Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Secrets of a Dangerous Woman: Interview and Giveaway with p.m. terrell

Irishman Dylan Maguire is back in Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, reuniting with psychic spy Vicki Boyd. In his first mission with the CIA, he must interrogate recently captured Brenda Carnegie. But when she escapes again, it's obvious she's had help from within the CIA's own ranks. With Vicki Boyd's psychic assistance, Brenda is back in his custody again. And now he must find out why some in the highest branches of government want her dead - and others will risk everything to help her. And when he discovers her true identity, his mission has just become very personal.

Praise for Secrets of a Dangerous Woman
p.m. terrell has proven herself as a mystery/romance writer. She gives the readers what they want...action and romance.

pm terrell blesses us with another thriller filled with robust characters that will keep you enthralled. You will be filled with love for some, distrust of others, fear of a few, and be excited by them all.
Marcia Freespirit, CEOJimSam Inc. Publishing 

Get your copy!
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Enjoy an Interview with the Author

Tell us a little about yourself.

I spent most of my life in the Washington, DC area. My father was an FBI Agent and I’m certain his career had a tremendous affect on me becoming a writer of suspense/thrillers. Before becoming a writer full-time, I founded two computer companies in the DC area. My specialty became white collar computer crime and computer intelligence. One of my favorite jobs was working with Medicare auditors to think of ways someone could defraud the government, writing a program to see if anyone was doing that, and actually catching the criminals through my programming. My work with federal and local law enforcement also had a tremendous influence on my writing. About eight years ago, I moved from the DC area to North Carolina, where I love the winters. The hurricanes, not so much!

Did you plan to be a writer or did it just happen?

I knew I wanted to be a writer in the fourth grade. But sometimes Life has a way of throwing curve balls so I ended up in the computer industry before I turned to writing full-time. My non-fiction computer books just happened as a result of some magazine articles I had written about using computer software. But I had to work very hard to establish a fiction career.

What is your favorite non-writing pastime?

I raise freshwater angelfish (which the CIA operatives in my books also do, as their “front”) and I find it very relaxing. I have a blog at where I show pictures and videos of my fish. I am raising a batch of babies right now.

When did you decide to take that step that made you a published author?

I reached “a certain age” where I looked back on my life and realized when I was younger and I looked ahead in my crystal ball, I had always expected to be a published fiction author by that time. And I had gotten burned out with computer work (which is pretty common among programmers and analysts) and was ready for a change. So I decided it was now or never.

I had also just finished working on an assignment where I was providing information to the FBI on a trucking industry kickback scheme. They say “write what you know” and since I knew the computer kickbacks inside and out, my first suspense/thriller was entitled “Kickback” and was a fictional account inspired by my own experience.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

My greatest challenge has been reaching the readers. I am not with one of the big New York publishers (yet) and if you look at the books carried in the brick-and-mortar stores, most of them are from The Big Six imprints. So it has been a challenge to market and promote my work.

Until two years ago, I was spending as much as eight months a year on the road doing book signings and talks. This past year, I tried blog tours for the first time. I love the blog tours; it’s enabled me to reach a far larger audience from around the world. So I am overcoming the challenge of reaching the readers through appearances such as this one.

Is writing a full-time career for you? If not, how else do you spend your work day?

I have been a full-time writer since 2000 and I understand I am statistically in the 1% who hasn’t given up after so many years. I guess that means I’m in it for the duration!

If you had to sum it up Secrets of a Dangerous Woman in 30 or less words, what would you say?

CIA operative and Irishman Dylan Maguire joins forces with psychic spy Vicki Boyd to capture and interrogate Brenda Carnegie—and determine why some in the government want her killed.

What inspired the idea behind your book?

I am a news junkie and it seemed like every time I turned on the news or read a report concerning politicians, they were doing some incredibly stupid things. There were affairs, illegal activities, questionable business relationships with foreign governments—and as a computer expert, I wondered how any of them could think they would not be found out. I know in this day and age we should all be conducting our lives as though we live in glass houses.

So the thought occurred to me: what if a computer hacker made a list of all those who had not yet been found out? And what if they sold the information to the highest bidder? That’s when the plot of Secrets of a Dangerous Woman was born.

