Category: Trauma | Abuse & Recovery

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.

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


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

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, 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 | “Midnight Runner” by Marilee Jackson A debut novelist who gave me quite a heap to blog about with this #histfic!

Posted Friday, 13 February, 2015 by jorielov , , , 6 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 “Midnight Runner” direct from the publisher Front Table Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Curiosity was Piqued:

My curiosity to read this novel was piqued as I do happen to be drawn into story-lines where the lead characters are caught inside compelling dramas. I like reading about strong female characters who overcome adversity and as I routinely mention, I have a particular fondness for Southern Lit which can be quite an emotional and difficult read (depending on the novel).

What stood out to me before I went into reading Midnight Runner is how two girls of seemingly different backgrounds find their lifepaths intersected with each other’s — to where it would appear on the onset, a choice has to be made about how to move forward or how to stumble backwards. This is most definitely a novel of flight in order to survive and overcome a past that is not wrought out of happy circumstances, yet the title lead characters spoke to me within the small space of the synopsis to implore a closer examination of their story.

I fancy historical fiction moreso than I ever realised, so for this to be set within the Medieval Ages (I marked this as 15th & 16th Centuries as the ‘exact’ date is unknown) held a certain cross-appeal for me. Books are my method of time travelling, and if I can find a way to cart myself back as far as I dare to stretch my imagination, I want to go where an author will lead me! I’m just never quite as certain if where I end up is somewhere where I want to settle for a long period of time! Ha! The journey itself is what envelopes me into a character’s shoes and into the heart of where a novel resides.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Midnight Runner” by Marilee Jackson A debut novelist who gave me quite a heap to blog about with this #histfic!Midnight Runner
by Marilee Jackson
Source: Direct from Publisher

"Run." The soft whisper in her ear cut through the pitch-black hiding place. After the nightmare she had just endured, he was the only person she could still trust.

She waited. The silence surrounded her life a heavy blanket.

"Run!" he shouted, and they took off in opposite directions.

Orphaned, mistreated, and misunderstood, Moira has always dreamed of building a new life in the royal city. But when she finally arrives, her ambition gets the better of her. And little orphan Moira becomes a person she never imagined.

Isobail has never been ambitious. She wants nothing more than the simple life she's always enjoyed. But when she's recruited to work in the royal city, she finds her dreams changing.

This medieval tale of secrets, mistaken identities, romance, and long-sought redemption is sure to captivate readers. With a compelling story and characters that will keep you guessing, this book will change how you feel about villains and heroines, loss and love.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Young Adult Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Published by Sweetwater Books

on 10th February, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 272

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),

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

Converse on Twitter via: #MidnightRunner Read More

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Posted Friday, 13 February, 2015 by jorielov in 15th Century, 16th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Castles & Estates, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Domestic Violence, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Midwife | Midwifery, Orphans & Guardians, Psychological Abuse, Re-Told Tales, Realistic Fiction, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Women's Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

Stories in the Spotlight | The “Imago Chronicle series” by Lorna Suzuki #Histfic translated into a world of #EpicFantasy (by #CanLit author!)

Posted Wednesday, 4 February, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

BookSpotlight_b4print

An unexpected encounter after #IndieChat with an Indie Novelist whose book series has been pitched and accepted into motion picture adaptation, led me on a bit of an unexpected foray into a series that is both challenging (as it is outside my comfort levels on one score) as it is empowering (as it is told from the point of view of a female warrior); thus I stumbled into the world of “Imago” by Lorna Suzuki.

Acquired Samplers By:

Chapter Samplers for her Imago Novels provided for free download by the author, Lorna Suzuki via her Smashwords Author’s Page. The samplers are complimentary of the author, Ms. Suzuki to encourage readers to become familiar with her writing style, character, and the breadth of where her fantasy novels will lead a reader to journey ahead of purchase. I was not obligated to post a review nor share my opinions of the chapter samplers I downloaded; as I elected to do this for my own edification. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Why my curiosity was piqued: 

When I noted the series was referred to as being similar in style and voice as “Lord of the Rings” I knew it was quite the epic story; a High Fantasy with a compelling arc of narrative and driven by character. Character driven stories are my absolute delight to read, however, being that the lead protagonist is a warrior I was quite prepared to encounter a woman with an arduous past rife with potentially intense trauma and recovery; psychologically speaking, I knew most characters writ inside stories of this nature have an uphill climb to recover from what they were afflicted by in their lives.

Mind you the mash-up of saying this was a LOTR + 300 equates out to The Last Samurai; half of me wondered what honestly appealed to me personally as I would run in the complete opposite direction of the 300 film series even if I happily watched the first three Lord of the Rings per release month! (including a *midnight!* release!) There were sequences within the Trilogy (LOTR) films that were a bit mind-numbing (i.e. the battle scenes, for starters) but it was the overall journey of the characters that left me speechless and hungry for each new installment. My heart shattered at the conclusion, as despite knowing where Frodo and Gandalf would end their journey, it still uncorked my emotional heart’s ability to spilt out tears as the credits rolled.

No, what I think drew me to becoming curious about this series was the author’s approach to inspire a reader’s attention, which quite ironically has left her in a sea of controversial feedback! ?? I seriously do not understand the reading public at times. I am a firm believer in ‘more information upfront’ when it comes to stories and the contents of novels. A quick blurb or a shorter showcase (a traditional book review) isn’t going to sway me one way or another because the bones of the story are left to your imagination; that’s a dicey slope! How do you know if you are going to soak inside the story and/or appreciate the tone of the writer’s voice? What if the undertone is underlit too dark? What if there isn’t enough light to hold you into their vision?

I often lament IRL (and as the occasion arises virtually) the reason I was drawn to being a book blogger is because I wanted to blog my heart out about the stories that soak inside my imagination. I want to write down the bones and flesh out the pulse of what inspired me to ‘stay within’ the writer’s world. To cultivate an open conversation about what moved me, what staid with me, but most of all, how I was left impressed by the characters, the arc of the character’s journey, and what was left within me once the story was put down. (or you could read what I said on my Introduction Post!)

If something takes me ‘out of the story’ or if the pace and/or flow of the narrative itself is disrupted by an oppressively heavy amount of vulgarity (read my Review Policy) or there are choices where the level of (graphic) violence sickens me to my stomach rather than curates a plausible reason for inclusion (clarified: violence in moderation for sake of action/trauma/plot point/back-story etc; not explicit for explicitness sake!); then I will equally be as open about these ruminations as I am gushing about why the story left me with pieces of it’s essence firmly etched into my memory.

Like most readers, I have my own barometer — I have stumbled across stories that on the surface contradict what I wrote inside my Review Policy; as there are ‘exceptions’ to this rule of mine, as most will find they have their own exceptions to the general advisory of which stories they will accept whilst reading and which stories they cannot read, irregardless of the story’s best intentions to capture your interest. I attempt to keep an open-mind on which stories alight on my path, either due to the ‘timing’ of their discovery and/or the storyline itself; there are numerous inter-connections between one story to the next, to see the path of our reading lives intersecting with our path at a moment where a story was meant to be read or put down for another time. It is a mindfulness to become aware of stories giving us this tangible connection to the world’s creative conscience inasmuch as the art of the craft behind how the stories are written and revealed to us. Read More

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Posted Wednesday, 4 February, 2015 by jorielov in Book Spotlight of E-Book (ahead of POD/print edition), Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Canadian Literature, Cliffhanger Ending, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Domestic Violence, Elves & the Elven, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Folklore and Mythology, Heroic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Light vs Dark, Lyrical Quotations, Martial Art History, Methodology of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Psychological Abuse, Realistic Fiction, Sampler Chapters &/or Excerpt of Novel, Self-Published Author, Sudden Absence of Parent, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense, The Deep South, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Writing Style & Voice

Book Review | #ChocLitSaturdays (a feature of #JLASblog) | “Somewhere Beyond the Sea” a fast-paced Romantic Suspense which will keep you anxious to unravell the plot! Writ by Amanda James

Posted Saturday, 10 January, 2015 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

#ChocLitSaturdays banner created by Jorie in Canva

Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “Somewhere Beyond the Sea” from ChocLit via IPM (International Publisher’s Marketing) in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

On being an enthused ChocLit Reader:

Soaking inside a ChocLit novel is a lot of joy for me, as I know going in a few things I am going to enjoy finding are strong female and male lead characters, a stirring drama or a rib breaking comedy with a high concentration on relationships and the entanglements we find ourselves tied up inside when we elect not to trust the person we’ve anchoured our lives too. In Somewhere Beyond the Sea the pages evaporated before my eyes, as I was moving at such a clip to consume this novel, I daresay, I did not leave my comfy cosy reading nook til nearly reaching the last quarter of the novel!

