The Cheops Pyramid has always represented Cheops Books LLC. Why? It is a symbol of ancient Egypt and the ancient world in general and it seems mysterious, as if its meaning is always eluding you because there is always something you don’t expect and something you don’t know about, and we hope that our readers will always find our books that way, too.
The Cheops Pyramid is an Old Kingdom Pyramid also called the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Pyramid of Khufu. It is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza complex at 455 feet built of 2.3 million stone blocks. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one to still look something the way it did in ancient times. That is the symbol we always put on our book cover.
Now we propose another symbol to add to our website, the ancient Egyptian symbol of Bastet, the cat goddess. We frequently include cats in our thriller novels because cats are elusive and mysterious animals. They were considered sacred in ancient Egypt. They are sacred to Cheops Books, LLC, too. So don’t wonder when you find cats decorating sections of the website and pages in the novels along with the Cheops Pyramid.

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Children of the Hydra’s Teeth are the ultimate special effect of the movie, Jason and the Argonauts, which appear in the climactic scene right before Jason and Medea escape from Colchis carrying the Golden Fleece. They look like something out of an Edgar Allen Poe tale. King Aeetes throws the teeth down on the ground of Colchis. Up spring warriors rising from their graves to avenge the people of Colchis. The Children of the Hydra’s Teeth are carrying swords, the battalion of the dead who cannot be killed because they are already dead.
Ultimately it shows off fears of the wild geography of the Colchis region. It is full of mountains and cliffs along the sea. From any cave, from any crevice can come an enemy or an unexpected creature. That is why something like the Children of the Hydra’s Teeth seem appropriate for the region.
There are no Children of the Hydra’s Teeth at the end of Medea’s Escape. But the sea, the cliffs, and the mountains through which the heroine must escape are equally compelling.

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Ray Harryhausen Special Effects: Jason finally reaches the climactic scene of the movie Jason and the Argonauts in a scene the resonates with the Cheops Books young adult thriller Medea’s Escape. Medea must make her choice to give away the Golden Fleece and follow Jason in the movie. Then Jason must fight the hydra-headed beast that looks like a dinosaur any day. He is almost captured but he frees himself. He is warned that King Aeetes is after him. He and Medea flee toward the Argo with the Argonauts.
In the novel Medea’s Escape, the heroine’s choice is a bit different. But we won’t spoil the plot or the ending in an original rendition of the myth. However the movie once again sets the place and time where the Greeks had wandered into a far off world with a different religion and different customs and did not know what to expect next. Harryhausen Special Effects make you really get into this mind frame.

You can purchase Medea’s Escape on Amazon Kindle for only $5.99.

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Phineas the Blind Man and the Harpies: I emphasized the mastery with which Jason and the Argonauts, the 1963 family mythological film for all ages, pursues special effects. In fact, the whole movie is little more than a connected series of these special effects episodes. They don’t interfere with the plot of the pursuit of the Golden Fleece in any way nor do they interfere with the character presentation. On the contrary, they serve as examples to help illustrate Jason’s growing heroism and self-reliance.
In this episode Jason must defeat the Harpies who plague the seer Phineas the Blind Man to find out how to get to Colchis. The Argonauts trap the Harpies in a net and build a cage. Then they hold a feast with Phineas. He tells them to go through the clashing rocks in five days, then proceed northeast to Colchis. But now Jason and his Argonauts have no god to protect them. Hera can no longer help. He has already asked her the five allowed questions. Now he is on his own just like any hero, which of course builds up to the next special effects scene.
This movie serves as an excellent backdrop for the Cheops Books LLC novel Medea’s Escape. The plot isn’t the same, but the age level is, both rather YA or for all age levels. Both were also inspired by Apollonius of Rhodes who wrote the Argonautica instead of Euripides, which is the more popular version of the myth.

 

Phineas

 

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The film Jason and the Argonauts premiered in 1963, before the great dividing line of 1965 after which movies started to change for the worse. In 1963 movies were often still made the way they were in the 1950’s with characters, action, and setting done in the old-fashioned way. It is a children’s movie at the same time it is a movie for adults. It is educational at the same time it is thrilling and full of action as you watch Jason, the Argo, his crew, and the Princess Medea from Colchis recover the Golden Fleece from the ends of the world and bring it back to Greece. You have the hints of special effects that were later to take over movies starting with Star Wars in 1975, but they are kept in their place and add to the action instead of taking over. The figurehead of the Argo is the Queen of the Gods, Hera. She opens her eyes and talks in a whispery voice to Jason. It is enough to make you think that Greek mythology is real.
There is more to come in part 2 of this movie review tomorrow night. Watching Jason and the Argonauts creates the perfect background for reading Medea’s Escape, the Christmas Kindle Countdown Special offered by Cheops Books LLC this week for only $.99.

 

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Reminder: Medea’s Escape On Kindle Countdown Deal Over Christmas:

The young adult mythological novel, Medea’s Escape, is now available during the Christmas holidays for onl $.99 on Amazon Kindle. It is the Cheops Books LLC Christmas special, which has never been offered before. Find out how the Princess Medea escapes from Colchis on the Black Sea with the Golden Fleece and her new love, Jason, from Greece all while you try out your new Christmas Kindle or other reading device.
This is not your usual evil Medea as presented by the Greek dramatist, Euripides, who later kills her children just to spite the faithless Jason. And Medea’s Escape does not present the faithless, philandering Jason. This version of the tale is based on the later Hellenistic version of the tale by Apollonius of Rhodes who wrote the Argonautica, which is also the basis for the one-time Harryhausen Hollywood movie from 1963. It is a happier tale with a happier ending full of mood, atmosphere, and setting — and certainly more young adult. Back in ancient times there was no one correct version of a myth. Writers made up their own. So I am following in this tradition two thousand five hundred years later.

 

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