Do you have a favorite character in Secrets of a Dangerous Woman? Who and why?

Definitely it’s the Irishman, Dylan Maguire. He was supposed to be in only one book (Vicki’s Key) but when the editors and advance readers read the story, they all said he HAD to remain a vital part of the entire series. He is gentle, thoughtful and good-humored—but as he has demonstrated more than once, he is also capable of killing. He is also very sexy, which is why many reviewers have said Black Swamp Mysteries is my sexiest series.

Without giving it all away, please tell us a little something about how (main character) is going to get through their biggest challenge.

Dylan protected Vicki in the climactic scene in Vicki’s Key, and it was important in the sequel, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, that they become separated. While Dylan is working with Sam (his CIA boss) and other operatives on a sting operation that goes bad, Vicki has to fend for herself when the bad guys come after her. So Vicki has to find it within herself to rise to the challenge—or be killed.

What has been your greatest challenge in writing Secrets of a Dangerous Woman?

Staying within a certain word count. The book brings together the most popular characters from Exit 22 and Vicki’s Key and what transpires in this book will forever bind them through the entire series. So there was no room for wasted words. As a result, the book is non-stop action.

Which character in Secrets of a Dangerous Woman will be the most difficult to part with?

I always had a bout of depression when I ended one of my books; I was so engrossed in the characters and their experiences that when I finished that last page, it felt like a vacuum had sucked the life out of my office where I work. When starting a new book, it often took a third of the book for me to feel like I was hitting my stride again with a separate cast of characters.

I am finding what I love about writing a series is I don’t have to part with any of the characters. When the book is finished, I begin immediately on the next one in the series with the same cast of characters. They each bring something to the table: Dylan Maguire, with his mysterious past in Ireland; Vicki Boyd, with her unusual ability for psychic spying; Brenda Carnegie, who chooses to walk on the dark side with her computer hacking, among others. It gives me a lot of flexibility on where to take the next book.

Do you share any personality traits with any of the characters?

I think I am most like Vicki Boyd, the psychic spy. Vicki lives life in her mind, as most writers do. When she is on an assignment, her remote viewing sessions are more real to her than her own life is, which I sometimes grapple with after I’ve been immersed in what my characters are doing. She is also an introvert like me. Dylan Maguire is the perfect man for her because he is everything she is not—strong, extroverted, and totally open to whatever Life sends his way.

Do you have to be alone or have quiet to write?

When I first started out, I needed silence and space to get into the right frame of mind. However, in the past twelve months I have been under contract to write three books (around 1,000 pages) and as a result, I’ve learned to write just about anywhere. When I am traveling, I often write in my hotel room between book talks.

What has been your greatest pleasure in writing this book?

Writing something that appealed to me. Not that my other books didn’t hold an attraction for me, but there is something about adding the Irish character and the psychic spy that have really opened up the horizons in this series.

What do you have in store next for your readers?

In Dylan’s Song, the next in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, Vicki and Dylan travel to Ireland on a CIA mission. Their destination puts them on a collision course with Dylan’s mysterious past. Vicki finds out why he left his country for a dramatically different life in America—while harboring a secret of her own.

What has been your greatest pleasure or personal success as an author?

When I reached a certain level of success (not to mention my years in this business) I realized I could help other authors just starting out or trying to climb the ladder to success. I founded Book ‘Em North Carolina, an innovative Writers Conference and Book Fair, that is held each February in Lumberton, NC. (website is Attendance is completely free and writers can sit in on panel discussions with industry leaders, New York Times bestselling authors, literary agents, and so many others. It should help to reduce the learning curve. If I have one legacy, I’d like it to be that I was able to help others.  

What type of hero do you like best?

I like a man who is strong and decisive, intelligent and opportunistic; a man who is sexy as hell in bed but who can also confront the most formidable opponents and come out ahead—even if it means he must kill for his country or for those he loves.

What type of heroine do you like best?

I like a woman who is, in some respects, bigger than life. I like Brenda Carnegie, the computer hacker, because she is savvy, street-wise and smart. She isn’t afraid of much, even pain, and she doesn’t back down. Even when the deck is stacked against her, she refuses to give up.

Is there any place and time in the world and in history that you would like to visit?

I would love to visit Ireland during the time in which they were experiencing a dramatic Renaissance. Being an island, they were able for a time to avoid many of the dark times of neighboring countries, preserving the Latin language, the arts and the Celtic culture. I would love to be able to journey back to that point in time.

Does where you live or have places you’ve been influenced your work?

The Black Swamp Mysteries series is set in Lumberton, North Carolina. The black water of the Lumber River snakes through the center of town. In torrential rains, the waters often overflow their banks, washing over the roads. When the waters recede, bones have been left behind… So I thought this would be the perfect place for my main characters to live… and the perfect place to hide a body.

From Secrets of a Dangerous Woman 
Something grasped Dylan’s ankle and he recoiled as he stared downward. Sam had rolled toward him, grabbing his ankle with desperate strength. His bloodshot eyes were open, revealing his misery.

“We’re gettin’ you out o’ here,” Dylan said.

Chris raced through the doorway to peer over the banister at the floor below.
“No,” Sam croaked. His voice was dry and his fingers tightened around Dylan’s ankle, tugging him into coming closer.

Dylan knelt.

“I’m not going to make it,” Sam said laboriously.

“You won’t be the judge o’ that.”

“Leave me here.”

“I’ll not be leavin’ you.”

Sam’s fingers tightened around his pants leg. “Go to Vicki. Save her, Dylan.”

Dylan stared into Sam’s eyes at the mention of her.

“She needs you,” Sam said, his fingers loosening as if the mere effort of holding on was too difficult. “Tell her—tell her I love her. I always have.”

Dylan’s jaw dropped. “I refuse to tell ‘er,” he heard himself saying. “You’ll be tellin’ her y’self.”

“I’m a dead man,” Sam said, his hand dropping back to the floor. “Leave me. Save yourself. And save Vicki.”

“They’re coming in,” Chris said in a stage whisper.

Dylan rose, glancing at Sam as his eyes closed once more before rushing into the open hallway. “Which door?”

Chris pointed.

“Then take these stairs. We’ll go out the side door. We’ve got to get to the girls.”

Chris glimpsed into Sam’s office, where his body lay still, before giving Dylan a fleeting look. Nodding, he rushed to the top of the stairs, Dylan on his heels.

Dylan had taken one step downward before he froze. In a fraction of a second, he hurled around and dashed back to Sam’s office. Sliding one arm under his knees and the other under his torso, he lifted the man in his arms and carried him to the stairs. Glancing down as he descended, he was met with Sam’s open eyes, questioning and baffled. “I’ll not be leavin’ you,” Dylan said simply.

Meet Author p.m. terrell

p.m. terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 16 books in four genres: paranormal romantic suspense, suspense/thriller, historical adventure/suspense and non-fiction. Vicki's Key, the second book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, was a finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards (one of only five in the mystery/suspense category) and River Passage won the 2010 Best Drama & Fiction Award. She has been a full-time writer for more than ten years. Previously, she founded and operated two computer companies; her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. Her work in detecting computer white collar crime and computer intelligence inspired many of her books. She is an avid dog lover and advocate for animal rights and founded the New Leash on Life program in Robeson County, NC, which rescues dogs and places them in the prison system for obedience training and adoption. She also co-founded The Book 'Em Foundation, whose slogan is Buy a Book and Stop a Crook; their mission is to raise awareness of the correlation between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She co-chairs the Book 'Em North Carolina Writers' Conference and Book Fair each year in Lumberton, NC, which raises money for literacy campaigns in our communities. 

Tour Giveaway! 
Gift Basket of goodies from the town of Lumberton where the Black Swamp Mysteries series is based (picture coming soon), to one lucky commenter from tour.  

Void where prohibited by law. 


  1. Welcome to the blog today p.m.! I love your optimism about your writing and the book sounds great! An Irishman, government intrigue, romance, action--excellent!

  2. Good morning, MK! Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your site today. I love your website! Such great information here. I look forward to reading your books.
    I'll be checking back throughout the day and answering any questions visitors might have for me today.