Book Review: Mirror Sacrifice by Margo Ryerkerk!

Recently I read a book called Fluidus Rising, which was the first book in the Ardere Series by Margo Ryerkerk. Mrs. Ryerkerk so graciously gave me a copy of her book in exchange for a review, which I did in this entry. She then gave me a copy of the second book in the series, which I am more than happy to review for her! Here’s my short, spoiler-free review.

Mirror Sacrifice by Margo Ryerkerk

Here’s the blurb for Mirror Sacrifice:

After escaping a crazed killer, Sierra Reeves is ready to embrace her supernatural Fluidus heritage. She travels to London, intending to train her telekinetic and elemental conjuring abilities as well as integrate into the Ardere society, but she quickly discovers the snobbish elite are less than excited about her existence. Worse yet, Gavin, the man she believed to be her rock, has become more distant than ever as he teams up with his beautiful ex-girlfriend on a mission.

Determined to prove she’s worthy of the Fluidus title, Sierra trains harder than ever with Cooper, who tasked with protecting her, soon becomes her new confidante and possibly more.

But matters of the heart will have to wait as the Culpatus returns with indestructible weapons and unexpected allies.

A thrilling, contemporary fantasy adventure filled with secrets and romance, Mirror Sacrifice will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more!

Once again, I also have to give props to the talented cover designer.

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So beautiful! As you can tell, Sierra looks like she’s manipulating water, but let me not get ahead of myself here! 😉

Mirror Sacrifice starts just where Fluidus Rising ended- with Sierra traveling to London. Gavin, the Ardere marshal whom she was started to get close to, suddenly becomes a distant jerk and Sierra isn’t sure why. Like I stated in my last review, Sierra is not a typical damsel in distress type character. She doesn’t take shit, not from Gavin or anyone else. She’s not afraid to make tough decisions, even if she knows the outcome is less than desirable.

Anyway, Sierra’s whole reason for traveling to London is to begin training at the Langcombe Academy, because she is a very powerful supernatural who doesn’t really KNOW how to use her powers yet. She learns quickly at the academy and even learns how to conjure and use water, which is featured on the cover of this book.

I feel for Sierra, though, because there certainly are a number of snobby assholes that she has to socialize with! Yes, she is training among London’s elite, but wow… the nerve of some people. The most undesirable characters were definitely the Evans twins, who met Sierra and “gave her a once- over, their noses twitching as if they smelt something rotten.” Sucks to be them though- that’s all I have to say.

As the story goes on, we readers begin to understand why Gavin is acting so strangely, and by the end of the book I was sympathetic towards his plight. The world of the Ardere is so vast and there is so much more than first meets the eye. With that being said, I cannot wait for the next book in the series!

I rate Mirror Sacrifice 5 out of 5!

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I’m A Terrible Tamagotchi Mom!

In 1997, I turned 11 years old and got one of the COOLEST gifts ever from one of my mom’s awesome co-workers: a Tamagotchi! She told my mom people were loving it over in Japan and kids in the US were probably going to love it as well, so she was sweet enough to get me one for my birthday. I hadn’t really heard of it but was extremely grateful for the gift anyway. Once I looked at the box, I was sold!

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Not my box, but this is what mine looked like!

My little virtual pet got a lot of love and attention, and soon, that one virtual pet grew into like… I don’t know, 20 or 30! Haha! I was obsessed with all the different virtual pets out there, but my original Tamagotchi remained near and dear to my heart.

Recently, I’ve been tearing apart my office and rearranging everything. Currently it looks like shit and a bit like a bomb went off, but whatever. As I was going through my things, I was pleased to open up a little container and discover my nearly 21 year old Tamagotchi nestled inside (along with a sweet flame Tamagotchi I bought maybe like 10 years ago just because it looked cool!)

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So happy I still have these!

Nostalgia hit me pretty hard, and I decided to put a battery in it and see if it worked. It started right up, so I thought “Sure, let me see how long I can keep this little creature alive!”

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Still works after all these years! ❤

For the first day or two,  I was pretty good at taking care of it. I attended to it when it beeped, and I was on a roll.

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Much like a real baby, they poop all. the. time!

…. until day 3, when I took it to work and left it in my purse all day. Shit! There was like 5 little poops on the screen, plus it was sick, hungry, and bored, but it wasn’t dead! I vowed to take better care of my little creature.

A day or two later, and whoops! Poor Tamagotchi lived in my purse all day and all night. Only when I woke up the next day did I remember it, and I thought for sure it was toast. Nope! The little beast was still alive and sound asleep. I turned the lights off on it, even though it was going to wake up and yell at me in less than an hour.

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The final adult form. 

All in all, my Tamagotchi lived to be 9… so I had it running for about 8 days (it turns 1 after a nap it takes after being hatched… yeah who knows what the logic is there). I’m surprised, because even though I had the best of intentions, I completely sucked at being a Tamagotchi mom.

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R.I.P. little guy!

I still have a place in my heart for these little virtual creatures though! A 20th anniversary Tamagotchi was released late last year and I totally wanted one… just couldn’t find it at any store. I did just check Amazon and they are in stock (which they weren’t the entire holiday season) so I guess I will buy me one! 😉 Don’t know how much I’ll actually play with it but I want it so I can be reminded of my childhood!

P.S. The flame Tamagotchi I have is like a “Tamagotchi lite.” It only beeps when it absolutely wants something, and you can’t select an option unless the Tamagotchi needs it (i.e. you can’t select the food icon unless it’s hungry) so maybe I should put batteries in it and see if I have better luck, haha!

Are Video Games Art?

Back in September, The Well-Red Mage asked another thought provoking question that I thought would be fun to answer! Took me long enough to answer, right? *rolls eyes* Anyway, his question this time around was quite simple: Are Video Games Art?

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Obviously not my photo… credit belongs to the Mage 😉

There were many people that gave excellent, thoughtful responses to this question. If you haven’t yet checked it out, click on the link in the first paragraph and go read them! Anyway, I’m not going to give some long, philosophical response on what is considered “art” and why something should or should not be considered art. For me, the answer is simple: yes.

To me, video games are considered art because they are created for us to enjoy. That creation (whether it ends up well-received or not) is the result of someone’s hard work and dedication. And yes, every part of the game is art to me- from the graphics to the musical score to the story- it’s all art. Of course, whether we like the game or not is totally subjective, just like every other artistic medium. Not every type of game will appeal to everyone, and that’s okay! 🙂

Kirby Keychains.

A billion months ago (or maybe it was just back in October), my husband surprised me with a couple little goodies he found while he was out and about! He bought me a couple Kirby keychains (or Backpack Hangers, as it says on the package)! I had never seen these before, so I was pretty excited!

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As you can see, they are blind bags, which means that you don’t know what you’re getting inside. I’m a little wary of stuff like this, because it always seems like I get screwed and end up buying multiple of the same item! I take my chances when it comes to Animal Crossing cards though, haha… anyway! My husband told me he felt the packages to make sure they seemed totally different. Here’s what was in the first bag:

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A cute lil Meta Knight! He’s heavy, so he doesn’t really stand up well. But then again, it’s designed to clip onto a purse/ backpack/ etc., so I can’t fault it too much. In the second bag we have:

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An even cuter lil Kirby! He looks slightly puzzled but still so adorable! I’m glad I got these adorable things to add to my collection of Kirby items! 🙂

2018 Plans (Can I Stick to Them?).

I stink at making plans. I have the best of intentions, and I’m really into it in the beginning. Then, something happens- I never finish what I set out to do. Let’s face it- I had big plans for 2017, but it was such a lousy year that I never had much energy to finish much of anything. Not even my idea of Celebrating Kirby With… could be completed.

Of all the things I haven’t done, one thing that really irks me is the fact that I have so many games in my backlog that I haven’t even TRIED, never mind beaten/ completed. That never stopped me from buying games, though- and the result is approximately one billion games I have waiting for me to try! (Okay, maybe not that many, but still- it’s A LOT).

Blah blah blah, right?! Well, I set myself one goal for 2018: try as many games as possible in my backlog. I don’t necessarily have to beat them- I just want to uncheck the “unplayed” box in my Backloggery so I can at least say yes, I have played the game a little bit! I figured I’d probably spend 1-3 days max on them, unless of course it really grabs my attention to where I feel like I HAVE to keep playing!

I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. I’ll get done what I get done, and no matter what, it’ll be an accomplishment! I’m going to try to write some First Impressions posts as I’m playing though these games.

Oh, and I will probably still be working through a specific game while doing this, too- right now, I’m still playing Harvest Moon: Animal Parade on the Wii, so I’ll finish that before moving on to another game of my choosing. Of course, all my Animal Crossing games will be thrown into the mix as well! 🙂

Anyway, enough of my rambling! This should be enough to keep me busy for quite awhile. See ya!

Book Review: Fluidus Rising by Margo Ryerkerk.

Happy New Year everyone! We made it to 2018. I’m thankful for that, because 2017 wasn’t exactly my favorite year and I was ready to start fresh!

Now, I know I predominately write about video games on this blog, and that’s always going to be my focus. As some of you may or may not know, I love to read as well, and I have a Goodreads account where I list a lot of the books I’ve read as well as a short blurb about why I did or didn’t like the book. Not really a review- I leave that to the experts. 😉

However, I was recently contacted on Goodreads by a super nice lady named Margo Ryerkerk who wanted to know if I would like to receive a copy of her book in exchange for a review! I know this happens to people quite often, but I was honored to be contacted because like I said, I typically don’t put reviews out. I really wanted to help her out, though, so I agreed to review her book and post it on a few sites as well as on my own blog! So here is my (unqualified) review! I’ll keep it short and sweet, and I’ll try not to reveal any spoilers!

Fluidus Rising by Margo Ryerkerk

The blurb for the book is as follows:

Magic. Romance. And a fight to the death.

The Secret Circle meets Sookie Stackhouse in this pulse-pounding, fast-paced YA fantasy read.

Torn away from her high school graduation, Sierra Reeves discovers that everything she thought she knew is a lie.

In a flash, she’s no longer a normal girl preparing for college, but a Fluidus—a rare supernatural with telekinetic powers. Her new abilities attract the attention of both the Ardere regency and the Culpatus, a group that wants to overthrow the supernatural government. Fearful for Sierra’s future, her grandmother decides to leave their home state Vermont and hide out in Savannah, Georgia.

In Savannah, Sierra forms an alliance with the overprotective and handsome Ardere marshal Gavin McLoughlin. With his help, she slowly accepts her new powers and that she’s a part of the supernatural community.

Just when Sierra begins to settle into her new life, her world is rocked again. In addition to the Culpatus discovering her location, a serial killer is on the loose in Savannah.

Fighting to control her developing power, and facing danger on multiple fronts, Sierra will have to use all her resources to stay alive.

This blurb caught my attention right away, because I enjoy reading about supernaturals, and this seemed like a fresh take on typical supernatural beings. The second item that caught my attention was the gorgeous cover:

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Something about this is so beautiful to me! The main character, Sierra, is featured on the cover. As I learned while reading this book, her confident pose and small smirk fit her personality very well- Sierra is definitely a girl who takes no shit!

Fluidus Rising jumps into the action right away. As the reader, you are immediately thrust into the world of Arderes at the same time as Sierra. Sierra grew up thinking she was a normal human girl instead of a powerful supernatural being. She knew nothing about different Ardere factions or what any of them could do. The reader is going on a journey with Sierra, learning as she learns. It’s a unique perspective that I haven’t seen very often in books I’ve read recently.

Pretty quickly into the story, Sierra discovers she is a Fluidus, which is the most rare form of Ardere. Fluidus have powerful telekinetic abilities, among other strengths. One quote about being a Fluidus really stood out to me:

“Most Fluidus don’t survive the awakening. Their bodies are unable to contain the power.”

Of course, such rare powers are highly sought after, so naturally anyone and everyone wants a piece of Sierra! Her grandmother goes to great lengths and makes great sacrifices to keep her safe, but Sierra really has to grow up fast and learn quickly. I almost felt sorry for her at times because so much was thrown at her at once!

Sierra is no weak damsel in distress, though. She has a balls-to-the-walls attitude and isn’t afraid to make decisions. There were a couple times she slightly frustrated me, as I felt that she was jumping in too quickly without fully thinking things through, but then I reminded myself: She is only 18. Her whole life has been turned upside down. She is a powerful supernatural being. She’s learning. 

I really, really loved this book. The writing was fast-paced, the story kept me interested, and (most of) the characters in the book were likable and relatable. Except for Louis, the ruler of the Southeast. Just… ick. In any case, I’m glad this is the first book in a series, because I can’t wait to see what happens to Sierra next!

I rate Fluidus Rising 5 out of 5. Thanks for reading my review!

(Sort of) Liebster Award!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. The holiday season isn’t quite over yet, since New Year’s Eve is tomorrow (or “today” since it’ll probably be after midnight by the time I publish this post)! This time of year is always pretty busy for me, but I love being able to see family and enjoy getting into the holiday spirit. I’m always bummed when it’s over and life is back to normal in January! Anyway, I’ve got several posts planned for this blog, plus I have some fun future plans for this blog, so bear with me as I get caught up on everything! 🙂

A little while ago, my friend The Shameful Narcissist posted a Liebster Award with some fun questions! She tagged everyone and I thought I’d go ahead and answer them, even if I am 3 months late to the party. One day I’ll be all caught up on the posts I want to do! So, here’s my answers!

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1. When was the last time you laughed? What at? 

Disclaimer: I tend to laugh at the dumbest shit. And sometimes when I start laughing, I can’t stop! I’m easily amused. 😉 I laughed a little while ago at my dog Minnie, because she was playing with a toy that was pretty much the size of her, and she tripped over it. She’s a happy little thing though, so she just kept on playing!

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This is Minnie on her 10th birthday a couple months ago. She’s always happy!

2. What’s the weather like where you are? How does it affect you?

Surprisingly, it is cold here right now! Well, cold to me anyway. As someone who has lived in Florida all my life, if it’s in the 60s I’m cold LOL! The high today was only around 60. In the next few days, we actually aren’t supposed to get out of the 50s with lows in the 30s, and it’s supposed to rain. It is nice to have some “winter” weather, but it does make my head hurt and I get achy all over. I’m not cut out for cold weather, but I try to enjoy it anyway!

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Look at that weather for Wednesday! Brrr!

3. What thoughts keep you awake at night? 

Grrr… a lot of things keep me awake at night! My mind tends to race at the most inopportune times. It’s not all bad thoughts, though. Sometimes I think about happy things! I kind of suck at getting enough sleep.

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Yeah pretty much…

4. What conversations do you avoid?

All of them, if I can! I’m highly antisocial 😉 If I like you, you’ll know it, because I will talk!

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Please don’t make me socialize! 😉

5. If you were invisible for a week, what would you do?

Probably a bunch of slightly evil things! Mostly I think I’d just freak people out so they think a ghost is near them. Things like walk by and tap them on the shoulder, make stuff look like it’s floating in the air, whisper in their ears, you know… ghostly stuff. Then I’d go to restaurants and grab a bunch of freshly cooked french fries- don’t worry, I’d leave some money on the counter so I wouldn’t be STEALING. Am I a horrible person for wanting to mess with people? Yeah, maybe. It’s all in good fun though!

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Only relevant because of the word “invisible,” but the cat is too cute!

6. What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever seen? (Things on the internet don’t count) 

Hmmm… there’s a couple things that could be in the running for this. I’m gonna go with the time I was at work in the back office and I happened to look out the window. I saw a man in a motorized scooter with a lawn chair and an American flag strapped to the back going slowly down the road… right into oncoming traffic. Cars literally had to swerve around him because he was just… in the middle of the road.

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Pretty sure he wasn’t delivering pizzas!

7. If you could live the life of any character in a novel, who would it be?

Um, I don’t know. I read a lot of horror novels, and I’d kind of hate to have most of those characters’ lives!

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8). When do you feel most alive? 

Most of the time I drag my ass around like a zombie, but I feel alive when I’m doing something I consider fun- whether that be video games, writing, hanging out with my husband/ animals/ family, etc. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and I feel like sometimes I don’t get to do that 100% because stupid shit like work, poor health, and crappy situations get in the way! I don’t really need an adrenaline rush to feel alive- I just want to do something that makes me happy 🙂

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Ah yes… I also feel alive when I sleep a lot like Snorlax!

9. You can have a penfriend from any time in history, who would it be? What kind of letters would you write?

Although writing to someone from the past would be cool, I would want to talk to someone from the future! Say 1000 years from now… so 3018. They would tell me all about what technology was like, how much the world has changed and what I could do in my time period to improve life! That is, if computers/ robots/ whatever haven’t taken over the world by then… Did I answer this question right? Who cares, this is my blog!

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I do love receiving snail mail 😉

10. Do you ever feel like you haven’t a clue what you’re doing and you’re about to be found out? What makes you feel like that?

Um, yeah, I pretty much always feel like that! I’m one of those “fake it til you make it” type people who can bullshit my way out of tight spots. Also, despite being in my 30s, I sometimes have a hard time believing I am an adult. I had a moment like that on Christmas… my cousin’s daughter asked me to cut a tag off of her toy, and I was like damn… I’m the responsible one here. As for what makes me feel like that, who knows! I just roll with it.

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Me, most of the time.

11. Would you like your home country to introduce basic income (everybody gets paid enough to live on whether they work or not)? How would it change your life?

Hmm, the last question is a serious one! I am not going to get all philosophical or preachy here, but the bottom line is this: everyone deserves to have basic comforts. We are all human, and one person is not more deserving than another. Namaste, bitches!

Oh my god… I just made this entire blog post and I realized something. I answered the wrong fucking set of questions! The Shameful Narcissist wrote out 11 questions, and I accidentally answered the questions another blogger asked her! SHIT! Well… I think I will still answer her questions in another post later on, since I made this one all pretty and spent time on it. Oops!

Well, I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year. See you in 2018!