That’s one spooky, and a bit sad, cover. Of course I love it.
April in the Back of Beyond by P. M. Terrell released in June in the Romantic Suspense/Ghost Story genre.
Writer Hayley Hunter has arrived in Ireland to complete a book on Irish history. When she discovers the old carriage house she is renting is haunted, she is determined to uncover the truth behind the burned ruins of a nearby manor house and the abandoned British barracks it overlooks. With the assistance of Shay Macgregor, an Irish historian, her quest will take her to 1919 and the Irish War for Independence, exposing the murders of two young men and why their mother, April Crutchley, refuses to leave the back of beyond even in death. With a budding romance and the opportunity to begin life anew, Hayley finds her own life is now in jeopardy as she gets closer to a truth the villagers have long sought to bury.
I could not hear the cattle though we continued to approach. I saw a head dodge this way or that, could envision their mouths opening in snorts or grunts. Two dogs came into the picture as though there were curtains on either side, appearing from behind the veils to join the cattle on center stage. They ducked and darted, their heads held low, ever on the watch for a strayed cow and yet the yips and barks I should have heard were lost in the winds that blew through here a hundred years ago.
The road stopped and yet Shay continued to press forward, the terrain becoming steeper and rockier as we drew ever closer. I was panting now and my forehead was covered in perspiration and yet I knew I could not turn back. I had to remain with Shay. I longed to ask why we were moving steadily toward the ruins, or what he hoped we could possibly accomplish there, but the words were frozen on my lips.
The air grew icy but there was no wind, as if time itself was suspended.
Then the herd parted to reveal two young men, boys really; and they were looking at us.
Shay stopped and I was so mesmerized that I started past him but he reached out to grab my arm. I have no idea what amount of force he might have used because in that instant, I barely registered his hand upon me. I only knew my feet had stopped and I was staring uphill at two boys that stared back at me.
Their baggy pants were dark, their shirts light, but I could see the giant tree that stood behind them. My brain slowly registered that I could see it because I was looking through them; the combination of their light and dark clothing was casting the tree into curious shadows. I knew they were looking at us though I could not see their facial features, but rather judged their stance from the position of their bodies. Their faces glowed eerily, the outlines blurry. They grew even hazier as I realized they were beginning to run.
In an instant the cattle dispersed in a panic, rushing down the hill toward the pasture from whence they’d come while the two boys raced upward in the opposite direction toward the house. They reached the open doorway almost at the same time, catapulting over the threshold. As they stepped inside the walls, everything vanished: the boys, the dogs and the cattle were gone. All that was left were the skeletal ruins, dark and forbidding against a sky filled with ominous clouds.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 23 books in multiple genres, including contemporary suspense, historical suspense, computer instructional, non-fiction and children’s books.
Prior to writing full-time, she founded two computer companies in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: McClelland Enterprises, Inc. and Continental Software Development Corporation. Among her clients were the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Secret Service, U.S. Information Agency, and Department of Defense. Her specialties were in the detection of white collar computer crimes and computer intelligence.
A full-time author since 2002, Black Swamp Mysteries was her first series, inspired by the success of Exit 22, released in 2008. Vicki’s Key was a top five finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards and 2012 USA Book Awards nominee, and The Pendulum Files was a national finalist for the Best Cover of the Year in 2014. Her second series, Ryan O’Clery Suspense, is also award-winning. The Tempest Murders (Book 1) was one of four finalists in the 2013 International Book Awards, cross-genre category. Her historical suspense, River Passage, was a 2010 Best Fiction and Drama Winner. It was determined to be so historically accurate that a copy of the book resides at the Nashville Government Metropolitan Archives in Nashville, Tennessee. Songbirds are Free is her bestselling book to date; it is inspired by the true story of Mary Neely, who was captured in 1780 by Shawnee warriors near Fort Nashborough (now Nashville, TN).
She was the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, an organization committed to raising public awareness of the correlation between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She was the founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event held in the town of Lumberton, North Carolina, to raise funds to increase literacy and reduce crime and served as its chairperson and organizer for its first four years. She also served on the boards of the Friends of the Robeson County (NC) Public Library, the Robeson County (NC) Arts Council, Virginia Crime Stoppers and became the first female president of the Chesterfield County-Colonial Heights Crime Solvers in Virginia.
