Update: Life and Books (10/7/18)


Hello, everyone! It’s been another month since I did a Life and Books post. I might just make these a monthly thing from now on. I’ll see what I feel like doing.

Just to update everyone on my teeth, I had another root canal, but that’s it so far. It feels like something might be wrong though, so I’m giving it some time to heal, seeing what happens, and hoping like hell that I won’t need to have a root canal redone in addition to the two crowns I already need redone. Honestly I don’t even want to think about this dental disaster anymore even though it seems to be all I can think about.

I do have some good stuff to talk about though, so I’ll just get right to that!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

There are still a few days left to back the Bang! Bang! BOOM! Kickstarter! In case you missed my post about it, you can find that here. They’ve already reached their goal, plus two stretch goals, which means backers get even more stuff! And they’re super close to reaching their third! It’s really an amazing LGBT Jazz Era fantasy comic, and I can’t recommend it enough.

I had a tweet get over 400 likes and over 50 retweets for the first time ever! That was cool but also annoying. How do people whose tweets are always popular even deal with the notifications???

My whole blogging schedule has gone a little bit wonky lately. I’m still posting two reviews a week, but the amount of additional posts and the days of the week are a bit up in the air at the moment.

Last but not least, I got bookmail! Thank you to the lovely people at Pyr. This is a series I’m really enjoying, a really unique combo of the Prohibition Era, Catholicism, fae, and a dragon! So I’m excited to have the next book. And I just so happened to have the perfect shot glass to go with it. Now if only I had the first two books… I borrowed those from my library, so this one is going to be all sad and alone on the bookshelf πŸ˜›

Black City Dragon by Richard A. Knaak paperback next to a shot glass with the skyline of Chicago


Books I Received for Review:

Creatures: The Legacy of Frankenstein by Various Authors
Straight Outta Fangton by C. T. Phipps
Waypoint by Deborah Adams & Kimberley Perkins
Black City Dragon by Richard A. Knaak

9/16/18: Creatures was from NetGalley.

9/23/18: Straight Outta Fangton was an audiobook from the author.

9/30/18: Waypoint was from the authors. Black City Dragon is from Pyr.

10/7/18: Nothing.


Books I Finished:

Obsessions of a Djinni by Claudia Herring
Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
Steal the Light by Lexi Blake
Steal the Day by Lexi Blake
Steal the Moon by Lexi Blake
Steal the Sun by Lexi Blake
Steal the Night by Lexi Blake
Straight Outta Fangton by C. T. Phipps
Escaping Exile by Sarah Dobie Bauer
Saga Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

9/16/18: Obsessions of a Djinni was slow but had some great complexity in the characters and their situation. Three Mages was a fun urban fantasy.

9/23/18: Shadow of the Fox was a surprisingly fun read!

9/30/18: The Thieves series was amazing, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been following my blog for a while since this was my fourth time reading it. There are some things that bother me in the books, they’re not perfect, but gosh I love them.

10/7/18: Straight Outta Fangton and Escaping Exile were both good in very different ways, but neither one was quite right for me. Saga Vol. 9 was… brutal. Has anyone else read it yet???


What I’m Loving:

This week, what I’m loving is…


I hadn’t planned on participating, but I’ve been using it as motivation to do some art! I haven’t done much creative stuff for a long time because, for some reason, with my chronic illness, doing art takes a lot out of me, gives me headaches, and just makes me feel like crap. But I’ve missed it! So I’ve been taking a lot of Tylenol lately, and here are a couple of the things I’ve done so far. I know none of them are great, but I’ve been pushing myself out of my drawing comfort zone, doing things I’ve never done before, and I’m proud of myself.

Sketch of a Male Harpy (a bare-chested man wearing a wrap skirt with feathered wings and talon feet

Photoshop painting of a hand holding a magic ball of fire with toasted marshmallows floating above it

Photoshop painting of a man (with no face) relaxing in a giant cauldron of stew

Photoshop painting of a blue potion in a rectangular bottle with a purple sash across it, some blue fringe and rope decoration, and a flower petal on top of the cork

I’m not quite done with the last one, there are some things I forgot to add, but I wanted to share it anyway.


In Case You Missed It:

– I reviewed Black Bird of the Gallows and Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel, two unique supernatural books.
– I reviewed Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton, a mysterious, witchy YA read.

– I shared a Kickstarter opportunity plus five things readers may not know about the Bang! Bang! BOOM! universe.
– I reviewed Amendments by Hannah Lynn, a thought-provoking time travel book.
– I reviewed Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie, a fun urban fantasy.

– I interviewed Cheryl Low about her Crowns & Ash series.
– I reviewed Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa, a fun Japanese-inspired fantasy.
– I reviewed Obsessions of a Djinni by Claudia Herring, an ominous historical fantasy with morally ambiguous characters.

