Monday, March 18, 2013

VBT: Dylan's Song

Psychic Spies in the U.S. Government

When Vicki’s Key was first released, some of my fans questioned the leap from my normal realistic heroines to one who is a CIA psychic spy. One fan asked me if I intended to continue my “science fiction” series. But the role of a psychic spy was based in hard facts—and on real declassified documents straight from our own government.

During the Cold War, our Intelligence agencies intercepted information regarding a psychic program that the Soviet Union was putting into place. The concept was to use psychics to sit in, completely undetected, on our highest level cabinet meetings; to tour our nuclear facilities in their minds; and to view documents such as those detailing our weaponry capabilities. Our Intelligence passed the information to the highest levels of government with a simple request: to fund a similar psychic program here.

At that time, they didn’t know if the Soviet Union would determine that all their psychic missions would turn out to be hocus pocus. But they didn’t want to learn twenty years down the road that it was possible—and that our enemies had mastered it while we hadn’t even begun to explore the possibilities or uses.

Since that time, declassified documents have shown that Jimmy Carter was aware that psychic spies were being used during the Iran Hostage Crisis. The psychic spies were able to pass information to our Intelligence agencies regarding the approximate locations of the hostages, when they were all held together, and when they were separated. The information was passed to ground operatives, who verified its accuracy.

The most recent declassified mission was in the use of psychic spies to find Saddam Hussein. The best psychic spies can locate a person or facility right down to the longitude and latitude. They can draw the surrounding terrain, which is passed to ground operatives who then match the terrain with their knowledge of the area. They can draw diagrams or blueprints of facilities, which have proven to be remarkably accurate.

When psychic spies are used within government agencies, the approach is very scientific. There are steps used to train the spies, which eliminate those who think they’re psychic but simply have overactive imaginations. The steps become increasingly more difficult until only the best of the best remain.

When their missions are undertaken, there is always a leader who monitors via audio or video and takes notes as well. There is always a team of analysts who take the information obtained—whether it’s orally presented or diagrams are drawn by the psychic spy—and they process it to determine its accuracy. Every piece of information presented is taken through a verification process.

As we learn more about the capabilities of the human mind, the missions can expand. It is mind-boggling to consider the possibilities of astral travel in order to obtain classified information from our enemies, particularly in times of war.

With the Black Swamp Mystery series, Vicki Boyd travels in her mind under the direction of her handler and boss, Sam, to places where a ground operative couldn’t go undetected. In Vicki’s Key, she traveled to a remote Afghanistan village on the border of Pakistan, for example. In the most recent release, Dylan’s Song, she finds a missing CIA operative and coordinates with Dylan Maguire, the CIA ground operative, to extract him and get him to safety.

The concept of a psychic spy not only lends itself to limitless possibilities in the real world but in a fictional series as well.


Dylan Maguire returns to his native Ireland with psychic spy Vicki Boyd. Their mission: to locate and extract a CIA Agent who disappeared in Dublin while on the trail of a known terrorist. But when Dylan receives word that his grandmother is dying, he is plunged into a past he thought he’d left behind forever. His mission and the dark secrets he’d sought to keep hidden begin to merge into an underworld that could cost him his life. He must now confront his past demons and the real reason he left Ireland—while Vicki harbors a secret of her own.

Suspense Magazine says, “p.m.terrell’s writing is powerfully written and masterfully suspenseful; you have to hang on for the ride of your life.” Midwest Book Review says the Black Swamp Mysteries series is “page-turning action, unforgettable characters, breathtaking descriptions and unexpected plot twists.” And syndicated reviewer Marcia Freespirit says the series is “riveting, spell-binding, sexy and intense!”


The bogs were no place to be during the witching hour.

Dylan had grown up with stories of the bogs at night. The ground percolated; it lived and it breathed. There had been many a time when he was harvesting peat in broad daylight that he’d heard a whisper at his ear or felt hot breath on his neck, only to find there was no one near. Now as he rode his horse in silence, he felt that presence tenfold; there were eyes watching them. The intermittent tuffs of heather swayed in the growing storm and he found himself watching them with narrowed eyes, waiting for the plants to morph into sinister creatures that claimed this land after the sun went down.

He knew there was a simple reason why animals were required in lieu of an all-terrain vehicle and he was glad Sam had taken this unique land into consideration when planning the mission. He could feel the hooves beneath him sinking into the spongy earth; a wheeled vehicle wouldn’t have stood a chance, especially as they ventured from the area farmed for its peat to one far less stable.

A mist began; a slow, fine spray that he knew well. One moment the air was still and dry and the next, as though they’d passed through a curtain, the air swirled around them, the moist haze further inhibiting their ability to see. It was said many a man lost his internal compass in the Irish mist; it taunted as it grew into monstrous shapes, turning the landscape into something foreign and active.


p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 16 books. Vicki's Key, one of the first books in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, was one of five finalists in the 2012 International Book Awards (Mystery/Suspense) and 2012 USA Best Book Awards (Mystery/Suspense.) River Passage, an historical work based on her ancestor's migration to Fort Nashborough in 1779-1780, won the 2010 Best Fiction & Drama Award. The Nashville (TN) Metropolitan Government Archives determined it to be so historically accurate that they entered the original manuscript into their Archives for future researchers and historians.

Prior to becoming a full-time author in 2002, terrell founded and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her clients included the United States Secret Service, CIA, Department of Defense and federal and local law enforcement. Her specialty is in the areas of computer crime and computer intelligence. Her experience in these areas have greatly influenced her books' plots.

She is the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation, whose slogan is "Buy a Book and Stop a Crook" and whose mission is to raise awareness of the link between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She founded Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, an annual event to raise money to increase literacy and reduce crime.
 For more information on Book 'Em North Carolina, visit and
 p.m.terrell's website is and her blog is
 She can be found on Twitter @pmterrell
 p.m. will be awarding a Celtic Key Necklace identical to the one Dylan gives to Vicki in Dylan's Song to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.


  1. I'd actually never heard of 'psychic spies' before. Fascinating thank you.

    The research must have been very interesting.


  2. Thank you for hosting me here today, Sandra!
    Mary, I was surprised and intrigued when I discovered the psychic spy program. The more I have delved into it, the more fascinating it becomes. And for a writer, it opens up whole new worlds of possibilities - all sorts of plots and locales. Thank you for dropping by!
    I'll be checking in throughout the day and answering any questions anyone might have for me.

  3. Oh my gosh, that is SO cool. I had no idea about that kind of program going on. What a great vehicle for a story too.

  4. I loved Vicki's Key and thought a psychic spy was great.


  5. Jennifer, thanks for dropping in! I'm glad the psychic spy program caught your attention. The true stories are riveting - lots of inspiration for novel writing!
    Ingeborg, thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad you enjoyed Vicki's Key. I think you'd love Dylan's Song!

  6. A psychic spy? How cool:). p.m., your book sounds awesome!

  7. Maria, thank you for stopping in and leaving a comment. Psychic spies fascinate me, too. It opens up whole new worlds on so many levels. And the possibilities for plots are endless!

  8. You're most welcome, Goddess.

    I'm with everyone else p.m. Fascinating topic.

    Thanks everyone for stopping by to support p.m.

  9. Fascinating post


  10. Hey bn100, How are you?
    Fascinating is the exact word.