Lifeliners by Stefan Vucak Book Tour and Giveaway :)


Lifeliners
by Stefan Vucak
Genre: Science Fiction

When everybody is against them, it is tough being a lifeliner, as Nash Bannon found out. Lifeliners are ordinary people…almost. They can draw energy from another person; they live longer and are smarter. Scientists claim that Western high-pressure living and growing sterility in developed countries has triggered the rise of lifeliners, and homo sapiens will replaced by homo renata within ten generations. So, what’s not to like about lifeliners? Protest marches by extremist groups, riots, attacks against lifeliners, repressive laws enacted by governments everywhere, were portents of a dark future. Young, successful, Nash Bannon did not like what was going on, but he thought he had the world at his feet and life in Australia was good, provided no one found out he was a lifeliner. A chance encounter with Cariana during a lunchbreak develops into something he considered important. The Australian government calls a snap election, and Nash stands as a Senate candidate on the Lifeliner Party ticket. Unless lifeliners rise up and fight for their rights, they can expect sterilization, incarceration, and possible extermination as democracies everywhere turn into autocracies. To survive, the Lifeliner Party must employ the same dirty tricks the government used against them, but they were not prepared for what awaited them.



Review

Stefan Vučak presents a fascinating look at racism, discrimination and fear of ‘normals’ in a fresh way, which could not have arrived on the market at a better time than now. Part science fiction, part political drama, and part cultural observation, Vučak has conceptualized some truly human attitudes and ideas, and created a fascinating narrative that pops like a pressure valve as it unfurls. Lifeliners is an apt and excellent work, which I would highly recommend to readers of all types.

Readers’ Favorite
Wow, the details in this book are simply superb! Literally from page one of the story you are drawn in by the excellent attention to detail. I would recommend this book; it was a page turner from start to finish. There are not many books that I can see myself reading multiple times, but Lifeliners is definitely one of them.

Literary Titan

Books by Stefan Vu
ak

General Fiction:
Cry of Eagles
All the Evils
Towers of Darkness
Strike for Honor
Proportional Response
Legitimate Power

Science Fiction:
Fulfillment
Lifeliners

Shadow Gods Saga:
In the Shadow of Death
Against the Gods of Shadow
A Whisper from Shadow
Shadow Masters
Immortal in Shadow
With Shadow and Thunder
Through the Valley of Shadow
Guardians of Shadow

Non-Fiction:
Writing Tips for Authors

Contact at:

LIFELINERS

By

Stefan Vučak

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

Note:

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, and events are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to real persons, places, or events is coincidental.

Stefan Vučak ©2018
ISBN-10: 0-9942923-4-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-9942923-4-6

Dedication

To Gloria … with a life full of promise

Acknowledgments

The term ‘dobers’ used in memory of John Brunner, 1934-1995, in The Shockwave Rider.

Additional proofreading by Charlotte Raby.
https://charlotteraby.wordpress.com/

Cover art by Laura Shinn.

