Monday, June 29, 2015


Time is catching up with my very popular time-travel Regency romance, REGENCY SOCIETY REVISITED. When I first began plotting the story, the start date for this near future book was 2010. As that year was too close to its release year in 2007, REGENCY SOCIETY REVISITED now begins in 2020. Before we know it, it WILL be 2020!

A bit of history on this genesis for this book: Back during the latter part of the last century (!), stories with actual time machines were frowned upon by traditional publishers. For some reason, it was felt that time-travel machines were too farfetched. So instead, walking through mirrors, having magic lockets, going to sleep and waking up in the past were some of the methods used as devices for time-travel. I ask you, aren’t those schemes even more farfetched than using science to create a machine?!

To continue, I’d already used electrical storms (SOJOURN THROUGH TIME), a magic Celtic moon (LORD DARVER’S MATCH), a mystic’s spell (TIMELESS DECEPTION). Now I wanted something different: an actual, honest-to-goodness time-travel machine! Shocking! I invented the Time Displacement Wave (TDW) with science behind it... and rules. These rules helped to shape the story. For example:

            1. Only worthy projects--those that will enhance knowledge of the past--are selected for the honor of time-travel.
2. A span of no more than six hundred backwards is all that is allowed. Travel to the future hasn’t been invented yet.
3. In addition to the time-traveler, only forty pounds of material can be taken back to the past. These objects can remain in the past or brought back to the present, however nothing created in the past can be brought back through the Time Displacement Wave into the present.
            4. The journey lasts one entire year. And, the only time the traveler can return to the present is one year to the day from when he or she left. The return time has a very small window of opportunity. If it is missed, then the traveler remains in the past.

Cool, right?

Duty or Love? In the year 2020, anthropologist Serenity Steele's research assignment is to travel back into the past--however, she doesn't count on the many attractions of a certain Regency rake. Should she ignore her obligations and stay in the past... or should she leave behind the man she loves?

An Enchanting Dilemma: In the year 1812, Nicholas Wycliffe, the toplofty Lord Brockton, has no desire to take a wife, especially a mysterious widow who doesn't live by society's rules. But what is he to make of the enchanting "Mrs." Steele, who not only refuses to discuss her past, she also has the audacity to turn him down when he proposes marriage?

REGENCY SOCIETY REVISITED has been with Awe-Struck Publishing (Mundania Press) from the beginning. This book is part of Awe-Struck’s prestigious Phaeton Regency line. However, it’s very possible that the publisher for this book will change soon. Stay tuned!

REGENCY SOCIETY REVISITED also achieved #1 bestseller status at, 5 stars on, and multiple 5 stars review on Goodreads.

Anthropologist Serenity Steele meets her heart’s desire in the form of a short-tempered Regency rake, Nicholas Wycliffe.

You can view REGENCY SOCIETY REVISITED’s book trailer here. Music is by Kevin MacLeod, Sinfonia3.

Real life tidbit: As I wrote in the Author Notes blog on COMPETITORS!, my major in college was anthropology, and while my area of personal interest was physical anthropology, my actual major was cultural anthropology like REGENCY SOCIETY REVISITED’s protagonist, Serenity Steele. And like Serenity, I also wrote monographs on anthropological topics.

Originally, REGENCY SOCIETY REVISITED was to be the name of Serenity’s research on the Regency period. The actual name of the novel was to be REFORMATION OF A RAKE. The completed book was huge; it was a very ambitious project that, eventually, was whittled down to its present length. Included in this novel were pages from Serenity’s anthropological manuscript and notes.

Soon, I’ll be offering this Companion Booklet on Serenity’s study on Regency England. It goes hand-in-hand with the time-travel Regency, REGENCY SOCIETY REVISITED. Those of you familiar with the story will recognize the characters and some of the situations that generated Serenity’s report. Included are these major topics:

Aggression and Conflict
Family and Kinship
Heath Care
Social Organization, Rank, and Inequality

Below is an excerpt on Aggression and Conflict, subtopic Political Assassination so that you can get a feel for what the booklet includes.

AGGRESSION AND CONFLICT (Dr. Steele’s manuscript)
          Political Assassination

Assassinations have run rampant throughout history. From ancient Rome’s Julius Caesar to England’s Prime Minister Burton Haydorp in the twenty-first century, elimination of political rulers represents a strong fiber interweaving humankind’s past, present, and, in all probability, future. When individuals or groups go beyond their culture’s due process of law and take matters into their own hands, then anarchy, for a time, results. As the author states in “Jalè War Practices,”
From an anthropological perspective, [assassination]
is an individual’s personal method of declaring war.1
Though some assassins do achieve their goal, fortunately, most fail. The Regency period and surrounding eras are no exception. George III numbered several attempts, including--
1.  a 1786 near-stabbing outside St. James’ Palace,
2.  a 1800 shooting at Drury Lane, and
3.  a shooting in Hyde Park. 
In all attempts, the King escaped without injury, however in Hyde Park, an onlooker received a musket shot to the thigh. 
The unpopular Prince of Wales also can boast of being a target for deranged people with grudges. Countless times the future George IV’s life has been threatened by the populace. But, as all attacks have failed, to date, one wonders whether these individuals are after his life--or his money.
Even the young Queen Victoria had some close calls at the beginning of her reign. Having acceded to the throne in 1837, three years later an attempt was made on her life--another in 1842, and again in 1849. Public life does have its drawbacks.
One Recent Assassination:
The most recent case of assassination in this year of 1812 has been successful. The prime minister, Spencer Perceval, holding his post since the fourth of October, 1809, was shot and killed because of a personal complaint, by John Bellingham in the House of Commons on the eleventh of May, 1812. Perceval is survived by wife Jane and children. As a side note, in later years, son Spencer Jr. took to fire and brimstone religion.
Lord Liverpool is slated to become the next prime minister--just ten days before the United States declares war against Britain. Not an enviable assignment.

1Serenity Steele, “Jalè War Practices,” United Anthropology Report, February 2008, p. 86.
As you see, these notes combine the past with the present and the future. To my knowledge, luckily, Great Britain never had--or will have--a Prime Minister by the name of Burton Haydorp, destined to be assassinated past, present, or future!

I hope you enjoy Serenity and Nicholas’ story, and also, the soon-to-be-released anthropological booklet that goes along with REGENCY SOCIETY REVISITED.

Happy reading,

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

Monday, June 22, 2015

Author Notes on COMPETITORS!

Strangers in our midst--I’ve always been intrigued by that idea--whether the strangers were foreigners or aliens or... Neanderthals. What could be more fascinating than a story about ancestors of modern man--primitive by our definition--freely walking among us, escaping detection and thumbing their collective noses at us? Neanderthals are the ultimate underdogs. The very word has become synonymous with crude, boorish, and uncultured. So what would happen if a vulnerable young woman unexpectedly comes in contact with a mysterious tourist? What if she discovers the truth about his secret world? What if she falls in love with a Neanderthal?

Here you have the basis for COMPETITORS!, my popular paranormal romance. COMPETITORS! is a mystery too, with a serial killer on the loose--a killer who just happens to collects skulls.

AN IMPOSSIBLE MEETING!: Vivianne Quinn is staying at her brother’s apartment to recover from a personal tragedy. Her visit is anything but tranquil, for soon a serial killer targets her as the next victim, she has to “babysit” a valuable artifact, and she falls in love with a stranger, Max, who is unlike anyone she has ever met. How will Vivianne react when she finds out just how different he really is?

NEANDERTHAL’S NEMESIS: It’s common knowledge that Neanderthals are extinct, vanished from the face of the planet about 30,000 years ago. What remains a mystery is how or why this sudden disappearance occurred. Sometimes, however, common knowledge can be wrong....

Anthropology enthusiast Vivianne Quinn gets more than she bargained for when she makes a date to “meet” a Neanderthal!

For some reason, COMPETITORS! isn’t available as an eBook at If you’d like this book available there, please contact Awe-Struck Publishing (Mundania Press) at!

