Countdown to a New Year, December 31: Judith of Binge on Books

Countdown to a New Year, December 31: Judith of Binge on Books

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!**

Outweighing the Negatives

It has been a hard year.

Full stop.

I am one of those people who generally prefers to ignore the negative and just focus on the positive but it has been hard, y’all. Hard in so many psyche-impacting ways: politically, personally, professionally, emotionally. I’ve had my womanhood and my person attacked on several fronts, my intellect and my dreams called into question. The mudslinging has been unparalleled and the overt hate has been overwhelming.

We can all agree that 2017 was a doozy; it had so many downs that at times, I was worried that we – the book community – would never be able to bounce back. That the core of what makes us a strong and forward thinking bunch was gone for good. But we’re a resilient and all-inclusive group. Full of dreamers and doers, thinkers and thoses who find hope in the smallest of gestures. We are a rag tag motley of writers, publishers, publicists, agents, and readers that just want to see ourselves in books and in turn, allow others to see themselves. For all our differences, we’re a community that I am so grateful to be a part of.

Yes, it’s been hard but on the flipside, it’s also been a stellar year full of magical, life-changing reads and the achievement of several personal milestones. So, instead of focusing about all the bad, let’s chat about all the amazing things that happened in 2017! It’s time to outweigh the negative.

On the Books Front:

If you read some phenomenal books this year, raise your hand! At this end, I read so many fantastic reads that narrowing it down to a handful is tough but there are a few that stand out as extra special:

1. Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by MacKenzi Lee: a bisexual historical caper set in England and the Continent. LOVE IT. There are duels, mad chases, lavish parties, pirates, and so much more all packed into this one book!

2. Fence by C.S. Pacat: I’ve been in love with C.S. Pacat’s writing since her seminal Captive Prince series. Fence is a queer YA comic featuring two protags who love to hate each other but man, can they fence.

3. Idlewild by Jude Sierra: while it did not come out in 2017, I certainly did read it then and am counting it as a knock out 2017 read. Superb writing and the nuanced characterization of two men learning to love…it’s so spot on.

4. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black: astounding fantasy YA set in the world of faerie! There is a human protagonist, a whole faerie court, and a not love story. You must read it!

On the Personal Front:

2017 rocked my world on the personal front:

1. HEA USA Today: at the end of 2016, I had the opportunity to start up a column on HEA USA Today called Rainbow Trends. That column focused on specific tropes and trends in queer romance and was a chance for me to explore them on a national forum. In 2017, Rainbow Trends is still going strong and in addition I was able to interview and promote some of my favorite diverse authors on HEA USA Today.

2. TeenVogue: if you had told me a year ago that I would be a frequent contributor to Teen Vogue by the end of 2017, I would have laughed. Seriously, laughed in your face. And yet, here I am, a frequent contributor to Teen Vogue! Talk about an amazing gig – I currently pen a queer books column for the mag and get queer books to the people who need them, teens. It has been humbling to say the least and I thank my lucky stars daily that I have this chance.

3. The Mary Sue: Starting in January 2018, I’ll be reviewing queer geeky reads for The Mary Sue! I am a book pusher, no qualms about it and this next column I’ll be penning will feature a wealth of queer reads with a slightly geeky bent. I. Cannot. Wait.

4. The release of Sight Unseen anthology: pushing the publishing envelope has always been my goal with Open Ink Press, the small pub I created in 2016. Through it I want to give authors an opportunity to take risks with their writing and craft stories that aren’t status quo. Sight Unseen is an amazing addition to this vision–the premise is simple: give authors a chance to write and publish anonymously and in turn, free them from the constraint of reader or publisher expectation. The stories Emma Barry, Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran, Erin Satie, and J.A. Rock created for the anthology went beyond my wildest expectations and were lauded on many fronts.

5. Book friendships: And finally, this year has given me an opportunity to grow and nurture so many book friendships with authors, agents, publishers, and of course, readers. It is so worthwhile to be able to talk books with a group of smart, well-versed people and I cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store.

Some promises to myself (not resolutions):

1. Ask for help when I need it. If you know me personally in any capacity, you’ll know that I love to work myself to a state of overwhelm. Seriously. Living on 2-3 hours of sleep and trying to accomplish practically EVERYTHING is a clear indicator that I am not very good at asking for help from others. This year I am promising to do that…at least a little bit.

2. Treat myself with kindness. So rarely do we allow ourselves to be kind to ourselves. We have to be kind to others, to those who do us a bad turn, to those who are jerks, to those we really want to punch in the face. We have to be kind in the face of petty slights and stupid crap but we hardly ever find time to forgive ourselves and treat ourselves kindly. Well, screw that! This year I’m treating myself with kindness. I’m not going to beat myself up all the time about dumb stuff. I’m not going to expect perfection because that’s not plausible and frankly, it is a little boring.

3. Make myself and my wants a priority. Fin.


Judith is the owner and curator of the book review site Binge on Books, as well as the boutique press Open Ink and the literary PR agency, A Novel Take PR. You can also find Judith on HEA USA Today with her LGBTQ romance column Rainbow Trends, and on Teen Vogue talking her favorites in queer YA and New Adult.

Connect with Judith: @bingeonbooks


Enter to win the grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7 8GB! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter the other 12 giveaways featuring swag, ARCs, and Final copies of books by your favorites!

Prize Packs 1 – 3: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0341/

Prize Packs 4 – 6: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0342/

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Prize Packs 10 – 12: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0344/


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A big fat THANK YOU aka You love us, you really love us!

Guys. I don’t say this enough: Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We started this blog only 6 months ago as a means of simultaneously venting about and relishing some truly exceptional books. Little did we know that anybody would actually read it. But you did, and still do, and for that we’re grateful. You guys are the bomb!

And now this: we’re up for a blogging award! I know, right? Woah! That’s so neat and totally unexpected. As two people who have never been nominated for anything, this is validation of the best sort. I mean, I kept hoping in high school that I’d at least get voted Best Hair or Most Likely To Succeed. “Someone will surely recognize the superiority of my silky soft locks,” I would say to myself. But it never, ever happened and now, only a few years later, we’re nominated for our quick wit and snarky words. In short, it’s amazing. We’ve come so far after only 6 months and it’s all thanks to you. Here’s to 6 more!

If anyone wants to nominate any of the other fab blogs out there or you know, nominate us over and over ad nauseum which is totally acceptable and not at all crazypants – ha! – here’s the link to the 2012 Bloggy Awards! http://thebloggyawards.blogspot.com/

BTW: yep, that’s totally me giving

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you two thumbs up! And no, I don’t normally walk around with a helmet on my head.

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Contest: Tough Critic Book Reviews Biggest Giveaway in the History of Ever

Me, again! I didn’t see you nearly enough while I was on vacay so I’m back!! Twice in less than 12 hours…that’s gotta be a record of some sort.

This time I have only amazing books to offer you as my good blogging buddy, Mollie at Tough Critic Book Reviews (that’s her beautiful, smiling face above) hosts the Biggest Giveaway in the History of Ever! For real this contest features a 27+ pack of Signed books (one of which we donated! A signed ARC of Deity: booyah! There will be more where that came from from us in a few weeks, hint hint).

Official details:
Let’s get Jenny to the TFEiC event in Chicago at the end of September. Help us fly her from Australia all the way to the Windy City. This is so important that I’m willing to part with my prized ARC copy of Deity(Covenant #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout, not set to release until November along with the biggest prize pack of autographed best sellers in the history of ever! For every $1 donated you will earn one entry into the giveaway. For example – donate $20, get 20 entries.GRAND PRIZE will win the amazing signed book pack to include best selling authors E.L. James, Colleen Hoover, Tammara Webber, and many others. SECOND PRIZE will win a $20.00 gift card and an official D-bags t-shirt. THIRD PRIZE will also win a $20.00 gift card!You must submit your receipt as proof of donation to be entered into the contest to mollie_harper@hotmail.com. Please put “donation” as the subject line. Even if you just donate $1, you’ll be helping a great cause for a truly lovely individual that completely deserves this! Here’s a chance to do something nice for someone else! The giveaway will end on August 9th, 2012 and the winners will be announce on the 10th! If we do not reach our goal by the end date, you will not be charged for your donation, but we will ONLY give away the prizes if we reach our goal so help us share this with EVERYONE! We will ship INTERNATIONALLY! 

Click (here) to donate!
*I realize the donation site lists only Deity as the prize, but as you can see our little giveaway has grown quite a bit since then. The site will not allow us edit the content once the campaign has started. All official giveaway updates can be found on this site!

GRAND PRIZE SIGNED BOOK PACK
*All copies will be autographed by the author INCLUDING Deity
thanks to the lovely ladies at  I Love Ya Fiction
1. 50 Shades of Grey by EL James
2. On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
3. Seduced in the Dark by CJ Roberts
4. Slammed and Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover
5. The Genius and The Muse by Elizabeth Hunter
6. Love Unscripted by Tina Reber
7. Easy by Tammara Webber
8. A Love By Any Measure by Killian Mcrae
9. Crash by Nicole Williams
10. Avoiding Commitment by KA Linde
11. Thoughtless and Effortless by SC Stephens
12. Chance Encounters by J Sterling
13. Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton
14. While it Lasts by Abbie Glines
15. My Heart for Yours by Steph Campbell and Jolene B Perry
16. Double Clutch and Junk Miles by Liz Reinhardt
17. Deity by JL Armentrout
18. The Wild Ones by M. Leighton
19. Reason to Breathe and Barely Breathing by Rebecca Donovan
20. Flat Out Love by Jessica Park
21. Honor Student and Honor Thy Teachr by Teresa Summers
22. First Bitten and The  Bringer by Samantha Towle
23. That Boy and That Wedding by Jillian Dodd
For full entry details and just to salivate over all the signed copies of free books check out the official contest entry/rules page. Good luck!
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