Cover Blurb For Secrets Of A Dangerous Woman
In Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, Dylan Maguire is back in his first assignment with the CIA: to 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 assistance, Brenda is back in Dylan’s custody. And now he must find out why some in the highest levels of our government want her dead while others are willing to risk everything to help her. And when he discovers Brenda’s real identity, his mission has just become very personal.
P.M. Terrell Talks About Writing The Black Swamp Mystery Series
One of the reviewers said of my writing in Vicki’s Key, which introduced the Black Swamp Mysteries series, “In each of her books she treats us to something new and different. Whether it’s someone’s occupation, lifestyle or dream it’s always done with an attention to detail and a thoroughness of craft.”
While I always seek to entertain readers, I also enjoy providing information that they might not have known prior to reading my books. I manage to do this through multi-faceted and meticulous research.
Secrets of a Dangerous Woman brings three main characters together who will remain together throughout the entire series, either as a result of blood or circumstance.
Brenda Carnegie is a computer hacker, a bad girl who enjoys being on the wrong side of the law. Readers first met her in Exit 22, where I took the Enron scheme involving electricity and applied it to oil. I found through my research that one of the reasons gasoline costs so much is because of what is known as the Enron Loophole, which allows oil to be traded on the stock market based on the speculation of its future value.
In Secrets, Brenda is back with yet another computer scheme: to dig up dirt on the nation’s top politicians and sell the information to the highest bidder. There have been so many scandals in recent years involving improper relationships between government officials and industries that constitute a clear conflict of interest, as well as personal scandals that have played out in the public eye. When WikiLeaks came to the front page news, it occurred to me that an intriguing plot would involve a computer genius who would not start a website to broadcast their information publicly but would instead sell the information—to a political rival or even to an opposing country.
But Brenda meets her match in Dylan Maguire, an Irishman who first made his appearance in Vicki’s Key. Dylan is now a CIA operative, one of the men on the ground whose missions involve going into areas around the world and performing jobs he can never discuss and should probably deny. For his role, I researched CIA declassified records as well as read a number of books written by past CIA employees. I noted similar themes and cross-referenced cases and then discovered new or unique ways to “spin” those missions into another industry or update them through the use of technology.
Dylan is joined in his mission by Vicki Boyd, a CIA psychic spy who also made her first appearance in Vicki’s Key. While combing through declassified records, I came upon information regarding the United States’ own psychic spy program. It began during the Cold War when Intelligence sources discovered that the Soviet Union had begun a psychic spy program; its mission was to infiltrate our nuclear facilities, tour our weapons sites, and even sit in on the highest cabinet level meetings. And because it was done through the power of the mind, we would not even know our security had been breached.
Intelligence in the United States suggested that we explore our own psychic program to determine whether these missions were possible. Psychic spies have since been used in a variety of missions, including during the Iran Hostage Crisis of the 1970’s and as recently as helping to locate Saddam Hussein.
The combination of a psychic spy, a CIA operative and a computer hacker could make for a complex series in which any one of the main characters could rise to the foreground, much as an ensemble cast does in a television series.
In Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, Dylan Maguire is on his first CIA assignment: to 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. With Vicki Boyd’s psychic assistance, he locates her and captures her again. But now his mission is changing: he must find out why some of the highest ranking government officials want her killed—and why others are willing to risk everything to help her. And when he discovers her true identity, his mission has just become very personal.
Secrets is the third book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series. The first book, Exit 22, was meant to be a stand-alone book. It was this book that introduced Brenda Carnegie as a computer hacker who was caught up in a double homicide and was trying to escape a hired assassin. Her character was so popular among fans that I knew I had to create a series.
I didn’t want to become a formula writer so it took some time for me to develop several characters who could keep the series fresh and each book surprising. I love giving my readers something unexpected.
So the second book in the series, Vicki’s Key, introduces Vicki Boyd, the psychic spy who decides to leave the CIA and start over. But when she arrives at a summer job assisting an elderly woman, she finds that Laurel Maguire has suffered a stroke and her nephew Dylan has arrived from Ireland to care for her. A romance quickly blossoms between Dylan and Vicki but there is something sinister going on in Aunt Laurel’s house and Vicki soon finds her past and her future are about to collide—in murder.
The third book, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, brings Brenda, Vicki and Dylan together for the first time. But what transpires between them will keep them together for the remainder of the series.
I am currently working on Dylan’s Song, the fourth in the series. Due to be released in 2013, it takes Vicki and Dylan to Ireland. Vicki’s mission is to find a CIA operative who disappeared in Ireland and Dylan’s assignment is to extract him and get him to a safe house. But while in Ireland, Vicki discovers the real reason Dylan left his native country for America—and gives us some insight on just how far Dylan has come and what his future now holds.
An Excerpt From Secrets Of A Dangerous Woman
“Who are you running from?” Vicki asked.
Brenda took a deep breath. “I am in trouble. Big trouble.”
“What did you do?”
“Depends on who you ask.” She took a deep breath. “I’m tired, Vicki. Really tired. I need to get off the street. Stay inside for a day or two. Regroup.”
“I’m living in Lumberton now. The woman who owned the house where I’m staying passed away.
Her nephew inherited it.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Yeah? Where’s he?”
“I live with him. Come home with me. It’s a big house, three stories.”
Brenda frowned as if she was deep in thought. “It’s just you and him there?”
“His name’s Dylan. I’ll tell you all about him on the way.”
She half nodded. “He won’t be taken aback by you bringing me home? I’m a bit more to handle than a stray cat.”
“He’d love to meet you. I promise. He’ll take care of you.”
“He will, will he?”
Vicki blushed. “He’s got a strong sense of family. Besides,” she said as she started to rise, “it’s suppertime and you need to eat. We’ll get something in your belly and you’ll get a good night’s sleep.”
Brenda hesitated only briefly before she rose from the table. “You sure you can handle the intrusion?”
As they made their way toward the door, Brenda whispered, “I wouldn’t be too sure about that.”
About P.M. Terrell
p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 16 books, including Vicki’s Key, a 2012 International Book Awards finalist, and River Passage, 2010 Best Fiction & Drama winner. She is the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation whose slogan is “Buy a Book and Stop a Crook” and the co-chair of Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference & Book Fair. For more information, visit www.pmterrell.com.
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