Monday, February 25, 2019

COVER REVEAL: Redeemed By Maggie Blackbird


Today, I’m hosting my friend and fellow eXtasy Books author, Maggie Blackbird. Maggie is of the Ojibway Nation, from northern Ontario. Her first book, “Blessed” has made an impact across the romance genre, as well as Canadian books in general.

I am honored to be doing the cover reveal for her second book, “Redeemed”, which is Book 2 of the Matawapit family series. The heroine, Bridget is the older sister of one of the heroes of “Blessed”, Emery, and “Redeemed” chronicles her journey with her former lover, Adam.

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VJ: Welcome Maggie. Thanks for being here.

“Blessed” is an amazing story, and quite ambitious for a first novel because although it deals with issues like sexuality and the church, it shows them in a whole new light.

Do you think “Redeemed” will have the same punch as its predecessor?

Maggie:   I hope so.  Redeemed addresses Indigenous children in foster care, aboriginal street gangs, and The Indian Residential Schools.  The residential schools, of course, carry throughout the series.

VJ: What were some of the difficulties you faced while writing the Matawapit Family series?

Maggie:   I can’t think of any difficulties I faced, other than Emery’s character in Blessed, which I’ll address in the next question.

VJ: Which of the three installments was the most difficult to write?

Maggie:   Blessed.  Emery was a difficult character, and I mean this in a good way.  He’s a very private man, so getting him to share his thoughts, beliefs, and sexuality on paper wasn’t easy.  His character is bashful and quite modest.  If he had his way, he would’ve continued to live in my head, and not out in the publishing world.  I even called on the help of a developmental editor because he was being that difficult.  He’s not a difficult character as an individual, but difficult because he doesn’t want readers invading his privacy.  And if I address what else his problem was, I’ll be spoiling the plot for those who haven’t read the book.  This “problem” was why I had to contact a developmental editor for advice.

VJ: Which of the three stories was the easiest to do?

Maggie:  Sanctified.  Jude and Raven are go-getters and very assertive.  They each know what they want.  Neither is shy about starring in a romance novel.  I’ll admit finishing the last 15% of the novel has been rough, and it’s not Raven and Jude’s fault. It’s my fault because I’m tired LOL.  I started Sanctified for my NaNo project.  I wrote 60K in November.  I had to take a break through December and January to edit Redeemed.  So I had to tweak quite a few drafted chapters for Sanctified at the beginning of February because of Jude.  Now I’m back on track, determined to finish this draft.

VJ: What’s in store for Bridget and Adam on their journey?

Maggie:  The blurb doesn’t mention Mrs. Dale, a social worker for the fictional Children and Family Services.  Her role isn’t big, but it’s big enough to impact Bridget and Adam’s budding relationship, and why if Bridget follows her heart, she risks losing Kyle.

VJ: Did you ever expect to have this much impact and popularity after only one novel?

Maggie:  I’ll be honest.  I’m clueless about this impact and popularity hahaha  Never knew it existed.  Someone forgot to send me the memo!

VJ: What influenced you to write this series?

Maggie:   Blessed started out as a short story, and it grew from there.  I always had the setting, the two main characters (Emery and Darryl), but their story was different in the original short draft.  The two felt it wasn’t enough for them, so the short story expanded into a novel.  While writing the novel, Bridget and Jude (Emery’s older brother and sister) decided they also wanted a story.  I liked their backstories enough to say, “Okay, I’ll make this a series and give them each a novel.”

VJ: You have a third book almost finished, “Sanctified”. Will we be seeing Bridget, Emery and their husbands in it?

Maggie:   The adult children appear in all three novels.  Along with Norman (the deacon and patriarch of the family) and Maria (wife of the deacon and mother to Emery, Bridget, and Jude).  So do the Kabatay family, enemy of the Matawapit family.  Each book is a stand-alone.  You don’t need to read all three, but I do encourage it because the Kabatays have an arc that carries through the three novels.

VJ: What are your plans for future books?

Maggie:   I’ve been hemming and hawing whether to write a fourth book for the Matawapit Family series, but we’ll see.  Right now, a trilogy has my interest and has been waiting patiently (read: impatiently) in the background.  I already have sixteen chapters written.  It’ll take place at the fictional Thunder Mountain First Nation located beside Thunder Bay during the “grunge/alt. music” era.

This is the logline that is subject to change for the new trilogy:  A drug-dealing punk and the chief’s haughty, privileged son, fall for each other, even though they stand on opposing sides of a raging political conflict that could tear apart their Ojibway community, and their newfound love.

Thanks for dropping by Maggie. It was fun, as always!

