A Timely Surprise

 “Am I worthy of love again after all these years? I think I am, but it sure hasn’t worked in my favor,” Kate said.

“If you believe, that’s half the battle.”

Kate found herself stopped in the road of the campground, wondering whose gentle voice that was. Turning around, she looked into the handsome face of a man with a splash of graying hair. His azure blue eyes expressed sincerity and caused unexpected butterflies in her stomach.
“I can’t believe I said that out loud!” Kate was mortified!

“It’s okay…I do it all the time. My name’s Jim, by the way,” he said while holding out his hand as he climbed out of his golf cart. “I work here, but I’m actually retired. I keep telling myself that, but tending to these grounds is just something I love to do so it’s hard to let go.” He smiled and those butterflies became active again.

“I can see why you love working here – it’s so beautiful. I’m only staying for the weekend…my name’s Kate.” She shook his hand unable to ignore the powerful surge of electricity. Butterflies and electricity. Where in the world did these come from? Jim also felt that spark, a feeling he hadn’t felt in over two years. But by the few words he accidentally heard her say, he knew she was upset about something. He probably heard too much already and it was certainly none of his business.

Within seconds, Kate’s mind drifted to when she arrived earlier that afternoon. After unpacking, she sat in the rocker by the window and opened up the Sandra Brown book she’s been reading. She read the same line twenty times and still couldn’t recite it by memory. Kate thought the silence and peace would be good for her. Instead, the quiet was more pronounced in the small cabin than when she lived in the big house with her ex. Words between them were anything but present – which led to this temporary get-away. It took both partners to communicate in order for any relationship to work, yet, she was the one doing all the talking.

Getting away for a few days to regroup was a perfect prescription for her heart and mind. She wanted to rent a cabin with a front porch and was able to find one. Even if uncertainty joined her for a sip, she couldn’t wait to enjoy a glass of wine that evening on the porch while attempting to combat the turmoil in her life. Kate was not going to let her ex control her self-esteem, and she certainly wasn’t too old to let love in her life again. She’s often read encouraging stories of people finding romance later in life. So why should she be exempt? Not that she’s looking this very moment, but it wouldn’t matter. The candle went out years ago in her marriage. She just kept looking for the good and fighting for this relationship that may soon end.

Before Kate left for the campground, she called her sister, Jane, who lived an hour away.

“Hey, Sis, how’re you doing?” Jane asked as she put the call on speaker phone.

“Hi Jane. I’m alright, but I need your advice because you’re the more logical one.”

“Uh oh, what’s this about?”

 “Well, honestly, I don’t know what to do. Should I accept my marriage as it is with hope that it’ll get better? Or would it be best for both of us if we divorced? I want to keep my marriage going, but if I’m the only one trying, then I feel like I’m stuck with no way out and I don’t want to settle. What do you think I should do?”

“Oh, Kate, you know I can’t tell you what to do. But I know you’ve been unhappy for years and nothing’s going to change on his end. I think deep down inside you know that, too, even though it breaks your heart into tiny pieces. I honestly believe the ball is in your court – the decision has to be yours for any changes to occur, and whether you know this or not, you are worthy of happiness! He’s a good man, we both know that, but couples grow apart over time. So, if you acknowledge this, then it’s okay to move forward. You’ve given your marriage your all and it’s been twenty-two years! When will it be time to think about your happiness? Guilt shouldn’t be your best friend.” Jane sighed, hoping beyond hope that she didn’t say anything she’ll regret. All she heard was silence. “Kate, are you okay? Are you there?”

“Hmm…I’m here, just thinking over your words. You’re right; it’s just that taking that step feels like walking in sinking sand. It’ll be a slow process.”

“And that’s okay. Go at your pace, but once you make the choice, everything will become easier and fall into place.”

“I know. Oh, and by the way, I hung up my RN uniform for the weekend, heading to Pine Lakes.” Kate and Jane shared fond memories of the lake when they were little. Those memories evoked many great times that they wanted to carry the tradition into their adult lives.

“That’s good to hear. Nature’s always good at clearing up messy minds, Kate.”

“Yeah, I can’t wait to be in the mountains, walking among the pines and hanging out with the birds and squirrels. I should probably go, so I’ll keep you posted. Love you, and thanks for everything.”

 “Love you, too, and you know I always have your back. Stay safe, Sis!” Jane wanted nothing more than her sister to find joy and love again and she had no doubt that it was more than possible. But it would take her sister to open her eyes to new possibilities. Right now, Kate had the shades of possibilities closed securely because she had drained all of her energy into her marriage that became stagnant. She’s exhausted. However, she deserves to have that same attention by someone who truly cares about her.

