Winter is Coming Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Winter is Coming Giveaway Hop, hosted by The Kids Did It! &  The Mommy Island

The temperatures are getting colder, the days have gotten ridiculously short. Winter must be coming. Or, as the meme-makers have it this year:

I like the sound of “Minter” – but it’s making me think of Girl Scout Cookies. Come to think of it, once the holidays are over, it’s only a couple of months until Thin Mints miraculously appear!

But whether you prefer Pumpkin Spice everything or Peppermint in all things (along with Wintergreen and Spearmint!) the holidays are full of wonderful sights, sounds, flavors and especially family.

It’s also the midpoint of Hanukah right now – no matter which way that holiday’s name might be transliterated from Hebrew to English. Because there are so many variations, here’s a “helpful” – and hilarious alignment chart a la Dungeons and Dragons.

No matter what kind of winter you get where you live, or which holidays you celebrate, they’re coming. I hope yours are bright and happy, and that Jack Frost doesn’t nip too sharply at your nose.

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For more sparkling winter prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on this hop!

Thankful for Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Thankful for Books Giveaway Hop, hosted by yours truly, Reading Reality, and the Caffeinated Reviewer!

I hope you’re all ready for tomorrow’s Turkey Day! We’re doing something a bit different and having friends over on Black Friday instead of on Thanksgiving. It solves their problem of trying to be two places at once – which no one has really figured out a solution for yet – and doing our cooking on a day when we CAN go to the grocery store if we forgot something important.

So on the actual Turkey Day we’re having actual turkey – really just a turkey boob for two. On Friday we’re getting a Honey Baked Ham – something that would be a bear to pick up on Wednesday but should be easy-peasy on Friday. We’re also making potato pancakes and a broccoli casserole because OMG that meal will need something green in it. It’s all kind of an experiment as we’re cooking things we’ve never made before and hoping it all works out. No matter what, the ham is guaranteed to be good. And the pie. Did I mention the pie? We’re picking up a Chocolate Chess Pie, which I don’t think either of us has ever had, from a place that specializes in pies.

That’ll definitely be just fine!

What about you? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving treat? Answer in the Rafflecopter for a chance at the winner’s choice of a $15(US) gift card to either Amazon or the local bookstore of your choice, or the same amount in books, again from either Amazon, the Book Depository, or the local bookstore of your choice. In order to do this there are just a couple of restrictions. For US entrants, the bookstore you choose needs to have an easy method for me to purchase your gift certificate  or books online and get them sent to you. If you are outside the US, you need to be in a location that the Book Depository ships to (they don’t do Gift Certificates – maybe someday.)

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For more terrific prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on this hop!



Review: Hex Work by TA Moore + Excerpt + Giveaway

Review: Hex Work by TA Moore + Excerpt + GiveawayHex Work (Babylon Boy, #1) by T.A. Moore
Format: eARC
Source: author
Formats available: ebook
Genres: paranormal, urban fantasy
Series: Babylon Boy #1
Pages: 136
Published by Rogue Firebird Press on November 23, 2021
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKobo
Goodreads

My name is Jonah Carrow, and it’s been 300 days since I laid a hex.

OK, Jonah Carrow isn’t actually an alcoholic. But there’s no support group of lapsed hex-slingers in Jerusalem, so he’s got to make do. He goes for the bad coffee and the reminder that he just has to take normal one day at a time.

Unfortunately, his past isn’t willing to go down without a fight.

A chance encounter with a desperate Deborah Seddon, and a warning that ‘they’re watching’, pulls Jonah back into the world he’d tried to leave behind. Now he has to navigate ghosts, curses, and the hottest bad idea warlock he’s ever met…all without a single hex to his name.

But nobody ever said normal was easy. Not to Jonah anyhow.

My Review:

The central theme of Hex Work might be “Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself.”

It’s not merely that Jonah Carrow has to resist turning his truck down the road to temptation – and his family’s home place in Babylon, Pennsylvania – every single day, but that something happened when he left home a year ago that made him swear off using his family gift. A gift for casting – and warding off – hexes.

