Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Lighthearted Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Catherine E. McLean Entertains with HEARTS AKILTER

Today I’m happy to welcome fellow Rose, Catherine E. McLean, whose lighthearted, Sci-Fi/Fantasy HEARTS AKILTER is celebrating its launch with a Release Day Giveaway. That giveaway will be held online at the HEARTS AKILTER blog, 1-5 p.m. EST on August 5. If you stop by that day and chat or comment, you'll get a chance to win a $50 gift card basket (or other prize), but if you preorder the book between now and August 4, then go to the author's website, click on Connect with Catherine, fill out and submit the form there, and you'll get THREE chances to win!

Congratulations on the release, Catherine. Please tell us a little about your book.

 It's about love, vengeance, attempted murder, and a bomb… and no reason to panic. LOL "Don't panic!" is Marlee's favorite expression, especially when a medical robot insists he's having a heart attack. Since robots don't have hearts, Marlee, a every pragmatic maintenance technician, soon finds she has every reason to panic. There's a bomb inside him. Since Marlee can't risk the bomber discovering she's found the device, she concludes her only option is to kidnap Deacon Black, an unflappable bomb expert, and secretly convince him to disarm that bomb.  Piece of cake--or so Marlee thinks.

Of course, things go slightly awry when Deacon sets a trap for someone who is trying to kill him, and inadvertently, he captures Marlee instead. Deacon is instantly intrigued by her refreshingly forthright and gutsy attitude. Okay, he's smitten. Unfortunately for Deacon, Marlee recently hardened her heart and swore off men, especially handsome ones with boy-next-door grins.

As Marlee and Deacon attempt to identify and prevent the bomber from detonating the device, the two discover that love may be the most explosive force of all.

This sounds delightful, Catherine. And a lot of mysterious fun. Is this your first book?

HEARTS AKILTER is actually my third book. My first novel was KARMA AND MAYHEM, a paranormal fantasy romance that received a Night Owl Top Pick award. It's set on a future world where the romantic lead is a warlock with two souls and karma issues. The protagonist is Janay, who is mayhem personified.
The second novel was JEWELS OF THE SKY, a futuristic adventure (no romance) involving Indians in outer space. It's about survival or extinction and one woman's choice. You see, more than thirty years ago, I read Chariots of the Gods and wondered what if the ancient aliens said to have visited Earth's Mayans, were themselves Indians?
      As one reader-reviewer put it, my lighthearted stories are "brain candy for anyone liking action and character-driven stories."

What draws you to the sci-fi/fantasy genre?

CATHERINE:  What ifs.  For example, what if I could travel among the stars? Where would I go? What constellation?  What planet? What if there were scientific and genetic reasons for veeds--the energy symbiotes of KARMA AND MAYHEM who give warlocks and witches superhuman powers? And, especially, what if I could walk the decks of Kifel Space Station and meet people like Marlee and Deacon (of HEARTS AKILTER), or interact with the robots, traders, and all the others who come and go or live and work on the station?

What inspired this particular story?

Again, the what if--what if there was something other than a short circuit that would cause a medical robot to think he was having a heart attack. Thinking outside that box netted a bomb.  Of course logic whispered there wasn't much room among circuitry boards and all the stuff that has to go inside a functioning robot, so how big a bomb would it be?  How powerful? And then-- Who would put a bomb in a medical robot who doesn't leave sickbay?  Who would be the target? Why him or her?  By the time all the what-ifs got answered, the story blossomed into a novella. It was such fun to write.

Now for a fun question. If you had to describe this book as a color, what would that color be?

 A dazzling confetti mix of purples, pinks, and blues.  That's partly why I like the color combinations the artist used for HEARTS AKILTER'S cover.  The second reason I really like the cover is the purple heart-bomb. (I have my husband to thank for suggesting a "cartoony" bomb.

Oh, good answer! And if you had to describe the book as a taste, what would it be?

Cool and as silky-smooth as Jell-O and just as wriggly and fun.

What’s your next project?
It's another tale from my Chronicles of Kifel Space Station, the setting of HEARTS AKILTER.  Only this novel, which is completed but not yet polished to my satisfaction, is about a galactic brew of thieves, political intrigue, family duty, government loyalties, and saving face. So, is it any wonder notorious space privateer Sarina "Dammit" Dannon and no-nonsense government agent Aaron Cantrall find love can only come under lite speed?  And yes, it's "lite" not "light" speed. J)

What one tip would you offer writers?

Talent will take a writer only so far.  It is craft that enhances talent and liberates creativity.   Best of all, craft can be learned.  Take the time to learn what story is and all the devices and techniques that make a reader eagerly turn pages.

Great advice! Thanks so much for being here today. I hope you’ll come back again. And best of luck with the release.

Thanks for having me!

Find Catherine and HEARTS AKILTER at:


Connect with Catherine

Hearts Akilter Giveaway


Pre-Order Links for Hearts Akilter

The Wild Rose Press (publisher)

Barnes & Nobles



  1. Hi Catherine, I'm so glad you're here today. HEARTS AKILTER sounds like an exciting, fun read. Best of luck with it!

  2. Hearts Akilter sounds like a lot of fun. Cute cover, too. Good luck and great sales, Catherine.

    1. Thank you! The story is about hearts, so it seemed fitting to put one on the cover. :))

    2. I laughed when I read the blurb, Sandra. It's bound to be entertaining! Glad you stopped by.

  3. Hearts Akilter sounds great! Thank you for sharing the wonderful interview. Best of luck with your new release, Catherine!

    1. I agree, Lane. I could picture the confetti image just in the few lines Catherine shared. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hi Catherine, Love the cover and blurb. Best of luck with sales :)

    1. Hi Joanne! Glad you stopped in. Thanks for the good words.

  5. Enjoyed the blurb- sounds like a fun read! Congrats!

    1. Alanna, hello! I'm with you--i'm looking to getting my copy of HEARTS AKILTER. Bound to be fun. Glad you dropped in!

    2. The book's blurb was one of the easiest ones I've ever written. And even fun to write! So enjoy the story when you get your copy.

  6. Hi Catherine,
    Such a cute story. Can't wait till it comes out. Love the cover, too!

    1. Hi Kathy, don't forget to drop in on her Release Day giveaway next moth. It promises to be fun!

  7. Oh, this book sounds like all sorts of fun! I can't wait to read it!

    1. It is a fun read, or so my beta readers have told me. :)) Enjoy the story.