Thursday, July 17, 2014

A kiss in Harajuku

A girl is walking on the street in Harajuku, Japan.
She's disappointed that her boyfriend had other plans for the evening.
Without warning a stranger, a boy, rushes up to her and kisses her.
He disappears into the crowd.
Intrigued, she attempts to find him and in the bat of an eye, becomes entangled in a dangerous game.
A biologist has been murdered and a deadly virus is on the loose.

What a great premise for a novel. We're pleased to have Linda Hamonu join us as our guest blogger this week to introduce her latest book, Harajuku Kiss. Linda and I became acquainted due to our participation in the Weekend Writing Warriors project. Regular readers of these columns will be familiar with my photography, which is another interest in which Linda and I have in common. You can see some of her images HERE.

First, a bit about Linda and then an excerpt from Harajuku Kiss.
Welcome Linda!

Author bio:

Born in November 1983 in Brittany, France, Linda Hamonou spent a lot of time lost in Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novels. She entered university to study physics and obtained her PhD at Queen's University Belfast in 2009. Her studies allowed her to travel to Europe and America. She then moved to Japan and after three years doing research in Tokyo, she is currently doing a new postdoc in Sendai, Japan.


As I walked, I had the bizarre sensation someone was observing me. I could have run like Seiji, but it seemed impossible with my backpack.
On one hand, I always carried heavy stuff. Even when I wanted to travel light, I ended up with something unnecessary, like books I wouldn’t read or in this case my computer. I had been too lazy to bring it back home before coming here.
On the other hand, I was a terrible runner. Running made my jaws ache. Running in this street, I would for sure never reach the station, let alone escape someone. I decided to pretend I didn’t notice. It could be that old man again or just my imagination. I didn’t look back. I just dug my hands further in my pockets, if that was at all possible, and held tight on the memory stick. I needed to be more careful with it for sure. The old man knew I had it and other people surely did as well. I was afraid. I heard the steps of a man coming closer. I turned right, I was far from the station. The streets here were not so crowded anymore. I wanted to get somewhere with a lot of people. It felt safer, in the middle of people nobody would try anything.
It came from my left side. Someone pulled on my shoulder and quickly put his hand on my mouth, dragging me in the dark. I panicked using very disorganized movements to try and free myself from the grasp, not really knowing how to do it.
Would you stay quiet? I’ll free you if you promise to stay quiet?” It was the voice of the old man from earlier.
I tried to calm down and nodded. No matter, who he was, this time I was no longer afraid of running. He pushed me against the wall, still keeping his sweaty old hand on my mouth. It was salty and disgusting. I would never have imagined this old man could have such strength.
They are not people to take lightly,” he said as he took his hand away slowly.
I took few steps toward the exit. I didn’t want to stay in this dark alley with him. He was freaking me out even more than the feeling of being followed, but he pulled me back holding on my bag.
What do you think you’re doing?” I wanted to yell, but the fear made my voice sound like an inaudible whisper.
I had always wondered why some people wouldn’t yell while in danger, here was my answer: their voice was frozen. And unfortunately or fortunately, tonight, I was one of them.
Two men are following you,” he said.
I know that, thanks,” I answered.
You know it and you still walked in this empty street, are you insane?” he said shaking his head in disbelief.

Catch up with Linda here: