What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dan Walsh and Free Books!

PhotobucketCan one Christmas change a life forever?

This is a bonus post today, and our author is going to give away a signed copy of his Christmas novel to one of my readers who leaves a comment below. I mentioned this book in an earlier blog post, just to share my review (reposted below).

Let's meet author Dan Walsh, author of Remembering Christmas (Revell, September 2011).

PhotobucketDan Walsh is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). His first novel, The Unfinished Gift won two ACFW Carol Awards. The sequel, The Homecoming, released last year in June followed by The Deepest Waters, which released in April. His newest novel, Remembering Christmas, just came out in September.

Dan recently signed a 4-book deal to write a series of novels with Dr. Gary Smalley, bestselling family and relationship author (with over 6 million books in print). For those who haven’t read Dan’s novels, reviewers often compare his books to Nicholas Sparks, Richard Paul Evans and Jason Wright.

He writes fulltime in the Daytona Beach area, where he lives with the love of his life, Cindi, his wife of 35 years. They have two grown children, both married, and one grandson. As they await more grandchildren, they enjoy the company of two mini-aussies, Bailey and Darcy.

Please tell us five random things we might not know about you.

--I got married at 19 to the only woman I’ve ever loved.

--I’ve wanted to write novels since the 11th grade (way before I became a pastor for 25 years).

--In my youth, I didn’t get a haircut all through high school (longhaired surfer bum).

--I’m not a half-bad crooner (love the old standards from the 40’s & 50’s).

--I cry way too easily for the manly man I appear to be.

Okay, you actually sound like the hero in one of the romance novels my colleagues and I write. The first item was awesome enough on its own.  

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Remembering Christmas.

PhotobucketIt's 1980, and former hippie-turned-yuppie Rick Denton has everything going for him. Job, cash, car, condo and women. The only thing he can complain about is rising gas prices (now at a dollar a gallon). A stepfather he loathes collapses from an aneurysm, and his mother begs Rick to help them keep their small Christian bookstore alive during the holiday season. The store’s eccentric customers start to bug him, as well as the homeless man who sleeps in a big box out back. The only upside to this deal is the pretty single mom who works there in the afternoons. Some unexpected events over the next few weeks will turn Rick's assumptions about himself, his family, and his entire life upside-down.

Bestselling author, Sarah Sundin recently wrote: “This story delighted me, and one twist completely surprised me. Realistic and lovable characters―even shallow Rick―and the refreshing Florida beach town setting make this a memorable Christmas story. I loved Dan's previous novels, The Unfinished Gift, The Homecoming, and The Deepest Waters. Remembering Christmas is sure to please his fans and to enthrall new readers as well. I highly recommend this novel.”

Here's my review of the novel:

One of the best things about this novel is the fact that, despite much conflict--a life-threatening health emergency, strained relations between the hero and his stepfather, a tenacious homeless man planted outside the Book Nook, a single mom struggling to make ends meet--the book just makes you feel good. Perhaps that's because you know the hero is surrounded by so many good people, it's hard to imagine his heart won't eventually soften. And when you become acquainted with why his heart hardened in the first place, you root for that softening to happen. Walsh subtly draws the reader in, avoids predictability, and provides a satisfying, believable ending. I can see this book being enjoyed time and again during the Christmas season.

What is it about your lead character that will make your readers care about him?

At the outset of the book, Rick Denton is a likeable, though self-absorbed young professional. He only agrees to help his mother from a sense of duty (he longs to be on the Carolina ski slopes with his friends). God has set him up to have his whole outlook on life over-hauled this holiday season, as Rick rediscovers who his parents really are (and who they’re not), by listening to a cast of colorful, somewhat eccentric customers who come through the bookstore. Rick’s transformation at the end rivals what happens to other classic Christmas baddies such as Mr. Grinch and Ebeneezer Scrooge.

I like that--I hadn't made that connection yet, but it's apt.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

Rick Denton – Patrick Wilson (A Gifted Man, new TV series).

PhotobucketAndrea (single mom) – Jennifer Ehle (A Gifted Man, Pride and Prejudice mini-series).

PhotobucketJD (Homeless man) – Gary Oldman

PhotobucketArt Bell – Gavin MacLeod

PhotobucketLeanne Bell – Emma Thompson

Imagine God has led you to accept a contract to ghostwrite someone’s autobiography. Whose is it? Why that person?

Dr. Gary Smalley – I’ve been reading his books over this past summer (getting ready for our series together) and getting to know him on a personal level. Gary’s one of the most fascinating men I’ve ever met, and he’s got an arsenal of wisdom (as well as some amazing stories).

Agreed. What a wonderful opportunity to work with him on your four-book project!

What is the last book you read that you would recommend? 

Sarah Sundin’s 3rd book in her Wings of Glory series, called Blue Skies Tomorrow. It’s just a great read. To me, it has it all: romance, great characters, a great story, action and suspense. And as a lover of WW2 books, she also nails the history down to a tee.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished my 6th novel for Revell, called The Reunion (will be out Sept of next year). And I’m just getting started on my 7th book, the first in a series I’ll be writing with Dr. Gary Smalley. We’ve just finalized the storyline and main characters, and my editor at Revell has just given me the green light to start writing (it’s due by April, 2012).

Busy man! Where else can readers find you online?

From the homepage on my website, there are buttons to read my blog or follow me on Facebook or Twitter. It’s www.danwalshbooks.com (you can also preview my other novels, and there are links to order them from the major online stores).

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

I’m curious about their reading tastes and habits. How many of you read print books vs Ebooks? Buy new books vs used books? Buy books online only vs at retail stores? What ingredients does a book have to contain for you to tell your friends, “You’ve got to get this book!”

The book is available at fine book stores and for online purchase via the following buttons:

719791: Remembering Christmas

Thank you, Dan, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Dan has offered to give a signed copy of his book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, October 31. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Dan's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interviews with Elizabeth Goddard and Susan Meissner, below. Leave appropriate comments at the bottom of the posts to enter the drawings for a signed copies of their books. And don't forget to enter the drawing for His Grace is Sufficient...Decaf is NOT, below!

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.


Lisa Carter said...

I read a combo of print and ebooks. I tend to download more these days than physically buy but I did buy a Janice Thompson novel just last week from a brick and mortar store. Love Dan's writing. What a gifted man who so glorifies God with his talent. Please enter me into your drawing.

Ane Mulligan said...

Wow, Dan, that's a lotta questions! LOL

I buy way more print than e-books, but I do buy e-books. Probably 80% more print. I buy most online, although a few at the bookstore, again I'd say 95% online.

Novels, I buy new, never used. But craft books ... sometimes I buy them used.

Love Christmas books!!

ane [at] anemulligan [dot] com

Nancye said...

Wow! That's a lot of questions!

1. I like paper printed books. I do not like e-books. Call me old fashioned!

2.I usually buy my books at our local Half Price Books. I cannot pay full price for a book.

3. A book has to have characters I can connect to and a topic I can relate to for me to recommend it to others.

Thanks for the giveaway! :)

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Pam K. said...

I've downloaded some free ebooks and a Kindle reader onto my computer, on the off chance I might actually get a Kindle. Sitting at my computer to actually read the whole book doesn't appeal to me though. I much prefer holding actual books in my hands to read. They are much more portable and don't break if I drop them! I buy a few new books but mainly for gifts; just can't afford to buy new books for me. I'll sometimes buy used books. I like to support retail stores when I can but love the convenience of buying online.
I read Dan's book "The Deepest Waters" and really enjoyed it. Thanks for giving away a copy of "Remembering Christmas."


Pat W said...

I only read books in print on paper; books I can hold in my hands! Books that I can carry with me to read where ever I have a few spare moments, as well as sitting quietly at home.
I order many online but also buy from Half-off books
and occasionally at Christian Bookstores. I need to buy at the best price available.
I love stories based on Christian love and romance, with much excitement and suspense; and especially unexpected turns and twists. Having Scripture included is a plus for me. Thanks for offering a free book, Dan.

Becky Boyd said...

I like print books but don't have a lot of room to store them. I do buy print copies of Dan's books but people keep borrowing them!! I only have the first three and would love a copy of this one as well. I will buy it eventually. Maybe I'll put it on my Christmas wish list. I know his books make great gifts and have bought several for people since he started writing. (BTW, I do borrow books and get ebooks when I can find free ones). Right now, I'm listening to the audio version of Unfinished Gift and am impressed again with Dan's writing. :) beckyboydvocals at yahoo dot com

Roberta Tucker Brosius said...

Hi, Dan. I don't read e-books...yet. I buy books new, used, discount, retail, online, and borrow them from four different libraries.
I recommend a book that I can't put down, like Hunger Games, which I read in one day after one of my high school students told me I would like it.
I also recommend a book that teaches me something new, like How to Choose a Bible Translation for All Its Worth, by Gordon Fee, which I just lent to a friend.
I must confess that I also pass on books that are SO BAD I can't believe they got published. I need verification from my writer friends that it's not just me. (I won't name any of those.)

Patsy said...

Well since I don't have an Ereader I read the printed books. (Would love to have one though). I read a lot so buying new books all the time can get kinda expensive so I usually buy used books or use the library. I read Christian fiction, Amish fiction, historical fiction and basically any type that is "good clean" reading.

It seems Dan and I have a lot in common. My husband and I have been married 35 years. Have two grown married children and one grandchild. Got married at 19. High school sweethearts.

Would really enjoy reading Dan's book. Who doesn't love Christmas stories.


Carrie Turansky said...

HI Dan and Tricia,
Great interview. This sounds like a wonderful story.

I read mostly print books, but I have been downloading some eBooks to my computer and hope to get an eReader soon.

We don't have Christian bookstore close by. I order most of my books online from CBD or Amazon. I usually buy new fiction books, but I buy used research books for my own writing.

It was wonderful to read more about Dan and his writing journey. I have enjoyed many books by Gary Smalley and look forward to seeing what Dan and Gary will come up with for this new series.

apple blossom said...

I do print because I don't have an ereader.
A book must not have curse words for me to tell someone they have to get this book.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Jackie S. said...

Love Dan's books; have read The Unfinished Gift and The Homecoming and plan to read the others! I read print...don't have e reader yet. Since I read so much, I try to find bargains on Amazon and CBD. I love winning books, too. I read Christian fiction and pass them on to my church library. Please enter me for this book. Thanks!!!

Judy said...

I read print only books. I don't have an ereader and don't plan to buy one in the near future. I try to buy books through ebay or Wal-mart. If I don't have the money for the books I really want to read, I will get them from my library. (My husband just lost his job, so I will be going to the library a lot more). A book has got to have a good plot with Christian values before I will recommend to family and friends. I would love to win a copy of, Remembering Christmas. Dan is a new author to me and I'd love to read some of his books. Usually if I've liked the first one, I will be a forever fan!


Anonymous said...

I only read print books. New
books are my preference, but
finances rear their ugly heads
and so used books frequently
are the choice. I have bought
both online and in retail stores.
My favorite source are library
book sales, some great buys there.


Sharon said...

serious research questions, eh?
infuse at live dot ca
I read print books plus Ebooks - enjoy the portability of the ebks..
I prefer to Buy used books- love the thrill of finding treasures & current books at a price allowing me to purchase enough to satisfy my reading appetite!
Buy books online + at retail stores + charity shops.
What ingredients does a book have to contain for you to tell your friends, “You’ve got to get this book!” I want to connect with authentic people as the characters on a human interest level. I like for issues to resolve before book end and I like for them to not be preachy. I don't want to read a documentary style of writing. I'd rather read their story via actions than be told facts...

squiresj said...

I read mostly print books. I never read an ebook. I buy most of my books online but some at bookstores. I buy both new & used books. I also share every book I read with someone I think it will bless.
I review every book I read.
For me to write a good review and recommend a book, it must interest me without having to read half of the book first. It should draw you in and keep you in its grasp.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

kalea_kane said...

Dan...I do it all. I once said I could never pick up an e-reader, and then my husband's boss gave me his because he knew I was such a big reader. I will always prefer books (so much easier to share with a friend), but I am crazy about my e-reader. Because of free book downloads I have found at least 12 authors that I am crazy about and have purchased regular books by these new-to-me authors. I love my e-reader because I can take it to the gym and workout while reading (I simply cannot do that as well with a regular book).

I recommend books that find a way to surprise me. Books that keep me reading and books with balance. By balance, I mean a book that has just the right amount of romance or thrills.


Lane Hill House said...

Hi, I read print books, preferring paperbacks. I live in a small rural community and order my books online by price and condition, new/like new. I like a good solid plot that is not predictable! Clean reading. Characters whose lifestyle shows who they are rather than telling.


Kristie said...

So many questions... gee. I buy ebooks but read 95% print books. My ebooks are usually "emergency only." And to take on vacation. I need room in my suitcase for souvenirs. *LOL* I rarely buy new books except as gifts and from a few of my favorite authors. Just to give them some support. I'm a librarian so buying is rare, usually I just order it for our collection. That being said, I do buy used books at our books sales. I need new books like I need a hole in the head (ask my husband!). *LOL* I usually buy books online at Amazon. Better prices. And I have a Nook. Crazy. I bought a Nook initially because it could do library books first versus the Kindle. I'm cheap. To recommend to my friends the book has to touch me emotionally and say "Wow! What a revelation" or "I never thought of it that way before". There are some bad books out there though. Usually I don't read anything I dislike except when I'm leading the library Book Discussion. I have so much I want to read - as evidenced by my Shelfari list. Sorry for the long answer. Take care! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Cheryl Barker said...

When I buy a book, I ususally want a print copy. For my Kindle, I watch for the ones being offered for free at certain times.

To highly recommend a book to my friends it's got to have an amazing story that keeps me reading and also amazing writing.

ckbarker at gmail dot com

Suess said...

I am an avid reader and as such can't afford to buy new books very often...I buy used books at the library, a nearby flea market, Ollie's and Amazon when all else fails, smile. I also have a 91 year old Auntie who lends me her books. I have a nook, but haven't used it yet, lol. God bless!

Dan Walsh said...

Thanks so much everyone. Sorry for asking so many questions, but I loved reading your answers and comments. Also, sorry for not replying sooner. I've been in bed all week fighting a virus (high fever and chills).

It'll be my pleasure to sign and send out the free copy to the winner. Hope those who don't will give Remembering Christmas a look anyway.


misskallie2000 said...

Hi Dan, I do read ebooks and they are easier to take with me on my Kindle but I still like paper books. I but on line and at our local new and used book store. I like to read reviews and find new authors.
I love Christmas stories and know I will enjoy reading Remembering Christmas.

Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Trish Perry said...

Like many of you, I do download ebooks, but mostly for travel. I always prefer holding the real deal when I read. I'm sure that will change over time, just as the book industry is changing.

I'm prompted to recommend a novel to someone else when I've enjoyed it so much I really want to discuss it with someone. When a book is that good, it's hard to just let it go when I turn the last page!

Looking forward to see who win's Dan's book, and I would recommend all others to get at least one copy. It would make a nice gift. Hey, so would my Christmas book, now that I mention it, LOL!



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