Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CHRISTMAS IN SHADES OF GRAY - Tina Pinson - One Free Ebook

Welcome back, Tina. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I like to write about grace, forgiveness and redemption. I think it is important to show how people can fall so far and God is still gracious in His dealings with us.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
The fourth book in the Shadow Series, This Shadowed Land releases in January.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
It might be fun to spend an evening talking with someone like Bill O'Reilly or Franklin Graham. But it might be interesting to sit down with the president of Iran, Syria, or other like countries, because sometimes I just wonder where their minds are at. Perhaps I would choose Netanyahu of Israel to pick his brain and find out what he sees for Israel's future and whether he prays. But maybe in reality I would choose to sit down with, Laura Bush, where I think I would feel comfortable and welcome and ask her about how it felt to be a first lady especially during a time of such turmoil in our country.

What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
I would like to sit down with an early president like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln because the times they presided over in our nation were great, one with the revolutionary war, the other the Civil War, and they carried themselves with such strength through it and led the nation as well.  But maybe it would be interesting to talk to Sacajawea. Finding out about her journey and her life from her own words be awesome. And the fact that my family lines met up with hers (although I'm still not quite sure how correct the link is) makes it all the more interesting to me.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
I can say, oh hang in there, just keep plugging away and writing, but you know we all hear that over and over again. So let me say, write, but find the voice of your heart, the voice God gave you, and the trill of your own rhythm, give your words the freedom to flow like the very breath of you. The words and the desire to get them down are heightened. But if the time when you don't have the desire to write and it will. Then be gracious to yourself as a writer. Take some time to do another pursuit, and try to get down some words from time to time. But if you don't get as many as you want or any, don't be beat yourself up. Pray, read, and dream. The words usually start to flow again.

Tell us about the featured book.
I call Christmas in Shades of Gray my offbeat Dickens tale, or perhaps it's more on beat than not. It's Christmastime and the main character, David, is lying in a hospital, dying of cancer. He's been alone in life and doesn't want to be alone in death. He wishes his children would come to visit because he'd like to mend things with them. But he's certain he won't have the chance so he prays that God will send someone to reach his children.

He is then visited by a being who seems to know a lot about David and carries several secrets of his own. He asks, "What in your life merits God answering your prayer? And David has no answer. The visitor takes David on a trip through his life and the lives of his children looking for that one point that would compel God to answer David's prayer.

I wrote this story after the death of my father-in-law, and fashioned the main character after him. His life was colorful and he spent years running from God, telling everyone how he wasn't lost. He knew where he was going and what did he need to be saved from? But as he lay dying in his hospital bed, he wanted to get his life back in order. And just wondered how he felt when he asked and the story arose from there.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Brushstroke One
It's Christmas time, but I'm not feeling altogether festive. Given the strands of tubing attached to me and all the off sounding carols played by the machines keeping track of my body rhythms, and the packages of blood and saline tied up neatly on stands, I could be the Christmas tree. The wrong kind of Christmas tree. All I need is the Santa Express circling my bed to finish the scene.
Listen to me. Christmas is worlds away in my lonely old mind. And yet right outside my door people are celebrating. I'm not in the mood to celebrate. I'd rather talk to someone. Anyone. Someone like you.

Hello. Yes, you … I see you at the edge of my words. Will you venture into my story?

You are hesitant to move. Does the antiseptic smell of sickness hold you at bay? Or do you fear opening your heart and sharing Christmas with a stranger?

I can do nothing about the stench surrounding me, but perhaps an introduction will soothe the latter. My name is David, David Pareman, and I'm dying.

You may find that blunt, but there is no easy way to tell this truth. Nor is there much time. You see, I don't have much longer. I had hoped to live to one hundred and twenty out of pure stubbornness, but at seventy my body is riddled with cancer. The doctors have tried every procedure and pumped this feeble shell with all kinds of poison. But my body is not responding to the treatments they provide.

Perhaps my body is too old to form a defense, but the black plague of cancer is no respecter of age. It steals children away just as readily as it does the old.

My diagnosis is death.

Death. A word no one wants to hear on the best of days, but at Christmas time, when it's supposed to be joyous and happy … not at all.

It is an all-consuming word.


The doctors say the word with ease. Sometimes callously.

Maybe that's why I long to share this tale. I am resigned to my fate, resigned to the fact that the hourglass that measures my life and holds my moments is running out of sand. I know deep within me that, when the final grain of sand counting off the days of my life slips past the upper glass and slides to the pile below, this insignificant little corner of the hospital will be my tomb. And I will be gone.

Will you take a moment and listen to my story?

Listen to the last words of a soul not long for this world?

I see you on the edge of my story. Will you venture in? Or are you really there? Please be there. Someone. Anyone. It's Christmas. I don't want to be alone.

Strangely, as my body wastes away, as my thoughts falter, my room has come to life.

Do you see it?

The walls are breathing. Breathing ... In. Out. Slowly ... In. Out. It's rather astounding.

It sounds foolish even to me to say that, but out of the dim glow cast from the light above my hospital bed, I can see the walls expand and contract. Over the whirr of machines, I'm certain I can hear the hiss of an inhale, and the heavy sigh of a released breath that is not my own.

Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Tina, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Melanie Backus said...

This review has intrigued me. I would be very interested in reading this book.

Melanie Backus, TX

Unknown said...

I just want to say the book sounds cool to me and good job mom!

Britney Adams said...

Thank you so much for sharing Tina's interview and for the opportunity to win a copy of CHRISTMAS IN SHADES OF GRAY. It sounds like a very special book!

Britney Adams, TX

Anonymous said...

Hi Melanie,

thank you so much for stopping by. I am glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Has it warmed up in your area? Or did you get the ice storms?



Anonymous said...

Hello Son,

It is awesome to have you stop in and comment Milton. I love it. Thank you for your encouragement.



Anonymous said...

Hi Britney,

Another person from Texas, welcome. I think Christmas in Shades of Gray is pretty special. It tackles questions of life through the eyes of a lonely older man at Christmas. There are so many lonely people at Christmas. I think we tend to forget that, but graciously God doesn't.

Thank you for your comments, Britney.



Cindy W. said...

I would love to be entered to win Christmas in Shades of Gray. Thank you for the opportunity.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W. from INDIANA

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...


Thank you for the smiles and Blessings and for stopping in to say hello.

hope you have a blessed day


Norma S said...

I can't wait to read this book, it sounds like a very very good story. I love Christmas stories and always have. Great interview Tina and Lena. God blessing to you both.
Norma from Ohio

Linda Kish said...

Having spent many years working with patients, this sounds so interesting to me. I would love to be the lucky winner.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

So much despair. So bleak. I was drawn in by the first page. I agree - very interesting.

Mary P


Anonymous said...

Season Greetings One and all. I just realized Everyone has been putting where their from and I keep forgetting to. So I thought I should say good morning from Arizona.

Hope everyone has a lovely day.


Anonymous said...

Hello Naomi,

How are things in Oh? Are you in that deep freeze as well? I'm glad you stopped into to say hey. It's always nice to have commenters to answer to.



Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

Working with patients does get to see some wonderful things and some heartbreaking things? I know, having spent time with family in the hospital, (a mother with cancer, a father waiting for a heart, a sister with a liver transplant) it is nice to have someone to around to care for you so you don't have to be alone.

We all want that. Especially this time of year. How awesome that were there for some of those in need.



Anonymous said...

Hello Mary,

I believe you have traveled the furthest to be here. Isn't the internet awesome sometimes? We can connect such distant points in an instant.

There is a touch of despair in the excerpt. And probably some more in the story. But I can promise despair doesn't win out.

If I'm honest, I would love for everyone to read the story. Not just because I'm the author and I hope to get glowing reviews from it. But I really believe this story has a lot to tell.

Thank you so much for taking a moment to pop in and share your comment.



Susan Johnson said...

Thank you for this review. This sounds like a great book.

Susan Johnson, TX

Tina Pinson said...

You are most welcome, Susan, and thank you so much for stopping in to say hello.



Rhonda's Doings said...

well, Merry Christmas! I am from VA and love snow and any books about Christmas! THanks!

Charlotte Kay said...

Great interview!
I would love to win this book!
Thanks for the chance!

Blessings and Smiles:)
Charlotte Kay, Ohio

Tina Pinson said...

Hello Rhonda from VA. And a Merry Christmas to you. I have to admit I first read your comment and thought you said VA as in Veteran's Hospital. Don't know where my mind was at. :-)

But whether you're from the VA or the VA thank you so much for coming by.



Tina Pinson said...

Greetings Charlotte from Ohio,

I am glad you enjoyed the interview, and will certainly put your name down for the contest.

Appreciate the blessings and smiles you sent as well.



Jan H said...

Hi from Texas. I would like to read the rest of the story. I want to know more.

Janet Sketchley said...

Don't enter me in the draw... I just bought a copy and hope to be reading it this afternoon. We're having a snow day in Atlantic Canada and this book looks like it'll be just right. And I'm a Christmas Carol fan.

Just wanted to say I loved the voice in the opening excerpt, Tina!

Tina Pinson said...

Hello Jan from Texas,

How wonderful for you to stop in and say hello. I hope the day finds you well. Glad you want to know more. Consider yourself in the running for the book.



Tina Pinson said...


a snow day in Atlantic Canada huh. Real Cold? Or just right? Sounds lovely either way. We are having a sun day here in Arizona. Should get to 79 or so they say. As a Colorado transplant to AZ, I could sure use some snow.

Thank you so much for buying the book. I hope you enjoy it.



bonton said...

Hi, Tina!

"Christmas in Shades of Gray" sounds like an inspiring story - I would love to read the novel. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!


rubynreba said...

I enjoyed the excerpt from Christmas in Shades of Gray. Thanks for the chance to win this.
Beth from Iowa

Unknown said...

Sound very interesting. I love that you based your main character on your father in law.
Tonja VA