Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gotta love an HEA by Elizabeth Amber

Why do so many of the famous romances in mythology and Shakespeare end tragically? Think Arthur and Guinevere or Romeo and Juliet. I write HEAs and I want to read them. I get really invested in characters and terrifically upset when things don’t work out well for them. When I was thirteen, I cried to the point of embarrassing myself in the theater over Romeo and Juliet. I do enjoy the occasional sad ending within a meaningful story. Time Traveler’s Wife, for instance. But I’ll read a book with an unhappy ending once and never again because I can’t take the sadness I know is coming. An exception to this is Gone with the Wind, which I read over and over. I think I convinced myself Scarlett and Rhett would get together later, beyond the final pages. So that was a hopeful ending, if not an HEA.

I don’t need unhappy endings. I’ve got enough tragedies in my life. They’re small ones, mostly. Things like the dentist telling me I need a crown, my cat deciding to barf on my bedspread, or walking out on my back patio and getting stung by a wasp. And the overall economic picture is pretty disturbing.

In real life, the economy happens. Small annoyances happen, and we roll with them. In real life, the initial thrill-ride of new love sometimes ends in divorce. Sometimes it evolves into relationship that lasts a lifetime. As time goes by, through the ups and downs of real life, these lasting loves usually become something warm and companionable, and a husband or partner isn’t so focused on us as they once were in those initial thrilling weeks when our love was new.

But every time I open a romance novel, the initial thrill of a new love is always there, all fresh and shiny. Waiting to be experienced and enjoyed.

My desire for an HEA is such that, before I buy a book, I check its final pages to see that the couple does wind up together. Authors gasp in horror when I reveal this, and my bf does as well. In fact, my bf contends that tragic endings are cathartic. But once I know all will be well, I’m mollified and am ready to start at a book’s beginning to find out how the story unfolds.

How about you? Are you a fanatic about HEAs, or will hopeful endings do just as well? Or do you relish tragic endings?


Elizabeth Amber is an archeology buff and a museum junkie. She’s the author of The Lords of Satyr erotic historical paranormal romances for Kensington Aphrodisia, about brothers who guard ancient secrets in their Tuscany vineyard, circa 1800s. Romantic Times Book Reviews said this about Nicholas: “The leading man is the sexiest one this reader has seen in a long time!” Her June release is Dane, The Lords of Satyr.
Read an excerpt at: http://www.elizabethamber.com/
E-newsletter group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ElizabethAmber/

92 comments:

Natasha A. said...

I don't HAVE to have a HEA, but I can't have a sad horrible tragic ending. That kills me! I also enjoy stories that are Happy For Now especially if there is more in the series - Think J.D. Robb.

red said...

Elizabeth, I have to admit that I also read the ending of a book before I even start reading it- I don't do it all the time but when I want to make sure there will be a HEA I'll do it.
I hate reading romance books without the HEA and I can't even remember the last book I read that didn't have HEA- as you said there are enough small, and sometimes even big, tragedies in real life so for me reading a romance book is a way to escape to a stress free world.

Moran

sonya said...

gots to have a HEA I get upset if the story dosen't have a HEA

Ina said...

um, I hate tragic endings and nothing is better than a HEA - so, yeah, I insist on a HEA *gg*

Andrea Becraft said...

I also do not have an HEA but I do injoy all kinds of stories!

I do so adore your cover s too they are *fanning self* hot

Diana (Book of Secrets) said...

I'm satisfied with a "hopeful ever after," but nothing tragic!! I've been known to read the last chapter first just because I have to know!

Stephanie said...

I prefer my HEA and if the blurb to the story leads me to believe that there might be a question of that, I put that book down like a hot potato!
If I'm lead to believe that the story might be a HFN I'll check out the ending and base my decision to buy on what I find. I read to escape the every day that is my life so, yea, I want my happy ending.

Katy M said...

First, what you said about Shakespeare is why I've only read his comedies, and why I could never be an English major.

I do need an HEA or a happy for now in romance. I don't read a lot of series featuring the same main character(s) with no end in sight for this reason with the exception of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

Reading romance, I know I'm almost guaranteed an HEA (and don't peek to the end, lol). If I read a fantasy, sci fi, mystery/thriller or general fiction book, I know that I may not get an HEA and I just go along for the ride.

Just want to say that I love your HEAs! I love the Satyr novels and can't wait for Dane :)

Yvette said...

I feel the same way. We have too much in our own lives and we need an escape and for me a book with a great story and a happily ever after leaves me complete. Your books are fantastic as you can imagine yourself literally there in the vineyard. I have read books where the main characters do not end up together and its too depressing for me. Thank you so much!

SiNn said...

well i like a realistic ending where you know its done but still cna fantasize later and know they are liven on even if its just in ur mind HEA are awesome too im not picky i like a little of everything

blackroze37yahoo.com said...

i like HEA but if i know the next book she / he might get the HEA , then im cool with that

Cathy M said...

Well here is another HEA girl who does read the ending before buying a book, lol.

mountie9 said...

Hopefully ever after is good enough for me -- and wow nice covers on the books -- yummy!

Angie said...

I don't have to have an HEA when I read a book and never read the ending before I start reading. Tragic endings are fine for me as well. I read a lot of psychological thrillers and horror :)

Deb830 said...

Hiya Elizabeth!!!

I love your Lords of Satyr books! I can't wait til Dane comes out!!

I'm not a fanatic about HEAs b/c I don't read the ending of the story first. I've thought about it but usually hold out to read the whole story. I read romance b/c they usually end HEAs.

I loved Time Traveler's Wife but was very sad at the ending. My twin sister, Robyn, always says I wear my heart on my shoulder. I guess that's why I watch most movies in the privacy of my own home.

Guess I'm just a hopeless romantic.
Life is unpredictable and we can only hope HEA is in all our futures.

deb ;0)

runner10 said...

I prefer a HEA. There is so much sadness in real life that it is nice to escape to a HEA.

LDee said...

A HEA for me. But what's worse is some of the 'modern' stories where they sort of drift off with no conclusion. That's to much like real life and I read for pure enjoyment. And, satisfaction.

robynl said...

I love HEA's and want them in my reading. I, too, read the last page or two before I start the book.

Jane said...

I do expect an HEA. I've read only a couple of books where the couple was together for now and I did enjoy the books.

Ashley said...

I need HEAs to really enjoy a romance story. Most of the time I won't read something if there's no HEA, I don't lke HEA for now type stories lol I agree about there being enough stress and unhappiness in real life.

Leni said...

I'm a sucker for HEA stories, but hopeful endings will do it for me too.

Ashley said...

oh and I too am guilty of reading the endings of books to see if they end the way I want them too lol

Elizabeth Amber said...

Hi all, and thanks very much for coming by Lucy’s Readers at Home Conference. This is a fun way to celebrate the week and make it special, since I couldn’t make it to RT.

Natasha, I hear you! A tragic ending I can’t get out of my mind kills me, too.

Red, you’re a kindred spirit. We should start a support group or something, like, Readers Who Read the Endings First. Long live HEAs!

Sonya, yes, I am the same way for sure.

Ina, me too!

Hi Andrea, thanks re the covers. Kensington has done a nice job with them! I especially like the cohesive look, when you line them up. Fanning self, also.

Diana, most authors don’t read the endings, so that’s interesting!

Stephanie, have you ever read a back cover blurb that has fooled you into expecting an HEA, then been unpleasantly surprised?

Okay, cats are at the door. Back in a sec.

Armenia said...

Hi Elizabeth. I'm a fanatic now about having my romances ending with an HEA. Otherwise, I won't do it, yup, I am so disgruntled when the story doesn't go my way after such an investment of my time and emotions.

I find that I'm troubled about the whole thing, I worry about the characters, and just come to the conclusion that my inner romantic self can not handle the disappointments.

Same with movies. I won't read another Nicholas Sparks book or movie. I end up exhausted and angry that somebody died. *argh*

Elizabeth Amber said...

Many thanks to Lucy for hosting this event, btw! You're amazingly organized, which made everything go so easily and smoothly. Great idea, and I hope you make RAH an annual event.

