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Q: What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read it?
A: There are many morals in this book. Here are the top three: First, you are stronger than you think you are. Shown by Annalisse’s trials with personal loss and helping those around her. Secondly, keep those around you close to your heart because you never know when they can be taken away. Annalisse experiences a great deal of personal loss. Third, judge people not by what others say about them, but by how they truly are. Give people a chance to redeem any negative qualities that come from hearsay. Annalisse learns this with Alec Zavos, her love interest in Stolen Obsession. The tabloids paint him with a broad womanizer brush, and Annalisse takes her time deciding for herself who Alec is and if he can be trusted.
“Now, what do you think of the necklace?” Generosa twirled her arm toward the case in game show host style.
Annalisse loved the way Generosa’s gestures followed her words. A modest woman whose confidence and positive attitude had rescued Annalisse from more than a few scrapes with Harry.
“It scares me, Gen. I’d like your permission to cover it tonight.”
“Nonsense, bambolina.” Generosa escorted Alec to the display.
“It’s a bad omen. Where’d you find it?” Annalisse balled a fist and banged her hip.
“The characters in this book seem so real and so obviously flawed in a good way. I loved this story which starts action packed and stays that way until the very end. Annalise and Alec,as well as the other characters in this book, have a pretense in your heart from beginning to end. I could not put this book down and ended up reading it in two back to back reading sessions. This book is an absolute adventure with a perfect mystery.”
SEVERAL WILD-EYED WOMEN stood in a semicircle, their hands pressed against their cheeks or over their mouths. Annalisse broke for an opening in the rigid line of guests. Her heart stopped at the sight of Alec administering the Heimlich maneuver to her boss. A cool clamminess rushed the nape of her neck while she watched Alec’s repeated cupped fists to Harry’s upper abdomen. Harry’s stoic, ashen face left her woozy.
“Alec, let me help.” Annalisse ran to Alec’s side.
Harry’s dead weight collapsed on Alec, and he stumbled to keep Harry from falling on her. Alec slowly laid him on his back. Lifeless. Not breathing. Annalisse’s suspicions were confirmed. Harry was sick.
He trapped her between his body and the wall, a human sandwich. “You freak!” She wrenched against him but made no headway against his surprisingly strong grip. The photo crashed to the tile, shattering glass at her feet.
He worked one hand over her mouth.
Annalisse squirmed, fighting to breathe through her nose. Blood pounded her eardrums. Think. He’s drunk, and your mind’s clearer than his. Spin the nozzle. Pick your moment.
“Numerous times Marlene M Bell takes me to the brink of suspenseful tragedy, only to keep them safe and let me know there is more danger to come. I am very suspicious and she leads me to the edge of a cliff. I feel I’ll fall off, but she yanks me back from the precipice saying…not yet…but soon. I love that!!!”
Alec waited by the stairs and whispered, “Your bedroom up there?” He pointed upstairs.
She nodded, lifted the mahogany stand upright and, with both hands, replaced the hefty bronze to its rightful place next to the desk.
“Stay downstairs. You’ll be safer. I won’t be long, and I’ll look for your cat.” Alec hit the first step.
Whoever destroyed her home had acted with malice. They had her personal data and internet search history, where she shopped online, email correspondence as well as business contacts. A privacy breach she couldn’t afford. Compiling a list of possible suspects in her head, she felt so violated, even more so than by what had happened with Peter. Names and faces blurred together. With fingertips pressed at her temples, she willed the jackhammers in her head to stop.
“I have to say that the story started off really fast, slowed down in the middle, and then sped up again…
The worldbuilding of this novel was also nice…
I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a new mystery/thriller to enjoy on a nice summer day.”
Licking her lower lip, she tore her eyes from his pecs to his shoulder and gently pulled the adhesive tape. She peeked at the neat row of stitches to calm the flutter in her heart. The area around the sutures had reddened and were puffy.
“We’ll watch the swelling. Having been in battle with metal and gunpowder, I expected worse. I’d find something waterproof to put over it in the shower. Like a liquid bandage. And finish all of your antibiotics even if you feel better.” His skin was smooth under her fingertips.
“I’ll do that, Dr. Drury. Thank you.” He glanced at her fingers on his shoulder. “Anything else?”
Annalisse’s face flushed with heat. She jerked her wrist back and balled her hand in her lap. Her mind told her to get some distance from him, but her feet had other ideas.
“I found the novel to be an interesting read. The beginning was a bit convoluted and hard to get into. However, towards the middle of the book, it started picking up. The book had a lot of intrigue and plot twists. A very thrilling book!”
