Update: Life and Books (1/14/18)


I haven’t posted one of these update posts since the 31st, so of course I have to say, it’s a new year! And a new year has brought with it a new post title! Yep, I switched from “The Weekly Update” to “Life and Books” since these posts aren’t weekly anymore. I’m trying out the new title, seeing how I like it.

Anyway, I am having the most amazing start to my bookish year! (If only my real life year were going so well, but I don’t feel like getting into that.) So far, I have read five amazing books (three solid 4-stars and two 4.5-stars), three of which had uncommon supernatural things (leprechauns, goblins, and a shaman), one of which had physical disability, and I’ve won two giveaways (four books total)! Books can be a real pick-me-up when you’re down, but I’m sure you all know that already 😉

Other than that… I used some Christmas money to buy the Sims 4 expansion “Get Together” while it was on sale. I don’t know, I still don’t like TS4 that much (I just prefer TS3), so I didn’t want to spend more money on it, but I couldn’t help myself. Although I’m pretty sure I lose more Twitter followers every time I tweet about my Sims shenanigans, like the older, gray-haired hottie I found bartending while my sim was out clubbing lol.

Unfortunately, my computer’s wi-fi is an absolute mess right now, so I’m having to finish up this post on my phone, which is difficult, so I don’t know when or if I will be able to visit other Sunday Posts :-/ But if my computer decides to cooperate, I will do my best to get some blog hopping done!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

One last reminder that my 2018 spreadsheet template is available for download in my “Blogging Tips: Scheduling and Keeping Track of Blog Posts with a Spreadsheet” post. If you’re looking to get organized with blogging this year, you might find it helpful!

I also got one of my giveaway books in the mail! It’s even a vampire book!

Beacon by November Ellison


Books I Received for Review:

Apocalypse Alley by Don Allmon

1/7/18: Nothing!

1/14/18: I got The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French from NetGalley. It doesn’t have a cover yet, but it’s an epic/high fantasy about orcs! Apocalypse Alley is also from NG.


Books I Finished:

The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle
The Shadow Weave by Annette Marie
The Ledberg Runestone by Patrick Donovan
The Gold-Son by Carrie Anne Noble
Doom Sayer by Clara Coulson
Apocalypse Alley by Don Allmon

1/7/18: Three fantastic books! I finally broke the crappy first book of the year curse! I even found a new urban fantasy series I want to stick with.

1/14/18: Two more fantastic books! Apocalypse Alley, unfortunately, didn’t quite work for me.


What I’m Loving:

This week, what I’m loving is…

This Sim (Byron Brown)

Byron Bartending Sexily

I paid for the game, I might as well show you guys some photos lol. I’m pretty sure this guy was just randomly spawned by the game, but, like, look at him! He might be an elder, but he got it goin’ on 😉 The gray hair works, and he’s got the little hip cock and the “come hither” look. I caught this photo at the absolute perfect time too, haha.

But I wanna give my sim a little credit too ’cause he got the looks, the style, and the moves like Jagger.

Josh Dancing at Club


In Case You Missed It:

– I reviewed Rebel Faerie by Rachel Morgan, the ending to a great YA paranormal series.
– I shared my bookish goals for 2018.
– I reviewed The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice, another book in the series with amazingly complex characters.

– I reviewed The Shadow Weave by Annette Marie, an action-packed NA paranormal.
– I talked about how we rarely seem to actually discuss books and asked how we can fix that.
– I reviewed Reaping Havoc by AJ Rose, a sweet M/M paranormal about reapers.


The Sunday Post Link-Up:

Once again, I’m linking up to The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer 🙂


Talk to me!

Is your bookish year off to a good start?
Have you bought anything with Christmas/holiday money?


Your Thoughts


72 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (1/14/18)

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  1. Greg

    I like the new title! And congrats on the giveaway wins and the all around general awesomeness of your reading year so far lol. I actually got some supernaturals in this week too- gremlins, trolls and gargoyles, among others. Yay me! It even had a kickass vampire. 🙂

    Losing Twitter followers over Sims posts? That seems weird, I would think those would be popular. Huh.

    “moves like Jagger” lolol

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Ooh gremlins, trolls, and gargoyles?! Trolls is still on the list of supernaturals I haven’t read about yet, and I’d like to try more about gargoyles. I didn’t even know there were books about gremlins lol. Awesome!

