Tea's Haunted House

Tea's Haunted House

 Participating in:  

Halloween Bingo (Sep 1st - Oct 31st)

Dewey 24hr Readathon (October)




Weekly Reading - September 16th-22nd
One Haunted Evening - Jane Charles, Jerrica Knight-Catania, Lynn M. Stone Jane Doe: A Novel - Victoria Helen Stone The Tuesday Night Club / The Fourth Man. Lekt├╝re & CD - Agatha Christie

I got the book done for in real life book club and another one I was reading when OverDrive gods took the book from me (back on the waiting list #8 on 3 copies). I just need my life to calm down into somewhat a normal schedule so I can carve out some reading time. This week: first up is to finish One Haunted Evening anthology (Poe the Raven square), followed by getting into Jane Doe (pysch square). Then it is on to The Tuesday Night Club (international woman of mystery square).  I have a bunch of called squares on my card, no reading done yet....the slump is forming I think.

Weekly Reading - September 9th-15th
Connections in Death - J.D. Robb One Haunted Evening - Jane Charles, Jerrica Knight-Catania, Lynn M. Stone Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

I have been kinda quiet lately, but things are slowly starting to level out here at Chez Tea. We are still unpacking/sorting/putting away or putting up stuff from our moves - yes plural, as some stuff wasn't unpacked in the five years we were in the UK - and garage sales are in our future. But life is good here in Kansas, with the leaves changing colors and the temperatures not as blistering hot (still warm for our UK-acclimated bodies though). 


I'm still all about Halloween Bingo - two of the three books I want to get to this week is from my bingo reading list. On Saturday, Connections in Death became available on OverDrive from my holds list and I'm thinking of putting myself on Vendetta in Death's wait list now so I may be able to read in time for this year's bingo. I'm reading that on the Kindle; on the NOOK I have started One Haunted Evening anthology and so far so good. 


IRL book club pick, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, is almost done (I'm hoping to finish it tonight) and it's....fine. Easy read but nothing earth shattering, so I hope the discussions at this month's meeting generates something interesting from us reading it.

October's Dewey Sign Up is Live!

I'm signed up!

Halloween Bingo Kick Off!
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman Lab Girl - Hope Jahren One Haunted Evening - Jane Charles, Jerrica Knight-Catania, Lynn M. Stone

So it's been a busy week at my house, trying to unpack the last of the move boxes and just life in general. I have been re-admitted to my grad program and I'm registered for my first two classes (starting September 23rd) and all my VA 9/11 GI Bill paperwork has been transferred over to pay for the classes. I joined my base library's adult book club (As the Page Turns) on Monday and the club host (librarian in charge of programs) had our first two books set - September's read is Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and October's is Lab Girl (also the book that all of Kansas is reading in that month for the Big Library Read). After those months, we voted on what to read the rest of the year (our year runs September through May, as the librarian/host is also head of the Summer Reading Program). 


But the thing with being so busy is that I am too tired at the end of the day to read. I just spend a little while with a coloring app on my phone before I am out like a light...which is why I didn't take advantage of the head start MM gave us this week. But starting tomorrow I will take at least 20 minutes out per day to read for Halloween Bingo and IRL book club. I am starting HB with One Haunted Evening (3 short stories) for the Free Space. However, there probably won't be much review writing from me and updates may be infrequent.

Master Post for Bout of Books 26
Match of Wits, A (Ladies of Distinction Book #4) - Jen Turano A Body on the Beach - Blythe Baker The Secret of Seaside - Agatha Ball, Kate Danley

Grab button for Bout of Books


Goals for BoB 26:

4 Daily Challenges

4 IG Challenges

Participate in both chats due to new time zone

2500 pages


Monday, August 19th

Read: Nothing finished yet

Currently Reading: A Match of Wits (Ladies of Distinction #4) by Jen Turano

Reviewed: None

Daily Challenge: 

daily challenge #insixwords mom, blogger, runner, mid-west living, Leo
2:25 PM · Aug 19, 2019·Twitter Web App

IG Challenge: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1XF6OSnelc/

Chat: Participated

Pages Read: 60/2500


Tuesday, August 20th

Read: A Match of Wits; I finished the series.

Currently Reading: Started A Body on the Beach (Sunrise Island Mystery #1) by Blythe Baker

Reviewed: None.

