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! ❤️

“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.

Coffee in December…

It’s that time again when most of us wonder where the past year went and how fast it zipped by. In just a few weeks, we’ll be drinking champagne and kissing at midnight, ringing in a new year, 2023. Decades ago, these numbers sounded straight out of The Jetson’s! But before the bubbly and the kiss comes Christmas, a Christian holiday for those of you who celebrate the birth of Jesus. But another jolly soul arrives, too, Santa, so you know what we need to do…shop!!

And if you’re looking for a gift, specifically, a lovely book that can be read in one sitting or savored by reading one poem or story at a time, look no further, my book, More than Coffee, may just be the perfect choice!

To give you a little peek inside the pages, here are some wonderful reviews:

By Sally Cronin Delightful collection of prose and poetry reflecting on a life

This is a delightful collection of prose and poetry reflecting on a life tinged with sadness but also a great deal of love and humour. The author celebrates moments from her early life and marriage of over thirty years with stories that will entertain and also bring the reader’s own experiences to mind.

Sometimes it is the simplest things that evoke the warmest memories, such as a silver cutlery set, a toy frog called Sam, a yellowed kitchen chopper and the first time baking a traditional family birthday cake.

We are invited to concerts as a teenager overcomes self-doubt to solo in front of an audience of 2000 and fulfil a dream inspired by her idol Barbra Streisand. There are moments with spiders that might have you looking around your immediate surroundings, but you will also find yourself in some wonderful wilderness areas offering moments of reflection and a dip in a mountain pool.

Love is a central theme beginning with her mother and father’s love story that endured for nearly 70 years having begun in WWII with all its uncertainty and lengthy periods apart, and the author’s own fateful meeting with her husband, involving a kitchen appliance!

The loss of parents, even after a long and wonderful life, leaves a hole in our hearts. Their stories and poetry dedicated to them in this collection are heart-warming and reinforce the extent of their loving influence on the generations that followed.

The final part of the collection reflects on the changes that come when children leave the nest, and whilst this is obviously a time of sadness, there is also pride and delight as new lives are forged with future adventures to look forward to.

I enjoyed all the stories and poems in the collection and I am hard pushed to pick just one favourite but this one touched my heart.

Simple Existence

I stare at this page, milk white as the
blanketed ground in winter’s staging
where are the syllables?

I fear they have flown to faraway places,
across desert dunes and boundless oceans
and might not return so that I may tell him
(again) how irreplaceable he is.

Instead, I’ll touch his lips with mine
and steady myself in the arms of a man
who is satisfied with my simple existence.

I can highly recommend this collection to read in one sitting or to dip into when you are in need of gentle and uplifting moments.

By Jane SturgeonMore Than Coffee: So Much More Than a Memoir of Verse and Prose

I loved every word in this book. Scott’s style and loving expression took me into the heart of life and to what truly matters. Her thoughts of Wil, her father-in-law, are compassionate and delightful in equal measure. Scott’s love for her family and the life she and Matt have built for their children shine through. Belonging and Riding With The Wind are two of my favourite poems.

More Than Coffee is a delight from start to finish and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a dip into the magic of life.

By Robbie CheadleA bright ray of sunshine

This lovely book is a mix of a memoir about the author/poet’s life with some beautiful freestyle poems included after each prose section to enhance the emotion and moments shared. The memoirs are relatable and cover delightful memories of family brought back through inherited items and stories shared by family members as well as the author’s own life experiences including achievements, romance, parental love, and overcoming fears. The author’s personality and humour comes through strongly in her writing and poetry, as well as her joy and pleasure in the simple things in life.

My favourite poem in this collection and the one that summarised for me the spirit and essence of this book is Fulfilled.

Fulfilled

Let me drink from the gaze in your eyes
Eyes that have me wildly mesmerized
Mesmerized under their vivid piercing spell
Spell which only you many cast over me
Me, with a heart madly in love
Love, a whirlwind of euphoric emotions so true
True in not only our hearts, but in our minds
Minds, fully aware of their endless thoughts
Thoughts so amorous of us entwined

Now, if after reading these beautiful reviews, you find your interest is piqued, simply click on the Amazon link above, and Magic! Your copy (or copies) will be on its way! 🙂

So, I will end by saying that through the poems and stories in my book, I hope to inspire you to see the beauty around, to feel gratitude, to face challenges with verve, and to trek through that fear knowing you will find the light. I invite you to pour a cup of your favorite roast, or your preferred beverage, sink into your favorite chair, and enjoy the the rich taste while turning the pages. My wish is that you’ll find even a little nugget that resonates.

