Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Journey to Ireland

Today's special guest is the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation and the founder of Book 'Em North Carolina. Many of the followers from this blog know her as "Trish" but her pen name is p.m.terrell, which stands for Patricia McClelland Terrell. Her 15th book has just been published; Dylan's Song takes the reader from Lumberton, North Carolina to Ireland.


Dylan's Song is the fourth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series. Tell us where the title of the series came from.

My most popular suspense/thriller (at the time) was Exit 22, which takes place off Interstate 95 at Exit 22 in the real town of Lumberton, North Carolina. Readers loved the book so much that I was asked about writing a sequel or a series. When I decided to spin off the book into a series, I knew it had to continue to take place in Lumberton. The black waters of the Lumber River snake through the center of town and there was some talk about naming it the Black Water Mysteries Series but the firm Blackwater (also named after the black waters in these parts) was under investigation and it was decided that we didn't want readers to make a connection between my books and that firm. When the waters recede from heavy rains, they often leave behind black swamps, hence the name.

Why did you choose Lumberton as the backdrop?

I am very inspired by locations here in Lumberton. The downtown area is filled with historic homes, wide streets and trees that overhang the roads as if they're reaching out to one another. There are one-of-a-kind businesses, the parks along the Lumber River, and the Lumber River itself - which turns out to be the perfect place to hide a body.

In Dylan's Song, you make a departure from Lumberton and take the main characters to Ireland. Why Ireland?

In the second book of the series, Vicki's Key, an Irish character was introduced that has turned out to be just about everybody's favorite character. His name is Dylan Maguire and he comes to Lumberton from his native Ireland to assist Laurel Maguire after she suffered a stroke. His past remained a mystery through Vicki's Key and Secrets of a Dangerous Woman. But I knew at some point I would have to tell his story. And the best place to tell it is in Ireland.

Do you have a connection to Ireland?

In a way. My father's ancestors came to America from what is now Northern Ireland (Belfast region) in the 1700's. And their ancestors traced back to both the Irish and the Scots. I began exploring our family history when I wrote Songbirds are Free, about my ancestor Mary Neely, who was captured by Shawnee warriors in 1780 near Fort Nashborough, Tennessee.

My mother's family was traced back to Ireland closer to the southern region, but I don't know as much about that family tree as I do the Neely family.

What are you working on now?

I am working on two series at once. Last year I completed a novel entitled The Tempest Murders, about an Irish detective who moves to Lumberton and works for the police department. He is investigating a string of murders when he discovers the real target is the woman he is falling in love with. Lest you think Ryan O'Clery and Dylan Maguire are similar, think again: their personalities are very, very different. Ryan is an educated man from Dublin, from a family whose history includes generations of law enforcement officers and he can be moody and short-tempered. But the Ryan O'Clery series is also my sexiest series.

Anyway, I am working on the sequel, After the Tempest. I hope both books will be published in 2014 or 2015. My agent is shopping the rights now.

I am also working on the next book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, The Pendulum Files. In that book, Dylan and Vicki must investigate a string of bombings in which goods heading to the United States are targeted. It begins with the trail of a terrorist - but ends in Washington, DC. This book is already scheduled for release in the spring of 2014.


In Dylan's Song, Dylan Maguire returns to his native Ireland with psychic spy Vicki Boyd. Their mission: to locate and extract a missing CIA agent. But when Dylan receives word that his grandmother is dying, it plunges him into a past that he thought he'd left behind forever. Now he must confront his demons before his past rises up to derail his mission. And as Vicki discovers the real reason he left Ireland for America, she is harboring a secret of her own.

It's the fourth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series (behind Exit 22, Vicki's Key and Secrets of a Dangerous Woman) and reviewers are saying it's p.m.terrell's best book yet.

Vicki's Key was a 2012 International Book Awards Finalist and 2012 USA Best Book Awards Finalist. Secrets of a Dangerous Woman is an IPPY nominee.

Suspense Magazine says, “p.m.terrell’s writing is powerfully written and masterfully suspenseful; you have to hang on for the ride of your life.” Midwest Book Review says the Black Swamp Mysteries series is “page-turning action, unforgettable characters, breathtaking descriptions and unexpected plot twists.” And syndicated reviewer Marcia Freespirit says the series is “riveting, spell-binding, sexy and intense!”


The bogs were no place to be during the witching hour.
Dylan had grown up with stories of the bogs at night. The ground percolated; it lived and it breathed. There had been many a time when he was harvesting peat in broad daylight that he’d heard a whisper at his ear or felt hot breath on his neck, only to find there was no one near. Now as he rode his horse in silence, he felt that presence tenfold; there were eyes watching them. The intermittent tuffs of heather swayed in the growing storm and he found himself watching them with narrowed eyes, waiting for the plants to morph into sinister creatures that claimed this land after the sun went down.
He knew there was a simple reason why animals were required in lieu of an all-terrain vehicle and he was glad Sam had taken this unique land into consideration when planning the mission. He could feel the hooves beneath him sinking into the spongy earth; a wheeled vehicle wouldn’t have stood a chance, especially as they ventured from the area farmed for its peat to one far less stable.
A mist began; a slow, fine spray that he knew well. One moment the air was still and dry and the next, as though they’d passed through a curtain, the air swirled around them, the moist haze further inhibiting their ability to see. It was said many a man lost his internal compass in the Irish mist; it taunted as it grew into monstrous shapes, turning the landscape into something foreign and active.


The nationwide launch for Dylan's Song will be held at the Carolina Civic Center Historic Theatre in downtown Lumberton, North Carolina on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm. p.m.terrell will discuss the book and her writings in general. Her talk is followed by a signing of all her books. Admittance is free and open to the public.

How to follow the author:

Facebook: Patricia M. Terrell and p.m.terrell, Author
Twitter: @pmterrell