I am wrapping up the next book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series. Dylan's Song is scheduled for release in the spring of 2013. In this book, Dylan Maguire is called to Ireland to find and extract a missing CIA operative. Vicki accompanies him as both a front and to assist in locating the operative through her psychic abilities.
Below is an excerpt:
The wall gave way beneath Vicki's hand and as she jerked it backward in surprise, her knuckle raked across a piece of metal. She gasped and then reached for the metal, this time with intent. Yes, she thought. It was a bar from the cell doors.
She moved closer to it, clutching it while peering beside it into the darkness. Then she grasped at another bar and then another, making her way along the wall while still attempting to see inside.
The bars were rusted and they tore at her hands, embedding pieces inside her palm. She recoiled, shaking off the bits of metal, and then more cautiously reached for them again.
It was useless, she thought. Everything was enveloped in pitch blackness.
She sighed heavily and leaned her head toward the bars when a man’s face appeared inches from hers.
He was imprisoned on the other side. It was so dark that she thought her eyes were deceiving her. But then he moved slightly and she saw his chiseled face streaked with grime. Light brown strands of matted and greasy hair fell unchecked across his forehead and an unkempt beard was knotty with the same grime that smeared his cheekbones.
His eyes were light colored, wide and unblinking as he stared at her.
“Can you see me?” Her voice was barely more than a croak.
“You’re an American.” His voice was deep and dry and the words came slowly, as if he’d grown unaccustomed to speech.
“CIA,” she heard herself saying.
He sucked in his breath and then his eyes raked over her body. She felt very small and very useless; if he could not get out of this cell himself, how could she possibly think she could save him?
“Are there others?” he asked, as if thinking the same thing.
“Two. Maybe more.”
He looked beyond her, his eyes skirting the perimeter. “Where—?”
“I don’t know how I got here,” she said.
The sound of voices reached their ears and he hissed, “Quiet.”
As the voices drew nearer, she realized if this wasn’t one of her dreams—if this was real and she had somehow fallen into this other realm, she could be attacked, raped or imprisoned. And Dylan and Brenda didn’t know where she was. She didn’t know.
“Bolt cutters,” he said.
She looked back at him.
“These bars are iron. But the locks can be broken with bolt cutters. There’s only one way in and one way out.”
“The way you got here,” he said.
Men were speaking, their voices drawing closer. Her heart began to pound wildly and her temples hurt. She had to run—but where?
“Over there,” he said. “In the cell. Pull the door closed and go to the back. They’ll pass right by you.”
The hall wound tightly and as she took a quick step backward, she stopped abruptly and lifted her camera. The shot came fast and bright, capturing his astonished, stained face and disheveled appearance.
“What the devil was that?”
She realized too late it had been a mistake. The flash had alerted them to her presence and now their footsteps were coming swiftly toward her. She turned to look at Stephen Anders but he was escaping into the far inky depths of his cell.
As she started to turn toward the opposite cell, the temporary safe haven seemed beyond her reach. And as she started to move toward it, she felt the heavy grip of a man’s hand on her shoulder, pulling her toward him.