Author bio

Jane Steen

Jane Steen - book author

Dear Reader,

Welcome to my page. Now, I could talk to you about myself in the third person, as if my author-self were someone else, but instead let me give you the Most Important Fact:

I was named after Jane Eyre.

I swear that this decision of my mother's influenced my entire life. I've always felt that I lead only half my existence here (here being wherever I happen to be) while the much more interesting stuff goes on in my head.

It also doomed me to spend most of that head-time in the nineteenth century, hence my books. My aim is to write entertaining fiction that hovers somewhere in the PG range (no graphic sex or nasty stuff unless the plot totally demands it) and is neither dumbed-down nor pretentiously intellectual. In short, it's the type of fiction I like to read when I just need to RELAX.

You can get to know me a lot better by subscribing to my newsletter.

The short biography is that I've lived in England, Belgium, the United States and England. The problem with moving around is that you end up torn between different countries and cultures; the advantage is that you get to speak more languages (my second language is French).

I've had an interestingly varied employment history (editor in a law firm, translating a Belgian aerospace magazine into English and real estate marketing spring to mind, but there were others), and have absorbed more education than is good for me. I'm married to a nice American, and have two adult daughters.

Jane Steen is the author of books: The House of Closed Doors (The House of Closed Doors #1), Lady Helena Investigates (Scott-De Quincy Mysteries, #1), Eternal Deception (The House of Closed Doors #2), The Shadow Palace (The House of Closed Doors #3), The House of Closed Doors Boxed Set: Nell's Story, The Unforgotten, The Bars of the Marshalsea, The House of Closed Doors (3 Book Series)


Author books

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Title
Description
01
In Nell Lillington's small Midwestern town of the 1870s, marriage is the obvious fate of a young woman of some social standing. Yet Nell is determined to elude the duties and restrictions of matrimony. So when she finds herself pregnant at the age of 17, she refuses to divulge the name of the father and even her childhood friend Martin is kept in the dark.

Nell's stepfather Hiram sends Nell to live at the Poor Farm of which he is a governor, to await the day when her baby can be discreetly adopted. Nell is ready to go along with Hiram's plans until an unused padded cell is opened and two small bodies fall out.

Nell is the only resident of the Poor Farm who is convinced that the unwed mother and her baby were murdered, and the incident prompts her to rethink her decision to abandon her own child to her fate. But the revelations to which her questions lead make her realize that even if she manages to escape the Poor Farm with her baby, she may have no safe place to run to.
02
A reluctant lady sleuth finds she’s investigating her own family.

Step into Lady Helena Whitcombe’s world with the first novel in a series that will blend family saga and mystery-driven action with a slow-burn romance in seven unputdownable investigations.

1881, Sussex. Lady Helena Scott-De Quincy’s marriage to Sir Justin Whitcombe, three years before, gave new purpose to a life almost destroyed by the death of Lady Helena’s first love. After all, shouldn’t the preoccupations of a wife and hostess be sufficient to fulfill any aristocratic female’s dreams? Such a shame their union wasn’t blessed by children . . . but Lady Helena is content with her quiet country life until Sir Justin is found dead in the river overlooked by their grand baroque mansion.

The intrusion of attractive, mysterious French physician Armand Fortier, with his meddling theory of murder, into Lady Helena’s first weeks of mourning is bad enough. But with her initial ineffective efforts at investigation and her attempts to revive her long-abandoned interest in herbalism comes the realization that she may have been mistaken about her own family’s past. Every family has its secrets—but as this absorbing series will reveal, the Scott-De Quincy family has more than most.

Can Lady Helena survive bereavement the second time around? Can she stand up to her six siblings’ assumption of the right to control her new life as a widow? And what role will Fortier—who, as a physician, is a most unsuitable companion for an earl’s daughter—play in her investigations?

A new series by Jane Steen, author of the House of Closed Doors series that has delighted thousands of fans (over 300 5-star reviews on Amazon and over 700 5-star ratings on Goodreads.) If you’re looking for an unputdownable Victorian mystery saga, here’s where you start!
03
Love or independence? Few choices remain for Nell and her new family on the Kansas frontier…

Kansas, 1872. Unwed mother Nell Lillington hopes to support her daughter Sarah and friend Tess by working as a seamstress in an isolated seminary. When her only ally among the seminary's leaders dies, she must choose between returning to her old life in Chicago and remaining in charge of her destiny.

As her talent as a dressmaker begins to win her commissions, Nell attracts the attention of two suitors: Reiner Lehmann, a wealthy senior student, and Judah Poulton, an impoverished professor. Shocking news from back home and another death at the seminary press Nell to make her decision. A disastrous winter journey, a treacherous game, and an impossible love could finally wrest control of Nell's life out of her hands for good.

Eternal Deception is the second book in a series of engrossing historical fiction novels. If you like intriguing mystery, charming romance, and surprises you won't see coming, you'll love this story of one woman's battle for herself on the nineteenth century frontier.
05
Set in the American Midwest of the 1870s, this three-novel story blends mystery, romance, history, and family drama in over 30 hours of entertaining, fast-paced reading. See why readers rave about the writing, the plot twists, and the characters.

NELL LILLINGTON is a spoiled, headstrong 16-year-old when she finds herself pregnant after letting a flirtation with handsome Cousin Jack get out of hand. More willing to bear the consequences of an illegitimate pregnancy than marry, she refuses to name the father and agrees to give birth in a Poor Farm and give the baby up for adoption. At the Poor Farm she meets Tess O’Dugan, a woman the world calls an imbecile but who soon becomes the sister Nell never had.

MARTIN RUTHERFORD, Nell’s childhood friend, only learns of baby Sarah when Nell seeks to escape from the Poor Farm—with the child. His own aversion to marriage stems from his dark, unhappy childhood, and despite his attachment to Nell he makes no objection to her plan to move to Kansas, away from prying eyes, with Tess and Sarah. Martin, now free of family ties, has his own plans—he wishes to build a grand department store in Chicago and become one of that growing city’s merchant princes.

But Nell and Martin’s plans are steered off course by the secrets and lies of other people, and their paths to happiness are strewn with murder. Nell’s story will take you from the Illinois prairie, to frontier Kansas, and back to a Chicago teeming with opportunistic new Americans and ruthless hardmen.
06
The fog that rolled in off Lake Michigan that November morning was not an unusual phenomenon. But when Peter finished buttoning his coat to ward off the chill, he realized he was no longer alone in the lakeside cemetery. Was his past catching up with him?

This short (17 pages) tale of a Victorian haunting will delight readers of classic ghost stories.
07
The ghost of Charles Dickens is restless. Eternity is so long, and the world has changed in ways he finds hard to accept. His thoughts take him to his first real home on Doughty Street in London, where he encounters another spirit—a small boy with the unmistakable stamp of poverty upon him. A boy from his own time, and one who has clearly claimed the right to haunt the home where Dickens knew the first taste of success.

But why? The answer to Dickens’ question is in the attic, and will confront the shade of one of the best-loved authors in the English language with a secret he’s kept all his life.