If you enjoy romantic thrillers, March 17th is the day you can pick up my book, “Riddle” for 99 cents on Kindle! Grace Donahue, the primary female protagonist is obviously of Irish descent. Her surname actually comes from my mother’s family. St. Patrick’s Day seemed an excellent day to offer the story of her relationship with Native Kort Eriksen and her life the town of Riddle at a sale price.
Here is the blurb for this well reviewed book:
“Seven years ago Kort Eriksen went to prison for killing his girlfriend Desiree. Now he’s back in Riddle and some people think he got off easy. Others, including long time friend Norma, think he was railroaded because he’s the only Native American in town. Grace Donahue is running away from her past. Trapped in Riddle until her car is repaired she develops a friendship with Kort. Suddenly accidents are happening and people are dying. Is Kort adding to his list of victims or has someone else taken the reins? As mysteries from the past rise to the surface, more questions will be raised. The suspect file grows as victims fall. Is Desiree’s killer back for more or is someone trying to avenge her death? The riddle of Riddle will be solved, but how many bodies will it take to find the answers?”
What are reader’s saying about Riddle?
By Lexa Harpell on March 2, 2016
Riddle was a must read after reading Elizabeth Horton-Newton’s intriguing ‘View from the Sixth Floor – An Oswald Tale’. Elizabeth is certainly creating a name as a Queen of Intrigue! This book intrigued me from the early pages and continued to do so to the end.
Set in a small town, weaving those human complexities of prejudice, passion, mistrust and revenge with believable characters and stories. A controversial romance with the local outcast Kort, and bubbly Grace who is new to the town and soon becomes aware of the entrenched darkness that lies within its walls.
I found myself trying to piece together a Hitchcock style jigsaw puzzle, not really knowing the whole picture until the last piece slots in.
A compelling read of intrigue and mysteries wrapped in a fascinating love story. A must read!
By Mark Fine on February 27, 2016
They say judge a book by its cover. No kidding! The sumptuously designed cover for “Riddle” sucked me right in. And boy, this romantic thriller did not disappoint. In fact it had me truly committed to carve out time in my busy days in order to read it.
From the first page I found myself channeling “The Master of Suspense” himself, Sir Alfred Hitchcock. I’m convinced he would have reveled in the psychological twist and turns, portrayed by the gifted Elizabeth Horton-Newton, in her small town of Riddle she so tellingly created.
I know the fiery sanguine-haired Norma would have delighted the great director (she certainly fascinated me). He also would have appreciated the ratcheting drama of Grace, trapped in Riddle by a car that betrayed her, by breaking down at the least opportune time.
But her car’s betrayal is nothing compared to the questionable justice meted out against Kort. Mr. Erikson had been jailed for the alleged killing of his girlfriend. Or, was he a victim of crude prejudice being the only Native American in bucolic Riddle?
As I read, the layers peeled back page-by-page revealing a narrative as engrossing as anything created by Alfred Hitchcock. I really wish the late great Master of Suspense was still alive, as I would have liked to see Riddle come alive as a quality motion picture. I strongly recommend this book!
By Mrs Michelle Nora Medhaton January 31, 2016
Riddle is an incredible book and one that should not be missed. When I started reading, it seemed like a superb dramatic romance. But the more I was swallowed into the story, the more I was aware of an undercurrent of something else. Written with sweet charm, Riddle is a story that appears to be a chocolate pudding, but dig deeper and the maggots start to crawl out. Think David Lynch and then some. Mrs Newton has created a literary sleight of hand with stunning deftness. Startling graphic imagery is juxtaposed with cupcake, little town sensibilities. The fatherly owner of the diner, the tough but kind proprietor of the local Inn and the pragmatic but caring garage mechanic, give a light feeling to this story, but don’t be fooled. There’s the town’s bad boy Kort just out of jail for a murder he says he didn’t commit. Is he lying or just misunderstood? The town’s split between supporters of Kort – those who believed him innocent of the heinous crime – and those who’d like to see him six foot under. Unfortunately, his mother falls into the latter team. And amongst it all a girl named Grace arrives. Her car’s broken down, so she stays in Riddle until it’s fixed. Who is she? Why is she running? Does she intend to stay? Questions circle in your mind as you read, and Mrs Newton’s writing holds you captivated with intrigue demanding you read further. Each page furnishes a further titbit of insight into the lives of those players on Riddle’s stage, but no conclusions are forthcoming until the final pages. Don’t try to second guess, just sit back and enjoy the thrilling journey Mrs Newton has crafted for you.
The characters in Riddle are deep and complex. Their intricacies and foibles give way to a multitude of enthralling considerations. However, what makes the book truly stand out is Mrs Newton’s ability to address such big themes as prejudice, revenge, obsession and pride in a way that forces a reappraisal of perspective. The distrust that naturally occurs when meeting those not conforming to a stereotype of our predetermined design, and the faith to find the strength to use our intelligence to observe and interpret instead of accepting and believing the judgement of others. Riddle is a book not to be missed and one that I highly recommend.
Jackie Parry, Author “A Standard Journey”
“A Roller-Coaster Ride in Riddle…Newton skillfully weaves past with present and like a roller-coaster ride, we can neither get off nor want to.”
CMT Stibbe, Author “The 9th Hour” & “The Fowlers Snare”
“…all the pieces of a spell-binding thriller.”
Alexis Alvarez, Author “Myka and the Millionaire”
Traci Sanders, Author “When Darkness Breaks” and “Unsevered”
Kort gazed out the bus window as the countryside sped by. Seven years, seven months, and seven days yet things looked the same. Turning away from the window he tried to stretch his long legs in the cramped space allotted to passengers of all shapes and sizes. Out of the corner of his eye he caught sight of a young boy, maybe nine or ten, staring at him. A child’s cowboy hat sat at a crooked angle on the boy’s head. The boy lifted his hand and squinted his eyes like a sheriff in a wild-west adventure; he pretended to shoot at Kort. Kort did not react. He didn’t blink, he didn’t smile, he didn’t frown. A woman peered over the back of the seat and catching sight of Kort’s impassive stare she pulled the child back, out of Kort’s line of vision.
Looking into the rearview mirror again he watched as the deputy moved slowly toward the truck; hand on the butt of his holstered gun. The brim of his hat cast a dark shadow on the officer’s face but when he stepped up beside the open driver’s window Kort immediately recognized him. He said nothing, waiting for Butch to speak first. Prison lesson number three, speak only when spoken to.
Butch squinted at Kort. “Good afternoon Chief. Do you know who I am?”
Kort wanted to laugh. Kort wanted to say he had no idea who this pumped up Deputy Dawg was. Instead he simply nodded, all the while maintaining eye contact.
Butch nodded back. “I’m Deputy Leland Parker.”
It took a lot of self-control to hold back the laughter that tickled the back of his throat and the corners of his eyes. He nodded again.
“I know who you are too, Kort Eriksen. I just want you to know I will be keeping an eye on you. If you so much as walk across the street on a red light I will know it. Do you understand Chief?”
The humor melted out of him like snow melting on a hot stove. Kort’s eyes narrowed involuntarily. But he responded in an even tone. “Yes sir.”
Grace hesitated. Her eyes flicked over Kort taking in his height and build. He was a big guy. She didn’t know anything about him. She wanted to hit herself in the head. She had gotten into a truck with a man she knew nothing about. No one knew where she was. Heck no one really knew who she was in this town. If she disappeared she would just be some drifter who couldn’t afford to have her car repaired and didn’t show up for a job.
The room was tilting crazily and she was unbuckling his belt. His hands had pulled her dress high above her hips. The colors of the room seemed to run together and blend before separating again. Suddenly she was above him and in control and he watched her long dark hair swing over his face, teasing him with its softness and somewhat musky scent. The blood was pounding in his head and he thought the top of his head would explode any second. But even when he climaxed he wanted more. It was as though she was a drug and he was addicted to her.
Tony took the cup from her hand. “She’s still drinking. I would never send my mother away. What happened wasn’t her fault. Why should she be punished for my father’s weakness? She was devastated, maybe a little crazed. But something like that would make anyone a little crazy. I mean, we all have something that drives us a little crazy. Don’t you have something like that? Something that makes you just lose your mind a little?” That strange smile crossed his lips again. “Would you like more coffee or have I depressed you enough already?”
Grace nodded but didn’t say anything. They quietly mounted the steps and her hand shook as she tried to put the key in the lock. Kort’s hand covered hers and guided the key into the lock. The door opened a crack. She looked up at him, his hand still covering hers. They moved simultaneously and she was in his arms and his mouth covered hers hungrily. His body was hard against hers, his arms encircling her. Backing into the apartment she pulled him in with her. Kicking the door closed Kort fell back against it still holding Grace tightly.
The tires slipped on the gravel then hit the muddy edge of the road before spinning across the road and flying into the brush. She hit the brakes but the car skidded and suddenly she was airborne and headed down the brushy side of the hill before crashing into the trunk of a tall pine tree. The front of the car crumpled and she was pinned behind the wheel, the air bag pressing against her face. Pushing the deflating bag down, she felt something warm running down over her lips. Reaching up she was stunned when her hand came away covered in blood.
“Oh my God!” she began to cry softly. Shaking, she struggled to get out of the car but the door was stuck. Then she smelled the gas and saw the flames begin to flicker from the remains of the engine. Screaming she pushed harder against the door but it wouldn’t budge. Reaching down she tried to release her seat belt but she couldn’t get her fingers between the door and the clasp. Tugging at the belt she tried to push it down and climb out but it held tight. Blood was covering the front of the borrowed jacket now turning the blue to a dark midnight color. Panicking she looked toward the top of the hill and saw a tall form in a long dark coat watching her. She screamed for help but the figure just stood and watched; watched until the flames crept into the car and the smell of burning flesh mixed with the odor of a gasoline fueled fire. By the time she stopped screaming the dark figure had gotten back into the black car and driven off.