Monday, June 5, 2023

Blog Tour: Life and Death in Ephesus by Finlay McQuade

Join The Coffee Pot Book Club on tour with…

Life and Death in Ephesus

A Short Story Collection

by Finlay McQuade

July 17th - 21st, 2023

Publication Date: June 13th, 2023
Publisher: Historium Press
Pages: 257
Genre: Historical Fiction / Short Story Collection

      For over a thousand years, Ephesus, on the Aegean coast of what is now Turkey, was a thriving city. It was the site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Wonders of the World, and a destination for religious pilgrimage long before the advent of Christianity. In the first century CE, St. John and St. Paul introduced Christianity to Ephesus, where it survived its turbulent beginnings and, in the fifth century CE, hosted the God-defining Council of Ephesus. 

      Life and Death in Ephesus is a collection of stories about major events in the history of Ephesus. Characters appearing in these stories include Herostratus, first to commit a “herostratic crime”; Alexander, the warrior king; Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, both lovers of Cleopatra; Heraclitus, the philosopher who said, “You can’t put your foot in the same river twice”; St. Paul, persona non grata in Ephesus; Nestorius, whose characterization of Jesus split the Eastern and Western church, and others, also important, whose names I have had to make up. 

      Hilke Thür, a leading archeologist, has said of these stories, Life and Death in Ephesus will be a delightful and enjoyable accompaniment to the many available guidebooks. Not just tourists, but anyone interested in history will benefit from reading them.”

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Finlay McQuade

Finlay McQuade is a retired educator. He was born in Ireland, went to high school in England, and university in the USA. He has a BA in English from Pomona College, an MA in British and American literature from Harvard University, and a PhD in education from the University of Pittsburgh, where he also taught writing courses in the English department. He spent some happy years as a high school English teacher and soccer coach, but after co-authoring the book How to Make a Better School he found himself in demand as a consultant to schools and school improvement projects in the USA and often, also, abroad. He ended his career in education when he retired from Bogazici University in Istanbul, where he had mentored young teachers in the school of education. 

For eight years after retirement, he lived in Selcuk, Turkey, among the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus. The streets and squares of Ephesus became his neighborhood. His companions included archeologists, tour guides, and souvenir sellers. His curiosity about the people who had lived in those empty buildings for over a thousand years resulted in Life and Death in Ephesus, a collection of stories chronicling major events in the city’s history.

Now, back in the USA with time on his hands, he finds himself returning again and again to memories of his boyhood on the coast of Northern Ireland. The result of these forays into his past will be another collection of stories, part memoir, part fiction, called Growing Up in Ulster.

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Tour Schedule

July 17th


  1. Clever idea, to build the stories on a fascinating historical place.