Monday, February 23, 2015

Author Notes on LOVE AT THE TOP

LOVE AT THE TOP, my trendy contemporary romance novel, gives a modern-day twist to a fairytale setup: Millionaire Marries Working Girl. Nowadays I would use: BILLIONAIRE Marries Working Girl, but what’s a few extra million in today’s economy?!

The characters, Alex and Cassidy had to meet without her knowing his true identity and that she would soon be working for him. This was an intriguing challenge. What needed to be in place so that Cassidy wouldn’t recognize Alex when she first saw her boss Mr. Hayden-Smith? What kind of person did she need to be for Alex to fall in love with her? All these factors add spice to the story.


I truly enjoyed writing LOVE AT THE TOP, and imbuing the book with New York City’s living pulse, along with experiencing the joys and sorrows Cassidy and Alex face, plus laughing at the antics of the comedic characters. Novel Books, Inc. soon picked up this frothy tale.

What if a lonely woman's dream man turned out to be her arrogant, new boss?

LOVE AT THE TOP earned Best-Seller status on several sites including 5 star standing on Amazon.com. My book was also selected as a finalist in the prestigious EPIC Awards (now EPIC eBook Award) for Best Contemporary Romance.


After the publishing house closed, Awe-Struck Books (Mundania Press) signed LOVE AT THE TOP, where it is still available for your reading pleasure, also at Amazon.com and other internet sites.

For those of you who enjoy reading about tidbits from my life that appear in my books, I also worked in downtown Manhattan as Cassidy does, and in addition, one of my jobs there was in a personnel (now Human Resources) department. I would often wander the streets on my lunch hour, usually eating a pretzel or a knish.

Walking down Broadway to the park by City Hall, Cassidy shielded her eyes from the bright sun. She was glad she’d changed her mind about lunch. Her office's four walls had seemed to close in on her. She had to escape to the outside, to the sunlight.
Her stomach rumbled, so she stopped at a street vendor's stand and bought a steaming hot pretzel and a Coke. Not much of a lunch, but it was better than being stuck in her office.

One of the wonderful benefits to writing is that I can indulge my imagination and travel wherever my story takes me. With LOVE AT THE TOP, I traveled back home to New York and I also got to “visit” Denver!

A side note: I first conceived LOVE AT THE TOP when the World Trade Center towers were standing tall, majestically silhouetted against the other Manhattan skyscrapers. Symbolically, the towers stood for LOVE AT THE TOP, just as Denver the mile-high city stood for LOVE AT THE TOP. I dedicate my novel to all of us who have lost loved ones on September 11th, and to future generations who can never experience the beauty of the towers firsthand.

Artist’s rendering of a possible cover pre-9/11/2001

Now that you know the inside scoop on LOVE AT THE TOP, I hope you enjoy Cassidy and Alex’s story.

Happy reading,

Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Author Notes on GRAVE FUTURE

GRAVE FUTURE, my paranormal romantic suspense novel, has a very interesting history. If I had to choose one word to describe the book itself, I’d pick “persistent.” As you read on, you’ll understand why!

GRAVE FUTURE was first conceived for a New York publishing line that had the theme: Is he going to kiss her or kill her? In other words, the hero needed to be a mysterious character. Maybe he was good, maybe he was bad.

The good news was that the publishing line liked it. The bad news was that it folded before GRAVE FUTURE had a chance. Then Dreams Unlimited acquired the book and published it in 1999. Although I’d written a few books before GRAVE FUTURE, this is my first book published.
An innocent tourist is stranded in an isolated cabin with a hostile stranger, an eerie fireplace, and a Shakespeare-quoting ghost.

GRAVE FUTURE soon gained best-seller status, garnering a Gottawrite.com Award Winner Favorite and many 5 star reviews including Euro-Reviews and Amazon.com. Unfortunately, that publisher went out of business, but GRAVE FUTURE was soon picked up by LTDBooks.
What if a Shakespeare-quoting ghost found a way to avenge his death?

Again, my paranormal romantic suspense was on a best-seller list. But this publisher also closed its doors. However, Awe-Struck eBooks (Mundania Press) acquired the book and reincarnated GRAVE FUTURE where it has remained for your reading pleasure!

Now you know why I think GRAVE FUTURE is persistent!

In my books, I like to include a few experiences from my life. Since GRAVE FUTURE is a dark suspense, I used some background from my job at the federal Drug Enforcement Agency to enhance the novel. I also worked at a federal correctional facility, where my training on how to use firearms came in handy! In addition, I actually did get lost in the Poconos while looking for a friend’s summer home, and the car was, in fact, a yellow Triumph! My tiny car, unlike Jocelyn’s, fortunately survived the trip.

