A Day in the Life of Baxley Powell by Maggie Toussaint

Gone and Done ItMy name’s Baxley Powell and my family is a little different, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I woke up with a streak of white hair in my forelock recently. But I was alarmed. Being different is one thing, being way different is like having lights and sirens whirling and blaring wherever you go.

Not good for folks who prefer to float under the radar.

The obvious solution was to cover the anomaly up with a hat, but every kind of hat or scarf I tried gave me a splitting headache. Seemed like the universe demanded that I show my oddity to my community.

I went with a ball cap and a headache for as long as it took to buy hair dye. My daughter and best friend helped me with the hair dying project, but the dark brown dye wouldn’t stick to the white hair. Worse, due to our efforts, more forelock hair turned white. Yikes!

dogwalkerThis development was startling for a twenty-eight-year-old single mom like me. I’d gone to bed with normal hair and awakened to being a freak show. I downed headache meds and jammed a ball cap on my head. I had dogs to walk and bushes to plant. The universe would have to get its jollies some other way.

The dogs and plants didn’t mind freaky hair, so I had a much-needed break from the hat during the middle of the day, but mid-afternoon I got a call from the sheriff to come in. He needed a consultation from me, the county dreamwalker.

I dreaded going to his office. The bones I’d discovered a few days ago on a landscaping job were a big problem. Word had leaked out immediately, and the Native Americans were protesting the outrage of having their ancestors’ remains disturbed. I knew the bones weren’t Native American, but I couldn’t prove it in a court of law. I knew because I’d seen the colonists as I touched the bones.

The law enforcement center was a three-ring circus when I arrived. Local and imported Native Americans protested with placards and chanting. Film crews from Jacksonville and Savannah were taping the spectacle, and I had to pass through the heart of the melee to get inside.

baxleyAs I walked, a foul wind sprang up and blew my ball cap off. A collective gasp went through the crowd. Whispers circled me. My parents’ friend Running Bear gave me a big smile of recognition, even though I looked like a freaked-out version of myself.

Time for a brief confession. I hadn’t wanted to take over as county dreamwalker for my father, but he couldn’t do it any longer. It was either me or my young daughter. No way was I letting my daughter commune with the dead, so I’d accepted the title a few days ago, and now, according to Running Bear, the full power had settled upon me.

My hair was the visible and tangible sign. Who knew these things? Not me. I didn’t sign up for a permanent bad hair day, but it seemed that was my lot in life. That and talking to dead people.

You can read more about Baxley in Gone and Done It, the first book in the “Dreamwalker” paranormal mystery, published by Five Star. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

“Toussaint takes a break from her Cleopatra Jones series for a brisk plunge into the paranormal.” – Kirkus Reviews

Meet the author
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 this summer is Rough Waters, a romantic suspense. Maggie likes yoga, beachcombing, and music.

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35 responses to “A Day in the Life of Baxley Powell by Maggie Toussaint

  1. Sound good. I put it on my t-b-r list.

    • I hope you give it a try, Gram. This book was inspired by a real-life event. A Revolutionary War hero’s coffin came out of a river bank in my county, creating a big hubbub. I realized human remains from the past could be buried anywhere, and which a landscaping sleuth, it was a match made in heaven!

  2. I’ve read several of Maggie’s books, and this one sounds fascinating! I love the paranormal element.

    • maggietoussaint

      Hi Linda, Thanks for being a fan. I love to write mysteries, so its heartening to hear that someone enjoys what I do. Have a great day!

  3. I really enjoyed this book!

    • maggietoussaint

      Thanks for your endorsement, Joyce. I’m a big fan of your work, in all your guises!

  4. This is a good book. Well written and within the realm of possibility. I’m hoping for more.

    • maggietoussaint

      Hi Denise, I’m flattered by your words. And rest assured, more is coming. I have an offer on Book 2, and I’m editing Book 3 right now. There will be more Baxley Powell!

  5. I like what I’ve read. Heading over to Amazon.

    • maggietoussaint

      Thanks for your kind words, Sharon. I hope you love this book! It’s one of my favorites. I love writing about “different” small towns.

