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We take our leave once more

Amidst the lashing rain

And return our borrowed vessel

To the myth from whence it came

As I glanced behind a final time

Aella turned to me to say

“What a wondrous home it was

For however brief a stay”

I had no choice but to agree

And give a wistful sigh

Before remarking that

“Of course this isn’t just goodbye”

We would like to give you all our thanks

In a form more tangible this time

For your companionship on this venture

And for bearing through this dreadful rhyme

We hope you’ll follow us into the arms

Of our familiar storm-laced sea

Where our beloved Maelstrom awaits the end

Of this not-so-epic odyssey

Your Whirly-Girls,

medsandael

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Seeing as there’s only about a week to go in the NaNo-ing frenzy, Aella and I figured that we should probably get something more done than three character sketches and around 2000 words.

*cue frantic NaNo-fest!*

The Siofras graciously offered their residence as a place for our festivus, and so it began with me on a post-music, pre-drawingfail high (I was sing-song-ing everything for about an hour) and Aella in a nervy room-cleaning spaz brought on by:

Medeia: “How many words do you have, exactly?”

Aella: *nervy-spastically throws hands in the air* “Q! I have Q words!”

And then I couldn’t find the forum on the NaNo website that just lists a bunch of random conversations that people overheard and posted (ex. “So, where did you put the body?”, “He was murdered to death”, “You may have to stab some clowns.” etc) . It’s amazing and I still CAN’T FIND IT. Then Aella pulled out her million year old laptop. The combined Medeia-Aella awesomeness had kicked in by that point and I’m sure you would have been amused by a video of us NaNoificating, but as I remarked, “I don’t think they had cameras in that laptop’s prime”. Once Aella woke up her compy and we both started NaNo-ing… things got interesting. Some quotes from us at around midnight:

-“I just drooled ALL OVER my laptop!”

-Aella *reading some of her file names*: “Grimm Tale 1, Grimm Tale 2, My god it’s BACK, My god it’s BACK 2, and I FRICKIN HATE THIS STORY”

-Medeia: *lycanthropes into an evil llama*

– Aella: *notices that it is past midnight* “Happy October 23rd!” Medeia: *realizes right away that it is indeed November 22nd and bursts into gales of laughter* Aella: *looks puzzedly at me* “Why do you mock me?”

Oh, but the best part was that we actually got stuff done. Not nearly as much as needs to be done by the 30th, but something. Aella doubled her wordcount in just a few hours (from Q words to… uhm… several thousand more than Q words…) and I now have a character sketch of Ilse… and many many doodles reeking of unadulterated fail. So expect some… thing. I might post some of those drawings once I wash the awful out and maybe I can get Ael to share some of her story.

And now I ask, as we come upon the end of the month, how goes it? Anyone done NaNo-ing or are you just reading this as something to do while you procrastinate? …Okay, yes… I might also be procrastinating by writing this post. But on an English paper. That’s totally different.

~Medeia

Meeeeh. I am not a big fan of books that make me go “meeeeeh”. Which is depressing, because I was expecting so much from this one.

Aidan wants to be a monk more than anything else in the world. Then he would be able to handle the beautiful books of the abbey, perhaps even create them. But there’s something different about Aidan. He can hear the numbers of the world. Everything hums out a specific and mathematical tone to his ears. All is at peace. Until the 11 arrives.

Lana is an entirely different sound and an unfamiliar number altogether. Aidan is intrigued and entranced. In completely unmonkely fashion, he dreams of the special girl and agonizes over his womanless fate. But everything changes in a flash when the Vikings invade. Aidan and Lana must find a way to save what remains of their home and everything they want to reach or escape from will be compromised in the process.

This book was kind of bipolar. It would go from super interesting to completely flat in the space of a paragraph. Must be a record. But after enough of that, I got a little tired of it and instead began to pick up on the inconsistencies. Aidan being the biggest one. Sometimes he struggles with his hormones and hopes and then the next chapter he couldn’t care less about being monk. So sad to see the mental process of a perfectly promising character reduced to “Woman…need…snogfest…” You guys are probably familiar with my opinions on random kissing in books. I have a few.

The writing was a little weak as well. For such an awesome premise I was hoping for some gorgeous and epic-esque, Icemark-esque Viking hardcore writing style. But it didn’t happen. I’m distressed by the loss, even writing this review. Thor would be displeased.

So. Here’s the part I’ve been deliberating on. 2 out of 7 humming trees. ZAP! ouch. It’s been a bit since we’ve seen that number. All the same. I have heard mixed views on this so I’d still recommend you try it if you’re dead set on plowing through the good ole TBR pile.

 

Listening very closely and restraining the meeeh reflex,

Aella Siofra

Attentionattention, this is not a test! Tell everyone! Everyone you know in the cybernetoblogosphere! ‘Tis the season to be writing. Alot. And quickly. All in one month. Because it is November! Also known as a month entirely made of awesome due to NANOWRIMO!! Now for all of you depressing types who don’t know what NANOWRIMO is, see my fabulous acronym breakdown below:

 

NAtional

NOvel

WRiting

MOnth

 

 I, Aella Siofra, will be participating this year, walking in the footsteps of the many brave typing sorts who have gone before me. So I hope you will check out my profile every so often and see how I’m coming along. But there is a sort of dilemma connected to this. I have two stories that I want to write and no way to choose between them. I am completely in love with twists on an old theme (when done correctly) So *snazzy used car salesman voice* it’s up to you!

Plot A) a sort of twisty Alice in Wonderland dystopia. Many years following Alice’s own adventures and It concerns the kidnapping of Alice’s nephew, Maximillian and the Mad Hatter’s child. A new political landscape for Wonderland and alot of intrigue and secrets

Plot B) Brothers Grimm weirdness. I don’t even know how to explain it, but it uses some elements of some of the stories and changes them until they barely bear sembelance to their usual selves. But. There are werewolves. And bandits. And a rather hardcore version of Little Red Riding Hood.

Leave your thoughts in the comments or I’ll be forced to choose all by myself. And I really don’t want to do that.

 

ALSO COMING UP THIS MONTH!!

The one year anniversary of the Maelstrom crew. Charybdis Book Blog, as you may know, is still being considered as a temporary location, if something should change with the Maelstrom situation. *sniff* I miss it so. But. This year we will be having our first contest ever and on the first anniversary as well. So be on the lookout. November 23rd is the day we consider the beginning. Observe the epic/not-so-epic first post if you will.

Back to business with reviewing. The flow has slowed quite a bit recently due to- dare we say it- life. I have read all of two books in two weeks. Ze horror! But! I have a stack of gorgeous copies just calling out to me for the reading and there will definitely be a more steady supply this month.

Thirdly, I’m working on rebuilding the link lists. If you would like to be included on our side bar and blog rrrrroll, then leave a comment and we’ll check out your blog as soon as possible. And try to remember that we are YA book centered.

Finally, I am resurrecting the myspace this month. I hope there are some new blogs out there with profiles that will consider friending us. It was one our best networking tools and I’m not even sure how I could have let it fade so sadly.

 My apologies for that long and obnoxiously demanding post. Pleasepleasepleaseplease leave your thoughts on everything or anything in the comments. It would be much appreciated.

 

READING! FINALLY!

Aella Siofra

Sorry about the image issues in this post

Sorry about the image issues in this post

I think some of you may know of my previous lurrrrve for this series, but if you don’t than I reviewed Death By Bikini in May. If you haven’t read the first book yet, than that might give you some background.

Aphra is back and she is still awesome, still funny, and still getting into trouble. Determined to find her elusive mother, Natalie, she hops a plane to Seattle without permission. But when she discovers her mother she also realizes her timing couldn’t be worse. Something big is up and Natalie and her secretive fellow agents can hardly wait to get Aphra away from the trouble. But when Agent Watts appears out of nowhere and Seth Mulo steps rather rapidly… and urgently… back into her life, things get more complicated. And when one of Natalie’s close friends and partners is poisoned through basic morning routine, leaving only a garbled cryptic message in his wake, there is no turning back.

As I said before, I really really like the first book in this series. The SASS books of Linda Gerber are also really fun and quick reads. But I couldn’t help but feel that Death By Latte was just a tad bit too quick. Some events seemed kind of crushed together to make space for a large, fabulously dramatic scene. Nyah. All the same, I LOVE Aphra. She’s easy to relate to and consistently witty, although not to the point of being irritating. Also, there is Seth. Oh Seth. He is so difficult to read (haha..bad pun…) which makes him a more engaging beautiful boy character than in alot of books. Veddy nice. The dialogue makes me jealous. I can’t write dialogue to save my life, but Linda Gerber rattles out hilarious and taut conversations in turn, like it’s nothing.

Like it’s predecessor, Death By Latte is a great beach or AGH-I-must-finish-this-paper-but-must-read-something-in-between-so-that-my-head-doesn’t-explode-with-unnecessary-knowledge read (NOT like I’ve ever been there) and reminds me why I loved mystery books growing up. 6 out of 7 Poisoned Cups of Orange Mocha Frappucino (time for another round of naaaamee thaaaaat reference!!!)!

Does anyone have any good mystery novels to recommend for a lonely and Nancy-Drewless reader?

Waiting impatiently for Death by TK,

Aella

Have you ever read one of those realistic fictions that are just so good and heart warming that you have to read them again? This one qualifies! One million times over! Plus, the author pretty much rocks our world. I waited far too long to do this review.

Sugar Magnolia Dempsey (yes. that is her real name) is sick of moving. She’s been all over the country, from communes to temples, and the latest shift was the hardest of all. How will she survive without her soul mate Trevor and the fabulous friends that she made in Portland? The pain of the separation only works to harden her resolve. It’s a new day. A new town. In Austin, Texas she will become the lowest of the low. The bottom of the social food chain. The untouchable of geekdom. And all on purpose.

  • Stage 1- find a fellow untouchable to hang with.
  • Stage 2- dress like one escaped from a sanitarium.
  • Stage 3- demolish the social classes altogether.
  • Stage 4- become cool. Wait! That wasn’t in the plan!

But once some things are set in motion than they can become bigger than the person who started them. And Maggie’s forced oddness is only the beginning of love, life, and aerobic swimming (EEK) that will challenge everything she based her decision on to begin with.

This is a really really wonderful book. I love the characters down to the very last one. Jennifer Ziegler creates a protagonist that is supremely easy to relate to, and writes teen hierarchy as it is. All through, it is funny and refreshing. This author has created something bookshelfshakingly real. The antics of Maggie on her quest for loserdom are brilliant and super fun to read (even for the second time
fantastic through). I am almost tempted to show up to school tomorrow in a jumpsuit or kimono. Oh, the stir that would cause.

6.7  out of 7 floral and feathered swimming caps! Highly highly recommended!

Plotting something properly ladder popping,

Aella Siofra

This is two depressing posts in a row now. But don’t worry. I’m reading a comedic book right now and the post will be up soon. On to business.

Dear Enna of Squeaky Books,

Today, September 5th, the posters of Charybdis would like to grovel at your blogging feet and beg for forgiveness. Although we agreed to participate in your amazing birthday contest, we messed up. Screwed up. Did horribly. Broke your trust. And to all the participants in this contest, we also want to extend an apology. It must have been a hassle to expect something to appear and not have it be so. If this was an inconvenience towards anyone we would like to bake you cookies. But we can’t. Because we can’t cook. But we send figmental cookies in your general direction. After WordPress was done being a dingbat, it was too late to save the situation. So once again. We ask. Will you forgive us?

Sincerely,

I’m rather enjoying this all new atmosphere. I feel perpetually refreshed (other than the multiple late nights spending quality time with the Olympics). And as you may have read in the post above, I’ve been rather occupied with preparations to go see… Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (That was a drum roll- I couldn’t tell either).

THIS!!!!

Trinity College Library

Trinity College Library

So this will be my last review for quite some time. And I know that with Medeia holding down the ship (another horrible play on words), you won’t miss me at all. *shniff* Anyway, on to the review.

Archie’s grandfather’s last words were both severe and perhaps, prophetic. “Young Man, you are a saint.” How is he supposed to live up to a charge like that? But it seems as if it will all be much easier when the intriguing and beautiful Clare comes to town. She is the most saintly person Archie has ever met, and seems very much interested in the salvation of his eternal soul. But is Archie being blinded by his adoration for “Saint” Clare? Because it is beginning to seem like the enigmatic girl may have a more tainted past than she first let on to. And very rapidly she has pulled Archie into a maelstrom of religious fervor that might spell the end of them both (eternal souls or no).

This book was really quite amazing in many respects. It targeted the spiritual questions of life head on without being preachy or irritating. The characters had great depth and (as is usually the case with Han Nolan) the writing was amazzzzing. I could feel the plight of both Clare and Archie as I read through. And was very moved by them both.

To tell the truth though, When We Were Saints moved kind of slowly in the beginning. And the tense (through no fault of the author) could become tedious and frustrating. But if you’re willing to dig through that to the real core of the novel, then it will be well worth your time.

Umm… at the suggestion of Nicole in the comments from the last post… BWARUMPAZWOOM. That would be the sound of 5 out of 7 elephants attacking erm…themselves?

Farewell for Now,

Greeting and felicitations

You’ve found our new word-pressed creation

We’re not on blogger anymore

We found fresh layouts to adore

We’ve also gone and changed our name

Though much will dare remain the same

There’s still reviews and author news

Art updates and interviews

But with our new face, there’s much to do

We’ve also planned a contest (or two)

And quotes each week and what we’re reading

And more reviews than you’ve been seeing

Our title’s the maelstrom that most know the best

The companion of Scylla from the Odyssey’s quest

For once you’re pulled in to the greatest of books

There can be no escaping and no second looks

So leave us your thoughts, though it remains rather sparse

We welcome you to our still windy hearth

The Charybdis is eager to meet your desires

And feed the avid reader’s brightest of fires

For books you will read long into the night

And those that are not worth the candlelight

We hope to inform you and meet bookish hearts

This day will forever mark the start

Of an exciting beginning and worthwhile pursuits

We’ll try to be honest and tell you the truth

But most basic of all, through this glimmering new surface

We remain the Whirlwinds, at your most humble service.