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.

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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.

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

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.

 

Book Reviews · Contemporary Romance · Fiction · Humor · Musings · Relationships · Writing · Writing Tips

‘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

A.D. Marrow Bio Pic

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

Contemporary Romance · Erotic Fiction · Laurie's Works Of Fiction · Musings · Parenthood · Writing · Writing Life · Writing Tips

What My Daughter Has Taught Me About Being A Brave Writer

Every writer doubts themselves. But what happens when the doubts, fears, and insecurities muffle their creativity? One day they’re writing up a storm, celebrating goals, then the next…FROZEN.

I’ve most recently experienced the dreaded FROZEN feeling most writers hope to avoid. I went through a swirl of emotions trying to understand the path I was taking and was petrified for one reason or another I was doing all the wrong things. It was quite nerve-wracking going through all of those doubts, fears, and insecurities. But the inspiration to continue came from the most unexpected place, imaginable:   The playground.

I love listening to the weird things my daughter and some of her friends say. One day, after sports practice, my daughter zoomed down the slide, climbed the highest ladder, then made her way down to the swings. There were two girls, about three years older than her, in princess costumes, swinging on their bellies singing “I Knew You Were Trouble,” by Taylor Swift.

“Mommy, I want to go on the swings,” she whispered, so the girls wouldn’t hear.

“Well then, you’ll have to go over there and ask to have a turn,” I said. She looked frightfully doubtful and I felt like a complete ass, but I knew this was good for her. Pressing past her doubts and asking for what she wanted, bravely. I told her to go for it.

“What if they say no? They’re older than me,” she asked. Her little lips were pressed together in a straight line, seriously mulling it over.

“It’s okay if they say no. You go play on the slide, then when they leave, you get a turn. Either ask or wait,” I said. I watched, proudly, a few moments later, as she approached the girls. She is MY daughter, after all – we’re not known for our patience, but we sure as hell have courage.

Just then, the frilly princess/diva girls had began singing “Let it go”…and making loud flatulence noises. It was then I knew everything would be okay. I bit back my laughter because it was disgusting, but … cute. I was unsuccessful at holding in my amusement. Low and uncontrollable laughter bubbled up and escaped my lips. What I thought was expendable joy warmed the soul, from the tips of my toes to the ends of time, the irony washed over me with refreshing humor.  Seeing an uncharacteristic change from the gloominess I’d been reflecting that day, my husband asked what was going on as he sat down beside me on the bench, hauling our daughter’s sports equipment.

“Oh, you know. Girls will be girls,” I gave him a wide smile, snorted in laughter, and nodded my head over to the swings. He grinned. Our daughter had gotten her turn on the swing, and her anxiety and doubt had diminished as she giggled about the song with the girls.

Diamond diadem on a black background with reflexion

In all their innocent fun, my daughter and those girls reminded me of a few things that day, I’d lost sight of in my anxiety:

Fear only has as much control as we give it.

Doubt keeps us from enjoying the journey.

Situations and people aren’t always what or who they seem to be.

Just because a person has more experience, doesn’t mean they’ll instantly reject ideas from someone new to their circle.

It’s wise to seek and ‘hang out’ with those who are genuinely interested in seeing you succeed and don’t mind sharing the spotlight with you. Otherwise, it’s not worth the energy to worry over any type of rejection or resentment from them-openly or in private.

Joy comes from venturing out into the unknown, making yourself a little uncomfortable, even at the cost of being rejected.

Here’s the most important lesson I took from the playground that day:

DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT AND GO FOR IT.

So, that’s what I’m doing.

At this time in my life, I have to consolidate my social media presence to the point of what works for me. I’m not writing this post to give an explanation to anyone about my actions, but I have a feeling many writers juggling several things have been in the same boat as me, if they are completely honest with themselves. I wonder how many writers have several genres and brands they are managing for the sake of compartmentalizing their creativity. I also am curious as to how they don’t drive themselves mad with distractions, spreading out their online presence in so many directions. There are no lack in resources on how to simplify the management online presence. What I’ve had to consider is the elephant in the room: using the information and resources I’ve researched in these areas to find what works best for me. I think I’m doing a fair job by letting this blog be a central point for all writing projects.

I’ve realized, over the past several months and with my writing interactions on a business level, the main person I owe anything to is myself. Being true to who I am. And I refuse to be one-dimensional. I’ve fought the battle of doubt, and thankfully I lost that day, on the playground. Unconventionality is a true joy in life, not many have the opportunity or guts to express.