We may not know what went wrong – at least not yet – but we are riding along with Jonah as his old life does its best to drag him back under its spell. Literally.

A woman enlists his help in a way that seems so random and nebulous that he isn’t exactly sure what it’s about. Not until the people who are chasing her drag him in for a little “chat” about ghosties and ghoulies and just how many of them are going to be set upon him if he doesn’t figure out what she’s up to. Or why she stole something nasty from them. Or both.

Everyone thinks he doesn’t know what it’s all about. Because he’s left his home, his name and his reputation behind in the hopes of making a new start – or outrunning his own ghosts. Except the ghost of his brother who haunts his front yard at night. He’s stuck with that one. Why? We don’t exactly know. Yet.

And even though this wasn’t initially his fight, his circus or his monkeys, by the time he solves the supernatural mystery that stalks Jerusalem (PA) he’s right back in the thick of it. Even if he has, at least so far, still managed to resist falling off the hex wagon.

It’s only a matter of time – and the things that stalk the night have plenty of that.

Escape Rating A-: I was looking for something, let’s say.a bit less complicated after a long weekend reading marathon (because reasons). Not that I expected the characters in the book to be in an uncomplicated situation – from that perspective the more messed up the better. Rather I was looking for something where the story would suck me right in and take my mind away – not tie it up in knots that I wouldn’t be able to unravel for hours or days later.

Urban fantasy has always been my go-to when I want a world to slip right into, and Hex Work certainly fulfilled all my dark, dirty magical expectations. Although, at least so far as this series starter goes, all of the dirt is quite literally dirt. Grave dirt. Not the other kind – at least not yet. This series may eventually switch from urban fantasy to paranormal romance at some point – but neither it nor Jonah are there yet.

The story of Hex Work is told from Jonah’s first-person perspective. We’re inside his head and it’s a pretty damn snarky place to be, which is just fine as one of the things I love about urban fantasy is that it is generally snarky as hell – and sometimes snarky IN hell- and Jonah is no exception.

So we know what he’s thinking in the moment, and we see what he’s struggling with. But we also see that there are plenty of shadowy places in his past that he’s definitely, absolutely, obsessively trying his best NOT to think about. The places that I really hope this series goes as it continues.

Right here and right now, Jonah is in a kind of limbo. He’s sworn he’s not going to lay another hex. He’s left Babylon in order to get away from the supernatural world. But it’s found him. The story is of his struggle to get to the bottom of the grave that the hag that is chasing him pulled itself out of, so he can maybe get back to that fresh start he’s working on.

Only to discover that even though the hag has been laid to rest and the mystery has been solved, he’s still neck deep in the supernatural – and not getting out. We’re left wondering if, in his heart of hearts, he truly wants to.

This reader certainly doesn’t want him to at all. The magic of this world is fascinating, both simple and complex by turns. It feels like it’s been drawn right out of myths and legends and has been hiding in plain sight all along. (It also feels a bit like Midnight Crossroads, so if you liked either the book series or the TV series you’ll probably love this.)

Jonah himself has secrets that I’m itching to discover. I can’t wait to see what trouble finds him next!

Guest Post from TA Moore + Chapter 2 of Stories of Babylon (check out Chapter 1 at Book Gemz)

Hi! Can you believe it’s November already? I feel entirely adrift in the calendar these days. It’s 1934th of Morch! One thing I have managed to keep on track for, more or less, is the whole publication schedule for Hex Work…more or less! 

Hex Work is NOT the book I was meant to be writing, but it’s the one that wanted to come out of my head. So I hope people like it in order to make the absolute shambles it made of my writing schedule worth it. I like it, so I guess that’s a good start!

Thanks for having me and I hope you enjoy the exclusive short story prequel to the Hex Work novella!

Read the rest of the story at TAMooreWrites.com

Stories of Babylon: Chapter Two

He followed the crushed crash and tire tracks to a pick-up truck wrapped around a beech tree. The front end was crumpled and the windows smashed in over the burned, half-melted sheets. It had been red once, but it was smoke-scarred now with black, brittle patches of cracked blisters on the doors.

