Monday, December 2, 2013

Forgotten Road by Randall Arthur

Nashville music star and family man, Cole Michaels, is persuaded to embrace an 'American Dream' theology that promises comfort, happiness, and success. But when the unimaginable happens, Cole blames God and abandons his faith. More vulnerable than ever, he is clueless that an evil character with an unspeakable secret is using every available resource to find him. 

Can two old sages, a beautiful blonde, a violin called the Mysterious Lady, and a Triumph motorcycle help prepare Cole for his ultimate trial? 


Down every forgotten road is a new discovery. Sometimes pleasant. Sometimes frightening. 

There's no 'fairy tale' Christianity here. But there is a true-to-life drama that will captivate your heart and mind. And resonate with your soul.

As you may or may not know, I am the Media Director for my church library, the HeavenBound Media Center.  I started the library almost 15 years ago with about 600 titles and today we have over 7000.  I can remember, in those early days, that the selection of Christian Fiction wasn't anything like it is today.  One day, though, I had someone suggest that I purchase the books that Randall Arthur had written.  I bought them, read them, and enjoyed them immensely.  I was sad when, after "Brotherhood of Betrayal", it didn't seem as if there would ever be another Randall Arthur book.  It may have been 15 years in the making, but "Forgotten Road" is definitely worth the wait.

Cole Michaels appears to have it all.  As his pastor had said, "It is never God's will that any of His children should suffer financially......" So his rising music career, his beautiful family and everything going his way had to be given to him by God.  In an instant, though, all of that changed.  Why would God forsake him?  Isn't he a child of the King?  Who wants a God that can put people through so much pain?  As Cole know adjusts to life without his career, his family and all things perfect, there's a new focus and direction to his life.  When the opportunity comes to reignite his career, he jumps at the chance, but ends it all abruptly.  He takes out on the road to spend time conversing with God and to draw nearer to Him.  To take all of the noise out of his life to zero in on what the Lord's desire is for his life.  What does he find during his travels?  Can he get his career back on track?  What kind of life does God really want for us?  GO BUY THIS BOOK!

I can't say enough about this book.  The hard part is putting all of my thoughts down in this review without giving the story away.  This books touched me in a way that no other book has ever done.  The way that Cole gave of himself to others, the personal discovery that he made out on the road by himself, and after he teamed up with the group of men from Jason Faircloth's church.  This book was filled with such personal insight into how we need to approach our relationship with Him; "We all need to be under the preaching of God's Holy Word, None of us can afford to slack off on being in God's house on God's day", "Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money.  Tell them to use their money to do good.  They should be rich in good works and should give generously to those in need.  By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future".  On and on, I could keep typing these little snippets from the book that really made an influence on me, but I won't.  I'll just remind you to GO BUY THIS BOOK!

Is this a guy's book?  You better believe it.  This book hits at the heart of a man.  It shows us how to humble ourselves before man and before God so that His light is the one that shines through all of the time.  This story has a great "man's club" feel when the motorcycle club takes off on their adventure, especially because of the different adventures they get into while on the road.


Randall and his wife have been career missionaries since 1975. They have planted churches in Oslo, Norway; Munich, Germany; and Berlin, Germany.

Randall is an Atlanta native. He became a believer at the age of 12, and surrendered his life to be a preacher and missionary at the age of 15. 

Randall’s first novel Wisdom Hunter was penned in the late 1980’s. The volume was born, not out of a long held ambition to write a novel, but rather out of a therapeutic need to put into writing the painful lessons he learned as a young legalistic missionary in Norway.

The purpose of the book was to illustrate in a real-life drama the destructiveness of legalism in the body of Christ. The novel proved to be too controversial for Randall’s legalistic camp. The president of the mission agency with which Randall served demanded Randall’s resignation the very day he read the book.

Randall later wrote Jordan’s Crossing and Brotherhood of Betrayal. These books were also born out of personal struggles.

Randall’s goal as a part-time writer is to rip the smiling mask off American Christianity and tell stories that portray true-to-life struggles, true-to-life thoughts, true-to-life reactions, and true-to-life journeys.

I was supplied with a copy of this book by the author through the website in exchange for my honest opinion.


Deeper Shopping
Randall's Webpage

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Strait of Hormuz by Davis Bunn

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.

I've been so excited about the direction that Davis Bunn has taken in his writing career over the last couple of years.  From the early years of writing his Regency era romance stories, to his contemporary novels such as "Elixir", I thoroughly enjoy his latest foray into the action adventure genre with these Marc Royce novels.

