Tag Archives: romance

Haunts and Hellions Emmy Z. Madrigal Excerpt

Harkening back to the glory days of gothic romance that had us up reading all night, HorrorAddicts.net Press Presents:

Haunts & Hellions edited by Emerian Rich


13 stories of horror, romance, and that perfect moment when the two worlds collide. Vengeful spirits attacking the living, undead lovers revealing their true nature, and supernatural monsters seeking love, await you. Pull the blinds closed, light your candle, and cuddle up in your reading nook for some chilling—and romantic—tales.

With stories by: Emily Blue, Lucy Blue, Kevin Ground, Rowan Hill, Naching T. Kassa, Emmy Z. Madrigal, R.L. Merrill, N.C. Northcott, Emerian Rich, Daniel R. Robichaud, Daphne Strasert, Tara Vanflower, and B.F. Vega.


An excerpt from Haunts & Hellions


Hungry Masses

Emmy Z. Madrigal


HH3DPromoOff the Coast of Australia, aboard ship

“Miss Smith! Miss Smith, my word! Would you slow down, girl?” Mrs. Linden called after her as she entered the corridor.

“What is it?” Vivienne paused, taking in Mrs. Linden’s flushed cheeks and heavy intake of breath.

“Such news!” Mrs. Linden took hold of her forearm, holding a little tighter than she would like as the older woman led her to a couple of chairs by the window. “Haven’t you heard? The most dreadful thing!”

“No, what is it?”

“Seven more passengers are ill. Seven! And all from the upper-class cabins.”

“No!” Vivienne covered her mouth as she felt faint. How could an illness spread so fast?

“The young Dr. Radley has been called in to service as even the ship doctor himself has been feeling under the weather.”

“But are you sure? Seven? Seven overnight? Surely that must include the maid and…”

“No, I’m afraid not, sweet girl. It is on top of. There are now five passed on and…oh!” Mrs. Linden pressed her handkerchief to her mouth, her watery eyes speaking of fear and uncertainty. “I must go… I’ve only come to tell you, my husband and I will be dining in our cabin for the remainder of the trip. We’ll be leaving as soon as we come to port and booking passage elsewhere. I advise you to do the same.”

“Yes, that is wise. Thank you for telling me.” Vivienne helped the lady from her chair and took her side to walk her back.

“No, now, you must return to your room. I won’t have you sick because of me. Fare thee well, young Miss.” Mrs. Linden waved her hanky to her as she passed and hurried down the corridor as quickly as her little stubby legs could take her.

Vivienne’s heart thudded hard in her chest. What could she do? Should she see Charles? Was there a cure?

Noticing some commotion out on deck, she peeked out and saw several crewmen lifting a large flat object, covered in dark cloth, up on the railing. It almost looked like a…body. The captain was up above them on the steps, crossing himself.

She couldn’t help drawing nearer.

“Heave…ho!” the crewmen called and the form slid from the flat plank of wood, into the water below with a splash.

As the crewmen pulled yet another body onto the wooden slab, one of the shipmates saw her.

“Oh, now this isn’t the place for a lady. Please go back inside, Miss.” His words melted into nothingness as she locked eyes with the captain and saw the shame and disgust in his eyes.

“Miss Smith!” She turned to see Dr. Radley without a jacket and his shirt-sleeves rolled up. His eyes held concern and he came to her side, gently touching her on the elbow.


“I think you should be in your room.”


Charles gently grasped her arm and led her away from the most disturbing thing she’d witnessed in her young life. He held her as she wilted into him and led her down the hall to her cabin.

Once seated inside her stateroom, Charles fetched her a cool glass of water and stood against the doorframe, studying her. After a period of silence, she looked up at him.

“Charles… Mr. Smithe, he….” She touched again the place where he’d placed a kiss.

“What did he do to you? Are you alright?”

“Yes, but he was coughing and coughing and he kissed me… Right here on the cheek.”

