Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A Summer's Day: Shakespearean Anthology with a Twist Blog Tour

Title: A Summer’s Day: Shakespearean Anthology with a Twist

Authors: Nephy Heart, Louise Lyons, Rebecca Cohen, JL Merrow, Charlie Cochrane, Asta Idonea, Dianne Hartsock, Rory Ni Coileain, Kathy Griffith, M LeAnne Phoenix, Phetra H Novak, Rian Durant

Genre: Gay Romance/Fiction

Length: Anthology, 115 K

Cover Art: Jay Aheer Simply Defined Art


A collection of 12 stories celebrating the Bard’s legacy with modern retelling of some of his works and delightful referencing of anything Shakespeare.

There is gentle YA romance next to hot sexy stories and all kinds of relationships – first love, May/December, interracial, second chances, happy endings and even a tragic one.
We’re travelling from Ancient Rome through Renaissance England to modern day UK, Venice Beach and other places in USA, Vancouver and Havana.

There’s fun, drama, tears, joy and, above all, lots of true love.

All proceeds of this collection go to the It Gets Better Project™.

Buy Links:

on the book’s Facebook Page, where you can also some pictures the authors thought will go well with their stories. J


Nothing Like The Sun
JL Merrow

“IT’S THE LITTLE surprises that get to me. Like realizing I’ll have to get a new passport, because I’m no longer recognizable as the man in the photo.” I took a sip of coffee, managing not to burn the delicate skin on my lips this time, and gazed at the man on the other side of the table. Sam Morton, aged thirty-five and already balding, which is particularly unfortunate for a man unlucky enough to have protruding ears. Slightly overweight, and with startlingly poor dress sense despite years of expensive presents from yours truly. Self-conscious about all of it.
Sam was my manager, for his sins, which, on all the evidence, must have been pretty bloody terrible although not, of course, as bad as mine.
He gave me a sympathetic look. “And how does that make you feel, Jerome?”
I laughed, the sound as bitter as the coffee. “You’ve slipped into therapist mode again.”
Sam shrugged. “Maybe, if you’d actually go to therapy, I wouldn’t have to. But anyway, how does it make you feel?”
“Like the world is conspiring to constantly remind me how hideous I look?”
“Don’t say that about yourself.” His familiar, round face screwed up in distress. “You’re just…different.”
“Yes. Uglier.”
“Why do you even call me that? I’m not Jerome Winter any more. He died in the fire. I’m just plain Jerry Wilson.” Although plain was a misnomer. It implied forgettability. These days, my face was anything but.


For your chance to win one of two e-book copies, click the link below:

Individual Blurbs


Clarence Limont is a slowly fading star of the London stage; convinced his great performances are all behind him, he nevertheless agrees to play Prospero in an off-off-Broadway production of The Tempest helmed by an old friend.

Jaymes Stafford is the production’s starry-eyed Ariel, waking feelings Clarence had thought long dead and buried.

But the poisonous jealousy of other members of the cast may steal the stars from Jaymes’ eyes, and even put paid to Clarence’s illustrious career.

("The Tempest")

Louise Lyons

When Romeo runs into Julian on the beach, he's the last person he wants to see as he’s grown up hating him due to his parents' aversion to Julian's dad.

Forced to rescue Julian from the sea, Romeo is surprised by his grudging attraction to the other young man.

When simple lust becomes something more, the pair ignore their parents' anger, but family fights drive the lovers away from home - into a horrifying incident. Will it make the Montgomerys and the Caplins rethink their feud?

("Romeo and Juliet")

Asta Idonea

Caius Martius and Tullus Aufidius have long been enemies.

Then Martius arrives on Aufidius' doorstep, seeking a military alliance. Aufidius accepts; however, he wishes their partnership to extend from the battlefield to the bedchamber.
His lust for Martius is one of the reasons he spares his life, but his jealousy will soon have terrible consequences.


Nephy Heart

Kade is in trouble, negotiating a dangerous path between an authoritarian father and wayward sister.

Then Pete storms into his life and tries to take over.

It can only end in disaster.

("Taming of The Shrew")

Charlie Cochrane

Rick Cowley finds himself taking up am-dram once more, thinking it’ll help him get over the death of his partner.

He’d never anticipated it would mean an encounter with an old flame and the sort of emotional complications the Bard would have reveled in.

