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."