Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to take a moment and wish all my family, friends and fans (and anyone else who might read this) a Merry Christmas 2010.

Listen to what the prophets foretold, centuries before that first Christmas Day:

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

"But you, O Bethlehem, Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days." Micah 5:2

Merry Christmas, everyone!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Writing a New Book for Guideposts

Here's an exciting development, and a nice Christmas present for Cindi and me as we look to the New Year. I've been asked to be part of a writing team for Guideposts publishing, for a new book series coming out, called Miracles of Marble Cove.

I'll be writing Book 5 in the series, called Mystery of the Mill. Although the word "mystery" appears in the title, and the series certainly has some elements of mystery, it's not a mystery novel, per say. The series is set in the present in Maine, in a fictitious seaside town called Marble Cove. The book cover to the right is not part of the series. I picked it because it looks like the rocky coast of Maine, and a lighthouse is central to the storyline.

The town is charming, almost like a character itself. Four friends have been brought together in Marble Cove and all have this in common: their lives have been miraculously spared by God. They are drawn into a series of events where they, too, are being used in seemingly miraculous ways to affect the lives of others. Central to the story is the historic Orleans Point lighthouse, which is unoccupied and has been decommissioned for years. But the friends keep seeing mysterious lights coming from the lighthouse and, just after they do, wonderful things seem to happen.

The books will only be available directly through Guideposts, not in retail stores. But I loved the storylines the moment I read them and I'm thrilled to be a part of this writing team, which include bestselling authors Melody Carlson and Anne Marie Rodgers. When the books do become available, you can probably purchase them by clicking here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Speaking at Word Weavers Retreat

I've been invited to be the keynote speaker next month at Word Weaver's 8th Annual writer's retreat. It's Friday through Sunday, Jan 28th -30th at The Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park, FL (near Leesburg). The keynote message will be Saturday evening, but I've also been asked to do a workshop that afternoon. Fellow Revell author Eva Marie Everson will also be speaking.

This will actually be a first for me.

Not speaking in public. As a pastor I've done that for 25 years. This will be the first time I'll be speaking about writing or to an audience of writers. I'm looking forward to it, and trusting God that my hosts will be glad they invited me in when it's over.

Word Weavers describe themselves as a "Christian Writers critique group" who "welcome writers of all levels and ability." The first chapter formed in 1997. They now have 7 chapters, mostly in Florida, in cities like: Orlando, Gainesville, St. Augustine and Tampa. But they also have one chapter all the way up in Rochester, New York.

If you'd like to find out more about this retreat or about Word Weavers, click here.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Unfinished Gift in National Woman's Magazine!

I'm going to do something here I don't do very often. I'm going to recommend you all go out and buy a certain Woman's magazine, the Christmas issue of FIRST for Women. It's on checkout stands all over the country (I've seen it at our local Wal-Mart and Publix). The magazine has a 1.25 million circulation.

Here's a pic of the cover, and here's why you should get one:
  • You will learn how to trim 17 lbs of unwanted fat by Christmas.
  • There are $102.30 in coupons.
  • 4 pages on "Your Most Beautiful Holiday Hair Ever."
  • Some crazy-good recipes for holiday desserts.
  • A super tip on using mint tea bags to keep your toilet bowl fresh.
  • And on page 110, my novel The Unfinished Gift was selected as 1 of 6 books recommended as "First Picks" for your holiday reading list.
Come to think of it, that last item alone was enough for us to pick up 3 copies.

Honestly, it was quite an amazing thing to see my book there. Even though The Unfinished Gift came out last Christmas, it seems to be reaching even more people this year. I love all the emails I'm getting every week, from people who've been touched by the story.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Unfinished Gift for German!

Don't you like getting packages in the mail? Especially ones you didn't expect?

Today I opened a box sent from my publisher. Staring back at me were three little hardback books with my name on the cover, the only words I understood. Here's a picture of the cover, taken from Amazon's German counterpart.

If you'd like to see the page, click here (you can get it for a mere 12,95 Euros).

I was told last year a German publisher had purchased the rights to translate it into German, with plans to market it online and in retail stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. But I thought it wasn't happening until next year. So this is a pleasant surprise. Guess it's on shelves in those countries right now.

You might notice the little wooden horse on the cover. An interesting story here. The German editor sent me a nice email last year, asking permission to change the story, just a little. If you've read the book, you know Patrick's grandfather had begun to carve a wooden soldier for his son, but never finished it (where the title comes from). They wondered if I'd be open to them changing this soldier into a little wooden horse.

She explained in Germany, ever since World War II, their culture has downplayed the idea of children playing with war toys. It was an easy concession to make, since the nature of the toy itself isn't really central to the story. I think it makes for a really nice cover. My wife said she'd buy it in a heartbeat, if she saw it on the shelf (and could read German).

