Revisiting the Contemporary Romance with a Paranormal Twist: A KARMIC CONNECTION (excerpt PG)


A karmic second chance at love!

A KARMIC CONNECTION

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Contemporary Romance with a Paranormal Twist

Available electronically at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com

Price: $3.99

Buy link:



Blurb:

DÉJÀ VU--Twenty years ago, Elizabeth Williams had two suitors. She chose Allen over Paul. Now she is divorced and starting over with a new location and a new career. But instead of a new love knocking at her door, an old love seems destined to overwhelm her. Elizabeth’s path crosses with Paul’s, and once again she must make a decision that will change her life.

DÉJÀ WOO-WOO--Doctor Paul Jones, with his feet firmly planted on terra firma, has no patience for metaphysical matters. When a medical conference brings him to the New Age capital of the world, he keeps his distance from anything “woo-woo.” But when he’s attracted to a woman who insists they’d met before... Paul realizes he needs help--metaphysical help--to show him the way to win his Lovely Lizzie’s heart.

Scene Set-Up:

An unexpected visitor, staying at the hotel where Elizabeth Williams works, asks for a glass of water. She realizes that she might possibly know him from twenty years ago.

Excerpt:

From out of nowhere, she heard a knock. Or did she? Setting her bare feet down on the tiled floor, she held the front edges of the robe closed at her neck, then tiptoed to the door.

She checked the time. Ten o’clock. Who could be paying a visit at this hour?

The knock came again.

“Who’s there?”

No answer. She glanced through the peephole, but the magnified view was clear. “Hello?”

Still nothing.

She opened the door to a deliciously mild breeze... and that was it. No one stood on her front step, nor was anyone in sight. The stars twinkled down on her from a sky crystal black. It was quiet, so quiet that goose bumps made noise as they popped up on her skin.

The breeze couldn’t have been responsible for the knocking sound, could it?

About to turn back into the house, she stopped when she heard a man’s voice.

“Hello, there. Is anything wrong?” A tall shadowy figure left the gravel path winding around the colony of resort bungalows and headed toward her. “Do you need some help?”

Oh dear! Elizabeth clasped the edges of her robe even tighter. She definitely wasn’t dressed for company, especially male company, and someone she didn’t know.

“No, thank you. Everything’s fine.” She slipped back over the threshold.

Before she had a chance to close the door, the man had hurried, and now stood on the front step under the outside light fixture. “Pardon me, but aren’t you from the restaurant here?” He didn’t pause for her to reply. “I was wondering if I might have a glass of water. It’s a long walk from the main resort.”

She recognized him. It was the man from the patio who’d ordered the nachos. His eyes, from behind his glasses, were the most vivid green she’d ever seen. They seemed to sparkle at her, just as the stars had. His beard was neatly trimmed, accentuating his high cheekbones and oval face. He looked trustworthy, non-threatening. Plus he was a guest at Sol de Caliente.

Her decision made, she bit her lower lip. “Ah, sure. If you’ll wait here, I’ll get it.”

Pivoting on her heel, she rushed to the refrigerator and took out the water pitcher. She poured a glass, turned around, and then yelped. The man had followed her into the kitchen.

“Oh, I... you, ah, startled me.” She thrust the water at him. “Here.”

“Thanks. You’re very kind.” He took the glass. As he sipped, he slowly wandered into the living area. His keen gaze took everything in as if he was absolutely fascinated.

She tapped her bare toes against the tiled floor. “Look, I don’t want to be rude, but as you can tell I’m not exactly dressed to entertain. And I did not invite you in.”

His smile was warm and open. “True, but I didn’t think you’d mind. I’m curious about this little house you have.” He sniffed the air. “Do I smell lavender?”

The man had the temerity to make himself comfortable on the couch.

Still a safe distance away in the kitchen, she narrowed her gaze at him. “Yes, I took your advice about lavender oil for my sunburn. But, listen--”

“Paul.”

“Paul, I must insist you leave.”

He lifted an eyebrow as if waiting for something. What did he want?

Oh. “My name’s Elizabeth. Now please, if you don’t go, I’ll have to--”

“I know your name. I asked Jasmine. Lovely Lizzie suits you.”

Lovely Lizzie. As impossible as it sounded, the earth actually stopped spinning. At least, for Elizabeth it did. Although she would’ve sworn she had never seen this man before today, her vortex visions had reminded her. Only one person had ever called her Lovely Lizzie. Could this man possibly be the same Paul who had volunteered at the hospital with her twenty years ago?

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

Hope you enjoy!

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

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New Release: Contemporary Romance: THE TWO OF CUPS IS FOR LOVERS (excerpt PG)

Touchdown! Polar opposites--Drew Gavin, high-profile star quarterback, and Isabeau Delaney, low-key Tarot advisor, go head to head when the Tarot card of lovers and soul mates keeps reappearing in their readings.

THE TWO OF CUPS IS FOR LOVERS

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Contemporary Romance with a Paranormal Twist

Available electronically at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com

Price: $3.99

Buy link:


Blurb:
NOT GONNA HAPPEN
Fame. Money. Booze. Women. It’s just another ho-hum day in the life of retired NFL star quarterback, Drew “The Cowboy” Gavin. But Drew’s one love is his young child, Elena. For months she’s refused to talk, and he’s in desperate need of help. He’s exhausted every avenue in conventional medicine; now he’s considering something different. Something unconventional, alternative. His manager sets him up with... what? A Tarot advisor? Not gonna happen! Can Drew put aside his prejudice against metaphysical matters and give his earth angel, Madame Laney, a chance?

NOT GOING TO HAPPEN
Isabeau Delaney, a.k.a. Madame Laney, has big expenses and responsibilities. A beautiful house, a beloved grandmother in a nursing home, and a slew of Tarot clients that depend of her to help them navigate the shoals of life. She has no time for a chauvinistic skeptic who turns his nose up at her life’s work. Drew Gavin just isn’t in the cards... Tarot or otherwise. Not going to happen! But if that’s the case, why does the persistent Two of Cups--the card for lovers and soul mates--keep reappearing in the readings she conducts for Drew?

Excerpt:

Drew took a deep breath and squared his shoulders. In his career as a star quarterback he’d faced bulldozer-sized men from opposing NFL teams who had been determined to inflict maximum pain. He’d weathered those bison stampedes; surely he could handle a supposed psychic.

The door opened to reveal... an angel. An ethereal, ponytailed, slender young woman with a form-fitting tee shirt and a flowing layered long skirt. Damn, she was beautiful. She couldn’t be the psychic, could she?

He blinked away his surprise. “Er, I’m here to see Madame Laney?”

Not losing her poise, she held her slim hand out for a shake. “Hello. You must be Mr. Gavin.”

Truth be told, at the moment he wasn’t sure of his name. At all. He quickly pulled himself together and shook her hand. “Yeah, Drew Gavin, here. I’m pleased to meet you, er, Miss...?”

“Madame Laney.” She disengaged her hand. “Please, come in, Mr. Gavin.”

All business, that was what this little package of femininity was. Turning on the charm, he smiled. After all, his fans expected smiles. “Thank you kindly, er, Madame Laney.”

He stepped into the beautifully decorated entryway. It was cool, thankfully air-conditioned against the heated day.

A certain fragrance greeted him, relaxing him, invigorating him. He couldn’t place the scent but whatever it was, he felt better than if he’d just had a professional massage.

Then it came to him: lavenders. Sometimes his physical therapist put lavender oil into his whirlpool bath. So not only was this young thing easy on the eyes, she knew how to quickly take the edge off a man without being obvious about it. Lavenders, yeah.

“This way, Mr. Gavin.” She gestured to the right and followed him into the living room. “Please have a seat.” She indicated a curved chair stationed in front of a cherrywood table.

The table was set in between two matching clamshell chairs. Soft music played in the background--loud enough to fill the quiet and low enough to ignore.

This house of hers really felt like a home. He didn’t know about any of this hocus-pocus stuff, but as a hostess, she was first-rate. He appreciated the soothing atmosphere. Hell, most days he had to deal with pushy women doing anything and everything to attract his attention. Sex, sex, and more sex, along with money, money, money. Sure, those chicks were fine, but as phony as hell, too. They wanted the high profile Cowboy, not Andrew Gavin from Small Town, Montana.

And they definitely did not want a package deal with his three-year-old. Truth be told, after a while the mating games got old.

She waited until he got comfortable. “Would you like a bottle of water?”

“Thanks, a cup of coffee would be nice.” He flashed his standard grin.

She shook her head, sending her dark tail of hair brushing against her shoulders. “Sorry, caffeine isn’t recommended for the type of work we’re doing.”

Well, that was strange. “Okay, sure. Water. So what kind of work are we doing?”

After lifting a feathery eyebrow, she got a bottle from a small cooler nearby. She handed him the water and then sat across from him. “Why are you here, Mr. Gavin?”

Her dispassionate stare bore a hole in him. He wasn’t used to being looked at like he was some kind of germ under the microscope. Frankly, he wasn’t used to being looked at as anything but prime beef.

“I’ll be honest... Madame Laney.” What the hell was her first name? “I’ve never done anything like this before. See a psychic? Hell no, not in my playbook, darlin’.” He shrugged. “My friend thinks you can help me, so here I am.”

“I see.”

Even her voice was detached, unemotional. It actually gave him the willies.

“So let me clear things up, Mr. Gavin. I’m not a psychic. My gift is reading cards. Tarot cards.” She folded her hands on top of the table. Her fingernails were short, unpolished. “Your friend, Mr. Folsom, told me that you could use some guidance. That was all he said. To get a feel for what your concern is, I did a quick reading. The information I received is this: Your question concerns a love interest--in your case I believe it is a young girl. Perhaps a daughter of yours? Something is happening with her and because of this you feel trapped. Your daughter is very important to you. In fact, she’s your world. So you are distressed because you don’t see a way out of the situation affecting her. And this is a heavy weight you’re carrying around.”

Damn. Drew gulped down some water. He was literally without words.

“Does any of that resonate with you, Mr. Gavin?”

“Oh hell yeah.” Although the temperature in the room was pleasant, sweat beaded up on his forehead. He took another, a more discriminating look at the woman.

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

Hope you enjoy!

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

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Re-Visiting the Classic Regency Time-Travel Romance LORD DARVER’S MATCH (excerpt PG)


LORD DARVER’S MATCH

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Time-Travel Regency

Available electronically at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com

Price: $4.99

Buy link:


Blurb:
AN INNOCENT WISH--Little did modern day Hillary Logan realize when she made her innocent wish for a happy marriage, that she’d be waking up in bed next to a handsome nobleman--in 1815. Struggling to adjust to Regency England, she teaches the dashing marquess a thing or two about love and “a woman’s place.”

