Monday, March 13, 2017

These Ruthless Deeds by Kelly Zekas & Tarun Shanker

Title: These Ruthless Deeds
Authors: Kelly Zekas, Tarun Shanker
Series: These Vicious Masks #2
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads

England, 1883. Still recovering from a devastating loss, Evelyn is determined to use her powers to save other gifted people from those who would harm them. But when her rescue of a young telekinetic girl goes terribly wrong, Evelyn finds herself indebted to a secret society devoted to recruiting and protecting people like Evelyn and her friends.

As she follows the Society’s orders, healing the sick and embarking on perilous recruitment missions, Evelyn sees her problems disappear. Her reputation is repaired, her friends are provided for, and her parents are newly wealthy. She reunites with the dashing Mr. Kent and recovers the reclusive Mr. Braddock (who has much less to brood over now that the Society can help him to control his dangerous power). But Evelyn can’t help fearing the Society is more sinister than it appears…

1. What is the biggest influence/interest that brought you to this genre? 
We were actually combining our two favorites. Tarun loved comic books and superheroes growing up and Kelly devoured historicals. So we managed to shove the two together and hopefully create something a little different.

2. When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process(outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
Tarun: Usually editing. I can’t stand first drafts, I cringe my way through all the plot holes or beg Kelly to do it. In editing, there’s that satisfying reward of filling those holes and solving problems.

Kelly: Probably the same. Drafting is a scary, daunting process where I often feel like I’m skipping from rock to rock, trying not to fall in the river. Editing, well, at the very least, there are a lot more stones to help you cross!

3. When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
Tarun: I love pretty much every genre in their own way, but the key to my heart is always humor. If I find a writer with a similar sense of humor to mine, I’ll follow them anywhere.

Kelly: Relationships. Not always romantic (Hi, did we all read IRON CAST by Destiny Soria? Best friendship EVER). But well-drawn, exciting relationships with believable tension and flaws - that’s my jam.

4. If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?

Kelly: Jane Austen and I’m not even sorry about it.

5. Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
Tarun: I never thought of myself as too creative growing up. I wanted to be a movie critic when I was in high school and that gradually evolved into writing the exact things I wanted to see/read.

Kelly: Definitely much later in life. I planned on being an actress and went to school for it. It was only really when Tarun proposed working on this book that I fell in love with writing.

Author Bio:
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.

Kelly Zekas

Tarun Shanker


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Monday's Montage Mantlepiece: All in a Day's Work

A guy’s got to make a living. He can do it the conventional way—by selling cars, scooping ice cream, or delivering sandwiches—or he can earn his money as a spy, a historical interpreter, or the host of a myth-busting television show. Whether the men in this anthology are working hard to build their own business or performing in drag at a dance hall, every day has the potential for surprises and the chance to satisfy their lust or maybe find something more permanent. For the guys in these stories, what’s all in a day’s work might be anything but what they expected.

Ice Cream Dreams by Shae Connor
Gage Albert is working at his Uncle Gordon’s ice cream shop when well-regarded young chef Loren Rey stops by, interested in using the shop’s unique flavors for his new restaurant. Gage plies Loren with samples and banter and soon finds ice cream isn’t the only thing on the menu. After the men share a hot night together, Gage approaches his uncle about Loren’s ideas, but he fears Gordon’s religious nature may mean rejection not just for Loren but also for Gage, who isn’t out to his uncle. Torn between the business and the personal, Gage has to decide if a future with Loren is worth revealing all.​

My OTP by Bru Baker
Troy Casley and Ryder Hamilton cohost a popular myth-debunking reality television show, and their on-air chemistry is a big part of the show's huge fan base. Fans have long suspected there's more between them than just friendship, and most posts on Tumblr about them are accompanied with exclamation points and the tag OTP--One True Pairing.Little do the fans know, but they're on to something. Troy and Ryder have been having a secret affair for months.

But Troy wants more than just a casual relationship with Ryder. Like their hardcore fans, he wants Ryder to be his OTP. When Ryder discovers the social media sites where Troy obsessively reads about them, his reaction just might surprise Troy.

The Bet by Holly O. Hale
Jack and Aaron Jacobson are newlyweds hard at work building up their business. Being recently married, they've had their share of sex in the office of their start-up. Jack insists he can keep quiet enough during sex for their trysts to continue. Aaron thinks otherwise. In fact, he’s betting on it.

One morning, Aaron persuades Jack to wear a butt plug to a business meeting. Jack doesn’t know the device is also a remote-controlled vibrator, or that Aaron is planning to use it to try to prove his point about the noise Jack makes.

Not Quite 1776 by Therese Woodson
As a historical interpreter for a living history museum, Henry spends his days doling out facts about the American Revolution while wearing breeches and a tricorn hat. When he’s not working, he’s a serial flirt with a long string of one-night stands in his wake, never allowing anyone to get too close.

However, when a reenactment group comes to town for the weekend, Henry meets Owen, a private in George Washington’s army. After an intense encounter in Owen’s tent in the encampment, Henry breaks his self-imposed rule by seeing Owen again. It is clear Owen would be open to more between them, and Henry is falling hard in spite of himself. The trouble is Henry’s never been in a relationship and isn’t sure where to begin

Extra Mayo by Henrietta Clarke
Walter Arundel hates change. He's worked the same job for five years, caught the same bus, and even ordered the same thing for lunch: ham sandwich, extra mayo. So when the office's regular sandwich place sends a new delivery guy and Walter's lunch arrives on his desk with conversation and without the extra mayo, his world falls apart just a touch, and little by little, Glyn Granger insinuates himself into the cracks. Walter can't help but be intrigued by the dichotomy between Glyn's bright, bubbly exterior and the doubt he can sense underneath, but he isn't sure how to approach such a dynamic, attractive man—or how to fit anyone into his rigidly scheduled life. Social skills manuals can only help him so far—he might have to figure this one out on his own.

Short Timer by Jenni Michaels
When Davis Tiller is accepted into the Master's program of his dreams, he can hardly wait to leave his job at the used car lot. He knows he’s facing the longest two weeks of his life. That is, of course, until the day a gorgeous man—a black leather jacket, a faceful of stubble, and shoulders broad enough to hold up a castle—comes in, looking like everything that buttoned-up Davis has ever wanted. Kiran Mackey is interested in test driving the vintage cherry-red Mustang. But Davis and Kiran might not make it any further than the back seat—if Davis can step beyond his boundaries and take a chance on what he wants.

Dance Hall Days by Amy Jo Cousins
London, 1932
Bouncer Frank Armstrong has been watching drag performer Laurie Hale for months—watching him mesmerize the audience with his beautiful voice and shy charm, and watching him fall for the honeyed words of wealthy men who come to the ballroom slumming. One night, Frank finds Laurie suffering his latest heartbreak and decides to clean him up and give him some advice, but Laurie is in no mood for a lecture. An anti-sodomy raid puts a halt to Frank’s speech, and while the two of them hide from the police in a secret storage closet, they acknowledge the attraction between them. But it will only blossom into more if Laurie can convince Frank a dance hall songbird can be as strong as the man who guards the door.

Unmasked by Kay Walker
In the near future, the line between the poor and the Uppers—the cruel and greedy rich—is sharper than ever. Raven’s work as a spy is to maintain the public persona of a member of high society while teaming up with his tech handler, codename Glitch, to electronically steal from the rich and redirect resources to the poor. They’ve set their sights on avaricious Upper Jakinda Diaz, who Raven has been studying for months. After a close call on the mission, Raven returns to their safe house full of restless energy. Both Raven and Glitch need to relieve the stress of their dangerous careers in espionage and they find that with each other. 

