Nightmare Over Bats, Bees, And Stairs:

We are not turning life into a nightmare over bats and bees. You are by not taking simple precautions. It is ordinary and typical here to put up screens. It is NOT normal NOT to have screens. Europe is behind the times putting up with pests that have been banished here. Obviously you don’t want bats, bees, hornets, or flies in your house if you can easily prevent it. Besides, you are starting to get mosquitoes back in Britain again. Did you know that? You drained the fens in Elizabethan times, but they are starting to come back. This is especially true in the south of England. You don’t want to get bitten by mosquitoes, do you? Screens also by the way help to keep thieves out, human thieves.

And some of those European stairs, by the way, are dangerous. Rick Steves, the travel guide and travel writers, takes tours to Europe every year. He warns the American tourists to watch out for the stairs which are not at all typical of stairs in the US. Last year a lady on one of his tours was injured by falling down the stairs in Europe.

I should send you photos of stairs in the US. You would immediately perceive the difference. Of course Tucson is such that most houses are ranches on a single level and so are most shopping centers. You rarely use stairs at all here. Besides, a second story would be bad for air-conditioning because warm air rises and cold air falls.

But traveling to Europe was a study in stairs starting with the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. We walked up three flights of 12 stairs each or 36 stairs to access the ship’s boarding ramp. Most people were waiting in line for the escalator so we took the short cut and had the stairs to ourselves. We boarded the ship on deck 3. Our cabin was on deck 4. We had to go to deck 7 almost right away for lunch. Then later in the afternoon we had to return to deck 7 for lifeboat drill. Dinner was back on deck 3, and so it went for the rest of the voyage to Europe.

But as soon as we got to Germany the “stair trial” began at once. The first hotel we looked at we rejected solely on the basis of the stairs. They looked horrendous. We instead checked into the Best Western in Oldenburg which had stairs that were OK. In fact, we were to return to this hotel again on the return trip to the cruise terminal in Hamburg. The best turned out to be the Hotel du Lac in Genval which had rooms believe it or not on the ground level. That was certainly much safer.

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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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Which Travel Plot Would You Vote For?

Which one plot of these travel plots will actually appear in an Edward Ware Thrillers at War novel? The first plot: Drive from Tucson, Arizona through Las Cruces to Santa Fe. Pause awhile in Denver, Colorado. Then continue on through Cheyenne, Wyoming to Pinedale. And from there you drive to Jackson Hole, the Tetons, and Yellowstone beyond that.

Second plot: You drive from Tucson, Arizona east through El Paso and West Texas. You drive through Little Rock and Memphis straight through Tennessee and into Virginia. You drive up the Valley of Virginia and proceed east to New York City and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Then you take ship across the Atlantic to Southampton where you transfer to another ship and continue on to the Mediterranean. First you stop in Porto in Portugal. Next it is on to Barcelona, Spain and Port Mahon, Spain. Next is Ajaccio, Corsica to say hello to where Napoleon was born. Beyond that you go to Rome, Cagliari, Sardinia, and Gibraltar to meet the apes before returning to Southampton and then back to New York.

Plot three is sort of a combination of the two plots above. You start the plot in Tucson, Arizona and proceed up to Yellowstone and the Tetons. From there you take a cross country route through Pittsburgh to New York. You sail across the Atlantic but this time to Hamburg, Germany. You take an overnight train to Rome and return a couple days later to return via the same sea route to New York.
Find out more tomorrow.

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The B-Mobile, The New Cheops Books, LLC Van:

On Friday, October 13, the spookiest day of the year, Cheops Books LLC acquired a new van, the B-Mobile, to use on all its ramblings, wanderings, and official business. It replaces the previous Bearmobile that lasted more than eleven years since July of 2006 until this very October.

The previous mobile took Cheops Books LLC and its authors on various expeditions to the shores of Oregon at Brookings, Oregon, the Redwood Coast of California, the Wine Country, and Yosemite. It drove our team to southeast Arizona to visit the town too tough to die, Tombstone, Arizona. It also took us on both our ramblings to Santa Fe, New Mexico where part of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series is set. Remember the Manhattan Project at nearby Los Alamos? The site of the first atomic bomb explosion was not faraway, and the previous Bearmobile drove us right past it with lots of photo opportunities.

Perhaps most notably the previous Bearmobile took our party of editors, authors, and illustrators to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal to board the Queen Mary 2. And the minivan did it not just once, but twice, last in 2015 just two years ago. That was our route to Europe to research the Edward Ware Thrillers at War especially in Germany and England.

It enabled us to stand in the stands where Hitler addressed his adoring crowds in Nuremberg and took us up into the Alps Mountains to see the site of Hitler’s Berghof, which was important for the novel Captive at the Berghof. In England it enabled us to visit Salisbury Cathedral in the south of England that gave its name to the Edward Ware Thrillers novel, Salisbury Plot by Dora Benley, soon to be published in a brand new edition. And it enabled us one hundred years after the event to sail past the spot of the sinking of the Lusitania off the coast of Ireland, the setting for Key to Lawrence: Special Edition.

Now the new B-Mobile will be the one to guide us through the wilderness and down the interstates to whatever destination is next to appear as the subject of a thriller novel published by us.

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