Archive for the ‘free books’ Tag

Booktrap Treasure Hunt   Leave a comment

One of the authors who interviewed me for my book The Willow Branch said he was a beta reader for the book.

What is the name of that author?

The answer is here on my blog and is one of the points to qualify for the Booktrap Treasure Hunt.

Posted February 14, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Writing

Tagged with , , , , ,

Treasure Hunt   1 comment

The Booktrap is celebrating its one-year birthday and giving readers and visitors a chance to win cool books by our authors.

Follow the link for details and have fun!

Want a Free Book?   Leave a comment

Reblog, shares and retweets can win a free copy of The Willow Branch this week, ending Friday, November 16.

Front Cover Update

The Willow Branch Now Available   Leave a comment

Retweets, shares and reblogs can earn a coupon for a free copy of The Willow Branch. First three who boost this post will be rewarded.

Front Cover Update

Free Book to Read   Leave a comment

Full Cover

Free Book to Read … With Corrected Link   Leave a comment

Full Cover


Free Book to Read   2 comments

Full Cover

Free Book   Leave a comment

Full Cover

A Well in Emmaus   Leave a comment

Full Cover

A Well in Emmaus – Chapter 6 Smoke & Mirrors   Leave a comment

Full Cover

Chapter Six

Smoke and Mirrors


                Grant Rigby had worked for the Central Security Agency for more than 20 years and he was good at it. His stable of assets were valuable to the agency, stallions among draft horses. For this reason, Grant had become privy to secrets that few knew and fewer still would survive. When he learned of Project Sunset, he naturally used his stable to even the odds of survival. Activating Shane Delaney had been a calculated choice, not an act of desperation.

                That’s what he told himself as he loaded his family into the van and drove east across the Rockies toward what he hoped would be a new life, shrouding their path in smoke and blinding any seekers with mirrors.

                When Shane Delaney had become Eric Faraday, there’d been a lot of behind-the-scenes smoke-and-mirrors. Shane Delaney had supposedly been flying cargo planes filled with something questionable all over South America for the last five years. He’d sent money home to Farmers Bank in Emmaus regularly and his email routed through an IP address in Panama, where a thriving ex-pat community could be found.

                Shane Delaney had been easy to hide. Except for his family and an angry man or three in Kansas, nobody considered him all that important. Eric Faraday was harder to just make disappear. He had assets that would be useful to him in “retirement” and skills that were valuable to both of his employers. Truth be told, Bothrell-Wilson was not interested in letting those skills go. The largest wholesale food distributor in the world had fingers in many pots, not the least of which were the wars in the Middle East. Mercenaries were money and Eric Faraday was a multi-skilled agent and veteran of multiple tours. His decision to retire just before a major operation sent up red flags. His refusal to be swayed by a huge bonus turned a spotlight on his activity.

                Of course, BW’s subsidiary Knight Services had no idea who Eric Faraday really was because Eric Faraday had never existed prior to five years ago and he only existed to work for Knight or BW and collect information for a covert government operation. Rigby’s employers weren’t too happy to be losing Eric’s skills either.

                Grant Rigby had been at this game a long time. When he built a cover persona for an asset, he built a back door because he knew slavery was still unconstitutional and assets might eventually want to live real lives again. Unfortunately, Shane had not come with a clean slate. He’d worked for the government before. It hadn’t been his choice and it had not gone well, but he’d completed the assignment. That record made reinserting him back into his own life tricky. Grant had gotten him before he’d become Eric, though, so the back door was there. It just wasn’t as clean as he liked.

                To reverse engineer Eric back to Shane, Grant had to launder financial assets, reissue passports as well as pilot and commercial truck licenses, and hack computer databases to swap out DNA, fingerprints and facial and iris recognition data. He had to “resurrect” Shane Delaney and bring him to the United States while “retiring” Eric Faraday to an off-the-grid location. When it was all in place, it all relied on Shane following instructions. He had been a good operative, but one thing Grant had to admit was he had not been good at following instructions. Shane embodied the definition of maverick. In some ways, that made him brilliant at what he’d been doing for Grant. In others, it made him a good reason to go grey.

                Fact was, Grant was fond of Shane, which is why he’d given him the heads-up about Project Sunset. Shane might not care too much about his own survival right now, but he was someone worth saving. Grant couldn’t say that about most of his stable. He’d known, however, that giving Shane too much information might backfire. When the thumb drive had landed in his lap, he’d known who to give it to and why. Brilliance would keep the information safe while oppositional personality traits would make it difficult for anyone, even Grant, to know what Shane might do with it.

                Grant Rigby was driving down a lonely stretch of I-40 near Duchesne, Utah when a priority item flashed across his screen. BW were scrambling a team to detain Eric Faraday on suspicion of possessing proprietary information belonging to BW. Grant had vaguely expected that to happen over the weekend, but BW must have been distracted by its part of the national operation. BW had many agency contacts, but when certain names came up, they were routed to Rigby. With Grant out of the office, his assistant had received the order and was moving to protect their asset. He wanted instructions.

                Grant pulled over and typed his reply, praying that Shane had gotten his subtext at the coffee shop.


                Grant had made much of Shane’s depression in the last month. He hoped Baskins would not second-guess the instruction.

                “You promised me you’d tell us what was going on as soon as we were definitely out of San Diego,” Emily reminded him as he reached for the secure, unregistered cell.

                “When we stop tonight, while the kids sleep,” he assured her. How to tell her things would never be the same again? He had no idea. All he knew was that he’d laid things out as best he could and hoped his tiny portion of the plan would work. At least his family would be safe for a little while. The rest largely depended on whether Shane Delaney felt restless or not. Grant texted quickly.


                He eased the van into drive and negotiated back onto the highway. Emily was staring at the right sideview, watching the motorhome behind them.

                “What is it?” he asked.

                “I know better than to ask, but …. Never mind,” she said with a sigh.

                “When we get where we’re going, I’m going to tell you everything,” he told her.

                She laughed and brushed a blond lock back from her forehead.

                “Everything? Twenty years of keeping secrets and you’re going to tell me everything? Including why my parents and Patrick are on this expedition. How did you convince them?”

                “Patrick is amenable to bribery and I told your dad the truth … more or less.”

                “And he accepted your version of truth?” she asked. Her brown eyes twinkled. She’d accepted his obfuscations as the price of being married to him. Her father and mother had always been suspicious.

                “Strangely enough, I think he knew it was coming. We can’t talk now. Tonight, I’ll tell you what I can and then, when we get where we’re going, we adults – and Patrick – will have a real conversation.”

                She nodded, but there was still a line of worry between her eyes. The secure cell vibrated on the console. He picked it up.


                Grant slid the phone back into the box he was keeping it in and sighed. He used his official phone to check-in for Eric’s flight to Los Angeles and then onto Thailand, knowing BW would show up to try and intercept their employee. Eric had another reservation at sunset Tuesday, out of Los Angeles, but nobody would be making that flight, so Grant hadn’t even put an asset on it. He loved it when a plan came together.

                It was all about smoke and mirrors and making the right hand so flashy that the mark never noticed what the left hand was really doing. Grant couldn’t stop the main event, but he could make this little side drama so entertaining that nobody saw through it until it was too late.

                Grant looked down at the speedometer and reminded himself to stay just over the speed limit. Smoke and mirrors meant not drawing attention to yourself. If you looked anxious, people wondered why. He was just a family man on a much-needed vacation with his extended family. No need to be in a rush. None at

The Libertarian Ideal

Voice, Exit and Post-Libertarianism


Social trends, economics, health and other depressing topics!

My Corner

Showcasing My Writing and Me

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Deep Thoughts from the Shallow End of the Pool

Steven Smith

The website of an aspiring author


a voracious reader. | a book blogger.


adventure, art, nature, travel, photography, wildlife - animals, and funny stuff


The Peaceful Revolution Liberate Main Street

%d bloggers like this: