Monday, December 31, 2012

4 Happy New Year


2 Blogger Survey and Giveaway

As 2013 approaches, it makes me think about changes for the new year, especially here on To Read or Not To Read. I'm hoping that all the readers of To Read or Not To read will fill out the survey I've created to give feedback on the blog. It's completely anonymous, and it should only take about 5 minutes to fill out. I appreciate every one of your opinions on helping make To Read or Not To Read better. As a thank you for filling out this survey I am giving away a $5.00 gift cards to Amazon to three lucky winners. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below after you complete the survey. You must be at least 13 years old to enter



Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2 Where I've Been

Hey Readers! I hope you had a great Christmas. As you may have noticed I took a few days off from To Read or Not To Read. It always feels weird when I do take time off because I spend so much time on here. I often feel like something is missing. It's always nice to take a break though. I actually took some time off of work as well. I had a huge, and probably unrealistic, goal of getting everything organized, catching up on reading, catching up on laundry, and other fun stuff. I did get some things organized, but I've not read much of anything. I'll blame it on the business of the season. I did manage to catch up on Doctor Who, season 7. Finally! I love, love, love this show. My whole family does, which is a small miracle in itself. And speaking of Doctor Who, my kids bought my a sonic screwdriver pen for Christmas. I love it!




And speaking of Christmas presents, my husband bought my two cloth-bound books by Jane Austen -Mansfield Park and Sense ans Sensibility.



Aren't they gorgeous!  Now I want to collect them all! They look so pretty on my shelf. I also bought myself a few e-books. I couldn't help it. Some of the books on my wishlist were on sale for only $1.99. I couldn't pass that up.


I also had the chance to watch The Hobbit. Have you seen it yet? It was really good, although a little long. I couldn't believe almost three hours went by. I can't wait for the next movie. I'm not sure if I'll have the time, but I really want to see Les Miserables too. It looks so good!

So that's what I've been up to the last week or so. I hope you all had a great Christmas, and I wish you all the best for the New Year! Now I'm off to go watch Phineas and Ferb with the kiddos. Happy Reading!




Wednesday, December 26, 2012

0 Susan Howatch books now available as ebooks


Open Roads Media has just released five of Susan Howatch's books as ebooks. Sex, power, ambition, forgiveness, love. Such are the themes explored in Susan Howatch's bestselling and highly addictive books. I've not read any books by Susan Howatch, but these look really good.


In public, Paul Van Zale and his partners at his Wall Street investment bank are exemplary citizens and pillars of the community. In private, however, their lives are riven by jealousy, ambition, hatred, and lust. When the clever and sexy Dinah Slade insinuates herself into Paul's life in the 1920s, the banker's marriage and career are threatened - and Dinah demonstrates her disruptive power again when she seduces Paul's right-hand man. Based on a true historical story - the life of Cleopatra - which Howatch updated to the 1920s and 1930s in New York and London, The Rich Are Different marries imperial ambition to the American dream, and offers a cast of characters glittering with sophistication and style. Available at Amazon




Mark Castallack may have the woman of his dreams, a large fortune, and Penmarric, a Victorian mock-castle on the cliffs of Cornwall, but his private life is heading for disaster. His marriage fails, and when he takes a mistress he winds up with two families who hate each other. As the twentieth century unfolds, his children are left struggling to save not only Penmarric but themselves, and their struggles are marked by greed, ambition, and murder. Howatch's magnificent novel was her first international bestseller and is as compelling as Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca. Available at Amazon





Cornelius Van Zale considers himself lucky to have reached the top rank of his great-uncle's Wall Street bank. But along with the banker's gilded lifestyle comes a world of complicated affairs, bitter rivalries, and decades of unfinished business. As young Cornelius struggles to suppress the memories of his brutal past, he comes to realize with horror that his beautiful daughter Vicky is being used as a pawn by powerful men determined to have their revenge on him. With Sins of the Fathers, Susan Howatch creates a striking and provocative sequel to her bestselling novel The Rich Are Different. Available at Amazon





