2009 Allbooks Review Editor’s Choice Award for short story collections.
Highly recommended by reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews. "I am highly recommending Lighting the Dark Side. 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."
LIGHTING THE DARK SIDE is an anthology of short fiction featuring three novellas and three shorter works. Regular people find themselves caught up in extraordinary situations. Some of the characters are simply down on their luck; while others struggle for survival. All are locked into circumstances rendered more complex by their own weaknesses. Each one has a dark side but also has the ability to bring light to this darkness.
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.