Today we're welcoming author p.m. terrell to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the Black Swamp mystery series.
p.m. was brave enough to share five things about herself that we might not know. The floor is yours!
1. My passions are helping God’s creatures and writing, in that order.
2. I currently own four rescue dogs: a foxhound named Mattie who was seized from a hunting lodge in South Carolina along with hundreds of other dogs; a collie named Simone who was seized from a backyard breeder and who was nearly starved to death when I adopted her; a Jack Russell named Eddie who had been shot in the leg—I brought him to a specialist who reconstructed his leg and inserted a metal plate; and a Jack Russell-Basset Hound mix named Lucy Lou who almost died from parvo. Three of the four dogs were adopted through the Robeson County Humane Society. A few years ago, I helped to raise money for them by auctioning off the role of a dog in one of my books—The Banker’s Greed features a golden retriever named Abby, who was the winner of the auction.
3. I helped to start the New Leash on Life program in a Robeson County prison, where inmates are pared with dogs who were destined for euthanasia. The inmates obedience train using the praise method—no punishment allowed—and after the dogs are house-trained and can heel, sit, stay and come on command, they are adopted out to loving homes.
4. I raise freshwater angelfish, purely by accident. I had several when I began writing the Black Swamp Mysteries series. The main characters, Vicki and Dylan, use an angelfish breeding business as a front for their CIA activities and every time I wrote that they were tending to the angelfish eggs or fry, my own would lay eggs! My largest angels are around ten inches tall. I’ve become somewhat of an expert in raising them and even launched a how-to website called www.vickisangelfish.blogspot.com, named after the character in the series.
5. I want to leave this world in a better place for having been here. So each place I live, I try to do something good for the community. I founded Book ‘Em North Carolina in an effort to raise literacy rates in Robeson County, North Carolina, a community that until recently was dependent on tobacco farming and manufacturing. Each year, I bring together more than 75 authors, publishers and literary agents who participate in panel discussions and sell their books—and a portion of every book sale goes to a literacy program.
Blurb: Political strategist Christopher Sandige is driving along Interstate 95 in North Carolina when he is involved in a one-car accident. Stranded for the weekend, he meets a beautiful but mysterious woman and is immediately pulled into a double homicide. Now he’s on the run from law enforcement—and a hired assassin. As he falls deeper for Brenda Carnegie, he begins to wonder if she is the killer. As he pieces everything together and comes closer to the truth—time runs out.
He placed his hands on the dock ladder, the frigid steel biting his hands with an unexpected ferocity. Quickly, he began to scale the ladder as Brenda knelt down beside him.
She had just started to hold her hand out to assist him when a great blue heron cried out, it’s trumpeting voice aggressive and hoarse as it floated on the wind just above their heads. Chris watched Brenda as she pulled back and tilted her head to admire the huge bird, the wind catching her hair.
He heard the sound of the shot in almost the same instant as he felt it whiz between them in the exact location where she’d knelt only a moment ago.
“Jesus!” he cried out, releasing his grip on the ladder and plunging into the water.
In a flurry of activity, Brenda threw herself back into the boat with a sudden fury, crossing the open stern as another shot rang out and echoed across the lake. Chris bounced out of the water almost the second his body struck it, flinging himself onto the deck in a fluid movement borne of a rapid surge of adrenaline. He half-crawled, half-propelled himself toward the rope that tied the boat to the dock as Brenda frantically tried to start the engine. As it sputtered and stalled and another bullet barely missed his bobbing and weaving body, he frenetically loosened the rope, his fingers feeling fat and uncoordinated and the rope stiff and unyielding.
His eyes darted toward the house as he threw the now-loosened rope into the boat and raced toward the bow, where it bobbled in the water with one remaining rope tethering it to the dock. The man from the hotel was walking calmly from the back door, his arm raised, his eyes measured as he crossed the small yard toward them. He was too far away for him to strike his target, but Chris knew it would be only seconds before he was close enough for his aim to be sure. Maniacally, he worked at the rope as the engine coughed, its slow groan in contrast with his rapidly beating heart.
As the last inch of rope was freed, he threw himself into the bow as another bullet whizzed past him and the engine sprung to life.
“Jesus!” he screamed again. “He’s trying to kill me!”
Then he was throwing himself toward the steering wheel, pushing Brenda away as he thrust the boat into reverse. The boat’s sudden movement knocked his breath from him, but his hands continued to grip the wheel with stubborn ferocity. Brenda pulled herself from the floor and raised her gun over the windshield. As he turned the boat from shore, he vaguely sensed her moving through the vessel, returning the man’s fire as they sped away toward open water.
Blurb: Following a flawed CIA mission, Vicki Boyd leaves the CIA to begin a new life in a new town assisting an elderly woman. But when she arrives, she finds Laurel Maguire has suffered a stroke and her nephew has arrived from Ireland to care for her. Vicki quickly falls in love with the charming Dylan Maguire, but all is not what it seems to be at Aunt Laurel’s house. And when the CIA arrive to recruit Vicki for one last mission, she finds her past and her future are about to collide… In murder.
Vicki found herself in Dylan’s bedroom as if she was a phantom hovering in the far corner. She could see her own body sound asleep, curled into a ball under the covers. As her eyes roamed around the room, she found her pocketbook on the coffee table, the contents strewn, her driver’s license and CIA identification in plain view.
Her heart began pounding so hard it left her breathless. She turned back to the bed, where her body lay still and quiet. Dylan was no longer curled up behind her, keeping her warm. He was sitting on the floor beside the bed, watching her sleep, dressed in jeans and a cotton shirt. At his feet, laid across the floor, was the newspaper article of her parents’ plane accident.
And standing just behind him was an elderly woman with tightly curled hair, dressed in a sheer gown that reached to tiny feet that were so frail, the skin so thin, that they appeared almost translucent. As Vicki watched, she leaned over Dylan’s shoulder and glowered at Vicki’s sleeping body with opalescent eyes. Her red hair almost appeared to be exploding in angry flames as she screamed at the still body.
“Run!” she screamed in a voice so shrill and so loud that the sound sent a wave of terror through Vicki’s soul. “Run!”
Blurb: Irishman Dylan Maguire is back and in his first assignment with the CIA, he must interrogate recently captured Brenda Carnegie. But when she escapes again, it’s obvious that she’s had help from within the CIA’s own ranks. Psychic spy Vicki Boyd assists him in locating her again—but when he discovers Brenda’s true identity, he realizes his mission has just become very personal.
Brenda turned to fully face Dylan and he found himself unable to tear himself away from her eyes. They were like liquid pools a man could drown in. She continued staring at him, expectantly waiting for his response.
“You shouldn’t keep me here, Irish,” she said. “It’s only a matter of time before he finds me. You’re harboring a fugitive. You’ve got to know it carries serious consequences.”
“The last place they’ll be lookin’ is right under their noses.”
“Is that so?” She sounded unconvinced.
“They think you’ve gone to Washington, you know.”
“Is that what they think?” She cocked her head.
“What would make them think that?”
“Now, why do you think?”
They stared at one another for a long moment. He knew his brows were knit, his eyes narrowed, and he could feel his lips slightly turned down. But her face remained completely expressionless. She stared at him with neither malice nor friendship and though he felt as though his soul could be sucked into those amber pools and lost there, he couldn’t read what the woman behind them intended to do.
“You know,” he said slowly, his eyes moving from her eyes to her lips and back, “you wanted to be seen on that camera.”
“What camera?” Her lips turned up slightly and one eyebrow rose.
He felt the heat rising in his cheeks and his brows knit tighter.
“Oh,” she said, perhaps sensing his mood, “that camera.”
“You wanted us to be searchin’ for you northward. And all the while you knew you’d be here.” She didn’t respond and after a moment, he added, “And these little games you keep playin’ with me are beginnin’ to foul m’ good humor.”
p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 16 books. Vicki's Key, one of the first books in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, was one of five finalists in the 2012 International Book Awards (Mystery/Suspense) and 2012 USA Best Book Awards (Mystery/Suspense.) River Passage, an historical work based on her ancestor's migration to Fort Nashborough in 1779-1780, won the 2010 Best Fiction & Drama Award. The Nashville (TN) Metropolitan Government Archives determined it to be so historically accurate that they entered the original manuscript into their Archives for future researchers and historians.
Prior to becoming a full-time author in 2002, terrell founded and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her clients included the United States Secret Service, CIA, Department of Defense and federal and local law enforcement. Her specialty is in the areas of computer crime and computer intelligence. Her experience in these areas have greatly influenced her books' plots.
She is the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation, whose slogan is "Buy a Book and Stop a Crook" and whose mission is to raise awareness of the link between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She founded Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, an annual event to raise money to increase literacy and reduce crime.
For more information on Book 'Em North Carolina, visit www.bookemnc.org and www.bookemnc.blogspot.com.
p.m.terrell's website is www.pmterrell.com and her blog is www.pmterrell.blogspot.com.
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/author.p.m.terrell and https://www.facebook.com/pages/pmterrell/129318810431554pm .