The genesis for my time-travel Regency short story, “Lady Elizabeth’s Excellent Adventure”, started very simply. A popular romance website was conducting a contest for authors to submit a short story. The rules? The genre was up to the author, and the story had to include at least four items from a list that the website had prepared. The catch? The story was to be no more than 20K.
Okay, I have to be honest. Math has never been my strong point. I saw 20K (20,000 words) as stated, and for some reason, my brain picked it up as 2K or 2,000 words. That’s quite a difference! I was immediately intrigued because telling a coherent story in only 2K is quite a challenge.
Well, I was up for this one! I’d never written about a character from the past traveling to the present, so that was the scenario I chose. A Regency lady somehow makes her appearance in contemporary times. The title, “Lady Elizabeth’s Excellent Adventure”, reflects the refined... Lady Elizabeth, and contrasts with the ridiculous... Excellent Adventure (a big thank you to Bill and Ted!)
For the four items to be included, I selected: 1) Handcuffs, 2) Baby Oil, 3) Beach, and 4) Wrong place/Wrong time.
You can imagine my chagrin when I was informed by the website editor that the story needed to be 20K not 2K. But they did like the story and wanted me to resubmit. Frankly, as I was pleased with “Lady Elizabeth’s Excellent Adventure” as is, I declined, and I included it in my anthology LUCKY 13. LUCKY 13 is no longer available electronically, but still available in print from my website.
Thirteen delightful stories for your reading pleasure by Susanne Marie Knight
I have now re-released it electronically at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com as a single! The word count for “Lady Elizabeth’s Excellent Adventure” is almost 2,200 words. It sells for 99 cents.
Short Story Alert: As with all of my *very* short stories, I’d like to reduce the amount, however 99 cents is the lowest I’m allowed to go on Amazon and Smashwords. Again, periodically Smashwords holds a sale, and I can set the price to free at that time, so do check on the link every now and then.
Lady Elizabeth would rather be comfortable than go on adventure. She isn't given a choice however, when she takes the plunge ... literally and figuratively, and ends up in a New York cop's hot tub. Is it possible that they can be the answer to each other's unspoken prayers?
Artist’s concept cover
Is a time-travel hot tub possible? Ask Lady Elizabeth!
This short story is part of the Elegant Regencies line.
Real life tidbit: I was very fortunate to be able to travel to the Hawaiian island of Maui a few years ago, as Lady Elizabeth’s hero Samuel Murdock did. Maui is a heaven-on-Earth location and I hope to be able to return one of these days. Here’s a picture of me at Iao Valley State Park. The famous Iao Needle is in the background.
Scene set up: Present Day: The beauty of Maui contrasts with a lonely Samuel Murdock.
Sun-bleached sands, a turquoise ocean, and tall majestic palm trees--the Hawaiian island of Maui truly was a Garden of Eden. But even Adam had his Eve. Samuel Murdock had no one.
Easing into the warm waters of his own personal hot tub, Sam allowed the frothy bubbles to wash over his nakedness, hoping it would also take away the pain of his isolation. He had spared no expense on this vacation; he’d gone first class all the way. Private view of the ocean, tender chateaubriand beef to feast upon, the very best champagne to drown his thirst, and high quality “companions” to cater to his every need. But after the first few days of excess and fun in the sun on the beach, he chose to be alone.
Be sure to find out what happens when an oh, so proper Regency lady suddenly materializes in a New York police officer's hot tub! I hope you enjoy Lady Elizabeth and Samuel’s story.
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!