Maria McKenzie
Author of Provocative Historical Fiction
Laugh, Cry, Think...

Welcome to my site! I use history to create compelling, impossible and scandalous love stories that will make you laugh, cry and think...

In other words, historical fiction that's kickin'!

Factual accounts, as well as my imagination, have inspired me to write tales of forbidden love, using our country's history as a dramatic backdrop.

My stories strive to captivate and intrigue, and I hope you'll enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them! Please take a look around and read sneak previews of The Governor's Sons, and books one, two and three of The Unchained Trilogy: Escape,  Masquerade  and Revelation.

Wait, There's More: Provocative Comedy That Will Keep You Laughing!
On a lighter note, I've created a funny romantic mystery series called Black Ops Detective Agency. The first book in the series is From Cad to Cadaver. Although my first love is historical fiction, the Black Ops series allows me to exercise my funny bone! Read a sample of From Cad to Cadaver on my Novel Excerpts page.

What Readers Are Saying...

Deseré: A Love Story of the American South

"Rarely does a book that is essentially a romance grab me the way Deseré by Maria McKenzie did. It took all my self-control not to keep turning pages…   Maria McKenzie has written a magnificent historical romance…  Her intense research into the social, political and cultural mores of the time gives the book authenticity. Her characterization is superb: readers feel and respond to Deseré’s and Anthony’s emotions and understand their motivations, struggles and confusion…  The depiction of the difference between life in Paris, France and the Deep South is fascinating…  Dialogue is plentiful and realistic, moving the plot along at a good pace, while just enough description is provided to establish settings and scenes. This is brilliant writing!"
Viga Boland, Readers' Favorite Review 

"…I found Maria McKenzie [to be] a very descriptive writer and a very talented storyteller…  She nicely blended her beautiful characters in a dramatic love story that ends well! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!"

"The author writes a well crafted, believable story that grabs the heart. It is a story with a heart that beats steady throughout... If you enjoy historicl fiction, don't miss this one."
Kathy M., Amazon Review

"Wow, I could have gone through that one, if my reading time [had] allowed, in one day nonstop.  It is a beautiful story; fast paced, romance and drama.  I highly recommend it."
 Theater Mistress, My Literary Soiree Book Review

From Cad to Cadaver

"This was a fun light read. McKenzie's character's feel real. The story wasn't one that creeps along. It is perfectly paced. No getting bored on this ride... Overall, this is a fun story and definitely worth a read."
Paolo's Blog

"...had well-developed characters that I was interested in seeing more of in future books... had me reading well into the night to see what would happen next. It was a page turner." Judge, 24th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards

"...an enjoyable murder mystery... Tracy Black has attitude and then some. She is a wonderfully audacious character whose ungoverned tongue reminds me of Queen Latifah... Her compulsive need to do what she thinks is right has a way of backfiring and leaves her in compromising situations. This is an amusing sleuth mystery novel that I recommend to those who love a smart, sassy heroine." Susan Sewell, Readers' Favorite Review


"This was the final book in the trilogy and I was not disappointed. Halfway through the story I found myself crying..."
Cheryl Berry, Amazon Review

"This book was enthralling from page 1..."
Cynthia West, Amazon Review

"This was an excellent trilogy from beginning to end. A must read if you enjoy historical fiction..."

Kenya Shoffner, Amazon Review 

"Wow, what an incredible journey! I have never read anything like this and it's hard to believe it's fiction. This is a story of a family that truly spanned generations and a curse that ended when everyone was allowed to choose to accept the truth. If I was a smoker I would probably light up a cigarette now!" 
K. Willis, Amazon Review

"...well written, heartwarming, heartbreaking, informative and a must to read."

Nancy, Amazon Review


"If, like me, you are a fan of historical fiction -- especially when it's done with a real feel for previous eras -- then you'll love Masquerade, the second volume in Maria McKenzie's tale of love and race, politics and passion, in America.  With its roots set in 1856, it's a novel that provides a necessary, if hard, history lesson, as well as a personal narrative of secrecy and shame, forgiveness and, ultimately, acceptance."
Robert Masello, author of The Romanov Cross and Robert's Rules of Writing

"Extremely well researched historical narrative and an in depth view of life in the late 1800's; particularly as constituted within the inter racial relations of society. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book..."

Barbara Davis, Amazon Review

"...Great read for anyone who loves historical fiction!"
Julianne Keeler, Amazon Review

"A GREAT page turner with lots of twists that I didn't see coming..."

Jennifer J. Shackleford, Amazon Review

"...outstanding books and style of writing by Maria McKenzie."

Linda C. Hackling, Amazon Review 


"...the book is a joy to read. What warms the heart is Daniel and Lori's simple love for each other and their strong trust in God. It literally shines through Maria's writing...A very simple, compelling and historically authentic read."
Maria Mohan, Maria's Book Blog

"Can’t stress how much I love this book. The story is so captivating and realistic that I stayed up all night reading it. Can't wait for book 2..."
Adelaide, United Kingdom, Amazon Review

"This book was a page turner! I could barely put it down. The characters were well-developed and involving. I recommend this book to not just historians but anyone who just enjoys a good read."
DWHIT, Amazon Review

"For those who enjoy love stories filled with fantasy and gratuitous sex, ESCAPE may leave you wanting. But for real love, love that weathers and conquers society's propensity to marginalize that which is not mainstream, a more compelling story will be hard to find."
E.W. Hughes, Amazon Review

"...the author had a good plot and strong characters... I do see definite potential for [her] to be one of the brilliant authors of our time..."
Desere Steenberg, Historical Romance Reviews

"Maria McKenzie's gift in the use of dialogue creates a novel which cannot be put aside until the end. It is almost as if one is literally watching a panoramic movie..."
Michele Prell, Amazon Review

"Amazing book, I could not put it down... It will keep your thoughts and emotions racing..."

Helga O'Dell, Amazon Review

The Governor's Sons

"...McKenzie proves herself to be an effortless storyteller who sympathetically portrays the ironies and hypocrisies of those precarious times...Realistic, multifaceted characters make for an especially engaging novel."
Kirkus Reviews

"The Governor's Sons is tender and touching, and also quite terribly and frighteningly true. Maria McKenzie is definitely a young novelist to watch."
Stephen Birmingham, New York Times bestselling novelist and social historian

"This book is amazing. The story is well told with well developed characters that are easy to fall in love with in spite of, or because of their frailties...It is definitely a captivating and thought provoking tale, examining love and the destructiveness of hate, well worth reading."
Mela, United Kingdom, Amazon Review

"This novel seems to have been inspired by Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, both in terms of its subject matter and its structure. The way the author pulls off the unorthodox structure is actually quite compelling...In both halves of the book, characters are fully fleshed out and three-dimensional. The Depression of the 1930s and the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s provide excellent backdrops for the romance and family drama."
Writer's Digest Independent Book Commentary

The Governor's SonsUnchained Trilogy cover art and 
website image by Renae Denbow, www.renaetheartist.com
From Cad to Cadaver cover art by Katie Hautman, katiehautman.com
Desere cover art by Terry Tolentino
Maria's photos by Paul Ludwig, www.paulludwig.com