July Wrap Up

Posted July 30, 2018 by Amber in Checking In / 28 Comments


I know I usually say “wow that month went by so fast”, but seriously, y’all, July?  July was a long long month.  I struggled to balance reading with writing with blogging with life with health stuff and sunshine and just everything and I am ready for autumn.  This is how you know I’m a New Englander – I’m ready for fall now. Yes? Yes.

July wasn’t so bad – just busy!  I don’t like to be busy – I love me some weekends to sit at home and relish in doing nothing.  It’s the best.  August is gonna be busy too, and I hope it flies by, because I am PUMPED for September.

But lets talk about July. 😉


Whelp, things got crazy in July.

At the beginning of the month, our best friends let us jump on the bandwagon of their yard sale, and in doing so, Matt and I took the leap and culled our entire collection of DVDs.  And y’all, we were committed.  Anything we didn’t sell (that wasn’t a crazy special edition – I’m sorry, I’m not selling my Harry Potter Ultimate Editions for $1.  I’ll keep them first) we took to a local shop and traded in for store credit aaand long story short, I suddenly find myself with a lovely large amount of store credit?

We could have done a lot of things.  There were talks of purchasing a Nintendo Switch.  We could have bought records, or things for other people or…well, any number of things. But we took about half our store credit and bought Lego video games (my husband) and books (me).  So guess who finally has a copy of And I Darken, which I’ve wanted to read for an eternity because I’ve been following Kiersten White since Paranormalcy, y’all.

This girl.


You know what book I really dug this month?  Not The Girls You’re Looking For.  If you’re even in a weird place in your life where you feel like you can never say the right thing and you’re pissed off and just want to eat beignets and be left alone, you’re going to love Lulu.  I loved Lulu.  This book was really well written, but the characters are a beautiful mess and I was all about it.  Lulu and I were on the same page.

Other books of note?

Night Film /★★★ 1/2 –  I really liked Night Film, but I think you need to be the right audience.  It reminded me of my favorite episode of Psych.

Rift / ★ 1/2 – Rift exceeded my expectations.  It’s a traditional western European fantasy, but the world building is really rich and interesting.

A Thousand Perfect Notes / ★★★★★ – C. G. Drews‘s A Thousand Perfect Notes was a really awesome, heartbreaking debut.  If you’re worried about the hype around this one, don’t be… very much worth a read.

The Wicked Deep / ★★★★★ – The Wicked Deep – another debut! – had the perfect ghost story vibes for me and I really liked that one, too.

Only one DNF this month too – Elevate.  The book was written by the gent who owns the company I work for (he gave one to all his employees) and while he’s a genuinely nice guy with a lot of good life experience to share, this book was just not the type I tend to enjoy – if you like self-help books, you might love this one.


I have written more words in July than I have in ages, thanks to Camp NaNoWriMo.  I feel a little like I’m losing my mind, but it’s worth it.

I’ll win in one sense – I’ll definitely hit 50k – but the novel isn’t going to be finished.  I’ll touch more on this in a couple of days, but basically, I plan to keep pushing forward. I love writing, even when I get sidetracked, and it’s been really nice to stay with these characters for a full month.  I feel like we still have a long way to go, but I’m excited to be on the journey with them.

For now, I’ll leave you with a snippet.  Arin and Lei are making a salve to ease some discomfort for a bad poison ivy rash.  It’s really important to me to research and try to be accurate, so I’ve spent a lot of time looking up the ingredients and best methods given the limitations of the era to make something like this, and it’s been really interesting!

Full disclosure:  I am shipping Arin and Lei (Ashleigh) hardcore.  She came out of nowhere and isn’t part of the overarching story and now I don’t know what to do. #writerproblems


In honor of Camp NaNoWriMo, very little has been going on in my little corner of the blogosphere this month.  I’ve been so focused on trying to get my words and advance my story, that I haven’t written a lot?  I’m sorry!

