Book Blitz! Deviations by Anma Natsu - Interview - Excerpt - Giveaway!

Anma Natsu
Publication date: February 14th 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
“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.
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It’s funny how I never noticed till now. Miho, I mean. I’d talked to her a few times in the library, though only to exchange the usual greetings and perform book transactions. But we hadn’t really talked, not until Taka approached her. Then watching her, I realized she was like me. Her eyes had that same deadness to them. Did her preference for long clothes make it easier to cover bruises, like I had to? Was she always alone because it was easier—easier to hide the shame and the pain if you had no one around? Now that I’d acknowledged it, I was hyperaware of it, looking for more clues. When she checked me out at the library, I thought I spotted a white scar on her wrist. I wanted to ask her, ask her about all of it, but that would have been crass. You never talk about that sort of thing in public, and not with strangers. We were still strangers, after all, even if we had the darkness in common. After leaving the library, I’d taken the books to our hideout before heading back into town. I never took the books I got home out of fear something might happen to them. It was one thing when they were my own books, but letting my dad destroy other people’s property, much less community property, would be pretty crappy. So I kept them safe where only Taka and I could find them. I was heading home when I spotted her walking across the river from me. I don’t think she saw me before that pack of girls surrounded her. It was clear they’d been lying in wait. I leaned on the rail and watched them with an odd sense of pride in Miho for not crying. She was used to it, like I was. People like us, we learn how to endure. Crying, appearing weak, it only gets them going worse, feeding on whatever it is inside them that makes them have to hurt others. Miho only broke when they stole the scarf we’d picked out for her. That bothered me a little. Though I knew it was better not to interfere, I moved towards the bridge to cross to the other side. I was halfway across when the scarf hit the river and Miho was left there to watch it float away. Only she didn’t. She dived into the water without hesitation. I ran, scared she would drown. All those heavy clothes could easily pull her under, but when I reached the bank I realized she was swimming. Her arms breached the water at her side before slicing back into the water above her head like a professional. The only difference was her legs stuck straight out behind her instead of kicking. Smart girl. Then she was back at the bank and lying on top of me, both of us panting even though she’d done all the work. Her body was thin, but soft and warm. Her chest was small, a B cup at best, but more likely an A. Still, they felt nice. She felt nice.

Excerpt #2

As soon as I saw Shinji walking towards me, I knew it had happened again. The long-sleeved shirt, the stiff gait, the subtle winces as he walked. I grabbed his hand, leading him towards the mountain. He didn’t complain. He knew I knew. It was all part of the fucked-up game we played, just like me trying to act normal when I was raging inside. “No girl today?” “Nope. I didn’t see her where I met her yesterday. She said it wasn’t her usual way, so she probably went back to her routine.” “Were you hoping she’d be there?” “Maybe…” he said, his voice almost wistful before he shook his head. “Well, maybe not today. We wouldn’t have been able to talk much.” “You have some strange tastes in girls, you know? She’s so plain and boring. Not much of a challenge at all.” “You think so?” Shinji laughed softly as we entered the forest. “Miho-chan isn’t boring at all. She’s fascinating.” I nearly stumbled on a tree limb as I stared at him in disbelief. “I thought you didn’t want to do her?” “I don’t. Well, I do, in a general ‘she’s a girl and cute’ sort of way, but that’s not what makes her interesting.” He stopped as we reached our refuge. Once we were inside, I locked the door behind us, just like always. Didn’t want any interlopers stumbling on our place. We’d found the cabin when we were kids. From the first, we considered it ours. Over the years, we fixed it up into a perfect hideaway for two boys needing time to themselves. The shiny padlock we’d installed helped keep anyone who might somehow find it out when we weren’t there. This was a sacrosanct place—ours and ours alone. We never brought any of our girls here, or anyone else. Only those in our innermost circle were allowed, a circle comprised of just us two. “Where?” I asked as we moved into the main area. “Mostly my back.” “Get your shirt off and go lie down.” While he complied, I retrieved some cold compresses from our small fridge and a tube of arnica cream from the first aid kit. After so many years of patching up his father’s handiwork, I suspected I had one of the most well-stocked kits in the world. Burns, cuts, bruises. You name it, I could fix it. When I was younger, before realizing I had no say in the matter, I considered becoming a doctor so I’d be able to help him even better. The angry red welts marking his back stirred a familiar mix of rage and sadness. I took a few deep breaths to calm myself. It wouldn’t do him any good, and there was no place I could direct it. But pushing aside the anger left the other, the pain of seeing his beautiful skin marred. By some miracle, his father hadn’t left any permanent scars so far, but I hated every bruise, every cut. In my mind I could see them all, layered on Shinji’s skin, barely a patch left that bastard hadn’t touched. Kneeling next to him, I touched him as lightly as I could as I smoothed on the cream. At least most of the welts were close together, making it easier to fit the compresses on them. When I was done, I stretched out on the bed beside him. Shinji turned his head so he could look at me. I wanted to turn away, unable to bear how sweetly he was looking at me when I was so completely useless. Instead I reached up and stroked his cheek, swallowing hard to bite back a sudden urge to cry. He covered my hand with his own, letting the truth lie between us unsaid
What are you working on now?  Next planned release?
I’m currently working on two revision efforts.  The first is putting in the last few tweaks to my first short story, “Knives and the Girl”, that I’ll be giving away to my newsletter subscribers, hopefully before the end of March.  It’s a young adult tale set in Meiji-era Japan about a bank robbery who runs into an unexpected problem while committing a heist that just might change his life forever.

Second, and the big one, is revising my next full-length novel, The Girl in the Forest, which will be my third novel.  It is the story of a reporter who goes to the Aokigahara Forest and meets a girl who agrees to put off her suicide for one week if he’ll stay there in the forest with her.  During their time together, she shares the story of her life that eventually led to her being an enjo kōsai girl (compensated dating).  I’d really like to aim to get it released near the end of this year.

Do you know what your next new novel will be yet?
Not 100% no, since I tend to be a “pantser” and often don’t decide what I’ll be writing until a few days or weeks before I sit down to write it.  That said, I am currently toying with the idea of trying my hand at a fairy tale retelling, so I’m rereading the full Grimm Fairy Tales to see if it sparks any ideas.  I’ve also been contemplating trying something totally different from my normal writing and doing a paraquel to an existing novel by another author.  No, not Jane Austen.   Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, which is in the public domain.  Whether I will or not is another matter since it would be a more difficult piece because of dealing with some parts already being established and set.

Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yep, I have three other novels that I’ve written the first drafts too but haven’t revised: a fairly straight up romance, a post-apocalyptic romance, and a supernatural romance or maybe urban fantasy dealing with angels and demons.  All three have series potential though I have not fully decided if any of them will ever be revised and released or if I would go for a full series for any of them (since that would require me to actually write the rest of the series too LOL).

Both of your first two novels and your upcoming one are set in Japan. Do you have any places for future settings?
Yes, definitely.  It just sort of worked out that Japan ended up being the setting for the first three novels I decided to release, but I have written and intend to continue writing stories in other locales, including America, England, and in fantasy settings.  I’ll also be taking my very first trip out of the country this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my destinations inspire me to do something set there too.

Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
Probably Rashka, from my not yet released (or finished) novel The Guardian.  She is strong, honorable, brave, devoted, and in some ways the perfect embodiment of my quest to explore love as she reflects just about every kind there is.  And yet, she isn’t infallible, as will be seen if/when I finish the darn thing.

Have you ever destroyed any of your drafts?
Oh no, never!  I even still have the horrible things I scribbled at back in middle school.  The only drafts I no longer have were ones lost to hard drive crashes before I learn the importance of backups or ones lost by accident.

Hobbies and Personal Tidbit Type Questions

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in North Carolina, primarily Durham though I also spent a few years in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro areas.  I moved to the Bryan-College Station area of Texas in my early 20s and have lived here ever since.

What do you like to read in your free time?
I primarily read manga…lots and lots of manga.  It easily makes up 80-90% of my reading in a year.  I mostly read shōjo romances though I do enjoy good drama and a few shōnen titles as well.  Outside of manga, I read a few Japanese light novels, contemporary romance, and bits of YA and animal stories.  I also have a few classics I reread regularly, like Black Beauty and Little Women.

What book are you reading now?
I’m currently rereading Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales.

What are your favorite hobbies?
Reading, of course, playing video games, photography, attempting to garden, starting craft projects that I usually don’t finish, and sporadically painting.

Random, Crazy, Fun, and Miscellaneous Questions

What do you read most of: eBook or Print?
I read almost all in print, and my lovely paperbacks will be pried out of my cold dead hands *grin*  It isn’t that I dislike eBooks, they can be economical and space saving, and I do buy a handful a year.  But, really I just prefer paper.  I like the feel, used books are awesome bargains, I love standing in my library surrounded by my shelves, and seriously as someone who is sitting on a computer some 60-80 hours a week, getting away from screens is a much needed break from the eyes!

Have you ever been in trouble with the police?
Nope, I’ve lived a fairly mundane life.  Some of my family on the other hand…

Do you drink? Smoke?
I don’t smoke though when I was a teen and in my early 20s I did smoke socially.  I do drink, though, occasionally a little much (at least to me).   I like sweeter wines (hate the bitter stuff), love Smirnoff Ice Screwdrivers and Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and almost anything fruity with vodka or rum in it.  I also like a good Jack and Coke now and then.  I have yet to find a beer I like though, it just all tastes bitter and sour to me.

What is your biggest fear?
Dying alone and not being found for days or weeks on end.

What do you want your tombstone to say?
Nothing, since I don’t want one.  I want to be cremated and my ashes released into the ocean.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
Japan, of course!  I’d really love to go there in person one day, versus just “visiting” via Google Maps, though I’d want to learn Japanese first, I think, so I can more fully enjoy the experience.

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
I really want to learn to play piano.  Not just plinking keys at random like I did in high school when I had access to one at school, but actually learn to play enough to play some real songs. 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I have a scar, about an inch long, on my forehead from banging my head on a table when I was 5 or 6.  It required stitches at the time and used to be really prominent but now that I’m older it’s faded enough that I think most people don’t notice it.

What were you like as a child? Your favourite toy?
I was withdrawn, anti-social, and very introverted (even more than I am now LOL).  I didn’t really have any friends for most of elementary school and even when I made friends, it was never more than 2 or 3 and it didn’t last long.  My favourite toy was my stuffed bunny, which I still have.

Do you dream in colour?
Yes, always, and my dreams are generally vivid.  I have occasionally woken up still feeling the physical sensations of the dream.

Are you a morning or night person?
I’m a night person.  If life didn’t require me to get up early for work, I’d go to bed between 3 and 5 am and get up between 10 am and noon.  When I can live on my natural schedule, I get my best work done between 9 pm and 2 am or so.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
No.  I believe in lust and like at first sight, but to me love requires more than a visual/physical attraction.

Tea or coffee?
Mostly coffee, though I do drink hot tea sometimes too.  For some reason though tea randomly gives me a headache.

As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
I always wanted to be one of the people who did nature shows, following animals around and talking about them. 

What takes you out of your comfort zone?
Socializing with people, especially strangers.

Do you have any pets?
Yep, I have two dogs, who I refer to as Pup Dog and Grandma Dog on my podcast, and an elderly cat nicknamed Pusscat.

How many handbags do you own?
Just two.  One for day to day use and one smaller one for when I dress up really nice and don’t want to carry a big bulky bag.

What are your favourite pizza toppings?
Extra cheese and double mushroom

Have you ever gone cow-tipping?
No, while I’m a Southern girl, I’m also a city girl and have never actually been close to a cow.

Would you rather see a movie at the theatre or at home? Why?
At home.  It’s cheaper, can pause as needed, can just be conformable, and no one cares if I laugh loud or cry or talk to the characters/screen.

Most hated chore on the household chore list?
Sweeping!  It takes so long and hurts my back.

What would you do if you didn't have to work?
I’d still work.  I really can’t imagine my life without doing some sort of “work”, and really I love my job enough that I wouldn’t leave it unless I had to for other reasons.

Where can we find you online?
You can find me at my official website:  I’m also active on Facebook, Google+, and on Goodreads as AnmaNatsu.  If anyone is interested in knowing more about the writing side of things and being an indie author, my podcast The Lackadaisical Writer is available via iTunes, on iHeartRadio, and via your favorite podcast app.

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. 
You can find her online at She's also active on Facebook, Google+, and Goodreads. 
Find out about Anma's upcoming works and get exclusive content by signing up for her mailing list at 

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