Book Review: Raptor 6

Another “Rapid Fire Fiction” winner from author Ronie Kendig.

I have yet to pick up a book by this author and not love it! Reading a book by Ronie is like doing an Insanity workout: fast paced, intense, and completely engaging.

Have you read a novel and found yourself skipping pages to “get to the goodstuff”? You won’t do that with Raptor 6–or any book by this author because it’s ALL good stuff.

This latest story is the first installment in Ms. Kendig’s newest series, The Quiet Professionals. As with her other books and series, this author does an exemplary job of presenting a military suspense that is technically spot on and respectful. It is also enlightening as well as entertaining. In addition to her faithful handling of military stories, Ronie weaves a clear message of faith as her characters struggle with issues of trust in the ugly face of evil’s maleficence.

One of the things about this book that might not appeal to some readers would be the way it “ends.” All I’m going to say is that I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series!

This book is long on suspense and light on romance so it should find a broad audience of both men and women.

Book Review: Hang on to your hat!

Marc Royce hits the floor running in this Davis Bunn super suspense novel. From the opening pages to the final words you will find yourself on the edge of your seat, wondering where the next turn will take you. The characters maintain their integrity from previous stories, but even if this is your first encounter with the Royce stories (Lion of Babylon and Rare Earth) you will not feel any gaps or holes because the author does an excellent job of filling in the gaps without spending needless time in back story or jumping from the present to the past.

The characters have a depth that makes them quite real. As is typical of Bunn’s writing, they grow as they face their issues and questions. And while faith is an obvious theme and thread that runs through the story, it is certainly not “crammed down your throat” or preachy. Topics of past hurt along with questions of trust for the future are dealt with in gentle wooing ways that may find you questioning your own faith journey and growing with Marc, Kitra, and Rhana.

Strait of Hormuz is a story that could be ripped from the pages of current newspapers around the world. Throughout it you will not only be entertained, but educated on a culture that is mysterious and dangerous–and one that it would behoove us to know more about.

When I put down the last Marc Royce novel, I could hardly wait until the next one was available. I dove into this story and was certainly not disappointed. The fast pace hooked from the very beginning. As it was coming to a close, I found myself slowing down because I just didn’t want it to end.

I highly recommend Strait of Hormuz and give it as many stars as I can…and then some!

I was given a copy of the this book by the publisher, Bethany House, in return for an honest review.

Plot Synopsis
An under-the-radar phone call from the U.S. State Department puts Marc Royce once again on assignment—ferreting out rumors of a clandestine operation stretching from Asia to the Mideast. At stake is Iran’s threat to blockade the narrow Strait of Hormuz, cutting off vital shipping routes and escalating global tensions beyond the breaking point.

Under the guise of investigating money laundering via high-end art purchases in Europe, Royce finds himself in Switzerland with only sketchy information, no backup, and without a single weapon other than his wits.

His appointment with a gallery owner in Geneva is a dead end–the man is on the floor with a bullet through his chest. But it turns out Royce does have backup. The Mossad has sent someone to keep an eye on this undercover op, which is of more than casual interest to the Israelis. And it’s someone Royce knows…

Read Chapters 1-3 of Strait of Hormuz for free

About Davis Bunn
Davis Bunn is a four-time Christy Award-winning, best-selling author now serving as writer-in-residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Defined by readers and reviewers as a “wise teacher,” “gentleman adventurer,” “consummate writer,” and “Renaissance man,” his work in business took him to over 40 countries around the world, and his books have sold more than seven million copies in sixteen languages.
Strait of Hormuz is the series finale of the popular Marc Royce Adventures. Library Journal named Lion of Babylon (Book 1) a “Best Book of 2011.” Rare Earth (Book 2) won the 2013 Christy Award for best suspense novel and was a CBA top 20 best-seller.

Q&A With Davis Bunn:
Q & A with Davis Bunn
Use as many of these questions as you’d like to accompany your review, or publish the Q&A as a separate blog post or on your favorite social network. Lots of interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits here about Strait of Hormuz.
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.

Here are links to all of Davis’s online “homes”:

Website and Blog:
Blog Feed:
E-newsletter (to receive subscriber-only giveaways & previews of his upcoming novels):
Facebook Author Page:
Twitter: @davisbunn –

Book Review: Unlimited

The search may have been for unlimited power, but the discovery seems to have been unlimited grace for those with overwhelming shame, those struggling to trust and forgive, and those simply seeking to serve.

Once again Davis Bunn has provided an exhilarating story that invites the reader to think big: big about the world we live in and big about God. Not to be forgotten was the battle that evil wages within the heart of man to control the source of power for selfish means.

I had an immediate affinity for our hero, not that I’m a scientific genius, but that I know what it is like to have failed someone and beat myself down with a mallet of shame. The struggles that floated up with issues of trust and forgiveness were also portrayed in real and relatable ways.

The story was totally engaging. I found myself shouting words of warning (“Don’t go there!”) and tearing up at the pain when evil seemed to triumph. It is definitely the kind of read that will evoke the emotions of the reader as well as challenge the reader to think and consider. In that sense it is a great balance for head and heart.

I give this book 5 stars. I would highly recommend this book and look forward to seeing the pages come to life when the movie adaptation is released this fall!


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. He needs Simon’s help.

Upon crossing 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.

Unlimited, the movie: <img src="

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About Davis Bunn
Davis Bunn is a four-time Christy Award-winning, best-selling author now serving as writer-in-residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Defined by readers and reviewers as a “wise teacher,” “gentleman adventurer,” “consummate writer,” and “Renaissance man,” his work in business took him to over 40 countries around the world, and his books have sold more than seven million copies in sixteen languages.
Unlimited is Davis’s first screenplay to be released as a major motion picture. The book, Unlimited, is a novelization of the screenplay.
The inspiration behind the Unlimited film and novel is Harold Finch’s book, Success: Four Keys to Unlock Your Unlimited Potential. Download a free copy of Success here:
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 –

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.)

Book Review: Nothing to Hide

Nothing to Hide, A Roland March Mystery
Author: J. Mark Bertrand
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 328

Nothing to Hide
This book is part of a series by this author. I’ve read reviews of the other books and while this book is able to stand on its own, it does follow the other books sequentially. I was able to catch the spots where the author linked back to previous story lines, but it wasn’t ever too much information or too little.

In this book, the author jumped back and forth, however to a back story several times throughout this book. All the information was pertinent to the current story, but I am just not a huge fan of this format. At times I found myself wanting to move on, and we dropped back in time. I get that the flashbacks, if all told at once in the beginning, probably would have spoiled the surprises as the story unfolded.

I will admit that I had to read the first few sentences several times before I “got it.” If your first lines are supposed to grab, then I’m not sure these succeeded. If I hadn’t committed to finishing, I would have been hard pressed to get past the first few pages.

But I did. And it was ok. I’m not one to try and figure things out, so I stayed with it to the end. I was surprised. That’s good.

If you liked the previous books by this author, then you will probably like this one. If you like surprises, then you might enjoy this. If you struggle with violence and gory stuff, this might not be your best choice.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Bethany House blogging book review network. 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.

Unexpected Book Review

I love to read. I love to find new authors. Those are two of the main reasons I have signed up with several publishers to do blog reviews. Of course, getting free books also is a pretty powerful incentive.

Writing reviews has also increased my interest in how others review books, so I find that I am reading more reviews. Last week while I was on vacation I read a review for a book by Sibella Giorello, The Stars Shine Bright. The reviewer was quite positive about the book, and it’s place within the series, but it was one of her final statements that really caught my attention. To paraphrase, she suggested that it would pretty awesome if Giorello’s character Raleigh Harmon teamed up with Steven James’s Patrick Bowers.

I have been jonesing for the next Patrick Bower installment since I laid down my copy of The Queen. I was intrigued to find another author so closely compared, so I went to and hunted up this author. I was quite pleased to find that the #1 book in the Raleigh Harmon series was on sale for $3.99–the amount remaining on my account.

I started reading the book yesterday. I finished it today. I want the rest! Now. And I have to agree with the reviewer I read last week: I think Raleigh and Patrick would make an interesting team.

I intend to read more in the series, but if the subsequent books are of the same ilk, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. I’ll let you know for sure, but would also be interested in what you think if/when you read them too!

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