If you’ve never heard of me, should you read my book? by p.m. terrell – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. p.m.terrell will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the rest of the stops.

If you’ve never heard of me, should you read my book?

New authors tend to believe their books are for everybody, but a glance at a bestseller list like The New York Times indicates otherwise. Of the books listed there, only a fraction appeal to any reader because topics are so diverse.

A Struggle for Independence takes place in 1916, Ireland, so if you’re interested in Ireland, The Great War, or European history, you should find the Easter Rising exciting. The book is set against the backdrop of Ireland’s sweeping green vistas, key sites in Dublin along the River Liffey, and the majestic beauty of the Wicklow Mountains. It is a stark contrast to the busyness, fast pace of today’s world. As you walk with the main character past the meadows of horses or visit the gatehouse built above the water and listen to the gurgling of the brook, you should feel less stressed, the heart rate lowered, the aromas of an Irish morning tickling your nose.

The book is seen through the eyes of Lady Independence Mather. If you’re interested in female leads or watching a woman blossom from a repressed and lonely wife in an arranged marriage to an independent businesswoman, you’ll find this book fascinating. And if you enjoy romance, especially with Irishmen, you’ll enjoy it. Penny’s life changes when she meets Nicky Bowers, an architect and an Irish rebel helping to hide weapons for the Easter Rising. She quickly falls in love with the charming, attentive man, and she finds herself in the midst of the rebellion as it begins.

Come along with Penny as she stands at a crossroads between her comfortable but emotionally unfulfilling life with a British loyalist, and an uncertain future with the man she loves. The Easter Rising’s success is not guaranteed, and if she is captured, she could be imprisoned or executed for treason. There are historically accurate twists and turns. Which decisions would you make if you were in her shoes?

It is always a gamble reading someone’s work for the first time, so take a moment to read the reviews of this book or others I have written at GoodReads or Amazon. I discover new authors every week, some of whom have become my favorites, when only a year before, I had never heard of them.

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Research for My Books by p.m. terrell – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. p.m.terrell will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

I’m often asked how I perform research for my books. Some of them, such as Songbirds are Free, River Passage, and Checkmate: Clans and Castles, required almost 30 hours of research for each hour of writing. Others, such as my mysteries and suspense, may be as little as one hour of research for each hour of writing.

I am asked about it so often that when I wrote April in the Back of Beyond, I made the main character, Hayley Hunter, a writer who travels to Ireland to research her next historical. The research she does is very similar to my own. I begin with the Internet, visiting only educational sites (colleges/universities), historical sites, official government records, museums and non-profit institutions founded for the purpose of knowledge. I stay away from other sites, as I’ve discovered many of them contain inaccurate information. I then contact many of the sites upon which I’m relying, requesting interviews with historians, archeologists and experts in the fields in which I am interested. Sometimes the interviews are limited to phone calls, emails and video calls. Other times, they require face-to-face meetings in the geographic areas in which I am writing.

I used my actual Irish research into Checkmate: Clans and Castles for the reason Hayley travels to Ireland. However, her adventure becomes much more exciting than mine, for two reasons: she discovers her rented cottage is haunted, and she falls in love with a noted historian and professor from the University of Galway.

April in the Back of Beyond is a real glimpse into the life of a published author, from the research and writing she does to visiting the castles and places of importance of which she is writing.

Writer Hayley Hunter has arrived in Ireland to complete a book on Irish history. When she discovers the old carriage house she is renting is haunted, she is determined to uncover the truth behind the burned ruins of a nearby manor house and the abandoned British barracks it overlooks. With the assistance of Shay Macgregor, an Irish historian, her quest will take her to 1919 and the Irish War for Independence, exposing the murders of two young men and why their mother, April Crutchley, refuses to leave the back of beyond even in death. With a budding romance and the opportunity to begin life anew, Hayley finds her own life is now in jeopardy as she gets closer to a truth the villagers have long sought to bury.

Enjoy an Excerpt

When I heard the soft sobs, I realized I had drifted off once more and in my half-awakened state, I thought the cries were connected to my discordant dreams. I lay there with a groan on my lips not quite ready to spill out and wishing I could simply sleep peacefully before it was too late and I would be forced to arise for the long day ahead. I felt the bedcovers slip away from my bare shoulders and I fought to open my eyes.

When they finally did open, I discovered that I was completely uncovered. The bedcovers had been pulled to the foot of the bed and were shivering inches from my feet as they lay heaped into an unkempt triangle about three feet in height. I blinked once and then twice, my mind not grasping what my eyes were witnessing, for surely it must be a trick of the eyes to think the covers were still moving.

It was then that I realized the soft sobs had continued even after I had fully awakened and they were not part and parcel of my overactive dream state but they were real and they were coming from the direction of the blanket.

“You don’t understand,” came the sound of a woman’s voice, wracked with anguished sobs. “They are still here.”

“No, sweet darling,” returned a weary man’s voice that sounded so close I nearly jumped out of my skin. “They are with God now.”

“I’m telling you they are not,” the woman answered, her weeping growing more tormented. “They’ve never left. They’re still here.”

Within the space of a single heartbeat, I saw myself just a few nights ago, convinced the voices came from outside my window. Then I was pulled into the present to fight the horrifying realization that I was sharing my bed with two apparitions.

I slid my feet away from the covers in excruciatingly slow progress, afraid at any moment my movements would alert the phantoms of my presence. I tucked my feet and knees close to my torso as I came to an uneasy seated position, almost fetal in an attempt to occupy as little space as possible.

The room had become an icebox despite the radiators and I found myself shivering almost in tandem with the blanket. I had no idea how long I sat there, curled against the headboard and pillows, watching the foot of the bed and listening to the disembodied voices that filled the air. But then something seemed to snap inside me, fully awakening me to the present time and despite my fear, despite my trepidation, I grew impatient with myself. I reached a trembling hand toward the bedcovers, intent on pulling them over me to fight the chill as well as reassure me that they were not wet.

But at the precise moment I felt the dampness under my fingers, the sobbing stopped, replaced by a gasp that was not my own. I yanked the covers to the side, determined to discover what mechanical device lay beneath. The material jerked away from me as though I was engaged in a tug-of-war and the gasp was replaced with a woman’s blood-curdling scream and a man’s shouts.

About the Author p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 23 books in multiple genres, including contemporary suspense, historical suspense, computer instructional, non-fiction and children’s books.

Prior to writing full-time, she founded two computer companies in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: McClelland Enterprises, Inc. and Continental Software Development Corporation. Among her clients were the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Secret Service, U.S. Information Agency, and Department of Defense. Her specialties were in the detection of white collar computer crimes and computer intelligence.

A full-time author since 2002, Black Swamp Mysteries was her first series, inspired by the success of Exit 22, released in 2008. Vicki’s Key was a top five finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards and 2012 USA Book Awards nominee, and The Pendulum Files was a national finalist for the Best Cover of the Year in 2014. Her second series, Ryan O’Clery Suspense, is also award-winning. The Tempest Murders (Book 1) was one of four finalists in the 2013 International Book Awards, cross-genre category. Her historical suspense, River Passage, was a 2010 Best Fiction and Drama Winner. It was determined to be so historically accurate that a copy of the book resides at the Nashville Government Metropolitan Archives in Nashville, Tennessee. Songbirds are Free is her bestselling book to date; it is inspired by the true story of Mary Neely, who was captured in 1780 by Shawnee warriors near Fort Nashborough (now Nashville, TN).

She was the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, an organization committed to raising public awareness of the correlation between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She was the founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event held in the town of Lumberton, North Carolina, to raise funds to increase literacy and reduce crime and served as its chairperson and organizer for its first four years. She also served on the boards of the Friends of the Robeson County (NC) Public Library, the Robeson County (NC) Arts Council, Virginia Crime Stoppers and became the first female president of the Chesterfield County-Colonial Heights Crime Solvers in Virginia.

For more information, book trailers, excerpts and more, visit the author’s website.

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Buy the book at Amazon.

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A Day in the Life of p.m. terrell

VBT Dylan's Song Banner copy
VBT PRIZE Celtic_Knot_NecklaceThis post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. p.m. will be awarding a Celtic Knot Necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A Day in My Life

I awakened at 4:30 this morning as I always do—without an alarm and eager to start the day. I had a round of edits to complete and a new manuscript to begin and I was ready to roll up my sleeves and get both done.

But when I ran the water for my bath, I realized the water was a milky reddish-brown. In panic, I rushed to my angelfish tanks, which I’d begun breeding when the CIA psychic spy in my Black Swamp Mysteries series uses an angelfish breeding operation as a front—only to find their water had also been contaminated while I slept. I made a quick call to the city government and I was told someone from the Water Department was on the way.

I am an avid animal lover and currently have four rescue dogs. The oldest, an ancient foxhound named Mattie, is having trouble walking and I give her the muscle relaxers prescribed by the vet. Simone the collie is barking her head off at the neighborhood joggers and the Jack Russell Lucy is running up and down the fence line as the cat on the opposite side sits quietly and watches. Only Eddie, the other Jack Russell, is quiet. He wants to be carried as I try to get dressed.

The city employee shows up at the same time as my phone rings. I recognize the number as a Hollywood producer who has been considering my work. His readers tell him they loved every one of my books, he says, but my covers are crap.

“Does that mean you don’t want to make movies from them?” I ask.

“I didn’t say that,” he answers. “I just said the covers are crap… I don’t make movies out of books that sell under 100,000 copies. How many have yours sold?”

I confessed I didn’t know. I try to remain focused on writing the books while my agent and editors focus on the numbers. But he doesn’t want to speak to them; he wants to speak with me.

I pull up the document I’m supposed to be editing and while he talks, I begin working on the manuscript with one eye on the window, where I can see the city worker flushing the lines outside.

My email beeps; it’s just downloaded 457 new emails. I am in the final stretch of planning the Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair. As I scan the emails, I see that one panelist forgot which talk she’s in and she wants me to look it up. Another doesn’t know if he RSVP’d on the Author Meet and Greet. The bank only sent one credit card reader for the cashiers to use, so I’ll have to find out where the second one is. An author has counted how many times each person is in a panel and she doesn’t like the fact that one person is in two and she’s just in one. I offer her another one, but she refuses; she wants the other author cancelled out of her second one.

The producer hangs up and I still don’t know whether he’s interested in making my books into movies. The phone rings again; this time it’s a reporter asking if any of the authors in the Writers Conference are in her county. I make a note of her state and county, knowing I’ll have to pull out a map and go author-by-author to see if anybody came from her area. And I’m hoping my angelfish don’t die before the water department flushes the lines.

By noon, I have responded to nearly a hundred emails and three hundred more have taken their place. One of them is from another author chastising me for not blogging seven days a week. “You have to make the time,” she says. I realize I haven’t eaten all day so I grab some M&M’s before I pass out.

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Miraculously, I am finished with the final round of edits by evening, though I don’t remember doing them in the midst of all the interruptions. I have a rare evening alone, so I pull out my laptop and begin writing the next novel. I am already six weeks behind schedule; the book is in my head and I try to get it down on paper before it disappears.

By midnight, the water is beginning to clear in the angelfish tanks. The dogs are asleep. My inbox is up to 798 emails, a stack of unopened mail sits on the counter, and I’ve turned off the phones because the ringing was driving me insane. I have one chapter in my new manuscript done. Around 1:00 am, I doze off. I awaken at 4:30, ready to start again.

About the Author: Media Kit pmterrell_closeupp.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.

She can be found on Twitter @pmterrell

On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/author.p.m.terrell and https://www.facebook.com/pages/pmterrell/129318810431554.

Media Kit Book CoverDylan Maguire returns to his native Ireland with psychic spy Vicki Boyd. Their mission: to locate and extract a CIA Agent who disappeared in Dublin while on the trail of a known terrorist. But when Dylan receives word that his grandmother is dying, he is plunged into a past he thought he’d left behind forever. His mission and the dark secrets he’d sought to keep hidden begin to merge into an underworld that could cost him his life. He must now confront his past demons and the real reason he left Ireland—while Vicki harbors a secret of her own.

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!”

GUEST BLOG: p.m. terrell


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This post is part of a virtual book tour scheduled by Goddess Fish Promotions. p.m. will be giving away gift baskets from the real town of Lumberton, where Vicki’s adventure takes place–one for a randomly drawn commenter and one for the host with the most comments, excluding the host’s own or p.m.’s. (We’re sorry, but because of shipping costs this giveaway is limited to US/Canada only). Click on the banner above to see the other stops on the tour.

I am drawn to writing suspense/thrillers, which can often be dark and contain non-stop adventure. But in real life, I am very different from most heroines I write about. Here are ten things most people don’t know about me:

#10. I relax by watching light romantic movies, preferably without any type of crime involved. I particularly love Leap Year, Bandits (with Billy Bob Thornton, Bruce Willis & Cate Blanchett), Love, Actually and Mama Mia.

#9. Politically, I am an independent and I research every candidate’s positions before I vote.

#8. I know every move to Proud Mary and I adore Tina Turner.

#7. I started the New Leash on Life program at a Robeson County, NC prison, paring inmates with rescue dogs who are obedience trained with only positive reinforcement.

#6. When I grow up, I want to be Fionnula Flanagan. When I am writing scenes set in Ireland or with Irish women, I study her voice. I think she is one very classy lady.

#5. I have five fish tanks and the crown jewels are freshwater angelfish that are each ten inches tall. I find it very relaxing to maintain aquariums.

#4. I rescued a Jack Russell who had been shot in the leg and had his leg reconstructed; a collie who was so malnourished she was close to death; two walker hounds who had been seized from a hunting lodge by the SPCA; a mastiff and an Australian shepherd… but not all at once. One of my fantasies is earning enough money to help fund more animal rescue efforts.

#3. My favorite author is Erin Quinn. I love the time travel elements in her Haunting series.

#2. My favorite television series are Mad Men, Justified, Grimm and True Blood. I think Joe Manganiello (Alcide on True Blood) did the best PSA on bullying I’ve ever seen.

#1. I believe in eternal soul mates.

About the Author:

p.m.terrell is the internationally acclaimed, award-winning author of more than 14 books, including her latest series, Black Swamp Mysteries. Vicki’s Key, the first in the series, was a finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards. She co-founded The Book ‘Em Foundation to bring awareness to the link between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates and co-chairs the annual Book ‘Em North Carolina event. For more information, visit her website at www.pmterrell.com.

Following a flawed CIA mission, Vicki Boyd leaves the Agency 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 VIA arrive to recruit Vicki for one more mission, she finds her CIA past and her new future are about to collide… in murder.