Category: Lyrical Quotations

Blog Book Tour | “The Summer of Chasing Mermaids” by Sarah Ockler

Posted Wednesday, 5 August, 2015 by jorielov , , , 3 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 on “The Summer of Chasing Mermaids” blog tour originally in mid-Spring before the tour was put on hold and finally re-organised in early Summer. Diverse Book Tours was undergoing a re-organisation and re-grouping of their website during the downtime and I was quite thankful I was still able to remain on the tour. I was sent a complimentary hardback copy of “The Summer of Chasing Mermaids” direct from Diverse Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Why Jorie tries to remember to read outside her comfort zones:

Young Adult fiction is a new passion of mine, ever since I took up sails into these engaging worlds where writers would enchant me with their fantasy realms (such as Jackie Gamber!) or retreat inside a coming-of age tale where the main protagonist is one where you cannot put the book down because of how strong they are lighting the story for your heart. The latter of course is a memory of mine from reading The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate most especially but there are others listed on my recent re-attachment to YA fiction on my Children’s Lit archive which immediately bring me back to those characters and stories as lightning quick as the two mentioned here.

I cannot say I am one who is caught up in the tides of most contemporary YA titles which seem to go viral as soon as they’re published (i.e. I have yet to read a John Green, Stephanie Meyer, or Suzanne Collins novel) but I do have a healthy thirst for stories by modern writers who are reminiscent of the authors I loved whilst I was growing up. There is a sampling of those authors on my Children’s Lit archive as well, as it’s becoming a way for me to journal my past endeavours in literature for children as much as serve as a blueprint for what I am reading right now. The companion sections for Children’s Lit & Young Adult Lit are in my Story Vault.

When I was approached about this particular novel there was something about it’s plot that gave me the impression I might enjoy discovering it’s story. It wasn’t until closer to when the book arrived by post that I started to learn a bit more about the novel’s content and how this YA novel in particular is setting a few new standards for what #YALit can encompass. For example, the term ‘sex-positive’ was a new for me as I learnt about it’s connection to the context of this story via another book bloggers rather open and honest review of how the story tackles strong topics for young adults.

I am coming into YA from a previous generation of where YA and Juvenile Fiction could convey strong themes and choices of lifestyles but held back a bit from what the reader would breathe in through the narrative. To me, this new transition in YA might stem out of the blog posts I’ve read about “Upper YA” verse traditional YA; where the stories are geared more towards teenagers who are on the brink of graduating high school and are about to emerge either into the workforce or the college selection process! In this, I can find a strong advocacy for novels that tip a hat towards communication and open dialogue about what is important to a 16-18 year old growing up in today’s world.

As a Prospective Adoptive Mum, I knew literature has changed quite a heap since I was growing up in the 80s/90s, as we didn’t quite have the same ‘electrifying’ inertia surrounding our books as teens have today; in part, I think because there wasn’t as much marketing and promotion in the book industry for Children’s Lit, esp Young Adult titles in particular. There has been a tidalwave of new interest for marketing and publicity for children and teens, and this is something I celebrate because I was a fierce reader who would have thrived on the live events and the author signings had they been as well promoted then as they are now. Author events when I grew up were generally for either a local author of a genre I was not old enough to read or someone quite obscure in academia; either way, the offerings were sparse!

I decided to remain on top of the new selections – even if it took me awhile to find my new ‘favourite’ authors and the titles I simply found ‘unputdownable’ and worthy of being devoured in one or two sittings – mostly as my tastes in stories do differ from the majority; but having said that, I wanted to stay open-minded about certain authors who had a style of telling a story that might resonate with me, whilst allowing me to take a chance on a book such as The Summer of Chasing Mermaids which would reunite me with other adults who adore YA!

Reading outside our comfort zones allows literature to stay fresh and vibrant; it’s a bit like how I recently blogged I am shifting out of France and dropping in on Italy! IF we don’t allow ourselves the grace to grow and to continue to shift forward with new contemporary authors who are telling new stories with a new vein of thought stitched into them which relate to our modern world, we fall behind. As a future Mum I’d like to stay connected and remain mindful of what is curiously connecting to today’s youth whilst accepting that even if your a few generations removed, you can find a balance between your own childhood and your children’s.