Thank you for reading, and I offer my utmost appreciation to you who have enjoyed my memories, and to those of you who have written reviews.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, MERRY CHRISTMAS,
AND HAPPY READING! ❤️🎄❤️

Touching, Funny, and Reflective…

I just found this latest, wonderful review for my book, More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose, and of course, I have to share! I’ve heard that book reviews are like hugs for indie authors, so hug away!! Trish’s review may be short, but it’s very sweet, packed with all good things to say!

MacTrish gives More than Coffee 5 stars:

Touching, funny, and reflective:

This volume is a delightful collection of observations about life and of the small, ordinary things viewed through fresh eyes. Some of the stories and poems made me chuckle, others were reflective and some were poignant and moving. This is one of those selections that is perfect for dipping into when the mood takes you. (If you’re an arachnophobe, you’ll enjoy Laughing Spiders!)

I am thrilled that another reader enjoyed my memories and the messages they conveyed. So, again, a Big Thanks to all of you who have bought a copy and indulged in a cup of coffee (or your favorite beverage) while dipping into my memories, some funny, and others reflective and moving like Trish mentioned).
And if you haven’t written a review, there is always time (but please, no pressure from me.) 🥰

One of the poems from my book:

Red Lipstick

With childlike fascination,
I leaned against the door frame
watching her apply a little
powder to her nose,
a touch of red to her lips.
No more, no less. She was flawless.
Then our eyes locked –
an unspoken connection.
Questions never-ending,
I gently tucked her wisdom
in a safe space where I could
draw from it easily.
I’d love to share tales
of life she’s missing.
Perhaps, again someday.

Extract from Laughing Spiders:

Mornings began to fuel unfamiliar anxiety as spider social calls manifested soon after the crack of dawn. The sun brightened the sky and another high school day was on the horizon. I grabbed a towel to dry off after showering when I felt something unnatural. Looking down, I watched in horror as a brown spider scuttled across my chest. I jumped, avoiding a nasty fall in the tub, and brushed the spider off not caring where it landed. I just wanted it off my skin.

These creepy-crawlies seemingly watched for me so they could plan their next prank. During another shower with my head full of shampoo suds, I spotted a black spider near my feet. The dance I did wasn’t a happy one. With a swish here and there, my foot managed to nudge the scary intruder down the drain with ripples of water, as I imagined it whirling into the dark depth of the water system. I quickly rinsed the suds out. Just as I felt calm run through my body, I looked down and saw that damn spider climbing out of the drain. This could only happen to me.

Extract from Ascent:

When we reached the top and I looked down that sleek granite dome, I was amazed at what I had achieved. Never underestimate our abilities. On the other side of the dome, Shealor Lake was in full view. We gave our legs a short rest, drank some water, then headed downhill with the enticing pull of the lake’s beauty. As we neared the bottom, my emotions ran wild. I was relieved that we finally made it, but a sudden wave of grief washed over me. We removed our packs and sat on a log for a time-out. I was so overwhelmed that the tears found freedom. I didn’t fight them. I cried for the loss of Dad. I cried for having completed this hike that I didn’t think I was capable of. I would’ve backed out graciously had I known the details.

After a few minutes, I composed myself and looked to the lake. The water, a jeweled phenomenon. It sparkled, inviting us for a swim. While we set up our back-country camp, the orange-hot sun blazed down on us as if we had drastically turned up the thermostat, so the cool lake water soothed our sun-kissed skin. The fact that we were all alone in this canyon full of forest and smooth granite was beyond welcoming. The tranquility offered me the chance to reminisce about Dad and my parents together. The solitude afforded a perfect destination to grieve, think, remember, and cry. Mourning the loss of one parent was difficult enough but losing both felt surreal – a new stage of life had begun.

If you’d like to purchase a copy, just click on “Buy on Amazon” below, and by the way, the holidays just happen to be around the corner in case you know of someone who may just want or need a gentle read. 💜


Thanks for stopping by, and whenever you do,
I hope you find something significant to take away. ❤️

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

“Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships” featuring Miriam Hurdle!

Dear Friends,

This is day 4 of the blog tour for Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships, a beautiful anthology compiled by Kaye Lynne Booth and Robbie Cheadle. The tour schedule is below…

Day 1: Kaye Lynne Booth at Writing to be Read started the tour with a guest post from contributing author Lauren Scott.

Day 2: D. Slayton Avery at ShiftnShake shared a guest post from blog series host, contributing author, and editor Robbie Cheadle.

Day 3: Miriam Hurdle at The Showers of Blessings hosted contributing author Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Day 4Lauren Scott at Bay Dreamer Writes is hosting contributing author Miriam Hurdle.

Day 5: Victoria Zigler at Zigler’s News will host contributing author M.J. Mallon and share a review by Victoria Zigler.

Day 6: The publisher, Kaye Lynne Booth, will be in the interview spotlight with James J. Cudney over at This Is My Truth Now.

Day 7: Robbie Cheadle at Robbie’s Inspiration will share a guest post from contributing author Colleen M. Chesebro.

Day 8: Kaye Lynne Booth at Writing to be Read will wrap things up with a guest post from contributing author Leon Stevens.

If you follow the tour and leave a comment at each stop, you will be entered in a random drawing for a chance to win a free digital copy of
**Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships**

Today I am thrilled to feature my guest, Miriam Hurdle, a lovely poet and blogger and a contributor in this anthology. And now, I invite Miriam to talk about her poetry…

Hi Lauren, thank you for hosting me today. I’m excited about the new release of Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships. It’s my privilege to be a contributing author.

There are six of my poems in this anthology collection:

Autumn Leaves

Baby’s First Steps

I Walked Barefoot

Kindness Repeats

Rainclouds

Snow Joy

April 28 is Pay It Forward Day. I want to discuss the poem related to doing a simple act of kindness to pay it forward.

Kindness Repeats

Life has ups and downs
Friends will stay around
While outlook bright on good days
Who knows what’s ahead? 
When you’re half dead
Promising scenes fade away

The kindness of heart
Brought you a fresh start
Real friends hard to be found
Only wisdom knows
What tomorrow holds
What goes around comes around

One’s fate made a turn
Stumbled, fell, and churned
Drowning into ocean’s deep
You’re right around
Sensed cries without sounds
Graciously kindness repeats

I wrote this poem with two incidents in mind.

During the recession in 2008, a friend and his subordinates lost their jobs because of the company’s downsizing. Ted was a kind person who was friendly and gentle with the guys he supervised. He kept in touch with those guys during this hard time. It was difficult to find a job during the recession. When one job was open, there would be hundreds of applicants. Ted was unemployed for many months. One day, he received a call from his former subordinate about a job opening and asked him to apply. He did and got the job. His subordinate became his boss.

Ted and I were in the same choir. He was excited to share the news with the choir members. I couldn’t help but think that Ted’s kindness toward the people working under him paid off. He received kindness in return.

We don’t always return the favor to the same person who was kind to us. But we can Pay It Forward.

On April 28, 2007, Blake Beattie started Pay It Forward Day. After beginning in Australia, the holiday now spreads love and kindness in over 85 countries. It’s a celebration of a small act of kindness that makes a big impact on the world.

In 2008, I was diagnosed with stage II melanoma cancer that progressed to stage IV. I was a recipient of ongoing love and kindness from people near and far during the entire year of treatment. I can’t return kindness to all these people. What I can do is continuously Pay It Forward to show kindness to myself and the surrounding people, no matter how small the kind act is.

Why is kindness important?

Most research on the science behind kindness has centered on oxytocin. Dr. Waguih William IsHak, a professor of psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai, said that a simple act of kindness can reward our bodies and minds with feel-good chemical substances. Sometimes called “the love hormone,” oxytocin plays a role in forming social bonds and trusting other people. It’s the hormone mothers produce when they breastfeed, cementing their bond with their babies. Acts of kindness can release hormones that contribute to your mood and overall wellbeing. However, the effect isn’t lasting. Therefore, acts of kindness have to be repeated.

I’m grateful for the kindness I received, and I want to keep my overall wellbeing. With these in mind, I practice Pay It Forward and repeat kindness.

About Miriam

Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.

Contact Miriam at –

Website/Blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Miriam-Hurdle-Author-100123351515424

To purchase your copy of Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships,

simply click on the link: https://books2read.com/u/3kP8aK

Christmas Trees and Memories!

This holiday season is different for my husband and I, a bit quieter around the house because we became empty nesters several months ago. And I admit that with Christmas just around the corner, the quiet is a bit thunderous. I remember past holidays when our son and daughter were little; we’d keep the magic going and would look forward to witnessing their wonder of the season each day up until the morning when we watched them with delight open their gifts. They knew that just the night before, Santa had come down the chimney with the hefty pack of presents on his back.

Holiday baking is a tradition that I carried into my family from memories of my sisters and I baking with Mom. She was beautiful and festive, wearing her Christmas apron as she taught us how to make sugar cookies and her German Christmas Stollen – a delicious recipe that I’ve made only once in my life but will attempt again when I have the required energy in both mind and body. The recipe is complicated, involving yeast and bread rising and everything that I know very little about, hence, the need to muster up that energy! Baking with my young children was a time when their excitement and giggles bounced off the walls as they helped make sugar cookies in different shapes: bells, boots, Christmas trees, angels, stockings, candy canes, holly leaves, and more. Licking the beaters was a must, and no one ever got sick. Their tiny little hands had so much fun with the cookie dough as if they were creating with playdough. Christmas carols played in the background adding merriment to the mix.

I must have inherited my love of dressing festively for the holidays because when our children were little, I loved painting on t-shirts and sweatshirts for family and friends. I was no artist, but my daughter and son were thrilled to wear their white “Merry Christmas” sweatshirts with candy canes and Santa’s “Ho, Ho, Ho!” The grandparents wore their Santa Claus sweatshirts with pride, and they looked cute! My husband and I still wear ours and that paint has never peeled off, even after thirty years! Having fun was the main objective!

Last year’s festivities

But this past Saturday a new tradition began when just the two of us drove to our most patronized grocery store to look for a live Christmas tree. He’s an Arborist and an avid tree hugger, so as long as the prepping of the tree – fitting it onto the stand and keeping it watered – doesn’t become physically challenging, a living tree will be our preference. For the first time, we brought home a beautiful Grand Fir. My husband prepped the tree outside, trimming the bottom branches, making sure the flush cut was level with the base of the tree, then drilling holes around the center hole to allow water to be soaked up. Inside the house, I rearranged furniture, vacuumed, and pulled the red festive tree skirt from the closet, prepping the perfect spot by the large window in the living room. When the tree was set up, I poured sugar water into the base and waited a half hour to ensure no water was seeping through.

Tony Bennett sang Christmas carols in the background while we strung the lights around the fragrant tree. As we picked up each ornament, precious memories flooded our minds. Most ornaments were handmade by our children as they were growing up, and many have photos of them from kindergarten, first, and second grades. Oh, the memories! Now our beautiful Grand Fir stands tall by the window adorned in red, green, and white lights, adding magic to the room. The tree topper is our very own precious angel that our daughter made when she was a little girl. She used a toilet paper roll. Hilarious, but clever, and so special that this angel will never be replaced.

I realized early that day, I didn’t feel the same excitement to put up the tree as I’ve felt in years past. But we had a great time, perusing the trees on the lot, then getting both tree and house ready. Feeling reminiscent of those years when our children were little invoked gratitude for the blessed Christmases we’ve had when we all lived together, or at least, when one child was home while the other was away at university. So, even though we missed the presence of our adult kids during this tradition, I’m grateful for my husband to share another holiday season with. Perspective is key: this is the next chapter for each of us, and it’s all good. Most importantly, we are healthy and safe.

Everyone has their own struggles and sorrow from various life events; some are just a matter of going along with the progression of natural changes like becoming empty nesters, and some events are so tragic that joy drifts far, far away. Hopefully, though, joy can be found wherever our hearts and minds may be this holiday season, even if only in tiny, fragile fragments.

❤️❤️❤️

And speaking of memories, if you’re looking for a holiday gift for family or friends, my memoir, More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose, is available on Amazon:

US Amazon:
https://tinyurl.com/5bffee3t

UK Amazon:
https://tinyurl.com/fhy4mtaf

Below is another beautiful 5-Star Review from my dear friend, Betty at https://raindancepoetry.wordpress.com:

“More than Coffee is a heartwarming collection of memories and anecdotes in which the author reflects on her early life, her marriage, her love for family and friends, and her appreciation for the great outdoors. In poetry and prose she writes poignantly (and often humorously) of love, loss, sadness and joy, and I found myself relating to each section. The overall feeling I had after reading More than Coffee was one of optimism and upliftment. A wonderful book!

I believe there is some meaningful discovery for each reader, or at least, this is my wish.

