the past two days. I had traversed from intrigue to shock to anger to grief and back again. I actually had to take a few days after finishing the book before I started this review because my heart and mind were racing so fast that I’m sure the review would have just been a bunch of random babbling. I had to let myself settle down before putting my thoughts to paper. Now that’s a reaction to a book if I’ve ever heard one!
Sam Moore thought his life would be quiet after retiring from his practice as a family doctor in East Goodland, New York and planned to fill his time with gardening and spending quality time with his family, but after finding himself caught up in two mysteries over the past year, it has been anything but quiet. Now, a body has been found at the Twin Sisters Inn, and the coroner wants Sam on the scene right away. Why him? Lou knows that he’s retired, but for some reason she has asked specifically for him. Arriving at the inn, Sam’s past comes back to haunt him when he finds out that the murder victim is a flame from long ago. Ginger Kennedy was her name, and she lit up his world one Spring Break in Miami during his senior year of medical school. Ginger Kennedy was just a fling though before he met his future wife, and he has been a happily married family man for many years now, so why would Ginger have showed up in town and circled Sam’s number in the phone book? That’s what the police are beginning to wonder too. What follows is a whirlwind mystery where once again Sam’s brother, Billy, reaches out to him from the beyond to guide Sam to the identity of the killer. All Sam has to do is take hold of the green marble in his pocket when it grows hot and Billy whisks him into the past or another location in the present to provide Sam with the clues he needs to solve the mysterious deaths that begin to pile up. But will Sam be too late this time? Will Billy’s clues be able to save Sam from the ultimate heartbreak?
I met and fell in love with Sam Moore and his family in book one of this series, Healey’s Cave, and now two books later I am more deeply attached to this family than ever. Sam is honestly the most warm and caring character that I have ever encountered in a book, and I am always drawn to him like a bee to honey, and the relationships that he has with his wife, Rachel, and his children and grandchildren, touch me to my very core. I feel like if I could somehow jump into the story and walk into Sam’s home, he would welcome me with open arms. I know what you are thinking – he’s just a made up character from a book – but Lazar is such an incredibly talented writer that Sam has become as real to me as the people I encounter in my everyday life. I feel like I know him personally. I can feel his warmth and love, and through Lazar’s almost photographic descriptive skills, I feel like I have walked through the rooms of his home and visited his favourite haunts in East Goodland. This is because Lazar makes Sam very observant of the world and people around him, and we get to see everything very clearly from his point of view. Lazar describes everything in such detail and so convincingly that even if you had no interest in gardening, for instance, you would probably want to try it by the end of the book because you can actually feel the joy and satisfaction that Sam gets from working outdoors. I also love the fact that in each successive book in the series, Lazar provides us with more and more details of Sam’s past from different angles (this time being the women in his past) which help us to understand how his character has been shaped throughout his life.
What I will remember most about this book was how it affected my emotions. When an author can bring me to tears more than once in the course of a story, he has achieved the ultimate goal in my mind, to make the reader connect to the characters on all levels, so that it becomes almost personal. Never has the climax of a book taken me so by surprise and made me so upset with an author, but then with the true talent of a gifted writer Lazar redeemed himself by taking an idea the average mind would not want to accept, that if written by anyone else would probably just come across as silly, and breathed magic into it in a way that made me believe unconditionally. I was truly mesmerized by this book, and I can honestly say that I have never been so blown away by the ending of a novel. I actually felt a painful wrench when I turned the last page of the book as if I was being physically torn away from the Moore family.
What is the secret to Lazar’s success? Besides his amazingly addictive storylines, the one thing that always leaps out at me is his secret combination of a close knit and loving family centred on Sam’s warm-hearted character set against a good old-fashioned murder mystery which provides the perfect contrast between good and evil.
When an author writes so many different series and churns out the individual books with lightning speed, I often wonder if they are going to start getting repetitive or boring, but not so with Aaron Paul Lazar. He always seems to have a bottomless well of ideas from which to draw his stories, and each one is fresh and new. Lazar, as a writer, has perfected the ultimate recipe which appeals to all readers’ palates, whether mystery lovers or not. I can honestly say that he has quickly risen to the top tier of my favourite authors list, and I now anxiously await each new novel that he writes.
More About the Author

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 and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases. His other books are:
DOUBLE FORTÉ (2012, author’s preferred edition)
UPSTAGED (coming 2012 author’s preferred edition, eBook and print)
FOR KEEPS (JULY 2012, AUDIO BOOK coming 2012)
FOR THE BIRDS (2011, AUDIO BOOK, coming 2012)
SANCTUARY (coming, 2013)
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1, 2, 3 (AUG 2012)
AWARDS: WINNER 2011 EPIC Book Awards, BEST Paranormal * FINALIST 2011 FOREWORD BOOK AWARDS * WINNER 2011 Eric Hoffer BEST Book, COMMERCIAL FICTION * 2X FINALIST Global eBook Awards 2011 * Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award – 2nd place 2011* Winner of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s 9th Annual Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize for Literature 2011 * Finalist Allbooks Editor’s Choice Awards 2011 * Preditors&Editors Top 10 Finalist * Yolanda Renée's Top Ten Books 2008 * MYSHELF Top Ten Reads 2008 * Writer’s Digest Top 101 Website Award 2009-2012

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