Update: Life and Books (Jan 2021)


So. It’s been a month. An attempted coup. A second impeachment. An inauguration. Stock market stuff. At least some of those things are good! Still, it’s just been a lot, on top of personal life, health, etc.

I decided to go back and add a background to the Jacovine vampire smut I shared over a year ago but never really got to finish because that was when my head nerve problem started. The background used to be a gray void. Now it’s got a bedside table and a floor! I’m pretty happy with the background. It definitely makes the picture look more complete.

Warning: It’s NSFW!

Jacovine Vampire Smut by whykristenburns (no background)
Jacovine Vampire Smut by whykristenburns

I also fixed up an alternate background for this Matthew and Elliott piece. I originally had both ideas as options and went with the outside one. But looking back, I liked the inside one too. I didn’t want to drastically change anything, just wanted to have the same art with both backgrounds, and here they are.

Matthew and Elliott Dancing Outside by whykristenburns
Matthew and Elliott Dancing Inside by whykristenburns

(In case anyone is confused, both of these couples are characters of mine who started out as sims, and then I decided I wanted to write about them but have not done any writing in a long time, so now they just live in my head.)

Other than that, I’ve mostly done a lot of reading. Sometimes listening to podcasts. Getting caught up on Drawga Season 3 on YouTube, which is very fun! I also decided to try shaving the shaved parts of my head with no guard! So I’ve seen my scalp and felt air on it for the first time, that was a new experience lol. Really that’s about it for me for January.

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I’m thinking I might keep doing full reviews here only for review copies and books I really like, and everything else I feel like reviewing would go just on Goodreads and Amazon. I haven’t actually decided though.

I’m joining the Discussion Challenge though! Hosted by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight and Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction. I do have some discussion posts I want to share this year. Some that I think are very fun, so hopefully other people will like them too. But I’ll keep it realistic and say I’m going for Discussion Dabbler (1-10 posts).

Discussion Challenge 2021


Books I Received for Review:

I got The Voyages of Trueblood Cay by Suanne Laqueur and Bloodlaced by Courtney Maguire from NetGalley, and I got An Echo in the Sorrow by Hailey Turner from A Novel Take PR. I’m especially excited for Bloodlaced because the main characters is nonbinary, and (I think) a vampire!


Books I Finished:

Starcrossed by Allie TherinMazarin Blues by Al HessStrangers in the Night by E.M. Jeanmougin & Jay WrightHeartache & Hoofbeats by Maz MaddoxBright Spark by  Alex SilverRuby Run by Sam BurnsThose Words I Dread by Tess BarnettThe Bar at the End of the World by Tom Abrahams

I had a GREAT start to my year book-wise! There were a lot of enjoyable but not super memorable books, but I also found some really great and amazing ones that I’m excited to tell you all about.

Again, I have too many headaches to link this many books to their Amazon pages, so if you’re considering buying one, I’d really appreciate if you’d use my affiliate link to get there!

For the same reason, I did not include a cover for every book, as I normally do, so above are just my favorite books of the month and the ones with my favorite covers :-P

The Great:

Starcrossed // Wonderstruck by Allie Therin – These were so cute, and a great ending to the trilogy! Love the 1920s setting and adorable romance.

Mazarin Blues // Sable Dark by Al Hess – I loved these! Diverse, cast of lovable queer characters, cute romance, fun and unique future + 1930s subculture premise.

Strangers in the Night // Friends in Low Places by E.M. Jeanmougin & Jay Wright – I loved these too! A mlm urban fantasy that stands out with its complex characters, slow burn romance, and werespider premise.

Stallion Ridge Books 1-6 by Maz Maddox – These were all fun, cute, mlm romance in an alternate Old West setting with uncommon supernaturals.

The Good:

The Pining by Devon McCormack – An enjoyable mlm vampire romance.

Clear Sight // Shelter // Bold Move by Alex Silver – (I used the cover Bright Spark, which is the first book in the series.) I finished up the main books in the Psions of SPIRE series and read two of the novellas. It was a really good series with super healthy, communicative, and diverse queer relationships.

The Knight and the Necromancer Books 1-3 by A. H. Lee – Enjoyable mlm romance with some cool necromancy magic.

Tales of the Tuath Dé Books 1-3 by Tess Barnett – This was a fun little mlm romance + urban fantasy series that got better and deeper with each book. Unfortunately incomplete and appears to be abandoned, but it ended in a good enough spot.

Tin Star Witches: The Witches of Ruby Gulch – These are four books set in the same fictional town in the Old West, each written by a different author, and they were enjoyable mlm romances. I like that two had POC characters (Black, Native American), and two had disabled characters (blindness, anosmia).

Feel My Pain by K. A. Merikan – Not my usual kind of read, but I enjoyed this gritty mlm romance!

Junk Mage by Elliot Cooper – A cute, simple mlm short story about a technomancer and cyborg.

The OK/Good but Not for Me:

Travelers // Chromeheart by Al Hess – A unique, calm meandering, almost slice-of-life sort of post-apoc series.

The Bar at the End of the World by Tom Abrahams – Very action-packed and a religious/spiritual/metaphysical idea, but I think too action-packed for me.

Weave the Dark, Weave the Light by Anna Zabo – A short story about a witch and a being who was a literal star.

The Lonely Merman // Lyle’s Story by Kay Berrisford – Cute novellas in a merman + human mlm romance series.

Bloodlust by Nesca Darks – The first in an urban fantasy series about a hard-boiled vampire detective.

The Red Sun Rises by Victoria Kinnaird – Also the first in a vampire urban fantasy, this one YA and LGBT+.


In Case You Missed It:

Here are the highlights:

– I reviewed Starcrossed and Wonderstruck by Allie Therin, super cute sequels (and finale) in a great historical paranormal mlm series!
– I reviewed Mazarin Blues by Al Hess, a unique, queer, diverse, fantastic book with AI and a future Art Deco subculture.
– I reviewed As We Know It, an interesting, diverse, character-focused visual novel set in a post-apoc bunker.


Talk to me!

How has the start of 2021 been going for you?
Find any good books, movies, music, podcasts, etc.?


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16 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (Jan 2021)

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  1. Greg

    It has been a month! Can you believe some of this stuff is happening in America? Wow. I feel like I had blinders on in some respects about our country, and they;ve been ripped off…

    Nice background – the floating lights are cool but I think I like the greenish glow more, on the second one? Are you going to write anything about these characters, do you think?

    Good luck w/ the discussions! :)

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s wild.

      Thanks! I originally liked the outdoors one best, but now I kinda like the inside one more too lol. The lighting also just makes more sense in that one. Who knows, maybe I’ll eventually write about them one day!

  2. Roberta R.

    You always find the most unique books! I feel like I’m missing out for not reading them, but they all seem to have romance, which is…not my friend LOL.

    “I do have some discussion posts I want to share this year. Some that I think are very fun, so hopefully other people will like them too.”
    Looking forward to those!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol too bad nobody else ever wants to read them *cries* But yeah the only ones here that don’t have much romance are The Bar at the End of the World and Bloodlust, and they were first in series, so idk.

      Thanks! At least I’ll have a few readers lol.

  3. ShootingStarsMag

    I still need to read Wonderstruck, but I love that whole series by Allie Therin. I’ll be sad when it’s over, but I’m glad to hear you loved the finale!


  4. R K S W

    Handsome, lovely boy…
    Stunning, sensual lady…
    Your eyes within my thoughts.
    Oceanic portals
    to intelligence, pain and desire…
    Tender boy,
    wonderous woman…
    I want to know all of you.