Posts tagged ‘movie’

July 15, 2019

Great YA Romantic Fantasy Movie: Every Day

Every Day is a unique romantic fantasy movie about a girl who falls for a being that inhabits a different body every day. You can watch it streaming on Hulu now.

Rhiannon is a timid girl who’s jock bf pretty much just uses her for a placeholder so he has a girlfriend to stay sober at parties and drive his drunk butt home. But one day, when she asks him to go on a day trip with her, he accepts. They have an awesome time together–the best day of her life–until she goes to school the next day and he doesn’t remember anything about it.

Soon, Rhiannon starts meeting all these strange kids her age. They each know more about her than they should and start talking about switching bodies. Thinking it’s an elaborate scheme by her friends to tease her, she ignores them at first. But as more and more details add up, she realizes maybe there is truth to the tale.

I absolutely loved this film. It’s strange and wonderful and an adventure that I didn’t know how would end.

It brings up some scary questions. Do we love someone because of the body they come in or because of their soul? What would you do if the love of your life woke up as someone else each morning? Would you still love them in another body? How far would you go to find them when they leaped? And what if that new person has a girlfriend, a medical condition, or a plane ride to deal with? How would you protect your love and yourself?

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March 16, 2015


A few of you have emailed me about the kisses in the Sweet Dreams and Anime Girl books. I’ve always loved the “new love” act of kissing. I love watching it, experiencing it, and reading about it.

Ashley wrote to say, “Emmy, I love love love reading Cynthia and Derek making out. Since they haven’t actually done it, it makes it that much more exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I love love love reading about Victoria and Rob, but they have other things going on that makes kissing just something leading to something more.”

Ashley, I agree. The first time kiss, or the hot, new relationship kiss is one of the joys in life that can’t be fully described, but we as authors try!

Shawna said, “Ian! Who is this guy? Can you deliver him to my house pls? Cyn and Ian’s hot kissing is making me so jealous. Damned CYN! Why does she get all the hot ones?” 

Hehehe Shawna. If I could send you Ian, I would, hon. Ian was a pop-out character. One of those guys that just begs to be written about, right? I don’t think Cynthia really knew what she was doing there, but man, it made for a great distraction after Derek’s “Flying Solo” comment.

Kate said, “Have you ever thought about making a list of how many kisses your characters kiss? I bet it’s alot!”

Well, Kate, your wish is my command. Now I have a new page on this site posting the KissCounts♥ of all the published books, with more to come. I’ve also posted some other books and movies. If you’d like to add your KissCount♥ to this page, just email me. It can be your own book, a book you love, or even a movie! Come on, you know you have that favorite movie that you know all the words (and kisses) to. Send it in to help build the page so all of us can see what your favorite KissCounts♥ are.

Check out the full list of KissCounts♥ (constantly updated) here: KissCounts♥


September 21, 2014

Top 5 Period Romance Movie Moments You Might Have Missed

Top 5 Period Romance Movie Moments You Might Have Missed

by Emmy Z. Madrigal

As a romance reader, it’s no doubt you’ve also enjoyed your share of romantic movies. What a wonderful feeling when you discover a rendition of one of your favorite novels that you didn’t know about. True, the actor can never match the Adonis in your head, but still, we watch with bated breath to see if our favorite part was included in the script or unceremoniously left on the cutting room floor.

If you are a Regency romance lover (you know the Lords and Ladies who wore top hats, carried reticules, and went fox hunting circa early 1800’s) then undoubtedly you’ve memorized the lines of the most popular books-turned-movies like Pride and Prejudice and Emma. You might even extend your love to Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Nicholas Nickelby from time to time.

I have to admit, I’m just as much of a period romance geek as the next. The memorable phrases still cause a pleasant ripple to run up my spine.

“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” ~ Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice

“I rode through the rain! I’d ride through worse than that if I could just hear your voice telling me that I might, at least, have some chance to win you.” ~Mr. Knightley in Emma

We all know these, but what about those you haven’t encountered yet? I wanted to share five movie moments you might not be aware of. If you have a romance you think I might enjoy that is not listed here, please comment and let me know. I am in just as much need of sustenance as the next romance enthusiast. Beware, these little blurbs will contain spoilers, so if you’re the kind of person who likes to be surprised, I beg you, watch the movies first.

5. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (1999 BBC)

wivesanddElizabeth’s books tend to be about more than the essential love affair. There is often hardship, death, and a clashing of classes. She seemed to want to stand on a soapbox with her novels and yell, “This is how the world is and here is how you should act!” I find her voice so upstanding, righteous, and modern. I mean this all in a good way. She had compassion for those who had hard lives and was (like Jane Austen) the daughter of a minister.