Suddenly, with a soft touch on the arm from Jim, Kate returned to reality. “Kate, are you alright?” he asked, sounding a little worried. It was too soon to know why he felt concerned since he didn’t know her, but the feeling was significant.  “You were in another world.”

“Uh, yes…yes, I’m okay. My mind just wandered. It does that sometimes,” Kate answered with a nervous chuckle because embarrassment rapidly washed over her. She hoped her face wasn’t the shade of a pomegranate!

“Those things happen. My mind drifts all the time, so don’t worry about it. Look, we hardly know each other, but I wonder if you’d want to go for a walk sometime? I know the grounds pretty well around here,” he said with a smile. “Unless, of course, I’m being too forward. I know we just met,” he added, but his baby blues were a bit too irresistible.

She has no reason not to trust Jim, but she has no reason to trust him, either, so it’s a fifty-fifty chance either way. Kate chuckled at his subtle humor – of course, he knew his way around the campground. She also admired his welcomed honesty, not to mention again, her interest was surely piqued by this sudden attraction. Her messy mind deserved some good company and an interesting distraction from the rocky road ahead. After getting the green light from her sister and now meeting Jim unexpectedly, she gladly opened up those shades of possibilities and could already feel warmth from promises on the horizon.

 “Sure. I’d like that. I’m still settling in today, though, so would tomorrow afternoon work?”

“Tomorrow afternoon would be great. I work in the morning, so the afternoon is free. Why don’t we meet in the lobby at 3:00?”

“Sounds great,” she replies. Kate, what are you doing?!

Lauren Scott (c) 2020

Magical Whispers by Balroop Singh-#Newbook-#BlogTour

I am thrilled to host my friend and wonderful poet, Balroop Singh, as she has published a new collection of poetry, Magical Whispers. I haven’t read her book, yet, but I am waiting and excited for my copy to arrive on my doorstep. I have no doubt that her words will hold beauty on each page, and that after reading, I’ll be transported into a world of serenity. Balroop writes stunning poetry, so if you’re ready to listen to Mother Nature’s whispers and revel in her soothing comfort, then I hope you’ll add Balroop’s book to your home library!

Book Blurb:

I wait for whispers; they regale my muse. Whispers that can be heard by our heart, whispers that ride on the breeze to dispel darkness and ignite hope. I’m sure you would hear them through these poems if you read slowly.

‘Magical Whispers’ would transport you to an island of serenity; beseech you to tread softly on the velvety carpet of nature to feel the ethereal beauty around you. The jigsaw of life would melt and merge as you dive into the warmth of words.

In this book, my poems focus on whispers of Mother Nature, whispers that are subtle but speak louder than words and breathe a quiet message.

Each day reminds us
It’s the symphony of surroundings
That whisper life into us.

Book Information:

Title: Magical Whispers

Author: Balroop Singh

Genre: Poetry

Available at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KJQ6K5D


US
UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

Excerpt:

Colors

The day sun descended
With all his fire
To dilute the heat
Even clouds couldn’t peep.

I watched with a gasp
When an azure pool
Changed its color to gold,
Heat flew like splinters.

Mother earth endured all.
Breathing quiet messages,
Branches stoop to offer shade
Moments of harmony sway.

Now this pool knows magic
As it changes colors
Passion and serenity meet here
When moon lends its silvery glow.

© Balroop Singh

Meet the Author:

Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educator always had a passion for writing.  She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

A self-published author, she is the poet of Sublime Shadows of Life and Emerging From Shadows, both widely acclaimed poetry books. She has also written When Success Eludes, Emotional Truths Of Relationships Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited and Allow Yourself to be a Better Person.

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.

You can visit her blog at: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Or you can connect with her here:

https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
https://www.pinterest.com/balroops/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh
https://www.amazon/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0O

Thank you so much for stopping by to get a glimpse of Balroop’s new poetry book. If this is your first time meeting her, I invite you to visit her blog for more of her beautiful writing.

~ Lauren Scott 💗

Another world…

Walk with us into
the magic of autumn
where tree-lined
serenity surrounds…
the old swimming hole
evokes precious
memories of when
they were young.
We stumble upon
a home for one
lucky critter,
but built by who?

We’re touched
by the Compassion
on a bench…
Only a short drive,
but as we walk
in the light rain,
reveling in the

fragrance of a
new season,
it seems we’ve
stepped into

a whole new world.

Lauren Scott (c) 2020 💗


Ms. Autumn Speaks Her Mind

I am aware that Mr. Raging Fire stole my thunder, and honestly, it boils my insides, but certainly not selfishly. I reminisce on the good times when the people expressed their love as I made my entrance. How I gracefully entered into their lives wearing pomegranate reds, cinnamon browns, and squash yellows. The energy buzzed like a walk on the red carpet – a highly anticipated moment. My sweet fragrance beautified a stroll around the neighborhood. My cool touch refreshed, replacing summer’s harsh existence.

I worked with patience and diligence, brush and paint in hand to create my vibrant landscape. Lovely memories as vivid as the colors of my wardrobe…
memories of yesteryear before Mr. Raging Fire barged in, interrupting the balance of the nature of seasons.

Now, a sense of dread has crushed that sought-after anticipation of my arrival. And yet, defeat has not prevailed. This new reality only means my effort must toughen up…paint and brush lie in wait at my fingertips. The artist deep within will continue to create for my lovely and loving people who appreciate the very essence of me.

Lauren Scott (c) 2020

Guilty or Not?

I have several projects pending but nothing new to share right now. So, I came across this post from 2018 and thought it was worth a second showing. For those of you who have already seen it, I appreciate you taking the time to read again…

Have you ever compared your success to that of your friends, neighbors, or acquaintances? I assume most of us have; I know I’m guilty.

If you compare yourself to your perception of others, then the possibility of your self-esteem deflating is great. The negative assumptions you allow to roll around in your mind can be harmful to your mental well-being. Even though the outward appearance seems perfect, it’s exactly that. ‘Seems’ is the operative word.

Is there one method of how you measure success? Essentially, it’s up to interpretation. What does success mean to you? Do you have goals that you’re working toward? What kind of person do you aspire to be? In my opinion, here’s what you shouldn’t do – don’t give dollar signs too much power in measuring success. They can be misleading. Other factors display victory, such as volunteering, honest work ethic, being a loving husband, wife, partner, parent, sister, daughter, son, or friend
The list is endless.

Think carefully how you measure success because the last thing you need is to fall into a depressed mind-set caused by comparing yourself to others. Letting those unfavorable thoughts take control of your mind will only cause clutter and make your life messy. Instead of focusing on the success of other people, focus on what makes you feel victorious. Set some goals and go for it!

Do you have any thoughts on this subject? Any experiences? 
For example, I’ll start by saying that I never attended college post high school graduation. I made the right choice at that time in my life. But for some reason over the years, I turned my lack of college degree into an unbearably heavy burden, frequently comparing myself to those who held that academic accomplishment. As a result, I often experienced my mood shifting into negativity. I allowed those pessimistic thoughts to pull me down, to second-guess my decision years ago, and to negate the fact that I was a wonderful wife to my amazing husband and a loving mother to our two awesome children. If that isn’t success, I don’t know what is!

As some of you may remember, I did a post years ago about returning to school. I was excited and had taken all the English courses (which I loved and aced!) needed for an Associates Degree. Then I began thinking, “Why am I doing this?” I thought deeply about what going back to school would entail. Sure, the diploma would look great hanging on the wall next to my husband’s and children’s. But the thought of holing up behind a closed door, doing homework for the next several years, all of a sudden didn’t appeal to me. Alternatively, I wanted to focus on my family and the interests that I was passionate about. I came to the realization that a college degree doesn’t define who I am. I’m Me with or without it. I still pursue my passion for writing without that specific validation. I didn’t quit, though. I just chose not to continue, but I am grateful for taking that big step onto a campus thirty-six years after I walked across the stage waving my high school diploma. It wasn’t easy. I had to muster up a big helping of determination and courage to be able to sit in a classroom with young students eager to face their future head-on. With this being said, I met some other adults just like me, so I soon grew comfortable in this new setting.

Everyone shows vulnerability in some manner; this admission is mine. Since this realization, I have gladly discarded the choice to “college-compare” because we’re all successful in different ways. And when I acknowledged this discernment, that heavy burden was released, too. I could breathe easier and my mind decluttered of that negativity. The clear view was stunning!

The easy road spirals downward; the challenging road stimulates your mind and nudges you to look deeply within yourself.

Be You!!!
Sending love and virtual hugs,

Lauren 💗💗💗

All photos courtesy of Google images.

There’s nothing like…

coffee on the patio with some good reading material
happy blooms
a gorgeous sunset
covid humor

More fires rage, the pandemic isn’t going away soon, and political and social unrest remains. So, everywhere we go, whether on a stroll around the neighborhood or a walk around the house, it’s the little things that have the ability to quell the anxiety if we give them the opportunity. XOXO

New Book Launch ‘Eternal Road – The Final Stop’ by John W. Howell

It is my pleasure to have the talented John Howell visit today for the launch of his new book ‘Eternal Road – The final stop’. I’ve read Eternal Road and it is worth all the publicity it has been given. Interlaced in the protagonists’ story is just about every genre and topic you can imagine: adventure, science fiction, old west, suspense, romance, and artificial intelligence, to name a few. And now, John, the floor is yours!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Lauren, and thank you for helping me launch this book. I know you are very busy so I appreciate you taking the time to help with the launch. Speaking of the book, let me describe it. Eternal Road is the story of two people finding their way through the selection process leading to the place where one will spend eternity. Yes, it is true. They both have passed away. James Wainwright just died in an auto accident. Samantha Tourneau died seventeen years before. Sam is James’s guide to help him decide where to spend eternity. This is not your usual thriller or paranormal romance. It is a piece of fiction that is a combination of inspiration, adventure, time travel, sci-fi, a touch of erotica, and a dash of spiritual. In short, it is a lot of things, but hopefully, a story that will make you happy to have read it.

It is now available on Amazon in paper and Kindle. The Kindle edition is introductory priced at 99¢ until October 15th.

Here are the universal links

Kindle Universal link  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Paper universal link mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

The blurb

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer, who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save humankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

An Excerpt

James shakes his head. “Lucifer has an assistant every bit as scary as him. Was it my imagination, or did that voice sound like it came from the deepest part of hell?”

Sam folds her arms. “You can assume it did. I don’t believe she works in a call center in the Philippines.”

James smiles. “Did you enjoy the part where Lucifer wants you to attend as well?”

Sam unfolds her arms. “Gave me the creeps. You don’t know what a nasty guy he is. If you think of everything that has gone wrong in the world, you can bet he was behind it.”

“Why do you suppose he wants to talk to us?”

“As I said, he wants to make a deal for your soul.”

James sighs. “What kind of deal would I make? I’m already on the right side of God, why would I give that up?”

“I have no idea.”

James puts his hands to his face. “Are you sure we can’t call someone to give us help?”

Sam sits on the bed. “I’m afraid we’re on our own. No one can help us.”

“What about God?”

“I’m sure he’s busy. Besides, God would tell you to follow your heart no matter what Lucifer proposed. He wouldn’t step in but would want you to make the best decision.”

James sighs and stares at the floor. Sam takes his hand and places it over her lips. An irresistible impulse to kiss her moves him, and he acts on it. The sensation feels as if he touched an electrical wire to his mouth. The sparks blind him, and his head grows lighter.
James wraps his arms around Sam, and the two go into free-fall. Sam yells above the roar of the wind that pulls them down, “Hold me tight. We can’t let go of one another, or one of us may get lost.”

James tries to yell, but the noise proves too much. The wind blows his words away as soon as they come out of his mouth. Instead, he intertwines his fingers behind Sam’s back and holds on for dear life. The fall continues until James can no longer remain conscious. He fights hard. The pressure of Sam’s body, and the comfort of her arms wrapped around his waist, reassure him. As long as they have each other, they will come to no harm. He pulls Sam in tighter, and then the pull of unconsciousness wins, even though he fights. With no choice and little time, James vows to remember Sam forever and thinks of her while the blackness seeps into his soul.

The trailer

John is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are also available in the Indie Lector store.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

John’s other books

My GRL,

His Revenge

Our Justice

Circumstances of Childhood

The Contract: between heaven and earth

Happy 10th Birthday, Copper!! 🎈🎈🎈🎈

Our furry family member turns 10 today! He’s a big baby and he still thinks he’s a lap dog even though he weighs about 78 lbs. If we sit on the floor, he’ll back his butt into the circle of our legs and park himself. “Oh, Copper. You filled a void when we adopted you eight years ago, welcoming you into our family. And in turn, you give us unconditional love and kisses, and let us rub your belly as often as we want. Look how generous you are! You continue to melt our hearts with your golden eyes and make us smile with your funny faces. We love you!!

Happy Birthday, Copper Boy!
🎈🎉🎇🎊🎼