I'm thrilled to have the TSARINA Blog Tour stopping by today with a Guest Post by author J. Nelle Patrick and awesome Giveaway...
by J. Nelle Patrick
Imperial Russia swirls with rebellion.
The Reds are gaining ground, and the loyal Whites struggle to hold Saint Petersburg. But Natalya isn’t afraid. Wrapped in fur and tucked inside her lavish home, she feels safe. Alexei Romanov, heir to the Russian throne and her first love, has told her a secret: Hidden within the Winter Palace lies a Faberge Egg enchanted by the mystic Rasputin. With it, the Romanovs will never fall from power. The Reds will never take the country. And one day, Alexei will ascend the throne and Natalya will be beside him— the tsarina of Russia.
But when the Reds raid the Winter Palace, the egg vanishes and the Romanovs are captured. Natalya must find the egg to save Alexei, her way of life, and her royal future. To do so, she’s forced to ally herself with the enemy— a young Red named Leo who wants the egg for his own purposes. But as they brave a war-battered landscape of snow and magic, Natalya realizes that the world isn’t as simple as it seemed back in Saint Petersburg. Nothing– not friends, not politics, and not love– are as clear as Red and White.
Tatiana Romanov had the Best Love Story Ever
by J. Nelle Patrick
The main character of TSARINA, Natalya, has a beautiful love story with none other than Alexei Romanov, the heir to the Russian throne. The sad truth is, Alexei was a little young (he died when he was about 13) to have a love story of his own. BUT…his older sister Tatiana had a beautiful one.
Tatiana was the second oldest sister— born after Olga but before Maria and Anastasia. Like the rest of the Romanov children, she was super super sheltered. Lots of people like to blame royalty for wasting money and living in luxury and generally being fancy, but the truth is, lots of royals— especially women, and especially young women— had no idea what money was. Why would you, when you’d never been allowed to go to a store, when you’ve never shopped for groceries, and when everything simply arrives at your house, all boxed up and lovely? Once when they were teens, Tatiana and Olga decided to sneak away and go shopping. They got to the store and looked around, but realized 1) they didn’t have any money and 2) they had no idea how to use it anyway. The ended up having to ask someone exactly how this whole paying-for-things system worked.
Tatiana, Olga, and their mother Alexandra all worked as Red Cross nurses during World War I, and convinced lots of other nobles girls too as well. This wasn’t some sort of PR thing— they were legit nurses. Tatiana even was asked to take on some nurses duties when they were in captivity, before they were executed, and was often mad that senior nurses were hesitant to let her do some of the dirtier jobs.
BUT, back to the love story.
There was lots of speculation who Tatiana would marry. When she was 16, the Serbian king tried to convince Tsar Nicholas to marry Tatiana off to him, but Nicholas wouldn’t do it because she was so young. Then, during her stint as a nurse, along came Dmitri Malama.
Dmitri was a calvary officer. A wounded calvary officer, who had recently gotten an award for gallantry. And Tatiana was his nurse. They fell in love while Dmitri was recovering from his wounds, and their relationship continued when Dmitri would up working for the Tsar at the palace in Tsarskoye Selo. They wrote each other all sorts of letters, and Dmitri got her a French Bulldog.
That’s right. He got her a puppy. Smooth move, Dmitri.
(Tatiana and the puppy)
Obviously, she adored the puppy (his name was Ortino), and her parents were pretty pleased that such a nice guy was after their daughter’s heart. Alexandra wasn’t so sure they’d actually be able to allow Tatiana to marry Dmitri, since being a Russian princess, she really needed to marry a foreign prince (especially since the war meant Russia needed some political alliances). Still, though, everyone adored Dmitri, and he came over for dinner and visited them and it was all just adorable and sweet. When the first puppy died, he actually got her another puppy, because clearly the whole puppy-giving thing was working well for him.
(Tatiana and Dmitri. Well, maybe— there’s no proof this is Dmitri, but I’m just saying: They’re sitting awfully close, and this was taken at the exact right time.)
Of course, they didn’t end up getting married or running away together to live in a land of puppies and sunflowers because the Revolution ended up taking both their lives in the end— Tatiana’s in the basement in Ekaterinberg and Dmitri’s a year later as he lead a group of Whites against the Reds in the Ukraine.
But let’s not think about that, guys.
Let’s just remember the puppy.
(Alexei, Tatiana, and Ortino)
J. Nelle Patrick is the pseduonym for twenty-nine year old Jackson Pearce. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of secondhand furniture. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in Philosophy. She auditioned for the circus once, but didn’t make it; other jobs she’s had include obituaries writer, biker bar waitress, and receptionist. She currently coaches a winterguard at a local high school.
Jackson began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn’t tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. Her solution was to write the book herself when she was twelve. Her parents thought it was cute at first, but have grown steadily more concerned for her ever since.
Win a hardcover copy of TSARINA!
Thanks to the cool folks at Penguin, I have one book to give away.
-will end 3/9/14
-must be 13+ to enter, one free entry per person
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is NOT responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
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