Reader Question: Where Can I Learn More About the Three Hebrew Terms Used for Sin in ‘Book of Dreams’?

June 26th, 2014

Mrs. Jacobsen writes:

On page 68 of Book of Dreams, you mention the three Hebrew terms used for sin. I have been trying to verify those. Please can you tell me which resources you used to glean that information?

Dear Mrs. Jacobsen,

My research for that particular segment was done with the assistance of two rabbis in the United Kingdom, where I wrote that story.

If you are interested in moving forward with a Hebrew perspective on the Scriptures, might I suggest you take a look at Rev. Tom Bradford’s Torah Class Ministries. He can be found online at www.torahclass.com. Rev. Bradford offers quite a remarkable and insightful overview of the Old Testament, and how it specifically applies to the Savior.

First-Time Reader Reviews ‘The Turning’

June 24th, 2014

The Turning By Davis BunnToday’s reviews of The Turning include one from a first-time reader, and several from readers who liked the book’s antagonist!

You’ll hear from:

  1. Laura Noelle
  2. Cynde Suite
  3. Marie Sontag
  4. Lynn Riddick
  5. Gary Gilmore
  6. Margaret Nelson

I invite you to click the link next to each name to read their full reviews.

Compelling story, inspiring message

By Laura Noelle, Amazon

Having never read a Davis Bunn novel, I was unsure what to expect. I shouldn’t have worried because this story had my attention from the first paragraph. I’m always skeptical about Christian novels…will I be bored by pages of lengthy descriptions? Will the characters be images of perfection? But as I read “The Turning”, I found myself compelled by the characters who were real–full of flaws, doubts, dreams and glories.

This novel was so easy to read–the chapters are broken down, short and clips are shared from multiple characters’ perspectives. Truly a breath of fresh air from the many laborious books I’ve never been able to finish! I felt for these characters, needing to know what events would take place, and how the awful deeds of heartless people would be overcome by good. It’s not preachy, but it has a solid message of hope and shows God’s hand at work. Definitely worth a read!

Review Excerpts:

“The antagonist is brilliant because Bunn sets you up to like him (or at least pull for him) up until you read what he is about; then you are appalled!”

-Cynde Suite, Cyndecat’s Reading blog

“His flawed yet heroic protagonists and his almost empathetic, yet soul-darkened antagonists had me identifying with both, and turning pages long after the time I had allotted myself to read.”

-Marie Sontag, Sontag Writing Dreams blog

“I don’t know if it’s a good thing to admit but I actually quite liked Trent. I even found myself wanting to pray for him (if he’d been real) and was hoping very much for his redemption. I don’t know whether or not there will be a sequel, if so I would love to see hearts changed and converts made, not just a business that succeeds or fails but a true Turning from darkness to light in unlikely individuals.”

-Lynn Riddick, Goodreads

“Be prepared to question your own standing with the Lord in the matter of Lordship. Be prepared to hurt deeply with what you may see about yourself. And be prepared to renew your understanding about/and desire to be involved in true Lordship.”

 -Gary Gilmore, Gary’s Thoughts blog

“Davis does a great job of keeping up the reader’s interest while exploring themes of hope, choices, how God communicates with His followers, how God uses the least likely people to accomplish His will, and the wonderful fellowship and unity that can happen in the Body of Christ. If you don’t think that a few followers of Jesus can make a difference in our culture today, I challenge you to read The Turning! Reading thus book just may result in your life turning a new corner!”

-Margaret Nelson, Amazon

 

Reader Question: What Are Your Inspirations?

June 19th, 2014

Molly writes:

I am doing a project at my high school that requires me to write about my inspirations and their inspirations.

You are definitely one of my inspirations: You have let me experience thrilling adventures through your books, especially your mystery series. Though I may not be interested in being part of the CIA, I am currently pursuing an interest in being part of the military. Such adventure is what I am hoping to see in my future, but for now, your books have been the closest I’ve ever been to adventure.

I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing two of your inspirations that have influenced you. (Apparently, Google doesn’t have the answer.) It would be greatly appreciated and I would love to learn about your inspirations.

Davis Bunn 8Dear Molly,

For me, adventure sparks adventure. Doing one thing, no matter how different from what I have undertaken before, stimulates and challenges me to be ready for the next big opportunity, whatever that might be.

Currently my big adventure sports are cycling and surfing. I surf in the US but not in England, because the water is not so clean on the big-wave beaches. But the roads there are fabulous for cycling. I push to around 40 miles per day as my standard goal, three or four rides per week. All weathers. When I return to the US, the overall fitness and endurance has me so much more ready for surfing than normal gym work.

On the creative side, I have begun working on film projects four years ago. Most of these are for independent producers, who must have a script before they can raise money. Which means I am writing ‘on spec’ – I am paid only if the project moves forward. And so I am still writing my normal number of books to pay the bills! Despite the pressure and the effort, I LOVE this challenge, and feel that it is an unexpected gift at a new potential area of growth and creative endeavor.

Stretch your boundaries, most especially in the areas of your life that you cherish. Stay positive. Treat Success as a daily discipline, not something you win at the end of the race. By then it is too late. Losing is an event. Success is a state of mind.

When You Feel Called to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

June 17th, 2014

The Turning By Davis BunnToday’s reader reviews of The Turning are by bloggers, Kathryn Eriksen and Lonzine Lee.

How Do You Make a Turning?

By Kathryn Eriksen, Walk With The Master blog

Have you ever been called to step out of your comfort zone…for no logical reason other than you felt a strong desire? If you followed that desire, what was the result? Did it benefit you and those around you?

What if that strong desire was actually God whispering for you to go…and take the turning? Puts a different spin on it, doesn’t it?

The message of The Turning is that you are not strong enough to go alone. Instead of asking God to solve the problem, turn to God so you can grow closer to him. It is a simple shift in perspective but a profound one. And that same shift is experienced by the characters, who also struggle to hear God’s response to their pleas.

The clash of good v. evil is portrayed vividly in the book. The power of the media is pitted against the power of God. Darkness seems to overtake everything, until one man’s soul lights up with God’s purpose. Nothing can stop him from doing God’s will. And in those moments of pure courage, he discovers his own will is the same as God’s.

And his life is never the same.

The Most Significant Davis Bunn Novel to Date!

By Lonzine Lee, I’m Just Asking blog

Here’s what I like about reading a Davis Bunn novel. It takes less than one minute to get pulled into the story. His characters are well-drawn. He really knows how to capture the voice of people (the gender, the ethnicity and the generation); and he provides more than one perspective.

The Turning, Davis Bunn’s latest book, is significant, gripping, heraldic, hopeful and intentional. I’ll just tell you point blank, you need to read it. There are so many directions I can go with this review, but I’m going to go the way of my heart. Imagine being inspired to perpetuate a viral mindset that revolves around the death of all hope. It is an invitation to entertain all that is dark, fearful, evil and devastating to the psyche and life of mankind. At heart, you are launching an attack against God, His Word and His people. Now imagine being invited by God Himself to be part of a team of individuals gathered to confront that viral message.

You are caught up in the fast pace of one man’s unsavory ambition to take down the church and then you are called to a front row seat to watch the Almighty’s strategy unfold. John, Alisha, Jenny, Ruth and Yussuf, the five men and women central to the story respond to God’s voice inviting them to “take the turning, and walk the unlikely road…and you will find Me there.” Each individual knew precisely what He wanted them to do, and they obeyed.

The scripture speaks of those without God being without hope. It also speaks to the hope that is ours in Jesus Christ. The story revolves around those two positions, with the adversarial camp seeking to capitalize on the hopelessness of this generation. It may seem like a small thing, but I believe it captures the essence of our current day societal mindset. Mr. Bunn heralds the message to those who choose to listen to get ready, for this same confrontation is being played out in social media today. Because that is so, I found it inescapable that I would also have to make a turning of my own before I finished the book. And I did.

Some may find this book “preachy.” It isn’t, it’s simply that it confronts the reader and challenges the comfort zone, even as it shows the love of God and the delineation between His Light and darkness. This is uncomfortable for some, outrageous and pushy for others. Why? It is because God is intentional and He wants His people to make His position clear to all. He desires that none should perish, so everyone gets a chance to accept or reject His love and His message of hope.

Even Trent, the ambitious young man in the story gets an invitation to turn toward hope. In this book, there is no happy ending, just a deep breath between one accomplished victory and the next onslaught. The adversary is not vanquished for good…yet. Hopefully this means a sequel.

What if God asked you, “Who will go for Me,” and you responded like the prophet Isaiah: “Here am I Lord, send me.” And then God said to you, “Take the turning, and walk the unlikely road. Take the turning, and you will find Me there.” Would you do it? Are you ready to take the turning?

A Reader’s Critique of ‘Lion of Babylon’

June 12th, 2014

Dottie writes:Lion of Babylon

I just finished Lion of Babylon, and while I appreciated the Christian theme throughout, I was a bit dismayed by some errors, which should have been caught by your editorial staff. Page 12: “…had tried repeatedly to effect a truce between…” The correct word is affect (verb tense), not effect, which is a noun.

And not to be picky, but 30 degrees C is 86 degrees F….and yes, you did say the temperature was approaching 90 degrees F….no points lost on that one, I suppose.

The plot was complex, but I was never able to get into a comfortable rhythm of reading. It seemed stilted and a bit disjointed, perhaps due to your use (over use, IMO) of word fragments rather than sentences. That, along with some odd punctuation here and there, seemed more to confound than to engage this reader.

I am starting Rare Earth tonight, and I hope to be won over to the legions of readers who enjoy your novels.

Dear Dottie,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. Though I must say I wish the first book of mine might have elicited a more wholehearted enthusiasm. Your points, however, are well taken. In case you’re interested, Library Journal did name Lion one of their Top Ten Titles—fiction and nonfiction combined—for 2011.

I do hope Rare Earth is more to your taste. It won the 2013 Christy Award for excellence in suspense fiction.

Supernatural Power at Work in ‘The Turning’ (Review)

June 10th, 2014

The Turning By Davis BunnBy Michelle Rayburn, Faith-Creativity-Life blog
Guest Reviewer

Have you ever had a sense you ought to do something, but didn’t know what it meant? Perhaps a pull to go somewhere or say something, but you weren’t sure if you should dismiss it, or listen to it. Was it the voice of God? Or another voice? How do you know?

In The Turning by Davis Bunn, five people from different place in the world come together when they sense a divine command. Once they “randomly” meet up, they realize they have a job to do. At the same time, one individual begins a media campaign to brainwash American young people into believing there is no hope. Together, the five individuals wage war against the forces of darkness to show America that there is still hope. As they obey God’s direction, they see the supernatural continuously at work as God proves that he prevails in their weakness.

I happened to read this book the same week I saw the movie “God’s Not Dead.” Both were powerful reminders that God is still at work.

This book is different from Davis Bunn’s last few books in that there is less thriller action and more supernatural power at work. I enjoyed the book very much. There is plenty of action, but instead of violent physical attacks, the main characters experience more spiritual attack. When they do experience a physical attack, God proves he’s at work.

There were so many themes underlying the story here, but one that I loved was seeing how obedience could lead to restoration. Obedience to God was the very thing that proved there was still hope. When the group listened to him, they saw miracles happen.

The other theme that I loved was a parallel to the story of Moses. God gave him a message, but he had no confidence in his speaking ability. In the book, a character named John is given a big message to share, but he has no confidence in his ability to deliver. Until he surrenders to God. Where naysayers point out his lack of seminary training or speaking experience, God empowers John to carry out the task to which he called him.

The only thing I didn’t like was that I felt like the book left me hanging at the end. Although there was some resolution to the plot, it left me wanting the rest of the story. I won’t spoil it, but something on the very last page tells me the author intended it this way, and I’ll have to wait and see.

Some aspects of the book remind me of the television show “24.” On the show, each episode is one hour of a day, and a whole season of the show is just 24 hours, one day. The whole book spans only 13 days. Chapters a grouped into sections that are subtitled for each day. The pacing of this intensifies the action, and I liked the technique.

All in all, I found the story captivating and relevant to today. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes some mystery and adventure without all the violence and gore of some other genres.

A Complete List of Books by Davis Bunn

June 6th, 2014

I love it when my readers help out!

Several years ago I stopped keeping track of the books I’ve had published. But apparently, one of my readers hasn’t. I’d like to thank Gary Gilmore for preparing and sharing this list of my books.

Gary writes:  “I know some of the books are out of print, but they are still in local libraries – where I found all of mine.”

Click below to open a PDF of all my published books… as well as a sneak preview of some that will be coming soon:

Davis Bunn – Complete List of Books PDF – updated June 2014

Please visit the Books page on my website for detailed information about my books in print.

Reader Question: Can You Explain the Ending of The Presence? (spoiler alert!)

June 5th, 2014


Barbara writes:

I shared The Presence with three of my friends, and we all question the explosion at the end. Did we miss something? Was something implied? We felt the couple’s death was expected, but how did it occur?

Dear Barbara,

The Presence came out twenty years ago, and then was re-released ten years back, and I have not had an opportunity to talk about it for six or seven years now, though it still remains a personal favorite. So thank you for the chance to revisit this story.

To answer your question, my intention was to create a situation similar to what Paul received in his warning about his future direction. I knew from the very beginning that TJ was going to pay the ultimate sacrifice for his work, and that this was in a sense necessary for his quest. It was, I agree, totally risky. That the book went on to become a national bestseller within the Christian community was such a blessing, both to me and the publishers who gave me this chance.

Reader Mailbag: Spiritual Encouragement from Father Gregor in The Priceless Collection

May 29th, 2014

The Priceless Collection
Florian's Gate by Davis Bunn The Amber Room by Davis Bunn Winter Palace by Davis Bunn

Schyrell writes:

I just finished The Amber Room and as usual I LOVED it. My next task is to order the third of the Priceless Collections series. As I’ve read the first two I have felt as though I’m extending my personal bible study. This is one of the main reasons I love your books. There are things in the stories that touch me right where I am.

I’m 65 and have never felt worthy of my gift for salvation. But Gregor put it so simply: I’m not worthy, but I am because of true LOVE—the love of a perfect Creator and His sacrifice through my beloved saviour.

And Jeffrey’s guilt for yearning to learn—another eye opener. God bless you, sir. Please continue to let God use you through the gift of writing He has blessed you with.

Dear Schyrell,

It has been remarkable for me personally, seeing The Priceless Collection reprinted after, let’s see, twelve years out of print. The series meant a great deal to me when they first came out, as the books represented a big step both in my artistic development and in my career as a novelist. I’m grateful that so many ‘new’ readers have responded to these stories, even though the events that drove me to write them—the fall of the Berlin Wall, the decline of the USSR’s hold over Eastern Europe, the rise of the first shoots of freedom for Poland since WWII—are now part of history.

Elaine writes:

Thank you for releasing your older books on Kindle! I was copying into my prayer journal this morning some profound and much needed “advice” from the wise Gregor and it occurred to me that although you are a brilliant man and a gifted writer, it is clear when the Holy Spirit sets words on your pages.

From the first “Davis Bunn” novel to the newest, then backtracking through these rereleased ones, I have been moved by something or more than one something each time! I’ve written many times over the years to tell you that, but this insight seemed newly birthed.

A recent series of events “which I have not brought upon myself” have rocked my “sense of order and balance and symmetry” to where I have had doubts, fears and anxieties assail me at night. I loved this: “At such times it is most important not to doubt in the dark what you have learned in the light.”

Your quotes from Gregor coincided amazingly well with the day’s Jesus Calling devotional about relying on the Unseen God when your senses want to tell you otherwise. Thank you for continuing to bless us with your talent and being obedient to the calling!

Dear Elaine,

I am sorry to read that you have been enduring some trials recently. I do hope and pray that by the time you read this, a calm has been restored, and your path recentered upon God’s compass heading.

I wish you every peace.

San writes:

I have been praying for some time that God will have many of your past writings re-released—there are audiences that desperately need the Light wrapped in each of your stories.

The Priceless Collection is one of my very favorites as well. Father Gregor’s faith, Jeffrey’s quest for truth and Tatya’s fragile healing continue to influence much of my beliefs and faith walk. Besides the fact I love the stories, I feel mentored as a writer each time I re-read your books.

A final compliment—last spring my husband and I relocated. This was our 17th move in 29 years of marriage (we are not in the military, though we are in the “army of the Lord”!). Before our move, we culled out our personal libraries and donated over 500 books to a college library. All your books (the 40 I have so far) made the cut to move with us. At our house, a Davis Bunn book is a definite “keeper.”

Dear San,

I so so appreciate your kind words regarding the re-release of the Priceless Collection.

For details and purchasing information about each book, visit:

Book 1: Florian’s Gate

Book 2: The Amber Room

Book 3: Winter Palace

Reviews of ‘The Turning’ by Male Readers

May 27th, 2014

The Turning By Davis BunnIt has been said that readers of Christian fiction — and fiction in general — are over 80 percent female. I feel blessed to have a large and vocal male readership, as well. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that I am male, and many of my protagonists are male.

Whatever the reason, I enjoy hearing from my male readers. Today, I’m featuring reviews of The Turning from five of them:

  1. Steve Hilton
  2. Daniel Leonard
  3. Mike Eagle
  4. Russ Hanley
  5. Rick Estep

A contemporary allegory of an eternal story

By Steve Hilton, Doc’s Doin’s blog

“Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”  He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”  - Matthew 26:38-39 (NKJV)

A relationship with the Lord God Almighty is not for the faint of heart. It is not so much a series of tasks as it is a lifelong commitment which demands ones best at every instance. Five individuals are about to discover the truth of these words.

Five unique people. Five very different walks of life. Yet they have two things in common; they believe that they have heard the voice of God, and they have responded in obedience.

As John, Ruth, Alisha, Jenny and Yusuuf simultaneously arrive in New York for very different reasons, they are inextricably drawn together to the same hotel lobby. Led by the Spirit, introductions are made and the purpose for their meeting is revealed in a flash mob:  Hope Is Dead.

Trent Cooper has his priorities in order. Me, myself . . . and I. He lives with the fury of one who sees, and has been denied, his hearts desires. Always striving, Trent is never going to be content with a brass ring. Visionary, and with a clear understanding of his strengths and weaknesses, Trent Cooper will not rest until he has it all. Trent lays it all on the line for the one roll of the dice that will either make him . . . or break him. He doesn’t realize that in so doing, he’s already lost.

The Turning is a contemporary allegory of an eternal story; a story of rebellion and reconciliation, of romance and redemption. A story of sin and salvation, and the eternal struggle between the god of this world and the King of Kings. And while the adversary may wish you to believe that there is a pitched battle raging throughout the ages, and the outcome is precariously balanced on the edge of a knife . . . nothing could be further from the truth. One little word shall fell him.

5 stars, for a story that reveals the impossible . . . and makes it possible.

Life-Altering Message of Hope

By Daniel Leonard, Goodreads

Can God use you to do great and mighty things if you are:

  • Over 30?
  • Haven’t gone to Bible college?
  • Not up-to-date on the latest Christian music?
  • An ex-convict?
  •  Not hip on fashion?
  • Feeling inadequate?

The Bible gives many examples why none of the things I mentioned above can keep you from doing great and mighty things for God if your life is surrendered to Him. Bunn’s new book also does a fine job of illustrating this very Biblical point.

I believe there is a message of hopelessness being SHOUTED in the face of the people of the world more than ever. This is a dark atmosphere that God can and will show His light and power in huge way. God wants to use you and me, no matter our past and lack of worldly titles, pedigrees and accomplishments, to shine His light in the darkness and save the perishing! Make no more excuses–surrender to God and watch mighty, mighty things happen!

Read this book and take it to heart. If you do, you will not only realize how much Satan has successfully propagated a message of hopelessness, but that God can use simple people to conquer that message and give hope and salvation to all who are hopeless! This world will be radically different when ALL God’s people realize they can do mighty things for the Kingdom of God!

I don’t usually give books five stars, but the message of this book and author are too important not to. Thank you, Davis, for this timely message!

Here am I, send me!

By Mike Eagle, Goodreads

The story centers around five ordinary people from altogether different backgrounds.   The story is very well written and besides being a good story has a deeper spiritual message of hope in the direst circumstances.  The characters are all drawn toward the service to listening and being led to act on their calling from God.  Although I did not read this entire book at one setting, it would have been very easy to if time allowed, it’s that kind of book.

I would recommend this book for everyone.If you haven’t read books by Davis Bunn, then you are in for a treat.   Soon after reading this book, you will be searching out his other books to also read.

Beware. He’s done it again.

By Russ Hanley, Facebook

Davis Bunn’s newest novel, The Turning, will challenge and convict you. One reviewer wrote, “The Turning is the most refreshing and inspired page turner in recent years. It captures your heart, mind, and spirit”.

I couldn’t agree more, I find myself listening for God’s call and wanting and waiting to answer. Once you start reading, you’d better have time set aside, because this will be very hard to put down.

I particularly enjoyed the way this story drew me in with characters that were flawed in a way that was relatable. The characters were hardly fictional, and were people I’d like to know. In fact, they were like people, I do know. Davis Bunn told the story from both sides and even the antagonist, Trent Cooper, was a sympathetic character in the beginning. In many ways he was the embodiment of the American Dream, going from humble beginnings to the top of the corporate ladder. As the story went on, we saw how each decision and commitment he made further exposed his role in a diabolical plan.

The story’s heroes are five people from very different backgrounds and locations who have nothing in common, except their faith and the fact that each is plagued by a difficult damaged relationships that must be dealt with. God has spoken to each one convicting each one to take the initiative, to begin the healing and restoration of those relationships in preparation for the task God has called them for. When they’ve responded to God’s call, then He brings them together for the real reason He called them.

Our enemy, Satan, would like nothing better than for believers to be complacent in the face of efforts to gradually water down the influence of Godly morality in our society and to effect growing compromise with evil. In The Turning, Bunn does a masterful job dealing with the age-old topic of good versus evil. He weaves a fresh, new, and compelling story that will challenge every believer to be more aware of the continuing spiritual battle going on around us.
The Turning is fictional but it is also very much a devotional. It is a must read.

From A Man’s Perspective

By Rick Estep, Reviews from a Man’s Perspective blog

When you read Brandilyn Collins, you expect suspense.

When you read Wanda Brunstetter, you expect sweet Amish stories.

The great thing about picking up a novel by Davis Bunn, is that you never know what you are going to get.

Are you ever still enough to “hear” God speak to you? The five people in this story sure didn’t have any problem making a distinction between any still small voice in their head and the thundering voice of the Almighty. But would they follow it?

By doing so, they have opened up a difference in their lives, they’ve taken a path that is leading them to something more than they could ever imagine. By following this voice, they are allowing themselves to travel down a road that will require them to take a higher road between the moral right and the moral wrong.

Can their small band really go up against the powerhouse media conglomeration? Are they putting all their lives in danger? Is there a way to stand for what you believe in in the face of the society that we have become today? Turn off your TV and go BUY THIS BOOK!

The best part of this book, in my opinion, is the fact that it kept giving me a reason to read it. I love to get close to the end of a chapter and get that nudge that “one more chapter will be enough for tonight.” By the time you get to that “one more chapter,” you’re seeing the beginning of a new day and you’re finishing the book. This book is that way.

Mr. Bunn takes you down this journey and continues to entice you to read more. You can never get enough, and even at the end of it, you are hoping that there is more to be shared about the book. It was fascinating to me how Mr. Bunn brought the characters together, almost in a way that said, “I need you to listen and help me, but before you do that, there’s some baggage in your life that we need to reconcile.” The characters were everyday people from every day walks of life with every day sin in their lives and He was still able to use them to further His kingdom.

Is this a “guy’s book”? Hang onto your hat. This is a simple read, but it is a read that keeps you going, always wanting to read just a little further and never giving you a rest until you’ve turned the final page.