Update: Life and Books (4/8/18)


So, I thought I had figured out the cause for headaches I’ve been mentioning to you guys for at least a month now, but then they came back despite my avoidance of that food, so I’m still trying to figure that out.

Let’s see, other than that… I watched one episode of Peaky Blinders. I drew in my sketchbook after months of not feeling well enough to draw, but my sketches were awful. I played the orc dating sim (I mentioned it a while back) a bit more and finally managed to romance some orcs πŸ˜› I did more research on supernatural creatures, mostly djinn, and learned some interesting stuff (also started coming up with ideas for my own version of djinn for all those stories I’m neverΒ  gonna write). Visited with my grandparents a bit while they were in town. That’s about it! I’m so exciting, right?

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I’ll talk about this a bit further down the post πŸ™‚


Books I Received for Review:

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

Pack by Mike Bockoven ARC

(Yes, I do own lots of different colored tanktops, why do you ask? Also I’m sorry for the extremely bright photos, I forgot I was editing them with the brightness turned way down on my computer.)

Regen by Cassie Greutman
Temper by Nicky Drayden
Bound for the Forest by Kay Berrisford
The Gorgon Bride by Galen Surlak-Ramsey

4/1/18: Funny story about This Monstrous Thing. I recently reread Frankenstein and decided I wanted all the retellings, so I added this one to my TBR, and then a few days later I just so happened to come across a tweet from an agent offering review copies with a photo showing the books she has, and she just so happened to have This Monstrous Thing! The book stars were aligned for me that day. So that one’s from Rebecca Podos. Regen is from the author. Temper is from Edelweiss. (My first actual EW approval! Either my perseverance has finally paid off or someone’s finger slipped, but either way, I’m excited for the book!) Bound for the Forest and The Gorgon Bride are from NetGalley.

4/8/18: Pack is from Talos Press.


Books I Finished:

Kelpie Blue by Mell Eight
School for Psychics by K.C. Archer
The Ghost on My Couch by L.A. Gilbert
The Raging Ones by Kristina & Becca Ritchie

4/1/18: Kelpie Blue was perfect for my mood, and I really enjoyed it! School for Psychics was pretty good, and I loved how realistically flawed the characters were.

4/8/18: The Ghost on My Couch was sweet, but it had a few sexist/ableist sentences/words scattered throughout. The Raging Ones had great characters and relationship dynamics, and I’m already looking forward to the sequel even though *this* book doesn’t even come out until August lol.


What I’m Loving:

This week, what I’m loving is…

Bookmail & My Twitter Followers

I know, choosing bookish/bloggy stuff kind of defeats the purpose of this section since this is supposed to be a chance for me to talk about something non-bookish. But I’ve been struggling some, and these are the things that have kept my spirits up. I’m still feeling so happy/excited/grateful for all the bookmail I’ve gotten lately, and I feel like I’ve been getting more interaction on Twitter which makes me happy too since I love connecting with other book lovers over there. If you’re not following me on Twitter yet, you totally should πŸ˜‰ #ShamelessSelfPromotion I follow back book bloggers! And I tweet about books and supernatural creatures and TBRs and disappearing spider bodies (ok, the disappearing spider body was a one time thing… hopefully).


In Case You Missed It:

– I reviewed The Devil’s Standoff by V.S. McGrath, a unique blend of magic and western.
– I talked about why I love graphic novels and comics.
– I reviewed The Blood Curse by Annette Marie, a gripping urban fantasy that was a great finale to the trilogy.

– I shared some April/May 2018 sci-fi/fantasy releases to get excited about.
– I reviewed School for Psychics by K.C. Archer, an NA urban fantasy with realistically flawed characters.
– I asked what your definition of mood reading is.
– I shared mini reviews for three LGBT+ paranormal/urban fantasy books (Caroline’s Heart, Kelpie Blue, and Stake Sauce).


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?
Do you like using Twitter?


Your Thoughts


78 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (4/8/18)

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  1. Lorna

    I love twitter and find myself kind of addicted to it. And I am really sorry to hear you are still having headaches! Maybe allergies? I get headaches from that at times. What did you think about Peaky Blinders? I keep seeing it listed but I don’t think?I would like it. Not sure.
    Enjoy your book mail!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I used to not “get” Twitter, but now I love it lol. Thank you <3 I'm still working on figuring out the headaches. I'm actually on like Season 2 of Peaky Blinders! I just hadn't watched it in a while cuz of the headaches. So I like it! Then again, I started watching it because I like Cillian Murphy, so I could be biased lol. Thanks!

