Book Club Questions for Dreamed It

  1. In Dreamed It, paranormal sleuth and crime consultant Baxley Powell juggles the pressure of two high-profile cases and expanding her limits. Traveling through the afterlife is hard enough, now she has to use her abilities to find a frightened woman. Consider putting yourself in Baxley’s shoes. If you had a certain skill for solving crimes would you become a police crime consultant? Why or why not?
  2. A Native American she met on vacation, Deputy Sam Mayes, makes no secret that he wants Baxley in his life. He uses their cultural differences to his advantage, wooing her Cherokee-style. He would consider holding her to the promises she makes by accepting his gifts but there’s no need to be heavy handed. Baxley is also in love with him. Do you think a strong relationship has a place in a mystery?
  3. In my early years, my dreams were so vivid upon awakening. Then came marriage and juggling kids, career, marriage, and writing. Guess what? Those vivid sleeping dreams went bye-bye. But there was a time in between where I kept a pad and pen by my bed just in case I remembered any dreams upon waking. Do you remember your nighttime dreams now? Did you ever remember them?
  4. Baxley and Mayes awaken someplace different than when they went to sleep. They are wearing someone else’s clothes. Worst of all, they have no memory of where they were or what they did in the dark of the night. There’s a lot of freaking out and unhelpful figuring out. They sneak home and burn the clothes so that there’s nothing physical to link them to whatever happened. They hope. What would you do if this happened to you?
  5. Baxley has a true affinity for animals. She has a veritable menagerie at her place with these dogs: Muffin, Elvis, and Maddy; and these cats, Sulay and Ziggy. Muffin is a rescued terrier, while Elvis is a therapy chihuahua. Maddy is Baxley’s daughter’s Labrador retriever and is not pictured here. Little Ziggy, a tabby, is a relatively new addition to the crew. Sulay, the Maine coon cat, is the boss of the pack. Baxley has one more pet: Oliver the ghost dog. Oliver is a Great Dane she rescued from being chained to a haunted house, and he’s incredibly loyal to her. Oliver loves pets and ear rubs, and he’s a darn good tracker too. Do you believe authors add pets to story to increase the number of characters or are you of the belief that pets are people too?
  6. The woo-woo factor is a big part of this paranormal series. I have no crystal ball or eyewitness knowledge about the afterlife, but in this series I’ve shown it as something akin to a different reality. It has the attributes we’ve heard about through time, a way to go into the light for the contented souls, and all kinds of in-between places for those souls whose dark emotions, unfinished business, or otherwise detoured trap them in a hell of their own choosing. Trips to the Other Side take a toll in terms of energy and time, and Baxley is fortunate to have a team that helps her recover from her dreamwalks. Is there someone in your family, community, or a historical figure that you might choose to visit in the afterlife if you had the power?
  7. My sleuth Baxley Powell is a Dreamwalker. She taps into her extrasensory abilities to learn more about a person, place, or thing in this world or the next. In reality, psychics often have one strong extrasensory skill. In the Dreamwalker Series, I take liberties so that Baxley explores a new paranormal aspect in each book. Dreamed It is book six in this series. Her skill set includes lie detection, touch readings, traveling to the spirit realm, sharing energy, being there for her ghost dog, spontaneous visions, and something new in book six. While fumbling to reach the kidnapped teen, Baxley’s consciousness gets bumped out of her mind and into another’s. If you could have any of Baxley’s paranormal abilities, which would you select and why?
  8. Throughout this series Baxley’s Other World mentor has been a plus and a minus. She helps Baxley when she’s asked, but there’s always a price with Rose. She doesn’t do freebies. Consequently, Baxley now owes Rose 3 hours of her life. Dreamed It opens with a chilling scene that is believed to have been engineered by Rose, but all of Baxley’s attempts to contact her go nowhere. Bottom line: Rose is missing. Her absence unnerves Baxley. Though Rose was a pain to work with, Baxley enjoyed having backup. The serial killer and the missing teen cases in Dreamed It could use Rose’s help, but she’s not there. In our lives, friends come and go through marriage, moving, career changes, lifestyle changes, and death. Is there a particular friend you’ve lost track of that you’d dearly love to connect with again?
  9. This amateur sleuth series mostly fits in the cozy genre, but there are usually scary moments when Baxley faces down the villain. With the story seed of Dreamed It being ripped from the headlines and the villain being a serial killer, this story leans slightly toward thriller. But it’s still a small town murder solved by deputies and an amateur sleuth. How do you feel about paranormal cozies? Do you like all your cozies to be traditional in style?
  10. Dreamed It is the sixth book in a seven book series. Early in the series we learn that Baxley’s soldier husband was declared missing and then dead by the service several years ago. She never believed the finding because she searched for him among the dead and he wasn’t there. Over the first few books we learn more about how she operates in this limbo of not knowing. In book five, readers find out what happened to her husband, and Baxley and Mayes guide his spirit into the light. All of the steps of grieving for her husband get jumbled up but she makes it through the process, feeling much better. And now there’s a new man in her life, one that shares her talents and helps on her Dreamwalks. She wants to take that next step in their relationship but she’s afraid. All of this is given to say that Baxley’s series arc is one of self-discovery and personal growth. Do you prefer this kind of series where the character changes, or do you prefer the mysteries where the main character stays the same and the crimes and/or locations change?

