Launching Romance into the stars.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What About The Cats? Guest Post by @MariaHammarblad #scifirom #OperationEarth


Guest Post by Maria Hammarblad

Cats? What in the galaxy is this woman babbling about? Cats?

They’re relevant to my book. Honest!

In the first draft of Operation Earth the book had one cat: the heroine’s. This feline is named BonBon after my dog Bonnie, and she plays a big part in Rachael’s life.

Sometimes people ask why so many of my characters have cats; I’m more known for being a dog person. It just turns out that way. I like cats, I just don’t have one living with me right now. My heroines are often cat people, or end up in a setting where a cat seems… right.

Anyway, BonBon has an important part in the story. Rachael wants to be a good kitty mom, she talks to the cat, and worries for the cat. When the alien Peter first comes into their lives, BonBon hides from him. It goes like this:

The cat trotted out of the bedroom, stared at him, and froze. A moment later it fled across the room, seeking shelter under the sofa.


Peter sighed.

“She knows I’m not of this world. Animals never like us.”

“Really? They know?”

Maybe the intruders were different on a level so deep only an animal’s senses could detect it. Her first instinct was to try to soothe the cat, but if he was right, nothing she did or said would help.

Later in the story Peter gains the cat’s trust. This is an unprecedented event, but it had to happen. I don’t think Rachael would ever have trusted him if Bonbon remained under the sofa, hissing at his feet. I sure don’t trust people my dogs don’t like; they’re much better judges of character than I am.

My editor is a big cat lover and cat rescuer, and she helped me tweak the details to make the cat more believable. She also suggested that if one cat could take to one alien, maybe the same thing happened in more places. Since the aliens have always been shunned by animals, maybe they in turn were fascinated with the kitties, and brought some to the mother ship. Given a little time, they’ll probably take over.

Reviewers and blog hosts who read the book have asked, “Why cats? Wouldn’t other animals be easier to 
get along with?” Now you know. =)

Operation Earth by Maria Hammarblad

Seven billion people on Earth go about their daily lives, and no one is prepared when a global EMP slows the world to a crawl. With all our technology incapacitated, everything changes. Within days alien soldiers line the streets, and life will never be the same. In the midst of chaos, Rachael Hill struggles to adapt to the new order, doing her best to keep herself and her cat alive.

On a ship far above the planet surface, Peter just got his new Earth name, and can’t even remember his identity from the last world he visited. It’s another day on the job, one more planet on a never-ending list. That is, until Rachael bumps into him, dropping exotic objects all around his feet. His culture taught him females should be obeyed and protected, but he never had an urge to leave himself at a woman’s mercy until now.

Rachael’s neighbor Ryan hounds her to join a brewing resistance movement and make a stand against the newcomers. She still befriends Peter, enthralled by his enigmatic personality and hypnotic golden eyes. Would falling in love with an alien be treason against humanity? When the rebellion gains momentum and open conflict with the newcomers is a fact, Rachael’s personal insurrection might be her doom, or bring salvation to us all.

Published August 11 2013 by Desert Breeze Publishing.

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About Maria Hammarblad:

Born in Sweden in the early 1970's, Maria showed a large interest for books at an early age. Even before she was able to read or write, she made her mom staple papers together into booklets she filled with drawings of suns and planets. She proudly declared them, "The Sun Book." They were all about the sun. She also claimed, to her mother's horror, that her being on Earth was a big mistake and that her alien family would come and bring her home at any moment. This never happened, but both the interest in space and the passion for bookmaking stayed with her.

As an adult Maria's creativity got an outlet through playing bass in a number of rock bands, and through writing technical manuals and making web pages for various companies and organizations. She did write drafts for a few novels, but the storytelling muse was mostly satisfied through role playing online on Myspace. It was here, while writing stories together with people from around the globe, she stumbled onto Mike. They started talking out of character, and she moved over to Florida to him late 2008. Today the two are married and live in the Tampa Bay area with three rescue dogs.

Besides writing and playing bass, Maria enjoys driving off-road, archery, and Tameshigiri.

Upcoming releases

Borealis XII, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing October 11, 2013

Fun Facts

Favorite color: Blue
Favorite food: Chicken with cashew nuts
Doesn't eat: Mammals
Favorite TV Show: Star Trek TNG and Leverage
Favorite animal: Border Collie
Quotes: "Full Speed Ahead" and "Caffeine is good for you"

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