  2. Sophie Eloy

    Damn I am sorry for your headaches! My daughter has frequent migraines for 11 years now. We investigated and tried everything to no avail. I feel you! Now Twitter is the one social media that I follow…erratically so don’t be surprised if you don’t see me commenting. Happy Sunday!

  3. Greg

    Orc dating! I feel like that would be a fun sim? I probably mentioned this before, but how cool would it be to have a urban fantasy dating sim (or just a sim in general?). I mean orcs are awesome, but to have vamps and fae and whatever… I could lose hours on that. πŸ™‚

    Djinn are kinda fascinating too, especially all the different kinds of geniekind.

    The Gorgon Bride- what a cover. Not just because she’s green and scantily clad (although the green doesn’t hurt) but the snakes too? that’s just a badass cover.

    I like your full moon/ werewolf tweet, how did I miss that one???

    1. Kristen Burns

      I literally just finished commenting on your post lol. I’m sure I would end up spending money if someone created a dating sim with vampires, haha.

      They are! There are so many different types of djinn and everything!

      I love that cover too! Not only is it badass, it’s gorgeous artwork. I noticed you had a gorgon in your post this week because it made me think of this book.

      It’s so hard to keep up with things on Twitter, tweets just get lost in the chaos!

      1. Greg

        I think I would too! Vamps would be awesome, but lycanthropes and shape shifters, faery folk…man the possibilities would be endless. I feel like this game needs to exist. πŸ™‚ There could even be a biting scale- you know good biter, bad biter, etc. Needs work biting lol. I imagine someone would protest it though- you know dating paranormals???? *sigh*

        1. Kristen Burns

          This dating sim was basically like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but on a computer with some pictures. Idk what others are like, but a whole fully-fledged thing with different supes you can date would be amazing! “Needs work biting” lmao. Eh, people complain about everything. They could protest while we have fun lol.

  4. Miggs

    I’ll follow you on Twitter! Just don’t follow me back; I originally created my account to all my book-related fun goings-on, but it quickly became a place of angry, political retweets. I’m going to try and be more of a beacon of positivity than a lighting bolt of disgruntlement, so steer clear of my account for now.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oops, I just followed you back before I saw this! Do you want me to unfollow you for now? I don’t mind hanging around until you find your bookish Twitter groove, but I don’t want to make you uncomfortable or anything!

      1. Miggs

        Nawww, you’re fine. Just don’t let the occasional angry non-book retweet turn you off. I’m usually a happy person.

        1. Kristen Burns

          It’s all good, I sometimes tweet less-happy non-bookish things too, I’ve just been trying to stay more positive on Twitter and my blog lately πŸ™‚

  5. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

    Damn headaches.. I have one right now, actually. Maybe it’s more than one food that causes it? I have also had the hardest time figuring out the cause of my allergies that way -.- there are just too many factors. Life isn’t that easy to compartmentalize.

    Also, loved your tweets πŸ˜€

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m thinking it might be more than one food. Or something more broad that’s in multiple ingredients. Seriously, it’s so hard to figure things like this out cuz there are so many factors!

  6. sjhigbee

    Sorry about the setback regarding your headaches – though, speaking from experience, I find that although chocolate and dairy can bring on a migraine, there are also times when stress is the issue. So it may well be that the food could be a culprit – just not the ONLY problem…
    I like the sound of the djinn stories you are researching – so you need to sit down and write them, anyway:)). Have a good week, Kristen.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yes, I think it might be a combination of things at this point. There are so many factors, and that’s what makes these things so hard to figure out.

      Djinn are so interesting! One day I will have to sit down and finally write some of these stories in my head lol. Thanks, you too πŸ™‚

  7. Sam@WLABB

    I swear I keep doing Can’t-Wait Wednesday posts because the book-star alignment thing. You put it on your TBR, and BOOM! You get the book. I cannot tell you how many times I have posted a CWW, and then I got approved for the book.

  8. Wattle

    I really need to watch Peaky Blinders. I have the first two seasons on my shelf, I’ve just not got around to it (a travesty, given how much I like Cillian Murphy haha)

    I hope you can figure out the source of your headaches πŸ™ I used to get chronic ones but was put on a medication for it, now I just get them with weather changes (and stress) ugh.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m on Season 2, I think, I just hadn’t watched it in a while. It’s good! And honestly Cillian Murphy is, like, 100% of the reason I started watching it, haha.

      Thanks <3

  9. S. J. Pajonas

    Oh damn. I was hoping you’d have found what is causing these headaches! Maybe it’s time to look into supernatural answers. πŸ™‚ (If only that were possible.) I love the covers on those two books you recently acquired! They’re striking.

