Tour and Giveaway for Mia and Nattie – One Great Team by Marlene M. Bell

Mia and Nattie - One Great Team by Marlene M. Bell
MIA AND NATTIE - One Great Team by Marlene M. Bell

Join us for this tour from Jan 18 to Feb 5, 2021!

Book Details: Book Title:  Mia and Nattie – One Great Team by Marlene M. Bell
Category:  Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7),  32 pages
Genre:  Children’s Picture Book
Publisher:  Ewephoric Publishing
Release date:   October 3, 2020
Format available for review:  print (USA and Canada), ebook (gifted kindle)
Tour dates: Jan 18 to Feb 5, 2021
Content Rating:  G for everyone. Family based book for all ages,

Book Description:

Nattie’s mouth was a little crooked. Her legs were a bit shorter than usual, and one horn was too straight, like a unicorn’s horn. But Mia thought Nattie was perfect. In a read-aloud picture book for children who love animals, award-winning writer and sheep breeder Marlene M. Bell presents Nattie the lamb’s true story. MIA AND NATTIE is a heartwarming book that teaches readers about problem-solving, teamwork, and love. On a visit to her grandma’s farm, eight-year-old Mia discovers a newborn, orphaned lamb outside in the cold and takes her to the laundry room, naming her Nattie. As she tries to nurse the lamb back to health, Mia discovers that Nattie is different from the other lambs and struggles to fit in with them like Mia does with other kids her age. When her grandmother says she will sell Nattie to a neighbor, Mia must come up with a plan to keep her friend around—one that will show the family just how special Nattie truly is.

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Mia and Nattie is a cute story of a little lamb that was born different, so Mia brought Nattie home and kept her inside the laundry room. That is until her grandma made her move Nattie outside. Grandma still wants to get rid of Nattie but then find out she is a special sheep. But will Nattie be able to earn her stay, as far as the grandma is concerned?

I love Mia and Nattie and Mia was such a good girl to take care of the little lamb. And after Nattie grew into a sheep, Mia still loved her special animal. The love between these two shines bright. Though sometimes grandma doesn’t seem so happy with Mia. I thought the author did a really nice job of telling their story. As well as showing that an animal that is different does have a purpose. And I love the story at the end of the book about the real Natalie. How cool is that, knowing Nattie was real, and that this story is based on the real life Nattie. I just love the illustrations by Grace Sandford, they are so adorable. She was able to capture the story through the pictures she created. I love the vibrant, beautiful colors and the adorable Nattie. And Mia and her grandma were so cute, though grandma did have some weird facial moments in there that were very comical. I found this story a really sweet and adorable read. A read that should be in every daycare, preschool, kindergarten, and all elementary library. Be sure to ask you child’s school library, ad well as your public library to get copies of Mia and Nattie’s story. This is one book that will sure be checked out by every student, especially the little girls.

This precious little book, with it’s sweet story, it’s precious characters, with the illustrations that tell the story so well, is beautiful inside and out. I will save this one for my new grandaughter! And this one is a Five plus Stars for me! I would love to be able to give this one more Stars, it sure deserves more!

A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.



  1. Were there any real-life inspirations behind your writing?

When I met my husband in 1979, he was in the middle of a nasty divorce. They were in the process of selling the ranch they’d built together when oil prices were high and banks were loaning at a whopping 17% interest rate. No one could afford expensive homes in the Tracy, California area at that time. His soon-to-be-ex made outrageous personal charges, and her attorney letters were a weekly occurrence. I could write an entire novel over her accusations. It was a miserable three years for the man I was dating.

When she left and filed for divorce, she also stripped their ranch of furniture and all that wasn’t tied down. She brought a moving truck home one day and took everything inside their home. A hateful thing to do. The neighbor had watched the van fill up with belongings and told my husband this had happened while he remained at work.

After we married, the old ranch finally sold—with a first mortgage, a second mortgage and my husband’s ex-wife and new husband carrying back the third note. Thankfully, we were out of that arrangement living on a small ranch of our own. (They later sold that third note for cash and lost half of the value!) For all the trouble she’d caused us, as the saying goes, “It comes back to bite you.” 

After the sale, I packed the kitchen at the old ranch and found a full drawer she’d missed emptying out. It held condolence letters inside. While my husband packed from another room, I nosed around the envelopes. It’s a terrible thing to read another person’s mail, but in this case, I made an exception because they were left behind. All were addressed to my husband’s hellish ex-wife. I was surprised to find them, especially when I skimmed a few of the notes.

I asked my husband about his ex-wife’s father since the notes told of his untimely death. I was shocked to learn that he had been a successful dentist in the bay area and had jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, but no one knew why. I didn’t press further, and we gathered all of the cards and letters for the burn bin. The story left me with so many questions.

About ten years later, my husband mentioned that he’d heard his ex-father-in-law had reappeared in their home town of Livermore. How intriguing! Had he faked his death because of debt? Did he run away to be with another woman, or man? I have to wonder why he came back when he’d hatched the perfect escape plan where no one bothered to look for him. It mystifies me to this day. Read Mia and Nattie as well as my novel, Spent Identity. Some of these principles are shared there!   

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

I would use the power of time travel as long as I could return to my own time. My favorite time travel series is Outlander. Anyone who has read Ms. Gabaldon’s books falls in love with the main character, Claire and her Scottish hunk, Jamie. I have an idea for a time travel series to New Zealand in and around the latter part of the 19th century. One of my editors cut a section from an early draft of series book one stating simply, “No, no, no!” She was right to keep fantasy out of my current WIP series of mystery/romance, but I can still dream of using this idea going forward for a new series with a different protagonist.

  1. If one of your books were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?

I would like to pair two unlikely directors together for Spent Identity. Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood. Both are seasoned directors who excel in portraying broody mysteries and real-life drama. My lead actress to play Annalisse would be Anne Hathaway, and her love interest Alec would be played by Bradley Cooper. Alec’s mother, Generosa, would have to be Meryl Streep.

The locations in the series are international— winging to places like, Crete, Turkey, Grand Cayman, New Zealand, Sicily and Southern Italy. Home base for the movie will always be Manhattan or upstate New York where Alec’s estate is located. I’d also have James Cameron write the screenplay based on the novel. There would be big bucks involved to produce this movie!!

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

My advice to those who listen to books versus read would be simple. Do whatever is easiest to pick up a good story and transport yourself to another place. Not everyone has the time to pick up a book or use an ereader to go page by page. Listening is the next best thing, and authors will adore you either way!

Children’s picture books are quick reads, as I would imagine that parents and grandparents wish to read the books prior to giving them to young readers.

  1. How did you celebrate after finishing a children’s book or novel?

To celebrate the completion of Spent Identity I went online and shopped until I dropped. My husband Gregg knows my habits and doesn’t bat an eyelash, which helps!

He calls me the mail order queen because I found printed catalogs when I was a teenager, ordering the moment I opened my first checking account. My mail order business, Ewephoric, began in 1985 so I’ve been producing resale products for literally decades. Unique items not found in brick-and-mortar stores is my weakness. Making our sheep gift clients happy is a goal through my websites as well as my writing. We raise sheep and the business is tied to the sheep industry. Mia and Nattie: One Great Team is based on a true story about the lamb we raised in the laundry room. We did this only once, thankfully!

  1. What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

If you are serious about putting in the hours that it takes to become an accomplished author, I would suggest picking up as many books as possible on crafting good fiction or non-fiction. I must have gone through a hundred books before I realized how many bad habits I’d picked up by just reading the bestselling authors. Best Selling authors can break every writing rule there is. There are rules for most of us. Only when you’ve sold thousands of books can you willy-nilly break these rules. Speak to as many agents and editors as possible as well. Never edit your own work before publishing. We all have to self-edit during the process, but make sure that you’ve paid a professional editor or two to help you polish your work prior to publishing. Be diligent at getting the book proofread many times. If you miss a typo or two, trust me, your readers will mention it in their reviews!

  1. What’s next for you?

Novel three in the Annalisse Series, SCATTERED LEGACY!  My editor recently changed the placemark title of the book from Calico Raven to Scattered Legacy after she read and edited the first draft. The novel has a stunning cover that I’ll reveal to my followers and readers soon. I’m working on the second draft in January 2021. I hope to have Scattered Legacy out in 2021 if I don’t run into any snags and editing goes well. 

Annalisse and Alec are drawn into a murder that takes place in Bari, Italy. At first, they believe the victim is random, but soon find out that Alec is tied to the murdered woman by other means, and Annalisse’s past is drawn into events as the mystery unfolds.

This book will also be available in audio once it’s released in paperback and eBook.

A CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK makes its debut in 2020! MIA and NATTIE: One Great Team is my first book in this genre for children ages 3-7. This book has special meaning to me because it’s based on the true story of Natalie, the bottle lamb we raised in the laundry room. She lived with us for 13 years. It’s a heartwarming, read-aloud book for the entire family. Mia and Nattie is available in hardbound and eBook. The picture book also includes the option of a plush Nattie character that can be ordered on our sheep website: 

You will find Mia and Nattie to be a happy break from the sea of mindless children’s books without a plot or theme.


Meet the Author:

Marlene M. Bell is an award-winning writer, artist, and crazy sheep lady who resides in beautiful East Texas. Her renown sheep photographs grace the covers of many livestock magazines where she also writes newsy articles about raising sheep from her hands-on experience. Marlene offers the first of her children’s picture books, Mia and Nattie: One Great Team which is based on true events from the Bell’s ranch. It’s a touching story of compassion and love between a little girl and her lamb. Marlene shares her life with her husband and 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.

connect with the author:  website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ goodreads
Tour Schedule:
Jan 18 –Hall Ways Blog – book review / giveaway
Jan 18 –Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 19 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Jan 19 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 20 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 20 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Jan 21 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book review /giveaway
Jan 21 – The Momma Spot – book review / giveaway
Jan 21- Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 22 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 22 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review / giveaway
Jan 25 – Lisa’s Reading – book review / giveaway
Jan 25 – Older & Smarter? – book review / giveaway
Jan 25 – Twirling Book Princess – book review / giveaway
Jan 26 – Ice Fairy’s Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Jan 26 – Books, Tea, Healthy Me – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 27 – Authors.ace – book review
Jan 27 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / giveaway
Jan 28 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 28 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 29 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 29 – My Journey Back – book review / giveaway
Feb 1 – Reading is My Passion – book review
Feb 1 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 2 – Chit Chat With Charity – book review / giveaway
Feb 2 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review / giveaway
Feb 2 – Reading Authors Network – book review / giveaway
Feb 3 – Laura’s Interests – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 3 – Westveil Publishing – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 4 – Library of Clean Reads – book review / giveaway
Feb 4 – I’d Rather Be At The Beach – book review / giveaway
Feb 5 – I’m Into Books – book review /giveaway

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