Dr. Ken Czech is a retired history professor and an internationally recognized authority on the historical literature of exploration and sport. His passion, however, has turned to writing fiction. He and his wife Mary live in Central Minnesota on an abandoned granite quarry.
Kiss of Frost and Flame
When Defending the Homeland Means Defending Your Heart
Siberia, 1581. When Umey, an outcast woman of Samoyed and Russian blood, stumbles on a ravaged village, she unwittingly uncovers a plot that threatens to devastate her beloved forests and the Siberian tribes who live there. It’s furs—soft gold—the invading Cossacks crave, and the greediest of them is Yermak, the man who saved her life and raised her.
As the Cossacks, armed with fearsome muskets, plunge deeper into Siberia, Umey is forced to make a choice: accept Yermak’s protection, or use her woodland skills to aid the Siberians in their desperate resistance. Umey and Alexey, a Russian soldier who has seen too much war, are soon enmeshed in an unfolding crucible of destruction where they must rely on their courage and new found love if they are to survive.
Praise for Kiss of Frost and Flame
“I was immediately drawn in by the atmospheric and descriptive effort that Czech put into his writing to bring the wilds of Siberia to life. I was fascinated by the customs and tribal people as well as the beauty of nature … Umey’s gentle but unwavering courage makes her a protagonist whom you grow to feel deeply for during the adventure. Overall, Kiss of Frost and Flame is a work that fans of historical adventures and cross-cultural writing are sure to enjoy as much as I did.” –K. C. Finn, author of Caecilius Rex and The Book of Shade
“Throughout the story, the emotions seem to rise off the page and into one’s imagination to leave you thinking wow, these events happened! It is fantastically written and will interest anyone who likes history or learning about Russian culture.” —Michelle Robertson, freelance writer
“Kiss of Frost and Flame exudes beauty, emotion, and excitement on every page.” —Vincent Dublado, for Reader’s Favorite
Praise for The Tsar’s Locket
“Ken Czech has penned an interesting novel based on the real story of Tsar Ivan’s interest in marrying Lady Mary Hastings, including a request for her portrait. Fictional characters and events are created brilliantly to fill in the unknown details. The inclusion of romance in the plot adds to the appeal. The well-placed conflict faced by the characters holds our attention up to the ending. The details and descriptions of the difficult sea voyage and the arduous land journey through northern Russia in wintery conditions are well narrated. Historical information about the war between Russia, Poland, and other European nations and the overall political situation is built into the storyline. The vivid descriptions of the European cities, including Moscow and the Tsar’s palace, transport us to that era. An exciting and informative novel. Highly recommended.” – Waheed Rabbani, Historical Novel Society
“There were twists and turns throughout, but the climactic twist at the end really caught me off guard. If you love a really good story with action, suspense and romance, then I recommend this novel.” —Lesley Jones for Readers’ Favorite
“The historical backdrop to the tale is … fleshed out with gorgeous details and cinematic style descriptive work, enabling author Ken Czech to show off some real knowledge and a true sense of atmosphere about the period. Add to this the real excitement of a perilous journey across the sea, well-developed villains, a political versus religious thematic arc and some authentic yet accessible dialogue, and you have a truly excellent novel that readers will simply devour.” —K. C. Finn, author of the Caecilius Rex series
“I enjoyed the setting, the play-by-play of action, and the chemistry between Jess and Julian was off the charts. This is an astonishing story that had me hooked from the beginning …” —Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite
Praise for Last Dance in Kabul
“Reeve Waterton, a dashing rogue, is a true hero who stands among the most valiant officers of British fiction. Sarah Kane is an assertive woman assured of her own mind yet vulnerable in her heart. Together they spark the blaze that energizes Last Dance in Kabul.” —Rex Griffin, historical writer
“You won’t find two more compelling characters than Reeve Waterton and Sarah Kane. I loved them. I rooted for them to survive and work things out from the third chapter until the exciting conclusion. Their story was so expertly woven between survival and romance that I found it difficult to pull myself away from it. Ken Czech really knows how to blend action and romance.” –Readers’ Favorite
“Retired history professor Czech’s detailed knowledge of … the tribes and their customs, and the barren lands show in the narrative … it is the strong cast of characters’ skills, strengths and weaknesses, and values that make the storyline flow. An interesting and informative read. Highly recommended.” –Historical Novel Society