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

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

RLT Reads: Summer Book Picks!

The summer has finally arrived and many of you will be vacationing and looking for a book to take on your trip. Me myself, well I'll be at my regular, that is, reading every evening to relax and clear my head.

I love reading and thats a fact. When I read, I allow someone else's imagination to take me on a journey. It's a place where I never think about my life with AIDS. It's a safe place away from my pain.

There is nothing like a good book so I wanted to share my summer picks with you! First off, are some of my favorite authors.  I was devastated when Walter Mosley killed off Easy Rawlins, his swanky private detective centered in Los Angles from the time span after War World Two through the 50's-60's. Mystery is one of my favorite genre's and I was a late comer to Walter Mosley, but once I started I couldn't put him down. He just released his latest, Little Green! I can wait to pick it up!

Next is an author that is one of the greatest writers of my era. When I tell you his first two books, A Thousand Splendid Suns and Kite Runner were magnificently written, I mean it! I have placed A Thousand Splendid Suns in the top 5 books that I have ever read. Well, Khaled Hosseini is at it yet again, he recently released And The Mountains Echoed.  His books are heavy and complex so be prepared.

When I learned that this next book was being released I was overjoyed. When I tell you that The Devil Wears Prada was one of my great reads, it was. I laughed and got mad all in the same page and thats a good read! Well, Lauren Weisberger has released, Revenge Wears Prada and it is a must read for the fans of The Devil Wears Prada. I'm hopeful that it will be equally as fun as the first. I consider this a light read.

I also though that I would step out of my comfort zone for a change. Since I've been on Good Reads, I've learned about so many authors. I'm in a book club that reads books by people of color and these are some of their reads and while, I'm behind, I certainly plan to read them all this summer.

First up is an author whose name has been dropped by me on many occasions. I have been planning to read Nigerian born, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,  first book Half of a Yellow Sun. After reading Little Bee, it was highly recommended to have an African perspective of the Nigerian civil war. Well, she has released a new book this summer that has gotten great reviews. Americanah is about living in America and being African and the difference that means from being African-American. As soon as I finish reading Eric Jerome Dickey's Waking With Enemies ( A Girl Has Got To Have a Little Fun)  I'm going to Americanah. Both of  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie books are on my summer read list, Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah.

Ghana Must Go, by Taiyle Selasi is up next. Taiyle, is a London born African who was raised in the United States. Ghana Must Go is a narrative that explores the modern African family and the importance of where we come from to who we are. This novel takes us from Accra, to Lagos to London to New York.  "Ghana Must Go teaches us that the truth we speak can heel the wounds we hide."

Last but not least is. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng.  A Penang born author who was raised in Malaysia. The Garden of Evening Mists is his second novel. This book main character is a young woman Malaya and centered in 1951. Malaya is the long survivor of a Japanese wartime camp who seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands.
O. K., so you know that the main character finding refugee in a tea planation had me hooked, line and sinker. I can't wait to read this book.

Well, this is my summer reading list. Now you know, Ill be reading others in between these. I always try to pick up something light after a heavy read. For sure, I'll be reviewing all of my summer reads! Happy Reading!!!

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