Today I am so pleased to welcome Sam Burns to Joyfully Jay. Sam has come to talk to us about her latest release, Eagle and the Hawthorn. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


This book marks an important milestone in the Rowan Harbor series: the first Happily Ever After. When I started this series, I told readers that each couple was getting three books, and only in the final trilogy would they get their true romantic finale. I’ve ended six books with a “happy for now,” and each time there’s a caveat, something holding them back.

With a few readers, this has resulted in some pushback, and you know what? They’re not wrong.

I stand by the way I’ve built the Rowan Harbor series, and of course, plan to give all of my characters their own happy ending when their final book comes around. But when a reader says they want a more satisfying ending, it’s hard to argue that.

Non-romance readers often don’t understand it, but we’re not just here for pretty words arranged in an artistic order. Some of us come to romance because it’s the only genre that promises us that happy ending every single time. For myself, this is one of the main things that keeps me in the genre. I love fantasy: urban, epic, and even post-apocalyptic, but there’s always a gamble in picking up a fantasy series. If I spend my time falling in love with these characters, will the author give them the happy ending I think they deserve? In romance, the answer is always yes.

If I want uncertainty about the future, I can flip on the news or answer my work email. When I spend my miniscule amount of free time on a book, I’m not looking for realism. I’m looking for that happy ending.

So now it’s Devon and Wade’s turn to get their HEA. Hopefully they’ve been worth the wait!


Rowan Harbor has had a tough winter, and Devon Murphy wants nothing more than to make it better. When he proposes a solution to the town’s low morale, it creates a rift in his relationship with his boyfriend, Wade. They’ve hardly ever argued, and when things get tense, Devon has no idea how to handle it.

But an evil presence in his town targets the people Devon loves, he has to put his personal worries aside and face danger down again. Will he be able to protect his town, and if he can, will Wade be waiting for him when it’s done?


Sam is an author of LGBTQIA+ fiction, mostly light-hearted fantasy romances. Most of her books include a little violence, a fair amount of swearing, and maybe a sex scene or two.

She is a full-time writer who lives in the Midwest with her husband and cat. Someday, she plans to be a full-time writer who lives near the ocean with her husband and cat, but no polar vortexes.

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