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Strait of Hormuz, a Tastefully Written Thriller

Are you looking for adventure?

I have followed fictional character Marc Royce through Iraq and Africa, and now through Switzerland, and in true Davis Bunn style, the journey didn’t disappoint. This just-released third book in the series continues with agent Marc Royce working on a covert mission for the U.S. State Department in Geneva, Switzerland. For readers who haven’t read the first two books, this one, titled Strait of Hormuz, contains enough back story to pick up without feeling lost, but I highly recommend the first two books, simply because it adds to the depth of the characters who reappear in this book. 

I’m a fan of Davis Bunn mostly because he has drawn me into a genre that isn’t typically my style. How? He does action, danger, and even violence so tastefully that my mind can fill in the details needed, without having every gory detail painted on the page. This book has its share of mystery, danger, gunfire, and betrayal, which kept a fast pace for readers who like action. It also has a softer, more relational theme, which brought balance to the plot. 

There are several threads that don’t seem to connect until near the end of the book. I enjoy that mystery. Royce is on assignment that begins with an explosion in an art gallery, and ends with, well, of course I won’t tell you how it ends. It had plenty of intrigue to keep me hooked all the way to the end. I like how Bunn weaves a faith element into the story line without it feeling pasted in. In this book, I learned something about Messianic believers without it seeming like a history lesson.

There were several aspects of this story that would make it suitable for the big screen, and I’d be thrilled to see that happen. The ongoing action, an attack from a mysterious motorcade, an assassination attempt, a chilling scene where Royce and his team encounter a vessel on the Red Sea, the multilayered relationships of Royce and his team, wondering if any of them was a mole, and much more. It was one of those books that played like a movie as I read. 

I love that this and Davis Bunn’s other books have the potential for a broad male and female audience.  The trilogy makes a great gift for the reader who likes a tastefully done thriller.

I received a complimentary copy of Strait of Hormuz from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my 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…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Want to know more about the author, Davis Bunn? Check back for tomorrow’s post with a question and answer session on how he came to write this book, and more.

SWEEPSTAKES
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What Would You Do With This Blah Corner of the Bedroom?

When I did my bedroom makeover, there was this corner that I just didn’t know what to do with. Yes. I am a writer and just ended that sentence with a preposition. I am waiting for the grammar police to come take me away.

The TV has to stay here. Maybe someday, we will afford a wall-mounted flat screen. Maybe some generous sponsor will send me a TV for review. Hah. But in the meantime, my husband likes having a TV here. So, I was trying to figure out what to do with this blah corner. 

 I had these mirrors from our old bedroom and had painted the frames in sort of a white pickled look. I never really liked the frames that way, but liked having mirrors. 

 I decided to pop out the mirrors and give them an update.

 That’s the before picture above. I painted them with the wall color, and then antiqued them with brown glaze. I coated them with poly when finished.

 I tried to get a good close-up shot of the finish.

 It’s a start. Now I have mirrors on the wall, at least. 

But now what? How can I make this corner a lot more interesting? It’s still so boring! What would you do?

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Transformation Tuesday – Desk Accessories Complete Makeover

When I did my desk makeover, I needed something for the wall. In my trash to treasure stash, I had some vintage windows that I had made into chalkboards. I decided one of those would be just the thing. So this blah space…
…became this.

 I accessorized the desk with some things I had around the house.

 This upcycled pencil container was a door prize from a recent speaking engagement. They had flowers in it when the coordinators graciously sent it home with me. I have repurposed the upcycled can. Grin.

 Next to be fixed up is that lamp shade. I got it at a yard sale with the lamp, and it badly needs help. 

 This is so much more attractive than what I used to have in the living room for a work area. Sort of blends in with the furniture now. I have owned the vintage chair for many years, and I love how it fits with the rest of the vignette. 


Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Garland Turned Wreath – Quick Makeover Project

A friend gave me this garland for my birthday with the permission to upcycle it in whatever way I deemed best. I loved it just as it was, but didn’t have the right place for it.

But what I really did need was something to decorated these old skis. I had removed the sorry pine bough that was on it before because it was getting shabby.

 I twisted the garland into the shape of a circle. Then I used floral wire to hold it in place.

 Then, I hung it on the skis.

 A quick and easy makeover!

Michelle

Trash to Treasure Decorating
View the full post at http://www.trashtotreasuredecorating.com

Five things I figured out in Branson, Missouri

This month, I had the opportunity to take a bus ride to Branson, Missouri with the music students from our local high school. It was an opportunity to learn how puffy my feet could get and how stiff my back could become during an all night, all day ride. I learned how to operate my iPad, dig through a backpack, eat a snack, pick up a dropped cell phone from the bus floor, and more while keeping my elbows within my 18-inch allotted space. But, that’s not all I figured out during the five-day trip.

1. Despite statements people might give about the American teenager and the lack of manners in the next generation, I sat beside two wonderful gentlemen at one dinner show, and witnessed multiple occasions where teenage boys were polite to me on the trip.

On the Showboat Branson Belle for a lunch cruise.

2. The gospel is alive and well in the Bible belt. Up north, we’ve become accustomed to people saying happy holidays and pretty much avoiding Jesus in public venues at Christmas. Not in Branson. The gospel was given at every Christmas show, and the music was decidedly Jesus-centered.

The Haygoods family in concert during the Christmas portion of the show.

3. The loss of life on the Titanic stands as a testimony to what excessive faith in human ability can do. Despite its unsinkable promise, the boat went down within two hours of hitting an iceberg. Worse, the number of lifeboats in proportion to the number of passengers was underwhelming. A reminder to never trust so much in human power that I am irresponsible in my preparation. 

The Titanic museum in Branson.

4. Never get so preoccupied that you miss the little moments, even if they belong to someone else. As we walked past this little chapel at Silver Dollar City, I noticed a couple saying their wedding vows in the window. The bride wiped away a tear and then reached for her groom’s hand. A moment of joy borrowed from people I’ll never meet.

Silver Dollar City, Theme Park

5. Always notice the beauty around you, even if terror looms in the foreground. No, I did not ride this terrifying monster. Instead, I looked past it to God’s artwork in the sky. 

Silver Dollar City

I won’t forget my trip. I left Missouri sleep-deprived and over-nourished. But I figured out that there is good everywhere if you look for it.

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