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’.”
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).
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/terrellpm
Buy links – will be provided prior to March 17.
Amazon:Interview with P M Terrell
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
Cloak and Mirrors takes place in Ireland and any time I can use that beautiful, magical country as a backdrop I am happy. I particularly enjoyed writing a scene that takes place at midnight in which Dylan Maguire, an Irish guide and a Russian defector are in the Blue Stack Mountains along the border of Northern Ireland. I had read ghost stories about the region—including one in which a woman’s ghost hitchhikes only to disappear after getting in the car—and I came across a photograph of an old abandoned home that had sat in an isolated region of the Blue Stacks for centuries. Of course, I had to incorporate a ghost story into their trek through the mountains on horseback, and the abandoned home ended up as a place to store illegal weapons.
How did you do research for your book?
I have been incredibly fortunate to have traveled to Ireland several times and so many of the places are locations I have been to visit personally. When I visit Ireland, I have an insatiable curiosity and fortunately the Irish are fond of storytelling so I always return home with tons of inspiration and backdrops for scenes.
The technology used in the book regarding stealth technology was inspired by a documentary I saw about new cloaking and mirroring technology in use not only with airplanes but also with ships. I was fascinated by the fact that something so large could be made to look invisible.
Do you have another profession besides writing?
I have been a full-time writer since 2002. Prior to that, I founded two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. My specialty was detecting computer crime and my clients included the CIA, Secret Service and the Department of Defense. But by far my favorite assignment was detecting Medicare fraud. I worked with auditors to find millions of dollars primarily through hospital charges. It might have seemed to anybody watching me that it was a boring job, but I got a thrill out of each time we followed a trail to big money.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I would love to go beyond modern records when Atlantis existed, the pyramids were being built in Egypt and Central and South America, Stonehenge was new and Easter Island was beginning to erect their monuments. Scientists, historians and archeologists are piecing together evidence suggesting that they were more advanced than we are even today, but records perished during the Great Flood, which is chronicled in every major religion.
What is your next project?
I have started an historical series inspired by my ancestors. The first book will be released later this year and begins with my ancestor, William Neely, when he left Scotland in 1608 at the age of 18 to fight for King James I of England in Ireland. I have been pleasantly surprised at how exciting my ancestors’ lives were. They were filled with palace intrigue, romance, crosses and double-crosses, adventure and war. I thought it would be incredibly difficult to locate information about William since he lived four hundred years ago, but relatives from around the globe have come forward with records. It is as if my ancestors wanted this series to be written and are doing all they can to steer me in the right direction.
Thank you for having me here today!
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.