The Rolling Writer

Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 153- Natalya

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

Continuing with Blood of the Empire, we’re back to Natalya, squeezing money and concessions out of the treacherous Princess Viviane.

After drawing up documents forcing Viviane to pay reparations to Terragand for Prince Kendryk’s death, Natalya also drafted a new treaty. Princess Viviane wished to declare neutrality, but Natalya wasn’t having it.

“You must swear to support Terragand in its fight against the empire until the war is completely over. Since we have Teodora in custody I’m sure she’ll sign terms soon,” Natalya said, pushing the paper across the table toward Viviane.

Princess Viviane scanned the document, her face sour, “I have no troops to contribute.”

Natalya smiled, saying, “Money is more helpful right now. Since we have plenty of troops, your financial support will be most appreciated. I’ll be sure to remind Princess Maryna that the gods encourage forgiveness, even of the most awful crimes.”

Princess Viviane hesitated, quill in hand, but Natalya stared at her until she signed.

“See? That wasn’t so hard,” she smiled again as Viviane shoved the paper toward her, hatred in her eyes.

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 152- Braeden

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

Continuing with Blood of the Empire, which is so, so close to being done! Braeden is still in Norovaea, since King Arryk has asked him to stay for his wedding, and he’s there when the bride arrives.

 

 

Luzyana was only nineteen and her soft, round face made her look younger. She had large dark eyes, a wide mouth, and a hint of dimples when she smiled at one of her ladies.

Braeden glanced at Arryk, looking stern and unhappy, but clearly working to put on a more inviting expression. Braeden felt sorry for him, but even more for the little girl in the huge dress, making her way toward them. Arryk was so tall, stern and forbidding, she had to be terrified.

Luzyana and Arryk advanced on each other while Braeden admired her composure. She first sank into a deep curtsy, stiff skirts rustling loudly as her ladies followed her lead. Then she stood up straight, offering Arryk her hands and a brilliant smile.

“Your Highness, it’s so good to meet you at last,” she said in surprisingly good Norovaean— better than Braeden’s—though it still held a strong foreign accent.

“And you,” Arryk said, returning her smile as though he couldn’t help himself.

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 151- Natalya

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

Hope all of you had great holidays! We had a quiet and relaxing Christmas at home, then spent New Year’s with my parents. So only a little driving, and even less snow. A very nice change from years past.

On with the snippet! A few weeks back, Natalya arrived at the palace of the treacherous Princess Viviane, intent on taking her out of the game. She’s just made it clear that with Teodora a prisoner, Viviane has no allies, since after murdering Kendryk, no other ruler will go anywhere near her. Atrociously punctuated to fit.

“If I were you, I’d look to your defenses,” Natalya said, “Princess Maryna retains the Estenorian army and with Teodora no longer a threat, she might seek to avenge her father’s death.” Now Natalya made no pretense at friendliness, letting her anger leak into her words.

Princess Viviane fiddled with the lace on her sleeve. “I’ve heard the young princess studied with you during her stay in Allaux; do you suppose she’d take your advice?”

“I expect she will, since she’s already written to me numerous times, asking for my counsel on various matters.” Natalya leaned back against the cushions, feeling a bit safer; clearly she’d frightened Viviane as she had hoped.

“Then, perhaps you could advise her to discuss matters with me, rather than attacking my kingdom?”

“Perhaps,” Natalya said, allowing a smile, “I doubt she’ll want to talk to you, but might be persuaded to stay peaceful by a gesture of good will.”

“A bribe, you mean,” the princess looked angry, no doubt thinking of the bill.

“Compensation is what I’d call it,” Natalya kept her tone light, “Of course, it’s impossible to make right the loss of a beloved parent, but you can try.”

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 150- Elektra

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

Elektra is married! Brynhild Mattila coerced her into marrying her son Jozef, but the marriage has turned out well, maybe because Jozef is nothing like his mother. Here they share a tender moment.

“I hope you know you can trust me by now,” Jozef said, looking into her eyes as his finger traced the outline of her face.

Elektra shivered happily. She’d never had an inkling of how nice a man could make her feel. After years of loneliness and worry that no one would ever love her, she thanked the gods every day for giving her Jozef. Naturally affectionate, he seemed to enjoy having someone to cuddle as much as Elektra liked being cuddled.

Was it love? She wasn’t entirely sure, but perhaps that explained the delicious warmth she felt whenever she looked at her husband, and the way her toes curled when he kissed her.

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 149- Natalya

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

As you might already know, I introduce at least one new POV character in every book. This time, it’s Natalya’s turn. She’s played an important role in the last few books, but now we get to see what’s going on in her head. After hearing of Teodora’s capture, Natalya leaves her home and travels east, hoping to get to Teodora before anyone can rescue her. On the way, she stops in Isenwald to visit Princess Viviane, hoping to wring some concessions out of her. Since Viviane poisoned Kendryk, Natalya is careful to not fall victim as well.

The servant gone, Princess Viviane handed Natalya a glass of wine. “It’s still cold, I hope,” she said, then sipped at it daintily.

Natalya put the glass on a bench beside her. “I don’t wish to be rude, but I think I’ll wait.” She was dying of thirst, but she would never eat or drink anything prepared by the princess and her servants.

“Of course.” Viviane put her glass down as well. “How awkward.”