  10. Tiffany @ I Was Angelized_1st

    Your tweets are funny! Sorry you’re feeling under the weather. Migraines are the worst! Do you think it could be allergy related? The weather seemed to keep flip-flopping from hot to cold most places, and sinus issues could be causing them. That’s what turned out to be the cause of my colds. I hope this week is headache free.

  11. Michelle @Because Reading

    Hope your headaches go way. Those are no fun, have you tried seeing an ENT? I get very bad sinus headaches and sometimes they are so bad it feels like my head exploded…fun times. I need to go back to my ENT to get it fixed but need to get some money first to do that so I feel your pain.

    I hope you enjoy This Monstrous Thing, I read that a while ago and it was pretty good. Different but I enjoyed it.

  12. Lola

    I am sorry to hear that your headaches came back despite you avoiding the food you thought caused it. Headaches are a pain. I hope you can figure out what’s causing them. That’s nice you did some sketching and have some ideas for your own version of djinn. I hope you get around to writing some of those stories you have ideas for.

    Nice haul of new books! Temper sounds interesting! And that’s great you managed to get a copy of This Monstrous Thing as the agent was offering review copies.

    I am not on twitter as much, although I have an author and blogger list that I try to check once in a while. I always like reading your tweets. I hardly ever tweet, except for the links to my blog posts as I never seem to know what to say. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks <3 I really want to write these damn stories lol. I just keep being so tired and getting stuck trying to figure things out...

      I'm so excited for Temper! And it was so perfect that she had copies of This Monstrous Thing, I'm excited for that too!

      Thanks πŸ™‚ I used to not know what to say, then I just started tweeting the random thoughts I had, and eventually I got the hang of it (not that I'm super popular or anything, just that I feel comfortable using Twitter now). You have a great week too!

  13. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    Yay for all the fun book mail. A couple bloggers sent me some ARCs they had and I’m so excited! Love bookish blogger friends. πŸ™‚ Ooh that’s awesome you got This Monstrous Thing. I need to read that one still! I just love Mackenzi.

    And your Twitter is awesome. I love following you. πŸ™‚


  14. Luna & Saturn

    We hope your headaches get a lot better soon! It’s always incredibly frustrating when health issues get in the way, so we hope you find the cause of it, and will be able to treat it soon. Oooh, hopefully we’ll be able to read your djinn story one day. Love your brightly coloured tank tops, we have one in almost every colour of the rainbow + more πŸ™‚ Take care of yourself <3

    ~ Luna & Saturn @ Pendragons

  15. Aimee (Aimee, Always)

    I really hope your headache goes away, Kristen. πŸ™ On the other hand, so happy for you for getting This Monstrous Thing! I vaguely recall getting an eARC of it, but never getting around to read it. Whoops. I might just read it if you end up enjoying it, though. πŸ˜‰ And I’m SOOO glad you enjoyed The Raging Ones! Krista & Becca are some of my all-time favorite authors.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 Ah, well, hopefully I will like This Monstrous Thing, and maybe I'll be able to convince you to read it too πŸ˜‰ I assume you'll be reading The Raging Ones too? I'll look forward to your thoughts!

  16. Erica Robyn

    Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear that the food avoidance didn’t do the trick… I hope you figure it out soon! Headaches are no fun. I tend to get stress migraines… so I totally feel your pain <3

  17. Stephanie Jane

    I love when bookish stars align! I had that a couple of months ago when I needed a 5th Dutch book for my WorldReads. And Twitter provided πŸ™‚

    And, from your enthusiasm, I tried a graphic novel! And it was good so many thanks for introducing me to the genre. The GN was Perfect World by Rie Aruga and it’s about a wheelchair-bound Japanese architect.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s such a good feeling when things just turn out perfectly πŸ™‚

      Ooh, yay, I’m so glad to hear you tried a GN and liked it! And it sounds like a really interesting and diverse one too! I’ll check out your review.

  18. Bookworm Brandee

    Oof! I’m sorry your headaches reappeared. I’ve had one for the last week but *sigh* it’s only hormones in my case. :/ Congrats on such a good book haul week! That is exciting!! πŸ™‚ You got me curious enough about The Raging Ones I went to check it out. I rather like the Ritchie sisters so I’m intrigued with something new! I hope you have a great week, Kristen!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks. I hope your headache goes away soon, regardless of the cause <3 Thanks, I'm definitely excited about my haul! I feel like you'd like The Raging Ones. Thanks, same to you!

