Writing

Feel The #Love : #Free and Discounted Books

In celebration of all things love and happiness, what if I told you my newest romantic fiction book-Serendipity Summer-is now on sale for a mere .99 cents for Kindle and is free on I-tunes?

IT IS.

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Here’s your chance to grab my book for less than a cup of coffee. Who knows how long it will stay on sale. Get your copy today!

P.S.Newsletter subscribers are the first to have access to exclusive giveaways. Below this post is a picture of me sending out a signed paperback copy of Serendipity Summer with a Valentines mystery gift to the lucky winner of a giveaway through my newsletter. Would you like to take part in VIP reader opportunities and giveaways? It’s not too late.

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In Laurie Kozlowski’s contemporary romance novella, Serendipity Summer, friends once separated by life’s unexpected challenges discover they have a second chance at love in the charming mountain town of Riverbend, Tennessee. Jake and Anna reunite during a sensual, late-night swim and restoring an old inn together blasts their chemistry off the charts. But as destiny urges their hearts forward, intruding secrets from the past threaten their opportunity to finally have lasting happiness. 

Serendipity Summer is the first book in the Riverbend Way series and reflects small-town life, includes some comical relief, and incorporates heartwarming characters who triumph over difficult life circumstances. 
Please note: This series is recommended only for those 18 years and older.

Serendipity Summer on :  Amazon | I-Tunes

Would you like to explore more free and discounted books? Runaway Goodness has books of several genres and sub-categories for free and at super-discounted prices. Go now and fill those bookshelves, read, and feel the book-love! 

Runaway Goodness on Facebook | Runaway Goodness on Twitter 

WritingPosts2016

How To Understand Your Author

The triumph of typing THE END on a manuscript never gets old. In some instances it takes years to complete a novel, but even those who write fast generally spend several months homing in characterization, story pace, plots and sub-plots, pesky typos and inconsistencies…etc. For non-writers out there, it’s like tearing a mobile phone apart piece-by-piece. Reconstruction is ongoing. After months or years a writer says, “it’s time.” Meaning: they share every nook and cranny of their writing with the world, for better or worse. It takes commitment!

It is also scary-at first.Tweet: The first book release speaks to a writers confidence in a big way. It's a special time in life. #LaurieWriting  The first book release speaks to a writers confidence in a big way. It’s a special time in life. There are those who are waiting to be inspired to write the book that’s in them; by the way, I’ve haven’t caught on to this saying because I’m not sure quite what having a book in you means. It doesn’t sound too pleasant. Anyway! Then there are those who DO.

For the ones who do, after a while, it’s less about the new book release feeling and more about fortifying their resources and energy for the next project. But I remember the first time I hit “publish” as a self-published author back in 2014. It was a proud moment (wow! This is happening!), a conflicted moment (I’ve double and triple-checked, but what if  some minor detail makes someone hate it?), an elated moment (whoa, momma. My name is on this book cover. I own this. I love this. This is my destiny. Angry unicorns couldn’t stop me from writing), and a trillion other thoughts on top of it. Yet I don’t think anything can replace keeping a sense of humor as we write.

With this in mind, I’ve pulled together a saterical post to capture the humorous side of going through the emotions and thoughts of an author’s book release. This isn’t a meanspirited way of minimalizing the experience, just a lighthearted look into it. I can’t say for sure If I’ve actually gone through this, but to some extent, I have.  🙂  Enjoy!

How To Understand Your Author

Let’s say your author finally breaks through the first book-stage and they want to share the moment with you. The excitement of completing this year-long project makes their demeanor glow. They know it’s possible to keep the big news secret and wait until book-release day, but they trust you with thier pride. The hours, days, and months of writing, editing, and making time to connect with you and others-but they choose you. Aren’t you thrilled for them?

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Left to their own vices however, the ingenuity and happiness of the moment isn’t wasted if you decline to be thrilled with them.

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Your author may begrudgingly treat themselves to one too many McCafe’s and wear strange headdresses while using a rubber-knife as a lightsaber to illuminate their joy.

Or your author may, like this tired pup, seek comfort from a friend who will take time understand what an accomplishment it is to complete a book or project.

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Authors who ruminate over perceived minimization can be pretty tough to re-train through positive reinforcement. They have special requirements for affirmation and acknowldgement. But deep down, they have a lovable side that is loyal to the end. (If the fictional character based on you makes it that far into the fiction novel they write.)

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NEVER FEAR. Here are ways to CURB the odd and inconvenient behaviors of YOUR AUTHOR.

First: Offer congratulations to them and show happiness for their latest achievement. No matter how disgusted you are that they can go days at a time wearing PJs while working from home, remember: everyone, including you, puts their shirts on one arm-hole at a time.

Also-take a minute and remember dancing with your first crush, or attending a favorite concert, or the whiff of accomplishment of getting promoted. Times that feeling by 100. Set differences aside to forgive the bubble wrap (authors are the complete package, flaws and all!) and acknowledge their commitment to finishing their project or writing goals. This will win you mega points for being a great friend.

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Next: Buy their book, tell them you’ll recommend it to others, and actually do it! Word of mouth is a powerful thing. Your author has the ability to give back in a big way to those who help them along the way. It could be signed book-merchandise, an advanced reading copy, or any number of creative ways-but authors rarely lack ungratefulness for support when they truly care about their professional growth!

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Last: Expect to support them from a distance as they continue working on the next project. Tweet: the true nature of many creatives is to preserve as much energy for their art as humanly possible. #LaurieWritingThis may sound harsh at first, but the true nature of many creatives is to preserve as much energy for their art as humanly possible. This means when they are in intensive focus mode, leave them alone, but show support in little ways so they know you’re there. Chocolates, coffee, tea, hugs (for those who like to be hugged), are all acceptable ways to tame your writer when they aren’t intensely focused on their work. When they break out of their creative focus-bubble, you’ll be the first to know because they often reciprocate the support they receive from you (times 10.)

By following the steps above, you are sure to have a HAPPY AUTHOR. 

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Humor · Writing · Writing Life · Writing Tips

Directing Professional Growth Through Stress

An author is a force to be reckoned with as they juggle endless duties. From administrative tasks, to marketing implementation; then continuous study/brushing up of the writing craft and publishing; also, reading books in and out of their chosen genre for a well-rounded literary palate. This is only the tip of the iceberg for most authors. For those who are new to reading my blog, I write romantic fiction and multi-genre short stories. In professional terms, I consider myself a newbie self-starter at three years into the journey. For a year I blogged and have continued to blog. The next year I added in self-publishing two works of fiction – Serendipity Summer, a heartwarming and comical romance, was picked up by Booktrope Media and Publishing. October of 2015 Serendipity Summer was re-published by Booktrope. And now as we approach 2016 I’m looking forward to continuing the second book to follow Serendipity Summer in the Riverbend Way series.

In the time I’ve been building a social platform, writing, and publishing, I’ve noticed a majority of authors (including myself) are fueled by the challenge and madness of it all. After three years of being self-published and hybrid-published, there are many writers who are “rich” in giving of themselves even with no immediate monetary success. I think several authors experience what I have experienced at one time or another in their career: we continue to do what we do because our lives are enriched in some way with the process of writing, producing, publishing, and connecting with others who appreciate it, too.

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Whether authors and writers (one and the same, IMO!) want to admit it or not there is an emotionally rewarding “payoff” to the madness. The return on investment (ROI) surely isn’t immediate when we start out and for some unfortunate ones not at all. Then if caught in a weak moment and discouragement sets in, it’s easy to buy into the “art doesn’t pay” trope just about every writer has heard from friends, family, and strangers alike. They do have a point. Tweet: Many writers have separate careers from writing and publishing. It takes time. #LaurieWriting Many writers have separate careers from writing and publishing. It takes time. Everyone has an opinion and they have a right to it! Authors know about the right to opinions better than just about anyone. So then the author has a big decision to make each time they are challenged with so much it’s nearly too much to manage: act out or act on the pressure-task-cooker they’ve stewed in for the love of their art.

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Yet there are OPINIONS ALL AROUND. Little is more valuable to a writer than to be able to visit a website knowing that what they read will lift their spirits. Perhaps it’s time to weed out some of the more negative perspectives on the people I follow, like, retweet, and friend to reflect my own positive outlook for writing and author community. I get that authors can sometimes be difficult, moody, and hard to work with-but diverse types of personalities are everywhere. Generally everyone goes through slumps, defeats, and success.

I wonder sometimes when I skim articles shaking their proverbial finger or fists at authors for not doing EVERYTHING if the people writing the pieces have actually re-read their manipulating content of all the things authors could do better. Sure, a lot of the posts hold great writing craft and marketing tips, but at what cost to the writers value of their individual process? Writers, haven’t we heard over and over and over: PROTECT YOUR CREATIVITY.

So why do we (yes, me too-though not as much as I used to because there are times when it doesn’t serve my writing process or motivation) continue to absorb what I like to call “tough-love” information in our precious reading time?

It could be tough-love motivates you (me)? Suggested content of an article screams :”here’s the heart where my art was born, please stab it with your scoured word-spear” -your mouse clicks the link- and the brain replies, “yes, please!”

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Facing the negative, not responding to it, and taking from it what serves your writing process is a clear indication of professional maturity. As we continue to write, we allow an internal compass to guide us. This compass is a combination of self-discipline (directly benefits our interests) and what some call a thick skin (directly benefits others interests): Our Interests + The Interests of Others = The Sweet Spot where stress has potential to become a compass for professional growth and direction.

If you take something with you from my ramblings today, please remember it’s okay to re-direct your goals this year and adjust your internal compass. Tweet: Stick with what nurtures your health and well-being. Always be writing. #LaurieWriting Stick with what nurtures your health and well-being. Always be writing. 

I’ll leave you with a paraphrased quote from  friend who guided me into the publishing waters:

I realized after nine books, working with an agent, and treading water in traditional publishing -then going into self-publishing and being my own agent-that someone somewhere wanted to read my books. Then gradually many someones read my books. Now I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Next Week on LaurieWriting: 

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Musings · Thanksgiving

Contentment In Trouble and Fond Memories #Thankful

Happiness is …

If you have trouble continuing this statement, have no fear: you’re in control.

Okay. I’ll admit. There are certain aspects beyond control. But I’m not here to tell anyone their tragedy or what they are going through matters less than my mere musing on happiness.
No.
The ramblings in my head have more to do with overall contentment in any circumstance. Seems like a wild idea, huh?
It is.
We reflect to the world what we believe and it boomarangs back to us in spades.
A lady greets me one morning in passing. We both continue on our way doing what we need to do, but
we circle back around to one another again. “How are you?” I ask as I continue my task.
She frowns and rests a hand on her hip. “Are you one of those people who has a short-term memory? ‘Cause I said hello to you back there earlier.”
A couple of thoughts crossed my mind as she asked this question. I thought “she thinks I’m senile! How hilarious is that!” then the next thought was “why would someone be offended to be asked how they are?”
Then I noticed her cell phone.
I grin. “No. I know you did. I’m asking how you are doing today.”
“Oh, okay. I thought you didn’t remember.”
I try not to chuckle, but I know when to back off. I continue on my way, knowing she didn’t care to answer my simple question at all.
Or maybe it wasn’t such a simple question for her to answer.
I recognized a worried expression on her face as she stepped outside to answer a phone call.
I have a strange habit that seems to be rather quirky and to some people….plain out crazy. But it works. It really does.
As the worried lady and I parted ways, I silently thought blessings for her and her stress and her life.
Her stress? Yeah. Stress.
Because it takes one to know one. We all have our breaking points. Our bodies need rest. Our minds need peace. Our hearts need love. Our spirits need lifting. Our lives need joy and understanding.
Happiness is in thankfulness and it grows stronger each time we pass it on to others in love.

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I truly am grateful I have a healthy memory. My grandmother’s birthday would have been on Veteran’s day. She had Alzheimer’s toward the end of her life, but got up every morning like clockwork at seven a.m. She’d comb her hair and she’d dress for the day. Sometimes she’d stay in her housecoat, a soft zip-up robe, and she made sure it was always clean. I swear the woman looked like queen in her red auto-lift recliner and dainty housecoats. Makes me smile every time I think of it…

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When she wore her red scarf and hat, white-silver hair glistened against the garments. The powerful color, known in corporate America to signify boldness and strength was not lost on my Grandmother’s humble yet dignified presence in her last days.
She reminded me of a regal cardinal, perching on a branch. Its wise eyes honed in on surroundings and its joyous song projected only when there is something important to say. Each time I see a cardinal I like to think she’s come to visit me.
I’m thankful for memories past, present, and future.

What are you thankful for today?

Humor · Inspiration · Movies

Sleep is for the WEAK. Unless You’re Human.

A few friends and I joke about being vampires because we work indoors all day, and we love to read all night. It’s a notable quality to have a sense of humor when life is busy or throws unexpected “OMG. Why is this happening?” moments our way. I’d like to forewarn you, this post will be a bunch of weird, rambling musings. I’m pretty sure my head might fall to the floor and roll around at any moment. No worries, it’s detachable head syndrome. I pick it right back up, and it fits back on my shoulders until it falls off again.

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Image credit: pumpkincraze.com 

I’ve undergone a lot of the “OMG” moments while simultaneously also thinking “Wow. This is really happening.”

A month ago, when I had time to watch television without losing sleep, the current season of the show Nashville ended. It may have ended before that, but the fog is thick in memory lately, so go with it. 😉 Anyway. Nashville is an over-the-top drama that I find entertaining and funny. I am sad to see the season end so until next season is on Netflix; I’m watching Monarch of the Glen.

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I found the new-to-me show on BBC and I love it. This thought leads me to an “OMG” : O.M.G. I apparently have the feels for countryside mini-series in whatever country around the world.

Buy me a bonnet, I’m bonnie!

