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.

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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!!! ❤

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

Dagger of The Damned #FlashFiction #AmWriting

This story is a participant in Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge.
Dagger of The Damned

*This flash fiction story has detailed gore and elements of horror.*

Enjoy! 😀

Daren’s limbs rested in unnatural angles on the damp pavement. Astrid spied the edge of the ancient dagger’s wooden handle that peeked out of a pocket of Daren’s bloodied jeans pocket. The crime scene officer stepped forward to block Astrid’s view.
“Let me pass. I’m Daren’s sister.” Astrid’s vision of the man’s stern expression outlined in emerald green as her eyes filled with moisture. The unusual effect on her vision increased since the news of her brother’s violent death a few hours ago.

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To know she couldn’t tell her brother he means the world to her–was unbearable. Then to see his body, lifeless and limp on the pavement, drove her insane. The officer is in danger to take a swift knee to the balls if he didn’t let her see Daren. Many so-called thugs were dumped into body bags, loaded into ambulances near the cramped and stifled alley.
Druggies. Dealers. Prostitutes.
“We’ll take care of your brother.” He glanced down past the tip of his nose to her. A silver rectangular plate badge gleamed as she read the bold black print:
Trent Gusztav, Investigation Supervisor.
“I will call a deputy to escort you to the morgue if you wish to see your brother,” Trent said.
The investigator’s bland concern didn’t placate Astrid. She took a step aside to peek around him. A forensic team taped off the area while a female in paramedics’ uniform made haste and pressed a fingertip on Daren’s mangled wrist. She wrote something down—the time of death — then twirled her finger and a body bag appeared, damp from previous rainfall.
Perhaps waiting for another poor soul to suck into the depths of the morgue.
They didn’t know her brother. For all they knew, Daren is another misguided young man in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Please—,”she glanced at his badge again. “—Officer Gusztav. Don’t take him away until I say goodbye one last time. I’m the only family he has left. He’s not like all the others. My brother doesn’t use or deal drugs. He doesn’t deserve this.”
Trent put his hands on her shoulders as a couple of men shoved Daren into a bag. Astrid noticed no one bothered to remove valuables from Daren’s pocket to confirm his identity. “Ma’am. It’s understandable that you are upset over your brother’s death. No one deserves to die in such a brutal way. The integrity of the body will remain intact. Move. Away. Now.” He demanded.
The integrity of the body.
Not Daren — a human being who had been a lived and breathed. An individual with a sister who wondered why he hadn’t met her at the Pizza Palace a couple of hours ago. A barely recognizable — cold and lifeless piece of mangled flesh, bone, blood, and muscle—body — would keep its integrity intact.
Astrid’s tears fell onto Trent’s hand. The tears made his skin sizzle.
“Ow.” He glared at her, stared at his hand then back to her. The yellow light from a nearby street lamp revealed Trent’s pale face. Distinct worry lines crimped between his brows. “You’re in transition.”
A grin spread over her face. She didn’t know why her tears had burnt him or why his pain made her giddy. Daren had the dagger the woman had given them from the antique shop. The rare weapon had powers that didn’t belong in the hands of the man who confronted her now, or an affiliate to him.
Ambulance lights glared as the Trent crossed his arms. “I could make your life more difficult and report this incident. He held up one of his hands where appeared a second-degree burn in the shape of a jagged line on his palm, “and not fail to mention verbal assault to an officer of the law.”
Astrid wiped the remainder of the moisture from her eyes. She knew this man had the authority to twist their encounter any way he pleased.
Her pulse and anger skyrocketed. Each word and movement Trent made encouraged her to attack. Intuition ached. She felt the instinctual urge to protect but closed her eyes for a moment to remember hope hinged on the antique artifact her brother carries with him. She has a chance to retrieve the dagger, but it is vital to not cause unnecessary chaos. Distractions would cause her to not be able to obtain it.
Astrid climbed onto her motorcycle; the soft seat conformed to the curve of her leather-clad bottom. She’d lost Daren tonight by way of something dark and violent. Her heart twisted into a million pieces of battered fragments as she spoke to Trent. “You’re an asshole. I’ll escort myself to the morgue.”
The echo of the Trent’s frigid laugh sliced through the night. “Good luck, Healer. You’ll need it to keep yourself out of a morgue soon enough.” His figure faded into the darkness. A blood-curdled growl vibrated too close for comfort.
The green tint in her vision for the past couple of hours cleared, and the motor roared as she jetted down a bike path beside the road the ambulance drove the hospital. She used side mirrors to ensure she hadn’t been followed.
(c) Laurie Kozlowski 2015

‘Everyone Is Irish’ Day and Book Giveaway! #stpattiesday #romanticfiction

Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the most celebrated holidays around the world. It seems like everyone is Irish or wants to be.

