June 14, 2015

Suped Up Feature: King Arthur's Sister in Washington's Court by Kim Iverson Headlee

King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court
Kim Iverson Heedlee
Sequel to A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
Sci-Fi Fantasy | Time-Travel | Satire | Romance
Lucky Bat Books
1 November 2014 (ebook, illustrated)
Forthcoming: Audiobook, performed by Caprisha Page
Forthcoming: Hardcover, featuring more than 100 illustrations

Morgan le Fay, 6th-century Queen of Gore and the only major character not killed off by Mark Twain in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, vows revenge upon the Yankee Hank Morgan. She casts a spell to take her to 1879 Connecticut so she may waylay Sir Boss before he can travel back in time to destroy her world. But the spell misses by 300 miles and 200 years, landing her in the Washington, D.C., of 2079, replete with flying limousines, hovering office buildings, virtual-reality television, and sundry other technological marvels.

Whatever is a time-displaced queen of magic and minions to do? Why, rebuild her kingdom, of course—two kingdoms, in fact: as Campaign Boss for the reelection of American President Malory Beckham Hinton, and as owner of the London Knights world-champion baseball franchise.

Written as though by the old master himself, King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court by Mark Twain as channeled by Kim Iverson Headlee offers laughs, love, and a candid look at American society, popular culture, politics, baseball...and the human heart.

“So, you don’t want Grigori under any circumstances, Boss?” I again confirmed that I did not. “Then I quit!”

“You cannot. You are under contract.”

“Fine. Then fire me. It won’t be the first time.”

“The Dragons have offered you a job.”

“Yes—and for a lot more money and a lot less grief than you give me!”

“Grief? Is that how you view our relationship? Naught but grief?”

“No, of course not, but—”

“Indeed. Then how do you view it?”

He rolled his eyes. “You know how I feel about you—privately, that is. I just don’t appreciate my judgment being questioned on the job all the time. Believe it or not, Boss, I do want what’s best for the team, and I do know what the team needs; but I can’t deliver it to you under these conditions—it’s like I’m bound and gagged. I can’t operate like that. Either free me to do my job for the Knights or free me to do it elsewhere.” His gaze turned soft and sad. “Please.”

Oh, God, he used that magic word on me—me, mistress of magic, and I stood helpless to resist its effect. The rage that had built within my breast throughout his speech seeped from me like helium from a balloon, leaving the skin inflated but with no volition to rise from the floor. Quietly I said:

“Very well, Sandy Carter, if your job means more to you than I do, then you are fired.”



“Again… alas.”
©2014 by Jennifer Doneske and Tom Doneske

Do you like it? I am giving away an ebook of  King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court as part of my 4th Blogiversary celebration!

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Bringing Classic Literature to the Modern World

What a fantastic topic, and thank you for suggesting it!

Writers have been adapting classic literature for their audiences for a long time. The most common examples occur in screenplay adaptations, such as Romeo and Juliet (Paramount, 1968, directed by Franco Zeffirelli) and 10 Things I Hate About You. (Touchstone Pictures, 1999).

The first example shows a faithful rendition of Shakespeare’s play of the same title; the second is a present-day interpretation of his The Taming of the Shrew set at a high school in Seattle.

A third choice faced by writers who wish to introduce the classics to their audience—a choice not yet embraced by Hollywood—is to craft a sequel. This choice has given rise to a number of books written in the vein of Shakespeare, as well as Jane Austin and now, with the release of my novel King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court, Mark Twain.

I cannot speak for the other authors, but for me the challenge to emulate the father of American literature was daunting to say the least; fifty pages in, I was hit by doubt that crippled all of my fiction projects for three years. Yes, years. Once I conquered this Mother of All Writer’s Blocks and pushed through to “The End (… for now)” in 2010, I realized that if I could pull off this book, I could write just about anything!

Mark Twain performed his own version of bringing classic literature to his audience in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by incorporating passages from Sir Thomas Malory’s fifteenth-century epic, Le Morte d’Arthur.

Therefore, I could do no less in my sequel than to drop in a couple of key passages from Connecticut Yankee. Though more of the inside jokes may be enjoyed if a reader is already familiar with Connecticut Yankee, King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court does stand alone in its own right, in part because of these passages, which form the bridge from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first.

Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with your readers today, and I invite you all to cross that bridge with me!

Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet.

Kim is a Seattle native and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim’s novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband’s ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.

For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her imprint, Pendragon Cove Press. She has been a published novelist since 1999, beginning with the original edition of Dawnflight (Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0671020412).

Follow Kim
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  1. I have not read the yankee book, so..

    1. There's always a first time for everything ;)

  2. This looks like it could be good fun to read! Thanks for sharing!

    Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings

  3. Braine, thank you so much for featuring KASIWC on your blog today!

    Many of those who have read it didn't read Connecticut Yankee first, and yet they still have enjoyed my sequel. As with any sequel/parody/satire, the more you know about the parent work and its author going in, the more in-jokes you are going to get. KASIWC even features veiled references to some obscure details in Mark Twain's life. But not picking up on those aspects won't diminish your enjoyment in the least, IMO! :)

    Kim Headlee
    Stories make us greater.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kim! That's reassuring, that we are not required to read MTwain first before we can enjoy the sequel. Happy Sunday!

  4. Well, it's not something you see on a bookshelf every day, that's for sure :) I'm interested. Great guest post, btw.

  5. I loved the original Mark Twain story. This sounds hilarious.

    1. I haven't read it :(

      She did say it's a satire and satires are a hit for me more often than not.

  6. This one sounds interesting, thanks Braine :)

  7. It sounds intriguing and a but different. I'm curious.

  8. Great excerpt! Wonder how Sandy was fired the first time around!!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

  9. Wow, what a great idea. I loved Mark Twain's book as a child and love imaginative sequels

    1. i am embarrassed because I haven't read any of his work. eep!

  10. This sounds different and has me curious. Thanks for sharing the excerpt.

    1. YW! I seek the "different", there's so many same old shit going around

  11. Oh this sounds like fun. Cool! :D Thanks for sharing.

    1. Satires are tricky to pull off, takes a lot of smarts to be funny a la SNL


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