Dark 3: Special Edition Coming September 15 With New Audio:
The young adult thriller Dark 3: Special Edition will be published on September 15 to much fanfare as it is the last volume in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series that tells you how it all ends. As a very special treat we will be presenting a new book trailer with a brand new audio recording, new visuals, and everything else you can possibly imagine.
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.
Dark 3 concludes the Dark Series for young adults, first published by Scholastic UK. It also ties into and concludes the Edward Ware Thriller Series of historical novels about World War 1 and World War 2 with the biggest surprise ending of all time. The novel will be published by Cheops Books LLC on September 15.
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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Minotaur by Dora Benley
Minotaur will be offered in a special free promotion starting Wednesday, May 30 and going for the next five days. But hurry! A promotion like this won’t happen again this year.
A knock in the middle of the night decides Oneone’s fate. Her father has just been murdered mysteriously. The Court at Knossos summons her to serve. She must give up her fiance, the Prince of Zakros, and follow the messengers. She cannot be sure who has called her or for what reason. As she is kept waiting outside an anteroom in the Palace, she studies a bull rhyton lying on the floor and gazes into its wondrous eyes. It has no answers. The Mother Goddess has reserved a special fate for this young woman. She will not guess at its magnitude and importance until a smoking volcano lays waste the kingdom and the waters of the sea rise up to engulf it in this historical mythological novel about ancient Greece at the time of the Minoans by Dora Benley. A reader says, “A whole other world and an interesting take on the Minotaur legend. I expected something different but was pleased nonetheless. Transports you to a time of hardships and triumphs with many tears shed in between.”
If you enjoyed this historical thriller by Dora Benley you will also like her other recently published books. She is the author of Mary’s Gone, Latin Lessons, Book of the Dead, and Helen of Troy. To be published later this year are Dark 3: Special Edition and Hitler’s Agent.
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Trump and Titus the Emperor:
We will have to see what Trump will do. Frankly last night at dinner we were looking at photos of Trump at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. I looked up Josephus and got out my Titus coin to examine more carefully. The Roman response to Judea in those days was one which I have never seen in my lifetime. I thought I was seeing it on 9/11. But it petered out. WW1 still casts a long shadow. I think that war is still going on as a kind of 100 Years War. One of these days we have to get over it and start remembering Titus and generals like him. He settled the Judea issue for the next 1900 years, almost 2000 years. Don’t kid yourself. Back in ancient times the Jews were acting like the Arabs. They were the same Middle Eastern people. They had constant civil wars and acted fractious. So Rome conquered them. I think it is horrible that the governments nowadays do little or nothing to really end terrorism such as what you just experienced in Manchester. They make speeches and say they are against it. But their reaction says in so many words we just have to put up with it. This is something that the Romans would never have done. Not that I am advocating slavery which is one of the means they used to deal with it. Lots of the Jews were made Roman slaves. But a decisive military response would be in order.
The War on Terror has failed because nobody takes it seriously except George W Bush, and he only had 8 years in office. Besides even George W wasn’t pursuing the War on Terror the way Vespasian or Titus would have. You need to march into the Middle Eastern countries, take over, send in military governors for the next several generations and build modern forms of amphitheaters and baths, build roads, create jobs, etc. That is what the Romans did. That is the only thing that works in the long run. You are not fighting an “idea”. You are fighting a civilization that is way behind the times and needs to get up to date.
Titus appears as an important character in the upcoming Cheops Books, LLC historical thriller, the Vesuvius Plot.
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As far as scientists know volcanism in Yellowstone began about 2.2 million years ago. There were precursors and then there were three giant eruptions larger than anything in recorded history. The precursors began with an eruption of the Junction Butte Basalt in the northeastern part of the park. Then the Island Park area in Idaho blew its lid. These oldest postulated eruptions were followed by the three big ones: One giant eruption occurred 2.1 million years ago. The second big one occurred 1.3 million years ago. The last known big one occurred 639,000 years ago.
The big ones were followed by intermittent smaller eruptions. One of these about 180,000 years ago was filled by the West Thumb area of Yellowstone Lake. This series of eruptions continued until about 70,000 years ago while the current Yellowstone Plateau took shape.
Right now Yellowstone’s magma chamber is 5 to7 miles beneath the surface. It heats the overlying rock which heats the water and causes the geothermal reactions and Old Faithful itself. The magma also causes the Yellowstone caldera to rise and fall every few decades. More recently the uplift has gone on at an extraordinary rate. But it probably doesn’t mean you will see an eruption this year or next year. This is the pattern of the volcano. But like all good scientists they have to admit that they don’t know for sure.
The Roadside Geology of Yellowstone Country by William J. Fritz concludes by saying, “The inescapable conclusion from all this earthquake activity is that the likelihood that another major earthquake will occur in Yellowstone Country is guaranteed; it is simply a matter of when it will happen.”
All this geology about the Yellowstone supervolcano and Yellowstone’s geothermal areas is the background of the upcoming Cheops Books LLC historical thriller the Old Faithful Plot by Dora Benley. Find out what could happen next.
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Salisbury Plot will soon be available as an audio book on Audible Cheops Books, LLC has hired a recording artist to tell Dora’s story first as Mrs. Byrne on the sinking Morro Castle and then as Lady Ware married to a mysterious British Lord, Colonel Sir Edward Ware, who finds himself deep in intrigue on the German front. Hitler’s name keeps surfacing and then disappears into the shadows on their country estate in England in the 1930s. Dora does not feel safe and she must find her own way out of the shadows.
Salisbury Plot is book 2 of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. Already published are Key to Lawrence Special Edition, book 1, Captive at the Berghof 1 and 2, which are book 3 of the series, and the Dark Horse, which is book 4. Captive at the Berghof 1 and 2 are already available on Audible. So is Dark Horse available. Key to Lawrence: Special Edition will soon be on Audible itself.
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Helen of Troy by Dora Benley Free On Amazon Kindle:
Helen of Troy by Dora Benley will be offered for sale for free starting on Sunday, May 21 and continuing through Thursday next week, May 25. This new young adult historical novel incorporates retells the myth of Helen of Troy and her husband Menelaus, King of Sparta, as they both confront the Trojan War. But hurry! This is a not to miss offer not to 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 teen-ager 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.
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.
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Hope you enjoyed the selection of blog posts about the upcoming historical thriller title Wall Street Swastika about the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and its effect on Hitler and his Nazi Movement in Germany. How do Colonel Sir Edward Ware, Dora, Mrs. Byrne, and Winston Churchill — along with their spy Putlitz who works in the German Embassy in London — thwart Hitler and his attempts to finance his growing movement? What do they do about the Prince of Wales who has taken a liking to Hitler and his ways as Hitler starts by attempting to take over Thuringia? Find out when Cheops Books LLC publishes the book. It is coming soon to Amazon Kindle.
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Chapter 22: Wall Street Swastika: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
“My word!” the art director exclaimed. “What the times are coming to!” he shook his head as he continued forward up the stairs towards Dora’s cabin. “First you have the stock market crash in New York. Then everything else starts falling apart like a domino effect. It seems like the social order is breaking down if you ask me.”
The art director did not know how close he was to putting his finger on what was really going on. Adolf Hitler who was sailing aboard this ship was definitely a sign of the decline and fall of the social order. She, Edward, and Churchill were trying to set it right again sometimes all by themselves.
The art director carrying the painting knocked on the door of the suite. Immediately Edward opened it. He saw Dora and grabbed her into his arms and shut the door. The art director knocked again. Churchill took the painting and quickly thanked the man.
Dora whispered to Churchill to say something to the director to get rid of him. Churchill forced a smile onto his face and spat, “It is definitely NOT a Monet.”
“I thought not!” the art director said.
They slammed the door for the final time that night. They ordered room service and did not go down to the dining room while Churchill put the unwanted painting aside in a closet.
“Did you shoot the thugs?” Dora asked Edward horrified.
Edward nodded. “We had to let them know we meant business. They were after you, weren’t they?”
After all, Edward, Colonel Sir Edward Ware, was a crack shot. He had been so since his days in the Great War serving under Lawrence of Arabia in the Middle East.
She nodded. “They already threw me in an empty cabin. It was beginning to remind me of the Lusitania all over again. But I threw my purse at the thug and escaped. They followed me to the ship’s art gallery. I had to think of something so I bought the painting.”
Churchill nodded. “We got your notes. That alerted us to figure out what was going on.”
“One of them was carrying a knife,” Edward said. “They were following you upstairs. Who knows what they would have done? So I shot them in self-defense.”
The next evening which was the last night of the voyage to Hamburg, Churchill, Dora, and Edward occupied their table in the dining room by the window to make a statement and show Hitler that they were not easily cowed. Hitler was seated opposite them in the center of the dining room gaily greeting waiters and waving at guests. Lots of people stopped by to shake his hand and meet the up and coming star of the National Socialist Party in Germany.
“So goes the British upper class!” groaned Churchill, shaking his head in disapproval.
Of course the real attention-getter was the Prince of Wales sitting at the same table next to the gaudily adorned Helga von Wessel and her husband in tuxedo, Herr von Wessel. The Prince was gazing intently into Frau von Wessel’s eyes as she used her hands and talked, describing the wonders of National Socialism and what it could do for Germany in the next few years. She was dressed in a black sequined gown all the way down to her ankles. The dress featured black puffy sleeves made of lace and a lace sheath that covered the rest of the dress.
But suddenly the Prince caught sight of Dora seated there near the window in the gown she had bought at such a cost yesterday in the shop on the ship. He waved at her, smiled, and rose from his seat.
Frau von Wessel grabbed for his arm. “Your Highness, you don’t want anything to do with Mrs. Byrne. She is an American divorcee or about to be one! That would never do. And besides, she doesn’t see things the way we do.”
“Nonsense!” His Majesty proclaimed. “It doesn’t matter. I have always admired Americans and divorcees are a more independent thinking kind of woman. I admire that, too.” He headed towards their table by the window.
Frau von Wessel scowled at Dora in envy that the Prince of Wales, the new benefactor of the Nazi Party, should think anything about Mrs. Byrne was interesting at all.
Dora was scandalized. She looked towards Churchill, then Edward, pleading with them to help her. But apparently neither of them could do anything at all about the actions of the Prince of Wales as he plopped down in a chair at the same table right beside them. He moved his chair closer to Dora who was so flabbergasted she did not know what to do except to gape at His Majesty.
“So you are the heiress from America!” the Prince exclaimed. “At least that is what Frau and Herr von Wessel tell me.”
He glanced back at his other recently met friends. The von Wessels plastered artificlal smiles on their faces. Hitler himself broke off his conversation to wave.
Dora nodded woodenly. She swallowed hard. She had to sit here and listen to this.
“You and your millions could make the biggest difference to Herr Hitler and his friends and associates,” the Prince expounded.
Hitler again flashed them a winning smile.
Winston glared at the upstart.
Edward motioned to Dora to go on. She had to answer the Prince.
Dora wet her lips. “I am sure lots of people like charity, Your Highness, but I am inclined to keep charity at home which means the United States and not give it out to dangerous foreign types. That is what my father taught me.”
The Prince pointed at her and wagged his finger. “My parents the King and Queen of England taught me much the same thing. But I have learned to think for myself.”
Winston rolled his eyes. He leaned toward Edward and hissed, “That is the understatement of the year.”
“Your Highness,” Winston broke in. “Your parents the King and Queen would be much grieved to see you handing money to foreigners with whom they have no diplomatic relations.”
“Well, they should, and I intend to be the first to say so!” the Prince said stubbornly. “He is better than the Weimar government any day.”
Dora thought he sounded like a spoiled twelve year old, but a dangerous spoiled twelve year old.
After a few more minutes of unendurable behavior, the shadow of Frau von Wessel loomed over the table. She took the Prince’s arm. “Enough fun for now, Your Majesty,” she urged him to go, “it is time for Herr Hitler to practice one of his speeches. He is going to introduce you to the crowd at Nuremberg, remember? Don’t you want to hear what he is going to say?”
The Prince of Wales leaped up. “I certainly don’t want to miss one of Herr Hitler’s speeches even if he is only practicing. Would you like to come, too, Mrs. Byrne?” he asked Dora.
Edward rose and took Dora’s arm. “Sorry, Your Highness, but Mrs. Byrne would not be attending a Herr Hitler speech if it were the last available entertainment aboard this ship.”
With that rejoinder Edward led Dora away out the entrance to the restaurant and up the stairs to their cabin just as Frau von Wessel led the Prince of Wales away. Dora hoped never to have to confront him again this side of Hamburg.
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Chapter 21: Wall Street Swastika: Lawrence Maps Or Your Life:
The German spies were getting so close Dora wanted to scream. But at the last moment they stopped and started to gaze at the portrait on the wall next to the one that resembled Monet’s Woman With A Parasol. It was another portrait of some undistinguished person that the painter must have known. Obviously the goons had deliberately moved physically closer so that they could keep up with what Dora was doing and so they could hear better what she said.
Dora knew this was a dangerous game that she, Churchill, and Edward were playing. It had not improved over the years either. It reminded her of when she took her first transatlantic crossing on the last voyage of the Lusitania in May of 1915. A goon hired by the Kaiser called Ali had followed her aboard, kidnapped her, and tied her ultimately to a pillar in the engine room with her future husband, Michael Byrne. They had barely escaped when the ship was torpedoed and the second mysterious explosion had occurred when Ali had set off his chemical bomb. Since she had not handed over the first Lawrence maps even then, she had been forced to row ashore with her father and mother. They had also been aboard the doomed ocean liner. In those days she had not even known what a Lawrence map was, though Ali had interrogated her about it. She was soon to find out, though, as soon as she got to Queenstown, Ireland and ran into the future Colonel Sir Edward Ware as a young man about to ship off for Gallipoli. He had told her all about the maps. Before the war was over he was to send them to her to keep in Pittsburgh. Then when she showed up in Paris for the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, Lawrence of Arabia himself, author of the maps, key to world domination, handed her a box of maps to keep with her when she returned to America. Lawrence thought they would be safer there than in Europe where greedy Germans even after the war were looking everywhere for them.
No one had made a better prediction. Here the Germans were crowding her out on the lower level of deck 3. It was ten years later, and they were seeking the same maps.
“M’lady, I should take a moment to wait on these gentlemen,” the art director tried to excuse himself, “while we wait for your art collector friends to arrive.”
“No matter what my friends say, I want to buy this painting. Don’t your have forms to fill out?” she pressed. She ran her hand up and down her arm.
The art director got out his bell and again rang for his assistant. “Will you please wait on the patient gentlemen over there while I wait on the lady?” he asked her.
Dora hovered over the art director protectively while he filled out form after form. She knew that he was all that shielded her from instant capture and being taken forcibly from this room at gunpoint with the butt of the pistol pointed toward her back especially when she no longer had her own gun to defend herself. It would be worse than the Lusitania. On the Lusitania there was just Ali. Here were two thugs who could jump her at once.
The art director asked Dora her name and address as well as her phone number. As she was reciting numbers, she noticed that the thugs had dismissed the assistant to the art director. They of course were not really interested in the paintings at all. Now they were slipping gloves over their hands. She swallowed hard. Did they intend to attack her anyways?
Then it came to her as if they had hit her with a mallet. She had summoned Edward and Churchill. They must have guessed that. They were not moving in on her because they were more interested in the menfolk. They would make a juicier capture than an American heiress. Neither had been present on the Lusitania or Ali himself might have preferred them to her or even Michael Byrne.
She tried keep her wits about her. She had to get out of here.
“Let’s —- let’s take the painting up to my cabin,” she suggested to the art director. “My friends are taking too long to arrive.” She had to reach Edward and Winston Churchill. She had to warn them what the rogues were planning. Certainly she should not be left alone like this while the clock was ticking and danger appeared at every turn.
She signed to put the cost of the painting on her final room tab to be paid at the end of the voyage to the purser’s desk.
The goons were trailing them as they left the shop. She hoped they did not intend to surprise them in a darkened hallway. She glanced over her shoulder. They were leaving the shop, too. They were only a few steps behind them. They did not want her to warn her confederates.
Suddenly she heard gunfire from one of the balcony’s above in the grand lobby. Women shrieked all around. She heard screams from behind her. The two thugs had collapsed on the floor of the lobby lying on oriental rugs looking blankly up at the chandeliers with vacant eyes. They were dead.
