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

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

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

‘It’s about those quiet, nostalgic moments sitting on a smooth slab of granite, captivated by the sights and sounds of wilderness surroundings.’

The book begins with her first ever hike in her fifties and in ‘Silver Heirlooms’ she describes setting out her mother’s silverware which brings moving reflections on how this previously normal household cutlery is now filled with nostalgic significance and poignancy as her grief over the loss of her parents eases to help her move forward.

The power of nature is captured throughout and it is a privilege to join her on the trail, pausing to appreciate that ‘listening to the whispers/among the trees/our time here/is a gift.’ Just as Lauren Scott feels that the ‘tranquility embraces’ so the reader is enveloped in a heartwarming embrace.

The book fulfils the promise of being a ‘snapshot of memories’ and one of my favourites could easily be turned into a novel, I feel. ‘Ninety-seven candles’ is a beautifully penned piece about her father-in-law Wil and his extraordinary life. During his nigh hundred years of life, Wil has twice been joyously married yet endured two heartbreaking losses. However, his positive attitude and gentle humour still shine through.

A humour shared by her father, who when asked the secret to reaching his nineties, declared with aplomb, ‘the olive in the martini’.

Through her gifted writing, Lauren captures the fun first meeting with her husband; who knew selling a fridge could be so life-changing! On their first date, it was ‘as though we’ve danced together a million times before’. Lauren has a gift for seeing beyond the ordinary and in ‘Cake’ she weaves in descriptions of her bridal shower, her parents and children – the universal force of love and life is re-affirmed.

Since singing is part of Lauren’s being it is perhaps not surprising that the powerful and intense poem ‘Belonging’ is a love song to her husband and soulmate, Matt.

Do you trust me? Will you
take my hand and let me
lead the way to a place
transcending the boundaries
of our reality? Let us get
lost in the tranquility –
dancing to the majesty of
the surroundings, feeling the
rhythm vibrate through our
bones. For as long as our
hearts desire, this is our
destination. For time is
but a memory. Its existence
leaves no trace on the path
where we tread. There is
only you, me, and the
intensity of our belonging
to each other.

‘The Phone Call’ especially resonated with me as a recent ‘empty-nester’; I related to the gems of long chats with children moved away, the love and pride as they make their way into the world, but the pain too. As Lauren’s son is soon to embark upon his path across the country he tries to reassure his parents and show them how this is a positive experience for them – a comment that had me laughing out loud and so typical! ‘Mom and Dad can reap the benefits of having the house to themselves.’

In ‘More than Coffee’ Lauren realises her dream to be ‘the narrator of my own stories’ and it is with gratitude, joy and chuckling that I could sit down, with a cuppa, and join in this wonderful, uplifting and absorbing collection; peace settling upon me. I only hope I will learn to collect my memories with equal clarity, wisdom and warmth, to reach a deeper understanding of life and its joys and tragedies. ‘More than Coffee’ is a true tonic for the soul and I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Publication Date: 21st September 2021


Amazon UK: Kindle £ 3.32 Paperback £ 6.88

Amazon US: Kindle $ 4.99 Paperback $ 2.34


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

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

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

Finally, Lauren Scott shares her beautiful poetry, vignettes on life, and fiction short stories on her engaging blog Baydreamer ~ a thread of words from every stitch of life ~. Enjoy meeting her there and join Lauren for a cup of virtual coffee and chat.


  1. Dear Annika
    thanks a lot for your review. We never heard of this book before. It sounds interesting although we don’t like the mixture of prose and lyrics. We usually don’t read lyrics, we are novel-readers.
    Wishing you all the best
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. Klausbernd, it is unusual to have a mix of prose and poetry – although I just did just that! – and of course it is a matter of preferance if one enjoys one more than other. In my opinion Lauren achieves a beautiful balance of both – all heartfelt and thought-provoking pieces. Thank you so much for reading my post and your comment. Hope Spring is finding its way to you all in North Norfolk!

