Friday Cover Share: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Happy Friday, SEers! Mae here, with my first cover share of the year. Shari Lapena is one of my auto-buy authors, but when I first saw the book cover below, I had no idea who she was.

book cover for An Unwanted Guest shows dark figure approaching isolated house in a snowstormI spied An Unwanted Guest over the summer while visiting family in North Carolina. I walked into the Barnes & Noble in Wake Forest and the book was on a front-facing display inside the door. I made a beeline for it, the combination of title and ominous cover a magnet. Notice I say “combination.”

Without the title, the picture could be welcoming. Granted, the figure is a silhouette, but there’s a home in the background with a welcoming light in the window. Add the snowstorm and that glow becomes a cozy haven for someone to escape the cold. Could be a long lost son returning home at Christmas time, or a traveler in need of lodging.  Yeah, I know . . . glass half full, right?

Now <cue eerie music> add the title, and suddenly the combination of figure and blizzard take on a sinister tone. The light becomes a flicker struggling to remain lit in the darkness, which becomes oppressive. Toss in the blurb, and I think the publisher hit it out of the park.

An Unwanted Guest
A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in and try to make the best of it.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm. . . and one another.


I won’t veer into how much I enjoyed this novel (5 Stars!), since that’s not the purpose of this post, but I will say the cover is spot on. The menacing claustrophobic atmosphere conjured by the artwork pervades the book. If you’d like to check out An Unwanted Guest for yourself, here’s the Amazon link. Happy reading!

In the meantime, I’d love to know if the cover would entice you to explore this book further. Stay a while and share your thoughts. Ready, set, go!

bio box for author Mae Clair

34 thoughts on “Friday Cover Share: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

  1. That is a cover that catches my eye, too. The shadow figure and snowy background with the distant house indicates a mystery to me. It would be a cover buy for me for sure and it sounds like a great read, too, Mae!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A year ago, I would have told you cold-colored covers didn’t appeal to me like earth tones or warm colors. (My favorite color is orange; maybe that’s why.) Lately, though, I’ve been drawn to the cold side of the palette—greens, blues, purples. This one really struck me. That snow scene and the house really appeal to me. I don’t know if I like the gray of the title. I think I’d like it to look a little frostier. Maybe a tad brighter or with some kind of texture to the letters. And maybe the red is a little warm. It certainly pops off the cover, though. Yeah, this is a book I’d definitely take a second look at. And after reading the blurb, I’d buy it. In fact, I think I’m going to go to iBooks now. Great choice, Mae.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always been drawn to cooler tones then warm, but then my favorite color is blue. Weirdly though, I love the original cover for The Last Days of Night which was done in warm tones (the second one was in the cooler spectrum of blues and greens). I do think the title being frostier would make it pop more. I’m glad I’ve enticed you. I think I you will love this book, but I will add it’s written in third person present tense. Shari Lapena does that so well, but I know not everyone enjoys that tense. She has me hooked!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I really love the idea of being snowbound with a storm raging outside for a suspense novel. I just finished another book that utilized that theme, stranding a group of travelers and a killer at a rest area. I’m thinking about using a winter setting in an upcoming novel. It really builds a sense of claustrophobia.


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