“I see.” Relief washed over his face. He retrieved a washcloth and brought out a small vial from his pocket, dabbing the cloth. “I’m sorry, but you won’t have to worry about him anymore. He is… Well, he’s sure to be laid up the rest of the trip.” He smoothed the cloth over her cheek and the smell of rubbing alcohol caused her nose to tingle.

“But I’m sure to get it now.”

“No.” He shook his head, brushing back her hair and looking into her eyes. “The chances of that are…and besides, I’ve just disinfected you.”

She smiled weakly, hoping he was right.

“How many?” she asked. Mrs. Linden had said seven, but the bodies coming out of the hall seemed in the dozens and she wondered if there were more to come.

“Twenty-six in total.”

“Twenty… Why are they being dumped into the sea? Won’t their families want to—”

“The captain doesn’t want to take the chance. With how quickly it spread, he fears… He wants to protect the other passengers.”

“Who…were they? Anyone I…” She gulped back tears. Having not been on the boat long, she didn’t particularly have feelings for any of her shipmates especially, but she still didn’t want to see them die.

“Mostly below deck crew.” Charles kneeled before her and took her hand in his. “Try not to worry, Vivienne. You are safe here in your room.” He leaned in and she could not help but touch her lips to his. They kissed and she felt so safe in those moments.

“I should get back.” He stood, kissing her once more before taking his leave.

“Charles…” she called as he opened her door.


“Will you come back this evening?”

“I shall try.”

To read more, read Haunts and Hellions at: Amazon.com

Book Review: Petticoats and Promises by Penelope Friday

Petticoats and Promises by Penelope Friday

I may be out of the loop, but this is the first time I’ve ever read a Regency book with same-sex lovers. Sure, they mentioned the lifestyle in Lost in Austen, but only as a joke and plot device. To see an actual lesbian affair, treated with respect and reality in play was quite different. I was worried at first about how the author would handle the societal expectations and restrictions, but this book was a pleasant surprise.

Serena is a young girl very close to come-out age. Her BFF, Clara, is about to have her London season and Serena gets to go with her.  However, when Serena’s dad runs into financial issues and can’t pay for Serena’s trip, the two girls are plunged into turmoil.

You see, Serena and Clara have a secret. They are in love with each other and the thought of being apart for a whole season inspires Clara to ask her disapproving mother if Serena can come along.

The girls travel to London and enjoy the season by going to balls and meeting other Debs. But living in the same house and experiencing the fun city life, proves too tantalizing. In a moment of overwhelming indulgence, they are caught kissing by Clara’s mom and are parted for good.

Serena is sent back home and spirals into a depression. She totally expects to never love again until she meets another woman who also loves women.

I really enjoyed this book and I think the way the author dealt with her parent reactions was interesting. I also liked how she explained what might have happened to a gay woman in those days. The decisions a woman might have to make in those days to keep her secret quiet and to be free to at least have children, are hard ones. I think this was a brave, inspirational story that needed to be told. I’m looking forward to checking out her other books soon.

Free Inspirational Romance Excerpt – Love Comes to Kenneth’s Valley

In the new book I’m in, Meant to Be…INSPIRED, a colleague of mine shares a tender story about a man who has been widowed and must learn to love again. Read a free excerpt of her story “Love Comes to Kenneth’s Valley” below.

 Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything. ― Plato

Take a journey through five melody-infused worlds where music inspires love to bloom.

“Tempo of Temptation” by Lela Bay / Regency
Perhaps it is best that Mr. Leon doesn’t recall Petra’s mortifying declaration of love. Could their intense attraction during an impromptu midnight concert inspire her to risk her heart again?

“Contact High” by Emmy Z. Madrigal / New Adult

Raul’s addiction is just another symptom of the hard life he’s been dealt but when Victoria sings, his troubles fade into the background. Can her music inspire him to get clean?

“Her Immortal Beloved” by M.M. Genet / Historical

Beethoven’s plan is to write the ultimate love song that transcends all time for his beloved. Will the woman of his heart let his music inspire her?

