The Weekly Update: 6/12/16


I didn’t do anything particularly exciting last week.

I did watch the U.S. Secret Classic (a national gymnastics meet) on the NBC Sports website since I didn’t get to see it on TV, so that made me happy.

I’ve also still been drinking the kombucha I mentioned last week, but it doesn’t seem to be giving me the energy boost I thought it was. I guess it was a fluke :-/

But other than that, it’s been rainy, and life has pretty much just been the usual.

Blog/Bookish Updates:

So I’m kind of proud of myself because I’ve been getting braver lately and actually emailing small/indie pubs to ask for review copies of books. I mean, just ecopies, but still. It’s gone well with 2 of the 3 I’ve contact so far (the 3rd I haven’t heard back from). It makes me happy though because these are books that I really wanted and had on my TBR rather than impulse clicks on Netgalley.

In other news, I won the May Discussion Challenge giveaway! It’s been a while since I’ve won anything, so yay πŸ˜€ I chose Roadside Magic by Lilith Saintcrow. That might seem kind of strange since I don’t actually own a physical copy of Trailer Park Fae yet, but my reasoning is that I want to own the whole series, but I’d rather pick up TPF in person where I can make sure there’s not a single blemish on the cover (I know at least some of you know of my obsession with that cover lol). At least with RM I won’t be completely devastated if there’s a little fold or something.

Lastly, I’m still looking for sci-fi and fantasy books about characters with disabilities, chronic illness, etc. But a real disability/illness, not something that turns out to be a paranormal thing. I know many of you gave me fantastic recommendations already, but I’m posting my request again for anyone who didn’t see it.

Books I Received for Review:

My Zombie Boyfriend by T. Strange | reading, books
A Cupid's Wager by Deanna Wadsworth | reading, books
Naughty Cupid by Deanna Wadsworth | reading, books

Apparently I’ve got a new thing for urban fantasy-esque zombie books, as in zombies as thinking, talking MCs/love interests rather than the mindless, post-apoc kind. And isn’t that Naughty Cupid cover so pretty?

Books I Finished:

Supernatural Freak by Louisa Klein | reading, books
Dark Blood by Caleb James | reading, books
My Zombie Boyfriend by T. Strange | reading, books
The Human Cure by Tracy Auerbach | reading, books

Supernatural Freak unfortunately didn’t live up to it’s pretty cover as the MC’s voice was too chick lit for my taste. Dark Blood had a few execution flaws but was a good story. My Zombie Boyfriend was exactly the light, fun read I needed for the mood I was in. And The Human Cure was even funnier but also surprising in a good way.

Song of the Week:

“In My Veins” by Andrew Belle – Not new, but such a pretty song, and it’s just what I’ve been listening to lately. And I keep thinking that if I ever do write my book, it’ll be literally perfect for the playlist since there’s a blood transfusion in the story and so the one character will literally be in the veins of the other, and I don’t know, that just kind cracks me up lol.


In Case You Missed It:

– I reviewed Roadside Magic by Lilith Saintcrow, a book about cruel fae with beautiful prose.
– I asked whether or not you like realistic injuries in books.
– I reviewed North to Zombieville by Meg Bawden, a M/M post-apocalyptic book.
– I reviewed Art Ops Vol. 1 by Shaun Simon & Michael Allred, a beautifully illustrated graphic novel about art being alive and an MC with an arm made of graffiti.

The Sunday Post Link-Up:

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


Talk to me!

Did you find any good books or music last week?
Do you enjoy watching any specific sports?
Do you ever directly contact publishers, big or small, for review copies?


Your Thoughts


46 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 6/12/16

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  1. Deborah

    Great idea to contact the indie publishers. I’d think they’d love to have some additional coverage. And congrats on doing it too, as I know I get nervous about that sort of thing.

    Oh and sorry the kombucha’s not having the same effect… maybe it was the hit you needed at the right time?


    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s what I was thinking too. If they’re not super well-known, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship because then they get more publicity πŸ™‚ And thanks!

      At first I thought it was the kombucha itself. Then I thought maybe the ginger, but that doesn’t seem to be it. I wonder if maybe it was the carbonation, since this week the ones I have are all flat? But Idk if carbonation giving energy is possible in any way…

  2. Greg

    Roadside Magic- good choice. πŸ™‚ I still think that’s the best cover but yeah Trailer Park Fae’s not bad either πŸ˜›

    Too bad about Supernatural freak, I am a fan of that cover. And The Human Cure too (octopus??) My Zombie Boyfriend does look like it would be fun w/a cover like that.

    Don’t watch a lot of sports on TV although I am looking forward to the Olympics. hopefully Rio doesn’t screw them up, I guess they’re problems down there…

    1. Kristen Burns

      I knew you of all people would approve of my book choice πŸ˜›

      Oh my goodness this is the weirdest thing to me that everyone is so interested in the Zombie Boyfriend cover, haha. I feel like I’ve never had so many people just randomly mention the cover of a book to me, you’re the third, but I really don’t like the cover! But I finally found out why there’s an octopus on The Human Cure! Lol.

      I am so looking forward to the Olympics!!! I haven’t heard anything about Rio having problems? I still can’t get over what happened when they were in Russia though lol. Like, it wasn’t funny because I felt terrible for all the athletes who worked so hard and then might’ve had their chances screwed up because of the terrible accommodations, but the tweets and things that I kept seeing around the internet were just hilarious.

  3. Nick

    I always have such a hard time with weekly recaps because my life isn’t as exciting these days at all, so all I talk about is how I read books. LOL!
    Good for you on sending in your first review request! It’s definitely a nerve-wracking experience. I don’t do it often, but every time I do send one, I’m a ball of nerves. But really it shouldn’t be because the worst case scenario is that they don’t respond at all.
    I hope you enjoy all your books this week and have a wonderful week ahead. πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Well, as you can tell from my riveting intro about watching TV and drinking kombucha, my life is not particularly exciting either lol. But I still love joining in and getting to chat with everyone about our weeks! And it’s a good chance to just talk about random thoughts you’ve had lately or anything πŸ™‚

      Thanks! Yeah, the first was kind of nerve-wracking, but I feel exactly the way you said. If I try, I might get the book, or I might not. If I don’t try, I definitely won’t get the book. It’s not like it costs me to try!

      Thanks, you have a great week too πŸ™‚

  4. kimbacaffeinate

    My Zombie Boyfriend sounds like fun..although eew…unless of course you are a zombie. We’ve been watching Person of Interest on Netflix and not much else. Bummer the tea lost it’s effect already. Hope this week is a good one!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It was fun, and he was a very well-kept zombie in the book lol. I’ve never watched that show, but I really don’t watch much TV since I don’t have Netflix or a good cable package. You have a great week too!

  5. Trish @ Between My Lines

    Well done on approaching the Indie Publisher, I’d say they will be delighted as it helps spread the word for their books. And getting a book you really want is great! I’m wracking my brain for a sci fi book that meets your criteria but am drawing a blank. If I think of something I’ll let you know.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks πŸ™‚ Not that I haven’t found some great books on Netgalley, but it’s kind of extra great when it’s a book you’ve already been wanting! And no worries, if you do happen to think of one, just let me know πŸ™‚

  6. Maureen's Books (@MaureenHinten)

    Congrats on emailing the indie pubs. Sounds like you’re doing great. I’ve never done anything like that, but if I had more reading time, I would definitely like to be as brave as you! πŸ˜‰
    Love the Andrew Belle song. Very pretty.
    I’m just catching up on my emails, and blog this past view days. Getting my blog back in order after my holiday. β€˜
    Have a great week and Happy Reading! πŸ˜‰

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! It’s not that scary, the worst they can do is say no or not respond πŸ™‚

      I can imagine you must be rather busy playing catch up after your vacation! You have a great week too!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s such a nice song, right?! I’ve never actually emailed an author who didn’t explicitly offer review copies. Somehow that seems scarier to me because it’s more personal lol. Glad it went well for you πŸ™‚

  7. sjhigbee

    It sounds like you’ve had a great week – sorry the kombucha isn’t having the desired effect. I’ve recently been sorting my diet out – and I’ve been shaken just how much energy I have when I cut sugar out of my meals. I’m working REALLY hard this year, but mostly really enjoying it all, because that terrible exhausted feeling I used to get at the end of the day is a thing of the past… It might be something to try if you, too, find you’re running out of energy. What a great idea to contact the indie publishers direct:).
    I was more than happy to share your article – I thought it raised an interesting issue for readers and bloggers. Many thanks for swinging by my site and have a great week, whatever the weather!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I really don’t eat much sugar. I eat pretty healthy, not a lot of processed foods, etc. But I do remember how shocked I was in high school when I stopped drinking soda and started drinking lots of water, I thought I already had plenty of energy, but suddenly I had so much more! So I know how much diet can affect energy levels. It’s kind of crazy. If only I could figure out what would work best for me.

