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ODE TO THE PAST (with the occasional nod to the present)

Medicine in Ancient Times

An article recently posted on biblicalarchaeology.com contemplated the use of medicinal plants and curative techniques in the ancient world. This is a subject I find fascinating, and one I explored in the historical subplot of The Tenth Saint.

How did the ancients combat and prevent disease? And how much of that survives to  Read More 
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Ancient symbols: The Labyrinth

The labyrinth, which has been in existence since ancient times and reached mythical status in the medieval ages, is steeped in symbolism.

Though the Minoan labyrinth in Crete is the most famous in antiquity, the pattern has been used by many civilizations at different points of their development. You see it on cave walls  Read More 
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Welcome

Hello, and welcome to the D.J. Niko blog. This space will be updated a couple of times per week to keep readers up to date on author appearances and events, new reviews, and research progress on upcoming titles. I'd love to hear from you!
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The legend of Ezana

In researching The Tenth Saint, I found myself drawn into the early beginnings of Christianity in Ethiopia and, in particular, the man who brought the religion into the mainstream.

Christianity existed in Ethiopia since the first century but really took off in 330 CE, under the rule of King Ezana, known as the first Christian  Read More 
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Ancient Medicinal Herbs

The ancients knew much about healing. They may not have had little white pills at their disposal, but they had nature’s pharmacy. Herbs cured everything from fevers to fertility.

While researching ethnobotany for the historical subplot of The Tenth Saint, in which Gabriel learns the art of healing from a Bedouin sheik, I  Read More 
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Unearth a hot summer read!

In the spirit of the archaeological theme of my books, we are running a fun campaign for readers (and potential readers) of The Tenth Saint. Over the summer, we will be "burying" books in various locations and offering clues to treasure seekers via Twitter and Facebook (follow us on Twitter, @djnikobooks and like The  Read More 
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The Lost Ark

Where is the lost Ark of the Covenant? The question has inspired dozens of claims, hundreds of theories, and even an Indiana Jones flick (Raiders of the Lost Ark).

No one knows, of course, which makes the lost ark the stuff of legend as much as biblical record. Is it buried beneath Temple Mount?  Read More 
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Fifty Shades of Saint

At one of my events recently, someone (I will call her Lady O) contemplating the purchase of my book asked: “Is this anything like Fifty Shades of Grey?”

I laughed. Then I had a “hmm…” moment. Like the rest of the world, I’ve read Fifty Shades—out of curiosity, mind you (ahem). So  Read More 
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Sarah and Daniel, part 2

I am constantly asked who my inspiration is for Sarah Weston (not to mention who would play her in a film version of The Tenth Saint). As I mentioned in the previous post about Daniel Madigan, I do have various photos of people on my mood boards, and these help me flesh out the  Read More 
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Sarah and Daniel

My inspiration for Daniel
Believe it or not, the question I get most frequently at my book signings is: "This book would make a great movie ... but who would play Sarah and Daniel?"

Today, I'll start with Daniel. On my inspiration board is a photo of Adolfo Cambiaso (see above). Adolfo is an Argentine polo player, long considered  Read More 
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