Scattered Legacy by Marlene M. Bell


Scattered Legacy
Annalisse Series  
Book Three
Marlene M. Bell

Genre: Mystery – Suspense
Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing
Date of Publication: 11-4-2021
ISBN ebook: 978-0-9995394-7-7 
ISBN Print: 978-0-9995394-6-0
ASIN: ‎ B09HRCTBXJ 
Number of pages: Print 352     
Word Count: 84,610
Cover Artist: Isabel Robalo

Tagline: The Truth Has Claws

Book Description: 

To outsiders, the relationship between Manhattan antiquities assessor Annalisse Drury and sports car magnate Alec Zavos must look carefree and glamorous. In reality, it’s a love affair regularly punctuated by treasure hunting, action-packed adventure, and the occasional dead body.

When Alec schedules an overseas trip to show Annalisse his mother’s birthplace in Bari, Italy, he squeezes in the high-stakes business of divesting his family’s international corporation. But things go terribly wrong as murder makes its familiar reappearance in their lives – and this time it’s Alec’s disgraced former CFO who’s the main suspect.

Accompanied by friend and detective Bill Drake, Annalisse and Alec find themselves embroiled in a behind-closed-doors conspiracy that threatens the reputation and legacy of Alec’s late father – linking him to embezzlement, extortion, and the dirty business of the Sicilian Mafia. The search for the truth sends the trio straight into riddles, secrets, and an historic set of rosary beads. Annalisse leads Alec toward a discovery that is unthinkable, and events that will change their futures forever.

Scattered Legacy is the third in Marlene M. Bell’s thrilling Annalisse series, which weaves romance, crime, and historical mystery into addictive tales to instantly captivate fans of TV show Bones or Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. 

AN EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER ONE-SCATTERED LEGACY

“We believe Josh falsified invoices with certain clients and moved money to offshore accounts without my consent. I was so angry I removed him without hearing his side of it. As far as I’m concerned, he’s totally responsible whether he was directly or indirectly involved. I wish I’d handled the situation differently. My short fuse got in the way when I felt Dad’s business was being used illegally as a giant retirement fund for Josh. He would know whether Dad used illegal monies from the racing team. We’re waiting on the board’s decision to prosecute Josh.”

“We have to find him.”

“He found me,” Alec grumbles. “Josh called me while I was in Mom’s office. I haven’t heard from him since I let him go.” He shakes his head. “He wants my help.”

Gen’s sitting at her desk in front of her favorite collection of astronomy books, staring at the wall. Her eyelids are rimmed red, and she’s grasping a wadded tissue in her hand. My stupid fear of a blackbird’s feather placed in an envelope pales against her sadness at the reminder of a lost soul mate. She witnessed her husband’s head explode, as I did, when Pearce fought gunmen on the yacht. It’s surreal when someone you know has died in front of you. Dreamlike, until their life jolts away and a body is left in place of a vibrant human being, like the man with his grin on the tabloid cover. Gen loved her husband deeply. No matter how many times I assure myself it wasn’t my fault what happened, Pearce might still be alive if the Mushasha jewel—Stop it. Samantha Freeman, my best friend, wouldn’t give up her matching horse bracelet either. The curse was powerful, and it pulled us along. Pearce’s fate was sealed the day he was born. Only God knows what’s in store for us. I have to show Alec and Gen that Pearce’s short existence was meaningful. His record must remain untarnished for Gen and her son.

“Has anyone been smoking? It smells like something’s burning.” I check the wastebasket for cigarette butts and find it recently emptied. “Alec, please sit before you fall down.”

His chair squawks along the tile in front of the Victorian pedestal desk. “Mom, I’m sorry.” Alec pats his mother’s hand across the blotter. “I didn’t think what seeing Dad again might do to you.”

“He’s gone, dear. There’s no bringing him back. Believe me, I’ve tried.” Gen smiles and dabs the corner of her eye. “Honey, how do we get in front of this bad press? Signorile’s sale must go forward. It’s decided. You and Annalisse are to be freed of the corporation to enjoy yourselves. Phooey on this bad timing, before your trip and all.” She glances at me and points to the armchair.

“Have you heard from Global Star Class yet? What’s the best move?” I ask Alec.

