Last Day To Enter Julia: A Romance Giveaway:

Today is the last day to enter the Julia: A Romance Giveaway on Goodreads. Tomorrow Goodreads will distribute one hundred Kindle copies of the historical novel to the winners of the contest. It costs you nothing. So if you want to be one of the first to see the finished copy of the novel, enter today. And this is a revised version of the very first novel that Dora Benley ever wrote with a brand new ending never seen before.

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 Lucius Cornelius 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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Pre-Order Julia: A Romance On Amazon:

All spiffed up with a brand new cover, Julia: A Romance is ready to pre-order. Get your copy on publication date April 9.

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 Lucius Cornelius 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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New Book Cover For Old Faithful Plot:

Here we have the new book cover for Old Faithful Plot by Dora Benley published by Cheops Books LLC. It is being unveiled on our website for the very first time. We hope you appreciate the drama and tension in the painting by cover artist Daniel Teran. Dora and Edward find themselves in an odd and unexpected position of driving across a landscape of exploding hot pots in Yellowstone National Park. It is a far cry from the roads that Edward is accustomed to driving in the south of England. Not only Hitler and his spies and henchmen, but the entire landscape seems to have turned against the couple working for Winston Churchill in an attempt to hide the Lawrence maps, key to world domination.

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.

Old Faithful Plot will be published later this year. Look for further details in this blog on this website.

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Julia: A Romance Goodreads Giveaway:

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway contest to win 1 of 100 free copies of the Amazon Kindle version of Dora Benley’s Julia: A Romance. A new edition of Dora Benley’s historical thriller set in the 80’s B.C. will be awarded to the winners on Friday, April 6, the day the contest ends nearly three months from now. The Goodreads Giveaway will start in only a few more days.

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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Cheops Books Offers Lots Of Roman Novels:

Historical novels like just about everything else started in ancient Rome with the publication of a series of Greek Hellenistic novels of the romantic sort. So in tribute to the people of the Tiber River who gave us the column, the arch, St. Peters, the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum, Cheops Books has published a series of thrillers about ancient Rome.

One such novel is Julius Caesar: A Novel. In old age and in exile Servilia, mother of Marcus Brutus, awaited the suicide order from the Emperor Augustus, Caesar’s heir, who put to death all of Julius Caesar’s enemies. But instead he asked her to return to Rome and advise him as she once advised his predecessor, whose mistress she was. He wanted her to help raise the daughter of her old enemy Cleopatra, whom he brought back from Egypt after the death of the Serpent of the Nile: “Rome … that great maw of cites, the eater of men that ground and chewed up lives as if they were mere sandy grit between its teeth and then spat them out again. Through endless cycles of the seasons, revolutions, civil wars, and lives always the same. Did I have enough strength in this feeble body to war with her again? The child looked up at me. The answer was on my lips.”

See what you think of this historical thriller from the point of view of Servilia, Julius Caesar’s lifelong friend and mistress. She provides her own perspective on the colossus among men caught between the Republican faction of old Rome and those longing for empire.

Another such novel is Julius Caesar: A Novel. 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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Greece Plays A Role In Julia: A Romance:

Sulla conquered Athens in 87 and 86BC. A stream of slaves was sent to Rome to fill the houses of the patricians with tutors, governesses, and secretaries. For the Greeks were known to be better educated than other slaves from other countries. And in fact Greek was considered a prestigious language that only aristocratic Romans spoke. To have a higher education back then meant to go to Athens and enroll in a school of philosophy or rhetoric.

But the Greeks were troublesome and likely to create plots and revolutions, too. Marcus Sisenna, Sulla’s right-hand lieutenant and political ally in Julia: A Romance, must help to ferret out the origins of a Greek conspiracy rife in Rome at the time of his dictatorship. Delphi becomes a hotbed of rebellion along with the island of Crete and the Palace of Knossos. Who knows where it ends? Look for Julia: A Romance next year from Cheops Books LLC.

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The Roman Banquet In Classical Times:

The second day of the Roman wedding was often a Roman banquet or reception for the guests which meant feasting. What did the Romans eat?
You might be likely to find them gathered on the couches and sofas around the banqueting table devouring a pork roast the way you would associate with Henry VIII. For the Roman aristocracy liked pork as much as the later day English aristocracy. But alas they did not have forks, which were an invention of later times. They had to content themselves with only spoons and knives. And more than their modern counterparts they ate with their hands.

If they were not serving pork they would probably be serving fish, which was a favorite of Romans. They had their own favorite fish sauce, too. It was called either garum or liquamen. It has often be compared with American ketchup in its popularity.

And what about dessert for the Roman banquet? For the wedding banquet you were not likely to be served a wedding cake. In fact in the aristocratic form of marriage that was reserved for the bridal couple only during the ceremony and was fed to them by the priest in a ceremony resembling what later became the Roman Catholic wedding ceremony. But they were likely to enjoy fruit, honey, and nuts mixed up in some kind of custard or even cookies. And while they ate they were likely to be entertained by jugglers, musicians, acrobats, and actors.

In Julia: A Romance by Dora Benley, and soon to be published by Cheops Books LLC,  you will find a full-scale banquet after the wedding ceremony. This all takes place before Julia and Marcus Sisenna, the groom, depart for a mysterious honeymoon trip to Greece where they will meet untold adventures.

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Preparations For A Roman Wedding:

The bride wore a white woolen dress with a translucent flame yellow veil very much like a Vestal Virgin to show off her virginity. A young boy relative would light the torch of Ceres to guide the wedding procession to the house of the groom. The bride carried a copper coin to give to the Lares of her new neighborhood to show that she would soon be part of it. The bride was greeted by a torch bearer from the groom’s household. Then the bride was carried over the threshhold by her attendants. She was greeted by the groom. They exchanged vows, “Where you are Gaius, I am Gaia.” Frequently a sacrifice took place. The bride and groom held hands. That night the wedding would be consummated. The next day the groom would hold a banquet for his friends.

There was also a confarreatio Roman wedding ceremony reserved for the highest nobility about which we know very little except that it was somehow more religious. It was presided over by the Flamen Dialis and the Pontifex Maximus with ten witnesses present. The bride and groom shared a cake made of spelt.

In every Roman wedding a big deal was made of the date which had to be approved by augurs to make sure that it was lucky. It could determine how the whole marriage would turn out in the future.

Julia: A Romance is an upcoming historical romantic thriller by Dora Benley to be published by Cheops Books LLC. It incorporates a full-scale, lavish Roman wedding.

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Captive at the Berghof: Part 1 in German:

Captive at the Berghof: Part 1 by Dora Benley and published by Cheops Books LLC will bring out a German edition on December 15. Newly translated and released for the first time, this volume represents Cheops Books LLC’s first release in a foreign language of any kind. We thought it was particularly appropriate to publish Captive at the Berghof in German. It is after all about Germany during World War 2 and the lead up during the 1930’s.

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.

Captive at the Berghof was meticulously researched on the ground in Germany by the authors. They visited Nuremberg and climbed the stands where Hitler spoke and where Hitler was photographed by Leni Riefenstahl. They also ate in the current day Burger King which used to be the station where the lights for the arena were controlled. They did not miss the site of the Berghof in the Alps Mountains where Hitler used to spent much of his time.

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