Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Vicki's Key by P.M. Terrell (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes P.M. Terrell, author of Vicki's Key!


Author Guest Post 

Suspense Thrillers

When I think of all the genres that are available to write in, it amazes me that I never considered anything other than suspense/thrillers. I suppose it had a lot to do with my father's job as an FBI Agent. The subject of crimes was always being talked about in my house when I was growing up. 

Later, I became a computer expert and my specialties became white collar computer crime and computer intelligence. Most of my clients were federal and local agencies, including the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense.

But one day I was asked to meet with a group of trucking company executives who asked me to write a program to hide their kickbacks. It turned out, their current accounting system kept an audit trail of the money and they were concerned that the feds would raid their shop, seize the computers and find all the evidence of the kickbacks.

Of all the computer experts they could have asked, I was the world's worst one. I went straight home, called my dad (the FBI Agent) and ended up becoming an FBI informant. The stress was pretty high and before I was finished providing information over a year's time to my FBI contact, I had decided that I wanted to leave the computer industry and write full-time.

I'd always wanted to be a writer and they say to write what you know - and by this time, I knew trucking industry kickbacks inside and out. So I wrote my first suspense/thriller, aptly entitled Kickback. It took two years to write it and another two years to find a publisher. But it launched a full-time career writing suspense.

I also wrote two books that were meant to be historical adventures, River Passage and Songbirds are Free, but I found by that time that I knew how to weave suspense into my plots so well, that even my historical books read like suspense/thrillers. I found the research for both to be daunting; they were both based on true stories and took about 30 hours of research for every 1 hour of writing. 

Since then, I have concentrated on my first love - contemporary suspense/thrillers. I never run out of ideas; I comb through the CIA's own declassified records for a lot of my inspiration on plots. I am always studying people I meet in my everyday life, weaving characteristics into my books' characters. And I love to travel and see new places, which has become a theme in upcoming books. 

I started weaving more romance into my books when a Baptist minister urged me to add more romance; I decided if a man of God thought I needed more romance, I definitely needed more romance! The result has been a lot of fun for me to write and I am also reaching a broader audience.

About The Author:

P.M. Terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of thirteen books, including six suspense/thrillers and two historical suspense. Suspense Magazine says "p.m. terrell gets better with each and every book she writes" and Midwest Book Review says, " p.m. terrell is a master at skillfully combining drama, action, suspense and romance to engage the reader in an adrenaline rush of page turning adventure." PBS television host Barbara Berlin says, "p.m. terrell is the next John Grisham." A full-time writer for more than 12 years, her latest series, Black Swamp Mysteries, combines international intrigue and adventure with the CIA's psychic spy program, resulting in a series that appeals to lovers of suspense, romance or the paranormal. Prior to becoming an author, terell operated two computer businesses focusing on computer intelligence ad white collar crime. Her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. 

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

* Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway: Gift Basket *

Author P.M. Terrell will be giving away gift baskets from the real town of Lumberton, where Vicki's adventure takes place. One gift basket will be given to a randomly drawn commenter, and one gift basket for the host with the most comments, excluding the host's own or P.M.'s comments. Post comments on each virtual book tour stop to increase your chances at winning! (US/Canada only)

Vicki's Key Book Trailer

Book Review

Vicki's Key by P.M. Terrell
Published By: Drake Valley Press
Release Date: February 27, 2012
Format: Paperback - 324 pages / Kindle - 452 KB / Nook - 932 KB
ISBN: 1935970038
Genre: Mystery - Suspense - Thriller

BUY THE BOOK: Vicki's Key

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Book Description:

Following a flawed CIA mission, Vicki Boyd leaves the agency 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 more mission, she finds her CIA past and her new future are about to collide ... in murder.

Book Excerpt:

Vicki let the end of the towel drop so it brushed against her knees as she held the top against her breastbone. With one hand, she pulled the shower curtain back.

Dylan stood barefoot in the doorway, his back against the doorframe, his long legs stretching toward the opposite side, one hand planted against the opposite doorframe as though he'd been semi-reclining there for some time.

She gasped instinctively. "How long have you been there?" she asked, tugging the towel to cover herself.

"Long enough." Without taking his eyes off hers, he moved deliberately across the bathroom until he stood in front of her. Without speaking, he took her towel and wrapped it around her. As the bath sheet was draped around her slender body, he took the corner and began to gently rub her hair with it. He stopped after a moment, his hand against her face and gazed at her cheek as he brushed it with his thumb.

"What were you cryin' for, Woman?" he asked.

"I don't know."

"I don't know, she says. Same thin' me mum used to say. 'What are you cryin' for Mum?' I'd say. 'I don't know.' 'Well, you do it every night. Seems like you'd have figured it out by now.'"

She didn't answer and after a few seconds, he stopped rubbing her cheek and looked into her eyes. "I have to tell you, Darlin'. I can't handle a woman's tears. Never been able to. Most likely never will. Does somethin' to me heart that I just can't abide." He spoke with his lips pressed close to hers, as if he could smother the tears.