Bru Baker
Bru Baker got her first taste of life as a writer at the tender age of four when she started publishing a weekly newspaper for her family. What they called nosiness she called a nose for news, and no one was surprised when she ended up with degrees in journalism and political science and started a career in journalism.

Bru spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now works in reference and readers' advisory in a Midwestern library, though she still finds it hard to believe someone's willing to pay her to talk about books all day. Most evenings you can find her curled up with a mug of tea, some fuzzy socks, and a book or her laptop. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.

Holly O. Hale
Holly O. Hale truly believes in the words of John Donne: no man is an island. That said, her favorite thing to do is hole up by herself in her study and write about other people being together. She does love people at her table, however, and has been known to spend days preparing a from-scratch feast for her friends. Holly also enjoys spending what little time her almost-grown son will allow her taking care of him, and visiting her mom and getting fur time with her mom's dog. Aside from her family, friends, and readers, Holly loves three things most in the world: laughter, peace and quiet, and early bedtime—in exactly the opposite order.

Therese Woodson
Therese Woodson is a wife, mother of two, and writer of stories, who lives in the mountains of North Carolina. She is an avid reader of all literature. She holds two degrees—one in Psychology and one in English Literature and hopes to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing in the near future. She is a fan of watching bad television shows, superhero movies, and anything sci-fi. She loves creating interesting characters, universes, and plots with happy endings.
Henrietta Clarke
Henrietta Clarke is a quirky Yorkshire lass who had the misfortune to discover the path she was actually meant to take in life three days into an intensive postgraduate course. Now free from the hell of law study, she divides her time between working as a lunchtime supervisor in a primary school, training as a fiction editor, and writing her own stories. When she’s not working, Henrietta can usually be found in the kitchen, hanging out with her parents and eccentric dogs or baking cupcakes. Every remaining second is spent reading or sleeping—sometimes simultaneously.

A hopeless romantic who is as much in love with the English language as with all the delicious fictional men it creates, Henrietta suffers from abibliophobia and has a serious book-buying addiction as a consequence. The day there are no unread items on her Kindle will be the day the Earth stops turning. Her other addictions include bad TV and chilli in any form, and she collects everything from books and DVDs to china elephants, keyrings and photo frames—most of which stay empty far too long. She has a minor obsession with rainbows, and plots everything in purple Sharpie.

Jenni Michaels
Jenni Michaels is a tea drinking, quilt making, music obsessed, bisexual yogi who lives on the outskirts of Atlanta with her husband, her son, and their two retired greyhounds. She loves reading, writing, having cookies, making cookies, talking about cookies, and eating cookies. She does not like being out of cookies. Come and say hi, and feel free to bring cookies.
Amy Jo Cousins
Amy Jo Cousins lives in Chicago, where she writes contemporary romance, tweets more than she ought, and sometimes runs way too far. She loves her boy and the Cubs, who taught her that being awesome doesn't necessarily have anything to do with winning.

Kay Walker
Kay Walker was born and raised on the Canadian Prairies. Growing up in a small, rural town, books not only helped to pass the time but also became a beloved form of entertainment. Reading opened up the world in ways Kay could only dream about. And dream she did! Kay now loves trying to create characters, plots, and entire worlds of her own in hopes to entertain others.

In addition to reading and writing, Kay likes watching movies and television shows – especially anything supernatural, sci-fi, LGBT, or with strong female characters. She enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and tries to be buddies with the elliptical. (They don’t always get along.)

Shae Conner
Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she works for the government by day and reads and writes about people falling in love by night. She's been making up stories for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should start writing them down. Now, she usually has far too many stories in progress, but when she does manage to tear herself away from her laptop, she enjoys running, hiking, cooking, and traveling, not necessarily in that order.

Anne Regan(Editor)

Bru Baker

Holly O. Hale

Therese Woodson

Henrietta Clarke

Jenni Michaels

Amy Jo Cousins

Kay Walker

Shae Conner