Star Spangled Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Star Spangled Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mama the Fox!

Today is star spangled indeed, as it’s Canada Day! So Happy Canada Day to everyone in Canada, and Happy Fourth of July to everyone in the U.S. this weekend. Which is even better for being a 3-day weekend this year. And next year too, so plan ahead!

So this hop celebrates patriot holidays for two countries, even if one of them – Canada – doesn’t actually have a star on its current flag. Although it has in the past.

But these are both patriotic holidays celebrating the birth/consolidation of separate parts into a semi- or somewhat unified whole. Sometimes like a family complete with table-pounding and shouting at family reunions. And the occasional insults hurled either across the table – or to the picnic table next door, meaning in this analogy, each other.

I remember fireworks where I grew up, the tiny suburb of Golf Manor in Cincinnati. It looks like they still do fireworks, just not this year. That’s probably true a lot of places this year.

But it’s still a time to celebrate – wherever you are. And in celebration of this bloghop I’m giving away the winner’s choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a book, up to $10 in value, from the Book Depository. This giveaway is open, not just in the US and Canada as they are celebrating this month, but everywhere that the Book Depository ships.

So have a happy Canada Day, or Independence Day, or whatever and whenever your country celebrates its birth!

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For more star spangled celebrations, 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.

Gift Card Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Gift Card Giveaway Hop, hosted by Review Wire Media and Chatty Patty’s Place!

The theme for this not-officially-summer-yet blog hop is Gift Cards. But that was probably pretty obvious from the name.

Gift cards are always fun to get – and easy to give, too! So I’ll be giving the lucky winner a $10 Gift Card. My default giveaway is an Amazon Gift Card, but if there’s someplace you really, really want, let me know in the rafflecopter and I’ll see what I can do. (I like to make my bloghops open to everyone, so there is an option for the winner to receive a book from the Book Depository. They don’t do gift cards, but they do ship very nearly everywhere. So everybody is covered!)

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For more fun gift card possibilities, be sure to visit the other stops on this hop!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Daddy Shark Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Daddy Shark Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mama the Fox!

I have a feeling there’s a pun somewhere having to do with Dads and Sharks, but it really doesn’t matter. This hop, beginning just before Father’s Day, is clearly in celebration of Dads everywhere. And it seemed fitting to participate in this hop after participating in the Mother May I Giveaway Hop also organized by Mama the Fox last month, for, of course, Mother’s Day.

But this is for Father’s Day, a day to celebrate all the Dads out there, whether their children have two feet or four, or skin or fur or fangs or feathers. And all the adopted and step and honorary and every other kind.

The dads in your life probably aren’t sharks, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t scoop up something for them in this giveaway hop! I’m giving away the winner’s choice of either a $10 Amazon Gift Card or $10 in books from the Book Depository to one lucky winner on this hop. Whether the winner chooses to do something sensible or get themselves something for them or their dad to play with is entirely up to them!

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For more terrific 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.

June of Books Giveaway Hop

 

Welcome to the June Of Books Giveaway Hop, hosted by It Starts at Midnight and Flylef!

I haven’t participated in one of these for a while, but the question this month is the same question it’s been in every “Of Books” hop. What book or books are you most looking forward to this month?

I’m always looking forward to multiple books. Sometimes to multiple, multiple books, and this month is no exception. Here’s the tippy-top of my list for June 2020

Alpha Night by Nalini Singh
Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison
Ghostrider by M.L. Buchman
Hell Squad: Tane by Anna Hackett
Riviera Gold by Laurie R. King
A Royal Affair by Allison Montclair

What about you? What books are you most looking forward to this month? Answer in the rafflecopter for your choice of either a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a $10 Book from the Book Depository.

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Movie Night Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Movie Night Giveaway Hop, hosted by Review Wire Media and Chatty Patty’s Place!

It’s Friday! Once upon a time – back in February – this would probably be “movie night” or at least “date night” for a lot of people. And there were plenty of movies that we were all looking forward to this summer.

There still are movies to look forward to, just not the same one. After all, the film of the original cast production of Hamilton is going to be on Disney+ just in time for the July 4th weekend. So movie night is still possible, it’s just changed. Instead of an evening at a theater, now it’s at home in comfy clothes – or even jammies! And you have to make your own popcorn.

I highly recommend Brown Butter for that popcorn. It’s even yummier than the regular kind and really easy to make.

While I enjoy movies, I’m also very, very fond of the quote below.

For example, Dune. Please don’t judge that book by ANY of the various adaptations, or even the one currently in production (although the cast looks awesome!). The book is still awesome. The movies, at least so far, not so much. Very occasionally the movie is actually better, The Princess Bride for example. Then again, The Princess Bride is perfect.

So, for this hop in celebration of movie night, however you celebrate it, the giveaway will be a bit different from my usual. The winner will receive their choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card (you can get movies from, or on Amazon), a $10 Fandango Gift Card (because movies) or $10 in Books, which could, but don’t have to be, the basis of movies. Now it’s up to YOU!

