Sanctified The Matawapit Family Series Book 3
by Maggie Blackbird Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
In the midst of a battle for leadership at their Ojibway community, two enemies of opposing families fall in love…
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.
Jude shouldn’t care if Raven was about to undress. He’d seen many students remove their outerwear in class. But the down parka on Raven didn’t swallow her ballerina-lithe body like a garbage bag. The coat was the fashionable snug style, silhouetting her supple form. Long strands of black hair lay against her sharper-than-razors cheekbones.
Her perfectly applied winged eyeliner gave her slanted black eyes a mysterious cat-shape appeal. Rich burgundy lipstick, matching the shade of his tie, plumped her lips to a sensual pout, or maybe her mouth naturally retained a pucker. As she stood to drape the parka over the chair, she gave him a nice view of the skinny jeans painted on her slender thighs and gently rounded butt.
She whipped her head around, peeking at him through the fringe of her super-long lashes.
Heat climbed onto Jude’s face. He shoved the pen back into his mouth and chewed on the cap. Adult or not, she was a student—his student. Maintaining a professional distance was a must.
Raven’s moist-looking mouth tugged at the corners. A hint of triumph flashed in her eyes. Well, well, she’d stolen a look purposely, expecting him to check her out. A hot coal flared in Jude’s chest. He rounded his desk, ensuring to move slowly, heels clicking one after the other on the floor. She’d get the hint he meant business.
“Why don’t you catch up on your lessons. There’s no point in reviewing the next one until you’re finished those.” He used his pen to point in her direction. Traditionalist or not, she could suck up his supposed rudeness. In his world, pointing told another a man wasn’t screwing around or willing to play games.
Raven sat. She flipped open her textbook and binder.
“Which lesson are you working on?”
“History. A pity. We are the First People, but it’s all about…those who sailed over here.” Her husky voice, deeper than most women’s, with a light scratch to the tone was sensual nails grazing Jude’s skin.
He gripped and re-gripped the pen. “At my former school, we were building the curriculum into the current courses.”
“Did you teach high school or elementary? You taught for the Catholic Board of Education, didn’t you?”
“I see.” Raven lowered her head. Her black hair veiled her face. Not narrow like Clayton’s hawkish looks. The hollowed cheeks, delicate long nose, and tapering chin complemented Raven’s smoky eyes and wide mouth. A traditional diamond-shaped face like the Indigenous people of the old days.
No wonder she’d stolen a glimpse at Jude when she’d removed her parka. Raven was probably used to men gawking at her wherever she went. If the fashion designers ever took a chance on hiring Indigenous women to model, they’d be scrambling to photograph Raven.
Why was he still thinking about her anyway? This was ridiculous.
Jude plopped in the chair. If she didn’t require assistance on her lessons, she should’ve finished her assignments at home. All Raven had done was make him stay late.
The Matawapit Family Series Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance
A single woman battles to keep her foster child from his newly-paroled father—a dangerous man she used to love.
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.
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.”
“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 youonlydrink?” 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, tellDirty Harryto leave. I only deal withMr. Darcy.” Adam stood and set his enormous hands on his hips. “Mr. Who—? Look, I’ll tellDirty Harryto take a hike if you call offSarah Conner. I’m not theTerminatorsent 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.
The Matawapit Family Series Book 1
Genre: Contemporary M/M Inspirational Romance
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.
This is very erotic book about a spiritual journey.
Darryl sat up. He flung aside the covers. When he rose, the bed creaked. He paced the room. Emery twisted his fingers into the blanket.Don’t assume the worst.His earlier performance between the sheets couldn’t have been that horrible. Although he was out of practice, having sex was natural—at least he’d assumed everything he’d done had come naturally.
“I don’t know how to say this. I don’t even wanna say it.” Darryl huffed back and forth, pushing hair from his face. For a man quite vocal about his feelings, being unable to speak his mind meant Darryl had something horrific to say. Emery tugged at the threading on the blanket.
“First, you believe your god wanted our quest to happen, right?” Darryl kept pacing.
“Yes.” The humidity had returned, but wet chills peppered Emery’s skin. He wouldn’t say anything else. Hearing out Darryl was important to him, no matter what came from his mouth.
“Second, what we did tonight means everything to me. I mean everything.” Darryl stopped and turned. Ten years ago, Emery had said the same thing. A week later, Darryl had bolted for Winnipeg. This was worse than being stabbed in the heart. God must be punishing Emery for his earlier actions.
“Don’t.” Darryl thrust his finger forward. “Don’t even go there.”
“G-Go wh-where?” Emery reached for the leftover glass of water on the nightstand. He gulped down the last of the drink.
“I know what you’re thinking. What we did wasn’t wrong. You told me you felt it here.” Darryl tapped the lower left side of his chest.
“I did.” Hand trembling, Emery set aside the glass and resumed tugging at the blanket threading. Although Darryl smiled, the reddish-brown color of his skin drained away. He set his hands on the mattress, leaning in slightly. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“And it’s why I have to say this.” Darryl lowered his head. Whatever he said, Emery would try to understand. In the past, he’d begged for Darryl’s understanding, which of course he’d never given, but that didn’t mean Emery couldn’t offer support.
“Our vision quest really opened my eyes. I mean really opened my eyes.” Darryl kept his head down. His long black hair skimmed his chest.
“It—” Darryl held up his hand. “Let me finish.”
“I was wrong to tell you what you feel is incorrect. If you wanna believe your god is telling you what we did is a sin, then who am I to demand you change your beliefs.” Darryl raised his head. His Adam’s apple bobbed. “When I left everything in Creator’s hands this weekend, instead of shoving my opinion down your throat, we finally respected one another’s ideas and views.” He sat on the blanket and tugged until the handful Emery held grazed Darryl’s knuckles. “See? This is what we did. We met in the middle.”
“Yes, we did.”
“I know how much your god means to you. I know you love this god more than anything on Earth.” Emery’s chest swelled. Darryl did understand.
“You wouldn’t have committed five—or is it six?—years to the seminary if this god didn’t mean everything to you. He asked you to discern, and you listened, just like you listened this weekend. Y’know how much I admire that?” Something resembling balls of cotton swathed Emery’s spine.
“And this is why I have to say what I’m gonna say.” Darryl’s gaze was searching. The wet chill reappeared on Emery’s skin.
“The old me—before our vision quest—would’ve felt like I won, y’know? Won what we’ve been debating for ten years. But there’s no winning when it comes to what people feel.” Darryl draped his fingers around Emery’s wrist. “I can’t say enough how much I love you. This is the hardest thing I ever did ‘cause all I want is you.” Emery’s pulse froze. He was getting dumped. After he’d broken his commitment to the seminary and believed this was God’s will, he was being sent packing. When he tugged to snatch his hand away, the grip on his wrist tightened. “Let go.”
“Not a chance.” Darryl scrambled across the bed. Before Emery could fling aside the blankets he sat cross-legged under, he was gathered in Darryl’s arms. Tears streamed down Darryl’s round cheeks What was he crying about? He was the one sending Emery away. “What do you want from me?” His throat crackled. He coughed.
“Will you please listen to me?” Pleading saturated Darryl’s words. “Do you know how hard this is for me, when I wanna beg you to stay—beg you not to leave me again?”
“You-You want me to stay?” Emery shuddered.
“Yeah, but I promisedGitche ManidooI’d set you free.” Darryl’s nails dug into Emery’s shoulders. “You gotta go back to the seminary. You can’t have any regrets. I know you too well. Everything is great right now, but sooner or later you’re gonna doubt your decision and wonder if you failed your god. If it’s gonna happen for us, I don’t want you second-guessing yourself. It’s why you gotta keep discerning. When you write your letter to the bishop in January, that’s when I hope you’ll decide.”
An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes. When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.
I get asked this question a lot: When did you consider yourself a writer? Honestly, I never really thought of myself as a writer, but other people do, such as my family. Before publication, my dad would say, “My daughter, the writer.”
I still can’t quite say “I’m a writer” to this day, because writing is something I always did, before I even knew how to read and write. In the Ojibway world, we had and still have storytellers. Am I a storyteller? When I think hard on it, the answer is no.
I’m simply a person who loves using my imagination. And stories happen in my head before I go to sleep. Such as one constant daydream I conjured up of a gay professional golfer (I’m a golf fanatic) that a handsome movie star is obsessed with. They wind up meeting, through the movie star’s agent, who gets in contact with the pro golfer’s agent. During the pro-am, movie star makes his move and invites pro golfer up to the hotel room for “dinner.” The rest his history. Haha.
Will this story see the light of day in the publishing world? Nope. It’s just a fun little story I enjoy running through my head before I drift off to sleep. I love making new mini-stories for this couple. Nothing more.
Other stories I conjure up in my head do make it on to my computer’s hard-drive, such as Blessed, Redeemed, and now Sanctified, books one, two, and three in the Matawapit Family Series. Before publication, I wrote numerous and numerous short stories, long stories, novels, and series. I wrote them simply because I had to, and to destress after a too long business trip, or while sitting in my hotel room after another one of many meetings.
Writing is a part of me, so much a part of me, if I said, “I’m a writer,” I’d have to own up to it when I’d hang my head over the top bunk of my bed, jabbering with my sister as a child while we made up stories. More than stories. We roll-played before roll playing was even a word LOL.
So if people want to call me a writer, that’s cool. I got no problem with it at all. But for me. Writing is simply what I do and who I am—something I’ll keep doing until I leave planet earth.
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