Thursday, November 7, 2013

Strait of Hormuz By: Davis Bunn

This is the third book in the Mark Royce adventure series. The first two are Lion of Babylon and Rare Earth. I loved all of these books! Marc Royce and Kitra reunite in Strait of Hormuz to come against Iran’s threat to blockade the narrow Strait of Hormuz, which would cut off vital shipping routes and escalate global tensions. Can Marc and Kitra stop them before it’s too late? As with all of the books in this series, there are bombings, fights, and chases. If you’re looking for a great adventure, look no further. No one is who they seem, and Marc must figure out who is a friend and who is the enemy. As Kitra realizes, it is never too late to turn to God and trust Him. She states, “But with God, all things may come to pass.” Once she realizes she’s doing things for the wrong reasons, manipulating people to do her will, she prays for help, strength, wisdom, and healing. God will hear. You are never too far away. No matter how far you’ve gone from God, it is only one step back. Pick up this great read today and follow Marc and Kitra’s journey to protect the Strait of Hormuz! I look forward to reading many more stories by this very talented author! 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 Davis 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. Q & A with Davis Bunn 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? DB:My website and blog are at Subscribe to my blog’s feed (to get my latest posts via e-mail or through your feed reader) at Sign up for my e-newsletter (for subscriber-only giveaways and advance notice of my upcoming novels): Facebook Author Page: Pinterest: -- check out my “Strait of Hormuz” board at Twitter: @davisbunn - Sweepstakes Help Davis Bunn celebrate the publication of “Strait of Hormuz.” Enter to win His & Hers Luxury Swiss Watches or a $150 Amazon Gift Card! You can enter once per email address per day. Rack up bonus entries by sharing the contest with your Facebook and Twitter friends!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Wayfinding Bible

I love this Bible! You can go through the Bible in one of three ways: the flyover route, the direct route, and the scenic route. Included in the Bible are book introductions, historical markers, scenic overlooks, and side trips. If you want to get more out of your Bible reading, this Bible is for you! There are even maps that show where these events took place in current places so you’ll know where it was located. The flyover route takes you through 54 readings giving you a chronological overview of the events in the Bible. The direct route can be completed in 215 readings rewarding you with a full perspective of the entire Bible and how it fits together, all in less than a year. Want to take your time and soak up God’s word? Take the scenic route! In 386 readings you’ll read through well-known and not-so-well-known passages to discover the depth and richness of God’s Word. Each route is clearly marked so you’ll know where to start and where to go next. For an exciting way to read the Bible, pick up your copy of The Wayfinding Bible today! I received a copy of this Bible free in exchange for an honest review from Tyndale.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Epic Grace By: Kurt Bubna

Ever feel like you’ve messed up royally? That there is no going back? Or, how can God use me now that I’ve gone too far? Read this book about Bubna’s personal stories of messing up, giving up, and feeling overwhelmed. You’ll laugh, cry, cheer, and groan as you read through Bubna’s journey. You’ll learn that God is the God of second chances; His epic grace can transform even the most imperfect life into something priceless. In these stories, you will see traces of yourself. I did that; I thought that. And you know what Bubna does with these stories? He ties them in with Biblical truths. I loved the chapter on Bushwacked. “Sometimes we parents have the best of intentions as we lead our little troops forward into adulthood, but things don’t turn out like we planned or hoped.” Can you relate to this? What do we do then? You’ll hear an accusing voice saying you’ve messed up your kids, that you’re to blame. However, what matters most are hope, faith, and love. “Hope in a God who can take our mistakes and redeem anything surrendered to him. Faith in a God who is bigger than our failures, no matter what they are. Love from a Father who will never give up on us and wants us never to give up on him.” God knows we’ll mess up; he offers compassion, comfort, and help. We can’t do it alone. Pick this book up today to find God’s Epic Grace for your life.

Starry Night By: Debbie Macomber

What a great, fun read by Debbie Macomber! Are you looking for a delightful romance that will take you away and leave you sighing at the end? Look no further. This is the best Christmas romance you will ever read. Carrie Slayton wants to write real news about interesting people. But she’s stuck reporting the society news. Her boss tells her if she can snag an interview with recluse author Finn Dalton, she can pick any assignment she wants. The problem? Dalton is hiding out in Alaska and doesn’t want to be found. Can Carrie find him even though many other reporters are looking for him and have come up empty handed? If she does find him, how can she get him to talk when he is bound and determined not to? Carrie will have to decide between pursuing her dream and finding her future. Which does she choose? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Eve of Awakening By: Alisa Hope Wagner

Alisa Wagner is a fresh, new voice in Christian dystopian futuristic fiction. Even after finishing the story, I can’t get Eve Pallue out of my head. She searches for truth, trying to figure out how who she is, struggling to find her true friends. Everything people today search for, Eve searches for, but in the future where there are no freedoms and everyone follows the same rules, trying to get ahead of everyone else by producing information plugged into their Life Production System (LPS). The more information they produce, the higher their standing. Eve sleeps in a sleeper at night to minimize the amount of sleep she needs and it malfunctions. She has an awakening that causes her to have flashbacks from when she was younger. Eve is an Elite Efficientist. Colonials are lower class. She is the top Efficientist as the daughter of Arthur Pallue, who had groomed her to take this position. If you love futuristic stories you will love this one. Descriptions make everything understandable and believable. I cannot wait to read more by this author. Who is Randall, Eve’s bodyguard? Is he who he seems? The woman Eve starts dreaming about, how does she figure into what is going on? How does God fit in the future? All time is spent producing information; there isn’t extra time for hobbies, religion, or other frivolously spent moments of time. Eve has developed Life Plethoricity, a new way of doing things; music is banned— it causes emotional stimuli, which consumes energy and inhibits efficiency. Eve of Awakening is a great, fun futuristic read. You’ll come to care for Eve and not want her story to end! Along the way, you’ll discover God’s truth and love are not far away.

Forgiveness By: Matthew West

Do you need to forgive someone or need to ask for forgiveness? Being angry at someone fills you with bitterness; it can also cause side effects. The Bible even warns us of what those could be: disorder, more unforgiveness, lies, and blindness. You can’t just feel forgiveness. You have to speak it. Do you know who the hardest person is to forgive? Yourself. That person that looks at you every morning in the mirror. But God says, “’There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1 NIV). No matter how unlovable you feel, you are loved.” Once you realize this, you can reach all the others in the world who think they are unlovable too. You can’t earn forgiveness. All you have to do is accept that Jesus’ death on the cross covered all your sins. No sin is too big or too small. Jesus died for all. Forgiveness fills your life, your heart, your soul with peace. This book is based off of Matthew West’s song Forgiveness. The meaning is epitomized in, “The prisoner that you really free is you.” You may not realize it, but withholding forgiveness keeps you from fully realizing God’s love, joy, peace, and grace. This book is filled with stories from people who needed to give forgiveness or ask for forgiveness from others. Read their stories, see their burdens of guilt and anger released, and realize you can be free from feelings of resentment and self-righteousness. I received this book from Booksneeze in exchange for a review.