Monday, February 5, 2018

Hanami NBtM

SAKURA SHINTANI is the Dragon Clan heir-Japan's most notorious crime dynasty. But can she keep this fact a secret from the prying brats of Oniyuri Academy? 

She tries to stay out of their radar while mastering her demons and keeping her murderous temper under control, but having the face of an angel only attracts everyone's attention... including the arrogant heir to Asia's most powerful tycoon, KENJIN KIYOHARA.

He senses the danger, but Sakura is too interesting to be left alone.

He snatched her backpack and swung it around his shoulder.

“Hey!” she protested, lunging for it.

Jin stepped aside, evading her grasp. He smiled to himself, taking long strides toward his car. He could hear her feet going after him.

Mr. Fujimaru was already by the car, holding the door open. His guards stood waiting like goons by the sidewalk.

“Look,” she said, grabbing his elbow before he could duck into his car, “I don’t care if you rescued me. I am not going with you! I don’t even know you!”

Her words cut right through him.

She lunged for her bag again, but Jin threw it into the farthest corner of the back seat.

He looked at her tilting his head down, their height difference apparent. He thought about what she said.

She doesn’t know me? His forehead creased. Was he really that invisible to her? He felt like someone had just slapped him across the face. He took one long look at her before ducking into his car.

He was confused. Any girl would jump at the chance to be with him—she should have been honored and groveling at his feet for rescuing her! What was wrong with her?

He felt her slide into the seat next to him, her knees slightly touching the side of his thigh. But before he could think, she reached across him, leaning her upper body against his lap to grab her bag. Jin froze.

She straightened back up, clutching her bag to her chest. Her eyes met his with a piercing glare, and a wave of heat suddenly swept over him.

Jin looked away, landing his gaze on her reflection on the car door window. Even with an angry face, she still looked so beautiful.

Jin smiled, tilting his head to the side to get a better look. I should stop this, he told himself, but it was too late. She was too interesting to be left alone.


- In the story, the main characters are part of their school’s kendo club. At first I thought I could just wing it and use what I researched online, but a part of me was also really curious about my accuracy. So I enrolled into Kendo and met Igarashi sensei. Yes, THE Igarashi sensei in my book- he is real. And I was glad I did, because everything I wrote was wrong! I had to do a rewrite and make everything correct.

The Japanese have a very respectful culture. It is evident in the way they address people. The word “san” is often if not always, used after the persons last name. If you have a close relationship with the person, then you may call them by their first name, but still always with a “san” or “chan” in the end. These are just a few words used when addressing people with respect. Another example is “sama” and “sempai”.

 I wouldn’t recommend doing this, even for research purposes-which was my excuse, because getting Tasered was painful! I wanted to know what it felt like to get Tasered so I could write a more accurate scene for my book, and boy did I regret it! My whole body stiffened the moment the electric current grounded on me, and no matter how much I wanted to move I couldn’t. Instead, I dropped to the floor and was short out of breath. The area touched by the Taser gun left a light burn mark on my skin.
Will I ever do it again? No way!

My book is named after a very popular festival in Japan called Hanami. It literally means “Flower Viewing”, specifically for the Cherry Blossom flowers that only share their blooms for a weak before falling away. Meanwhile, Sakura is the Japanese name for Cherry Blossom.

My main character--Sakura is a foodie. My being a former chef has nothing to do with this… ok maybe just a little, plus the fact that I LOVE Japanese cuisine as well. In one chapter, Sakura eats two bowls of Ramen, a plate of gyoza and some edamame, paired with a glass of cold barley tea.

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
V.C. Buckley was born in an isolated government facility and shipped off to an Island in Southeast Asia where she grew up braving tropical thunderstorms and warding off evil villains. At sixteen she was discovered by an agent and jetted off all over the world. Her stories come from gritty moments of her childhood to the glitz of her travels. She now lives in Manila with her husband, two kids and an herb garden that has hijacked her balcony.

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  1. I really enjoyed reading the guest post, thank you!

  2. I enjoyed getting to know your book; Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)