O, Wilt Thou Leave Me So Unsatisfied?

Today, I’m posting a mere day ahead of time because I’ve so many things to attribute to my beloved Bard.

shakespeare-john-taylor-portrait

First, a few stories to tell…

The first memories I have to centre on old Bill Shakespeare are from grade school when my parents acquired some cassette tapes of classical piano music. I fell in love with this version…

… and then, in seventh grade, I got to see the film version, starring Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting. I was hooked completely. My English teacher couldn’t teach me enough about this wonderful playwright who had ensnared my imagination!

In seventh grade, we covered Romeo & Juliet, Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and a bit of the Scottish play. I tried to wrap my brain around some of the others in my free time, but my 12-13 year old self wasn’t ready for it.

In tenth grade, we took almost a semester out to study the Bard, and during this time, we were able to watch multiple film versions of multiple plays AND my English teacher–Mrs. Mary Clarke–took us to the Richland High School production of Macbeth! They did a fabulous job with it, and to this day, when I read the beginning lines with the Three Witches, I get chills as I remember the first line coming from right behind me (I had an aisle seat) and the three working the crowd as they made their way to the stage. Also, in those few months, I would work with a friend of mine named Jennifer and we’d plan this crazy modern rendition of the Macduff/Macbeth fight scene and we’d practice it and take the whole class to the cafeteria to perform it… and I’d lose my nerve and remember all my lines, but chicken out on the footwork with the toy tommy gun. *blush*

It went better when we were studying Romeo & Juliet and our teacher asked that we pair up with a partner and do a scene from the play. My best friend and I did the scene while Romeo was hanging out with Mercutio and Benvolio, waiting on the Nurse to bring word. The banter was amazing, and our rehearsals on the phone leading up to our performance, was nothing short of involved. When I hear the word “pink,” I still mentally riposte, “Pink for flower,” and then hit back with, “Why then, my pump is well-flowered!” 😀

My senior year of high school, I decided I wanted to be an actress, and I auditioned for a Dallas acting studio, utilizing the monologue Lady Macbeth gives in Act I Scene V, lines 37-58.

”                                          Give him tending;
He brings great news.
The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements.  Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty!  Make thick my blood;
Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
Th’ effect and it!  Come to my woman’s breasts
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief!  Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark
To cry “Hold, hold!”

Great Glamis!  Worthy Cawdor!
Greater than both by the all-hail hereafter!
Thy letters have transported me beyond
The future in the instant.”

My second year of college, my irritating Creative Writing teacher, Ms. Cuyler Etheredge, was leading us through poetry… and of course, no-one does poetry like old Bill! While covering iambic pentameter, she had us write what she called responsive poetry. Still amazed by the above monologue, I wrote the following:

O!  Thy cloak of midnight slides in curls down thy
Small back as the evil curls upon thy lips;
The rails of thy arms raise gracefully to thy sister the
Moon!  Yea, Diana is thy mother, and the Furies thou
Hast called upon to eat at thy soul, to take the very
Contents of thine own soul; they art thy servants
And having arrived to darken to pitch that
Which thou callest thy heart, thou hast called them also
To sup on that which thou callest thine own kindnesses,
To get drunk on thy breasts stale wine!
My lady!  O, my queen!
Darest not this horrible deed!  Staineth not thy
Sweet hand; staineth not the soul of thy husband!
Thou doth plan for thine own purposes and care not
A wit for the king . . . care not for thy husband that shall
Be thy king; yea, even now thou knowest the darkness
Of the deed thou wouldst perform.
Sweet lady!
Hurry not to thy chambers; bescreenest thyself not from the
Very heavens that thou callest not upon.
Plan not this deed; I beg of thee.
Lady of Glamis thou art!  Lady of Cawdor
Thou shalt be!  Happier with these thou wilt be
Than toppling to thy death on thy flagstone steps, dear lady.

Part of the above poem appears as one of David Blackthorn’s in The Covenant. I’ve always been proud of that piece of artistry. I attribute my love of poetry and my use of poetry as a tool to suck out the bad emotions and record the really good times, to old Bill.

That same year, I fell in love with another author called James O’Barr, who wrote another tragedy centred around love: The Crow. Eric Draven’s love of Shelly Webster seemed so close to Romeo & Juliet, but it was so much darker… and so much madder that I fell head over feet for it. I immersed myself in the music of The Crow (O’Barr was a big fan of Joy Division and The Cure) and in Edgar Allan Poe, and of course, old Bill’s tragedies.

Enter 1996… and Baz Luhrmann… and Leo and Claire.

Romeo + Juliet

Ye gods, I loved that adaptation. It was flashy and perfect and somehow, it made Bill’s words seem normal-speak. I saw it in theatres so many times. I bought the soundtrack and the score– both of them! Of course, after seeing this in theatres, I went on a binge of film adaptations. I watch a ton of Branagh in those days.

Over and over, Bill haunts my words. As I wrote my own stories then and even now, references to Shakespeare seep into my writing. Characters who love him, obsess over him like I do.

The second novel I ever published, Butterflies are Free, was a nod to Romeo and Juliet in that my guys are star-crossed, and while they do say the three words, they also say, “R & J, my love,” to signify the depth of emotion they feel. Of course, The Covenant gives us David, who tells Jonathan that he ranks over The Bard.

Then, of course, there’s a famous long-running sci-fi show, aired on BBC since 1967, that when renewed in the early 2000’s did a show to include old Bill… and J.K. Rowling. 🙂 It was awesome. I loved it entirely.

And then… enter this wonderful idea to celebrate good old Bill, my Phai and Jen, and a story I tried to write a few years ago… and all of a sudden, I’m writing about Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Nothing has ever felt this good… nor this right. Truly, no-one has ever been able to sum up life in all its light and dark, quite the way he always has. Not for me.

To tie this up, especially since I have a big habit of running on at the mouth, I will end with one of his most iconic lines. Taken from Macbeth, Act V Scene V, lines 19-28:

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

Happy birthday, Bill. I’m so glad to have known you all these years.

The Covenant: The Blog Tour

download.jpg

Hi again, y’all! It’s the last day of The Covenant Blog Tour! We were at three blogs today, Lovebytes, Elisa Rolle, and Alpha Book Club! As always, all blogs have the Rafflecopter linked, so you can enter at any and all to win a signed print copy of The Covenant!

Love Bytes http://lovebytesreviews.com/2016/01/28/blog-tour-interview-excerpt-giveaway-m-leanne-phoenix-the-covenant/

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/3259381.html — Has Part 2 of “Halley’s Comet” (a Covenant short)

Alpha Book Club http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4786179.html — Has Part 2 of “Halley’s Comet” (a Covenant short)

The contest still has six days, so you’ve still got time to win… and it’s so easy to do.

The Covenant Printable 330 6x9 with logo

What People are Saying about The Covenant:

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read.”– Carly’s Book Reviews

“I stayed up until 4:18 am on Saturday because I couldn’t put this book down, and I was all puffy eyed on Sunday, because I cried so much while reading, but it was well worth it. This is definitely one of my favorite angsty reads ever and one I’ll have to revisit again once I have some free time. All in all, a fantastic read!”–Bayou Book Junkie

“… I referred to David as the hero, and this is absolutely true. Like his biblical counterpart, David faces many giants, and each time, he comes out stronger. David is a fascinating character, and I have to wonder if he lived in our current time whether he would consider himself genderfluid or another non-binary identity. He’s shown as a sweet, feminine boy who might be mistaken for being delicate or weak—and this is how those who hate him want to see him. But he isn’t, and he repeatedly proves that he is both strong enough to fight for himself and strong enough to trust the people who love him to be at his side.” —A. M. Leibowitz

The Blurb:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Where to Buy:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant

The Covenant: The Blog Tour

download.jpg

Hi again, y’all! It’s Day Nine of The Covenant Blog Tour! We were at two blogs today, Jessie G. Books and BFD Book Blog! As always, all blogs have the Rafflecopter linked, so you can enter at any and all to win a signed print copy of The Covenant!

Jessie G. Books http://wp.me/p5wi3H-Yh

BFD Book Blog http://bfdbookblog.net/2016/01/blog-tour-stop-including-excerpt-giveaway-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix/

The contest is running throughout the whole tour, so you’ve got plenty of chances to win… and it’s so easy to do.

