Tag Archives: romance

The authors that keep on giving…

One thing you can say about writers of romance is that they are (mostly) generous to a fault. They are great-hearted, funny, kind, and understand all about love. Which is why more than 400 of them have got together to offer their books FREE to lovers of romance.

HERE is where you can find them all- but some books will only be free for a day, September 2nd, so go mad and stuff your e-reader with whatever takes your fancy. I know I’m going to!

Below is just a selection of the books you can download for free, featuring some bestselling authors of historical romance.

Head over to this fabulous blog spot to find out what inspired the award-winning Victorian saga, WORKHOUSE WAIF!

https://ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.com/2021/08/wednesday-wanderings-to-woollen-mills.html

If you don’t know the book, here’s the story-

How can Bella Hart escape the hell of the Victorian workhouse?
Fleeing the abuse that she suffered there, the lonely outcast hopes her new life in a factory town can provide the esteem and affection she craves. Torn between the worlds of masters and workers, Bella falls for the enigmatic Jack, but their relationship shatters when his true identity is revealed. In a desperate bid to revive her love, Jack unearths Bella’s past, with tragic consequences.
After a devastating fire, a secret emerges that seals Bella’s fate, and that of everyone and everything she holds dear.
Fans of Catherine Cookson and Victorian historical romances will love this book.

And if you want to find out what readers thought of the book, there’s a fabulous review on the Discovering Diamonds website.

You can get a copy of the book here.

How a cruel English folk song inspired my latest story

My new release, NEVER TEMPT A WIDOW, took as its starting point a traditional song that originated in the Hampshire area of England.

In “Pretty Polly”, which I first heard sung by Sandy Denny, Polly is taken deep into the woods by her lover, Willie. When she gets frightened “of his ways”, he tells her she’s guessed correctly- he DOES intend to do her harm. He shows her a newly-dug grave, announcing almost proudly that he worked on it most of the previous night. He then stabs her in the heart.

This is a cold-blooded, pre-meditated murder that freezes the blood. But one of the most chilling lines for me is, “He threw a little dirt over her and started for home.” This is a man with no conscience whatsoever, who gets an innocent girl into trouble after promising to marry her, then slaughters her and doesn’t even bother to cover her body properly, leaving her to the mercies of the forest animals.

What, I wondered, would have happened had Polly and her child survived? How would she feel about love after that? What lengths would a ruined woman go to in order to survive?

I renamed Polly Seraphina, made her a duke’s daughter, and had her survive a drowning attempt. The story takes off from that point. Below is a brief overview.

NEVER TEMPT A WIDOW

The Duke of Wolfingham’s scapegrace daughter Seraphina is convinced her lover tried to kill her. Alone, penniless, and desperate, there’s nothing she can do to save the life of her beloved baby daughter, Adelina. Sir Rowland Cavendish offers an escape from her grief, but how can Seraphina ever trust a man again?

Rowland has just lost his wife, and his baby boy needs feeding. The beautiful young widow from the village would make the perfect wet nurse, but the conditions she sets in exchange for her compliance are not at all what he expects.

Seraphina refuses to share her secrets with Rowland, but her past returns to haunt her, threatening her new-found security. Her future hangs on a knife-edge as the game turns deadly, and a web of kidnapping, blackmail, and lies is uncovered.

She loves Rowland deeply, but if she doesn’t leave him, he may lose what he values above all else. His baby son.

If you fancy taking a look at NEVER TEMPT A WIDOW, it is currently at its pre-order discount price of $0.99 for a couple more days, or you can now read it for FREE with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

If you want to find out the full history of this folk song, why not take a look at Paul Slade’s website? It’s fascinating!

Great reviews for a new release!

LORD OF THE MANOR, my intriguing historical romance set in Tudor England, is released TODAY. There are some terrific reviews coming through. I really like the one by Morgan & Many Books, of which the following is an extract-

“…I will definitely read more from Keysian as I like her character development, prose, and evident research tack and I feel like I can trust her to write some good pre-19th century HR.”

Candy Briggs liked the book too- “I highly recommend this wonderful novel.”

You can still get LORD OF THE MANOR at the discount price of just $0.99. You can grab your copy here- mybook.to/lordofthemanor

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Here’s a bit more about the story-

To her, he represents authority and power. To him, she spells sedition and danger.

Orphaned at birth, Cecily Neville owes more than her name to the former hospitallers of Temple Roding. She was still a child when the reformation wrenched her home and adopted family from her and now, like the few surviving monks, she lives in fear that her past could take a deadly toll. Her closest friend is her precious peregrine falcon, Charlemagne. Her greatest enemy is Allan Smythe, the new owner of Temple Roding.

Grieving over the loss of both wife and child, Smythe throws his heart and soul into reviving the old hospitaller commandery that he’s bought in partnership with his brother-in-law, Kennett Clark. He can’t risk being distracted by the mysterious but tempting Cecily and her murdering bird. However, when Smythe is forced to save her from his brother-in-law’s lecherous clutches, the unscrupulous Kennett vows to destroy them both.

On a knife-edge, Smythe can’t afford to relax the rents owed by Cecily and her fellow villagers. If he doesn’t demolish her former home for profit, he risks losing everything to Kennett. But when necessity forces him to employ Cecily, there’s more at stake than his future and his battered heart. Something lies hidden in the depths of the hospitaller commandery that could solve all of Smythe’s problems… or threaten his life.

It all depends on whether he, or the very determined Cecily, finds it first.

A Knights Templar site in Essex

Back in 1990, my partner got as job a site archaeologist at Cressing Temple, in Essex. No- it wasn’t a temple. It was a site gifted to the Knights Templar by Queen Matilda, wife of King Stephen, where lay brothers and employees of the military order could raise crops to finance the Crusades.

Living there for seven years as we did was an amazing experience and I really hope to find time to write more about some of the things that happened, such as the time the cat got walled up, the time the carppet almost caught fire, the moment the car rolled through the fence, and the occasion when the TV crew came and wrecked the archaeology, but I got to be on the telly!

Some other time, mayhap. For now, I would like to signal Cressing Temple, my temporary home, as the inspiration for LORD OF THE MANOR, my Tudor era story that is published TODAY! More about that anon. For now, here is a picture of the place, and a link where you can find out more about the history and archaeology of this fascinating site.

It’s been great fun writing these Tudor era romances! Find out what the final one has to offer.

The last book in the Trysts and Treachery series is now up for pre-order, at the advance discount price of just $0.99. It’s set in the time of King Edward VI and is called LORD OF THE MANOR. Read on for more about the story.

To her, he represents authority and power. To him, she spells sedition and danger.

Orphaned at birth, Cecily Neville owes more than her name to the former hospitallers of Temple Roding. She was still a child when the reformation wrenched her home and adopted family from her and now, like the few surviving monks, she lives in fear that her past could take a deadly toll. Her closest friend is her precious peregrine falcon, Charlemagne. Her greatest enemy is Allan Smythe, the new owner of Temple Roding.

Grieving over the loss of both wife and child, Smythe throws his heart and soul into reviving the old hospitaller commandery that he’s bought in partnership with his brother-in-law, Kennett Clark. He can’t risk being distracted by the mysterious but tempting Cecily and her murdering bird. However, when Smythe is forced to save her from his brother-in-law’s lecherous clutches, the unscrupulous Kennett vows to destroy them both.

On a knife-edge, Smythe can’t afford to relax the rents owed by Cecily and her fellow villagers. If he doesn’t demolish her former home for profit, he risks losing everything to Kennett. But when necessity forces him to employ Cecily, there’s more at stake than his future and his battered heart. Something lies hidden in the depths of the hospitaller commandery that could solve all of Smythe’s problems… or threaten his life. 

It all depends on whether he, or the very determined Cecily, finds it first.

You can get your copy here http://mybook.to/lordofthemanor and remember, if you buy it before April 13th, you can get it at a discount!

Huzzah! A new book and some new covers!

The 4th book in my Marry in Haste novella collection will be out soon. I decided to treat myself to some new covers, which I created using the Bookbrush platform (I LOVE doing graphics on Bookbrush!) Here is the cover for NEVER TEMPT A WIDOW.

And here’s the story-

The Duke of Wolfingham’s scapegrace daughter Seraphina is convinced her lover tried to kill her. Alone, penniless, and desperate, there’s nothing she can do to save the life of her beloved baby daughter, Adelina. Sir Rowland Cavendish offers an escape from her grief, but how can Seraphina ever trust a man again?
Rowland has just lost his wife, and his baby boy needs feeding. The beautiful young widow from the village would make the perfect wetnurse, but the conditions she sets in exchange for her compliance are not at all what he expects.
Seraphina refuses to share her secrets with Rowland, but her past returns to haunt her, threatening her new-found security. Her future hangs on a knife-edge as the game turns deadly, and a web of kidnapping, blackmail, and lies is uncovered.
She loves Rowland deeply, but if she doesn’t leave him, he may lose what he values above all else. His baby son.

The book comes out on May 18th, but you can pre-order your copy HERE.

Maybe I’m a REAL writer after all…

I’ve always felt a bit ambivalent about my writing. Is it any good? Is it terrible? Do only a few select and special people really “get” Elizabeth Keysian? Bearing this in mind, it came as a very welcome surprise that my Victorian historical novel, WORKHOUSE WAIF, received a Silver Medal in the Author Shout Reader Ready Awards. Woohoo! To celebrate, I’ll be putting the book back into Kindle Unlimited, so people can read it for FREE, and I’ll be running a discount for a limited time very soon.

Here’s a bit about WORKHOUSE WAIF.

How can Bella Hart escape the hell of the Victorian workhouse?
Fleeing the abuse that she suffered there, the lonely outcast hopes her new life in a factory town can provide the esteem and affection she craves. Torn between the worlds of masters and workers, Bella falls for the enigmatic Jack, but their relationship shatters when his true identity is revealed. In a desperate bid to revive her love, Jack unearths Bella’s past, with tragic consequences.
After a devastating fire, a secret emerges that seals Bella’s fate, and that of everyone and everything she holds dear.
Fans of Catherine Cookson and Victorian historical romances will love this book.

Author interviews are always revealing!

