Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Thanksgiving Holiday Treat

When I think of the holidays, I think of family. I also think of food--special, holiday treats that are only made once a year. Treats like Strufoli--an Italian dessert that makes it easy for you to lick your fingers!


My EPPIE Award Finalist for Best Historical Romance, THE CONTRARY CONTESSA, also focuses on family and food. And strufoli! One of the characters, Zia Concetta, often makes young Emma’s favorite dessert as a bribe for good behavior. Try this family favorite recipe and you’ll be on your best behavior, too!

Zia Concetta’s Delicious Strufoli

Ingredients:
4 cups flour, 6 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 ounces cooking oil, 4 tablespoons brandy or whiskey, 4 teaspoons lemon extract, 6 eggs, honey, tiny multicolored balls-“sprinkles”. Also, oil for frying.

* Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well.
* Pour in oil, whiskey, and extract.
* Break eggs in well.
* Stir together and knead until mixed.
* Roll into a long rope and cut into small pieces.
* Dip in deep hot oil and fry until golden brown.
* Cool. Pour heated honey over balls until coated.
* Dip in deep hot oil and fry until golden brown.
* Cool. Pour heated honey over balls until coated.
* Stir and sprinkle with “sprinkles.”

Enjoy!


BLURB:
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?

Available electronically at:

HAPPY THANKSGIVING from my house to yours!

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

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Halloween Inspired Tale

Witches, ghosts, and hobgoblins... Halloween is a perfect time of year to enjoy yourself. Chills, thrills, and spills (of candy!) are the order of the day. And while I’ve given up dressing in costume for this special day, I do have fun giving out plenty of the sugary stuff when visitors knock on my door.


Naturally, to celebrate one of my favorite holidays, I had to create a story featuring one of my top ten candies: Candy Corn. Since I write romance (in several genres), I had to include a love twist. As I talked about in a previous blog (Real Life Inspires Art), I like to combine real life events in my stories. So for this short story, I drew upon treat-or-treating back in the old days... well, in the sixties, anyway. This short story includes the fear of my younger self that my grownup lipstick would mysteriously disappear, the frantic rush to ring as many doorbells as possible, and the dark, dank atmosphere of city apartment buildings.

The short story title: “True Love And Candy Corn” 


BLURB: On a Halloween outing, thirteen-year-old Rebecca knocks on a “witch’s” door. As her treat, she is cursed with true love until the end of time, and even though desirable Frank Palmer seems to be the love object in question, Rebecca is thoroughly spooked. Now, nine years later, Rebecca is treat-or-treating again as she escorts her young cousins on their rounds. When she comes face to face with Frank, she doesn’t see true love as a curse anymore. Will the witch’s prophecy come true?

Available electronically at Amazon.com and Smashwords.

So, if you love candy corn but worry about the sugar, try this zero calorie treat on Halloween night, but be sure to reward your trick or treaters... just in case a real “witch” is on the other side of your door!

Just joking! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Buzz on THE EMBEZZLED ENVELOPE

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. :))

FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS... GET MURDERED
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 EMBEZZLED ENVELOPE:


This book is part of the Intriguing Mysteries line.


Here are some great reviews!

FIVE STARS! The sixth book of the Minx Tobin Mysteries, Susanne Marie Knight takes the newly engaged Minx and Gabe and plops them in the middle of a complex case that involves one of Minx’s co-workers. Minx tries to stay away from murder investigations, but they always seem to end up on her doorstep. While the Homicide department solves most of the cases on Gabe’s desk, the murder case where Dallas Porter is the prime suspect is getting more complicated each day. New suspects are identified only to become victims themselves. Ms. Knight knows how to weave a murder mystery with lots of humor, unbelievable plot twists and a satisfying love story to keep the reader glued to the page. Can Gabe find the real murder before Minx becomes the next victim?--Single Titles Review

This is a fantastic book! When is the next book in this exciting series coming out?--C.B. {Editor's note: Six Minx Tobin Mysteries are now available for purchase in ebook and print.}

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!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Buzz on THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE

Since I write in quite a few different genres, I alternate between those genres so fans for that particular genre can look forward to a new book. When I was due to write a romantic suspense, I started thinking about this particular book. First, I had to think of a topic. I wanted to write a paranormal about ghosts this time because many readers love ghost stories like my popular paranormal romantic suspense GRAVE FUTURE.

