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Authors: Gina Holmes

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Dry as Rain

BOOK: Dry as Rain
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Praise for Gina Holmes's debut novel,
Crossing Oceans

“[A] haunting tale that packs an emotional wallop. Keep tissues near.”

Publishers Weekly

“Holmes's characters are so real they pop from the pages. . . . [A] dramatic, emotional, faith-based novel.”

Booklist

“Debut novelist Holmes pulls heartstrings in this sweet testimony about love and family.”

Romantic Times

“Poignant and unforgettable, this book will break your heart—and then put the pieces back together again. An uplifting and inspiring tale that reminds us to live every day as if it's our last.”

Tess Gerritsen,
New York Times–
bestselling author

“Gina Holmes has crafted a poignant, emotional story that explores family dynamics and the power of love. When the last page is turned, you'll wish there were more. Set your tissue box close by, readers. This one will grab you hard.”

Crosswalk.com

“A stunning debut. . . . Rarely does a book grab me and turn my emotions upside down.
Crossing Oceans
is one that did just that.”

Minneapolis Examiner

“This novel is absolutely amazing. The characters are quirky, relatable, and incredibly realistic. Everything—from characters to plot twists—is original and unique, demonstrating Holmes's refreshingly strong and distinct voice.”

ChristianBookPreviews.com


Crossing Oceans
gripped me from the get-go. If you're a reader who shuns a tearjerker, this isn't for you. But for everyone else, you'll cherish it. It overflows with themes such as hope, restoration, and beating the odds.”

Titletrakk.com

“Gina Holmes pens a brilliant story of love and sacrifice.”

ChristianPulse.com

“I was unable to put this book down.”

Hope for Women
magazine

Visit Tyndale online at www.tyndale.com.

To learn more about Gina Holmes, visit www.ginaholmes.com or her blog,

www.noveljourney.blogspot.com.

TYNDALE
and Tyndale's quill logo are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Dry as Rain

Copyright © 2011 by Gina Holmes. All rights reserved.

Cover photograph copyright © by Dennis Cohadon/Trevillion Images. All rights reserved.

Cover line artwork copyright © by Shambhala Publications. All rights reserved.

Designed by Beth Sparkman

Edited by Kathryn S. Olson

The author is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, 2373 NW 185th Avenue, Suite 165, Hillsboro, OR 97124.

Scripture quotations are taken from the
Holy Bible
, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Holmes, Gina.

Dry as rain / Gina Holmes.

p. cm.

ISBN 978-1-4143-3306-9 (pbk.)

1. Marriage—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3608.O494354D79 2011

813´.6—dc23 2011020884

For Adam, my oasis.

He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

Psalm 103:12

Acknowledgments

As always, I am so very grateful to my children—from oldest to youngest: Catherine, Jessie, Jacob, Becky, and Levi—for their undying support, encouragement, and understanding when I'm stuck to the computer or having a bad day.

I thank Dr. Frank Shelp for advising me on some psychiatric issues early in the process, as well as Charles Martin, who shared a little of his overflowing genius. The good folks at ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) were so kind to answer my many questions. I am grateful for their support not only of me, but of all of us who write with the Kingdom of Heaven on our hearts.

A very special thanks to Karen Watson, Chip MacGregor, and my amazing editor, Kathryn Olson, who stuck with me through multiple rewrites. Thanks for not letting me take the path of least resistance and for holding my hand through the birth of a particularly stubborn baby. You all went above and beyond on this one. You're the best. And of course, Ane Mulligan, who read every word no matter how busy. Ane, I'm always in your debt!

I can't thank the marketing team at Tyndale House enough—especially Babette Rea—for their support. I know how hard you all work and how much you pour into what you do. Thanks to Ron Beers, whose kind words will stay with me whenever I doubt myself as a writer, and sweet, capable Stephanie Broene, who always makes me feel like the only author she has to attend to. The hardworking sales reps and the rest of the Tyndale team have been incredibly flexible, supportive, and all-around fantastic. Meeting you really opened my eyes to how much heart you pour into your work and just what a ministry it is to you. I couldn't ask for a more wonderful group to represent my work.

As always, thank you to the Novel Journey crew, who aren't just blogging teammates but friends and talented writers as well. In no particular order: Ane Mulligan, Jessica Dotta, Kelly Klepfer, Mike Duran, Noel DeVries, Yvonne Anderson, Michael Ehret, Marcia Laycock, Anita Mellot, Ronie Kendig, Athol Dickson, Mary DeMuth, and Chip MacGregor. I pray you all are being blessed as much as you're blessing others.

I couldn't successfully wear all the hats I do if I didn't have such a supportive husband, and I have the best of the best. Adam, you are my hero, the best friend I've ever had, and the absolute love of my life. Baby, thank you for being my biggest fan, listening to every idea, plot summary, etc., and reading aloud to me every last word that makes up one of my stories no matter how tired you are. Someday soon it will be your turn with all of those amazing songs you write, and I'll get to return the favor.

Above all, thank You to my Father in heaven. Please take my words and make them more.

Table of Contents

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-One

Twenty-Two

Twenty-Three

Twenty-Four

Twenty-Five

Twenty-Six

Twenty-Seven

Twenty-Eight

Twenty-Nine

Thirty

Thirty-One

Thirty-Two

Thirty-Three

Thirty-Four

Thirty-Five

Thirty-Six

Thirty-Seven

Thirty-Eight

Thirty-Nine

Forty

Forty-One

Epilogue

A Note from the Author

About the Author

Discussion Questions

One

When I first became a Christian, I read what Adam and Eve had done in the Garden of Eden and it really ticked me off. Until that fateful moment, humanity had it made. If Eve hadn't allowed emotion to overwhelm logic, and Adam hadn't been so whipped, everyone would be living in Paradise right now.

If God Himself directly tells you not to do something, do you really think you'll get away with doing it anyway? Did they honestly think they could hide from the Creator of the universe? I mean, come on.

I don't know why the Garden of Eden should pop into my mind again on that January evening except that my toes were freezing inside my dress shoes as I trudged along the slushy sidewalk, and if sin had never entered the world, then probably neither would have bitter cold. If Adam had been there with me, I'd have shown him what I thought about his shortcomings with a snowball to the head.

Maybe blind dates were also the product of sin. It made a certain amount of sense. The trepidation I felt about my upcoming one certainly felt like punishment. Maybe I was the one who needed a good snowball pelting. What was I thinking agreeing to spend an evening with a woman I'd never so much as exchanged a smile with? I'd always said blind dates smacked of desperation, but here I was on my way to meet my coworker's sister.

Bobby showed me a photograph of her earlier in the week. Long hair, long legs . . . long shot. If the picture wasn't old or doctored, she was an easy ten. The way I figured it, I was an eight—nine at best. Now, as I hurried under the light of the streetlamp on my way to Sophia's to meet her, I'd have given anything to turn back the clock and undo the mismatched arrangement.

Digging my hands deep into the pockets of my wool coat, I hurried from the parking lot toward the restaurant. The brittle night air burned my lungs as plumes of white rose from my chattering teeth. More to stall than to warm myself, I cupped my hands over my mouth, puffed onto my palms, and glanced at the canopy arched over the restaurant entrance. It looked like a big, red eyebrow raised in my direction. On it was stenciled the restaurant's name in gold calligraphy. Ivy, browned from winter, crawled up bricks on both sides of the entryway.

I'd been warned that the place was every bit as pricey as it looked. The fact that my date had chosen it should have been my first clue of what kind of woman she was—or at least what kind of man she was looking for. With a sigh, I grabbed the cold brass door handle and pulled.

When I stepped inside, the first thing I noticed was the immediate warmth; the second, the darkness. Other than strings of white lights winding around strategically placed artificial trees, the only illumination came from globe candles centered on each table.

The jewel-toned lighting seemed almost magical in the way it made everyone and everything look rich and attractive. I could only hope it had the same effect on me. The instant I laid eyes on Bobby's sister standing by the podium, I knew it was going to be a long night. She was just as hot as her picture, but one glance down her perfectly sculpted nose at me set my high-maintenance chick detector squalling like a siren.

Everything from her diamond earrings to the designer purse she carried was too fat for my wallet. I had always been the Mary Ann type, but this one was definitely a Ginger. I could tell by the twisted pucker of her heart-shaped mouth that I wasn't exactly her dream date either. I wondered if her brother bothered to inform her I was half-Japanese.

When the hostess told us there was a wait, I moved Bobby's sister over to the bar. I figured this girl was going to be a lobster and champagne type, so I ordered the cheapest draft they had so maybe she'd get the idea early that I wasn't Mr. Howell. Not taking my hint, she ordered a top-shelf martini.

BOOK: Dry as Rain
12.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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