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Author’s Second Novel Examines A Fractured Marriage

Author Gina Holmes

by Gene Marrano

Roanoke author Gina Holmes had a hit on her hands with her first novel, “Crossing Oceans,” which became a bestseller on Christian book lists. A tale of a dysfunctional family, the 2010 novel told the story of Jenny, a single mother who thought she would never go home again.

Holmes, a nurse by trade, who is taking a hiatus to write full time, has just released her second novel, “Dry As Rain,” which involves a married couple caught in an unusual predicament.  The husband Eric has been unfaithful, causing his marriage to Kyra to unravel. When she suffers a concussion in a car accident, all memory of Eric’s affair is erased. He attempts to win back her love, never knowing when the memory of his indiscretion might return.

Holmes will make several appearances to support her new book release, including a stop at the Roanoke City  Main Library branch this Tuesday, September 6, from 6:30-8 p.m. She will read from “Dry as Rain” and sign copies of the book that are for purchase.  She will also sign copies at Lifeway Bookstore (Valley View Mall) on October 21 and is trying to line up an appearance at Barnes & Noble Tanglewood.

For “Dry as Rain,” Holmes said she had “very little time” to deliver it to the publisher, especially after her first version was rejected. One early book concept was also rejected   as being too oriented towards a young adult audience; Tyndale House Publishers didn’t want Holmes to get pigeonholed as a young adult writer this early in her career.

“There are no real common threads between “Crossing Oceans” and “Dry as Rain,” said Holmes, save for the fact that they are both “family dramas.” Holmes was pleased by the success of her first novel, realizing that “there are lots of great books out there that never sell very well.” Crossing Oceans wound up on several bestseller lists and Holmes won or was up for a handful of Christian book awards. “That just doesn’t normally happen,” notes Holmes, “so I feel really blessed.”

“Dry as Rain” is about starting over again; as a child of divorce, Holmes used that as a stepping off point. “I see so many relationships that could be saved if people can forgive – if they’re willing to forgive and start over. “

Eric “has put a toe tag on his marriage,” in “Dry as Rain,” but when Kyra shows a renewed interest in him after the car accident,  he is forced to reexamine the relationship. [Eric] is in a major dilemma when he realizes that as soon as all the bitterness is gone from her, he doesn’t feel it either. He takes that second chance. “That’s in part,” said Holmes, “because Eric is still in love with her.”

Originally written as a he said / she said third person novel, that draft was rejected by the publisher, who wanted to see it all come from Eric’s point of view.  “This one was a stubborn baby [to write],” she laughs. Holmes wasn’t sure where “Dry as Rain” would end up, and as a woman wasn’t sure if she could forgive a cheating husband.  “I wanted to write him being punished … I could feel her pain [but] he turned out to be a pretty good guy.” She thinks men who have been in that predicament will benefit from the book. “There’s hard truth there.”

“In the end he really did change – that really does happen for some people,” said Holmes of Eric. Does that afford him a second chance with Kyra? Pick up the book and find out.

Holmes’ next book signing is scheduled for September 6 at the Roanoke Main Library. See for schedule updates.

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