Read Chapters 1-3 of Strait of Hormuz for FREE HERE

Marc Royce is back in this, the third and final installment in this action-packed series by Davis Bunn.  Marc has traveled all of the world in the previous books and finds himself in Switzerland in this new novel.  Expecting to meet up with an informant, Marc finds the gallery owner dead.  Now, seemingly without backup, Marc has to continue on with this undercover op.  Unbeknownst to Marc, though, an important figure from his past is back to help him struggle through the current operation.  Without the official backing of his own government or any other government agency in the different countries he must use all the back channels he can to discover the threat that has him zeroing in at the Strait of Hormuz.  Are there really nuclear weapons being shipped through the Strait?  What is the final target of the terrorists?  Who is providing help to Marc along the way?  Are these people friends or foes?  Begin your own undercover op when you BUY THE BOOK!!!

Mr. Bunn provides us with a fitting end to this great series.  While the body-count and action scenes aren't as plentiful as in the first couple of books, there is still a great story-line that is easy to follow.  The character of Marc Royce continues to be a very godly man, using his spirituality to help in his decision making throughout the different situations in the book.  I appreciate seeing how a "manly man" can still be humbled before God and drawn to a personal relationship with Him.  This book, and the character traits that Mr. Bunn has given to his character, should be read by everyone.

Is this a "guy's book"?  This is a tremendous book with foreign goverments, terrorists, global travels and more.  With the addition of seeing a strong man bring his faith to his daily walk, this book is definitely a "guy's book".

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.


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. 

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.

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!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Beloved Daughter by Alana Terry

The Beloved Daughter, an inspirational suspense novel by award-winning author Alana Terry, is a story of persecution and triumph set in the oppressive North Korean regime. The audiobook version of Alana's bestselling debut novel is narrated by Kathy Garver, a four-time Audie award winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Motion Picture Council. (You might also recognize Kathy as Cissy from the TV show Family Affair.)

Listen to a sample of Kathy reading from The Beloved Daughter.

The Beloved Daughter

Synopsis: In a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. It is her father's faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha's well-being. The Beloved Daughter follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps the contemporary free world has known. Her crime? Being the daughter of a Christian.

This book sounded like it would be something that might pique my interest, so I thought I would at least read it and see what I thought.  I will say that this book was nothing like what I had expected.

Ms. Terry paints such a vivid picture of her characters and the pain that they endured.  I've never read a story with such descriptions that truly made me feel like I was standing there inside the room as each story was played out.

Is this a "guy's" book?  I would say that if you have but one to read this entire year, this book should be it. This book embodies great intrigue and suspense, this is one that should not be missed.

Join the giveaway
     *Winner, Women of Faith Writing Contest
     *1st Place, Book Club Network Book of the Month

     *Amazon Bestseller (#5 Christian Suspense)


" engaging plot that reads like a story out of today's headlines..." ~ Women of Faith Writing Contest

"Alana is a master storyteller, and I can’t imagine anyone failing to be captivated by this harrowing tale. What we have here is a compelling story, but it’s also one of great importance." ~ Brad Francis, Author of The Savvy Demon's Guide to Godly Living 

"The Beloved Daughter is a beautifully written story that is...both personal and representative of the challenges that many North Koreans still face today." ~ Sarah Palmer, Rescue Team Coordinator at Liberty in North Korea

"The author does a phenomenal job... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - but have tissues handy." ~ Pauline Creeden, Editor AltWit Press

Order your own copy of The Beloved Daughter.

Awesome Prizes!

You don't want to miss out on the month-long Beloved Daughter audiobook launch party. RSVP now on Facebook or see the Alana Terry facebook page to get started. Dozens of winners ... Hundreds of $$$-worth in prizes!

ENTER THE DRAWING: In addition to the Facebook party, you can enter the grand prize drawing below for a chance to win a $100 gift card to either Target or Amazon (you choose!), or one of the awesome prizes from the prize gallery (think Christian T-shirts, jewelry, books, CDs, lotions, and more)!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman

A story of shattered dreams and second chances
A talented runner fully committed to Olympic dreams, Sabrina Rice’s future was shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she has new goals and dreams that have nothing to do with running–something that’s become far too painful to think on.
Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the community college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world-class speed, and it’s all the more painful that it belongs to a teenage graffiti artist.
When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina becomes Brandy’s best hope for staying out of juvenile hall. Soon, Sabrina begins to feel an uncomfortable nudge that her new life is just about to be toppled…that God may be calling her to minister to this talented but troubled girl.

Continuing my trek for doing reviews that will garner more interest, I picked up the latest novel by Kathryn Cushman.  Little did I know just how much this book wasn't going to be a normal Christian Fiction novel, but was going to be one that I would thoroughly enjoy.

What do you get when you cross an Olympic-oriented runner with a teenager who spends her time running from the law?  You get a terrific story of Sabrina and Brandy.  Sabrina spent her high school days making a name for herself as being a first-class runner and someone who is destined for the Olympics.  Unfortunately, health issues cause he to give up her dreams.  Enter Brandy who doesn't have a good history of making right decisions, except for how to run from the police.  As a favor to the grandmothers, Sabrina agrees to coach Brandy and try to turn this wayward youth onto a life that is filled with potential.  Will Brandy let Sabrina into her life enough to inspire her in the right direction?  Pick up your own copy and go BUY THE BOOK!

This book shows us that even when we feel we know His plans, there's nothing ever written in stone.  The author does a great job of weaving the desires of the characters along the story line, giving you insight into their thoughts.  I always enjoy reading books that take the characters on different journeys, once that lead them far away from where they expect to travel.  I enjoy this because it gives me, the reader, the chance to see how amazing a life can be when we let Him be in charge.  The author does a great job of showing that our lives can be so much more fulfilling when we surrender to Him and let Him guide us instead of trying to do everything on our own accord.

Is this a guy's book?  This book is so much more than how it first appears.  While it is not overtly a "guy's book" because there's not much in the way of adventure, explosions, gun fights or car chases, it is definitely a book that everybody needs to read.  This is the type of book that you should pass along to everyone that you know, because everyone can get something from this book.

 Q&A With the Author (Provided by Bethany House Publishing)

1. Can you tell us about your latest novel, Chasing Hope?
It’s about a young woman with Olympic dreams and concrete plans for her future. She
worked hard, honored God, and did everything right. Then a devastating diagnosis took
everything from her. A few years later, she meets a young girl with unmistakable talent, but
who has definitely fallen short in the area of “doing everything the right way.” She also
desperately needs Sabrina’s help. It’s a story of the unfairness of life, chronic illness, and
looking to God for your hope, even in the darkest times.

2. Did you do any special research for this book?
Yes. A lot of this book is about running. I’ve never been a runner, but I took it up while I
was writing this book. After I sent in my first draft, my editor said, “I think you’ve done a
nice job of showing the pain of running. Can we have a little something about the joy of
running or runner’s high?” I basically said, “I haven’t reached that point in my research yet.”

3. This book deals with chronic illness in a young person. How did you make that realistic? 
One of my daughters suffers with chronic illness and pain. There is nothing that Sabrina
experienced that my daughter has not experienced (actually, Sabrina had it quite a bit easier
than the true story). This is the one part of the story that I wrote with complete confidence,
because I’ve been living it for the past six years.

4. What is the over-arching spiritual theme for this book? 
We often believe we hear God calling us to do something, but when things get hard, it’s easy
to decide we misunderstood God and quit. I paralleled the Children of Israel and their
journey to the Promised Land. We often put them down for being ungrateful whiners, but
the truth is, they went THREE DAYS WITHOUT WATER. God’s call doesn’t mean that
everything will be easy.

5. This is your 7th novel. Does it get easier with each progressive story?
No! Actually, one of the reasons I chose this particular theme was to remind myself that
God’s call doesn’t mean it won’t be hard. For me, it seems that each story gets a little harder
to write than the one before. It’s a constant and daily walk of faith to get words on the page.

6. This book also shows the importance of having someone who believes in you. Sabrina 
became that person for Brandy, and Sabrina’s mother was that person for her. How 
important do you perceive this kind of support to be? 
I think it’s critical. One of my early readers described an underlying theme of this book
as “about being the person that stands between someone and the cliff when everyone else
looks away.” Sabrina experienced this because of chronic illness, and Brandy experienced it
because of acting out brought on by an unfortunate childhood. The importance of a “gap”
person cannot be overestimated. When the world gives up on a person, one small action can
make a huge difference.


I graduated from Samford University with a degree in pharmacy, but all my life I knew that I wanted to write a novel “some day”. For me, “some day” came in 2003, when I started writing and never looked back.
My first two manuscripts remain firmly ensconced in the back of my closet (the dust bunnies tell me they really are terrific!). My third attempt became my first published novel.
People often ask me where I get my characters and if I base them on real people. The answer to that is: sometimes. Most characters have a little bit of someone I know in them. I use a lot of friend’s and family member’s names in my books, but I never write the character anything like their namesake.
For instance—in my books a middle-aged mother and a twenty-something pharmacist sh
ared names with my daughters, and a seventyish-year-old man shared a name with my fiftyish-year-old husband.
The one exception I make to this rule is my pets. Dusty the dog made a cameo appearance as himself in Waiting for Daybreak, Boots the cat made his debut in Leaving Yesterday, and Popcorn the turtle is incognito as a horse in Almost Amish.
Chance the new dog is still anxiously awaiting his turn for momentary fame—rumor has it, the dog has hired an agent.
On the homefront, I’ve been married to the wonderful and handsome Lee for over twenty-five years now, and our two daughters are currently braving the worlds of high school and college.
We’ve lived in Santa Barbara for over twenty years. It’s a beautiful place and I feel blessed to be here (although a seventy degree Christmas still leaves me dreaming of a white one—or at least a colder one!)
When I’m not writing or reading or braving seventy degree holidays, you’ll find me trying my best to keep up with my daughters in their filled-with-activity lives.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Home To Heather Creek by Kathleen Bauer

Before the Dawn begins just one week after the funeral of Charlotte's daughter, Denise. Denise's three children barely have time to process the death of their mother before they must move to the Heather Creek Farm they have never visited with grandparents they barely know. At age 16, Sam is fiercely protective of his younger siblings. Emily is 14 and desperately misses her friends. Young Christopher is only 8 and just wants to fit in. While Charlotte tries to help her grandchildren adjust to their new life, she also wrestles with her own grief and the enormous task of bringing her family together. Bob believes the fastest path to adjustment is a firm routine, with structure and chores, the same way they raised their own kids. However, that route led to Denise running away from home as a teenager and an estranged relationship with her family. Charlotte is worried about making the same mistakes she made with Denise. Is this her chance to make things right?

 It is spring when the children arrive, and as Charlotte looks around the farm, she hopes the new life around them will signify hope and healing. The miracle of new life, along with God's healing touch, reminds all of them that it's always darkest just before the dawn.

 Sweet September picks up at harvest time, as the children are settling into a new school year. While the harvest should be an exciting time, the children don't seem to be getting into the spirit. Emily is struggling with farm life, Christopher spends most of his time alone, and Sam is failing school. Trying to learn from what did and didn't work with her own kids, Charlotte is determined to get her grandchildren back on track.

 As tenuous family bonds threaten to break apart, a mystery on the farm might be the one thing that can bond the family together. Charlotte sets out to uncover the truth, and as the kids unite to find answers, this cobbled-together family learns more about one another and the love that binds them together.

 The lives of the Stevensons and their grandchildren unfold in this captivating story of the remarkable change that comes from the love of family, the kindness of others, sheer persistence and unshakable faith. As readers follow the Stevensons' inspiring stories, it's almost impossible not feel a part of this friendly, loving community, where God's grace can be seen in every circumstance.

Ok, so I'll admit that these books are outside of the norm for what I review, but I thought I would change things up just a bit.  See, it seems that although my blog is "Reviews from a Man's Perspective", I don't seem to have any men read my reviews.  So here's my attempt to see if this makes my blog any more successful :)

Since this review is basically for both books in the series, I'll add them both together here in my synopsis.  This series revolves around a family that has a tragedy strike and the children involved move in with their grandparents.  The children are from the city, and the grandparents live in the country on the farm.  The first book deals with the adjustment that occurs as these generations attempt to marry their separate and different lives together. The second book is more with the family being settled and then uncovering family secrets.  Secrets that can bring a family together again. Can Charlotte overcome some of the mistakes that she made with her own children and not make the same ones with her grand kids?  Is Bob able to open himself up to a relationship with his grandson, a relationship that he wasn't able to build with his own son?  Will these secrets provide the chance for this family to get through their grief and learn to rely on one another?  A great series that will give you plenty of enjoyment when you BUY THE BOOK!

These books are actually written by two different prolific authors, Carolyn Aarsen and Tricia Goyer.  This is always a challenge, especially in doing a series as it's hard to keep the same writing style and continuity with various authors.  That isn't the case this time, though.  These authors have managed to write their respective books seamlessly, as if they were sharing the same brain as they penned the books.  The writing is reminiscent of days of past where life was much simpler and less fast paced.  The detail of the characters, the insight into their thoughts, made the characters new friends.  To me, the success of a book is whether I become attached to the characters, and I definitely did with these.

Is this a guy's book?  Bottom line, not really.  This book is high on feelings, thoughts and emotions.  There's a storyline that takes you from tears of heartache to tears of joy that most men would not even begin to entertain.  Maybe it's the fact that I'm carrying around a 14 week old Chihuahua now that makes me more open to exploring my thoughts and feelings.

About The Author

The author, Kathleen Bauer doesn't exist.  This is a pseudonym adopted by the team of novelists who have written the Home to Heather Creek series published by the Books and Inspirational Media Division of Guideposts

Guideposts Books is thrilled to announce their brand new series, Home to Heather Creek, by Kathleen Bauer. The first two books, Before the Dawn and Sweet September, launch this month and Guideposts Books is celebrating with a Paperwhite Kindle Giveaway!


One winner will receive:
  • A Paperwhite Kindle
  • Before the Dawn and Sweet September by Kathleen Bauer
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 5th. All winners will be announced October 7th HERE.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 7th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to their blog [enter your email in the blog sidebar] and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Unlimited by Davis Bunn

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.

I must say, Davis Bunn is beginning to grow on me.  I’m not a real big fan of his earlier work just based on the genre that it was written in (Not many guys like that whole Regency Romance period that I know of).  But I will say that his latest works have been welcomed additions to my church library.  That continues, then, with his latest release, “Unlimited”.

Simon his headed to Mexico to meet up with his old professor as they continue to work out kinks in a machine that they have developed that could potentially create an unlimited source of energy.  They are testing this in Mexico because of the huge need for energy because the power sources there are controlled by the drug cartels and dirty politicians.  Upon his arrival, though, he finds out that his friend has died of a heart attack and the device is worthless.  After Simon leaves a meeting with the local council, he’s attacked and so begins this whirlwind adventure.  Sofia and her brother, Pedro,  assist at the local orphanage where they grew up.  When Simon shows up there, Sofia only wants him gone so as not to endanger the kids.  Simon is sure that he can get the device to work, but he needs to find his mentors notes.  As Simon continues to search for the notes, the noose around his neck gets tighter and tighter.  Who’s behind the attacks on Simon’s life?  What do the local politicians want with Simon and his device? Does Simon put the lives of the children in the orphanage in danger?  Does he ever get the device to work properly?  You will get the “energy” to know those answers when you BUY THE BOOK!

From the moment you open this book, Davis Bunn draws you into the intense hunt that has already started.  He continues to turn up the heat on the characters until it doesn’t seem as if they can take anymore.  And then he turns it up again.  He provides you with some humorous dialogue between his characters that makes them feel realistic, not like cardboard figures.  Characters that make you want to cheer for them, that you want to pick up your phone and text them to get their advice.  I appreciate when I read books like this that not only do I get entertained, but I get to see moral issues resolved in Christ-like fashion.

Is this a "Guys Book"?   Right from the start you see that this is filled with danger and intrigue.  Throw in corrupt politicians, the drug cartels and an unlimited supply of power and you have just the right book to be read by any guy.

Q & A with Davis Bunn
The storyline in Unlimited is inspired by true events. What actual events inspired the story?

Harold Finch was formerly the founder and CEO of the first management-leadership consulting groups in the US. In the mid-seventies he sold the company to H&R Block for over a hundred million dollars—back when a hundred million actually meant something. Answering God’s call, he has spent the past three decades traveling the world, teaching his concepts for free and helping underprivileged children learn that they do indeed have both a purpose in God’s eyes, and the potential to succeed. His experiences form the basis for this story.

What ignited your idea for the characters to create a device that would convert raw wasted energy into useable power?

I actually wrote the screenplay for the film before writing the novel. This happens occasionally—Godfather and Love Story were both conceived in this order. While working on the film script, the producer and Harold and I were discussing what might work as a basis for the story’s suspense element. We were looking for something that had the means of revealing this ‘unlimited’ potential in people. I don’t actually remember who first came up with the idea of wasted energy, but soon as it was said, we all jumped on it.

Simon Orwell, the protagonist in Unlimited, is a brilliant, cynical electrical engineering student who finds danger irresistible. Did you model his character traits after yourself or anyone you know?

