Partners in Crime – 411 on Books

Beginning Writer – 5 Things You Should Know

1.  Learn the craft before you begin. It doesn’t matter what genre you choose, writing a novel is like nothing else you’ve ever written. Read as many self-help books from the masters, like James Scott Bell and Donald Maass. Pick up tons of books on sentence structure and the basics. Buy all of the Emotion Thesaurus books that you can afford by Angela Ackerman. Once you’ve exhausted English basics, then shoot for fine tuning your writing and know what your readers want in your genre.

2.  Authors must write for the reader, not themselves. It’s okay to write a first draft the way you want, but in your edited drafts, your writing must reflect what your reader is expecting from your genre. As an example: Romantic Suspense requires that your protagonist’s love interest can’t be someone she immediately flocks to. If your main character is a woman, she and her love interest must have a wedge between them. Something that keeps them apart or drives them from each other at the beginning of your novel. The plot has to continue to slowly work them back together for a finish with a Happily Ever After ending. Romance genre endings should be HEA or happy for now. If you plan to kill off a main interest in the book, remember that you will upset some of your readers. Never, ever kill a family pet or an animal in your novels, if you can help it. Readers will forgive a person’s murder, but most won’t stomach the killing of animals, especially those that are beloved.

3. Invest in the best editors you can afford. It doesn’t pay to skimp on the editing. I went through eight (8) drafts before I published Stolen Obsession. I used beta readers, developmental editors, critique groups, copy editors and proofers before heading to the formatter. Professionals will make your work shine. If you publish without perfecting your work, your book reviews will suffer.

4. Writing, Reading and Editors are all subjective. So are reviewers. Your written work will affect every person differently. Expect it. The empathy we are attracting to our characters will strike everyone who reads your work in a different manner. Some may not like the style or voice; others won’t like a character’s personality. Still others won’t be expecting romance even though your work is designed to include romantic interludes. Really! Grow a thick skin and shrug off your detractors. There will be some who won’t get your writing. It’s okay that some people criticize your work. The old saying, “You can’t please everybody,” holds true here. Please yourself with your reader in mind and you’ll be fine.

I also like to read my negative reviews, not just the positive ones. It’s amazing how much you can learn about your writing faults by hearing about what irks your readers. Not all criticisms are authentic or worth more than a few seconds of your time, but if several point to the same flaws in your writing, it’s time to address it! Try not to make the same mistakes in subsequent books.

5. Have fun writing and don’t kill yourself doing it! Typing for long hours in front of your laptop or PC takes perseverance. Everyone has a life beyond the keyboard. Take walks and read lots of books in and out of your genre. You’ll be amazed how reading helps with the writer’s block. Having a bad day writing means a better day reading. It’s where I go when the words won’t come smoothly.

Spent Identity by Marlene M. Bell Banner



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

Read an excerpt:

…from chapter fifteen   She caught a glimpse of Bill’s scarred neck and considered prying. “May I ask a personal question?” “Sure.” He steered the next turn. “I’ll answer if I can.” “Did you get burned?” He rubbed the side of his neck as if to soothe a haunting memory. “I used to be a fireman. Got caught in a seven-story roof collapse. Almost bought it.” He tapped cruise control and slid his shoe off the accelerator. An injured fireman with a near-death experience turned private investigator made more sense to her now. Bill didn’t fit the cookie-cutter-investigator type. They hit smooth asphalt in the cross into Sullivan County. Annalisse relished the soothing hum from the roadway. At the county border, they passed a renovated eighteenth-century church refurbished into a modern brick farmhouse. The original belfry and bell sat atop the gable roof at the midpoint, with a new masonry chimney erected on one side near the redwood decking. She hadn’t noticed it the first time with Woody. “What a horrible experience for you, Bill. I’m sorry. Alec didn’t mention it.” “We don’t talk about it much. For a bunch of reasons.” Bill fiddled with a tabloid-size newspaper wedged next to the console. “My hours are better now anyway.” He chuckled, rolling the newsprint into a tube and blowing into it. “A gossip rag? Haven’t read any juicy dirt in a while. I could use a laugh.” She reached for the paper, expecting him to hand it to her. “Boring issue.” Bill tossed the roll over the headrest, wiping newsprint from his fingers to the seat. That was strange. She tried to grab it, but it landed just out of her reach. Annalisse unbuckled and twisted for a closer look at the huge headline, reading aloud, “THE HOUND CHASES ANOTHER FOX. Please people. Such original journalism. Who this time?” She laughed as she lunged for the paper. Bill’s arm moved in like a slingshot and bumped her sore cheek, blocking her. “Ow. Watch the road,” she exclaimed and bounced backward. “Walking wounded here. Just drive, Bill. Allow me to revel in someone else’s grief for a while.” He touched her elbow. “Please don’t.” Bill wasn’t smiling, and his skin had morphed to ashen of the dead. He had the look of a man who’d just lost his best friend and was about to lose his faithful dog too. It clicked. “What don’t you want me to see what thousands of other people have already seen?” “Wait till we get to Brookehaven so he can—” “Who can?” Annalisse hung over the seat and stretched her sore body far enough to snag the tabloid with her fingertips. She braced herself—the photo had to be disturbing. “The timing is bad. Really bad.” Bill stared at the road and in a low voice added, “I’m so sorry.” The pang of the unknown boomeranged through her heart, and she looked down at the front page of Reveal Reality. A couple with their backs to the camera, overlooking an ocean at sunset at some kind of event. She wasn’t sure where but expected the piece would say. The paparazzi photographer had zoomed in on a brunette in a skimpy, backless sundress leaning into a man with his elegant hand cupping her barely covered butt cheek. His chiseled profile and windblown curls were unmistakable. Say bye-bye to the mysterious, green-eyed Annalisse! Italian starlet Monica Corsetti on Italy’s Riviera with Greek magnate, Alec Zavos of the Signorile Corporation. They were… She covered her mouth. “Pull over, Bill. I’m gonna throw up.” *** Excerpt from Spent Identity by Marlene M. Bell. Copyright 2020 by Marlene M. Bell. Reproduced with permission from Marlene M. Bell. All rights reserved.



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!

08/01 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

08/03 Interview @ BooksChatter

08/05 Showcase @ Im All About Books

08/06 Review @ The World As I See It

08/07 Review @ Lynchburg Mama

08/08 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads

08/09 Showcase @ EienCafe

08/10 Review @ sunny island breezes

08/11 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books

08/12 Guest post @ Reading A Page Turner

08/16 Review/showcase @ Our Town Book Reviews

08/17 Showcase @ The Pulp and Mystery Shelf

08/19 Interview @ CMash Reads

08/23 Showcase @ Eclectic Moods

08/24 Review @ Nesies Place


08/27 Review @ Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!

08/28 Review @ noorthebookworm

08/28 Review/showcase @ Just 4 My Books

08/29 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty

08/30 Review @ Celticladys Reviews

08/31 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews



Giveaway Image

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.




Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


  1. cherylmash says:

    I’m not a writer but these tips sound like such great advice.


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