Friday, July 20, 2018

Book Tour and Giveaway: Stolen Obsession by Marlene M Bell

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Stolen Obsession
(Annalisse Series #1)
By Marlene M. Bell
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 294 Pages
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


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.
Shards of rubble pelted their car.
The windowpanes on the right side cracked, and Chet’s window shattered.
“Can’t breathe!” Gasping for air, Annalisse coughed while she pried at Chet’s arms.
Chet sat up and brushed hair from her forehead. “You’re cut.”
“My ears are ringing.” Annalisse seesawed her jaws, reached for her temple with a shaky hand, and pulled out a glass sliver.
Alec popped up, unsnapped his shoulder belt and lurched halfway over the seat. “Jesus—Annalisse, talk to me.” He reached out, coughing.
She unbuckled to meet him, grabbing his fingers. “I’m fine. Are you hurt?”
Alec shook his head. He glanced at Steve, who’d remained in a trance, staring through their rear window.
Annalisse craned her neck and squinted through the spider-webbed glass for any movement. Black smoke broke the clear sky, ballooning high above orange flames licking at the frame of what used to be their ride from Crete.
“Someone needs to help that poor pilot.” Annalisse said as Matt’s sedan pulled beside the hangar.
Matt ran close to the fire with his hand shading his face then jumped away.
“I’m going.” She reached for the door handle, but Chet grabbed her arm.
“Stay inside.” Chet glared at her with the intensity of someone who meant what he said. “It’s too late.”
“Then break out that window. I can’t see.” Annalisse’s heart sank when Chet ignored her request, wordless and tight-jawed.
“Steve, shut off the goddamned car!” Alec bellowed, looking over his shoulder. “Matt’s coming. Sit tight, everyone.”
She trembled so hard her teeth cracked against each other. In a herculean effort, she fought back tears from her stinging eyes, putting her head in her hands until she heard an engine approach.
The sedan screeched to a halt near the Jeep’s driver’s side. The Mercedes had heavy pockmarks where metal fragments and hunks of the helicopter had gouged the doors. She rolled down her window and took in a putrid gulp of jet fuel—and other odors she dared not think about. Her tongue swished against grit in her mouth.
Covered in soot and bleeding from head and neck, Matt got out and jogged to Steve’s door. Flynn’s window was missing, and his right arm was wrapped in his jacket like a stuffed sausage, but he’d stayed inside. Annalisse noted Flynn’s sooty face where he had taken off his glasses—his raccoon-like grimace and closed lids told the story of his pain.
Matt slapped the Jeep’s roof. “Move your ass, Steve! Get these people gone. I’m taking Flynn into Izmir. He has a hunk of steel in his arm. I want you outta here before officials arrive. Someone wanted the pilot dead.”
“Or us.” Bile rose in Annalisse’s throat. If they’d spent a few extra moments on their flight, the sharks would’ve had a complimentary meal.
“Maybe. Shit, Matt. Chitchat later, okay.” Flynn groaned and lifted his arm higher.
“I’ve alerted the team. Punch it. When I know more—” Matt cursed, slapped the jeep’s top once more and ran to his side of the sedan.
“Damage control.” The green tint of Steve’s glasses reflected in the rearview mirror at her, then he faced Alec. “Check yourselves. If you need medical attention, yell out.” He looked over his shoulder at Chet.
“Nothing I can’t do myself.” Chet took off his jacket and shook it.
Annalisse saw a thickness beneath Chet’s pastel shirt, no doubt a vest.
“Alec?” Steve asked.
After wiping down both arms and legs, Alec shook his head. “Drive. Don’t you give a crap about any of us? You didn’t even undo your seatbelt after that explosion. Get in the game, Jacobs. You’re supposed to secure us against every contingency.”
“I’m wearing Kevlar,” Steve said.
“Whoopee-do for you. Where’s our vests?” Annalisse mumbled and Chet stole a glance at her.
