Tanit Haunts Gaius All The Way Back To Rome:
Tanit haunted Gaius on the return trip to Rome. She was never more than a few feet away. She was always at his elbow. She was frequently playing an instrument that resembled a lyre, holding it to her cheek and singing in the Carthaginian language which seemed mysterious to him and which he could not understand. But her lilting melodies haunted him throughout the day and even the night.
Cato was deaf and dumb to such things and went about his business on the deck commanding the ship’s officers and the captain all the way back to Italy.
In the meantime Gaius was afraid that they had taken aboard some pagan goddess, the one named Tanit herself, the Moon Goddess. He was wondering what the Carthaginians had sent to Rome. Could it be more powerful than Hannibal and all his elephants?
When Tanit put away her lyre she was even more remarkable and enchanting. She conversed in both Greek and Latin fluently at the captain’s dinner table aboard the ship. Though a girl, apparently great care had been lavished on her education. She was well-grounded in all the classics and could carry on a Platonic dialogue with great skill.
“In Rome,” Cato growled, “we would never educate a young lady like that.” He stuffed his face with a stew made from octapus and squid. “Who are you anyway?”
Gaius Antonius had been dying to find that out. But he had not had the courage to ask himself.
She smiled radiantly. “I am the only daughter of Hamilcar II, the ruler of Carthage. In fact, I am his only child. He lavished on me all the attention he would have loved to lavish on his heir.” She spoke with astonishing frankness.
“Why were you of all people sent as a hostage to Rome?” Cato shot another question at her. “You would think that someone else would have gone in your place.”
She laughed. Her laugh was like pearls bubbling out of her mouth and popping. “I volunteered,” she explained.
Cato traded looks with Gaius. “And why would you volunteer for such a mission?”
Tanit shrugged in a casual fashion. “Simply because I always wanted to travel to Rome. I didn’t see it happening in any other way. Soon I would be married off. Then I certainly would not get to go.”
“Why would you want to visit Rome so much?” Gaius finally got over being flustered and managed to get the words out of his mouth. He was playing with his food and had a hard time concentrating on eating it.
“Better art, better books,” she said. “For instance, I have heard that you are writing a book on Roman agriculture,” she addressed Cato. “No one has ever done that before. Certainly not in Carthage.”
“The Greek poet Hesoid wrote Works and Days,” Cato informed her.
“Yes, but he was a poet, not a prose writer,” she objected. “You are supposed to be developing Latin prose as you go along.” She acted very well informed about what was happening beyond the borders of her homeland.
But Gaius assumed that Cato’s fame was spread far and wide in the region.
Gaius had never heard a woman discourse like her before, certainly not Lavinia who was quiet and minded her own business.
He was beginning to think that the ship returning to Rome was like a floating enchanted isle controlled by a Circe-like creature. But he wished it would never end.
“Do you think the Carthaginians sent her because she is a kind of ambassador for their city?” Gaius asked Cato on the day before they were to land in Ostia.
“Let’s hope so,” he said cynically. “Let’s hope it is not some trick we cannot yet guess at.”
Gaius was later to remember those all too fateful words. But for now the only alarm he felt was when they started to disembark. Tanit had taken his arm. Lavinia was standing there on the shore waiting for him, smiling at him, and not suspecting anything.
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Reconstruction of Carthage by L. Aucler.
Murder On Hollywood Beach On Five Day Promotion:
Starting today and extending through next Wednesday, you will be able to download a free copy of Murder On Hollywood Beach by Dora Benley on Amazon Kindle. This is another one of Dora’s spinetingling teenage romantic thrillers that you won’t want to put down until you find out the ending. But hurry! An offer this good won’t be repeated any time soon again.
A prowler is after Gina in her California seaside mansion where she has lived by herself since her mother’s death in a questionable airplane accident a few years before. She gets constant notes from the stalker: “Come to me, my bride, my love. We will be united in death”. She is afraid to emerge from her glitzy mansion, wondering if this creep was her mother’s killer, too.
