Update: Life and Books (7/1/18)


Another two weeks has gone by, and I still have no real life news (well, no good or exciting news anyway).

But hey, it’s July! That’s something, right?

Ugh. Ok, I’m just gonna end this terrible intro. Go forth and check out the bookish stuff!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I mentioned in my last post that I won some giveaways and had some ARCs coming my way, and some of them arrived! I won Nyxia in a Goodreads giveaway, I won The Last Werewolf in a giveaway from Fantasy Literature, and The Last Sun is from Pyr! My review for The Last Sun goes up tomorrow—you should check it out because the book was amazing! Also I’m not going to have a good day tomorrow, so comments would cheer me up 🙂

The Last Sun by K. D. EdwardsNyxia by Scott ReintgenThe Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

I also adjusted things so that books on my Books with Disability list will show up in the search on my blog now! And so they fit in with the other posts on the results page. Here’s an example of how it looks. I feel like most of my fellow book bloggers don’t do a lot of coding, but I just love the feeling of having a challenge every time I set out to do something new, the creativity that it sometimes takes to figure out how to make it happen, and then the feeling of accomplishment when I actually do it.

One more thing, if you link to your Amazon profile anywhere, you should check the link because I think they changed the URLs.


Books I Received for Review:

Wanting the Wolfman by Louise Collins
Twice Bitten by Rayna Vause
Incubus Honeymoon by August Li
The Last Sun by K. D. Edwards
What Fate Portends by Clara Coulson

6/24/17: Wanting the Wolfman, Incubus Honeymoon, and Twice Bitten are from Dreamspinner. The Last Sun is from Pyr.

7/1/18: What Fate Portends is from the author.


Books I Finished:

Space Unicorn Blues by TJ Berry
Wanting the Wolfman by Louise Collins
What Fate Portends by Clara Coulson
The Last Sun by K. D. Edwards
Spinning Silk by T. Cook

6/24/17: Space Unicorn Blues was not bad, but it ended up being not quite right for me. Wanting the Wolfman was an enjoyable light PNR with great disability rep.

7/1/18: What Fate Portends was a good start to a new urban fantasy series. The Last Sun was amazing! Spinning Silk didn’t have as much of the supernatural element as I’d wanted it to.


What I’m Loving:

This week, what I’m loving is…

Zumbo’s Just Desserts

I started watching this show on Netflix. It’s a baking show, but it’s like a Willy Wonka reality show. Everything is so colorful and unique! The editing annoys me because of how they hardly even show some of the desserts, but it’s a fun show.


Yes, literally just pickles. I went years without pickles, partly because of health reasons, partly because I kinda forgot about them after a while, and partly because it just never really occurred to me that, as an adult doing my own grocery shopping, I could go out to the store and buy a jar of pickles whenever I damn well pleased. It was like I thought pickles just spawned at Fuddruckers and sub shops. Has that ever happened to you? There are some foods I spent my whole life being so excited to eat on the few special occasions I got them that it took a long time to occur to me that I could just go buy them myself once I was an adult. Anyway, pickles are delicious (even though I think they contribute to my headaches too and I can only eat like one pickle spear every so often).


In Case You Missed It:

– I reviewed Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes, a sweet, humorous, unique vampire book.
– I reviewed Monster Prom by Beautiful Glitch, a fun, silly interactive game about getting a date at a monster-filled high school.

– I shared black, white, and yellow book covers.
– I reviewed Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones, a gritty werewolf book with touching family relationships.
– I talked about discussing sex scenes in book reviews.
– I reviewed Wanting the Wolfman by Louise Collins, a light M/M PNR with great disability rep.


The Sunday Post Link-Up:

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


Talk to me!

Do you have any exciting news from the past two weeks?
Do you like pickles as much as I do?
How about baking shows?


Your Thoughts


66 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (7/1/18)

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    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m so glad I tried it! I feel like it’s getting harder for me to find great UF series, so I’m looking forward to more of this one. And that bodes well for me if you liked The Last Werewolf!

  1. imyril

    PICKLES <3

    In my family, 'pickles' on its own means gherkins (pickled cucumbers) and I somehow grew up convinced I didn't like them. Or beetroot (especially pickled beetroot; which was the only form of beetroot that showed up at our house). Oh no, _I_ only liked pickled onions (but I LOVED those).

    …I'm still really not sure how I reached these conclusions, because I adore all things pickled as it turns out. And beetroots are wonderful veg regardless of their pickled status. I remain indebted to my vegetarian houseguest who cooked me a dinner of potatos and beets I was too polite not to eat and then not so polite I wouldn't go back for seconds because it was soooo good.

    But you're right – I forget about pickles for ages, especially in winter. Luckily they don't give me headaches though, so I can binge when I remember.

    Yum, vinegar.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I was so confused because I was sitting here thinking, aren’t all pickles made from cucumbers??? But I Googled, and it turns out this is a regional thing lol. In the US, pickles generally refers to cucumbers, not other pickled foods. Gherkin is more of a UK thing. To be honest, I’ve never even tried any other types of pickled foods! I’ve never tried beetroot either, but now I’m curious!

  2. Greg

    Lol don’t intros suck? Sometimes my Sunday Posts practically write themselves (not often) and other weeks I’m like… what interesting news do I have to share? *crickets*

    Nyxia looks really good, I was looking that one over with my renewed interest in space stuff this year. Bummer about Space Unicorn Blues…

    I love a good pickle spear with a sandwich or a yummy sub, but I can’t stand like the little round pickles you get at some crappy fast food place. Does that even make sense? Like I just had the best sandwich on vacation last week at this little place, and a pickle with it- man that shit was good. I wanted to go back the next day lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Seriously, sometimes I just have nothing to talk about!

      I feel like I’m not in the mood for space stuff *that* often, so it might be a while before I get to it, esp since I did just read Space Unicorn Blues lol.

      I like the little slices because they still have a good flavor, but the spears are the best because they have that CRUNCH!

  3. Angie Elle

    You know, my mother and I were just talking about what I had in my pantry the other day, and it’s so funny. When I first moved out, I branched out a lot from what my parents had bought for groceries, but I eventually reverted to things they always bought. We were a meat, potatoes, and veggies for supper kind of family, and I’m all about that again. LOL

    I had a friend who used to love finishing off a jar of pickles just to drink the juice. It used to gross me out as a kid, and it does even more now!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol that’s funny how you just kind of get used to certain things and end up sticking with them even when you don’t have to.

      Eww! That’s just, like, flavored vinegar???!

  4. Angela

    I love a good pickle! Yeah, that’s definitely one of the perks about being an adult, is that you can basically eat what you want, when you want (I mean, within moderation). Like, I just don’t like kale, so I tell my husband, I don’t care if it’s good for me, I don’t like it and no one can force me to eat it anymore.

    1. Kristen Burns

      They’re delicious! Agreed, just because something is good for you, you def don’t have to eat it. Lots of things are good for you. There are other ways to get the nutrients! Tbh I’ve only had kale mixed into other meals, so I’m not even sure what it tastes like!

  5. Sam@WLABB

    Congratulations on the book wins. I love winning stuff. And pickles. Seriously, they among one of my favorite foods. Half sours are my favorite, incase you were wondering. Zumbo sounds intriguing. I had never heard of it, but earning a Wonka comparison makes it worth a look.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Winning stuff is the best XD I absolutely love pickles too. Like, as a kid/teen, I literally used to just get a pile of them any time my family went to Fuddrucker where there was this topping bar and just eat my whole little pile of pickles lol. Idk what a half sour is though?? I just like the plain dill ones. The show is a lot of fun!

  6. Suz

    I looooove the cover on Nyxia. Will look forward to your review on that one.

