Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Sunday Scoop" The Gang's Weekly Column


This week we have some cool stuff going on!

First of all, we didn't make it to see the Tree on Christmas day.  It was nothing more than a timing issue.  We go every year and still have hopes of going.  Of course if we do, we will post the pics for you guys.  Next, we mentioned that Dave was going to review "The Looking Glass Wars" by Frank Beddor.  That will still happen (Dave LOVED the first book and is currently working on book 2, "Seeing Redd" as well as some others).  We still plan to do the review, but it will wait until after the New Year, when Frank Beddor himself (NYT Best Selling Author) has agreed to give us an interview!  So cool!  For those of you who have not yet read "Looking Glass Wars" we will only give you this spoiler before we post everything--- GO READ IT!  That should say enough since you know how we feel about books we suggest to you guys...

Next, we were in Barnes and Noble today "browsing" as usual, and Dave came upon a book that he immediately fell in love with and had to buy!  It is called "ICECORE" by Matt Whyman.  A second book in the series, "GOLDSTRIKE" is due out in February.  What looked so cool about the book that he had to pick it up???  Well, besides the flashy cover, the synopsis was enough to do it.  Normally, we wait for the review to post the synopsis, but in this case, we are going to post it so you guys can see what got him so excited.

Carl Hobbes is no criminal mastermind.  
He's a seventeen-year-old British computer hacker who penetrated the security systems at Fort Knox for a laugh.  But the American government was less than amused.  Since his prank, gold bars have been landing in the hands of terrorists across the globe.

Now, Carl has found himself in a military prison deep in the Arctic and far off the grid.  He's been caged alongside the world's most notorious terrorists, with no one to trust and no end in sight.

Carl Hobbes may not be a criminal mastermind, but if he wants to escape this subzero prison with his life, he'll have to start thinking like one.

Umm, hello... does that sound AwEsOmE or what??  Anyway, look for the review real soon!

What's In Store for 2010??

The Gang plans to do a whole bunch of reading in the new year!  It is our resolution to read more than we did this year.  That means more awesome reviews for you guys!  Also, we do want to start doing more fun things around here.  For that reason, we are looking to you guys to give us some ideas on what you would like to see us do.  It will benefit you, so the more ideas you give us, the better off you are!  Obviously, more contests and fun stuff we already are beginning to work on the ideas for, but that is a given with us.

Book Expo America

Hopefully all of you know about Book Expo America.  If not, you can find out more info at
This year, for 2010, the Gang is planning on attending BEA as "media" which is really cool since we will be able to go and check out all the cool books that are expected out for 2010!  Plus, since we are all going, hopefully we will score a TON of those hot title's ARCs as have some super cool contests with them.  If you are not familiar with BEA, it's held in Manhattan every year and is the book industry's largest conference of the year.  It is totally cool and nearly every publisher you can think of sets up a booth there and showcases their hot new stuff for the year.  We are super psyched to live close enough that we can go.  If you want to go, hurry up and go over to the site and look into registering.  You can not register yet, but you can get an email sent to you when the time comes to register, which we believe is real soon!  That would be awesome if any of you guys went so we could totally meet up with you there and hang!


Ok, so NO we are not having a baby! (although Dave would like another male in the house since he is outnumbered 3-1 now!)  However, this Friday if all goes well, we plan to pick up our newest member of TLG, Bella.  We will post more pics of her as soon as we get her (Friday, Friday, Friday!!!) but for now we will show you the one picture we do have of her.  She just turned 8 weeks old and is ADORABLE!!  Seriously, can you get any cuter???  We are going to spend the week and go shopping for Bella (do you expect any less of Mara and the girls???) to make sure that when we bring her home, she has everything she wants.  Without further delay, here is a shot of our newest "child" Bella!

Dave, Mara, and Lauryn know that we are going Friday morning to get her (4 hour trip!) but we are trying to keep it a secret from Sami.  If we tell her for sure, she will not be able to handle waiting the 5 days!  Instead, she thinks we are going to call Friday and try to see if nobody else bought her maybe we can buy her and pick her up over the weekend.  She is going to be one happy camper when she wakes up Friday morning!!!

OK, so that concludes this week's "SCOOP" and we just want to remind you guys that we put up a BUTTON for you to grab for our "Nook" contest.  You get +10 for putting the button up on your site and posting about it as well as +5 for every person that enters and mentions you sent them!  WE WILL ADD THE +5 for you so you don't have to do anything!  Just remember to make sure your referral mentions you BY YOUR SCREEN NAME so we can credit you the entries.  Thanks and talk to you guys real soon!


Thursday, December 24, 2009



Hello Everyone!  TLG is back and we have some things we would like to talk about....

First, we want to wish you all out there a "Happy Holidays" from the 4 of us. Are you guys excited to see what is waiting for you under your trees? We bet you are. Of course, once you tear off the wrapping paper and see what special thing lie underneath, feel free to come back here and let everyone know what "most special" present you get this year. Inquiring minds want to know!


This awesome button (which we will thank the awesome Amber for her help yet again!) is located on our Left Side Bar for you guys to grab and throw up on your site. Now, we wouldn't just ask you to do it without expecting let's say.... +10 EXTRA ENTRIES TO THE CONTEST for yourself??? That's right, add our "Contest Button" to your site, link back to it in a new comment IN THE ORIGINAL CONTEST POST ON OUR SITE and add +10 extra entries to the "Nook" giveaway for yourself right under the link. Also... you must create a post or somehow mention our contest and let everyone know to use the button as a link to enter...why??  BECAUSE YOU GET EVEN MORE ENTRIES IF THEY ENTER AND MENTION YOU SENT THEM, REMEMBER?? +5 for each person that signs up to follow, enters the contest, and says you sent them. So, if you are going to add the button, it would make sense to get credit for people using it! We want to generate some more action for the Contest and what better way than to get some extra entries by putting up our button?? Make sure you leave your email address as well and of course, (WARNING: disclaimer about to be repeated for the gazillionth time) make sure you officially follow our site through "Google Friend Connect" on our right side bar. If you have any questions, you can always email them to us at


In an earlier posting we told you that Dave was going to review "The Looking Glass Wars" by Frank Beddor, a NYT Best Selling Author. The Bad news is the "review" is going to have to wait a bit. The excellent news is the reason it is going to have to wait is that Dave is going to be interviewing Frank after the New Year!  This series is amazing and hopefully you have either had the chance to read it or will go out and get it after our posts!  Fingers crossed that we can convince Frank to add to our signature "Triple Threat" group and  give away a signed copy. But, the good news is that he has agreed to an interview! Totally cool and a really nice guy, Frank is much more than just a NYT Best Selling Author. Dave is super excited about this one and hopes that you will be too.

Where Is The Gang Going Next??

Hopefully, if all works out, TLG is going to go into Manhattan tomorrow to see the famous "Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree" which is a huge tree that many tourists come to see every year around the holidays.  Also, we will check out the ice skating rink which is right next to the Tree.  What's really cool about the rink is that it's an actual outdoor ice skating rink in the middle of New York City. For those of you not familiar with what NYC actually looks like, there are not too many things like that smack in the middle of Manhattan. Obviously, we will post up the pics as soon as we take them.  Plus, while in Manhattan on Christmas day, you never know where we might just stop.  We are going to try and have a bunch of fun tomorrow and share it with you guys.

Thanks for tuning in and we will see you real soon!

The Lateiner Gang

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Sunday Scoop" The Gang's Weekly Column


Our First Order Of Business.... The Winners of "Adventurers Wanted: Slathbog's Gold"

The winner of the audio copy of Adventurers Wanted is.... LAURA, and the winner of the book is.... PETER

Congrats you 2!  The book is awesome and we hope you love it as much as we did!

What's Going On Around Here???

Well, the Gang has had one heck of a week.  In fact, we have kind of been somewhat MIA.  Nothing wrong, just super busy.  Good news is we are back!  Despite having a crazy week ending with 14 inches of snow we got dumped on from last night until this morning all is well. YES, 14 inches!! We re-posted our review of "Hush, Hush" by Becca Fitzpatrick, our wonderful partner in our Super Contest where we are giving away a brand new Barnes and Noble Nook as well as an accessory package and some copies of "Hush, Hush."

Next on the agenda will be an interview with Becca.  It's in the works and hopefully we will have it posted soon!  We are going to work with Becca this week to try to get that to you guys.  Also, we are hoping we can convince Becca to do a "guest posting" on here sometime soon as well!

