Toe to Toe

Title: Toe to Toe
Buy the Book: Deborah's Store


The First in the Nonie Broussard Series

Welcome to Clay Point, Louisiana, home to not-so-average Joes, and Nonie Broussard, a feisty Cajun and trouble magnet. After losing her job when the Garmin factory burns down, Nonie is left with major money issues—as in, she has none. Desperate, she has to turn to the one place she’s avoided working since dropping out of college nearly ten years ago—her family’s funeral home.

It wasn’t that Nonie feared the dead. In fact the opposite was true. She sees them—literally, and had been seeing the dead ever since she can remember. She tried telling her parents about it when she was a child, but they’d vehemently dismissed it to imaginary friends, so she’d stopped talking about it. There were only two people who actually knew Nonie’s secret and knew she was the real deal. One was Kiki Mouton, her best friend since kindergarten, and the other was Guy Skynard, whom Nonie considered her one true love since the day she’d laid eyes on him in high school. Kiki now worked at MeeMaw’s Café off of Main in Clay Point, and Guy, as usual, remained ever at her side—the only difference being he’d died in a freak boating accident ten years ago. Still the prankster even in death, Guy loved causing chaos, especially with men Nonie occasionally dated. She could only imagine what mayhem he might stir up while mirroring her at the funeral home and mingling with the newly departed.

Only hours into the first day of her new job, pandemonium engulfs the funeral home, and much to Nonie’s surprise, it has nothing to do with Guy. It’s brought on by the family they’re serving. It appears that seventy-two –year-old Dover Fontenot, the Major of Clay Point, had a massive heart attack while indulging in a little extra-curricular activity—only the activity wasn’t with his wife , Hazel. And when Dover’s mistress, Anna Mae Turner, shows up at the funeral home for the visitation hell’s gates rip open and Broussard’s Funeral Home suddenly turns into a geriatric war zone.

Amidst the flying hairpieces, canes and curses, Nonie’s best friend, Kiki, decides to drop by the funeral home with news she can’t wait to share. A cable network in New Orleans wants to put together a paranormal investigation team and have them check out purported haunted locations in Louisiana. For every location with solid filming potential, each member of the team gets a five figure pay check. And Kiki knows without question that if anyone can sniff out the ‘restless’ dead, it’s Nonie.

Knowing nothing about paranormal investigation, but lured by the sound of the adventure and the dollar signs circling through her head, Nonie agrees to become part of the Boo Krewe, the name Kiki has formally given the makeshift team.

The lure of money may be one thing, but what Nonie doesn’t realize is that occasionally the dead, so excited that someone can actually see and hear them, decide to follow her home, into her bed—the bathroom—the shower. And adding to this new-found frustration, Nonie barely finishes her first investigation when she gets a visit from Anna Mae Turner—the mayor’s former mistress—now dead, as well, and harassingly insistent that Nonie bring her killer to light.

Nonie quickly learns that the ‘gift’ she’s carried since birth is really a giant wart on the butt of life—and no amount of Compound W is going to make it go away!


A strange and unusually entertaining dark story!

Louisiana author Deborah LeBlanc is not only an award-winning author: she is also a licensed death scene investigator and a paranormal investigator (also known as ghost hunter and occult investigator). In addition to her honors and positions of stature with the Horror Writers Association and the Mystery Writers of America, she is the founder of Literacy Inc, a non-profit organization to fight illiteracy and advocate motivation in America’s teenagers.

With this novel Deborah LeBlanc opens a new series that has enormous promise – the Nonie Broussard Ghost Tracker Series. Though all of her novels are of the dark occult range, this series introduces a lead character in Nonie Broussard who is a medium, and for those unfamiliar with the term, a medium is one who communicates between the natural world and the spiritual world. This may be a tough assignment for other writers, but for Deborah, she inhabits the role, even is to serve as the ‘clairsendium’ for an upcoming paranormal investigation television series!

Creating such a character requires skill, and in the very opening the book Deborah demonstrates her talent: ‘Panting, Nonie Broussard struggled to pull off Dover Fontenot’s underwear. The man weighed well over three hundred and fifty pounds and carried most of that lard in his barrel-chest, gut and butt. Fortunately, Nonie’s father had been gracious enough to cover Dover’s face with a sheet of black plastic so she didn’t have to look at it. In life, Dover had been no Brad Pitt. He’d looked more like a pit bull. A sixty-three-year-old, cigar smoking, bourbon-drinking foul-mouth pit bull and the mayor of Clay Point. LA…’

Using her fine-tuned skill at blending strange creatures and dark situations with fine wry humor, this story unfolds as follows: ‘Nonie Broussard is a medium—a closet medium. After losing her job at a local T-shirt factory, Nonie has to find a way to make ends meet. Not easy in a small town like Clay Point, LA. Two opportunities come her way, however, neither of them easy for someone with her abilities. Throw that medium into a funeral home and paranormal investigations with a gaggle of misfits, all because she has to pay the rent, and watch the fireworks fly!’

This is one fine novel and a strong beginning of a most promising series. Hats off to a Pro!

San Francisco Review of Books