This month’s most popular post was “The Books In The Places I Remember“.  This Top Ten Tuesday post is one of my favorites ever and I actually spent a couple hours blog hopping through the linkup because I loved reading other people’s stories so much – I highly recommend checking out that linkup.  The most popular review was The Wicked Deep, which I’m thrilled about – it was a great book!



Have I mentioned I’ve been busy?  I’ve been so busy guys!

Not bad busy, lots of fun summery stuff!  Like I said – my ideal weekend is spent with a book and my cat and a great big bowl of chocolate ice cream.

So this month, I:

  • Went the the drive in and saw The Incredibles 2 and Ant Man and the Wasp, both of which are really good.  The Incredibles is one of my Top 5 Disney Movies, and I’m so pleased that the second one was so good!
  • Got all 4 of my wisdom teeth out, which was not the end of the world, but I definitely do not recommend.
  • Had my first ever yard sale!  It was both lucrative, and really stressful.  And people are so cheap.
  • Picked all our FastPass+ for our Disney trip in (!!!) 47 days.
  • Started watching Black-ish and geez where has this show been all my life?!
  • Participated in (and sort of won? See above….) Camp NaNoWriMo.
  • Plus life + work + family + cats + stuff.

Unfortunately, the wisdom teeth kicked my butt and I was really sick and in pain and utterly unfocused for about a week and a half.  I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write, I couldn’t really do anything but zone out watching tv and wait until I could take another painkiller.  As if of last Friday, I’m finally out of pain which is wonderful.

Kids, get your wisdom teeth out before you are 28.


Confession: in all the July craziness, I totally didn’t write any posts for August.  That means everything is on the fly, and my August weekends are loaded with kid’s birthday parties and adult birthday parties and work events so I’m crossing my fingers and really hoping I can pull all this together.  Yikes.

I wrote a couple posts last weekend and I’m going to be giving myself permission to take a writing break so I can catch back up before I go away in September. 🙂

We’ll get there, y’all!  In the meanwhile, I hope all of you really enjoyed your July and had the most extraordinary adventures!  I’d love to read all about them!!!

Also, this post is brought to you by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which comes back (finally) on September 5th!


How was your July?

Did we read any of the same books?

What is your ideal summer weekend?

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28 responses to “July Wrap Up

    • Amber

      It’s all about the audioibooks! I listen to audiobooks to-and-from work, and I have an 87mi commute. Does WONDERS for plowing through my TBR. 🙂

  1. Kathy Martin

    My July was busier than normal too. I’m glad that August is looking quieter. I think you got a wonderful assortment of books. I enjoyed so many of them. You also read a lot considering you lost time to your wisdom teeth woes. BTW, I’ll be 68 this week and still have all of mine. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    • Amber

      Happy almost birthday! 🙂

      I wish I didn’t need mine out – they weren’t causing me any pain, but the lower ones were overcrowding my bottom teeth and causing problems elsewhere – ugh! Glad to have them done with. 🙂

      I hope you have a fantastic, relaxing August!!

  2. 87 mile commute? Wow! That’s just crazy to me. I wouldn’t get a book done a week for my commute.
    You have some great selections. I spy a few I want on my TBR. 🙂
    Have a great week!
    Valerie @ Cats Luv Coffee

    • Amber

      It’s way too long, I gotta be honest. We were looking to buy a house and wanted to save up money by living further out, but it’s affecting my mental and physical health to be on the road so much and losing sleep, so looks like we’re going to have to cut our losses and move back closer to work. Ah, oh well, you live you learn.

      Ooooh, which ones in particular are you interested in? I had a great reading month for good books, and am excited to share some of my favorites!

  3. Great idea to get involved in that yard sale and makes the house feel a lot lighter, even if you replace with …. books! I have the In the Unlikely Event still sitting on my shelf waiting to be read!

    • Amber

      I hope you enjoy In the Unlikely Event! It’s out of my normal wheelhouse as far as books go, but it was a bit better than I expected. Lots of interesting characters!

      There can never be too many books. Well, other than when we move (we move too often) and then I sorta wish I was more of an eBooks girl. Lol!

