The Matawapit Family Series Book 2
by Maggie Blackbird 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.
Bridget ushered Kyle down the hall, passing the line of offices, straight to the visitation room. He clutched his doughnut bag, and she strangled the handle of her travel mug. Holding hands, she kept squeezing her son’s fingers.
They stopped at the door where Adam waited on the other side.
For Kyle’s sake, Bridget must expunge the tingles juddering through her limbs. “It’s going to be okay. I’ll be there. Mrs. Dale’ll be there. You won’t be alone.”
“O-okay.” Kyle’s lower lip quivered. “I’m ready, Mommy.”
Not good. On his sixth birthday, he’d proudly announced he was too old to call her by that name. This was worse than Bridget had expected. She rubbed the spot between his shoulder blades. “Let’s go. Remember, God’s with…He’s with us.”
“He is, isn’t He, Mommy?” Color returned to Kyle’s brown skin.
“Always, He is. I’m going to open the door.” Bridget kept her voice hushed.
Kyle’s small muscles beneath Bridget’s palm tightened.
She turned the handle. Keeping her cool was imperative. Although the accusing words of asshole, liar, and jerk, inched up her throat.
When Bridget opened the door, the bitter words kept blinking in her brain at Adam leaning against the windowsill. She gripped and re-gripped Kyle’s hand.
A short-sleeved, white dress shirt hugged Adam’s strong upper chest and broad shoulders. He’d tucked the hem into the slim waist of his beige dress pants. His shoulder-length, pitch-black hair, minus the familiar beige cowboy hat, was combed off his square face, but stray strands brushed his straight black brows.
The saliva thickened in Bridget’s throat at his long, wide nose, strong jawline, and plush mouth he used to brush at her earlobe.
His black eyes held hers, his gaze as impenetrable as it had been in the past, unmoving, refusing to let her inside.
Bridget recoiled. Her heart, ready to melt all over the floor, hardened to stone. She lifted her chin.
Adam’s nod was slow, a careful tilt of his head.
Bridget looked to Kyle and pointed at the chair next to Mrs. Dale. “I’ll be right there.”
“Okay…Mom.” Kyle continued to grip her hand.
She wiggled her fingers free. “Go on.” She made sure her gentle order came out soft and drawn-out.
He inched forward, clutching his small Reggie’s Donuts bag.
“Hey.” Adam shifted to his haunches. His pants cuddled his muscular thighs.
Mouth wet and lungs shrinking, Bridget shimmied to Mrs. Dale and sat on the edge of the plastic chair. She dug her nails into her purse, and her muscles contracted at having to endure the longest hour of her life.
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.
The putter of a diesel engine carried to where they stood at the side of the house.
“Sounds like the priest’s clunker.” Clayton puffed on the cigarette.
Knots formed in Darryl’s stomach. Did Emery accompany Father Bennie? What the heck was the priest doing up at Long River? Darryl lived at the reserve’s most northern district, far from Grassy, where the Matawapits resided. Don’t watch them go by.
The car slowed and then turned into the driveway. Black, wavy hair appeared in the windshield. Hot tingles shot through Darryl’s arms and legs. He’d better get himself under control. Running into the coward was expected. It was the reason why he’d raced around the reserve like a fool earlier, trying to figure out what to say when they eventually crossed paths.
Had Emery come to apologize? Maybe reconnect? Wait a second. Someone had probably sent him. In the past, he hadn’t possessed the testicular fortitude to initiate anything. Father Bennie and Deacon Matawapit were up to something.
“Is that Emery?” Clayton frowned.
“Yeah. Gimme a second.” Darryl marched around the side of the house. When the car door opened, he froze.
Emery’s long legs appeared. He straightened to a towering six-foot-something. His red lips, smooth, pale skin, and high cheekbones melted Darryl’s insides. Tight muscles filled out Emery’s blue polo shirt and white dress pants. His hair curled around his square shoulders. This wasn’t a skinny seventeen-year-old kid who’d favored worn jeans, hiking boots, and t-shirts, but a twenty-seven-year-old elegant man.
“Hello. I was hoping to catch you at home.” Emery doffed his sunglasses, exposing his thick black lashes and bright green eyes. He tapped his shades against firm thighs Darryl had caressed during the best time of his life.
Although Emery’s voice was deeper, the feathery tone still stroked Darryl deep inside his jeans. Quivering, he spat out a, “Hel—hi...” He cleared his throat of the damned frog making him sound like an idiot. “Hello.”
