The Matawapit Family Series published by eXtasy Books
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.
Renewed – Book Four – Matawapit Family Series
When two former enemies fall in love, family secrets threaten to destroy their fragile union and everything they hold dear.
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.
“Well done Maggie! Renewed was the perfect way to wrap up the Matawapit Family series. Highly recommended, six stars!” –Goodreads Reviewer
Just because Jude was Raven’s adult education teacher didn’t mean she’d stop going to class. She was this close to acquiring her grade ten math and finishing the last of her grade eleven subjects. Come the fall, she’d be in full grade twelve classes.
Jude always arrived ten minutes early before the students, so she didn’t see him on the road as she walked from the motel to the school. Visiting Mom on Sunday and then going there to clean on Monday had left Raven’s ears full of poison, because Mom’s vicious tongue hadn’t stopped jabbering about the deacon and how he was to blame for everything.
Raven trudged up the sidewalk. She nodded at the two students who’d, thank goodness, joined her, and followed them inside. While walking the hallway, Raven stayed behind them.
They reached the classroom. Since Raven brought up the rear, she inched over to the very last desk by the window, ignoring her usual spot in front of Jude.
“Verna. Lonn. Good to see you,” Jude said, glancing up from his desk. His greeting lacked warmth.
Raven kept her head bowed but snuck a peek. She clutched the pencil and covered the books with her forearms. Jude typed on his laptop, eyes zeroed in on the screen.
True to form, Marvin scampered in at the last minute. “Mr. M, I got my last assignment finished.”
“Great.” Jude’s voice was his professional one.
The continuous small talk was lost to Raven. She fired her stare out the window at two dogs playing in the parking lot.
“Okay, open your books to…” Jude’s voice continued to remain professional.
Raven opened her textbook. Jude held his own and stood at the whiteboard, doing what he always did by reviewing what they’d work on for their homework assignments and giving his easy-to-comprehend examples.
The two hours seemed to drag on. Raven didn’t want to glance up at Jude in his beige dress pants that fit his physique like the handsome Mr. Metrosexual he was. Or the light-blue, dress shirt hugging his strong chest. Or his slicked short hair accentuating his bold facial features. And she sure wasn’t going to kick herself over losing a once-in-a-lifetime guy.
Throughout the lesson, Raven’s heart kept doing funny things—folding in half when Jude spoke to everyone but refused to look at her, or growling when he’d use his know-it-all tone, or fluttering when he did lay his dark eyes on her briefly.
“That’s it. We’re almost there.” Jude’s gaze drifted to Marvin, Lonn, Verna, and then skimmed flatly on Raven. “You’re welcome to stay and work on your assignments.” He peeped at the clock on the wall. “It’s twenty to nine. I’ll be here until nine if you need my help.”
As usual, Marvin bolted.
Verna yawned and stretched. “I’m beat. I think I’ll go home and work on this stuff tomorrow. Thanks, Mr. M.”
“You’re very welcome, Verna.” Jude’s dimples appeared.
“Say, maybe we can work together.” Lonn hurried after Verna’s departing figure, which wasn’t a surprise because Lonn had done nothing but talk to, sit next to, and flirt with Verna during each class.
Raven itched to gather her books, rise, and leave, but someone must have put crazy glue on her chair. She screamed at her body to listen. Her feet remained under the desk, and she kept gripping the pencil.
This was a nightmare—her very own body refusing to cooperate. She’d make a fool of herself if she stayed.
Again, she tried to gather her books. Nothing. She attempted to turn in her seat. Her waist wouldn’t make the three-quarter-degree shift.
Even worse, Jude still stood at the whiteboard, arms folded.
About the author
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.
Web Site: https://maggieblackbird.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/maggieblackbirdauthor/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Maggie-Blackbird/e/B07KQP1FFG
eXtasy Books Author Page: https://www.extasybooks.com/maggie-blackbird/
Newsletter Sign-Up: eepurl.com/gJu2VL
Blessed – Book One (Matawapit Family Series)
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, and he intends on using his new-found power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and the 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.
Redeemed – Book Two (Matawapit Family Series)
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 counseling, 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.
Sanctified – Book Three (Matawapit Family Series)
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.
An Interview with Maggie Blackbird by Rachel Ridley for TRS
RR: Maggie, thank you for talking with us at The Romance Studio. We’re talking about Renewed, part of your Matawapit Family Series. What can you tell us about the series?
Maggie: The series delves into the devastating impact the government-sanctioned Indian Residential Schools has on the generation who attended them and how those schools most importantly affect the following generation. Two families have taken different paths because of the schools. One is Catholic and the other practice their Ojibway culture. Their clashing differences put them at odds with each other, and they must work to resolve their differences.
RR: What can you tell us about the books that came before in the series?
Maggie: Blessed is a m/m romance that features two ex-lovers, one out for vengeance and the other wanting to reconcile their differences. It kicks off the series but can also be read as a standalone.
Redeemed delves further into the impact the Indian Residential Schools have on the next generation when two formerly-engaged lovers square off to fight for custody of the child the heroine is fostering on behalf of her ex-fiancé. This can also be read as a standalone.
Sanctified is where the two families really do square off when the deacon’s son falls for the daughter of the family enemy. Many past secrets begin sneaking out from the closet where they’ve been buried.
RR: How does Renewed continue it?
Maggie: Renewed continues the series because it’s the sequel to Sanctified and the secrets that were previously unearthed by the hero now threaten to crumble is budding relationship with the heroine.
RR: What do you like best about Raven and why will readers identify with her?
Maggie: I like that Raven can think for herself. Her family follows their mother’s beliefs and harbour her resentment against anything or anyone that isn’t traditional in the Ojibway culture. Whereas Raven is willing to try understand another’s beliefs and differences. She’s willing to listen. And her willingness is what I find makes her special.
I think readers will identify because the majority of us are willing in our own respect. We’re willing to give others a chance. We’re willing to listen to another’s side of the story. We’re willing to forgive wrongs done against us.
RR: What do you like best about Jude and why will readers love him?
Maggie: I find Jude to be the consummate romance hero. He’s much different from my other heroes: Adam and Darryl. He’s a gentleman. He’s take-charge. He’s successful. He’s handsome. And best of all, he’s fallen for a woman with a very shady past, and is wiling to overlook her past and focus on the woman she is now.
RR: Will there be more in the series?
Maggie: The series arc is complete at the end of Renewed. If there is another book, it will be Emery and Darryl’s story. Two elders did prophesize about Emery’s role in the community, and that is something I can see myself exploring further down the line. I also would like to do a short holiday story for the Matawapit family. We’ll see.
RR: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
Maggie: I am currently finishing the second book in a new young adult, m/m contemporary romance trilogy. It stars two Ojibway boys. One is a thieving, drug-dealing punk, and the other is the chief’s popular and haughty son.
RR: What are you reading right now?
Maggie: The Kennedy Heirs by J. Randy Taraborrelli and One Drum by Richard Wagamese.
RR: How much time do you devote to your writing?
Maggie: A lot. A lot of time. I spend the first part of my morning working on promo and marketing (such as answering these interview questions) and the rest of the day writing.
RR: What are your goals as an author this year?
Maggie: I want to see the trilogy I talked about earlier published (I’ll be subbing the first book to eXtasy Books at the end of May), and two short stories. Then I’d like to begin fleshing out a couple of new projects I have been sitting on for a bit.