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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Did Pliny’s House Look Like The Getty?

Pliny the Elder obviously lived in what we would call a Governor’s House in Roman Trier. What did such a place look like? None of the original Roman villas survives to this day intact, not in Trier, not in Italy, and not in Great Britain. In such places you don’t usually have more than a few standing columns or perhaps a floor full of mosaics to give you a clue of its former grandeur.

Probably the best example of such a villa nowadays exists in a place that Romans never visited and Romans never dreamed about. Such a villa has been painstakingly reconstructed on the California coast, land of dreams and elaborate reconstructions such as Disneyland and Hollywood.

It is no mere fantasy. In fact, it is an elaborate reconstruction of the villa of Calpurnius Piso, the father-in-law of Julius Caesar and father of Caesar’s last wife, Calpurnia, the one with the dreams and nightmares in Shakespeare’s play. It would be very similar to anything that Pliny would have owned. Both men were intellectuals of their day. Calpurnius Piso was a Stoic philosopher. Pliny the Elder was the author of the Natural History, the first of all encyclopedias in the western tradition.

This California villa was reconstructed by John Paul Getty, the billionaire who had a hobby of collecting Greek and Roman antiquities on a large scale. He wanted to build a place to house them. The Getty Villa opened in 1974. The Los Angeles Times interviewed John Paul Getty. Getty said: “It is fortunate that the United States has one ancient private building which is authentic in spirit. One could say go to Pompeii and Herculaneum and see Roman villas the way they are now — then go to Malibu and see the way they were in ancient times.”

Pliny also owned a villa on the seacoast along the Bay of Naples, so this comparision seems appropriate. It is inspirational to think that Pliny strolled through his peristylium and viewed the classical sculptures you find at the Getty.

Pliny the Elder is a character in two upcoming volumes of the Edward Ware Thriller Series: Old Faithful Plot and Pliny: A Novel.

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Has Pliny The Elder Been Re-Discovered?

In the early 1980s the excavation of Herculaneum, sister city to Pompeii, was excavated. A large group of skeletons was found in a boat shed facing the sea as if they were attempting to escape but ran out of time.

Just how they may have been planning to escape is knowledge provided to us by the writings of an ancient Rome author named Pliny the Younger who wrote our only surviving eyewitness account of the Vesuvius eruption. He claimed that his more famous uncle, Pliny the Elder, was going to rescue these unfortunate escapees. How so? Pliny the Elder was the admiral of a Roman fleet stationed at Misenum, north of Naples, on August 24, 79AD, the day Vesuvius erupted. His nephew says he was curious to observe the volcano erupting from close up. He had wide ranging scientific interests and was the author of Pliny’s Natural History, the first encyclopedia in western history. Supposedly he had gotten word from friends that they needed to be resuced and he took off with his fleet to rescue them, leaving his teenage nephew behind to write for the ages.

Now Italian scientists are trying to date and identify the remains of a man found in such a rescue boat and hope they have discovered Pliny the Elder himself. It sounds far fetched but interesting nevertheless. It would be nice to have a reconstructed drawing of Pliny based on his skeleton since no sculpture portraits survive from antiquity.

Pliny the Elder and his family are the subjects of two historical thrillers which Cheops Books LLC is about to publish. The Roman statesman and scientist appears in Old Faithful Plot and Vesuvius Plot. In Old Faithful Plot Pliny is the subject of a time tunnel manhunt on the part of Adolf Hitler. The dictator thinks that the ancient Roman threatens the German people. In Vesuvius Plot as the governor of Germany Pliny must fight off the hordes of German tribes.

