A Happily Ever After for Valentine’s Day by Stacy Hoff

Stacy_Cartoon_v2Valentine’s Day is upon is almost upon us. I thought this would be a good time to explain what we in the romance writing industry call the “HEA” (Happily Ever After). The HEA is really the heart and soul of every romance novel ever written. An HEA should also be at the center of our own lives. After all, why should literary characters keep all the happiness for themselves?

Publishers often seek an HEA, too. They define an HEA as follows: the hero and heroine get married (or at least engaged) at the end of the story. Other publishers only require a “HFN” (Happy For Now). They define a HFN as when: the couple agrees to be together at the end of the story, although not engaged or married. Personally, I am open to reading both, but I write only the HEA.


In the story I wrote about Valentine’s Day, “Love Delights” (in the SEASON OF LOVE box set) I succintly sum up both the holiday, and the HEA philosophy. No matter how much people convince themselves they can not, or should not, be with the one they love, they never feel quite complete without that person in their life. The hard part, of course, is taking the risk of opening up one’s heart. (The book blurb follows below, if you’re curious, and an excerpt of the story for you to enjoy, because, hey, it’s Valentine’s Day weekend.)

Of course, having happiness in life does not require a fiancé or a spouse. I do believe a person can be content living alone. But I also believe that a person can be even happier with someone who challenges them, supports them, and compliments who they are as an individual.

Once we find that person, we have our HEA.

This Valentines Day, I wish all of you an HEA. How are you going to spend February 14th?

Hope you like the fun, brand new cover for Season of Love!

SOL cartoon

Book Blurb for “Love Delights” in SEASON OF LOVE box set

Two co-workers—former lovers—vie for the same big job promotion in their NYC advertising agency. The agency’s next Creative Director will be the one who pitches the better ad campaign to a major potential client, Love Delights, a gourmet chocolatier. Too bad they both need more time, and each other’s help, to come up with the perfect pitch.
Can they win over the client? And each other? Because this Valentine’s Day, the agency’s finances—and their hearts—are on the line.

Excerpt from “Love Delights”

Deirdre’s iPhone’s appointment-book feature finally went off, letting out a sharp beep. This was it—meeting time. Positive thoughts, Dee, only positive thoughts. A cold shiver ran through her as a thought popped into her head. They do value me here, right? After all she’d gone though, she just had to get this promotion. She would get this promotion. In fact, in a few minutes when it became official she’d go down to a bar, toast herself with a coconut daiquiri, then drunk-dial her oldest brother, Jake and gloat. A slow smile spread across her face.

About to enter Mr. Fein’s office, her biggest rival for the job promotion—Trevor Reynolds—reached for the exact same door handle. “Oh!” she exclaimed. Her smile immediately dropped from her face. Confidence plummeted along with it. Stop worrying, Dee! This must be a scheduling screw-up.

“Hello, Deirdre,” Trevor said in that sexy, sultry voice of his.

Deirdre hated that voice. Specifically because it worked so well on her. Despite all her determination to be immune, immunity from Trevor’s charms was not an easy task to accomplish. His sensuous voice was only half as tantalizing as his mouth-watering good looks.

Even hearing him through the thin drywall that separated his office from Deirdre’s brought embarrassingly steamy memories racing to the forefront of her mind. Memories of their one night stand—no, one night mistake. Ever since then, she tried to keep her meetings with Trevor to a minimum. Since this was Valentine’s Day, she’d tried doubly hard to avoid him all day. She’d been successful until now. Awkward.

“Hello, Trevor.” She gave him a tight nod. “It’s nice to see you, but I have an appointment with Mr. Fein now.”

“What a coincidence,” he said, cavalierly. “So do I.”

Her brow furrowed. Having Trevor at this meeting would not be good. How could she concentrate on Mr. Fein’s words when Trevor was watching her? Her still-lingering attraction to him was hard to block out. Worse, having Trevor at the meeting would create a professional mess. How would Trevor react when Mr. Fein announced she’d be getting the promotion he’d wanted? Unfortunately, he was just as driven in his career goals as Deirdre. Would Trevor be gracious when Mr. Fein gave the job to her? After all, there was only one Creative Director spot.

Oh noWhat if Trevor is the one who’s going to get the promotion? And I’m supposed to report to him now? Suddenly, Dee felt her acid reflux condition make its presence known. Only thirty years old, it was very early in life for Dee to be taking Nexium, but with a high-pressure job like this one, using the purple pill was inevitable. After this meeting, she’d be sure to pop yet another pill in flagrant disregard of the dosing instructions.

AMAZON LINK FOR SEASON OF LOVE:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X3ZAR3E?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00X3ZAR3E&linkCode=xm2&tag=stacyhoffcom-20










AMAZON LINK FOR HOT SEDUCTION (box set with Stacy Hoff):

Hot Seduction cover




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Web: http://www.stacyhoff.com

This entry was posted in Holiday reads, romance, romance novels, Stacy Hoff, Valentine's Day, writer's inspiration, Writer's life, Writing Craft, writing life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Happily Ever After for Valentine’s Day by Stacy Hoff

  1. I agree with you, Stacy, about fiction and reality. But I can tell you in real life there’s nothing like finding that one person who loves you and you love back, along with the support and encouragement. 36 years with my HEA and going strong.

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