*** SPOILER ALERT FOR MISSING HART— DON’T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY READ THE BOOK****
I’ve been really, really touched by the amount of positive comments that I’ve gotten from people who totally “got” why the story ended the way that it did. I know you all want the follow up ASAP and I promise you that I am writing so fast that the tips of my fingers are numb. There is soooo much ground to cover in Finding Hart, but I really think everyone will be really happy with the way it turns out. So to all of you that have written and said you thought the book kicked ass, THANK YOU! I want you to have this happily ever after sooner rather than later, and I am working at this book harder than a stripper at a bachelor party.
At the same time, I’ve also gotten some really biting comments about how “shitty” or “lame” the ending of the book was because it didn’t have the Happily Ever After all wrapped up in a bow. A recurring theme in some of these comments is anger/disappointment with me for ‘jumping on’ to the cliffhanger bandwagon. Y’all, I totally get where you’re coming from about how some books end on a cliffhanger just to draw us in to buy the next one….
The ending of Missing Hart was NOT a marketing ploy to get you to buy the next book. To be perfectly blunt, the series sells really well, no cliffhangers needed. Fans that have embraced the Hart family are invested in the stories and would have purchased book six without me ending book five the way that I did. If anything, I’ve pissed a few people off who now won’t buy the book, which means that in going where the story led me, I lost sales. I am well aware that there are authors out there who use the cliffhanger as a selling tool, but that is not why I did it.
The one and only reason that Missing Hart ends the way that it does is because it was totally organic to the story. There has been a thread running through all five books that needed to be addressed and I realized as I was writing Missing Hart that Dominique & Delilah were going to need to be in a book together to make that happen.
The premise of the Hart series has always been about family, faith, growth and healing. Not every man is a cheating jerk who treats women like shit, and not every woman is a doormat who just can’t say no. Finding Hart is going to give one hell of a happily ever after. I genuinely love these characters AND my fans, and I would never cheat either group! If I had crammed everything into one book for Dominique and Dillon, it would have sucked. It would have also sucked to do a series of novellas to get to where the story will go in Finding Hart.
On a side note, one of the things I was most excited to bring to readers in Missing Hart was an introduction to Sabrina and Brooke’s father. Because their parents were already gone by the time the story started, I thought it would be sweet to explore what kind of family the Tyler sisters came from.
Of course, that led to some complaints from readers about how everything ties together too easily to which I have two responses. First, IT’S FICTION- and second, in my experience, that’s how life is. Paths intersect, there are generally less than six degrees of separation and some of the most random experiences of your life are actually pre-cursors to something far bigger than you realize. I’m a total Karma/Destiny believer and I think that comes through loud and clear in my books.
(For a few years, I lived in the San Fernando Valley (where the Harts live) and I assure you- it really IS a small world. As big as Los Angeles is, everyone is tied together somehow. It’s freakin bizarre.)
Finally- a few people have had adverse reactions to the person that Tally has turned out to be. The groundwork for that was set way back in Shattered Hart. What were the chances, really, that she hadn’t manipulated a way into Spencer & Damien’s lives in order to get what she wanted? The question that won’t be answered until Finding Hart comes out is…. what was it that she actually wanted?
Overall the response to Missing Hart has been splendiferous and I am thrilled that most people understood the purpose of stopping the story where I did. I’m going to suggest that just before Finding Hart comes out you all read Missing again to get it fresh in your mind… and to pick up on one or two things that maybe escaped your notice the first time. Wink wink.