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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Audiobookworm Presents: Stolen Obsession by Marlene M. Belle; #AudiobookTour, #NowAvailable, #OutNow, #TBR, #Live

Author: Marlene M. Bell
Narrator: Katina Kalin
Length: 9 hours 38 minutes
Publisher: Ewephoric
Released: Nov. 28, 2018
Series: Annalisse Series, Book 1
Publisher: Ewephoric
Genre: Mystery

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?

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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. Order Ewephoric gifts online or request a catalog at
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.
Guest Post
Author Interview
Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.  

The process started out relatively simple. I just went onto ACX and listed the book book as being open for audition. Within a few weeks, the auditions started coming in. After that was when the real work began.

Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format? 

Sometimes. I think it really depends on the book.

Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?

I never considered turning Heart of Stone into an audiobook initially, but then I had readers asking for it.

How did you select your narrator? 

I listened to the auditions and then I got in touch with Lacy. I had no idea how to go about the process, but Lacy was very forthcoming right from the get go. We got along immediately, which made it easy for me to choose her. Lacy is the one who suggested that we bring in a male narrator for the part of Alexander. She got in touch with a few for auditions, and I ended up choosing Jeffrey.

How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? 

Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? I worked very closely with Lacy for this book. After every recorded chapter, I would give feedback on moods, emotions, character personalities, etc. In fact, I think I might have driven her crazy with the amount of feedback I gave her, but she denies it :)

Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? 

A little bit, but not much. For example, the guitar player that Alexander discovered in Venice is based on a real life experience. My husband and I stumbled upon this guitarist in Venice, Italy and fell in love with his music. La Biga is also a real place. It’s a little cafe across the street from the Colosseum in Rome.

How do you manage to avoid burn-out? 

What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing? Burn-out should be my middle name right But in all honestly, the readers are what keep me going. I have such loyal fans and they are what keep me burning the oil lamp late into the night.

Are you an audiobook listener? 

What about the audiobook format appeals to you? Other than Heart of Stone, I have never once listened to an audiobook. I should probably start...

Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format? 

I think Lacy did a fantastic job with Krystina’s backstory. It was such an emotional chapter and I feel that her performance really shined in that part.

If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go? 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles? 

I did have two celebrities in mind when I was describing the character's appearance, although they were not my intention when I started out. It just sort of happened that way. For Krystina, I pictured Lacey Chabert with curly brown hair. I envisioned Ian Somerhalder for Alexander. As for how they would act out the roles, I didn’t think that far ahead.

What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”? 

I don’t think it’s cheating. I think we live in a busy world. Finding time to sit down and read can be a challenge for some who love a great story. Listening to an audiobook is just another outlet for readers to get lost in the pages.

How did you celebrate after finishing this novel? 

When I finished writing it, I didn’t celebrate. I panicked because I knew I would have to hit the “publish” button on Amazon. For the audiobook, I was more of a veteran by that point. I held a full blown party on Facebook for the audiobook release and held massive giveaways for the occasion. Then I poured a large glass of wine :)

What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump? 

I can’t say that I’ve ever really had a prolonged writing slump. Music helps me to get through that. Time restraints are the biggest challenge I currently face, with both reading and writing.

In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series? 

Oh, where to begin… Heart of Stone is book one in a trilogy. The second book has been released, but I’m still writing the third. Readers are constantly asking for a release date for book three - the pressure is real! It’s made me rethink my ideas on tackling another trilogy in the future. Sometimes I feel like one-and-done is the way to go. However, I love reading trilogies, so we’ll see.

Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams? 

None of my characters have appeared in my dreams, but publishing issues or deadlines pop up on occasion in my sleep.

What's your favorite:

Food - anything Italian

Song - I have so many...I can’t choose just one!

Book - The Harry Potter Series

Television show - It’s a toss up between genres. For comedy, Friends hands down. Re-runs are just as funny as when I watched it the first time. For drama, I can’t get enough of Game of Thrones. I’m slightly obsessed.

Movie - Star Wars (all of them)

Band - Green Day

Sports team - Buffalo Sabres

City - Rome, Italy. It’s my most favorite place in the world.

Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work? 

Italian food, Star Wars, Rome, and Green Day were all mentioned in my books. Some of my favorite songs are on the book playlist as well (which can be found at the end of both Heart of Stone and Stepping Stone).

What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors? 

Never give up. It’s hard work, but determination is key. I once read somewhere that 97% of writers don’t finish their book. I don’t know how true that is, but if that number is accurate, it makes me sad to think about all the great unfinished stories out there. Strive to be among the 3% of writers to become a published author.

Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks? 

I recommend ACX for first timers. I also recommend establishing a good rapport with your narrator(s), as I think it helps with getting an accurate performance of the character personalities.

What’s next for you? 

Set in Stone, book three in The Stone Series. I’ve had so much going on with the first two books, that I’m a little behind schedule with that book.

View the full schedule here
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