One last item, there were already two nice reviews on the German Amazon site. My son translated them for me using Google Translator. Here's an excerpt from one, translated literally. I must have read similar comments hundreds of times from English-speaking fans. It was great to see the German translation is having the same effect:

"His book I devoured in a few hours. Maybe he has pressed a little too much given to the tear glands..."

I'm humbled and deeply honored to see others take such an interest in my work. Wouldn't it be wild if the book took off over there and Cindi and I got a chance to do a booksigning tour in Germany, Austria and Switzerland?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jonathan Edwards on the Excellency of Christ

My first introduction to the legendary Jonathan Edwards came, oddly enough, in the same class in 11th Grade where I first discovered that I loved writing fiction. I had not yet become a Christian, but I had become a "seeker." Our English teacher led us through a brief study of Edwards' infamous "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" sermon. Sadly, this lone sermon for the overwhelming majority of people forms the beginning and end of all they know about this man.

Some three decades later, I had the privilege of reading a wonderful biography of Edwards by a history professor from Notre Dame, George Marsden. It's called, simply: "Jonathan Edwards: A Life." I had already learned by then that there was much more to Jonathan Edwards than this sermon I'd read in 11th grade. I knew, for example, that he loved God with an intense passion and preached about the love of God even more than he did about the fires of hell.

But he most certainly did preach about the reality of hell, in a literary form and style that cast him, even centuries later, as the crown prince of fire and brimstone preachers. But I also learned something in Marsden's book about what motivated Edwards to reflect so often on this "hot topic."

It was love, not anger.

Some of you know, I retired at summer's end from being a pastor after 25 years. I did my fair share of funerals during that time, but rarely for someone who died suddenly in the prime of life. Almost all were for people who'd lived to a ripe old age. But in Edwards' time, he regularly presided over funerals for young men, women and children who died from any number of ailments that today they would have easily survived.

Young mothers died in childbirth. Children died when common colds became pneumonia. Teenagers died from the flu. Think about every one you know who got over something because they took an antibiotic. Now think of them dying instead.

These were the times and challenges Edwards' faced. He didn't feel he could ignore the unpopular subject of hell when so many people he loved faced the possibility of sudden death. You might say, his sermons were aimed at "scaring the hell" out of people, literally. His goal was that no one would face such a horrible fate, when infinite love and eternal paradise was available to them through Christ.

Edwards loved people. He loved his Savior even more. Consider something else Edwards has written, about the Excellencies of Christ. Besides his obvious love for God, he was one incredible writer:

"What is there that you can desire to find in a Savior that is not in Christ? What excellency is missing? What is there that is great or good; that is impressive or winning; what is there that is adorable or endearing; or what can you think of that would be more encouraging, which is not found in the person of Christ? Would you have your Savior to be great and honorable, because you are not willing to be indebted to a mean person? And is not Christ a person honorable enough to be worthy of your dependence; is he not a person high enough to be appointed to a work so honorable as your salvation?

"Would you not only have a Savior of high degree, but would you also have him
notwithstanding his exaltation and dignityto be made also of low degree, that he might have experience with afflictions and trials, that he might learn by the things that he has suffered, to pity them who suffer and are tempted? And has not Christ been made low enough for you; and has he not suffered enough?

"Would you have your Savior to be one who is near enough to God, so that his ability to mediate might be ever with him? And can you desire him to be nearer to God than Christ is, who is his only-begotten Son, of the same essence with the Father? And would you not only have him near to God, but also near to you, that you may have free access to him? And would you have him nearer to you than to be in the same nature, united to you by a spiritual union, so close as to be fitly represented by the union of the wife to the husband, of the branch to the vine, of the body to the head; yea, so as to be one spirit? For so he will be united to you, if you accept him…

“What is there that is missing, or what would you add if you could, to make him more fit to be your Savior?"

As I reflect on Edward's question, here at the end, my answer is...absolutely nothing.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lord, Change My Story, However You Will

In my quiet time this morning, I reflected back on something I had written in a journal a few years ago. I'd forgotten all about it. As I read it, I realized, it carries even more meaning for me at this point in my life than it did back then.

It's really a prayer: Lord, Change My Story, However You Will

Lord, how often have I prayed
that you would have Your way
with me?

I say, 'Let Your will be done on earth
as it is in Heaven'; meaning,
that You should be in charge
of all that happens to me this day.

But then I so quickly set about to write
my own story, my own way.

I cast the characters, and I determine
how they should act and behave,
what I want them to do
and not do.

I develop the plot along the lines
I want it to go.
I even think through
all the twists and turns;
allowing for some adventure
but always within the bounds
of my control.

When I finish creating my story, I sit back
contented that this is how my life
should now unfold.

It is what's best; I am its author.
I imagine it needs no editing or review.

