Monday, March 11, 2013

"What is the Book 'Em Foundation?" by p.m. terrell

Today, I would like to welcome author p.m. terrell to the blog. She is telling us more about The Book 'Em Foundation.


More than ten years ago, I was on a book tour when I met Mark Kearney, a police officer with the Waynesboro, Virginia Police Department. We began a conversation that was to influence both our lives: the connection between high illiteracy rates and high crime rates.

As we both researched the connection, we realized that the more educated an individual is, the less likely he or she is to turn to a life of crime. We founded The Book ‘Em Foundation, whose slogan is “Buy a Book and Stop a Crook” and whose mission is to raise awareness of the correlation between high illiteracy and high crime. Over the years, we’ve had annual Book ‘Em Virginia events in Waynesboro and a few in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

In 2012, the first Book ‘Em North Carolina event was held and it is set to become the most successful annual event we’ve ever done. It is a Writers Conference and Book Fair that brings together more than 75 authors, publishers, literary agents and promoters for a full day of panel discussions and solo talks. The event is completely free and open to the public. It represents most genres: mysteries, romance, the paranormal, nonfiction, fantasy, science fiction, historical, inspirational… And even contains The Children’s Corner, which includes readings, crafts and activities. The Lumberton Kiwanis Club has even handed out free dictionaries to the first one hundred children through the doors—picture dictionaries for the youngest children, and My First Dictionary for children up to age nine.

When people purchase books at the event (and we always hope for plenty of sales!) the author or publisher has agreed to donate a minimum of 40% of the book sale to literacy campaigns. Robeson County, where the event is held, has a high crime rate and also a high illiteracy rate. Once largely a farming and manufacturing community, there now must be a shift in order for the community to move forward—tobacco is not the large crop it once was and manufacturing jobs have left for overseas factories.

Three literacy groups have received the proceeds from Book ‘Em North Carolina, which is organized entirely by community volunteers: the Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Robeson County, who supplies books to children ages 1 through 5 each month at no charge; Communities In Schools, for literacy efforts of all grade levels; and the Friends of the Robeson County Public Library for literacy campaigns for all ages.

The event is held on the last Saturday of each February and the website for additional information is

Personally, I have enjoyed working with authors of all genres and calibers: from the New York Times bestselling authors and those who have gone the traditional publishing route, to the Indie publishers and self-published authors. The networking at these events has been incredible. I’ve particularly enjoyed seeing unpublished writers get their first publishing contracts as a result of Book ‘Em North Carolina, and it’s been gratifying to see careers move quickly forward as a result of connections made there.

I think teachers have a unique opportunity to instill the love of books in their students. With generations now growing up with computers at their fingertips, I see eBooks as the future. I’ve seen students who wouldn’t have held a printed fiction in their hands become captivated by them on their iPads, Kindles and Nooks. I believe reading opens up worlds and influences futures, and I’m very honored to be a small part of carrying that message forward.


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


The Black Swamp Mysteries
p.m. terrell

Book 1 in the Series: Exit 22 by p.m.terrell

Political strategist Christopher Sandige is driving along Interstate 95 in North Carolina when he is involved in a one-car accident. Stranded for the weekend, he meets a beautiful but mysterious woman and is immediately pulled into a double homicide. Now he’s on the run from law enforcement—and a hired assassin. As he falls deeper for Brenda Carnegie, he begins to wonder if she is the killer. As he pieces everything together and comes closer to the truth—time runs out.

He placed his hands on the dock ladder, the frigid steel biting his hands with an unexpected ferocity. Quickly, he began to scale the ladder as Brenda knelt down beside him.

She had just started to hold her hand out to assist him when a great blue heron cried out, it’s trumpeting voice aggressive and hoarse as it floated on the wind just above their heads. Chris watched Brenda as she pulled back and tilted her head to admire the huge bird, the wind catching her hair.
He heard the sound of the shot in almost the same instant as he felt it whiz between them in the exact location where she’d knelt only a moment ago.

“Jesus!” he cried out, releasing his grip on the ladder and plunging into the water.

In a flurry of activity, Brenda threw herself back into the boat with a sudden fury, crossing the open stern as another shot rang out and echoed across the lake. Chris bounced out of the water almost the second his body struck it, flinging himself onto the deck in a fluid movement borne of a rapid surge of adrenaline. He half-crawled, half-propelled himself toward the rope that tied the boat to the dock as Brenda frantically tried to start the engine. As it sputtered and stalled and another bullet barely missed his bobbing and weaving body, he frenetically loosened the rope, his fingers feeling fat and uncoordinated and the rope stiff and unyielding.

