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Guest Blogger: Kate Davies
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

I first fell in love with the Bard in Junior High. A very ambitious—or possibly insane—drama advisor selected Julius Caesar as the school play. I was cast as Portia, Caesar’s wife, and spent hours learning my script and practicing my lines and blocking.

Unfortunately, I was the only cast member who felt the same way. The play was cancelled several weeks into rehearsal.

The beauty of the language and my fascination with the characters stayed with me, though, through high school and college, through Shakespeare in the Park productions and community theater, through Helena and Viola and Desdemona. It stayed strong as I became a junior high teacher myself, with the requirement that I teach Romeo and Juliet every year. (Side note: why Romeo and Juliet? Do school boards not know the play? Is it really the best idea to teach kids that you can find your true love at 14 and if your families don’t want you to be together, might as well off yourselves? I’d much rather have taught one of his comedies. But I digress.)

I can still remember entire monologues from performances I was in. I was devastated when I found out that my favorite actor was going to be in a Shakespeare in the Park performance of Much Ado About Nothing—on the other side of the country—and I was going to miss it. When it comes to Shakespeare, I’m an unabashed fangirl.

In case it’s not clear, I’m passionate about Shakespeare, and was thrilled to work a subplot about his plays into my newest book, Take a Chance On Me. In it, my heroine Jessica teaches Shakespeare and directs the school play—though with a lot less enthusiasm initially for the task than I would have had! Eventually, though, the Bard works his magic on her as well.

Do you like Shakespeare? What’s your favorite Shakespeare play/movie/performance?

Accept no substitute…for love.

The Lady Doth Protest Too Much
Jessica Martin is determined to earn a permanent teaching position at Summit High School. That means hard work, dedication, and even volunteering extra time to direct the school’s Shakespeare play. Which leaves no room for romance—especially with a co-worker. She didn’t factor in the school’s sexy security officer and the delicious fantasies he inspires.

Too Much Of A Good Thing
Former cop Tom Cameron likes his job. Or he did, until the new substitute busted his orderly life right open. Now, he can’t seem to avoid her—deserted hallways, empty theaters, classrooms after dark—but he’s got too many skeletons in his closet to risk his heart again. Asking her out to distract her from the play’s, well, drama is a friendly gesture. Nothing more.

The Course Of True Love Never Did Run Smooth
Their chemistry could melt down the science lab, and before long they’re burning up the sheets off-campus. And uncovering raw emotions—a stark reminder that love isn’t in their curricula. When a troubled student goes over the edge, though, the need to stop a tragedy brings them right back where they started—face to face with fate.

Warning: This book contains sexy encounters in classrooms, inappropriate use of school facilities, backstage shenanigans, and illicit activities on a ferryboat.

6 comments to “Guest Blogger: Kate Davies”

  1. Brandy W
    · February 23rd, 2011 at 10:32 am · Link

    Oh man. I know I’ve read quite a few. Honors English will do that for you but for me it was something to get through. I liked Shakespeare well enough but was ready to move on when we were done. I don’t even have a favorite. *hangs head in shame*

  2. Allie
    · February 23rd, 2011 at 11:05 am · Link

    I had a memorable argument with my English teacher about Iago. She told us to pick a character we could understand and write about that character. She didn’t want me to write about Iago, though, because she did not like him. I had many arguments with that teacher about what I should and should not read. She was very traditional in her thinking, and I was the first nontraditional student she’d run across.

  3. PG Forte
    · February 23rd, 2011 at 12:10 pm · Link

    When my son was in fifth grade (yes, FIFTH grade!) his teacher decided his class would put on a performance of the Scottish play.

    My son played MacDuff. I can still recall him rehearsing: “What, all my pretty chickens and their dam, at one fell swoop?”

    To get them in the mood the class went to see a performance of Umabatha. All in all, it made for quite an interesting school year!

    Btw, read TACOM yesterday–loved it!

  4. Kate Davies
    · February 23rd, 2011 at 6:05 pm · Link

    Brandy – sadly, English classes have killed Shakespeare for many students. His plays were never meant to be analyzed and read silently; they should be seen in performance! (Says the former English teacher and actor.) Sorry that happened to you!

    Allie – I loved Iago too! Such a complicated character. Hope you prevailed. 🙂

    PG – The Scottish play? In 5th grade? Wow. That teacher had – lots of enthusiasm for the Bard.

    And thank you so much! I’m thrilled you liked the book!

  5. lisagk
    · February 24th, 2011 at 2:15 am · Link

    Didn’t realize this was your book, been in my cart since Tuesday waiting on payday.

  6. Maia Strong
    · February 25th, 2011 at 1:34 pm · Link

    King Lear is my hands-down favourite. Truly, IMO, the Bard’s greatest work. My very most second favouritest Shakespeare is Troilus & Cressida. Not as well written, and definitely falls in the category of “problem plays”, but I have a thing for the Trojan War. I *will* play Cassandra one of these day, dammit! And, honestly, I fell in love with it when, in 8th grade, we saw it in the Angus Bowmer Theatre at OSF in Ashland. So many images from that production are burned into my brain.

    Congrats on the new release! You already know I love it. 🙂

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