I’m so excited to be opening this tour and introducing y’all to Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett. This book is an exhilarating thriller with an older YA main character who gets looped into joining a cult. This new release is perfect for fans of Sadie and The Girls, and I hope each of you are as excited as we are for it!
Those Who Prey
by Jennifer Moffett
Releasing on November 10th, 2020
Published by Atheneum, Simon & Schuster
YA FICTION—Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery, Cults
Sadie meets The Girls in this riveting debut psychological thriller about a lonely college freshman seduced into joining a cult—and her desperate attempt to escape before it’s too late.
College life isn’t what Emily expected.
She expected to spend freshman year strolling through the ivy-covered campus with new friends, finally feeling like she belonged. Instead, she walks the campus alone, still not having found her place or her people so far away from home.
But then the Kingdom finds her.
The Kingdom, an exclusive on-campus group, offers everything Emily expected of college and more: acceptance, friends, a potential boyfriend, and a chance to spend the summer in Italy on a mission trip. But the trip is not what she thought it would be. Emily and the others are stripped of their passports and money. They’re cut off from their families back home. The Kingdom’s practices become increasingly manipulative and dangerous.
And someone ends up dead.
At times unsettling and always riveting, Those Who Prey looks at the allure of cult life, while questioning just how far we’re willing to go to find where we belong.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and Those Who Prey?
Hi! I’m Jennifer Moffett, a debut author, creative writing instructor, and “zookeeper” with two dogs and three cats on the Gulf Coast. Those Who Prey is a YA thriller about a shy college freshman who is seduced into joining a campus cult, which leads to a deadly mission trip to Italy where she must find a way out before it’s too late.
What was the most surprising experience you had while writing this book?
Once I really got to know my characters, they took the story in very surprising directions. As writers, we like to think we are 100% in control of everything that happens. But sometimes our characters rebel, which can make things a lot more interesting.
Are there any specific connections you’ve made within your book that relate to you specifically?
I studied abroad my sophomore year of college, but it involved tours of historical sites and museums, which is basically what Emily would have hoped for in her trip to Italy. Unfortunately, she experienced a very different scenario.
What is something you’ve learned while going through the publishing process?
Everything in publishing is soooooooo slow. It’s just the way things are. So I’ve had to learn patience and how to stay productive with other projects while waiting for the next step.
Where did you get the inspiration for Those Who Prey?
My general idea for Those Who Prey started with the image of an unconscious college girl in the middle of Tuscany. And then questions followed: What happened to her? How did she get there? Who was with her before this happened?
Are you currently drafting anything, and if so, can you spill any details?
My upcoming thriller is about a reluctant teen psychic and an aspiring journalist who search for the connection between a missing girl and the supernatural events upending their small Ozark town. So another psychological thriller is coming your way in 2022!
Being a 2020 debut, what have been the best and worst parts about publishing during this year?
Whew! What a year, right? The worst part has been the uncertainty surrounding the Covid pandemic and knowing I won’t be able to do in-person events for a while because I was really looking forward to meeting readers and other authors in real life. The best part by far would be the amazing friendships with other authors I’ve made through my debut group and the writing community.
Lastly, what do you hope readers learn from your book?
When I researched the real-life accounts of campus cult survivors struggling with anxiety, anger, and even shame from their experiences, I was so moved by their heartbreaking stories. Those Who Prey is a thriller, but I also wanted to show step-by-step how this could happen to anyone. I hope readers will feel empathy and understanding for anyone who has been through a similar experience.
JENNIFER MOFFETT grew up in Arkansas, where she spent her childhood playing in creeks and climbing trees while dreaming up stories about faraway places. A college study abroad program sparked her lifelong passion for travel. After working in children’s television in New York City, she received an MA in Creative Writing and wrote book reviews for regional publications. Her short stories and poems have appeared in various literary journals, including New Orleans Review and descant. She teaches creative writing on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where she enjoys kayaking, gardening, reading outdoors, and planning trips to new places (preferably with great local yarn shops and bookstores).
Her debut YA thriller, THOSE WHO PREY (Atheneum, Simon & Schuster), is about a shy college freshman who is seduced into joining a campus cult, leading her on a deadly mission trip to Italy.
Up for grabs, we have two giveaways available: one on Instagram and one via Rafflecopter. Each will have ONE digital copy (via NetGalley) and ONE physical copy of Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett as prizes. This giveaway will run from November 3rd to November 12th at 11:59 PM CST. The physical copy is only available to win by US residents. The digital copy will only be available for INTL. Enter to win by clicking the button below!