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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Revisiting the Murder Mystery Romance: THE EMBEZZLED ENVELOPE (PG excerpt)



THE EMBEZZLED ENVELOPE--Book Six in the Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Murder Mystery Romance

Price: $1.99 electronically

Buy Link:
Available electronically at:


Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb4wPYfCndg to see a trailer of THE EMBEZZLED ENVELOPE.

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

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?

Scene Set-Up:
As Homicide Lieutenant Gabe Harris prepares for work, he is thankful the New Year is starting off right: his new love, Minx Tobin, is now his fiancée.

Excerpt:
Gabe rolled out of bed at ten past ten. He usually didn't sleep so late, but then again, he usually didn't hit the sheets at five in the morning.

Getting to his bare feet, he gazed down at the lovely woman in his bed. Minx still slept, now on her right side, her long hair tossed every which way upon the pillow. With her left hand nestled near her chin, a diamond shone through her dark brown strands -- the engagement ring, a promise of a shared future together.

He smiled. Yeah, this was the way to start a New Year...and every year for the rest of their lives.

But time was wasting. He had to get started on the day. Unfortunately a new murder had piggybacked onto an old murder, and if he didn't make progress on both of them, there'd be hell to pay.

After an invigorating hot shower, he toweled dry and got dressed. Minx was just beginning to wake up by the time he stepped out of the master bathroom.

"Mmm," she murmured sensuously as she stirred under the covers. "Don't you look good enough to eat."

"As do you." He finished buttoning up his denim oxford shirt, checked his image in the mirror, and then combed his damp hair.

She propped herself up, resting against the headboard. "Something tells me you're all business this morning. Psychic, aren't I? No time to play, Lieutenant?"

"Morning's almost gone, sweetheart." He walked over to the king bed and sandwiched her hand between his. "I've got to go in. Paperwork to fill out."

Paperwork. There was always paperwork.

"Okay, here's the plan, Minx. We've got a dinner invite at the Atwells -- one o'clock. So, if you'll let me out of here without assaulting me..."

As he kissed her fingertips, he winked. "Then I'll pick you up around twelve thirty. Plenty of time to make it without being late. Besides, Carlotta would have my head if we were."

"Sounds like a plan." Minx batted her lashes at him. "But when can I assault you, Lieutenant?"

"You are an insatiable little minx, aren't you, Ms. Tobin?" He leaned over and gave her a quick kiss, emphasis on the quick. Any longer contact with her lips would cause him to change his mind. "Let's make a date. What about this evening, after we get home?"

She stuck her delectable tongue out at him. "Tease."

"Spoilsport," he countered, in keeping with their usual banter.

Still smiling, he left the bedroom. As soon as he got downstairs, he switched gears, his mind now occupied with his latest murder case.

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

Hope you enjoy!

Susanne Marie Knight

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Revisiting the Murder Mystery Romance: THE YULETIDE YORKSHIRE (PG excerpt)



THE YULETIDE YORKSHIRE--Book Five in the Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Murder Mystery Romance

Price: $1.99 electronically

Buy Link:
Available electronically at:


Visit http://youtu.be/EIjQKNbuZWw to see a trailer of THE YULETIDE YORKSHIRE.

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

HO, HO, HO... OH!
Home for the holidays, Minx Tobin introduces her parents to her homicide lieutenant, Gabe Harris. Unfortunately for her, her ex-fiancé 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??

Scene Set-Up:
Minx is taking her new boyfriend, Homicide Lieutenant Gabe Harris, home for the holidays to meet her parents. She’s a bit uneasy that she might run into her former fiancé, Jared.

Excerpt:
Truth be told, Minx was looking forward to seeing everyone again. Everyone except Jared, of course. With him, unpleasant memories abounded. After the acrimonious breakup back in April, she’d packed her bags and headed west. She hadn’t been home in seven months. 

Gabe linked hands with hers, gave a brief squeeze, then returned his to the steering wheel. “I hope we don’t run into Jared.”

A thought caused her to frown. “My mom told me they’re having a Christmas Eve party. Jared’s parents are always invited. Well, they’re divorced now, Conrad and Esther, but since Conrad remarried, he and Pia will probably attend. So, shoot, Jared might have the audacity to show up at the party as well.”

“I’ll beat him up.”

At that unexpected remark, Minx laughed. “You’ll do no such thing, Lieutenant. You’re supposed to make a good impression on my parents, remember?”

“True.” He headed for the freeway’s airport exit. “I’d better be on my best behavior. It wouldn’t do if they disapprove of me.”

He couldn’t possibly be worried about that. But what if he was?

“Gabe, are you nervous to meet my parents?” For some reason, she started to become uneasy herself.

“No, I’m sure I can convince them my intentions are honorable toward their only daughter.” He gave Minx a reassuring grin.

She exhaled relief. “Okay, good. Because I saw Dallas today, and he thought you might be.”

“That exercise gigolo?” Gabe fisted his hands on the steering wheel. “I guess I’ll have to beat Dallas Porter up as well.”

Minx laughed. “That won’t be necessary, Lieutenant. Remember, ‘tis the season to be jolly, not to commit a folly, right?”

“Point well taken. Now, here we are at airport parking. Let’s hold off on any more talk of old boyfriends. I confess I’m getting a bit insecure.”

She dimpled a smile. “Really? That sounds so strange coming from a man who dates all the hottest young actresses in Hollywood.”

Gabe waited until they’d parked, then he turned to her and cupped her face in his hands. “The word is ‘dated.’ Past tense, sweetheart. And, as I told you, there’s only one female who interests me now. And that’s you. So, Tobin, get your curvy butt out of the car, so we can begin our Christmas adventure.”

He kissed her. “Okay?”

She kissed him back. “Okay, Lieutenant.”

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

Hope you enjoy!

Susanne Marie Knight

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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Revisiting the Murder Mystery Romance: THE VIRTUAL VALENTINE (PG excerpt)


THE VIRTUAL VALENTINE--Book Four in the Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Murder Mystery Romance

Price: $1.99 electronically

Buy Link:
Available electronically at:


Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drlmBm27qIQto see a trailer of THE VIRTUAL VALENTINE.

Blurb:
Online serial dater turns out to be a serial killer. But when Death claims this murderer, why is Minx also in danger?

KISSES CAN BE DEADLY
The serial killer stalking Los Angeles will soon be served his just deserts. But that doesn’t mean Minx Tobin is out of danger. First, there’s a crank caller. Then her tire is slashed. Quite possibly, her throat is next. But if the throat-slashing murderer is out of the picture, then who has it in for Minx?

Gabe Harris works two full-time jobs. First is solving murders as homicide lieutenant for LAPD. Second is trying to keep his new girlfriend, Minx, out of danger. But this time, she isn’t to blame for her predicament. Gabe’s job is proving hazardous to her health.

Scene Set-Up:
Homicide Lieutenant Gabe Harris, protective of his new love, Minx, is annoyed that she doesn’t take his recommended advice concerning her safety.

Excerpt:
Gabe took the now-empty seat and folded his hands in front of him. “Am I to infer then that your promises are always meaningless, Minx?”

Her deep brown eyes reflected pain. “No, of course not. You’re making too much out of this, anyway. After you left my place this morning, the doctor’s office called. I have his blessing to return to work providing I shorten my day and take it slow.”

That she listened to her doctor and not him steamed him further. “I explained about the Thursday killer, Minx. We don’t have anything on this monster except that, in all probability, you’re a target.”

“I was going stir-crazy, Gabe. And there are lots of single ladies whose last name starts with the letters ‘To.’”

“Hell, woman!” He dug his fingers into his hair. “You’re going to give me more grey hair, you know that?”

Since he’d gone prematurely light and dark grey nearly fifteen years ago, his statement was more for effect than an actual prediction.

Maybe she realized that because she didn’t seem to take offense. Instead, she trailed her fingertips over the knuckles on his hand and then sensuously moved up his forearm. “Sounds like you’ve had a long, hard day. C’mon, let’s go get changed. I’m dying for a shower.”

She also ran the tip of her tongue over her lips in a way that made him salivate.

“I’ll wash your back, Gabe.”

While the day had indeed been difficult, now it was hard as well. He grabbed her hand and sandwiched it between his own. “Only if I can wash yours, too.”

Her slow smile caused him to sizzle. “Naturally, Lieutenant. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

His annoyance--which was really worry in disguise--suddenly vanished. In its place, sensations of sight, sounds, scents, tastes, and touches from the past week seared his memory. Making love to Minx was a multiplex experience; he savored every waking minute.

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

Hope you enjoy!

Susanne Marie Knight

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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Revisiting the Murder Mystery Romance: THE DUPLICITOUS DIVORCE (PG excerpt)



THE DUPLICITOUS DIVORCE--Book Three in the Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series

Author: Susanne Marie Knight

Genre: Murder Mystery Romance

Price: $1.99 electronically

Buy Link:
Available electionically at:


Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DLI_r2QjYY to see a trailer of THE DUPLICITIOUS DIVORCE.

Blurb:
Minx’s involvement with an unhappy newlywed turns deadly... for the bride and for Minx.

DIVORCE... L.A. STYLE
Minx Tobin’s latest client, Magda Boswell, complains that her new husband wants her dead.  But maybe it’s the old husband Magda should worry about.  Or the first husband’s new wife.  Then again, Magda’s longstanding boyfriend isn’t too devoted, either.  Minx gets mixed up in convoluted marital problems that just might end up in death... for her.

Homicide lieutenant Gabe Harris can’t believe his good luck.  Not only does he win $20,000 but more important, he persuades Minx to take a chance on him.  But when Minx gets involved in another murder case, he finds the odds for her survival are not in her favor.

Scene Set-Up:
Minx unexpectedly runs into Homicide Lieutenant Gabe Harris while visiting Las Vegas. Their mutual attraction goes up a notch!

Excerpt:
Gabe pushed his chair away from the table, then stood. “I’ve got an early start tomorrow, so I’d better get going. I’ll walk you to your hotel room, Minx.”

“Oh.” Drat, had her disappointment sounded in her voice?

He helped her up from her chair. “When are you leaving Vegas?”

“Sadie and I drive back sometime tomorrow afternoon. What about you?”

“I fly out tomorrow night.”

When they entered the hotel, the cool air-conditioning bit at her. He must’ve noticed her shudder for he placed his arm around her nearly bare shoulders.

She sank back against him, grateful for his warmth and for the solid feel of him.

They both were quiet as they rode up to the seventh floor in the Century elevators.

All too soon they stood by her hotel room. Minx eyed the door and gulped down her nervousness. Should she invite him inside? What if Sadie was already in bed?

Minx glanced up at him with her invitation pasted on her lips.

He stretched his arm out to the doorframe, then leaned in close to her. “I’ll say good-night now, Minx, with one stipulation.” He was so close, they shared the same air.

“Stipulation?” she repeated. Her voice sounded husky to her ears.

“Mmm.” He trailed his lips over the shell of her ear.

Whoa. She almost died from the sheer pleasure of it.

“Yeah, and the stipulation is that you’ll go out with me as soon as possible.” He nibbled his way down the length of her neck. “Tomorrow’s out, but what about Monday night?”

Her knees buckled and her heart pounded. It took all her willpower to focus on the physical act of speaking.

“Um, Mon-Monday’s fine.”

“Good. I’ll call you.” Gabe brushed his lips against hers, then pulled away. “Now don’t forget.”

As if she could!

He turned around, walked down the corridor and into the waiting open elevator. Only when the elevator doors swished closed, did Minx move from her position.

Good God, that man was sex personified. Wiping sudden perspiration from her forehead, she slipped her card key into the door and stumbled into her room.

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

Hope you enjoy!

Susanne Marie Knight

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

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Re-Buzz on THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE

THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE is case number two in my popular Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series. For those of you not familiar with this series, click on the link for my Author Notes on THE BLOODSTAINED BISTRO, case number one. Breaking news! THE BLOODSTAINED BISTRO in ebook form is now FREE at many internet sites including Amazon.com. Click on the link for Amazon.

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

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


Artist’s rendering of a possible cover

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

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


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



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

Amazon.com Ebook Amazon.com Print


Here is a popular book trailer for THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGy7DzneQ2Y

This book is part of the Intriguing Mysteries line.



Here are some fabulous reviews:

4 Hearts! Susanne Marie Knight pens another thriller in this series. The lives of the rich and famous overlap with those who work for a living. Character building and dialogue are great. The suspense as Minx confronts a killer is edge of your seat. For a woman whose intuition and people skills in a case are superb, Minx doesn't seem to do well communicating with Gabe. He's a macho man with a heart of gold but doesn't let Minx see much of his better side. Gabe's friend, Sgt. Antonio Atwell and his family are a priceless addition that really give the tale a boost. The author does a great job blending everyday people, some of whom are a bit creepy, with the suspects. Associates we meet at the fitness Emporium, especially the guys, will pique the memories of those forgettable dates we had before finding Mr. Right for many women. This is a fun series--The Romance Studio

The Ill-gotten Insurance, the second installment in the Minx Tobin Case books, will not only keep you turning the pages until you reach the end of the story, it will have you seeking out the first of Ms. Knight’s Minx Tobin Case books if you have not already read it. The author’s fluent writing style which brings her characters alive, warts and all. Her ability to capture the outrage of the rich implicated in the murder along side her depiction of the hero and heroine and their supporting cast creates plenty of friction as some of those characters are simply ‘way-out’ weird... Ms. Knight offers characters you will want to get to know even better, characters you are still rooting for at the conclusion of The Ill-gotten Insurance. The story is packed with a gallery full of suspects and enough twists and turns to satisfy any reader.--Long and Short Reviews.

I don't normally read mystery, but I'm enjoying your book, Susanne Marie Knight. I just started it a while ago and already I'm hooked.--J. L.

Minx and Gabe need to get together!!--C. K.

I can't wait to read these books!--T. D.

Awesome book!--R.C. WordPress

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

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

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

A crime scene investigator walked over with a pencil threaded through the trigger guard of a semiautomatic pistol. “Lieutenant Harris, we discovered this Beretta under the flat screened TV.”

As Gabe eyed the weapon, Antonio remained strangely quiet. Gabe darted a quick glance at his sergeant, then returned his attention to the pistol. “Small caliber, .22, easily fits into a woman’s purse, but is still deadly effective.”

He dismissed the investigator, then fixed his sights on his sergeant. Someone of Antonio’s advanced age of sixty two shouldn’t be smirking at his superior officer. “Okay, what the hell am I missing here, Sergeant?”

“What was the manufacturer’s name for that semiautomatic again, Lieutenant?”

“Geez it, you want me to examine the damn thing? This a test? It was a Beretta--”

“Full name?”

Gabe frowned. The name was important? He narrowed his gaze in the pistol’s direction. “.22 short, Beretta Minx.”

Minx! Hell’s bells, he hadn’t thought of that woman, that fitness instructor, since, well, since last week. Truth be told, he thought about her a lot, considering he actually hadn’t seen her in two months from the time of the arrest in the Neal Loehman murder case.

Not that he was serious about Minx Tobin, or anything. They’d never dated, unless that aborted Mexican dinner where she walked out on him could’ve been called a date. Hell, she’d never even called him by his first name.

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

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

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

Happy reading,

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

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Free and 99cts Curse of the Lost Isle medieval series in kindle - by Vijaya Schartz

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008LW18EG/
Free in kindle until April 12, 2017
SEDUCING SIGEFROI
Book 3 in the Curse of the Lost Isle series
Medieval fantasy romance 
First book of Melusine (complete story)

Luxembourg - 963 AD - To offset the curse that makes her a serpent from the waist down one day each month, Melusine, exiled Princess of Strathclyde, must seduce and wed a mortal knight, the shrewd and ambitious Sigefroi of Ardennes. Sigefroi, son of the Duke of Lorraine, suspects Melusine is not what she appears, but her beauty, her rich dowry, and her sharp political skills serve his ambitions. He never expected her to soften his stone-cold warrior heart. So close to the Imperial court, dangers and intrigue threaten Melusine. War looms on the horizon, a Mermaid was sighted around Luxembourg, and Sigefroi’s bishop brother questions her ancestry. If anyone ever suspects Melusine’s true nature, she will burn at the stake... 
 
"As always, Schartz spins a great story. It’s a bit bloody and bloodthirsty in places... But that's part of the drama, and Schartz certainly knows drama." Manic Readers 4.5 stars

"Ms. Schartz did a fine job with this offering, and brought elements to the myth that fleshed Melusine out and made her a sympathetic character. I think fans of Fantasy romance will enjoy this steamy version of the myth and fans of the myth might find it interesting as well." - Julianne Draper - The Examiner

99cts in kindle until April 14, 2017
DAMSEL OF THE HAWK
Curse of the Lost Isle Book 7 (standalone)
medieval fantasy series

1204 AD - Meliora, immortal Fae and legendary damsel of Hawk Castle, grants gold and wishes on Mount Ararat, but must forever remain chaste. When Spartak, a Kipchak warrior gravely wounded in Constantinople, requests sanctuary, she breaks the rule to save his life. The fierce, warrior prince stirs in her forbidden passions. Captivated, Spartak will not bow to superstition. Despite tribal opposition, he wants her as his queen. Should Meliora renounce true love, or  embrace it and trigger the sinister curse... and the wrath of the Goddess? Meanwhile, a thwarted knight and his greedy band of Crusaders have vowed to steal her Pagan gold and burn her at the stake...

"It was easy to get lost in the latest Lost Isle book. I didn't want to put it down until I was finished. Each character added their own magic to the whole of the story. Authentic detail pulled me in as well. But the dog glued me to the tale as did the lovers in their struggles to HEA." Hope Chase 5-stars on Amazon

"...so vivid I could picture myself right there... tough, honorable alpha hero... fiercely protective and loyal mountain dog, Kopec... Meliora... hints of the strong, rebellious woman she actually is... not a simple HEA for them... but once they finally get it, it's wonderful!" Lisa on Amazon

"Historical romance with a different twist... a new spin on a classic tale... standalone... Ms. Schartz has a gift that will have readers asking for more and will have them intrigued by the idea of the other books in the series." Ind'Tale Magazine

Find the entire series in kindle HERE


Vijaya Schartz, author
Romance with a Kick