The Pendulum Files
Brenda was leaning her head against the window as if asleep and now she began to move her fingers ever so slightly toward the door handle. She kept her eyes on his reflection; he was focused on driving, his eyes locked on the road just as it had been before. Only his right hand was holding the steering wheel now; it had slipped to a three o’clock position.
A slight movement caught her attention; it was so subtle, she almost thought she’d imagined it. Then she spotted the glint of metal across his body, though the road still held his attention. Her fingers locked onto the door handle as the metal rose slightly up and away from his body. He turned his head as his left hand snapped forward.
She jerked the door open as the shot rang out. She felt something sharp and hot against her shin as she kicked herself away from the car. She tumbled onto the pavement before hitting the shoulder, the gravel feeling like a million razors slicing through her flesh. She heard her own voice as if it was disembodied, screaming as she forced herself to roll across the sharp gravel before plummeting down the incline, compelling herself to continue rolling even as she realized she’d been shot in the leg.
She heard the car’s brakes slamming, the tires squealing as the man struggled to bring the car to a stop. At seventy miles an hour, it should have taken the car further from her even as she rushed to escape. But when she came to her feet and looked back at the road, she estimated he was about three hundred feet further down the road—not far enough.
She ran toward the tree line, which now appeared too far away. As a second shot rang out, she knew his sights were set on her back, and she struggled to run straight, fighting the impulse to run opposite of him. It kept her profile smaller but when he shot a third and then fourth time, she could almost feel the bullets whizzing past her.
The third and fourth shots sounded increasingly louder and she knew he was running after her. Her breath was loud and labored, her blood pounding in her temples. Even as she drew closer to the shadows of the trees, she could feel herself slowing down. The adrenaline that propelled her down the slope and to her feet was fighting against the pain in her leg.
She could feel the blood oozing down her shin and pooling in her shoe, causing her to slip and slide along grass already slick with dew. Another shot rang out, whizzing so close to her hair that she thought it had passed through it.
She threw herself into the shadows, pushing herself beyond her leg’s endurance to keep going, to get into the pine forest, weaving and bobbing forward and eastward, away from the car, away from the interstate. Hopefully, away from him.
She wanted to stop; she wanted to pull some article of clothing off herself and wrap it around her shin to keep the blood in, to keep the flesh together, but she didn’t dare hesitate. She heard the branches cracking behind her; he was there and he was closing on her. Even as she propelled herself forward, she knew all he had to do was follow the movement of the branches ahead of him to know exactly where she was.
p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 20 books in five genres. A full-time author since 2002, Black Swamp Mysteries is her first series, inspired by the success of Exit 22 in 2008. The books include Exit 22, Vicki's Key, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, Dylan's Song and The Pendulum Files. Vicki's Key placed as one of four finalists in the 2012 International Book Awards. Her historical book, River Passage, won the 2010 Best Drama Award, and her romantic suspense, The Tempest Murders, placed as one of four finalists in the 2013 USA Best Book Awards.
Prior to becoming a full-time writer, she founded and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her specialties were computer crime and computer intelligence and her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. Computer technology often weaves its way through her contemporary suspense/thrillers.
She is also the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation and the founder of The Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, an annual event to raise money for literacy campaigns. She also serves on the boards of the Friends of the Robeson County Public Library and the Robeson County Arts Council, and served as the first female president for the Chesterfield County/ Colonial Heights Crime Solvers.
amazon trade paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Pendulum-Files-Black-Mysteries-Volume/dp/1935970097/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395929941&sr=8-1&keywords=the+pendulum+files
amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Pendulum-Files-Black-Swamp-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00INC34Z0/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1395929941
Smashwords (all ebook formats): http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/412506
Casting the Characters:
There are five main characters in the Black Swamp Mysteries series:
There’s Vicki Boyd, the CIA psychic spy who is the “good girl”, the one who always tries to color inside the lines. She is often quiet and introspective but still waters really do run deep. Her love affair with Dylan Maguire has ignited passions within her, and when she tried to walk away from the CIA to begin a new life, it was short-lived. She resisted getting pulled back in but now she is resigned to it. And she is the best in the business when it comes to psychic spies. When I think of Vicki, I always picture Amy Adams.
Vicki’s sister, Brenda Carnegie, is just the opposite: a computer genius but a bad girl, one who prefers to tread on the dark side, the one who loves danger and who can be sexually charged. She has become one of the two most favorite characters in the series, according to my fans. It seems everyone loves the bad girl! I know Lindsay Lohan would do an awesome job with this character.
The charming, handsome Irishman Dylan Maguire is the character everyone seems to fall in love with. Men want to be him and women want to bed him. Black hair, hazel eyes, muscular, romantic, kind and caring but a CIA operative who can kill when necessary—Dylan’s character is intentionally complex. Kevin Ryan, an Irish actor from Dublin, would be perfect in the role.
Christopher Sandige is an anti-hero; a political strategist more accustomed to a desk than murder; tall, wiry, brown hair and expression-filled eyes. A romantic, hopelessly in love with Brenda even though he knows trouble is always half a step behind her. And yet, when the situation warrants it, he can shoot to kill, fight with the best of them… and keep Brenda under control. Tom Weston-Jones would be my pick.
Sam Mazoli is the CIA supervisor who manages Vicki and Dylan. Multi-faceted, he is gruff, he is no-nonsense, he’s the kind of boss that can have employees quaking. He can also be unintentionally funny and uncharacteristically surprising: the crotchety man who murmurs sweet nothings to his very feminine Persian cat, the brusque supervisor who frets over sick angelfish. There’s never been any doubt in my mind who should play him: Robert De Niro.
THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:
a beautiful Celtic cross necklace
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