Countdown to a New Year, December 29: Erin Finnegan

Countdown to a New Year, December 29: Erin Finnegan

From December 20 through December 31, Binge on Books will be hosting a series of posts each day counting down to the new year. Joined by authors, publishers, and fellow bloggers, this series will focus on takeaways from 2017 and what we can look forward to in 2018. Think the biggest, longest, most book-filled reflection of the past year and the hopes and dreams for the new one all wrapped into one: that’s Binge on Books’ Countdown to a New Year. Come see what your favorite members of the book world have to say about the past year and what’s up next for them in the year to come!

**Plus every day in the countdown will feature prize packs of ARCs and book giveaways plus a final BIG giveaway of a Kindle Fire! Enter every day for a chance to win!**

THINGS I LEARNED IN 2017 THAT EVERYONE ELSE ALREADY KNEW

I’m a believer in lifelong learning. I witness it every day as the caretaker of my elderly father, who is currently teaching himself how to code.

Inspired by this, maybe, I tried to assess what I learned this year. Specifically, what did I learn about books?

One lesson stood out. It ends up, I was just catching up on what so many others already knew: Young Adult fiction is awesome, even for those of us who haven’t been teenagers in awhile.

When Young Adult began its steep ascent in publishing, I didn’t think I’d be a fan. Too much dystopia, too many stories about kids asking the questions I’d already answered for myself, and didn’t care to revisit.

Was I ever wrong. If 2017 showed me anything, it was that YA isn’t just a genre for high school students and Hollywood scouts. The very best of the genre serve as a bellwether for change, as an index for where literature and culture are headed. It can push old boundaries, and teach us lessons about both ourselves and others, and hint at how the next generation of thought leaders will shape the world.

And the best in this genre in 2017 wasn’t just the best YA of the year, it was some of the very best of the year’s fiction.

Case in point: Angie Thomas’ brilliant The Hate You Give. Along with a lot of other readers, it was my book of the year not only because it entertained, but because it made me stop, go back, re-read, and think. The characters are so vivid, the dialogue so on-point, and the story fleshed out in the realist of realism: so-called bad guys sometimes do honorable things, and good guys sometimes lapse. Not every story is clear-cut.

I was sickened but not surprised to hear that a Texas school district banned THUG. In this current political climate, it may have been inevitable. They couldn’t be more wrong. This isn’t a book you keep out of kids’ hands. This is a book that belongs in every high school library in this country.

Young Adult books may tell us about community and our place in it, but they are so often at their core coming of age novels. And I learned this year that coming of age doesn’t have to be an instruction manual. It can be relevant long past your teen years.

Coming of age should be about introspection, about learning something about yourself, and when its done well—whether combined with fantasy or romance or action/adventure—it has the power to connect with anyone, of any age.

My favorite example of 2017 (and there were several) was the book that was so ballsy as to spoil it’s ending in the title: Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End. Ultimately, it makes sense, because dying isn’t the point of this well-written novel—it’s about how you use the time you have.

YA can also be just plain fun, and in this world of daily (sometimes hourly) WTF-ery, we can use a little laughter.  Sound good? Try F.T. Lukens’ The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic. A friend accurately described this wonderfully weird and wild ride as being “a literary version of the waiting room in Beetlejuice.” It’s fast, it’s wild, it had me laughing out loud—while still making a point about being true to yourself, no matter how daunting that may be.


Erin Finnegan is a former journalist and PR flack who now spends a lot of time thinking about and occasionally writing books in her home outside Los Angeles. Her novel Luchador (Interlude Press, 2016) was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2016 and was named the best independently-published romance of 2016 by Foreword Reviews. She is also the author of Sotto Voce (2014) and Last Call at the Casa Blanca Bar & Grille, part of the Interlude Press anthology, If the Fates Allow.

Connect with Erin on her website: http://www.erin-finnegan.com/


Enter to win one of 3 prize packs of books! 

Prize Pack #10:

The Thousandth Floor and The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

Prize Pack #11:

Neighborhood Girls by Jessie Ann Foley

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Ringer by Lauren Oliver

 Prize Pack #12:

Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson

Nothing by Annie Barrows

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston

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Most Anticipated Books for 2016: A Podcast Four Way!

Hey everybody! It’s Judith from Binge on Books and today you better get your one-click finger ready as you listen to this very special and BONUS edition of my monthly podcast!

3 Bloggers

Joining me are three amazing book bloggers from all different corners of the book world: Vilma from Vilma’s Book Blog, Abby from Crime by the Book, and Elisabeth Lane from Cooking Up Romance! Each of us talks our three most anticipated reads of 2016 and believe me, there is a little something for everybody, from fantasy fairy-tale retellings to grisly Swedish crime fiction, from sexy magical wedding stories to campy queer mystery. A word of caution: you may have to wait more than a few months for some but only a few days for others (and at least 3 are already out! YES!). So sit back and listen in as we chat about all the gorgeous new reads that we’re dying to get out hands on!

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No time to listen but still want to stock up on great reads? Check out each blogger’s picks here:

Vilma from Vilma’s Book Blog, a site focused on Fantasy, NA, Contemporary, Suspense

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Judith from Binge on Books, a site focused on Romance, Fantasy, YA, NA
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Despite Everything (tentative title) by Roan Parrish
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Want to hear more podcasts like this? Check out Binge on Books’ Author Chat, a monthly segment where Judith sits down with some of her favorite authors and talks about anything and everything!
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Binge on Books Best of 2015: Judith’s Top Picks

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Release Day: Exclusive Excerpt of Rebecca Grace Allen’s His Contract

HearHis Contract that? That’s the very loud, very excited sound of cheering for today’s release of Rebecca Grace Allen’s super sexy BDSM book, His Contract! Woohoo! Confetti throw! It’s here! Yessss. And what could make today even better? Well, Rebecca has given Binge on Books an exclusive excerpt for the release and it’s hotter than hot (And by that I mean it’s INCENDIARY so watch out)!

Now, if you don’t know anything about His Contract a) where have you been?! b) let’s change that stat! Here’s the blurb (and honestly, get ready to fan yourself by the end):

Lawyers know when to play by the rules…and when to break them. Harvard law professor Jack Archer once balanced his professional life with the private world of dominance, surrender, and trust he shared with his wife. Since cancer stole her a year ago, finding love again—her final wish for him—is the furthest thing from his mind. From his empty house to the classroom, grief follows his every move.Until he meets a young woman with shadows in her eyes even darker than his own.

Once a shining star at law school, Lilly Sterling’s dreams died when the Dom she trusted left her heartbroken and lost. She’s starting fresh in a new city as a paralegal, but meeting Jack reawakens all her old demons—and her lingering desires. Jack offers to become Lilly’s mentor for both the courtroom and the playroom, but tells himself it’s not a relationship. Their carefully worded contract guarantees that. But when their trial agreement starts heating up, both Jack and Lilly must decide what will tip the scales: the letter of the law…or love?

Warning: All rise for a book that contains a wounded submissive and a Dominant who wants to retrain her while retaining control of his heart. Discovery phase may involve spankings, bondage, edging, and blindfolds. Is it hot?

You be the judge.

And here it is, an exclusive excerpt to whet your appetite before you delve head first into His Contract. Enjoy! Read More

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Romance review: For Real by Alexis Hall

For Real by Alexis HallFor Real by Alexis Hall

Published by: Riptide Books

Format: Kindle ARC

Genre: M/M Romance

Reviewed by: Liz

Score: 9/10

I can’t tell,” says one character to another, “if I’m being seduced or bludgeoned.”

Which is something you will need to know when starting “For Real” – it will do both at the same, and you will love every second of it. Much like with the rest of Alexis Hall’s work, you have to be ready to enter into an exceptionally personal, tight, and vulnerable point of view, where the narrator misses no pertinent detail. The words quickly slither under your skin and into your mind until you are in the scene, with these people, experiencing what they experience, and feeling what they feel.

Ostensibly, this book is billed as a BDSM novel, but what it truly is at its heart, is an unapologetic and stunning romance centered around – and also having nothing to do with – kink. If you go into it expecting carefully worded negotiations around safewords, soft and hard limits, and which toys are allowed to go where, when, and how, you may be a bit disappointed. However, if you are looking for a beautifully realized love story with a stunning backdrop of sexual compatibility that goes beyond the physical, it’s hard to imagine you won’t find it here.

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NA Review: Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan + Giveaway!

Carry the OceanCarry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan

Published by: Samhain Publishing

Format: Kindle ARC

Genre: NA M/M Romance

Reviewed by: Judith

Score: 10/10

Did you see the score I gave this one? Did you? DID YOU?! 10/10. 10 whopping stars. That’s not something I hand out willy nilly to all the books that grace this blog. No, this book is special. It’s ridiculously special. Don’t get me wrong: it’s the funny, sexy, intelligent, fast paced, and lovely book we expect from Heidi Cullinan. But above all – and what sets it apart from everything – is how wholly unique it is to the genre. Read the plot, give it a chance; give me 50 pages and if you hate it, forget it. But if you trust my reviews, then do yourself a favor and one-click this book. It is oh so worth it.

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Tell Us YOUR Top reads of 2013!

Best Books 2013

Hello, folks. You know what? I’m a little bit sad these days because 2013 is slowly, inexorably coming to an end! Where did this year go, right?! Uhhh, how can it be December already? The only good thing about the end of the year is this: recapping all the amazing literature we’ve read over the last 12 months. We’ve read a lot and so have you and I think if we put two and two together, we’ll get a pretty exhaustive list of what we should be reading. Obviously though to do this, we need YOUR

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help to decide which books were the absolute

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best of the best, the creme de la creme of all the books you’ve plowed through. Below are three polls in the three main categories we review, YA, NA, and Romance. Take a few seconds to let us know what your fave in each category is. Help a fellow reader discover a fantastic read!

Top 3 winners in each category announced in two weeks and maybe a contest will be included…vote on!

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