Today, we welcome back Lori Handeland to the Playground. In the past, she's thrilled us with werewolves and psychic detectives. Now, she's taking a new spin on one of my favorite subjects - Shakespeare! With zombies and vampires!
On June 8 I will have a book released that is both different from anything I've ever done and somewhat the same.
SHAKESPEARE UNDEAD is a paranormal. It contains vampires and zombies and a kick ass heroine. These are all familiar and beloved territories for me.
Every day while writing SHAKESPEARE UNDEAD, I could not wait to get to the computer and discover what vampire Shakespeare and his zombie hunting "dark lady" were up to. I had a ball picking things from Shakespeare's works to use in the book. (Who'd ever have thought that those Shakespeare classes in high school and college would actually be good for something!)I became fascinated with London and Tudor England the way I hadn't been since 8th grade. (I had a Tudor phase then. Yes, I was an incredible nerd.)
Have you ever found yourself adoring something you didn't think you would? Or rediscovering an old love you'd thought you'd outgrown?
For me it was Shakespeare and I'm so glad I found him. Hope you will be too.
Here's a taste of SHAKESPEARE UNDEAD, being released on Tuesday! (June 8)
Will pulled the sheets from inside his doublet, the ones he’d been working on all night, the ones that held the lines he wanted to say with her.
He offered some; she took them from him. “A new play?”
“I’m not sure. Can we--? Would you--?”
“Read with you?” Her smile bloomed as bright as the sun. “I’d like nothing more.”
They faced each other, and he began. “Even as the sun with purple-colour’d face had ta’en his last leave of the weeping morn.”
Kate read her lines from the page as if she’d read them a hundred times before. “If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed. A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know: Here come and sit.” She spread her graceful hand to indicate an imaginary stool. “Where never serpent hisses, and being set, I’ll smother thee,” she lifted her gaze to his, “with kisses.”
Will’s throat went dry. He had to swallow twice before he could continue. “Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty: A summer’s day will seem an hour but short, being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.”
“Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine.”
Will didn’t know when he’d moved closer, but he had, and now they stood hip to hip, chest to chest, her face tilted up, shaded by her cap, yet he could still see the full, ripe beauty of her-- “Though mine be not so fair, yet are they red. The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine.”
He leaned in and brushed their lips together. Her breath caught; so did his. Just that slight touch he felt everywhere.
Kate’s face flooded with heat, and she glanced down, the brim of her cap scraping his nose. Will stepped back, then stretched out a hand to cup her chin. “What seest thou in the ground?” He lifted her exquisite face. “Hold up thy head: Look in mine eye-balls, there thy beauty lies; Then why not lips on lips since eyes on eyes?”
“Why not indeed?” she whispered, and kissed him.Will forgot his next line; he could no longer remember hers. The paper slid to the floor as he cupped her face.
Ah, but soft.
She went onto her toes and pressed herself against him—her lips, her tongue, her chest--she wore too many clothes. Her skin so smooth, he wanted to touch every last inch of it.
Suddenly she pulled away—from his mouth, his hands. Her fingers rose, and she touched her lips, her eyes wide and a little scared.
He’d knocked her cap from her head. He had no recollection of that. Her hair, pinned tightly, had begun to tumble down. She appeared as if she’d been loved and well. He reached for her, and she stepped back. Words gushed into his head like water through a sluice.
“Beauty within itself should not be wasted. Fair flowers that are not gather’d in their prime rot and consume themselves in little time.”
Her hand fell away. “Rhyming,” she said. “A poem perhaps.”
“What?” Will shook his head, which was full of more rhyming words. “Even so she kissed his brow, his cheek, his chin, and where she ends she doth anew begin.”
Kate smiled and stepped closer. Then she kissed his brow, trailing her lips to his cheek and chin before leaning back, staring into his eyes. “Like that?” she whispered, and he was lost.
I you'd like to read the first five chapters go to: http://us.macmillan.com/CMS400/uploadedFiles/Shakespeare_Undead-chapters1-5.pdf
One lucky commenter will pick up a copy of Shakespeare Undead and a Shakespeare Little Thinker Doll!