Welcome Guest Author Lauren Elliot and a #giveaway

Hi all. I hope you had a marvelous Thanksgiving.

Today, the Wickeds welcome guest Lauren Elliott, whose book Steeped in Secrets, first in her new Crystals & CuriosiTEAS Mystery series, will be published tomorrow!

Lauren is offering a hardcover copy of her book to one lucky commenter below.

Take it away, Lauren!

Love of All Things Irish

Hi, everyone! I would like to say a huge thank you to Barbara Ross and all the wonderful Wicked authors for inviting me to be a guest on their blog today. Many of you may know me through my Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series. However, today I would like to give you a glimpse into my latest work Steeped in Secrets, book one in my brand new Crystals & CuriosiTEAS Mystery series. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun it has been to create an entirely new fictional world filled with colorful characters stemming from my strong Irish roots and love of all things Irish—especially its history, folklore, and folk medicine.

It was through my research about folk medicine and ancient healing practices that the inspiration behind the Crystals & CuriosiTEAS series took hold. If you’re well versed in Irish history, you may already be familiar with the stories about what some called a real Irish witch named Biddy Early. Born 1778 in County Claire and known as the “wise woman of Clare,” Biddy Early came from a long line of healers and had been taught herbal cures by her mother, which had been passed down through the generations.

The term witch was often used by the church to explain the dealings of those who worked with elements they didn’t understand and feared. Today, most would agree that Biddy Early was a healer and a seer, a follower of the old ways. Biddy, along with others who followed the old ways, concocted cures and saught out natural remedies to create medicines by using a bounty of herbs, plants, seeds, berries, bark, roots, and flowers much like the native peoples in the Americas and other parts of the world had for millennia before the settlers came. Most of these so-called witches were just simple folk who had learned the ways of the natural world and used their gifts and talents to help ease other people’s ailments and troubles.

As time went on, Biddy started to make a name for herself as a highly sought after healer, who helped peasants with her mix of teas and potions. It’s reported that she spent her whole life gathering and experimenting with herbal cures and tea blends and at some point acquired a magical blue bottle that became as famous as she was. She would frequently look into the bottle, which contained some sort of dark liquid, and it gave her the answers she required when considering possible cures or treatments or allowed her to see into the future. It was widely believed at the time that the fairies, with whom she regularly communicated, had given the bottle to her. When she died, the bottle disappeared, and it was said that the fairies had come to reclaim it.

It was the stories about Biddy, her cures, teas, and the blue bottle that was rumored to induce her second sight abilities that inspired the contemporary character of Shayleigh Myers or Shay, as her friends and family call her. Even with her life in ruins in New Mexico, Shay feels uneasy about settling into the small seaside town where she grew up on California’s Monterey Peninsula and taking over an estate bequeathed to her by Bridget Early, a woman she had barely known. Her heightened senses—an empathic gift she’s had since childhood—go into overdrive upon touring Crystals & CuriosiTEAS, Bridget’s eclectic tea and psychic shop brimming with Irish lore and Celtic symbols. Things reach a boiling point though when Shay looks up and discovers a stranger’s body sprawled across the shop’s greenhouse roof. To top things off, Shay also discovers that an expectation of her running the teashop is that she provides the services her benefactor had, which includes Tasseography—tea leaf reading, protective and healing stone treatments, and dispensing the various herbs and teas used in healing practices, something as a trained geologist she knows absolutely nothing about.  

It is said that one of the reasons why Biddy Early was frequently referred to as “the wise woman of Clare” was because she was a woman ahead of her time. You see, until recently the medical profession dismissed and were suspicious of healing with plants and herbs. Now, those same folk medicine treatments that Biddy used are often recommended by doctors for ailments and herbal extracts, tinctures, oils, and teas can be found in pharmacies, markets, health-food stores, grocery stores, and can even be purchased online. There are numerous types of herbal teas all with their unique benefits, and with the help of journals left to Shay by her benefactor, she sets about learning the old ways of brewing various teas and learning the common ailments they were used to treat. A few of the teas Shay and Biddy might have used include:


Elderflower reduces mucus in the sinuses and lungs and also treats coughs, bronchitis, and asthma, and in treating winter colds, fevers, and the flu.


Can soothe an upset stomach and serve as a cure for constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and motion sickness. It has also been proven to offer some pain relief from tension headaches and migraines.


Studies show that the leaves contain high doses of flavonoids, which are known for their powerful antioxidant activity.


Lavender is more than a sweet smelling flower and is perfect for treating anxiety, coughs, colds, stress, feelings of anxiety, and even insomnia.


Chamomile is one of the world’s most popular teas when it comes to calming the body, relieving stress and anxiety, and helps with insomnia. It also helps to reduce menstrual pain and muscle spasms.


One of the best sources of Vitamin C to be found, which is important for immune system support.

Green Tea

Green tea is often called “the wonder tea” as it helps lower the user’s risk of developing cancer and inhibits the carcinogenic effect found in processed foods and other toxins.


Commonly used for cooking, ginger root tea has been popular in Asian and European countries for many years. It is best known for its ability to stop nausea and vomiting but is also good for treating allergies, muscle aches, cramps, reducing fevers, and cleansing the colon.

Lemon Balm

Calms nerves, soothes nerve pain, strengthens the memory, and improves mood.


Can help improve blood pressure and circulation, boosts good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol, keeps hair strong and skin healthy, and provides relief from allergies.


Lowers blood pressure and fat levels, improves overall liver health, can starve off cravings for unhealthy sweets, and may prevent the formation of kidney stones.


Is an excellent detoxifying agent, promotes good sleep, and aids with anxiety and depression.

Readers: Tell us, have you ever drunk tea for its medicinal properties, or do you drink tea purely for the sense of relaxation and well-being a nice “cuppa” brings with it? One comment will be randomly selected on November 30, 2022 to win a signed hardcover copy of Steeped in Secrets. 

About Steeped in Secrets

Flat broke and divorced, intuitive gemologist Shay Myers has changed since leaving her artsy hometown of coastal Bray Harbor sixteen years ago. But when she moves back under strange circumstances, old instincts may be the only key to spilling the tea on a deadly mystery.

Even with her life in ruins in New Mexico, Shay feels uneasy about settling into the small seaside town where she grew up on California’s Monterey Peninsula and taking over an estate bequeathed to her by Bridget Early, a woman she had barely known. Her heightened senses—an empathic gift she’s had since childhood—go into overdrive upon touring Crystals & CuriosiTEAS, Bridget’s eclectic tea and psychic shop brimming with Irish lore and Celtic symbols. They reach a boiling point when Shay looks up to discover a stranger’s body sprawled across the shop’s greenhouse roof . . .

With her new business a crime scene and questions brewing over Bridget’s so-called accidental death, Shay fears she’s also inherited the attention of a killer. The terrifying realization sets her on an impractical investigation for answers aided by her sister, an elusive pure-white German Shepherd, a strikingly handsome pub owner who speaks in a gentle brogue, and a misunderstood young woman with perceptive talents of her own. As Shay struggles to figure out her true purpose in Bray Harbor and the powerful connection she has with the tea shop, she must trust her judgment above all else to identify a ruthless murderer and save herself from becoming victim number three.

Order Now at https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/9781496735232/steeped-in-secrets/

About Lauren Elliott

Lauren Elliott is the USA Today bestselling author of the Shay Myers Tea Shop Mysteries and the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery Series. She grew up devouring Nancy Drew, graduated to Agatha Christie, and then began writing her own mysteries, as well as bringing her passion for storytelling to careers in professional theater and journalism. She can be found online at LaurenElliottAuthor.com.

Lauren Elliott – USA Today Bestselling Author

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Website: http://laurenelliottauthor.com/

83 Thoughts

  1. Some herbal teas I drink for their properties, such as peppermint or ginger or lavender, while others are for their flavor or aroma, such as peppermint or peach.

  2. Welcome, Lauren! I don’t drink a lot of tea, but I always have it around – peppermint, chamomile, apple-cinnamon, ginger-lemon – for when I or guests want some. Your new series sounds fun, and who doesn’t love a California setting?!

    1. Thank you Edith, I’m thrilled to be your guest today and you’re right about California, especially because I live in Western Canada and it’s cold and snowy here today, burr

  3. I drink peppermint tea for migraines and it does help if I catch the headache early enough. A friend told me about it and I said sure I’ll try it. Thank you so much for this chance at your giveaway. pgenest57 at aol dot com

    1. Peppermint is my go-to tea also. It really helps with my tummy troubles that the stress of multiple deadlines can sometimes bring on, plus I just love the flavor and aroma

  4. Good morning. I drink tea once in awhile. My husband is the tea drinker in the family 🥰 Your book sounds absolutely wonderful!