My Book Review:

Vicki Boyd is a twenty-eight year old woman who is one of the best CIA Agents that the US government has in its employ. Since childhood she has possessed the psychic ability of seeing premonitions, and at the age of twelve, the CIA learned of her abilities and brought her to Langley where they trained her to develop her psychic abilities as a remote viewer, where she can project her mind to go on a mental journey to any location in the world as a psychic spy and gather intelligence for the US government.

Vicki's last mission in the Ecuadorian rainforest gathering intel on drug cartels went horribly wrong and left her with traumatizing nightmares. Knowing that she couldn't return to the field, she resigns from the CIA even though they try to persuade her to stay, and seeks to start her life over in a new place. Vicki answers an online classified ad from Laurel Maguire, an elderly widow from Lumberton, NC, who is a successful tropical freshwater angelfish breeder. Laurel needs assistance maintaining the aquatic operations, and Vicki thinks this is the perfect stress free job for her.

When Vicki arrives in Lumberton, she meets Laurel's Irish nephew Dylan Maguire, who informs Vicki that Laurel has suffered a stroke, is a shut-in on the third floor of her house and is a very private person. Thinking that she would find normalcy, Vicki soon discovers that living there is anything but normal ... she never sees Laurel but hears her moving around in the middle of the night, the nephew is reluctant to give Vicki a key to the house, and the CIA has found her and demands that she agrees to a new mission.

A new mission focusing on an Afghan village, a budding romance with Dylan, and murder lurking around the corner will complicate Vicki's life even more than before ...

Vicki's Key is a riveting suspense thriller with enough thrills, chills and action packed adventure that will give you an adrenaline rush! Written in the third person narrative with settings in Washington DC, Lumberton, NC and a Hindu Kush Afghan village, the author weaves an intriguing tale of mystery and suspense with a touch of romance that draws the reader in and holds them spellbound and captive to the very surprising conclusion. Rich in vivid details and descriptions, the reader is transported to the picturesque town of Lumberton, NC and to the remote Afghan mountain village. The author's background and research into the CIA and psychic abilities is phenomenal, she masterfully creates an intriguing storyline that will fascinate the reader and engage them to ponder the possibilities if psychic spying really does exist.

The author has created a cast of characters that are realistic and complex, their intensity and interactions make the story that much more compelling and powerful. I was fascinated by Vicki's psychic abilities, her tenacity and strength peaked my interest, it felt like I was right by her side during her remote mental journeys. I absolutely fell in love with the handsome Dylan Maguire, who wouldn't fall for an Irishman with a lilting Irish brogue? I really liked how the author balanced the suspense thriller with a passionate romantic twist, it left me completely satisfied.

Vicki's Key is the first book in the Black Swamp Mysteries Series. In the southeastern corner of NC, the black water of the Lumber River snakes its way through Robeson County. When it frequently recedes, it leaves behind an almost impenetrable black swampland, the perfect place to hide a body ...

If you're in the mood for an adrenaline rush from a suspense thriller with a mixture of international intrigue, CIA psychic spy program, murder and romance, then Vicki's Key is a must read, you won't be disappointed!



  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host p.m.'s virtual book tour event.

  2. I know it is a suspense thriller, but the excerpt is full of "wow" romance. The combination has to be great.

    1. Thank you for the great comment! I had a selection of excerpts to post, but the romantic excerpt was a "wow" just like you said, that I decided this was the one I wanted to post. Thank you for stopping by! :)

  3. Thank you so much for hosting me today! I'm so glad you enjoyed Vicki's Key; I appreciate the wonderful review.
    I also fell in love with Dylan Maguire. He was supposed to appear in only the one book but the editors and advance readers fell in love with him, too, so you'll be happy to hear that he will appear throughout the entire series.
    MomJane, this is the first book I've written that has as much romance in it. I think it was due to my own attraction to the Irishman!
    I'll be dropping in throughout the day and answering any questions your followers might have. Thanks again for hosting me!

    1. Hi p.m.! I loved the book, especially since you used Lumberton as the setting. My family has a 2nd home in Calabash, NC, and I have fond memories of visiting the Lumberton and Fayetteville areas during our trips to our house. Since I'm an Irish girl, I loved Dylan's character, I could imagine hearing his Irish brogue. So glad that he will be in the other books in the series. :)

  4. Hi, Kathleen!
    Thanks so much for the comment. Just the mention of Calabash makes me hungry! What a great place to visit (and eat!)
    I love that you're an Irish lass! Such a beautiful, mystical culture. I'm glad you liked Dylan. The series wouldn't be the same without him - so he will definitely be around for a long time to come.
    Thanks again for hosting me!

  5. Hi Jersey Girl! WELL...With you & Kathleen having 2nd homes in the area, and me & p.m. having first homes in the area, we can start ourselves a great little book group! I, too, get hungry thinking of Calabash. It's been a couple of months since hubby & I had a fix....Too many tourists right now. We love Ella's and The Boundary House.

    p.m....How interesting that you were an FBI informant. There really are so many classes at my community college that you could speak to: Criminal Justice, Writing, CIS/CIT and Network Security...and maybe even Truck Driver Training. LOL! What an interesting life.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  6. I'm doing a bit of back-tracking on this blog tour - glad I did - I'm a Jersey Girl too!
    I love to get in on the beginning of a series - I hope the next installment is coming along soon too!
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

    1. Hi Di! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Always nice to meet another Jersey girl. :)