By the time this post is live, I’ll either be knee-deep in edits with Sanctified and readying the third book in the Matawapit Family Series for submission to my publisher, or I might be continuing to fast-draft Renewed, the fourth and final book in the series. As of May 31st, I’ve written 65K for this book. And I’m debating whether to keep going or work on edits for Sanctified.
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 3 for Sanctified:
Note: Keep in mind this is from my first draft, so this could all change during edits.
Raven got out of her sister’s truck. She really needed a cheap car. Borrowing one of her siblings’ vehicles left a feeling of inadequacy in her stomach. Again, she was the youngest relying on big brother and big sisters, or Mom.
She dashed into the school, frost nipping at her exposed skin, the kind of frost that burned. Minus thirty-seven. At least there wasn’t a wind chill.
All was quiet, school having finished for the day. The scent of pine cleaner permeated the squeaky-clean hallway. She scurried to the adult education classroom. Since her vehicles was the lone truck in the parking lot, she might be the only one here. Even the new principal wasn’t here, unless he’d foolishly walked over.
She entered the classroom to Jude Matawapit at the teacher’s desk, bent over, writing on some paper.
“I was beginning to wonder if any of my students would arrive.” His strong fingers gripped a pen. His jet-black hair with blue undertones was slicked off his face and tapered to a shortly-trimmed back. Dark irises richer than a moonless night, so dark his lashes gave the illusion of a generous coating of mascara and liner-rimmed eyes, stared at her.
Not gawked, not ogled, not leered like every other guy did. He simply stared. His plump lips didn’t form into a flirty smile either.
Jude stood. A white shirt swaddled his pumped biceps and shoulders that formed into the size of baseballs. A black belt cuddled his ultra-slim waist. And a gold clip kept his line-striped burgundy tie secure. “Have a seat. It looks to be you and I tonight.”
Raven inched up the aisle. Her boldness remained at the door, where she’d probably dropped her tongue. She hugged her books and sat in the desk directly in front of his.
“I’ve been reviewing your file.” He closed the folder, and just like Deacon Matawapit did, folded his hands on the desk. They even shared the same rich baritone—direct and full of authority. “You were an A-plus student, but as of late you haven’t been handing in assignments. Once you get behind, it’s difficult to catch up. I’ve seen this happen too many times during my years educating others. When a student falls behind, most give up.”
A flame flickered in Raven’s stomach. Never mind Jude Matawapit’s handsome white teeth, flawless red-toned brown skin, or run-her-nails-along-his-muscles build. Who was he to talk down to her like a kid? He was worse than her siblings.
Raven slumped in the chair. “I’ve been extremely busy. Not all of us make big money and do what we please. I’ve been pulling extra shifts at the diner.”
“Did you review your last three assignments then?” Jude stuck the end of the pen into his mouth.
There was something about the way his red lips and white teeth nibbled on the cap. Nor had Raven witnessed a man in his late thirties gnawing on one like a hungry beaver.
Jude popped the pen cap between his rich lips, as if sucking on a lollipop and released it. He stood. When he rounded the desk, his thick fingers glided across the top. He stopped in the middle, kept the fingers of his left hand on the surface, and rested his buttocks against the edge while crossing his sturdy thighs.
His stance, a get down to business sort of manner, should have intimidated Raven but failed. His brows-bunched-together stare and drawn in cheeks seemed to coax her to shift closer and rest her elbow on top of the desk. She set her chin on her knuckles. “I’m completing them here tonight.”
“Do you have any questions?”
“No.” She shook her head, still holding his stare. “I guess I should get comfy, huh?”
“Removed my toque and coat.” She sat back.