Interview with Author Maggie Blackbird

My guest today is author Maggie Blackbird. Hello! Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age! It’s such a pleasure to have you here. 
 
Hello!  Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today!
 
It's my pleasure! 

  Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it? 


https://books2read.com/u/mdLJMy

My latest book, Redeemed, book two in the Matawapit Family Series, was released on Friday, April 19, 2019, through eXtasy Books. This book can be read as a standalone, or you can read it as a companion novel to Blessed, the first book in the series.

Here is the series blurb:

The Matawapit Family:  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.

And the tagline for the book:

A single woman battles to keep her foster child from his newly-paroled father—a dangerous man she used to love.

You can purchase Redeemed on most online booksellers.
 


Okay, great! 

Is there anything which prompted this book? Something that inspired you?


Since I’m Ojibway, the romance I write stars Canada’s Indigenous People. And I’m inspired by the issues we face. The Matawapit Family Series focuses on the negative impact the Indian Residential Schools has on the aboriginal people since many suffer inter-generational trauma. For the hero, whose parents and grandparents attended these schools, he is raised in an alcoholic environment and has belonged to an aboriginal street gang since his youth. He is battling to overcome his past, and win back his son and Bridget.
 
I always find it interesting to see where the muse takes us as writers.

Let me ask a different question.

When did you know you wanted to write? Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

Writing has always been a pastime. My job at the time kept me on the road, so to unwind at night in my hotel room, I’d write. My younger sister, bless her eyes, was the unlucky person who got to read my first seven novels. LOL.
 
My sister was my beta reader in the beginning too! 

Do you have any favorite authors yourself, Maggie?

Yes, I do. For the romance genre, it’s Johanna Lindsey and Rosanne Bitter. These two women both write historical romance. Johanna delves into many eras, while Rosanne focuses on the American West. Both know how to create memorable characters, lots of emotion, and strong plots.

For Indigenous literature, the late Ojibway author Richard Wagamese is at the top of my list. He wrote fiction and non-fiction. One of his novels, Indian Horse, was made into a movie and produced by Clint Eastwood. I read the book about three years ago, but I’ve yet to see the film version of it. I did purchase the DVD, so I will get around to popping it into my DVD player one of these days.
 

Nice!

So, do you write in a specific place? Time of day? 


I’m a morning person, so mornings are my writing time. Mind you, it takes a couple of hours to finally get around to writing. Most of the time I spend the first couple of hours scheduling blog posts for my own blog, moderating a Facebook group I belong to, promoting myself (like answering these questions...LOL), promoting other authors, and other writing-related work. Then I finally get to write. I start off in my home office and gradually make my way to my laptop in the living room. My one dog keeps me on schedule LOL. He tells me when I’ve spent too much time in the office and to go join him loafing in front of the TV.

If I’m drafting, I always have a target word count I must make. Since I’m running on fumes right now, because I just released a book, and finished fast-drafting another book (my crit partner has it right now), for the last novel in the series, my fast-drafting for the month of May is a target of 1,700 words per day. But I’m been making 1,800 so far, which is great.



I'd say so! :)

Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?


Butt in chair and write. You can’t edit a blank page. There are many times I don’t want to write. I mean, many, many, many times. But this is what I do, so I write, whether I’m in the mood or not.

Such a helpful tip!

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit us here today at Writing in the Modern Age. It was wonderful having you!  :)


Readers, here is the blurb for Redeemed, book two of the Matawapit Family Series.
  


https://books2read.com/u/mdLJMy


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.
 


Purchase Links:

 

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mdLJMy

Publisher: https://www.extasybooks.com/product/product/?series_id=1534&product_id=6400

BookStrand: https://www.bookstrand.com/redeemed-2




Here is an excerpt from the book.


Bridget held the hymnal, singing the last song after Father Arnold had given the concluding rites, dismissing the congregation with his blessing. Kyle stood beside her, holding tight to the pew in front of them where Jude, Charlene, Noah, and Rebekah stood.

The overhead fans spinning round and round kept the packed church from becoming too hot.

When the pipe organ stopped playing, Bridget shut the hymnal.

“Can we go now? Can we go now?” Kyle shuffled in the pew.

“Yes.”

“Here he is.” Jude gestured, his dimples appearing.

A tall man with blond hair, ice-water blue eyes, and broad shoulders sashayed up the aisle, moving against the people leaving their pews and heading for the narthex.

Bridget dug her nails into the leather of her purse. What on earth was Jude doing?

“This is Stephen Baker. He’s visiting his mother for the week. Stephen, this is my wife, Charlene. My kids, Rebekah and Noah. My sister, Bridget. And her foster son, Kyle.” Using his hand, Jude made a sweeping motion. “Everyone, I met Stephen at the principals’ workshop that was held on Thursday and Friday. Stephen’s the big pooh-bah of Sacred Heart in Kenora.”

Mrs. Baker approached, a recent member of the parish’s Catholic Women’s Association after relocating to Thunder Bay at the start of spring, who always smelled of rich perfume. “Good morning. Forgive my tardiness. I was chatting with a couple of ladies. I see everyone met my son.”

“Good morning, Mrs. Baker. I was about to tell everyone I asked Stephen if he’d join us for brunch, and suggested he ask you to join us.” Deception didn’t lurk in Jude’s smile, so maybe he wasn’t attempting to play matchmaker.

“Yes. Yes. Stephen told me.” Mrs. Baker tittered. “It’s a pleasure. Always a pleasure. Everyone in Thunder Bay is as kind and friendly as they are in Kenora.”

“Did you reserve enough seats?” Bridget made sure to send her brother a full-out stink eye.

Jude’s upper lip tugged at the corner, but he refrained from smirking. “Stephen’s a fan of the Benny’s chain. He asked if we could eat there instead of The Bistro. Since he’s our guest, I said yes.”

Okay, there wasn’t a need for Bridget to panic. Thunder Bay had two Benny’s. “Which one?”

“The one on Arthur.”

Bridget’s mouth dried. She couldn’t blame Jude for causing an uncomfortable situation because the dumb-ass had no idea Adam worked at Benny’s.

~~

Life couldn’t get any worse, and why should Bridget care that Adam would see her at the restaurant? Who she joined for brunch wasn’t any of his business. Still, her hands trembled from sitting beside Stephen to her left and Kyle to her right.

Since it was eleven o’clock, everyone who attended one of the many churches in the neighborhood filled the tables and booths, all decked out in their Sunday finest.

The waitress had already taken their orders. Bridget added a dash of cream and two sweeteners to her coffee. At least they were seated by the window and could watch the traffic humming up and down Arthur Street.

“You’re not a fan of sugar?” Stephen’s white teeth appeared as he smiled a cozy smile, the kind a man bestowed on a woman during a date.

“No. I try to watch whatever I eat. I’m not one of those health freaks.” Bridget stirred the coffee, thankful to keep her hands busy. “But I’m careful about what goes into my mouth.”

“Mom says too much sugar wrecks my teeth.” Kyle lifted his glass of milk. “She said this is good for me because it makes my teeth stronger.”

“It sure does.” Stephen’s eyes twinkled. “What you’re doing is quite honorable.”

“Excuse me?” All Bridget had done was stir coffee.

“Being a foster mother.”

“Oh.” She laughed. “There’s nothing honorable about it. I love caring for him.” She ran her hand along Kyle’s prickly, short hair.

“Almost four years, Mom says.” Kyle raised his fingers. “That’s how long we’ve been together.”

“Really? I bet you love it, hey?” Stephen asked.

“Yep. Dad’s back. I see him on Wednesdays at the place where children go if they don’t have a mom and dad. A lady watches us. She takes notes. Mom’s there, too.”

Bridget’s face burned hot.

“Oh?” Stephen’s mink brow arched. “I bet you enjoy that, don’t you?” His blue eyes warmed again.

“I do. Me and Mom gave Dad a ride after our last visit. It was fun. Mom’s going to ask Mrs. Dale if Dad can have supper with us. There are rules we have to follow, Mom said. Mrs. Dale always has to be there when we see Dad.”

“Honey, I don’t think this is an appropriate conversation at the dinner table.” For the second time Bridget smoothed Kyle’s hair. “Remember, we’re supposed to talk about fun stuff. Tell Mr. Baker what grade you’ll start right away.”

“Two.” Kyle again held up his fingers. “I get to help Father Arnold serve Mass. My Uncle Emery did. He said it’s very important.”

“Your uncle’s right. It’s very important.” Stephen lifted his mug to his slim lips. “I bet you’re looking forward to making your First Communion.”

“I am. Mom said the teacher will teach us about it.”

“He’s very friendly.” Warmth and a hint of curiosity lurked in Stephen’s voice.

Bridget squirmed closer against the back of her chair and toward Kyle.

“Jude told me you’re the director of the Indigenous Students Center at the university.”

