Sunday 25 February 2018

Hiding - Jenny Morton Potts #blogtour #extractpost

Today I am pleased to be able to participate in the blog tour for Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts.  My thanks go to Rachel's Random Resources and Rachel Gilbey.

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?

Chapter 5  (Rebecca Brown, aged 10, decides to go searching for her parents)

Shortly after the birthday party, Rebecca was on a school trip to Fort William. The children were walking double file along a pavement and as they passed the Library at Airds Crossing, she happened to look in the window and saw someone there, sitting at a table and looking at a newspaper. Quite relaxed, they looked, as if it was their own kitchen. She wondered about that all day. She wondered so hard about that anonymous person reading a newspaper comfortably in a public library that the wonder scooped out a small section of her brain and made its home there.
When she got home, Rebecca asked her grandmother if she could join that library at Airds Crossing and Primmy said, “No”. This was quite usual and did not daunt the girl in the least. Her grandmother said “No” to everything, whether she had properly heard the question or not. When Rebecca asked next, Primmy said there was a perfectly good mobile library provided by High Life Highland each Thursday morning in the Co-operative Supermarket car park – Primmy never called it the Co-op – and indicated that this was a duty, to support the mobile service.
Rebecca didn’t ask again but instead arranged to go swimming with her friend Maria Theresa at the weekend. She gave MT five pounds. Two pounds fifty of that was to go swimming by herself in the municipal pool at Fort William. One pound fifty was for a Slush Puppie afterwards. The remaining pound was to keep her mouth shut.
During the bus ride however, the duplicity now properly underway, Rebecca became increasingly nervous. The bus stopped suddenly and when she heard the hiss of the door opening, she felt the game was up and stiffened, ready to be accused. But the driver was just getting out to usher a few blackface sheep off the road. Maria Theresa was pleased with the driver’s intervention, since she enthused for rare breeds. MT’s family had begun to specialise in Castlemilk Morrit on their farm.
When Rebecca suggested to her grandmother that they too acquire a dozen or so sheep, she was told the answer was no. Primmy did not hold with sheep. And the children’s grandfather took no interest in the Taransay livestock, full stop.
At the bus station in Fort William, Maria Theresa and Rebecca synchronised watches, agreed to meet again in ninety minutes, and parted ways. For a moment, Rebecca thought they might shake hands. But then she settled for saying, ‘So Long’.
Rebecca felt like a criminal once again, as she stood at the library reception. She blushed easily and her cheeks were aflame.
“Gosh, is it cold out?” a quite young lady said to her and pressed the back of her fingers (the nerve of it!) against Becky’s cheek. But Rebeca was used to people touching her cheeks because of her dimples. ‘Irresistible,’ her grandfather often said.
The librarian took charge of Rebecca Brown’s Lochaber (Under 12) Transport card which had her address. In just minutes, the girl was signed up to membership of this lovely warm library in Fort William. The peak of this victory suddenly troughed as a vision came to her of Maria Theresa alone at the Leisure Centre, at the deep end of the big swimming pool, her hand just out of reach of the edge, her legs oddly still beneath the surface and her torso sliding into the water, then her open mouth. Rebecca held her breath, as if she herself were going under.
‘Is there something in particular I can help you with?’ the librarian wanted to know.  Rebecca hesitated, so the librarian continued, ‘Just to get you started.’ Rebecca mumbled something about liking newspapers and the young woman smiled, gesturing with her head that she should be followed. Rebecca was instructed how to log on at the monitor and how to make the selections from the menu. And then she was left to it. She knew the date. 7th December 2001. The newspapers: Glasgow Herald, Scotsman, Daily Record all carried the story on their front page the next day, after the accident.
But it wasn’t a crash involving just her parents. There was a pile up, lots of vehicles, and from the pictures, it looked like they had been dropped there by a crane; the kind of crane which had a giant magnet hanging down; as if the cars had already been scrunched for scrap. Though the vehicles had not been neatly cubed. You could not tell from the photos if there were any ripped persons inside. The shots were too grainy. It looked like one articulated lorry had eaten a small hatchback. The end of the little car poked out from the open bonnet jaw of the truck. There was no particular sense in the photography that this was winter but you could tell it was night. Just after 9.00pm, according to survivors. The pictures were black and white. There were no bodies strewn on the tarmac. There was nothing red. There was a number: 11. That’s how many died. Her parents were mentioned: … couple leaving behind three young children. Another phrase that has remained with Rebecca is ‘visibly shaken’. Officers and medical personnel were visibly shaken.
Later, during her teens, Rebecca was to add detail to the crash scene. From her imagination, she augmented the photographs over the years, adding Highland cattle slaughtered and strewn along the dual carriageway too, with legs bovine and human twisted together. She made the horror more real, with eyes popping or swollen shut, and horns splitting femoral arteries. She was able to make the images move, she flung a bony tail over a windscreen and lying in her iron bed at night with her eyes tight shut, she could make sound too, with hooves beating on the metal bodywork. Her grandmother was always shaking her head at Rebecca’s imagination, and with fair cause. One peculiar day, Primmy said, ‘It’s no use hiding. Life will still be here when you get back.’
How does that grab you.  I for one like the sound of this book and look forward to reading it soon.
Interested in the book well pop across to /
There is even a Giveway to enter for a chance to Win 3 x e-copies of Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts (Open Internationally).
About The Author, Jenny Morton Potts
Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer and playwright. After a series of 'proper jobs', she realised 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 family.

She tries not to take herself too seriously.
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To see what my fellow bookworms thought check out the blogs below. 



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