Thursday, December 2, 2021

NBTM Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Mars Wars Series by John Andrew Karr @johnandrewkarr1 @GoddessFish

Mars Wars Series:

Detonation Event (Mars Wars Book 1)

by John Andrew Karr

GENRE: Science Fiction


For decades the Space Consortium of America has searched for new ways to harvest resources beyond an increasingly depleted Earth. The ultimate plan is about to be ignited. So is the ultimate threat to humankind . . .


Battle-hardened Captain Ry Devans and his crew of the Mars Orbiter Station One (MOS-1) are part of a bold plan: resurrect the active molten cores of the Red Planet with synchronized thermonuclear explosions, and terraform the hell out of that iron-oxide rock for future generations. It’ll change history. So will the strands of carbon-based Martian cells that have hitched a ride on the ship.

Dr. Karen Wagner knows the microbes’ resistance to virus is incredible. It’s the unknowable that’s dicey. Her orders: blow them into space. But orders can be undermined. Two vials have been stolen and sent hurtling toward the biosphere. For Devans and Wagner, ferreting out the saboteurs on board is only the beginning. Because there are more of them back on Earth—an army of radical eco-terrorists anxious to create a New World Order with a catastrophic gift from Mars.

Now, one-hundred-and-forty-million miles away from home, Devans is feeling expendable, betrayed, a little adrift, and a lot wild-eyed. But space madness could be his salvation—and Earth’s. He has a plan. And he’ll have to be crazy to make it work.

Purchase Detonation Event on Amazon


From Destination Event, Mars Wars, Book 1

Take the shot!” Hamilton’s voice, excited in his ears. “You’re at seventy yards between. That’s easy range for the atomizer.”

Yeah, thanks, but I’m not exactly a sniper, Ham. And it’s not even a rifle, okay?”

At fifty yards he unbuttoned the holster and drew the atomizer, aimed, and fired a single pulse. The white fluorescent laser beams snaked out and missed, just above the rounded beetle hull of the repair drone. Its long arms went into motion, as if it were alive and realized it was under attack. Tendrils of laser-encased hyper-vibration streaked for Wagner’s face shield.

Whoa!” he cried, ducking low so the ray passed overhead.

What was that?” Hamilton asked.

Trent swerved in his descent spiral as another bolt lit the tunnel. He shot back, and one of the drone’s arms fell from a missing socket. A hit, but not debilitating. “Guess who also has an atomizer?”

The drone is firing back?” Ham said incredulously.

Somebody’s hacked the crap out of this thing!”

Thought the operating system got messed up and it went rogue.”

Well, the rogue must have artificial intelligence, or it’s a pure hack…It’s fired atomizer slugs at me twice now!”

Repair drones don’t have AI. Kill it and return to the surface!”

He took aim, but the atomizer fixed to his opponent’s arm glowed before his own. He had a split second to dive to the side or a third beam would have put a hole in the size of a fist through his torso. The board, obeying the relative position of the computer on his forearm, went into a side spin. He countered and fixed on the drone, but it kept a relative position directly beneath him now. Soon it would open fire, and he was vulnerable. He rolled his forearm. Now the board was overhead, and he hung beneath it like a space bat, if there were such creatures. He fired three quick blasts as it aimed its own tool-turned-weapon.

A flash of sparks, and the drone sheared in half, then quarters. Pieces of it flickered, then faded.

Boom, baby!” Wagner shouted.

He rolled his forearm hard left and stood on the board and balanced, then hovered after a few more adjustments. He watched as residual glowing pieces fell beyond the nearby relay. “It’s dead, Ham!”

All right! Great stuff! Now get the hell up here!”

Roger that.”

And please leave the twentieth century down there,” she added.

That was uncalled for, Senator,” he said, with a laugh.

No crap, Trent, you have to get moving. You’re five miles down.”

He heard her swallow.

Up! he thought.

He flew upward and soon passed the four-mile mark. At the third mile the drone board flashed red and slowed its ascent.

Not optimal, he thought.


You’re doin’ great, Trent.”

Now you’ve really got me worried.”

Only now? Why?”

I don’t think you’ve used my first name this much, ever. Oh, yeah, and my ride’s ion supply is spent.”

He kicked out of the board as it gave its last bit of ion energy. It fell away in the darkness, red lights glowing down the abyss. Warnings sounded in his helmet and the jet pack flashed red around the tunnel walls. He considered activating his boot jets but nixed it. They were the last-ditch option. He didn’t want to use them until the others gave out.

Fresh sweat broke out on his forehead. “Uh, you said something about another drone board?”

I’ve got it flying like a plasma bullet a half mile from your position, kid,” Captain Devans said, his voice, tight with tension.

Hey CapD, this is a private channel.” Trent’s belly tightened as he dropped down a few feet as the pack drive sputtered, stabilized, then sputtered some more. He swore and backed off the speed.

Captain’s prerogative,” Devans said. “Hang on! Second drone’s coming.”

Thanks. I don’t know how much longer…This was still worth it, you know.” A tremble had entered his voice.

Shut up and just hover instead of climbing,” Devans said. “Let the board come to you.”

The jet pack increased the flickering of the red warning flashes and decibel level of the alarm now, as Trent leveled out to hover. He looked up. He thought he could see a pinpoint of light way up there. The jet pack gasped, sputtered, and quit. He plummeted in a sickening free fall. He touched a button on his suit.

Boot jet time!” Wagner said and leveled out once more, then slowly climbed. It wouldn’t be enough to take him to the surface, however.

Drone?” he asked.

It’s coming, it’s coming!” Hamilton said.

Hang on, Wagner! I’ve got it closing on you,” Devans said.

He flew upward another few moments, then the pressure vanished from his boots. The ion jets were done, probably quit early from his antics at the mouth of the tunnel.

Free fall.

His stomach lurched. This wasn’t drone riding at Lunar One for kicks. This was the calculated risk where Death shows his cards and laughs. Trent held his arms out at an angle, fought to stabilize. He forced his eyes to remain open and scan upward. Searching. Searching.

Status, Wagner?” Devans said.

Not…too…good,” he grunted. “Jets…all done.”

You’re falling! God!” Hamilton said.

Hang on, Wagner! The board’s coming faster than your fall. Get ready!”

His helmet lights illuminated the rush of tunnel wall.

A plunging glow from above. New lights! A rectangular outline was coming fast.

He grabbed at the board, but it shot past him. His gloved fingers swept the surface.

Slow it a little!” Wagner said.

Getting beneath you,” Devans returned.

Wagner’s breath got knocked out as he struck the drone squarely on his back and nearly rolled off trying to grab hold. “I’m on! Got it! Got it!”

Cheers through the comm link.

On his belly now, with legs too shaky to try to stand, Trent flew upward on the second board, this time straight up. The tiny light above grew larger and larger. Two shadows appeared in front of it, and the helmet lights of two forms came toward him. The identity text labels of Hamilton and Devans came up on his face shield.

Are you two star-shined? Don’t come down here!” Wagner said.

Wagner, please,” Hamilton said.

They slowed, hovered above Wagner’s rising position, then matched the board’s upward speed. They grabbed the retention rail at each side of the board and set their jet thrusters on high.

Enough tunnel diving…Let’s get the hell out of here,” Devans said. “Wagner, link this drone board to your forearm computer.”

A few seconds passed. “Got it, Cap.”

Okay, I’m breaking off my link.”

Upward they flew. Wagner grinned at his companions.

Don’t give me that crap,” Hamilton said.

Come on, Ham, you gotta admit it’s pretty cool.”


Devans shook his head back and forth inside the helmet. “It’ll be cool when we get back in the shuttle and on our way to MOS-1 for the Detonation Event, surfer boy. By the way, you saved the mission, but never risk your life for equipment unless it’s life or death.”

Wagner smiled. “This mission is about mortality. It’s the only shot Mars has at life again.”

We all want success, but let’s agree it’s a very long shot,” Devans said. “Calculated risk should involve better odds.”

Got that right,” Hamilton said.

Wagner’s smile faded as bright light moved back and forth over the tunnel mouth, casting moving shadows of the rim. “What’s up with the lights?”

Devans squinted upward. “Nuro, why is the shuttle in motion?”

No answer.

Nuro, Klemmet, what the hell’s going on with the shuttle?”

No answer.

Somebody give me a damn status up there!”

No answer. From anyone.

The light danced back over the tunnel in sweeps of varying intensity, and glimpses of a spinning and shuddering PS-9 could be made out as the tunnel mouth grew wider and wider as they flew for the surface.

Burroughs, what the hell is happening? Burroughs!”

They’re not on this private freq,” Hamilton said, looking over Wagner’s prone body on the drone board at Devans. “You hacked your way through.”

Another form rose above the edge of the tunnel, ion jets glowing on her back. She frantically waved them upward.

Hold on, I see Burroughs,” Devans said. “Changing freq to public. You two do the same. Keep pushing up!”

His mouth moved, the veins on the side of his neck bulged, and his eyes glared as he kept staring upward. Wagner changed his frequency with a verbal command and picked up the conversation between Devans and Burroughs.

Nobody’s replying to my hails! Nine goes up two hundred feet, out a half mile, down to bounce off the surface, then back into a spinning swing!” Burroughs said, her voice tense to contain the note of panic.

Navigation’s degraded or gone. Describe the tail section,” Devans said.

White hot! There are cracks all over the hull and smoke’s streaming out! Ry—Cap—it’s horrible!”

Through the face shield Wagner saw shock on Devans’s face; then his features hardened. “The nuke drive is in overload! Crew of PS-9, abandon ship. Repeat, abandon ship!”

No replies.

Book Trailer:

Rogue Planet, Mars Wars, Book 2

Purchase Rogue Planet on Amazon


Interview with John Andrew Karr

Do you have any tattoos? Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?

I have two tattoos. One armband on my left bicep, and one on my right shoulder that is my writing tattoo; quill, ink blotter, skull and parchment. The first was twenty five years ago, the second was about three years ago.

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?

Some things like writing and working a day job and working out are similar, but covid has changed the world significantly in many horrible ways, including political overreach.

How long have you been writing?

About thirty years now, mostly daily.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Write regularly, submit somewhere, get used to rejection, learn along the way. Enjoy acceptance. Learn and grow. If you're in it to get rich, you'll likely be disappointed.

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

A significant amount of Annihilation Plan (Mars Wars Book 3) takes place on Earth in the not-so-distant future.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

From his home in Wilmington, North Carolina, John Andrew Karr (also John A. Karr) writes of the strange and spectacular. He is the author of a handful of independent and small press novels and novellas, and also leaves in his wake a trail of short stories.

Website ~ Amazon ~ Twitter ~ Instagram


$50 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Kim said...

This sounds interesting.

Sherry said...

Great cover and the book sounds good.

Rita Wray said...

I liked the excerpt.

John Karr said...

Thanks for hosting my sci fi tales! And also appreciate the comments from everyone.

traciem said...

What inspires your book plots?

Stormy Vixen said...

Great interview and excerpt, nice trailer, John, I enjoyed following the tour and learning about the Mars Wars Series, which sounds like thrilling, adrenaline pumping read excitement for me to enjoy! Good luck with your books and I hope the tour was a success! Thanks for brining them to my attention and and have an awesome day!