  2. annika, great review of Lauren’s book and introduction to her.
    She sounds like a talented writer and with all of that life seasoning – it is no surprise that her writing covers so many topics – like nature, love, family, and more than coffee (which is a great title for a book)

    1. Yvette, isn’t the title an inspired one?! 😀 And the cover is so inviting and one just wants to sit down and join in absorbing the views, have a chat. Lauren is a gifted writer of all genres and it’s been a joy to read and review this book. So glad you enjoyed my post. Hope you’re keeping well and wishing you a lovely weekend, my friend! Xx

      1. Hi Annika, even the way you wrote the comment it makes me excited to read this book (and I am planning on doing my own review either the end of this month or early March)
        and I like how you shared about the empty nest – I share that with you both as well

        1. Hi Yvette, thanks for taking the time to read Annika’s amazing review and for your beautiful words. And I’m thrilled to know you want to read my book! Thank you also in advance for considering to write a review.
          Annika, the cover was taken on one of our backpacking adventures to Spider Lake (funny, isn’t it, since I have arachnophobia!) about 7600 elevation in the Sierra. And miraculously, I didn’t see one spider! Yay! Anyway, you would’ve love it, so beautiful with the trees and granite all around, and the lake was absolutely pristine dotted with lily pads. Anyway, I’m happy you found the cover inviting. And I wish you both a wonderful weekend! ❤️🥰

          1. Lauren, what a stunning description of Spider Lake (haha! what a name and I wonder if you hesitated ever so slightly before climbing up?!😀) The views sound breathtaking and the cover is just perfect! Hope you’re having a lovely start to the weekend! xx❤️

          2. Wow / Lauren – the setting sounds like it would truly inspire a writer to write with soul and depth! Even though we never really know what output we will have – because at times I have expected to write on a trip and end of with a lot of nada!
            And interesting about the spiders / here in Virginia we are so noted for spiders that one university had their sports team called the spiders (U of R)
            And they say in this state each person is always with a few inches of a spider even if they can’t seen them !
            Anyhow / the dossier lake sounds alike a great place to hike to with granny and tees and natural beauty

            1. I understand “a lot of nada” Yvette. Believe me, I’ve been there. 🙂 But usually on our trips in the mountains, inspiration flows. I have several journals, and one specifically, is for the trail because if it gets a little dusty, a little dust is okay. As to spiders, Yikes! Our son lives in VA, but he’s in an apt. and hasn’t mentioned an abundance. Each time we visit, all is clear. But you won’t find me moving there if its noted for spiders. I’ve matured over the years (haha), but they still have power to unnerve me in the spring when they come out to play. I love the spring, but I’m not looking forward to their visits. Sigh. I got chills just reading “each person is always with a few inches of a spider even if they can’t seen them!” That’s probably true anywhere, but I won’t dwell on that assumption. Virginia is beautiful though and he loves it. 🥰

              1. well we do not have a lot of spiders in our house – and I think it is because i use “diatomaceous earth” and have borax sprinkled around
                and then our pup (not the lab, a different one that is a mutt – but a beautiful mix) he used to take out a spider a week –
                but even though we are the spider state – I feel like I saw more in other places we have lived.
                even though one year – think it was 2005 – this huge garden spider was near the back door and it freaked me out –
                i know they are great for the environment and they are our friends – but I can understand arachnophobia – hahahahah

  3. Thank you for sharing this wonderful review with us, Annika, and introducing Lauren and her beautiful writing. It’s quite remarkable when words both soothe and stir the soul.
    Thank you, Lauren, for sharing this gift. Absolutely beautiful.

    1. Natalie, exactly! This duality gives a richness to both Lauren’s writing, as well as enhancing the profound nature of them! A book which is enjoyable and rewarding on so many levels. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Natalie and hope you are keeping well.

    2. Hi Natalie,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read Annika’s amazing review of my book. I appreciate your beautiful words, along with her incredible reaction to my memories. And it’s always wonderful to meet new people through mutual friends in blogland. ❤️

  4. Having spent 50 years of my life backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and making frequent trips to California’s North Coast (Pt. Reyes National Seashore near Lagunitas is one of my go-to places), I can really appreciate Laurens love of the beauty and healing graces that go along with wandering in the woods. Thanks for the review, Annika. –Curt

    1. Hi Curt, it’s a small world because Pt. Reyes and Lagunitas are in our “backyard.” Two of our favorite local places, along with Samual P. Taylor Park. And it’s wonderful that my backpacking evoked those memories of your adventures as well. The Sierra Nevada are stunning, to say the least. And 50 years, Wow! That is incredible. I wish I had started earlier in life, but I’m grateful for the memories I have now, and I’m glad you can appreciate my love of nature and the calming of the great outdoors. It’s nice to meet you. Thanks very much for taking the time to read Annika’s amazing review.

      1. I was raised it the foothills of the Sierra’s, Lauren, and from childhood on I escaped to the woods at every chance I got. I still do even though I am turning 80 in a few weeks. There are no end to the lessons we can learn in the wilderness or the peace we can find. Plus, it’s just plain fun. No matter when you start, or finish. I backpacked 750 miles from Mt. Ashland to Yosemite to celebrate my 75th birthday and my young wife, who was 68 at the time, hiked 300 of them with me. It certainly wasn’t easy, but it was one of the highlights of my life. I’ve hit the follow button on your blog and I’ll be looking forward to your posts. Annika and I have been following each other for several years.

        1. It’s so true about the lessons we learn and the peace we find, Curt. Many of my poems and stories have been written (scribbled at first) while sitting on a slab of granite with a lake nearby, and not a sound to be heard, except for nature’s lullaby from the birds. Truly inspirational. And you and your wife are so inspiring! What a wonderful way to celebrate your 75th! You mentioning this trip is so because my husband and I are thinking of hiking a bit on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) this year. We’re in our sixties and feel as long as our bodies will allow, we will venture out into the wilderness. Anyway, we shall see…thank you also for following me. I will do the same and look forward to your posts as well. Annika and I have also known each other for several years now. The connections here in the land of blogging are wonderful.

          1. Any idea where you will be hiking on the PCT, Lauren?

            I started leading 100 and 60 mile backpacking trips in the 1974 and over the years had a number of 60 and 70 year olds go with me. One fellow started when he was 70 and continued going with me until he was 87. He served as my inspiration. I have always felt if a person can get out there and keep at it, he or she will add years to his or her lives.

            And you are right about the connections we make in the blogging world. I have learned that over and over again.

            1. We don’t know yet, Curt. We’ll have to do some research soon. By the way, your backpacking resume is beyond stellar and inspirational! Almost 87 and to be on the trail? That is incredible! I’m going to share your stories with my husband, and I know they’ll spark his excitement to get his boots and pack on and begin the hike. We feel the same…if we can do it, if our bodies will allow, then let’s get on the trail. The rewards are plentiful, aren’t they? It’s been great chatting!

    2. Curt, can I be a bit envious of yours and Lauren’s stunning and breathtaking hiking trails?,😀 Your posts, photos and descriptions always capture their magnificence brilliantly and leave me wanting to hop on a plane and set out along the trails! As do these pieces in Lauren’s wonderful book! The majesty of the landscape is beautifully related and she writes with eloquence about the emotional unveiling en route, the serenity and tranquility alluring!