“I-I planned on stopping by sooner.” Emery’s gaze roamed in every direction. “I was busy... unpacking”
Darryl motioned to the side of the house. “I was heading out for a drive once I finish talking to someone.”
“Oh...” Emery’s gaze settled on Clayton, who appeared around the corner. “I’ll come back another day when you’re not busy.” Disappointment lined his voice. “Have a good night.”
When Emery turned for the car, Darryl’s frozen heart churned into overdrive. The question jumped from his mouth. “Where’re you going?”
Emery pivoted. “Back to the rectory. It’s where I’m staying during my visit.”
Darryl stifled his groan. Call him a sucker for asking. “You came here for a reason. Why?”
“Uh... I—” Emery held a fist to his mouth and coughed. “Do you have time for a walk?”
A shiver careened along Darryl’s spine. Instead of being prodded, Emery, of all people, had initiated something.
Clayton’s slim brows twisted downwards. “I guess we’re done?”
Everyone knew how tight Emery and Darryl had once been. The cunning coyote had better not think of Darryl as a traitor who’d lose focus on the Traditionalists Society’s mandate now that Emery was back. “We can finish our convo tomorrow. Stop by my office in the morning.”
“Never mind. I’m outta here.” Clayton stamped to his pick-up parked on the side of the road. He glowered at Emery, who returned the frown with a nod.
Fire crackled through Darryl’s veins. Hostility and rudeness to another wasn’t the purpose of the Traditionalists Society.
“We can meet at the Treaty Grounds.” Darryl used an even tone, though his pulse points raced faster than a bear chasing down dinner. “Right now my road’s pretty much the Trans Canada.”
A truck pulling a skiff rambled by.
“Everyone’s heading out for the evening fish.”
“Okay.” Emery’s mouth remained closed while his full lips moved upward. He had the same shy smile capable of melting Darryl’s limbs. “I’ll meet you there.”
“Sure.” Darryl slid on the four-wheeler.
Emery opened the car door and got in. He drove off and left a trail of dust in his wake.
Darryl turned the key. The machine’s engine roared to life. This couldn’t be happening. Someone must have plopped him in the middle of a dream. Who was the courageous man who’d come of his own accord?
He steered the four-wheeler down the driveway. People changed. Before entering St. Michael’s Seminary, Emery had lived in Thunder Bay to attend university. Being out from under his father’s thumb had probably given his confidence a much-needed boost. His dad’s here and he sought me out.
Had Emery told Father Bennie his intentions for the even-ing? Where would their talk lead to? There was only one way to find out—drive faster to the Treaty Grounds.
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.
Once I’m done with the Matawapit Family Series, I’ll continue writing more romance, starring Canada’s Indigenous People. What I want to tackle next is a trilogy starring two male Ojibway teenagers from a fictional First Nations community just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Yes, I love setting my stories in Northwestern Ontario, probably because I’ve travelled all over this area during my last job.
The trilogy will take place during the 90s “grunge” era. It’ll address, as I like to do, concerns or issues Canada’s First People face.
Sitting on the back burner is another potential idea focussing on the “Sixties Scoop.” I’d like to see a young Ojibway girl adopted by non-native parents, and this girl is clueless that her real mother’s alive. The “Sixties Scoop” was another attempt by the Canadian Government to assimilate Indigenous People into Western Society. The Matawapit Family Series addresses the Indian Residential Schools, which my dad, uncle, aunts, and grandparents were forced to attend, and its impact on First Nations people. The “Sixties Scoop” novel will take place around the late seventies, and my heroine would be around sixteen or seventeen.
I’d also love to write a story (and have all my research material on hand that I’m reading through right now) about the Fur Trade. The area where I live was HUGE in the fur trade. Replica forts are built in this area. The one here was unfortunately dismantled, which is a shame. I used to play at that fort as a child when my parents attended baseball games at the baseball diamond right beside it. I’d love to see a Chief Factor (if I got with the HBC) or Wintering Partner (if he’s from the Northwest Company) fall for a local Ojibway woman. I have the plot worked out in my head.
I do have another manuscript that’s 70% done, starring a transgender Ojibway heroine and a jaded rock star. This would have to go through some heavy re-writes because I wrote this around 2011 or 2012, and the writing is not up to my standards now. But I’d love to see this published once I get around to finding the time to revise it.
There are many more ideas. One in particular that I’d like to keep to myself for now. All my ideas are written and kept on a spreadsheet.
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