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Edward Ware Thrillers Newsletter August, 2017:
During the past month Cheops Books LLC has published the following young adult thriller titles by Dora Benley on Amazon Kindle: Jason and Medea: A Novel, Livia: A Novel, King Richard 1: A Novel, and Curse of Egypt. These new titles which all debuted under special Kindle free giveaway promotions are listed below. Follow the links to Amazon:
Show covers of all four titles with links to Amazon
What new books is Cheops Books LLC publishing in the autumn of 2017? Here is our line up for the new few months from September through December. Every month at least one new book will appear.
On September 15 Cheops Books LLC will publish the young adult thriller Dark 3: Special Edition including new black and white drawings by artist Andrew. You will be able to see what all the major and a few minor characters look like from good guys to bad guys and villains.
Bianca mourns for her old friend Doc who helped her overcome her fear of the dark after being the only witness to a brutal murder on St. Simons Island. He was driven out of town two years ago when the locals concluded that he must be the killer. She last saw him parachuting from a plane escaping from the law, a fall he couldn’t have survived. She’s moved to California with her employers, the Shipleys, and taken on a permanent babysitting position with Little Katie. Suddenly there’s a kidnapping attempt on the rich little heiress that Bianca is employed to protect. To the rescue comes a tall, dark young man who reminds her of somebody she’s lost. But it just couldn’t be . . . After all, he’s dead. And after all . . . he’s supposed to be the bad guy.
Show book cover for Dark 3: Special Edition

On October 15 Cheops Books LLC will publish Hitler’s Agent, volume six in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series.
The villainess, Helga von Wessel, Hitler’s chief spy, struts boldly from page to page of this thriller with Europe at her back and all sorts of ambitious notions in her head during the lead up to WW2. As far as she is concerned it isn’t Hitler’s Reich. It is Helga’s Reich. She will wrap the hero, Colonel Sir Edward Ware, Churchill’s spy, around her little finger to prove it. Nor does it matter what Edward’s American wife, Dora, says.
Show cover of Hitler’s Agent

On November 1 Cheops Books LLC will publish Dark 1 by Dora Benley, the novel that was once part of the Scholastic Point Horror Series. Bianca Winters is babysitting Katie Shipley, the newborn heiress across the Street when one Friday night the lights go out and she hears the housekeeper screaming. She goes upstairs to confront an intruder and save the baby from her crib. The housekeeper falls to her death. From that night on Bianca cannot remember anything about that night, least of all the face of the murderer. But when her memory starts to come back two years later she gets the feeling he is waiting out there to kill her.
On November 8 Cheops Books LLC will publish Dark 2 by Dora Benley, the book that was once part of the Scholastic Point Horror Series. Bianca mourns for Doc, her medical advisor upon whom she came to depend until she found out that he was the murderer. But now there is a new face in town, Dr. Byron Kingsley from Great Britain. He seems to take Doc’s old place. But somebody is still after her and Little Katie. She must flee the country. But even that may not be good enough.
On November 15 Cheops Books LLC will publish Dark: A Trilogy, a collection of three young adult thriller novels in the Dark Series: Dark 1, Dark 2, and Dark 3: Special Edition. Teenager Bianca Winters had no idea what was in store for her in the next few years when she took on a babysitting assignment across the street with Little Katie Shipley. That night her whole life was to change forever as a killer roamed around in the dark upstairs. She had to save the baby while the housekeeper, Mrs. Ingersoll, fell to her death.
In the months that followed the murder, Bianca comes under the wing of her new medical advisor, Doc, who helps her recover from the horrible experience. She falls in love with the young man only to have doubt cast on his motives by circumstances that hint that he himself is the killer. When he goes on the run, she has to still believe in him somehow. How could she love a murderer?
Katie Shipley’s parents move to California and take Bianca with them as her live in babysitter. Bianca thinks that Doc is dead, killed trying to escape from the authorities. But then just as a strange older gentleman from England appears and tries to kidnap Little Katie, a young man who reminds her of the one she has lost materializes in her life again. He shows her what has really been going on all these years behind the scenes, why Mrs. Ingersoll was killed, and what the bad guys want with Little Katie. The trilogy ends with the biggest surprise ending of all time.
Show book cover for Dark: A Trilogy

