The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: July 2020 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in August

Posted August 2, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in End of the month post / 13 Comments

I don’t know how to describe July. It was another month of not getting much done, although my reading definitely went up. I only got to go into school a few times, and when I was told I could go back, I got back for one day, did a ton in my library, but then the next day I had just gotten at my desk and my principal came and said now we had to wait till August 6th to come back. So I had to leave. But this week I should get to go back and work in my library. I was also pleased that my school district came out and said even though we were doing virtual learning, postponed to start after Labor Day, teachers could choose whether to work from home or from their classroom. I plan to work in my library. I have a big library where I’ll be socially distanced from everyone else as long as they don’t try to stop by and talk.

The last week of July we had a lot of rain. My dogs were not happy. But this first week of August is supposed to be in the 70s, perfect fall weather that I’m totally ready for. It’d be nice to sit outside with the dogs again instead of so hot I can’t stand it.

Oh yeah, in the group for Penny Reid fans on Facebook, Sharks of Awesome, someone posted about a Etsy shop that would draw a picture of your soulmate. So for $11 I figured why not. Got that picture and a “description” of him today. I’d hoped it might be a certain person, but it looks nothing like anyone I know.

Oh well, it was fun. He’s cute, I just need to find him.

I got a lot of reading done, especially right at the end of the month. August I’m starting off a little behind though! I’ve got to get back on track! Right now I’m having to read books like one a day just to get done in time for any reviews planned. I did get all my books that I read this past month reviewed and reviews posted on my blog. I did have 3 DNFs this month, but will share them in August or later. I got 18 books read though in July!! Yay me!

One more thing, check out my new header! I love it, although I feel like the background is kind of missing something. But that could just be me. What do you think?

July Reviews:

Oh yeah, I have to mention that my favorite book of July, and probably so far this year, was Flirtasaurus, I adored this book! It actually made me really want to go back and finish up my very first ever NaNoWriMo story that is set at the Chicago Field Museum with a hot paleontologist love interest. I even was lucky enough to have the author send me a physical copy, (well because I annoyed her asking when the physical copy would be available at Barnes and Noble since I try to buy from there when I can), so I shared a picture of it with all of my dinosaur and science books and stuff on my bookshelf:

And once again my number of posts in July went up, 44 compared to the 41 in June. I know I’m booked so far into the end of August with books to review. I’ve really got to stop that. It’s probably why I’m ending up with a lot of DNFs because I just can’t get into books when I know I have other books to read and some just aren’t grabbing me. And some of the reviews I posted about above were actually books I read last month, so that did add in.


So, I would say that I got 3 books from my backlist done this past month (they are actually all in the same post):

  1. Banking the Billionaire by Max Monroe
  2. Dirty Filthy Rich Boys by Laurelin Paige
  3. The Flash: Volume 1 – Move Forward by Francis Manapul
  1. Blogging – Feeling pretty confident, for the most part, on WordPress, but haven’t been going back and updating my reviews from the other site as much as I should so that they show up in my review archives. I should set that as a goal. As for commenting I feel like setting my Saturdays with only easy posts if any and then using the day to spend time going and commenting has helped me a lot. I feel like I’m catching up a bit. I did also get my 2021 refill pages for my planner, so I can start adding in the books that are coming out next year since they’re already showing up on Edelweiss!

Lisa’s Looking Forward To:

Cleaning Up My TBR:

So as I’ve mentioned, I’m not doing this post anymore. However, I did go through a couple times and clear out some books. I was at 2996 on July 6th. And after a couple times this month of weeding out, but also adding new, I am currently at a total of 2885 books on my TBR on Goodreads. So it’s down, even if not as much as I’d like.

2. Reading – Like I said above, I’m getting back on track with my reading, having finished 19 books this month! I got back to only 6 behind on my Goodreads goal, although for a while it was up to 9 behind. Now two of these were shorter books, and one had been started a while back, but still, I’m glad I got some stuff done. I did drive a bit more this month, which is why I got more audiobooks finished.

3. Writing – nothing. Although I do have a new idea for a story, and had some thoughts on how to possibly finish up one book that I have gotten stuck on where to go and how to wrap it up. Well, it’s the one I mentioned above with how I got the urge to finish it. I also reached back out to a published author who had looked at a couple chapters of my finished YA novel, and am going to have her help me with the problem I have with telling instead of showing in my writing. And I have to definitely do a little self-promoting of my own self published novella, the only one so far. Again, if you’re interested in reading and reviewing, and have Kindle Unlimited, it is free. Here is a link again if you’re interested: Amazon.

