Cover: Atone for the Ivory Cloud

Atone for the Ivory Cloud cover

Cover: A Fado for the River

A Fado for the River cover

Title Information:

Members of the press, please refer to this information for media and press releases:

Book title:

Atone for the Ivory Cloud

Genre/ subgenre:

Thriller (with strong romantic elements)

Publisher and release date:

Release date: March 1, 2017.

Published by

Ice Wine Productions, Inc.


P.O. 261, Peconic, NY 11958

Copyright © 2016 by Geoffrey Wells

All rights reserved.

ISBN 978-0-9981666-1-2 (Print book)

ISBN 978-0-9981666-0-5 (ebook)

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Paperback: Interior design by Polgarus Studio

Cover illustration by Cynthia Wells

Cover design by Dawn Hickerson of Austin Design Works.

Page/word count: 278 pages, 82,300 words

To read the Privacy Policy for Ice Wine Productions, Inc. and all publishing under, “An Ice Wine Book”, please scroll down to the bottom of this page.


“An enthralling ride”…”a breathtaking tale of danger and romance”


A brilliant New York composer and reluctant coder goes undercover to trap a cybercrime syndicate that has hijacked her website—to traffic blood ivory.


She must survive impossible physical, virtual and cultural obstacles and choose between the opposing forces of privacy and responsibility.

The CIA leaves her no option but to go undercover to set the trap. She must surreptitiously modify the code she wrote to protect her symphony, and is deployed with a savvy street vendor to Tanzania, where he is from—and where the cybercrime trail goes dead. Their guarded love affair is sidelined after being abducted by a trafficker who poaches elephants on a massive scale. To avoid betraying each other they abandon their handlers and return to New York City. Allison must bring down the syndicate or sacrifice her music, her loved ones and her privacy—for a greater good.


Atone for the Ivory Cloud is a compelling, fast-paced thriller with an exotic international flavor. Geoffrey Wells takes the reader on an enthralling ride, skillfully entwining cybercrime, music, and the fate of African elephants in a breathtaking tale of danger and romance.”

— Pamela Burford, best-selling author of Undertaking Irene

<<< >>>

“With all the skill required to compose an intricate symphony, Geoffrey Wells weaves together a story of the dark world of cybercrime, the creativity of musical composition, the horrors of greed on an international scale, and the most complex subject of all: the human heart. Atone for the Ivory Cloud is a true work of art.”

–Stephanie Parent, author of the Neima’s Ark Series.

<<< >>>

“Geoffrey Wells has written a book that’s much more than a simple thriller, using technology and music as motifs to explore themes of freedom and privacy, conservation, inter-cultural relations, and personal growth. The book is timely in many ways, and touches on a number of current issues and recent events.”

–Andrew Diamond, author of Impala.

<<< >>>

“This book is loaded with insane plot twists. Every time you think you’ve got this whole thing figured out, something else gets tossed in and messes up everything for Allison. And then you finally get to the end of the book, and you think to yourself ‘it’s almost over, nothing else can surprise me now’. But it does. And it’s great.”

“The pacing in this book is amazing. It isn’t so fast that you’re feeling lost, but not so slow that you get bored and set the book down.”

Songs Wrote My Story blog, 4 out of 5 star review.



Short biography:

Impressions on a South African farm, boarding school, parents who read the classics to their children, all sparked Geoffrey Wells with a writer’s imagination. The diverse interests of piano, playing drums, running track, observing elephants in Botswana and exploring Mozambique, gave Wells a framework for his first thriller, A FADO FOR THE RIVER. He found adventure climbing the Drakensberg Mountains and in the cold desert nights while reluctantly serving in a commando unit of the South African army. His career as Art Director in advertising led him to the American Film Institute, and later digital technology propelled him to VP/CIO at Disney, ABC-TV stations and Fox. Wells wrote an award-winning animated film, has visited elephant reserves and climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro. He lives on Long Island where he swims the open water and runs a video and design company. He writes thrillers about imperfect characters who fight villains that devastate our natural and virtual ecosystems.


Cover art:

Scroll to the top of this page.

Full names of primary characters:

Allison Schwartz – heroine. Composer, upper East Side, New York City.

Sipho Membe – hero. NYC Street vendor, Meat Packing District, New York City. Homeland: Tanzania, Africa.

Rex Van der Spuy – villain. CIO (Chief Information Officer) for Biogenem Pharmaceuticals.

Video: (YouTube) ~

Link to videos related to the themes in the book.

