Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bonded by Crimson

I am delighted to be here today as your guest blogger, Bri. My debut novel “Bonded by Crimson” has been released on January 28th, and it is available in all formats at Black Opal Books, Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and All Romance eBooks

My heroine Kate Rokov, discovers her “destiny” when her fortune reading friend attempts to “read” it from the cup, I chose to blog about coffee reading, a favourite pass time activity in Croatia and as you read along, you’ll learn it is popular in many countries. In my research on the topic I have learned this has a name. According to Wikipedia it’s called:
Tasseography (also known as tasseomancy or tassology) is a divination or fortune-telling method that interprets patterns in tea leaves, coffee grounds, or wine sediments.
The first inklings of tasseography can be traced to medieval European fortune tellers who developed their readings from splatters of wax, lead, and other molten substances. This evolved into tea-leaf reading in the seventeenth century, a short time after Dutch merchants introduced tea to Europe via trade routes to China.
Scotland, Ireland, and England have produced a number of practitioners and authors on the subject, and English potteries have crafted many elaborate tea cup sets specially designed and decorated to aid in fortune-telling. Cultures of the Middle East that practice divination in this fashion usually use left-over coffee grounds from Turkish coffee (see below) turned over onto a plate.

Traditionally, coffee readers use Turkish coffee or any coffee that has grinds that sit at the bottom of the cup. Most of the liquid in the coffee is drunk, but the sediment at the bottom is left behind. It is often believed the drinker of the coffee should not read their own cup.
There are at least two forms of coffee reading. Both require that the cup be covered with the saucer and turned upside-down. Some traditions, such as in Romania, require that the sediments in the cup be swirled around - - the inside of the cup until they cover the majority of the cup's inside surface a no-no in Croatia, means you are “making” you own fortune. Other traditions, such as Turkish and Middle Eastern, do not require this swirling but do require that the cup be turned towards yourself –handle - for showing your own fortune. The coffee grounds are given time to settle and dry against the cup before a reading begins. I should add here—If the cup is turned up too soon and the sediments have not dried and they are sliding toward the bottom, means the drinker will cry hard soon. Flip the cup back on its saucer and wait some more. (Peeking is allowed)
Many interpretations for symbols exist, but one common thread is the color of the symbols. Since most cups used are white or ivory and the grounds are dark, strong contrast exists for the symbols. White is considered a "good" symbol foretelling of generally positive things for the drinker, while the grounds themselves are considered to form "bad" symbols.
Symbols can be many things, including people, animals, and inanimate objects. Usually, the fortune teller will group nearby symbols together for a prediction. E.g. a flying bird near a path – you’ll receive a letter (news) that will cause you to go on a trip (or to act in some way.)
After a reading, the drinker will be asked to "open the heart". This is done by placing the right thumb at the inside bottom of the cup and twisting clockwise slightly. This will leave an impression behind that the fortune teller will interpret as the drinker's inner thoughts or emotions.
Some symbols and their meanings include:
achieving knowledge, completing school, getting diploma
Flying birds
good news
a deceitful friend or relative
loyal friend or relative
wishes will come true
death or bad news

Turkish coffee (also Arabic coffee, Armenian coffee, Greek coffee, and more) is a method of preparing coffee where finely powdered roasted coffee beans are boiled in a pot (cezve), with sugar according to taste, before being served into a cup where the dregs settle. This method of serving coffee is common throughout the Middle East, North Africa, the Caucasus, and the Balkans.


Love isn’t in the cards for her…

After her short failed marriage, Kate tries to rebuild her life and takes a position as a nanny to three small boys. She quickly grows to love them, but their father, terrifies her, while igniting a passion she didn’t know she possessed. Disturbed by his distant manner with his sons, Kate struggles to make him more involved in the boys’ daily lives. Her efforts are mysteriously supported by an entity that cannot really exist. Or can she? And if she does exist, is she really trying to help Kate, or just take over her body?

But when he deals the hand, all bets are off…

Six years after his beloved wife passed away, Matthias is still trying to become the father she wanted him to be. Not an easy task for a three-centuries-old immortal. His search for the ultimate nanny ends when Kate Rokov stumbles to his home and into his arms. The immediate attraction he feels for her seems like a betrayal of his dead wife, a love he’s harboured for over three hundred years. But when Kate is stalked by a deadly stranger, life he clung to in the past begins to crumble and break down. Can Matthias learn to trust and to love again in time to save his family from disaster, or will his stubborn pride destroy everything worth living for?

He claimed to be immortal, but that was ridiculous...wasn’t it?

Kate’s heart hammered. The experience seemed so real. A low moan escaped her and she bit her lip. Soon warmth surged through her, causing her body to go limp. Her legs gave way underneath her, but Matthias—or whoever this man claimed to be now—wrapped his arm around her waist. His sweet, musky scent clung to her. Ecstasy filled her and she felt as if she hovered in the air. If he intended to kill her like this, she could imagine no better way to die. A voice echoed through her mind, speaking of undying love in centuries old Croatian.
“Wake up,” he whispered close to her ear, his strong arms still locked around her.
“I don’t want to.” Her head wobbled, exuberant with sheer happiness, a kind she had never experienced before.
“You must.” He stroked her hair with tender fingers. “Wake up now.”
“No. I want to stay like this. Forever.” She focused on his handsome face staring at her through her haze.
His smooth cheek brushed against hers. “Me too, but you must wake.”
The fog lifted and his image appeared, clearly now. She blinked once. Twice. What had happened? She pushed away from him and flattened her back against the wall.
“You, you—”
“You,” he said, pointing at her, “asked for proof.”


Zrinka Jelic lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and two children. A member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapter Fantasy Futuristic &Paranormal, as well as Savvy Authors, she writes contemporary fiction—which leans toward the paranormal—and adds a pinch of history. Her characters come from all walks of life, and although she prefers red, romance comes in many colors. Given Jelic’s love for her native Croatia and the Adriatic Sea, her characters usually find themselves dealing with a fair amount of sunshine, but that’s about the only break they get. “Alas,” Jelic says, with a grin. “Some rain must fall in everyone’s life.”
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Watch the book trailer: Bonded by Crimson


  1. Hi Bri,

    Thank you for hosting me today. It's always exciting to reach new audience.

    1. I have to tell you girl you peeked my curiosity! I'm glad you could join me.

  2. Hi Zrinka,

    Very interesting post. I love all that kind of stuff. I had my tea leaves read once a few years ago. The woman was quite accurate. It was amazing.

    I'll have to try coffee next time :)


  3. Great post! I love learning about other cultures and find it interesting that so many have their own ways to read others.

  4. Hi Debbie and Christine,

    Thanks for stopping by. Yes, coffee reading is and I hope still is one of favourite past time activities. You never know with new generations and the technology that makes everything super fast. Like espresso machines. No one seems to take time to savoir the moment. Everything has to be instant and the enjoyment of it also lasts an instant.

  5. Hi Zrinka! Nice post! I've never had my fortune told or anything like that, but it's always been interesting to me.

    1. Thanks Leslie. I remember some ladies would keep their cups turned onto the saucers next to the sink in case a gypsy woman came around to read fortunes. While their men would sharpen knives and shears or cut wood. But even that culture is dead now.

  6. Hi Bri and Zrinka
    Hope your future shows tons of book sales.

    1. Hi Bev,

      I hope so Haven't drank this kind of coffee in a long while, but just wonder what kind of sign would that prediction be in a coffee dregs.

  7. A big thanks to everyone for supporting Zrinka. I apologize for being an absent host but it couldn't be avoided. Alas life and work. Thanks again