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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Reflections On Warwick Castle:

I’m looking at an article in the Guardian from last year about Warwick Castle. It says that the Castle built by William the Conqueror is now in the hands of Merlin Entertainments. It owns Legoland, Alton Towers, Sea Life Centers, and the London Eye. It claims that the place has been turned into a theme park. They claim there is an “adventure maze” as well as a comedy show telling the 1000 year history of the place in a half hour play. There are six history zones from a Viking ship to WW1 trenches. There is a swordsmanship workshop, a falconry display. There is piped medieval music in the garden. Stalls sell toy swords. Apparently they sell fast food, and you exit through the gift shop.

Obviously they have not altered the castle itself! I doubt if the British government would allow it. But there is something to be said for atmosphere. Too much honky-tonk takes away from appreciating your surroundings. At least they are sticking to historical exhibits in general.

One thing I like about Warwick Castle compared to Marksburg Castle along the Rhine in Germany is that it is more accessible. We tried to drive up to Marksburg but the road was too narrow. We got pushed over onto the shoulder of the road by a bus and Gary thought it was too dangerous to proceed. We admired it from below only. Warwick at least isn’t on top of a mountain! However, to judge by the reviews of the castle on Trip Advisor you would think there was some problem accessing the place anyway. Lots of tourists including Brits complain about the car park or parking lot. They claim it is too far away. They sound as if they should be like you and practice hiking 3 miles a day before they visit. Maybe they should take a tip from Disney World and build a mono rail! Or they should have a shuttle to pick you up in the parking lot and take you to the attraction.

Cheops Books LLC publishes historical thrillers such as Captive at the Berghof: Part 1 in German as well as Hitler’s Agent.

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Old Faithful Plot: Portal To The Center Of The Earth
Adolf Hitler tears up the Paris Peace Treaty that ended World War 1. He and the National Socialist Party of Germany refuse to pay reparations to France anymore. Germany does not owe them anything for the last war. Hitler wishes that he could change history and make sure that Germany never lost the Great War to begin with.
In fact he deplores the whole scheme of western history where Huns were disliked and thought suspicious. He thinks the name of Germany was taken in vain all too many times. He researches where it all went wrong. He traces it back to 9AD when the Germans expelled the Romans from Germany forever and made them draw a line at the Rhine River by winning the Battle of the Teutonburg Forest. But that did not stop Roman writers such as Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, and Tacitus from penning diatribes against the uncivilized German tribes. Hitler thinks that is an unfair badge of shame that ever since Germany has carried through history.
If only he could travel through time to the source of all this agitation, Pliny the Elder, by far the most influential Latin writer, and shut him up before his works got a chance to be passed down through the generations. True his work the Germania was not to survive to modern times. But it was influential in the past, and he wanted to stop it from being read at all.
He discovers a portal through time in a modern volcanic field and seeks to send his agents, the von Wessels, back into the past to snatch the Germania from Pliny the Elder at the moment of the eruption of Vesuvius since all volcanoes and all volcanic eruptions seem to be linked. Pliny the Elder reputedly died in the eruption, but who knew if historic legends were true? Hitler instructs his agents to make sure that the author of the Natural History and a work on the Germans is dead by assassinating him. Also he instructs the von Wessels to bump off his nephew Pliny the Younger who also defames the Germans and his best friend Tacitus who was to write the Germania which must not survive into modern times. Three in one blow would be the best thing.
Will Hitler succeed in his plot? Find out in the upcoming historical thriller, the Old Faithful Plot, soon to be published by Cheops Books, LLC.

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