Martha Marks earned her Ph.D. in Spanish literature and linguistics at Northwestern University and subsequently served on the faculties of Northwestern University and Kalamazoo College. She co-authored three college Spanish textbooks, all published by McGraw-Hill: Destinos, Al corriente, and ¿Qué tal? She enjoyed studying and teaching the novels, plays, and poetry of great Spanish and Latin American authors, and she believes that Rubies of the Viper is a better novel because of her in-depth exposure to their work.
Since retiring from academia, Martha has become an accomplished wildlife photographer and an enthusiastic member of the growing “indie” author movement. Martha and other indie authors use today’s liberating new technologies—e-books and Print on Demand—to maintain full creative and quality control over their work. Like all authors, they rely on reviews, word of mouth, and the Internet to promote their work.
Please visit marthamarks.com to view Martha’s high-quality wildlife imagery and learn more about "Martha's Art: Fiction and Photography". Anyone who has enjoyed reading Rubies of the Viper and would like to send a free PDF sample to friends will find it there, too.
Martha lives with her artist husband, Bernard, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Rubies of the Viper is her first novel.
Where to find Martha Marks online
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Martha Marks's favorite authors on Smashwords
Smashwords book reviews by Martha Marks
- Maids of Misfortune: A Victorian San Francisco Mystery
on Jan. 07, 2011
I enjoyed this novel, which hit three of my hot buttons: believable characters, intriguing plot, and accurate history.
To keep her financial head above water in tough times, widow and boarding-house owner Annie Fuller slips convincingly into a pair of alternative roles as fortune-teller Sybil and amateur-sleuth-turned-domestic-servant-for-a-week Lizzie. When her grueling (and risky!) investigation is over—and with romance in the air—Annie slides just as easily back into her own comfort zone. Along the way, this clever heroine shines her lamp on an intriguing cast of characters who operate up and down the social ladder, reflecting in sharp detail the prejudices, mores, and lifestyles of Victorian America.
Plot-wise, I loved the interplay of good guys, possible villains, true villains, and hapless onlookers as they’re assaulted with real clues, fake clues, red-herring clues, and easily missed clues. This cozy mystery worked for me.
History-wise, through the perspective of her fascinating array of characters, the author (a retired history professor) unfolds the living, growing San Francisco of 1879. I know from my own experience writing historical fiction how challenging it is to get right all the details of another time and place. Locke has surely gotten them all right here. I felt like I was sharing the city with Annie/Lizzie/Sybil, and I’m looking forward to going back for another visit to their world when the next book in this series makes its appearance.
Author of Rubies of the Viper, a different kind of historical mystery
- Once More, From the Beginning
on Jan. 15, 2011
How funny! I laughed out loud on many occasions, chuckled throughout, and absolutely loved this book.
The juiciest parts to me were the almost-realistic dialogues between a host of Biblical types who had seemed like colorless stick-figures before, such as Sarah and Abraham, Jacob and Esau, Judah and Tamar, Joseph and Potiphar's wife, Moses and the Pharaoh, and an additional cast of thousands. I laughed my head off at the Sodom-and-Gomorrah episode, the Coat-of-Many-Colors episode, the Moses-on-the-Mountain episode, and so on.
Now my husband is chuckling and laughing his way through "Once More", too. I think he especially appreciates the author's wry comments about women.
Wendy Bertsch has a wicked sense of humor. This is a tongue-in-cheek book that you'll enjoy the first time and many times again after that. A fun, delightful read!