Update: Life and Books (3/25/18)


So the past two weeks have been… weeks. I’m tired. I’m still trying to figure out the recent health issues. I’ve been feeling a little bit better since cutting out a bunch of foods though, so that’s good at least, though I’m not sure the actual cause. Anyway, I’ve talked enough about that for the past few updates, so I’ll try to be more positive today and move onto the bookish stuff πŸ™‚

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I always feel like I’m bragging when I share things like this, but I get excited and don’t have other people who will understand, so I like to tell you all. I got another spike of visits from Pinterest! This is the second time I’ve all the sudden had a MAJOR spike to a specific post. This time it was my Book Covers featuring Disability post, which, if any post is gonna get attention, I’m glad it could be one promoting books with disabled characters! I got over 400 views to that post in one day, and that is not normal for me, so it was exciting.

It’s driving me crazy that I can’t figure out how it is that this is happening though! Because, when I click through to the pin that the traffic is from, it’s MY pin. So it can’t be that someone with a popular Pinterest pinned it, it must be that someone shared the pin on their site or something, right? Maybe? I WANT TO KNOW. I feel like I have some anonymous Pinterest benefactor out there πŸ˜›


Books I Received for Review:

The Devil's Standoff by V.S. McGrath ARC

The Reign of the Departed by Greg Keyes ARC

The Blood Curse by Annette Marie
Kelpie Blue by Mell Eight
Dead Indian Wars by Clark Casey

Such a good two weeks for ARCs! I legit get so happy and excited every time I get a physical review copy. (But of course I appreciate the ebooks too!) And three of these are sequels!

3/18/18: The Devil’s Standoff is from Brain Mill Press.

3/25/18: The Blood Curse is from the author. Kelpie Blue and Dead Indian Wars are from NetGalley. The Reign of the Departed is from Night Shade Books. I tried my very best to get a photo that would do the gorgeous cover justice.


Books I Finished:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Blood Curse by Annette Marie
Argonauts by Kevin Kneupper
The Devil's Standoff by V.S. McGrath

3/18/18: I ended up with a book hangover/reading slump after the HP series :-/ I never thought I’d reread Frankenstein back when I first read it, but idk, I was in the mood to try it again? So I did. I kinda liked it.

3/25/18: The Blood Curse was a great ending to the Spell Weaver trilogy! I’m already looking forward the next spin-off series/book whatever that takes place after Steel & Stone. Argonauts was, well, you’ll see the review. There were some things I liked, but more that I disliked. The Devil’s Standoff was somewhat different from the first book in the series, but still good.


What I’m Loving:

This week, what I’m loving is…

My 11-Year-Old Self

I found an old journal from when we had writing prompts in school, and, well, I’ll just leave the link to the Twitter thread here. The last one is the best!


In Case You Missed It:

– I reviewed Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, a poignant, thought-provoking book with a zombie POV.
– I shared some thoughts on the younger characters in the Harry Potter series.
– I reviewed Dawn in Damnation by Clark Casey, a fun book about a paranormal western afterlife.

– I did the Book Blogger Memory Challenge Tag.
– I reviewed Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby, a mysterious YA paranormal.
– I shared some thoughts on the older characters in the Harry Potter series.
– I reviewed A Wish Upon the Stars by TJ Klune, the last in a touching M/M high fantasy series.


The Sunday Post Link-Up:

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


Talk to me!

Have you found any good books lately?
Have you ever stumbled upon something you wrote as a kid and had a laugh about it?


Your Thoughts


92 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (3/25/18)

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  1. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    Ugh, sorry the health issues continue. That’s frustrating. Hooray for the Pinterest interest! (I had way too much fun typing that.) 400 views in one day… wow. Good luck solving that little mystery. OMG, the journal snippets were freaking priceless. Some were genuinely thoughtful and astute… and some were hilarious. My favorite was the reasons why you would never run away. LOL

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks <3 Haha love the rhyme! And thank you, I was very excited! I think the mystery is unsolvable though. Right? Some were so thoughtful, and others were just so weird lol.

  2. Greg

    I don’t know, it seems like food can have a huge impact even if it’s not the cause? Like when change how I eat sometimes I definitely notice I feel better, you know, depending on what it is. Weird. Anyway…

    Kelpie? Ooh color me curious. πŸ™‚

    Fun tweets!. I clicked over and this one crcked me up! “the earth will be for crap” lmao

    1. Kristen Burns

      Food can definitely have an impact. But now I’m here wondering, was it maybe just a coincidence that I started feeling better? Or is there some new health problem causing certain foods to be a problem? Or which food/ingredient was it? So I’m playing the fun game of adding one food back in each week or so and seeing if I get a headache -_-

      I couldn’t resist the kelpie!

      Thanks. I can’t believe I wrote that lol.

  3. suz

    Love your journal entries πŸ™‚

    Analysing the quirks of Pinterest and other social media will drive you insane. But well done on 400 views.

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s pretty much all I do too, tbh. I post on my blog, and then sometimes I post the links to Twitter and pin them to Pinterest. And sometimes good things happen lol.

  4. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

    Ooh, you linked up! πŸ™‚

    That’s so cool that you get visits from Pinterest. I just… don’t understand Pinterest. Like, am I supposed to pin my own posts somewhere? Where? If I pin them to my own “blog” board, who’s going to even want to see that? It’s just self promotion and I don’t think people like that? I really don’t get how people make Pinterest work for them xD

    Hey, maybe you want to do a guest post on harnessing your Pinterest for your blog for NewBloggers? You could explain it to all of us πŸ™‚

    Anyway, your review copies look soooooo great. And that’s so cool you still have an old journal of yours – I’d like to find mine, although I think I’d cringe a lot πŸ˜€ I’ll have a look at your thread.

    Have a wonderful week πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah I do this every two weeks but just forget to link up sometimes.

      I’d love to claim I’m a Pinterest expert, but I actually have no clue how to make it work for your blog. I just use Pinterest for fun and also pin stuff from my blog every so often, and that’s it lol. And on occasion, something like this happens, and I still have no clue how or why. *shrugs*

      Thank you! I feel like you’re allowed to be cringe-worthy at 11, so it’s just hilarious to me lol.

      Thanks, you have a great week too!

      1. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

        So I guess… The secret to Pinterest is just using it as you’d use it without any ulterior motives and enjoy it, and success will follow xD what a fairytale formula ;D it’s really too bad I don’t really use Pinterest. Won’t get to test that theory πŸ˜€ but I guess it makes sense. You’re successful with the tools you have fun with, usually.

        1. Kristen Burns

          Pretty much lol. Although I’m not sure I’d call it success since most days I’m lucky if I get three visits from Pinterest. It’s just these occasional helpful spikes that happen for reasons I still don’t know, not that I’m complaining about them!

  5. Mary @StackingMyBookShelves!

    Looks like great books. I haven’t read Mary Shelley Frankenstein but always wanted too. Of course I have seen many movies and retellings but never read the book. I hope your feel better. That’s great with Pinterest. I am not sure how that all works. I just do a lot of repins of my own! Have a great week and enjoy your new books!

    Mary my #SundayRoundup

    1. Kristen Burns

      I say give it a try. It was thought-provoking. Thanks πŸ™‚ Honestly I’m not sure how to actually make Pinterest work either, I just pin stuff lol. Thanks, same to you!

  6. Roberta R.

    No idea about the inner workings of the internet traffic…the only thing I noticed in mine is that, since I’ve been getting more legit comments, the spam comment number has been increasing as well…and Blogger became so trustful, it doesn’t even treat them as spam anymore LOL. Either way, don’t you love a surprise? ?

    I loved your kid words of wisdom LOL. The only thing I still own from when I was little (around 6? 7?) is this book (I say book because it’s what I was aiming at, and I actually glued the pages together) where I gave my favourite toy cat a family (actually, he was a TV character even before it became a toy) and told their story. Some of that stuff still cracks me up every time I read it…Anyway, your description of ice cream was so effing poetic ?.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t have any idea either. Well that sounds annoying about the spam lol.

      Thanks πŸ˜› Ha, I love things like that! That’s great that you kept it. I think too many of us throw so much out, you know? But it’s so fun to look back at that stuff! I know right? I must have really loved ice cream, haha.

  7. Erica

    Awesome wrap-up! Sorry to hear you’re still feeling off. I hope you are able to get plenty of rest and feel better soon! πŸ™‚

  8. karen

    That is awesome about your cover post! I always wonder when things like that happen, too. I hope you find out how it happened so you can duplicate it. That is really great and very original post.
    Sorry to hear about your health issues, but yay that you are feeling a bit better. Also yay for new books. I always get excited to get ARCs too.
    Have a great week and happy reading~

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Right? If I knew how it was happening, maybe I could make it keep happening!

      ARCs are always exciting πŸ™‚ Thank you, and you have a great week too!

  9. Jennrenee

    I love the cover of devils stand off I will need to look into that series. I haven’t heard of any of these books. Glad to hear you are some heat feeling better. I know there are foods out there that I can’t eat due to sensitivities. Taking them out of my diet made a world of difference. Hopefully you can get to the bottom of this soon.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I love the covers for that series too! Thanks πŸ™‚ It seems like I develop a new sensitivity every other month, but sometimes it’s so hard to pinpoint what it is!

  10. Stephanie Jane

    Congrats on your Pinterest popularity – and that was a great post for everyone to be finding πŸ™‚ I’ve never quite figured Pinterest out and the only post that ever went mad for me from there was my Purple Soup recipe. It was Very purple!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I don’t even have any expertise on how to use Pinterest for blogging, so I can’t say I’ve figured that out either. I just get lucky sometimes, I guess! Purple soup does sound interesting!

  11. Samantha

    Yay for the pinterest win! Thats awesome! If you figure it out, share the secret-I never understand the random spikes I get from pinterest!
    Hopefully you are on the right track to get the heath issues sorted out soon!

  12. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    I have a few journals from when I was younger; it’s so fun to see what I wrote about. LOL

    Congrats on getting tons of Pinterest views. I hope you can figure out how people are visiting the page, but that IS a good one to get lots of views toward.


    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s so funny to see what our thoughts were like when we were younger!

      Thanks! If I can figure it out, maybe I can make it keep happening πŸ˜‰ But yes, I was really happy to see people were interested in that one!

  13. Sophie

    That’s just so cool that you found an old journal of yours! I didn’t keep journals but I wonder how I would feel reading it now … 36 years later!

  14. Dina

    I am sorry you’re going through such tough health issues, Kristen. I can relate to the frustration, definitely. Hopefully, you and I can figure out ways to cope with it. It feels like I have not been visiting anyone’s blogs for so long. It’s sad. I have to work on it.

    By the way, I had recently unearthed my copy of Warm Bodies. I actually really liked this book way back when. It was such a sweet tale, for sure. Have you seen the movie? I like that one too. I read somewhere that the author was going to write a sequel to it. Apparently, it already came out, which is baffling because I had not heard of that sequel at all.

    PS: How is your writing going? Any news on your Sims?

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3

      I haven't seen the movie, no. I don't usually watch movies for books I like. I did hear about the sequel, but I decided not to read it. I enjoyed the first book, but it wasn't something I felt like reading more of, if that makes any sense?

      Ugh no, I'm failing at writing! I haven't written anything in... a while. Just brainstorming, but that's better than nothing, right? πŸ˜› No sims playing either.

  15. Cricket@ Little Library Muse

    I had a co-worker that was having issues and she discovered she was gluten intolerant. I hope you get to the bottom of it and feel better soon. I love the cover for The Blood Curse and this is the first of heard of this trilogy. Enjoy your week and your books!

  16. Anna @Adventures with a Book Nerd

    I’m glad that your post about characters with disabilities is getting so much attention! We totally need to see them more in literature. I’m sorry that your health has been bad the past couple weeks, I know how tough that can be. I’m glad that cutting out some foods has helped though! πŸ™‚

  17. Joanne

    I have been and am still dealing with the mystery of what ails me (and the diet changes and doctors that come with it) for some time. Don’t wish it on anyone. Hope you figure it out soon. Feel better.

    Bookmarking some of your links to check them out; intrigued. Tried to find the journal entries but couldn’t (maybe I didn’t scroll deep enough in to your twitter?)

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m sorry you’re struggling too with health problems and hope you can figure yours out. Thank you <3 I've had a chronic illness for seven years, this is just my latest mystery lol. I wouldn't wish it on anyone either though.

      Is the tweet visible for you in the blog post? If you click on the text part of the tweet (instead of my name), it should bring you right to the thread, if you want to read it πŸ™‚

  18. Laura Thomas

    I was feeling sluggish and changed my eating habits and feel better now. Things I used to eat all the time don’t agree with me much anymore. Nice new books. I hope you enjoy them:)

  19. JJ @ This Dark Material

    I’m sorry the last few weeks have been difficult. It sounds like you’ve seen some recent improvement though, and I hope it continues πŸ™‚ That’s great news to share about your Pintrest traffic! And as far as mysteries go, it’s not a bad one to have on your hands haha. And congrats on all the reading progress! Hope you have a great week πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      There’s been some improvement, maybe if I can pinpoint the exact food, I can keep it that way! Thank you! It’s definitely a good mystery to have lol. Thanks, you have a great week too πŸ™‚

  20. verushka

    The Devil’s Standoff cover is Gold! You have to share your secrets about Pinterest — I’m still trying to figure it out myself!

  21. S. J. Pajonas

    Have you looked at your analytics at Pinterest? Go to analytics.pinterest.com if not and take a look. I think most accounts have analytics already. If not, request them!

    Glad to hear you’re feeling a little better! πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I have the Pinterest analytics hooked up for my blog and everything, but the analytics still only show the numbers, which pins/boards are popular, etc. Doesn’t show me if someone shared my pin/board on their blog or anything. I think this is an unsolvable mystery lol.

      Thanks πŸ™‚

  22. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    I got a copy of Dead Indian Wars too. It looks like fun. Glad you are feeling somewhat better. It’s amazing what cutting out some foods will do. Hope you have a wonderful week and congrats on all the hits!

  23. Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    You’ve got me curious about pinterest and using it for blogging. I honestly have only used it for wedding stuff!

    And I kind of wish I still had journals and stuff from my childhood. I’d probably cringe, but it sounds like fun!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Honestly I mostly just use Pinterest for fun, but I also pin my blog posts there, and sometimes I get lucky lol.

      They’re so cringe-worthy, but I feel like you’re totally allowed to be cringe-worthy at 11 πŸ˜‰

  24. Karen

    Was the spike from you being featured on Nocturnal Devices maybe?

    Good luck figuring out your health issues. I know it’s been a long process for you. I have something called silent GERD. It’s kind of like acid reflux but i don’t get all the heartburn/pain. Instead I cough – like to the point of choking and crying. It can eventually cause esophageal cancer from the inflammation. I kept getting diagnosed with allergies (pollen) or asthma. I just sort of stumbled on a post about it and tried the dietary restrictions they suggested and it worked.

    Yay bookmail!!!

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t think so. The dates didn’t quite match-up, and that interview didn’t specifically promote that post.

      Thanks. I’m just trying to figure out what the more recent problems are being caused by, just to get back to what has become my level of normal. That silent GERD sounds terrible :-/ Glad you found some dietary restrictions that helped though!

  25. Laurie @ Bark's Book Nonsense

    I’m glad you’re feeling a little better and congrats on the disability covers post! 400 hits in a day is impressive!! I have a review for Frankenstein posting in the next few days. Let’s just say that I wasn’t a fan of Dr. Frankenstein!

  26. Daniela Ark

    OH! I’m so happy to hear the eliminating some food is helping some! Even if it not the cause anything that alleviates the symptoms is good! πŸ™‚ <3
    ok so since you are being so positive I'm going to be… not so…
    [ok out of the system now I can be happy for you!]
    Oh I'm so happy you got those ARCs! I wish someone sent me a physical ARC! I'm back at having a ebook slump because it is a hard format for me to read when I get home after a long day and I'm exhausted so I would REALLY love physical ARCs!
    Congrats on that Pinterest fame! I’m also glad that it was that particular pin that got all the attention πŸ™‚
    Have a good week pinterest queen πŸ™‚ xoxo

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah I feel like it might’ve been one of the foods, but now I have to figure out *which* or which ingredient by adding them back in slowly -_-

