Candy Hearts, ARC Attack, & Busyness – February Wrap Up!

Posted February 25, 2019 by Amber in Checking In / 3 Comments


The end of February always throws me off.  it feels like we should have another week, right?  But the end is nigh and March is upon us.  March is my least favorite month of the year, largely because we get hit with the worst of the winter weather in March.  Fortunately I have a contingency plan for that and plan to spend a week of March in the Caribbean. 10/10 I recommend this winter escaping tactic.

In the meanwhile, let’s talk books. 😉


Okay, okay.  I know.  This looks bad, right?  Especially bad for being on a book buying ban.  I only actually bought two books this month – The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy and On the Come Up.  I did unhaul two books… so that sort of cancelled out… right?  Everything else was pre-ordered, from a book box, or an ARC.

Lemme tell you, February has been the month of the ARC.  I got eight ARCs this month.  For which I am grateful, but guess what I’m going to be reading all month next month….?  Four of these books are published in April so I’m really pushing myself to read those four before the end of the month.  I’ve already started Upon a Burning Throne which is nearly 800 pages and it’s pretty decent so far!  A lot of the wordiness and background aesthetic could have been trimmed, but decent book overall.


I hit a stride early in February with audiobooks where I bust through Fierce KingdomPush, and Midnight at the Electric in the matter of about two days.  That kickstarted me to the month, which has been especially good because I feel like the second half of the month has had some longer books that I’m less enthusiastic about.  Generally feeling pretty “meh” about my February reads, if we’re being real honest here.

Matt and I finished our Artemis Fowl marathon with The Last Guardian and I’m a bit sad to be letting Artemis and Co. go.  I’m absolutely dying for the film in August.  I want so badly for it to do well, because I really want to see the final scenes of the series on the big screen.


Push / ★★★★ 1/2 – This is a very short book, but it is very, very hard to read.  It tells a painful, infuriating story and it rife with trigger warnings.  But if you think you can safely read it, I very much recommend you do so.  It’s powerful and important.

The Half-Drowned King / ★★★★ While The Half-Drowned King is a bit on the long side, it captivated my interest.  This is a hugely underrated piece of historical fiction with a lot of clear research and realism mixed in for a time period (the Vikings) we actually don’t know a lot about.  It had great characters and just the right mix of domesticity and adventure.

Enchantée/ ★★★★ 1/2 – The bookish community is having some mixed feelings about this one, but I honest to goodness loved it.  I did get an ARC, full disclosure, BUT that’s not why I’m saying I love it.  Paris at the time of the French Revolution is so rich, and Gita Trelease blends the two worlds of the layfolk and aristocracy so well.  I loved the magic and the characters and the relationships and genuinely, all of it.


So one day this month, I decided I was going to work on Quest, which is now my running title for the book I started for Camp NaNoWriMo in July.  I wanted some adventure and different characters, because I’d opened the Word doc for A Star Danced about sixteen times and only squeaked out a sentence.  So I scrolled to the bottom where I left off of Quest, and was positively mortified.

I had written this whole scene where two characters plot over a card game and I was really proud of it and it was gone.  Just, gone.

I re-synced.  I opened the software again.  It staunchly refused to appear.  Well, I thought to myself.  This is what you get for using cloud-based.  Losing progress on a (different) cloud-based service has happened to me before, but this was years ago.  I gathered my strength and half-heartedly poked out about a paragraph of utter trash before surrendering.

It was on my way home that I remembered I have been playing with Scrivener around that time.  Lo and behold, I opened Scrivener and found my missing work.

Moral of the story, kiddos:  pick one piece of software and stick to it.


Favorite Post: 10 Love Stories That Melt My Heart

Awww, I really enjoyed writing this one and picking out fan art to represent the couples, so I’m really happy your guys like this one.  I’m not a romantic, as you know, but there are just some bookish couples that would make anyone go “Awwwwwww!”.  If you’ve checked out this post, by the way, definitely swing over to the artists’ pages as well.  I may or may not have spent a decent amount of time swooning over amazing fan art while writing.

Favorite Review:  There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Okay, full disclosure, Fourth Dimension was actually still the most popular review this month.  I think that some school somewhere has assigned this book, but it’s small enough press that it’s not on a lot of other blogs, and mine’s popping up whenever the kids are searching “character list fourth dimension”.  But There’s Someone Inside Your House came up second.  I think there are a lot of curious people out there about this book, very on the fence about reading it.  Glad so many have found my thoughts interesting!


Big things!

Okay, so February has been a super busy month.  There’s been vacation planning and reorganization, and apartment hunting, and me pre-writing blog posts like crazy because I want to get way ahead before the MOVE.

So on the vacation front, I have a mini-hiatus post upcoming so I won’t say too much… but can I just say that my husband is no longer allowed to organize things?  The March trip has been his baby, and our flights are all weird.  We actually have 10 hours between the time we have to disembark the cruise ship and when we fly out of For Lauderdale.  And no offense to y’all in Florida, but there’s not a lot of interesting touristy things to do around FLL.  So we’ve decided to drop our bags to be checked in, then go see Captain Marvel.  Better than hanging around at the airport for sure, but I have no clue what we’re going to do with the rest of the time!

Otherwise, though, yay, we picked a new apartment!

I don’t have any pictures because we don’t have the keys yet, but I’ll be sure to talk about it more in April when we have the keys and actually move.  It’s been really exciting, but the reality of packing up our lives again is settling in and I’m trying so hard not to panic about the immensity of it.  There’s really no point in boxing stuff until after our vacation, but I’m starting to twitch with the anxiety.

I know all this sounds really complainy, but these are actually good things and I’m really excited to be relishing in the final product of it all.


Before I dig into my featured blogger and bookstagrammer this month, I want to talk a small moment to feature a specific post from one of my FAVORITE bloggers that I find myself coming back to over and over, so I think it may be helpful to everyone.  Back in January, Evelina posted an interview about Real Publicist Advice On How To Get Review Copies Approved and it’s fantastic.  Definitely read it.

Okay!  Now for this months featured folks:

March 2019’s Book Blogger of the Month:

This month’s book blog spotlight falls on Shealea from Shut Up, Shealea!

Shut Up, Shealea is the recently rebranded “That Bookshelf Bitch”.  It’s a gorgeous rebranding, loves.  If you want to recreate your look, this is how you do it.  Her blog is very professional and while books are her main focus, she also occasionally reviews products and films.  I’m actually a new follower of Shealea’s, and I am so impressed by her corner of the blogosphere.

Not sure where to start?  Try these fantastic posts:


March 2019’s Bookstagrammer of the Month:

This month, I find myself completely in love with @oliviagratehouse!

If you remember last month’s Bookstagram feature, then you know I like color!  Olivia has beautiful turquoise-painted bookcases and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t in love with this.  Because of her painted bookshelves, every single one of her photos really pops.

Olivia uses all sorts of different filler in her bookish photos.  She does color-themed posts and leverages her Pops.  You can also see that she’s a legit book lover and not just a sensationalist, because she includes books that are old (I’m seeing Eragon and Inkdeath and even some Isaac Asimov) alongside newer reads.


Okay, so right off this week you’re going to be getting your first ARC review from that massive haul.  But one thing I’m really excited about?

At the end of January, I did this massive (for me, lol) poll on Twitter about audiobooks and what people thinks about them… what they like and don’t like.  I’ve gathered all that information up for you and I made graphs and that post is coming on Friday!  I am so so so excited about this one – I’ve had it scheduled for almost a month.

You’ll also be getting some more blogger appreciation, and a book tag (of course!) and I’m hoping that by mid-March I’ll be dropping some travel posts on the weekends to outline my cruise.

Can’t wait to see you all on the other side!


How was your February?

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

What was your favorite read this month?

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