Alec turned and looked at the backseat.
“Thanks for taking care of my girl, Chet. Glad we have you.”
Her stomach sloshed when the Jeep pulled onto the airport road. They were alive by the grace of God. And she promised herself they wouldn’t leave Turkey without Alec’s mother.
“Ready, Wabbie?” Steve stretched one arm across the top of Alec’s seat and puckered his lips, lifting his glasses for an instant so he could make unhindered eye contact with Chet.
“What the hell’s a wabbie?” Alec’s tone was harsh.
“I think he means me,” Chet said.
“Rhymes with Kee-mo-sabbie.” Steve snickered, oblivious to the fact that no one else was amused.
“The name’s Chet. Chet Wab-en-net-ter. I don’t like nicknames.”
“Good God, amateur hour. A man dies, we’re almost blown up, and you fools are cracking jokes.” Annalisse groaned.
“You’re making my headache worse.”
She could have gone the rest of the day without the petty male egos bouncing between front and back seats. No way was this arrangement going to work. Her stomach did another pirouette at the thought of the pilot’s charred remains in the burned wreckage. She looked at Alec, who’d hunkered closer to the door.
Steve shrugged. “He didn’t feel a thing.”
“This stupid conversation is plenty painful for me. Can we not talk for a while?” Annalisse’s head throbbed.
“Pull over, Steve.” Alec pointed through the windshield.
“No time.”
“Make time. Now! There’s a turnout ahead.”
Steve swerved the Jeep off the dirt road into a patch of weeds. “What?” He turned the ignition off. “This isn’t smart. Matt said to get you inside the hotel.”
“Alec, what’s wrong?” Annalisse unbuckled her seatbelt and scooted forward to the edge of her seat.
“Steve, outside. You, too, Chet.” Alec’s seatbelt retracted and he opened his door.
Steve jerked off his Ray-Bans. “Are you a fuckin’ fruitcake, Zavos?”
“This won’t take long. I should’ve checked you guys myself last night. You froze when our helicopter exploded, Jacobs. Chet reacted. Someone torched that bird, and for all we know it might have been one of you. Get your wallets out and step away from the vehicle.”
Annalisse got out on her side and walked to Alec, giving him a shaky hug.
He kissed the top of her head. “We’re okay.” He drew back and swiped his thumb across her forehead. “Are you cut anywhere else?”
“It doesn’t feel like it.”
“Brennan checked us out.” Chet’s dejected eyes looked at Alec then fixed on his shoes.
Steve handed Alec his wallet and Chet gave his to Annalisse.
“I don’t know what you think you’ll find.” Steve leaned against the Jeep.
Annalisse grudgingly opened Chet’s wallet and scanned his driver’s license, credit cards with his name were neatly filed in the slots, and business cards hid inside the fold. He was sixty-one, single, and lived in Connecticut. The cards were from local vendors: television repair and a computer store. Nothing sent up any red flags.
Annalisse tucked the business cards back and folded the thin leather in half. She smiled at Chet and handed it to Alec. “Seems okay.”
Alec gave Steve’s wallet back to him and flipped quickly through Chet’s before tossing his back.
“Alec, I have to ask you to get back in the Jeep. We’re targets out here.” Chet slipped his wallet into the front pocket of his suit jacket.
“For whatever it’s worth, I dream of being burned alive. That’s why I froze back there. I’m sorry.” Steve’s soft hazel eyes weren’t anything like she’d expected. He had a kind face, but it displayed plenty of confusion.
Was he an ex-military vet who suffered from PTSD? A wonderful touch, Detective Mooney.
Back on the road, bouncing wildly side to side, talk inside the Jeep had ceased. The silence was so cold a jacket would’ve helped her arms. Now that no one in the vehicle trusted each other, their pilot was dead, and one of the CIA operatives had injuries, getting Alec’s mom back seemed not much better than impossible.

About the Author

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 or 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
- US only
- Ends July 25th

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