Spotlight on Vicious Spirits (Kat Cho), Excerpt, Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to spotlight Vicious Spirits by Kat Cho.
Read on for more about Kat and her book, an excerpt, plus an giveaway!
Meet Kat Cho!
Kat Cho used to hide books under the bathroom sink and then sneak in there to read after bedtime. Her parents pretended not to know. This helped when she decided to write a dinosaur time-travel novel at the tender age of nine. Sadly, that book was not published. She currently lives and works in NYC and spends her free time trying to figure out what kind of puppy to adopt.
Meet Vicious Spirits!
New romance and dangers abound in this companion to the crowd-pleasing Wicked Fox.
As Vicious Spirits begins, Miyoung and Jihoon are picking up the pieces of their broken lives following the deaths of Miyoung's mother, Yena, and Jihoon's grandmother. With the support of their friend Somin, and their frenemy, Junu, they might just have a shot at normalcy. But Miyoung is getting sicker and sicker by the day and her friends don't know how to save her. With few options remaining, Junu has an idea but it might require the ultimate sacrifice and, let's be honest, Junu isn't known for his "generosity." Meanwhile, the events at the end of Wicked Fox have upended the forces that govern life and death and there are supernatural entities lurking in the background that will stop at nothing to right their world.
~ Excerpt ~
Somin Partial Chapter – 1,468 Words
Somin liked to think she was pretty tough. She didn’t scare easily. She would never run from a fight, especially if it meant defending someone she loved. Still, knowing that the monsters in her childhood storybooks were real was a cold shock to the ever-practical Lee Somin. Now she had to readjust her whole way of looking at the world. And for a girl who always liked to be right, it was a hard thing to accept.
As Somin let the door close behind her, she wasn’t sure what she expected, but Gu Miyoung in an apron, dusting the shelves, was not it.
“Did I step into an alternate universe?” Somin asked.
Miyoung glanced up. She was beautiful. With ebony hair that swung halfway down her back, long legs, thick lashes, full lips. But when she looked close enough, Somin saw the worry in the pursed set of Miyoung’s mouth.
“I know how to clean an apartment,” Miyoung said. “I’m not a total slob.”
“Oh, I never thought that,” Somin said. “I just figured dusting was beneath a gumiho.”
“Well, I’m not really a gumiho anymore,” Miyoung muttered.
The only thing weirder than realizing that her new friend had been a gumiho was learning how she’d become a not-gumiho. Betrayal, lost fox beads, a long-lost father, and an overprotective mother.
Somin had grown up hearing stories about gumiho— nine-tailed foxes with the ability to live forever as long as they devoured the energy of men. And in the span of one night, she’d had to accept that they existed and that there was one who wanted to kill her best friend, Jihoon. Miyoung’s mother, Gu Yena, to be exact. A gumiho who had lived for hundreds of years and had been willing to do anything, even kill—even die—to protect Miyoung.
It had been a few months since she found out Miyoung’s secret, and sometimes Somin still forgot that Miyoung wasn’t just human.
Jihoon walked out of his bedroom, a tall boy with a lanky frame and hair that always looked mussed, probably because, more often than not, he’d just woken up from a nap. He spotted Somin and gave her a sad smile. It looked wrong on his handsome face. His face was better suited for wicked grins that made his dimples wink. But Somin supposed he had nothing to really smile about today.
“Jihoon-ah, are you putting your girlfriend to work while you sleep away the day?” Somin said, but there was no bite to the words.
His smile deepened a bit, so there was a hint of dimples. Like a ghostly trace of the affable boy Somin had grown up with.
“She volunteered for cleaning duty. Don’t offer to do the boring work if you don’t want me to accept.” He shrugged. Jihoon was never one to make excuses, but his blunt honesty was part of his charm, usually.
“I’d rather dust than try to clean out the black hole you call a bedroom,” Miyoung said.
“You make fun of it, but when the government pays me billions to study the natural phenomenon of a black hole right here in Seoul, you’ll be sorry,” Jihoon quipped.
Somin rolled her eyes, but secretly she was relieved her best friend was still able to make jokes on a day like today. “What job should I do?” She glanced at the empty boxes scattered throughout the room. Not even a dish towel packed away yet. Perhaps because these weren’t just things. This was everything that Jihoon had left of his halmeoni—the woman who had raised him. And now she was gone. Somin understood why the boxes were still empty: because packing away these things was like packing away memories.
She started to reach for a box at the same time Miyoung did. When their hands brushed, she felt a spark, like static shock. It happened often when she came in contact with the former gumiho, as if Miyoung’s latent fox abilities still hungered for energy.
“Sorry,” Miyoung muttered.
“No worries,” Somin assured her. “As long as you don’t suck out all my gi, we can stay friends.”
Miyoung pursed her lips at that. She still wasn’t quite able to joke about her old gumiho life. Somin couldn’t really blame her. After all, she figured it had to be traumatizing to survive by taking the lives of others.
“Knock, knock.” Somin’s mother opened the front door. “Sorry I’m late. Traffic was horrible. I was going to take the subway, but I just didn’t want to deal with so many sweaty people. I hate public transportation during the summer. But then I guess everyone else had the same idea to drive, and it took way too long to get here.”
Somin almost laughed. Usually, it was a toss-up who was taking care of whom between the two. Her mother was all spark and energy and light. But she was also so scattered she’d forget her own brain if it wasn’t shut securely in her head. Even though Somin was just a nineteen-year-old high school senior, she was definitely the more responsible out of the two.
There was no one in this world Somin loved as much as her mother, except maybe Jihoon. They weren’t quite a traditional family, but Somin considered them a unit.
“It’s all right, Ms. Moon, we haven’t even gotten started,” Jihoon said.
“Some of us have,” Miyoung muttered.
“Well, what should we tackle first?” Somin’s mother clapped her hands together and looked expectantly at her daughter.
Now Somin did laugh. It always fell on her to take charge. “Jihoon, why don’t you take care of your black-hole room. Miyoung, can you do the bathroom? Mom, can you do . . .” She hesitated, then said, “The back room?” because she couldn’t quite bring herself to say “Halmeoni’s room.”
Her mom gave her a knowing smile. “Of course.” She picked up a box and headed to the back.
Jihoon stared after Somin’s mother as she opened the door to Halmeoni’s room. He still didn’t move as the door closed behind her.
“Jihoon-ah,” Somin said.
“Clean my black hole of a room, got it,” he said, his voice way too bright.
“Is he doing all right?” Somin asked Miyoung when Jihoon was gone.
“He’s surviving,” Miyoung said as she picked up a box and hauled it into the small bathroom.
Somin sighed. That wasn’t what she had asked. But she knew that Miyoung had lived the first eighteen years of her life shutting the rest of the world out. For Miyoung, surviving was the main goal of life.
The living space of the apartment was small and cozy. The well-used couch slouching in the middle from decades of use. Yellow bujeoks fluttered against the door frame—talismans taped around the entryway to ward off bad energy.
Somin started on the kitchen, putting pots and pans into boxes. She wondered if they should save the mugs and dishes. Maybe Jihoon would want some later? Or was she overthinking this?
She wiped her arm against her sweaty forehead and turned to rummage through the fridge for a drink. It was empty. Honestly, Somin had no idea how those two had survived together in this apartment the last four months.
The front door opened and let in the noise of the outside.
That must be Oh Changwan, the final one of their motley crew. Late as usual. With some halfhearted plan to cheer herself up by giving Changwan hell, Somin stepped out of the kitchen. Changwan was tall and gangly. With a buzz cut that highlighted his too-big ears. He hated the cut, but his strict father insisted on it. Changwan was a sweet boy with a nervous energy that probably came from the high expectations his rich father had for his firstborn son. Somin always felt like Changwan would do much better with more carrot and less stick. But she also knew she couldn’t poke her nose into another family’s private business.
“I know, I know. I’m late. But I brought iced Americanos.” Changwan was trying to balance a tray of iced drinks and Somin almost wept with gratitude. There was no air-conditioning in the apartment, and she was roasting. But she stopped short as she saw who stood behind Changwan.
Where Changwan was tall and gangly, this other boy was tall and lean in an almost athletic way. Though, Somin had never seen Junu exercise once since she’d known him. He had the kind of figure that wore clothes well. His hair was silky and perfectly styled. His eyes were striking as they met hers. And Somin glared in greeting.
“How did you get in here?” she demanded.
“Why? You thought I only existed in your dreams?” Junu winked.
She almost groaned. She really hated this dokkaebi.
By: Kat Cho
Publisher: G.P. Putnam BFYR
Release Date: August 18th, 2020
Two winners will receive a copy of Vicious Spirits (Kat Cho) ~ (US Only)
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I love how there are Korean words on the front, I've never seen a book with anything other than English on the cover. I read the first one very quickly, and I can't wait to see where the story goes from here!