    I am in awe that you can do your own coding. Your site always looks very professional – now I know why.

    PS. I love pickles.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is a pretty book!

      Aww, thank you! I’m too much of a perfectionist to not have learned how to make it look and function exactly how I want, haha.


  7. Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    Great books this week! I’ve actually seen Spinning Silk around a couple times, so maybe I’ll finally check it out. I haven’t heard of Zumbo’s Just Desserts, but that sounds awesome! Have a great week 😀

  8. Annemieke

    I couldn’t get past the first 30 pages of Space Unicorn Blues. I rarely have that so when it does happen I have to listen to myself. It was sadly a dnf. Still I think I’ll keep an eye on what the author will read in the future. The writing itself wasn’t bad.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Tbh, I had to force myself to read a certain amount each day to get through it, but there were reasons that I didn’t want to DNF. But yeah, I’d also be willing to try something else by the author. I didn’t have a problem with the writing either.

  9. Samantha

    Oh I love Pickles!! But, I know the salt content can give some people headaches for sure! Hopefully you are able to enjoy at least one without pain!

  10. JJ @ This Dark Material

    Mmm, pickles…I found a recipe for quick fridge pickles that only take an hour or two to brine, so I’ve been indulging a lot lately! And congrats on the giveaway wins! I’ve had a little luck on Goodreads, but nothing recently. Hope you have a great week 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      That does seem quick! I’ve never had homemade pickles, now I wonder if they might taste a little different. Thanks! I’ve won a few things from GR over the years, but then, I do enter a lot of giveaways lol. Thanks, you too 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m still not really sure what I’m actually seeing on the cover of Spinning Silk, but I like it too! I have Nailed It saved to watch after I finish Zumbo’s because it looks hilarious, haha.

  11. Luna & Saturn

    Congrats on winning all those books 🙂 And we hope that tomorrow ends up good for you. Perhaps you could try some of Zumbo’s Just Desserts? We know it’s in the city for us and we’ve seen it a few times, but it looks way better on TV than in real life. So glad you’re into coding – we definitely try, but it’s so easy to stuff up. Hope the week treats you well!

    ~ Luna & Saturn @ Pendragons

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! I probably will end up watching some of Zumbo’s 🙂 Foods that have been made to look perfect for a photo or show probably do always look better than the real thing lol. It is really easy to screw things up while coding because a single missing bracket or rogue semicolon can break your whole site, but I make sure to test things as I go and save things so that if I see I’ve broken my site, I can undo it immediately! Thank you 🙂

  12. Dani

    What Fate Portends sounds intriguing. Love the idea of a new urban fantasy. Nyxia is looking too.
    Love pickles, especially the stackers – bread & butter ones. I have a hard time finding them, usually they only have dill. Great post! ♥️

  13. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Hey Kristen! First of all and possibly most importantly – you’re reading Rebel????????? Squeee. I hope you love it. It took me a while to get into the first book =but once I started reading in a bit of a Western drawl, that helped. 😀

    Thanks for the heads up about the amazon links and I hope you have a good July. I will also hopefully be around a bit more for chats!

  14. Lola

    Sorry to hear you won’t be having a good day today. That’s awesome you got some psychical copies and ARC’s! Nice pictures!

    I don’t do a lot of coding, but I have managed to fix a few small things on my own blog/ site and it is a great feeling when you can figure it out and fix it. That’s pretty neat your disability post now shows up whenever you do a search for a book title that’s on it.

    I saw your tweet about the changed Amazon profile, but haven’t checked yet. I am pretty sure I have my link listed in a few places so I’ll have to check. I did try an author page link, which seemed to redirect automatically to the new one, at least for now.

    Too bad the space unicorn book wasn’t quite for you. I saw that What fate Portends book somewhere this week, but wans’t sure if it was for me.