As Saint Patrick’s day approaches, I love to see the smiling faces. Everyone is in a better mood because the sun is shining, and the flowers are blooming. The formally frozen castles of the Irish and want-to-be kinship are bustling with hearty food. (bless the people who haven’t given up the resolution to eat salads for a lifetime.) Uplifting music boasts across borders and nations in celebration as parades unite us all. And uninhibited exhibitions of love and happiness that could get us all arrested are (mostly) acceptable on St. Patrick’s Day.

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Carolyn Geis, left, kisses Irish Air Corps Pipe and Drum member, Terry Healy, on the cheek during Savannah, Georgia’s 190-year-old St. Patrick’s Day parade on Monday, March 17, 2014. Kissing men in uniform is a tradition during the celebration in Georgia’s oldest city. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) {Image credit, accuweather.com }

Though the original phrase “Luck of the Irish” was an old mining expression that carried a distinct tone of derision, the Irish holiday proves to be a way the world disagrees.

I remember my father giving me a crystal tea set, made in Ireland. Since we’d reunited only a few months before, he couldn’t have known I loved Irish made collectables such as those. I now use the tea set when my daughter and I have tea parties. I like to think that although he didn’t know my gift preferences, luck had played a part in the special birthday gift. It was certainly a blessing to see my entire family around the table for the first time.

My father and I are not close, but I am happy this year to be spending St. Pattie’s Day with my husband and daughter. Like so many around the world, I will have a smile on my face. Life has given me an opportunity to build on the unconditional love of my little family and great friendships. I believe in love and luck and blessings.

I also believe that great things come to those who work hard and wait. For two years, I’ve been blogging and writing fiction. Here is my most recent stroke of luck/blessings/serendipity, posted to my Facebook Author page:

I’m pleased to announce the first book of the Riverbend Way series–Serendipity Summer–will now be represented by a new publisher. I’ve signed with Booktrope, a growing publishing company based out of Seattle, Washington.

“Serendipity Summer,” contemporary romance/womens fiction novella was originally independently published, released in November of 2014. It has now opened the door to work with an exclusive creative team through Booktrope while I focus on writing and developing the series.
No woman/man is an island when it comes to writing, producing, and publishing a book. It takes a small village to do all of it and spread the word. Those who have extended to me their expertise throughout this journey, I am eternally grateful. My sincerest thanks for jumping aboard on this journey.
I’m happy to share this moment with my daughter and husband. They have both seen me through the hills and valleys these first two years of a writing career. I’m thrilled “Serendipity Summer” has opened a door to work with Booktrope and a creative team to take this series to the next level.
Thank you all for believing in “Serendipity Summer” as much as I have. Your readership, shares, reviews, and various avenues of support have lighted the path to wonderful possibilities and opportunities!

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To show my appreciation for your support, 
I'm giving away an e-book copy of Serendipity Summer 
to a random commenter. To be eligible to win, answer 
this question: what would be your idea of an extreme 
stroke of luck? (eg.,"winning a lottery ticket", "paying
off my kid's tuition," "being able to meet my favorite 
celebrity.") Don't forget to leave your name and email in 
the comments section so I can send you the book if you win. 
The winner will be announced on upcoming blog post, 
3.23.2015. Good luck!

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Serendipity Summer by Laurie Kozlowski *Cover Reveal* #Amwriting #Romance

In case you missed it on Facebook (I hop back and forth these days), I’m excited to share the cover of my debut contemporary romance novella, Serendipity Summer!

Serendipity Summer is the first book, of four, in the Riverbend Way series, set in the rustic and charming mountain town of  Riverbend Way, Tennessee. I’ve enjoyed developing the main characters and the side characters–including a couple of memorable animals that will make a regular appearance, throughout the series. I have wanted to hold on to the story for a while, now–but as everything has been coming together nicely, and just for the sake of making sure everything is just how I want it, the release date has been adjusted to the last week of October.

I am still learning the publishing ropes, so if anything changes, I will be sure to post the changes, and keep you updated. All should go well, though, because I’ve published, once before. I’m looking forward to having a release day celebration with giveaways and prizes! This is an exciting time! I have had the honor of being invited to be featured at a book signing event and have begun to order swag and promo items in preparation for my first release! (more details to come.)

Without readers, we authors wouldn’t be able to do what we do–so, thank you!

I am still tweaking the blurb, but I’d like to share the first teaser–and the second teaser (not yet posted to Facebook), of Serendipity Summer. But first, take a look at this beauty of a cover The Killion Group designed for me with images from Hot Damn Designs!

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 ****Teaser #1****

Her gaze traveled back up to his gorgeous eyes.

Eyes looking upon her with a familiar heat she’d seen only once before.

She struggled not to choke on the water as it dawned on her who was standing before her. A man who had made it into many of her dreams, but never, permanently into her life.

 

****Teaser #2****

The sound was far off in the distance, but Jake gradually became aware he was the person being observed as an older and feminine voice chimed in.


“No, Kady-bug. Not your Uncle Trevor. Just a friend of Mommy’s. We were having a sleepover.”


Jake resisted the urge to chuckle and kept his eyes closed to listen in.


“Why is he on the couch, in a suit, and not in jammies?” the young girl asked.


“Sometimes at sleepovers, not everyone wears jammies. They can sleep where ever they want to.”


Anna indulged the girl.


Now trying to swallow down a full-fledged belly laugh, Jake hid the grin on his face, knowing Anna would be angry as hell if he continued to pretend to sleep while the kid put her through the great inquisition.


Finally letting a deep chuckle go, he opened heavy eyes.

~ Serendipity Summer by Laurie Kozlowski ~ Copyright, 2014.

 

‘Alpha-Cavemen’ In Romance Novels and My Review of ‘Love and Other Cosmic Nonsense’ by AD Marrow

Primal instinct doesn’t necessarily mean knuckle-dragging or stone and chisel record-taking. The alpha-caveman character is written into many romance stories, as well. These heroes aren’t dumb or abusive, they are usually driven by their most basic instincts when it’s time to finally ravish the heroine. They are the essence of sensuality many women crave.

In the most recent romance book I’ve read, Love and Other Cosmic Nonsense, one of the highlights and most beautiful part of Evan and Maggie’s story was when he threw her over his shoulder just before they made love.

I know, I know…what is so romantic about a guy man-handling a woman?

I can’t speak for all readers, but there are a few great things about the ‘alpha-caveman’ :

1 ~ He’s protective. Not because he doesn’t think you can’t handle yourself, but because his desire and love runs deep and strong. It’s a connection to his one-and-only’s body, heart, mind, and soul that yearns to defend her at any cost. What woman wouldn’t want that kind of love?

2 ~ He’s quick-wired for bravery. If he notices you’re in a situation out of your control and he’s able to help, he damn well will – and then some. He’s loyal to the core and will call in re-enforcements from his ‘posse’ if needed. The thing about a brave man is: others admire him because he isn’t cocky, but his confidence shows without bragging. One of the most attractive attributes in a person is courage. It’s contagious.

3~ He’s inventive. Give a caveman an opportunity to prove himself and he will not only show you how it’s done, he’ll figure out unique ways and alternatives to just about any problem given to him, and surprise you with something extraordinary. Things never get boring or routine with an ‘alpha-caveman’…especially in the romance department 😉

I have no idea why I know these important facts about alpha-cavemen, I just do. It may have something to do with my husband being 90% Neanderthal (no complaints here.) But most likely, it also has to do with Evan throwing Maggie over his shoulder in Love and Other Cosmic Nonsense by A.D. Marrow. Yeah. That’s it 😉

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Buy on: Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo

Review: of Love and Other Cosmic Nonsense by AD Marrow

Enchanting And Wild Read

Chemistry between artist Evan and beautiful and witchy Maggie is off the charts as they pursue uncharted waters of love after a detrimental break-up, courtesy of the cosmos.

Evan was pure Alpha. I loved the way his softer, artistic side brought out his vulnerable passions. When he tattooed a memorial portrait of a widower’s deceased wife on the guy’s arm , it made me absolutely love him to death. Not to mention the scene where Maggie’s heels dig into his waist while he…uh, well, where was I?