The kid sat on the rutted ground with his head in his hands. He looked up when Jonah cleared his throat.

Shit, the kid said, my dad’s going to kill me.

His name was John Samuels and he’d been dead for a week. His funeral was tomorrow. That always…cut some sort of thread. Not that John would move on, but being John would start to wear off him. He’d not think he was alive anymore.

“You weren’t meant to have the truck?” Jonah asked. 

He already knew the answer. John was fifteen and he’d gotten home early from football practice. There’d been a casserole in the oven for him and chores to do before his homework. He knew better than to take the truck. His Dad had said that over and over.

Lot—always friendlier—squeezed by Jonah and stuck his nose into the John’s face. His tongue slobbered up, and through, John’s vaguely insubstantial nose until he got a snuffle of laughter and a hand came up to pet his ears.

No, John said. He looked up at Jonah through his tangled fringe, His voice changed—breathy and light, the catch of fear wet in the back of his throat—but his face didn’t. We have to go. Jonah, Joey, we have to go. He’s COMING.

Wife leaned against Jonah’s legs and sighed heavily. The hot, living weight of her anchored Jonah and he pulled away from the hook of that voice. It hadn’t been his name, not when he played it back in his head, it probably hadn’t been John’s either.

“Who was she?” Jonah asked. “Did you know her?”

Some girls are like that, John said, some segment of memory queued up to suit the question. I thought we were the same, but she was….she was…

The words glitched together. Awful/Beautiful/DEADDEADFUCKINGDEAD/Lost. Jonah took a step back and shook his head to clear it. There was blood in his mouth, but when he turned his head to spit it was just saliva. Not his copper and salt thick on his tongue, not his fear thick and clotted in his throat.

For a second John knew what he was and it peeled the facade away. A chunk of glass glittered in his cheek as he talked—speared through flesh and into the mess of broken teeth and gums the impact had left of the kid’s mouth—and the side of his skull was caved in. Blood matted dark blond, curly hair and when he raised a hand it was gone.

He gaped that ruined mouth and screamed. It was a thin, pinched sound that just made the dogs look curious, but it spilled over to something and awful on the unnatural side of things. A handful of confused birds were jostled from their roost as it grated on them, and took off into the sky.

John lurched up from the ground and lunged at Jonah, his hand curled into a claw tipped with bony spikes that poked through his fingertips. His breath hung in the air, dark and oily as smoke.

You have her touch her take her away. I wontletyouhurtheragaaaaaaaa!

The words ran into each other, slurred back into the harrowing, static howl of the scream that drew the other side closer. Moonlight faltered and faded into a grey miasma as the air thickened and chilled.

It was always cold in Babylon, even in summer. A climatic anomaly apparently. Good for the shop that sold coats in town, not so great for tourism. 

Jonah snapped the piece of chalk in his pocket and crumbled the bit he hung onto between his fingers. He threw it into the air.

Technically it should have been drawn on a door or a wall, or a bit of paper to shove down the hag’s throat. Jonah was a Carrow, though, and magic still owed one him for that. Chalk powder dripped from his fingers as he sketched the rune in the air and it hung between him and poor, dead John.

“Holy, holy,” he said and clenched his hand into a fist, thumb extended, to cross himself in a quick, careless swipe. The hex burned on his tongue and stung his lips as he spat the words out. They’d probably meant something once, years and books ago. Now it was just sounds that worked and who cared why? In the moment. “Salt and dirt. Hold your breath and it won’t hurt.”

John smashed into the rune. The little bits of chalk dust stuck to him and spread, white and powdery skin that filled in the holes of his death and clogged up his mind. He staggered to a stop as he forgot, again, why he was so angry. He coughed and licked his lips with a greyish tongue.

I’m thirsty, He said and reached up to rub his head, breaking off sections of crust. It dusted the ground under his feet. What happened?

Catch the next chapter tomorrow at Two Chicks Obsessed and follow the tour for the rest of the story!

About the Author:

TA Moore is a Northern Irish writer of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance novels. A childhood in a rural, seaside town fostered in her a suspicious nature, a love of mystery, and a streak of black humour a mile wide. As her grandmother always said, ‘she’d laugh at a bad thing that one’, mind you, that was the pot calling the kettle black. TA Moore studied History, Irish mythology, English at University, mostly because she has always loved a good story. She has worked as a journalist, a finance manager, and in the arts sector before she finally gave in to a lifelong desire to write.

Coffee, Doc Marten boots, and good friends are the essential things in life. Spiders, mayo, and heels are to be avoided.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads |

 

 

~~~~~~ TOURWIDE GIVEAWAY ~~~~~~

TA Moore is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner on this tour!

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In All Things Give Thanks Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the In All Things Give Thanks Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mama the Fox!

Hopefully, we all have things to be thankful for this holiday season! In our house, we’re thankful that everybody’s healthy, we have all the things we need and just enough of the things we want to make life run more-or-less smoothly. Or at least as smoothly as four cats in the house allow it to be.

We’re also thankful this season, this actual week in fact, that the bathroom remodeling project that has been on hold for six months has finally begun. We haven’t been able to use the shower in our bathroom for that entire time so we are really looking forward to everything being finished – hopefully before Thanksgiving because we have company coming.  Which is also something we’re thankful for this year.

I am also thankful for each and every one of you who drop in on Reading Reality from time to time, and especially those who follow and comment. Thank you every one!

What about you? Is there anything special in progress or coming up that you are particularly thankful for? Answer in the rafflecopter for a chance at the usual Reading Reality prize, the winner’s choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or $10 in books.

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For more great prizes be sure to visit the other stops on this hop!

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Super Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Super Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Hop, hosted by The Kids Did It! &  The Mommy Island

If we risked putting up holiday stockings, they’d probably end up looking a bit like this picture:

Unless they ended up in a heap on the floor, which is even more likely!

I almost said I wouldn’t mind finding a bunch of kittens “hung up by the chimney with care”, but four is honestly enough. Still, they make for an adorable picture.

What would you like to see in your holiday stocking? Answer in the rafflecopter for your chance at the usual Reading Reality prize, the winner’s choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or $10 in books.

Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays!

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For more sparkly holiday prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on this hop!

Thanks a Latte Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Thanks a Latte Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mama the Fox!

There are multiple ways to interpret the theme of this hop. The picture of the caffeine emporium cup in the image is a dead giveaway for one of those ways. Also come to think of it, yet another pun, as I don’t know about you, but I’m at least brain dead in the morning until I get my first dose of caffeine. In other words…

“Uisce beatha”, which translates from the Gaelic as “water of life” may be whisky in a lot of places, but in this household it’s tea, at least for me. Galen is a heathen and drinks coffee, but I’m not truly alive until I get at least one mug of tea inside me.

There’s a second meaning for this hop’s name. And that’s to say “Thanks a LOT” to every single person who drops by Reading Reality to read my reviews, check out the weekly cat pictures (I have an especially cute one for next Sunday, BTW) or even just to participate in a hop like this one. Thank you SO MUCH for being a part of my reading journey!

Now, without further ado, there’s a giveaway because this is a giveaway hop. Answer the question in the rafflecopter about your latte of choice – if you have one (mine is chai latte) – for a chance at the usual Reading Reality prize, the winner’s choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or up to $10 in books.

And THANKS!

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For more great prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on this hop!

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Howloween Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Howloween Giveaway Hop, hosted by The Kids Did It! &  The Mommy Island

Are Halloween decorations starting to go up in your neighborhood? Or are they already here? One of our neighbors seems to have hired a service to set theirs up. Which was an interesting thing to watch.

As we have discovered during the two normal years we’ve been in this house – last year was certainly nothing like normal! – we don’t get many trick-or-treaters because we live on a cul-de-sac. We’ll still have candy but don’t expect many takers. Although we’ve heard that the through streets in the subdivision get deluged.

