P. M. Terrell
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About P. M. Terrell
p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the internationally acclaimed, award-winning author of more than 24 books. A full-time author since 2002, she is best known for her suspense/thrillers and historical suspense. Prior to writing, she opened and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her clients included the CIA, Secret Service, Department of Defense and local law enforcement agencies. Her specialties were white-collar computer crime and computer intelligence, themes that have made it into many of her suspense/thrillers.
Series include Black Swamp Mysteries (Exit 22, Vicki's Key, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, Dylan's Song, The Pendulum Files, Cloak and Mirrors); Ryan O'Clery Mysteries (The Tempest Murders, The White Devil of Dublin); Mary Neely Series (River Passage; Songbirds are Free) and the new Checkmate Series (Clans and Castles). Award-winning books include Vicki's Key, The Pendulum Files, The Tempest Murders, River Passage.
She is the founder of the Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, an annual event that raises money to increase literacy. She is the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation, which raises public awareness of the direct link between high crime rates and high illiteracy.
She makes her home in North Carolina and is an avid animal lover and advocate for animal rights.
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Titles By P. M. Terrell
Their river journey took them through hostile Chickamauga territory at the height of the Chickamauga Indian Wars. Dragging Canoe, the Chickamauga leader, said that “whole Indian nations have melted away like snowballs in the sun before the white man’s advance” and he declared war on any settler daring to venture west of the Great Smoky Mountains, stating, “I swear to all those here and to all those we represent: the white man will never live in peace here. Let the rivers run red with their blood.”
As the Donelson party ventured west of the Smokies, they were relentlessly attacked from Chattanooga through Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Many of the settlers were killed and several captured, including two Stuart sisters suffering from small pox. Their capture would spread small pox throughout the Chickamauga tribes, wiping out entire Indian villages.
As winter set in with a record snowfall, the settlers’ food supplies dwindled dangerously, causing shortages long before they reached their final destination and with the constant Indian attacks, they were unable to hunt or forage for food. As some settlers began to starve, others succumbed to frostbite, losing extremities—and even their lives.
The Tennessee River would also become their adversary as their flatboats and canoes, vessels not meant for whitewater rapids, were pummeled again and again, sometimes sucked into whirlpools and other times dashed against jagged rocks as sudden and vicious uncharted descents appeared in their paths.
The story is told through the eyes of 18-year-old Mary Neely, one of ten Neely children that accompanied their mother, Margaret, John Donelson and more than 300 settlers on the perilous, fated voyage. The book was determined to be so factual that the original manuscript was provided to the Nashville Metropolitan Government Archives for future researchers and historians. The award-winning author, p.m.terrell, is a descendant of Mary Neely and relied on historical accounts recorded by John Donelson, Mary Neely and other settlers who dared the river passage.
Winner, Best Drama Award
Honorable Mention, Nashville Book Festival, 2010
"p.m.terrell's excellence in historical fiction and descriptive style compels me to coin her the next Larry McMurtry" - Maury County, TN Public Libraries
"River Passage is well written and terrell has a sharp eye for detail. A rich and inspiring story!" - Nashville Metropolitan Government Archives
But her plans change one fateful night when a stranger attacks her and leaves her to die. As Dani begins the slow recovery process physically, mentally, and emotionally, she discovers she is pregnant with the assailant’s child.
Her odyssey will take her to places she had never imagined as she desperately tries to find a way forward. She will consider the roads other women have traveled, encountering roadblocks, shame, and condemnation. But she will also discover true friends willing to travel these roads with her, lifting her when she hasn’t the strength and helping her find her way onward.
And in the end, she will find the courage within herself to chart a new horizon.
Between the Lines Book Reviews says, “With her usual strength of building to a climax, Terrell outdoes herself with a roller coaster of emotions. We learn along the way the importance of love and friendship, despite the deck stacked against our heroine.”
Based on a true story. In August 1780, just four months after arriving at Fort Nashborough after a harrowing river journey west, 19-year-old Mary Neely was captured by Shawnee warriors.
Mere moments after witnessing her father’s death and scalping, the warriors spared Mary’s life, taking her to Shawneetown, hundreds of miles away along the Ohio River, where they initiated her into the tribe and renamed her Songbird for her beautiful voice. Then they gave her a choice: marriage to the warrior that had just slain her father, or become a slave to the chieftain’s wife. She told the interpreter that she wanted neither because songbirds are free. The interpreter then decided for her: she would become a slave.
Mary’s ordeal was only beginning. She was taken a thousand miles from her home, journeying the war-torn country’s midsection while she attempted numerous times to escape, only to be interrupted or recaptured.
At Fort Detroit, she learned the British soldiers were rewarding Native Americans that captured settlers, believing this would impair their ability to fight in the Revolutionary War. They paid the Shawnee for her Indian capture but returned her to the captors. The tribe, in turn, used their payment to unwittingly purchase items from Fort Detroit, including blankets carrying smallpox.
As their travels continued northward, the dwindling tribe became infected with smallpox, including Mary. She managed to escape to a French village, whose inhabitants hid her while her captors searched for her. But her ordeal was not yet over. During her escape, she was captured by the British, who held her as a prisoner of war.
Songbirds are Free is considered a narrative nonfiction survival story penned by a descendant of Mary Neely, who traveled in her footsteps more than two hundred years after her ancestor’s capture. Author p.m.terrell began with personal journals and articles of the period and met with historians, archeologists, and Native American experts, as well as visited the places where Mary was taken. The result is a meticulously researched account of Mary Neely’s three years in captivity, revealing a strong woman that never gave up faith or determination to be free. It is also considered Native American/Colonial American/Early American historical fiction for its use of dialogue. Songbirds are Free reads like a fast-paced action-adventure, but it proves once more that truth is often more dramatic than fiction. It is also a peek into Native American culture at the time of the American Revolution, their struggles, their will to survive, and the choices they faced in aligning with the French, the British, or the Americans.
