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 Peer, Codename 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.
NOW AVAILABLE AS KINDLE EDITIONS!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fiction, published 2007
The Lady in the Spitfire
Fiction, published 2006
A 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).
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.
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.
Leonidas of Sparta: A Boy of the Agoge
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.
|Leonidas of Sparta: A
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.
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.
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: 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?
The Cypriot Knight
Fiction, published 1996
Sir Jean of Acre
Fiction, published 1997
The English Templar
Fiction, published 1999
Republished March 2007
Lion of Karpas
Fiction, finished unpublished - proposed release: 2011
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.
|NOTE: In building
this site, I thought about many
- 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
interesting to note the following numbers of page listings for the
various ways one might type World War II into a search
6,050,000 for world war two
5,860,000 for world war 2
134,000,000 for world war II (using the capital i for the 2)
83,900 for world war ll (using the lower case L for the 2)
26,200,000 for second world war
310,000 for 2nd world war
21,600 for ww two
804,000 for ww 2
7,130,000 for ww ii (using the i for the 2)
46,300 for ww ll (using the lower case L for the 2)
21,600 for w.w. two
804,000 for W.W.2
7,130,000 for w.w.II (using the capital i for the 2)
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).
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