Much of Wives and Daughters is spent with Molly caring for anyone and everyone who needs caring for. She is sent all over the country to those who need her most and she encounters much complaining and fussing over things but doesn’t complain or fuss herself. She falls in love with a man, but is overstepped by her step-sister who is involved in a secret scandal with another man. Not only is this book about intolerance and bigotry, it is also a lesson about gossip and what damage it can cause.

True, the trek to get to this beautiful scene is long and the payoff might not be worth it for some, but when Molly’s man finally falls for her, the connection scene is so great, it outweighs the time she’s spent waiting for him. Much like Persuasion, she has waited while he’s gone overseas and grown into a man who can appreciate her.

The special scene starts when Molly sees Rodger Hamley out of the window. He is going back to Africa and she will not see him for two years. He is standing outside of her home in the rain, waving. He’s not allowed to come up because Molly’s father (the doctor) has barred him visiting her because of a fever in his household that she could possibly catch. He waves one last time and walks away. Molly, caught up in the fear of losing him, runs through the rain to catch him at the carriage house. The carriage pulls away and she knows that she will be waiting yet another two years for him. But from the other side of the courtyard, he calls to her.

“I couldn’t go.”

She runs toward him, but they stand a few yards apart, fearful of the fever and dad’s wrath if she should catch it. They are both being drenched by rain as he asks,

“Molly, dear Molly. Will you be my wife?”

“Yes, yes I will.”


4. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (2007 BBC)

naThis story is my favorite of Jane Austen’s, though it doesn’t get as much credit as the others. I love it because although it is a romance, it tells the story of a horror addict, which is dear to my heart. I am also in the midst of a Northanger Abbey modern rewrite, so I watch this movie at least twice a week. I’ve recently found it on YouTube and that version has more scenes than mine on DVD. I do recommend it.

Catherine is a simple country girl who hasn’t seen much in the way of danger or intrigue, but she’s read many novels on the subject. She is a gothic novel enthusiast and has many daydreams of romantic horror happening in her life.

She meets Mr. Tilney, who also enjoys novels and has a great sense of humor. His family welcomes her into their fold, but there is a terrible secret having to do with the death of their mother. Was his father (General Tilney) involved in the final demise of Mrs. Tilney? As Catherine begins to uncover the truth, she is unceremoniously thrown out of their home by General Tilney in the middle of the night. She finds her way home, ashamed of what she’s thought and how she’s acted.

Runner up moment is when they come back from riding horses in the rain. He tries to brush away some dirt on her face, but almost kisses her, until his sister opens the door.

“Look at the state of you!”

This is when I think, “You might have seen us in a better state if you’d just waited a few more minutes!”

Top moment is when Henry comes to tell her he’s left his father’s money behind him so he can marry her. Not only is it a great love proclamation, but also adds a hint of comedy in.

“I told him I felt myself bound to you, by honor, by affection, and by a love so strong that nothing he could do could deter me from…”


“Before I go on, I should tell you, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll disinherit me.”

When he finally asks her to marry him, they kiss so passionately, they fall into the bushes.

3. The Glass Virgin by Catherine Cookson (BBC 1995)

glassvirginThis is one that flew under my radar at time of production because I wasn’t watching these sorts of movies in the 90’s. I recently watched this in its entirety on YouTube and it was such a happy little surprise for me. At two and a half hours, it doesn’t scream high-action, but the payoff is well worth it.

Annabella LaGrange is a little girl whose been brought up in a rich household but is suddenly plunged into poverty by unfortunate circumstances. The love interest in this isn’t the typical gentlemen in fancy dress, he is quite the opposite. As a man of limited means, he makes the most of his life and shows Annabella there are ways to survive, even if you aren’t given the best hand to play. Catherine Cookson tends to weave in darkness and distrust in everything she writes, so you may liken her more to a Bronte than and Austen. There are mean servants, evil deeds, a wicked father, prostitution, and death in The Glass Virgin, but I found it refreshing amongst all the oceans of cookie cutter period pieces we know today. These two go through so much in the course of the movie, by the end, you are cheering when they finally find their own kind of happiness.

There are so many moments in this feature to love like their first kiss and their long awaited wedding night, but my favorite lines are when Annabella says,

“But I thought you said you never wanted to leave here.”

“Ah, but now… if the Devil himself said he was takin’ you down to hell tonight, I’d say to him, ‘Not unless you take me too.'”

2. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot (2002 BBC)

dd2Daniel Deronda is a personal favorite of mine about a man who knows nothing of his heritage, yet finds his path by accident, or some would say fate. This story has personal meaning to me as my father’s side has never been revealed to me. I understand what Daniel is going through and the piece of himself that is lost because of no family connections on his mother’s side.