Great Escapes Blog Tour for Dreamed It

This link will update the tour page daily with the post links and snippets from the reviews. https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/upcoming-great-escapes-book-tours/dreamed-it-dreamwalker-mystery-by-maggie-toussaint/

These are the tour stops and their respective dates:

August 14 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 14 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

August 15 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

August 15 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST

August 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

August 17 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

August 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 18 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

August 19 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

August 19 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

August 20 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

August 20 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 22 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

August 22 – Teresa Watson’s Blog – REVIEW

Thank you, Lori Caswell, for all your hard work in setting this up. You are a true friend to mystery readers and authors.

Dreamed It

Justice for the dead and solace for the living is Baxley Powell’s creed, but she faces uncharted territory in this sixth book of the Dreamwalker Mystery Series. The Suitcase Killer has struck again, only this big city menace is now a problem for Baxley’s hometown. As that investigation heats up, a local woman is reported missing. The sheriff orders Baxley to work the missing person’s case.

Listening to the dead is familiar ground for Baxley but finding a missing young lady isn’t in her skill set. Besides, her dreams rarely follow a timeline. With the clock ticking, can this crime consultant discover a way to reach the living?

Her main source of help in the afterlife, a mentor named Rose, is unavailable. Instead, Baxley must rely on her wits and her Native American boyfriend, Deputy Sam Mayes, to find leads. Each shared dreamwalk and energy transfer binds them closer together, creating another issue. Mayes wants to marry Baxley but it isn’t that easy. They’re hampered by their community roles in opposite ends of the state.

Baxley juggles the pressure of two high-profile cases, a determined suitor, and expanding her limits. One thing is certain. Without her extrasensory sleuthing, the missing woman will die.

Excerpt:A sudden jolt propelled me to consciousness. I gazed upon a vast darkness and wheezed air into my lungs. Time passed as I steadied my breathing and slowed my racing heart. Flat on my back, I took stock of my situation.

Numb limbs indicated an extended dreamwalk, but I had no memory of any such excursion. I’d spent a quiet Sunday evening at home with my daughter and Sam Mayes, my Native American boyfriend, who was down from North Georgia for the weekend. I’d gone to sleep in my own bed and awakened here, wherever here was. Was I alone? I called upon my flagging energy to do a life signs scan. Using my extra senses, I virtually ranged out from my prone position. Mayes was to my immediate left, and from his low energy levels, as wiped out as I was. He was a dreamwalker, same as me. And from the cold energy pressing against my leg, my ghost dog watched over us. He’d bark on the spirit plane if someone or something approached, though my scan assured me we were alone. The void in my memory worried me. My debilitated condition pointed to an extrasensory event, but danged if I remembered contacting a spirit on the Other Side. Strange, because I remembered every other dreamwalk I’d ever made. Why not this one?

So much for me being an expert on the paranormal. Just when I thought I had the hang of my unusual profession of communicating with the dead, it socked me in the teeth. Crossing over to the spirit realm was something I did often, but the veil between the living and the dead nearly won this time. This had been no ordinary dreamwalk.

Instead of it being a spirit-only event, somehow our bodies had also undergone the shift. That defied the laws of physics, but here we were, body and spirit. Impossible and yet my reality. Tears misted my eyes, and I blinked to sharpen my vision. A woodsy aroma filled my nose, so we were outdoors. The darkness suggested it was night. My thoughts drifted into a self-healing meditative trance focusing on the breath. Gradually, clarity returned. As numbness yielded to tingling nerves, sensation seeped into my rigid body. Fatigue rolled in next, and with it, the riptide of bone-deep exhaustion. Despite my weariness, I took heart. This reaction was normal after an extended dreamwalk. Oliver lapped happily at my face, his whip-thin tail wagging his entire ghostly form. Good dog, Oliver, I managed as I joined him on the spirit plane. While here in spirit only, I still maintained awareness of my physical surroundings. My ghost dog materialized as a misty image of a jet black Great Dane, his body aquiver with happiness. Earlier this summer I rescued Oliver from virtual chains and too-tight collar at a haunted house. No amount of urging had prompted him to the afterlife, and his essence attached to mine. At this bereft moment, I was delighted by his presence. Oliver showed us the way home through the drift, I realized. It wasn’t the first time he’d rescued me, and I owed him so much already.

Despite my dry-as-cotton mouth, I cooed over him while I tried to pinpoint my location. Stars twinkled overhead, framed by tall oaks and pines. Not my treetops, not my yard. I heard a moan to my left. Felt the urgency as Mayes whispered my name.

“Baxley.”

With a final rub of the ears for Oliver, I integrated fully into the physical plane.

Mayes whispered again, his tone deeper and freighted with authority. “Bax. You okay?”

“Yeah.” I managed. “What happened to us?”

“Got no clue.” Sam Mayes had become a fixture in my life, though I’d only known him for three months. I wished I was in his protective arms right this very second.

