Monday, September 30, 2013

Brink of Distinction Trilogy by Jon Messenger: Character Interview



            The Oterian sat awkwardly on the small metal chair.  His massive bull-like bulk spilled over the sides and he stooped slightly to make his 7-foot frame slightly less intimidating to the interviewer.  Unfortunately, it had the exact opposite reaction.  While leaning forward, his sharpened horns jutted directly at the person across the table.

            “Do I need to talk into the microphone?” Tusque asked as he tapped the delicate microphone with his massive index finger.

“Sure, that’s fine,” the interviewer replied.  “Why don’t we start with some simple questions?” 

Tusque shrugged, the motion resembling a mountain shifting.  “You’re the boss, Boss.” 

“Tell us about your family

“My dad was a soldier in the Alliance Infantry, so I followed in his footsteps.  My mom was a breeder.  I don’t even know which one she was.”  He leans forward and blushes slightly.  “To be honest, they all kind of look the same to me.”

“What was the scariest moment of your life?”

The Oterian just laughed.  “Scared?  You’re funny.”

“What book are you reading now?”

“Are you making fun of me?” he asked, furrowing his brow.  “Do you think it’s funny to tease someone who can’t read?”

“If I came to visit early in the morning would you impress me as being more like a chirpy bird or a grumpy bear?”

Tusque growled in his chair and motioned for the next question.

“What one word best describes you?”


“You just won a huge lottery what is the first thing you'll buy?”

Tusque’s face split into a smile, breaking his sour disposition.  “Easy.  I’d buy a bigger gun.  The Hornfeld X-3010 is coming out next month.  It’s got a .50 caliber over-under that would just tear through Terran body armor!”

“Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?” 

            “My dad told me to shoot first and shoot often.  He should have followed his own advice.”

            The interviewer looked to her left at the one-way glass pane.  “Well, Tusque, this has been very… informative.  Thank you for your time.”

            The Oterian smiled as he stood slowly from the chair.  “Thanks.  Now I heard I was going to get a snack for doing this?”

 Brink of Distinction Trilogy, book 1


Burden of Sisyphus
Title: Burden of Sisyphus
Series: Brink of Distinction Trilogy # 1
Author: Jon Messenger
Published: September 6th, 2013
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Word Count: approx. 80,000
Genre: Science Fiction
Content Warning: Language and Violence
Recommended Age: 16+

Between the alien Alliance and the Terran Empire, a neutral zone stretches between the galaxies, a demilitarized zone that was established 150 years previous, following the Great War. The peace accord granted a semblance of peace to the universe. The peace, however, is a facade, and it is the responsibility of Michael Vance and his covert operations team to maintain that illusion.
Recently, the Alliance lost contact with one of their outposts near the neutral zone. Surveillance scans show an abandoned city and no signs of life. The Alliance does what it always does: send in the best. But an unexpected betrayal leaves Vance and his team stranded. Worse, the city that was supposed to be dead is quite alive. And the monsters that now roam its streets are slaughtering his team, one at a time.

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Private Hicks’ body screamed in protest as he tried to stand.  His muscles ached and his lungs burned in the planet’s thin, dust-filled air.  Under his dark armor sweat soaked through his uniform.  Raising his head, he saw the looming plateau.  Nuzzled within the wedge of the plateau’s façade there was the Terran’s dark, stone, defensive wall.  Relief flooded through him.  Being able to see the bristling antiaircraft weapon platforms mounted atop the wall meant his destination was finally within reach.
Scrambling to his feet, despite resistant muscles, he ran the rest of the way to the wall.  He didn’t dare hope to make it that far without being spotted by his enemies but the reprieve gave him time to close the final twenty meters to the outpost.  Legs cramping, he limped the rest of the way to the wall.  Ignoring the large, arched vehicle entrance, whose heavy doors led straight to the courtyard between the wall and the building set into the plateau, he staggered to the reinforced personnel entrance to one side.  Shuffling past a set of thick windows he watched Terran soldiers within the wall move toward the door.
Sliding in the red sand he stopped in front of the door and pounded it with his open hand.  “Open the door!” he yelled, his voice raspy and dry.
When nothing happened he banged again, glancing over his shoulder in fear and frustration.
“Open the damn door!” he screamed, as much as his raw throat allowed, hitting the door repeatedly.
Finally, hesitantly, it opened.
A blast of cool air struck him as he was pulled into the comforting darkness.  The room was cast in deep shadows and he was momentarily blinded in the dim lighting.  He shivered as someone helped him to the far side of the narrow room, the cool air a stark contrast to the scorching heat outside.  Sliding down against the wall, he exhaled a loud, raspy breath.
“Hicks,” the closest soldier said.
His head swam with exhaustion.
“What happened out there?”
He peered through the gloom, barely able to make out the man’s rank and name.  “Alliance mercenaries.  They hit us while we were on patrol.”
A third soldier pushed past the others and bent over Hicks, who saw the officer epaulettes on his shoulder.  “Where’s the rest of your team, Private?”
He shook his head.  “They’re all dead, Sir.”
“All of them?” the lieutenant asked in disbelief.  “How did one group of Alliance mercenaries take out an entire patrol?”
A soft sound echoed through the room before Hicks could reply.  The thumping reverberated softly as he clambered to his feet.  Slowly, the others heard it and the room fell to hushed silence.  It was a series of soft thumps as if something struck the compound’s outer wall repeatedly.
“What the hell is that noise?” Lieutenant Hill asked, looking toward the thick, outer walls.
The sound continued unabated.
“Sir, I’ve got a visual,” a private said, watching from the window.
The lieutenant rushed to the window, pulling free the binoculars on his hip.  In the distance, a single massive form stood at the crest of the hill.  Thick, dark fur covered its body which ended in an elongated snout.  Sharp horns jutted from its temples, curving wickedly forward.
Lowering his binoculars, the lieutenant turned toward the rest of the soldiers.  “It looks like the Alliance found our outpost!  Let’s move, people!”  As he walked back to the middle of the room the soldiers exploded into action.
“On your feet, soldiers!” Lieutenant Hill yelled over the din of muttered conversation.  “Grab some ammo and find a wall to stand behind.”  Turning back toward the sturdy window he glared across the red field.  “If they want to bring their fight here, they won’t even know what hit them.”
“How true,” Hicks rasped, as a barbed tail erupted from under the back of his shirt.  Lashing out, the tail struck the base of Lieutenant Hill’s neck and erupted from his throat, nearly decapitating the officer.
Hicks extended his left hand, the fingers elongated into razor-sharp points, which he drove into a nearby soldier’s abdomen.  The soldier stared in disbelief, as the skin on Hicks’ face melted like wax, first running down toward his chin before being absorbed into his oily-black skin.  The face disappeared, leaving behind a featureless black oval.  Slowly, the rest of his skin melted away until all that remained was thick, black hide.
The creature that impersonated Hicks swished its spiked tail back and forth and turned toward the three remaining soldiers in the room.  Eyes wide with fright, one swung his rifle toward the creature and squeezed the trigger.
The window exploded inward as the first round tore through the thick glass and struck the soldier’s temple.  His scalp peeled away on the far side of his head as the high-velocity round passed through and struck the far wall, spraying the back of the room with blood.

 Brink of Distinction Trilogy, book 2

 Title:  Fall of Icarus

Author:  Jon Messenger

Published:  September 6th, 2013

Publisher:  Crimson Tree Publishing

Word Count:  approx. 125,000

Genre:  Science Fiction

Content Warning: Language and Violence

Recommended Age:  16+

Synopsis:  The Terran Empire has broken the Taisa Accord and invaded Alliance space in this exciting second novel in the Brink of Distinction series. Survivors of the Empire's first assault, Yen Xiao and Adam Decker swore vengeance against the Terrans. Joining forces with the enigmatic Keryn Riddell, the three warriors must find a way to destroy the Terran fleet. But the Terrans have a secret weapon: a biological agent sold to them by an renegade smuggler. Now it's a race against the clock to capture the smuggler before the Terrans decimate the Alliance homeworlds.

When everything they do proves to be not enough to stop the Empire's violent invasion, the Alliance takes the fight directly to the Empire by invading Earth! But Earth may not be the biggest threat to the safety of the Alliance. The biggest danger may be one of their own.

Brink of Distinction Trilogy, book 3

Title: Purge of Prometheus
Author:  Jon Messenger
Published:  September 6th, 2013
Publisher:  Crimson Tree Publishing
Word Count:  approx. 123,000
Genre:  Science Fiction
Content Warning: Language and Violence
Recommended Age:  16+
The final confrontation between the Alien Alliance and the Terran Empire begins in this exciting conclusion to the Brink of Distinction trilogy.

One-by-one, the brilliant suns of Alliance space are disappearing, left cold and lifeless after exposure to the Terran biological epidemic. Trapped on one of the sunless worlds, Keryn Riddell, the ruthless Wyndgaart warrior, fights against both a frozen landscape and her Terran captors.

As Keryn fights for her life, the psychic Yen Xiao leads the Alliance fleet in pursuit of the Terran Destroyers threatening the Alliance homeworlds. Yearning for leadership of the fleet, Yen begins to wonder just how far he’ll go for the power he craves.

 About the Author

Jon MessengerJon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Major in the Medical Service Corps. Since graduating from the University of Southern California in 2002, writing Science Fiction has remained his passion, a passion that has continued through two deployments to Iraq and a humanitarian relief mission to Haiti.
Jon wrote the “Brink of Distinction” trilogy, of which “Burden of Sisyphus” is the first book, while serving a 16-month deployment in Baghdad, Iraq. The trilogy was accepted for publication through Crimson Tree Publishing an adult imprint of Clean Teen Publishing. Jon Messenger’s young adult novel: Wind Warrior was published in June 2013 through Clean Teen Publishing and has hit bestseller status and has been nominated for a Readers Choice Award.

Crimson Tree Publishing Links

(an adult division of Clean Teen Publishing)

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Giveaway Details:
There is an international tour wide giveaway. One GRAND PRIZE winner will get all this:
  • An eBook copy of all 3 books in the Brink of Distinction Trilogy
  • An eBook copy of Wind Warrior
  • A Wind Warrior bookmark
  • A Brink of Distinction Trilogy bookmark
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card

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