This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie Blackbird will be awarding a $10.00 eXtasy Books Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Description of The Circle is Small
An ex-cop returning to face his horrendous past, the woman who won’t forgive him, and the family who’ll never let him forget that he killed their son.
First Nations Constable Jordan Chartrand’s guilt can’t handle the accusing stares from the family left to mourn their son after that horrible night…so he flees from his Ojibway community and the woman he loves. Two years later, his mother’s cancer diagnosis forces him to return to help her.
Devoted schoolteacher Ellie Quill wants nothing to do with Jordan after he bolted to the city and left her behind. Her life goals are set. As for her secret, she’ll keep that to herself, even if Jordan’s begging to know the truth about her child.
When the two are compelled to work on a community project to address the rampant drug problem, their forced proximity slowly melts Ellie’s icy walls. But no matter how much her heart desires to give Jordan the second chance he’s begging for, she refuses to because providing a life for her son in the tradition of the Ojibway culture is her top priority now, not moving to the city where Jordan continues to hide.
Read an Excerpt of The Circle is Small
The bell tinkled above the door. Ellie, still hedging her way instead of outright walking, inched her way to the table. She set her purse on the back of the chair.
“I ordered a pot of tea. You wanna share?”
“Sounds good. What kind? The last time we met, the caffeine kept me up too late.”
“Good ol’ spruce. Your fave.” His face grew hot. Maybe he shouldn’t bring up reminders of the past.
The way her skin shone said she was flattered he’d remembered.
He gave himself a fictitious pat on the back for earning a point. “And fresh honey.”
Her smile was on the coy side. “Really? You’re going all out, aren’t you?”
Hmm, she was getting comfy and grinning. Her elbow rested on the table, and she’d cupped her chin in her palm. He also leaned in and caught a whiff of her fresh scent.
The waitress sauntered over with their pot of tea and honey. She set down the items and sashayed away, smirking.
Ellie’s brows bunched.
Jordan was about ready to arrest the waitress and cart her off to the holding cell for inciting irritation. Now he had to calm Ellie down before she found an excuse and bolted. “Never mind her. You know how people are around the rez. You can’t do anything without them squawking about it.”
He poured their teas.
Ellie continued to frown in the waitress’ direction.
“You gonna give her the power to dictate your feelings?”
“What?” Ellie squinted and faced him.
“You were having a good time. You gonna let her ruin it for you?”
“You’re right.” Ellie fixed her tea. “It’s been too long since I last went out.”
“That’s the spirit.” Jordan lifted his mug and sipped. The spruce mixed with honey was sweet pleasure on his tongue.
“Tell me something…” Ellie peeked at him over the rim of her mug.
“What’d you wanna know? I’m an open book.” He couldn’t help setting his forearm on the table.
His spine stiffened. “Winnipeg?”
Ellie nodded. “How’s your life going there?”
The sincerity in her gaze said she wasn’t attempting to goad him but sincerely wanted to know. It’d be a helluva lot better if you and your child were with me. Instead, he said, “It took some getting used to, but I don’t mind it. The pay could be better.”
“Where are you living?”
“North end. I got a bachelor suite. It came furnished.”
“You’re working at Portage Place. Right?”
“Yep. When I got the job, I wanted to be close by. Not stuck in some crazy commute. The north end also has a lot of ’Nish, so I feel right at home,” he told her, using the familiar shortened slang for Anishinaabe.
“Are you making lots of friends there?” She blew on her tea.
“Yeah. I made a few at work and met lots through the patrol group.”
Her lips parted, and then she clamped her mouth shut.
He’d best let her know he wasn’t dating anyone or hadn’t dated anyone. “I go home to a cold beer and TV dinner once I’m done my shift. That’s been my life for the last two years.”
“Oh?” Her gaze searched his face.
He didn’t look away. The offer was on the table. They’d come to the point where they had to shit or get off the pot. And he wasn’t getting off the toilet quite yet. “I told you why I had to leave.” He lowered his voice and leaned in even closer. “I couldn’t stay here after what happened. Leaving you behind… D’you really think I’d start dating again? After a girl like you?”
The lush bronze color on her face slowly turned white.
“When you came back after getting your teaching degree, and I saw li’l Ellie all grown up, damned straight I went and talked to your class. After our first date, I knew then you were the only woman for me.” His cards were laid on the table. Now he’d find out if she’d play a game of poker with him or forfeit her hand.
About Author 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.
Maggie Blackbird will be awarding a $10.00 eXtasy Books Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.