Season’s greetings, Sam Chitto fans! To celebrate this season of joy, I want to tell you about my next books. But first, a bit of nostalgia.
Since 2012, I’ve had seven books published, three for children and four for adults. That’s one per year. Six of those books have either won awards or been finalists for awards, including my stand-alone mystery, SEEKING GRACE IN BEULAH LAND, which released this last April. My New Year’s resolution is to keep this pace going. It’s taken me many years to reach a place where I could focus on a life goal I’ve had since I was a teenager, and I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity. I have two books planned for release next year, another stand-alone novel and the 4th book in the Sam Chitto mystery series.
Three of those award-nominated books are part of my Sam Chitto mystery series. I have promised in previous emails that the fourth in the series would be out this year. Unfortunately, it won't be available before the holidays. We're shooting to publish the book in early 2020. But here’s a sneak peek.
FIVE-DOLLAR INDIAN is the title of the new Sam Chitto book, and I’m doing something different from the previous three. Rather than write from Sam Chitto’s point of view only, I am giving a new character his voice. His name is Eli Billy and, like Sam, he’s a Choctaw Nation tribal officer. Sam and Eli have been friends since childhood but have been assigned to different case investigations in the same locale—and both have hidden agendas. The cases soon collide, testing not only their friendship but also the oaths they swore to uphold as officers of the law.
The other new book is a stand-alone novel entitled LIQUID GRACE and, again, I’m taking a different approach with point of view. A retrospective narrative, Liquid Grace is written using past-tense, first-person narration. The story is told from the point of view of an older woman named Jane and her recollections of an eventful summer when she was younger. Part history and part mystery, the book is set in the early 1940s at the beginning of WWII, soon after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
I'll provide more details as the books gets close to publication. I'm excited about the new books and hope you are too!
Nittak Hullo Chito Na Yukpa! (Merry Christmas!)
NEW ADULT NOVEL RELEASED
SEEKING GRACE IN BEULAH LAND,
Reviewer: "Clifton has a way of helping the reader discover elements of her characters’ 'souls'."
READ LATEST REVIEW PRINTED IN THE OKLAHOMAN , 9-1-2019
Click to order: E-book and print editions available
Click to read description:
INCLUDES BOOK GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE!
SEEKING CASSANDRA, WINS 2017 OKLAHOMA BOOK AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT FICTION!
Read Chapter One https://cms02.initial-website.com/app/346620770/1373631546/
Read reviews here: https://www.amazon.com/Seeking-Cassandra-Lutricia-Clifton/dp/0823435601
THE SAM CHITTO MYSTERIES
THE HORNED OWL -- FINALIST FOR 2019 OKLAHOMA BOOK AWARD!
Mark Twain once said, “Every man is a moon and has a side which he turns toward nobody; you have to slip around behind if you want to see it.” (“The Refuge of Derelicts” 1905). This insight into human nature proves to be the driving force behind Sam Chitto’s pursuit of justice in The Horned Owl. Two Choctaw tribal council members pull Detective Sam Chitto into an unauthorized investigation to prove a teenage boy is innocent of murder and sexual mutilation. Using graphic novels the boy produced, prosecutors enlist the aid of a forensic psychiatrist to prove the boy committed a fantasy murder. Also suspect is the reason the boy gave for being seen near the body after the murder, i.e., the Choctaw deity Ishkitini, the Horned Owl, forewarned him in the night that someone would die violently.
One case investigation becomes two as Chitto realizes the murder occurred close to where his father was killed a decade before. Seizing the opportunity to solve his father’s murder, Chitto investigates both the new murder and the old. Chitto’s efforts to discover the moon side of various characters drives the action in both investigations.
Click to Read First Chapter
THE BONE PICKER A FINALIST FOR 2018 OKLAHOMA BOOK AWARD!
It’s bitter cold in Oklahoma’s Ouachita Wilderness when Detective Sam Chitto of the Choctaw Tribal Police takes on a thirty-five year old cold case involving a missing Vietnam veteran and a murdered couple. The discovery of a man’s skull in the murdered woman’s casket, which her family had disinterred for further investigation, attracts the attention of the veteran’s mother. Believing the skull to be that of her son, she tasks Chitto with becoming a Bone Picker. Because bones survived flesh, Choctaw of old preserved the bones of their deceased, believing their essence dwelled within. Honored people, called Bone Pickers, retrieved the bones and presented them to the family for burial.
When his preliminary investigation reveals former suspects in the old murder inquiry have a shorter-than-average life span, Chitto goes looking for the reason. As he unravels the mystery, long-held secrets that have kept residents living in fear the past thirty-five years begin to crumble.
SCALP DANCE A FINALIST FOR 2017 OKLAHOMA BOOK AWARD!
THE ROAD OF LIFE DESIGN: The half diamond design, according to Buster Ned, "is derived from (the) life of the people. The Choctaw people believed in the Great Spirit (God) in that their life followed an imaginary road. (The design symbolizes) that when they give aid to someone sick, they come off this imaginary road, and when the sick was well, he returned to this road and continued. (Likewise) when he did something bad, he again left the road, only he was on the opposite side, thus the half diamond design." www.oklachata.org