But then You, mercifully, begin inserting Your views.
You edit my plot and change my story;
the characters no longer follow
my carefully devised and appointed roles.
New characters suddenly appear.
Unplanned things begin to happen.
Twists and turns I had not considered.

It seems Your story barely resembles
the one I set out to write.
I realize I am no longer the writer of this tale.
I am instead one of the characters
in a story You are creating.

You are more than an editor of my work
You are the author of my story.

It is, as David said:
"All the days ordained for me
were written in Your book
before one of them came to be."

As I look back on my life, I realize
It has always been this way.
I write my lines,
Then You write Yours
And Your lines become my story.

And what You have written
Always turns out to be
Far better and far beyond anything
I could have imagined.

As I reflect on this, it gives me hope
even a good measure of joy,
for all of the new changes You have just added
to my story

And I find a new prayer in my heart:
Lord, change my story, however You will
not just today, but
every day after that.

Dan Walsh

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some Fun Developments with CBD

There have been some fun developments this week with, one of the largest online & catalog retail stores for Christian books.

For the holidays, they created a site called "Author's Christmas Memories." A number of authors were asked to share their favorite Christmas memories. Mine is included. I talked about my last childhood Christmas spent in the snow (the memories of that Christmas actually inspired some of the scenes in my first novel, The Unfinished Gift. You can check these out by clicking here.

Also, I was just informed they posted an interview with me, mainly discussing my next novel, The Deepest Waters, due out in the Spring of 2011. If you'd like to get a preview of that story and what inspired it, click here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Visiting Book Clubs

One of the benefits of writing fulltime now is the freedom to respond to more opportunities more easily.

For example, take Book Clubs.

Book Clubs are a wonderful way for book lovers to connect with each other. The idea is the group members read a selected book each month, then meet to discuss it. Some do this online (here's a great site devoted to this very thing, called The Book Club Network).

Other Book Clubs meet in person once a month at a church, a library, a bookstore, a coffee house, a living room, etc. The Book Club leader serves as the scout, previewing books that might interest the group, then selecting a different one each month.

Getting Discussion Questions for your Group:

Publishers now recognize the importance of this rapidly growing trend and actually ask authors to come up with a discussion guide when they finish their books. I do this for everyone of my books now. If you're a Book Club leader interested in using one of my books for your club, you can get one of these discussion guides at Revell's website. Just click here to get to the page with my books, then click on a book to get to its separate page. In the right hand column, there's a place under "Resources" to download a PDF file, with 10-12 discussion questions for each book:

Visiting Book Clubs Live:

I'd love to visit Book Clubs. I can do this in person if not too far from where I live. I don't charge anything (just ask you to cover my expenses). Or we can meet by phone (I could take questions while your group meets by speakerphone). If you're a Book Club leader and you'd like to arrange a visit, go to my website at, click on the "Contact Me" button and drop me a line.

I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Writing Fulltime Now!

Last week, I announced I was now writing 25 hours a week and working part-time for 25 hours at a nearby Hobby Lobby.

Well, this just in...

I went in to Hobby Lobby last Saturday and was laid off at the end of my shift, along with 12 others. I decided not to shoot up the place. In fact, I wasn't even angry. When informed, my wife actually smiled and told me she'd secretly been praying for weeks it would happen (I know...sounds crazy).

My agent, editor and my wife all believe it's time for me to take that leap of faith and write fulltime now. I was the lone holdout. It just seems like such a huge step. And as a rule, I err on the cautious side. With our kids grown, my wife working, the house paid off, we can actually make it on what I'm making with the books (although...being a bestselling author would make it much easier...that's where you all come in :).

So this week, for the first time, I began writing fulltime. One immediate benefit, besides having more time to write, is the freedom to respond to a lot more opportunities. Things I'd probably have to turn down with my Hobby Lobby job, because of conflicting schedules.

And it was kind of the Lord to send me strong confirming evidence that He was the actual instigator of this change. All kinds of writing work came in this week, and I've firmed up a number of opportunities to visit several book clubs over the next month or so.

More on that in my next post.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Writing Pipeline

Some of you might already know this, but I retired from being a pastor after 25 years last month. But at 53, I'm not ready to retire altogether (not sure I'll ever do that).

Since I finished my first novel, The Unfinished Gift, in 2007 (which came out last year), I've had a growing desire to devote more time to writing. I'd like to do it fulltime, if possible (as most writers do). Both my first novel and the sequel, The Homecoming, are doing well, and my publisher has contracted me to write 3 more books. But the income is not quite there to do write fulltime yet, so I'm working at a local Hobby Lobby part-time to help close the gap.

But I am able to write about 25 hours a week now, which I'm grateful for. This week, I'm starting to get a real sense of the "writing pipeline." I'm talking about the length of time between an author finishing a novel (or...thinking he has) to when it actually hits the shelves, and the kind of things that usually go on behind-the-scenes during this time.

Let me illustrate by talking about what this past week has been like.

Since my first novel recently won 2 Carol Awards (Book-of-the-Year) from ACFW, it's experiencing a surge of interest and sales (yay!), resulting in a lot of email activity. I've also firmed up a number of visits (by phone or in person) with several book clubs who've selected both of my books in November and December.

My publisher just sent me the galleys for my 3rd book, The Deepest Waters, to edit and get back to her in about 10 days. Galleys are a preliminary version of the book, printed like an old-fashioned manuscript, for the purpose of proofreading. My job is to read it over, check for any possible mistakes or small changes, as well as consider any comments from the copy editor.

I also received from my senior editor at Revell the rewrite edits for my 4th book, a Christmas novel set to come out next year. This is the editing stage just before the galley stage. Thankfully, my editor loved what I sent her and only had a handful of suggested changes. I have to get these done and back to her within 2 weeks.

And finally, I'm hard at work writing my 5th novel in between all the other tasks. It's really starting to hum now (at about the 60 page mark). This stage is the purely creative stage of writing and the most enjoyable. It's hard to pull away from this once I start. I can see why writers dream of breaking away to a nice lakeside cabin at this stage. But I'm also glad I have a pipeline now with so many other things going on at once.

Oh, I forgot one more stage on this pipeline...coming up with new ideas for Books 6 and 7. These books are just gleams in my eye right now, but several things are already stirring.

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Friend Deb Raney on the Cover of CFOM

Just wanted to draw your attention to a great magazine about Christian fiction, in case you haven't seen it before. It's called (no surprise) Christian Fiction Online Magazine (CFOM). My good friend and award-winning author, Deborah Raney, is on the October cover.

Deb and Colleen Coble really reached out to me when I first got published and helped me find my way around. Deb is a sweet lady and a talented author. She regularly visits the ACFW writer's loop giving great advice and encouragement to newly published and unpublished writer's seeking help. Click here (not on the pic) to read an excellent interview with Deb in this month's edition.

To the right, is a pic of Deb and I in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis last month, at ACFW's annual conference.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Unfinished Gift an Editor's Pick for FIRST for Women magazine

Upon my return from the ACFW conference, I received some incredible news from my publisher. The paperback edition of The Unfinished Gift has been chosen as the "editor's pick" for the Nov 19th issue of FIRST for Women magazine. That's the issue that comes out just before Thanksgiving this year, so this endorsement for the holiday season couldn't have come at a better time.

FIRST is a huge publication, appearing at checkout counters and newsstands all across the country, and has a 1.25 million circulation. It's an amazing opportunity to get my book into the hands of a whole new segment of the population. Not to mention the possibility (hopefully, the likelihood) that those who read the first book will want to go out and buy the sequel, The Homecoming, just released this past June.

Won 2 Carol Awards at ACFW 2010

Since my last post, some amazing things have happened. I am humbled and honored by all the attention I've received at ACFW's annual conference this past weekend, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis. I went knowing my first novel, The Unfinished Gift, had been named a finalist for the Carol Award in two categories: Debut Author and Short Historical. This alone was an exciting development.

I had no expectation of winning either award (but I confess, being a finalist for two gave me some hope I might have a chance at winning at least one). Even as I practiced what I'd say if I did win, it felt awkward and out-of-place, not like something I would actually say (they asked us to please rehearse, so we could keep our comments to 30 seconds). As it turned out, I hardly said anything I had planned.

The conference itself was amazing and, except for the fact that my wife Cindi couldn't be with me, I was having a wonderful time, learning so much, connecting with good friends and making some new ones. The award banquet was Sunday evening.

Earlier that day, I had the unexpected surprise of having lunch with Carol Johnson and her husband (the woman for whom the Carol Award is named), along with bestselling author James Scott Bell and keynote speaker for the conference, Tim Downs. It wasn't planned; it just worked out that way. I had been talking to Cindi, came into lunch late and sat at one of the only tables available, at the far end of the room. It was a fascinating conversation.

At the banquet, I sat fairly close to the stage with my agent, Karen Solem, and editor Andrea Doering. As the evening progressed, my thoughts alternated between trying to remember what to say if I won, then scolding myself for being so stupid to think I'd be called upon to say anything at all. The evening progressed, as the winners for the ACFW Genesis Contest were announced. Then a number of other awards were given for Editor, Agent and Mentor of the Year, as well as a Member Service award for the most outstanding volunteer.

Finally, the Carol Awards began. Then I saw the names appear for the Short Historical category. My name was mentioned last in the group. "And the winner is..." I couldn't believe it when they said my name. Here's a picture of the big screen, just after they announced I'd won (that's guy standing is me walking up to the stage). I was overwhelmed.

As I walked back and sat down, I had one of those fleeting "Now I can die a happy man" sensations. About ten minutes later, they got to the last category for Debut Author. Based on the quality of the books by other authors on this list, as well as the fact that I'd already won an award, I knew there was no chance of winning.

Then they read my name...again.

I was speechless. I walked to the stage mostly trying to regain my composure. I certainly didn't prepare a second acceptance speech. After fumbling a few moments, I remembered to thank Colleen Coble and Deb Raney, two good friends at ACFW, who've helped me so much since joining ACFW.

In the aftermath, both that evening and later the next day as we all packed up to go home, I was inundated with encouragement from so many people. Needless to say, the airplane ride home was not too shabby. The only glitch was having my luggage singled out and searched, because the metal in the award plaques signaled some kind of alarm.

Other than that, it was a most remarkable trip. The following day, I received even more incredible news from my publisher, which I'll write about in a second post.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Great Review of The Homecoming on

Last week, I discovered my newest book, The Homecoming, received a great review from Kelley Matthews on, the largest Christian website on the internet. On Friday, it featured on their homepage, under the Entertainment section.

You can read the review by clicking here.

I knew Crosswalk was a well-traveled site, but did a little checking and was amazed at how many people visit there. It's part of a larger network inter-connected with several other related sites. The network receives 100 million page views each month and has 5 million email subscribers. Don't know how many of these people got a chance to read the review of The Homecoming, but this is clearly the largest site to review the book to date.

My thanks to Kelley Matthews for the great review!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Deepest Waters in Baker's Spring Catalog

Just received a copy of Baker Publishing's Spring 2011 New Releases catalog, which is sent to retailers all over the country. I knew my third novel, The Deepest Waters, would be in there, since it releases in April. But I was elated to find they featured it across two whole pages!

The book cover takes up much of the left page (it really is my favorite of the 3 books so far). They picked an exciting section of the book, just after the shipwreck, as an excerpt that runs beside the cover along the left side. On the right page, are all kinds of highlights and bullet points about the book.

You'd think I'd be used to this kind of thing by now. But I still can't believe God has opened this door for me, and given me such a wonderful publisher (Revell), willing to spend so much money to design such great covers and promote my books this way.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2 Great Reviews of The Homecoming

Just read two great blog reviews about my newest book, The Homecoming, today. Here's a couple excerpts (click on the name to read the whole review):

"Dan Walsh is a brilliant writer in my opinion. His book The Unfinished Gift was amazing and Homecoming is the sequel to that first book. Often sequels can be less impressive than the original, that is not the case here." -- Random Bits of Shoz

"You really need to have tissue handy when reading this book. It's an emotional, heartwarming, fast paced story full of adventure, love, drama, family, and forgiveness. This beautifully written historical, romance novel is a must read! I'm definitely going to grab a copy of the first book now." -- Crystal at Reading and Reviewing Blog

To me, writing is a joy in itself; all the more when a writer gets to read things like this about your work. Thank you "Shoz" and Crystal, you made my day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

4th Novel On Its Way

This past Thursday evening, I sent off my 4th of 5 novels under contract with Revell. It's as ready as I can make it. But my editor, Andrea Doering, will see wonderful things I've missed or ways to make it even better. She'll send it back after a while, I'll make some changes, and then it will be ready for print.

Like my first book, The Unfinished Gift, it's a Christmas novel. But this one is set in 1980. It's tentatively titled, The Book Nook, about a nearly enchanted little bookstore owned and run by Art and Leanne Bell. The day after Thanksgiving, Art collapses at the store and is found by a homeless man he's been helping. It's the busiest shopping time of the year, but Leanne needs to stay by Art's side, as he clings to life in the hospital. Her son, Rick, a successful CPA in Charlotte, reluctantly agrees to come home to help out with the store. Over the next few weeks, Rick meets a young woman there he can't stop thinking about. And he gets re-introduced to the mother he's ignored for almost a decade, and the step-father he's rejected completely, as he listens to a host of charming and eccentric characters, whose lives have been forever changed at...The Book Nook.

As with my first three books (the 3rd isn't out yet), Cindi and I both cried numerous times in the last 50 pages. Which is rather odd, if you think about it. You'd think since I made it up in my imagination, I'd be able to know that as I read it back. But I get sucked right in, every time.

I am such a sap.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Official Press Release About the Carol Award Finalists

ACFW sent out their official Press Release today naming the Finalists for this year's prestigious Carol Award. Click here if you'd like to read it (at the very bottom is some more info about the award itself).

