Educational and informative story about Renaissance Italy 

Renaissance Italy is a time period commonly known for it’s architecture and paintings. There is much history from this time period that we commonly see influenced today. How much do you know about the Renaissance era?

“If You Were Me and Lived in… Renaissance Italy” by Carole P. Roman and illustrated by Silvia Brunetti is a very educational and informative story that brings the reader to the late 1400s. The descriptions of type of work, clothing, inside the homes, education, etc are exceptional and makes the reader feel like they are right there. As the wealthy Medici are described as the owners of the largest bank in Europe, they spend a lot of money for elaborate paintings and architecture. They often had balls where they constantly needed new gowns and outfits made of the finest fabrics brought in from other countries like silk from China.


Children often shared a room with their siblings, boys in one room and girls in another. Sometimes the home had a shop in it where there was a hole in the floor above the shop so the father could see if anyone came into the shop. The boys would wear clothing like their father’s, just in smaller sizes, while the girls would wear clothing like their mother. The status of the family was often evident with their clothing. The boys often went to school and the girls would stay home to practice their daily chores and duties like sewing, cooking, cleaning, and baking. 

Prior to this book, I knew very little about the Renaissance era and now I feel very informed. The book includes historical information and commonly mentioned names from this time period. I read this aloud to my 8-year-old son, who perked his head up when I said the names of MIchaelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael. This is when he realized the turtles he’s been watching on television were named after famous men from Renaissance Italy. It’s always great when he can connect the dots on his own!


This is one of many in the “If You Were Me and Lived in…” series by Carole P. Roman. As I will be sharing about more of these great books, I’d like to comment about how this story in particular was educational for me as a grown adult! Thank you for teaching me more about what I thought I knew already!

A soft cover copy was provided for an honest review. I highly recommend this book and the others in this series to anyone interested in learning more about other cultures and time periods. It;s a simple read and the illustrations are very relevant.

Book launch teams

Every now and then, I find opportunities to become a part of a book launch. These are awesome because you get the book free or discounted. You also have a chance to join a community of individuals who are also in the book launch team.

Have you ever read a book and reviewed it on Amazon or Goodreads? It’s the same thing!! 

For a few years now, I’ve been writing book reviews right here on this site. I also post on Amazon and Goodreads. Although I don’t get much traffic as a whole, it encourages me because I love reading. And since I read anyway, why not share about what I loved or felt about the books, right? 

So the book review blog began. I do typically review children’s books and Christian books. But more recently I’ve found myself reading more self-development books and young adult. There are several sites that I get these books and where I post my reviews. Often times I can message the author or publisher nor both, on Twitter and they’ll repost and the views increase. It all depends on the popularity of the author’s social media, though. I’ve gained some subscribers because of that extra effort. 

So, if you could join a book launch team, which genre would you prefer?

We can all agree: Don’t Sell Me, Tell Me

They used to come knocking on the door and we’re called a traveling salesman. Most often, they were men while the women stayed home with thee children. Then the sales industry picked up on new technology called the telephone and became a nuisance at dinner time. More recently, with social media where most people spend much of the day, sales has taken over the social media platform. I may have missed a few steps in between, but this is just the main idea.

Now, there has always been a “salesy” language and ways to cold call or hard close and whatnot. But do those even work these days? I think many of us prefer to buy from people we trust. Usually, the people we trust are those who are learning more about us and using what hey learn to focus conversations. It’s all about really listening!


In the book “Don’t Sell Me, Tell Me”, Greg Koorhan shares how people in the sales industry don’t want a lecture. Don’t tell me what your product or service does and it’s benefits. He says to ask questions, learn more about me, and use those answers to better direct the conversation. Basically, if someone says they are looking for a desk that has all these functions to be better organized, don’t sell him a table that does none of what he’s looking for! 

Asking questions is quite important and active listening. So many people out there are so busy thinking about what they’ll say next that they don’t even hear what is being said. Stop being preoccupied during conversations! How can you build any trust with anyone who really isn’t listening? 

Koorhan suggests that in the sales industry, after learning more about the buyer, there should be story telling. See stories should be relatable to the buyers needs and wants. Real examples are always great! The author goes on to describe how to build your stories and use  it to your advantage in telling, not selling!

I enjoyed this book as I am in direct sales myself. This book confirmed much of the training I’ve received from my leaders and has provided me with more concrete process to get the story developed. If I learned anything in the past year, it is that connecting with others often comes with story telling. When you create emotions in someone’s heart, they tend to remember you and the emotion that was created within their heart.

Provided complimentary for an honest review through Reading Deals, I am thankful for the opportunity to not only read this book, but also to build myself better stories. For anyone who is trying to connect with anyone, sell anything, this is an amazing book to read. 

A cute and fun adventure when Ellie Camps Under the Stars

An adorable addition to the Ellie the Elephant series, Ellie Camps Under the Stars takes the reader to an outdoor adventure of hiking, waterfalls, and camping under the stars. This is very reminiscent of my own camping adventures as a child!

As in any camping trip, Ellie and her friend Pudgy the Penguin sets up their tent. And like many of my own tent building attempts, sometimes the wind flips the tent over or we get tangled in the tent. And that’s just the beginning of the adventure!


Hiking is a common activity when camping. Ellie and Pudgy make a wise choice to take a short hike at first. It is so important to know you can get back safely when you go on a hike for the first time! Staying on the trail is highly encouraged!

When Ellie and Pudgy get back, they enjoy a nice meal and always clean up to keep other creatures away. They play some games and do some reading. I love how there are pages that asks the reader questions. This keeps the child engaged with the story. 

I absolutely love these Ellie the Elephant books! This latest one my son didn’t want to read with me, but I have a feeling he will later. He loves stuffed animals and I encourage him to take photos with one of his animals to share with Ellie. He used to line them up to take a group photo when he was younger. 

This is a book I recommend for any preschool-aged through early readers. It’s cute, fun, and engaging. The adorable Ellie and Pudgy and friends is mesmerizing and their adventures are so realistic. A complimentary paperback copy of Ellie Camps Under the Stars was provided for an honest review. 

Book reviews needs more motion

It’s been a long while since my last book review.. this is not because of a shortage of books, rather a shortage of time to review. While the books keep piling in, I’m still getting through books, slowly. But apparently, I need to get back to the reviewing!

Please help encourage me to complete more reviews, as I know it is helpful to those who want to purchase books. It certainly helps to know if the book is worth the money you pay, right?

My reviews are a brief summary and filled with morals or things the book brings up in my head. It’s very much a process when I read as I sometimes find myself daydreaming about the “what ifs” in my own life. Stories are a great way for me to find resilience, to temporarily step out of my own life for a few moments. I love how it brings me more peace.

Everyone finds balance in their own way, this is just mine. Please tune in for future book reviews as I just received three more children’s books yesterday! I need to get on top of these reviews because the books keep coming!

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails: fun, festive, & fantastic!

Reflecting on Christmas past isn’t always easy. We have moments we think are normal then moments we would rather forget ever happened. There are those quirky things our family does that drive us crazy and then those things we wish would last forever. Add some cocktails to the mix and it’s loaded with more excitement and interesting chatter, right?

Well, I have found this book full of short stories of Christmas past along with fun little cocktails, mainly a recipe for one! It is so well written, I feel like I’m right there, taking up space in Vicki Lasage’s super tiny apartment in France where the Christmas tree gets knocked over every time you turn! And I can understand the family quirks as my own family has our own.


Personally, I can’t see myself ever sharing about family quirks or life during the Christmas season. It actually sounds boring to me, but in Christmas Confessions & Cocktails, even the mundane seems exilerating! You know a writer is amazing when what may be boring suddenly becomes a sitcom.

Add in some cocktails to enjoy during the read is so much fun! If I was able to actually enjoy a recipe or two while reading, we’d have a much more entertaining review, I’m sure! 

I am thankful for the chuckles I had while reading this book by Vicki Lasage. Wow, and to think there’s more where this came from! Awesome!

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails was provided complimentary from Reading Deals for an honest review.

Christmas time is here!

There are so many books out there that have the cheerful, loving Christmas spirit, it’s overwhelming! How many of these can you read in one season?! 

Personally, I could read it all year round! Unfortunately, in my life this rarely ever happens! You know how we often Have bigger eyes than our tummy can consume when we grab food at a buffet? Yes, my eyes are bigger than I can consume in reading!

I’ve read many books this year and haven’t had a chance to review them all! I really wish I could just sit down to write book reviews every day for the rest of the year just to catch up! I maybe have enough read to write one a day the rest of 2016! Aaahhhh! That’s too many! I hope I don’t forget what I read before I get to review these amazing books!

What are you trying to accomplish the rest of this year? There’s 20 days left!!

Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?

Absolutely!! A princess can be whatever she wants to be! There are so many options out there and you may even want to be two or three! 

Don’t let anybody limit your dreams.” -Carole P. Roman, Can a Princess Be a Firefighter, p.30.

What an amazing book for youngsters. This book seems to feature two little girls who may be sisters. As they play dress up, these girls ask what could they be and do they have to give up being a princess?


Indeed this is a great question asked of many children out there as they grow up. What can they be when they grow up? Can they still be their parents little princess?

Can a Princess Be a Firefighter is another amazing children’s book by Carole P. Roman. Colorful illustrations by Mateya Arkova bring the words to life. What a great combination of words and images to engage young readers.

A copy of this book was provided for an honest review. A fantastic story for young readers to guide them to go after their dreams and not let anyone stop them. The same goes for you and me!

The Glass Gauntlet is brilliant and engaging

From the moment Ronan Truelove and his friends, Greta and Sammy, decide to take on this Glass Gauntlet school, the three were surrounded by trials, challenges, and enemies they were not expecting. Given the recent past, as described in Blood Guard, Ronan isn’t quite sure who or what to trust any more. These three have become dependent on each other and have learned to work together as a team in the pages full of brilliant creativity and edge of your seat engagement.

Life was already not as normal as Ronan had once thought. The Bend Sinister, led by his own father, was on the hunt for Ronan and the Blood Guard gullibly took the Bend Sinister bait far away from Ronan’s location. Ronan’s mother had prepared Ronan for anything without him even knowing it. Every moment was another trick to break Ronan and his friends down. Ronan and his friends are awarded pieces of the Glass Gauntlet after each challenge and try to put it together. There seems to be something missing and it turns out Ronan had it the whole time! What is this Glass Gauntlet and what happens when it is used?

“Greta,” I whispered. “I tried to save her and he was watching and . . . He knows. I’m sure of it.” -Ronan Truelove, Glass Gauntlet, Chapter 24.

Once I opened this book, I had a very hard time putting it down. As a sequel to Blood Guard, The Glass Gauntlet is more adventurous and creatively written. There are so many obstacles that Ronan is faced with and his use of the items in his reach as well as the skills he’s been taught through the years. His mother, a Blood Guard, had him trained well considering her options of not sharing the fact of who she is be revealed.

This is a fantastic book for middle-school aged children. Roy Carter has done very well at painting the pictures of his settings and describing characters. You know it’s a great book when you aren’t sure if there’s a “happily ever after”! Page turn to page turn, the words jump off the page and create images that are so vivid that you feel like you’re right there with Ronan and his friends. 

Given an opportunity read another book by Roy Carter, I would surely take it! There is a Book 3 to this series, Blazing Bridge, that I am eager to read. His writing is brilliant and the pictures he paints and smells I can breathe are so realistic. This book was provided complimentary by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

bringing bookworms together through reviews and explorations