We do have our own living Halloween decoration in Lucifer, but he doesn’t pose in the windows to make the house look seasonally appropriate. But he’s always lurking!

But speaking of Halloween decorations, and waiting for trick-or-treaters, here’s your chance to get a little something to put up, to give out, or to read to put yourself among the holiday spirits.

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For more fabulously spooky prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on this hop!

Scaredy Cat Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Scaredy Cat Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mama the Fox!

This is my favorite hop of the year! Why? Because I have a black cat just like the one in the hop logo of my very own. Lucifer is my handsome “void” kitty, and he’s the sweetest demon in the whole wide world.

He’s learned not to be a scaredy cat in the four years since we adopted him, but he was about 6 years old when he came to us, had been living outside and had clearly had some adventures as well as having passed through a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) program at some point. He still won’t go near any of the doors of the house and has only recently decided that it’s safe to look through windows on the first floor. But he gets braver – and sweeter – every day.

Lucifer is also the perfect cat for Halloween, as he’s pure black from his shiny nose to the very tip of his fwapping tail. He likes to tease George by fwapping that tail in the younger cat’s face until George can’t resist pouncing on it!

But, as much as I love to talk about my best kitty, this is a blog hop and it’s time for me to give away something as a reward to everyone who just read through my squeeing. Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance at the usual Reading Reality prize, the winner’s choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or $10 worth of books. This giveaway is open to all!

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For more fabulous prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on this hop!

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Thankful for Books Giveaway Hop Sign Up

It’s that time again! Welcome to the sign up for our annual Thanksgiving Week Giveaway Hop. This year, we’ve decided to expand the dates a bit so that you’ll have more time to get folks to enter your giveaway and so you don’t have to worry about having a post to prep for the day after the Thanksgiving Feast.

So come one, come all, to the sign up for the brand new Thankful for Books Giveaway Hop, starting on Wednesday, November 24 and ending on Tuesday, November 30.

The hosts for this Thanksgiving Week event are Reading Reality (yours truly) and the Caffeinated Reviewer.

The giveaway will run from 12:01 am on November 24 through 11:59 pm November 30.

Hop Details

  • Giveaway must be book-related (books, book etailer or retailer (i.e. Amazon, etc) gift cards, pre-orders, bookish crafts, etc.)
  • If you are an author, you can include book swag, but you must also include a book or gift card
  • Please specify if your giveaway is US-only or International in the linky
  • If using Rafflecopter or Giveaway Tools, please limit your entries to no more than 5
  • Your post must be easy to find from your front page
  • Your post must be live by 9am EST on November 24th. Any links not live by this time will be removed from the linky
  • Please announce your winners within 72 hours of giveaway end
  • Sign-up closes November 22nd so link up today 🙂

PLEASE include US or INT on the linky! Pretty please with candy canes on it!

The more blogs to hop, the better! Put our grab button on your blog and help spread the word!



Falling into Leaves Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Falling Into Leaves Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mama the Fox!

It’s that time again. Fall is nearly fell. The leaves are just barely beginning to turn around here, so there’s a bit of time before anyone has to think about raking them. Your seasonal mileage may definitely vary on this point!

One of the things that attracted us to this house is that it is surrounded by fairly mature trees, to the point where the backyard gets absolutely no sun at all so we can’t grow grass back there and don’t have to mow it. The tree coverage is also thick enough that we can’t see the neighbors’ houses on the other side of the creek – and most importantly they can’t see through the picture window in our bathroom. Except in the winter, when all that lovely, leafy coverage falls down.

Although we occasionally lose a tree when it storms, and that’s much less fun.

But still, the changing and falling leaves are always lovely to watch. I’m glad we live somewhere that gets four seasons, especially as winter generally just glances by, just enough to turn the leaves.

So I enjoy the falling leaves, love the cooler but absolutely not too cool weather, and looking forward to the holiday season. What about you? What’s your favorite thing about the fall season and the falling leaves? Answer in the rafflecopter for your chance of the usual Reading Reality prize, the winner’s choice of either a $10 Amazon Gift Card or $10 in books.

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For more fabulous fall prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on this hop!

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.