Monday, May 12, 2014

Malice and the Stew Pot

Whenever I make stew, I'm guilty of not following a recipe. I brown the meat, then submerge it in broth with some Vidalia onions and whatever veggies I have on hand. Then I simmer it until done and serve the thickened comfort food over wheat toast, brown rice, or grits.

I thought of stew as I was casting about for my blog title this week. I have different and diverse topics to include, so I hope you find these tidbits something yummy to digest!

The first item in the stewpot, so to speak, are my pictures of Malice. I didn't take a surfeit of photos this year. In fact, only 4 survived the cutting room floor, and one of those wasn't as crisp as I liked.

I'm shown here during a conference break with three of my dearest writing pals. I'm all the way left with my fabric "Guppy" boa still wrapped around my neck. Sitting beside me is author Nancy J Cohen who is a fellow member of Booklover's Bench. To her right is author Barbara Graham. Barbara is a great roommate and we enjoy going to conferences together, even though she lives in Wyoming and I'm in Georgia. And to the far right is my best-ever critique partner, Polly Iyer. She always looks like a million dollars.

I attended Nancy's panel on Saturday morning. Moderator Debra Goldstein did a great job of keeping everyone on the topic of social issues. Nancy spoke about using the Prepper Movement in her book. Preppers are the group of people that think the end is near so they encourage stockpiling necessities.

Barb's panel was interesting too. It was about a business related to the sleuth, and in her series, the business is a quilt shop. Barb has mystery quilts in each of her books - all part of her devious plan to get us to read every page of every book!

Barb and I slipped away from the conference on Thursday afternoon. We're shown here out and about on the Mall - see the faint Washington Monument between us? We walked the length of the Mall, after touring an art museum, and got swept up in a deportation rally. Glad the protest was peaceful. And hey, I took a selfie!

I should have snapped more pics at the conference, but in truth, I forgot! I didn't take my camera along this year, and I wasn't in the mindset of taking pics with my phone, which is how these few shots were taken. I missed everything on Friday due to being under the weather, but I rallied for the Saturday and Sunday sessions.

I also attended the Banquet (very fun) and the Poison Lady's talk. I found out a good bit about native and not so native plants and toxicity. Definite material for a future book!

The panel I was on (no pic here, but I've shared one on my FB page from Nancy's camera.) was all about paranormal sleuths. Everyone else on the panel had a ghost for a sleuth. My sleuth saw ghosts, which was different, but no one seemed to hold that against me. Several people from the packed room said the panel discussion was very entertaining, and I am happy to have been a small part of that. And I thank author Carolyn Hart for being a big name and drawing such a crowd to our session!

In other news, reviews are coming in for GONE AND DONE IT. One of the latest is from Romantic Times, which stated the mystery was multi-layered and wildly exciting. Yes! I love reviews like that. If you've read GONE AND DONE IT, I'd be honored to have you post a review online.

Available at Amazon in print and ebook and in print at Barnes and Noble

Here's a snip of a recent review from MyShelf reviewer Linda Morelli:  "Gone and Done It is the best mystery I've read in a long time. The paranormal aspects were realistic and Maggie Toussaint’s plot was engrossing, with plenty of twists and surprises to keep me hooked. I definitely want to know who – or what – the secret watcher is and can't wait to read the next release to find out." Read the full review:

And its official. My next book, romantic suspense ROUGH WATERS, will release August 29 from The Wild Rose Press. Yay! I have a release date. Now I need to find some advance readers. Anyone listening? I have electronic arcs to send out as the time approaches.

Also, the Booklover's Bench May contest continues until May 18. Click on over to enter the contest, where a $25 gift card, ebooks, and a chance to have a character in a book named after you are up for grabs. 

Please join me on Wednesday, May 14 at for a look at how I came to write a ghost story.

Thanks for joining me in sampling my Stew Pot of tasty news.

Maggie Toussaint
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