Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Big Dreams, Big Prayers NIV Bible For Kids

Book review of the Big Dreams, Big Prayers NIV Bible for Kids (Zondervan) by papertapepins

An all-new Bible designed for kids 9-12 focusing on prayer
The Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible for Kids, NIV includes the complete New International Version (NIV) of the Bible along with devotions, prayers, and highlighted verses to help kids pray and listen for God's answers to their prayers.
  • Presentation page for personalization and gift giving.
  • Devotions about people who prayed and listened to God such as Abraham, Hannah, and Job.
  • The Lord's Prayer explained for kids.
  • The "hand" prayer model to help kids remember to pray for others and themselves.
  • Highlighted verses great for memorization and meditation.
  • Book introductions explain what each book of the Bible is about.
  • Prayer journaling pages with space to record personal prayers and answers to prayer.
  • Reading plans.
  • Complete text of the New International Version (NIV).
  • 8.75" x 5.75"
I was pleasantly surprised by this Bible. The hard cover is durable and has a nice, sturdy feel to it, with a modern color scheme and layout. I'd say this Bible's target age range is about 8 - 12, and it's unisex in its appeal, which is nice. Every book has a cover page answering questions such as who wrote the book, why was it written, what do we learn about God in this book, the key characters and more as well as listing key stories from the book. I really like that last feature of listing the key stories from the book. It's a great launching point to get kids reading. All throughout both the Old and New Testaments verses about prayer are highlighted in blue. The book titles, chapter numbers and section headings are a very nice blue-teal color.

Interspersed throughout the Bible are devotionals called "Big Dreams" and every so often there is a full color page on the 10 Commandments, what prayer is, how to use this Bible and others. This Bible is just so user friendly and wonderful for younger kids or new christians but not 'childish' in design.

I am always impressed with the quality and thought put into Zondervan Bibles and this one impressed me again. I would not hesitate to recommend this Bible or gift it to any tween I know.

I received this Bible from Zondervan and BookLook for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Step By Step by Candace Calvert

Book review of Step By Step by Candace Calvert (Tyndale) by papertapepins

Three years after a tragic accident left her a widow, ER nurse Taylor Cabot is determined to move on, checking off one item after another on her survival list. Her relationship with a handsome plastic surgeon even gives her hope for the last point—“fall in love again.” At least until crisis chaplain Seth Donovan steps back into her life, reawakening unanswered questions about her husband’s death.

While in San Diego to train community volunteers, Seth hopes to learn why Taylor is backing away from the crisis team and from their friendship. But nothing prepares him for the feelings that arise when he sees Taylor again . . . and sees her moving on with another man.

When a community crisis hits home and puts lives at risk, emotions run high and buried truths are unearthed. Will hope make the survival list?

Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse and her expertise gives her a great leg up in writing medical suspense. It's not all medical jargon and beeping machines though, her characters really have a depth to them that is unusual. She also manages to make her multiple books feel very different from each other and not formulaic.

Taylor Cabot lost her husband nearly three years ago and is still working through her grief. She is trying to move forward, and move on, but it's a work in progress. She has decided it might be easier going forward if she quit her volunteer work with the crisis counselling team. That outlet brought her comfort in the early days but now it is a reminder of the unfinished conversation between Taylor and her husband the night he died.

She is moving on, beginning to date a plastic surgeon from the hospital where she works, putting her crisis volunteer work behind her ... and then Seth Donovan arrives from San Diego where she lived previously, and all the issues she's been ignoring instead of dealing with are brought to the surface.

Grief, forgiveness and trust are themes throughout this story and there is a lot of biblical truth included too instead of a few hazy references to prayer or a quick turn around 3/4 of the way through the story. Christian faith is woven throughout and I appreciate that.

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own. 

About the Author

Candace Calvert
Candace Calvert
Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse and author of the Mercy Hospital, Grace Medical, and Crisis Team series. Her medical dramas offer readers a chance to "scrub in" on the exciting world of emergency medicine. Wife, mother, and very proud grandmother, Candace makes her home in northern California. Please visit her website at

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Stronghold by Lisa Carter

Book review of The Stronghold by Lisa Carter (Abindon Press) by papertapepins

A serial killer with cartel ties stalks his prey by the light of the super moon.

Drug violence, revenge killings, and kidnapping are nothing new along the U.S.-Mexican border. But now teenage girls are disappearing from the Apache reservations of Arizona and New Mexico.

Apache tribal cop Pilar To-Clanny and FBI Special Agent Alex Torres have a long and tumultuous history. When someone close to them disappears, Pilar and Alex must risk everything to rescue the child, including facing the unresolved issues of the past, and venture into the no-man’s land of the drug cartels.

Can Pilar and Alex work together to stop a sadistic killer before he strikes again? On a quest to rescue those they love, who will rescue them?

As with all of Ms Carter's books, the writing is solid with a cast of colorful characters, and the story moves quickly along. It takes place on an Apache reservation in Arizona. Pilar To-Clanny is a tribal cop who has a long history with FBI agent Alex Torres. She hasn't seen him in years until he shows up to help with the investigation into a body found in an archaeological site. Things didn't end well between them but can they move on and work together? Of course, but it's not so easy. Pilar has walls sky high and PTSD issues the source of which is slowly revealed throughout the book. That part gets a little frustrating - to be kept waiting to see why things are the way they are, but that's just me being impatient.

I'm warning you now, the story is heavy and intense so it's not for everyone. No light fluff here! It's well done, though, and it never crosses the line into sensationalism or excessive violence or smut.

I recommend this book ... with a couple exceptions. Not to younger girls because of the heavy content, and not to those who are looking for a sit and relax kind of read. This one keeps you tense!

I received this book for the purpose of an honest review from Abingdon Press. My opinion is my own. Thank you Abingdon.

About the Author

Lisa Carter is the author of Carolina Reckoning and Aloha Rose, and a writer and teacher whose articles have appeared in FamilyFun, Thriving Family, MomSense, and Christian Parenting Today. She is a frequent speaker and vocalist at women’s ministry events and has taught at the collegiate, high school, and middle school levels. Lisa is a member of ACFW, RWA and Sisters in Crime. When she isn't writing, Lisa enjoys traveling, quilting, and researching her next romantic adventure. She and her husband have two daughters and make their home in Raleigh, North Carolina. Visit her online at

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