What Are You Reading This Weekend?

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Mrs. Claus by Studio Duda Art

Mrs. Claus will be in town on Sunday.  She is stopping by the library during our open house on Sunday.  The kids are going to be so excited!

Art available at Society 6.

I started a book that a very nice friend sent to me a while back.  Then I saw that it was available on audiobook through the library consortium.  So I am reading/listening.  Have you ever done that.  I love listening, but sometimes reading is better.

For example, at the beginning of Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, there are a lot of unfamiliar place and people names.  If I listen only, I have a hard time making connections.  But if I see the names in print, everything makes sense.  I am a very visual person, even if I am only looking at letters and punctuation.

Lost Stars is a great tie in to the Star Wars movies, especially II and III.


 

What are you reading this weekend?

The Jakkattu Vector and Avendui 5ive by P.K. Tyler- Two Book Reviews

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Reviews by Riley

I am including two reviews here today. The Jakkattu Vector (4 stars) and Avendui 5ive (5 stars), both by P.K. Tyler. I read the short story Avendui 5ive after reading The Jakkattu Vector and though I think you could read them in any order, I was felt Avendui 5ive was more meaningful because I had read the novel first.

the-jakkattu-vectorAbout The Jakkattu Vector

They came as saviors to a deteriorating Earth.

Julip Torne questions whether there is more to life beyond the barren dirt, acidic seas, and toxstorms her people work and die in. Living in poverty on the withering Greenland Human Reservation, she wonders if the alien Mezna goddesses are truly as holy as the temple preaches.

Meanwhile, Jakkattu prisoner Sabaal suffers constant torture and heinous medical experiments as Mezna-priest captors seek to unlock the key to her genetic makeup. She escapes captivity but ends up alone on the hostile alien planet of Earth. If she is to survive, she must work with the same Mezna-human hybrids she’s loathed her entire life.

When humans and Mezna collide, will Sabaal turn out to be the genetic vector the Mezna have been searching for all along, or will she spark the flame that sets a revolution ablaze?

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Review of The Jakkuttu Vector

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‘They came as saviors to a deteriorating Earth.’ ‘They’ are the Mezna. The aliens from another world that came to save an earth that had been poisoned by its inhabitants. They brought gifts of technology and food. And asked for nothing – except the Mezna females bred with human males in order to create a hybrid race so that Mezna and humans could all live together in peace and happiness. In the Menza cities, hybrids thrive and are served by the series Teks, who are biomechanically enhanced to serve specific purposes.

Many humans chose not to accept the Mezna. They moved to reservations and live fenced in and separate from the prosperous Mezna cities and humans on other reservations. Life on the reservations led to a matriarchal society and a culture that subtly enforces purity of the race, population control, and technological stagnation.

The Ferals live outside the cities in the Wilds. Thought to be nothing but rabid humans, they are the rejected humans, born different, defective. They call themselves the Undone.

And then there is Sabaal. Sabaal is Jakkattu. The only one on Earth, captured to be studied by the Mezna because they believe her genetic code may has potential to be used to propogate the Mezna race.

The Earth that the author describes is fascinating. With a narration that alternates between characters and locations, the reader has the opportunity to observe life from several points of view. The daily life, their hopes, their troubles and mostly, their questions and the struggle to understand the answers. The two main points of view come from Sabaal and from Julip, a human that lives on a reservation. Seemingly unconnected, events will conspire to bring Sabaal and Julip together along with others in a way that will change their lives forever. Humans, hybrids, Teks, and Undone.

I thought the story was very intriguing. Aspects of the story lead to thoughts of real life problems we have on Earth. The arrival of seemingly benevolent aliens on a dying earth leads me to think about the environmental issues we face on this planet. The bio-mechanically enhanced Teks makes me question how far we should go with technology in real life.

The multiple plot lines and complex characters kept me engaged. Each time the point of view switched, I wanted to groan and go back to the previous person’s story. But each point of view switch also quickly pulled me in. The characters stories were deftly interwoven and eventually merged into a single story line.

This book takes place on Earth, but is called The Jakkattu Vector. So I should not have been surprised that by the end, Earth’s story, which I had become invested in, turned into what seemed to be just a side story for Sabaal. The main Earth characters, including Julip, go through major life-changing events, but, as the reader, I did not feel there was adequate resolution in their conflicts. And at this point in the story, I’m not sure there will be. The end of the book left me frustrated with too many unresolved story lines. I really like the writing, the characters and the concepts, and some readers will be okay with what I consider to be an incomplete story, or as it is otherwise known, cliff-hanger ending.

Read this book if you enjoy aliens with hidden agendas as well as those that are straightforward. Read it if you wonder about what humans are doing to the environment (but don’t look for a solution). Read The Jakkuttu Vector for great drama, characters with depth, and a fascinating vision of Earth.

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Links

Add The Jakkattu Vector to your Goodreads shelf:

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Purchase The Jakkattu Vector from Amazon:

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avendui-5iveAbout Avendui 5ive

Biomechanically enhanced Humans called Series Teks are cogs in the machine of a distant future world. Each Series serves a purpose and Teks are designed, enhanced, and genetically coded to fulfill that role. When Avendui 5ive finds herself unable to perform to expectations, what will become of her? What is the fate of a broken machine, even if they are, underneath it all, still people?

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Review of Avendui 5ive

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At only 62 pages, Avendui 5ive is a short story accompaniment to The Jakkattu Vector. I recommend reading the novel first, to learn about Teks. In the short story, you have the story of two Teks who do the unthinkable – fall in love. Teks don’t love, don’t marry and don’t have families. Reading The Jakkattu Vector will tell you while, but make you wonder why not. Reading Avendui 5ive will renew your faith in the humans that become Teks.

Avendui 5ive may be a short, but the story is huge.

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Links

Add Avendui 5ive to your Goodreads shelf:

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Purchase Avendui 5ive from Amazon:

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Star Survivor – Guest Post by Veronica Scott

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I have a guest here to take over Whiskey With My Book today.  Welcome Veronica Scott!  With a recently released book, Star Survivor, Veronica has a lot to talk about.

star-survivorsStar Survivor Guest Post by Veronica Scott

Thanks for having me as your guest!

As a very newly published author in 2012, I was really flattered when readers began asking me for the sequel to Wreck of the Nebula Dream, which was my “Titanic in space” scifi novel with romantic elements. ( Big luxury interstellar spaceliner suffers catastrophic wreck in space, not enough lifeboats and the adventures piled on from there as my characters struggled to survive and help each other…..) The readers were curious to know what happened next to the two secondary characters Twilka – a rich, entitled society girl – and Khevan – a sexy bodyguard-assassin sworn to serve a very jealous alien goddess. Twilka and Khevan were together at the end of Wreck, last seen taking a spaceship to the mysterious planet of Temple Home, where the Red Lady of the D’nvannae Brotherhood waited. She also had a very powerful sister, the Lady in White, and Khevan and Twika were hoping to get her advice and assistance.

But after their departure from the book toward the end, my focus shifted right back to completing the story of the two main characters, Nick and Mara, and giving them their Happily Ever After.

And…whatever happened next for Twilka and Khevan? Was the path of true love smooth? Was it true love?

Good questions!

I came up with the rudiments of a plot fairly quickly and then never wrote the follow-on book, because it wasn’t satisfying to me, so how could my readers accept it? The whole thing was too simple and settled. Earlier this year I took a different, fresh tack and thought about how these two survivors of the wreck of the Nebula Dream certainly went through a life changing event, but life has a way of wanting to keep you in the already established ruts and roads. Even after an astounding experience and barely escaping death. There’s the job and the bills and…oh, the blood oath Khevan had sworn to the Red Lady when he joined her Order….and Twilka’s fame (notoriety?) as a Socialite party girl…

Once I got my Muse thinking along those lines, the story came to me in a rush. It’s no spoiler to say that since I write romance there’s always a Happily Ever After, but I hope the readers will enjoy the journey that Twilka and Khevan still had to complete. The book can be read as a standalone novel.

 

The story:

The survivors of a terrible wreck meet again—but this time only one can survive.

The long-awaited sequel to The Wreck of the Nebula Dream…

They survived an iconic spaceship wreck together. She never expected to see him again … especially not armed to kill her.

Twilka Zabour is an interstellar celebrity. She built on her notoriety as a carefree Socialite who survived the terrible wreck of the Nebula Dream, and launched a successful design house. But now the man who gave meaning to her life, then left her, is back–this time for the worst of reasons. Will he kill her … or help her survive?

