Sunday, November 29, 2009

**TRIPLE THREAT** REVIEW, INTERVIEW, AND CONTEST! "-Adventurers Wanted- Slathbog's Gold" by M.L. Forman



The sign is small, tucked into the corner of Mr. Clutter's bookshop window: "Adventurers Wanted, Apply Within."  No one but fifteen-year old Alex Taylor even seems to notice it there.  And for Alex, who has wished for a change in his life, it is an irresistible invitation.
Upon entering Mr. Clutter's shop, Alex is swept away on an incredible adventure to a faraway land filled with heroic warriors, mysterious elves, and hard-working dwarves.
Alex becomes the eighth man in a band of adventurers seeking the air of Slathbog the Red-an evil dragon with a legendary treasure.  Along the way, Alex and his new friends must battle dangerous trolls and bandits, face undead wraiths, and seek the wisdom of the Oracle in her White Tower.
Alex's adventure takes him to distant and exotic lands where he learns about courage, integrity, honor, and, most importantly, friendship.


I get those advertising emails from Amazon telling me "since you read this book, we thought you would enjoy reading these." Then they give a short list of other books that besides being in the same Genre, I have no idea where they get the idea that I would at all be interested in them! Even so, I still take the 2 minutes to look at the titles. Well, am I glad I did! What a fantastic book. Now, I know that we only review books we really liked to ones we loved, but there are also degrees involved in that too. If I had to compare and re rate only 5 star books, this one would get 5 stars out of that list!  This is going to be a series and I plan to read each and every one of them. Ok, so i suppose you'd like to know what was sooo good??

The book starts where Alex, who lives with his stepfather and stepbrother, goes for a stroll. He walks by Mr Clutter's book shop and sees a sign in the window that keeps changing its message every time Alex looks at it. It is a sign for "adventurers wanted" which draws Alex in. When he meets Mr. Clutter inside, he is told that he has been chosen to go on an "adventure." Everything happens so fast that between Mr. Cutter, an elf named Arconn and a dwarf named Thrang, Alex finds himself committed to going on this adventure in some far off magical land before he even really knows what is going on. Although they leave immediately (through a magical door in Mr Cutter's shop) whatever time passes while off on this adventure, if and when Alex returns home, it will be as though he never left. No time in his world will have passed.

Now Alex goes with the dwarf and elf and meets the rest the adventure's company that he will be traveling with. With Bragnest at the lead of the company, this had to be one of my favorite group of characters in a book yet. As a matter of fact, EVERY character that Alex and his company meet during their adventure was extremely well written and I enjoyed reading about all of them.  I can honestly say that there was not one person at all that I did not find overly interesting and didn't feel like I knew them personally. The way that Forman developed the strong relationships within the company while still keeping the respect for their ranks was great as well.

The adventurer's all sign a contract before going outlining the rules and the agreements between the company.  For instance, there are certain ways that treasures are to be split if they are found on the way to their final destination. That final destination by the way, happens to be the den of Slathbog, an enormous, vicious dragon that is feared throughout all the lands. With such a fear, comes a most massive treasure.  One that many will dream of, but few will attempt to go after.  That is the goal of this company, to defeat Slathbog, and return with his treasure.

There was just the right amount of magic throughout the book as well. Not only that, but most of it was original and very creative.  What fascinated me was that each adventurer carried a "Magic Bag" with them. These bags played a big role in the story and oh how I wish I could own one!  Each magic bag was basically a leather bag that was carried over the adventurer's shoulder.  Each adventurer had a secret password that they would whisper into their bag.  Only the adventurer himself and his heirs knows the password to each of their bags.  When the password was whispered correctly into the bag, the person was transported into the bag, which was almost described i'd say like a little house. Each bag contained different rooms, from storage rooms to ice rooms to keep their food stored in the cold for long journeys, to a wonderful thought out treasure room.  As the adventurer collected treasures and other items along the way, they were simply transported into the bag by the adventurer stating which room to put them in.  The treasure room, a most amazing room, expands as more and more treasure is deposited into it, with no size limit.  As you become a more experienced adventurer, you can purchase more unique add on rooms to your magic bag.

Another wonderful piece of magic was Alex's sword, "Moon Slayer".  Made by Elves hundreds of years ago, the sword was very special. It choose Alex to be its owner.  Not much of the swords history was revealed, but it was a legendary sword that contained special magic and it's previous owners were special and powerful. It had a certain glow to it that reminded the company of the glow of night, the glow of the moon. When in the hands of the right person, the one it chose to be it's master, it created a unity between the bearer and itself. A burning fire within Alex for victory formed when he and his sword met any enemy.

