Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Blog Tour: These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks #1) by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks #1)
by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: February 9th 2016
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Evelyn has no interest in marriage and even the dashing Mr. Kent can't make her want to live up to society's expectations. She'd much rather assist her beloved sister Rose in becoming the world's first female doctor. But everything changes the night she meets Sebastian Braddock - not only is the reclusive lord both vexing and surprisingly attractive, he's also quite possibly mad, and his interest in Rose is galling. So when Evelyn wakes up to discover that Rose has disappeared, she immediately suspects Sebastian.

But then she discovers that Sebastian's strange tales of special powers are actually true, and that Rose's kidnappers have worse in mind for her than simply ruining her reputation. Surrounded by secrets, lies, and unprecedented danger, Evelyn has no choice but to trust Sebastian, yet she can't help but worry that Sebastian's secrets are the most dangerous of all…

by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

When we first came up with our weird little idea to combine Victorian London with superpowers for These Vicious Masks, the resulting world was one that truly thrilled us. We both love the Buffy approach, where the universe seems perfectly normal until you look closer and find supernatural explanations lurking underneath. When we started brainstorming in that way, everything just clicked together really well. Half of our fun came from finding cool ways super-powered people might have blended into the 19th century history and culture. They could have been part of the touring magic shows, "freak" shows or séances that were hugely popular. Some could have been involved in making the amazing technological and scientific discoveries of the era or been a “privileged member” of a secret society. Others could have been lurking in the shadows of London at night, inspiring those urban legends about ghosts and the Spring-Heeled Jack. Or, even more likely and sadder still, they might have locked away in asylums filled with “difficult women” 

The other half of our world-building fun came from a character perspective. We went wild with “what-if’s,” imagining the characters from our favorite Regency and Victorian novels interacting with this world. We wondered how someone might use a power to change their appearance to deal with the tight restrictions of society, how one power could ruin a person’s reputation at a ball, while another might help a lower-class person advance through the ranks and make their fortune. What would a healer mean for the rapidly developing medical field? And how would people interpret the existence of these powers? How would they explain them? In modern day stories, there’s usually a scientific explanation, but 130 years ago, science might not have been able to provide a full enough picture, so magic, myth and religion might have filled those gaps. 

To say any more might spoil things, but our list goes on and on and that’s part of the reason we have two more books coming after These Vicious Masks– we love this world and kinda want to live in it ourselves. Sadly, we can’t, so we’re doing the next best thing. 

Follow all the Vicious Masks blog tour and don't miss a thing!

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.


  1. The synopsis on this book sounds UH-MAZING! I can't wait to read this beauty!

  2. This sounds so interesting! I can't wait to see how the people with superpowers hide what they are, or maybe hide in plain sight!

  3. I have to admit that i'm not a huge fan of the cover, but the premise sounds amazing! I love female characters with sass.

  4. I look forward to reading "These Vicious Masks"! Thank you for the great giveaway! :)

  5. This just sounds so amazing. I love historical and paranormal so mixing them is like chocolate and sea salt together, perfection. I can't wait to read your book and I'm excited to see that it will be a series.