Tag Archives: celebrating women series

Celebrating Women Series: Stephanie Dray on Cleopatra Selene

Welcome to the eighth article in the “Celebrating Women” Series for Women’s History Month! It’s the first time I’ve coordinated an author guest article series to celebrate women in history or women making history! Thank you to Stephanie Dray for offering the eighth article in this series. Article nine will post later today as well. If you’d like to continue on with the tour, which runs March 19-31, 2014, follow along each day on the main blog or head to this blog page, Women in History, which will be updated daily with the scheduled link.


Would  Cleopatra Selene Have Considered Herself to be Egyptian?
by historical and fantasy author Stephanie Dray

One of the criticisms most often leveled at my Nile series is that because the Ptolemaic Dynasty considered itself Macedonian Greek, the emphasis I place on Egyptian culture–and Cleopatra Selene’s awareness of it–is somehow historically inaccurate or anachronistic.

I believe this criticism is made primarily by people who correctly understand that Cleopatra the Great, Selene’s mother, was not a black African queen in the tradition of the Kandake of Meroe. And by people who also correctly surmise that Cleopatra the Great is unlikely to have appeared to her subjects wearing exotic Old Kingdom garb in the fashion of Elizabeth Taylor in the Hollywood movie.

How Cleopatra Selene would have NOT probably dressed….


But to attempt to disassociate Cleopatra VII and her children from the Egyptian kingdom they ruled is to overlook a great deal of historical evidence. First of all, to characterize a woman whose family had not only lived in Egypt for nearly three hundred years, but ruled over it all that time, as somehow not Egyptian strikes me as absurd. (Pity poor Americans who identify as such with so much less history.) But even if one were to grant the argument that the Ptolemaic Dynasty held themselves apart from the subjects over which they ruled (because they did), that trend took an abrupt turn with Cleopatra the Great, who took affirmative steps to identify as Egyptian.

Cleopatra Selene’s mother was the first in her line to learn the native language. She identified herself not simply as philopater (lover of her father) but as philopatris (lover of her nation). She participated in native Egyptian religious rituals and had herself carved in relief in the old Egyptian style at Dendera. There is a chance, as explored in Professor Duane Roller’s excellent biography, that Cleopatra the Great herself may have had some small admixture of native Egyptian blood in her heritage. And even if she did not, evidence exists that Cleopatra Selene herself had a dearly loved cousin, Petubastes, who was half Ptolemaic and half of the native Egyptian priestly caste. (Roller, Cleopatra: A Biography, p. 166).

Cleopatra Selene is more likely to have dressed like this…


The fact was, times were changing, and Selene spent her childhood in a war-torn court where a national identity as Egyptians was important as it had never been important before. Her mother called upon Egypt to help her in her fight against Octavian’s Roman forces, and sought out Eastern allies even over more obvious Macedonian-Greek ones. While Cleopatra the Great certainly portrayed herself on coins as a Hellenistic queen, she was not averse to costuming, whether it was to portray herself as Venus, or Isis, or a pharaoh…an Egyptian title that she wanted, and took, for herself. Selene’s mother was, in short, a woman who always remembered her audience, and appeared as would most benefit her under the circumstances.

All this means that Selene did not grow up in a Macedonian bubble. The influences that show themselves in the city Selene built and coins she minted are a carefully cultivated mix of Macedonian-Greek and Egyptian.

There can be no question that Cleopatra Selene identified strongly with her Macedonian heritage. That she would have considered herself a champion of Hellenism. That she was desperate to maintain her tie to a dynasty that went back to the days of Alexander the Great and claimed kinship to him. All of that is in the books.

But so too did Cleopatra Selene see herself as the Queen of Egypt in exile.

Reasonable people can debate the extent to which Cleopatra Selene may have personally identified with the Egyptians, their religion, and their motifs. But there is no question that she did.

Author Stephanie Dray, Biography~

Stephanie-Dray-Headshot-smallerStephanie graduated with a degree in Government from Smith, a small women’s college in Massachusetts where—to the consternation of her devoted professors—she was unable to master Latin. However, her focus on Middle Eastern Studies gave her a deeper understanding of the consequences of Egypt’s ancient clash with Rome, both in terms of the still-extant tensions between East and West as well as the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion.

Before she wrote novels, Stephanie was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the transformative power of magic realism to illuminate the stories of women in history and inspire the young women of today.

