I’m Baxley Powell, and my days aren’t the usual run of the mill stuff. People usually have two reactions when they find out I’m a dreamwalker. Either they think I’m weird and they avoid me. Or they think I’m weird, and they try to test me. Luckily, I can parse out a lie faster than they can blink, so I always have their numbers.
Friends, true friends at least, are golden. My best friend is reporter Charlotte Ambrose, and she’s never been afraid of me or my family. Through thick and thin, we’ve seen it all, done it all. It’s her fault I got dragged into the haunted house murders. She was the one who came up with the bright idea of writing a newspaper series about all the ghosts around here.
Charlotte made me go with her to June’s Folly, reputed to be haunted by old slaves because of the clanking chains people heard out there. Last time I’d visited, my dad had to come get me because my extra senses short-circuited. This time I kept my mental defenses up because at 28 I was too doggone old to be rescued by my dad.
Soon as we arrived, Charlotte had to sit down on the steps of the crumbling mansion. She couldn’t go any farther. At first I worried her plus size caused her fatigue. Out here in the deep woods we were a long way from any medical facility, so I hoped it wasn’t that.
Much to my surprise she started shivering and freaking out because of clanking chains. Since I was shielded, I heard nothing. I touched her arm, and she felt ghostly cold. I couldn’t believe it. Charlotte found the ghost! And a ghost here meant my earlier mishap wasn’t my fault. I must’ve gotten mugged by the ghost last time.
Charlotte wasn’t thrilled about her new ghost detection ability. She knew what buttons to push, and she pretty much told me I was a wuss if I didn’t help her out. This was a ghost, I spoke to ghosts, and by God, she wanted it gone.
For months, I’d routinely crossed the Veil of Life and communicated with spirits. I wasn’t the same untested teen my dad had to rescue. I had skills, training, and experience.
Okay. I know you’re shaking your head and muttering “don’t do it” by now because I had none of my regular backup team. I already knew this place was trouble. But that’s the thing about peer pressure. It makes you believe you’re Wonder Woman.
As soon as I lowered my guard and raised my senses, I plunged into Otherworld murk and couldn’t get out. I heard Charlotte yelling at me to wake up and to quit rolling my eyes up in my head because it was creeping her out. I saw her trying to make me come around, but I couldn’t move on to the spirit realm and I couldn’t return to Sinclair County, Georgia.
Did I mention my indenture to Rose? She claims she’s an undercover angel, but she’s such a moody, malicious spirit, I have doubts about her true identity. My acute distress caught her attention. Rose showed up and offered to help, for a fee.
You don’t want to know what that cost me, but I took the name she offered. I summoned Oliver, the earthbound spirit that trapped me. Was I scared? Heck, yeah. Did I have any other options? Heck, no. It wasn’t like the fire department could save me, and I didn’t want my dad stuck in this terrible place with me.
I was so cold. Disembodied voices wailed. Chains clanked. My spirit form couldn’t stop trembling, but I kept calling Oliver, and the ghostly stuff intensified. Oliver stayed out of reach, his red beady eyes glowing. It took me a few moments, but I finally realized Oliver was a dog. I’d been trapped by a ghost dog, of all things!
Since I have a pet and plant care business as my day job, I’m a dog expert. I used my softest voice, enticing this Great Dane forward so I could remove the stout collar and clanking chains from his neck. Afterward, Oliver jumped and waggled and frolicked and was so happy that I forgot to be scared.
I showed Oliver the way to the next world, but he stayed put. Apparently, freeing him earned me his everlasting devotion. Now I have a ghost dog attached to me. Just another day in my life as a Dreamwalker.
Doggone It is the third book in the Dreamwalker mystery series, published by Five Star Publishing, October 2016.
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 double homicide.
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 malfunction. With the sheriff pushing her to solve the case quickly, Baxley teams up with a dognapping medium to boost her powers.
Suspects include the captain’s good-for-nothing brother, the assistant’s replacement, 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?
Haunted houses, lost pirate treasure, conniving in-laws, supernatural baddies, and a determined ghost dog test amateur sleuth Baxley Powell’s mettle in Book Three of Toussaint’s Dreamwalker Series.
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About the author
Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes mystery, suspense, and dystopian fiction. Her work won the Silver Falchion Award for best mystery, the Readers’ Choice Award, and the EPIC Award. She’s published fifteen novels as well as several short stories and novellas. The next book in her paranormal mystery series, Doggone It, has an October 2016 release date. Maggie serves on the board for Southeast Mystery Writers of America and Low Country Sisters In Crime. Visit her at maggietoussaint.com.
All comments are welcomed.
Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win either a print (U.S. residents only, please) or e-book (open to everyone) of Doggone It. The giveaway will end October 22, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!