In 1492 Christopher Columbus bore a secret agenda as he set out with his tiny fleet to discover a New World. The startling truth? Columbus himself was a Jew! And he sought a new home for his persecuted Jewish kin to escape King Ferdinand’s and Queen Isabella’s newly wrought Spanish Inquisition.
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About the Author
Mike Evans is a #1 New York Times best-selling author with more than 25 million copies in print, including Christopher Columbus, Secret Jew. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas. He is the Chairman of the Board of the ten Boom Museum in Holland (tenboom.org), and also of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem (FOZHC.org). Evans is founder of the Jerusalem Prayer Team (jpteam.org), and has sixty published books. To contact Dr. Evans for interviews or speaking engagements, send correspondence to: P. O. Box 30000 Phoenix, AZ 85046, email EVENTS@drmichaeldevans.com, or telephone 817-268-1228.
Read an Excerpt
The Columbus Code
By Mike Evans
Worthy Publishing GroupCopyright © 2015 Mike Evans
All rights reserved.
Winters ran his hand over his damp upper lip. His nerves were on overdrive, jacked up on adrenaline and five cups of coffee. Raids used to be the thing that kept him from getting bored. He actually looked forward to them. But today dread was more the mindset than anticipation.
Time to do this thing. He pushed open the car door and stepped out. He could feel his hair stand up in the wind, even as short as he kept it. You could always count on wind in the Bay Area. Wind and hills and fog.
But today was sunny. Eye-burningly clear. Still nippy, though. There was always that chill in the air. Who was it, Mark Twain, who said the coldest winter he ever spent was the summer he spent in San Francisco? Winters grabbed his jacket from behind the seat, shrugged it on, and walked toward a black SUV parked farther up the street.
The neighborhood was situated not far from the East Bay. Most of the houses were built in the 1920s Craftsman style. Bungalows, really, although any of them could be sold for seven figures now. It was all about location.
Winters' hands felt tacky as he rubbed them together. In his twenty years in the Secret Service he'd participated in more clandestine raids, more down and dirty arrests, more classified operations than he could remember. This one, though ... He glanced around for the nearest bush in case his stomach rebelled.
The passenger door of the SUV swung open and Taylor Donleavy stepped out, sunglasses in place, shaved head oblivious to the wind. He was a computer forensics expert who spent most of his time in the Service's technology lab, immersed in a world of terabytes and programming code. Donleavy should have been the one ready to throw up in the shrubbery. But he looked the way Winters used to feel before this kind of operation — chomping at the proverbial bit but trying not to look like it.
"Did they show you the house?" Winters asked.
"Yeah." Donleavy had a raspy voice. If he hadn't been a buddy, Winters would have called him a geek. Actually, he did.
"It's that one, right?" Donleavy gestured to a low, one-story bungalow four houses away, near the center of the block.
"Come on, Donleavy, don't point."
Donleavy looked cluelessly at his index finger, then shrugged and went on. "Looks too peaceful, doesn't it?"
It was hard to believe that in that unassuming two-bedroom abode, half a dozen Russians had infiltrated the online transaction system for worldwide retailer Galliano's and had obtained millions of credit-card numbers and associated user information files. While the neighbors thought the Russians were making borscht and tending the roses, they were actually using day-trader software hacked from some low-budget investment firm to generate millions of small investment purchases. What the neighbors didn't know, a retired schoolteacher from Spokane did — or at least he got suspicious enough to file a complaint with the Secret Service.
"It's not gonna be peaceful on the inside," Winters said close to Donleavy's ear. "Just do your thing and get out. I know you're all hot after being part of this but —"
"I know. Seize the —"
"Shut up, Donleavy." This was why Winters hated taking a non-agent on a raid. But he had to. Only somebody like Donleavy could make sure the computers were seized intact so the whole case wasn't a bust.
Another car door slammed across the street and Lonnie Smith joined them. Although he was an agent, he looked a lot less obtrusive than Donleavy in a plaid flannel over a green T-shirt and a Giants ball cap taming a mop of curly, prematurely gray hair.
"It's a go," he said, grinning. Smith always smiled, no matter the circumstances. It stretched his gray mustache into an almost-grimace.
"You sure they're in there?" Winters said.
"Yeah. All eight of them."
Winters tried not to let his eyes widen. "Eight? I thought there were only five."
"Snipers have been in place since yesterday," Smith said as if he were expanding the guest list for a dinner party. "They count eight."
Winters began to sweat again — this time the icy, barely wet perspiration that paralyzes every muscle. "There can't be eight," he said through his teeth. "I'm not ready for eight."
Smith's mouth extended into a mirthless, white-toothed grin. "It's eight, buddy. If you can't handle it —"
"No, I can't! I can't! It's not what I signed up for!"
* * *
Winters thrust his hands forward, reaching for what, he didn't know. His heart raced and panic seized him at the thought of entering that house, but his fingers grasped nothing except thin air and the pale light slitting between the slats of the bedroom blinds. After a moment, he rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands, trying to remember where he was, then collapsed back on the bed and pulled his pajamaclad knees into his chest. What was it now — fifteen nightmares since the raid? He wouldn't have counted them if Archer hadn't told him to. She'd also told him to report to her when he had another ... what did she call them? Episodes? It was a dream, not a psychotic episode. And he wasn't calling her.
Winters glanced at the alarm clock on the bedside table. He was surprised the thing still worked, seeing as how it had awakened him every morning in high school and he was now forty-five. Mom never changed a thing.
It was only 6:40 a.m., which meant it was 3:40 in San Francisco. Dr. Archer wouldn't appreciate a call from Winters at this hour unless he was suicidal. Not that she hadn't questioned him about that possibility after every session for the last two months.
Besides, this day wasn't about him possibly dying. It was about Mom actually dying, which she'd done two days before without giving him, Ben, or Maria any warning. Three days ago she'd called to tell him not to forget Uncle David's eightieth birthday. Now he was waking up in his boyhood room on the day of her funeral.
"Yo, Johnny," a husky voice called. "You awake?" That question was followed by a loud banging on the door.
"I am now," Winters replied.
The door was forced open, the settling of the house over the last fifty-five years having rendered it jammed. His brother, Ben, younger by fifteen years, entered with his usual swagger. The kid still carried himself like the Bowie High football captain — head cocky, arms held out to the sides in half circles because they were too buff to touch his ribs, blue eyes making sure everybody was looking at him.
"You were passed out when I got in last night," Ben said.
"I wasn't 'passed out.' I was asleep like normal people." Winters threw back what covers were still in place after the dream and swung his legs over the side of the bed.
Ben stepped forward, playfully batting at Winters' head. "No, man," he quipped, "you're not normal people. You're Secret Agent Man. S. A...."
Winters stopped listening and stifled a groan. Ben had been ten years old when he joined the Service and back then it was cute when his kid brother bragged about his status and talked about it nonstop when they were together. Now it bordered on obnoxious. No, actually it had gone beyond obnoxious, especially since Ben had decided to follow in his footsteps.
Winters got to his feet and gave Ben a halfhearted hug.
"You hear anything?" Ben asked.
"About my challenging that last set of interviews."
Winters feigned a yawn and squeezed past him. The room had gotten smaller since they were kids. "No, I haven't, and nobody would tell me anything anyway."
"I was hoping you'd know something."
Winters stopped, hand on the doorknob, and turned toward him. "Ben. Brother. We came here to bury our mother and all you can think about is your job interviews?"
"No, man, I'm thinkin' about Mom, but —"
"Give it a rest," Winters said. He pried the door open, then walked down the hall to the bathroom. It was pointless to add that during Ben's endless stay with him in San Francisco, Ben had bombed the preliminary interviews because he went into them acting as if he were already an agent packing heat. His rejection was a done deal, but there was no convincing Ben of that.
When Winters returned to the bedroom, Ben was sitting on the edge of the bed, studying a family photo taken on the day Winters graduated high school — back when Ben was two. He was now looking more like a guy who had just lost his mother.
"I never felt like I knew her as well as you did," he said. To his credit, his voice was thick and soft.
Winters leaned against the dresser. "I think we knew two different Moms. She changed a lot after Pop died. And how old were you when that happened? Five?"
Ben gave a glum nod. "She was all into the past. Last couple of years I lived here she spent more time in the attic than she did down here."
Winters shuddered involuntarily. Ben made it sound as if the feisty, food-pushing mother he knew had turned into something out of one of filmmaker Brian De Palma's psychological thrillers. "What do you say we celebrate her in her best days?" he said.
Ben wiped his nose with the side of his hand and nodded. His eyes were already mischievous again. "Hey, did you get grayer since I was out there?"