Melbourne Center

He spotted her sitting alone at a small square table in the open part of La Asiago along the promenade and the world faded around him. Dressed in cream slacks and gray business jacket, flaxen hair spilling across her left shoulder, time stopped and he stared at this captivating woman alone in her shell, surrounded by chattering people, yet unreachable. He traced the lines of her delicate face, the fall of her hair, and a small frown creasing her forehead that made her perfect. You don’t want to become involved again, old son! Probably not, but he could not see any harm in an interesting lunchtime diversion compared to the alternative of a lonely bench beside the river, warm sunshine notwithstanding. It might do him good to seek out some distracting company and wash out the unpleasant taste of his IBM meeting. With the exterior section of the restaurant packed and no empty seats, he took a deep breath and weaved between the tables toward her. If she didn’t like his approach, she could always tell him to buzz off. It had happened before. Some women just didn’t want to be bothered. Peace. I don’t mean to intrude, but you seem to have the only spare seat. May I?” She glanced around, gave him an appraising look with eyes that cut and probed, and finally nodded. There are tables inside,” she said softly, her clear voice sending an unexpected tingle down his spine. What the hell was going on? He reminded himself that this was just lunch—diverting as it might be—not a romantic encounter. Yes, but it’s not the same thing, and it’s too cold and crowded in there,” he declared as he pulled back a chair. Her eyebrows rose. “You prefer your own company?” Depends on the company,” he said and eased himself down. “I never take chances I don’t have to.” You’re taking a chance now, aren’t you?” Sometimes you have to.” He glanced at two David Jones store shopping bags beside her, and she smiled. I took advantage of a nice day to pick up a few things before returning to The Alfred,” she explained. You’re a doctor?” The babble of voices around them created a shield of intimacy and a sense that time had stopped. Even the crowd strolling along the promenade faded from his view. Geneticist.” Fascinating line of work,” he said, genuinely interested. When the waiter arrived, he ordered spiced ravioli and gnocchi and half a bottle of red Chianti. Shortly afterward, her spaghetti marinara arrived. Looking at her speculatively, he lifted the bottle. She frowned and brushed back a stray lock of golden hair. Is this your standard gambit when picking up women?” She had slim, delicate fingers with a subdued red nail polish that complemented without being gaudy. He imagined fondling those hands, running his fingers over her smooth skin. Could he be getting infatuated with a woman he just met? No, this was merely an interesting meeting with someone attractive and sophisticated. Still, she had a magnetism he could feel and his soul reached out to her, warning bells clanging in his head. He clamped a lid on them, prepared to enjoy this moment. I don’t do casual pickups.” She inclined her head in disbelief. “And I am…” A fortuitous and pleasant accident. No spare tables, remember? Besides, you looked so lonely…” She lifted a finger. “Don’t push it.” He grinned at her. “A peace offering, then. A glass of wine?” I shouldn’t—” It’s a very light Italian red. Won’t do anything to spoil your day.” She bit her lower lip, then slid her glass toward him. “Only a little.” Great.” He poured both of them half a glass. She lowered her fork and took a cautious sip. Her eyebrows arched and she nodded. Interesting flavor.” Glad you like it. By the way, I’m Nash Bannon.” Cariana Lambert, and I still think this is a pickup routine.” Nash winced. “Now I’m hurt. I really—” Just then, the waiter brought a bowl of steaming ravioli and gnocchi, cutting off whatever he was about to say. Nash thanked him, picked up his fork, stabbed one of the gnocchi and popped it into his mouth. It was nice and chewy the way he liked it and he relished the tangy mushroom sauce. Cariana watched him with an amused expression. “That won’t do much for your waistline,” she remarked dryly. It’s my carbs day,” he explained between bites. “I usually have a mixed salad and fruit juice, but that is not always enough to keep me fueled and beat off the sharks at work.” She glanced at her bowl. “I know what you mean. Seeing you relishing your gnocchi eases my own guilt for being weak.” She dabbed her lips with a napkin and took another sip of wine. “And what fills your days, Mr. Bannon?” Nash. I do systems integration for IBM.” Weren’t they taken over by Facebook?” They certainly were. IBM culture was getting stale and needed an infusion of new methodology and ideas. I have doubts that it worked, but they run some cutting edge projects.” And what are you working on right now?” I’m currently managing a major Telstra network program where everybody is giving me a hard time.” Poor you.” Your sympathy is appreciated.” She turned serious. “I did not mean to tease you, and I do understand, finding myself in a similar position. Doing research would be fun if it weren’t for the oversight protocols, although necessary.” She finished the last of her marinara and gathered her bags. “Thank you for the wine…Nash.” Dismayed to see her about to leave, his mind raced. He could not let it end like this. “I enjoyed meeting you and I would enjoy it even more if we could do this again, taking more time.” Now what the hell made him say that! This was supposed to be a simple lunch without sticky romantic overtones. She stood and laughed. “Are you always this forthright?” I don’t go out much, and meeting someone like you is rare,” he said quickly and rose, figuring his pickup line could use some updating. “What do you say?” 

About the Author

Stefan Vučak has written eight Shadow Gods Saga sci-fi novels and six contemporary political drama books. He started writing science fiction while still in college, but did not get published until 2001. His Cry of Eagles won the Readers’ Favorite silver medal award, and his All the Evils was the prestigious Eric Hoffer contest finalist and Readers’ Favorite silver medal winner. Strike for Honor won the gold medal.

Stefan leveraged a successful career in the Information Technology industry, which took him to the Middle East working on cellphone systems. He applied his IT discipline to create realistic storylines for his books. Writing has been a road of discovery, helping him broaden his horizons. He also spends time as an editor and book reviewer. Stefan lives in Melbourne, Australia.

To learn more about Stefan, visit his:
Twitter: @stefanvucak

Shadow Gods books by Stefan Vu
ak

In the Shadow of Death
An extraterrestrial craft is discovered in an ancient Mayan pyramid and the knowledge throws Earth into social and political turmoil. As a new agent in the Diplomatic Branch, First Scout Terrllss-rr is tasked to destroy the craft before international tension throws Earth into open conflict.

