The Aesop Series Book 1
by Michele Packard
Genre: Conspiracy Thriller
Private contractor Matti Baker's personal quest is to keep America safe. With unwavering loyalty, she was trained to assist government and outside agencies in identifying, locating, and eliminating individuals and nations that pose as threats to the United States. Baker navigates through assignments, that on surface, appear to have no connection. Ultimately Baker finds out that they are all intertwined and will trigger global destruction if not stopped. While sacrificing to keep her family hidden and safe; Baker enlists the help of her best friend and closest colleagues to eradicate double agents.
Whether in Texas, California, the Middle East, or even the foothills of Montana, Baker finds herself in the center of world domination. She keeps her wits about her and those that are lucky enough to be in her inside circle.
My favorite time of year. Even in hotter than hell east Texas. Little known fact about Texas. It takes 24 hours to drive from the northern to southern point and 24 hours to drive from east to west. 24 hours. Good grief. That’s why I picked here. I am “dead”, but no one would be finding me if they even thought otherwise.
I’m on my daily late afternoon walk with the dogs listening to Pink’s U + Ur Hand on my headphones …I was fine before you walked into my life…
My favorite part of my day. The temperature dropped and is holding at 80 versus the normal 90+ in October. Must be result of all the hurricanes, or global warming. Who cares, I’ll take it. Big live and red oak trees covering the streets, forming a majestic arch way for those to follow. Shades of green, yellow, red and gold popping out all over. The builders put in curved sidewalks to give it a more serene setting for this private affluent community. How nice of them.
I listen to music on the lowest setting, always on alert, one earpiece out. I wave at the few neighbors with a friendly smile, but rarely engage in conversation with pretense that I’m talking on the phone. I left everyone, there’s no one for me to call. The neighbors think I moved here after my husband’s death and it’s a family lot that I inherited. East Texas money. Either oil or farming. My direct neighbor owns land to farm watermelons. Must supply the whole state as he’s not hurting. Four homes and this one is the smallest at 7,000 square feet on 10 perfectly manicured acres. Fucking watermelons. Who knew, must keep that in mind for my next life.
My dogs, Bruiser and Koda are German shepherds and they walk obediently beside me. They appear friendly, but trust me they take badass to the next level. They are gorgeous and I selected them from an elite K9 military training facility. They were gifted to me for all that I did. I deserve a lot more. The dogs are my only family right now. They are gentle and fierce, graceful and deadly. They are committed and determined. They only need to know 3 commands. Play. Alert. Attack. They are precision. I could probably have them shit in the bag if I wanted to, but put on the appearance they are your normal every day playful puppies when we stroll through the hood. People see what they want to see. Fools. God, I love these dogs. (Why do people have Chihuahuas or Dachshunds? Really, any dog under 25 pounds is just a damn rat.)
Every day for 12 months, I have done the same thing—waiting, watching, observing and listening. After what I will call “FUBAR”, I spent the first 6 months recovering in a military hospital in Germany, or hell spa Landstuhl as I called it. My head, liver and spleen lacerated. A hundred stitches in the head. All my ribs on left side broken, lung collapsed, both rotator cuffs torn, road rash on whole left side from where I was dragged, broken femur, broken wrist, chin obliterated. I may be leaving some things out. I really don’t recall the first two months.
I had my own private doctors and nurses attend to me. This was a dream assignment for them. They wouldn’t have to work again after this rehab stint as they were paid enough to never return. They weren’t given a choice on that either. They wouldn’t be returning. Period. They took this rebuilding to the next level. Think bionic women times 10. I was deceptively strong at 5’7. Slender frame, long legs. Strong enough to choke grown men out begging for mercy. Let God have mercy on them, that was not my job. The new titanium implants ensured I could use other body parts to do it now too. Not only did they mend the broken body parts, they transformed my physical looks too. I was always a looker, but hell, I must admit, I was damn model looking perfect after they were done. New teeth, (oh yeah, some of those were gone again after FUBAR), new nose and chin line, 34 full C breast lifted. Bonus. Hell yeah. My hair color was now a crisp deep auburn vs. dirty blonde, which made blue eyes pop even more. I have a dark blue rim around my irises, with flakes of yellow and translucent blue in the middle. They are mesmerizing and penetrating. I had worn brown contacts before so was able to go back to my true color. Thank God for that, those contacts were a pain. IPL on any freckles and my skin was a glistening and flawless Cherokee tan. I was unrecognizable from before, and utterly drop dead gorgeous, if I say so myself. What a waste too since I was alone, utterly alone.
Twelve months. Lots can happen in a year. You don’t even notice. I didn’t think I’d ever get out of Landstuhl, but I did. I rarely sleep, and luckily have the pooches to take turns with me so I can. Each day, I follow a simple routine that I mix up so it’s never the same. I do hard cardio with an online Peleton class, and try not to kick everyone’s ass, including the male man-tight wearing instructors pedaling to a remix of Come Sail Away (who knew the remix would be so good). When they start on a 25 resistance, I’m on 60. Take that skinny bitches. I change my online profile constantly to keep anonymity while allowing me to feel included during my self-inflicted exclusion. I do another hour of hot yoga to stretch out what still needs to mend, and then 90 minutes of Kenpo, a martial art, combat sport that combines multiple martial arts to finish off opponents with strikes and kicks. This isn’t any Kung Fu Panda crap. My online instructor is amazed at how I started at a white belt and moved up so quickly. If only he knew I was a certified double black before. I should be an actress in my next life…or selling watermelons.
