Today I’m thrilled to have as my guest author Maggie Blackbird, a fellow Extasy Books author whose stories I always eagerly await. An Indigenous Canadian herself, Maggie’s tagline is Romancing Canada’s Indigenous People one book at a time…
I always appreciate the sensitivity Maggie brings to both the First Nation experience and the prejudice and stumbling blocks faced by the many gay characters she writes.
A First Nation Guest Blog Post:
One of my favourite movies is Mad Max II aka The Road Warrior. It is a futuristic movie that takes place after modern society has fallen to the wayside. Two characters I rooted for over Max were Wez and The Golden Youth, an evil pair on a motorcycle who wanted to lay claim to the gasoline Max was helping a community protect.
Another of my favourite movies is Thunderheart, about a modern-day Lakota community divided by corruption. It takes place in the badlands of South Dakota.
And one of my favourite settings for historical romance novels is the wild west. I love historical novels and read them like people eat candy, hah!
I combined all of these elements to create Twisted Beauty, a m/m dystopian romance starring a Lakota man and an Ojibway man. Since I’m Ojibway, I enjoy researching and exploring other Indigenous nations, so it was fun to incorporate the male leads’ cultural beliefs and ceremonies into the novel.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it.
His community or his enemy. He can’t have both.
Deep in the badlands, long after the fall of modern civilization, Hunter patrols the area as the war chief for his Lakota community. His latest mission is to hunt down a marauder who robbed his neighbors of their precious goods. He’ll act as this man’s judge, jury, and executioner.
Having lost everything at his former Ojibway encampment, Chassis is far from home. He wanders the badlands, a grim reaper bringing death to those with what he needs to survive. But there is one man courageous enough to challenge him.
When the duo faces off, neither expects the sizzling chemistry to erupt between them, nor for their duel to touch what both have denied themselves. Now they must choose to either remain together and sacrifice their beliefs, or go their separate ways, losing what they’ve spent their lives searching for—love.
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With each ginger step, the heels of Hunter’s boots cut into the soft mire. The lyrical sound of flowing water drifted to his position on the downslope of the channel.
As he brushed aside the branches, he kept his arm bent while holding the barrel to the .38 Special skyward. There was only half a moon, which didn’t help. The same for the tall trees hindering light from penetrating the canopy. Although he was enveloped in pitch-black and his sight had adjusted to the dark, he was forced to squint. For ten minutes, he’d stalked through the forest.
Closer. Getting much closer.
The scent of burnt coals lingered under his nose, although there was no sign of smoke.
Perspiration coated his upper lip. The pounding of his heart was reminiscent of the echoing beat from the sacred drum back at the community. Adrenaline. He’d faced this many times when having to kill someone. Also, it was the reality—he had no choice but to hunt vermin in the same manner the vermin preyed upon his people.
An owl hooted, and he froze. He whipped his head in the direction of the horned feathered bird seated in a tree, watching. This wasn’t good. Hinhán was the spirit of the dead. He swallowed. The dead only arrived for one reason…to lead someone to the dog star where his ancestors resided.
He shook his head.
He must focus.
Drawing in a breath, he repeated his earlier performance of squint straight ahead and then shift his gaze to the ground. There still wasn’t a hint of the marauder anywhere, but the fucker was here. Somewhere. He took another glance at the ground, continuing to ensure he didn’t snap or crush anything that could alert others to his presence. The bandana still wrapped his temples, and he’d donned his buckskin jacket because the temperature had dropped a good ten degrees. He’d also tucked his ponytail within the jacket to keep his hair out of the way.
He sidestepped a huge rock that enabled him to inspect the uneven, pebbled shoreline, and then glimpsed around his hiding spot.
Nothing. Just evidence of a campsite. During his one-mile trek, he’d seen no signs of the Mustang, but this was the marauder’s resting place for the night. He took in a water skin, flannel shirt, leather jacket, bedroll, backpack, and a rabbit in a wooden cage.
Hmm, the furry critter must be the marauder’s dinner.
The deliberate snapping of a twig pricked Hunter’s ears. He whipped on his heel but was too late.
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.