Helen of Troy On Special Christmas Promotion NOW:

Starting today and continuing through the weekend you will find Helen of Troy on special promotion on Amazon. You can download the Kindle edition of the historical thriller for free. Don’t miss it! But hurry! An offer this good won’t be repeated this year.

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 Menelaus, whose family has offended the Goddess by looting her temples for bronze. Upon Leda’s death, the Goddess offers Helen the choice of marrying Menelaus 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 Menelaus, 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 Menelaus 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 the Julius Caesar: A Novel, Caesar and Cleopatra: A Novel, Medea the Witch, Minotaur, and Cleopatra’s Stone.

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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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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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Murder at the Sphinx On Special Promotion:

Starting today and continuing for the next five days Murder at the Sphinx will be on special promotion on Amazon Kindle. Download it for free and see what you are missing in Dora Benley’s latest romantic murder thriller. But hurry! An offer this good will not be repeated again this year.

Dora, Lady Ware, her husband, Colonel Sir Edward Ware, his boss, Wickie, and Wickie’s wife, Jane, all travel to the Sphinx outside Cairo for the Christmas holidays when Edward’s mother, the Dowager Lady Ware, comes to visit in the 1930’s between the wars. There are mystery figures hanging about even on top of the Sphinx and Dora cannot quite make them out.
When she is left alone for a moment, a stalker approaches her and threatens her if she does not hand over the military maps that they want. She flees and the stalker chases her. She finds herself on top of the Sphinx with a spitting cobra, only to be saved by Leopold, a young man who has befriended her.

But he is suddenly gunned down. But whom? And who is Leopold? Dora had better find out or she could soon be dead, too, in Murder at the Sphinx, a new thriller by Dora Benley.

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Helga Sets Up A Kingdom In Denali:

Edward gets a note that purports to be from someone from long, long ago and faraway. He got it from a boat floating near the Mendenhall Glacier outside Juneau, the capital of Alaska. He and his wife, Dora, don’t know what to make of it. It can’t be Helga von Wessel, the vamp of all vamps. She got blown up ten years before at Los Alamos or at the Fat Man site where the first atomic bomb was tested.

At first they ignored it while they considered and tried to find a place to send a telegram to Winston Churchill back in London. But the secret, mysterious notes kept on following them wherever they went and at whatever restaurant they appeared at and at whatever hotel they arrived at. There was always a waiter approaching them with a new note. There was always a note sticking in their door with some alluring reference to the past. If it was not Helga — and how could it be? — it must be somebody trying to make them think it was Helga.

They sign up for a land extension to the cruise. That way they could go ashore in Alaska to meet with this troublemaker who was dealing with the Russians and who was the cause of their visit to Alaska to begin with. When they were visiting the most Russian city in Alaska called Sitka and were stopping by a Russian Orthodox Church at the pier, they got a note that told them where to go once ashore.

It was hard to get there. Where they could not go by bus they went by dog sled. They entered the preserve of Denali National Park and went beyond where the roads could take you. It did not surprise Edward that they were arriving in a Siberian Ice Palace. It was a room where everything was chiseled of ice. It looked like scintillating diamonds.
Somebody must be playing with optical illusions. The vamp who stood there before him with hardly a hair unchanged from the last time he saw her, resembled Helga von Wessel down to the last detail. When she opened her voice to speak in that sultry growl that was so reminiscent of her, Edward was at a loss how to explain it.

“I knew you would come, Edward. I could feel it in the bones you tried to destroy. But now Khrushchev has you where he wants you. You won’t leave this place until you give me exactly what he wants most.”

Edward glanced behind them. The gates were locked.

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Salisbury Plot Is Getting A New Cover:

How about a touch of the Gothic? Time to visit Salisbury Plot which is about to be published in a brand new edition with a brand new cover recently drawn by cover artist Daniel Teran. It will be published next year along with a new edition of Key to Lawrence. We have a whole new line up to be announced before the end of the year.

Who is the saboteur following Dora about on the doomed Morro Castle in September of 1934? Who is the terrorist who set fire to the first class writing room on the ocean liner? Who followed Dora and her new husband, Colonel Sir Edward Ware, to Salisbury Cathedral on their wedding day? A creature in a black robe is wielding a sword in the balcony and clanging the bell. The freak seems to summon the legions of the dead who surround them in the hills peppered with bronze age burial mounds, who seem to rise from the cloisters in the center of the cathedral where unknown dead from the Middle Ages still reside. Why does she see her new husband handing money over to the saboteur on her wedding day in a hidden garden of Ware Hall? What does it mean to be married to Colonel Sir Edward Ware? When she finds out the truth it will change Dora’s life forever.

Salisbury Plot is book two of the Edward Ware Thriller Series. The first book is Key to Lawrence: Special Edition, which starts at World War 1 with the sinking of the Lusitania. Book three is Captive at the Berghof 1 and 2 concerning Hitler and World War 2 and their interaction with the British. Book four is Dark Horse, an alternative history thriller about the Republican Convention of 1940. Additional titles are to come.

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California Wine Country: Setting for Dark 3:

Yes, I too had the impression that California fires could somehow occur only in Southern California, not Northern or Central California, though about a month or so ago I think there was a fire in Yosemite too in the Sierra Nevada Mountains along with evacuations. It seems like the only safe part of California is the non-populated area along the Pacific NW Coast, the Redwood Coast around Garberville, Crescent City, Eureka, and Brookings, Oregon. They get plenty of rain there.

In our case we keep on rooting for the Sandman Motel in Santa Rosa, California. That was where we stayed on the way back from Brookings, Oregon. It is the motel I use in my novel from the Edward Ware Thriller Series Dark 3: Special Edition by Dora Benley. It was an interesting place with nice gardens and artwork, especially outdoor statues. Hotels across the intersection have been burned to the ground.

It is hard to believe that you wouldn’t remember the Wine Country if you drove through it. We didn’t know we were going to drive through it to the Pacific NW Coast. But it was the nicest unplanned “find” of our trip in 2007. Two years ago we were driving around the Wine Country in Germany along the banks of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers where vines have grown since Roman times. The California Wine Country has a completely different look. For one thing there are no Rhine and Moselle Rivers. There are no villages and towns like those that dot the banks of the Rhine in Germany. Instead the California Wine Country has a more fantasy look with fake European castles and lots of French restaurants, that sort of upscale kind of thing. I will try to dig out some photos to post for you.

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Did Pliny’s House Look Like The Getty?

Pliny the Elder obviously lived in what we would call a Governor’s House in Roman Trier. What did such a place look like? None of the original Roman villas survives to this day intact, not in Trier, not in Italy, and not in Great Britain. In such places you don’t usually have more than a few standing columns or perhaps a floor full of mosaics to give you a clue of its former grandeur.

Probably the best example of such a villa nowadays exists in a place that Romans never visited and Romans never dreamed about. Such a villa has been painstakingly reconstructed on the California coast, land of dreams and elaborate reconstructions such as Disneyland and Hollywood.

It is no mere fantasy. In fact, it is an elaborate reconstruction of the villa of Calpurnius Piso, the father-in-law of Julius Caesar and father of Caesar’s last wife, Calpurnia, the one with the dreams and nightmares in Shakespeare’s play. It would be very similar to anything that Pliny would have owned. Both men were intellectuals of their day. Calpurnius Piso was a Stoic philosopher. Pliny the Elder was the author of the Natural History, the first of all encyclopedias in the western tradition.

This California villa was reconstructed by John Paul Getty, the billionaire who had a hobby of collecting Greek and Roman antiquities on a large scale. He wanted to build a place to house them. The Getty Villa opened in 1974. The Los Angeles Times interviewed John Paul Getty. Getty said: “It is fortunate that the United States has one ancient private building which is authentic in spirit. One could say go to Pompeii and Herculaneum and see Roman villas the way they are now — then go to Malibu and see the way they were in ancient times.”

Pliny also owned a villa on the seacoast along the Bay of Naples, so this comparision seems appropriate. It is inspirational to think that Pliny strolled through his peristylium and viewed the classical sculptures you find at the Getty.

Pliny the Elder is a character in two upcoming volumes of the Edward Ware Thriller Series: Old Faithful Plot and Pliny: A Novel.

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Has Pliny The Elder Been Re-Discovered?

In the early 1980s the excavation of Herculaneum, sister city to Pompeii, was excavated. A large group of skeletons was found in a boat shed facing the sea as if they were attempting to escape but ran out of time.

Just how they may have been planning to escape is knowledge provided to us by the writings of an ancient Rome author named Pliny the Younger who wrote our only surviving eyewitness account of the Vesuvius eruption. He claimed that his more famous uncle, Pliny the Elder, was going to rescue these unfortunate escapees. How so? Pliny the Elder was the admiral of a Roman fleet stationed at Misenum, north of Naples, on August 24, 79AD, the day Vesuvius erupted. His nephew says he was curious to observe the volcano erupting from close up. He had wide ranging scientific interests and was the author of Pliny’s Natural History, the first encyclopedia in western history. Supposedly he had gotten word from friends that they needed to be resuced and he took off with his fleet to rescue them, leaving his teenage nephew behind to write for the ages.

Now Italian scientists are trying to date and identify the remains of a man found in such a rescue boat and hope they have discovered Pliny the Elder himself. It sounds far fetched but interesting nevertheless. It would be nice to have a reconstructed drawing of Pliny based on his skeleton since no sculpture portraits survive from antiquity.

Pliny the Elder and his family are the subjects of two historical thrillers which Cheops Books LLC is about to publish. The Roman statesman and scientist appears in Old Faithful Plot and Vesuvius Plot. In Old Faithful Plot Pliny is the subject of a time tunnel manhunt on the part of Adolf Hitler. The dictator thinks that the ancient Roman threatens the German people. In Vesuvius Plot as the governor of Germany Pliny must fight off the hordes of German tribes.

