Sunday, April 2, 2017

2017 SerendipiTEA Tour: Leah Henderson

   Hi all, and welcome to The 2017 SerendipiTea Tour! I'm your host for today, and Ohana Reads is featuring Leah Henderson! 
   The tour is a unique one, each author on the tour pairs their book with a tea! Sounds great right? So I hope that you enjoy! And don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson

Release Date: June 6th, 2017
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages

Description from GoodReads:

An orphaned boy in contemporary Senegal must decide between doing what is right and what is easy as he struggles to keep a promise he made to his dying father in this debut novel laced with magical realism.

Eleven-year-old Mor was used to hearing his father’s voice, even if no one else could since his father’s death. It was comforting. It was also a reminder that Mor had made a promise to his father before he passed: keep your sisters safe. Keep the family together. But almost as soon as they are orphaned, that promise seems impossible to keep. With an aunt from the big city ready to separate him and his sisters as soon as she arrives, and a gang of boys from a nearby village wanting everything he has—including his spirit—Mor is tested in ways he never imagined.

With only the hot summer months to prove himself, Mor must face a choice. Does he listen to his father and keep his heart true, but risk breaking his promise through failure? Or is it easier to just join the Danka Boys, whom in all their maliciousness are at least loyal to their own?


What Leah has to say about her tea choice:

    I have created a tea blend from two teas I enjoy in Senegal. The first is green tea which is the tea most commonly used in attaya, the tea ceremony which is practiced quite often in Senegal and other parts of West Africa. It is usually made with green tea leaves, loads of sugar, and possibly mint. The tea is mixed over and over between small glasses to help stir the ingredients and then it is served in three times where the tea becomes sweeter and minter each round. Attaya is often a time for friends and family to come together and talk as they wait for each round of tea.
   Along with the green tea, I’ve also added a bit of hibiscus, which is the key ingredient for my favorite drink in Senegal called bissap juice. Bissap is simply hibiscus leaves boiled with sugar then chilled to make a sweet, refreshing drink. So I hope I have created a smoky sweet blend that will transport you to the sun-kissed shores of Senegal and Mor’s Lat Mata.

What Leah has to say about her book:

   One Shadow on the Wall is a book about loss, family, friendship and self-reliance. It follows newly orphaned Mor Fall and his two younger sisters after the death of their father. In order to stay safe and together, Mor must choose between doing what is right and what is easy when a group of boys want what little he and his sisters have. Mor has to figure out what type of person he wants to be while trying to make it through the summer months before his aunt’s return. It is a novel laced with magical realism and I hope loads and loads of heart!

How the tea suits the book:

   Since attaya is a very common tea ceremony in Senegal, it was only natural that I would try and include it. It is featured early on in my book, in an important scene where the adults are discussing Mor and his sisters’ future.

The author's tea life:

   I absolutely love tea. I have cabinets full of it. And in another life I would definitely own a small tea shop and writer’s nook in some charming town in the South of France (there’s a long story behind this, but needless to say earlier in this life it was a very real thought ☺). You can pretty much find me drinking tea all day, everyday. I even have a mug right now. My flavor of the moment is pomegranate oolong. But ask me in an hour and I might have genmai cha, rooibos lemon cloud or some other blend I’ve found irresistible on my travels. 

   Leah has always loved getting lost in stories. When she is not scribbling down her characters’ adventures, she is off on her own, exploring new spaces and places around the world. Her debut middle grade novel, One Shadow on the Wall, will be available June 6th by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. Leah received her MFA in Writing from Spalding University and currently calls Washington D.C. home.
You can find her on Twitter @LeahsMark or through her website at 

April 8th--no post

   Thanks for stopping by, I hope you guys enjoyed!

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