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It’s possible to walk through a pasture used for parking and not step in a cow-pie. For those who aren’t familiar with what a cow-pie is: it is cow or bull poo. My daughter and I walked a half a mile, some of it through uneven pastureland used for parking at the Fall Festival. It was worth it to see my husband cross the finish line in his first 5k race. I wanted a picture of him, but my phone went dead, but here’s his smiling and handsome face. Next to him is my nephew who ran beside him.

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This leads me to another OMG thought: O.M.G. I am so proud of my husband for running his first 5k. I’m glad I didn’t sprain and ankle carrying the cooler with their drinks in it through the field. Thank you, cows, for not leaving your crap in our immediate path.

I knew from the start that writing is a full-time job with minimal pay–if any–until years from starting the journey two years ago. I’m still swimming in the writing waters with an optimistic spirit though some days seem more jaded than others. I know I am meant to write and publish, and I’m at peace with the decisions I make in writing. I’m exceptionally happy to have gotten in with Booktrope Publishing and work with team professionals. All this happening over the course of a couple of years leads me to another OMG: O.M.G. the book that first started as a popular blog series has transformed into viable word-baby novella that a publisher loves.

But to be fair–I loved it first 🙂

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Serendipity Summer — To be released October, 2015

In Laurie Kozlowski’s contemporary romance novella, Serendipity Summer, friends once separated by life’s unexpected challenges discover they have a second chance at love in the charming mountain town of Riverbend, Tennessee. Jake and Anna reunite during a sensual, late-night swim and restoring an old inn together blasts their chemistry off the charts. But as destiny urges their hearts forward, intruding secrets from the past threaten their opportunity to finally have lasting happiness.
Serendipity Summer is the first book in the Riverbend Way series and reflects small-town life, includes some comical relief, and incorporates heartwarming characters who triumph over difficult life circumstances.
Please note: Serendipity Summer contains detailed sex scenes and occasional strong language. This series is recommended only for those 18 years and older.

This post concludes a few O.M.G. meandering thoughts swirling around in my brain. If you have any to share, put ’em in comments (‘omg’ thoughts, I mean. Please do not leave your brains in comments. The comment section of this post is a brain-removal free zone. lol) I’d love to hear about them. 🙂

Contemporary Romance · Fiction · Giveaways · Laurie's Works Of Fiction

Cover Reveal of Serendipity Summer and Giveaway! #Booklove #Booktrope Love

Today I’m happy to reveal the new cover for Serendipity Summer, my first book published by Booktrope! A random commenter will have a chance to win an e-book copy (upon book release) of this sweet, sexy, and heartwarming story!

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*COMING SOON* OCTOBER, 2015

Published by Booktrope

In Laurie Kozlowski’s contemporary romance novella, Serendipity Summer, friends once separated by life’s unexpected challenges discover they have a second chance at love in the charming mountain town of Riverbend, Tennessee. Jake and Anna reunite during a sensual, late-night swim and restoring an old inn together blasts their chemistry off the charts. But as destiny urges their hearts forward, intruding secrets from the past threaten their opportunity to finally have lasting happiness.

Serendipity Summer is the first book in the Riverbend Way series and reflects small-town life, includes some comical relief, and incorporates heartwarming characters who triumph over difficult life circumstances.

Please note: Serendipity Summer contains detailed sex scenes and occasional strong language. This series is recommended only for those 18 years and older.

~*~*~*~

The winner will be announced Thursday, September 10th. All you have to do to be enter is COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST and tell me about one of the happiest moments in your life. Don’t forget to include your email addy, e-book preference (Kindle or Nook), along with your response so I can send the e-book directly to you when it goes live!

Was it an award you received? A daily goal you reached that you never thought possible? Someone did something special for you? An unexpected and pleasant surprise? A special something that helped you discover you have a talent?

Tell us about a happy moment in your life in a sentence or a paragraph for your chance to win Serendipity Summer!

Here’s the formula to enter:
Comment on this blog post + tell about a happy moment in your life + include email address + your preference of Nook OR Kindle e-book copy

Have a great weekend. Good luck!!! ❤

~*~*~*~

Check out lauriekozlowski.com for more about Laurie and for a full list of publications.

Humor · Writing Life

Playing Hooky! #crochet #writing #humor

My daughter informed me that she and her friends do the “OooOooh… I’m telling” thing at school but they do it different than I’ve ever heard. They say “OoooOh…you look nice today.” When she shared this with me I could not keep the giggles in.
So I’m ‘telling’ on myself today. 😉 I crochet between writing sprints to give my eyes a break from the screen. I love learning new designs. After two days, I’ve gotten the star stitch down. It’s beautiful! ( OoooOhh.. it’s beautiful.) Lol. 😀
Here is what my painting/craft desk looks like:

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But now it’s back to writing! No more playing hooky.
Have a great weekend!