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Book Info

Author:
Series:

When We Were Young

Publisher:
Devine Destinies
Published:
23 April 2021
Formats
Book Type
Pages:
238

Synopsis

Although they’re torn apart, they still hold a piece of each other’s heart.

After receiving his grade twelve diploma and marking his eighteenth birthday, René Oshawee cannot fight the temptation seventeen-year-old high school junior Billy Redsky blatantly offers now that what they share has become taboo.

When their secret romance is blown into the open, Billy’s foster parents send René to Toronto to complete the last of his schooling under the supervision of a family friend, leaving Billy behind at their Ojibway community.

Now Billy and René must make the biggest decision of their lives—fight for the true love they know they’ll never find with anyone else or go their separate ways.

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Hello everyone.  I’m Maggie Blackbird, an Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario.  I write romance starring Canada’s Indigenous People.  To celebrate the release of Knight Moves, book three in the When We Were Young series, I have hero number one in the interview chair.  Billy Redsky loves to talk.  Hopefully, I don’t run out of paper during this interview.

 

MaggieOkay, I spent a lot of time with you and René writing your series, and I know you enjoy a good yap.  Here is your root beer.  Are you ready to start?

 

Billy:  (takes root beer)  Thanks.  You betcha!  (raises can)

 

  1. Maggie: Here’s the first question.  The third book in the series, KNIGHT MOVES, takes place during the year 1998.  We’re post-grunge.  What music are you listening to now?

 

Billy:  Y’know, I’m discovering new stuff.  I was always listening to whatever René listened to, ’cause I’ll do anything to make him happy.  Maybe I even sorta wanted to be him in some strange way, but my friend Carla loaned me a few of her CDs.  She told me to give them a try.  I’m digging the Goo Goo Dolls, Hootie and the Blowfish, Gin Blossoms.  Stuff like that.

 

  1. Maggie: What’s your favourite scene in KNIGHT MOVES?

 

Billy:  (big wicked grin)  What else, man?  The…basement…scene.  Hah!  I know you want me to keep sort of quiet and not give away spoilers in the book, so I won’t say any more on that.

 

  1. Maggie: Yes, that was an awesome scene, and a big TY for keeping mum on it.  Moving along, what do you love most about René Oshawee, and what makes you want to shake him?

 

Billy:  I love everything about René. His name.  The way he smells.  The way he walks.  His voice.  He’s a soft spoken kind of guy.  His threads.  He’s a wicked cool dresser.  Yeah, I know I was s’posed to say one thing about him, but I love everything.  Even how serious he tends to get.  He’s just an A+ guy in my books.

 

As for what makes me want to shake him—he’s always gotta do the right thing!  Argh.  For once, bust a rule, dude!  Go with your heart.  Sheesh.  It drives me crazy.  But, y’know, I do give him major props to sticking to the white angel sitting on his right shoulder, instead of listening to that lil red devil on his left.  Him being the way he is taught me lots.

 

Another thing, he isn’t big on talking.  I wish he’d open his mouth more and tell me what’s ping-ponging around inside of his head.  It’s like trying to pry open a mouth that’s been sewn shut.  But he’s getting a bit better at this.  He knows now that we’re together, he has to talk more.

 

  1. Maggie: Yes, I can see how that would drive you crazy. Let’s go to the next question.  If KNIGHT MOVES was a candle, what scent would it be, and why?

 

Billy:  (smacks lips together)  That’s an easy one.  It’d smell like René.  He wears this awesome cologne and it smells crisp and clean.  I love that scent.  It’s my fave scent in the world.

 

  1. Maggie: If KNIGHT MOVES had a theme song, what would it be and why?

 

Billy:  Easy one.  Don’t Change for Me by the Gin Blossoms.  That song is so me and René.

 

  1. Maggie: If KNIGHT MOVES was a season, what would it be and why?

 

Billy:  Summer.  Easily.  A lot happens for us in the summer.  That season hits home for me in this book, even though René and I both prefer winter.

 

  1. Maggie: What are some of your pet peeves?

 

Billy:  (scowls and folds arms) People like my fam.  Lazy jerks who don’t wanna do anything to improve themselves.  People who wanna take the easy route instead of the hard one.

 

  1. Maggie: Yes, your brother and mother aren’t easy to life with, that’s for sure!  Anyhoo, next question.  What is something unique/quirky about you?

 

Billy:  That’s a good question.  I always gotta finish every sketch, even if I hate it.  I don’t know why, but I can’t leave anything I draw half-done.  I can take a break from it, but I always gotta go back and finish it.

 

  1. Maggie: Tell everyone where you grew up at.

 

Billy:  On the rez.  Thunder Mountain First Nation.  It’s across the Kam River from Thunder Bay, Ontario.

