To win over the chief’s haughty son, a drug-dealing punk from a dysfunctional family must risk the only two things he has: his reputation and freedom.
Billy Redsky, a rebellious punk who loves art and nature, is saddled with a welfare-leeching, alcoholic mother and criminal older brother who are the joke of their Ojibway community. Sick and tired of being perceived as a loser, Billy deals drugs for his older brother to earn quick money. He hopes if he buys a dirt bike, he’ll finally impress the chief’s popular and aloof son, René Oshawee.
When the two are forced to serve detention together, a friendship begins to bloom, but much to Billy’s frustration, René keeps putting him on ice. To make his biggest dream come true if he finally wants to call René his own, Billy must make a huge decision that could cost him everything.
Five Star – “This was a beautifully written story.” –Goodreads Reviewer (Read more here)
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Cinnamon Bear stood lurking in a stand of bushes. The bear’s snout sniffed away. He must have caught the scent of their food. “I guess… he’s… uh… wants to have a final chow down before he hibernates?”
“Quit joking around. Get up. Now. Go to the truck.”
The order should prick Billy’s temper, but screw mouthing off. Becoming a snack for a big bear wasn’t funny. He rose.
“Move slowly.” René’s tone carried the same hint of authority as Chrome Dome’s. He backed up in front of Billy, shielding him from Cinnamon Bear.
The bear lumbered from the bushes, his big snout still sniffing.
“Keep moving,” René whispered. “Stay behind me.”
The moisture reappeared in Billy’s throat. René offered protection. If this was Hoyt, he would’ve thrown Billy in front of the bear as bait before hightailing it.
They kept inching backward. Billy slid his hands on René’s waist and glanced around him. Cinnamon Bear clomped forward, his big rump wiggling while he waddled to the picnic table.
“Are we near the truck?” René kept his voice hushed.
Billy peeked behind him. “A bit more.”
The bear stopped at the picnic table.
“I guess he’s got the munchies, too.” A chuckle climbed up Billy’s throat. Too bad he’d left his sketchpad inside the truck. He wouldn’t mind drawing the bear now that they stood at a safer distance.
“Really funny.” René’s hiss resembled a teed-off garter snake. “How much farther?”
“We’re almost there. But he ain’t interested in us. He wants the food. He’s hungry.”
“If he keeps this up, the MNR are gonna relocate him, or some asshole hunter’ll shoot him. Menace bears always get the boot.”
“No way.” Flaming coals surfaced in Billy. “This is his mountain.”
“Not when he’s stealing food from visitors, it isn’t.” René eased his keys from his jacket pocket. “I gotta tell Dad. It’s not safe for people to come up here if he’s hanging around.”
“What d’you mean? It’s his mountain. Not ours.” The heat of the coals searing Billy intensified. “He belongs here.”
“Yeah, I get what you’re saying, but he came in and ate our food. Look.” René pointed.
Cinnamon Bear’s massive paw knocked around the pop cans, the big furry guy having already wolfed down the smokies and nachos.
“I get that bears roam around up here. I’ve seen a few. But none are this bold.”
Billy jostled against the truck’s bumper. “We’re here.”
With his hands still on René’s waist, Billy gazed upward into the same Hershey eyes that had melted all over him this morning. The clean, crisp scent surrounding him skittered along his flesh. Warmth from René’s firm body dusted away the chill on Billy’s spine.
“You… You protected me. No-nobody’s done that before.” The words stumbled from Billy’s mouth before he could take them back, because the geeky declaration resembled something in a lame romance movie. But it was true. René had stood between Billy and Cinnamon Bear.
Steamy breaths from René’s lips grazed Billy’s face. Never had he been so aware of color—the lush rose hue to René’s lips and his lightly tanned skin. The glossy tint to his almost-black hair taunted Billy to tangle his fingers around the straight strands that flipped ever-so-slightly at the ends and brushed the collar of René’s leather jacket.
An ache appeared, imploring Billy to lean into René and let a sweet embrace claim him.
They kept staring, their gazes touching, caressing, stroking. Slowly, a sheet of ice froze over René’s eyes. He stiffened.
“We’d better split. Let’s go.” With a shove from his hip, René bumped Billy against the truck. He swiveled on his boot heel and huffed to the driver’s-side door.
Billy clutched the tailgate and his fading expectations. One minute he’d been wrapped in cashmere as plush as the bear’s fur coat, the next pushed into a bushel of thistles.
About Maggie Blackbird
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.
After the Snow Melts (Young Adult, Interracial, LGBT, Romance)
He’s got to find a way to tell his best friend that he wants him—or lose him forever.
Rich, popular, and gorgeous Bryan Deschamps pines from afar for his best friend. He loathes the idea of helping Elliot score a date for the snow dance. With his time running out, Bryan must find a way to capture his buddy’s attention—and that means boldly leaving an anonymous card in his main man’s locker.
Grateful for Bryan’s friendship ever since he moved from his Ojibway community to Thunder Bay to attend high school, Elliot Wasacase can’t disclose his true feelings, or he’ll lose the one true friend he has. Upon discovering an unsigned card in his locker from an admiring dude, he’s terrified someone knows his secret but suspects the person might be Bryan.
When Bryan’s car breaks down, stranding them on top of the mountain during a snowstorm, the two must either take a leap of faith or let fear and clashing beliefs cost them what they truly desire.
Interview with Jamie for The Romance Studio
Jamie: Maggie, thank you for talking with us at TRS. Please tell us about your new series, Two Princes.
Maggie: Actually, the series is called When We Were Young, and the first book is Two Princes LOL. As for telling you about the new series, here is the series blurb:
I thought I saved you, but maybe you saved me too.
At their Ojibway community, Billy Redsky, a drug-dealing punk, and René Oshawee, t*he chief’s haughty son, must walk the “red road” to finally confront their biggest fears: conquering the self-imposed obstacles in their path, if they are to have what they long for above anything else—to finally be together.
Jamie: How does When We Were Young kick off the series?
Maggie: Two Princes kicks off the When We Were Young series. Of course it’s when Billy Redsky and René Oshawee meet.
Jamie: What do you like best about Billy and why will readers love him?
Maggie: His tenacity. No matter how tough his life is, no matter how many curveballs are thrown his way, no matter how much trouble he creates for himself, he keeps finding way to dig himself out, and keep his chin up. I adore his spunk and drive.
Jamie: What do you like best about Rene and why will readers love him?
Maggie: His generosity. Hiding beneath his cool exterior is a boy who sincerely cares about others. I also love his modesty. He could let his popularity and wealth go to his head, but he doesn’t.
Jamie: What can you tell us about the books to come in the series?
Maggie: I’m currently in edits with my publisher for Toy Soldiers, book two in the When We Were Young series. And I’m beginning to draft the third book in the series as I type this. Both books will conttinue Billy and René’s romance.
This is the tagline and blurb for Toy Soldiers:
Once a thief, always a thief, and if he can’t win the heart of the boy he loves, he’ll steal it.
Blurb: Billy Redsky’s made one of his biggest dreams come true, but there’s a problem. Even though the boy he loves is mere footsteps across the hall from his bedroom, they might as well live a country apart because claiming René Oshawee’s heart is more difficult than Billy anticipates.
Much to Billy’s disgust, René can’t accept his true self, so he’s incapable of loving someone else. And all he cares about is living a life the chief and his wife foresee for their youngest son.
If Billy is to finally have what he truly desires, he must stop René from running away from who he really is and face the man in the mirror, or what they share will never blossom into true love.
Jamie: What can you tell us about After the Snow Melts?
Maggie: I couldn’t resist writing this short story for Devine Destinies’ Noted collection. I already had Billy and René’s first book drafted, but I wanted to explore the 80s with an interracial twist. So I created Bryan Deschamps, the rich boy and Elliot Wasacase, a boy from an Ojibway community in Northern Ontario who has to travel and live in Thunder Bay to finish his secondary education.
Jamie: How has your 2020 been?
Maggie: Considering all that’s happened to the world so far, my 2020 has been excellent. I’m very fortunate that what’s been happening hasn’t affected me personally. Yes, I lost my two fur babies back to back, and yes, there were other trying tests, but I consider myself quite fortunate. I always keep a positive outlook on life. I’m not saying I go around smiling 24/7 LOL. But I do my best to accept life for what life is.
Jamie: What have you been reading?
Maggie: I just finished Off-Balance by Brigham Vaughn. Next up in the queue is Nathan Unwrapped by Susan Saxx. I’ll be starting it tonight. Once I read and review Susan’s book, I’ll be starting on Il Padrone (Vendetta, #1) by Leigh Kenzie. I love reading for an hour or two before I go to sleep. And since I am an avid reader, I always enjoy reviewing books that I’ve read at my blog.
Jamie: What are your goals for the near future?
Maggie: Once the last novel for the When We Were Young series is sent to my publisher, I am going to begin drafting a trilogy about the fur trade. Each book will be a standalone, starring an Ojibway woman. The books will take place during different time periods in the 1700s and 1800s. I come from an area built on the fur trade and exploration. Many forts were constructed here, and the area is rich in history.
Jamie: What would readers be surprised to know about you?
Maggie: I always say I’m a reader first and a writer second. Although I’ve been creating characters in my head and making up stories since I was a tiny girl, I can’t get enough of reading. Reading is my passion. I read everything—even the back of cereal boxes! Hahaha. I MUST read. I have no choice. The same as I MUST write.