Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

It’s time for another excerpt from Redeemed, book two in the Matawapit Family Series.  Since I schedule posts a good week ahead of time, my fingers are crossed that when this goes live, the manuscript will be in the hands of eXasty Books.  Woot!

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WIP Wednesday

The Matawapit Family Series:  In the wilds of Northwestern Ontario, the adult children of a domineering Ojibway church deacon find their faiths crumbling and their beliefs faltering when a vengeful former lover, an ex-fiancé out on parole, and a seductive family enemy challenge Emery, Bridget, and Jude in a duel of love, loyalty, and values that threatens to destroy their perfect Catholic lives and family.

Here is Teaser #6 for Redeemed:

There was so much splashing going on, a whale might as well have flopped in the lake.  The culprits responsible for the ruckus were Kyle and Emery’s husband, Darryl.  The two tossed a beach ball back and forth in the water.

Bridget relaxed in the lawn chair beside her brother.  The dock in front of their parents’ house was the best place to unwind.  At seven o’clock, the sun remained well-above the tree line.

Inside, Mom and Dad cleaned up the dirty dinner dishes, having shooed everyone outdoors fifteen minutes ago.  More like they wanted Bridget and Emery to talk, because Dad had suggested Darryl accompany Kyle for his evening swim.  Dad couldn’t fool Bridget.  The planets had aligned in her parents’ favour.

“It’s normal to feel anger.  Adam caused you a lot of grief.”  Emery sipped his iced tea.  His legs were stretched out and crossed at the ankles.

“Would you have reacted the same way?”  As if.

“I’m not you and you’re not me.  You reacted as you would react.”

Emery’s logic and understanding, combined with his soft-spoken voice reaffirmed he’d make a wonderful and compassionate individual or community counsellor.

“And how did you expect me to react?”

Pink spread across Emery’s fair skin.

“That bad?”  Her brother’s embarrassment produced a giggle.

“As I said, you’re you, not me.”  A dash of humour salted Emery’s light tone.

“I’d say I was pretty tolerant.”  The imp in Bridget fluttered to the surface.  “I only gave Adam one stink-eye at his visitation.  Okay, maybe two.”

“Two?  That’s pretty good.  You didn’t slap him into next week?”

Bridget stifled a snort.  She let her gaze roam to Kyle and Darryl still tossing around the beach ball.  “I wanted to.  Believe me.”

“How else did you feel?”

“Don’t go there.”  Her brother could put away his counselling hat.  “He’s the father of the child I’m fostering.  Nothing more.”

Emery shifted in his lawn chair.

Tension seeped across Bridget’s forehead.

“You know, I spent a lot of time denying my true feelings…”

If this was Jude, Bridget would’ve donned the gloves because his debates produced ten rounds in the ring that left her staggering from his sharp words thumping her chin.  As for Emery, for such a tall man, little brother was too gentle and nice, which left Bridget feeling like a bully if she gave him attitude, so she kept her big trap shut.

“Mind you, I wasn’t angry at Darryl.  And he didn’t do something to betray me.  But when I took the time to really listen to what he had to say, we reached an understanding.  I concentrated too much on my own beliefs that I failed to open my mind to other possibilities—possibilities that maybe he was right.”

“And your point is…?”

“I don’t know Adam that well, so I can only assume.  From what you told me, he had a tough life.  Maybe he feared happiness?  People who don’t experience happiness and love while they’re growing up can be scared of the positive feelings they produce, especially if they’ve only known negativity.

“Abusive situations are out of their control.”  Emery looked out to the water.  “When they leave that kind of environment, they’re conditioned to believe they’re not worthy of anything positive.  They even fear positive relationships because a loving environment elicits new emotions they’ve yet to experience, and they’re unsure how to process those emotions.”

Emery faced her.  Too bad he wore his sunglasses, leaving Bridget unable to read his green eyes.  “Remember, not having control over their environment led them to control their emotions.   When one is flooded with new emotions they can’t control, their first response is to destroy or flee, because this is what they did while being abused.  They hid under beds and in closets.  They learned not to cry.  They learned to remain silent.  They controlled all of their feelings as a way to survive in their environment.”

Little brother did have his Bachelor of Social Work.  In seminary, he’d taken pastoral counselling, too.  People were his job, what he’d made a career of.  Although Emery had been in London at Saint Michael’s Seminary when Bridget had met Adam, her brother could assess anyone based on their background.

“So you’re going to take his side?”  Bridget cringed.  She sounded ten years old, pouting that her friends had chosen the enemy’s word over hers.

“There’re no sides to take.”  Emery sipped his iced tea.  “Only a situation involving three people.  You don’t want to lose Kyle.  As a father, Adam wants to rebuild his relationship and become a full-time dad again.  Kyle wants you in his life because you’re his mother.”

“Oh, I get it.  We’re supposed to become one big happy family after what he did.”  The bitterness in Bridget’s sarcastic words matched the sour taste in her mouth.

“I didn’t say that.”

“Then what did you mean?”

“I’m saying if you try force your hand, you may not get the result you desire.”

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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