Category Archives: short story

TRUE PRETENSES short story!

To celebrate the release of Listen to the Moon (about a very proper valet and a snarky maid-of-all-work who marry to get a plum job), here is the traditional free short story about the characters of my last book, True Pretenses.

It’s probably no surprise to anyone that I’ve been reading a lot about Aaron Burr. He was in England in 1808-9, and I kept coming up with different crossover scenarios where my characters met him. A few weeks ago, I spent some time fantasizing about Ash and Rafe running a con on him, and when Courtney Milan and Jenni requested I actually write it, I couldn’t resist.

The story follows directly from this passage in Burr’s journal, when he “[l]ost or spent 28 shillings and a pair of gloves” in Birmingham on Christmas Eve 1808, on his way to Edinburgh. As it happens, Ash mentions in True Pretenses that he was in Yorkshire on Christmas Eve 1808—in Dewsbury, to be exact, where they ring a bell once for each year since Christ’s birth.

Dewsbury is just off the Great North Road, north of Birmingham and south of Edinburgh…

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LISTEN TO THE MOON 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.

The True Pretenses short story, in which Ash and Rafe con Aaron Burr, will be up in January!

And now it’s time for me to take reader suggestions for a Listen to the Moon short story!

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. Sukey and Toogood are struck by lightning and swap bodies.
2. Sukey works at a coffee kiosk and Toogood owns the upscale classic-cocktail bar across the street.
3. Nora Khaleel and Imogen Makepeace go to the fair together.
4. Sukey learns she’s a fairy changling, and she and Toogood have to journey to Faerie to get back the human baby she was swapped for.
5. Footman Toogood babysitting little Nick at Tassell Hall.

Comment section is SPOILER-FRIENDLY!

IN FOR A PENNY short story

I have a tradition that 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. This story was written for the release of A Lily Among Thorns, and it is for Jenni Simmons, who wanted to see more of Percy and Louisa’s love story. Continue reading

SWEET DISORDER short story!


To celebrate the imminent release of True Pretenses (about a philanthropist heiress who agrees to a marriage of convenience with a Jewish con artist to get her hands on her dowry), here is the traditional free short story about the characters of my last book, Sweet Disorder.

For bn100, who asked for “Nick is a vampire and Phoebe is a dragon.”


Poor child of Doubt and Death
 

“And there he saw, concealed from Heaven’s rays—
Long banished from Albion’s dreary shore,
Nor suited to her cold and bloodless ways,
Tho’ thrived among us once in lustier days—
Or should I say, in lustier nights—vampiri…”

Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

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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!

A LILY AMONG THORNS short story

When I have a new book come out, I always take reader requests for a free short story about the world or characters. So, to celebrate the rerelease of A Lily Among Thorns from Samhain (with some minor revisions and a beautiful new cover), here is a short story (~8000 words) set shortly after the end of the book.

(A Lily Among Thorns is a London spy story about an embittered ex-courtesan innkeeper and a sweet, unconventional chemist who have to team up to save her business—oh yeah, and England—in the weeks leading up to Waterloo.)

Warning: Contains MAJOR SPOILERS.

This story, at very long last, is for Steph Burgis, who wanted to see more of Solomon’s sister’s relationship with her stuffy fiancé. So here you have the first two weeks of their marriage…which do not go very smoothly.

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SWEET DISORDER short story: taking suggestions!

Hi everyone! When my first book, In for a Penny, was released, I asked for suggestions from readers for a free short story set in the world of the book. The result was this fun “five times” story (contains spoilers for the book!).

When A Lily Among Thorns came out, I did the same thing—but then Dorchester imploded and the book went out of print and I never actually wrote it. However, I’m going to! I have the story all planned (based on Steph Burgis’s request for a story about Solomon’s little sister and her stuffy fiancé—spoiler, they are virgins who DON’T immediately get the hang of it and need to figure some things out) and it will go up when Lily is rereleased in September.

And now it’s time for me to take reader suggestions for a Sweet Disorder short story! This one will go up when True Pretenses, the second Lively St. Lemeston book, comes out early next year.

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!

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. Modern-day AU: Nick is a rentboy and Phoebe is a hardworking kindergarten teacher looking for an escape from her predictable life.
2. Ada and Sukey are trapped in a wardrobe together and things get sexy!
3. Nick and Phoebe interacting when his family is in town for Christmas when they’re both children.
4. Mr. Gilchrist and Jack Sparks accidentally swap bodies.
5. Toogood is secretly a spy!

Comment section is SPOILER-FRIENDLY!

Taking suggestions!

ETA: (1/4/2012) This post is now closed for suggestions. Thank you to everyone who commented for your wonderful suggestions! I’m letting it all percolate and I’ll let you know soon.

Hey all! Remember the short story I wrote with the characters and world of In for a Penny, based on an idea by a reader? It’s Lily‘s turn!

Comment with an idea (or multiple ideas, you can suggest as many as you want) and I’ll write a story based on my favorite suggestion. Anything goes! And feel free to comment on and riff off of each other’s ideas (always in a positive and friendly manner, obviously).

My current plan is to take suggestions until New Year’s. I don’t know exactly when the story will go up, it depends on a lot of things, but I promise it will be up by May 1st at the very latest.

I’ll take suggestions of any kind, in any format, as detailed or vague as you like. What ifs, alternate universes (Serena runs a luxury space station, anyone?), deleted scenes, backstory, and future scenes are all fair game. I want to hear your ideas no matter what they are or what form they’re in! That said, from experience and knowledge of my own writing, if you provide even a little bit of detail about your idea and why it interests you, I’m more likely to connect with something about it. Feel free to treat your comment like a mini-brainstorming session if you want!

The person whose idea I choose will receive a signed presentation hard-copy of the story. I am not the most artistic person in the world, but I will do my best to make it pretty, or at least fun. Collaging and/or photoshop may be involved. (I did do one of these for Jenni for the Penny story! I have the scans around somewhere and will be posting them in the near future.)

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 beyond the outlines of the rules above. Your work will be used only for the purpose of this challenge and the resulting story will be available to readers free of charge.