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Spent Identity (Annalisse Series #2) by Marlene M. Bell
Paperback, 378 pages
Published December 11th 2019 by Ewephoric
ISBN: 0999539426 (ISBN13: 9780999539422)
A body, a disappearance, just another hot summer in upstate New York.
It's July when antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury reaches her family's small-town farm to consult with the trusted aunt who raised her. She learns that her beloved homestead--the one she expects to inherit--is for sale. While Annalisse reels at the betrayal and her shattered dreams, the Walker Farm ranch manager discovers a corpse in the barn. Officials close the suspected murder scene, and Annalisse seeks refuge with her aunt at Alec Zavos's rural estate in New York's Catskill Mountains.
Then Aunt Kate vanishes.
Annalisse solicits the help of Greek tycoon, Alec Zavos, even though their rocky romance has dissolved into routine separation. What began as hope on Crete nine months ago has eaten away at Annalisse's hope for a future with him.
In Spent Identity, Annalisse and Alec come together for the second time and find themselves in the center of not one mystery, but several. Where is Kate, and why sell her farm now? Is the dead man a coincidence or a clue to the aunt's disappearance? John Doe's identity may hold needed answers to solve the puzzle before Kate's unstable health issues make her rescue impossible. The clock ticks, and a vengeful murderer is in charge...
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We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:
Launch - Note from the Author
. . . A continuation from the first installment, Stolen Obsession, Annalisse not only addresses her failed relationship with Alec Zavos, she uncovers a betrayal that crushes her in Spent Identity. Grab a paperback or eBook and see if you can uncover the family secrets before she does. I dare you! — Marlene
Reading Excursions - Review
"This book has a “film noir” feel to it. It was a page-turning read that I found was difficult to put down at times. . . . The writer has a realistic, graphic and vivid writing style. So much so that I could see the action taking place as if I was watching a movie."
Wishful Endings - Excerpt
Check on Miss Walker.
He broke into a dead run for the farmhouse, but as he sped up near the barn, a piss-awful smell hosed him. Pulling out his magazine, he covered his nose and mouth. Decay thickened the hot air. He opened the barn doors, gasped, and dropped to his knees.
“Bugger! Miss Walker’s horse is dead!” He checked the mare’s stall, but she was inside, alive, with her ears pinned back. “If it’s not Maggie, what—” He spun a quarter turn and stared at two human legs sticking out of the first stall.
Hearts & Scribbles - Excerpt
Split rail fencing whizzed past Annalisse in a blur. Hundreds of stained boards melted into each other in her sprint to catch up to Ethan. He ran yards ahead in the long breezeway leading from the house to the big barn. Kate was breathing heavily behind Annalisse.
Closer to the barn, the air was heavy with the undeniable odor of advanced decomposition, a ripe chemical cocktail so powerful she had to stop to cough and cover her nose.
Who died in the barn?
Momfluenster - Review
". . . the plot picked up at a ferocious pace full of backstory and twists and turns that finally drew me in and had me absorbed. While in its grips, I made my own assumptions on how the book would end and boy was I wrong. I began to truly value Mrs. Bell writing and was wowed by the creative and cunning reveal at the end."
Christy's Cozy Corners - Excerpt
“Tell Helga not to fuss. I need to be around the horses… to think. I’ll grab a drink from Alec’s little fridge.”
Kate turned the Beamer into the bricked drive in front of Alec’s huge showplace horse barn with the silver horse jumping out of a big B on the header. Hardly a barn, but he liked to call it that. The magnificent thirty-stall breeding headquarters with office and tack area and an arena, all under one roof. The facility was opulent, full of hot-walkers, wash racks, birthing stalls, and the finest saddles money could buy. The dream to live with Alec and work beside him in his veterinary clinic had slipped from her grasp.
Paper, Ink, & Lizard - Review
"Spent Identity was very well-written and planned out. I was impressed by the layers upon layers of plot used to keep the reader guessing. . . . The relationships between the characters felt very organic, and the sleuthing was professional enough to be convincing. Overall, Spent Identity was a pleasant and suspenseful read."
Andi's Book Reviews - Excerpt
Helga’s giggles erupted from the kitchen.
“We shouldn’t do that to her. Did you see Helga’s mouth drop? We’ll give that poor woman the vapors.” Annalisse drawled out the last few words, fanning her cheeks, imitating a proper Southern lady. “It’s great seeing you so… unscripted. How’d you get away from the union bosses?”
Alec slid his belt from the loops and slipped off his tie, liberating the first few buttons of his simple dress shirt. Tall, in white broadcloth and thigh-hugging slacks, he was one of those guys who made everything he wore look good.
Savings in Seconds - Review
"I do love a good family-secrets mystery, and this didn’t disappoint in that regard!"
Jypsylynn - Review
"This story is well written, dramatic, compelling and suspenseful, as well as beautifully descriptive. The setting, the atmospheric presence of place and time, is its own immersive character. All in all, it's a crazy thrill ride with numerous surprises that mystery fans will love!"
Peaceful Pastime - Review
"What I can tell you for sure about this book is the wild ride I was taken on from the start. . . . I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I liked the author's writing and will read more of her work so, I think that if your are already a fan of Ms. Bell's work you will definitely want to read this book and if she is a new to you author like she was to me, than you should pick up a copy."
Kimber Li - Excerpt
He had cleared the end of the barn before she’d finished her sentence.
“Stay in my office,” he hollered over his shoulder in the strengthening wind.
“Great. Just great.”
Annalisse slid the Glock into the jacket she carried and wandered the length of the barn, taking more time inside each stall. Heaven forbid, Kate had collapsed in one of them. She found nothing but fresh shavings and a halter left behind by someone too hasty or lazy to put it back with the rest. She checked the office in case Alec returned and found she hadn’t listened to his instructions again.
Rockin' Book Reviews - Review
"There is nonstop action, mystery and romance in Spent Identity.. The characters are well-portrayed, the scenes vividly defined and there are several unexpected 'twists'. . . it was very captivating and intense most of the time. . ."
I'm All About Books - Excerpt
Alec passed out of Goshen’s city limits, where the drive had switched from tight curves to a long straightaway. The thought of being with Annalisse once again urged him to increase his speed. Alec rounded a sharp corner and hit a low spot, invisible until the water hit the undercarriage. It splashed the passenger side, wetting his right shoulder and soaking him to the skin.
“Whoa!” He glanced right for half a second at his doused leather seat and carpet, then applied mushy brakes, pumping them harder to match the strength of his gritted teeth.
The Signorile shimmied at the rear and broke into a spin.
Locks, Hooks and Books - Review
"I previously read and enjoyed the first book in the series, Stolen Obsession. I liked this story even more. The mystery and suspense was, also, filled with some twists and turns that kept me interested as to what would happen next."
"The story is welcoming and vibrant, and much of it is nuanced and warm. When Bell aims for fun adventure, she hits the bull's-eye." - Booklife Review
"...Bell keeps her well-paced story moving. Her use of dialogue to drive the narrative is excellent and she sticks the twist ending nicely, one of the harder tricks to pull off in this genre. Her characters are vivid and spot-on..." - IndieReader Review
"Ambitiously written, Spent Identity has lots of action, a solid narrative, and engaging dialogue that give it substance, while the theme of betrayal cuts a wide swath. Enhanced with a cast of well-balanced and wide-ranging characters, Spent Identity acts as more than a run of the mill mystery, with engaging and relatable family relationships woven into the mains storyline. Suspenseful and well-crafted, Spent Identity is a consistently entertaining read." Self-Publishing Review
Other Books in the Series!
Hold on for a heart-thumping, thrilling adventure through exotic lands in this fast-moving romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M. Bell.
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?
"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
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About the Author
Marlene M. Bell is an award-winning writer and acclaimed artist as well as a photographer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living, and Sheep Industry News, to name a few. Her catalog venture, Ewephoric, began in 1985 out of her desire to locate personalized sheep stationery. She rarely found sheep products through catalogs and set out to design them herself. Marlene and her husband, Gregg, reside in beautiful East Texas on a wooded ranch with their dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep, a large Maremma guard dog named Tia, along with Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks, the cats that believe they rule the household—and do.
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