Now I was ready to begin. I like to come up with a title before I start writing. Sometimes that’s impossible, but usually I’m able to think of one that suits the project. To think of a title, I brainstorm, writing down whatever comes to mind. THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE just wormed its way in. I have no idea why Wakefield; Wakefield happens to be the name of a location and also, a last name. I chose it to be a last name. Now I had a name for one of my characters, but which one?

Setting that thought aside for a while, I deliberated about what kind of a Disturbance could be called The Wakefield Disturbance. I came up with the idea of the heroine having a psychic ability that causes a shimmer around her when she receives communication from the dead. Her last name would be Wakefield. Now I had a heroine, Lara, who can hear messages from the dead. From there I built the story and the hero, private investigator Stuart Manning, around Lara’s needs. That’s about it in a nutshell!

A GIFT... OR A CURSE?
Lara Wakefield receives messages from the dead. Her latest “client” is a murdered young girl who wants to be put to rest. The girl’s killer, however, objects. Can Lara find the girl’s body without becoming the next victim?

MONEY OR LOVE?

Private investigator Stuart Manning wants nothing to do with supernatural phenomena. A retainer of $50,000 overcomes his reluctance. Lara’s innate ability, integrity, and beauty cause him to have second thoughts about psychics, while deadly occurrences cause him to believe the little girl’s murderer is still hanging around. How can Stuart protect Lara when the killer is always one step ahead?


Communicating with the Dead: a gift or a curse??

THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE has been with Uncial Press since the beginning where it has been on the best-seller list and also a #1 best-seller at Fictionwise.com. In addition, this book is a 2008 Dream Realm Finalist for Best Speculative Fiction Romance.


T
he book video trailer has received a “Spine-tingling!” recommendation from The SavvyClick.com. Here is the book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tTLQySlNAk

Music is by Kevin MacLeod, Jackhammer.


Psychic Lara Wakefield is tasked by a murdered young girl to find her killer.


Print book available at www.susanneknight.com/orders.htm

This book is part of the Uncanny Paranormals line.


Here are some fabulous reviews:

5 STARS!--Barnes and Noble

4 Cups! This is an interesting suspense tale with three good main characters. The rest of the cast... add a bit of comic relief. The plot itself is fun to read with elements of suspense, romance, and the paranormal. The dialogue is engaging... There is a good amount of suspense and fine love scenes also in this very enjoyable story.--Coffee Time Romance

Fantastic! Couldn't put THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE down!--J.C.

Hauntingly good, spine-tingling!--C.A.

I found THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE exciting and interesting--when I got home from work, I read the last chapters instead of doing my chores!--J.G.

I enjoyed THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE!--E.C.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Real Life Tidbit. The locale of the murdered girl’s summer home is based on a popular resort in Montana. This resort also has a petting zoo. Below is a photo of the llama that was the inspiration for an important part of THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE’s mystery. In the book, you’ll find resting on the grass can be very relaxing... or can serve another purpose!


Here’s a passage from THE WAKEFIELD DISTURBANCE that features the llama. Scene Setup: A member of the houseparty has just been found murdered. Lara and her young friend Chrissy take a break from the investigation to lunch outside.

Unseasonably warm sun beat down on Lara's shoulders. Mmmm, she couldn't help but enjoy it. Good thing she and Chrissy had decided to leave the unhealthy atmosphere of the mansion for awhile. Taking a picnic lunch by the petting zoo was an excellent idea.

Sitting on the grass, Lara munched on a sandwich and watched her young friend propped against the fence as she fed the animals. The family of ducks swam to the pond's edge to furiously peck at the bits of food Chrissy threw to them. The three mountain goats moseyed over to graze on animal crackers. Only the llama remained where it was, still resting under the shade of a birch tree.

"Why won't she come over and eat?" Chrissy grumbled. "I want to pet her."

"You're grubby from petting the goats. Maybe the llama wants clean hands," Lara joked. Despite the morning's horrible experience, she actually was having fun, and was glad Chrissy was, too.

Instead of being scared or disgusted by the news of the murder, the girl had been delighted. Her own murder mystery to solve, she had said.

Lara shook her head. Shades of Agatha Christie! What a gruesome reaction.

But she couldn't think about that. It was so peaceful outside, under the wide open sky. The only sounds she could hear were the nibbling of the ducks and the gentle breeze rustling through the trees.

And Chrissy's complaints.

"The llama must be hungry. She hasn't been fed yet. That's what the older lady told me--Rose, Tawnie's mother. So why doesn't the darn beast come here?"

The llama couldn't have been too hungry for it sat with all four legs folded under it, showing no intention of getting up.

Chrissy stomped over to Lara and pouted. "She looks at me but doesn't move!"

"Maybe it wants room-service," Lara offered.

"Huh?"

"Maybe you should climb over the fence and bring the food to the llama."

"Cool beans!" The girl rushed to the post-and-lintel fence, then paused. "D'you think I'm allowed to go in?"

"I don't see why not. Just keep your hands away from the llama's mouth, okay?"

"Sure." Chrissy hopped over the fence and slowly walked the distance to the animal. It watched her progress, but didn't budge. Only when Chrissy placed some crackers in front of it, did it bend its wooly neck and chew on the treat.

Another satisfied customer!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To find out more, read The Wakefield Disturbance! I hope you enjoy Lara and Stuart’s story.

Happy reading,

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

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Buzz on UNCOVERING CAMELOT

I’ve always been mesmerized by the mystical tale of King Arthur and Camelot. Honestly, who isn’t intrigued by this long ago tale? Is King Arthur real? Is the story truly magic or just a tale imagined by a wandering troubadour? Writing about this fascinating legend was something I’d wanted to explore for a long time. When I learned--just by chance (or was it??)--that there was a Stonehenge Memorial in Washington State, well, that sealed the deal for me!
Although many authors use the five elements of writing fiction: Who, What, When, Where, and Why to lead to the sixth element--Plot--I usually do the reverse. I come up with the plot, the idea of a story, and then decide the who, what, when, where, and why after that. So the idea was to write a fantasy romance based on the folklore of King Arthur, but to give it a modern twist.
A VACATION RUINED--Heather Woods suddenly learns her boyfriend, Connor, cancelled their summer plans. Determined to forget about him, she visits her flaky godmother, Nerissa, instead, for an impromptu vacation. Nerissa insists that Heather has a healing gift, something Heather doesn’t believe. But when she experiences visions... hallucinations... or whatever her jaunts back to Camelot are, she fears for her sanity. Meeting a man that might actually be Merlin the magician, and his very attractive nephew, Matthew, along with assorted other characters convince Heather that she’s in the middle of a strange, metaphysical phenomenon.
A VACATION CHANGED--Judge Matthew Limner also finds his vacation plans changed. He receives a call from a long-lost Uncle Mallory--so long-lost that he hadn’t even known Mallory existed. Mallory flies in from London, and expects to go sightseeing with Matthew. Resigned, Matthew plays the host. First stop: the Stonehenge Memorial in southern Washington. A chance encounter--or is it?--with Nerissa and Heather convince Matthew that something much more than coincidence is happening in this tiny corner of the world.

Artist’s rendering of a possible cover

An urgent summons resurrects Merlin the magician to once again meddle in the affairs of men.

UNCOVERING CAMELOT is available at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com, in addition to other internet locations. It’s received great reviews including 5 Stars on Amazon!
Here is a book trailer for UNCOVERING CAMELOT:

This book is part of the Magical Fantasies line.


Here are some great reviews!

5 STARS! Absolutely delightful! Another wonderful addition to the works of Ms. Knight! You don't have to be a resident of Washington state to enjoy the trip to the Stonehenge replica overlooking the Columbia River at Maryhill. Ms. Knight paints a visual picture with her words while weaving a love story with ties to Camelot! >From the first page to the last, you will be mesmerized with her characters and her plot! I had a hard time putting this one down!--Visionary Insight Press

One of my favorite books of Ms. Knight!! I could barely put it down!!"--K.N.

FINISHED CAMELOT!! It is sooooo good! Love love loved it!--A. N.