And finally on December 15 Cheops Books LLC will publish Captive at the Berghof part 1 in German translation, the first such work in a foreign language. This is the third volume of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. 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.
Show book cover for Captive at the Berghof part 1

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Pliny The Elder’s Trier: As Seen By The Germans

These photos suggest the Trier of Pliny the Elder in 79 AD. None of these buildings or monuments actually come from that era, though. Trier was founded in 16BC and was initially called the City of Augusta Treverorum, or the “City of Augustus in the Land of the Treveri”. By the time of Pliny’s tenure as the Roman governor there the town was about 95 years old — almost one century. The monuments at that point were about to be replaced with later ones that have survived to the present day. Some of these statues and gardens were even built as late as the Renaissance but in a classical style. In other words, we can only imagine what Pliny the Elder’s Governor’s Palace and Palace Gardens in ancient Trier must have looked like. When the authors of the book, Vesuvius Plot, visited Trier, they were looking for inspiration to recreate the life and times of Pliny. These statues, gardens, baths, bridges, and city walls and gates come as close as anything we are likely to find in the future.

During the scenes in the historical thriller when the German tribes attack Pliny in the Governor’s Palace in Trier, imagine them attacking in this classical setting with the reflecting pond surrounded by classical statues and gardens cut in precise geometric form. Pliny overcomes the tribes and tricks them with this supreme sense of order which is the hallmark of the author of the world’s first encyclopedia, Pliny’s Natural History. He fights battles with the same order with which he lives and works. He overcomes the barbarians who tried to push the Romans out of Germany only several decades before in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, which forms the subject of another Edward Ware Thrillers at War novel, the Cherusci Plot. His right hand man in the grandson of the Roman who drew the maps for the Emperor Augustus in the time of the Teutoburg Forest, Caius Antonius.

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What Does Little Katie Look Like?

When you are reading Dark 3: Special Edition you might wonder what one of the main characters looks like. Little Katie is the four-year-old heiress, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Shipley of St. Simons Island, who is always being kidnapped and held for ransom. It happens in Dark 1, Dark 2, and also in the current book about to be published by Dora Benley on September 15, Dark 3: Special Edition. How do you visualize the little girl? We have a drawing done by the original publishers of Dark 2, Scholastic UK, that might give you an idea. She is holding her toy bears and has her finger in her mouth. The world is very puzzling from her perspective.
Likewise with Lord Leopold Ware, another main character in the Dark 3 young adult thriller, we have but a sketch. But it is merely a sketch of Leopold as a young man. The Leopold of Dark 3 is already 97 years old. He has been through a lot since his earlier days, mainly one intrigue after another. Now he is embroiled in a plot with a bunch of Neo Nazis. He is trying to prevent them from kidnapping Little Katie. To do so he has traveled all the way to Disney Land where the novel opens on Little Katie’s fourth birthday.

How would you alter this sketch of Leopold Ware to reflect what he must look like now? If you have suggestions for the authors and the publisher please drop a note in the Contact Box on the Cheops Books LLC website, http://www.edwardwarethrillers.org. If we like it enough, we may publish it with the book on September 15.

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Dark 3: Special Edition: Pre-Order Your Kindle

Dark 3: Special Edition by Dora Benley will be published on September 15 as a Kindle edition. Right now the book is ready for pre-order.

Bianca mourns for her old friend Doc who helped her overcome her fear of the dark after being the only witness to a brutal murder on St. Simons Island. He was driven out of town two years ago when the locals concluded that he must be the killer. She last saw him parachuting from a plane escaping from the law, a fall he couldn’t have survived. She’s moved to California with her employers, the Shipleys, and taken on a permanent babysitting position with Little Katie. Suddenly there’s a kidnapping attempt on the rich little heiress that Bianca is employed to protect. To the rescue comes a tall, dark young man who reminds her of somebody she’s lost. But it just couldn’t be . . . After all, he’s dead. And after all . . . he’s supposed to be the bad guy.

Dark 3 concludes the Dark Series for young adults, first published by Scholastic UK. It also ties into and concludes the Edward Ware Thriller Series of historical novels about World War 1 and World War 2 with the biggest surprise ending of all time. The novel will be published by Cheops Books LLC on September 15.

Teens rarely need an excuse to stay up late, but The Dark by Dora Benley would give pause for thought to even the most steely nerved youngster. A genuinely gripping horror story. Approach with caution.
The Sunday Independent Dublin, Ireland

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Hitler’s Agent: New Book Trailer to Premier Soon:
The book trailer for Hitler’s Agent will premier soon on the Cheops Books LLC website: http://www.edwardwarethrillers.org. So keep on checking back, and you will be able to click on it. It should be ready by the time the Edward Ware Thrillers Newsletter comes out in June.
The villainess, Helga von Wessel, Hitler’s chief spy, struts boldly from page to page of this thriller with Europe at her back and all sorts of ambitious notions in her head during the lead up to WW2. As far as she is concerned it isn’t Hitler’s Reich. It is Helga’s Reich. She will wrap the hero, Colonel Sir Edward Ware, Churchill’s spy, around her little finger to prove it. Nor does it matter what Edward’s American wife, Dora, says. Hitler’s Agent is the fifth volume of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. It will be published by Cheops Books LLC on October 15.

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The British Museum In Edward Ware Thrillers:
The British Museum figures in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series on more than one occasion. It appears as a mysterious place, full of atmosphere and intrigue, and not as a very prim and proper and boring British institution where school kids visit on field trips. The series begins in 1914 when archaeologist Leonard Woolley is conducting a Hittite dig at Carchemish in Turkey. His assistant is a young man by the name of T.E. Lawrence. Edward Ware’s father, Sir Adolphus Ware, is an amateur archaeologist/car magnate and is helping to fund the dig. Edward first becomes enmeshed by the wiles of the spy who was later to become Helga von Wessel during this dig in 1914. She is searching for the Lawrence maps for the Kaiser.
Leonard Woolley helps Edward hide the Lawrence maps in the British Museum near the Rosetta Stone in the historical thriller Map Plot. Later still Dora and Edward return to the famed museum in the thriller Wall Street Swastika. The silent mummies and Greek statues watch them as they slink through the museum at night undetected by human eyes. It is all what helps to make the British Museum part of the Edward Ware Thriller Series.

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Dark 3: Special Edition by Dora Benley
Dark 3: Special Edition is to be published on September 15 on Amazon Kindle. This edition will include photos of significant places mentioned in the novel. Think of it as Bianca Winter’s trip diary as she flees from the bad guys.
Bianca mourns for her old friend Doc who helped her overcome her fear of the dark after being the only witness to a brutal murder on St. Simons Island. He was driven out of town two years ago when the locals concluded that he must be the killer. She last saw him parachuting from a plane escaping from the law, a fall he couldn’t have survived. She’s moved to California with her employers, the Shipleys, and taken on a permanent babysitting position with Little Katie. Suddenly there’s a kidnapping attempt on the rich little heiress that Bianca is employed to protect. To the rescue comes a tall, dark young man who reminds her of somebody she’s lost. But it just couldn’t be . . . After all, he’s dead. And after all . . . he’s supposed to be the bad guy.
Dark 3 concludes the Dark Series for young adults, first published by Scholastic UK. It also ties into and concludes the Edward Ware Thriller Series of historical novels about World War 1 and World War 2 with the biggest surprise ending of all time. The novel will be published by Cheops Books LLC on September 15.
Teens rarely need an excuse to stay up late, but The Dark by Dora Benley would give pause for thought to even the most steely nerved youngster. A genuinely gripping horror story. Approach with caution.
The Sunday Independent Dublin, Ireland

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