The Last Ember

Today’s unrest keeps these ancient ruins unrested. Antinopolis, the skeleton of an ancient Roman city founded by Hadrian the Emperor in the years 117-138 A.D., is, like everything else, caught dangerously in the crosshairs of the Arab Spring.

According to Publilius Syrus, first century BC maximist: “Habet suum venenum blanda oratio.” Roughly meaning ‘Sweet speech has its own venom’, the man must have foreseen the state of Edward Snowden, who had to travel all the way to Hong Kong from the U.S. just to make the sentiment true … More likely, however, Syrus was referring to the sway of his own wit, which freed him from slavery after having “won the favour of his master”* and winning an education (and a post as personal entertainer to Caesar in 46 BC).


Say you wrote something that people enjoy reading. Now, say someone else stamped their name on it and stole your praise. Copyright infringement, right? Punishable by law, right? . . . Wrong – in the first century A.D., at least – specially
if you called yourself a poet.


“Not for the proud man apart / From the raging moon I write / On these spindrift pages . . . “

- Dylan Thomas, “In My Craft or Sullen Art”

ThrillerFest 2013:

Keep an eye out for this year’s itinerary at ThrillerFest ‘13, where all things thriller come to mingle in NYC.

paper-back now available

The paper-back edition is on the shelves! Buy your copy now.

about the novel

From the labyrinth beneath the Colosseum to the Biblical-era tunnels of Jerusalem, The Last Ember is a gripping, thought-provoking thriller set in the deadly world of illicit antiquity excavation and ancient intrigue. ”A terrific achievement.” –The Providence Journal

An Italian antiquities squad discovers a woman’s preserved corpse inside an ancient column. Pages torn from priceless manuscripts litter the floor of an abandoned warehouse. An illegal excavation burrows beneath Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock, ground sacred to three religions.

Jonathan Marcus, a young American lawyer and a former doctoral student in classics, has become a sought-after commodity among less-scrupulous antiquities dealers. But when he is summoned to Rome to examine a client’s fragment of an ancient stone map, he stumbles across a startling secret.  The discovery reveals not only an ancient intelligence operation to protect an artifact hidden for 2000 years, but also a ruthless modern plot to destroy all trace of it by a mysterious radical bent on erasing all remnants of Jewish and Christian presence from the Temple Mount.

With a cutting-edge plot as intricately layered as the ancient sites it explores, The Last Ember is a riveting tale spanning the high-stakes worlds of archaeology, politics, and terrorism, in its portrayal of the modern struggle to define — and redefine– history itself.


Check out this raw research footage from the writing of The Last Ember. Hang on tight…

Hear about the inspiration for the novel from the real life story behind it all…

audio excerpt

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in the news

A 2000-year old CT exam?

Researchers have found a key that may unlock the only library of classical antiquity to survive along with its documents, raising at least a possibility of recovering vanished works of ancient Greek and Roman authors such as the lost books of Livy’s history of Rome.

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The Last Ember

from the blog

Old King Richard III Makes The News Again

Last August the DNA within the bones found beneath a layer of concrete in an England parking lot confirmed that the former King was laid to rest there once upon a time. Thing is, no one has agreed upon anything since. He was clearly buried with great haste and no ceremony, having been crammed into an uneven hole without a coffin or tokens for the afterlife. The man died on a battlefield. Perhaps the battle was happening still, and the urgency of ceremonial burial is likely outweighed by the urgency of getting the hell out of there if you’re on the losing team and are still somehow whole.

There again, there may be proof that the King’s hands were bound by rope in the pit, in which case pomp was even more – entirely! – out of the question . . .

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