The Tempest Murders
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Time Travel
Publisher: Drake Valley Press
Date of Publication: August 19, 2013
Number of pages: 252
Word Count: ~79,170
A provocative story of a love that spans centuries, of soul mates found, lost and reunited… and the lengths to which one man will go to change their destiny.Excerpt:
Irish Detective Ryan O’Clery is working a series of homicides in America when he discovers a journal written by an uncle, Constable Rian Kelly, five generations earlier. The journal detailed the same type of murders as the worst storm in Ireland’s history slammed into the island in 1839.
As Hurricane Irene barrels toward the North Carolina coastline, Ryan discovers even the killer’s description matches his cases exactly. And as he falls in love with television reporter Cathleen Reilly, he begins to wonder if she is the reincarnation of Caitlin O’Conor, Rian Kelly’s lover—the woman who was lost to the killer as the storm raged in Ireland—and if he is the reincarnation of Constable Rian Kelly.
Now he’s in a race to rescue Cathleen before the killer finds her—or is history destined to repeat itself?
“I know you too well,” Claire said. “You’re wanting the story of Caitlín O’Conor, aren’t you?”
She smiled. “Her name was Caitlín O’Conor. She was supposedly the great love of Ríán Kelly’s life. It was a star-crossed love story. Her father was a prominent man in the village and Ríán was a ‘lowly county inspector’ and though they were deeply in love, her father would not permit Ríán to ask for her hand in marriage.”
He felt his chest tighten and he sipped his coffee to avoid Claire’s piercing eyes.
“The tale is that they sneaked around for years; everybody knew it. Everybody except Caitlín’s father, that is. They were madly in love.” She sighed wistfully.
“What happened?” He kept his eyes on his coffee. “Did she marry someone else?”
“Her father died. Quite unexpectedly. Heart simply stopped. And without him in the way, they were clear to be married.” She brushed non-existent crumbs from the countertop before continuing. “He asked for her hand in marriage on New Year’s Eve. Let’s see, I believe it was 1838. Yes, that’s right. December 31, 1838.”
“How can you be so certain of the date?”
“Because seven days later, Caitlín was dead.”
His head jerked up and he stared into Claire’s eyes. They were as green as the fields of Ireland and now she cocked her head and eyed him curiously.
“He’d gone to Dublin, so the story goes,” she continued slowly.
“Aye. He’d been called away on business. And as Fate would have it, the great flood came while he was gone and Caitlín was swept away. It was January 6, 1839—Epiphany.” Her voice took on a whispered note as though she was telling a ghost story. “There were those in the faith who had forecast the end of the world would occur on January 6, 1839—the day of Epiphany. So when the air grew completely still, so still they could hear the voices of neighbors miles apart, there were some who thought the end was near.”
He waited for her to continue. His cheeks were growing flush and he could feel beads of sweat beginning to pop out across his brow. “What happened then?”
“By nightfall, there were gale force winds. They moved from the western coast of Ireland all the way to Dublin, where Ríán Kelly had traveled. Some said the winds were accompanied by an eerie moan, a rumbling of sorts. But not thunder; it was a sound never heard before nor since. It increased as the winds grew. And then the northern sky turned a shade of red that had never been seen before.
“Well, so the myth goes, Ríán Kelly left Dublin immediately. It was a miracle he made it back to the village at all. He traveled through the night, in the rain and the hail, with the winds all about him. Bridges had been washed away; the wind had been so strong—stronger than anything Ireland had experienced in more than three hundred years—so strong that it whipped the Atlantic into a fury and pushed it all the way across the island. Streams and creeks became raging rivers. Whole villages were wiped out. Even some of the castles were beyond repair.”
He rested his elbows on the counter and put his head in his hands.
“You’re sure you don’t want to lie down, Re? You look as if you might faint.”
“I’m fine,” he said. “What happened when Ríán Kelly reached his village?”
“It was gone. Oh, there were a few buildings still intact. The church, for one. But Caitlín O’Conor’s home had been washed away. There was no sign of Caitlín.”
“So that’s where the story ends, does it?”
“Oh, no. I suppose it’s where it just begins.”
THE WEATHER AS ANTAGONIST
In The Tempest Murders, Irish Detective Ryan O’Clery not only must battle a nemesis that seems to have reincarnated from the past, he must also combat a storm of epic proportions that threatens to snatch his lover from his grasp.
The storm is Hurricane Irene, and I remember it well. For days, the weathermen and news anchors cautioned residents to prepare for the storm’s winds and rains. It was a massive storm; even on the Doppler radar that tracked it off the coast, it was easy to see it would converge on several states at once. Several models had it making landfall just 60 miles from my home, which would also likely cause spin-off tornadoes and flash floods.
