Christmas Stories by Dan Walsh
Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of 25 novels (all available on Amazon), including The Unfinished Gift, Rescuing Finley, When Night Comes, and The Reunion (soon to be a feature film). Over 1.2 million copies of Dan’s books are in print or downloaded. He’s won both the Carol and Selah Awards multiple times, 4 of his novels have been finalists for RT Reviews Inspirational Novel of the Year.
Reviewers often remark about Dan’s rich, character-driven storylines and page-turning suspense (even with his more inspirational books). He’s been writing full-time since 2010. He and his wife Cindi have been married 45 years, have 2 grown children and 5 grandchildren. They live in the Daytona Beach area, where Dan grew up. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, read his blog, or preview all his books by visiting his website.
The Unfinished Gift
Patrick Collins has three items on his Christmas list. He wants the army to find his father. He wants to leave his grandfather’s house. And he wants–very badly–the wooden soldier tucked away in his grandfather’s attic. Set at Christmastime in 1943, The Unfinished Gift is an engaging family story that reminds us of the surprising things that can affect powerful change in our hearts–-like a young boy’s desperate prayers, a shoebox full of love letters, even a dusty, long-forgotten wooden soldier.
My thoughts: The Unfinished Gift is a heartwarming story of generational conflict perpetuated by unreasonable expectations of duty and respect. The characters draw you into their lives, which are all affected and change throughout the scenes of the story. A wonderful Christmas story.
For the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids and grandkids. It’s looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can’t bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her children always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they’d made each year when they were kids. Stan had nicknamed them the “ugly ornaments” but Judith adored them. Now she can barely look at them. Can this box of ugly ornaments be the key to saving their family Christmas this year?
My thoughts: An empty nester struggles with holidays without children and grandchildren. Her oblivious spouse is caught up with bass boat dreams. Reliving Christmas tree aliens, skeleton snowmen, and other memories, they both end up reframing expectations into something even better than they’d hoped. Keeping Christmas is a poignant Christmas story.
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 reluctant. He’s never liked Art, despite the fact his own father abandoned them when Rick was twelve. Rick’s attitude sours even more when a couple of days helping at the family bookstore turns into weeks of cashing out old ladies and running off the homeless man who keeps hanging about, 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.
My thoughts: A small bookstore with a “regular” homeless fella for a neighbor, a family crisis, a CPA with a chip on his shoulder from the past, a single mom with a chipper young daughter who’s making up her own catalogue of Christmas ideas. Dan Walsh takes these elements and spins them into a compelling story about reframing the past and discovering what really makes life worth living. Remembering Christmas is a wonderful story.
Twas the Night
In 1960 just days before Christmas, Theresa Dempsey, a young mother from Brooklyn, experiences an unspeakable tragedy. Two years later, she relocates to Black Rock, a small mountain town in North Carolina, hoping to make a fresh start. About that time, in a little cabin deep in the mountainous woods, young Ransom is trying to survive a day at a time, caring for his sister Emma, and an ailing father as a snowstorm approaches. Back in Black Rock, Deputy Bud Ellison is scrambling to catch a serial burglar, the first real crime this town has seen in years—during the holidays no less. On one remarkable cold, snowy night, the paths of all three of these lives will collide, and change them all forever.
My thoughts: I love how characters, so different from one another and with so much pain in their backgrounds, eventually meet in such an unexpected and poignant story.
Dan Walsh’s The Reunion is the only one of the dozens of books I’ve read this year that reduced me to tears. If you like stories dealing with Vietnam veterans, you’ll appreciate this one.
Dan has written several more books, including Christmas ones. Please also check out his Amazon Author Page.