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Chapter 20: Wall Street Swastika: The Lawrence Maps:
The goon pressed his revolver against Dora’s shoulder. “I have orders to shoot you dead if you don’t cooperate, Mrs. Byrne.” He spoke with a German accent. “If I were you, I would hand over those maps, or you might just find yourself not here anymore.”
She scowled at him. This kind of complication was all she needed right about now. She was trying to hurry to meet Edward and Churchill for afternoon tea in the Queen’s Room on deck 3. How was she going to communicate with them now?
“Here,” she had the presence of mind to click open the top of her handbag. “I keep the maps here all in a row all neatly filed,” she lied.
He had not been expecting that answer. His eyebrows rose suddenly and with great interest. Good.
Dora threw the handbag at him. He caught it with both hands, naturally not wanting to drop it. She took advantage of the distraction to shove around him out of the cabin and race down the hallway. She headed towards the art gallery. It was the first place she caught sight of. It was not very crowded right now. She headed immediately to the desk. The gentleman in attendance stood up. She threw herself at him, pointing at the first painting she saw. “Is that a Monet?” she pressed. It was the first thing that popped into her head.
“I don’t think so. We don’t have any Monets here,” the man begged off. “But we do feature some younger painters who aren’t as famous but who we think are very talented and will do well in the future. We encourage all our guests to buy what pleases them. In the future the paintings will always be worth more and more than what you paid for them.
“But that painting looks so much like Woman With a Parasol,” Dora insisted as she saw the goon and a helper appear at the door to the art gallery. He was carrying her handbag that she had thrown at him. It seemed to be empty. No doubt he had cleaned it out looking for the Lawrence maps. Of course he had not found them. Edward had them up his sleeve as usual..
Dora moved even closer to the art gallery attendant. She figured they would not grab at her or try to snatch her again as long as she stuck to this man as if he were her long lost brother.
“Look at the sheen of the sunlight on her dress and the reflection in the water,” Dora said.
“Well, occasionally paintings do get mislabeled,” he hemmed and hawed. “I do remember the art gallery owner —- we are stationed in London, you know —- going to an exhibtion of Monets in Paris several months ago. I don’t imagine that he bought one, but you never know for sure.”
He reached for a catalog of paintings in the exhibition on the ship. He went down column after column. He apparently did not find anything. So he could out another catalog and searched for that.
“I am sailing with an art expert,” Dora volunteered all too eagerly when she noticed that Hitler’s thugs had advanced into the gallery and were pretending to admire the paintings exhibited on the walls and on each side of each porthole. Really they were obviously just trying to get closer to her by the desk. “If you will send for him, he can judge the painting and see what he thinks.”
“I am sure I would be glad to entertain your fellow art collectors,” the attendant exclaimed and rang a bell for a lady assistant who instantly appeared from a back room.
Dora thought, Good! The more people I can summon the better. I don’t want to be alone with those freaks.
“You should take the lady’s notes to her friends. They are art collectors too,” the man gave his assistant a significant glance.
Dora measured the distance the spies had to move to reach her behind the desk. “Do hurry!” she told the lady. “One of my friends is in cabin 4118 and the other occupies 4116,” she instructed the assistant. “It is only one floor up from here. They would be so happy to see this painting.”
Hurry down to the art gallery on deck 3 lower level. I am there alone right now with the gallery attendant. Hitler’s hired guns are closing in on me by the minute. I have already escaped once. I don’t know if I can manage again. Right now I am holding them at bay by talking to the gallery attendant about a painting which I said reminds me of Monet. The gunmen have my handbag which I had to throw at them minutes before to escape. So I don’t even have my gun with me.”
She folded the note and handed it over and then hurriedly scribbled another to Winston saying pretty much the same thing. She added:
Hitler has not come to England just to get funding for his elections in Germany and to use the von Wessels to snag the Prince of Wales. No! He is after the maps. The thugs thought I had them and tried to kidnap me after I left the dress shop. I had to throw my purse at them and run. Now I am in the art gallery. But they have found me. I need immediate assistance.
She heard the trampling of feet and looked up. The men were only about two yards away. They were headed straight for her. Should she scream? She had only seconds to decide.
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