Monday, November 1, 2021

Book of the Month: Gone and Done It

 Imagine my wonderful surprise when I opened Karla Brandenburg's newsletter this morning to find a large feature of my Gone and Done It as her "Book of the Month".

"Maggie Toussaint ‘s Dreamwalker series is one of my favorites, maybe because she taps into that spooky vibe that I like. GONE AND DONE IT is the first in the series, one which I’d missed while I was reading the rest of them, so I only recently got caught up.

Single mother Baxley Powell has inherited the family talent for Dreamwalking, whether she wants it or not. As she’s working in her landscaping business, she uncovers a skull, much to the chagrin of her client, and now the much-needed fee is being held hostage.

Baxley needs money to pay the bills, so she suggests to the misogynistic chief of police (who has been chasing her since they went to school together) that if she uses her family’s legendary psychic abilities to help him identify where the skull came from and who it belongs to, he will hire her as a police consultant.

The clues are handed to her bit by bit as the dead woman struggles to trust Baxley, and then a second person turns up dead beneath one of the trees Baxley planted. Now Baxley has two murders to unravel, but each walk among the dead for answers exacts a price. With the help of her hippie family and the support of her community of friends, Baxley ferrets out the answers and gets the job with the police department.

Baxley is a very likeable character. Her concern for the welfare of her child is her primary motivation, and her love of the family that surrounds her and nurtures her keeps her grounded. Her missing military husband adds another dimension to the story, leaving the reader to wonder if he’s the “watcher in the woods” who protects her from a distance.

For readers who like a supernatural tone, I highly recommend this series. Each book takes a deeper dive into the world of the dead, and each trip Baxley takes to find answers exacts a price. A great mystery/police procedural/supernatural story, set in coastal Georgia (hence the southern dialect titles!)."

Be sure and check out this first book in the seven book series!

Buy Links:




Happy November to all!
Maggie Toussaint

Tuesday, October 5, 2021


 Raise your hand if you are slap-tired of this pandemic! I certainly am. During the middle of the isolation and fear and vaccines, I got the brilliant idea that I could make a perfect bra. Usually if something is tailored to your body it fits better. Wouldn't that be a treat?

The more I thought about how great The Perfect Bra would be the more excited I got about the project. Soon I collected hooks, elastic of various widths, pre-made straps, several kinds of elastic, thread to match. I got really excited over some dusky pink stretchy fabric and thought wouldn't it be great if I bought enough to make mine and an extra for my sister. Oh boy. This was going to be a great project.

But then I realized that bra patterns weren't readily available. Hmm. Well, I could make patterns from almost perfect bras or I could use clearance swimsuit tops and reshape them into bras. So I tried a few swimsuit bras. And a pattern I didn't like began to emerge.

You see, once you adjust the strap length, the cup size, the band size, or the degree of stitching, something else always changes. I took a closer look at my purchased bras and realized that the stretch was different between the cups than in the cups. And the sides stretched different than the cups.

Okay, so I realized this project was slightly trickier than I originally thought it would be. To make matters more complicated, I had a back injury long ago at T-12 vertebrae which is exactly where the bra band hits. I also can't take the compression of sports bras. I also have bone spurs in my neck so halter tops are out, and due to both of those spine issues, bras whose straps cross in the back won't work for me.

So what would the perfect bra look like? It would have a wider band, but it wouldn't fit tight. I thought it might open in the center but that was annoying on several levels.  It would definitely have wide straps, preferably cushioned on the shoulders. No underwires, as I can't tolerate those either. It would fit comfortably without squeezing the life out of me and yet still support the girls. If it were made of wicking fabric, so much the better. 

All of you bra-wearers out there probably know that the less structure the bra has, the less support there is. However, I discovered a real-life hack that helped. Wearing a stretchy camisole atop a less supportive bra added support that was comfy all day long. That helped for 3 seasons out of the year but was miserable for summer.

I'm not saying I gained a lot of weight during covid. Instead, my bras shrunk over time ((grin)). Getting bra extenders helped with most of the band shortness issue I had. And again, the camisole on top covered a myriad of sins.

But I kept looking at the fabric. So I cut pieces out based on a current bra, but no matter how I turned the fabric, I couldn't get the stretch right. A closer look at the store-bought one revealed that the fabric in different parts of the bra were different thicknesses, different stretches, and different breathability even though it was all the exact same color.  Looked again at the local fabric store and those extra choices weren't available. Well, dang. that was discouraging.

By this time, stores were putting clothes on clearance again, including bras, so I bought some larger bras from online vendors and then customized them to fit, either by adding support stitches across the top of the cups and trimming the middle section between the cups. That yielded a few bras that had moderate support, especially when overlaid with a stretchy camisole. And the store-bought one pictured above met every criteria I wanted except for the one I didn't think to include - it has scratchy fabric. Grrrr.

A lightbulb finally went on. I should be sewing bras into camisoles. Not shelf bras that give you a uni-boob look, but real cups and a little bit more snugging down to simulate a band. Lo and Behold, several manufacturers must've been channeling the same idea, because this very concept hit the market. They came with a big price tag so I looked and wanted and waited. About six months later, those camisoles with real bras shaped right in the stretchy fabric started going on sale. I got one and I like it, but because its new and I'm stuck at home mostly right now, I am saving it for later when I'm out and about in the world.

Meanwhile, I found a few of the new bras I purchased worked well, like the pink bra in the First Solution Thoughts image. It washes well, still has the same elasticity after dozens of wearings, and it's comfy all day with good support. I bought a couple more of those and like my happy-color bras.

Now I have a leftover drawer of bra supplies, some stretchy fabric that won't be made into bras, and a bit of frustration that making the perfect bra was so darn hard. I started with those swimsuit-bras, patterned a Maggie-bra after a real one, modified a larger bra, and came up with the camisole plus bra life-hack. In every case, as soon as I adjusted one part that stretched, such as the band, the armpits became uncomfortable. Cutting the armpits down changed the stretch in the cups, causing gaping or too-tight straps. Inserting a padded section onto the shoulder section of a strap changed the stretch and sometimes made the strap too short and once it even pulled the band up. Not good. Too many variables in this stretchy equation.

In the lessons learned category, I have a newfound respect and admiration for bra companies. How the heck they come up with anything that works is beyond me. I'm not saying the average person can't make a bra; it's more that the average person is likely to give up before he or she figures it out. I know I'm throwing in the towel on this idea of The Perfect Bra.

And while I have your attention, my Doggone It is on sale right now for $0.99, down from $4.99. This paranormal cozy mystery of the murder than happens when a film company comes to town is a fun read for October, plus there's a ghost dog! Though this is book 3 of my 7-book Dreamwalker Mystery series, it can be read as a standalone. Get you copy now at:    KINDLE   NOOK   KOBO   IBOOKS

That's it for now, Happy Reading to All!

Maggie Toussaint

Monday, April 12, 2021

Shrimply Dead Releases today

The third book in my Seafood Caper Mystery series, Shrimply Dead, released today in print and digital formats. This book is a doozy of island fun, business changes, and a super-duper whodunnit for you and catering sleuth River Holloway Merrick to solve. You'll be scratching your head as you try to figure out who shot the veterinarian and amateur naturalist.


When veterinarian and amateur naturalist Jasmine Garr is shot in her yard, residents of Shell Island press caterer River Holloway into investigating the homicide. River dons her amateur sleuth cap and sets out to discover who killed her former catering customer.
Between Jasmine’s estranged cousin, a rival veterinarian, a wild animal trapper, the chicken lady, and a real estate broker, River has plenty of suspects to consider. As she peels back the layers of Jasmine’s life, dangerous secrets come to light.

Jasmine’s orphaned kitty, Iris, along with River’s cat Major, and her husband Pete help River sift through the evidence. At the same time, River recently expanded her catering business. She must service her regular catering clients, plus provide fresh baked goods for Pete’s ice cream shop.

The killer follows River’s every move relishing the thought of another victim. Time is running out. Will River solve the murder before she becomes a cold dish?

Book 3 of Maggie Toussaint’s Seafood Capers Mysteries brims with action and adventure in a lush island setting. Authentic Southern recipes included.

Digital Buy Links:      Kindle     Nook     Kobo     iBooks
Print buy link:            Amazon


“I enjoyed the latest adventure in this wickedly solid whodunit that had all the elements I love. A good storyline, a great cast of characters, engaging dialogue, and an atmosphere of camaraderie. " Dru's Book Musings

“Colorful characters and tasty recipes add welcome spice to this clever culinary mystery.” Diane A.S. Stuckart, award-winning and NYT bestselling author of cozy mysteries

"This delicious cozy mystery will keep you guessing until the final twists at the end. If you have a hankering for some southern delights, snatch this book up now. " Nancy J Cohen, author of the Bad Hair Day Mysteries


Shrimply Dead's Great Escapes Blog Tour starts tomorrow. Check in at the central link to find out where the posts are every day!

Also, you're invited to the Shrimply Dead Launch party tomorrow evening on Facebook from 7 to 8:30 pm EST at For more information, visit 

Join the fun! Try the series! Solve the whodunnits-if you can! Prepare the recipes!

Digital Buy Links:      Kindle     Nook     Kobo     iBooks
Print buy link:            Amazon

Happy Book Birthday, Shrimply Dead!

Maggie Toussaint