This paranormal romantic suspense has been published with Awe-Struck Publishing from the start. It has appeared as #1 on the Best Seller List, gotten great reviews including 4 ½ stars from Once Upon A Romance Reviews, and was a Dream Realm Finalist for Best Speculative Fiction Romance.

In addition, I was named as one of the best eBook authors on the Internet by because of COMPETITORS! (among other books, too!)

Plus, my book trailer for COMPETITORS! was honored as one of the Top Ten Favorite Romance Books. Here’s the review:

Competitors! by Susanne Marie Knight comes in the third spot for my favorites. If it had been in the form of a mini-movie I think it could easily have taken the first or second slot! I'm assuming the author created this trailer herself, and she did a fantastic job, I will be purchasing this book at the earliest opportunity. The pictures absolutely match the story, and the text frames that have been inserted before them. This doesn't always happen with book trailers that use static pictures and text frames. The creator also put outlines around characters, and objects in colors that really brought out what the pictures and text were trying to convey. A great book trailer and one I would love to see put into a mini-movie. You can view this book trailer here. --My Top Ten Favorite Romance Book Trailers from YouTube--Regina Paul

Music is by Kevin MacLeod, Zombie Hoodoo.

Here are some real life connections in COMPETITORS! My major in college was anthropology; my area of interest: physical anthropology. This certainly helped with the premise of COMPETITORS! The book’s setting is in the Bronx, New York--my old neighborhood, in fact. And my apartment also was Number 17, same as Vivianne’s brother’s place.

The inspiration for Max’s cat in COMPETITORS! was my beloved Siamese kitty. He always liked to “sun” himself under the lamp on my desk and give advice whenever I got writer’s block.

Below is a passage from COMPETITORS! Scene Setup: Vivianne had just met a stranger, Max, and his “cousin” Nilda. He treats her to lunch and has a favor to ask.

The server returned and placed the charges on the table. Vivianne leaned over to get her bill.
"Nein. No, you must allow me." Holding out his hand for the bill, Max waited for her to obey. His eyebrows descended even further, almost hiding the color of his eyes. "You are my guest. I insist."
Nilda sat back down, transferring her gaze from Max to Vivianne. "Yes, you will quite insult him if you refuse."
Whoa. Vivianne fingered her earring a little nervously. "I thank you, really but I would feel better if I pay--"
"No. This is my, how do you say, my treat." He snatched the paper, then reached into his pocket and removed a hundred dollar bill out of a money clip.
Gosh, he was awfully high-handed, wasn't he? But why fight about it? "Well, thank you, Max. I enjoyed lunch."
Nilda had a one-track mind. She stood. "Now we go."
Vivianne glanced at the hundred. The total charge had come to around sixty bucks. Surely he wanted change?
Max smiled again, but this time, he looked amused. "You are concerned about my finances, ja? Too much of a tip, is that it, Vivianne?" He tugged on Nilda's arm, pulling her back into her chair. "We wait for change."
Nilda looked as though she was readying to snort fire at Vivianne, but the woman restrained herself.
"Besides," Max leaned over, this time grasping Vivianne's hand and sandwiched it between his two huge ones, "I have a favor to ask of Vivianne."
Now Nilda squirmed in her chair.
Omigosh! Vivianne must've blushed vivid scarlet. His body warmth traveled up her arm and down her chest to settle in the most indecent places! Just what kind of favor was he asking?
"It concerns my cat."
"Your cat," she repeated, taken completely off guard.
"Ja. My cousin is kindly letting me stay with her during my visit, but the problem is my cat, Eins. I am afraid he is not used to sharing space with other animals, and Nilda has a dog."
Nilda made a gurgling noise, then quickly drank from a glass of water on the table.
With her hand still trapped, Vivianne wasn't able to think. She removed it and placed both hands in the safety of her lap. "Eins? Doesn't that mean 'one' in German?"
"True, number one. Eins thinks a lot of himself."
She laughed. She couldn't help it. Who would've imagined this mammoth guy under the paws of a housecat?

