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Bloomsbury Publishing / Publication Date 8.7.2021 / 464 pages
'Born into the House of Romanov to the all-powerful Peter the Great and Catherine I, beautiful Tsarevna Elizabeth is the world’s loveliest Princess and the envy of the Russian empire. Insulated by luxury and as a girl free from the burden of statecraft, Elizabeth is seemingly born to pursue her passions.
However, when Peter the Great dies without naming his successor: Russia is torn. Masks fall, friends become foes and Elizabeth’s idyllic world is upended. By her twenties she is penniless and powerless, living under constant threat. As times change like quicksand, Elizabeth must decide whether she is willing to take up her role as Russia’s ruler, which requires the greatest sacrifice of them all.'
I was born and raised in the Kenyan highlands, where my father worked as a Veterinary Surgeon, stemming the spread of Foot & Mouth disease to the Wildebeest. My elder brothers attended boarding school, so I dressed up our many pets (cats, dogs, chicken, geese, a stroppy Polo pony, a wounded Serval cat and at times a baby crocodile!) and forced them to listen to my stories.
Somehow, I then moved from the Savanna to the Salons of the 16ieme! According to one of my favourite authors, the Austrian Stefan Zweig, it is the biggest privilege for a young person to spend a year in Paris - and I agree! So, I made it 5 years...upon graduating from the 'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris', I worked first as a TV -Producer and then as a news-anchor for Bloomberg TV London. While working gruesome night shifts on breakfast TV - my downstairs neighbour thought I worked as an escort as I cantered down our stairs at any god forsaken hour! - I also started to write in earnest, every day, after work, a nap and a run. So much for burning midnight oil!
Today, I work as an author and as a journalist for international publications such as the German 'FAZ', Vogue, Standpoint, and CN Traveller, which is an amazing privilege. I live in London with my husband, my three sons, and a moody fox red Labrador.
'Tsarina' is my debut novel.
For more information and many images follow me on social media.
Spring 1699: Illegitimate, destitute and strikingly beautiful, Marta has survived the brutal Russian winter in her remote Baltic village. Sold by her family into household labour at the age of fifteen, Marta survives by committing a crime that will force her to go on the run.
A world away, Russia's young ruler, Tsar Peter I, passionate and iron-willed, has a vision for transforming the traditionalist Tsardom of Russia into a modern, Western empire. Countless lives will be lost in the process.
Falling prey to the Great Northern War, Marta cheats death at every turn, finding work as a washerwoman at a battle camp. One night at a celebration, she encounters Peter the Great. Relying on her wits and her formidable courage, and fuelled by ambition, desire and the sheer will to live, Marta will become Catherine I of Russia. But her rise to the top is ridden with peril; how long will she survive the machinations of Peter's court, and more importantly, Peter himself?