Don’t forget, Maggie’s first book, “Blessed” is available on eXtasy Books’ website in a variety of formats. “Redeemed” will be out sometime soon, I will update when I find out!




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

Blurb:  Bridget Matawapit is an Indigenous activist, daughter of a Catholic deacon, and foster mother to Kyle, the son of an Ojibway father—the ex-fiancĂ© 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.



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.

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MEN IN LOVE AND AT WAR by LJ Collins: GUEST SPOT!

Good morning everyone! Today, I'm hosting fellow eXtasy Books author, LJ COLLINS in his Men in Love and at War Blog Tour, via SILVER DAGGER TOURS. ENJOY! :)

Men in Love and at War

**All books are on sale at a 30% discount until Feb 28th!!**
**Get the first 5 books at 50% off here: http://bit.ly/2CRKv6z ***



Mistela
Men in Love and at War Book 1
by LJ Collins
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romantic Suspense



When the cruise ship Luke Ganes is working on sinks off the coast of South America, he thinks he has met his watery grave. Regaining consciousness, he finds himself in a different world that defies the laws of both nature and gravity. With the help of his saviour, Girufu, he slowly comes to terms with his new environment and learns to love his new home, Mistela. When he hears about the evil Taronas and their quest to slay the Pescamans, he develops a plan to save his newfound friends from their brutal attacks. As time passes, Girufu proves to Luke he is the lover Luke has always been looking for. But when Girufu pushes Luke to the limits of his sexuality, he panics and begins a desperate journey, seeking a way back to Earth. His arch-rival Janus convinces him he can help. Only love and a cunning plan can save him from certain death.

**Get the first 5 books at 50% off here: bit.ly/2CRKv6z ***


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EXCERPT:

Book 1 – Mistela Excerpt

Luke had died and gone to Heaven. A silver-white planet hung in the mocha-violet sky like Earth’s moon—but this had to be Heaven’s sun, because the blistering light made him squint. Its heat was strong like a man’s touch. Bubbly champagne waves crept up the shore, and a thousand glistening fairies danced their way back to the calming sea where silver angels floated effortlessly on the surface. Luke had to examine the tall arching palm trees that adorned the shoreline more closely. Their leaves! They pointed up, as if the world had been turned upside down. Was that Heaven? Was it a world of opposites, where there was a moon for the sun, champagne for the salty ocean water and leaves that ran from the sand? He closed his eyes to a spinning darkness and it frightened him—as if he’d slipped into a bad dream.
Like smelling salts, gardenia mixed with magnolia filled his nose and his eyes shot wide open again. Nothing had changed. He was still in an upside down world. The waterfall behind him confirmed it. Upon closer inspection he noticed it was travelling upward. As he squinted to focus more closely, he saw a lake floating above the waterfall, seemingly weightless, like a cloud suspended in thin air. Had he been drugged? No. No, he hadn’t. He’d died and gone to Heaven, surely?
He rubbed the sleep from his eyes, reached out to his right and stumbled across a wooden rail. He took a double take. A wooden rail. With wide alert eyes he quickly scanned his surroundings. He found a rectangular wooden hut that was held together with string. A bowed wooden floor greeted his feet and a roof fabricated from palm tree leaves shielded him from the sun.
The greying rail creaked as Luke pulled himself to his feet. Sun-bleached honey-coloured straw chafed the bottom of his feet and toes. Where the hell was he?
Luke clung to his head as if he’d been hit hard with a hammer. Of course—the cruise ship. He’d been on a cruise ship that had sunk. Every hair on Luke’s body stood on end. He could be anywhere.
Life drained from his body. His legs trembled and buckled, causing him to stumble forward. He grabbed hold of the twisted, cracking rail with both hands. Once he regained his balance he breathed in sharply, pushed himself up using what little strength his arms could offer, and turned around.
The rest of the hut resembled a sitting room. In the centre, a rough chunk of mahogany tree trunk twenty inches high served as a coffee table. Surrounding it were four lengths of tree trunk, three feet wide and five feet tall, that had L’s carved into them to provide oversized bucket seats. In the far left hand corner, he could see a counter that was supported by wonky tree branches held together with string.
Luke breathed out sharply and covered his mouth with his hands. All he wanted was the answer to one question. Where was he? The answer he had in his head almost brought tears to his eyes. Based on the landscape and colours, it didn’t look or feel like Earth.
When he heard someone or something moving behind him, Luke jolted forward so violently he fell to his knees.
“Hey, little man, there’s no need to be so nervous. I only wanted to welcome you to Mistela.”
When he turned around and saw what was walking toward him, Luke tried to scramble to his feet, but his under nourished and lethargic body would not let him. The best he could do was shuffle his way to the far end of the room on his hands and knees as fast as his cumbersome body would take him.
He grabbed out with both hands to find something solid, something that would offer him some support, but loose straw just crumpled in his hands. Wild eyed, his gaze darted to his right. He acknowledged a dense forest deprived of light that led to who knew what. Beyond that was a never-ending sea that would surely be his next watery grave.
An eight foot tall hulking giant, wearing what looked like a bronzed wet suit, stomped toward him. The wooden floor groaned beneath him with every footstep.
Luke’s arms and legs lashed out involuntarily trying to find an escape route. But when the Herculean creature stood directly above him, he froze. Desperately, he quickly surveyed his predator. Bulking shoulders that supported a thick bulldog neck craned forward, bringing the narrow almond face, aquiline nose and small elongated nostrils closer into view. Luke let out a sigh of relief. At least it had human-like features. Perhaps it had the mentality and attitude of a human, too.
He breathed in sharply when he saw the flat, pinned backed ears, wavy lips and flaps of folded skin on his neck. Its green eyes and oval yellow pupils mesmerised Luke. He felt like a deer caught in headlights, unable to move despite knowing it was about to be annihilated.
Luke was consumed with helplessness. Even if his drained body was capable of running, he would not have known where to run. He was in a strange place that he did not know. More worrying was the fact he’d no idea what else might be out there. If the creature towering above him was eight feet tall, what other giant monsters or beasts were out there waiting for him?
He had to accept that since he was only five feet eleven inches tall, this being would be able to catch him within a matter of seconds and crush him into pulp if it wanted to.