Winters ran a hand over the hair he knew was turning more salt-and-pepper daily and glanced over at his brother. "Did you lose more of yours?"
Ben had their father's receding hairline, though he was far from bald. He reached out for Winters' midsection. "Is that a little soft spot there? What happened to your six-pack?"
Winters' face was impassive, but the comment struck home. If they didn't let him get back to work soon he was going to lose his edge. "I hope you brought a suit," he said, changing the subject.
"Oh, yeah. Hugo Boss, brother. Mom would be proud."
No, Winters thought, she would tell him he was a moron for spending money he didn't have. "Put it on," he said instead. "We need to get there early."
"Hey, is Maria here?"
Why didn't he just push all of Winters' buttons? Were they that obvious? "She's meeting us at the church," Winters said. "And she'll beat us there if you don't get a move on."
Winters was lying, of course, though it seemed Ben didn't notice. He knew Maria would wait until the last possible moment to show up. And not because she didn't love her grandmother.CHAPTER 2
Maria Winters looked up through a panel of thick hair and glared at her assistant. "What are you doing?" she asked.
Austin wafted a lanky arm toward the door — again — and said, "I'm trying to get you out of here, ma'am."
"Do not call me 'ma'am,'" she said, though she knew it was useless. He was not only from Mississippi, but he loved to needle her. "I want to finish this travel stuff," she continued. "I'm barely going to get back before we leave for Barcelona."
His eyes narrowed, making his already thin face look even skinnier. Spikes of hair the color of bran completed the effect: Austin looked as if he were about to levitate to the ceiling with her briefcase in his hand.
"I can finish the travel stuff. It's my job to finish the travel stuff. You shouldn't even be touching the travel stuff." Austin set the red briefcase on the desk and tapped it. "You're just stalling."
Maria dragged her fingers through the loose curls that would droop the minute she hit the sidewalk. It had been drizzling in DC all morning and probably was in Maryland too. Why did it always rain the day of a funeral? Couldn't people be buried when the ground was dry?
"Seriously," Austin said.
She looked at Austin again. For a twenty-three-year-old guy, he was pretty sensitive. She'd wondered more than once why he was working in a high-pressure law firm when he should be doing grief counseling or something. He'd been counseling her ever since Friday when she'd received the news about Abuela right here in this room.
"You need closure," he said now.
"I know. What I don't need is my family."
"But they probably need you."
"I doubt that very seriously. What they need is the opposite of me."
"Whatever. I already called you a cab. You have just enough time to make your train." Austin's hazel eyes softened. "You can do this. You know you can."
"'Can' is one thing," Maria said. "'Want to' is another." She stood and took her spring trench coat from him, then picked up the briefcase. "Promise you'll finish this?"
"If you don't go I'm going to cause a scene."
Maria couldn't stifle a smile, though it faded as soon as she stepped into the hall and plowed headlong into Bill Snowden. She didn't have time for one of Snowden's monologues, but you didn't put off the boss. Not this one, anyway.
"Where are you off to?" he asked, dark eyebrows tending toward each other. Maria was sure the man had them waxed.
"My grandmother's funeral." Maria backed toward the elevator as she added, "I sent you an e-mail."
"Oh, right," he said as he nodded. "Sorry for your loss."
Uh-huh. There was no "sorry" in Snowden's dark eyes. The striking contrast with his very-white hair should have made him handsome, but Maria never found cold men attractive.
"Well, here, take this with you." Snowden thrust a sheaf of papers into her hands. "Final details for the Catalonia meeting. You'll go straight there when you land in Barcelona, so take some Ambien or something for the flight. You'll want to sleep on the way over."
Maria bit off an As if and nodded, still making her way backward to the elevator. She also forced herself not to say, You couldn't have sent me this by e-mail? She didn't have to look at the pages to know that most, if not all, of it was handwritten in his inimitable scrawl — in pencil, no less. That was why she went to law school and was hired on at this prestigious firm at age twenty-five — so she could decipher her boss' handwriting like a 1940s stenographer.
"See you in Spain," he said as she stepped onto the elevator.
The doors closed, squeezing him out of sight. "Bye-bye," she whispered.
Yeah, she sighed to herself, sometimes it is, as Austin would say, "wa-a-a-ay hard" to be professional.
