Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Shades of Gray by Andy Holloman

Shades of Gray by Andy Holloman
Published by: Triple J Press
Release Date: November 28, 2011
Format: Paperback - 250 pages / Kindle - 420KB
ISBN: 0615532799
Genre: Mystery Suspense Thriller / Contemporary Fiction

About The Author:

Just like the protagonist in my novel, Shades of Gray, I was the owner of a travel agency for 12 years (mostly in the 90's). But this is the only similarity between myself and and John Manning! (I never ventured into the cocaine business, I swear).

I grew up in Greenville, NC and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Economics. All through high school and college, I was notorious for scribbling out stories and ideas for novels (hey, this was before word processors!) and and always kept them in a top secret shoe box (and the box is so secret that I've been trying to find it for 15 years!).

After college, I fell into the travel industry by accident and was able to grow a travel business into an Inc. 500 company. The agency grew through the use of the Internet and by acquiring three other companies. late in the 1990's , I became familiar with the story of one of my company's clients who was murdered in Durham, NC, and was a suspected drug smuggler. This story and the subsequent downfall of the travel agency industry (and my company) after 9/11, planted a seed in my head that grew into my first published novel, Shades of Gray. I began writing this novel in 2003, shelved after completion in 2006, and revived in 2011 thanks to a great friend from a writers group in Cary, NC.

Today, I live in the Raleigh, NC area. I am the father of three, and have been happily married for 20 years. i enjoy (mostly) attending my kids sporting and school events, supporting the local real estate industry, and watching fine films with my wonderful wife. Whenever possible, I enjoy the beauty of North Carolina's mountains, running, camping, and short walks on the beaches of the Outer Banks (several references to OBX are in my book). I am also an avid reader (time permitting), and a social media goofball. Most evenings I can be found tapping out my next novel, due for release in late 2013. Stay tuned!


BUY THE BOOK: Shades of Gray

Disclaimer: At the request of the author and Virtual Book Tour Cafe, an Adobe PDF version of this book was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest review and participation in the virtual book tour event.

Virtual Book Tour Event: On Friday, January 20, 2012, in association with Virtual Book Tour Cafe, Andy Holloman participated in a virtual book tour event with an Author Guest Post on Jersey Girl Book Reviews. Book Description: 

In the Fall of 2001, John Manning's life is in turmoil. His six-year-old daughter Lucy needs a kidney transplant, and his travel agency is in financial distress because of the 9/11 tragedy. A lapse in his health insurance means he also has to quickly secure funds for his daughter's operation.

Wanda, a client of John's travel agency, is facing similar financial difficulties. Her livelihood as a drug dealer has also been hit hard by increased airport security. As a single parent, she wants to leave her dangerous profession and break free from her drug-lord boss Jamel, but a lack of funds has curtailed attempts to start a new life with her daughter.

Desperate times lead to desperate measures, and John and Wanda form a partnership to smuggle cocaine via cruise ships.

How far should a father go to save his child? Can a man and woman from completely different worlds help each other? Could they fall in love? And who will live to see the Summer of 2002?

My Book Review:

What would you do if you were a single parent, and your child has a life threatening disease that requires a transplant surgery? Would you go to the end of the world to make sure your child was taken care of, even if the means to the end was by doing something illegal? What if you were always the type of person that believed things were either black or white, could you now allow yourself to believe that there are times when you have to walk the fine line, the Shades of Gray? And if you walk that fine line, will everything turn out the way you wanted it to be? Well these are the soul-searching questions that single parent John Manning had to deal with in Shades of Gray.

John Manning is a single parent to a six year-old daughter named Lucy. Life has had its ups and downs for John, but Lucy is his whole life. John owns a travel agency in Raleigh, NC, and since the 9/11 event, the travel industry has taken a major hit, money is not coming in and bills are piling up. To add to the stress of a failing business, John's daughter Lucy is diagnosed with a rare life threatening condition, Juvenile Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD),  and will need a kidney transplant. He doesn't care what the cost is, he wants the best medical attention for his little girl, the only problem is that due to non-payment, his company's group health insurance policy was cancelled. John submits the payment and the coverage is reinstated, but a change has been made to the major medical coverage, his daughter's medical condition will not be covered by the insurance company, and the kidney transplant will cost several hundred thousand dollars. What does he do now to cover the cost, he can't lose his little girl!

Wanda Johnson is also a single parent to a six-year-old daughter named Tonya. Just like John, Wanda has also had some ups and downs in her life, and the 9/11 event has caused her business to take a major hit as well. Wanda is a drug dealer, and the heightened security at the airports have all but ceased the drug operation that she belongs to in Durham, NC. She had been thinking about getting out of the drug business anyway, but she still needs to collect some more money before she can give her daughter a safer life on the West Coast like she has dreamed about.

John and Wanda's separate worlds collide and bring them together for one simple goal: to get money they both need to get what they want. Can a straight arrow guy who grew up believing everything is either black or white, walk the fine gray line that is Wanda's world? Will Wanda's drug-lord boss foil their plans and seek revenge for working his turf? Can John and Wanda walk away after they secure the money they need? These questions and so much more await you in Shades of Gray!

Shades of Gray is a fast-paced, suspense thriller that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat! This story is so intriguing, I couldn't put the book down, I had to know what was going to happen next. The storyline is well written and so realistic, this could happen in any neighborhood, in any town USA. The characters were well developed, their individual stories and how their lives became intertwined added so much more depth to the overall story. This story took me on an emotional roller coaster ride, there was enough intrigue, suspense and even a bit of heartache, that left me spent at the end of the story! The story has so much to offer, it begs the reader to ponder what they would do if they found themselves in either John or Wanda's situation. The choices made are not always the right ones, but then again, life isn't just black and white ... there are always Shades of Gray in the mix. Kudos to Mr. Holloman on his first novel, this was a wonderful book that will leave suspense fans satisfied, and I look forward to reading more of his books!



  1. hi kathleen, thanks so much for the post and review!! you are wonderful

  2. Thank you Andy for allowing me to host your virtual book tour events on my site. I loved your book, and I hope my book review generates more readers your way! :)

  3. Awesome review! Thank you Kathleen for reading and hosting Andy today. I can't wait to read this myself :).


  4. Thanks BK! You're going to love Shades of Gray!

  5. Replies
    1. I agree, it is a great book that everyone should read. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment! :)