Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Excerpt, Guest Post & $50 Gift Card Giveaway - Chasing Prophecy by James Moser

I won this book in a giveaway not too long ago and am looking forward to reading it.  When I saw it was touring, I thought I'd like to highlight it here!

Title: Chasing Prophecy
Author: James Moser
Release Date: January 2, 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Thriller, Young Adult

Summary from Goodreads: Chasing Prophecy is the story of Mo, a teen boy just trying to survive high school in the mountain town of Boulder Creek, Washington. Boulder Creek is an isolated and mysterious place, proud of its reputation as the “Bigfoot Sighting Capital of the World”. Mo falls in love with a girl named Prophecy who lives with a group that some call a commune and others call a cult. When she disappears, Mo must find the courage to face the monster that her family has become. 

Chasing Prophecy is a heartwarming contemporary coming of age story. This book chronicles the adolescence of one boy who must transform himself to save the girl of his dreams.

Buy Links:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  

Richard said, “Why are you even talking, Maureen, I mean Maurice?  Go sit in your highchair and let the grownups work this out, OK, little guy?”

Even with my new growth spurt, he never missed a chance to let me know I lived every second of my life ten seconds from a surfing lesson.

Max said coldly, “Don’t you clowns talk to him that way.”

Kazzy said, “—or we will kick your cracker asses.”     

I looked up at her and realized I’d been looking up to her my whole life.  She 
was calm and still when she was standing up for herself.  She didn’t have to stand on her tiptoes or raise her voice.  When I tried to stand up for myself, I knew people saw the question marks in my eyes.

Kazzy’s eyes were full of answers, and I loved her.  Deep inside me I felt something break, heal, and get stronger all at once. 

Richard watched another carful of mourners pass us by.  “Your little cult funeral all done?” he said.

Kazzy said, “Why do you say ‘Cult’?  Do you see a fence keeping anyone in or out?  Do you see us trying to blow anything up?  There’s not a weapon on our whole ranch.  You crackers have more guns than I’ve seen in my whole life.”

I pulled out my pocketknife, found a smooth spot in the pine railing, and pushed the blade into the sun-bleached log.  I worked the blade up and down, back and forth, deeper and deeper. 

I started my career as a high school English teacher in Snohomish County, Washington, which is about an hour north of Seattle.  When I became a teacher, I thought that my job would mainly be about helping people with their essays, reading Lord of the Flies-you know—the usual high school English-y stuff.  I quickly found out that the best part of my job was in getting to know my students as people.  I don’t remember which essays I assigned when I was 25, but I remember the venison that Kurt brought me back from eastern Washington.  I remember salmon jerky that Brandon brought me, and I remember the goldfish that Nicole gave me for Christmas when I was having a rough time.  Nearly 100 of my Facebook friends are former students (they’re all in their late 20s and early 30s now, many with kids of their own).   Teenagers have been my greatest teacher.   In Chasing Prophecy, the lessons my students taught me are seen most clearly in the teen characters’ sense of humor, in their strength, and in the presence of Bigfoot.  


“Funny” is the word that has come up in every review, so far.  I wish I could take credit.  The truth is that there is something about being a teenager which just makes people plain smarter and funnier than adults.  Maybe it’s because this is when we’re looking around really hard, thinking really hard about who we are, what we want to be, and what inspires us.  Great humor is in the details, and no one notices the details more than teenagers.  
The stuff people find funniest in the book is mostly just straight out of my journals.  I like to write down some of the great things they say.  I once asked my juniors to write an essay comparing an author to someone noteworthy.   One student turned in a paper he called:
“Hemingway and my Noteworthy Uncle Thad--What a Couple of Drunks”

Later in that same school year, a student turned in something she called, 
“Some articles who think Huck Finn is gay”

These might be the 8 funniest words ever written.  It’s amazing how many things are communicated in those eight words.  It’s a title that says “Mr. Moser, I am more bored by this assignment than any assignment anyone has ever given me.  In the history of education, the boredom I’m feeling right now is unsurpassed at any time, on any continent.  Please, next time you’re thinking about assigning something this boring, just don’t.  Rather, pick up something heavy and hit me in the head.  Please.”

While reading Lord of the Flies, one of my all-time favorite kids told me, “If William Golding were a dinosaur, he would be a Boring-o-saurus.”  Then his friend across the room added, “No, this book is so bad, William Golding would be a Boring-o-saurus REX—the apex predator of all other Boring-o-saurs.”  
OK, I have NEVER written anything that funny in my life.   When you’re loving the way my characters talk to each other, I’ll take credit for the punctuation and that’s about it.  


I’ve spent the last few years working with high school students who have mild to moderate reading disabilities.  I’ve been really inspired by how hard these kids fight to improve their reading.  For struggling learners it’s really important to have an interesting story—even more important than it is for adults.  There’s so much extra work that goes into reading for some kids that they have a much lower threshold for boredom.  One of my main tasks was to make this interesting enough for adults, but easy enough for younger or lower readers, as well.  

I’ve talked about monsters a lot while promoting this book.  Sometimes these monsters are reading disabilities.  Sometimes the monsters are abusive home lives.  Sometimes the monsters are their own fears, self-doubts, and insecurities.  I’ve been so inspired by watching kids stare down all kinds of beasts.   I wanted to create characters as courageous as my own students.  


Beyond the symbolic, I’ve always been fascinated by plain old scary monsters with big teeth.  I’m especially into the ones we only see in glimpses and therefore make bigger in our imaginations.  So of course my all time fave book character is Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird.  My Boo Radley is our own Seattle-area legend of Sasquatch.  I can’t say much more about that without spoiling the best scenes in the book.  I’ll just say that my own experience with him is through two of my students who went looking for him for a class project.  They either found him, or they found something that looked, sounded, and smelled like him.  Whatever it was scared the living daylights out of them.  

So that’s the pot of stew that makes my book.  Boo Radley lives in society but doesn’t want to be a part of it.   So do many hippie communities.  I made a harmless group of hippies turn into a monster (cult).   The kids are based on every student I’ve ever had, in some way.  The story is about a funny group of friends who have each other’s backs no matter what.  They must change to survive.  The monster they fear saves them, while the real monsters turn out to be people they’ve known all their lives.  This book is by, about, and for legit teens, and also for those of us who are older and wish we could go back for just one day-- to see and hear as perfectly—to feel as deeply—as we did when we were seventeen.   

Cherish the past, embrace the present, race into the future.  This is Chasing Prophecy.   

About the Author

When he's not dazzling Goodreads members with his wit and charm, the author is typically reading, writing, or watching way too much TV while snacking on chocolate treats from Trader Joe's (and who can blame him--those things are GOOD, yo!).

The author wanted to write about teenagers transforming themselves to survive. The result is "Chasing Prophecy," a story about love, loss, redemption, and monsters. Boo Radley is the author's all-time favorite book character, which is how the Seattle-area legend of Bigfoot entered this story.

Moser holds a B.A. in bookish matters and a Master's in the same. He lives in Seattle with his wife and eight year old son.

Author Links:
 photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

a Rafflecopter giveaway