* * *
The closer the MARC train drew to the stop, the less Maria wanted to think about going to Abuela's house without her there. She had always been there — before and after the event by which Maria marked everything. Her mom's death. Abuela had been a constant — the summers when Maria went there to stay after — the Christmases the whole family spent there before. The house would still smell like paprika and saffron. Abuela had been making paella for a church supper the last time Maria talked to her. Maybe her smell would still be there too. Dove soap. Jergens lotion. Downy. But without her there, it would only taunt — Maria knew that.
And then there would be her father ...
Him she couldn't think about or she'd head straight back to DC. Maria's fingers shook with anger even now as she opened her briefcase and pulled out the papers Snowden had given her. But as her eyes scanned the pages, her mind turned to work and very quickly her body relaxed.
Maria's firm, Gump, Snowden and Meir, represented Catalonia Financial, an international corporation with headquarters in Barcelona, Spain. Catalonia was currently acquiring Belgium Continental and wanted Snowden there to finalize the deal. Snowden never went anywhere without a full entourage, and he'd asked Maria to be part of it this time. It was her first overseas trip since she joined the firm in December, fresh out of law school, and even though his invitation had been last minute it still seemed like one of those only-happens-once things — until she lost Abuela.
"You're doing so well!" Abuela said to her on Easter weekend when she'd heard about the trip. They'd spent the weekend coloring eggs and eating ham and putting lilies on the grave of Abuelo, the grandfather Maria never knew. Abuela had taken Maria's face in both hands and said exactly what Maria knew she would say. "Your mama would be so proud."
Fourteen years after the fact and they were still crying. Abuela had always grieved as if Maria's mother, Anne, was her own daughter. She definitely grieved more than Dad had ...
Excerpted from The Columbus Code by Mike Evans. Copyright © 2015 Mike Evans. Excerpted by permission of Worthy Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What would you do if you found out you were related to Christopher Columbus and were the only one that could solve a mystery. This includes many adventures with John Wintes, a secret service agent, his daughter, Maria, and Sophia. This was a great story. i look forward to many more adventures with these three characters and hope to find out if they can figure out how close they really are to Columbus. I received this book from worthy publishing for a fair and honest opinion.
Mike Evans in his new book, “The Columbus Code” published by Worthy Publishing introduces us to John Winters, descendant of Christopher Columbus. From the back cover: In 1492 Christopher Columbus bore a secret agenda as he set out with his tiny fleet to discover a New World. What was that startling truth? The Columbus Code is just that the true, historical puzzle few could comprehend until today. Consistent with great historical fiction of our time, New York Times best-sell author Mike Evans pens a story replete with intrigue, adventure, and brutal persecution. The story begins with John Winters, an American Secret Service agent, who unravels centuries old truths about Christopher Columbus and the real drama that lay behind those famous voyages to the Americas. There is a secret society that is putting in place a plan to destroy the American dollar and financially rule the world. John Winters went to Barcelona to continue the genealogical research his mother had begun before she died that they are direct descendants of Christopher Columbus. He teams up with his estranged lawyer daughter and, together, they are on the run. Their quest to stop the Society before they get killed will take them from Spain to Israel and back to the U.S. Mr. Evans has loaded his book with political intrigue, suspense and a very clever puzzle. John Winters and his daughter, Maria, are very complex characters that we come to care deeply about and want them to succeed. Plus their lives are in very great danger as this is a page-turning thriller. This book will keep you reading as fast as you can to find out what will happen next. You won’t be disappointed I assure you. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Worthy Publishing for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
The Columbus Code is the latest novel by Mike Evans. On the opening pages, you are introduced to John Winters. John is a Secret Service agent, who following a raid that has left him unable to recall all the details that occurred, is currently on administrative leave. Since this operation, John is often awakening from sleep with a racing heart and in a sense of panic! When John's mother suddenly dies, he finds himself back in his hometown. While he is spending some time taking care of his mother's estate, he runs across a letter she left for him. His mother had been researching their family's genealogy. She believed that one of their ancestors was Christopher Columbus! She wants John to continue this search. You will not believe what John finds and where he ends up as he journeys first to Barcelona, Spain and then to Jerusalem, before he finally ends up back in the United States at the New York Stock Exchange! You will meet Maria Winters, his estranged daughter, when her business trip overseas becomes intertwined with the details and the characters of John's search! Hang on to see if John and Maria's relationship will be restored!!! At the end of this fast moving tale, you get a strong sense that a sequel will soon be following! I received this book from Worthy Publishing in exchange for my unbiased review. http://penlessreview.blogspot.com/