Tuesday, April 15, 2014

101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation by Dan Andreasen

book review of 101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation by Dan Andreasen (Zondervan) by  papertapepins

101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation brings together 101 of the most well-known and beloved Bible stories. Written for young independent readers and with colorful artwork, this storybook Bible is sure to become a favorite. Each story is one page in length and features a picture depicting the main character or event of the story. Both story and artwork can also provide perfect springboards for further family or child and parent discussion of the rest of the story and its impact on our faith.

101 Bible Stories is a beautiful hardcover book for young readers, either for reading independently or as a read aloud. The stories are from Genesis to Revelations in chronological order, and is divided into the old testament and the new testament. With thick, glossy pages, one side contains the story and the other a corresponding illustration. The illustrations are less cartoony than a lot of kids' Bible books so it might appeal to the kids a little longer. 

I homeschool and the first thing the kids do as schoolwork in the morning is read from the Bible and journal about it and this is perfect for my 7 year old to read independently.

About the Author

Dan Andreasen 
Dan Andreasen lives in Medina, Ohio, with his wife and three children. Dan began his career as a professional sculptor for American Greetings Corp. Now a children's book illustrator and graphic designer, he has illustrated more than thirty picture books.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Butterfly Palace by Colleen Coble

Book review of Butterfly Palace by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson) by papertapepins

Elegance and wealth. Privilege and politics. The extravagance of the Butterfly Palace overwhelmed Lily’s senses and nearly smothered her painful memories. She pushed away her misgivings . . . She was perfectly safe in this huge house.
Austin, Texas—1904: Abandoned by the love of her life and still mourning the loss of her mother, Lily Donaldson has turned her back on the pain and come to Austin for a fresh start, working for the Marshall family as a kitchen maid in their luxurious mansion, the Butterfly Palace. The tasks before her are legion, and her mistress less than pleasant, but at least Lily’s new life will be, if nothing else, distracting. 
But one night, while serving at a dinner party, Lily recognizes the man who abandoned her, Andy, her liaison from the livery stable, the blacksmith’s son . . . sitting among the distinguished guests. Though he recognizes her, Andy does not acknowledge her aloud, and Lily is left reeling, flabbergasted, and irate. 
But before she can get an explanation, the path of the Servant Girl Killer swerves very close to the Butterfly Palace, sowing terror among the maids. Having come to Austin to start anew, Lily suddenly feels trapped in a spider web. How can she know who to trust in a house where lies come dressed in fine suits and deceit in silk gowns the colors of butterfly wings?

The setting for this book is the very interesting Butterfly Palace, an old palace brought over from Europe and reconstructed in Austin, Texas. It's full if secret passage ways, mystery ... and dead butterflies. The wealthy master of the house, Mr. Everett Marshall, collects rate butterfly specimens.  Thus the name of the book.

That being said, unfortunately the book is not worthy of it's rather exotic setting. The writing is stilted and the story down right unbelievable. If you're in the secret service you sure don't go around telling people. If you were a brand new lady's maid you best keep your opinions to yourself - and not go running off in the middle of the day - or you would be fired for sure. There is just too much in this story that doesn't add up. I really didn't like the fact that Drew and Lily had such an intimate past but it never seems like a very big deal. That was almost excused by the fact that they had been engaged. It was all very cheesy and so disappointing from an author I had come to respect.

This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson. My opinion is my own.

About the Author

Colleen Coble Headshot
With more than 300 products nominated, industry retailers chose the titles to receive the Retailer’s Choice award. The Lightkeeper’s Ball by Colleen Coble, received an award in fiction: historical romance. When hearing the news, Daisy Hutton, vice president and publisher for Thomas Nelson’s fiction division had this to say: “The Thomas Nelson fiction team is delighted that Colleen Coble’s work has been recognized by retailers through this award. Colleen is more than a Thomas Nelson author; she is a part of our family, having celebrated her 10th anniversary with us this summer. We greatly appreciate the support that retailers have given to Colleen throughout her career, and we join her in celebrating this achievement.”

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Words of Conviction by Linda J. White

book review of Words of Conviction by Linda J. White (Abingdon Press) by papertapepins

The clues to saving a child are hidden in the kidnapper’s words. Can Kenzie decode the messages in time?The clues are hidden in the kidnapper’s words. Can the message be decoded in time?
When Zoe, the five-year-daughter of a powerful Senator, is abducted, the FBI brings in Special Agent MacKenzie Graham, a forensic psycholinguist, to analyze the written threats of the vengeful kidnapper. An expert at what she does, Kenzie probes criminal minds more accurately than she does her own heart.
Working alongside fellow FBI agent John Crowfeather, Kenzie refuses to acknowledge her mysterious attraction to John, and continues to build walls she believes will protect her not only from men but God as well. John is no fan of hers, either, but they have little time to dwell on it as the case grows more dangerous.
When the perpetrator begins posting messages on the Internet, the race is on to save Zoe. Can Kenzie and John rescue the girl before it’s too late? Or will their misguided convictions cost a little girl her life?

This is for the most part a fast paced FBI suspense, with a psycholinguist in the lead role. Don't know what that is? I didn't either. She analyses words in order to profile suspects under investigation. Pretty cool stuff. She graduated high school early and had a PhD by the time she was 23. She is in bigh demand to teach classes with the FBI but she's still fairly green on the field. She needs to prove to her superiors that her field is indeed relevant and useful and not quack science.

John Crowfeather doesn't think Kenzie belongs on this case. Her lack of real field experience could prove dangerous to herself and others. On her part, she doesn't appreciate his prickly demeanour and his obvious lack of faith in her. Will they be able to move past all this to solve the case as a team?

I really got into the beginning of the book, but then it seems to get bogged down with extra stuff that doesn't really help move the story along for a while, and then regains its momentum for the climax and ending. The ending was good but the epilogue seemed pretty much redundant and even anticlimactic. At that point I started wondering if maybe there is a sequel coming because it seems to leave things unfinished, especially between Kenzie and her mom.

This book was provided to me by Abingdon Press and Netgalley for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own.

About the Author

Linda J. White is the author of FBI thrillers, including Seeds of Evidence and Bloody Point, both of which feature tactics and research made possible by her husband’s 25 years of service to the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. The mother of three adult children, Linda also serves as the assistant editorial page editor of a daily newspaper in Somerville, Virginia, where she and Larry make their home. Find out more about the author at

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