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

Posted November 29, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in End of the month post, giveaway / 12 Comments

So, if October went by fast, so did November! And November is a shorter month! But with all the craziness going on, and me supposed to be writing for NaNoWriMo, it seems like November was gone before I could even catch on. Suffice it to say, I got barely any writing done. I didn’t reach even 10,000 of the 50,000 words I wanted to get written. Part of that is because I ended up the first week changing to a different story to work on, because I wasn’t feeling as motivated with the brand new story I had as I kind of was to finish an older story. Of course being home with the dogs meant there was no time to write without being interrupted constantly. 🙁

Not much going on around here other than the COVID ratest just continuing to go up. I mean, I guess we did have the election, but since I knew my candidate wasn’t going to win, it doesn’t seem as big a deal to me either way I guess. Just waiting to see how it will all play out, if the current president will leave or have to be escorted out. My biggest disappointment probably was that my candidate’s party didn’t get the 5% of the vote they needed so they could at least be a part of the debates next time around. I really feel that would make so much difference in possibly getting the American people more of a choice than between two evils and deciding which was the lesser evil for you. Anyway, enough about politics.

I’d hoped to get back to work at the bookstore, and I put in my application as soon as I found out they were looking to hire. I wasn’t even called. But they did hire new people. I guess that the manager there isn’t really a fan of mine. I mean she even told me one time that since I didn’t put the store first before my family or my main job, why would she want to help me out? Um, first of all, if for some reason I needed a time off, I made sure to either ask off, or if I didn’t find out until late or something came up last minute, I made sure either my shift was covered, or that I was there. But she didn’t like when I would get other people to cover my hours. Because she needed those people available to cover for the people who just called out or didn’t show up for their shift. I scratched my head at the fact that we keep around people who don’t show up, but what do I know about running a business? So I guess my career with Barnes and Noble will end at 15 years, instead of hoping to make it to 20 years to get the 20 year official life-long discount. Boy am I missing that discount right now at Christmas time. I always spent hundreds of dollars there every year this month. Oh well.

My reading was about the same as last month, maybe a little down. Partly because I read a really long book, These Violent Delights, and also had three DNFs. I gave in and went ahead and did a review on the anthology, Come On In, even though I hadn’t finished it, because I wanted to at least review and say that I think it is a good book. Just because I was taking a long time to get through it didn’t mean it wasn’t good, just that me and anthologies don’t always go together the best.

November Reviews:

A few of the reviews this month were from catching up to past due reviews as well. Now I noticed that in the cool blogger thing I have as part of my new blog set up, I can set a rating on a book as DNF. I need to go experiment with that and see if I want to do that for my DNF posts. I did get my number of posts back down into the 30s this month, compared to the 45 from last month. I wish I could say it was because I got a lot of writing done, but that’s not it.


None this month. Hoping to get one next month maybe, as I mentioned last month, I started Must Love Wieners, but I didn’t get it finished this month as I’d hoped. Because I’m a little depressed about how poorly I’m doing, not to mention looking at all the books I have to read in the one whole bookcase that is just five shelves full of books I need to read, I sat down the day before Thanksgiving and decided to plan out 24 books for next year that I would read from both my past due ARC piles as well as that bookcase. I got almost all of them planned, need to do the last few months I think of next year. But they are scheduled in my planner and I have them sitting in a pile on the shelf directly behind my desk to make them easy to get to.


Didn’t do great with commenting or working on past reviews this month. Again, I’d like to blame it on writing, but I just used that as an excuse I think. Bad me. I did try to keep up with my Wednesday posts, although the last week of the month there weren’t really any books coming out in my planner and I had so many other posts planned that day, I just skipped it.

Cleaning Up My TBR:

I went through this twice this month. I started at 2624 on November 5th, and I am at 2540 now. I have gone through and worked on pulling ebooks that I ended up getting for free from that list to my tbr free ebook list separately. But I have also added a bunch, so not quite down 100.


Well, I was behind again, so I dropped my goal down to 210 from 215 and for the moment I am 2 books ahead. What I did was I looked at my reading list and I counted how many I had planned to read left for the rest of the year and then dropped to 210, because they added up to 208 and I figured two more would be audiobooks I listened to.


So, let’s just say I was a big fat NaNoWriMo failure this year. I didn’t even reach 10,000 words. I hardly got any writing done, between trying to decide what I wanted to write and then not being able to go sit at the library and write. I took one morning and went to Panera, but couldn’t get a booth because of social distancing and the booths that were available were already taken. And then I had one day without the dogs, but had to go pick them up that night. I did get over 3500 words written while they were gone. But as soon as they were back, my ability to sit and just write uninterrupted was gone. I’m extremely mad at myself for jumping the gun and buying the winners t-shirt since I didn’t even come close to winning. I kind of wish I could just have my money back on it.

What to Expect in December:

I continued with 2-3 days working at school in my library and I’ve gotten some more of my inventory done. It means I’m also doing a lot of weeding and ending up with books that I don’t know what I’ll do with since there are no teachers or students at school to look through and take them. But I’m feeling good about the progress I’m making.

I plan to continue doing the comments on Saturdays in December, although next year I may change to Sundays, as it really successful for me. Still really caught up on ARC pile, only books there are now for 2021.

December should once again consist of a bunch of Top 10 posts, and probably Challenge sign up posts as usual.

