The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: April 2021 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in May

Posted May 1, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in End of the month post / 40 Comments

The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: April 2021 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in May

April has been a crazy busy month! First of all, I got my official contract for my new library job for next school year, and I was able to turn in my official resignation to my new district. So all of that is starting to shake out and I’m getting excited for next year and a bit ready to be done with the things that annoy me at my current job, even though I really do like my current job. April brought us some weird weather. In the second to last week of the month we had a day that was crazy snowy in the morning on my way to work, but by my drive home from work, the snow was all gone and it looked like a normal spring day again.

The dogs have stayed healthy this month for a change. And I even got to go play with some puppies that the breeder has right now the last weekend of the month!

I got my YA novel back from the beta reader and they had a lot of good comments. They gave it 3.5 stars, which I’m happy with, because I know it needs work. But I was pleased with the suggestions they had and that they liked it that much! Other than getting that back, I got no writing done this month. I did sit in on a Facebook live with one of my favorite authors, Helena Hunting, and she was talking about writing and self publishing, and we got to ask her questions. I got a lot of good info and suggestions and advice, now I just need time to sit down and write. Or outline, which is what I think I need to do to finish up the novels I have started and never finished yet. Since it will probably be another summer without a part time job, I’m guessing I’ll never get the bookstore job back, and I’ve done okay without having a second job, well, kind of, my credit cards probably disagree, maybe I can get some writing done this summer.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned about how Pepsi had a giveaway going on before Easter that was for a very limited edition Peeps flavored Pepsi. You had to take a picture showing your love of Peeps and then post it with the hashtag of “hanging with my Peeps” and tag Pepsi in it. I did that, and then I heard from them a week or two ago that I had won. Well, the prize arrived this past week! I want to drink them, but then I also know they’ll be gone once I do, since they don’t make any more, so I keep waiting!

I also gave in and got a new car. Not that I had a very old one, less than two years old actually. But Facebook ads got me. I think back in January or February, they had an ad for an orange car on Facebook. Orange is my favorite color. So I started thinking about it a lot. The last week of April I decided to go test drive one. Thinking that once I drove it, I wouldn’t like it, and so I’d give up on it. Well, that backfired. Of course the local Nissan dealership didn’t have the Rogue Sport in orange, so I ended up having to go to a town about an hour away, and once there, I got talked into it. Even if my payment is a little more than what I was paying. Here is my pretty new car:

And once again, my air conditioning doesn’t seem to be working. It seems that it probably has a freon leak, so with it being 33 years old, and my heater over 20 years old, I’ve decided it is time to replace those, so now I’ll be making a monthly payment for that once it gets put in. Blah.

My total for reading this month was a little off, I think partly because of having kids back in the building and being busier at school, and then also I had two books that I put on my DNF list even after giving them a lot of time to read. If I get the one I started on Thursday finished by Friday night, I will have read/listened to a total of 17 books this month. Oh yeah, I had two audiobooks I was trying to listen to that neither really grabbed me. So I spent a lot of the time in my car this month just listening to music instead of books. I also might have downloaded the Bridgerton soundtrack and then the original songs they were based on.

I’m also really behind on overdue reviews, books that weren’t part of blog tours, so I didn’t have the time to make sure to record the reviews. And, as I’m going through all my authors and trying to make sure the reviews I posted before I switched to WordPress get updated so they show in my blog archives now, I found at least one that I never wrote a review for by a favorite author of mine. Nowhere did I write a review for it. So I’m debating if I can go back and write one now.

April Reviews:

Only reviews this month pretty much were for tours or because they were ARCs that publishers sent me.


You can see my sign up post for this challenge HERE. And here is the image with all the books I thought would be read.

Still got no more new ones done. I am working on two in the picture there, Must Love Wieners (second one down on last column) and Damsel. And I really want to pick up and read From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout because everyone loves this series I think and it is the one of hers that I’m behind on! Of course they are all coming out really quickly and her other series that I’m keeping up on right now are yearly books.

Last year I was doing the posts about Cleaning Up My TBR. I quit doing the posts by the end of the year, and was just going through Goodreads and clearing out books. Since I haven’t mentioned it so far this year, let’s just say that at the beginning of January, the number on my Goodreads TBR was 2,477 books. As of today, I am at 2,237 books. So I’ve crossed out over 200 books, and that’s even with adding books as I find more I want to read.

