Content from this blog has moved to www.michellerayburn.com.

11.23.2013

The inside scoop from author Davis Bunn on his latest work


Yesterday, I mentioned a new book from author Davis Bunn, Strait of Hormuz. Intrigued? You can read chapters 1-3 of the book for free.

Q and A WITH THE AUTHOR

Q: The first two books in the Marc Royce series have been bestsellers and also won praise from the critics. Lion of Babylon won the Library Journal’s Best Book of 2011 award, and Rare Earth won the 2013 Christy Award for Suspense Fiction. What do you see is behind this success?

Davis Bunn: The stories have certainly resonated with readers. I have tried to develop a strong sense of unfolding drama, combined with a unique spiritual theme. This moral structure plays out both in the story and the characters. My aim is to create an inspirational challenge that remains with the reader long after the book has been set down. 

Q: This story includes two special components from your early life. Tell us about them.

DB: My mother worked as an antiques dealer. In truth, ‘work’ was not really the correct term, because this was a passion she inherited from her mother. They bonded while my mom was still a child, going to small eastern Carolina towns and hunting around junk stores for the sort of bargains that don’t exist anymore. 

Their first love was early Americana, a type of colonial furniture known as Jacobean that predated America’s nationhood. I never really shared this passion, but in two previous books I came to respect and admire those who do.

And so I knew a great delight in re-entering this world in Strait of Hormuz, only this time at the very highest end. Strait takes place in the rarified world of multi-million dollar art, where the richest of collectors vie with museums and galleries for items that are no longer classed as antiques, but rather as treasures.

The second special component was the location. I lived in Switzerland for almost five years, and many of the venues were places where I worked, and walked, and came to discover myself as an author.

Q: In what way is the setting important to this book?

DB: The Strait of Hormuz is one of the world’s most critical waterways. Stretching between Iran and the Gulf States, the strait us home to two US fleets. More than a third of all the oil consumed worldwide pass through these waters. But the story actually begins in Switzerland, before traveling to the Sinai and then into the hotly-contested Strait of Hormuz.

Q: What spiritual theme is the focus of this story?

DB: One growing area of the missionary church movement is with displaced persons. More than five million Iranians have been expelled from their homeland, or been forced to flee the current regime. This includes virtually the entire Christian population. The missionary church movement has made enormous strides in bringing peace to these families and introducing Christ into the world of Muslims fleeing a Muslim government.

Q: What drew you to the missionary church movement as a theme?  

DB: I came to faith in a missionary church. I was working as a consultant based in Germany. The year I accepted Christ, the Southern Baptist Mission Board founded a missionary church in Dusseldorf. I attended the church, I grew in the church, I studied under two amazing pastors, and one of them returned to Europe to marry us. 
It was also where I learned to write. Two weeks after coming to faith, I felt called to writing. I wrote for nine years and completed seven books before my first was accepted for publication. The church, its members, and the elders all played a critical role in bringing me to where I am now. I am living testimony to the vital role played by the missionary church. 

Q: All three of the books in this series have given significant insight into the Muslim world, something critics have picked up on. What experience do you have with this region?

DB: For the four years prior to moving to Germany, I lived and worked in the Middle East. I was the only non-Muslim in the management structure of a family-owned company. They had three major arms: construction equipment, shipping, and pharmaceuticals. I rose to become Marketing Manager of the pharmaceutical division. 

One of the requirements of this job was to take instruction in the Koran and Islamic history from an imam who taught at the local university. I think this experience played a major role in my coming to Christ. 

Q: How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website and blog are at www.davisbunn.com
Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/davisbunnauthor
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/davisbunn/ -- check out my “Strait of Hormuz” board at http://www.pinterest.com/davisbunn/strait-of-hormuz/ 
Twitter: @davisbunn - http://twitter.com/davisbunn

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pictured: Davis Bunn and his wife, Isabella Bunn
Davis Bunn is a four-time Christy Award-winning, best-selling author now serving as writer-in-residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Defined by readers and reviewers as a "wise teacher," "gentleman adventurer," "consummate writer," and "Renaissance man," his work in business took him to over 40 countries around the world, and his books have sold more than seven million copies in sixteen languages.
Strait of Hormuz is the series finale of the popular Marc Royce Adventures. Library Journal named Lion of Babylon (Book 1) a “Best Book of 2011.” Rare Earth (Book 2) won the 2013 Christy Award for best suspense novel and was a CBA top 20 best-seller.

11.22.2013

Strait of Hormuz, a Tastefully Written Thriller

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 just-released 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, this one, titled 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.

I received a complimentary copy of Strait of Hormuz from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

PLOT SYNOPSIS
An under-the-radar phone call from the U.S. State Department puts Marc Royce once again on assignment—ferreting out rumors of a clandestine operation stretching from Asia to the Mideast. At stake is Iran’s threat to blockade the narrow Strait of Hormuz, cutting off vital shipping routes and escalating global tensions beyond the breaking point.

Under the guise of investigating money laundering via high-end art purchases in Europe, Royce finds himself in Switzerland with only sketchy information, no backup, and without a single weapon other than his wits.


His appointment with a gallery owner in Geneva is a dead end--the man is on the floor with a bullet through his chest. But it turns out Royce does have backup. The Mossad has sent someone to keep an eye on this undercover op, which is of more than casual interest to the Israelis. And it's someone Royce knows...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Want to know more about the author, Davis Bunn? Check back for tomorrow's post with a question and answer session on how he came to write this book, and more.

SWEEPSTAKES
Click this image to find out how to enter the to win.




11.18.2013

Five things I figured out in Branson, Missouri

This month, I had the opportunity to take a bus ride to Branson, Missouri with the music students from our local high school. It was an opportunity to learn how puffy my feet could get and how stiff my back could become during an all night, all day ride. I learned how to operate my iPad, dig through a backpack, eat a snack, pick up a dropped cell phone from the bus floor, and more while keeping my elbows within my 18-inch allotted space. But, that's not all I figured out during the five-day trip.

1. Despite statements people might give about the American teenager and the lack of manners in the next generation, I sat beside two wonderful gentlemen at one dinner show, and witnessed multiple occasions where teenage boys were polite to me on the trip.
On the Showboat Branson Belle for a lunch cruise.
2. The gospel is alive and well in the Bible belt. Up north, we've become accustomed to people saying happy holidays and pretty much avoiding Jesus in public venues at Christmas. Not in Branson. The gospel was given at every Christmas show, and the music was decidedly Jesus-centered.
The Haygoods family in concert during the Christmas portion of the show.
3. The loss of life on the Titanic stands as a testimony to what excessive faith in human ability can do. Despite its unsinkable promise, the boat went down within two hours of hitting an iceberg. Worse, the number of lifeboats in proportion to the number of passengers was underwhelming. A reminder to never trust so much in human power that I am irresponsible in my preparation. 
The Titanic museum in Branson.
4. Never get so preoccupied that you miss the little moments, even if they belong to someone else. As we walked past this little chapel at Silver Dollar City, I noticed a couple saying their wedding vows in the window. The bride wiped away a tear and then reached for her groom's hand. A moment of joy borrowed from people I'll never meet.
Silver Dollar City, Theme Park

5. Always notice the beauty around you, even if terror looms in the foreground. No, I did not ride this terrifying monster. Instead, I looked past it to God's artwork in the sky. 
Silver Dollar City
I won't forget my trip. I left Missouri sleep-deprived and over-nourished. But I figured out that there is good everywhere if you look for it.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails