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Publisher's Summary

2019 Florida Author Project Winner for adult fiction!
2018 Readers' Favorite Bronze Medal Winner!
Read Freely 50 Best Indie Books of 2019!

Unputdownable Faustian thriller! Greed, entrapment, and the world of book publishing.

"Riveting" (Kirkus Reviews)

Author Alexa Wainwright is losing her mojo. Her latest works aren't selling like her internationally best-selling debut. She vows to do whatever it takes to get back to being number one. But is she really?

As she makes this vow, suddenly a lightning bolt cracks across the cloudless sky transporting the clueless Alexa to an alternate universe. Here, the characters in her books are given the breath of life and she meets media mogul, publisher, and possibly the devil himself, King Blakemore, who offers her a lucrative but ironclad book contract that will guarantee her comeback. Alexa slowly realizes it might be more than just a contract for a book deal. Desperate to get her life back, she devises schemes to untether herself from this hellish existence.

Buy this book if you're a listener who loves a pause-resisting, heart-stopping, psychological thriller with some magical realism thrown in.

©2017 Karen S. Bell (P)2019 Karen S. Bell

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What listeners say about When a Stranger Comes

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Bit Haphazard

I received this book for free. I am voluntarily posting this review and all opinions expressed herein are my own.

This book has an intriguing blurb - which I loved. I loved the beginning of the book, but unfortunately, not so much the MC Alexa. Then this book was sort of all over the place. At one point, Alexa understands what's occurring and decides to fight against it but the next minute she is involved in a sex orgy. I just did not like the wishy-washyness of the MC. I also did not enjoy the information dumps which would occur periodically throughout the book. The villain, in a very long monologue, would provide an incredible amount of information - which after a while, you just sort of tune out. There were parts of this book which I really liked but overall, this was just okay for me.

The author is the narrator for this book. I usually do not like authors who narrate their own books. Narration is a skill and when done well will really elevate a book. While her narration was not awful, I wished she had used a professional narrator. At times the audio was muffled, her US northeastern accent was not completely fitting with this book, and she failed to raise the level of emotion required for this story. There were interesting bits throughout the book - such as speeding up and slowing down the narration for character effect which I thought were quite good.

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Five stars

Really unique to have the author narrating their own book. Highly recommended I enjoyed the book!

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Great book!

I love that the book was narrated by the author! Very unique. Great story, I would definitely recommend it.

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Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 12-19-19

Rich, rich, beyond my wildest dreams.

As Alexa speculates on the possible success of her new tri!ogy, wishing for the fame and fortune her debut book had fleetingly brought to her, she is unknowingly transported to an alternate reality where her wish is about to come frighteningly true. Despite thoroughly enjoying many aspects of her new life style - the sex, the private island and more money than she could even sent in spending, she is repelled by her perceived situation, including her apparent power over life and death - and wishes things back the way they had been before. But how can that ever happen now?

Despite Alexa being a thoroughly unlikable main character writing in the first person, the initial half of the book is intriguing as she struggles to understand what is happening to her. But as the story unfolds and becomes more obviously paranormal rather than psychological, at least for this reader, it began to lose charm and the ability to hold interest. She seemed to be making far too much fuss over something she had deliberately brought on herself and others and, anyway, I simply did not care. The epilogue was slightly more interesting, however.

Author Karen Bell read her own story on the audiobook, not always the wisest of decisions, but in this case, justified. Her middle timbre voice was a little dull, tending to be monotonous at times, but for the most part conveyed the emotion written into the text, with reasonably good intonation and her voicing of other characters was excellent, with the exception of the British accent attributed to the chauffeur. Her reading was slow, however, and increasing play back speed to 1.25 helped without affecting the quality.

My thanks to the rights holder of When a Stranger Came, who, at my request via Audiobook Boom, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy. I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the premise and the first half of the story but then felt that not only did the tale spin out of control but was too long, the main protagonist too unlikable to hold audience empathy and that psychological was far more interesting than paranormal, anyway. But the book has made an impression even though I doubt if I would recommend it to anyone other than a paranormal fan.