Monday, July 30, 2012

VBT: Vicki's Key

 Please welcome p.m. Terrell to Storm Goddess Book Reviews!  I have an interview and a review of Vicki's Key planned for today. Thanks for coming by!

Hi p.m. Thanks for answering my questions and welcome to my blog!

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?

I started writing when I was 9 years old and my first full-length manuscript was completed when I was 15. As of the summer of 2012, I have had 13 books published and there are 3 more to be released within the next year. My books have encompassed four genres: contemporary suspense, historical adventure/suspense, computer how-to books and a how-to book for authors.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?

I prefer to write in just one genre. My first published books starting in 1984 were computer how-to books which paid the bills but my passion has always been suspense. I deviated from contemporary suspense twice: I wrote a book on promoting books for authors (published in 2006) and two historical suspense based on true stories. The historical suspense required a great deal of research while contemporary suspense is a faster, easier write for me. I also find that promotion and marketing differs from one genre to the next and should be taken into account when jumping genres.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?

I plan the crime and I know the beginning and the end. I also know what is going to occur in the middle of the book that takes everything the reader thinks has been happening, turns it on its head and propels the reader to the end like a non-stop roller coaster.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

I prefer to write 4-5 hours a day, 6 and often 7 days a week. I spend my mornings answering emails and working on marketing and promotion and my afternoons and evenings writing.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?

My favorite author is Erin Quinn. I love her romantic suspense with a touch of paranormal, the time travel elements and most especially her Haunting series. At one time I read mostly non-fiction about average people put into extraordinary situations—The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. But now I find reading romantic suspense very relaxing. I especially enjoy books set in Ireland, which is where my ancestors were from.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

I have been spending as much as 8 months out of the year on the road promoting my books and I’d really like to be able to market and promote from home more. Doing blog tours such as this one allows me more time to write and it’s far less wear and tear on me and my car. I also believe the Internet makes it possible to reach far more people, especially around the world, than a physical book tour.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

I can actually think of two: I would love to be able to communicate with loved ones who have crossed over to the other side; and because I write about crimes all day, I would love the ability to repel would-be attackers with flames from my fingers or something similarly mortifying.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

I would have an eagle so large I could climb on its back and it could transport me anywhere, even into different realms. I’d love to be able to see the landscape laid out below me. But because I am afraid of heights, I would need a wide, stable seat on the back of that bird!

Tell us a little about your latest release.

Vicki’s Key is about a psychic spy whose mission goes horribly awry. As a result, Vicki Boyd decides to leave the CIA and take a summer job helping an elderly woman in a small Southern town. But when she arrives, she finds Laurel Maguire has suffered a stroke and is confined to her third floor bedroom and her nephew Dylan has arrived from Ireland to care for her. Vicki quickly falls in love with the charming Dylan Maguire. But when the house begins to come alive with dark secrets, she begins to doubt her own sanity. And when the CIA arrive to recruit her for one more mission, she finds her past and her future are about to collide—in murder.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)

The Internet. I shop on it, keep in touch with everybody, learn the latest news and get entertained all in one place.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?

I did co-author one book, The Banker’s Greed, which was released in 2011. But co-authoring a book only begins with the writing; it takes a concerted promotional partnership as well. If I co-authored another one, I’d love to be such wonderful friends that we’d rent a cottage in Ireland and write the whole book on location.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?

I would meet with the world leaders who divided the Ottoman Empire into what has become the Middle East as we know it today. And I would ask them if they could have or would have done anything differently that might have changed the course of world history and established a better plan for peace.

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?

I have five fish tanks and the crown jewels are freshwater angelfish which are ten inches tall. I find it very relaxing to clean and maintain their tanks, feed them and enjoy their lives. I have also volunteered with rescuing animals and love success stories about animals who have found a new lease on life with a family that loves them. I enjoy museums, especially those with historical significance.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?

I hope this doesn’t sound egotistical but I’d pick one of my own—Songbirds are Free. It’s based on the true life of Mary Neely, who was captured by Shawnee warriors at the age of 19, kept as a slave for 3 years before she managed to escape, and traveled hundreds of miles alone to be reunited with her family. She was a remarkable woman and I think a movie would be compared to the movie version of The Last of the Mohicans.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?

I wish I was more athletic. My mother was always afraid her daughters would get hurt so we never participated in athletics. As a result, I hate to exercise now although it’s necessary—and I’d love to be able to enjoy it and be good at it.

Favorite color?

Yellow. It’s always bright and sunny. I especially enjoy wearing it on rainy, gray days.

Weather: Hot or cold?

Cold. I can always add layers of clothing but when I get too hot, I am miserable.

Favorite place to read?

On the living room couch or in bed.

Favorite meal.

In the summer, I love salads with a sliced, grilled chicken breast. In the winter, I can’t live without my pasta.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink.

Diet Coca-Cola with caffeine.

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?

I would rent a cottage in Ireland far from the cities where I could reconnect with nature.

p.m.terrell is the internationally acclaimed, award-winning author of more than 13 books. She is also the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, whose mission is to highlight the relationship between high illiteracy rates and high crime rates. She co-chairs the annual Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair. For more information, visit her website at

p.m. terrell

Following a flawed CIA mission, Vicki Boyd leaves the Agency to begin a new life in a new town assisting an elderly woman. But when she arrives, she finds Laurel Maguire has suffered a stroke and her nephew has arrived from Ireland to care for her. Vicki quickly falls in love with the charming Dylan Maguire, but all is not what it seems to be at Aunt Laurel's house. And when the VIA arrive to recruit Vicki for one more mission, she finds her CIA past and her new future are about to collide... in murder.


Vicki continued into the bathroom and groggily brushed her teeth. Grabbing a washcloth and splashing water over her face, she leaned into the sink to soak up the cool water as it poured from the tap.

She turned off the tap and tried to fully awaken as the water dripped off her face. Rising, she reached for the hand towel along the wall, catching a glimpse of her profile in the bathroom mirror.

Her eyes caught a shadow rippling in the mirror and she froze, her arm suspended in mid-air as she watched the shadowy figure undulating against the shower curtain just behind her. It was thin—far thinner than a human being; perhaps only four feet tall and just inches wide. Yet, two arms extended past the body, moving jerkily like a creature walking and yet it remained fixed in the center of the tub. The torso parted into two legs that were stick-like and lurching.

Then the shadow stopped and turned toward her, as though just realizing she was watching. The head emerged from the body like a person jutting his neck forward, growing as it neared the shower curtain. It swelled in a black intensity while two pits where eyes should have been grew more prominent.

She whipped around to face the shower curtain, her heart pounding, and her breath shallow.
There was nothing there.

Review rating: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS 

Review:  You can make your life as simple as possible, but once on the fast lane, it's hard to ever slow down.

For Vicki, she's ready to be a normal civilian. She's lived the high stakes life for so long, it's time to move on. Is it as easy as one thinks? Absolutely not. 

Set in a North Carolina town, this story is part mystery, light on the romance, and very well written. The plot moves along well, with quite a few surprises and gripping character that stick in the reader's mind. Vicki's Key kept me entertained and in suspense at the same time. If you're a fan of mystery, check this one out!

She swung back toward the mirror. Her own face stared back at her, her eyes wide and chest heaving. The curtain hung behind her, motionless.
p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of thirteen books, including six suspense/thrillers and two historical suspense. Suspense Magazine says "p.m.terrell gets better with each and every book she writes" and Midwest Book Review says, "p.m.terrell is a master at skillfully combining drama, action, suspense and romance to engage the reader in an adrenaline rush of page turning adventure." PBS television host Barbara Berlin says, "p.m.terrell is the next John Grisham." A full-time writer for more than 12 years, her latest series, Black Swamp Mysteries, combines international intrigue and adventure with the CIA's psychic spy program, resulting in a series that appeals to lovers of suspense, romance or the paranormal. Prior to becoming an author, terrell operated two computer businesses focusing on computer intelligence and white collar crime. Her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. For more about terrell and her books, visit 


Twitter: @pmterrell
Facebook: p.m.terrell, author and Patricia M. Terrell

Gift baskets from the real town of Lumberton, where Vicki's adventure takes place for one random commenter. 


  1. Thank you for having me here today! I'll be checking in periodically and answering any questions anyone might have for me. I'm glad you enjoyed Vicki's Key - thanks for the great review.

  2. I really enjoyed this interview! Great to meet you p.m. Love your book cover and the blurb/excerpt...this sounds like one good book :)

    Congrats on your release, I'm going to HAVE to add this to my want list. My out of control want list! lol

  3. Awesome interview. We also have huge fish tank and each fish has a name and its own personality.
    Great blurb and excerpt.

  4. I wish I had your writing life. Alas the real world keeping interrupting my writing.

  5. Good interview! I liked the excerpt for Vicky's Key - it sounds like a book I would enjoy reading

  6. Thanks, everybody, for stopping by and leaving a comment today!

    Christine, I'm glad you like the cover for Vicki's Key. It's honestly my favorite cover of all my books.

    Daryl, I'm glad to hear (actually relieved!) that I am not the only one who names their fish! I've been fascinated by the personalities they develop; especially freshwater angels and bettas.

    Victoria, I am so fortunate to be able to live this life. Writing full-time has been a dream come true for me.

    Maria, glad you liked the interview. I hope you enjoy Vicki's Key. The sequel comes out this September (Secrets of a Dangerous Woman) and I am working now on the next book in the series, Dylan's Song. It's been great fun.

  7. Congratulations on such a successful writing career! Your book looks fascinating and I can't wait to read it.

  8. Wow, what a successful writing Career you have.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this interview and your blurb/excerpt.

    8 months out of the year on the road...I can't even imagine that.

  9. Thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment!

    Sheri, I hope you'll enjoy Vicki's Key. Thanks for the congratulations!

    Brenda, glad you enjoyed the blurb and interview. Yes, 8 months on the road is not glamorous. It reaches the point where I wake up and immediately think, "Where am I?" followed by "And where should I be?" It has been really nice staying at home the last few months - and it's allowed me to write more, which is what I truly love doing.

  10. Next time I go to the bathroom I'll be sure to check behind the curtain first. Great excerpt. Enjoy your time at home.

  11. Great interview and good review. Another exciting book from this talented, prolific, and captivating author.