Update: Life and Books (June 2019)


June is over! (Well, I just realized this is posting on the 30th, but close enough.) I don’t know why I said that so excitedly. I don’t have anything against June or any special affinity for July. But anyway, I did more art! I was unexpectedly inspired by the #Junicorn tag on Twitter and ended up drawing two half-unicorns. I think my dancing half-unicorn (with Vitiligo, in case anyone doesn’t know why his skin looks like that) might be my favorite picture yet. Also, I have rediscovered my love of bright, bold colors ?

Half-Unicorn Dancing

Punk Half-Unicorn

I also drew a sunflower friend! The inspiration behind this one is that J. Armand (an author whose books are great, you should check them out, I promise I liked them before I became his friend lol) has some sunflower stalks and one of them snapped in the wind but is now bandaged up and still fighting. Although since painting this, it isn’t doing so well :-/ Anyway, I haven’t actually seen it, but I drew my own interpretation with a cane to help them stand πŸ™‚

Sunflower Friend

Sunflower Friend Close-Up

Aside from making art, I watched The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (meh), Ralph Breaks the Internet (super cute), the latest Suits episodes that came out earlier this year (good), and some of the first season of Lucifer (amazing).

I started playing the first episode(?) of Life is Strange because it was free, but I just wasn’t into it. If you’ve tried it, were you into it right away, or did it take time to warm up to?

Some exciting news: I found an old Victoria’s Secret gift card hidden among my stuff that had $44 on it! So I went through the sale section on the website and managed to pay $2 for nine pairs of undies.

Aaaand I think that about covers it for non-bookish stuff!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

In case you missed this tweet:

Also, I’m now an affiliate for ChemiCloud! They’re the company I have my webhosting with. I’ve mentioned them before but wanted to mention them again because I am soooo much happier with them than I was with my last host. Their prices are so affordable (the best that I found for what they’re giving you when it comes to basic hosting, at least when I did my research) and their customer service is fantastic. I feel so comfortable using the live chat any time I have a question because they’re always so friendly and helpful. Because I want to be honest, I will say that in the beginning, my site would have a few minutes of downtime maybe once a month, but I haven’t had any downtime for months now (all this is according to Jetpack), so I think they’ve improved on that. I honestly do recommend looking into this company if you’re looking for hosting. Here’s my affiliate link if anyone is interested, and you’ll be able to find it whenever you want (along with all my other affiliate links) on my about page πŸ™‚


Books I Received for Review:

Unbound by Adrew MaliAntiquity's Gate by R.F. HurteauThe True Bastards by Jonathan FrenchTin Crickets by Joseph WiseThe Many Adventures of Peter & Fi by Kelvyn FernandesDark Awakening by S.K. Ryder

Three Days Till Dawn and The True Bastards are from NetGalley. Tin Crickets is from BookSirens. The rest are from the authors.


Books I Finished:

His Consort by Mary CalmesSoul of the Sword by Julie KagawaCaptives by Nicholas Sansbury SmithKingdoms of the Cursed by Greg KeyesCaged by Bey DeckardTin Crickets by Joseph WiseThe Beast Without by Christian BainesThe Orchard of Flesh by Christian Baines

I found my first 5-star book of the year! It only took me six months! And it’s a book I never would’ve expected to be a 5-star for me. It was an audiobook about pirates who are really shitty people but really interesting characters who have lots of sex and some of the most unhealthy relationships I’ve ever read about. And I love them. (The book is Caged by Bey Deckard.)

As for all the other books… I listened to the audio for His Consort, and I don’t think there was anything I liked about it, so I probably won’t review that one. Soul of the Sword and Captives were both great additions to their series! I had a hard time getting into Kingdoms of the Cursed despite really liking the first book. Tin Crickets was more horror than I was expecting (as opposed to dystopian), but it was pretty good. The Beast Without and The Orchard of Flesh were rereads to refresh my memory for the third book, and I think I enjoyed them even more the second time.


What I’m Loving:

This month, what I’m loving is…


Wow, that sounds really weird out of context lol. I’m talking about the Netflix show, not the actual fallen angel. The show is soooo good! I’m still only in Season 1, but it cracks me up so much, and Lucifer is such an entertaining and interesting character. I’m loving me some morally gray characters lately. Really liking all the characters, actually.

“Nightmare” by Halsey

Specifically, this live performance. I just love it.


