Another award—oh my!

Press release:

Contact:Karen S. Bell at or


KAREN S. BELL receives national recognition through the NEW YORK CITY BIG BOOK AWARD®!

Ponte Vedra, Fl — The NYC BIG BOOK AWARD recognized When a Stranger Comes… in the category of Paranormal Thriller as a distinguished favorite.

The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award winners and distinguished favorites are based on overall excellence.

When a Stranger Comes… is a paranormal thriller or psychological thriller.


Author Alexa Wainwright vows to do whatever it takes to attain the heady ego-stroking success of her debut several years back. But is she really? Witnessing an out-of-the-blue lightning bolt whose giant tendrils spread over the blue sky and city streets below her loft window, Alexa doesn’t realize just how this vow will be tested as she’s magically transported to an alternate reality. In this universe, the characters from her books are given the breath of life and she meets publisher, King Blakemore, who just might be the Devil himself. At first, she shrugs off her doubts about this peculiar publisher and very lucrative book deal offer because the temptation of riches and refound fame is too strong. But all too soon, Alexa realizes she’s trapped in an underworld of evil from which she desperately wants to escape. Immediately, she finds herself in an iron-clad book contract that changes its wording whenever she thinks of a loophole. Alexa’s pact with the Devil is an allegory for the evil lurking in our midst. The social decay of modern society with its excessive greed, the ignorance of our political leaders, and our indifference toward the survival of all species from the effects of climate change, among other environmental pressures, are perhaps brought forth by the darkest forces of human nature.

In 2020, the NYC Big Book Award once again achieved worldwide participation.  Entries remained strong during the worldwide pandemic. Book submissions streamed in from six continents and over 100 cities. Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America all participated.  Across the globe, book entries poured in from places such as Budapest, Capetown, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, New York City, Port of Spain, Vancouver and Victoria to name a few.  Winners were recognized globally from Australia, Canada, England, India, Singapore, Uganda and the United States of America among others.

The breadth of publishers ranged from Amazon to Wiley, from Black Rose Writing to She Writes Press.  Our award-winning authors are from all kinds of different backgrounds and enrich the program.  We are proud of such diversity of winners and distinguished favorites in the annual NYC Big Book Award.

“We are pleased to highlight these books, recognize their excellence, and share their achievements.” said awards sponsor Gabrielle Olczak.  The awards program “foments a strong interest in these authors and publishing houses and we expect our winners and favorites to receive a heightened level of attention.”  Olczak went on to say that “excellent books can be found globally, and we are happy to help bring them to a larger audience.”

For more information, please visit:  To view the list of winners, visit; Distinguished Favorites listed here:

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2020 the year we all went nuts

As I sit in my house day after day, I’ve learned to only watch and hour or so of the news. However, I check twitter more frequently and I’ve come to learn some disturbing truths. All of humanity is off the rails. COVID 19 has turned us all into blobs of hate or stupidity. If we had achieved a higher-self version of ourselves previous to this mental apocalypse, it’s gone. Being shut away with only the news or social media as a connection to other people is not good. A person can become twisted, depressed, and paranoid. I have become all of these things. It’s good to be a writer to be able to use these emotions in my work because people like to read about twisted, depressed, and paranoid people. Only it is so widespread now that reading about it turns out to NOT be escapism.

Our current government is so messed up and moving toward fascism that one wonders if we should fight it or just sit back and watch the destruction of Democracy. Americans voted in a con man who is cruel, evil, and quite dumb. But he has a steadfast base of support who are ecstatic to have been given permission to finally be open about hating minorities. They will even vote against their own best interests. They don’t care if somewhat affordable health insurance is taken away, they commit suicide attending mask-free indoor rallies, and hope that women, even these women in his base, will die again from illegal back-alley abortions. Because they will have them anyway, like before.

This government has decided that not only do they not care if we all die from COVID, at least 6 million of us to get herd immunity, we can also starve to death because they decided to not give a helping hand in stimulus money to so many of us who are in need because of lost wages or lost jobs. Our economy also got trashed when people feared getting this disease and stopped eating in restaurants and going out and spending money because COVID can not only can kill you but it can give you lingering dangerous after effects. Like heart and lung problems and cognitive problems.

But these supporters of this carny are cult-like in their devotion, like religious zealots who’s give money to televangelist ministers who live like royalty. These followers are sheep willing to be slaughtered just to be in the presence of a man who actually hates them. Only uses them for power, and uses his power to garner wealth. They starve, they die, they pledge their allegiance for a television celebrity who created a fake persona that they think is real. A snake-oil salesman who promises everything and gives nothing.

In the history of our Earth, when environmental collapse, accelerated by this con man for the benefit of wealthy oil men who give him money, turns this planet into a barren wasteland, the only good thing that will come of this is that no one will know about the year 2020 when we all went nuts. Remember the year 200,000BC on Mars? Right. You don’t.

There is no Martian history that anyone has written about. And there will be no humans left to write about 2020 on Earth.

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The great mask war of 2020

The presidency of donald trump will be remembered as the most scandalous in modern history. The litany of scandals range from his campaign managers getting prison terms, to pushing harmful ways to kill the COVID-19 virus to hiring shady characters in key position who wind up resigning in disgrace or pushed out because they weren’t sycophantic enough.  But the worst thing this con man has done was to make not wearing a mask a sign of loyalty to him. One would have to wonder at the cognitive dissonance of his supporters, in other words, how stupid are his followers? How could wearing a mask in a pandemic that will not subside in this country be an area of contention?

When we look around at the world, we find that masks have flattened the curve, that opening economies with caution have kept the virus contained when spiking in isolated areas and from becoming a full blown infection spread like in this country. We are back to square one in the USA. We stayed home for nothing, our economy tanked for nothing, people lost their jobs for nothing.

Blatantly stupid republican leaders seeking favor from our demented president took the stance that masks were unnecessary. So going without masks became an iconic demonstration of support for an idiot, for death, and for the virus to wreak havoc until there’s a vaccine or proven therapy. Months of infection and death await us.

So good for you republicans. You win the support of your cult-like sheep. Venture out and become murderers, infect your loved ones, follow the lead of an idiot. I hope you’re happy when states close again because there are no more ICU beds. I hope you can be proud of your stupidity when restaurants close and never re-open. I hope you survive COVID when you eventually get it. But you probably won’t survive. You are lemmings following a moron to your death. You might, also, take high risk people like me who wear masks along with you, because widespread infection will be hard to escape no matter what. Trump will be convicted of bank fraud and tax fraud when he is no longer president. You gave your life for a low-life criminal. You gave your life for nothing but your own blind stupidity.

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Are we marching towards fascism?

We are living in terrible times. Horrific. A virus is sweeping the globe and leaving death and destruction of economies in its wake. A petrie dish for a rise in authoritarianism. And  for all organic events what can happen does happen. I never thought I’d see my country become a breeding ground for fascism. This can’t be possible in the United States of America–oh but it is. Our economy has been ravished by lockdown orders that held the virus in check but destroyed businesses and industries. Now that they are lifting, people are acting as if there is no more virus. Behaving irresponsibly in some states and therefore one expects a spike in cases. If that happens then the lockdown was for naught.

Hand in hand with this tragedy of irresponsibility comes the con artist and blithering demented moron president held up by self-serving greedy legislators in the GOP and Vladimir Putin. There is no doubt that this fool is getting lessons from his frequent calls to Putin, who wants to destroy our country. Putin is very happy with his useful idiot who he got elected. trump also has a fascination with Hitler–and kept Hitler’s speeches at his bedside table for night-time reading, Ivana trump told the world about that in her divorce papers.

It is  heartening to see people all over the world denounce the racism and murder of a man just because he was Black. What is scary is trump’s and the GOP’s response. Military presence, illegal use of teargas against Americans who have a right in our Constitution to assemble, rubber bullets hitting Americans. Well, we need to control those rioters and looters. How about finding out who these looters are? Turns out they are white supremacists given the nod to cause havoc–trump supporters who would love to see Blacks incarcerated for the looters’ crimes.

Where does this leave us? As for me I’m terrified that trump will mess with the November election, if he can’t stop vote by mail, he will close down the post office. He and his sycophants are drumming up a case against Obama and, in turn, Joe Biden because of Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in trump’s election. What? I remember when our elected officials in the GOP were not owned by Russian oligarchs but that time has long passed.

If there is an election in November we need to vote as if our lives depend on it, because it does. If there is not an election, we need to learn Russian or move to another country. Not a great choice. Or, a new civil war may be happening. Pick your side. I’m against fascism, how about you?

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Being a writer in the time of Covid–or any other time

Everyday, I check my sales. Pretty stupid and depressing. Sometimes there is a Kindle Unlimited reader or two, and just the other day there was an unexpected surprise–two paperback sales from expanded distribution where my royalty is about a buck. Unless I pay for an email promotion there are no random sales. I’m having several social media promos right now and nothing, zilch, nada. I drop my price to 99 cents and still nothing so then I pop it back up. What’s the point of just throwing my hours of creativity away for a measly 99 cents before Amazon takes its cut if it doesn’t spur sales?

So I now I’m  working on what I think will be my last project and trying to be motivated. It’s hard in the time of Covid to write fiction when you feel like you are living in a dystopia nightmare. People willy nilly get the virus. Most don’t know how. People die quickly, people take time to die and suffer greatly, and people get better. No one knows why there are differences. And low and behold there are some people who have it and nothing happens to them. No symptoms. Unknown carriers of death. If that makes a person want to just stay in bed, I get it. But there are people who want to get out, still think it’s a hoax because their brains haven’t ripened and they believe the monster in the WH who doesn’t give a crap about anyone. So they go out, don’t wear masks, and breathe all over everyone. Killers they are.

Toilet paper shortages, paper towel shortages, and now a break in our food supply. It’s like right outside my window there are riots and looting. Chaos in the streets. Mayhem. Well not yet but it feels like any moment it will happen because the government has failed us with shutting down businesses and not getting money fast enough into peoples hands so they can go to the store and not find toilet paper or food. Empty shelves getting emptier.

So why would anyone want to spend three bucks of the money they don’t have to buy a book? My book? Well, we all need something to do. Why not read? And really, why not read one of my books? They are really good, I say humbly. If you can’t buy Charmin you can use the money for a Kindle book or buy the paperback and recycle it for TP after you’ve finished.

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