Cal-Santa Barbara student fooled by Nikki White ending, Chaucer celebrates on release eve

Kailyn Kausen, an 18-year-old writing/literature student at University of California Santa Barbara, read STREAKS OF BLUE, NIKKI BLUE: SOURCE OF TROUBLE and NIKKI WHITE: POLAR EXTREMES (which officially drops tomorrow!) right in a row. She posted this awesome 4-star review that sums up her journey through the series on Goodreads and Amazon yesterday …

“Man, I’m angry with myself because I feel like I should have anticipated the ending to this book, but I didn’t, so cheers to Mr. Chaucer on that one.

I love the character transformations in this one. I was questionable at the end of the second book because I didn’t like where Nikki’s character was going. She seemed a little selfish, hopeless, and stupid, but in this last book, her character really takes a turn for the better. She decides to do something about her predicament and be smart about it.

Thomas also had great character development in this one, shown especially when he decides to tell Nikki what The Bridge plans to do to her. I wanted it to be Adam the entire time (from literally book one), but when Thomas gave Nikki the note and said something about wanting to give her a baby the right way, I was sold. Thomas, buddy, you deserve it (with Nikki’s consent of course).

For a while I was confused with The Bridge because why the heck would they put so much time and money into these individuals who are giving them a hard time, but then I finally came to the conclusion that The Bridge is literally an organizational embodiment of a politician. Getting the name out there? Check. Doing something crazy to raise their status? Attempted. Using money and force if necessary to bend people to their will? Necessary in any politician’s campaign.

I mentioned in my review of the second book that I didn’t see how the books tied together other than with the characters and that I didn’t think that was necessarily a strong enough connection for the books to make sense in a series together. I think this last book might have changed my mind on that (although I still wish there was another dream premonition) because Nikki’s connection to Thomas was the driving force of The Bridge in this last book. They were so power hungry they had to prove they could make a relationship as negative as Thomas and Nikki’s turn around completely.

A negative I had with the first book was an overwhelming amount of description. Throughout the first book, there was a growth in the writing style where the amount of description decreased. Throughout the series, an even more dramatic transformation. Nikki White has a great amount of description in my opinion – just enough to lay the scene, but little enough that the pacing isn’t slowed.

I don’t give out five stars hardly ever, except to books that I’ll keep coming back to five or ten years from now. I likely won’t keep coming back to this series, so I can’t give it five stars, but a different me in a different universe might slap a five on this book with no hesitation.”

NIKKI WHITE: POLAR EXTREMES IS OFFICIALLY RELEASED TOMORROW, MARCH 24th, as the sun really sets for six months of darkness at South Pole Station. Here’s the link to buy the Kindle and paperback editions. Kindle ($2.99) is available right now! Paperback ($13.99) out tomorrow!!

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An Indian reviewer’s crush on stunning Antarctica … Nikki White drops 2 weeks from today!

Nandini, 21, of Bangladore, India, in her insightful Goodreads review of “Nikki White” on March 9, writes: “In terms of setting, Antarctica was literally the coolest choice ever. I fell deeply in love and I just didn’t want any of the characters to leave at all. The auroras, the scientific exploration, learning about the Big Bang — all of it made me want to go there so bad!”

… “Nikki White: Polar Extremes” (Nikki #3) officially drops two weeks from today, but 5 paperbacks are available now at Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington Depot, Conn.!!!!!

First time I’ve been accused of sorcery in a review! LOL

nikki-white-3d“Ok … I want to say that I think this author has magic, sorcery, mind controlling powers. Every damn book in this series gets me so entranced with the storyline, a bomb could go off next to me and I wouldnt flinch. I literally get in a zone and block life around me out … Hence why when I started this 3rd book, I was smart enough to set up snacks and drinks on my kitchen counter for my 6 year old and said … you should be good for a while and then went and settled in. Whew … what a ride, I was sweating at times reading this latest book.

Nikki, Nikki, Nikki….how in gods green earth does she get herself in things like this??? The Bridge? OMG … pure evilness … evilness that I kinda love. The twists and things that come out of left field left me speechless … and if you know me at all … that is feat by itself!

Nikki has found herself in some hairy situations but this … it literally takes the cake. The Bridge feels that since going to Mars, the team needs to know what life will be like on the planet … sooooooo … they are sent to a few places for training … extreme training. And boy oh boy are there some shocking faces that return to train alongside the team. Faces that are forced to work together to survive. The description of some of these places and the extreme surroundings (especially the cold places) actually had me freezing and reaching for a blanket and a hot cup of coffee … thats how descriptive it was. There are some rather emotional moments that had me tearing up … some down right rotten times that had me screaming at my Kindle for vengeance and some angsty moments that had me twirling my hair until it literally came out of my head.

