Gaius Visits Lavinia Before He Goes To Carthage:
During the next few weeks in Rome Gaius spent nearly all his waking hours at Cato’s house on the Palatine keeping company with Lavinia. He did everything except sleep there. Lavinia, Cato’s niece, was always present. Gaius learned that she was his ward. He was responsible for her education and her upbringing.
Cato would lecture to Gaius and give him assignments to do sketching this building and that on the property and around Rome itself. He would study each sketch and comment on it critically, making suggestions for details to include in the future. Above all he wanted buildings arranged in such a way in the sketch that they could later easily be mapped by the army.
Lavinia was his constant companion. He found himself sketching to please her even more than Cato. She would admire the drawings and ooh and aah over them. She kissed him on the cheek when she was especially pleased. The kissing behind closed doors soon led to other things. He found himself making love to her shamelessly in one of the bedrooms in the big house.
She came to the Senate House and stood outside it where she might be able to hear the proceedings when her uncle was to speak. Everybody in Rome was there who was anybody at all. But they had to remember the prohibition about women in the Senate House.
All eyes turned to Cato as he again began to speak. Again Gaius sat beside his father. He took careful note as Cato turned to this senator and that, calling upon him by name to say if he thought there was any other way to proceed than by making Carthage the number one enemy of Rome. No one dared to contradict the statement, though in each case Cato carefully waited for a response.
Cato launched into a detailed history of the relationship between Rome and Carthage over the past century. Carthage used to be the great power in the Mediterranean. Now Rome had gained the advantage. Was it about to lose it once more? This time the gods might not be as sympathetic of the homeland of Romulus and Remus after they proved themselves to be so stupid.
Now was the time to crack down on Carthage before the worst happened again. Cato proposed sending a mission to Carthage. They would escort back one hundred select youths as hostages for Carthage’s good behavior with its neighbors in Africa.
All the senators voted aye and yeah for the measure. They called out for Cato to be the mission’s leader. Who else would be sterner and more suited?
“I propose taking Gaius Antonius with me as my aide and assistant,” Cato announced.
Gaius’s father beamed with pride.
All the senators indicated their approval. The date was set for sailing.
Gaius escaped into the hills surrounding Rome for the last time before his sailing. This was where he used to meet the Etruscan girl. She did not come to join him, though he imagined that he felt eyes on him in all directions watching him.
Instead Lavinia joined him.
“I will miss you in Africa!” she embraced him.
He kissed her back. “I am doing this for you and for our future together. What would it be if Carthage takes over the Mediterranean again? Our sons might not live to see adulthood.”
She nodded sadly, having been raised by her famous uncle.
Soon the date was set to depart with Cato for Africa. Lavinia came to Ostia. He waved. She blew kisses. He wondered what the future held as that fateful expedition set off from the Italian shore and what he would be thinking the next time he saw it again —- if the gods granted him such a boon.
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Cato Sends Gaius to Carthage To Make Drawings:
Gaius Antonius sat there in amazement as the senators crowded around Cato at the conclusion of the Senate session. They were all gossipping about the last war and all their family memories that Gaius did not share because he was too young to remember. His father directed attention to him by telling another senator that he had brought Gaius along just in case there was a declaration of war today and he could volunteer his son as a recruit.
Gaius hung back until he was all alone in the Forum. He took a new way home and instead of returning to his house on the Palatine Hill in Rome he saddled up and took off for his country house outside town near the port of Ostia.
He sat there sketching the scenery to quiet his mind. He was joined by the daughter of the local mayor whom he had befriended recently. She questioned him what brought him here today. He spilled out his troubles to her.
She seemed disturbed. “Rome won’t quit until there is no other power in the Mediterranean,” she lamented. “They want to wipe out the Carthaginians just like they wiped us out too a while back.”
The girl who was descended from a local Etruscan family. The Etruscans had preceded the Romans in this area of Italy. Now hardly anyone spoke the original language which had practically died out during the past several generations.
“The Romans want the Carthaginians to speak Latin,” she said.
“But I guess there is a certain danger letting the Carthaginians make war against a neighboring city state,” Gaius lamented.
She shook her head sadly and disappeared. “You are just a Roman like the rest of them. And here I thought you were different!”
Gaius tried to follow her. But a messenger arrived from his father. He directed Gaius to follow the messenger back to Rome. Cato wanted to speak to him.
Marcus Porcius Cato? That was enough to wipe the memory of the Etruscan girl from his mind. Feeling very nervous he followed the messenger back to Rome to the imposing house of Cato not far from his own on Palatine Hill.