There are a couple of great scenes in this sweeping tale that is moving in more ways than one. It is a story about the love between father and son, son and mother, brother and sister, and between people of the same faith. It is also the story of a woman who seeks to gain riches by marriage and finds only heartache.

When Daniel finds Mirah in the lake, trying to commit suicide, your heart breaks for the sorrow which she has endured. Daniel, never having experienced such hardship finds himself compelled to help her, but it is more than pity that binds him to her. The way the story unravels to reveal his true path, it is hard not to feel it.

The moment when he comes to her and her brother is dying is my favorite bit.

“Mirah, let me share all your sorrows and all your joys.”

“You mean it truly? It’s me that you want?”

“I have spent my life in doubt and confusion but now I realize it was always your voice that I heard. Could you love me Mirah?”


1. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (2004 BBC)

ns3My current favorite pick for #1 love reveal scene is in this flick that’s been out for ten years now. I have just seen it over the last month and cannot stop watching! Like Titanic, this movie shows many different classes of people working to survive.

Another of Elizabeth Gaskell’s gems, this one explores early industrialism and how the wealth of factory masters came and went with this unreliable business. The beginning of unions and strikes is also spoke of. This book speaks more to friendship and kinship than to romance. There is the kinship between Higgins (you might recognize him from The Glass Virgin) and Mr. Thornton (which is a part I adore) in mutual trust master to worker. There is the friendship of Margaret and Betsy, two girls from very different worlds who find solace in each other. And there is the respect of mother to son, each doing their part to make the family survive.

There are several romantic moments and because they come so sparsely in this 4-part mini series, when they happen, you must pay attention to catch them. My favorite is not when he proposes his love to her, or when he accidentally touches her hand at tea. Nor is it when she saves his life in the cotton factory strike riots.

The runner up would be when she has to leave town after her father dies. He watches her carriage pull away and speaks aloud to the parting coach…

“Look back, look back at me.”

As he hopes… prays she cares for him.

But the number one must-see scene is at the very end when they meet by chance on the train platform. She tries to explain that she wishes to make a business agreement which will save his factory from ruin. He takes her hand and she takes his and kisses it. And then he takes charge and kisses her good. When her train is called, she leaves him, but returns with her bag from the other train car.

“You’re coming home with me?”

My answer? “Oh yes.”

Honorable mentions:

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The Inheritance By Louisa May Alcott

Middlemarch by George Eliot

The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

September 16, 2013

Reader’s Questions Answered Sept. 2013

I always love getting emails or Facebook messages from you Sweet Dreamers! Most of the questions are centered around when the next book or podcast is coming out, but sometimes, I get ones like these:

I have a confession. I’m in love with Rob Malloy. I think about him like some women think about Darcy. Can you help me out? Are there any movie guys who are like Rob? The movie guys all seem to be lacking something, ROB!

Love your cast!

Hehhee… well, Isabel, I think about him like some women think about Darcy too! There’s a reason for that. Rob is a composite of every guy I ever liked when I was in high school, plus a few others things like integrity and just sure perfectness rolled into a man that perhaps has never been copied on film. But, I won’t leave you hanging. Since I wrote these novels in high school, my perception of what Rob would look like is slightly colored by the 80’s. For the perfect image of Rob, 80’s style, you have to watch Can’t Buy Me Love, 1987. Cindy’s boyfriend makes a cameo appearance. “Bobby” played by George Gray was probably the closest you could get back then. Too bad he was only on screen for a few seconds. I also really liked the singer Dino, who had this same do. I still play his 1989 “I Like It” to get in the Rob mood sometimes. There is also a pretty good try in An American in China, played by James Snyder.

Course, these were the days of Michael Bolton and Adam Curry, when shoulder-length blond hair on guys was in. Nowadays, you have to settle for slightly long, straight hair. So for today, a comparable look would probably be “David” or “the heart-throb in the elevator” from Just My Luck.

As far as attitude, or demeanor, I love Darcy in Bride and Prejudice played by Martin Henderson. He has Rob’s style, his presence. If you watch the airport scene when he happens upon Lalita, I think you will agree. I could also see Rob taking Vickie on a helicopter ride and walking on the beach with her.

Some readers have asked me who I think could play Rob today. If I were casting, it would be Austin Butler who plays Wilke in Switched at Birth and Sebastian Kydd in The Carrie Diaries.  As for Victoria, I think Skyler Samuels from Nine Lives of Chole King would be the perfect match-up. If you’d like to storycast these parts, check out the Sweet Dreams storycasting page. I’d love to hear some other suggestions for Rob. Have you seen a movie with a perfect “Rob” double? Let me and Isabel know!

I’m a writer wannabe and have a difficult time writing love scenes. I’m more of a romantic than a sexual person. How do you get over the fear of letting people read your most intimate desires?

Sherry, first of all… you are a writer. NOT a wannabe. If you are writing, you are a writer. Just because you haven’t published something doesn’t mean you are a wannabe. Please read my guest blog over at Sandra Saidak’s blog called Three Ways New Authors Sabotage Themselves. I am only adamant about this because I don’t want you to discount your talent. There are plenty of folks who will do that for you.

Now, on the subject of intimate scenes and letting others read them. It was hard for me at first. In fact, these Sweet Dreams books always seemed a bit like my silly fantasy that no one else would enjoy, but my husband was the one who pushed me to put them out. And it’s a good thing he did, because look at all the people who would have not been able to listen/read had I kept them to myself. However, I do have a couple tips.

  1. Write only what makes you feel comfortable. If you are (as you said) more into the romance and not the sexual description, then write that. There are plenty of romance writers who cater to those who are just like you. Some romance readers would like to leave that part of the bedroom to the imagination, so let it be. Fade to black if you wish. My decision to not go that route was made when I put pen to paper. I’ve been criticized about allowing full sex scenes in my “teen” romance, but the decision I made was to keep them. Why? Because I was writing this, thinking this, fantasizing this, when I was 16 years old. Teen are much more promiscuous today than when I was growing up and so, I decided to let it be. However, it is important to me to show a loving relationship, one that is monogamous, safe, and exclusive for Victoria. That is where I took my stand.
  2. If you do decide to share all of your most intimates of intimates, you are going to have to let it go. It will be hard and nerve-wracking at first. You will blush and hide, and cringe when the first comments from readers come in, but you will live through it. It’s best to get a tough skin now, when you are just showing to friends and workshop people. Just wait till your love scene is picked apart by critics or you are asked to read the most intimate part at a reading! I don’t mean to scare you. Just prepare yourself. Let go. One of the biggest issues with new writers is disconnecting yourself from your tale. Editors don’t decline your story because they think you’re a horrible person. They just didn’t happen to want or need your work. Just like readers don’t picture you doing these “nasty” little sexual things… If you’ve written it right, they imagine the characters or themselves doing them.

Emmy Z.,
I love Sweet Dreams, and I know you are working as fast as your little fingers can to get us the next one. I can’t wait to hear Undecided! I was wondering what your favorite romance movies are? Like the ones you watch over and over.
Derek Montgomery rocks my world.

Christie, Derek would be so honored to hear that you are a fan. He might even sign a CD for you – if you were really nice and didn’t pull off an article of clothing. Hehehe.

So, romance movies – now this is serious business! I would be here all day if I tried to list them all, but I will give you a few in each category.

Pride and Prejudice (of course). I like the BBC with Firth, but I also enjoy a good remake. One of my favorite, little known remakes is a 2003 version starring Kam Heskin and Orlando Seale. Lizzy is a writer and Darcy, the editor. She gets trapped, soaking wet, in his cabin one night. Great modern remake! Bride and Prejudice, the Bollywood answer to P&P is one of my favorite movies of all time as well as Lost in Austen, the one where Amanda Price gets sucked into the novel and flubs everything up!

Northanger Abbey is one of my all time favorite love stories and my favorite Jane Austen novel. I love the modern remake and I also like the cheesy 1987 version starring Peter Firth (no relation to Colin as far as I know). I am writing a modern adaptation of this book because I love it so much.

Couple other period pieces: Emma, Daniel Deronda.

Modern day romances: Return to Me Jersey Girl (not the Affleck one!), The MatchmakerWhile You Were SleepingOnly YouKate & LeopoldFrench KissLetters to Juliet, Music from Another Room, The Holiday, Love Actually, and Simply Irresistible (love lobester? heheh).

Old movies like Sabrina, Funny Face, and An American in Paris cannot be forgotten.

And finally my foreign/indie list: Outsourced, Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl, My Far Away Bride, Chance Pe Dance, and this new one I just found, Seducing Mr. Perfect – Free on

I hope this keeps you busy for awhile. I know there were tons that I missed, but this is my short list.

If any of you out there have some suggestions please comment below!

Thank you gals for your questions and if you would like to ask me a question, send me an email at:

December 27, 2011

Sweet Dreams on Storycasting!

You can now CAST your favorite actors/actresses in Sweet Dreams. Who do you think would play the best Victoria? Or Rob? Or Cynthia? Derek? Greg? Raul? Ty?
Go cast your dream cast of Sweet Dreams at