Coming Goodreads Giveaway For Book Of The Dead:
Missed the last special promotion several months ago? Heard about the Book of the Dead by Dora Benley? Want to take a peek? Soon you will get your chance. Coming in January and February Amazon will be giving away up to one hundred copies of the historical thriller and historical horror novel, Book of the Dead. Never heard of this before? It is something brand new to ring in the New Year of 2018. You could easily be one of the lucky winners. Watch for the promotion in this blog post on http://www.edwardwarethrillers.org, the news feed for Cheops Books, LLC and the exclusive publisher of Linda Cargill and Dora Benley mystery and suspense fiction.
As soon as the King family settles in their new house in Cairo things begin to change rapidly. On Leona’s birthday her stepdaughter gives her an ancient scroll full of hieroglyphics. Her husband tells Leona it is a Book of the Dead, an ancient Egyptian text full of spells and magic chants to help the newly dead person gain admission into the afterlife, the Land of the Setting Sun. The scroll is to help him avoid getting eaten by the Devourer after his heart is weighed on the scales of truth against a feather and found wanting. Leona has no idea where Margaret got such a scroll. She remembers seeing her in the souk, taking something from a woman covered with dark veils from head to foot with only a claw-like hand protruding.
From that moment on Leona’s once perfect world closes in on her. She finds herself kidnapped, locked in a tomb, nearly driven mad, and tormented by an Egyptian spirit who has somehow been loosed on her. She must fight for her very life in this supernatural novel about Egyptian archaeology in the 1920’s.
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Helga In The Tower of London:
“Edward,” Churchill exclaimed, “you did not let me know about Helga von Wessel!” He threw out his arms to take in the whole dining room at the Savoy. “She surprised me by barging in here. I didn’t invite her. She invited herself.”
Edward tried to get hold of himself. He had not been expecting this at all. Even his wife hung back in the shadows unseen by Helga, bracing herself for she did not know what would come next. But he had to think fast.
“I did not have a chance to tell you, sir,” Edward forced himself to step into the room though his wife continued to hang back in the shadows beyond the doorway. “I was imprisoned in an Ice Palace in Denali National Park. I could not communicate with anyone until I managed to escape. You got one report from me then. But basically I was trying to get back here as fast as possible to talk to you first.”
Helga threw back her head and laughed. “You know you cannot escape me, Edward. You should know that by now. Just because you slipped out of Igor’s reach and evaded Dr. Frankenstein’s grasp, you cannot think that you evaded me! That would be too simpleton-like.”
Out of the corner of his eye Edward watched Lady Ware slip back into the shadows. He hoped she could read his mind. He could only keep his fingers crossed.
He took a seat beside Churchill so he could keep an eye on the door to the room without making Helga suspect anything.
“You must give me your latest map, the one you are hoarding,” Helga leaned across the table. “Khrushchev wants to know what you are up to. And I would not suggest you thwart me or even attempt to do so. I showed you what I almost did with your wife and could easily do again,” Helga looked at Edward with a barely concealed threat in her eye.
Edward exchanged looks with Churchill.
Churchill was a past master at this sort of thing. He took out a map from his desk that Edward knew to be a fake. He kept it there for that express purpose. He thrust it in front of her with great drama.
Helga began to pour over it. She was so absorbed that she did not hear the door opening from behind with barely a sound. Edward did not move an inch. Neither did Churchill as Dora, Lady Ware, approached Helga from behind with her pistol at the ready. She stuck her in the back and said, “The game is up.”
Helga gave a little shriek. Edward did not give her a chance to recover before he grabbed her. Churchill pushed a button and spoke into the microphone installed for him at his table at the Savoy, the one reserved just for the Prime Minister. “Send me the sergeant at arms back at Whitehall. I keep him around to make sudden arrests.”
Helga was marched off to a holding cell in the Tower of London.
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Edward Flees Alaska And Returns To Britain:
Edward drove the team far away from the underground prison in Denali. He even was careful not to stop at the Ice Palace where he knew Helga von Wessel would still be waiting for him. He gave it a wide berth and kept on going towards the entrance to the park. Edward planned on visiting the same location later today anyway. It was the rendezvous point where he was supposed to meet Winston Churchill’s messenger.
Everyday when Edward and Dora were in the Denali area looking for clues about the Russians and Churchill had no idea what they would find. Eisenhower didn’t either. Churchill was supposed to send news briefings for Edward knowing there was no way he could keep abreast of current events locked in the wilderness without any sort of communication devices. Likewise Edward was supposed to use the opportunity to send news of what he was discovering or not discovering back to Churchill and asking for supplies or anything else he might need.
Instead of sending news or asking for supplies this time, Edward arrived just minutes before the appointed messenger did ready to bail out. As soon as the messenger appeared, he and Dora climbed aboard the messenger’s sled. Edward let the dog team go. He knew they would return to their place of origin.
“We’re going back,” Edward told the man.
“You would hardly believe what is going on back there,” Edward confessed to the messenger as they pulled away.
They were soon back in port along the Alaska Coast heading south. Edward attempted to send messages to Churchill whenever they docked. They finally reached Los Angeles and came ashore in Long Beach where Dora’s father came to import his rubber to make his tires for Benley Tire and Rubber. He immediately sent a cable to Churchill:
Kruschev running prison camp in Denali STOP There is even a runway STOP Goons and everything STOP Helga is there in force STOP
Edward and Dora took a train back across the country and hopped the Queen Mary back to Britain from New York. He finally arrived at the Savoy for his lunch appointment with the Prime Minister.
Edward could hardly believe his eyes when he entered the dining room. There in a private nook in the corner, Churchill’s favorite, sat the PM and Helga von Wessel. She looked up and smiled, “Hello, Edward, fancy meeting you here! All that way from Alaska, and I got here before you did.”
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Escape From The Prison At The Ice Palace:
Edward reached the point of no return very soon. But he could not catch the monster that Helga had nicknamed “Igor” soon enough. He was gone across the snow banks and fields with Edward’s wife. Edward could hear her screams in the distance.
Another dog team stood ready beside the one that had just took off with his wife and Igor. Edward had no choice but to use it. No other kind of transportation would work in this environment. Not that he had any experience steering a dog team. He could only hope that the team would steer itself and would instinctively sense where to go —- to follow the other team.
“Mush!” Edward shouted as the team started across the snow. He knew they must be headed in generally the right direction. He could still hear the team ahead of them. He otherwise would not be able to. He could also hear his wife’s screams undiminished in volume.
They were now far enough away from their starting point that when Edward turned around he could no longer make out the Ice Palace in the surrounding banks of snow that made the whole area sparkling white and hard for the eyes to take in. He sensed that they were reaching their mysterious destination when the dogs started to slow down themselves without any sort of order. Ahead he could barely make out the man called Igor, or the monster, carrying his wife from the sled to a portal that appeared to lead underground. Soon they were no longer visible.
Edward managed somehow to bring his dog team to a stop right at the same location where the other dog team was waiting. He had no choice but to continue following the disappearing monster underground.
His ears were immediately assaulted by sounds of moaning and screaming. He could hardly believe it. But inside the cages lining the walls were human beings. He kept to the shadows and tried not to be seen as he attempted to find Igor and his wife. But he could not help but notice that the people along the walls were crying out in different languages. Who were these? The dispossessed? Enemies of the Russian state? Was this far outpost in Alaska another kind of Russian gulag where the Dictator sent prisoners and enemies of the state?
Sure enough up ahead he could see that was where his wife was headed. Igor was shoving her into a cage all her own. But he was beginning to wonder what was really going on here when he also caught a glimpse of the man Helga termed “Dr. Frankenstein” with the bifocal glasses. He was stirring up different concoctions in beakers and test tubes. Was he doing experiments that had to do with these people? Was he Dr. Mengala who had escaped here after the fall of the Third Reich? All he knew was that he had to get out of here quick —- with Dora.
He waited until the other men had disappeared. He headed directly towards Dora’s cage. He trusted to his own instincts about opening it. He did it readily enough from the outside.
Dora gasped when she saw him. He put his finger to his lips to remind her not to say anything. He slipped his hand around hers. He led her back through the hall lined with prisoners in cages. He kept his eyes focused on the ground. Imitating him, Dora did so likewise.
They climbed the stairs out of the place and reached the dogs. Edward helped his wife into the sled. They were soon bounding across the white field pulled by dogs. He could only hope that no one was following them.
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Helga Takes Edward Captive in Denali:
“You do have Lady Ware in your custody, don’t you?” Helga prompted the monster.
The creature nodded and answered in some sort of incomprehensible brogue that sounded like a combination of very bad Russian and something else —- maybe Alaskan? He could not imagine where she had gotten a worker like that —- from the Russian goolag? Siberia? Edward did want to probe too deeply into whether he was really human or not.
“She will be our next experimental victim,” said the man that Helga had termed Dr. Frankenstein.
What was he, a Nazi reject from the Third Reich? Had he taken refuge in Russia after the war?
“So you see, Edward?” Helga purred as she reached out to smooth down his collar. “You don’t really have any choice but to do as I say, right?” she prompted him.
Edward could see the writing on the wall as he followed her into an inner room in this Ice Palace of hers. She led him into her inner sanctum to her bed. He knew her ways from long ago. Soon she was undressed beckoning to him as she had done thousands of times before. He did not want to approach her bed. He knew what would happen from long experience, but he had no choice.
Soon her long, svelte arms were around him pressing her hands into all his pockets as she stripped him of his clothing piece by piece. As he plunged into her he remembered long ago scenes where they lay in the rose-colored sands by the red colored walls of Petra in the Syrian Desert making and conceiving their bastard son together. But he tried to put it aside. He knew what would come next.
“Oh, look what I found!” Helga waved a note in the air. It was from Churchill, of course, talking about Kruschev and Lawrence’s latest map defending Britain against Russian nuclear attack. “This is just the sort of thing I am paid to find.” Her eyes glittered. “If you hand over that map, I will give you back your wife.”
Fortunately Helga was so mesmerized by her “find” that she could not help staring at it intensely as if it would give up even more secrets with intense scrutiny. Edward took advantage of her momentary lapse in concentration to creep up behind the naked woman and gag her, tying a cloth around her mouth. After that he bound her to the bedpost with more sashes and ties and torn sheets.
Edward quickly dressed and made his way out the back of her bedroom into the snow. He knew he had but a short time to find his wife and be out of harm’s way. Who knew what kind of creeps and misbegotten creatures Helga had collected here to help her with her spying mission for a Russian dictator.
He noticed the dimensions of the compound huddling down towards the ground and much of it underground. A good snow could cover it all so that it would not be visible. The runway could easily be covered. A careless park ranger might not notice anything at all.
Edward figured that Dora must be hidden in the main building up ahead. But before he could reach it he saw a figure emerge dragging a woman tied up with ropes. He started to head across the snowy field with her pushing her ahead of him.
Edward quickly started after them. But he could not reach the man with the fighting woman who began to look more and more like Dora before he reached a dog sled. He was off mushing the dogs leaving Edward in the snow that had started to fall.
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I don’t like poetry either for the most part. That is no doubt why I never wrote it. That is probably why I write novels. It is probably why you write novels, too. I just thought of something neat. You will think it is neat, too. The passage I sent you yesterday has a new meaning based on terrorist attack on London Bridge this year in England. Think of a newspaper reporter talking about the attack on tourists on London Bridge and quoting these lines from T.S. Eliot: “A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought death had undone so many . . . ” T.S. Eliot must have had a premonition about the future.
By the way this same T.S. Eliot also wrote poetry for children a little bit later on. He showed that he had the ability to entertain people by writing Possum’s Book of Practical Cats about pussycats. For instance there is Macavity the Mystery Cat who is called the “hidden paw” and who has the ability to be the “Master criminal who can defy the law”. Apparently this book of verse for children was also the inspiration for Cats: A Musical. It must have been T.S. Eliot’s more pop or American side. After all he was an American who was born in America and moved to Britain to become a British citizen.
Cheops Books LLC publishes only novels, not poetry. This autumn it will publish Dark 3: Special Edition on September 15, Edward Ware Thrillers at War novel Hitler’s Agent on October 15, Dark 1 on November 1, Dark 2 on November 8, Dark: A Trilogy on November 15, and Captive at the Berghof part 1 in the German language on December 15. The publication of Old Faithful Plot, an Edward Ware Thrillers at War novel, will soon be announced. None of the novels contain any poetry.
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Moralistic Writers Like Dickens And Eliot:
Actually moralistic as writers like Dickens and George Eliot were, they were a lot more enlightened and humanistic in their world view than the generations of writers to come after them, especially the ones inspired by WW1 and WW2. Those poets of the trenches in WW1 were awful. I remember having to read them in school. I could do without poets such as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, Isaac Rosenberg, John McCrae, Edmund Blunden, etc. The greatest among them, Robert Graves, wrote a novel that I read, I Claudius. But his poetry which was what made him a literary writer I couldn’t abide. Needless to say many of these poets never made it to the end of WW1. They died in the trenches. To say the least their poetry was gloomy. It was the end of the world stuff, the end of Western Civilization stuff that you would expect. T. S. Eliot was an American poet who moved to England. He was considered the most famous poet of the twentieth century writing in English. He wrote the Wasteland about WW1. You can tell from the title what that was like!
It didn’t get any better at the end of WW2. You had the Angry Young Men playwrights in England who invited people to the theater so they could watch water dripping from the ceiling to bore them all and prove that people could not communicate with each other anymore.
You had the stream of consciousness movement in novels with James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and American William Faulkner. They didn’t think you had to entertain the reader anymore. All you had to do was confuse him.
As far as I am concerned these writers are no better than painters who throw paint at the canvas and call it art. I much prefer the 19th century. The Victorian Era is considered to be the greatest era of novels in English literature, and I wholly agree moralistic or not. For heavens sake, Scrooge and the Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens were moralistic but they were very entertaining at the same time!
Cheops Books LLC hopes to publish novels more in the 19th century tradition than the 20th. Cheops Books also hopes that the future of literature will return to the past.
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