Excerpt: Stolen Obsession by Marlene M. Bell

 

 

 

 

STOLEN OBSESSION

by Marlene M. Bell
Annalisse Series, #1
Publication Date: March 20, 2018
Genres: Adult, Suspense, Romance, Mystery

What it’s about:

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.

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Excerpt:

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.

The silk fabric clung to her waistline while perspiration trickled down her thighs. She sank to her knees and leaned over Harry’s paunch, loosened his tie, and checked for a pulse at his neck. Heat from the crowd suffocated her. Open mouthed, she labored for breath. Westinn’s bedrock, its patriarch, couldn’t leave her. Not yet.

She clutched his shirt and yelled, “Don’t give up, Harry!” Touching his cheeks, she found them cool. Annalisse scanned the room. “Is anyone a doctor or EMT?” Vacant stares met her question.

A reel of her first aid training ran through her head. Annalisse tilted Harry’s head back, looked down his throat and did a finger sweep. “No food in the airway,” she mumbled. She checked for a pulse again at the carotid, and, one hand over the other, pressed the heel of her palm over his breastbone and pumped in short bursts. Counting to thirty in her head, she huffed after each thrust. Her arms ached and her palms hurt. “Harry, breathe! Damn it, breathe!”

“Did someone call an ambulance? Where is it?” Alec checked the Rolex on his wrist and crouched next to her. “When you’re ready, I’ll take over.”

The irony. Harry had forced his employees to take the CPR course with no idea he’d be the one in need.

A lonesome siren’s wail pierced her ears when the vehicle stopped in front of the gallery. Annalisse glanced through the entrance as the FDNY emergency truck’s blaze red and yellow door opened. The myriad of blinding lights split the evening. She turned back to her unresponsive boss and ripped open his shirt, sending buttons flying to the tile before she continued CPR.

Muffled voices, footsteps, and a metallic clank sounded from behind. Ambulance attendants rushed through the double glass doors, banging their gurney along the way. In the cool relief of the air from outside, she silently said a prayer for Harry.

“I appreciate everyone’s concern, but please allow the emergency personnel room to do their work.” Generosa swiped her forehead with the back of her hand. “Hang on, Harry.”

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 http://www.marlenembell.com or http://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.

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