Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, is the release of The Circle is Small, my latest contemporary romance published by eXtasy Books.

First Nations policing is critical for the safety and well-being of Ojibway communities.  Within my treaty area, we have a self-administering policing body that is responsible for the twenty-four First Nations, covering over 55,000 square miles.  I’ve known a lot of the First Nations constables, and I wanted to write a story about one.  So here you go.  A peek inside the world of policing from the eyes of an isolated Ojibway community.

An ex-cop returning to face his horrendous past, the woman who won’t forgive him, and the family who’ll never let him forget that he killed their son.

Blurb:  First Nations Constable Jordan Chartrand’s guilt can’t handle the accusing stares from the family left to mourn their son after that horrible night…so he flees from his Ojibway community and the woman he loves. Two years later, his mother’s cancer diagnosis forces him to return to help her.

Devoted schoolteacher Ellie Quill wants nothing to do with Jordan after he bolted to the city and left her behind. Her life goals are set. As for her secret, she’ll keep that to herself, even if Jordan’s begging to know the truth about her child.

When the two are compelled to work on a community project to address the rampant drug problem, their forced proximity slowly melts Ellie’s icy walls. But no matter how much her heart desires to give Jordan the second chance that he’s begging for, she refuses to because providing a life for her son in the tradition of the Ojibway culture is her top priority now, not moving to the city where Jordan continues to hide.

Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, First Nations Romance, Native American Romance
Heat Rating: Level 3
Publication Date: March 17, 2023
Publisher: eXtasy Books


The noise from a truck rumbling on the gravel road drifted to where they stood. Jordan couldn’t help but inspect the arriving vehicle. Maybe cop mode would never leave him. At the familiar sight of the elder Pemmican’s ride, the paternal grandparents of the teenaged boy he’d shot and killed that awful night, his stomach dropped to his knees.

Ellie had the right idea, he noted. It was time to leave. She’d also craned her neck to the approaching vehicle. Her shoulders tightened. Instead of huffing off, as Jordan expected from her, she stayed put.

The truck rolled up to the diner. Mrs. Pemmican dared to lift her finger to point. “What the fuck are you doing back here?” The pickup’s door banged shut. She didn’t move forward but remained at the vehicle. Her stare full of hate was a fireball, bad medicine meant to induce sickness or death.

“You should get going.” Ellie kept her voice hushed and her gaze locked on the rusted pickup.

“Why don’t we both leave.” Jordan also stared at the truck. He didn’t want Raymond witnessing something that could escalate into more than heated words.

“I thought we were done with the likes of you around here.” A high screech blasted from Mrs. Pemmican’s mouth.

Her husband stalked around the vehicle. “Forget about him. Nothing but a coward. Murders our grandchild and then runs off to the city. Let’s go.”

“I’m not letting it go.” Mrs. Pemmican directed her glare at her husband. “He killed Andy. I’ll never let it go.” She repositioned her face of a pinched nose, scowling thin lips, and slashing eyes back on Jordan. “I told you, I told that damned police service, and told our useless Band Council, what’ll happen if you let the government tell us how to manage our people. You know darn well we had our way of policing before the white man thought to interfere. And this is what happens when we let them tell us what to do. Now my grandson’s dead…all because you wouldn’t honor tradition.”

The urge to hang his head was strong against the back of Jordan’s neck, as if a hand was pushing on him to bow before the woman. But if he caved, he’d be defeated before he attempted to reconcile with his community, and most of all Ellie, while he was here to help Mom.

“You know we’d love to honor tradition and have the community policed like our ancestors did.” It was Ellie’s calm, steady words that rippled through the suffocating tension surrounding them. “But this is how it is now. We’re lucky we have our own people employed as constables instead of the O.P.P. patrolling the reserve like they used to.”

“Lucky?” Mrs. Pemmican spat on the ground. “We’re not lucky. My grandson’s dead because you young people accept whatever the white man tells you to do.”

“There wasn’t any other alternative but for Jordan to disarm Andy. There were people inside. Two were children. What was he supposed to do?” Ellie’s voice continued to remain calm.

“Andy was no threat to anyone but himself. You know this.” Mrs. Pemmican again thrust her finger. “I know this.” She pointed at herself. “And he knows this.” She shoved her finger in Jordan’s direction. “Bah…” She waved her hand. “I should’ve expected no less from you. He runs off, leaves you, and you’re still defending him. What kind of woman are you? Don’t you have any pride? Or will you do anything for his dick?”

Bright red spread across Ellie’s high cheekbones. “I’d defend any of our constables who were only doing their job. Do you think any of them want to—”

2 thoughts on “New Release – The Circle is Small

  1. H K Carlton says:

    Happy Release Day, Maggie. Wow, that is a hell of a gripping excerpt. “Her stare full of hate was a fireball, bad medicine meant to induce sickness or death.” Just compounding Constable Chartrand’s guilt. The whole scene just makes you feel for both the Pemmican family and for Jordan. What a horrible situation. This sounds like another gut-wrenching page-turner, Maggie. Congratulations. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TY, HK. Glad you enjoyed it. And TY for the congrats!


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