I have the honor of hosting fellow author Rian Durant, and the “A Summer’s Day: Shakespearean Anthology with a Twist” blog tour + giveaway! Sit down with us for a chat about the anthology, an exclusive excerpt, then check out the GIVEAWAY at the end!
Rian’s charity anthology features amazing authors who’ve written classic Shakespearean tales with a bit of a bend, and in just the right way…
“A Summer’s Day is 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™.”
AV: Hi, Rian! Welcome to Author Share, thank you so much for coming by & sharing your charity project with us today! Can you tell me about the original inspiration that made “A Summer’s Day” come to life?
Rian: Hi, AV! It’s my pleasure being here to tell you more about “A Summer’s Day”. Well, obviously I’ve been a Shakespeare fan for a long time. One day, I suddenly realized that this year marks the 400th year of Shakespeare’s death, and I was astounded again at the thought of what a huge inspiration for so many people around the world he continues to be. I mean, you tend to get under his influence without realizing it, even if it’s only using one of the many phrases he coined, or going into a “to be or not to be” mode. And as I’m currently into the M/M romance world, the idea of an anthology combining both just clicked.
When a few months after that I dared to share this crazy idea, I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm it was met with by a bunch of wonderful writers. The wheels were set in motion, and I daresay we all had a lot of fun during the whole process, from writing the stories to publishing the anthology and promoting it. I hope I had managed to make it as stress free for everyone as possible with deadlines and the like.
AV: I’m sure you did, and that’s a great example of the thoughtful, lovely person you are. I think it’s really wonderful that you’re donating all the proceeds from this anthology to charity–it’s something I plan to do myself someday! 😉 What made you decide to make the antho for charity, and how did you pick the It Gets Better Project as the beneficiary?
Rian: It was a charity anthology in my head from day one, and I was very happy that the other authors were excited at this prospect as well. We looked through various options, and decided it with a poll in the group. Everyone involved in “A Summer’s Day” feels very strongly about LGBT rights, and it was natural to opt for such an inspirational movement as It Gets Better Project. Just looking at their mission, “to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them,” was a reason enough to choose them.
I’d like to use the opportunity to wish you a lot of success with your own charity project and thank you again for hosting “A Summer’s Day”.
AV: I’m really looking forward to presenting my own charity project soon, and to getting a chance to work with you! Thank you so much again for joining me and offering up a sweet reader giveaway on Author Share!
RIAN DURANT is one of those who are both blessed and cursed by the insatiable desire to write stories. Short stories, sometimes longer stories, and yeah, primarily M/M (you can insert more M’s if you like) romance stories. Always having a plot in mind sometimes proves being hard when having a daytime job, but Rian manages them both for the time being, assisted by the priceless support of her soul mate, large amounts of coffee, and pure obstinacy. What makes Rian smile is a sunny day, a beautiful flower, a piece of chocolate, a nice song, a good book and anything that could be the reason for that spark in the eyes, accompanied by the exclamation, “Oh my, I just saw something!”
Connect with Rian…
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, Anthology
Length: ~115,000 words
Cover Art: Jay Aheer, Simply Defined Art
WHEN I LOVE THEE NOT
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?
❤ Exclusive Excerpt! ❤
“You swear for his sake? Do you know him that well?”
“Quite well. I’ve known him for years and we’ve spent a lot of time together. Besides, he is the best at what he does. Come on, you know it as well”
Somewhere after ‘we’ve spent a lot of time together’ he had stopped listening. He gazed at his lips, moving and brilliant where he had licked them moments before. At first he’d thought it was because he was nervous, now he wasn’t so sure. Probably the boy remembered the taste of Michael and savored it now. The scene from the club suddenly struck him together with Ian’s words back then. The movie marathons they went to together. Who knew what else had happened in the darkness of the cinema halls.
“Love, are you feeling unwell?”
The boy’s hand reached for his cheek but he stopped him. He didn’t need that kind of conciliation right now. No wonder it was the only one Desmond knew. He was about to reply, but something else caught his attention, or more precisely, the lack of it.
“Where’s your bracelet, Des?”
No surprise in the bright blue eyes, no shock, just guilt. He tried to pull his hand as if to hide what was already clear, but Olvin tightened his fingers around his wrist. Too tight maybe, as the boy winced.
“I…It must have fallen off.”
“Fallen off so easily with the double safety lock it has?”
The boy looked lost. Frozen in his place, he didn’t even try to pull his hand again. What he tried to do was avoid his eyes before he finally responded.
“I don’t know, maybe it got caught on something. I’ll have a look through my clothes, or maybe it’s in the bed. Didn’t you see it this morning by any chance?”
He narrowed his eyes. Such an innocent look and such an absurd suggestion.
“Was I going to ask you where it is if I have seen it? ¡Joder! Do you think I’m stupid?”
Desmond looked as if he was going to faint. If he even dared to pull that slutty trick it was going to be the icing on the cake. He suddenly let him go and the boy’s hand swung down lifelessly.
“You promised me you’d keep it.”
DEEPER THAN DID EVER PLUMMET SOUND
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.
A FINE LINE BETWEEN
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”)
THE DEVIL AND THE LION
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.
KISS ME, KADE
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”)
IF MUSIC BE…
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?
TWO GUYS FROM VANCOUVER
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”)
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE BEACH
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”)
A HERO’S LAST BATTLE
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”)
NOTHING LIKE THE SUN
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?
THE SUN OF TOMORROW
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?
MUCH ADO ABOUT LADY MACBETH
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.
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