Genre: Women's Studies

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.

Read More

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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

*Release Day* The Spirit Keeper by K.B. Laugheed |A Ruminative Tome of Introspective Freedom

Posted Tuesday, 24 September, 2013 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

The Spirit Keeper by K.B. Laugheed

Published By: Plume, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), 24 September 2013
Official Author Websites Site | Twitter | Facebook
Available Formats: Softcover
Page Count: 352

Converse on Twitter: #TheSpiritKeeper

The Spirit Keeper on Book Browse
Excerpt on Penguin Group’s site

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comAcquired Book By: Book Browse First Impressions Programme: I received a complimentary ARC in exchange for my honest review on Book Browse from the publisher Plume. The Spirit Keeper was amongst the offerings for August 2013, as this book will be published 24th of September 2013. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared therein or herein.

Initially I Wanted to Read: I wanted to partake in her journey untoward becoming one man’s living vision of ‘a creature of fire and ice’ and to see if they could fulfill each other’s destinies therein. It is such a curious proposition, to be taken by force from one’s own family, and re-positioned into a life, by which, you’re in complete unfamiliar territory, amongst people who speak a different tongue than your own, and by your own wits, have to determine how to survive. I was curious by how she was going to effectively change her life and heart; and to what end she must do so! This felt to me like a piece of Magical Realism wrapped up inside a Historical Fiction, rooted into the conscience of the American Frontier! I was besotted with the plot, and needed to read it to ascertain what the story truly was about! The Spirit Keeper spoke to me, as a book I needed to read rather than merely a book I wanted to read! I listen to my intuition in other words!

Inspired to Share: The book trailer for The Spirit Keeper, keeps the atmospheric liltings of the novel fully intact! The fiery crimson hair and pure, glistening blue eyes of Katie O’ Toole are visually represented as well!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

“The Spirit Keeper” by K.B. Laugheed Book Trailer by Penguin Group (USA)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A brutal and savage world envelopes you as you dip into this narrative: Within the opening sequences, I was at first, rather taken aback by the imagery that was greeting me, and on reflection of the story’s arc, I shook off my fright, and realised, how else could it have been writ!? I warmed a bit to the ensuing exchanges, and limited my scope of the worst bits that would befall Katie’s family, as I am not one who endeavours to be explicitly aware of such horrific events! I was much more keen to arrive at the heart of the story, by which, I had first been curious to read! The bit about how an ordinary girl suddenly finds herself in the middle of an extraordinary journey! I will lament, that if you’re a reader who begs off for lighter faire, you might want to caution yourself, as within Chapter One, the author does not hold back on the grim realities of what it was like in the 1700s when an Indian War Party descended upon a settler’s family.

Flickerments of “Medicine Man” (the motion picture) streamed through my mind, as did “Dances with Wolves” (the motion picture), as in each story, those who only spoke English, learnt to adapt and to live amongst the natives by which they found themselves belonging too better than their own kind. I am drawn into stories that attach us to whole new cultures, traditions, religions, and walks of life. Stories that etch into our imaginations a wholly new world, where there are similarities, but otherwise, as we dip into their narratives, we find ourselves in a foreign land, attempting to understand what we cannot yet conceive possible.

Whilst in the opening chapters of her journey, with her new traveling companions, they reached a village of Native Americans, by which, upheld the custom of women’s huts. I had first learnt of this tradition awhile ago, but the memory of where and how is lost to me! More readily to depart is that the same sequence of knowledge was included in my reading of The Forest Lover, which was a selection of mine for Bout of Books, 8.0! I am still in-progress with that particular book, but what I found fascinating is the depictions of this ritual that both authors gave to their readers! I will be attaching an article about these huts, as I find it rather curious how intimate and safe they truly were for women! They achieved a heightened sense of freedom in asking questions and conversing on topics that might not otherwise have been considered kosher in their everyday lives!

An incredible journey of self-preservation, fortitude of spirit, and overwhelming grief: I was not quite prepared for the journey that Katie, Syawa, and Hector embark upon! It wasn’t so much the long distances that they must traverse through rough hewn terrain, but rather, they are each going through a personal, intimate, internal journey concurrent to their outward journey towards the men’s originating homeland! Each is carrying secrets of their own experiences, and in Katie’s instance, her life is muddled and blighted with far more devastation than anyone could ill-afford possible to a seventeen year old young lady!  Her lot in life has been tempered by abuse and misguided notions of love, unto where she has encouraged a naïve sense of the living world, and has grown an ignorance of how right a life can be lived! I grieved for her and bleed emotions with her recollections of past memories,.. memories that were nearly too hard to bare and to ruminatively lay pause upon. It is through Syawa’s gentleness and effective way of easing her out of her shell, that she truly started to see who she was and who she could be. I only wish I could pronounce Syawa’s name, as I feel as guilty she does in her own story, about the misunderstandings that evolve out of not understanding language and meaning of words, phrases, or names outside our own native tongues! Read More

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Posted Tuesday, 24 September, 2013 by jorielov in 18th Century, Book Browse, Book Trailer, Debut Novel, Diary Accountment of Life, Early Colonial America, Environmental Conscience, Equality In Literature, First Impressions, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Native American Fiction, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, That Friday Blog Hop, The American Frontier