Last year I was doing the posts about Cleaning Up My TBR. I quit doing the posts by the end of the year, and was just going through Goodreads and clearing out books. So at the end of March I had 2,237 books on my TBR list. I’ve only gone through one time this month, but now I’m at 2,223. Now I know I got rid of a lot on the one time I went through, but I’ve also added a bunch this month too I’m sure!

What to Expect in May:

Last month of school at my current school! The end of the month, Memorial Day weekend is my family’s annual trip to Branson to stay in some cabins and just hang out. I’m already so ready for that! I’ll have to start looking for what things are mine that I will take with me when I leave at the end of the month. The computer I’m currently typing all this up on will have to be turned in, good thing I bought a new computer last month!

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

  1. Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter – an ARC I should be posting a review of either the 1st or 2nd or 3rd, depending when I finish it.
  2. Off to the Races by Elsie Silver – for a blog tour review on May 4th
  3. The Hate of Loving You by Maya Hughes – author request review on May 6th
  4. Here With Me by Samantha Young – author request review on May 9th
  5. Bossing the Cowboy – author request review on May 11th
  6. Gutter Girl by Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount – blog tour review on May 12th
  7. Celebrity Dirt by JD Hollyfield – blog tour review on May 13th
  8. Sixteen Scandals by Sophie Jordan – e-galley review on May 15th or 16th
  9. Made in Korea by Sarah Suk – ARC review on May 17th
  10. So Not My Type by Amelia Kingston – author request review on May 18th
  11. Coming Around by Melissa Chambers – author request review on May 20th
  12. Mr. Marriage by ? I have this on my blog calendar, but I don’t remember who it is by. Supposedly for a review on May 21st.
  13. Not You Again by Terri Osburn – for a blog tour review on May 24th
  14. Friends with Benedicts by Staci Hart – author request review on May 25th
  15. Disaster Girl by Michelle Dayton – blog tour review on May 27th
  16. The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin – ARC review hopefully on May 29th
  17. Curse of the Specter Queen by Jenny Elder Moke – ARC review hopefully on May 31st
  18. Possible books for my Tackle My TBR Challenge: The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston, Trust by Jana Aston – both of these will probably not get started, as I want to try to finish the other two I’ve started for this challenge, Damsel by Elana K. Arnold and Must Love Wieners by Casey Griffin.
  19. I’ll also probably get some audiobooks listened to, whatever new one I buy with my May Audible credit for sure when I drive to Branson on Memorial Day weekend.

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

  1. Clanlands by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish – audiobook – it has been due for a couple months now, and the show is over as well.
  2. Love, Lacey Donovan by Jill Brashear – audiobook that was supposed to be part of a blog tour review first week in April
  3. Random Acts of Crazy by Julia Kent – audiobook I finished in March
  4. Day Zero by Kresley Cole – one of the books I read in March for my TBR challenge
  5. Thick Thighs Save Lives by Penn Rivers – the novella I saw advertised on Facebook and had to buy and read really quickly
  6. Retreat by Jay Crownover – the book I read in 2017 and never wrote a review for, even though I love this author!
  7. The Duke & I by Julia Quinn – I finally finished this book in April, now on to book 2!
  8. Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline – audiobook I listened to and loved in April!


Weekly wrap-up posts continue:

My Wednesday Lisa’s Looking Forward To Posts:

So, how was your April?


Below are ARCs I’ve finished and also a couple of finished copies, the winner will get to pick out 3 books from the list. There may even be a few more choices by the end of the month! 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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40 responses to “The Looooong and the Short of It with a Giveaway: April 2021 Wrap-Up Post and What to Expect in May

  1. We both got new cars. May you enjoy every second you drive and may it be dependable. I can’t believe you won the peeps thing. I never believe anyone wins, so it’s cool to know someone who won. You have to tell me what you think.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I haven’t had many chances to drive this weekend yet! I can’t wait actually to go to work tomorrow in a way, so that I can drive it. LOL. Yeah, I can’t believe I won either! I actually wonder how many people actually entered. lol. I haven’t tried them yet. I want to make them last. They’re the tiny cans. I’ll be sure to post about them once I try them!