“Embezzlement matters. Serge LeBlanc is a straight-up guy, so he won’t peddle the Signorile acquisition to his board while there’s a scandal hanging over it.” He rubs between his brows and takes out his phone. “We need Bill’s expertise on this one.”

The call is made via speakerphone so we can all be a part of it. It’ll be great to hear Bill’s voice again. After Kate’s mysteries were solved a few months ago, Bill returned to his other investigations with his partner, Dan Chappell. Bill’s a good friend to Alec, and he helped us both cope with Kate and Ted’s nightmare at Walker Farm and in Massachusetts. The uncle I thought had committed suicide came back for revenge. Ted is being held in jail now for the plot to ruin Kate. Bill doesn’t know where Kate went, which was our hope when he dropped her at the airport, so she’s in charge and determines when she makes a return. That mother-daughter talk will have to wait until she’s ready. She left me with only a letter explaining that she is my birth mother, and I have a father who doesn’t know I’m alive. It’s little wonder my decision not to marry Alec at this time is frustrating for him. I’m so afraid something in my past will hurt Alec or his mother.

“Hey, I was about to call you. Have you heard mainstream news?” Bill Drake asks.

“You’re on speaker with Mom and Annalisse. I’m at the gallery, and yes, we’ve read the gossip rag’s trash.” Alec lays the phone on the desk.

“Good morning, Generosa, Anna. I hope you’re both well.”

“Hi, Bill,” I chime, imagining what color palm tree shirt he’s wearing with his chinos. “Did we catch you at a bad time?”

“Not in the least. I’m in Connecticut, finishing up a case. What’s up?”

“Can you break away to join us in Lecce?” Alec looks away from the speakerphone.

“Lecce… Where’s that?” Bill asks.

“Italy,” he says, staring at an imaginary spot above my head.

Gen whips around to glare at Alec. “Son, where are you going?”

I’m just as shocked. It’s stifling enough to have Brad, Alec’s bodyguard and chauffeur, along on the trip. Since there’s already three of us, one more will ensure zero privacy with Alec. Not the trip of my dreams. We’ll put off the romantic venture for another time.

“Do you want me to reopen the earlier investigation on the Signorile accounts?” Bill asks.

“What investigation? You never mentioned this before.” Gen grabs another tissue.

Alec raises a palm toward his mother. “It’s more complicated than that, Bill. I spoke to Josh already.”

“Is that right? Wow. Surprised he’d take your call after being fired.”

Alec erupts into mirthless laughter. “Bring all you’ve got on Josh Jennings before, during, and after his tenure with Signorile. Go deep, really deep into the slimy mud if you have to, and meet us at the Challenger hangar.”

“Text me the address and gate. When and what time?”

Alec whispers to me, “What time will you be ready in the morning… six, seven?”

“Name it.” This is Alec’s mission, and I’m along for support, even though our beautiful, scheduled destination is a smoking pile of rubble blown up by an ex-employee I’ve never met.

“We don’t have time to waste. Can you make it from Connecticut to the hangar, say, by seven thirty a.m.? You’ll be able to get your beauty rest on the plane. Pack for at least a week. The ocean air is nice during midday and a little cool at night.”

Lecce must be near the coast. Alec notices my confusion because he walks by and sits on the arm of my chair.

“Anything else?” Bill asks.

“Yeah. A woman was found murdered in Josh’s office, wrapped in concertina wire. He’s the suspect.”

Alec’s admission triggers the weird visual in Gen’s office. Is that the woman I saw? I don’t know whose silence is more deafening, Bill’s, Gen’s, or mine.



About the Author: 

“Mystery at a killing pace”

Marlene M. Bell is an award-winning writer, artist, and sheep breeder who resides in beautiful East Texas. Her renown sheep photographs grace the covers of many livestock magazines.

The third book in the Annalisse Series releases in 2021. Scattered Legacy is an international mystery with light touches of romance. Stolen Obsession and Spent Identity, books one and two, received numerous awards including the Independent Press Award for Best Mystery in 2020. Her mysteries can be found at marlenembell.com.

Marlene also writes children’s books. Her first children’s picture book, Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! is based on true events with Natalie from the Bell’s ranch. It’s a touching story of compassion and love between a little girl and her lamb. Mia and Nattie is honored to be a Mom’s Choice Gold Award winner.

Marlene shares her life with her husband and a few dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep: a large Maremma guard dog named Tia, and cats, Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks. The cats believe they rule the household—and do.












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Rogue Unbroken by Angie Day


Rogue Unbroken
Legends and Shadows Saga 
Book Three
Angie Day

Genre: Young adult, urban fantasy, YAUF
Publisher: Rahne Press
Date of Publication: Dec 10, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-7338144-6-1 (hardcover) 
ISBN: 978-1-7338144-7-8 (paper back)
Number of pages: 412
Word Count: 104,000
Cover Artist: Sarah Hansen from Okay Creations

Tagline: Energy blazed in my body, begging me to move, to use it. If you see her, kill her on sight.

Logline: Kate can’t touch anyone without causing pain. To save herself and her family, she must challenge Alec, who is ready to tear her life apart.

Book Description: 

Kate had survived. She had lived through pain and torment and now she was on the other side, where all the happiness was supposed to be. But with Alec’s vengeful punishment for escaping him, she can’t touch anyone without hurting them.

Alec still wants to create a Level Five and he’s dangerously close. That power under his control would mean unraveling the world as it stands. The world Kate has not yet started to enjoy. She won’t be able to rest until her body, her mind is fixed, and Alec won’t get his beloved power without her help.

The two warring sides of Rogues and Shadows will have to meet. Kate will have to confront Alec and his cruel ambition once again. But every moment with the Shadows is detrimental to those she loves, especially Kylan. So she must find a way to outsmart the person who taught her everything she knows, the most feared Shadow in the world.

Kate is strong. She survived once. But even the strongest people can break with the right pressure, and Alec is ready to tear her life apart.



Excerpt 1:

Alec lifted a hand to my face but lowered it again. “But then you came back to me. You fell for me again. I saw it. If you say you’re done with me, then why can’t you just do the honorable thing and stop loving me?”

Alec looked down at the floor and he never looked so sheepish and small.

A trick. It had to be a trick.

But he was so small and broken and careening in his own mind. I knew what that felt like, all too well.

“I want to.” I leaned back on the shelves again. “You’re despicable and psychotic. You hurt the people I care about. You tortured me, manipulated me—”

“And yet that’s not good enough for you to kill me. All you can do is leave, and I’m sitting here hoping I can somehow get you back.” Alec raised his arms like he didn’t know where to put them anymore. “Why?”

“I don’t know.”

“That’s not an answer. Why?” Alec moved closer to my face.

“Because you won’t let me.”

“Ha.” Alec grinned before his eyes turned dark again. “I wish I had that much control over your decisions. Try again.”

I shoved him away. “I don’t know, Alec.”

“Yes, you do,” he came right back. “Think, Mara.”

“Because you’re home to me!”

His mouth fell open and the pain created lines around his eyes. I just stared at him for a moment. I saw all the same years of complications that I felt in mine. We weren’t just similar. He and I were mirror images of each other.

“No matter what you do, no matter where I go. When I think back on my life, you are all I can see for centuries,” I said.

“I get it.” Alec backed off. I caught his arm.

“You don’t. You’re a terrible person. You’re the nightmare that just won’t go away.” I looked at the floor. “But you’re also a huge part of my life, whether I hate you or not.”




About the Author: 

Angie Day found her love of writing while in college where she studied psychology and eventually went on to a master’s degree. She noticed the need for romantic and fantastic adult stories that were still wholesome and clean. So, she took matters into her own hands. 

The Legends and Shadows Saga is her debut series. When she’s not devouring the next book, she is spending time outdoors with her husband.











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For Her Bones by Alec Reid #Horror


For Her Bones
Alec Reid

Genre: Ghost/Comic Horror
Publisher: Lilymoore Publishing
Date of Publication: 31 October 2021
ISBN: 978 – 163972999 -9 
Number of pages: 340
Word Count: 86,975
Cover Artist: Jacqueline Abromeit

Book Description:

Alec Reid’s ghosts of the twenty-first century seldom lurk in old houses or waft across chilly moors.  His dark tales may breathe alongside the supernatural, but they take place in broad daylight, in our daily lives.  

