p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 20 books in five genres. A full-time author since 2002, Black Swamp Mysteries is her first series, inspired by the success of Exit 22 in 2008. The books include Exit 22, Vicki's Key, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, Dylan's Song and The Pendulum Files. Vicki's Key placed as one of four finalists in the 2012 International Book Awards. Her historical book, River Passage, won the 2010 Best Drama Award, and her romantic suspense, The Tempest Murders, placed as one of four finalists in the 2013 USA Best Book Awards.
Prior to becoming a full-time writer, she founded and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her specialties were computer crime and computer intelligence and her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. Computer technology often weaves its way through her contemporary suspense/thrillers.
She is also the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation and the founder of The Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, an annual event to raise money for literacy campaigns. She also serves on the boards of the Friends of the Robeson County Public Library and the Robeson County Arts Council, and served as the first female president for the Chesterfield County/ Colonial Heights Crime Solvers.
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When I wrote Vicki’s Key, the second book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, I needed to introduce a man that Vicki would fall for fast and hard. Being a research fanatic, I searched for studies that had been conducted on exactly what most women find attractive in a man—and what keeps them coming back for more.
The result was the introduction of Irishman Dylan Maguire. My research must have been on target because he was supposed to be in just one book. But when my editors and readers read the book they told me in no uncertain terms: Dylan will be a main character throughout the entire series. Period.
It all started with accents. It turned out that the accent that women love the most worldwide is Scottish followed by Irish and then Australian.
One characteristic women love is a great sense of humor. So when I was contemplating making the character Scottish or Irish, I gravitated toward the Irish because of their love of a good time, their reputation for being easy-going, their gift of gab and their love of humor.
Women still gravitate toward the tall, dark and handsome. So of course Dylan is taller than most with black hair and a body a woman can’t stop looking at (nor would she want to).
He has hazel eyes. We don’t hear much about hazel eyes anymore because green and hazel eyes are not as common as they once were. About the only place where those eye colors are common are in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
It turns out that women love a romantic man—someone who enjoys showering her with love, roses, attention and a good time. But they also want a man who can protect them. Dylan has been shown throughout the series to have a soft streak when it comes to the woman he loves; he is a true romantic. But he is also quite capable of defending her, even if it means murder.
I love writing the Black Swamp Mysteries series because the characters are so multi-faceted. With each book, we learn more about Dylan Maguire, particularly in Book Four, Dylan’s Song, in which he returns to his native Ireland to search for a missing CIA operative. From his accent to his muscle to his personality, he’s definitely a character I will be writing about for a long time to come.
And who would I want to play Dylan if the series was turned into film? My pick would be Kevin Ryan, an Irish actor who hails from Dublin.
p.m. will be awarding a beautiful Celtic cross necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Comment on every stop to enter!
CIA operative Dylan Maguire joins forces with psychic spy Vicki Boyd to find out who is bombing merchant vessels bound for the United States from China. Their mission will lead them to Black Sites, the high seas and into covert operations. And when an assassin escapes from prison determined to finish the job he started, they find their personal lives and their missions are about to collide in ways they never could have imagined.
Brenda was leaning her head against the window as if asleep and now she began to move her fingers ever so slightly toward the door handle. She kept her eyes on his reflection; he was focused on driving, his eyes locked on the road just as it had been before. Only his right hand was holding the steering wheel now; it had slipped to a three o’clock position.
A slight movement caught her attention; it was so subtle, she almost thought she’d imagined it. Then she spotted the glint of metal across his body, though the road still held his attention. Her fingers locked onto the door handle as the metal rose slightly up and away from his body. He turned his head as his left hand snapped forward.
She jerked the door open as the shot rang out. She felt something sharp and hot against her shin as she kicked herself away from the car. She tumbled onto the pavement before hitting the shoulder, the gravel feeling like a million razors slicing through her flesh. She heard her own voice as if it was disembodied, screaming as she forced herself to roll across the sharp gravel before plummeting down the incline, compelling herself to continue rolling even as she realized she’d been shot in the leg.
She heard the car’s brakes slamming, the tires squealing as the man struggled to bring the car to a stop. At seventy miles an hour, it should have taken the car further from her even as she rushed to escape. But when she came to her feet and looked back at the road, she estimated he was about three hundred feet further down the road—not far enough.
She ran toward the tree line, which now appeared too far away. As a second shot rang out, she knew his sights were set on her back, and she struggled to run straight, fighting the impulse to run opposite of him. It kept her profile smaller but when he shot a third and then fourth time, she could almost feel the bullets whizzing past her.
The third and fourth shots sounded increasingly louder and she knew he was running after her. Her breath was loud and labored, her blood pounding in her temples. Even as she drew closer to the shadows of the trees, she could feel herself slowing down. The adrenaline that propelled her down the slope and to her feet was fighting against the pain in her leg.
She could feel the blood oozing down her shin and pooling in her shoe, causing her to slip and slide along grass already slick with dew. Another shot rang out, whizzing so close to her hair that she thought it had passed through it.
She threw herself into the shadows, pushing herself beyond her leg’s endurance to keep going, to get into the pine forest, weaving and bobbing forward and eastward, away from the car, away from the interstate. Hopefully, away from him.
She wanted to stop; she wanted to pull some article of clothing off herself and wrap it around her shin to keep the blood in, to keep the flesh together, but she didn’t dare hesitate. She heard the branches cracking behind her; he was there and he was closing on her. Even as she propelled herself forward, she knew all he had to do was follow the movement of the branches ahead of him to know exactly where she was.
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