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Just Released: Dark Fire by M.S. Keyton

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When I was very small I sat under the table with a pair of scissors and the Liverpool Echo. I clipped away tightlipped and furrow browed, convinced that if I made the pattern sufficiently complex, the diamonds and squares correctly aligned, I’d succeed in making a flying carpet. It was a stupid idea. Had it worked I’d have bumped my head on the table, but it was my first foray into speculative fiction in every sense – the newspaper itself, and what I was trying to do with it.

The ‘what if’ factor has pestered me ever since. Dark Fire is both the title of the story and the magical paste that propels it. I made my own ‘Dark Fire’ when I was about six. I think it involved dock leaves and buttercups and one or two caterpillars. I can’t remember whether I drank it or rubbed it over me. I probably threw it away. But the idea lingered: the witch’s brew that could solve any problem.

Had I been doing this in the C17th I might well have been hung as a witch. This was the time when Witch-finders were on the look-out for ‘Devil’s Grease’ made from the fat of murdered infants. It was believed that buxom but badly advised ladies anointed themselves with it, and were thus enabled to slip through keyholes and cracks in the wall and fly on their broomsticks to meet Satan himself. The Prince of Darkness often appeared as a goat, in which case the witches trooped to lift its tail and kiss its hindquarters. If the Devil appeared as a giant toad they kissed its bottom lip.

This is the strange world in which the novel is set. But Verity is more than a witch.

Dark Fire is intelligent, sexy and romantic. It feeds the mind, provokes the soul and offers sex in unexpected ways.


Raoul, a C12th adventurer rescues Simone, the daughter of the legendary witch Melusine. Raoul, realises his danger too late. He has rescued her but also fallen captive to a love he will never escape. Both are now hunted, but as their pursuers close in, Simone has one last trick up her sleeve: Dark Fire, a satanic paste activated by sexual magic that will transport them through time and space. The only proviso is that they must find each other again. The penalty for failure is eternal damnation.   In the C21st their future hangs in the balance for Raoul is now Ralph and married to Laura. Simone is trapped in the C17th as Verity Strong. Time is against them…


Reader Alert! When Verity swaps bodies with Ralph she understands what it is to be a man. Ralph, trapped in her body sees things differently. Worse he is trapped in the C17th…but Verity has a plan.

To My Readers: As I wrote Verity Strong, sly and relentless, gradually took over. For a time I thought I was exploring the interplay of language, the contrast between the robust formality of C17th English and the way we speak now. But Verity was having none of this. She was after only one thing – Raoul – and this time she meant to keep him forever.

About the Author:  I love words and how words change experience. As the story progressed I inhabited each of the characters and enjoyed every one. Other than that I love fine wine and beer.




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