Book Reviews and Gratitude!!

I am delighted to share the first two reviews for More than Coffee, both written by two fantastic writers. And I’m still dancing the happy dance!
The first is by Balroop Singh at Emotional Shadows.

5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming and delightful memoir

More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose by Lauren Scott is a heart-warming memoir that captures lovely moments of childhood, of parents’ love, of attachments, of campfires and hiking with the love of her life. The blissful moments come alive as Scott revels in the good times, letting nostalgia transport her into time machine, to watch the reel unfold like “pictures on a camera roll.” She talks about the value of some priceless gifts that are handed down from one generation to another; she takes pride in the stories that such “gems” tell to evoke fond memories of parents. Only the happy times have been shared in this book.

Written in a simple and straight-forward style, Lauren’s poetry is realistic. ‘To My Babies’ tugged at my heart and I am sure all mothers can relate to this delightful poem. Fragrant memories of “Earthquake Cake” made me smile. ‘Simple Existence’ is thought-provoking and made me pause to comprehend the depth of words that dance across “desert dunes and boundless oceans.” ‘Forever Steady’ too gives you a reflective message to take a breather, look at magical wilderness of nature and see how “delightfully birds sing and trees welcome our company.”

I loved this book and finished it within an hour. If you value relationships and family bonding, this book is for you.

The second review is from D. Wallace Peach at Myths of the Mirror:

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely personal memories from the author

This highly recommended and quick read is a compilation of a number of Scott’s personal and precious memories conveyed in both short prose and freeform poetry. A lot of those memories come with the luxury of a hot cup of coffee, but not all. They capture bits of time from idolizing Barbara Streisand as a kid to camping in the Sierras, and lifelong encounters with spiders. Embedded within many of the stories are heartfelt relationships with parents, spouse, and children.

Some of my favorite stories were “Silver Heirlooms” about how simple hand-me-downs become filled with meaning, “Ascent” about grief and the solace of nature, “Laughing Spiders” about big hairy arachnids, and “1989” a romantic relationship initiated by, of all things, an old refrigerator.

I’ve read poetry books by Scott in the past, and the poems in this collection are some of my favorites. They follow along the same lines as the prose pieces and are in many cases reflections of the same topic. My favorite poems were: “The Right Time”, “Simple Existence”, “To My Babies” and…

The Teacher

Its canary boldness
rises up to the sun
alone, yet not lonely,
fearing nothing,
but wearing bravery
on each petal –
standing tall with spirit
in lean green attire
as if soaking up the day’s
endless possibilities.


If you haven’t met my wonderful blogging friends, Balroop or Diana, please pay them a visit. Their talents span from penning profound poetry to creating fabulous fantasy. And thank you for stopping by. If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of my book in paperback or e-book format, simply click “buy” on my right sidebar image.

Big Hugs,
Lauren ❤️❤️❤️

Book Review: The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach

BLURB:

Recently fired and residing with her sweetly overbearing mother, Madlyn needs a job—bad. In a moment of desperation, she accepts a part-time position reading at the bedside of adventurer and amateur writer Cody Lofton. A near-drowning accident left the young man in a vegetative state, and his chances of recovery wane with each passing day.

Cody’s older brother, Dustin, and eccentric grandmother aren’t prepared to give up on the youngest son of Portland, Oregon’s royalty.

Dustin’s a personable guy, bordering on naïve, and overwhelmed by familial corporate duties and cutthroat partners. Grandmother Lillian’s a meddler with an eye for the esoteric, dabbling in Dustin’s life and dealing out wisdom like a card shark. One innocent conversation at a time, she sucks Madlyn into the Lofton story, dubbing her the princess and bestowing on her the responsibility of both grandsons’ destinies.

And all Madlyn wanted was a simple reading job.

Uninspired by her self-imposed stack of literary selections, Madlyn opts for Cody’s work-in-progress. Fantasy isn’t her favorite, but with only four chapters completed, reading The Sorcerer’s Garden should be no sweat, right?

Little does she realize, the story will begin writing itself and, by the hand of destiny, become her own.

***
D. Wallace Peach’s eighth novel is a collision of medieval and urban fantasy centered in the Northwest Hills of Portland, Oregon.

Madlyn is quirky, blessed with a sarcastic sense of humor, and a tendency to say exactly what’s on her mind. At 28, she’s also abandoned her dreams of a fairytale life. A satisfying career and happily-ever-after romance simply aren’t turning up in her cards, and in fact, her junky car is careening downhill fast. A strong female protagonist with a reluctant streak, she finds herself trapped in a heroic adventure through overlapping worlds, unsure whether one or both are real.

Don’t look for a run-of-the-mill fantasy here. This is one tangled tale crafted especially for readers who enjoy plot twists that keep everyone, including the characters, guessing.

MY 5-STAR REVIEW:

A Fabulous Fantasy with a Twist

The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach ranks high in the unique and clever category. The storyline weaves back and forth between reality and fantasy. Qualities such as integrity, greed, and feeling defeated by life itself play a big part. Peach intersperses delicate pieces of wisdom throughout this adventure that only entice you to press on – eager and excited to see what‘s revealed with each page turn. Madlyn, Cody, and Dustin become likable and genuine characters, keeping you entertained from beginning to end. Grandmother Lillian adds spice to the twist and turns. You’ll run into some bloody circumstances where you may be inclined to cover your eyes, but please don’t. You’ll miss the compelling action and superb description; even the subtle hints of humor add a bit of lightheartedness.

I began reading this book with the niggling awareness that fantasy isn’t my favorite genre. Candidly, I wasn’t sure if I’d like the story for this reason. But let me tell you, I was hooked from page one! Peach has an exceptional skill of painting pictures with her extraordinary words, along with her knack for excellent world-building.

Since I was thoroughly impressed with the writing and story-telling, I’ll peruse the author’s collection for more compelling tales to transport me into exciting imaginary worlds. So, if you’re a fantasy genre enthusiast, then I highly recommend reading The Sorcerer’s Garden. And even if fantasy isn’t your go-to genre, I implore you to dive into this adventure just as I did. Five stars for a fantastic adventure!

If you’d like to pick up a copy, below is the Amazon link:

Visit D. Wallace Peach to peruse her fantasy collection:

https://mythsofthemirror.com/

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading!

Lauren ❤️

(Book blurb was pulled from Amazon)

Amazing Matilda – Life lessons for all ages!

Dear Friends,

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Author, Bette A. Stevens. From lovely poetry to delightful children’s literature to a poignant coming-of-age tale, she has a method of writing that draws the reader in as though present in that very moment. The imagery Bette paints through her words is vivid and because of her breathtaking haiku, I will visit Maine someday! Recently, I read her children’s book: Amazing Matilda – A Monarch’s Tale, and let me tell you, we are never too old to read a story written for youth. There is more to this enchanting children’s book that will entice and benefit any adult. I will share my 5-star review in a few minutes. But first, let me introduce you to Bette:

Inspired by nature and human nature, award-winning author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of eight. Stevens lives in central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat). Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture. Stevens’s books include The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!; Amazing Matilda, Children’s Picture Book (Ages 4-11) 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award and Gittle List; Pure Trash (MG/YA/Adult) Short Story; Dog Bone Soup (MG/YA/Adult) Coming of age Novel (2017 KCT International Literary Award Top Finalist 2017); and My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons (Poetry & Photography Collection) 2019.

Bette’s books:

Children’s Books

  • THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO! was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012.
  • AMAZING MATILDA, Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books.

Fiction General (Middle-grade–Adult)

  • PURE TRASH, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England in a family whose poverty and alcoholism mark him as a target for bullying by young and old alike. This short story is a prequel to Stevens’s début novel DOG BONE SOUP(KCT International Literary Award Top Finalist 2017).
  • DOG BONE SOUP is not only the title of Bette A. Stevens’s debut novel; it ranks high among the paltry meals that the book’s protagonist, Shawn Daniels, wants to forget. Plodding through mounting snow and battling howling winds, Shawn is ready to leave it all behind—living in poverty, Dad’s drinking, life in foster care, the divorce, the bullies…. Travel with Shawn Daniels through the guts and the glories of life. DOG BONE SOUPa compelling coming-of-age saga.

Poetry

  • MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons   Stevens released her first poetry collection June 2019. MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons (A Poetry & Photography Collection) takes readers on a journey through Maine and the four seasons she knows and loves. To round off the collection, the author includes symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.
  • Stevens is currently (2021) working on a second poetry collection. 

My 5-star review:

This is a beautifully illustrated children’s book about a sweet little caterpillar named Matilda. She embarks on her transformation to a lovely Monarch butterfly but focuses on one big wish hoping it will come true. During her journey, she finds encouragement from three new adorable animal friends. And they gladly share their wisdom which conveys a deeper message: to persevere, be patient, and never give up – fundamental lessons for all ages. Stevens also illustrated this delightful book, which adds an impressive layer to her talent and skill as an author. But reading about Matilda’s metamorphosis isn’t only for the youth; this wonderful and educational story will also be enjoyed by those who have been reading for decades and decades. I highly recommend Amazing Matilda, A Monarch’s Tale for all ages!

Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator —“A writer inspired by nature and human nature”

Thank you for stopping by and I encourage you to visit Bette’s blog and allow yourself to sink into her evocative writing. Perhaps you have young children or grandchildren who would enjoy reading Matilda’s tale. If not, as I mentioned above, Matilda’s charming little story offers big lessons even for adults.

~ Have a wonderful day, Lauren 💗

Book Reviews: Conflicted Hearts and Twenty Years After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye

D.G. Kaye’s Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7 

I am excited to introduce you to D.G. Kaye today, or better known as Debby. I have followed Debby’s blog for several years now and it has been a joy to not only read her amazing, witty, and honest writing, but to also get to know her as a new friend who has a big heart. She has written many books, so I pulled two out of the hat: Conflicted Hearts first, then Twenty Years After “I Do.”

My First 5-Star Review:

Conflicted Hearts is a compilation of personal essays from D.G. Kaye’s emotional experiences of growing up with her unloving and narcissistic mother. The author struggles with her obligation as a daughter, but also her responsibility to care for herself regarding her own healthy well-being. In each chapter as she opens yet another window giving us a glimpse into her extremely trying times, the emotions become palpable. Because I am a mother of two adult children whom I love to the moon and back, I often felt tears forming and my heart being tugged at in different directions. How a mother can abandon her own children is something I find difficult to understand. D.G. Kaye writes with emotion, vulnerability, and humor. She is not afraid to admit mistakes, but she will also gladly glow in triumph – moments when I felt like clapping, thrilled with the outcome and thrilled for her!

Unfortunately, she lost her childhood because of her mother’s constant absence in the household. Her mother would rather be out partying, seeking the attention of men by using her luminescent beauty, and by doting on her passion for gambling. With the author being the oldest of her siblings, she naturally slid into the role of “mother” which in turn, shaped her decision of possibly not wanting to have children in the future. Her parent’s relationship ran extremely hot and cold, but mostly hot when her mother kicked her father out repeatedly. She adored her father, so each time he left, fear crept into her very soul that she would never see him again.

The author writes with honesty and when she finds herself acknowledging enlightening realizations, she revels in her own personal growth. I read Conflicted Hearts not only as a memoir, but also as a compelling self-help book. And a difficult decision lies in waiting with each turn of the page exemplifying the author’s courage and strength. I am sure her struggles are felt by others so that her personal growth benefits those who live each day in similar circumstances.

This is the first book of D.G. Kaye’s that I have read and because her writing is natural, conversational, and engaging, I am excited to read more from her. This book definitely falls into the can’t put down category. If you enjoy reading memoirs and self-help books, I highly recommend Conflicted Hearts. You will find yourself on an emotional and inspirational wild ride that will both touch and tug at your heart. An excellent read!

My Second 5-Star Review:

D.G. Kaye’s memoir, Twenty Years After “I Dopiqued my interest for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been married for thirty-one years to a man who is not only my loving husband but who is my very best friend. I wanted to read what the author had to say on the subject, and she certainly inserted many pearls of wisdom of which I agreed with. Before I met my husband, I had dated a man twenty years older than me, so reading her perspective on the age difference grabbed my attention, as well. This was the second book that I have read from Debby, so I was already familiar with her beautiful, conversational writing.

Debby offers snippets of insight from her own experiences on how to keep a marriage happy and unbreakable. She adds how humor can lighten any heavy situation and intimately writes of how sex ultimately changes from dating to married life. Most importantly though, she conveys that love has no timeline. Couples should enjoy each moment together and unconditional love will carry them through the difficult times. I was moved by this lovely collection of stories from Debby’s marriage to Gordon, and how she met true love when she least expected. An enjoyable read and one I highly recommend!

Short bio:

Debby Gies is a Canadian memoir/nonfiction writer who writes under the pen name D.G. Kaye. She writes about real life experiences and matters of the heart sharing life lessons in hopes to empower others.

Social Links:

www.dgkayewriter.com

www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (Of course there’s a story to this name!)

www.facebook.com/dgkaye

www.linkedin.com/in/DGKaye7


I look forward to reading more books from Debby and I hope you will pay her blog a visit to learn more about this wonderful author and to sink into her inviting and conversational writing, as well.

Thanks for stopping by! Lauren 💓💓

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

Chords of Life by Kruti Mehta

Kruti book

I’m so happy for Kruti Mehta and the publication of her new book, Chords of Life (top right corner)…

Alex is everything for Tracy and without him she would be a living morgue. There are days in her life when Kia looks forward to killing her husband. Karma is after Jackson for his doings in the past. Life has taken a full circle and his past deeds are knocking at his doors. Jennifer has nothing left except the memories of her beautiful daughter Rain , whose death remains a tragedy forever. Chords of Life is a collection of strange, morbid, unusual tales of my mind. Our life is like Chords of a Guitar each filled with different emotions at every stage. We may not face the same level of harshness as others, but we do know the bitter truth about cruelty. Each story is crafted with a different emotion within itself.

So if you’re searching for that next compelling book to read in this New Year, here it is! I’ve added it to my collection and I hope you’ll do the same. 🙂

You can order a copy from her blog, http://10eveningflowers.wordpress.com, on the left sidebar widget. 

Congratulations, Kruti, and wishing you much success!