Tea's Haunted House

Tea's Haunted House

 Participating in:  

Halloween Bingo (Sep 1st - Oct 31st)

Dewey 24hr Readathon (October)




Weekly Reading - October 13th-20th
Connections in Death - J.D. Robb Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist - Franchesca Ramsey Lab Girl - Hope Jahren Witches' Brew - Morgana Best Risky Relics - E.Z. Pennington

Okay, we went from sweater weather to fleece jackets and heavy blankets on the beds in the course of a few days (our first frost was yesterday morning). Perfect weather for soaking in a hot bathtub and reading, then getting under blankets and reading some more. I have parent-teacher conferences on Thursday (no school!) and the kids have Friday off as well. Honestly, those days may be the easiest to read, since I don't have to rush around and get stuff done before they get home from school. I'm taking a First Aid/CPR/AED class on Thursday night to get myself re-certify (I had my license while in the military). 


This week I'm hopefully going to finish Connections in Death - I am enjoying the storyline, but it doesn't seem like I am making any progress at all. Then it's on to memoirs: first is Well, That Escalated Quickly and then Lab Girl. If I knock out two out of the three, I'm going to on one of the two books I need for a bingo (all the squares have been called) - Witches Brew or Risky Relics. I just want one bingo to save my game playing from completely sucking. There is no blacking out this year. 


Happy three-day weekend to the folks in the US in honor of Indigenous Peoples Day and Italian-American Appreciation Day. I am half-Italian and even I don't like using that genocidal asshole's name for this federal day off. Fuck him and fuck Spain for underwriting his journey. 


To the Canadians, Happy Thanksgiving!

TBR Thursdays* - October 10, 2019
Lab Girl - Hope Jahren Dalliances & Devotion - Felicia Grossman Short-Straw Bride - Karen Witemeyer Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist - Franchesca Ramsey A Colony in a Nation - Chris Hayes Vendetta in Death - J.D. Robb

*bookish series created by Moonlight Reader


Recently went through and updated my Planning to Read shelf here on BL and my Want to Read shelf on GR. This includes both my physical and digital books; it also includes a few books I plan to read from the library.


My TBR's number is *Drum Roll* 299.


UGH. Double UGH. Triple UGH.


So for one, I am putting myself on a no spend quarter. No more impulse buys because a blogger like the book or everyone is raving about this new author. Also, NO MORE FREEBIES FROM THE NOOK STORE - not even to find a book to fit a prompt for a challenge/game. This also means staying away from physical book stores and library sales for awhile.


For two, I am going back to TBR Thursdays.* When I made these posts I realized I much more in control of the TBR pile I had and liked seeing the books read versus what was added. I am in the beginning stages of building my reading goals for next year and want a clear view of where I am starting and how I am (or not) progressing; TBR Thursdays are my tools. 


Print additions

1. Lab Girl by Hope Jahern (for book club/gifted)



NOOK additions

2. Dalliances & Devotion (The Truitts #2) by Felicia Grossman (historical romance set during the Gilded Age)

3. Short-Straw Bride (Archer Brothers #1) by Karen Witemeyer (historical romance set in the west) - I checked my libraries' catalog and OverDrive and no dice


Kindle additions




Library Borrows


4. Well, That Escalated Quickly by Franchesca Ramsey

5. A Colony in a Nation by Chris Hayes

6. Vendetta in Death by J.D. Robb





NOOK read



Kindle read



Library Returns



*Total TBR #: 299

I'm in Love
Jane Doe: A Novel - Victoria Helen Stone

I've only read 7% of this book so far and yet, here I am in love and contemplating pulling an all nighter. This may be my best book of the year.

PSA: The Flat Book Sociey and For Your Consideration
Pox: An American History - Michael Willrich

16 days out to our next book club selection/read. I added Pox: An American History by Michael Willrich as a new possible, but moderators - feel free to delete if it doesn't meet guidelines (honestly, I was on the fence about putting up the book for consideration in the first place). If you have a new book you want up for consideration, now would be a good time to do it. 