“Rick Prince and the Manhattan Muse” by Naching T. Kassa / Steamy

Heart-broken musician, Rick Prince, is inspired by the beautiful single-mother, Zella. He has no idea she holds a secret from his past which may tear them apart.

“Love Comes to Kenneth’s Valley” by Kate Nox / Inspirational

Grayson Greer motivates his congregation through music, but after the death of his wife, the pastime is shrouded in pain. Can Rachel’s love inspire him to move on?

**Read Free Excerpt Below**

“Love Comes to Kenneth’s Valley”

by Kate Nox

On Thursday afternoon, Grayson drove through the stone gate at Camp Ivy Glen. Finding the small house where he would stay for the weekend, he tossed his duffel on the bed in the smaller room. He’d leave the bigger room for his son, Arron, and his wife. Entering the kitchen, he found a basket of fruit and home-baked muffins on the table. Beside the basket was a note on a tent card. He recognized the writing.

Pastor Greer,

Enjoy these while you visit with your family this weekend. There are some soft drinks and bottled water in the fridge.

I’m staying in cabin twelve if you need anything. In the meantime, please know I am praying for you and your family as you minister through music this weekend. I know many people will be blessed.


He picked up a muffin and breathed in, enjoying its aroma. He recognized the familiar scent of what she called “Peaches and Cream” muffins. She was fond of baking and often brought baked goods for the church staff to enjoy.

Remarkable woman. Not only was she a beautiful brunette that lit up any room she walked into, she was also the most efficient woman he’d ever met.

He placed the muffin in the basket to save for later. How did she accomplish everything? The women’s ministry at the church was very active and well run. In addition, she managed to oversee the visitation ministry, often making visits herself. Yet, never had she turned down a request for help from him, even when he asked her to redo the pink master bedroom he had inherited from the former pastor and his wife. How surprised he had been when he returned home from a week away on business and found a thoroughly comfortable, masculine place to sleep.

He wanted to thank her for her thoughtfulness and prayers, but knew she wouldn’t be arriving from the airport until almost dinner time. A knock on the door drew his attention from thoughts of Rachel Williams.

Answering the door, he was greeted by his older brother, Eli. They could be twins, except for Eli’s hair, which was thinning on top.

“Hey, we wondered if you were here yet. Good to see you, Brother!” They hugged and sat down in the kitchen. Grayson offered his brother a muffin and a soda.

“You baked muffins?” Eli asked.

“Not me!” Grayson exclaimed. “My women’s pastor, Rachel Williams.”

“Oh, Rachel, yeah. She’s the one who called about our flight arrangements. I talked to her several times. Nice gal.”

“Yeah, she jumped right in when I asked her to help with all this. You’ll meet her this evening. She’s picking up Laney at the airport and then coming down. They’ll be here for dinner.”

Eli glanced at the note next to the basket. “We got a note like this in the house we’re staying in. But we didn’t get muffins.”

Grayson smiled. “She managed all the details of getting the whole family here from all over the country. This would never have been possible without her.”

“I’m interested to meet this miracle worker of a woman.”

Read more in Meant to Be…INSPIRED.

Three ways to win books!

Did you know that Meant to Be Press has 3 ways to win romance books right now? Enter your name for 3 chances to win!
1.) Watch the YouTube video and comment with your favorite love song.

2.) Answer the trivia questions in our Romance Book group here:
3.) Take the “What kind of reader are you?” quiz and comment with your results here:

Meant to Be…INSPIRED Contest Announcement

Watch and enter! Then… WIN!

Watch the video to see the prizes.

Comment with your favorite love song below to be entered into the prize drawing.

Good luck and Happy Reading!!!

Facebook Party with Emmy Z.! TODAY!

Meant to Be Press and the authors of Meant to Be…INSPIRED
cordially invite you to attend a special musical and romantic event.
Please, join us TODAY! at 2:00 PM PDT for fun, romance, and prizes.

WHO: Meant to Be Press and the authors of Meant to Be…INSPIRED.

WHAT & WHERE: Meant to Be…Inspired Facebook Party
WHEN: August 8th 2:00 PM–3:00 PM

Prepare to be…INSPIRED!



Facebook Party with Emmy Z.!

Meant to Be Press and the authors of Meant to Be…INSPIRED
cordially invite you to attend a special musical and romantic event.
Please, join us August 8th at 2:00 PM PDT for fun, romance, and prizes.

WHO: Meant to Be Press and the authors of Meant to Be…INSPIRED.

WHAT & WHERE: Meant to Be…Inspired Facebook Party
WHEN: August 8th 2:00 PM–3:00 PM

Prepare to be…INSPIRED!



Review: The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins

I didn’t know The Perfect Match was the second book in the Blue Heron Series when I read it, but it doesn’t matter that I didn’t read the first. The author has created such a special, fun, interesting town called Manningsport and I now want to know everything about them. I didn’t feel I was missing anything by not reading the first one.

The Perfect Match is centered around one of the Holland sisters, Honor, who runs the family winery. Honor is Miss In Control and is awesome at business, but not at relationships. She’s been in love with the same Mr. Perfect most of her life, but he just sees them as friends with benefits. Tom is an adorable Englishman who has allowed his almost step-son’s happiness to overrule his own.

When Honor realizes her clock is ticking and Mr. Perfect isn’t going to give her a happy ever after, she takes a chance on a green card marriage. Tom is thankful but suspicious of her selfless act. The two soon find out that they have more in common than they thought. Their chemistry despite their differences is magnetic.

I love Honor in a way I don’t love a lot of heroines. She’s smart and organized, but also has faults like being unapproachable and severe. The writing style is fun and I enjoyed hearing Honor’s inner voice. I love the way Tom and Honor meet and interact with one another. The Holland family is entertaining in itself and when you add Tom in, there is more fun to be had. I like how Honor isn’t completely forgive and forget with her backstabbing friend. It’s really fun seeing Tom’s point of view, too. I like how Tom doesn’t like her little dog, but he tolerates the pup for her sake.

The Holland sisters are great to watch and all the characters about town make me feel like I will really get into this series. I want to know more about the sub-characters. The author does a good job of making the characters feel like real people, even if you just see a glimpse of them.

One thing I think this author does really well is getting inside the character’s head and style. I’ve since read the third one in the series and the voice in that book is completely different because you are following a different heroine.

This story has a really well-rounded storyline with lots to love.

Sweet Dreams FREE on Amazon Kindle

In honor of the new cover for Sweet Dreams,
I am giving it away free for a limited time!

Sweet Dreams FREE on Amazon Kindle
February 18th – February 22nd!

If you’ve already read it, download a copy on Kindle in support!
Tell your friends!
Tell your co-workers!
Call your grandma!

Sweet Dreams FREE on Amazon Kindle
February 18th – February 22nd!

Happy Valentine’s Day Quiz!

Valentine’s Day is here! In celebration of the special event, I have a Sweet Dreams Fun Quiz for you. Answer the questions below and keep track of how many you get in each category (A, B, C, etc…). When you’re done, check the chart below to see which Sweet Dreams character you are most like.

  1. On Valentine’s Day, you’d like to…
    1. Take your love on an all-expense paid weekend trip to Napa wine country.
    2. Spend the time with your loved one, no matter where that might be.
    3. Hanging out with friends would be cool, but you aren’t expecting much.
    4. Take your love to a nice romantic dinner and then night on the town.
    5. Rock out at the nearest anti-Valentine’s Day night club.
    6. Valentine’s Day sucks. Leave me alone.
  2. When picking out a Valentine’s Day gift for your love, you…
    1. Buy the most beautiful piece of jewelry you can find, with your love in mind. Price is no object.
    2. Homemade cards and lots of kisses are better than things you can’t afford.
    3. Don’t really do gifts. You might buy them a drink if they’re lucky.
    4. Whatever they want, they can choose.
    5. Write them a song.
    6. Valentine’s Day sucks. Leave me alone.
  3. Who is your perfect Valentine?
    1. A beautiful person with amazing talents.
    2. The love of my dreams
    3. My favorite singer.
    4. Someone who likes me for me.
    5. Someone who likes to have fun.
    6. Someone who leaves me alone.
  4. What would you like to get from your Sweetheart?
    1. A night together alone.
    2. Just being with them would be enough.
    3. Surprise me.
    4. Makeout session.
    5. Guitar Center gift certificate.
    6. Cash.
  5. I want a stuffed…
    1. Not quite sure I need anything stuffed, thank you.
    2. Giant bear.
    3. Bell pepper. Those are good.
    4. Huh?
    5. Guitar.
    6. Wallet
  6. Your Valentine’s Day song.
    1. “Give me a Kiss to Build a Dream On” ~ Louis Armstrong
    2. “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love” ~Ella Fitzgerald
    3. “Will You Love me Tomorrow?” ~Carole King
    4. “I’ll Make Love to You” ~ Boys II Men
    5. “Punk Rock Girl” ~ The Dead Milkmen
    6. “Anything, Anything” ~ Dramarama
  7. The most romantic location to have that special kiss.
    1. In bed.
    2. Under the stars.
    3. A location on the body I can’t talk about.
    4. Somewhere the press won’t hound us.
    5. Backstage
    6. Any place where we can take it further.
  8. The perfect date ends with….
    1. Breakfast the next morning.
    2. Cuddling.
    3. Nice kiss to tie me over.
    4. Promise to meet again.
    5. Why does it have to end? Come back to my place.
    6. Leaving alone.
  9. Your love life would make a perfect…
    1. Instruction manual.
    2. Romance novel.
    3. Disaster flick.
    4. Headline.
    5. Thriller.
    6. Horror film.
  10. If you couldn’t spend Valentine’s Day with your love, you would…
    1. Make it up later in a big way.
    2. Cry, eat ice cream, and talk on the phone.
    3. Just like any other lonely Saturday night.
    4. Send flowers.
    5. Write a rock ballad.
    6. Get drunk.

Mostly 1


Not only do you strive for true love, you have the high class tastes and panache to pull off even the most luxuriant love affair. Like Rob, you take charge and plan everything. You think that perfection is not an unattainable goal. Be careful of those you love. Of course you want to protect and spoil them, but sometimes they may want to plan a weekend. Let them and you’ll have more fun than you can imagine.

Mostly 2


You’re the type of romantic person who may not always have the cash to be extravagant, but always make it special. Like Victoria, you don’t mind where you are as long as you are there with someone you love. You dream of true love and will most likely have it, as long as you don’t let your own self doubt ruin it.

Mostly 3


You can see the beauty in being in love, even if you can’t always enjoy it yourself. Like Cynthia, you tend to stand back and wait for the rose to bloom rather than rush in before the bud has had time to blossom. However, if inspired by the right person, you have a tendency to get too hot too quick and cut yourself on the thorns.

Mostly 4


Injured by love, you strive to make you way back to the person who believed in that one true love. So, he/she wasn’t the one? Like Derek, you need to learn to accept that person wasn’t right for you and move on to someone who is. Your new love, who helps heal your broken heart, might need some healing too.

Mostly 5


Alright, so you’re not much on follow through, so what. You’ve got a great attitude and you’re fun to be around. You played, and that’s all that matters. Love to you is fun and should stay that way. Like Greg, you don’t let yourself be bogged down by rules and guidelines. Let the love in your life be expressed through music, art, or literature and you will be just as happy.

Mostly 6


You’ve been crushed by love, and really, you don’t have time or energy to spend on some dumb game. Like Raul, you’ll stand on the sidelines and watch your friends enjoy life as you nurse your still bleeding heart. As long as they know you’re there for them in tough times, you can nurse your crush. But be careful. Sometimes your lackadaisical attitude can make people think you don’t care about them and you may end up with no one at all.

Have a great Valentine’s Day!

For entertainment purposes only.
Graphics by http://www.icondrawer.com