I am happy to welcome Maggie to Escape With Dollycas for the very first time!!
Don’t look now but I’ve Gone and Done It
By Maggie Toussaint
Most people follow a linear career path. They climb the ladder one step at a time and savor each vantage point. Coming to fiction writing from a scientific background, I understood this linear approach. Write a book, do it really well, and build a solid base.
First, she craved the action and adventure of romantic suspense. Then she said, “I’m not fulfilled. Let’s tackle the intellectual challenge of writing a cozy mystery.” What’s a writer to do but change direction? So, I caved and wrote a cozy series and several stand-alones.
The winds of fate tickled my muse again. “Let’s write a ghost story,” she says. “We can still call it a cozy, and even toss in some romance if that will make you happy.”
I put my foot down, but my muse was persistent. And the longer I made her wait, the more determined she became. “I must write a ghost story. It’s my lifelong dream,” she’d whisper as I awoke each morning.
Already juggling two genres, I ignored her pleas. My eye got twitchy. I got itchy. I started having attention deficit everything as my muse whispered louder. “We will write a ghost story, or you will hear me gripe all day, every day.”
Gone And Done It sprung into being rather quickly, as I had a good sense of what being haunted felt like, thanks to my wayward muse.
From this auspicious beginning, my amateur sleuth Baxley Powell emerged. She’s a petsitter and a landscaper with another gear. She talks to dead people. It’s a family trait, and her dad has been shouldering the load for years, but now he’s handing his responsibilities to Baxley.
Baxley’s got a precocious young daughter and a missing husband declared dead by his military bosses, but he’s not on the Other Side. She knows because she’s searched for him to no avail.
Before Baxley assumes the mantle of Dreamwalker from her father, she had several negative experiences of intense pyschometry. When she touched an object, she got zapped with a vivid past scene from someone who touched the item in a heightened emotional state. To protect herself from nasty surprises, she learned to block her tactile abilities. Even so, while posing as “normal,” she developed a tuned ear for liars, which gives her an edge in sniffing out the truth.
With the episodic nature of her work, Baxley decides to supplement her meager income by helping the police with cases. It seems like work she might excel in, but then she’s accused of murdering a woman at her landscaping jobsite.
Not trusting the cops to clear her name, Baxley searches for truth in this world and the next.
The book’s title was inspired by a line in the Shania Twain song “Love gets me every time.” My sleuth’s definitely “gone and done it” when it comes to solving crimes. No way she’s trusting her future to anyone but herself. Been there, made that wrong turn.
Gone And Done It is the first book of the series, with book 2, Bubba Done It, in acquisitions. Book 3 is in the first draft stage.
Reviews at Kirkus, Amazon, and Goodreads are encouraging. Of course, my muse is taking all the credit. I’ve told her at least a hundred times that no one likes to hear I-told-you-so, but she’s positively giddy about our new direction.
We have ideas for several more stories in the series percolating along, so I hope you’ll join us on our paranormal romp. With each book, another aspect of Baxley’s talent is revealed. Once Baxley accepts the role of County Dreamwalker, power descends upon her, and she has a host of psychic gifts. And yes, my muse and I bent the conventional rules of psychics a bit, but we think you’ll find the results intriguing.
Did I mention her hair? The tangible sign of Baxley’s power is an immediate vanilla frosting-like streak in her forelock. The more hair color she slathers on, the more hair turns white. And forget wearing hats. They now give her monster headaches.
Apparently, the universe wants her striped hair to be on display. Oh, joy.
But, like the letter carriers of yesteryear, nothing can stop Baxley’s search for the truth … and justice.
About This Author
Maggie Toussaint is the author of eleven published books, with six mysteries and five romantic suspense novels. Her latest book is her new paranormal cozy, Gone And Done It which is available at Amazon in print and ebook, and in print at Barnes and Noble
*Photos purchased and provided by author.
Gone And Done It
Five Star Publishing (April 18, 2014)
Hardcover: 275 pages
E-Book File Size: 369 KB
Baxley Powell is a landscaper and pet sitter in a small town on the coast of Georgia. While finishing up a huge landdscaping project Baxley makes a terrible discovery, a human skull. She wants to use her psychic ability to identify the victim but ends up getting tasered by a deputy instead.
Baxley has inherited a unique ability from her father. She is a dreamwalker. Dreamwalkers seem to be well known in this little town. Soon she is helping the police not only identify the remains but also solving a murder as well.
Baxley Powell is a very interesting character. Her husband, an Army man, is missing and presumed dead. She and her 10 year old daughter are just trying to live their lives. But it hard to live a normal life when the whole town knows your father is a dreamwalker and Baxley is one too. Baxley is just learning about her abilities but her father’s declining health means she needs to learn very quickly.
Baxley is a very likeable character, single mom, trying to make ends meet anyway she can. The dreamwalker ability flows very naturally in the story. Her mother is a great character as well. She uses crystals to help heal her husband and her daughter when their bodies are completely drained after a dreamwalking session. Her father and Baxley’s daughter also have a mind meld thing with Baxley and know when she is safe or in trouble. The whole theme was very fascinating.
I did have one small problem with the story. The way the death or non-death of Baxley’s husband was handled made me wonder several times if this really was the first book in this series. Several times things were referred to with not a lot of explanation like the reader should know these things already. This improved as the story continued. I realize his status will play out as the series continues I just would have liked to see the character be introduced in a different way instead of wrapped into moments that occurred in this story. I know the character whether alive or dead will have major impact as the stories continue.
This series is off to strong start. I look forward to reading more about Baxley Powell and her family.
Thanks to the author we are giving away my Advanced Review Copy
and 1 Print Copy of Gone And Done It !!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”