Weekly Reading - October 6-13th
Connections in Death - J.D. Robb Jane Doe: A Novel - Victoria Helen Stone Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist - Franchesca Ramsey Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis

We FINALLY got Sweater Weather here in Kansas! It feels so nice to turn off the central air and open up the windows. This week I want to finish Connections in Death (print) and get through Jane Doe (Kindle) for Halloween Bingo. Since it is a "calm week before the chaos week" in my house, I may be able to squeeze one more book so I'm planning on Well, That Escalated Quickly (print). 


My son's school holds a William Allen White challenge (it is a children's literary award named after the author) and at the end of the school year the kids who met the challenge in accordance with their grade level gets a pizza party. My kid really wants to go to the pizza party, so we have started Bud, Not Buddy which he picked out himself. Just two chapters in and already got caught in the mom feels and Joshua is already relating to and liking Bud. 


My new criteria for projects is this: Can I make this and not have a psychotic episode? Most of the time, the answer is "Nope!" so that's when I remind myself that sometimes you just have to throw cash at the problem. That is the whole reason those places like BounceU were invented. I show up and some stoned-looking seventeen-year old in a polo shirt escorts my children from room to room while I eat pizza and slice the personalized (store-bought) cake? Do you take American Express?
#IMomSoHard - Kristin Hensley



Pinterest was not created by a mother. It was created by a mother*cker.
#IMomSoHard - Kristin Hensley


October 2019 Reading List
The Final Days - Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein Lab Girl - Hope Jahren #IMomSoHard - Kristin Hensley Connections in Death - J.D. Robb Vendetta in Death - J.D. Robb Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist - Franchesca Ramsey Jane Doe: A Novel - Victoria Helen Stone Copycat Killing - Sofie Kelly A Very Mummy Holiday (Tourist Trap Mysteries #11) - Lynn Cahoon A Colony in a Nation - Chris Hayes

New month, fresh start. 


Going back to my Nixon Reading List and reading The Final Days by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, which is their follow up to All the President's Men. Although I think this was a good reading project for me, the timing may be off considering....the state of the union so to speak.


NEA Big Reads for Wichita is Lab Girl by Hope Jahren; my real life book club is reading it as our leader/host is on the board that votes every year. There is a few events happening both on base library and my local branch that I hope to get to attend.


#IMOMSOHARD - man I love Kristin and Jen since I first saw their videos on FB. They are hilarious and real and I really want to see their show when they come to Tulsa next February....hint, hint Santa! Rather than doing non-stop toxic positivity, these ladies come straight out of the gate about the less than awesome things (deaths in family for example) or gross (adventures in toilet training), and motherhood with humor and grace. They are my inspirational mom friends.


I am still working through Connections in Death and I picked up Vendetta in Death since it was on the library's shelf, just calling my name. Seriously, brand new JD Robb title just sitting on the new release shelf with nary a waiting list - perplexed I was. I hope to be all caught up on the series by the time November comes around. I can't believe #50 will be published in February.


I need a palette cleanser in between the Eve Dallas books, so I picked up at the library Well, That Escalated Quickly by Franchesca Ramsey. I've listened to a number of podcast episodes with her and she seems funny and smart. 


I wanted something a little dark for this time of year and I am determined to get to Victoria Helen Stone's Jane Doe. I wanted something magical realism/cozy mystery, so Copycat Killing. And by the end of the month, the next novella in the Tourist Trap mystery series A Very Mummy Holiday will be on my NOOK and I can join the gang in South Cove for another round.


Finally, I picked up from the library Chris Hayes' A Colony in a Nation from my non-fiction wish-list. For those not in the US, Hayes is a tv host on MSNBC and former editor/writer for The Nation. Honestly, he is a little heavy on his love for a certain senator from a New England state, but he generally does do a good job of reporting and Ta-Nehisi Coates blurbed the book. I trust Coates enough to give the book a try.




Life Just Got Real

I decided to leave grad school and I'm not going back at a later time. I was doing it for the wrong reasons and that kind of pressure already had started to take it's toll on my health. I am content with my BA, and that is where I am leaving my education. Since making this decision, I have felt the weight on my chest easing off and I can breath again. 


I decided also to seek mental health help via the base medical group (with possible off base therapy if the on-base providers think it is necessary). I have been dealing with low-grade depression and anxiety for the last few years and need to deal with it; hopefully, I can also get my anger issues under control as well. 


Which leads to me my reading this year, and in particular, Halloween Bingo. I am sucking this year at the bingo, even though I have every intention on playing/reading. This depression is just clouding any desire to do the activities I normally enjoy. Since making the grad school decision, I have read more yesterday than I did all month long. Since making the decision to get mental health help and making the appointment, I actually had the energy and desire to go the library and borrow a bunch of books. October will be a better month and I plan on at least two bingos by the 31st and maybe a blackout. 


Thanks for hearing me out. And now back to the bingo!

Friday Reads and Weekend Reading Plans
Ghost a la Mode - Sue Ann Jaffarian Connections in Death - J.D. Robb Sleepless, Vol. 2 - Sarah Vaughn, Alissa Sallah, Leila del Duca, Deron Bennett

How is it already the last weekend in September? The weather here in Kansas is still very much summer but we are promised a cool down next week. I dropped one of my two classes tonight because one is more than I can do at this point - I feel better about my decision after talking with the husband (who, admittedly, thought I was out of my damn mind for trying to take more than one to begin with). I'm picking my sister in law up from Tinker AFB (OK City - she is on a TDY) so that we get one more weekend together before the winter sets in and she hibernates at her base in Utah for the next six months. 


Friday reads: Ghost a la Mode (A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #1) by Sue Ann Jaffarian for the Graveyard square. So far so good and a quick read. 


Saturday reads: Son has an away soccer game, so I am hoping to read in the car while my husband and his sister chat in the front seat. I've got Sleepless Volume 2 on the Kindle for the Raven square.


Sunday reads: nothing but homework. I bit the bullet and spent money to buy a Kindle version of the textbook.  After that, it's on to Connections in Death - I bought the paperback so I didn't have to keep going back on the library wait list for the ebook. 


Happy reading and may autumn's weather be heading your way.

TSR's Halloween Bingo Master Post
Pashmina - Nidhi Chanani Sleepless Vol 1 - Sarah Vaughn, Alissa Sallah, Leila del Duca, Deron Bennett The Tuesday Night Club: A Miss Marple Short Story - Agatha Christie


Off to a slow start, hoping October gives me more time/space to read.





1. Supernatural

2. Dead Lands

3. Int'l Woman of Mystery - The Tuesday Night Club: A Short Story (Miss Marple)

4. Magical Realism

5. Vampires



6. Black Cat

7. Grave/Yards - Ghost a la Mode (A Granny Apples Mystery #1) by Sue Ann Jaffarian

8. Sleepy Hollow

9. Country House Mystery

10. Dystopian Hellscape



11. Locked Room Mystery

12. Creepy Crawlies

13. Free Space

14. New Release

15. Doomsday



16. Creepy Carnivals*Transfiguration Spell*Diverse Voices - Pashmina

17. Relics & Curiosities

18. A Grimm Tale - Sleepless Volume 1

19. Cozy Mystery

20. Dark Woods



21. Pysch

22. Genre: Mystery

23. Spellbound

24. Amateur Sleuth

25. Romantic Suspense



3 Stars
The Tuesday Night Club: A Short Story (Miss Marple) by Agatha Christie
The Tuesday Night Club: A Miss Marple Short Story - Agatha Christie

Date Published: May 8, 2012

Format: Ebook

Source: Own Copy

Date Read: September 24, 2019



After a supper of canned lobster and a dessert of canned trifle, three people become ill and Mrs Jones is found dead. Although a bout of botulism is suspected, the Tuesday Night Club is keen to investigate further…




I read this for International Woman of Mystery square. This story was just cozy - the after dinner get together around the fireplace, enjoying a port and making entertaining small talk. The storytelling done by the retired Scotland Yard chief was a great way to keep interest without feeling like an info-dump. It was perfect for bedtime reading.

