The Red Handprint by @TaylorLeeWrites

Rosalie Fish, a nineteen year old track star, made international headlines at a 2019 Washington State track meet when she painted a red handprint over her mouth—and wrote the letters MMIW on her leg. The powerful image of a red handprint has come to symbolize the Missing Murdered Indigenous Women’s movement representing the thousands of women who have been silenced. The MMIW movement underscores that Indigenous women are murdered at a rate 10 times higher than the national average, and that homicide is one of the leading causes of death for young Indigenous women.

Red Handprint

Rosalie Fish ran for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Image from Women’s Running (dot) com. Click image for more information.

Last fall, a young white woman hiking with her boyfriend was reported missing. The story ruled the national headlines for weeks. The coverage was relentless. The New York Post featured three front-page articles in less than a week. The New York Times published a breaking news story and sent a news alert to subscribers. The case was the main story on the Fox News website, as well as a top online story at The Washington Post, USA Today, BuzzFeed, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News. The hashtag #gabbypetito received more than 794 million views on TikTok. Several months later, the victim’s remains were found in Wyoming. But that didn’t halt the media’s obsession. Their round-the-clock attention turned to confirming the identity of the man who had killed her.

University of Wyoming Study

In contrast to the media coverage of this tragic story, the University of Wyoming released a study finding that in Wyoming–the same state where the white woman’s body was found–710 Indigenous people were reported missing from 2011 to 2020. Fifty-seven percent of those were women, and eighty-five percent were children. To underscore the discrepancy in how missing Indigenous women are treated by the media, a study from the Urban Indian Health Initiative found that 95% of MMIW cases were not covered by national or international news media.

Want to hear a more challenging statistic? In the US, Native American women are more than twice as likely to experience violence than any other demographic. One in three Indigenous women is sexually assaulted during her life. And 67% of these assaults are perpetrated by non-Indigenous perpetrators. In US counties comprised primarily of Native American lands, murder rates of Native American women are up to 10 times higher than the national average for all races. In addition, as of 2016, there were 5,712 cases of missing Native American women reported to the National Crime Information Center.

Growing up in Minnesota

I grew up in Northern Minnesota. Our summer cabin was on an island located in the Chippewa National forest. That I had an activist clergy father and the mid-60’s AIM movement began in Minnesota ensured that from an early age, I knew the issues and travesties facing Native Americans. Over the years I became acutely aware of the MMIW issue. Wanting to ensure that my readers know the critical issue, I wove the murder of a young Native woman into Renegade, the second book in my Mayhem On The Mountain series.

As challenging as the issue is, the MMIW movement is getting a huge boost.  On March 15, 2021, Secretary Deb Haaland, a tribal member of the Laguna Pueblo, made history when she was confirmed by the US Senate to become the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary. Secretary of the Interior, no less. Haaland dedicated her Boston Marathon run to a unit within Bureau of Indian Affairs that plans to tackle the decades-long crisis of missing and murdered Native Americans. Announcing the new unit, she said, “Violence against Indigenous peoples is a crisis that has been underfunded for decades. Far too often, murders and missing persons cases in Indian country go unsolved and unaddressed, leaving families and communities devastated.”

That simply has to change.

Amen.

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After you’ve had a chance to wrestle with these challenging statistics, I hope you will want to read Renegade, Book 2, in my Mayhem on the Mountain series.  It just went live!

Renegade

Only $0.99 for Kindle Readers for a limited time only

The vicious double murder in the city’s most infamous brothel, followed by the disappearance of a young Native woman later found raped and beaten to death, tear the already simmering county apart.

Calian Begay, the formidable county sheriff, knows that the likely perpetrators are the wealthy kingmakers and political zealots determined to turn his county into a raging inferno. And, not coincidently, take down their real target…the arrogant Native American sheriff…him.

Cal would have reveled in the battle knowing how unlikely it was the reprobates could succeed. Unfortunately he knew if they couldn’t take him down they’d go after Scarlett, the woman he admitted he was falling in love with.

Belying her image of the  blonde bombshell media darling, Scarlett confessed she was a neophyte in the amorous arena. Unlike the accomplished sheriff whose reputation as a rake of the first order was unparalleled, she felt woefully inadequate, not sure how she could ever measure up to the storied lover.

In a county ravished by violent racial and political unrest, the two superstars struggle to defeat the powerful perpetrators…while trying to decide if they can meet a more challenging task. To give into a passion more intense, more demanding than either have faced in their go-it-alone, star-studded lives.

If brazen media stars, tough-as-nails lawmen, and scorching passion light your fire, dive into Taylor Lee’s sizzling new thrill ride. Discover how challenging murder and anarchy can be when sex and passion are in the mix. Grab RENEGADE: Book 2; MAYHEM ON THE MOUNTAIN today and prepare to be wowed!  

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And if you want more heroes and heroines to feast on, snap up our Author’s Billboard Collection Unforgettable Courage.

Unforgettable Courage

My Book in the Collection is:

The Courage to CelebrateAfter finding the courage to dare, the courage to love, and the courage to triumph, Luke and Ava  have to decide if they have the Courage to Celebrate. Torrid love scenes, racial violence, snappy dialogue, and unforgettable characters. A typical Taylor Lee high octane book.  


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About Taylor Lee

USA Today Best Selling author Taylor Lee writes Suspenseful Mystery Thrillers – with a heavy dose of Sexy to Sizzling HOT Romance. In the five years that she has been writing, Taylor has written more than forty books. Her eight, series track her Special Operatives, Covert Agents, Cops, Firefighters and other iconic heroes and heroines, through the harrowing situations that make up their lives. From human trafficking rings to corrupt politicians, Taylor investigates the underbelly of society and the criminals who flourish there. Taylor says: “From the residue in my personal blender of mixed races, cultures and world views, my characters emerge. It comforts me to know that while evil slinks in the shadows, the “good guys and gals” of the world sniff it out – and snuff it out. My characters are arrogant alpha males and the feisty women who bring them to their knees – and vice versa… They fight hard, love hard and don’t mince words. They are dangerous men and women in dangerous times. Love, passion and ridding the world of evil? What’s not to like?

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