April 2 2018

Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts

About the Book:


A gripping psychological thriller with
chilling twists, from a unique new voice.
Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on
different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca
knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now
he wants to destroy her.
This is the story of two families. One
living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in
a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to
cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?
Book Links:
Read an Excerpt:
Chapter 2
Death Row
June 2021

There was a walk now. They passed doors, like random choices. They all looked the same, all the colour of pale nicotine. But some of those doors were in the business of living and some were not. As you walked past them, you could feel hope slipping away. Which door? Which one? It was like a game the devil might play as you entered hell. Eventually the passengers reached the end of their journey and were shown into another room which was similar in size to the last but with what looked like a window on one side. The window was dark for the moment, with a black blind pulled down and opposite, there was a gallery with seating. The seating was slightly raked, like a theatre. They were here for a performance.
‘That’s 11.30 gone now,’ someone said from the far end.
‘Show must go on.’ Keller mumbled.
There was a crackle and then an audio test from the speaker in the corner. Keller imagined that President Descher had arranged a televised viewing and that all over the State the people could see and hear this: factory workers, grandmothers, schoolchildren, stopping what they’re doing and watching. From the audio speaker, Keller recognised words from the phonetic alphabet, then the date, today, June 23rd 2021, the location, the prisoner’s name and number HCI 72259-931 and the time scheduled for execution.
Keller knew that the duration for the poison to act was ten minutes maximum and that the ratio to be injected was set against the inmate’s weight and height.
Somewhere behind him, Keller could hear mumbling about the victims’ families and an officer explained that they were seated separately, in another viewing room. He imagined that the families’ room was crowded, since eight victims had lost their lives that day.
At 11.45 am, the time was announced once more on the speaker and the blind was pulled up manually, revealing the execution chamber. Keller had forgotten who was seated directly next to him now, but whoever it was flinched.
The prisoner was already strapped onto the gurney. There was a sheet over his body but you could see where the constraint buckles jutted up into the clean white cotton. His left arm was exposed however and the intravenous tube was already in. He was clean shaven. Keller had never seen him without a beard. He could almost pretend he did not know him.
Three Harfield guards came into the chamber now. They did not look at the window, which to them was a mirror. Who would want to see themselves doing what they were about to do, even if it was their duty. The three guards were each handed a syringe. The content of one of the syringes was deadly and the other two contained a harmless fluid. The guards would never know who among them administered the lethal injection.
The condemned man’s chest began to rise and fall. He blinked rapidly and his Adam’s apple bulged in his throat, as he struggled to find an impossible place between dignity and the screaming of his nerves to stay alive.
Keller murmured, ‘There is nothing to do now but die.’
A man in the chamber who had been out of their view, moved into sight. He was dressed in a plain dark suit. He identified himself as Warden James and held up a chart. His hand was steady enough, his white knuckles though suggested a very tight grip on that chart.
Keller stared down at the inmate who seemed to be staring back, though Keller knew that the glass was one way and that all the condemned could see was a reflection of his own final scene. All the same, their eyes met.
Warden James turned to the prisoner. ‘Is there anything you would like to say or read before we administer this lethal injection?’
Keller frowned down at the neighboring lap. It was the redhead next to him, the PhD student, twisting that engagement ring. The girl who more than likely had it all, the girl who could not cope without her cell, was barely coping at all. Keller could feel her trembling against the length of his torso and the anger in his veins burned. The young woman held her hand up to her mouth and whispered into it, ‘God, dear God.’
The Warden lowered his eyes to Prisoner HCI 72259-931 on the gurney and blinked several times. He said to the inmate, ‘Go ahead, what do you want to say.’
‘I would like to ask a question.’
‘What is your question?’
‘I would like to ask a question and have it answered.’
Warden James looked around the room at the other officials.
‘Go ahead and ask your question.’
‘Not until you tell me that I will have an answer.’
Keller smiled and nudged the redhead. ‘You see? Make the most of every goddamned moment.’
The young woman was on the edge of her seat and on the edge of tears.
In the chamber, the suits and uniforms huddled and muttered amongst themselves and the Warden came free of the pack once more.
‘We shall try to answer your question. And cannot commit beyond that. I ask you therefore again, is there anything you would like to say?’
The inmate tried to lift his head but the strap across his brow was held tight. He cleared his throat and said in that thick Carolina accent that Keller thought he’d forgotten but which now reignited in his memory and ripped through his heart.
‘I want to know if my son can see me.’


About the Author:
Jenny Morton Potts was born in a smart,
dull suburb of Glasgow where the only regular excitement was burglary. Attended
a smart, dull school where the only regular excitement was the strap. Worked in
smart, dull sales and marketing jobs until realising she was living someone
else’s life.
Escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee
deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted
spine surgeon who wanted to talk about The Da Vinci Code, wiped out the order.
Returned to wonderful England – and unlikely ever to leave again – Jenny, with
assistance from loyal hound, walked and swam her way back to manageable health.
Jenny would like to see the Northern
Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very
happily, and gratefully, partnered for 28 years, she ought to mention, and
living with inspirational child in Thaxted, Essex.
Contact the Author: 
2 Digital Copies of Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts

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April 2 2018

“I Am a Writer; I Am a Businesswoman” by Cynthia Adina Kirkwood

Imagination creates possibilities.

When I wrote my novel, Turn On, Tune Out, I used my imagination. I became acquainted with a 30-year-old single composer with deep feelings about music, creativity and motherhood. When I market my novel, I also use my imagination. Publicizing my work introduces me to new people, new forums and new ideas. Marketing excites me. It is a part of the transformation I am undergoing as a published author.

In the past, I turned up my nose at business. I would stick with writing, I told myself. J.D. Salinger, author of Catcher in the Rye, avoided the press and readers, and he gained fame for it. Though I thought Salinger extreme, I still thought his actions more in tune with the calling of a writer. Also, everyone around me agreed that writing and business were mutually exclusive. Writers were not good at business.

Besides, the business of writing repulsed me. I felt that it was dirty. So, for many years, I left it in the gutter.

When I dug down deeply, I unearthed shame about a family business in which people were treated only as profit. The business is no longer, and the relatives are dead. I cannot ask them for explanations in the hope that I am wrong. Nevertheless, I can finally throw out my negative view of business.

There are as many ways to do business as there are ways to develop oneself.

There is a mean and exploitative way. I am a member of a writers’ Facebook page. When a fellow member posted that she had received an unexpected offer from a traditional publisher, I clicked “Like” and congratulated her in a comment. Her post elicited other positive responses but, soon, also cautionary ones. It turns out that this “traditional” publisher is more akin to a vanity press and charges a hefty “contributory fee.” It would have been fine if the press had been clear about its role. Years ago before Internet became a fact of life, I met a historical writer who gushed about her first vanity published book, which she planned to give to her family. But the publisher mentioned on Facebook purposely misled and emotionally manipulated the writer, raising her hopes and hurting her pride.

I aim to do the business of writing in an uplifting way. I have been touched by the generosity of writers as they share their experiences and knowledge with me. I, in turn, am doing the same. As one hand pulls me up, I pull up another. As a result, I am finding myself surrounded by good-hearted people, and we are all becoming more successful.  In my novel, Turn On, Tune Out, composer Angelica Morgan recalls her mother’s publication track record:

“After twelve years, one of her novels was published. She told me that she felt vindicated. Vindicated and freed because her definition of success had changed. She had cut the cord with the publishing industry which had grown into a monolith of sameness.

“Mommy began publishing herself against the advice of publishing houses, which called self-publishing the kiss of death. . . Mommy’s work sold rather well. She developed a following among fellow artists. Her writing nurtured them, their work nurtured her. For Mommy, that was success. Not only that, it made her happy. She believed that, in time, the market would broaden again.”

Imagination makes things happen.

It seems that I have inherited some business acumen from my family, after all.


Who should read Turn On, Tune Out by Cynthia Adina Kirkwood

If you find your life bombarded by information and noise, read about this musician’s challenge to quiet hers.

In Turn On, Tune Out, a British composer turns outlaw in Los Angeles. She flouts a computer law that cripples creativity. In L.A., she finds an audience, love, and a passion to stop the insidious law from taking hold in Britain. In the near future of California, artists, who steal time off-line, are considered suspect, criminal and dangerous.

Angelica’s friend, Rosetta, an outspoken painter, cautions the musician about the law that requires four hours of daily screen-watching. However, Angelica dismisses the warning. . . .

About the Author

Cynthia Adina Kirkwood was born and raised in New York City, where her parents emigrated from Belize in Central America. She received a bachelor’s degree in Religion from Williams College in the Berkshires. Cynthia also studied a year abroad at the American University in Cairo. Later, she received a master’s degree in International Economics, Comparative Politics and African Studies from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. At the University of California at Berkeley, she earned a Certificate of Journalism Education from the Summer Program for Minority Journalists. Cynthia worked at newspapers in the east, west, north and south of the United States. In 1994, she left the San Francisco Chronicle for Sicily and has been living in Europe since then.

In 2012, Cynthia and her son left a sedentary life in Cornwall, England, for a farming one in the heart of Portugal. She has 4 acres of terraced land with olive trees, grapevines, and fruit trees. New York – any city – seems far away from her in time and space. Yet, Cynthia is still the child belly-laughing at “I Love Lucy,” reading books within arm’s reach from the Astoria Public Library, and studying ballet and tap in Manhattan.

She is still a girl from “the projects,” a first-generation American, giving voice to those without one.

About the Guest Post

Writing is truth . . . for wherever we happen to be in this life. The more we write, the more we learn about ourselves. I am grateful to Romila for asking me to write this guest blog because while writing it, I recognized, named and exorcised a truth of mine.





Cynthia’s Author Website



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