Preparations For A Roman Wedding:

The bride wore a white woolen dress with a translucent flame yellow veil very much like a Vestal Virgin to show off her virginity. A young boy relative would light the torch of Ceres to guide the wedding procession to the house of the groom. The bride carried a copper coin to give to the Lares of her new neighborhood to show that she would soon be part of it. The bride was greeted by a torch bearer from the groom’s household. Then the bride was carried over the threshhold by her attendants. She was greeted by the groom. They exchanged vows, “Where you are Gaius, I am Gaia.” Frequently a sacrifice took place. The bride and groom held hands. That night the wedding would be consummated. The next day the groom would hold a banquet for his friends.

There was also a confarreatio Roman wedding ceremony reserved for the highest nobility about which we know very little except that it was somehow more religious. It was presided over by the Flamen Dialis and the Pontifex Maximus with ten witnesses present. The bride and groom shared a cake made of spelt.

In every Roman wedding a big deal was made of the date which had to be approved by augurs to make sure that it was lucky. It could determine how the whole marriage would turn out in the future.

Julia: A Romance is an upcoming historical romantic thriller by Dora Benley to be published by Cheops Books LLC. It incorporates a full-scale, lavish Roman wedding.

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Captive at the Berghof: Part 1 in German:

Captive at the Berghof: Part 1 by Dora Benley and published by Cheops Books LLC will bring out a German edition on December 15. Newly translated and released for the first time, this volume represents Cheops Books LLC’s first release in a foreign language of any kind. We thought it was particularly appropriate to publish Captive at the Berghof in German. It is after all about Germany during World War 2 and the lead up during the 1930’s.

Hitler has found out about Colonel Sir Edward Ware’s secret undercover activities for Winston Churchill, and he’s playing hardball. He kidnaps Thomasina, Edward’s daughter, and won’t give the child back unless Edward and his wife, Dora, hand over the key to world domination – the Lawrence maps. They’d better do something fast before Thomasina truly becomes Hitler’s daughter.

Captive at the Berghof was meticulously researched on the ground in Germany by the authors. They visited Nuremberg and climbed the stands where Hitler spoke and where Hitler was photographed by Leni Riefenstahl. They also ate in the current day Burger King which used to be the station where the lights for the arena were controlled. They did not miss the site of the Berghof in the Alps Mountains where Hitler used to spent much of his time.

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Salisbury Plot Is Getting A New Cover:

How about a touch of the Gothic? Time to visit Salisbury Plot which is about to be published in a brand new edition with a brand new cover recently drawn by cover artist Daniel Teran. It will be published next year along with a new edition of Key to Lawrence. We have a whole new line up to be announced before the end of the year.

Who is the saboteur following Dora about on the doomed Morro Castle in September of 1934? Who is the terrorist who set fire to the first class writing room on the ocean liner? Who followed Dora and her new husband, Colonel Sir Edward Ware, to Salisbury Cathedral on their wedding day? A creature in a black robe is wielding a sword in the balcony and clanging the bell. The freak seems to summon the legions of the dead who surround them in the hills peppered with bronze age burial mounds, who seem to rise from the cloisters in the center of the cathedral where unknown dead from the Middle Ages still reside. Why does she see her new husband handing money over to the saboteur on her wedding day in a hidden garden of Ware Hall? What does it mean to be married to Colonel Sir Edward Ware? When she finds out the truth it will change Dora’s life forever.

Salisbury Plot is book two of the Edward Ware Thriller Series. The first book is Key to Lawrence: Special Edition, which starts at World War 1 with the sinking of the Lusitania. Book three is Captive at the Berghof 1 and 2 concerning Hitler and World War 2 and their interaction with the British. Book four is Dark Horse, an alternative history thriller about the Republican Convention of 1940. Additional titles are to come.

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Helga And Her German Band In Alaska:

At the end of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest as depicted in the Cheops Books LLC historical thriller, Caesar’s Lost Legions, Arminius was triumphant. But his triumph lasted only five short years. Germanicus was back in 14AD to get his revenge.

Arminius and a small band of loyal followed took ship up the Elbe River and kept on going, putting out word that Arminius was dead so no one would try to follow him. The Viking-like warriors rowed from the North Sea upward to the Norwegian Sea, and onward to the Barents Sea and the Kara Sea on a seemingly endless journey to the East Siberian Sea and finally across the Bering Strait until they reached Alaska. They were not Eskimos and kept themselves and their little band apart in a secret enclave that was to stretch through the generations as the Alaska Germans kept to themselves.

Later in the nineteenth century the band of long-surviving Germans, exiles from Europe and civilization itself, were joined by another self-imposed exile, the Frankenstein monster escaped from Europe and Germany itself and followed to Alaska by his creator, Dr. Frankenstein.

