by - February 08, 2021

Hello, hello, hello! Time for another WIP intro.

I actually started this in...*considers* August or September? Yikes. It's been a while, either way. But only now am I getting around to sharing about it! 

This story is a comp title to Mark of the Raven meeting Shadow and Bone.  It's a high fantasy with Russian influences.

Its title? Chasing Dark Roses.


Anfusa is the daughter of a rebel captain, and her life, while hungry and scant, has always been secure in that knowledge. But when the emperor’s army pushes her father into a corner, he does the unthinkable: he sacrifices Anfusa as tribute to the emperor in exchange for the rest of the family’s freedom.

Anfusa’s fear turns into anger when the army returns her to the capital. The emperor’s sons, especially the younger Prince Ignatio, treat her with respect, but that can’t erase her need to escape. Especially when Crown Prince Tikhomir devises a plan: to make a final attempt at peace between the rebels and the royals, Ignatio will marry Anfusa.

Marriage is nothing like what Anfusa expected, and slowly, she finds herself starting to fall for her new husband. But when the princes’ cousin Milosh returns from the warfront, he sets his eye on two things: Anfusa and the crown.

Torn between two worlds, her duty and her new husband, Anfusa struggles to find her place in a cold, cruel world. And it’s possible her allies are not who she thinks...

My own art of Anfusa

Between the wars we'll stay//fading echoes spin away//Allman Brown
Though I am breaking down again//I am aching now to let you in//Fleurie
Fade away just far enough//I'm drifting//touch your soul and know that I'm not dreaming//SVRCINA

And I must think of my own survival. They have weapons. They could kill me with one blow. I must keep my head down and find somewhere to get out as time goes on. I can escape. I can do this. I am Anfusa, the captain’s daughter. I will not fear.

Ignatio (courtesy of Pinterest, and yes, he's Nikolai)

It takes someone to come around//to show you how//she's the tear in my heart//Twenty One Pilots
Even on the darkest night//I will be your sword and shield, your camouflage//and you will be mine//SVRCINA
I've survived through rainstorms, sandstorms//I fought the war//Now it's time to go home//Natasha Blume

 His shoulders are squared and his eyes full of laughter, his face creased with laughter lines. Blond curly hair hangs over his forehead. He’s supposed to have a crown, perhaps, but he doesn’t wear one. The royal red of his jacket strikes me like a blow.

Milosh (courtesy of Pinterest)

Thought that I would self destruct//But I'm still here//Even in my years to come//I'm still gon' be here//2WEI
All for freedom//and for pleasure//nothing ever lasts forever//Tears for Fears
In life, in love, this time I can't afford to lose//For one, for all, I'll do what I have to do//You can't understand, it's all part of the plan//Fleurie

I swallow hard, my throat gone dry, and he starts toward me. He brushes the girls out of the way like he’s swatting flies until he reaches me. If Ignatio towers over me, this man is closer to my height, but not by much. His cheekbones are etched and his jaw is sharp and he looks me over with a degree of interest that makes my skin crawl.

Tikhomir (courtesy of Pinterest)

Prince Tikhomir points toward the hallway. “Come, girl.”
From a different man, those words might be derogatory, perhaps even a direct insult. He calls me girl and refuses to use my name, and why? But from him… it is somehow clear that it isn’t his intention to insult me. Something about the way he stands, the expression on his face, the way he lets out a half smile as he says it. He does not hate me.

Nadia (courtesy of Pinterest)

Then she relaxes and lets out a low laugh. Her arms fall to hang at her sides, and her whole posture slips into a practiced ease. Too practiced.
I can’t relax. Most people who do that are just buttering you up to stab you in the back.
She shakes her head. “Sorry. I had to get the maids out of the way.” She glances over at the row of whispering girls and then walks to lean against the nightstand where my mirror hangs. “I’m Nadia. Turns out, I’m your bodyguard now.”


My heart possibly misses a beat.
Magic? It’s forbidden. It’s unthought of. It’s a story for children, something the dark men of camp whisper around the campfire as the warriors’ kids ooh and aah until their parents come to drag them away, hissing that such a thing can never be.
Such a thing, I remind myself, can never be.
Magic cannot be real. It has never been real.
And yet, here stands the queen of the Roskas, staring me dead in the eye, not a trace of mirth playing around her stone-cold mouth as she waits.


“Ignatio?” The king’s voice is startled.
“You say I must use my life to create a better country. Perhaps I could marry someone from a different kingdom and secure an alliance there. But that is not the best thing I can do for my nation.” Ignatio steps right up to the railing and raises an arm. It should look overdramatic, but it comes out simply as emphasis. “The best thing I can do for my nation is to protect its citizens and try to bring us back together. And what better way to do that than to seek alliance with the rebels? What better way to heal our land than to try to seek an end to civil wars?”


After breakfast, I shove my chair back and try to race out of the room. Conversation dims and dozens of pairs of eyes turn to me around the table, and I cringe under the attention. What is it about me that people feel the need to stare at? I am nothing. I am no one. No one has ever stared at me before this, and now… everyone is staring at me. 
Including Ignatio, who stands up and says, loud enough to reclaim the situation, “Let’s go for a walk, my love.”
I bristle, my neck tensing, but he’s taking my arm and drawing me out of the room, away from the stares. Guards bow on both sides as we enter the hallway, their chins touching their chests. I cringe at the very sight of it. Why do they think they have to bow to us? Why does the royal family make themselves so elevated?
Ignatio holds my arm gently, his fingers wrapped around my hand rather than actually holding it. I find I don’t mind that so much. I don’t want to be here anymore.
My identity is gone.

What are you writing? Chat with me in the comments!

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  1. AAAHHH YOU'RE SHARING IT!!! THIS WIP!!!!!! ACCCKKK!!!!! *screams*

    I have LOVED brainstorming this one with you so so much. Like... ACCKKK. I adopt everyone!!

    <3 <3 <3 <3



      <3 <3 <3

  2. GIRL. You've got to stop giving me story lusts with all this amazing sounding WIPs! Oh my goodness, THIS SOUNDS EPIC. In every sense of the word! HIGH FANTASY AND REBELS AND MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE AND WAR AND PLOTS AGAINST THE CROWN. YASSSSS!!! All things I adore! Plus the title is FANTASTIC. And all these characters sounds SO dynamic. Seriously, girl, you come up with the most epic cast of characters. Every. Single. Time.

    ALSO. Those snippets??? The EMOTION. The pure FIRE in the narration. You're writing is just so gorgeous and powerful!


    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH ACK! *flails softly* I am so excited you love this so much and I really hope it's finished *someday soon* *cough* so you can read ittttt!



  3. OH MY WORD this sounds so great! GAH!

    All of the characters sound amazing, but I can already tell that I'm going to love Nadia. :)

    And the SNIPPETS! WHAT.

  4. That's it Ignatio now commands my undying love. And so does the other prince dude. But mostly Ignatio and...not only do I love the marriage-of-convenience-where-they-start-to-fall-for-each-other-for-real trope, I love the sound of this story in general. The title and just...everything. I want.

    1. Eep thank you!!!! I'm excitement for you to read it someday!!!

  5. Ahhh this sounds amazing! I'm in love with the snippets and these characters, I'm partial to ones like Milosh he sounds delightfully awful!

    1. That is a WONDERFUL description of him xD I feel like you'll like him a lot mwahaha


    You know what I'm writing ;)


      -_- yes I do now FINISH THE BOOK xD

  7. WHAT WHAT so exciting!! I love the titles you give your wips these days. CHASING DARK ROSES. so delightful!

  8. This is amazing!!!!! I want to read this so bad!!!


Hello, friends! Do make yourselves comfortable and stay for a while--I'd love to chat with you! I simply ask that you keep it clean. :)