Fiction Fest: Final free peek at Richard Siddoway’s ‘The Cottage Park Puzzle’

Cottage-Park-Puzzle_9781462115624Richard Siddoway’s “The Cottage Park Puzzle” recently received some positive reviews on its blog tour, such as this one, who said, “I really enjoyed this thought provoking book about forgiveness and compassion and highly recommend it!”

And this one, who pointed out that “The story is so realistic–I had to check myself several times because I got so worked up and felt so many emotions and it’s not even a true story.”

“The Cottage Park Puzzle” is available in bookstores and from online retailers.


Lorraine put her hand on Corky’s shoulder, “Come on Cork; let’s go home.” He continued to slap the edge of the table for several more seconds, before he slipped out of his chair to the floor. As quickly as he could he scampered under the table and wedged himself into the corner between the end of a bookcase and the wall. Both hands flailed against his face while he emitted a loud wailing sound. Resolutely Lorraine walked around the table and extended her hands toward her son. “Home, Cork,” she said firmly. He ignored her for ten or twelve seconds; then launched him self upward and grabbed her hands. She led him out of the school to the car. She could feel the gaze of a hundred eyes burning into the two of them as she struggled to get her son into his seat. She strapped his seat belt around him and clicked it into place before she walked around the car, climbed in, and drove home. They had traveled less than a block before Corky dozed off.

Ten minutes later when they pulled into their garage, Lorraine was reluctant to wake her son; one never knew what would happen when he first awoke. She sat in her seat and looked across the seat at his angelic countenance. His head had drooped a little to one side and a slight smile played on his lips. More tears coursed down her cheeks. We have met the devil, she thought, and his name is autism.

After a few minutes she decided to let Corky sleep. She undid her seat belt, closed the garage door, and stepped into the kitchen. A mound of dough she had been kneading, when the call from school had come, had risen until it resembled a mountain more than a mole hill. She released some of the tension she felt by beating it into submission. Lorraine rolled bits of dough into small balls and placed three of them into each depression in a muffin tin. The oven chimed to tell her it had reached temperature; she pulled the door open and placed the first muffin tin on a shelf in the stove when the back door flew open and Corky raced into the room.

He waved his hands in the air, let out a squeal, and lodged himself under the desk that occupied one corner of the kitchen. Except for periodic bursts of sound he settled down. Lorraine took a deep breath, exhaled, and placed another tin of rolls in the oven. “Dinner in half an hour,” she said, knowing that it would have no meaning to her son.