Mary Ellen also writes as Denise Dietz

The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter
The Greatest Love on Earth | Stars of Fire
About the Author
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The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter
Sourcebooks Casablanca
August, 2011

       Elizabeth Wyndham is an innkeeper’s daughter and a highly successful authoress of Gothic romances. Content with spinsterhood, obsessed with one of her book characters—whom she calls "the raven-haired knight"—Bess finds his proximity in Rand Remington. But she hadn’t planned on sacrificing herself to him body and soul, or on the visions that promised only heartache.

     Having survived the American Wars, Rand Remington cannot come to terms with the hypocrisy of 18th-Century England. As a highwayman, he steals from the rich and gives to the poor, even though he could be captured and hanged. Yet he's not overly concerned with that inevitable happenstance until he meets Bess, the landlord's black-eyed daughter.

Reviews for The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter...

Booklist Top 10 in Romance Fiction
Starred Booklist review!

Elizabeth Wyndham is "more likely to be attacked by an army of frogs" than find a husband. Fortunately, she is the star author of Minerva Press, a dubious occupation for a lady in 1787, but it pays her bills, as well as her father’s debts. Unfortunately, Elizabeth doesn’t want to finish her latest book because she’ll have to finish off her hero, too, a man who has dominated her dreams. Rand Remington has returned from the war in the colonies wounded in body and soul. His innocent niece has been hung in his absence, and Rand’s revenge against the injustices of the wickedly cavalier upper class is to relieve them of their worldly goods and spread the wealth among the poor. Exhausted from his latest heist, Rand opts to relax by reading a gothic novel by B. B. Wyndham he’s stolen from his latest victim. Much to his surprise, the plot and characters evoke an overwhelming sense of déjà vu, and he’s driven to meet the author. Star-crossed lovers in a former life, Elizabeth and her highwayman face insurmountable odds. Dennis’ wonderful retelling of Alfred Noyes’ The Highwayman is, quite simply, remarkable.

~ Shelley Mosley

"Take one highly successful Gothic romance writer who just happens to be an innkeeper's daughter; add one disillusioned, devil-may-care highwayman who robs only the rich on principle; set them down in the turbulent, hypocritical times of late 18th-century England; season with a dash of humor, a splash of the paranormal, and a dollop of danger; and let the adventures begin. Loosely based on Alfred Noyes's poem "The Highwayman," with Robin Hood elements and a hint of Romeo and Juliet tossed in for good measure, this tale, for all its lively romance and adventure, takes on some serious social issues of the times, specifically the privilege of wealth and the inherent injustices it causes. A fast pace, fluid writing, and an exceptionally well-crafted plot make this an enjoyable read."

~Library Journal

"Themes of reincarnation and redemption elevate Dennis's homage to Alfred Noyes's poem "The Highwayman." Feisty author Elizabeth "Bess" Wyndham is inexplicably attracted to highwayman John Randolph Remington. From the moment he picks up one of Elizabeth's books, Rand is haunted by the story's uncanny similarity to his disturbing recurring dreams. When they meet at a soirée, they realize their fates are forever entwined. But Bess is under pressure to marry wealthy and sinister local lawman Lord Walter Stafford, who holds the fate of her father's inn in his hands, and as John persists in his dangerous ways, Stafford becomes increasingly determined to catch and hang him...this entertaining 18th-century romp retains much of the romance of its source material while giving John and Bess a considerably happier ending." 

~Publishers Weekly

4 Stars****
"Based on Alfred Noyes’ poem, 'The Highwayman,' Dennis’ novel reimagines the tale of the star-crossed lovers and incorporates a bit of the paranormal to heighten the suspense and the passion. The fast-paced and clean, clear writing style suit the adventure/ romance..."

~Romantic Times

“The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter engages the reader in an exhilarating romp throughout 18th century England, with adventure at every turn and spine-tingling suspense. Combined with heated romance, accurate historical facts and nonstop action, this book will suit any adult reader. Characters and dialogue are compelling, historical facts not only interesting but fascinating, and the plot one that simply will not allow the book to be set aside until finished. An exceptional, superbly written book. Highly recommended.”

~ Christy Tillery French for Midwest Book Review

"If you've been yearning for an old-fashioned romantic adventure, THE LANDLORD'S BLACK-EYED DAUGHTER is not to be missed! Mary Ellen Dennis crafts a swift and bawdy tale that skillfully blends the classic poem The Highwayman with elements of historical romance and the Gothic novel—and manages a happy ending as well. Enjoy!"

~New York Times bestselling author, Mary Jo Putney

"THE LANDLORD'S BLACK-EYED DAUGHTER by Mary Ellen Dennis is a rollicking romp of a read. It's everything an intelligent romance should be—adventure-filled, sexy, emotional, and just a down-right good time. Mary Ellen Dennis writes a beautiful novel."

~Gabriella Anderson, author of Temptation's Warrior

"Rich with colorful characters and compelling events, Mary Ellen Dennis paints a vivid portrait of an incomparable moment in history. Eloquent! Romantic! Beautifully written!"

~Victoria Gordon, author of Finding Bess

"The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter has a plot with plenty of action and suspense, and a romance to balance it out... You'll love Elizabeth and Rand, and... you'll root for them as they run from danger and blackmail, and you'll close your eyes when they come close to losing their lives. drey's rating: Pick it up! Fans of historical fiction will love this re-issue."

~ Drey's Library Reviews

"I’ll give Ms. Dennis credit for a beginning that sucked me right in and uniqueness; generic, this book is not."

~ Jean Wan, All About Romance


The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter by Mary Ellen Dennis
Available in hardcover and Large-Print

The Greatest Love of All

The Greatest Love on Earth
by Mary Ellen Dennis
August, 2011

Set against the exotic world of an 1875 circus and the high-society milieu of Denver, Colorado, Mary Ellen Dennis's THE GREATEST LOVE ON EARTH  sweeps readers into a story of death-defying feats, dangerous rivalries, and a love that has all the thrills and romance of the greatest show on earth.

Bold, beautiful Calliope Kelley has two passions in life: her father's circus and Brian O'Connor, and she just may lose them both. For years she has singlehandedly struggled to keep the Sean Kelley Circus going. Then Brian O'Connor, the daredevil animal trainer Calliope has adored since childhood, returns to the circus, having found everything a man can want. . .except the right woman.

Soon their passion will explode under the Big Top. Soon a deadly enemy will begin sabotaging Calliope's beloved circus. As terror becomes the star attraction, it will take a woman's indomitable dreams and a man's enduring love to survive and triumph over the most impossible odds of all.

Reviews for The Greatest Love on Earth...

"Dennis brings the backdrop of a small traveling circus to life... with its saga overtones, many will find the story satisfying."

~ Romantic Timess

"Brimming with endearing characters, suspense, witty repartee, a first-hand look at a circus and strong bonds of love, The Greatest Love on Earth is a delightful and magical romance.  Mary Ellen Dennis has penned an entertaining historical romance and I look forward to reading more from her in the future!"

-Wendy's Minding Spot

"Great book, filled with true love and danger, with a twist of humor. It is fast paced with strong characters who blend well with one another. Some you will hate and some you will love. The dialogue is witty and the suspense keeps you reading right to the very end."

"The Greatest Love on Earth is a fascinating glimpse of circus life, and a condemning study of Victorian American society with a mystery winding through the whole. (It's) a unique setting for a romance, and for those who have overdosed on noblemen, society misses and foreign locations, The Greatest Love on Earth is a welcome change."

- Linda Banche

"Fast-paced, The Greatest Love On Earth weaves its tight plot around romance, suspense, and adventure. The reader is treated to the fascinating world of the circus during the 19th century. Calliope is an endearing character, and the reader sees her grow up in an exciting world. She’s spunky, down-to-earth, and genuine, but sometimes her pride gets her into trouble. Then her father dies in an accident, or was it? Her mother died years before—a victim of a crime? Calliope suspects someone killed them and now wants her dead. Who among the colorful characters of her world could do such a thing? Highly recommended."

-Long and Short Romance Reviews


Stars of Fire
by Mary Ellen Dennis

December, 2010

Fate brought them together . . .

    JANE ELIZABETH McALLISTER (Jenny): Raised to honor a man’s every wish, Jenny rejects her docile role in a Western frontier run by men. Disguised as a boy, determined to deliver a letter to President Buchanan before Lincoln takes office, she even rides for the Pony Express. At the start Jenny is sold into slavery, first by marrying an abusive ammunitions manufacturer to settle her uncle’s debts, then by standing erect and proud atop an auction block. By journey’s end, Jenny’s indomitable courage leads her to the one man who tries to curb her wild spirit . . . and fails.

 JAMES COLEMAN (Cole): Renowned as one of the greatest pre–Civil War prizefighters in the United States, Cole’s mysterious bloodline brands him as a man apart. He can never find happiness until he solves the riddle of his birth. But that seems impossible since he does not know the identity of his father, his mother died in childbirth, and the midwife was murdered shortly thereafter. Cole stakes all he owns on a love he never dared dream would happen . . . and by doing so, finds the answer to his quest.

   For these two special people, time will pass and obstacles will need to be overcome before they can be as one. With such issues as slavery and war woven throughout the saga, Stars of Fire is vast in scope, with action that builds and, ultimately, accelerates to a startling, unforeseen conclusion.


Also Available in a Kindle Edition

Reviews for Stars of Fire

"Two star-crossed lovers discover themselves and each other in a series of vignettes stringing amazing pearls of history across the breadth of a growing new country. American history fans haven’t seen a saga like this in years…. Dennis is an amazing storyteller."

-- New York Times Bestselling Author Patricia Rice

"From one coast to the other, STARS OF FIRE takes readers on an emotional quest as Jenny tries to deal with her new life, and Cole ventures forth to find her, as well as to find himself. From the boxing world to the lives of Native Americans, from the staid East to the wilds of the new West, this tale is a non-stop adventure. Jenny has a letter from her late uncle to deliver to President Buchanan, and not even Cole can stop her from her goal. Her indomitable will frustrates him as well as various villains who have their own agenda."

-- Jani Brooks, Romance Reviews Today

About the Author

When she was very young Mary Ellen Dennis developed a love for the Alfred Noyes poem, "The Highwayman," and the Angélique series by Sergeanne Golon. Mary Ellen's fifth-grade teacher was gobsmacked to hear her rambunctious student state that someday she'd write novels inspired by her favorite poem and favorite series. It has taken years to achieve her goal, but Mary Ellen says, "If you drop a dream, it breaks" (a saying coined by author Denise Dietz). Mary Ellen, who lives on Vancouver Island with her chocolate Labrador retriever Magic, likes to hear from readers. Her e-mail address is


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