Giveaway! Free Copies of “If We Were Villains” by M.L. Rio

UPDATE:  Contest over!  Thanks to everyone for participating. Winners will be notified shortly.

We haven’t done a book giveaway in a long time, so let’s fix that right now with a good one!  Introducing If We Were Villains, by M.L. Rio:

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingénue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: If We Were Villainsconvincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

“This is a rare and extraordinary novel: a vivid rendering of the closed world of a conservatory education, a tender and harrowing exploration of friendship, and a genuinely breathtaking literary thriller. I can’t recommend this book highly enough, and can’t wait to read what M. L. Rio writes next.” —Emily St. John Mandel, New York Times bestselling author of Station Eleven
Read a full length excerpt from Scene 1 here!
Sound like your cup of tea? Or something you might enjoy reading over a cup of tea? Well we’ve got five copies to giveaway!


  1. Since the book is being released on April 11, that’s when we’ll pick our winners. Five winners will be drawn at random from eligible entries received prior to midnight on April 10, 2017.
  2. To enter, leave a comment here on the blog (not on Facebook or Twitter) answering the following question:  You’ve decided to quit your day job and become a full time villain. Which Shakespearean villain is your role model, and why?
  3. Entries must include an accurate, reachable email address, so we can contact you in case you win!
  4. Limit 1 entry per email address.
  5. Contest open to U.S. shipping addresses only.
  6. Publisher will handle  shipping books to the winners.
Any questions?  Good luck!

10 thoughts on “Giveaway! Free Copies of “If We Were Villains” by M.L. Rio

  1. I’d be Richard III-he knows what he wants, pulls off dastardly deeds, has a teflon cloak, and aside from his equine issues gets away with basically everything. Sure, there’s the whole hump/deformity to deal with, but on the other hand, it’s good to be the king.

  2. I don’t need to quit my day job to be a full-time villain – I work in advertising! So my villain is, naturally, Iago. Start with a bit of fake news to plant the seed, touch it up with some misdirection, folksy familiarity, and apparent peer group reinforcement, and ultimately the suckers – er, customers – persuade themselves! Putty in my hands, putty in my hands. Don’t believe me? What’s your favorite brand of beer, automobile, clothing store? Gotcha. And, thank you. Couldn’t do it without you.

  3. I’d make the argument that Love is a sort of villain in any story, Shakespeare’s included. It tears people apart internally and externally. Although it may not be a physical manifestation in the form of a human in any of Shakespeare’s work (though I’m sure there’s some literature debating otherwise — jury is still out for me), it consistently works as an antagonistic force, making the lives of the people in Billy’s world miserable: the mixups of Midsummer, the horror of Romeo and Juliet’s “love,” the unloving love of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Ophelia’s resulting madness, the love-hate in Shrew — all of these characters are tormented in one way or another by this non-character, but to be sure, nebulous though it is, love is a villain.

    And yet, it’s paradox holds true.

    Yeah, I’d be Love.

  4. Oh what the heck. If I’m going full-on villain, I’m going to go full-on Edmund and take everything that I always wanted but was denied to me. I’ll overthrow the government, and probably get murdered by my estranged siblings in the process, but it’ll be one memorable ride!

  5. Definitely Tamora from Titus Andronicus, because she doesn’t do things halfway. I think her commitment to completely and utterly destroying Titus and his entire family is impressive, and love how she’s one of the most purely evil of Shakespeare’s villains. None of that Claudius/Lady Macbeth-style doubt or guilt happening here—she gets no mercy, so shows none. That “I’ll find a day to massacre them all” speech is sooooo much fun.

    Runners-up: Iago from Othello, Regan from Lear.

  6. I’d be Don John from Much Ado About Nothing because he was deliciously snarky and cunning in the play. He started a war, got back in his brother’s good graces, and then tried to to end the soon to be marriage of the Governor’s daughter so he’d be week and Don John could take over Messina. I’ve always liked more brooding and sneaky villains!

  7. I’m sure it will be a common one, but Iago. He works with the hand he’s been dealt, and he steals the show!

  8. I would be Iago. He delights in manipulation, and goes above and beyond to destroy Cassio and Othello. He is a true villain. On the other hand, though he is not a stereotypical villain, Richard II makes life hard for a lot of people. All his rolling around kissing the earth, and mooning in the mirror, he is a bit of a modern day, self involved villain. Imagine his Instagram account. I could take a day to blow money on outrageous outfits for my troops and ponder time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *