Archive for the ‘Reviews’ 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.

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.


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.


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.

Readers Call ‘The Turning’ Life-Challenging

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

The Turning 300I’ve received hundreds of reader reviews for The Turning since it was released April 1. Today, I’d like to share short snippets from 10 powerful reviews. I urge you to click the link and read each person’s full review.

The story challenges us to realize that as Christians we must not sit back in silence when evil is afoot. God may call us to stand strong against a specific evil in our community or nation. We need to be ready with prayer, and obedience to our Lord. God works through the hands and feet, and words of his people. He becomes their strength giving them direction as they obey Him and peace in the midst of trouble.
-Donna Morse, The Colorful Life Day By Day blog

I found The Turning to be profoundly impactful on my life at his time. It helped me understand that sometimes God asks us to take a turn. And when we listen and respond, miracles happen.
-Gigi Murfitt, Amazon

Bunn’s characters prove very interesting, even the antagonist who is easy to identify with. He is the kind of bad guy you want to see changed instead of simply defeated.
-Terri Picone, Amazon

Even the “villain” of the story is likable in spite of the fact I wanted his scheme to fail.
-Marjorie Vawter, The Writer’s Tool blog

Davis has created a cast of varied characters that inspire you to look within yourself to imagine how you might respond to hearing from God. I was able to relate to several of the challenges that they faced and look into my own life. I guess in this case, I was getting some hints about His plan through the pages of this novel.
-Dennis Brooke, Amazon

This book has taken me on a journey from “what the heck is happening” to “holy toledo; it’s awesome how all these people can come together and work together and pull off the impossible.”
-Russ Briney, Amazon

This book will leave you anxiously waiting to hear God’s voice in a way that will turn your life down an unlikely road.
-Jacqueline Rae-Hendrickson, Amazon

Not only does The Turning make for good fiction reading, it can also serve as a call to listen and then act.
-Judith Barnes, Facebook

Bunn did a great job capturing the vibe of the settings and the cultures of the characters. I was also compelled by supernatural thread that connected them.
-Susan Rampson, Amazon

Davis Bunn always seems to have a finger on the pulse of the times; he senses the zeitgeist and clearly shows how the gospel message relates to this moment.
-Laura Lee Groves, Outnumbered Mom blog

Reader Reviews for ‘The Turning': Outside My Comfort Zone

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The Turning 300Today’s reader reviews for The Turning are from:

  • Shirley McDonald
  • Geni White
  • Greg Parrott
  • Beth Underwood

Please click the link next to their bylines to read their full review.

Another Winner by Davis Bunn

By Shirley McDonald, Amazon (full review)

Hope Is Dead.

This slogan becomes the central focus of an idea that Trent Cooper plans to use to prove to the owner of media giant Mundrose Group that he can be a major player in the media world. What Trent does not plan on is that God would call and bring together five unlikely people to spearhead a grassroots campaign with a groundswell of support of Christians who are determined to get out the message that Hope is definitely NOT dead.

Somewhat different from Bunn’s previous books, The Turning inspires readers to respond to God’s call even when they feel totally unqualified to do what He asks. They who have been called to take the “turning” first must be willing to work out an obstacle in their lives that have kept them from being their best. Meeting through divine plan, they wait to see what God would have them do. They do not have long to wait before they are caught up in the fight against Mundrose Group’s campaign to instill the idea into society that Hope Is Dead.

Full of page-turning action that takes place over thirteen days, The Turning is a story of good vs evil with believable, not perfect, characters who both hear and listen to God’s voice. What a message of hope that is for those of us who have been somewhat afraid to pursue our own “turning.”

A major corporation vs. the church

By Geni White, Amazon (excerpt)

I believe this is one of Davis Bunn’s best written books, because of the main characters’ dependence on God for clear direction on how to fight evil.