Their themes include dead warriors resurrected via Bluetooth, Rumpelstiltskin in the suburbs, an algorithmic fear of ghosts and the shattered dreams of immortality. 

The world they describe is the same one you inhabit, but you would live in terror were you to recognise it for what it is.  Life would, literally, never be the same again.




Excerpt

“The thing is, Tom, I did call him a few months after I left.  It was a bit of a surprise.  I was supposedly embarking on some great adventure, and there I was struck down with what felt like terminal homesickness.  I needed a friend.”

“You could have called me.”

“I know, but it wasn’t you I wanted.  Sorry.  What I never expected was that I would be longing for Frank.  How strange was that?  Anyway, it was late and the foul weather made me feel even more lonely.  I virtually forced him to come to me that night.”

“Do I really need to hear this?”

“He never made it.  Ice on the motorway.  His mother called me a few days later.”

“Jesus, Sally.  No wonder you’re imagining things.  It’s guilt, that’s all.”

“So that’s it, Mr Freud?  I really am just imagining it?  Going mad”

“I wouldn’t say going mad exactly.  I mean it’s understandable.  You had a terrible shock.  You were missing Frank – can’t understand that bit, but there you are – and you called him to you.  And because of that he died.  It doesn’t make it your fault.  Not really.  I can’t imagine he was the greatest driver in the world.”

“He’s here, Tom.  In this restaurant.  I can feel it.  I can almost see him.”

“The flickering?”

“Yes!  Please tell me you’ve seen it too.”

Poor Tom.  I think he’s about to deny it.  A straight ahead, get the job done sort of guy can’t acknowledge the terrors that shimmer on the edge of his vision.  It has to be Sally who is mad, not he.  The truth is, neither of them is mad.  I would show myself if I could, join them at their table, discuss important matters of life and death.  But it doesn’t work that way.  That would be like believing in ghosts.  Foolish.  But the three of us will soon be able to have that discussion face to face.  I’m looking forward to it.  Come along now, Tom, the second bottle has arrived.  Pour her a drink.

“Jesus Christ!”

General consternation sounds like an incompetent military leader, but it is probably the best description for what was happening around Tom and Sally’s table.  Tom had lifted the bottle and begun to pour.  But he didn’t know his own strength.  Or rather he didn’t know mine.  His grip on the bottle tightened like a noose until the bottle shattered, showering the unhappy couple with Pinot Grigio and sending splinters of glass everywhere.  I’m not exactly a poltergeist, they don’t exist by the way, but I made sure some of the glass went where it needed to.  A freak accident is how it was later described by those who were there and therefore must know.  The first shard sliced through Tom’s shirt and severed the carotid artery.  There was more blood than Pinot.  In less than a minute he was what people call dead, although we know better, don’t we?

Sally’s demise was even swifter.  A shiver of glass pierced her eye and came to rest deep in her brain.


About the Author:

Alec has had a number of careers, some of them still ongoing. After a brief spell with the BBC 2 arts programme, “Late Night Line-Up”, he moved on to Radios 1 and 2 where he produced “Night Ride”, giving Genesis their first national broadcast.

Alec went on to become an award-winning radio drama director and creator of radio documentaries and features, one of which required him to spend a week with the French Foreign Legion!

During that time, he also wrote and directed two musicals for radio, “Misrule”, starring Max Wall, and “Gilgamesh”, with Ian Holm; the latter was the BBC’s entry for the Prix Futura award in Berlin.

After leaving the BBC,Alec was commissioned to write and produce a double CD tribute to Princess Diana. Within days of its release in America it had sold over 100,000 copies. As a result, he won the prestigious international Audi award for best creative work.

Since then, Alec has produced hundreds of audiobooks, adapted TV and movie soundtracks for audio release, and was even commissioned to write two new ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ stories! He also wrote book and lyrics for ‘Muscles the Musical’, which was premiered at The Landor theatre in London where the ‘House Full’ sign was up most nights. There are hopes for a revival in a larger theatre.

Alec’s publications have included two anthologies based on Radio 4’s ‘With Great Pleasure’, poems in ‘The Sunday Times’ newspaper and numerous magazine articles, and poems. ‘For Her Bones’ is his first fiction book. He is thinking about his next one.

https://alecreidwriter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/alec.reid.73/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20849030.Alec_Reid