The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.
The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Arleen Alleman New Book:
New Release: July 5, 2013
Author: Arleen Alleman
Author Darcy Farthing is living in Washington, DC, with her fiancé, Mick Clayton. They are enjoying a much needed respite from trauma and crime fighting while preparing for a wedding and a romantic cruise. Everything changes when an alarming phone call halts their plans. A good friend, Charlie Scott, has mysteriously disappeared—the apparent victim of an abduction.
Against Mick’s wishes, on an impulse and without much thought of consequences, Darcy flies to Seattle to help Charlie’s partner, Don, and their daughter, Penelope, cope with the loss. She is worried about Mick’s negative attitude about the couple and worries that he is prejudiced toward her friends. As a result, she finds herself reevaluating the direction of her personal and professional life.
Soon after her arrival in Seattle, she becomes immersed in the unfamiliar world of domestic partnerships, birth surrogates, and assisted reproductive technology. Don and Charlie, who became unlikely heroes in the first novel in this series, Currents Deep and Deadly, have their lives turned upside down by elusive kidnappers with no apparent motive. At the same time, their well-intentioned decision to pay a surrogate to bear their daughter for them turns into a nightmare, when the biological mother returns after eight years, claiming that Don and Charlie are not Penelope’s fathers as they believed, and she wants her child back. This revelation sets in motion a series of tragic events that threatens to destroy a parent-child bond, and worse.
Before the police and FBI are able to solve Charlie’s kidnapping, an even more devastating case materializes when Penelope also vanishes. The FBI and Seattle police detectives frantically look for clues. In the process, they implicate a local antigay organization and its leader, two local business owners who are being harassed by antigay demonstrators, a flamboyant stalker who is obsessed with Don, and the birth mother herself. There is no hard evidence against any of the suspects, and the leads are curtailed when two of them are murdered. The authorities are no closer to finding Penelope and now worry that she has been abducted by a vicious killer.
In the midst of turmoil surrounding Penelope’s birth status and abduction, true to her nature, Darcy tries to help her friends. When she ventures into the midst of the case by conducting a freelance interview with a local clergyman, she is nearly killed in a vicious attack by an unknown assailant. Mick rushes to her side and soon overcomes his reluctance to get involved with Don and Charlie’s plight. Together they try to gather information to help solve the case. Before the hostility ends, Don also becomes a victim and then a hero, and Mick must fight an unbalanced killer intent on revenge.
Alternate Currents Review by Author Diane Rapp
Universal themes that strike a chord.
Arleen Alleman once again demonstrates her writing talent in a gripping novel filled with suspense and pathos. When spiteful and malicious motives spur a kidnapping, events rapidly spiral out of control. Darcy learns that her friend, Charlie is kidnapped, and her natural instinct is to go help Charlie’s domestic partner, Don, and their adopted 7-year old daughter, Penelope.
The idea doesn’t sit well with Darcy’s fiancé, Mick. Based on past experience, he knows Darcy’s habit of “helping” often places her in mortal danger. He’s worried and rightly so. To complicate matters, Darcy and Nick are supposed to be planning a wedding of their own, but the distress of this situation could derail the nuptials.
Don Freeburg, a freelance cartoonist, and Charlie Scott, a commercial realtor, live in an upscale Seattle neighborhood. Unfortunately their domestic partnership recently came under the scrutiny of a religious zealot with a fanatical followers, a group of people who are eager to remove Penelope from their home. To complicate matters, Penelope’s birth mother threatens to legally reverse the adoption. She claims she has a legal right to take custody of her daughter.
Although Penelope never met her birth mother, could a judge rip the family apart due to a legal technicality?
Ignoring her own personal problems, Darcy travels to Seattle to help and support her friends. As the police investigation into the kidnapping flounders, bodies start turning up. Darcy can’t keep her promise to Mick and starts investigating on her own. It becomes clear that Penelope might have been the original target of the kidnapping, and Darcy fears for the girl’s safety.
Darcy gallantly risks her own life to protect her friends and solve the crime. There are so many twists and turns in the complicated plot that readers are taken on a wild ride. Greed, desire, guilt, and fanaticism embolden several treacherous villains, who lurk in the shadows waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
Each culprit has a motive to kill but which one has gone on a killing spree? Can Darcy survive against the menacing culprits who stalk her friends? Will her own relationship with Mick crumble under the strain of a tempestuous separation? Will the wedding that Mick and Darcy planned ever take place? As Darcy learns more about her own character, she considers a new occupation, one that might place her in constant jeopardy. Will Mick support Darcy’s new career choice?
Fans of the Darcy Farthing novels are sure to enjoy this new chapter in her saga. Darcy has become a friend that we enjoy welcoming into our home. We worry about her almost as much as Mick, but we eagerly wait for each new story to be revealed.
Day One—Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Penelope sat in her room suffering through another time out. She was bored after a half hour of reading books, including her favorite, The Magic Tree House Collection. Leaning against the headboard with her bare feet splayed out in front of her, she stared across the room at Bear and Tipitu. The latter, a battered cloth rabbit, winked at her with its one remaining button eye.
Sitting side by side on a comfy pink and white striped chair in the corner, these normally benign creatures appeared to stare back at her in an accusatory fashion.
She looked away from them and focused on the bright red and yellow plastic playhouse, which she no longer used because she was too big to fit inside. She was not fond of the jarring colors and wished she could have a larger pink and purple fairy castle model. She saw this very playhouse at a store in the mall, but so far had not been able to convince her parents that she needed a new one.
Finally, she sighed and let herself think about her earlier behavior because that is what her parents said she must do before she would be allowed to go downstairs. The bedroom door was ajar and faint sounds of food preparation reached her from below. She knew her parents were right. She had been disrespectful when she shouted at Papa. Sometimes she yelled without knowing she was going to because she had so many pressing thoughts, but couldn’t always find the right words to get her point across. This made her feel stupid and that made her angry. Her parents and teachers said she was a smart child, but Penelope wasn’t convinced.
She was already sorry and feeling guilty. As she thought about the words she needed for the apology she must deliver, she heard the front door open and then a voice. “What is this?” it sounded like, but she wasn’t sure. Then there was a noise that didn’t sound right at all. It was the sort of sound that meant something had fallen or broken. At least she could not be blamed for whatever was happening down there. Then the front door slammed shut in a way that would make her parents angry.
The silence that followed the odd sounds seemed even less normal. She was not supposed to leave her room, but the more she listened and didn’t hear anything, the more convinced she became that something had to be wrong. After she thought for a minute about what would be the right thing to do, she decided to risk her parents’ further disapproval in order to investigate.
Slowly, she descended the carpeted stairs with her hand trailing lightly along the polished oak banister as she peered down into the open foyer. The house was completely silent and she felt a shiver of fear like when she looked up at the mall and didn’t see her parents for a moment.
She had never felt this way at home, though. Why isn’t anyone talking?
At the bottom of the stairs she could see a lot of Daddy’s colorful building papers scattered on the floor. He will be upset to see them like this, she thought, and stooped to pick them up. With two sheets in her hand, she looked toward the dining room and decided it was more important to see what was going on in the kitchen where her parents were fixing dinner.
Stepping around the brochures, she walked quickly through the dining room and entered the doorway to the kitchen. On the floor just inside, a man lay unconscious and bleeding from a head wound. His tall frame nearly filled the space between the entrance and the work table in the center of the room. Long blond hair was matted to the side of his forehead by a thick smear of blood.
“Papa!” She dropped down beside him and nudged his shoulder. “Wake up. Please wake up, Papa.”
When he did not respond, tears sprung from her eyes. She blinked and shook her head.
Looking wildly around the kitchen, she did not see anything out of place. Why did Papa fall down? She shook his shoulder again, but he still didn’t move. She studied his body and the scary-looking open cut on his forehead and tried to think about what she should do.
