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.
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
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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
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 …
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
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
Evelyn and Sebastian Getting their Own Fighting Montage
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
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
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
Mr. Redburn & Power Trading
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
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
Miss Fahlstrom & Messages from God
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
Reincarnations and Babies
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:
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.
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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!