BOOK REVIEW for John Howell: Eternal Road – The Final Stop


I was thrilled to be a part of John’s blog tour in helping him promote his new book which is now a new favorite in my home library. So, today I introduce John Howell again and I’m sharing my review of Eternal Road – The Final Stop.

My 5-star review on Amazon:

What a thrilling ride Eternal Road – The Final Stop turned out to be! We are introduced to James who is on a road trip in his classic 1956 Oldsmobile, but we are shocked when he ends up dying in a tragic car accident. And yet, we still find him driving his Oldsmobile when he decides to give a hitchhiker a ride, who surprisingly, happens to be his childhood sweetheart Sam. She is now an adult because seventeen years have flown by since they have seen each other. And when Sam breaks the surreal news to James that they have both passed on to eternal life, his head spins with questions that cannot be answered just yet. So, the two begin a compelling journey together in the afterlife. The challenges and twists and turns they encounter are spellbinding. John inserts time-travel which takes the reader to interesting historical time periods where Sam and James have critical decisions to make. Interlaced in the protagonists’ story is just about every genre and topic you can imagine: adventure, old west, suspense, romance, artificial intelligence, including visits from the devil, which I’ll admit, were a bit unsettling but had me on the edge of my seat.

Throughout their story, the more Sam and James learn about each other, the more the reader assumes a certain outcome. And yet, the events in their journey lead to a surprising ending. Their unfolding relationship tugs at the heart and settling family matters brought me to tears more than once. Eternal Road keeps the reader engaged to the very last sentence. This is a novel that simply cannot be put down! I was captivated from the very beginning to the point of wanting to skip work just so I could cozy up at home and read more about James and Sam! If you are up for a road trip in a 1956 classic Oldsmobile, I highly suggest you hop in and begin turning the pages!

Here are the universal links:

Kindle Universal link  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Paper universal link mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

If you’d like to contact John…

Blog Fiction Favoriteshttp://johnwhowell.com/

Facebookhttps://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 has a quick wit, a knack for clever dialogue, and an amazing talent for writing compelling fiction. So, I hope you’ll pay him a visit and don’t forget the universal links above for a copy of his book.


Thanks for stopping by! Lauren
💓

After All This Time…

Dear Friends,

My blog sat alone for almost a year and a half, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Baydreamer and I had been forgotten. At the end of 2018, I posted about the success of a medical procedure, and then I fell off the blog for over a year? Since then my health has been back to normal, but soon after, I felt the need to disengage from technology. Now, I’m drawn to blogging again because with physical distancing, the connections that blogging offers are welcomed. As to writing, I drifted from poetry; instead, I have been writing personal essays and trying my hand at fiction, which has been challenging but rewarding. Occasionally, though, a poem begins to form.

How surreal I return in uncertain times, living in a pandemic world. I realize when the sun shines and the sky brightens to a beautiful cerulean blue, my attitude shifts to positive thoughts. When I stroll around our backyard, enjoying all the spring blooms, I wonder if the flowers have the slightest hunch of what Covid-19 is and its impact on human society. Probably not, which is why they bloom in spite of the bleakness all around the globe.

Don’t these flowers radiate joy? How can the same elation flood through our veins despite hearing the grim accounts of this virus? Answers vary, but two thoughts come to mind: Faith and Hope. Whatever you believe in and no matter how far you need to stretch to grasp even a fraction of Hope, without these, we can easily become defeated and remain in that gloomy headspace. It seems taking one day at a time is applicable once again.

Even while practicing physical distancing, there is some good that comes to light: I have seen more smiles on the street while walking our chocolate lab mix, Copper. Not to mention, the neighborhood has never been so joyfully packed with people of all ages out for a walk. This truly is a welcoming site. Stories of people helping each other are abundant – offering to grocery shop for a neighbor or reaching out to those who are lonely where isolation is more challenging. These simple gestures are a means to stay sane in the midst of this insane scenario. Acts of kindness make us feel good and they afford a sense of purpose. At 8 pm each night in our community, everyone howls in gratitude for the heroes working in essential jobs risking their lives for us. My family participates in this gesture of appreciation, and Copper sings his part in the chorus, too.

However, five weeks into sheltering-in-place does not advise complacency. It’s not over until it’s over. We still need to be responsible in taking precautions to help mitigate the spreading of the virus. We wash our hands a million times a day, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes stay within reach, and we wear masks and gloves, not just to protect ourselves but to protect each other. Those who have lost loved ones to the virus remain in our hearts. This health crisis is serious and if any doubts arise, simply turn on the news. There is no exemption card. The effects from Covid-19 are devastating, overwhelming, and heartbreaking.