Blog Book Tour | “The Summer of Chasing Mermaids” by Sarah OcklerThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids
by Sarah Ockler
Source: Publicist via Diverse Book Tours

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: an ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother, Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1481401272

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Magical Realism, Realistic Fiction, Upper YA Fiction, YA Contemporary, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Simon Pulse

on 2nd June, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 416


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: Simon Pulse (@simonteen),
Available Formats: Hardback and Ebook

Converse via: #TheSummerOfChasingMermaids

About Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of six young adult novels: Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, Bittersweet, The Book of Broken Hearts, #scandal, and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids.

Her books have been translated into several languages and have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, Amazon Top Movers and Shakers, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books. Her short work has appeared in the anthologies Dear Teen Me and Defy the Dark.

She’s a champion cupcake eater, tea drinker, tarot enthusiast, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in the Pacific northwest, Sarah enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex. Fans can find her via the links below to connect with her directly!

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Posted Wednesday, 5 August, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Conservation, Contemporary Romance, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Diverse Book Tours, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Lyrical Quotations, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Mute | Medical Loss of Voice, Near-Death Experience, Oregon, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Preservation, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Natural World, Twin Siblings, Upper YA Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, West Coast USA, Writing Style & Voice, Young Adult Fiction

Book Review | “Some Other Town” by Elizabeth Collison

Posted Friday, 6 March, 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 “Some Other Town” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher HarperCollins Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. Except to say, shortly after I received my copy of “Some Other Town”, the blog tour itself was cancelled quite unexpectedly. I still was quite curious to read this novel, as it held such a curious plot inside it itching for me to discover where it would lead me to venture. Therefore, I picked a new date (originally the 3rd of March) to post my review off-tour. A few technical and life moments interrupting my plans, I’ve finally been able to share my thoughts on the 6th of March! I was thankful Trish @ TLC was able to help me with the book cover, synopsis, and author biography as my tech errors were driving me a bit batty ahead of my review!

Books to take a chance on:

You have to understand, I have a thirst for stories which do not fit within a ‘particular box of genre or literary category of interest’, and thus, this particular novel spoke to me to request! I have previously mentioned a bit about how it is to receive a list of books coming up for review and selection on a blog tour — this beautiful sub-culture of book bloggers who have found a niche within their own individual online world of bookish culture, news, and the geektastically brilliant joy of being wrapped inside the ‘art of discovering’ a new to me author!

I have a penchant for time slips and time travel narratives, but also, the more oblique and abstract of where time, dimension, and the human conscience travel within a narrative arc. The lines by which begin to blur between reality, dreams, and the innermost desires of a human mind to voyage inside as the person within the soul attempts to sort through a few things. This introspective pursuit of alighting within the partitions of ‘time’ where there is a living ‘outside of time yet in-step with the living reality’ which consumes of us all. The kinds of stories where you are broaching into a nether space of original thought and the context of which can either resonate or dispel the appeal of what pulled you into the synopsis.

Ironically or not, as I was sorting out how to begin my review tonight, I had this unexpectedly lovely conversation with a novelist whose ‘this side of cosy hard-boiled’ new release is on the fringes of being promoted in the near future – mind you, I caught up with her on Twitter the very day she purchased her new domain for her newly minted website! Champion, eh? Without deferring to my favourite way to capture these moments encased in the randomness of wicked sweet conversations, you will find the gist of our convo timelined on Twitter itself! If you want to make sure you can catch the rest of our thread, kindly pull up my feeds, and happily follow it along!

It was inside this particular convo, I aligned my thoughts ahead of my ruminations! Because part of my instinctive joy, is remaining on ‘the edge of where fiction has gone and where it can become inventively curious’ to follow! Hence why my dedicated passion continues, after having found Lemongrass Hope at round Mid-Summer in 2014! Others have bewitched me, but this particular one I bring back to your attention, dear heart, due to how ‘time, space, and mind’ were entwined.

Further still, another TLC tour beckoned to me, except this time I was too late on the switch to participate; giving me a fervent desire to seek out The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson at my local library post haste! You can see on the blog tour page what sparked my interest as it is curiously aligned with Some Other Town. In the end, I turnt in a purchase request in order to curb the ‘six months out wait from publication’ to request it through ILL’ing! Confirmation of it being ordered arrived half a day after I left these remarks upon this review prior to posting it live! I cannot even express how giddy it made me feel knowing I’d have my hands on a copy!

Book Review | “Some Other Town” by Elizabeth CollisonSome Other Town
by Elizabeth Collison
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

"But here is the strangest part. Now in the mornings when I wake from the dream, for an instant it's as if there are two of me. The one that will rise and go off to work and come home again to Mrs. Eberline. And the one that awakes from the dream of the van and feels something inside of her rising. Quickening, yearning, keening."

Margaret Lydia Benning, twenty-eight and adrift, still lives in the same Midwest town where she went to college. By day, she works at the Project, a nonprofit publisher of children's readers housed in a former sanatorium. There she shares the fourth floor with a squadron of eccentric editors and a resident ghost from the screamers' wing. At night, Margaret returns alone to her small house on Mott Street, with only her strange neighbor, Mrs. Eberline, for company.

Emotionally sleepwalking through the days is no way to lead a life. But then Margaret meets Ben Adams, a visiting professor at the university. Through her deepening relationship with Ben she glimpses a future she had never before imagined, and for the first time she has hope . . . until Ben inexplicably vanishes. In the wake of his disappearance, Margaret sets out to find him. Her journey, a revelatory exploration of the separate worlds that exist inside us and around us, will force her to question everything she believes to be true.

Told through intertwined perspectives, by turns incandescent and haunting, Some Other Town is an unforgettable tale, with a heartbreaking twist, of one woman's awakening to her own possibility.

Places to find the book:

Genres: Literary Fiction


Published by Harper Perennial

on 24th February, 2015

Pages: 304

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: Harper Perennial (@HarperPerennial),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #SomeOtherTown

About Elizabeth Collison

Elizabeth Collison grew up in the Midwest and now lives in the San Francisco Bay area. She received her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has worked as an editor, graphic artist, and technical writer. This is her first novel.

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Posted Friday, 6 March, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Art, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Clever Turns of Phrase, Contemporary Romance, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Illustration for Books & Publishing, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Library Love, Literary Fiction, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Lyrical Quotations, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Psychiatric Facilities, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Sociological Behavior, The Seventies, TLC Book Tours, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage

Blog Tour | “Mist of Midnight” {Book 1: Daughters of Hampshire} by Sandra Byrd

Posted Thursday, 5 March, 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 contacted by the author’s (Sandra Byrd) CBA Tour Coordinator (Renee Chaw) back in November, 2014 about the possibility of receiving “Mist of Midnight” in exchange for an honest review which would be included on Ms Byrd’s official blog tour for it’s March release! I was beyond delighted at having been approached by her and readily agreed. As I have a non-giveaway policy for Jorie Loves A Story, this blog tour stop is not hosting the tour giveaway, but rather is solely a book review of the novel which is posted whilst the official tour is going on. I received my complimentary ARC copy of Mist of Midnight direct from Howard Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. In December 2014, I received the press materials from her publicist Ms Chaw. I am thankful for this wonderful opportunity, not only to read my first novel by Ms Byrd but to host my first blog tour book review for Howard Books! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Intrigued to Read:

I unequivocally can declare when it comes to Gothic Lit & the Historical Fiction side of literature, I am unabashedly intrigued by each new story and author I stumble across! Imagine my good cheer in finding an author had found me for her blog tour? I hadn’t realised it at the time, but Ms Byrd has been on my TBR for awhile now, as I had to remind myself I had spied her Ladies in Waiting series previously!

When it comes to Gothic Lit, the reason I am caught instinctively inside the pages of stories which befall this category is because I have a passionate affection for ‘psychological suspense’ and most of what I enjoy reading within this realm of plausibility curates this experience for me! I have a penchant for the Victorian era of which I believe might be deduced by my literary wanderings time after time; however, it’s this wicked joy I have bubbling up inside me when I know I am about to plunder inside an enriched atmospheric novel I find the most inspiring! As well noted by now throughout my blog, I’m a hybrid reader (dancing through genres of literature between mainstream & INSPY markets) and I cannot even properly express how wicked happy I was to discover Mist of Midnight!

I have recently read a re-telling of Jane Eyre, entitled: Keeping Kate on behalf of a blog tour for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media; this on the footheels of having learnt there was a readalong for Jane Eyre! Mind you, my unhealthy time consumption in February solely focused on technical malfunctions and ISP unknown tech issues caused my blogging life to be put on hold for most of the month; notwithstanding, I simply lost too many hours within my personal life outside of this blog to soak inside even one book more than I managed to feature within the month just extinguished from view. I still fully intend to read Jane Eyre and go back through the readalong posts, however, sadly it was ill-fated for me to participate as a whole. Thrice this has happened to me, where I had sought out a RAL for Charlotte Bronté’s classic tale, yet it did not stop me from absorbing myself straight into Keeping Kate!