One more real life connection: GRAVE FUTURE features a fireplace that seems to be a gateway to Hell! One of the houses I lived in inspired (!) me to write this passage:

“Even the pitted black stones of the fireplace contributed to doom and gloom. A floor-to-ceiling ebony slab of hardened lava rock? She’d never seen anything so ugly or so full of misery. She fingered the gritty exterior of the stones. Nothing tranquil about these rocks. Propelled from the bowels of the earth, they seemed to harbor age-old secrets, age-old resentments.”

So there you have it. Get ready for chills, spills, and... a Shakespeare-quoting ghost. Who could ask for anything more?? GRAVE FUTURE's future is very bright, indeed.

I hope you enjoy Jocelyn and Dan’s story.

Happy reading,

Susanne

Susanne Marie Knight
www.susanneknight.com
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sir Joshua Reynolds–Artist Extraordinaire

When writing novels, authors spent countless hours doing research. It comes with the territory. My collection of thirty-three (and counting!) novels plus numerous short stories all have pages and pages of information that I’ve gathered to help me create realistic stories. But including too much research in a novel can be a kiss of death. And sometimes, I’ve found, all the hours of research boil down to only one line in the novel, but it’s an important line… and I know it’s accurate as well!

In two of my Regency romances, both of them are time-travels: THE QUESTING BOX and TIMELESS DECEPTION, I’ve used the influential English artist, Sir Joshua Reynolds, to give an authentic flavor to my books. Here is an article I wrote a while ago on this painter to give me some insight on him as a person.

First, some background on art. The beginning of the eighteenth century saw the end of the Baroque style of painting as exemplified by Anthony Van Dyck, Flemish, (1599-1641). The Baroque era was known for its masculine tone and portraits of pompous majesty. The death of the French king Louis XIV in 1715 ushered in a new style: Rococo, a style that was famous for its feminine influence. Small details, fluid lines, and lavish design all characterized the Rococo school. Fran├žois Boucher, French, (1703-1770) is an example of this luxuriousness and wanton frivolity.

But the pendulum of taste soon swung to an emotional feeling; more serious and moralistic (typical of a Cancer Sun Sign). This Romantic style stresses the concept of naturalness or “Grand Style” versus the artificially of the Baroque and the Rococo.

The chief proponent of this style is Sir Joshua Reynolds, English (16 July 1723 – 23 February 1792—Sun Sign: Cancer). In theory, Reynolds expounded the Baroque style but in practice he used the natural element in his paintings. Below is his self-portrait painted circa 1776. (Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

He was the one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Arts and became its first president in 1768—a position he kept until his death. Reynolds was also the first to adopt the style of the European masters and, in doing so, raised the standard so that English painters were no longer considered technicians of a menial trade. Because of Reynolds, it was now fashionable for English nobility to have their portraits done by their own. He grew famous and was besieged by commissions. In recognition of Reynolds’ contribution to art, King George III knighted him in 1769.

Reynolds also changed the look of English portraiture. His greatest works are those intimate portraits with casual but studied negligence. LORD HEATHFIELD, 1787, (below) is striking in the comparison of the turbulent background of Gibraltar with the calm, unidealized face of Lord Heathfield. (Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)


COLONEL GEORGE K. H. COUSSMAKER, 1782, (below) lounges gracefully against a tree; his horse’s neck curving down at the colonel’s boots. This is a very unusual pose. (Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)


But Reynolds’ most memorable portrait is of MRS. ABINGTON AS MISS PRUE IN "LOVE FOR LOVE" BY WILLIAM CONGREVE, 1771, (below). In addition to being an actress, Mrs. Frances Abington was a former member of the demimonde. Here, she gazes out at the audience while reflecting, and sucks her thumb as a reflex action! (Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Regrettably, most of Sir Joshua Reynolds’ paintings have faded due to his experimentation with paint medium. It wasn’t unusual for him to try different mixtures of wax, varnish, and egg without allowing proper drying time. Even in the art patron’s own lifetime, sections of the paint would fall away or buckle from Reynolds’ unorthodox combinations.

Damaged or in fine repair, Sir Joshua Reynolds’ paintings are lovely visions of a world long vanished.

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So there you have it: a concise snippet on Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Susanne

Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!

 The Questing Box 
The Questing Box, 5 Stars, Reader Favorite!

 Timeless Deception 
Timeless Deception, 5 Stars, PEARL AWARD NOMINEE for Best Time-Travel AND
GOLDEN ROSE NOMINEE for Best Time-Travel 





Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series Now In PRINT!

Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series
Just in time for Valentine's Day!!! My Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series published by Desert Breeze Publishing is now available both in electronic format AND in print. That's right, all six books are on sale in paperback at:
 http://www.amazon.com/author/susanneknight

Titles include:
The Bloodstained Bistro--Case 1
The Ill-gotten Insurance--Case 2
The Duplicitous Divorce--Case 3
The Virtual Valentine--Case 4 (Perfect for February!)
The Yuletide Yorkshire--Case 5
The Embezzled Envelope--Case 6

Hope you enjoy!

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!
Susanne

Susanne Marie Knight
http://www.susanneknight.com
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!