Cloak and Mirrors
by P.M. Terrell
CIA operatives Vicki Boyd and Dylan Maguire are back in the 6th book of the award-winning Black Swamp Mysteries Series. Vicki and Dylan journey to Ireland for their honeymoon and while they are there, they agree to pick up a package from a Russian spy containing plans for Russia’s latest stealth technology. But when the Russian decides to defect, they find themselves trying to get him safely out of the country. They also discover the Kremlin has uncovered their identities and now Vicki and Dylan flee across the island. With breathtaking descriptions of Ireland’s rugged coast and the Northern Lights, romance and suspense come together again.
The winds whistled and swirled in the frosty night like a chorus of apparitions dancing and bobbing, leaving soft whispers against Dylan’s ear, enticing, cajoling, flirtatious and deadly. Ah, but they could drive a man insane on a night like this, he thought, pulling his collar tighter about his ears. He wore an Irish tweed cap and still the winds licked at his hair like fingers running through it, soothing, insistent and treacherous.
The horse’s mane was grasped as well by the same invisible force, the long strands stretched as though they were being combed by an otherworldly creature that would not let go. They were nervous tonight and he imagined given their heads, they would turn about and leave the eerie foothills of the Blue Stack Mountains. He kept a firm hold on Dougal’s reigns as the horse snorted, the sound unnaturally shrill.
He could read a horse like he could read a man’s face, and tonight it didn’t bode well. Dougal’s ears were stiff and pitched forward, a sign of unease for sure, and every now and again they twitched and trembled as his haunches dipped low. Dylan peered through the shadows at the other horses, both as spirited as his; and yet their tails were clamped low, their voices constant.
In contrast, the men were hushed as they had been since leaving the manor house, the silence broken only intermittently as Jack announced a change in direction or a distant landmark for which he was aiming. Even then, his statements were terse as if he was reluctant to speak in the eerie terrain.
The ground beneath the horses’ hooves was uneven and unpredictable. As the night sky began to brighten with the first vestiges of the aurora borealis, he began to see why their progress had slowed since entering the mountain range; the horses had to pick their way around craggy rocks, the tall grasses obscuring whether the land was firm or soft until their hooves either landed on solid ground or they felt the disconcerting descent into boggy earth.
He inched the horse forward until it was nearly even with Jack. He rode a silver mare with a jet black mane and tail, a beautiful animal to be sure and under the stars her coat was mesmerizing as if it was aglow.
“Are you certain this is the way to Innisbarracar?” Dylan asked.
Jack glanced in Alexei’s direction before shifting his attention to Dylan. “You said you needed weapons, did you not?”
“Then we’d be taking a bit of a diversion.” He pointed at the mountain’s highest peak.
“Innisbarracar would be on the other side through the pass. We’ll be headin’ in that direction—” he pointed slightly to the left of the mountain “—where we’ll be arming ourselves first.”
They rode for a few minutes in silence before Dylan asked, “And what type of weapons would you be havin’ there?”
Jack looked at him out of the corner of his eye. “Whatever kind you’d be needin’.”
P.M. TERRELL: BOOKS THAT INSPIRED MY WRITING
The types of books that I write today are directly related to books that have made a lifelong impression on me. The first of these was Deborah and the Many Faces of Love by Collette Davenat. I always disliked the title because it didn’t convey the feeling of mounting suspense. It takes place during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I as Mary Queen of Scots was fighting for the crown and Deborah finds herself moving between the two as a spy for both women. This book was the first to get me interested in historical fiction and weaving romance with suspense, politics and intrigue.
I read What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson straight through in one sitting and was so intrigued by it that when I reached the final page, I turned back to the first and reread it, analyzing a style of writing that kept me turning the pages. Because of this book, I learned how to write suspense so that the reader has difficulty putting the book down. It begins with an accident in which a man’s life is cut short. Deeply in love with his wife, he is unable to completely let go of their life together even as he is pulled into the afterlife.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote cemented my love for suspense. It was said at the time this book was released that he had created an entirely new genre of telling a nonfiction story as though it was fictional suspense. It was the true story of the Clutter family whose bodies were found on their rural farm near Holcomb, Kansas and the unraveling of the two men who savagely murdered them.
The common thread with each of these books is the impression that something big is going to happen on the very next page. I hope through the pages of my books that I accomplish the same thing.
Which books were you unable to put down?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 20 books in several genres, including suspense, historical and non-fiction. Prior to becoming a writer, she owned two computer companies in the Washington, DC with a specialty in combatting computer crime. Her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. Technology is often woven through her suspense thrillers. Terrell is of Irish descent, and Ireland often figures prominently in her books as well. She has been a full-time author since 2002 and currently travels between her home in North Carolina and Northern Ireland, the home of her ancestors. She is also the founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina’s Writers Conference and Book Fair (http://bookemnc.org) and The Novel Business (http://thenovelbusiness.com).
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
P.M. Terrell will be awarding Celtic necklace containing the Tree of Life. USA only to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.