Monday, December 5, 2016


Some of us are lucky to have best friends. It’s rare to have multiple best friends simultaneously, but I’ve been blessed to have two best friends my entire life. They are sisters, and they were my next door neighbors forever.

We grew up sharing scraped knees, Barbies, favorite songs, and chicken pox. We listened to rain on a tin roof, caught blue crabs in tidal creeks, and confided our deepest darkest secrets to each other. We forged friendships that have spanned more than fifty years.

So, when I decided to create a character foil for my amateur sleuth Baxley Powell, I wanted her to have the same rich and enduring friendship I’ve had. Newspaper reporter Charlotte Ambrose appears in every book of the Dreamwalker cozy mysteries, but she was in Baxley’s life long before the series.

In firming up their backstory, I decided this pair had been inseparable since grade school. Charlotte struggles with her weight, with confidence, and with upward career mobility. As a fulltime employee at a weekly paper, she can get title promotions, but the job remains the same, no matter the label. Meanwhile, Baxley struggles with her unusual skill of communicating with the dead, her burning desire to be normal, and her decision to suppress her psychic abilities for most of her life.

As children, teens, and adults, Charlotte and Baxley needle each other when they need an extra push. They support each other when things go wrong and cheer for each other’s successes. They’re in and out of each other’s houses all the time. Charlotte is the sister Baxley never had, and Baxley’s parents are Charlotte’s second set of parents.

This closeness works out well for best friends in real life and for characters in stories. For instance, when everyday things that happen to us, we turn to our friends first. Our friends are our sounding boards and our barometers. They tell us when we’re messing up, and they rat us out to our folks when we need it. The same goes for Baxley and Charlotte.

In book one of the series, Gone and Done It, Charlotte helps Baxley through the decision to become the Dreamwalker. She helps Bax when the admission of power totally whitens Baxley’s forelock. On the flip side, Baxley clues her friend into the first murder the county has had in forever. That’s solid gold and pure adrenaline for an ambitious reporter like Charlotte.

In the second Dreamwalker mystery, Bubba Done It, Charlotte gets first dibs on reporting the banker’s death, but her astute observations shape the overall police investigation. There’s a lot of give and take in their relationship and a squabble or two for good measure. As always, Charlotte remains the brains of the pair and Baxley the pluck.

And now we’re to book three in the series, the subject of this book release blog tour, Doggone It. With several months of dreamwalking under her belt, Baxley enjoys a more formal relationship with the sheriff’s department. The increased work and pay make her life as a single mom easier, but the more cop work she does, the less she can confide in Charlotte in real time. With Charlotte being a member of the press and Baxley on the side of law and order, a rift in their friendship threatens.

In addition, Charlotte’s reporting of two previous murder cases shakes up the pecking order at the paper and gains her notice throughout the state. She’s sure her next murder story will springboard her to a bigtime career. While Charlotte pursues fame and fortune, Baxley keeps a low profile. The people she meets are either dead, criminals, family of the dead, or cops. Her dreamwalking clients drop by at all hours of the day and night, leaving her little time for her friend.

Adjustments must be made if Baxley and Charlotte are to remain close friends.

Read more about Baxley and Charlotte in Doggone It!
Buy link on Kindle and Hardcover

This post originally aired at Storeybook Reviews on October 20, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Methods of death in mystery fiction

Killing off victims in mystery fiction isn’t as easy as you think. Shoot ’em is my default M.O. For most people, death follows getting shot in the heart or the head. Those are nearly always fatal wounds.

Right… But wait. If authors kill off all their victims by shooting them, readers think poorly of said authors. They think we’re gun freaks or something.

That’s not good.

Just as it’s not good to have all victims of one gender and all killers of another gender. Readers like variety. Writing mystery fiction isn’t as simple as wash-rinse-repeat.

Further, in cozy mysteries like my Dreamwalker series, the violence needs to happen off-screen. In other words, I research a means of death, learn enough about it to sound like an expert, and then keep 95 percent of that knowledge out of the book. Bummer.

On the bright side, I have talked to some interesting “experts” and I have fascinating books on my bookshelf. When my book on poisons arrived, my husband’s face turned white as an oyster shell. He held up the book, with the cover facing me, and said, “Should I be worried?” [Sidebar note: Family members often take a dim view of this kind of research.]

After reassuring him that I had no intention of killing him, I dove into the book on poisons. I knew from my days as a toxicologist that just about anything, even water, can be a poison depending on the dose. (In a previous book, I poisoned someone by giving them something in their coffee which reacted fatally with her prescription medication.)