Sending you all hugs of joy during this holiday season.
Lauren ❤️🎄

Who’s That Indie Author?

Who’s That Indie Author? Lauren Scott

During the book promotion for More than Coffee, another wonderful friend, Barbara at Book Club Mom, invited me to participate in an interview. I was thrilled to have this opportunity. Thanks again, Barbara, and if any of you aren’t familiar with her blog, please pay her a visit. She shares great books to read, insightful book reviews, interviews like mine so we can learn more about other Indie Authors, and she’s also on YouTube. There is always something to take away when visiting her site https://bvitelli2002.wordpress.com/.

Author Name: Lauren Scott

Genre: Poetry, Memoir

Books: New Day, New Dreams (2013), Finding a Balance (2015), and new release this year: More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose

Bio: I live in California with my husband of 32 years, and we have two adult children. Through my experiences over three decades: raising a family, grieving through loss, finding joy in the smallest things, and the many backpacking and camping adventures, my writing takes a magical path of its own. I also love to read, and my bookcase is bursting at the seams!

What got you started as a writer? When I was a teenager, I wrote poetry about the boys I had crushes on. This lighthearted inspiration was only the beginning because I continued to put thoughts to paper throughout my life, but I grew more passionate within the last decade. Now I write each day; it’s a natural part of my routine, either creating poems, drafting a short memoir, or dabbling in fiction.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? My love for writing turned into a passion when my daughter was diagnosed with a rare disease that would necessitate a future transplant. It isn’t fair for children to suffer, and as her mother, this news took processing that prompted me to write. My hurting poured out through words into poems and stories, some personal, some shared.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? I haven’t participated in NaNoWriMo, but it sounds like a wonderful organization. Maybe someday.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? Do your research, initiate dialogue with authors who have self-published. Persevere, because if publishing your book means that much to you, you’ll do the work to achieve your goal.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? What tugged at my heart was not being able to see my daughter and son-in-law who live in Tennessee. Regarding writing, inspiration flowed at lightning speed. The last year and a half have been a challenge, but I am grateful for the abundance of creativity.

What are you reading right now? Dead of Winter, Journey 5, by Teagan Riordain Geneviene. This book is part of a series of short novellas and Journey 9 is her latest release. It has been an exciting adventure diving into this fantasy tale.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? Laugh!

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? I can’t say that I have. I enjoy sitting in the comfort of my living room or on the patio in the company of nature.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? From my childhood, I have memories of a favorite paperback slipping out of my hands into our aquamarine kidney-shaped pool.

Could you live in a tiny house? No, but my husband and I live in a modest 1200 square foot home, a cozy dwelling, where we raised our two children. Even though we are new empty nesters, our 75-lb lab, Copper, still happily trots around the house.

What are the small things that make you happy? Baking. Flowers in bloom. Chocolate. Music. Carrot cake. A walk around the neighborhood. Backpacking. Freshwater lakes. Ping pong. Watching rom-coms or compelling thrillers. Reading. Family and writing are the Big things in life.

Website and social media links:
baydreamerwrites.com
Lauren Scott Amazon Author page

You can visit the original post here: https://bvitelli2002.wordpress.com/2021/10/01/whos-that-indie-author-lauren-scott/


Are you an indie or self-published author?  Do you want to build your author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

TO PURCHASE A COPY OF MORE THAN COFFEE:

US Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/5bffee3t

UK Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/fhy4mtaf

I want to offer a Big Thank you to those who have already purchased my book, to those who are thinking about it, and to all who stop by for a visit. I appreciate all forms of support!
~Lauren 🍁🧡🍂

Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Lauren Scott – #NewRelease – More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose

I am honored to be featured on Debby’s blog today to spotlight More than Coffee. Here’s a little about Debby, “I am a nonfiction memoir writer who writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. My intent is to inspire others by sharing my stories about events I encountered, and the lessons that come along with them.If you haven’t met Debby, I encourage you to pay her a visit. She writes with authenticity, honesty, and humor. https://dgkayewriter.com/

Welcome to my Q & A for September. Today I’m thrilled to be featuring my friend and author, Lauren Scott and her beautiful new book – More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose. Lauren writes beautiful poetry and short story memoirs. I’ve been following her blog for a few years now and as Lauren has recently released her newest book, she’s on blog tour now, so I thought I’d jump in on her booklaunch tour with doing a little Q & A here with her. Enjoy!

Lauren Scott

About Lauren:

Lauren has authored two collections of poetry: New Day, New Dreams (2013) and Finding a Balance (2015). In the last couple of years, she began exploring memories from her past, penning them into short memoirs. She lives in Northern California with her husband, Matthew, and their lovable canine, Copper; they have two adult children. Family has been an aspect of life she has always held dear. From her experiences over three decades: raising a family, grieving through loss, finding joy in the smallest things, and the many backpacking and camping adventures, her writing takes a magical path of its own.

The marvelous wild world that surrounds her: the smell of the woods, the sound of a babbling brook, and the chorus of birds never disappoint in providing inspiration. Recent backpacking trips with Matthew along the California coast and Sierra Nevada have stirred up thoughts to write 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 is marveled at how the world is interconnected and that every living thing matters. She is a poet, short memoir writer, and nature lover who 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.

Blurb:

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.

Welcome

Let’s get into a little Q & A and get to know more about Lauren!

Where do your book ideas grow from?

Inspiration is derived from a simple walk around the neighborhood with my dog: flowers blooming in springtime, bees buzzing in the distance, clouds forming art in the sky, or a subtle touch of a breeze. Family is most important to me, so I write about the love of my life, my husband of 32 years, who I met in a comical manner. My parents who have since passed away have been the fodder for poetry and short memoirs – losing one parent is difficult enough, but both is beyond surreal. It’s like the family foundation slipped into a sink hole. I find inspiration from my son and daughter who have turned out to be compassionate, amazing adults, and how it took some getting used to when my husband and I became empty nesters.

I write about loss and grief – the importance of letting those tears flow – but also the necessity of occasionally giving freedom to your silly self. Camping and backpacking have played an integral part of our life, so living in the wilderness near a sparkling freshwater lake encourages a plethora of thoughts eager to be written. Hiking five miles further up the mountain to a lake filled with lily pads is like entering a fairyland inspiring a new level of ideas for my muse.

When work on my memoir began, my mind transported to the past: recalling formative childhood years, finding forever love, becoming a mother, and taking on challenges that I never would have attempted before. I strive to convey the value of slowing down and reveling in surrounding beauty, feeling gratitude, meeting a challenge head-on, and living in the here and now. We’re only gifted one ride around the sun, so why not make it the best possible ride?!

DG: Even your response here is beautiful prose Lauren. Yes, writing about truth in life is all about the moments we take in and how we interpret them. 🙂

What are your writing goals for this year?

I had set a writing goal to publish my memoir, More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose which was released in early September. What a feeling of accomplishment, especially because my first two books were collections of poetry. More than Coffee speaks of memories from the past written in freeform poetry and in short memoirs. The process took longer than I anticipated, and I thought the editing would never end. Eventually, the point of confidence that every comma and verb was written correctly was finally achieved. I am thrilled to check that box off, but in the process, I was able to relive many wonderful moments from my childhood into my adulting. When loved ones have passed on, it is the gathering of fond memories that sustain us and bring them to life.

DG: I’m glad you accomplished what you set out to do Lauren. I know how life can get in the way of our good intentions. Writing memoir is certainly reliving the moments. 🙂

Would you like to share with us what upcoming projects and/or ideas for books you’re working on?

As I inched closer to the finish line with More than Coffee, the wheels in my mind started turning again, and I wondered what will come next? I have written more than a dozen new poems I would love to see in print, but those may have to wait. I recently pulled a children’s book idea from my archived computer files. This book or a possible series commenced over two decades ago. And then life happened, raising children took precedence, and that idea became complacent in the archives. I feel now is the right time to breathe some life into this project. However, I don’t know the first thing about writing a children’s book. For now, though, I’m enjoying the ride on Cloud 9 from the release of my new book and the positive feedback I’ve received, along with the generous support from wonderful blogging friends. Once this ride slows down, the children’s book research will begin, and I’ll see where it takes me.

DG: That sounds fantastic Lauren. I could definitely see you as a children’s writer. That will be a wonderful project to dive into no doubt!

Do you have any advice you can share for new writers?

