Swap the Series Writing Challenge

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What happens when a Harlequin Desire billionaire ventures into a historical romance? Or a suave Kimani hero finds himself on an American Romance ranch? We’ve imagined what would happen when our heroes Swap the Series — and now it’s your turn!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick a Harlequin series and the type of hero you love most. A billionaire? Cowboy? Werewolf?
  2. Now pick another Harlequin series — the different, the better! And suddenly the hero of your choice is transported into another series…
  3. Get creative. Imagine how your hero would react to a new series situation. Could your billionaire handle life on a ranch — or on the run from a killer? Would a Medical Romance doctor try to treat a Nocturne vampire? Try writing a scene from your series mashup or the back cover copy of your imaginary book.
  4. Share your Swap the Series ideas in the comments below!

We can’t wait to read how you will Swap the Series!

Need a little inspiration? Try building your own hero with our Harlequin Hero Paper Dolls!

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Comments ( 22 )
  1. Vanessa Naidoo
    February 10, 2016 at 1:10 am
    Reply

    1. Harlequin Presents – Tycoon
    2. Harlequin Intrigue – Navy Seal
    Swopping his pen for a gun and hand to hand combat. Swopping his suit for dog tags and swopping been a corporate shark for a man on a rescue mission.

    • gypsy rose
      February 18, 2016 at 11:45 am
      Reply

      Swapping corporate sharks for surviving a shark attack/ surrounded by very real sharks.

  2. Michelle
    February 10, 2016 at 9:24 am
    Reply

    Blaze and Love Inspired

    Blaze: Corporate raider, only interested in bottom line and enjoying life; gives his body but not his heart – only dates for a certain time frame (upfront with the lady in his life about his sexual appetites and longevity of the relationship); Alpha male; erotic words and touches are his way; generous, but only to a point; man of integrity and strength;

    Love Inspired: former city doctor (now a small town country doctor?) whose wife and son were killed (murdered), who struggles with intimacy (doesn’t want anyone getting close to him for fear of losing them); he’s forgiven the one who took his family; serves God in all He does, but let’s fear keep him from close relationships; man of strength, integrity and character. Perhaps the one who touches his heart is the daughter/sister of the man who murdered his family?

    Obviously, approaches to dating are different. One is open to wild and creative lovemaking outside of marriage, while the other sees courting as the only way (once he makes the decision to allow someone in his life). Doesn’t mean he doesn’t struggle with physical desire. Doesn’t mean the corporate guy doesn’t cherish his lady.

    Would actually like to see a crossover of the two – someone who lives by God’s principles, but once married, embraces the erotic and physical side of marriage.

  3. M. J. Lewellen
    February 12, 2016 at 4:07 pm
    Reply

    Harlequin American Romance
    Harlequin Nocturne
    ~~~~~
    Meet Cortland Packard, bull rider and cowboy, son of Willard Packard and grandson of Nesbitt Packard, heir to the Crooked L Ranch and soon to be bull riding champion of the Western National Rodeo Circuit.

    Meet Lissa Caspian, university student and doctoral candidate working toward her final degree in American History and time traveler. She’s come back from the future to do something that is going to change the course of her life and smooth over all the jagged edges she’s grown up with.

    Cort isn’t supposed to win his final competition and he isn’t supposed to take home the championship trophy and belt buckle and he isn’t supposed to keep the man who did win the trophy from making Lissa’s family suffer and her life a living hell. Lissa stumbled on a project in the Department of Experimental Physics one day and discovered what might be the chance to correct – read change – the past. She takes the dare and goes back in time to save Cort from the loss and save her family from poverty and sickness. Then she’ll come back to her own time, finish up her degree and have a bright future as a professor, author and historian, leaving behind the legacy of lycanthropy that curses her heritage.

    Things all go according to plan and Lissa arrived at the correct time and place and uses the one tool she brought with her, her telepathic powers, to save Cort’s bull riding career but when she prepares to return to the future things go wrong and she’s trapped in Cort’s time and Cort’s life and more importantly Cort’s heart.

    • gypsy rose
      February 18, 2016 at 11:50 am
      Reply

      Of all the plots I’d read so far I’d read this one.

    • Tessa Redlin
      February 21, 2016 at 12:45 pm
      Reply

      Sort of like Quantum Leap meets Bonanza. I like it.

  4. Tessa
    February 16, 2016 at 8:26 pm
    Reply

    Harlequin Nocturne Hero +
    Historical Heroine = <3
    ========================================

    How about a Magical Nocturne Hero trying to clear his name, but falling for a Beautiful Historical Noblewoman along the way? It would be even more compelling if written in a classically romantic locale!
    Though I'm no Harlequin Romance Author, here’s a quick summary I thought could encompass these elements:

    Just when Jonathan Burns thought he could settle into a quieter life of tweed jackets and his promising tenure as Head of the Renaissance department, life had to pick up the pace! Between hiding his secret identity as Boston’s youngest premier sorcerer and organizing an archeological dig in Venice, the Professor’s natural charm has betrayed him: in the form of a scarily infatuated undergrad! However, he could not be less interested.

    When his stalker goes missing on-site of the Palazzo excavation all signs point to Jonathan’s involvement, but he’s completely innocent! Both the police and the magical community now regard him with dangerous suspicion, and even his illustrious career is in danger! After uncovering a 600-year-old artifact bearing her face, our hero knows what he must do— go back in time to clear his name.

    Meet Lucia Mocenigo, niece of the Duke and Rose of the “Floating City.” Under increasing pressure to attract an eligible match, Lucia has resigned herself to marrying into the famously boring, but famously powerful, Council of Ten. Yet, when a new merchant prince arrives, it’s love at first sight! Can she ignore the rumors that Signore Burnelli is a heathen sorcerer or his strange, foreign ways? Though his constant search for a mysterious girl is disheartening, Lucia is determined to seduce him— even if it takes a thousand romantic gondola rides! And her conniving uncle, the Duke, has even more plans for this spontaneous match…

    Having ingrained himself into the Senate with a new identity (and the help of some mystic arts and modern technology) Professor Burns now goes by a new title: merchant prince Signore Jonathan Burnelli. Though he has read about it all before, living in the past is no easy thing. Jonathan has to find his student, without disrupting the important events of the past! Yet, after a chance meeting at a masked ball with a certain Lucia Mocenigo, he is tempted to give in to temptation and make himself a permanent fixture in Renaissance Venice. Experiencing his own pressure from the Duke to perform dark magic and treachery, Jonathan must work fast or risk rewriting the very history he holds so dear! With the welcome distraction of the Duke’s niece close at hand, is this far more than this sexy magician bargained for?

    • gypsy rose
      February 18, 2016 at 11:54 am
      Reply

      I’d read this one too.

      • TESSA
        February 20, 2016 at 8:15 pm
        Reply

        Thanks Gypsy Rose! It means a lot that someone would read my idea; I really appreciate this comment. It just made my day!

    • Tessa Redlin
      February 21, 2016 at 12:48 pm
      Reply

      With the complicated plot, I could see this written in the larger format of the Harlequin Historical line. There’s so much to work with.

  5. Anna
    February 18, 2016 at 2:56 am
    Reply

    Harlequin Romance Hero is a very rich and popular romantic writer that does not belive in love since his formal fiancee leaves him the wedding day without a reason. Three years later she appers at his door. She, Harlequin Nocturne Heroine, sees him, went in a shock and loses consciousness. He calls his best friend and doctor and they are shocked to learn she does not have a heart but a computer machine. He starts his quest to help her and find the awnsers he needs to move on and at the same time getting the woman he loves back with him

  6. Gypsy rose
    February 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm
    Reply

    I feel like all of them are billionaires even in the nocturnal section.

    Here’s my idea:
    Japanese-American computer genius who’s like a wizard when it comes to technology finds himself in Shakespearean England and has to deal with race accents, and just general life issues faced in a world so different from his own. Also finding out what he can do to make money to eat and live when his cards dont work. Technically rich, gold poor.
    That and his emotions have always been a little closed off because he was always so focused on his work, and has just met the biggest diva off the stage since all actors are men at the time.
    She wants nothing to do with him and he thinks the same way until she appears in his bedroom univited but afterward she pretends nothing happened but comes to his room maybe once a week. In that time they get to know each other and he learns that she’s promised to a man she doesn’t like, only met once and there’s no way out of it. She’ll be sent to live in Norway with him in 1 year.

    then so much more happens

    • Tessa
      February 20, 2016 at 8:23 pm
      Reply

      Cool idea Gypsy Rose. I think it might be interesting, since he’s a computer genius and probably knows a thing or two about engineering, if this hero would work backstage at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Then he could design all sorts of gears and pulley systems to lift stage pieces, or create some new special effects! Also, maybe he could enlist some of Shakespeare’s romantic sonnets and plays to romance his diva heroine…

    • Tessa Redlin
      February 21, 2016 at 12:50 pm
      Reply

      I do like your out-of-the-box thinking on this!

  7. Anna
    February 18, 2016 at 8:46 pm
    Reply

    The principal protagonists will always be a millionaire or a very wealthy person because 90% of Harlequin readers are married or live in a relationship to a normal guy (regarding economy, look, behavior etc, etc) therefore, to write a book about a normal guy with a normal life and a normal paycheck would be quite boring(that’s our daly bread). Harlequin is a kind series book that young and mature women like to read because it takes us into a fantasy world full of power and glamour… A world that many of us love to live in.