    I don’t really care for pickles. But that is the fun part of being an adult that you can just go out and buy whatever you want. And I do seem to forget that sometimes as well. I am recently liking a certain type of licorice shaped like mats. I think they actually help a bit against my headaches, so that’s good too. I hope you have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 At least I will have books to make me feel better later 😛

      I really do love the feeling when I'm able to do something with coding, even if it's just something small. I'm happy with the idea I came up with for the disability list books!

      Who knows. I know my link worked before and then stopped working the other day, but maybe I was linking wrong so it didn't redirect or something. Figured it's better to just let people know!

      I don't think you would dislike What Fate Portends. Like, I don't know if you'd end up loving it, but I don't think you'd dislike it.

      It's funny how we forget that sometimes lol. That's awesome if those licorice help with your headaches! Thanks, you too 🙂

  15. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    Hooray for the book wins! Book mail is always the best mail.
    I love me some pickles. Dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, gherkins… bring ‘em on.
    I remember having that whole “I’m an adult and can buy what I want” epiphany. I went through a period of buying really junky cereals… because I could. (Cookie Crisp, anyone?) I guess adulting does have a few perks here and there.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Book mail really is the best!

      Yay fellow pickle lover! Although I actually hate the bread and butter ones. Just dill for me!

      For me it’s like it still comes with new foods over time. I was in college when I realized I could have salami whenever I wanted. For a while, I swear I went to the deli and bought like a pound of salami a week. But pickles didn’t occur to me until now lol.

  16. Karen

    Sorry to hear about Space Unicorn Blues. I know you were really looking forward to that one.

    I love pickles even though I don’t have them often. I’m not really supposed to eat them but there are SO many kinds now! All these specialty pickles – even in Publix.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, it was a bummer. But I’ve still got another highly anticipated book coming up, hopefully it’ll turn out better!

      I just like the regular ol’ dill pickles 🙂

  17. ShootingStarsMag

    I’m currently watching the Wedding Cake Baking Championship and it’s a lot of fun. I do love a good baking show. I’m curious about Nailed It, on Netflix I think?


  18. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    Writing intros are the worst. I’m always typing and thinking ‘OMG, my life is so boring. No one wants to read about this.’

    Zumbo’s Just Desserts sounds like a fun show. I hadn’t come across it yet on Netflix but it sounds like something I would enjoy 🙂

  19. kristina

    Ohh yes I love pickles !
    When I was a child Id get the huge bocals ones with aneth inside too.. and just eat 2/3 of them at a time xD

    I also don’t specially have anything to share .. Today’s been a month me and my boyfriend has been dating, however he’s still away with his parents until saturday xD

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m not sure what those types of pickles are that you talked about, but pickles are definitely delicious!

      Aww sorry your boyfriend is away, but congrats on a month!

  20. Danya @ Fine Print

    The Last Sun has such a pretty cover! I’ve really liked everything I’ve read from Pyr so far, so I’m happy to hear that it was such a good read for you. I totally hear you re: figuring out a bug with your code and the satisfaction you feel when your hard work pays off. I think the major one for me was figuring out how to optimize the search function on my blog.

    Big pickle fan too, especially during bbq season. A burger just isn’t the same for me without a pickle! 😄

    1. Kristen Burns

      It does have a pretty cover! I think this was my second thing from Pyr (I like the Black City Saint series), and I’m realizing that I should read some more Pyr books. Yes! There’s so much satisfaction with coding when you figure it out! My search function… I’ve fixed it so the search includes tags and stuff like that, but it takes really long, and idk how to fix that, so :-/

      Pickles are so good!

  21. Olivia Roach

    I love that three of the books you received for review are also on your recently read list. Like, you have no idea how good of a habit it is that you read your review books immediately! I wish I could be the same way 🙁

    1. Kristen Burns

      Hahahaha I still have review copies from 2016 😂 It honestly just depends on my mood and release dates since I do try to get books reviewed in time when they’re ARCs.