4.5 Stars
Sleepless Volume 1 by Sarah Vaughn et al
Sleepless Vol 1 - Sarah Vaughn, Alissa Sallah, Leila del Duca, Deron Bennett

Date Published: July 10, 2018

Format: Print

Source: Library

Date Read: September 23, 2019



Lady "Poppy" Pyppenia is guarded by the Sleepless Knight Cyrenic, but becomes endangered when an assassin threatens her life in the new king's reign. As Poppy and Cyrenic try to discover who wants her dead, they must navigate the dangerous waters of life at court, and of their growing feelings for one another.

Collects issues 1-6.




So good, I bought the second volume on Kindle because my libraries didn't have a copy. I picked this up to read for the A Grimm Tale square. Poppy is the illegitimate (in the eyes of her father's subjects) daughter of the dead king and niece of the new king (she is considered legitimate by her mother's people). Poppy wants to leave the kingdom and go home (back to her mother's land), but the new king wants her to stay to be a companion/tutor to his daughter (the future queen), who was raised in her mother's land and is a stranger to the land that she now somewhat rules. And someone at court wants Poppy dead - is it the future queen? Is it the king's nephew, who is looking for a advantageous marriage to the future queen but will settle with marrying Poppy?


On the journey to survive court intrigue is Poppy's official bodyguard, Cyrenic of the Sleepless Knights, and maybe the future queen herself. The relationship with Cyrenic is romantic but also respectful; the relationship between the princess and Poppy is about both royals throwing truth bombs at each and being real with each other. It is weird in a good way. The star reader from her mother's land allows Poppy to keep a connection with that land strong while also giving her a surrogate mother figure. 


The artwork is elevated by the colors used - it is a very autumn-y. The dresses are just as big, silky, and beautiful as the ones in Disney movies. The bags and undereye circles on the Sleepless Knights makes them (especially Cyrenic) made them different than the typical knight in shining armor perfection, more relatable. The balance between the characters and the plot is quick but fits the graphic novel format so well. 

4 Stars
Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
Pashmina - Nidhi Chanani

Date Published: October 3, 2017

Format: Print

Source: Library

Date Read: September 17, 2019



Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri's mom avoids these questions--the topic of India is permanently closed.

For Pri, her mother's homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she's ever dared and find the family she never knew.




Browsing my library's graphic novel section, I came upon this book and the cover was too cute to pass up. I read it while daughter was at dance class and son was at soccer practice and finished it before bedtime routines, so it is a short but great story. 


Pri is 15 and has a loving if at times frustrating relationship with her mother, an immigrant from India. Pri wants to know who and where she comes home apart from her American-ness. A special shawl hidden in a suitcase is discovered by Pri, who puts it on and is transported to a (for lack of a better description) "tourist brochure" version of India except for this shadow following her. A chance opportunity to visit India and her mother's family gives Pri the answers she was looking for and then some. This real world visit isn't as clean and colorful as the trips via the shawl, but Pri gets a much more wider understanding of her heritage and doesn't feel knowing the grimier parts lessens her desire to know more. The different color schemes really help give each setting and time in Pri's journey in knowing her heritage. The magical realism and the shadow/ghost made it perfect reading for Halloween Bingo.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

Date Published: May 9, 2017

Format: Print

Source: Library

Date Read: September 6-9, 2019



No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.




This was going along fine and then that ending made me want to throw the book against the wall. I HATE last minute, last page plot twists, and this one is especially sucked because it made me feel I had wasted my time reading this book.


Eleanor Oliophant had a traumatic childhood, one that the reader gets glimpses of over the course of the story. As the book opens, Eleanor is an almost thirty year old account receiveable office drone living a very regimented and lonely life in Glasgow (Eleanor herself is a native of England, and yes this is a real divide). She does not get along with her co-workers and has no outside social life; she is visited every six months by a social worker who does the very bare minimum in keeping up with Eleanor and her health status. And then Eleanor meets THE ROCKER, which takes up the first half of the book. She doesn't actually say a word to the musician, but he becomes her whole life - Eminiem's "Stan" has more chill than Eleanor. Eleanor decides on making herself over - cue movie montage of getting her nails and hair done at a salon, an embarrassing visit to the waxer, etc. At the same time, she befriends another worker at her company, Raymond.


Then her world falls apart when she realizes THE ROCKER and her will never suit, will never meet, will never be the UBER COUPLE she built up in her mind. Luckily, Raymond is there to help her after she tries to drink herself to death (along with trying pills and drain cleaner). Raymond convinces her to seek help. Along the way Raymond helps her also figure out what happened that night.


I really liked Raymond and Eleanor. Eleanor, as an outsider, had some amazing observations on society and how "normal" people go about acting socially. This is a quiet book, full of slice of life of a childhood abuse survivor as she becomes a real thriving adult and not just a survivor. With that said, that one plot twist just irked me to the point that I took a star off. 

TSR's Halloween Bingo Reading List

9/1/19: 3 Transfiguration Cards

9/17/19: 1 Used to turn Creepy Carnivals to Diverse Voices 





Reading List:

Supernatural - Hot and Badgered (Honey Badgers #1) by Shelly Laurenston

Dead Lands - Crazy (Crazy #1) by Eve Langlais

Int'l Woman of Mystery - The Tuesday Night Club (Miss Marple Short Story)

by Agatha Christie

Magical Realism - Copycat Killing (Magical Cats Mystery #3) by Sofie Kelly

Vampires - The Vampire's Mail Order Bride (Nocturne Falls #1)

by Kristen Painter


Black Cat - The Witches of Enchanted Bay (The Witches of Enchanted Bay #1)

by Amelia Morgan

Grave/Yards - Ghost a la Mode (Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #1) by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Sleepy Hollow - Risky Relics (Rose Hollow Mystery #1) by E.Z. Pennington

Country House - The Anatomist's Wife (Lady Darby Mystery #1) 

by Anna Lee Huber

Dystopian - Year One (The Chronicles of the One #1) by Nora Roberts


Locked Room - Gone with the Ghost (Murder by Design #1) by Erin McCarthy

Creepy Crawlies - Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1) by Mira Grant

Free Space - One Haunted Evening by Ava Stone, Jerrica Knight-Catania,

and Jane Charles

New Release - A Very Mummy Holiday (Tourist Trap #7.25) by Lynn Cahoon

Doomsday - After the Fog by Kathleen Shoop


Transfiguration Card (Creepy Carnivals to Diverse Voices) - Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Relics & Curiosities - Dead Eye (Tiger's Eye Mystery #1) by Alyssa Day

A Grimm Tale - Sleepless Volume 1 by Sarah Vaughn et al

Cozy Mystery - His Majesty's Hope (Maggie Hope #3) by Susan Elia MacNeal

Dark Woods - Nocturne for a Widow (Sybil Ingram #1) by Amanda Dewees


Pysch - Jane Doe (Jane Doe #1) by Victoria Helen Stone

Genre: Mystery - The Darkness Knew (Viv and Charlie Mystery #1) 

by Cheryl Honigford

Spellbound - Witches Brew (Vampires and Wine #1) by Morgana Best

Amateur Sleuth - A Sip Before Dying (Wine and Dine #1) by Gemma Halliday

Romantic Suspense - Secrets to Reveal (Highland Wolves #1) by Tilly Wallace

currently reading

Progress: 186/386pages