What to Expect in August:

With school sorta kinda starting back up, at least teachers maybe being in, but either not till the 6th or else maybe not even till the 21st depending on the calendar votes, it may cut back on some of my reading. However, if I am in my library alone, there are days I might use the time to get some writing stuff done. Of course not until I’m done with all the rearranging that needs to be done due to the loss of storage space to make offices in the back of our library, as well as working on inventory.

Since I have to pay the author who is helping me with my writing, I won’t get the couple chapters she is looking at until probably the end of August, so I won’t get anything done with that. But maybe I’ll look at the story set in Chicago and finally figure out how to finish it. I did download a free trial of Plottr, which I’ve heard is supposed to be really helpful, so maybe I’ll try that out with one of my new story ideas, or an idea that I started but didn’t get far on.

Oh, and I’m thinking about maybe doing a Flashback Friday post on my blog where I go back and maybe highlight past reviews from my early years of blogging, and maybe then adding them to Goodreads, Amazon, etc. For now only the Fridays I don’t have anything else planned, but thinking of adding those in as a regular feature to help myself stop taking on so many books for reviews and blog tours!

Here is my proposed TBR based on blog tours and ARCs that I have:

  1. Romeantically Challenged by Marina Adair – actually already reviewed on August 1st.
  2. This is So Happening by Amelia Kingston – I’m reading as I type this. Now I think I’ve already read as a beta reader, but rereading the finished e-galley to do an official review. I’d planned to do this by July 31st, but got behind. Planning to post a review either August 3rd or 4th.
  3. Some Kind of Animal by Maria Romasco Moore – I had signed up for a tour through Fantastic Flying Book Club, but as they kind of disappeared after some controversy before reappearing with a new name, I have no idea if this is still on. I do have the ARC already, I think from AASL, so may or may not do a review of it on August 5th or 9th.
  4. It Came From the Sky by Chelsea Sedoti – another ARC I have, which I’d planned to read and review on the 1st, but it may not be until August 5th or 6th.
  5. That Swoony Feeling by Meghan Quinn – reading for a blog tour review on August 6th.
  6. The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed – I have an ARC of this. Originally it was a tour through FFBC, but they passed the info on to the publisher who reached out and so I plan to still post on my originally scheduled tour date of August 8th.
  7. All Our Worst Ideas by Vicky Skinner – Reviewing for a blog tour on August 10th.
  8. Engagement and Espionage by Penny Reid – reviewing for a blog tour on August 12th.
  9. Needing You Close by Kennedy Fox – reviewing for a blog tour on August 13th.
  10. The Morning Flower by Amanda Hocking – I’d planned to have this one read and review on the 4th, but I haven’t picked it up yet. So hopefully I can review on the 15th.
  11. My Eyes Are Up Here by Laura Zimmerman – so I won this from Bookish First but because of all the Corona stuff, I didn’t get it in time to read before it came out and then I had to fit it into my schedule. I’m hoping to read and review on August 16th.
  12. Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting – I signed up for a tour but haven’t heard for sure. Hoping to review for a tour on August 17th.
  13. Hard Fall by Sara Ney – I have a blog tour review scheduled for August 18th, but I think the release date has been postponed till September, so this one might not be until later.
  14. The Truest Thing by Samantha Young – also have a blog tour review scheduled for August 18th for this one.
  15. Not My Romeo by Ilsa-Madden Mills – blog tour review scheduled for August 20th.
  16. Unexpected Expectations by Lauren Helms – part of the next release in the 425 Madison Ave series, for a review for blog tour on August 21st.
  17. Wayward With by Zoraida Cordova – I have an e-galley to review since I could never find a physical ARC, and hope to read and review by August 23rd, or maybe the 30th.
  18. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – I signed up for a tour the last week of August with Rock Star Book Tours, but haven’t heard yet if I’ve been selected for it.
  19. None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney – Another one I signed up for a tour with Rock Star Book Tours, but haven’t heard back on. I could either post a review of it the last week of August or the first week of September if I’m chosen.
  20. Just Roommates by Allie York – another book in the next batch of the 425 Madison Ave series. Supposed to post a review as part of the blog tour on August 31st.
  21. Just the Tip by L.J. Shen and Helena Hunting – an audiobook I’m almost finished with, so should review this month.
  22. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi – I’m reading this right now and really learning a lot and it is making me think. So if I read about a chapter a day like I have been, I should be done by the end of the month.
  23. Hasty by Julia Kent – I got the e-galley and should have read it already, so hopefully I get it read soon!