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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the fifth annual Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop, hosted by The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island.

Life may BE a beach, but whether one can or, more importantly, SHOULD go to the beach in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic is an entirely different question.

I’m not going to the beach, but then again, I’m not much of a “lie out on the beach and read” kind of person. I’m more of an “on the porch with a cat in my lap and a cup of tea” kind of person. And I’ll probably do more of that. Especially as we recently got a kitten who will grow up to look a lot like the cat in the hop image above. Without the sunglasses.

We are missing two trips this summer that might have included beaches. Well, there are beaches on Lake Michigan in Chicago, but I always did like them better as a place to observe the July 4th Fireworks than to sit on to get a tan. The beaches in Wellington NZ look gorgeous, but it might not have been warm enough when we were planning to be there in August. Of course, both trips have been cancelled. C’est la vie.

But I can still dream of sunny beaches, and so can you. What beach were you planning to be on this summer – or what other summer event or activity are you missing this year? Answer in the rafflecopter for your chance to win your choice of either a $10 Amazon Gift Card or $10 in books from the Book Depository.

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

Mother May I Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Mother May I Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mama the Fox!

The name of this blog hop is a play on Mother’s Day being in May, on the date of the hope being May 1, or May I, and, last but not least, on the name of the children’s game “Mother May I?” Plus an echo of every child’s question, “Mother, may I go out to play?” albeit phrased a bit less formally.

In this year of COVID19, whether it is permissible AT ALL for anyone to go outside and play seems to still be up in the air – right along with the virus.

I may not be the “Mother” of the game – or actually anyone’s mother except for our cats – but I still MAY, and in fact AM, giving away the winner’s choice of either a $10 Amazon Gift Card or $10 in books from the Book Depository to one lucky winner on this hop. Whether the winner chooses to do something sensible or get themselves something to play with is entirely up to them!

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You MAY want to check out the terrific prizes at all the other stops on this hop!

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

Something to Marble At Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Something to Marble At Giveaway Hop, hosted by MamatheFox!

This is still the punniest blog hop ever! Especially this year, when it’s definitely a toss up between “marbling at” something and losing one’s marbles. We may all be watching our marbles roll around before too long. This situation is weird and getting weirder as well as becoming more tragic by the day.

Most of us are just trying to get through each day. For many people, including yours truly, a good book can be a great way to spend an otherwise weird day. Books can take you far, far away at times when you can’t actually go anywhere at all. Like now.

I’m giving away the winner’s choice of a $10 Amazon Gift Card or $10 in Books from the Book Depository or the bookstore of your choice, in the hopes of adding a little bit of escape or a little bit of help to someone’s day in the midst of all this madness. Just a little something to “marble at”.

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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.

Rain Rain Go Away Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the 5th Annual Rain Rain Go Away! Giveaway Hop, hosted by The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island

It is not supposed to rain here in Atlanta today. However, it was raining buckets on Sunday when I prepped this post. I mean like a monsoon or something. Complete with a few thunderboomers and probably a bit of lightning to go with. A perfect day to stay inside – not that that isn’t what we’re supposed to be doing anyway. (I still can’t make up my mind whether the #stayathome order is easier to tolerate when we wouldn’t be going out anyway, or easier to tolerate when there’s plenty of sun coming in through the windows.)

Whichever it is, this is an April, and a spring, that we’ll all remember. Whether or not the May flowers that this year’s April showers bring all turn out to be like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.

In the meantime, we’re all home and need things to do and books to read. And that’s where my part in this blog hop comes in. I’m giving away my usual prize, the winner’s choice of a $10 Gift Card from Amazon or a book, up to $10 from the Book Depository. Try your luck in the rafflecopter and stay safe and dry!

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

Review: Who Speaks for the Damned by C.S. Harris + Giveaway

Review: Who Speaks for the Damned by C.S. Harris + GiveawayWho Speaks for the Damned (Sebastian St. Cyr, #15) by C.S. Harris
Format: eARC
Source: supplied by publisher via NetGalley
Formats available: hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Genres: historical fiction, historical mystery
Series: Sebastian St. Cyr #15
Pages: 336
Published by Berkley on April 7, 2020
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboBook Depository
Goodreads

Sebastian St. Cyr investigates the mysterious life and death of a nobleman accused of murder in this enthralling new historical mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of Why Kill the Innocent....

It's June 1814, and the royal families of Austria, Russia, and the German states have gathered in London at the Prince Regent's invitation to celebrate the defeat of Napoléon and the restoration of monarchical control throughout Europe. But the festive atmosphere is marred one warm summer evening by the brutal murder of a disgraced British nobleman long thought dead.

Eighteen years before, Nicholas Hayes, the third son of the late Earl of Seaford, was accused of killing a beautiful young French émigré and transported to Botany Bay for life. Even before his conviction, Hayes had been disowned by his father. Few in London were surprised when they heard the ne'er-do-well had died in New South Wales in 1799. But those reports were obviously wrong. Recently Hayes returned to London with a mysterious young boy in tow--a child who vanishes shortly after Nicholas's body is discovered.

Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is drawn into the investigation by his valet, Jules Calhoun. With Calhoun's help, Sebastian begins to piece together the shattered life of the late Earl's ill-fated youngest son. Why did Nicholas risk his life and freedom by returning to England? And why did he bring the now-missing young boy with him? Several nervous Londoners had reason to fear that Nicholas Hayes had returned to kill them. One of them might have decided to kill him first.

My Review:

Once upon a time, the author of the Sebastian St. Cyr series described how she came to write St. Cyr and his series. She said that she wanted to create a character who seemed, on the surface, to be the epitome of the Regency hero; tall, dark, handsome and brooding. (I think with emphasis on the brooding.) But then to explicitly NOT make him the hero of a Regency romance. Thus was Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, born.

A much later description of Devlin referred to him as Darcy with more than a touch of James Bond, but that doesn’t really feel right. St. Cyr seems to have always been carrying too much emotional baggage to have ever been Darcy, while his adventures and investigations take him into much darker places than Bond usually goes and afford him considerably fewer technological toys – even ones that would have existed in the Regency.

St. Cyr relies on his instincts, his brains and his considerable ability to fight as dirty as necessary, whether that fight involves fisticuffs, social exposure or politics – as much as he hates the latter options when needed.

When his story began in 2005 – or in 1811 in St. Cyr’s world, England was on the brink of the Regency and St. Cyr was a battle-scarred veteran of the Napoleonic Wars, unable to settle or sleep, wracked with PTSD after his life-altering experiences in a war that had not yet ended. (Even by the time period of this 15th book in the series, 1814, the war is still not over. It is merely in abeyance during Napoleon’s exile on the island of Elba.)

St. Cyr, as the heir to an earldom, should be one of the Regency dandies that appear in the pages of so many romances set in the period. Instead, he has become an unofficial and unpaid murder investigator with the help of the head of the newly formed police agency at Bow Street. His membership at the highest levels of the aristocracy allows him to poke his nose into many, many places where a simple copper would be thrown out the back door.

Even his father-in-law, the Prince Regent’s cousin and spymaster Jarvis, is forced to deal with St. Cyr whether he likes it or not. And he definitely does not.

This latest entry in the series is an enthralling mystery that does an especially good job of exposing the glitter of the Regency Era as the bio-luminescence of something rotting in the dark, as St. Cyr finds himself investigating the death of a man who is all too much like the one that he sees in his own mirror. There but for the grace of god, and just a few scraps of luck that turned good instead of bad, would have gone St. Cyr.

It’s a case he can’t let go of, no matter how many times he’s warned off. And no matter how high the halls of power that he needs to bring low.

Escape Rating A+: It should be fairly clear that this is one of my favorite series. In fact, if it isn’t clear already, as part of my Blogo-Birthday Celebration I ONLY review stuff I really, really love. After all, this is my birthday and the blog’s birthday and why shouldn’t I treat myself to some books and authors that I know I’ll love?

Especially since this whole week is a hobbit’s birthday, meaning that I give presents instead of getting them. It just wouldn’t do to give away books I don’t utterly adore.

What I love about this series in general, and it’s certainly exemplified by this entry, boils down to two things. One is certainly the development of the characters. St. Cyr and his wife Hero have created a partnership of equals in a way that doesn’t often happen in historical romance. They have both come through dark places and dark things, and found each other in spite of people and circumstances that stood in their way.

They both carry a lot of baggage, and it is not a weight that either can carry FOR the other. Rather, carrying it together lightens the load. I also have to say that more than either Darcy or Bond, the character that St. Cyr most often reminds me of is Roarke from the In Death series. They share the same kind of darkness in their pasts, and they both work on expiating their demons in the same ways. They have also both formed strong partnerships with women who were initially on opposing sides from themselves.

The other thing that makes this series so strong is its setting. It is so much the opposite of what we think of the Regency as being. There was so much glitter at the top, and so much rot underneath. The murder in this story is a case in point. The powers-that-be have already decided who MUST be guilty, regardless of who is actually guilty. The attitudes reflected by our protagonists resonate with 21st century readers and yet feel part and parcel of their time and place.

Wrong is always wrong. Murder is always murder. No matter who the victim was, or what they, themselves might have done. That St. Cyr sees so much of himself in this particular victim adds to the poignancy of the whole story.

In the end, good triumphed, at least temporarily. Evil got its just desserts. And the powers that be blame St. Cyr for righting a wrong that many would have preferred to bury. A combination of things as they should be with the acknowledgement that many in power do not desire that outcome.

While I am eagerly awaiting St. Cyr’s next case, probably this time next year, I’m offering one lucky reader the chance to either begin this marvelous series or pick up wherever they might have left off. This is a series where you do need to at least start at the beginning. I read the first few, lost track of the series in the middle and have returned for the last several and have enjoyed every single one since I returned.

I hope that the winner of this giveaway will too.

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