FIRST Wild Card Tours presents….Unlimited by Davis Bunn

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
Davis Bunn
and the book:
Unlimited
B&H Books (September 1, 2013)
***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Davis Bunn is a three-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 forty countries around the world, and his books have sold more than seven million copies in sixteen languages. Among those titles are The Presence, Winner Take All, and Lion of Babylon.
Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Simon Orwell is a brilliant student whose life has taken a series of wrong

turns. At the point of giving up on his dreams, he gets a call from an old

professor who has discovered a breakthrough in a device that would create

unlimited energy, and he needs Simon’s help.

But once he crosses the border, nothing goes as the young man planned.

The professor has been killed and Simon is assaulted and nearly killed by

members of a powerful drug cartel.

Now he must take refuge in the only place that will help him, a local

orphanage. There, Simon meets Harold Finch, the orphanage proprietor

who walked away from a lucrative career with NASA and consulting

Fortune 500 companies to serve a higher cause.

With Harold’s help, Simon sets out on a quest to uncover who killed the

professor and why. In due time, he will discover secrets to both the world changing device and his own unlimited potential.

Product Details:

List Price: $8.99

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: B&H Books (September 1, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 143367940X

ISBN-13: 978-1433679407

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Will post review in a few days!

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

A hot, dusty wind buffeted Simon through the Mustang’s open top. He started to pull over and close up the car. But the convertible’s electric motor did not work, and he would have to fight the top by hand. When he had started off that morning, the predawn air had carried a frigid bite. Now his sweatshirt lay in the empty passenger seat, covering the remaining water bottle and his iPod.The car’s radio worked, but one of the speakers was blown. The iPod’s headphones were hidden beneath the sweatshirt as well. Simon doubted the border authorities cared whether he listened to music on an in-ear system. But he didn’t want to give them any reason to make trouble.He didn’t know what he had been expecting for a small-town border crossing, but it definitely was not this. An American flag flew over a fortified concrete building. The flag snapped and rippled as Simon pulled forward. In front of him were three trucks and a few vans. One car had Texas plates, one produce truck was from Oklahoma, and the other half-dozen vehicles were Mexican. That was it. The crossing was four lanes in each direction, and all but two were blocked off with yellow traffic cones. The border crossing looked ready to handle an armada. The empty lanes heightened the sense of desolation.

As he waited his turn, a harvest truck rumbled past, bringing sacks of vegetables to the United States. The driver shot Simon a gold-toothed grin through his open window. As though the two of them shared a secret. They were passing through the only hassle-free crossing between Mexico and the USA.

Or so Simon hoped.

To either side of the crossing grew the fence. Simon had heard about the border fence for years. But it was still a jarring sight. Narrow steel girders marched in brutal regularity out of sight in both directions. The pillars were thirty feet high, maybe more, and spaced so the wind whistled between them in a constant piercing whine, like a siren, urging Simon to turn back while he still could. Only he didn’t have a choice. Or he would not have made this journey in the first place.

Simon passed the U.S. checkpoint and drove across the bridge. Below flowed the silted gray waters of the Rio Grande.The Mexican border officer took in the dusty car and Simon’s disheveled appearance and directed him to pull over. Simon heaved a silent sigh and did as he was ordered.

The Mexican customs official was dressed in blue—navy trousers, shirt, hat. He circled Simon’s car slowly before saying,

“Your passport.” He examined it carefully. “What is the purpose of your visit to Mexico, señor?”

“I’m making a presentation to the Ojinaga city council.”

The officer glanced at Simon, then the car, and finally the black duffel bag that filled the rear seat.

“What kind of presentation?”

“My advisor at MIT retired down here last year. We’ve been working on a project together.” He plucked the letter from his shirt pocket and unfolded it along the well-creased lines.

The officer studied it. “Do you read Spanish, Dr . . . . ?”

He started to correct the man, then decided it didn’t matter. The officer had no need to know Simon had dropped out. “Dr. Vasquez, my professor, he translated it.”

“You have cut this very close, señor.” The officer checked his watch. “It says your appointment is in less than two hours.”

“I expected the trip from Boston to take two days. It’s taken four. My car broke down. Twice.”

The officer pointed to the duffel. “What is in the bag?” “Scientific instrumentation.” Simon reached back and unzipped the top.

The Mexican officer frowned over the complicated apparatus. “It looks like a bomb.”

“I know. Or a vacuum cleaner.” He swallowed against a dry throat. “I get that a lot.”

The officer handed back Simon’s passport and letter. “Welcome to Mexico, señor.”

Simon restarted the motor and drove away. He kept his hands tight on the wheel and his eyes on the empty road ahead. There was no need to be afraid. He was not carrying drugs. He was not breaking any law. This time. But the memory of other border crossings kept his heart rate amped to redline as he drove slowly past the snapping flags and the dark federales’ cars.

His attention was caught by a man leaning against a dusty SUV. The Mexican looked odd from every angle. He was not so much round as bulky, like an aging middleweight boxer. Despite the heat, he was dressed in a beige leather jacket that hung on him like a sweaty robe. The man had a fringe of unkempt dark hair and a scraggly beard. He leaned against the black Tahoe with the ease of someone out for a morning stroll. He caught Simon’s eye and grinned, then made a gun of his hand and shot Simon.

Welcome to Mexico.

A hundred meters beyond the border, the screen to his iPod map went blank, then a single word appeared: searching. Simon did not care. He could see his destination up ahead. The city of Ojinaga hovered in the yellow dust. He crossed Highway 10, the east-west artery that ran from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He drove past an industrial zone carved from the surrounding desert, then joined the city traffic.

Ojinaga grew up around him, a distinctly Mexican blend of poverty and high concrete walls. The city was pretty much as Vasquez had described. Simon’s former professor had dearly loved his hometown. Vasquez had spent his final two years at MIT yearning to return. The mountains he had hiked as a boy rose to Simon’s right, razor peaks that had never been softened by rain. Vasquez had bought a home where he could sit in his backyard and watch the sunset turn them into molten gold. But they looked very ominous to Simon. Like they barred his way forward. Hemming him in with careless brutality.

Between the border and downtown, Simon checked his phone six times. Just as Vasquez had often complained, there was no connection. Landline phone service wasn’t much bet- ter. Skype was impossible. Vasquez had maintained contact by e-mailing in the predawn hours. He had claimed to enjoy the isolation. Simon would have gone nuts.

The last time they had spoken had been almost two weeks earlier, when Vasquez declared he was on the verge of a break- through. After months of frustrating dead ends, Vasquez had finally managed to make their apparatus work. Since then, Simon had received a series of increasingly frantic e-mails, imploring him to come to Mexico to present the device to the city council.

What neither of them ever mentioned was the real reason why Vasquez had taken early retirement and returned to his hometown in the first place. Which was also the reason why Simon had made this trip at all. To apologize for the role he had played in the demise of Vasquez’s career. That was something that had to be done face-to-face.

Simon found a parking spot on the main plaza. Downtown Ojinaga was dominated by a massive central square, big as three football fields. Simon imagined it must have really been some- thing when it was first built. Now it held the same run-down air as the rest of the town. A huge Catholic church anchored the opposite side of the plaza. The trees and grass strips lining the square were parched and brown. Skinny dogs flitted about, snarling at one another. Drunks occupied the concrete benches. Old cars creaked and complained as they drove over topes, the speed bumps lining the roads. In a nearby shop-front window, two women made dough and fed it into a tortilla machine.

The city office building looked ready for demolition. Several windows were cracked. Blinds hung at haphazard angles, giving the facade a sleepy expression. A bored policeman slumped in the shaded entrance. Simon entered just as the church bells tolled the hour.

The guard ran his duffel back through the metal detector three times, while another officer pored over the letter from the city council. Finally they gestured him inside and pointed him down a long corridor.

The door to the council meeting hall was closed. Simon heard voices inside. He debated knocking, but Vasquez had still not arrived. Simon visited the restroom and changed into a clean shirt. He stuffed his dirty one down under the apparatus. He shaved and combed his hair. His eyes looked like they had become imprinted with GPS road maps, so he dug out his eye- drops. Then he took a moment and inspected his reflection.

Simon was tall enough that he had to stoop to fit his face in the mirror. His hair was brownish-blond and worn rakishly long, which went with his strong features and green eyes and pirate’s grin. Only he wasn’t smiling now. There was nothing he could do to repay Vasquez for what happened, except help him get the city’s funding so they could complete the project. Then Simon would flee this poverty-stricken town and try to rebuild his own shattered life.

He returned to the hall, settled onto a hard wooden bench, and pulled out his phone. For once, the phone registered a two- bar signal.

Simon dialed Vasquez and listened to the phone ring. The linoleum floor by his feet was pitted with age. The hallway smelled slightly of cheap disinfectant and a woman’s perfume. Sunlight spilled through tall windows at the end of the corridor, forming a backdrop of brilliance and impenetrable shadows.

When the professor’s voice mail answered, he said, “It’s Simon again. I’m here in the council building. Growing more desperate by the moment.” The door beside him opened, and Simon turned away from the voices that spilled out. “Professor Vasquez, I really hope you’re on your way, because—”

“Excuse me, señor. You are Simon Orwell, the professor’s great friend?”

Simon shut his phone and rose to his feet. “Is he here?”

The two men facing him could not have been more different. One was tall, not as tall as Simon, but he towered over most Mexicans. And handsome. And extremely well groomed. The other was the product of a hard life, stubby and tough as nails. The only thing they shared was a somber expression.

Even before the elegant man said the words, Simon knew.  “I am very sorry to have to tell you, Señor Simon. But Professor Vasquez is dead.” “No, that’s . . . What?”

“Allow me to introduce myself. Enrique Morales, I am the mayor of Ojinaga. And this is Pedro Marin, the assistant town manager and my trusted ally.”

“Vasquez is dead?”

“A heart attack. Very sudden.”

“He thought the world of you, Señor Simon.” Pedro spoke remarkably clear English.

The mayor was graceful even when expressing condolences. “Nos lamentanos mucho. We lament with you, Señor Simon, in this dark hour.”

For some reason, Simon found it easier to focus upon the smaller man. “You knew the professor?”

“He was a dear friend. My sister and I and Dr. Harold, per- haps you have heard of him? The professor was very close to us all.”

“You’re sure about Vasquez?”

“Such a tragedy.” The mayor was around his midthirties and had a politician’s desire to remain the center of attention. “You came all the way from Boston, is that not so? We are glad you made it safely. And we regret this news is here to greet you.”

“I . . . we’re scheduled to meet the city council.”

A look flashed between the two men. “I believe they have completed their other business, yes? Pedro will escort you. I must hurry to the city’s outskirts. We are dedicating a new water treatment facility. Long in coming. But so very needed. It is our attempt to aid the poorest citizens of our community. Like the professor’s bold project, no? So very noble.”

Enrique was clearly adept at filling uncomfortable vacuums. “Please join me for dinner tonight. Yes? Splendid. We will meet and we will talk and I will see what I can do to assist you through this dark hour. The restaurant by the church. Nine o’clock.”

Enrique turned and spoke a lightning-swift sentence to Pedro, whose nod of acceptance shaped a half bow. The mayor’s footsteps clipped rapidly down the hall. He tossed quick greetings to several people as he departed, clapped the senior guard on the shoulder, thanked the second guard who opened the door for him, and was gone.

Simon stared into the empty sunlight at the corridor’s end, wishing the floor would just open up and swallow him whole.

Then he realized Pedro was waiting for him. “This way, señor. The council will see you now.”

Rare Earth by Davis Bunn…Interview and Giveaway!

Rare Earth

by Davis Bunn

 ISBN (Trade Paperback): 978-0-7642-0906-2
$14.99; 368 pp

ISBN (Hardcover): 978-0-7642-1017-4
$22.99; 368 pp

Also available in the following formats:

Audio Book, MP3

Audio CD

Kindle Edition

NOOK book

Release: July 1, 2012 from Bethany House Publishers

About Rare Earth 

Marc Royce stares out of the helicopter, a sense of foreboding rising with the volcanic cloud. Below, the Rift Valley slashes across Africa like a scar. Decades of conflicts, droughts, and natural disasters have left their mark.

Dispatched to audit a relief organization, Royce is thrust into the squalor and chaos of Kenyan refugee camps. But his true mission focuses on the area’s reserves of once-obscure minerals now indispensable to high-tech industries. These strategic elements—called rare earth—have inflamed tensions on the world’s stage and stoked tribal rivalries. As Royce prepares to report back to Washington, he seizes on a bold and risky venture for restoring justice to this troubled land.

But this time, Royce may have gone too far.

MY THOUGHTS

Marc Royce has been given an assignment at a refugee camp in Kenya to bring in supplies from a company called Lodestone. We met Marc in the first book in this series, “Lion of Babylon,’ and he is up to his usual mission, this time to find missing brother of Kitra, a medical worker at the refugee camp. While surrounded with ash from a local erupting Volcano, mysterious things are happening and Marc intends to find out what is going on. But can the seemingly good people Marc is working with be trusted? And how can he tell Kitra he’s here to find her brother? After all he’s not on the best of terms with her.

Davis Bunn captures my attention again with another intriguing action packed thriller that I did not want to put down until the last page. Full of mysterious adventure that throws the characters into dangerous situations, and with a little romance added to boot, the author keeps your interest in his usual unique way. And as usual, I appreciate the way the author show Christ and His love in all of his novels, this one included. Another Davis Bunn book that I thoroughly enjoyed! And you will too! I strongly encourage you to grab a copy of this great book for your enjoyment!

This book was provided by the author, Davis Bunn for me to read and review. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

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Link to YouTube book trailer:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_WbtTeaubI

Read Chapters 1-3 of Rare Earth for free

Direct link to Chapter 1-3:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/92010687/Rare-Earth-by-Davis-Bunn-Sample-Chapters-1-3

About Davis Bunn

Davis Bunn is an award-winning novelist whose audience spans reading genres from high drama and action thrillers to heartwarming relationship stories, in both contemporary and historical settings. He and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write. Visit Davis at www.davisbunn.com.

Q & A with Davis Bunn                   

When you finished writing Lion of Babylon (book 1 in the Marc Royce series), did you just keep going with the storyline and wrote Rare Earth at the same time? Or was there a time gap in between?

Normally by the time I complete a story, I have been living with the characters and the tale for about a year. What I need more than anything just then is a break. I don’t need to stop writing; I just need to write about something else. The emotions for a new book have to be fresh. The characters are not just continuing on. They are starting over. The emotions and the concepts and the tension and the theme are all brand new. The names stay the same. The rest of the universe shifts on its axis.

Marc Royce is not your typical hero. Where did you find your inspiration for his character?

As I started researching the first book in this series, Lion of Babylon, I took a flight where I was seated next to this very remarkable woman, an amazing combination of hard intelligence and great gentleness. She was reading a pocket New Testament. We started talking, and it turned out that she was a special operative, formerly with the State Department intelligence division, and now working with the Department of Defense Intel. I found myself drawn by this incredible paradox of ruthless focus and very intense calm.

Soon after this flight, I had an opportunity to meet a senior figure in the CIA. I had never had any contact with the intelligence community, and all of a sudden I was finding one door after another being opened, because both of these people—the DOD Intel officer and the CIA agent—took it upon themselves to help introduce me to their worlds. I have found this happen on a number of occasions, and these ongoing miracles humble and astound me. I drew on these people as the basis for structuring my hero.

What can readers expect to find in Rare Earth?

All my books hold to one key aim—to create a story that carries a moral, and together result in an impact or challenge or inspiration or comforting assurance that remains long after the book is set down. That, to me, defines a worthy effort.

What kind of character is Marc Royce?

He carries his faith into a world that likes to think Jesus no longer plays a role. He sees himself as the ultimate outsider, wounded by the loss of his wife, searching for a place he can call home, and an ideal worth living for—or giving his life for.

Tell us about one or two other key characters.

Like the book that launched this series, Rare Earth is a story about the missionary church. Many of the other characters are Kenyan, and reveal the amazing role that believers play in this nation.

What type of research did you do for this series?

I worked in Africa for four years early in my adult life. I was not a believer at that time. I came to faith four years later. I taught in Kenya last year, the first time I had been back to sub-Sahara Africa in almost twenty years. Going back to Africa now, as a believer, has opened my eyes to many things. Seeing with the compassion of sharing faith and seeking to serve means that I do not merely observe, I share with them. I hope this comes across in my story.

Research is a huge component of all of my stories. But with Lion of Babylon and Rare Earth, the situation was quite different. In both these Royce novels, I was combining knowledge gained in my previous business life with the perspective gained from my walk in faith. It has been quite a fulfilling experience, personally, to revisit these lands and see them through the eyes of our compassionate God.

Which character in Rare Earth do you connect to the most?

This is the second book starring Marc Royce. He is a complex individual with a lot of amazing traits. I feel like I am finally coming to terms with the depths of this man.

Which character was the most difficult to write?

There is a Luo chief in Nairobi, a strong leader who has had everything stripped from him except his faith. He is the uncle of another great man, another leader. To have two people from the same tribe, and create individuals that stood out as unique portraits, was very challenging. I feel that I have done a solid job with them. I look forward to hearing what my readers think.

What was your favorite scene to write in Rare Earth?

It is very rare that a first scene holds such a powerful connection for me. Generally it is one where there is a revelation between characters, or a defining moment when a person’s eyes are truly opened to the eternal for the first time.

But in Rare Earth, when I shut my eyes and envision the story, it is that first scene that blazes into light. Travelling on the UN chopper from Nairobi, watching the volcano take shape upon the horizon. Marc Royce has been sent out there to fail. And to die. I really am pleased with that opening sequence.

What’s next in your writing pipeline?

The film project Unlimited, for which I wrote the screenplay, has now ‘wrapped’, that is, filming has been completed. The producer and director are now deep into the editing process. Meanwhile, I must get busy and write the novel.

I had the whole thing backwards here, doing the script first, but it has been a lot of fun, and the concept remains very fresh. So hopefully it will come alive on the page as well as the screen. Both the film and the story are titled Unlimited, and are slated for release in September 2013.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website and blog are at www.davisbunn.com

Subscribe to my blog’s feed (to get my latest posts via e-mail or through your feed reader) at http://feeds.feedburner.com/DavisBunn

Sign up for my e-newsletter (for subscriber-only giveaways and advance notice of my upcoming novels): http://www.davisbunn.com/news.htm

Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/davisbunnauthor

Twitter: @davisbunn – http://twitter.com/davisbunn

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/davisbunn/

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

AND FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!  Ends 9/15/2012
The publisher is giving away one copy of Rare Earth to one person who leaves a comment on this post.

And for an extra entry…..rate  my book review HERE   And you don’t have to leave an extra post, just mention in your post that you rated my review. Thanks much!

 

Hidden In Dreams ….By: Davis Bunn Plus Giveaway

Hidden In Dreams

By: Davis Bunn

About Hidden in Dreams           

Just when the world’s foremost expert on dream analysis, Dr. Elena Burroughs, thinks she is getting her life back under control after losing her position at Oxford University and the man she hoped to fall in love with, she is approached by Rachel Lamprey, the product manager of an innovative new ADHD treatment about to hit the market.

Rachel asks for Elena’s help with a clinical trial participant who has had a disturbing dream foretelling a cataclysmic global financial collapse. But even more alarming is the fact that fifteen people scattered across the globe—including Elena herself—begin to experience the same repetitive, devastating dreams of economic ruin just as one bank crisis follows another, suggesting that these aren’t merely dreams.

As Elena searches for answers in her professional networks, she is forced to form an unlikely alliance with her most vehement critic and is drawn back into the spotlight as the public face of the so-called dreamers. As Elena and her collaborators attempt to discover the dreams’ source, the clock ticks down to devastation. Suddenly, it’s no longer just about the dreams. It’s about survival.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

I was excited to again meet Dr. Elena Burrough from Book of Dreams in Davis new and exciting new book, Hidden In Dreams. Being the dream expert, Dr. Elena ends up having the same dream as many others around the world, which takes this story into a whirlwind of events that will blow your mind.

Again, author Davis Bunn creates new characters along with those from first book in this series to bring an interesting and intriguing story that will capture your attention and won’t let go until you finish the last word. It was sometimes like reading today’s newspaper or watching the world news. And as with most of Bunn’s novels, when you think you have it all figured out, watch out because there’s another twist or turn around the corner.

Davis Bunn is a unique and crafted writer and has his own unique way of keeping your attention. Hidden In Dreams is truly storytelling at its very best. If you miss this one, you will sure miss an unforgettable treat. I highly recommend this book for your reading enjoyment!

I received a copy of this book for review from Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Read Chapter 1 of Hidden in Dreams for free

Direct link to Chapter 1:

http://books.simonandschuster.com/Hidden-in-Dreams/Davis-Bunn/9781451663815/excerpt

Reading Group Guide for Hidden in Dreams

http://books.simonandschuster.com/Hidden-in-Dreams/Davis-Bunn/9781451663815/reading_group_guide

Video Book Trailer for Hidden in Dreams

http://youtu.be/o6GurQ5aQSM

 

About Davis Bunn

Davis Bunn is an award-winning novelist whose audience spans reading genres from high drama and action thrillers to heartwarming relationship stories, in both contemporary and historical settings. He and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write. Visit Davis at www.davisbunn.com.

A Conversation with Davis Bunn                        

 Q: How much research did you have to conduct to write this intriguing story?

 A: In a way, I suppose you could say I’ve been researching this story all my adult life. I did my studies in international economics and finance. Observing the difficulties our nation and economy has faced over the past three years, as well as what we personally have endured, has been tough. It really was great to have this chance to give voice to what we increasingly hear, that the people at fault need to be brought to justice, and the risk of another economic collapse needs to be halted.

Q: Why is it important for you to write about such timely themes?
A: Economic uncertainty defines the world we live in. I feel it is important to show how the timeless and eternal messages are applicable to every aspect of our world and our lives. And how the gift of peace and wisdom can be used in every circumstance we face.

Q: When you wrote Book of Dreams, did you have plans for this sequel, Hidden in Dreams?

A:Two months after Book of Dreams was released, I had the call every author dreams about and yearns for—a vice president of NBC/Universal suggested we discuss the possibility of turning it into a television series. I was put in touch with one of their producers and over the next six months began working up the basic structure of what this program might look like. One of the ideas I found most appealing became the basis for Hidden in Dreams. There is as yet no firm decision about the television project. But it has been a blast to even be considered.

Q: In writing a sequel it’s always a challenge to include enough back story to satisfy those who haven’t read the first book while still making sure the book stands alone. How do you approach this dilemma?

A: You’re right, it can indeed be troublesome, but this time it all fell together very easily. The structure just flowed. That sometimes happens, where the story seems to create itself. I wish it was true all the time. I can’t even say why it was such a smooth process with Hidden in Dreams. But there was a sense of impatience about the back story, as though I needed to fit in just a few paragraphs, but I couldn’t allow myself or the reader to be drawn too far from this new story’s flow.

Q: Why did you choose to end Elena’s relationship with Antonio? They seemed like a good couple.

A:For this story to work, Elena needed to enter into the dilemma as vulnerable as all the other people who shared the recurring dreams. She was isolated in a new place and forced to be dependent upon her faith and newfound friends.

Antonio (from Book of Dreams) belonged to a different universe, far from what was happening here. I had to make a choice at the outset. Would she remain with Antonio, and the two of them experience this together? Or would she be isolated?

Writing a new story is all about two things: facing the empty page, and choices. It is kind of fun to go back and revisit decisions I made eighteen months ago, when first outlining this concept.

Q: You’re writing about two women in this novel. Is it ever a challenge to write from the female point of view?

A: Learning to write from a woman’s point of view is very difficult for a male writer, as it usually is for a woman author writing a man’s story. Before I was published, I became friends with a husband and wife team who were both opera stars. The woman often sang a male role in a Mozart opera that was originally designed for a young boy, but which nowadays is usually sung by a woman with a slightly lower range, called a coloratura.

I discussed my difficulty with her, of trying to make my women sound real. She told me that my trouble stemmed from working on a woman character from the outside. It wasn’t about making women ’sound’ anything. It was all about making the character live from the inside-out.

 As I worked on the point of view issue, trying to put my friend’s challenge into practice, I also began going into any meeting with a woman carrying a secret tape recorder, and taping everything that was said. I then went back and wrote out every word. It was perhaps the most boring month of my entire writing career.

But gradually I found that I could ‘hear’ the speech patterns of these women, and reshape them into structures that fitted around what was happening in my stories. And through this exercise, the emotional content that lay behind the dialogue, the person who was expressing herself, became more real, more solid.

And then I met my wife, Isabella. And the process of instruction at the intimate level of a God-centered marriage began to unfold.

Q: In Hidden, Elena and her colleagues are attacked in Miami. After the attack, why did Elena not take more precautions? 

A: Elena had a choice to make, and so did I. Either she could play the delicate flower – fearing everything and going nowhere – or she could go on the hunt. I liked the balance between her internal fears and uncertainties, and her quest as a professional psychologist. She is, in effect, trained to look for clues – to go on the quest of drawing out the hidden. I felt the actions she took, despite the dangers, to be her natural response.

Q: Is there another Elena Burroughs book planned?

A: I have another idea. The question is, what do the readers want, and how positive is the reaction to this story?

Q: Why do you write fiction?

 A: I became a believer at age 28. Up to that time, ever since graduating, I had been working in international business. I came to faith while working as a consultant in Germany. I started writing two weeks later. Up to that point, I had never picked up a pen in my life to write anything longer than a business report. But I had always been an avid reader. And the moment I started, that very first instant, I had the sense of invitation. It was the first time I had ever experienced that incredible sense of being drawn in a new, divinely inspired direction.

I wrote for nine years and finished seven novels before my first was accepted for publication. Simply because I had received a sense of calling did not mean I was ready to serve. First the diamond had to be polished. Hard and painful as that was.

Q: While you are a prolific writer, you also get out there and live too! What’s been your most exciting real life adventure?

A: It would probably be better to ask, what has been the most exciting real-life event so far this year. Undoubtedly that would be working on the set of a film being shot from a screenplay I wrote last year.

Unlimitedhas now ‘wrapped’, that is, filming has been completed. The producer and director are now deep into the editing process. The film is due for release in September, 2013. I am currently working on the novel, which comes out a couple of months before then.

I had the whole thing backwards here, doing the script first, but it has been a lot of fun, and the concept remains very fresh. So hopefully Unlimited will come alive on the page as well as the screen.

Q: What is your goal as a novelist?

A: I want to combine a truly entertaining read with a powerful after-effect. My dream is that long after the book is set down with a satisfied sigh, there are still images that surface, lessons that can be drawn, genuine hope and healing and challenges and inspirations. I want my writing to be worthy of the gift.

Q: How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website and blog are at www.davisbunn.com

Subscribe to my blog’s feed (to get my latest posts via e-mail or through your feed reader) at http://feeds.feedburner.com/DavisBunn

Sign up for my e-newsletter (for subscriber-only giveaways and advance notice of my upcoming novels): http://www.davisbunn.com/news.htm

Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/davisbunnauthor

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Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/davisbunn/

HIDDEN IN DREAMS FOR FREE~~CONTEST ENDS AUGUST 28, 2012

Davis Bunn is giving away one copy of Hidden in Dreams on this blog. All you need to do is leave a comment about the book, and leave your email address so I can contact you. I will draw a winner on Tuesday, August 28, 2012.

BOOK of DREAMS By: DAVIS BUNN and Book Giveaway

BOOK of DREAMS

By:

DAVIS BUNN

Trade Paperback ISBN: 9781416556701

eBook ISBN: 9781451610550

$14.99; 352 pp.

October 2011 from Howard Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster

About Book of Dreams   

For Dr. Elena Burroughs, life is divided into two chapters—before and after the death of her husband. Today marks the point that her span of being a wife is equal to her span of being a widow. Even her success as a psychologist and her worldwide acclaim for a book on the interpretation of dreams is dimmed by an unspoken “If only.”

Then a new patient arrives, one so private only her first name is given. Impeccably dressed and escorted by two bodyguards, Sandra recounts a frightening series of recurrent nightmares. Elena agrees to consider her case more carefully, convinced that something ominous may be at work here.

Elena’s interpretation of Sandra’s dreams confirms that, indeed, the new patient and her family confront a powerful global network of dangerous forces. As the story unfolds, they face a key question of the Christian life: How do you understand and fulfill the will of God?

My Thoughts on  “Book of Dreams”

While Elena is helping her patient Sandra deal with her dreams, she finds the help she needs to deal with her husband’s death. An old friend gives her a copy of an old ancient book that no one has deciphered down through the years. But it just so happens that when Elena starts reading and checking out this ancient book, interesting things start to happen in her life.  And this book is so detailed, so much stuff here there is no way to explain it all.  So to find out about these things, you really need to read the book.

Well, Davis Bunn has done it again! I will have to say this is one of the most fascinating and intriguing books I have every read. The first pages captured my heart and I was hooked until the very last page. These characters were just real! Well they seemed real to me, that is. After getting to know these characters through this story, I felt like I had a new set of friends!

What can I say except that this is just an awesome, professionally written book by one of Christian fictions greatest authors. I am always in awe of the detailed and complex stories written by Davis Bunn. I appreciate the way he teaches readers in Book of Dreams how we can trust God and have the confidence that He will direct our paths, even when He calls us to do those things beyond our confidence level. And he helps us understand the question, ‘How can we understand and fulfill the will of God?’

This book is mixed with a little of everything, romance, thriller, historical things of the Bible, and an exciting mystery with a little lesson on the international front as well.

I think this book could be for just about anyone. So grab a copy, read and enjoy it. You just can’t go wrong reading  Davis Bunn!

This book was provided by Howard Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster for me to read and review. I was not required or expected to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.

Read Chapter 1 of Book of Dreams for free

http://books.simonandschuster.com/Book-of-Dreams/Davis-Bunn/9781416556701/excerpt_with_id/17972

About Davis Bunn

Davis Bunn did his undergraduate studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where he earned honors degrees in both economics and psychology. He then travelled to London, where he continued this dual approach, earning a Master of Science degree in both industrial psychology and international economics. After teaching at a Swiss university for a year, he entered into a business career that took him to more than 40 countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Davis came to faith at age 28, and began writing two weeks later. Before that point, he had never written anything longer than a business report. He wrote for nine years and completed seven novels before the first was accepted for publication. That book was The Presence, released by Bethany House in 1991. Davis and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write. Visit Davis at www.davisbunn.com

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I want to thank Davis Bunn for answering questions for us about his new book, “Book of Dreams.” If you haven’t read this book, you are missing a blessing!

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Q & A with Davis Bunn                   

Your novels usually have a very strong sense of place, and Book of Dreams is no exception. Why did you set this story in Oxford?   

When it became possible for us to live from the writing, Isabella and I moved to Oxford. She had been offered a position to do her doctorate here in Christian ethics and law.

I did not particularly want to come, but she was so instrumental in making my own dreams of becoming a writer take wing and fly. Her dream for years had been to obtain her PhD and teach. That’s just the kind of mind she has.

The city and the university have become a true gift to us both, with amazing opportunities for service and personal growth. I have wanted to place a story here for a long time.

In Book of Dreams, you revisit a theme from one of your earlier books, The Warning. Why did you write about the crisis in the banking industry?

 The Warning, published in 2003, focused on the then-current financial crisis. It was about a man who felt called by God to warn people that financial upheaval was coming, and the difficulties he had in getting his message across. That book was in the top five on the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) best-seller list for 14 months.

The week I started writing Book of Dreams, the news broke that not one single banker responsible for the mortgage crisis and bank crisis had been convicted of a crime. The banking industry came out of this crisis relatively unscathed while 3 million American families lost their homes — that’s almost 15 percent of all homeowners in America. That, to me, is just not right.

The banking industry is all about self-interest and making money. The American banking industry spends $1 million a day lobbying Congress, while the international banking industry spends another million per day lobbying the American political system. With that much money on the table, there’s a potential for huge profits – the banking industry wouldn’t invest that much money for any other reason.

The question became: “What could happen that would stymie this self-absorbed lobbying?”

The answer: An independent commission that would oversee these transactions so there’d be nowhere for these people to hide. I built Book of Dreams around that premise.

Book of Dreams explores the question: “Where does the human psyche end and God begin?” Why did you choose that question as the framework for your story?

Psychology has always fascinated me; so much so that it almost became my profession. One question I love to explore is why so many psychologists are vehemently opposed to the idea of a personal faith.

Those in the camp opposed to faith and religion say that psychology is about wrestling with and identifying personal issues, emotions, and things from the past that block one from being happy. Opponents believe that when you insert faith into the situation, it serves as an excuse for not looking at the past, not being honest about one’s emotions, and not taking control of one’s life.

On the other side, there is a deepening within a group of psychologists and psychiatrists who are strong in their faith. Rather than trying to convince the larger group about the value of faith, their goal is to look at things honestly, with God and prayer as components of the healing process.

In my story, the main character, Elena Burroughs, is the world’s foremost authority on dreams. A psychologist who is deeply involved in current trends in human psychology, Elena is also a devoted believer. She is in the process of discovering that the barrier between God and the human psyche does not exist.

Your story explores how God uses dreams and visions to communicate with people. What inspired that idea?

 

My wife and I did a wonderful Bible study on the book of Daniel, in which we explored how dreams were one component of Daniel’s gift of prophecy.

When I wrote the book, I tried to build in two key components about communicating with God through dreams or visions. The first is humility. Rather than using a vision or dream for one’s own aggrandizement, I believe that the less the person is involved, the more God can shine through.

The second component is, “How does this vision tie in to the scriptures?” When I was in the Middle East, I saw beautiful cryptograms of the Lord’s Prayer. It was so telling to see the Lord’s Prayer in terms of artwork. This inspired the idea of a book written in Aramaic – the language Jesus spoke – with each verse of Lord’s Prayer on one page of the book.

As I drafted the story, I looked at the Lord’s Prayer one verse at a time and that became my prayer time. It took three months to write the book and I did not finish the Lord’s Prayer in three months. It was a beautiful experience for me.

When the character of Elena follows God’s lead, her life takes a different path than the one she planned or expected. Davis, in what ways does your own dependence on God’s leading take you in surprising directions?  

 

It’s remarkable how this question comes up now, because it seems like this entire year has been one of being open to God’s OTHER direction. This has been true both in my creative work and in my walk of service.

Obviously I had no idea what was in store for us when I wrote the Book of Dreams (remember, the story is completed between nine and twelve months before its publication). But this really has been a reflection of what the story has tried to reveal – that sometimes the most important gift is what at first is what we fear.

Change often feels threatening, but so long as we struggle, we can’t see the true divine intention. To arrive at this point, where our prayer becomes one of genuinely seeking God’s call and His illumination, we must first embrace the change that is there in front of us.

Do you write down your prayer requests? In what ways do you recognize and acknowledge God’s power at work in your life?

 

What a beautiful question. There are several components to this, and it goes back to the earlier issue of accepting change. There are moments in my prayer life when I feel as though God is speaking the words for me, and my task is first and foremost to treat my heart and mind like an open window. To hold onto nothing except the moment, and allow the spiritual winds to pass through me and on into the world. At these times it is important to write them out, because oft when the moment is past I cannot otherwise even remember what has transpired.

The other segment here is in dealing with change. I often feel in such uncertain moments that I have no real understanding of what is happening, or what God wishes to bring me to, until it is done. Looking back becomes vital, and it is also sometimes rather hard, because the rush of events and the speed of unfolding newness requires all my attention. And yet, if I can pause just for a moment, and reflect upon all the uncertainty and fear I had to wade through in order to simply respond with a simple openhearted ‘yes’, the wisdom that comes from this moment of backward reflection is a gift, and needs to be recorded.

Too often we seek completion, a sense of drawing everything together into a nice tidy bundle before we stop and draw the prayerful breath. But life is not like this. And here is the third element of discovery that has come through my prayer time during this year of transition. It is important to stop, just for a moment, in the pressure and the fatigue of a day’s end, and give thanks for having made it this far.

For me, when the uncertainty of unfinished work pushes at my every waking moment, there is a great temptation to forget this simple task. But if I can stop and simply affirm the goodness of this incomplete day, this human hour, this imperfect world, my NEXT day is so much fuller, and my vision so much clearer.

Is a sequel for Book of Dreams planned? If so, when can we expect it?

 

I am this very moment completing the sequel, which is entitled Hidden in Dreams. Howard/Simon and Schuster have this slated for release in July 2012.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website, blog, and interactive discussion group are at www.davisbunn.com

I update my blog at least three times per week. To subscribe to my latest posts via your feed reader or via email, click http://feeds.feedburner.com/DavisBunn

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Davis-Bunn-author/134762129885578

Twitter: @davisbunn – http://twitter.com/davisbunn

E-Newsletter: My free e-newsletter always includes a giveaway contest for my latest book. To subscribe, fill out the form at www.davisbunn.com or send a blank e-mail to davisbunn@aweber.com. You’ll receive a confirmation e-mail. Click the link in that e-mail, and you’re all set.

Ok folks….Davis Bunn has offered one book to a blessed blogger……Here is what you need to do.

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Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn with Bonus Question and Answer Session

The Lion of Babylon  by Davis Bunn

I am so thrilled to have the author of this brand new thriller Lion to Babylon. If you love suspense, thrillers, fast past, war stories, then this is a must read for you. And guys, you will love this book too! Enjoy as you read about Davis’ new just on the stands book, and don’t forget to read the exciting question and answer session by Davis Bunn at the end of this post. And when you finish reading this awesome book, go to Amazon, Books A Million, CBD, Barnes and Noble and anywhere else on the web and post a review. And you can always go to Davis’ website and blog and leave him a comment. www.davisbunn.com

Author Davis Bunn

ISBN (Trade Paperback): 978-0-7642-0905-5

$14.99; 384 pp.

ISBN (Hardcover): 978-0-7642-0993-2

$19.99; 384 pp.

Release: July 2011 from Bethany House Publishers

 

 

 

About Lion of Babylon   

Marc Royce has been a State Department agent involved in covert operations–that is, until personal issues lead to his dismissal.

When Alex Baird goes missing in war-torn Baghdad, State comes calling again. Alex is a CIA agent–and a close friend of Royce. Three others have also dropped out of sight–a nurse, an aid worker, a wealthy young Iraqi. Are these cases linked? Rumors circulate about a kidnapping conspiracy, yet both American and local officials refuse to pursue it.

Blocked at every turn, Royce eventually unearths a trail of secret encounters between sworn enemies. What he discovers could transform the course of rivalry and reconciliation throughout the Mideast. As the human and political drama escalates, can one man summon the courage to make a difference?

My Review

Marc Royce lost his job as a U.S. Intelligence Operative because he chose to stay home and take care of his dying wife. Thinking this job was over for him, he pursues a different career, that is until his former boss shows up one day with an assignment Marc couldn’t turn down. His best friend Alex Baird was missing along with 2 lady Americans and he wanted to find his best friend. Knowing no one is Iraq Marc had to rely on and trust those giving him orders as to what to do. As the story unfolds, join Marc on this thriller ride, taking you into the debts of Iraq, in the heat of Bagdad and across the border to Iran on a journey that will keep you awake and on the edge of your seat until the very end.

I wasn’t sure if I would like a story with the setting in the Middle East, but Wow was I surprised and impressed. Bunn creates a cast of characters and a dialogue so real you feel as though you are sitting right in their mist communicating with them. I was in awe at the vivid descriptions of Iraq, its people and culture and religion. I could almost taste the grit and feel it crawling on my skin from the dust settling everywhere. You couldn’t help but fall in love with Sameh and his family and the others struggling to live in Iraq with its many difficulties and dangers. And as always with any Davis Bunn book, I appreciate the heavy Christian content throughout this book which clearly directs a person to the Lord.

If you like thrillers, you will love this book!  Go out and grab a copy of Davis’ new book and sit for a spell and read it, and be assured you will enjoy the thrill of a lifetime!

This book was provided by Bethany House Publishers for review. I was under no obligation to summit a positive review. The review is my opinion only of this book.

About the Author

Davis Bunn is an award-winning novelist whose audience spans reading genres from high drama and action thrillers to heartwarming relationship stories, in both contemporary and historical settings. He and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write. Visit Davis at www.davisbunn.com

I am so happy to have Davis Bunn on my blog today. Be sure to read the interview with Davis about his brand new book that just hit the stands. You don’t want to miss this exciting thriller with the setting in the Middle East. Now I will turn the interview over to Davis Bunn!

 

Q & A with Davis Bunn                   

Though you have published two dozen novels, Lion of Babylon seems to be a seminal work for you. Tell us where the idea began and how all the complexities of the story came together.

While crafting Lion of Babylon, I was repeatedly struck by how I had spent much of my life in preparation for this joyful task. During my earlier career in the business world, I worked four years for a company in which I was the only non-Muslim in the company’s entire management. I studied with an imam for a while to better understand their history, culture, and religious beliefs.

That job caused me to travel often to Africa, Asia, and almost every country in the Middle East, revealing the very distinct divisions represented by the word Muslim, which to most Westerners conjures up only images of terrorists and violence.

So Lion of Babylon has been at work in my heart and head for a while. Along with visits to the region, I have friends and acquaintances both in the U.S. and other countries who have been invaluable resources for “insider information” on government policies, national security, religious issues, cultural norms, the setting, and so on—all the parts and pieces that go into creating authentic characters and plot.

The original title of this novel was The Green Zone. Why the change to Lion of Babylon? What is the historical significance of the title?

Just as I was completing the first draft of my novel, the film Green Zone was released. Nothing could have been further from what I hoped to achieve in my story. Everyone at Bethany House Publishers who saw the film agreed. There was no question. The name had to be altered.

Lion of Babylon is an expression from the very early days of human history, around the time that Abraham was instructed by God to leave the idolatrous land of Ur. The title Lion of Babylon comes from that same period, derived from the epic poem Gilgamesh. It refers to a hero of the people, one who can be trusted to see them through perilous times. What better way to describe the gift that Jesus holds.

Have you personally witnessed or experienced reconciliation between Muslims and Christians? Or is the reconciliation that occurs in Lion of Babylon wishful thinking?

This sort of reconciliation goes on every day. And to witness this, especially by someone who knows first-hand the tragic conflict threatening to overwhelm these countries, is nothing short of miraculous. And yet it happens, over and over and over. And each time it occurs, it is living testimony to the power of faith in Jesus.

You have a passion for faith-based peace initiatives. How did that passion play into the writing of Lion of Babylon?

The role I play is very small, compared to the amazing and heroic work done by others. But it has remained something very dear to me, and perhaps someday I might take on a greater responsibility. The entire effort, which is taking place in every country in the Middle East and North Africa, comes down to the simple act of bringing the presence of Jesus into the heart of these discussions.

Did you have other motives for writing a book of this nature?

I can still remember the first time I saw Lawrence of Arabia, and all the mysterious beauty of this region came to life. Ever since I began writing, I have sought to reveal some small fragment of the wonder and astonishing richness I have discovered through my own travels. This certainly played a role in shaping this story.

Tell us about your process of writing Lion of Babylon?

This is the first time I have based a story upon my experiences of working and living in the Middle East. I wrote the outline over a six month period, coming back to it time and again between other projects.

My desire was to have half the story told from the point of view of an Arab Christian. I asked myself:

  • What does it mean to live as a member of a minority faith?
  • What are the current circumstances faced by such a person and their family?

In order for such issues to NOT get in the way of the overall story, I needed to grow utterly comfortable with this man, his world, and his ‘skin’, during the outlining phase of the writing process.

Then I just sat on it for months, knowing I needed something more, but not sure what it was. Finally I showed it to my editors at Bethany House Publishers. It was only when I received their feedback that I felt the book begin to genuinely solidify.

In general, the crucial change between outline and first draft is the climax. I have never had my first vision of the climax actually become the book’s culmination. Lion of Babylon is no exception. As usual, what I envisioned as the climax actually became one of the crucial moments LEADING to the climax. I find I like this uncertainty, this unexpectedness. If I don’t know, the reader normally can’t anticipate.

Where do you write – an attic, a nook, or an office?

My writing life is focused upon solitude. Because of this, I like to have a broad open space before me. My desk faces a window, and the window looks out over sky. I had a dear friend once, another author, who said he couldn’t stand such a position; he would not ever get anything done. I feed off the sky.

You have been referred to as the ‘Gentleman Adventurer’, Davis. How did that description come to be?

I suppose it is because of my background and varied interests. Raised in North Carolina, my post-college years landed me in Europe, where I earned graduate degrees in finance and economics. My career in the business world took me to over forty countries on every continent, providing opportunities for hiking and skiing in the Alps or surfing off the coast of Africa.

Tell us about your faith journey.

I grew up in a southern family with unquestioned involvement in church as an important part of our lives. It wasn’t until I was 28, though, and running a business advisory group in Germany, that I met someone who opened the Scriptures up for me. I discovered that one could have more than simply a nodding acquaintance with Jesus. Two weeks later I began writing, and it has remained my passion and calling ever since.

Your writing also has been a journey. You wrote for nine years and produced seven manuscripts before the first one was accepted for publication. How were you able to retain your passion during that time?

I admit it was not easy, and I could have given up at many points along the way. But probably the most significant event was meeting someone who believed in me and my creative gifts. A lawyer, this friend offered to represent my work and find a publishing home for me. That occurred with the release of my first novel, The Presence, and I very wisely married her!

Isabella is an acclaimed attorney, doing work for the UN related to human rights and ethics, but she also is a beloved wife and partner with me on the writing. Her touch in some way appears in everything I write.

What is the take-away message you want readers to receive after reading your book?

Lion of Babylon is being called a thriller, and I do hope readers experience a ride they won’t forget. Beyond that, though, my desire is that readers will have a new understanding and appreciation of West versus East, of the highly complex issues related to the United States’ involvement in Iraq and Iran, and possibly a new way of thinking about solutions for peace in the Mideast.

I feel that we as believers need to glimpse a world beyond the dark headlines and the fearful strife. We need to gain a higher perspective. I would so very much like to have this story help readers rise up to a new vision of this region. One where Jesus reigns.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website, blog, and interactive discussion group are at www.davisbunn.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Davis-Bunn-author/134762129885578

Twitter: @davisbunn – http://twitter.com/davisbunn

Interview with Davis Bunn on The Damascus Way with Jannette Oke

Book Synopsis:

The Damascus Way, by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke
Book 3 in the Acts of Faith series

BethanyHouse Publishers

ISBN: 978-0-7642-0866-9

ISBN-10: 0-7642-0866-7

Young Julia has everything money can buy—except for acceptance by either Gentiles or Judeans in Tiberias. When she discovers the secret her beloved Greek father has kept all these years, she is devastated. Julia and her Hebrew mother are indeed less than second-class citizens. Her future is dark with clouds of uncertainty.

Jacob, Abigail’s brother, is now a young man attempting to find his own place among the community of believers. Does it mean trading away the exhilaration and adventure of his current profession as a caravan guard?

Hired by Julia’s father to protect a wealthy merchant’s caravans on the secretive “Frankincense Trail,” Jacob also reluctantly takes on the perilous responsibility of passing letters and messages between communities of believers now dispersed across the land. He is alarmed to discover that Julia, hardly more than a girl, is also a courier. Can their initial mistrust be put aside to accomplish their mission?

The Damascus Way is the finale to the best-selling Acts of Faith trilogy co-authored by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke.
Book 1 is The Centurion’s Wife
Book 2 is The Hidden Flame

ABOUT DAVID BUNN:

Please use the following photo credit:

Photo courtesy of Chris Kidler, Florida Today

BIO:

“Wise teacher.”

“Gentleman Adventurer.”

“Consummate writer.”

Renaissance Man.”

Reviewers, readers and friends use those phrases to describe Davis Bunn. An internationally-acclaimed author who has sold more than six million books in sixteen languages, Davis is equal parts writer, scholar, teacher, and sportsman.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Davis left for Europe at age twenty. There he first completed graduate studies in economics and finance, then began a business career that took him to over forty countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Davis came to faith at age 28, while living in Germany and running an international business advisory group. He started writing two weeks later. Since that moment, writing has remained both a passion and a calling.

Davis wrote for nine years and completed seven books before his first was accepted for publication. During that time, he continued to work full-time in his business career, travelling to two and sometimes three countries every week. His first published book, The Presence, was released in 1990 and became a national bestseller.

Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include The Great Divide, Winner Take All, The Meeting Place, The Warning, The Book of Hours, and The Quilt.

A sought-after speaker in the art of writing, Davis serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.

Christy Awards

  • The Meeting Place (co-authored with Janette Oke)
    Best North American Historical fiction, 2000
  • The Great DivideBest Suspense Novel, 2001
  • Drummer in the DarkBest Suspense Novel, 2002

 

Q & A with Davis Bunn

How did you and Janette Oke originally establish your writing relationship?

Janette had read several of my early works and liked my sense of drama. I had read a number of hers, and was just amazed at her ability to weave in the fragile and beautiful emotions of a woman’s heart. We were at the annual gathering of Christian publishers when we first talked about writing together. Six months later, we met in Canada and began work on our first book. That was fourteen years ago.

 

What inspired you to write Acts of Faith, a series of three books set in the earliest days of the church?

Janette Oke and I have wanted to do a Bible-based series for years. Then health issues forced her to retire, and it looked like we would never have that opportunity. Three years ago, she came out of retirement, specifically so that we might do this final trio of books together. It has been an answer to a prayer for us both. We have so enjoyed this project.

How did you and Janette Oke flesh out people from the Bible and weave them into the Acts of Faith books?

The writing of The Hidden Flame carried a number of challenges, and building a character from the little we know about Stephen was one of them. There were several excellent commentaries that taught me a great deal, and it led to some truly beautiful discussions with Janette. That has been one of the unexpected gifts derived from this trilogy, how much I have learned from her own deep insights into the Scriptures.

As for Stephen’s fate, we started from the passage in Acts where the first martyr was named Stephen and worked back. There are very few such names given to those who sacrifice everything. We felt it happened here both because he was the first, and because he played such a vital role in this transforming moment in our church’s history. Stephen served as mediator between the congregation and the most vulnerable – outsiders who were also either widowed or orphaned. He was entrusted with their care and their provisions. And he sought to share his newfound faith with a group of outcasts – those who worshipped at the Freedman’s Synagogue.

Our biggest concern here was to have Stephen become married. First Corinthians names several of the apostles and church leaders who are wed. So we figured it would be okay, even if Stephen wasn’t – the Scriptures do not say. Thankfully, up to now we have not received any negative reaction to this.

How much of yourself do you write into your characters?

The emotions are certainly mine. But the characters are themselves. Some of the things they experience, in the sense of growing through something, are very essential to me and Janette. But the characters are who they are, and the further along we go in the story, the further and further they grow away from us.

What is the biggest personal lesson you have learned from writing the Acts of Faith series?

The greatest lesson I personally have gained from this series is how our world is reshaped through the vision of Jesus. This is a truth revealed time and again through the Book of Acts. We hope this same truth will shine within our pages. Our hope is that each of these stories will ignite in the reader a new hunger to enrich themselves through the treasures found in the Book of Acts.

Our first book, The Centurion’s Wife, dealt with the forty days between the resurrection of Jesus and the arrival of Pentecost.

The key component of our second book in the series, The Hidden Flame, was what I called the passing of the torch. Jesus left, and his disciples took over. They moved from the position of followers to leaders. What an enormous challenge that must have been, and yet how similar it is to the challenge any leader faces today.

In The Damascus Way, the third book of our trilogy, we create a story based upon outreach. We look at what it means to engage in evangelism, and seek a clearer understanding of the challenges and mysteries faced by those earliest believers. And we seek to enrich the glorious moment when Saul, the early church’s greatest enemy, was called to faith by our Lord.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

My website, blog, and interactive discussion group are at www.davisbunn.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Davis-Bunn-author/134762129885578

Twitter: @davisbunn – http://twitter.com/davisbunn

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The Damascus Way by Davis Bunn….Review and Giveaway

Hey everyone, I’ve decided to give away 2 books…..to 2 different people. I read and reviewed The Damascus Way and you can read my review Here.   Contest ends April 30, 2011

I haven’t gotten a chance to read The Centurion’s Wife….but I plan to read it soon. I just wanted to give away both  books with the interview….so here they are!

PLEASE: Leave your email when you leave a comment. If you don’t leave your email, I won’t have any way of contacting you!

For more chances to win, leave a comment on 3 of my other reviews and I will add your name 3 more times. You don’t need to leave a different post. Just tell me in your post where you left comments.

And….check back a few days after the contest is over to see who won. I will not email everyone separate.

Thanks bunches for visiting my blog!

Review…The Damascus Way By: Davis Bunn

The Damascus Way begins with Julia, wealthy daughter of Jamal. She and her mother live in Tiberias in a house of wealth belonging to Jamal.  Jamal is a Syria trader, owner of the caravan and the trading ground outside Tiberias, making him a man of wealth and power. Since Jamal has businesses in both Tiberias and Damascus, he travels quite a bit between the two. Even with all of their wealth, Julia and her mother are not as happy as you would think. Could this be because a secret is lurking between the two of them? Will Julia’s life change forever when she finds out this secret?

Alban was the legal guardian of Jacob and his sister Abigail. They lost their parents during a caravan ride when they were both very young….so Alban rescued them from the traders. And raised them.  Abigail is still mourning the death of her husband Steven, who was killed 5 years earlier. She very much wants to stay in Jerusalem with their small daughter Dorcas where she will always be surrounded with the memories of Stephen.  Though Jacob was a stubborn young man, he was one of the good guards of the caravan. Jacob was a wise and knowledgeable young man as well. He was sharp in determining the dangers they would face whether it be storms, guards, the beast of the land…..he knew what to do to make sure they were as safe as could be.

Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee who hated followers of The Way, a group that believed in the risen Messiah. Saul and his followers set out to destroy the followers of this group of Messiah believers.

I always enjoy reading fiction with characters taken from the Bible. Reading the fictional stories gives you a feel of how their lives might have been back in those times. The Damascus Way was well written, making me feel as though I was back in the times of the early church, understanding somewhat of how the early Christians felt. And the account of the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus was an added blessing.

Since I haven’t read the other two books in the series, I was glad to read that The Damascus Way could be read as a standalone; though I do plan to read all three in the order they were written. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction, and especially anyone enjoying stories taken from the Bible.

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DAVIS BUNN…..ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT REVIEW


This was my first Davis Bunn book, and it sure will not be my last! Wayne Grusza was a guy whose personal life was a mess, mainly because he could do nothing to please his preacher father. He joined the military, and was trained with Special Operations and though it’s a weird mix, Accounting. After returning home, with his CPA training and with his sisters help, he was able to secure a job with a Retirement Community who had lost everything they had to a scam artist. Wayne not only helped the people in the Retirement Community get their money back, Bunn didn’t stop there. Wayne went on to do a few more ‘dangerous’ jobs that kept us on the edge of our seats! And talk about support, Wayne had the support of everyone in that community.  And what about Julio? I just loved the way Bunn used Wayne to be just what the boy needed to rescue him from the life he had. And I can’t leave out Victoria, the older lady that was so close to her Lord. She prayed over everything and for everyone. As God answered her prayers, others in the community, including Wayne begin to see God as they had never seen him before. It shows love and forgiveness and acceptance to someone who thought these things would never be a part of his life.

All Through the Night is a must read!  It will be time well spent!

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