Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Gone to the dogs – but not the snakes! By Maggie Toussaint

Our guest blogger today is popular mystery and romance writer Maggie Toussaint who talks about her brand new Five Star/Gale mystery:

In Gone and Done It, sleuth Baxley Powell has her hands full with her Pets and Plants business, raising a preteen, and trying to remove her name from the suspect list. A young woman was found murdered under a tree Baxley recently planted, along with Baxley’s trowel.

Petsitting clients keep dumping their animals on her. Softhearted Baxley can’t turn her back on a four-legged pet in need, especially if it’s temporary.

Muffin is a furry Shih Poo who belongs to a friend of a friend. This tiny bit of fluff came to stay with Baxley temporarily and immediately claimed her daughter Larissa’s lap. Muffin’s full name is Stud Muffin. Muffin is savvy enough to hide when there’s trouble.

Elvis is a quivering Chihuahua, Baxley is holding for a jailed felon. He was keeping the little guy penned up in the house with the church’s holy rattlesnakes. Poor Elvis was a bundle of nerves by the time Baxley found him. Elvis took one look at Larissa and jumped in her arms. His feet have hardly touched the ground since he moved in.

Baxley pet sits for dogs and cats and the occasional iguana or bird, but she draws the line at snakes. If you need someone to care for your pet snake, you have to call someone else.

Unfortunately for Baxley, another person on the suspect list knows of her fear of snakes. When Baxley won’t do his bidding to use her special skills to help him out of his online gambling problem, he decides to get even.

Here’s a snip from Gone and Done It mid-story after Baxley’s two dog alarm system goes off. She steps outside, armed and anxious:

“This was crazy. I was in my backyard. There was no visible threat. But I couldn’t calm my nerves. My terror seemed elemental, instinctive. A few more steps and I’d be safe inside my truck.

Unlocking the door, I swung my backpack around to rest on the passenger seat. I climbed in holding the Glock. I didn’t want to let go of it, but I couldn’t drive holding the gun. I’d shoot myself for sure. I should put it somewhere—the glove box, under the seat, or in my backpack.

On my next inhalation, I became aware of an odd smell. A musky smell. Concurrently, I realized the passenger side window was rolled down because a strong cross breeze flowed through the truck since I hadn’t closed my door. I hadn’t left that window down. Someone had done that. Someone had been in my truck.

I should have come out of the house in a tight crouch, firing off random shots into the air. Out of the corner of my right eye, I saw movement. Bright patterns of color. Then I heard an ominous rattle….”

Gone and Done It is available in Kindle format and in hardcover.
More info at Maggie's Website

Southern author Maggie Toussaint loves to blend murder and romance in her fiction. With eleven published books to her credit, her latest release is Gone and Done It, a paranormal mystery. Coming in late August is Rough Waters, a new romantic suspense in her Mossy Bog series. Maggie likes yoga, beachcombing, and music. Visit her at

Feel free to leave comments or questions for Maggie! 


Susan Oleksiw said...

Congratulations on your new book, Maggie. I love the idea of pet-sitting and the problems it can bring. I wouldn't want to have anything to do with snakes either.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I second Susan's comments. I'm not to into snakes, although my older son did have one for a pet when he was nine.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Good morning, Susan and Jacquie! I'm thrilled to be here. I'm not into snakes either and had a Very Scary Encounter with one as a child.

Also, I learned that Gone and Done It is now available in Nook format, for those who have the B&N version of readers.

So happy to be here. Anyone want to share a pet story???

Patricia Gligor's Writers Forum said...

Loved the excerpt, Maggie. "Gone and Done It" sounds intriguing!

Lisa Wysocky said...

Gotta love pets, Baxley, and Maggie. Definitely a winner!

Maggie Toussaint said...

Thanks for the comments, Patricia and Lisa. Loved your horse pic on Facebook today, Lisa!

Miguelina Perez Author said...

Hello Maggie,

Love the idea of a book about a pet sitter and a mystery. Hope to read it soon.

M. Perez

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi M. Perez, I was quite happy to have one of Baxley's vocations be taking care of pets. She takes on more and more of them as the series progresses, which makes for an interesting homelife! Thanks for stopping by.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Baxley has her hands full with her myriad activities. I loved this story and can't wait to see how her special abilities develop in the sequel.

Polly Iyer said...

Another great character and another winner for Maggie Toussaint. Mystery, humor, a little spooky stuff, and a terrific story.

Patricia Stoltey said...

That ominous rattle would be enough to freak me out. That's a great excerpt, Maggie.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Nancy! Thank you stopping by, and thanks twice again for loving my sleuth in Gone and Done It, Baxley Powell. I hope you will pick up the next book in the series in 2015.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Polly,

I appreciate your kind words. Baxley is a character who sprung to life fully formed. I knew who she was before I knew what the plot of the book would be! Thanks for your friendship and encouragement!!!

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hey Patricia,

Thanks for liking that excerpt! I have a deathly fear of snakes and there's nothing like a rattlesnake to make you quake in your boots. I appreciate your swinging by and leaving a comment!

Susan Coryell said...

Maggie: Gone and Done It sounds like an exciting read. LOVE dogs and cats, HATE snakes--the hair on the back of my neck went upward as I read the excerpt. YIKES!
Good luck with your newest mystery creation.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Thank you, Susan! As you say, dogs and cats are infinitely more cuddly than snakes. I've never liked snakes. Growing up in the deep south, the most likely snakes we encountered were deadly as we were taught to stay away. A lifetime of that fear builds up, you know? It used to be that I couldn't even view a picture or video with a snake in it because it would upset me so. I'm better about that now - don't feel the need to poke my eye out - but I still don't like it!

Anyway, thanks for your comment.

And Jacquie, thanks for the invite to Author Expressions. I'm so glad to have had this opportunity to guest here.

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