By Greg Parrott, 2 Book Lovers Reviews

The Turning is an inspirational story of how God can influence the lives of “ordinary” people, to create selfless heroes who can stand up to the corporate greed that is so prevalent in our times and “preaches” to the lowest common denominator. Through the strength of God, these five people step out of their “comfort zones” to challenge a power far greater than each one individually.

I have to say that The Turning was outside of my own “comfort zone.” Having read the Lion of Babylon, I was intrigued by Davis Bunn’s writing and I jumped at the opportunity to read The Turning. Most of the Christian fiction that I have read in the past has been on the “darker” side, challenging my beliefs. It was fresh and exhilarating to read something so different, approaching faith from a far more positive point of view.

Davis Bunn creates characters who are real, these people are our friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. Through their faith in God, they become heroes. This is something that I have always loved about his writing, there is no Hollywood hero; Davis Bunn leaves the reader with the feeling, “Yes, that could be me…” although at the same time I would have to push myself beyond. But really, isn’t that what faith and God are there to help us with? God does not give us a challenge that he knows we cannot fulfill.

All in all I enjoyed The Turning; it pushed me and made me think about myself and God’s influence in my life. It is a book that strangely made me feel “peaceful” as I read it. I was left wondering where John’s next “Turning” would lead.

Best Davis Bunn book!

By Beth Underwood, Amazon (full review)

Out of the 30+ Davis Bunn books which I’ve read over the past 20 years, The Turning is the best, imho. A David and Goliath story which deals with a contemporary issue (how to respond to the continued media focus on dystopia), the book asks the question, “What if Christians listen to God and respond to His call to bring hope to a generation being bombarded by a message of hopelessness?”

In the book, a group of people unknown to each other are each called by God to (1) make peace with any broken relationships and (2) to join together in prayer and action to confront a media giant seeking to exploit the lack of hope in youth. Yes it is fiction but there are many biblical truths throughout the story that show how God works on behalf of those who faithfully follow and obey.

Well done, Davis!

‘The Turning’ Reader Reviews: Ordinary People Transformed into Conduits of Hope

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The Turning 300Reader reviews for The Turning are flying in. Today’s reviewers are:

  • Vickie Taylor
  • Mary Arndt
  • Michael Winskie
  • Mary Ann Esque

Please click the link next to their bylines to read their full review.

Walk the unlikely road

By Vickie Taylor, Book Marks blog (full review)

“Take the turning, and walk the unlikely road.”

These eight words transform seven ordinary people into conduits of hope for an entire nation. Imagine a group of strangers being drawn together by an unshakeable conviction that they must change—not the world—but themselves. Each has a weakness to face or an obstacle to overcome, and none of them is comfortable with the task. Yet, they persevere and find that this new path leads them straight into the heart of the storm.

Entertainment and advertising conglomerate Global Communications has decided to challenge the status quo of advertising. Instead of capitalizing on an established trend, an ambitious young executive convinces them they should create their own and focus every division on selling one message: Hope is dead.

Meanwhile, those seven strangers, all in New York at the same time, find each other. As they spend time talking and praying together, they realize they were brought together for a reason. None of them came looking for controversy, nor did they anticipate how their lives would change once they met. They only knew they had to make a stand.

Carrying them beyond their expectations and individual abilities, this turning forges the disparate group into a mouthpiece for the message of the ages: Hope is alive. The Turning is ultimately a book about possibilities—a portrait of the unlimited reach of ordinary people who willingly put aside their own agenda to pursue God’s purpose.

This story has a different rhythm than most of Bunn’s other works. Having the plot revolve around seven strangers requires the reader to sift through separate back stories before the reaching the main event. While the absence of a central hero and the inclusion of fewer action sequences give the story a more sedate pace than what I’m used to seeing in a Davis Bunn novel, this, too, only emphasizes the overall theme of the book.

With this novel, Davis Bunn focuses on giving color and texture to the words of Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson: “The hope that each of us has is not in who governs us, or what laws are passed, or what great things we do as a nation. Our hope is in the power of God working through the hearts of people.”

Reading The Turning, not only creates a yearning to see that kind of change in society, but it also offers hope that that kind of change is actually possible.

Hope is NOT dead!

By Mary Arndt, Goodreads (excerpt)

Sometimes we need to stand up against wrong and have the courage to speak out and be different, even when that means the “world” will not accept us.

If Jesus is Lord…?

By Michael Winskie, The Author’s Page blog (full review)

I became a fan of Davis Bunn through his Marc Royce trilogy (Lion of Babylon, Rare Earth, and Strait of Hormuz). These books were adventure stories – fast-paced with intricate plots. Yet, the main characters were struggling with real issues just like we do. So, I was unsure what to expect in The Turning.

I knew the writing would be good. But what could a story with that title be trying to convey?

The Turning is a beautifully crafted story that shows what can happen when Jesus’ sheep hear his voice and truly respond to his call. Five people from different back grounds experience the Lord’s call to step away from their own plans and follow his leading- even though it appeared to make little sense to them. The first step was to do something difficult that each of them had avoided doing for a long time- make peace and try to repair broken relationships.

From there, bonds are formed and new trails are blazed that shake the nation and stand in the way of corporate greed. Five ordinary people against the world’s system and message. All because they had the faith and strength to hear and obey the call of the Lord.

This book should sound a clarion call to a world gone crazy. But, more than that, it should speak to believers. How different would the world be if we, as followers of Jesus, would spend our time listening to Jesus? How much better would our society be if we would spend our days obeying his voice, rather than chasing after selfish gain.

Our nation has turned its back on God and his ways because we, his people, have ceased being the salt of the earth. Yet, we have the gall to complain when the world steps on us and tries to destroy us. We are in a culture war and it’s high time we got out of our comfort zones and became engaged.

It’s not an easy path. It’s definitely a very narrow way. But, if God can use 120 ordinary and uneducated people (beginning on the day of Pentecost when the church was born) to turn the world upside down, how much more can he change our modern world?

If the thousands and millions in the earth today that claim the name of Jesus would allow him to be Lord (supreme controller) of our lives, a revival like the world has never seen is possible. Jesus gave his all for us, can we not give our all to him in return?

We are his hands and feet. We are the light of the world. Like it or not, our lives are glass houses. When we claim Jesus as our Savior people start watching us. We need to pray the words of John the baptist, “I must decrease and he must increase.” Let’s allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives so that others can see him in us.

Thank you Davis Bunn for sending us a wake-up call. I pray that God will use this book to stir his people and help to spark a major revival. May the church arise in the power of truth and mercy and change.


2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Thought-provoking page turner

By Mary Ann Esque, Goodreads (excerpt)

Davis writes so eloquently about something that our world desperately needs – hope. You only need to look as far as the news to see that our world is permeated with a lack of hope. War, natural disasters, corruption, scandal. It’s all there on a regular basis.

As believers, it is our privilege and responsibility to combat the message of no hope with the truth – that there is hope and it comes from being connected to God. If you choose to spread the message of hope, you can expect to encounter opposition. But when you follow the path that God has placed you on, then you will find and fulfill the purpose that God created you for.

The characters took me on quite a journey as they discovered this truth, and the end was perfect for this story. I may have finished reading this story for now, but I don’t think it will be too long before I will be back to dive within these wonderful pages again.

Readers Begin Taking The Turning

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

The Turning 300The Turning released Tuesday, April 1. Here are excerpts from some of the first reader reviews I’ve received. I hope you’ll click each byline and read their full review.

I’m taking a turning after reading this book!

By Deb Killian, Missionary to Missionary blog (full review)

I have a full time job, run an active global ministry and am a lead intercessor at our church. Few things pull me away from the 3 God has given me responsibility over except in the few minutes before sleep when I allow myself the luxury of a good novel. Until this moment. Until this book. Not only did it demand my full attention, it commanded my response.

My life took a turning of its own while reading this incredible new book by Davis Bunn. I have read almost every book he has written and what happened to me while reading this now-relevant novel has only occurred while reading 2 of (his) other books.

I heard God speak. I felt the Holy Spirit take me to the Throne of God and introduce me to a new season of Kingdom Life.

Is there intrigue?


Is there a dynamic plot intertwined with a love story?


Does it speak to where our society is headed & how God’s love can turn that around for those of us who believe?

Again, Yes.

But it will also call out to you and ask you to reply. From the depths of your heart.

I encourage everyone to take a few hours (with a good cup of coffee) and settle in to one of the best books I’ve read in a long time… The Turning. It will turn your life around.

Did I really hear God speak to me?

By Renia Snyder, Desert Dwelling Mama blog (full review)

Have you ever thought you heard God’s voice, but then decided it was just your imagination?

Or maybe you thought you heard but were afraid to act?

Maybe you thought you heard and felt compelled to respond.

Davis Bunn has captured this felling and experience thru 5 individuals that come to together through no power of their own to stand up against something beyond them. How will they respond?

Davis has me in every chapter. I can relate to so many of the characters in some way. I really like the (free) follow up materials that can help readers learn more about what taking the turning can mean.

Will you take the turning?

Ideal for YA and Adult Book Clubs

By LuAnn Worley, LibraryThing (excerpt)

..A very realistic drama of opposing forces that will certainly catch every Christian and even non-Christian’s attention!

Several people are brought together without knowing why. Other individuals are set on their “course” unwilling to let anything or anyone interfere. The two will certainly eventually interact with each other.

This novel was very difficult for me to “get into” at first while the author was establishing the foundation for the story. Once the foundation was set, the story became captivating. It inspired the reader to contemplate what his/her own position would be in similar circumstances.

This is an ideal book for YA and Adult Book Clubs. There are some very good discussion topics prevalent to today’s world.

Called by God to step out of my comfort zone

By Joy Fry (full review)

Get ready for a fast-paced novel of suspense, intrigue, and spiritual battle. The action scenes will leave you trying to guess what happens next.

John, one of the key characters, introduces us to his private world. As the story begins his desire was to stay in the background and let others get all the attention. Instead, he felt called by God, time and time again, to be in the forefront. He learned to speak about his faith on public television and be a leader for other believers.

My favorite quote in the book was spoken to John by a fellow believer:  “God does not call the equipped, he equips the called.”

On the other hand, Trent, the instigator of all the trouble described in the book, was easy to dislike. He was constantly planning his next battle to demolish the church and had no regard for the feelings or plans of others. His description fit well with my experience of those seeking worldly financial success.

The other main characters allowed the reader to explore their experiences with being “called.” Their journeys lead to my own take away from the book. A greater desire to make time to know and then do the will of God.

I hope Davis Bunn writes additional books based upon these main characters so we can learn more about their continued steps of faith.

Publishers Weekly Reviews ‘The Turning’

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

The Turning 300Early reviews of The Turning are starting to come in. Here’s an excerpt from the review in Publishers Weekly:

“A small band of believers vs. a powerful media conglomerate: Bunn has created a stunning, multilayered tale of power and, ultimately, hope.”

Click here to read their entire review.

Reader Reviews: Marc Royce – A Sensitive Man of Action

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Strait of HormuzToday we wrap up  our reader reviews for Strait of Hormuz with three fantastic reviews that reflect on Marc Royce’s character. Today’s reviewers are:

  1. Peter Leavell
  2. Gigi Murfitt
  3. Lonzine Lee

I hope you’ll click the link next to each name to read their full review.

New Novelist Grows Along With Marc Royce

By Peter Leavell

Marc Royce, Davis Bunn’s leading character in Lion of Babylon, Rare Earth, and Strait of Hormuz, showed me something important during a vital time in my life.

I met Davis Bunn the week I won Operation First Novel in 2011. Two things dominated my time that week: wandering the hotel in a state of shock, and chatting with Davis Bunn. That day he signed my copy of Lion of Babylon, and that night I met Marc Royce.

Royce, the main character in the trilogy, is like no one I’d ever met. On one hand, he’s sensitive to the leading of God, and on the other hand, he’s a man of action. Very rarely had I seen the two come together so well.

While I tagged along in the world of Marc Royce, in my personal life I was plunged into the world of being an author. Out of my comfort zone, I floundered. I had many friends and confidants, all who helped me along. But looking back, it was Marc Royce who showed me the way.

Time and time again, especially in the newest book, Strait of Hormuz, he steps out on faith, not knowing the future, but knowing Who holds the future. The results are usually not as the reader would guess, or Marc Royce would hope for, but like the real world, God knew the larger picture.

And so, as Marc Royce and I grew together, we found that if we place our trust in Christ, we would be led to grow, expand, and He would change lives for the better. It may hurt, but the outcome far outweighs our current discomfort.

That is why I keep copies of Davis Bunn’s Marc Royce series on hand. My signed copy of Lion of Babylon is as worn and dog-eared as my other copies. Because I keep going back to read certain passages, my favorite parts, and to relive that special day when I won Operation First Novel, met Davis Bunn, and started my journey with Marc Royce.

Marc Royce: My New Favorite Hero

By Gigi Murfitt

Get ready for an adrenaline rush because this book has it all. Money laundering, explosions, assassination attempts, fast cars, a castle, high-tech spy equipment, a multi-million dollar yacht, and international  terrorism threats.

Strait of Hormuz is the first book I’ve read in the Marc Royce Adventures by Davis Bunn. It certainly won’t be my last. I’m hooked! The pace is fast and descriptions of scenes well written. I could feel the chill of excitement on my skin as I waited for the next surprise. I was rooting for the characters all through the book.

Marc Royce is on assignment to follow a rumor trail to the Mid-east. Time is of the essence as he pulls a team of operatives together to outsmart the terrorists. Failure to do so could escalate into global disaster. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through this thrilling book.

Now I’m anxious to go back and read Lion of Babylon and Rare Earth, the other books in this series.

I am most excited to hear Davis Bunn in person at the Seattle area Northwest Christian Writer’s Association Conference this year from April 11-12, 2014. He is an excellent writer who has captured my attention. I’ll be a reader of Davis Bunn books for a long time.

From Lion to Warrior to Friend

By Lonzine Lee, GoodReads

First Lugal (a lion), then Shujaa (a warrior), and now he confirms, “It’s my job to protect the innocents… to serve my country.”

That’s Marc Royce, the consummate man of conscience, daring and focus that author Davis Bunn has gifted to his readers in his exciting Marc Royce trilogy.

I’ve long admired Davis Bunn’s amazing ability to draw his readers into a story with compelling dialogue, compassion and action scenes. With the character of Mark Royce, he has outdone himself. We first meet Marc Royce in Lion of Babylon, the first book in the series. He’s emotionally bruised from the death of his wife, and spiritually thirsty.

We next meet Marc in Rare Earth in Kenya on another undercover assignment. There he meets Kitra Korban, an Israeli nurse searching for her missing brother. Those are understated references to two highly recommended, excellent reads.

If you have read the first two Marc Royce books, the expectation is different, the bar has been raised. We know more about Marc, and we expect great things of him. We expect a compelling witness of his Christian life; we expect to be introduced to a different culture, to grow to better understand a people; fights, intrigue, peril and a miraculous exposure of some type of deadly evil. Book three in the Royce trilogy, Strait of Hormuz, meets those expectations with a flourish and a twist.

Marc Royce is the heart of the trilogy. His journey from a bruised soul to a man of purpose to a man awakened to hope and finds true joy is such a wonderful transition. You begin to see how one person that chooses to give of self for others can truly make a difference, and possibly you will arrive at the realization that you, too, are one person that can be led by God to influence a people or a nation to the greater good of all.

It sounds lofty and ethereal in some camps I’m sure, but that’s what Davis Bunn has created with Marc Royce, a man that faced the worst within himself, took a stand for others, and embarked upon a great adventure. I really hope you take it upon yourself to read this trilogy.

‘Arm-Chair Action and Suspense,’ Say ‘Strait of Hormuz’ Readers

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Strait of HormuzI love the variety of reader reviews I’ve received for Strait of Hormuz. Today’s reviewers are:

  1. Steve Hilton
  2. Renee Ann Smith
  3. Daniel Leonard

I hope you’ll click the link next to each name to read their full review.

Arm-Chair Action

By Steve Hilton, Doc’s Doin’s blog

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?  And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” -Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (KJV)

A lesson which Marc Royce and Kitra Korban must re-learn if they are to survive.

In this installment of the Marc Royce adventure series, the story which began with Lion of Babylon and continued in Rare Earth finds an emotional and spiritual conclusion.

Marc, Kitra and a multinational, ethnically diverse cadre of supporters strive to match wits with a determined enemy adept at sabotage, subterfuge, and misdirection.  Racing against time, struggling to overcome insurmountable odds, and battling the enemies both external and internal, the team draws courage and confidence from the most powerful force the world will ever experience:  intercessory prayer.

While written as suspense fiction, author Davis Bunn shines the light of faith on the meta-narrative; the story which lies beneath the story.  Timeless truths are skillfully woven throughout, reminding the reader of two spiritual principles that should be rehearsed before getting out of bed in the morning, or retiring to bed at the end of the day:

1.   There is an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful God who is still ruling the universe.

2.   You are not He.

5 stars for hours of arm-chair action and suspense pleasure.

Page Turner with Heart

By Renee Ann Smith, Doorkeeper blog

When you pick up a Davis Bunn novel, you’re guaranteed to be swept away on an exotic adventure!

In his latest thriller, you’ll join Marc Royce and Kitra Korban as they investigate Iran’s threat to blockade the narrow Strait of Hormuz, cutting off vital shipping routes and escalating global tensions beyond the breaking point.

Marc is the State Department’s best-kept secret.

Kitra runs a kibbutz and occasionally helps the Mossad.

Kitra shows up in Switzerland just in time to save Marc from a set-up. In response, Marc throws her into a lake to keep her out of harm’s way—ruining the first designer suit she’s ever owned. So the story tension is set on high . . .

And the fact that Marc and Kitra are in love and trying to deny it, only adds to the fun.

What I liked best:

  • Action that begins right away—a bombing in the first chapter.
  • Strong, smart women who are vital to the plot
  • Exotic locations.
  • Danger.
  • Excitement.
  • The beauty of a relationship built on faith when Marc asks Kitra to meet each morning and pray about God’s will for their future.

Straight Into A Gripping Story

By Daniel Leonard, GoodReads

Davis Bunn has done it again; he’s written a book whose characters have captured my head and my heart.

Bunn’s pacing is spot on: just as I’m intuitively wanting more action, the story picks up, and just when I’m hoping the characters get to rest (so I can rest too!), a respite is given. A well-paced story is a pleasure to read.

Well done, Davis, well done. You are a man that knows how to distill many human cultures, in much of their misery, glory and beauty, into a fascinating tale that instructs, breathes life and satisfies the human longing for a wonderful adventure in the worlds of our mind, soul and spirit.

Readers Reflect on Marc Royce Series Finale

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Strait of HormuzToday, four readers of Strait of Hormuz reflect on the series finale. I hope you’ll click the link next to each name to read their full review. Today’s reviewers are:

  1. Michelle Rayburn
  2. Marjorie Vawter
  3. Charity Lyman
  4. Jill St. Clair

Tastefully Written Thriller

By Michelle Rayburn, Faith, Creativity, Life blog

Are you looking for adventure?

