Two More Historical Thrillers By Dora Benley:

Dora Benley has whipped up two more historical thrillers to order. Cheops Books LLC will soon be publishing them. Paris Peace Plot will be published on November 11, the one hundred year anniversary of the end of World War 1. Helga’s Reich will be published soon after that.

In Helga’s Reich Helga von Wessel, Hitler’s chiefest spy, has killed Edward’s mother in a bombing raid in 1940. She has almost murdered his wife and destroyed his marriage. She has helped Hitler kidnap his only daughter, Thomasina.

Now she stands in the way of Edward and Britain winning the war. Does Edward have what it takes to kill her off before this vamp who is the mother of his illegitimate son, Leopold, ruins his career and takes the Lawrence maps which he is sworn to protect?

The battle between Edward and Helga plays itself out against the backdrop of World War 2.

In Paris Peace Plot Miss Dora Benley has an enemy. She does not know who it is. Somebody is watching her board the Lusitania on May 1, 1915 on the Cunard pier in New York. Aboard the ship eyes follow her everywhere she goes.

When she arrives in England her fiance’s gardener watches Miss Dora Benley, the American heiress, perpetually. When Lieutenant Edward Ware is off fighting with Lawrence of Arabia, saboteurs make her Pittsburgh trolley jump the tracks and crash. She discovers a murderous thug inside her shed in the South Hills of Pittsburgh where her father has his estate.

She has reason to believe that the terrorists are following her fiance during his battles with Lawrence in the Syrian Desert. Near the end of the war Edward is kidnapped and disappears. She travels to Europe to find him and meets with Lawrence of Arabia during the Paris Peace Conference in early 1919. But sure enough dark eyes once again follow her every move.

What do these mysterious saboteurs want with Dora? Edward? They have followed her and her fiance through the entire Great War and beyond. It seems that despite the Paris Peace Conference, there will never be peace for Dora and Edward again.

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Yellowstone Article Like Old Faithful Plot:

Today there is an article on weather.com about Yellowstone the Supervolcano. It is called Yellowstone Caldera: Next Eruption Could Be A Major Disaster. The article suggests that the park and scientists should start monkeying around with the volcano which is against park service philosophy. In the soon to be published historical thriller novel Old Faithful Plot by Dora Benley, Hitler has the von Wessels monkeying around with Old Faithful as part of a plot. That is what this article reminds me of.

Here are some lines from the article. I wonder if sensational articles like this have increased tourism to the park:

The ash spewed by such an explosion could create a global “volcanic winter” by blanketing parts of continents with soot.

To help prevent such a catastrophic event, the researchers suggested drilling into the peak to extract heat and pump water through it. The water would circulate and reach more than 600 degrees Fahrenheit before coming back out, which could slowly remove heat from the peak and prevent it from erupting.

“It has been suggested that the hydrothermal circulation at Yellowstone may cool the underlying magma and may lead to decreased long-term volcanic hazards,” wrote the scientists.

More research needs to be done to figure out how to best protect the planet from a supervolcano eruption, the researchers also said.

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Old Faithful Plot Appears In Publishers Weekly:

Old Faithful Plot, a novel in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, appears in this week’s Publishers Weekly magazine at the very beginning just behind the cover page along with a group of other books published by members of the IBPA, the Independent Book Publishers Association. Cheops Books LLC is a member of the IBPA. The alternative history thriller is to be published on June 16.

While they are hiding out from Dora’s husband at the Old Faithful Lodge in 1933, Dora and Edward are also hiding Lawrence maps that Churchill has given them and which Hitler would do anything to get his hands on. Enter Helga and Herr von Wessel, Hitler’s top spies. They warn Colonel Sir Edward Ware and Dora that either they hand over the top secret maps, key to world domination, or they will blow up Yellowstone National Park. They will turn the famous geyser basin into volcanic rubble – and the rest of America, too, which would be buried in volcanic ash just like Pompeii. And if that doesn’t work they have an even darker plot up their sleeves, one that would change history itself.

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Nightmare Over Bats, Bees, And Stairs:

We are not turning life into a nightmare over bats and bees. You are by not taking simple precautions. It is ordinary and typical here to put up screens. It is NOT normal NOT to have screens. Europe is behind the times putting up with pests that have been banished here. Obviously you don’t want bats, bees, hornets, or flies in your house if you can easily prevent it. Besides, you are starting to get mosquitoes back in Britain again. Did you know that? You drained the fens in Elizabethan times, but they are starting to come back. This is especially true in the south of England. You don’t want to get bitten by mosquitoes, do you? Screens also by the way help to keep thieves out, human thieves.

