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“In the Shadow of Ares” – Now Available!

“In the Shadow of Ares” (formerly known around here as “Labyrinth of Night”) is now available for download at

In 2029, the third exploration mission to Mars vanishes without a trace. Two decades later, the success of human settlement of Mars and the life of a young girl hinge on the secret of what happened to the Ares III mission.

Twenty years later, Mars is a growing outpost of humanity, and 14-year-old settler Amber Jacobsen is a minor interplanetary celebrity – ‘the First Kid on Mars’.  Pioneering Mars is hard, unglamorous work, though, and Amber secretly wishes she were just an ordinary girl living on Earth.

When her family’s homestead is destroyed in an apparent accident, the Jacobsens relocate to an independent settlement located on the northern fringes of Noctis Labyrinthus, a vast and largely unexplored canyonland.  Their new home promises new opportunities, and Amber looks forward to being just another member of the community. Instead, the other settlers dismiss her as a burdensome child and refuse to accept her as the responsible young adult she has become.

In order to prove the value of her unique knowledge and perspective, Amber vows to uncover the fate of the Ares III mission, whose loss had largely been forgotten in the rush of the Martian settlement boom.  But this seemingly harmless challenge thrusts her into a deadly conflict: those who know the truth will kill to keep it hidden, while those who destroyed her family’s homestead would use the secret to secure their dominance over all of Mars.

In solving the mystery, Amber could destroy everything the Martian settlers have worked to create.

It’s priced at an affordable $6.99, and would make a wonderful Christmas present for the science fiction reader or young adult on your shopping list. Especially if you’re buying them a Kindle or they already own one (remember, you can also download the free Kindle app for various electronic platforms if you/they don’t have a Kindle reader).

While I’m going to be occupied for much of the weekend with writing a business plan and attending Christmas parties, I do expect to get the blog at up and running again in the next few days. We will use that forum to discuss the book, the backstory, etc.

7 comments to “In the Shadow of Ares” – Now Available!

  • Congratulations! When you have time, can you tell me if it has any relation to Labyrinth of Night? A re-write, expansion, or independent work. Thanks. Looking forward to the new website.

  • Mark R. Whittington

    Tom, first off, congratulations for getting your Mars book done and published. Second, I notice that there isn’t a description on the Amazon Page. If you haven’t already, go to the action button for your book in the bookshelf section of your Amazon Digital Account, click on it, and then click on Change Book Desccription. The subsequent screen has an area to insert a book description that wull go on the Amazon page.

    In any event, good luck on sales. Isn’t the Kindle great?!

  • It is actually the same book. We debated renaming it for several months, seeing as how there are a dozen or so other books set on Mars with that name, and finally settled on the new name last weekend.

  • That’s because I rushed it a bit, I think. The description went in with the book submission, but the publishing site says that it may take up to 48 hrs to propagate to the product page.

  • Looks like it’s posted now.

  • Sandie

    Got my Kindle at 12:30 last night and downloaded the book five minutes later!