His eyes darted toward the house as he threw the now-loosened rope into the boat and raced toward the bow, where it bobbled in the water with one remaining rope tethering it to the dock. The man from the hotel was walking calmly from the back door, his arm raised, his eyes measured as he crossed the small yard toward them. He was too far away for him to strike his target, but Chris knew it would be only seconds before he was close enough for his aim to be sure. Maniacally, he worked at the rope as the engine coughed, its slow groan in contrast with his rapidly beating heart.

As the last inch of rope was freed, he threw himself into the bow as another bullet whizzed past him and the engine sprung to life.

“Jesus!” he screamed again. “He’s trying to kill me!”

Then he was throwing himself toward the steering wheel, pushing Brenda away as he thrust the boat into reverse. The boat’s sudden movement knocked his breath from him, but his hands continued to grip the wheel with stubborn ferocity. Brenda pulled herself from the floor and raised her gun over the windshield. As he turned the boat from shore, he vaguely sensed her moving through the vessel, returning the man’s fire as they sped away toward open water.

Buy link: Kindle

Book 2: Vicki’s Key by p.m.terrell


Following a flawed CIA mission, Vicki Boyd leaves the CIA 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 CIA arrive to recruit Vicki for one last mission, she finds her past and her future are about to collide… In murder.

Vicki found herself in Dylan’s bedroom as if she was a phantom hovering in the far corner. She could see her own body sound asleep, curled into a ball under the covers. As her eyes roamed around the room, she found her pocketbook on the coffee table, the contents strewn, her driver’s license and CIA identification in plain view.

Her heart began pounding so hard it left her breathless. She turned back to the bed, where her body lay still and quiet. Dylan was no longer curled up behind her, keeping her warm. He was sitting on the floor beside the bed, watching her sleep, dressed in jeans and a cotton shirt. At his feet, laid across the floor, was the newspaper article of her parents’ plane accident.

And standing just behind him was an elderly woman with tightly curled hair, dressed in a sheer gown that reached to tiny feet that were so frail, the skin so thin, that they appeared almost translucent. As Vicki watched, she leaned over Dylan’s shoulder and glowered at Vicki’s sleeping body with opalescent eyes. Her red hair almost appeared to be exploding in angry flames as she screamed at the still body.
Run!” she screamed in a voice so shrill and so loud that the sound sent a wave of terror through Vicki’s soul. “Run!”

Buy links: Paperback \ Kindle

Book 3: Secrets of a Dangerous Woman by p.m.terrell


Irishman Dylan Maguire is back and in his first assignment with the CIA, he must interrogate recently captured Brenda Carnegie. But when she escapes again, it’s obvious that she’s had help from within the CIA’s own ranks. Psychic spy Vicki Boyd assists him in locating her again—but when he discovers Brenda’s true identity, he realizes his mission has just become very personal.

Brenda turned to fully face Dylan and he found himself unable to tear himself away from her eyes. They were like liquid pools a man could drown in. She continued staring at him, expectantly waiting for his response.

“You shouldn’t keep me here, Irish,” she said. “It’s only a matter of time before he finds me. You’re harboring a fugitive. You’ve got to know it carries serious consequences.”

“The last place they’ll be lookin’ is right under their noses.”

“Is that so?” She sounded unconvinced.

“They think you’ve gone to Washington, you know.”

“Is that what they think?” She cocked her head.

“It is.”

“What would make them think that?”

“Now, why do you think?”

They stared at one another for a long moment. He knew his brows were knit, his eyes narrowed, and he could feel his lips slightly turned down. But her face remained completely expressionless. She stared at him with neither malice nor friendship and though he felt as though his soul could be sucked into those amber pools and lost there, he couldn’t read what the woman behind them intended to do.

“You know,” he said slowly, his eyes moving from her eyes to her lips and back, “you wanted to be seen on that camera.”

“What camera?” Her lips turned up slightly and one eyebrow rose.

He felt the heat rising in his cheeks and his brows knit tighter.

“Oh,” she said, perhaps sensing his mood, “that camera.”

“You wanted us to be searchin’ for you northward. And all the while you knew you’d be here.” She didn’t respond and after a moment, he added, “And these little games you keep playin’ with me are beginnin’ to foul m’ good humor.”

Buy links: Paperback \ Kindle

Book 4: 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!”

Buy links: Paperback \ Kindle 

p.m. will be giving away a Celtic Triangle necklace to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (international giveaway). Follow the tour for more chances to win!


  1. Sounds like a great cause to buy books!

    All the books sounds cool.. Have fun with the tour..

    booksaremagicblogspot at gmail dot com

  2. Thank you for hosting me today! I'll be stopping in to answer any questions anyone might have for me.
    Vidya, yes, I thoroughly enjoy the Book 'Em events. The best part is donating the money to the literacy groups!

  3. I loved Vicki's Key so I can't wait to read the others.


  4. How fantastic that is. See, only good things can come from reading a book :-)



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