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Edward Ware Thrillers Newsletter August, 2017:
During the past month Cheops Books LLC has published the following young adult thriller titles by Dora Benley on Amazon Kindle: Jason and Medea: A Novel, Livia: A Novel, King Richard 1: A Novel, and Curse of Egypt. These new titles which all debuted under special Kindle free giveaway promotions are listed below. Follow the links to Amazon:
Show covers of all four titles with links to Amazon
What new books is Cheops Books LLC publishing in the autumn of 2017? Here is our line up for the new few months from September through December. Every month at least one new book will appear.
On September 15 Cheops Books LLC will publish the young adult thriller Dark 3: Special Edition including new black and white drawings by artist Andrew. You will be able to see what all the major and a few minor characters look like from good guys to bad guys and villains.
Bianca mourns for her old friend Doc who helped her overcome her fear of the dark after being the only witness to a brutal murder on St. Simons Island. He was driven out of town two years ago when the locals concluded that he must be the killer. She last saw him parachuting from a plane escaping from the law, a fall he couldn’t have survived. She’s moved to California with her employers, the Shipleys, and taken on a permanent babysitting position with Little Katie. Suddenly there’s a kidnapping attempt on the rich little heiress that Bianca is employed to protect. To the rescue comes a tall, dark young man who reminds her of somebody she’s lost. But it just couldn’t be . . . After all, he’s dead. And after all . . . he’s supposed to be the bad guy.
Show book cover for Dark 3: Special Edition

On October 15 Cheops Books LLC will publish Hitler’s Agent, volume six in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series.
The villainess, Helga von Wessel, Hitler’s chief spy, struts boldly from page to page of this thriller with Europe at her back and all sorts of ambitious notions in her head during the lead up to WW2. As far as she is concerned it isn’t Hitler’s Reich. It is Helga’s Reich. She will wrap the hero, Colonel Sir Edward Ware, Churchill’s spy, around her little finger to prove it. Nor does it matter what Edward’s American wife, Dora, says.
Show cover of Hitler’s Agent

On November 1 Cheops Books LLC will publish Dark 1 by Dora Benley, the novel that was once part of the Scholastic Point Horror Series. Bianca Winters is babysitting Katie Shipley, the newborn heiress across the Street when one Friday night the lights go out and she hears the housekeeper screaming. She goes upstairs to confront an intruder and save the baby from her crib. The housekeeper falls to her death. From that night on Bianca cannot remember anything about that night, least of all the face of the murderer. But when her memory starts to come back two years later she gets the feeling he is waiting out there to kill her.
On November 8 Cheops Books LLC will publish Dark 2 by Dora Benley, the book that was once part of the Scholastic Point Horror Series. Bianca mourns for Doc, her medical advisor upon whom she came to depend until she found out that he was the murderer. But now there is a new face in town, Dr. Byron Kingsley from Great Britain. He seems to take Doc’s old place. But somebody is still after her and Little Katie. She must flee the country. But even that may not be good enough.
On November 15 Cheops Books LLC will publish Dark: A Trilogy, a collection of three young adult thriller novels in the Dark Series: Dark 1, Dark 2, and Dark 3: Special Edition. Teenager Bianca Winters had no idea what was in store for her in the next few years when she took on a babysitting assignment across the street with Little Katie Shipley. That night her whole life was to change forever as a killer roamed around in the dark upstairs. She had to save the baby while the housekeeper, Mrs. Ingersoll, fell to her death.
In the months that followed the murder, Bianca comes under the wing of her new medical advisor, Doc, who helps her recover from the horrible experience. She falls in love with the young man only to have doubt cast on his motives by circumstances that hint that he himself is the killer. When he goes on the run, she has to still believe in him somehow. How could she love a murderer?
Katie Shipley’s parents move to California and take Bianca with them as her live in babysitter. Bianca thinks that Doc is dead, killed trying to escape from the authorities. But then just as a strange older gentleman from England appears and tries to kidnap Little Katie, a young man who reminds her of the one she has lost materializes in her life again. He shows her what has really been going on all these years behind the scenes, why Mrs. Ingersoll was killed, and what the bad guys want with Little Katie. The trilogy ends with the biggest surprise ending of all time.
Show book cover for Dark: A Trilogy

And finally on December 15 Cheops Books LLC will publish Captive at the Berghof part 1 in German translation, the first such work in a foreign language. This is the third volume of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. Hitler has found out about Colonel Sir Edward Ware’s secret undercover activities for Winston Churchill, and he’s playing hardball. He kidnaps Thomasina, Edward’s daughter, and won’t give the child back unless Edward and his wife, Dora, hand over the key to world domination – the Lawrence maps. They’d better do something fast before Thomasina truly becomes Hitler’s daughter.
Show book cover for Captive at the Berghof part 1

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