  19. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Sounds like you had a great reading week but bummer about the headaches. I read This Monstrous Thing a few years back when it first came out and really enjoyed it. I was sick over the weekend but I slept a lot, OD’d on Vitamin C and took some power Mucinex so I don’t think it’s going to get a bad as it could. I ended up reading a chick lit book between sleeping which is out of character for me but just what I needed. Have you read Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden? I liked it a lot as well.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I can’t wait to try This Monstrous Thing, glad to hear you liked it! Aww, sorry you were sick. Feel better soon! Sometimes our reading moods end up taking unexpected turns. Glad you enjoyed the chick lit! I haven’t read Prey of Gods, but I’m seriously excited for Temper! (And it was your blog where I first saw that one!)

  20. Daniela Ark

    oh sorry to hear the headaches came back! Hope you were feeling well enough to enjoy your grandparents!
    So happy for all your twitter life though.. I know we have an open relationship but I sometimes worry my love!
    omg your pictures with your physical copies give my skin such a envy green tone πŸ™‚
    I cannot wait to get Erin’s so I can show off my pic too LOL #AmSoMature X-P
    and I should NOT looked at your sidebar! Now I’m so anxious knowing that you are reading HD3!! And I’ll be scanning all your posts and comment replies to make sure I don’t read ANYTHING about HD3!! I don’t want to know [twist her hands] LOL

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks, I was able to visit a bit!

      Don’t you worry, our relationship is rock solid, wifey πŸ˜‰

      Lol well I cannot wait to see your picture of Erin’s book!

      Ahhh you should read it now so we can talk about it!

  21. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    Ugh, sorry the answer you thought you had for the headaches didn’t turn out to be the right one. Sure hope you find some relief soon. I’ve never read anything about djinn so I’m completely clueless about them. I’m excited to see that you enjoyed The Raging Ones! I haven’t started it yet but it’ll happen soon.

    1. Kristen Burns

      The good thing about retellings is that they can still be good even if you don’t like the original! I didn’t totally love Frankenstein, but I like the idea. Which is how I feel about multiple classics and why I really want retellings of them.

  22. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Sorry your headaches have returned, it sucks when you thought you might have found the cause. It’s obviously a trial and error kind of things. Fingers crossed you find it soon because I know I find headaches to be the worst because feel like you just can’t do anything. Yay for the stars aligning for you to get a book you’d had your eyes on. I love when stuff like that happens, it feels like it was meant to be for you to read a book.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks. I’ve actually managed to keep them away recently by avoiding lots of foods, but I’m still trying to pinpoint exactly which ingredient or multiple ingredients were the cause. So still lots of annoying trial and error. Right? I was so excited about that book!

  23. Sam @ Spines in a Line

    I didn’t even realize those were tank tops at first but they match really well! Frankenstein is one of my favourites and I’d love to read some retellings. Are there others you’ve read as well?

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I just wanted to take a pretty picture with a match-y background, but I have no props, so I decided to try using my various colored tank tops, and thank you, I thought it turned out surprisingly well too! πŸ˜› I haven’t read any yet, but I’m currently reading This Monstrous Thing and have more on my tbr (Cadaver and Queen, This Dark Endeavor).

  24. Di @ Book Reviews By Di

    Hey Kristin. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about those darned headaches! That is NOT cool.

    Just for fun… My favourite books with djinni are the Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine and also The Rebel of the Sands series by Alwyn Hamilton… πŸ˜‰ Just FYI.

    I hope you’re on top of the headaches again soon or at least they give you some reprieve! Hope you’re having a good week.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks <3

      I've seen Rebel of the Sands around a lot but only the other day looked into it more and decided I want to read it! Glad to hear you liked it πŸ™‚

      Thank you, same to you!

  25. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    I’m so sorry to hear that your headaches have returned. I hope that you’re able to figure out what’s causing them once and for all.

    That’s so great you got your first Edelweiss approval. I’ve pretty much given up on ever getting approved by them, lol.

  26. Olivia Roach

    Me and Twitter are besties. I absolutely love it, and I only discovered how much I loved it a few months back.

    Ah, bummer about the headaches coming back πŸ™ I really hope you feel well enough to get back into drawing again soon as well…

    As for the review copies in, I have had a copy of This Monstrous Thing for ages and haven’t read it yet!! I’ll be curious to see what you think. I liked her second novel, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue so much, which makes me all the more hopeful for this Frankenstein monster twist :3

    1. Kristen Burns

      Twitter is great! I also didn’t really “get” it until fairly recently. Now I love it!

      Thank you <3

      Ooh well I'm reading This Monstrous Thing right now and it's kind of slow but good. If you do end up reading it, I'll be looking forward to your thoughts too! I haven't read Gentleman's Guide but have heard so many great things!