So where would the villainess of the Edward Ware Thriller Series naturally decide to flee to after the Second War World left her a war criminal? Naturally she also fled to Alaska and joined Arminius and his band and Frankenstein and his monster. Dr. Frankenstein had the arts and sciences needed to beautify the scuffs and scratches that Helga had endured from her last conflict in the desert near Los Alamos, New Mexico with General Sir Edward Ware. She once again became an ageless beauty who could snare and lure people to their deaths.

So Helga and her band of German warriors and monster lay in wait for General Lord Edward Ware and his wife, Dora, Lady Ware, if they ever dared to come near the magical, nefarious world of the Land of the Midnight Sun.

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Helga in the Land of the Midnight Sun:

Where does the villainess Helga von Wessel disappear to at the end of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series at the end of the historical thriller Unlocking Trinity? The narrative leaves her in an ambiguous fashion somewhere in the vicinity of Los Alamos/Socorro near the first nuclear blast on July 16, 1945. We hear stories about an image on a rock that looks like her.

But really? Would Helga von Wessel, super villain of the series, the one who always manages to climb out of every situation, end up like that? Would she finally cease to haunt the hero of the series, General Sir Edward Ware?

Where do baddies like Helga end up? Does she go to Rio de Janeiro like the other baddie of the novel series, Thomasina Ware, who ends up as Mrs. Baker in the last volume of the series, Dark 3: Special Edition? Mrs. Baker as we hear from Doc ends up being the head of a group of worldwide Neo Nazis centered in both Germany and in Rio. She directs operations from there. Would you see Helga directing such a group?

Or would you rather see her ending up like one of the classic villains of all time at the end of the nineteenth century horror novel, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley? Where does the monster go? Supposedly Dr. Frankenstein must follow his creature all the way to the wilds of Alaska. Could you see Dora and Edward going there? What trouble could Helga get into among polar bears, grizzlies, gold rushers, salmon fishers, totem poles, and Russian Orthodox churches? And why would she be hiding out in the Land of the Midnight Sun?

It is just a teasing possibility. Fun to irmagine. Maybe Helga von Wessel will even meet the monster, Frankenstein, himself. The bets are that the monster would be scared of her.

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Catalonia, The Roman Empire, and a Novel:

I am glad to hear that the effort is doomed to fail. I am glad that the US, EU, UK, France, and Germany all agree that they will not recognize a separate Catalonia. As you know, I have no sympathy for break away provinces, regions of countries, etc.

History shows that is not the way to go. Big and united means prosperous. Think of the Roman Empire. Small and divided means poor. Think of the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages. One of the primary reasons Germany is the head of Europe is that there are no separtist movements afoot. Germany even held together during two world wars which it lost.

Spain’s constitution does say that you are not allowed to secede from Spain. So the Prime Minister of Spain is only upholding the constitutional law when he dissolves the government of Catalonia and calls for new elections. He is not acting like a dictator. He is acting in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln.

The hero of my historical thriller, Caesar’s Lost Legions, Caelius Antonius, has embarked on a mission to map the rest of Greater Germania on an expedition to the Elbe River near modern day Hamburg, Germany. The Romans under the Emperor Augustus want to make this region part of the province of Germania and add it to the greater Roman Empire.

But traitors such as Arminius have other ideas. Arminius has learned Roman ways while being tutored in Rome. He turns them against the Romans and massacres three legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. It turns out to be one of the most decisive battles in all of history.

The Romans get their revenge five years later under Germanicus. But the Roman Empire is forever stopped from adding the territory around the River Elbe to Germania, centered around the Rhine River and Trier. Just think of how different history could have been if Arminius had not existed! The Roman Empire could have been bigger and better. And the “German question” might have been forever solved.

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Tweets And Team Players:

Here are two recent tweets I received on my Twitter page that I don’t look at very often. Here are two recent tweets by Trump:

1)Ed Gillespie will be a great Governor of Virginia. His opponent doesn’t even show up to meetings/work, and will be VERY weak on crime!
2)Ed Gillespie will turn the really bad Virginia economy #’s around, and fast. Strong on crime, he might even save our great statues/heritage!
What is wrong with either one of these tweets?

As far as the leading Republicans go, I am shocked that they don’t act like team players and vote Republican just because Trump is the current Republican President. That is what I said to Senator McCain. Of course in this day and age even real team players such as sports players can’t even pull it together and stand for the national anthem. If it were up to me, I’d fire the lot of them. At least the military has to pull together like a team. Always did. Goes back 1000’s of years.

Colonel Sir Edward Ware was in His Majesty’s Armed Forces. He had to defer to his Prime Minister even though he did not agree with him. In a classic scene of Captive at the Berghof, Edward and his wife, Dora, Lady Ware, are paying a visit to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. In 1938 the Prime Minister tells Edward when he is going to visit Hitler at the Berghof that Great Britain wants peace at any cost. Edward says that he will have to remember that —- peace at any cost.

Edward must work underground with Churchill to fight the Nazis until Churchill can become Prime Minister in 1940. Then Edward and his causes can come out into the open during the Second World War. Until then he must be a team player with a stiff upper lip.

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Travel and the Car:

Yes, there was a Chrysler Voyager, a Chrysler Caravan, a Chrysler Grand Caravan, and a Chrysler Town and Country. These were the original minivans in the days when Chrysler was the only producer. They eventually cut out the Caravan, the Voyager, and the Town and Country and continued with only the Grand Caravan until just about last year when they came out with the Chrysler Pacifica. We test drove that car last year and just a few weeks ago. It was tempting. I wanted to buy it especially since they had a hybrid plug in model which I thought was impossibly cool. It was supposed to give you 30 miles of electric car and then you went into hybrid mode, making it the largest car in the world that you can plug in.

But it had two fatal flaws. First of all it was way too high up. You had to climb up into with with running boards and that sort of thing. I don’t know why they do this. They have essentially ruined all the remaining minivan models with this sort of design. Also it was very expensive.
It had the cutest commercials and videos with the Muppets, though. If you go to the Chrysler USA website you will see what I mean. They are really promoting the Pacifica and it appears on the front page.
Yes, the Ford Flex which we purchased instead has a third row. That is where the dog should be riding. Behind the third row is the “trunk” with space for either suitcases or grocery bags. Inside the car it is very much like a minivan. The third row can disappear into the floor of the car giving you more space in the back for cargo.

Yes, the Flex is suitable for long distance travel just like a minivan. We bought our first minivan, the Chrysler Grand Caravan, that we owned and which we were to drive 100,000 miles. We bought the first minivan with the idea of driving to Tucson for the first time. (The year before we went on the train, which was the first time we ever saw Tucson). We ended up driving it to Tucson four times including the move there. We ended up driving it to Florida twice, Hilton Head three times, St. Simons Island twice, the Oregon Coast once, Yosemite twice, the Grand Canyon three times, and San Diego once. It took us a lot of places before we leased two Ford Windstars, bought an RV, then bought the former Nissan Quest 2007.

I almost forgot. We also drove the Chrysler Grand Caravan to Yellowstone and the Tetons, the same year that we moved to Tucson. I found a photo of the Grand Caravan parked alongside the Madison River near the West Entrance to the Park in West Yellowstone, Montana. Most of the trees you see are lodge pole pines. If you drive down the road to the end of the picnic ground along the Madison River and turn right you will head into the thermal basins and eventually reach Old Faithful.

Old Faithful is the setting for Old Faithful Plot, coming soon from Cheops Books LLC.

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California Wine Country: Setting for Dark 3:

Yes, I too had the impression that California fires could somehow occur only in Southern California, not Northern or Central California, though about a month or so ago I think there was a fire in Yosemite too in the Sierra Nevada Mountains along with evacuations. It seems like the only safe part of California is the non-populated area along the Pacific NW Coast, the Redwood Coast around Garberville, Crescent City, Eureka, and Brookings, Oregon. They get plenty of rain there.

In our case we keep on rooting for the Sandman Motel in Santa Rosa, California. That was where we stayed on the way back from Brookings, Oregon. It is the motel I use in my novel from the Edward Ware Thriller Series Dark 3: Special Edition by Dora Benley. It was an interesting place with nice gardens and artwork, especially outdoor statues. Hotels across the intersection have been burned to the ground.

It is hard to believe that you wouldn’t remember the Wine Country if you drove through it. We didn’t know we were going to drive through it to the Pacific NW Coast. But it was the nicest unplanned “find” of our trip in 2007. Two years ago we were driving around the Wine Country in Germany along the banks of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers where vines have grown since Roman times. The California Wine Country has a completely different look. For one thing there are no Rhine and Moselle Rivers. There are no villages and towns like those that dot the banks of the Rhine in Germany. Instead the California Wine Country has a more fantasy look with fake European castles and lots of French restaurants, that sort of upscale kind of thing. I will try to dig out some photos to post for you.

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Captive At The Berghof At Frankfurt Book Fair:

Today is the beginning of the Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany. It will go through Sunday, October 15. All during that time Cheops Books LLC will be displaying Captive at the Berghof: Part 1 in German translation, the third book of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. It is the first book that Cheops Books LLC has ever translated into a foreign language. But we thought it was particularly appropriate because the historical thriller is about Hitler and the Third Reich. The novel will be on display at the IBPA booth  at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Hitler has found out about Colonel Sir Edward Ware’s secret undercover activities for Winston Churchill, and he’s playing hardball. He kidnaps Thomasina, Edward’s daughter, and won’t give the child back unless Edward and his wife, Dora, hand over the key to world domination – the Lawrence maps. They’d better do something fast before Thomasina truly becomes Hitler’s daughter.

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