My advice is to simply write! Don’t think too hard! Years ago, I allowed intimidation to prevent me from pursuing my writing passion – intimidation from not holding that BA or MFA in Creative Writing. However, several years ago, I attended English classes required for an associate degree at our local community college (baby steps to a bachelor’s degree), and I’m proud to say that I aced those classes. I loved the writing and the experience. But what halted me on that path to a two-year degree was the requirement to take other classes that might not interest me, then to spend time doing that homework. Instead, my son nudged me into starting a blog. I slowly began to share my writing, feeling a little timid in the beginning. At the same time, I followed many talented authors. Before I knew it, WordPress transformed into an online classroom. I learned about various formats of poetry. I read compelling fiction with authentic dialogue. I laughed and let the tears fall when reading memoirs. I delighted in immersing myself into charming children’s books.

Thus, I made another choice, pouring my heart and soul into writing for my blog, a wonderful platform to engage with other like-minded bloggers. Regardless of age, learning is infinite, as well as growing in one’s craft. Maybe I’ll step foot on a college campus again? Whether that happens or not, I’ll continue to read, letting myself be drawn into fantastic tales of fantasy, mystery, and romance. I’ll feel the myriad of emotions when reading beautiful poetry, gaining more knowledge along the journey. And when inspiration moves me, I will write. So, follow your writing passion regardless of credentials or age.

DG: I’d say that is the best advice for new writers afraid to take the plunge. Oh yes, it can be so intimidating when we first begin. But the blog gives us our own platform to experiment with our writing and a great audience to inspire us to keep writing. It’s all about community for us writers. 🙂

Books by Lauren Scott

Lauren Shares an Excerpt from her story – Ascent

When we reached the top and I looked down that sleek granite dome, I was amazed at what I had achieved. Never underestimate our abilities. On the other side of the dome, Shealor Lake was in full view. We gave our legs a short rest, drank some water, then headed downhill with the enticing pull of the lake’s beauty. As we neared the bottom, my emotions ran wild. I was relieved that we finally made it, but a sudden wave of grief washed over me. We removed our packs and sat on a log for a time-out. I was so overwhelmed that the tears found freedom. I didn’t fight them. I cried for the loss of Dad. I cried for having completed this hike that I didn’t think I was capable of. I would’ve backed out graciously had I known the details.

After a few minutes, I composed myself and looked to the lake. The water, a jeweled phenomenon. It sparkled, inviting us for a swim. While we set up our back-country camp, the orange-hot sun blazed down on us as if we had drastically turned up the thermostat, so the cool lake water soothed our sun-kissed skin. The fact that we were all alone in this canyon full of forest and smooth granite was beyond welcoming. The tranquility offered me the chance to reminisce about Dad and my parents together. The solitude afforded a perfect destination to grieve, think, remember, and cry. Mourning the loss of one parent was difficult enough but losing both felt surreal – a new stage of life had begun.

I hope you all enjoyed getting to know a bit about Lauren, her writing and her new book. Visit Lauren at her blog and at her Amazon author page to discover some of her other books.

Visit Lauren:

BLOG: https://baydreamerwrites.com/

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B08NCRH4MK

©DGKaye2021

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this wonderful interview with my lovely friend, Debby!

Lauren ❤️❤️

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 ❤️❤️❤️

Jane invites me over to promote More than Coffee

As most of you know from my post on Friday, September 17th, I have released my new book, More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose. So last week, I had the privilege of being featured on several friends’ blogs. Jane Sturgeon was the first to invite me over on Tuesday. She has been a lovely friend for years now, so I invite you to check out her original post.

I’m not able to reblog, so a little farther down the screen is the link to her post.

But first let me introduce you to Jane by including an excerpt from her blog:

“Our modern society bombards us with images and impressions that things happen instantly and this is a constant source of stress for many. However, as all gardeners know, seeds need to be planted in fertile soil and nurtured with patience, love and care. Courage is sometimes needed to re-arrange your life plants, even removing some completely. Life is about learning which plants suit and experimenting on the creation of a life garden that nourishes you.  There is no right or wrong, as you are an individual and have needs that are yours and yours alone. 

My hope is to help you discover your inner gifts and the plants that nurture in your life garden through my series of courses and books.

On my blog, I craft stories and share thoughts, life perspectives, creativity, interviews with fellow authors and book reviews.

It is all about the joy of exploring, discovering, learning new things and working with love to support you to live the life you choose.”

BOOK BLURB:

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.

An excerpt from my book:

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 would like to purchase a copy of More than Coffee, the links are below, or you can click on the sidebar image of my book.

US: Amazon: More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose.

UK: Amazon: More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose.

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you take the time to visit Jane’s post and her lovely blog. And thank you again, Jane, for your loving generosity!

Lauren ❤️❤️❤️