Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Arleen Alleman – A Current Deception is featured on the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

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: A Current Deception.
Award-Winning Author Arleen Alleman is the author of the Darcy Farthing Cruise Crime Adventure series.

A Current Deception

Author: Arleen Alleman


Freelance reporter Darcy Farthing boards a luxury cruise ship for a trip to beautiful Australian seaports with family and friends, where a baffling murder mystery challenges her investigative skills. The crimes begin when a small-town Kansas woman traveling with a class reunion tour group is plagued by an attack of yellow crazy ants—a dangerous, invasive species—as well as an illness caused by mysterious foodborne bacteria and the odd cancellation of an onshore tour. The bizarre but relatively minor incidents escalate when the ants injure more passengers and crew members. Soon, a peculiar death on the streets of Adelaide and attempted murders on board the ship threaten to cause panic. It is obvious that a crew member or passenger is targeting individuals, but who is it and why?

Meanwhile, Darcy is distracted by daughter Rachael’s uncharacteristic behavior and intense friendship with a handsome passenger. Reluctant to make waves, Darcy tries to suppress her concerns. She turns her full attention to the crimes when evidence is found in Brooks’s stateroom and the security chief names him as the sole suspect. Brooks is clearly innocent, but the chief is inexplicably reluctant to conduct a more thorough investigation to clear him; then Darcy’s best friend, Sid, who is also Brooks’s fiancé, becomes the latest victim. Clue by clue, with Mick’s help, Darcy uses her skills to reveal a homicidal master of disguise and world-class computer hacker intent on exacting revenge related to a twenty-year-old crime.


Inmate 01267-031 made good use of the last few years of his sentence learning to brilliantly hack computers and Internet sites. He acquired correspondence courses in computer science whenever he could afford them. Fortunately, this happened with regularity thanks to money he received from an eccentric widowed aunt—the only person on the outside who communicated with him. Aunt Gladys sent three hundred dollars for each college course, and he completed twenty-five—enough to earn a master’s degree. She backed his education because she did not accept that her handsome intelligent nephew could possibly commit the crime of which he was convicted. Rather, she blamed members of their close knit community for what she told everyone was a case of mistaken identification. Never mind that ample forensic evidence corroborated the testimonies of the victim and others.

She acted in part due to a heavy burden of guilt about how his life turned out. Her sister, the inmate’s mother, ran off abandoning the two-year-old boy. Since she did not reveal his father’s name—if she even knew it—Gladys was all he had. At that time, however, Gladys failed to rescue him as later she realized she should have.

She did not step in to help until after he bounced around the foster care system for years enduring one loveless relationship after another. By then, he endured years of abuse and neglect living with a series of parents more interested in the support money than his well being. After Gladys finally took over, he lived in her home for four years while she tried to undo the damage already inflicted on his psyche. During the second year she began to see that beyond the emotional trauma, there was something wrong with his personality. He seemed to lack empathy for the suffering of others, and had little patience for normal human flaws. Even with this insight, she chose denial over any attempt to obtain professional help for him.

Despite his flaws, the inmate was long on charisma, which always served him well in obtaining what he wanted, and Gladys was not immune to his charms. As well, over time he convinced the authorities to let him supplement his studies with visits to the electronic law library tucked away in the education department at the U.S. penitentiary in Florence, Colorado. His goal—at least the one he was willing to reveal—was to become a computer expert with marketable skills. After all, following his twenty year confinement and full rehabilitation he would need a profession, and one thing hopefully leading to another his aptitude for manipulating technology would be his ticket to a normal life.

Prison policy greatly restricted Internet access. However, during the last six months of his sentence, because he was a model prisoner well-liked by the guards and other inmates, the warden allowed some leeway for him to prepare for his new profession. Using his prisoner register number and a PIN, he periodically logged into a library workstation and spent long hours ostensibly reviewing computer technology manuals associated with his studies. To his advantage, the guards were marginally proficient with details of Internet access. Still, his project wasn’t simple since he could only investigate intermittently behind their backs.

Ultimately, without anyone paying much attention he hacked into social media and Web sites at will, perusing the day-to-day activities of people he knew from his life before prison. The day he stumbled onto the pertinent information he could hardly contain his excitement. It began with a Facebook page, then another, and another, and before long he hacked his way into all the data he would need. Not only did the research results allow him to formulate his plan, he also believed it was valuable to someone else. Tangentially, he sought out a fellow prisoner whom he was quite certain would find this information interesting and useful. He formulated a proposal he believed the man would find compelling. This older man who was beginning a life sentence was formidable and tended to keep to himself, except for his close associates. However, his story and history were well known among the prison population and the outside world. He purportedly had friends who still worked for him on the outside and he apparently retained at least a portion of his previous wealth.

When he was ready, the inmate shared the information he mined from the Web and laid out a timeline and strategy that served both their needs. He was not greedy and asked for relatively modest compensation for his services. After all, his own agenda was the most important aspect of his project and now he would not have to pay for it himself. As he suspected, the man recognized that for a relatively nominal fee, he could achieve his goals in a distant venue far away from anyone who knew him.

For most of his twenty years in prison, the inmate dreamed of becoming someone else. He longed for the day when he could shed his unfortunate persona. Then, with his freedom and thanks to his education he would never have to answer to anyone for his actions. He survived his incarceration by always viewing it as a job—difficult but survivable—and soon he would be ready for some much needed and exotic R and R.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Website: Author Arleen Alleman
Author's Blog: Arleen Alleman
Twitter: @aallemanwrites
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: The Darcy Farthing Adventures: Exciting suspense-filled mysteries--Download to your Kindle now or buy a book to discover this unique thought-provoking series for yourself.

Winner of Books and Authors 2012 Best Trilogy Award for "Currents Deep and Deadly" "Currents of Vengeance" and "Current Assets".

The most recent Darcy Farthing adventure "Alternate Currents" was a finalist in Foreword Reviews Magazine's 2013 Indie Book of the Year Awards. This is a timely topical story of mystery, child abduction, and murder set in Seattle, WA. Darcy rushes to the aid of good friend, Don Freeburg, when his partner, Charlie Scott, disappears. She is soon immersed in a murder investigation and the shocking abduction of Penelope, Don and Charlie's daughter by surrogacy.

The first two novels in the series are based on crime and mystery aboard cruise ships. The third in series "Current Assets" is set in South Florida and involves local corruption, terrorism, and the U.S. Marshals asset forfeiture program.

Alleman says that publishing novels has been a life-long dream. She is working on a fifth book, "A Current Deception", which continues the story of Darcy Farthing and Mick Clayton as they face personal and professional challenges as unlikely 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 four 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 decor shop. Her interests include health and fitness, world religions, travel, and she is an avid reader.

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 lived in Colorado for many years. She and her husband Tim recently moved to Southwest Florida.

Author's Book List
Alternate Currents
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.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Current Assets - 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.

Book Trailer: Current Assets
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
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.

Book Trailer: Currents of Vengeance
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
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.

Book Trailer: Currents Deep and Deadly
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

No comments:

Post a Comment