The 12 Gods
Men in Love and at War Book 2


What’s in a dream? Maybe nothing or everything. There’s certainly more to it when the same dream keeps recurring and can’t be ignored. Justin’s best friend Lucas suspects it has something to do with their upcoming holiday to Mykonos. He predicts something strangely wonderful is going to happen to Justin while they are there. But nothing could prepare Justin for what was in store for him. 

When The 12 Gods fear that humans have learned to think for themselves, diminishing their Godly powers, four Gods are sent to Earth to find out what is really going on. Hesodo is particularly keen to go, but to accomplish a completely different mission—to find Justin and win him back. When Justin has a tragic accident, there is only one option, which results in Justin finding out more than he bargained for about his past love and history, teaching him that dreams should never be ignored.

**Get the first 5 books at 50% off here: bit.ly/2CRKv6z ***


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Sun, Sea and a Contemporary Art Gallery
Men in Love and at War Book 3



Coming from an underprivileged background in the East End of London, Berkeley sets himself the challenge to escape poverty and do well for himself. Armed with a good brain and determination, he succeeds and wants for nothing, but there’s a bitter price to pay. Now the challenge is with himself, and he escapes to the quiet of Tenerife for love, only to lose it promptly. What now? With no career or prospects in the unfamiliar country, what is Berkeley to do? He decides to set up business opening an art gallery, yet knows nothing about art. Comical disasters, veiled threats and visitors of a spiritual nature, believing that he’s to be served up to the Devil himself ensue. The whole experience pushes Berkeley to limits he’s never encountered before, and he learns the hard way that what goes around really does come around to haunt you. Only love and true friendships can bring him back to the real world.

**Get the first 5 books at 50% off here: bit.ly/2CRKv6z ***


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Computer Lover
Men in Love and at War Book 4



After the distress of dealing with a failed relationship and business, life starts to look up for Berkeley when he finds new work and discovers the joys of gay chat sites. When he meets a captain from the US Army, based in Iraq, his hopes of love and a bright future rise. After several months, the captain asks Berkeley to do him a special favour, so he can retire from the army and spend the rest of his days with him. Berkeley reluctantly agrees, but when the favour results in him having to part with his hard-earned cash, he is left with no other choice, but to go to the police. Captain Frances comes to his rescue and what starts out as a professional relationship quickly turns into a lot more as they uncover a major internet scam and strive for justice to be served.

**Get the first 5 books at 50% off here: bit.ly/2CRKv6z ***


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Royal Service
Men in Love and at War Book 5



Wherever Berkeley goes, or whatever he does, drama follows. Having recovered from the ordeal of being the victim of an internet scam, his life returns to normal working at a five-star hotel selling VIP vacation club memberships to wealthy clients, and being with the love of his life, Captain Rick. That is until he finds Rick cheating on him with a woman. Feeling sad and lonely, Berkeley is enticed by the prospects of high earnings and a jet setter lifestyle when he’s approached by one of his clients to be a high-class escort.

Whilst he revels in being treated like a prince, he has to accommodate some strange and unusual sexual requests, and before long he’s caught up in a web of espionage between a transport conglomerate and a client who is developing a futuristic technology that will change the future of transport forever. Only Berkeley knows how he’s going to weave his way out of his new-found problem.

**Get the first 5 books at 50% off here: bit.ly/2CRKv6z ***


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Rough Trade
Men in Love and at War Book 6



Berkeley is set for life after providing his Royal Services and decides to travel to London to visit his friends and family to cheer him up. There he has a raunchy chance encounter with a stranger on a train who he meets again in unsuspected circumstances. In between all the wild sexual antics, Leonard takes Berkeley back in time to a spiritual world of religious communes, demons, exorcisms, and Ouija boards that proves to be enlightening, unnerving, but most worryingly, life threatening.

When Berkeley returns to Tenerife to discover his gardener has had an accident, he enlists the help of a local beggar, a Moroccan man called Mohammed, to service his garden and him. The sadness and mystery of Mohammed’s past gradually unfolds, and when Berkeley tries to do the right thing to help him, he is confronted with the reality of Mohammed’s dark and chilling past.

Two different men spell double trouble for Berkeley, but he has never shied away from a challenge—or a gorgeous man—and he’s not about to now.



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Trade Babes Turned Bad
Men in Love and at War Book 7



Two things are still plaguing Berkeley—the unexplained and strange disappearance of Leonard, and the possible outcome of Mohammed’s retrial for a manslaughter charge. They say bad things always come in threes, and in Berkeley’s case that belief is no exception. When Berkeley gets a call from one of his best friends from London, Paul, his dose of bad karma is completed when he discovers Paul’s younger brother, Kenny, has been killed in a tragic car accident. Berkeley does his best to pacify Paul and stop him from going through with his ludicrous plan. In exchange, Berkeley has to agree to go back to London for the Trade reunion party. Berkeley and Paul have the time of their lives, but when dawn breaks and the party’s over, all hell breaks loose.


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The Road to Mount Evans
Men in Love and at War Book 8



Berkeley and Paul are excited about attending their first gay rodeo in Denver, Colorado. Even after a tiring fourteen-hour trip from London, the bright lights and prospect of meeting some horny cowboys instinctively draws them to Lower Downtown, where things aren’t exactly what Berkeley had expected. Whilst Paul revels in throwing himself at every available man in any bar or at any rodeo event, Berkeley has different expectations. Beyond his wildest hopes and dreams, Berkeley meets Nantan, a Native American, who sweeps Berkeley off his feet. But Berkeley discovers there is a lot more to Nantan than meets the eye.



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Return to Loveland
Men in Love and at War Book 9



While Berkeley is waiting at Gatwick airport for his transfer flight from Denver International airport to Tenerife, he convinces himself the dream he’d had on the plane was more than just a dream. Battling against rational thoughts and raw emotions, Berkeley follows his gut instincts in search of the Native American, Nantan. Curious and keen to understand more about Nantan’s life as a wolf, Berkeley gets a lot closer than he expected to finding out what it’s really like. Love conquers all as Berkeley escapes a close encounter with death that cements his future with Nantan.



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The Imposter
Men in Love and at War Book 10



Berkeley’s high spirits are dampened when he opens his world up to three relative strangers and is confronted with a series of macabre happenings. When things get out of hand, Berkeley turns to his ex-partner, Captain Rick, to help unravel the mystery of what’s happening and why. Berkeley’s gardener, Rene, a Santeria Priest, is the obvious suspect. But is he too obvious and being set-up? Jacob, an author, has the creative mind to develop and execute such a cunning and sophisticated plan. Nantan has inside knowledge and the opportunity. With another few suspects thrown into the pot, Berkeley and Rick have their work cut out before time runs out and death strikes again.


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About the Author
Born and raised in London, Lee worked as a successful senior management consultant before moving to Tenerife to pursue a more fulfilling life and to focus on his writing.
For Lee, the writing process is all about when the mind and the fingers connect. He plans stories in his head, but when the fingers take over, something else comes out...but invariably, he is happy that he let his fingers do the talking.
He works with an amazing team at eXtasy/Divine books who inspire and encourage his writing. He calls Jay Austin, the Chief Editor in Charge, Laura McNellis, his editor and Carmen Waters, his artist, THE DREAM TEAM. No further explanation required...


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Giveaway
Complete ebook set of the Men in Love and at War series!
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/men-in-love-and-at-war-series-book-tour-and-giveaway