Tucked in the hills of South Wales is Oxmoon, the ancestral estate of the Godwin family. In the summers before 1914, music streams through the family home as the Godwins, at the height of their prosperity, dance in the ballroom with their guests. But despite the remarkable talents of heir-apparent Robert Godwin, the fates have a rough, tough ride planned for him and those he loves. Fortunes shift during two world wars, disastrous love affairs leave the family battered, and finally jealousy threatens to destroy Oxmoon and all it symbolizes. Based on a true story that has been updated to modern times, The Wheel of Fortune is a timeless tale of love, hatred, revenge, redemption, and forgiveness. Available at Amazon




Howatch has published twenty books ranging from murder mysteries to family sagas, including Cashelmara, which follows the fortunes of three generations as they struggle to survive. Set in nineteenth-century Ireland, the De Salis family carries on through times of both riches and hardship, but their hard-won resilience will be threatened by tragedy of their own making. Available at Amazon

Monday, December 24, 2012

4 Merry Christmas



0 Free today: Burning by J.M. Gregoire



Burning
(Short Story Demon Legacy Series Prequel)
Author:  J.M. Gregoire
27 Pages
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Author Website:  http://jmgregoirebooks.com

Goodreads Average Rating:  4.30 stars - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16004680-burning

Currently Ranked #13 on Amazon’s Fantasy > Urban chart.

Book Synopsis:
Lucas was a typical playboy - lots of alcohol and a different girl every night.

One woman brought his emotional walls and the beliefs he used to build them crumbling to the ground.

Now, an unexpected visitor is going to change both their worlds forever.

Burning is the short story lead-in to the upcoming Demon Legacy series by J.M. Gregoire.

Friday, December 21, 2012

2 Peanut Butter S’more Bites Recipe



Real Mermaids Festive Treats

Hi everyone! Jade here from Real Mermaids.

One of my favourite things about the upcoming holidays is the great treats we get to make and share. I love food so much, in fact, that I included a recipe for some of my favourite snacks in each of the Real Mermaids books.

My friend Cori and I thought we’d experiment a bit and ‘holiday-ize’ each recipe for you!

In my upcoming book, Real Mermaids Don’t Need High Heels (out Feb 1st, 2013), my cutie friend Luke came up with a genius campfire treat he called Peanut Butter Cup S’mores. Here’s a cookie version my friend Rachel shared with me, which I think would be PERFECT around a crackling fireplace (indoors!).

Peanut Butter S’more Bites


Beat together:
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg

Then add:
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt

Drop into mini muffin tins and bake for 8 minutes at 350F. Remove from oven, place 3 mini marshmallows on top and return to oven for 1 minute. Cool. Drizzle with melted chocolate and try not to lick your fingers...

Happy treats and have a great holiday, everyone!

Love,

Jade

0 Fun Holiday Activities For the Family: The Polar Express


Can you believe Christmas is almost here? If you're like me your kids are home from school this week, and they're very excited that Christmas is just around the corner. Here's something that would be fun for the whole family. Have a Polar Express pajama party.

Step 1. This is the most important step. Get in some comfy pajamas.


Step 2. Read the book, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. It's a fantastic book for kids of all ages. I love the pictures in it! It's a short book, and it's easy to read. Adults can read the book to the kids, or the kids can read it to the parents.



Step 3. Watch the movie. This is one of my favorite holiday movies. Both of my kids still enjoy it. If you haven't seen it, you really need to. Also (random fact) Tom Hanks performs most of the voices in it!



Step 4. Make hot chocolate with your kids. Hot chocolate is a staple in our house practically all year long. There's nothing better than drinking hot chocolate when it's cold outside. You might have your own recipe, or you might like the 'just add water' kind. However if you're looking for a recipe, or you're just in the mood to try something different, check out this one from Martha Stewart.
http://www.marthastewart.com/335381/ultimate-hot-chocolate?czone=entertaining/holiday-entertaining/holidaycenter-menus&center=0&gallery=275554&slide=254671

If you're looking for something a bit more healthier, check out this recipe: http://skinnyms.com/classic-hot-chocolate/

This activity is a great way to spend some quality family time with the little ones. It's also enjoyable for the grownups too!


Happy Holidays!





0 Cover Reveal: Changed by Rose J. Bell




About the book:
In a world, where hunters and angels reign, war is daily fare and one girl is destined for saving them all.

After the brutal murder of her father, Rosa Petrova has dedicated her life to the eradication of angels and the revenge of her father´s dead. Therefore she becomes one of the fastest, deadliest and best Hunters in the
world.

As Rosa hunts those who caused her father ´s death, two Nephilim, the children and warriors of the archangels, appeared in Boston, although it is forbidden for them to enter the enemy’s city.

Rosa has to find out, why the Nephilim Jason and his friend risk their lives, but ends up in between the fonts, what forces her to make a dangerous decision that could change her live forever. At the same time, she is
falling in love with the one person, she´s forbidden to love. And this love could kill her...

About the author:
Rose J. Bell is a pen name for an 18-year-old author living in a small town in Germany. In between going to school and reading too many books, instead of learning for her exams, she writes young adult urban and epic fantasy. She loves chocolate, supernatural, fairy tales and kick-butt heroines. Changed (The Hunters, book 1) is her debut novel. For more information please visit her blog: http://rosejbell.blogspot.de/

Thursday, December 20, 2012

0 Bookish Holiday Gift Ideas: For the tweens



by Justin Bieber
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published by Harper Collins
Published: September 13, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-220208-6

This book is a tween's dream come true. It's full of photos of Bieber while on tour, vacation, in the studio, and just having fun. He also relates his rise to fame, and how he copes with it all. Throughout the book Justin Bieber distributes his words of advice to his fans. He also addresses some of the rumors circulating. I think this book is perfect for girls who are big fans of Bieber. 

by One Direction
Published by: Harper Collins
Published: October 16, 2012
Paperback, 64 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-22315-9

'Baby, you light up my world like nobody else. . . ' One Direction is the hottest thing right now, and makes all the girls go crazy. This book is a behind the scenes look at the band. This is the sort of book I would have loved when I was a tween. It reminds me of Tiger Beat or Bop. Do you remember those? Anyway, the band answers all sorts of questions about their likes and dislikes, there is a quiz to find out which guy is right for you, and they talk about the making of One Direction. It's full of photos that girls will drool over and over again. If you know someone who loves this band, you should buy them this book. They will thank you for it!



0 Fun Holiday Activities For the Family: Snowflakes



Make snowflakes! This is always a fun activity to do with kids. It's so easy and fun. If you look around on the internet, you can find lots of ideas.

Check out these snowflakes made from coffee filters




Click here for the 'how to' instructions.

Hey, Star Wars fans! Check out this snowflake:


This looks a little more advanced for young children. Parents would most likely need to help younger children. Click here for the template.

I don't have a template for this, but this is beautiful.



Making snowflakes is a fun, inexpensive way to spend an afternoon with your kids.

Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

0 Bookish Holiday Gift Ideas: The Hobbit


Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published on November 6, 2012
Hardcover, 72 pages
ISBN: 978-0-547-89856-8

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the Visual companion to the movie. Inside this book Jude Fisher takes a closer look at the main characters in this movie. He gives background information on each character that's insightful. Fisher also delves into the quest that Bilbo embarks on and addresses some of the foes that the company has to face. If you've read the The Hobbit, nothing in this book will really surprise you. However it's worth getting just for the beautiful photographs. I really wish I could show you some of the images. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I can't wait. I'm a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, and I know this movie will be just as fantastic. 



by J.R.R. Tolken
hardcover, 317 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0395071229

I really want this book. It has the original book jacket that was designed by the author. I think this is so fantastic, and would make a great gift for Hobbit fans. My geek is showing :) 

Other Hobbity things:



This mug says "You have nice manners for a thief and a liar" said the Dragon. What a great line from the The Hobbit! 

Love this shirt! 


 

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