I don't quite remember when I fell in love with tea but I do remember the most special moments of me drinking tea. I was eighteen years old and I went to live with my biological mother for four months. I had just met her months earlier and it was awkward for both of us. She and her ex-husband lived a very quiet life in Boulder, Colorado. He was a professor at one of the universities and she was a housewife. After years of drug addiction and being in and out of jail, she deserved the break. I was homeless so she and her husband agreed to let me come live with them. Each evening my mother and I would find a spot in the living room with a cup of tea and a book.

Now, years later, I'm a self proclaimed tea expert. I start each day with a wonderful English Breakfast tea to get me going. As the day progresses, who knows what wonderful tea I will crown queen. But for sure, I have at least three cups of tea a day. And yes, when I can, I have tea everyday at about 3:00 P. M. I love to invite my friends over for tea and cupcakes and so far everyone thinks it’s a delightful experience. I am always in search of the best blend of tea. Yes, I’m a tea snob, I prefer loose tea but I do like some bags also. I have learned not to judge a book by it’s cover. Some bags can be quite nice. And yes again, any Diva knows, what you drink your tea out of is very important.

Tea for me is a way of life. It's wellness for the mind body and spirit. Here, I will explore every expect of tea possible, with a high concentration on wellness. I will review the best teas, the best places to have tea, the best ways to brew tea, the best tea accessories, what tea goes best with what foods, and the list goes on and on. I plan to share my passion for tea with you. And I've been told, nothing I do is ever boring so be prepared to go on this tea journey with me.

RLT Collection Tea Ball Frosted Clear Beads!

Mint Medley by The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

About This Tea:

Until recently I had never drank Peppermint Tea made with loose leaves. And Honestly, I will probably never go back. The freshness of loose Peppermint Tea cannot be denied. When I open the can of Mint Medley, From The Persimmon Tree Tea Company, I feel as if I stepped into a garden of peppermint leaves. It is a perfect blend of organic peppermint and spearmint leaves grown in the US.

Mint Medley has become a favorite and I find myself reaching for this tea tin almost everyday. It is great for on-going nausea. The health benefits and endless. It relieves muscle aches, headaches, migraines, stress. And now that it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and I have a mean cough, I'm sure it will help to relieve some of this congestion in my chest. Mint Medley has been in my tea cup more than any tea as of late. It has really helped with my winter cough, congestion related to this bout of pneumonia. You can read my full review on The Persimmon Tree Tea Company Mint Teas.

RLT Collection AIDS Awareness Tea Ball!

Welcome to my world of books! As an pre-teen books changed my world. I fell in love with the writers of the Harlem Renaissance period and the more I read the more I wanted to read. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It spoke to my own degradation and gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

I love to read! Inside a book I escape into someone else's life. There is something wonderful about turning to the next page of a wonderful story. Something intoxicating about the smell of the book and the story it brings to life. Reading brings me joy, and these days with my health in the balance, I find solace in my books.

I spent hours in my bedroom sequestered with the door closed reading the classics from the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes, Larsen, Hurston, Wright and Baldwin. Books became my escape and my salvation. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

Reading is the one thing that the pain of my life could never take away from me. It was the thing that helped to make it better. And even today, living with AIDS, books continue to be the safest place for me. It’s the one thing that belongs to me that AIDS cannot take away from me.The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS.

The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS. I have read hundreds of books from many different genres and I will pick the best of my reads over the years. I warn you, it will not be exclusively white or black, male or female, fiction or non fiction, it will be all of them.

I’m so excited and I’m grateful to everyone who wants to be a part of this venture. We already have 110 Book Club Members. You can email me @ RLTReads@raelewisthornton.com. The Twitter hashtag is #RLTReads. We can make this book club as wonderful as we want to make it. Who says that Oprah has to have the only ownership to a wonderful book club?

This Month We are Reading In My Fathers House by E Lynn Harris

Read along and join our discussion July 19th at 7 pm CST

For more Tea with Rae "Vlogs" Click here to visit her youtube channel

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Proud of Me!

A good friend called me the other day and said that when he received my book in the mail that he just opened to front page to take a glance, but then once he started reading, he couldn't put it down until he had finished. "Good Lawddd," he said to me, "It was so good. Girl I couldn't put it down." That made my freaking day! It's great when someone you have known for over 25 years thinks that you did that thang! He said he was proud of me! That made me feel so good.

The reviews have been coming in steady. Every other day I get a post on Facebook telling me that my book was great, this was one I had waiting on me when I woke up this morning.

Here's one from Facebook

I just finished your book tonight. It's taken me a while to get through it because life has gotten in the way, but it was worth that time and more. I think that my friends are tired of hearing me talk about it, especially the chapters about what women (people) will do to keep a man (partner) because so many of us have been there, and still put ourselves there. It has opened up so much conversation. I sincerely hope that you get to publish your memoir soon, because I would love to buy a copy for the AIDS project that I volunteer at. THANK YOU for being HONEST, straightforward, and an inspiration across the boundaries of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. There is not a single person in this country that couldn't learn something from you

My long time friend Keith is proud of me and I'm proud of me. I didn't think I had it in me, but I did! I know now that I can rewrite my memoir and I plan to do just that. Just watch me; early 2013 release!

But in the meantime, The Politics of Respectability is a great read. I focus on this idea of respectability among black women, how it developed in the late 19th century and its influence on our lives and organizations, and ultimately its impact on me from childhood to now. I answer the questions, what kind of woman and I? Am I Christian Enough? Respectable Enough? I tackle head on the Politics  around Respectability.

I'm grateful to everyone that has supported me and purchased the book. I sold the first shipment of 50 in one week and the second shipment has arrived. I'm still ordering 50 at a time from the printers, because that's all my budget will permit. I'm hoping that I'm able to sell at least 5000 copies this year, that's just 4 months. I need your support to make this happen! #IcannotdoitAlone There are three ways you can purchase my book.

Here's How To Order

1) For an autographed copy, you can order from me on my website. There is a link on both the blog and the bracelet website Click Here!

2) You want to read it, but you want anonymity that's cool! You can order from Amazon Create Space Click Here. It's also on regular Amazon, but I make more money if you purchase from Amazon Create Space Site.  

3) You can also get it on Amazon Kindle Click Here

Honestly, I don't care where you purchase it, just do it! Support me....

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