Win a signed copy of Falling for Hamlet! Details at the end of this post.


“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Oh, thank you!” Zara shouts as she feigns surprise at the audience’s outpouring of affection and its standing ovation. She gestures for the audience members to sit down, though she smiles broadly when they continue to stand. “Please. Please,” she gestures, and since they have all been watching her for years, they know that she means business even when she’s giving a casual instruction. They settle into their seats as Zara flops precisely onto her overstuffed cream couch, smoothing her dark hair.

She leans forward and begins: “Today we have a guest who will amaze you.” She pauses to punctuate the drama and yells, “Ophelia is in the house!” Her tone sends the audience members to their feet again. They know how lucky they are to have been in the audience on this day, and this is their moment to show it. The camera cuts to mostly middle-aged women in seasonal sweaters gasping, clapping, smiling. One even dabs a tear of excitement, or is it sadness? Who can tell, and who really cares? It’s a tear that some cameraman was lucky enough to capture, a cameraman who is planning, as he films, what he will buy with the bonus the segment producer will give him for catching an actual tear wipe.

The audience calms down after a last twitter and exchange of amazed glances. “Our nation has been so deeply saddened by the tragedies surrounding the royals of Denmark. Today, we will speak to Ophelia herself and find out how this young woman was caught up in the secrecy, the revenge, and the madness . . . madness that we all thought had consumed her.

“You are a lucky audience, indeed, to be here this afternoon. Ophelia has agreed to make one appearance, one exclusive appearance, to tell her story. So, ladies and gentlemen, here she is. Ophelia, come on out here, girl.”

Excerpt© 2011 Michelle Ray

About the book:

Meet Ophelia, high school senior, daughter of the Danish king’s most trusted adviser, and longtime girlfriend of Prince Hamlet. She lives a glamorous life, has a royal social circle, and her beautiful face is splashed across magazines and TV. But it comes with a price — her life is dominated not only by Hamlet’s fame and his overbearing royal family but also by the paparazzi who hound them wherever they go.

After the sudden and suspicious death of his father, the king, Hamlet spirals dangerously toward madness, and Ophelia finds herself torn between loyalty to her boyfriend, her father, her country, and her true self.

This is a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from Ophelia’s point of view filled with drama, romance, tragedy, and humor. And this time, Ophelia doesn’t die.

What people are saying:

“Sexy and searing, Falling for Hamlet is much more than a riveting retelling of a Shakespearean classic. Michelle Ray has crafted an artful story of a girl who comes unapologetically and forcefully into her own.”–Justina Chen, author of Girl, Overboard

“To read or not to read will never be the question for Falling for Hamlet. Michelle Ray’s clever debut gives readers an Ophelia who is in turns humorous, clever, and full of girl power. I’m simply mad for this book.”–Elizabeth Eulberg, author of Prom and Prejudice

Falling for Hamlet is incredible.  Michelle Ray has a real gift for the inclusion of those subtle but important details that make a story absolutely real.  I found myself thinking about the characters as if I knew them as real people long after I finished the book.  If you don’t love Falling for Hamlet you’re as crazy as Hamlet himself.  There’s something wonderful in the state of Denmark.”–Trent Reedy, bestselling author of Words in the Dust

Released: July 5, 2011

About the author:

Michelle Ray is a graduate of Tufts University where she majored in drama. She is now a sixth grade English teacher in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she lives with her family.
Michelle spends a great deal of time trying to convince people that Shakespeare is not scary, both in her professional and personal life. Falling for Hamletis her first novel. You can visit her at


Michelle has been king enough to contribute a signed copy of Falling for Hamlet for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower of this site (just click “Join this site”) or a follower on Twitter [+1 entry each].

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Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada and ends on August 2nd at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!