ANNALISSE WOKE TO the snap of a log in the fireplace. One more compact but just as grand as the fireplace in Alec’s formal room. She was no longer lying on the green chaise lounge, staring at the forty-foot rock wall. Confused, she slid her hand across a grand silk coverlet. Turning her head, she checked the other side of the bed, her heart knocking in her chest. She’d slept alone.
“The perfect gentleman. Him in a guestroom and me in his bed,” she mumbled, with a pang of regret that she’d conked out so soon after supper.
As hard as she’d tried to convince herself she didn’t need him, he’d made himself indispensable with his concern for her since the party. The tug-of-war between his reputation and the way he’d lifted her spirits was exhausting to work through…
“What’s wrong?” Alec looked at his father who’d jumped up, staring at a section of water.
“Hand me the binoculars. Hurry.” Pearce pointed to the table next to Alec.
Annalisse looked over her shoulder at a tiny black dot speeding toward them. A faint hum broke through the call of gulls overhead.
Pearce spent seconds with the binoculars, for Annalisse the wait was excruciating. She got up to check the ocean for herself.
“Ladies, get below. And take the keys to the yacht with you. Hide them someplace where no one will find them and hide yourselves,” Pearce said.
“The pace of the story moved along swiftly and drew me in from the first page. The suspense is well crafted and had me on the edge of my seat several times, wondering who was in on the conspiracy. The romance in this book was very solid. . . . A sweeping romantic and often deadly adventure, Stolen Obsession is my new standard for excellent suspense fiction.”
Patting the cushion next to her, she managed a smile.
“Sit next to me. We’ve had a few horrible days, but I couldn’t imagine spending them with anyone else.”
He laughed and patted her knee as he sat beside her.
“Good thing my ego’s in check.”
“That’s twice today my attempt at humor’s bombed.”
He laughed. “It’s charming.”
“This was a great romance. I wanted Alec and Annalisse to end up together, and as they worked together the chemistry between them built. . . . The mystery was very interesting. was it a curse? A killer? Or both? I definitely kept turning the pages to find out what was going on.”
A horrific noise shrouded the sound of their engine.
An unseen force jolted Annalisse. She grabbed her seat with both hands and screamed.
The concussion from an outside blast shook the Jeep.
A bright glow filled the sky.
“Down!” Chet barely got the word out when a second explosion rocked the vehicle. He fell over Annalisse, crushing her body with his massive torso, shielding her head and neck with his arms.
Annalisse stayed folded over, her heart banging in her chest.
“The action kicks off right away. . . . Loved their chemistry. . .
I like how quickly the story moves. You don’t have to do a lot of skipping around and waiting. . . . I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.”
By Marlene M. Bell
June 30th 2018 by Ewephoric Publishing
People die, but legends live on.
New York antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury recently lost her best friend to murder. The killer’s identity may be linked to her friend’s expensive missing bracelet—a 500-year-old artifact that carries an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family.
Weeks later, Annalisse sees a matching necklace at a Manhattan gallery opening. She begs the owner to destroy the cursed piece, but her pleas fall on deaf ears—despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.
Desperate, Annalisse enlists the gallery owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.
Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. When the killer changes tactics and goes after Alec behind Annalisse’s back, can her plan to rescue Alec’s mother save them all?
Hold on for a heart-thumping, thrilling adventure through exotic lands in this fast-moving romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M. Bell.
Praise for the Book
“Debut author Bell delivers a great, slow-building romance, gently examining her characters’ painful pasts.” — Kirkus Reviews
“An irresistible page turner and a successful melding of thriller and romance. With a splash of international adventure and plenty of surprises, Stolen Obsession is an entertaining read and a great beginning to the Annalisse Series.” — Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★½
Marlene M. Bell is an acclaimed artist and photographer as well as a writer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of publications such as, Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living and Sheep Industry News. Ewephoric, her mail order venture, began in 1985 out of a desire for realistic sheep stationery. A color catalog of non-fiction books and sheep-related gifts may be requested at www.marlenembell.com or www.texassheep.com. Marlene and her husband, Gregg reside on a wooded ranch in East Texas with their 50 head of Horned Dorset sheep, a lovable Maremma guard dog named, Tia, and 3 spoiled cats who rule the household.
– 1 Grand Prize winner will receive: One signed copy of STOLEN OBSESSION, One lined Journal with handcrafted pen, One set of Wool Dryer Balls, a Pair of Stolen Obsession style earrings and a $50 gift card from Amazon
– 4 winners will each receive: One signed copy of Stolen Obsession, One sheep bookmark, One lined journal and a pair of Stolen Obsession-style earrings-Gold-various styles
– Ends July 25th
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