But while staying at home, the time is at hand to find beauty in each day: an opportunity to complete unfinished projects, spend quality time with family, get exercise, pick up a good book, put thoughts to paper, or step outside where flora and fauna are abundant. I revel in the gorgeous spring blooms where hope blossoms. They provide a sense of normalcy in these most abnormal circumstances. My family and friends are doing well and we are beyond grateful. And after all this time, thank you so much for stopping by, but mostly, I hope you’ll stay safe and healthy. 

For those of you who are new to my site or who haven’t visited my other pages, I encourage you to visit my “About Me” page and sign my “Guestbook.” 

In Love and Friendship,

Lauren

 

Lauren Scott (c) 2020

 

 

 

Most People

Dear Friends,

There’s been a lot going on, which has taken me away from blogging. So, I apologize for missing your wonderful posts, but I hope to start reading again soon. In the meantime, I’m sharing a song that struck a chord with me. Luke Bryan is one of our favorite country music singers, and if you like country music, then you’ll know who he is. If you’re not a fan of this genre, then I invite you to listen to the words because they truly say it all. With all the hate and violence, Luke sings, “Most people are good.” This song encourages us to still believe in humanity and not focus 100% on what the media shows us.

With continued heartbreak in the world and with our daily doses of stress of various types, I thought this song would be a soothing addition to your day. It might also change your outlook if you’re struggling to find the good. I hope you enjoy it! Lauren ❤🎵🎶

Celebrating 8 years with WordPress!🎉

Image result for tea and blogging imagesWordPress tells me that it’s been 8 years since I embarked on this blogging journey. As most of you know, I created this blog around my 50th birthday after encouragement from my son (then 15 years old). Becoming a blogger never entered my mind, so it was similar to taking a step into a whole new world.

Let me tell you that it’s been such a wonderful experience, and although it’s been 8 years since inception, I didn’t become truly active until the following year. But who’s counting, right? This virtual adventure has been a “cup runneth over” experience between meeting people from all over the world, making new lovely friends, exploring art in every form, learning new styles of poetry, having the ability to share my writing, and then, of course, to receive the abundance of support throughout the years.

So, will you celebrate with me? I’d love it if you would because the more, the merrier!

And below I’m including a poem I wrote a few years back about this amazing experience…

Connections

I pondered long and hard for the answer
wondering, wavering of emotions inside
How relative time has been in this journey
this crazy, happy, emotional ride

The voices unheard, yet heard of so clearly
in universal languages for all to hear
The faces unseen, yet seen in tiny glimpses
of those who opened their windows for air

How thoughtful the praise each time I read
How warm my hopeful heart became
How humble it felt from deep within
How grateful my soul will surely remain

Lauren Scott 2015

SO HERE’S A BIG THANKS TO YOU ALL FOR YOUR LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, SUPPORT, AND ENCOURAGEMENT OVER THE YEARS!

Image result for thank you

And the journey continues…

Love, Lauren ❤❤❤
Image credit: Google

 

A Friday Hello!

Hi All! We’re back in civilization, and I’m in the process of organizing our photos. I’ll share a few once I’m done. The lake was beautiful beyond imagination, and the relaxation was a wonderful change. As much as technology is appealing, to be unplugged is a treasure!

For today, I thought of sharing some unusual flowers and bushes from our yard. #1 photo is of our first sunflower bloom, a red sunflower. Have you seen one of these before? #2 is our Abutilon bush with its orange/yellow blossoms, which is dearly loved by hummingbirds. We sit at our table on the patio and listen for their arrival, then watch them joyfully drink. #3 is our Butterfly bush showing off its gorgeous purple flowers, which yes, attracts butterflies. I have yet to catch a hummingbird or butterfly in a photo, though. Hopefully, someday soon. And lastly, here are some quotes from John Muir to take you into the weekend:

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” 

“The world’s big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”

“The sun shines not on us but in us.” 

 

first sunflower bloomabutilon bushbutterfly bush

I hope you’ve all been well. Doing some camping clean-up is on the weekend agenda, along with reading some blogs. 🙂

Happy Friday! ❤🌼🌻

Just some fun randomness!