      Thank you so much for your great comment, Curt! 😀

  5. Hi Annika… I was so grateful you dropped by.. Seems our paths for some reason parted as we lost touch with each other… So happy you did drop by, and shared this beautiful book review of our mutual friend Lauren…
    Lauren writes some wonderful poetry, that speaks to our hearts…
    Sending love and well wishes to you both… And good luck to both of you in your current publications.. ❤
    Much love Sue xx ❤

    1. Hi Sue, thanks so much for reading Annika’s entire lovely review. I am beyond grateful that she found my book so satisfying and describes it as “a true tonic for the soul.” What a line that makes me sigh with joy. And thank you for your beautiful words and continued support over the years. Love and hugs to you, dear friend. 💗🤗

    2. Dear Sue, it’s strange the twists and turns life, the various roads but I’ve realised true friends always find each other once again! ❤️ I’m so happy to have seen your post and thank you so much for popping by here, reading my book review and sharing in our friend’s Lauren wonderful gift of writing and her beautiful book. Love & hugs xx

  6. It’s such a beautiful review of Laurens Book Annika.
    She has a special quality in her writing that captures the heart and speaks to everyday matters we all know well. You did a great job with it and I’m looking forward to reading it! ❣️

    1. Cindy, bless you for your beautiful comment and I know your words about her writing will mean so much to Lauren. You are so right that she captures one’s heart and I love how the personal in her life is written with such engaging detail yet becomes a universal experience. Enjoy More than Coffee when you have a chance to read it! Xx

      1. Oh it’s my pleasure Annika! I’m delighted to know as if she blesses my page regularly with her heartfelt words, she is blessing the world with her love and heart in the same way you do. I will, in the meantime I love looking at it and my mom will love it as well! xxxo

    2. Hi Cindy, Annika is right…your words describing my writing mean the world to me. Music to any author’s ears. Thank you so much for reading her stunning review. And I hope that when settle in with More than Coffee, you’ll take away similar significant nuggets of understanding like she did. Annika’s profound reaction truly touched my heart. Thank you again for your lovely words and support. ❤️🙏🏻

  7. This sounds so very profound and heartwarming. What a great idea to narrate one’s life through poetry. I tend to write poetry only when I’m feeling emotional. Now I’m considering other reasons. Thanks for sharing this, Annika. Congratulations, Lauren. What a lovely collection you’ve put together.

    1. Hi Lori, it’s wonderful to meet you through Annika, and thank you so much for your lovely comment and good wishes. For me, writing poetry comes from the heart, so I write when inspiration arrives, whether it be from sadness, love, joy, or the wonder of nature. I didn’t initially write the poems for the purpose of this book, but when I was organizing the pieces, I chose the selected few and interspersed them among the stories. They seemed to belong. 🙂
      Anyway, if you decide to read More than Coffee, I truly hope you can take away significant nuggets of understanding like Annika was able to do. Her review touched my heart as much as she said that my words touched hers. Thanks again. ❤️

    2. Lori, isn’t it the gift of books to become inspired by them, to see what would work with one’s own work?! I hope you enjoy exploring writing poetry as a form of narrative of your life – it will be fascinating to see what develops. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and Lauren’s book is truly heartwarming! Happy Writing! Xx

  8. Hi Annika, I hope you are well and everything is okay with you and your family. I emailed you a few weeks ago and hadn’t heard back so I imagine you are very busy on your side. This is a lovely review of Lauren’s wonderful book which I also enjoyed. I have recently acquired her very first poetry book and am looking forward to reading it soon.

    1. Robbie, it’s great that you’ve also enjoyed More than Coffee so much and I’m also looking forward to reading her poetry collection soon. I’ve read some terrific reviews of this as well!

      I’m so sorry as I thought I’d replied – off to pen an email now!

    2. Hi Robbie, thanks for stopping by to read Annika’s amazing review. And sorry for repeating, but thank you for all the support you’ve given with your beautiful review as well. I hope you enjoy my first collection that was a fun and light-hearted debut. 🙂 💞

  9. I headed over to the author’s website. Have tried leaving a congratulatory message there but somehow Jetpack/WordPress won’t allow it. Tried three times.
    Anyway, i hope it’s better tomorrow. Bless you for bringing one more lovely poetry collection to my attention. Wow. Love it. Xoxo. Good night. Xo

