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Dan Walsh

Dan Walsh

Dan Walsh is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than a dozen novels including The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery and What Follows After. His books have been highly reviewed by USA Today and magazines such as Publishers Weekly, RT Book Reviews and Library Journal. Dan lives and writes in the Daytona Beach area with his wife, Cindi. They have 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren.
Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley: It Takes Two to Tango

Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley: It Takes Two to Tango

(June 2013)
Rel Mollet
Bestselling romance author Dan Walsh and relationship expert Gary Smalley have combined forces for The Restoration Series. Readers will get caught up in these flawed but earnest characters as they rediscover genuine love and start a transformation that will ultimately affect their whole family.

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2013 issue of FamilyFiction digital magazine. Subscribe for free today!

After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn Anderson is tired of playing the role of perfect wife. Her husband Jim is a successful businessman who gives her everything she needs—a beautiful home in an upscale neighborhood, the financial freedom to be a stay-at-home mom, an enviable collection of stuff. Everything, that is, except what really matters: love.

The Dance (Revell Books) is the first volume in the four-book Restoration series, a new collaboration between award-winning novelist Dan Walsh and relationship expert Dr. Gary Smalley. “This series is primarily targeting married couples who’ve lost much of the joy and happiness they once knew in their relationship,” Dan explains, “through the hardships of life and the normal everyday challenges that come from living life in a fallen world.”

The Dance tells the story of Jim Anderson, a successful business man so content in his 27-year marriage to Marilyn, he is blindsided when he finds her gone. Feeling unloved and neglected, Marilyn is determined to experience some happiness in her life, signing up for dance lessons after she has walked away from her marriage. Shocked out of his complacency, Jim strives to win Marilyn’s heart once again.

When Gary Smalley decided to pursue another collaboration with a novelist, his first being the highly regarded Redemption series with Karen Kingsbury, his search led him to Dan Walsh and his novels, The Unfinished Gift and The Homecoming (Revell Books). “After I read Dan’s first and second novel, I was hooked!” says Gary. “I love the idea of working with someone who really loves what they do. Dan is one of the nicest people on earth with a heart of gold and an excitement to truly help encourage and strengthen marriages.”

Both Gary and Dan appreciate the power of story to communicate, often in a more powerful way than non-fiction, truths and lessons about relationships. Gary explains, “Novels allow the reader to feel, see and understand what they might be doing that has contributed to a strain in their relationships. It can make a more emotional connection for the reader. And the feelings they experience can lead them to take similar actions to improve their relationships.”

In The Dance, Jim’s shock at Marilyn’s departure is due to his lack of understanding that Marilyn needs far more than just her financial needs met. “She really just wants what all wives want from their husbands,” says Dan. “To be loved and cherished and cared for and listened to the way she had been in the early days of their relationship when he had pursued her. In most weddings, these are actually the things a husband vows to do. Gary and I believe this expectation is not unfair or unrealistic. It really is part of what God has in mind for married couples.”

Drawing from the principles in Gary’s non-fiction book The DNA of Relationships, Dan weaves relationship advice throughout each novel, which will depict a different couple in the Anderson family, genuine characters who are struggling with a specific difficulty in their marriage.

Both Gary and Dan have already learned the biggest and most difficult lessons they cover in the books: “The hard way!” shares Dan. “If our readers get the sense that we are connecting well with their experience, it’s not primarily because of all Gary’s years as a counselor and my years as a pastor. It’s because we’ve made all of these mistakes ourselves. Many times. And God has mercifully led us to a healthier place.”

It is Gary and Dan’s prayer that the Restoration series will not only provide an emotive and absorbing read, but will also impact readers’ marriages and relationships for the better.

“I’m hoping that both husbands and wives take away the truth that even when things get rough in their marriage, there is hope and there is always a way to solve our problems if we keep looking and praying,” shares Gary. “And when one mate truly repents and understands what he/she did wrong, if they seek forgiveness and it shows, most spouses will respond in small steps that lead toward reconciliation.”


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