17 more reasons to be blue

There are 17 more reasons to be blue after what happened in Florida today. Sadly, Nikki’s poem, “Streaks of Blue,” from my 2013 novel of the same name, still applies today …

“Red, white and …
Streaks of blue
Far off the path
I search for truth

Live free or die
A state of beauty
Will we be next
To look to the sky
And find more stars
Than the night just passed?
Lessons never learned
The youngest of souls
Pay with their lives
So for them I cry

The rain in my heart
Soaks every ring
This paper on which I write
Once was a sapling
So young and new
But now it’s a vessel
On a lake
Beneath a cloud
And onto it flow
My streaks of blue

Again and again
More trees fall
No not me
But it might as well be
For I die with them

As the view gets clearer
And the truth gets nearer
I am sad to discover
That we truly are lost
So I look in the mirror
And dye my hair blue
So I brook through the mountains
And keep my heart true

I’ll blaze a new trail
No matter the cost
One without labels
One that is just
Souls are for saving
While we’re still walking
So strap on your packs
Your hopes, your boots
And keep your eyes open
For my streaks of blue

Yes, I’ll blaze a new trail
A path for the lost.”

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Streaks of Blue readers have now donated $223.98 to the Newtown Memorial Fund

StreaksOfBlue_ebook (1)Another donation was made today. Half of all proceeds from this book go to the Newtown Memorial Fund in a tribute to the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting three years ago today. Find out more about the fund and how it helps the families here … http://newtownmemorialfund.org

And the third book will be …

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StreaksOfBlue_ebook (1)“Nikki White: Frozen Upside Down”

That’s my working title as I prepare to take all these ideas in my head and begin charting the course for the third book in the series, which likely will span four books and could end up as a “Nikki: Red, White and Blue” omnibus edition when all is said and done.

I’ll have Damon Za do a whole new cover scheme for Nikki White, so that should be an interesting process.

For now, I’ll let Nikki offer a teaser for the third book:

“The Bridge is an awful company that has forced me to do great things in amazing places … even alongside my former would-be killer. He should still be in prison. Instead he’s seized an opportunity to turn his life around. He might even get the previously unthinkable chance to make another world better than the one he was born into.”

The “Nikki Blue: Source of Trouble” paperback is available now for $14.99 at the Amazon link below or you can pre-order the Kindle edition ($3.99) for its Oct. 9th release also at the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/Nikki-Blue-Source-Trouble-2/dp/1515128954/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442795043&sr=1-1&keywords=Nikki+Blue

Nikki and Virgil from the chapter “The Other Kind of Auditing”

Adobe Photoshop PDFNikki’s POV

“What’s your biggest fear as we sit here today? Can you single one out that is weighing you down or freaking you out?” Virgil asked, lacing his fingers together and pressing them against his lips. Clearly it was my turn to talk and I had his undivided attention. His determined brown eyes met mine and never looked away as I talked.

“My biggest fear? I’d have to say … Thomas ‘Lee’ Harvey. He wanted me dead almost four years ago. He shot me. I got lucky … I am lucky to be alive right now. But he’s sitting in his prison cell up in New Hampshire probably thinking of ways to break out and get revenge on me for messing up his plan to kill us all. I’m the one who got his best friend to betray him and back out. Adam testified against him to get a short sentence. I’m sure he wants to kill us both. He’s supposed to be in jail for another 20 years or so.”

Virgil removed his clasped hands from his mouth.

“Thank you for being honest about your biggest fear, Nicole. I’m sure it’s not easy talking about him.”

“No, it’s torture. I don’t have nightmares about him as much as I used to, but I still do.”

“How often?”

“It varies. Sometimes none for a few weeks. Sometimes I’ll dream about him three times in one week.”

“What you’re experiencing is completely normal,” Virgil said. “You went through a very traumatic event and this is the post-traumatic stress and emotions from that.”

“Is there a magic wand in your Scientology tool box to get rid of it?”

“Not specifically, but I do have a risky idea in mind that could yield high rewards. It would take a lot of courage and strength to pull off, but I can help make it happen if you’re willing to try.”

“What’s that?”

“I say we confront Thomas ‘Lee’ Harvey and show him who’s boss in this situation,” Virgil said, exuding confidence that I was definitely not feeling. In fact, I gasped at the thought.

“I say no effing way.”

“You wouldn’t have to face him in person,” he pressed on undeterred. “Most prisoners are allowed to use Skype these days. I would have to get clearance from the prison warden, but our company can be quite persuasive when it wants to be.”

“Even if I did, and I don’t, why the hell would he want to talk to me?”

“All we can do is ask.”

“You think having me looking this homicidal maniac in the eyes again is going to help stop my nightmares and fears? It’ll only make them worse,” I said. “I don’t want to ever see his face again.”

“But you are still seeing him and fearing him. It’s affecting your quality of life. What if we look at this as an opportunity. You get a chance to vent at the person who shot you, who tried to kill you, directly. What a release that would be for you. And maybe, just maybe — with all this time that has passed to think about what he almost did to you and your classmates — he’ll have some perspective on why he did what he did. He’s not the same person he was in 2014 when he shot you, just like you’re not the same person you were then. A lot can happen in a young person’s brain between 17 or 18 years old and 21, 22. I’m not saying Thomas will be some reformed angel by now, but I’d be willing to bet he’s at least slightly more mature. I’d also be willing to bet he’s starved for interaction, especially with people from the outside world.”

“I’m sure he is. And I don’t want to give him that. He put a bullet through me. Isn’t that enough?”

From “Nikki Blue: Source of Trouble”
Pub date: 10-9-15
ARC date: Available now on NetGalley

Two years ago today …

13_FEA_111213BF03 Another reminder to hug the women and children in our lives a little tighter. RIP Sandy Hook 26. “Streaks of Blue” readers have now donated $183.96 to the Newtown Memorial Fund (link below). Great story by my colleague Paul Singley today about Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung’s daughter. http://rep-am.com/news/local/849388.txt

http://newtownmemorialfund.org/

A little love from Texas …

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Wicked cool review of “Streaks of Blue” by Whitney Martin of Abilene, Texas, today on Goodreads, Amazon and her blog http://shootingstarsreviews.blogspot.com/2014/02/streaks-of-blue-by-jack-chaucer.html She’s also the first reader so far who wanted to see the main characters hook up.

“This story is different from any story I’ve ever read. I loved Nikki. She was an awesome character, and I really respected her bravery in this book. I also really liked Adam even though he was pretty messed up. I felt like these two started an awesome friendship. And this book really does show how hard it is to be a teenager, and lot of the really hard things in life no one wants to see. I loved how the author portrayed everything in the book. The only thing that I wish would have happened is Nikki and Adam would have become more than friends. But alas that didn’t happen but it was still a really good book! Kudos to the author for doing so well on such a hard topic!”