Friday, November 15, 2013

Strait of Hormuz – a review of a book by my current FAVORITE author

Plot Synopsis (from the back of the book)

“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...”

My Thoughts About The Book

Davis Bunn is my favorite author these days. I have been enjoying his new books, as well as some older ones I have gotten out of the library. [To read the reviews of the books I have read of his, click the label ‘reviews’ on my sidebar or go to my Goodreads account by clicking the Goodreads widget on my sidebar.] He is a spectacular writer. His stories have it all. This one has: Romance (but not gross icky romance, just enough to make me go awwwww and not enough so my sons don’t want to read the books. Intrigue. Spiritual battles. Guns. Love. Prayer. Explosions. Friends. Enemies. New friends found in unexpected places. Life. God. Uncertainty. People trying to find God’s will. People with problems figuring out what to do next…. just like me. Well, not really JUST like me as I don’t usually have people shooting at me or trying to kill me in my everyday life. I did love this book though. I LOVED the whole series. I still think book two is my favorite though, but I couldn’t exactly tell you why, with books one and three tied for a close second.

A couple favorite quotes, and some thoughts about those quotes, from the book.

“‘I think we should pray. Together.’ 
It took her a long moment. But he waited it out with her. until she could look over and really see him.

‘Morning and night,’ he went on. ‘We come together and we ask for clarity. Vision. Purpose. Wisdom. Healing. Peace. For each other and for the two of us.’” (pg 166)
I needed this. I wish my husband would commit to something like this and make it a continuing habit. I think it would really benefit us as a married couple. We are struggling to know God’s will. My hubby has been through all kinds of physical problems and he has been unemployed for 3 1/2 years. We could use some wisdom, vision, clarity, peace and a purpose for our lives. Until the Lord speaks to my husband about doing something like this I will do it on my own. I know God will hear my prayers.

Selected quotes from page 173-175
“‘It goes back to the passage from Proverbs. We don’t know what to do, where to go, or how. So I thought we’d try and take this time to find out what we want, and what God wants and pray for each other’

‘The issue we’re talking about here is, what do I want most from life. I feel like we need to look at this honestly before we can work out what God wants.’

‘I want a new reason to hope. A new reason to be fulfilled.’

‘I want to be happy with my world and my purpose.’

‘Heavenly Father, I have never been good at asking you what I should do. Most of my time in prayer has been spent telling you what I want. Even speaking these words is an effort. It makes me scared. What if you want me to do something…?’ She took a long, hard breath. ‘I am asking, God, what do you want?”

She heard Marc say, ‘Lord, I join my prayers with Kitra’s. I ask for us both the answer to the impossible question. This is the hardest thing a strong person can ever do, to be weak in the face of uncertainty. She has led me to the point I could not come to on my own. I ask for Kitra and for myself. In our weakness, we join in this prayer. Show us your will.’”
Show us your will. That is what I want from God as well. A new reason to hope. A new reason to be fulfilled. Happy with my purpose in life. That is what I want. That is what my husband wants. That is what we want for our children. Answer MY prayers Lord. And thank you for Davis Bunn who writes fiction so well that it speaks to my heart, speaks truth into my life, ministers to me in my situation. Thank you Lord.

One more quote.
“‘You must ask the one question I have spent my entire life running from.’ Rhana’s gaze was a burning flame. ‘You must ask which direction will lead you closer to God. Because if you take the other direction, even if you win, even if you gain everything that you use to define success, you lose. And your days will become nothing but ashes. And your memories will be-“

‘Stop,’ Kitra whispered. ‘Please. Stop.’

‘Ask for God to make a clear path forward.’ Rhana laid a hand on Kitra’s forearm resting on the balcony railing. ‘Then you must wait. And he will answer you. How do I know this? Because once more my father’s memory is alive in my heart. What I thought was lost forever is with me again. Yet I know it has been there all along. Waiting for me to stop giving in to the wrong voices, taking the wrong paths. And instead heed the one voice that will give me the two things I forgot I even needed. And in the future, when your days are coming to a close, be that tomorrow or fifty years form now, you will know peace.’” (pg. 245)

I want an answer for my life, Lord. I want a to know, clearly, the path forward that you want me/my husband and I/our family to take. I will wait. And while I wait, I will pray, and serve you and my family with the knowledge I have of what you want me to do today.

I was VERY sorry to hear this was the last of the books in the Marc Royce series. Everyone go awwwww again, this time in a sad way. I did not know this was the last in this series when I was reading it. I got to the end and my first thought was I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, even though this one did come out until last week, and I expected it would be a while (a year or more) before the next book in the series came out. I thought he set it up so he could write some more for the series. But I guess he has his reasons for not doing that. Since I can’t read any more about Marc Royce I will find some more of Bunn’s older books that I haven’t read yet. I sorta started one a while back. I don’t really know if I even read any but I know I put it on my Goodreads list. So… I need to order it from the library again and get reading. I also can’t wait to see what new books he has that he is working on for next year!!!

So yeah! I highly recommend this book. I gave it 5 stars because it has it all and it spoke to my heart, and the situation in my own life. It uplifted me spiritually. It is wonderful that a fiction writer can do that. It kept me reading. I finished it in only a couple days. I loved the action and the little bit of romance. I love the way Bunn writes.

If you haven’t read book one, Lion of Babylon, it is FREE right now on Kindle. And book two Rare Earth is on sale for $5.38 on Kindle. If you don't own a Kindle you can get a free Kindle reading app for your computer at Amazon.

You can also enter to win all three books, some great looking watches and an Amazon gift card by clicking the picture below (it will open in a new tab)
Read Chapters 1-3 of Strait of Hormuz for free

image ISBN (Trade Paperback): 978-0-7642-1138-6
ISBN (Hardback): 978-0-7642-1145-4
ISBN (eBook): 978-1-4412-6279-0
336 pages
On sale starting November 5, 2013 from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group

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.

Pictured: Davis Bunn and his wife, Isabella Bunn.

Q and 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 Journals 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?
Note: I received a complimentary copy of Strait of Hormuz from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Thanks to Davis Bunn and Bethany house. I really appreciate the opportunity to review his new books. I love his writing.


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