Muse Wednesday — Terry O’Dell

Sandra McDonaldI would like to welcome fellow author Terry O’Dell to Muse Wednesday.  Terry’s Muse is author Sandra McDonald, pictured at the left.  Let’s see how Sandra inspired Terry to take the plunge and write books of her own.


I am not one of those people who wrote her first book in crayon. I did not grow up knowing I wanted to be a writer. I was a Psych major in college, with a Biology minor. In fact, I had my AARP card for a fair number of years before I even thought about writing. The whole writing thing came to be through a misunderstanding of a conversation with my son—you can find the whole story here. In fact, the one time I toyed with writing down a story that had been playing around in my head, I quit after about 3 pages—too much trouble to deal with things like punctuating dialogue.

But, thanks to my son getting me interested in Highlander, I was reading Highlander fanfiction and discovered Sandra McDonald, an author whose stories I really liked. As I read them, my thoughts were always, “If I could write, I’d like to write like that.” We hooked up on line, and I volunteered to beta read for her. She liked my approach, and we became on-line friends. One weekend, while my husband was out of town, I decided to try my hand at writing a story vaguely similar to the first one I’d played with. After I garnered the courage to send it to Sandra, she sent it back with comments about things like Point of View (what the heck was that?) and I decided that I was ready to learn something new. After all, I had no more room on my walls for needlepoint, my other creative outlet. And writing was a lot more fun than doing housework.

Sandra insisted I put my story on line, and the feedback was positive. Of course, if I’d known how low the bar was for positive feedback on that site, I might have shrugged it off. But I was hooked, and went on to write some more Highlander fan fiction (which is still out there on the web, but I’m not telling where!), before I thought it would be fun to see if I could write a totally original story, and Finding Sarah was born. I had a lot to learn, but thanks to Sandra and her patience and willingness to help a total novice, I dove into the craft.


Terry Odell began writing by mistake, when her son mentioned a television show and she thought she’d be a good mom and watch it so they’d have common ground for discussions.

Little did she know she would enter the world of writing, first via fanfiction, then through Internet groups, and finally with groups with real, live partners. Her first publications were short stories, but she found more freedom in longer works and began what she thought was a mystery. Her daughters told her it was a romance so she began learning more about the genre and craft. She belongs to both the Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America.

Now a multi-published, award-winning author, Terry resides with her husband in the mountains of Colorado. You can find her online at:

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DangerousConnections200x300Terry’s brand new release is Dangerous Connections, which, at the time this blog appears, may or may not be available at all the on-line bookstores. It’s the 5th book in her Blackthorne, Inc. romantic suspense series, and you can find links to all of them here.

Buy Links for Dangerous Connections

The blurb:

The Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops team is back with another action-adventure romantic suspense from Terry Odell. This time, it’s Computer Nerd meets Cartel Lord.

For Jinx, interacting with people is highly overrated. Computers are his life. On the job, he’s an intel gathering expert for Blackthorne, Inc. Off duty, he’s a shooter in computer role playing games. But what happens when he’s sent into the field to face real enemies with real guns?

Josiah Ignatius Nix—Jinx to all who know him—is the glue holding the Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops teams together when they’re on a mission. In the comfort of his basement office, with his favorite companions—his computers— a click of the mouse provides him with up-to-the-minute intel, which keeps the team alive.

Until the intel fails and a hostage rescue mission goes south. Both the hostage and team are captured, and the boss sends Jinx to the jungles of Mexico as an undercover field agent. The cartels have been kidnapping American engineers to build and maintain their private cell phone networks. Jinx’s skills make him a prime target for capture, a way to infiltrate the cartel and rescue not only the company’s client, but also the missing team of operatives.

Soon, he finds himself paired with Elle Sheridan, a cop whose missing sister is in the middle of a human trafficking ring. Will Elle be able to convince Jinx that Blackthorne’s mission needs to be expanded to include rescuing her sister? And if she does, will the two of them be able to stay ahead of rival cartel leaders and get out alive to make some private connections of their own.

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