Daily Challenge: Adaptions Aspirations http://melissasteinman7.booklikes.com/post/1938565/bob26-daily-challenge-day-2-adaptions-aspirations

IG Challenge: Favorite Books https://www.instagram.com/p/B1ZlwUzHobv/

Pages Read: 126/2500


Wednesday, August 21st

Read: A Body on the Beach

Currently Reading: Started The Secret of Seaside (Paige Comber Mystery #1) by Agatha Ball

Reviewed: Nothing

Daily Challenge: Skipped

IG Challenge: Skipped

Pages: 263/2500


Thursday, August 22nd

Read: Nothing finished

Currently Reading: The Secret of Seaside

Daily Challenge: If this, Then that


IG Challenge: Favorite Genre https://www.instagram.com/p/B1e4SQEncVT/

Pages: 263/2500


Friday, August 23rd

Read: Nothing

Currently Reading: The Secret of Seaside

Reviewed: Nothing

Daily Challenge: http://melissasteinman7.booklikes.com/post/1940338/bob26-daily-challenge-day-5-i-want-this-book

IG Challenge: None

Pages: 263/2500


Saturday, August 24th

Read: The Secret of Seaside

Currently Reading: Nothing

Reviewed: A Match of Wits 

Daily Challenge: Review of A Match of Wits

IG Challenge: Book you are looking forward to reading after BoB https://www.instagram.com/p/B1kcLarniYb/

Pages: 391/2500

Chat: Participated in the morning Twitter chat


Sunday, August 25th

Read: nothing

Currently Reading: nothing

Reviewed: nothing

Daily Challenge: None given

IG Challenge: None



Wrap Up

Didn't make my page goal (16%) but I did complete all the other goals. Sunday was a bust due to my being sick (my head issues kicked into overdrive Saturday night). Looking forward to January's cycle!


At this point I am ending my summer reading and will be prepping my blog for the Halloween Bingo and fall/winter reading.





3 Stars
A Match of Wits (Ladies of Distinction #4) by Jen Turano
Match of Wits, A (Ladies of Distinction Book #4) - Jen Turano

Date Published:

Format: NOOK

Source: Own copy

Date Read: August 5-20, 2019



After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancee, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes--by hook or by crook--she'll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.

Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home . . . until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha's determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they'll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics.

Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth--until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?




I was disappointed in this book, the last installment in the Ladies of Distinction series. Agatha Watson and Zayne Beckett have had this push-pull thing going on since book one and I was so rooting for them. This book started off with promise, but it became a slog around the 30% mark. And to keep the conflict going to fill pages, it seems every character had to take leave of their senses and intelligence. Over a year and half of searching for Agatha's stalker/potential killer and no one thought to look into her co-workers at the newspaper? The humor that added so much fun in reading the previous books felt forced in this one and had me skimming scenes; little Violet was just too much to be realistic and was more of an annoyance. The last 20% of the book did a lot to improve the story in my opinion and I was glad to see all the couples one last time.

BoB26 Daily Challenge, Day 5 - I Want This Book!

Challenge premise: We get excited about books getting adapted into TV shows, movies or plays, but what about media that you want to see as books? Tell us about your favorite story (can be anything - play, TV show, movie, podcast, web series) that you would like to be adapted into a novel.


I choose one of my favorite movies from my childhood....


Image result for Newsies the movie


Newsies (1992) was a Disney musical that flopped in the theaters and became a cult classic among Disney-heads and Bale-heads. This is the point that I fell for Christian Bale and watched everything he is in going forward.


I say a historical series set from the time of the strike (which happens at about the 75% mark in the movie) and just follow the main newsies through the years. Did Jack marry David's sister? What ever happened to Mush, Crutchy, and David's younger brother? What did these kids grow up to do during WWI? So many possibilities and plotlines! I think a family saga type of series following the newsies and their family members for the entire 20th century would be fun to read. Or just have Edward Rutherford write the book like he does for London, Paris, and New York.

BoB26, Day 4 - If This, Then That
The Nightingale Girls - Donna Douglas With Every Letter - Sarah Sundin A Distant Melody - Sarah Sundin Through Waters Deep - Sarah Sundin The Dragon and the Pearl - Jeannie Lin Let It Shine - Alyssa B. Cole The Bashful Bride - Vanessa Riley The Preacher's Promise - Piper Huguley A Most Precious Pearl - Piper Huguley Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story - Kurt Eichenwald

Recommendations Time!


If you like the Call the Midwife memoirs by Jennifer Worth.....then check out The Nightingales series by Donna Douglas.


