What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gina Holmes and Free Books!

Crossing Oceans is the story of a woman who returns home to face the ghosts of her past and tell the man she left behind that he's about to inherit the daughter he never knew he had.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for Highland Blessings, by Jennifer Hudson Taylor, is:

jnkbull@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

Now let's meet novelist Gina Holmes, author of Crossing Oceans (Tyndale House, May 2010).

In 1998, Gina Holmes began her career penning articles and short stories. In 2005 she founded the award-winning literary blog, Novel Journey. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her husband and children in Southern Virginia.

Gina's sophomore novel, Dry as Rain, should release spring 2011.

Please tell us five random things we might not know about you.

-- I have five children. (2 natural, 3 by marriage). All sweet, God loving, honor-roll earning, beautiful, talented, and well-rounded.

-- I'm a thrill seeker. (I've bungee jumped and can't wait to sky dive!)

-- I'm a bit of a neat freak.

-- I can be obsessive. Sometimes this is good like when I'm working on a deadline, other times I just drive everyone insane until I get a grip.

-- I have a heart for orphans around the world and someday I hope to become a mega bestseller so I'll have the resources to do big things. (So, maybe #5 should be I'm grandiose?)

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Crossing Oceans.

Nothing deepens a stream like a good rain . . . or makes it harder to cross. Jenny Lucas swore she'd never go home again. But life has a way of upending even the best-laid plans. Now, years after she left, she and her five-year-old daughter must return to her sleepy North Carolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. They welcome her in the form of her oxygen tank-toting grandmother, her stoic and distant father, and David, Isabella's dad . . . who doesn't yet know he has a daughter.

As Jenny navigates the rough and unknown waters of her new reality, the unforgettable story that unfolds is a testament to the power of love to change everything--to heal old hurts, to bring new beginnings . . . even to overcome the impossible.

What is it about your lead character that will make your readers care about her?

Jenny has had a lot of tough breaks in her life. Some by her own doing, (like getting pregnant out of wed-lock), and some not of her own doing, (her mother dies and her father curls up inside himself to mourn, leaving Jenny alone to deal with her grief.) We've all made mistakes. We've all sinned. So I think it's easy to see given Jenny's circumstances how she could have fallen and found herself in the mess she does. The fact that she's a young mother who learns that she's dying and has to secure a future for her little girl, makes it a universal theme. Every parent's fear is what will happen to our children if we die. I know it's been one of mine. Will they be raised to know Jesus? Will they fall away from their faith? Could any other woman love them half as much as I do? Will they be okay?

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Even though the subject matter is a heavy one, the book is filled with a lot of well-timed humor. I have a quirky sense of what's funny which seems to appeal to a lot of other quirky people. I'm sure if I had written the same book and wasn't a Christian, it would have been a dark, depressing read, but I'm a Christian. This is a very hopeful book as a result.

What is one thing you've learned about yourself as a result of your writing career?

My confidence in myself has risen. I've learned that I have good judgment. I have a pretty good head for business, and I can trust myself over most to know what will and won't work for me. That isn't to say I don't take advice, I do and a lot of it. But I have figured out I really do know what I'm doing most of the time. I grew up second guessing myself on everything and I'm learning to do that less and less.

Choose an inanimate object to represent you.

Man, I feel like I'm in therapy or something.

LOL! Blame it on my Psych background, I guess.

I'm staring at a basket right now so we'll go with that. It can be used for many different purposes, and can be reinvented by how it's adorned countless times and ways, it's sturdy and unpretentious and practical.

What is the last book you read that moved you?

I just finished A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving. It made me cry which felt so stupid because I knew what was going to happen, but the characters were so richly drawn and painted so selflessly that it touched my soul. I want to be the kind of person who would do what he had done in that novel. Such a beautiful story.

That novel made me cry, too. What a fantastic character Irving created. 

What are you working on now?

I just finished up my sophomore novel, Dry as Rain and am waiting on feedback from my editor now. I proposed two more novels that I'm very excited about as well, but I have to get the green light first. I guess really right now, I'm on a break which is about driving me crazy.

Yeah, that doesn't sound like a relaxing break for you. In the meantime, however, where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Readers can learn more about me and my editorial services on www.ginaholmes.com and www.noveljourney.blogspot.com

The book is available for purchase online via the following buttons:

333052: Crossing Oceans

Thanks so much for having me, Trish!

Thanks, Gina, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Gina has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Monday, July 26. To enter, leave a comment for Gina, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interviews with Jill Eileen Smith and Marybeth Whalen below, and leave comments under their interviews to be entered in drawings for signed copies of their books.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.


Cindy W. said...

I have heard such wonderful things about Crossing Oceans and I love debut novels. I would love to be entered into your giveaway. Thank you for the opportunity.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Kameko said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview. "Crossing Oceans" sounds so good and I've been reading some wonderful things about it. Please enter me in the drawing for it.

Blessings to you both ~


Anonymous said...

I have been so anxious to read Gina's book.....please enter me.

The Herd said...

Thank you! I am so excited to have won. I love to read about new books to read, even if I don't win all of them!!!

Brenda said...

Would love to read the book, please enter me!

dancealert at aol dot com

Casey said...

I really want to read this book, so please enter me!!



Sue said...

This book looks good and I would like to have the chance to read it, thank you.


Sheryl Barnes said...

Gina -

After meeting you earlier this summer at the Lifeway bookclub (Mall of GA) meeting, I went home and began reading your novel. Crossing Oceans is one of the best novels I've read. I couldn't put it down, except to get a new tissue. You have a special gift and I look so forward to reading your next novel. I have since passed my copy of the book along to someone else to read and
would love to win a copy of this book.


Merry said...

I've heard wonderful things about Crossing Oceans and how it touches the heart. Please include me in the drawing. Thanks.

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Gina, I enjoyed your interview and have fallen in love with your book. I am adding you as a new author (there are so many now a days) and Crossing Oceans to my wish list.
I live in GA so NC is in my Southern community.
Thanks for stopping by to chat today.

Thanks for the great opporuntity to enter this awesome giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

runner10 said...

Sounds like a wonderful story.

cynthia said...

Thank you for the great interview. From the reviews that I've read and the excerpt, it sounds like a great book. I can't wait to read it. Please enter me in the book drawing.
cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

Nancye said...

I would love to win this book! I've wanted to read this book for a while now. Thanks for the chance!!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

windycindy said...

Great story line! The cover of her book is lovely...
Many thanks,Cindi

Esther Y.M. said...


Please count me in.


Martha A. said...

I have heard good things about this book!!! Enter me please!! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Carole said...

I enjoyed getting to know Gina through this interview and look forward to reading Crossing Oceans. Unlike Gina, though, I'm about as far from adventurous as you can get!

I like the question about what books move you. I've never read John Irving, but am now interested in reading A Prayer for Owen Meany.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Carole said...

I enjoyed getting to know Gina through this interview and look forward to reading Crossing Oceans. Unlike Gina, though, I'm about as far from adventurous as you can get!

I like the question about what books move you. I've never read John Irving, but am now interested in reading A Prayer for Owen Meany.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net



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