Category: Green-Minded Social Awareness

A #HarlequinHeartwarming #RomanceTuesdays | “After the Rodeo” (Book Two of the Heroes of Shelter Creek series) by Claire McEwen

Posted Tuesday, 1 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve come to know this series [Heroes of Shelter Creek] through hosting the blog tours celebrating releases within the series with Prism Book Tours. However, this September in lieu of an organised blog tour Ms McEwen was seeking book bloggers who were interested in her series and wanted to read the fourth novel in the series “Rescuing the Rancher”. Whilst I was conferring with the author about receiving this for review, I asked if I could receive the second novel in the series “After the Rodeo” as I never had the chance to read Jace and Vivian’s story! I was thankful that Ms McEwen was also available to be a featured guest during my @SatBookChat wherein I celebrate Romance, Women’s Fiction, strong female characters across genres and Feminist Lit on Saturdays each month.

I decided to read and feature “After the Rodeo” ahead of her #SatBookChat appearance and run my review during my #RomanceTuesdays feature wherein I love to showcase Harlequin Heartwarming and Love Inspired authors as they are writing the kinds of Romances I am appreciating most to be reading right now.

I received a complimentary copy of “After the Rodeo” direct from the author Claire McEwen in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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This is one of my top favourite #CowboyRomances by Harlequin Heartwarming:

When I was checking my feeds on Twitter a short while ago, I stumbled on an announcement by Ms McEwen who was seeking book bloggers to read and review her latest release of the Heroes of Shelter Creek series – wherein I was most excited seeing the notice posted as this is one of the Western & Cowboy Romance series I love reading the most published by Harlequin Heartwarming!

I wasn’t sure if I would be in time to request the book for review, but I immediately emailed the author and the rest knitted together out of that conversation! I am so thankful I contacted her when I had as it lead me to being reading this second of the series I had missed between books one and three as much as I have been wanting to host more of the authors I love via Harlequin Heartwarming and/or Love Inspired Suspense – having the Blackwell Brothers / Sisters authors booked during @SatBookChat in October, it was a lovely surprise to have Ms McEwen booked for early September!

If you’re a ready reader of Westerns and Western Romances, I hope this showcase might inspire you to give Harlequin Heartwarming a chance at winning over your love of Westerns because the authors who are writing these stories are writing wicked brilliant characters with stories which lift your spirits as you’re reading them! Plus, the settings alone are awe-inspiring and give you the kind of Western experience you are hoping for in a Western Rom!

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One interesting turn at the beginning of the novel was learning about the changing tides of the cattle industry – how traditional cattlemen and ranchers wanted to turn towards a greener and healthier way of producing their product and why that was an important resurgency in how they could maintain their ranches. Not that all ranchers were open to innovative changes which McEwen happily discloses within Liam’s own family as his brothers are spilt on the issue whilst their father is keenly invested in learning more – hence, how we find Liam is the chosen one to visit with Jace in Shelter Creek!

I, for one love all sorts of Western Romances however it is a bit rarer when within a Contemporary Western we get to talk about how ranching is trying to change its habits and become a more sustainable industry. Across the board farmers and ranchers are having to diversify their yields yearly due to different issues in climate and how to sustain themselves during leaner years wherein I felt broaching the topic of how they approach ranching their land and their cattle is also a valid point because there is a stark difference between big industry and keeping family ranchers in business by modifying their practices to reach a more educated consumer about the differences in those practices. To say I was wholly intrigued by how this novel began is putting it mildly!

Liam is at a cornerstone of his life – where he has to choose to step forward into his future rather than constantly think he cannot handle what life has to offer. This is an intriguing story about redemption – how a man can redeem his own image and identity of himself post trauma and addiction and redirect his own life back onto a purposeful path which renews his own spirit. The foundation of how McEwen laid that down for us to find was lovely because there was a moment where I felt Jace could inspire Liam simply by someone who had gone before him and had to re-alter his own opinion about what life could involve for a man who had a determined view of his own path. Even though I hadn’t had the chance to read After the Rodeo, McEwen gave some lovely hints toward Jace’s own story where I felt I could intuit why she wanted Liam closer to Jace during this transitional period of his own life.

