We’ve got a #WritingChallenge for you!

Offering writing advice is one thing, but everyone knows that putting it into practice is a whole different ballgame. So, we are so excited to introduce our new #WritingChallenge feature on SOLD!

Writing Challenge Bubble

Creating convincing, interesting and powerful emotional motivations is the key to writing a successful romance. We know a lot of you will currently be working on full manuscripts, where you’re mainly focusing on your hero and heroine’s motivations. But we really believe that practice makes perfect – the more conflicts/ behaviors/ scenarios you have to motivate, the easier it gets to see what works and what could be stronger.

So, every two weeks, we’ll be providing you with a different scenario – heart-wrenching, challenging, dramatic…you name it, we’re brainstorming it 🙂 – and we’re going to ask you to motivate them. It might be totally out of your comfort zone, or a scenario you would never want to write yourself…but that is the whole point. This is your chance to put all your wonderful imaginations to the test on a regular basis,  have some fun, as well as giving you the chance to get direct feedback from the SOLD editors on your ideas.

So without further ado, our first #WritingChallenge!

Your hero has just walked out on the heroine, on the morning of their wedding day. Why?

For editorial feedback and advice, share your thoughts, suggestions, and ideas below… we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Leave a Comment

Comments

  1. Sandra Meyrowitz

    He has to cancel the wedding thinking he had cheated with another women during his stag night. At least he woke in another woman’s bed, remembering heavily making out with a stripper.
    What he doesn’t know is, that this night was arranged by his well-planning bride, who came in disguise of a stripper and seduced her own groom.

    • Sold Editors

      Love the idea of the bride seducing her groom – really fun! You’d want to take care, however, that readers wouldn’t be put off by a hero thinking he might have cheated on his beloved. With storylines like this, keeping your hero heroic is essential. Just something to bear in mind for the next #WritingChallenge 🙂

  2. Charlotte

    Hero has just discovered that he has been called up (soldier/war with a high mortality rate). He loves Heroine so much that he wants to spare her the pain of losing someone she loves (the way he did his brother/mother/father/sister etc). He unwillingly decides it would be better to do something so low that she will hate him, rather than cause her that pain.

    Hero returns alive having vowed to make amends with Heroine and win her back – whatever it takes. However – whilst he is still love of her life – she cannot forgive him for underestimating her and her feelings for him. How can she trust him again when he made such a devastating unilateral decision and took any choice completely out of her hands?

    • Sold Editors

      We love this, Charlotte! Even though he does take the decision out of the heroine’s hands, it’s for such a noble and heroic reason. Great stuff!

    • Charlotte

      Thanks very much Editors/Flo/Jean – I’m so sorry, I didn’t realise we were meant to write it as a scene – and there are so many wonderful scenes on here!:-

      Icy numbness had been sneaking around Heroine’s body from the moment she’d received the phone call. Now the chill finally took a grip of her already shaky limbs forcing her to stop and lean on the door frame, as if to draw strength, as she stared down the military-hospital ward to where Hero lay – still unconscious – in his bed.

      “They said it was roadside bombs?” her voice was so hoarse she couldn’t even recognise herself.
      “His vehicle was in a convey, they set off a trip-wire,” the nurse nodded. “It seems Hero was injured in the initial blast but still ran to the front vehicles to help the rest of his patrol. He pulled three of them to safety – saved their lives – before the second IED went off and he was crushed under a Landrover. Your husband’s a hero.”

      *A hero who might be paralysed for life* according to the doctors, nausea churned Heroine’s stomach. Her mouth was parched, too parched to respond. It took her several attempts to swallow, then flick out a nervous tongue to try to moisten dry lips. When she finally spoke, her voice was hesitant and hoarse, before cracking completely.

      “He isn’t my husband.”

      She was vaguely aware of the nurse’s frown as she stopped to consult her notes.

      “No? But you’re down as such on the next-of-kin form?”

      Heroine fought to swallow another ball of emotion lodged in her throat.

      “We were due to be…but then…” she choked on the words,unable to voice them. She could hardly tell this stranger that the morning of their wedding he’d received his call-up papers and promptly walked out on her. Leaving her utterly devastated.

      Only later had she discovered that he’d been trying to spare her from exactly this kind of event. Yet here she was anyway. So what good had he actually achieved? On the day they had been meant to commit themselves to each other so completely, he’d made the monumental decision without even a word of discussion with her. So much for them being a couple.

      Even now, she couldn’t forgive him for shutting her out and underestimating her. She would never be able to do that. But she *could* see him through this.

      And who knew, maybe helping him to recover would be the closure she needed to finally put him into her past, once and for all.

    • Sold Editors

      This is fabulous! It sets up the backstory brilliantly, as well as packing a huge emotional punch in the front story too. We especially love the emotional complexity – she’ll help him, but she’s still furiously angry with him. Love it!

  3. charl Mac

    Abby, “Tell him I’m sorry, i just can’t go through with it. He deserves to marry a real woman.”

    unnamed “Abby you are so beautiful, he loves you regardless of what happened.”

    “I’m wearing a stupid wig, i don’t even have my own breasts now. How can you say i’m beautiful, I shouldn’t have agreed to this. No one should have to put up seeing me. I should just stay locked away.” tears fall freely down her face, “I have to go, please tell him i’m so so sorry. He deserves someone better. Someone who can give him what he needs.”

  4. Vicki Lane

    Why the hell had he stopped by the church on his wedding day? If only he’d spent the morning at the ranch with the horses instead of deciding to surprise Heroine with a dressing room filled with flowers. The look on her face when he opened the door would haunt his nights for a long time coming. What looked to hero like fear flickered in her eyes for a second but was quickly replaced with a slight smile as she unwound her body from the man in the room with her. Hero didn’t give her time to say anything just called her what she was and walked out of the church.

    His eyes stung and he swiped the back of his hand across them. He didn’t cry. Ever. And he’d be damned if he’d let some lying cheating woman changed that. Hero jerked open the door of his black Ford truck, threw the flowers to the ground and climbed into the driver’s seat. Hero gripped the steering wheel with one hand as he turned the ignition, revved the engine and threw it into drive with the other. The back of his truck fishtailed, sending a shower of small pebbles in the air.

    • Sold Editors

      What a brilliant scene! We love how you bring his pain to life, whilst still making him sound strong and sexy. The flicker of fear in her eyes is a really intriguing detail too… brilliant writing!

    • Vicki Lane

      Thank you Sold Editors!! This was fun to do!! I can’t wait for the next one.

      Of course now these characters have talked to me all day and it’s not their book I’m writing. Lol! Who knows theirs might just be next.

  5. Melinda Hale

    It was set to be a glitzy, media fueled wedding of the year for celebrity millionaire Eric Harris. He met the bride to be only two months ago but a deal between them had been struck – Tara Baker needed money to stop her animal shelter from closing, and she was at the point of desperation. Eric was willing to give it all if she agreed to a fake marriage.

    They both need something from each other…but didn’t expect to find what they’d always wanted. Eric stands at the door to the church, ready to face the woman he had to marry to boost his public image. Yet he doesn’t have the heart to go through with it, not after the passion they’ve shared, knowing that the media attention will damage her life as it did for him. He leaves Tara at the altar, promising to make it up to her. But will he be able to prove to the woman he’s fallen for that their love is no longer pretend?

    • Sold Editors

      This is a great starting point, but to really pack the biggest emotional punch, we’d encourage you to dig even deeper into your characters’ emotional motivations. For example, why is Tara so desperate to save the animal shelter? And what’s keeping Eric from professing his true love? You’ve got the bare bones of a great story here, but would love to see you stepping even more inside your characters’ heads next time!

  6. Mary Fahey

    Pius couldn’t believe his ears. He turned the car radio up. Gossip news rarely got their facts wrong. His fiancée eloped last night with a boy band singer. It was pointless turning up for his wedding now. He pulled off his tie and tossed it on the back seat.

    LuLu told him it was her sister who stalked the singer. What an gullible fool he was. The boy band latest hit began so he turned off the radio.

    He did a seven point turn as he sent a couple of texts. Good job he had his golf clubs with him. He would play a game of golf with his best man for the morning. Let his parents sort the mess out as they organised the big wedding.

    He would get a newspaper and read it to calm down. He pulled up outside a newsagent. One headline blared that Obama was part Irish. Another screamed King Richard was buried under a car park. Neither sparked his interest. He read the date. He took a deep breath and sprinted towards his car. Gossip news nearly ruined his life with their horrible April fool’s day joke. Still,the prank about Obama was worse.

    • Sold Editors

      We like the April Fool’s twist (who hasn’t dreaded being on the receiving end of a prank like this!) but next time, why not think of a more emotionally motivated reason for your hero’s behaviour? That’s how you really get readers on the edge of their seats 🙂

  7. Fiona Marsden

    The phone call from Justin’s accountant came on the way to the church. His prospective father-in-law, his biggest competitor until Justin’s engagement to his daughter Sarah, had put in motion plans that would cripple Justin’s American interests, using information he could only have found out from Sarah.
    He’d trusted her and she’d betrayed him. She’d pretended to distance herself from her father’s business practices but she’d played him.
    It would take time to recoup his losses, but when he did, Sarah and her father would pay in full.

  8. Yvette Martin

    The Hero receives a note at the church, his past has finally caught up with him. The note directs him to meet at a remote place and to come alone. He slips out of a side door after giving a note to his best man to give to his bride to be.

    When he gets to the location a figure steps out of the shadows and calls him by strange name. Not feeling threatened he tells the stranger he has the wrong guy.

    He tells the hero if you just give him a minute, he can prove everything he reveals. He was an agent for the government assigned to protect his future wife, because she witnessed a murder. When he didn’t show they assigned another agent because there was no trace of him.

    The hero explained about the amnesia and he had given up hope of finding out his identity. The stranger further explained that he was his boss and how he found him. He explained that he and his bride are in danger and that they should placed in a safe house because the guy she testified against was released on a technicality.

    Believing that they would be safe he declined. The hero went back to the church to make things right and explain why he cut out on the wedding. He wanted her to forgive him. She knew what he went through not knowing his true identity. Suddenly, the church is attacked and they are soon fighting for their lives.

    • Sold Editors

      Amnesia, intrigue and a wedding… this storyline has it all! With all of this external drama and excitement going on, you’d want to ensure you’re still keeping the hero and heroine’s emotional issues centre stage. That’s how you would really make this a story to remember!

  9. Fiona Marsden

    Fishing for a dropped cufflink, Jake pulled a plastic stick from the rubbish bin. CArrie was pregnant? After they’d agreed not to have children. When she’d been on the pill and they’d used condoms as a fail-safe. Was it even his? He remembered her evasiveness about the meeting with her ex a few weeks ago. This was not happening again. He’d already had his life almost destroyed by one cheating woman.

    • Mary Fahey

      The cufflink was a great way to imply he’s getting ready for the wedding. His lack of trust for his bride is very clear.I’m eager to find out what he does next.

    • Sold Editors

      This is a really clever way for the hero to discover his bride-to-be’s pregnancy! However, do take care with heroes who jump to such big conclusions about their heroine’s behaviour – if it’s not well-motivated, it can reflect badly on him, as a man who might not want to take responsibility for his own child. He needs to remember that contraception CAN fail – and it’s not her fault if it does! But love the opening line 🙂

  10. R.C. Matthews

    Marc’s body trembled with outrage as he stared at the naked photos of his bride to be. Where had these come from? He’d paid good money to have them destroyed over a year ago.

    He met Eduardo’s triumphant gaze and fought to contain the anger raging through his body.
    “You can’t do this! It will destroy everything Selena has worked so hard to build over the past five years.”

    A sly smile curled up Eduardo’s lips. “Oh, but I can. And I will. Unless you walk out those church doors and promise never to return.”

    “You bastard! How can you claim to love her? Selling nude photos of a teenage girl forced to pose or else watch her parents and siblings face deportation? That’s not love. It’s sick. You’re sick. She’ll never belong to you.”

    Eduardo shrugged and leaned against the doorway. He gazed down at his hand and ran his thumb along the edge of his nails before meeting Marc’s bold stare. “I can live with that, so long as she belongs to no one else. But most especially not to you.”

    “I won that construction contract fair and square,” Marc said through his teeth, clenching his jaw. “And Selena’s heart.”

    “Nothing in life is ever fair, and she doesn’t understand her heart.” Eduardo pushed off the doorway and strode toward him with a casual gait. Plucking the photos out of Marc’s hand, he glanced at them and smiled. “You have one minute to decide.”

  11. Elle Marlow

    “She made her choice, why can’t you let your daughter be happy?” The response that followed sounded cold, bitter, sending chills to ricochet around his body like a stray bullet.
    “She’s too naïve. She’s been sheltered her entire life. What could a broken down rodeo cowboy offer a woman destined to rule Texas? Dust? Dirt? If you go through with this wedding I’ll rip my empire right out of her manicured fingers.”

  12. Gina Hagedorn

    For him, it was love. For her, just a means to get her inheritance. And he’d learned about it in the nick of time, thanks to the conversation he’d overheard this morning, at the church. Let her marry someone who didn’t give a damn. He sure as hell wasn’t going to be used by a woman, then tossed out when she was done with him. No, he was a ‘forever’ kind of guy. And he wasn’t about to make a fool of himself for a ‘for now’ kind of girl.

  13. Tambra Nicole

    Donovan handed his best man, Beck, a letter and a flash drive. “Give this to Sunny as soon as I leave and make sure she reads everything.”

    “I knew ‘They’ wouldn’t let you retire. At least not right now. Are you sure?” Leaning on his cane, Beck slipped the items in the pocket of his suit.

    Donovan scrubbed his hands over his face. Fear twisted his gut while it felt like his heart was being ripped out of his chest. “Yeah, I’m sure. Sunny deserves a happy normal life. She won’t get that with me. Perry King said I wasn’t getting out of the agency until he had no use for me anymore. I can’t put Sunny in that kind of danger. I love her too much.”

    Beck reached out and gripped his shoulder. “You get out this alive. I’ll do my best to explain to Sunny you were forced to leave. I have contacts King only dreams of having. Get in and get out as fast as you can. Promise me, Donovan.”

    “I promise.” Donovan adjusted the strap of the duffel bag. As he walked out the doorway pain spread through his chest like a million razor edge shards detonated. Goodbye, my love. From that moment on, Donovan Craig no longer had a heart.

  14. Calida Ally

    “Alessandro De Luca, do you take, Piper Harrington to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
    Piper couldn’t stop herself from glancing at her soon to be husband. The soft smile which had been playing on her full mouth slipped when she saw the blue of his eyes harden into chips of ice.
    “No.”
    Piper blanched and staggered slightly.
    “No, I don’t.” Alessandro repeated as shocked gasps rippled through the room. She had plans of marrying into money and living the life of a wealthy socialite, did she? Well not anymore. He’d just well and truly crushed her plans. She may have played his father for a fool but she wasn’t going to do the same to him, Alessandro told himself as he dragged his gaze from her watery emerald one and forced himself to walk away.

  15. Chris Buono

    Great first Challenge, Flo/Editors! Wonderful new SOLD! Feature. Look forward to your feedback/advice. 🙂

    A: Because the Best Man lost the one-of-a-kind Wedding Ring when he bet it in a Las Vegas motel pickup Poker game, and when he doesn’t show up at the Church, the Groom (h) goes to find him and to win back the ring…before it’s too late!

    • Sold Editors

      What a fun, rom-com reason for him not to show! But remember the bride – what will she be doing whilst he’s winning back the ring? To keep the romance at the foreground, perhaps the groom needs her help?!

    • Chris Buono

      Thanks, Flo/SOLD! Editors! Yes, you’re right on! 🙂

      The best man lost the ring to a club owner —who’s short a showgirl. Can the bride dance?… And what of it when the club is raided, and the Heroine’s arrested with all the other showgirls?

    • Sold Editors

      Haha LOVE it! As long as the heroine isn’t forced into a scenario she’s uncomfortable with (and therefore making the hero look less heroic!) this could be a really fun idea!

    • Chris Buono

      Thanks, Editors!

      Great! I LOVE it, too! Yes, it is a fun idea. 😉

      Don’t worry. Heroine isn’t forced into an uncomfortable scenario. And, OMG, the hero look less heroic–we can’t have that. 🙂

      Actually, Heroine’s taken to the precint only because she has two left feet. Vegas can’t have a dancer like that performing–let alone one like that marrying its talk of the town “Ballroom-Dancing Hero.”

      (Getting the picture?…)

  16. Jean Barrett

    He loved her, but he had to set her free.

    He read the letter in his hand again. Slower this time, every word crushing his heart and destroying his life. He couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t stand. Couldn’t stop crying.

    She must never know the truth. She’d stay until the end, loving him through it all. He couldn’t do that to her. She deserved better. He had a one way ticket to nowhere, and she wasn’t coming along for the ride.

    Her parents would be pleased. No more fighting to change her mind. No more black predictions of their future together. They’d build her up again. Find a more suitable husband for their only daughter. Someone who would be with her for the rest of her life. Not like him.

    He was glad he’d not told her about the tests. She’d hate him now, but better that, than watching him die.

    He picked up his suitcase. One last look around before he left. They’d find his letter when he didn’t turn up. It wouldn’t tell them anything, other than he’d changed his mind.

    Facing death alone was scary, but he’d done the right thing. That was enough to get him to the end.

    He loved her with every breath left in his body. He loved her enough to set her free.

  17. Jacqueline Burrows

    They were too young, everyone said so, especially his father. He was nineteen and she had just turned eighteen. His father forbade it which was like a red rag to a bull. He loved her anyway and wanted to be with her. So they arranged the wedding, a small low key affair.
    On the day of the wedding he woke knowing that he couldn’t go through with it. He’d left the country that night and when he returned a year later she had moved away. Neither had tried to contact the other.
    But it wasn’t until ten years later that he realized his fiancée had woken with exactly the same thought. Neither of them had turned up for the ceremony, much to the bewilderment of the guests and vicar.
    He was now a high-flyer, entrepreneur, billionaire, food critic and owner of some of the most successful restaurants in the world. She was still a free spirit, artist and photographer, who travelled the world and loved the wild places. They had met again in a nightclub in Milan and had fallen into bed as if it was the most natural thing in the world. When he discovered that she had jilted him he was angry, but she had laughed at him and said, ‘pot, kettle, black…’ in such a seductive voice that he had made love to her all night.
    They began a wild, tempestuous affair and both realized that they had never stopped loving the other. They planned an extravagant over-the-top wedding and invited all the rich beautiful people they knew.
    As the wedding day grew closer, both of them started to get jittery. Would they be able to go through with it this time, or would history repeat itself?

    • R.C. Matthews

      Hahaha! I love it that they both dumped each other at the altar and didn’t know it until years later. Why couldn’t they go through with it? And what is making them jittery the second time around if they’re both adults and have free will?

    • Sold Editors

      How funny that they both stood each other up – what a unique twist on the jilting theme! When they meet again ten years later, remember to think about the emotional issues holding them apart now that their ages aren’t a problem – this is what your readers will be really fascinated to know 🙂

  18. Carol Opalinski

    “You’re making the biggest mistake of your life, Lucas. You know that, don’t you?”
    “No, the biggest mistake I made was getting talked into this in the first place,” Lucas told the Federal Marshal he’d trussed up like a turkey.
    “Without our protection, they’ll track you down.”
    Lucas checked the Marshal’s Walther PPK. “I’d say they’ve already done that, mate.”
    “What about Sadie?”
    Lucas paused before tucking the weapon into his waistband. “I’ve taken care of that.”
    “What does that mean?”
    Lucas slung the black duffel bag over his shoulder. “It means she’ll happily supply the cartel with bullets when they find me.”
    “You know this is suicide.”
    The image of Sadie with her infectious smile flashed before him and Lucas rubbed his tight chest. “Yeah, I know.”

  19. Harriet Hale

    Devereux forced his lips into what he hoped was a smile as Violetta floated up the aisle toward him in yards of white silk. She was impossibly beautiful. With her ebony hair, porcelain complexion, dainty frame, and tiny waist she was the model of a gentleman’s wife. And with her every step, his life felt duller, grayer …

    Adeliza … how long would it take for him to stop thinking about her? Liza … far too tall, too pushy, too many freckles. She spent too much time in her garden, her red hair flying wildly from under her shabby straw hat, her skirt hoisted unfashionably high to keep from ruining blossoms. He’d always think of her when sunshine warmed his skin, or rain soaked his shoes, or when he saw flowers.

    Flowers like the ones in his bride’s bouquet. Violetta … getting closer. I Devereux Simons, take you Violetta Jameson, to be my wife. I do … He stared hard at her. I do.

    She wasn’t looking at him, was she? She was staring to his left, at Caspar. Dev risked a glance at his younger brother and saw the unguarded expression. Heart in his eyes, gulping down air, color staining his cheeks. Cas was staring at the bride the way a groom should. Was it his imagination?

    Violetta reached them, and the clergyman cleared his throat. Dev raised his hand and gathered his courage. “A moment, please.”

    Ignoring the gasps, he pulled Cas and Violetta to one side of the church. “Do you love one another?”

    “Dev-“

    “Mr. Simons-“

    They spoke in unison, and Dev stared at their joined hands. For the first time today, he smiled and meant it.

    “Marry her, Cas. With my blessing.” He kissed the bride on the cheek. “I’ll be happier as your brother, dear.”

    Ignoring his mother’s outraged squeal, Dev walked down the aisle and out of the church. Ripping free of the cravat, he dragged in a breath of rain-sweet air. Liza …

    Bolting down the stairs, he ran for his life and hoped he wasn’t too late.

  20. Maggie Jones

    He’d sworn he wouldn’t allow her love for another man to make any difference.
    He’d sworn he could take her to the altar and say the words and place his ring on her finger and marry her.
    Right there, in the cathedral, in front of hundreds of his friends.
    He could make her his bride, after all these years of wanting her. Of burning for her. Losing sleep and direction and nearly his mind.
    Well, now he’d got what he wanted. He’d got Melissa because this was just a business deal and he’d made those ever single day of his adult life. Cold, calculated decisions. Life was a battle that he always won.
    But then the great wooden doors had opened and she’d walked down the aisle to only the sound of the choir, their voices soaring to the vaulted ceilings, and the slow swish of her long train along the stone floor and he’d looked at her approaching him and his throat had got so damned tight.
    “I do,” she said now.
    She whispered it, so that the clergy around them all leaned in.
    He made himself look down at her, looking up at him.
    Her face was as pale as her veil, those brown eyes huge and her lips were a straight line of tension and determination and all the other things that made him love her and ache for her and hate her.
    “Well you might, Mel. But I damn well don’t.”
    And he let go of her hand, turned and strode down the aisle, his footsteps ringing out on the cold stone. People were probably looking at him. But he couldn’t see a single one of them.

  21. Julia B

    The heroine is heir to the throne of a small Mediterranean principality, a secret her parents took to their grave. When the hero hears the news that his bride’s ailing grandfather has been searching for her, he steps aside so that she can have not just the crown, but the family she’s always wanted. He can’t offer her any of those things so he makes a quick call and gets back on the road running the lighting for the next big rock band. He doesn’t even say goodbye since he knows if he saw her again, he wouldn’t be able to leave without her.

    • Sold Editors

      We love royal stories on the SOLD team! His sacrifice is incredibly noble, but would love to understand more about why he feels that in marrying him, she can’t have the family and life she’s always wanted. At Harlequin, we like to believe that women can have it all 🙂

  22. margie stewart

    ‘Great. As usual Jayson has left his big brother to clean up his mess.’ Nina crushed the note in her palm, cringing when her nails dug in.
    ‘Jayson’s decided to surround himself only with people who can get him to the top,’ Lucas said shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
    ‘So, your fiancé can get him there and I, apparently, can’t?’ Nina tossed the damp paper ball across the room, watching it land on her wedding clothes neatly arranged on the hotel bed. Clothes she was supposed to wear later that afternoon.
    ‘Looks like we’re both victims of Jayson’s insatiable ladder climbing.’ Lucas gently placed his hands on her shoulders and waited until she turned to look him in the eye.
    Warm steadying hands. Soft, sympathetic blue eyes.
    Something tingled in response but she ignored it.
    ‘I’m sorry, Nina. Really I am. You of all people deserve better than this. Let me know if I can do anything. Shoulder to cry on, etcetera.’
    Nina turned away from his grip and paced the room before he had a chance to see her blink back threatening tears.
    Back in control, she returned within one step of him. ‘Anything?’
    ‘Anything,’ he said sounding unsure.
    Lordy was she going to do this? ‘We’re both single, in sin city Las Vegas.’
    Both eyebrows arched as he grinned amusement. ‘You’d want that? I never pictured sweet, placid, Nina Summers, having a vengeful bone in her body.’
    Nina tilted her chin. ‘Easy when your heart is broken for a second time and you’re determined for that never to happen again.’ She stiffened her spine then sucked in the biggest breath of her life so she could say what she had to before changing her mind. ‘Lucas Cavendish, my old school buddy, do you want to save face and get married, then conveniently divorce in twelve months time?

    • Sold Editors

      This is a really fun way to motivate their marriage of convenience, and he comes across as a really kind, honourable and great guy. As always with friends-to-lovers, the challenge is introducing and then maintaining the emotional tension between them – perhaps Lucas needs to be hiding some emotional scars of his own too 🙂

  23. Karen Macleod

    He stood at the alter, waiting for that magical moment when his bride would walk down that aisle, when she said finally said “I do”, that would be his salvation… A fresh new start, far from the darkness of his past, a bright new life where the ghosts of his misdemeanors could no longer reach him.

    Then he felt it, cold as a knife blade against his neck and just as deadly. Slowly he turned, praying he was wrong, praying that it was just wedding nerves he felt, but then he saw HER. She was demurely dressed, a pale pink dress, understated and elegant, her dark wavy hair loose about her shoulders. She looked beautiful and harmless enough but the most beautiful of flowers could be the most poisonous. As his eyes met her sharp caramel gaze, she smiled at him. A smile that spoke volumes and in that moment he knew she was here to destroy him and everything he had worked for. She would reveal the truth and drag him back into the hell of his past. She had promised as much, that she would find him, she would have her vengeance.

    In that appalling bleak moment he knew what he must do. He would have to go, turn and walk down that aisle, away from his bride to be, away from the promise of his happy ever after. It was the only way. Better his never-to-be-bride would think him a heart breaking arse hole, let her think that. It would be kinder on her in the long run than for her to ever learn the truth about him and the blackness of his past.

  24. M. Lee Scott

    Jace had to back out.

    Marrying his best friend Jolene just to save her reputation wasn’t his responsibility. He didn’t screw up, her lover did. This sham of a marriage would be doomed from the start. His sense of loyalty to her stemmed only from the fact they had grown up together and he was always saving her a**. No more. He loved her, but like a sister.

    The whole idea was insane.

    The memory of his one night with Ramie came to mind, and his was made up the instant her sweet face surfaced.

    He’d tell Jolene now.

  25. Jan VanEngen

    He just received an SMS photo of his supposed innocent bride in the clutches of another man, not just any other man, on his phone. His brother. He walks away, determined she would pay; he will ruin her reputation and bring her down.

    Happy, innocent heroine turns up to marry the man she loved only to be left at the altar, embarrassed and runs to hide from the biggest media frenzy to her family private island to find him there waiting for her to claim the wedding night that was never going to be before he takes her down.

    No one made a fool out of the Sheikh.

  26. Sold Editors

    Sexy sheikhs always go down a treat with us 🙂

    Being betrayed by a brother is a great conflict to work through, although for it not to seem like a misunderstanding, we’d love to see him confront the heroine (or his brother!) about the picture!

    • Jan VanEngen

      Ah, yes, she has been completely set up and when he finds out she is an innocent, he is confused and dazed, confronts her about the photo. By his own brother’s hand. His brother knew he would never except betrayal by the woman he was going to marry and wanted her for himself. She met him first, the brother, but only ever had eyes for one man. The Sheikh, who she had admired from a distance until the day the brother introduced them and the rest was history. The brother had planned to introduce her to the family so he could marry her himself. She had no idea only every saw him as a friend. Hurt and angry he sets about to destroy their marriage even before it began. The only way to stop it is to make his brother think she had betrayed him with his own brother.

  27. Savannah Blaize

    Dean ran his fingers over the crumpled paper in his pocket, as his eyes scanned the caterers and kitchen staff on the terrace. He hadn’t envisaged being this nervous on his wedding day. His gut twisted and clenched as the jack hammer in his temples gathered speed and power. Where has she disappeared to?

    He backed away, nearly colliding with a waiter carrying a tray of champagne glass. Glasses to be used in the Bridal Toast. Glasses to be used to wish the Bride and Groom a lifetime of happiness. He had to find her. Willow, where the Hell are you?

    A caterer manoeuvring a trolley of plates and cutlery through the french doors spoke loudly, interrupting his train of thought.

    “Excuse me Mr Collins. There is a gentleman waiting at the front door. He’s asking for your fiancé.”
    “Thanks Beth. Are you sure he asked for Willow?”
    “Yes I’m sure. He asked to speak to Willow McMasters. I told him to wait in the foyer. I couldn’t see Miss McMasters, but I spotted you out on the terrace.”

    The tall well dressed stranger stood admiring the paintings of the Collins ancestors which adorned the walls of the grand staircase. His casual demeanour changed to one of challenge as soon as he caught sight of Dean.
    “Can I help you. Miss McMasters seems to have disappeared. I am Dean Collins, her fiancé.”
    “I need to talk to Willow. You can’t help me.”
    ‘Take a number pal, you’re not the only one.”

    “Willow!” The stranger called out to someone behind Dean, entering the foyer.

    Dean spun around in time to see Willow McMasters, her face as white as a ghost, eyes as large as saucers when she caught sight of the stranger, the instant before she took off at breakneck speed through the house in the opposite direction.

    The stranger pushed past Dean and tried to follow the retreating figure through the dining room doors. He caught up with her in the garden, nearly tackling her to the ground in his desperation.

    “Get your hands off her this instant. Dean wrenched Willow out of the man’s grasp. “Do you have any idea who you are wrestling with?”

    “Yes as a matter of fact I do. She’s my wife!”

    Dean dropped Wendy’s arms as if she had scorched him. “So it’s true. I didn’t want to believe it when the letter came in the mail this morning along with a photocopy of a marriage certificate. I tried to convince myself it was bogus and someone was determined to cause trouble. Then I couldn’t find you to discuss it. Where the Hell were you all morning Wendy?”

  28. Savannah Blaize

    Dean ran his fingers over the crumpled paper in his pocket, as his eyes scanned the caterers and kitchen staff on the terrace. He hadn’t envisaged being this nervous on his wedding day. His gut twisted and clenched as the jack hammer in his temples gathered speed and power. Where has she disappeared to?

    He backed away, nearly colliding with a waiter carrying a tray of champagne glass. Glasses to be used in the Bridal Toast. Glasses to be used to wish the Bride and Groom a lifetime of happiness. He had to find her. Willow, where the Hell are you?

    A caterer manoeuvring a trolley of plates and cutlery through the french doors spoke loudly, interrupting his train of thought.

    “Excuse me Mr Collins. There is a gentleman waiting at the front door. He’s asking for your fiancé.”
    “Thanks Beth. Are you sure he asked for Willow?”
    “Yes I’m sure. He asked to speak to Willow McMasters. I told him to wait in the foyer. I couldn’t see Miss McMasters, but I spotted you out on the terrace.”

    The tall well dressed stranger stood admiring the paintings of the Collins ancestors which adorned the walls of the grand staircase. His casual demeanour changed to one of challenge as soon as he caught sight of Dean.
    “Can I help you. Miss McMasters seems to have disappeared. I am Dean Collins, her fiancé.”
    “I need to talk to Willow. You can’t help me.”
    ‘Take a number pal, you’re not the only one.”

    “Willow!” The stranger called out to someone behind Dean, entering the foyer.

    Dean spun around in time to see Willow McMasters, her face as white as a ghost, eyes as large as saucers when she caught sight of the stranger, the instant before she took off at breakneck speed through the house in the opposite direction.

    The stranger pushed past Dean and tried to follow the retreating figure through the dining room doors. He caught up with her in the garden, nearly tackling her to the ground in his desperation.

    “Get your hands off her this instant. Dean wrenched Willow out of the man’s grasp. “Do you have any idea who you are wrestling with?”

    “Yes as a matter of fact I do. She’s my wife!”

    Dean dropped Willow’s arms as if she had scorched him. “So it’s true. I didn’t want to believe it when the letter came in the mail this morning along with a photocopy of a marriage certificate. I tried to convince myself it was bogus and someone was determined to cause trouble. Then I couldn’t find you to discuss it. Where the Hell were you all morning Willow?”

    • Sold Editors

      What a dramatic opening! We’re so intrigued to find out what Willow’s been up to! The challenge with introducing a husband AND a hero is how to keep the focus on the central relationship, but this is a really hard-hitting scene!

  29. Sold Editors

    Thank you so much to everyone for sharing your fantastic scenes and motivations – we’ve loved reading them all! This challenge is now closed, but never fear, it’ll be back in two weeks for more #WritingChallenge fun 🙂

  30. Jennifer Quintyne

    In his wild and wicked youth he was the local pot dealer.Nothing major but enough to put away money so he could go to college as he wasn’t a user himself. But he got nabbed in an undercover sting. To save himself, he worked with the police which led to a major bust. His past all but forgotten, he has bettered himself and is about to wed the woman of his dreams.
    Until the night before his wedding when he receives a call. It seems the drug kingpin has been released on a technicality and wants revenge. Our hero can’t risk showing up for his wedding as he will be killed and so will his loved ones. He goes into hiding until he can figure out what to do next.
    She is stunned by his sudden disappearance. Why would he do something like this. She does not believe, as everyone tells her, that he chickened out. Something is seriously wrong and she will stop at nothing to find out even if it means that the others are right.