She remains fascinated by all things Roman or Egyptian and has—to the consternation of her devoted husband—collected a house full of cats and ancient artifacts.

To read more about Stephanie, or her novels, www.stephaniedray.com.

dotnDaughters of the Nile, Synopsis~

  • Series: Novel of Cleopatra’s Daughter
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042525836X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425258361

Based on the true story of Cleopatra’s daughter…

After years of abuse as the emperor’s captive in Rome, Cleopatra Selene has found a safe harbor. No longer the pitiful orphaned daughter of the despised Egyptian Whore, the twenty year old is now the most powerful queen in the empire, ruling over the kingdom of Mauretania—an exotic land of enchanting possibility where she intends to revive her dynasty.

With her husband, King Juba II and the magic of Isis that is her birthright, Selene brings prosperity and peace to a kingdom thirsty for both. But when Augustus Caesar jealously demands that Selene’s children be given over to him to be fostered in Rome, she’s drawn back into the web of imperial plots and intrigues that she vowed to leave behind.

Determined and resourceful, Selene must shield her loved ones from the emperor’s wrath, all while vying with ruthless rivals like King Herod. Can she find a way to overcome the threat to her marriage, her kingdom, her family, and her faith? Or will she be the last of her line?



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Check out the first two in the series also, Lily of the Nile and Song of the Nile!


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Celebrating Women Series: JoAnn Shade on 12th C. Hildegard von Bingen

Welcome to the fourth article in the “Celebrating Women” for Women’s History Month! It’s my first author guest article series to celebrate women in history or women making history! Thank you to JoAnn Shade for offering the fourth article in this series. If you’d like to continue on with the tour, which runs March 19-31, 2014, follow along each day on the main blog or head to this blog page, Women in History, which will be updated daily with the scheduled link.

Hildegard von Bingen: “Feather on the Breath of God”
–12th Century Visionary, Abbess, Musician, Writer, Saint
by author JoAnn Shade

In the novel Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë could have been describing the life of Hildegard of Bingen when she wrote: “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” Born in 1098, this visionary Benedictine nun was a theologian, prophet, poet, musician, healer, and influential abbess, and stands out as the most prolific female writer of her age, a Renaissance woman long before the Renaissance took place. Stubborn and resourceful, imaginative and devout, Hildegard holds a unique place in history, for as Charlotte Allen suggests, “this nun was one tough sister.”

From a contemporary point of view, life could not have appeared to be promising for the young girl, as her father and mother separated her from their other offspring; abandoning her to hope in God’s mercy alone. Born as a tenth child to Hildebert and Mechthilde, Hildegard of Bingen apparently was “tithed” to the Church, given over to the care of Jutta at age eight, either as an anchorite (permanently enclosed in a small cell attached to a church) or at Jutta’s family estate in Sponheim. By age fifteen, Hildegard made her own profession of vows, becoming a Benedictine nun, and it appears as though the fame of Jutta and Hildegard began to attract other women to the community of nuns, so that over time, their anchorite cell became a Benedictine nunnery.

What must it have been like as an eight-year-old being given to the church as a tithe, or to be confined in such a way for so many years? She seemed to have accepted her life as providential, and while as a young girl she could not have known the cultural factors at play, it would appear as though Hildegard reached such a sense of her full potential because she was enclosed.

Hildegard’s story was shaped by the visions she began to have as early as age three. Unsure what to do with these sensations, she asked her nurse if she had seen anything, as Hildegard was fearful of revealing her visions to anyone. It would appear that her unwillingness to act on her visions brought her ill health, although it is possible that the ill health brought the visions, with their visual impact being derived from migraines.

Ildegarda_Von_BingenHildegard of Bingen

Subsequently, Hildegard wrote (or had transcribed) three major works of a visionary nature, as well as two medical and scientific works, The Physica (Natural History) and Causae et curae (Causes and Cures). This writing included chapters on plants, the elements, trees, jewels and precious stones, fish, birds, animals, reptiles, and metals, as well as general medical questions such as the signs of life and death, uroscopy, and herbal remedies for a variety of ills. She also addresses the differences between the sexes and adds some discussion of sexuality and conception. In his classic work from the 1950’s, From Magic to Science, Charles Singer suggests that Hildegard really does not have specific categories of her work, such as science, ethics, theology, etc., but rather that “her ideas not only are interdependent, but also closely interwoven . . . for in her mind the material and spiritual are really interfused.”