OMG! I am loving this book so much! You are so talented. THIS is my favorite so far!! I've got a few more chapters left, and I can't wait til Monday to finish it, so I'm taking it home tonight! LOL--N. S.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here’s a real life connection. A chance remark by a friend about being the youngest child in a family of seven daughters set me to thinking. Seven daughters conjured up fairy tales I’d read growing up. The hero of the fairy tale was often the seventh son of the seventh son. I couldn’t ignore this opportunity. My heroine, Heather Woods, had to be the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter, thereby enabling her to have a magical experience.

Also, since the Stonehenge replica built in Washington State plays an important role in the novel, I had to go on a field trip. I found the monument lovely, eerie, and quite desolate.


 Below is a passage from UNCOVERING CAMELOT where Heather finds out she’s going to visit the Stonehenge Memorial with her godmother Nessisa and her three mysterious friends. 

As the evening wore on, the women talked around her, sometimes stopping to ask Heather questions--questions mostly pertaining to her love life--or lack thereof.
For some reason, Heather couldn’t actively participate in the conversation. It was almost as if she was a child in a room full of adults. Which was funny, really, for she was a kindergarten teacher--her job, of course, to be the only adult in a room full of kids.
The women’s voices droned on, weaving around her like a sorceress’ chant. She yawned. She couldn’t help it. After she yawned a second time, she closed her eyes.
The heavy scent of rhododendron incense displaced the fresh nighttime air. Blinking, she opened her eyes. A cloudy mist hid the backdrop of the yard, the oak trees, and the utility shed.
She wasn’t alone. The women were still there, sitting in a circle around her. They’d changed clothes, though. All four women wore white robes.
What? Heather shook her head. The vision cleared. Nerissa was back in her pink muumuu, Arlene had on her jean short shorts, Brenna wore capris, and Cara sported her polyester pants and button-down blouse. Everything was back to normal. Even the fragrance of rhododendrons was gone.
“So, Heather, it’s a date, then,” Arlene said brightly, and slapped her on the back. “I’m looking forward to showing you the Stonehenge Memorial on Saturday.”
Stonehenge? What in the world was Arlene talking about?
Cara broke her silence by saying she was ready to go. Evidently, when Cara was ready, she was ready in capital letters. Her two companions quickly helped her to her feet, then guided her down the stairs onto the grass.
It was pitch dark out on the lawn, even with the porch lights on. They took their time walking over the uneven ground. Nerissa, more surefooted, led the way.
With waves goodbye and plans to meet again on Saturday morning, the three left through the back gate and walked toward a parked dark car.
Heather waited on the porch for Nerissa to return. Why couldn’t she recall the conversation? And Stonehenge--she’d always wanted to view the replica of the ancient Neolithic landmark, but had never had the chance to visit. Saturday would work out perfectly.
But still, she should’ve remembered talking about it with the group.
And what about the mist and the white robes?
She twirled a limp lock of hair around her finger. What was going on at Nerissa Emery’s house?

Visiting Goldendale and Maryhill, Washington where the Memorial is located, also gave me a chance to wander through the beautiful Maryhill Museum. Here I across a lovely sculpture that I incorporated into the story.

 Scene Set-up: On the grand lawn of the Maryhill Museum, Heather walks with Desmond Redmord, a man with an uncanny resemblance to Camelot’s Mordred, Arthur’s nephew and illegitimate son.

Desmond pointed at a beautiful glass sculpture, wavy with multicolored stalks as if imitating a living plant. Sitting on a blanket just beyond the chained area around the sculpture was a dark-haired woman. Her hair was so dark as to be midnight black--long and flowing. She stared at Heather with a gaze as piercing as Desmond’s. Her vivid red lips were turned into a petulant frown.
Heather gulped down unease. Did she really want to meet Moriah Redmord, a woman who just might’ve been the reincarnation of the medieval witch, Morgeuse?

I hope you enjoy Heather and Matthew’s magical story.

Happy reading,

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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Buzz on THE YULETIDE YORKSHIRE

THE YULETIDE YORKSHIRE is case number Five 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, my Author Notes on THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE, case number two, and my Author Notes on THE DUPLICITOUS DIVORCE, case number three, and my Author Notes on THE VIRTUAL VALENTINE, case number four.

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 fifth case in the Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series takes place during Christmas. Yuletide and a darling Yorkshire play important roles in this novel. Naturally, the doggie’s name had to be Yo-Yo, the yuletide Yorkshire! :))

HO, HO, HO... OH!
Home for the holidays, Minx Tobin introduces her parents to her homicide lieutenant, Gabe Harris. Unfortunately for her, her ex-fiancĂ© Jared drops in on them, creating friction. But Jared soon needs Minx’s help in the sleuthing department because a gruesome “present” is found under the tree. Once again, Minx is hot on the trail of a desperate killer.

All Gabe wants to do is propose to the woman he loves. Instead, he has to deal with a cast of East Coast characters, including an unexpected murder. Why do dead bodies always seem follow Minx Tobin??


Artist’s rendering of a possible cover

Desert Breeze Publishing has published all six (to date) Minx Tobin novels. THE YULETIDE YORKSHIRE has received great reviews including FIVE Stars from Goodreads and 4.5 Stars from Sensual Reads! All books are available both electronically and in print.





Minx finds something unexpected under the Christmas tree. Unfortunately, it wasn’t something left by Santa.

Amazon.com Ebook and Amazon.com Print


Here is a book trailer for THE YULETIDE YORKSHIRE:


This book is part of the Intriguing Mysteries line.


Here are some great reviews:

4 1/2 STARS! Once more Minx finds herself in the middle of the action, but this time she has the help of an experienced police officer to wade through the clues. Add to the mix an intelligent Yorkshire terrier who knows exactly where all the bodies are buried, and you have a team that cannot be beat. With lots of humor to keep things lively, Ms. Knight has the reader guessing until the she reveals the killer’s identity.--Sensual Reads

4 STARS! "This is Minx’s fifth case, but it’s the first time I’ve read this author’s work. Ms. Knight does a nice job of creating a cozy mystery that's a bit unusual. Who expects your next door neighbor to be shot to death? She gives you enough suspects, all with motive, so it’s not obvious right away who the culprit is. The author writes a story that flows well and includes some jealousy because the next door neighbor’s son was once engaged to Minx and Gabe isn’t sure the attraction is completely over. As Gabe works with Minx to solve this murder, the local cop is unhappy because they are messing in his case and he’s acting a bit funny towards Minx, too. Poor Gabe… The author writes a good drama/trauma story with almost everyone being a bit guilty for some reason. She also gets you into the romance between Minx and Gabe and you find yourself hoping neither one of them will be bullheaded enough to ruin their budding romance. Ms. Knight kept my attention and kept me reading to see just how she would end the story. I was not disappointed. If you like a good cozy mystery, get a cup of tea and find a comfortable chair. This one will fill the bill for you. Why not see if you can identify the murderer before Minx? I think you’ll be surprised by the way it turns out. --Long and Short Reviews

I love Minx Tobin! My favorite Who-Done-It series!--S.C.

This is a great mystery!--C.B.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Real life tidbit: Just look at this adorable puppy!! Wouldn’t you want to see him as a holiday gift?


Well, the truth of it is, I’m a cat person, so my tastes run more to Siamese kitties. Here’s a picture of my beloved little guy who is now in kitty heaven. 


Christmas isn’t the same without him running around under the tree, tearing with all the wrappings and making mischief. Fortunately, I now have a grandkitty who upholds this madcap tradition!

 

Of course, I’m partial (!) but isn’t he the sweetest little kitty?

Scene Setup: Minx lets Yo-Yo out in the snowy backyard, but now he scratches to get back inside... soon to cause havoc in Minx’s parents’ house!

Minx heard a scratching at the back door. “That must be Yo-Yo. I’ll let him in.” She walked over to the kitchen door, then opened it an inch.
The dog dashed through the opening like a shot from a gun. He disappeared into the living room.
Walking back into the living room, she asked, “Where’s Yo-Yo?”
Gabe munched on a cookie. “The dog flew out of the kitchen then dove under the tree.”
“Stupid dog,” her brother Eddie muttered.
Invisible, Yo-Yo softly whimpered. A mound of boxes shook with the dog’s movements.
Minx got to her knees and methodically moved aside presents to get to the terrier. “It’s okay, Yo-Yo. Come on out. You must be frozen, you poor thing.”
“All this fuss for a dog,” Eddie continued to mutter from the lounger.
Still hidden, Yo-Yo persisted in his whining. Biting her lip, Minx glanced at Gabe. Worry pierced her heart. What if the dear little guy had gotten hurt?
Finally she spotted Yo-Yo’s golden tan coat, then his dark, button eyes. “Here, baby. Come to me.”
She lifted the dog from the masses of presents, then although he was icy, hugged him to her chest and tried to warm him.
Gabe leaned forward in his chair. A thoughtful expression entered his cool blue eyes. “He’s got something in his mouth. Something gold.”
Did Yo-Yo have another Christmas gift for her?
Eddie made a move toward the dog. “Yeah, it’s shiny. Lemme get it out of his--”
Yo-Yo snarled at him.
“What’s gotten into Yo-Yo?” Minx adjusted the dog’s position so she had a better view of his face. A wide gold hoop extended out from his mouth.
It was an earring. An earring she recognized from last night.
Swallowing down her apprehension, Minx coaxed the jewelry hoop from the dog. Yo-Yo unclamped his grip, allowing the earring to fall into the palm of her outstretched hand.
She stared at the bright, gleaming gold hoop. Something was wrong with the earring. Something her eyes refused to see, but she forced herself to look again at the jewelry piece. Attached to the gold post was a small lump of beige. She peered closer. Part of this fleshy chunk was rounded, the other part ragged, torn.
A shudder traveled down Minx’s spine. “Oh my gosh! It’s an earlobe.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

Happy reading,

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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Buzz On TAINTED TEA FOR TWO

Tainted Tea For Two, my best-selling mystery romance, is my homage to Agatha Christie and the English murder mystery genre. So, to get started on this insider buzz on my novel, why don’t you prepare a hot cup of delicious tea--not tainted, of course--and I’ll begin!

One of the genres that I always wanted to write was an English murder mystery, a la Ms. Christie. Before I start a project, I like to come up with a working title. Many of the mysteries I’ve read had menacingly playful titles, so TAINTED TEA FOR TWO just popped into my head. Naturally, this meant poison had to play a role in the novel! And not just poison... but injections, and, oddly enough, potatoes!

For my “What if” scenario, I proposed: what if having a nice spot of tea took on a sinister meaning? Hard Shell Word Factory loved the idea, and soon published TAINTED TEA FOR TWO, both electronically and in print.


While in England, a personal trainer finds romance... and murder. Can she prove her innocence?

Print book available (2001 edition) at www.susanneknight.com/orders.htm

After a few years, TAINTED TEA FOR TWO was picked up by Uncial Press. Its new cover won an Ariana Award for Best Contemporary /Suspense /Mystery /Historical Romance. 



Someone wants Lord Embrey dead. Will the method of execution be by poison, or injection, or... potato??


In addition to winning the Ariana Award, TAINTED TEA FOR TWO has been a best-seller over the years and has received 5 star reviews with The Romance Studio and Word on Romance. The book video I created for this mystery earned a Cameo Awards nomination for the Best Romantic Suspense in the Amateur Division.



Music is by Kevin MacLeod, Scheming Weasel Faster.

This book is part of the Intriguing Mysteries line.

Here are some fabulous reviews:

5 HEARTS! TAINTED TEA FOR TWO is a delightfully creative romance that centers on a mystery that will keep the reader guessing until the very end. A colorful cast of characters go about each with their own reasons for wanting the viscount out of the way. Marty wishes she had never taken the job. The stress of being a suspect has her in tears. If that isn't bad enough, the men all want to get her in their beds and she ends up spending a lot of time fending off their advances. That is, all except for Gregory; him she does not fight... The settings are described in clear detail...TAINTED TEA FOR TWO by Susanne Marie Knight is a fast paced romantic mystery that is sure to be enjoyed by the readers.--The Romance Studio

Ms. Knight throws an independent American into the midst of a stuffy English family providing readers with a bit of humor in the middle of this riveting suspense. The characterizations add to the charm and character of TAINTED TEA FOR TWO. While clearly a contemporary suspense, there are moments when readers will feel a slightly historical feel through the “stiff upper lip” attitudes of the British aristocrats. Susanne Marie Knight uses unique plot points, while trying a few tried and true ones as well. This provides readers with a comfortable feel while trying to figure out “whodunit”. I was stumped until almost the end, a rare occurrence for this avid mystery buff. I give TAINTED TEA FOR TWO a solid “two thumbs up.--Word On Romance

This is a tale with plenty of suspense, intrigue and mystery mixed with the possibility of romance. Join Marty as she walks the halls of the  manor and finally walks into a murder. The intention by the killer is to make her the suspect, but will it succeed? A well written tale by talented author Susanne Marie Knight that will please the mystery fan or the romantic suspense fan. Is there something more to the viscount's illness? Why does he keep having recurring bouts? Will they discover what is happening in time? Recommended for a fun read to learn who the killer is and why he plotted such a complex crime. Is it about money or a title or revenge of some sort? Enjoy following Marty and the rest of the well drawn cast along the twisting paths of suspense and suspicion. I did.--Mysteryfiction.net

Ms. Knight has written a wonderful story. One full of mystery, romance, and even comedy. I couldn’t put it down, and read TAINTED TEA FOR TWO in one setting. Her description of the scenery brought back many wonderful memories of my trip to England. She even captured the musty smell of big manors, and the small shops in the village. TAINTED TEA FOR TWO is a delightful “who done it”, that I truthfully enjoyed very, very much. I recommend that everyone read this wonderful book. Ms. Knight has captured the true feelings of England, in a wonderful tale of love, and mystery. You will be absolutely delighted with your choice.--All About Murder Reviews

The charming English countryside, stately manner, and regional dialect embellish this murder romance into a cozy night’s read.--Affaire de Coeur

TAINTED TEA FOR TWO offers gentle humor as the family’s stuffy British attitudes and Marty’s easy going nature clash. This riveting and hard to solve mystery races to the conclusion.--Romance Reader’s Connection

FIVE STARS for TAINTED TEA FOR TWO: Excellent!  I truly enjoyed this story. I had a small idea who did it half way through but was not completely sure until the end. I would recommend to those who enjoy a light hearted murder mystery romance.--D.B. Amazon.com.

Amazon's Listmania: for TAINTED TEA FOR TWO--recommended cozy mystery!--M.A.

TAINTED TEA FOR TWO is so good!--C.G.

Love your Brit-lit: Regency, Time-Travel & Contemporary (Tainted Tea). All are terrific!--A.S.

I love TAINTED TEA FOR TWO!--L.E.

I couldn't figure out who the intruder was. What a surprise!--J.D.

Very English, very funny, with interesting character interplay. Kept me laughing and guessing, laughing and guessing...--M.B.

I read TAINTED TWO FOR TWO with a good deal of pleasure. It's a neat idea, and I liked the characters. This is a very clever concept. Your opening is great! One couldn't help to read the book on that basis and basis alone. Cheers to you!--B.W.

I kept guessing all the way to the end and I thought someone else was the murderer. Wonderful!!--B.K.

I loved TAINTED TEA! What a wonderful homage to Agatha Christie!--M.W.

Now that TAINTED TEA is in paperback, I'm ordering another copy!--C.K.

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As always, there are small snippets from my life embedded into this novel. The heroine, Ms. Marty Jackson, is a personal fitness trainer. Her name is Marty because her father--a former Mr. Universe--wanted a son to carry on his name. Although I’m not a trainer, I do have a fitness background, having worked for thirteen years for an exercise program shown on public television.

Marty also has a cherished possession similar to one that I have... or had, given to me by my daughter.

Marty took out her most prized possession: a paperweight in the shape of a giant, clear crystal. She held it upside down, and the colorful pearls suspended inside gently floated to the bottom. A kid's toy, of course, but she never went anywhere without it. It was the last thing her father had given her.

She gave it a place of honor on the nightstand...


This isn’t an actual picture of the paperweight, but it’s close enough. As with Marty’s diamond, mine also fell to its doom.

"No!" Marty raced to the window and watched her beloved remembrance of her father shatter into a zillion pieces. Part of her shattered with it.

For a classic English murder mystery, I recommend TAINTED TEA FOR TWO. I hope you enjoy Marty and Gregory’s story.

Happy reading,

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