A PLEASANT DIVERSION--Seeking a diversion from the ongoing horrors of the Napoleonic Wares, Simon Altmont, looks forward to a liaison with the attractive woman in his bed. She would make a perfect new mistress! He soon learns just how different his mysterious Mrs. Logan really is. Has the Marquess of Darver finally met his match?

Scene Set-Up:
On assignment in the past, Serenity attends her first “haut ton” ball. As she studies the notorious rake, Nicholas Wycliffe, Lord Brockton, she finds him studying her.

Excerpt:
Hillary’s cheeks radiated heat. She knew her face had to be the color of her nightshirt--shocking pink. She was standing there half-naked in front of the most desirable man she’d ever come across--and a stranger to boot.

She fingered the long line of buttons at her bodice. “I wish you’d hurry. I’m uncomfortable enough as it is without you eyeballing me.”

Her frankness surprised her. She shrugged it off as a case of the nerves. Who, in her position, wouldn’t be nervous? Who, in her position, wouldn’t be nervous?

The man unsuccessfully turned his laughter into a cough, and then he gave her that lopsided grin again. “Certainly, my dear. Although I must say I have never heard such a quaint manner of speaking. I find the term ‘eyeballing’ quite expressive, to be sure.”

She tapped her foot. How dare he make fun of her speech when he sounded so... so British!

His eyes gleamed with mischief. “And such unusual night attire. I have never seen the like. Not that you do not look fetching.”

Hillary wanted to strangle him. Through clenched teeth, she commanded, “Hurry up!”

“Impatient, m’dear?” He completed his task and, properly covered by the robe, sauntered over to the door. “May I suggest you take position behind the door? When it comes to females, Finch can be disapproving. He does not understand that women can be necessary at times.”

The man knew he was infuriating. He knew it. Hillary frowned but followed his suggestion. His gaze moved over her bare feet, lower limbs, knees, and partially exposed thighs. She tried to pretend his scrutiny didn’t bother her but if her face got any hotter, she’d scorch her eyebrows.

He chuckled. “By the bye, shall I have a bottle of champagne sent up? To celebrate our good fortune? Or rather, my good fortune.”

She balled her fists. What she wouldn’t give to floor the man. But she was in no position to argue.

Eyeing her combat-ready hands, he raised one eyebrow. “No champagne? Perhaps you do not favor things that are French?”

“If you please.” She spat out the words.

Hi grinned, opened the door, and called out into the corridor. “Finch. Finch, old boy, are you up?”

Hillary heard a shuffling noise down the hallway. The shuffling stopped at the door. “Did you require me, my--”

“My good man,” her bedfellow interrupted. “I have a commission for you this early morn. I have an unexpected companion with me--a charming one, I might add. It seems she has misplaced her husband, Jim.”

He turned to her and used the door as a barrier to hide her from Finch. “Jim what, my dear?” he asked, not bothering to hide his amusement.

His eyes crinkled merriment at her predicament. Damn the man! Hillary concentrated on keeping her voice cool. “Jim Logan,” she said succinctly.

With his back to Finch, her tormentor curved a finger under her chin. “I have been remiss. We have not introduced ourselves. Simon Altmont, at your service.”

She met his gaze and ignored the fluttery sensations that zigzagged down her backbone. Hoping she showed no emotion, she raised her chin. “And I’m Mrs. Logan.”

His hearty laugh shook those massive shoulders. Releasing her chin, he bowed. “Pleased to make your acquaintance, my dear.”

Finch’s shuffle announced that he still waited. Mr. Altmont turned back to him. “I need you to ferret out this Jim Logan--discreetly, of course. If you have no success, then you must find some suitable clothes for Mrs. Logan to wear.”

As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, her stomach decided to roar. Even Finch must have heard it.

“Oh, and Finch,” Mr. Altmont drawled, “do bring Mrs. Logan and me some breakfast. We have worked up an appetite!”

Speechless, she stared at him. Had she heard right? How dare he imply....

In that moment, there was nothing Hillary wanted to do more than to murder the man.

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

Happy Reading!

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

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Just Released!

Book #3 of Phantom Riders MC Trilogy!
Standalone romances
No cliffhangers ever!


Get it here!

Big John is the club enforcer. He's big and scary and he sets his sights on Daisy the instant he locks eyes on the curvy beauty. Daisy's the new girl in town. She's grown strong and independent since leaving an abusive marriage, but nothing prepares her for the hulking, sexy biker who wants to claim her when trouble comes calling!

Excerpt -
“Open the door.” I cringed at the harsh demand passing through my lips, and couldn’t blame her for slapping her hands onto her hips and refusing my request.

My gaze fell to the deep V that putting her hands on her hips had caused. Plenty of smooth, creamy flesh was revealed, but I wanted to see it all. My dick had a one-track mind when it came to Daisy and what he wanted, jerking strongly behind my zipper.

“Do you want to rephrase that?” she scowled.

Fuck, I liked her fire. But I wasn’t about to turn all syrupy and say please. She should have known better. “Open the door, babe, or I’ll open it for you and I guarantee you won’t like how I go about it.”

She weighed my words, as if trying to decide if I’d follow up my threat. “Nice, Big John.” She reached up and turned the lock. “I told you to leave me alone. I don’t want you here.”

I yanked the door open and stepped inside. “I don’t care what you want.” My nostrils flared, taking in the enticing scent that trailed behind her as she moved away. I wanted to lick whatever the hell it was off her body. “You’re coming back to the club with me.”