I have followed fictional character Marc Royce through Iraq and Africa, and now through Switzerland, and in true Davis Bunn style, the journey didn’t disappoint.

This third book in the series continues with agent Marc Royce working on a covert mission for the U.S. State Department in Geneva, Switzerland. For readers who haven’t read the first two books, Strait of Hormuz contains enough back story to pick up without feeling lost, but I highly recommend the first two books, simply because it adds to the depth of the characters who reappear in this book.

I’m a fan of Davis Bunn mostly because he has drawn me into a genre that isn’t typically my style. How? He does action, danger, and even violence so tastefully that my mind can fill in the details needed, without having every gory detail painted on the page. This book has its share of mystery, danger, gunfire, and betrayal, which kept a fast pace for readers who like action. It also has a softer, more relational theme, which brought balance to the plot.

There are several threads that don’t seem to connect until near the end of the book. I enjoy that mystery. Royce is on assignment that begins with an explosion in an art gallery, and ends with, well, of course I won’t tell you how it ends. It had plenty of intrigue to keep me hooked all the way to the end. I like how Bunn weaves a faith element into the story line without it feeling pasted in. In this book, I learned something about Messianic believers without it seeming like a history lesson.

There were several aspects of this story that would make it suitable for the big screen, and I’d be thrilled to see that happen. The ongoing action, an attack from a mysterious motorcade, an assassination attempt, a chilling scene where Royce and his team encounter a vessel on the Red Sea, the multilayered relationships of Royce and his team, wondering if any of them was a mole, and much more. It was one of those books that played like a movie as I read.

I love that this and Davis Bunn’s other books have the potential for a broad male and female audience.  The trilogy makes a great gift for the reader who likes a tastefully done thriller.

Fantastic finale

By Marjorie Vawter, The Writer’s Tool blog

Wow! What a fantastic finale to the Marc Royce Adventure series! Strait of Hormuz is nonstop heart-pounding action from start to finish.

Sometimes in series’ fiction, the main characters tend to stagnate after the initial book, but Davis Bunn doesn’t allow his characters sit back on what they learned in the previous adventures. They continue to grow and in spite of heartbreak or looking death in the face over and over, they grow in self-knowledge and toward the Lord, the acknowledged source of life and purpose.

The author continues to show his understanding of the unity believers have in Christ, a unity that surpasses ethnic differences and long-ingrained hostility. For Kitra and Marc, this means not hiding their faith, even when it means putting their lives on the line.

The plot line of Strait of Hormuz comes straight from today’s headlines in every newscast and newspaper. Learning to distinguish between friends and foes is essential to Marc’s staying alive to protect the ones he loves most. The Marc Royce Adventure series is one I can highly recommend, including Strait of Hormuz.

Excellent finale to the Marc Royce series

By Charity Lyman, Giveaway Lady blog

…One of my favorite aspects with a book by Davis Bunn is how he mixes Christianity in a novel without making it offensive. The main character is a Christian, but he isn’t pushy about it. They have real life struggles (okay, Marc is a little above the ordinary but that makes him pretty good in my book), personal battles and you see how they work through them.

Marc Royce trilogy will NOT end here!

By Jill St. Clair, Amazon

I am always impressed with the attachment I form to Davis Bunn’s characters, and Strait of Hormuz did not disappoint.

The plot is rapt with terrorism and geo-political espionage surrounding the all too real volatility of Jewish/Christian/Islam clash in the Mid-East. Every aspect of the story was particularly well researched and dense with local flavors of multiple countries, cultures and religions. Yet, that information flowed weightlessly around non-stop action to form a realistic backdrop, not coming across as contrived or intentional.

I found it refreshing to read about characters guided by integrity and deep faith instead of personal gain or accolades. This book has it all, intrigue, suspense, technology, politics, spirituality and romance.