Friday, October 9, 2009

Guest Blogger J.A. Saare

My first guest blogger is author J.A. Saare. Remember to comment here and follow her tour, the more you comment the more chances you have to win. Click for J.A.'s tour schedule. Without farther ado her post on HEA or Happily Ever After.

There is an element in romance/erotica that is as important as a three-year warranty on a brand new vehicle. Without it, readers feel exposed and vulnerable. It’s as essential to some as oxygen, like delicious caramel creamer in a piping cup of coffee or freshly ground cinnamon in freshly baked apple pie.
You quite simply can’t have one without the other.
What is this mystery ingredient of which I speak? What has the power to change a book from extraordinary to terrible in the turn of a page?
My friends, I present exhibit A: The all important happily ever after.
As someone that’s enjoyed the romance genre for well over a decade, I’ve seen my fair share of what makes a book unforgettable. The more angst, heartache, and turmoil presented the better. Conflict is king, and never fails to snare attention and maintain interest. But regardless of physical and emotional wounds or slights, one must never deviate from one generalized truth.
Things have to end with the hero and heroine walking into that all too familiar sunset together. Or there will be hell to pay.
Let me just say that I am in no way anti-HEA. I prefer books that have a happily ever after (or in the least, a happily ever maybe), because let’s face it, by design, romance is intended to warm the heart and nurture the soul. But for the sake of argument, I ask this: Can you have a great story that ends without the HEA? Or does that one element disqualify the work by default?
I recently came across a story on Amazon that was split down the middle with ratings. Most loved the gothic/horror kind of vibe it gave, and felt the non-HEA ending was more than justified as it remained honest and true to the source material. Others, however, felt it ruined the entire book all together. Intrigued, I picked up my own copy of Haunted Seduction by Morgan James and settled in to decide for myself.
As with any great book, those pages went by faster than a speeding locomotive. I couldn’t stop reading, and became totally immersed by the characters trapped inside a horrific amusement park with the spirits that couldn’t leave. My heart accelerated, my palms became sweaty, and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. Low and behold, the ending finally arrived, and as bittersweet as it was, I closed the window on my PC and walked away from my screen wholly satisfied.
Was there a HEA? No. There was a happily ever maybe, but not in the context of the protagonists winding up together. And you know what? It was all right with me.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, things just aren’t meant to be. It’s kind of like the movie version of Casper with Christine Ricci and Devon Sawa. I wanted the two little buggers to get together after a shared dance and kiss, but Casper, alas, is a ghost. And Kat is a normal pubescent girl that has her whole life ahead of her. It just wasn’t meant to happen, no matter how much I wished it so.
So the questions become this: Would you buy a story knowing there might not be a HEA attached to the ending? Would you be willing to take the risk of forgoing what has become the norm for the sake of partaking in an excellent story along the way?
My answer is short and sweet – absolutely. A HEA is nice, but a fantastic story is even better. It’s like having the cherry on top of a glorious ice cream sundae. The ice cream can still taste sweet without it.
So tell me, how do you feel about HEAs? Would you be willing to take a chance? Or do you like your romance with a warranty?
Happy Reading!

Jaime AKA J.A. Saare

Be sure to check out J.A.'s work-

A Kiss Before Dying Blurb:

Katja Morgan has committed the ultimate taboo in the life of a blood slave; she has fallen in love with her master. Vampire Lord Sebastian Arsov is everything she has ever wanted - gorgeous, sexy, intelligent, kind. As their time together nears an end, she carefully constructs the ruse that will allow her to belong to her shellar in both body and soul.

But sharing an evening with her beloved comes at a high price - the cost of her life.

Disguised as a bed slave, Katja enters Sebastian's chambers to experience the pleasures she's been long denied. Including the bite that will ultimately kill her - what slaves refer to as a kiss before dying. As the night fades into the day, will Sebastian discover Katja's true identity before it's too late? Or will he lose the slave he's come to love above all others?


  1. Hey Shandy Jo,

    Thanks for hosting me on my tour today! =) That's a great idea about those pumpkin seeds. We have four kiddos, so there are plenty of them leftover after we carve pumpkins.


  2. Great post! One of my all-time favorite romances, Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, ends with a non HEA, although that is remedied in subsequent books. ;) True, it's UF, which has its own rules...but I've read that book three times now and still adore it!

    A Kiss Before Dying was amazing...and I'm sure Soft as Moonlight will be, too! :)

  3. Hey Cari!! ;)

    I know I've said this to you before but I'm so glad that you liked AKBD. ;) I hope you enjoy Soft As Moonlight equally as much!

    I read Half-Way to the Grave and the next story. I haven't read the remaining two. Maybe soon!

    Good luck with those edits!

  4. Jaime- You're very welcome, for both.

  5. I would take a chance on a story without an HEA... Gone with the Wind doesn't have one and I loved that story. It might upset me that the h/h don't wind up together but if it's well-written, it would be worth it.

  6. Hey Lynne!

    I loved Haunted Seduction. It's scorching hot, but the ending isn't really HEA. I'm sure there are others out there. ;)

    Thanks for dropping by!

  7. I like a happy ever after to happen some time maybe not the first book but some time in the series.that is why i left sifi because there was not allways good ending good ending are inporten to me.

  8. Hey Stacey,

    I agree with that. Ultimately, it's always nice to have that HEA.

    Thanks for stopping by! =)


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