July 2021 Roundup

Welcome to the July 2021 roundup!

Another month has passed and once again, part of it was spent in lockdown.

Victoria (where I live in Australia), had its 5th lockdown this month, and we were joined by other states, South Australia and NSW, essentially putting half of the country in lockdown.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that NSW is where all of my family and friends live, and they are unfortunately still in their lockdown and will be for a few months. The current lockdowns between states also put a stop to my twin sister coming to visit me. I haven’t seen her, or any of my family, since 2019, so to say we were both disappointed her visit has been canceled is a real understatement.

If you’re in the same situation, and I know there’s plenty of people who are, my heart goes out to you. It sucks having to wait to see family in person, especially when you don’t know when that will be. All I can say is that I’m thankful for technology and being able to keep in touch when we’re all so far apart.

As for the rest of the month, because I had surgery at the end of June, most of my July was spent recovering, so I wasn’t as productive writing-wise as I wanted to be. I did manage to get some things done, however, as you can see below…

What I’ve Been…


Blogs and MS Notes – This month I received some full and partial feedback for  Blackbirch 3 from three different betas, so I spent some time going through their notes, making my own notes, and planning what to do in what will be draft 9 of that MS. I’m still waiting to hear from another beta reader, and when I do, I’ll have some really exciting changes to work on. Any other writing time this month went towards my latest blogs.


Black Widow (In Cinemas and Disney+) – It was so good to finally see this long-delayed movie. Being Marvel, the action and humor were great, as were the performances of the whole cast, but especially Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh. They play sisters trained to be assassins from an early age, fighting to get revenge on the regime that ruined their lives. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t forget to stick around for the post-credit scene, which leads perfectly into the next phase of the Marvel movies and TV series.

Loki (Disney+) – Out of all the Marvel TV series released so far, this was my favorite. Only 6 episodes long, it was a snappy story that let you know right off the bat what was happening (unlike WandaVision), but still had some nice twists. The bromance between Loki and Mobius (Owen Wilson) was a real highlight, as was the way the multiverse storyline of the next Marvel releases was kicked off. There is a season 2 coming, and after that twist right of the end of season 1, it can’t come fast enough.

Sweet Tooth (Netflix) – Set during a pandemic that sees the world fall ill with a sickness and babies born that are part human and part animal, Sweet Tooth definitely invokes the familiarity of the world we’ve all come to know over the last 18 months. Like real-life, it shows how low society can sink when it’s every man for themself, but also how humanity can rise when there are still good people in the world. After being raised away from society, Gus (aka Sweet Tooth), a ten-year-old boy who is part deer, ventures out into the world and meets Jeppard, a man who has lost everything. Together, they search for Gus’s mother, never suspecting who she and Gus really are until some fantastic reveals in the last two episodes. While there’s no word on a season 2 yet—and there needs to be after the season 1 cliffhangers—this has rated pretty well on Netflix, so I’m sure there will be more to come.

Fear Street – Part 1, 2, and 3 – (Netflix) – I’m not much of a horror movie fan, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to see what they did with the Fear Street books by R.L. Stine. It’s been years since I read the series as a teen, but I still recognized the character names and some of the events the 3 movies managed to pull off. Part 1 (Fear Street: 1994) kicked off the series beautifully and was so 90s the opening ten minutes could have been lifted from the 1996 classic, Scream. Part 2 and 3 connected all of the stories together and had some great twists, as well as plenty of gore if that’s your thing. A post-credit scene hinting at more stories capped it all off nicely, and I’d definitely tune in for more Fear Street movies if they made them.

I didn’t get any reading done this month as I was too tired after my surgery and during my recovery, but I’m hoping to get back into books again soon. If you’ve got any good recommendations, let me know in the comments, or be my friend on Goodreads and share your books/recommendations with me!

If you’d like to add the Blackbirch books to your “Want to Read” shelf and/or check out the reviews, click the following images!

Taking Photos Of

Birds and Blue Skies! Thanks to my surgery recovery and lockdown, the only place I went was outside for a walk. It was still pretty cold and most days were cloudy, but I did still manage to see some beautiful nature.

On The Blog…

In case you missed any of my posts, or want to read them again, here are the latest blogs.

