Mystery + Faith = Unlimited


I love inspirational fiction, whether it is classified as “self-help” or “Christian Suspense.” Telling a story well and subtly teaching insightful lessons is the epitome of a great read.  Finding authors who can handle the balance between plot, characters and education is sometimes difficult.

Enter Davis Bunn.

Davis is a three-time Christy Award-winning, best-selling author. His devoted fans call him the “gentleman adventurer,”and “Renaissance Man.” Before he began writing, Davis was the consummate international businessman whose work took him to the far corners of the world. Blending his personal travel experiences with a incisive wit and wisdom about human nature, his books have been translated into sixteen languages and sold more than seven million copies.

But the element that sets him apart is his Christian faith.

Unlimited is his latesUnlimited Covert creation.  The internal struggle of the hero, Simon Orwell, mirrors the conflict of many people. He walks around confidently, but inside he is a seething mass of self-doubt, recrimination and guilt.  It is only when Simon is presented with a clear decision to help others at the sacrifice of his own interests that he discovers the truth about himself.

Without giving away too much about the plot, the book is an intriguing combination of a murder mystery that can only be solved by faith in God.  Simon’s choice to step forward in faith (even though everything in his world is telling him to do the opposite), is a compelling example of unlimited belief in something greater than self.

Soon to be released as a major motion picture, Unlimited is thought-provoking, compelling and inspiring.  As an added bonus, click on the link below and read the first three chapters of Unlimited. No hooks or gimmicks, just great story telling!

(http://on.fb.me/1c5IyCS)

Greed + Rare Minerals + Jesus = A Great Book


What happens when you mix greed, rare minerals and the love of Jesus?  A compelling story that mixes today’s politics with an unusual solution to many of the world’s most vexing problems.

Marc Royce, the hero from Lion of Babylon is back in another gripping story set in Kenya.  Davis Bunn’s new novel, Rare Earth, successfully blends intrigue, mystery, politics and love into a novel well worth your time.

Marc is again working on a clandestine mission to discover who is behind recent problems with relief aid to the Rift Valley in Kenya.  As he digs deeper into the mystery, he discovers an even greater challenge to his life and his faith.  But through a series of unanticipated events, Marc discovers other groups who have accepted Jesus as their Savior.

And in this common bond, a plan is formed to save the Kenyan people.  And the world.

Rare Earth is a must read if you want to catch a glimpse of what the world might look like if we act from a united faith.  Love and compassion guide decisions, instead of greed, selfishness and sheer domination.  The course of history can be changed in a single instant, when the “rare earth” of our relationship with God is explored, identified and used to guide our actions.

If you like action adventure, you will enjoy this book.  But if you also enjoy reading a novel that will make you look differently at the world,  Rare Earth should be on your nightstand.  And if you seek answers to how your faith may guide you to take action to help others, Rare Earth should be open in front of you at this very minute.

To learn more about Davis Bunn, please visit one of the following:

Website and Blog: www.davisbunn.com

Blog Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/DavisBunn

E-newsletter (to receive subscriber-only giveaways & previews of his 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/

 

When Fear Fuels Reality, is Faith Lost?


Have you ever noticed that when you focus on fear, it seems to grow exponentially?  Every thought, every emotion becomes tied up in what “could be” or what “might happen,” robbing you of peace, tranquility and a sense of well-being.  Your world is tainted by fear, and you begin to make decisions that may not be sound, but appear to be valid given your new inner landscape.

Take that scenario of fear, embed it in the consciousness of millions and watch panic spread like a virus.  Sparking terror and prompting wide-spread terror.  Especially if the fear is based on the one thing that Western Civilization relies upon as its foundational touchstone.

Money.  And the fear of its loss.

A creative and unusual book about the conflict between fear and faith has just been released by  bestselling author, Davis Bunn.  The second in the Dreams series, Hidden in Dreams follows Dr. Elena Burroughs as she unravels another dream mystery, this time involving a world-wide banking crisis that is sparked by a series of dreams about financial chaos.  The difference this time is that the same dreams occur to different people around the globe.

Elena is a fascinating protagonist and role model.  Although she does not seek the limelight, her knowledge, expertise and talent in interpreting dreams draws her back into the front of an escalating series of crises that threaten the financial stability of the world economy.  Although Elena becomes involved on a professional level, it is not until she starts having the same dreams as the others that she is challenged to find her way on a very personal level.

