These Ruthless Deeds
Kelly Zekas, Tarun Shanker
(These Vicious Masks #2)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
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…
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.
I was still too stunned to understand what exactly was going on, but my legs seemed to independently make the decision to go after him. I ran out of the barn and saw him making his way across the field, away from the brilliant dawn, as though he were some kind of demon. I rushed after him, hoping to magically make up for his head start, but Sebastian was too fast and unhampered by skirts, broadening the distance with every step.
He was going to disappear again.
“Sebastian, stop running!” I yelled, out of breath.
“Then stop chasing me!”
“No, you started it!”
“Well, you shouldn’t have come!” He continued at that break-neck pace, not even turning as he shouted back to me. Really, I was unequal to the chase.
Until strange things started happening in front of him. Miss Chen’s power cracked and exploded the ground into great hunks of grass and dirt, as though something was tunneling up from under the earth. His path blocked, Sebastian veered to the left and I kept pushing, following, beginning to catch up. I would make him explain himself. Explain where he had been and why. Explain why he took off again now.
The earth continued to erupt around us on this path, too, dirt flying through the air and the ground emptying out into small holes by Sebastian’s feet. He did his best to dodge them, leaping around them to stable ground, but his foot caught, he stumbled, and that was all I needed to seize him from behind.
Tripping over a hole, I brought both of us to the ground with a clumsy tackle. “No!” Sebastian shouted as that familiar and wild sensation from his touch flew through my veins, taking my breath way as if I’d just leaped off a cliff. He struggled against my hold, caught between trying to rise to his feet and trying not to hurt me.
“Just—stop—running—!” He pulled out of my grasp and I began to slap at his legs.
“Let me go,” he growled.
“You are so bloody ridiculous,” I responded, lunging for his foot. But he yanked himself loose and was running off again.
I should let him go. I should let him run forever, if he wanted to.
“We have a cure!” I bellowed.
“What?” I could barely hear him, but I felt the weight of the one word, what it meant to him. All the hope that was in it.
“We have a cure . . . for your power,” I said, trying to catch my breath.
He took a few slow, heavy breaths, turning to see if he’d imagined the words. The wind blew across the fields, his hair flying wildly, his long coat billowing behind him. He stared at me.
“We have a cure,” I repeated, not knowing how else to say it.
Somehow, the third time worked. I could see the notion slowly come over his face, deathly white in the pale light. He clenched his fists, his body stiffened, he took a step forward—
And he fell into a hole.