Bringing me round to what I wanted to share, as I have slated in my mind and gathered a bit of my intentions of what to read next on my tCC List in direct reflection to this curiously addictive focus I have on Gothic Lit! What comes to mind after I muse about Eyre, is how in earnest I attempted to borrow and consume the narrative within the pages of The Distant Hours by Kate Morton or even The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates; two novels continuously whetting my palette with hearty intrigue.

Now when it comes to ‘inheritance stories’ I must confess, I have a particular interest in them because they bring a swirl of excitement to central focus within the heart of where the story leads us to go as the lead character is nearly always at odds in these situations with an interloper! Someone who either has a hardened heart turnt black and whose ill will seeks to cause them extreme duress if not personal harm, has a shadowy allure to soak into your imagination due to the very nature of what pulls this context forward! You start to gather the facts inside your own mind, weigh and counterbalance what is perceived against what is known (as so oft-times the writer holds the reader in the dark and/or gives only ‘just so’ much information to leave the climax plausibly aloof) and hold a firm grasp on your emotional heart as the drama surrounding the entire tale will leave you up late into the night wicking at the flames of a candle!

Yes, I must confess, when it comes to seeking stories — the ones of which give me a hitch of wicked joy are the ones shrouded in suspense with the framework of a relationship that may or may not yield in romantic overtures. The mystery itself is well worth the wait to see how everything unfolds! With haste and felicity, I took up the pages of Mist of Midnight! Top cheers to Ms Byrd for allowing us the grace of seeing this is only one installment of a new series yet to bewitch us wholly and true!

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

Blog Tour | “Mist of Midnight” {Book 1: Daughters of Hampshire} by Sandra ByrdMist of Midnight
by Sandra Byrd
Source: Direct from Publisher

In the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands.

Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her...and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca's name, but her home and incomes.

That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father's investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: Daughters of Hampshire,


Genres: Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Howard Books

on 10th March, 2015

Pages: 384

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: Howard Books (@Howard_Books)
(an imprint of Simon & Schuster: )

Available Formats:  Hardback & E-Book

Converse on Twitter: #MistOFMidnight

About Sandra Byrd

Sandra Byrd is a best-selling author and has earned Library Journal's Best Books of the year pick twice, in 2011 for To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn, and in 2012 for The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr. She's twice been a Christy Award finalist, for To Die For and for Let Them Eat Cake: A Novel. Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I published April 2013

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Posted Thursday, 5 March, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, British Literature, Castles & Estates, Cemeteries & Graveyards, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, England, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Genre-bender, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Gothic Romance, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, India, Inheritance & Identity, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Literature of India, Lyrical Quotations, Military Fiction, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Singletons & Commitment, Suspense, the Victorian era, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, World Religions

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, 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 | “Girl Runner” by Carrie Snyder

Posted Wednesday, 25 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 “Girl Runner” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher HarperCollins Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I grew up watching the Winter (Olympic) Games, whilst the Games themselves inspired me to correspond with other girls who lived overseas, as my original pen pals were sought through a friendship exchange linked to the Norwegian Games in the early 1990s. Those friendships dissolved in my early to mid twenties, but the friendships sparked a love of exchanging postal mail and letters of correspondence! A tradition that I still carry forward today, as I will be blogging a bit more about my love for postal mail, stationeries, mixed media collage and postal mail art; intermixed with my love of knitting, as segues of how a bookish girl like me has found beauty and joy in lost arts of the recent past.

The Games themselves by definition and by example, lead us towards a world that is close-knit and tied together through sportsmanship and the honour of competing not merely against each other on teams, but against our ‘best moment inside the sport itself’ to better ourselves and strengthen our abilities therein. It’s a magical and inspirational time every four years, as we get to dip inside a country’s history and the passion they have for not only the continuation of the Games themselves but the diplomacy and the curated friendships that athletes find amongst the community of which they find themselves living for this moment in time and history. The Olympic Village stories combine with the Opening & Closing Ceremonies and the documentaries on the host country, to knit together my overall joy of watching from afar as the Games pursue as the telecast feeds are limited by time zone and distance.

