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Blog Hop begins December 11th. Click on the graphic above for a schedule and list of giveaways, including a $60 Amazon gift card.

Friday, June 12, 2015

BOOK CLUB FRIDAY--GUEST AUTHOR MAGGIE TOUSSAINT

Award-winning Southern author and Georgia native Maggie Toussaint is published in mystery and romantic suspense and in science fiction under the pen name Rigel Carson. Gone and Done It and Bubba Done It, the first two books in her new paranormal Dreamwalker series, are available now. Learn more about Maggie and her books at her website and blog

Smarty Pants Phones & Dreamwalking

Are you smarter than your phone? I’m fairly certain my phone is running circles around me.

Phones help us remember birthdays, appointments, and anniversaries. They prompt us to wake up or to take medicine. Heck, we even allow them to tell us how to get from Point A to Point B.

It’s easy to see how multi-dimensional and complex a smart phone can be. Just as easy to see how, if you don’t understand the lingo, even the smallest operation can be baffling and bewildering. Apps, permissions, passwords, battery life, and pocket calls all take on new meaning in the context of these popular hand-held devices.

Why isn’t there a glossy handbook in bright primary colors and large font? I’ve said that a lot more times than I care to admit.

Frustrations are universal when it comes to learning something new. My amateur sleuth, Baxley Powell, got all bent out of shape when she took up dreamwalking. For years, Baxley blocked her paranormal senses. “Normal” is what she wanted more than anything, but it wasn’t to be.

The County Dreamwalker job was literally killing her dad. He weakened with every crossing. Clearly, another family member had to step up and assume his position. Baxley quickly did the air math. Two candidates existed, herself and her daughter. No way was she letting a ten-year-old walk among the dead on a regular basis. Much to her dismay, Baxley became the Dreamwalker.

Only, there were no written rules, no glossy handbook, no classes she could take to come up to speed. Dreamwalking involved on-the-job training of the scariest kind.

Oh, the mistakes Baxley made. She accidentally let an entity through the Veil of Life, and it nearly killed Verbena. Another time she inadvertently dragged the sheriff to the spirit world and got stranded. She got them home, barely, thanks to her parents and their friends.

Did I mention the demon that marked Baxley with her tattoo? Baxley knew she wasn’t supposed to make deals while on the Other Side, but that was the price she was willing to pay for the entity to bring her dad back from beyond the bridge.

Time and time again, Baxley begged her dad for a rulebook and full disclosure. He refused. Said dreamwalker lore was available only on a need-to-know basis. Said he was doing this for her own good.

Grr.

Talk about frustration!

I hate being kept in the dark, and so does Baxley.

Whether the topic is dreamwalking or smart phones, there’s a steep learning curve. Count on missteps and new opportunities, heartbreak and joy.

Do you share Baxley’s frustration over lack of knowledge?

Bubba Done It
Amateur sleuth and dreamwalker Baxley Powell is called in on a stabbing case. She arrives in time to hear the dying man whisper, “Bubba done it.”

Four men named Bubba in Sinclair County, Ga., have close ties to the victim, including her goofball brother-in-law, Bubba Powell.

She dreamwalks for answers, but the dead guy can’t talk to her. Baxley sleuths among the living. The suspects include a down-on-his-luck fisherman, a crackhead evangelist, a politically connected investor, and her brother-in-law, the former sweetheart of the new widow.

The more Baxley digs, the more the Bubbas start to unravel. Worse, her brother-in-law’s definitely more than friendly with the new widow.

Between petsitting, landscaping, and dreamwalking, Baxley’s got her hands full solving this case.

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13 comments:

Angela Adams said...

"goofball brother-in-law" -- I got a kick out of that description!

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Angela,

How nice of you to visit! I think most of the people in my books could politely be described as "goofball" but don't tell them. They think they are eccentric, which is a good thing in the South!

Maggie

Maggie Toussaint said...

Sending a shout out to my blog host, Lois. Thanks for having me guest here on Book Club Friday. I look forward to chatting with friends and fans of mystery at Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers.

Maggie

vicki batman said...

Hi, Maggie! Phones--sigh. The "there's an app for that" stuff drives me crazy. I just don't want all of them; just the ones I need--and Ebay, Etsy, mahjong, Pandora. LOL My men commented on me using the phone and I just roll my eyes. It's a tool for me to use. I love texting and email.

Congratulations on your book. You are awesome. Hugs.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Maggie,

Just went to one grandkid's graduation this morning. We took everyone out for lunch and all the kids including their parents were on their smart phones. My husband and I don't even want to text. We use the old dumb cell phone and not often.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hey Vicki,

I am becoming more app savvy. I have recently figured out how to upload those little store bar code dealies into an app on my phone so I don't have to find them at the store. We also use a weather app a lot. Got caught in a boat in some bad weather once going off the forecast from the newspaper. Much better to see the current radar exactly where we are. I may not be the most tech savvy, but I see the benefits. Big learning curve for me though!

Maggie

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi there, Jacquie,

I find smart phones to be addictive. They do so much. If you have time to kill, it's just so easy to reach for the phone. The internet is there, email is there, social media is there, the weather forecast is there... I don't know that I need all of that instant connectivity, sometimes I hate being reachable all the time, but it goes with the territory. Even Mr. Flip Phone finally caved and moved over to the dark side with a smart phone. He's a much quicker learner than I am, plus, he's figured out how to make the app do all kinds of golf things.

I probably would've stayed with a flip phone if I hadn't needed to be able to accept credit cards as a vendor at a festival. But there's a little thingy you plug in and it works great.

Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment!

Maggie

Nancy J. Cohen said...

You're right in that it would be nice if there were a big glossy instructional manual--in print--that came with our technology these days and was easy to understand. I'm still trying to figure out how to get on the Internet with our TV to access Amazon prime movies or Netflix. It seems we either have to go through our DVD player or our Wii game device. The connections are confusing. As for Baxley, she's learning as she goes, which is how most of us develop new skills.

Morgan Mandel said...

Just when I have things figured out on my smartphone or with programs on my computer, someone decides change is better, and I have to learn all over again.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I hate being in the dark, too, Maggie -- so I've carefully avoided the smart phone option for communications. I have a simple phone for emergencies and I use it only for calling and texting (and very infrequently).

Dreamwalking is a great idea for a paranormal mystery. Baxley Powell sounds like an interesting character.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Thanks for visiting, Nancy J Cohen, Morgan Mandel, and Patricia Stoltey!

Nancy, Let me know when you figure out how to do that. I still need to learn that step as well.

Morgan, I have a similar problem with upgrades. They keep upgrading software until your device doesn't have enough capacity to run the device. It's maddening.

Patricia, Welcome to the dinosaur generation! That's what I told my husband he was. Even his golf teaching buddy was smart phoning it, using the phone to do what a video camera would do. I find there are many uses for the smarter phones, most of them I'm not smart enough to figure out! Thanks for your kind words about Baxley being an interesting character.

Have a great weekend, everyone! It was a delight to be here at Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers.

Maggie Toussaint
also writing science fiction as Rigel Carson

Carole Price said...

My daughters are tech savvy.They're always warning me not to push this button or that because whenever I do I get into trouble. So they say. There's an app for everything. I don't begin to know all that my cell phone can do, but I'm learning as I go. It hasn't exploded yet!

Karen McCullough said...

I'd be lost without my iPhone - literally! I use the Google GPS app all the time to get me to places I'm not familiar with. I also use it to check email on the road, keep track of my boarding passes and loyalty cards, accept credit cards at book signings, keep up with Facebook, and hold multiple shopping lists. It also doubles as an alarm clock, camera and flashlight. I can't imagine life without it. And I'm pretty sure it can do a lot more that I haven't even tried yet. Anyway, your book sounds like great fun. I look forward to reading it.