  8. Dawn Montgomery
    February 19, 2016 at 7:31 am
    Reply

    Harlequin Nocturne
    Harlequin Historical

    A deranged Vampiress turned Court McCain in a creature of the night against his will. His ability to read people’s minds and learn their darkest secrets works in his favor as he manipulates the criminal element in the booming town of Galveston Island, Texas (1798).

    He thought he’d escaped the Vampire clan until the night a mysterious woman poisons him and whisks him away to her ranch.

    After her father’s death Lucille Donnovan is left with intense debt and a dark history she doesn’t understand. Her bloodline is tied to the Vampire, and when her former protector turns against her, she has to resort to kidnapping another one to protect her cattle from the werewolves who would rip them apart.

    Neither expected a spark of heat or the dark bond of blood between them. But is it enough to break the connection he has with his former master?

  9. Holly
    February 20, 2016 at 12:55 pm
    Reply

    This is tough as the writing can so diverse for the different series it kind of hard to pick one that isn’t already available!
    I am thinking a Love inspired Reverend – generous and kind, focused on building his church he has been to busy to find someone to share it with.
    In an Intrigue series – all those scout trips to woods will pay off when he has to help uncover cop Darcy who has been discovered by the local gang and is hiding out in his church. Soon they have to go on the run and the Rev discovers that he can be a hero for the ones he loves.

    • Tessa
      February 20, 2016 at 8:30 pm
      Reply

      Wonderful idea, Holly~ I always thought that preachers really devoted to their faith can be used in very interesting ways in fiction, but are often neglected in Romances. This sounds like it would be a perfect blend of intrigue motive, use of church sanctuary, and a great Reverend character. The mix of Love-Inspired and Intrigue is certainly fun and innovative too!

    • Tessa Redlin
      February 21, 2016 at 12:54 pm
      Reply

      Although the Love Inspired line has never done much for me (as much as I wanted it to), I think I would read this.

  10. Tessa Redlin
    February 20, 2016 at 5:33 pm
    Reply

    Harlequin Historical
    Blaze

    Monroe Thorton stared in shock at the busy street, filled with racing, nosy motor cars and bright lights. Where was he? What happened? Why couldn’t he remember anything?

    He blinked again, trying to dispel the strange images, but they stubbornly remained. Where was his carriage? And horses? Had there been an accident? Yes, that must be it. He must have hit his head on something hard and this was a vivid hallucination. Yes, yes, that was it, he was asleep. He was dreaming.

    “Dude,” an exasperated voice sighed behind him. “You’re blocking the door.”

    Monroe turned around to find a scantily dressed woman waiting none to patiently for him to move out of the doorway. He could almost see the distain roll off her in waves.

    “What?” she snapped, fisting her hands on her hips, which brought his gaze to the strip of tanned flesh between the top of her outrageously short skirt and bottom of the tiny black blouse she was wearing.

    “I’m sorry,” he managed to choke out, still disorientated and stepped down from the doorway to allow her access.

    Her eyes narrowed slightly and a flicker of concerned crossed her delicate features when she noticed him sway on his feet. “Hey, are you okay?”

    “Of course,” he replied automatically, acknowledging silently that he was definitely not okay.

    Isabelle shook her head and forced herself to turn away from the strangely dressed, hotter-than-hot man blocking her apartment door. “Not my circus; not my monkeys,” she muttered to herself as she jammed her key into the deadbolt and unlocked the door.

    But, as she swung the door open, she saw him sit down on the bottom step of her stoop and drop his head into his hands.

    Biting her lip for a moment, she debated just leaving him there, but, in the end, knew she couldn’t do that.

    “Do you need help?” she asked softly, stepping down to place a comforting hand on his shoulder. She didn’t know him from Adam, but something told her he was in trouble.

    A pair of clear light green eyes looked up at her with such confusion she couldn’t help but gasp. Sitting down next to him, she took one of his hands and asked, “What’s wrong?”

    He stared at her for a long moment before forcing out the question between bloodless lips.

    “What year is this?”

    • Tessa
      February 20, 2016 at 8:26 pm
      Reply

      Wow another Tessa! I love that you took the Historical Hero out of the past to meet a Modern girl, it’s so creative and different from the other suggestions so far! Keep up the great dialogue, this is so cute and well-written~

      • Tessa Redlin
        February 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm
        Reply

        LOL! Who would have thought, Tessa x2? It’s not a hugely popular name!

        I love writing dialog and action. I’m totally a show-don’t-tell writer. It comes from being a journalist by trade. I dabble in romance when the mood strikes, thought, and I’ve even considered submitting a manuscript to Harlequin.

        Thank you for the comments.

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