I haven’t openly announced that I’ve written, published, and received several five star reviews on my newest erotic fiction book until now (thank you to those who left the thoughtful and beautiful reviews. I’m humbled by your support and thrilled you liked my story. – Uhm. Yeah. This is one of those uncomfortable moments when I brag a little. Swear I’m not a constant braggart. But, damn it, it’s encouraging to know people enjoyed my writing.) Despite the positive responses from those around me, doubt has kept me from it.

I thought I had to choose. Be a Mom and write sweet romance or be a saucy minx Mom keeping a double presence (to a certain extent a ‘double presence’ is necessary, being that a children’s book project SHOULD be kept separate from fictional romance because they are two polar opposite concepts. That is why the children’s book project I’m working on has a completely separate pen name.)

I’m the same, no matter what name I write under. The material may be different, but I am me. Period. I have always been the type of person to strive to be transparent, even online. It’s not much work, honestly, just being me. But it’s more efficient to post any writing announcements or news here and also on my author website.

FEAR ONLY HAS AS MUCH CONTROL AS WE GIVE IT.

This is me taking that fear away. I write sweet and steamy romance under the name Laurie Kozlowski.

Most recently, since my daughter has told me she wanted to be an author, I’ve began writing a children’s book with her to help support her dreams. I hope to give some of the proceeds to a children’s charity as the project grows, over time.

I also write erotic fiction under the pen name of Roxie Nash.

I write what I want to write, regardless of who’s on the playground. If someone doesn’t like it, I have a princess crown I put on especially for those occasions and can make the loudest mock-flatulence noises known to humanity, pointed in the direction of the naysayers. Because my daughter loves that crap (the disgusting flatulence noises.) And though she’s not quite tall enough for the monkey bars and I often lift her up, she’ll always be my Shero. ❤

Contemporary Romance · Fiction · Humor · Uncategorized

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

Book Reviews · Contemporary Romance · Erotic Fiction · Fiction · Humor · Laurie's Works Of Fiction · Musings · Writing · Writing Life

Thoughts On The Wild And Crazy Life of A Writer And Review of The Curveball by J.S. Scott (Big Girls and Bad Boys Series)

The wild and crazy life of a writer includes (but is not limited to) reading, writing, social media, reading, writing, more social media…eating, maybe sleeping, caffeinating….well, you get the picture. It’s really not so exciting on a standard or even the extremely productive writing days. Good thing we are able to spin wild stories from ordinary circumstances instead of acting them out or we all may be locked up in the looney bin with the key thrown away. Soon the doctors would realize we were all escaping in our imaginations though they had dosed us all up with Tharizone like in the hilarious move The Dream Team. My favorite line from the movie by actor Peter Boyle (said as he is casually reading the newspaper naked in his chair in the hospital and the doctor asks him if he would put pants on): “We are all naked in the eyes of the Lord.” I almost busted a gut watching this movie, seriously, and it even had a writer in it (Billy Crystal) who had serious anger issues and threw chairs through windows. It’s a must watch oldie if you haven’t seen it yet, but…..where was I? Oh, yeah. Writing.

I thought I’d update everyone who follows this blog and enjoys the posts and my writing on how my stories are going. The main reason I haven’t been posting much is because the writing is mostly going very well. The contemporary romance Lonely Hearts In Texas series is making progress. The main issue I’m running into with this series is new characters popping up and having enough discipline to focus on just one story and develop it from the series. This is exciting but extremely overwhelming at times. I’m keeping at it, though, and believe it’s going to be well worth all the time I’m taking to develop the characters as they continue to surprise (and sometimes disappoint me) in where they want to take the story.

The Motherhood Memoir series I’m blogging is on hold for now, but not indefinitely. Depression is a serious condition that deserves the proper respect and articulacy that comes from the heart. Right now I’m not bent on re-visiting dark memories, but sometime when I’m taking a break from my fiction writing I will continue with the memoir.

Also, I have a new AUTHOR PAGE that I’d love you all to visit and “like” if you enjoy what you read here. I love interacting with other writers and readers when I get the chance and you’ll be able to know what’s most recently going on with my writing and the blog there. You could also visit the HOME PAGE of LaurieWriting and press the Facebook LIKE button on the right of home page then read any posts you may have missed.   

Then I’ll be able to say…

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There is also a new short story contemporary romance series I’m working on that will most likely be published before the first book of the Lonely Hearts series…more to come on that in a later post. I’m just full of surprises 😉

So, now that I’ve given you my little writing update, I’d like to share a review of an excellent erotic short story I’ve recently read this weekend that I really enjoyed. Thanks for reading this far, and I hope you enjoy the review of The Curveball. Have a great week everyone!  

CurveBallCoverJSScott

Big Girl Erotic Romance At Its Best

J.S. Scott drew me in with this fun, steamy and quick read. I was pleasantly surprised at how I connected with both characters and the author’s voice as I read. As a work at home Mom, romance reader, and curvy girl myself, I thoroughly enjoyed being able to escape into Maggie and Jack’s world for a while.

I love how the author portrayed Maggie throughout the story, giving her just enough insecurity to need Jake without making her seem like a desperate or needy charity case (as many people would presume because of their lifestyle differences.) I usually like stronger heroines, but could sympathize with Maggie because she didn’t come off as whiny or weak. She only needed that one extra affirmation from Jake to take the plunge into this hot whirl-wind romance with him.

Jake was terrific, too. I enjoy difficult alpha males in longer novels, but for this short story his character had just enough alpha to make me love him and didn’t leave any loose strings about hidden issues. He comes off as a nice and sincere guy, not just out for a quick hook up. His passion, tenderness, and sincerity for wanting Maggie just as she is was very touching and admirable because he’s longed for her for so long and finally goes through with a clever plan to catch her attention and get her to himself. Maggie and Jake are an unlikely couple with opposite lifestyles but the heat when they get together is off the charts. Well written, tender, and hot – I have to give major kudos to author Scott for her remarkable talent in measuring and combining the perfect ingredients when writing The Curveball to make me crave more of this delicious series! Must read!

Note: Intended for readers 18 +. This story contains graphic sex, graphic language and other subjects for mature audiences only.

Review by Laurie Kozlowski

The Curveball Is A Story From The Curves Collection – Big Girls And Bad Boys

 About The Author

JSScottAuthorBioPicJ.S. Scott is a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of erotic romance. She’s an avid reader of all types of books and literature. Writing what she loves to read, J.S. Scott writes both contemporary erotic romance stories and paranormal romance erotics. They almost always feature an Alpha Male and have a happily ever after because she just can’t seem to write them any other way! She lives with her husband in the picturesque Colorado Rockies.

Inspiration · Laurie's Works Of Fiction · Musings · Writing · Writing Life

Kissing In The Moonlight – Music Monday Dose of Country Romance

Breaking up to make up. Leaving, hoping they will ask you to stay. Or maybe being scared shitless of staying – wanting one last kiss. I know I had you hooked on the word shitless, so roll with me here 😉

There’s something romantic about letting go and a first (or last) kiss. Every romance novel I’ve read has had some combination of the situations in the first sentence of this post playing out on the page much to my thrill (if the characters seem real and I can connect with them) or to my annoyance (if the characters continue on like a soap opera with too much drama and no motivation). The book I’m working on now will also include some (or all) of these situations in some manner.

I have yet to write my hero and heroine’s first (or last) kiss in the story, but in the scene I’m writing today they will meet beneath the Texas sky at night in lesser-than-romantic conditions for the second time. Though I’m planning scenes as I go along, I’m not sure where in the book they will want to kiss. Every time I sit down to write, it’s like kissing roulette. Lol. It’s still early in the story, so I’m giving them some time to annoy one another (no doubt, there will be a bit of wry humor involved), filling out their characters to make them look, sound, and behave as I imagine. It’s been fun and challenging developing their story.

Earlier this year, I participated in camp NanoWriMo and I’ve noticed many people going for the gold again in Nano’s prime month of November. I’m not participating because I’m not at a point where I want to step away from this story and start another. I’ll be seeing this book through to the end and picking up my pace, so I want to wish everyone participating in NanoWriMo GOOD LUCK!

I think we all know luck has nothing to do with it – we have to sit our asses down and write, but best wishes to you anyway! 😉

And for fellow bookworms who love to read and those just taking time to read this post, happy reading.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Here’s an up-beat country romance song about some moonlight kissin’ from one of my favorite country artists, Randy Houser. Yee-Haw, ya’ll! *Muah!*

Other posts to enjoy for further reading if you liked this one:

See You Be Brave: Your Cup of Courage on Music Monday

Rolling On The River of Dreams

A Fun Writing Tool & Helpful Story Planning Worksheets

A Sure-Fire Way To Burnout and Extinguishing It

Goodnight Kiss by Randy Houser

What are you reading or writing now?