Mataio and Co.
First off, I’d just like to say, I change the layout of my page often. This one seems to work, makes it easy for you guys to find what you need, right? If not, let me know.
Now that we’ve got that covered…
This new series…where did it come from?
I love world building. It might be why things like Marvel Comics and Star Wars and anime speak to something creative inside me. I love the creation of something new–Titan where Thanos is from. Well…was. One of my favorite places in the Star Wars expanded universe is the planet Scarif. Jedha pulls in at a close second. (It appears I have a thing for planets that get destroyed in some way). Anime, I like, because the kid in me meshes with the adult who likes drama and underdog stories. On the flipside, I’m a sucker for a cute RomCom, Megan Thee Stallion gives me LIFE, and I’ve been known to enjoy a nice ego for breakfast.
I started writing about Tia and Mataio as a paranormal contemporary. I’ve tried, Lord knows I’ve tried, but I haven’t been able to successfully pull off “just” contemporary romance.
Mataio, I was influenced to recreate because of a commercial for a movie. And not just any movie. Hobbs and Shaw.
It was the first time I’d ever seen Roman Reigns (I stopped watching wrestling around 8th grade), so I immediately googled that sexy
sonofabitch man and heard church bells. I’d asked God to help me flesh out my next hero because like hot wax, none of my conceptualizations were coming together. He’d already sent me the plot in a wild dream and let me know it was time to write something that would scare the mess out of me. Here He was, coming through for me again.
The book is set primarily in the South Pacific on a group of fictional islands known collectively as Tauati [Tah-oo-ah-tee]. It weaves mythology and folklore (Tongan, Samoan, African, Greek) to create the world in which Mataio and Sefa hold supernatural command. What I’ve attempted to do is bring Oceania to life and depict something both new and familiar, as well as throw in a captivating story with love, romance, betrayal, war, and passion.
Mataio is Atua Pulotu, God of the Underworld. Sefa is his best friend and guardian, a duty bestowed upon him since birth. Because of the sacrifices Sefa has to make, Mataio doesn’t enjoy the man who is essentially his brother being in that role. But for Sefa, his purpose is clear, and it has always been to protect Mataio and eventually, Tia.
Tia Coleman, Mataio’s love interest, was influenced by one of my many girl crushes, Teyonah Parris. I wanted to step outside of #bwwm a little and expand brown girls into #fantasy and #multiculturalromance.
The official cover reveal will be on my birthday, 10/25. But, for now, I hope you enjoy this quick excerpt.
The linkage broke. He opened his eyes to Fai staring at him, a smile on her face that made him think of distrust, of betrayal. Of contempt. But the taunuuga couldn’t lie, no matter how much she detested her new role as a commoner, expelled from the life of the gods.
“And what does she have to do with me?” he questioned.
“It is you she seeks, Mataio. She just doesn’t know it yet.”
She moved to stand, but Sefa stepped forward and pinned her to her seat without a single touch, fire blazing in his golden eyes.
Beneath Mataio’s feet, the floor rumbled. He followed the path of the disturbance to the balcony doors and a storm fast approaching over waters that had been calm just moments before. Silent waves had transformed, almost instantly, into angry torment.
His jaw clenched, teeth tight. “Tell me why this woman seeks me.”
Fai indicated with her chin. “She is in the middle of noa noa, the barren lands. Go to her, or she will die.”
He stood, his height looming over her, her head tilting back as their gazes clashed. “I am the God of the Underworld. How could this woman possibly—”
“She is mafu. Your heartbeat.”
His body went rigid. “That’s…impossible.”
“Said the fool to his fate.”
The wind picked up. The storm’s ire rumbled run through him, creating chaos in his veins.
“Sefa, escort Fai out,” he ordered. “If I’m not back in ten minutes…”
Sefa grinned and dragged his tongue along his bottom lip, eyes never leaving Fai. “I will order her execution.”