Saturday, December 17, 2011

Some More Christmas Updates

Christmas is just one week away now, but it almost feels like Christmas came early for me. Some wonderful things have been happening for my newest novel, Remembering Christmas.

It's been 2 weeks since my last blog update, mainly because I've been so busy. Besides, writing the book I'm working on now (the first one with Gary Smalley), I've been doing blog and radio interviews promoting Remembering Christmas, as well as a little traveling. I finished the final edits on The Discovery (the book coming out in April) and I'm almost done with the rewrites for The Reunion (the book that comes out next Sept).

After posting this update today, I'm taking the rest of the day off to take Cindi out, so we can finish our Christmas shopping. It will be our first Christmas buying gifts for our new grandson. We can't wait!

Here's what's been going on:

A Great Review on

Many of you would know about this site. It's the largest Christian website on the Internet. Hundreds of thousands of people visit or one of the many sister-sites connected to it. Which is why we were so thrilled to read the excellent review written by Susan Ellingburg, a contributing writer in their "Culture" department.

The review is too long to reproduce here, but here are a few excerpts. First, she does a really good job summarizing the story, without giving too much away. Then she adds her comments:

The author’s deceptively simple style allows events to unfold without forcing the characters into far-fetched situations or over-the-top emotions. The result is a story that’s completely believable, even (maybe especially) the truly poignant sections. All the characters (even the quirky ones) ring true and their actions are true to form.  Reading this book feels like listening to a friend give his testimony—assuming that friend is a gifted storyteller, of course.  

Dan Walsh also deserves high praise for perfectly capturing the eighties vibe. Everything from early stars of contemporary Christian music (Keith Green, the Pat Terry Group, and more) to TV shows (“Who shot JR?”) to the price of gasoline (over—gasp—$1 a gallon!) brings the Reagan era to life. So many authors skip over these things but it’s the little touches that make all the difference. This attention to detail spills over into every aspect of the story, making Remembering Christmas a tale that readers will enjoy any season of the year. 

To read the full review, Click Here.

An Amazing Giveaway Sponsored by Revell

Over the last 2 weeks, and running until Dec 21st (so there's still time to enter), my publisher, Revell, has been doing a wonderful giveaway to promote Remembering Christmas.

They are offering a $250 Visa gift card to the winner, PLUS an additional $250 gift card for the winner to give away to a caring friend (someone who reminds them of  Art and Leanne Bell, the owners of The Book Nook in Remembering Christmas). The 2nd Prize winner gets a beautiful Nativity set (like the one that keeps selling out at The Book Nook).

If you're reading this before Dec 21st and would like to enter, it's easy. Just Click Here. You don't even need to buy a copy of the book.

Still a Bestseller on Amazon!

I mentioned 2 weeks ago that Remembering Christmas had spent over a week at #1 on Amazon in 3 different categories. continued between #1 and #3 for the last 2 weeks in those same categories and, although it's dropped a little, it's still in the top 10 right now. My other 3 novels did well, but I've never seen numbers like these before. It's been pretty exciting.

And on top of this, there are now 65 customer reviews, averaging 4.5 Stars. Amazon now lists this as one of the 3 Top-rated Christmas books (right next to Glenn Beck's mega bestseller, The Snow Angel). I have to admit, reading what everyone is saying doesn't hurt. I remember back to the lonely hours, over weeks and months, writing this book, wondering about its future. So satisfying now to see how it's affecting readers.

Click Here if you'd like to view it on Amazon.

Local Success in My Hometown

I've also seen some encouraging things in Daytona Beach, where Cindi and I have lived since we were in grade school (both of us moved down here from up north when our fathers began working on the Apollo space program).

For two Sundays in a row, Remembering Christmas was featured in the Daytona Beach Sunday News Journal, and once in their "GO386" online entertainment guide.

Also, the Halifax Historical Museum, our local museum, bought 10 copies of Remembering Christmas to sell there. I got to know the staff a bit when I researched The Discovery, my next book. They gave me some excellent help turning up historical details for the book. Much of it is set in Daytona Beach during WW2.

If you're ever in town, watching a NASCAR race or enjoying the beach, make sure you take some time to tour the historic downtown area on Beach Street, right along the Halifax River. And stop in to visit the folks at the museum. It's housed in what used to be a very classy looking bank near the corner of Orange Ave. It's filled with wonderful exhibits about the history of the area. Here's a link to their website, Click Here.

Above is a picture Cindi took. I'm standing next to the rack in the museum holding copies of  Remembering Christmas. She took it last week when we attended there annual Christmas party.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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