Let's Talk with Maggie Toussaint

Getting my story ducks in a row

March 7, 2024
Photo 55388895 | Five Ducks Row © Melanie798 | Dreamstime.com

As is often the way for authors of series, I find myself at a crossroads. I’ve been working on A Magic Candle Shop series for a few years now. The characters have been eating, working, and sleeping with me for all that time, and they are very sure of what comes next. You’d think I’d be fired up, but I’m procrastinating starting the next book. You see, once book five is written, that’s it for these people, I mean, characters.

[Current status of the series which I write under the Valona Jones pen name: Snuffed Out (Book One) and In The Wick Of Time (Book Two) are published. Book Three is on submission. Book Four is done and with my freelance editor. Book Five is in the brainstorming stage, and it’s the last book.]

The reason for that is the series arcs will complete in book five. All of the relevant info about the Paranormal Council will be revealed. Amateur sleuth Tabby Winslow’s world gets turned upside down when she learns her man’s dirty little secrets. Sage will get exactly what she needs to be whole, and she will no longer be catty, snarky, or grumpy (imagine that!).

The murder mystery part of the book is still a blank slate. One character, Peaches McVeigh, has come through the story ether to let me know she expects to be in this book. She is a nightclub singer. Not sure at this point if she will be more like Lady Chablis or distantly related to Johnny Mercer, a famed Savannah songwriter. Poor Peaches, though. The roles left to play are few–that of victim, villain, or suspect—because I’m bringing back most of the familiar characters.

The ensemble cast includes the twins (Tabby and Sage); Auntie O and her beau, Frankie; candle shop clerks Gerard and Eve, Larry (Sage’s new squeeze); shop cats Harley and Luna; attorney Herbert R Ellis and his talking cat, Violet; Detectives Nowry and Belfor along with District Captain Haynes; Fawn Meldrim, the blue-haired art student; the troublemaker from Book Four; and the council’s assassin from Book Four.

Photo 35036304 © Paleka | Dreamstime.com

I’m considering killing off a council member. Not sure if it will be someone from the Savannah City Council or the Paranormal Council. The murder weapon is the next thing to decide. So far in this series I’ve used guns twice, an arrow, and poison. I like to vary the means of death. Lots of possibilities out there for book five, so I’m asking for your help.

For the purposes of this post, assume Peaches is the victim and she’s killed in the historic district of Savannah. Suspects will be art student Fawn Meldrim, troublemaker Lilah from book four, shop clerk Eve who is a white witch, councilperson John Brown, and drummer Travis Pooler.

Leave a comment with whodunnit and the murder weapon for a chance to win IN THE WICK OF TIME. The winner will be chosen randomly, using random.org to generate the winning number. Feel free to chime in even if you already have the book! The winner will be announced Tuesday March 11. Hardcover or digital book in the US; digital book to overseas folks.  THE WINNER IS KAY GARRETT!

While you’re here, be sure to check out our contest page for our March Booklover’s Bench contest. It runs from March 1-22, with the winner receiving two books. Click to CONTEST PAGE

To learn more about our author Maggie Toussaint, visit her WEBSITE.

Posted in Let's Talk, with Maggie Toussaint • Tags: , , , , |  44 Comments


44 thoughts on “Getting my story ducks in a row

  1. Although a drumstick or wand might be possible, how about a knitting needle, cymbal, or teacher’s pointer?

  2. My choice of whodunit is art student Fawn Meldrim. Weapon of choice would be a stainless steel spear pick used in sculpting.

    Thank you for the fabulous chance to win a copy of IN THE WICK OF TIME. Would love the opportunity to read and review it.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. thanks, Kaye! I love the idea of using an art tool as an art student’s murder weapon.

  3. How about a ghost kills her since she’s in the historic district. Or at least she thinks she sees a ghost and tumbles down a flight of steps outside to her death.

    1. The set of steps heading down to River Street is called the Stone Stairs of Death or SSOD to locals. A fall down those steps would be a good use of local setting. Thanks, Nancy!

    1. Fawn has two votes now! It’d have to be the exact right kind of palette knife, but that could work. Thanks, AMWeeks

  4. I like Travis the drummer using his drum sticks. He does it because he has stolen a song from her and claimed it as his own, and she is about to out him. If he is not the creator of the song, he loses a chance to go REALLY big time in the music world.

  5. Sounds like you’ve got your work cut out for you. This is the fun stage, where you get to come up with all sorts of fun ideas. It’s especially fun when the motive for murder isn’t the real motive. Have fun with it!

  6. I’m going to be the different one, as usual. Let’s allow Violet to murder Peaches by tripping her at the top of those Stone Stairs of Death. Why? Peaches knows something she shouldn’t know!

  7. Ha ha! Violet can’t be charged… But I’m liking the SSOD theme in the comments.

    1. Peaches took a picture of something she shouldn’t have. Does she attempt to blackmail someone for her silence – after all, a girl has expenses. Or does she forget about it and move on? Before she can make her choice, a “thief” jumps her by the stairs and shoves her down them, making sure to take her phone and handbag. She’s dead by the time she reaches the bottom.

  8. I am instantly suspicious of John Brown. Is his name a pseudonym? I think he killed her in the graveyard by a falling statue because she found out he was a criminal under a false identity. His talent has to do with control of kinetic energy.

  9. I think it will be Fawn and she will do it with a very heavy frame that she has left unstable and invites Peaches to help her set it up. Thank you for the chance. Have a great weekend.

    1. Heavy frames are always hard to get right, so I can see how that might wreak havoc. Thanks, Alicia.

  10. Troublemaker Lilah meets Peaches at a bar along the riverfront. Lilah dumps her eye drops in Peaches’s hurricane punch and later, tumps her over into the river.

    1. I hear ya, Gay! Thanks for weighing in. I know an author who always coshes her story victims in the head. She doesn’t feel the need to vary murder weapons in different stories. I like the variety and having to set up much different scenarios.

    1. Death by drumstick sounds like either a very cool way to go or a truly bad end! Thanks, Diana.

    1. Good idea. I haven’t used a candlestick yet, and it’s so appropriate! Much appreciated, Sherrie.

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