  10. Annika: “peace settling upon me. I only hope I will learn to collect my memories with equal clarity, wisdom and warmth, to reach a deeper understanding of life and its joys and tragedies. ‘More than Coffee’ is a true tonic for the soul and I cannot recommend this book highly enough!”
    — tonic for the soul: I love this. You piques my interest. Oh gracious. Thanks. For my next purchase! Bless you for such a lovely recommendation. All the best to this lovely person whose soul you’ve touched (I know) with this lovely review.
    So many good books out there…
    Hope all’s well with you dear one. Xoxo

    1. Hi Selma, those gorgeous words of Annika’s touched me so deeply, my words just don’t do justice. “Tonic for the soul” Wow! No wonder I’m on Cloud 9! And I’m so grateful her stunning review piqued your interest enough to visit my site and want to read my book in the future. Like I mentioned on my site, I hope your experience after reading through my memories will equal Annika’s that was so heartwarming and poignant.
      Thank you again for your most beautiful words and encouragement! And it’s wonderful to meet you as well! ❤️🙏🏻

    2. Selma, heartfelt thank you for your wonderful comment and I’m smiling at your kind and warm sentiments about the review. It means so much to me that it has piqued your interest in More than Coffee and I am sure you will find it equally heartwarming and special. Sending warmest wishes to you, Selma. xx

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

    1. Lauren, thank you for sharing the review and wow, for this beautiful introduction of myself and my books! Your book has touched me deeply and you have a wonderful talent and are a natural writer of both prose and poetry! It takes guts to release ones work out there – thank you for taking the leap, for sharing your stories and poems, and for reaching inside my heart with them. xx

      1. How could I not share your wonderful review, Annika? You have a way of making a new work week that much better and brighter. I’m touched that my stories and poems touched you so deeply. And I appreciate your kind, kind words about me too. They are more meaningful coming from you, such a talented writer yourself. And yes, it takes guts. But I think with the support of family and friends who don’t try to stop you, and instead, encourage you, then the leap doesn’t seem so daunting. I know you have that kind of support. And it’s a blessing. I can’t wait for your novel and next children’s book to come out. I am working on 3 children’s books, so we shall see what this year brings. 🙂 Hugs to you! xoxo

    1. Donna, mesmerising is the perfect word to describe ‘Belonging’! So much so it was one I kept coming back to – and one I’m saving for my collection of quotes / poetry! I’m glad you enjoyed learning more about Lauren Scott, her work and life and that you’re taken with her book! It is special on so many levels.

    1. Lavinia, thank you for your lovely comment and it means a lot that you enjoyed my review. Yes, ‘Belonging’ is wonderful- at first I wondered if it was too long to feature the whole poem but realised there was no way I could shorten to a snippet without losing its power, intensity and message.

    1. Jan, the poems were all wonderful, heartfelt and poignant it was difficult to choose which one to feature . Belonging’ and it’s powerful tribute to love was one I came back to again and again! Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment! Wishing you a good start to the week, my friend! Xx

  12. Thank you Annika for introducing Lauren to us. I’m sold as soon as I saw the book title and ‘hiking trails’ mentioned in your first paragraph. I’ll visit Lauren’s blog next.

    1. Natalie, that is great and you both have so much in common! Enjoy meeting her on her blog! It is fascinating to read about the hiking trails as Lauren was a ‘late-comer’ to this in her fifties but wow, she has embraced the lifestyle and shares about its wonders (& some difficulties) beautifully. As I love being outdoors and exploring I could relate to these pieces and find such harmony and spirituality in the descriptions of the landscape and vistas! This is a book I am sure will become special to you too!

    2. Hi Natalie, it is wonderful to meet another nature lover, and if you decide to read my book, I hope you enjoy the many memories shared of the great outdoors. My husband has backpacked all his life, so I only wish my interest had begun sooner. But the lakes and surroundings that we’ve backpacked to have been pristine beyond words. So I’m grateful for the adventures even later in life. Thanks for reading Annika’s amazing review. 💞

    1. Layla, thank you so much for your wonderful comment! It was hard choosing which poem to share as there were so many I love but this is my favourite – what a wonderful celebration of love!

    1. Brad, thank you so much for your amazing comment and it means a lot that you feel all this within my review and that you are drawn into Lauren’s book! Exactly – a soulful celebration of life!

  13. A beautiful review, Annika, for a beautiful book. I love how you gave glimpses into different parts of the collection that touched you. I found the book personal to Lauren’s life, while at the same time, relatable to my own. So much of the human experience of love, joy, and loss are shared, and she did a wondrous job of pulling me in. Huge congrats to Lauren on another fabulous review. Happy Reading, my friend.

    1. Diana, thank you so much! It is wonderful how Lauren has captured the universal nature of life in her beautiful prose and poems of own life and those of her family. Quite an art! There were so many pieces that touched me, and I had especially noted down more poems to share but thought I best stop! 😀😀 Wishing you a lovely Sunday, my friend! xx

    2. Thanks so much, Diana! Between the two of you and the kindness you both have conveyed, I am truly touched. To learn that my memories are relatable and pulled you in, well, I have no words. I’m simply thrilled for obvious reasons. I am truly sounding like a broken record. 🙂 Hugs to you both! xo

  14. Hi Annika, I just woke up, enjoying my cuppa! And I am blown away by your beautiful, compassionate, insightful, and elaborate review of More than Coffee. Saying “Thank you” seems lackluster, but I’m going to say it anyway. “Thank you” for this amazing review! I am truly touched by your kindness and lovely words, especially coming for you who is such a talented writer. You took away so many meaningful nuggets from the book and that is my wish for anyone who reads it. For them to reflect upon their lives, to view the world around and revel not only in nature’s spectacular offerings, but to also revel in the smallest of things.
    By the way, Wil is still with us and he will turn 100 in May. Our prayers are said and our fingers crossed so we can celebrate that milestone with him. I miss my parents more than words, but the olive in the martini will always make me laugh. And we’re so proud of our son and daughter for paving their paths and making it on their own, even though we miss them. But it’s all good! We have phones, texting, emailing, zooming, and air travel. 🙂 As I (and my hubby) get older, we just want them to be happy and healthy; thankfully, they are. I just wanted to share this with you since you’re a recent empty-nester. And yes, who knew a fridge could be so life-changing! ❤️
    Anyway, Annika, thank you again. Your review is magical, and I appreciate your support and am so happy you truly loved my book. I plan to reblog this post if you don’t mind, either today or tomorrow. Sending lots of love and hugs your way. 💗💗💗

    1. Lauren, wow! What an amazing comment and as far from a lacklustre ‘thank you’ as possible! It was a joy and delight to read your book and there was so much I wanted to say and share – there were lots of more highlighted sections and poems that I will return to. You have a real gift for writing – don’t ever stop! Your thoughts, reflections and experiences are soulful and uplifting.

      I am SO glad Wil (I had to double-check this was with one ‘l) is still with you! That is fantastic and may he reach 100 and beyond, celebrating the momentous day surrounded by family. Seriously, have you thought of writing biographies for your parents and also for Wil’s life – they would make for a great read.

      I a blessed that my mother is still a huge part of my life, best friends – I can’t imagine it being any other way. I know from losing my grandparents that after a while the memories shone brighter, the moments of laughter almost audible and those occasions bring light into the loss.

      I think I read your posts about your daughter leaving home while my son was still a teenager and I recalled your words as he left a few years later. It is wonderful to hear & see his joy in life, his success on all levels. We are lucky that he lives less that 200 miles away and only a few hours journey away.

      Of course, I would be more than happy for you to reblog whenever suits you best – very much appreciated!