– I shared more September/October 2018 sci-fi/fantasy releases.
– I reviewed Time’s Children by D. B. Jackson, a unique time travel/high fantasy mash-up.
– I created and did the Halloween Book Covers Tag.
– I reviewed Escaping Exile by Sara Dobie Bauer, a quick M/M vampire novella.


The Sunday Post Link-Up:

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


Talk to me!

Do you have any middle-of-the-series books sitting all lonely on your shelf?
Are you participating in or enjoying the artwork from Inktober?


Your Thoughts


34 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (10/7/18)

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  1. Greg

    Hey you went viral! Congrats! πŸ™‚ And yeah notifications- how do people do it? Anyway Black City Dragon looks pretty good. Richard Knaak seems familiar to me- I must have seen one of his books before or something. I love that combination of elements though- sounds like a heady mix.

    Nice pics! Is that a harpy dude? I like it. And that last one reminds me of TV guy from Saga? It must be the tassel thing. Am I crazy?

    1. Kristen Burns

      Not sure if 400 quite counts as viral, but thanks XD Maybe you just recognize his name from when I reviewed the other two books? I love the combo!

      It IS a harpy! And the potion one IS inspired by Prince Robot IV! So you are right on both accounts! And I’m happy that you were actually able to tell both those things lol.

  2. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

    I hope your dental problems will get better, and that the last root canal won’t have to be redone! It sounds like it’s a hassle and a lot of pain.
    The kickstarter sounds good – I hope they’ll reach the third goal as well.
    Your inktober drawings are good! My daughter is doing it this month as well, and I love seeing how creative she is. Her style is very different from yours – which makes the whole thing more interesting. Thanks for sharing!
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks <3

      I'm so happy for them that the Kickstart has been such a success! Also happy for me because I get more stuff now, haha.

      Thanks! I'm not a good enough artist to really have a style yet, at least, not a deliberate one lol. I just do my best, and that's how it comes out *shrug* That's awesome that your daughter is doing it too though!

  3. Suz

    I Looooove your drawings. All that Tylenol you had to take was worth it πŸ™‚
    Well done on the tweet – although 400 notifications would make you need more Tylenol!!

  4. verushka

    Straight out of Fangton! I just found out about that recently and it just made me smile! I hope it’s a good funny, read! Also, look at you going viral! That’s fantastic!

  5. Karen

    You got a lot of reading in – and you seem to have a red cover theme going on with that lol

    It’s really cool but I don’t think I would ever want a tweet to go viral. I can barely manage my online stuff now lol And especially not if it’s something that also brought trolls and harassment. Luckily, it sounds like that wasn’t the case for you and it was just fun.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s just cuz those five books are the same series, so they all have the red thing going on lol.

      Haha, yeah, I’ve discovered there are downsides to having popular tweets. But my tweet wasn’t controversial in the slightest, so no harassment πŸ™‚

  6. Lola

    I hope your teeth heal fine and you don’t need the root canal done over too. Root canals suck. One of my teeth needed one and I still have troubles with it sometimes with hot or cold drinks.

    That’s awesome your tweets got so many likes and retweets! I can imagine you got a lot of notifications because of that. I think you can switch them off for a certain topic or tweet.

    Looks like you got a lot of books read this month. I also read Three Mages and a Margarita :). And that’s nice you got a re-read done. And yay for bookmail!

    Your art looks great! I like how you got all those little details like shadow added and such and how everything looks pretty realistically :). It’s nice Inktober gave you the motivation to do some art. I hope you can get some more done in the rest of this month.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks <3

      I know you can mute certain tweets... not sure if that stops the like notifications. I didn't want to miss it though if anyone replied, so I just left it on.

      I did get a fairly good amount reading done since I had some peace and quiet at my house πŸ™‚

      Thank you!!! I tried really hard lol. I'm hoping I can do more art from now on now that I realize how much I missed it.

  7. S. J. Pajonas

    “How do people whose tweets are always popular even deal with the notifications???” They turn them off. If they’re that popular, then they just check in a few times per day and that’s it. Loving your Inktober drawings!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks <3 I'm glad you like my cauldron guy! πŸ˜„ I couldn't get his face right, so I abandoned it, but I guess it doesn't matter since he's about to be made into stew anyway πŸ˜›

  8. Sam@wlabb

    You poor dear! I hope the dentist can get your teeth squared away soon, so you can get some relief. Nice book mail, and your picture is great. I am miserable at taking pictures. I used to get the kid to do it for me, but she is too far away now.

  9. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    I really hope that your dental issues resolve themselves soon. That has got to be miserable πŸ™

    But wow, your art is brilliant! I’m always in such awe of people who can draw like that. I can barely do a decent stick figure, lol.

  10. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Oh I hope you get your dental work straightened out soon. Dental pain is the worst. You got some great books here and man, what the heck happens in Saga! Don’t tell me but man, I’m dying to know. Gotta grab it soon.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I have a shot glass collection, and I didn’t even realize I had a Chicago one until I was looking through it lol. I was actually looking for an Art Deco style one to match the cover!