I am a fan of Amy Helmes and Kim Askew's Twisted Lit series, in which they modernize Shakespeare in very loose adaptations. First came TEMPESTUOUS, a take on The Tempest, and then EXPOSURE, a take on Macbeth.
When I interviewed Kim and Amy in December, this is what they had to say about the series:
"We didn’t want to do a paint-by-numbers retelling of the plays, where we followed the story to the letter, only reworked it into a modern setting. As writers, that didn’t appeal to us. Instead, we use the Bard’s works as a springboard of sorts and let the story take its own trajectory while still incorporating each play’s iconic themes, symbols, characters and major plot twists. We allow ourselves a lot of freedom in that sense."
Here's the cover and blurb of ANYONE BUT YOU, coming out in January 18, 2014 and currently available to preorder:
Two Italian restaurants, both alike in dignity, in Chicago’s Little Italy where we lay our scene... After her family’s struggling eatery, Cap’s, falls prey to another of the Monte clan’s vicious and destructive pranks, sixteen-year-old Gigi Caputo finds herself courting danger during a clandestine encounter with Roman Monte, the very boy whose relatives have brought her family such grief. When the daughter and son of these two warring factions fall for each other, their quest to mend this bitter family feud turns out to be a recipe for disaster. Their story is irrevocably linked to the summer of 1933, when two twelve-year-olds, Benny and Nick, hop the turnstile at the Chicago World’s Fair. While enjoying some of the fair’s legendary amusements, Nick has a “love at first sight” encounter with Stella, a young girl who unintentionally causes a lasting rift between the two boyhood pals. Deftly winding its way through past and present day, this modern take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet has much to do with hate — but more with love.
I have one signed copy of EXPOSURE to giveaway. Since I'm late, this will be a quickie contest. First person with a U.S. address to comment on this post gets it. Please leave an email address so that I can reach you to get you your prize.