      Idk, it just seems like every time I start talking about the Sims is when my follower count goes down lol. But then people tell me they love those tweets, so whatever!

      1. Greg

        This was a neat take on trolls, actually. And same here about gremlins- haven’t read about them before! the book was Three Days to Dead and while it wasn’t amazing, it was good. I loved Isleen the vampire- needed more of her tho

  2. Annemieke

    Yeay for winning books. That is a good way to start the new year. The Gold Son has such an interesting cover. *.*
    And I totally got the Reaping Havoc ebook by the way. 😉

  3. Wattle

    I like the new title 🙂 it definitely fits better than ‘weekly update’.

    Yay for reading some great books to start the year! The older Sim reminded me of Taika Waititi almost immediately and it’s cracking me up lol due entirely to the silver fox look, I’m sure.

  4. Aimee (Aimee, Always)

    SO glad that your reading year has been awesome so far! <3 And those reads sound awesomely diverse. Will definitely check them out. 😉

    Personally I've read a few books, some good and some bad. Hopefully they get better!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! They really are diverse in some ways! One has mental illness as well. But they’re all UF so maybe not so diverse in regards to genre lol.

      At least you’ve had some good books so far!

  5. verushka

    The Goblins of Bellwater has such a cool cover — as does The Gold Son. I’ll look forward to your reviews! It sucks that your computer is stuffing up and you can’t use it to publish your posts. Fingers crossed you get it fixed soon!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I love both those covers! I look forward to posting those reviews since I really liked both books 😉 They’ll be up soon! Yeah, the wi-fi is being a real problem again :-/ Last time there was nothing that worked, it just fixed itself after a few weeks, so hopefully it’ll fix itself again soon.

  6. Evelina

    5 books already, wow, that’s amazing 🙂 good job! I haven’t been very good at my reading numbers, been busy with all the groups and the guest posts, as you can probably imagine. I’ve seen you in the discord, so I am hoping you are enjoying the group? 🙂

    And my Wi-Fi’s the same!! Yesterday it just turned off in the middle of writing a comment xD something about a controller not starting or something. Keeps happening. Annoying as hell!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Not focusing on numbers is working out well for me, apparently, haha. Yeah, I like the group! I always feel so awkward joining in group discussion kind of things? So I’m trying lol.

      Ugh, the wi-fi did this before and I tried everything to fix it, but nothing worked and it just fixed itself after a few weeks, so hopefully it’ll fix itself again soon :-/

      1. Evelina

        I know what you mean, there are a lot of people in the group, so it can be awkward. I think it will just take some time to get used to the faces (the userpics xD)

        1. Kristen Burns

          I’m just awkward at joining in w/ online groups period, but actually this one is like a good place for me to start since I know some of the people and it’s all about blogging XD

  7. sjhigbee

    I’m delighted that you’ve had such a strong start to your reading year and looking through the list, I was drooling over the fabulous covers… But I’ll have to come back to them as I’m rather stacked up with reads I need to get through. I hope the rest of the January continues as well, Kristen:)

  8. chucklesthescot

    Lots of blogs and social media can lose followers if the poster posts a lot on subjects that don’t interest their followers. It’s down to personal taste. People who aren’t into the Sims aren’t interested in lots of tweets or posts about it. Some might ignore the tweets, some might unfollow if they feel it clogs their feed. Those who like the Sims will like the tweets/posts. I read what interests me on a blog and don’t respond to or look at stuff that doesn’t appeal. I guess what I’m saying is we all like and are interested in different things and we can’t expect everyone to read or love what we do all the time.

    1. Kristen Burns

      The thing is, I’m not about to create a new Twitter account for every interest I have, especially since a lot of people have said they love the sims tweets and I know a lot of people also play themselves. But if someone does want to unfollow me because of my sims tweets, that is certainly their prerogative! My point was just that that’s not going to stop me from having fun posting about them.

      1. chucklesthescot

        I never said you had to do anything to suit other people or change your tweets! You mentioned the loss of followers in a discussion post so I offered an opinion as to how often it happens to all of us. I was trying to say we’ve all had it happen, not disapproving of your right to post what you want!.

  9. Sam@WLABB

    Two wins! I’m jealous (but happy for you). A win always feels like the universe is working for you, right? I love your enthusiasm for The Sims! Your posts about them make me smile. Have a great week!

  10. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    How did I miss the hottie bartender tweet? I love it! He is totally awesome, I hope he isn’t randomly spawned and you can find him again because I want him to get his own story. I do love how TS4 looks although I know you don’t like it as much. I hope you manage to sort your internet because I know how frustrating that can be.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol don’t worry, I saved him and put him into a different game and now the two Sims in the pictures have started something since they’re both gay (I have a mod that shows me info on Sims and it includes their preference). But IDK if they’ll stay together, big age diff and all that. And I haven’t really made plans for any of my TS4 Sims, I’m just kinda randomly playing.

  11. Michelle @Because Reading

    I miss playing the sims but I loved 3. I didn’t like the idea of the game play which is why I never got 4. but Sims 3 was my favorite. I really want to play now! lol. I need to see if my computer can hold Sims 3 since I have a lot of stuff on it at the moment. 🙂 That bartender is a rather handsome guy, I would totally make my Sim flirt with him.

    That happens to me too when I talk about video game especially Star Stable or Stardew Valley. Can’t make everyone happy, so I don’t even try! lol.

    Have a great week, Kristen! Happy Reading! ox

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, there are just a lot of things I dislike about 4 vs a lot of things I love about TS3, like the open world. Seriously, that bartender! I saved him and put him into a different game where I had a sim who could start something romantic with him 😉

      Same! Tweeting about the sims is fun for me, so I’m not gonna stop. If anyone wants to unfollow, then they can.

      Thanks, same to you!

  12. Karen Blue

    2018 is not off to a great start for me reading wise. I have actually finished 4 books but only written 1 review. I am gonna work on posting a review and make it more of a discussion though, since I think almost everyone has seen it or watched the movie (thanks for your idea).
    I hope your personal life and your wifi gets better. Have a great week and happy reading!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yay! I feel like it’s going well for a lot of people. It might be an overall good reading year for the community. I ended up loving it! My review will be up in a couple weeks, I think.

  13. Samantha

    He is quite the good looking silver fox! Sorry TS4 isn’t as great. Thats a bummer! And that sucks about your wi-fi. I get twitchy when the wi-fi is down!!
    Hope you have a great week!

  14. Daniela Ark

    Yeah for a great start of your bookish year! hope real life catches up soon! Glad to hear you are having fun with your Simms. Isn’t it funny how picky followers are? LOL That was one of the reasons I decided to rebrand and talk almost exclusively about books.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! And yeah, I mean, it’s not like all my tweets are about sims, and I happen to think they’re pretty entertaining tweets lol. But oh well, they can unfollow if they want! I blog and tweet and whatnot for fun, so I’m gonna tweet about the things I want to 🙂

  15. Literary Feline

    It’s been ages since I last played Sims! I am sorry you are still having WiFi problems. I am too. It’s very aggravating at times. I am glad to hear your year has gotten off to a good start! I hope you have a great week, Kristen!

    1. Kristen Burns

      You should go play XD Thanks. The wi-fi fixed itself for a while but now it’s even more messed up, so idk. *sigh* Thanks, I hope you have a great week too 🙂

  16. Lola

    I like the new title, seems to fit these posts and it makes sense you wanted to switch the title as they weren’t weekly anymore. That’s awesome you had such a great start of your bookish year! With such good great reads and that you won two giveaways! I’ve only read 4 stars reads so far this year, so my year is off to a good start too.

    I always like hearing about your Sims, it is so fun to hear about your Sims. I think I remember seeing your tweet about that gray haired bartender. That’s nice you bought an expansion when it was on sale.

    Sorry to hear about your wi-fi being a mess, that sounds annoying :(. I am looking forward to your reviews of those three fantastic books, although I think you posted one of them already this week. I still have to go back and read that post. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks 🙂 I feel like so many people are having good reading years so far!

      I’m glad some people like hearing about my sims XD

      It’s really frustrating. Right now I finally just turned on my old, noisy laptop because I can’t get anything done on the other comp :-/ Thanks, same to you!

  17. Dina

    I haven’t stopped by in a while. So: HAPPY NEW YEAR! I totally agree about how books can cheer you up when life is sucky. Whoa. You are reading Anne Rice. I have never read her stuff, because she scares the crap out of me. Like, when I was younger, my mom was watching the vampire movie of hers and I was like, “Uh uh. Nope. No, thanks.” (lol. I sound like an old lady. Hang on. I put on dentures to emphasize my point!!).
    Anyway. I like your dancing Sims. That older dude looks like Pepe le Pew (I like him. But, his face has a mischievous hint to it).

    1. Kristen Burns

      Happy New Year! Books def cheer me up when life is sucky. Re: Anne Rice, it’s really not scary! It was the movie that made me want to read the books in the first place. Now I’m rereading, many years later. But it’s really just paranormal with vampires, not horror. Lol love the dentures 😉

      Thanks XD Haha, that look is kind of mischievous!

  18. Christy LoveOfBooks

    I hope your bookish life continues to be awesome all year and that your ‘real’ life gets better. Yay for winning giveaways. Rawr, baby! Lovin’ the new sim. He’s a hottie for sure. 🙂

  19. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Hey Kristen! Happy 2018! I know I’m a bit late to the happy new year party but really I’m just getting back into things after a blogging break over the ‘silly season’.

    I like your new post header for this one! And wow – all the giveaways! That’s awesome. Congrats. I hope you enjoy the winnings.

    I’m about to head over to your Shadow Weave review just now to see what you thought – I just adore Annette Marie!

    Catch up with you a bit more as Jan goes on – I’m devoting the rest of this month to just responding to my blog comments and visiting my back. No real post schedule until February so I don’t have too much blogging pressure while I’m still travelling (we left after Christmas and are away for a month!). Have a great week and chat soon!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Happy 2018!

      Thanks 🙂

      No worries on falling behind! Yeah, honestly, that’s why I don’t post more often, I need time to respond and to visit other blogs and all that. Everything takes so much time!

  20. Stephanie Jane

    I’ve read some fabulous books already this year too – Uprooted by Naomi Novik, Happiness by Aminatta Forna – and struggled through one that should have been a DNF except I was committed to read it for a blog tour.
    I also badly splurged on NetGalley and am now panicking a little about getting all the lovely books read by their due dates! Oops!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Awesome! Aside from the almost-DNF, of course. That sucks that it was for a blog tour but didn’t work for you :-/

      Lol sorry about the NG panic. But I have faith in you! You can do it! XD

    1. Kristen Burns

      Blogging would be so stressful for me if I didn’t have my organization and spreadsheets and everything lol.

      Twitter is super weird. I’m definitely just gonna keep posting what I want!

  21. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Sorry your internet is acting like crap. Beacon looks and sounds awesome and I just added it to my wishlist. Sounds like a grittier vampire book which if I’m going to read the genre, are my favorites. Glad you’ve had so many great reads so far thsi year. Hope the trend sticks!

  22. S. J. Pajonas

    It’s good to see your Sims doing well. My daughter really REALLY wants the Pets expansion pack so I’ll probably get it for her sometime soon. 🙂 Hope your computer starts behaving again!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I know Pets is always a super popular EP, but honestly I don’t even play w/ pets in Sims 3. They’re so much damn work, my sims don’t have time for that, haha. Like, the first time I tried it, the cat got taken away by animal services or whatever. Oops lol. Thanks!

  23. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    What is going on with wi-fi!? Mine has been the same for a loooong time it seems, and I am not amused. And your Sims are funny hahah. I think he is a spawned rando, he’s in my game too- but I keep deleting all the randos because…. my game is for a very specific purpose and that guy does not belong! RUDE of those Twitter people though. You’re better off without them anyway, if they are THAT pissed by a few tweets. People can be so dumb! I am so glad you’re having a great reading time, too! Mine is… surprisingly not awful? I read a few good ones, at least! Hope your good streak continues 😀

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh no, the wi-fi problems are contagious?! Mine is so bad at this point though that I can’t even use the internet period and have had to turn on my old, noisy, slow laptop :-/ I’m not amused either. Oh, he’s in your game?? Cuz I had looked for him in a different game, but there was a lady bartender, so I had to just save him and place him into the proper game where I could play matchmaker lol. Don’t worry, those Twitter people won’t stop me from tweeting what I want! Yay, glad your reading is going well too 🙂 Thanks!

  24. Danya @ Fine Print

    Dang Kristen, you’re rocking the bookish side of the New Year! Books are definitely one of the best pick-me-ups when you’re feeling low. And the gray hair is 100% working for Byron Brown — I can’t imagine anyone on twitter being displeased with that. 😉

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Books are the best pick-me-up. And hahaha yes! The gray hair is SO working. I put him into create-a-sim so I could save him and put him in a diff game, and I checked what he looked like younger with his natural hair color, and honestly the gray looks better. Seriously, why were these people on Twitter not loving this photo?! XD