Character interview with Edie Whitecrow, heroine for Born for This, book one in the Maizemerized series.
What is your full name? Do you have a nickname (if so, who calls you this)?
Edie: I’m Edie Josephine Whitecrow. I’m named after my great-grandmother. No, I don’t have a nickname.
Where and when were you born?
Edie: I’m nineteen in the series that starts in the fall of 2021. So that makes me born in 2002. I was born in Emo, the town that’s a stone’s throw from my home Indian Reserve. I grew up on the rez.
Who are/were your parents? (Their names, birthplaces, occupations, personalities, etc.)
Edie: My mom’s a great mom, but she can be a little strict. She’s stuck in the 80s since that was when she “came of age.” Her name’s Brenda. She’s also from the rez. She works as the family services worker.
My dad’s a great dad. He’s not strict like my mom. He’s always telling me to “ask your mother” if I wanted or needed something over the top when I was a kid. His name is Brad and he manages the sawmill. I’d say my dad’s pretty laid back. He’s also from the rez. My mom and dad are high school sweethearts.
Do you have any siblings? If you do, what are/were they like?
Edie: I have three. Philip’s the oldest. He’s twenty-six and married. But no children yet. My mom’s getting anxious because she’s eager to become a koko. Justin doesn’t live on the rez. He went to school in Winnipeg and that’s where he resides. Justin’s as laid-back as Dad.
By the way, my parents named all of us after our great-grandparents.
I have another older brother Sonny. He’s twenty-three. He finished university and is working at the rez right now in the economic development department. Sonny lives up to his namesake because he’s as serious as my paternal great-grandfather, according to my parents.
The baby of the family is Amelia. She’s seventeen and very much a tomboy. She isn’t into the normal high school girl stuff. Instead, she loves learning everything about the land with our shoomis. They’re always outdoors together. When she goes away to university, she wants to take something that will enable her to work outdoors.
Where do you live now, and with whom?
Edie: At the start of the novel, I’m attending university. I’m taking Indigenous studies at the University of Winnipeg. I have two roommates. They’re also from the rez. We were friends in high school and wanted to go away to school together and share the same apartment. Our place is close to the U of W, but I do go home for visits. I’m really thankful my parents got me a car so I can travel back and forth.
To which social class do you belong?
Edie: This is a rather strange question. I’m not one for social classes but I guess you could say I grew up middle class.
Are you right- or left-handed?
On what occasions do you lie?
Edie: I don’t care for lying, but if I have to lie, it’s so I won’t hurt someone’s feelings.
Do you have any annoying habits, quirks, strange mannerisms, or other defining characteristics?
Edie: I’m obsessed with the past, and it annoys my mother, even my friends sometimes. I’m great with trivia and will blast out some fact for no reason at all, and the trivia always has to do with Ojibway history.
What is your hair color and eye color?
Edie: Black and black.
Do you have any physical traits that stand out (such as scars, birthmarks, tattoos, etc.)? If you have scars, how did you get them? If you have tattoos, why did you get them and what meaning do they have to you?
Edie: I’ve been pretty lucky on the scar end because I don’t have any. I’m not a tattoo sort of person. I’d rather wear make-up. Do my hair. But anything permanent on my body is not for me.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Edie: I can’t think of anything offhand. I’m sure my mom can!
Born for This (Maizemerized)
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, Cultural, Adult.
Heat Rating: Level 3
Publication Date: October 29, 2021
Publisher: eXtasy Books
“This novel is true to history while still spinning a lovely tale of love. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves historical and time travel romances.” –Goodreads Reviewer (Read more here)
“The story had me glued to the pages from start to finish. Loved and recommend this book.” –B&N Reviewer (Read more here)
“Based on prior reading from the author, I knew this would be a great book. I had no idea just how much I’d love it.” –BookBub Reviewer (Read more here)
“This is a fast-paced read that drew me in from the first page. Once it had its claws in it never let go until the end. I felt as I had been sent back in time with Edie as I followed her and Thunder Bear where ever they went.” –The Avid Reviewer (Read more here)
“Once I started reading, I was not putting this book down.” –Goodreads Reviewer (Read more here)
This is one of the best romance novels I’ve ever read in my entire life. This book will pull you in full force and make you feel so many different emotions.” –Goodreads Reviewer (Read more here)
Edie squeezed her eyes shut, thrust out her hands, and shuffled into the mirage of rippling flames. Nothing scorched her skin. Only warmth surrounded her. Something feather-like seemed to stroke every inch of her flesh.
She kept walking, arms out and palms facing whatever awaited on the other side. The scent of spruce was present, even buttercups, and the fresh taste of water. Her feet trampled grass and leaves. A bird chirped. Maybe a chickadee, by its sad song. The little black-capped critters usually sang this tune in the early morning or evening.
Maybe she’d walked out of the maze.
Very slowly, she peeled open her lids to nature—everywhere. Spruce towered high above her. Underbrush shot up from the earth. Wild flowers were aplenty. Why, she could’ve been in the northwest of Ontario. The sun shone bright, its rays beating down on her. The heaviness of the doeskin dress was a tad hot on her skin.
“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 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 drunk 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’d 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—it 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. “Where are we?”
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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