I love Maggie Toussaint’s
Dreamwalker series, mysteries with a psychic twist. Main character Baxley
Powell can communicate with the dead. When she touches an object associated
with the deceased, Baxley can envision scenes the dead portray to her, which
makes her a wonderful police consultant.
Each book provides more
details, not only of Baxley’s psychic powers and frailties, dealing in
psychological games the dead play with her, but also each book digs deeper into
her personal life. Maggie enriches her stories with backstory that complicates
and relates to each mystery. It is that interaction of the personal and
professional that catapults this series forward. You will appreciate the title of her third
book in the series, Doggone It, after
reading the book.
Maggie writes mystery,
romantic suspense, and science fiction. She has three mystery series, and in
each, her writing flows. You will read of Maggie’s books again on WWK because I
am a fan who will promote her work until everyone reads and enjoys her work! E. B. Davis
Here is Maggie’s Doggone It book jacket blurb:
Dreamwalker Baxley Powell can’t remember the last time she had
such a crappy weekend.
A twilight encounter with a ghost dog left her numb and
disoriented, her dreamwalker
abilities are wiped out, and the sheriff just summoned her to a
With no access to the spirit world, Baxley bluffs her way
through the crime scene where a movie star’s assistant and a charter boat
captain were strung up and bled dry. In a
haunted house, no less. Figuring out who killed these people
will be a real challenge
without her ability to speak to the dead.
Just when Baxley thinks her powers are returning, her dreamwalks
With the sheriff pushing her to solve the case quickly, Baxley
with a dognapping medium to boost her powers.
Suspects include the captain’s good-for-nothing brother, the
and, of course, his stalker. All of Sinclair County is on edge,
and the media circus isn’t helping. At stake are the movie’s funding, the
sheriff’s job, and Baxley’s senses.
Can Baxley safeguard her abilities and solve the case before the
killer strikes again?
of the Dreamwalker Series
Readers often ask how books
come about. I’d really like to know how you arrived at the concept of
dreamwalkers. Do you have vivid dreams?
remember The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler? The main character Macon hated
traveling and yet he ended up writing travel guides that explained how to deal
with unpleasantness and difficulty of a trip. In that same vein, I am a person
who doesn’t like being scared. I began writing this series to tie together
(with my imagination) all of my firsthand observations, my faith, my education,
stories I’ve heard, and so on, about what happens after death. I try to present
the difficult and unpleasant stuff in a way that my mind accepts and in a way
that may help others also dealing with deaths of loved ones.
combination with that straightforward approach, I’ve long had an interest in
psychics. Just like some folks have an extra gear when it comes to math or
music (or any other ability), I believe some folks have extrasensory gears. One
of the fun aspects of writing this series is having Baxley explore a new aspect
of her extra abilities in each book.
As for me,
I’ve had very vivid dreams, some of them outright strange, like the Man with
the Saddle on his head that I dreamed about several times as a child. Late
adolescence to early forties were the times of most of those dreams. I still
dream, but it’s rare these days that I remember them upon waking.
In the opening scene, we
learn that Baxley can’t see or communicate with ghosts. Why not?
driving in your car and you lose your radio station, what do you do? Do you
search the airwaves for a new station? Sure you do. In layman’s terms, the
distance has become too great for the signal of your first station to reach you,
so you have to retune your receiver to another frequency to hear a different
channel. Hang onto that thought for a sec.
Dreamwalker Series, Baxley comes into the job of talking to the dead all of a
sudden. Her father physically can’t do it anymore. The stress and side effects
are killing him. Baxley, who has spent her entire 28 years trying to be normal,
must now un-suppress her innate ability. Also, due to the sudden onset of her
commission, all of her training is on-the-job. When Baxley runs into an earthbound
spirit in Doggone It, she doesn’t
know how to retune her psychic abilities to receive the input. Therefore, she
makes mistakes and takes wrong turns and keeps at it until she gets it right.
By the end of Doggone It, Baxley
knows how to reach earthbound spirits and ones that have moved on to the Other
Rose is an entity that
Baxley encounters. She can’t quite categorize her. Baxley thinks Rose is an
undercover angel in the demon world. But Rose doesn’t come across as angelic. She
either isn’t an angel, or she’s a great actress. Her favors have a high price
that Baxley is forced to accept. Because the spiritual world is usually divided
between good and bad, do readers have a problem accepting the ambiguous Rose?
struggled with Rose’s duality, and I’m sure readers do too. In real life,
sometimes we make deals or alliances with people who hold different opinions
than we do. That’s what Baxley had to do. The safety and wellbeing of her
family mean everything to her, and that’s how she finds herself indebted to
Rose, a supernatural being – Rose helps her save loved ones.
alliance with Rose a mistake? The consequences will continue to play out in the
series. Not knowing Rose’s internal motivation adds conflict and drives the
series forward. A writer couldn’t ask for a better plot device.
Baxley describes her
aging-hippie parents as trusting and gullible. But isn’t that also their
Trusting and gullible are the hallmarks of people who aren’t deceitful. Consequently,
her parents’ home is a mecca for locals with personal problems. Their love is
deep, abiding, and all-encompassing. Baxley, who prides herself on being more
worldly, thinks she has to protect them from unscrupulous users, but her
experiences in Doggone It start to
reshape her view of them.
Previous to Doggone It, Baxley is a bit
condescending toward her mother. She comes to understand that dreamwalkers need
a support system, a community, and her mother’s particular talents, more than
just making soup, nurture dreamwalkers. Baxley encounters this in her
professional and personal life. Has Baxley been too singular?
You can blame
the mom in me for giving Baxley a learning curve to understand the real depth
in her mother. Most of us grow up thinking our generation is smarter than the
ones who came before, that because of our technology and collective savvy, we
don’t need or want advice from folks who’ve already had their turn.
didn’t have the opportunity to go to college, but they made sure all five of us
had that opportunity. With that education and a lack of educated jobs in our
fishing community, all of us dispersed into the world. One by one, as we had
families of our own, we learned how wise our parents were. The circle of
understanding continues with my daughters as they raise their families. They
are learning the same lessons I learned and that Baxley is learning: all wisdom
doesn’t come from book learning.
shocked to read, “Roland Powell [Baxley’s MIA special-operations husband, whom
readers have never met.] seemed trustworthy, monogamous, and faithful. I’d been
wrong about his values.” Baxley still loves and misses him, and she doesn’t
reveal why she thinks this. Is it because she and her daughter know he isn’t
dead? Did Roland revert to his parents’ values?
as a police consultant puts her in close proximity to Sheriff Wayne Thompson.
Wayne reveals to Baxley things about her “late” husband that are at odds with
what she knows. She’d never once doubted her husband, but Wayne’s comments worm
into her thoughts causing her to have doubts about the man she loves. Now that
she’s more open to her extrasensory perception, she realizes she was walking
around with blinders on for many years, years she shared with Roland. Her husband’s
absence and status are an ongoing concern in the series, so I won’t say more.
Baxley is idealistic and
probably just as trusting and gullible as her parents. Nothing in Baxley’s life
is as it “should” be. Why does she have sympathy with Roland’s mother?
Roland’s mom share a similar void in their lives due to his absence. As a young
mom, she knows how she would feel if something happened to her daughter.
When Sheriff Wayne, the
womanizer, gets swept into one of Baxley’s dreamwalks, she thinks he might have
psychic talents. Has Wayne sandbagged everyone, or perhaps he doesn’t know he
has psychic powers? Perhaps Baxley has more power than she knows?
good ole boy, which isn’t always a good thing. His relationship with Baxley is
complicated. She was his tutor in high school when he was the football quarterback;
she was the woman who never succumbed to his charm. With regard to that
dreamwalk, readers see firsthand how Baxley’s team rallies to help her recover.
The fact that she does recover says a lot for her talent. I don’t want to delve
too deeply into Wayne’s intuition, but he’s good at reading people.
A black widower, Stinger,
comes to Baxley for help. As it turns out, he helps her. How does Stinger provide
support to Baxley?
line from science class: matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Energy,
however, gets used up by activity. Runners get wobbly-kneed at the end of their
races, for instance, and they need to refuel. Extrasensory use also burns
energy, and Baxley has to have down time after dreamwalks to recharge. Things
are different with Stinger. In this story, I used a story condition of mediums
being energy generators.
There are two dogs in Doggone It. One is a rescue dog and another
is a ghost dog. Would you tell readers about these two wonderful canines?
today are used as therapy dogs in nursing homes and hospitals. Just being
around these animals brings solace and comfort. In Doggone It, Elvis, a rescued Chihuahua, is a therapy dog. Everyone
who holds him feels better. Since paranormal events by nature can be scary, I
needed to make sure there was a balance of comfort as well.
ghost dog is a jet black Great Dane. Doggone
It is about Oliver becoming part of the crew of strays, and I can assure
fans of the series that he is a recurring character. He has a role in books 4,
5, and 6, which is the book I’m currently writing.
What’s next for Baxley?
I’m so glad
you asked! Book 4 in this series is contracted and will release in 2017. In Dadgummit, Baxley and crew go on
vacation to the mountains and get swept up in another murder mystery, this one
involving individuals from Cherokee legends.
What’s next for Cleopatra
forgotten Cleo! I get letters from fans requesting book 4 of that series
routinely. In the previous books, her best friend, her mom, and her boyfriend
were accused of murder. It’s her turn to be in the hot seat, so she’ll have
every reason to nose around.
I know you’re a beach
chick, but would you favor a shrimpburger over a hamburger?
I love a good
shrimp hoagie, which is the closest I’ve come to a shrimpburger. I also love
shrimp fried, grilled, blackened, and sautéed. Shrimp salad is great on a hot
day, and shrimp paste is something to savor. Shrimp bisque is yummy, and I
recommend it. I’m spoiled by the fresh seafood in our small fishing community
where you can buy shrimp that slept in the sea last night.
To find out
more about Maggie and her books, please go to maggietoussaint.com or just go to
Amazon for a reading adventure!