MARS COLONY AGATHA: NIKKI RED … cover reveal!

Amazing job as usual by Damon Freeman and his crew down in New Zealand of capturing my concept for the cover of this novel, just as they’ve done for the first three books in my Nikki Janicek series, which has traveled from Lakes of the Clouds Hut in the White Mountains of New Hampshire all the way to deep space, and many interesting places in between.

The release date for the Amazon paperback and e-book of MARS COLONY AGATHA: NIKKI RED has been bumped up to November 1st! Here’s the blurb:

Nicole Janicek already has stared down a high school shooter, a cult of criminal ex-Scientologists and six months of frigid darkness at South Pole Station in her young life, but now she risks it all attempting to ride a rocket to Mars in 2022. After the Red One mission quickly aborts in the skies over the North Sea, Nikki gets a surprise phone call from Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. What follows is a euphoric, historic, tragic and heroic mission to establish Mars Colony A, dubbed by some in the media as “Mars Colony Agatha” when misfortune strikes. While doubters predict the perilous mission will morph into “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie, Nikki and her crew are determined to write their own story. Through it all, Nikki is surprised to learn how strong her connection to those she loved on Earth remains despite the chasm of time and space.

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Elon Musk stars in MARS COLONY AGATHA …

“I’m sure there are some people out there just rooting for our epic failure, rooting for the headline to say, ‘And Then There Were None’ … but I’m betting on my crew to outlive every one of them. Soon Mars will be full of human life, and no clever little media cowards will be part of that.” — SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, starring in the upcoming novel, MARS COLONY AGATHA: NIKKI RED by Jack Chaucer

Writing and editing complete. 50,995 words
Next: Formatting and conjuring a cover with Damonza of South Africa
Publication date: 1-1-20

Book blurb for MARS COLONY AGATHA: NIKKI RED (NIKKI #4) by Jack Chaucer

Nicole Janicek already has stared down a high school shooter, a cult of criminal ex-Scientologists and six months of frigid darkness at South Pole Station in her young life, but now she risks it all attempting to ride a rocket to Mars in 2022. After the Red One mission quickly aborts in the skies over the North Sea, Nikki gets a surprise phone call from Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. What follows is a euphoric, historic, tragic and heroic mission to establish Mars Colony A, dubbed by some in the media as “Mars Colony Agatha” when misfortune strikes. While doubters predict the perilous mission will morph into “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie, Nikki and her crew are determined to write their own story. Through it all, Nikki is surprised to learn how strong her connection to those she loved on Earth remains despite the chasm of time and space.

… COMING JANUARY 1, 2020

Jan. 1, 2020 release for MARS COLONY AGATHA

At last, I have completed the story for MARS COLONY AGATHA: NIKKI RED. I’m flipping the title around for this final installment of the four-book series to emphasize Mars more from a marketing standpoint, though Nikki continues to be the MC as she has been for the entire series.

Now that the story is complete and there should be plenty of time for editing and polishing this summer, and the formatting/cover shortly after that, I’m moving up the anticipated release date to January 1, 2020. Why not kick off the next decade in style? This story is set from 2022-2026, just a few years ahead of what’s happening now, and Elon Musk and his Starship/Crew Dragon definitely have a major role to play in this book.

I’ve already posted the chapter titles for the first two parts of the book. Here they are for the third and final part:

MARS COLONY AGATHA: NIKKI RED
BY JACK CHAUCER
PART 3
CHAPTER 32: Distant Early Warning (a little shout-out to Rush!)
CHAPTER 33: Water and Wine
CHAPTER 34: Full Medical Disclosure
CHAPTER 35: Lifesaver
CHAPTER 36: Don’t Call Me Betty
CHAPTER 37: Sea Hag’s Secret
CHAPTER 38: Prescription Laughter
CHAPTER 39: The Perfect Sandstorm
CHAPTER 40: Fourth Rock from the Sun
CHAPTER 41: Captain Uranus
CHAPTER 42: Dearly Beloved
CHAPTER 43: Population Twenty-three
CHAPTER 44: Aggy
Total words: 50,955

Nikki and the crew view spring geysers at the Martian South Pole

Parts 1 and 2 of NIKKI RED: MARS COLONY AGATHA are written, Part 3 still to go. It’s been a trip, pun intended, trying to conjure up the future just a few years ahead of reality.

Here’s an excerpt from the Martian South Pole …

Sept. 22, 2023
Planum Australe, Mars

They bounced west, two space trucks weaving and wobbling up rough terrain until they parked side by side atop a broad and exposed mesa. Down below, a sea of geysers spouted salty, brackish sand in spider-web patterns all over the glazed polar cap.
This was the true South Pole, shedding more of its white with each sol as the late-spring sun climbed in the Martian sky and warmed the CO2 gas until it erupted through vents in the surface, creating thousands of sand sprinklers across the panorama.
Scientists on Earth were aware of them, observed their dark deposits against the ice in blurry satellite images, wrote articles about them and conjured up illustrations from their overactive imaginations.
But Nikki, Sunny, Jo and Pluto just had to step out of their trucks, crunch their black boots to the edge of the overlook and stare west.
This show was reserved for Martians only.