I was on page 150 when I realised I hadn’t even written anything down to explain the intensity of what had me rooted to the page, whilst hoping against hope this could have an ending that I could handled being revealed! It is the type of suspense novel that pulls you into it’s vortex, giving you a fullness of the fright and the fear that Karen Ainsworth is attempting to forestall knowledge of (both to you, the reader and to her husband, Tristan) whilst everything in/around her life is starting to spiral a bit out of control!

It was at a luncheon with my Mum and Da, I started to become a bit animated talking about this story, the evoking of psychological suspense against the back-drop of a cat-mouse game of personal identity and past anguish from domestic violence intermixed with bullying. The further you delved into the heart of the novel, the more curiously inspiring it was on one level (as Karen’s life is anything but predictable nor dull) and a bit stomach churning on the other, as I am thankful after reading this story none of my bullies from childhood came back to haunt me as an adult!

At one point, as we had dined out that day, I took to notice those who were eating near us had become quite quiet, and I have a feeling they were eavesdropping on the conversation! I am not sure what they thought of what I was relaying, as if they hadn’t heard the bit about ‘the book’ or ‘my recent ChocLit read’ they could quite literally think it was ‘just another current news story going viral’. Ironically, I always smile when someone asks me, “Did you just say you read chocolate?” To which I love responding, “Yes! I most certainly do read ChocLit! I prefer it over most ChickLit!” Their facial expressions are quite priceless at that point!

Book Review | #ChocLitSaturdays (a feature of #JLASblog) | “Somewhere Beyond the Sea” a fast-paced Romantic Suspense which will keep you anxious to unravell the plot! Writ by Amanda JamesSomewhere Beyond the Sea
by Amanda James
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

When love begins with a lie, where will it end?

Doctor Tristan Ainsworth has returned with his family to the idyllic Cornish village close to where he grew up. The past has taught him some hard lessons, but he’ll do anything to make his wife happy – so what’s making her so withdrawn?

Karen Ainsworth daren’t reveal her true feelings, but knows her husband has put up with her moods for too long. A chance to use her extraordinary singing voice may set her free, so why shouldn’t she take it? Surely her past can’t hurt her now?

As a tide of blackmail and betrayal is unleashed to threaten the foundations of their marriage, Karen and Tristan face a difficult question. Is their love strong enough to face the truth when the truth might cost them everything?

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Also by this author: A Stitch in Time

Published by ChocLitUK

on 7th April, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 288

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #ChocLit & #SomewhereBeyondTheSea

NOTE: Did you see the “Public Library” link? Along with “Add to Riffle” these are new additions to my blog! They will slowly populate through the archives, however, “Public Library” re-directs to the holdings of each book on WorldCat! The world’s largest public library directory (and one of Jorie’s favourite haunts!) per where you’re located you can see if there are holdings nearby to borrow from your local library system! Quite wicked, eh? For instance there are listings for this novel in: Virginia, Ohio, Texas, New York, Illinois, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and California! If your local library (for those readers of mine stateside) allow you to ILL (inter-library loan) outside your city and state, you can borrow “Somewhere Beyond the Sea” today! Fireworks of cheers are surely exploding, right!? IF you cannot ILL outside your city/state, remember: SUBMIT a purchase request for books you want to read! I always do! This helps your library grow and your collection to become quite eclectically reflective of the booklovers in your community!

Cover Art Design by: Berni Stevens @circleoflebanon | Writer | Illustrator

About Amanda James

Amanda James

Amanda James was born in Sheffield and now lives in Cornwall with her husband and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, singing and spending lots of time with her grandson. She also admits to spending far too much time chatting on Twitter and Facebook! Amanda recently left her teaching role (teaching history to sixth form pupils) to follow her ambition to live her life doing what she most enjoys—writing.

Amanda is a published author of short stories and her first novel with Choc Lit, A Stitch in Time was chosen as a Top Pickin RT Book Reviews magazine in the US in July 2013 and won a 2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles.

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Posted Saturday, 10 January, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Blogs I Regularly Read, Bookish Discussions, Bullies and the Bullied, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Domestic Violence, Family Drama, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Green Publishing, Indie Author, Mental Health, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Oh the Books!, Psychological Abuse, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, School Life & Situations, Suspense, Sustainable Forest Certification, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Vulgarity in Literature