TRUE PRETENSES short story: taking suggestions!

So I have a tradition. Every time I release a book, I celebrate by posting a free short story based on a suggestion from a reader about the characters from my previous book. NB: All contain spoilers.

For In for a Penny, I wrote “Four Times Percy Garrett Didn’t Kiss [SPOILER REDACTED], and One Time He Did“.
For A Lily Among Thorns, I wrote “The way of a man with a maid“, about Deborah Hathaway’s first two weeks of marriage to Jonas…which do not go very smoothly.
For Sweet Disorder, I wrote “Poor child of Doubt and Death“, in which Nick is a vampire and Phoebe is a dragon and everything else is pretty much the same.

And now it’s time for me to take reader suggestions for a True Pretenses short story! This one will go up when the next Lively St. Lemeston book comes out. (Maybe next January with Listen to the Moon, but maybe sooner—I’m thinking about publishing a novella this summer…)

I’ll take suggestions of any kind, in any format, as detailed or vague as you like. What ifs, alternate universes, missing scenes, backstory, and future scenes are all fair game. Feel free to treat your comment like a mini-brainstorming session if you want!

You can see past suggestion posts here.

Legal stuff: by submitting a comment on this post, you permit Rose Lerner to develop your story idea without any expectation of financial compensation or remuneration. The resulting story will be available to readers free of charge.

Some suggestions to get the ball rolling:

1. Ash and Lydia are struck by lightning and swap bodies.
2. Ash and Rafe’s first Easter passing as Gentiles.
3. Lively St. Lemeston is a small but bustling space station and Ash is an intergalactic confidence trickster.
4. Jamie’s first Christmas vacation, home from Eton.
5. Mrs. Humphrey and Aunt Packham get locked in a cloakroom together at the Gooding Day Auction.

Comment section is SPOILER-FRIENDLY!

11 thoughts on “TRUE PRETENSES short story: taking suggestions!”

  1. Three ideas:
    1) Jamie seduces Rafe. You basically already set that one up 🙂
    2) Ash transforms into the Hulk whenever he gets sad. (“That’s my secret, Rafe, I’m always sad.”)
    3) The dead residents of St Lemeston, including Lydia’s father, start coming back from the dead like in Les Revenants. Complications ensue.

  2. I love all these ideas. I laughed SO HARD at that “I’m always sad” joke, OMG. What would a sad Hulk even do? Weep so hard he flooded cities?
    Thank you!

    1. Well, I think it would pretty much still be “Hulk (Ash?) smash!” only with a different emotional trigger. But I do love that excessive weeping imagery. I can also picture him laying waste to various St. Lemeston landmarks. I’m visualizing how the sweets at the Honey Moon might go flying and how colorful it would be, but Mr. Moon would be just devastated …

  3. Ooh, I want a scene from one of their six month breaks, Ash having grown out his hair so that it’s long and thick and curly. And he seduces Lydia with only the glory of his beard…
    Mmm, beards.

    1. As you know, I really love this idea. In fact I just wasted some time looking at pictures of Mark Ruffalo with a beard…I have collected the best here and here, in case you’re interested. 😉

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