Tag Archives: Dan Walsh

If You Liked The Gift of Christmas Past . . .

13 Dec

I usually recommend books for further reading at the end of each month. But because the book BTB read this month is a Christmas novella, I didn’t want you to miss out on any great Christmas-themed books. Here are a few books that I think you will like if you enjoyed Cindy and Erin Woodsmall’s The Gift of Christmas Past. Happy reading!

 

A Christmas Journey Home by Kathi Macias

During Isabella Alcantara’s seventh month of pregnancy, her parents and siblings are murdered in gang- and drug-related violence, simply because their home was targeted by mistake. Isabella knows she was spared only because she now lives in a different location, but she knows too that the same thing could easily happen to her and her husband, Francisco. When her grandfather offers to hire a coyote to bring them across the border to America, she agrees. But Francisco and Isabella are abandoned by the coyote and left to die. Francisco then valiantly sacrifices himself to get Isabella to safety. Homeless, nearly penniless, pregnant, and alone, Isabella determines to find a way to honor her promise to her beloved husband.

Living on one of the smaller spreads along the Arizona border, Miriam Nelson becomes furious with God and turns from her faith when her border patrol agent husband, David, is killed in a skirmish with drug smugglers. Though her mother and young son do their best to woo her back from the anger and bitterness that have overtaken her, they make little headway.

Two widows one driven by fear and a promise, the other by bitterness and revenge must make their journeys along different pathways, but with the same destination: a barn full of animals that stands waiting for them on Christmas Eve. Forced to face their personal demons, Isabella and Miriam soon discover a common yearning that will bind them together in a most miraculous way.

Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport

 Christmas in Blue
In the wake of a personal loss deeper than anyone realizes, Angela plans to bypass as much of the season as possible and get through her duties as the church organist by going on autopilot. Instead, she finds herself in charge of the town’s celebration. After a mysterious young man arrives, townspeople suspect he is the reason that one set of plans after another disintegrate until little is left of their traditions. Yet Angela warms to Gabe because she suspects they share a secret—his real reason for coming to town. Even when all they have to work with is a garish supply of blue Christmas decorations, Gabe helps Angela discover the hidden beauty of hope.

Christmas in Gold
After eighty years, change is nothing new for Astrid. By the time she was twenty, she survived the destructive Nazi regime, caring for her family under brutal circumstances, moving to America, and losing her husband. At forty she was widowed again and left to build a new life with her children. Now, when she faces a move into an assisted living community and meets a young woman on the brink of despair, she resolves to stir up hope through tragedy one more time.

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh

Rick Denton lives his life on his terms. He works hard, plays hard, and answers to no one. So when his mother calls on Thanksgiving weekend begging him to come home after his stepfather has a stroke, Rick is more than a little reluctant. He’s never liked Art and resents the man’s presence in his life, despite the fact that his own father abandoned the family when Rick was just twelve. When what was supposed to be just a couple days helping out at the family bookstore turns into weeks of cashing out old ladies and running off the homeless man who keep hanging about, Rick’s attitude sours even more.

Still, slowly but surely, the little bookstore and its quirky patrons–as well as the lovely young woman who works at his side each day–work their magic on him, revealing to Rick the truth about his family, his own life, and the true meaning of Christmas. With skillful storytelling, Dan Walsh creates a Christmas story will have readers remembering every good and perfect gift of Christmas.

Unexpected Christmas Hero by Kathi Macias

Josie Meyers thinks she is living the American dream when she marries a nice, handsome man with a promising future. The dream quickly becomes a nightmare when Josie becomes a widow and must deal with the fallout of her husband’s decisions. She soon finds that she and her two small children are forced to live on the streets and in homeless shelters.

While the scenes surrounding Josie are dominated by Christmas decorations and carols, Josie finds herself struggling with the demands of caring for her two small children. She is forced to lean on the kindness and generosity of others. What she doesn’t know is that the influence of one homeless man in particular is about to change the course of her life and lead her home to the One who waits for her. He becomes her unexpected Christmas hero

Advertisements

If You Loved . . . The One True Love of Alice-Ann

31 Aug

I have found that when I finish a book I really, really like, I want to read more books just like it. So I am starting a new feature on By The Book. At the end of each month, I will recommend books based on By The Book’s monthly book club selection. In August we read The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson. We loved it! It is set on the American home front during WWII. If you haven’t read it yet, you need to! 🙂 If you have and want to read more like it, check out the following recommendations.

Books Set On The American Home Front During WWII

The Discovery By Dan Walsh

Gerard Warner was not only a literary giant whose suspense novels sold in the millions, he was also a man devoted to his family, especially his wife of nearly 60 years. When he dies he leaves his Charleston estate to his grandson, Michael, an aspiring writer himself. Michael settles in to write his own first novel and discovers an unpublished manuscript his grandfather had written, something he’d kept hidden from everyone but clearly intended Michael to find. Michael begins to read an exciting tale about Nazi spies and sabotage, but something about this story is different from all of Gerard Warner’s other books. It’s actually a love story. As Michael delves deeper into the story he discovers something that has the power to change not only his future but his past as well.

A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin

Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval even marry a man she doesn’t love. Lt. Walter Novak fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt’s muddy bomber base in England and Allie’s mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

Nightingale by Susan May Warren

Nightingale Esther Lange doesn’t love her fiancé — she’s trapped in an engagement after a mistaken night of passion.  Still, she grieves him when he’s lost in battle, the letters sent to her by the medic at his side giving her a strange comfort, so much that she strikes up a correspondence with Peter Hess, an Iowa farmboy.  Or is he?  Peter Hess is not who he seems.  Indeed, he’s hiding a secret, something that could cost them both their lives, especially when the past comes back to life.  A bittersweet love song of the home front war between duty and the heart . . . a battle where only one will survive.

Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer/Cara Putnam/Sarah Sundin

Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?

 

Top Ten Tuesday — Books That Made Me Buy Them!

18 Apr

This week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish are charging bloggers to name the things that makes them buy books. It’s really a combination for me. First, although you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, I just can’t help it. I love old fashioned images and catchy titles. Even the font is important to me. And then there are my must-read authors. The authors I have listed below are my book club’s favorites — their books are always good and lead to great discussions. If they have a book out, I (and the rest of my group) will be buying it. So this week I am featuring 5 covers that wooed me in the book store and five authors that I automatically buy. To find out what makes other bloggers buy a book, click HERE.

5 Lovely Covers That Said Buy Me!

Have you read any of these books?

Which should I read first?

 

5 Must-Read Authors 

(And Some of Their Lovely Book Covers)

Terri Blackstock

Elizabeth Musser

 

Francine Rivers

Dan Walsh

Robert Whitlow

What Makes You Buy A Book?

Mini Book Review: Finding Riley

26 Dec

By The Book read Finding Riley by Dan Walsh in December. Walsh is a great favorite of ours, so we were especially excited to read this book — a Christmas story and a dog! What could be better? Well as it turns out, a lot. All of us were disappointed with this book. We felt there were too many story lines and with none well-developed. The writing fell a bit flat for us and seemed somewhat juvenile. A homeless character was the highlight of the book, with Walsh shining a light on the reality of a homeless life. While we didn’t like this book, it will not keep us from reading Walsh in the future.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

unknownAn unexpected surprise brings the Mitchell family of Savannah a chance to experience the Christmas trip of their dreams. An unexpected disappointment threatens to turn it into the worst Christmas of their lives. John Finch and his friend Alfred live in the woods. Been doing it for decades. He likes wintering in Florida, but this year’s been particularly harsh. Between the cold, freezing rain and terrifying lightning storms, John’s starting to wonder how much more of this lifestyle he can take. A new friend enters the picture and changes everything. Kim Harper, the dog trainer introduced in Rescuing Finley, is contacted by a billionaire philanthropist seeking her help with a new dog training project that will help the homeless. Is he for real? And is her co-worker right? Does this rich, handsome man’s interest in Kim go much deeper than her dog-training skills?

 

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

December Book Club Selections

6 Dec

I am a bit late posting the books my book clubs are reading this month. My mind has been filled with lots of distractions including the upcoming wedding of my youngest son. All the books have Christmas connections, although not necessarily Christmas-y themes. Have you read these books? What did you think?

51d5h-ifykl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Finding Riley by Dan Walsh. An unexpected surprise brings the Mitchell family of Savannah a chance to experience the Christmas trip of their dreams. An unexpected disappointment threatens to turn it into the worst Christmas of their lives. John Finch and his friend Alfred live in the woods. Been doing it for decades. He likes wintering in Florida, but this year’s been particularly harsh. Between the cold, freezing rain and terrifying lightning storms, John’s starting to wonder how much more of this lifestyle he can take. A new friend enters the picture and changes everything. Kim Harper, the dog trainer introduced in Rescuing Finley, is contacted by a billionaire philanthropist seeking her help with a new dog training project that will help the homeless. Is he for real? And is her co-worker right? Does this rich, handsome man’s interest in Kim go much deeper than her dog-training skills?

 

51vc8gcajjl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Christmas Crimes by Anne Perry (2 novella volume).

Christmas Homecoming. Charlotte Pitt’s mother, Caroline, is spending the holiday with her young husband, Joshua Fielding, in Whitby, the fishing village where Dracula first touches English soil in Bram Stoker’s sensational novel. Joshua has arranged to produce a stage adaptation of Dracula, written by the daughter of millionaire Charles Netheridge, but tempers flare after a disastrous first read-through of the script. As wind and snow swirl around Netheridge’s lonely hilltop mansion, a black-cloaked stranger emerges from the storm. At the same time, a brooding evil makes itself felt, and instead of theatrical triumph, there is murder—shocking and terrifying.

Christmas Garland. The year is 1857, soon after the violent Siege of Cawnpore, and India is in the midst of rebellion. In the British garrison, a guard is killed, a prisoner escapes, and a luckless medical orderly named John Tallis is arrested as an accomplice simply because he was the only soldier unaccounted for when the crimes were committed. Though chosen to defend Tallis, young Lieutenant Victor Narraway is not encouraged to try very hard. His superiors merely want a show trial. But inspired by a simple Christmas garland, and his own stubborn faith in justice, Narraway is determined to figure out the truth, despite the appalling odds. In an alien world haunted by massacre, he is the accused man’s only hope.

Top 10 Tuedsay — New Books in The TBR Pile

8 Nov

Books, books and more books! That’s what my life looks like! I am always on the lookout for my next great read, even when I have 10s 100s 1000s waiting in the wings! This week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish have challenged us to list our most recently added books to the old TBR list. I will limit my list to just 10, although I could probably go on and on. To find out what other bloggers are looking forward to reading, click HERE.

toptentuesday

I think I have a good mix of books to read in the upcoming weeks — history, mystery, romance, Christmas-themed and Indie-published novels. Eclectic, but that’s how I like it.

Top 10 Recently Added Books on The TBR List

 

Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard

A Christmas to Remember by Linda Brooks Davis

Dressed for Death by Julianna Deering

unknownunknown-1unknown-2

The End of The Roadie by Elizabeth Flynn

Finding Riley by Dan Walsh

Lucifer’s Harvest by Mel Starr

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year by Ace Collins

5138a7hu2ml-_sx331_bo1204203200_unknownunknown-151uw-fw57el-_sx355_bo1204203200_

O Little Town of Bethany by Rene Guttering and Cheryl McKay

The Princes of Albion by Jon and Thomas Hopkins

Truth Be Told by J J Hemmestad

517bw90uerl51ys5wubgjl-_sx346_bo1204203200_51z6gotghwl-_sx311_bo1204203200_

What are some of the books you are reading next?

 

 

December Book Club Picks

1 Dec

Every December my two book clubs, By The Book and Page Turners, pick Christmas themed reads. This year we are reading Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh and A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote. Dan Walsh is a big favorite of By The Book — always heartwarming. And since we read To Kill A Mockingbird this year, Page Turners thought it was fitting to read a Christmas short story by the inspiration for Dill.

Have you read these stories?

Let us know what you thought.

UnknownFor the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it’s looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can’t bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers. Sure they were strange-looking–some could be called downright ugly–but they were tradition. A tradition she’s heartbroken to miss this year.

With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan knows something must be done. And his only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments.

Fan-favorite Dan Walsh invites readers to enjoy this nostalgic Christmas story that celebrates all of our most cherished seasonal traditions, especially the importance of family. Readers will join in remembering the things that make their own Christmas season so special.

 

UnknownSeven-year-old Buddy inaugurates the Christmas season by crying out to his cousin, Miss Sook Falk: “It’s fruitcake weather!” Thus begins an unforgettable portrait of an odd but enduring friendship between two innocent souls — one young and one old — and the memories they share of beloved holiday rituals.

Book Review: Keeping Christmas

27 Nov

UnknownFor the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it’s looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can’t bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers. Sure they were strange-looking–some could be called downright ugly–but they were tradition. A tradition she’s heartbroken to miss this year.

With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan knows something must be done. And his only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments.

 

31Q8cgdPbTL._UX250_Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of 14 novels and 1 nonfiction devotional, including The Unfinished Gift, The Reunion and The Discovery. He has won 3 ACFW Carol Awards, 3 Selah Awards, and 3 times his novels have been named as finalists for RT Reviews Inspirational Novel of the Year.

For those who haven’t read Dan’s books, reviewers often compare him to Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans. Although more recently, Dan has also started to pen suspense novels (like, What Follows After and When Night Comes). Dan has been writing fulltime since 2010. He and his wife Cindi have been married 38 years and have 2 grown children and 2 grandchildren. They live in the Daytona Beach area, where Dan grew up. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter, read his blog, or preview all his books by visiting his website at http://danwalshbooks.com.

 

My Impressions:

Dan Walsh has rocketed to the top of my book club’s favorite authors list with his books The Discovery, The Reunion and The Deepest Waters. We chose Keeping Christmas for our December discussion and I am so glad. This book hit me where I live. But although it focuses on empty-nesters Judith and Stan, there is something in this novella for all ages. This book gets a recommended read designation.

Judith and Stan’s grown children are flung far and wide and unable to make it home for Christmas this year. All of Judith’s memories seem to be tied to her kids and grands and it’s taking a toll on her. Depression has sunk in and no amount of Christmas cheerleading by Stan and her friend Betty seems to make an impression. Can Judith’s Christmas joy be restored?

All of my children are grown, but do not have families of there own (yet). And while I have never had to spend a Christmas without them, the last two Thanksgivings have found us minus one kid or another. I can see the writing on the wall and can remember the times my own family had to miss spending time with my parents or in-laws. Keeping Christmas was a good reminder of just where we get our Christmas joy. Judith’s struggles were very real. She didn’t want to be depressed, but all the same she was. I loved the steps she took to rekindle her spirit by focusing on others. It wasn’t an overnight process, but then it wouldn’t have been realistic if it was. Stan’s attempts to get Judith in the Christmas mood ranged from clueless, to sweet, to awesome. He gets a big A+ in the husband department. Other characters, such as Judith’s friend Betty and young mother Taryn, are an added treat in this quick read that will get you in the Christmas spirit too!

Another winner from Dan Walsh!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE

(Thanks to Revell for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top Ten Tuesday — Auto-Buy Authors

18 Aug

Thanks to The Broke And The Bookish for hosting Top Ten Tuesday. This week bloggers are talking authors that are must buys. To find out more, click HERE.

toptentuesday

Wow! What a great topic for this week’s TTT. Here are the authors that I automatically buy whenever they have a new book published. These authors rarely let me down.

Top 10 Auto-Buy Authors

(In alphabetical order and with their newest or upcoming release. For those with upcoming releases — I cannot wait!)

Terri Blackstock — Twisted Innocence

Melody Carlson –– Home, Hearth and Holidays

Ace Collins — The Fruitcake Murders

51eUos1HviL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Unknown61boxOQhMhL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_

Suzanne Woods Fisher — The Imposter

Elizabeth Musser — Love Beyond Limits

Francine Rivers — Bridge to Haven

Dan Walsh — Keeping Christmas

51JOlyud0iL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Unknown-151RTfC53eSL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Unknown-2

Robert Whitlow — A House Divided

Lis Wiehl — Lethal Beauty

Lisa Wingate — The Sea Keeper’s Daughter

Unknown-3Unknown-4Unknown-5

Who are your auto-buy authors?

Book Review: The Deepest Waters

13 Mar

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:36

8462629What began as a fairytale honeymoon in 1857 for John and Laura Foster aboard the steamship SS Vandervere becomes a nightmare when a hurricane causes their ship to sink into the murky depths of the Atlantic. Laura finds herself with the other women and children aboard a sailing ship while John and a hundred other men drift on the open sea on anything they could grab as the Vandervere went down. Suspecting her John is gone but still daring to hope for a miracle, Laura must face the possibility of life alone–and meeting her new in-laws without their son if she ever reaches New York.

 

 

dan-courtyard-2-202x300Dan Walshs novels have received popular and critical acclaim, getting rave reviews from USA Today and magazines like Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal and RT Book Reviews. His very first, The Unfinished Gift, won 2 ACFW Carol Awards. It’s still in print 5 years later and has sold over 50,000 copies. It’s available in hardback, paperback, Ebook, audiobook, large-print and in several languages. His other books have won numerous awards and appeared on several national bestseller lists.

In addition to his writing, Dan also enjoys public speaking and is frequently invited to speak at writer’s conferences, either as a keynote speaker, or teaching workshops and seminars on a variety of writing topics.

 

My Impressions:

Dan Walsh has become a favorite with my book club, By The Book. Often described as a Christian Nicholas Sparks, I believe that his novels have more depth and substance and are better uses of precious reading time. The Discovery and The Reunion are outstanding. While preliminary discussions with my group show that The Deepest Waters was a hit, I was a bit disappointed. We are discussing the novel tonight. Have you read it? We would love to know your thoughts.

Laura and John Foster are on their honeymoon trip when their steamship is hit by a hurricane in the Atlantic. Separated when a rescue is attempted, Laura believes John has perished and John holds onto a tenuous hope of survival. The Deepest Waters is a sweet story inspired by historical events.

Walsh is a great storyteller, and this novel is no exception. The reader is at once drawn into the story and held there throughout. The characters are interesting and the setting of a post-Gold Rush/pre-Civil War America is fascinating. Walsh does not stint with his details and research. So why was I disappointed? Too many plot lines with not enough pages dedicated to them. The book includes a romance, a prodigal story (with both brothers examined) and a tale of what true freedom looks like. I wish that they had been developed more so that I could have gotten a bigger picture of the characters’ motivations and history. What I got was more questions than answers. Micah, the slave owned by a ship’s captain, has to be my favorite character. He is integral to the plot, but little is really revealed about him, save his tremendous faith in God. The book is just under 300 pages, but would have benefitted from more. I did appreciate the author’s Afterword which put in perspective the more fantastical elements of the story.

The faith message of freedom in Christ is front and center in The Deepest Waters. Micah is a strong example of what it means to be free indeed. It may seem a bit heavy-handed to some, but I sure needed the reminder.

While not my favorite of Dan Walsh’s novels, The Deepest Waters is still one I would recommend.

Recommended.

Audience: older teens and adults.

(I purchased this book for my Kindle. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click HERE.