The Weekly Update: 10/16/16


I did it! I actually did it! I saved my old email from the clutches of complete chaos and utter spamdom!

See, I have this other email (not the one I use for blogging) that I used to use for everything. But over the years, it became completely overrun with newsletters and spam. You know how it is, you order something from a website one time, or you input your email for a contest, or you sign up for something just to try it, or you join a mailing list for a free books, and suddenly you’re stuck getting emails for the rest of your life (and afterlife since I’m sure the emails would just keep coming whether we were around to read them or not). Eventually I stopped checking it unless I had a specific reason to because every time I looked there were hundreds of emails.

But damn it, that’s my email, and ain’t no newsletters gonna take it from me! So I decided to reclaim it. And in case you also have any emails you want to reclaim, here’s what I did. First I deleted everything unread that wasn’t important. (That “select all” button is your friend.) Then as emails started coming again, I started going through and unsubscribing from everything. And after I unsubscribed, I would search the inbox for that sender and then delete all the previous emails (so that I wouldn’t make extra work for myself by unsubscribing seven times as I went through the messages). I did this over a few sessions, and voila! And somehow my spam folder cleared up too? As in, I don’t get spam now. A lot of it must’ve been related to other lists I was subscribed to, the kind that subscribe you to multiple things. Or maybe all the spam messages saw that I was back and that I meant business and ran for the hills 😉

(I have no idea what I’m saying. This is why I shouldn’t write posts when I’m tired.)

So, ummm… that’s it for this week! Just some rambling about my email. Is that… is that not what you came to my blog for?

Blog/Bookish Updates:

Ok, everyone, I figured out how I am now going to word my disclosure: “I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has in no way influenced my review.” I’ve tested it, and so far my reviews have been accepted. If you want to use the same wording, go for it (and, you know, substitute ecopy or author depending on the situation).

Edit: I had a whole rant here about how you can only see “verified purchase reviews” on Amazon now, but Kimba just informed me that you can go to the “see all verified purchase reviews” page and then use the filter to select “all reviewers.” So you CAN still see all the reviews 🙂

Books I Received for Review:

Murmuration by TJ Klune | reading, books
Defiant Revival by L. Rockwood | reading, books
Sire by Jex Lane | reading, books
Blackwell by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor | reading, books

Ahhhhh I keep telling myself not to get any more standalones, but then they keep sounding so good! I mean, in Blackwell, it even sounds from the blurb like the protag is the bad guy?? Unfortunately I looked at Defiant Revival, and the narration style didn’t work for me, so I probably won’t end up reading that one. I’m going to wait to see some reviews before deciding though.

Books I Finished:

Wasteland King by Lilith Saintcrow | reading, books
Dracula by Bram Stoker

I finally finished the Gallow and Ragged series! But the ending left so many things open and was kind of unsatisfying :-/ Dracula was a good story, but it had SO MUCH FLUFF, as in, extra lines and paragraphs and pages of dialogue and repetition and description that really didn’t need to be there, so it took me forever to read.

Song of the Week:

THE ARROW [Love. Pride. Truth.] – This week, instead of a song, I’m sharing a video. Not even because of the LGBT message (the message is great, but I’m pretty sure you all already know that all love is equal), but rather simply because it’s beautiful. Duo cyr wheel acts just amaze me, and it’s even more moving to me knowing there is actual love between the performers.


In Case You Missed It:

– I shared 10 of my favorite book quotes about blood. *laughs evilly*
– I reviewed Something Wicked by Carol Oates, a slow-paced, atmospheric vampire tale that even involves Jack the Ripper.
– I reviewed The Orchard of Flesh by Christian Baines, a semi-dark and violent book about a vampire and his werewolf lover.
– I reviewed The Fray Theory: Resonance by Nelou Keramati, an urban fantasy with a unique paranormal aspect.

The Sunday Post Link-Up:

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


Talk to me!

Did you find any good books or music last week?
Do you have any emails that have become overrun by chaos?


Your Thoughts


52 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 10/16/16

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  1. Greg

    “Select all” is my friend. So is “unsubscibe” actually. And yes it is good to get an email update lol just kidding. Seriously though Amazon… I don’t even know. I don’t put reviews there so I’m not affected, but if I did… and TBH I’ve been thinking of doing that very thing, but now i’m like… do I want to until they get their shit together? Probably not.

    Your new stuff looks good. Probably not a surprise i like that Wasteland King cover- not as much as the motorcycle one, but close. And dracula- I’m not huge fan. I read it a few years ago and was kinda bored. But of course it’s not writte in todays style so I need to account for that- but I still didn’t care for it much. Still as a vamp fan it is a must read I guess. 🙂 Glad you liked it in spite of the fluff.

    1. Kristen Burns

      See, unsubscribing is so simple if you just do it right away. But when you let it get out of hand until you have 100 things to unsubscribe form and hundreds of emails in total… So I’ve started staying vigilant and unsubscribing from any new things immediately now lol. Yeah, I don’t know what to say about Amazon. I keep posting there because it might still be helpful to authors, and if they ever do get their act together, it’ll be overwhelming to have to go and post all my reviews there at once. A lot easier to just post them as I go.

      It’s just too bad Dracula had so much extra unnecessary writing because I think I could’ve enjoyed it a lot more. I was surprised at how I actually cared about the characters. Definitely a must read for me though 😛 I’ve only been saying I would read it for years now, haha.

      1. Greg

        I liked the Mina story and the whole vampire hunter thing has always intrigued me. It’s got atmosphere, i’ll give it that, although it’s been a while since I read it so I’m probably fuzzy on it. I remember liking the old movie too, the whole Mina/ Jonathan thing and van Helsing I thought was done well. In fact I’m probably remembering the movie more than the book…

        1. Kristen Burns

          Believe it or not I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know how similar or different it is. I know I’ve seen a play, but I didn’t remember it at all. I do agree though that the book has atmosphere!

  2. Deborah

    I saw your news re Amazon on Twitter. I must admit I never go back to check if people can see my reviews. I just put them there (in and cos I suppose I should….

    Our disclaimer laws in Australia are very different to those in the US and they aren’t very stringent with bloggers (YET) but anyone who doesn’t disclose if they got paid / sponsored / a gift is frowned upon in the blogging community.

    I just put a blurb at the bottom of my post to say I received the book. I like to think my reviews aren’t all positive anyway, so it’s not like I write something positive cos of the free book. I have however withdrawn from a blog tour on one occasion cos I really didn’t like the book and thought it would look bad if the publisher included me in its publicity and then I said I hated it. They were fine for me to drop out. I still reviewed it though.

    I like to think – even with my negative reviews – I’ll try and find something I like, or explain why I didn’t enjoy it. Sometimes it’s more about me and my taste than the book for eg.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t check my own reviews either, so I wouldn’t have noticed had I not been trying to see someone else’s review. And it’s not even about whether you disclose or not. It’s just if you didn’t buy through Amazon, then your review doesn’t show up, period.

      I agree though, I don’t give all positive reviews to review copies. I’ve even given a 1 star review. And just on Friday I posted a 2 star review. But like you I have also, at times, elected not to post a review. For me it just depends on a few different things, but I definitely don’t give fake reviews.

  3. kimbacaffeinate

    Blackwell looks cool. I enjoy standalones, usually everything is some kind of commitment these days. Yeah we have an email address we use to sign up for things. I use filters, so unless I am shopping at Bath and Body works and need a recent coupon I don’t even see them. So cool you cleaned your up, Thanks for sharing Arrow, it was beautiful! Hope this week is amazing for you Kristen 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Blackwell looks so interesting! I enjoy series more than standalones, and I’m still looking for that next one that I’m going to LOVE since it’s been a while since I’ve found one :-/ See, I never did make a separate email just for signing up for things, but that’s basically what my old email has become. Now I just do a better job of unsubscribing from things right away lol. Glad you liked the video! Same to you 🙂

  4. kimbacaffeinate

    I thought you should know, on Amazon, if you click on the See all verified purchase reviews (newest first)-> it takes you to a filter and you can select to see all reviews, not just verified or ones with lots of helpful votes. .

  5. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    That is genius. I keep thinking I need to start unsubscribing from a lot of the crap emails I get through but I have no motivation. I may have to try your method. Especially as I have 3 email addresses (I abandoned one both for the embarrassing email name but also because of the spam, then I have a professional one which doesn’t make me cringe and I could actually use to apply for jobs and then I have my blog one. I think I need to take control of them.

    And I’m glad you’ve settled on a good disclaimer. It covers everything and sounds alright to me. Now just to wait and see if anything happens to those reviews.

    Also, I am a little jealous you’ve managed to finish the Gallow and Ragged series. It sucks you’ve still get questions and things are left open. Maybe there will be more to come? Maybe there will be a spin off? Maybe it’s just to keep the books in your brain. I’ll still read them (if my library ever gets copies in otherwise I’ll have to invest) and we’ll see what my thoughts are.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I knew someone would appreciate my explanation of my method 😛 It definitely is less daunting if you do it over the course of a few times rather than all at once.

      It does seem like it covers everything, but in the simplest way possible so as to not accidentally trip any filters lol. I think if there was going to be a problem with it, the reviews wouldn’t have even posted in the first place, so they should be fine.

      No, I highly doubt there would be any more books, but now you absolutely need to finish because I need someone to discuss it with! I feel a little better about the ending now that it’s been a few days, but still. We must discuss.

  6. Julie @ Happily Ever Chapter

    Glad to hear you were able to reclaim your old email and get all that junk out. I had to do the same thing recently. Select All and Unsubscribe are the best! lol! That video you posted is so beautiful. My sister showed it to me a while ago and I watched it multiple time. I love it. I hope you have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Seriously, don’t know what I’d do without “select all” lol. I just found the video the other day, but I agree, it’s so beautiful. I’ve already watched it numerous times! Thanks, you have a great week too!

  7. Jordon @ Simply Adrift

    How annoying is it when you keep receiving emails from lsits you swear you didn’t sign up to? I too recently filtered through my email and unsubscribed from every list I possibly could! It took so long but it was worth it. I try to clear out my main email address often because otherwise it gets overrun with stupid newsletters from clothing stores etc…

    That video is pretty cool!

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift

    1. Kristen Burns

      Seriously, it’s like any time you input your email anywhere, you automatically get signed up for a new newsletter -_- It was definitely worth it to me too though, and yeah, I’ve now started being more diligent and unsubscribing from things immediately lol.

      Glad you like the video!

  8. Angela @ Simply Angela

    The cover of Blackwell looks amazing!

    I have two emails as well, one personal and one for my blog and I’m constantly battling them. lol It seems like every time I log back in there’s a ton of junk mail just piling up.. Sometimes I think I should have opened another email account just for ordering online.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Doesn’t it though?!

      Seriously, apparently we should all have a separate email just for ordering things and signing up for things. I think I tried that once but it was too much work keeping track of all the emails and what was where.

  9. Lola

    That’s awesome you managed to save your e-mail! I did have an e-mail that got a lot of unwanted newsletters for a while and I cleaned it out. As I spent a lot of time looking for a job before I started Lola’s Blog Tours I got tons of e-mails from job sites and some newsletters were difficult to get rid of. Once I no longer needed those sites I started unsubscribing from everything. But it sure can be a pain to get rid of all of them and I can imagine with an e-mail you hardly ever use it’s even worse as then all those e-mails pile up.

    Even though you can still see the unverified on es, i do wonder how many people are actually going to use it and actually see those other reviews. It sure encourages verified reviews to list them like this. Or you have to be on the front page for a book or it will be less likely your review gets seen when it isn’t verified. Amazon seems to keep shaking things up. I am currently using the following sentence for my reviews: “I received a free copy of this book and voluntary reviewed it”

    I hope you’ll enjoy your new books! Blackwell sounds like one you will enjoy with the mc being the bad guy. I’ve never read Dracula, but as a vampire fan I can see why you decided to read it ;). Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! It’s definitely overwhelming when it reaches a certain point, but that’s why I started by just deleting all the junk and then coming back to start going through and unsubscribing once it was more manageable.

      I agree. I mean, I wouldn’t have even known you could use the filter to still see the other reviews had Kimba not told me. And if I hadn’t been specifically trying to see one review in particular (it wasn’t on GR, but it seemed like it could be helpful), I wouldn’t have even realized I wasn’t seeing all the reviews. So most people will probably just look at the verified ones and not even realize there are more. Unless, like you said, your review is one of the top ones.

      Thanks! It’s funny because just the other day I read a blurb that got me all excited because it seemed like the bad guy was the MC, and it sounded so cool… and then I read some reviews and realized he was just the antagonist. So I didn’t request it. But then along came Blackwell! And I snatched it right up because I was still all disappointed and wanted to read about a bad guy lol. You have a great week too!

  10. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I have an email address I need to reclaim so I’ll be following your advice. The Amazon review thing is nuts. I like how you’re warding yours and will probably do something similar. I’m due for a binge of review posting there but have been holding off until everything settles down over there. I’ve been meaning to read Dracula for so long! Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yay, glad my rambling about my email cleaning methods could help! I just post each review to Amazon as I go. It’s less overwhelming for me that way. So far I’ve been unaffected by the changes since my old reviews are still ok. I had been meaning to read Dracula for so long too! Lol so I know how you feel 😛 Thanks, you too!

  11. sjhigbee

    Yes… sorting out my email account is on my To Do list. Honest! So good for you for plunging in there and having a major spring clean. Thank you for your warning last week – I’ve also been working on my reviewer disclaimer at the end of my reviews for Amazon and I’ve now got one that should be okay. So far none of my reviews have been pulled…

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol well my email cleaning methods seemed to work if you want to use them! I’m glad my new disclaimer worked, that’s one less thing to stress over. And so far my old reviews are ok too.

