Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Yes, Renewed, the sequel to Sanctified and book four in the Matawapit Family Series, is now available at Amazon for purchase.  Be sure to get yourself a copy.  And then read on about my favourite romance couples in books.  Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

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renewed banner

Who is my favourite romance couple?

 

I love romance novels, so this is a difficult question to answer.  But I can tell you it’ll be characters from one of the late Johanna Lindsey’s novels because she was and will always be my favourite romance author.

Before I say who my favourite couple is, here are some honourable mentions:  Kristen Haardrad and Royce of Wyndhurst from Johanna Lindsey’s Hearts Aflame; Star Dancer and Stalking Wolf from Rosanne’s Bittner’s Mystic series; Eagle Voice and Fire Wolf from Beverly Bird’s Touch the Sun; and Dark Water and Barr Conner from The River’s Daughter by Vella Munn.

There might be spoilers for the “why” of my choosing, so you’ve been warned!  LOL.  And my pick is Courtney Harte and Chandos from Johanna Lindsey’s A Heart So Wild.

For starters, Courtney begins as a very meek young girl.  She takes whatever is handed to her.  But a good friend begins to push Courtney into finding her courage.  Courtney’s so afraid of people, she can barely speak when she tries to talk the mysterious and dangerous gunslinger Chandos into helping her find her father.

But courage surfaces when Chandos tries to talk Courtney into turning back on the trail in a very nefarious way.  Courtney stands her ground.  Throughout the novel, she keeps growing, showing Chandos she can survive on the trail.  She takes on outlaws while kidnapped, nurses Chandos back from a snakebite, and most important, helps him begin to heal from what haunts him.  She starts pushing back every time Chandos tries to discourage her.

Chandos also has a great arc.  He goes from a mistrusting, vengeful man full of hate to a man who learns to love and care, thanks to Courtney.

These two completely complement one another.  They are a great pairing.  They are the kind of couple that stayed with me long after I closed the book.

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renewed- about the book

4- RENEWED_400x600Title: Renewed
Series: The Matawapit Family Series Book 4
Genre: Inspirational, Multi-cultural, Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: Three
Publisher: eXtasy Books

When two former enemies fall in love, family secrets threaten to destroy their fragile union and everything they hold dear.

Blurb:  With their extreme ideas about traditional Ojibway life, the radical Kabatay clan have made enemies in their fight to rid the reserve of Western culture and its religion. Disowned by her family for daring to love the church deacon’s eldest son, Jude, Raven Kabatay longs to put an end to the feud started by her mother, brother, and sisters against the Matawapits…people she’s come to think of as her own since Jude changed her life.

Jude Matawapit suffered a humiliating divorce after his wife left him for another man, but with Raven, he’s created a beautiful, new sanctuary after losing his previous one, and his new haven is everything he’s ever wanted for himself and his children. Only two things could destroy his pristine bliss: the secret he holds close to his chest, and the vengeance Raven’s family wants to exact on the Matawapits. A secret and vengeance that could cost the unlikely lovers their hard-won, much longed for happily ever after.

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renewed- excerpt

Everyone was seated at the table. Raven took her usual spot beside Jude. The kids sat opposite them. The deacon and Mrs. M always sat at the head and foot.

The family bowed their heads in prayer. Raven’s cell phone beeped. Since she never joined them in saying grace, she quietly retrieved the phone from the serving buffet that housed Mrs. M’s collection of knickknacks and china.

Her heart almost burst into a sprint. The messenger was Clayton.

She darted through the kitchen entranceway beside the dining room that also faced the lake. While standing at the sink, she slid her thumb across the screen. The message popped up.

Fawn and I are leaving on the plane tomorrow. We’re taking Mom to Thunder Bay. Nurse practitioner recommended it. Mom’s gotta see a specialist.

Raven set her hand on the sink to steady herself. She furiously typed in…

What’s going on?

Dunno. She’s been sick since last night. Stomach.

Which specialist?

Whichever one’s at the hospital.

The hospital?

Raven leaned on the counter.

Will let you know what’s going on after we get there. Later.

She typed back a goodbye and held the phone to her mouth.

“Is everything okay?” Jude’s breath warmed Raven’s ear.

She turned. “Clayton texted me.”

“Oh?” Jude’s half-smile vanished.

“He—he said Mom’s not feeling well and the nurse practitioner set everything up for Mom to go to Thunder Bay for tests.”

Concern flooded Jude’s eyes. “Oh…”

“She…” Raven licked her lips. “Before she booted me out, she was complaining about her stomach lots. It started at Christmas. I think it made her angrier than her normal angry.”

“We can talk more after class tonight. C’mon. It’ll be okay.”

Raven let Jude lead her back into the dining room, but her phone remained tight in her hand.

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renewed- about the book

3- SANCTIFIED_400x600Title: Sanctified
Series: The Matawapit Family Series Book 3
Genre: Inspirational, Multi-cultural, Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: Three
Publisher: eXtasy Books

In the midst of a battle for leadership at their Ojibway community, two enemies of opposing families fall in love…​

Blurb:  After suffering a humiliating divorce, infuriated Catholic Jude Matawapit bolts to his family’s Ojibway community to begin a new job—but finds himself thrown into a battle for chief as his brother-in-law’s campaign manager. The radical Kabatay clan, with their extreme ideas about traditional Ojibway life, will stop at nothing to claim the leadership position and rid the reserve of Western culture and its religion once and for all, which threatens not only the non-traditional people of the community, but Jude’s chance at a brand-new life he’s creating for his children.

Recovering addict Raven Kabatay will do anything to win the respect and trust of her older siblings and mother after falling deep into drug addiction that brought shame and anger to her family. Not only does she have the opportunity to redeem herself by becoming her brother’s campaign manager for chief—if he wins, she’ll have the reserve’s backing to purchase the gold-mine diner where she works, finally making something of herself. But falling in love with the family’s sworn enemy—the deacon’s eldest son, Jude—will not just betray the Kabatay clan. It could destroy everything Raven believes in and has worked so hard for.

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renewed- excerpt

Raven was the type of girl Mom and Aunt Patti would’ve disapproved of when Jude was in high school. But he wasn’t in high school. He was an adult, and he and Raven sported thick bruises from life’s many kicks.

“Do I get a ride home again?” Flirting was new. He hadn’t flirted in years. Unless his ex-wife counted.

“Sure. It’s cold outside. Y’know, I could’ve gotten you.” Raven’s hands trembled.

She was nervous. So was he. Heart pattering a little too fast. Saliva gone sticky in his mouth. A smidgen of sweat at the back of his neck. He’d only gotten divorced last month, after a year of separation required by the province of Ontario. Raven was a recovering addict sorting out her life. But she’d been sober for two and a half years.

“We should…” She licked her lips. “I guess we’re done, hey?” She reached for her parka.

Jude’s stomach drooped a smidgen. He stood. “You’re right. We should get going. I have to finish packing.”

“Going back for the weekend?” Raven zippered the coat.

“Bright and early. Emery and I are returning the U-Hauls. And I need to get my kids and the truck.” Jude forced himself to the teacher’s desk. He donned his coat and slid the files into his briefcase.

Part of him anticipated seeing Noah and Rebekah, but the man who’d spent since the age of nineteen enjoying a healthy sex life needed a companion for the night. He was more than a father, teacher, so-called Eucharistic minister, so-called lector, and so-called member of the Catholic Men’s Association. He was a flesh-and-blood man. And his flesh burned hot for a real woman, not one on his laptop undressing ala burlesque style.

“Ready?”

Jude swiveled, clutching the briefcase. Raven stood at the doorway, hugging the books against her chest.

“Yep.” Jude strode across the floor.

They meandered down the hallway as if neither wanted to reach the main door. Jude wasn’t in a hurry. He was returning to an empty house that wasn’t a home yet. Once the kids arrived, maybe they’d add something to the cold place devoid of warmth only a family produced.

“You working tomorrow?”

“Yeah. I get Sundays and Mondays off.”

“Those the quiet days at the diner?”

“Sunday is, but Mondays are nuts.”

Their footsteps were the only sound present. A click click from his boot heels, and a smoosh smoosh from her mukluks, reaffirming they’d reached the dreaded uncomfortable silence.

Jude couldn’t ask for a date. His parents would freak. His brother and sister would freak. Okay, maybe not Emery. But Bridget…oh boy.

Raven pushed on the door. A blast of cold and the familiar scent of winter swept into the building.

“How’s your, err, brother doing?”

“He’s fine.” Even with the icy air nipping at their skin, Raven didn’t dash for her truck. She kept dragging her feet along the walkway.

Jude ambled beside her. He stole a peek at her face hidden by the faux fur lining of her upturned hood. Screw it. He’d been alone for too long.

“How about a coffee?”

Raven stopped. Her mittened hands drew the books even tighter against her parka. Tight enough to show off her flat stomach hidden beneath the barrier of clothing.

“We…um…yes, sure, but can we go somewhere besides the diner? I…um…I work there all day. It’s, uh, the last place I wanna be.”

Jude swallowed. “Sure. Where do you wanna go?”

“Uh…what about the staff room? We’re already here?”

“True.” Downtown and Old Main were the hub of the reserve. And they both lived in the busiest areas of the community. “I’d like to say yes, but I can’t use the school for…err…personal business. And having a cup of coffee off the clock would be…personal.”

“What about the church?”

“The church?” Shock gripped Jude’s spine. Miss Anti-church and religion was willing to go to a place she hated, just so people wouldn’t see them together, but was desperate enough to be with him that she’d step inside a place she considered the annihilation of their once prosperous race?

Dad had given Jude a key, first thing he’d received upon moving here. Funny how he’d been annoyed at receiving it, thinking he might be able to put in his obligatory Sunday for the sake of his kids and family. Now it came in handy.

“Okay. To the church.” There was a nice seating area at the back where the chair lift staircase was located.

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renewed- about the book

2- REDEEMED-Final_400x600Title: Redeemed
Series: The Matawapit Family Series Book 2
Genre: Inspirational, Multi-cultural, Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: Three
Publisher: eXtasy Books

An eXtasy Books Editor’s Choice Award!

A single woman battles to keep her foster child from his newly-paroled father—a dangerous man she used to love.

Blurb:  Bridget Matawapit is an Indigenous activist, daughter of a Catholic deacon, and foster mother to Kyle, the son of an Ojibway father—the ex-fiancé she kicked to the curb after he chose alcohol over her love. With Adam out on parole and back in Thunder Bay, she is determined to stop him from obtaining custody of Kyle.

Adam Guimond is a recovering alcoholic and ex-gangbanger newly-paroled. Through counselling, reconnecting with his Ojibway culture and twelve-step meetings while in prison, Adam now understands he’s worthy of the love that frightened him enough to pick up the bottle he’d previously corked. He can’t escape the damage he caused so many others, but he longs to rise like a true warrior in the pursuit of forgiveness and a second chance. There’s nothing he isn’t willing to do to win back his son–and Bridget.

When an old cell mate’s daughter dies under mysterious circumstances in foster care, Adam begs Bridget to help him uncover the truth. Bound to the plight of the Indigenous children in care, Bridget agrees. But putting herself in contact with Adam threatens to resurrect her long-buried feelings for him, and even worse, she risks losing care of Kyle, by falling for a man who might destroy her faith in love completely this time.

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renewed- excerpt

Adam took another drag. “I’m talking now, ain’t I?”

“True.” The heat in his gaze seemed to touch Bridget’s cheek. She rubbed the purse strap.

“I don’t got nothing to hide. ’Kay?”

“You were hiding something last time?”

“Nope. But I know my not speaking pissed you off.”

“There’s no reason to bring up the past. I told you I’d help and that’s what I’m doing.”

“Yeah, you agreed to help…” His gaze roamed around her face.

Bridget recoiled and glanced away.

“Y’know, kwe, we’re doing a lot of dancing.”

“Dancing?”

“Lookit me.”

She forced herself to raise her head.

His dark eyes smoldered. He leaned forward. His hand stretched out, and he ran his strong fingers along her braid.

Sensuous heat and angry lightning erupted under Bridget’s skin. “Don’t you dare.” The words hissed from her mouth.

“What’re you afraid of, kwe?”

“Quit calling me that.” The order snapped from deep inside Bridget’s constricting chest. “You have no right calling me by that name. Not after what you did.” She stood and yanked her purse off the bench.

He tilted his head up, his jawline tightening. “I know what I did, kwe. You remind me all the time.”

“I do no such thing.” How dare Adam turn this around as her fault.

“Yeah, you do. It’s in your eyes. They hang me like a noose. It’s in your lips. They condemn me like a villain. It’s in your voice. You slap me with your tone.”

“What’d you expect after what you did?” she huffed out. “You were charged with aggravated assault. The judge had every right to throw the book at you.”

“I know what I did, kwe.” Adam’s voice remained flat. “I live with it every day. I don’t take the easy way out and blame it on the booze.”

“You were skidding around four months. I can only imagine what else you did.” And no, she wasn’t jealous.

“I drank. I drank some more. I did something really bad to another human being. Got arrested. Sat in remand until my trial. I won’t say he deserved it. I won’t say anything. I did it. I went to prison for it.”

“And did you only drink?” She silently cuffed her rear end for continuing to poke at the damned same question.

Adam’s thick lips tugged at the corner. “If you mean was I out screwing around? Nope. You’re the only woman for me, kwe.”

Delight exploded through Bridget’s veins. Then she clamped a lock on her heart. Only a moron bought his answer. He’d been drunk for four months in Winnipeg. He must have picked up some woman in a bar.

“I was hurting bad.” His voice sagged. “You think I was happy when you told me to fuck off? You killed me, woman.”

The sharp tone of his last statement was pure insult, an affront to the feminine strength that had dragged Bridget up from the depths of Hell where Adam had stuck her. “If you want to continue speaking, tell Dirty Harry to leave. I only deal with Mr. Darcy.”

Adam stood and set his enormous hands on his hips. “Mr. Who—? Look, I’ll tell Dirty Harry to take a hike if you call off Sarah Conner. I’m not the Terminator sent back in time to harm you.”

At his full height, Adam towered over Bridget, made her five-nine stance shrink to a doll. He’d reduced her to a doll, helpless in the possession of his hands, made to dance, talk, or walk under his orders.

Heat built in her lungs. She was too independent to draw back and scuttle away. No man provoked fear in her. The worst part was, she didn’t fear Adam’s physical presence, she feared the thick, steamy aroma of testosterone he forever used to challenge her, weaken her, seduce her. The masculine aroma dripped from the pits of his arms, his thick chest, and the bulge of his biceps.

“Out of my thirty-eight years, I fucked up thirty-seven of ’em. I ain’t fucking up again.”

“Thirty-seven?” His scent kept assaulting Bridget’s knees, swirling around her, until she wobbled.

“Yeah. Thirty-seven. I can’t count the year the three of us were a family. Me. You. Kyle.”

Bridget’s resolve continued to crumble. Adam kept dusting her femininity with his husky declarations, fierce scent, and sensual stare.

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renewed- about the book

Title: Blessed
Series: The Matawapit Family Series Book 1
Genre: Inspirational, Multi-cultural, LGBT, Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: Three
Publisher: eXtasy Books

A mixed-blood Catholic seminarian struggles to discern his true calling: the priesthood or his ex-lover, a proud but damaged Ojibway man.

It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man. In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.

Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered: the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon. Darryl intends on using his power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and his church.

Hoping to save the church, Emery races home. But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life: please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.

**On Sale for only .99 cents at eXtasy Books for the month of February!!**

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renewed- excerpt   

Darryl squeezed the accelerator on the four-wheeler and leaned right. The machine whipped through the turn. Gravel spit up from beneath the tires. Auntie had a lot of nerve questioning his loyalty after all he’d done for the Traditionalists Society. Couldn’t she understand Emery’s friendship had nothing to do with the group? The same went for Clayton, who’d spent the day tracking down Darryl.

One thing about the reserve—everyone stuck their noses where they didn’t belong. He should put a roll of super soft on his desk so the reserve knew what toilet paper brand he used.

Thick brush and trees peppered the shoreline at the Grassy district. The interior consisted of long, wispy grass and rolling dips. Long ago, Auntie had said the trees were cut to make the first log homes on the reserve.

Once he crested the swell, the big white church and rectory appeared. Emery stood at the end of the driveway. He’d saved Darryl a ring of the buzzer since someone else couldn’t wait to start their evening. He wants this as much as I do.

Before the four-wheeler rolled to a stop, Emery attempted to throw his long leg over the seat.

“What’s the rush?” This was like old times.

“Let’s go.” Emery climbed on the back.

When his warm thighs spooned Darryl’s hips, he squeezed his fingers and hit the accelerator. Since he’d hadn’t shifted gears, the machine jumped at the same time as his heart.

Emery slammed into Darryl’s back.

He sucked in a big breath and pressed his foot on the clutch. He’s studying to become a priest. He asked for friendship and nothing else.

“Sorry.” Darryl made a U-turn.

“No problem.” Emery cleared his throat. “Where should I put my hands?”

What an insane question to ask. How about where you used to put them? Where you were always putting them? Darryl stifled his chuckle. “Wherever you want.”

Emery chortled. “Um… sure.” He slid his palms over Darryl’s shoulders.

Now the joke was on Darryl. He gritted his teeth. Talk about too close for comfort. Dammit, he’d prove Auntie wrong. There was more to their relationship than a good time in bed. They’d always enjoyed summer. The grass was as green as Emery’s eyes.

“You still fish?” Darryl raised his voice over the machine’s engine.

“Yes. When I have time.”

The words tickled Darryl’s left ear. Everything happening tonight was reminiscent of the past because Emery had always leaned in to Darryl to speak. He’d better concentrate on the wind in his face, the warm air, and the ever-present smell of the lake, instead of the hot breath that had steamed his skin moments ago.

He inhaled. The gasoline’s potent stench cleared his nostrils. There was another scent—Emery’s familiar aroma. In the past, he’d never worn cologne or used odorous soap and still didn’t. Fresh and clean as nature.

Darryl guided the four-wheeler through the Central and Rockhead districts. The older people sat on the steps of their box-shaped houses while children played in the overgrown ditches. Many stared at the four-wheeler. Tongues were probably already wagging, calling him a traitor to the Traditionalists Society.

Once they were clear of the houses and thick brush, the narrow road leading to the Treaty Grounds greeted them. Alone. At last.

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renewed- giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a $25.00 eXtasy Books/Devine Destinies Gift Certificate.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

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2 thoughts on “Renewed is now available at Amazon

  1. J. Shannon says:

    Thanks for providing more Native representation in romance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TY, Jennifer! Hope you enjoy teh book. 🙂

      Like

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