Here's the complete list (for those interested in some great titles for summer reads). My book, The Unfinished Gift, is listed in the first category, Debut Author, and Short Historical (11 categories down). Congratulations to all the Finalists. The winners will be announced in mid-September at ACFW's annual conference, this year in Indianapolis. Cindi and I are both getting to go.

Honoring excellence in Christian fiction of all genres, American Christian Fiction Writers notes these finalists for their Carol Awards (formerly the Book of the Year Awards).

Debut Author

Talking to the Dead - Bonnie Grove (David C. Cook Publishing, Nicci Hubert - Editor)
The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn - Liz Johnson (Steeple Hill, Elizabeth Mazer - Editor)
Eternity Falls - Kirk Outerbridge (Marcher Lord Press, Jeff Gerke - Editor)
Michal - Jill Eileen Smith (Revell, Lonnie Hull DuPont - Editor)
The Unfinished Gift - Dan Walsh (Revell, Andrea Doering - Editor)

Contemporary Novella - 6 Finalists due to a tie

One Child - Barbara Cameron (Thomas Nelson, Natalie Hanemann - Editor)
When Winter Comes - Barbara Cameron (Thomas Nelson, Natalie Hanemann - Editor)
A Mule Hollow Match - Debra Clopton (Steeple Hill, Krista Stroever - Editor)
The Great Christmas Bowl - Susan May Warren (Tyndale House, Karen Watson - Editor)
A Change of Heart - Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson, Natalie Hanemann - Editor)
A Choice to Forgive - Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson, Natalie Hanemann- Editor)

Historical Novella

Home Again - Victoria Bylin (Steeple Hill, Emily Rodmell - Editor)
A Breed Apart - Vickie McDonough (Heartsong Presents, JoAnne Simmons - Editor)
Beloved Enemy - Vickie McDonough (Heartsong Presents, JoAnne Simmons - Editor)
Christmas Bells for Dry Creek - Janet Tronstad (Steeple Hill, Tina James - Editor)
A Shelter in the Storm - Carrie Turansky (Barbour Publishing, Rebecca Germany - Editor)

Long Contemporary - 6 Finalists due to a tie

The Familiar Stranger - Christina Berry (Moody Publishers, Paul Santhouse - Editor)
A Widow's Hope - Mary Ellis (Harvest House Publishers, Betty Fletcher - Editor)
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow - Joyce Magnin (Abingdon Press, Barbara Scott - Editor)
White Picket Fences - Susan Meissner (Waterbrook Press, Shannon Marchese - Editor)
If Tomorrow Never Comes - Marlo Schalesky (Multnomah, Julee Schwarzburg - Editor)
Nothing But Trouble - Susan May Warren (Tyndale House, Karen Watson - Editor)

Long Contemporary Romance

Critical Care - Candace Calvert (Tyndale House, Jan Stob/Lorie Popp - Editors)
Seaside Letters - Denise Hunter (Thomas Nelson, Ami McConnell/Jessica Alvarez - Editors)
Just Between You and Me - Jenny B. Jones (Thomas Nelson, Natalie Hanemann/Jamie Chavez - Editors)
Plain Promise - Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson, Natalie Hanemann - Editor)
The Hope of Refuge - Cindy Woodsmall (Waterbrook Press, Shannon Marchese - Editor)


The Case of the Mystified M.D. - A.K. Arenz (Sheaf House, Joan M. Shoup - Editor)
Under the Cajun Moon - Mindy Starns Clark (Harvest House Publishers, Kim Moore - Editor)
A String of Murders - Darlene Franklin (Heartsong Mysteries, Susan Downs - Editor)
Polly Dent Loses Grip - S. Dionne Moore (Heartsong Mysteries, Susan Downs - Editor)
Pushing up Daisies - Janice Thompson writing as Janice Hanna (Heartsong Mysteries, Susan Downs - Editor)

Long Historical

A Bride in the Bargain - Deeanne Gist (Bethany House, David Long/Julie Klassen - Editors)
Fit To Be Tied - Robin Lee Hatcher (Zondervan, Sue Brower/Leslie Peterson - Editors)
Look to the East - Maureen Lang (Tyndale House, Stephanie Broene - Editor)
Love's Pursuit - Siri Mitchell (Bethany House, Dave & Sarah Long - Editors)
Stealing Home - Allison Pittman (Multnomah, Alice Crider - Editor)

Long Historical Romance - 8 Finalists due to a tie

Paper Roses - Amanda Cabot (Revell, Vicki Crumpton - Editor)
Cowboy Christmas - Mary Connealy (Barbour Publishing, Rebecca Germany - Editor)
Montana Rose - Mary Connealy (Barbour Publishing, Rebecca Germany - Editor)
The Frontiersman's Daughter - Laura Frantz (Revell, Andrea Doering - Editor)
The Believer - Ann Gabhart (Revell, Lonnie Hull DuPont - Editor)
A Passion Denied - Julie Lessman (Revell, Lonnie Hall DuPont - Editor)
Love Finds You in Poetry, Texas - Janice Thompson writing as Janice Hanna (Summerside Press, Rachel Meisel - Editor)
The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper - Kathleen Y’Barbo (Waterbrook Press, Jessica Barnes - Editor)

Short Contemporary

His Cowgirl Bride - Debra Clopton (Steeple Hill, Krista Stroever - Editor)
Autumn Rains - Myra Johnson (Heartsong Presents, JoAnne Simmons - Editor)
A Wagonload of Trouble - Vickie McDonough (Heartsong Presents, JoAnne Simmons - Editor)
A Texas Ranger's Family - Mae Nunn (Steeple Hill, Melissa Endlich - Editor)
Dreaming of Home - Glynna Sirpless writing as Glynna Kaye (Steeple Hill, Melissa Endlich - Editor)

Short Contemporary Suspense - 6 Finalists due to a tie

Evidence of Murder - Jill Elizabeth Nelson (Steeple Hill, Emily Rodmell - Editor)
Final Warning - Sandra Robbins (Steeple Hill, Tina James - Editor)
Murder at Eagle Summit - Virginia Smith (Steeple Hill, Krista Stroever - Editor)
Scent of Murder - Virginia Smith (Steeple Hill, Krista Stroever/Tina James - Editors)
Double Take - Jenness Walker (Steeple Hill, Emily Rodmell - Editor)
Code of Honor - Lenora Worth (Steeple Hill, Patience Smith/Tina James - Editors)

Short Historical

Her Patchwork Family - Lyn Cote (Steeple Hill, Tina James - Editor)
The Glassblower - Laurie Alice Eakes (Heartsong Presents, JoAnne Simmons - Editor)
The Outlaw's Lady - Laurie Kingery (Steeple Hill, Melissa Endlich - Editor)
All That Glitters - Lynette Sowell (Heartsong Presents, JoAnne Simmons - Editor)
The Unfinished Gift - Dan Walsh (Revell, Andrea Doering)

Speculative (includes Science Fiction, Fantasy, Allegory) - 6 Finalists due to a tie

Eternity Falls - Kirk Outerbridge (Marcher Lord Press, Jeff Gerke - Editor)
The Vanishing Sculptor - Donita K. Paul (Waterbrook Press, Shannon Marchese - Editor)
The Word Reclaimed - Steve Rzasa (Marcher Lord Press, Jeff Gerke - Editor)
Starfire - Stuart Vaughn Stockton (Marcher Lord Press, Jeff Gerke - Editor)
The Muse - Fred Warren (Splashdown Books, Grace Bridges - Editor)
By Darkness Hid - Jill Williamson (Marcher Lord Press, Jeff Gerke - Editor)


Intervention - Terri Blackstock (Zondervan, Sue Brower/Dave Lambert - Editors)
Lonestar Secrets - Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson, Ami McConnell - Editor)
Exposure - Brandilyn Collins (Zondervan, Rachelle Gardner/Sue Brower - Editors)
Salty Like Blood - Harry Kraus (Howard/Simon & Schuster, David Lambert - Editor)
Breach of Trust - DiAnn Mills (Tyndale House, Karen Watson - Editor)

Women’s Fiction - 7 Finalists due to a tie

Sweet Waters - Julie Carobini (B&H Publishing, Karen Ball - Editor)
Leaving Yesterday - Kathryn Cushman (Bethany House, Dave Long - Editor)
Sweet By and By - Sara Evans & Rachel Hauck (Thomas Nelson, Ami McConnell - Editor)
Never the Bride - Rene Gutteridge & Cheryl McKay (Waterbrook Press, Shannon Marchese - Editor)
Yesterday's Embers - Deborah Raney (Howard/Simon & Schuster, David Lambert - Editor)
Above All Things - Deborah Raney (Steeple Hill, Krista Stroever - Editor)
The Summer Kitchen - Lisa Wingate (New American Library/Penguin, Ellen Edwards - Editor)

Young Adult

Who Made You a Princess? - Shelley Adina (Hachette FaithWords, Anne Goldsmith Horch - Editor)
Always Watching - Brandilyn & Amberly Collins (Zondervan, Barbara Scott - Editor)
I'm So Sure - Jenny B. Jones (Thomas Nelson, Natalie Hanemann/Jamie Chavez - Editors)
So Not Happening - Jenny B. Jones (Thomas Nelson, Amanda Bostic/Jamie Chavez - Editors)
Unsigned Hype - Booker T. Mattison (Revell, Andrea Doering - Editor)

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Homecoming reviewed by Homecoming Magazine

My publisher just sent me a nice review for my new novel, The Homecoming, from none other than Homecoming Magazine, a magazine produced by legendary Christian music legends, Bill and Gloria Gaither.

In the magazine, there's a picture of the book cover, then under the heading "Second Chances" is this:

Historical fiction author Dan Walsh returns to bookshelves with The Homecoming (Revell). A reluctant war hero returns home in 1944 and encounters a new chance at love when he hires Katherine Townsend to be his son's nanny. This heartwarming story of tender love and fresh starts is the sequel to Walsh's acclaimed debut, The Unfinished Gift.

So happy the folks at Homecoming magazine enjoyed The Homecoming :)

The Unfinished Gift named a finalist for the Carol Award

I just received some exciting first novel, The Unfinished Gift, has been named a finalist for American Christian Fiction Writer's (ACFW) prestigious Carol Award in 2 Categories: Debut Novel and Short Historical. This award, until this year, had been ACFW's "Book of the Year" award. It was changed just last month at the ICRS convention in St. Louis, to honor Christian fiction pioneer, Carol Johnson. This award is something like a Grammy for Christian fiction.

Here's a little more information about the Carol Award from ACFW's website (and while I'm talking about ACFW, I'll put in a little plug for their excellent new site, Fiction Finder):

Recently at the International Christian Retailers Show, ACFW announced the organization's intent to honor the bold vision of Bethany Publishing House editor Carol Johnson, by renaming the organization’s prestigious Book of the Year Awards to the Carol Awards.

Cynthia Ruchti, ACFW's president said: “ACFW owes a great debt of gratitude to the pioneers of Christian fiction and to those, like Carol, who helped make Christian fiction the storytelling powerhouse it is today,” Ruchti said. “From this point on, the highest achievement in our award program for published authors will be The Carol Award.”

Monday, July 12, 2010

Join me for a Live Author Chat at Family Fiction

This post will be relevant for a fairly short period of time. Tomorrow (Tues), between 5-6pm, Eastern time, I've been asked to do a "Live Author Chat" at Family Fiction, a huge Christian Fiction Facebook site, that has over 10,000 fans (the graphic to the right is their current pic on FB). Host Chris Well has set up a site for anyone who'd like to join in.

All you have to do is leave a question or comment to win a free copy of my new book, The Homecoming. Click here and it will take you to the site Chris set up. Only comments left between 5-6pm on Tues will be eligible for the drawing.

Fun stuff.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Source of Unending Joy

In my quiet time this morning, I pondered a passage in Jeremiah, that speaks of a source available to all God's people that can provide us with unending joy regardless of our circumstances.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." (Jer 17:7-8).

God is such a magnificent writer. What a picture He paints with words. But, unlike me, God does not write fiction. Here He paints a powerful picture filled with real-life promises. He tells of a source of happiness available to all of us, one that is as unending as the provision of water to a tree planted by a stream.

Trees planted away from a stream are dependent on rainfall for water. The upside for the tree is, it's an effortless exchange. The water just falls from the sky. The downside is, the rain comes when it comes; it is not a steady supply. If a tree were a person it would "fear when heat comes," and become extremely anxious "in the year of drought." It's level of joy, even its ability to have joy, is dependent on circumstances over which it has no control.

Not so, God tell us, for the tree planted by a stream. There is some effort involved. The tree must send out its roots by the stream. The parallel for this effort is us deciding to trust in the Lord, to deliberately put our trust in the Lord. But the reward is amazing. The promise is one of constant blessing and provision. A life lived without fear or dominated by anxiety.

So then, it is not our circumstances but where our hearts go in the midst of our circumstances that determines our true measure of happiness in life.

The appeal here, from God to us, is clear. It is God's personal invitation to a life free from fear. "Trust in Me. Put your trust in Me."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Cover to my 3rd Novel is Out!

I've just learned, my publisher has posted the cover to my 3rd novel, The Deepest Waters, on Amazon. That means I can display it now, too. I've known about it for 2 months, but had agreed not to show it online until they firmed everything up on their end.

It's a departure from the cover style of my first two novels, The Unfinished Gift and The Homecoming (which has just released on the first of this month). But I love it. It's my favorite of the three so far (click on it and it will get bigger).

It's set for release in April 2011. The Deepest Waters was inspired by a true story. Here's a brief summary of what's in store:

It's September 1857. A couple on their honeymoon is separated by a shipwreck. Their beautiful steamship, the SS Vandervere, has collided with a fierce hurricane and is damaged beyond repair. Just before she goes down, an old wooden ship comes to their rescue. But it only has room to take the women and children aboard. The couple is pulled apart, weeping, certain they will never see each other again. She sails off alone to New York, aboard a ship full of grieving widows and orphans, to face a family she has never met.

The Deepest Waters weaves a tale full of action and suspense, and yet it is also an amazing love story that could only happen if miracles do come true.