Alas, we all know a Simon. These days, this type of person is all too common. An individual with huge potential, who allows himself or herself to become distracted by the multitude of temptations that basically define modern life. And yes, I do know several such people. Some turn this into hugely productive directions, thank goodness. Usually to do so requires divine help, a clarification of focus, and strength they must reach out and ask to receive.

Armando Vasquez and Harold Finch are important mentors in Simon’s life. Who has been a critical mentor in your life, Davis? How has that person encouraged you to push beyond the boundaries of what you thought possible?

There have been several such mentors, for which I remain extremely grateful. One such person is Carol Johnson, who recently retired as editor-in-chief at Bethany House Publishers. Carol has been instrumental in my becoming the best writer I could be, and continues to act as a sounding board for new ideas and characters. Another, I am happy to say, is Harold Finch. His lessons on combining God’s teachings with lifelong aims have been a genuinely rewarding experience with far-reaching results.

Many of the characters in the story are orphans. What parallels do you see between the orphans in the story and real-life spiritual orphans?

A beautiful question. While researching the core components of this story, orphanage leaders repeatedly stressed the need to teach orphans to believe in themselves and their natural abilities. Too often they see themselves as lost, without purpose, without a role to play, without chances, without love. What made this story work, I think, is how Simon Orwell shares these same feelings about himself. And how he comes to realize God is the only one to fill this need.

Many people believe they must wear a mask to hide the parts of themselves they are ashamed of. How is this story about removing that mask?

So much of life remains hidden away. The darker elements of a life without God only amplify this falseness. Simon has spent so much of his life, so much of his energy and time, in hiding. As the story unfolds, he discovers that an essential element of arriving at his full potential is being honest with himself. This is where the mask is most damaging, and also where it is often hardest to release. We seek to hide the truth, even when we know the act is a lie in itself. And the mirror we require to see the truth about ourselves is the one that God offers, in infinite patience, in gentle love.

The title, Unlimited, has multiple layers of meaning. What does that title mean to you?

Unlimited was the title brought to me by the film’s producers. When I first began working on this story, it was just that, a title. But as I grew to know Harold, and heard him teach, and read his lesson plan, and then actually applied what he has come to call his ‘Dynamic Life Retreat’ (see Harold full teachings on his website, I have come to agree with them in their choice. Bringing God into the equation of life’s direction, success, and reaching full potential does reveal the true meaning of Unlimited.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
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 “Scenes from Unlimited” board.
Twitter: @davisbunn -


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.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Every Waking Moment by Chris Fabry

     Treha Langsam is a mysterious young woman who has fallen through the cracks, much like many of the elderly people she works with at Desert Gardens Retirement Home. But Miriam Howard, director of the facility, sees her extraordinary gift and untapped potential. Treha is a whisperer of sorts, calling those who have slipped into dementia back to a life of vibrant, if only temporary, clarity.

      When Treha's and Miriam's stories intertwine with a documentary team looking for stories of the elderly, Treha's gift is uncovered, and the search begins for answers to the mysteries of her past. As their paths converge, each person is forced to face the same difficult question: What if this is as good as my life gets? 

      I often spend a lot of time reviewing the newest books set to be published. I do this so that I can bring you some of the best books for my column in the Book Fun Magazine. As I was looking over the books coming out soon, an email come across my desk about a Book Fun Chat that was going on that involved Chris Fabry. I have been fascinated with his work since I read his book, “Not In The Heart”. I do a fair amount of reading (insert laugh here) and there aren’t many that I can say cause me to finish the book right from the moment I crack the book open. That book was one of them. I picked this book up during the chat that night with Chris Fabry over on the Book Fun Network hoping that he was able to recreate that feeling in me again.

      There’s something special going on over at Desert Gardens Retirement Home. Their longtime director, Miriam Howard, is being forced out of her position and into retirement. As Miriam ponders retired life, she begins to reflect on her relationship with her husband. What will it be like to be home with him every day, especially when things between them cause her to feel more as an acquaintance rather than a family. Devin and Jonah are documenting stories of some of the residents that live at the facility. Their goal is to create memories of these residents, and insight into their lives and stories that we will one day never have a record of. The young cleaning lady, Treha, is seemingly bringing some of the residents back from living in a fog with their illnesses. Patients who seem to be lost in the abyss of Dementia or Alzheimer’s are communicating with her, after years of not being able to communicate with anyone. As the lives of these individuals begin to intersect, a secret from one of the residents causes the group to band together to discover the truth. A new director at the retirement home is making lots of changes, changes that may disrupt all that the residents life for. Will Miriam and her husband find common ground during her retirement? Will the documentaries ever make it to the big screen? What secret is hiding in Treha’s background, and what does she know about it? You will never know the answers, but I will, unless you go BUY THE BOOK!!!

      There are a lot of stories going on in this book. I say that to point out just what a great writer Chris Fabry is to be able to juggle these different stories but make sure that they flow together throughout the book and combine seamlessly at the end. I’m not normally a fan or flashbacks or scenes taken outside the normal progression of a story, but the way Chris was able to weave the shooting of the documentary into the book was pretty amazing. As has been true of his last couple of books, Chris paints such vivid descriptions of the surroundings and settings in the book. I truly feel as if he has transported me to that specific location while I’m reading the story, almost as if I’m watching a video of it rather than reading it.

      Is this a "guy's book"? I will admit that this book doesn’t have the traditional “grunt, grunt” man flavor, but I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that this is a great book. No cars explode, no bombings, no high seas adventure (there is some gun appearances if that helps). But what this book does offer is a truly great read and tells a story that everyone should take a minute to enjoy.

 Chris was nice enough to “sit down and chat” with me awhile and here’s a couple of Q&As from that discussion:

 What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
      I really want readers to walk away with hope for their relationships, their lives, their walk with God. We can live without a lot of things but hope is vital.

 Besides writing, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
      I love reading, spending time with my family, going on walks, and more reading.

 What advice would you give to a beginning writer?
      Don’t start with a novel or your memoir. Start small. Journal. Write every day. Write for your church newsletter. Blog. Get in the habit of writing. Read every book about writing you can find. Turn off the TV. Get up early and write. Draw closer to God. Use your conversations with him as opportunity to write from the heart. Remember, you don’t write to tell people what you believe, you write in order to discover what you really believe.

 Favorite memory from childhood?
      Walking the suspension bridge between Covington, KY and Cincinnati, going to a baseball game with my father and brothers.

 Favorite comfort food? 
     Strawberry banana smoothies with plain yogurt.

 About the Author: 

 Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.

Chris' novels, which include Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, Not in the Heart, and his latest release, Borders of the Heart, have won two Christy Awards and an ECPA Christian Book Award, but it's his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more.

 He has also published more than 65 other books, including nonfiction and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and The Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR.

 I received this book from and the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, it was just easy to do since this is a great book.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Stranded by Dani Pettrey

When her friend vanishes from a cruise ship, reporter Darcy St. James isn’t satisfied with their explanation that she simply left her job of her own accord. Something isn’t lining up, and Darcy believes the only way to find the truth is to put herself in Abby’s position.
Within days, Darcy learns her friend wasn’t the only person to disappear mysteriously. Last summer, a woman vanished under almost identical circumstances.
Gage McKenna has taken a summer-long stint leading adventure excursions for the passengers of various cruise lines that dock for a few days of sightseeing. He’s surprised to find Darcy working aboard one of the ships, investigating a troubling report.
Something sinister is going on, and the deeper they dig, the more Gage fears they’ve only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

This is the third book in the popular "Alaskan Courage" series by Dani Pettrey.  The series follows the adventures of the McKenna Clan and their outdoor adventures company.  Here's Dani talking about the first couple of books in the series, "Shattered" and "Submerged".

It's been months since Darcy St. James has heard from Gage McKenna, and she's sure that whatever they may have had at the time, is long gone.  Darcy has been asked to meet with her old friend and investigative reporter on an Alaskan Cruise because she has discovered something that she need's Darcy's help with..  Upon arriving on the cruise, though, after a short meeting with her, her friend disappears.  Gage has been trying to put Darcy out of his mind, so he's agreed to help his family with a new adventure excursion partnership with the cruise line.  Little do either one of them know that the other will be on the same cruise line.  After the initial awkwardness, Gage finds out what Darcy is really doing on the ship and what her plans are to get to the bottom of her friends disappearance.  The past comes up to haunt Darcy as the painful discussions between Gage and herself are revisited.  What happened to her friend?  What is happening on the cruise line?  Is there more to it then what's on the surface?  Can Gage and Darcy work through their differences?  You will be able to tell me all those answers after you BUY THE BOOK!

Get some additional info on the book plus a sample chapter HERE!

Dani proves once again that she is one of the best suspense story-tellers we have in the Christian Fiction marketplace right now.  The way she not only weaves the story line through her current book, but also by the the way that story becomes fluid through the entire series.  The writing is just plain enjoyable and the interaction between characters is believable.  It is encouraging to see that she writes of characters that have flaws and moral dilemmas, but that through His grace they are able to overcome.

Is this a "guy's book"?  Hands down this is everything that a guy would enjoy reading.  The outdoor excursions that the McKenna's take the cruise passengers on is full of suspense as is the overall story.  This is one book, the whole series, that would be enjoyed by anyone picking it up.

Enter the ALASKAN ADVENTURES Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

About The Author

Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the acclaimed author of the romantic suspense series Alaskan Courage, which includes her bestselling debut novel Submerged and latest release Shattered. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My First Award!

Laura from Crafty Booksheeps nominated my blog for the Liebster Award! 
What an honor!  

The rules:
~Link back to the blogger that tagged you.
~Nominate ten others and answer the questions from the blogger that tagged you.
~Ask ten questions for the bloggers you nominate.
~Let your nominees know of their award.

My Answers to Laura's Questions...

1. Who is your favorite author (s) and why? 
Wow, you might as well as me which of my kids I like the best :)  I do have favorites, but for a variety of reasons.  1) Harry Kraus - He holds a special place in my heart because it was his first book, "The Chairman", that I read that really got me interested in reading Christian Fiction
2) Terri Blackstock - I was reading one of her books while I was stressing over getting my church library up and running.  One of her characters was reading a verse that said (This is from the Rick Translation of the Bible) "If He is in anything that you do, then why stress, because it will always be done to His liking and glory"
3) Charles Martin - Just because he's a local boy and has always been a good friend.
4) Alton Gansky - I think he is an amazing author because he write can terrific fiction from a variety of different genres.

2. What do you enjoy most about blogging and would you recommend it to others? 
I enjoy the possibility that there is somebody out there that may happen upon my little blog and because of something that I've written, will chose to pick up a particular book.  The possibilities of what could happen because they gave that one book a chance are endless.

3. Is there a book you didn’t think you’d like, but you ended up loving it? 
As a, um, Macho Man, I didn't think that there would be any of those "love stories" that I would enjoy.  But I've got to tell you, there are several authors out there (Kristen Heitzmann and Ginny Yttrup) that can really make you read anything that they write.

4. What would be your ideal vacation spot or your dream vacation? 
I would love to vacation around Alasaka, but only if the McKenna's from Dani Pettrey's "Alaskan Courage" series is leading the outdoor excursions!

5. How many books are on your TBR shelf? 
Currently, as far as active books to be reviewed, I have 5.  But that doesn't count the others that I want to read just for the fun of it.

6. What is your favorite spot to read? 
I enjoy taking a book with me while my son skateboards.  We can spend time together while we both get to do the things that we enjoy.

7.  Do you have a favorite snack while reading? 
No snacks for me (My doctor may be listening) 

8. Which blogger has inspired you the most? 
I guess I'm an anomaly in that I really don't spend a lot of time reading other blogs.  Between a full time job, running the church library, reading books for review, husband, father to 2 daughters, 1 son, 3 dogs and 2 cats, (whew!) it doesn't leave a lot of time to peruse blog sites.

9. What are your other hobbies (besides reading)? 
My favorite hobby is running my church library (yes, I'm a nerd)

10. What’s one of your biggest book pet peeves?
Reading what appears to be a great Christian Fiction novel and then running into profanity.  Nothing chaps my skin more than that.

Again thank you so much Laura for nominating my blog! Now here are the blogs I nominate!

-         Dan Walsh, Jim Rubart and Harry Kraus at 3 Men Walk Into A Blog
-         Myra and Perry Stevens at Lighthouse Beam
-         Melissa Neu at Just A Girl.... With A Lot To Say

-         Jenny Bell at Flutterbye Chronicles
-         I'm sorry, 4 is all that I can come up with without just picking people at random.

Here are the questions that I want to ask YOU!

1. Who is your favorite author (s) and why?
2. What do you enjoy most about blogging and would you recommend it to others?
3. Is there a book you didn’t think you’d like, but you ended up loving it?
4. What would be your ideal vacation spot or your dream vacation?
5. How many books are on your TBR shelf?
6. What is your favorite spot to read?
7.  Do you have a favorite snack while reading?
8. Which blogger has inspired you the most?
9. What are your other hobbies (besides reading)?
10. What’s one of your biggest book pet peeves?  

Have fun!