In Case You Missed It:

Here are the highlights:

– I shared 10 LGBT+ sci-fi/fantasy books by LGBT+ authors.
– I reviewed Captives by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, another amazing book in this intense post-apoc series that gave me feels.
– I had a guest post by author Tracy Townsend about unique relationships among characters.
– I shared 5 sci-fi/fantasy books set in the Old West.
– I reviewed A Ferry of Bones & Gold by Hailey Turner, a great start to a m/m urban fantasy series about mages, shifters, and gods.
– I shared book covers featuring wolf silhouettes.


Talk to me!

Have you found any good books, movies, shows, or songs lately?
Have you watched Lucifer???
How many 5-star books have you found so far this year? (I know I'm prob weird for only having one.)


Your Thoughts


30 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (June 2019)

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  1. Greg

    Yeah June kinda flew by I’m thinking, not so much at first but man, now that it’s over and all of a sudden the 4th is THIS week… I’m kinda like whoah that was fast. I like the sunflower dude. He looks like he’s communing w/ nature there… πŸ™‚

    Halsey’s pretty badass all the way around.

  2. Deborah

    Hey there! I’m linking up after a long time though not sure it’ll be a regular thing. I don’t seem to have my act together!

    I envy those people who use Goodreads properly as I’m too lazy to use it for anything other than tracking my reading. I’m not even going back and posting reviews there any more. (Unless NetGalley does it for me automatically!)

    Hope you’re doing well. xx

    PS. Hadn’t seen that live performance. It is great!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Hey! It has been a while!

      I used to use GR more, now I mostly just post my reviews and look at other reviews when I’m interested in a book. *shrug* Whatever works for you!

      Same to you πŸ™‚

      Isn’t it?!?!

  3. Laura Thomas

    Wow. You had a great week with everything! Your art is fascinating. I wish I was that creative. And I spy a few books I’ll be checking out. Have a great week!

  4. Roberta R.

    The dancing unicorn is my favourite!

    $2 for nine pairs of undies? It sounds like a great deal LOL.

    As usual, you managed to snatch a bunch of unusual books! There is so much stuff out there that flies under the radar.

    I’ve never seen Lucifer because, although it aired on one of our free channels, it was too late at night for me (considering that my “late at night” starts at 10/11 PM ?. I NEED my sleep!). I might give it a try if I get the chance…at a decent hour. Morally grey characters are the most interesting!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you, glad you like it too!

      I mean… technically it was $46… but, you know, what I spent with the gift card doesn’t count πŸ˜‰ It’s an especially great deal when you consider those undies were prob like $15 each originally.

      I noticed I ended up with mostly indie/self-pub this time, and that made me happy.

      If you get the chance, I definitely recommend the show!

  5. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    Your art is so cool. I’m loving all of the bright colors.

    Congrats on the steal from Victoria’s Secret too. That’s pretty impressive, lol.

    I’ve heard good things about Lucifer on Netflix so I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying that since it’s in my watch queue.

  6. Sam@wlabb

    All your art is amazing, but I love the dancing unicorn so much. What a nice surprise finding a gift card with money still on it. Yeehaw! And, you hit a good sale to boot. Winning.

  7. Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

    It’s so exciting that you read your first five star book for the year! I discovered Robin Hobb’s Elderling books. I have maybe going on ten 5-star reads for 2019 thus far, but most of them are older books. I think The Wicked King is the only 2019 publication that I rated 5 stars thus far.

  8. Lola

    I like seeing the art you made. It’s nice you made three new pieces this month. I especially like the sunflower man. It’s so unique, I don’t think I’ve seen a sunflower man before.

    That must’ve been a nice surprise to find a gift card with money still on it.

    I never realized you could search review content like that for triggers. I’ll definitely try to remember that for next time when i want to check a book for triggers.

    Now you have me curious about Caged, that does sound interesting. I’ve only had only two 5 star reads this yea, Jumper’s Hope by Carol van Natta the audiobook version i listened to early this year. And Summer Haikus by SJ Pajonas, both were re-reads.

    I hope July is a good month for you!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you <3 πŸ™‚

      Surprise gift cards are the best!

      Idk if Caged would be your kinda book? But I totally recommend finding some books by this narrator if you can (Michael Ferraiuolo) because he's amazing! You and I are the picky 5-star people πŸ˜›

      Thanks, you too!

  9. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I am majorly in love with your dancing half unicorn. I wholeheartedly agree that it’s my favourite picture you’ve shared so far. The lighting you’ve done on it is stunning and I love the simple background to it too. I’ve been loving Halsey’s new song too, isn’t it just so catchy? I think I forget how good she is and then she releases another song or performance and I’m like damn.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! It is funny sometimes where inspiration comes from. It really is like getting the gift twice, especially when you literally have no memory of when or where you got the gift card lol.