Stolen Obsession Ebook Cover

Stolen Obsession

Annalisse Series, Book 1
Marlene M Bell
Genre: Spicy Romantic Mystery
Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing
Date of Publication: March 20, 2018
Number of Pages: 284

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Manhattan antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury dreams of a quiet life on the family farm among the sheep she loves, when her best friend is murdered. The police assume robbery is the motive because her friend’s expensive bracelet is missing. But the 500-year-old artifact is rumored to carry an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family—and Annalisse believes her friend is the latest victim.

Weeks later, Annalisse sees a necklace matching the stolen bracelet at a gallery opening. Convinced the necklace is part of the deadly collection, Annalisse begs the gallery’s owner to destroy the piece, but her pleas are ignored— despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.
Desperate to keep the gallery owner safe, Annalisse reluctantly enlists the 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. As time lapses, the killer switches mode and closes in on the man who’s meant for Annalisse with the lifestyle she wants most.
But when it’s her turn as the hunted, will she choose to save Alec and his mother, or sacrifice everything to save herself?

Hold on for a heart-thumping adventure through exotic lands in this fast moving, romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M Bell.



What was the inspiration for STOLEN OBSESSION?

After I completed a work of non-fiction for family and friends in 2009 and enjoyed the experience, I challenged myself to write a romance novel. It seemed like an exhilarating idea and I thought it would be easy. How tough was telling a story?

Looking back, eight years later, the inspiration for writing fiction was my burning desire to delve into another creative outlet I hadn’t tried. I expected writing would come as naturally as painting and photography had for me, but I was wrong. Of all the projects I’ve ever undertaken, writing has been the most time-consuming and difficult. It took me two years to write a first draft—the only work of fiction I’d ever written. Editing it to perfection seems comical today when so much was wrong with the original manuscript. It’s true that first drafts are supposed to stink like mine had. I didn’t know what genre fiction was, let alone what genre I had written. Time spent honing my craft made STOLEN OBSESSION a project I’m proud of.

Having said that, my personal experience with the sheep industry helped me to create a believable protagonist with the goal of a rural lifestyle, yet write her as the stronger, more outgoing person I wish I had been in my late twenties. It’s given me a “do-over.”

Describe your background.

I grew up in an era where a college education wasn’t the be-all-to-end-all. My family couldn’t afford a college degree for my sister and me, and attending a junior college had no appeal for me. I wanted to become a professional artist and felt that a college degree wouldn’t help me achieve my goals. It may have, but I had tired of schooling.

I went to work out of high school as a receptionist, which forced a very shy girl to interact with the general public. I was afraid to try anything new, including driving. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was twenty years old! At the time, I lived with my grandmother. (She’d had a tough time adjusting after my grandfather passed away.) She’d drive me back and forth to work. Shyness was the hardest bridge to cross until I’d worked for several years and gradually built my confidence.

In 1978, I met my future husband on a blind date, set up by my boss’s son. I worked at the Modesto airport for a fixed base operator, and Gregg Bell was in pilot training at our satellite office in Tracy, CA. I was the city girl who loved animals, and Gregg had sheep. He lived on acreage and exposed me to the calming rural atmosphere I knew suited me and my art.

Constantly drawing and painting his sheep in the quiet of his little ranchette put the desire to break away from just any job—to working as a full-time artist on the front burner. I had a business opportunity in the early 1980s after marrying Gregg, when he suggested I create sheep related stationery and sell it in a catalog. While working full time in Pleasanton, CA, I put drawings onto paper in the office breakroom during lunch. The business even allowed me to ship my products via UPS from their establishment. I studied how to start a sideline mail-order business while I worked.

My husband was climbing the management ladder at the state’s major utility and finally landed a good position in the San Joaquin Valley — a place where I could work for myself full-time. My catalog venture, Ewephoric, became a reality in 1985.

We’ve raised several different breeds of sheep along the way and were heavily involved in helping families and 4Hers learn how to raise sheep. We grew our flock numbers to 120 head when we made our move to East Texas in 2012. We now exclusively raise purebred Horned Dorset sheep, which allows me to use my photography and nature artwork as models on over 200 products. Occasionally, I write articles for animal husbandry magazines regarding sheep health. In many circles, I’m known as “The Sheep Lady” although my husband still calls me “The Mail Order Queen.” I love mail order! Both buying and selling.

What is the message you want readers to take away from your Stolen Obsession?

Simply, that we take so much for granted when things go well. Excellent health and happy circumstances need a reality check once in a while. Be thankful every day for those around you—family, friends, and colleagues. In STOLEN OBSESSION, Annalisse experiences a great deal of personal loss. She transforms herself into a more thoughtful person by the end of the novel.

What have you learned from the experience?

I’ve found its okay to write sloppy sentences, move on, and go back to fix them later. Boggy manuscript drafts and editor criticism are part of the process for a good novel. Challenging yourself to work on something completely out of the box is invigorating to the soul!

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.

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MARCH 1-10, 2018
(Open Internationally)


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2 thoughts on “Stolen Obsession

  1. I love how this author has continued to re-invent and challenge herself over the years! Thanks for the post!

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