Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August Updates

It's been a very active month. I finished the final edits for the Guidepost novel I wrote this year for their new series, Miracles of Marble Cove. Mine is Book 5 and will be called Autumn Light. I'm told it should come out in November. But that's really for those who sign up now (Books 1 & 2 are already being sent out). The way Guideposts has structured the series, the books really do need to be read in order (reads something like a mini-series). So when someone signs up, they start them off with Book 1. Then every 4-6 weeks, mail them the next book in the series. Click here if you'd like to check it out.

I'm almost finished with my 6th novel for Revell. The current working title is "If Only In My Dreams." I say, "working title" because titles often change between when I turn the manuscript in and when the book shows up on the shelves. This one is due out this time next year. It's not a Christmas book, per say, although it does take place in the Fall, and Thanksgiving and Christmas are background characters in the story. If you recognize the title, it's the last line in that romantic Christmas classic, "I'll Be Home For Christmas." The book is about a Vietnam vet who's given a chance to reunite with a family he'd thought he lost forever, and a totally unexpected romance.

The Series With Gary Smalley

Over the summer, I've been developing the storyline for Book 1 of my new 4-book series with Dr. Gary Smalley, as well as roughing out some ideas for Books 2-4. Cindi and I are getting excited about this. The plan is to send what I have to Gary by the end of this month. Then he'll review it and come up with any additional thoughts and ideas he might have. Then on Sept 20th, we'll fly in to St. Louis, Missouri, rent a car, and drive to Branson where Gary lives with his wife, Norma. We'll spend a few days finalizing our book plans, then Cindi and I will drive back to St. Louis to attend the ACFW conference. There, I'll meet with our editor and go over everything. Hopefully, she'll love it, and I'll return at the end of September to begin writing the first book.

Some Great Early Reviews for Remembering Christmas

My 4th novel, Remembering Christmas, is just about to release in a week or so. We've already received some great reviews. RT Book Reviews, the largest magazine in the country totally devoted to reviewing new novels, gave it a 4.5 Stars/Top Pick rating in the Inspirational Category. This is their highest ranking. The reviewer, Leslie L. McKee said:

"Walsh crafts the perfect holiday page-turner. Few people ever get the opportunity to know how a seemingly minor act can affect another’s life. With his gift for words, Walsh brings that experience to life, all the while making the reader feel like a dear old friend."

I have to say, reading that didn't hurt.

Then Library Journal magazine weighed in. This publication is read by librarians all across the country. After doing a nice job summarizing the story, they said:

"...This bittersweet tale of families abandoned and rediscovered should appeal to fans of Richard Paul Evans."

This is a prized recommendation. Richard Paul Evans has written some of the finest and bestselling Christmas novels of all time, like The Christmas Box and The Christmas List. It would be wonderful if a fraction of his fans discovered my books.

It's been a fine summer so far (now...if we can just make it through Sept with no hurricanes).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reviewing a Great WW2 Love Story

My friend and fellow Revell author, Sarah Sundin's newest novel releases this week. It's called Blue Skies Tomorrow, the third and final edition to her Wings of Glory series. If you like great love stories, especially ones set in the 1940's, you won't want to miss this book.

Sarah captures the era perfectly. Whether we're talking life on the homefront or battles in the skies over Germany, she doesn't miss a thing. This is true with her other two novels in the series, but especially true with Blue Skies Tomorrow. In one sense, I hesitate to refer to this book as a great love story, because it's much more. As the romance of Lt. Ray Novak and Helen Carlisle simmers and sputters through a series of almost impossible obstacles, Sarah pulls back the curtain on a number of weighty social issues. Taboo topics at the time, such as spousal abuse and racism in the military. But she handles them very well, weaving them seamlessly into the plot.

I know guys are often unwilling to read love stories, especially books written by a woman (thankfully women are not the same about similar books written by a man). But guys, I'm telling you...Sarah has written a great action story here, too. I've read dozens of WW2 books over the years. I love this era and know it well. Sarah nails it on the action/suspense front. She had me right there with Ray Novak, at times holding my breath as he sneaks around a secret Nazi airbase at night. Many chapters in this book read like pages from a thriller novel.

I don't want to give the ending away. Let's just say, very satisfying. I'm so glad Revell has signed her to write another series set in WW2. Well done, Sarah. Your best work yet! I can easily and eagerly recommend Blue Skies Tomorrow.

Click here to check out her website and blog.