I was researching Ireland’s history as I prepared to write a story of two soul mates that lost each other and found one another again, only to be threatened with history repeating itself, when I came across The Night of the Big Wind, the most massive storm in Ireland’s history. It occurred on January 6, 1839, the day of Epiphany—a day in which some believed the world would end. The skies turned completely black in the early afternoon, and some reported that voices traveled for miles in the air’s sudden stillness before the winds kicked into a fury never seen before or since. History has it that those winds carried the Atlantic Ocean from the western coast of Ireland all the way to the Irish Sea, sweeping away whole villages, livestock… and people.
I knew when I found the story of The Night of the Big Wind that coupled with Hurricane Irene, I had the backdrop for my story—which became The Tempest Murders. I called it that because the storm that swept through Ireland was not known as a hurricane, though it had hurricane-force winds.
The scenes in the book depicting the hurricane’s landfall and violent rains were taken from my own experience. Not only had I been alone at the time Hurricane Irene came through North Carolina—thankfully, it made landfall north of my home, and not over it—but I had also driven in between tornadoes two years ago, while driving from Mississippi back to North Carolina during a book tour. As I drove through Alabama with one tornado having knocked out power and flattened whole communities, I knew another tornado was at my back—and the only hope I had was to try and outdrive it. I was one hour ahead of it and out of its path when it slammed into Tuscaloosa. I vividly remember the bent light poles across the Interstate like a scene out of The War of the Worlds; the rain-slicked roads and the ominous feeling in the air.
In The Tempest Murders, television reporter Cathleen Reilly is covering the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene, unaware a killer is stalking her. Her lover, Ryan O’Clery, is desperately attempting to reach her in time—and if he does not, history will have repeated itself: in 1839 as the ocean was swept through an Irish village, a serial killer murdered a distant uncle’s lover—and the killer, the unique method of murder, and even his victims match exactly.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
I hope if any of you readers live in the North Carolina area, you’ll make plans to join me and more than 75 authors, publishers and literary agents—plus a Hollywood producer—at the Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair scheduled for Saturday, February 22, 2014 in Lumberton, NC. The event is completely free and open to the public; authors will be selling their books and participating in panel discussions all day. The headliners are New York Times bestselling authors Bob Mayer and Haywood Smith, Hollywood producer Adam Cushman and Emmy-winning Tarheel Traveler Scott Mason. All the details are at www.bookemnc.org.
Thanks for hosting me!
The is the first book that I have read by p.m. terrell, though I have had my eye on her Black Swamp Mysteries for awhile now.This stand alone seemed like the perfect way to get a feel for her writing style before committing to the series. I am super glad that I did, and will be adding her other books to my TBR pile.
This story opens January 7th, 1839 in Ireland. Rián Kelly has just arrived back home after a horrendous night of traveling through the elemental equivalent of the nine circles of Hell. Rián is a constable who has just returned from a trip to Dublin on business. Unfortunately, he arrives home to late to save his true love Cait from a killer.
Chapter 2 brings us to roughly present day (2011) North Carolina and we meet Ryan O'Clery as he wakes from a dream of Rián and Cait. Ryan has had these dreams his entire life and Cait is as familiar to him as his own face reflected in Rián's. Ryan is a detective working a serial killer case. Little does he know how close upcoming events will mirror the dreams that haunt him every night.
I do not consider this book a Time Travel novel. None of the characters travel back in time. Yes, the main character has dreams of what could be interpreted as a past life, but he doesn't actually go back in time. The two couples live parallel lifes, but to me this isn't the same as time travel. So if that is the only thing holding you back from picking up this book, just strike that excuse off of your list. ;)
I really enjoyed this book even though it was told almost completely from Ryan's perspective. Or maybe because of it. It is rare for a romance to be from the male's pov. It lent and unexpected flavor to the story that was very unique and intriguing. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.
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p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than eighteen books in four genres: contemporary suspense, historical suspense, computer how-to and non-fiction.
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 white collar computer crimes and computer intelligence.
Vicki’s Key was a top five finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards and 2012 USA Book Awards nominee and 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.
She is also 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 is the organizer of Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event held in Lumberton, North Carolina, to raise funds to increase literacy and reduce crime. For more information on this event and the literacy campaigns funded by it, visit www.bookemnc.org.
She sits on the boards of the Friends of the Robeson County Public Library and the Robeson County Arts Council. She has also served on the boards of Crime Stoppers and Crime Solvers and became the first female president of the Chesterfield County-Colonial Heights Crime Solvers in Virginia.
To connect with the author online:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Vicki's Angels