Writing Tip Of The Month…

#WritingTipWednesday posts are added to my social media feeds every week and here is the most popular tip for this month. It’s taken from my blog post, Book Scenes: Four Key Things To Establish.

For more tips, visit my Writing Tips Pinterest Board.

Blackbirch Review Of The Month…

Find out what readers have to say about my YA series with this Blackbirch review highlight!

This 5-star review is for book 1 in the series, Blackbirch: The Beginning. If you’ve read either of my books—and haven’t done so already—please consider leaving a review. It could help another reader find their next fave book.

If you’d like to read the books released so far or find out more about each novel, here are the links:

Quote Of The Month…

I’ve hoped you’ve enjoyed my July Roundup. Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments!

— K.M. Allan

Find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

23 thoughts on “July 2021 Roundup

  1. So sorry to hear you are back in lockdown and cannot see your family! The Delta variant is running rampant in the U.S. and yet everyone wants to pretend that masks, distancing, and vaccinations are really not needed. Hang in there, Kate. Better to have a family you miss, and are still living, than the alternative.
    Glad to hear you have some great feedback in hand from your beta readers. I know that my books have been greatly improved from their helpful suggestions. What would we do without them? Here’s hoping you remain safe & healthy, and satisfyingly productive in August!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree with you, Alexander. It’s much better to have them safe than the alternative. Yes! Beta readers are the best 😊. My books wouldn’t be what they are without their help. Thank you for the well-wishes. I hope you have a safe and productive August too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope you’re feeling better. I liked Sweet Tooth a lot, and the cliffhanger made me so mad! Just because it did well, doesn’t guarantee it’ll get another season in today’s world. First series I’ve been worried about for a long while.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, JM, I am feeling better 😊. I miss shows being limited series that wrap up in 8 or 10 episodes. Now everything stretches into another season, but with no guarantee there will be a other season 😒. I do hope there’s more Sweet Tooth because I’d like to see where all those great cliffhangers go.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read this the other day and ran out of time to comment. Love the photos. So does Loki get better after episode one? I found it very slow to go anywhere. I may have been tired but I turned it off before the end. I might have to give it another go. 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for coming back to comment 😊. I thought Loki got better with each episode, but I also waited to start it when half of it was released so I watched the first 3 episodes together. Maybe if I’d watched it week-to-week it might have come across as slow with the story. I’d definitely recommend watching all 6 episodes when you get the chance.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hope the recovery is going well. So sorry about your not being able to visit in person with family during your lockdown–so disappointing, yes thank goodness for Zoom and FaceTime. Here in the U.S., it seems some states are being hit terribly hard, but it looks like the kids will all be returning to schools. Fingers crossed it happens!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rebecca 😊. 🤞🏻 for the kids being back at school and the states getting back on top of things. We’ve just gone into our #6 lockdown here and homeschooling is back. Until our vaccination rates improve (we’ve got atrocious supply levels here) we won’t be back to any kind of normal for a long time yet, unfortunately 😔.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought of you, recently. A neighbor’s daughter and her young family are stuck here in the states for 6 months or so, not being able to return to New Zealand because of lockdowns. (I know you’re in Australia–and they’re not the same place!) The bright spot is the family gets to spend 6 months with the grandparents who’re meeting their grandson for the first time. Our vaccine supply here is good but I think we’ve hit a wall as far as herd immunity.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s awesome that they get quality time with family that they might not have had normally. I think that’s definitely the silver-lining of this pandemic: we’ve all spent more time with the loved ones that we live with/are near.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I can totally relate to this. My sister lives in NSW too and we were supposed to visit her, from the Philippines, but Oz’s airlines are closed and it makes me so sad I wont be able to see her and her son for years. Your country is quite strict with all these laws and regulations. Anyway, I’m glad you have an outlet to stay creative. I just started to go back to writing again after a pause in life, due to these uncertain times.

    Sending you love and appreciation, all the way from Manila ❤️ stay safe hun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry to hear you can’t visit your family either. Yes, there are lots of restrictions here. We can’t even leave the country.

      That’s great that you’ve found your way back to writing. It really is a good outlet in these uncertain times.


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