If you like true crime sans murder....then check out Conspiracy of Fools by Kurt Eichenwald.


If you like WWII era historical romances....check out Sarah Sundin's trilogies.


If you like adventure/road trips with your romance...then check out the Tang Dynasty series by Jeannie Lin.


If you like more recent historical romances...then check out Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole or any book in the Decades: A Journey of African-American Romance series (each book in the series is written by a different author and takes place between 1910-2008ish). Decades have some of the best romance covers ever!


If you like Regency era historical romances but need more color *cough*….then check out Vanessa Riley's Advertisements in Love series.


If you like historical romances other than Regency era or another mail order bride...then check out Piper Huguley's Home to Milford College series (Reconstruction era/early Gilded Age) or Migrations of the Heart series (WWI/post war/early Jazz Age). 





BoB26 Daily Challenge, Day 2 - Adaptions Aspirations
Rebellion - Nora Roberts

I chose Rebellion (The MacGregors #6) by Nora Roberts as my adaption aspirations. It is a story that would appeal to Outlander fans but with more romance and so much less abuse.



Scotland, 1745. Against the bloody background of the Battle of Culloden, another war was waged and won the price was honor, the victory, love.

Scottish beauty Serena MacGregor's hatred of all English began as a child when she watched as a band of Englishmen attacked her mother. Her brother's friend Brigham Langston was no exception to Serena's loathing despite his supposed loyalty to the Scottish cause and his good looks.

Although Brigham eventually proves himself worthy of the MacGregor family's respect, Serena is still reluctant to abandon her hatred for him and his heritage. But Brigham has other plans. Serena has captivated him with her beauty, her passion for life and commitment to her beliefs and he refuses to let her antagonistic attitude keep him from winning her. And Serena must learn to open her mind as Brigham opens his heart to see the true love awaiting her.


I think it would work best as a limited tv series (maybe a two or three night event) and to a lesser extent a movie. So to fan cast:


Serena MacGregor: Saoirse Ronan would be a wonderful choice to play the female lead character. Just dye her hair red or don a realistic wig and just do it.


Brigham Langston: Zachary Quinto has the look and the acting chops. Also I just want more Quinto in the world.


Serena's mom: Julianne Moore


Serena's brother/Langston's BFF: Kevin McKidd - an actual Scot!


Serena's dad: Robert Redford 


Serena's BFF/sister-in-law: Emma Stone in a dark brown wig


Bonnie Prince Charles: Damian Lewis



PSA for Flat Book Society Members

In a couple of weeks the September read will begin. I finally got time to look over the choices for the next round and voted However, the vote counts are low...my vote was the second for that particular book; almost all the other choices have just one vote. So let's help out our awesome moderators for the group and get voting! This allows time to tally the votes, name the book that won, and gives time for members to acquire the book. 



Pre-Party Prompts - Day 14 Reading Snacks and Drinks



1. Trail Mix that does not contain raisins. I prefer to make my own, as prepackaged trail mixes usually are too sweet or too salty and full of dreaded raisins. 

2. Dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa), especially with mint or orange extracts or pretzel pieces.

3. Baby carrots and hummus

4. Snickerdoodles

5. Apples with peanut butter

6. Bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon sugar



1. Hot tea/chai - mostly from my stash at home, but SB's chai lattes and London Fogs are my go to when I am out and about. When I am in need of caffeine (morning), I go strictly black breakfast teas (PG Tips or Twinings breakfast teas or Assam). Afternoon reading is green teas with jasmine or citrus undertones. Reading at night I go for fruity/seasonal herbals. I like Celestial Seasonings and Bigelow too. I am mainly a grocery store tea drinker. 

2. Sparkling diet cranberry juice - a nice pick me up that is balanced between tart and sweet. I like the diet version better than the original just because it is less sweet. Also makes a great wine spritzer when added to Barefoot's Pink Moscato (the only wine I like).

3. Apple cider - hot with a little caramel sauce.

Pre-Party Prompts - Day 13 New Releases
A Very Mummy Holiday (Tourist Trap Mysteries #11) - Lynn Cahoon Vendetta in Death - J.D. Robb


I have just two new releases, one that I pre-ordered and one that I will get from the library. The one I pre-ordered is A Very Mummy Holiday (Tourist Trap Mystery #7.25) by Lynn Cahoon. This is going to be the last (for a while) of the holiday novellas, as Cahoon is working on the new full length novel for publication early next year. The other is a stand-by of September, the new In Death book titled Vendetta In Death. I am putting myself on the library's waitlist this weekend and hope to get to it sometime during the bingo but that is highly unlikely.

