Title- The Pendulum Files
Series- Black Swamp Mysteries # 5 (Can be read out of order)
By- P.M. Terrell
Genre- Romantic Suspense
Publication Date- March 17th, 2014
Irishman and CIA operative Dylan Maguire joins psychic spy Vicki Boyd for another harrowing adventure, this time on the high seas. Merchant ships en route from China to the United States are being bombed, plunging America into critical shortages. It's Dylan's and Vicki's jobs to find out who is bombing them and why. Their mission takes them into Black Sites, covert activities and international politics. And while the romantic side of Dylan ramps up his relationship with Vicki, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a hired assassin, which not only places their lives in danger but also that of their unborn child.
She wasn’t quite sure what roused her from sleep. But as Vicki slowly opened her eyes, she became aware of her nude body lying on one side with Dylan’s larger, muscular form curled up behind her. One arm was stretched over her protectively and her derriere rested against his lap, their legs intertwined.
Normally some moonlight found its way inside, but the room was so murky that she wondered if there was any moon at all this night. She narrowed her eyes in an effort to adjust to the darkness as Dylan’s measured, soft breathing remained against her ear.
She nearly gasped as her eyes fell upon a figure just a few feet from the bed. She frowned as it swayed in front of her; it was not flesh and blood—that much was obvious. It was almost opaque and as she continued to stare, it grew more luminous until a tiny woman stood in front of her with long, flowing white hair billowing about her as if blown by the wind.
She wore a thin nightgown that reached from the base of her neck all the way to her feet, and as Vicki continued to stare, she smiled.
“Mam,” Vicki breathed as she recognized Dylan’s grandmother.
Dylan murmured something incomprehensible and held her more tightly against him.
“Be careful what you do, child,” Mam said in a clear voice. “There are eyes on you.”
Vicki gasped and grabbed at the bed covering. “You shouldn’t be watching us!” she exclaimed.
Dylan awakened and leaned over her to look at her face. “What is it, Darlin’?”
Vicki could feel the heat in her cheeks. She half-turned to Dylan to see him watching her with sleepy eyes. “I—” She turned back to where his grandmother had stood, but she was gone.
“Another bad dream, mayhap?” he asked before settling back. “There’s nothin’ at’al to be frightened of, Darlin’. I’ll take good care o’ you.”
She tried to relax against his body once more. She kept her eyes open and her ears on alert but she was met only with silence and a darkness that reminded her that she’d had precious little sleep. Still, she pulled the bedcovers over them, covering their naked bodies.
The grandfather clock downstairs ticked off the seconds, the sound reminding her of just how silent the rest of the house really was. She finally felt herself snuggling into that warm cocoon of sleep.
She could feel Dylan’s breath against the back of her neck; it was the steady breathing of a man deeply asleep. Then she became aware of something else, something against her nose as if someone was breathing on her face.
Her eyes flew open to find Mam leaning down in front of her, her face just inches from hers.
“It isn’t me you need to be concernin’ y’self with, child,” she said. “Other eyes are watchin’.”
Vicki Boyd had a normal, happy childhood until the day her parents died in an airplane accident—one she saw weeks before it happened. Overnight, she and her three siblings—a younger sister and two younger brothers—were orphaned and placed into foster care. And overnight, she received national attention for her premonitions.
Not just the media and fascinated public were watching. The CIA was watching as well; specifically Sam Mazoli, the supervisor of an office working with psychic spies. For the first time, he had an opportunity to take a child and mold her into a psychic operative. So when Vicki arrived home from school one day, she found a strange man waiting for her; a man who had adopted her but brought her to an imposing, secure facility resembling an institution. During her teen years, she didn’t have school and girlfriends, proms and boyfriends, and her thoughts didn’t range from getting the keys to the car to hanging out at the mall.
Her teens and early twenties were spent learning how to be the best psychic spy the CIA had ever employed. With just a simple latitude and longitude, she could travel in her mind to any location on Earth, providing information to operatives on nuclear facilities, threats to governments, blueprints of enemy weapons—or anything the CIA wanted but couldn’t physically reach.
But when she is sent on a mission deep in the Amazon jungles and it results in the deaths of innocent children, she’s had enough. She quits the CIA and is determined to start life over in a small town helping an elderly lady who advertised for summer help. It’s her first chance on her own, but she isn’t alone for long… Between Irishman Dylan Maguire and the CIA, who refuse to let her go, she’s in for the ride of her life.
And if the series was made into a movie, I would love to see Amy Adams in the role of Vicki Boyd.
Dylan Maguire never had a normal childhood. Though his parents were from Ireland, he was born in New York. Unfortunately, he never met his father—he’d abandoned his pregnant wife and simply disappeared. Unable to provide for her son and herself in a strange country, his mother packed them up and brought Dylan back to Ireland when he was just three years old. In and out of bars and with dubious pastimes, his mother wasn’t a mother to him at all.
Dylan was raised by his grandmother, a woman he called Mam. She was the only family he’d ever known—that and the home of his neighbor and best friend, Thomas Rowan.
Dylan has a mysterious past when he arrives on Laurel Maguire’s doorstep the summer that Vicki also arrives to help Laurel with her freshwater angelfish business. He seems to be a jack-of-all-trades, from teaching Vicki the angelfish business to remodeling the old, rambling—and haunted—house, to cooking up traditional Irish meals and looking after Vicki.
He is a hopeless romantic who makes CD’s with all his favorite romantic songs… To taking Vicki on an intimate boat ride down the natural and secluded Lumber River… To picnics in the park and romantic, candlelight dinners.
He is also capable of violence—of defending what is his and of killing when the need arises. He is an opportunist; a former kickboxing champion, a man known as “The Butcher” who channels his anger into his fists and feet.
If the Black Swamp Mysteries series was made into a movie, who would I want to play Dylan Maguire? Assuming he could play the role with an Irish accent, Eduardo Verastegui is a dead ringer.
Brenda Carnegie has a secret… many secrets, as it turns out.
Separated from her older sister Vicki Boyd when their parents were killed in an airplane accident, Brenda grew up in Robeson County, North Carolina. She is equally at home trudging through alligator-infested swamps as she is shooting a gun, tending a bullet wound, evading police—and committing computer crimes.
Brenda is an opportunist, especially when it comes to hacking into websites and secure databases, participating in shell companies and cybercrime, and amassing a fortune that must, for her own preservation, be held in off-shore accounts and out of the reach of the United States government. She’s quick, she’s street savvy, and she’s often sexually charged.
She also doesn’t trust anyone. She prefers the dark side, living life on the edge, moving through her life alone and capable of changing her plans on a moment’s notice. She has a very high tolerance for pain which holds her in good stead on many a gritty occasion.
She made her first appearance in Exit 22 when her partner-in-crime is murdered by a hired assassin—and the hitman comes after her. But her real secrets begin to spill in Secrets of a Dangerous Woman—secrets that reach to the highest levels of government and beyond, and which could very well get her killed.
And if the Black Swamp Mysteries series was made into a movie, who would play Brenda Carnegie? My pick would be Lindsay Lohan, who could play this bad girl very well.
Christopher Sandige is an anti-hero, a guy who is more at ease behind a desk constructing political strategies for his Congressman boss than he is running for his life through alligator-infested swamps with Brenda Carnegie.
He told himself he didn’t want a woman, a marriage, a typical family life in the suburbs. His hours were long and often began with coffee at his desk and ended with pizza delivery to the office. All that changed when he met Brenda.
The woman awakened in him desires he didn’t think he had—a longing to be with her, a need for romance, a desire for intimacy, an urge to protect her—even when he knew she was quite capable of protecting herself. He’d never really had eyes for anybody other than Brenda and though he knows she is dangerous, he can’t seem to tear himself away from her.
When push comes to shove, it turns out he is quite capable of handling a gun, of fighting off an attacker in hand-to-hand combat, of working in a team that often finds itself at the wrong end of a barrel… and of crossing the line without a look back.
If the Black Swamp Mysteries series was made into a movie, who would I want to play him? My pick would be Tom Weston-Jones.
There was never any doubt in my mind who would play Sam Mazoli, the head of the psychic spy program for the CIA, Vicki’s boss—and also the man who adopted her—as well as Dylan Maguire’s boss.
I always pictured Robert De Niro when I thought of Sam. Sam is brusque, no-nonsense, the kind of boss that you don’t joke around with and you don’t even attempt to take liberties. He is experienced, jaded, a cynic and a skeptic. He also has an eye for talent, whether it’s taking a 12-year-old girl with psychic abilities and turning her into a spy—or recognizing the opportunistic, chameleon-like qualities of an Irishman who can pretend to be someone else.
There is much to Sam just below the surface but carefully hidden lest people discover his true nature. He can make life-or-death decisions, interrogate suspects, turn a blind eye to torture, and appear bored even during the most sensitive and gut-wrenching missions. But he can also rescue a cat down-on-her-luck, care for angelfish and their babies, recognize an illegal immigrant’s dilemma and give her a job, and help care for a dog who needs a friend.
Sam first appears in Vicki’s Key and continues through the rest of the series, sometimes making life difficult for everyone involved, sometimes lending a hand when it’s least expected… and always arriving with a new CIA mission in hand.
p.m.terrell is the internationally acclaimed, award-winning author of more than 18 books, including Vicki's Key, a 2012 International Book Awards and 2012 USA Best Book Awards finalist and River Passage, winner of the 2010 Best Drama Award. A full-time writer since 2002, p.m. previously founded and operated two computer companies with a specialty in computer crime and computer intelligence. Her clients included the CIA, United States Secret Service and the Department of Defense as well as local law enforcement agencies. Her expertise in computers and intelligence often finds its way into her books. She is also the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation and founder and chair of The Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, which raises money to increase literacy rates. As a hobby, she raises freshwater angelfish - the same thing her characters do as their front for the CIA. For more information about p.m.terrell, visit www.pmterrell.com and for more information on the upcoming Writers Conference, visit www.bookemnc.org.