Friday, March 16, 2018

Blog Tour: These Vengeful Souls by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas- Excerpt & Giveaway

Welcome to the blog tour for These Vengeful Souls presented by Xpresso Book Tours! These Vengeful Souls is the final novel in Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas These Vicious Masks trilogy and ends spectacularly! I've adored this series and am stoked to share it will all of yo.

England, 1883. On the run with the grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn wants two things: to be reunited with her friends, and to get revenge on the evil Captain Goode. Not only has he misused his and Sebastian's powers to rack up a terrible death toll, but he's also completely destroyed any hope of Evelyn or her friends regaining the life they once knew.

Evelyn is determined to make Captain Goode pay for what he's done, but is her revenge worth risking the lives of Sebastian and her friends? Or is it better to flee the city and focus on staying alive? And with the Captain spreading lies about Sebastian in an attempt to flush them out of hiding and turn the populace against them, does she even have a choice at all?

Add on Goodreads or check out my review!

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10 Power Moments We Didn’t Get To Use 
by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

One of our favorite aspects of writing superhero fiction is taking powers and finding unexpected, atypical uses for them– the types of little things a person who has lived with a power for years would come up with. So as we spent years writing this trilogy, with these characters in our heads, we’d sometimes come up with a clever or unique moment with a power and set the idea aside until we found the right place for it in our story. Here are some of ideas we never got the chance to put in.
Warning: There might be some These Vengeful Souls spoilers in here, especially the last two! 

Sebastian Putting Big Mouths To Sleep
Sebastian was always tricky because had he a different personality, he might use his power more … creatively, you might say. One idea we would have loved to use, was that since Sebastian knew exactly how long it would take for him to make someone faint and fall unconscious - but not die - we wanted him to put Mr. Kent to sleep whenever he was too long-winded and annoying. We loved playing with their relationship and have many different AU ideas for them …

Mr. Kent
We can admit it: Mr. Kent is the most fun. Not just because he is so very witty (yes, we are complimenting ourselves here), but because of his power. We had a blast thinking up different ways he might use it. But there are so many more things we wanted to do! We wanted to see him embarrass our group more but also turn Society upside down by forcing everyone to actually say what they mean, for once. 

Miss Chen & Ripping Bodices
We love Miss Chen’s ability to break things and had a blast thinking of fun ways to use that power. One was having her accidentally/not-so-accidentally? break open Sebastian’s shirt when she first meets him. It embarrassed Evelyn and Sebastian, amused Miss Chen and frustrated Mr. Kent. However, we ultimately decided it came off more mean to Sebastian than funny and it wasn’t appropriate for the moment, so we just kept it as something she does to her enemies to distract them in fights. 

Evelyn and Sebastian Getting their Own Fighting Montage
We love movies and Tarun especially has drawn a lot of inspiration from great fight scenes. We were dying to fit in a “Evelyn and Sebastian spar with each other in order to practice controlling their powers” scene. We dreamed of snappy witticisms and tumbling around, lowering and raising their powers, in a lead up to a kiss. However, we had put the two of them in such rough shape by book three, it really would not have made sense for their characters. Next time …. Next time we will find a way! 

Camille & Transformations
We made a conscious choice early on to make Camille’s transformation power permanent, so she could give people entirely new lives and identities as part of her business in These Vicious Masks. We’d meant to explore the negative effects of that, specifically someone being transformed and then stuck in another body when Camille suddenly dies in These Ruthless Deeds. Unfortunately, the way the plot went, Rose was the only one we could do that to and she had way too many other problems to deal with that this would have been a ridiculous thing to pile on top. 

Miss Rao & Thunder Claps
In These Ruthless Deeds and These Vengeful Souls we had a
few heist-like scenes that either got changed or completely cut. For each of those scenes, we needed a way for our characters to communicate and coordinate attacks from different locations, but without radios or walkie-talkies it was pretty difficult. Radhika’s power was our favorite work-around for this, using her thunderclaps as a pre-arranged code or as a countdown, so parts of the plan could be synchronized without any technology needed. 

Mr. Redburn & Power Trading
When we came up with Felix Redburn and his ability to copy and hold someone else’s power, we hadn’t outlined These Ruthless Deeds enough to know he would die at the midpoint. Unfortunately, that meant we never got the battle scene we wanted, where he would smoothly copy his enemies’ powers on the fly or make them tensely wonder what power he was holding at any given moment. 

Mr. Hale & Portals
In case it wasn’t clear from These Ruthless Deeds, we were pretty into the portal power and its many practical uses, but we still didn’t get to use everything we had planned. One of our favorites was a plan to send a character halfway across the world and leave them there in the middle of book 2 and just when everyone had forgotten about them, they’d show up in book 3, furious about having had to travel thousands of miles to get back. 

Miss Fahlstrom & Messages from God
One thing we liked doing when brainstorming was to think about superpowers that helped explain supernatural myths and legends from around the world–like say, how Evelyn’s power could explain stories of miraculous healers, or Emily’s could explain ghost sightings. If you read These Vengeful Souls, you’ll know Miss Fahlstrom had the power to see how powered people were going to die, but we originally wanted to have her believe and claim she was receiving visions from her god, like oracles in mythology would. We liked how that would complicate things about which side was good and evil, but then it ended up being too complicated to properly deal with in the book with all the other things going on.

Reincarnations and Babies
In These Vengeful Souls, Evelyn learns that powers are reincarnated every generation. We had a very large plot point we discarded early on for book three that involved Captain Goode looking for the baby that inherited his brother’s ability to copy other people’s powers for himself. It … did not work, but we did want to have our heroes start thinking about legacy and all those who will come after them.

I have to day, as someone who has loved this series, I think this guest post is really insightful! Gives me an understanding of some of the things going through the minds of these fabulous authors!
Check out the first two books here:
My Reviews:
These Vicious Masks | These Ruthless Deeds
Tarun and Kelly met in a freshman year writing class at NYU and started writing These Vicious Masks a few years later.

Tarun is a writer living in Los Angeles whose idea of paradise consists of kung-fu movies, David Bowie and chai tea. Since completing his first horrible screenplay in high school, he’s written everything from one-act plays and film criticism to humor pieces and strongly-worded emails. He’s also magnetized, crushed and burned the hard drive where that first screenplay can be found.

Kelly is a writer and actor living in NYC. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth other than cupcakes and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still loves a good paperback romance. 

Visit Tarun:
Visit Kelly:
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
As I've mentioned already, I truly do adore this series and not only congratulate Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas and the release of this amazing third and final novel, but I urge all my followers to check this series out. You won't regret it!

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