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Monday, July 14, 2014

Join Me in a Worldwide Blog Hop

I'm excited to be participating in this worldwide blog hop. I always enjoy meeting other authors and readers and discovering new books. I was nominated for this blog hop by fellow author Susan Whitfield. I've come to know Susan through our involvement in Book 'Em North Carolina; she has participated each year and earlier this year, I had the pleasure of working with her through Studebaker Press.

Among her works, Susan has written a wonderful series called the Logan Hunter Series, featuring an SBI investigator. For those of you who don't live in North Carolina, the SBI is a state version of the FBI - it is North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigation. Logan Hunter, the main character, becomes involved in murder investigations around the state. Susan's writing sucks me in with the very first chapter and keeps me riveted through to the last page.


For visitors new to me and my writing, my pen name is p.m.terrell, which stands for Patricia McClelland Terrell. My first book was published in 1984 and since then, I've had 18 books released with more in various stages of the production cycle.

I've written in several genres, including how-to computer books and a how-to marketing book for authors. But my greatest success has come from two historical adventures based on an ancestor, Mary Neely, and my contemporary suspense. River Passage, the true story of the Donelson Party journey west in 1779, won the 2010 Best Book Award. Vicki's Key, a contemporary suspense featuring a CIA psychic spy, was a 2012 International Book Award Finalist and a 2012 USA Best Book Award Finalist. And The Tempest Murders was a 2013 USA Best Book Award Finalist and a 2014 International Book Awards nominee.


The next book that will be released is The White Devil of Dublin, and here for the first time is the cover revealed.

It is the sequel to The Tempest Murders. Detective Ryan O'Clery is an Irishman living in North Carolina when an historian contacts him with information about his ancestors. Convinced she has him mistaken for someone else, he agrees to meet with her - but finds her murdered, her throat slit from ear to ear, and her computer missing. To solve the case, he must find the missing computer and piece together the information she was working on, which takes him back to 12th century Dublin, to a secret his family had harbored for over eight hundred years, and to an albino called the White Devil of Dublin. It will also bring him face to face with a current-day albino serial killer who is intent on destroying everyone Ryan loves.

Below is an excerpt:


1169, The Approach to Duiblinn

The mists swirled about the Viking ship, shrouding their approach in an ashen veil. It seemed as though the clouds themselves were reaching toward the waters, parting momentarily to reveal their advance, silent and evil, an apparition on the deadly sea.

He moved as one with the great ship, his feet spread wide and firmly planted behind the dragon’s head that graced the bow. Atop a platform, he had an unencumbered view of the gray waters; though they roiled and tumbled, the waves crashing against the sides of the vessel, he remained unyielding, secure in his position. He towered above those behind him who worked the sail or labored in the rowing stations. He could feel their eyes upon him.

Though he was a young man, his hair was white and reached nearly to his waist. It was wild at the moment, swirling about his body wherever the wind took it. His eyebrows and his lashes were pale against alabaster skin that stretched over taut muscles. His shoulders were broad and his arms powerful, though he now rested them idly behind his back, his fingers entwined. His thighs were strapping and fought at the fabric that dared encase them, moving effortlessly with the sway and tug of the vessel that was more a home to him than any bed and table.

His eyes were the color of blue ice. The pupils were not black but appeared to lack any color at all. He had been told by his men that when he stood at the bow of the ship as he did now, his eyes appeared nearly completely white and otherworldly, a characteristic that unnerved his enemies.

His name was Baldr but he was known simply as Hvitr Bard, The White Devil.

He preferred the saffron tunic and slightly darker cloak that he currently wore, though he’d discovered years earlier that his wine-colored clothing was best in battle, as it hid blood splatters. He had never been injured himself; his arms were uncommonly long, his frame inches taller than his Norse counterparts; a giant among giants. And among the Celtic people he now approached, he was indeed a goliath. No swing of an arm, even extended with a sword, could reach his torso.

As the mists parted with the first peek of the rising sun, he spotted fishermen along the shorelines and sheep farmers on the hills. As they readied for their day, they stopped to watch the tall, sleek ship slide silently past them.

Gone were the days when necessity dictated a stealthy approach. The Ostmen had ruled Duflin—what the Gaelic people called Duiblinn, or Black Pool—for three hundred years. It was their village now, even if the Celts resented their presence; a bustling, thriving spot along the water that beckoned with good food, strong spirits, and an abundance of women to be had for the taking.

In the distance, he spotted an outcropping of buildings. He forced himself to remain perfectly still, completely rigid. His expression would remain chiseled still as stone. It was an integral part of what made him The White Devil.

The docks were alive with fishermen departing for a day at sea; a cacophony of voices reached his ears as they drew closer still. Women hawked pieces of bread and meat for men who would grow hungry before they would again see these shores. Men shouted to one another, inspecting the nets and tossing them onto the decks, gathering their supplies for the hard hours ahead. In the distance, bells rang, their vibrations echoing in the mists of Eire.

Young boys rushed to greet the Viking ship, eager to assist for a coin, while the Celtic men eyed them suspiciously, warily.

Only then did Hvitr Bard remove his hands from behind his back. He raised one hand, and the rowing behind him stopped. With a gesture only his men recognized, they rose as one and prepared to come ashore.

The sail unfurled behind him as they pulled alongside the docks. Under the expert hands of his men, it would be folded and readied for the next voyage, whenever that should be. At a moment’s notice, they could be called to the north or the south to quell some uprising against them or to settle an old score with either the Celts or the Normans, or simply to raid another monastery or castle.

Standing near the dragonhead at the bow, he loomed above the men on shore, but when he leapt to the dock below, it was with the fluid grace and agility of a smaller, more slender man. He landed on his feet, his knees only slightly bending, before rising to his full height. The crowds parted as The White Devil stepped among them, their eyes wide, unblinking, frightened. The women clasped their hands to their chests, backing away, while the men avoided his path and averted their eyes. Many of them had seen him countless times before and yet each time it was the same: he was feared. And he was reviled.

The White Devil of Dublin is unique because it combines a present-day police investigation with events that transpired in Dublin during the time of the Viking conquest and the Norman invasion. The action moves back and forth between the two periods, unfolding as Ryan puts the pieces together. The reader discovers the secret as Ryan does; a secret his family kept hidden for more than eight hundred years, and which led a present-day albino killer to seek Ryan out from halfway around the world, intent on destroying him.

I enjoy writing contemporary suspense because I love the action and adventure, of propelling a story forward with breakneck speed, and of keeping readers turning the pages as they hurtle toward the final climactic scene. The White Devil of Dublin, like many of my other works, is also considered a romantic suspense and I was as surprised as anyone when I fell in love with the original albino that crossed Ryan's ancestors' paths in the 12th century.

I wrote the story of The White Devil in Ireland first and then went back to the beginning and interspersed it with Ryan's present-day investigation, polishing and blending as both stories come together. Layers of each character are unveiled as their stories intertwine, and I have to admit that I cried some and felt happiness and romance and joy right along with my characters. When I wrote the climactic scene, I knew I had to make it big and I also knew I had to make Ryan face one of his worst fears - that of heights. So the final scene takes place atop a water tower during a storm in which the clouds almost seem to reach to the top of the structure.


Three bloggers will pick up with this worldwide blog tour from here, posting next week, July 21. I hope you'll visit each of them. I'm sure you'll enjoy their books. I highly recommend following them!

Carol Dean Jones:

Maggie Thom:

Bonnie Watson: