Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Updates - The Blog Tour

My publisher, Revell, put together a blog tour that's been running all this week for my newest novel Remembering Christmas. For those who don't know what that is, it's one of the marvels of the internet. My book goes on tour without me. And it has, throughout the US and Canada, with 62 bloggers participating. They each get a copy of the book and agree to read and review it in the same week.

Before I go further, I want to thank all of you who participated this week (even the handful of you who didn't care for the book...which I'll get to later). It's a busy season of life and I appreciate the time you invested in my work.

I haven't read all the reviews yet, and more will be coming in over the weekend, but I've read quite a few. Most have blown me away, far exceeding what any author could hope for from a review. I'll paste a sampling below. Just excerpts, though; space won't allow reprinting the entire review (I'll create a link with each blog name, so you can click on it and read the whole review if you want).

As I said, though most of the reviews have been extremely encouraging, there are a few that "go the other way." Admittedly, I'd like every one who reads the book to love it. That's not gonna happen, this I know. As of this post, for example, there are 37 reviews on Amazon. 27 are 5-Stars, another 4 have given the book 4-Stars. That's 31 out of 37 reviews that are very positive. But we've got a couple of 3's and even a couple of 2's in there. I imagine for the potential reader, it might be confusing to read some of the negative reviews compared to the rest.

At first, it confused me. It seemed almost like these folks were reading a different book. Some of the things that deeply and positively affected the majority, didn't move these people in the least. It goes to show that no one can write a book that makes everyone happy, and there are a variety of "taste buds" at play when someone picks up a book to read (or clicks a button on their E-reader).

But I wanted to speak to one thing I picked up as I read a couple of the more negative reviews. Some didn't like the main character, Rick. They felt like he was a selfish, self-absorbed young man who didn't treat his parents or those around him very well (this is true, Rick does start off that way). It didn't seem to matter that by the book's end, that all changes.

As I read their comments, I realized some people don't like to read books with characters who have a "dark side" at Christmastime. They prefer their Christmas books to be light and cheery all the way through. That's okay. I'm not here to mock that. Thankfully, there are plenty of Christmas books out there like that to be read and enjoyed. But my novels are not like that. Certainly, not my Christmas books. I prefer to write tales  more in the Dickens tradition. Take Scrooge for example. Not a nice guy, really for most of the book. But considering how the story goes, and where things end up....would we really want Ebeneezer to start off any other way?

Well, enough analysis. Here are excerpts from the 4-5 Star reviews that came in this week (and thank you every one for reading the book, getting what I was aiming for, and taking the time to write about it).

Blog Tour Samples:

“Dan Walsh writes beautiful stories full of tender moments, and just as each of his previous three books did, Remembering Christmas touched my heart…Walsh does a masterful job of showing how hurts and childhood perceptions can impact our lives as adults and the impact that unconditional love makes in a life, even years after the seeds are sown. This is a wonderful book to read for the holidays. It's definitely one for my keeper shelf, and I suspect reading it may become an annual tradition.”

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh is the best Christmas book I’ve read this year. In this book you really find out what Christmas is really about…A very beautiful, tender story full of love, forgiveness and hope. I highly recommend this for a fantastic book to add to your Christmas shelf. Five stars for sure!”
“Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh is a beautiful story about a man who remembers the Christmas that changed his life…I very highly recommend this book! If you haven’t read a book by Dan Walsh before, then you need to. He is a brilliant story teller, and his stories are emotional and powerful. This story is deeply moving, and packs a powerful message. It’s sure to get you into the Christmas spirit. Be sure to check out his other books: The Unfinished Gift, The Homecoming (which is a follow-up to The Unfinished Gift), and The Deepest Waters. He has become one of my favorite Christian fiction authors and I have come to look forward to his Christmas stories.”

“Dan Walsh is easily one of my new favorite authors, and I told him that last time I read one of his books. I have compared him to Nicholas Sparks for the Christian book enthusiast. I have been reading a lot of Nicholas Sparks' novels lately, and have to admit I prefer Dan's books to his. I know when I read one of Dan's books that it will be kept ‘clean’ while still holding the mystery and romance that I enjoy in novels.”

“Fans of Nicholas Sparks will find a new author to love in Dan Walsh...for me, he writes circles around any New York Times best-selling author. His books are filled with engaging characters, rich story, and deep faith in our unchanging God…Once again, Dan creates memorable characters that pull up a chair in your imagination and settle in for a good, long while. From J.D., the homeless man who looks forward to his daily McMuffin to the sassy co-worker that keeps putting Rick in his place, you'll love each and every person you meet. Be prepared for a surprise or two along the way.”

"Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh is a good book to read this holiday season. Like other novels written by Walsh, this book jumps right into the life of the main characters… It’s the third book I’ve read by this author and Dan Walsh’s writing style reminds me of Nicholas Sparks. My hope is someday his books will be published into a movie for all to enjoy…If you need a good Christmas gift idea for someone who enjoys reading, I’d recommend putting together these three books - Remembering Christmas, The Unfinished Gift, The Homecoming.
What more could I add to this but...God bless us, everyone.

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