I hope you enjoy this intriguing tale and Vivianne and Max’s unusual story.

Happy reading,

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

Monday, June 15, 2015


Writing my award-winning Regency romance, THE CONTRARY CONTESSA, was a labor of love for me. I wanted to have a different setting for this Regency, so the first part of the book is set in Sicily, with the latter taking place in York, England, which, as a side note, has the reputation of being the most haunted city in Europe.

I’ve never been to Italy or Sicily, so getting the flavor of the land and surroundings was the most difficult part. I do have an Italian and English background, and I was happy to combine both heritages in this lively Regency!

This novel deals with one man's prejudice against his own family. He has a ready dislike of anything or anyone non-English, and when his father marries a lady from Sicily... well, Robert Weston is seriously displeased. Too bad, says his stepsister, Lexia Cappello, the Contessa di Fabrianni. Unaware of the Sicilian tradition of "Fortuna"--true love--Robert gave Lexia the four colors of roses--red, white, yellow, and pink. She and he are destined to marry, no matter what he thinks!

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: Because of the Sicilian tradition of “Fortuna”, Lexia Cappello believes she is destined to marry her stepbrother, the Marquess of Rutherford. Robert Weston, however, has a ready dislike of anything or anyone non-English. Can she convince this obstinate lord that his ignoble prejudice stands in the way of his future happiness?

ALL IN THE FAMILY: At first Robert Weston is annoyed, then intrigued by his new-found Sicilian stepsister. The more he resists her, the more he finds he yearns to possess her. Can he overcome his pride to admit the error of his ways and win the Contrary Contessa’s heart?

Artist’s concept cover

I truly enjoyed “living” in Lexia Cappello’s character. Out of all the heroines in my books, I’d say she is the one most unlike me. What a saucy minx! As you’ll find out, she has Robert Weston, the Marquess of Rutherford, wrapped around her feminine, little finger. :))

Lord Rutherford has no interest in marrying a non-English matron, but how can he resist his captivating... and contrary stepsister?

THE CONTRARY CONTESSA is published by at Awe-Struck Books (Mundania Press) and has garnered an impressive list of awards and reviews. This book was chosen as finalist in the prestigious EPIC Awards (now EPIC eBook Award) for Best Historical Romance.

Also, it was a Romance Reader at Heart Top Pick Award Winner, in addition to being a #1 best seller at and earning 5 stars at The Romance Studio and Romance Junkies.

This is Lexia as a Cosmo Girl, using Cosmopolitan's Virtual Makeover software. She’s perfect, don’t you think?!

Here’s an excerpt from THE CONTRARY CONTESSA that was inspired from real life. As a child, I learned that it was a “sin” for food to grow cold. When called to dinner, you didn’t dawdle in taking your place at the table. And so, this book is dedicated to my mother “who knows pasta must always be served hot!”

In the scene below, Robert and his friend James Dutton, have just arrived in Sicily to bring Robert’s half siblings back to England. Robert is unaware that his hostess for dinner is not only the Contessa di Fabrianni, but also his stepsister, Lexia.

In the center area of the room stood an extended oblong table, made of highly polished cherrywood. Seating for twelve, however seven place settings presently were arranged on the sleek tabletop. A large ceramic bowl of pasta was already placed near the plates, along a heaping container of mouthwatering tomato sauce and small dishes of finely grated cheese.

The combination of aromas tantalized his senses, caressing him as a lover might, after a long abstinence. Robert instinctively licked his lips.

“Ah, the signori are hungry, yes?”

To the side of him, poised by a larger painting of the Venetian canals was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. As she turned from the picture to face him, he drank in the sight of her. Dressed in the finest French silk, the woman looked like the queen that he had only minutes before made fun of. Her dark, shiny hair curled in ringlets, was piled high on her head, and was set off with a gold star bandeau. A pert nose, high cheekbones, and the largest, luminous eyes in the world, the woman fluidly made her way to his side. The motion caused the soft, rounded mounds of her breasts as revealed by her modestly cut décolletage to quiver ever so slightly.

Faith, his mouth suddenly went dry. Dutton was also affected, for he too remained owl-eyed and silent.

“Does no one speak? Is the conversation all up to me?” She dimpled a smile at him.

That smile. Good Lord! She was the Contessa! Somehow she had transformed her ragtag self into a Madonna worthy of every man’s reverent worship. His wits gone begging, he struggled to hide his obvious astonishment. “With all due respect, Contessa, you different.”

“Ah, Marquess, what sharp eyes you have.”

Damn it all, but Dutton laughed. Leaning over, he whispered into Robert’s ear. “Street urchin, hey?”

The Contessa curved her lips into a Mona Lisa smile, evidently overhearing. “Urchin, eh? That is not what the Marquess called me earlier.”

Blast! Remembering his behavior in the kitchen, Robert flushed. This girl/woman was sharp on the uptake, as sharp as a rapier’s point, while he had displayed the rag manners of a bovine Cit. He could not blame his conduct on the wine. His boorishness was his responsibility. His alone.

With an elegant motion of her long-sleeved arm, she gestured toward Dutton. “You are Signore Dutton, yes?”

His friend made a stately bow. “James Dutton, at your service, ma’am. Thank you for your hospitality on such short notice.”

For the first time, her saucy smile seemed to reach her eyes. She glided over to the table, her assurance evident in every step. “Let us sit, signori. The pasta, it grows cold. In Sicily, there is no worse fate.”

The love of family and the love of food are very important in Lexia’s world, and I like to say this Regency is sprinkled with Sicilian cooking, giving it a special twist! If you love Regency romance, this book’s for you! I hope you enjoy Lexia and Robert’s story.

Happy reading,

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

Monday, June 8, 2015

Author Notes on “Carla’s One-Sided Crush”

The inside scoop on the short story (or VERY short story as some would say) is also going to be very short. Amazon estimates the story at fourteen pages. The word count is around 2,300 words. It’s available at and Smashwords, and sells for 99 cents.

I’d like to reduce the amount, only 99 cents is the lowest I’m allowed to go on those sites. Originally, this story appeared at for 49 cents, and readers were very happy with that price. But alas, Fictionwise closed its doors. Periodically, Smashwords holds a sale, and I can set the price to free at that time, so do check on the link every now and then. “Carla’s One-Sided Crush” has been a popular download.

Some time ago, one of the “hot” romance internet sites, All Romance eBooks, put out a call to authors for short stories with a Back-To-School theme. The word count reflected that they wanted a quick read. I answered the call with “Carla’s One-Sided Crush”. It was quickly chosen, and even earned this comment: “This is fabulous! It gave me goose bumps. LOL!” The story appeared in their newsletter, Wildfire, and sizzled there during the month of September.

It’s a really cute story!

Maybe Carla's schoolgirl crush hadn't been so one-sided after all.

Basically, we have Carla, now grown up at age twenty, running into her obsession, the hunky Newton Philips. Newton is a biology teacher, and oh, does he use the physical effects of attraction against Carla!

His gaze held her, and despite all her struggles, Carla couldn’t break the connection. “Fight or flight?” she whispered.
“The stress of attraction,” he whispered back.
She shook her head.
Newton gave a knowing smile. “Yes, even now the pupils of your eyes are constricting, to help you focus on me.” He glanced down at her chest, and his smile deepened. “You’re trembling and your breathing has quickened, both of which are caused by adrenalin rushing through your body.”

You may be wondering why I gave Carla’s crush the name of Newton. Ah, it’s a tidbit from real life. I’d just found out my great grandfather’s first name was Newton. I’d known him as Frank, which turns out to be his middle name. Cool, right?

So now you’ve learned that “Carla’s One-Sided Crush” is really short and really cute! I hope you enjoy Carla and Newton’s story.

Happy reading,

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

Monday, June 1, 2015


THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE is case number two in my popular Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series. For those of you not familiar with this series, click on the link for my Author Notes on THE BLOODSTAINED BISTRO, case number one.

Minx is a fitness instructor newly relocated to Los Angeles, California, who has a knack for solving puzzles--puzzles concerning dead bodies. For fun, romance, and... unexpected corpses, follow her adventures in this murder mystery series!

As with every book in the series, the title reveals a lot about the story. You might wonder, “How can life insurance be ill-gotten?” In this case, if the “deceased” isn’t really deceased, then.... Well, you get the picture!

Artist’s rendering of a possible cover

An odd string of coincidences leads Minx Tobin to an old friend, Bill Gutierrez. Only Bill died five years ago. Before Minx has a chance to question the man, he turns up dead... again, with a slip of paper in his pocket with her name on it. Whether she likes it or not, Minx is involved in another murder. Will the Case of the Ill-gotten Insurance turn out to be deadly for her as well?

Los Angeles homicide lieutenant Gabe Harris regrets that the fitness trainer who piqued his interest is a murder suspect once again. But at least he has a legitimate reason to see Minx. Maybe he can even convince her to go out with him. And maybe he can prevent L.A.’s newest murderer from adding Minx to his... or her fatality list.

Desert Breeze Publishing has published all six (to date) Minx Tobin novels. This series has received great reviews including 4.5 stars from Sensual Reads and 5 stars from Single Titles Reviews. The books are available both electronically and in print.

Minx’s dead friend turns up alive... but not for long. Will the life insurance have to be paid twice? Ebook Print

Here is a book trailer for THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE:

When I started this series, I had no idea Minx would have a background in art. She surprised me! Many moons ago, as she says, she took drawing classes in high school. I did as well, attending New York’s High School of Music and Art. Nor did I know that there is actually a type of gun called the .22 short, Beretta Minx. That certainly came in handy, and naturally the gun figures in the mystery.

Here’s a scene where Antonio Atwell, Gabe’s trusty sergeant, has a bit of fun with his lieutenant.

A crime scene investigator walked over with a pencil threaded through the trigger guard of a semiautomatic pistol. “Lieutenant Harris, we discovered this Beretta under the flat screened TV.”
As Gabe eyed the weapon, Antonio remained strangely quiet. Gabe darted a quick glance at his sergeant, then returned his attention to the pistol. “Small caliber, .22, easily fits into a woman’s purse, but is still deadly effective.”
He dismissed the investigator, then fixed his sights on his sergeant. Someone of Antonio’s advanced age of sixty two shouldn’t be smirking at his superior officer. “Okay, what the hell am I missing here, Sergeant?”
“What was the manufacturer’s name for that semiautomatic again, Lieutenant?”
“Geez it, you want me to examine the damn thing? This a test? It was a Beretta--”
“Full name?”
Gabe frowned. The name was important? He narrowed his gaze in the pistol’s direction. “.22 short, Beretta Minx.”
Minx! Hell’s bells, he hadn’t thought of that woman, that fitness instructor, since, well, since last week. Truth be told, he thought about her a lot, considering he actually hadn’t seen her in two months from the time of the arrest in the Neal Loehman murder case.
Not that he was serious about Minx Tobin, or anything. They’d never dated, unless that aborted Mexican dinner where she walked out on him could’ve been called a date. Hell, she’d never even called him by his first name.

And here’s another inside scoop: the widely popular 80s movie, Ghostbusters, plays a role in the Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series. In fact, Minx’s name is based on a line from the movie. There’s a scene near the end where Bill Murray’s character watches the aerobatics of the "god" Zoser, and then says "Nimble little minx." My family just loves that line! Also, a reference in the movie to “Tobin’s Spirit Guide” is responsible for Minx’s last name. So there you have it! In addition, the dedication in THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE is to our beloved ghostbusters: Bill, Dan, Harry, and Ernest.

I hope you enjoy Minx and Gabe’s adventures. There are lots more surprises in store for them as the series progresses. Case Number Three is THE DUPLICITOUS DIVORCE.

Happy reading,

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