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    Helena P. Schrader's novels reflect her extensive travels, her experiences in many nations and cultures, and her solid background in history.  To these she adds a remarkable talent for envisioning interesting characters and bringing them to life.  Readers of her novels on ancient Sparta, medieval Europe, and Europe and America during World War II find themselves transported to a historical place and time that is vivid and accurate, seeing it through the eyes of her characters and experiencing it through their adventures.  And like all good novels, her stories raise basic life questions (concerning love, death, honour, and spirituality) that transcend any one place or time.
    The daughter of an American professor of economics, Helena travelled extensively as a child and as a student, living and attending school in Japan, Brazil, England, and Nigeria.  She holds degrees in History and in Diplomacy and International Commerce, including a Ph.D. from the University of Hamburg for her studies on the German Resistance during World War II.  As an adult she lived for many years in Europe, working in government organizations and in the private sector.
    She is commissioned in the U.S. Foreign Service.  Her hobbies include horseback riding, sailing, and (most recently) learning to fly.
    This site provides summaries and excerpts from Helena Schrader's published and in progress, fiction and non-fiction works.  While exploring the site you will also find interesting articles and/or galleries addressing in more depth her favourite writing themes:  ancient Sparta; medieval Europe and the Knights Templar; and Europe and America during WWII with a special emphasis on female pilots.

    Be sure to read all about her newest award winning published works, Leonidas of Sparta: A Boy of the Agoge, Leonidas of Sparta: A Peerless PeerCodename Valkyrie, An Obsolete Honor, Chasing the Wind, Blockade Breakers and Spartan Slave, Spartan Queen: A Tale of Four Women in Sparta.  Helena looks forward to your comments about her books and the subjects she writes about via her guest book.



Hitler's Demons were those Germans who opposed his diabolical regime on moral grounds.  They sought to defend human dignity and restore the rule of law.  This novel is a tribute to the brave men and women of the German Resistance and the true story of the Valkyrie Plot to assassinate Hitler.

Hitler's Demons was first published and is still available in trade paperback under the title:  An Obsolete Honor .

Hitler's Demons cover

Follow the fates of the men of 1940 RAF and Luftwaffe fighter squadrons...and thjhe women the loved...on both sides of the channel.

RAF ace Wing Commander Bob Doe said this is "the best book he has ever read on the Battle of Britain".

Available also in paperback under the title Chasing the Wind .
Eagles Never Flew cover

You can always keep up with all of Helena's historical fiction endeavors and musings on her author blog:

NOTE: Helena is American, but her book publishers are German and British; therefore, this site uses British spelling and grammar.


WWII and Aftermath History
WW2 Book Summaries

An Obsolete Honor: A Story of the German Resistance to Hitler
Fiction, published 2008

This work of historical fiction recounts the story of the German resistance to Nazism in WWII and of the Valkyrie Plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler.   This novel traces the gradual transformation of a loyal - albeit critical - German General Staff Officer into a traitor and assassin candidate.  Secondary characters in the novel reflect the great diversity of feelings toward National Socialism from idealistic enthusiasm to self-interested support, cautious approval and humanitarian opposition.

Obsolete Honour World War Two Novel - book cover
Codename Valkyrie
Non fiction biography (in English), published 2009

General Friedrich Olbricht was a leading member of the German Resistance to Hitler and the originator of Plan Valkyrie. This is his story, the first biography of him in the English language. It is based on documents from the former East Germany and hundreds of interviews with survivors of the war. It demonstrates Olbricht's central role in the July 20th Plot and refutes the claims (originating with Hitler himself) that only a small number of conspirators were involved and that Graf Stauffenberg was the sole important participant.

Codename Valkyrie - book cover
Blockade Breakers
Non-fiction, published 2008

When the post-war Soviet military government in Germany abruptly put the Western Sectors of Berlin under siege (the Berlin Blockade), nearly two million German civilians found themselves cut off from supplies of food, fuel, electricity and other basic necessities.  The American and British occupation forces had the choice of abandoning these Germans, struggling to create a democratic government after years of Nazi dictatorship, or find a way to supply them with all they needed.  Since use of force meant war with the Soviets, the Western Allies took a dramatic and unprecedented decision to supply the city by air.  The result was the Berlin Airlift, the largest and most successful airlift the world has ever known.

Blockade Breakers, history WW2 aftermath book
Chasing the Wind
Fiction, published 2007

This Battle of Britain novel weaves together the stories of an Auxiliary Air Force Fighter Squadron, a career RAF pilot of Training Command, a Luftwaffe fighter pilot and a member of the Luftwaffe's women's auxiliary.  The stress of battle reveals the strengths and weakness of the participants as their fates become entwined.