I want to know how this author thinks of the things that happen in this book … some are so complex and make some characters downright heinous, its purely brilliant. It answers questions you have been asking but fills your plate full with a whole brand new set. And Nikki … she is my freaking hero. Total bad ass chick.

Again…this book leaves off with you salivating for more and in a book coma … I swear it makes all books you read for awhile pale in comparison. Yet again … I’m on my knees praying to the literary gods to have the next installment soon!!!! One of my top 10 all time favorite series.”

— 4.5 stars from Goodreads reviewer Christine Cheff of Totowa, N.J., for Jack Chaucer’s upcoming novel, “Nikki White: Polar Extremes” (Nikki, #3), which comes out on 3-24-17

‘The book all Nikki Blue fans have been waiting for!’

nikki-white-paperback-d2One of the fun parts about writing a series is having readers who jump on board for the whole ride. Julie Oakley, a 24-year-old Goodreads reviewer from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, did just that. She wrote glowing 4-star reviews of both “Streaks of Blue” and “Nikki Blue: Source of Trouble,” but she just topped those with an awesome 5-star review of my latest, “Nikki White: Polar Extremes.” Thanks Julie. Here’s her review below:

“Another incredible journey from Chaucer!
This novel, the third in the Nikki series, is a fist in the face to the corrupt corporation known as ‘The Bridge’, it is the book all Nikki Blue fans have been waiting for!
Not only is the writing so engaging that you can’t stop reading from the first sentence, we are introduced to intriguing and loveable new characters such as Sam or ‘Snowbow’, who really lift the darkness around Nikki’s story.

A perfect third installation to this series, a quick, fast-paced read that leaves you thinking long after you have read the final page. Chaucer really makes you think about relationships, issues we are facing in today’s society and shows us that there can be a silver lining for everyone if you look and try hard enough.
A great read!”

Trifecta … 3 rave reviews in one day

NikkiBlue

Two 4-star reviews for “Nikki Blue: Source of Trouble” and one 5-star review for my short story “heroinE” all on Sunday!

Natalie Limardo Wilburn of Arizona on “Nikki Blue”:

Yet another great book by Jack 🙂

This book is about action, love, loss, mystery, suspense and so much more.

Nikki is a gal that has been through so much before the age of 21 that I’m not sure many of us could handle, although there are so many that have. I don’t wanna spill too much considering this is a series. Just know that Nikki is a strong and sassy lead character and is followed by a few great men including her dad.

I only gave this book 4 stars because The Bridge kind of lost me with all the craziness for a little bit. But Once I hit about 70% I was hooked for the rest and couldn’t put it down. Don’t get me wrong this was a good book regardless but it gets a little frustratingly odd.. The people that are part of the bridge just confused me and made me want to jump ship. I kept thinking why aren’t you seeing this crazy behavior Nikki. That being said when someone hands you the amount of money that Nikki got I think I might want to believe their BS too. LOL I have a lot of faith in Jack since his first book was so awesome and this one had an exciting ending chapter. I am so excited to start the next!!

Angela Auten of New Jersey on “Nikki Blue”:

Story Line: 4 stars out of 5. It’s been four years since Nikki graduated from high school. She started as an intern for a newspaper. She goes to a groundbreaking for The Bridge. A company that is trying to launch people into Mars. They would like to colonize Mars by the year 2029. The Bridge offers Nikki a PR job. They force her to confront her biggest fear. Talking to Thomas “Lee” Harvey. She had nightmares about him. Once she confronts him it makes her feel better. After that she breaks up with her boyfriend of four years. She ends up meeting her favorite author Bill Oz at a gala in Watertown, Massachusetts. This book was weird in a good way. Nikki had to go through a lot in this book. The ending of this book makes me want to read on. It had a surprising and shocking conclusion. Although I didn’t know how to feel through a lot of this book either.

Characters: 4 stars out 5. Nikki was still a great character. Since she’s now 21 she has made a lot of changes in her life. She’s grown up, but she’s not the same person she was in the first book. She didn’t make a lot of smart decisions. Like joining the Group the Bridge. She should have thought it through before she joined such a big operation. Also her relationship with her father is growing. Her relationship with her mother is deteriorating. I really didn’t like that. She already came from a broken family.
Adam also started to turn his life around. He became a mall security cop. He had a lot on his plate as well. He knew his father murdered somebody that was bullying him. He ended up joining the Bridge as well. He was stabbed in the back for this company. I was so worried about this poor kid. By the end of the book I am more worried about him.
Bill’s character was entertaining in the beginning. He really started to worry me at the end as well. I loved the fact that he was an author. I also like that he was the love interest for Nikki. Yes, he’s 39, but I liked him all the same. I also loved his son! He was really cute!
The Bridge Group people…hated most of them. I found them to be creepy the whole time. They really freaked me out. I thought there plans were completely insane, but that is completely and totally understandable.

