Monday, August 5, 2019

April in the Back of Beyond VBT

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.

p.m., thanks so much for stopping by.
Thank you for having me!

How did you get started writing?
I began writing when I was nine years old. My father was an FBI Agent at the time and we were transferred from New Jersey to the Mississippi Delta. It was 1967 and the residents did not want Yankees involved in their lives. The school principal saw how isolated I was and suggested that I write stories. Little did I know at the time that it would lead to a lifetime of writing.

What was the inspiration for your book?
I was researching Irish history for another book when I came upon the true story of two young men that had been murdered during the fight for Irish independence in 1919. I was immediately drawn to their mother’s plight, who became April in my book, April in the Back of Beyond, because her story truly started with the death of her sons. I just knew I had to write her story.

What’s a genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I’ve been extremely fortunate to have been published in all the genres that have appealed to me, from suspense to a children’s book, so if I died tomorrow I would have fulfilled all my writing goals.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
I dislike apocalyptic stories, stories of torture and imprisonment. There is something about making a person completely helpless that gives me nightmares. For the same reason, I can’t read about animal or child abuse. It’s too disturbing. And because my writing must live in my head for months, I wouldn’t be able to write about them, either.

What are you up to now? Do you have any releases planned, or are you still writing?
I am currently working on Book #25, which is due to be released in the spring of 2020. The working title is The Struggle for Independence, about a woman named Independence Mather who lives in Ireland in 1916 on the eve of the Easter Rising which led to Ireland’s independence. The tag line is: sometimes a woman comes to the conclusion that she has built the perfect life with the wrong man.

Alright, now for some random, fun questions. Favorite color?
Sky blue.

Favorite movie?    
I have so many! But Bandits with Cate Blanchett, Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Willis is among my favorites.

Book that inspired you to become an author?
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

You have one superpower. What is it?
To see the future based on choices I am considering.

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
I’d want to meet with the leaders of the three major religions. I’d love for them to discuss how their followers have made the world better and/or worse in their names, and what can be done to usher in an age of peace on this planet. And I’d want it to be broadcast so others could find inspiration in making this world a better place.

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
I believe I’m unique from each of my characters, though some traits might be shared. Hayley Hunter in April in the Back of Beyond, for example, is a writer that enjoys historical research and chooses to rent a cottage in Ireland in which to write her book. I would love to do that someday.

That’s all from me, thanks for taking the time to stop by!
Thank you for having me!

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

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.

For more information, book trailers, excerpts and more, visit the author’s website.

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  1. Another great book to discover. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

    1. Thank you, James! I'm glad you enjoyed reading about my new book.

  2. Thank you for hosting me here today! I'll be checking in throughout the day to answer any questions anyone might have for me. And I have a question for you: do you believe in ghosts?

  3. Who is your favorite character in the book?

    1. Hi, Bernie! Thanks for dropping by. My favorite character is Hayley Hunter, because she is very down-to-earth, intelligent, practical - and fearless. I admired how she tried to find logic and a physical reason for the sounds she heard every night, and how she still returned to the carriage house even after she knew it was haunted. I wish I had that kind of fearlessness!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping by, Edgar. Glad you enjoyed the interview!

  5. The book sounds very intriguing.

    1. Hi, Rita! Thanks for stopping by. Glad you think so!

  6. Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt and cover. :)

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Cali! Best of luck on the giveaway!

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you, Victoria! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment!

  8. thank you for the interview I enjoyed reading it and can't wait to start the book