Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Thin Slice of Heaven by p.m. terrell - Giveaway

She had arranged to meet her husband in Northern Ireland for a second honeymoon, but when Charleigh arrives at the remote castle, she receives a message that he won’t be coming—and that he’s leaving her for another woman.  

Stranded for the weekend by a snowstorm that has blocked all access to the castle, she finds herself three thousand miles from home in a country she knows nothing about. 

She is soon joined by Sean Bracken, the great-grandson of Laird Bracken, the original owner of the castle, and she finds herself falling quickly and madly in love with him. There’s just one problem: he’s dead. 

As the castle begins to come alive with secrets from centuries past, she finds herself trapped between parallel worlds. Caught up in a mass haunting, she can no longer recognize the line between the living and the dead. Now she’s discovering that her appearance there wasn’t by accident—and her life is about to change forever.

In A Thin Slice of Heaven, Charleigh loves butterflies. In the scene that follows, she is in the village with Sean during the snowstorm. The streets are empty and the shops are closed. They've dismounted from the horse so she can peek into the windows of the shops.
“Look,” she said, pointing to a sun catcher in the window. “A butterfly.”

His voice was soft and though she turned her gaze back to the sun catcher, she could feel his eyes remaining on her. “You love butterflies, don’t you now?”

“I do. How did you know?”

He shrugged. “From the way in which your face lit when you spied it.”

“It is beautiful, isn’t it?” She stared at the hand-painted butterfly with its alternating rows of yellow and orange fringed with black. “It has meaning, you know. It’s like the metamorphosis of life in one tiny creature. They start their existence as a tiny egg on a leaf, so miniscule that most people wouldn’t even know it was there. Then they hatch into a caterpillar, all chubby body and spindly legs. Quite ugly, in fact.” She chuckled. “They eat and they eat and when they can eat no more, they attach themselves to a branch and just hang there. From the outside, it looks like nothing is happening. But the metamorphosis is taking place on the inside. Until finally, the wings emerge, all soft and gooey. The caterpillar pumps blood into the wings until they grow large and strong, capable of making it fly away.”

“I have heard,” Sean said thoughtfully, “that every soul’s journey takes place first on the inside before it is manifested on the outside.”

“Exactly!” She whirled around to face him. “You’re the only one I’ve ever met who understood that.”

“Not the only one, I’m quite sure.”

“Oh, but you are. Most people would have heard my explanation and thought it nothing more than whimsical ramblings. You understood.”

He pointed toward the sun catcher. “You see the pattern around the butterfly? That symbolizes the Celtic cycle of life. Though you might search, you will never find a beginning nor will you find an end.”

The butterfly symbolizes Charleigh's own transformation in the book. When she arrives at the castle, she is tired, overworked and anxious. When her husband sends a text saying he's leaving her for another woman, she imagines the woman to be much younger and much more beautiful than she. But as the story progresses, she learns that her soul is beautiful.

The Celtic design depicting the endless cycle of life is also symbolic. She learns through Sean that Life does not end when the physical body ceases to exist. The soul's energy is transformed and carries on.

For those who have read the book, you know that this discussion means something far more. Charleigh is herself transitioning, though she does not yet know it. She is in a cocoon herself, believing that her life consists only of the small bubble each of us finds ourselves living, and yet she doesn't yet know how close she is to breaking out of that cocoon and becoming transformed.

The cycle of Life is apparent within and around her, and Sean is gently leading her to discover this realization herself.

“What’s happening?” Charleigh whispered. Her throat had grown dry and her voice was hoarse with tension. Though she attempted to keep her tone low so they would remain unobserved, it sounded loud and harsh in the strident atmosphere that seemed suddenly to have gripped the village. She felt anxiety growing deep within her and the urge to get back to the castle burgeoned with ferocity and urgency; but she realized with a sickening sensation in the pit of her soul that the growing inharmonious throngs were between them and the sanctuary of her room. 

“Do not be afraid, m’ Leah,” Sean answered. He did not whisper but his voice was deep and taut. After a moment, he said, “They are reenacting an event that occurred… some time ago.” 

“Oh,” she breathed. She should have felt relief but her insides continued to roil as if his explanation did not match the scene unfolding before her. Nervously, she said, “Reenactors. We have them in America.” 

“You have witnessed them, then?” 

“Yes. I find them very interesting…” She forced the words past her dry lips. “They reenact battles from the Civil War and the Revolutionary War, mainly.” 

As the churning skies turned to the color of tar, Charleigh could discern the sources of the strange glow: they were torches held aloft by dozens of people. More were joining them, stragglers rushing from the village to catch up, while they began to spread apart in a more orderly column as they converged on the flat land they’d crossed on their way into the village. One man in the forefront stopped and began pointing and directing those that followed. 

“These reenactments,” Sean continued, “were the people alive?”

p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, a multi-award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than twenty books in five genres: contemporary suspense, historical suspense, romance, computer how-to and non-fiction. 

Prior to writing full-time, she founded two computer companies in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. 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, themes that have carried forward to her suspense.  

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 and chairperson of Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event held in the real town of 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 

Author’s website:  

p.m.terrell will be awarding a Celtic Butterfly Suncatcher similar to the one mentioned in the book, symbolizing both the never-ending cycle of life and the metamorphosis of a butterfly to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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Follow the tour for more chances to win!


  1. Thanks for hosting me here! Congratulations to Jeanne R for winning the beautiful Celtic Butterfly Suncatcher!