Checking In: February 2018

February Wrap Up

Posted February 26, 2018 by Amber in Checking In / 4 Comments


February is always the fastest month of the year.  Maybe it’s because there’s so much going on, maybe it’s because it’s technically the shortest month… I don’t know!  But here we are again at the end of it!

For all you beautiful people reading this, I hope you all had an amazing Valentine’s Day, Lunar New Year, President’s Day – the whole shebang.  And all the holidays I missed.  February is ripe with holidays!

My bookishness wasn’t as ambitious this month as January, but I loved all the books I got through.  It was just slow going.  February hits me hard as a person (huzzah for SAD!) and I sleep a lot, or am always sort of tired and grey.  But I’m still grateful for my haul and my progress this month!

The Monthly Haul

This month was a couple pre-orders, a couple book boxes, and I think there was only one NetGalley ARC?  Simon was for the Apparating Library Book Club… and I finally caved on the special editions of Harry Potter.  I didn’t want to go request crazy on NetGalley after finally hitting 80% – I asked for about 6 books this month and was only granted one.  Which is fine.

Of all the books I received, I’m the most excited for Tempests and Slaughter.  GUYS.  I have been waiting for this book since I was a little kid and I read The Immortals and fell in love with Numair.  This is also my planned gateway book for making my husband fall in love with Tamora Pierce’s characters and worlds.  SO SO SO EXCITED.

All the things I’ve been reading

This was a slow reading month.  Or, at least, it felt like it!  Compared to last month, where I was putting out more books than I knew what to do with.  I decided I needed to re-read Gone With the Wind, which is something like a 48 hour audiobook, so, erm, that took some time.  As far as my hardcopy books, it’s all been ARCs and lends.  I’m dying to pull something from my TBR Jar, but it wasn’t in the cards.

11 books found









Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman




All that said, though?  I really liked most the books I read this month.  How to Build a Girl was a particular favorite, and I bought both the hardcopy and audiobook right after finishing it.  It’s one I’ll read time and time again.

And Tess of the Road.  Which I technically finished last month, but the review dropped on Valentine’s Day.  Because I loved it.

Magic and Mischief on the Blog

Not a lot of progress or fancy changes this month.  I’ve been contemplating a better way to go about my Great Bookshelf Crusade page (it’s pretty to look at, but a beast to edit).  I haven’t quite decided on anything practical at this point, so it’s still on the back burner.  Sort of a low priority thing.

Otherwise, I was able to reformat a couple old reviews, so you’ll be seeing books like The Summoning and The Hitchhiker’s Trilogy pop up now in the recommendations box on new reviews!

What Have I been Scribbling?



I haven’t actually written any words.


After last month’s crash and burn, I did what I said I would and went back to the beginning and made character profiles and a story board.  There is a cork board with colored squares and everything.  I love it.  I’ve had a few false starts on writing since finishing those, but there’s a PLOT.  And THREE SUBPLOTS.  Including a ROMANTIC SUBPLOT which is the bane of my existence.  The tricky thing for me is actually writing in my writing time… instead of writing book reviews.

I’d also like to blame Lady Elizabeth, who has become the Ultimate Morning Lap Kitty.  I get things done in the morning!  But not with a curled up, purring kitten on my lap.

Adventures in the real world!

Oh man.  Work.  Things got weird this month, but there is going to be so many positive changes, so it’s really good in the long run.  I’m exhausted though – I’ve been in the office more which means I’ve had less free time and been sleeping less.  Does anyone have any good tutorials for Sharepoint 2016?  I can code in so many different ways, at least at an amateur level, but Sharepoint is a beast.

In regards to the CRUISE!!! I am dying because we’re only two months away and February was SUCH a good cruise month.

Like you have no idea.

So.  We got our room upgraded to a balcony with spa access, so we have a fancier (albeit not bigger, boo) bathroom, AND access to the fancy thermal suite on the ship which will be AMAZING for the seven days we are in relax mode at sea.

(points to anyone who gets that GIF ^^)

On top of all that, we booked activities for London (just a hop-on-hop-off bus tour – we’re not realistically sure how much time we’ll have) and a beautiful island tour for Azores.  I am so excited, and I can’t wait to share all my beautiful experiences with everyone.  I have a whole series planned on my blog about this trip, 90% because I want to share my pictures, haha.

What’s Coming Next?

You’ll continue to get more Ace of Shades goodness in the months that come!  I was lucky enough to win an ARC, so there’s a book review in your near future!

I also signed up for the brand new Scribbler subscription box!  If you haven’t heard of it, Scribbler is the brain child of Lindsay Cummings (author of The Murder Complex and Zenith) and Victoria Scott (author of the Fire & Flood series).  It’s a book box by writers, for writers.  It include a new MG/YA book, a writing theme, a how-to on mastering it, and writerly gifts, along with an invitation to communicate with a professional.  I cannot begin to describe how excited I am about the Scribbler box – it’s the best of all my worlds.  I can’t wait to share it with you.

The first Scribbler box is March; theme “Emotional Touchpoints”.  With any luck, I’d like to have a review up by the end of March, but if not, expect it in early April!


How was your February?

Did you do anything special for Valentine’s Day?

What was your favorite read this month?

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4 responses to “February Wrap Up

    • Amber

      I’m so glad to hear you liked it! I’m still quite nervous about reading it, but hearing that it met the high expectations definitely helps!!!!

  1. Oh my god, I AM SO JEALOUS OF YOUR CRUISE!!! That sounds so awesome, I can’t wait to see all the pics from it on here! ?

    I haven’t read any of the books you read this month, but a bunch of them are on my tbr and I’m so glad they were good! Especially Tess of the Road, How to Build a Girl, and This Song Will Save Your Life. Can’t wait to dive into those. I didn’t really do anything that exciting this month, BUT. Last weekend I did go to an oyster festival and shuck oysters for the first time. And I was strangely good at it?? I think I had more fun shucking them than eating them. ?

    Loretta @ The Laughing Listener recently posted: Ready Player One is a Bundle of Kick-Ass Awesomeness
    • Amber

      ANY festival is exciting! They have that happy buzz in the air you also find at carnivals, country fairs, and renaissance faires. It sounds like fun! Even though I don’t eat oysters!

      I do hope you like those books when you get to them. ESPECIALLY Tess and HtBaG. You’ve had some great reads lately!!! Some of my favorite books, Jurassic Park and Ready Player One! I did check out your new audiobook lending thing, and I gotta say this… at least you can check out books for 21 days! I’m listening to The Stand by Stephen King right now via Overdrive… and at 48 hours I have to listen to about 4 hours every day and it is going to be a *challenge*. 😛