Oh, yeah. Buy this book! You’ll fall in love with Evan and will absolutely adore Maggie for her sweet and sexy witchiness. I highly recommend Love and Other Cosmic Nonsense to readers who love a fun love story with a twist of paranormal and hot love scenes.

Review by Laurie Kozlowski

MORE FROM A.D. MARROW

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Kill Devil Crew – Book 1 by A.D. Marrow

Buy on: Amazon * All Romance * Bookstrand * Smashwords

A LICK OF FLAME TEASER

In the battle between good and evil, there are angels, there are demons…and then there’s Dane Mason.

President of the Kill Devil Crew, his fighting skills are legendary both in Heaven and Hell. When a high ranking demon taps him for a prime spot down under, Dane must pull out all the stops to protect the town of Graves Hollow but more importantly, to save the soul of the one woman he can’t live without.

Where Dane destroys, Emme Rooney heals. Physician’s Assistant Emme sews up the members of Kill Devil Crew when the things that go bump in the night lash out. Dane knows loving him could get her killed, but her hands on his body sends him reeling out of control.

Dane pushes her away time and time again, only to be drawn back to her flame. Will his desire blind him to the real danger surrounding him?

ABOUT A.D. MARROW

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A.D. Marrow is a registered Sapiophile, a proud Geek since before Geek was chic and believes that everyone deserves a happily ever after. She lives in the foothills of North Carolina with her ridiculously hot and amazingly supportive husband, three kids that rock so hard there should be a national holiday for their awesomeness, two really stupid dogs and a plethora of Post-it notes with book ideas to last her until she’s 90. Her childhood dream is realized in the fact that YOU have cause to read her bio. She hopes that one day, it lends her enough credibility to live out her second dream, which is to write and episode of Doctor Who.

Her personal mantra echoes that of Morticia Adams: “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”

A.D. on TWITTER

A.D on FACEBOOK

A.D.’s WEBSITE

Proving And Proofing Yourself As A REAL Author

Who is the better, smartest, most valuable, and successful author? One writer works years to write a 400-page book best-selling series. Another writer works for months on scraps of time to push together an (eventually) best-selling series of short stories.

So, which of these two writers have proved themselves to earn the honorable title of AUTHOR? First of all, I’d like to take a chance at offending any and all egos of writers and authors everywhere. The most obvious thing that stands as a ginormous roadblock on the way to each of our successes: Stop the comparisons. It’s killing your dreams

I’m not sure how many times I’ve rolled over in my mind for the past year negative thoughts concerning forging forward as a writer. In case anyone else has gone through this, I’m going to state my negative thoughts and reveal the actuality.

KILLER COMPARISON #1 – I don’t have the resources other successful authors have to write and publish a book and be successful myself.

ACTUALITY #1 – Shut it. Do you mean to tell me Indie authors such as Jasinda Wilder, Beverly Kendall, Bella Andre, and Bella Street got handed a silver spoon then suddenly POOF! – Miraculous transformation into the life of proven authorship! No. Hell, no. They, like every other writer, was first and foremost doubtful. The difference is–They informed themselves, persisted, took chances and finished something.

Are you a mother or father of three in debt up to your eyeballs feeling trapped by the daily grind – but hey, you can write amazing short stories in the spare time you make for yourself like Jasinda Wilder? YOU HAVE THE RESOURCES. Pen, paper, a free blog to voice your work. There are Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for promotions (not a good idea to spam links, btw. But interacting and building relationships creates opportunity for those you connect with and yourself when those “big breakthroughs” happen. They will happen, so don’t give up!)

Hmm..where was I? Oh!

There are free apps for your freaking android phone to post to your blog on the fly, FREE publishing through Createspace on Amazon. COMPARISON DEBUNKED.

KILLER COMPARISON #2 – I don’t have the time other writers have to write. The quality of my work is suffering; for this reason, my writing is an unattractive hemorrhoid on the buttocks of the most revered authors of all time.

ACTUALITY #2 – Sit your (hopefully hemorrhoid-free) ass down for ten solitary minutes a day and write something. Hell, think about what you’ll write in the next 10-minute break and jot down your ideas when you hide from your family in the locked bathroom (not that I’d ever do that 😉 )

Three ten-minute breaks a day – no distractions, focus, quiet – is 30 minutes toward your goal. You’re furthering yourself, developing your style and voice, and most importantly producing something that is meaningful to you. Think small goals: complete them, celebrate them, then continue working toward the big picture for your future. Whatever you do, keep reminders around of your progress and continue on the path of most resistance.

The more you challenge yourself to stay flexible while pursuing your dreams, the less cumbersome you’ll feel during the journey. You’ll begin to value your system of progress as goals unfold before your eyes. It will be fuel to continue.

Now all you have to do is put that paragraph, poem, short story, instructional manual on How Many Licks It Takes to Get to The Center of a Tootsie-Pop–if that’s your thing–write it and put yourself out there.

KILLER COMPARISON #3 – It’s overwhelming. I don’t have the support or connections other writers have.

ACTUALITY #3 – I’m going to be gentler here. Time to out myself, once again.

notsureiftheycare

Do you realize how many days I’ve told myself, “no one cares about the story I want to tell.” Or, “I have nothing of intelligent value to contribute because I prefer simpler-stated and more direct jargon.” OR – this one was a real winner – “writers have suffered in silence for ages. I don’t need to let anyone in because it may hurt my creative groove.” (Um. Reluctant ego butthurt, much?)

Here’s the thing I’m learning about support and connections. Both are acquired over time and require a whole heck of a lot of persistent effort. I’ve had to seek support continuously. It’s an on-going thing, where you draw from several avenues and resources to finally find somewhere where you’re at home and feel comfortable. You have to nurture these connections and support avenues so they are beneficial.

Something I’ve had to keep in mind is to stay fluid and tolerant of my real life situations. Right now I’m usually MIA during prime social media hours because I have a young child, need to take care of my health, and nurture my marriage more. It’s (mostly) accepted in my household now (after a lot of verbal scuffles) that I need my writing time. I just DO. My family is happier because I’m happier, and so forth.

First and foremost, I write. The way life is going now I feel the wisest way to connect with others is to keep those connections behind the scenes. Writing groups and a few good friends who are gracious enough to share writing tips and resources as I stay involved when I’m able to, help.

Find what works for you, but try to keep writing something.

KILLER COMPARISON #4 – I don’t have the voice or influence other writers have to make things happen for myself.

ACTUALITY #4 – I vote we all synchronize our social media channels to simultaneously crash in the event we make an event out of our insecurities.

Everyone is scared. Not many openly admit it, but they are.

Something that has helped me is to voice my insecurities. It could be through a journal entry or a fiction story or blabbing into thin air – but I work them out. I’m learning it is vital to appreciate weaknesses as well as strengths without discouraging myself into a loop of never-ending discontentment.

You never know who may need to hear what you have to say until you say it. 

If you go around all hunky-dory happy smiley face, then suddenly quit – you can be sure it wasn’t a sudden decision to give up on yourself. You’ve nurtured that negativity by ignoring your problems. I’ve done this so many times I’ve lost count. Now I’m beginning to recognize this pattern and change it.

Remember to be open to others as they share their experiences with you. Most writers want to lift one another up. Don’t worry about the haters – let them hang themselves with their own rope.

WHEW. I had a lot to say on this. Thanks for staying with me and making it through this far. Something lit my fire, and I wanted to share with you the inspiration as I’m coming along with the writing. I hope you take something valuable from this post and can use it to help inspire yourself and others. I’m reminding myself to have fun along the way and think outside the box.

Now only one question remains: Who wants to tackle the daunting task of writing the instructional manual on how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie-Pop? 😉

I’m sure whomever it is will PROVE themselves to be REAL author if they’ll only just try. 🙂

Serendipity Summer (A Short Story)

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The short story, SERENDIPITY SUMMER, has temporarily been removed due to revisions and a re-working of story details as the manuscript is in process of being completed for publication in the form of an e-book. SERENDIPITY SUMMER has outgrown the blogging series I had generally planned and having it available in e-book form will be more convenient to read the entire story and will be easier for readers to book mark scenes, etc. Thank you to readers and writers who have been supportive and offered their enthusiasm as I’ve started blogging this story. I appreciate your patience. Estimated release date is set for October of 2014.

Teasers and excerpts from upcoming publications, including published works can be found at my official author website:

www.lauriekozlowski.com