Dream Realm Award Finalist For Best Speculative Fiction
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....
COMPETITORS! was published by Awe-Struck Books (Mundania Press) and had been with them for many years.
Ebook Cover and Print Cover
I recently decided to have the rights returned to me for all my Awe-Struck books--a total of twelve. COMPETITORS! is the third to be re-released. It’s now available on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com!
Anthropology enthusiast Vivianne Quinn gets more than she bargained for when she makes a date to “meet” a Neanderthal!
*Limited* copies of the 2007 print book are available at www.susanneknight.com/orders.htm
This paranormal romantic suspense has appeared as #1 on the Fictionwise.com 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 NightsandWeekends.com 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
Here is a book trailer for COMPETITORS!
Music is by Kevin MacLeod, Sinfonia3.
This book is part of the Uncanny Paranormals line.
For those of you who like to read reviews, here they come!
“Could Neanderthals still exist? And if so, would they look just like the rest of us? Susanne Marie Knight takes those questions and runs with them in COMPETITORS! and shows us that not everyone is what they appear to be. When readers first meet Vivianne, she is a tormented young woman who constantly wonders why she didn’t also die in the car crash. But as the book progresses, she becomes the strong woman she must have been before the accident. As for Max... Max, Max, Max. What a combination of alpha maleness and intelligence, which this reviewer believes will cause many women to swoon. He’s dominating, yet gentle, and treats Vivianne with great respect. An interesting and fun-filled romance, COMPETITORS! is the perfect read for those looking for something a little different in their love stories.”-- Romance Reviews Today
“Susanne's been chosen as one of the best e-book authors the Internet has to offer for COMPETITORS! ”--Nights and Weekend.com.
Susanne Marie Knight certainly has a diverse imagination, and she blends suspense with a haunting question--why did Neanderthals abruptly vanish 30,000 years ago--in COMPETITORS! But what if they’re not extinct? What if they walk among us? This is a plot that can easily sound farfetched in the wrong author’s hands, but Ms. Knight pulled it off, suspending my belief and wrapping me in an enthralling tale. You want an author with unique style? Susanne Marie Knight is your gal.--Nights and Weekends.com
“4.5 Books! “I liked COMPETITORS! I have read other books about Neanderthals and this species never came across as anything other than primitive. The Neos in this book are caring, gentle people who value their ancestors and want what everybody wants in life - to be loved and understood. I enjoyed the growing awareness and romance between Vivianne and Max. Despite their differences and the dramas they are living through, there is a bond between them that neither can deny. It was amusing to think that the Neo's consider Vivianne and her people savages. The derogatory term of calling someone a Neanderthal may not be so bad after all. It's always good to see history turned on its head. I also liked the fact that the killer is not known until the end. I thought I knew who it was but I was wrong. The book also got me wondering if there are Neos amongst us. There are weirder things out there. If you enjoy books that are beyond the normal, then I would recommend COMPETITORS! It's a fresh, unique romance that is kind of sweet and overwhelmingly passionate.--Once Upon A Romance
“Author Susanne Marie Knight has done a convincing job of making the exotic Max as hypnotic and flat-out irresistible as he needs to be, to accomplish everything he is called upon to do. Max isn’t only a sex hunk, he is smooth, educated, and well traveled. He can communicate mentally, and his sense of smell gives new definition to the word “intimate.” Knight will have readers knocking on her door asking where they can get their own Neanderthals. In addition to Max, Vivianne has a flock of friends to turn to in her tough times. Vivianne’s identical-twin brothers, her husband-hunting friend Fran, and Max’s cat Eins with his divided loyalties all contribute to the workings of fate – fate being the saving of Vivianne so she can be with Max. Her associates are amusing, even at their most irritating. Max’s friends, on the other hand, are Very Serious People. It isn’t easy for Max to have a personal life when The Mission is All. It keeps the other Neanderthals from having as much dimension as Max does. COMPETITORS! is well thought out. Knight has more than a superficial knowledge about Neanderthals, and she has used it to shape her what-if into a fun, original plot.”-- Reviewers-Choice.com
“4 Stars! This was a very creative look at what could have happened to the Neanderthals. All the characters provide a full array of personalities that keep the book interesting. The romance is based on the strong sexual tension and emotional pull between Max and Vivianne. While the physical aspects are primarily left to the reader's imagination, their feelings are openly demonstrated. The numerous subplots move the story and support the romantic plotline. But the originality of the story impresses me the most. Writers who can successfully finish the "what if" in a logical and fascinating way are few, but Ms. Knight succeeds here. COMPETITORS! is a great book for those who love a good suspense and a romantic twist, and those who enjoy a good romance with a well written paranormal base.--Coffee Time Romance Reviews
“A fun read I recommend to anyone who enjoys something different, something that offers a new outlook and new background for the characters. This tale fits into many genres and will provide hours of pleasant reading. Talented author Susanne Marie Knight gives us a multi-layered story and a new look at the mystery of the Neanderthal's disappearance. Or did they? Enjoy, I did.--Mysteryfiction.net
“COMPETITORS! is a fast paced read, with a very well written cast of characters that support and play up each other. Good attention paid to the details, so one can understand the differences between the characters and the races involved. Susanne Knight has granted her audience fantasy and mystery combined with a science fictional blend along with a romantic edge to satisfy most any readers taste.--TCM Reviews
I started reading [REGENCY SOCIETY REVISITED]. The first few pages promise as much entertainment as your COMPETITORS! gives.--J.C.
Thank you for writing this wonderful work!--M.M.
A group of Neanderthals has a mission among the modern human civilizations. That rarity, an original romance plot. Entertaining, too.--J.C.
I couldn't stop reading! Great book!--C.K.
Another winner and a great read it is!--K.S.
Oooh, sounds wonderful. I love this kind of book. L.D.
Congrats on COMPETITORS!--D.G.
Congrats on the new release!! It sounds great and paranormal is really hot--may Competitors! be a best-seller for you!--D.T.
I enjoyed reading COMPETITORS! Good job!--F. M.
COMPETITORS! was great fun to read.--O.C.
I'm really glad to see you have a new novel out. I looove your books!--M.B.
Thank you for an enjoyable read.--J.C.
I really enjoyed this book. I think this is the best one yet!--D.C.
Thank you for an enjoyable read.--J.Y.
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 two hundred dollar bills 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 two hundreds. The total charge had come to a hundred bucks plus tax. 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.
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!