Title- Exit 22
Series- Black Swamp Mysteries Book #1
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.
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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.
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Title- Vicki’s Key
Series- Black Swamp Mysteries Book # 2
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 tocollide… In murder.
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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!”
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Title- Secrets of a Dangerous Woman
Series- Black Swamp Mysteries Book # 3
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.
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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.
“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.”
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Title- Dylan’s Song
Series- Black Swamp Mysteries Book #4
Dylan Maguire returns to his native Ireland with psychic spy Vicki Boyd. Their mission: to locate and extract a missing CIA operative. But when Dylan receives word that his grandmother is dying, his mission plunges him into a past he thought he’d turned his back on forever. Now he must confront his past before it results in murder. And as Vicki discovers the real reason he left Ireland, she is harboring a secret of her own.
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When Dylan reached the water’s edge, he set Vicki on the ground long enough to strip her of the blanket, which he tossed on the ground. Then despite her growing protestations, he scooped her into his arms again and waded into the pond. As she felt the water against her backside, she squealed and buried her face against his neck. “Don’t drop me in here!” she begged.
He threw his head back and laughed. “I’m goin’ to do a lot more than that,” he said as he waded in above his waist.
As they neared the middle of the pond, she pleaded, “Please don’t drop me. It’s freezing!”
He stopped and looked at her, a broad smile across his face.
“What are you doing?” she asked. “Are you insane?”
He raised one brow. “Perhaps I am, at that. But it’s high time you learned to live life to its fullest.”
He shifted his arms so she was half-floating in the water. “It’s warmer under the surface than it is above,” he whispered. His voice had grown husky. “In the deepest part o’ this pond, it’s under five feet. So when we go under, your feet can still be touchin’ the ground.”
“Don’t put me down,” she warned, her voice growing serious. “Don’t—”
Before she could continue, he dunked them both under the water’s surface. Seconds later, she re-emerged to find him grinning from ear to ear.
“I didn’t lie to you, now did I?” he said. He let her slip from his arms. As her feet found the bottom, he continued, “It’s warmer now, isn’t it?”
“I ought to brain you,” she said in mock anger. She leaned back, allowing the water to soak her long hair. As she pulled her head above the water once more, she finger-combed it away from her face.
He stepped toward her as a lock of water-soaked hair fell across his forehead. His eyes had turned to vivid green in the light of the moon. With the initial shock wearing off and her body warming under the surface of the water, she pressed herself against his chest. As his arms wrapped around her gently, she tilted her head back and draped her arms around his neck.
His lips were full and soft as they brushed against hers. He looked into her eyes and smiled, causing his laugh lines to crinkle and his irises to sparkle. He had an uncanny ability to live in the moment, she thought as she parted her lips. This gift was infectious, and as his lips found hers once more, she felt her heart grow lighter. She felt weightless as he held her, his strong hands rubbing against her back and through her hair while his chest pressed against hers. She didn’t ever want this moment to end.
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About the Author-
p.m.terrell is the internationally acclaimed, award-winning author of more than 18 books, including Vicki's Key, a 2012 International Book Awards and 2012 USA Best Book Awards finalist and River Passage, winner of the 2010 Best Drama Award. A full-time writer since 2002, p.m. previously founded and operated two computer companies with a specialty in computer crime and computer intelligence. Her clients included the CIA, United States Secret Service and the Department of Defense as well as local law enforcement agencies. Her expertise in computers and intelligence often finds its way into her books. She is also the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation and founder and chair of The Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, which raises money to increase literacy rates. As a hobby, she raises freshwater angelfish - the same thing her characters do as their front for the CIA. For more information about p.m.terrell, visit www.pmterrell.com and for more information on the upcoming Writers Conference, visit www.bookemnc.org.
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