July reading wrap-up

July was a great reading month for me. I read eight books and one short story! EIGHT books!

Here’s what I read in July:

  • It Takes a Villa by Kilby Blades — This was a fun travel romance with a mystery subplot. I enjoy contemporary romance when there’s more going on in the story than just the romance, and that’s always the case in Kilby’s books. Made me want to go back to Italy and spend a lot more time there.
  • How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole — So glad I finally got around to reading this book. I really enjoy this series (and her other series that is connected to this one). The characters and the unique setting were what made this book extra enjoyable for me.
  • In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire — It’s been a while since I read the first three novellas in this series. Prior to reading this, Jack and Jill were my favorites, but I think Lundy’s story may be my new favorite in this series.
  • Juice Like Wounds” by Seanan McGuire — This is a short story that tells what happens on a side quest that takes place during In An Absent Dream. Definitely worth reading if you liked that book.
  • Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon — Finally got around to reading this book. It was mostly what I expected it would be. What I didn’t expect was that there was going to be an attempt at sci-fi world building. Most alien romances like this don’t spend much time trying to make the world make sense, so that was cool. At it’s core though, this is basically a Beauty and the Beast trope, which is why I think it really appeals to a lot of people. Unfortunately, it’s just not really my jam.
  • Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir — I finally finished reading this. I almost definitely wouldn’t have if I hadn’t decided to do the Hugo nominee reading project. I’d started it once and bailed because I didn’t like the main character or the amnesia plot device. I still don’t like the main character, and the more I read it, the more I got frustrated with the story because I never once believed that this mission was actually at any risk of failure. Every obstacle was pretty easily and quickly overcome, which made it just seem like the whole thing was an elaborate excuse to watch someone do science. Which, if you like that, awesome! You’ll probably love this book. It just wasn’t for me.
  • A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark — I really enjoyed this mystery. The world and the characters were great. My only complaint was that I feel like the detectives should have figured out the mystery sooner than they did. The “whodunit” should have been obvious to the detectives given the experiences of those characters. That said, it was really cool to read something that was like the inverse of all the John Bellairs mystery novels that I enjoyed when I was younger.
  • Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire — I was really looking forward to returning to the Moors with two of my favorite Wayward Children characters, and this novella didn’t disappoint. I think this was a solid ending to that arc of the story that is unfolding in these novellas.
  • The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers — I described this novel to someone as “cozy alien anthropology with a side of infrastructure collapse,” and I think that’s a pretty solid summary. I enjoyed it more because I’ve read enough of this author’s books to expect that it’s just going to be a bunch of different alien types talking about the similarities and differences in their cultures and getting over their preconceived notions about others and dealing with interpersonal conflict. But she does that really well, and this is a really good cozy, slice of life, fantasy novel.

Now, it’s time to get back to my Orilium Readathon TBR! I have another eight books I want to finish this month. So, we’ll see if I am lucky enough to have two really great reading months back to back!

If you’re also reading the Hugo nominees for best novel and/or best novella, which have been your favorites so far? Let me know in the comments.

August Reading Journal Set-Up and Orilium Readathon TBR

It’s time! The Orilium Readathon is back in August for the Autumn Equinox session, which means my August reading journal set-up got done early this month!

If you want the full flip through and discussion of which books ended up on my TBR and why, check out the video linked below.

If you don’t want to watch the video, here’s a sample of what one of my TBR pages looks like:

Originally, I’d planned to finish the rest of the Hugo finalists for best novel and best novella in July and August. Last month, I mentioned that I was going to try to get through some of the novellas in July. However, once I remembered that the Autumn Equinox edition of the Orilium Readathon was coming, I thought it might be better to focus on the best novel finalists and save the novellas for the readathon. I just hoped that I could make them match up with the prompts I needed to complete in order to achieve my Story Weaver calling.

I have six levels across three courses that I need to complete in order to achieve Story Weaver, and I have five novellas and one novel I need to read to complete my Hugo finalist project. I managed to do a pretty good job getting the two aligned, but I did have to add a few non-finalist books to make it work. I think I’ll be able to fit the other two in under one of the readathon quests.

Here’s what I have planned:

  • Inscription
    • O Level: Read a childhood favorite –> An Acceptable Time by Madeline L’Engle — This was the first book that came to mind when I read this prompt. I debated using this one for the time travel prompt, but I don’t want to do two re-reads in a month when I have a lot of other new-to-me books I want to get through.
  • Lore
    • O Level: Book with colors similar to my country’s flag –> A Spindle Splintered by Alix Harrow — This is one of the books I need to read for my Hugo finalist project, and it happened to have red, white, and blue on the cover. So I’m using it for this prompt.
    • Q Level: Story featuring betrayal –> Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire — This is another Hugo finalist that I wanted to get onto my TBR this month. I am going off the synopsis for this one, which made it sound like there was a friend betrayal as part of the setup for this story. If I’m wrong, oh well, I need to read it anyway, and I’ll pick something else that better fits this prompt.
    • D Level: Book with a desert setting –> Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri — I have been meaning to read this book for a while. So, when none of the Hugo finalists looked like they’d work for this prompt, I decided to go with this option. I’m pretty confident that I will enjoy it. The only risk is that it will make me want to immediately read the second book, and I don’t have that one on my Kindle (yet).
  • Psionics & Divination
    • O Level: Story featuring time travel –> Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield — None of the Hugo finalists fit this prompt, and I really REALLY struggled to find something I wanted to read that did fit. I am really picky about time travel books. In general, I don’t like them. The ones I can think of that I like are all more multiverse than time travel (except for An Acceptable Time, oh the irony). I did some browsing and found a few books that I might like to read, but this was the only one that was both short and available at my library. It was not my top choice (that was Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel), but I’m putting my trust in the magic of the Tor.com novella. They haven’t failed me yet. Let’s hope that trend continues.
    • D Level: Book with the same word in title as your last read –> The Past is Red by Catherynne M. Valente — This one is going to be mostly about timing. In order for this book to work (which I need to read for my Hugo finalist project), I need to read it directly after Across the Green Grass Fields. Yes, I’m using “the” as my same word.

There are also quests that you can get points for in this readathon. I talk about my plans for those more in my set-up video. Based on the first set of open-to-everyone quest prompts, I think I should be able to get points for most, if not all, of the other Hugo finalist books I want to read this month, AND earn some extra points for the Mind Walker guild.

Let me know in the comments if you’re participating in the Orilium Readathon in August and what’s on your TBR.

July reading journal set-up

My July reading journal set up video is posted on YouTube! If you want the flip through, the video is linked below.

Because this is going up so late in the month, and I neglected to film the final July cover page and outbox spreads until today (!), I end up revealing the first two books I read this month at the end of the video. Just skip that part if you don’t want spoilers for my end of month wrap-up. But really, does anyone care about spoilers for a reading wrap up? I can’t imagine that’s an actual thing.

If you don’t want to watch the video or if you just want the non-spoiler version of my July cover page and don’t care about my Hugo nominee spread or the weird little TBR pockets I made, here’s a photo for you.

While I didn’t really mention any specific reading plans in the video, I did mention my plan to read the Hugo nominees for best novel and best novella. I also showed how I’m going to track and rank them. I just never said when I planned to read them.

I don’t plan to fill my entire TBR with Hugo nominees this month, but I do want to make a large dent in that reading list before August.

Roughly, these are my reading goals for July:

  • Don’t waste time on books that are bogging me down! If I feel like I *have* to finish them for some reason (like the Hugo nominees), then set a daily page count target and alternate with something fun and fast paced at the same time.
  • Finish reading Project Hail Mary and A Master of Djinn since I’ve already started reading both.
  • Read In An Absent Dream and Come Tumbling Down so I can get caught up on the Wayward Children novellas. (The one that comes after these is on my Hugo nominee for best novella reading list.)
  • Start working through the nominees for best novella, starting with the shortest one (Fireheart Tiger) and moving through them in order of shortest to longest (Across the Green Grass Fields).

It’s an ambitious reading plan, but I think I can work through the novellas pretty quickly, and I like quick wins.

If I can manage to check off all my goals this month, then I’ll only have two best novel nominees left to read in August. One of those is kind of intimidating, but it is the novel I think I will end up liking best of the bunch. The other is one I definitely expect is going to drag for me (given how I’ve felt about other books I’ve read by that author). So the more I can read this month, the better.

That said, the priority for the month is that first goal. I want to be immersed and enjoying what I’m reading as much as possible. The theme for the month is beach vibes after all!

What are your reading goals for July and/or the second half of this year?

June reading wrap-up

Yes, I know. We’re over a week into July, and I’m just now getting a chance to post my June reading wrap-up.

I meant to get this out earlier, but after my book release in June and all the series promo stuff I was doing, I just really needed a break. I ended up taking the first week of July as a pseudo-vacation. Or maybe it was more like a “stay-cation?”

After a very active (for me) month of social media in June, I just had that moment where I was like, “Hey, I just want to do stuff without telling the world about what I’m doing.” Shocking, right?

So, I played tourist in my own town (with my mom, who was visiting) for the week, and I read a LOT. I mean, no spoilers for my July wrap-up post, but I’ve already finished two books this month! And they were books that I started *and* finished in July! This clarification is important because I started a lot of books in June, but I only finished reading three. Which brings me to…

Not pictured: the non-fiction book I read.

What I read in June:

  • Engaging the Enemy by Elizabeth Moon — This is book three in the Vatta’s War series. I’m still really enjoying this series, but I felt like this book was a little slower paced than the first two books. The narrative is split between several perspectives. One is Ky’s badass fly-fishing great-aunt who is still back on their home world and going all Arya Stark on the Vatta family’s enemies. The other is the continued story of Ky and her cousin Stella (mostly told from Ky’s perspective) who are out in the universe trying to rebuild the Vatta empire. Because of that, the story felt a little scattered at times, and it took me way longer to finish this one than either of the first two books in the series. I’ll definitely be reading book four, but I decided not to start it right away after finishing this one.
  • The Elf Tangent by Lindsay Buroker — This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I really liked it! The characters and the world were great, but I did struggle with the pacing a little bit. I think that’s because the “promise of the premise” for me (based on the blurb) was that the math-geek, puzzle-solving heroine was going to spend more time using her brains to help save the elves. But the road trip section of the book (getting to the elf kingdom) seemed to drag on way too long compared to the puzzle solving / kingdom saving part, which felt really rushed. But the slow burn romance was really good (even if I did figure out the hero’s big secret WAY before the official reveal). I definitely want to read more in this series, and I may even check out the other stuff she’s written (but probably not until after I finish my Hugo nominee reading project).
  • Writing and Marketing Systems by Elana M Johnson — This was the non-fiction craft book I read in June. In case you didn’t know, I’m a process geek. This is the first book I’ve found on setting up writing and marketing systems for authors, and I had to check it out. There’s a lot of info here. It’s kind of like the productivity classic, Getting Things Done, but specifically for authors. I definitely picked up some things that I wanted to try right away. But there’s so much that I think I’ll have to continue to revisit this one as I work set up my own systems based on what I learned.

Not mentioned above (because I didn’t finish reading them, yet), are the other three or four books that I started in June and got about halfway through before the end of the month. I will probably finish most, if not all, of them this month, if I can keep my non-work time focused on reading. After a week of just chilling with a good book, I’m definitely feeling my urge to devour books returning.

I have more to say about my July reading plans, but I’ll do that when I finally post my July reading journal set-up. I already filmed the set-up video (back a the end of June). Now I just need to edit it and post it to YouTube. I’m going to try to get that blog post up this weekend. In the meantime, let me know in the comments what you’re reading this weekend!

Reading the 2022 Hugo Nominees

It’s that time of year again!

I missed my opportunity to read the Nebula nominees before the Nebula award ceremony because I was busy writing and editing, but I’m planning on taking a bit of a summer break before diving into writing and editing my next series. So, I’m setting myself a little summer reading project.

It’s time to read the 2022 Hugo Award nominees!

I’ve done this for the last couple of years because I was signed up to participate in the conference and vote. However, this year I’m just going to do it for fun. I’m also motivated by the fact that all the books look fantastic, and most were on my TBR anyway.

The Hugo Award nominees for best novel and best novella

The books nominated for best novel are:

The books nominated for best novella are:

I guess this means I’m going to have to make a Hugo TBR spread for my reading journal, huh? I’ll be sure to add that to my July reading journal set-up.

Predictions

Just for fun, I’m going to make a couple of predictions about which book in each category will be my favorite before I’ve read them all. Then I’m going to make an initial guess at which one will win each category. Once I’m done reading them all (or at the very least, before the ceremony on 4 September), I’ll post an update.

I’ve already read two of the nominees for best novel (Light From Uncommon Stars and A Desolation Called Peace). Both were really good, and I liked them a lot! I started Project Hail Mary and abandoned it because I just wasn’t in the mood for that particular narrative voice at the time. And I’m currently reading A Master of Djinn and enjoying it. So there are only two here that I don’t really have a sense for (She Who Became the Sun and The Galaxy and the Ground Within).

My prediction is that my favorite of the best novel nominees is going to be She Who Became the Sun. Even though it’s one of the two I haven’t read/started, I just have a feeling based on the synopsis and the little bit of buzz I’ve heard that this one has strong potential to be my favorite of the bunch. Plus the blurb reminded me a lot of The Tiger’s Daughter, which was a book I really liked.

The novella category is a bit more of an open field for me because I’ve only read A Psalm for the Wild-Built. The two I’m most excited about reading based on the blurbs are A Spindle Splintered and Fireheart Tiger. If I have to pick one, I’d guess that I’m going to like Fireheart Tiger the best of the bunch, but we shall see…

Regardless of what I like best, as of right now I think Project Hail Mary will win best novel and A Psalm for the Wild-Built will win best novella. I’m basing this mostly on their current Goodreads ratings (4.52 and 4.28 averages respectively). We’ll see if I change my mind on this after I’m done reading.

I’m curious, which of these do you think I’m going to like best? Which were your favorites and/or which ones do you think will win?

Go read Ash of the Fae!

✨ Happy book birthday to Ash of the Fae, book five in the Modern Fae series! ✨

If you’re new to my series, you can grab the first book on sale right now and binge your way through contemporary fantasy stories with all your favorite tropes, like forbidden love (book 1), enemies to lovers (book 2), forced proximity (book 3), and second chance romance (book 4), to get to this fake relationship where there’s only one bed (book 5)!

As of right now, this is the last book in this series. However, I did leave a tiny door open to revisit this world in the future if folks enjoy it and want more. In the meantime, I’m going to work on finishing up and publishing some other in-progress projects. If you want to know more about what I’m working on, get cover reveals and other exclusives (like free stories and samples from my work in progress), then sign up for my newsletter. It’s like my blog, but it’s a once a month email from me delivered right to your inbox.

Happy reading!

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

We’re (almost) halfway through 2022, and that means it’s time for a book freakout!

Wait. No. It’s time for the mid-year book freakout tag, which is a thing that a lot of booktubers do over on YouTube and that I sometimes do here on my blog. If you’re curious, here are the links for 2021, 2020, and 2018.

Now let’s get to the questions…

Best book you’ve read so far.

I just made a “First Half Faves” spread for my reading journal with my favorite book I’ve read from each month so far this year. June isn’t over, yet. So, for the purposes of this post, I’m picking between my faves from January through May. They were all really good books, and it was really hard to pick just one, but I think I’m going with Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, because I feel like I’m constantly referencing it.

Work in-progress reading journal spread

Best sequel you’ve read so far.

No surprise here. Definitely Miss Moriarty, I Presume? by Sherry Thomas. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I love this Charlotte Holmes series.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Hahahahaha sob. Yeah. So many. BUT! I am very proud to report that I HAVE read my answer to this question from last year’s post (Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa), and that turned out to be one of my “First Half Faves.” So no pressure to this year’s selection, which is… Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree. I keep seeing this book everywhere, so I really want to see what all the hype is about. Plus, it sounds like a cute cozy fantasy novel.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

There are so many good books coming out in the second half of 2022! How am I supposed to pick just one? I’m really excited about Bloodmarked (book two in the Legendborn series) and Seasparrow (another new book set in the Graceling world). But really, the one that I’m probably going to drop everything and read is Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell. Winter’s Orbit (set in the same world but with different characters) was one of my favorite books I read last year, and Ocean’s Echo has mind readers working for a space military that have to fake a relationship and end a war. I mean… I don’t think it’s possible to engineer a more perfect premise for me.

Biggest disappointment.

I think I have to go with Aurora’s End by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff for this one. I didn’t have super high expectations going in. The first two books in the series were fun reads, and I mostly just wanted to see how the story ended. But this book, which should have been a fast-paced read, just dragged for me.

Biggest surprise.

Paladin’s Grace! I had no idea this was going to be such a delightful fantasy romance mystery novel! And featuring older protagonists, too! If you want to know more of my thoughts on this one, I gushed about it in this post.

Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

My favorite debut author is the author of my favorite book I’ve read so far this year, Tracy Deonn. I’m still blown away by the fact that Legendborn was her debut novel! Wow. Just, wow.

Newest fictional crush.

Look. I know I’m basically a broken record at this point, but it has to be said. Sel from Legendborn. Also, have you seen the cover of Bloodmarked? So excited.

Newest favorite character.

I had to think about this one for a while. Then it dawned on me. The crew from The Atlas Six. I think Nico and Parisa are my favorites.

Book that made you cry.

Probably Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki. I went into this book expecting a space opera for some reason, but it turned out to be a contemporary sci-fantasy novel with heartbreaking characters and a whole lot of violin geekery. I loved it.

Book that made you happy.

Definitely The Bounce Back by Addie Woolridge (who also earned this spot last year with her first book, The Checklist). There’s just something about reading a contemporary romance written by a friend that feels like getting to hang out with them while they tell you a story. It makes me happy.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I don’t know if this book is as pretty in print, but I love the cover of The Elf Tangent by Lindsey Buroker. (Which also happens to be what I’m currently reading.)

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

All of them? But, seriously? At the very least, I want to finish the ones I’ve already started reading. It’s a low bar. I’ll admit it. But right now I have like seven books in-progress…

I also want to read all the Hugo Award nominees for best novel and best novella that I haven’t read yet. I’m working on a TBR post about that. And a TBR spread for my reading journal. I’ll post more about that soon.

Until then, here’s a sum up of my mid-year book freakout tag books:

2022 Midyear Book Freakout Booklist

If you did this tag, let me know in the comments. Or tell me your favorite book you read in the first half of 2022 so I can add it to my TBR if I haven’t read it already!

Eve of the Fae is FREE

Taking a break from my regular content to let you know that, if you’ve ever wanted to read the first book in my Modern Fae series, the ebook is currently available for FREE on all retailers.

Quote from the book Eve of the Fae by E. Menozzi: "The wall I'd built up to resist her broke when her lips parted under mine. I knew I should push her away, but my body wouldn't obey, and my arms tugged her closer. She had no idea that she'd just exposed herself and her family to danger by letting the worst kind of predator in the front door..."

Eve didn’t believe in magic, until she fell in love with a Fae Prince!

Eve wanted a fresh start. Liam was trying to save his kin. Thrown together under the same roof as the winter solstice approaches, can this Fae prince and his mortal love stop a vengeful spirit determined to hunt the Fae to extinction?

If you love fae fantasy romance and forbidden love, grab a copy of the first book in the Modern Fae series for FREE now, and binge the series this weekend before book five comes out on Tuesday!

Top five favorite movies

Years ago, I used to have this list of top five favorite comfort food movies on the about page of my blog. I took it down at some point, but I save the list. Well… there are actually two lists. I’ll get to that in a minute.

First, here are the lists:

Tonight I re-watched 10 Things I Hate About You. It wasn’t until after the movie was over that I realized my favorite scene in that movie… this one:

Was probably partly to blame for one of the scenes I wrote into Ash of the Fae. Maybe at some point I’ll talk about that whole “compost heap” of culture that feeds your story brain, but it’s getting late, and I can’t really use that scene as an example without giving spoilers for the book. So, put a pin in that topic for later.

Watching 10 Things reminded me of the top five movies list I made. Only, when I dug it up off my hard drive, I realized it was actually two lists, not one. And I remembered why I took it off my bio.

While I stand by the choices on these lists, I no longer call things I love “guilty pleasures.” I don’t buy into the concept of feeling guilty about stuff that brings me joy. And there was no way I was going to be able to condense this list down to a real top five list.

Even now, I’m realizing that there are a lot more movies that have left a lasting impression on me and that I re-watch whenever they become available to stream. (Unless they never are available to stream. Those I have on DVD.) There are two movies in particular that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately that I was kind of surprised to find don’t appear on either of these lists.

The first is a romantic comedy. But not just any romantic comedy. A Meg Ryan romantic comedy that, in my opinion, is the BEST romantic comedy: French Kiss. I just found and bought a copy of on DVD because it’s never available to stream, and I really wanted to re-watch it. The only copy I had was on VHS, which I got rid of a loooooonnng time ago.

So, I re-watched it last week, and damn that movie is good. It really should be on that “comfort food” movie list, but I don’t know what I would bump off in order to add it.

The other one I am reminded of every time I walk into my office because I have the (full size, massive) movie poster hanging on my office wall. I inherited this poster from someone we met here on the island shortly after we moved here. I mentioned that there was this one obscure favorite of mine that he’d probably never heard of… The Big Blue (aka Le Grande Bleu). Well, it turned out that he’d not only heard of it, he had the movie poster, and he gave it to me!

The Big Blue was a movie we watched in my French class in high school, and I don’t know what it was (the dolphins, I mean, of course it was the dolphins), but I just fell in love with this movie. It was only later that I figured out that the director of this movie is the same guy who did The Fifth Element and The Professional (aka Léon), both favorites of mine, as well as La Femme Nikita (the French version that was eventually remade into another of my all-time favorite movies, Point of No Return).

So, yeah. What are we up to now? Fourteen movies? All those movies should be on this list. There is no way I can narrow it down to five. Unless maybe I just re-watch all of them over the course of the next few weeks so they are all fresh in my mind?

Honestly, if I did that, I’d probably just come up with even MORE comfort food movies that I love to re-watch. But it sounds like a fun project… I should probably do it anyway. For science. Right? Not because I’m procrastinating on my editing. Definitely not that. 😉

What about you? What’s the last movie you re-watched? What’s your go-to comfort food movie?

That’s what she said…

Since it’s “Teaser Tuesday” today, how about a snippet from chapter four of Ash of the Fae, book five in my Modern Fae series?

This is one of my favorite bits! Here’s the quote from the image:

I sighed. “That’s never going to work. Fun always gets complicated. You were right the first time. Best to lay down the ground rules now and then stick to them.”

“Okay, but I’m still voting for fun. It’s not like I am going to get to find out what it’s like to make out with a ripped Fae who can turn into a dragon. I need to live vicariously.” Angie tugged on the handle of my suitcase as she resumed walking.

I laughed. “You suck.”

“That’s what she said,” Angie called back to me in a low voice.

Ash of the Fae by E. Menozzi

If you’ve read book four (Hunter of the Fae), then you are already familiar with Angie and her love of “that’s what she said” jokes. And if you haven’t met Angie, yet, there’s still time to catch up before Ash of the Fae‘s release, later this month!

Angie is Eve’s best friend. She’s the main character in book four in the series, but she also appears briefly in book one, and again in Eve the Immortal, the Eve of the Fae epilogue novella. Hannah and Ved (aka, Ash) are the main characters in book five.

In this snippet, Angie is talking to Hannah about the Dragon Fae who has just been assigned as Hannah’s bodyguard. Hannah is determined not to hook up with him, regardless of how hot he is, and despite the fact that there’s only one bed at the weekend party he’s attending as her fake boyfriend. (Good luck with that, Hannah. Bwahahaha…)

This was seriously one of my favorite books to write. I can’t wait for you all to read it! And it will be on shelves in just TWO WEEKS! Eeeeek! I am so excited!

In the meantime, if you want to check out the first chapter, you can do that here.

Okay. Now I need to get back to editing Petals and Runes. While I’m working, let me know which June new releases your excited about picking up this month!