      Happy Writing, my friend! xx❤️

      1. You truly made my day, Annika. I’m on Cloud 9 right now and enjoying the ride. Honestly, I felt bad for the long comment! I’m still wishing for an edit option. Thank you again for your oh so kind words, and for the nudge to consider a biography for my parents. It’s certainly something to think about. I’m also happy to hear that your mom is still with you. Enjoy those precious moments together. Matt’s mom has a story of her own that I want to write but haven’t begun yet. She passed away at the age of 59 (31 years ago), and knowing how much life she has missed with her grandchildren and us is still heartbreaking. Anyway, thanks for gently tossing that idea out there. The wheels have begun to turn. As to your son, I’m glad he’s close enough for a quick drive. We hope for that in the future. By the way, I didn’t see a reblog button, but I can copy and paste and link your blog. Hugs! 💗💐

        1. First, thanks for pointing out about the reblog button. I’ve just added it on again. For a while I was having so many strange websites with no followers just randomly reblogging without any contact whatsoever.

          Yeah, glad your brain is working on the idea – let it mull and see what develops!

          I loved your long comment and I do the same all the time!

          It must be so hard for Matt to have lost his mother so early – I feel for him.

          Take care and so happy you liked the review – enjoy being on cloud 9!! xx

          1. Great, and that makes sense. I think your review will be a great Monday post. And yes, it’s still hard for Matt, but like you said, the memories shine brightly and make the passing of time easier to accept…enjoy your Sunday (and thanks again)! 🤗❤️

    1. Kamal, bless you for your wonderful commet! I wholeheartedly agree with your lovely words about Lauren – her warm genuine and friendly personality shine through in her posts and comments. Her friendship is a gift to us all. xx

    1. Jill, thank you so much! It was a joy to read and review the book. How true about Lauren’s poetry – a joy to read and such depth within her words! I had highlighted so many I wanted to share here but limited myself to this one!

  15. What a wonderful review, Annika! This sounds like a brilliant and affecting book. I like that the book gives the reader an opportunity to reflect on their own lives, a lot. I think I have also found my comp author, as especially with the love of nature, hiking and camping. Thank you, always. Wishing you a restful Sunday. xx

    1. Thank you so much, Khaya! Lauren’s love of nature and the outdoors is beautifully captured in both her prose and poems and as a poet yourself you would particularly appreciate her writing. It is great how her excellent stories of the family are engaging and cause self-reflection- thereby ensuring the book stays with one. Thank you, it is a lovely Sunday and I just got back from a visit to a 900-year-old castle and a long walk around its grounds admiring the first snowdrops – heralding Spring! Hooray! Hope you’re having a wonderful day yourself – there is always something tranquil about Sundays!

    2. Thanks so much for your thoughtful words, Khaya. Annika has me in awe of her comprehensive and lovely review. I’m grateful she loved my book as much as she expresses in the stories and poems that touched her. As to nature, spending time outdoors is what my husband and I enjoy most, and because of him, I have set my footprints on the trail from our backpacking trips. An accomplishment not to take lightly, especially in our 50’s and now early 60’s. 🙂 Thanks again! 💗

    1. You are right in saying Lauren is very perceptive – wisdom, humour and self-awareness through many life experiences shine through in her book. I was hooked from the very beginning – a beautiful and engaging writer.

    1. Micahel, it was a joy to read and review Lauren’s book and yes, just the perfect mix of prose and poetry – something not easy to achieve. She is a natural gifted writer of both!

    1. It is a beautiful book, Norah and with a perfect balance between prose and poetry- and Lauren excels at both! Throughout the author put into words my own emotions and thoughts; reading this gave me a true sense of peace.

    1. Haha! 😀 Jo, I reckon we all need that positive and fun attitude in life! I loved learning about Lauren’s parents, how they met, love at first sight! An incredible love that she later found in her own husband- wonderful!

    2. Thank you, Jo, for your lovely comment, and I’m glad you liked “Belonging.” My husband and I just celebrated 34 years and we are truly best friends. I’m so grateful. And enjoy that olive! My dad’s sense of humor will never be forgotten, so many great memories. 💞

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