It’s Book Review Friday – Sort of

Okay, so today is the day I post a review on a book I’ve actually read. Due to outside events (j-o-b), I have to delay the post.

Book title: Vanished

Author: Irene Hannon

Time of actual review posting: Prayerfully today, while it is still called today. Otherwise, the wee hours of the morning that lead into S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y.

Gotta go. Blessed, favorable Friday!

More on Davis Bunn, Author & Gentleman Adventurer

Last week I told you about Unlimited, the book written by Davis Bunn that is based upon a movie. I also said that I would share more about Davis Bunn in a later post. No, i wasn’t privileged to interview him personally [this time], nevertheless we do get a chance to get to know him better. So here it is, an online interview with the author himself, along with another opportunity to download a free e-book, enter the promotional contest and view the movie trailer. No questions, I’m just asking you to keep reading and enjoy the conversation with a really great author. I present to you, Mr. Davis Bunn.

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,” “gentlemanadventurer,” “consummate writer,” and “Renaissance man,” his work in businesstook him to over 40 countries around the world, and his books have sold more than seven million copies in sixteen languages.Image

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: http://unlimitedthemovie.com/4-keys-book/.

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, HaroldFinch.com) 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 www.davisbunn.com

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

Sign up for my e-newsletter (for subscriber-only giveaways and advance notice of my upcoming novels): http://www.davisbunn.com/news.htm

Facebook Author Page: facebook.com/davisbunnauthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/davisbunn/ — check out my “Scenes from Unlimited” board.

Twitter: @davisbunn – http://twitter.com/davisbunn

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ISBN (Trade Paperback): 978-1-4336-7940-7

320 pages

September 1, 2013 from B & H Publishing Group

Thank you Davis for such a great interview. And now, readers, here’s a preview of the book and the film, Unlimited. Don’t forget, it releases in October.

Read Chapters 1-3 of Unlimited for free: http://on.fb.me/1c5IyCS

Trailer for Unlimited: The Movie: http://youtu.be/ZLd5MCOR3rg

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Unlimited Sweepstakes: You could win a $50 Fandango gift card plus UNLIMITED, Davis Bunn’s new suspense novel. Ten additional winners will receive a copy of UNLIMITED. Enter right now by clicking this link: http://woobox.com/mp5qew.

Note: Pinning is NOT required to enter (the pins are just for fun). Simply enter your name and e-mail address in the form on Davis Bunn’s Facebook page. You can enter once per email address per day.

Rack up lots of bonus entries each day by sharing the contest with your Facebook and Twitter friends!

Hey Bibliophiles, This Blog is For You

 I admit it, I love reading. I have ever since the first, “See Jane run,” phrase came into my life. In fact, while I don’t remember learning how to read, I can remember the first sentence of the first book that really caught my attention. I was in the fifth grade and I acquired a little pink library book with four girls on the cover. The first sentence began with, “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents…”

I was hooked. Little Women became my favorite book and Louisa May Alcott officially became my first favorite author. She was quickly followed by Jane Austen, Beverly Cleary, Elisabeth Friermood, Carson McCullers, Georgette Heyer, and later Maya Angelou (I got to meet her when I was 18, so cool), M. M. Kaye, J.R.R. Tolkien, Agatha Christie, Phyllis A. Whitney, Mary Stewart, and for a short while, Stephen King, Peter Straub, James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Richard Wright, and Zane Grey (I know, cowboy stories). But it’s true.

I read many genres. Titles such as The Baseball Life of Mickey Mantle, The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Secret Garden, Helter Skelter, The Godfather, Shirley Temple’s Storybook (Fairy Tales), Shadow Castle, the Time Life series on Crimes & Punishment,  Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (I couldn’t do In Cold Blood) and so many others I can’t even begin to list them all…The Bobbsey Twins, The Five Little Peppers, Hans Brinker, Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Archie, Marvel and D.C. comic books, The Little Engine that Could (I think I can, I think I can).

But to this day, I have yet to finish The House of the Seven Gables. I’m still on page two, and it has been weeeelll over 20 years since I started it. I even bought a copy of the book from the library for 25 cents a few years ago. I haven’t opened it yet.

I also have never finished Wuthering Heights (I did my English Lit book report using the comic book version, got an A, so no complaints here), and I did not like Jane Eyre enough to even bother (my apologies to you Bronte fans). At any rate, I love to read. Through books I have traveled to different countries and learned about various cultures. I can’t begin to tell you how many rounds of Trivia Pursuit I’ve won because of the weird, obscure and random things I know.

I’ve read funny stories, gruesome stories, true stories, fantasy, time travel, thrillers, suspense, romance and nonfiction titles. I’ve read about royal intrigue, warriors and maidens, heroes and villains, sword fights, human despair and triumphs. However, I only know of one Book that actually covers all of the genres and then some. I don’t just read it, it reads me. Yep, hands down it’s the best of them all.

Image In fact, I know the Author personally.

Yes indeed, I’ve read a lot of books and intend to read many more. I have a lot of books on my shelves (and let’s not even talk about my 4000+ electronic books. Friday is coming and the second book review comes with it.

I’ll look at my stack of books waiting to be reviewed and pull from there.  Image

A side note: I really want to do voiceovers and record books on tape professionally. I love acting out the parts and making the story come alive. I have a few friends in my life that like it when I read aloud – I’m kind of like the library lady at story time.

Some people read to escape, some to learn or discover, some to relax and for a myriad of other reasons. Some people hate to read. I read because I love it, and because I can. And yet, I read some statistics that show that there are literally 32 – 93 million U.S. adults and nearly 800 million worldwide that are classified as illiterate. Over 32 million adult U.S. citizens cannot read!

 http://statisticbrain.com/number-of-american-adults-who-cant-read/.

http://www.literacypartners.org/literacy-in-america/literacy-facts

I think this is something that I would like to help change. How about you?

To read or not to read – do you, read that is? What’s your top ten book list? Do you find some of yourself in the pages of the books that you read? Have you ever thought about contributing time, money and/or resources to help someone else become literate? I’m keeping it light today, so these are simple questions and of course you don’t even have to answer me because…I’m just asking.

From a Movie to a Book – Unlimited by Davis Bunn

Greetings. Today is the first [sound the horns] BOOK REVIEW FRIDAY, the first of [prayerfully] many. I’m featuring the book, Unlimited by Davis Bunn.  Image

 

I’ll post a second blog that gives you all of his info and contact info. I’ve been collecting his books for years, so he is not an unknown author to me. I also posted a shortened version of my review on Amazon. You’ll also see it on Goodreads and a few other places later. Oh, and he’s running a contest, so stay tuned for that.

A burning car, a hit man on a mission, a mysterious device and an American scientist on the run in Mexico – yes, that’s the opening scene in Davis Bunn’s book, Unlimited. This is a book based upon a movie that is based upon a person, and I truly felt as though I was watching a movie as I read it. The story drew me in as I met Simon Orwell, Sofia Marin and her brother Pedro, the young orphan boy named Juan and Dr. Harold Finch, the one character that actually exists beyond fiction. I also drew insight into the character of Dr. Armando Vasquez, Simon’s former professor, dead even before Simon gets to Mexico. He forgave, he loved.

I could tell you about the plot, but you can read the back of the book for that. In short, Simon has a penance to make, a legacy to fulfill, and a destiny to choose. He has opposition, and in spite of himself, he overcomes. There is corruption, greed, politics, drug cartels, orphans, families and love. There is no profanity, sex or lewd conduct displayed; but the presence of evil is apparent. It is heartrending and an awakening to read about the recruitment of child gang members. The drug cartel “representatives” went from village to village recruiting every child over the age of nine [Join up, or we kill your family.] The people of Mexico maintain a level of dignity that is beautiful to behold, even in the midst of oppression and violence. Davis Bunn captured that beautifully.

I prefer to tell you about the story’s heart. The children of Mexico see a lot, too much that has absolutely nothing to do with Hollywood’s stylized violence. They know meanness and cruelty firsthand. Even the state run orphanages serve as a kind of way station for acts and agendas regarding children that are too heinous to mention, and too prevalent to ignore. I enjoyed the book. I liked Simon, understood Sofia, was proud of Juan, loved Pedro and wanted to meet Dr. Harold. Yet, even as I read, it raised questions within my heart about my part in changing this world for the better.

And that is the heart of the story. Yes, the title pertains to the limitless capacity of human potential and value, we are unlimited. It’s about discovery and change as only God can do. But the true limitless capacity that is woven in the thread of the story is really not about man, it is about the adoption of the created by the Creator, the one with boundless love and compassion and a relentless ability to rescue us even when we don’t realize He is doing it. This is the story’s heart, what Harold Finch stands for. This is what changed Simon, softened Sofia’s heart, expanded the vision of Pedro, educated Juan and paid tribute to Dr. Finch.

Simon: “You’re facing ruin. Everything you worked for could collapse tomorrow. But you’re talking about changing the world.”
Harold: Son, that’s the power of dreams. If they’re not big, if they’re not impossible, they’re not worth investing your life.” (pg. 177)

I closed the book with a stronger resolve to make a difference in my communities: local and global. I know that I can, I know that I will, I know that I do. Read the book. Watch the movie. Make a difference.

I received a complimentary copy of Unlimited from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.

One last thing before I sign-off. Do you know that you are unlimited in what you can do? It happens when you decide. You just have to have a key to unlock those parts inside. The key is available, it can be found. That’s another conversation for later this month. Now, all that being said, are you going to live an Unlimited kind of life? The choice is yours. As always…I’m just asking.

Read Chapters 1-3 of Unlimited for free  http://on.fb.me/1c5IyCS

Trailer for Unlimited: The Movie  http://youtu.be/ZLd5MCOR3rg

Sweepstakes Alert!  You could win a $50 Fandango gift card plus UNLIMITED, Davis Bunn’s new suspense novel. Ten additional winners will receive a copy of UNLIMITED. Enter right now by clicking this link: http://woobox.com/mp5qew

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Priorities & Weekly Book Reviews

Wow, life gets busy. I’ve moved, I’m working a different kind of job, my daughter just left for college….oh, and the dog ate my homework. Well, the last one is a familiar lie, but sometimes even the truth sounds like an excuse.

Fact is, I have to establish my priorities or I am simply inviting circumstances and events to do it for me. I don’t like that. Did it ever occur to you that allowing circumstances and events to establish your priorities limits your potential and opportunity to move forward? That’s a discussion for later this month. Meanwhile, I’m heading off to work. Oh, two more things.

Beginning tomorrow (Friday, September 13), I will begin posting book reviews. Yay! 

I’m starting with a book based upon an upcoming movie, Unlimited, written by Davis Bunn.

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I’ll also provide contest info and a few other little goodies pertaining to the book. So please, stay tuned.  

One other thing before I close out. If you invite circumstances and events to establish your priorities, how do you “uninvite” them? I have a few ideas, but I’ll give you time to think about it. There are a number of books and resources that can tell you what to do, but for now...I’m just asking.