“Yes. I worked my way up. I started out as the Indigenous Advisor after I earned my degree. When the original director moved back east, I applied for the position, and they hired me.” Bridget gathered the napkin into her palm. “That was six years ago.”

“You climbed the career ladder pretty young, then.”

“I’m not that young. I’m thirty-six.”

“A woman who reveals her age.” Stephen grinned.

“I’m one of those women who isn’t scared to tell anyone my age or weight.” Bridget sipped her coffee. “Both are numbers. Nothing more.”

“That’s a great outlook. I don’t mean to be bold, but not seeing a ring on your finger surprises me.”

The coffee sat funny in Bridget’s stomach. She faced Stephen. “My life’s too busy. There’s work. I also volunteer for the Kitchi-Gaming Friendship Center and the Indigenous Women’s Alliance. I can’t forget the Catholic Women’s Association. I not only serve on our CWA’s parish council, I’m also on the diocesan council. And then there’s number one here, who comes first, above everything and anything.”

She rested her arm on the back of Kyle’s chair.

“Where do you find the time?”

“I’m not sure.” She rubbed the back of Kyle’s chair.

Stephen’s lips tugged at the corners. “Do you allow yourself free time to socialize?”

The next few months might be Bridget’s last with Kyle if Adam had a say. “No. I don’t. Kyle’s number one for now.”

Eyes slightly narrowed, Stephen tilted his head. He could try reading someone else’s mind. Bridget wouldn’t give him any more information. It was time to talk about why Stephen was single.

~~

From the kitchen, Adam pushed on the exit swinging door and wandered into the hallway. People stood in the lobby area, waiting for a table. He had ten minutes before the overflowing grill demanded his attention again.

The window offered a clear view of the parking lot. His stomach jumped when he spotted Bridget’s sporty black truck parked in front of him. If she was here, Kyle must be here. They’d probably come from church.

He eased down the hallway, not too close but close enough to get a view of the seating area. Through the clutter and crowd, her long black hair shone under the sunlight streaming in through the big window. Jude’s family was there, and an old woman. A blond-haired man sat beside Bridget.

Adam’s throat constricted. He stumbled backward and banged against the wall. The employee door was directly in front of him, and he pushed it open. When he stormed outside, wind ruffled his hair but did nothing to cool the hot anger pricking his skin. Even when he lit the cigarette and sucked on the filter, the nicotine failed to expel the continuous waves of heat flooding his face.

He cast aside the butt and stomped back inside. Workers continued to race from the kitchen with orders for guests. Adam threaded his way through the staff and trounced into the employee lounge where a payphone was kept.

Through black spots in front of his eyes, he managed to yank a quarter from his pocket and shove the coin into the slot. He wrenched the receiver from the phone and punched in Bridget’s number.

If she didn’t answer, goddamned right he was going out there to confront her.
 



So, what are people saying about this book?
 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really loved this second Matawapit Family book REDEEMED even more than the first! Maggie Blackbird really draws you into this world and these characters that are completely believable and relatable. As in the first book, this story touches on subjects we tend to shy away from (gang violence, foster system, et cetera.). Yet, it also draws us into the story in such a way that it forces us to look beyond our own limited viewpoints on them. Mostly, this is a story each and every one of us can relate to in some form--second chances at forgiveness and the desire for our own happily ever after. In this, the story and subject matter was remarkably tackled and battle lovingly won. I highly recommend REDEEMED, particularly for a book club selection that would make for some great discussion. - Addison Carmichael, Goodreads


"This book is about recovery and second chances. Bridget is raising her son Kyle alone but Adam, the baby’s father, is now out of jail. He wants to win back the woman he loves and the son he wants to get to know. But can he convince them that he’s done with alcohol and gang banging. Can he be the man they both need?

There were a lot of heavy subjects in this book. The gang life, prison, addiction and it all gave the book a very real feel. They have a push and pull relationship that just makes them grow closer as Adam recovers. I enjoyed their story. The sex is good, but this more of an emotional book rather than a romance. Redeemed is an intricate, heavy story that I enjoyed reading.
" - Bella, The TBR Pile Blog




Awesome...add this novel to your Goodreads bookshelf, readers! 

The book sounds like a great read! We'll be sure to check out this multicultural romance!

Get it now!

 

https://books2read.com/u/mdLJMy




Author Bio


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.
 

Author Links:

Website: 
https://maggieblackbird.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/maggieblackbirdauthor/  
 
Maggie's Books: 


https://books2read.com/u/mdLJMy



https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F6DL98W/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

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