The World of Lu

Creating a digital heritage while engaging in some quality musings!

Friday Review: “The Deepest Waters”

2012 Carol Award Winner for Best Short Historical Fiction Novel


Let me introduce you to author Dan Walsh.  He’s written 6 very good books (he’s got 3 awards to show for it and the awards cover only his first 3 books! The others will be up for awards later).  Dan is currently working with Garry Smalley on a forthcoming book series.  His forte is historical fiction and he does a lot of good research and makes each era he writes about come alive.  His characters are interesting and accessible and his story lines intriguing.  Often he will catch you off balance with a twist or turn in the story line.

I met Dan and his wife Cindi over 25 years ago when he was a Pastor from Daytona Beach visiting Fairfax, VA.  They had come to learn what they could from the leaders of a young up and coming church.  They were an excellent couple who had true sincere hearts for God and a great love for people.  And a hunger to learn and grow.

 My wife Nora and I had the privilege of connecting up with them a number of times since then.  It was great to get to know them over those years. Yet I was quite surprised when I heard he had retired from pastoring and took up a long desired career in writing historical fiction.  I never knew. How could this be?  How would a former Pastor do writing what would be considered what some called “romantic” novels?

CAROL AWARDS 2010 & 2012

I’m happy to say that Dan has found his 2nd career and has successfully carved out a niche for himself as a talented wordsmith.  He wrote his first book, “Unfinished Gift” in 2009 with Revell Books.  In 2010 Dan won two Carol Awards, one for the best new author and a second for the best short historical fiction novel for his debut work.

The Carol Awards are given out each year by the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW)  to recognize the best Christian fiction published in the previous calendar year.  Dan followed “Unfinished Gift”  with a very successful sequel called “Homecoming.”  This short historical novel was well received gaining a 4 star rating on Amazon with comments like this. 

“Dan Walsh knows how to write a story that grips you and holds on to you until the very end.”

In 2011 he published his 3rd historical novel called “The Deepest Waters.” This month ACFW announced this book as the winner of the ACFW Carol Award for Best Short Historical Fiction.  An amazing start to what appears to be long and prosperous career as an author.

2010 Winner – Debut Author
The Unfinished Gift – Dan Walsh (Revell, Andrea Doering – Editor)

2010 Winner – Short Historical
The Unfinished Gift – Dan Walsh (Revell, Andrea Doering)

2012 Winner – Short Historical
The Deepest Waters – Dan Walsh (Revell)

Dan has been quite prolific after his first three books.  He penned the following:  (stars = Amazon rating)

  • “Remembering Christmas” (Sept 2011, – 4.6 stars),
  • “The Discovery” (April 2012 – 4.7 stars)
  • “The Reunion” (Sept 2012 – 4.8 stars) 

 THE REVIEW OF “The Deepest Waters”

The Story Line – What 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”.   
  What you’ll like – Amazon says – Readers will be holding their breath as they sail through this emotional and honest story of hope, faith, and love in the face of uncertainty. Talented author Dan Walsh skillfully tells an epic story through an intimate focus on two lost lovers. Inspired by real events, this moving novel will capture the hearts of all who dive into its pages. 
Here’s some more things I found noteworthy
  • History – Dan does a wonderful job of bringing to life pre-Civil War America for the reader especially New York City and Norfolk.  I really enjoyed his handling of the time period including the side story of the slave, Micah.
  • Inspired by actual events the story is inspired by actual events. The ship of inspiration was the SS Central America (pictured above) which Dan did a lot of research on. This always adds credence and believabililty to a story.
  • The Ship Diagram – Just in case you’re a “Landlubber”, Dan includes the drawing of a ship of that era with descriptions of each section to help you to not feel lost at sea!
  • The Story – Who wouldn’t love to read “Titanic” with a happy ending!  Well done!  Also the note from John with the surprise revelation was a very nice touch adding tension to the story. The story is well paced.  Though it does focus on the romantic side of things, us guys will enjoy the shipwreck descriptions and by the time they are both salvaged we are hooked!  Can’t put the book down after that!!
  • The Characters – Dan does a splendid job of making his characters real, he gets you emotionally invested in them and you’re happy for that.  Writing Micah’s section in a different style reflecting the way he would speak and think was a nice touch.
  • Length – In our hustle and bustle 21st Century rat race we are sometimes looking for something that won’t take us forever to finish.”The Deepest Waters” is a quick read yet doesn’t lose any depth in the story or characters in shorter length of 287 pages in fairly large print.
  • Other Reviews – Doing a Google search of the book reveals more than 7 pages of sites reviewing this book… with nothing but praise for it. 

I am very pleased to introduce you to Dan Walsh and all his wonderful books especially his award winning book, “The Deepest Waters”.


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2 thoughts on “Friday Review: “The Deepest Waters”

  1. Loved the review, Chris. Better than most I’ve read. And loved that old-timey pic of the ship sinking at sea. Give my love to Nora (from Cindi too)!

  2. Pat Wall on said:

    Hey Dan,

    This is wonderful. Tell Chris he did a great job of including everything you’ve done in your writings. (I also loved the character of Micah and his part in this story.) I knew Chris and Nora in VA also. So glad you are seeing your dream come true!!

    Pat Salvato-Wall

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