First of all, our little finch family has flown for good.  It wasn’t long after the babies had hatched that the whole family had soon left. In our minds, it happened so fast, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to say good-bye. Well, it was fun watching the process – first time for everything, and now that Mr. & Mrs. Finch know our house is a safe haven, they just might return if they decide to grow their family. 🙂

Secondly, my husband and I are leaving this weekend for a camping adventure. It’ll be fun to get away, to immerse in some relaxation, hiking, and swimming. We both love time spent in the mountains, among the freshwater lakes and majestic pines. There’s just something special about that mountain air! Needless to say, I won’t be blogging, but I’ll return later next week. And for fun, I’m sharing some photos that may bring a smile…

copper playing with his bone
Copper’s having fun, but who’s winning?
sky
What a beautiful, fluffy, summer sky!
IMG_3610
Finally, a sunflower bud, so we’re still eager for the blooms.
deer

On a walk with Copper, look who we saw prancing!
IMG_3617
And these flowers popped out, too. Just lovely and friendly,
don’t you think?

 I plan to do some blog-reading until we leave; otherwiseI’ll see you when I return to city life and technology. Until then, take care and stay safe. Lauren 🌼❤🌻

All Abloom

Dear Friends,

I thought I’d share more color from our yard, but the last one is of
Copper from Saturday for his annual doctor’s appointment. He’s 
always so good, and they love him, not to mention, the cute factor he
adds to this collection. 🙂 The first photo 
are flowers given to me from
a friend when we met for lunch on Friday, a beautiful 
surprise. Anyway,
I’ve included more wonderful quotes. Can 
you choose a favorite?

“Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
~ Hans Christian Anderson

“Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things
towards you.”
~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

“Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love, and fearlessness. 
If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.”
~ Stevie Wonder

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.”
~ Gerard De Nerval

“Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.”
~ John Lennon

I hope you enjoyed this colorful post and the beautiful quotes, and I
wish you all a wonderful day and week ahead! 

~ Lauren ❤🌼🌻🌷🌹😊

 

Smorgasbord of Fun

blogger-recognition-award-logo-453942717-1521086477961-1

Two lovely friends recently nominated me for awards and a quote challenge. Even though I haven’t
participated in awards for years, I feel compelled to graciously accept them both. However, instead of nominating individuals, I’m leaving it up to anyone who wants to follow through. It’s too hard to choose, anyway, because you’re all deserving!

Part 1 – I was nominated by Sarah at secretartexpedition.wordpress.com for the Blogger Recognition Award. Thank you so much, Sarah, for thinking of me and for the beautiful words you wrote about my blog, too. In accepting this award, we need to write a brief story of how our blog was started. So, here goes…

“When I turned fifty and since I love to write poetry, my son suggested that I start a poetry blog. I had never blogged before and really only heard about the world of blogging after watching the movie, “Julie and Julia” about a woman (superbly played by Amy Adams) who sets a deadline of one year to prepare all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Meryl Streep played the role of Julia exquisitely. As Julie cooked throughout that year, she also blogged about her experiences, some good, some stressful. Not only was it a great movie, but I was intrigued. 

Soon after, I took my son’s suggestion, and that was in 2011! Throughout the years, it’s been an enlightening journey of making amazing friends, as well as, a growing experience in writing.”

In accepting this award, we’re also supposed to give advice to new bloggers, so here is mine:
“Think of something you’re truly passionate about, then embed that passion into your blog posts. Don’t worry about stats – just have fun, then see what follows.”

Here are the Rules for the Blogger Recognition nominees:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide links to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Attach the award to your post.
  4. Write a brief story of how your blog started.
  5. Give a piece of advice to new bloggers.
  6. Select the other 15 blogs you want to give the award to.
  7. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them.
  8. Be inspired to live your best life every day.

 

 

growingselfbloggerawardimg_7849-e1495735162603Sarah also nominated me for the Growing Self Blogger Award. 

This award has been created by Roda from over at Growing Self and you can read in her own words what it is about:

“The Growing Self Blogger Award has been created to acknowledge and celebrate amazing individuals, in the blogging community, who are persevering through life’s challenges not only to GROW as individuals, but to reach out and help others GROW as well.”

Thanks again, Sarah! I’m honored on both counts!

And here are the rules to this award:

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
2. List the rules.
3. Thank the individual who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
4. Describe the award and mention the creator: Roda _ Growingself.blog.
5. Nominate up to 5 blogs. Remember, the purpose of this award is to specifically    celebrate those individuals who have made a difference in your life or the lives of others.
6. Give at least 1 reason why you nominated each individual.
7. Notify your nominees of the award.

I want to finish this part by saying that if you haven’t visited Sarah’s blog yet, please do so. She is the most amazing painter, and each time I pop on over, I am in awe of her talent. Below is her recent painting of Franklin – watercolor on paper, April 2018. Isn’t he absolutely adorable? And Franklin is just one example of Sarah’s ability to beautifully portray nature with the means of a skilled artist.

duckling

Part 2 –  I was nominated by Annika at annikaperry.com to participate in The 3 Day Quote Challenge. I’ve always loved quotes and their ability to personally resonate for some reason or another.

For the next three days, I will be posting a quote and explaining why it’s made an impression on me, though life probably won’t allow me to do posts three consecutive days in a row. So, rules are meant to be broken! 🙂

To the challenge…The rules are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post a quote on 3 consecutive days.
  • Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  • Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

Thanks so much to Annika for this nomination! She is an amazing fiction writer, who can tell stories that evoke every little emotion inside of you. Her debut book, “The Storyteller Speaks” read more like a #1 on the bestseller list. It was a page-turner and definitely a book that can’t be put down. Please pay Annika a visit and while you’re there, you can purchase a copy of her book simply by clicking on the book image on her sidebar. It’s as easy as that! 
TSS_Kindl_72dpi

Now for my quote. Funny thing is I heard “Have it All” by Jason Mraz today for the first time and absolutely loved it. What first came to mind after listening to both words and music was simply happiness! Happy, Happy, Happy! After watching the video, you can’t help but feel good. So, instead of sharing a quote, I’m going to share the first part of this song, which is more like a wish for you…

“May you have auspiciousness and causes of success
May you have the confidence to always do your best
May it take no effort in you being generous
Sharing what you can, nothing more, nothing less
May you know the meaning of the word happiness
May you always lead from the beating in your chest
May you be treated like an esteemed guest
May you get to rest, may you catch your breath

And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow

I want you to have it all (have it all)

And now you have reached the end, but not without the video link so you can get yourself some happiness, too:  https://youtu.be/BFkTu8Y1KLs.

Please note: I was able to link the video, but for some unknown reason, I was unable to link Sarah and Annika’s blogs, but you can copy and paste. They’re in red font so not to miss them.

I hope you enjoyed this post, in spite of its lengthiness, and found some little tidbit that brightens your day….because “I want you to have it all!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be My Guest

thank you in the sandDear Family and Friends,

Today’s post is primarily to thank you all for your support and encouragement throughout the years. I believe 2018 will mark my 7th year of blogging. Many of you have been with me since day one, so your endless support and friendship is invaluable to me. To those of you who are new to Baydreamer, I appreciate your interest and time taken to visit, as well, and hope you’ll find something special to draw you back now and then. 

With this being said, I invite All of You to visit my Guestbook (see Guestbook tab). If you have the time, I’d love to hear from you, also. Even if you’ve visited before, “liked” or written me a note, now is as good as time as any to write again. Years have passed, bloggers and blogs have endured changes over time. So, you might have something new to say. 

Anyway, Thanks Again, and I’m ending with some beautiful wisdom…

best things

Love, Lauren ❤❤❤

(Photos courtesy of Google)

The Season’s Spirit

Blue-Christmas-Ornament-Backgound-Vector-Graphic

Guilt overshadows the season’s joy
when others’ loss becomes prevalent
They wish for a miracle of healing
their spirits hang on a thread so delicate

When will the blood stop shedding?
What will keep mouths from starving?
Do you hear it where you are?
The noise of despair is jarring

Is it so simple to say a prayer
for their anguish to be calmed
for love to hug their weary souls
for all to feel a connected bond?

~Lauren Scott © 2017
Photo: Google

This season of Magic, Miracles, and Faith isn’t joyous for everyone; for many it’s a Blue Christmas. So, may the Spirit find itself embracing all people, but especially those who are dealing with stress or depression from tragedy, and may Peace weave its way into their hearts, minds, and lives. Let us remember the Vision of “Goodwill to All Men.”

I’ll be away from blogging through the holiday weekend, so I wish you all a Christmas filled with an abundance of Love, Joy, and Peace. And a Big “Thank You” to all of you – both old and new friends – for your continued support here on WP.
~With Love, Lauren 💝