Hey lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host p.m. terrell and her new book, “Cloak and Mirrors”! For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.
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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’.”
THE REAL PSYCHIC SPIES
I enjoy sifting through the CIA’s declassified files. Often stories from the Cold War will inspire me and I frequently will take two or more plots and weave them together into an updated story of suspense. I had frequently received requests to write a series but had resisted because I didn’t want to become known as a formula writer where readers could easily guess the plots and twists. All of that changed when I came across information regarding the United States Government’s Psychic Spy Program.
During the Cold War, our government intercepted information regarding the Soviet Union’s psychic spies. Our Intelligence community went before Congress and requested funding to explore the possibility of astral travel or astral projection. They didn’t know at the time whether it was all hocus pocus or if there could be something of substance to psychic phenomena, but they didn’t want to find out twenty years down the road after the Soviets had perfected the science of psychic spies.
In the Black Swamp Mysteries Series, I introduce a CIA psychic spy, Vicki Boyd. The process she undergoes in her psychic missions is modeled on genuine feedback from real psychic spies: a process similar to hypnosis in which the soul feels as though it is leaving the body and traveling around the world. With our government program, there were strict controls and all facts were verified by ground operatives. There was also a series of controlled experiments with increasingly more difficult missions and only the best of the best made it into the full program.
For example, at the first level someone may be placed in a room and told to report what they saw in a room down the hall. A person might be in that second room pulling one card after another from a deck and laying them face up or face down on the table. It is the psychic spy’s mission to describe the individual, the room and the exact cards that are pulled.
At more advanced levels, they may be asked to describe a place, people and events halfway around the world. Other government operatives would file their own report of their actions and the psychic’s experience would be compared to real events.
Psychic spies were responsible for reporting that hostages taken during the Iran crisis of the 1970’s were being held together and they also knew of plans to separate them, which prompted then-President Jimmy Carter to attempt a rescue mission. In more recent times, psychic spies reported that Saddam Hussein was hiding underground and pinpointed the area where he could be found. Some of the administrations were convinced that it worked and others remained dubious.
In introducing psychic spy missions in the Black Swamp Mysteries Series, it has allowed me to write about dangerous missions around the world, placing Vicki into remote locations such as an isolated village in Afghanistan, a cargo ship in the middle of the ocean, a deserted beach in South America and even in an underground bunker in the Irish bogs. In Cloak and Mirrors, she infiltrates a meeting among Russian operatives and discovers, much to her surprise, that they have discovered her psychic abilities and are making plans to capture her.
Do you believe in psychic phenomenon?
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).
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