Three Years Ago Today: Lincoln Highway
Three years ago today Cheops Books LLC was embarked on a grand adventure: a trip to the Old World. It was a 110 day trip with postings every day. We began the day in New Stanton. We drove the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Breezewood. We encountered an exhibition on the history of the Turnpike at the rest stop at Midway.
This was all very relevant to the Edward Ware Thrillers Series. Dora, a native of Pittsburgh, drove this way many times in the days when she was following the Lincoln Highway through the mountains of Pennsylvania. The Lincoln Highway is featured in the upcoming alternative history thriller, Old Faithful Plot.
The Lincoln Highway was centered in Pennsylvania. But it followed a route all the way to California. Dora and Edward followed it to the junction where they exited to Yellowstone National Park. You can read what happens next in Old Faithful Plot on June 16.
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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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Paperbacks With Illustrations by Cheops Books LLC:
Cheops Books LLC issues all their titles in paperback but you have to go to the website to buy them at http://www.edwardwarethrillers.org. They are not sold on Amazon.
Dora Benley says, “I always used to like to think that each novel was a world unto itself and should have its own housing or real estate if you will. That’s what it had to be a printed book and even the cover mattered a good deal, even the spine of the book and how it was put together. I do remember going to the Carnegie Library in downtown Pittsburgh when I was in high school and delighting in their collection of rare and antique books with leather binding. I loved even the smell of books in those days.”
In keeping with this frame of mind we also offer many fully illustrated editions such as Julia: A Romance or Salisbury Affair. All covers are drawn by cover artists such as Daniel Teran. Cheops Books LLC takes care in putting this editions together.
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Paris Peace Plot Saboteurs:
Cheops Books LLC will publish Paris Peace Plot by Dora Benley on the one hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day on Sunday, November 11, 2018. That will be the one hundredth anniversary of the end of the Great War, World War 1.
Cheops Books LLC will hold a Facebook Party as well as a Goodreads Giveaway that day. You will be able to win one of one hundred copies of the book. Before that day you will be able to pre-order the historical thriller on Amazon.com.
Dora 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 he 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 again.
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Latest Crazy Plot for Edward Ware Thrillers:
Try this plot on for size. Midsummer Dora and Edward leave the Desert Southwest, Cheops Books LLC Headquarters, and drive north through Wyoming to keep it cool. They might even stop at Yellowstone to let the coolness permeate everything before heading due east through Pittsburgh to visit Dora’s parents and onward to New York to board the ship. The ship takes them predictably to Southampton where they rent a car at the Southampton Airport for the next twenty-two days. The spies are onto them.
They visit all the tourist sites in the south of England from Bath to Dover. They make themselves look like tourists when they are secretly meeting with operatives. They make sure to have tea with Winston Churchill at his estate at Chartwell in Kent. Then they deceive everybody and make themselves hard to follow when at the very end of August they board a ship in Southampton that takes them to Gibraltar. They seem to be playing with the apes. Really at night they are signalling spies on the African Coast not far away in Morocco.
They hope nobody notices as they stop briefly at Cartegena in Spain and Valencia in Spain to meet with operatives while other tourists tour around and see the sights. Finally they disembark in Rome as the plot thickens.
Great works of art have been the repository of the Lawrence maps before. This time they visit the Bargello Gallery and deposit them in a secret niche carved in Bernini’s statue, Apollo and Daphne.
Quickly they hurry out of Rome on a train to Milan. They take the train from Milan to Paris, meeting Winston at the Ritz just to confuse any possible spies or pursuers. They make their way back to Britain and then America.
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Edward Roving Through Alaska:
As part of his new mission for Churchill in the mid 1950’s General Lord Edward Ware takes leave of his job as the black rod in the House of Lords. He and Dora, Lady Ware, board the Queen Mary to sail to New York. They are vague with friends and associates about what they are doing and where they intend to go. They don’t even confide in Dora’s parents in Pittsburgh. They have a long overland journey by train to the West Coast. There they make their way to Vancouver and sail to Alaska.
Edward finds himself on shore in the tiny town of Ketchikan in the days when Alaska was still a territory. In the days before statehood the prostitutes still walk the docks and cast him a leer now and then. It reminds him of days past when Helga von Wessel used to haunt his life, which has not happened in ten years.
