“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.
“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.
There are certain elements of listening to God that follow a pattern, unbroken from the Old Testament prophets through the early church fathers, right up to the contemporary teachers. All of them say that, in truth, God is speaking all the time.
The story, The Turning, is based around the idea of five very different characters who come together unexpectedly after having studied a series of lessons that have taught them the discipline of listening to God. And to their surprise, God answers. They’re brought face-to-face with an invitation from The Divine. They’re invited to do things they can succeed at only if they rely on God’s help.
We are calling this “devotional fiction” because we are starting with the idea of applying a lesson plan to the story. If, as a result of the story, readers are interested in learning the discipline of listening, they can explore two options:
Learning the discipline of listening is, in effect, creating a space in your life where God has the ability to communicate in the way that He chooses. What we are seeking is not words from God, but that God dwells more intensely in our walk.
Here is a video in which I talk about The Turning (releases April 1, 2014):
Today 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:
I hope you’ll click the link next to each name to read their full review.
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.
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.
I love the variety of reader reviews I’ve received for Strait of Hormuz. Today’s reviewers are:
I hope you’ll click the link next to each name to read their full review.
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.
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:
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.
Today, 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today, I’m sharing four superbly-written blog reviews of Strait of Hormuz. I hope you’ll click the link next to each name to read their full review. Today’s reviewers are:
By Laura Lee Groves, Outnumbered Mom blog
This book is the third in the Marc Royce adventures, and I can tell you, it does NOT disappoint. I don’t know how Davis Bunn has managed to hook me on books whose subjects are not my first love, but he has. My guess is it’s the creation of the protagonist, Marc Royce.
Royce is flawed, but strong. In Rare Earth, his decision to walk away from a young lady, Kitra, was heartbreaking and compelling. And now, in Strait of Hormuz, Royce finds himself knee-deep in a clandestine operation, only to discover that the Mossad has sent someone to keep an eye on him. And (as the book’s back cover says) it’s someone Royce knows…
The tension surrounding Marc and Kitra is engrossing, but as all of Davis Bunn’s books, this one displays an even more compelling and thought-provoking theme. I have never read a Bunn book without learning something, and this one opened my eyes even more to the missionary church movement.
Strait of Hormuz goes straight to the heart—for more reasons than one.
By Rick Estep, Rick’s Readings blog
…Are there really nuclear weapons being shipped through the Strait? What is the final target of the terrorists? Who is providing help to Marc along the way? Are these people friends or foes? Begin your own undercover op when you BUY THE BOOK!!!
Mr. Bunn provides us with a fitting end to this great series. While the body-count and action scenes aren’t as plentiful as in the first couple of books, there is still a great story-line that is easy to follow. The character of Marc Royce continues to be a very godly man, using his spirituality to help in his decision making throughout the different situations in the book. I appreciate seeing how a “manly man” can still be humbled before God and drawn to a personal relationship with Him.
Is this a “guy’s book”? This is a tremendous book with foreign governments, terrorists, global travels and more. With the addition of seeing a strong man bring his faith to his daily walk, this book is definitely a “guy’s book.”
By Mary Ann Esque, Reflections of Radiance blog
Marc Royce, our favorite intelligence operative, is back with a story that is alternately heart-pounding and thought-provoking. From the luxurious and breathtaking beauty of Switzerland to the desert allure of the Sinai Peninsula to adventure on the high seas, Marc finds himself pursuing a mission that appears to be nothing short of impossible.
The opposition is formidable, and failure is not an option. Once again, Marc finds himself with an unlikely group of allies in a race against the clock. With intriguing characters, rich faith themes, and incredible suspense, Marc Royce’s latest adventure is well worth your time to read.
Though this is a work of fiction and a superb one at that, I find it is the faith theme that is the most memorable part of this book. It can be summed up with one word – surrender. All too often, we as believers set out trying to make our dreams and plans happen. In so doing, we leave no room for our Heavenly Father to work.
Is it any wonder that we find ourselves as hurt as Kitra Korban is when her relationship with Marc fails because she tried to make him do what she wanted? Trying to manipulate people and circumstances never has and never will work because God moves on His timetable, not ours. We have to surrender to His plans and purposes for our life and trust Him for the dreams we carry inside us.
Marc and Kitra surrender the dreams and goals they have for themselves to the Father, and they found that He had some God-sized dreams for them, dreams that they could not have dreamt up on their own.
On the five point scale with 1 being awful and 5 being amazing, I’d rate this book as five stars. This is a book that stayed with me long after I had read the final page.
…Bunn skillfully weaves themes of forgiveness, faith, and unity into each of the books.
Strait of Hormuz is a fast-paced action thriller. From bombs exploding in the first chapter to gun-fire battles, and high speed chases in a red Ferrari, it is non-stop action and mystery. Nine nuclear bombs have gone missing from North Korea and seem to be on their way to Iran. Mark and his team must discern the true threat and prevent an international incident which would likely lead to war. The key players use a mixture of skill, intuition, prayer, and godly intervention to thwart the devilish intentions of a very sophisticated group of terrorists.
Interwoven into the story is the romance between Mark and Kitra—a romance that honors God, yet leaves you guessing as to the outcome until the final pages.
Strait of Hormuz has intense action, lots of excitement and tension without excessively gory details. It has gentle romance without smutty sex scenes, and throughout it portrays Christian values. I enjoyed it and if you like adventure stories, you will too.
Today, I’m sharing another round of excerpts from reader reviews of Strait of Hormuz. I hope you’ll click the link next to each name to read their full review. Today’s reviewers are:
By Samuel Hall
Davis Bunn keeps his hand on the throttle throughout our ride into Strait of Hormuz.
Marc Royce, an intelligence operative from Bunn’s earlier Kenya story, Rare Earth, is in Geneva, Switzerland for the first time ever. Royce is without backup, without a job (he’s just been fired), and without a gun (Swiss security), yet he’s about to enter an art gallery by “request” of the U.S. government to copy files which hold information of vital national importance.
His arrival is anticipated. The gallery has just been broken into and a bloodstained body on the floor draws him to the precise location to trigger a bomb. A suspected leak in U.S. intelligence dictated that Swiss intelligence not be informed of Marc’s mission. Coincidentally, Kitra Korban, a lovely distraction from Marc’s exploits in Kenya, arrives at the gallery at that moment with the express purpose of saving his hide.
That all happens within the first eight pages…
By Mary Arndt, Goodreads
Davis Bunn did an excellent job developing authentic characters and a thrilling plot. Strait of Hormuz is easy to read, keeping you on the edge of your seat excitedly waiting to see what will happen next. Bunn uses a great mixture of excitement, romance, faith and travel in this book. You will not want to miss it!
By Debbie Phillips, Debbie’s Digest blog
Davis Bunn is my favorite author these days. I have been enjoying his new books, as well as some older ones I have gotten out of the library. His stories have it all. This one has:
Romance (but not gross icky romance, just enough to make me go awwwww and not enough so my sons don’t want to read the books.
Intrigue. Spiritual battles. Guns. Love. Prayer. Explosions. Friends. Enemies.
New friends found in unexpected places.
Life. God. Uncertainty.
People trying to find God’s will.
People with problems figuring out what to do next…. just like me. Well, not really JUST like me as I don’t usually have people shooting at me or trying to kill me in my everyday life.
I did love this book though. I LOVED the whole series. I still think book two is my favorite though, but I couldn’t exactly tell you why, with books one and three tied for a close second.
I was VERY sorry to hear this was the last of the books in the Marc Royce series. Everyone go awwwww again, this time in a sad way.
By Cynde Suite, Cyndecat’s Reading blog
…A finely woven story of courage, faith and stick through- it- ness that makes for an edge of your seat , nail-biting thriller. His characters are believably human, they have their doubts, they have their wounds but they also have their faith to rely on to get them through whatever life throws at them. His characters pray and read the Bible and share their faith with one another. It is a beautiful multicultural blend of sharing together despite their differences.
This was the most enjoyable of the three Marc Royce books. The action was non-stop, the plot was relevant, believable and could have been written from today’s headlines. Christians need books like this not only to help us wake up to the world around us but to visualize how we are to respond to our world.
By Gene Mumau
When Davis Bunn puts pen to paper – or more likely fingers to keyboard – he has an uncanny ability to weave global tension and spiritual candor into a page-turner novel. It is refreshing to read a well-presented mystery without the language assaulting one’s sensibilities in each dialogue. As the reader begins to anticipate the ending he finds he must adjust his expectations with almost every chapter. This adventure will keep you coming back page after page.
By Pamela Morrisson, Daysong Reflections blog
Marc Royce is my kind of hero. He does not grandstand or try to draw attention to himself but quietly goes about taking care of business to the best of his ability. He plans ahead and tries to be ready for any unexpected problems. Most importantly, Marc does not back down from his responsibilities and will not abandon an unfinished assignment before completion. Although perfectly competent on his own, he does not have to be in charge at all times but works well with others toward the same goals…
By Dennis Brooke, Amazon
My wife and I were talking about what makes a great book. We like novels that take us to fascinating places, put us in the shoes of memorable characters, and surprise us with plot twists. The first two Marc Royce adventures fit that bill and so does Strait of Hormuz, Davis Bunn’s last book in the trilogy.
The way Davis weaves his stories he puts you in the action and scene with a skillful use of the language. Some authors seem to be in love with the sound of their own words. Davis is in love with the art of the story and he immerses you in it.
I like the Marc Royce character because he’s both heroic and real. The way he faces his trials contain great life lessons. One of his lines in the book made me really think: “There is no harder lesson for me to learn than to recognize the moment when I am called to be weak.”
By Lydia Blow, Amazon
I loved this book – actually the entire series. Strait of Hormuz was very believable considering the world situation today, and it had “real” and likable characters. It kept my interest with many different things taking place, from hidden church groups to shoot-outs to secret operations. The characters were all very different and of different nationalities, but they worked together for a common cause.
Today, I’m sharing a slew of excerpts from reader reviews of Strait of Hormuz. I hope you’ll click the link next to each name to read their full review. Today’s reviewers are:
By Geni White, Amazon
Marc Royce has again been called to investigate a matter that could involve the whole world in war, started unwittingly by the United States. As usual, Marc’s appointment upsets powerful government leaders, so he must work without official sanction and against numerous attempts to have him removed from the case…
By Sarah Judith Cole, Amazon
…Royce must solve the puzzle of an attack that seems to be directed against America, but the pieces don’t fit together like he expects them to. After seeing the woman he loved, but had to let go, painful memories and desires resurface. On top of that, he has to find people he can trust, and has to stay out of trouble with the authorities.
By Tina Hunt, Pot of Manna blog
…The characters have a depth that makes them quite real. As is typical of Bunn’s writing, they grow as they face their issues and questions. And while faith is an obvious theme and thread that runs through the story, it is certainly not “crammed down your throat” or preachy. Topics of past hurt along with questions of trust for the future are dealt with in gentle wooing ways that may find you questioning your own faith journey and growing with Marc, Kitra, and Rhana.
…While struggling to find out where the new threat to America is coming from, sometimes at odds with his own government, Marc meets a really interesting array of people – a Swiss operative and a Swiss police inspector, a Persian art dealer, a knighted English art collector, and many more, as well as several people he’s worked with in the past. (I love it when you see characters appear in multiple books. It feels like you get to know them better.)
By Kattarin Kirk, A Gracious Stumble blog
…An amazing story of heartbreak and mending. It makes you realize that even when we don’t get our human version of happily-ever-after God has a plan that is so much better.
By Beckie Burnham, By The Book blog
…A great book for suspense lovers, this novel has it all — terrorists, multinational spies, a threat to Israel and the US, and a group of patriots with the desire and hope of freedom for their countries. There is also a very satisfying romantic element to sweeten the plot. A great conclusion for a great series.
By Russ Hanley, Amazon
If you like action-packed adventure and suspense, you’ll love this whole series and especially Strait of Hormuz. These books can be read by themselves but the real gem is in reading all three in order because you’ll get to know the characters and understand their history.
Marc Royce is the hero America needs and Kitra Korban is the “girl next door” only with more complexity and interest. Bunn creates characters and stories that are so real you feel like you’re right there and these are people you know.
By Shari Bradley, Amazon
…Though Marc and Kitra are the primary focus, I found the complexities of the other characters and the trials they face to be equally stirring, very much like ourselves and the passages we each face in our own lives.
It is not easy being an operative in this dangerous world of international intrigue and turmoil, nor is it easy to really look inside and see ourselves for who we are. In these engaging stories, we have seen Marc overcome tragic times in his life to live again and love again, all the while serving his country and his God.
By Sidney W. Frost, Christian Bookmobile blog
…The story moves quickly and the suspense gets intense at times. The descriptions are so powerful you feel you are there with the team and you wonder if the author has firsthand experience with such situations. He knows what he is talking about and he makes what could be a confusing tale understandable and entertaining.
By Deb Haggerty, Positive Grace blog
Strait of Hormuz, the third in Davis Bunn’s Marc Royce series, has all the elements of a good story: the beautiful woman, a mysterious older woman, a daunting enemy, and lots of action. Bunn squarely nails every element!