So, how do I want to kill thee (on paper)? Let me count the ways… I’ve already mentioned shooting. That’s easy to explain because many suspects have access to weapons. But I have poisoned someone in a book. I’ve had several victims die from knife wounds. Recently I branched out and coshed someone on the head with a shovel. I’ve had a couple of victims who were drowned, a hit-and-run with an auto, an arsonist who killed with fire, a couple of drug overdoses. So far I haven’t killed anyone with a spider, snake, shark, or alligator, though I’ve used those elements to ramp up tension. I also haven’t asphyxiated anyone, either manually or with car exhaust. But I haven’t ruled them out for future books, or any other methods I might have overlooked.

For Doggone It, book 3 in a paranormal series, I chose the eerie setting of a haunted house that was being used as a movie backdrop. I also have the experience of seeing what happens when a film crew descends on a town. It’s a little strange and at times very over the top. Therefore, having someone be shot and killed would be too ordinary for this mystery.

In my opinion, people (and book characters) are a mixture of good and bad. The people who conform to societal norms are generally considered “good” people, while the individuals who operate outside of what is considered good and “right” are considered “bad.” Doggone It uses an unusual means of death for the victims, one that fuels my sleuth to get justice for them. She needs all her resources in this world and the next to catch this killer.

Want to learn more about Doggone It?
This post was originally seen at Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews on Oct. 29, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

Uh-oh, I'm broken!

Raise your hand if you’ve ever accidentally pinched your finger while closing something or stumped your toe. There’s acute pain, followed by low-level throbbing unless you bang it again. When you have a physical injury, it’s hard to focus.

The same can be said for experiences that impact your senses, such as colds, fluid in your ears, and pink eye. These minor ailments heal in time, but nothing hurries that healing along. All the while, you’re expected to go about your ordinary routine as if you have no impairment.

Some people take to their beds when they have a malfunction. Some don’t miss a beat; they keep going like Energizer Bunnies. Whenever these “outages” happen to me, I mostly keep up with the basics and put the extras on hold. In general, I need more rest, and I tend to be more irritable when something’s wrong.

But Baxley Powell, the amateur sleuth in my Dreamwalker paranormal mystery series? How does she respond to losing her extra senses in Doggone It?

For most of her life, Baxley wanted to be normal and fit in with the other kids in her classes. It didn’t work out that way. Because of her surname, people (and their kids) knew she was “one of those Nesbitts.” Guys in her high school joked that if a guy went out on a date with Baxley, he also ask his dead grandpop for fishing advice.

In Doggone It, Baxley gets trapped in the drift between the realms of the living and the dead during a dreamwalk. After her rescue, she realizes her extra gears don’t work. All the things that made her different from everyone else are gone. That loss would’ve made the old Baxley ecstatic. Her lifelong goal of being like everyone else had been achieved.

But, her police consultant work depends on her extra gears, and she can’t afford to lose her job. According to her father, a former dreamwalker who endured this problem many times, she burned too much energy finding her way home from the dreamwalk. The good news is she will recharge. The bad news is not knowing how long that will take since this never happened to her before.

She tries to come to grips with her malfunction, but she just doesn’t feel like herself. Instead, she feels broken, like she’s limping along. In this midst of this trouble, a double homicide is reported. The sheriff collects her to go with him to the scene, the location of which is a veritable hot zone for sensitives. Baxley faces a horrible quandary. Does she dare tell the sheriff that she can’t do her usual extrasensory analysis of the scene?

Again, she turns to her father for advice. He loans her a pocket full of crystals, and the edginess she feels diminishes. She’s still not at full power, but she feels poised enough to view the murder scene tonight. She’ll have time to examine (and read) the evidence later.

Part of Baxley’s character arc in this story is accepting her new role and its pitfalls, with grace, fortitude, and courage. Being a dreamwalker and crossing between worlds comes with unusual occupational hazards. Fortunately, Baxley is developing experience with unusual everything.

For more about Doggone It, please visit my website at

Doggone It buy links:
Amazon Kindle
Amazon hardcover
Barnes and Noble hardcover

This post is a re-blog from Doggone It's Great Escapes Blog Tour. It originally appeared at Brooke Blogs on Oct. 17, 2106

Monday, November 14, 2016

To visit the haunted house or not?

In Doggone It, amateur sleuth Baxley Powell reluctantly agrees to visit June’s Folly, a haunted house, with her reporter friend, Charlotte. I say reluctantly because Baxley has a bad history with the place. The last time she went there, the energy of the place shorted her circuits, she passed out, and her father had to rescue her.

That was over ten years ago and she’s learned tons about shielding herself since then. Besides, Charlotte will go out there whether Baxley accompanies her or not. Baxley doesn’t think it’s safe for her friend to be out there alone, so they head out there together at dusk. Charlotte’s sure her feature on haunted houses will land on the front page and further advance her rise to fame and fortune.

When Baxley says her expertise is in spirits from beyond, Charlotte tells her “tough” and suggests her dreamwalker friend change her frequency so she could talk to earthbound spirits. Baxley has no intention of tapping into any spirit frequency in the swamp. She’s along for moral support.

It should have been so easy. Drive out there. Snap a few pictures, peek in the windows of the abandoned mansion, and scoot back home. Baxley does her part, shielding herself from the bad juju at June’s Folly. Even walking up to the house, she still feels strong and in command of her senses.

Not so, Charlotte. She sinks down on the steps and can’t manage to move at all. When Baxley touches her friend’s hand, she discovers Charlotte is ghostly cold. Somehow, non-sensitive Charlotte has found the ghost at the haunted house. Charlotte is none too happy about the occurrence and demands her friend’s help.

Baxley is in a jam. If she doesn’t help her friend by sussing out the ghost, she’ll be a wimp forever. But for her to access the ghost, she has to lower her paranormal protection. She’ll be vulnerable to a psychic attack, just like she was as a teenager. At 28, she’s too old to call her dad to come get her.

The longer she deliberates, the more anxious her friend becomes, and the guiltier Baxley feels. Why does this haunted house have to be smack dab in the middle of a swamp?

Charlotte wants the real story of June’s Folly, but Baxley never planned to do more than chaperone this adventure. Getting involved in the ghost assessment was not on her to-do list. It topped the list of items not to do.

You’ve met and overcome all manner of baddies on the spirit side of the veil, the logical side of her brain insists. But this place is like kryptonite to you – you should be scared, whines her inner child.

Usually Baxley relies on her intuition to guide her, but her senses are locked down so tight that she can’t tell if her fear is warranted or a remnant of a childhood mishap. There’s no way she would ever consider abandoning her best friend, and it’s tearing her up to see her friend out of commission.

What to do? Save her friend? Risk a similar or worse fate for herself?

Share your advice for Baxley.


BIO. Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes mystery, suspense, and dystopian fiction. Her work won the Silver Falchion Award for best mystery, the Readers’ Choice Award, and the EPIC Award. She’s published fifteen novels as well as several short stories and novellas. The next book in her paranormal mystery series, Doggone It, releases October 2016. Maggie serves on the board for Southeast Mystery Writers of America and Low Country Sisters In Crime. Visit her at

All images except the bookcover were purchased from Dreamstime.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Dear Friends,

My latest dreamwalker mystery, Doggone It, is now available in Kindle format, with hardcover format becoming available in two weeks.

To celebrate the launch, I'm throwing a party tonight (Oct 20, 2016) on Facebook, at Book Launch Party, from 6:30 to 8 pm EST. I hope you can join me for the festivities.

I’ll be at DruAnn’s blog on Oct 20 and Writers Who Kill on Oct 26

Great Escapes Blog Tour for Doggone It
October 20 – Teresa Trent Author Site – REVIEW
October 21 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW
October 22 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW
October 23 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
October 24 – Community Bookstop – GUEST POST
October 25 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW
October 26 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW
October 27 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
October 28 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
October 29 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
October 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
October 30 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW
October 31 – Jane Reads – REVIEW
I hope you’ll join me on all these fun tour stops!

Booksignings are as scheduled: Darien, GA (Nov 11, at 11 am, Old Jail Art Center), Thomasville, GA (Thomas County Public Library, Nov 18, noon), and St. Simons Island, GA (Jan. 26, 10:30 am, Coffee with the Author, Casino).

Buy the Kindle format

Happy Reading,

Maggie Toussaint

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The reviews are starting to arrive for my upcoming release, DOGGONE IT, and I'm pleased to share with you today the entire Kirkus Review for book 3 in my Dreamwalker Mystery Series. (the paragraph indentations are mine to provide ease of reading)

“In Toussaint's (Bubba Done It, 2015, etc.) third Dreamwalker adventure, a woman with an unusual job risks her life to unravel a mystery. Baxley Powell works as a dreamwalker for her high school friend Wayne, who's now the sheriff for their small Southern town.

Her psychic powers have helped Wayne close several previous cases, and she's come to depend on the money from her dangerous part-time job. The Army has declared her husband dead but refuses to release his pension, leaving her to wonder where he really is while she works as a gardener and petsitter to pay the bills for her daughter, Larissa, and herself.

Now tales of a buried pirate treasure have prompted someone to dig holes all over town, and when Baxley's best friend, Charlotte, a reporter bucking for a promotion, begs her to look for clues in June's Folly, a reportedly haunted house, the visit nearly kills her. Only the interventions of Rose, a powerful spirit, and Oliver, a friendly canine ghost, save her from being overwhelmed by evil forces.

Meanwhile, a film company has spent a lot of money in the area to make a movie about the fabled pirate treasure. But not everyone is happy they've come. When someone viciously murders a film-crew member and a local boat captain, suspects abound.

Baxley's father, also a dreamwalker, and her mother, whose crystal therapy has helped Baxley recover from other dangerous encounters, warn her to be careful. But she knows she has to be a force for good no matter how dangerous the task, and she attempts to muddle through with some timely assistance from a suicidal medium and a Chihuahua. Plenty of hair-raising action as the likable, gutsy lead battles forces of evil.” – Kirkus Reviews

I couldn't be more pleased! Thank you, Kirkus for such a wonderful review.

Pre-order of the hardcover available now at Amazon and Barnes&Noble. The digital format is not available on pre-order. It will release on October 19, 2016.

I have a blog tour booked with Great Escapes (Schedule is posted on my website's home page) and I'll be hosting a Facebook Launch Party. Folks within driving distance of coastal Ga, keep an ear out for my booksigning in Darien in early November.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Maggie Toussaint

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fall into some Great Stories

My "Dead Men Tell Tales" novella and a host of other great stories from cozy mystery authors you know and love are released today in the Happy Homicides 4: Fall into Crime anthology. The anthology is having a launch part this evening, Monday, August 29, from 5-7p.m. EDT, at Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend, but there are plenty of prizes from the folks in attendance, so you should plan to go!

Best of all, when you purchase Happy Homicides 4 right now, you also get Happy Homicides 3 thrown in for free. That's twice the number of short stories and anthologies. It's for sale at Amazon and Kobo right now. Other vendors like Barnes and Noble haven't pubbed the link as of this writing.

To get back to "Dead Men Tell Tales," this is Book 3 of my Lindsey & Ike romantic novella series. In this book a hunting accident sets off a chain of events that put Lindsey & Ike squarely in a killer's crosshairs.

Want to read a little of the story? I thought so! Here's an excerpt from "Dead Men Tell Tales."

After Ike left on a callout for a hunting accident, I thought how my role had shifted. Before, I’d chased cops to a scene to get the story for the paper. Now I lived with a cop and had more information than I could print. Best of all, I chose to stay home with Trent when these afterhours calls occurred.

From the incident details I overheard, one man accidentally shot the other in the swamp when he heard a noise. I didn’t know the name of the shooter yet, but Dispatch mentioned he seemed broken up about the tragedy.

The victim, John Starling, tended bar at Fiddler’s at the north end of the county. I’d met him once when he came into the office to buy a newspaper, not long after he moved here this spring.

Time flew as Trent and I played cards, bathed, and got ready for bed. Ike returned in time to tuck his son in for the night. “Was it bad?” I asked when we were cozied up on the sunporch sofa.

He drew me into his arms. “Seemed straightforward, Lindsey. Both men were hog hunting in the swamp. Neither was aware of the other. Sonny Mowrey shot the bartender, thinking he was a hog. Mowrey was so upset he could barely hold it together to give his statement.”

“I’ve shot a gun before, at targets mind you, but I’ve never shot a person, and I hope it never came to that. I’d be a wreck too.”

“Seemed cut and dried to me. Accident all the way.”

An accident. Many people today thought “accident” meant no one was responsible. Surely that wasn’t the case for a human life. “Will Mowrey face charges for killing someone?”

“He’s being fingerprinted right now, something he isn’t happy about.”

“Why? He said he shot the guy.”

“Learned this lesson a long time ago. Tie up loose ends or they’ll bite you in the butt. Whatever happened out there, I’ll get to the bottom of it.”

“I want to see the police report tomorrow.”

He nuzzled my neck. “I expected no less, Madame of the News.”

I swatted him playfully, enjoying his attention. “You make me sound like something dirty.”

“You make me think wild thoughts.” His hands drifted lower. “How about we take ourselves up to our bedroom and let the world take care of itself?”

“Sounds good, but I have one more question.”

Ike groaned. “What is it?”

“Where was the bullet hole?”

“Straight through the heart. Two kill shots.”

Swamp hogs came in all sizes and were ferocious. You did not want to be charged by one, so you made sure you aimed at the right spot. “A person is taller than a hog.”


“Shouldn’t Mr. Mowrey have aimed lower if he was hog hunting?”

I know you want to read more OF "Dead Men Tell Tales," and you can, in the Happy Homicides 4: Fall Into Crime anthology.

For your convenience, here are the buy links again:

Happy Reading!

Maggie Toussaint

Monday, July 25, 2016

Meteors and Rio and Aliens, Oh My!

My futuristic, dystopian thriller novel, G-3, will be on sale July 25-29, 2016. That's right, you can try this quirky series on the cheap, for all of $0.99. I write this series under the pen name of Rigel Carson.

In this story, a meteor shower changes everything on Earth, and not for the better! An unusual meteor in Rio may have some answers.