We glimpse much of the person and the perceived power of Hildegard in her letter-writing. The breadth of her correspondents is amazing, for in terms of today’s culture, she would have written to (and received replies from) the US president, the Pope, Billy Graham, the parish priest, and the woman down the street. And yes, she would have been active on Facebook!

Listen to what she dared write to Pope Anastasius:

You, O man, who are too tired, in the eye of your knowledge, to rein in the pomposity of arrogance among those placed in your bosom, why do you not call back the shipwrecked who cannot rise from the depth without help? And why do you not cut off the root of evil which is choking out the good and beneficial plants of sweet taste and delightful aroma? You are neglecting the King’s daughter who was entrusted to you, that is, heavenly Justice herself.

Here’s her challenge to Conrad, King of the Romans “Again, O king, He Who knows all says to you: having heard these things, O man, restrain your pleasures, and correct yourself, so that you may come purified to those times when you need no longer blush for your deeds.” And one more quote, written to a Certain Person: “Get a grip on yourself until you see better times, and you will live.”

Among her many teachings, Hildegard believed that laughing, crying, singing and dancing were intimately linked with the health of the body. In that light, Hildegard was also an accomplished composer, writing many religious lyrics and composing the music for at least some of those works, which are considered both monastic and liturgical. Not surprising to the student of Hildegard, she was a maverick in her music writing, and she “preferred the archaic nonmetrical sequences,” and often wrote in what we would now call free verse.

Completing her biographical information, in 1136, Hildegard took over the leadership of the nuns following the death of Jutta. After receiving a command from God, she moved her nuns to Rupertsberg in 1150, removing them from the protection and authority of the monks at Disibodenberg (a move the monks fought against). In the years to follow, she began to gain prominence outside of the convent, and took part in a number of preaching tours. After a long and active life, Hildegard died in September 1179.

Hildegard stands out in history as a prophet and reformer within the church, and. her correspondence made at least some impact on the decisions of world leaders and church fathers. Her work as an artist, poet and composer was brought to new light in the late twentieth century, as her music was recorded and her literary works published again. Her medical writings have led her to being called one of the first woman doctors and scientists, yet she would have seen this work to be a part of her total life as a nun and as a woman of God. Long before the term was coined, Hildegard wrote and spoke extensively about social justice, desiring to seek freedom for the downtrodden, and believing that every human being, made in the image of God, should have the opportunity to cultivate the talents that God has given him or her.

Self-described as a “feather on the breath of God,” Hildegard’s cultivation of her own gifts enabled her feather-flight to be powerful and long-lasting. Yet as Hildegard’s words would remind us, “Then it pleased the king to raise a small feather from the ground, and he commanded it to fly. The feather flew, not because of anything in itself but because the air bore it along.”

For an engaging treatment of her life story, see Mary Sharratt’s Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen.

 JoAnn Streeter Shade, Biography~

856c1c3bJoAnnShadeJoAnn Streeter Shade has walked alongside many women in a variety of ministry settings for more than thirty-five years. She has served in Salvation Army congregations and social service programs, has ministered at North Coast Family Foundation, a Christian counseling center in Northeast Ohio, and has also written extensively about the issues facing women in today’s culture. She writes a weekly column in the Ashland Times-Gazette, and is the author of more than a dozen books on topics such as spiritual growth (The Heartwork of Hope, The God Gallery), sexual abuse (Rapha’s Touch), marriage (The Guerilla and the Green Beret), biblical narrative (The Other Woman, WomenVoices), and the joy of living in Ashland (Only in Ashland: Reflections of a Smitten Immigrant).

She is married to Larry, is the mother of three adult sons, Greg, Drew and Dan, and Lauren, a beloved daughter-in-law, and is Nana to the lovely Madelyn Simone. With an M.A. in pastoral counseling and a D.Min. in the Women in Prophetic Leadership track from Ashland Theological Seminary, she combines her academic training with a writer’s eye, a pastor’s heart and a grandmother’s joy.

Keep up with JoAnn’s writing at www.gracednotesministries.blogspot.com.

JoAnn has written many inspirational books; however, we choose to highlight the one below:

The Other Woman:  Exploring the Story of Hagar, Synopsis~

the other woman 3The reader is taken on a memorable and meaningful journey, drawing helpful lessons from Hagar’s story.

The author touches on a vast range of subjects, from abuse and pregnancy and revenge to single parenting, abandonment, grief and more.

