Author: Jenny Morton Potts
Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: June 18, 2018
How far would you go to save a life?
On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott Langbrook falls recklessly in love with his team leader, Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much more sinister.
‘Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land and at sea.
An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.
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And now Jenny Morton Potts with:
One sunny day in Carcassonne, I found a lovely old book…
I had to go into hospital suddenly whilst ‘on holiday’. I use the quote marks because the ‘holiday’ takes place in a house we have owned and spent eleven years renovating, in Gascony. There is always a million things on the job list and the idea of ‘holiday’ is accurate only in that we are away from home.
When I got out of hospital, which was a violent and terrible affair, I was so relieved, I could have cried in the street. Out of that painful prison, I wanted to look to the sky, face tipped up to the sunshine, and shout, Reprieve! Liberty!But I am British and not given to such shows of emotion in public. And besides, my partner would have disowned me.
With a few hours to spare before the flight home, we shuffled along the cobbles of Carcassonne (have you been? You must!) very slowly. The beautiful château ramparts were in the near distance, calling. I was determined to get there. I wanted to dine in a fabulous restaurant, to taste my freedom, to drink my own health. As we inched along the pavement, we came to an antiques shop. Behind the shop’s enormous window, all kinds of unnecessary purchases glittered and shone. Could I get six crystal 19thcentury Savoie glasses home safely in my luggage? No. Did I need them? No. Did I deserve them? Yes. Could I afford them? No. But we went into the shop. Tinkle, tinkle, the bell went over the door to the treasure trove. Parfait!
Almost straight away, I saw my heart’s desire. A sumptuous, burgundy leather-bound book. I have wanted an old Victor Hugo book for some time, scrolling through auction sites and itching to feel the books in my eager mitts, to sniff them in my reading chair. Now I picked up the red leather tome and gasped (yes, I gasped) with delight. It was by Hugo. It surely had to be mine, no matter what the price. I turned to my partner, introducing a meaningful furrow to my brow; a furrow which said, ‘Darling, you know what I’ve just been through. Life is short, so very very short, n’est ce pas?’.
I tried to recover my practical wits and, cleared my face of expression. I asked the sales assistant how much the book cost. I did not react when he replied. But in my head, I was saying, ‘Did he just say fifteen euros?’ I put the book down and continued browsing. But when another customer caused the door bell to tinkle upon entering, I swooped down on MY book and paid for it.
Oh the name of the novel? Yes, it was – and is – ‘L’Homme qui Rit’, which means ‘The Man who Laughs’. (Or I suppose it could be ‘The Man who is Laughing’. Funny how we have different ways of using verbs in the present tense in English, like ‘I laugh, I am laughing, I do laugh’ when the other Latin languages do not. Anyway…)
It was only after buying my gorgeous book that I realised this title is the origin for the cheese triangles, ‘La Vache qui Rit’, as in ‘The Laughing Cow’. Of course I’m not certain of this theory but you’d think, wouldn’t you. Perhaps Hugo would be pleased. I don’t know. He didn’t exude much in the sense of humour department in his writing, but then how could he amongst those epic angst ridden books. And I don’t know how he felt about cheese. If he hated cheese (does anyone French hate cheese?), he might be unhappy and if he loved cheese, he might be a bit sniffy about the lowly (get it?) contemporary brand.
So, what is the book about? I don’t know. I haven’t started it yet. And I’m in no hurry. I’m still busy gazing at it. I think though that soon, I will move to the next stage. Perhaps next week, or month, I’ll sniff the red leather.
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About Jenny Morton Potts
Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer, and playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realized she was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.
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, settled with the family. She tries not to take herself too seriously.
Thank you to Jenny Morton Potts for being a guest on my blog today! It was truly an honour!