  5. Hey, that sounds like a great book!! I do believe in the medicinal powers of different teas and have tried many! Both my parents were big tea drinkers, so I grew up with it and drink green tea daily – it relaxes me. Love it with a couple shortbread cookies! I’ve never had my tea leaves read, I’d really like to though. The old folk lore is fascinating to me.

    1. Tea leaf readings can be a lot of fun, and I’m amazed at how accurate some can be, not all, but some are and that’s something to keep in mind should you ever have yours read. Just look at it as a fun afternoon spent, and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to learn a bit about yourself or your future 🙂

  6. A new cup of tea, in a variety of flavors, are a great way to relax and to take time to reflect on the days activities. During the day, I enjoy the Lipton’s bottled citrus green teas as a great alternative to soda too.

    Absolutely love the cover on “Steeped in Secrets” and the storyline sounds amazing too. Can’t wait for the opportunity to dive in reading it and then to review it so others may know about it as well. Also fascinated with the Monterey area as a setting. I’m an old Army brat whose Dad was stationed at Fort Ord, CA for nine years. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  7. I have often used pepperminte tea to soothe an upset stomach. Maybe I should learn how to dry lemon balm for tea. I have plenty choking off my garden.

    1. That’s the amazing thing about a lot of herbal tea sources, they grow everywhere and many in the wild. Like dandelion, and the health benefits are amazing once we look into them.

  8. Love, love, love your new story line! I grow my own herbs for both culinary and healthy things. I can’t wait to concoct a new brew, steep a cupa and sooth my way into this new series. Slainte!

    1. Wonderful, Shay would be so happy 🙂 In each book. I will try to add a tea recipe along with other instructions, such as gemstones and their healing properties. There is so much in that world left to explore, and it really excites me to start on this journey with Shay.

  9. Congratulations Lauren!!!! Thank you for the glossary of herbal medicine. I am from Chile, where Rosehip Tea and also Rosehip Jam is a staple in every household. This new series is truly so much fun, very well written, and the plot is intriguing and allows the reader to fail at detecting “whodunnit”. I am blessed to have won one of your ARCs, and have posted my review on Goodreads, and can’t wait to post it on Amazon tomorrow. I so look forward to Shay’s next adventure you write! I wish you a very blessed Christmas! Luis at ole dot travel

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the book, and I can’t wait to write more of Shay and Spirit’s adventures.

  10. Congratulations on the latest – it sounds terrific.

    A commercial concoction called Gypsy Cold Care Tea got me through the worst colds of my life. I swear by it and always have a box stashed away in a cupboard.

  11. A singer introduced me to Throat Comfort Tea when I worried about an up-coming weekend of storytelling. It has helped me keep my voice through many difficult times, and I’ve given some to others who ask what I have in that little thermos. Ginger tea is wonderful on cold evenings, and Sleepytime is just as its name implies. 😉

  12. I’ve never been a tea drinker (though I don’t mind reading about it!) but I am a lover of Irish history and myths. Looking forward to the book, I already enjoy the Beyond the Page series. Congrats on your latest release!

  13. I drink every single day, and I love it! However, I have never used it for medicinal purposes. I drink it whenever I am reading because it creates a cozy ambiance. Now you have given me a list of types of tea to be used for different ailments, and I intend to look into them and probably try them. I am very interested in reading the Crystals & Curiositeas Mysteries. I have read your Beyond the Page Bookstore Mysteries and have loved them! I have no doubt that the Crystals & Curiositeas Myseries will be enjoyable, too!

    1. Thank you so much. You can find a lot of information about the various teas and medicinal properties on line. I do recommend that anyone using prescription medications read up on them first as there can be an adverse reaction between some herbs and some medications.

  14. Once many years ago i had a persistent cough that sounded like I had bronchitis. I made three trips to the doctor, got three different diagnoses and three different prescriptions, and no relief from the cough. Finally, I went to an acupuncturist who gave me some herbs to make tea with. It tasted like bitter mud, but I improved dramatically in two days. I am also a regular tea drinker because I like tea. Congratulations on the new series!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that found relief and a treatment that worked. It reminded me of this quote from the Harvard Medical School website.