Trisha has such a unique job at the wildlife center – I remember visiting those whilst growing up and wondering about the people who worked there. As I was fascinated how close the handlers could get to the wild animals and how much trust was between the handler and/or trainer and the animal themselves – this is one reason why I love watching shows and series like Crikey! It’s the Irwins because you get to see inside this hidden world of where animals and humans have united together for their own protection and conservation. Trisha has a heart of gold though – even though her life’s story is unconventional – it just suits her personality because she adapts to whatever is happening in her life in the moment. I liked her instantly where we find her in Her Surprise Cowboy because of how earnest she is about finding what Jace and Vivian share between them and how confident she is in her own abilities to give back to the center.

It was humbling coming into Jace and Vivian’s life a bit second-handed to get to know them in such an interpersonal way – because a lot of what anchoured Liam and Trisha together was through the fusion of friendship with Jace and Vivian. They really stepped up to the plate to help out their friends whilst they also offered a lot of heartfelt mentoring. Jace especially gave a lot back to Liam – as I had a feeling they would relate to one another as I was first starting to read this story – both lived the same kind of life in their prior lives and I believed that gave them each a unique perspective on the other. Liam and Trisha needed friends like them because they each were muddling through their own struggles where having a kind friend to lean on would go the extra mile towards finding resolution to what troubled them. Now more than ever I can’t wait to settle into the story of what drew Jace and Vivian together – as there are pieces of their romance peppered inside Her Surprise Cowboy but one day I’ll appreciate reading start to finish!

There is a certain layer of joy in reading a story about second chance romance, new beginnings and the redemption quality of forgiveness. Not just the kind of forgiveness others can give to you themselves but the kind of forgiveness that comes from within the person. A lot of the story is hinged on whether or not Liam and Trisha can find solace from their past and find a way to give themselves the leverage of understanding who they were in the past is not an indication of whom they could become in the future. That’s the rub about the human condition in us all – in not allowing ourselves the wallowing periods of never seeing past mistakes or wrong turns on our path and to continue to seek out the future with an optimistic impression of what we can achieve. By following the footsteps of Liam and Trisha you’re set to find out how forgiveness of one self can lead to a greater freedom than either Liam or Trisha could have envisioned for each other.

McEwen has conceived of a realistic Contemporary Western Romance series wherein each of her characters are struggling through and/or are transitioning through a difficult period of their lives. The realism is brilliantly layered as despite their obstacles and the hurdles they have to overcome there is a defining thread of individual courage and moxie uniting them. McEwen writes soul lifting Contemporary Romance which gives you what you want out of a modern Western Rom whilst grounding you in realistic lives which you can identify with due to how her characters are self-transitioning through the challenges which arise in all of our lives. The circumstances might differ between us and them but its their resolve to fight through to tomorrow which connects us.

-quoted from my book review of Her Surprise Cowboy

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A #HarlequinHeartwarming #RomanceTuesdays | “After the Rodeo” (Book Two of the Heroes of Shelter Creek series) by Claire McEwenAfter the Rodeo
Subtitle: Heroes of Shelter Creek
by Claire McEwen, Ms Claire McEwen
Source: Direct from Author

Her passion for her job...
could cost him everything...

Former rodeo champion Jace Hendricks has six weeks to turn his run-down ranch around or he could lose custody of his nieces and nephews. But biologist Vivian Reed has to survey his land first - and she won't be rushed. Vivian's optimism and wonder start to win over the kids... and even Jace. But with all that's at stake, can he risk getting any more involved with Vivian?

Genres: Adoption & Foster Care, Biological Diversity, Children At Risk, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Ecology, Men's Fiction, Motherhood | Parenthood, Ranches & Cowboys, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335510815

Also by this author: Reunited with the Cowboy, Her Surprise Cowboy

Also in this series: Reunited with the Cowboy, Her Surprise Cowboy


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 3rd September, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 376

The Heroes of Shelter Creek series:

Reunited with the Cowboy by Claire McEwenAfter the Rodeo by Claire McEwenHer Surprise Cowboy by Claire McEwenRescuing the Rancher by Claire McEwen

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Reunited with the Cowboy (book one) – Caleb & Maya’s story (see also Review)

After the Rodeo (book two) – Jace & Vivian’s story

Her Surprise Cowboy (book three) – Liam & Trisha’s story (see also Review)

Rescuing the Rancher – Aidan & Jade’s story (book four)

Second Chance Cowboy – (book five) – featuring ?? → forthcoming April, 2021!