He entered the great man’s study in trepidation. He was amazed that the great man had even paid attention to his lowly presence in the Senate Chamber. But then Cato had seemed to pay attention to everyone great and small. That was part of his genius as he put down his pen and stopped working on his history of Roman customs and the life of a Roman country gentleman, the first prose work anyone had ever attempted to write in Latin before.
Cato smiled at Gaius, which surprised him even more. Given his stern face with all the lines, he was surprised if the older man could smile at all. He seemed to scowl at everyone all the time.
“Do you know why I didn’t call for a vote for war today?” Cato asked.
Gaius shook his head “no”.
“Because I wanted you to precede that vote. You must go to Carthage for us and make drawings of the buildings there in the harbor and around town so we know what we are confronting. We will find a pretext for you to leave Rome during our next session of the Senate.”
Gaius nodded nervously, not knowing how to say no to Cato.
“Perhaps we will ask them to send hostages as a show of good faith, that they are not making war against our interests,” Cato suggested to him.
He could not believe what was happening when Cato then invited him to lunch with him in his garden. Even more amazing, he introduced him to his granddaughter, who expressed a great interest in his drawings and examined them one by one very carefully.
“I like knowing you,” she smiled. “You seem like the man of the moment.” She gazed into his eyes.
Gaius was so overcome with her scintillating smile that at once he thought he would do anything to please her. He knew what his mission would be.
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Did Edward Ware’s Ancestor Fight In The Punic Wars?
Colonel Sir Edward Ware is known to have quite a pedigree, at least as long as the Queen’s. He can trace his ancestry back to ancient Rome. His ancestor, Lucius Antonius, fought with Julius Caesar in the Alexandrian War. He was the grandfather of Caelius Antonius, mapmaker for the Roman legions who were massacred by ancient Germans at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
And Caelius Antonius was the grandfather of Caius Antonius, an assistant of the famous Latin encyclopedia writer, Pliny the Elder, who helped the famous essayist escape an attack of the Germans at the time of Vesuvius and Pompeii.
But before that farther back in the history of Rome did Colonel Sir Edward Ware have a Roman progenitor who fought against Hannibal in the Punic Wars? Believe it or not it may be so. Recently archaeological evidence indicates it. An early collection of documents yet to be completely translated has been found in a key location.
A Gaius Antonius —- same clan name as Edward —- was appointed by the Roman who later became the great victor, Scipio Africanus, to make drawings of what he saw in Carthage in the way of siege machines and weapons when visiting on the pretext of being an ambassador of sorts to Carthage. And where were these documents found? At the Punic Wall in the modern day Spanish city of Cartegena in southern Spain just across the straits from Africa and Carthage and not far from modern day Gibraltar.
The Punic Wall was what used to protect the ancient Carthagenian city in Spain. What story does this wall have to tell? These letters may tell us. Cheops Books LLC has just acquired the rights to translate them and reveal to the world their long hidden tale.
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New Road Secret From Cheops Books LLC
As Cheops Books LLC plans to be on the road again researching ideas for its fiction, it wants to share with you one of its newest, best travel tips: Airbnb. We have been looking to cut dollars off the high cost of travel that has more than doubled in recent years. It used to be that you had to plan to be in a different motel along the interstates every night. Now thanks to Airbnb you can book private residences as you go instead at a fraction of the cost.
Want a yard for your dog? A fenced in yard at that? Want a shower instead of a bath tub? Want a kitchen for a change to make your own meals and cut food expenses, too? Again look no farther than Airbnb.
This road secret applies to international travel as well as local and state to state travel. You are likely to find places to rent in London, Paris, and Rome as well as Cheyenne, Wyoming, but you will probably get a bigger selection in the more populous capitals. Airbnb seems to be everywhere to serve you.
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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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How About This For An Edward Ware Thrillers Plot?
Dora and Edward have traveled to some strange places in their career of hiding the Lawrence maps and keeping them away from Hitler’s spies. They even had a stint where they were hiding the maps in Hamlet’s Castle in Elsinore, Denmark. This travel plot should be right up their alley.
Start in Tucson, Arizona and drive east in an indirect fashion. Perhaps you travel north to Yellowstone first. Why not? Dora and Edward just had a Yellowstone plot, too, in Old Faithful Plot. Travel directly east on I-90 or I-80 which didn’t exist at that point. Perhaps use the Lincoln Highway instead, again featured in Old Faithful Plot. Go all the way through to New York, perhaps stopping in Dora’a hometown of Pittsburgh first.
Board the QM2 (in those days the original Queen Mary) and sail across the ocean blue to England to Southampton. There they could meet with Churchill in the Churchill Room on the ship where you can smoke cigars and figure out what to do next. From there they could stop in Hamburg and visit the nautical bookstore with which they have become familiar. Why? He is an operative, of course, in Nazi Germany just like Putlitz, ace of double spies.
From there it is onward to Elsinore in Denmark with Hamlet’s Castle facing you in the dock. No doubt here Edward and Dora want to take a shore excursion to deposit those valuable Lawrence maps in the basement where Danish troops used to be billeted in the Middle Ages during the time of Hamlet.
From there it is homeward bound. First they have to stop in Oslo, Norway of all places. Don’t you think by now they should have earned a Nobel Prize for all their efforts? After that they must return to Hamburg without the Lawrence maps, of course, since they are lunching with Hitler. In Southampton they meet with Churchill and toast with champagne for a job well done. Then they return to New York.
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Dora Benley Could Be Giving Away Silver Wolf Moon:
Would you like a free copy of Silver Wolf Moon? And this time it would be a paperback, too, not a Kindle edition. The first paperback copies of the young adult romantic thriller novel ever printed could be distributed in Denver at the Sheraton Downtown in mid July. Dora Benley could be there in person to autograph the books and give them away to the lucky recipients. Look for more details in future blog posts on this Edward Ware Thrillers website created by Cheops Books LLC.
Darcy Devon can’t take it anymore. Her millionaire parents won’t stop bugging her to date Randolph King, the son of an English client of theirs. She runs away to live in her grandparents’ house in the wilds of Montana. But no sooner does she unpack her suitcase than she notices that somebody who looks like an uncouth madman is following her. Nobody knows who he is. When she goes swimming, somebody is watching her. When she goes to bed, somebody is outside looking in. Wolves howl at midnight. She looks up at the sky and sees a black moon and shivers. What does this strange dude want with her? Is he escaped from an asylum, or is it something else?
The young adult romantic thriller Silver Wolf Moon was originally published in German by Cora Verlag, Harper Collins Germany, as Silver Wolf. If you liked Silver Wolf Moon you will enjoy other young adult thrillers by Dora Benley such as Rose Red, Murder in Jasper, Mary’s Gone, Latin Lessons, and Dark 3: Special Edition.
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See You In Denver? RWA Convention 2018:
RWA, or Romance Writers of America, are holding their 2018 convention in Denver in July. In fact the exact dates are July 18-21 at the Denver Sheraton Downtown near the pedestrian mall. The public is invited to attend certain events such as the autograph party where books are sold and the proceeds donated to charity.
It is possible that Linda Cargill (alias Dora Benley) will be attending the function. If you want her to autograph your book, this could be where to find her this coming summer.
If Linda Cargill attends on behalf of Cheops Books LLC, we will present more details in this column later this spring.
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Another Edward Ware Thrillers Plot:
How about this one? If you were pursuing it nowadays you would start in London and take the Eurostar through the Chunnel to Paris. Back in Edward’s and Dora’s time you would have to take a ferry. Then you would catch the train in the central station in Paris to be taken to Milan by the end of the day. You would get to view the French Alps and then the Italian Alps out the window as evening came on. Once you arrived in Milan you would hurry across the street to the Holiday Inn. Then the next day you would rent a car. From there you would drive to Florence and then Rome. You might even take in Ravenna along the way on the opposite coast just to be different. Then some days later you would go back in exactly the same way. You would catch the train in Milan to go to Paris and then London.
From London you would return to Southampton and cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary. From the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal you would take a car back to Tucson, Arizona. How about that for an itinerary! What plot would follow this sort of pattern? You could only imagine. Very suspenseful.
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Pre-Order Julia: A Romance On Amazon:
All spiffed up with a brand new cover, Julia: A Romance is ready to pre-order. Get your copy on publication date April 9.
Julia has every reason to wish that she had not been born the daughter of a Roman senator during the Roman Civil Wars of Marius and Sulla. Her father, Rufus, is trying to escape the proscriptions lists and save his life by betrothing his only daughter in marriage to Marcus Sisenna. Marcus Sisenna is the right hand man of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, one of the leading men of Rome of the day. Rufus needs his armies and the protection both Sulla and Sisenna can provide. But Julia does not want to marry a man who has already had five wives and who is just marrying her for her father’s money and estates. She does not want to be added to his collection of trophies. Julia wants personal happiness despite the time period into which she has been born. Her father thinks only of keeping his wealth and estates together. Her divorced mother is interested only in her own lovers. To whom shall Julia turn for assistance? The answer may surprise you. For it is obviously just the opposite of what the desperate Julia might expect.
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