Update: Life and Books (Apr 2019)


Another month has gone by, and I don’t want to talk about “real life” at the moment because it’s not going great, so we’ll just stick to positives in this update!

I do have a favor to ask though. If you ever shop Amazon US, I would appreciate it so much if you could use my affiliate links! They’re all over my blog, including this post (the book covers). It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but I would make a small amount of money, and it would really help me out. I also have affiliate links for a couple other sites, which you can find on my about page.

Now that that’s out of the way… I haven’t done much art for the past few weeks because I haven’t had the motivation, but I did complete one early in April of my purple vampire bae, Liam (my favorite character from Monster Prom).

Monster Prom Liam

And I mentioned last time that I had another one I wasn’t quite ready to share, and that’s because I was saving it for Mermay and wanted to share on Twitter first 😛 So here you go, a deep sea merman! He’s swimming up from deep in the ocean and meeting a human for the first time. I’m actually really happy with how this one turned out. I also have a version with all black eyes since that’s how I picture my version of deep sea merfolk, but the normal eyes show his expression better.

Deep Sea Merman

Deep Sea Merman with Black Eyes by @whykristenburns

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I won two giveaways! It’s like the universe knew I needed something good to happen. I don’t have either book yet, but I’ll be getting The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad from @ImogenTypes and an ARC of Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron from a Goodreads giveaway. I featured both of these in my May/June releases to get excited about post, so… I’m excited to read them!


Books I Received for Review:

The Last Hope by Krista & Becca RitchieSilver in the Wood by Emily TeshSoul of the Sword by Julie KagawaKingdoms of the Cursed by Greg KeyesHell Divers V: Captives by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

I got an email with a NetGalley widget for The Last Hope, so that was a pleasant surprise! Silver in the Wood and Soul of the Sword are also from NetGalley. Kingdoms of the Cursed and Captives are from Edelweiss.


Books I Finished:

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel AaronOne Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel AaronNo Good Dragon Goes Unpunished by Rachel AaronA Dragon of a Different Color by Rachel AaronLast Dragon Standing by Rachel AaronHuntress Moon by Bilinda SheehanKiss of the Banshee by Bilinda SheehanThe Fever King by Victoria LeeDark Heart of the Sun by S.K. RyderCorpse & Crown by Alisa Kwitney

I have been trying to make the most of my $0.99 for 3 months of KU deal. I finished and really liked the whole Heartstrikers series. I finally got to my eARC of The Fever King and really liked that one too! I also enjoyed Dark Heart of the Sun aside from one thing that bothered me (and I’ve decided to just pretend that part didn’t happen as I continue the series). And I finished up the last two audiobooks currently available in the banshee series from Hoopla, as well as the audio for Corpse & Crown, though I have kinda mixed feelings about that one.


What I’m Loving:

This month, what I’m loving is…

Videos of Kids Trying Weird Foods


I honestly never would’ve guessed this would be a genre of video I would like, but it is! Just to clarify, they are not random home videos of people forcing their kids to eat disgusting things lol. They are professional videos. Some of the kids are so cute, and it’s just fun watching them try all sorts of different popular foods from the past and different countries and whatnot.


In Case You Missed It:

Here are the highlights:

– I reviewed Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron, a fun and action-packed start to a dragon-filled UF series.
– I shared book covers featuring faces.
– I shared three quick, free games to make you smile.
– I shared book covers featuring flowers.
– I reviewed Smut Peddler Presents: Sex Machine, a super fun erotic comic anthology about robots.
– I reviewed The Fever King by Victoria Lee, an intense YA sci-fi with flawed characters and relevant topics.
– I shared May/June SFF book releases to get excited about.


Talk to me!

Found any good books lately?
Do you have recs for any funny YouTube channels?
Are you enjoying the #Mermay hashtag on Twitter as much as I am?


Your Thoughts


46 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (Apr 2019)

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  1. Jackie

    Wow, that merman and those merman people are fantastic! So good. The first one with the glasses reminds me of Harry Potter. It could be one of the Mermish creatures even. You have great artistic talent! 🙂 Thanks for sharing

  2. Greg

    Love the merman and the black eyes make him look extra spooky, which I think is good for merfolk. 🙂 And hey Liam’s back lol.

    Soul of the sword looks kinda awesome.

  3. Sam@wlabb

    I did the $0.99 KU, but had too many review books. Bad timing, and the one book I really wanted to read, was removed right when I started my trial. DRAT! Congratulations on the win. I am glad the universe was generous to you.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s always bad timing for reviewers lol. I am so behind on review copies, but so far I was technically only late on one book… I’m just gonna have to read quickly when my three months are up! Thanks 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      I love binging series 🙂 Thanks! Congrats on your win too! The Last Hope is the second in what I believe is a duology (YA or NA sci-fi). I liked the first book!

  4. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    Your art is amazing. I really love the merman!

    I did the 3-month KU thing too and ended up not reading a single book from it. *hangs head*. I kind of forgot about it and then by the time I remembered, I had too many ARC books I needed to get read. I think my subscription expires at the end of May though so maybe I can squeeze a few in before then. The ones you read look really interesting.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you!!!

      Oh no lol. I have a bunch of ARCs I need to read, but I’m determined to make the most of this trial. I’ll just have to read quickly once it’s finished! You should at read read one or two books, that way you still got a good deal for $0.99!

  5. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    Love the purple vampire pic. The glasses are a nice touch. And the black eyes on the merfolk is creepy. Ack! Congrats on the giveaway wins! That’s always a nice mood lifter. 🙂 I’m kind of hooked on those videos on kids trying foods. There was a series I loved that featured the same group of kids and I got so attached. LOL

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! I was proud of myself for being able to get the glasses to look right lol. Winning giveaways is definitely a mood lifter 🙂 The videos are just so cute and entertaining! I’m glad it’s not just me who loves them!

  6. Dina

    I hope things work out in real life, but in the meantime, you are kicking butt in the drawing department. Holy heck! You are so good at picking good colors that are realistic without taking away from the supernatural component to your drawings. Like, look at that blush on the vampire’s face!!! And the shading of his hands!! This is so cool. I love the mermaid (oh, sorry, merman) drawing too! I like both options you include. Do you find drawing stressful or soothing? I haven’t drawn in ages but I was never good at it.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you!!! This comment makes me so happy <3 I find it both stressful and soothing lol. It's stressful because it's always such a STRUGGLE for me, it never seems to come easily. But I have a lot more fun with it now that I'm trying new things and actually taking ideas from my head and making them real.

  7. Angie Elle

    Thank you for sharing your art. I particularly liked the way the Merman’s tail was cut off at the end was a nice touch.

    I really want to read that Krista and Becca Ritchie series and the Julia Kagawa one!

  8. Lola

    Sorry to hear that your real life isn’t going so well :(. If you ever need someone to talk to, just let me know! I bought a few products last year I think using your affiliate link, but then forget about them again, especially as I don’t buy on Amazon as often. Next time I win a gift card and have to spend some money on Amazon I’ll try to remember to use your affiliate code.

    I love seeing your art! The merman looks so awesome! I am really enjoying following the mermay hashtag on twitter, there is so much great art on there. Your art for Liam also turned out great! I like all the details like the shading in his face, which makes him look realistic.

    Yay for winning two giveaways! And that’s nice you won them when you needed something good to happen.

    I hope you’ll enjoy The Last Hope, I don’t think I want to continue that series, but I am looking forward to your review! Those banshee audios look good, I might have to see if the subscription service I use for audiobooks has them.

    I’ll have to watch that Youtube video later as it sounds pretty fun. I hope May is a better month for you!

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s really sweet of you to be there if I want to talk, thank you <3 It's so easy to forgot to use people's links, but I appreciate it if you do remember!

      Thank you!!! The #Mermay hashtag has such amazing art already.

      Winning giveaways is always a mood lifter.

      Yeah I think I remember you being kinda meh about the first one. Hopefully I'll like the next one! I think you might like those banshee books, they're some good UF 🙂

      Thank you!

  9. S. J. Pajonas

    I’m sorry to hear that personal life is not going that great. I know the feeling. Glad you enjoyed that Dragon series. I’ve had the first book on my Kindle for ages and not read it yet!

  10. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    When real life isn’t going so great you’re welcome to avoid talking about it. I’ll be sending you good vibes to try and help all the same. And I promise to use your affiliate links when I can. Awesome drawings, I think I prefer the merman with black eyes, I know you think the expression is more obvious with normal eyes but I think a slight mystery is better and the dark eyes look much cooler.

  11. Olivia Roach

    I am seriously hoping real life starts to improve for you <3 I keep thinking about it… BUT we are focusing on the positives so let's talk about how amazing your artwork is! I am so loving the underwater photo and the glow along the tail is wonderful as well. And your purple vampire bae is divine too 😀 I can definitely see that last month you worked your way through a series! Hope it was all good x