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Tsarina PB_HighRes.jpg



Spring 1699: Illegitimate, illiterate and strikingly beautiful, the Baltic serf Marta is sold into household labour at the age of fifteen. She commits a crime that forces her to go on the run. A world away, Russia's young Tsar Peter I, passionate and iron-willed, has a vision for transforming the traditionalist Russia into a modern, Western empire.


Countless lives will be lost in the process, but Marta cheats death at every turn, finding work as a washerwoman at a battle camp where she encounters Peter the Great. But Marta's rise to the top is ridden with peril; how long will she survive the machinations of Peter's court, and more importantly, Peter himself?


Listen in to the prologue of 'Tsarina'! I recorded this clip for the 'Author's Club' who had shortlisted my hot-blooded girl as the best first novel of 2020...

The Tsarina's Daughter - high res cover.

'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. She is seemingly born to pursue her passions, even though a dark prophecy predicts otherwise.


When Peter the Great dies without naming his successor, Russia is torn. Masks fall, friends become foes - Elizabeth’s idyllic world is upended. By her twenties, she is penniless and powerless, living under constant threat. As she falls in love and becomes who she is, Elizabeth must decide whether to fight for Russia, which requires the greatest sacrifice of them all.'

Here's a short reading from the prologue of 'The Tsaina's Daughter'. My US publisher taught me an invaluable lesson when saying: 'I want the conflict on page one.' 



Isn't she beautiful?



A Gallery of Beauties
In the past 18 months, both 'Tsarina' and 'The Tsarina's Daughter' have gained many different faces, each cover seizing a different aspect of their extraordinary destinies, which like the Slavic soul combine great opposites with casual ease.

Tsarina in Hungarian, using the beautiful UK cover

The Tsarina's Daughter in Hungarian -

I love the Slavic iconography

Poland has been better to my girls and me than I could ever say - you know who you are! 

The Tsarina's Daughter in Poland plays on Prophecies and Princesses - glorious! 

Tsarina and The Tsarina's Daughter as homecoming Queens - in 2023, they were both published in Lithuanian. I love both covers and am delighted that my girls return to their roots! Thank you...

About ellen

I was born and raised in the Kenyan highlands, where my father worked as a Veterinary Surgeon - he's the original 'Daktari' and he's born to heal a giraffe's sore throat or help a birthing elephant cow. While my poor elder brothers suffered in boarding school -  they had subjects such as 'tunnel digging' -  I received a monthly book parcel from my godmother and forced our many pets (cats, dogs, chicken, geese, a stroppy Polo pony, a wounded Serval cat and at times a baby crocodile) to listen to my stories.

Fast forward: a million dreams were keeping me alive during my haunted teenage years. Following my very mediocre A-levels, I moved to Paris. Upon graduating from the 'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris', I worked as a News-Anchor for Bloomberg TV London. It was challenging and exhilarating and I learned SO much. Working hours were tough -  I worked on breakfast TV. My downstairs neighbour thought I worked as an escort, given that I cantered down our stairs at 2.00 a.m. in the morning. 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. I live in London with my husband, my three sons, and a moody fox red Labrador-Lady.

'Tsarina' and 'The Tsarina's Daughter' are the first two novels in the planned 'Tsarina' quartet. 


The 'Tsarina' Series as seen in...

Talking to London TV about 'The Tsarina's Daughter

On Russian Channel NTV, the Frankfurt Bookfair makes a return in 2021 with the 'Tsarina' Series.

'Alpsten's colourful narrative does full justice to her extraordinary career' 


-Sunday Times-

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