1) The idea came from an author friend who suggested that I and two other authors write a paranormal romance featuring a corn maze and a scarecrow.
2) Corn is called Mandaamin in Ojibway, and Mandaamin is also the corn spirt of the Ojibway people.
3) The Ojibway celebrate the fall harvest with corn as a staple for the feast.
4) I used this cultural knowledge to create Born for This.
5) I wanted to combine historical and contemporary times so I made the heroine, Edie, travel back in time through the corn maze she comes upon. I also made the scarecrow Mandaamin, the corn spirit of the Ojibway people.
Five Facts about the heroine, Edie Whitecrow:
1) Edie is obsessed with the past and her Ojibway ancestors.
2) She longs to live in the past instead of the present.
3) To feed her obsession, she’s majoring in Indigenous studies at university.
4) She feels like she doesn’t belong in the twenty-first century, but believes she should have been born in the past.
5) She has two older brothers and a younger sister. Her second oldest brother and her sister will have books of their own in the series.
Born for This (Maizemerized, book one)
She’s always been obsessed with her ancestors, and now he’s offering her a chance to live with them…forever.
Second-year university student Edie Whitecrow gobbles up each course on Indigenous studies. If only she could experience the lives of her Anishinaabe ancestors instead of reading about them. On her way to a Halloween party decked out as a historical Ojibway maiden, she spies a corn maze in a spot known to be barren.
A scarecrow figure beckons Edie to enter with the enticing offer of making her biggest wish come true. She jumps at the chance and finds herself in the past, face to face with the man who haunts her dreams—the handsome brave Thunder Bear. He claims he’s spent twelve years waiting for Gitche Manidoo to send her to him.
Life in the eighteenth century isn’t what Edie romanticized about, though. When her conscience is tested, she must choose between the modern day or the world of her descendants—where the man she was created for resides.
Genre(s): Time Travel, Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, First Nations/Native American, Cultural, Adult.
Purchase a copy at eXtasy Books
“It is as my vision spoke. She will walk through the flames to join me…”
A man’s voice whirled into Edie’s thoughts. No, not her thoughts. His rich tone lovelier than a song had penetrated her eardrums. Nor had he spoken English, but Ojibway, and not the Anishinaabemowin she studied in class. Koko had called the language Great-Grandpa had interpreted for the courts the old language. Even stranger, she understood him.
“Ishkode-kwe,” he whispered.
Edie blinked. He’d called her Fire Woman. “I…I…”
Oh, heaven help her, standing beside the bush of green where buttercups sprung was the very man who’d haunted her dreams since childhood. His bronzed, long, strong fingers grasped the stems of flowers—the very same hands that had always reached across the mist to her.
Hair darker than a moonless sky was braided into two plaits and parted down the middle. His nose was long and sharp. Eyes that matched the hue of his hair were narrow in shape. Cheekbones capable of cutting diamonds sat high on his oblong face. Lips the shade of poppies, yet very slim, were pursed in a questioning pucker. Never had she’d drank in such a gorgeous specimen of the male persuasion before. Machismo seemed to emanate from him.
No. Wait. Wrong word. He wasn’t some macho guy like the boys at university. Courage, strength, and bravery sprang from his athletic body. His masculinity originated from the confidence in his straight posture, hard abs, and forward stare.
Again, he held out his offering.
“I’m…I’m not supposed to be here…” Just as Edie smoothed her dress, she slapped her hand over her mouth. She’d spoken the old language. They could communicate. The scarecrow hadn’t been a joke or a mirage. This was real. Realer than…
She pinched the back of her hand and winced from the sharp prick.
“Yes, you are to be here.” He curiously peered at her hand, no doubt thinking she was insane for intentionally hurting herself. “The Thunderbirds willed this, for it stormed during my entire quest.”
“Wh-what?” she sputtered. He had a vision about her, just as she’d dreamed about him? “That wasn’t a scarecrow. It was Mandaamin.”
“You speak of our corn spirit?” He tilted his head.
“I’m…I was going to a Halloween party. There was a corn maze. A scarecrow. All kinds of…” She stopped. He’d have no clue what any of that was, and her interpretation from English to Ojibway had sounded weird, because she’d had to reference Halloween as the fun night of the dead, which was taboo to talk about in her culture of those who’d passed, much less have a party. Calling a scarecrow the man made from grass must have also stumped him.
“Fun night of the dead?” He peered. “Grass man? Lost in the corn?”
“I’m…I’m not from here.” She pointed behind her while swiveling to the vanished dancing flames.
“No, you are not. I know so.” He hedged in closer. His mouth moved into a slight curve. “Are you not going to accept my offering?”
“I…uh…um…” She reached out and clutched the bouquet. No man had ever gifted her with flowers before, much less upon meeting her. She couldn’t help herself and brought the buttercups up to her nose and sniffed. “Meegwetch.”
He nodded, his lips still curved in a welcoming smile. Then he tapped his chest. “I am Nimkii Makwa.”
Thunder Bear. No wonder there’d been a storm during his quest. She licked her lips. “I’m Edie.”
Slowly, he shook his head back and forth. “Ishkode-kwe.”
It was only appropriate he thought of her as Fire Woman, because she had appeared to him through the flames of the maze. Or maybe he saw her as Fire Woman in his vision.
About 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.