One of these coastal cities along the Inside Passage seems to be the center of activity that he needs to investigate. Messages have been intercepted going back and forth to Russia and the new leader, Kruschev. He must find out where they are coming from.
He ends up in Juneau, the capital of Alaska. It is just another port of call on the ship. He heads for the Mendenhall Glacier. He and Dora are out in a small boat near the glacier. The glacier starts to calve. Ice plummets into the water and creates waves.
Their boat turns to head back to shore. Dora stops it and points at a skiff being washed towards them. Edward catches hold of a message tube. He pulls it out and reads it:
It has been a long time, Edward. We need to talk. H.
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Dora Benley is the only daughter of Robber Baron Winthrop Benley, a Pittsburgh industrialist of the early twentieth century. A way to understand her influence and wealth is that she was as wealthy at that time period as President Donald Trump is right now. Her wealth is important to the plot of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. When her husband, Colonel Sir Edward Ware, must suddenly dash abroad or rent a cottage or sail across the North Atlantic Dora’s vast wealth is always there to assist him. At one point the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and the Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler, ask her to hostess the new German Ambassador Ribbentropp and his entourage at her estate, Ware Hall, in the south of England. Only she can do this because she can afford the 20,000 pound bill for the lavish evening. Only she has a house big enough to sleep the entire delegation. It has often been said that money and politics are in bed together. Here in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series the marriage of Dora and Edward Ware is a perfect illustration of that truism.
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High society girl with umbrella
Mr. Winthrop Benley, father of Dora Benley, heroine of Edward Ware Thrillers at War, makes his name in the industrial Pittsburgh of the early twentieth century. He is President of Benley Tire and Rubber, later to become Benley Tire and Auto after he takes over his son-in-law’s inherited company, Adolphus Motors. As a first generation German American, he is very conservative. He becomes the chief financier of the America First Movement between the wars. He believes America should mind its own business and not get involved in Europe’s messed up affairs. This notion is totally at odds with his daughter’s marriage to Colonel Sir Edward Ware and his son-in-law’s allegiance to Winston Churchill.
Mr. Winthrop Benley and his wife, Etta May Benley, Dora’s mother, maintain three estates —- one in King of Prussia outside Philadelphia called Maymont, one on Coronado Island in San Diego Harbor, and his home base in the South Hills of Pittsburgh in a subdivision called Oakhurst. Each house has its place in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. The home base in Pittsburgh is featured in book one, Key to Lawrence Special Edition. The San Diego house is central to the alternative history thriller, Dark Horse, about the Republican Convention in Philadelphia in 1940. And Maymont makes its appearance in various novels starting with Key to Lawrence Special Edition.
The novel would be a much less interesting place without Etta May Benley and Winthrop Benley.
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As everybody decries Donald Trump’s new immigration and travel policies they should take a moment to pause and reflect on what used to be in Dora’s America. Dora Benley, the heroine of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, was born in 1894 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania which in those days was a magnet for immigrants from Germany and Eastern Europe in particular. It also attracted a number of Italian and Irish immigrants. But suddenly as the First World War began “over there” America began to shut its doors to all these immigrants. They felt the threat from abroad, all those dictators and people who didn’t think like Americans, at about the same time that the western frontier was closing after a period of expansion that had lasted from before the nation’s founding until that date. Dora could have said as did her contemporaries born at the end of the Victorian era with its limitless ideas of expansion and progress, “The world has become a far nastier place”.
From the time of the First World War until the mid 1960’s America’s immigration policy was to severely limit anyone at all coming into the country. There was exceptions for people’s spouses, for instance the war brides of World War 2. But immigrants were no longer thronging into the country as they had in the early years of the twentieth century. This was the time of America First, funded by Dora’s father, Robber Barron Winthrop Benley. America wanted to turn its back on the world and almost didn’t enter World War 2. It took all the ingenuity of the four term President FDR to get the country to fight for the allies, a battle dramatized in the recently published Cheops Books LLC novel, Dark Horse, about the candidacy of Wendell Wilkie and the Republican Convention in Philadelphia in 1940.
In the mid 1960’s Congress came up with quotas for immigration for each country. Now Donald Trump is attempting to come up with a system for keeping track of Muslim immigrants and travelers who visit or migrate to this country in the wake of 9/11 — another America First event. But it is hardly as extreme as the days of Dora’s America.
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