Meet the Books (The White Rose)

8:00 AM

For the latest linkup, click HERE

Okay first off, for those of who saw those post in it's half-dressed form, I'm really sorry! The little gremlin escaped into cyberspace right under my nose as I was drafting it. My sis caught it running around and brought it kicking and screaming back to me - where I proceeded to ground it for the rest of the night.

Today's post is rather bittersweet. On one hand, it's one of my favorite linkups. On the other, it's one of the last times I'll be able to do it!!

I'm featuring an old favorite during this round. I held off on featuring this book in a Meet the Books linkup simply because I felt that I had talked about this work a lot over the past year and y'all are probably sick of it. Meet the Books is a wonderful way to introduce other works that I've been working on.

However, when I heard that this was the last Meet the Books linkup for the near future, I caved. After all, it really would be a crime to waste the last MtB linkup on a piddly half-developed novella.

So, let us sally forth!

What is the genre?

The genre of this book is speculative Christian fiction, if you want to be highly technical. However, it's safe to say that it's fantasy.

What is the title? Time period?

The title is The White Rose. I borrowed it from a song that I'm now using as the main theme of the work. White roses are a motif that is also used fairly frequently.

It takes place about 30 years before the events of From the Cave. I haven't quite got my dating system down yet, but it's beyond the second age (4th or 5th? Not sure yet)

How is it written (Point of view, MC, etc.)?

Because of the large cast and the nature of the story, it's third person omnipotent for the most part. There are two main characters that it settles on the most: Princess Janina and King Ealdread.

Who are the characters?

Janina - Janina is the youngest child of King Reijo and Queen Carina Sigurdnir, the youngest of 8 to be exact. Her personality is a phlegmatic sanguine, so it can be a little difficult to motivate her sometimes. Making people happy is usually the best motivator for her. Her love language is acts of service, so she'll often do little things for others. She is just under 16 years of age. She has light brown hair, mossy green eyes, is about 5'4", and around 120 lbs.

Ealdread - Ealdread is the sovereign of the High Kingdom of Aistaraina. He's in his 35th year, and has competed in at least 2-3 other Karala Games before this one. He is one of the very few "bachelor" kings (the first in many generations for Aistaraina, at least) in the "world" that I have. His seal is two swans set in white wax. His temperament is a melancholy phlegmatic.
Ealdread is about 5'10, has rich dark brown hair and gray eyes. He has a muscular and trim build, though that stomach region is threatening to pudge out a little.

Magda - Magdalena, or more commonly known as Magda, is the "villain" of this WIP. She is rather vain, loves more masculine pursuits (she is, in fact, the Patroness of Huntsmen and Grooms for Duventoliel), and despises singleness. The colors red and black are associated with her a lot. Her birthstone is ruby, her standard is a black horse on a red field, and her seal is a horse set in red (and later black) wax. Oh yes, and she has a strange obsession with gloves recently....
Magda is paler than most Duventolians, has alluring dark green eyes, and her mother's dark hair. She stands about 5'6"-5'7". Her temperament is a choleric melancholy.

Karsten - Karsten is the 4th prince of the High Kingdom of Ceberlandon. He is very genial and is set to come to Duventoliel at the time of the Karala Games, but ends up late because of a small skirmish war with the Giants of the North. He is also the first Ceberlandon royal to ever consider a foreign bride.
Karsten is 5'11", has dark brown eyes and hair. His temperament is sanguine phlegmatic.

Alvilda - Alvilda is probably the closest character to being Janina's "sidekick". Alvilda is Patroness of Musicians and of the Navy of Duventoliel. One of her favorite hobbies is embroidery and sewing - she, in fact, sewed Janina's first standard banner. She is also a solid book lover. Her seal is an anchor set in dark blue wax, her standard is a dark blue anchor on a gold field. Her birthstone is a sapphire.
Alvilda has dark blue eyes, dark hair, and stands about 5'5". Her temperament is a phlegmatic sanguine.

Tobias - Tobias is the youngest son of the Sigurdnirs, and serves as the royal ambassador to Aistaraina. He and Ealdread are also good friends - in fact, Tob is considered the other "sidekick" to Ealdread. His seal is a dragon set in blue wax. He is about 5'10, has blue eyes and dark hair. He also has the most muscular of the four sons - no doubt, inheriting his father's huskiness. His temperament is a phlegmatic melancholy.

Orla - Orla is the oldest daughter of the Sigurdnirs, and is married to Erik Rillianon, the Champion of her Tournament. She serves as the Marchese of Aearion, one of Duventoliel's provinces. She has 3 children, Helena, Rebekkah and Georg. Her color is pink: her birthstone is morganite and her seal is 3 rosetree flowers set in pinkish wax. Her temperament is the same as her sister Janina, phlegmatic sanguine.

Arnor - Arnor is the son of the arms-keeper of the castle, who has just become a brand new liveryman at the young age of 15. He acts as a courier and bodyguard, and is later assigned to the Princess's Wing upon suggestion by Janina and Alvilda.
Arnor is 5'5", has light brown hair, and brown eyes. His temperament is choleric melancholy.

Leon - Leon is the third son of the Sigurdnirs, and the most scholarly. He is an ambassador to the High Kingdom of Ceberlandon, which prides itself on it's scholastic library. He is also discerning whether or not he is called to be part of the Leberechts, which are the religious priests of Duventoliel. He is the shortest of the sons at 5'7", has the light hair of his father and the green eyes of his mother. His temperament is melancholy choleric.

Queen Carina - Carina is the queen of Duventoliel, and married to Reijo. She (and Reijo) have 8 children, including Orla, Magda, Alvilda, Janina, Tobias and Leon.
She values refinement and deportment a lot and takes her role as role model to the women of Duventoliel very seriously. Carina has dark hair, green hazel eyes, and stands about 5'6. Her birthstone is peridot, a light green gem. Her seal is a rose flower set in red wax, and her standard is a red rose on a light blue field. Her temperatment is a melancholy choleric.

King Reijo - Reijo is the sovereign of the High Kingdom of Duventoliel, and married to Carina. He does have a propensity of forgetting his manners at times...a trait that causes great annoyance to his wife and daughters. His seal is a dragon set in silver wax, and the livery is set in royal navy with silver dragons. His temperament is a sanguine phlegmatic.
Reijo is 6ft tall, has dirty blond/golden brown hair, and has blue eyes. He has a solid husky build.

There is also a host of secondary characters, which include several lords from Duventoliel and the surrounding countries. One of which is a minor antagonist named Orthothien Haisthilt, which you may remember from the From the Cave version of this linkup.

What does the plot consist of?

The plot begins with the preparation for the Karala Games, which is supposed to center around Janina's sister, Magda. However, some secrets are revealed and Magda is disgraced because of them. And because her other eligible sister had just entered into an engagement of her own accord, Janina is thrust into the role of the Blue Star.

One of the suitors for her hand, King Ealdread of Aistaraina, is under a dynastic deadline to find a spouse before a certain age. He is quickly approaching that age, and still he has not found a bride.

The rest of the book goes through the Karala Games, which includes sabotage, intrigues, humorous occurrences and budding romantic relationships.

What is the setting?

The story is set almost entirely in the High Kingdom of Duventoliel, and a few scenes in the neighboring kingdom of Aistaraina. 

These - as well as several other kingdoms and nations - are part of the world of Verden. It is an Earthlike world (with an equatorial ocean), but with fantastical races and creatures. I'm still in the midst of developing it, but so far, there is an equatorial ocean, hybrid races, silver mountains and all sorts of interesting stuff.

What gave you the idea?

When I was writing From the Cave, I got the inspiration for a back story for Janina and Ealdread. It got written out on a piece of paper and wasn't seen again for over two years. Then, when I read Pippa of Lauramore and Marcia Schuyler, I knew I wanted to create a retelling of both. Then I spotted that old scene idea and ran with it. 

Who are the favorite characters so far?

Goodness, there are so many favorites :) I have mentioned five in the past, but that has somewhat changed. There are now six favorites: Ealdread (my male MC), Janina (my female MC), Alvilda (Janina's sister), Karsten (Ealdread's friend), Tobias (Janina and Alvilda's brother) and Arnor (liveryman and friend to Janina and Alvilda)

What is the favorite scene so far?

The favorite scene seems to be the one where Ealdread, Arnor, and Karsten are searching for Arnor's spear in the lake and Janina and Alvilda come upon them on the pier. I have pulled several snippets from that scene in other posts, which you can find by clicking either the "Snippets" or "The White Rose" tags on the bottom of the page.

Any themes of music for this work?

Oh yeah! There is a whole playlist on Spotify, and I've shared several themes of music in other posts. I will share a few more works of music that I haven't shared before to keep things interesting.

Skip to around 1:00 and listen to the end - that is the piece of music that I've used as the theme to the formal procession towards the beginning of the book. 

I can hear Janina and Alvilda singing this song to open the Music Night celebration

This is one of the Scandinavian pieces that I've found, and have used this song to write a few of Magda's scenes. 

Any drawings?

No actual drawings, but I have avatars! They are in THIS POST.

Any snippets?

Janina looked up from her book of poetry and gave him a wide gracious smile as she arose. “Welcome, your Majesty. I was hoping to see you today,” her words, spoken countless times to him by other women, held a true Duventolian sense of honesty. 
 He gave Janina a gentle smile and looked upon the company of siblings and Karsten. “I hope I’m not intruding on a family tableau.” “Not at all! You are certainly more welcome than...” Janina broke off embarrassed at her blundering honest tongue. “That is....please, be seated.” She purposely hid her face while arranging the folds of the bright green gown. Ealdread seated himself near Karsten and Tob. 
As she seated herself, Janina was suddenly struck dumb with a horrid thought. Now she had to restart the conversation. It had been slightly easier with her other guests, as they always had some easy compliment or passing thought to ply. Not so with Ealdread. She knew from diplomatic visits that he was in a deep thinker, and liked a hearty discussion rather than fluffy small talk. But how to start such as conversation without the dreaded awkwardness.

Strong point in story?

From what my alphas say, I believe that the strong point of the story is the characters. Each has their own quirks and flaws that define them. They are as diverse and complex as the countries they come from, but almost all are enjoyable (I cannot say that my villian is very enjoyable....).

Weak point in story?

The pacing of the story is now my weak point. Most of my action scenes have not been drafted yet, and so most of the story is made of quiet moments. And so I really need to work on that in my next writing session.

What are your plans for it?

My plans for this story are indeed ambitious. This little story is slated to be my debut novel. At least, I hope so - I plan for it to be the first of my stories to be beta-read.

Any particular writing habits for it?

Ummmm....besides listening to music and eating chocolate? Not really. Other than maybe taking time out to world-build as I draft more....

If it were made into a movie, what would be your ideal cast?

Oh brother! You know I can't cast to save my skin. But, I shall try anyway...

For Janina, I had Greek actress Anastasia Tsilimpiou as my reference model. However, I personally can't tell if she would fit the role of Janina or not. Maybe a younger Lily James would work better?

For Ealdread, I had Turkish actor Kivanç Tatlitug as my reference model. As he was also a foreign actor, I couldn't tell if he would fit the role as well.

For Magda, I had Turkish actress Leyla Feray as my reference model. Like Tsilimpiou, I can't tell if she would fit in the role of Magda. From what I can gather from GIFs, one of her characters may be close to Magda....

For Karsten, I think Armie Hammer might be the best choice. I've seen him in Mirror Mirror, so I know he can play a dual comic/serious role, which is what Karsten really is.

For Alvilda, I had Turkish actress Beren Saat as my physical reference model. However, after looking at her filmography record, I realize that she has a lot more dramatic roles and more suited to a strong female archtype than a sidekick.
Now that I think about it, Lily Collins may be able to play Alvilda well. I know she's more a lead actress too, but a lot of her roles are similar to Alvilda's temperament from what I can see. 

For Tobias, I think Ben Barnes is a good choice (if I could combine his performance from Sons of Liberty and the Narnia films). Has the right looks, for the most part anyway...

For Orla, I had Yugoslavian actress Alma Terzic as my reference model. Like other foreign actresses, it was difficult to tell what kind of roles she played. So, instead, I decided to go with Rosamund Pike. I really liked her role of Jane Bennet in the '05 version of P&P, and I think she would do well as a motherly figure.

For Arnor, I decided on Tom Holland, if only for a lack of young fresh-faced teenage actors who are just getting started in life.

For Leon.....ugggggghhhhh. Maybe someone like Logan Shroyer but older? Seriously, I've been scouring the internet for a couple of hours now trying to find someone, and it's really frustrating.

For Queen Carina, I had Turkish actress Nurgül Yeşilçay as my reference model. Same as the other foreign actresses, it was difficult to tell whether or not she was suited to Carina's role. But, I think that she may have the best chance of all, considering that she has played a strong monarch figure before.

For King Reijo....OKAY I GIVE UP. I need a nice big guy with lots of bluster and disregard for rules and I'm blanking so hard.

I'm passing this responsibility to my readers because clearly! I am horrid at this. I just CAN'T DO IT. *shoves the casting list to the nearest hapless reader*

*Catherine then stalks to the middle of the stage and takes a deep breath*

Okay, so....y'all know that Camp NaNo is coming up in a few weeks, right?

Well....after some very careful consideration, I have come to a decision as to which WIP that I will be working on this July.

And that is......

YES!! It definitely came down to the wire, but I decided to go back to Verden for July. Not that I'm out of love with Fair Winds - I would like to work on that later this year if I can. 

BUT - I do have that goal of a beta call for this work. And it's no where near ready for that. 

So, this Camp will be focused on getting it ready. I'm keeping my goal to a reasonable size (30k words) in hopes that I'll at least have the work novel length. Right now, it's at 33k, so an additional 30k will push it to around 65k....which is where I wanted it last November. Oh well, I guess you can't rush genius... 

What of you, dear readers? Have you decided which story you are doing for Camp NaNo this July? Are you going to participate in the linkup? Do you like to cast for your books or would you rather dump it in some casting directors' lap? Feel free to chat in the comments! 

Scribbingly yours, 


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  1. Ah, the struggle of casting actors to play our beloved characters. Thankfully, should our books ever become movies, the decision likely won't be up to us. Or perhaps that's a bad thing. Not sure.

    As far as Camp goes, I'm planning a very low goal because of how much I'm travelling. We'll see if it goes well.

  2. Ugh, like, where do you even START to cast your characters?? Seriously, how???? I've never done that before, so I'm COMPLETELY clueless :P


  3. J+M+J
    Hmm looks interesting, though, perhaps I should find something else to say for new book ideas, because that's been my response for the past two or three book ideas I've read up on.... *hides shamefaced behind couch* But I really do mean it, honestly!
    Quick question though, did you mean to put in Janina's seal? (As well as a couple others? I noticed there's a few characters without one)
    And good luck in NaNo! Writing is fun, but it sure takes some determination and perseverance sometimes.... Any tips for re-writing a prior finished novel that needs a couple of scene tweaks and overall more descriptions?
    And I very well might participate, though not for a couple posts....

    The Doorman.

  4. Ooh, yay - you're doing it for Camp! I hope this means more beta-reading... right? Oh, I hope so - I can't wait!

    Haha, I know what you mean about casting... It's so hard to think of good actors sometimes. I know that she's not generally in the same kind of movie as The White Rose is, but I kind-of see Linda Darnell as Janina, at least for that innocent face.

    Thanks for joining the linkup - the post was lovely!

  5. Ooh The White Rose!! I can't wait to read this! (Incidentally, have you ever read/heard of Niamph and the Hermit, by Emily C. A. Snyder? It really builds a complex, detailed world with an abundance of well-developed characters, so your character descriptions made me think of it.)

    And oh goodness gracious me, is it really and truly time to start thinking about July NaNo already?? Good luck with The White Rose!! I'll probably try and put Barnstormer into high gear...


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