Archive for the ‘Davis Bunn’s Novels’ Category

When God Calls the Unlikely

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

The Turning 300Today’s reader reviews of The Turning are by Amanda Brogan, Crystal Kupper, and Mary Dushel.

Calling the Unlikely

By Amanda Brogan, Walking the Narrow Way blog

Perhaps you’ve heard the voice before. That inexplicable urging deep within your heart and soul, not audible but just as clear as if it had been shouted to you from a bullhorn. The voice of a Divine Storyteller, nudging you to follow a path you never would have expected.

It is this kind of Divine calling that Davis Bunn writes about in his new “devotional fiction” novel The Turning.

A brooding businessman from Cleveland. A snobby choir leader from Baltimore. A beautiful young oriental woman torn between two major life decisions, and an Arab learning the Christian faith. Each one hears the same message from God. Each must face a unique task. Each must take a monumental step toward forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion … spiritual obedience.

Feeling God call them to New York, these spiritual misfits band together under the leadership of a well-known Christian author to battle a rising cultural enemy.

I love the fact that each of the protagonists is introduced as someone who we normally would not look to for spiritual guidance. Each character has baggage, yet God does not wait till their baggage is gone to call them. He calls them with dirty lives, and offers them progressive steps of obedience to follow. Yet with each step, hearts are rearranged, maturity deepens, and the characters begin to take bigger and bolder steps of faith.

Davis shows us through these characters that we don’t have to be spiritual giants for Christ to call us. We simply need to be open to hearing His voice. He’ll meet us in that spot where calling and action collide.

Interesting, relevant read

By Crystal Kupper, on her blog

I had just slogged through two really awful books (coincidentally, both for my local book club) and I was very ready for a change. Thankfully, The Turning restored me to my normal love of turning pages gently instead of phwapping them shut in frustration.

Of Bunn’s recent works, this is definitely one of his best. I really enjoyed the character development, especially the insight into the antagonist, and was quite sad when the book ended. That’s the only reason I took off a star; I wanted more!

Hope is [Not] Dead

By Mary Dushel, Goodreads

“The fastest growing profit center within the entertainment industry is dystopia… The Generation Xers and the Millennials fundamentally disagree with the assumption that tomorrow is a better day. They reject the notion that the future holds greater promise.”

“Hope is dead.”

And, I promise, from there the book gets better.

These quotes are the beginnings of a marketing campaign that becomes the focus of Davis Bunn’s lastest novel, The Turning. The story begins with one of the country’s largest entertainment corporations planning this “hopeless” marketing strategy, including movies, books, music. But God has taken exception to this campaign and has decided to meet it head on. Five people are chosen and spoken to, directly, by God and sent to make the point that as long as God is alive and well and risen, hope cannot be dead.

This book is a well-written, fast-paced story. I found the characters to be nicely developed. I read books for their characters and I judge most books based on whether I would like to know the characters. These characters seemed real to me. They were multi-dimensional. The evil corporate types were not pure evil, but rather, though certainly ambitious, showed some level of humanity.

The characters who were doing God’s work were also multi-faceted. This task was not coming easily for any of them. They lamented what was given up for this task; they showed fear of being able to handle what was being asked of them. It felt like how I would react if something of this magnitude was asked of me.

The best part of this book is that it leaves you thinking.

Would I be able to drop everything and embark on such a mission, if asked?

Am I, as a consumer, contributing to this bleak outlook that is so prevalent today?

What can I do to help change things?

All worth thinking about.

Radio Interview: Writing and the Spiritual Life

Monday, May 5th, 2014

I was recently a guest on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection show. The hosts and I discussed how God has worked in my life to prepare me for a career in writing. I hope you’ll be encouraged to learn that “overnight success” is highly overrated. Rather, hard and discipline in your craft can pay off.

Click here to listen to the show:

Midday Connection – Moody Radio

Learn more about Midday Connection and listen to their many amazing broadcasts.

Listening Through the Hard Times: Audio Devotional #13, ‘The Turning’

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

The Turning 300During this audio devotional series, we’re reflecting on turning from our stale, ineffective ways of connecting with God to new ways.

This is particularly challenging when we’re hurting or facing challenges without any ready answer. How does the practice of daily listening help us in those times?

Click here to listen to my 2-minute audio devotional:
Listening Through the Hard Times: Audio Devotional #13, ‘The Turning’

Subscribe to my blog and receive my latest audio devotion via email — I’ll be posting a new audio devotional several times each week.

You can download all 40 devotions at TheTurningBook.com

Reader Mailbag: Praise for ‘Unlimited’

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Unlimited by Davis BunnRose Mary writes:

Unlimited is an awesome book, Mr. Bunn. Unlimited made me feel as if I were on a mission trip. I cried more than once as this book stirs the emotions. Keep up the good work.

I order all my books from Christianbook.com and they have a search option, which allows one to see the latest publications. I had just finished Strait of Hormuz when up popped Unlimited. I am so glad you such a prolific author. Hope I don’t have to wait long to see your name again.

Dear Rose Mary,

Thank you so much for the beautiful words about Unlimited. The fact that this touched your mission-oriented heart means a great deal. This was my first such work, and I really did feel that it stretched me, not only because I knew so little about the border country at the outset.

Preparing Ourselves to Receive: Audio Devotional #12, ‘The Turning’

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The Turning 300

“There is a God in heaven who reveals secrets.” – Daniel 2:28

In the moments when God speaks, the biblical prophets reveal to us that this is an opportunity for us, like them, to glimpse around the bend of time.

Click here to listen to my 2-minute audio devotional:
Preparing Ourselves to Receive: Audio Devotional #12, ‘The Turning’

Subscribe to my blog and receive my latest audio devotion via email — I’ll be posting a new audio devotional several times each week.

You can download all 40 devotions at TheTurningBook.com

One of Davis Bunn’s Best Novels… or Not.

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

The Turning 300One difficult thing all published writers must learn to accept graciously is criticism of our work.

Today’s reader reviews of The Turning serve as a point/counterpoint. One reader saw flaws in the character development and point of view, whereas another reader connected strongly with the characters.

I appreciate both reviews, which are so thoughtfully written.

Point

By Diana Savage, Heartlifters blog

When I received a complimentary copy of Davis Bunn’s The Turning from River North Fiction in exchange for my honest review, I looked forward to reading the novel. The author has written many books, he has an excellent reputation, and he teaches creative writing at the University of Oxford.

Sure enough, I found Bunn’s sensory descriptions to be outstanding. I was awestruck by how deftly he described characters experiencing God’s intense presence. Many of the story’s events and references mirror contemporary headlines, making the book feel up to the minute. Suspense begins immediately on page 1, the conflict is compelling, and the tension ramps to fever pitch at frequent intervals. Sounds like a recipe for a topnotch thriller, doesn’t it?

Actually, I was disappointed. The author opens the book with a character who later becomes an antagonist, thus weakening the story’s impact by dividing readers’ emotions. He quickly introduces too many viewpoint characters to keep track of without flipping back to previous passages. And sometimes viewpoint characters “talk around” key elements to keep them hidden from us while we’re still in their heads.

In spite of these problems, the book has much to recommend it. I especially appreciate the story’s powerful takeaway message. Readers who prefer a plot-driven novel with a good takeaway and who don’t mind viewpoint difficulties will enjoy The Turning.

Counterpoint

By Jasmine Augustine, Montana Made blog

I think this book just might be Davis Bunn’s most powerful novel yet. You will be shaken out of your complacency and convicted to take that step forward to your own turning, and into the next thing God has planned for you. The impossible will seem possible.

Powerful, thought provoking, exciting, with a diverse and wonderful cast of characters. The five people chosen by God to bring the Church, the U.S., and even the world, a message of hope and God’s love, couldn’t be any different from each other if they had come from different countries. Each of them has a role to play, each must step out of their comfort zone, each must take a step of faith and give up things that they hold dear, and each of them must listen to the voice and promptings of the One who called them.

I think my favorite line from the book is when Ruth, the wife of a late-evangelist, says that God does not call the equipped, He equips those He calls. What a powerful piece of truth! Those words really hit me when I read them, and it made me wonder how God is using each of my experiences to shape and equip me to follow His plan.

The Turning is one of those books where you read a chapter or two and then you walk away to think about it, digest it, and maybe let it even change you. When Davis Bunn called this devotional fiction I think he used/coined the correct term. The way you read it does remind me much of reading a devotional, each section must be pondered before you can return for more.

But before you think this book is dry and boring, it’s not. The Turning IS a novel and it DOES tell a story, a good story. There is action, betrayal, danger, angels in disguise, a little romance, politics, and all the things we have come to expect in a typical Davis Bunn novel.

The Daily Discipline: Audio Devotional #11, ‘The Turning’

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The Turning 300Listening, like prayer, is a discipline best practiced daily. But that doesn’t mean it comes naturally.

Click here to listen to my 2-minute audio devotional:
The Daily Discipline: Audio Devotional #11, ‘The Turning’

Subscribe to my blog and receive my latest audio devotion via email — I’ll be posting a new audio devotional several times each week.

You can download all 40 devotions at TheTurningBook.com

Waiting on God: Audio Devotional #10, ‘The Turning’

Friday, April 25th, 2014

The Turning 300Have you ever felt as if God has called you or spoken to you, but you haven’t responded?

Hope born in faith can’t be self-reliant.

I share thoughts about this in my 2-minute audio devotional:
Waiting on God: Audio Devotional #10, ‘The Turning’

Subscribe to my blog and receive my latest audio devotion via email — I’ll be posting a new audio devotional several times each week.

You can download all 40 devotions at TheTurningBook.com

Reader Mailbag: In the Acts of Faith trilogy, was Bruno Aetius a real person?

Thursday, April 24th, 2014


Veda writes:

I read all of the Acts of Faith series. My question is about Bruno Aetius in The Hidden Flame. Have you found him to be a real person? My research came up with an Aetius who lived earlier, but not a Bruno Aetius. Thanks!

Dear Veda,

The character of Bruno Aetius was derived from several historical accounts of different people. That’s where the hint of authenticity came from. But he was indeed fictitious.

Nancy writes:

The Acts of Faith Trilogy is absolutely wonderful!!

We purchased The Centurion’s Wife for my daughter’s summer reading project. Having both been a fan of Mrs. Oke for some time, we were confident it would be good. After my daughter read it, I did as well. I was very quickly hooked.

Each of the books was difficult to put down at every point. They had my attention. Hook, line, and sinker. Descriptions were vibrant and eloquent and only moved the story along beautifully. It was easy to imagine what was happening. Each character was very well developed and believable.

Personally, I love exploring well-known Bible stories from different points of view. I love the way you did this.

After completing the series, I went back to Acts in my daily reading. I had a whole new outlook, while keeping my imagination in check.

Thank you for a great look into what it may have been like to be present during those crucial days of our faith history. Thank you for taking us on a wonderful adventure!

Dear Nancy,

I too have returned to the book of Acts for my summer study, and there are moments as I go through the first few chapters—which I have not revisited since Janette and I wrote these stories four years ago—that the insights become alive once more. It is wonderful to know that readers are sharing in this with me.

Coming Near to God: Audio Devotional #9, ‘The Turning

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

The Turning 300

How do we prepare ourselves for silent communication with God?

Click here to listen to my 2-minute audio devotional:
Coming Near to God: Audio Devotional #9, ‘The Turning’

Subscribe to my blog and receive my latest audio devotion via email — I’ll be posting a new audio devotional several times each week.

You can download all 40 devotions at TheTurningBook.com