Recalling that Papa kept his cell phone in the right front pocket of his slacks, she reached in and pulled it out. After trying one last time to wake him, she dialed 911 and pressed the green button as her parents told her she should if there was ever an emergency. She hoped this was in fact an emergency and that she would not get into more trouble for using Papa’s phone.
“911—what is your emergency?”
She was relieved to hear this validation of her decision. “My Papa is on the kitchen floor and his head is bleeding. I can’t wake him up,” she shouted into the phone.
“Are you at your own house? Is anyone else there with you?”
Penelope hesitated and looked around the room. It occurred to her for the first time that she did in fact appear to be alone. “Daddy is here somewhere I think.” She peered back into the dining room. Then, “I don’t know,” she wailed. “Please come help Papa. We are at our house.”
“What is your name and how old are you, honey?”
Penelope sniffed. “I’m Penelope Freeburg-Scott and I’m seven years old, but I’m almost eight.”
“OK Penny, do you know your address?”
“My name is Penelope. We live at 4218 Forty-Second Street in Laurelhurst in the big brick house with the pond.”
“That is very good, Penelope. Is the man on the floor your grandfather?”
“My grandfather doesn’t live here. He’s my Papa.” Still on her knees she placed her hand on his chest and shook him gently, then sucked in a large gulp of air. With a wrenching sob she yelled, “He won’t wake up. What should I do?”
“Help is on the way, Penelope. It will only be a few minutes. Do you mean the man is your father?”
“Yes, my Papa.”
“Who is the Daddy you mentioned before?”
Exasperated now and crying harder, she raised her voice again. “My father, Daddy.”
“Oh, I see. Penelope, see if you can calm down a little for me. I want you to stay on the phone and talk to me until the doctors get there, OK?”
Mystery & Thrillers
Author Arleen Alleman
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Arleen is the winner of the Books and Authors 2012 Best Trilogy Award for Currents Deep and Deadly, Currents of Vengeance, and Current Assets
Her new novel: Alternate Currents has been released on amazon.com. A timely topical story of mystery, child abduction, and murder set in Seattle, WA. And related to same-sex partnerships and birth surrogacy.
Arleen Alleman is the author of the exciting Darcy Farthing adventures. With publication of the third book in the series, Current Assets, based on cruise ship crime and travel adventures, she says that publishing novels has been a life-long dream. She is working on a fourth book, which continues the story of Darcy Farthing and Mick Clayton as they face personal and professional challenges, while evolving into crime fighters.
The series is unique in that it addresses social issues along with the murder-mystery elements of the stories. Themes addressed in the first three installments include, family issues and adoption, PTSD, alternative lifestyles, religion, government corruption, and cruise ship safety.
Alleman is a former analyst with the Government Accountabililty Office, where she wrote extensively on many topics ranging from satellite systems to endangered species.
She has also worked as a fashion model, insurance adjuster, jewelry designer, and owner of a home décor shop. Her interests include health and fitness, world religions, travel, and reading fiction.
She says that traveling is not only fun but the various world locations supply backdrops and narration for her fictional stories. Born in England and raised in New Hampshire and Nevada, she lives in Colorado with her husband, Tim and their cat, Xena.
Author's Book List
- Darcy Farthing series
Author Darcy Farthing is writing at her new home in Marco Island, Florida while her boyfriend Mick Clayton conducts a GAO investigation of government property-asset forfeitures-stolen from under the noses of U.S. Marshals and a sheriff's office. When close friend, Tom Smythe, is arrested for attempted murder of a deputy sheriff, the couple tries to identify who is behind the property thefts and corruption. When more deputies are attacked, Darcy and Mick are drawn into a bewildering government investigation and an alarming web of murder and conspiracy with a surprising link to Middle East terrorists; as well as a smuggling operation on a luxury yacht. As they inch closer to identifying a vicious murderer, the violence hits close to home when desperate criminals target Darcy and her deeply troubled daughter, Rachael.
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Currents of Vengeance
- A Darcy Farthing Novel
The Darcy Farthing cruise adventure continues with Currents of Vengeance, a visually and emotionally rich story of personal greed and desperation set on an exquisite state-of-the-art luxury cruise ship and in beautifully historic South American seaports. Plots and subplots abound in a delicious blend of fiction and fact, brought to life with vivid descriptions and characters. This novel explores the timely and all-too-real issues of crime, terrorism, and legal justice in international waters.
In this sequel to Currents Deep and Deadly, Darcy Farthing is home in
Colorado adjusting to the press coverage of their ill-fated South American cruise on the Sea Nymph and the success of her budding writing career. She is juggling her work at Schrinden Pharmaceuticals with trying to understand boyfriend Mick Clayton's mysterious depression and anxiety, which apparently relate to the life-threatening wound he suffered on the cruise. Darcy wonders what has happened to their romance, which blossomed a year ago on the ship, but now seems to have fizzled. To make matters worse, her "new" daughter, Rachael, is encouraging Darcy's unexpected attraction to her successful and wealthy travel industry executive ex-husband, Brooks Larkin.
In a surprising turn of events, one year after their horrific cruise adventure, Darcy and Rachael agree to accompany Mick and now-unemployed Tom Smythe, once the chief of security on the Sea Nymph, on a second cruise around South America. This time, Mick and Tom have teamed up to conduct a joint GAO-FBI congressional investigation of the serious issue of unprosecuted crimes committed on cruise ships. They plan to use the project as a means to find evidence linking Paul Denezza, a ruthless Las Vegas casino owner, to the violence on the previous cruise.
Instead of the relaxing vacation Darcy expects, she and her travel companions encounter more violence and madness when currents remaining from the first cruise rise to the surface threatening to pull them under. They soon realize that once again, the World of Seas Cruise Line cannot protect them when crimes on and off the ship become much too personal. Before this voyage is over, Mick's emotional crisis nearly ends his life, Tom faces a surprising attacker with a bizarre weapon, and young Rachael experiences tragic violence that changes her life forever. A series of dangerous encounters reveals a quirky cast of psychologically flawed passengers who are intent on seeking revenge against Darcy, her travel companions, and the cruise line.
Currents of Vengeance
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Currents Deep and Deadly
In her travel log of murder, romance, and a personal journey of discovery aboard a cruise ship, Darcy Farthing manages to entertain the reader with her descriptions of Caribbean and South American ports, while also detailing the horrific and wondrous events that take place during her four week adventure. A pragmatic scientist by nature, she says she has given up all belief in a spiritual component to life and knows that coincidences are either man-made or chance occurrences that seem related but have no significance. That is, until a series of unbelievable coincidences challenges her belief.
In telling her story, she lays bare her "non-existent" soul and the deeply hidden emotions she has kept in a fragile prison of cold logic and denial for 20 years. She is a savvy, professional woman who has been fighting her internal demons ever since she made a colossal mistake in her personal life from which she knows she can never recover. But on a hastily planned cruise with Dr. Peter Johnson, her latest romantic interest, Darcy's non-belief system is shaken when she is confronted with a set of bewildering and frankly unbelievable coincidences that bring together a tangle of strangers, and people and events from her own past. Darcy is already feeling trapped on the gigantic floating village when she accidentally overhears discussions about a murder for hire plot. Then when members of the crew begin to die under suspicious circumstances, she learns the hard way that she cannot trust anyone onboard the ship. She is forced to run for her own life as she tries to identify both the intended victim of the plot and the murderer before even more disaster strikes.
Finally, as the cruise sails through its final week the mystery appears to be solved and Darcy believes that further tragedy has been averted. Onshore in a beautiful Argentine city she experiences the pain of breaking out of her emotional prison when she meets the one person who will either fulfill her life or destroy her completely. While Darcy finds much needed closure to one chapter of her life, the cruise sails on to what promises to be a restful and romantic end. However, just short of their destination Darcy and Mick meet with unimaginable violence and loss when they are finally forced to confront and battle a vicious killer.
Currents Deep and Deadly
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