The Weekly Update: 11/13/16


Well, I’m pretty sure everyone knows the biggest news of the week. Frankly I can’t even fathom how this is a real thing that has happened, but the fact is, it has happened. And what’s really sad is that Trump hasn’t even done anything yet; instead what I’m seeing and hearing about is the people in America turning on each other, attacking each other, threatening each other, etc. People from both sides. It’s reminding me of all these zombie books and movies in which it’s not the infection that’s the problem but rather the people who all start freaking out and creating mass chaos and killing each other at the grocery store over a can of food. Look, I am worried about what might happen in the next four years, this was not the choice I made, but panicking and turning on each other is not the answer. We just have to hope our system of checks and balances works and do what we can. And that includes continuing to support and accept each other, regardless of who the president is. If there’s one good thing I can say, it’s that I’ve seen a lot of support on my Twitter feed and the blogs I’ve visited, and I’m really glad to know the community I’ve chosen to become a part of is a mostly accepting and understanding one. Alright, that’s enough serious talk. Time to move on to other topics!

Unfortunately my other news isn’t the most positive either since I haven’t been feeling that great :-/ I’ve been sleeping terribly (It didn’t help that the other morning it sounded like someone was teaching a herd of elephants how to jump rope on the roof above me. I have not the slightest idea what kind of work could possibly require such building-rattling pounding for hours. Testing the strength of the roof by dropping washing machines onto it from 20 feet in the air? That’s the only possible explanation I can think of.), and I think I may have eye strain from too much time on the computer. I’m attempting to limit my computer time and take breaks every so often to fix the eye strain problem at least. If I take longer than usual to reply to comments or visit your blogs in return, that’s why. But don’t worry, I will in fact get to it eventually even if it’s not right away šŸ™‚

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I have been a busy bee with the blogging and bookish stuff. I got invited to be on the ARC review team for the author of one of my favorite series, so yay for that! I love when authors do that because it makes me feel so appreciated as a reviewer.

I also did my first author interview! I’ve never done one before because I always felt like I’d be terrible at thinking of questions, but the opportunity arose, and it turned out I did have some questions, so voila! Aaaaand I will also be hosting my first giveaway with the interview! It’s US only, sorry to my international friends :-/ Now I know I may be a little biased, but I still think you should come check out the interview anyway šŸ˜‰ That post will go up tomorrow.

Oh, and the book I won from Karen McQuestion in Molly’s giveaway arrived šŸ™‚ I took this photo with my kindle, I swear it looks prettier in person.

From A Distant Star

Books I Received for Review:

Bonfire by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt | reading, books
Snowed by Maria Alexander | reading, books
Scrudge & Barley, Inc. by John Inman | reading, books
Suzanne van Rooyen | reading, books

I finally got myself some Christmas-themed sci-fi/fantasy books for this year! And I already read one of them lol.

Books I Finished:

Damned If I Do by Erin Hayes | reading, books
Damned If I Don't by Erin Hayes | reading, books
Bonfire by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt | reading, books

I didn’t feel very invested in Damned If I Do, but that review is already up so I won’t dwell on it here. I did enjoy Damned If I Don’t a little more though. Bonfire was fun since I loved Book one in the series and was just happy to be with the characters again, plus it was Christmas-themed!

Song of the Week:

No song this week.

In Case You Missed It:

– I shared book covers featuring birds.
– I reviewed Damned If I Do by Erin Hayes, an urban fantasy with a vampire/hunter romance.
– I reviewed Black Snow by EAB, a M/M high fantasy with a complex and beautiful love story.
– I reviews Bonfire by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt, a fun, Christmas-themed novella in a great M/M paranormal series.

The Sunday Post Link-Up:

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


Talk to me!

Did you find any good books or movies last week?
Have you ever done an author interview or giveaway on your blog?
Do you have any holiday-themed books yet that you plan to read?


Your Thoughts


40 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 11/13/16

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  1. Greg

    Looking forward to your interview. It’s always nice to get the authors perspective, especially if it’s a series you really like. And congrats on the ARC review team! Nice that you’re finding some Chtistmas stuff to read- I’m still batting 0 in that regard, but whatever. Maybe it’s just not in the cards this year lol. Now watch- I say that and something will pop up. šŸ™‚

    The election. Yeah. I have to agree, from what I’ve seen on Twitter and whatever it’s nice to see people supporting each other and just worrying about each other. I’ve been pretty proud of the community this week and glad to be a part of it, frankly. Couldn’t agree more w/ that.

    Feel better this week! I’ve only done one author interview but I enjoyed it. It actually went really well, not sure why I haven’t done more. I’ve done 3 or 4 giveaways but it’s been a while…

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I’m excited to post the interview and giveaway tomorrow. I really do like getting the author’s perspective on their own books, but that’s why I was always so hesitant to do an interview myself. I didn’t want to ask the standard, “What’s your writing process like?” questions, I wanted to have questions actually about the books. Maybe I’ll do some more from now on.

      Haha, well Snowed actually sounds like something you’d maybe like? Check out the blurb if you haven’t. I’ve seen it mentioned that there’s a Krampus in it even though the blurb doesn’t mention it. And it’s on NetGalley, I don’t know if you get books there or not.

      Yeah, I am really happy that this is such a good community! And thanks, I think the eye strain is already getting a little better at least šŸ™‚

      1. Greg

        You know I was going to comment on Snowed and how I kinda liked the cover, but then got talking about something else ha ha. I’ll go check it out. I have an account on Netgalley but haven’t requested anything.

        Interviews are cool, that’s one reason I haven’t done more is I would want to tailor the questions for the book itself, which is what I did for mine but it did take longer. I’ve seen bloggers do it both ways- some seem to use a similar batch of questions for a lot of their interviews, while others individualize more. I guess it depends on how many they do…

        Glad the eye strain is getting better. šŸ™‚

        1. Kristen Burns

          It’s just that when it comes to reading interviews, I know I like the ones that are tailored to the book. Even if I haven’t read the book, they’re more interesting to me, but they’re especially interesting if I have read the book.

          Thanks šŸ™‚

  2. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Congrats on being invited to an ARC review team – how exciting! Also exciting to hear about is the author interview. I’ll be checking it out tomorrow. šŸ™‚

    I actually don’t have any holiday themed reads coming up – I think I’ll need to do something about that later this month or early in December – get myself more festive. I love Christmassy kind of reads.

    Sorry about the roof pounding you were put through – I hope it was just the one time!

    Hope this week is better for you!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! And yay, I’m glad you’re going to check out the interview šŸ™‚

      You’ve still got time to find some festive reads, I’m sure you’ll find at least a couple!

      Thankfully it was just that one morning, but there seems to be random construction like every week -_- Thanks!

  3. Lampshade Reader

    I love doing interviews; once you get some standard questions you can work it with the book theme and author. I had an interview on my blog this week šŸ™‚ Congrats on being on an ARC review team!

    As for Holiday books, oh man, I’m in overdrive because I’m doing Kimba’s #HoHoHoRAT LOL

    Hope you have a great week and just know that things will get better, it just has to! <3 ~Aleen

    1. Kristen Burns

      I might do more interviews since I did enjoy this one, except I like tailoring the questions to the author’s books which is more work, haha. And thanks!

      I didn’t sign up since I’m too stressed out as it is to be trying to do readathons lol, but it does sound like a fun one!

      Thanks, you have a great week too šŸ™‚

  4. Toady

    Congrats on being asked to be a part of the review team for a favorite series. šŸ™‚
    I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t been feeling well. There seems to be a lot of that this week. It’s great that you have been able to still accomplish so much on the blog.
    I know that this election stuff has so many people in a tizzy. I hope it settles down and that our country can heal and find some common ground.

    1. Kristen Burns


      I suppose it’s kind of deceiving since I did the interview and whatnot, but I didn’t really make any other posts lol. I just have things scheduled ahead.

      Yes, the election has created a bit of chaoticness. I imagine it will have to calm down soon, assuming he doesn’t do anything too crazy.

  5. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I am totally looking forward to your reviews on your Christmas books. Like so much because who knew Christmas sci-fi/fantasy books existed? And don’t worry, I’ll still try and stop by for your giveaway post even though it’s a US giveaway only.

    As for the Trump thing… I mean there aren’t words are there? It just sucks but as long as people carry on being good and nice to each other and don’t resort to violence it should hopefully be alright. It’s just a whole lot of frustration boiling up when there is obviously such a huge gap between the two ends of the political landscape right now. Hopefully it’ll get better.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha I reviewed two last year and now I’ve got these few plus a few others I’ve found but don’t have and they sound kinda meh. And that’s literally all the sci-fi/fantasy Christmas books I’ve found. I’ve even looked through GR lists! And yay, I’ll be happy if you get a chance to stop by the giveaway post šŸ™‚

      Yes, but that’s the problem. Everyone IS resorting to violence, which is the opposite of what we should be doing. But I imagine it will probably die down as long Trump doesn’t do anything too ridiculous.

  6. Lola

    There sure seemed to be a lot of talk about the election this week. And some of the talks and posts I’ve seen almost makes it feel like the set-up for a dystopia book. It’s frightening how the people turn on each other. Elections here are quite different, here it’s more about which party gets the most votes (and we have about 10 or so pretty big parties) and they always form a coalition to rule, although we do have a minister president, but he doesn’t have as much power. I am just hoping everything turns out well in the US in the long run. And even in the US the power of the president is still limited right? Let’s hope the checks and balances work.

    I am sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling great and not sleeping too well. How you describe that sound really makes me wonder what your neighbors were doing that made so much noise. I hope you can fix the eye strain problem or it will get less soon.

    I love being part of arc or review teams for authors. I am part of quite some of them and it makes me feel appreciated as a reviewer. I

    I am looking forward to read the interview you did! That’s a pretty cover of the book you won! I hope it’s a good book. I think I’ve read an earlier version of Obscura Burning, I see that this is the second edition. I DNF’d it though as it wasn’t the book for me, but I have enjoyed The Other Me by that author, so I am looking forward to hear what you think of it. Damned If I Don’t was a bit too dark for my taste, so I figured you probably would enjoy that one more than the first book. Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, the election was huge for the US. It really is frightening the way people turn on each other. That’s interesting though, I didn’t know anything about the elections over there. I mean, we at least have our “checks and balances” so that the president doesn’t have too much power (e.g. things still need to get approved by Congress). So I guess we’ll see what happens :-/

      Thanks. It wasn’t my neighbors this time though. I live on the second floor of a two-story building, so it was some sort of construction or something on the roof. And the eye strain is already going away, I think I should probably just take more frequent breaks from now on.

      I do get ARCs from some authors and am one official ARC team, but it just feels good to actually have the author contact you, you know?

      Thanks! The interview just went up šŸ™‚ I might do more interviews in the future, it’s fun learning about the author’s perspective on things. You did read an earlier version of Obscura Burning, I remember reading your review on GR lol. And yeah, it was the darkness in Damend If I Don’t that made me like it more, haha. It make the book unpredictable since I didn’t think those things would happen. You have a great week too!

  7. Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    It’s hard being in the U.S. right now. A lot of tension, I don’t think I spoke to anyone for two days (outside of work). Sigh.

    I can’t wait to see your interview! It’s hard thinking up questions, but I like the creativity it allows us as bloggers!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Seriously, I’ve been hearing about protests and things even.

      Thanks! It wasn’t quite as hard to think of the questions as I thought it would be, but it is still some work. Fun though! It does let us be creative šŸ™‚

  8. sjhigbee

    I love the cover on From a Distant Star, so if it’s even prettier in real life it must be GORGEOUS. So sorry you’re enduring such a barrage of noise from the alterations being done – how miserable for you:(. Any idea how much longer it’s going to continue? In the meantime, here’s hoping that next week is a LOT better – I stayed up and watched the election, unable to quite believe what was unfolding and it felt FAR too much like Brexit, which we’re still waiting to impact upon us… Take care and have a great reading and blogging week.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is a pretty cover! My picture’s just really dark. Thankfully that pounding was just one day, but it seems like there’s some new construction/pounding/drilling/noise every week -_- Yeah, I couldn’t quite believe the election either. Even when he was in the lead I just didn’t believe he could really win. But I guess we’ll see what happens. Thanks, you have a great week too!

  9. Tiffany @ I Was Angelized_1st

    Congrats on your new blogging opportunities! Sounds like things are picking up nicely šŸ™‚ I’ve also slept weird this past week, though mine has nothing to do with tossed washing machines. Lots of nightmares this week. I think it’s due to all the violence and turmoil that’s erupted around the election. I hope things get better moving forward. Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Sorry about the nightmares :-/ I actually had a nightmare last night too, but now I can’t remember what it was about, just that I had one. Thanks, you have a great week too!

  10. S. J. Pajonas

    Totally feel ya on the election. I am a mess of feelings and numbness. It’s not been easy to write this week! Looks like you got some good books to get you through though! That’s always a bright spot.

  11. Got My Book

    I hope you are able to sleep better this week. I often struggle with insomnia, so I empathize. I was awakened really early a couple of weeks ago by a horrible loud noise downstairs. Turns out they had a water leak, and had to do some emergency drilling to reach the pipes.

    I have done both author & narrator reviews, but I use a pretty generic set of questions. I haven’t been doing them lately, and want to improve them if I start up again.

    Sunday Summary #28

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks. I pretty much never sleep well, but it’s just been even worse lately. Insomnia is rough too. Being woken up like that sucks, but I guess the bright side is that at least you weren’t the one with the water leak?

      I used questions that were specific to the book, so it was more to think of them, but I did enjoy getting the author’s perspective. The broad kind of questions work too though. I guess it just depends what each person enjoys asking and reading šŸ™‚

  12. Jane @ Raincity Librarian

    Well, glad to hear some good news on the bookish and blogging front, anyway! I’ve had a rotten cold for the past two weeks, and combined with the absolutely rubbish weather we’ve been having here, it put me in the worst mood recently. Now that my cold is lifting I’m finally starting to feel like myself again! Although the weather really is still rubbish….

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Sorry about your cold though :-/ Glad you’re starting to feel better! But I don’t know, I like rain (if that’s the bad weather you’re having). Just not when I have to grocery shop lol.

  13. Jessica

    I was shocked and saddened by the election too. I think we need to move on from it. I read/listened to Nicholae over the weekend. I decided to give my ears a break and read Bloody Bones by Laurell K Hamilton. But I found out I already read it too. I’m going to re-read it. I also found out Petals on the Wind is on my overdrive now. So I put it on hold. I don’t have any Christmas books planned.

  14. Victoria Grace Howell

    I’m so sick of politics. I’m having to stay off social media and even not talk to certain people. It’s just chaos right now. I found a good show last week! Noragami. It’s an anime and I bingewatched it in mere days. XD I hope you feel better soon!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah it’s been crazy, I don’t blame you for staying away from social media at the moment. But yay for finding a new show! I’ve never actually watched anime, but it must be good if you bingewatched it in days! Thanks šŸ™‚

  15. Wren

    There is definitely a lot going on! I’ve got to say that I think your comparison of what’s going on in the USA right now with zombie books and movies is on point. Also, that cover of “From a Distant Star” is absolutely STUNNING!

    As for author interviews on my own blog, I actually posted an interview a while ago with the author of “The Summer that Melted Everything”! I haven’t read any absolutely amazing, mind-blowing books for the last while, though in the last few weeks I have stumbled across a few that were certainly worth reading.

    Happy reading!

    Wren @

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m glad someone understands what I was saying about the US! That really is what it has been reminding me of. And I agree, From A Distant Star is so pretty!

      Interviews are kinda fun, and I enjoy reading some of them too depending on the questions, but they don’t seem to be that popular. I’m definitely in the same boat as you with recent reads. Nothing completely mind-blowing for a while, but still some that I’ve enjoyed and am glad I read!

      Thanks, same to you!

  16. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    Congrats on being on the ARC review team for one of your favorite authors!! That’s awesome.
    I hope the elephants have stopped stomping on your roof, and that you’re able to get enough sleep once more.
    Have a wonderful Wednesday and happy reading šŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns


      Ugh, the elephants stopped, but now they’re repainting the whole outside of the building and were spraying jets of water all over the windows and making all sorts of noise and it’ll probably be noisy every day for a while now :-/

      Thanks, have a great week!

  17. chucklesthescot

    I agree with you about the election. Whether people like the result or not, it was a democratic vote and rioting in the street is not going to change it. It was the same here in the UK with the Brexit vote in June-politicians on the losing side are trying to overturn democracy and some of those voting to Remain are complaining non stop. It’s really annoying me that vote results are not being respected. I don’t like some of the things Trump said but lets just see what kind of job he does before we freak out. Having some European leaders being so frosty before even meeting the guy does not bode well for international relations. I hope he does a good job, I really do.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly. I’m not happy about it, but I’ve accepted it and am waiting to see what happens, and then I’ll just do what I can to try and keep worse things from happening, like voting for smaller things whenever they come up. I’m also kind of just counting on Congress to not let Trump do anything too horrible lol. International relations are definitely a concern though.