Countdown to a New Year, December 25: Santino Hassell

Countdown to a New Year, December 25: Santino Hassell

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!**

Looking at 2017 with Fresh Eyes

I think most of us can agree that 2017 was a very rough year. Personally, the political climate created a situation that often left me feeling uncertain, frightened, and cynical about everything ranging from the future of the world to my future as a writer. I know many other creatives found themselves blocked this past year because of the constant bombardment of negativity and tumult, so it was difficult to enjoy life even when things were going well.

This blog post will primarily be about me forcing myself to look back on 2017 with fresh eyes, and a small measure of optimism, that things can get better going forward. After all, it can’t rain all the time, right? (If you don’t get my The Crow reference… I don’t even know what to think).

Warning: This blog post will be me talking about things that I want to celebrate. If it comes off as braggy, I apologize in advance, but as someone with terrible anxiety and a pretty pervasive mood of unhappiness and depression, me trying to celebrate shit is kind of a Big Deal. I tend to only focus on the bad, and I’m actively trying to stop doing that type of thing.

Things I Wish I’d Celebrated More, a List:

1 – Solidifying friendships and seeing my Romancelandia friends.

This is a pretty big deal for me! For years, most of my closest friendships have been with people online, and I’ve met amazing folks via Romancelandia. As someone who is fairly grumpy and introverted with a solitary career like writing, those things tend to combine to turn me into someone who spends a lot of time alone. I appreciate my alone time, but after a while it’s undeniably isolating. But in 2017, I got to spend time with my tribe! I went to Shameless Book Con again and spent time with so many awesome people, I had a Family Vacation with Megan Erickson and her husband, I met my editor and publicists at Penguin, I hung out with my amazing virtual PA Keyanna Butler, and I got to hang out with Roan Parrish, Avon Gale, and Piper Vaughn for an awesome weekend in New Orleans. I realized that human contact is actually super important sometimes, especially with other people in the industry, and I’m making an effort to see my people way more in 2018.

2 – Releasing eight books. Holy shit.

I see a lot of think pieces on how people who write and release fast must be trash writers, etc, and sometimes I let that lead to me doubting myself. I wonder if I’m creating, like, a weird surplus of books, or if people will get tired of me, and those doubts were pervasive in 2017. In reality, if I look back with clear eyes, I never felt like I rushed through these projects just to throw them out there. I enjoyed writing each and every book even if I struggled with some projects more than others, and I’m proud of them all.

3 – I was nominated for a RITA!

This was an amazing and humbling experience, and not something I expected to happen. My primary thought looking back is that I wish I’d attended RWA with Megan Erickson, my co-writer for FAST CONNECTION—the book that was nominated. I’d have worn my Yankees cap to the awards ceremony.

4 – I read so much more than I did in 2016!

I’m a workaholic, and I tend to ignore things like self-care. With self-care comes reading for enjoyment, and I had neglected that for a long time. In 2017, I forced myself to make time to read. I’m not a fast reader, so I was limited to one book per week, but I fell in love with so many books. Two authors I just started reading this year who I absolutely adore are Molly O’Keefe and Austin Chant. I remembered what it meant to escape through books, and it did so much for my well-being.

5 – In 2017, I made a conscious choice to make writing my primary career. There was a moment where I debated quitting, but I rebounded from that with serious future plans. I’m ending the Five Boroughs series in mid-2018, I have plans for two new co-written series, I’m continuing Cyberlove, I’ll be writing a romantic suspense novel and posting it on Patreon, I have more Barons coming in 2018 and 2019, and I’ll have a M/F trilogy coming in 2019 and 2020 (this will be in, like, actual bookstores). I’ve also decided to eventually try my hand writing queer YA.

Basically, I love writing, I love romance, I love writing about queer people, and I will continue to write these stories until there’s no more left in my head. 2017 was the year when I nearly decided to set my passion aside, but hopefully 2018 is the year when I only look ahead while doing my work.

About Santino Hassell:

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Connect with Santino: Website | Twitter | Instagram | FB Group | FB | GR | Tumblr

Enter to win one of 3 prize packs of books! 

Prize Pack #7:

Child of a Mad God by R.A. Salvatore

The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

Stray City by Chelsey Johnson

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Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

Feeder by Patrick Weekes

 Prize Pack #9:

Release by Patrick Ness

And She Was by Jessica Verdi

Miles Away From You by A.B. Rutledge 

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Contemporary Romance Review: Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

hard wired

Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell (Cyberlove #3)

Published by: Megtino Press

Format: e-ARC

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Erin

What to Expect: An exploration of the intersection of our online identities and our physical lives, the realities of the modern economy, and the awesome power of fandom, all wrapped up in lots and lots of explicit sex. A smart and hot love letter to the digital age.


Read More

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What’s on My Kindle: February 10th, 2017!

Hey hey, book bingers! New What’s On My Kindle is here. Today I talk books by: Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell, Joe Abercrombie, and Piper Vaughn.


Can’t wait to listen but really need some new books? Here’s what’s on my kindle this week:

Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

hard wire

My FallenCon agenda is simple: sit on a couple of panels and let people meet the real me. Jesse Garvy—mod of a famous Twitch channel and, if I ever come out of my shell, future vlogger. I definitely didn’t plan to sleep with a moody tattooed fan-artist, but he’s gorgeous and can’t keep his hands off me. There’s a first time for everything, and my first time with a guy turns out to be the hottest experience of my life.

But the next day, I find out my moody fan-artist is Ian Larsen AKA Cherry—someone I’ve known online for years. And he’d known exactly who I was while shoving me up against that wall. Before I figure out whether to be pissed or flattered, the con ends.

Now we’re back online, and he’s acting like nothing happened. But despite the distance between us, and the way he clings to the safety of his online persona, we made a real connection that night. I don’t plan to let him forget.


Half a King by Joe Abercrombie


Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver.

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds that his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.


Wanting by Piper Vaughn


Jonah Beckett has been in love with his older brother’s best friend, George “Laurie” DeWitt, since he was thirteen-years-old. When his boyfriend, Dirk, breaks up with him for refusing to put out, Jonah uses his heartbreak over the situation as an excuse to ask Laurie to teach him all about sex before he starts college in the fall. Problem is, he made Dirk up, and Jonah has no idea what will happen when Laurie finally finds out the truth.

iStock_000013953939MediumJudith is the curator of Binge on Books. You can hear more of her in her monthly podcast, Author Chat, as well as her reviews on the site.

You can also check out more of her recommendations in her USA Today column, Rainbow Trends.

Get in touch with her on Twitter: @bingeonbooks.

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