She paused and turned back around to face me, disbelief on her face. “No. I’m not connected to you or the club in any way, so I’ll stay right here where I’m safe.”

I snorted. “Safe, babe? Do you know how easy I could have broken through that glass door? And I bet the back door to this place isn’t any better, unless you had it replaced when you moved in.” Her deflated expression revealed that she hadn’t. “Get dressed and pack some shit.”

She held her ground stubbornly. “Why? Because your club is on lockdown? That means nothing to me. You can’t come in here and tell me what to do. You’re nothing to me.”

Christ, that hurt. I forced myself not to move, not to reach out and just make her do what I wanted. I didn’t expect her to understand, our worlds were different. She was a civilian, lived by the rules and laws that society dictated. We did, too, in a way, but our rules and laws were dictated by the members of the MC. We voted on what worked for our club, we had each other’s backs and stood together as a team. We didn’t get the law involved in club trouble because we took care of shit on our own. It was the way most hardcore MC’s worked.

“You’re stubborn, woman,” I growled. “And I don’t have time for this shit.” I bent at the waist, caught her in the belly with my shoulder, and swept her off her feet. I heard her outraged humph as I continued to the back where I knew the stairs led to the second story.

“Put me down!” Daisy screamed, beating her little fists against my back as I easily carried her upstairs. “This is crazy, Big John! I’m not going with you and there’s nothing you can do about it!”

That’s what she thought. If I had to drag her ass back to the club the way she was dressed I would. I opened her door and plowed through the room, following the layout of her apartment until I reached her bedroom.

“Put me down!” she demanded angrily, wiggling wildly against me.

I dropped her down onto her bed. She bounced a few times before coming to rest on her backside.

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Revisiting the Award-Winning Regency: A CONTINENTAL MARRIAGE (PG excerpt)


Golden Wings Award WINNER--Best Overall Historical Romance Read

Here's a little known bit of trivia: the model for A CONTINENTAL MARRIAGE's lovely cover is none other than my very own lovely daughter!

A CONTINENTAL MARRIAGE

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Regency

Available electronically at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com

Price: $3.99 electronically and $12.95 print

Buy link:

Available electronically at:
Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0037UY484 and Wings Press http://www.books-by-wings-epress.com/a-continental-marriage

Available In print at:
Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/dp/1597058823 and Createspace https://www.createspace.com/6291460

Blurb:
AN AMERICAN ROSE

American Nicolette Turner has a bone to pick with the British. Not only is her country’s maritime rights being violated, but her English grandfather, Lord Eldredge, demands that she travel across the Atlantic to visit him. What she doesn’t know is that he intends for her to marry, thereby staying in England and having lots of babies.

The most eligible suitor is neighbor Victor Kincaid. Victor has severe money problems. Lord Eldredge offers to take care of the debts... if Victor marries Nicolette. At first Victor believes she’s a fortune-hunter, but soon becomes captivated by her. Can he convince her he wants more than a marriage of convenience?

Scene Set-Up:
The financial arraignments have been made. Victor decides it’s now time to propose to Nicolette. 

Excerpt:
Damn. Asking for this woman’s hand was going to be deuced awkward, to say the least.

Inhaling deeply, Victor walked into the drawing room and scanned its yellow interior. A cheerful fire crackled in the fireplace which stood between two immense paintings. Just beyond the hearthrug in the middle of the drawing room, a table displayed the nuncheon meal. Cold meats, cheeses, pickles, jellies, breads, and fruits--everything a man could want to assuage his hunger. But more important than food, a crystal decanter of sherry beckoned to him.

It would have to wait. Where the devil was Nicolette?

The two settees around the table were empty and not a sound other than the snapping and popping of flames disturbed the tranquil air.

He released his breath. Was he supposed to seek her out? “Damn,” he repeated, this time out loud.

A movement by the large wing-backed chair near the fireplace caught his attention. It was Nicolette, so curled within the chair’s comfortable borders that, from his vantage, he had not seen her.

“Is something wrong, Lord Cushing? Is the food not to your liking?”

She looked an odd mixture of mischievousness and grandeur. Her delicately arched eyebrows were lifted in an indifferent manner, however, the twinkle in her grey eyes revealed amusement at having caught him in an unguarded moment.

“Er, no, not at all.” He cleared his throat, then gestured toward the table. “Shall we?”

Nodding, she left the chair to pick up a dish. She must not have been very hungry for she chose only a few cubes of cheese, a biscuit, apple slices, and strips of pineapple. “I find our host’s hospitality most agreeable. I never expected to feast on pineapple, quite a costly fruit in these parts Margaret tells me.” Nicolette chose one of the settees and sat.

He made a move to pour her a glass of sherry, but she declined the wine.

Pity. It would have made his ordeal easier if she were a trifle elevated.

He sat opposite her on the other settee and balanced a full plate on his lap. How should he begin? “Lady Nicolette--”

“Perhaps it’s time we called each other by our Christian names.”

He smiled. She was going to make this easy for him. “Yes. Yes, certainly, Nicolette. I realize we have not known each other long, however, our families have been neighbors and friends for close to two hundred years.”

“My father’s family,” she corrected.

“Yes, of course.” Why would she even mention her mother’s connections? He ran his hand over his hair, then took a drink of sherry. “I would have preferred for us to get better acquainted before...”

“Before what?”

He glanced into her earnest eyes. So, she was not going to make it easy. “Nicolette, as you are aware, shopping is not the sole purpose of being in London today. It is your grandfather’s wish to bring us... together.”

She met his gaze unflinchingly. “And he uses his wealth to achieve his ends.”

Victor’s sentiments exactly, but why protest when he had already agreed to the arrangement? “As I am in need of funds, as are you, I see no reason to quibble about the circumstances that unite us in marriage.”

Her nostrils flaring, she straightened her back. In truth she looked as formidable as an avenging fury. “Marriage? I must have missed something important. When did you propose?”

“Damn.” He did not mean to swear; the word just slipped out--again.

Uncertainty assailed him. Perhaps she was not as amenable as Lord Eldredge believed. And yet marriage to Nicolette was a tolerable solution to his dilemma. His sister Leticia had not registered dissent when Victor had broached the subject, which was quite a relief, considering her sensibilities. Her departed Stanley had been close to the poor house, and news of the dwindling Kincaid finances must have been a topic of great concern to her. With the earl’s backing, Leticia need never worry about monetary matters again.

Which was a moot point unless he could win over this termagant. So how should he handle Nicolette?

Hoping to gain insight from the sherry’s potent, fortified fumes, he refilled his glass, then took another sip. As the wine warmed his insides, he thought of her father, and how Ian would on occasion turn mulish when forced to act contrary to his inclinations. Victor’s job then, was to convince her that this marriage was in her own best interests.

“My dear Nicolette, if I may.” Victor set aside his glass and his plate, then sat next to her. “You are right. I did not propose--properly or otherwise.” He held her hand, and was amused to note a pink blush covering her cheeks. “It is my fervent hope that my offer of marriage will have a favorable reception. I confess it quite impossible to conceal the anxiety with which I await your reply.”

She pulled her hand away. “I-I find that difficult to believe.”

He reclaimed it, not only to exert control over her, but to be truthful, he enjoyed the softness of her skin. “My sentiments are bona fide, Nicolette. It seems my future lies in these delicate hands. As you pointed out at last Saturday’s dinner party, I have been neglecting my duty to unite with a gently bred lady in matrimony.”

Her comment was most unexpected. “Piffle,” she said as she turned away.

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

Hope you enjoy!

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


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Revisiting the Murder Mystery Romance: THE BLOODSTAINED BISTRO (PG excerpt)



THE BLOODSTAINED BISTRO

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Murder Mystery Romance

Price: FREE electronically!!

Buy Link:
Available electionically at:


Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIPP0MJtnTs to see a trailer of THE BLOODSTAINED BISTRO.

Blurb:
Eating at the Bloodstained Bistro can be hazardous to amateur detective Minx Tobin’s health. So why does she continue to dine at this restaurant?

TO LIVE... AND DIE IN L.A.
Newly relocated Minx Tobin likes to help her friends. She also has a knack for solving puzzles. A huge puzzle in the form of a dead body soon gets dropped into her lap. Did waitress Brandi Evans murder her ex-boyfriend? Minx doesn’t think so, but can she crack the Case of the Bloodstained Bistro?

Overworked homicide lieutenant Gabe Harris has his fill of women... and dead bodies. The women he can handle. The dead bodies-- unfortunately they keep piling up. But on this particular case he meets a young woman that not only impedes his investigation, but she also has no interest in him. A healthy ego like his can’t handle that. He’ll have to keep an eye on Ms. Minx Tobin.

Scene Set-Up:
On a whim, Homicide lieutenant Gabe Harris offers to take Minx Tobin, a woman involved with a murder suspect, to dinner.

Excerpt:
The Tobin woman had been surprised by his offer of dinner, but not as surprised as he was himself. Gabe drove onto Santa Monica Boulevard all the while wondering what the hell he had been thinking.

She'd been right; strictly speaking, about fraternizing with a suspect. He was mixing pleasure with official police business. Dynamite that was guaranteed to explode in his face.

He glanced over at his reluctant passenger. Sitting stiffly in the passenger seat, she held her handbag against her chest as if it were a shield offering protection.

Not that she'd need it against him; she wasn't his type. She was lean and athletic. He preferred his women to be of the buxom variety.

And, come to think of it, he might not be her type either. She seemed to have a preference for Brandi Evans' company.

"Where are we going to eat?" Minx asked, turning her dark eyed gaze on him.

Minx. What a helluva name. She hadn't like it when he used it. Her plump lips had turned down imperceptibly. He'd noticed though. It was his job to be observant.

He stopped at a light and looked over at her again. "I thought since we both seem to gravitate toward Valentin's, we'd go there."

She didn't comment. By the narrowing of her eyes, he could tell she was in a snit. Perhaps he couldn't blame her. She'd just eaten at the bistro last night, although she wasn't aware that he knew that fact.

He parked alongside Valentin's and turned off the engine before noticing the sign on the door proclaiming the bistro to be closed.

"That's strange," he said, more to himself than to the woman.

"It certainly is," she agreed. "I was just here last night. I sure hope it's not closed permanently."

Gabe started up the car again. "Maybe Valentin had an emergency." Whatever was the reason, he'd have to check it out. Later.

So now what? This little tête-à-tête with Minx Tobin was turning out to be a really lousy idea.

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

Hope you enjoy!

Susanne Marie Knight

Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist

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(PG excerpt) Revisiting The Science Fiction Romance AN ALIEN PARADISE


AN ALIEN PARADISE

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Science Fiction Romance

NEW PRICE!! $3.99.