LOL, re being an English major, Katy. I’m the same about Shakespeare, too. Very interesting comment about not reading infinite series. I hadn’t thought about that before you said it, but I’m exactly the same in this respect. What if I read the entire series and then it all ends badly in the last book. Ack! I’d need some serious wine-drinking. Thank you so much for your kind words about the satyr novels! *Hugs*

Yvette, I know what you mean. I SO like the escape that romance provides, too. It’s not that I don’t like my life. I love my family and friends and life is good. I love romance novels, too!

SiNn, you’re lucky in a way. If you don’t necessarily want an HEA, there are many more books out there to read beyond the HEAs.

Blackroze, I can live with that, too.

Cathy aka HEA girl! Just don’t tell authors that. Some are fine with it I’m sure, but I’ve seriously had an entire table of friend-authors staring daggers at me for revealing that penchant.

Mountie, Thanks for the yummy on the covers! Hopefully sometimes works for me, as in Gone with the Wind.

Angie, awesome—you have more books to choose from than I do because I limit to HEAs. Although, I don’t necessarily need an HEA if a book isn’t a romance, now that I think about it.

Deb, hi!!! Thanks for visiting Lucy’s blog. I watch movies like Time Traveler’s Wife and Brokeback Mtn at home because I cry like crazy. I’m in the hopeless romantic club with you! *hugs*

Runner, I SO agree!

More in a sec...

Elizabeth Amber said...

LDee, I need closure, too. Not sure if I’d prefer drifting or an unhappy ending. Hmm. Neither, I guess. :o)

Robynl, me too, girl! Thanks for dropping by.

Jane, I’m trying to think of some ‘together for now’ books I enjoyed. I think I do read some in ongoing series featuring the same H/H, but I’m hoping there’ll be an HEA!

Ashley, another ending-reader! I love it!

Leni, hi, hopeful works for me…sometimes. As in Gone with the Wind. A classic example. Some people would probably say its ending is not hopeful, but just as many would say the reverse. All in one’s take. I guess that shows the author’s talent in managing the make that happen.

Armenia, my bf said the same about Nicholas Sparks. I’ve read parts of the books and they’re great, but I can’t read the whole thing without hope of an HEA. My bf says I’m shallow, but she says it with a smile. *grin*

Here’s wishing all of you GOOD LUCK in winning some of these great prizes Lucy’s listed and will continue listing throughout the week. Wowza!

Refhater said...

Thank God I'm not the only one who reads the end of the book first. I hate investing the time to read a book if it's going to have a bad ending.

The hope of a good ending is ok in a pinch, but then I feel left hanging that it could eventually have a happy or sad ending and I'll never know which one.

nmulder81 said...

I def need a HEA...Im looking to live through the books...if I want heartache I just look to real life

Lady_Graeye said...

I don't have a favorite HEA. I, too, am one who reads the ending before buying the book. I want to know if I am going to be disappoint or not...everyone needs a HEA.

lrwirum said...

I HAVE to have an HEA at least in romances. I have been known to peek when the story seems to be going in a direction I don't want it to go so I will peek to be sure there is a HEA. LOL I don't mind emotional stories though they tend to be some of the best. :-)

Larena

Victoria said...

I NEVER read the ending first. But really am a sucker for HEA.

Stephanie said...

HEA always! I read to escape from the real world, and there is too much heartache there. I want my characters to make it through and always end up together!

afstone3 said...

Hi Elizabeth....leave it to me to be late for the party lol...
You asked us if we need to have HEA, I prefer the HEA but I have also started to enjoy the cliffhangers, those ones you don't know if they are going to stay together or go their separate ways until book two or three or however many the author wants to tease us with, like Jeaniene Frost with Cat and Bones.

joder said...

I don't have to have a HEA, just a happy ending is good enough for me. As long as there's nothing tragic then I'm satisfied with the story.

katsrus said...

I have to admit I prefer happy endings. When my MIL was alive she would read the last few pages of a book in the store & if it didn't have a happy ending she wouldn't buy it. I just can't do it. I don't want to know what happens till the end. Great interview.
Sue B

LM's Drama Queen said...

I am definitely a big fan of Disney endings. You know, the ones where the princess marries the prince and they live happily ever after. And I don't just want Disney endings in the books I read, or the movies I watch, I like to have them in my life too. My mom and dad still have that sizzling spark between them that they had when they first kissed and I hope that my husband and I will follow in their footsteps. Though, isn't it the truth that life never seems to go quite as smoothly as those fairytales we grew up on. At least we always have those silver linings to get us through:)

Great blog, Elizabeth!
I hope you all get your happy endings too!