  12. Lampshade Reader

    OMG yes to the email situation! I slowly unsubscribed to any newsletter I didn’t want to be a part of. However, some authors hold monthly giveaways for subscribers and announce them in the newsletter. I’ve won some nice prizes like that and don’t want to miss out. But my situation isn’t so bad anymore. I’m kind of weary of those contests that require you to sign up for 50 author’s newsletters. I don’t do that at all! I want to receive mail I want to read and about authors I’m interested in. Seriously, I used to put out a monthly newsletter, but hardly anyone reads those anymore. *MEH* ~Aleen

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I’ve signed up to newsletters on purpose sometimes, but then it just gets to confusing and overwhelming and I end up unsubscribing when I can’t even remember why it was I signed up in the first place lol. But I do stay subscribed to lists of authors I actually have read and like. I do enter those contests, which is part of the reason my email ended up so bad lol, but now I just unsubscribe from the new ones immediately in that first email that gets sent by each author. That’s cool that you used to put one out! I just wouldn’t have anything good to say lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I should use a different email for signing up for things, but that just seems confusing to keep track of what’s in which email. How weird though that your other email is the one that got more spam!

  13. S. J. Pajonas

    I did that once with one of my email addresses. I went in and unsubscribed from everything then cleaned house. It felt great! I definitely know that high. Lol.

    Looks like you got some great books. That Murmuration cover is great.

  14. Rowena

    I did the same thing for my blog email (my blog email is where I subscribe to everything from) and after all was said and done, I did a happy dance like the weirdo that I am. Haha. It was great!

    I’m still listening to all of my usual stuff so nothing new for me. I’m going to check out your song rec right now though. 🙂

  15. Literary Feline

    I have an e-mail account I use for signing up for contests and newsletters and anything what I think might attract spam. Only, I don’t always remember and so I do have spammy type e-mails that come to my regular account too. I periodically go through and do what you talked about. It’s probably time to do it again, actually.

    I’ve been seeing a lot lately about Amazon and their change in policy regarding reviews. I rarely post a review on their site. I like the statement you came up with to include though.

    I hope you have a great week, Kristen! Take care.

    1. Kristen Burns

      See, that’s the smart thing to do, but I’m just too lazy to keep track of ANOTHER email address lol.

      Now that I’ve figured out my new disclaimer, I can stop stressing about Amazon again 🙂

      You have a great week too!

  16. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Well done on reclaiming your email! That can’t have been easy! I actually need to do a bit of unsubscribing myself – but deleting them as they come always seems easier than navigating the tricky unsubscribe beasts that can be mailing lists that don’t want to let you go!

    I was suppose to stop requesting anything this week/year but I still got two books in. ? but seriously now, I need to stop so I have time out for the little things, like family and holidays.

    Hope you have a lovely week ahead!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! It was somewhat time-consuming but worth it. But seriously, some of those newsletters really don’t seem to want to let you go!

      I seriously need to stop requesting too, but I think I’ve already accepted that I’m going to request again as soon as I see another book I like lol. But I’m picky, so I manage to never have too many at least.

      You have a lovely week too!

  17. Bookworm Brandee

    Congrats on saving your email! I did that recently with my personal email – the one I use for everything BUT my blog – and I deleted over 9000 emails. They stack up when I’m not paying attention. Then it’s overwhelming and I ignore it. But I needed to get control, so I did. 🙂 I’m happy you managed it as well. I like the looks of your new acquisitions – especially Blackwell honestly – so I’m eager to see what you think. 😉 And thanks for sharing the verbiage you’re going to use in reviews as well as how to see all our reviews.
    Hope your week is off to a great start, Kristen!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! And WOW, 9000 emails! I don’t know how many I actually had, but I usually went through every so often and just kind of deleted everything without ever unsubscribing lol, so I didn’t have quite that many. Blackwell sounds so interesting! But it might not be a while til I review it since the release isn’t until January, and I’m so swamped with other books lol.

      Same to you!

  18. Jessica

    I finished listening to Left Behind this morning. It was really good. Still waiting on the vampire porn. Yes, I have another email address that I haven’t looked at in a long while and it’s probably overrun of spam emails.

  19. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    Congrats on reclaiming your e-mail, Kristen! I need to go through stuff and unsubscribe from a lot of lists, too. I have no idea how I’ve ended up on so many! I have a feeling some of the giveaways I’ve signed up for recently have automatically added me to newsletters… and that’s really not cool.
    Your new books this week look great! I hope you’ll enjoy them 🙂
    Have a wonderful rest of the week and happy reading.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! They just kind of appear out of nowhere, right? They’ve definitely started doing that with giveaways. I feel like, does that actually work for authors? Because for me the messages either end up in spam if I keep deleting them, or now I just unsubscribe. And then they’ve just lost one of the spots in their mailing list, and you pay for those services by the number of people on the list.

      Thanks! You have a wonderful week too 🙂