  6. Baxley sounds like a unique and fascinating character!

    • maggietoussaint

      Hi Patricia, At heart, Baxley is like the rest of us – trying to survive each day with grace and dignity. That isn’t easy with financial difficulties and her paternal heritage of being a dreamwalker. For many years she denied her gifts, so when she allowed herself to use her special talent, things happened quickly. To say she’s surprised is an understatement. Which gets back to getting through each day with grace and dignity. A part of her also has a Pinnochio-like longing to be like everyone else, but that’s not her lot in life!

  7. Nancy Roessner

    This series seems promising. I like the streak of white hair idea.

  8. maggietoussaint

    Hi Nancy! I’d love to say I thought it up as an Original Idea, but I remembered it from a science fiction book I read 20-some years ago – and the idea stuck with me. What better conflict idea could there be for someone who desperately wants to appear normal than to have a tangible sign of her difference? I think Baxley’s struggles with her lack of normalcy deepen her character, and I hope, make her more accessible to readers. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  9. Maggie, I’m either going to beg, borrow or steal a copy of this book.. I fully intend to read and enjoy it. I really enjoy your writing.

    • maggietoussaint

      Nora Adrienne, Do you read ebooks? The kindle version is a great value… And I’m so glad you like what I write. Sometimes I sit here in this room, entertaining myself as I add words to the screen and wonder if I’m supposed to be out curing cancer or solving ice cap melt or (gasp) exercising…

      • Nope, my tablet has over 500 kindle books on it and I’ve only read one of them. I still prefer the dead tree versions. I’m a troglodyte.

  10. Very creative, Maggie! I enjoyed the post.

    • maggietoussaint

      Thanks, Jacquie. Baxley is quite a character, and I was lucky to get her to agree to this extra exposure…

  11. Now this sounds like a grabber if I ever read one. Thanks for the introduction.

    • maggietoussaint

      Hi Annette, I hope you will click over to my website and read the first chapter of Gone and Done It. I write in a little bit of an irreverent style but my goal is to engage readers. Sounds like I may have gotten your attention here! Nice to meet you, by the way.

  12. Cynthia E. Blain

    The blog has definitely made me a fan and I do want to get this book as soon as I can. Sounds terrific.

    Thank you, Dru, for posting so much great information for us readers.


    • maggietoussaint

      HI Cynthia, Nice to make your acquaintance. Besides this paranormal mystery series, I have a traditional cozy series, several stand alone mysteries, and five romantic suspense titles out there. Please visit my site or my page at Amazon Author Central to learn more about my published works.

  13. This is a fantastic book!!! Can’t wait for book 2 & book 3, 4, 5…….

    • maggietoussaint

      Thanks for the glowing praise, Sherry! I hope you’ll keep me on your radar screen. The next book won’t release until sometime in 2015. I’ll be posting around the net when I have a release date.

  14. I’m lucky enough to be critiquing the newest Baxley book, and it’s a doozy. Maggie’s a terrific writer, and her fan base is growing by the book.

  15. I had no idea you liked paranormal stories. This one definitely has the MT stamp on it–mystery, local “folk,” Southern, and humorous. Baxley Powell–you can’t beat this for her name. Good luck with it–I do think it’s another winning series.

    • maggietoussaint

      Thanks, Celia. I hope you will enjoy this book as much as you’ve liked my others!

  16. Love this character and can’t to see what happens to her next.

  17. Heather Ashby

    Oooh, Oooh, this series looks fabulous, Maggie! Can’t wait to read about the “bad hair day” and beyond! Write On, Girl!!!

    • maggietoussaint

      Thanks, Heather. I’m polishing up book 3 and starting to think of a plot for the next book. I think Baxley might hit the road in book 4.

  18. Congrats on the new series, Maggie. I love this character and it was fun meeting her this way.

    • Why thank you, Maryann! I’m delighted that Baxley struck a fine chord with you. Please visit my website to learn more about the book and to read a sample!