Friday, March 29, 2013

Featured Book of the Day: Dylan's Song by p.m. terrell

Dylan 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!”

Excerpt From Dylan's Song
“Why are you so adamant about not going back?” Vicki said. “I don’t understand.”

He strode to the back door. With his hand almost on the knob, he stopped abruptly and turned around to face them. “The flight is a hundred hours long.”

“It’s six hours,” Sam said.
“I’ll have jet lag for weeks!”
“Two days, tops.” Sam’s voice was becoming quizzical.
“Are you afraid of flying?” Vicki asked.
No!” he bellowed. He opened the kitchen door. “The weather there is atrocious!”
“I can’t believe you’re acting like this is such an inconvenience for you!” Vicki shouted.
“In me whole life,” he said as if he hadn’t heard her, “it’s rained once.” He held up his finger. “One time!”
“Really?” Vicki said. “Once?”
And it’s lasted for thirty years!” With that, he marched outside and slammed the door behind him.
Vicki and Sam stared at the door for a long moment without speaking. Then she turned to him. “I’m at a loss here.”
He continued staring at the kitchen door as if he hadn’t heard her.
“Do you know why he doesn’t want to see Ireland again?” Vicki asked.
“He can’t refuse a mission,” Sam said quietly. “You can’t pick and choose your missions in this line of work.”
Vicki turned to stand directly in front of him.
“Do you know,” she said in a stronger voice, “why he doesn’t want to see Ireland again?”
He looked at her as if seeing her for the first time.
“You know, don’t you?”
      He looked away from her. His eyes roamed the kitchen as though he was searching for something. Vicki stood her ground until he said, “No. I have my suspicions; that’s all.”
Crafting Suspense
Years ago, I read a book entitled What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson. It was the first book that I truly could not put down; I read the entire book in one sitting. When I finished the last page, I turned to the first page and began reading again—but this time, I analyzed how the author kept me turning those pages long after I should have put the book down and attended to other, more pressing, matters.
I found that each chapter left me at a cliffhanger. I try to use that same method in my own writing, and my fans tell me that they also find themselves reading far into the night because they simply couldn’t bear to stop. I try to begin each chapter in the middle of a scene and I end it with a sentence or two that leads to the next suspenseful chapter. The result is I don’t waste time leading the reader through all the background: Vicki drove to this place, she said “hello, how are you?”, etc. That isn’t suspenseful unless something actually happens to her in the car or in the parking lot or while she’s introducing herself.
Most of my books are going to be in the vicinity of 300 pages long. Rather than begin the book with an eye toward the end, I work toward a climactic scene in the middle of the book. That scene is always going to be pivotal and from that point forward, it’s going to propel the reader through the rest of the book like they’ve been launched from a cannon.
So the first half of the book sets the characters, the locales and all the pieces of the puzzle that lead to that first climactic scene. It must be fast-paced because now I am writing toward something that’s going to occur around page 150. Once I have written that chapter, I am now thrust toward the ending and an even larger climax that will occur around 120 pages later.
In writing suspense, words can’t be wasted. I choose action over inactivity and dialogue over thoughts.
Each of my books contains these elements and each time one of my new releases is reviewed, I get the same feedback: the reader couldn’t put it down.
About The Author
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 and
p.m.terrell's website is and her blog is
She can be found on Twitter @pmterrell
Don't go without leaving p.m. a comment.  She will be awarding a Celtic Knot Necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour.  To increase your chances of winning follow her tour by visiting


  1. I do love finding a suspenseful read that I can't put down. It's great how you explain how you achieve this.


  2. Thank you for having me here today!
    Mary, thanks so much for following the tour and leaving a comment. I agree - I love suspenseful books also. I have so much on my plate that I need a book to seize my interest and hold it there. Otherwise, it gets put down and often not picked up again. I hope I have achieved that high level of suspense in my books!
    I'll be checking in again later today and answering any questions anyone might have for me.

  3. I love the way you write dialogue. You should teach a class on it at the next Book Em NC!

    This weekend I will hopefully see the light of a tiny bit of extra time to read, and I can't wait to get back into this series to find out what happens!

    All the best to you!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! I'm glad you enjoy the way I write dialog. It took me a long time to figure out the best way to write it so it doesn't seem at all stilted. I'm glad all the hard work has paid off. :) I know you'll enjoy Dylan's Song!

  4. I love your writing style, I enjoy reading a book that I can't put down, I have to see what happens next.


    1. Ingeborg, thanks so much for following the book tour. I'm happy you enjoy my writing style! I get bored easily so I have to write in a way that keeps me interested. :)

  5. Imagining myself biting my nails down to the quick reading your book!