      “They say there’s nothing a cup of tea can’t fix, and there is some truth to that. With historical roots in East Asia, people of different cultures from around the world have been drinking tea for thousands of years. Science appears to support this practice.” – Harvard Medical School

  15. Congratulations on what is sure to be another successful series! Everything about this story steams, I mean screams cozy. Really like the use of the teas and gemology as well as the back story. I have been a long time user of hot herbal teas to cure all my ills, physical or emotional, a good cup of tea is like a warm thought that works its way through your body from smells to flavors. Thank you for offering a copy, fingers crossed!! Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  16. My introduction to medicinal tea came when I was a teenager feeling bloated after a heavy Thanksgiving meal. My aunt gave me a cup of peppermint tea and I began to feel better almost immediately. While I generally drink tea for enjoyment (like the ginger peach black tea I’m drinking right now), I also have a variety of wellness and sleepy teas, as well as mint, for other purposes.

    Congratulations on the new series!

  17. Thank you, Lauren, for the enriching information. From childhood I was able to tell my parents some things that were going to happen, mostly neutral things, once very bad. I called it preparedness. Miss it when dormant!

    1. Preparedness is a perfect word and I might just use it in one of my books 😉 Shay’s sister Jen, in the book calls them Shay’s “inky” feelings 🙂

  18. I am not a big tea drinker, but I have tried some for their medicinal properties especially ones for chronic pain and insomnia. Congratulations on the new series! It sounds awesome!

    1. Thank you and yes, there are some herbal remedies perfect for chronic pain and the best thing is, they aren’t addictive or have horrible side effects. Just do your research if you are taking any other medications to avoid a possible adverse reaction between the herb and the prescription medication. 🙂

  19. I am a user of essential oils and have used several in tea for their medicinal qualities. I also drink elderberry and cranberry teas for their benefits. I love a good Chai latte for the warmth and flavor while reading on a particularly cold day or evening.

  20. Welcome! I love tea, usually salted caramel. Right now I’m on a peppermint tea kick. Love the book cover! Thanks for the chance!

  21. I have only drink tea purely for the sense of relaxation and warmth on a cold winter night.

  22. I don’t drink hot tea but I am from the south so I do drink iced tea! My mama loved tea and drank it at every meal! I love your other series and can’t wait to try this one….

  23. I have always thought yea was for when you are not feeling well. But about 1-2 years prior to Covid, I started falling in love with tea. Usually love black teas. It is a comfort & time to relax. Especially Davit chocolate mint teas. But Harney & Sons has my 4 favorites! (Paris, Tower of London, Chocolate Mint & Chocolate Chai Supreme 🥰🥰🥰

  24. yes i do drink some teas for medicinal reasons and others just to enjoy. But isn’t enjoyment, comfort and relaxing a type of medicine?

    1. Yes, I agree with you. Tea’s do bring enjoyment, comfort and relaxation and make for the perfect daily prescription in this stress-filled world. 🙂

  25. Hi Lauren! I absolutely love your books. Your writing is fantastic! I drink teas for both health benefits and just because. Sometimes you just need something warm to hold between your hands, to make everything better.

  26. I enjoy a cup of tea when I want to relax or with a meal. I like trying different flavors of tea.

  27. I’m really a coffee lover, but I like almost all herbal teas just because they taste good. However, I drink ginger tea to calm down and relax at night. It is so soothing.

    Looking forward to reading this series and learning more about the healing properties of herbal teas.

    1. Have you ever tried dandelion tea? It makes a great coffee substitute and has enormous health benefits. Let me know what you think of it if you do, okay?

      1. I don’t get many dandelions. Is there such a thing as crabgrass tea?🤪
        Seriously, I would give it a try if offered to me.

  28. I drink tea every day, one of my favorites is Constant Comment. Congratulations on your new series. Looking forward to reading “Steeped in Secrets”.

  29. Happy book birthday eve!! I cannot wait for the world to read your new series. I am not entering the giveaway. I drink tea just to enjoy it. Thank you again for asking Lauren to visit today. God bless you all.

  30. One of my best friends in grad school is Irish. I always remember his advice: You can always use a nice new teapot. (He also introduced me to Guinness. But that’s anoter story.)

  31. I drink tea mostly for relaxation, but I have on occasion drunk it for medicinal purposes.

  32. The book and series sound very interesting. I loke hot Oolong tea and really don’t take it for medicinal purposes, but probably should. I knew some of those that you listed but not all. My father always swore by Rose Hips. Thanks for sharing that info.

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