WeWriWa—Summoned to the Emperor’s study

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week, I’m finally returning to my alternative history, Chapter 33, “The Emperor in Love.” Arkadiya Gagarina, a morganatic princess, has just recovered from diphtheria, and is now summoned to His Majesty’s study to be interviewed for the position of Tsaritsa. At 32, she finds this whole idea ridiculous, but she figures no harm can come of one interview.

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Once Arkadiya had been pronounced fully recovered by all the palace physicians, and the tracheostomy tube had been removed, she was given orders to report to the main study for an interview with the Emperor.  Though she’d been given a brand-new wardrobe, she didn’t even glance at all the finery the Emperor had had delivered to her room after her recovery, and instead merely changed into one of her more formal outfits, a green velvet gown with long sleeves.  On her way to the study, she smiled at and made eye contact with everyone she passed.  During her month-long stay, many of these servants had attended to her, and she wanted them to have a good impression of her.

“Come right in,” he called when she knocked.

Arkadiya shut the door after entering the room, and the Emperor immediately rose from behind his desk and went towards her, smiling that odd closed-mouth smile.  She wasn’t expecting him to take both of her hands and kiss them in turn.  As this happened, she felt light-headed, and her heart beat a little faster, which she chose to attribute to still not having complete strength back.

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On Monday, I’ll be starting a series on The Great Dictator at 75. I really feel like I’ve made the right decision in shifting the focus of this blog away from writing-related topics and towards more of my other interests. A lot of people reading my blog are probably learning about all these silent and early sound films for the first time, whereas they could get writing advice from anywhere.

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16 comments on “WeWriWa—Summoned to the Emperor’s study

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    “her heart beat a little faster, which she chose to attribute to still not having complete strength back.” Yeah, right. Like we believe that.

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  2. Uh huh, sure, keep telling yourself it’s due to your lack of strength, girlie. We aren’t buying it, and pretty soon, I’m sure it’s going to slap you in the face as well.

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  3. Oh sweet Arkadiya, who has utterly no clue about her true feelings…really enjoying the story and I love this development. Terrific snippet!

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  4. Happy to be back with Aleksey and Arkadiya. I love how he’s made her go weak in the knees and she’s still in denial about it.

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  5. Yeah she’s cute about that, and I’ll bet that’s a big reason why Aleksey falls for her – she’s genuinely humble. These are great excerpts, Carrie Anne.

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  6. Alexis Duran says:

    Arkadiya is a lovely character. The idea that she might find love at the ripe old age of 32 makes for a great story.

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  7. Kim Magennis says:

    Such a gentile and gentle lady. Arkadiya is charming!

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  8. historysleuth1 says:

    I love her trying to be so logical about her feelings. I’ll have to look at some of your posts on the 1920s I see in your tags. Love the early 1900s.

    History Sleuth’s Mysteries

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  9. She’s trying to just ignore his interest out of reality. It doesn’t work like that!

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  10. She can pretend all she want’s, but that won’t change how she really feels. Great snippet. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  11. What a sweet thing for him to do. I think he’ll have her swooning soon. 🙂

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  12. Girls always over thinking. Love the snippet.

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  13. Nick Wilford says:

    Great excerpt. Yep, it definitely seems like she is in denial.

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  14. P.T. Wyant says:

    Is she really that unaware of how she feels or just trying to protect herself from disappointment and heartache?

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  15. I like how unassuming, how humble her character is.

    And on the few occasions I visited when you posted about silent films, I’ve truly enjoyed it, Carie-Anne. Your knowledge astounds me. 🙂

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  16. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    She’s smitten and is trying to deny it. 🙂 Enjoyed the snippet.

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