Judith Starkston




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Judith Starkston

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About this author

Judith Starkston writes historical fiction and mysteries set in Troy and the Hittite Empire. Her novel, Hand of Fire (Fireship Press September 2014), tells Briseis’s story, the captive woman who sparked the bitter conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon in the Iliad. There was more to her than the handful of lines Homer gave her. Imagine a woman who can both challenge and love that most conflicted of heroes, the half-immortal Achilles.

Starkston’s upcoming mystery series features the indomitable Queen Puduhepa of the Hittites. On the first surviving peace treaty in history, Puduhepa pressed her seal next to her foe’s, Rameses II, but she didn’t realize until now that she was a sleuth.

Book reviews, ancient recipes, historical tidbits as well
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Judith Starkston I began to write Hand of Fire in order to answer a question that had bothered me for a long time. For years I’d taught the Iliad, Homer’s epic poem of…moreI began to write Hand of Fire in order to answer a question that had bothered me for a long time. For years I’d taught the Iliad, Homer’s epic poem of the Trojan War, and kept wondering with my students how Briseis, the captive woman who sparked the bitter conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon, could possibly have loved Achilles—which is what Homer distinctly shows us. The half-immortal Greek had killed her husband and brothers, destroyed her city and turned her from princess to slave—hardly a heartwarming courtship. She is central to the plot and yet she gets only a handful of lines. In those few words, the one clear notion expressed is her sorrow when she is forced to leave Achilles. I should say I always liked Achilles, the existential hero who calls the whole war into question—which shows he’s no brainwasher—so the answer wasn’t some ancient version of Stockholm Syndrome. This psychological puzzle was the triggering idea for Hand of Fire.(less)
Judith Starkston Thanks! It was an honor to be hosted by Sharon.
Average rating: 4.50 · 60 ratings · 46 reviews · 2 distinct works · Similar authors
Hand of Fire
4.47 of 5 stars 4.47 avg rating — 55 ratings — published 2014 — 3 editions
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SoWest: Desert Justice (Sin...
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4.8 of 5 stars 4.80 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 2012
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Here are the posts I enjoyed this week around the web. I seem to have been very ancient. The Amphipolis tomb, Herculaneum scroll and writing historical fiction set within Greek mythology
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Judith Starkston wrote a new blog post
Here are the posts I enjoyed this week around the web. I seem to have been very ancient. The Amphipolis tomb, Herculaneum scroll and writing histor... Read more of this blog post »
The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau
"I read this book as an e-galley and wrote a blurb for the publisher, which says it all: "These aren't your mother's nuns! Nancy Bilyeau has done it again, giving us a compelling and wonderfully realized portrait of Tudor life in all its complexity..." Read more of this review »
" I agree, Suzy. I particularly like Jodi's phrase "sense of a symphony building slowly" Ordinarily holding back your villain until late in the book wou ...more"
" Shomeret wrote: "James wrote: "Rhoda wrote: "From what I have read, historical fiction needs to take place in the 1960s and prior. There are some publ ...more"
Judith Starkston is now following Paula Hirtle's reviews
18548231
Judith Starkston wants to read
Food in History by Reay Tannahill
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77146
date: January 11, 2015 06:00PM
location: Authors On The Air, The United States
description: Second Sunday Crime host Libby Fischer Hellmann welcomes her debut show guest, award-winning author Kent "Clean Sweep" Krueger. Kent had this to say about coming on Second Sunday Crime: "Life's a lot better if you spend it doing what you love. And I love to write. I also love to talk about writing and am looking forward to my visit with Libby Hellmann on Second Sunday Crime in January. I hope you can join us."

That's 7pm Eastern, 6pm Central, and 4pm Pacific.

Judith said: I gather from the website the actual broadcast is Sunday afternoon at 5:00?
Judith Starkston wants to read
The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age by Cynthia W. Shelmerdine
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Gore Vidal
“The most interesting thing about writing is the way that it obliterates time. Three hours seem like three minutes. Then there is the business of surprise. I never know what is coming next. The phrase that sounds in the head changes when it appears on the page. Then I start probing it with a pen, finding new meanings. Sometimes I burst out laughing at what is happening as I twist and turn sentences. Strange business, all in all. One never gets to the end of it. That’s why I go on, I suppose. To see what the next sentences I write will be.”
Gore Vidal

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Comments (showing 15-64)    post a comment »

message 64: by Judith

Judith Starkston amomentsilence wrote: "Thanks for friending me! :) TBH, it was your review that inspired me to want to read the book (The Song of Achilles) in the first place! I'm also very interested in reading your Hand of Fire as well."

Glad to know my reviews help readers and good books connect.


message 63: by amomentsilence (last edited Oct 22, 2014 09:21PM)

amomentsilence Thanks for friending me! :) TBH, it was your review that inspired me to want to read the book (The Song of Achilles) in the first place! I'm also very interested in reading your Hand of Fire as well.


message 62: by Judith

Judith Starkston Ashley wrote: "hi Judith, thanks for the add! Your Hand of Fire book sounds like a great read as well :) looking forward to talking hist-fic with you!"

Thanks so much. See you around Goodreads.


message 61: by Ashley

Ashley the Hufflepuff Kitten hi Judith, thanks for the add! Your Hand of Fire book sounds like a great read as well :) looking forward to talking hist-fic with you!


message 60: by Judith

Judith Starkston Raychylle wrote: "Hello, thank you very much for adding me... Lovely to meet you here on Goodreads... Good luck on your book... I'm looking forward to reading it.."

Thanks so much!


message 59: by Raychylle { Reyna Avelyn } (last edited Jan 11, 2014 07:07AM)

Raychylle { Reyna Avelyn } Hello, thank you very much for adding me... Lovely to meet you here on Goodreads... Good luck on your book... I'm looking forward to reading it..


message 58: by Judith

Judith Starkston Shilpa wrote: "Thank you for the invite :) And best wishes for your book. I'm sure it will be fantastic!"

I look forward to your recommendations. I'll let my goodreads friends know when my book is out. Not for a bit


message 57: by Shilpa

Shilpa Thank you for the invite :) And best wishes for your book. I'm sure it will be fantastic!


message 56: by Judith

Judith Starkston April wrote: "I'm glad you decided to invite! I look forward to discussing books with you in future as I thoroughly enjoyed your review of Song of Achilles, it was fantastic."

That review has more likes than any other I've put up. I guess it really hit a universal response to the book. I also love the topic--the Iliad, Achilles, Briseis. I'm in the process of getting my own book set within the Iliad published, so it's near and dear to me.


message 55: by April

April I'm glad you decided to invite! I look forward to discussing books with you in future as I thoroughly enjoyed your review of Song of Achilles, it was fantastic.


message 54: by Craig

Craig Enjoy your weekend and whatever you do and wherever you go, I hope it puts a smile on your face.


message 53: by Judith

Judith Starkston Kris wrote: "Hey, Judy. Good to connect here.

Kris

Kris Neri
Magical Alienation: A Samantha Brennan and Annabelle Haggerty Magical Mystery"

Hi, what a pleasant reversal--to meet a real, face-to-face, non-virtual friend on Goodreads. Hope the back is all better and the glorious October weather is making you smile.
Judy


message 51: by Judith

Judith Starkston Jeannie and Louis wrote: "Judith, How lovely to meet you here on Goodreads. I, too, enjoy the classics and have been enjoying learning about great artists recently.

Have a safe and happy autumn of reading/writing."


Thanks so much. Happy reading to you also.


Jeannie and Louis Rigod Judith, How lovely to meet you here on Goodreads. I, too, enjoy the classics and have been enjoying learning about great artists recently.

Have a safe and happy autumn of reading/writing.


message 49: by Judith

Judith Starkston Hannah wrote: "Hi Judith, thanks for the friend request! Great to know someone else with a love of classical history. ^_^"

I definitely love classical history


message 48: by Hannah

Hannah Cameron Hi Judith, thanks for the friend request! Great to know someone else with a love of classical history. ^_^


message 47: by Judith

Judith Starkston Kirsty wrote: "Hi Judith. Thank you for the friend request. :)"

See you around Goodreads.


message 46: by Judith

Judith Starkston Ben wrote: "Thanks for your friend request, Judith!"

See you around Goodreads.


message 45: by Ben

Ben Kane Thanks for your friend request, Judith!


message 44: by Judith

Judith Starkston Rachelle wrote: "Judith, I cannot wait to read your book. I've thought about Briseis also. I also went to Cornell and took some classes on Mycenaean Greek culture and the ancient world. I never got into the Classic..."

There certainly are! I'll have to look for your book on Michal.


Rachelle Ayala Judith, I cannot wait to read your book. I've thought about Briseis also. I also went to Cornell and took some classes on Mycenaean Greek culture and the ancient world. I never got into the Classics, but whenever I come across an ignored woman, I wonder what life was like for her. That's how I ended up writing about Michal--a misunderstood, forgotten footnote in the life of the great King David. Fortunately for us writers there are a lot of ignored, unsung women in history.


Diane D. hi Judith, thanks for the friend invite. I look forward to books, discussions and friendship with you!


message 41: by Judith

Judith Starkston Cindy wrote: "Hi Judith,
Glad to meet you. Look forward to following your reading as well.
You are in one of my favorite places--Phoenix!!
~C"


Not so many people choose Phoenix as one of their favorite places. Desert and heat can be an acquired taste.


message 40: by Cindy

Cindy Hi Judith,
Glad to meet you. Look forward to following your reading as well.
You are in one of my favorite places--Phoenix!!
~C


message 39: by Hayes

Hayes Hi Judith, nice to meet you!


message 38: by Deborah

Deborah Ledford Thank you for the friend add, Judith. Looking forward to following your reads and excellent reviews.
Deborah J Ledford
Snare


message 37: by Jeanine

Jeanine Carstairs Thank you for the friend invitation! :D


message 36: by Judith

Judith Starkston Elomari wrote: "Thanks for the friend request Judith. Hope we can exchange reviews."

"See" you around Goodreads!


message 35: by Beth

Beth Hi Judith,
Thanks for sending a friend request to this mystery author on Goodreads! I hope you will put my books, A Real Basket Case, To Hell in a Handbasket, Deadly Currents, and my upcoming May release, Wicked Eddies, on your to-read list. If you'd like to enter a contest for free mystery books, sign up for my email newsletter at: http://bethgroundwater.com/ .
- Beth


message 34: by Judith

Judith Starkston wfpoppet wrote: "Thank you for the friend request, Judith. I'm looking forward to following your reading, too. I've already enjoyed reading some of your thoughtful book reviews!"

Thanks! This is a great website. I've found out about so many books I would never have come across.


wfpoppet Thank you for the friend request, Judith. I'm looking forward to following your reading, too. I've already enjoyed reading some of your thoughtful book reviews!


message 32: by Judith

Judith Starkston MoonGlitter wrote: "Thanks so much for the friend request! I'm looking forward to following your readings as well!"

It will be fun to see you around Goodreads!


MoonGlitter Thanks so much for the friend request! I'm looking forward to following your readings as well!


message 30: by David

David Lentz Dear Judith,
Thank you for your kind note and I am glad we were able to connect on Goodreads.


message 29: by Judith

Judith Starkston Clark wrote: "Judith, Thank you for the friend request. Since it's based on your reading my comments about The Alchemist, have you read it? If so, what did you think. I know it's very popular among many people."

I haven't read it, but I followed his blog for a while (phenomenally successful, that was why I was checking it out) and I could see where your comments might arise. It's probably one of those books I should check out, but buried underneath piles of them as I am, I confess I probably won't get to it!


message 28: by Clark

Clark Zlotchew Judith, Thank you for the friend request. Since it's based on your reading my comments about The Alchemist, have you read it? If so, what did you think. I know it's very popular among many people.


Carolyn F. Thanks for the friend request Judith!


Carol *Young at Heart Oldie* Thank you for the friend invite, Judith. Look forward to discussing our choice of books.


message 25: by Judith

Judith Starkston Cheryl wrote: "Thanks for the friend request, Judith. I'd like to follow your reading as well."

Thanks! I'll see your around Goodreads!


message 24: by Cheryl

Cheryl Landmark Thanks for the friend request, Judith. I'd like to follow your reading as well.


message 23: by Judith

Judith Starkston Diana wrote: "Thanks for friending me Judith. I noticed your focus on the Iliad and I wonder if you've read Tasha Alexander's series Lady Julia Grey? Her Victorian heroine discovers her own intellect and falls i..."

I haven't read the Tasha Alexander series. Sounds very interesting. Thanks for the recommendation.


message 22: by Diana

Diana Daoust Thanks for friending me Judith. I noticed your focus on the Iliad and I wonder if you've read Tasha Alexander's series Lady Julia Grey? Her Victorian heroine discovers her own intellect and falls in love with her dead husband through her study of Greek classics. Forgive me if you'll listed it as read somewhere, you've got quite the collection on your bookshelves and I'm still learning to navigate the site. You have marvelous books on your TBR list!


message 21: by Meera

Meera Thanks for the friend invite Judith. I see we're both fans of PD James. I'm going to go through your shelves to see what I can pick up from you :-)


message 20: by Judith

Judith Starkston A. wrote: "Hi Judith and thanks for the friendship. I can't wait to be more active at Goodreads-but while I write it's difficult. I see that your area of expertise is more Hellenistic? That’s where I lack the..."

I sympathize with the sentiment that there's too much to learn and so little time. Good luck with the travels through history!


message 19: by A.

A. Sweeny Hi Judith and thanks for the friendship. I can't wait to be more active at Goodreads-but while I write it's difficult. I see that your area of expertise is more Hellenistic? That’s where I lack the most -haven't gotten around to it as I am slowly making my way through Akkadian and Sumerian history -which is my first love. After that it's Biblical era, which eventually I will run into Hellenism. There is so much and so little time :)


message 18: by Judith

Judith Starkston Alyssamaria wrote: "Hi Judith! I just started this site yesterday so bare with me while I get things up :) I never did reviews or things for a book discussion, but it should be fun! I actually got hooked with finding ..."

You'll have fun! I know the feeling of getting the old favorites out to list on Goodreads. That was lots of fun.


message 17: by Maria

Maria Hi Judith! I just started this site yesterday so bare with me while I get things up :) I never did reviews or things for a book discussion, but it should be fun! I actually got hooked with finding all the old books I used to read. Hahaha! Hope to see you around!


message 16: by Judith

Judith Starkston Rachelle wrote: "Thanks for friending me, Judith!"

The pleasure is mine!


Rachelle Thanks for friending me, Judith!


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