I anchoured myself into the Winter Games a bit quicker than the Summer Games, but I enjoy each of them quite equally, whilst finding the X-Games are a wicked sweet surprise in-between! I have fond memories extending out of Nagano, Japan; Vancouver, British Columbia; London, England; and Beijing, China which gives an overview of my favourite Winter & Summer Games of the past decade or so. When I came to discover the narrative behind Girl Runner, I must confess I had an intense cascade of beautiful memories alighting through my mind’s eye as I considered accepting this novel for review. To explore a part of the Olympic past cast against a fictional character’s story simply enveloped me in full anticipation of what I would discover within the pages themselves!

On a separate note, I had to remind myself that I was a charity runner when I was nine years old who accomplished more than the runners twice her age or older. I hadn’t even realised I was running further and faster than the others around me; as I did experience a bit of what Snyder talks about in her novel Girl Runner where everything outside your run starts to blur and it is you alone on the track or path you’ve elected to race. Running a race isn’t always about a specific end result, it can be for the clock in competition or it can simply be a defining moment where you seek to prove your own fortitude of strength. How far can you personally take yourself to run? How far will you go? The irony is that before I picked up Girl Runner I had forgotten I was a runner myself; one who elected not to run for sport, but to run for myself. I gave myself the freedom to pace my extensions and my distance by what I knew I could achieve against the clock of how long the charity run would last. The best joy was knowing my true best was better than I could have dreamt.

Running gives you an honest account and assessment of your capabilities — how far you can push yourself and how where your own barriers might lie to hold you back from what you can do. There is freedom of spirit in running over and beyond where you felt you physically could travel.

I was encouraged to run during recess and P.E. even though I knew I could not compete with the girls who would make the track team. I decided to find my own buoyancy of rhythm, to tap into where my breath could match my feet and where my gait could extend itself into an individual pace of quickness. I hadn’t realised how I have missed that feeling of achieving something I never expected to gain. Running is an elevated joy from walking; but being in motion in and out of time itself is the appeal.

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

Blog Book Tour | “Girl Runner” by Carrie SnyderGirl Runner
by Carrie Snyder
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

An unforgettable novel about competition, ambition, and a woman’s struggle to earn a place in a man’s world, Girl Runner is the story of 1928 Olympic gold medalist Aganetha Smart. Will Aganetha’s undeniable talent help her to outrun the social conventions of her time, or the burden of her family’s secrets?

As a young runner, Aganetha Smart defied everyone’s expectations to win a gold medal for Canada in the 1928 Olympics. It was a revolutionary victory, because these were the first Games in which women could compete in track events—and they did so despite opposition. But now Aganetha is in a nursing home, and nobody realizes that the frail centenarian was once a bold pioneer.

When two young strangers appear asking to interview Aganetha for their documentary about female athletes, she readily agrees. Despite her frailty, she yearns for adventure and escape, and though her achievement may have been forgotten by history, her memories of chasing gold in Amsterdam remain sharp. But that triumph is only one thread in the rich tapestry of her life. Her remarkable story is colored by tragedy as well as joy, and as much as Aganetha tries, she cannot outrun her past.

Part historical page-turner, part contemporary mystery, Girl Runner peels back the layers of time to reveal how Aganetha’s amazing gift helped her break away from a family haunted by betrayals and sorrow. But as the pieces of her life take shape, it becomes clear that the power of blood ties does not diminish through the years, and that these filmmakers may not be who they claim to be. . . .

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780062336057

Genres: Canadian Lit, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction


Published by Harper Books

on 3rd February, 2015

Pages: 288

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: Harper Books (@harperbooks)

an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)

Available FormatsHardback & Ebook

Converse via: #GirlRunner

About Carrie Snyder

Carrie Snyder’s Girl Runner is shortlisted for the 2014 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her previous book, The Juliet Stories, was shortlisted for the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award and named one of the Globe and Mail‘s Top 100 Books of the Year. Her first book, the short story collection Hair Hat, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award for Short Fiction. A mother of four, Carrie lives with her family in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

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Posted Wednesday, 25 February, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, ARC | Galley Copy, Audio Play, Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Bookish Films, Canada, Canadian Literature, Cats and Kittens, Chapter or Novel Adaptation in Audio, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, During WWI, Geographically Specific, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Interviews Related to Content of Novel, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Literary Fiction, Lyrical Quotations, Midwife | Midwifery, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Soundcloud, Sports, The Olympic Games (Winter or Summer), the Roaring Twenties, TLC Book Tours, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage