As my followers can tell you, Halloween is my favorite holiday. To celebrate I have made my romantic thriller, Riddle, free on Kindle through November 3rd, 2016. It has a 4.6 star rating overall and has received some great reviews. If you’ve thought about buying it this is your opportunity to get it free. If you know nothing about it, here’s the blurb, a few teasers, reviews, and a couple of excerpts.
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?
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!
“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?”
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!
“Tony looked out the window. The day had grown overcast and someone had turned on the light signs for the diner and the inn across the road. The blue from the diner and the green from the inn cast a strange glow on the road making it appear almost unearthly. Tony didn’t speak and Grace began to wonder if she should say something more to get him talking. But he looked back at her and said, “I understand. You’re more comfortable with Kort. I don’t want to insult you or hurt your feelings but you need to know I’m not coming on to you. I thought about talking to Kort but I just can’t. At first I believed he had killed that girl,” he almost spat the words that girl. “I’m not sure anymore. I don’t mean to offend you.”
It is difficult for me to believe a child could be removed from his family and culture without repercussions in the 20th century. However this has, in fact, happened. Most horrifying it happened in the United States of America, “land of the free, home of the brave”.
Prior to 1978 and the enactment of something called the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) aboriginal children were removed from their families and put into foster care or adopted to non-native families with the mistaken belief this would improve their lives. If this had happened to any other group of people the hue and cry raised would have been resounding. Instead it was encouraged.
In the past Native American children were removed from their homes and families by the thousands. Away from their tribes they became rootless, forgetting their cultures and traditions. Many of these children were placed in boarding schools operated by non-native groups. Instead of improving their lives hundreds were abused. The Bureau of Indian Affairs was often responsible for the removals. Some religious groups also stepped up to “save” these children and provide them with better lives. By the 1970’s in the US about five thousand aboriginal children were living in Mormon homes. Deemed by social workers to be “in the best interest of the child” these removals were carried out with state approval.
In 1978 Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act. This was supposed to keep native families intact, or at least keep them with some relative or in their tribe. As recently as 2011 up to thirty-two states were not complying with the law and aboriginal children were taken from homes citing such circumstances as neglect. Placed in situations where they may be physically or even sexually abused they lose touch with their roots possibly even feeling abandoned.
Needless to say, Congress was ineffective in stemming the tide of legalized abduction. Native children placed in white homes and communities do not assimilate easily nor should they have to. With family and tribal members willing and able to care for and raise the children the injustice to the aboriginal communities is egregious.
While this book is a romantic thriller there is something to be learned from Kort Eriksen’s experiences. Based on the stories I’ve heard from those who were “lost” children, children ripped from families and communities, I built Kort’s world. As you read this book I hope you will think about the system that works against aboriginal youth in America. Every child has the right to know where he comes from. If a responsible and caring family member or community member is available to take on the responsibility of raising the child every effort should be made to see that solution realized.