The Weekly Update: 10/23/16


Let’s see, what news do I have this week…

Well, I voted! (I had a mail-in ballot.) If ever there were an election when every vote counted, I think it’d be this one. If nothing else, my vote will at least cancel out the vote of one person in my family -_-

I also made a new cat friend! I don’t have my own cats to take cute photos of, but I do have this:

My Cat Friends

(Would you believe my hair was naturally golden blonde until I was 21 years old? I mean, it’s not quite as dark as it looks in the photo, but still. Sorry, I’m getting off topic.) In case you haven’t seen me mention it, a woman who lives just downstairs from my apartment has a bunch of cats and takes in strays and whatnot, and a lot of them hang out outside during the day, so I like to go out and pet them sometimes. The cat on the left side of the picture is the one I just met. I swear he just stared directly at me like that pretty much the entire time I was petting him lol. Not a mean stare, mind you, more like he just… really liked me? I’ve never had an animal stare at me quite like that. Anyway, I don’t have any pets myself, but I’ve always loved animals <3

One last thing today, this is completely unrelated to everything, but why is it that people in shows and movies never use their legs when they climb a rope??? Like, every time there’s some episode or scene involving gym class and rope climbing… well it’s no freaking wonder you can’t climb it, because do you know how hard it is to climb with just your arms??? Who’s writing these things? It bothers me every single time. But anyway…










Blog/Bookish Updates:

You may have noticed I haven’t posted any discussions this month, but I’ll be back to posting them in November. I’ve just had too many other things that needed posting this month, and I’ve been too tired. Discussion posts get more comments than anything else, and as much as I LOVE each and every comment I get, discussion posts would just bring too many for me right now, and I want to make sure I have the energy to give real responses to each comment and to visit all your blogs too.

Also, I’ve added a date archives section to the bottom of my sidebar. Not that exciting, but, to be fair, I never actually promised exciting updates, just updates 😛

Books I Received for Review:

Black Snow by EAB | reading, books
Damned If I Do by Erin Hayes | reading, books
Damned If I Don't by Erin Hayes | reading, books

Black Snow will probably be a little different from my usual because I think is has mpreg (male pregnancy) in it, but it sounds like it’s kind of a M/M Snow White retelling, and I’ve been wanting to find some M/M or genderswapped retellings. (Btw, if you have any recs for M/M or genderswapped retellings, let me know!) And thanks to Lola @ Lola’s Book Reviews for getting me interested in the Erin Hayes books 🙂 They’re available on Xpresso Book Tours right now.

Books I Finished:

Life as a Teenage Vampire by Amanda Meuwissen | reading, books
Sire by Jex Lane | reading, books
Murmuration by TJ Klune | reading, books

What a great book week! All solid 4 stars. Life as a Teenage Vampire was sweet and funny. Sire had plenty of sex and violence, much like the first book, but also some sweet and quirky moments that I liked. And Murmuration was… thought-provoking. I’ll just leave it at that until I post my review on Friday in case anyone wants to go in completely blind.

Song of the Week:

“War Paint” by Fletcher – Saw this one on Angel Erin’s Book Obsession the other week and have been listening to it ever since! The whole “war paint” thing makes me feel positive and inspired. I think the lyrics are about a relationship, but who cares, I’m allowed to feel inspired by whatever I want 🙂


In Case You Missed It:

– I shared book covers featuring vampires!
– I reviewed Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones by Sorchia DuBois, a fun, mysterious, witchy book set in Scotland.
– I reviewed The Immortal Coil by J. Armand, an LGBT vampire book with both lots of action and great characters.
– I reviewed Sire by Jex Lane, a second-in-series M/M urban fantasy with vampires and incubi and bloody battles.

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?
If you live in the US, have you voted yet?
Are you an animal lover too, and do you have any pets of your own?


Your Thoughts


61 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 10/23/16

I'd love if you'd share your thoughts, too!


Reading your comments makes me a very happy blogger!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. roro

    ”Who’s writing these things?” Yes it annoys me when this happens. Hollywood writers should just research more. A short thing about the election; honestly I’m just scared that the rude one wins. Eek. And speaking of voting , early voting is not a thing hear. Suriname has around 500,000 people and 350,000 in diaspora. This might be the reason.

    It’s strange that your hair changed at stage in your life. My brother Jose lived 1 1/2 months as a ginger baby he has dark brown hair now.

    TJ Klune has amazing covers. I have loved books by that author in the past.

    My current favorite song. Tyler Glenn – G.D.M.M.L. GRLS

    A solo project by the lead singer of Neon Trees.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Seriously I don’t understand how not a single person writing or approving or directing or whatever these things doesn’t notice annoying ridiculous things like that. And yes, I didn’t want to make the post political by talking about the candidates, but I’m sure you can guess which person I’m voting for. Or rather, which one I’m definitely NOT voting for. And I too am legitimately worried about this election.

      Eh, it changed color because of health problems, so not that surprising. But it’s still so weird because I *feel* like a blonde. I wouldn’t know what color to say now if someone asked me lol.

      Which TJ Klune books have you read? I’ve only read the Withered + Sere ones (which I LOVED) and now this one, but I plan to read Lightning Struck Heart too, I’m just waiting for Book 2 to come out so I won’t have to wait once I read the first.

  2. Greg

    Hey cats! I like that black and white one but they’re both cute. Even though I have cats I love strays or ones that just wander around lol… it’s fun to make a new cat friend. That would be kinda cool to have a bunch of cats downstairs to go visit. 🙂

    Glad discussions are coming back. I agree they’re often the best posts. Just in the sense that they generate so much and it’s always nice to see what other people think about stuff. Lol about voting- I haven’t yet but I’ll be glad when the election is over. I want a system like other countries where campaigns maybe last a few months, tops- this two year stuff can frickin take a hike.

    Hope the Hayes books are good.

    I like that Fletcher song too, good stuff.

    1. Kristen Burns

      The black and white one is pretty, I agree, and she has really fluffy fur. But the other one was the one who was super into me lol. Both were sweet though. There’s also two other ones who are friendly to me. It is fun making new cat friends 😛

      Yeah, I have five discussions ready and two more ideas to write, just haven’t been posting them. Definitely seen my traffic drop because of that, but eh, that’s ok. Like I said, I’ve needed the slight break.

      Thanks! And I’m glad you like the Fletcher song too 🙂

  3. Deborah

    Lovely to see a pic of you and nice to get some cat-petting time in without having to deal with the flipside (and horrible side) of having to feed them and clean up after them!

    I have to say I’ve not noticed people not using their legs when they climb rope now, but I bet it’ll obsess me from this moment on now you’ve mentioned it!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Right? I consider it the best of both worlds, I get to pet the cats and whatnot without having to be responsible for them lol. And thanks, it’s funny because the person who took the photo didn’t really understand how my phone worked and didn’t get the picture I was smiling for but this candid one ended up probably cuter anyway.

      Lol I guess it obsesses me because of my gymnastics background and how we used to climb the rope all the time.

  4. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    Oh, that cat probably wanted you to take him in, Kristen! And isn’t it strange how our hair color changes like that? I was very blonde until I was around 20, too, and then I got kind of darker ash-blonde, and now, if I leave it be, it’s all silvery and shit…
    Discussion posts are fun, but I have trouble coming up with topics, which is the reason why I don’t post them all that often.
    Your new books look great, and I hope you’ll enjoy them.
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

    1. Kristen Burns

      That wasn’t even one of the strays though! That one lives with the woman and usually stays inside she said, which is why I’d never met him before. It really is weird though how hair color and even eye color can change. And it seems like a lot of the time blonde hair does get darker.

      I’m doing ok on discussion topics for now, but there’s probably only so much to talk about and I’m sure I’ll run out at some point lol.

      Thanks! And you have a wonderful week too 🙂

  5. Laura @ trips down imagination road

    I felt like that when we had our election over here in May. And for the EU referendum…that was not a fun time in my house! I was very firmly one way and my parents very firmly the other but they never actually told me why when I asked!

    I’ve never thought about the rope thing before but you’re completely right! How have I never thought about that?!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It doesn’t surprise me that my parents are voting opposite me, to be honest. But me and one other family member are both appalled and agree that at least our votes will cancel those out lol.

      Ok, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks it’s stupid about the rope thing! Lol from now you’ll notice every time 😛

  6. Lola

    I’ll be glad to when the US elections are over as I am getting enough of seeing political posts everywhere. I do agree it’s an election were every vote counts, so yay for voting! That black and white cat looks so pretty! I never seen a long haired cat with that coloring before. I love animals although I don’t have any pets of my own at the moment.

    Our last pets were the four pet rats we used to have, but when the last one died we decided to didn’t take any new pets for a while. Both for financial and emotional reasons. It’s really heartbreaking to lose three rats in the span of a half year (the first one died quite young due to a weird illness), but that’s how it is with rats, they don’t live long. We hope we might be able to get pouch rats eventually as those live longer, although we’ll have to research that first, not sure if we can get them here.

    I noticed you hadn’t done a discussion post in a while, but I figured you would get back to them eventually. My discussion posts always get the most comments as well and it can be hard to make time to reply and comment back sometimes.

    Black Snow does sound interesting with the gender swap thing, although I wonder how they explain the male pregnancy. Makes me think of a star trek episode where one of the males got pregnant due to not realizing the socializing he did with an alien was actually mating for them. It was a bit weird, but kinda interesting and illustrated the differences between alien species.

    I hope you’ll enjoy those Erin Hayes books, I am really happy you got those for review and I can’t wait to hear what you think of them! I have enjoyed her books that I read so far.

    Sounds like you had a good reading week as well with all solid 4 stars reads, just like me ;). I am looking forward to your review of Murmuration. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol that’s horrible that even people in other countries have to deal with our election stuff. But this is just such a… weird one. I’m, like, embarrassed for America lol. The black and white cat really is pretty and she has such fluffy long fur!

      I don’t know what a pouch rat is. I looked it up and found pictures of one wearing a leash, it’s adorable lol. My guinea pig hated it when we tried to put a leash on him. But yeah, I completely get what you mean about how you couldn’t any new pets right away for emotional reasons. I don’t think I could ever have another guinea pig to be honest because I’d always compare them. But I’ve wanted to have a different kind of pet, I just can’t right now for other reasons.

      Yeah, it does take a lot to reply and comment back, at least for me :-/ Maybe I just put too much effort into all my comments.

      I don’t know about the mpreg, but I feel like as long as I know ahead of time I should be able to suspend my disbelief and accept it.

      Thanks! I’ll let you know when I’ve read them, I’m looking forward to them 🙂

      Yep, you and I, totally in sync with our reading 😛 You have a great week too!

      1. Lola

        There is a company called Apopo who uses Gambian pouch rats to detect mines, so that’s probably the picture with them on a leash you found. They are very well trained. I follow them on facebook and it’s amazing to see how smart they are and very inspiring to see how they help detect those mines with almost no risk for humans and the rats are so light they don’t activate the miens so it’s safe for them too.

        I doubt you can put an untrained pet rat on a leash that easily, I am sure our rats wouldn’t have appreciated it. We didn’t really train them, although they are smart enough to pick things up by themselves. We had one rat who always walked to the front of the cage and put one paw on the door when she wanted out, it was so cute.

        Also all your replies landed in my spam, I was here thinking you were behind with replying which seemed unlikely as you rarely are, then decided to check my spam and there were all your replies. I already unspammed previous e-mails multiple times, so not sure what changed and why they ended in spam again.

        1. Kristen Burns

          That’s so cool that the rats can detect the mines!

          My guinea pig would bite on the bars of his cage when he wanted attention lol. Rodents can be so much smarter and cuter and filled with personality than people give them credit for. When I was a kid I had one teacher who had two guinea pigs that students could sign up to take home on weekends, and those didn’t do much, didn’t have much personality, etc. But my guinea pig was friendly and excitable and adorable. So it really just depends, the same way some dogs are more friendly and fun than others.

          I don’t think there’s anything that can be done about the spam thing. I think it’s just to do with the hosting and servers and whatnot. If your site gets put on the same server or whatever it is with a site that’s spammy, you get marked as spam. But, at least for my hosting, they switch that up every few days or weeks or something, so at least you’re not stuck with the spammy site permanently. I’ll put something in my weekly update to let people know though in case they don’t check their spam, so thanks for telling me 🙂

  7. Samantha

    When I was in Italy last month there were about 12 stray cats that lived on the rooftop garden of the place we were staying. The nuns there would leave food for them. Every time someone went to the roof, the cats would come out and pretty much demand your attention. One pushed its way in-between my face and my book!
    Have a good week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Hahaha I love the story about the cat. An old best friend of mine used to have a friendly cat, and I remember once I was using her computer and her house and the cat just laid down on top of my arms on the desk lol. Cats are too funny. You have a good week too!

  8. Laura Thomas

    I’ve noticed that too about the rope climbing. I think they just want to build the suspense and make the character tougher. LOL
    Lovely kitties. It’s nice you can go outside and visit with them:)

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s noticed! Except I think it’s the opposite sometimes since almost every time I see it, the character is a weakling who’s all worried about the rope test because he can’t climb it. Well, yeah, maybe he *could* if he used his damn legs! The cats are so cute, it is really nice that I get to go visit with them!

  9. sjhigbee

    The cats look cute – to be honest, I think you’ve got the best of all worlds there… No mess, hassle or responsibility with looking after them, but petting and affection whenever it suits you. Good for you voting. I do wish we had the same system as they do in Australia – democracy is only as good as the people who bother to vote and it dismays me when folks announce they can’t be bothered. Hope you have a great reading and blogging week:)

    1. Kristen Burns

      I completely agree about how I have the best of both worlds! It is a little crazy how many people don’t vote. I can’t say I vote for everything though so I’m not exactly a shining example lol, but I at least try to vote for certain elections! You have a great week too!

  10. Toady

    Ha! It sounds like you and your family have the same political differences as me and my family. I often say the same thing about voting just to cancel one of their votes out. Enjoy your books and have a good rest of your weekend.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol that’s basically what voting is, I guess, your vote canceling out someone else’s. But it sure just drive home the point about how every vote counts, you know? You have a great weekend too 🙂

  11. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    I’ll have to check out that song. I’m also anxious to check out Lady Gaga’s new album. We have dogs (of course you know that) but there are some neighborhood cats we pet and feed from time to time -don’t tell the boys! Glad you had such a good reading week.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I was never a big Lady Gaga fan, so I didn’t even know she had a new album. Haha, don’t worry, your secret about the cats is safe with me 😉 Thanks!

    1. Kristen Burns

      They are so cute, right? And there are two orange ones who are friendly too.

      It’s so weird how hair color changes. It’s funny though, I wouldn’t have noticed the Erin Hayes books if Lola hadn’t reviewed them because those covers aren’t bad but they don’t really interest me or look paranormal!

  12. Maureen Beatrice

    I looooooove animals too. We have a ‘agapornis’, a.k.a. a lovebird and a cat. And yes they do co-excist perfectly. 😀 I would love to have more pets but we live to small and we aren’t at home as much as I would have liked.
    Love your picture with the two cats. 😉

    1. Kristen Burns

      A bird and a cat?! That’s cool that they’re able to coexist like that. And yeah, I’d love to have pets, but I know I couldn’t give them the attention they’d deserve right now.

      Thanks 😀

  13. S. J. Pajonas

    What adorable cats! And they’re right downstairs where you can pet them but not have to take care of them. 🙂 Nice! I also voted early and I’m glad that’s out of the way. I want to be done with the election NAO. Looking forward to more of your reviews this week! I don’t always comment on reviews, but I do read them all. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s definitely the best of both worlds, getting to pet them but not having to take care of them lol. Yeah, I’m ready for this election to be over too, but mostly because I want to see how it’ll turn out and what the next four years will be like. Aww thanks I’m glad you enjoy them 🙂 There should be like an “I read this!” button or something that people can click since we all read posts but don’t comment on every single one. Though I guess I have seen some blogs with like buttons…

  14. La La in the Library

    I will be voting on election day! I was going to say that the cat oin the left looks very much like our cat Attie. She likes to stare while being pet, too. Ha ha. My sister’s hair was golden blond until she was 12 and my mother’s, too. Have a wonderful week. 🙂

  15. Christy LoveOfBooks

    Ha! Voting to cancel out someone else’s vote is a damn good reason. Lol – your random comments crack me up, but I’ve noticed that before on a couple of occasions regarding climbing a rope. Aww kitties. It’s like you have pets except you don’t have to feed them or pay for their vet visits. 😀

    1. Kristen Burns

      I feel like that’s really all voting is though, when you think about it. But it’s kind of inspirational because when you look at like that, your vote really does make a difference! I’m glad someone likes my random comments, that’s like half of what my blog consists of, haha. I’m also glad I’m not the only one who’s noticed that rope thing. And yes! Best of both worlds. I get to pet them without having to do any of the responsibility stuff 😛

  16. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Love your new cat friends. I made a cat friend this week as well, but then my dog chased him down the garden so he may not be coming back again. Also, how does hair go from blonde to being as dark as yours is now? I’ve seen people’s hair get darker but that is pretty impressive. And yay to voting. Always important, especially with how crazy the US election has been this time around.

    Onto bookish and blogging things. Is it bad it hadn’t registered with me you hadn’t posted a discussion lately? I mean, now you’ve said it I totally realise you haven’t but it hadn’t clicked with me. I’m excited to see you do more again though because you always talk about interesting stuff I hadn’t even thought about.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh no! Haha poor cat, he probably won’t be coming back after that. My hair isn’t quite as dark as it looks in the picture, it looks a little lighter too when it’s clean o.0 lol. But I don’t even *know* what color to call it since it’s not even really brown, it’s like… REALLY REALLY dark blonde that isn’t blonde? Seriously though I’m like embarrassed for America with this election.

      Nah, I probably wouldn’t notice that on other blogs either. Thank you though 😀 I’m glad you like my discussions!

  17. Lauren @ Always Me

    Aww! What cute kitties! You know, my neighbor’s cat has been hanging out in my yard lately – which really irritates my cat. And, of course, last time I saw that cat, she ran right over and started winding around my legs all while my cat was glaring daggers through the window at me and her! 😀

  18. Jessica

    I’m not voting this year. Sunday I finished reading/listening to Tribulation Force which is the second book of the Left Behind series. I hope to maybe finish reading Relic. I used to have cats when I was little. I’m a cat person.

  19. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Super cute kitties! I’m glad you have some so close since you don’t have any of your own. We have a cat, a dog and a few horses – so you could say we’re animal lovers. 🙂 Especially my little girl.

    I also haven’t been able to do any discussion posts lately – it’s just been a manic month and I’ve been away from home a lot, and even though I need to find the time to sit down and work I never seem to find the time to sit down and blog properly

    I’m almost tempted to check out the Hayes books as I like the covers (I’m fickle like that) but I need to stop requesting books for now! I accidentally already got one this week and it’s only Tuesday. Oops.

    Hope you have a great week ahead!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks, I’m glad too because I really can’t take care of any pets right now, but it’s nice to still be able to pet them and whatnot. And wow, you really are animal lovers! I’d love to be able to have all those pets. As a kid sometimes I’d manage to convince my parents to take me to those horseback riding trail places, those were always so much fun for me.

      Yeah, sometimes we’re just busier or more tired than other times, but hey, our blogs are for fun, so we can take breaks or post less or whatever we have to 🙂

      I think they’ve actually been taken down from the site now, I just looked yesterday, so you wouldn’t be able to get them anyway :-/ But I definitely am having the same issue of needing to stop requesting and somehow still doing it anyway lol.

      Thanks, you too!

  20. Bookworm Brandee

    Yay for voting! I voted over the weekend as well. It took 2 hours to go over all the things on the ballots here and it was my older daughter’s first time to vote. We made it a family event! *ha* I love the cat pics! I have two cats myself – never thought of myself as a cat person as I always had dogs. But cats are much easier, in my opinion. And they really belong to my girls. *haha* I also picked up Damned If I Do thanks to Lola. That’s funny! I’m excited to read them though.
    I hadn’t thought about the fact you hadn’t posted discussions this month. I haven’t either – because I wanted to be able to post all my Rec reviews. But I have some discussions ready for November and December. 🙂
    You did have an awesome reading week. I love weeks like that. Good books = good weeks! I didn’t read much last week since I have company. But I did read a realistic YA that my daughter asked me to read. It was fantastic. 😀
    Thanks for sharing that song…I hadn’t heard it before but I like it! Hope you have a great week, Kristen!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Wow, you’re more devoted than I am. I didn’t look everything up. I just didn’t vote for half the amendment things because I didn’t understand them. That’s cool that your daughter got to vote for the first time though! If I was going to have a pet, I’d get a cat, but I love both cats and dogs. And rodents, like rabbits and guinea pigs (used to have a guinea pig myself). They’re all cute and cuddly.

      Oh, yay! I’m so excited that I’m actually going to have people to talk about Damned If I Do with! I’ll probably read it next, or maybe next week. I don’t know, decisions are hard lol. It seems like a lot of us stopped discussions in October for some reason or other. November will a discussion-filled month all around the blogosphere!

      I love that you read books your kids recommend and get to share that with them <3

      Glad you liked the song! You have a great week too 🙂

  21. AngelErin

    Adorable pic! The cats are so cutttteeeee. I’m forever trying to take in strays, but my husband won’t allow me haha. Also, I’m glad you’re enjoying War paint! I love her album. :o)

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks, and they are so cute, right?! Awww, I’m sorry your mean husband won’t let you take in the strays 😛 I’m glad you shared that song! I really am enjoying it. I’ve listened to the others, but that one’s my favorite.

  22. Annemieke

    It’s great that you can cuddle with the cats downstairs. And great she takes in the strays. We have one cat at the moment. The other one we had to say goodbye to a week and a half ago. 🙁

    1. Kristen Burns

      I love that I still get to play with some cats even though I can’t have any of my own right now. And it is nice of her to care for the strays. I’m very sorry about your cat though 🙁