      I really wanted to flail in excitement over the few print ARCs I’ve gotten lately but I also wanted to play it cool on my blog, but YOU GET ME, WIFEY. Thank you!!! I’ve been getting braver and emailing some pubs! Somewhat out of necessity since my eyes just can’t handle all the ebooks lately. A couple never responded but who cares cuz some of them did XD

      Thanks! I was definitely happy to see it was that post, especially since it means people must be interested in books with disability! You have a great week too πŸ™‚

  27. Sam@WLABB

    Congratulations on your Pinterest spike. Brag away so we can celebrate with you! Book mail is always a win. I don’t even like to read physical books, and I do a happy dance when I get a book in the mail (I know, I make no sense). Wow! How fun to find a window into the mind of 11 year old you. I have tons of my daughters old school journals (the kindergarten one is hilarious).

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! <3 Bookmail is the best! Even if it's a book I've already read, it makes me excited, so I think it makes sense! I can only imagine how cute the kindergarten journals must be, haha.

  28. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Sorry your health issues are still ongoing but you can talk about them if you want but I get it, sometimes you get bored of talking about the same things so it’s nice to focus on something different instead. Yay for a post blowing up even if you don’t know why. I say don’t question the goodness, it’s always nice to see a post doing well. And yay for physical ARCs, I love getting books in the post too. Cannot get enough of it, and I only get a couple each year so it’s awesome. And I love the writing prompts, I would be scared to see what I wrote at a 11, I could be a strange child.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks <3 But yeah, sometimes I just want to talk about something different. Ha, yes, I should probably just enjoy the Pinterest spike. But if I knew how it was happening, maybe I could make it happen more often! I agree, getting books in the mail never gets old! Lol I was a strange child too, it's all good πŸ˜‰

  29. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    That’s so great that your post got so much attention on Pinterest and like you say, especially since it’s a post that features disabilities. I have no clue how Pinterest works but that’s wonderful. πŸ™‚

    Oh wow, I haven’t re-read Frankenstein either. Actually haven’t touched the book since college. I wonder how I would feel about it now…

  30. Aimee (Aimee, Always)

    Pinterest is fabulous! I’ve gotten the post visit spike twice on there, too. 400 views/day is AMAZING, so congrats, lovely!! <3 Happy reading with the wonderful ARCs as well. Oooh, and you better share some of those writing prompts with us. πŸ˜‰

  31. Di @ Book Reviews By Di

    I just finished my review for The Blood Curse. It was such a good, bittersweet ending to that trilogy and I cannot wait for the next series! Plus a NEW UF series in the works?????????????? I’m so excited!

    Trying to get over an illness after a couple of weeks of traveling so my blogging is slloooow and possibly not at it’s A game! Ha ha. Hope you had a good week this week so far!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I just read it! Yeah, but I mean, we knew it would be bittersweet. At least there’s more coming though! And I guess I didn’t pay attention well since I didn’t realize there’s a new UF in the works??

      Feel better!

  32. Sam @ Spines in a Line

    I’m always interested in where my traffic is coming from and it upsets me too not being able to figure it out! A couple years ago, I started getting a ton of emails from authors and I wasn’t sure why they were all coming out of nowhere so I ended up asking a couple of them! Turns out it was a blogger website I’d signed up for but as I was a new addition, my blog was showing up on the homepage. At least that was one mystery solved

  33. Olivia-Savannah Roach

    It’s good to be proud of what you have achieved or when something goes well too! So yay for pinterest likes coming through. It is sometimes a little bit frustrating when you can’t tell why something becomes abruptly popular though, or where the source is. Also, I loved your tweet with the comments from your eleven year old self. I remember when I found an old diary and mini-Olivia decided her one goal in life was to eat less and become fitter all so that I could beat my older sister in an arm wrestling match. I was eight or so but I was sure that it would make my life complete πŸ˜›

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks πŸ™‚ It’s so frustrating not knowing, I really want to know! Lol I love that you had this great goal of being fit but it was solely so you could beat your sister at arm wrestling ?

  34. Jessica

    I finished reading the stand-alone book of the Dark Tower series called The Wind through the Keyhole by Stephen King. I’m going to starting the Vampire Academy book series by Richelle Mead. I still haven’t read the Harry Potter series. Not recently but a few years ago I read an old story of mine I wrote when I was younger and I was surprised how it was.