Any seeking soul, any student of the Bible, anyone who is craving hope and encouragement, will profit from it.


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Celebrating Women Series: Julie K. Rose on Women’s Suffrage Movement in Norway

Welcome to the third article in the “Celebrating Women” for Women’s History Month! It’s my first author guest article series to celebrate women in history or women making history! Thank you to Julie K. Rose for offering the third article in this series. the fourth article will be posted at noon today as well. If you’d like to continue on with the tour, which runs March 19-31, 2014, follow along each day on the main blog or head to this blog page, Women in History, which will be updated daily with the scheduled link.

The History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Norway
by historical author Julie K. Rose

On June 11, 1913, Norway extended the right to vote in all elections local and national to women.

Norway wasn’t the first country to embrace women’s suffrage–that would be New Zealand in 1893 (or Sweden in 1718 for professional, taxpaying women”–a right which was taken away in 1771).  Norway wasn’t the first to embrace universal suffrage either–that honor goes to Finland, implemented in 1906.

But Norway’s women’s suffrage movement is important, because it was so deeply entwined with its independence. Though the fight for women’s suffrage began in the early 1880s, and was debated in the Storthing (Parliament) in 1890, its first real spotlight on the national stage was in 1905, when Norway held a national referendum: whether to break away from Sweden and become an independent nation again after hundreds of years.

While doing research for Oleanna, which is set against that incredible year, I was so pleased to find this book by Sylvia Paletschek and Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, Women’s Emancipation Movements in the Nineteenth Century: A European Perspective (Stanford University Press, 2004).

The women’s suffrage movement in Norway can be seen as a kind of natural extension of its largely agrarian society. From Patelschek and Pietrow-Ennker:

“The last few decades of the nineteenth century saw a growing protest against the strictly gender-divided society of the urban middle class. In agrarian and working-class life, women and men often worked side by side and took part in the same leisure activities.”

Oleanna and Elisabeth, I think unconsciously, assumed a kind of equality in their relationships with men–everyone has to work hard, everyone has to pull their weight. In fact, Oleanna was surprised by the gender divides she saw when she visited Bergen, both in her uncle’s house and in the city itself.


Harvesting oats in Jølster, 1890 (Photo: Axel Lindahl/Norwegian Museum of Cultural History)

The push for suffrage in Norway was driven by urban middle-class women, I suspect largely because they did not enjoy the same kinds of social freedoms that their more agrarian sisters did. Plus, as Oleanna says to Anders many times, the world of politics was so far removed from the reality of her daily life, it was difficult for her to really connect the dots between suffrage and her own life and well-being.


The way the dots were connected for rural women was the 1905 dissolution of the union of Norway and Sweden. But before that could happen, the suffrage movement had to begin in earnest.


Norwegian Women’s national council, 1904. From left to right: Karen Grude Koht, Fredrikke Marie Qvam, Gina Krog, Betzy Kjelsberg, and Katti Anker Møller.(Photo: Nasjonalbiblioteket, the National Library of Norway)

“The fight for the vote owed a great deal of its success to a new organization, formed in 1896, Norske Kvinners Sanitetsfoering (the Norwegian Women’s Sanitary Association). It was meant to support national opposition to the political union with Sweden by educating nurses and preparing medical materials to be used in the case of a war between the two countries. The organization spread to all parts of the country and recruited from all social groups. It soon broadened its activities to health problems in general, especially the fight against tuberculosis.”

By 1901, female trade unions and the Labor Party had come together in the Labor Party’s Women’s Association. In that same year, women obtained limited suffrage in local elections.

“The National Association for Women’s Suffrage, headed by Frederikke Marie Qvam, who for some time was also leader of the Sanitary association and president of the Women’s Rights Association, quickly established local branches all over the country. It cooperated closely with the new Sanitary Association. By 1902 it had 1,566 members, and it concentrated on the struggle for general suffrage.”


Fredrikke Marie Qvam (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

But the old divide between the urban middle class and the agrarian and working classes made it difficult to create a country-wide movement.

“Attempts were made to attract working-class women to middle-class organizations, but cooperation across class lines was rare. Even the fight for the vote was mainly fought as two parallel, but separate wars.”

When Oleanna eventually joins Katrine at a Labor Party meeting, it’s clear that there is tension between the upper and middle class women, and the working class women. They might have the same goals–suffrage and women’s rights–but they are coming from quite different places.