Hi Patricia and thank you for being here today!
Can you tell us how did you come up with the idea for your book?
I used a couple of ideas rolled into one. The main plot involves a writer, Hayley Hunter, who rents a cottage in Ireland and discovers it is haunted by the ghosts of two murdered brothers and the mother that vainly tried to save them. The story was inspired by a true story of two brothers killed in Ireland in 1919 during the Irish fight for independence. Their mother was present and tried desperately to save their lives, and the tragedy traumatized her for the rest of her life. I was captivated by her life. In April in the Back of Beyond, Hayley is drawn in by the ghost that cries every night. She is determined to discover what happened to April Crutchley and her sons, and in the process, the past collides with the present.
The second idea was to make Hayley an author. I am constantly asked about my process, especially the research, so I based Hayley’s experiences traveling to Ireland and visiting the historical sites in her book on my own experiences when I wrote Checkmate: Clans and Castles.
But there are two big differences between Hayley and my own experience: She falls in love with historian Shay Macgregor, and her cottage is haunted.
Which kind of scenes are the hardest for you to write? Action, dialogue, sex?
Sex scenes have been the most difficult for me. When I was writing Vicki’s Key several years ago, my editor told me that I had become an expert at taking the reader to the door; now he wanted me to take them inside the bedroom with me. I wrote the scene several times and then the editor called me. He was in his 60s and the love interest was in his 20s but he said, “Okay. I’m 28 years old and I want you. This is what I’m going to do and this is how I’m going to do it.” It was the most interesting telephone conversation I’d ever had! I rewrote that steamy scene the way he described it.
Is there anything about the writing life that you think is misunderstood by the public?
So many things! First, there is a misconception that writers can write whenever they feel like it. Students must go to school, employees must go to work, but for some reason the public pictures a writer as living a leisurely life on a tropical island and writing whenever the mood strikes them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Second, I’ve had countless people tell me they think all authors are wealthy; they hear of the bestselling authors raking in millions and they just assume we all do. There’s a huge gap between authors that earn nothing and those that earn millions, and fortunately I’m somewhere in between—but far from independently wealthy.
How long does it take to write a story?
Each book has been different in terms of how long it took to write that first draft. The fastest I ever wrote was The Tempest Murders; I felt like someone else was dictating the story to me. I wrote the first draft in 30 days and then spent another two months editing it before it went to the publisher. The longest time was Checkmate: Clans and Castles, which took several years to research and nearly a year to write. Most books, however, are somewhere in between: 15-20 weeks to write it, and at least that long to edit and polish it. Then it goes to the publisher and they edit some more!
What turns you on?
Empathy, communication, self-confidence, self-reliance.
What turns you off?
Child and animal abuse. I can’t handle it. Even inadvertently seeing something on social media can give me nightmares for weeks.
Pen or computer?
Computer, most definitely.
Music or silence?
Silence while I’m writing; otherwise the noises and words I hear make it into the scenes.
If you were an animal, which one would you be?
I would be a giraffe. By towering above the trees, I could see all around me. By seeing ahead, it’s like looking into the future.
If you could have any accent from anywhere in the world, which would it be?
Irish, of course! I love traveling to Ireland and hearing those melodious accents.
Do you have any scar? What are they from?
I have many scars but one in particular is when I split my lip. My face got in the way of a charging Newfoundland. It happened to be the day before I was to leave on a tour. The doctor glued it together and told me whatever I did, not to smile or I’d split it open again. That was the most difficult thing to do—have book signings and talks and not smile.
A pet peeve?
Rudeness. I love the line from Lonesome Dove when Woodrow said, “I can’t abide rude behavior in a man.” That scene was classic.
Up early or sleep in?
Throughout my life, even as a child, I’ve arisen before six every morning, seven days a week. Sleeping until seven is late for me, and I only do it when I’m completely exhausted. I find myself most productive in the mornings but by early evening my brain is shot.
Thank you for having me!
This post is part of a tour. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2019/07/vbt-april-in-back-of-beyond-by-pmterrell.html
- $25 Amazon/BN GC
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