Jon Messenger Spotlight! 4

Jon 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 multiple combat and humanitarian deployments. 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.


If you could be any paranormal/supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
I really enjoyed thinking about my response to this question.  I have an odd mind and a train of thought that’s easily derailed, especially when thinking about paranormal creatures.
My first inclination was toward being a vampire.  I’ve always loved the classic literary creatures like the Bram Stoker variety.  There was always a great balance between the sophisticated gentleman and the vile monster.  For anyone who saw Dracula, the idea of being the well-dressed, mysterious gentlemen seducing women is enticing.  Even the vampires from Interview with a Vampire live lives filled with rock and roll, sex, and violence.  Who wouldn’t love that?  Sadly, my mind began drifting shortly thereafter.  Those classy vampires weren’t the only depictions.  Would I
really want to be the Count Orlak style Nosferatu, looking hideous and scaring people away just from their appearance?  Or would I ::gasp:: sparkle in the sun rather than burn to death like any right and proper vampire?  That was the moment when I realized that vampire had to be right out.  People should fear the vampire.  The modern
youth wouldn’t run away from me in fright if I were a vampire.  They’d all want to be hipsters and tell their friends that a sparkly vampire bit them before it was cool.
The next was a ghost.  As a person, I walk a thin line between being extroverted and introverted.  The ability to interact with people, albeit by haunting them, while still being left alone was appealing.  Sadly, my peace and quiet
wouldn’t last.  Within months, dozens of amateur ghost hunters would be showing up with infrared cameras and wands that supposedly record ectoplasmic encounters.  They’d be calling out my name and telling me all about how they are here to help, just so long as I tell them what I want… like we were in the middle of a hostage negotiation.  After realizing that no matter how much they upset me, I was incorporeal and couldn’t beat the bloody hell out of them upset me.  So no ghost.
In my mind, that really only left werewolf as an option.  I thought about the damage Twilight did to vampires and wondered if the same had been done to the power and virility of the lycanthrope.   And I realized it wasn’t really
that bad.  In Twilight, people turned into giant wolves and mauled anyone that got in their way.  They never sparkled or anything else ridiculous.  This could actually work.  People could still be afraid of me if I turned into a six-foot tall wolf with canine teeth the size of their forearms.  I’ve also always loved the dichotomy of mixing a normal man with the idea of a beast residing within.  It’s probably not a healthy mentality and I’ll probably be discussing this with a psychiatrist in a few years, but who hasn’t considered their temper to be an animal that resides within them?  And if people really did piss me off, I could bite their heads off… literally.  My final decision would have to be werewolf.
After all that introspection, I realized one important thing.  Vampires, Ghosts, and Werewolves as my options?  I
might be watching too much Being Human.

Ryan Zachery lived his life the way all high school teenagers should – carefree.

Until he was attacked by an unknown assailer and awoke in the hospital with lycanthropy. Taken by armed guards and dragged away from everything he held dear, Ryan was thrown into a US camp made for those ‘suffering’
from lycanthropy.

They caged the beast, but now he will show them that he will never be dehumanized.
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I feel like book genres go through a rollercoaster of popularity.  Right now, there seems to be a huge push toward erotica, with thousands of new erotica novels and shorts being published every month.
Shortly after the explosion of the Twilight saga and movies, the rage was vampires and werewolves.  It seemed that everyone had a supernatural story to tell and most of them centered around the inner turmoil of balancing the human they once were with the monster they’d become.  With so many books in the genre, it was hard to find a standout.
Michael Loring’s DEHUMANIZED was an absolute standout for me.
Loring has a fantastic writing style, but it was his unique take on the werewolf genre that really appealed to me.  In DEHUMANIZED, Ryan Zachary finds out that living as a werewolf is hardly filled with glamour.  After being bitten, he’s stripped from his family, drugged, and driven to a concentration camp where other lycanthropes are kept as prisoners and treated like the animals they’ve become.
The werewolves in Loring’s story never have a chance to become the dominant hunters as they appear in so many other novels.  Upon being infected, they’re immediately stripped of their freedom, their pride, and eventually their humanity.  They fight amongst themselves for no other reason than overcoming the boredom of their imprisonment.  Being a werewolf isn’t the exciting life that everyone expects or even a horror story; being a werewolf is the equivalent of serving a life sentence for a crime you never committed.
Ryan eventually finds friends in the inhospitable werewolf camp, even becoming attracted to his new female
roommate.  But in a world where your every move is watched and every aspect of your life controlled, even romance
can be detrimental.  Ryan had watched other werewolves being dragged away to secret laboratories but is devastated
when he’s taken from even his new family, something far too reminiscent of his experiences after the initial attack.
The experiments give Ryan something no other werewolf has: the ability to change at will between the human and the monster within him.  No longer does he have to wait for a full moon to change and no longer does he black out during the process.
What Loring does with the story from that point is fascinating and exciting.  I won’t give any spoilers but will highly recommend this book to anyone who likes the genre.
I give this book five well-deserved stars!
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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The sleepy town of White Halls harbors a dangerous secret. On a picturesque street, two houses down from a lovely little park, in a quaint little home with a wraparound porch, lives a family that seems rather normal. Sure, their twenty-year-old son, Xander, still lives at home, but he’s going to college and dating the leader of the schools top sorority. It’s all very… normal. However, when a man is miraculously saved from being hit by a bus, Xander’s life turns in to the living embodiment of the tornadoes he can suddenly create with a flick of his wrist. Whether he wants this gift or not, Xander must learn to use his new ‘super power’ quickly if he wants to survive. For his kind is a dying race, and when this sleepy town has a sudden influx of new, blonde, fire wielders, no one is safe, especially Xander. It doesn’t help that one of these blondes happens to be the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. Xander can’t deny the instant connection he feels to her so, when she tries to kill him, it certainly makes things complicated.

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