 

  1. Maggie: Describe yourself in five words.

 

René:  That’s a pretty cool question.  René calls me intrepid and pushy, so I guess I’m those.  I’m also artistic, I’ll admit I got a big mouth, and I’ll say what I think.

 

MaggieBilly, thank you very much for keeping the interview a nice length.  I was worried we’d be rambling on and on.

Review

Reviewed By: Josh Dale

5/5

This Is book three in the young adult series. This book continues from book2.

Rene Oshawee and Billy Redsky have come a long way since the start of the series.  Both characters have their own set of problems but one thing they share Is their deep love and commitment to each other.

In this book their commitment is put to the test, when after being caught shirtless and nearly having sex.  Rene’s parents and Billy foster parents the Oshawee’s forced into a difficult decision.

Knowing that they have crossed the line and wanting to protect Billy from his family. Rene suggests to his parents that they send him away to study in Toronto, thus ending their relationship.

The emotions between these two young men is so heartfelt and I just wanted to hug them.  They both try to move on, but each has their own battles to win.

Rene finally dips his feet in the coming out waters and gradually grows stronger and more confident with his sexuality.

Billy has a rollercoaster ride in this book.  He has grown so much, but still finds it difficult to control his temper and not fall into his old ways of temper tantrums.  The poor guy also must deal with his recovering alcoholic Mother.

A year later and things are looking up for Billy, he has made up with his mother, and he is hopeful that Rene and himself will be able to rekindle their relationship once he turns 18.

Then there is the biggest bombshell to rock Billy’s world when Rene and Billy go to pick up his mother, only to find her dead.

Billy’s Mother’s death brings about some changes for them both. Can they cross all the bridges to the other side of true love?   I cannot wait for the final book in the series to see if these guys get their well-deserved happy ever after.

 

Maggie has done a fantastic job throughout the series.  Weaving the Ojibway culture into the story with Ned’s strong guidance for Billy.  I love the time Billy spends with Ned.

One of my favourite scenes In the book is when Billy is on his vision quest, and he connects with nature’s simplicity to life and problems. I thought there was so much power in the message, and the way we look at life as what we want and not as what we need from life.

She has also developed not only Billy and Rene’s characters but also the secondary and minor characters, into vivid three-dimensional unique individuals, each with their own backstory and outlooks on life.

The strength and emotions Billy and Rene have really brings them to life and you can not help put feel their emotions both happy and sad.

 

A fantastic Young Adult, coming of age series, that ticks all the boxes to make it a great read,

Excerpt

Billy couldn’t stop pacing his room. They were cooked. Burnt toast. For sure Daniel was going straight to The General and Colonel. He was probably on the phone right now.

Footsteps padded down the hall. They weren’t the familiar clomp of Daniel’s formidable gait but René’s smooth saunter. Billy dashed to his door and threw it open to René on the other side. There might as well have been a thundercloud above his head with pouring rain.

“He’s gonna tell your parents, isn’t he?” Billy managed to squeak out through the ball forming in his throat.

This couldn’t be happening. They were in love. Madly, deeply in love. They hadn’t fought after René had pulled the unthinkable last year. They’d been getting along perfectly. Naturally, what they’d shared had almost led to sex. That was what happened when two people were crazy about each other.

Regret and hopelessness loomed in René’s eyes. He reached out and drew Billy into his arms, smothering him with his familiar crisp, clean scent. Being blanketed in such a tender embrace was enough to expand the lump in Billy’s throat. He couldn’t stop the tears from welling up.

“Wh-why?” Releasing those words when he could barely speak was like trying to suck a boulder through a straw.

“You know why,” René whispered. He stroked Billy’s back and used his broad chin to nuzzle him.

“Wh-what’d he say?” But Billy had his answer already. He clutched René tighter.

“What I keep telling you. I’m eighteen. I’m a high school graduate. You’re fostering at my place. You don’t need to take advanced grade twelve algebra to figure this calculation.” Pure misery was in René’s limp reply.

Then if he didn’t want to see them come to an end, why not fight for them? Billy squirmed until he was free of René’s clinch. He set his palms on René’s biceps and bore down on his despondent gaze. “You’re eighteen. You can make your own—”

“No.” René shook his head. He trailed his finger down Billy’s cheek. “You know why we had to keep us a secret.”

Billy buried himself back in René’s arms. “Can’t you talk to him? Can’t you tell him to keep it quiet?”

“I can try talk to him, but I know already what he’s going to say, Billy.”

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When We Were Young series

Check out our reviews for book 1 & 2

Book 1 Two Princes

Book 2 Toy Soldiers

 

Check out the books info

Book 1 Two Princes

Book 2 Toy Soldiers

GIVEAWAY

One e-copy of Knight Moves,

the third book in the When We Were Young series.

Eligibility:  Must leave a comment below.

Giveaway closes 0.01 GMT (Midnight)  Thursday 29 April 2021

Biography

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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