Pre-Party Prompts - Day 12 The Classics (Recommendations)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Graphic Novel) - Bo Hampton, Tracey Hampton, Washington Irving The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings - Edgar Allan Poe The Fall of the House of Usher - Edgar Allan Poe Doctor Jekyll and Mr.Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson Frankenstein - Mary Shelley, Maurice Hindle Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Tales - Bram Stoker, Kate Hebblethwaite Tales of Mystery & the Macabre (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural) - Elizabeth Gaskell


The last of my pre-written posts. 


I prefer classic horror because it deals with ghost stories being told at a holiday party or other ways to distance the story from the reader enough so I can enjoy the story without putting myself into nightmare situations.


Some favorites include The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Fall of the House of Usher. I read two Great Illustration of the Classics versions of classic horrors that work with my brain (Frankenstein and Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). Last year's pick, The Turn of the Screw, was much too wordy for me to enjoy the story. I have tried to read Dracula in the past, but I made it all of 25 pages and noped out of it.This year I am reading Tales of Mystery & the Macabre by Elizabeth Gaskell.



Pre-Party Prompts - Day 11 Bring on the Horror


This post is pre-written as the family is taking an overnight trip to St Louis to pick up my car from the point of entry. On my bucket list is to see the Arch (NERD ALERT).


Since I don't do horror, the scariest books I read are romantic suspense and cozy mystery. Not remotely scary, more adventurous. On a scale of 1 (lullabies) to 10 (never sleeping again), those are like a 1 or 2. 

BL-opoly 2019 Wrap Up
Gentleman of Her Dreams - Jen Turano A Change of Fortune - Jen Turano A Talent for Trouble - Jen Turano On Distant Shores - Sarah Sundin In Perfect Time - Sarah Sundin Very Strange Bedfellows: The Short and Unhappy Marriage of Richard Nixon & Spiro Agnew - Jules Witcover All the President's Men - Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward The Dancing Lady: The Ninth Day - Mimi Milan The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian - W. Kamau Bell Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars - Nathalia Holt

First of all, to MM/MR and OB - 

Image result for thank you space

(I went with a space theme in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.)



Earned $75.00 and donated $3.00 to the bail fund

Landed on Race Car twice, The Cat once

Read 11 books

Read 5 historical romances (3 Gilded Ages, 2 European-set WWII era)

Read 1.5 contemporary romances (1 novel and 1 novella)

Read 4 nonfiction titles

Read 2 books off my Nixon Reading List

DNF 3 Books

Read 5 books by women authors

Read 3 books by male authors (1 book had 2 male authors)

Read 2 books by AoC (one woman and one man)

Authors who were read multiple times:

Jen Turano (2 novels and 1 novella)

Sarah Sundin (2 novels)

One series completed (Wings of the Nightingale trilogy)




Pre-Party Prompts - Day 10 Most Anticipated Read for 2019 Halloween Bingo
Year One - Nora Roberts The Anatomist's Wife - Anna Lee Huber The Darkness Knows (Viv and Charlie Mystery) - Cheryl Honigford His Majesty's Hope - Susan Elia MacNeal Hot and Badgered (The Honey Badgers) - Shelly Laurenston Copycat Killing - Sofie Kelly Jane Doe: A Novel - Victoria Helen Stone Clean Sweep -  Ilona Andrews After the Fog -  Kathleen Shoop One Haunted Evening - Jane Charles, Jerrica Knight-Catania, Lynn M. Stone


This post is being pre-written because the family and I are headed to a local comic con, specializing in authors and artists from the greater Wichita area. 



The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber (historical mystery)

The Darkness Knows by Cheryl Honingford (historical mystery)

Copycat Killing by Sofie Kelly (magical realism, cozy mystery, cats)

Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston (shifters)

Gone with the Ghost by Erin McCarthy (cozy mystery with ghost)

After the Fog by Kathleen Shoop (historical mystery)

One Haunted Evening by Jane Charles, Jerrica Knight-Catania, and Ava Stone (paranormal romance)

Hungry Like the Wolf by Paige Tyler (werewolves/paranormal romance)

Secrets to Reveal by Tilly Wallace (vampires/paranormal romance)

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone (thriller)

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews (paranormal)

Year One by Nora Roberts (paranormal)

His Majesty's Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal (historical mystery)







currently reading

Progress: 186/386pages