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Just by Jenny Morton Potts - Book Tour + Giveaway

By 4:00 AM , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Jenny Morton Potts on Amazon


Fiyori Maziq is crossing the Mediterranean in disguise, amongst a group of refugees. The passengers have been confined in cellars for some time and are weak with thirst and hunger. (This passage has upsetting moments, including rape.)

The Captain opened the throttle and the boat surged forward. It seemed to Fiyori that about a half dozen guards were boarded as crew. She quietly asked the Iraqi woman beside her what was the name of her baby but either the girl could not hear her or did not care to respond. Fiyori tried again. “I am a doctor.” The baby’s breathing was shallow. Fiyori wondered if the mother was breastfeeding and if so, had she any nourishment left to give.
An old gentleman from Mosul cupped his hand over Fiyori’s ear and told her to forget it. She hoped her breath was not quite as rank as his.
Not a quarter of an hour into their journey, Fiyori was aware of water in the bilges, just an inch or two, lapping at her toes. Next to her, the mother was anointing her baby’s lips with precious water from a bottle. There was no rubber teat on the bottle and the baby seemed to make no attempt to exert its tongue to reach the liquid. The infant neighbour was suddenly thrust at Fiyori, as its mother was overcome with nausea at the side of the vessel. Their jailers in the cellars had taken all their sharp objects and Fiyori had lost her scissors. So with her teeth now, and with the near weightless child lodged in the crook of one arm, Fiyori roughly pulled the fabric at her sleeve. When she had two squarish strips, she nipped up the corners to make two ply and instructed the mother to let a few drops of the water fall into the cloth knapsack. They then squeezed the baby’s mouth a little so that it opened and let some droplets fall on its tongue. Its pulse was very weak and Fiyori wanted to return the infant to its mother’s arms, so that it could die with her.
A man of perhaps thirty, several rows ahead, stood up and, in English, asked for water. He was one of the Christians.
“Sit down, kafir! You are endangering the boat.”
“Then share your water. My child is sick, dehydrated.”
“You think I will let your sick child drink from my bottle? We should share our last drop with the infidel?” There was a round of weak laughter.
The old gentleman from Mosul turned to the Captain at the helm and asked if he thought it might restore good relations among the passengers if they were to distribute some water from the supplies. For his trouble, he got a kick between his shoulders blades.        
Were any of those crates unlocked? They needed that water so badly. The Christian father could barely stay seated.
The Iraqi mother began to hastily expose her right breast but the baby’s tiny mouth was bone dry. It had no suck. Its skin had lost all its elasticity and at this stage, without a saline drip or a nasogastric tube, Fiyori knew that this barely lived life would end before they reached land. She smiled encouragement at the girl. Better to let her try, than for the young mother to survive herself thinking there was more she could have done.
Tiredness suddenly rushed the doctor; foamed inside her chest and up into her eyes. A thick coat of sleep crept right over her shoulders but Fiyori snapped awake, ashamed at her loss of control, and said once more to the Iraqi girl, “What is your child’s name?”
The mother stared down at her baby’s mouth inert against her nipple. “Jahmir is his name. He is dead.”
“And what is your name?”
“The milk stopped when they did it. They shine their torches in your face. To make their selections. Did they take you?”
“No. No, they did not.”
“It was a little room, full with them. Candles and knives shining. Some do not even stop their game of Scopa at the table. They rejected the first girl, without lifting her clothes.” The young mother almost dropped her son’s dead body as her hand flew to her mouth, cupping an insurmountable sadness. “She told them she was bleeding. It was her time and she barely looked old enough. They hit her. They smacked her ears and let her go. The first was a very fat man, his knife held at my throat and the other hand pulling at his belt. There was bread. I could feel a chunk of bazlama bread under my back on the table. Hard, stale. I was thinking that. Bread, you have to think of something. And then he pushed up my robe. Most still playing cards. But for me, five, five or six. The last a boy, really. He spat in my face. Told me how disgusting I am. My husband will never forgive me.” The mother’s head and shoulders began to shake violently. “My son is dead. That is all there is to know.” The woman suddenly stood and let herself drop over the side. There was barely a splash, as she and Jahmir were swallowed whole by the Mediterranean. Fiyori shuffled along the wooden seat but there was no sign of the mother and baby in the water. It was so quickly done, so silently, without fuss. None of the other passengers had even seen what had just taken place, except for the Captain behind them. He must have seen. Fiyori turned to him but he looked straight ahead, then bent down and pulled her roughly back into position. “We are not stopping. She will only try again. And you don’t want to go with her. Do you?”

Author Bio   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.

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Giveaway – Win  5 x e-copies of Just by Jenny Morton Potts (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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