Heres the "Calm before the storm" when it just started

AND, here's a closeup of the 14 inches on the sidewalk!  What a storm!

Speaking of Super Contest...

We have been off to a good start so far with the contest.  We have had a few people purchase the book and get those extra entries.  20 Entries to each of them who did! Woo-Hoo, that's a lot of entries for an awesome contest.  Soon we are going to have a button for our contest, and putting that up on your site will earn you some extra entries.  More on that one to come soon.  About 6 and a half weeks left in the contest and we need to get those entries up.  Keep in mind we have upped the ante and you can get a load of entries by referring someone new to the site and the contest.  We are now giving away +5 entries to the contest for each new follower to the site who sign up for the contest and mentions you sent them!  How much easier can we make it?  We know if we wanted to win a Nook, we would be eating up these easy to get extra entries and recruiting like there was no tomorrow.  We want you guys to have as many chances as yo can to win this awesome Nook! Recently we were in a local Barnes and Noble and got a chance to play with one. Can you say Super Cool???  The Gang is anxiously awaiting ours, which was already ordered.  We will get up some pics and a review of ours once it arrives, but until then, we will just keep going back into the store and playing with theirs!


A review of "Compound" was just posted and we have some cool ones coming!  Like what? Good Question.  Real soon, we hope to review "City of Bones" a Mortal Instruments book by Cassandra Clare,  "Leviathan" by Scott Westerfeld, "The Everafter" by Amy Huntley, "The Looking Glass Wars" by Frank Beddor, some Christmas books that the girls are currently reading for a Source Books/Jabberwocky blog tour, and a few more titles that you will just have to wait to find out :o)  

What Else is on the Horizon for Contests???

Well, we just had our last 2 book contests end, and besides the Super Contest, there is nothing else currently going on here.  That's not good.  It wouldn't be TLGBRS if we didn't have another contest to run soon, right?  We are deciding which cool book we would like to give away next.  We have an idea, but since we aren't sure, it wouldn't be fair to tell you yet.  What we can tell you is that we have a few things in the works.

What Else Would You Guys Like to See at TLGBRS??
New Year, New Stuff!

Since it is you guys that keep coming back and give us the pleasure of giving you all that we can here, we thought it would be a good idea to ask you, our readers, what you would like to see more of at TLGBRS in the New Year.  We are open to suggestions and ideas.  What would you like us to do?  Is it to review certain books?  Is it to have some different content on the site?  We are reaching out and asking for suggestions.  After all, if we are to keep you engaged, it might be a good idea to find out what you guys like.  Is there something out there on another site you like that you would like to see done here at TLGBRS?  Just let us know.  We will take all of your feedback into consideration and hopefully come up with some new things to do around here to spice things up for the New Year.  Feel free to email us with your ideas to

Thanks for checking out this week's Sunday Scoop! 

The Lateiner Gang

Book Review: "Compound" by S.A. Bodeen


Eli and his family have lived in the underground compound for six years.  The world they know is gone, and they've become accustomed to their new life.  Accustomed, but not happy.  For Eli, no amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, only his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day.  As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary - and their sanity - Eli can't help but wonder if he'd rather take his chances outside.  Eli's father built the compound to keep them safe. But are they safe - or sorry?

My Review:

Ah, a very interesting story....  I randomly picked this one up one day while just browsing in Barnes and Noble.  No recommendation, never heard of it, just spotted it on a shelf during a walk by and decided to pick it up.  The intro (above) was enough to get me to shell out the $8.99 (minus my B & N preferred discount of course) to take a chance on this one.  Well, it's been sitting on the shelf for a while and yesterday when our first winter blizzard of the year started, I decided to take it down and see what it is all about.  A very quick read, it only took me a few hours.  And it was a really good book too!

Eli's father is a billionaire, one who knows he has power.  A guy who realizes people will do what he says just because of who he is.  When Eli was a young boy, he, his brother Eddy, and 2 sisters - Lexie and Terese always had whatever they wanted.  Anything.  They had houses all over the world, every gadget you could imagine - sometimes before it hit the public market, and their every desire and wish met, as dad was a billionaire that was world renown and very liked by people.  Liked or feared so much that it appeared he was liked?

Anyway, when Eli was 9, the day had come.  The day when the ground shook, their RV blew up and Eli, Lexie, Terese, and his Mom and Dad had been fortunate enough to make it to the "Compound," leaving behind Eddy (Eli's twin) and Gram to perish as they were not there when the hatch needed to be sealed.  The Compound was a gigantic shelter that dad had built for the when the day came.  The day of a nuclear attack.  The compound was built to protect his beloved family.  It had everything that one could possibly want and need  if they had to be trapped there for 15 years!  That's right, once the silver door shut, it was to remain closed for the next 15 years, to ensure that when they re-surfaced, there was no residuals left of the nuclear attack.

The compound had sleeping quarters, living quarters, a movie theater, full out gym, storage center as big as a warehouse with food, clothing, and everything else that was supposed to last them the full 15 years and more.  Basically anything else you can think of was in the Compound as well.  There were 2 rooms that were different- dad's office, which nobody was allowed in (and what lied beyond the door in the back of dad's office), and the "yellow" room, which for now we will not discuss.  Nobody thought it was strange that they weren't allowed in dad's office as it was the same rule above ground- nobody bothered the billionaire while he worked.  After all, he always did what was best for his family, and there would be no reason to disturb him while he did that. 

The first 6 years in the Compound were routine.  Everyone did their own thing and basically tried to live the best life they could considering they were well below the earth's now ruined surface.  There was no connection to anything on the outside world, assuming there was nothing out there left anyway.  One day, that all changed and sparked the action in the rest of the book.  Eli had found a laptop that was in his "brother's" room, which went unnoticed since Eddy had never made it down to the Compound in time.  This laptop was different than Eli's.  Although internet access was not available anyway, Eli's computer didn't even have the icon for it on it.  Eddy's did.  Eli had been waiting down by dad's office one day needing help with some homework when he decided to click on the internet icon on Eddy's computer.  He couldn't believe his eyes when "internet access approved" flashed on his screen.  He quickly tried to see what he could find, but then dad came out to help Eli and he had to shut it down.  Fastforwarding a bit, Eli had approached his dad about the internet that he thought was non existent to be told that he recently had made contact with some "other survivors" of very wealthy families that had also set up shelters like their Compound.  This seemed sensible until one day, Eli believed he had made contact with someone, someone he least expected to.... Eddy.

From this point on in the book,  Eli had started to unravel other things that made him wonder about everything.  Wonder about being in the Compound.  Wonder why they were there, who else had survived the nuclear attack if there even was one.  There is a MAJOR part of the book that I am going to intentionally going to leave out.  It's about what lies in the "yellow room."  I will tell you this, and trust me, it doesn't give much away-  there are other people living in the "yellow room."  Who they are, what their purpose is... that's what i'm not going to tell you.  However, what would you do to survive if you were locked in a compound for 15 years, and the possibility of your food supply runs out a few years pre maturely?  

This was a difficult book for me to review.  Reason being, I felt like there are things I have to tell you, but if I do, it will give too much away.  A tough one I tell ya.  So, I will reveal a bit more and leave the rest for you to ponder.  Eli does make contact with his twin, Eddy via the internet.  That should leave your imagination working overtime.  Some things I would be asking myself if I were you is... If Eddy is alive, what actually happened outside the compound?  Is it possible to get out of the Compound when the hatch is sealed on a timer for 15 years exactly?  What is dad's real motive for the compound?  Is it to protect his family or just an experiment for him to become even more wildly famous and rich?  WHAT or WHO IS IN THE "YELLOW ROOM" AND WHY???

I totally was into "Compound." It was finished in a matter of hours.  What I loved most was that besides being a page-turner, I was looking forward to what each of those pages held.  There were twists and turns around each corner.  The whole concept of the "Compound" seemed really cool and as the book went on, really frightening too.  It made me think a whole lot about what if there was a reason that we needed to have such places?  What if we already have them and do not know about them.... are they reserved for the wealthiest and most powerful people?  What about the average Joe- would we just perish in the wake of a nuclear attack?  Would a "Compound" be something that would really save us or something that would end up destroying us mentally?

A great read, I would recommend this one for an evening read.  Grab a hot tea or a hot chocolate, sit with a blanket on (the "Snuggie" if you have one) and just read it.  You will be done before you know it and you will be thinking about what you just read for a few days after you finish it.

 Glad I happen to glance over at the right time and spot this one!


Book Review: "Hush, Hush" by Becca Fitzpatrick

and not inclined to be reckless. Her first mistake was falling for Patch. Patch has a past that could be called anything but harmless. The best thing he ever did was fall for Nora.

After getting paired with Patch in biology, all Nora wants to do is stay away from him, but he always seems to be two steps ahead of her. She can feel his eyes on her even when he is nowhere around. She feels him nearby even when she is alone in her bedroom. And when her attraction can be denied no longer, she learns the secret about who Patch is and what led him to her. Despite all the questions she has about his past, in the end, there may be only one question they can ask each other: how far are you willing to fall?

My Review:

Well, let me start by telling you, and those of you who know my style by now, know that this is not at all my type of book.  Far from it.  We got an ARC to review from Simon and Schuster and it was tagged for Lauryn.  A "Twilight" junkie, this one was perfect for her.  It was on her schedule for this weekend's reading.  Halloween, along with first year Jr. High homework knocked this right off the list of things to do this weekend. I was waiving the book in the air telling her that if she spent less time after school playing around and more time doing her schoolwork, she would have had time to read this.  I happen to take a peek at the back cover, which led me to flip through some pages, which led me to read the first few pages, which finally led me to complete 391 pages over 6 hours of trick-or-treating, driving around (passenger) doing errands, and dinner at a friend's house.  I COULD NOT put the book down. Seriously, I was hooked.  The book is a NY Times Best Seller and first time author Becca Fitzpatrick deserves every last bit of it.  Packed with just the right amount of well, everything, the book was great!

With not too many lead character's, the story revolves around Nora, her best friend Vee, Patch, a fallen Angel, Elliot, Jules, and Dabria.  Nora meets Patch for the first time in biology class when the teacher, "Coach" decides that he is going to switch up the class seating, separating Nora and Vee for a project.  Patch just happens to land next to Nora, and the major portion of the assignment is to find out as much as you can about your partner.  Immediately Patch starts to freak out Nora by knowing way too much about her inner thoughts, but at the same time, attracts her to him just as much.  Over time, both the "freaking out" as well as the attraction continues to grow stronger.

As soon as Nora meets Patch, mayhem strikes loose.  Someone is out to kill Nora, and strange occurrences continue to happen, or at least in her mind they do.  Nora finds herself in the presence of Patch more and more, most of the time unexpectedly. In the mean time, her BF Vee has the hots for this guy Jules, and selfishly continues to push his best bud Elliot on Nora so the four of them can spend time together. All the while, the strange, horrible things that are happening keep getting blamed on (Patch by Vee) to get her to stay away from him and gravitate towards Elliot, again for selfish reasons (Jules).

Several times throughout the book someone tries to kill Nora (and ends up killing or hurting other people they think are Nora).  Nora can not figure out who or why.  The problem is that it could be Patch, as she knows that there is definitely a dark side to him, possibly Elliot who Nora finds out transferred to her school right after being questioned for the murder of his old girlfriend at the private school he attended, or someone else.  Whomever it is, they are wearing a ski mask, so they can not be identified.

There is SO much that I am leaving out, as I usually do.  I can not get myself to write much more here, because I feel like I will be giving too much away, and I really think this one should  be read asap.  I will conclude by telling you a few things that do happen ,but simply leave out the "who's and why's."  Towards the end of the book, Nora does find out who is trying to kill her and why.  I definitely thought that I should have figured that out, but Becca leaves the door open for anyone, so of course I didn't have that one pinned.  She also finds out what she had been deeply desiring to know throughout the entire story.... who is Patch, what is Patch, and why did he fall into her life.  The good news is that there will be a book number two, which Becca leads you right into.  I guess I can tell you that both Nora and Patch are in book number two. The rest you need to figure out yourself.

What was great, for me at least, and kept me turning page after page was there was not too much of anything in the book- love, hate, good, bad, murder, blood, or anything else that has prevented me from reading this type of book before.  I felt that each had just the right amount of it sprinkled into the story.  I would be willing to promise that this one is worth getting and that you will not be disappointed. Again, for those of you who know my style, for me to say that about a book that does not fit my normal read, that is a lot coming from me.  I hope you take my advice and get this one.

I have included the book trailer below, as perhaps it will give you a bit more of a sense of what the book is about.  I always hate giving too much away, and tried hard here not to.  In case you are looking for a bit more, the trailer should cover it.  Enjoy, and if anyone else has read "Hush, Hush", please feel free to fill any holes I might have left.  


Saturday, December 12, 2009

TLG Meets " Cake Boss " Buddy Valastro from TLC'S Hit TV Series

What does TLG do on a Saturday afternoon when not reading or blogging??  Well, living in NJ we take advantage of all of the fun things to do around here.  Today, we decided to take a ride to "Carlos Bake Shop" in Hoboken NJ, (a half hour ride for us not including the 20 minutes it took to find a parking spot!) home to the hit TLC series " Cake Boss ."  We were very fortunate that after waiting in line for 20 minutes to get into the jam-packed bakery, Buddy himself happen to be hanging out in the back of the bakery and was awesome enough to chat with us for a few minutes and pose with Lauryn and Sami for a photo shot.

We asked Buddy who happened to be one of the nicest guys we have ever met, what he enjoys most about what he does and he said, "seeing the look of satisfaction on his customer's faces when he presents them with their cake and knowing that he was able to be a part of their special occasion."  We didn't get much time to spend with Buddy as the place was mobbed, but we were thrilled that he gave us some of his precious time.  For those of you who watch the series on TLC, we were able to snap a pic of Buddy's sister Mary behind the counter and we were also able to meet Mauro, Buddy's right-hand man and brother-in-law (who happened to be walking in to the VZ-Wireless store next door to get his phone fixed).

We decided to pick up some treats while we were there (wouldn't you) and decided on some pingoli tarts, pingoli cookies (both were sooo yummy!) and we couldn't leave without getting one of Buddy's signature cakes iced with fondant.  Our cake was a whopping $44.95, BUT was probably one of the best cakes we have ever had.  The cake was half white, half black, with a chocolate filling.  Fresh as can be, the cake itself was so moist and delicious.... worth every penny!

Hhhmmm, what's inside??

Nice and pretty before we tore into it!

About 1 minute after the picture above was taken (yum, yum, and more yum!)

Before leaving, we picked up an authentic "Carlos Bake Shop" T-shirt for the girls that Buddy was kind enough to autograph for them.

Although this is absolutely not a "review" we must say that overall, Buddy and his Bake Shop get 5 out of 5 stars!

" Cake Boss " with Buddy and his mostly famiglia staff is on every Monday night at 10pm est on TLC.  We are going to give you a link to Buddy's website and if you get a chance, go check out the cakes that he has for display on his site... They are unbelievable!  Click HERE to be taken directly to the Bakery's site.

Well, we know this doesn't really have much to do with books or reading, but sometimes TLG likes to share special things we do with you guys, and this was one of them.  If you are a fan of the show feel free to comment and if you are not well, feel free to comment as well and if you can check out their show!

Thanks guys and we hope you enjoyed out little afternoon out as much as we did!


Dave, Mara, Lauryn, and Sami
The Lateiner Gang

Thursday, December 10, 2009



Yes, another TLGBRS Column!
Tune in Thursdays is not going to be a weekly column, but rather on an "as needed" basis.  Either way, we thought this one up as a way for us to get some mid week info to you guys in a fun sort of way.


Ok, so one of our most dedicated followers (and a good friend of the Gang's)since well, about day 1 of TLGBRS, who has supported us non stop, Bettina of has such an awesome site and great reviews. We get a bunch of book recommendations from her. It would mean a lot to us but even more to you if you could go check out her site, sign up to follow, and check out her reviews.  Keep her on your radar, the site is really cool and things are gonna start happening around there!


We have 2 contests ending shortly, "Candor" by Pam Bachorz ends in about 2 days and "Adventurers Wanted: Slathbog's Gold" by M.L. Forman.  We need to show some participation here guys!  These are 2 AWESOME books and not as many of you have entered as we would have expected.  I mean, what do we have to do, give the books away???  Oh, right.... we are, so WHY AREN'T YOU ALL ENTERED???  

"Candor" was a great read that was completed and reviewed all in one sitting!  Great book.... enough said.  "Adventurers Wanted" another great read.  As a matter of fact, a fantastic read.  We had the pleasure of getting an extra copy of the audio version of the book and it is really neat. A story that you can throw your earphones on and listen to in bed (that's what Dave did last night!)  So come on, take the few minutes and enter.  Have we let you down with suggestions yet?  (hopefully not, and we plan to keep it that way!)  


Well, great job on the initial entries guys!  Many of you have entered to win and things are moving along.  We even had our first receipt sent to us today by Emily Casey.  Great Job Emily!!  That's right, our first +20 entry!  So, here's what we don't get.... We come to you guys with one of the best contests on the net, practically hand you the opportunity to gain many entries for the coolest e-readers there is, and nobody is flooding the comments with entries...  I guess we just have not made it that appealing to you, huh? OK, we hear you....  Here's what we are going to do... Original contest entry rules say that you get +3 entries for each follower you bring to us.  Let's up that to +5 FOR EACH NEW FOLLOWER YOU BRING TO US! How hard can it be??  Really, all you have to do is post about the contest on your blog, tweet, facebook, or whatever you want, and tell your loyal fans to kill 2 birds with 1 stone... They get to help you out AND enter for an awesome, super contest at the same time. 


It's coming up to that time.... HOLIDAYS!  For those of you that will be starting Hanukkah tomorrow night like the Gang, we wish you all a Happy Hanukkah!  It's early this year, and we believe even earlier next year.  That's ok... presents earlier :o)

What do you want for the holidays?? Feel free to comment and let us know what that special something is that you are looking for this year.  It'll be fun! Also, since the holidays are a time to for sharing (or at least we think so) feel free to comment as well and let us and everyone else here know what books you are currently reading and absolutely love!  You all know that we LOVE to get suggestions, and we would love to hear what you guys are kickin back with a cup of hot chocolate and reading.

Well, thanks for tuning in and we will be right back after these messages.....


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"MAZE RUNNER" Full Promo Video... CHECK IT OUT!!!

You guys know that "Maze Runner" is one of my all time favorites and author James Dashner is a dear friend of The Lateiner Gang.  Previously, we posted the "mini-clip" of the book preview.  Well, the full length preview is out and we want to be one of the first to show it to you.  Talk about a tease!!  If any of you big time movie producers are out there... JUMP ON THIS ONE! Seriously, this would make one heck of a blockbuster movie!  Like we have kept our ground since the beginning of time, Maze Runner is like the "Lord of the Flies" of the 21st century!  Also, real quick... "Scorch Trials" which is book 2 in the trilogy is due out in stores on October 5th, 2010... Mark your calendars!  Congrats Dash! Here goes...


THE MAZE RUNNER - Extended from Jordan Taratoot on Vimeo.

Book Review: "Evermore" by Alyson Noel

After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people's auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone's entire life story by touching them.  Going out of her way to avoid human contact and suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school- but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.

Damen is gorgeous, exotic, and wealthy.  He's the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head- wielding a magic so intense, it's as though he can peer straight into her soul.  As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she's left with more questions than answers.  And she has no idea just who he really is- or what he is.  The only thing she knows to be true is that she's falling deeply and helplessly in love with him.

My Review:

As you know, recently I have taken somewhat of a liking to these types of YA books.... paranormal, romance (hard word to get out for a guy!), fantasy... whatever you want to call them, I am a fan.  What I have noticed as far as a pattern is that there seems to always be some girl who falls madly in love with the super dude who seems to be cooler than anyone I have ever met.  Now that I got that out of the way, I think what I look for when I am reading these types of stories is a different angle....  something cool to go along with the "love struck" chick.  

Evermore had that angle that I was looking for.  I was totally waiting for a vampire to pop up.... didn't happen, which was sort of cool in it's own way.  Here's the deal with Ever.  Her family tumbles off the road in their car after a deer runs in front of their car (silly deer.. or was it???).  Throughout the book, Ever does blame herself for the accident as it was her who made her dad turn around to go home because she forgot her favorite sweatshirt.  Ever, her mom and dad, her sister Riley, and their little pet are all going to the place you go when your time has expired.  For some reason (and yes, I know the reason but I just would not be me if I told you that!) Ever makes it about halfway and then comes back... back to life.  

With her family dead, she moves in with her aunt who is a single working woman and hardly around for Ever.  This works as Ever finds company in her little 12 year old sister who supposedly died, but seems to be visible to Ever (and a few other "special" people) visits her on a fairly normal basis.  I'll give you this... Riley, her little sister did start to "cross over" the bridge to the other side when the accident happened, but turned around at the last second and is kind of stuck in between well, here and there.

So, Ever meets this stud Damen in school who has this funny way of making tulips appear out of nowhere that he keeps giving to Ever throughout the book (it is irrelevant to you in this review, but significant once you find out how he makes them appear and what they symbolize).  He is perfect in every way.  I won't go into the details of describing him, just know that he is perfect.  He starts to follow Ever and hang out with her often.  They even skip school and have some awesome fun days and the thing is, it doesn't really bother Ever who just loves to be with him.  However, what does bother her is that it appears that Damen is flirting with a few other girls, one of them being Drina, who let's just say is an old girl in his life.  Throughout the book, she goes from liking Damen to hating him almost on a regular basis (even though she never stops loving him).  He is strange, the way he does things, knows things, and is very private about his life.  

So as to not give you the whole story here and sum it up, Damen is an immortal.  He has been around for about 600 years.  I contemplated telling you guys this part, but I see no harm as it really doesn't give anything that would spoil things away and will probably give you a better idea of the story line.... here goes... Damen and Drina are both immortals (which does NOT mean that they can not die.. weird, I know but just work with me here) who have sort of been "together" for some of the 600 years.  Damen is done with her, but she is and has been obsessed with him and has been following him throughout the years trying to get his love that he once had for her back.  As a matter of fact, I almost think that she believes that he still does love her.  So where does Ever fit into the picture?  Ok, here's the part I really contemplated telling you or not, but again no big spoiler... Over the 600 years, Ever has come back as many different women.  She dies (but how?), comes back as someone else and this goes on until the present.  What she finds out is that Damen has loved her for the whole 600 years, finding her every time she dies and tries to profess his love for her each time.  If you are smart, you might start to see some connection and figure out how and why she dies each time.

In the mean time, since Ever had turned around from going over "the bridge" towards you know what, she has the ability to know what everyone is thinking around her all the time.  It bothers her as she really doesn't know how to control it and does not want this ability ALL the time.  She kind of keeps to herself with the exception of her 2 best friends.  One a female, and the other a guy who is let's say, very feminine.  They do playa HUGE role in the book, but this is a review, not a summary :o)

Anyway, to cut to the chase here, a few things are going on.  Ever needs to decide whether or not she wants to be with Damen, (which by the way is a decision that could last for quite some time once it is made), figure out why Drina is messing with all of her friends, and figure out what to do with her "gift" of being able to read people the way she does.  

The book did keep me engaged.  I enjoyed Damen's slick, yet passive ways about him.  I hated Drina who just kept showing up and wanting to hurt people.  I loved the relationship between Ever and her sis Riley, who for a 12 year old was a little wise guy.  I also loved the struggle that Ever faced throughout the entire book.  She felt responsible for her family's death, hated having her "abilities", had Mr. perfect, but couldn't really seal the deal with him for some reason (and yes, you will find out the reason and whether or not she seals the deal in the book), had friends who were just weird, had to figure out and deal with Drina, and always just seemed to need a xanax (which in the absence of, Ever seems to take a brief liking to vodka.  There is a very good reason for this... besides Damen, Vodka also temporarily fades her ability to read people's thoughts!)

At the end of the book (don't worry, i'm not gonna give it away) Ever makes a decision that could change her life forever (get it, forever??? No, you don't get it since you haven't read it yet).  ACtually she makes a few decisions... who to say goodbye to forever, who to keep around forever, and who to get rid of forever.  You might think you know who I mean, but I assure you, you don't. Overall, a pretty good book.  Obviously I would not have reviewed it if not :o)

What's cool is there are 3 books that are in the series so far (not sure if there are any more coming out, I didn't do my homework this time... sorry guys) and I bought all 3, so it was good enough that I plan to finish the series.  You all should know my rule by now, no 2 books in a series ever get read or reviewed back to back, so book 2 "Blue Moon" will be around the site sometime at a later date.

I would say that if you like these types of books, this one will be a winner for you.  Very well written and it does have that bit of difference to it that makes it interesting.  Again, there is MUCH more to the story that I left out, but I kind of always write my reviews that way.  Give you guys enough that I think will intrigue you to get the book, but not anywhere enough that you should feel like you just read the book!