Did Hurricane Irma Strike St. Simons Island, Georgia?

How did your ex mother in law get to Fort Myers, Florida? Is she retired? You say you don’t know why they didn’t leave. I would have been out of there as soon as the storm was even mentioned or forecast.

Believe it or not we drove through Fort Myers once on the way back and forth to Sanibel/Captiva which are barrier islands right off shore from Fort Myers. Captiva Island in particular was so small that any storm surge at all would immediately make it disappear. You could see from shore to shore and easily walk the distance on that island. At the narrowest point the island was only 100 feet wide or so. All the buildings there were built up on piles so the storm surge would go underneath them. I remember being in a grocery store like that where your bags were lowered down on a dumb waiter to the parking lot level and put in your car.

My own grandmother, Doris Benner, the one I used as a model for Dora Benley, owned a condo in Sarasota, Florida, but that was high rise. My great-grandmother, the model for Etta May for in fact her name was Etta May, had a house in Sarasota.

Have you heard what happened to your ex mother-in-law? This morning all I hear is that Jacksonville, Florida on the Atlantic Coast was flooded with a storm surge bigger than any since Hurricane Dora in 1964. I also visited Jacksonville. We stayed at the Ponte Vedra Resort outside town on the beach. Jacksonsville looked like an old industrial city somehow in the South. It is near St. Augustine where the Spanish settled hundreds of years ago.

It is also very close by to St Simons Island, Georgia, the setting for Dark 1 and Dark 2 of my Dark Series, the one that was originally published by Scholastic UK. It is soon to be republished by Cheops Books, LLC.

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Dora And Edward Should Book A Mediterranean Cruise in 2018:
One year from today on Friday, June 8, 2018 the Queen Victoria sets out on a 14-night Mediterranean cruise that should interest Dora and Edward Ware with all their connections all over Europe. What is better the cruise embarks in Southampton and returns them to Southampton at the end of the cruise so they can easily drive right back to Ware Hall in the south of England or they can drive into London and take up residence at the Savoy at their apartment. The following ports of call are on the itinerary of Mediterranean Highlights: Oporto, Barcelona, Port Mahon, Ajaccio, Citavecchia, Cagliari, and Gibraltar.
Ajaccio should interest them. That is the place on the island of Corsica where Napoleon was born. There is a statue of the Emperor there as well as a house that was in the Bonaparte family until the 1920s. Edward’s great-grandfather served under Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo in the upcoming Cheops Books LLC historical thriller, Inn at the Crossroads.
Citavecchia is the port of Rome. Edward has a big chase scene through all sorts of Italian formal gardens in the historical thriller, Map Plot. He could take a shore excursion to Hadrian’s Villa or the Villa de Este with all its waterfalls.
And finally Gibraltar would always be of interest. In the historical thriller soon to be published by Cheops Books LLC, Hitler’s Agent, Dora and Edward pay a visit to the island of Gibraltar to refuel their yacht. They need to get back to Paris to meet with Winston Churchill at the Ritz Hotel. Dora enlists some local apes to help escape from Hitler and his agents.

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Medea the Witch Special Promotion Starts Wednesday:

Cheops Books LLC is featuring Medea the Witch on its Special Promotions Page this week. You will be able to download it for free starting Wednesday on Amazon Kindle. It is a mythological tale about ancient Greece that features the Thera volcano. It formed a huge caldera that you can still visit today on the island of Santorini in a region that is still seismically unstable.

Medea the Witch is the story of Jason and Medea told from the point of view of Medea. This is not the more familiar tale of Jason’s voyage to Colchis in which the latter encounters Harpies and monsters at every turn (i.e., the material of the 1950’s movie Jason and the Argonauts), but rather it is the tale of the clash of two very different cultures. Medea comes from the fading world of Goddess worshipers with a long matriarchal tradition. She is suddenly thrust into Jason’s Greek world of the followers of the Sky God Zeus where women are best left behind veils. No one understands her “magic” and she is called a “witch.” She is left to defend herself as best she can. The death of her tradition combines with the havoc wreaked by the Thera volcanic eruption at the end of the Bronze Age to presage the end of her world.

If you liked Medea the Witch, you will like other tales by Dora Benley including Minotaur, Helen of Troy, Book of the Dead, Mary’s Gone, and Latin Lessons.

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On The Road Again Winners —- Lou and TR Bear
Lou and TR Bear submitted their winning entry for the On The Road Again Contest hosted by Cheops Books LLC. They snapped a photo of themselves cruising along in their car on the newly reconstructed Houghton Road. In the background you will see the Santa Catalina Mountains, the subject of the most recent June issue of Arizona Highways Magazine: Special Collector’s Issue with an illustration of the range on the front cover. They wrote in that they could imagine Dora and Edward cruising along in the same direction headed for Mt. Lemmon, the highest mountain in the range. They could hide out in a cabin at the top at 9,000 feet elevation. How could Helga von Wessel and Adolf Hitler find them there? They might try to smoke them out in the Santa Catalina Mountains especially now that it is summer with one of those runaway wildfires. Helga has been known to do far worse in the service of her Fuhrer. But Dora and Edward are certainly capable of outwitting them in the Santa Catalina Mountains as they continue to hide the Lawrence maps, key to world domination.

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Tune Into The Old Faithful Webcam on the Old Faithful Plot Website:
When you are visiting the Cheops Books LLC website at http://www.edwardwarethrillers.org, you can tune into the Old Faithful webcam on the nps.gov website. Thinking it very appropriate we have included this webcam on the book page for the Old Faithful Plot. Given that the eruptions of this particular geyser are very important to the plot of the historical thriller novel that is part of the series Edward Ware Thrillers at War, we wanted readers to be able to watch the geyser while they were reading sections of the book or looking at other pages on the website.
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.
Remember that 1933 is the year of FDR, Hitler, King Kong, and the Old Faithful Plot. And just to appreciate it all the more, watch the geyser erupt on the webcam.

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Infanta Christina and Edward Ware:

Apparently a Spanish patrol vessel, the Infanta Christina, has been accused of trespassing in Gibraltar’s waters. This was just one day after Madrid called on Britain to “calm down” about rising tensions concerning the future ownership of the Gibraltar territory. The Infanta Christina entered the territory’s waters at around lunch time Gibraltar time on Tuesday. Gibraltar’s government called the intrusion an “illegal incursion”. The Royal Navy’s HMS Scimitar challenged the vessel. The Infanta Christina finally left. This incident came only a day after Spain’s Foreign Minister was talking about negotiations about Gibraltar’s future with the British government. This all followed remarks from a former Conservative leader, Lord Howard, that England would be willing to go to war over Gibraltar to protect the Rock just like Margaret Thatcher did in the Falklands.
This all occurred after the EU documented said that Spain would be given a veto on post-Brexit agreements concerning the overseas territory called Gibraltar. Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader, said the EU had made “an absolutely catastrophic error” and “Britain would not be bullied or intimidated”. He said on his nightly TV show on LBC: “We are not some little nation that is going to get bullied around by overpaid, unelected bureaucrats. We will simply not put up with it.” He was no doubt referring to the politicians in Brussels whose houses we saw two years ago on our trip to Waterloo.
A spokesman for the Gibraltar government said on Tuesday: “This is a timely demonstration of the way Spain routinely conducts itself in breach of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is almost as if Lord Howard has unnerved someone senior in the Spanish Navy.”
I don’t know if all this news about Gibraltar makes Britain look stupid across Europe as you say. I think it makes Spain look out of control and untrustworthy. It also reminds me that Britain is not really part of the Continent. Edward Ware, the hero of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, would certainly approve of Brexit. If there was a war against Spain, he would certainly be fighting in it.

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Tariq Ibn Ziyad: The History of the Pillars of Hercules
Originally captured in 711 AD and fortified by Tariq Ibn Ziyad, the Moorish invader of Spain, Gibraltar didn’t belong to Spain again until 1462. (Before that it must have been Roman. Remember the Pillars of Hercules?) That was only thirty years before Granada fell and Columbus sailed for the New World. It belonged to Spain from 1462 to 1711, less than three hundred years. The British captured it in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. So the British have held Gibraltar longer than the Spanish ever did. At the end of the war the Treaty of Utrecht ceded Gibraltar to the British. Then during the Great Siege of Gibraltar, the French and Spanish unsuccessfully tried to take it back from 1779 to 1783. The same Treaty of Paris that gave the US its independence confirmed that Gibraltar would still belong to the British. In 1830 Gibraltar was made a British Crown Colony. They adopted a new constitution for Gibraltar in 1969. Spain closed the border between Gibraltar and Spain from 1969 to 1985. All residents of Gibraltar were granted British citizenship in 1981. So you see this sovereignty dispute has been going on for quite awhile. The Spanish never give up. I don’t think they are about ready to give up either.
You say Franco organized a smooth transition to democracy, and he was so enlightened. But one of my relatives visited Spain in 1972 before the end of Franco and told tales. Did you ever visit Franco’s Spain? Did any of your relatives? It didn’t seem so enlightened from what I heard. For one thing Franco dictated your itinerary. You could not go on any tour outside Madrid without visiting the Valley of the Fallen to commemorate the Spanish Civil War. Everywhere you went you were accompanied by guards. Soldiers marched outside your hotel and you couldn’t go anywhere without their permission. My aunt said that you weren’t even allowed to speak to the Spanish people outside the hotel at all. She claimed that she felt uncomfortable being there. A tour guide at the Prado in Madrid told her that line about the smooth transition to democracy after Franco’s death under the King Juan Carlos who would have full control until then. She scoffed and said that she wondered when Spain had ever been democratic BEFORE that, so what were they converting back to? Spain had no idea what democracy was.
Spain is the repressive regime that wants Gibraltar back, not the enlightened state that you think it is.
Located at the ancient Pillars of Hercules at the western entrance to the Mediterranean, Gibraltar is one of those exotic locales that form the backdrop of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War novels published by Cheops Books LLC. Edward and Dora visit Gibraltar in Hitler’s Agent. It is also mentioned by Pliny the Elder in the Vesuvius Plot. The famous apes of Gibraltar are mentioned again by Pliny the Elder in Old Faithful Plot along with many other infamous locales.

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Gibraltar Through The Ages:
Gary says that there is a cartoon in the UK Telegraph today about the Gibraltar stand off. It has May dressed like like Elizabeth 1 in a pose that is positively regal. The title of the cartoon is The English Armada. You can see out through a window behind her the Straits of Gibraltar and the Rock of Gibraltar. But why would a British admiral be quoted as saying that the English could singe the beard of the King of Spain? Why is he allowed to talk like that?
Apparently the British got Gibraltar during the War of the Spanish Succession. The British captured Gibraltar in 1704, over three hundred years ago. If the British had gotten their candidate on the Spanish throne, then they probably would have given up Gibraltar to him. But they didn’t succeed, and in the Peace Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Gibraltar was ceded to the British. They have been there ever since. At the time the British thought it was a strategic location and saw the advantages of it despite the three year siege of Gibraltar at the end of the eighteenth century between 1780 and 1783. The Spanish and the French were trying to get Gibraltar back. The British were way outnumbered, and they started hollowing out tunnels in the rocks. They were firing cannon down on the enemy. The Spanish and French were trying to starve them out, and there had to be relief expeditions sent by the British to keep the garrison well-supplied. The Spanish have been complaining about it ever since even during WW2. Franco right after the Fall of France was making noises about Gibraltar. Hitler even offered to give Franco Gibraltar if he would fight on his side. Once it became clear that the British were not going to be defeated, Franco called that off. And the British have held onto it ever since. There is no way they could give up now — except to the US. And the US is very reluctant to take on overseas territories. It is just too key a strategic position.
Gibraltar is a setting in the upcoming Edward Ware Thrillers at War title Hitler’s Agent. Even the apes of Gibraltar play a role. Dora and Edward find themselves docking there to refuel on their flight from Hitler and Mussolini in Italy back to Paris to meet Churchill at the Ritz and finally to Southampton.

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First Spanish War Since Napoleon:

Gary wonders if there is going to be another war with a Spanish speaking entity, this time about Gibraltar instead of the Falklands. He is quoting some British Admiral named Rear Admiral Chris Parry. He said that Britain isn’t as powerful as it was during the Falklands War but it is 3 times more powerful than Spain when it comes to the navy. He claimed that in the defense of Gibraltar during the breakup of the EU Britain could singe the King of Spain’s Beard, and that is a quote. How is it that British Admirals can go around talking like that unless it is with the permission of the PM? In the US American generals and admirals NEVER talk like that even with the permission of the President. The President and the Secretary of State, Defense, etc usually make all the politically charged statements — not the military. Gary claims that if we were on a Mediterranean Cruise and anchored at Gibraltar especially on the QM2, there we would be in the middle of a war zone and the British navy would probably commission the ship!!! We would be stuck having to fly back to the States.
I think I should add all this as an Afterword to my Napoleonic novel, Inn at the Crossroads — about the modern day Napoleonic tiff that might just occur though I don’t see how the US would permit a war in Western Europe. Back in the days of the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon put his brother Joseph on the throne of Spain. An uprising in Madrid was crushed, but there were guerilla attacks out in the countryside. They were doing hit and run on the French troops. The British under Sir Arthur  put in a small force to support the guerillas in Spain to stir things up. This was the last time that the British fought in Spain. But at Trafalgar Nelson was fighting a combined French-Spanish fleet in 1805. So earlier in the Napoleonic Wars British was actually fighting Spain itself.

Here is the plot of the novel Inn at the Crossroads, part of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series: Lizette receives an urgent missive from her mother and sister in the town of Waterloo to come and rescue them and bring them to Ave et Auffe where she is married to the old man innkeeper of the Inn at the Crossroads. The British under the Duke of Wellington are invading Waterloo in preparation for the Battle after campaigns in Spain where they fought the French and the Spanish. When she gets to Waterloo, she finds that her family couldn’t wait. They went to Brussels to help her aunt sew dresses for the ball. The crazy Duchess of Richmond has decided to have a grand ball on the eve of the battle, the soldiers be damned.  Gaston, Lizette’s husband’s only son, shows up and threatens his stepmother he will expose her and drag her home if she doesn’t get information for the cause of the Emperor Napoleon. She is to dance with the officers, including Edward Ware’s great-grandfather, and report to him. But little does Gaston realize the complications that he creates. Lizette is arrested and thrown in jail.  Will Gaston be able to rescue her? Will he be able to help Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo? Read Inn at the Crossroads, an historical thriller.

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Cruising Along Route 66 With Cheops Books:
Old Faithful Plot has recently expanded to include Route 66. The Lincoln Highway began in 1913. Route 66 came later. But by 1933, the year of Edward’s and Dora’s epic journey west to escape Hitler’s agents, both existed and were the primary means that Easterners used to drive west, either northwest or southwest.
Fleeing Hitler’s agents and Dora’s husband’s photographers, Edward and Dora begin their journey in a hurry in Manhattan at the Waldorf Astoria. Edward had just come off an ocean liner from England. Now under special orders from Winston Churchill, the back bencher for whom he works, he races west. He is trying to meet a rendezvous set up by Churchill to hand over the Lawrence maps that he has been hiding up his sleeve. He must hand them over before Hitler’s agents get hold of them. After all, they are the key to world domination.
When Churchill’s agent veers off course, Edward gets the word to proceed to Route 66. They are treated to the isolated high plains of Texas and the weird rock formations of northern New Mexico around Albuquerque and the Painted Desert in northern Arizona. They also stop at numerous auto courts and diners along the way that add to the local color of that famous road.
Old Faithful Plot, the next in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, will soon be published by Cheops Books LLC.

Old motel sign along historic route 66.

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