contemporary fiction Posts

Gift from the Sea – The Sea Glass Sisters Ebook Novella Available Today

Afternoon, readers. Today we have the pleasure of inviting national bestselling author Lisa Wingate to the blog stage. Lisa is known for her beautiful, lyrical phrases and deep, resonant themes that will imprint themselves on your heart. Please give a warm blog welcome to Lisa Wingate.

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I hope this week finds you fully recovered from whatever the weekend held, rested, refreshed, and ready to go. But . . . what if it doesn’t? What about all those Mondays that arrive feeling too heavy, too problem-filled? What about all those weeks when the work ahead just seems like too much to deal with, when life seems upside down and God seems far away?

What then?

Where do you go when your cup runs dry? How and where do you draw near to God?

I wish I had the magic cure-all for that bleak, lonely, far-from-God feeling. But since it’s never that easy, when I’m looking for God, I usually spoil myself with a few gifts. Not the kind you’d buy at the store, but the kind that are already there. Gratitude has an amazing power to comfort the soul. The reality is that gifts by their very nature must always have a gift giver.

The other day as I looked out over our pastures and contemplated fields once again broiling in the heat of another Texas summer—too brown, too dry, no hay to bale again this spring—a little gift arrived at my feet. I looked down, and there in the flower bed, partially buried, lay a bit of green. Not a growing thing, but a piece of glass from an old Coca-Cola bottle, smoothed and frosted by time, tossed in the ocean. Long ago, before Hurricane Ike destroyed the family beach houses in Galveston, we’d brought home a bucketful of ocean treasures gathered up by our boys during a visit to the shore. After selecting a few to keep, we’d tossed the rest in the flower bed. I hadn’t thought of that in years.

And now, suddenly . . . sea glass, lying on the parched ground, miles, and miles, and miles from the ocean.

Why is this such a special gift for me right now? Why does it feel like a miraculous brush with God?

For two reasons, actually. Empty nest, of course. The bit of sea glass, gathered long ago by tiny hands, promises my mother’s heart that no matter where the currents take those boys now, the tides will always bring them home again.

And there’s another reason that bit of frosted glass comes as a blessing. You see, sea glass has a special meaning for me now. Exactly a week from the day I found the sea glass surprise, the prequel novella to The Prayer Box was scheduled to release. Sea glass, known in ancient times as “mermaids’ tears,” plays an important part in The Prayer Box. It’s a symbol of struggle, and survival, and change. In the story, Sandy and Sharon of Sandy’s Seashell Shop make mermaids’-tears jewelry from sea glass, and they sell those creations in their shop on Hatteras Island. Because the prequel novella is about Sandy’s Seashell Shop, the novella is titled—you’ll never guess what—The Sea Glass Sisters.

As I chip the bit of glass from the soil, rub my thumb over it, and feel the salt-smoothed edges, I marvel at God’s wonderful drops of grace. I’m reminded that gifts are a matter of choice. A matter of remembering to look, of choosing to see. When we see the gifts, the natural extension is to see the very One we’ve been looking for. The One we thought was so far away.

Suddenly, He’s not absent, but infinitely present in a million little details. Overwhelmingly involved. Unceasingly vigilant.

The Giver of all good gifts, including the gifts from the sea.

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Thank you, Lisa, for that beautiful insight into the true presence of God within our day-to-day. 

Stop by your favorite online retailer to purchase The Sea Glass Sisters and begin your journey with the strong and resilient women of Hatteras Island. To celebrate the release of her ebook exclusive novella, Lisa is offering those who have preordered or purchased The Sea Glass Sisters today a chance at a very special giveaway!

 

Once these women enter your life, you’ll find yourself yearning to stay awhile at their East Coast hideaway. Luckily enough, you can! Return to Hatteras island in Lisa’s upcoming novel, The Prayer Box. Available for preorder NOW! 

“At times both sweet and sad, soul-warming and heartbreaking. . . . Relatable characters and vivid portrayals of events both current and historical create an enchanting, memorable pilgrimage into the fullness of faith and love.”
Publishers Weekly
on The Prayer Box

Happy reading!

Book Club Fiction Pick of the Month – Wings of Glass (Ebook deal this week only!)

Hey, readers! If you’ve seen past posts on the blog, you may remember reading about bestselling author Gina Holmes and her beautifully poignant new novel, Wings of Glass. This month on Tyndale’s Book Club Hub, Wings of Glass is our pick for an engaging read for those looking to spur discussion during their book groups. Wings of Glass deals with difficult topics, like emotional and physical abuse, with such eloquent grace that you’ll be drawn to these dynamic women’s tales as they weave throughout the story. Below, hear from Gina as she speaks on Wings of Glass and the impact it’s had on her and her readers alike.

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I’ve heard your writing referred to as “self-help fiction.” What does that mean, and why is it called that?

To me, the best novels don’t just entertain; they leave me changed—and that’s what I always aim for when I’m writing. In my own life, I’ve come through a lot of trials, a lot of heartache, and reading great nonfiction books has helped me heal. I think fiction can work to change our thinking and show us new viewpoints that we hadn’t thought of in the same way nonfiction can. Jesus taught in parables, and a good story can teach lessons in the same way. Sometimes it’s hard for us to look at our own lives objectively and pinpoint where our thinking may be off, but it’s much easier looking at a friend’s life and seeing where theirs is. That’s what good characters and stories can do for us—help us see through a “friend” what we haven’t been able to see in ourselves.

How do you expect Penny’s story to resonate with women?

I think the three main female characters in this book will look familiar to all women. Most of us have someone in our lives we’ve tried to talk sense into and couldn’t. Most of us have been in a relationship where our friends saw red flags love made us blind to. Every woman I know has a deep desire to love and be loved. To forgive and think the best of the person who holds her heart.

In your writing career, what are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of Wings of Glass. It was a hard book to write because it is so exposing of things I’ve witnessed, and by nature I’m a private person who doesn’t like to share my past. I know it’s something I should do, and writing about subject matters like domestic violence and giving interviews like this allow me to work on that. Sharing our testimony of what we’ve come through really speaks hope to others still in the midst of trials. God has done a miracle in my life and then has given me the gift of storytelling to maybe be a small part of someone else’s miracle. That’s so humbling and amazing.

What is the best advice or encouragement that you have received?

I love getting reader letters. The biggest encouragement has been from folks who’ve read one of my books and it changed their thinking, allowed them to finally forgive or be less afraid or more understanding.

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Reader thoughts on Wings of Glass

Wings of Glass is a powerful, can’t-put-down novel, so real that it reads like a memoir.”
Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times bestselling author

“Holmes handles the topic of domestic abuse with grace and compassion. All of the characters are well developed and real. You’ll be sorry to see the story end, because it is so honest and mesmerizing.”
Romantic Times, Top Pick, 4 1/2 stars

See more reader reactions on the Wings of Glass Goodreads page.

Wings of Glass is a wonderful novel for discussion and deep, thought-provoking dialogue. This week only (April 21–April 27), download the e-book version for only $3.99!

For more book club fiction and nonfiction suggestions, visit the Tyndale Book Club Hub. Get access to great book suggestions along with book group discussion questions tailored for prompting lively discussion.

If you’re interested in Gina’s writing, she can be found online . . .

At her website:

www.ginaholmes.com 

At her blog:

www.novelrocket.com

On Facebook:
www.facebook.com/authorginaholmes

Thanks for reading, and let us know in the comments and on Twitter @Crazy4Fiction: What is your book club reading, and what’s on the horizon next?