Against the Gods of Shadow
Facing economic sabotage by Palean raiders, Pizgor pleads for help from the Serrll government. Second Scout Terrllss-rr is tasked to find the raider base and expose Palean's duplicity. Terr is forced to battle a Fleet ship that leaves them both badly damaged and leads Terr to confront forces that threaten to destabilize the Serrll itself.

A Whisper from Shadow
An extraterrestrial craft is discovered in an ancient Mayan pyramid and the knowledge throws Earth into social and political turmoil. As a new agent in the Diplomatic Branch, First Scout Terrllss-rr is tasked to destroy the craft before international tension throws Earth into open conflict.

Shadow Masters
With his mission on Earth completed, Fist Scout Terrllss-rr is returning home, only to be intercepted by an Orieli Technic Union survey ship. The encounter sends ripples of consternation throughout the Serrll Combine. In an attempt to establish a link between a raider network and the AUP Provisional Committee, Terr’s cover is compromised. To extricate himself, he has to raise the hand of Death.

Immortal in Shadow
On his way to a prison planet, Tanard, a renegade Fleet officer, escapes and vows vengeance. He is recruited by an extremist Palean group to raid Kaleen worlds. First Scout Terrllss-rr must find the secret base that is supporting him before the Wanderers rise up and unleash Death’s wrath on the Serrll.

With Shadow and Thunder
2002 EPPIE finalist

The Orieli are caught in an interstellar war and now they are about to drag the Serrll Combine into it. Betrayed by his Wanderer brother Dharaklin, First Scout Terrllss-rr crashes to Earth in a sabotaged ship. He now has a whole world after the secrets he holds.

Through the Valley of Shadow
Bent on revenge, Terrllss-rr pursues his Anar’on brother to the fabled world of the Wanderers—and face judgment by the god of Death. On their frontier, the Serrll Combine is plunged into a savage encounter with a Kran invader, showing them a glimpse of a dark future.

Guardians of Shadow
Having destroyed a Kran invader, Terr, Teena and his brother Dharaklin, head for Orieli space where they will begin their cultural exchange mission. In a devastating Kran attack, Teena is taken and Terr seeks to rescue her. To win a war that threatens to consume the Orieli and the Serrll Combine, the fabled Wanderers must march against the Krans wielding the hand of Death.

Other books by Stefan Vu
ak

Cry of Eagles
2011 Readers’ Favorite silver medal winner

Iran’s nuclear capability represents a clear national threat to Israel, but the United States and Europe do nothing. A Mossad black ops team sabotages a refinery complex in Galveston, plants evidence that incriminates Iran, confident that an enraged America will strike back in retaliation. But the Mossad team makes one small mistake, which the FBI exploits to uncover the plot before America vents its wrath on Iran and plunges the world into political and economic turmoil. An award-winning thriller that will leave you at the edge of your seat.

All the Evils
2013 Eric Hoffer finalist
2013 Readers’ Favorite silver medal winner

A researcher in the Secret Vatican Archives uncovers a papyrus that claims Jesus was John the Baptist’s disciple and the second Messiah. To prevent the tractate from becoming public, the Vatican secret service engages an assassin to silence anyone who has knowledge of the papyrus. It is up to an FBI agent to unravel a series of murders and prevent the assassin from killing him.

Towers of Darkness
A Wyoming mineworker discovers a human hand bone embedded in a forty million year-old coal seam. An anthropologist, Larry Krafter is sent to recover the bone and unearths a human skull. Instead of receiving acclaim when he publishes his discovery, vested establishment interests seek to discredit him, using murder to do it.


Strike for Honor
2013 Readers’ Favorite gold medal winner

In a joint exercise with the Korean navy, Admiral Pacino’s son is one of the casualties from a North Korean missile strike. Enraged that the President is more interested in appeasing the North Koreans, forgetting the lost American lives, Pacino decides to make a statement by bombing military facilities in both Koreas. His court-martial puts American foreign policy under public scrutiny.

Proportional Response
2015 Readers’ Favorite finalist

The Chinese populist faction, the Tuanpai, plan to trigger a global disaster that will devastate America. In the aftermath, the FBI identifies China as the culprit, but don’t know if this was a rogue operation or a government plot. Fearful of American retaliation, China invites U.S. investigators to find that proof. Under a cloud of mutual suspicion, America readies itself for a military confrontation. A mind-bending expose of international politics!

