Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"The Keep" by Tenille Berezay

The Keep
(Converters Book 2)
by Tenille Berezay

The Keep is the second book in the Converters series by Tenille Berezay. Also available: The Convergence (currently ON SALE; read my blog post).

The Keep is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

After a pardon from the convergence, Desiree returns to the protection of home. But safety is an illusion and her family is shattered by the violent retribution of a desperate enemy. On the run again, Desiree struggles to keep those she loves from a host of gathering threats - debilitating doubts, manipulative converters, dark technology, and a murdering madman. To save them all, Desiree will need more than her ability to convert, she’ll need to redefine her strength.
The Keep is the dramatic sequel to The Convergence; a continuation of Desiree and Blake’s story.

“What you need is combat training.” She points at the screens as they and the floor light up. The scene wavers then clears, leaving an image looking remarkably like the island outside. From the desk, Jade hands me a pair of goggles.
Since she’s being difficult, I slide them on without question. The sudden realism causes me to stumble backward. With the lenses on, the trees and vegetation of the island are suddenly alive. Their appearance is so authentic, I slide the glasses on and off a couple of times.
Jade’s sigh draws my attention to her rolling eyes. “Can you take this seriously?”
Tipping the goggles up, I glare at her. “Just enjoying the life I have left.”
Her frown deepens. “You’ll enjoy it more by learning to stay alive.” She points to the scene and I slide the glasses back on. “You can interact with anything you see on screen. Use whatever you find for weapons. There are no friendlies.”
Nodding as if everything she said was totally expected and commonplace, I step to the center of the lit floor. I clap my hands together. “I’m ready.”
“I doubt it.” I hear her say before the fight draws me in.
First, a man jumps from the tree to my right. I kick out knocking him back. He disappears. A shuffling in the trees draws my attention to another charging enemy. This one holds a knife in his hands. With a grab and a flick, I have the weapon. I slash at him and he vanishes. From above, a man drops. I roll away, throwing the knife simultaneously. It hits his chest and both he and the weapon disappear.
Two men rush me from opposite sides. Using a large nearby branch, I club one across the skull and fling one overhead with a well-placed hit between the legs. I knock the next attacker from a nearby tree by pelting him with the branch.
Then—from straight ahead—I’m threatened with a gun. I kick out, knocking it from his hands. The metal glints as it flies through the air. Sprinting, I catch it and spin to train it on the disarmed man. Seeing his hands thrown in the air, my finger eases off the trigger.
Instantly, everything disappears. Ripping the glasses away, I spin to Jade. She’s sitting at the desk, her chin resting on clasped hands, her beautiful features twisted in disappointment.
I pull in a restless breath. “What?”
She gestures to the now empty space. “I’ll admit you can fight.”
I toss the goggles on the desk. “But?”
Her gaze is level with unflinching honesty. “But you’re not going to survive.” I bite back my defense—the truth is I’m not even going to fight. Jade mistakes my silence for acceptance. “I said there were no friendlies. You should have pulled that trigger without hesitation, instead you didn’t pull it at all. What you lack is a killer instinct. That’s something I can’t train into you. You have to find it.”… She spins on a precarious heel and clicks to the door.
I stop her retreat. “So I’m supposed to suddenly become a blood thirsty murderer?”
“No, Desiree Morgan. You stay on offense. Always on offense. The minute you drop to defense is the minute you die.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"Takes us right back into the crazy, fast paced world of converting, with Desiree on the run after the shocking events of the first book. I was sucked into this captivating read from page one. Berezay creates a world of supernatural and does so with a huge dose of humor, action, romance and enough inner dialogue to leave you thinking about this book long after you finish the last page. This series is one of the best in its kind and I can't wait for book three." ~ Mylissa's Reviews and Book Thoughts

Guest Post by the Author
Levels of Inspiration
I’m always asked how I came up with the idea for the Converters series. Usually, I don’t walk around with a lot of fantastic ideas in my head (though there are plenty of mediocre ones), but the idea of converting started with a sudden burst of brilliant inspiration, followed by lots of tiny inspirational bits.
The initial burst hit me one day as I was driving home from a day spent working on the ranch. Some near-death experience must have happened, but for the life of me (no pun intended) I can’t remember what it was ... those near-death things are pretty frequent occurrences in ranching. So, safe in my car, I start thinking about adrenaline and how cool it would be if you could get that kind of burst of energy anytime you wanted. How it would be if you could control that energy.
Next, I started studying real-life "superhumans" and the science behind our untapped mental potential. As I did, the process of converting developed in my mind. If a person could convert their emotions into energy and direct that energy into a physical or mental boost, it would create a world of realistic, believable superheroes.
Desiree came next - a kick-butt girl who has an ability she can’t begin to understand. Then I needed a guy who knew what she was and trains her. Originally, I wanted this to be an older-grandfather type because the new-guy with secrets and girl hiding powers is so very, very cliché. In the end, I caved into the cliché because I think the insta-love cliché is the devil and if my hero wasn’t the one with Desiree from the beginning their relationship would lack depth. It seemed a choice between an overdone cliché and an evil cliché. I chose overdone. I guess this probably qualifies as more desperation and less inspiration.
Once I started the story, inspiration came from conversations, personal relationships, and other great reads. The characters started taking on a life of their own and the story started flowing, driven by their reactions and motivations. The biggest surprise to me was the ending of The Convergence. I had something very cheesy and corny planned, but once I got there it all seemed wrong and not true to the characters. Once again, I caved in order to keep the character’s more realistic and true to themselves.
Inspiration for The Keep came mostly from the characters themselves and my beta readers. I asked them what they wanted to see from Desiree and Blake and shaped all of those answers into a book. I also took my reviews into consideration, increasing the pacing and intensity. So, in a nutshell, The Keep was inspired by my readers and their love of the original characters.
Overall, I feel like inspiration is the easy part. Time is the challenge. I have lots of inspired books ideas bouncing around in my head, just waiting for all of other tiny bits of brilliance to shape them into a book worth reading. But first, I’m focusing on the third and final book in the Converters series. Hopefully, there’s enough inspiration left to give Desiree and Blake the ending they deserve. And I hope you’ll enjoy the first two books in their story!

About the Author
After living throughout the western US, Tenille now claims rural Northern Nevada as her home. If she's not being consumed by a book - whether her own or another author's - she'd like to be found horseback riding, backpacking with her high-school sweetheart/husband, or photographing their three beautiful children.
Tenille loves to read any genre (as long as there's great dialogue with a touch of snark). She believes in authentic characters, romantic sub-plots, and realistic, happy endings.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.