Buy Link:
Available electronically at:


Blurb:
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?

Scene Set-Up:
Extraterrestrial Kelvin Lacertus meets the tutor he hired for his rambunctious nephew.

Excerpt:
Kelvin Lacertus sunk his chin in his hand. Here was a devil of a situation. He was responsible for the whole of the Tau Ceti or rather Taurus City enterprise here on Terra, yet he held no sway whatever over a five-year-old boy.

Sobering.

The doorbell ran throughout the house. No time to wallow in inappropriate thoughts.

He corralled his nephew with a few well-chosen words, and then they both walked through the sliding glass doors into the living room to await Petra Richardson. As soon as sounds were heard at the living room door, however, Tray darted back outside.

That boy is in serious need of discipline.

But that thought completely vanished as Kelvin watched the willowy woman enter the room. He sharply inhaled. The enchanting fifteen-year-old waif he remembered had grown into a beauty that took his breath away. Her dark hair, parted in the middle, hung down in cascading waves just past her shoulders. Still slender, still petite, she wore a camisole top and matching covering tied at her narrow waist, along with a long gauzy skirt. Her sandaled toes peeped out from under the hem.

She walked in as a goddess might, strong and confident in her appearance. As well she should. She was like the Greek goddess Artemis--wild, determined, and pure.

He raked her with his gaze, inhaling her flowery fragrance. There was something special about Terran women. He’d always believed that. But more so with this Terran woman. Something elemental, something primordial. Something that appealed to every sense that a man possessed.

Her eyes, a mixture of butterscotch and honey, widened at seeing him.

She remembered him. Good.

Kelvin stepped forward and extended his hand. “I am charmed to see you, Ms. Richardson. Although we have met before, yes?”

The slightest blush colored her high cheeks. She shook his hand. “Yes, a very long time ago. I’m flattered that you remember me, sir.”

Her shake was firm, her skin warm. Her touch engendered a tickling sensation--one that penetrated down to his innermost regions. He held her gaze. “But of course I do. You were a most engaging child.”

He then turned toward the windows and watched his nephew scurry down the deck making guttural bird cries. This time Tray had found two branches that had fallen off a palm tree. One in each hand, he flapped them, making a jump every so often as if to take off to the skies.

“There is your new charge, Ms. Richardson. As you can see, my nephew is a lively child with a vivid imagination. Unfortunately, he just had a run in with a pair of scissors. His hair lost the battle.”

She walked over to the sliding glass door and looked out, obviously watching for the boy’s next turn around the deck. When Tray came back around, he waved a palm branch at her.

“He’s darling! A typical boy,” she exclaimed.

Kelvin withheld his comment. Tray wasn’t exactly typical.

Tapping her finger against her chin, she tilted her head. “Tell you what. Another pair of scissors can fix the damage. Do you have clippers? Hair-cutting gear? I’d be happy to give Traynor a trim. I often cut my father’s hair.”

“I’ll have the equipment brought in. I admit to being curious as to how you will persuade an active child to sit still for a haircut.” Kelvin gestured toward the white contemporary couch. “Come, let’s sit. I’m being an inattentive host. Would you care for some refreshments? Coffee? Iced tea? Something stronger?”

Petra glided over, sat on the cushions, and then placed her handbag next to her. She smoothed her skirt’s material down at her knees. “Thank you, no. I’m fine.”
He mixed himself a vodka tonic, splashed in a lime slice, and then sat adjacent to her in one of the white contour chairs. Leaning back, he studied her.

She glanced around the large room.  “Mr. Lacertus, I can’t, for the life of me, figure this out. Why did you choose me to tutor your nephew?”

He started to speak, but she held up her slim hand. “I need to know the real reason, if you don’t mind.”

“The real reason,” he repeated. Stalling for time, he took a refreshing sip of his drink. “Well, first, please call me Kelvin.”

Her eyes crinkled up and her shoulders hunched forward, ever so slightly. Why was that?

“My name amuses you?”

She flushed. “You do know your name is a measurement of absolute thermodynamic temperature?”

Petra Richardson was of a literal mind; he explicitly remembered that about her. She was also a science teacher, through and through.

“Indeed it is, Petra, if I may. And if I gage the temperature in this room correctly, it is not only sixty eight degrees Fahrenheit, but also can be stated as two hundred and ninety four Kelvin.”

She tapped her sandaled foot on the plush, cream-colored carpet. “I’ll take your word for it. You very neatly avoided my question.”

“So I did. Astute of you to notice.” He took another cool sip, and then set his glass down on a side table. “If you truly want to know--
“I do.”

He couldn’t tell her the real reason. What the devil could he say?

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

Hope you enjoy!

Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now Available: AN ALIEN PARADISE, science fiction romance
Planet Earth is a jewel that must be shared!


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Revisiting The Science Fiction Romance ALIEN HEAT (PG excerpt)


ALIEN HEAT

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Science Fiction Romance

Price: $3.99
Print: $12.95

Buy Link:
Available electronically at:

Available in print at:

Blurb:
All women love these flowers... but the feeling's *not* mutual.

AN ALIEN INVASION
A cataclysmic bombardment by meteorites drastically alter Earth's atmosphere... and bring strange alien plants that have a mind of their own. Because of “mutant” powers, only Glyneth recognizes the threat these Venusian flowers pose not just to humans, but to Earth itself.

AN HONORABLE DILEMMA
Major Lucas Jefferson reluctantly abducts Glyneth as a breeder for his country. But "Lady Bulldog" teaches him that might is not always right. Can he learn from this villager to fulfill the ancient prophecy of uniting the old ways with the new?

Scene Set-Up:
Major Lucas Jefferson's mission is to invade a "primitive" village and abduct women. In this scene, Glyneth, the unwilling victim, escapes, but then returns to help him after he has been knocked unconscious by an outside force.

Excerpt:
When Glyneth reached for the binding cloth, the man held onto her wrist with an unrelenting grip. “No. Stay. I must... thank you.” His uniform shirt was tight without the armor, and through the thin material she saw bulging biceps, powerful pectorals, and a host of manly muscles.

She gulped down hard. She felt so strange around this man. Unfamiliar emotions stabbed at her, causing confusion.

No! This won’t do. I must control myself.

She took a deep breath, then glanced at her hand, neatly imprisoned within his grasp. “Perhaps you can thank me by releasing me?”

He let her go, but continued to pinion her to the spot with his mesmerizing gaze. “This much I can do. As for allowing you to return to your village, no. That would not be for the best.”

“It would be best for me.” Warily eying him, she took a chance on his weakened state and sat a yard away from him.

“No,” he repeated as if his word was law. “You will be honored in my province of Columont. Doubly so because you rescued an heir of the ten sons of Canusa.”

The ten sons of Canusa. Glyneth scratched at the fake scar on her forehead, then released her hair from the restricting ponytail. Not having her head covered in a man’s presence made her feel extremely vulnerable.

Canusa, he had said. Somehow, that word sounded familiar. “Who is Canusa? Does that mean you are a prince?”

“The original Canusa was the most holy of holies. Out of the ten sons--or the ten ruling families--one is elected to reign as the new Canusa.” He shrugged his broad shoulders, then winced with pain, probably because of his upper arm. “It is true, I am nobly born.”

“Not a true warrior then.” She folded her arms across her chest. “I thought so.”

His eyes narrowed, glittering dangerously. “You wound me again, woman. Make no mistake, you shall not escape me a second time.”

“You’re in no condition to threaten me! Sweet Christmas, I saved your life! Allow me to return home and we can call the debt paid.” Standing, she pointed her finger at him in an accusing manner. “Believe me, I don’t want your double honor.”

Before she could blink, he was on his feet, towering over her. With one quick movement, he twisted her arm against her back. “We shall call it paid now. By rights I should kill you for your insults.”

Oh, how her arm did hurt. But she didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of seeing her flinch. “Kill me because of words?” Due to his superior height, she lifted her head up to stare long and hard at his cold, blue eyes. “You come from a savage people.”

“Savage?” he shot back. “That is ironic coming from an uncivilized villager.”

“Well, if being civilized means going around stealing women, you’re right. We’re not civilized.”

The man paused. Raking his gaze over her, he released her arm, then did a quick walkabout where they stood, scanning the rock formations in the dark. “Raiding your village is not something we wish to do but it is necessary for our survival.”

“And so that makes it acceptable, hmmn?” For some perverse reason, she was enjoying herself. Fighting with words was far more exhilarating than thrusting with swords.

He ran his hand over his unbandaged hair and changed the subject. “You look different, woman.”

If she wasn’t scared before, the peculiar gleam in his eyes scared her now. “It’s nighttime, in case you haven’t noticed. Everything looks different in the dark. “If you’ll excuse me--”

Cold metal snapped painfully hard against her left wrist. It was a silver bracelet, cruelly imprisoning her. He snapped a duplicate one, connected by a chain, on his own wrist. “Handcuffs,” he explained. “So you cannot refuse the honor waiting for you back at my province.”

Wild, fiery fury consumed her. “How dare you--”

“I dare anything to bring my prize back to Columont.” With his free hand, he rubbed his forehead. “Good offensive move, by the way. Called a head butt, I believe. By thunder, it still hurts. But not as much as the blow....”

He yanked on the handcuffs, pulling her along. “Never mind. Come. We will find a spot to rest for the remainder of the night. I could use a good sleep.”

Trailing behind like a stubborn mule, she dug in her heels, but it was no use. She was no match for his strength, even in his weakened, fevered state.

The man headed for an area soft with undulating sand. “Your actions do your village proud. Plucky little thing.” He sat down, giving her no choice but to follow suit. “I was not wrong to select you. Quite an improvement without those bulldog cheeks. Your color has also improved, but you could use more padding on your bones.”

She flared her nostrils. “Let me go.”

Instead of answering, he reached over and flattened his palm against her breast.

“Get away from me, you... you beast!” Tears springing to her eyes, she shoved him away with her unshackled hand. 

Surprisingly, he did not pursue her, but settled down into the sand. “That is rather difficult to do with handcuffs binding us. No matter. I am relieved to know you have more padding on your chest than I originally thought. Your future mate will be pleased.”

How could she lie down next to this monster? Imbuing her words with all the venom she felt, she hissed, “I hate you.”

Although his eyes were closed, he curved his lips into a smile. “I know. Good-night.”

And blast the man, but the next minute, he started snoring!

Glyneth chewed on the fingernails of her free hand, trying to figure her next move. She raised her left arm, only to drag his arm up, too. There was nothing else to do but ease down on the sand and close her eyes. The man had won this round. But, she still had hope. As the ancient saying went, tomorrow was another day.

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

Hope you enjoy!

