Monday, December 8, 2008

Nominated for the 2009 AllBooks Review Editor’s Choice Award

Lighting the Dark Side was recently nominated for the 2009 AllBooks Review Editor’s Choice Award for short story books.

Jan Evan Whitford at AllbooksReviews had this to say when he reviewed LIGHTING THE DARK SIDE-Six Modern Tales.

The book jacket claims these tales will exercise our emotions, capture our imagination, and challenge us to think in new directions. Well, I’m here to tell you all that the author delivers on all that plus much, much more! These novellas and short stories are definitely page-turners, but what impressed me the most was their character-driven force. Potter skillfully intertwined succinct narrative and some natural, fast-paced dialogue to present characters so real, they leapt right off the page and captivated me immediately.

Lighting the Dark Side is a collection of three novellas and three short stories, including plenty of action, thrills, suspense, mystery, and even romance. We start with an engaging story of an improbable romance between an obsessive-compulsive geek and a drop-dead gorgeous woman, seemed doomed from the start. Next, there’s an artist trying his best to thrive and find love in spite of overbearing, cruel parents. Following that, Potter changes directions and we’re treated to a well-done, hard-boiled police procedural with a nice twist. An end of the world by approaching comet thriller is on tap after that, with some great flash-forward writing as well as another ingenious plot twist. Now, these are all wonderful tales, but I believe Potter saved the best two for last. The title, Blessing or Curse is self-explanatory, referring to a big lottery win. A kidnapping for ransom follows and we’re treated to some of the author’s best dialogue. It’s hugely entertaining and there are virtually no wasted words Elmore Leonard style. And finally, Potter ends (all too soon) with a heart-warming tale of a wayward teenage street prostitute and a gentleman with a rescuer complex. It’s a great, intertwined plot where all the characters come together, in the same spirit of the Academy Award winning movie, Crash. Once again, Potter showcases his writing skills, this time with skillful interspersing of critical backstory in such a way as to avoid slowing the plot.

Well, you’ve probably guessed that I am highly recommending Lighting the Dark Side. As I said, all the stories are captivating but more than that, I urge you to take note of the writer’s skill at character development and I’m sure you’ll be impressed. In fact, I shouldn’t think it’d be long before a major publishing house snaps Mr. Potter up because he belongs on the bookshelves with the likes of Jeffery Deaver and Peter Abrahams.

Highly recommended by reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Book Review of Lighting the Dark Side

If you aren't already a fan of short stories, this book will change your opinion. In Lighting the Dark Side - Six Modern Tales, William Potter has written three novellas and three short stories that, as he says, "features leading characters that live their lives as normally as possible and then suddenly find themselves in extraordinary situations." These six stories cover almost every genre from thriller and suspense to mystery, detective and even romance. The character development in each story is amazing. All of the main characters are written superbly. The dialog never comes off as stilted or phony. Mr. Potter may well find himself in some extraordinary company with some of the best authors sooner than he ever expected.

The first story, Bent, Not Broken introduces us to Dwayne Johnson, a character who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a disorder which obviously makes him very socially backward. As Dwayne drives by a certain bus stop every morning on his way to work he looks for someone very special. Someone he has named "Black-Coat Girl". The unexpected happens and Dwayne's life takes a dramatic turn when he finally gets to meet her face to face.

The next story, In the Gray is a very short tale where the reader gets to peek into the life of Michael Conner. Most of the story is a phone conversation with his mother, but from that one phone call we are able to learn everything we need to know about Michael, his family and his past. It is amazing how much information the author can squeeze into less than a dozen pages.

Prominent Couple Slain is a great old-fashioned detective/murder mystery. In this story, we are introduced to Detective Jack Staal, a burnt-out homicide detective who has just transferred from the stress of the big city only to be faced with a horrendous murder of his new small town's most prominent couple.

The premise of the next story is that May 18, 2010 will be the very last day of civilization. The comet, Ivan is on a collision course to destroy everything and it will be here soon, but all Trevor wants to do is get home to be with his girl, Kelly-Anne. For some reason it isn't the comet, Ivan that worries Trevor, but something else. He feels that he's already lived through this disaster many times before. Can he change the future?

Who hasn't dreamed of winning a multi-million dollar lottery? Lighting the Dark Side's fifth story, Blessing or Curse? deals with that exact topic. The main character, Brad Stewart has won 11 million dollars? Imagine all of the things that he can do with that money. Imagine what he'll buy. Imagine how much his life will change. Brad imagined all of this, but what he didn't plan for was that as a lottery winner he would become the target of an extortionist who has kidnapped his son!

The last story, Surviving the Fall is an exciting thriller that takes place a week or so before Christmas. In it, James Goodal witnesses a young woman being thrown out of a moving vehicle and takes her home to care for her. Unfortunately, Ashley has a very dangerous past that catches up to her and James. This story is fast-paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Each and every one of the stories contains two of the most important elements in good story writing and that is believable characters and interesting situations. This book delivers much more than expected. I look forward to more of William Potter's works in the future.

For more information on Lighting The Dark Side-Six Modern Tales by William R. Potter, please view at The author's website or at Amazon.

by Leigh Ann Webster for

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lighting the Dark Side-Six Modern Tales

Lighting the Dark Side is an anthology of fiction featuring three novellas and three shorter works. They are about human nature and how our darker side can impede our ability to cope with hardships. The book opens with a novella called “Bent, Not Broken” where we meet Dwayne Johnson, a man beginning a new relationship even though he is plagued with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

A police procedural called “Prominent Couple Slain” is also included. Detective Jack Staal is disillusioned about his career after he takes a nosedive from big city homicide investigator to small town detective. Desperate to prove himself, he ignores protocol to work a case that is not his to solve.

In “Blessing or Curse?” Brad Stewart’s bloated ego strains lifelong friendships after an enormous lottery win. His millionaire lifestyle suddenly becomes a nightmare when his son is kidnapped for ransom.

The book closes with the largest piece, “Surviving the Fall,” a tale about James Goodal, a man who spent his entire life avoiding uncomfortable situations. This safe and easy existence has left James lonely and facing divorce. Everything changes when he takes in a young street girl named Ashley. The pair finds comfort in their unorthodox friendship until her violent world returns forcing James to fight for Ashley and for his very survival. The two remaining stories find average, but flawed, people struggling to overcome their weaknesses in order to escape extraordinary situations.

First Five Stops on the Tour!

Visit me on any of the first five blog stops for interviews and guest posts!

3/11/08 - The Writer's Life -

3/11/08 - The Plot -

4/11/08 - The Plot -

5/11/08 - The Book Stacks -

6/11/08 - Fiction Scribe -

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Six Refreshingly Different Short Stories

Lighting the Dark Side: Six Modern Tales

William R. Potter

Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views

“Lighting the Dark Side” contains a collection of six refreshingly different short stories. Each one is very unique and cannot be compared to the others. I really enjoyed reading the stories. They are about human nature and how we deal with hardships. Sometimes we overcome them, sometimes we obliterate them and sometimes we just make adjustments in ourselves to live with them.

What I discovered really interesting is that in almost every story, I found aspects of myself in the characters. This allowed me to feel like I could relate to what they had going on inside themselves. Some of these aspects ranged from a desire for vigilantism in situations with no other way out; a desire to help others by going way beyond what is expected; and that need to ask myself why I allow things to happen when I know the outcome ahead of time. Kind of like, why did I do that again? The examples in the stories are so much more interesting than any story that I have possibly lived.

Each short story or novella is very complete within itself, however, I found myself wishing that the stories would go on longer. I wasn’t ready to leave the lives of these interesting characters. This is what made the book even more fun because I found myself thinking about the stories later on, wondering what happened to people that never even existed. The characters are very well developed and intricately woven into their plots that they seem very real. Their humanity is expressed through their shortcomings, and their need to change their situations.

This book, “Lighting the Dark Side,” by William R. Potter, will definitely be enjoyed by all fans of fiction. I think that it would make an excellent selection for a reader’s group or for a college course. I would love to hear the interesting discussions that will be held about these stories.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Virtual Book Tour November 2008

William Potter and his book LIGHTING THE DARK SIDE will be on a Virtual Book Tour starting November 3/08. More than twenty blog stops over the month visiting blogs across North America and as far away as Australia and Japan.



Guest posts.

And much more!

Just some of the more than twenty tour stops.

3/11/08 - The Writer's Life -
3/11/08 - The Plot -
4/11/08 - The Plot -
5/11/08 - The Book Stacks -
6/11/08 - Fiction Scribe -
7/11/08 - The Book Connection -
10/11/08 - Café at the END of the Universe -
11/11/08 - Café at the END of the Universe -
12/11/08 - Beyond the Books -
14/11/08 - Fiction Scribe -
14/11/08 - The Book Stacks -
17/11/08 – Zensanity -
18/11/08 - The Book Czar -
19/11/08 - The First Page -
20/11/08 - Scribe Vibe -
21/11/08 - Paperback Writer -
24/11/08 - BlogCritics –Link coming soon!
25/11/08 - The Blue Stockings -
26/11/08 - The Blue Stockings -

Thursday, October 23, 2008

About The Book


Bent, Not Broken. The opening novella is about an obsessive compulsive man who falls in love. Dee-Dee challenges Dwayne to experience life instead of hiding from it. Nevertheless, Dwayne’s disorder puts a severe strain on the relationship. Jealousy, low self-esteem, anxiety, and an increasing sense of violence engulf him until he pushes his new love away and falls into old habits of avoidance. Will he overcome this dilemma for love? Or will his problems continue to impede his happiness?

In the Gray. A seemingly mundane phone call between a grown son and his mother uncovers the reality of one man’s life. Michael Conner has estranged himself from his entire family. He has no time for his corrupt politician brother, his racist, abusive father, and his mother who seems to be more concerned with his marital status than the ugliness in her own home. Tragedy interrupts the call seconds before Michael can speak his truth and free his mind of decades of bitter animosity.

Prominent Couple Slain. Detective Jack Staal spent twelve years working in the Major Crime Section of the Vancouver Police Department. There he saw the worst of humanity, violent murders, gang warfare, sex crimes, and the ravages of illicit drugs. Homicide investigation was once his mission in life; now with his confidence damaged, he struggles each day to face the brutality. The story finds Staal only weeks after transferring to the Police Service of a small country town called Hanson, where a detective is more likely to investigate a canoe thief than a killer. When a former mayoral candidate and his wife are found DOA in an apparent murder-suicide, Staal is thrown back onto the homicide beat.

May 18, 2010. Is May 18, 2010 the end of the world? Trevor Woodward isn’t sure; he just wants to go home to his girlfriend, Kelly-Anne, and ignore the growing pandemonium over the approach of an earth-grazing comet called Ivan. Will the rock strike earth and destroy all life? Or is the entire thing a hoax to cover up an atomic bombing in the Persian Gulf? Experiencing increasing episodes of déjà-vu, Trevor begins to suspect that the eventful day is repeating; and with each pass, he gets another chance to repair mistakes with Kelly-Anne and his dying father.

Blessing or curse? Who wouldn’t enjoy winning the big one? Brad Stewart isn’t certain that becoming an instant millionaire is all he dreamed it to be. With the constant hounding by charities and long lost relatives, and the distance forming between him and his best friends, Brad is beginning to believe the windfall may be a curse. Without warning, a backyard barbeque becomes his worst nightmare when his son is abducted and held for ransom. Brad must reunite with his buddies in a frantic effort to rescue his kidnapped child.

Surviving the fall. Since childhood, James Goodal has had a soft spot for stray creatures. One gloomy afternoon, a lonely and depressed James meets Ashley, a young street girl. Impulsively, he offers her a spot on his couch for the night. Tempted by Ashley’s beauty and her willingness to please him, James struggles to live by his morals while questioning his motivations. Sickened by her life story, he can’t bring himself to send her away. But the comfort the two find in their unorthodox relationship is short-lived; shattered by violence as Ashley’s past catches up to her at Goodal’s home.

For more info please visit

RebeccasReads Review

Lighting the Dark Side: Six Modern Tales

William R. Potter
Xlibris (2008)
ISBN 9781436312530
Reviewed by Kam Aures for RebeccasReads (9/08)

Lighting the Dark Side: Six Modern Tales” consists of six short stories, all of which are very different and unique, spanning the full gamut of fictional genres. The six short stories included in the book are: “Bent, Not Broken,” “In the Gray,” “Prominent Couple Slain,” “May 18, 2010,” “Blessing or Curse?,” and “Surviving the Fall.” After reading all three of the novellas and all three of the shorter works, I can honestly say that I enjoyed each and every one of them.

My favorite novella in the book was the very first one, “Bent, Not Broken.” It is about a man named Dwayne Johnson who is plagued by severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We watch Dwayne struggle as what are normal day to day activities for most of us are much more challenging for him. His anxieties are compounded by the fact that his co-workers gang up on him by moving things in his cubicle that he needs to have just so. You can’t help but to feel for the poor guy. Dwayne meets a girl and falls in love with her, but his many issues will be the cause of much strain and difficulty in the relationship.

It is in this first novella that the meaning of the title of the book, “Lighting the Dark Side,” is revealed as well. Dwayne’s girlfriend Dee-Dee is in a mud bath reflecting and meditating. On the phone to Dwayne she tells him that she is “just spending some time lighting the Dark Side.” She says, “everyone has a dark side” which is “that ugliness about our personality that scares the people who see it.” What we need to do “is to fight it, to turn a light against it.” (p. 65)

Each story draws you in within the first few sentences and will hold your attention through the completion. All of the characters are well developed and seem very real. I became so involved in each tale that I found myself wishing that these weren’t short stories and that each work was a full-length novel instead. Don’t get me wrong, the writing was very thorough and the stories were not lacking anything, but I enjoyed the characters and the writing style so much that I just wished that they were longer! In the author’s biography that was sent along with the book it states that he is “re-working two full-length novel manuscripts for publishing” and if these works are anything similar to “Lighting the Dark Side: Six Modern Tales” then I can’t wait to read them!

Dead of Knight-A Jack Staal Mystery

Dead of Knight-A Jack Staal Mystery
Now Available