Ultimately, Songbirds are Free is about the women that helped to settle America and their grit, perseverance, faith, and strength.
The story of Mary’s journey westward in 1779-1780 as part of the Donelson river voyage is told in the companion book, River Passage. Her ancestor’s migration in 1608 from Scotland to Ulster is detailed in Clans and Castles.
In 1608, William Neely left Wigtownshire, Scotland for Ulster. He was looking for his place in the world but what he found was the adventure of a lifetime.
Surrounded by powerful clans that had ruled Ulster for more than a thousand years, he came to know some of the most mighty chieftains of the time, including the formidable Cahir O’Doherty, who launched O’Doherty’s Rebellion with the burning of Derry and the killing of Sir George Paulet of His Majesty King James’ service. It would put in motion a chain of events that would transform Ireland and it would mark Cahir O’Doherty as the Last Gaelic Irish King in Ireland.
Cahir O’Doherty became the Lord of Inishowen as a teen after the death of his father. Known as The Queen’s O’Doherty due to his loyalty to Sir Henry Docwra and the English Crown, he saved his clan lands on the Inishowen Peninsula and his people from the fate that had befallen other Irish clans.
Peace would be short-lived, however, when Henry Docwra, Governor of Derry, was replaced by the ruthless Sir George Paulet, who ushered in a new wave of hatred for the Gaelic Irish. It would all come to a head on one fateful night when O’Doherty took the commander at Culmore Fort hostage along with his wife and son. Gaining access to the weapons at Culmore Fort, he led an invasion of Derry, burning the village to the ground. It would touch off a wave of events that would unite the major clans of Ulster, leading to a bombardment of Burt Castle, a counterattack in the Inishowen Peninsula and the burning of Ulster; a major battle at Kilmacrenan and finally a siege at Tory Island.
And when O’Doherty’s Rebellion was complete, it would usher in the age of The Plantation and mass immigration of Lowland Scots, encouraged by King James I to transform all of Ulster.
Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite:
Checkmate: Clans and Castles by P.M. Terrell is a spellbinding novel that captures a historic moment in Irish history in the early 17th century, exploring the adventures of William Neely, who came to Ireland from Scotland in 1608 in the hope of fighting in King James's army. As a young man, William Neely is seeking a place for himself in the world, but suddenly finds himself embroiled in the Cahir O'Doherty (the last Gaelic Irish King) rebellion. William discovers that he is of Ulster origins and he becomes torn between fighting against King James or for Ireland. His decision could change everything. Here is a tantalizing historical novel that plunges the reader into what life was like in Ireland at a period when powerful chieftains rose against each other, a captivating story with relevant historical and cultural references; it is the first book in the Checkmate series, and a great opening at that.
What immediately arrested my attention was the power of the prose. From the very beginning of the story, the reader is treated to gorgeous descriptions of the setting and the characters: “The winds were fervent across the Irish Sea, pushing the waves into the shoreline with uncharacteristic intensity, stopped only by the jagged rock below before misting William Neely.” The narrative is lyrical and the voice is irresistible. Yes, the prose sings in the reader’s ears like beautiful music and it is peppered with wonderful dialogues, which are well-composed to read naturally and to deepen the plot and conflict. P.M. Terrell’s characters are wonderfully developed and readers will love them. There is a lot of drama taking place throughout the narrative and the action is intense and unrelenting.
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.
Vicki and Dylan are back in the 6th book of the Black Swamp Mysteries Series, and they've discovered the CIA can even hijack a honeymoon.
While staying in a remote Irish manor house along the Wild Atlantic Way, they are directed to retrieve a microchip containing stolen documents on Russia's newest stealth technology. But when the CIA asset decides to defect, their mission becomes much more complicated. In their attempt to turn him over at a designated rendezvous point, they discover they are being hunted and the Russians are closing in.
Dylan's quest to deliver the defector takes him through Ireland's mysterious and haunted Blue Stack Mountains, to an abandoned property filled with IRA weapons, and across the Irish countryside on horseback—joined by a man he thought he would never see again. Separated from him, Vicki and her sister Brenda are fighting their own battles as Russians surround the remote manor house, intent on capturing the psychic spy.
Even when they believe they have escaped, the Russians have one more trick up their sleeve... And this one is designed to kill.
Romance, suspense and adrenaline-pumping adventure - another page-turner from award-winning author p.m.terrell.
"Riveting... spell-binding... sexy"
Sometimes it simply is not possible to leave the CIA.
After a failed mission, Vicki Boyd has decided there must be more to life than CIA operations. She leaves the agency and moves to a small town where she will be assisting an elderly woman while she determines what to do with the rest of her life.
But when she arrives, she discovers Laurel Maguire is confined to her room and her nephew, Dylan, has come from Ireland to oversee her affairs. She quickly falls in love with the charismatic Irishman, but all is not what it seems to be in Laurel’s home.
When the CIA section chief arrives with one more mission, Vicki finds herself pulled in two opposing directions. Her mission is to provide remote assistance with a clandestine operation in an isolated Afghanistan village.
And as the stakes mount with her CIA assignment, activity at Laurel’s house increases in the form of ghostly apparitions, blood mysteriously appearing and disappearing, and a malevolent force that seems determined to harm her.
The two worlds are about to collide… in murder.
Based on the real psychic spy program first begun in the United States during the Cold War.