Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

As I mentioned before, I schedule posts way ahead of time.  Today, it’s the 18th and this post will go live on the 28th.  By then, I’ll have received my critique back for Redeemed.  Then I’ll begin working on edits come December 1st.

For November, please see my previous WIP Wednesday, because I’m participating in NaNoWriMo to get a jump start on Jude and Raven’s story, Book Three in the Matawapit Family Trilogy.  I hit the 30k mark.  Woot.  Stick around, because I’ll be posting snippets from their novel Sanctified.

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WIP Wednesday

The Matawapit Family Trilogy:  In the wilds of Northwestern Ontario, the secular world challenges the adult children of a perfect Catholic family headed by a full-blooded, domineering church deacon, when a vengeful former lover, an ex-fiancé out on parole, and a seductive family enemy, all dedicated to their Ojibway culture, test the faiths of Emery, Bridget, and Jude.

Here is teaser #4 from Redeemed.

Bridget set the groceries on the counter.  Kyle dashed straight for the TV to watch his favourite cartoon, a ritual they’d performed every evening for almost four years.  She cooked while Kyle cheered for the Z Men.

Everything might change now that Adam was back.  Bridget snatched the produce from the re-usable bag.  On the agenda was salad, broiled pork chops, and fresh sourdough bread from the bakery.  Four years ago, she’d done this for Adam and Kyle.  Okay, Adam had cooked while she’d prepared the salad.

Before the supervised visit had ended, Adam mentioned working as a cook at Benny’s.  He’d guaranteed a salivating Kyle chocolate chip cookies for the next visit.  What if Adam started breaking promises like he’d done in the past?  There wasn’t a chance she’d let Kyle experience more disappointment if Adam reneged on his promise.  As Kyle’s foster mother, she must tell Adam to back off and let everything happen naturally.  Not buy Kyle’s love through treats.

She seized the cordless phone and called up the emergency number contacts.

“Good evening, Joseph Howarth Society.”

“This is Bridget Matawapit.  I am the caregiver for Kyle Guimond.  Might I speak to his father Adam Guimond.”

“Sure thing.  Give me one second.”

A few moments later, Adam’s deep, “Hello,” came through the receiver.

Bridget squeezed the tomato she held.  “It’s me.”

“Bridget…”  Surprise and a smatter of delight made Adam’s low pitch an octave higher.  “How you doing?”

The soft concern in his voice almost melted the film of ice around Bridget’s heart.  But he’d humiliated her.  He’d lied to her.  He’d chosen alcohol over her.  “I need to speak to you about something.”  She made sure the hardness smothering her chest saturated her words.

“What about?”

“Its’ about…Kyle.”  Oh hell, let Adam get pissed off.  He deserved a slap in the face after what he’d done.  “I know you promised to bake him cookies for your next visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d not make him anymore promises.”

His sharp intake of breath carried over the receiver.

“That’s all I have to say.  I’ll let you—”

“Wait a minute, kwe.”

She bristled at the Ojibway word meaning woman—what Adam had always addressed Bridget by.  At first, she’d found the endearment insulting, like an outlaw biker referring to his woman as the ol’ lady.  When Adam had explained the word’s true meaning—life-giver, powerful and full of respect for those who carried light and love in their wombs, the heart of the Anishinaabe nation—she’d melted at his romantic gesture.

Now he thought to use the same word to melt her resolve?  He could try again, and keep trying.

“What is it?”  A zap of impatience soaked her question because Adam didn’t deserve consideration.

“Why?”

For such a commanding, strong timbre, Adam’s velvet plea skittered across Bridget’s skin.  She dropped the tomato in the bowl.  Not a chance.  She wouldn’t feel sorry for him.  “Why what?”

“Why’re you acting this way?”  His voice remained low and soft, still skittering across her skin.

Oh my God.  The jerk had to ask?  Bridget slammed her hand over her mouth before she rattled off a string of curses.  To smother her temper, she’d look at look at Kyle from the vantage point in the kitchen, who sat in front of the TV, staring blankly at the screen.

“I don’t think I need to explain myself.  You’ve made promises in the past that you didn’t meet.  It really hurt Kyle.”

The long pause on the other end sizzled in Bridget’s ear.  Adam’s eyes, jawline, and lips had probably toughened to stone.  What rolled around in his mind during these long moments of silence?  They’d always pierced her rear-end like a fishhook.  He’d probably folded his arms, too.

Bridget didn’t have all night to wait for a reply.  “I gotta go.  We’ll see you next week.”  Before Adam could say anything further, she switched off the cordless phone.

* * * *

Adam continued to grip the receiver.  Man, if not for the recovery meeting starting in forty-five minutes, he’d have given Bridget a taste of his temper.  Anger management class told him to assess what he’d contributed in the past or present to escalate their dispute.  The twelve steps told him to concentrate on his reaction to Bridget’s behaviour and not take inventory of her flaws, because this was his life and his program to work.

Taking responsibility for his own actions sucked bullshit.  He slammed down the phone.

“We gonna book?”  Logan stood in the entranceway of the lounge.

“Yeah.”  The heat burning behind Adam’s his eyes should have dried up his natural tear production.

Never mind his rage.  Logan needed help.  If agitated, the program had taught Adam to turn his thoughts to aiding others.  Shit, he’d rather wallow in anger.  Swaddle himself in a blanket of hate.  Bathe in a tub of resentment.  But he couldn’t, or he’d be picking up the bottle again.  Those days were done.

“Let’s go.”  Adam tucked his cigarettes and lighter into his shirt pocket.

Once he went to his meeting, he’d be in a better mind to confront Bridget about the phone call and what had provoked her temper.  Maybe this was the perfect opportunity to complete his ninth step?  He still hadn’t made amends to Bridget.  When he returned to the halfway house, he’d call.

Want to read more?  Stay tuned.  I will post other excerpts up until Redeemed‘s release through eXtasy Books.  Would you like to check out Emery’s story?  Here is a teaserBlessed, starring Emery Matawapit and Darryl Keejik is available for purchase.

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