Haunted Serenade by Anna M. Taylor

All the women in Anora Madison’s family have lived haunted by the curse of Poor Butterfly: women still longing for but deserted by the men they loved. Determined to be the first to escape a life of abandonment, Anora fled Harlem for Brooklyn, not only severing her ties with her mother Angela, but also ending her relationship with Winston Emerson, her lover and the father of her child. Six years later, Anora comes home to make peace, but an unseen evil manifests itself during the homecoming and targets not only Anora, but her little girl Cammie. With nowhere to run, Anora must confront the evil now trying to destroy her life. She vows to protect her daughter at all costs, but if that protection can only be found with Winston back in her life, how will Anora protect her heart?

Haunted Serenade

Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.

Perfect love casts out fear but what about ghosts?

What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?

When the hero Winston and heroine Anora admit their feelings for one another but decide not to act upon them.

How do you use magic in your book?

I don’t use magic in this book. The supernatural effects result from repressed anger.

Would your hero enjoy pumpkin spice lattes, candy corn, or apple bobbing?

Apple bobbing

What costume would your heroine wear to a halloween party?

Anora would come costumed as Storm.

What scene did you adore writing in this book?

Winston and Anora’s emotional reunion

Is this book a spooky/scary PNR, or a cozy/snuggling with a monster PNR?


What is your favorite monster to write?


If you had to pick, would you rather have fangs, claws, or wings?


Halloween’s coming. Do you do anything special to celebrate?

I create Halloween-themed wreaths

Haunted Serenade

A hazy darkness filtered through the slats of the window shutters like fingers through prison bars. I imagined a similar darkness creeping over my aunt as she lay in her bed, contemplating her loveless future much like Butterfly. For decades she had waited for a man she knew would never return, had lived in this room pining for him, had died in this room wanting him.

The air around me grew cold. I shoved Winston away and stumbled toward the window where Diana’s recorded voice painfully intoned Butterfly’s resignation.

But if he don’t come back,
Then I never sigh or cry:
I just mus’ die.
Poor Butterfly.

My heart pounded harder, faster, louder to the rhymes of the refrain harmonized by my mother and Elizabeth.

Poor Butterfly.

I turned the record player off, grateful for the relief administered by the ensuing silence. Butterfly’s heart- rending lament had been the fate of my two aunts and my mother. Six years ago I left Harlem, determined it wouldn’t be mine.

The window shutters rattled as if gripped by some unseen hand. Their shaking intensified. They clattered shut with a sudden violence.

Winston stumbled back a step, his eyes and mouth wide with shock. “What the hell?”

I hurried blindly from the room and collided with my aunt Elizabeth who’d been standing at the back stairs that led to the kitchen. She staggered backwards, trembling.

Propelled by fear, I ran in the opposite direction to the front staircase just as Winston stepped into the hallway.

“Anora, wait.” He reached for me, but I eluded him.

Something I had forgotten impressed itself on my consciousness. The memory had my heart in my throat. I ran and didn’t stop running until I got to the second floor. I leaned over the banister, gulping air through my mouth to still the pain battering in my chest. Behind me Winston’s hasty footsteps pounded the stairs until he stopped by my side.

“Anora?” He turned me around, held me against him. Memories of the comfort I’d enjoyed snuggled against his muscled chest called to me. I whimpered, still unable to breathe, still unable to think.

Anna M. Taylor

Anna Taylor Sweringen, is a retired United Church of Christ minister. She’s been writing seriously since joining Romance Writers of America in 2003. She publishes clean second chance romance ghost stories as Anna M. Taylor. She also writes inspirational romance as Anna Taylor and erotic romance as Michal Scott.

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