Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ritual Tea Blog Tour - Interview + Giveaways

Today I have the pleasure of introducing y'all to Mario Zeleny, author of Ritual Tea.  I have read his book (and absolutely loved it - you can read my review here).  Before we get started with the interview, let me give you some more information about this book. :)

Ritual Tea
By: Mario Zeleny

Genre: Self-help, Inspirational
Publisher: Sancti Spiritus
Publication date: 3.31.2014
Pages: 200

Summary: Media headlines abound these days saying, “Tea is trendy...” and we believe it until we read the first chapter of Ritual Tea: How the 9 Secrets of Tea Can Transform Your Life. Entitled, Tea’s Sordid and Holy Exploits, chapter one is a worldwide, whirlwind tour of tea history that leaves the reader knowing once and for all that tea has always been trendy for very good reasons. Next to water, tea is the world’s most popular drink.
Author Mario Zeleny, lifelong tea lover and personal coach, extracts the magic of tea from its history, uses, and benefits but also from its power to change the world. He brings the secrets of tea into modern light, and makes it accessible for contemporary lifestyles.

“We do not have to be a Buddhist monk, or study The Way of Tea for decades to be your own Tea Master,” says Zeleny, “but you must understand its secrets to reap tea’s transformative qualities in your life.”

Ritual Tea boasts over 30 links to free tea products, ten personal rituals to help with everything from anxiety to sleep, and 10 charts that make crafting our own ritual a breeze.

Discover the transformative power of tea hidden in its history, versatility, and essence through simple, timeless and individualized rituals. To help us on the tea path, the author has made a free Ritual Tea ecourse available through

Tea has made a 5000 year trek to inhabit the world and in its wake it has altered not only individual lives but cultures and countries. Ritual Tea asks, “Who will we be in tea’s history?” Will we just make tea, or will we allow tea make us?

Hi, Mario.  Thanks for stopping by.  Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Portland, OR metro area.  At the time, where we lived would not have been considered a suburb, but it is one now.  I grew up in a very small town called Aloha.  We had a half acre garden every year and we raked up leaves and pine needles from the front and back yard 3-4 times during the season.  The black walnut tree was my favorite; I loved the smell of the rotting leaves.  The tree was also great to climb, too,
My fondest memory was getting the Vincent Price's Shrunken Head Kit.  OH, I loved it and that thing worked fabulous!  I loved building models from scary movies like Dracula.  My most favorite was watching Sinister Cinema on KATU on Saturday Nights!
Tell us 5 random facts very few people know about you.
I love children's books.
I lived in a commune for two years.
I was in a Franciscan order when I was young.
I have seven kids, but only one is biologically related.
All the artists in my family are male: Great Grandfather, Grandfather, Uncle (and myself).  My Great Grandfather and Grandfather were very well known in Italy.
What is the first book you remember reading?
Sam and the Firefly
What book(s) have most influenced you?
I love books by Carlos Castaneda, Eckhart Tolle, and Wayne Dyer.  They have so many books and all of them have influenced me.  But, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are the first to come to mind.
What made you decide to begin writing in the first place?
Why does any writer write?  We have stories to share, a need to be heard, a desire to influence and entertain ... it pours out of us seeking form.
What inspires you most?
Ideas, concepts and personal illuminations, and a desire to share and connect with others.
Which of your characters do you think is the most like you?
Well, my book is less of a story book and more personal growth and inspirational.  However, if you ask me who I am in tea's history, I can tell you that I am more a monk than anything else.
Where is your favorite place to write?
My office ... I designed it to be a comfortable place to write.  I have a window with light and can hear the birds.  It is decorated with black cabinets and things from Hawaii.  I have a palm tree and a couch.  My desk is large but still manages to get cluttered!  My office is upstairs so it's out of the hubbub of daily living.  This does not mean that I don't write on the couch with my laptop after dinner!
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
Managing so many ideas and thoughts!  I have a place where I deposit them but still end up putting notes in my manuscript, making lists on scrap paper, using Evernote, sending myself text messages and emails, as well as writing in books I use for research!
My need to write things down is crucial.  If I forget, it drives me batty.  But in the end, if I forget or lose my notes, then I believe it was meant to be.
What do you think makes a good story?
Just the right amount of detail, anticipation and mystery.  And, of course, great characters.
What kinds of things do you do when you're not writing?
I love movies, trips to small historical towns, and art.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I am writing more courses for and hope to put them in book form.  I plan on adding photos to Ritual Tea and expand it next year.
Where can we find you?
           My Website
Well, Mario, thanks for bringing your blog tour to both The Gal in the Blue Mask and My Pathway to Liberation.  It's been great having you. :)
More about Mario:

Mario Zeleny – Lover of all things tea. Mario spent 15 years in healthcare and social services in clinical and administrative roles that offered coaching to employees and volunteers. An artist and entrepreneur from an early age, Mario now brings his love of writing, art, spirit, coaching and ritual together online at his creative living site, Sancti Spiritus and also from his transformational art site, Art Spellz. Mario looks forward to completing his education with Mentor Coach and St. Clement Seminary. He currently resides in Sacramento with his husband of 8 years, their children and their domestic sovereign, a pug named Brigit.

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Mario Zeleny said...

Hey!! I want to thank you for the wonderful review and lively interview. I am very grateful and love that you are apart of my launch and grand opening celebration!!

Warm Regards,


Meghan H said...

You have been one of my favorite interviews so far - you have the BEST answers. And the picture of you and that darling pug, totally cute :)

You are welcome back anytime. And good luck with all of these big things happening in your life right now!!