“Indeed,” Natalya looked at the princess directly. “The war is about to end, but not in your favor; now might be a good time for you to make an agreement that will ensure your survival.”

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 148- Braeden

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

Sorry about flaking out last week- I blame the turkey hangover. Hope all of you had a wonderful holiday!

Continuing with Blood of the Empire. In spite of Braeden’s worries about King Arryk, the king has warmed up to  him and is even becoming friendly. While they’re out hunting together, Arryk and Braeden discuss the past. With slightly criminal comma usage.

“I’m very sorry about your wife and children,” Arryk said, “Teodora is a monster, and I’m still anxious to be rid of her. I also lost my wife at Kersenstadt,”

“I’d heard about that,” Braeden said, “it was a terrible crime, and only made me more certain I needed to oppose Teodora.”

“It’s hard to recover from something like that, isn’t it?” Arryk’s voice was soft as he stared straight ahead.

“Not sure if you can,” Braeden said honestly.

“Perhaps not,” Arryk sighed, “I hate the idea of marrying again, but my advisers tell me I must.”

Braeden thought he’d hate the idea too, and was glad he didn’t have advisers telling him what to do.

“I’ve put it off,” Arryk went on, “ever since Teodora’s attack last summer, I’ve known I must do something to assure my line. But I’ve finally negotiated a match, and will marry the younger daughter of the Queen of Maladena as soon as she arrives,” he said very quickly, as though it were distasteful; Braeden reckoned it was.

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 147- Anton

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

We haven’t seen much of Anton lately, but that’s because he’s been keeping his head down. He and Maryna have a secret agreement that they’ll marry when they’re older, but for now, they don’t want to make waves with her mother. But one evening, Anton just can’t help himself and decides to go see her. She finds him after dark, in the palace garden, and after a bit of kissing, he gives voice to his doubts.

“I probably won’t ever become rich and famous enough for you,” Anton said as fast as he could, before he lost his nerve.

Maryna looked up at him, “Oh, I don’t care about that; not at all.”

“But you can’t marry me the way I am.” It was hard to admit he wasn’t anywhere near good enough.

“But I can,” she smiled, her eyes sparkling. “I’ve decided, especially because I’m angry with Mother.” She frowned and wrinkled her nose, then leaned against him gently. “Once I’m seventeen I’ll do what I want; I’ll make you a count or something, and then marry you. Some people may not like it, but I don’t care.” She tossed her head, becoming for an instant the haughty princess.

 

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 146- Teodora

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

Continuing with Blood of the Empire: Shortly after freeing her, General Mattila demands that Teodora abdicate. Teodora has a seizure at the very idea, blacks out, and wakes up to Elektra telling her how things are going to be. Horrendously punctuated to fit.

Elektra cleared her throat. “I realize you don’t want to abdicate, but I’m taking over for now, until you’re better. Someone needs to be in charge.”

“You? You know you’ll be Mattila’s puppet.”

“I don’t think so,” Elektra’s voice was calm,“I can manage her well enough.”

Teodora couldn’t believe what she was hearing, “You can’t do this; it’s illegal and has never happened in the history of the empire.”

“It’s not at all illegal to remove a mentally unfit sovereign,” Elektra said, patting Teodora’s hand–as if that would make it better. “I know you’re strong, Mother, and that you’ll likely recover. When that happens, I’ll gladly give you your power back.”

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 145- Braeden

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

At the beginning of Blood of the Empire, Braeden and Devyn are headed to Norovaea to see if they can convince King Arryk to lend some military support to their cause. Since Arryk’s last attempt to help ended in defeat, it doesn’t seem very likely. Braeden is also concerned because he was part of the army that defeated Arryk. He and Devyn have just arrived at a private audience with the king. Edited to fit.

“How you’ve grown,” the king said, taking Devyn by the arm, then tousling his hair. He offered Braeden an unexpectedly informal smile, “I’m so glad you’ve come.”

Once they were seated, Arryk turned to Braeden. “Thank you for bringing my nephew; I suppose he’s told you I know all about you.”

“He has.” Braeden felt his cheeks reddening, though Arryk looked friendly enough.

“Even though you once fought for Teodora, you have been a wonderful friend to my family. I plan to reward you for that.”

Braeden was so surprised, he couldn’t think of what to say. He finally managed, “That’s very kind, Your Highness.”

 

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Snippet 144- Gwynneth

It’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors! Every Sunday, a bunch of writers post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. There’s a lot of reading, commenting and great writing. Click on the link to see the full list.

Last Sunday really got away from me, so barely any commenting happened. Sorry guys! I’ll do better this week. I’m continuing with Blood of the Empire. At the end of the last book, Gwynneth was forced to confess to her two oldest children about her affair years before. They didn’t take it well, and a month later, Maryna is still mad at her.

When Maryna finally sent for her, Gwynneth was momentarily hopeful that her daughter had forgiven her.

Gwynneth sat across a large table from Maryna in Edric’s library, waiting to hear why she’d been summoned.

“I’d like to discuss some business, Mother,” Maryna said. Her tone was the icy, polite one she used on people she disliked. Gwynneth hated being one of them.

“Of course.” Gwynneth swallowed down her disappointment. She’d been so happy to have Maryna back, but now her daughter hated her. She hoped it wouldn’t last forever.

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