MORE THAN COFFEE: A BOOK REVIEW

My friend, Annika, wrote a glowing review for More than Coffee. She says, “I only hope I will learn to collect my memories with equal clarity, wisdom, and warmth, to reach a deeper understanding of life and its joys and tragedies. ‘More than Coffee’ is a true tonic for the soul and I cannot recommend this book highly enough!”
What a lovely way to end the weekend and begin a brand-new week! And for those of you who haven’t met Annika Perry, take your time to peruse her blog. She is a fantastic storyteller and poet and is one of the many wonderful friends I’ve made since my blogging journey began over a decade ago. Annika has published two books, The Storyteller Speaks, a captivating collection of short stories and poetry, and Oskar’s Quest, a delightful children’s book. She has two other books on the horizon and I’m excited for their release. So, head on over to Annika’s blog to read her entire stunning review. Another big thanks, Annika! xo

Annika Perry

‘More than Coffee’ by Lauren Scott is a beautiful and reflective celebration of life; a book of poems and prose that flows with ease between memories of the author’s life, of the six decades of a loving marriage of her parents and of her family, to present day hiking trails, between the wonder of nature and the seasons to the amusing encounter with spiders!

The pieces are imbued with warmth, love, light humour and sadness; overall togetherness. Life in all its facets is explored and ensures that the reader reflects on their own lives and those closest to them, reminding us of the treasures within even the most insignificant of items or events.

A late-comer to hiking and camping, Lauren captures the magic and enriching moments of being in the wonder of solitude in nature.

‘It’s about those quiet, nostalgic moments sitting on a smooth slab of granite, captivated by…

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Guest post! Fabulous Friday Featuring John W. Howell and The Last Drive!

It is with great pleasure to host friend and amazing writer, John Howell, so that he can tell us all about his new book, The Last Drive.
Go ahead. settle in, and enjoy the show! John, the floor is yours!

I am so pleased to be with you today, Lauren. Thank you for helping spread the word about The Last Drive. You write such lovely poetry based on everyday observations of normal things. This kind of poetry is a slice of life. The wonderful thing about this style is the uplifted feeling your readers get while contemplating the words you create. This reminds me to mention to my potential readers that even though the antagonist of my story is the Devil this is not a depressing story, but rather one of a quest for an eternal home.

Here is the blurb and then we can get to a short excerpt from the book.

In the sequel to Eternal Road – The final stop, Sam and James are reunited to look for two souls, Ryan and Eddie. Ryan was killed in Afghanistan, trying to avoid a schoolyard with his crippled plane. Eddie Rickenbacker, Ryan’s hero, is to guide Ryan to his Eternal Home, and now both are missing.

The higher-ups believe that there has been some interference in Ryan and Eddie’s journey by Lucifer, so Sam and James have the task of finding Ryan and Eddie to get them back on the road despite the evil interference. Unfortunately, the machinations designed to prevent Ryan and Eddy from completing their journey take the pair to horrifying testing grounds. The places visited represent the best work of the Devil. They are the trenches of World War I in France, gladiators at the Roman Coliseum, the sinking Titanic in 1912, Hiroshima 45 minutes before the bomb, and the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.

This book is for you if you like plenty of action, strong characters, time travel, and a touch of spiritual and historical fiction. So, join Sam and James as they try to find the missing souls while staying one step ahead of the Prince of Darkness, who is determined to destroy all that is good.

Enjoy the Excerpt:

“Nice meeting you, Roy. I’m Sam, and this is James.”

James leans forward again. “We sure appreciate the lift.”

The driver blushes. “Happy to do it. Well, we’re almost there. See that big building? That’s where they work on the airplanes. The one beside it is the club. No one can go in there but officers. If you hang around outside, I’m sure Eddie or your friend will show up. Once they finish flying, that’s the first place they go before hitting the barracks.”

Roy pulls onto the long drive, which leads to the aerodrome. The road grime flows over the ambulance when he comes to a stop. Sam and James climb down and give Roy a wave.

He returns the gesture and pulls away, and the retreating ambulance raises more dust into the air. James fans his face with his hand in a vain attempt to keep the grit from his eyes. Sam turns her back to the cloud. James breaks into a fit of coughing and, finally, catches his breath. “Man, this is some place.”

Sam waves at the muck. “Well, it beats that nasty trench. That was the worst.”

“I agree. What do we do now?”

“You heard Roy. We wait until Ryan and Eddie show up.”

James spits and rubs his lips. “There’s plenty of daylight left. That could take a while.”

“You know, I just had a thought.”

“What?”

Sam stops waving away the dust. “We may be waiting for no good reason.”

“Why?”

“Hear me out. Even if Eddie shows up, he won’t understand what we’re talking about when we ask about Ryan.”

“Why not?”

“Don’t you see? This is the past, and Eddie is still alive. He won’t be escorting a soul, and, in all probability, if Ryan is flying with Eddie, he doesn’t even know Ryan’s a spirit.”

“Does that matter?”

“Not really. I guess what I’m trying to say is we’ll need to get Ryan away from Eddie to have a decent discussion.”

“Yeah, okay. What do you say about walking over to the hangar?”

“I would be game for that. After all, we’re not about to miss a bunch of airplanes landing and miss Ryan.”

And the Trailer:


To purchase your copy, click on the links below:

The Last Drive is available in paper and Kindle editions on Amazon.
The Kindle edition is on sale for 99¢ through mid-February.
Here are the universal links.

Kindle https://mybook.to/FYmkKr

Paper https://mybook.to/BCsWV

Author Bio

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 Six other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Author links

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

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/john-w-howell

Eternal Road Buy links

Kindle https://mybook.to/FYmkKr

Paper https://mybook.to/BCsWV

Thank you for stopping by! ❤️

One thing is certain

Have you ever sensed
the tingling of a feeling
arriving without a label?
It stirs through your reflections,
your layers, and you find yourself
walking around in a daze
where reality offers no place
of comfort. So, the sun sets
for the moon, but what does
this clarify? One thing is certain –
within the constellations,
among the celestial stars,
this emotion finds balance,
graciously treasuring the safety
it has stumbled upon.

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved.
Photo by Guillaume Meurice on Pexels.com

“Feels like you’re old friends”

At what point do Indie Authors stop sharing awesome reviews of their books? They certainly don’t intend to put their friends to sleep with yet another to read. I honestly don’t know the answer because each commentary is individual, offering a different aspect of the book touching that sole reader. So, how can I not share Paula Light’s beautiful and moving review of More than Coffee? One detail I’ll note is that I admired her honesty about visiting my blog, and I’d be hard-pressed to think that many of us couldn’t relate to her words. In case you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Paula, you can find her here, and she is a fantastic writer of poetry and fiction. You’ll also notice her selection of books for sale, all in kindle format, and I have just bought Ghosted that I can’t wait to begin reading!

And now, her amazing review…

More than Coffee by Lauren Scott

Posted on January 28, 2023 | 12 Comments

Women friends coffee talk chat

Sometimes a writer has such an engaging style that you feel you’re old friends after reading them. That’s the way I feel about Lauren Scott after finishing her memoir More than Coffee. Her vignettes and poetry are so honest and vivid that it seems she must have shared the stories in person, over coffee of course. I teared up when I read her parents’ love story, and I was right there with Lauren when she found a tarantula in her house (eek!). Lauren and I are about the same age with adult children who have moved away (though happily both of mine are only around an hour’s drive), so I can relate to many of the emotions she describes about being a parent and transitioning from living with your children to helping them leave the nest.

I’ve followed Lauren’s blog for a while, but like many of us I lazily read her posts as they appeared in my reader without actually visiting her site. Thus, I did not even know she had books for sale until she posted the link to a review by Mark Bierman. The review intrigued me so much I bought Lauren’s book, and I am glad I did. It was such a pleasure to savor this rich and tasty brew, redolent with love, loss, adventure, hope, and, above all, family bonds.

Thank you for sharing your life so beautifully with your readers, Lauren.

Thank YOU, Paula, for this beautiful review that truly brightened my Saturday morning, while (of course) enjoying a cup of coffee. ❤️

Thanks to all of you for stopping by, and don’t forget to visit Paula’s site! And if after reading her fabulous review, you feel the need to turn the pages in More than Coffee, I hope you enjoy the memories as much as she did! ❤️

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites – All rights reserved.

Mark Bierman calls it “a love letter to life”

I am thrilled that my book, More than Coffee, released in fall of 2021, is still receiving beautiful reviews. Mark Bierman wrote a fabulous review in December as we headed into the holiday season. So, I’m delighted to share as we move forward in this new year full of possibilities. But before I do, if you haven’t met Mark and experienced his compelling story telling and fantastic sense of humor, you haven’t been fully living! His book, Vanished, is a riveting novel, and here is the link to my review: https://baydreamerwrites.com/2022/04/18/book-review-vanished/. You can also find Mark at his blog: https://markbierman.wordpress.com/. And now I will share his commentary that made me do yet another happy dance…

It’s pretty green outside these days, every flake of the white stuff has melted back into H20. But no matter what Nature’s decided, we’ve been coasting into the Holiday Spirit here.

The tree’s up, it’s branches adorned with bulbs and baubles for the exclusive swatting pleasure of our two felines. Outside, soft white lights are strung across the lilac bush and a spotlight highlights the Nativity.

But I’m not here to discuss Christmas, well, unless you’re looking for the perfect gift for that book lover.  

So, without further ado, let’s raise a glass and toast a great read!

What’s it about?

From the early woes of childhood and teen years, this collection of stories and poems paints a picture of young dreams and fears. But as adulthood sets in, these dreams and fears change. More than Coffee touches on love and loss, nature and endurance, marriage, and parenting. In these memories, humor diffuses fear and taking risks proves to be a powerful method in boosting self-confidence. Through it all, whether in the wilderness near a sparkling lake or in the comfort of home, there’s nothing like a good cup of coffee. A poignant and reflective collection of verse and prose that is best enjoyed sipping your favorite coffee roast.

My Thoughts:

The title gets it right. This book is about far more than coffee, more than a journal; it’s a love letter to Life. An exquisite and heartfelt testament to a life well lived.

Every anecdote and poem is a window to a different season that is relatable to anyone who’s been on this journey for more than a decade. The stories and poems are thoughtfully crafted and wonderfully penned. They complement each other nicely and capture the intense emotions of those moments and milestones.

I smiled at the tales about her bouts with arachnophobia, but not because I’d wish that on anyone. It reminds me of my own, ‘tour of duty’ in the defense against spiders when I had to “save”  my youngest daughter. Then again, I feel the same way about snakes.      

I highly recommend this book for those who savor each day!

Meet Lauren and grab your copy in time for Christmas! (or an upcoming birthday or Mother’s Day!)

Lauren writes poetry, memoir, and fiction short stories who lives in California with her husband of thirty-four years and their chocolate lab; they have two grown children. She has authored two collections of poetry: New Day, New Dreams (2013) and Finding a Balance (2015). Her latest book, More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose was published in 2021. And in 2022, she contributed four poems to the anthology: Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships. Lauren writes about family, experiencing loss, finding joy in the smallest things, and nature from her many backpacking and camping adventures.

Parallel to her passion for writing is her love for reading. Whether it is a gripping thriller or a heartwarming romance, she enjoys exploring different worlds and meeting diverse characters, drawing similarities to reality that translate into her own writing. Her writing projects are sometimes serious – drawn from painful subjects and raw emotions – or they spotlight her silly side – pulled from humorous moments captured in photographs.

Lauren is inspired to write from her love of nature and the marvelous wild world that surrounds her: the smell of the woods, the sound of a babbling brook, and the chorus of birds singing. Recent backpacking trips with her husband along the California coast and Sierra Nevada mountains have stirred up thoughts to pen about love, lost friendship, family, and the possibility that anything can happen. Hikes along the Paper Mill Creek remind her that life is fragile. From trout hatchlings to swallowtail butterflies, Lauren marvels at how the world is interconnected and that every living thing matters. She hopes her readers will find a little nugget of delight, comfort, or understanding in her poetry and stories – some detail that resonates with them beyond her words.

Amazon.com

Instagram Website

Thanks again to Mark for this amazing review, and I admit that “love letter to life” made my heart sing!

Happy Reading and Happy Friday! ❤️🎉

© Lauren Scott, baydreamer writes – All rights reserved.

Robbie’s Inspiration – Poetry book review: Finding a Balance by Lauren Scott

Robbie’s beautiful review of my 2nd poetry collection released in 2015. All proceeds go to The Chris Klug Foundation in support of organ donation. ❤️

Robbie's inspiration

What Amazon says

Finding a Balance is Laurens second book of poetry, following New Day, New Dreams published in 2013. This compilation speaks often of her emotions and spirit after finding out about a life threatening disease two years ago in one of her family members. There is no devastating ending in the near future but many unanswered questions that will plague her family indefinitely.

In contrast to this sadness, Lauren has always possessed a romantic soul and is blessed to have celebrated twenty six happy years of marriage to her husband and best friend. So from darkness to finding the light again through faith and adding a touch of romance, she finds strength to move forward. This book takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of different emotions evoked from life and love but regardless of what is thrown in her path, hope will always prevail.

My review

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The Trio

An icy gust shadows him around the corner grazing his earlobe, cold chills ripple down his spine. But his Italian wool threads not only portray prosperity, but they also combat the frosty temperature while he slides onto black leather behind the wheel. Success sits in his suit pocket, having propelled him to the top rung of the corporate ladder. He accelerates in the Night Blue Porsche. A satisfied smile forms because he knows his arrival is highly anticipated.

Down the street, she walks in her own bubble, and it’s as though she controls that gust, tamping it down to a gentle breeze. Her silver heels click on the sidewalk as she moves effortlessly. With cell on speaker, passersby become privileged to thrilling updates, and then she adds, “Have you heard the latest?” But gentle breeze be gone, she buttons up
her long, wine-red coat, tightening the belt as the roaring wind wraps around her like a python. When the hailed driver meets the curb, she smugly skims over the back seat, phone chat undisturbed.

And across the way, huddled against a weathered building, he daydreams of warmth, the wind chill forcing its way through his tattered jacket – he fantasizes about lying beneath layers of fleece and wool, comfort permeating from his shaggy long brown hair to his olive-green socks full of holes. But no complaints slip through his chattering teeth. Homelessness may be his current address; however, sadness will never be his default emotion. Instead, his eyes watch as his mind formulates hope.

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites – All rights reserved.
Photo: Pixabay
A repost/revision.

Other Worlds

Wealth comes in many
fabulous shapes…

Hardbacks, paperbacks,
they sit on the shelves,
waiting patiently
for their pages to be turned,
the simple, blissful touch,
but some rest with elation
knowing their stories
and poetic thoughts
have been liberated,
pages dog-eared for
another reading,
the words having
touched a chord.
Seams of the bookcase
stretch like stitches
in too-tight jeans.
The bookcase itself
bulges like a belly satisfied
from a hearty meal.
I feel excitement of a child
wandering through a toy store
when I peruse new
for the shelves…
Is it fair to own so many
captivating adventures
and poetic musings?
Quiet moments await
for me to immerse
into those other worlds…

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites – All rights reserved.
Photos: just a few from the bulging bookcase.

An Act of Kindness and Renewed Faith in Humanity

It was that time again to stock up the pantry and fridge, so I meandered through the grocery store, strolling up one aisle and down the next until everything on my list was checked off. When I was standing in line with a full cart for just a few minutes, I noticed the man behind me holding only two items in his hands. “Would you like to go ahead of me?” I offered.

“Oh, no thank you. I’m fine.” He replied.

“No, really. I don’t mind waiting.” I insisted, so he humbly accepted. While he paid for his items, I read a new text from my husband that just pinged. When I looked up, the man was finishing the transaction.

“Thanks again for your kindness,” he said to me, while gently tossing a $50 bill that I watched float through the air as in slow motion, landing on my loaf of bread! “Oh, my gosh! I can’t accept that!” I was shocked to see the money in the first place, but then realizing it was a $50 bill had me flabbergasted!

“Please, take it. Your kindness has renewed my faith in humanity.” He gently enforced and literally sprinted out of the store, vanishing in seconds. I stood there with Darlene, the checker staring back at me, the biggest smile brightening her face, both of us amazed at the man’s equaled kindness and generosity. She told me to accept the gift, so my first thought was to pass it onto her. Darlene was friendly and so kind, making each customer feel like the most important person in the world, exuding true customer service. And yet, she was not allowed to accept cash gifts. So, I reluctantly slipped the fifty into my purse, waves of shock still rippling through me as I exited the store.

There is no barometer in measuring the value of kindness, but it is apparent that kindness comes in all forms, and I can’t wait to pay it forward to reaffirm this generous man’s faith in humanity.

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved.
Images: Pixabay

The End-All

Happy New Year! Wishing you all a healthy and joyful 2023
filled with an abundance of creativity, and I hope you enjoy
my first poetic offering for the new year…

The End-All

This poem isn’t meant to signify the end-all.
It really shouldn’t, nor does it intend
to lug around such a label…too much liability.

Instead, it dreams of opening like soft petals
of a springtime bloom reveling in the first kiss of sunshine.

It wishes to open like the door of a little quaint cottage
adorned in pastel blues and delicate yellows,
welcoming you inside

as if to offer a cup of tea and a plate of shortbread
so you might feel relaxed and rejuvenated,
but most of all, so you would feel accepted.

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved.

❤️