Still, old Will had the right word for every situation, didn’t he?

("Twelfth Night")

Dianne Hartsock

Valentine has been watching Preston date man after man with never more than a brotherly hug for him.

Finally, despairing that Preston will ever love him in return, Val moves away to college, where he meets the glorious Silver, a man with problems of his own, who just might be his answer.

Torn between his attraction to Preston and his growing desire for Silver, Val wonders if he’ll ever find love or will his life become as tragic as any of the Shakespearean plays he loves so well.

("The Two Gentlemen of Verona")

Rian Durant

Desmond, the heir of a business owner is outed in the media after a hot night with his lover, Olvin, who also happens to be the company’s best negotiation expert.

This is only the first step in Ian’s plan to get back at Olvin for choosing Michel Caswell as a main assistant for the latest merger instead of him, a plan in which he’s moving everybody around like pawns on a chessboard, bending the rules.

Will Ian drive a wedge between Desmond and Olvin and get the position he wants or will he realize that there’s something more important that stops the world from turning into chaos?


Kathy Griffith

Tony and Bartholomew have been friends for years, but his latest request is a little much.
Bart needs a loan to impress Porsche Keller, a personable billionaire, but the only cash available is from banker and raging homophobe Sherlock Palmer, who has a devious plan for them.

Will our heroes find love and get their happy ending?

("The Merchant of Venice")

Phetra H Novak

Claudio is happy to be home after serving his country as a soldier for over fifteen years being stationed mostly abroad ready to settle down.

Hero is still living at home, together with his father, trying to do what is expected a young man his age is supposed to do, work and live every day like it is your last.

The two men meet at a family wedding, realizing they share a mutual dream of finding love and starting a family but evil lurks amongst them. Will these two lovers find a way to be together?

("Much Ado About Nothing")

JL Merrow

Hollywood darling Jerome Winter always defined himself by his looks—until a fire destroyed them.

His oldest friend and still-loyal manager, Sam, has long carried a torch for him, but with his looks—and earning power—gone, what does Jerome have left to offer?

(Sonnet 130)

M LeAnne Phoenix

When actor Koray Shepherd rescues writer Winter Sirois from the brutal hands of his supervisor, Winter never would have believed the beautiful Turk would share his love of The Bard.

When Koray asks Winter out on a date, Winter takes center stage in his very own tragedy, determined to end his play for today with a happily ever after.

Screwing his courage to the sticking place, Winter sets his sights on the future and Koray... but when the horrors of yesterday resurface, will he crest the waves of fear and despair, or will he be heard no more?


Rebecca Cohen

Competition for roles is always high when the King's Men put on a play, but David seems to come up against Jacob time and time again, no matter what part he is auditioning for.
But now they both want to be Lady Macbeth and it’s more than simple rivalry that causes the sparks to fly.

(Shakespeare's Theatre)

My thoughts

Before I get into my thoughts about this anthology I should probably state that my knowledge of and familiarity with Shakespeare and his work is woefully lacking. I don’t think I’ve ever read a full play and while my (Dutch) school may have introduced me to one of the Bard’s sonnets, that is probably the full extent of my first hand experience. It is therefore quite likely that people with a better knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays and other works will get more out of this book than I ever could, since they will be familiar with the original tales these stories are based on.

On the upside, the fact that I came to this collection mostly unburdened by preconceptions means that I can, with full confidence, state that these stories can and will be thoroughly enjoyed by any reader. Prior knowledge of Shakespeare tales is not required in order to have a wonderful reading experience here.

What’s more, the variety in the stories in this book means that the book offers something for everybody. We encounter, for example, contemporary romance, historical tales, stories in which not everything can be logically explained, and a touch of BDSM. The settings of the stories are as varied as the tropes are, and while most of these stories bring us the happy endings we expect when reading romance, it wouldn’t be a Shakespeare inspired collection if there wasn’t at least one tragic conclusion too.

As always when reading an anthology, not all stories worked equally well for me personally. Some I loved, some had me yearning for more, and others I ‘just’ enjoyed. It is safe to say though that there wasn’t a bad or boring tale among the twelve stories I read. Between the quality of the contributors and their stories and the charitable cause the proceeds of this book will go to, I can’t recommend you buying a copy of your own highly enough. Enjoy J