I’ve teamed up with the Kindle Book Review for their September Author Meet & Great. Check out some great books, including my new release MOSES THE SINGER, enter to win some cool prizes. It’s a win-win for everyone! You have something to read, I reach new readers, and you have a chance to win, too!
I had a great time with author and book reviewer Fran Lewis on her blogtalkradio show this morning. We chatted for an hour about my latest novel Moses the Singer. We delved into themes, characters, story, and how the novel came about.
Learn about the genesis of the main character Musa Marbun and how it all started when living in Asia and seeing the difficult lives of many of the poorer people. I also talked about my years teaching teenagers and how that helped me craft the young musicians in the story.
My new novel MOSES THE SINGER is on sale for only 99 cents July 30 through August 5! This is the first time this novel’s price has ever been reduced, so please take advantage of it. What’s it about?
A talented group of teen musicians. A stateless old man living on the margins of society. What do they have in common? Humanity and sweet music.Will, Sanchez, Song-Yi, and Stephanie attend an American international school on the island of Penang, Malaysia. But at night, they are a talented band of musicians striving to win their school’s talent show, so they can further their dreams of becoming professional musicians.
Musa “Moses” Marbun has been without a country for forty-six years. The crippled and destitute rickshaw driver pedals tourists through the quaint streets of Penang’s capital city to meet his daily needs.
One day when downtown, Song-Yi witnesses Musa being beaten on a sidewalk for a theft he didn’t commit. As she intervenes on his behalf, an unlikely friendship ensues, which puts the band on a collision course with musical destiny while Musa hopes to end his decades long journey through the wilderness by confronting his past.
Introducing the Band:
Song-Yi, lead singer
Will, guitarist & composer
Sanchez, bass guitarist
Moses the Singer
Author Colleen Chesebro posted a great review of my latest novel. Here’s her first paragraph:
“I’ve been a fan of Mark Sasse’s books for around six years, now. What makes his writing most memorable is how his characters often require lessons to learn and various problems to overcome before they reach redemption. Many of his stories take place in or around Penang, Malaysia where Sasse taught school, which gives his stories a unique Asian flair.”
Please head on over to her great site to read the rest HERE!
I wrote this novel in the summer of 2019, and one of my projects this past year was to revise, edit, and eventually publish it. It’s finally here.
This story spawns out of two ideas. First, the downtrodden of society. I’ve lived overseas many years and I’ve witnessed scores of hardworking people who had basically nothing. It made me realize how lucky and privileged I am in the simple things of life like having a nice bed, plenty of food, heat and running water–let alone the chance to travel and use technology. I’m blessed, and I know it. One thought I’ve always had was who are the ultra-talented people in society who have never had a chance to shine and grow in their talent. How many incredible voices will never be heard because of where they were born. As the back of my book states: TALENT IS DISTRIBUTED EQUALLY BY GOD!
With that in mind, I wanted to tell a story of a downtrodden and forgotten man of society who had a hidden talent. Thus the beginning of Moses the Singer.
The second idea comes out of my eleven years teaching at an international school in the wonderful tropical island of Penang, Malaysia. I worked with many talented teens over the years, so I decided to use that backdrop of island life and teen musicians from a local school to combine with my first idea.
These two ideas are the backbone of the story: Justice for the downtrodden, music for the masses.
This is my first Young Adult book, and I had a blast writing it — especially trying to figure out the banter between the teens. I hope I nailed it.
It’s a fun, tragic, yet uplifting story. I hope you’ll give it a try. Available from July 1st in Kindle and paperback.
EARLY PRAISE FOR Moses the Singer:
“If you’re looking for a feel-good read that will help you believe in humanity once again, make “Moses, the Singer,” that book.” – Author Colleen Chesebro
“Sasse manages to pen a masterful tale filled with many unexpected twists and turns which is sure to please a wide reading audience. He skillfully demonstrates the art of kindness and compassion combined with determination to positively affect the lives of the less fortunate people in our world. Very touching novel!” – inspirational author Dolores Ayotte
“The story takes the reader on a journey through numerous emotions. Grab a tissue to blot your tears of joy and tears of sorrow. Highly recommend.” – Reviewer L. Denn
Moses the Singer, my brand new YA novel set to release on July 1, has two beginnings. The first part of the novel is told from two different point of views. First, there’s the story of four talented teen musicians as they plan to win their school’s talent show. The second part is about Musa “Moses” Marbun, a destitute and country-less old man living a meager and marginalized existence on the island of Penang. Then the stories merge.
I’d like to share both beginnings with you. The novel will be available in Kindle and paperback starting July 1. Kindle pre-orders are being taken now!
EXCERPT 1 – CHAPTER 1 YOU SUCK – In this chapter, you get to meet the bantering Will & Sanchez who have been playing music together for years.
The patio door whipped open and startled the two teens sitting on upside-down white paint buckets—papers with lyrics and chords strewn on top of a plastic table in front of them. “Enough. Please. Will, you’re killing me.” The teen lowered the six-string into his lap. Behind him, two yellow palms towered in ceramic pots. “I’m just trying to get this song down.” Will’s father tapped his clenched fist on the glass door. “Isn’t it obvious? That song is not going down, and if it does, it’s going to be regurgitated back up.” “All right, Dad. Jeez.” “I’m sorry. I’m just trying to get some sleep.” Sanchez, at Will’s left holding his fretless bass, glanced over at Will’s father. “Will the killer. That’s what I call him.” “Shut up,” snapped Will. “You’re killing this song. And I don’t mean that as a compliment.” “Boy, you two are really supportive.” Will stood up and hit his knee on the side of the table, knocking several pages onto the patio stone. “Why don’t you guys wrap it up, okay?” shouted the perturbed father. “All right. But did you hear my singing?” “Who couldn’t hear your singing?” “Sanchez thinks we need another singer.” Sanchez waved his hands in the air and blurted the honest truth as clearly as humanly possible. “Dude, you suck.” “Why is everyone attacking me?” Will threw his left arm into the air, his right still grasping the neck of the guitar. “Because it’s 2 A.M. and your screeching is keeping all the night critters from their work. And my nighttime work is sawing logs so I can do actual work in the morning. That’s what I do. I work to support your garage band habits.” “But Dad … just listen to one thing.” Sanchez along with Will’s dad lowered their heads in synchronous agony. “Come on, just give me a second.” Will returned to the upside-down paint bucket, lowered his hands on the fretboard, and plucked out a series of notes clear and melodic—a beautiful sonic moment, until his mouth opened and inserted a strand of battle-weary notes which had been ripped to shreds by the Muse—the sage protector of all melodic harmony. Sanchez put his hands over his ears and mumbled, “It’s been like this all evening.” He put down his bass and snapped open his case. Will’s dad stepped a foot out onto the patio. “Will, listen to me.” Will stopped playing, which allowed the creatures in the neighborhood to catch their breath. “You’re a terrific guitar player. Really, I’m amazed at what you can do. But you’ve got a disease, and you need to admit it.” “A disease?” “Yes, it’s called the Kerry Livgren syndrome.” “There’s a name for this?” inquired Sanchez, clasping the buckles on his case close. “Kerry Livgren. Master composer, guitar player, musician extraordinaire of the classic rock band Kansas?” Both boys stared into the blank night with confused looks. “You know, ‘Dust in the Wind,’ ‘Carry on Wayward Son’?” “Dad, do you have a point?” “Yes, Kerry Livgren was a musical wizard, but he couldn’t sing a lick. Or as Sanchez stated so eloquently, his voice sucked!” “What are you trying to say?” Will’s dad used his left index finger to point at the place between his eyebrows several times. He seemed to be rubbing out the rough edges of his stress-induced midnight headache. “You need to find a new singer.” “That’s what I’ve been telling him for a year,” chimed Sanchez. “But—” “And go to bed. Do the latter, first.” “I’ll catch you later, Will. Good night, Mr. Jennings.” “Good night, Sanchez,” offered Will’s dad. Will, guitar in hand, walked past his dad standing in the sliding glass doorway. “Good night, Will.” “I’m still a little angry at you,” moaned the guitar player. “The sheep over my bed feel the same way. I guess we’re even.”