Thursday, September 6, 2018

Book Tour and Giveaway: When a Stranger Comes by Karen S. Bell

When a Stranger Comes...
Karen S. Bell

Psychological Thriller
Readers' Favorite is proud to announce that "When a Stranger Comes..." by Karen S. Bell won the Bronze Medal in the Fiction - Thriller - Psychological category


Would you be willing to make a deal with the devil to have your hopes and dreams come true?

Witnessing a lightening bolt on a sunny day, author Alexa Wainwright doesn't realize she's been transported to an alternate universe. Here, she meets media mogul and publisher King Blakemore who offers her a lucrative book contract that will guarantee her comeback.

This publisher seems odd. This book deal is too good. Suddenly, the contract's been signed. Now what can she do?

Desperate to get her life back, Alexa devises schemes to untether herself from this hellish existence but to no avail. Can Alexa find her way out of this nightmare?

Buy this book if you're a reader who loves a page-turning, heart-stopping, psychological thriller with some magical realism thrown in.

"RIVETING"--Kirkus Reviews

Jerry was my mother’s most recent beau. No one can call her because of security. Also, due to the delicate aspect and precision of the work, none of the scientists wanted to be disturbed by ringing phones. When she wasn’t at the observatory she was asleep. So she made all the calls and everyone respected that, even me. This latest project was top secret because it was funded by NASA, the results solely owned by the agency. It was kind of fun thinking of my mother as a NASA scientist involved in a high stakes game.

Maybe she was really at Area 51 interviewing aliens. I pictured the aliens looking at my mother with awe and wonder. She’s tiny, only about 5 feet, like the grays, those big-eyed aliens of myth and legend, but she wears dangerously high heels to disguise her height. Her blazing red hair is cropped short and her enormous blue eyes, aided by colored contacts, are mesmerizing and make her appear touched by the gods. She’s a curvy size 6 with ample breasts and can pull off wearing body conscious clothing of tight jeans and boob hugging tops. No stodgy scientist attire for her even at her age, which she won’t tell me.

I assume she’s at least in her late-40’s or early-50’s because I’m 31. Sometime ago, I found a hard to read birth certificate but she told me it was fake. So her exact age remains a mystery. With limitless energy and a magnetic personality, she attracts all within her purview. In articles written about her, she has been described as a fireball, a force to be reckoned with, a dynamo, and so on. I’ve tried to capture her essence, her vitality, to own it for myself, but alas, I never could. The genetic pool of my DNA must favor my father, whom I have never met or even seen in photos. I would have loved to be a red head and have her coloring, but my hair is nearly black and so are my eyes. No one would describe me as petite at 5 feet 7 inches and although I’m slender, I can’t get my butt into her jeans or walk for very long on the circus clown stilts that she calls heels and wears even when home.

“Coffee and sandwiches are ready,” Margaret calls from the kitchen.

I waddle into the kitchen, still in my bathrobe and slippers and grab a sandwich and almost swallow it whole without chewing. I realize that I haven’t eaten since yesterday, my absorption into grammar, style, and usage being my sole focus. It will be a relief to hand it off to Margaret. Even with her meshugas, Yiddish for craziness, her input will be invaluable. Margaret watches me wolf down the food and sits down with me at the kitchen table in the breakfast nook of my chef’s kitchen. The kitchen has all the current trends in design with its concrete countertops, stainless steel Miele appliances, and multi-colored mosaic glass tile backsplash. The rage. It opens to the living room/dining room combo where the untouched packet can be seen still on the coffee table from the week before and it still looks…sinister.
I get so much satisfaction in the writing process. I take care to choose just the right word, to make sure each sentence has the right cadence. I appreciate other writers who respect the craft in this way, and I hope my readers do so with me. Writing is a need, a desire for expression, and springs from well within my subconscious mind. Thoughts rise up, scenes rise up and blend in with the over-arching story. These thoughts emerge whenever they want to and wherever I am and probably not when I am at the computer. The computer is for the craft, the technique. The thoughts come during walks, or while driving the car, or at the grocery store. I am the willing recipient of these thoughts and so they seek me out. It's a mystery this business and art of writing and it keeps me enthralled.

Advice I would give new authors:

Write for the love of it. If you are set on making a living at it get admitted to the best writing programs at the best universities. Work the connections you make there. For the rest of us that can’t do that or who started writing after college like me, don’t quit your jobs, or live with someone who is willing to pay all the bills. I guess if you have the money and time go to writing conferences, I didn’t, so you can try to build connections with agents. Agents are looking for blockbusters or aren’t looking for new clients so having connections is key. There is a deluge of writer’s out there competing for the limited audience of readers who will take a chance on an unknown, who happen to read your genre, who read at all. Name recognition comes with big marketing expenditures if you self-publish. Some get lucky and get a following. But if they don’t have the writing chops, it doesn’t last.

So try and be touched by the gods or just enjoy the process. I’ve written three books that most people haven’t read. I will probably be unknown for my entire writing experiment. But who knows? Maybe after I’m dead I’ll hit it big because as long as Amazon is in business my books will be for sale.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


  1. My question is where do you get your ideas for your stories.

    1. From my life experiences. Walking with Elephants was inspired by my experiences in the workplace and being a working mother and how this country does not have customs in place that respect motherhood. Other countries make it much easier for a woman to have a career and be a mother
      Sunspots was a catharsis of sorts because it deals with the loss of a spouse which unfortunately happened to me. When a Stranger a riff on the publishing industry from my perspective that also has a message about the overwhelming greed in our society. In fact, in my books I try to address social issues to which we all can relate.

  2. My question is what is the most interesting thing you found while researching?

    1. Well, I love Google Earth. My MC went to Moscow in a time travel sequence and I so I did too, while sitting at my computer. It was fabulous. I saw images in 3D, stills and was able to flesh out that sequence as if I had been there myself. Now I would really like to go to Moscow instead of virtually.

  3. I liked the cover. The lightening strike is very dramatic.

  4. Plain yet a bit interesting. I like the blurb it makes me want to read the book.

  5. Sounds like a great book! Best wishes on your tour.
    How do you get inspired to write?

    1. My debut was a story I was itching to tell. I've always liked to write and it comes easy once I set my mind to it. I wrote my debut years before stories about working mothers had hit the scene but I couldn't get it traditionally published. As a working mother, I felt lucky that I could stay home until my babies were school age. Most women don't have that luxury. But there are sacrifices, those that start careers and then have children have to somehow fit in all the demands of parenting and work. Those like me who wait, never really get a career going. It's a dilemma that men don't seem to have.

  6. What do you think of the book or the cover?

    i love Lightning ,i can look at it for ages so i live that cover

  7. I like it! dream job?


  8. Thanks for sharing the great post, I enjoyed reading the excerpt!

  9. This sounds really good! Thanks for hosting.

  10. I love the cover it's very striking . giggle

    1. I see what you did there, haha.

      Your comment really did make me laugh out loud!!