The Covenant Printable 330 6x9 with logo

What People are Saying about The Covenant:

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read.”– Carly’s Book Reviews

“I stayed up until 4:18 am on Saturday because I couldn’t put this book down, and I was all puffy eyed on Sunday, because I cried so much while reading, but it was well worth it. This is definitely one of my favorite angsty reads ever and one I’ll have to revisit again once I have some free time. All in all, a fantastic read!”–Bayou Book Junkie

“… I referred to David as the hero, and this is absolutely true. Like his biblical counterpart, David faces many giants, and each time, he comes out stronger. David is a fascinating character, and I have to wonder if he lived in our current time whether he would consider himself genderfluid or another non-binary identity. He’s shown as a sweet, feminine boy who might be mistaken for being delicate or weak—and this is how those who hate him want to see him. But he isn’t, and he repeatedly proves that he is both strong enough to fight for himself and strong enough to trust the people who love him to be at his side.” —A. M. Leibowitz

The Blurb:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Where to Buy:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant

The Covenant: The Blog Tour

download.jpg

Hi again, y’all! It’s Day Eight of The Covenant Blog Tour! Yesterday, I was only at one blog, so I rolled my blog post for yesterday and today into one! We’ve got a couple of author interviews and a few reviews in the mix as well! As always, all blogs have the Rafflecopter linked, so you can enter at any and all to win a signed print copy of The Covenant!

MM Good Book Reviews: https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/the-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix-blog-tour-excerpt-review-giveaway/

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews: http://wickedfaeriesreviews.blogspot.com/2016/01/the-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix-blog.html

Inked Rainbow Reads: http://wp.me/p5PC5u-2ea

Dawn’s Reading Nook: http://dawnsreadingnook.blogspot.com/2016/01/tour-stop-giveaway-for-covenant.html

A.M. Leibowitz http://amleibowitz.com/2016/01/26/book-tour-the-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix/

The contest is running throughout the whole tour, so you’ve got plenty of chances to win… and it’s so easy to do.

The Covenant Printable 330 6x9 with logo

What People are Saying about The Covenant:

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read.”– Carly’s Book Reviews

“I stayed up until 4:18 am on Saturday because I couldn’t put this book down, and I was all puffy eyed on Sunday, because I cried so much while reading, but it was well worth it. This is definitely one of my favorite angsty reads ever and one I’ll have to revisit again once I have some free time. All in all, a fantastic read!”–Bayou Book Junkie

“… I referred to David as the hero, and this is absolutely true. Like his biblical counterpart, David faces many giants, and each time, he comes out stronger. David is a fascinating character, and I have to wonder if he lived in our current time whether he would consider himself genderfluid or another non-binary identity. He’s shown as a sweet, feminine boy who might be mistaken for being delicate or weak—and this is how those who hate him want to see him. But he isn’t, and he repeatedly proves that he is both strong enough to fight for himself and strong enough to trust the people who love him to be at his side.” —A. M. Leibowitz

The Blurb:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Where to Buy:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant

The Covenant: The Blog Tour

download.jpg

Hi again, y’all! It’s Day Six of The Covenant Blog Tour! I was only at two blogs today, Havan Fellows and Happily Ever Chapter! As always, all blogs have the Rafflecopter linked, so you can enter at any and all to win a signed print copy of The Covenant!

Havan Fellows http://havanshawthaven.blogspot.com/2016/01/m-leanne-phoenix-shares-covenant-with.html
Happily Ever Chapter https://www.facebook.com/happilyeverchapter/posts/432331600292246

The contest is running throughout the whole tour, so you’ve got plenty of chances to win… and it’s so easy to do.

The Covenant Printable 330 6x9 with logo

What People are Saying about The Covenant:

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read.”– Carly’s Book Reviews

“I stayed up until 4:18 am on Saturday because I couldn’t put this book down, and I was all puffy eyed on Sunday, because I cried so much while reading, but it was well worth it. This is definitely one of my favorite angsty reads ever and one I’ll have to revisit again once I have some free time. All in all, a fantastic read!”–Bayou Book Junkie

“… I referred to David as the hero, and this is absolutely true. Like his biblical counterpart, David faces many giants, and each time, he comes out stronger. David is a fascinating character, and I have to wonder if he lived in our current time whether he would consider himself genderfluid or another non-binary identity. He’s shown as a sweet, feminine boy who might be mistaken for being delicate or weak—and this is how those who hate him want to see him. But he isn’t, and he repeatedly proves that he is both strong enough to fight for himself and strong enough to trust the people who love him to be at his side.” —A. M. Leibowitz

The Blurb:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Where to Buy:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant

 

The Covenant: The Blog Tour

download.jpg

Hey there, y’all! It’s Day Four and Five of The Covenant Blog Tour! I was at three blogs on the 20th and two today, the 21st! Louise Lyons, Michael Mandrake and My Fiction Nook hosted us yesterday. Today, we’re at Iyana Jenna and Hearts on Fire! As always, all blogs have the Rafflecopter linked, so you can enter at any and all to win a signed print copy of The Covenant!

Louise Lyons http://www.louiselyonsauthor.com/the-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix/

Michael Mandrake https://michaelmandrake.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/pride-promo-the-covenant-m-leanne-phoenix-blogtour-contest/

My Fiction Nook http://www.myfictionnook.com/2016/01/blogtour-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix.html

Iyana Jenna https://iyanajennaauthor.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/14423/

Hearts on Fire http://heartsonfirereviews.com/m-leanne-phoenix-covenant-excerpt-tour-and-giveaway/

The contest is running throughout the whole tour, so you’ve got plenty of chances to win… and it’s so easy to do.

The Covenant Printable 330 6x9 with logo

What People are Saying about The Covenant:

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read.”– Carly’s Book Reviews

“I stayed up until 4:18 am on Saturday because I couldn’t put this book down, and I was all puffy eyed on Sunday, because I cried so much while reading, but it was well worth it. This is definitely one of my favorite angsty reads ever and one I’ll have to revisit again once I have some free time. All in all, a fantastic read!”–Bayou Book Junkie

“… I referred to David as the hero, and this is absolutely true. Like his biblical counterpart, David faces many giants, and each time, he comes out stronger. David is a fascinating character, and I have to wonder if he lived in our current time whether he would consider himself genderfluid or another non-binary identity. He’s shown as a sweet, feminine boy who might be mistaken for being delicate or weak—and this is how those who hate him want to see him. But he isn’t, and he repeatedly proves that he is both strong enough to fight for himself and strong enough to trust the people who love him to be at his side.” —A. M. Leibowitz

The Blurb:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Where to Buy:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant

The Covenant: The Blog Tour

download.jpg

Hey there, y’all! It’s Day Three of The Covenant Blog Tour! Like yesterday, I’m at three blogs. Bayou Book Junkie graciously made space for David and Jonathan, as did Unquietly Me, and Nephy’s YA/NA site, Rainbow Warriors, also hosted us today. As before, all blogs have the Rafflecopter linked, so you can enter at any and all to win a signed print copy of The Covenant!

Bayou Book Junkie: http://bayoubookjunkie.blogspot.com/2016/01/virtual-book-tour-covenant-by-m-leanne.html – two 5 star reviews! Character interview! Wanna meet David and Jonathan for real? 🙂 They answer a smattering of questions at Bayou Book Junkie!

Unquietly Me http://unquietlyme.com/2016/01/19/the-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix-excerpt-giveaway/

Rainbow Warriors http://cherylheadford.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/the-covenant-by-m-leanne-phoenix.html

The contest is running throughout the whole tour, so you’ve got plenty of chances to win… and it’s so easy to do.

The Covenant Printable 330 6x9 with logo

What People are Saying about The Covenant:

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read.”– Carly’s Book Reviews

“The bond and love David and Jonathan share runs deep. Something that I truly believe may be unbreakable.”–Bayou Book Junkie

“… I referred to David as the hero, and this is absolutely true. Like his biblical counterpart, David faces many giants, and each time, he comes out stronger. David is a fascinating character, and I have to wonder if he lived in our current time whether he would consider himself genderfluid or another non-binary identity. He’s shown as a sweet, feminine boy who might be mistaken for being delicate or weak—and this is how those who hate him want to see him. But he isn’t, and he repeatedly proves that he is both strong enough to fight for himself and strong enough to trust the people who love him to be at his side.” —A. M. Leibowitz

The Blurb:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Where to Buy:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant