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Monday, October 6, 2014


Goddess Fish Promotions is organizing a Virtual Book Tour for Ruined - Stratford High Series, Book One by Marian Cheatham, a YA Contemporary Romance available now. The tour will run September 22, 2014 to October 17.

Marian will be awarding an eBook copy of Ruined to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop during the tour. A Grand Prize of a signed paperback copy of Ruined plus a new DVD of Much Ado About Nothing starring Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson will be awarded to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (US only).

To place your comment and stand a chance to win, please use this Rafflecopter code:


When your life has been ruined by lies, do you seek justice … or revenge?
Blythe Messina spends her senior year focused on her studies and college, and not on
her ex, Stratford High's lacrosse star, DB Whitmore. At least, that's what Blythe keeps telling herself. But her younger cousin, Bonni, knows otherwise. Same goes for DB, who swears to be over Blythe and their breakup, but his teammates aren’t fooled.

When scandalous photos of Bonni and the team captain are texted around Stratford, Bonni's virtuous reputation is ruined. She professes her innocence, but no one believes her. No one, except Blythe and DB, who come together to uncover the truth. But, will they stay together?  

Ruined is a modern twist on a classic Shakespearean romance. 

"Deceit, loyalty, honor, and romance--Ruined has it all! A teen version of Much Ado About Nothing that Shakespeare aficionados are sure to savor!
Kym Brunner, Author of Wanted: Dead or in Love & One Smart Cookie

All books in the Stratford High series will be modern retellings of a Shakespeare classic. Ruined is inspired by Much Ado About Nothing.




I’d been bitchy and on edge ever since that blasted luau last Saturday. Seeing DB, talking to him, being near him again, had taken my life off course. For days now, I’d been ordering my brain to

STOP THINKING ABOUT HIM. We were ancient history, two people doomed from the start, like Antony and Cleopatra or Marie Antoinette and King Louis. So why couldn’t I regain control
of my world? I snatched up my backpack and my Coach crossbody bag, and did a quick once-over in my bedroom mirror. The hair was tied back in a no-fuss ponytail. The jeans were clean,
well, relatively. This faded ASPCA tee was past its expiration date, but good enough for school. I turned off my bedroom light and went in search of Bonni. 

She wasn’t in her room or downstairs in the kitchen. So I grabbed a frosted Pop-Up and headed into the garage, where I was blinded by piercing sunlight. Someone had left the outer door open, and my new hybrid was nowhere to be found. I shaded my eyes and peered outside.

Halfway down our long driveway, I spied Bonni and Uncle Leo with their backs to me, their heads together under the opened hood of my car. They were talking, but in this quiet
morning air, their voices carried. Even from this distance, I could hear fragments of their conversation. And if I heard them, so could our neighbors. I was hurrying toward the hybrid,
anxious to warn my cousin and uncle to keep it down, when I heard something that stopped me in mid-stride.

“… believe what Cory told me … DB and Blythe …”

Had Bonni just mentioned DB and me in the same sentence?

I ducked behind the six-foot-tall hedges lining the drive.

“What else did Cory say?” Uncle Leo asked.

Author bio and links

Marian is a full-time writer of contemporary and historical young adult fiction. A native Chicagoan and a graduate of Northern Illinois University, Marian taught special education and worked in the business world before pursuing her dream of becoming a writer. She would rather be at her desk than almost anywhere else, but of course, that isn’t always possible. So when she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, gardening, walking the dog, travelling with her husband, and researching new projects. Not necessarily in that order. 

She adores anything Shakespeare. An avid reader of Shakespeare biographies, she has travelled the world to see his plays, visiting Stratford, Canada as well as Stratford-Upon-the-Avon, Great Britain, and the new Globe Theater in London. Her latest YA novel, Ruined, Book One in her new Stratford High series – modern retellings of Shakespeare’s plays - is inspired by the Bard’s classic romance, Much Ado About Nothing. Book Two, inspired by the Merchant of Venice, is due out fall 2014.

Her debut YA, Eastland, came out in February 2014. Based on the real-life story of the 1915 Eastland boat disaster in Chicago, Marian lectures about the Eastland to schools, libraries, and book clubs, as well as co-hosting haunted Chicago tours of Eastland disaster sites. She writes a post on the subject on the Tribune’s Chicago Now blog site. Visit her at:

Finally, I asked Marion how she came to write young adult fiction. Here's what she answered:

Writing YA fiction was a progression from picture books, to middle grade, to YA. The progression reflected the changes in my own life as the kids grew up. When the girls were in high school, I had to sign a few permission slips giving the district the right to use books they deemed ‘controversial.’ Of course, I was curious, so I read those problematic books. A few, I truly enjoyed like, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides or Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Then the kids began talking about books they were reading, Harry Potter being the most discussed book in the neighborhood. I started reading that series and was hooked right from the start.

YA literature was exciting and brimming with story possibilities. Anything seemed to go when it came to YA and as a writer, I appreciated that. So, I started writing a few novels of my own. The story ideas always flowed from some real-life incident that had either happened to one of the kids or something that I myself had experienced. My first published novel, Eastland, was really my fourth completed YA manuscript. Those other three books weren’t publish-ready, but they were great practice for me. Even now, with Ruined, and all the forthcoming books in the Stratford High series, it takes hard work to get it right.

There’s the painful first draft to deliver, then I share it with trusted writer friends in my critique group and work through their suggestions. Next, the manuscript goes to the editor for the first content edit to see if I really have a complete novel. Do the chapters flow together? Is there enough tension? Are the characters fully developed? These are questions that the editor addresses in that first go-around. The manuscript returns to me with notes and notes and notes. I get to work on the re-write, send it back for an editorial proofread, more corrections are made, and then, maybe if I’m really, really lucky and I’ve put in the time and sweat and hard work, I’ll have a finished young adult novel to share with readers. Easy, right? But totally worth it!


  1. Nickie,
    Thank you for being part of Ruined's Book Tour! Hope you're enjoying England!!
    Marian Cheatham

    1. My pleasure, Marian! And I really did enjoy my trip to Birmingham - always love to be in England.