Surgery in Ancient Egypt

Last week I blogged about how copper, known to the ancient Egyptians as a means of fighting infection, is being revived now as an antimicrobial agent in hospitals. The Egyptians were good at surgery as well. You were more likely to survive an amputation in that time and place than in Medieval Europe, because the […]

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Assyrian Empire: Blood at the Banquet

This week the big news in the U.S. has been about torture, as conducted by the C.I.A. after 9/11. I’ve spent some time with the comments section in my hometown newspaper: the majority of readers are outraged, while some defend the practice. Some even seem naïve enough to be shocked. However, most ruling elites, ours […]

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Elijah and Olive Oil

People have asked me how I went about researching a historical novel. Here’s one example. Developing Elijah was a major challenge, both in my first and second novels. He appears in the Bible quite suddenly, a full-blown champion of justice, complete with miracles. All we know about his past is that he was from a […]

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Blood Sacrifice in Israel

Thirty years ago I visited Israel for the first time, partly to do research for my novels about Jezebel. In Jerusalem I passed a store window with small but colorful posters—artistic imaginings—of the ancient Temple, supposedly built by Solomon. The storefront was the information center of a religious group that wanted to tear down the […]

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Medusa Coils mentions Stars in their Courses

Martha’s The Stars in their Courses was mentioned in Medusa Coils. “I have started reading Martha Shelley’s latest novel, The Stars in their Courses. I hope to have a full review in a month or so after I have recovered from carpal tunnel syndrome. But I wanted to let you know that if what I’ve […]

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Martha Shelley reading in Portland

Martha Shelley is doing a reading at the St. Johns Booksellers of her book, The Stars in their Courses. There’s not a huge crowd but they’re very lively and interested. Martha just read a scene where a Canaanite medical student and priestess of Anat assists in an amputation in Sais, Egypt. Martha is happy to […]

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Martha reading right now! in Santa Cruz

We’re in Santa Cruz where Martha is reading from her new novel, The Stars in their Courses. The energy in the room is great! People keep asking Martha to read more so she keeps reading more. Right now she’s reading a passage where Bez, the female guard, takes down four drunks who attacked her in […]

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