Chasing the Wind, WW Two German & British Pilots book
The Lady in the Spitfire
Fiction, published 2006

mid-air near collision between a damaged Flying Fortress and an RAF bomber is the catalyst which brings Lt. Jay Baronowsky and Emily Priestman, a pilot of the Air Transport Auxiliary, together.  The encounter is the start of a war-time romance shadowed by the intangible presence of Emily's missing husband (the RAF pilot in Chasing the Wind).

Lady in the Spitfire, WWll ATA book
Sisters in Arms
Non-fiction, published 2006

During World War II, women pilots in the US and the UK flew military aircraft in support capacities.  The women pilots in the UK, who flew with the ATA,  enjoyed the privileges and status of their male colleagues.  Their counter parts in the US, The WASPs, were denied equality of opportunity and status and sent home before their job was done.  This book explains why.

Sisters in Arms- WWII Women Pilots - book
General Friedrich Olbricht: Ein Mann des 20. Julis
Non-fiction biography (in German), published 1993/1994 (two editions)

Olbricht was a leading member of the German Resistance to Hitler.  This biography of him, based on a wealth of previously inaccessible documents from the former East Germany and hundreds of interviews with survivors of the war, demonstrates the central role Olbricht played in the July 20th Plot and revises many previous assumptions about Resistance within Germany in WWII.

General Olbrict German Resistance WW2 book history

Also visit:

bullet RAF WWII Photo Gallery
bullet Luftwaffe - Helferninnen Women Auxiliary Photo Gallery
bullet WWll Women Pilots: ATA and WASP Photo Gallery

    bullet  Helena's WWII Symbol Gallery for images on this subject.
 bullet Further Reading page for WWII and Women Aviators study.
  bullet  Read the short essay: "The Battle of Britain in Historical Perspective" by Helena Schrader.
  bullet  Read the article: "Women in Military Aviation in World War Two" by Helena Schrader.
  bullet  Read the article: "Winged Auxiliaries : Women Pilots in the UK and US during World War Two" by Dr. Helena P. Schrader.
Reprinted from the "THE JOURNAL OF NAVIGATION", 2006
bullet  Helena's Website: The Valkyrie Conspiracy for in depth articles about the military German Resistance against the Nazi regime.


Ancient Sparta history
Ancient Sparta historical book summaries

Leonidas of Sparta book 1
Leonidas of Sparta: A Boy of the Agoge
Fiction,published 2010

The firstof three novels exploring the lives of Leonidas and Gorgo.  In this book discover why, the younger of twins, Leonidas was lucky not to be killed at birth.  As a boy, he must prove himself worthy of Spartan citizenship. Struggling to survive the harsh Spartan upbringing without disgrace, he never expects that one day he will be king or chosen to command the combined Greek forces fighting a Persian invasion.  But these were formative years that would one day make him the most famous Spartan of them all: the hero of Thermopylae.  

Peerless Peer Leonidas of Sparta: A Peerless Peer
Fiction, published 2011

The Agiad and Eurypontid kings are at each other's throats, the Peloponnesian League is in disarray, and the Greek cities of Ionia are calling on Sparta and Athens to aid them in their rebellion against their Persian masters. But Leonidas is less interested in high politics than in putting his private life in order.  He needs to find reliable helots to restore his ruined estate, and – most important – to find the right woman to be his bride.  This is the story of both Leonidas and Gorgo in the years before Leonidas becomes king of Sparta and before the first Persian invasion of Greece.

Olympic Charioteer Ancient Sparta book
The Olympic Charioteer
Fiction, published 2005, re-printed 2010

This is the story of a slave and a charioteer in Archaic Greece.  Based on ancient sources but using predominantly fictional characters, The Olympic Charioteer describes the events that led to the establishment of the first "non-aggression pact" in recorded history.

Are They Singing in Sparta? Ancient Sparta book
Are They Singing in Sparta?
Fiction, published 2006

The revolutionary unrest which caused Ancient Sparta to adopt the first democratic constitution in the ancient world, and the bitter war which followed, are the setting of this novel.  These historical events, the seeds of all subsequent Spartan development, are presented through the eyes of an Athenian poet, a Spartan commander and a young widow.


Spartan Slave, Spartan Queen - Ancient Sparta novel
Spartan Slave, Spartan Queen: Tale of Four Women of Sparta
Fiction, published 2007

Two women in Sparta are captured into slavery at the same time: the beautiful daughter of the Arcadian King, Niobe,  and her ugly, "barbarian" hand-maiden, Mika. While Niobe becomes the concubine of one of Sparta's princes, Mika is an ordinary slave in the house of an ordinary citizen's wife.  The novel explores the impact and effect of beauty on four women's lives in an ancient context.  This book is a sequel to Are They Singing in Sparta?


Also visit:

 bullet  Helena's web site on Sparta for articles and further suggested reading.
bullet  Ancient Sparta Gallery for images on this subject.
bullet Leonidas and Gorgo of Sparta, for articles specifically relating to these historical people amd for further information about her ne historical trilogy.


Medieval & Knights Templar history book title
Middle Ages & Crusade Book Summaries

The Cypriot Knight
Fiction, published 1996

This is the first novel in Helena's Knights Templar Trilogy.  Two young people with pasts they would rather forget meet by chance.  They have been shaped and scarred by the Templars and the Cathars, the Crusades and the Inquisition.  It is a story of shaken faith, lost illusions, and newfound hope.
Cypriot Knight Crusades history book
Sir Jean of Acre
Fiction, published 1997

This is the second novel in Helena's Knights Templar Trilogy. Jean joins the Knights Templar to defend the Holy Land.  He embarks upon a crusade which eventually takes him to the siege of Acre and the loss of Christian Palestine to the Muslims.  Confronted with his own failure, he is compelled to redefine himself, his beliefs and his goals.
Sir Jean of Acre Knights Templar history book
The English Templar
Fiction, published 1999
Republished March 2007

This is the third novel in Helena's Knights Templar Trilogy. Set against the backdrop of the destruction of the Knights Templar by Philip IV, this is a story of the struggle between good and evil in human hearts.  Whereas the English Templar, Sir Percy, must learn to tame his hatred, his Cathar-raised rescuer, Félice, has to learn how to focus and define her love.
English Templar Knights Templar history book
Lion of Karpas
Fiction, finished unpublished - proposed release: 2011

The Kingdom of Jerusalem during the Fifth Crusade is the setting for this novel.  It follows a mismatched couple, the ageing and ruthless Cypriot baron and his refined young second wife, as he fights on the one hand to defend the independence of the Kingdom of Cyprus against Imperial tyranny, and on the other to win the love of his bride.

Lion of Karpas Kingdom of Jerusalem Fifth Crusade history book
The Black Prince
Fiction, in progress

A fictionalized biography about Edward of Woodstock, the eldest child of King Edward III, who was born in 1330. He "won his spurs" at the Battle of Crécy, fighting in the front line when just 16 years of age. In 1356, against a vastly superior French army, he won the battle of Poitiers, taking the French King captive. He surprised the world, and probably his own father, by marrying his widowed and divorced cousin, Joan, the "Fair Maid of Kent."  Despite his failing health he was the power behind the scenes which enabled "the Good Parliament" of 1376 to pass measures designed to strengthen the government against despotism.
The Black Prince Edward of Woodstock Middle Ages history book

Also visit:

  bullet  Helena's Medieval/Knights Templar Gallery for information on symbols of the era.
 bullet  Further Reading page for Medieval and Knights Templar study.




NOTE: In building this site, I thought about many things - such as what spelling standard I should use in referring to World War II, and what keyword spelling people might use in a search engine to find this page.  I found it interesting to note the following numbers of page listings for the various ways one might type World War II into a search engine. 

bullet  6,050,000 for world war two
bullet  5,860,000 for world war 2
bullet  134,000,000 for world war II (using the capital i for the 2)
bullet  83,900 for world war ll (using the lower case L for the 2)
bullet  26,200,000 for second world war
bullet  310,000 for 2nd world war

bullet  21,600 for ww two
bullet  804,000 for ww 2
bullet  7,130,000 for ww ii (using the i for the 2)
bullet  46,300 for ww ll (using the lower case L for the 2)

bullet  21,600 for w.w. two
bullet  804,000 for W.W.2
bullet  7,130,000 for w.w.II (using the capital i for the 2)
bullet  46,300 for w.w.ll (using the lower case l for the 2)

Note that capitalization, punctuation and spacing changes introduced no differences.  So if you are looking for information on a particular subject, remember to use all variations of the words related to the subject.  The pages a search engine will give you to look at will vary with each method. Also in general, I have referred to World War II on these pages using WWII (using the capital i for the 2).


Contents of this web site are copyrighted. ©1993-2012 Helena P. Schrader unless otherwise noted.  If you would like to use the material of this site, please contact contact the web mistress.

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 Last updated February, 2012