I’ll admit – I was a bit worried this was ending as a quartet until I spied the release for 2021 via FantasticFiction which is my main resource for sourcing advance notice about series I am reading when new installments of those series will be revealled in forthcoming months.

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Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin Books

Formats Available: Paperback* and Ebook

*Harlequin has the luxury of offering Regular, Large & Larger Print editions which I personally can attest are lovely to be reading! Especially after a migraine or when my eyes are fatigued.

Converse via: #CowboyRomance, #WesternRomance & #ContemporaryRomance
as well as #HarlequinHeartwarming with #HeroesOfShelterCreek

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7th Annual 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.

This story received my award for Best Western Contemporary Romance:
subniche Cowboy & Ranchers Romance series

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Posted Tuesday, 1 September, 2020 by jorielov in #RomanceTuesdays, 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Addictions and Afflictions, Adoption, Blog Tour Host, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Brothers and Sisters, California, Conservation, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Ecology, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Environmental Solutions, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Foster Care, Green-Minded Social Awareness, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Life Shift, Men's Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Motherhood | Parenthood, Nature & Wildlife, Non-traditional characters, Preservation, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Siblings, Single Fathers, Sisterhood friendships, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Social Services, Sudden Absence of Parent, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, Sweet Romance, The Natural World, Walking & Hiking Trails, Western Fiction, Western Romance, Widows & Widowers, Women of a Certain Age, Women's Fiction, Women's Health

Book Review | “Natural Color: Vibrant Plant Dye projects for your home & wardrobe” by Sasha Duerr #BloggingForBooks

Posted Thursday, 27 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Fiber Art Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I decided to join the “Blogging for Books” programme (on 9th July, 2014) which is a book for review programme created by the Crown Publishing Group. As a book blogger you are offered books in exchange for an honest review on your book blog as well as the ability to reach new readers when you cross-post your review to the Blogging for Books website. The benefit for the blogger is exposure as a reviewer as they put direct links back to your blog post on the book you select to review as well as your homepage.

I received a complimentary copy of “Natural Color” direct from the publisher Watson-Guptill (an imprint of Crown Publishers), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to review a book about Natural Dyes:

As I have intermittently tweeted on Twitter and mentioned off-handedly on my blog, I am a knitty girl at heart who loves creating projects out of the stitches she casts onto her bamboo needles! The afterglow of feeling the Zen of creativity by knitting is wondrous, too! I feel renewed somehow by the method of focusing on stitches and the throwing of yarn one inch at a time whilst creating this wholly new ‘something’ out of what as once a simple hank or skein of yarn!

I took up knitting alongside my Mum, as we were seeking a new Mum & daughter hobby we could pursue together that was a bit easier on the budget than rubberstamp art & mixed media collage; inasmuch as saving on long distance commute times, as the former only had shoppes which were so far afield from our local region, you had to nearly take a TARDIS just to arrive home in time! Laughs. No seriously! We felt it was time to re-direct our time and creative hearts – so whilst I was saying ‘good-bye’ to my twenties we discovered we both were itching to take up knitting!

Mum was returning to the craft after *forty!* plus years absent from it’s yarny blissitude and I, was the dyslexic whose previously failed attempt to learn how to properly cast-on was not going to blind her to the prospect of finding a teacher *somewhere!* who could get her to master the long lost art by combining two styles of knitting to formulate her own hybrid style! The way I approach knitting is AmeriBritish inasmuch as my personal writing voice reflects the unique combination of bi-continental influences!

When we first started to notice we were ‘catching-on’ to knitting together with a fierce passion, we started to dream a bit about what we could do in the future with our ‘newfound’ love and skill set! Mum was re-encouraging herself to contemplate picking up crochet on the side; whereas I decided that would muddle knitting for me if I attempted it. (too confusing to keep it all separate!) Whilst I started leaning towards natural dyes, more complicated patterns (ie. my heart is set on learning Fair Isle!) and potentially learning how to spin roving.We started to contemplate how to move forward in our journey with fiber arts, each finding our own pathways to walk! Some of what we want to do is together and a few times we’ll divert and take separate paths!

The beauty for us both, is finding a green and natural way to craft! I developed several allergies in childhood and as an adult, I live as green as I can by using alternative household products and by seeking out arts and craft projects which do not upset my allergy triggers by the toxicity of products which tend to flood the market. This is one reason why we love using Natural Yarns (except for the synthetics we sometimes receive as Charity Knitters; such as Acrylic); and by extension, a natural way to dye our own yarn would be quite ideal! Hence why I was so wicked excitement when I first saw this book come up for review! Imagining how we could take our love of this craft one step further and find ways to ‘create our own fiber colour palette’ naturally would be incredible!

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Posted Thursday, 27 April, 2017 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Blogging for Books, Book Review (non-blog tour), Eco-Friendly, Education & Learning, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Solutions, Green-Minded Social Awareness, Horticulture, Knitting, Non-Fiction, Old World Arts & Crafts, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World, Upcycle & Recycle Practices

Book Review | “The Walking Fish” by Rachelle Burk & Kopel Burk A new #MGLit novel speaking directly to girls & boys who love science and the curious realms they can endeavour to explore!

Posted Tuesday, 5 May, 2015 by jorielov , , 0 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 review “The Walking Fish” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 2nd Year Book Blogger. I received my complimentary copy of The Walking Fish 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:

When I was first approached to read The Walking Fish it nearly felt like kismet to find science re-entering my life because I was the kind of girl who grew up in her local Science Center and ached for Summer because it meant she could spend more hours at the Center absorbing science through hands-on learning opportunities and field trips which were not available during regular school sessions. The beauty for me growing up at the Science Center is being in control of the ‘academics’ and ‘choices’ of which fields of study I could focus on without the added stress of worrying about ‘grades or homework’. You could simply go to the Center, enjoy your days, and get caught up in the joy of science without the hassles that regular school provides.

I thrived in this environment because having a curious mind was encouraging to the teachers, who loved it when we asked questions that challenged them in return to provide a plausible response. It was a mecca for science geeks – girls and boys together, whilst having a living ecosystem of sorts at our fingertips. We even had a resident boa constrictor I helped save when I was the only kid there who noticed Monty wasn’t in his cage but rather the latch on his environment was ‘unhooked’. We had resident tarantulas, an iguana I adopted, various snakes I gave a wide birth (outside of Monty, I was not keen on snakes!), and a lovely outdoor garden filled with footpath tiles and hidden nooks where you could enjoy the flowers.

I have been wanting to dig back into my readings of science, not just as an adult but to seek out titles that would stimulate a fascination for children within the realms of Children’s Lit. This branch of literature is quite dear to me, and I was thankful to be considered for a title I hope will inspire younger readers to get as excited as I had about science and the possibilities therein!

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

Book Review | “The Walking Fish” by Rachelle Burk & Kopel Burk A new #MGLit novel speaking directly to girls & boys who love science and the curious realms they can endeavour to explore!The Walking Fish
by Kopel Burk, Rachelle Burk
Source: Publicist via JKS Communications

A humorous, exciting tale of an ordinary girl who makes an extraordinary scientific discovery—a blind fish that walks.

When seventh-grader Alexis catches an unusual fish that looks like a living fossil, she sets off a frenzied scientific hunt for more of its kind. Alexis and her friend Darshan join the hunt, snorkeling, sounding the depths of Glacial Lake, even observing from a helicopter and exploring a cave. All the while, they fight to keep the selfish Dr. Mertz from claiming the discovery all for himself. When Alexis follows one final hunch, she risks her life and almost loses her friend. This is a scientific adventure not to be missed.

With great settings and vivid characters, lively and at times hilarious, this book presents the adventure of science in a way that’s sure to appeal to girls and boys in grades 4-7.

Genres: Children's Literature, Science, Middle Grade


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0990782933

Published by Tumblehome Learning

on 1st April, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 192

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: Tumblehome Learning (@TumblehomeLearn)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Hardback

Converse via: #WalkingFishBook & #RachelleBurk

OR  #MGFiction, #MGLit, #KidsLit or #MiddleGrade

About Kopel Burk

Kopel Burk is a retired physician who writes, sculpts, and remains active on the bioethics committee at his hospital. He conceived the idea for Walking Fish over 40 years ago, when he told early versions of the story to his young children, nieces and nephews. His co-author is one of those nieces. At 86, this is his first book.