“I feel like I got run over by a truck,” I said. “Last thing I remember is getting ready for bed.”

“That’s right.” His voice roughened. “I shared your toothpaste before we crawled under the covers.”

My face heated as memories surfaced. “I remember the before-sleep part fine, but between there and here is a big, fat zero. Except for Oliver. He guided us home through the drift.” I tried to sit, but my limbs weren’t fully responsive yet. I remained prone.

“I have the same mental gap. I believe we were taken, body and spirit, from your house.” Hearing the words made it real. The impossible had happened. Nothing else explained our physical displacement, the prolonged recovery time, and the shared memory gaps.

My teeth ground together as I made another connection. “Unless some other entity kidnapped us, my money’s on Rose. Her abilities go beyond the possible. I’ve never met another spirit entity as powerful.”

Allegedly, my otherworld mentor, Rose, worked undercover in the spirit realm, but she claimed to be an angel. Seeing her dark, powerful wings had made a believer out of me. That physical manifestation, her ability to do impossible feats, and her total hold on me proved she was more than a powerful spirit. She’d banished demons, fetched folks from beyond the point of no return, wrestled with selkies, quelled spirit rebellions, and more. Trouble was, Rose kept changing the rules of our association.

By sheer willpower, I managed to draw one hand close enough to study in the starlight. From the faint glow of my watch, it was three a.m. The rose tattoo on my hand was still there. Rose put three tattoos on my body to indicate the hours of my indenture to her. Rats. If she’d gone to the trouble of kidnapping us and erasing our memories, her prominent brand indicated I still owed her the hours of my life I’d willingly exchanged during life-or-death situations of loved ones.

That’s right. Rose charged for her supernatural favors, and I’d begged for her help three times. Each time the terms had been the same. A favor in exchange for an hour of my life. I’d agreed due to the dire nature of the situations, but darn-it-all if I wanted Rose to collect. With her rule-bending nature, I could turn into a mass murderer or worse on either side of the veil.

“I keep reminding you, Rose is not your friend,” Mayes said.

“Maggie Toussaint’s ability to craft growing, exquisite tension couched in interpersonal relationships, revelations, and the fine line between the Other Side and waking events enhances another story that is hard to put down: one which will attract and please both mystery readers and those seeking a walk on the wild side of paranormal abilities. Dreamed It crafts a tense, outstanding whodunit that will keep readers involved on both an emotional and an investigative level, right up to the story’s riveting conclusion.” –Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Dreamed It is a carefully crafted tale of murder and the paranormal with a unique protagonist in the person of dream-walker and amateur sleuth Baxley Powell.” Diane A.S. Stuckart, NYT bestselling author (as Ali Brandon) of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series “Dreamed It is a suspenseful page-turner that you won’t be able to put down.” –Nancy J Cohen, Author of the Bad Hair Day mysteries

“The very first paragraph flings you into the paranormal subplot of Dreamed It. Baxley and her boyfriend, Mayes, wake up after an extended dreamwalk that neither remembers taking. Who did this to them and why? Baxley’s powerful otherworld contact, Rose, is not answering and cannot be found. Mayes is preparing to return home from his visit when Baxley is called into work. A suitcase with a body in it has been found. Mayes knows of the Georgia cases relating to a serial killer known as the Suitcase Killer and requests permission from his sheriff to stay and assist. The impetus to solve the case ratchets up when a local woman goes missing. Dreamed It continues Baxley’s story as she learns her dreamwalking powers and her heart. This is a well written series that has continued to surprise and engage from the very first book. I can’t wait for more stories.” –Pat Dupuy as seen on Goodreads

“This is a wonderful series. The paranormal aspect is written well and captivates you from the get-go. The characters are interesting and engaging. This latest offering is one you won’t be able to put down! I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.”—Karen Kenyon on Goodreads

“This is one of my favorite series. The author has created dimensional characters that I have come to care deeply about. I find myself thinking about Baxley, Sam, Baxley’s daughter Larissa, and all the secondary characters when I’m not reading the books. Another thing I like about this is, the paranormal aspects are plausible. It requires very little suspension of disbelief to get caught up in Bax and Sam’s dreamwalks, or in Bax’s conversations with the dead people she delivers messages to, or the crime victims she helps. There is a good balance of mystery, interpersonal relationships, day-to-day living, and romance. Wherever Baxley is, is a place I want to be. I am always pleased to see a new Dreamwalker mystery, and this one did not disappoint. I am enjoying watching Bax’s and Sam’s relationship progress, and seeing Bax settle into her powers I’m envious of her support team, and her relationship with 10-year-old Larissa. I appreciate how she treats Larissa like a person, giving her a safe place to grow up, but not sugarcoating the realities of life. Baxley is someone I wish I could hang out with. I hope this is a long-running series.” – Denise Zendel on Goodreads

“I very much enjoy this series. It is just enough “out there” while still being grounded in a familiar reality. The characters are developing nicely (believably) with each story. This one was particularly creepy with so many women being the victims and the manner of their deaths. The final countdown was hair raising.” –Elizabeth Dodd on Goodreads