Rubies of the Viper is a fast-paced, romantic-suspense novel set in 1st Century Rome, in the time of Emperors Nero and Claudius.

SYNOPSIS: When her brother is murdered in first-century Rome, Theodosia Varro inherits the family estate, going from poverty and isolation to great wealth and a prestigious position in society. Only by identifying her brother’s killer can she feel safe, yet her efforts take her in quite the opposite direction. After her own actions and the scheming of others lead to catastrophe, Theodosia struggles to survive and recover what matters most in her life.


Progress on the sequel! I’m currently well into the 2nd draft of The Viper Amulet, sequel to Rubies of the Viper. Enter your email in the purple bar below to sign up for my “Martha’s Art” newsletter and updates!

“RUBIES OF THE VIPER is a genuine gem of a mystery set in Rome during the reigns of the Emperors Claudius and Nero. It’s full of exciting suspense and beautifully developed characters. Marks’s rich portrayal of Roman life is delightful and gruesome in turns–just as a good Roman mystery ought to be. We get the grace, the violence and the perversion that was imperial society revealed through a spell-binding tale.” —Judith Starkston, author of Hand of Fire

“I ordered this book after seeing all the five star reviews. Now I see they are well deserved. Impossible to put this book down. I HIGHLY recommend this book.” —Patricia Goodspeed, Amazon Vine Voice  

“If I were to select a book of the year to read, RUBIES OF THE VIPER would be in the running for top choice. Yes, it is that good.” —Rhonda Esakov for Story Circle Book Reviews


I specialize in crisp and bright, natural-habitat, natural-light images of North American birds, bugs, beasts, plants, and places.

Gilded Flicker

I’m a Santa Fe-based photographer with three decades experience making bright, light-filled images of wild birds, bugs, beasts, plants and places… all in their native habitats (no zoos), mostly from the American West, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and Gulf Coast.

The images currently on this page are from my recent trip to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona.

Learn more about my wildlife and nature photography on my personal photography website,

See my complete portfolio of digital images on these fine commercial stock sites:

Click here to see my fine-art prints and note cards.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE: All images and text on this site are © Martha Marks and may not be used without written permission. All rights reserved.


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