Monday, December 21, 2015


THE EMBEZZLED ENVELOPE is case number Six in my popular Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series. For those of you not familiar with this series, click on the link for:
  1. my Author Notes on THE BLOODSTAINED BISTRO, case number one,
  2. my Author Notes on THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE, case number two,
  3.  my Author Notes on THE DUPLICITOUS DIVORCE, case number three,
  4. my Author Notes on THE VIRTUAL VALENTINE, case number four,
  5. my Author Notes on THE YULETIDE YORKSHIRE, case number five.

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!

The six case in the Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series focuses on an old crime that comes back to haunt one of Minx’s friends. You know the one: the Elite Exercise Emporium’s resident hunk, Dallas Porter. :))

An old embezzling charge comes back to haunt Minx’s friend, Dallas Porter. Not only that, he’s now the prime suspect in a murder case. If she doesn’t help him, he could get convicted. But if she does help him, the murderer just might retaliate. How can Minx clear her friend... and not get killed?

Homicide Lieutenant Gabe Harris wants to start the New Year off right. His main resolution is to keep his new fiancée out of trouble. But trouble zeroes in on Minx, whether she looks for it or not. Why do murders and Minx seem to go together?

Artist’s rendering of a possible cover

Desert Breeze Publishing has published all six (to date) Minx Tobin novels. THE EMBEZZLED ENVELOPE has received great reviews including FIVE Stars from Single Titles Review. All books are available both electronically and in print.

An old embezzlement case takes on a new twist: murder. When Minx tries to clear her good friend’s name, she gets burned... literally.

Here is a book trailer for THE YULETIDE YORKSHIRE:


This book is part of the Intriguing Mysteries line.

Real life tidbit: I’m extremely lucky to have my own office space. I like to decorate the room with reference books, pictures, business supplies, etc. Yep, I’m a *junkie* for colorful paperclips, file dividers, envelopes--you name it! In THE EMBEZZLED ENVELOPE, Minx also deals with a few envelopes--and at least two of them happen to cause more damage than just a paper cut!

Scene Setup: At the Elite Exercise Emporium, Minx’s co-worker and friend, Sadie, delivers a mysterious envelope.

“Hey, got something for you.” Sadie reached under the counter and pulled out a sealed white envelope. Neatly typed on it were the words, “For Minx Tobin.”
Minx took it. “What’s this?”
“Don’t know. Was in the drop box we have right out front. Maybe it’s a piece of fan mail.”
“Fan mail, that’s a laugh.” Minx ripped the envelope and removed the flyer inside. After giving it a quick glance, she crumpled the paper and threw it into the wastebasket behind the counter. Her hand stung a bit so she wiped her palm on the yoga pants.
“What was it? A love letter from Hugh Jackman?” Sadie batted her cornflower blue eyes.
“Nothing so exciting. Just a twenty percent off sale on exercise clothes. Some new boutique shop opening just down the block.”

I hope you enjoy Minx and Gabe’s adventures!

Happy reading,

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

Monday, December 14, 2015


My newest science fiction romance, AN ALIEN PARADISE, has a unique history in that this book is the only one of my novels that first started out with another title. XANADU FOR ALIENS was my first pick.

Here is a blurb from one of my press releases: What if UFO reports are true? What if extraterrestrials are not only here, but they’ve been visiting Earth for countless millennia? XANADU FOR ALIENS, my newest science fiction romance novel, explores the possibility of alien sightseers to our planet. But there's no need to be concerned; these tourists are harmless. Or are they?

What if there was a travel agency that catered to extraterrestrial lifeforms?

The cover (above) even won an internet award. So you’re probably wondering why I changed the title to AN ALIEN PARADISE. Simple. Reader input. When I first conceived of the idea for this novel, I wanted the title to begin with the letter X. Why was this? Because I have book titles for all the letters in the alphabet except X. And Xanadu fit my purpose for the story. Historically, Xanadu was the summer capital of Chinese conqueror Kublai Khan. Marco Polo’s description of Xanadu inspired British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous work, “Kubla Khan” in which the city was identified as a pleasure dome.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree: ...

That was exactly what I was looking for: Earth as a pleasure dome or playground for alien tourists. Some readers, however, took issue with the word Xanadu, linking it to the movie and the song of the same title. As for why that’s a negative, who knows? So alas, I changed the book title to AN ALIEN PARADISE. Same meaning, but without the baggage.

PARADISE LOST--Teacher Petra Richardson receives a mysterious summer job offer. If she tutors a young boy, Traynor, all her expenses will be paid during her stay in the Galápagos Islands. Although she has misgivings, she agrees. Her new employer is the Taurus City Travel Agency, run by Traynor’s hunky Uncle Kelvin, whom she’d met and fantasized about when she was a teen. While romance simmers between Petra and Kelvin, there’s also danger. Who sabotaged their kayak? What happened to Traynor’s poomba? Why do some travel clients seem to flicker? Just what is going on at this sleepy outpost in the South Pacific?

PARADISE FOUND--Kelvin Lacertus has a full plate. CEO of the Taurus City Travel Agency, he oversees alien and extraterrestrial Human tourists to Planet Terra. He’s handling the most important diplomatic conference in the galaxy. And he’s babysitting his nephew, Traynor. Kelvin arranges for a tutor, little Petra, whom he remembers from his Grand Tour of Terra years ago. She’d impressed him then. The grown-up version is even more irresistible. How can he protect his Petra when a terrorist group targets all Lacertus family members including his would-be bride?

As for changing the cover, I decided a new title deserves a new cover. Here it is below:

Science teacher Petra Richardson receives the shock of her life when she learns her new employer is a travel agency that caters to extraterrestrial lifeforms.

AN ALIEN PARADISE is available at and, as XANADU FOR ALIENS at, in addition to other internet locations. It’s earned a 5 star review from Norwood Reviews: “Aliens on Earth? A travel agency for extraterrestrials? A Human male from Tau Ceti 3 falling in love with an Earth female? [AN ALIEN PARADISE] delivers all this and more! Ms. Knight gives us a very plausible scenario of galactic intrigue and a wonderful variety of characters. Fall in love with this fast-paced science fiction romance. This novel is definitely a keeper!”

Here are some of the Taurus City Travel Agency’s staff:

This book is part of the Fascinating Sci-Fi line.

Now for the snippet from real life. Our heroine, Petra Richardson, attended the same junior high that I did. That’s not really a surprise, is it? “Write what you know” is a well-known rule of writing. So some of young Petra’s experiences were my experiences. I’m certainly not the only one who had less than happy times in junior high or middle school (!) but when I came across a nonfiction book on my school written by a student, I did a double take. It was from her account that Petra refers to “Hell on Earth” or rather “J.H.S. is almost like an earthly version of hell.” Fortunately, as time passed, my feelings for junior high improved enormously!

Petra looked around at the putrid color of enamel paint covering the hallways. She’d read somewhere that junior high school could be considered a version of Hell on Earth. She agreed. Not as a teacher but as a former inmate of these very same two-tone green walls.
This school in the New York City borough of the Bronx was technically a middle school--grades six through eight--but it had been once a junior high, before junior highs had fallen out of favor. Her first few months as a new recruit, a new seventh grader, had been hellish. To walk through these corridors had meant she took her life into her hands. She never knew if she would pass through unscathed. Or get beaten up. It had been a role of the dice.
Thankfully, way back when, after Christmas break, the eighth and ninth grade students had tired of dishing out torture. For her, at any rate. After that, she’d come to tolerate this school....

Eventually, later, as a teacher, she’d grown to love this weathered old building.

I hope you enjoy Petra and Kelvin’s unusual love story!

Happy reading,

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

Monday, December 7, 2015

Author Notes on “Family Secrets”

I wrote my popular paranormal (or is it paranormal?!) short story, “Family Secrets” when I received a call from my publisher, Uncial Press, to submit a short story. The genre was open; the storyline was up to me. I decided on a contemporary romance with a touch of magic... just like the touch of magic that I included in my Regency romance, THE MAGIC TOKEN, that recently was re-released by Uncial Press. I liked the idea of a tie-in to this Regency... not that there is a magic token, but that a love ritual was performed on Midsummer’s Eve back in 1802, and now in contemporary times with Talia Fanetti. More on this below in my connections to real life section!

Talia Fanetti longs for true love. She’s just gotten engaged to eligible bachelor Edmund Bartholomew, so she’s all set in the love department.

Or is she?

On a romantic getaway in the country, she learns her future in-laws live in a house awash with secrets. Talia soon makes a startling discovery: she has a secret as well. When Grandmother Bartholomew offers Talia a chance to find out who her true love is, will Talia have the courage to use the magic spell?

I also loved the idea that every character had something hidden from the others. After all, what family doesn’t have secrets? It was fun considering each and every person and then deciding what the mysterious secret would be.

Sometimes secrets can reveal your true love.

 This book is part of the Uncanny Paranormals line.

Real-Life Tidbit: Back in Junior High (or Middle School as it would now be called) a very good friend knew of my interest in paranormal subjects so she gave me a little fortune telling book. This book also contained a few charms and ceremonies. In “Family Secrets” I based Granny’s book, THE SAGE SEER, on my friend’s gift--THE LADIES’ ORACLE--which was supposedly first publishing in the sixteenth century. I slightly altered the Midsummer’s Eve ritual for both “Family Secrets” and THE MAGIC TOKEN but the end result was the same: to see one’s future husband.

Talia sat near the edge of the stream, close enough to peer into the dark water. The moon seemed to shine a beacon right where she needed it. She could see her pale image within the water below.

If this secret ritual was successful, her image would be replaced by her true love's reflection.

Her heart beat faster. Will the magic work?

Only one way to find out. She adjusted her shawl around her shoulders, then got to work. Putting down her supplies, she dug a hole in the dirt just large enough to make sure the candle would remain upright.

She looked at her watch. It was time.

Swiftly striking the match, she smiled as the flame blazed into life. Then she lit the candle. Next, she picked up the apple in one hand and the rose in the other. With the rose, she made clockwise circles around the apple--seven times, as instructed.

By the time she'd finished, her hand shook. She set down the rose and picked up the candle. Bathed in the flicker of its light, she took a bite out of the apple. One bite was all that was needed.

Now for the moment of truth. Tensing up and holding her breath, she leaned over the riverbank to gaze into the water below.

Her large dark eyes blinked back at her. Her hair, mussed by the wind, looked as wild as a lion's mane against the white of her nightshirt.

She released her pent-up breath. Unless she was her own true love, no other image reflected back at her.


I hope you enjoy Talia’s true love story.

Happy reading,

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