So, we’re back to the start: a major contributing factor to women gaining the vote in Norway was the dissolution of the union with Sweden in 1905. A coalition government was formed in 1905 to establish the separate Norwegian corps of consuls; the law was passed by the Storthing, but King Oscar II of Sweden refused to accept it, and the Norwegian coalition government resigned on June 7, 1905, declaring a dissolution of the union.

The Swedish government insisted on a Norwegian referendum to understand the citizen’s view. During the summer of 1905, a “vote yes” campaign spread throughout Norway, encouraging men to vote in the referendum on August 13. It was a landslide victory; 99.95% of (male) Norwegians voted in favor of dissolution (368,208 votes in favor, 184 opposed).


Yes, we love our country! Postcard in support of the Yes referendum campaign.

But the parallel women’s campaign, in which over 200,000 women signed a symbolic petition, was just as powerful a rhetorical statement.

“Limited national suffrage was not obtained until 1907. The women’s cause no doubt profited from the support given by the Sanitary Association to national policies in the dispute with Sweden over the political union. A cunning signature campaign in support of the dissolution of the union in 1905 also greatly enhanced the image of women as politically sensible and responsible individuals.”

I think the “cunning” signature campaign was a strong rhetorical statement, but I also think it was a true reflection of women’s stance on the matter of the dissolution and Norwegian nationalism and pride. Women of all social classes came together, worked together, and made their voices heard together. Norway gained its independence in August 1905; women fully gained theirs in 1913.

Author Julie Rose, Biography~

julie roseJulie K. Rose’s novels feature complicated, compelling characters seeking to overcome their pasts–and themselves. Her stories evoke a vivid sense of time and place through a keen ear for dialog and beautifully elegant prose.

A member of the Historical Novel Society, Julie earned a B.A. in Humanities and an M.A. in English. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and loves reading, following the San Francisco Giants, watching episodes of Doctor Who, and enjoying the amazing natural beauty of Northern California.

Oleanna, short-listed for finalists in the 2011 Faulkner-Wisdom literary competition, is her second novel. The Pilgrim Glass, a finalist in the 2005 Faulkner-Wisdom competition and semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, was published in 2010.

See more about Julie and her writing at www.juliekrose.com.

Oleanna, Synopsis~

oleanna_cover_web_smallOleanna, short-listed for finalists in the 2011 Faulkner-Wisdom literary competition, is her second novel. Set during the separation of Norway from Sweden in 1905, Oleanna is a richly detailed novel of love and loss inspired by the life of my great-great-aunts.

Oleanna and her sister Elisabeth are the last of their family working their farm deep in the western fjordland. A new century has begun, and the world outside is changing, but in the Sunnfjord their world is as small and secluded as the verdant banks of a high mountain lake. With their parents dead and their brothers all gone to America, the sisters have resigned themselves to a simple life tied to the land and to the ghosts of those who have departed.

The arrival of Anders, a cotter living just across the farm’s border, unsettles Oleanna’s peaceful but isolated existence. Sharing a common bond of loneliness and grief, Anders stirs within her the wildness and wanderlust she has worked so hard to tame. When she is confronted with another crippling loss, Oleanna must decide once and for all how to face her past, claim her future, and find her place in a wide new world.


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Celebrating Women Series: Stephanie Thornton on Hatshepsut, Pharaoh of Egypt

Welcome to the first article in the “Celebrating Women” for Women’s History Month! It’s my first article series to celebrate women in history or women making history! Thank you to Stephanie Thornton for starting everything off with a post on Hatshepsut. If you’d like to continue on with the tour, which runs March 19-31, 2014, follow along each day on the main blog or head to this blog page, Women in History, which will be updated daily with the scheduled link.

Hatshepsut’s Reign of Egypt and Her Grand Success
by Stephanie Thornton, historical author

The statue of Hatshepsut is in the Met in New York/Photo Wikipedia

The statue of Hatshepsut is in the Met in New York/Photo Wikipedia

It’s Women’s History Month, and there’s no better time for me to gush about my all-time favorite woman in history.  I’ve been obsessed with Hatshepsut since I wrote a report on her in 7th grade (Cleopatra was taken) and realized that the world knew relatively little about this enigmatic woman who became one of ancient Egypt’s most successful pharaohs.