Here is a bit of how Alex's character develops throughout the book. When Alex first goes to buy his weapon with Andy, the second member of the company, Alex had to be "fitted" to see what type of weapon was suited for him. The shopsman told them that Alex was fitting for staff as one of the weapons he could choose.  The staff was a weapon of a wizard. The sword, "Moonslayer", was a weapon suitable for a warrior.  Forman's development of Alex's character is not only engaging, but exciting as well. Although Alex is not so confident that he is capable of becoming a great wizard and warrior, he never stops trying and continues to learn and gain knowledge throughout the adventure.  He learns about all the different plants used to make potions the entire journey.  Also, he studies books on magic and learns to work with magic more and more with the constant help of Arconn and others he meets along the journey.  This magic and his warrior instincts along with "Moonslayer" has Alex defeating many enemies throughout the journey including a 3 legged giant troll, a group of bandits, and the wraiths, who are basically dark spirits that try to lure Alex to the "dark side" so to speak.

Another great aspect of the story is the different villages, kindoms, and places that the company travels through.  Forman has done a marvelous job at creating so many little worlds, each giving you a full understanding of their customs and heritage.

Now, I will tell you that although I do not consider it a spoiler as I'm sure you would guess that Slathbog is defeated at the end, and his treasure is far greater than any had imagined.  What I will not tell you is how he is defeated.  Although a quick defeat, it was nothing short of a nail biter.

So many wonderful things packed in one book, there is many lessons as well.  Honor is big in the book as well as trust and friendship.  The bond that the company shares as well as the bonds that are formed with certain characters along the way are well created, truly strong, and will last for a very long time.

The very end of the book, when the adventure is finally over and it is time to go home (for now) holds a great twist.  The very last page of the book throws a curveball to the reader leaving you speechless and wondering.  There are promises from Forman of many more adventures to come.  I believe book 2 is due out in the spring of 2010. There is no doubt that I will be pre ordering that one and re reading Slathbog's Gold in the days leading up to the release.

A fantastic read, I did not find myself bored at a single page.  I would say that if you are interested in a great tale filled with action, adventure and one that is truly engaging every step of the way, please read this one.  Although a fantasy, it was not complicated, yet very fulfilling. Id love to hear anyone's opinion who has read this.

I am trying to get a hold of Mark Forman to hopefully get him to allow us an interview for the site as well as discuss the story and future adventures with us.  He is not easy to find, but I'm doing my best!  Mark, if you are out there and read this, please find me!

For a peek at the official "Adventurers Wanted" site, click HERE.


TLGBRS- Mark, "Adventurers Wanted, Slathbog's Gold" was a fantastic book. Where did you come up with the idea for the story?

MLF- When I started writing Slathbog’s Gold I was unemployed and looking for work.  While I was looking through the help wanted adds I started to think about jobs you would never find in a newspaper or online.  How cool would it be to find a job that let you go on an adventure?  Alex wasn’t looking for a job at the time, but the sign in the window was a magical kind of help wanted sign.

TLGBRS- "Adventurers Wanted" is slated to be a series. I can definitely envision this becoming a multi-book series with many different adventures. Currently, do you have a goal for how many books you would like to include in the series or is it really up in the air at this point?

MLF- The number of books in the series is up in the air right now.  Mostly it will depend on how many the publisher is willing to put out.  Currently I’m finishing up some changes in book two of the series, and books three, four, and five are in various states of completion.  As long as people enjoy reading the stories, and as long as I can get someone to publish them, I’ll keep writing.

TLGBRS- Follow up to #2...Although each book in the series will probably contain a different adventure, would it be safe to say that throughout the series, the adventures will revolve around Alex Taylor, the main character, and will follow him through maturing to become a great wizard/warrior?

MLF- Alex is the main character in the stories I’ve worked on so far.  I’ve left this open so other characters can be created and have adventures of their own.  Alex may or may not be an important part of future stories, but for now he is the main character.

TLGBRS- When you write a new adventure, do you have the adventure pretty much mapped out in your mind and sort of fill in the blanks or do you just start an adventure and see where your writing takes you?

MLF- Most of the adventures start with the main idea or the title of the story.  I know what the goal of the adventure will be but not much more.  I’ve tried mapping stories out from start to finish, but that doesn’t work for me.  The stories take on lives of their own as I write them, and so I try not to force them down a set path.

TLGBRS- Can you tell us anything at all regarding your next book in the series "The Horn of Moran" due out in the spring of 2010?

MLF- That’s a tough one.  I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that some of the old faces will be back.  I couldn’t send Alex off on his second adventure without a few of his friends.

Alex and his friends are sent to recover the Horn of Moran, a magical horn that will only sound for the true king.  There are questions about who should be the King of Athanor, and if the horn is not returned soon there will be war.  It’s a race against time, and time is running out.

TLGBRS- I'm sure you get questions about this all the time, but the adventurers all carry a "magic bag", which is very important and symbolic in the book. This has been one of, if not the most creative tools/accessories any character has ever had in all the books I have read. How on earth did you come up with that one? Also, for those who have not read your book yet, give them a brief description of what a "magic bag" is.

MLF- The idea for the magic bag came mostly because I needed a way for the adventurers to carry all their gear, food, and treasure without taking a lot of extra help along.  It was a simple solution to a giant problem, and I’m happy that it worked out so well.

For those who haven’t read the story, magic bags look something like a small postman’s bag made out of leather.  They are easily carried over the shoulder, and if you look inside it the bag will be empty.  For the adventurer who owns the bag, the inside of the bag can have as many rooms as he can afford to put in it.  Magic allows the inside of the bag to be much larger than the outside, so adventurers can carry almost anything they need with them in a very small space. 

TLGBRS- At the very end of "Slathbog's Gold", there is a HUGE twist to the story that I don't think anyone who has read it was expecting. Based upon that twist, will any of the books in the series possibly take us back to an adventure or a time that occurred before Alex's time?

MLF- I’ve thought about going back in time for an adventure or maybe several adventures, but I haven’t done any work on a story like that yet.  I’ve also given some thought to writing some short stories that would help fill in the past, but nothing solid yet.

TLGBRS- Mark, do you have any plans or thoughts about either a stand alone novel or perhaps a different series that you are either working on or thinking about?

MLF- I have a few different projects in the works.  I’ve mostly finished a story called, “Seeds of Power,” which will be the first book in a trilogy.  I plan on editing that as fall moves on, and I will hopefully have it off to a publisher by the end of the year.  I’ve also been working on another story that I hope will become a series, but it’s not too far along yet.

TLGBRS- Tell us something that nobody has asked you before. Something unique about yourself that you would like to share with everyone who reads this interview.

MLF- Can’t do that…  Writers and wizards should always keep some secrets, and so I’m keeping that secret. ;-p

TLGBRS- What would you, Mark L Forman, author of "Adventurers Wanted, Slathbog's Gold" do for a Klondike Bar???

MLF- I’d wrestle a three legged troll for a Klondike Bar.

Thanks Mark for the interview!  I LOVED Slathbog's Gold... As a matter of fact, I had reviewed this earlier on in our site, but wanted to do it again to re introduce it to our newer fans!  Also, thank you for the donations to our CONTEST, which is coming up NOW!


So, You guys like CONTESTS and GIVEAWAYS, do ya??

Well, Mark has been awesome enough to offer up to our gracious fans 1 signed copy of "Adventurers Wanted- Slathbog's Gold" AS WELL AS an audio copy for another lucky winner!  So, we will have 2 winners!  The Contest will run until 11:59pm EST on Saturday December 19th!

Here's what you can do to get entries:

**FIRST**- our # 1 Rule... YOU MUST BE A FOLLOWER OF THE SITE TO BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN!  There will be no exceptions.  A follower is defined only as someone who goes to the right sidebar of our site, clicks "Follow" under "Followers" and registers to follow our site. Not Facebook, Not Twitter, and Not by Email. It is very simple... we will click on your name if you are a winner, and if we see our site as one that you follow, you win, if we do not see our site as one you follow, we pick another winner.  We are very easy going here at TLGBRS, but can not stress enough how many times we have to remind people to follow our site to be eligible. This contest, no reminders.  Sorry for sounding firm, but as many times as we remind people, it seems some people still do not want to listen, and the craziest part is... why wouldn't you??


You MUST comment on the review and interview AND you MUST leave your email address!

+2 For Existing Followers (membership has it's benefits)

+1 For a New Follower

+1 For linking this contest to your sidebar, tweeting it, sky writing it, putting it on a magnet on the side of your car, etc. (INCLUDE LINK)

+3 If you give the contest it's own POST on your blog site

+5 FOR EACH PERSON THAT JOINS AS A NEW FOLLOWER, ENTERS THE CONTEST, AND SAYS THAT YOU SENT THEM (I will add the +5 for you in a comment after I see the entry!)

+10 extra entries to anyone who brings us **at least 5 NEW FOLLOWERS for this contest** (Again, we will add the +10 once we confirm that the new people you sent are indeed followers!)




Some quick announcements that should make you all happy campers...

First, we hit 400 followers!  GO YOU GUYS!!  Thank you to all of you who are currently followers of our site.  We greatly appreciate all our your continuous support!  We couldn't and wouldn't be doing this without you.


After countless hours and lots and lots of tallying, we have completed the selection of winners for the "MEGA CONTEST" Tomorrow evening along with the "Sunday Scoop", we will announce the winners!  This was probably the hardest task we have faced so far since creating the site and posting our very first post.  HOWEVER, every minute was worth it.... You want to know why?  Good, because we are going to tell you.  It was worth it because of you!  You guys have stuck with us for a while, been patient, have been giving us something to work for, something to keep reading, reviewing, interviewing, and holding our contests for.  We are thrilled to be able to share our insights, thought, and  passion with you.  That is what made every grueling minute of the contest ending process worth it all!  

To share something a bit out of the ordinary and a bit unexplainable with you all.... to this day, and regardless of how many times we have mentioned the contest requirements AND the contest end date we STILL have people entering the contest as well as stating they are "followers" who are not following!  This is really surreal to us.  We have stated sooo many times that the most important requirement to be eligible to win is to be a follower of the site.  There are still sooo many people who have tried to skate around this, it's amazing.  It's amazing because we have NO IDEA why.  It is not like by following we get your SS #, or are going to tap out your ATM card...  Also, we have made several posts about the contest ending, including in the comments section of the contest entry post, and yet people are still entering up to and including today!  The only rational explanation is that these people are not reading ANY of the other content on the site.  Had they been, we are sure they would have seen all of the clues and hints that it was over.  Regardless, thank you to those who pay attention and actually read our posts!


Tomorrow will be a sort of busy day.  First, we will be posting our triple threat on "Adventurer's Wanted: Slathbog's Gold" by M.L. Forman.  As part of the "Triple Threat" (review, interview, and contest) Mark (M.L.) will be contributing a signed copy of the book as well as a CD version for your listening enjoyment as our giveaways.  We will pick 2 different winners for this one.  Also, a quick reminder, we still have up for grabs a signed copy of "Candor" by Pam Bachorz!

As well, tomorrow Lauryn will be posting her review on both the book and movie of "New Moon", part 2 in the "Twilight" series.  Speaking of New Moon, guess what the Gang did tonight?  Yes, we did.... we saw New Moon AGAIN!  Dave was tempted to take his video camera in this time to save us the $50 it cost to see it each time (if it weren't illegal, we'd be watching it from home again now!)  But yes, the ladies of the house outnumbered Dave 3-1 and well, New Moon it was for our Saturday night pleasure.

Tomorrow we will also have our weekly column "Sunday Scoop" and again, that is where we will announce our winners of the Mega Contest.  It is usually written at night, but keep in mind, as it is the "Sunday" Scoop, all day Sunday is fair game.  Depending on how a few different plans pan out, it could be in the middle of the day, afternoon, or evening.  (mornings are for sleep in the Gang's house on the weekends).


Just for the heck of throwing some stuff into the spotlight, Mara has surprised us all in the house and since our first viewing of New Moon last Friday, Mara has power read and completed ALL of the Twilight books!  Considering they are all good size books (500+ pages) that is A LOT of reading!  Kudos to her!!  Speaking of Mara, she and David have been busy little bees working on our new site, (not yet public) and trying to get some sponsors to give us some products to start reviewing and of course giving away to you guys.  We are going to debut the site soon, but still do not have a date.  Instead of rushing it, we are going to make sure we have some goodies to get you guys started with as well as a "Grand Opening" contest where we are working on a few special prizes, and hopefully one will pan out.  If it does, you guys will be happy as can be.  We are getting closer to inking a deal with a sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous (for now hopefully) and trying to get hold of an E-Reader to give away as our debut contest!  Not to be impartial, but if it ends up happening, we are shooting to give away the "Nook" as it will be our E-Reader of choice for the Gang.  NO promises at all, and we contemplated even telling you, but what the heck.  Again, no promises, it's just in the works with a few other things to consider as well.  Regardless, we will kick off the new site with something off the charts for sure.

