Driftwood Tides Book Signing

IROANOKE_Gina Holmes_SEPT14-MP

Saturday, Sept. 20th from 1-3pm.

Hope to see you there!

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.

 

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.

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.