  2. Looks like you had a good reading month, even if you didn’t get everything you wanted read. It’s nice when a streak of 4-5 star books come along! We had snow here Friday night (Ontario, Canada) and the power went out so around midnight we had to get my generator on for my heater to keep my seedlings alive in my greenhouse, then power came back on around 2:30 am so up we got again to turn the generator off. I guess that’s par for the course this time of year but I’m ready for steady warm temps!

    Casey @ Tayside Book Blog recently posted: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas Review
    • Lisa Mandina

      I rarely read something if I wouldn’t give it at least a 3 star rating, I end up DNFing them. Wow! Our snow wasn’t that bad. But I guess you’re further north than I am. Hope you were able to keep your seedlings alive and you don’t get much more snow. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Danielle Hammelef

    My April flew by, which means it was a great month. I read some excellent books, including I, Cosmo; Leonard; The Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus; The Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus. I am currently reading Switch by A.S. King, my first book by this author. Tuesday, my pre-order of Luck of the Titanic should arrive and I can’t wait to read that book. I hope your May is excellent.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I need to try A.S. King. And I can’t wait for luck of the Titanic! Hey, I was going to reach out to you about a book an author I know is trying to promote and get readers for. I’ll have to see if I can find your email address again and drop you an email. Hope you have a good May as well!

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yep, my car payment is a little higher than I would prefer now, but I’m so glad to have a car that I LOVE the color! I mean I like white cars, they don’t show the dirt as much, but I love my orange car. I can see myself keeping it longer than I usually do before I get bored with my cars. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Lisa Mandina

      Thanks! Glad you could drop by! I’ll be sure to return the visit. Have a great week!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I had a sister with a birthday in April, and my brother’s birthday is in May. Hope you have a nice month!

  4. I am glad things are falling into place for you and you’ll be able to start your new job this coming school year. It sounds like a great opportunity for you. Wow, you have had some crazy weather! Mother Nature cannot decide where to settle.

    Love the new car! My car is almost paid off and my husband’s has been for awhile. We probably need to replace his sooner than later, but I think we are going to try to stick it out as long as we can. I can’t imagine having no car bills to pay! I just hope both cars last a while. LOL

    I am behind on review writing too. I really need to carve out time for it. My motivation has been shot lately. I’m sure not feeling my best hasn’t helped either. My husband suggested I stop reading until I can get a little caught up. I just stared at him like he was crazy. At least I am reading. I haven’t lost that drive.

    I wish you luck with your goals this month and in these final days of school. That Branson trip sounds like it will be fun.

    Have a great week, Lisa!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I have resigned myself to always having a car payment. Since it is just me, I’d rather have a newer car than have to come up with money for repairs. I mean I guess I’d have the car payment amount, but I also know I’d probably end up spending that, I’m not great with saving money. That’s something I need to work on! Glad I’m not the only one a little behind on reviewing. I’m on top of blog tour or publisher request books, just not those I read for my own reasons. Thanks for stopping by1

  5. Dianthaa

    Puppies! They look so cute!
    Your May TBR list looks great (and huge!) I hope you get to enjoy a lot of them!

    • Lisa Mandina

      Hopefully I do enjoy them. So far so good with the one or two I’ve read or am reading right now. Thanks for visiting!

    • Lisa Mandina

      It was exciting to win for sure! I actually tried one last night. It was very sweet tasting. Not sure I’d buy it, but it’s fun anyway!

  6. Ooh I like your new car! And I’m so excited that you got the new library job. You’re almost to summer break – whoohoo!! Congrats on winning that Pepsi giveaway too!


    • Lisa Mandina

      So ready for summer break, and the new job! Although I’ll start getting nervous soon! Thanks for visiting!

  7. John Smith

    “How was your April or what are you looking forward to in May?” April was fine, and I’m looking forward to seeing our roses bloom! –Enjoy Branson! I’ve never been there!

    • Lisa Mandina

      We go to Branson every year at least once, always Memorial Day weekend for a family get-together. I’m ready to go! I wish I was more with flowers and gardening. I have some tiger lilies left from the person who owned my house before me, and I look forward to seeing them in the summer. Thanks for stopping by!

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