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Please welcome author Nicole Grotepas with a clever, creative guest blog that takes you right into the pages of her new release, BLUE HEARTS OF MARS. Nicole, take it away!

Blue Hearts of Mars: 10 Things to See and Do

What is there to see and do in Blue Hearts of Mars? So. Much. I’ll give you ten, though I could list thousands. Hundreds of thousands. Er. Hundreds, at least.

First off, Blue Hearts of Mars takes place on Mars. Who doesn’t want to go to Mars? OK, I mean, without a guarantee of arrival, I wouldn’t go to Mars either. But in my fantasies? I’m there already!

1 – Tour the library in New Helsinki. Book lovers! History fiends! Museum addicts! The library isn’t just for books these days. Check out the robotics exhibit to get a taste of the history of androids. Stroll through the history-makers wax statue section. Nothing creepy about wax statues, right?

2 – Ride the space elevator! Need an adrenalin fix? Look no further! The space elevator has practical uses, but when you’re feeling claustrophobic from life under the dome, take a trip out to the space elevator platform and catch a ride space-side.

3 – Ride the rails! See Mars as it was always meant to be seen: by train! If you thought it would be fun to cross Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway, imagine crossing the Amazonis Planitia (Amazon Plain) on your way to New Philadelphia from New Helsinki!

4 – See the rock gardens of New Tokyo. If you love the American southwest, you’ll adore the wind-carved canyons of New Tokyo. These naturally occurring arches, swells, and caverns are right in the middle of the city. It’s New Tokyo’s own Central Park, but without all the boring horse-drawn carriages, pigeons, and winter ice-skating.

5 – Watch a performance in the New Sydney opera house. A replica of the Sydney Opera House, the settlers of New Sydney even created a vast reservoir to complement the beautiful architecture of this landmark building.

6 – Tour the rice paddies of New Tokyo. Who wants to leave behind such a staple of Asia? Built on gentle slopes near the outskirts of the New Tokyo dome, these features unique to New Tokyo require enormous amounts of water, which is pulled from the subterranean ice.

7 – Go for a walk around the Vents of New Helsinki (may be a reason to NOT visit, depends on your mood and the time of day). Retta’s city is heated by geothermal currents rising from crevasses in the Martian crust. Replete with catwalks, platforms, and cooling towers, the Vents are an awe-inspiring geological feature.

8 – See the melted ice sheet of Neuholland! Glaciers! Fields of grain! Tulips! Ice climbing! Scuba-diving! And if that doesn’t entice you, just remember that the Dutch have managed to reclaim twenty-seven percent of their land from the North Sea on Earth. Imagine what they can do on Mars to reclaim water!

9 – Go for a spa week on one of the luxury space-cruise lines. Is anyone not into spas? It’s pure indulgence. And in space, no less.

10 – Watch Phobos, the larger of the two moons, rise in the west. Wha’? Gasp! Yes, you heard me right! Mars has two moons. Deimos is very small and appears with about the same brightness as Venus does in Earth’s night sky. Phobos is slightly larger and rises in the west. Its rotation around Mars is really fast, as well. Cool! You could feasibly watch Phobos rise and set a few times in one day.

That’s it. Totally rocks, doesn’t it? I hope to see you in New Helsinki soon!


Blue Hearts of Mars

Retta Heikkinen knows the unspoken rule of society: love between androids and humans is forbidden. A simple enough edict until Hemingway Koskinen spends an evening charming her with his intense gaze, bewitching smile, and sparkling conversation that hints at so much more than the usual obsessions of high school boys. Rules were meant to be cast aside, especially when love beckons.

If only it were as simple as being in love.

Trouble is brewing, not just for Hemingway–for all androids. Secrets have been kept, lies propagated, and Retta soon discovers that a frightening future awaits thousands of androids if she doesn’t do something to stop it. Worse yet, she will lose the one love she’s ever endangered herself for: Hemingway.


“Nothing like I’ve read before. A true original story! Everything is so well described. Now if they could make a follow up book and movie, that would be great!” ~Mrs. Z (Amazon)

“I was addicted to this book from the beginning. Life on Mars was very real and not at all a sci fi world I didn’t understand . . . I found myself rooting for Retta and Hemingway from the very beginning. Easy reading, couldn’t put it down and had it read in a weekend. Waiting for a sequel!” ~TNielsen (Amazon)

“The ending of this book is exceptional. While it was different from what I imagined, the way the author brought in a shocking revelation was amazing. I probably reread the last chapter 3 times letting it sink in and the meaning behind it. It was truly beautiful . . . I would love to see more of Retta and Hemingway!” ~Kat Meyer, (Goodreads)

“I love how the author populated Mars . . . so descriptive and comprehensive . . . I could clearly picture everything as if I was seeing the movie &/or was along for the ride. . . . Retta, the main character, is strong, opinionated, and a great champion for her cause.” ~Megan (Amazon)

“I had been in the worst reading slump ever and came across this on Goodreads and thought I’d give it a try. Well, I was pleasantly surprised on how funny and exciting and mysterious it was . . . Mei, Retta’s bff, had me laughing out loud quite a bit as well as Retta herself. I’d definitely hang out with those two.” ~Deanneluvbooks (Goodreads)

Blue Hearts of Mars has made it to the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Readers are invited to download the excerpts (here) and rate and comment on the entries. So please, if you want to contribute, download and rate Blue Hearts! Your support is incredibly appreciated!
Or purchase the full version of the book here: Amazon

Author Nicole Grotepas

Nicole wrote her first fantasy novel in 7th grade on her mother’s old Brother typewriter. It was never finished but it strongly resembled a Dragonlance plot and she’s forever wondered what happened to the manuscript and Tonathan–the handsome elven protagonist. After living in Nashville where she worked as an editor, she returned to the Utah desert where she was raised. Nicole now lives near the Wasatch mountains with her husband. She writes and raises her son and three cats full time.

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