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Friday, January 24, 2014

On Tour: Mounting the Whale by Colleen McCarty - Q&A & Excerpt

Colleen McCarty is now on tour with CLP Book Tours with her book, Mounting the Whale. Please visit her tour page for more blog stops.

by Colleen McCarty

Publication:  December 2013

"Cartel got me, tell mom"

The siblings, drowning in their own problems, are forced to focus on the task at hand: a half-cocked rescue mission that involves a borrowed yacht, a favor from a notorious drug kingpin, and a shocking reunion none of them expected.

When the family decides to sneak into Mexico, mother Cybil is forced to deal with a rival CEO whom she's developed feelings for in secret. Her only son, Tom, is willing to risk bodily harm to save Janine while his other sisters, Carlyle and Valerie, suspect that the kidnapping is less than legitimate.

The long sea voyage tests the limits of the family's already frail bonds. Dark secrets of infertility, drugs, gambling and extreme taxidermy begin to float to the surface. But nothing compares to what they begin to learn about their missing sister.

If they're going to make it out alive, they have to recognize they're fighting the same battles and facing life's greatest challenges: love, loneliness, and the struggle to find a place in the world.

Amidst all the chaos, the Pierce family is brought face-to-face with the ugliness of Janine's addictions, the truth about their mother's fortune and the most terrifying question of all: Can you really save someone who doesn't want to be saved?
“Hello,” Carlyle answered the phone as she walked out of the television studio. 
“Me again. Found something.” Marius was curt and Carlyle could picture him reading from a lit computer screen. “I found this undercover blog—Blog Del Narco, it’s amazing. It’s written by someone inside a cartel that operates out of Progreso. They’ve been putting up journal entries every few days about what it’s like to work in the cartel, and the writer even names people—big important people—in the ring. This person says Diego Malec√≥n is the Don—er, the boss. They call him El Toro. He—El Toro—is pretty bad news. It looks like he is the main source for most of the cocaine and heroin in the Miami area. 
He’s actually a Cuban, but he runs drugs by boat which is why he likes to be in Progreso—easy access to water.” 
“So you think this guy is connected to all of this somehow?” 
Carlyle’s heart was blocking her esophagus. 
“I don’t know. Most cartels run out of border towns like Laredo or Juarez. Even Tijuana. He’s the only one I can find who has any connection to the Progreso area. It’s pretty smart, really, he’s bypassing a lot of bloodshed by taking everything to the water.” 
“But he has to go a hell of a long way out of the way.” Carlyle knew from managing some of the Nature bar distribution channels that the goal was to get the product to its destination in the fewest amount of steps. The Yucatan was a long way from Miami. 
They paused and Marius wasn’t sure if he should continue. “Here’s the strange thing. This blog—it’s gone dark for the last three days.” He was silent, waiting for his words to sink in. 
“Three days ago… but you said you got the email yesterday.” 
“Yeah, but let’s say she’s the leak—or the blogger, or whatever—they find out and they are going to kill her. She barters with them and tells them she has a rich family, yada yada yada, they settle on asking for a ransom in return for her swift exit of the organization. That could take a few days—getting the plan together and all that.” 
“Maybe. I don’t know if Janine is the ‘undercover blogger’ type. 
Last time I saw her, her hands were shaking so much I doubt they could rest on a keyboard.”

 Q&A with Colleen McCarty

1. Please introduce yourself and your book.
Hi, I'm Colleen. I am a mom of one, a wife of...well, also one, and a dog-mom to two. I write what I would consider literary fiction with a thriller/crime bent. My first novel just came out in December. It's called Mounting the Whale. It tells the story of an affluent, self-made family who believes their sister has been kidnapped by a drug cartel in Mexico. 

2. What inspired you to write this book?
The idea came to me while dealing with some personal family drama. I am a control freak through-and-through--I think most writers are--and it was very frustrating to me that I could not control the people around me. They were making choices that I maybe didn't agree with--choices related to drugs and alcohol. I wanted to play out the story in my mind, looking back now, I think I needed to play it out to learn that I can't control anyone but myself. 

3. Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
I see myself in all of them! As much as writers are control freaks, we are also schizophrenic. If we see an intriguing person on the street we speculate about what it might be like to be that person. We imagine ourselves as twenty different people before breakfast. However, as much as they are me, my characters are their own people now too. 

4. What's the thing most lacking about yourself right now?
Wow, tough crowd! I tend to set extremely outlandish expectations for myself and then crumple when I fail to fulfill them. So, you know, just regular mom stuff.

5. Grade your book. How many stars out of a perfect score of 5 stars? Please give the reason too.
I'm going to go with 4 stars. I actually really love this book, but I think I rushed it a bit and didn't give the writing enough space. I shouldn't have been in such a rush. But once it was done, I was so excited to share it with the world! 

6. What are you working on right now?
I'm still promoting, but am in the process of laying out a new book. Cuba. Human Trafficking. Revolution. Intrigue. Need I say mas?

7. Anything you would like to say to your readers?
I just want to thank anyone who's taken a chance on the book, it's an enormous compliment. To take the time to read someone's book is peering into their soul and I thank you. 

Author Bio:

Colleen McCarty is a graduate of the University of Tulsa and an entrepreneur. She and her husband own Tulsa restaurant Mod's Coffee and Crepes. She's been featured, and in the Wall Street Journal. This is her first novel. Though Colleen has ghostwritten books for CEOs and New York Times Bestsellers, this is her first foray into publishing her own work. Colleen lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband, daughter and two large dogs. Follow her writing at

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