Susanne Marie Knight

Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist

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Re-Released! Regency Time-Travel Romance REGENCY SOCIETY REVISITED (excerpt PG)


At last! An honest-to-goodness time machine. :))

REGENCY SOCIETY

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Time-Travel Regency

Available electronically at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com

Price: $4.99

Buy link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XKKZ5YT http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/710820

Blurb:
The future and the past collide! Anthropologist Serenity Steele meets her heart’s desire in the form of a short-tempered Regency rake, Nicholas Wycliffe.

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: 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?

Scene Set-Up:
On assignment in the past, Serenity attends her first “haut ton” ball. As she studies the notorious rake, Nicholas Wycliffe, Lord Brockton, she finds him studying her.

Excerpt:
Inhaling deeply, Serenity relaxed for the first time this evening and looked over at her companion. Amazing how he should have taken offense at her words... but he didn’t.

What was he thinking? She admired his profile: the high forehead, straight nose, and his smooth, well-defined jaw. His features, though, gave no clue to his internal thoughts.

She exhaled again. Of course it was unwise to relax in the presence of a rake, but then again, how else would she see how a professional seducer practiced his art? Something told her she wouldn’t have long to wait.

While she was looking up at the moon of the nineteenth century, Brockton stepped closer and brushed her ear with his lips.

Suddenly she was no longer curious. An image of a brilliant peacock feather tickling her skin exploded in her mind. She frantically chased it away. Why did she always have these bouts of synesthesia--the blending of the senses--when she needed all her wits about her?

“That’s not a good idea.” Retreating from him, she stumbled on the carpet of grass surrounding the walkway.

He firmly gathered her back onto the path and they continued their walk, crunching small stones beneath their feet--the only sounds that broke the quiet.

“You are right, of course. Not a good idea. Please forgive my momentary madness, my girl. Blame my lapse of good manners on this romantic atmosphere.”

A smile lurked about the corners of his mouth. He seemed so sure of himself--so certain she would respond to him. Certain of success.

Anger coursed through her veins. “I am neither!” she denied hotly.

“Neither what?”

“Neither yours nor a girl.” She left his side again, but the darkness seemed almost tangible. The blackness of night distorted the manicured yew hedges into maniacal shapes. As the wind rustled close-cropped leaves, it was easy to imagine pairs of hands reaching out--grabbing her.

Shivering, she quickly returned to his comforting, yet infuriating nearness.

“You are too literal with your words, are you not, Mrs. Steele?” A wolfish grin showed he enjoyed her unease. He circled his arm around her waist.

His touch felt warm through her silky gown. Again she saw that peacock feather. When his fingers gently kneaded her skin, she flinched.

“We should be getting back now. If you please.” She placed some space between them.

Her report on a libertine’s motus operanti would have to be glaringly omitted from the monograph. She was too nervous, too affected, and right now she didn’t have time to study her reactions. Escape was utmost in her mind. “I’ve heard it’s not at all the thing for a lady to be alone with a rake for any length of time.”

The term “rake” failed to trouble him. Probably had been called worse!

“Is that how you see me? As a rake and a rutting buck?” He stopped walking, leaned closer to her, and then with his fingertip, slowly traced an imaginary line down her forehead, nose, and stopped on her lips.

She moved her head. “I don’t know you well enough to venture an opinion. But we do need to return before anyone notices our absence.”

“You can start getting to know me by calling me ‘Nicholas.’“

He drew her closer. She tried to push him away, but he held her tighter. Leaning down to nuzzle her ear with his nose, he whispered, “And I shall call you ‘Serry.’ What is that short for?”
Without waiting for an answer, his lips met hers.

Omigosh! She trembled--all the way down to her core. After a brief hesitation, her lips opened slightly, welcoming him.

He deepened the kiss and their heated breaths mingled.

Without meaning to, Serenity moaned. Snuggling closer, she drank in the taste of Nicholas Wycliffe.

Alive. She finally felt alive.

He tightened his arms around her, tilting her head back and exploring the inner recesses of her mouth.

A flash of bold colors--crimson reds, scarlet pinks, and flaming oranges--rose up in her mind. Percussionist cymbals clashing sounded in her ears. As their mouths melded, her senses slowly spun out of her control....

Colors? Cymbals?

Her heart pounding a path out of her body, she shook her head to clear the last traces of the vision and then opened her eyes. Sanity returned. She roughly pulled back from Brockton and his potent kiss.

The truth was obvious: Nicholas Wycliffe was responsible for plunging her into a world of synesthesia. His touch--no one else’s. Just his touch turned her upside down, inside out.

Good heavens! What should she do now?

She slid her hands down her gown, ostensibly to straighten her garment, but in reality, she needed to steady her trembling body.

As she did, he watched her. His eyes held a peculiar expression and his hands were tightly clenched by his sides. Looking at him, she was mesmerized by the light of the full moon dancing brightly on his dark, wavy curls. She had to say something. Had to pretend his kiss meant nothing to her. Which was true, right? Absolutely nothing.

She flicked her tongue over her lips before speaking. A mistake. She tasted him again.

“Um, since you asked, Serry stands for Serenity. Now, if I understand Society’s conventions correctly, this outing could compromise you... and me. We don’t want that to happen, so I’ll do us both a favor and leave. We’ll forget about this...” Her voice cracked. “...this interlude by tomorrow. Good-night, Lord Brockton.”

Moving as swiftly as she could, she returned to the sanctuary of the ballroom.

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

Happy Reading!

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

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