D’nvannae Brother Khevan survived the Nebula Dream in the company of a lovely, warm woman, only to be pulled away from her, back into his solitary life in the service of the Red Lady. Now Twilka’s within his reach again–for all the wrong reasons. Khevan will do everything within his power to discover why Twilka has been targeted for assassination, and to save her.

But Khevan is not Twilka’s only pursuer. Will allies Nick and Mara Jameson arrive in time to aid the couple, or will Khevan and Twilka’s ingenuity be all that stands between them and death?

 

The Excerpt:

She’d known it was a mistake to agree to venture out of her cabin, much less to go to the casino, but her companions had been begging her to join them on this final night of the cruise. A woman couldn’t concentrate on business all the time, could she? Not even to avoid unpleasant realities. A migraine nagged above her eye, threatening to become full blown, and the loud thumping music in the casino aggravated the pain. Twilka Zabour paused at the entrance to the private, high stakes gaming area and froze.

Oh, yes, a major flashback was inevitable now. Not just because the lights and the music and the crowd were reminding her so forcibly of the last night on board the Nebula Dream, but because of the man standing in the center of a largely female, laughing group of passengers. He stood with his back to her, thank the lords, and all she could see were his broad shoulders and that glossy, unbound mane of hair, but the high roller running the table was a D’nvannae Brother.

Khevan.

The memories were a physical pain in her gut as the room spun around her.

“Drink. I need a drink,” she said, grabbing at the glasses balanced on the tray of a passing server. She didn’t care what they were, nor was she displeased to find the goblets contained two completely different feelgoods. Even as the waiter exclaimed in annoyance and her own companions exchanged astonished glances, she shoved the now empty glasses at the man, snatched a third from his tray, swirls of orange and green froth, and sauntered forward. Twilka headed to the table with a casualness she in no way felt, her nerves taut as a bowstring, her pulse pounding. The migraine took hold with a vengeance now, fueled by tension and the feelgoods. At least she’d worn a killer dress.

“Twenty thousand on the red,” she said, having seen his bet and choosing the opposite. “I’ll spin.” Sipping the abominable, too sweet concoction, she leaned over to spin the retro wheel, giving the room a full view of her cleavage, accented with perfume dust and temporary diamond-studded tattoos.

There was a growing silence around the table. She didn’t think the onlookers knew who he was—had been—to her. She was famous, her face appearing everywhere as the embodiment of her brand, but he was just a D’nvannae. In reality, Khevan could never be dismissed as “just” anything, could he? Her companions had caught up to her, Lissa and Jord standing at her side, slightly behind. Tossing her hair, she raised her glass as the croupier proclaimed her win. “Again.” She leaned over and licked Jord’s ear, caressing the outline with her tongue as sensuously as she could manage in her highly fraught state of mind. She’d taken him by surprise, but he played along, putting his arm around her waist and pulling her close, turning so her hip curved into his crotch, spilling the drink a bit as he nuzzled her neck.

“The lady wins again,” said the dealer.

“Your lucky night,” Khevan said, inclining his head to her slightly.

Lords, his voice was as deep and sensuous as ever. Twilka grabbed the table rail with her free hand. Did he know who she was? Of course he did, but the bastard was pretending not to recognize her. “Available for contract, I see.”

“Technically true, but traveling to an outlying temple for a required ritual,” he said. His handsome, tattooed face gave nothing away. “There would have to be an emergency for me to take a contract tonight.”

“Did you want to let the bet ride?” asked the croupier.

“No,” she said abruptly. “I don’t tempt fate too far any more. Cash me out.” Sick of the game, barely able to see for the lightning flashes in her field of vision caused by the migraine, she abandoned her drink and took Jord’s arm. “I think we’ve wasted enough time here, don’t you?” Beaming at Lissa, she added, “Let’s go to the cabin and start the party again.”

She stumbled ever so slightly as she spun around. Jord kept her upright and they walked away. “What the seven hells were you doing?” he asked in a low voice. “Did you know that guy?”

“It was him, wasn’t it?” High pitched and excited, Lissa’s tone betrayed her fascination.

“Your D’nvannae?”

“Not mine, never mine,” she said, biting her lip as too much of the truth slipped out.

 

Buy Links:

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Author Bio:

veronica-scott-at-skyboatBest Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Blog: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VeronicaScottAuthor/