Category: Balance of Faith whilst Living

Blog Book Tour | “Letters to my Future Husband” by Lisa McKendrick

Posted Sunday, 1 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Letters to my Future Husband” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On what I had hoped to find inside:

I was wrapped up in a hopefulness in seeing letters being shared with the reader in an epistolary style of a novel, where we would be hugged close to where Sophie’s words towards her future love would be sprinkled throughout the narrative; showing where her life took her before she met him. I was even curious if she wrote short notes to him on different sheets of stationeries or typed them on a typewriter, to stick them inside a binder or a journal. Even if she were to grab bits and pieces of memorabilia from her adventures and experiences, and writing down a bit about which ticket stub resonated which memory. I even thought perhaps she might talk about taking photographs of her everyday world and drawing out a piece of a letter related to why that particular picture stirred her heart.

Unfortunately for me, the ‘letters’ did not quite last long enough inside the novel itself but rather were a hopeful wish of mine to be have been found. I was a bit puzzled by the title to be honest, as it took on a different vein of thought from what I originally felt it might have been about. I’m a letter writer, as I have mentioned previously and therefore, I guess I was hoping to find someone who wrote letters with the same kind of passion as I do myself. In this story, I thought perhaps the ‘letters’ were going to be catalyst to show that words writ on paper inside of a letter that goes unmailed are like the prayers we cast heavenward where God enfolds his grace around our conversations.

Blog Book Tour | “Letters to my Future Husband” by Lisa McKendrickLetters to my Future Husband
by Lisa McKendrick
Source: Direct from Publisher

At her father's urging, Sophie started writing letters to her future husband when she was a little girl -- though at first they were more like hate mail than love letters. But as she grew older and the boys at school started looking cuter, her letters became something more.

By the time Sophie's in college and travelling through Italy, she's sure she's found the perfect man to give all her letters to. But life and love don't always end up going as planned.

This endearing LDS romance will remind you that sometimes the man of your dreams isn't the person you thought he'd be -- sometimes he's even better.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author: Brush with Love

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by Bonneville Books

on 28th February 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 240

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #LettersToMyFutureHusband

About Lisa McKendrick

Lisa McKendrick lives in Lakeland, Florida where she divides her time between writing, carpools, and occasionally folding laundry. The mother of seven children (all accustomed to wearing unmatched socks), Lisa is author of other books for the LDS market, including On a Whim , and thanks to her husband's support, has earned a master's degree in English from BYU. Lisa enjoys hearing from her readers and can be contacted at Utterance.org (linked below via Website).

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Posted Sunday, 1 March, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Humour Therein, Indie Author, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Romance Fiction, Singletons & Commitment

Blog Book Tour | “The Way of Tea and Justice” by Rev. Becca Stevens A non-fiction reflection on social justice, empowering women, and striving for a world where ‘fair trade’ truly lives up to it’s name!

Posted Friday, 27 February, 2015 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Way of Tea and Justice” virtual book tour through JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. I received my complimentary copy of The Way of Tea and Justice direct from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

Ever since I first started watching Law & Order: SVU I’ve been keenly aware of non-profit organisations that reach out to women in need as much as women who need help to turn their lives around after domestic violence or tragedy. Even before my watching of the series, there were segments on a life-changing non-profit knitted into Walker, Texas Ranger where Alex (Walker’s future wife) would reach out to the women in her community and help them get a fresh start to their lives. The lead actress in SVU was inspired through her character to create the Joyful Heart Foundation to help women in real-life the show depicts through the gritty story-lines. I became a strong advocate for Gimme Shelter before it was releasing in the theaters, as I had stumbled across the real-life story of the woman who founded the center where unwed mothers could find safe harbour for themselves and their unbourne children. By the time I caught sight of The Way of Justice and Tea it simply felt like the right book to read at the right time as I love celebrating how women are empowering other women to carry forward after devastating adversity.

– I originally expressed this earlier in the month on Jorie’s Box of Joy

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Blog Book Tour | “The Way of Tea and Justice” by Rev. Becca Stevens A non-fiction reflection on social justice, empowering women, and striving for a world where ‘fair trade’ truly lives up to it’s name!The Way of Tea and Justice: Rescuing the World's Favourite Beverage from it's Violent History
by Rev. Becca Stevens

What started as an impossible dream-to build a café that employs women recovering from prostitution and addiction-is helping to fuel an astonishing movement to bring freedom and fair wages to women producers worldwide where tea and trafficking are linked by oppression and the opiate wars.

Becca Stevens started the Thistle Stop Café to empower women survivors. But when she discovered a connection between café workers and tea laborers overseas, she embarked on a global mission called “Shared Trade” to increase the value of women survivors and producers across the globe.

As she recounts the victories and unexpected challenges of building the café, Becca also sweeps the reader into the world of tea, where timeless rituals transport to an era of beauty and the challenging truths about tea’s darker, more violent history. She offers moving reflections of the meaning of tea in our lives, plus recipes for tea blends that readers can make themselves.

In this journey of triumph for impoverished tea laborers, hope for café workers, and insight into the history of tea, Becca sets out to defy the odds and prove that love is the most powerful force for transformation on earth.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Current Events, Non-Fiction, Women's Studies


Published by Jericho Books

on 4th November, 2014

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 256

Published by: Jericho Books (@JerichoBooks)

an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteUS)

Available FormatsHardback, Trade Paperback, & Ebook

Converse via: #TeaAndJustice

About Rev. Becca Stevens

Becca Stevens is one of the premiere preachers and speakers in the United States proclaiming love as the most powerful force for social change. She is an Episcopal priest and founder of Magdalene, residential communities of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. She founded Thistle Farms in 2001 which currently employs nearly 50 residents and graduates, and houses a natural body care line, a paper and sewing studio and the Thistle Stop Café. She demonstrates that love is good business and raises millions of dollars annually for the organizations she runs.

She is a prolific writer and has been featured in the New York Times and on ABC World News, NPR, PBS, CNN, and Huffington Post and named by the White House as one of 15 Champions of Change for violence against women in 2011. She was recently named 2014 Humanitarian of the Year by the Small Business Council of America, has been inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame, and was conferred an honorary doctorate by Sewanee: The University of the South.

In fall 2013, Stevens launched the first Thistle Farms national conference welcoming attendees from over 30 states. Her newest book, “The Way of Tea & Justice: Rescuing the World’s Favorite Beverage from its Violent History,” will release in 2014. Stevens lives in Nashville with her husband, Grammy-winning songwriter Marcus Hummon, and their three sons.

{ Excerpt taken from her Press Release Q&A }

Why was a café your next step to expand your current initiatives with Thistle Farms and Magdalene?

Thistle Farms, as a national model for social enterprises run by survivors, began in 2012 to welcome more than 1,000 individual per year coming to immerse themselves in our model. It made sense to open a café and offer healing tea, while at the same time expanding employment opportunities for some of the residents and graduates of the residential program called Magdalene.

Why do you think tea is so powerful? What is it about tea in particular that brings people together?

Tea can’t help but draw people together as the kettle is heated and the tea is steeping. Some tea connoisseurs have referred to tea as an elixir of the gods! It is calming and invigorating. It is warm and healing.

Hundreds of teacups were donated to the café, each with a story attached. What is one of your favorite “teacup stories?”

There are so many stories of survivors that are inspiring. I love the Japanese cup from a survivor of an internment camp during World War II who was in her 80s, and wanted to remind the women of Thistle Farms to never lose hope.

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Posted Friday, 27 February, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Domestic Violence, Eco-Friendly, Environmental Activism, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Equality In Literature, Green-Minded Social Awareness, History, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Lessons from Scripture, Lyrical Quotations, Memoir, Mental Health, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Non-Fiction, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Poetry, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Realistic Fiction, Social Change, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, Tea History, The Natural World, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Travel, Travel Narrative | Memoir, Travel Writing, Vignettes of Real Life, Women's Fiction, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, World Religions

Blog Book Tour | “Keeping Kate” (a re-telling of #JaneEyre) by Lauren Winder Farnsworth A contemporary spin on a classic novel etched inside a Classical Lit girl’s heart!

Posted Monday, 26 January, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Keeping Kate” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

Originally I had it in mind to finish my readings of the original canon of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronté, as I had begun to read the classical novel during *Septemb-Eyre, 2013*! I even managed to articulate my thoughts on behalf of the first chapter sections as assigned by the hostess of the event itself! However, proceeding forward from there because a bit of a spiraling muddlement of bookish angst — I simply couldn’t put my thoughts back into Jane Eyre! I re-attempted to capture the joy whilst willing to re-read the original portion I had consumed and thus carry forward with the story alongside Maggie @ Macacroons & Paperbacks inasmuch as I wanted to start to make a positive head-way on my *Books of Eyre* reading challenge (also begun in 2013!)

When I found the blog tour for Keeping Kate, Autumn had barely winked into view, and I felt as my tour stop would be far, far ahead into January, surely I’d have enough days, hours, and weeks ahead of that particular day to read Jane Eyre? Sadly, I did not. Therefore, despite my willingness to keep a promise I made to myself about reading original canons ahead of after canons, I am once again reading them out of order! I must admit, when I read Sense & Sensibility during *Austen in August* 2014, I did not regret my choice of ‘when I read it’!

The best we can do is to attempt to read books in the order of preference we ideally have for each story, but sometimes, life has a better plan in store for us! I always felt stories arrive in our lives at the right moments in time where we’re meant to drink in their beauty; perhaps I was meant to read Keeping Kate ahead of Jane Eyre; because one thing I know for sure, I couldn’t get out of my own headspace to continue with the previous undertaking! I kept thinking I’d fall short as I continued to read the story, that I wouldn’t be able to resume where I had left off with my ruminations, etc. Sometimes we just need to ‘break out’ of our thoughts on a particular story and save it for a day that allows it to re-alight in our lives when the joy resumes within the discovery of the text!

I am looking forward to talking about this after canon with both Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy + Maggie, as they both adore Jane Eyre! I, myself came to discover Ms. Eyre through her motion picture adaptation, so you could say my entire history has been bent a bit backwards towards the printed page! Laughs.

 Blog Book Tour | “Keeping Kate” (a re-telling of #JaneEyre) by Lauren Winder Farnsworth A contemporary spin on a classic novel etched inside a Classical Lit girl’s heart!Keeping Kate
by Lauren Winder Farnsworth
Source: Direct from Publisher

"Don't you love me, Kate?" Has everything you ever felt for me really disappeared in less than ten minutes?"

"I do love you," I said woodenly. "I always will. But you'll never hear it from me again."

Kate Evans has never had a real family -- and she's never dreamed of falling in love. But when she gets a job taking care of a little girl on a lonely Utah ranch, Kate's determined to make a life for herself.

Right up until the moment she meets her irritable employer. . .

Sparks fly in this LDS twist on the classic Jane Eyre. Equal parts suspenseful, entertaining, and romantic, it's an addicting read that's sure to capture your heart.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: After Canons, Classical Literature


Published by Bonneville Books

on 13th January, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 320

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #KeepingKate

About Lauren Winder Farnsworth

Lauren Winder Farnsworth was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is an avid reader, a chocolate enthusiast, a musicophile and a CPA…who somehow also finds time to indulge in her real obsession—writing. She obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Utah, and the only entity that holds more of her heart than her alma mater is her husband, Bryan. Lauren currently lives in South Jordan, Utah, where she spends entirely too time watching Gilmore Girls and looking for excuses not to clean.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

On the similarities and differences of Jane Eyre:

From the first moment Kate Evans walks across the page, I felt a tightening in my heart towards her, as her spirit of self-awareness and of place within the folds of her life were very true to course! Kate is the kind of character I am oft-times in search of uncovering; not merely in Classical Lit but within the Contemporary realms as well! She has a captivating way of giving you just enough of a pause of thought on what is  happening to her as to ground you within her scope of the story itself. She hasn’t had the easiest of lives but she’s not despondent about it either! No! She’s as bold and direct about her circumstances fate has dealt her as Eyre with the moxie of her predecessor for digging deep into her faith and placing a firm foothold into a future that surely must lead to something not quite as darkening as her childhood!

Rather than being taken to a Gothic estate set far away from active society, Kate is led to a small mountain towne in Utah, where the community she felt she would uncover would be quite ordinary turnt into an extraordinary settled development where estates were more regular than cabins! Tucked away from most conveniences, her new dwelling was a far cry of being the center of modern life and had a more natural bent towards embracing the natural world of which surrounded the ranch where she was accepting employment.

Thornfield Hall is turnt into ‘Thorne Field Ranch’, where Adele becomes Addie, and Mrs. Fairfaxes name receives a change of ‘firsts’. The ambiance of the place remains intact, to where opulence and finery outweigh sensible style and pleasure. Rochester has surely met his match in Mr. Thorne! I never thought you could quite elicit out a duality of whom Rochester was in both origin and spirit, but Tyler Thorne has nailed him in such a justifiable way as to honour him through reincarnation!

The main difference of course, is that instead of a dark secret in the attic that causes the most angst in the climax of Jane Eyre, in Keeping Kate Tyler Thorne is betwixt knowing how to shift forward in life after his wife abandoned him, claimed infidelity, and straddled him with a child of whom she insisted was not his own. Yet dealing with the reality of this situation and the layers in which are knitted into the in-between moments where Kate and Tyler find themselves quite bemuseful of each other’s company, therein lies the best choices Farnsworth gave the novel!

She doesn’t allow this to be a ‘quick fix’ nor does she make the situation feel ‘contrite or predictable’. She took the harder road — to show realistic choices, raw human emotion, and levelled it with honesty about the depth of the human heart. The pace of the story is the most beautiful aspect of Keeping Kate because it allows you to let the tides of the narrative wash over you, lull you into the shoes of the main characters, and take a reprieve from  your own affairs. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 26 January, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, After the Canon, Austen in August, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Blogs I Regularly Read, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Whimsy, Books of Eyre, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Classical Literature, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jane Eyre Sequel | Re-telling, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Macaroons & Paperbacks, Modern Day, Mormonism, Psychological Abuse, Re-Told Tales, Romance Fiction, Septemb-Eyre, Sweet Romance, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints