The Music Man’s Songbook Review and Giveaway

One theme which consistently appears on my blog is my love of music. I have been an avid music fan since the day I was born. Even in my earliest days whenever I heard music I would stop whatever I happened to be doing and I would listen intently.

As I got a little older I began to enjoy watching mommy and daddy dance. Around this time I also became fascinated by singing. I wanted to know how mommy was managing to make music with her mouth. It didn’t take me long to figure it out and soon I was making some music of my own.

Singing is still one of my favourite activities and even though I don’t know many words yet, I don’t let that stop me. I sing music and it doesn’t have to involve words. The dancing aspect took a bit more figuring but I’m a big girl now and quite the dancer. A good beat always gets my body wiggling.

When mommy told me that I would be getting a copy of The Music Man’s Songbook to review, I was very excited. Every day mommy and I went down the street to the mailbox to see if it arrived. Soon there was a neat package waiting for us and we raced home to open it.

The Music Man’s Songbook is a compilation of 12 unique song written just for kids. The lyrics to these songs are clearly printed amid colourful illustrations. The pages are printed on good quality paper but this is not a board book. Nevertheless, mommy let me flip through the pages by myself to look at the pretty pictures and they were able to withstand my somewhat rough treatment.

Toddler flipping through a book

Look at the pretty pictures!

The illustrations were done by Gemma Wells and they are bold, colourful, and have almost a tribal feel. Jon Lawrence is the author and musician involved in this project. Jon was the writer, composer, and performer that you hear on the CD.

The best part is the plastic sleeve attached to the inside of the back cover. There you will find a CD containing these very songs. This is what I had been looking for. I waited anxiously as mommy removed the CD from the sleeve and carefully placed it into the CD player.

Our CD player likes to do things with flare and put on a good show. The five disk tray did a spin before it receded back into the machine. After flashing some lights the CD player started to read the disk and the music began to play. I sat in the middle of our living room and listened intently to a song about caterpillars.

Mommy followed along with the book of lyrics and by the second verse she was singing the words too. I haven’t quite mastered reading yet but the music itself was good enough for me. Besides, I don’t need words to sing. I managed to improvise my own music and sing along too.

The second song on the CD is about the body and it is my favourite. It didn’t take long before I was into it so I jumped up off the ground and danced around the living room. Mommy loves my wiggle so she put down the book and got up to dance around with me. Mommy and I went through the entire CD that day and we had great fun.

If you’re getting tired of the same old songs and you want new music to get your wiggle going, The Music Man’s Songbook is for you. Each song is happy with an upbeat feel that just makes you want to join in. Sometimes we sang along and other times we danced. The music is crisp and the words are clear and easy to understand. Perfect for mommies and Peachies alike.

Mommy and I have organized a giveaway just for you. Here is your chance to get your very own copy of The Music Man’s Songbook and CD. Click the link below to head over to Rafflecopter and get your entries in.

The Music Man's Songbook

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Open worldwide. Must be 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified by email. Accepting entries until September 30, 2017.

We were given a free copy of this book and CD for the purpose of the review. All opinions are honest and our own.

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On the Trail of the Missing Pets Review and Giveaway

This week mommy and I travelled back in time and helped solve a mystery! It was a great adventure. How often do you get to solve a mystery, let alone time travel? It was very exciting and I have been looking forward to telling you all about it.

It all began last week when our copy of On the Trail of the Missing Pets arrived in the mail. Mommy and I didn’t have much information on this book and we had no idea what to expect. Excited to find out more, we flipped through the pages and quickly realized that this book is full of beautiful illustrations. Clearly this is a book any child would enjoy.

I was eager to get started on this book, but we were in the middle of another story and mommy likes to finish one book before starting another. We finished off our reading over the weekend and as of Monday we started On the Trail of the Missing Pets. It was worth the wait!

I am super excited to tell you about this book. The last several book reviews I did were for books that are written for grown-ups. While I am very mature and an advanced reader, I do prefer books with cute stories and pretty pictures. I finally get to tell you about a book written not for mommy, but for me!

On the Trail of the Missing Pets is a book for kids of all ages. I have already mentioned the illustrations, but I am so enamoured with these lovely pictures that I just have to tell you more. Every page of this story is covered in large and colourful illustrations that bring so much life to the story. The pictures are my favourite part!

Mommy and I were surprised to find out that this book is written in rhyming verse. I enjoy that because rhyme adds a certain rhythm and melody to the words. It really brings another facet to reading. It’s strange and I can’t really explain it, but stories that rhyme feel magical to me.

The story itself is very good too and both mommy and I were swept away by it. The main character is a lady by the name of Violet Vintage. I found her pleasant but somewhat unremarkable. I was much more charmed by Spike, her assistant and companion.

Spike is a dog and I have been learning about dogs at the park. We don’t have dogs, but we do have two cats. Dogs are a bit like cats except that they seem to come in a large assortment of shapes and sizes. Spike is a large dog with brown fur. I like Spike!

Peachy looking for Spike the dog

Spike! Is that you?

Violet and Spike travel through time with the help of Violet’s wardrobe. It doesn’t take long before they find themselves transported to 1944. The story takes place in London during World War II. There are all sorts of scary but exciting things going on while Spike and Violet try to figure out where they are.

Things move along at a good pace and we quickly discover our mission. With all the chaos of war going on within the city, pets have been going missing. The kindhearted Violet and her trusty assistant Spike eagerly agree to help and we all set off in search of the missing pets.

Soon a mysterious figure appears from the shadows. He seems to be the one responsible for the pets’ disappearance. Spike and Violet are in pursuit but will they find the man in time? Can they save the pets before it’s too late? Is Spike in danger of being abducted himself? You’ll have to read the story to find out!

At the end of the book are a few pages of facts about life during World War II. I have actually never heard about World War II before, so this was an enlightening read for me. It has made me much more appreciative of being born in 2015. We don’t have to worry about getting enough food to eat, or finding clothes to wear.

Reading On the Trail of the Missing Pets was fun, exciting, and informative. One question remains. Will Violet and Spike have more adventures? If Violet’s wardrobe has the potential of transporting them to any place in history, there could be endless adventures in store for them. I can’t wait to find out where they go next!

On the Trail of the Missing Pets was both written and illustrated by Marianne Su Yin. Marianne is the mother of two boys and the owner of the real Spike. They live on the Isle of Wight where Marianne spends her time writing and creating historical fashion pieces. Please take a moment to visit Marianne’s website and say hello. I’m sure she would love to hear from you.

Time for the best part! Enter our giveaway for a chance to win your own copy of On the Trail of the Missing Pets and find out what happens to Violet, Spike, and all the missing pets. Click below to enter.

Click here to enter

Open worldwide. Must be 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified by email. Accepting entries until July 31, 2017.

* We were given a free copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are honest and our own.

I Still Remember Review and Giveaway

I take up a lot of mommy’s time. Being my mommy is a full-time job. Mommy is busy feeding me, keeping me clean, teaching me, giving me snuggles, entertaining me, and making sure I get adequate exercise. On top of that, mommy takes care of our home to make sure that I am safe and healthy. There is very little free time in mommy’s busy schedule.

When mommy has a moment to spare, she usually spends it by reading something. Reading is a big part of mommy’s day. There are blogs to read, recipes to peruse, self-help books to study, research to be done, and of course there are my stories that need to be read out loud. On those rare occasions when mommy has some real time to relax, she likes to indulge in reading a bit of fiction.

Mommy’s latest indulgence was a book called I Still Remember by Priya Prithviraj. This e-book is the ideal length for busy mommies looking for a little escape. At around 5000 words, mommy was able to enjoy this digital short on her tablet while I had my afternoon nap. It was perfect for mommy’s little escape.

Peachy reading her book

I like to read too!

The book is a sweet little story about a young girl named Ji-woo. With dreams of becoming a writer, Ji-woo is giving college a second try when her first love makes a sudden and unexpected appearance. As memories come flooding back and unresolved feelings bubble to the surface, Ji-woo’s life is at risk of derailment. While her world goes into a tailspin Ji-woo can take the easy path and give up on her dreams, or be strong and keep her life on track.

Priya Prithviraj is a published poet entering the realm of writing fiction and I Still Remember is her first book. Priya grew up in Koshikode, India and studied at The English and Foreign Language University in Hyderbad. For more from Priya visit her blog.

Priya was kind enough to agree to an interview. Here is a glimpse into the mind of an author along with some advice for those who are just setting out on the path to publishing their own book.

This is Priya, the face behind the interview.

When and why did you decide to be a writer?

I don’t think there was a specific moment when I became a writer or even if I had ever made any conscious decision about venturing into writing. I used to write stories even as a child, mostly for school contests and later when I took up English for my higher studies, it was just natural to continue writing and also to take it to the next level by considering publication.

Is writing your full-time profession or a part-time interest?

To answer your question, I have to tell you that I’m not a full-time author. But my full-time profession is digital content marketing which does involve a lot of writing. So perhaps I could say yes as well.

What does literary success look like to you?

Success is always subjective and is dependent on your goals. So when I achieve the goals I set, pertaining to writing and publishing, that’s literary success for me. And my goals are not about getting into any lists, but about getting my story out there.

Do you find the writing process energizing or exhausting?

Writing can be both energizing and exhausting. It actually depends on your writing plan. If you set daily word count goals you may feel exhausted by when you finish, but if you go according to a story outline, it would be energizing as you see your story shaping up.

What is your favourite book and why?

I don’t have a favourite book. It’s hard to pick just one from the many books I hold close to my heart. But when I enjoy reading a book, I talk about it on my blog, which is where I share snippets from my life as a reader.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers who are just getting starting on their first book?

All I would say is to work hard with all your heart, and head.

Do you have any marketing tips for writers who just completed that first book?

Again, I would say work hard to get the word out about your book. Use all means of communication with your potential readers – your blog, your mailing list and your social media channels. With so many dedicated author service providers such as Writerly Yours, it isn’t very hard to get a helping hand either.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I would probably tell myself to read more, not just in English but also in other languages, because it all helps you as a writer. A writer is always a reader first.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I don’t think much into the future, but I do plan on writing and of course, reading more in the years to come.

Thank you Priya for taking part in our author interview!

I Still Remember is a brand new book just released on May 14th. It is being promoted through Writerly Yours. There is a book tour underway for the month of May. Check it out for additional information and more reviews.

Now on to the good stuff. Priya is giving us two digital copies of I Still Remember for a giveaway. Two lucky people will get their very own copy of this e-book. That’s double the odds of winning! Click the link below for your chance to win.

Click here for your chance to win.

Contest open worldwide. Must be 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified by email. Accepting entries until June 30, 2017.

* We were given a free copy of this e-book for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are honest and our own.

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The Courage of a Samurai: Review and Giveaway

I’m studying to become a modern-day samurai. The path is not an easy one and requires patience, dedication, and hard work. A samurai must posses the qualities of a warrior and leader while never compromising ethics or morals. We samurai are the epitome of discipline, courage, and ideal behaviour.

The samurai were Japan’s elite military warriors which served the aristocratic class from the Heian period (794-1185) to the Edo period (1600-1868). The original purpose of the samurai was in a military capacity. Soon the samurai became political figures as well as warriors. During the Tokugawa shogunate (1600-1868) Japan experienced a long period without warfare and the samurai emerged as scholars and role models of ethics and behaviour.

As a samurai I am bound by the principles of the moral and ethical code of bushido. This honor code of chivalry originated in feudal Japan. Bushido translates into “the way of the warrior”. If I am to be a samurai I must abide by the bushido code at all times. The bushido code emphasizes loyalty and obedience as well honor above all.

Baby playing in a ball pit

A samurai is focused, disciplined, and determined.

Mommy and I have been reading The Courage of a Samurai to help us learn about the bushido code. This non-fiction book is written by Lori Tsugawa Whaley and presents the way of the warrior in an easy to understand and very readable style. It is designed to be a self-help book aimed at adapting the bushido code for modern-day use.

The Courage of a Samurai organizes the bushido code into seven principles.

    • Courage

    • Integrity

    • Benevolence

    • Respect

    • Honesty

    • Honor

    • Loyalty

Along with these seven principles of the bushido code, Lori explains the concept of Ganbaru. This is the Japanese word for persistence and tenacity. The Courage of a Samurai explores these ideas and illustrates how they can be applied to live a more successful and fulfilling life.

In her book, Lori explains each of these principles in plain language which anyone can relate to. She attributes these characteristics to specific actions of famous historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, King Leonidas of Sparta ,and the biblical David who slew Goliath. She then sprinkles relevant inspiring quotes from people such as William Shakespeare, Steve Jobs,Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson, and Henry Ford to name just a few.

What really brings the concepts of the bushido code to life are the more in-depth true stories which Lori utilizes as examples. Both mommy and I agree that the story of Chiune Sugihara was our favourite. He demonstrated the characteristic of courage and lived the bushido code when he saved the lives of countless Jewish people during World War II. There is truly the courage of a samurai in this remarkable man.

The Courage of a Samurai is a combination of historical accounts, inspirational ideas, and personal stories woven together to illustrate how the bushido code can be applied in modern times. Lori expertly demonstrates that by using the bushido code as a foundation, we can bring about change in our lives which will allow us to overcome the obstacles in our way and accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. The way of the samurai may not be the easy path but Lori urges us that embracing the bushido code can help us unlock our full potential.

Lori Tsugawa Whaley

This is Lori

At the end of the book Lori includes a motivational final note encouraging the reader to become the unstoppable force they were meant to be. She has inspiring words for her readers asking all of us to take up the way of the samurai and to become today’s leaders. As a parting thought Lori shares this:

When you link arms with this samurai woman, you will never face your battle alone! —Lori Tsugawa Whaley

Lori Tsugawa Whaley is an author, keynote speaker, and life coach who is no stranger to overcoming adversity. She is a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor and it was her journey to recovering her wellness that inspired Lori to write The Courage of a Samurai. Lori is a third generation Japanese American and a descendant of the samurai warrior.

Lori wants to empower you to reach your true potential. To help you get started, Lori and her team are partnering with us to bring you this fabulous giveaway. Two lucky winners will receive their very own digital copy of The Courage of a Samurai.

Join us on the path to self improvement and become a modern samurai warrior just like Lori and I.

The Courage of a Samurai by Lori Tsugawa Whaley Book Cover

Click here for your chance to win.

Contest open worldwide. Must be 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified by email. Accepting entries until May 31, 2017.

*This is a sponsored review. All views and opinions are honest and our own.

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The Magnesium Miracle: Book Review and Giveaway

Mommy and I have been reading a new book together. We love reading and we have read a lot of books. I look at the pictures, point to things of interest, and turn the pages. Mommy reads the words out loud, names the objects that I point at, and turns the pages if I happen to forget.

The book we are reading together this time is very different from any that we have read together before. It is not a fictional book about bunnies, cats wearing hats, or a giraffe named Sophie. This book is all about self-help and achieving optimal health.

The book is called The Magnesium Miracle and is written by Carolyn Dean MD, ND. Unsurprisingly, it is all about magnesium. When mommy first told me about this book, I thought it would be hard to get through, but I have been pleasantly surprised. It is a very readable book with excellent information.

The Magnesium Miracle is a truly comprehensive book about dietary magnesium. Part one begins with the stories of Mary, Sam, and Jan who all discover that they suffer from magnesium deficiency. The book then proceeds to discuss what magnesium does in the body and why it is important.

Mommy and I found the next section very informative and it was one of our favourite parts. It discusses reasons why most people today or deficient in magnesium to some extent. The case is truly compelling and well written. This section wraps up with an eye-opening explanation as to why we are not hearing more about magnesium deficiency.

Part two is appropriately named “Magnesium-Deficient Conditions” and consists of nine chapters. There is a list of all possible symptoms of magnesium deficiency in part one. Part two groups these symptoms into nine areas and looks at each in greater detail. This section provides a thorough explanation how magnesium deficiency is responsible for the symptoms and offers optimal daily supplement amounts for each condition.

Part three is called “The Research Continues” and it contains four additional chapters for areas of concern where magnesium might be beneficial. It follows the same outline as part two and covers issues such as chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, and longevity. This part is a good wrap-up to the previous section.

Baby eating Cheerios

I don’t see any magnesium in this Cheerio

The final section of the book begins by discussing testing for magnesium deficiency. There are several methods that can be used. This is a very good section to read before heading to your doctor to discuss a possible deficiency. There is even a little tip on how you can determine the likelihood of a magnesium deficiency at home.

The book then goes on to talk about required magnesium intake and how to add more magnesium rich foods into our diets. There is even a meal plan with several meal options to choose from. Of course it wouldn’t be a comprehensive book if it didn’t also discuss the foods to avoid.

There is a handy chart listing some common foods and the amount you would have to consume in order to ingest 400 mg of magnesium. At the top of the list is crude rice bran with 1.8 ounces. At the bottom of the list are doughnuts with 54.25 ounces. Doughnuts come in different sizes, but that’s equal to around 27 medium-sized doughnuts or 108 doughnut holes. That’s a lot of doughnuts!

The last part of the book discusses options for magnesium supplementation. There are several forms of magnesium available and they are not created equal. There are also several ways to get these supplements into the body. The book discusses when and how to supplement, as well as what to watch out for. Very useful section for anyone who suspects they might be suffering from magnesium deficiency.

So what’s my impression of the book? It was definitely much more informative than any book mommy and I read together. It was much more interesting than I thought it would be. It would have been better if there was a cat or a rabbit involved and there were not enough pictures for my liking, but nevertheless, I would recommend this book to everyone. You might learn that your body has been trying to tell you something important.

What did mommy think of the book? We didn’t talk about it much but mommy did seem to be deep in thought since we’ve read it. Today I caught mommy looking at magnesium supplements online. I’m glad that mommy is looking out for her health.

I want to give all my readers the opportunity to discover The Magnesium Miracle for yourselves. I am giving away a free copy through my giveaway. There are no restrictions so enter today!

The Magnesium Miracle

Click here for your chance to win.

Worldwide shipping. Must be 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified by email. Accepting entries until April 30, 2017.

In case you don’t win the giveaway 😦 you can get a free 32-page guide to the benefits of magnesium along with magnesium deficiency symptoms. It is available as a free download at www.nutritionalmagnesium.org when you subscribe to their free newsletter. The guide is written by Carolyn Dean MD, ND, just like the The Magnesium Miracle book! It’s the next best thing.

*We have not been paid for this review but we were given a copy of this book free of charge. All views and opinions are honest and our own.

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