Guest Post: Marlene M. Bell – COPPER WATERS

Hello, fellow book divas and divos. I’ve attended a number of author presentations (virtual and IRL) over the years and it seems like there are quite a number of the same questions asked, no matter the author or genre. First, is usually “What’s your inspiration?” Next, is usually “Do you base your characters on real people?” And that is generally followed by “What’s next?” It doesn’t matter how many books an author writes, we readers are always interested in what’s coming next! Please help me welcome back to the blog, Marlene M. Bell, author of the “Annalisse Series” including Copper Waters. Ms. Bell will be sharing with us “What’s next” and I hope you’ll enjoy what she has to say. Thank you, Ms. Bell, for returning to visit with us today, the blog is now all yours.

What Writing Project Is Coming Next?
by Marlene M. Bell

The idea of Annalisse Drury as a main character who lives in New York began as a single book with her first name as the title. Only through a number of drafts and too many subplots did it become evident to my developmental editors that Annalisse’s story was much bigger than a standalone book. Several books have become the current series of four with more books on the way. Stolen Obsession‘s first draft held too many mischievous characters for a single Annalisse novel!

The scenarios for the next untitled book #5 are floating around in my mind even as I’ve released book #4, Copper Waters. When writing, I typically imagine one novel ahead so that I can end the current book in a manner that sends the reader right into the next book. Each chapter in every one of my books is designed to finish as a segue that asks the reader to jump into the following chapter—propelling them forward with a strong desire to find out what happens next. My motto, “mystery at a killing pace,” highlights my writing style; short, punchy sentences that get to the point quickly and move on while applying conversational dialog. One recent blogger used a word to describe the pacing in Copper Waters as meteoric. What a great word! As far as the next Annalisse novel is concerned, she and Alec will concentrate on his horse breeding in upstate New York…as things go terribly wrong for the couple.

My current work in progress is a break from the Annalisse and Alec story. It’s a fresh standalone novel unrelated to the series that takes place in East Texas circa 2010. Staying with my love of cozy mysteries and eclectic personalities, an entire batch of new characters will experience a tricky murder in the Woodlands! The story opens in a fictitious town of three hundred people where the protagonist, Sharon Harris, is a trained pastry chef and soon-to-be cookbook author. A culinary expert who left a cushy personal chef position in Beverly Hills. Tragedy has driven her closer to her father after the passing of her mother. More than one suitor, (a known and an unknown,) will vie for my main character’s affections as they solve the unfortunate murder of a dear friend of Sharon’s. A home invasion? An inside job? Only the old home built during the 1860s holds clues to the mysterious death. A home Sharon inherits from the now-deceased widow.

A chapter or two into writing this Texas mystery, I’m finding it a challenge to develop new characters in a different part of the country after spending thirteen years in Annalisse’s head. Once I’m solidly convinced of the new book’s title, I’ll announce more details including the cover artwork.♦

Copper Waters

The Annalisse series, Book 4

by Marlene M. Bell

May 29 – June 23, 2023 Virtual Book Tour


Copper Waters by Marlene M Bell

A rural New Zealand vacation turns poisonous.

Annalisse Drury and Alec Zavos are on opposite sides when an ex-lover from Alec’s past introduces him to his alleged son. With Alec’s marriage proposal in limbo, Annalisse accepts a key to her dream cottage—an invitation to a sheep station on South Island, New Zealand—only this time, she travels alone.

Unbeknownst to her, a mutual friend follows on the flight, and together they are confronted by two peculiar deaths—either accidental, or the deliberate acts of a psychopath.

Temuka police investigators are closing these cases too quickly. They want Annalisse to exit their country before she reveals the town’s darkest secrets. Will she return to Alec, or sacrifice their future together to expose it all?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery (cozy type)
Published by: Ewephoric Publishing
Publication Date: December 2022
Number of Pages: 342
ISBN: 9780999539491 (Paperback)
ASIN: B0BL42NBFY (Kindle edition)
Series: The Annalisse series, Book 4
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Praise for Copper Waters:

“Marlene M. Bell’s COPPER WATERS is a well-written murder mystery with descriptive scenes, an intriguing setting, and enough push and pull between the characters and within the plot to keep readers engaged.”
~ IndieReader

“Marlene M. Bell is a master storyteller when it comes to the cozy mystery genre.”
~ Book Review Directory

Copper Waters is an entertaining and fast-paced mystery, where small-town intrigue, family drama, and a high-stakes whodunit will deepen readers’ affection for the tenacious Annalisse.”
~ Self-Publishing Review

Copper Waters is emotional and thrilling, surprising and life-changing.”
~ Review by Book Excellence

Copper Waters Trailer:

Author Bio:

Marlene M. Bell

Marlene M. Bell is an eclectic mystery writer, artist, photographer, and she raises sheep on a ranch in wooded East Texas with her husband, Gregg.

Marlene’s Annalisse series boasts numerous honors including the Independent Press Award for Best Mystery (Spent Identity,) and FAPA— Florida Author’s President’s Gold Award for two other installments, (Stolen Obsession and Scattered Legacy.) Her mysteries with a touch of romantic suspense are found at her websites or at online retail outlets.

She also offers the first of her children’s picture books, Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! Based on true events from the Bell’s ranch. The simple text and illustrations are a touching tribute of compassion and love between a little girl and her lamb.

Catch Up With Marlene M. Bell:
BookBub – @dorsetgalwrites
Instagram – @marlenemysteries
Twitter – @ewephoric
Facebook – @marlenembell
YouTube – @marlenebell4960

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaway entries!


This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Marlene M. Bell. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

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Guest Post: Marlene M Bell – SPENT IDENTITY

If you’re an avid reader, like me, one of the first things you probably do is check out the cover art after looking at the title, author, and then proceed to read the synopsis. I’ve got to admit to being somewhat of a cover-art snob. If the artwork doesn’t grab me right away, even if I like the author and synopsis, I may put the book on my TBR list and wait sometime before I pick it up to read. Then there are some covers that just completely turn me off due to the amateurish artwork and is doesn’t matter how good the writing may be, I can’t get beyond the cover art. I know, that’s petty and I’m working on it. Today, I’m pleased to welcome the author of Spent Identity, Marlene M. Bell, who will be discussing with this us the importance of book covers. I hope you’ll sit back and follow what she has to say, put Spent Identity on your TBR list, and follow along with the rest of the blog tour. Thank you, Ms. Bell, for spending time with us this Saturday. I now turn the blog over to you.

Why Book Covers are So Important

The key to choosing a cover is knowing your genre. Deciding on a cover doesn’t necessarily mean you can pick anything you like. It’s more what the reader who reads in your genre is expecting to see as your cover. If trying for new, groundbreaking cover art to intrigue, you may find yourself lacking in book sales. Readers want to be visually pulled into the story, but only if they can understand your story—in your genre—from your cover art.

If you can swing a professional book cover designer, I highly recommend that source versus a basic ready-made cover. Stock photos are so common and easy to slap together, but what does that say about you as an author? Stock images are ho-hum boring! I’ve seen a few photos that have worked well as long as there are interesting elements added to a standard photo. Only a few creative designers can pull that off well, however. 

I’ve personally used a husband and wife team from Australia who design all elements on their covers from start to finish. I found them after I fell in love with one of their winning covers in a contest. I was thrilled with my cover for Stolen Obsession! The extra money spent on a fully designed cover was well worth the effort. The cover for Stolen Obsession won the 2018 Independent Book Award for Best Cover in the Fiction Category and the IndieReader cover award. 

In my second book, Spent Identity, I went into a different direction to find my cover designer because my first designers were overloaded with new clients and I would have a long wait. 99 Designs is an online website for graphic designers all over the world. I found Isabel Robalo from Portugal, there. The cover for Spent Identity is simple yet portrays a feeling of foreboding that goes along in the mystery/suspense genres. The book won the 2020 Independent Press Award and has been named as a finalist in other contests currently running this year. It’s well worth your time to research many cover designers before you make your final choice. Expect to pay from $200 to $600 for top designers who create more than stock premade covers.

Spent Identity

by Marlene M. Bell

on Tour August 1-31, 2020


Spent Identity by Marlene M. Bell

Farm For Sale. 360-acre lot with ranch-style home. Refurbished barn. Corpse not included.

To find her missing aunt, she has to unearth the secrets of the past. But lies and deceit run through the very heart of their town…

What started out as a promising relationship with adventurer and tycoon Alec Zavos has fizzled into an uncertain future for antiquities expert Annalisse Drury. Returning to Walker Farm in Upstate New York to see her Aunt Kate should have been a welcome homecoming and distraction. Instead, she finds the childhood home she expected to inherit is for sale, without her permission. What’s worse, Kate’s ranch manager makes a gruesome discovery in the barn: the body of an unidentified man, dead by foul play.

Annalisse turns to Alec for help. She and her aunt shelter on his estate in the Catskills while the authorities canvass the scene. But when Kate herself disappears without a trace, Annalisse fears the worst: that one of the many secrets of her hometown has ensnared her family—a secret someone is willing to kill for to keep hidden.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Ewephoric Publishing
Publication Date: December 11th 2019
Number of Pages: 378
ISBN: 0999539426 (ISBN13: 9780999539422)
Series: Annalisse Series #2 || This is a Stand-Alone novel but the reader may gain more about the character’s past if they pick up the first book.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Author Bio:

Marlene M. Bell

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.

Catch Up With Marlene M. Bell:, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

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Enter To Win!:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Marlene M. Bell. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each win one (1) Gift Card. Two (2) winners will each win a set of autographed books, a notebook, and silver jewelry. The giveaway begins on August 1, 2020, and runs through September 2, 2020. Open to U.S. and Canada addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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