    • Amber

      Schools in this area have another three weeks, thank goodness for the kids. I feel like school just got out for the summer! Although, some local schools went into July because it was a rough winter. 🙁 Hopefully they’ll get a break this year. 🙂

  4. I hope next month is less busy. It looks like you got a lot of reading done and read some good books. Congrats on sort of winning NaNo. I think all the NaNo people are crazy. There’s no way I could write that much. Happy August!

    • Amber

      We are crazy! I absolutely assure you, I was writing garbage. Haha.

      Happy (almost) August to you too! 😀

    • Amber

      I was definitely a busy month, but no regrets! It was fun and exhausting, and I’m glad to be in August. Enjoy Rift (if you do decide to read it). 🙂

  5. I’m ready for fall too. I love summer but I think I’m all summer’d out at this point. Nice book haul! I kinda want to read The darkest Minds now with the show coming…

    Rift sounds interesting! I don’t know that one, will have to check it out.

    And nice writing! I like that snippet with Arin and Lei, even in that little bit you get a sense of their attraction! Sounds like a fun story.

    Great wrap up!

    • Amber

      This summer has just been brutal up north for some reason? We’re used to pretty temperate summers – 72 and low humidity – and we’ve had most days with 75%-100% humidity and in the 90s. I am definitely all set lol.

      I’m honestly not sure how or why Rift even ended up on my TBR, but I’m glad it did, because I really enjoyed it! I hope you do too, if you check it out. 🙂 The romance is cheesy, but the worldbuilding is interesting!

  6. Wow it seems like you had such a busy month, Amber, that’s great! I love your book haul here – I have been wanting to read Ink & Bone, as well as This Song will save your life for a little while now, I can’t wait to hear what you think of them 🙂 I also really want to read Not the girl you’re looking for -thanks to your review, you made it sound so good!-, A Thousand Perfect Notes and The Wicked Deep, they all sound amazing 😀
    I’m sorry you suffered for your wisdom teeth, glad you are all better now though <3 I hope you will have an incredible August and happy reading! <3 <3

    • Amber

      I’ve actually already read This Song Will Save Your Life, and I loved it! I do think that it’s not a book everyone will love, but I liked Elise’s character arc. I’ve been dying to read Ink and Bone – it keeps popping up on people’s blogs and Goodreads and everyone is head over heels for it. 🙂 I”ll definitely post the review when I get there.

      Happy August, Marie! 🙂

  7. My July has been up, down and all-around but still very adventurous. I read 2 ARCs, finished 2 audiobooks, and started the State of the ARC meme to keep track of my ARC reads. Oh, and I hosted my first roundtable (that you were so kindly apart of! 😉 ). So I’d say I had a good month. You look like you’ve had an amazing month reading, I’m still jealous you’ve read so much!

    • Amber

      Adventure is *always* good! I loved your roundtable – it was so much fun to do and you picked such a great hot topic issue! I really only read so much because of my commute – I love love love audiobooks. 🙂 Good luck with ARCs and State of the ARC! Have you gotten any really exciting ones lately?

    • Amber

      I have hit 50k! 🙂 And thank you! I am thoroughly exhausted haha.

      Moving is one of the reasons we cleaned them out – we’re not planning to move until next spring, but we’ve lugged four boxes of DVDs around three apartments and haven’t watched them, so it was time to say goodbye. I wish you luck – it was a bit painful, but liberating at the same time. Good luck with the move!!!

  8. Ooh, I really want to read The Wicked Deep! I’m glad you liked it!

    And you got so many good books this month too! I adore Vicious and Ink and Bone, I really liked And I Darken, and I really WANT to read My Plain Jane!
    Although I have to say, I was pretty unimpressed by An Ember in the Ashes… I hope you have better luck with it than me!

    • Amber

      You know, I think you’re the first one I’ve heard to say you’re unimpressed with that! I have a friend who read it last month and he’s been at me to get one top of it lol.

      I really liked the Wicked Deep, but I do feel like it’s more of a ghost story than a witch story, and the romance is ever present, so keep that in mind going in! 🙂 A lot of people have plunged in for witchcraft and have been disappointed for find it’s not a major theme.