So again, I probably won’t get all of those done. But we’ll see. There will probably be at least one more audiobook in there too, as I’m going to have a long drive the middle of the month by myself. Just not sure what book it will be, probably Beard Science by Penny Reid, the only Winston Brothers book I haven’t actually read yet. Which is crazy since I love Cletus so much! There’s also a possibility a couple of the ARCs I have will get pushed back due to blog tours or maybe even DNF if I don’t get into them.

So, how was your July? I hope everyone in your family is safe and healthy, or that if you have anyone that has gotten sick, I hope they are recovering quickly. As I mentioned above, my school district is waiting until after Labor Day to start back up, and then we’re doing the first 9 weeks as virtual learning. So we will see how that goes. I’m just hoping nothing changes that I can’t at least go work in my library.


Last month’s winner was Sherry Strode, and the entry she won for was a tweet promoting the giveaway!

Since I’ve quit doing my CUTBR giveaways weekly, I’m going to do a giveaway with my month-end post I think. And if I do start weekly wrap-up posts, I’ll remind everyone about it each week. I’m going to give the same choices as before. ARCs I’ve finished and also a finished copy of Autoboyography by Christina Lauren that is autographed. Somehow I ended up with two autographed copies! I will make it international in that you can pick a book for under $10 if The Book Depository ships to you. Just fill out the Rafflecopter below.

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13 responses to “The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: July 2020 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in August

  1. I noticed your new header the other day. It’s fantastic! Love seeing the dogs in there with you. $11 for your soulmate. Hmmmm. Sorry it wasn’t who you wanted. =/

    • Lisa Mandina

      Well, I guess it just means that I really am reaching for an ex that doesn’t seem at all interested in anything more than friendship. And hey, it’s silly, no actually putting stock in only looking for someone who looks exactly like that only. LOL!! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. It sounds like you’d be pretty safe working in your library. I hope the school year goes well. Love your new header. I can see what you mean about something missing – like right above your shoulder/desk? I guess you could put a calendar or some type of photo or print. But honestly, I think it’s really cool as is!

    I am hoping this will be the month that I finally get back into my own fiction writing. I have an idea I’ve been working on in my head, so now it’s time to finally start writing!


    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, just right behind where I’m sitting. That’s a good idea. Or maybe a window or a poster? Hmm. I’ll have to think about that. Good thoughts! I hope you can get back into your writing this month too. Maybe August will be good for both of us on that aspect! Thanks for visiting!

  3. Debra Branigan

    I had a great July. I finally was able to be with a bit of my family which included grandchildren. Now to enjoy the rest of the summer and look forward to new possibilities in 2021.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Glad you got to spend some family time! That was much needed for a lot of us I think! I like your attitude in looking for what could be coming that is good! Thanks for visiting!

  4. I love the idea of a Flashback Friday. I may need to join you on that one. I spent a lot of time reading this month and it’s probably the only one I’ve ever stayed on top of reviews for (trying to avoid the in-laws). I’m sorry you didn’t get as much done as you would have liked. I’m starting back at school this month too so I definitely agree it’s going to be touch and go for a while in trying to figure out if I’ll have as much time as I would like to read and write as I would like. I’m glad you have some goals set up and I ABSOLUTELY FREAKING LOVE your new header! So cute! Congrats on making it through July!

    Sharrice @Reese’s Reviews

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, I saw the Flashback Friday on someone else’s blog, although I’m not sure if they’re doing it exactly the way I was thinking. I’ve got this Friday scheduled to do one though, so we’ll see. It won’t be done early probably, because I might wait till that other blog posts their Friday flashback and sneak a peek again. Would love to have you join in! I love the header too. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Danielle Hammelef

    My Eyes are Up Here was a book I claimed from Bookish First and even though it arrived late, I was thrilled to receive a finished copy. I enjoyed it very much. Your TBR for August looks amazing, with some books I also have ARCs of–The Black Kids and It Came from the Sky. I always am impressed with how much time you dedicate to your blog and your hard work pays off with great reviews and other posts.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Ah! Thanks so much! I’m behind though, still haven’t had a chance to read a few I’d planned. But we’ll keep chugging away! Thanks for stopping by!

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