Mashup Madness: A Brand-New Story is Born! (Post by Anna)
If you subscribe to my newsletter, then you know I love to draw my fans into my writing through fun contests and surveys. If you don’t subscribe, then what’s wrong with you? 🙂 Seriously, I enjoy learning what my readers want and what they think—something I’ve explored often through polls and surveys. Recently, though, I ran a contest I called the Romance Story Mashup.
In this contest, I provided a set of options—all basic story elements such as time period and setting—and invited my fans to mix up these elements and create unusual, intriguing combinations. The weirdest and most fascinating mashup won the contest, the winner earned an Amazon gift card, and I vowed to craft a story skeleton based on the mashup. In my last newsletter, I presented the winning entry, along with my story skeleton. Today, I’m sharing that basic plot with the world.
The winning mashup was “Sensual American historical time travel workplace romance with a cowboy shapeshifter hero from the Regency era and a contemporary heroine.” As soon as I saw this entry, I knew it was the one! My mind immediately began dreaming up a storyline—and here it is.
The Outlands Shifter
Kylie Drummond craves adventure and a real man, the kind who sweeps a woman off her feet and steals her breath away. The guys she meets in grad school fail miserably at both. Bored with her life, she agrees to accompany her best friends to an Old West ghost town, a truly lame excursion—until she encounters a wizened shaman who gifts her with a mysterious medallion and delivers a bizarre prophecy that her life will change if she embraces the medallion’s power. Then, in the dead of night, an inexplicable impulse pulls her back to the ghost town and straight into the past.
Nathaniel Fortescue, Earl of Wolverhampton, abdicated his title and fled England amid a horrific scandal, escaping to the American West. There, he took on a job no one else wanted, as sheriff of the most lawless and debauched mining town in the Wyoming Territory, a remote outpost known only as The Devil’s Outlands. Nathaniel is uniquely qualified to ride herd on the locals, for he is cursed to walk the night as a wolf ravening for blood, but in the daylight he retains his supernatural strength and acute senses. So when a feisty American girl with strange clothes and stranger manners stumbles into town, alone and penniless, Nathaniel knows he should stay away from the beautiful Kylie. But to protect her from the Outlands’ worst elements, he must resort to desperate measures to keep her in his sights—by offering her a job.
Kylie never imagined she’d get catapulted back in time, much less be forced to work as a barmaid in a saloon owned by an English cowboy sheriff who may be the hottest guy she’s ever met, and possibly the most dangerous. As the two slowly learn to trust each other, passion sparks between them, yet Nathaniel’s darkest secret stands in the way of love. Still, the more Kylie gets to know him, the more certain she is the shaman meant for her to free the enigmatic Nathaniel from his burdens with the medallion’s power, but she has no clue how to do it or what his burdens are. When Nathaniel’s secret is exposed and his past sins threaten them both, it’s not a matter of where they can hide—it’s a matter of when.
I’ve already written the first chapter, with second on the way. In my next newsletter, I’ll share those first two chapters—exclusively for my subscribers, never to be posted on this blog. Subscribe now to get a first look at this brand-new, strange-and-exciting story!