Do I believe in Happily Ever After?
by Our Guest on May 26th, 2009

This week’s guest is Sharon Page. Sharon is the USA Today Bestselling author of The Club. She writes for Dell (Random House), Kensington, and Ellora’s Cave, and writes both very sensual and erotic romance. Her stories feature seductive regency rakes or sexy tortured vampires from both the past and the present.

Sharon has graciously agreed to give away a copy of Blood Deep to one lucky Silk and Shadows haunter, so be sure to get your comments in today!

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Thanks so much to all the Silk and Shadows authors for having me here, especially to Annette McCleave for the invitation. Annette and I belong to the same RWA chapter and when she announced her first sale last year, I was beyond thrilled.

This week’s topic is terrific. What a great idea to explore how authors really feel about ‘happily ever after’.

I love writing happy endings which, of course, lead up to the phrase, ‘and they lived happily ever after’. (I don’t write that, but it’s implied.) Do I think it can come true? I suppose that depends on how you define ‘happily ever after’.

I’ve been fortunate in many ways. My husband and I have been together for twenty years. I love spending time with him. We both work from home, so often behave, as a friend of mine described it, like two kids talking and laughing at the back of a high school class. My parents have been together for more than fifty years—of course, they’ve had ups and downs, bad times and good. But they’ve faced all those things together. My husband’s parents had also been married for almost fifty years, and it was only his father’s death that parted them.

My writing career has been chugging toward a happy ending. I’ve realized my dream of becoming published in 2004, I will have 10 books in print by the end of this year, and I made the USA Today Bestseller list this spring with The Club. The Club is the story of Lady Jane Beaumont, who on a desperate search for her missing friend Del, enters London’s most secretive Gentleman’s Club—only to encounter a sinful, notorious rake on a rescue mission of his own.

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Does ‘happily ever after’ mean you’ll realized all your dreams? I believe it involves discovering which dreams are the really important ones.

When my husband’s father was diagnosed with cancer, doctors told him he wouldn’t have long to go (in the end, he lived for 6 years longer than expected). He sat down to make a list of all the things he should do while he had time. Then he realized he would be happiest if he was doing exactly what he was already doing—working around the house and on his garden, enjoying his hobbies, spending his time with family and friends. World travel or other exotic things were not what he really wanted.

‘And they lived happily ever after’ is the reward for all the trials and tribulations in the story—it implies that everything from then on is peaceful for the hero and heroine. There’s no more stress or fear. In paranormals, where the hero and heroine have risked their lives and possibly saved the world, the idea of never having to do battle again is appealing. Obviously real life can’t be like that. We know life will involve sickness, death, sorrow, fear, or financial problems, along with the good times. But how can those be a part of a ‘happily ever after’?

I love reading and writing happy endings because of the emotional rush they give me—I cry poignant tears, I laugh with joy, I sigh with pleasure. As a writer, I want my readers to believe my characters will have a happy ending because they will last for the long haul. They will weather those bad times together. Each one will be the other’s support. What makes readers buy into that? They’ve seen each character go through pain and fear, battles and suffering, and survive. But mainly they’ve seen the hero and heroine grow, change, and become stronger people who are able to embrace love.

On a lighter note, I have a ‘happy ending’ of myself coming up—I’m sending the revisions in for my upcoming sensual historical from Dell, The Last Seduction, tomorrow.

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Today, I’m celebrating the release day of my newest erotic vampire romance, Blood Deep, from Kensington Aphrodisia, set in Regency England. This story completely fed my addiction to write happy endings.

My heroes were the villains from the two previous books of the series (yes, there are two heroes in Blood Deep as it’s a menage story). Zayan is a former Roman General who has suffered with guilt and pain over the murders of his children for two thousand years. Lukos is a former Saxon warrior who had to sacrifice his life to enter the mysterious Scholomance, the School of the Devil, so he could learn dark magic to save his people. He escaped imprisonment after a thousand years—and learned his sister was given to Lucifer as a prisoner too. The heroine, Miranda has discovered she has the power to resurrect the dead, and a society of vampire slayers wants to kill her to destroy her magic. ‘Happily ever after’ for Miranda, Zayan, and Lukos is definitely hard won.

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How about you—do you believe in happily ever after? Have you read any romances that left you feeling the hero and heroine wouldn’t survive life’s tough times?

24 comments to “Do I believe in Happily Ever After?”

  1. 1

    Hi Sharon (waving)!

    Thanks for guest blogging with us today. How wonderful that you have such lovely real-life exposure to HEA! Congrats on your successes.

    I have read stories where I didn’t believe in the HEA, but perhaps not surprising, I can’t remember them. I can tell you all the books on my keeper shelf satisfied me that the couple would weather plenty of problems.


  2. 2

    I like reading books with HEAs. And, like Annette, I’m sure I’ve read ones where it probably wouldn’t last, but I don’t remember them particularly. I’ve enjoyed stories where the author teases us with a bad pairing, and I cheer when the heroine comes to her senses and choose the “right” guy. But the scenes with the “wrong” guy sure are exciting :wink:

    Thanks for the great post!


  3. 3

    I enjoy reading books with HEA’s, I’m looking for them myself so I like to read about them also!


  4. 4

    Hi Sharon, I do believe in HEA’s (defined by weathering the storm together) I’ve been with my husband 20 years so yes to that!
    If anyone has read “Devil May Cry” by Sherrilyn Kenyon you’ll think no way will Sin & Kat have a HEA –I didn’t think the Hero & Heroine would weather all those storms!!


  5. 5

    Hi Annette,
    Again, thanks for inviting me to be here. I’m starting to think about my next book, and I’ve been going back to my keeper shelf to look at favorites. I find it helps me when I’m plotting to remember why I loved the happy endings in my best-loved books.


  6. 6

    Hi Zita,
    That’s interesting. I’ve read some stories where its the man that seems right who isn’t at all, and its the ‘bad’ one, who turns out to be the man who’ll always be there. But it definitely does add suspense to have those two men playing off each other.

    I’m rereading Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn, since my upcoming series starts out set in Dartmoor. All the way through that book I begged the heroine not to fall for the hero even though I was falling for him as I read. She does, and he does turn out to be honorable. He’s such a well drawn character–obviously dangerous, but completely irresistible.


  7. 7

    Hi Teresa,
    I know–I want to believe in the HEA, so I read to do that.

    I don’t think I’d want to read a book without an HEA anymore. I’ve watched a few movies on t.v. lately that didn’t, and was just left feeling shell-shocked and depressed. I want to feel happy and satisfied at the end.


  8. 8

    Hi Susan,
    I’ll have to read Devil May Cry. I haven’t read Sherrilyn for a while, though I loved Dance with the Devil, and the other early books in her Dark Hunter series. Dance with the Devil, with Zarek, had me praying for a happy ending for him. I just adored him and so wanted him to find happiness.


  9. 9

    Oh my goodness, Regency and Vampire combined in one book. Be still my heart!! :)

    I love HEAs, but of course they have to be deserved after many trials and tribulations. I have read some where they just didn’t seem deserved. I like there to be a nice give and take in a relationship (hello, that’s how relationships work, right?) but I’ve read a few that had one character give give give while the other character took took took. I hate weak characters!! They don’t deserve to live HEA!

    Okay, maybe that is a little mean, but I really prefer to read my happy ending when it is deserving because the characters are strong, and have proven that they can beat the odds and stay together.


  10. 10

    I love HEA and believe that the couples continue happily no matter what. Otherwise, I’d feel kinda cheated by the storyline.

    And I’m very excited about your new book. It’s always interesting when a villain can be reformed to hero status.


  11. 11

    Thanks for writing with us today, Sharon. And happy release day! Menage a Regency vampires sounds fabulous!

    Your father in law must have been a very wise and lucky man to have realized he was doing exactly what he wanted. That’s definitely a HEA.

    I also like Susan S’s definition of HEA: Weathering the storms.


  12. 12

    I love reforming villains so this Regency vamp book sounds fabulous! As to couples I feared wouldn’t last… after Gone With The Wind I am not sure anyone can make that finish line.

    Seriously though, I haven’t read a book like that but I have read some wallbangers that I never finished…. :)


  13. 13

    Hi Sharon,
    Happy Release Day. I expect HEAs when reading romance. I can’t think of any specific book where I didn’t think the HEA would survive.


  14. 14

    HEA is good in a story but in real life maybe to a degree I believe in it. In books we all want the heroine/hero to be happy but in real life we all have ups and downs,good times and awful ones.No one’s perfect and neither is a relationship. But if you have someone that can help you through the hard times and stand beside you then I guess some HEA can happen in some way.
    Besides HEA might be alittle boring,after awile..lol.

    Thanks for the chance to win a book.


  15. 15

    Most of the books on my keeper shelf have a happy ending, but with my interest in reading urban fantasy stories, I have started getting the hang of happy for now endings too. When the characters are still together at the end, with adventures left to entertain us in new stories, I am okay with that.


  16. 16

    Sure I believe in HEA, just as I believe too much of a good thing makes it a bad thing. Tribulations are key to sustained relationships IRL and in books. Anything less is just apathy wearing a smiley face, and that’s not a HEA…however, it is launching point to find real HEA, maybe in a sequel. :lol:


  17. 17

    Hi Sharon and S&S! I was just recommending the other day THE CLUB! When is THE LAST SEDUCTION out? :grin: So looking forward to it! Thrilled BLOOD DEEP is out! Love these!

    My hero and I will have our 26th anniversary next week and so believe in HEA’s. I mostly read books with an HEA and some that will have it as the book series go on :smile: I have read one that I thought wasn’t a romance but more of a mainstream book but others saw as a romance. I didn’t feel I saw enough of the strength in the relationship or enough of it at the end. I think if it had more of that healing it would have. But when I pick up a romance almost always it has its HEA as well as the strength of them resolving that issue to be together.

    Love to have the chance to win BLOOD DEEP. thanks!


  18. 18

    I think “real” men have their work cut out for them trying to be our heros in the real world. How can they measure up to ex-military, immortals, and billionaires. It’s sad that so many books end when the marriage begins, because that is the true test of a relationship - marriage.

    But how do three people live happily ever after - together? I’m intrigued.


  19. 19

    Hi Sharon! Thanks for being here. If you can handle writing successfully in two such different genres, then I have no doubt you can handle a book with two heroes.

    I remember debating in a college class whether Romeo and Juliette would have lived happily ever after if things had been different for them. My professor adamantly believed the answer would have been no, because their expectations were just too out there.


  20. 20

    Sharon,

    I’m so excited that you came to blog with us today! I hate to admit it, but I always end up crying at some point while writing my books, because I’ve made my characters so miserable. I think you’re right, that depth of emotion makes the happy ending (in whatever way it comes about) so much more meaningful.

    Caffey, congratulations on your anniversary!!!

    Kim


  21. 21

    Congrats on the new release! Awesome covers! I believe in happily ever after. I have read some books that didn’t have a hea and alot that did. I read one the other day that sort of left the end hanging. I was disappointed on that one.


  22. 22

    Hi Everyone,
    Thanks so much for dropping by and letting me know what you think. I’ve been doing the last minute polishing on my revisions due tomorrow, so am popping in quick. I’m still fiddling with taking things out, putting things in. Good thing there are deadlines to put an end to that!


  23. 23

    Wow, Regency vampires! Two of my favorites in one … that’s a HEA all in itself!

    Thanks for visiting, Sharon!


  24. 24

    Ditto what Cathy M said. I love HEA when reading romance, but I’m also a huge Urban Fantasy fan where it seems to be the norm to see the MC end up with either happy for now or just happy moments among all the adventure, danger and chaos. :grin:


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