Well, that is about all we have for now.  Tune in tomorrow, and check back throughout the day for the "Sunday Scoop", which will include the lucky winners of the Mega Contest FINALLY! 

AS ALWAYS...ANY QUESTIONS, dial 1-800-askthelateinergang (1-800-784-875-43634356-5345)... JUST KIDDING, although if you did dial a number that long, we are sure you would probably be ordering takeout from a real Chinese Restaurant IN CHINA!!!  Email us if you have a question, or just feel like reaching out to us for any reason...


Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again!

Umm, Looks Like Someone is a Bit Confused Today!

It's that time of year again.  Early darkness, holiday traffic, crowded malls and stores, new year's resolution thoughts, pies and egg nog, Christmas trees and Menorahs, and the hunt for that one "hot" present that every kid has to have this year!  The time of year where chaos and mayhem seem normal, deciding who makes it to the "get's a present" list this year, and writing a wish list of your own.

Although, the short time between Turkey Day and the New Year feels like eternity, it's always over before you know it, and we start counting down the time until the next holiday season.  The most important thing is that you make time for your loved ones and friends, the people that play such an important role in your life whether you realize it or not.  We consider many of you a part of our "online blog family" and want to let you know how much we appreciate you. From the 4 of us at TLGBRS, we want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy your dinner, as thanks to master turkey chef Mara, we know we will!


The Gang

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mega Contest Update AND Some Other Good Stuff To Be Happy About!

Hello Everyone!  I want to make somewhat of an announcement re: the contest results.  First, I want to thank all of you for being patient with us, and those of you who have sent us supporting emails or posted supporting comments.  There is nothing I want to do more than to have this completed, and believe me, i'm working on it!  I could easily close my eyes, go down the list, and point and have my winners, but I am dedicated to doing this the way I started it, fairly and with  I have been hard at work trying to select our winners.  So far I have had some success.  Progress has been made.  So you have a better idea of what I have been doing, every time I find someone who is not a "follower", I have to go find all of their posts, exclude them, and then go back and re-count the entries.  I have made it far enough in the list to select appx. 8 winners so far.  It would not be fair to announce them yet, so I will hold off.  I am making my way down the list (printed, which was smart!) and diligently going one by one.  As this would have been so much easier had everyone followed the directions, not everything works out the way we always want it to. For this reason, I am again sorry to those of you who did follow directions.  The reason I wanted to make an announcement tonight was to manage your expectations.  Although I am working on this, many of you know, I do have a full time job, which basically leaves this to be done at night, which I have been doing.  With the holiday coming up, I want to make you all aware that there is a high probability that I will not have this complete until the end of the weekend.  I truly am sorry, but there is not much more I can do at this time, except keep doing what I am doing.  I am off Thursday like many of you are, however, I do have to work a full day on Friday. Regardless, if I do not sleep, this will be done this weekend.  

For future contests, I can not think of any easier way to do this.  I will continue to stress throughout contests that you must be a follower of the site to be eligible.  Hopefully, it will sink in, and things will get easier as time goes on. 

ON A BRIGHTER NOTE, a while back, I did a review on "Adventurer's Wanted: Slathbog's Gold" by M.L. Forman.  A Fantastic book, I have arranged something special.  I will be re-introducing the review along with a not-before-published interview with breakout author M.L. Forman.  As always, to make things interesting around here, there will be a CONTEST attached... I like these new "triple-threat" posts.  Review, Interview, and Contest all in one.  Hey, I just thought of something....As many sites have had this before, I don't think I've ever heard it called a "triple-threat" posting!  I am officially coining the phrase "Triple Threat" in the book blogging community, and one will include.... a review, interview, and contest.  Sorry, had to pat myself on the back for that one. Anyway, in this Triple Threat, M.L. Forman will be offering up 1 signed copy of Adventurer's Wanted, as well as a copy of the CD recording of Adventurer's Wanted.  We will have 2 winners, 1 for each.  I will post the Triple Threat probably in the next few days.  This, as well as our current Triple Threat for "Candor", will be our 2 active contests for now.  I don't think I am up to anything more currently.  Im already overextended, so for now, you guys will hopefully be ok with the 2 new contests.  We are working on a special "different" kind of contest that we will also publish soon.  I do not think I have seen one around yet either.  As you know, the Gang is fairly creative, and we are always thinking of new ways to get you guys excited and make our contests more appealing to you.

Once again, I TERRIBLY apologize for the delay.  Please continue to have patience for me.  It was a first for us to hold a MEGA contest, and although it was a success, it was our first time on such a large scale.  This is not discouraging, as it helps us to improve upon our process.  Smaller contests are a piece of cake, it's the big one with a ton of winners that needs some work.  If any of you have any suggestions that can help us, we are definitely open to advice.  Keep in mind, that as we expand our following, (and the only real requirement we always include is that you must be a follower" we are able to get access to more authors, publishers, sponsors, etc. and in return provide you with better and bigger prizes.  This is why we ask to have everyone follow.  Many of you already know this, but for those of you who don't, that is why it is a requirement.  So again, if anyone has any suggestions for BIG contests going forward (not as far as prizes, but as far as a process) as long as you keep the "follower" rule in mind, feel free to share.  You are free to post your suggestions, however, I'd really appreciate it if you could email them to me at instead.

FINALLY, to re-mention this (and hopefully cause some excitement buzz), we will be starting a "sister" site to TLGBRS.  The purpose is as follows-  as our site has grown in size, we have been approached by many companies, marketing agencies, etc. and asked to review "products" and such, as well as offer giveaways and contests for cool stuff (we have seen some of the stuff and CAN'T wait to get our hands on them as well as yours!).  We have thought long and hard about incorporating this into the site.  We have built a strong, ever growing following for our site based upon the hard work and effort we put in revolving around the book blogging community.  We have made the decision NOT to incorporate the "products" part with the "book" part.  We love our site here and do not want to compromise it whatsoever.  Therefore, it is not completed yet (almost done!), but soon we will be launching our second site, "The Lateiner Gang Review Spot", where it will be open to anything and everything as far as reviews, GIVEAWAYS, and CONTESTS!  I will provide the site's address in a special unveiling post once we are up and running, which should be soon.  We are trying to make it look very similar to our "book" review site, as we kind of like the way this looks and want to keep the "purple" thing going for now.  There might be some minor changes, but for the most part, it will look very much like this site here.  We will ask all of you that follow our site to please go over and become a follower of the new site in an effort to maintain our level of interest from these advertisers, companies, and other avenues that will provide us with treats for you guys!  Of course, we will have to incorporate a BIG opening contest for the site.... We are working on that as well.  Keep your eyes open for drips and drabs of info regarding the new site and when it will be live.  Although it will be soon, we do not want to rush it, and we want to make sure we are good to go when we do unveil it.  So, as of now, no definite date.

We will continue to work this Mega Contest situation, and will have a definite list of the winners by the end of the weekend for sure. Again, I am prepared to not sleep until it is done!  Thanks again for your understanding, support, and patience.  IN THE MEAN TIME, GO SIGN UP TO WIN YOUR SIGNED COPY OF "CANDOR" & LOOK FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN "ADVENTURER'S WANTED: SLATHBOG'S GOLD" by M.L. Forman.  I am going to tell you guys to google that book, or look for it however you look for books, and get a feel for it.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! (my FAVORITE part was the "magic bag" which is by far the COOLEST accessory/tool/prop I have ever read about!)  You are welcome to go check out the review I have posted earlier in (Sept-Oct.) but I will re post it in the next few days.

Well, I think that is about it for now.  See all you crazy cats soon!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Sunday Scoop" The Gang's Weekly Column



Hey Everyone!  This Scoop is going to be super short in an effort to continue to work on the contest.  Here's what is going on.  Throughout the contest, we tried to remind everyone several times that a requirement to being eligible to win is that you must be a "follower" of our site.  Well, as it turns out, not everyone were good little contest entering fairies.  I have been working on the contest for 4 hours so far today around our Sunday required errands.  With well over 1000 entries, this is becoming a mess.  Every time someone is not a "follower", and there are enough out there that are not, I have to search the entire list and find every entry they posted.  This is causing me to have to go back and re count the entries every time.  I am only appx halfway done with the list.  I have not even got to the fun part of using to select the winning #'s to match up to you guys.  I apologize for all of you who followed the instructions.  I feel horrible, but I just can not finish it tonight.  I will try to have it done tomorrow night, but I am still working on Sami's project as well.  Either way, it will be done shortly.  I can not believe the amount of entries that we received!  It is overwhelming.  I guess that is a good thing.  Anyway, Thanks for all your support and patience.  I really do appreciate it.

In the Mean time, we have posted a review, interview, and new contest for"Candor" by Pam Bachorz.  Please check them out and stop by and enter to win a signed ARC of 'Candor", which I absolutely LOVED and know that you will too!


We have been approached by several companies as well as marketing sites that want us to promote products and sites as well as a TON of GIVEAWAY CONTESTS!  The problem was, that we did not want to compromise the integrity of our book review site.  That was started and continues to be run on the basis of our love for books.  It is not appropriate for us to start doing all of these other giveaways and contests on the site.  So, what we are doing, is creating a very similar (looks exactly like our current book review site) site that will be for all of our other reviews, giveaways, contests, etc. for you guys.  We definitely want to be able to do this stuff for you, but made the decision to keep the sites separate.  This way we can continue with business as usual at the book review site, and still offer you guys chances to win a ton of other cool stuff.  When we officially launch the new site, we will ask all of you to kindly head over to the new "sister" site, sign up to follow, and get ready to win stuff!  Although we are all going to participate in the additional site, it will be Mara's "baby".  We really do appreciate all of you spending time at our site and being part of something we love!  That is why we decided to create this new site.  I can not give you the name yet, as it is still being worked on, but its similar to what we have now...  and it will look basically, exactly the same!  We hope you will enjoy it.


Sorry guys, this scoop is short and without too much of the usual stuff.  I apologize, as there were things that everyone wanted to contribute, but it's late, the girls have to go to sleep, and I need a break from the computer today!  I hope you all understand.  So, keep your eyes open over the next day or so for the contest winners, the new unveiling of our "sister" site, and some cool reviews.  Lauryn has been dying to review "New Moon" the book, so when she does, it would be great if you guys would check it out and help build some confidence for her.  She loves to write, but always feels like her reviews are not "good enough" for the site.  I disagree and think they are wonderful, and hopefully you will too!

Thanks so much!


The Mega Contest is Officially CLOSED!

Just a reminder that the Mega Contest is officially

 Any entries that are received after 11:59 pm (est) last night, will not be included in the total tally.

Please be patient with us as we have appx 400 comments and well over 1000 total entries to review (we told you we were going to review them! It's only fair to those who followed directions)  Most probably, the winners will be announced this evening as part of the "Sunday Scoop".  In the mean time, go down 3 posts, and start reading about "Candor", and work your way up to the new Contest, a signed ARC of Candor!

Thanks and check back tonight as we announce our winners of the Mega Contest!

The Lateiner Gang

Saturday, November 21, 2009



Hello to all our friends!  As the Mega Contest ends, another begins!
We have basically featured "Candor" today, as the 2 previous posts have been a review of "Candor" as well as an interview with the author, Pam Bachorz.  Pam decided it would be a great idea to top off the triple threat of posts with a giveaway of a signed ARC of "Candor"!!

So, we will let this one run from today, Sat. Nov 21st, 2009 until (est) 11:59 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 12th, 2009.

Here's how to ENTER:
YOU MUST FOLLOW OUR SITE TO BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN. That means, we must be able to verify that you are a follower, and we will.

+2 for already following (you know the routine...membership has its benefits!)

+1 for signing up to be a new Follower of our site through clicking on the "follow" tab under "Followers" on our right sidebar.

+2 for each new follower we get that mentions you sent them

+1 for each post you comment on (reviews, interviews, "Sunday Scoops", or specially marked posts only) starting with the "Candor" review until the contest ends

+1 for each individual & separate - blurb, tweet, mention, skywriting, tattoo, etc. about this contest

+3 if you give our contest it's own post on your blog site

+10 (FOR ONE PERSON ONLY! WILL IT BE YOU??) if you can guess Dave's middle name...1 guess per person, and Dave will add the +10 if you are right...1st person who gets it right, gets the +10 :o)

**Contest open to U.S. and Canada Residents**

So, nothing out of the norm of the usual entry stuff, except the lucky +10 winner, IF there is someone out there who can guess.  I will give you these clues... it's not Herman, Phillipe, or Billy-Bob.  It doesn't start with a vowel or end with a vowel.  It has more than 3 letters in it, but fewer than 7. Happy, I mean Happy Thanksgiving! Hey, at least it's a start!

Good Luck to you all!


