July Wrap-Up (and a reminder about the NEW Wrap-Up Round-Up!)

July 31, 2015 Best of the Bunch, Monthly Recap 16

Wrap-Up Round-Up!

I know I’ve been saying for a while that I was going to start a monthly wrap-up link-up so that we can all enjoy each other’s monthly wrap-up posts. Well, the time is now! Link up your monthly wrap-up post, and then next week I’ll create a scavenger hunt style giveaway to encourage everyone to check the posts out! Click HERE  for all the details and to join us!

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My Goings On in July:

I can’t believe how fast this summer is flying by! I’m starting to feel stressed about preparing for the school year (I homeschool my two older kids and also teach a few homeschool co-op classes, so I have to get things planned!). This past week, my two oldest were at overnight camp, though, so I had some time to get myself coordinated! Still plenty more to do! Here’s what went on in July:

  • My family spent the first two weeks of July in amazing, beautiful Colorado. If you want to see what we did, along with some pictures, check out my Colorado Vacation post!
  • Once I got back from vacation, I found myself in a bit of a blogging slump. I just couldn’t get motivated! It’s (mostly) passed, though. (I think.)
  • I finished editing Summer Haikus by S.J. Pajonas, Dare You Forever by Allie Juliette Mousseau and The Future by Kate Thomas, all of  which release in August. I also started proofreading The Undays of Aralias Lyons by K.L. Horvath.
  • Since we got back from vacation, we’ve been keeping ourselves busy by adding a new dog to our family. Bella is an Aussie Shepherd mix who’s one year old (our other dog, Snickers, is also an Aussie mix – she’s four). Bringing a new dog into the household is both fun and stressful – she has a few issues we’re working on – but I love both of my dogs to death! (Not literally – no worries; they’re safe.)
Snickers-and-Bella

Snickers and Bella

Coming in August:

I’ve joined ARC August, which is being run by the girls over at Read, Sleep Repeat. They’re challenging us to read as many ARCs in August as we can and get caught up. I have lots of ARCs from RT and NetGalley that I need to read, so I think this is a great challenge! I don’t have a specific list of ARCs I’m going to read yet, but I’m going to try to get at least ten in! There are only a few more hours to sign up, so head over there now if you’re interested!

Most Popular Posts:

The discussion challenge link-up was back to being my most popular post this month. I really love this challenge and I hope all of you are checking out all the amazing discussions linked up there!

Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity

Other Features & Discussions:

Why Disorganized Blogging and Vacations Don’t Mix (But I Smushed Them Together Anyway)

Vacationing in Colorado!

Editing in the Self-Publishing World – Let’s Discuss

Burn, Rewrite or Reread Tag

 My Favorite July Discussions on Other Blogs:

 My 2015 Reading Progress:

Here’s my reading for 2015 so far. Those books at the bottom that are unrated are mostly books that I’ve edited (so I don’t review them, since that would be a conflict of interest), except for the first one – I can’t figure out why that one is there at all, since I haven’t actually read it yet, but I can’t seem to get it off the list, so … oh well.

Reading-Progress

July 2015 Reviews

Since I was on vacation the first half of July and in a bit of a slump the second half, my review list is a bit shorter than usual.

Safe-at-LastScorch-TrialsThe-SixJesse's-GirlAnya-and-the-Shy-GuyAnimal-smallerGet-Even

  • Safe at Last by Maya Banks | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • The Scorch Trials by James Dashner | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • The Six by Mark Alpert | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • Anya and the Shy Guy by Suze Winegardner | Review | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Animal by Nikki Rae | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • Get Even by Gretchen McNeil | Review | Rating: 4/5

 

Get-Dirty-SmallerAwake-SmallerOrphan-QueenNever-Always-Sometimes
  • Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • Awake by Natasha Preston | Review | Rating: 2/5
  • The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows | Review | Rating: 4.5/5
  • Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid | Review | Rating: 3.5/5

My Favorite July Read:

This month, I had a LOT of four star reads, which is great. But the only book that stood above the crowd for me this month was The Orphan Queen. I loved this book while I was reading it and actually felt like I appreciated it even more as I was writing my review. The more I thought about the book, the more I loved it! (Does that ever happen to anyone else?)

Orphan QueenWilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh h orrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

 My Review
So, that was my July in a nutshell! Tell me about your month!

16 Responses to “July Wrap-Up (and a reminder about the NEW Wrap-Up Round-Up!)”

  1. Wendy @ Falconer's Library

    I’ve put Orphan Queen on my to-read list; thank you! I love how you added links to other interesting blog posts as well. And–most importantly–what a couple of sweet looking dogs you have! I love the name Snickers with her coloring!
    Wendy @ Falconer’s Library recently posted…First Month Wrap-UpMy Profile

    • Nicole

      We loved the name too – it went with her even better when she was a puppy and you could see the lightest color on her more (it’s on her chest and paws, but she used to have more of it). I couldn’t resist naming her that since she looked so much like a Snickers bar! 🙂

    • Nicole

      I thought that was a fun sci-fi mix. I especially like the moral implications, and I was impressed to see how much the author actually knows on the subject of artificial intelligence – he’s definitely not making up his science!

  2. Ashtyn @ Wonderland's Reader

    This is so wonderful!! I love this post so much, thank you for bringing it to my attention!! I haven’t read The Orphan Queen but I keep seeing it around and hearing wonderful things about it so I might just have to pick it up. And oh my goodness, can I just say that your dogs are seriously so cute. Congrats on the new puppy! Adding a new pet to the family has its ups and downs but definitely mostly ups!
    Ashtyn @ Wonderland’s Reader recently posted…Review: Shadow of the WolfMy Profile

    • Nicole

      Yes, Bella has already settled in quite nicely with our family. Her biggest issue is that she barks at people a lot – even while we’re on a walk, which gets quite annoying. We’ll have to do some training with her for sure, but she’s a sweetie!

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