And some of those European stairs, by the way, are dangerous. Rick Steves, the travel guide and travel writers, takes tours to Europe every year. He warns the American tourists to watch out for the stairs which are not at all typical of stairs in the US. Last year a lady on one of his tours was injured by falling down the stairs in Europe.

I should send you photos of stairs in the US. You would immediately perceive the difference. Of course Tucson is such that most houses are ranches on a single level and so are most shopping centers. You rarely use stairs at all here. Besides, a second story would be bad for air-conditioning because warm air rises and cold air falls.

But traveling to Europe was a study in stairs starting with the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. We walked up three flights of 12 stairs each or 36 stairs to access the ship’s boarding ramp. Most people were waiting in line for the escalator so we took the short cut and had the stairs to ourselves. We boarded the ship on deck 3. Our cabin was on deck 4. We had to go to deck 7 almost right away for lunch. Then later in the afternoon we had to return to deck 7 for lifeboat drill. Dinner was back on deck 3, and so it went for the rest of the voyage to Europe.

But as soon as we got to Germany the “stair trial” began at once. The first hotel we looked at we rejected solely on the basis of the stairs. They looked horrendous. We instead checked into the Best Western in Oldenburg which had stairs that were OK. In fact, we were to return to this hotel again on the return trip to the cruise terminal in Hamburg. The best turned out to be the Hotel du Lac in Genval which had rooms believe it or not on the ground level. That was certainly much safer.

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Gaius Antonius’s Ship Heads to New Carthage:

After all the good-byes and farewells at the dock, Gaius stood on the deck next to the crew as the ship headed out into the Mediterranean. He waved good-bye and wondered if he would return successfully after locating those maps. Or would he be killed in the line of duty and never return again.

About three days later his ship came ashore in a well-protected harbor with waves crashing on shore from the aquamarine sea. The city wall rose in front of him put there by the Carthaginians to protect their settlement. Behind it in the distance rose black hills made mostly of rock with very few green plants growing on them. They looked imposing and rather threatening.

He entered the city through an arched gateway. He took an apartment just as Cato had suggested and watched people come and go all day in the square outside the window.

He spent several days doing this, trying to detect any unusual movement. He also wanted to pick up the visages of any peculiar people coming and going from the city. if someone looked suspicious or in a hurry he might decide to follow them. Otherwise he did not know how to begin his search for those maps which by now must be somewhere inside those looming walls.

He could hardly get caught asking people about them. They might grow suspicious. Word might get to the Carthaginians. They might have somebody in the city looking for a sign of a Roman spy.

He watched the men who manned the walls arrive to go to work and leave every day. A stairway led up into the thick walls made of brick that had defended the city fifty years ago during an assault in the Second Punic War. The watchman closed the door behind him. Gaius could imagine the thing slamming behind him and echoing with a boom.

He ate watching the walls. Sometimes he slept doing the same thing. Certainly they were not going to open their mouths and speak. Besides he did not know the language of walls.

Suddenly one afternoon only a few days after he arrived, he caught sight of a figure about one hundred feet away down in the square approaching the walls from inside the city. It was not at the time when the watchmen arrived or the watchmen departed for the day. Besides, the figure did not look like the right height. The person seemed rather slight for the task. And even more suspiciously, whoever it was wore a dark robe that covered him from head to foot and left absolutely nothing exposed to the daylight. The unknown person was clutching the dark robe right beneath the chin to exaggerate the same effect and probably to ensure that the robe did not slip off his head and reveal his identity to the world.

He stood up and went to the window. He peered out without revealing himself in case anyone was watching.

The figure he was watching darted toward the walls and stopped. The figure looked both ways and darted every closing, stopping every few steps. At one point the figure stopped, turned around, and glanced behind him to see if anybody was following or as if he heard footsteps. Once he satisfied himself that nobody was in pursuit, he continued on his way once more.

A wind was blowing inland from the harbor. The figure was so absorbed worrying if somebody was following him that he forgot temporarily to clutch his hood. The wind caught him by surprise and blew it back ever so quickly revealing his head to the elements before he quickly clutched it and drew it quickly over his head once again.

Why, he knew that face anywhere! The silver dark hair blew in the breeze if for ever so brief an instant. Those pearl like eyes had shown with fright. Those molded cheeks had been revealed along with the narrow, sylph-like lips. Why, that had been Tanit! She could be here for only one reason. He had to follow her.

Quickly he threw on his own robe to conceal his visage and hurled himself down the stairs from his apartment and out onto the street. He fixed his eyes on the figure who had been out of his sight for only a few seconds and headed towards her inch by slow inch very carefully. It would ruin everything if she recognized him.

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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.

Reconstruction of Carthage by L. Aucler.

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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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