An Interview with Pam Bachorz, author of "Candor"

"Candor" was a fantastic book.  Hands down.  The review of Candor is right below this post, and thanks to Pam, the next post after our interview will be for our next contest, a signed ARC of "Candor" for you guys. I guess you can say today is "Candor" day at TLGBRS!  I hope you enjoy Candor as much as I did.  Pam has been very pleasant and has overextended herself to us.  Here is what she had to say...

TLG: Your debut hit, "Candor" has been off to a running start since being released. What did you do before you decided to write a smash hit and what led you to writing it?

PB: Well, thanks, I don't know about "smash" but I'll take it! Well, besides being a writer I'm a mom and I also work in photo buying at a textbook publisher. And publishing a book hasn't changed either one of those things! I decided to write CANDOR when I realized that my one regret in life was that I had given up the writing I love so much as a child and teen. I wanted to know that I'd given writing a novel my best shot. CANDOR was actually my third novel that I wrote, once I made that decision.

TLG: After reading Candor, I got an eerie feeling that "what if this really were to happen?"  For those of you who do not know (yet!), and without giving any spoilers out, Candor is a town where all of its residents are basically controlled or better yet, kept in line through subliminal messages that are fed to them through music. Once you completed the book, did you ever get that same feeling, like this could actually happen?

PB: You know what, I wouldn't be shocked. There are certain people who will always look for ways to control others, and if someday an effective brainwashing technology was invented, I have no doubt that there is someone on the planet who would be glad to use it. Probably a lot of someones. In the meantime, we are all subtly influenced by all kinds of messages, every day: advertising, television, movies, newspapers, magazines, books, our religious and political readers, and our own peers all change the way we see the world and the way we behave.

TLG: I always like to inquire a bit about the process of actually getting the book published.  Was Candor picked up right away, or did you have to play the "shopping around" game, getting an agent, etc.?  Tell us a bit of what you experienced.

PB: Well, I got an agent first and that took a few months. Then it took about another month or six weeks for my agent to sell the book. It went really fast... after 5 years of writing!

TLG: Was much of the book changed once it hit your editor's hands, or is what we are reading a good portion of the original?

PB: CANDOR didn't change all that much, though I am grateful to both my agent and editor for helping me to really hone it into the story you're reading today.

TLG: How long was the entire process from the time you started writing until you held a completed copy in your hands?

PB: It took me five years to write and sell CANDOR--of course during that time I also wrote two other books, had a child and moved from Florida to the DC area!

TLG: As far as your writing "style", are you more of a pen and paper author, or a pdf file author?

PB: I draft on my computer and then I print it out and do a deep revision with good old fashioned pen on paper. The worst part is entering all those changes back into the computer! But I find it makes for a far better revision and it also keeps me moving forward.

TLG: When you wrote Candor, did you do all of your writing during designated times, or were you ever in a situation where an idea popped into your head while you were for instance grocery shopping, and had to ask the cashier to borrow their pen and started scribbling notes on a paper bag?

PB: My life is so crammed full that I have to fight for writing time. I schedule it, and that really is when my writing happens. Even when I'm out shopping I am on my blackberry trying to fight back a thicket of e-mails, keep up on social networking, etc!

TLG: Can you tell us what your favorite types of books to read are?  Favorite Authors?  Favorite books?  

PB: I love to read anything and everything YA. Right now I'm reading LEVIATHAN by Scott Westerfeld. All-time faves include Lois Duncan, L.M. Montgomery and David Sedaris. 

TLG: Going forward, what can we expect from you? Are you planning on staying in the YA arena?

PB: I definitely see myself staying in YA for awhile, though I'm always intrigued by writing middle grade or maybe even an adult novel some day. But YA is my natural bent. I have another YA book coming out with Egmont, tentatively set for Fall 2010, and I'm working on another one right now!

TLG:  Last but not least, our signature question... What would you, Pam Bachorz, author of "Candor" do for a Klondike Bar??

PB: Are we talking full-fat or low-fat? Because the full-fat are so much better yet we never dare to buy them. Hmmmm how about I'll sing you a song from THE MUSIC MAN or PIPPIN? Still have them memorized from my high school shows! 

Pam, Thanks so much for giving me the pleasure of the interview.  Also, thanks so much for offering up a signed ARC of "Candor" for our fans!  That is super cool of you! You can learn more about Pam and "Candor" by going to her site.  Click HERE to be taken directly there.