Legitimate Power
2017 Book Excellence Awards finalist

What happens when a person living on the outskirts of Jerusalem digs up two ossuaries and finds a strange crystal the size of a smartphone able to repair itself when scratched and turns into a perfect mirror under laser light? When the crystal is put on the shadow gem market, suspecting that it is not natural, an American collector buys it, wanting to tap into its hidden potential. When the Israelis learn what it is, they want it back…as do the Chinese…as does the American government, which sets off a race to get it, no matter what the cost in shattered lives.


Stefan Vucak has written eight Shadow Gods Saga sci-fi novels and six contemporary thrillers. He started writing science fiction while still in college, but didn't get published until 2001. His Cry of Eagles won the coveted Readers' Favorite silver medal award, and his All the Evils was the prestigious Eric Hoffer contest finalist and Readers' Favorite silver medal winner. Strike for Honor won the gold medal.


Stefan leveraged a successful career in the Information Technology industry, which took him to the Middle East working on cellphone systems. He applied his IT discipline to create realistic storylines for his books. Writing has been a road of discovery, helping him broaden his horizons. He also spends time as an editor and book reviewer. Stefan lives in Melbourne, Australia.




What do you do when you finish your novel?

The last scene is written, the last piece of dialogue done … and it is finished! 


After slaving over the damned thing for seven months, I can sit back, heave a huge sigh of relief, and toast myself with a nice tumbler of bourbon. Another novel done and dusted. Well, not quite. The cursor is blinking, daring me to change a word, sentence, or paragraph. Glass in hand, I stare at the last page, replaying the book in my mind, savouring the good parts, mulling over the bits that could stand some polishing. Not just yet, my dear characters! I have to finish my bourbon first, and then do some basic maintenance. First, I make a copy of the manuscript on my internal and external backup drive. If my primary drive packs it in, I haven’t lost anything. I wince at the number of times I read tales of woe on LinkedIn and Facebook where authors have not done ongoing backups as they write. The computer fails and … well, you know what happens: tears, gnashing of teeth, tearing of hair. Not nice. Lesson? Always do backups as you write! With the book done, it is not ready for publishing, not by a long shot! As I write a section, I always do an edit before moving on to the next bit. After some twenty or thirty pages, I print them out and proofread the stuff. I am always amazed at things I missed editing online. The human mind is tricky, and it will sometimes fool you, automatically correcting errors your eyes pick up. Reading a printed page tends to give a more accurate world view to the brain, enabling me to correct the little bloopers that managed to avoid online obliteration. Learning to be a stern, objective self-editor takes time and perseverance. Writers can become possessive about their creations, unwilling to admit that the product of their genius could possibly have punctuation, grammar, or word usage errors. Cut out that word or sentence? Cut off my hand instead! But cutting out that word or sentences is exactly what every writer must be prepared to do. Not only cut out that sentence, but a paragraph or page. Every piece of freshly finished writing must be viewed critically and any rough elements polished off. How much polishing is required depends on how good a writer is at writing. It takes time to go over several hundred pages of manuscript, pen savagely attacking everything out of place, then updating the computer version. Done, ready to be released on unsuspecting readers! Again, not quite. Even though I don’t do a bad job editing my stuff, I am sure there is a little blooper or two grinning with glee that has managed to escape my eyes. To make sure the manuscript is as clean as possible, I send it off to a proofreader to kill off those wayward bloopers. When I get the thing back, sure enough, dead bloopers. After applying the corrections, I print out the whole thing again and, you guessed it, I do a final proofread. As you might expect, by the time it is all finished, I am heartily sick and tired of the book! Anyway, I can now confidently publish the masterpiece! Confidently? There is never a perfectly finished book. After rereading some of my old novels, I invariably spot a word or phrase that should be cut or changed. I could keep polishing a novel forever, which would mean I would never get around to writing a new one. At some point, I have to let go and let the novel face critical readers and their reviews. Writing a novel is like rearing a child. From initial toddler paragraphs, to developing middle teens, and finally a finished manuscript. Once done, you have to let it make its own way in the world, maybe with a sniff or two. The final step? Publish, of course! Well, that is not really the final step. There is the ongoing marketing, but I have suffered enough pain for the moment. Let me recover a bit, okay? All right, I have finished the novel, the damned thing is published, I push it along with some marketing, and then what? I don’t know about you, but I usually take some time off to clear my head and perhaps start tossing ideas for the next novel. I have several ideas on tap, and it takes a bit of time to sift through them, and nurture an idea that can be developed into a novel, or perhaps a short story. With a short story, I can get stuck into it fairly quickly. For a novel, that takes considerably more effort…and several glasses of bourbon. You may want to check out the following article on planning a novel.


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