Here's the book blurb:

Guardian of Earth, Dr. Zeke Landry has even more reason to protect his planet now that his wife is carrying his child. Little did he know, the romantic evening they enjoyed at the beach watching meteor showers was the last peace on Earth.

Fish and wildlife vanish. Seas thicken with mud. The dolphins warn Zeke to stay away from the ocean. An environmental catastrophe of the highest order is in the making, and no one knows how to prevent it.

Zeke seeks extra-planetary advice from his alien allies, but the news is not good. The threat is dire, and the clock is ticking. Unless a solution is found, the Earth will be transformed into an uninhabitable world. Will Zeke and his android sidekick find a remedy in time to save the day?


I had a great time writing this book. It's rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and here are two review snips:

"With its unique science angle, memorable characters, and sense of urgency, G-3 will keep you awake at night turning pages. After reading this book, you might want to keep a cat for company."
-Nancy Cohen, author of Peril by Ponytail

"The build-up of tension to the final showdown is very well done. Overall, an engaging, entertaining, and thoroughly enjoyable story." - -Lea Kirk author of Prophecy

And while you're shopping books, G-1 of this series is marked down nearly 1/2 price for a few more days. You might want to check it out as well!  CHECK OUT G-1
That's all for now. Happy Reading!
Maggie aka Rigel

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Some news from Maggie Toussaint!

I'VE GOT ARCS FOR DOGGONE IT. They just arrived yesterday. Some are already committed. Some are looking for 5 active reviewers who enjoy paranormal mysteries. Leave a comment here or contact me via email if you're interested. This book releases Oct 19. Here's a snip about Doggone It...

Dreamwalker Baxley Powell is worried when she’s summoned to a haunted house. A recent ghost dog encounter short-circuited her woo-woo powers. She bluffs her way through the double homicide where a boat captain and a movie crew member bled out from knife wounds.

Her extra senses return in fits and spurts as she consults with the sheriff. Suspects include the captain’s good-for-nothing brother, the movie guy’s replacement, and, of course, his stalker. The media circus jeopardizes the movie’s funding, the sheriff’s job, and Baxley’s senses.

Will Baxley’s powers recharge before the killer strikes again?

Haunted houses, lost pirate treasure, conniving in-laws, supernatural baddies, and a determined ghost dog test amateur sleuth Baxley Powell’s mettle in Book Three of Toussaint’s Dreamwalker Series.


BUBBA DONE IT is a semi-finalist at Kindle Book Review. The finalists will be announced in October. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Enter this contest by going to
This same title is also in a fantastic bundle where we're giving away a KINDLE FIRE and more than 40 cozy mysteries. Contest ends Aug 8, 2016.

Some great bargains for you in July on my dystopian fiction books, set 50 years in Earth's future. Scientist Zeke Landry and his trusty android sidekick are having a great time saving the planet from secret societies, aliens, and shapeshifters. The series is written thriller style with a side of humor.

G-1 is on sale for the entire month of July for the bargain price of $1.99

G-3 will be on temporary markdown to $0.99 from July 25-29. It's my book about the meteor find in Rio. It's just the thing to get your dystopian brain tuned up for the Summer Olympics in Rio.


My new novella series is being featured in the Happy Homicides Anthologies. There are 3 novellas in the Lindsey & Ike romantic mystery series. "Really, Truly Dead" is in Happy Homicides 2. "Turtle Tribbles is in Happy Homicides 3. And "Dead Men Tell Tales" will come out in August in Happy Homicides 4. Later in 2016 or early 2017, I will release these individually and bundle the Lindsey & Ike set into a print book. This series is set in coastal Georgia and features a cop and a newspaper editor who missed their chance at love first time around.


Also, don't forget to check in at Booklover's Bench each month. We give away prizes, including a $25 gift card, books, and there are other promotions going on in our Let's Talk Posts.

I hope you will follow me on social media and if you haven't already signed up for newsletter, please do that at my newly revamped website

Stay cool this summer and look for a newsletter when Happy Homicides 4 releases next month!

Happy Reading!
Maggie Toussaint

Saturday, April 30, 2016

OMG! On a panel with Charlaine Harris!

Are my feet touching the ground? Not hardly! I was lucky enough to draw a panel assignment with my friend Tj O'Connor and my writing idol Charlaine Harris. We were talking about paranormal mysteries at Malice Domestic today.

Holy Cow. I'm still grinning like a crazy woman. First, let me say that Charlaine is the Most Gracious, Most Charming, and Most Personable person in the world. It was hard not to be tongue-tied sitting beside her. But I took one for the team because due to the small size of our panel being in the middle often means that the moderator, in our case the capable Eileen Watkins, starts at one end or the other of the panel. Having that buffer of time helps me to collect my thoughts or sneak a peek at my notes so that I don't babble and ramble.

Before I ever thought I'd write paranormal mysteries, I read in the genre, and Charlaine's books were my favorites, especially her Sookie Stackhouse series. So I did my best to sound coherent, to look like I was paying attention to everyone, and to try not to let my  fan girl crush on Charlaine turn me into a blithering idiot.

We had a lively time because the topic and the panelists were all so fun, and the attendees seemed to really hang on our every word, even mine.  It was a MOMENT for me, an honest to goodness life moment. I'm still saying to myself: I was on a panel with Charlaine Harris. I sat next to her. She knows my name. She kindly posed for pictures before and after the program. I got to talk shop with her. She laughed (in a good way) at the humor In Bubba Done It I used as an illustration to answer a panel question.

Thank you, Malice Domestic, for making my dream come true.

Maggie Toussaint

Friday, April 22, 2016

Pre-order your Sleuthing Women Mysteries today!

Sleuthing Women Mysteries is a 10-author anthology of first-in-series cozy mysteries, including my IN FOR A PENNY. This bargain-priced book is in pre-order right now at Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes. It will be available for release on May 1, 2016. A short description of each of these full-length mysteries follows.

Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, an Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery by Lois Winston—Working mom Anastasia is clueless about her husband’s gambling addiction until he permanently cashes in his chips and her comfortable middle-class life craps out. He leaves her with staggering debt, his communist mother, and a loan shark demanding $50,000. Then she’s accused of murder…

Murder Among Neighbors, a Kate Austen Suburban Mystery by Jonnie Jacobs — When Kate Austen’s socialite neighbor, Pepper Livingston, is murdered, Kate becomes involved in a sea of steamy secrets that bring her face to face with shocking truths—and handsome detective Michael Stone.

Skeleton in a Dead Space, a Kelly O’Connell Mystery by Judy Alter—Real estate isn’t a dangerous profession until Kelly O’Connell stumbles over a skeleton and runs into serial killers and cold-blooded murderers in a home being renovated in Fort Worth. Kelly barges through life trying to keep from angering her policeman boyfriend Mike and protect her two young daughters.

In for a Penny, a Cleopatra Jones Mystery by Maggie Toussaint—Accountant Cleo faces an unwanted hazard when her golf ball lands on a dead banker. The cops think her BFF shot him, so Cleo sets out to prove them wrong. She ventures into the dating world, wrangles her teens, adopts the victim’s dog, and tries to rein in her mom…until the killer puts a target on Cleo’s back.

The Hydrogen Murder, a Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—A retired physicist returns to her hometown of Revere, Massachusetts and moves into an apartment above her friends' funeral home. When she signs on to help the Police Department with a science-related homicide, she doesn't realize she may have hundreds of cases ahead of her.

Retirement Can Be Murder, A Baby Boomer Mystery by Susan Santangelo—Carol Andrews dreads her husband Jim’s upcoming retirement more than a root canal without Novocain. She can’t imagine anything worse than having an at-home husband with time on his hands and nothing to fill it—until Jim is suspected of murdering his retirement coach.

Dead Air, A Talk Radio Mystery by Mary Kennedy—Psychologist Maggie Walsh moves from NY to Florida to become the host of WYME's On the Couch with Maggie Walsh. When her guest, New Age prophet Guru Sanjay Gingii, turns up dead, her new roommate Lark becomes the prime suspect. Maggie must prove Lark innocent while dealing with a killer who needs more than just therapy.

A Dead Red Cadillac, A Dead Red Mystery by RP Dahlke—When her vintage Cadillac is found tail-fins up in a nearby lake, the police ask aero-ag pilot Lalla Bains why an elderly widowed piano teacher is found strapped in the driver’s seat. Lalla confronts suspects, informants, cross-dressers, drug-running crop dusters, and a crazy Chihuahua on her quest to find the killer.

Murder is a Family Business, an Alvarez Family Murder Mystery by Heather Haven—Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez, has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve.

Murder, Honey, a Carol Sabala Mystery by Vinnie Hansen—When the head chef collapses into baker Carol Sabala’s cookie dough, she is thrust into her first murder investigation. Suspects abound at Archibald’s, the swanky Santa Cruz restaurant where Carol works. The head chef cut a swath of people who wanted him dead from ex-lovers to bitter rivals to greedy relatives.

Pre-order your copy now and it will be delivered on May 1st. Give this present to yourself and have plenty of fun reads on hand for all your summer vacations!

Buy Links:

Friday, February 5, 2016

Maggie's new books, iPad Mini giveaway, free roses, free cookbook

I'm delighted to announce the release of G-3, the next book in my near-future thriller series. G-3, written under my pen name Rigel Carson, releases today, Feb. 5, 2016! After meteor showers litter the Earth with a foreign substance, Dr. Zeke Landry and his android sidekick must stop this threat or life as we know it will be ancient history. Don't delay on getting your copy. BUY G-3 NOW

I'm having 3 events to celebrate G-3's release. I hope you can make it to one of the parties!

Friday, Feb 5, 6:30 to 8 p.m. EST at
Tuesday, Feb 9, 8 to 10 p.m. EST at

For my local fans, I will be having an in-person signing on Feb 13 at 10 a.m. at the Sapelo Island Visitor's Center in Meridian, GA. I hope you'll join me for this fun event.

BONUS GIVEAWAY! At Booklover's Bench, I'm running a week-long contest in my Let's Talk post to give away a print copy of G-3 to one lucky U.S. addressee. The contest closes on Feb. 10. We have fresh content weekly on the Let's Talk tabs, so I hope you'll visit the site frequently. At Booklover's Bench, readers are winners. ENTER PRINT BOOK GIVEAWAY

OMIGOSH! My Booklover's Bench group is giving away an iPad Mini. You'll need to click over to our contest page. We have multiple ways to enter. And there are also seven runner-up prizes, so 8 people will win in total. The contest runs until Feb. 18. CLICK HERE TO ENTER

HAPPY HOMICIDES 2: I'M IN IT! I'm delighted to announce the debut of my new sleuth, Lindsey McKay, in a novella titled "Really, Truly Dead" in the next Happy Homicides anthology. All-star authors include Joanna Campbell Slan, Teresa Trent, Neil Plakcy, Elaine Viets, Annie Adams, Camille Minichino, Nancy Jill Thames, Linda Gordon Hengerer, Kathi Daley, Carolyn Haines, Anna Celeste Burke, Randy Rawls and Maggie Toussaint. Recipes and craft ideas will be included, too! This cozy mystery anthology releases Feb 14, but you may pre-order your copy right now: CLICK TO ORDER HH2

The Happy Homicide 2 authors are giving away a dozen roses. That's right. You could win beautiful red roses in our contest.  Preorder your copy using the link above for HH2 and then enter by following the next link: CLICK HERE FOR ROSES

BUBBA DONE IT released in Large Print in late January. If you prefer Large Print editions, please ask your library to order a copy of this paranormal cozy mystery. It would be great if you asked your libraries to carry it in any event. ISBN-13: 9781410485519, Thorndike Press This highly-rated mystery is already out in digital and hardcover at Amazon and in hardcover at Barnes and Noble.

Coming this year: I will have novella releases in the next two HAPPY HOMICIDES cozy mystery anthology editions. My contributions will continue with my new sleuth, Lindsey McKay. In June, look for "Turtle Tribbles," where Lindsey tries to figure out who killed the Turtle Girl. My September story is still a twinkle in my eye.

I've been invited to contribute another short story to the 2nd Killer Nashville anthology, which will release in conjunction with the conference in August 2016.

Also coming this year: DOGGONE IT, Book 3 in my Dreamwalker parnormal cozy mystery series, featuring psychic Baxley Powell. In this story, a ghost dog helps Baxley solve the case. DOGGONE IT releases in late October 2016.

Do you know about my free cookbook? KP AUTHORS COOK THEIR BOOKS is perma-free. I have two recipes in the cookbook under my Rigel Carson personna, and all the recipes in the cookbook look positively yummy. If you haven't downloaded your free copy yet, consider this my early Valentine's Day present to you. DOWNLOAD KP AUTHORS

What I'm doing now: I'm busy editing another Dreamwalker mystery, those novellas for the Happy Homicide anthologies, and writing a short story.

I love to hear from readers, and I hope you will take the time to post reviews after reading my books.

Thanks so much for your interest in my books!
Maggie Toussaint

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Survivor or Darwinian Marketing?

Some rambling thoughts on the future of book reading and author marketing...

Coming Feb 5, 2016
I’m a hybrid author, with books out through a few traditional (and one non-traditional) presses as well as some titles I’ve released myself. My sales rise and fall, seemingly on the fate of the wind, though my marketing efforts are consistent and expanding.

The population who read mystery and romantic suspense are aging. Macular degeneration and other reading-related issues are game-changers, as are other long-term health issues with readers or the parents they are suddenly tending. Mystery fans are loyal, though, so the challenge is to keep them aware you’re out there without annoying them with too many “buy me! Buy me!” messages.

Print books are here to stay. So are ebooks. Having multiple book formats (including audio) helps authors access readers on all platforms.

The DIY pressure on indies is immense. I put out a new title in 2015 and I’ll release another book in 2016. You can’t skip any steps or your product will suffer. A strong, well-edited story is what you want to bring to market. The cover needs to be awesome in an eye-catching, provocative kind of way. Formatting needs to be spot on, and typos must be invisible to man and machine. Then there’s the whole selection of keywords for the web crawlers and readers to use to locate your books. This is more important than you might think. And finally, getting the word out in a friendly, compelling way. It’s no wonder authors farm some of this out. It’s a lot of time and effort to get a high quality book out there.

Some indies and some pre-published authors will say to heck with this and spend more time with their grandkids. I mean, who hasn’t had those thoughts?

The rest of us, the ones who’ll go crazy if we don’t get these story people out of our heads, will hunker down and find a way to survive. How do I know this? Easy. I’ve been doing it for a few years now and so have you. We will continue to network through great resources like SINC, and we are stronger because of the ties we form, the alliances we make for marketing.
SIDEBAR: anyone here a Survivor TV show fan? This year the strategy changed from alliances with a few trusted associates to voting blocks, where people scrambled around and voted independently  when it suited their solo purposes. The publishing world to me is like the game of Survivor. Whether we use alliances or voting blocks to command market share, we are pooling efforts, melding audiences, and benefiting from cross-promotion. Something to think about if you haven’t already. And good luck to all our authors and readers in 2016.

Maggie Toussaint
aka Rigel Carson
G-3 by Rigel Carson coming Feb 5

Book Review: Prophecy by Lea Kirk

A fresh new voice in Science Fiction Romance! Lea Kirk blends fiction and myth into a compelling tale of treachery, disaster, and hope.

One moment was all it took for the world to change. Nurse Alexandra Bock was on her way to meet her brother for lunch when a spaceship appears in the sky. Buildings crumble. People vanish. And Alex and her brother are captured.

In her cell, captives from another world offer Alex comfort and aid. One of them heals her busted eardrum. Trust is hard to come by, but the sensual tug between Alex and Senior Captain Gryf Helyg is undeniable. She’s appalled to learn his world is also on the brink of extinction from these same invaders. To make matters worse, according to an old prophecy, her attraction to Gryf might not be random. If they work together and are successful, great things could happen.

The odds of overthrowing their captors are against them, but quitting is not an option.

I received an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Maggie Toussaint and Rigel Carson for Muddy Rose Reviews

Book Review: The Reformation by MR Pritchard

The USA is a mess, and Adam Waters’ CIA contact is late to a meet. The man shows up late, fatally wounded, and announces that the Reformation has begun. With bombs and missiles rewriting American history, Adam starts up the train and speeds back to the Phoenix District, near NYC, where he works undercover as the District Runner and as a rising star in security.

Andi, a geneticist who is forcefully encamped within the Phoenix District, is appalled at the role she’s thrust into within the settlement. After her last attempt to escape, the ruthless leader had her beaten to within an inch of her life. He exiled her to a farm within the district to heal out of sight and to reconsider. Her body is slow to heal, her mind even slower, but somehow she holds it together for her young daughter.

Fortunately for Andi, she’s not disposable. Her brilliant genetic insights are solving problems that have been on the table for years. With each solution, her standing rises in the community, elevating her to The Matchmaker, a position she despises. Trapped, her only solution is to survive and protect her daughter.

What a great read! Each scene fed eagerly into the next, like a freight train gathering speed. Twists and cliffhangers abound. I admired Andi’s passion, guilt, and humanity, while at the same time admiring Adam’s warrior toughness and surprising tenderness toward her. This is a guarantee. Andi and Adam’s story will keep you turning the pages.

Maggie Toussaint and Rigel Carson for Muddy Rose Reviews

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Book Review: Missing Lynx by Fiona Quinn

Lexi Sobado, aka Lynx, a psychic with an aptitude for seeing patterns others miss, is now a full-fledged strategist for Iniquus, an off-the-book Black Ops group. She’s thrilled to be working alongside her favorite people, and her relationship with Striker Rheas is on its way to becoming the Real Deal.

But things change when her mentor finally returns, sick out of his mind with malaria and brimming with classified information. He’s instantly off limits to Lexi, which is not okay in her book.

Meanwhile, she stays busy working Iniquus cases, making a name for herself. With each case she tackles, she feels the mental approach of a predator, which in her mind shows up as a white leopard. The one person she feels she can talk to about this, her mentor, is not available, unsettling her.

All too soon, Lexi’s been targeted and she’s faced with the task of figuring out the most important puzzle of her young life. This time the life and death stakes are hers and hers alone.

My thoughts: Holy cow! Get ready to be put through the ringer! I read this book in one sitting, honest to God, because I had to know what happened next. Fiona Quinn grabbed me on page one and didn’t let go. Thank goodness the next book in this series is already out. I don’t want to miss anything! My only warning is don’t start this book at bedtime unless you can afford to stay up all night. This one’s a keeper.

Maggie Toussaint and Rigel Carson for Muddy Rose Reviews