Wednesday, February 5, 2020


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Iris Dorbian will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

"Sentenced to Shakespeare" is a contemporary young adult novel set in suburban New Jersey. The story revolves around Leah, a smart and sensitive 15-year-old girl who is pushed too far by a bully and snaps. Arrested for assault and battery, Leah is sentenced to an unusual form of rehabilitation-she must take and complete a Shakespeare workshop or else risk incarceration. Ostracized by her classmates, abandoned by her only friend, Leah finds comfort and solidarity with the other juvenile offenders in this same program, with one offering her something she's never experienced before--love.

Read an Excerpt

“Now, everyone, I want you all to walk in a circle, but get up on the tip of your toes and keep your backs arched,” ordered Frank, the charismatic, ugly-appealing movement instructor, to his underage charges. “Good. Now move as if you’re part of the Tudor court. Henry VIII is present, and you want to be on your best behavior to impress this temperamental, fickle monarch. Don’t give him a chance to chop your head off.”

Leah’s physical coordination wasn’t conducive to doing these concurrent movements. She could get up on the tip of her toes and strut around like a royal peacock, yet she was too spastic to arch her back at the same time.

“No, Leah!” said Frank, alarmed. “That’s not it. On the tip of your toes. Yes. Good. Arch your back. No, no, no.”

He stopped Leah and positioned himself behind her.

“Okay, now arch your back and walk on the tip of your toes—and remember you’re part of the Tudor court!” he commanded, removing his arms from her shoulder blades.

Leah still floundered…miserably.

“No, Leah, that’s not it! Arch your back! No! Now you’re walking like an old lady!”

The comment elicited a peal of giggles among the others, including Kelly, who apparently, unlike Leah, had the physical suppleness to master the exercise.

When her effort didn’t produce the desired outcome, Frank, with the elasticity and languid ease of a human pretzel, demonstrated by throwing his front pelvis as forward as anatomically possible while arching his back, as if emulating an ostrich.

Leah tried one more time, but it was hopeless.

His hands flailing in the air, Frank despaired before resigning himself to a muted chuckle. “Well, I applaud your effort.”

About the Author:
Iris Dorbian is a professional business and arts journalist whose credits include Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Crain's New York Business, Venture Capital Journal, Buyouts, Investopedia, DMNews, Jerusalem Report, the Forward, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Live Design, Media Industry Newsletter and PR News. She is the former editor-in-chief of Stage Directions magazine and author of "Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater," which was published by Allworth Press/Skyhorse Publishing in August 2008; and "Sentenced to Shakespeare," which was published by Milford House Press, an imprint of Sunbury Press. Her personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Adanna Literary Journal,, Skirt! and Gothesque Magazine. A New Jersey native, Iris has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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