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
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

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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About The Author

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.