      And yeah, I figured contacting the publishers would be worth a shot πŸ™‚ And I’m so glad you enjoyed my post! You have a great week too!

  8. Annika @ Hiding Books

    The kombucha’s not working? Noooo

    Yay for being brave! I’ve been meaning to start doing that too since I’m also prone to impulse clicking on Netgalley. But it’s scary! Like Edelweiss is super scary to me too haha. But YAY, go you!

    About disability recs… Have you read the Magicians by Lev Grossman? Have we talked about this one before? The protagonist struggles with depression, and I actually really love the way he’s written. But a lot of people can’t deal with his “whining and self-pity etc” which kind of makes me wanna cry, honestly. But anyway, that would be my rec!

    Hahaaa I want My Zombie Boyfriend. It sounds fun!
    Also your story about In My Veins cracked me up πŸ˜› I love Andew Belle too!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I know, I was all excited about the kombucha :-/

      Haha Edelweiss was scary to me too at first, so I get it. I mean, I’ve literally got rejected for everything I’ve requested on there lol, but I’m not afraid to try anymore at least! (Well, I have one pending at the moment, but considering my track record…)

      I haven’t read that book but I’ve heard about it. I can see why those types of comments would be upsetting :-/ There’s a difference between just being whiny and having depression. I’ll check that book out though πŸ™‚

      I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people interested in a book before but so many people have commented on Zombie Boyfriend lol. And I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds the blood transfusion funny πŸ˜›

      1. Annika @ Hiding Books

        You’re so brave! And I mean, if you don’t try you’ll never get it, right? Good luck with the one pending πŸ˜‰

        Yep, I need to get a picture of my copy when I go back home – I marked every page that resonated with my depression and it’s just full of purple slips of paper…! I hope you like it ;p It’s also a rare one because it’s fantasy where the protagonist has depression, so I think that’s interesting.

        1. Kristen Burns

          I didn’t get the pending book, but thanks for the luck anyway πŸ˜› Honestly, I just don’t have much fear of rejection in general. I figure that I’ll definitely be disappointed if I don’t try, but at least I try I have a shot!

          You know, sometimes people don’t genuinely don’t realize how judgmental they’re being. If they don’t have anyone in their life to make them understand or have never felt it themselves or been on the receiving end up judgment like that, they just might not realize. But at least the author did a good job with the character. And it is SO rare to find fantasy books that tackle physical or mental health topics.

          1. Annika @ Hiding Books

            Ahh, there’s always next time, right! That is such a good way of looking at it! But rejection still terrifies me. I’ll be brave and try! (look at you, inspiring people!)

            That’s very true! (And I try not to judge people for being judgy.) I have friends who I’ve heard say really upsetting things about mental health conditions and then I’ve never felt able to tell them about my struggles because… well it’s scary. But, I’m opening up about it now because I’m older and I care less about what people think. That’s actually really positive, right?

            1. Kristen Burns

              Yay I love inspiring people πŸ˜€

              I mean, I’m not excusing people’s bad behavior, especially when people are cruel, but I know that I used to be a lot more judgmental, even when I thought I wasn’t, because I just didn’t understand certain things. I understand why you’d be hesitant to tell your friends when they’ve said upsetting things in the past, but maybe some of them would see the error of their ways if they had someone close to them who could explain? But honestly, some of them might stay closed-minded because that’s just how some people are, and that’s their loss. It’s definitely positive if you’re starting to care less what people think though! Like I said, their loss if they choose to squander the opportunity to grow and to lose a friend, but it’s still hard. In many ways, I’ve never really cared what people think, but in some ways, I do still care a whole lot, so I get it.

              1. Annika @ Hiding Books

                Well, we’re lucky you’re so good at it! πŸ˜‰

                No, I didn’t think you were excusing bad behaviour at all! It’s easy to judge and I know I do it too about other things though obviously I try not to. That’s very true, I should just be a bit braver about talking to people about these things, I mean – there’s nothing I really should be scared of. You are so sweet I don’t even know how to thank you. <3

                1. Kristen Burns

                  Aww, thank you <3

                  I may not be struggling with the exact same things as you, but I have my own struggles, and I think if there's any one good thing we can get from them, it's using them to understand others better πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! But you should totally go for it on Netgalley! I was scared to request anything there at first too but finally did in January and have loved it ever since lol. You have a great week too!

  9. Lillian @ Mom with a Reading Problem

    Kudos for contacting the Indie publishers πŸ˜€ I’m not brave enough to do that, but then again I have enough from Netgalley to keep me reading for a while πŸ˜‰ Hope you have a great week! I’m going to have to check out Zombie Boyfriend. I like a fun read!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks πŸ™‚ I’ve never gone overboard on Netgalley, so I don’t have too many, luckily. You have a great week too, and enjoy Zombie Boyfriend if you decide to give it a read!

  10. Literary Feline

    About the only time I watch gymnastics is during the Olympics. At least the games are coming up soon. πŸ™‚ That’s great that you are receiving responses from indie publishers about review books. It’s been ages since I solicited for a review. Probably for the best given how behind I always am. Yay for winning the giveaway! That’s exciting! I need to read more by Lilith Saintcrow.

    I hope you have a great week, Kristen! I was kind of hoping my husband would be up early so he could do a doughnut run, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Instead, my daughter and I popped in the first Harry Potter movie.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I think the Olympics is the only time most people watch gymnastics lol. I’m so excited that they’re coming up though! Olympic gymnastics is my World Cup/Superbowl/whatever other big sporting event people get super into πŸ˜›

      Thanks! It’s just nice being able to read books I’ve really been wanting.

      You have a great week too! A doughnut run sounds good lol, but so does having a lazy, movie-watching morning!

  11. Lola

    I don’t really watch any sports on tv or otherwise, but I can imagine it would be more interesting if you’re into sports or it’s a sport you do/did yourself. It’s nice you got to watch it on their website as you couldn’t see it on tv.
    That’s too bad the Kombucha seemed to be a fluke, maybe it was placebo effect? But hey at least it tasted good, right?

    That’s great you’re reaching out to small publishers and such. I still mostly get my review copies from netgalley or from authors I already know/ be on their review list. Sometimes when I see authors posting about review copies on social media and ask you to e-mail them I do that. That’s how I got a review copy of Undone this week, it’s by Kelley Armstrong one of my favourite authors and I was sure I wouldn’t get accepted, but I did. It’s exciting every time I actually hear yes and get a review copy. I’ll have to try and reach out more to authors and publisher too, but for some reason it still makes me nervous and feel bad asking for review copies like that. So i only dare an e-mail when I know they are looking for reviewers. It seems weird that even after like 3 and a half year of blogging I still hardly dare to reach out and ask for review copies.

    I am looking forward to your review of My Zombie Boyfriend, that cover just looks too cute for a zombie book. That’s too bad Supernatural Freak didn’t live up to it’s cover. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t watch any other sports either. I don’t even understand them lol. But I’m always down to watch gymnastics since I do understand that one! Lol.

      I really don’t think it was a placebo, but it might’ve just been a coincidence or something else that I didn’t realize, not the kombucha. So I’m still trying to figure it out.

      I’ve never emailed an author who didn’t explicitly offer review copies either because that feels too personal. I think I’d feel bad for bothering them or making them feel bad if they didn’t want to give review copies. Then again, indie authors would probably like extra publicity… Anyway, I don’t feel bad contact publishers though because that’s, like, expected. But it is still exciting every time I get a copy!

      Lol it definitely wasn’t a typical type of zombie book. You have a great week too!

  12. S. J. Pajonas

    Glad you had a pretty chill week! It rained here a bit too but I was busy busy so it wasn’t too bad for me. πŸ™‚

    I can’t think of any scifi books with characters who have disabilities! What a shame. πŸ™ If I do run across some, I’ll be sure to send them your way.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks πŸ™‚ For the most part I don’t mind rain as long there are no power outages, it’s just a problem when I have to grocery shop and run errands, carry thing all the way to my apt from my car, etc.

      There really aren’t a lot of books out there like what I’m looking for, but I figure if I remind people enough that I’m looking, they’ll let me know if they happen to stumble upon any πŸ˜›

    1. Kristen Burns

      I had it delivered to someone else’s house because I live in an apt, so I haven’t gotten to open the package yet, but they told me it was delivered at least. I’m sure it will be fine πŸ™‚

  13. Tiffany

    Congrats on winning the giveaway! That’s awesome! I haven’t been watching sports, because I’m not a big sports watcher, but I want to watch the Olympics. I don’t think I’ve ever contacted a publisher directly, unless I already have a relationship with them. I’m too much of a coward. LOL! It’s great the response was positive. I guess it never hurts to ask.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! And I’m so excited for the Olympics too! Gymnastics is the only sport I watch because it’s the only one I understand lol. Haha, I’ve never been one to fear rejection much, so I figured it was worth a shot with the publishers!