Today we have a guest post from the lovely Nicole Murphy, who also writes as Elizabeth Dunk.


Nicole writes speculative fiction as well as contempory romances. If you haven’t checked out her Gadda books, then you must!


Todays post is all about Nicole’s new book ‘Much Ado About Love’ which is an imaginative reworking of the famous play ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.


Why I love Much Ado About Nothing

I admit it – I’m one of those wackos who loved Shakespeare at high school. I got it – you didn’t worry about what each individual word meant, you dove into the story and it was there, clear as day. As I got older, I came to adore the language too, but actually the way many of us were taught Shakespeare teaches a salutary lesson about plays – they are meant to be consumed when performed, not read.

When I got my own house, and started developing my own library, I got a copy of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. I don’t read it, but it’s there for me to turn too when I want to check things out, or remind myself about things. Instead, I consume my Shakespeare visually – mostly in film. I adore many of the straight plays (eg Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Taming of the Shrew – talk about chemistry!). I love remakes of them, whether it sticks to the text like Baz Lurhman’s Romeo and Juliet or completely adapts them, like Ten Things I Hate About You.

Several years ago, I was deep in a Keanu Reeves crush (we’ve all been there) and I decided to buy the DVD of Kenneth Branagh’s filming of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. Not only did I discover one of my favourite films of all time, Much Ado became my favourite Shakespeare play. Here’s why:

  1. The dialogue is so, so clever. ‘I wonder that you will still be talking, Signor Benedick. Nobody marks you.’ ‘What, my dear Lady Disdain, are you but living?’ ‘Is it possible disdain should die, while she hath such meet food to feed it as Signor Benedick?’ The moment Beatrice and Benedick start exchanging barbs, you can’t help but be enraptured

  2. It’s very funny. The whole plot to make Beatrice and Benedick love each other is brilliantly done, and I must say that the two films I’ve seen of it (Kenneth Branagh and Joss Whedon) did these scenes brilliantly. Laugh out loud funny they are. Full of physical comedy.

  3. It’s got a great villain. Don John is completely evil. He has no compunction with ruining people’s lives, just to pay his brother back for liking them more. A good villain is worth their weight in gold.

  4. It’s got great comedic characters. Dogberry and Verges are there solely for the laughs, and they do it brilliantly. Particularly when played by actors such as Michael Keaton or Nathan Fillion. These are the types of characters that no nuance is required for – throw yourself in and ham it up. Brilliant.

  5. It’s got tension and horror. The audience knows that Hero is innocent of the accusations against her, but will Claudio and Don Pedro work it out? Will Claudio and Hero make up? Will Benedick actually shoot Claudio? Shakespeare has made you care for these characters, then he tears it all up. Brilliant storytelling.

  6. It’s got a masquerade ball, complete with mistaken identities. When Beatrice, pretending she doesn’t know she’s talking to Benedick, tears him a new one – ah, you gotta love the girl. Masquerade balls are the bomb.

  7. It’s got a fascinating theme – for me, Much Ado About Nothing is about love. There’s several types of love studied in the story – love at first sight (or thereabouts), long acquaintances falling in love, love between friends, love between relations. What makes people love each other? What can destroy love? Is love really the be all and end all of everything? Much Ado About Nothing poses some interesting questions and puts forward some fascinating answers about love.

I’ve worked a lot of these elements into my adaptation of the play, Much Ado About Love. There’s a great villain. A masquerade ball. Awesome barbs between Ben and Trix. Tension and horror. No Dogberry or Verges though, I’m afraid.

I hope readers will love my version of Much Ado About Nothing as much as I do the original. Thanks, Will, for everything.


Much Ado About Love

Much Ado About Love

Opposites attract—but that doesn’t mean the road to happy-ever-after runs smooth…

Trix Leon and Ben Anthony have two things in common—they don’t believe in love and, together, they set the sheets on fire. Their relationship is safe, uncomplicated, and just what they both need—until John Aragorn shows up and gives them a third thing in common: an enemy.

When their friends decide it’s time for Trix and Ben to admit to themselves—and each other—how they really feel, Trix and Ben are caught in a whirlwind of emotion, a promise of something more. But Aragorn is determined to destroy everything: Trix’s hard work, her future, and her chance at something more with Ben.

Now Ben and Trix are left fighting for the one thing that neither of them knew they wanted: love.

If you’d like to learn more about the wonderful books that Nicole has written then please head over to her website and have a look!

Nicole Murphy Official Website