Content Warning: Non-graphic gore/violence
Recommended Age: 16+
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.
Secret ingredients for a good fantastic book
I’m a writer, but every good writer is also an avid reader. That’s how we gain inspiration for the books we write or even for the writing styles we employ. Unfortunately, what I see a lot in books I’ve read lately is an adoption of Deus Ex Machina, where the solution to the characters’ problems presents itself in the most unlikely – and timely – ways. What I love in books is a trail of breadcrumbs that readers can follow. I want the ending of a book to be so surprising not just to the reader but to the characters, yet when you reread the book, it all makes sense. I want to give readers the “of course, why didn’t I think of that” moment at the end of my stories. I want to write everything that’s right about Usual Suspects, where you want to go back and read the book again immediately after and nod along appreciatively at all the subtlety added to the story without your knowledge.
I’ve read some that have impressed me. Holly Kelly did a great job of it in Rising, where the means to escape the characters’ situation at the end of the book was put into play so early in the story that I had legitimately forgotten about it. I appreciate the skill employed by writers who can do that, plot so well that subtle hints are littered throughout without it being glaringly obvious.
I’m currently working on book 3 in the Magic & Machinery series. It’s a combination of Frankenstein’s monster and Jack and Ripper. Yet, between books 2 and 3, you’ve already seen the killer a few times, you just don’t realize it yet as the reader. When the reveal happens, you’ll be able to go back and go, “of course, that makes complete sense.”
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.
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.
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.
Giveaway is International.