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.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Few More Blog Tour Clips

I've been busy all week trying to visit many of the blog sites participating in The Homecoming Blog tour. I've lost count of how many have already posted their reviews and/or interviews, but I think we're getting close to the end (maybe a few more on Saturday).

They've been extremely good for the most part. So far, haven't read any that did not like the book. But it's been interesting (if not a little confusing) to read the few that have offered observations of parts they didn't like, or things they would have liked better. I certainly wouldn't expect to ever write a book that made everyone happy.

What's confusing is that for every person who suggested something they didn't like there are four or five who rave about that very thing, say it's one of the things they liked most about the book (Example: the level of romance in the story or the depth of the characters). A few said they probably would have enjoyed it more if they'd been able to read the first book (The Unfinished Gift), while others who hadn't read the first book said it didn't matter; they loved it all by itself.

I guess the answer lies in the wide variety of tastes people have in reading. But I'm very grateful for all those who took the time to read and offer their reviews and suggestions.

Here are a few of my favorite comments:

"The author did a great job of researching this time period and bringing the era to life on the page. The characters are well-drawn, and the story quickly entices the reader, making them eager to find out what happens...Another winner for Dan Walsh!"

Cathy's WordVessel Blog

"The author had obviously done his research and had me solidly grounded in the 1940's while I read this novel...kind of reminded me of 'It's A Wonderful Life' in tone, but minus the Christmas setting."

Michelle Sutton's Edgy Inspirational Author blog

"The Homecoming is a sequel to The Unfinished Gift...I did not read The Unfinished Gift, and I don't think it mattered. However, I want to read it now..."

Judy's Sieze the Book Blogspot

"Folks, Dan Walsh writes stories that I consider 'classic.' The timelessness of family conflict, of loss, love and Christ's faithfulness are all present in a realistic way in his stories...I cared quite a bit about all the characters in The Homecoming, and that, to me, says a lot about Dan Walsh's ability to write a great story. You miss the characters when the story ends."

Window To My World Blog

"Dan Walsh has outdone himself in his new book, The Homecoming...Dan's descriptions of what Shawn, Patrick and Katherine went through in order to survive was riveting. I felt their highs, their lows and the heartbreaking blows of war like I've never experienced before...I can't wait to read another story by this author. His characters and story touched my heart deeply."

Nora St. Laurent's Hope Through Fiction blog

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The ACFW Conference - Just 3 Months Away

Taking a breather from The Homecoming blog tour to tell you about a wonderful writer's conference Cindi and I will be attending in September. I'm not sure how many who read this blog are writers or hope to be some day. If you are, a conference like this is an amazing opportunity.

It's hosted by American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), a group I've been an active part of for the last year and a half. It has over 2000 members, most of whom are still unpublished. A strong team of seasoned published authors take time each day to answer questions, share insights and discuss the lastest trends in Christian publishing via an email loop. They also have a fabulous website filled with page after page of encouraging, helpful information (Click here to visit).

I'd say the single strongest word that comes to mind to describe the folks in ACFW is the word "encouragement." They excel at this.

They also host an amazing conference in a different city each year. This year it's Indianapolis, Indiana. Best-selling author James Scott Bell will teach an Early Bird session, and author Tim Downs is the keynote speaker, sharing at all the main sessions. Throughout each day, a wide variety of workshops and seminars are taught by multi-published authors, geared to help you in whatever stage you're at in your writing career.

If you have a novel ready to submit, you can schedule one-on-one appointments with the top agents and editors in the business.

Last year was my first conference. Afterward, Cindi and I immediately decided, if God made a way we'd come back again this year. Well, He has, and we're going again, from Sept 17th - 20th. We couldn't be more excited.

If you'd like to find out more about the conference, click here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Blog Tour Clips from Monday

Another group of bloggers posted their reviews yesterday. Didn't get my Google Alert about them till today. But once again, a lot of strong reviews. Some had already read my first book, The Unfinished Gift; others are starting with The Homecoming.

Which brings up an interesting question...can you/should you read a sequel first? We worked hard to give The Homecoming a life of its own, so that it could be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel. It appears we have succeeded, at least in the minds of some. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 Stars and said this in their review: "While this is a sequel to The Unfinished Gift, it could easily be a stand alone novel."

But after reading so many blog reviews, I'd say the consensus is: It does work as a stand-alone, but those who've read both books recommend reading both if you can.

Here's a sampling of the reviews that came in yesterday:

"I think I described The Unfinished Gift like a cup of 'written' chicken soup. If that's the case, then The Homecoming is a bit like a slice of my grandma's chocolate cake - sweet and rich, yet incredibly simple and delicious."

My Scrappy Life blog by Kaylea Huston

"The Homecoming is equal to, and even a bit better, than its predecessor...I've found a new author to love in Dan Walsh, and I look forward to reading more! I'm giving The Homecoming 5 out 5 bookmarks."

Deena's Books Blogspot

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Blog Tour Clips

It's been humbling to read the reviews that have already started posting from the Blog Tour. I won't be able to post them all here. It will be going on throughout the week with almost 50 bloggers participating. But I wanted to give you at least a sampling of the reviews coming in about The Homecoming. As an author, I'm not sure there's anything more satisfying than reading the kinds of things I've been reading today.

"I fell in love with the characters in the first novel, and that emotional tie was strengthened in this novel. A thoroughly satisfying read. I highly recommend it."

"Once again, Walsh skillfully brought me back in time and made me feel as though I was there. I laughed, wept and rejoiced with the Collins' family...a story that reveals the horrors of war, mended relationships, childhood innocence, tender romance and new beginnings. The Homecoming deserves a position among the classics."

"I would very highly recommend this book. The writing is wonderful. The story is beautiful. I was hooked from the start until the end. I enjoyed getting to spend more time with these fabulous characters. They feel so much like people I know now...These books will go on my all-time favorites list."

"What a great read! I'd like to see a movie created from this novel...When I turned the final page, I sighed in contentment. This is my kind of book!"

See what I mean? And this will be going on all week. Of course, there's no guarantee everyone will feel the same way about the book, but it's been a great first day.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Revell Blog Tour About to Begin

Revell is launching a blog tour for my new book, The Homecoming, starting Monday. Almost 50 bloggers throughout the country will be reviewing the book on their blogs throughout the week. Some will also be doing interviews with me and giving away free copies of the book.

They received review copies of The Homecoming several weeks ago, to give them time to read it before the tour began. Several have already contacted me to share what they plan to say next week. Very encouraging stuff so far.

One of them named Michelle hadn't read the first book yet (The Unfinished Gift). So she read it and posted a very strong review on her blog today (a little Christmas in June). If you'd like to read it, click here.

I've been very busy since The Homecoming released a week ago. Trying to juggle all this activity while polishing up my 4th novel so I can send it in.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Recommending a Good Book

I don't normally review books on my blog. Certainly not against it, just a time thing. But I wanted to recommend a book I've just finished reading, especially to fans of my first two novels. It's called, A Distant Melody, by a fellow Revell author named Sarah Sundin.

It's a great WW2 story, the first of three she is writing. As you know, both The Unfinished Gift and The Homecoming are set during WW2. Fans of my 2nd book will especially like A Distant Melody, because it's also a love story. Sarah does a great job setting the characters and story in its historical time frame. Lots of period details and atmosphere. Felt at times like I was watching a movie from that era. And she does a great job simmering the romantic tension between the two main characters, Walt and Allie.

I think guys will like this book, too. She has some great battle scenes with Walt flying his B-17 over enemy skies. I've read dozens of WW2 aviation books in my own research. Sarah doesn't miss a lick. Just the right amount of detail to keep the tension high. The dialog between the guys is spot on.

If you like my novels, do yourself a favor and check out, A Distant Melody.