Shades of Grey by Andy Holloman

 
  In the Fall of 2001, John’s life has fallen off a cliff.  His six- year-old daughter,  Lucy, needs a kidney transplant and his Durham, NC  travel agency has been wrecked by the events of 9/11.  He must find a way to secure a large amount of money quickly in order to pay for Lucy’s surgery.  He’s been in tight places before but he’s currently out of solutions.
Wanda, a client of John’s travel agency, has had her livelihood hit hard by 9/11 also.  She can no longer transport cocaine via airline flights due to increase airport security.  Like John, she is a single parent  and has wanted to get out of her line of work for several years.   She needs more money to allow her and daughter Tonya, to move from Durham to California and break free of her boss, Jamel.
John and Wanda form a partnership around a plan to smuggle cocaine via cruise ships.  His industry knowledge and connections would remove the transportation risks and she could handle the distribution and selling once they brought the drugs back to Durham.
Despite being nearly killed on their first run, it worked.   Wanda coaxes John into another trip while Jamel  is becoming suspicious of Wanda.  John’s half-brother Travis, a Durham police detective battling his own demons, can’t connect the dots between John and Wanda . He continues to line his pocket with ill-gotten gains.  Lucy and John are the most important people in his life and he would gladly provide them with financial help, if only John would ask.
 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 which one of these people will live to see the summer of 2002?  Find the answers in Shades of Gray, a debut novel by Andy Holloman.

Purchase: Amazon

Author Bio –
 
Just like the protagonist in my novel, Shades of Gray,  I was the owner of  travel agency for 12 years (mostly in the 90’s).  But this is the only similarity between myself 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 wordprocessors!)  and always kept them in a top secret shoe box. (and the box is so top 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 the 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 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!
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