Title: Wolves of the Northern Rift
Series: Magic and Machinery #1
Author: Jon Messenger
Published: March 10th, 2015
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Content Warning: Non-graphic gore/violence
Recommended Age: 16+
Synopsis: In a world of science, magic is an abomination.
Magic is an abomination. It spread from the Rift, a great chasm hundreds of miles long that nearly split the southern continent in two. The Rift was a portal, a gateway between their world of science and the mythological world of magic
On the northern continent of Ocker, King Godwin declared that no magical monstrosity would be allowed within their borders. The Royal Inquisitors were formed to investigate reports of mystical occurrences and, should they be found, to destroy them.
Inquisitor Simon Whitlock knows his responsibilities all too well. Along with the apothecary, Luthor Strong, they've spent two years inquiring into such reports of magical abominations, though they've discovered far more charlatans than true magical creatures. When assigned to investigate Haversham and its reports of werewolves, Simon remains unconvinced that the rumors are true. What he discovers in the frozen little hamlet is that the werewolves are far more real than he believed; yet they’re hardly the most dangerous monster in the city.
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Simon stepped into the hallway and pulled his door closed. He reached across the divide and straightened Luthor’s tie, which hung askew from the center of his neck. As he straightened the tie, he caught a scent of something foul in the air. He wrinkled his nose and glanced over his friend’s shoulder.
“Do you smell that? It’s atrocious. It’s a mixture of spoiled milk and gangrene. Please tell me that isn’t coming from your room.”
Luthor blushed slightly and looked over his shoulder. “I accidentally broke one of my vials when I was unpacking. It’s an unpleasant scent, to be sure.”
Simon frowned. “Please don’t tell me that was one of the liquids in that foul brew you gave me on the zeppelin.”
Luthor pushed his glasses back up his nose but remained silent.
“Luthor?” Simon asked, arching his brow inquisitively. “It wasn’t, was it?”
When the apothecary didn’t reply, Simon threw up his hands in disgust and stormed down the hall.
“In my defense,” Luthor said as he hurried to catch up, “you told me not to tell you.”
“I swear that you’re trying to poison me. You slip these terrible concoctions into my drinks just to kill me slowly.”
“There are actually indigenous tribes along the far eastern shores that intentionally ingest poisons in an attempt to build a resistance to the natural venoms that exist in their flora and fauna. Despite a wide spread acceptance of the practice, only a very small percentage of them actually die.”
“You find the most remarkable ways to try to defend your inane actions,” Simon said. “I’m not an indigenous tribesman from the eastern shore. Please stop trying to poison me.”
“I’d never poison you without your knowledge,” Luthor said before reconsidering his word choice.
“I guess I should be pleased that my friends will stab me in the face, rather than stabbing me in the back.”
Jon Messenger’s top 10 bucket list items:
the photo journal version
Ooh, bucket list! As soon as I reached this option, I stopped reading the rest. Not everyone knows that I didn’t grow up in the US. I moved here in middle school, after being raised in England, Thailand, and Japan (my father worked for the American Embassy). As a result, a lot of my bucket list involves traveling though, admittedly, a lot of my favorite places aren’t good options right now. However, there are definitely things I want to do in my life. So, without further ado, here’s my list:
10) Become a smut writer. I’ve poured my heart and soul into the books I’ve written yet still manage to become mildly discouraged whenever I see 14-page erotica shorts outselling my books (by a lot). At first, I complained. Then I thought better of it. I’m not going to complain. In fact, if you can’t beat them, join them. Of course, this was originally my brother’s idea. He was going to wait until I’d been writing novels for years and then write a single smut book that was going to completely destroy me in sales. So really, number 10 shoulder read, “stop my brother from becoming a smut writer.”
9) Become a New York Times bestseller. Technically, this ties in to #10. While I would love for it to happen with Wolves or another of my fiction works, beggars can’t be choosers and I’ll absolutely accept it with a smut book. I actually have an under-the-table deal with my publisher, that if I ever become a New York Times bestseller, I would get the World Aflame symbol tattooed on my arm. Well, they say forehead but it’s a point of contention. I think we’re meeting halfway on a butt cheek.
8) Visit the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. I’ve had an odd fascination with the Pyramids all my life. Sadly, with the civil unrest in Egypt, it’s becoming harder and harder to make a visit, but it’ll forever remain on my bucket list.
7) Visit the Great Wall of China. This hasn’t so much been a fascination like the Pyramids, but more of a conquest. It seems right that I take the time to hike as much of the Great Wall as possible. Unfortunately China is suffering from severe pollution, both in the air and littering the ground. It’s making it a poor destination right now. Hopefully it’ll be clear some time in the future.
6) Visit Easter Island. Easter Island really intrigues me, maybe because it leads to more questions than answers. I’ve been so intrigued by it that I included it in Earth God, book 4 in my World Aflame series coming out in May!
5) Complete my tenth Tough Mudder. As much as I would love writing to be my day job, it isn’t (yet). I’ve actually been a US Army officer for the past 13 years. Part of the job consists of maintaining a level of physical fitness. The Army has a tendency to recruit athletes with that killer instinct, but that wasn’t me. I was never interested in competing against other people. I was far more interested in seeing how far I could push myself. When I found Tough Mudders in 2013, I immediately fell in love. These were the races I’d been looking for my whole life, where there wasn’t a clock to race or a first place finisher… just “finishers”. For those who are not aware, the Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile course with around 20 obstacles. It’s exhausting and challenging but so rewarding. Now they introduced Mudder Nation, which is a special level for Mudders who run multiple races. This year, I’ll be running my 4th and 5th Tough Mudders, but when I reach 10, I get the elusive black headband. I can’t wait!
4) Visit Iceland. Truth be told, I never even considered this one until recently. I knew the adage, “Iceland is greener than Greenland and Greenland has more ice than Iceland,” but that was really the extent of my knowledge. Then I saw Secret Life of Walter Mitty and realized it is stunningly beautiful. I recently had a friend visit who posted hundreds of pictures and made me fall in love!
3) I want to be a voice on a cartoon. I’d love for it to be Disney or Pixar but, to be honest, I’d really settle for an episode of Caillou. And if you know me, you know how much I absolutely loathe Caillou (little bald bastard)! I think the experience would be amazing and it would be incredible to sit on the couch with my wife and son and watch the film, knowing that a certain character is me! So let’s get on that, Disney!
2) Numbers 1 and 2 are a little more serious than the rest. Number 2 is that I want to raise a great son. I have an almost 4-year-old, who’s our only child right now. Half the time, I feel like I’m stumbling through being a parent, hoping whatever I do doesn’t cause any lasting damage. When my son was about a year old, I had to ask my friends at what age do parents stop worrying about causing their kids physical harm by doing simple stuff like, you know, picking them up or changing their diapers. My son is amazing but I want him to be that forever: a thoughtful child, a chivalrous gentleman, an intelligent man, a brilliant scientist (or whatever he wants to be… even an evil genius), a gentle boyfriend or husband. Sometimes it feels like so much when you consider all that you want out of someone so small and innocent, like you can look into his eyes and see his whole future laid out before him.
1) Finally, I want to make a difference. I want to leave this world with a footnote in history books. I want kids to have to study my accomplishments thirty years from now, bitching the entire time, wondering why they have to learn about some asinine guy from the turn of the millennium. I don’t want to do it because of fame or glory but because everyone should try to leave the world a better place. I’ve lived by a motto, which is, “make a difference, change the world.” Maybe my difference will be through my son; maybe it’ll be some as of yet undiscovered contribution. At the end of the day, I want to change the world for the better. And voice a cartoon character.
About the Author:
Jon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Major in the Medical Service Corps. Jon wrote his first science fiction trilogy in 2008 and has since written and published over 10 novels. The scope of his writing has expanded beyond science fiction to include the New Adult and Steampunk genres. His books have become Amazon bestsellers, been translated into foreign languages, and have won numerous awards both for content and covers.
Crimson Tree Publishing Links:
(an adult division of Clean Teen)
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
- A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.
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