March Wrap-Up: Reading, Watching, Listening, Favorites
Happy Spring, everyone!
I had so many grand plans for my blog this month. There were ideas for posts, I even made drafts of them and knew when they’d go up. Did any of that happen? Obviously not. I’m not entirely sure what’s wrong with me other than that things at work have been super bizzare and hectic lately, that when I get home, my brain is fried and I don’t want to do anything but sit in front of the TV and zone out.
But, I did get reading done and I have a few other things that have been going on in March I can share with you all!
* = affiliated link
(Click on the image on the far right to scroll through to see all the covers!)
Once Ghosted, Twice Shy* (Reluctant Royals #2.5) by Alyssa Cole: Contemporary F/F Romance
This past year I’ve totally jumped on the Alyssa Cole bandwagon. She's so fantastic! She has two series going right now, her historical romance during the Civil War called The Loyal Leauge which is amazing! Then this one, Reluctant Royals which is a contemporary romance series. This novella follows one of the side characters we met in book one and it was cute and fun!
Mortal Heart *(His Fair Assassin #3) by Robin LaFevers: Historical Fantasy
I finally finished my re-read of the His Fair Asassin trilogy before I jump into the new book! I decided to listen to it via audio this time around and it was super long so it took me longer than usual. Which was fine though because I liked being able to sink into it and let it last as long as it wanted because Annith is my favorite.
My Favorite Half Night Stand* by Christina Lauren: Contemporary Romance
I read my second Christina Lauren book this month! After falling IN LOVE with Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating in January I had high expectations for this one and it did not disappoint! In fact, this one hit me so hard in the feels, which I did not expect! There were so many elements with this amazing friend group, friends to lovers romance, and online dating that I could relate to SO HARD and brought up some memories for me. (Some which were hard to bring back, but it’s okay!) I’m officially a Christina Lauren fangirl now and already have two more of their books lined up to read.
Certain Dark Things* by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Vampire/Horror/Urban Fantasy
I’ve been meaning to read this book literally for years! It was fantastic. This Aztec inspired vampire story was right up my alley. I loved the different take on vampires and while at first it took me a bit to get into the characters, by the end I was far more attached than I realized!
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel * by Jessica Brody: Non-Fiction
Full disclosure: I’ve never taken a writing class or really read any books or anything about writing. The only “training” I’ve had is maybe a panel or two at a con and listening to podcasts. I decided it’s high time that changed! I’d read a blog post about the Save the Cat outlining method and it helped me so much when outlining my revisions. So, I decided to pick up the book. OH MY GOODNESS this was so great! It helped me SO MUCH in figuring out what was going wrong in my book and how to fix it and now I’ve been telling every writer I know to read this book and I’m craving even more resources on story structure.
Water Runs Red * by Jenna Clare: Poetry
I had the privilege to read an early draft of my friend Jenna’s poetry book several months back and I’m so proud of her and how she’s been able to self-publish this book about friend break ups! (Which we really don’t talk about enough.) To be completely honest, I know nothing about poetry and rarely read it. That being said, I fully enjoyed this book and I think it’s going to resonate with a lot of people.
One Day in December * by Josie Silver: Contemporary Romance
I’d seen a bunch of people read this book over Christmas and a friend said I’d probably really enjoy it. At first I thought it was a Christmas book, and while the first chapter takes place at Christmastime and there are a few Christmas scenes, it truly is a year-round book so I decided to place a hold on it at the library. (GOODNESS that line was long though!) I was blown away by how much I loved this love story. It takes place over 10 years and following these characters through the years and I could completely relate to our heroine! It’s super heartwarming and even people who aren’t big romance fans I can picture enjoying this book.
Kill the Queen (Crown of Shards #1)* by Jennifer Estep: Dark Fantasy
This is the book I’m currently reading. It’s been sitting on my shelf for months and I’m so glad I’m finally getting to it. It’s taking longer than I’d like, but it’s only because I’m also really needing to get writing done and I’ve been busy with a writing workshop. So, sadly my free time has been taken by that and not by reading this book. I was able to get a good chunk read the other day and I’m about half through and it is SO SO GOOD. This is exactly my type of epic fantasy where the world building is rich but easily weaved into the narrative, the characters who jump off the page, but the story still moves. It’s one of those where while it’s over 400 pages, it doesn’t feel like it is.
Queer Eye on Netflix
YES! The Fab 5 is back and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve already binged all of season 3 and like everyone else, I basically cried in each episode. But seriously, how can you not love these guys? There are seriously days when I start to feel down about myself, or I get frustrated with something in life, or even just can’t figure out what to wear and I think “what would the Fab 5 tell me right now?” and it honestly helps! If we all could live our lives the way they do and learn to embrace other people and genuinely love them, imagine how much better this world would be.
Can we have season 4 now?
American Idol on ABC
I usually don’t get into American Idol. The only season I ever got really into was season 2 with Clay Aiken. (My BFF and I were obsessed with him in high school.) I watched it last year but the people who were my favorites didn’t make it very far. Then, I caught the first few episodes of the auditions and now I’m hooked.
Especially because of this guy. I need his album immediately.
Vampire Diaries on Netflix
Yes, I’m kind of rolling my eyes at myself with this one. I’d watched this series a few years ago and while it was ridiculous, I also loved it. Then, I fell off the wagon and last year I binged the last couple of seasons. Which then made me miss the early seasons which were the best ones. Of course, I then went right back to episode one. I’d watch it on and off until finally this past month I was finished with all of the other shows I was watching and figured I might as well just complete the rewatch. By the time we get to the last couple seasons though, I’m basically just living for the last two episodes where Katherine comes back.
Boy Meets World on Hulu
Boy Meets World - AKA the greatest sit com out of all the 90s sit coms. I WILL FIGHT YOU.
Seriously though, I adore this show. It’s one of my all time favorites. It has the same cheesy plot lines as some of the other 90s sit coms, but there’s something a bit more genuine and heartfelt about it. Also, it’s hilarious. Also, Cory and Topanga is the greatest love story of my generation. I have all the seasons on DVD, but the lazy side of me is very happy it’s all on Hulu. I just finished season one, and can’t wait for season two. (Which is one of the best seasons in my personal opinion.) It’s one of those shows where I’ve seen every episode so many times I can have it on in the background and not fully pay attention but will know exactly what’s happening when I do, and laugh at all of the jokes no matter how many times I’ve heard them.
I’d heard while back that David Tennant (aka the best Doctor) started a podcast and I meant to subscribe, then for some reason never did. I finally started it a couple weeks ago and it’s so great! It’s basically him sitting down and interviewing people and I don’t even care who he’s talking to because I love him and his voice so much. It’s a relaxing and fun show.
In case you don’t know who Kevin and Jenna are - they’re Artie and Tina from Glee.
Yup! They started a podcast together and while they’ve only had one episode so far, my little Gleek heart could not be more delighted.
Kevin and Jenna are IRL BFFs and (kinda/sorta/it’s complicated) had a small romance during their time on Glee. They said there’s a lot of other performers out there who also are either good friends or in romantic relationships while also working together, and it creates an interesting dynamic and on their show they interview them about it. The first episode they interview one another and it’s wonderful. I love listening to them relive their Glee days.
“Flamingo - Virginia Hill” parts 1 & 2 on Female Criminals
I’ve mentioned the Female Criminals podcast in the past and I’m still morbidly obsessed with it. The most recent story I can’t get enough of is about Virginia Hill who to this day the most influential female in the mob. She’s gone now, but no other woman has matched her status. By the time she was in her early 20s, she had connections to the mobs in Chicago, New York, LA, and Mexico.
Not that we should aspire to be high profile criminals but… when I listening to her story I couldn’t help but be at least a little impressed.
My Favorite Things
NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray*
Oddly enough, I’ve never tried a setting spray for my makeup before. I thought I’d give this one a go since I’ve been using some of other NYX’s products and have had good results. This is fantastic! I should have been using it before. I tend to use long lasting makeup anyway because I don’t have time for many touch ups at work, and this helps to give it that extra boost to keep it all in place.
I was running low on concealer and I love ColourPop’s lip products and decided to give their concealer a go. It’s great so far! Surprisingly enough, the shade I bought is slightly too pale for me so next time I need to get it a tad darker. But, it still works just fine!
Yes, another product I’ve never used before is a primer. I got a bunch of samples with an Ulta order recently and it came with some primers from Smashbox. They were so great! How have I not used these before? I have no idea what they’re supposed to do, but my skin was surprisingly soft all day and that was enough to sell me on them. However… the full Smashbox product is a bit out of my price range. If anyone has recs for a more budget friendly primer, let me know!
Things I Did This Month
Dear Evan Hanson
For Broadway fans, I’m way behind on this bandwagon. I’d listened to the cast album for this show a couple of times and watched the performance on the Tony Awards, but didn’t really “get it.” It came to Chicago and some friends and I decided to go. The tickets were out of my usual budget for these things, but since it’s so popular I kind of expected it. Well… I get it now. This show is so wonderful! I will say this though - with your ticket they should also include a box of tissues, a therapy session, and a comfort dog.
C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo)
This event is basically Chicago’s ComiCon. (We have one of those too I’m pretty sure, but this one is more popular.) I’ve gone a couple of times before and some friends from out of state were coming in for it. Besides…. they were having a Clueless reunion.
Yes. Yes, that is four members of the Clueless cast hanging out. I was in the same room as them. I was way closer to the stage than it appears in the photo, but due to my lack of height I still had to just look at the screen. But, I was still there!
Even beyond the Clueless reunion, this was such a fun event. I love seeing all of the cosplayers, I met one of my favorite authors, hung out in artist alley, and got to catch up with one of the artists I met last year. This has quickly become one of my high priority events of the year and I’m going to need to start considering getting a 2 or 3 day pass instead of just one. It’s more expensive of course, but I’d love to have more time to see everything I want to. I mean… the day after I went David Tennant had a pannel!
Yes! I saw not only one, but two musicals this month! Which basically means this was a big win for me. My sister and I went together a few days after her birthday. I was slightly nervous about it because I knew they’d made some pretty major changes from the movie to the musical. The story itself was still the same, and they had the songs, but still some big changes. However, I had nothing to worry about. It was done in a way where I could keep the animated movie as something separate from the stage show and see how while they were the same story, they were still their own thing. For what they wanted to do on stage, the changes made complete sense and worked so well! My sister and I cried a couple of times and it was wonderful.
On The Writing Front
Plotting Your Novel Bootcamp
An author who’s been helping me out the last several months was taking part in the workshop and said she thought I’d enjoy it as well. It was the first time I’d forked over money beyond buying a book to learn about writing, so it was a bit different for me. But it was helpful! I got started in it late and didn’t totally catch up to where everyone else in the workshop was, but I got all of these great resources and am still going through the workbook.
Yes, I’m still working on my revisions for White Rose. I don’t know how long revisions usually take people, but I feel like mine have been taking forever. Far longer than I’d like. Then, I had a break through. On March 31st. And now I’m changing almost everything. Yet again.
Revising is weird my friends.
Yes! I have a new book idea! I won’t share much about it yet, but it’s in a new genre I haven’t really played around with before. Which… I’m slightly nervous about but also excited. I don’t have a whole lot done on it yet because I’m still working on White Rose, but I have characters and some plot ideas jotted down. When I (finally) get White Rose revisions done I’m hoping I’ll have enough brainstorming done for this new book idea where I can jump into it while beta readers are working through White Rose.
Speaking of beta readers - if you like fantasy, fairy tales, and romance, let me know! Cause I’m looking for a reader or two to give me feedback. No set date yet since revisions are taking so long, but I will be needing them!
There’s my March! While writing and revising hasn’t been going as I’d hoped, with all of the events I went to March ended up being a pretty great month. What did you do in March? Read anything you fell in love with? Do you have podcasts, movies, or TV shows to rec?
Like what you read? Consider buying me a coffee.