Writing Style: 4 stars out of 5. I did love the intense scenes that Jack wrote in this novel. The ending makes me want to read the third one. I can’t wait for it to be released! 2017 can’t come fast enough.

heroinecoversmash300Angela Auten of New Jersey again on “heroinE”:

Story Line: 5 stars out of 5. This short story was to show the effects of heroin. It just proves how addictive a drug can be. Once you get hooked on it. There is no stopping it from taking over your life. This short story was amazingly written. I loved the twist at the end also. Didn’t really expect it.

Characters: 5 stars out of 5. Evie was able to see that she was ruining her life with heroin. The reason she was able to throw it away was because of a cute little boy with blue eyes.

Writing Style: 5 stars out of 5. Your writing always impresses me Jack. Great read.

Thanks ladies!!!

Jack

The magic of Goodreads

NikkiBlueOne of my favorite things about Goodreads is when a reader takes the time to post real-time reactions to what’s going on in one of my books as they’re making their way through it.
Here’s a fun example from Katie Sholty, who whipped through “Nikki Blue” earlier this month. Her full review follows her in-progress comments:

03/14 7.0% “This reads like Jasper Fforde.”
03/16 21.0% “RUNAWAY FROM THE CULT THAT’S NOT A CULT BUT IS A CULT. RUNAWAY. NOW. NO CHECK IS WORTH THE CREEP FACTOR.”
03/17 37.0% “Virgil reminds me of televangelist that will swindle you out of everything.”
03/17 50.0% “Nikki has blessedly engaged her journalistic brains … don’t put David in his place… if only briefly.”
03/17 57.0% “Chili’s is now serving awkward reunions.”
03/18 64.0% “I have this sick feeling that it’s going to turn into Waco.”
03/20 87.0% “Madmen and fires go together like peanut butter and jelly.”
03/21 95.0% “WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? Maybe if I say it five more times, Bill won’t do the thing.”
03/21 97.0% “Nikki: Just let me cry.” I feel like my heart has just been put in a blender and thrown out into a compost pile.

I give Nikki Blue a solid 3.5/5.

I normally do not start a series in the middle, but the premise of a young journalist confronting a race to Mars among cultists had me intrigued. I figured I could fill in the missing pieces of the previous book. However, I didn’t need to because Jack Chaucer does a wonderful job of leaving bread crumbs about Nikki’s past throughout the first portion of the book. There’s enough information to build a picture of Nikki thwarting a school shooting plot. These bits of information were a godsend and not redundant play by play summary.

I freely admit to making mistakes in my early 20’s, which is why I gave Nikki some slack. But I still wanted to throttle her for much of the first part of the book. There are mistakes, and then there are the mistakes that will and can ruin you. Get rich quick schemes fall into the latter. Her reasoning to leave her job after only a few days made me set the book down. I couldn’t justify her actions in my head other than The Bridge offered that nice bonus with little work entailed, which sadly speaks to America’s work ethic.

The POV switch in the second half of the book is a bit jarring. I was cozily nestled into Nikki’s POV, and switch took me a bit get into. Roger’s perspective almost felt needless until the end. In a way, it did help show how the Bridge was changing Nikki, but I also found myself speed reading through his chapters. Steve, Nikki’s short lived coworker, came at Nikki with hard hitting questions. I wish he would have kept coming at her so that she could regain her journalistic senses sooner. Steve, even though he had that crush on her, was a voice of reason… a much needed and welcomed voice.

One of my favorite moments happened towards the end between Nikki and Roger. “This is a burning building for me right now… just so you know.” Even through all their years of dysfunction and non-communication, Nikki still finds a way to reach out and ask him for help, and it is in a way that only Roger could interpret. No matter how old you are, you still need your dad sometimes. It was a much needed respite in a sea of chaos.

Random Questions I Have After Reading:

Adam. How did he get a security job after being in prison for a conspiracy to be involved in a school shooting? Security companies tend to frown upon that.

Can we send Nikki’s mom to Mars by herself? The woman needs a Xanax.

Why would you go to Mars when Doctor Who clearly taught us to avoid it all costs?

All in all, Nikki Blue is an intriguing read. It’s fast paced, and makes you see behind that curtain in how religious/political organizations run, and it’ll make you sick and a little crazy.

5-star love for Nikki Blue in Illinois …

mybooksathickoryHere’s the kind of 5-star review Jack Chaucer loves to read.

Christina Jackson, 20, of Shawneetown, Illinois, posted this on Goodreads on Feb. 7 about “Nikki Blue: Source of Trouble,” the sequel to “Streaks of Blue”:

“This book was a great read. I was overwhelmed with the emotions of the characters. I felt I was a character myself and that I was there experiencing it all. I found it to be enthralling and a very unpredictable sequel. I commend Chaucer and hope to read more by him soon.”

As a side note, Chaucer lived in Freeport, Illinois, from 1991-93. He worked as a sportswriter at the Freeport Journal-Standard newspaper. Good times.