Monday, June 11, 2012

On Tour: A Lighter Shade of Gray ~ Review, Giveaway & Author Post

Today, I have a triple whammy to hit you with ~
~ a review, a guest post and a giveaway!

A Lighter Shade of Gray by Devon Pearse is on tour with the TLC Book Tours. What a amazing book! I have posted my thoughts below.

I also have Devon here where she is going to answer my question about whether she hears 'voices' or not.

And then, I am also so excited that TLC Book Tours is offering a copy of A Lighter Shade of Gray for one lucky Book Bag follower from the US/Canada.


What does it feel like to stare into the face of madness? Or to anticipate your own? Would you drive away your only love? Could you pretend it didn't matter? How far would you go to protect a friend, or to avenge a death?

Ten years ago, Devon gave up the love of her life, fearing she would one day fall victim to the mental illness that has slowly ravaged the mind of her mother, who is now being cared for in a private facility. Just when it seems Devon might have a chance to make up for past mistakes, her best friend Cass becomes a suspect in the murder of her sister's drug-dealing boyfriend.

Devon knows Cass is lying about the details of her involvement and the lead detective on the case, convinced that Cass is guilty, is relentless in his pursuit of justice.

When her mother's young, emotionally disturbed roommate insinuates she knows something about the night of the murder, as well as details from Devon's own life that no one else is privy to, Devon becomes desperate to uncover the truth before Detective Lake does. As the investigation continues, Devon is led down a path she never expected and forced to face her greatest fears of life and love.

Tangled in a web of lies, regrets and questions, can she find a way to let go of the past and start again? And, once the mystery is solved, can she live with the secrets she's uncovered?

Join author Devon Pearse in this semi-autobiographical journey through the most heartbreakingly beautiful and deceptively mysterious events of her own life and the lives of those closest to her. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts on A Lighter Shade of Gray ~~

Wow! Did you read that synopsis up there? This book has a lot going on. Let's see, there's a failed romance, a mother's mental illness and the fear that it could happen to the daughter, another mental patient that seems to be taking the daughter's place in the mother's mind, a best friend suspected of murder, and a detective who just won't give up until he has all the answers.

And these are just the main characters and story lines. Sound confusing? It's really not. The author does a fantastic job of weaving the stories and subplots together and creates a very intriguing story.

At the center of the whole book is Devon, (semi-autobiographical, it seems) a very likable, caring person who has a great best friend, Cass. When Cass runs into some trouble, Devon is there for her, but at what cost? Devon sets out to do what she can to prove that Cass is innocent, even if there is some doubt that she really is.

And Devon is also worried about her mother and the mental illness that has taken her away from the family. She misses her mom greatly and is terrified that the same thing is going to happen to her, so much so that she pushes the love of her life away. Will they ever be reunited?

I loved the parts of the book when Devon and her mother communicated using colors. As her mom's mind was slipping, she and Devon could connect with each other by talking about the colors.

'Gray was the only color you had to watch out for. Gray was lonely emptiness. Gray could make her cry.'

'I know, my sweetheart. But it won't always be, at least not for you. It might take a long time, but it will gradually get lighter, You'll fight your way through all the gray until you find the blue again. And then it will be so beautiful, like the dawn breaking after a storm. Just know that wherever I am, I love you my Lillibet. I'll always love you, even in the gray.'

... 'I'll always love you, even in the gray.' Isn't that an awesome line? There is so much about this book that's great! Reading it was a beautiful way to spend my weekend. I understand that Devon is currently working on her second novel, The Untrodden Ways, due to be published in 2012. I will be watching for that one to come out.


And now my question for Devon ~~ I have heard other authors say that they 'hear voices in their head' and that is how they write their books: the characters are telling their stories. Not being a writer myself, that concept has always intrigued me.

When some people hear voices, we get them medical attention, others end up becoming writers. Does this happen to you? How do you come up with your stories?

Devon Pearse
In answer to your fantastic question, luckily I don't always hear voices in my head, and if I ever do, I'll probably seek the advice of a trusted friend, or possibly professional, before I succumb to their whims! I do, however, hear my characters speak very clearly as I'm writing, and I hope they never stop talking to me. It's what makes it possible to write dialogue, and I don't know how a writer can do that convincingly if their characters don't talk to them. I do agree with the statement that the characters are telling their stories - case in point, I remember being very surprised when I found out one of my characters (one in an upcoming book) revealed she was expecting a child. I'd honestly had no idea! Yes, the characters speak, and their words flow through the writer onto the page.

In a way, it's like watching a movie in your mind. The characters are there, you can see them clearly, and they're going about their daily activities. Those activities, of course, only exist because of how you've imagined them in the first place, but once imagined, they do take on a life of their own. Then all you have to do is know the outline of the story, sit back and write down what you see. The characters, if they've been properly formed in the mind of their creator, will do the rest.

What ends up being very exciting are the times when something a character says or does ties up one or more loose ends I've been struggling with and it just brings the whole story together. I suppose one could say it's all in my subconscious, perhaps I work these things out while I'm dreaming. Could be. Either way, I'm happy for the help!

I do tend to come up with my basic storylines first, but they don't always include all of the characters from the start, usually just one or two. Sometimes I don't feel I necessarily create characters, it's more like they're all there just waiting to come forward and speak. Sometimes they're patient, sometimes they're not. But I think I'd be very lonely without them. My stories generally come from my personal experiences - those I've had and sometimes those I'd like to have. I may get inspired by a turn of phrase from another writer, a bend in the road, a dream, an idea I've had since childhood. Writers see possibilities in everything, I think. Then we (I know I'm not alone in this) sit down and ask ourselves, while holding our concept-of-the-moment firmly in our minds, the simple question, "What if...?" and we go from there.

Thank you, Devon. Your comments are very interesting.
I can't wait to read what you write next!

Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter below
for a chance to win A Lighter Shade of Gray

Connect with Devon Pearse
Other stops on the tour are here.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest opinion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This sounds like a really interesting read! The prose you quoted is beautifully written. Excited to read this one. :)

  2. There's definitely a lot going on in this book so I'm glad to see that the author succeeds at pulling everything together convincingly. Glad you enjoyed this one!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  3. Thanks for sharing this book- both the review & giveaway. It sounds like a very neat read

  4. It was long, but I enjoyed this review is up for July 20.

    Hope you can stop by. NEW FOLLOWER.

    Giveaway going on at my blog as well for another book.

    Silver's Reviews


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