Countdown to a New Year, December 24: Cat Sebastian

Countdown to a New Year, December 24: Cat Sebastian

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!**

Cat Sebastian’s End of Year Post

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying this year has been resoundingly terrible on many levels. A bright spot has been the books. It seems like more than the usual number of stellar, inclusive, romances came out this year: Alisha Rai’s Hate to Want You. Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union. Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. KJ Charles’ An Unnatural Vice. Alyssa Cole, Rose Lerner, and Courtney Milan’s Hamilton’s Battalion. Those are pretty much my favorite books this year. The thing is that they’ve all rightfully gotten a fair bit of attention and nobody needs my advice to read them (just in case: go read them). What follows are some books that might have skipped your notice but which staved off my existential dread for a few hours and made me feel hopeful about the future. (Some came out before 2017, but if I read them this year, I’m just going with it.)

I read Harper Fox’s Seven Summer Nights more times than I ought to admit (okay, it was five times. Hush.). The prose is lyrical; the characters are beautifully drawn and complete. There’s a bit of magic and a stray dog. I cried twenty million buckets of tears.

Kris Ripper’s Gays of Our Lives has a prickly character who learns that the people around him really care about him and want to help him. If “difficult loner finds community” is your catnip, you’ll probably like this book. It’s also really satisfying for me to see a disabled character get a HEA despite not being a cheerful ray of sunshine.    

Romantic suspense ordinarily stresses me out, but Layla Reyne’s Whiskey & Irish trilogy was light on fear and instead wonderfully character driven and emotional. I didn’t start this series until the third book came out and then I glommed like my life depended on it.

A vital part of my self-care is reading about Sherlock Holmes; in particular I require stories about Watson and Holmes being either in love or queerplatonically happy together. To this end, I read about eleventy million words of Holmes/Watson fanfic. It isn’t a romance (at all) but Lyndsey Faye’s The Whole Art of Detection is compatible with a queerplatonic reading (the author confirmed this, so put that in your pipe and smoke it, OKAY) and I loved every minute of it. Will your life be enriched by a chapter from Holmes’ point of view in which he misses Watson and worries that Watson doesn’t have his muffler? Yes, yes it will.

Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown is the post-colonial feminist regency-set fantasy romance the world needs. It’s what I wished Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell had been. It’s alternately hilarious and sad. The entire world may disagree with me, but I’m positive there’s a lowkey gay dragon shifter secondary romance in there.

Other books that have delighted and distracted me this year: Anna Zabo’s Outside the Lines (poly relationship, very satisfying, I am in love with Lydia), Jordan Hawk’s entire Hexworld series (shifters and magicians in 1890s New York but it’s actually about structural oppression; it’s tender and dark and optimistic all at once), Liz Jacobs’ Abroad, Austin Chant’s Peter Darling, and I could go on. So many good books this awful year! Happy holidays!  

Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird-watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.

Enter to win one of 3 prize packs of books! 

Prize Pack #4:

Sparrow by Sarah Moon

Three Sides of A Heart anthology 

Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi

Prize Pack 5:

Meet Cute Anthology

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

All We Can Do is Wait by Richard Lawson

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Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

People Like Us by Dana Mele

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Binge on Books Top Books of 2017: Madison’s Favorites

Madison’s top reads of the year

Cannot believe 2017 went by so quickly. 2/3 of my top books this year have been read within the last month. But overall it was a great year for the book community.
In no particular order…
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Binge on Books Top Books of 2017: Alex’s Favorites

Alex’s top reads of the year

Well, dammit, there were so many terrific reads this year, weren’t there? I could wax lyrical about all the books I ran to that made me forget which world I was living on. Ginn Hale’s Lord of the White Hell series is at the top of the list with E M Hamill’s Dali as a close second. And, my goodness, that magical retelling Peter Darling by Austin Chant was AH-mazing.
Then there were the books that took no prisoners.  The new Barons Series by Santino Hassell is his best yet. In addition to lots of hot sex, he’s got plenty to say about what it means to be bi in this day and age. My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame is the sweetest story of a man coming to terms with his dead brother’s queerness by watching his daughter interact with his brother’s husband. Then, there’s The Hate U Give by Angela Thomas–a riveting story that, among other things, tells the story of a teenager shot and killed by a police officer and shares, in a personal way, why the Black Lives Matter movement is essential… and for that has recently been banned. Because… um… drug use.

So, in honor of THUG, et al, and dedicated to those who want to want all books to be white, straight, ableist, classist, and otherwise normative, my Best of 2017 list comprises a selection of antidotes. Read More

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Binge on Books Top Books of 2017: Edwin’s Favorites

Edwin‘s top reads of the year

As designated Chief SFF Nerd at Binge On Books, it feels appropriate for my top 4 reads of the year to also be in the SFF genres. So what follows are the four science fiction and fantasy novels I read and enjoyed the most, in no particular order.  Before I get to that, though, I should mention some books in the contemporary queer romance genre I enjoyed very much this year. Some honorable mentions, if you will: Kim Fielding’s Love is Heartless, Roan Parrish’s Small Change, and Liz Jacobs’ Abroad: part 1 are all wonderful books and well worth your time.  I should also add that there are 2 or 3 other books it was really hard to leave off the list.  2017 has not been a good year, but it has had some damn good books.  Now on to the main event. Read More

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Top Books of 2016 from Binge on Books

I asked, they answered: so today we have…the Best Books of 2016 from everyone here at Binge on Books!

Our task? To pick one favorite book of the year, just one, and after a lot of grumbling, and dirty looks, and twitter angst, Erin, Alisa, Alex, Madison, Sara, Anya, Abbi (and me! Judith!) compiled our favorites just for you. So in no particular order I give you… Read More

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