XOX
~*DQ*~

Elizabeth Amber said...

Hi Refhater, Closure is best! Happy closure. I totally agree.
I was just reading a baseball biography, so I immediately think of referee when I see your name. :o)

nmulder, you said it, sister! So true.

Lady Graeye, Wow, there are more of us ending-readers out there than I realized. Authors, take note! Thanks for the comment, LG.

Larena! Good to see you. Yes, I’ve done that. If a book seems to be veering away from an HEA, I start to worry. Emotional is good. In fact, I sometimes remember books with sad endings longer than I do some of those with HEAs. But I think that’s because I’m so upset over the sad ending. *hugs*

Victoria, you are brave! If a book heads in a non-HEA direction, so you worry at all, like Larena and I do?

Stephanie. Yes, HEAs rock! I get a happy feeling when I look at a book on my keeper shelf that had an HEA. I love knowing the H/H are still in there, happy. :o)

afstone, hi, good to see you again, sweetie! Late’s good with me. Welcome. Thanks for the suggestion of J Frost’s book. I’ll take a look at the ending and see if it might work for me. *hugs*

Joder, glad to see you, hon! Happy’s good. Do you mean an ending that falls between hopeful and HEA? Interesting.

I hope you all win something fab! I think Lucy’s posting all the winners at once this weekend. Fingers crossed for you all.

Elizabeth Amber said...

Sue/Katsrus, I’m a cat person, too. Everyone in my family is. I love animals, period. I know what you mean...sometimes after I read the ending, I wish I didn’t know what’s going to happen. I try to skim just enough to find that HEA, but not spoil it. It’s an art. :o)

DQ, that is so wonderful to hear. A real-life HEA for your mom and dad. I love that. HEA’s rock in books or out! Thanks for the good wishes, and I wish happiness always for you and your husband as well. *hugs*

Elizabeth Amber said...

Lucy and all...I'm off to dinner with guests from out of town, but will be back in a few hours to check in and hang out.

Aly said...

I am a last page reader too :) The story does have to have a HEA but it doesn't have to have the whole proposal, marriage, etc. I just want the see the couple happy

Lillie said...

A HEA is a requirement for me and I'm a happy member of the end-reader club. That's my only complaint about ebooks. I can't find out the ending before I spend my money!

s7anna said...

I'm addicted to my HEA endings...anything other than that is very unacceptable...I don't even want a HFN ending...I want all the "t"s crossed and the "i"s dotted...I want them all to live happily ever after. To this day I wonder as to why Romeo & Juliet is considered a great love story...ummm Hello people...they both die in the end! That's not a great love story! That's just retarded! I want the people to kind of be alive or in case of vampires or zombies...the living undead but I want them around to live a great life ever after. Real life is sucky enough...I don't want my fiction to start being depressing...I want an ending that's uplifting.

Heather D said...

Hi Ms. Amber!
I love HEA's. I don't believe that I have read a book without an HEA. Yes, that means I have not read Gone With the Wind or Time Travelers Wife. I have been carrying around Gone With The Wind since I was in high school and fell in love with the movie. My parents were hoping that I would finally start reading if they bought the book for me. I have never cracked the book open. Then Scarlet came out and I watched that movie with my cousin and fell in love all over again. My parents again bought me a copy of the book, that too has been lugged with me in my many moves but I have never read it. One of these days I guess I will have to make myself sit down and read both of them.

I guess I would rather leave the non HEA's for the movies. I love watching sappy movies that don't necessarily have the best ending and cry my eyes out over...as long as I am on my couch all by myself. LOL.

CherylS22 said...

I think I prefer HEAs. When I read a book that has a tragic ending, I just can't put the book aside & move on to the next. I become just a little depressed especially if I have a lot invested in the character. As far as a hopeful ending goes, I just feel like I'm left hanging.

erahime said...

THAT'S why I don't care for Shakespeare's R&J's ending. I want my HEA, dawgawnit!

(Pardon my language. I want to keep it family-friendly, and well, that word/phrase is the only one that I can think of right now. I was also into the moment, so that D-word just cropped up.)

Anyway, those cover models look so dawgawnit SEXY, E. Amber. Lucky you, for having such HOT book covers.

WK said...

I do so love HEA and Disney,lol.

great post.
WendyK

Cecile said...

**Waving to Ms. Amber**
This woman's work is absolutely without a doubt awesome!!!!!

I am not a peeker of the ending, I do not want to know about the ending until I get there! But I love a HEA! I even love it when the author has me screaming at her to get me to the HEA!

I hope everyone has a great day!

Rebecca Ringler said...

Very interesting blog. I think I can safely say I always peak ahead!! I still enjoy the book just as much!

Terri said...

It has to end HEA or at least hopefully. I don't like it when it leaves things up in the air. I read to help relieve stress. So keep the HEA's coming.

flchen1 said...

Oy, I read romance for the HEA--I avoid reading "fiction" or chicklit because of the ambiguity or tragic endings that sometimes happen there. If the couple isn't riding off into the sunset, I want them to at least be in a hopeful place by the last page!

Stacy S said...

I prefer a HEA. That's one of the best things about reading romance.

trudy said...

I pefer to have an HEA but I don't have to have one. I do like to have a kick ass heroine though, to me it is what helps to make the romance.

Elizabeth, I have had three people recommend your books this week to me, and I picked them up today and came home to reade your blog. I think it is fate.

Zina Lynch said...

HEA for me all the way. Girl I love your covers, they were making me drool.

Lisa F. said...

Very erotic covers on your books! I definitely want a HEA in my romance books, but I never peek at the ending to make sure.

Toni said...

I do like a HEA and hope someday to have one of my own. Once in a while I take a sad ending because I know that they happen in real life but I still want the HEA.

Toni

Melanie said...

My whole reason for reading is the escape from reality so of course it has to have a HEA or what is the point. I love to read about the struggles along the way but that ending better be good, although I can't read the end of the book first, I like to experience the journey there.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Happy endings do it for me!

Lil said...

But every time I open a romance novel, the initial thrill of a new love is always there, all fresh and shiny. Waiting to be experienced and enjoyed.

That comment of yours is exactly why I read romance.

I don't mind if the story has only a hopeful ending, it is enough for me to be able to imagine that their future be bright.

Sherry said...

I have to have a HEA or at least a happily for now. I read one book where the hero went through a lot and I thought he would at least get a happy ending but no the author killed him off at the end of the book. I hated that I love to reread books but this is one but that I never wanted to read again. The characters may go through a lot but I want a good ending.

sstrode@scrtc.com

Lucy Monroe said...

Oh, I do love my HEA! Thank you so much for guesting at the RAH Conference, Elizabeth! ~ Hugs!!

lindseye said...

When I invest my time and energy in a book I choose to look for a positive payoff. There is too much negativity in real life to subject myself to it voluntarily. I am with you on reading the end of the book first, especially with new o me authors. Much easier to start the book then.

Jami Davenport said...

Elizabeth, I'm with you, I check the ending out before I buy. I hate bad endings. I won't watch a movie with a bed ending either. If a book is good, I get into it and the characters. I want to feel good when I finish the book, not depressed because things didn't work out for the h/H.

Nancy G said...

No, I don't check the ending for HEA. I am actually happy with HFN if the book is well written. I usually buy books based on either recommendations from friends, or tried and true authors who do HEA or HFN. I read one recently that I absolutely hated-how can you call it a romance when the hero jumps in front of a truck and dies?

Linda Henderson said...

I read romance for the HEA. I will however keep reading a series if there looks to be a possible HEA. I really don't like to read books that are going to depress me. I'll just say Nicolas Sparks, I just can't get into reading his books because there is usually a death or someone leaving in them, I don't enjoy books like that. My youngest daughter loves his books. Oh well, to each his own. I'll settle for that HEA.

seriousreader at live dot com

Elizabeth Amber said...

Aly, Yay, another one who reads the ending. I agree a proposal/marriage is not important. It’s the commitment that I want. The love.

Lillie, hi. Welcome ending-reader. You’re one of us. Ooh, good point about e-books. I don’t have a Kindle or any kind of e-reader, so I never thought about this. I’m doomed when e-books take over. I’ll have to go by word of mouth on the HEA.

s7anna, You are so funny. Yeah, hello people…R&J die in the end. They are sooo in love, which makes it tragic. I cried over that one and have watched part of the movie again, but never to the end. The sets are beautiful and R&J are beautiful to watch and their love is beautiful to watch. But as you say…hello, people, death is not fun.

Heather! Welcome. You know, I read Gone with the Wind about six times and saw the movie, but have never read Scarlett. I’m going to add it to my Netflix queue. I refuse to watch a tearjerker movie with anyone else around. If I’m forced into it, I run off to cry alone in when it gets to be too much. Everyone else sits there, seemingly unaffected. They say things like, “They’re only actors…It’s just a movie.” I don’t get them.

Cheryl, hi. I know. I think a little part of me fears losing my husband or a friend or family member, so I don’t want to see that or read it. Scary. Thanks for coming by and posting.

Erahime, Yeah! I second that on the HEA. And the D-word works for me. Thanks for the nice thoughts about the satyr covers. I did luck out. I’m glad I don’t have to choose the cover models…or maybe it would be fun! LOL

Wendy, thanks so much. Glad to see another HEA-lover here. Although I guess non-HEA-lovers and the HFAs keep our world in balance. Other points of view make things interesting for us. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever change into someone who can live with tragic endings. I don’t mind them so much in genres other than romance. You?

Cecile!!! Dahling, thanks for coming by. **waving back** I think most romance readers like HEAs, though some of us don’t mind other endings. I wonder if there are any romance readers who don’t like HEAs. Interesting thought.

Hi Rebecca. Thanks. Another peeker. Love it! I try not to learn too much of the ending, but I’ll still read a book, even if I read most of the last chapter—which is more than I usually sample. I usually just hit the last page or two.

donnas said...

I need the HEA. I really do. I wont check the first book to see how it ends, I blindly trust the HEA will be there. But if its a rather longish book and a nasty twist is thrown in the middle that might hurt the HEA's chances I might peek then. And seriously if theres a cliffhanger to it and I have to wait, I just tend to get mad. Even if I have the next book already. Then I definitely peek. I admit it. I have a hard time turning my back on a story I like, but I dont want to end another book mad either. HEA please, thanks!

Elizabeth Amber said...

Terri, good point about HEAs relieving stress. Yes!

flchen, Me too. Exactly.

Stacy, Yes!

Trudy, oh, that’s so cool. Fate, I love it. I so hope you like the satyrs after that build-up. I read more books on word-of-mouth recommendations than from any reviews. Even if the rec is from someone I don’t know well. Thanks so much for coming by the blog. Lucy has put together a great event! And here’s to kick-ass heroines!

Zina, what a great name! I love the covers, too. I think Nicholas will always be my fave. It’s classy and sexy. Love that. Go HEAs!

Lisa, you have self-control, girl. Sometimes I wish I did. I actively worry and can’t enjoy a book if I’m uncertain about that HEA, so I have GOT to know. Like a kindergartener sometimes. I’m glad you like the covers. Me too!

Hi Toni! I wish you your own HEA! And soon, or when you’re ready. I like sad sometimes, but if it winds up happy, I’m happy. I so wanted Time Traveler’s Wife to end happily. Can’t they make two versions? One for us HEA-ers and another for everyone else? LOL

Hi Melanie, good to hear your thoughts on HEAs. I like that—experience the journey. A wonderful way to express the act of reading. *hugs*

Hi Lil, I’m glad that comment struck a cord. It exactly expresses how I feel, too. I truly love having keepers on my shelf and knowing the H/H are still in there, all happy. :o)

Sherry, Ack, painful about the killing him off at the end. I know what you mean. I find it impossible to reread something with a sad ending, yet I can’t forget it. In contrast, I’ll reread some HEA books over and over year after year.

Thanks, Lucy. You rock!

Lindseye, a payoff is a good way to say it. That’s what I want and expect as well. A happy payoff. Thanks for coming by.

Elizabeth Amber said...

Jami D, I know. Kleenex is expensive. Tearjerkers are just not cost-effective in this economy. LOL I want a feel good ending, too. Totally with you!