31 chapters are now complete:

PART 1
CHAPTER 1: An International Chorus
CHAPTER 2: Epic Decision
CHAPTER 3: A Long, Long Way
CHAPTER 4: The Link
CHAPTER 5: Red Zeppelin
CHAPTER 6: Parking Lot Reunion
CHAPTER 7: Sisters in Space
CHAPTER 8: No Softballs
CHAPTER 9: Last Supper on Earth
CHAPTER 10: Mars is a Lucky Guy
CHAPTER 11: Dancing with the Stars
CHAPTER 12: Space High

PART 2
CHAPTER 13: Black Aces
CHAPTER 14: Song Inside a Letter Box
CHAPTER 15: Hazed
CHAPTER 16: What Now Genius?
CHAPTER 17: 12-Story Horror
CHAPTER 18: No Further Communication
CHAPTER 19: Is Matt Damon Here?
CHAPTER 20: This is Mars
CHAPTER 21: Backflip and Cartwheel
CHAPTER 22: No Interplanetary Sexting
CHAPTER 23: Ups and Downs
CHAPTER 24: Agatha F. Christie
CHAPTER 25: The First Cemetery
CHAPTER 26: Dome of The Rising Sun
CHAPTER 27: Badge
CHAPTER 28: Throwback Girl
CHAPTER 29: Space Truckin’
CHAPTER 30: Sucker Punch
CHAPTER 31: For Martians Only
Words completed: 33,544

A planet without lawyers …

Just completed Chapter 26 for my upcoming novel, “NIKKI RED: MARS COLONY AGATHA.” Here’s a little tease from that chapter …

After entering the airlock, testing the seals and checking the pressure levels with a wand gauge, Pluto smiled and waved his wand at the three women from a little square window on one wall. Jo stepped up the small ramp, pushed the red button on the door and it slid open.
The four astronauts soon laughed and embraced after the airlock shut tight, the pressure changed to a human-friendly level and they prepared to enter their new home on Mars.
“Hey, our real estate agent never showed up!” Sunny cracked.
“Yeah, no lawyers either for the closing!” Jo added.
“Lawyers? Wow. I’d already forgotten all about lawyers,” Pluto mused.
“A planet without lawyers,” Nikki pondered. “Amazing.”
A second later, the airlock’s inner door opened automatically and they charged ahead like schoolchildren being let out for recess.
With inadequate solar power thus far and their multi-umbrella-shaped nuclear-powered heat field not erected yet, three of the astronauts were wise enough to keep their warm helmets on while celebrating.
But Pluto couldn’t help himself.
He reveled in what they had built despite being down two men. He pointed toward the sun shining through the diamond-ice dome, popped off his helmet and sang with gusto:

“There is … a dome … on Mars
They call The Rising Sun …”

The extreme temperature quickly turned Pluto’s bluesy vocals into blue lips, so he restored his helmet and rejoined the ladies as they planted their gloves into the frosty ground, and spun into some light-gravity, light-hearted cartwheels.
Concussion syndrome be damned.
It was move-in day on Mars.

26 chapters are now complete:

PART 1
CHAPTER 1: An International Chorus
CHAPTER 2: Epic Decision
CHAPTER 3: A Long, Long Way
CHAPTER 4: The Link
CHAPTER 5: Red Zeppelin
CHAPTER 6: Parking Lot Reunion
CHAPTER 7: Sisters in Space
CHAPTER 8: No Softballs
CHAPTER 9: Last Supper on Earth
CHAPTER 10: Mars is a Lucky Guy
CHAPTER 11: Dancing with the Stars
CHAPTER 12: Space High

PART 2
CHAPTER 13: Black Aces
CHAPTER 14: Song in a Letter Box
CHAPTER 15: Hazed
CHAPTER 16: What Now Genius?
CHAPTER 17: 12-Story Horror
CHAPTER 18: No Further Communication
CHAPTER 19: Is Matt Damon Here?
CHAPTER 20: This is Mars
CHAPTER 21: Backflip and Cartwheel
CHAPTER 22: No Interplanetary Sexting
CHAPTER 23: Ups and Downs
CHAPTER 24: Agatha F. Christie
CHAPTER 25: The First Cemetery
CHAPTER 26: Dome of The Rising Sun

Words completed: 27,300

Work begins on Nikki Red: Mars Colony Agatha

Jack Chaucer wants to write a NIKKI RED to go along with the previously published NIKKI WHITE (2017) and NIKKI BLUE (2015), as well as the prequel STREAKS OF BLUE (2013), so he has begun toiling on the opening scenes from the fourth book. It will pick up right where NIKKI WHITE: POLAR EXTREMES left off, in the skies over the North Sea on Sept. 8, 2022.

Let’s just say things won’t be going as Nikki had expected, per usual.

The goal is to have this one published by July 4, 2020 — so very Red, White and Blue — well before humans actually set foot on Mars.

So far, there is a two-part PROLOGUE featuring Nikki and Thomas in one part, and South Pole legend Sam “Snowbow” Archambeau in the second part.

There’s also CHAPTER 1: AN INTERNATIONAL CHORUS and CHAPTER 2: EPIC DECISION, starring Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX.

The first line of Chapter 1 will be a short one … “Scheisse!”

That’s the German word for “shit.”

Stay tuned …