Thursday, February 1, 2018

THE TROUBLE WITH CUPID now available for pre-order

A new and fun cat mystery anthology featuring a feline detective! My entry in the collection, "Trouble with Horses," stars two new characters River and Pete. I hope you'll take a few minutes to get to know them.

Here's the book blurb:

Fun-sized bites of Trouble, Cat Detective! All proceeds from the sale of THE TROUBLE WITH CUPID will be donated to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. The famous black cat detective from Wetumpka, Alabama is at it again in this collection of sometimes poignant, often amusing short mystery tales. Bestselling authors Carolyn Haines and Laura Benedict lead the lineup with the sassy “Calling All Cupids” and the sweet “Of Mice and Munchkins,” followed by Claire Matturro’s heartwarming contribution, “The Madonna in the Garden.” With additional stories by eight other authors, including critically acclaimed veterans and exciting new talents, The Trouble with Cupid is a delightful offering of wicked fun for anyone who loves mysteries, cats, and a touch of romance.

Authors: Laura Benedict, Carolyn Haines, Greg Herren, Michelle Broussard Honick, Eve Osborne, Fran Roberts, Nancy Sartor, Maggie Toussaint, Lisa Wysocky, Claire Matturro, and Jaden Terrell.

The Trouble books are a multi-author coalition published by KaliOka Press with each mystery novel featuring Trouble, the black cat detective. All the full-length mysteries are available in e-format and print.

And now, here's an excerpt from "Trouble with Horses"
My hands shook during the drive down the fence-lined lane to the big house and barn. The wonderful scent of horse coming through my van’s windows helped my frayed nerves. True confession time. I’m River Holloway and I’d contracted this catering job against my better judgment.
Pete Merrick broke my heart a year ago when he merged his security company with another and moved across the country. He knew my ailing mother depended on my care, knew I couldn’t leave her behind. At first, he called when he could, but his job took over his life. Three months ago, he became CEO of North Merrick Security Systems. Not that I’d kept tabs on him after he dumped me.
Was I ready to see my ex again? Enough time had passed that I should’ve moved on, but I’d been trapped in that tween place of anger and brokenness.
I turned down this Valentine’s Day catering job, three times to be precise, until Pete offered an exorbitant rate. I hated that money trumped my pride, but my brother stole the mayor’s car after our mom’s funeral last month. Now he needed a lawyer and bail money. I was his only hope.
At the sound of Pete’s voice, my arms tightened instinctively around the marvelous paint. It’d been forever since I’d been near horses, but I longed to have one, and this gentle giant stole my heart at first glance. The affection seemed mutual, which is more than I could say for the man standing behind me. His corporate dinner for six was prepped in my van, but my wafer-thin composure suddenly needed a pep talk.
Pete chose work.
He didn’t choose you.
My eyes misted at the heartache these decisions still wrought, until I shoved the emotional chaos out of my mind and revisited my priorities. This isn’t about him or me. This is about earning the money to help my brother. Mom always said to try your wings and fly. This is me flapping my wings. This is me helping my brother.
“River,” Pete said again.
I could do this. With a final pat, I released the horse and turned around, my gaze hungry for the sight of him. From his dark hair tamed into submission, to the tailored suit that flattered his broad shoulders and narrow waist, I was captivated. His gem green eyes radiated strong emotion that stirred up a swarm of butterflies in my belly. Would he try to mend fences? Would I let him?
“Hello, Pete.” I cringed inwardly at how wooden my voice sounded.
He stopped a few steps short of me. “It’s great to see you again, River. You look amazing.”
My hands automatically flew to my hair, which had been perfectly confined in a clip before I had been drawn to this powerful gelding. Now, loose tendrils dangled in my line of sight. Not exactly the polished image I planned to present to my ex-boyfriend. I smoothed them in place and dashed the horse hair from my jacket. I recited the lines I’d rehearsed on the three-hour drive west. “Thank you for the opportunity to cater your executive retreat. I hope you’re pleased with Holloway Catering.”
His eyes narrowed, and I picked up the black cat for moral support. “This is Trouble.”
He gave a lopsided smile. “It sure is.”
I frowned. “Have you met before?”
“I’m not talking about the cat. I’ve missed you, River.”
He stopped calling two months after he left. Just stopped. I left three unreturned messages before I gave up on him. How was I to believe a word coming out of his mouth? Time to remind him of the ground rules. “I agreed to take this job if we kept things on a professional basis.”
His easy smile faltered as a cab stopped in the circular driveway. He gestured toward the mansion. “As you wish. Dinner is to be served at five. Follow the drive around to the kitchen. I’ll have my security team unload the van for you. I hope you still like mysteries because after the meal, I need your help with one.”
He was gone before I could object.


Sunday, December 3, 2017


Some exciting news! My publisher lowered the price for DADGUMMIT to a bargain price of $2.99. This paranormal mystery is just the ticket for an exciting getaway from all the holiday hustle and bustle.
Many of you fell in love with this series with Gone and Done It, Bubba Done It, Doggone It, and now you have Dadgummit for your reading pleasure. In this installment of the Dreamwalker Series, amateur sleuth Baxley Powell goes on vacation in the Georgia Mountains and runs into a psychic vampire, aka an energy thief. (These types of critters have been around for a long time, only the real life ones just exhaust you instead of killing you, but that's another story.)

Baxley needs extra help, so she calls on her Other World mentor, Rose, and her ghost dog, Oliver. Here's Oliver in full manifestation. He's a Great Dane.
While this is the 4th book in the series, you can start with this book. It's very easy to get into the flow of the story. Here's what readers have to say about Dadgummit:
"Plenty of suspense and a surprise twist" -- RT Reviews
"Boasting a wonderful cast of characters, engaging dialogue and a supernatural atmosphere, this is one of the best books in the terrific series and I look forward to more adventures with Baxley and her friends." -- Dru Ann Love
"I loved Baxley and her dreamwalking gift and how this gift plays a central role in her investigation. The plot is tight, well developed, and well paced to keep the reader turning the pages. Dadgummit is a rare story that will have readers completely engrossed in the plot and in the characters." -- Readers Favorite
BUY LINKS for Dadgummit on all platforms available at my website.
Happy Reading, All!
Maggie Toussaint

Thursday, November 2, 2017

RELEASE DAY! Dead Men Tell No Tales

Time to raise the roof! The final installment of the Lindsey & Ike series is available now. It is a dream come true to have this novella series available individually. (By months end, I will have the boxed set of all three novellas in digital and print.)

A suspicious hunting accident prompts an investigation of several people in Lindsey & Ike's hometown. Lindsey McKay covers the accident for her newspaper, and her boyfriend, Sheriff Ike Harper, does the digging around. At first he's willing to accept the accident for what it seems, but things do not add up.

As word of the investigation spreads, Lindsey is drawn into the inner circle of law enforcement. It irritates her that she has insider knowledge she can't print. But instead of getting mad, she volunteers her observations  to Ike. If not for her precious Bailey, Lindsey would be on the wrong side of the dirt.

Check out the novella and see if you can outwit this villain...  BUY NOW on Kindle

If you're a dog lover, share your favorite breed of dog for a chance to win the first novella in the series. Winner selected by on Saturday, Nov. 4.

Maggie Toussaint

Update on Nov 4, 2017. Contest winners who won the Kindle version of "Really, Truly Dead" are KATHLEEN KENDLER and JOAN Hi. Please contact me within a week at to claim your prize! Congratulations!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Cover Reveal for Dead Men Tell No Tales

Here it is at long last! The cover for the final installment in my Lindsey & Ike Romantic Mystery Novella series, a traditional cozy mystery. Ta da!

This book is on pre-order right now and will release Thursday, November 2, 2017. You can pre-order your Kindle copy right now! Buy Now.

Dead Men Tell No Tales debuted last year in the Happy Homicide Anthology series, as did the first two novellas in this series. Dead Men is the last novella in the series.

Here's the blurb:

In this third and final installment of the Lindsey & Ike Romantic Mystery Novella Series, things don’t add up after a suspicious hunting accident. The more Sheriff Ike Harper and newspaper editor Lindsey McKay dig, the more questions they find about the suspects and the victim. Will a dead man tell no tales?

Check out the entire series at

Thanks for your interest in my cozy mysteries. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to keep up with all my releases.

Maggie Toussaint

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Cover Reveal for Gone and Done It

My Five Star hardcover cozy mystery, Gone and Done It, is out of print, and now that Five Star is out of the mystery publishing business, they granted me back the print rights for Gone and Done It.

This summer and fall have been busy with a book release, two conferences, planning for next year for the Southeast Mystery Writers of America chapter, Hurricane Irma and more. BUT, I realized I needed to get this book back out there. It's the first book of my Dreamwalker Mystery series, and many people like to start with the first book.

Thanks to a very generous and talented friend, I have a cover for Gone and Done It's forthcoming trade paperback release. As soon as I get through combing through the book again, it will be released.

Meanwhile, I think this cover is dynamite. It says so many things to me. What does it say to you?

As we move into cooler weather that makes us want to curl up on the sofa and read until spring, make sure you have a good supply of books to read!
Maggie Toussaint

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

New Cleopatra Jones mystery novella in SWII

Fans of my Cleopatra Jones series will be delighted to see a brand new installment in the series. "NO QUARTER", the third novella in the anthology SLEUTHING WOMEN II, is here.

The book blurb for "No Quarter"

Amnesia, the doctor says when accountant Cleopatra Jones wakes in the hospital. A few hours later her memory returns, except for the event that sidelined her. Detective Jack Martinez visits Cleo’s tax client in the area. Only she’s dead, her finances drained. To Cleo’s chagrin, she’s a suspect. She recovers from amnesia with new goals. But will she follow her dreams before the killer returns?
KINDLE             IBOOK

NOOK           KOBO
An excerpt from "No Quarter"
“Ma’am? Are you all right?”
The voice sounded a million miles away. I barely caught the words. Didn’t matter though. I was too woozy to answer.
The voice persisted. “Ma’am. What is your name?”
Go away. Let me sleep.
Fingers pried an eyelid open, and a light blinded me. I startled, tried to rear back, only there was nowhere for my head to retreat. The light winked out, then it blazed into my other eye.
Leave me alone. I tried to curl into a fetal position, only my arms and legs didn’t move. I was paralyzed! Icy fear shot through my bloodstream. I was in danger. Had to hide. Had to sleep.
Painful tingles lanced my hands and feet. I groaned inwardly at the awful sensations. Why wouldn’t they leave me be? I felt like a slab of meat with people standing around and poking me.
“She’s coming round,” the voice said.
“Ma’am, can you hear me?” a deeper voice asked.
“Yes,” I said, only my lips didn’t move. Cold. I was so cold. I shivered and trembled.
“She’s going into shock,” the voice said.


Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas is a collection of ten mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by eleven critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novella is a tie-in to an established multi-book series--a total of nearly 700 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, cozy, and female P.I. mysteries.

Frosted, A Moreno & Hart Novella by Allison Brennan & Laura Griffin--Three years ago LAPD Detective Scarlet Moreno and rookie cop Krista Hart were nearly killed during a botched sting operation. Now, they're best friends and partners in the Orange County private investigation firm of Moreno & Hart. But their routine assignments are anything but safe.

Crewel Intentions, An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Novella by Lois Winston--Craft editor Anastasia Pollack receives a desperate call for help from former fashion editor Erica Milano, now in Witness Protection. Erica is being stalked and is afraid to notify the authorities. She once saved Anastasia's life. Will Anastasia be able to return the favor before the stalker strikes?

No Quarter, A Cleopatra Jones Novella by Maggie Toussaint--Amnesia, the doctor says when accountant Cleopatra Jones wakes in a distant hospital. Hours later most of her memory returns. Detective Jack Martinez visits Cleo's nearby wealthy client, only she's dead and broke. To Cleo's horror, she's a murder suspect. Will she totally recover her memory before the killer returns?

What the Widow Knew, A Kali-O'Brien Novella by Jonnie Jacobs--Attorney Kali O'Brien takes on the case of a young woman accused of murdering her much older, very rich husband. As evidence mounts and other possible suspects are eliminated, Kali's doubts about her client's innocence grow. Meanwhile, Kali is also grappling with her feelings for longtime boyfriend Detective Bryce Keating.

The Magnesium Murder, A Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino--While freelance embalmer Anastasia Brent prepares the body of a young bride-to-be, she learns the girl's mother suspects foul play. Once again Anastasia is pressed into service as a sleuth, following a trail of clues in search of a murderer and justice.

Honeymoons Can Be Murder, A Lee Alvarez Novella by Heather Haven-- When PI Lee Alvarez goes on her honeymoon with bridegroom, Gurn Hanson, they find a dead woman practically on their doorstep. Kauai breezes may be soft, but there are gale force winds of accusation against Gurn. Will Lee find the real killer before her new hubby gets sent to a Hawaiian hoosegow?

Smoked Meat, A Carol Sabala Novella by Vinnie Hansen--Baker and wannabe sleuth Carol Sabala visits her mother for a family Christmas get-together. It's murder, in more ways than one.

A Deadly Fundraiser, A Talk Radio Novella by Mary Kennedy--When radio talk show host Dr. Maggie Walsh and her pals start digging up clues in a scavenger hunt at a glitzy fundraiser, the game suddenly turns deadly. Will Maggie and her team be able to crack the case and solve the crime?

The Color of Fear, A Kelly O'Connell Novella by Judy Alter--Kelly receives a written kidnap threat targeting her infant daughter, Gracie. Kelly's assistant Keisha narrates as Kelly and her family plot their precautions, but as time passes and the threat still looms, fear takes a toll on the family...and on Keisha.

Papa's Ghost, A Gladdy Gold Mystery Novella by Rita Lakin--Gladdy and her girls accept an assignment at a famous resort in Key West, thinking it will combine business with pleasure. Once they arrive, Gladdy suspects something is strange. Not only is their client an unexpected shock, but so is the case of murder they are expected to solve. Can they succeed when a whole city is against them?

KINDLE             IBOOK


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Suicide survivors and grief

This is such a difficult topic. Anyone who has been touched by suicide is forever changed by that loss. I've felt it, and if you're reading this, maybe you've felt it too.

I've been touched by suicide twice in my life: once by a family member and more recently by a high school classmate. In my experience, processing these intense feelings doesn't get any easier with time. Raw is raw no matter how you slice it. The stages of grief sound clinical but they are anything but.

With denial, it's typical to feel shocked and overwhelmed by life. It's hard to cope and process something that isn't understood. Anger can coat us with guilt for not recognizing the signs and for the victim leaving us to deal with their loss. The bargaining stage is full of what-ifs for how things could be different if-only... Depression is the mantle of sadness many survivors wear. And then there's isolation and shame that make us want to hide our hurt from the world and bury our emotions. That fog of sadness oft times becomes a lens through which we now see the world. Accepting the reality of what happened is difficult for many survivors. Even if they accept what happened, that doesn't make it right or okay. It just becomes a fact. This grieving process varies for each individual.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention states that 44,193 Americans die each year from suicide. That's a rate of about 13.6 for every 10,000 individuals. For every suicide, 25 were attempted. (

With suicide being widespread and painful for the survivors, you may wonder why I'd include any mention of suicide in a cozy mystery. One of the things I try to do through my writing is to make some sense of this world. Oftentimes, events don't have happy endings, and I use fictional characters to ensure justice is served and to create a happier resolution.

The inception of my dreamwalker series was influenced by my loss over the natural deaths of two relatives. Unwilling to believe they were completely gone, I created a fictional spirit world in this series based on multiple influences in my life. My amateur sleuth Baxley Powell is a person whose spirit traverses worlds. Her goal in every book is to get justice for the dead, solace for the living.

Dadgummit, my latest paranormal mystery, centers around an energy thief, also known as an energy vampire, who steals people's energy, taking them to the point of death. Without revealing the whole plot, there are minor characters who are star-crossed in love. He's caught up in the energy thief's world, she's finally found someone who understands her. The energy thief takes the life of the young man, and the distraught young woman makes the choice to join her boyfriend in death via energy thief, in the vein of Romeo and Juliet. Her family is crushed, just as you'd expect them to be. But because of the dreamwalker, they receive an assurance. This pair gets a happy ending in the spirit world. Better yet, the energy thief gets what's coming to him.

Does that make suicide right? No. It doesn't. This is one person creating a scenario where the pain of suicide is lessened by a fictional resolution. Our reality is that we live in a broken world. Through religion or faith we have a belief system that may (or may not) help us through this time of trial.

How can we help suicide survivors? Here are some tips from the Survivors of Suicide website: listen, be compassionate, respect their need to grieve, be aware of support groups, be open and nonjudgmental, and more. There are many more resources on the internet just a click away.