Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Blitz | Deviations by Anma Natsu | Giveaway

by Anma Natsu
Published: February 14th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
“We’re just deviants, that’s all. You, me, Taka. We’re deliciously, wonderfully deviant.”

Seventeen-year-old Miho has spent years struggling to deal with the aftermath of a tragic accident. Between the nightmares, PTSD, depression, and her parents’ abandonment, the burden of being the sole survivor has her near her breaking point. The darkness whispers to her, promises of release from the pain, from being a burden, if she is willing to give up.

While the girls love classmate Shinji’s blond hair and blue eyes, to his father it’s all the proof he needs that his wife was unfaithful. Unwanted and unloved, Shinji is used to his mother’s hatred, his brother’s indifference, and his father’s violence. Male or female, he doesn’t care; his regular string of sexual partners helps him temporarily forget that he will soon have to leave the only person he loves, if he can survive that long.

As the first-born son, Shinji’s best friend Taka has known from birth that his future was not his own. He’ll go to the right schools, get the right grades, take over the family business, and produce a perfect heir with a perfect wife, just as his father dictates. Taka’s wants and desires are irrelevant; he can’t change his fate nor escape it, any more than he can protect the only person who keeps him sane.

Drawn to one another like moths to a flame, the three find themselves torn between what society deems acceptable and a happiness they never dreamed existed.

The next day, she had to work in the library, so we went to the arcade until the campus was getting ready to close before returning to the school. We waited across the street. This time of year, it was still sunny at the time she came out, but again she didn’t seem to notice us, so we followed along behind her for a few blocks.

Once she entered Hakodate Park, I called out to her. I thought for sure she was going to run since this time she looked scared when she glanced back at us. Thinking back on it now, it was kind of mean to do, considering she was a girl by herself in the evening, and we were two guys following her around.

I was having fun keeping her on edge, like a cat playing with its prey. Again with the cat analogies. I laughed to myself. Still, I hadn’t intended to freak her out, so I flashed my extra friendly smile that usually turns girls to puddles, the Charming Playboy mode I didn’t give her yesterday.

“Hey, sorry for startling you. I wanted to give you this, that’s all. To repay you for helping Mitsu.” I handed her the long pink box from the store we’d stopped at.

“Oh, okay.” She looked at the box as if it might bite her. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah, take it.”

She politely took it with both hands before lifting off the top. Her eyes went wide when she saw the scarf inside. The one we picked out was nicer than that other thing she had, made of a soft fabric in a rich, deep blue with white flowers. It was pretty without being overly girly, something that would suit her since she didn’t seem to go for playing up her feminine side.

“This is really for me? I…” Tears filled her eyes as she lifted it out. “It’s so pretty. I…I don’t deserve this. I really don’t. I…”

Worried she might refuse it, I slipped it from her hands and wrapped it around her neck for her, tying it loosely like she’d worn the other one. “There, perfect.”

“Aww, man, you made her cry,” Shinji said as her tears left wet streaks on her cheeks. It wasn’t the reaction I’d expected. When most girls get gifts, they squeal and giggle while blushing.

“No, no, he didn’t,” she said as she wiped her eyes with the handkerchief he’d handed her. “It’s the first time anyone has given me a gift in a long time, and it made me all silly. I’m sorry.”

Her light-pink lips turned up slightly. It was a shaky smile, but I admit, it was kind of cute. She bowed deeply. “Thank you, Okamura-kun.”

I was surprised she knew my name. I’d watched her during the class breaks and stuff. All day yesterday and today, not a single person came over to say a word to her. She’d been alone all the time. A loner like that wouldn’t usually bother learning her classmates’ names. But she had known mine.

“You can call me Taka, if you want. Everyone does.”

“Oh, okay, um, Taka-kun.” Another uncertain smile, though she was looking less afraid now.

“Miho-chan, you busy? We were about to get some dinner if you wanna hang out with us,” Shinji said. I’m not sure who his invitation surprised more, me or her. I gave him a sharp glance, but he wasn’t giving her that look he usually had for a target. Nothing predatory or turned on at all, rather it was a kind of knowing look tinged with sadness. I couldn’t understand it at all.

“I…” She hesitated, her hands fidgeting with the edges of the scarf. She didn’t seem afraid, but more like Shinji’s gaze made her uneasy. “I wish I could, but, um, it’s my turn to make dinner at home tonight. My parents will expect me soon, so, um, I should go. Thank you again, Taka-kun.”

She took a few steps back. I half expected her to bolt, but she paused, to look at Shinji. “Um, Shinji-kun, we…that is, um, we got a new book in you might like. I kept it behind the desk for you.”

“Oh, cool. I’ll be by tomorrow to check it out. Thanks.”

She smiled another shaky smile then turned to leave. Once she was out of sight, I laughed. “Man, she is a jumpy little thing, eh? Wonder if it was her first time talking to guys or something. Wouldn’t surprise me if she was a virgin. Hell, the way she always wears those bulky, hot clothes, you wouldn’t even know she was a girl except for the skirt. I don’t think she has any tits at all, poor thing.”

Shinji didn’t join me in my mirth, though. He kept looking in the direction she’d gone.

“Shinji?” I prompted.

“Hmm? Oh, sorry. Mind wandered a moment,” he replied with a self-deprecating grin. “Miho isn’t that bad-looking, and she has some. I’ve seen them, when she has to stretch to shelve books. Not huge, but enough to have fun with. So, you planning to do her?”

“Her? Ha, have you lost your mind? Girls like that would be super clingy and expect romance and love and all that crap. I was just repaying my obligations, and she is kind of fun to tease.” As we headed out of the park, he looked back one more time. “What about you? You seem interested in her.”

“Oh? No, not like that. It’s more…” His voice trailed off. The silence stretched between us before he suddenly shook his head and gave me a grin. “It’s nothing. Come on, I’m starving.”

I felt like I’d missed something important in that exchange with Miho, as if the two of them had had an entirely separate conversation right in front of me without me realizing it. But what was it? What had they said with their eyes that Shinji felt he had to keep from me? We never kept secrets, not ever. So why was he lying to me now?

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+Newsletter

Anma Natsu is a Texas-based writer of stories that explore love in its various forms, including how it can be both good and bad parts of our lives, sometimes at the same time. Her not quite conventional stories span a range of genres but rarely follow the standard fare.

When she isn't writing, writing, voraciously reading manga and light novels, playing too many video games, and hosting her own podcast, Anma works as a web developer and steals all the free time she can to snuggle with her sweetie and her pets.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for featuring Deviations during its book blitz!


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