Wings of Glass FREE this week only

Wings of Glass is free beginning today (Sunday, June 13 2014) on CBD, Kindle, B&N and other ebook sites.

The INSPY Award is a blogger’s choice award for inspirational fiction. Today it was announced that Wings of Glass has won in the General Fiction category. This award is particularly close to my heart. This is what they said: “The field of nominees for the General Fiction category had some of the best books we have read this year, making this year’s selection process difficult indeed. After a lot of in depth discussion, we are awarding the Inspy to Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes. A moving account of a woman’s struggle with self in the face of spousal abuse, this novel will touch your heart and soul. Powerfully personal, beautifully written, with highly relatable characters, Gina Holmes’ novel presents a message of love and hope that Jesus always offered to everyone He met.”  Read about the other finalists and winners: www.inspys.com. 

When I began writing novels, description was not an area of strength for me, and setting was just a place to plop my characters. Fast forward ten years and my publisher compliments my upcoming release with a “You can smell the salt in this one.” Driftwood Tides (releasing this September) is set at the Outer banks in North Carolina. You can’t set a book a place like that without readers expecting a richly painted scene. They want to feel the cold ocean foam on their feet, feel the grit of sand between their toes, hear the seagulls circling above, see the cotton candy colors in the sunset . . . and yes, smell the salt.


1.The best way to learn to master setting is by reading other books that have done just that. One novel that sets the scene better than maybe any other book I’ve read is To Kill a Mockingbird. Here’s one example of the masterfulness of her scene-setting:


“Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop, grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square.” You don’t get better than that.
Another novel that nails setting is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. My first novel, Crossing Oceans was probably my best for setting and may give you a few ideas, and a recent release, Born of Persuasion, by Jessica Dotta does a masterful job of bringing another time and place to life.

2.Go and feel the roses
It might go without saying to go to the place you are setting your work, but I’m going to say it anyway. If you’re setting your scene in Maine, by all means go there and experience that setting. Close your eyes and listen, first to the up front sounds:  sirens, traffic, subway, whatever. But don’t stop there. Listen for the underlying background noise: car doors slamming, a car alarm in the distance, children laughing, the flutter of pigeon wings. Now, listen beyond that to the softer noises until you’ve made note of all the sounds the setting has to offer. When your eyes are closed and you’re noting a particular sound, before you open your eyes, try to guess what you’re hearing.

While writing Driftwood Tides, I sat on the beach, closed my eyes and heard what I would have guessed to be a sprinkler system rapidly firing. I knew it couldn’t be, but that’s what it sounded like. It was actually the sound of chirping chicadas and the sprinkler system description was something I was able to use to describe that sound in the book.
You can do the same close your eyes technique for smell and touch too. Write down as many descriptions and comparisons as you can while they’re still fresh in your mind.

3.If you can’t go there, the next best thing is visiting vicariously. Watch movies set where your book is, take lots of notes. Read books, magazine articles, blog posts, etc set there. Keep pictures  of the inside and outside of the home, courthouse, city streets, etc. that you can continue to reference as you write. Pictures of the furrniture, toy box, anything that you might need to describe. Study your pictures, then close your eyes and imagine what sounds, smells, touches you would experience in that setting.

4.Observe the details. One little trick that brings fiction to life lies in writing in the little things that we take for granted. Not just the sandy beach, but the broken bits of seaweed and shell left in the wake of a retreating wave. The water that fills a footprint left in the sand… watch how it is absorbed back into the ground and the tiny bubbles that pop up right before it does. These are the things that will firmly plant your reader into your story.

5.Have your setting serve more of a purpose than just eye or ear candy. Setting a scene is important to ground your readers, but it should also help us to get to know your characters better. Having your character experience the setting thrrough their unique outlook, mood and life experiences kills two birds with one stone. If your character is an Eyore type, or just feeling  melancholy at the moment, then the boulder she is sitting on may feel hard and cold. If she was just proposed to by the man of her dreams, than maybe she doesn’t notice the boulder, but focuses instead on the meadow of wildflowers swaying in the soft breeze beside her. If she has just lost someone she loves, the moment may be bitter sweet. She notices the flowers, smiles, but then her smile fades when she sees how many of the daisys are losing their pedals or are drying up from the dry summer. You get the picture. And so will your readers. 
 
 
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Gina Holmes is the founder of  Novel Rocket, regularly named as one of Writers Digest’s best websites for writers. Her debut, Crossing Oceans, was a Christy and Gold Medallion finalist and winner of the Carol Award, INSPY, and RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice, as well as being a CBA, ECPA, Amazon and PW  bestseller. Her sophomore novel,  Dry as Rain was a Christy Award finalist. Her latest novel, Wings of Glass has been named as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal and was a SIBA Okra pick and a finalist for Romantic Times’ Reviewers Choice Award. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her family in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose. To learn more about her, visit www.ginaholmes.com.

 

Win Autographed Copies of All My Novels…

Including the upcoming Driftwood Tides. Simply share on your facebook or social media page that Driftwood Tides is now available for Pre-Order and link it to my author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorginaholmes?ref=hl. Or simply send me an email or fb message letting me know!

I’ll choose winners at random and will send autographed copies of Crossing Oceans, Dry as Rain and Wings of Glass now and Driftwood Tides once it releases.

Read the first two chapters of Driftwood Tides

Click HERE. 

Wings of Glass Gets a Nod

WINSPY

The INSPY award is the blogger's choice for excellence in faith-driven literature. Being a long-time blogger myself, this award is particularly close to my heart.

Many thanks to the INSPY team for all their hard work and long hours narrowing down the contenders.

For a full list of finalists, click HERE.

Driftwood Tides Cover Reveal

We have a cover for my upcoming release, (September 2014), Driftwood Tides.

driftwoodtides

He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.
When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.

Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.

Jesus Freak Hideout Reviews Wings of Glass

Author Gina Holmes does a masterful job pulling the reader into this character’s life without overloading the reader in a world which can be disconcerting to many. Rather than begin the story in a tedious development of abuse, or saturate us in the violence of the present, she starts us at a point where Trent is injured, leaving Penny to fend for their family, offering her both challenges and opportunities. As Penny writes to her young son, Manny, “I hate to wish bad things on you, son, but I hope you get the privilege someday of having no one to lean on but God. It changes a person. It sure changed me.” Penny is forced to connect with others, and as God often does, He provides someone who can see through the lies Penny uses to “protect” her husband, and can guide her in ways to protect herself.” Jesusfreakhideout.com Read the rest HERE.

Join me, Karen White, Diane Chamberlain and others February 9th…

Book Club Movable Feast


Bookmarks invites you to join us for a Book Club Movable Feast 
Sunday, February 9
3:00 – 5:00 PM 
Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, Winston-Salem, NC

Back by popular demand, Bookmarks will present our 2nd Annual Book Club Movable Feast. It will be held at The Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, in Winston-Salem, NC. 

The program will begin at 3:00 PM sharp. Attendees will be seated at tables where they will be joined by an author. Over the course of the Movable Feast, 25 published authors from all over the country will sit with attendees to talk with them about his or her recently published book. This year, each table will be visited by 8 authors for 10 minutes each. Opportunity for further discussion will proceed and follow the Movable Feast.

Doors open and book sales begin at 2:15 PM. Booksignings will follow the program.

Tickets include light refreshments which will be served throughout. 

From Instagram

Just saw this on Instagram and it made my day. Thanks Robin Salvadore!

“..sometimes, love demands the impossible.” – Crossing Oceans <3 Getting halfway done though I just started reading it. It’s the second Gina Holmes’ book I have and I’ve already read the other one. Both books are astonishingly written. I just love this author so much :)) ugh. I have classes tomorrow but I can’t stop reading. ️ #crossingoceans #ginaholmes #greatbook #book #quotes #love #quotw #bookquote #reading

A Lovely Review From Goodreads (Wings of Glass)

From Goodreads: (Thanks Audrey!)

Audrey Grant rated it 5 of 5 stars

“Amazing how REAL AND EXACT some of the thoughts and emotions are, even if the story isn’t exactly the same! The Author NAILED it! If you want to “understand” “WHAT IS/ WAS SHE THINKING?!?!”.. read this book. My copy is full of yellow highlights and I’m going to have my own “Manny” who is almost 19 read it to further explain some things to him better than I ever have.
THANK YOU!!”

Wow, What a Month!

We have lots of exciting news this month:

Gina’s latest novel, Wings of Glass, is again an ECPA and CBA bestseller for November 2013!

Wings of Glass was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal for 2013.

Wings of Glass is a finalist in Romantic Times’ Reviewer’s Choice Awards.

 

Hurry! Just 1.99 ebooks, for a limited time

Wings of Glass is just 1.99 Kobo, Nook, & Kindle!

Crossing Oceans

My debut novel, Crossing Oceans (Tyndale 2010) is once again on the ECPA’s (Evangelical Christian Publisher’s Association) bestseller’s list. Special thanks to Parable Bookstores for featuring it last month… and for those of you who took advantage of the sale!

31 Chances to Win! (Born of Persuasion Launch Party!)

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What can you win?
We’re glad you asked!
Week 1 – Getting Set for Downton Book-club Tea
August 1: Stacked Teacup Painting byWanda Wright
August 2: Gracie China TeaSet
August 3: Faerie Cakes for Tea
August 4: Wooden Flower Napkin Rings for Tea
August 5: Hand painted Teacup Cookies
August 6: Loose Tea Sampler
August 7: Honey Tea Favor plus Signed Copies of all 3 of Gina Holmes’ novels, Crossing Oceans, Dry as Rain and Wings of Glass)
Week 2 – Now for the Book
August 8: Magnetic Clothes Pins + 3Copies of Abbey Cooks(4 winners that day)
August 9: Edwardian Ladies Apron Pattern
August 10: Jane Austen Fairy from this Etsy Store
August 11: Audio Book of Born of Persuasion, donated by Oasis Audio
August 12: Personalized Wooden Book Stamp
August 13:Vintage Ex Libris Book Stamp
Week 3: – Getting Dressed For the Tea
August 14: Packable Portwine Velvet Hat
August 15: Dapper Fox Neck Tie
August 16: Victorian Neck Ruff
August 17: Tribal Jewelry is coming out of retirement to design a Downton Abbey Necklace- Reveal is on August 17th!
August 18:Even the Cat Dresses for Tea! (Can’t wait to buy one for my own cat, Miss Marple)
August 19:Edwardian Necklace and Earringsspecially designed by this Etsy Shop. Reveal coming August 19th!
August 20: Lace Cuffs
August 21: Vintquies Necklace – Reveal August 21!
Decorating your House for the Tea!
August 22: Vintage Pink Garland of Hearts
August 23: Winners Pick of 3 Tutorials from the Feathered Nest
August 24: Clay Magnets made from Old Button Impressions plus Historical Author’s Michelle Griep’s Book Club Kit with A Heart Deceived, printed invitations, CD of the music.
August 25:Jane Austen Pillow
August 26: Paper Wreath
August 27: Angel Wing Soap plus novella giveaways by Carrie Fancett Pagels and
August 28: Instant Library – 35 Fiction Titles from Tyndale House Publishers
August 29: Message Chalkboard with hand-painted roses by this artist
August 30: Paper Flower Bouquet
August 31: Queen Anne Scarf
HOW can you win? It’s easy! Simply like Jessica’s author page on facebook and check back every day to enter for that day’s prize(s). 

50% off Sale

Barnes and Noble is having a buy one get one half-off sale on Christian fiction. My latest Wings of Glass is included in this promotion. Please pass it on!

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wings-of-glass-gina-holmes/1112307751?ean=9781414366418

Interview Tuesday May 28th with Kite Runner Author, Khaled Hosseini!

Photo credit: John Dolan

I Photo credit: John Dolan

Only on NovelRocket.com! It’s a great interview you don’t want to miss.

Wings of Glass ON SALE–This Week Only

From April 21st thru 27th, Wings of Glass will be on sale for only $3.99 on Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook. Please let your friends and family know if they might be interested. Thanks!

Dream of Publishing a Novel?

Here’s an article reworked from some advice I gave into a nice format that makes sense of the process: http://mommamindy.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/how-to-get-your-novel-published/

Is Wings of Glass a Memoir?

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Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.~ Goethe

Frank Peretti said in an interview that readers can tell the journey he’s been on by the books he’s written. It took me years and several books to understand that the same was true for me.

After I’d written Crossing Oceans, I was often asked where the idea for the novel came from. The easy answer was true enough, I was laying on the couch one evening when a what-if situation popped into my mind: what if a woman was dying and had never told her child’s father that he had a daughter?

That was the truth, but it wasn’t the entire truth.

When I began on the journey to write novels, I had no clue how much of my own personality, hopes, failures, and more than anything, struggles, would reveal themselves in my fiction.

When I read novels by other authors, what they are dealing with in their personal lives is sometimes painfully clear. We can all think of writers whose novels all seem to have a recurring theme.

Best-selling author and editor, Karen Ball, wrote The Breaking Point based in part on her own marital struggles. She wrote this in her acknowledgments of that book:

 “A wise friend and gifted writer, Robin Jones Gunn, once said that when we write the books that stem from our truest passion, we find ourselves ‘floating on a sea of reluctant transparency.’ That’s certainly true of this book.”

 

It wasn’t until long after I’d written Crossing Oceans that it dawned on me that my subconscious had been working out the death of my marriage and the mommy-guilt that followed knowing my children would forever be effected by the failings of their parents.

Like the cancer that Jenny was suffering, divorce was not my choice, but the consequences for my children had to be dealt with regardless. I did a tremendous amount of soul-searching and healing during the writing of that book.

Many who read the novel thought that I must have lost someone I loved to the disease because, to them, I portrayed the struggle so convincingly. The reason I could portray dying with so much emotion, was of course, because divorce feels very much like death and that’s something I knew a lot about.

But Crossing Oceans wasn’t my only cathartic book. If you’ve read Dry as Rain, you might assume I have either been an unfaithful wife, or have had an unfaithful spouse. My marriage did not end due to infidelity, (in case you’re wondering), but I know what it’s like to get far from God and need forgiveness. I also know what it feels like to be betrayed on the deepest level and have to find it in me to forgive the unforgivable.

My most revealing novel however, isn’t Crossing Oceans or Dry as Rain, it’s my latest release from Tyndale House, Wings of Glass. This novel deals with the subject of domestic abuse within a Christian marriage.

Liz Curtis Higgs read it for endorsement and here’s what she said: “Gina Holmes pours her heart onto the page in Wings of Glass. . . . If you’ve ever suffered at the hands of someone whose idea of showing love is being abusive, you will find a kindred spirit in Penny Taylor. You’ll also find hope and a gentle but firm call to open your eyes to the truth. Wings of Glass is a powerful, can’t-put-down novel, so real that it reads like a memoir.”

Of course I love the quote, but what makes my stomach clench just a little is the last line . . . “so real that it reads like a memoir.”

And she wasn’t the only one who thought that. Rachel Hauck said, “I was swept away by Gina Holmes’s memoir-like story of beauty rising from the ashes.”

The thing with writing first-person, more so than third, is that people assume the author is the main character. I was, after all, writing “I” did this and “I” did that.

I suppose if I had never been the victim of domestic abuse, the word “memoir” associated with my novel wouldn’t make my stomach cramp, but I have and so it does. My past is something that defined me for much of my young adult life. As I matured and God healed me, I chose to leave that past behind me and focus on the future and good things. That is until I felt the need to slash open my veins onto the pages of Wings of Glass.

I’m not Penny, the main character. I’m all of the characters in the book to some degree. I am both the abuser and the abused. The sinner and the saint. All of my ugliness, and triumphs are right there on the pages for friends, foes, and strangers to read. And although all of those terrible things didn’t happen to me the way they unfolded for Penny, many of them did in one form or another over the course of my life. That makes me feel terribly exposed, but it also makes me feel incredibly liberated.

Darkness hates light and by sharing our experiences even under the guise of fiction, we are able to minister to those who are travelling the path we’ve already come down. By exposing our own sins and secrets, we are able to understand and sympathize in a way those who haven’t gone through what we have can. More than that, we are allowing others to share their struggles and find healing and support.

I believe, really good fiction happens when we get emotionally naked—make ourselves known on a level our parents, spouses, children, best-friends…even ourselves… have not experienced. Sometimes when we delve into our souls, the blackness we find there can be disturbing. Sometimes our shovel clinks against the lid of an unopened treasure chest— but as novelists, it is our job to break that ground, come what may. It is only then that we can heal and help others heal, and say to the world, you are not alone. I’ve been there and I understand.