I’ll admit, I love a happily ever after. When I finish a book, I want a big, sappy smile on my face, a feeling that all is right in the world, and that the characters I’ve fallen in love with will ride off into the sunset toward a wonderful future. I also love rainbows and kittens.
So what’s my point?
What about stories that don’t quite have that perfect HEA, or that give you a hell of a HFN? Is it okay for a writer to make a reader cry? To leave them wondering what happened? Or worse, have them crying, ‘Why? Why!!!’
How about an example of what I mean. Betraying The Pack. If you’ve never read this story, then you might want to skip the rest of this post as it contains a HUGE spoiler. Will it ruin the book for you? Possibly, so if you intend to read the story, I’d move away, this is not the blog you seek.
Still here? Then either my Jedi mind trick didn’t work or you already know what I did.
First a quick recap. Defying Pack Law, book one, has a heroine who is fighting a law that states she needs to take up to four mates. In the end, she discovers happiness — and being involved in a committed menage — doesn’t mean losing her sense of self or pride. Oh, and we discover at the very end that a vampire hybrid is out to get them. Cliff hanger number one! But not a big one. My readers forgave me that one.
In book two, Betraying The Pack, we learn more about the sick vampire who’s hunting the Lycans. We meet a new heroine and set of heroes. We fall in love with them; Gavin with his easy going, good ol’ American boy attitude, Wyatt with his surly, tough as nails persona, Parker, the gentle giant, and finally Jaxon, playful and loveable hottie of the group. But I didn’t call it Betraying The Pack for nothing. I know most readers expected Bailey to be the one who screwed the Pack. It wasn’t. Jaxon, under the mind control of the vampire, betrays them all. Betrays the one he loves and delivers her to the monster. It’s horrible. Sad. And yes, Bailey is angry, but she forgives him and manages to mark him as her mate just before the evil hybrid comes for them. But Roderick and his forces are strong, too strong, and he threatens to kill Bailey. Jaxon, heart broken at his inadvertent deception, full of love for Bailey, does the only thing he can. He sacrifices himself to save them all. Sob. It was so beautiful. The ultimate gift for love.
Well, at that point, more than a few e-readers probably hit the wall.
I did the unthinkable. I took a well loved hero and didn’t give him a HEA. Worse, the heroine, instead of throwing herself off the same cliff in heartbroken agony, decides to live. And still love. Yes, she looks to her other three mates for comfort, a reassurance that they’d survived, that she lived. That together they would prevail. The fact I didn’t have them curled into balls of sobbing misery didn’t go over well. My decision to stay true to the story, had my readers in tears, many up in arms. I even got declarations of never again will I read something by Eve Langlais, which I’ll admit made me sad. But the one thing that made me glad? I touched my readers. I got them invested enough in my world and characters that I managed to evoke strong feelings. Really, really strong feelings. So despite the backlash, I can’t say I’m unhappy. Nor would I change a thing.
But… Those who know my work should have known it wasn’t the end. Jaxon went off a cliff with the vampire in tow. Did anyone really think this would kill them? I’m happy to report that Jaxon is very much alive, but depressed. And determined. He lost the woman he loved because of Roderick and now, he’ll do anything, even put his life on the line to keep her safe. On his journey to redemption, he finds others, three wolves who chose to go rogue to look for a brother, and a victim of Roderick’s evil machinations. Together they will confront the devil that’s plagued the Packs. A final showdown is coming. But the biggest question of all? Can Jaxon ever forgive himself? And will Bailey ever get him back?
Find out now, today, right this minute if you want, as Amira Press has released my third Pack story, Seeking Pack Redemption. Prefer to use your regular store? Then don’t worry. It will be available in multiple formats on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, AllRomance, Bookstrand, Smashwords and more starting July 27th (expect delays with Kobo and Apple as they take longer).
Don’t miss out on this third exciting book. Oh, and just so you’re warned, I left a bombshell at the end. Yes, there will be a Pack 4.