If you fancy a deeper insight into my writing quirks and eccentric habits, you could do worse than have a look at the fun Interview I did with fellow author Pam Lecky! 😜 Thanks so much for doing this, Pam ❤️

Another exclusive peek at the latest Tudor romp!

LORD OF MISTRUST comes out on December 30th, but if I were you, I’d buy it NOW at two thirds discount. Order your copy here for just $0.99.

Here’s a bit about the story. You can also scroll down for an exclusive extract from the book.

Sir Robert Mallory thinks the young woman he encounters, who is dressed as a boy, is a pickpocket and a prostitute. He soon discovers that the delectable Chloe is, in fact, the illegitimate daughter of a man to whom he owes a great deal of money. Things go from bad to worse when she’s kidnapped by traitors to the crown.

Robert is faced with an impossible choice. He’s desperate to save Chloe, but if he follows his heart, the security of the entire realm is at risk.

Here is a exclusive extract from the book.

“How shall we occupy the next hour?”

There was a glint in his eyes that belied his claim of exhaustion. A predatory glint.

She backed toward the door. “I hope you’re not having any lascivious thoughts, sir. I’ve told you time and time again that I’m not what you think.”

He followed her and as she reached for the latch, his hand came over hers. “Pray, don’t decamp just yet, Mistress. You have not yet explained your presence at Mistress Riviere’s, nor why you were dressed as a boy one moment and a charming woman the next. I beg you, indulge me. Fill my empty moments by telling me your story.”

Curse it! He was far too close, his blue eyes alight with mischief. And with promise. She gulped.

“Step back, sir. You’re trying to take advantage of me. If I saved your life tonight, you should be showing me your gratitude, not… not looming over me.” And not looking like he wanted to kiss her, threatening to reawaken all those wicked imaginings she’d had earlier.

“Was I looming? My apologies. So, are you going to tell me what you were doing in that house of ill repute?”

“Certainly not, as it’s none of your business.”

He tipped his head on one side. “If you are a whore, you’re the most reticent I’ve ever encountered.”

Why did his gaze keep sliding toward her mouth? It was most unsettling.

She pushed her shoulders back. “I’ve told you so many times that I am not. You should accept the word of a lady.”

“If you are a lady, then who are your people? Who are your family, and whither are you bound?”

He was looming even more. So close, she could feel his breath on her face. And there was no space for retreat. Placing a hand firmly on his chest, she gave him a push, but he was immovable. Instead, the rogue placed his palm over hers and came even closer.

Time for the knee again? She rather thought it was. But before she could move, he’d wrapped his arms tightly around her, pulling her against him.

“Nothing to say, Madam Mystery?” His lips teased her ear.

She tried to speak, but her voice lodged in her throat. A giddy sensation of excitement washed over her as she stood quivering in his arms, fascinated to discover what he’d do next. The strength and power that emanated from him both comforted and alarmed her. Protection, safety, danger. She wriggled, only to find his arms tightening around her.

He pulled his head back a little, and she was able to focus on his face. His gaze had darkened and a smile played about his lips.

“I find staring death in the face has a way of making one feel gloriously alive—as if one’s continued existence was a gift not to be squandered. As if there isn’t a single moment to lose. Tell me, didn’t besting that blackguard stir your blood, just a little?”

She shook her head. It had been terrifying. Particularly when he’d pointed his weapon back at her.

“But you were magnificent.” Even though Sir Robert was holding her less tightly now, her limbs had turned to water, and she couldn’t have escaped had she wanted to. Did she still want to escape?

He twined a curl of hair behind her ear and stroked her cheek. Suddenly, she remembered she was wearing only her thin summer nightgown. Far too little to shield her body from his. He must be able to feel her breasts pushing up against him—it would incite him, would it not?

What else had her mother taught her about evading the attentions of a lustful man? Frantically, she searched her memory, struggling to pull together her scattered thoughts. Sir Robert, meanwhile, was gazing at her mouth again, a hungry smile on his lips.

Go limp. That was it. Go limp and slide down, out of the grasp of your over-amorous suitor.

Well, it might work with the clientele at Mistress Riviere’s when they overstepped the mark, but they didn’t have the reflexes of Sir Robert Mallory. The instant she relaxed, he scooped her up and held her across his body.

“You’re not about to swoon on me, are you? Mayhap you’d better lie down.” He carried her to the bed and laid her atop the cover.

Nay! If she lay down, she’d be completely at his mercy. But when she struggled to sit up, he pressed her shoulders back against the mattress, then lowered his head and touched his lips to hers.

It was the briefest of touches, but it calmed her fears and, at the same time, ignited a curiosity within her. Her treacherous body demanded more.

“Sweet as sugared rose petals. I would taste you again.” His voice was as soft as the caress of his lips.

She should turn her head aside, or fight—or even scream. But she did none of these things. She merely gazed into his admiring eyes and wondered what was to follow.

“No complaint, Mistress?” He brushed her lips with the tip of his tongue, and they tingled in response.

Nothing to complain of as yet.

Don’t forget- if you buy the book now, it’ll only cost you $0.99! Here’s the link- http://mybook.to/mistrust