Hatshepsut was the daughter of Pharaoh Tutmose I and Queen Ahmose. (BTW- There are multiple spellings of some of these names and for clarity’s sake, I’m going to use the ones I used in my upcoming novel, Daughter of the Gods.) Her father had several other children, but all of them predeceased him, save Hatshepsut and her half-brother, Thutmosis. That’s one of the hazards of living back then- life expectancies hovered somewhere near the 30 year mark.

Thutmosis was the son of the Pharaoh and a lesser wife named Mutnofret. When Tutmose died, Thutmosis became pharaoh. His reign was short, dated anywhere from two to twelve years, but with most historians leaning toward the former. Regardless, the man’s only major accomplishment while on the throne was fathering a son with a dancing girl named Aset and Hatshepsut’s daughter, Neferure.

Then he dies.

Such a terrible shame, but not for Hatshepsut! Thutmosis kicking the bucket allows Hatshepsut to become regent to her toddler stepson. (And yes, little Tutmose would also be her nephew since he’s her brother’s kid.)


Hatshepsut sits by dutifully for seven years, ruling for Tutmose like a good little regent. But then, for whatever reason (and we don’t really know what this reason is) she declares herself Pharaoh.

Only two other women before Hatshepsut were Pharaoh and both were the end of their family lines, the last link in a family to toss on the throne. And both women brought about the end of their family dynasties. (Oops.)

But Hatshepsut’s reign was a grand success. She went on to built the architectural marvel of Deir-el-Bahri (there I am in front of it!), organize an expedition to reopen trade to the mythical land of Punt, and keep the peace in her country for several decades.

Picture 078

Stephanie in front of Deir-el-Bahri

Hatshepsut disappears from the historical record around 1482BCE and then Tutmose gets to take his place on the throne. Late in his reign all references to Hatshepsut as Pharaoh and all her monuments and statues are destroyed. Historians once believed this was an act of revenge against his usurper stepmother, but now it’s believed it was merely to secure later successions and erase the aberration of a female ruler from Egypt’s history.

Hatshepsut may not be as famous as Cleopatra VII (who lost the entire country to Rome, by the way), but of all the women pharaohs, Hatshepsut was by far the most successful. In fact, even compared to the entire list of Egypt’s rulers, Hatshepsut would certainly rank in the top five. I’m biased, but I’d say she only comes behind Ramesses II, although he lived so long (ninety-some-odd-years-old) that his death sunk the country into a slump from which it would never recover.

So there’s no doubt about it: Hatshepsut is a rock star!

About Stephanie Thornton (in her words)~

ThorntonPhotoI’m a writer and high school history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since I was twelve. I’d stalk Theodora and Hatshepsut if I could, but they’re kind of dead. So I travel to ancient sites they’ve been to and write books about them instead.

My debut novel, THE SECRET HISTORY: A Novel of Empress Theodora, will be published by NAL/Penguin in July 2013, and DAUGHTER OF THE GODS, a story of Pharaoh Hatshepsut, will hit the shelves May 2014, and TIGER QUEENS, a story of the women of Ghenghis Khan, will be coming Fall of 2014.

I live with my husband and daughter in Alaska, where I’m at work on my next novel.

Web/blog: http://stephanie-thornton.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/StephMThornton

Coming Soon, May 2014……..DAUGHTER OF THE GODS, Synopsis~

Daughter of the GodsEgypt, 1400s BC. The pharaoh’s pampered second daughter, lively, intelligent Hatshepsut, delights in racing her chariot through the marketplace and testing her archery skills in the Nile’s marshlands. But the death of her elder sister, Neferubity, in a gruesome accident arising from Hatshepsut’s games forces her to confront her guilt…and sets her on a profoundly changed course.

Hatshepsut enters a loveless marriage with her half brother, Thut, to secure his claim to the Horus Throne and produce a male heir. But it is another of Thut’s wives, the commoner Aset, who bears him a son, while Hatshepsut develops a searing attraction for his brilliant adviser Senenmut. And when Thut suddenly dies, Hatshepsut becomes de facto ruler, as regent to her two-year-old nephew.

Once, Hatshepsut anticipated being free to live and love as she chose. Now she must put Egypt first. Ever daring, she will lead a vast army and build great temples, but always she will be torn between the demands of leadership and the desires of her heart. And even as she makes her boldest move of all, her enemies will plot her downfall….

Once again, Stephanie Thornton brings to life a remarkable woman from the distant past whose willingness to defy tradition changed the course of history.

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