Excerpts (Less than 1,200 words each):

Inciting incident that starts the story:

ALLISON SHOULD HAVE MOVED OUT of his way. Instead, on this Saturday morning in Central Park, crouched on the sidewalk in the late spring snow, she held her phone inches off the surface of the road as it continued to record the sound of a passing ten-kilometer race. Transfixed, she watched a man trudging blithely through the stream of runners that flowed around him. Surely he’d be punished for his contempt of their race? Soon enough, a passing runner jabbed the pedestrian in his ribs. He tripped and stepped down hard, twisting his ankle, lurching in front of a tall runner who could not stop himself from pushing the pedestrian, who was now stumbling flat-footed toward her. Alarmed, Allison sprang back, but she slipped on the black ice and a split second later he crashed into her.

Winded and furiously awkward, Allison shoved him off of her, avoiding eye contact.

The runner who had collided with the pedestrian was suddenly stooping over her. “You all right?” he asked, holding out his hand to help her up.

“Yes, I suppose I am,” she said.

She took his hand and stood, smoothing down her long knitted skirt.

The runner grinned. “Good. You can stand.” He tilted his head and shot out a reassuring thumbs-up. “You’ll live.”

Allison managed a faint smile. He had a point. The feckless stranger, still on hands and knees, was crawling around for the contents of his disgorged messenger bag, and was clearly not going to face her. Or take responsibility for knocking her down.

Allison wakes up from a two-day coma, having narrowly escaped death at a poisoned waterhole where an elephant herd is decimated:

VOICES. UNINTELLIGIBLE FRAGMENTS. WORDS SHE didn’t recognize. Faint, distant—the sound of city traffic. A tone—plaintive, sung. The smell of cumin. And diesel. Incense. A flurried breath of diaphanous light across the white mosquito net. The awareness of being alive. The air, saturated. Four notes.

Allison stretched out her arm, her hand touching the cold steel pole that held the IV bag. A hissing clamp dug into her nostrils. In a hallway perhaps—nearby—a woman’s voice: elderly, clear, solidified into a black shape in the doorway, the same abaya shape that had stolen her away from the resort—that stole her from him. She shut her eyes and felt adrenaline surge through her. Regulate your breathing, she thought. Her limp arm was carefully lifted and placed inside the mosquito net. Try to ignore the gnawing anguish in your brain. They can’t know yet; they can’t know that you are conscious, that you are Allison Schwartz, that you have forgotten the name of that other person you are supposed to be.

Sleep. Later, the low sun having painted the walls of the room yellow and red, Allison heard the kalimba—her sipho, or was this Sipho himself, luring her from her unconscious mind? Again—four notes: three words and four consonants to go with them—the sum-mer wind.

Sipho is briefed before the undercover elephant tusk exchange:

Garrett continued. “I know we ask a lot. Don’t do this, though, just because it’s your ticket to the United States. Do it because what you are doing will help to stop the madness. Its success will help us take down a supply chain. It will cast doubt among the warlords in the Central African Republic. I know that your parents were murdered by a child soldier from Mozambique, a refugee. He was the product of a lawless nation at that time, and that is exactly what is happening in the C.A.R. today. Boys are being tied up and thrown to the crocodiles, women are bludgeoned in the street, babies are left with their entrails spilling into the gutter. Men are executed and beheaded as innocents watch. Thousands are dying at the hands of soldiers and militia gangs. So don’t do it for me or the United States; do it for you. For your own sanity. For Allison.”

Sipho took his eyes off Garrett and stared at the floor in front of him. He felt the agents’ gazes on him. This was important to Garrett’s mission, and Sipho had an untenable choice. He was not only being asked to commit, he was being warned that the commitment would require initiative and resourcefulness. Half-measures, shortcuts, and errors could kill them. Yet, wasn’t this what he wanted? As he mourned his mother’s and father’s deaths, he longed for the security that America offers, for the rule of law that, even when it is flawed, aspires to protect its citizens.

“All right. You have my commitment,” said Sipho.

Basic assumption of the book:

Ivory trafficking is managed through cyber crime ~

In December, 2015, The Africa Wildlife Foundation published a statement that, in part, read:

The China-Africa Wildlife and Conservation Council strongly commends and supports the governments of China and the African states for their active commitment to conserve Africa’s wildlife – reflected in the 2016-2018 Action Plan proposed by 6th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg. The group further commends the Chinese and African governments on their recognition of the need to tackle both local poaching and international organized crime.

The author makes the assumption that international organized crime is using the Internet for is cybercrime activities. The story is based on this assumption.


Privacy Notice

This privacy notice discloses the privacy practices for Ice Wine productions, Inc.  This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by Ice Wine Productions, Inc. including this website. It will notify you of the following:

  1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the website, how it is used and with whom it may be shared.
  2. What choices are available to you regarding the use of your data.
  3. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing
We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or another direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to fulfill your request, e.g. to ship an order.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

Your Access to and Control Over Information

You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number is given on our website:

  • See what data we have about you if any.
  • Change/correct any data we have about you.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.


We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the Web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.


This website contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of any other site that collects personally identifiable information.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via telephone at 631 765-8287 or via email at:

Return to the top of this page.


keep calm
& write us