About Rachelle Burk

Rachelle Burk is a children’s author, social worker, clown, and storyteller. She writes fiction and nonfiction for children, including books, magazine pieces, and poetry. Rachelle scuba dives, explores caves, and volunteers on a rescue squad. With her background as a children’s entertainer, she’s a hit in classroom visits.

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Posted Tuesday, 5 May, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Aquaculture, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Films, Chefs and Sous Chefs, Childhood Friendship, Children's Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cookery, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Documentary on Topic or Subject, Ecology, Environmental Activism, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Equality In Literature, Father-Daughter Relationships, Fishing, GeoPhysical History, Green-Minded Social Awareness, Hard Science Fiction, History, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Juvenile Fiction, Literature of India, Meteorology, Middle Grade Novel, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Realistic Fiction, Science, Science Fiction, Social Change, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World

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+ Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth by Greg Matloff, C Bangs, & Les Johnson #nonfiction #science

Posted Monday, 7 July, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 5 Comments

Parajunkee DesignsHarvesting Space for a Greener Earth by Greg Matloff, C. Bangs, & Les Johnson

Published By: Springer Science-Business Media (),
(second edition) August, 2014
Official Author WebsitesMatloff: Site | YouTube Bangs: Site Johnson: Site
Available Formats: Softcover & Ebook Page Count: 277 & 120 illustrations

Converse on Twitter: #HarvestingSpace & #Springer

Facebook Page dedicated to getting “Harvesting Space” into the public eye

Fields & Topics of Study:

Alternative Energy, Space Science, Sustainability from Space & Climate Change

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from one of the authors C Bangs, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Keen Interest in Premise:

Ever since I was a fifth grader whose path crossed with an Environmentalist (part of the bring your Dad to work programme) who was the father of a classmate, I have firmly always had a keen eye on the environment. Seeing “Medicine Man” that same year left an impression on my young mind and heart as well, as nothing else could have had a greater impact than seeing the necessity of natural resources and the preservation of those resources for the greater good of mankind. I always felt a connection to the outside world, and as I grew I kept a pulse on where the ecological heart of the Earth was heading as much as what nature and the environs therein were attempting to tell us; warn us. We are very much the caregivers and caretakers of Earth – a belief of the Native Americans, of whom I was honoured to hear some of their stories and legacies of knowledge as I grew up with a Native American Art Gallery and bookstore; the owner of whom took a kindness of teaching me the stories he was given himself as a boy. I believe as they do, that it is our mission to not only protect each other from harm, but to protect the home by which we inherited. For these reasons and more, the very essence of this non-fiction release held my attention at ‘hallo’.

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Book Synopsis:

What was our planet like in years past? How has our civilization affected Earth and its ecology? Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, the Second Edition of Paradise Regained: The Regreening of the Earth, begins by discussing these questions, and then generates a scenario for the restoration of Earth. It introduces new and innovative ideas on how we could use Solar System and its resources for terrestrial benefit.

The environmental challenges that face us today cannot be resolved by conservation and current technologies alone. Harvesting Space highlights the risk of humankind’s future extinction from environmental degradation. Population growth, global climate change, and maintaining sustainability of habitats for wildlife are all considered, among other issues.

Rather than losing heart, we need to realize that the solutions to these problems lie in being good stewards of the planet and in the development of space. Not only will the solutions offered here avert a crisis, they will also provide the basis for continued technological and societal progress. Tapping the resources of near-Earth asteroids will lead to methods of diverting those asteroids that threaten Earth. Space-based terrestrial power generation systems will work synergistically with Earth-based conservation.

This book needs to be read urgently and widely, if we are to save ourselves from environmental disaster, reduce the risk of catastrophic cosmic impacts, and build a prosperous and sustainable future for all the creatures of Earth.

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Author Biographies:

Dr. Greg Matloff, is a leading expert in possibilities for interstellar propulsion , especially near-Sun solar-sail trajectories that might ultimately enable interstellar travel. and is an emeritus and adjunct associate astronomy professor with the physics department of New York City College of Technology, CUNY, a consultant with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, a Hayden Associate of the American Museum of Natural History and a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He co-authored with Les Johnson of NASA and C Bangs Paradise Regained (2009), Living Off the Land in Space (2007) and has authored Deep-Space Probes (edition 1: 2000 and edition 2: 2005). As well as authoring More Telescope Power (2002), Telescope Power (1993), The Urban Astronomer (1991), he co-authored with Eugene Mallove The Starflight Handbook. (1989). His papers on interstellar travel, the search for extraterrestrial artifacts, and methods of protecting Earth from asteroid impacts have been published in JBIS, Acta Astronautica, Spaceflight, Space Technology, Journal of Astronautical Sciences, and Mercury. His popular articles have appeared in many publications, including Analog. In 1998, he won a $5000 prize in the international essay contest on ETI sponsored by the National Institute for Discovery Science. . He served on a November 2007 panel organized by Seed magazine to brief Congressional staff on the possibilities of a sustainable, meaningful space program. In 2011, he co-authored with C Bangs an artist’s book entitled Biosphere Extension: Solar System Resources for the Earth.

Professor Matloff is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He has chaired many technical sessions and is listed in numerous volumes of Who’s Who. In 2008, he was honored as Scholar on Campus at New York City College of Technology. His most recent astronautics book, co-authored with Italian researcher Dr. Giovanni Vulpetti and Les Johnson, is Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel, Springer (2008). In addition to his interstellar-travel research, he has contributed to SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), modeling studies of human effects on Earth’s atmosphere, interplanetary exploration concept analysis, alternative energy, in-space navigation, and the search for extrasolar planets.

C Bangs’ art investigates frontier science combined with symbolist figuration from an ecological feminist point of view. Her work is included in public and private collections as well as in books and journals. Public Collections include the Library of Congress, NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center, The British Interplanetary Society, New York City College of Technology, Pratt Institute, Cornell University and Pace University. I Am the Cosmos exhibition at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton included her work, Raw Materials from Space and the Orbital Steam Locomotive. Her art has been included in eight books and two peer- reviewed journal articles, several magazine articles and art catalogs. Merging art and science, she worked for three summers as a NASA Faculty Fellow, and under a NASA grant she investigated holographic interstellar probe message plaques. Her recent artist’s book collaboration with Greg Matloff, Biosphere Extension: Solar System Resources for the Earth, was recently collected by the Brooklyn Museum for their artist-book collection.

“The artist C Bangs and astronomer Greg Matloff are long time partners and collaborators whose mutual interests and complementary talents serve them well. For many years, Bangs has been the artist who provides the graphic interpretation of their scientific books, they have achieved another level; their work has never been so well integrated, as they have found a method where text and image become one, rather than one illustrating the other. The more esoteric points of Matloff’s research find an accessibility, while Bangs more than ever seamlessly offers us, through imagery, a lyrical telling of their story for the quest to access solar system resources for the Earth.” – Maddy Rosenberg, Central Booking Gallery, NYC

Les Johnson is a physicist, and the author of several popular science books about space exploration, Living Off the Land in Space, Solar Sailing: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel, Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth, Sky Alert: When Satellites Fail, and Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, as well as three science fiction books, Back to the Moon, Going Interstellar, and Rescue Mode.

He is also the Senior Technical Advisor for NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Les is the NASA Co-Investigator (Co-I) for the European Union’s Deploytech Solar Sail demonstration mission planned for launch in 2015. He was the NASA Co-I for the JAXA T-Rex Space Tether Experiment and PI of NASA’s ProSEDS Experiment. During his career at NASA, he served as the Manager for the Space Science Programs and Projects Office, the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program, and the Interstellar Propulsion Research Project. He thrice received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal and has 3 patents.

Les is a frequent contributor to the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society and a member of the National Space Society, the World Future Society, and MENSA. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the British Interplanetary Society and is Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop. Les was the featured “interstellar explorer” in the January 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine and a technical consultant for the movie Europa Report.

Les earned his Master’s degree in physics from Vanderbilt University in 1986 and his Bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University in 1984.

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Foreward by Jack McDevitt: Site | on behalf of the first edition (2010)

I appreciated the cadence of McDevitt’s approach to introducing the work at hand to the everyday reader, starting off by presenting all the ill begotten newsbits that we’re all too familiar with having heard at one point or another startling our nerves as we tune into radio or televised news. The truth in the pudding is the fact that we tend to hear more negative news than positive, and less so even on the technologic changes to our economy and environmental ecosystem that is in most need of attention. I found his cheeky humour well placed and his ability to surmise the necessity of the work contained in Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth well executed.

McDevitt is actually an author in science fiction I have acknowledged in name only, and have not yet taken the chance to explore his collective works. Science fiction and fantasy combined is a branch of literature that once you start to consume the canons of the grandmothers and grandmothers, or even prior to that even, you will soon come across the writers, like McDevitt who draw your eye into their stories. I admit, I have not always had the time to give to exploring the worlds that I discover, but I am always one who celebrates the ready amount of choice being offered for the science fiction and fantasy reader. Most of us generally speaking are into reading hard-core science as much as we are the fiction counterparts. For it is a semi well-known fact, that bits and bobbles of our science and technologic shifts in discoveries have sometimes been purported out of the fictional tales of the writers who give our minds something to chew on outside our realm of possibility. Imagination truly has always been the key to unlocking what is not yet known or understood to be plausible.

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Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comI always set out to approach how I review non-fiction titles and anthologies in a different manner than I would a novel, because in all honesty, they have their own rhythm to how their stories unfold. Non-fiction titles are generally broken into different sections (especially if the subject is of a Science related field) which is vindictive of anthologies, whose collective stories make up the whole of the book. Therefore, you will find this book review set to a different tone and pace than my regular faire.

I have known about the plan to extract part of what we create on Earth and to jettison that bit of production out to space as much as I have been aware of the theory that Space can handle more excess than what we can keep here on Earth. However, I do have a keen issue with this part of the theory, of being able to use Space without fear of consequence as Space appears to be a place where no harm can come to it. I oft wondered about all the left behind space debris and the accumulated bits we’ve already left to the pure nothingness that is Space. I am not sure why it is the one place we always approach outside our mindset of ‘leave no trace’ because it appears that if we were to conquer the ability to shift our industrial productivity to the Cosmos, would we then not want to ensure that whatever we ‘bring to Space’ is brought with the belief that we would be leaving less of an impression on the cosmos than we had on Earth!? OR are we simply going to continue to repeat a pattern of doing what works well for us in the short-term and not think of any long-term effects at all!? I would imagine, despite how seemingly different Space is to Earth, even in that realm there are perimeters of order outside the chaos.

I am not sure if I can go with a clear conscience to say that I fully support shifting our industries to Space if we do not have a clearly defined code of ethics and safety in place to ensure that whatever we ‘add’ to Space is not going to ‘subtract’ from what is already naturally occurring and viable. If we have not yet mastered the ability to be stewards of Earth, how then, can we become stewards of Space? We cannot take a direct step backwards and wreck havoc in a new environment simply because it ‘makes sense’ to re-distribute our problems to a place that has a higher yield of improbable elements of consequence.

To fully substantiate the proposition in Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, the authors lay down the foundation of how Earth and Space originated in their uniqueness and how the history of their origins helps them better understand the future of both on equal grounds. This is the building block beginning to the book, as they shift and alternative between designated sections to help present the case, the argument, and the resolution for our dire need in living greener and in a way that is more efficient for our rate of consumption and expansion of living practices.

I was thankful to see a mentioning of the garbage and plastic waste ‘lingering in the Pacific Ocean’ as that is one credible example of how I would not appreciate seeing our efforts to fix our problems lead to a further issue out in Space. We tend to want quick answers to complicated problems, but the best answer will always be the one that does not yield to more problems but rather a better livable example of how to live well, produce energy without consequences we cannot ethical live with, and become better protectors of what we inherit to preserve.

I recognise that Space is a frontier we have not yet tapped, but why would we want to risk its own health for our own gain? I am uncertain I fully understood nor accept, that simply because we can harvest resources out of Space that we should take that course of action. We seem to eradicate the cause and effect from this dialogue for change. Not all change is positive and there are always limitations of what we do not yet understand. How can we honestly know the precise measure of what effect new technology and polluted waste will have on the stability of Space? Anytime you start to shift the status que there will be consequences, whether seen, unseen, or cast aside from view.

Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth provides a key view into the insight of where technology and progress is leading us forward towards healing the Earth of our mistakes of the past wherein we had limited Earth’s recovery from the processes of our own industrial age of expansion. Where I find myself on the fence of commitment lies within the heart of change discussed within the book itself. Perhaps it’s because I saw Medicine Man as a ten-year-old whose heart was already tethered to her connection to the natural world, or perhaps it’s because I always believed in the Hippocratic Oath. Either way, for me personally, I can attest the direction we choose to head into the future as a resolution towards our present circumstances, I can only hope that we weigh and consider our next effect on an environment that was fully functional and self-reliant before we ever altered its natural and evolving state of existence.

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Jorie, the girl with a scientific heart

One of the branches of literature I love exploring the most is non-fiction scientific research topics, subjects, and explorations where modern cutting-edge discoveries are impacting our lives whether we know about them or not. I have been wanting to dip back into my science-focused past, picking up where I left off reading and continue to venture into the areas of research and scientific discovery that enlightens my own mind to gain knowledge of. I have had the long-term goals to bring the books that I find which illuminate a particular topic to a level of degree of clarity and depth of knowledge in that working field to my regular readers and visitors of Jorie Loves A Story, as even within the non-fiction realms, I have oft found a ‘story’ behind the element of surprise discovery! Science might be grounded in fact and in the logistical side of proof (unless your examining the theoretical side of physics, which is my own personal preference!) but within the height of new and emerging paragrams of successful progress, we find a story is stitched together behind-the-scenes! And, that in of itself makes me giddy about researching science on a whole!

I have previously reviewed a handful of non-fiction titles on my blog, and it will continue to grow momentum as I find myself attracted to books on a case-by-case basis! Sometimes its the topic or subject contained within the book itself and sometimes it’s merely the approach of those who pen the research! I like keeping my mind open to the possibilities and remaining truthful to my own desire of gaining knowledge in the respective fields I draw an interest.

Science for me was always a big, big draw in my childhood as I practically lived at the Science Center in the city of my birth! The hours I spent over the Summers inside workshoppes, classes, and field trips are too numerous to even relay to you, but simply know that if it was an adventure within an out-of-the-box class for children and examined a curiosity I had under the general umbrella of  ‘science’, I was surely front row center! The best bit is that as I grew, I never outgrew my zest for science or for science theories and discoveries. One of my favourite subjects in high school was the quest behind the pursuit of understanding DNA, which involved Watson, Crick, and Rosalind Franklin. My twenties fused together my passion for the quantum realms, and as an undercurrent of interest oceanography, geophysics, cosmology, and astrophysics were always in close pursuit of each other. Having a careful eye for newsbits on an involving scale of interest from the fields of meteorology, solar optics, volcanology & plate tectonics, and environmental science (with includes every off-branch therein!) I have come to realise that my pursuit for understanding is now interconnected, threaded, and fused together!

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of TLC Book Tours:

TLC Book Tours | Tour HostVirtual Road Map of “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth” Blog Tour:

Monday, June 23rd: Ms. Nose in a Book

Tuesday, June 24th: A Curious Gal

Thursday, June 26th: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Monday, June 30th: Green Tech Gazette

Wednesday, July 2nd: Kinx’s Book Nook

Thursday, July 3rd: guiltless reading

TBD: Grist

Monday: 7 July: Jorie Loves a Story

TBD: GreenMoxie

Please visit my Bookish Events page to stay in the know for upcoming events!

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth”, Author Biographies and Book Synopsis  were provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge & I Blog Books Non-Fiction badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. }

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Posted Monday, 7 July, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, 21st Century, Alternative Energy, Asteroid Science, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Climate Change, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Science, Environmental Solutions, Extraterrestrial Physics, GeoPhysical History, Green-Minded Social Awareness, History, Indie Author, Mechanical Engineering, Modern Day, Non-Fiction, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Popular Astronomy, Science, Science Fiction, Social Change, Space Science, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, Sustainability from Space, TLC Book Tours