Hi Nancy, I made a ‘yikes’ face when I read the jumping in front of the truck thing. I would be upset over that! When I trust an author I’ve read before, I don’t feel driven to read the ending. I don’t think they’ll let me down, but I’d be disappointed if they did—especially with something as dramatic as the hero dying by truck. Thanks for your thoughts, much appreciated.

Hi Linda! Like your daughter, my bf loves Nicholas Sparks, but she has stopped—or at least taken a hiatus—because she wants some upbeat endings for a while. To each her or his own, I agree. I don’t want or need everyone to be just like me. The discussion of differences keeps things interesting for us HEA-enjoyers.

Donna, hi! I smiled reading your post. I don’t like disappointment either. Maybe romances should be rated or there should be some kind of signal regarding the HEA, HFA, or tragic endings. Maybe a smiley face for HEA, a slight smile for HFA, and a frowny face for tragic. :o)

Elizabeth Amber said...

Wishing you all GREAT LUCK in winning prizes and loot. Enjoy the rest of Lucy's conference. I'll be popping in now and then all week long.

Hugs and thank you all again for coming by.

I enjoyed it!

icia said...

I have read this series, I look forward to reading Dane's book. As for HEA that is a must. I don't care if there is all kind of bad things happens in between as long as its a happy ending.
icia

Beth said...

I don't have to have a couple(or more) having their HEA at the end of a book to enjoy it. After all I read sci-fi/fantasy long before paranormal romance and urban fantasy became so popular.
If the book is billed as a romance, then it needs to be HEA. But for urban fantasy or sci-fi(what lately they are starting to call speculative) then, as long as the ending isn't sad or bad wins, it's okay with me.
One of the ebook sites I buy at actually tells you whether the story is going to be HEA or HFN(Happy For Now). I like that.
Quick and easy distinction between a true romance story and a fiction story with possible romantic elements.

Sue A. said...

I'm not a fanatic about HEA endings, but I don't go the other extreme either, I don't relish tragic endings. I'll go along with the story however it works out as long it flows and makes sense.

booklover0226 said...

Though I do like HEA, but will settle for hopeful endings.. if there is a sequel!

Thanks,
Tracey D

Carol L. said...

Hi Elizabeth,
God how I'm waiting for Dane. :)
I don't need a HEA but I don't want a tragic ending either. As long as it's friendly enough I'll be fine.
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

Maria said...

Very nice post and yes I'm somewhat of a fanatic abot HEA or at the very least a hopeful ending. I don't like books with tragic endings, the book can have tragedy in it and I don't mind shedding a tear or two but as you said life on it's own is depressing enough, why would I pay to puchase a book that makes me sad? It's funny that you mention looking at the back of the book as in one of my groups we have a running argument over peaking at the end or suffering thru the book...lol

JanDgls said...

I love a HEA! I need that feel good moment.

CrystalGB said...

I am a big fan of happy endings but a hopeful ending works for me too.

Janet H said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I always want a happily ever after. The h or h can be the most tortured and lonely h or h ever, as long as it's an HEA ending. BTW, eagerly awaiting DANE.

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Elizabeth,

HEA is a must have for me.

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Elizabeth,

HEA is a must have for me.

Tamsyn said...

I am like you - I read the ending of a book first to see if it has a HEA. If not, I won't buy it.

Amanda said...

i looved this post and feel exactly the way you do. I must have my HEA

etirv said...

Only HEAs work for me. Life's tough already as it is. Definitely not tragic!

Raonaid Luckwell said...

Definitely need a Happily Ever After. Which is something my Forgotten Realms books don't often have but I read it for the elements of magic, elves, and such things. One book had a couple where the man dies, leaving the woman behind, and that was the ending of the book. I cried because I had wanted those two to break the differences, live togerher and be happy, something a drow never really does. I even wrote the author, telling her how sadden I was for the character and such. She was really polite about it all

Rhea said...

I agree, I want the HEA, if not, I don't want to read it.

tricia said...

I really enjoyed the Lords of Satyr series. I have all of the books except Dominic. A book doesn't have to have a HEA for me but I do not want it to be a tragic ending either.

Lois said...

Well, with me, if I'm reading something that has the word Romance on its side, then it better have a HEA. If I'm not reading romances, well, then obviously not -- though if I'm not reading romances, it's usually science or science related, so can one have a HEA with that anyway? LOL But anyway, I read them to feel good at the end of the book, so better be there. :)

Lois

Elizabeth Amber said...

Hi icia, I’m so glad you’re looking forward to Dane. I agree that bad things along the way only make the plot more exciting and make me savor that happy ending so much more.

Hi Beth! Interesting that an ebook site specifies HEA, HFA, etc. That’s a great idea. I think Romance used to be a guaranteed HEA, but since that’s not always the case now, it’s good to know.

Sue A, thanks for your thoughts. You’ve got a nice balanced opinion. I actually wish I was happy with various endings because it would broaden the number of books I could enjoy. :o)

LOL about the “if there’s a sequel”, Tracey D. Yes, if an ending’s hopeful and I know there are sequels that seem to be heading for an HEA at some point, I can live with that. But I don’t think I’d want a looong series to do that. Though it works for me in TV. I like the show Castle for instance, and there’s an ongoing sexual tension between the male and female leads. I’m hopeful they’ll get together at some point, but since I know that coming together will drastically alter the series, I’m happy that it’s not happening yet.

Carol, me too! I can hardly wait for that box of DANE books to land on my front porch! Thanks for weighing in on the HEA topic!

Maria, thanks! Intriguing that your book group argues about the peeking. I know it does drive some people crazy that I do it. Especially authors. I should keep it to myself. On the other hand, it’s good for authors to know these things. They could write something on the last page like, “Aha! Caught you. No peeking.”

Crystal, thanks for your comment! Good to hear from a happy-ending fan.

Janet, I’m so glad you’re looking forward to DANE. Me too! I love it when the H/H are tortured and lonely. When they find love, it’s so much more rewarding to me as a reader and author.

Hi Danny! So good to see you. HEAs—yay!

Tamsyn, another peeker. I love it. You do exactly what I do.

Hi Amanda, you too. Love it! We definitely need a peekers anonymous club.

Hi etirv, thanks for your thoughts. I’m with you on this!

Raonaid, I love your last name. Luckwell. Wonderful. I know most authors appreciate hearing from readers. It’s good to know the reactions to what we’re doing. Even though I’m writing what feels right to me, at the same time it wouldn’t be any fun to write something everyone dislikes.

Rhea, thanks so much for weighing in!

Tricia, you’re a sweetheart. Thank you so much! I’m glad you dropped in to add to the conversation!

Lois, yes! I think the label ‘romance’ used to mean assurance of an HEA. Now, I’m usually assured of that, but I’m a little more concerned that I may not get what I want as a reader. Feeling good at the end of a book is of tremendous importance to me, as a reader and as a writer. Thanks for your comment.

Thanks, everyone!

Juliet said...

I so agree with you, Elizabeth! I love a HEA and I can acept a HFN or hopeful ending, but I really don't want a tragic ending in a "romance". If it ends tragically, then it shouldn't be labeled as romance. I grew up reading classics and crying my eyes out with them, so since I discovered romances many years ago, I am happy with them.

I have read the ending too, in a few cases that I was afraid of the end of the book, and one time I left the book aside to finish at another time and never went back to it. If they are authors like Lucy, whose books I love, I know that I can trust her and no need to look at the ending. :o) And I have looked for spoilers in the online community when I suspect that a romance may have a tragic ending, so I have been able to avoid them.

Margay said...

I definitely prefer HEAs, but I will settle for a hopeful ending. I'm not very fond of tragic endings, though.
Margay

Elizabeth Amber said...

Hi Juliet! I do love an HEA as well, and I think that’s one of the reasons I listen to word of mouth so often when making a buying decision. I agree that if something’s labeled romance, I’d like it to have an HEA. There are many books in the romance section of bookstores that don’t have HEAs, and I think that’s fine, but it does make buying harder. Interesting point about trusting an author not to disappoint, and so true!

Hi Margay, Thanks for stopping by. I agree!

Well, I wonder how all is going at RT? I've never been and it sounds pretty exciting. Looking forward to hearing some scoop at my next local RWA meeting in May!

PhyllisC said...

I love a HEA and I feel better to make the admission that I also read the end of the book lots of times before I buy.