Just as she did in The Book of Dreams, Elena seeks answers by going inward and listening for God’s guidance and direction.   The central question of faith versus fear is handled deftly by Bunn, who creates the inherent conflict by his strong plot, intriguing characters and realistic challenges.  The issue of faith (or the lack thereof) almost becomes an unseen character, always present but never so obvious that its influence turns off readers.

Even non-Christians will appreciate Hidden in Dreams.

If you want to enjoy a great summer read that also asks thought provoking questions about the battle between fear and faith, you will not go wrong with the Dreams series.  Even though the same character is portrayed in both books, you can read either one or both, in any order.

To read Chapter 1 of Hidden in Dreams, please visit the following link:

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

Because of the deep questions that are asked and answered in this latest from Davis Bunn, Hidden in Dreams also makes a perfect book for book clubs.  The following is a link to the reading Group Guide:

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

To learn more about Davis Bunn, please visit:

Website and blog are at www.davisbunn.com

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

Sign up for Davis’ e-newsletter (for subscriber-only giveaways and advance notice of  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 Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. 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.

 

Help Me Promote a Wonderful Author!


K. Dawn Byrd is a marvel – author of numerous books, she still finds the time to create and manage blog interviews and book give-aways.  Her new e-book promises to open your eyes to lessons learned from the open road – in this case, while riding on the back of a motorcycle!    Here is more information about her:

K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational romance, romantic suspense, and non-fiction. She is an avid blogger and gives away several books per week on her blog at www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com, most of which are signed by the authors. She’s also the moderator of the popular facebook Christian Fiction Gathering group at http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=128209963444.

When not reading or writing, K. Dawn Byrd enjoys spending time with her husband of 16 years while walking their dogs beside a gorgeous lake near her home and plotting the next story waiting to be told.

Lessons from the Open Road

A couple of years ago, the idea of writing a devotional about the lessons I learned while riding a motorcycle came to me. I had no idea what I was getting into and how much writing devotionals would minister to me as an author. I jotted down notes for weeks, hoping to come up with enough lessons to take the reader through a month. Lessons from the Open Road ended with 33 lessons, each followed by Scripture and prayer.

Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes learning new things is hard. Just when I thought I’d mastered the parking lot where I was learning to ride my little Yamaha Virago starter bike, I pulled out, forgot to hit the brake, did an Evel Knievel, and jumped a short concrete wall, landing in some trees. My poor little bike limped home with a hole in the crankcase the size of a quarter. J-B Weld to the rescue!

I’m stubborn, too stubborn to quit. After I recovered from the sore neck that resulted from my stunt, I climbed back on the old iron horse. Eventually, I graduated from the parking lot and hit the streets. When I’d learned to ride well enough to satisfy hubby, he bought himself a new Harley and I inherited his anniversary edition Harley Davidson Sportster. And, when I graduated with my masters degree, you’d never guess what I wanted. Yep, a new bike. I became the proud owner of a Screamin Eagle V-Rod (picture attached.)

All good things must eventually come to an end. I enjoyed my days on the road, but found another passion. Writing. I work a full-time job and since there’s only so much time in the day, I have to choose what’s most important to me. The bike had to go. Occasionally, I miss it, but for the most part, I’d rather be writing. I’m hoping the devotions in Lessons from the Open Road will minister to your heart as much as writing them did to mine.

Lessons from the Open Road is currently available in ebook format and will be coming soon in print. I had planned to list it at no cost, but Amazon wouldn’t allow me to do so. I’ve listed it at the lowest price Amazon allows, 99 cents, and all proceeds will be donated to my church’s building fund for the new church that’s currently under construction.

For more information about Lessons from the Open Road, you can check it out on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Open-Road-ebook/dp/B007OYYG64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332895452&sr=8-1

Links:

Book giveaway blog: www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com

Young adult blog: www.zoe-mack.blogspot.com

Website: www.kdawnbyrd.com 

I’m also on Twitter (kdawnbyrd) and facebook (K Dawn Byrd.) I am the moderator of the Christian Fiction Gathering facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=128209963444) If you join this group, you’ll get reminders about the weekly book giveaways.

If You are a Dad, You have to Read This Book!


Courageous (film)

Courageous - The Movie

Calling all fathers, or soon-to-be-dads.  I know that it is too early for Father’s Day, but this is too great a book to wait for June.

Have you seen or hear about the movie Courageous?  It is the story of four Sheriff’s Deputies who each face different challenges in their personal lives.  Adam, the lead character, must face the fact that he spends most of his time and all of his energy at work, and does not leave anything left for his family.  It is not until he is faced with a sudden tragedy that Adam realizes that things have to change.  Instead of taking a lazy route, Adam surrenders his will to God, who leads him to create The Resolution.  That one simple decision has far reaching effects which touches and inspires everyone

Courageous was created by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, the same two brothers who created two other Christian movies, Fireproof and Facing the Giants.  I have not seen yet seen the Courageous movie, but after watching clips and the trailer from the website (www.courageousthemovie.com), I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD on January 17th.

If you have the time, read the book.  Randy Alcorn took the screenplay and filled in a lot of the characterization, scenes, and other details to make this a great read.  As he said in Acknowledgments, about 20% of the books comes directly from the screenplay; he had to create the other 80% to write a 362 page novel.

Watch the movie; read the book – whatever you do – learn this story and take it to heart!

 

Greed vs. Spiritual Guidance = Today’s Economy


Have you ever read a book of fiction and felt like the author was deciphering current events in a clear and concise manner that made you sit up and say, “Of course – that’s why that happened!”  When the story is told by a master wordsmith, the book becomes more than thought provoking…it almost becomes an explanation of why events occurred and the motivation of the individuals and institutions involved.

The “Book of Dreams” by Davis Bunn is such a work of fiction.

Part mystery, part mystical, the characters come alive at the deft touch of Bunn’s hand.  The heroine,  Dr. Elena Burroughs, faces a troubling choice in her life that is only resolved when she relies on her faith and intuition to guide her.  Because she is a psychologist with an international reputation of being an expert on dream interpretation, Elena is drawn into a troubling crisis that tests her fortitude, resolve and morals.

The underlying theme is one of good v. evil.   Or more accurately, greed v. God.

Elena must choose which voice to listen to, and it is her guidance and insight that resolves the conflict.  By sharing her faith in an open and direct manner, Elena inspires the other characters (and the reader) to “look within” for direction.  Knowing that she is loved by God, Elena stares down her adversaries and remains undaunted in the face of even the most dramatic of challenges.

Christians will cheer as they read this book, for it reinforces our belief that God always prevails.  Non-Christians will still be intrigued by the plot and factual details concerning the greed that created the current financial downturn.  And perhaps, if enough readers caught the message of “Book of Dreams,” the economic climate that the world faces would shift away from greed and limitation to abundance and joy.

One can only hope for such a result from “Book of Dreams.”

   Facts about David Bunn

Called the “Gentleman Adventurer”

 

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.

Can Dogs be Good Teachers?


We think that we train dogs…but can they also train us?  We assume that because we are human and dogs are…just dogs, that we know more.  We may know more stuff, but do we really know more of the important stuff?

I began wondering about this whenever we visit the Bark Park, a patch of green grass in the midst of a concrete jungle.  It is the social time and place for the neighborhood made up of apartment dwellers – for the dogs and their humans.  The dogs have their own way to greet each other (it involves a lot of sniffing and turning) while their owners follow a different pattern (a quick glance, smile or nod, then maybe a short conversation).

I am certainly no expert on the sociological behaviors of the canine or human species, but perhaps we could learn something from our four legged friends.

The dogs who enter the park shy or reserved are treated differently than the happy, exuberant ones who fall all over themselves to be liked.  Just imagine the contrast between a Chihuahua and a Golden Retriever.  Or the aloof, aristocratic entrance of an Afghan Hound to that of a Great Dane.  While each breed has its own personality and characteristics, each one slightly adapts to the other dogs in the park.

Afghan Hound XXXIII Dogs Show in Ustroń, Poland

Image via Wikipedia

Last night, for example, our usually reserved Afghan actually started playing with the coal black Great Dane!  This only lasted for 30 seconds before Godiva (guess which dog she is) decided that she would revert back to her standard mode and she gracefully trotted off to another part of the park.  The Dane, not to be ignored, followed her and they seemed to have a quiet interlude under the small tree that overlooks Downtown.

Needless to say, both the guy who owns the Dane and myself were astonished.

“I have never seen him act that way with another dog,” he explained.  “Usually Max just bowls right over other dogs.  He NEVER is still!”

I just shook my head.  “Godiva NEVER plays with other dogs – I still can’t believe it!”

Just as we were trying to process what just happened, the two new friends calmly walked over to us, tongues hanging out and a joyful expression in both pairs of eyes.  There was no big announcement of  “look what I did.”  Instead, the attitude of both dogs was “that was fun, but now I am ready to go sleep.”

A total shift in behavior and then back to normal.

The dogs did not hide behind masks of social acceptance, trying to behave a certain way just to be part of the group.  Neither did they act differently than how God made them.  Each was true to himself and his breed, but both stepped out of their usual traits to learn more about the other.  Each dog was well grounded in who he was and what he was, but neither hesitated to try something new.

We should transition so easily and gracefully.

New Book and New Contest


Trade Paperback ISBN: 9781416556701

eBook ISBN: 9781451610550

$14.99; 352 pp.

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

One of my favorite authors has a new book that will be available in November.  Called A Book of Dreams, it is an intriguing story of morality and the challenge of living a Christian life in an immoral world.  Please see the short synopsis below — be sure to scroll down to read the first chapter.

I will give away one copy of A Book of Dreams to the reader who correctly answers the following questions about Davis:

1.   What nickname is usually associated with Davis? What is it about his background that made the nickname possible?

2.   How many books did Davis complete before his first one was published?  How long did it take him to write that number of books?

3.  How many countries did Davis work in before he started writing?

Please provide your answers in the comment section below.  The contest will be open through the end of October. 

I will also be posting my review of A Book of Dreams in the near future, as well as an interview with Davis…so stayed tuned!

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?

 

Read Chapter 1 of Book of Dreams for free

Direct link to Chapter 1:

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

Short link to Chapter 1:

http://tinyurl.com/68eg7f5

Were Dogs Around when Jesus Walked the Earth?


What was it like to live in Nazareth when Jesus was a young adult, living a peaceful life while waiting for the call from his Father?  Surely adults looked after the children; people went to work everyday, and dogs and cats lurked around the stalls, hoping for a bit of food or water.

Cave canem mosaics ('Beware of the dog') were ...

Image via Wikipedia

Recently, I reviewed my daughter’s Latin book to help her past a problem.  Turning the pages, I came across a wonderful photo of a mosaic that shows a guard dog, fierce and unrelenting, forever frozen in a moment of assertiveness.  I couldn’t believe it when I read the caption – the mosaic was found on the floor of the entrance hall to the House of the Tragic Poet, in Pompeii!

Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79 and buried Pompeii under 4 to 6 meters of ash and pumice, permanently preserving life in a Roman city forever.  Although this event occurred after Jesus’ death and resurrection, it is safe to say that life as Jesus knew it was fairly similar to what people experienced in Pompeii.

Which means there were dogs that lived among people!

Confirmation of this simple fact thrills me to no end.  Why?  Because I have always wanted to travel back in time and walk with streets of Nazareth with Jesus.  To sit at his feet and listen to him teach a new way of life.  To feel his peacefulness invade my heart and open my soul to God.

With no ability to time travel, I did the next best thing – I wrote a book about it.  Walk With the Master is told from the viewpoint of Barnabus, a stray dog who is adopted by Jesus.  Barnabus and a group of children learn many lessons from the Master, including loving someone for their “God Light”, changing their attitudes and beliefs from judgment to acceptance, and learning to forgive any transgression someone may commit against them.

To learn more, please visit the following link on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/4xngsz2

Soon, the Faithful Companion Guide will be available as well.  With 16 lessons, discussion topics, companion Bible verses and exercises, the Faithful Companion Guide is a great tool for youth groups, homeschoolers and anyone who wishes to grow in their personal relationship with Jesus.

Can’t you just imagine how a dog would react to Jesus?

 

 

 

What is a “God Wink”?


Recently, I came across a small, compact book about Christian living in the most unlikely place – a Dollar General store!  They carry books from Thomas Nelson, the big Christian publisher.  The copyrights may be several years old, but the wisdom that flows from these pages is timeless.

I just finished reading a book by Squire Rushnell called “When God Winks at You.”  He has collected stories over the years about coincidences, that he believes are really winks from God.  In Squire’s opinion (and mine), God is just waiting for you to ask him for help, so He can let you know He is thinking about you.

As Squire says, “Every time you receive what some call a coincidence or an answered prayer, it’s a direct and personal message of reassurance from God to you – what I call a godwink.”

Has that ever happened to you? Something so unbelievable that it can’t be explained except by calling it a “godwink.”  (Let me know so I can write about it!)

This book is full of amazing stories that will leave you breathless in wonder.  After reading “When God Winks at You,” you will be filled with the desire to look for all the “godwinks” in your life that happen right before your eyes!