April in the Back of Beyond
GENRE: Romantic Suspense/Ghost Story
BOOK TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7TpMk4StYI
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.
I had been working for several years on a series called Black Swamp Mysteries, which began in North Carolina and by introducing an Irish character several storylines used Ireland as a backdrop. When each book was released, I would give talks and it seemed that everyone was most interested in my research and my time in Ireland. Through my Facebook presence, I also have loved sharing Irish photographs that inspired me to write specific books. It could be a haunted castle that inspired the one in A Thin Slice of Heaven, or a narrow rope bridge that inspired a scene in Cloak and Mirrors or the discovery of bones in the bogs that inspired Dylan’s Song.
I came across the true story of two murdered brothers in my Irish research, which inspired me to write April in the Back of Beyond. When I was pondering the voice I would use, I decided to take the subject my audiences have been so interested in; Hayley Hunter is a writer who is researching an historical work, rents a cottage in Ireland and discovers it is haunted. The book provides an inside look at what an author goes through in writing a book of nonfiction, of the research involved and the types of people that help—historians and archeologists, among others. I used Checkmate: Clans and Castles, a historical work that was released in 2017 as the one Hayley Hunter is researching, which takes place in 1608 and brings her to Ulster (Northern Ireland) and Donegal.
The book weaves between the current day as Hayley is performing her research and writing, and the year the brothers were murdered (1916), ultimately coming together in why their mother, April, refuses to leave the back of beyond even after death.
And here’s another inside scoop: the name of the writer comes from my two grandchildren, Hayley and Hunter.
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 at www.pmterrell.com.
p.m.terrell will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.