After spending hours grueling on my body each day to ensure it is in top form, I walk the dogs and then actually spend more time in my secluded back yard on drills with them to keep them sharp. When I’m not giving myself a break with a little music, I’m listening to all the latest intelligence reports that I’ve hacked into. My custom Patek Phillippe watch gives me alerts, making an Apple watch look like a Timex from Walmart, while giving me a female version of a James Bond prototype. That was a gift I got myself. I deserve it. I’m worth it.
And on this glorious fall day with a little wind blowing, the sun shining, the cool crisp of autumn in the air, my head tilting to the sky to absorb all the sunshine…for a moment, I almost let go of my senses. George Winston’s Thanksgiving is playing, a bit of a change in pace from Pink. Hypnotic, soothing, relaxing while inspiring. A sixth sense had me look down the street at the car coming towards me—a car I never seen before in this town. This small town is littered with Mercedes, Range Rovers, BMWs, Bentleys, so when a yellow tricked out taxi cab came strolling through I knew it was not picking someone up to take to private airport. F’ me. I needed just a little more time. The bait took quicker than I expected. I leaned down to Bruiser and Koda, took off their leashes while whispering into their ear. Just like that, they were gone.
I selected this little sleepy community so I could have time to rest and prepare. Alanis Morisette, You Oughta Know, shuffles on taking serene to anger just in time…And I’m here to remind you… It’s not fair to deny me…
To quote Kurt Russell from Tombstone:
“You tell ‘em I’m coming…and hell’s coming with me, you hear? Hell’s coming with me!
The Aesop Series Book 2
From the author of AESOP comes another psychological thriller in this series featuring Matti Baker as she navigates through the twisted world of deception and evil.
Matti Baker is a trained counter terrorism contract operative who maneuvers stealthily with secret identities as wife and mother. Matti is repeatedly tested by her domestic and international assignments in her quest to keep America safe.
With relentless action, Matti dives deeper into the world of artificial intelligence and the consequences of opening Pandora’s box to humanity while simultaneously identifying the players who are targeting world genocide and New World Order. A story of espionage, intrigue and adventure captivates you as Matti and her team engage in the rigorous and often deadly encounters that come with security.
Counterterrorism operative Matti Baker is in a deadly game of cat and mouse with internal government agencies and external countries attempting to modify natural selection to create a New World Order. Traveling between Italy, Russia, China, Afghanistan, and the United States, Baker must do whatever it takes to stop the conspiracy, not knowing that she actually is the genesis of it all. Baker is more exposed and vulnerable than ever before, but is also more determined.
TELLER brings to conclusion the award-winning AESOP series with raw emotion and relentless action you will devour in one sitting. Inspired and interwoven with historical events and conspiracies, it will leave the reader wondering: could this be fact versus fiction?
Award-winning author Michele Packard delivers again in her most intense thriller yet.
Matti Baker returns as the marque attraction of an ensemble cast in this espionage thriller series, intertwining current and historical events.
Baker and her team must navigate a corrupt world where politicians are compromised by Big Tech and Big Pharma industries. A deadly virus is released into the world, with every country pointing fingers at each other. What if it wasn’t someone else? Did the US conspire to release this virus killing millions worldwide? Baker and her team must get to the bottom, to stop a pandemic that is causing havoc to everyone.
Award-winning author, Michele Packard, comes from a military family and worked tirelessly as a cable tv executive before staying at home to raise her three children. She has written in both the fiction and non-fiction genres, utilizing her experiences and sharp wit to share stories with others. When not writing, she is a frequent traveler with her husband and is the primary caretaker of the family's beloved labs.
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Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
It started when my twins were heading to college. I had invested soooo much time in their activities, I now found myself in a quandry. What was I going to do with all my new found free time? My family has always called me AESOP, saying I exaggerate every tell, so I decided to write a series based on authors that I enjoyed reading: Woods, Thor, Patterson, and more – thrillers with a patriotic lead.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I don’t eat ANY fruit. I drink crushed grapes though
What are some of your pet peeves?
People who are late.
Where were you born/grew up at?
Military brat - Born in Honolulu, went to Alexandria, Ft Hood, San Antonio
What are you passionate about these days?
It’s been the same for quite some time – my family.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Shawshank prob the most favorite. Too many to list – but generally rewatch anything with Keanu Reeves, Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Kurt Russell, Ryan Gosling…
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
What inspired you to write this book?
There are minute factional elements from my personal life and historical events that are intertwined. I’ve had the ending in my mind since I started, so working on a creative avenue to get there.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Hopefully more books in this series.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
They are all derivative from real friendships.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
For the “good guys”, they are taken from real people in my life and mixed with others in my life. The main character is my husband’s first name, Matt(i), and the last name of my first boyfriend, Baker.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
It plays off current government conspiracies.
How did you come up with the title of the book?
It’s what my children call me.
Who designed your book covers?
I use Platformhouse Publishing out of UK for a redesign.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Jennifer Lawrence as Matti, Henry Cavill as Tom and Kevin Costner as Freddy.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
My books are intentionally kept short(er) to allow you to read, think, recharge and then go out and live life.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Who doesn’t love a patriotic lead, with unlimited resources, a quirky sense of humor and who can kick your butt?
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes, I’m planning ot launch in 2022 that will shed light on suicide.
What book do you think everyone should read?
Read them all, in different genres – that’s how you learn.
How long have you been writing?
What do you think about the current publishing market?
It’s challenging. Hard to get traditionally published unless you know someone, must have a big wad of cash if you want to be successful in indie market, and even harder to get a combo of both worlds.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I enjoy crime/thriller, but read in all types of genres.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise?
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I keep notes on my phone and do a very generic rough outline on paper.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Just be you and believe in yourself.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Mine are based off current events, so I need events to happen. Writing not too long, prob 45 days, then you edit, beta read, format, covers, etc – all in all, closer to 6-8 months by time completed.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
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