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

  1. Cousins by Karen M. McManus – I will be posting a review for this one as part of a blog tour on the 1st.
  2. Hard to Hold by K. Bromberg – this is also part of a blog tour with a review on the 1st.
  3. The Best of Us (Love in Isolation #2) by Kennedy Fox – Can’t wait to read this second book about our crazy quarantine life, and will be posting a review as part of a blog tour on the 4th.
  4. The Bookworm’s Guide to Faking It by Emma Hart – I will be reading and reviewing as part of the author’s review team on the 6th.
  5. The Pass (Smart Jocks #5) by Rebecca Jenshak – Reading and reviewing for a blog tour on the 8th.
  6. I’ll Be Your Santa Tonight by Dr. Rebecca Sharp – reading and reviewing for a blog tour on the 10th.
  7. Love Thy Neighbor (Roommate Romps #2) by Teagan Hunter – reading and reviewing for a blog tour on the 10th as well.
  8. Stay For Me (The Arrowood Brothers #4) by Corinne Michaels – reading and reviewing for a blog tour on the 11th.
  9. The Spark by Jules Wake – reading and reviewing for a blog tour on the 13th.
  10. The Romantic Pact (Kings of Football #2) by Meghan Quinn – reading as part of the authors review team and also a blog tour on the 14th.
  11. On the Rebound by L.A. Cotton – reading and reviewing for a blog tour on the 15th.
  12. A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha – reading and reviewing for a blog tour on the 17th.
  13. Maybe – Ain’t She Sweet (Seven Brides for Seven Mothers #2) by Whitney Dineen – maybe reading for a blog tour on the 19th, definitely doing a promo post for that day
  14. Layla by Colleen Hoover – reading and reviewing for a blog tour on the 20th.
  15. Midnight Sun (Twilight #5) by Stephenie Meyer – finally getting around to reading the copy I had to buy the day it came out!
  16. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout – I’m not always big on fantasy, but I do love this author, and so I bought this book when it first came out. I need to read and see if I like it and if I need to get the next one in the series.

Reviews that are overdue and should be possibly posted in December:

  1. Well Played by Jen DeLuca – audio
  2. These Walls Can Talk by Erin Mallon – audio
  3. DNF post with 8 books


I don’t have too many pictures that I did myself, not sharing any of the promo posts that were pre-made, so here is what I have from November. And if you’re not following me there yet, you can go HERE.

The two above go together. The publisher sent me copies of these to read even though the third one didn’t need them read first. Now I have to read these as well!

So, how was your November? If you live in the US, I hope you were able to celebrate Thanksgiving safely with your family whether it be in person or through FaceTime, etc. I hope you are staying safe and healthy.


Below are ARCs I’ve finished and also a couple of finished copies, including one of Autoboyography by Christina Lauren that is autographed. Somehow I ended up with two autographed copies! I will make the giveaway international in that you can pick a book for under $10 if The Book Depository ships to you. Just fill out the Rafflecopter below the picture.

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12 responses to “The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: November 2020 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in December

  1. Kate Sarsfield

    Lisa, ease up on yourself please! We’re living in such unsettled times, learning to adapt without going potty, dealing with isolation … Please believe me, I’m not preaching here, but sometimes things just get out of control and we have to learn to bend a bit and accept that some days (weeks/months) things just aren’t going to go according to plan. You will find your way, I know it.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I know. I’m just so disappointed. I wanted so bad to get one of my stories set up to at least try to submit to the SmartyPants Romance line, and I didn’t get anything done on that story, or many others this year. Hoping next year I can get something done with my writing. Although this is the last time they’re taking new authors into that line, so I won’t get to write for them.

  2. If you really don’t want the NaNo winner’s shirt, you can always try and sell it for some money back on Twitter or something. I’m sure there are people that “won” but didn’t order the shirt, you know?

    I got some writing done this month, so that’s a plus, but not as much as I’d hoped. I did start reading a bit more by the end of the month though so I’ll just call it a win. Hopefully things will go better on both fronts in December. I know it’s the holiday season, but there isn’t a ton you can really do with COVID and all that. hah


    • Lisa Mandina

      I think they’ll cancel the order for me. We’ll see. If not, I guess I can always keep it as inspiration for next year? Unfortunately being stuck at home and not able to get out and away from my dogs to write is why I haven’t gotten much writing done. So I don’t foresee much writing going on for a while for me until I’m able to go sit at the library again. Oh well. I still get reading done at home, that’s easier to do. Thanks for visiting!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I do comment on things like the Wednesday posts every week, but am not always good about making sure to get out and comment otherwise. Something I need to figure out how to do better still. That’s why I tried to add the comment day. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Danielle Hammelef

    I have wanted to get back to my own writing too and made progress with my picture book manuscript. I’m still waiting for my critique feedback and that makes me nervous–putting my work out there is always stressful and I know I’m not alone in this. I’m having trouble concentrating on any project this year as COVID keeps lurking in the background. I’m sorry about your bookstore job! Having a discount like that, especially now, is definitely a bonus for bookworms.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I have got to set a goal for writing in 2021 for sure, even making sure I set a time every day to write no matter what. While I’m glad I’m not the only one having problems, I’m sorry that you are as well! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Candice

    Dogs can make getting work done hard. My dachshunds are older and once they are done running in and out, have be put on furniture or on my lap before I can start my work. I almost always have an upside dachshund on my lap while I work on my laptop.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I’m glad I’m not the only one dealing with the divas that we call dachshunds! I have ramps for mine to get up and down, although one started having back problems two days ago, so I’m doing a lot of picking him up and down. I have to sit at a desk, so I have a chaise lounge type thing by my desk for them to hang out on while I’m working. Unfortunately they usually use it to bark out the window. Thanks for stopping by!

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