Ballytullmac is a fictional Irish village where Dylan Maguire was raised by his grandmother in the Black Swamp Mysteries series. It is set near the Bog of Allen and is located near Croghan Hill, a real place that is the site of an extinct volcano. From the top of Croghan Hill, you can see for miles around, as the surrounding terrain is very flat in the bogs. It is located in County Offaly west of Dublin.
Before England colonized Ireland (the same way they did America) in the 16th and 17th centuries, the island was divided into miniature “nations” just as the United States was divided into more than 500 Native American nations. Each was ruled by a clan, which was a close-knit group of family members and others loyal to that family.
The region of Croghan Hill was ruled by the O’Connor Clan; O’Connor was one of the last High Kings of Ireland before the Norman invasion (which serves as the backdrop in my book, The White Devil of Dublin).
In 2003, a remarkably well-preserved body was found in the bogs that is believed to be more than 2,000 years old. The man is measured at 6 feet, 6 inches, remarkably tall even for this day. He was murdered in his 20’s. The theory is that he was once a king in that region. It was believed during the Iron Age and the time of the druids that when bad fortune fell upon the community—such as famine, bad weather or natural disasters—it was the king’s fault. He would then have been taken to a special site, such as the ancient hill where kings were anointed, and killed to appease the gods. His body was found buried at the foot of the hill; he had wounds on his arm and chest; he had been decapitated and his body cut in half.
In later years, Croghan Hill was known as a fairy-mound filled with mystical powers.
Cloak and Mirrors, Dylan’s village of Ballytullmac is the backdrop for his marriage to Vicki Boyd. It is a tiny village with one main street (with lots of pubs!) and a Catholic church set on a hill overlooking the village. The priest at the church is Dylan’s best friend, Father Thomas Rowan, and it is Father Thomas who marries Vicki and Dylan in a traditional Irish ceremony.
They leave the next day for Donegal and the Wild Atlantic Way on the northwest corner of Ireland, which serves as the backdrop for the rest of the story. Sam, their CIA section chief, sends them into Donegal to pick up a microchip containing plans for Russia’s latest stealth technology. When the Russian decides to defect, however, it sends them across the island in an attempt to rendezvous with an aircraft that will remove the defector from Europe. And when they learn that the Kremlin has identified Vicki and Dylan, they find themselves fighting to escape. Watch the trailer below!
The official launch date for Cloak and Mirrors is March 17 (Saint Patrick’s Day) but it is already available at amazon in both paperback and eBook. It will be in all fine stores by March 17 in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.
Be very careful if you see any of my books advertised as free! They are never free and I have been notified that groups in Eastern Europe and Russia are offering free eBooks that are filled with malicious viruses.
p.m.terrell is the internationally acclaimed, award-winning author of more than 20 books in several genres. Her first book was published in 1984 and she became a full-time writer in 2002. She has mentored authors for more than 15 years and is the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation and the founder of the Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair. For more information, visit www.pmterrell.com.