She is surrounded by a houseful of servants, some of whom seem suspicious such as the gardener. He is always watching her. Certainly there is no one she can trust. Enter Bruno, her ex-boyfriend, the sex maniac who is still trying to persuade the recluse Gina to leave her mansion on the rocks by the crashing sea and go swimming or have a party or drive along the coast, or something else equally dangerous.
But what is Gina to do? Whom else can she trust besides Bruno? She had better get it figured out quickly, or else Gina, the daughter of the dead and beautiful Hollywood starlet, will soon become very dead herself.
If you enjoy Murder at Hollywood Beach you will enjoy other young adult thrillers by Dora Benley that have a romantic edge such as Silver Wolf Moon, Mary’s Gone, Latin Lessons, Rose Red, Murder on Spirit Island, Murder in Jasper, and Ophelia Plot.
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Horus The Abyssinian In Julia: A Romance:
Of all the things to look forward to reading about in Julia: A Romance not the least is the episode about the Abyssinian cat named Horus. Marcus Sisenna’s daughters own a pet cat named Horus. Naturally he came from Egypt as did all the domestic cats of the day in ancient Rome. The cats were raised in Egyptian temples, and this was an offspring of one of those cats. Imports from Egypt in those days were considered “cool”.
I won’t say what happens but the girls have to find the cat after someone steals it. It is all part of the plot of the story. It is interesting that even nowadays we can find paintings of Roman cats of the day in Pompeiian wall paintings. We have attached one of these paintings to this blog post for your perusal.
Julia has every reason to wish that she had not been born the daughter of a Roman senator during the Roman Civil Wars of Marius and Sulla. Her father, Rufus, is trying to escape the proscriptions lists and save his life by betrothing his only daughter in marriage to Marcus Sisenna. Marcus Sisenna is the right hand man of Marcus Sulla, one of the leading men of Rome of the day. Rufus needs his armies and the protection both Sulla and Sisenna can provide. But Julia does not want to marry a man who has already had five wives and who is just marrying her for her father’s money and estates. She does not want to be added to his collection of trophies. Julia wants personal happiness despite the time period into which she has been born. Her father thinks only of keeping his wealth and estates together. Her divorced mother is interested only in her own lovers. To whom shall Julia turn for assistance? The answer may surprise you. For it is obviously just the opposite of what the desperate Julia might expect.
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Helen of Troy On Big Christmas Promotion:
Starting tomorrow Helen of Troy will be on special promotion.
First-novelist Dora Benley recounts the fall of Troy from Helen’s point of view—in this spirited page-turner that placed in the National Writers Book Contest.
Though brought up to inherit the role of her mother, Queen Leda, as keeper of the ancient mother-goddess cult increasingly suppressed by the reigning kings, beautiful Helen of Sparta initially fails to hear the Goddess of Heaven’s voice within her. And no wonder—the hormone-bedeviled teenager lusts after handsome Meneleus, whose family has offended the Goddess by looting her temples for bronze. Upon Leda’s death, the Goddess offers Helen the choice of marrying Meneleus at the cost of a life of misery and the destruction of Sparta, or sacrificing him in favor of older, craggy-faced Odysseus—the “wisest among the Achaeans”—with whom Helen would enjoy a long, happy reign as Sparta’s queen. Naturally, Helen chooses Meneleus, and thus follows betrayals, misunderstandings, and intrigues that lead to the destruction of Sparta and Troy. Kidnapped by Paris, forced to marry him and bear sons by his cleverer brother, Deiphobus, Helen concentrates on protecting the hordes who worship her—whether as the Goddess on Earth in Sparta or as Inanna in Troy.
Her efforts to play out the Goddess’s maternal role are at cross purposes with the male rulers’ ambitions, however—and constant misunderstandings result. Herding her subjects out of besieged Sparta, she is accused of abandoning her post. Refusing to abandon her Trojan sons when Meneleus arrives to rescue her, she commits treason. Then, attempting to free the Trojan people from their despotic rulers by allowing the Trojan horse within the city walls, she betrays her Trojan husband.
Kirkus Reviews says of the Helen of Troy novel: “Dora Benley’s portrayal of Helen as supporter of the people and clever, if misunderstood, female in a world of men—as opposed to the more familiar fickle housewife—keeps this classic, action-packed tale bubbling to the last huzzah. An auspicious beginning —and a delightful read.”
If you liked Helen of Troy you will enjoy other novels by Dora Benley including Julius Caesar: A Novel, Medea the Witch, Cleopatra’s Stone, Caesar and Cleopatra: A Novel, and Minotaur.
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Catalonia, The Roman Empire, and a Novel:
I am glad to hear that the effort is doomed to fail. I am glad that the US, EU, UK, France, and Germany all agree that they will not recognize a separate Catalonia. As you know, I have no sympathy for break away provinces, regions of countries, etc.
History shows that is not the way to go. Big and united means prosperous. Think of the Roman Empire. Small and divided means poor. Think of the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages. One of the primary reasons Germany is the head of Europe is that there are no separtist movements afoot. Germany even held together during two world wars which it lost.
Spain’s constitution does say that you are not allowed to secede from Spain. So the Prime Minister of Spain is only upholding the constitutional law when he dissolves the government of Catalonia and calls for new elections. He is not acting like a dictator. He is acting in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln.
The hero of my historical thriller, Caesar’s Lost Legions, Caelius Antonius, has embarked on a mission to map the rest of Greater Germania on an expedition to the Elbe River near modern day Hamburg, Germany. The Romans under the Emperor Augustus want to make this region part of the province of Germania and add it to the greater Roman Empire.
But traitors such as Arminius have other ideas. Arminius has learned Roman ways while being tutored in Rome. He turns them against the Romans and massacres three legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. It turns out to be one of the most decisive battles in all of history.
The Romans get their revenge five years later under Germanicus. But the Roman Empire is forever stopped from adding the territory around the River Elbe to Germania, centered around the Rhine River and Trier. Just think of how different history could have been if Arminius had not existed! The Roman Empire could have been bigger and better. And the “German question” might have been forever solved.
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Dark 2 and Point Horror Halloween:
Dark 2 was still another Scholastic Point Horror young adult thriller published in their line as a Point Horror Halloween special. It is now brought to you in time for Halloween by Cheops Books LLC.
In Dark 2 Bianca Winters thinks she has lost the love of her life, Doc Ernie McCollough. He used to be her medical advisor when she was recovering from the shock of witnessing a murder. Now she must try to cope all by herself while serving as the live-in nanny/permanent babysitter for St. Simons Island’s little heiress, Little Katie Shipley.
Suddenly there is a new man in town, Byron Kingsley, fresh from England. He begins to serve as her new medical advisor while she tries to recover her memory after the shock of the killing two years before while she was babysitting her charge. And he shows up just in time as the Island’s infamous criminal, Mike Fellini, tries to kidnap Little Katie and hold her for ransom.
But just as Bianca, Byron, Little Katie, and entourage are ready to flee to safety in England, a controversy breaks wide open about Byron Kingsley. Mysteries are associated with her new love as they lead to the horrendous, spine tingling conclusion to Dora Benley’s new young adult thriller.
If you liked Dark 2, you will enjoy other young adult thrillers by Dora Benley including Dark 3: Special Edition, Dark: A Trilogy, and Dark 1. You will also like Pool Party and The Surfer by Linda Cargill
Teens rarely need an excuse to stay up late, but The Dark by Dora Benley would give pause for thought to even the most steely-nerved youngster. A genuinely gripping horror story. Approach with caution.
The Sunday Independent, Dublin, Ireland
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Halloween and Dark 1:
If you you still thinking all those spooky thoughts, go no farther than Dark 1 by Dora Benley, pen name of Linda Cargill. It is perfect for Halloween and things that go bump in the night. It, too, was part of the Point Horror Line.
Bianca goes babysitting one day at Little Katie Shipley’s house and finds herself immersed in a murder. Upstairs she hears the housekeeper screaming. The baby starts to bawl. She runs to save the child just as the maid falls to her death. Bianca flees out the door only to see the killer at the top of the stairs.
After that night Bianca cannot remember the killer’s face. But two years later when her memory starts to return she is locked in the restroom and threatened at the movie theater with what will happen to her if she remembers and tells the police. One day when she is staying after school the killer confronts her there, too, after he turns off all the lights. Bianca is horrified at what will happen when the inevitable occurs and she once again sees the face at the top of the stairs.
Dark 1 is the first volume of the Dark Series. If you liked this young adult thriller by Dora Benley you will like the successor volume Dark 2. Dark 1 and Dark 2 are part of the Scholastic Point Horror Series first published by Scholastic UK and now brought to you by Cheops Books LLC in time for Halloween. Can’t get enough of the Dark? Read Dark 3: Special Edition with the biggest surprise ending of all time. Or read all three suspense novels in a single volume: Dark: A Trilogy.
Teens rarely need an excuse to stay up late, but The Dark by Dora Benley would give pause for thought to even the most steely-nerved youngster. A genuinely gripping horror story. Approach with caution. The Sunday Independent, Dublin, Ireland
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Egyptian Books By Dora Benley on Amazon:
Just this past summer Dora Benley has published a number of Egyptian-themed books on Amazon Kindle with free giveaways for each one. Cheops Books LLC has published Demon From Egypt, Curse of Egypt, Doom of Egypt, Caesar and Cleopatra: A Novel, Book of the Dead, Curse of the Pharaoh, and Cleopatra’s Stone. These young adult thrillers and romantic thrillers are among some of her most popular novels.
To concentrate on two of the most frequently sought after Egyptian novels, Demon From Egypt has attracted many downloads. In Demon From Egypt Cheryl must spend the summer cleaning the beach house and collecting mail for the new tenant. The only problem, he doesn’t seem to be anywhere. There is no food in his refrigerator. He has no mail to bring in. When she tries to clean the basement, the door is padlocked and bolted.
What kind of weirdo is this? He paid for his whole year lease upfront with cash sent from a rental agency that doesn’t even exist. Is he a criminal of some kind?
Cheryl need only turn to her cat. He likes to prowl around the place at night. He discovers wild goings on in the basement of the supernatural kind. The place is haunted to say the least by not by anything ordinary. An ancient evil inhabits the place. From the days of ancient Egypt and Greece comes a monster. If Cheryl doesn’t watch out, she soon will be dead.
Curse of Egypt is perennially popular with readers. Sondra returns from a day out with her Dad in Charlottesville, Virginia where she lives with her mother and grandmother. Her dad asks her as always if she wants to come and live with him in Tucson. She says as usual that her mother and grandmother depend on her. They discuss why her parents got divorced. Her father confesses as usual that he doesn’t know. Her mother just left one day without explanation and took Sondra with her.
Sondra rushes into the house to plant a bare root rose. Her mother and grandmother depend on her to do the yard work, too. But while she is digging in the backyard she comes upon a strange golden object. Her next door neighbor, Stew Hoolihan, says it looks like a museum piece and they ought to call the police.
Immediately when she goes inside her mother says that she has called her father and agreed that Sondra should indeed live with him in Tucson. Sondra cannot figure out why. Does it have to do with the golden object found in the backyard? What do her mother and grandmother know about it? What are they concealing from her? Sondra had better find out. It soon becomes a matter of life and death. Ancient civilizations from long before she was born are helping to determine her fate.
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