Guest Post: Ten Secrets of Happily Ever After by Syrie James

Syrie James is the bestselling author of eight critically acclaimed novels, including The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, Dracula My Love, Nocturne, Forbidden, and The Harrison Duet: Songbird and Propositions. Her books have been translated into eighteen foreign languages. Syrie lives with her family in Los Angeles, California. Connect with her on her Website, facebook, and Twitter.

I’ve reviewed The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen and The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen in the past, and enjoyed them as a Janeite.  I’ve also reviewed a collection of Jane Austen-related stories edited by Laurel Ann Nattress that includes one from James, Jane Austen Made Me Do It.

With the republication of Songbird in e-format and paperback, the first book in the Harrison Duet, James agreed to stop by and share her Valentine’s Day secrets.  Without further ado, please give her a warm welcome:

It’s Valentine’s Day, the day to celebrate love! Admittedly, as a writer of romantic novels, both historical and contemporary, I have love on my mind most of the time! I love to write about people meeting and falling in love. That moment when two people look at each other and just know they’re meant to be together forever—it’s one of the most magical, meaningful, and memorable experiences in the world. And when it’s followed by a lifetime of love and blessings, what could be better than that?

My novels Songbird and Propositions are the perfect Valentine’s Day treat. They feature strong, intelligent, accomplished women who meet men who are every bit their equals, and who experience a love so deep, immediate, and profound, it forces them to rethink their future and the very meaning of romance. And of course they all find their Happily Every After!

I’m fortunate to be surrounded by love in both my professional and personal life. I met my husband in college, and thirty-eight years later, we are still together and very happy. Which has set me to thinking: how do you achieve that Happily Ever After? Thinking back on our relationship, I’ve come up with a list of 10 elements that I think help make for a long and happy marriage. See if you agree!

  1. You consider your partner to be your best friend for life. (Bill is definitely my best friend and always will be!)
  2. You are honest with and implicitly trust each other.
  3. You respect, admire, appreciate, and dearly love one another—and you tell each other so on a regular basis. (You say thank you for even the smallest things, like when he takes out the trash.)
  4. You balance and complete each other. You have similar interests, tastes, and beliefs, but enough differences and skill sets that you can learn from and help each other. (i.e. Bill oversees the finances and house repair, and I handle cooking, laundry, and our social calendar; it works!)
  5. You put the other person’s happiness and well being before your own, and can count on each other to always be there in time of need.
  6. You make time for each other every day, even if sometimes it’s just a phone call to say hello, and create special moments and memories just for the two of you, away from your children, family, and friends.
  7. You support each other’s dreams. Except when his dream is to buy a motorcycle. (LOL.)
  8. You listen to each other. Always. You can share your most personal thoughts, memories, dreams, and fears with each other without judgment.
  9. You make every major life decision together, considering each other’s ideas, needs, wants, and preferences.
  10. You are committed to make your relationship work. You stick with each other through thick and thin, through happiness and sorrow, through good times and bad, regardless of what has happened in the past, what is happening in the present, and what will happen in the future.

Is there anything else you would add to this list? I’d love to hear what you think. To see ten more things I think help make for a long and happy marriage, please visit my blog. And for an ultra romantic Valentine’s Day read, I hope you’ll check out books one and two in The Harrison Duet: Songbird and Propositions. They’re available in Trade Paperback and for Kindle and Nook. Happy Valentine’s Day, and Happy Reading!

Check out her 10 additional times on her Website.  What are your tips for a happily ever after?


  1. Sounds like great advice to me!

  2. The motorcycle comment was meant to be a slight attempt at humor, but with a sad and serious source. In fact, my husband Bill owned a motorcycle when we first met, and he did indeed look hot on it!! He took me on a long, fabulous ride on his bike on a hot summer day way up into the mountains, and I naively wore nothing but a helmet, shorts, and a halter top! It was the thrill of my life, and I’ll never forget what it felt like to sit on the back of that powerful bike with the wind in my face and my arms wrapped around my gorgeous man! But when I reflect now on what could have happened to body and limb, I just smile and shake my head… Two of my friends lost their husbands in motorcycle accidents, and those tragedies continue to haunt me. Bill sold his bike before we were married and he has never desired to own another one. However: should he suddenly dream of getting a motorcycle, although I admit I would worry about his safety (especially in our congested city of L.A.!), I would not stand in his way. Everyone has dreams, and I will always support whatever is important to my dear husband!

  3. Carl and I will celebrate 34 years in May and I think this is a great list. I would add that you need to not take everything seriously and remember to laugh.

  4. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard the term Janeite before! Of course, I have yet to read an Austen.
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  5. Good list! I would add that you fight for each other. My bf and I have been through some devastating events since we have been together and we have had our moments of faltering, but we fought for each other and now we are in a place where we know no matter what happens, we will be able to get through it together better than if we were apart.

    Also, let him get a motorcycle! Men on motorcycles are hot! 😀
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  6. I think her advice is positively perfect. I couldn’t agree more with them!
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  7. A motorcycle? Okay, we all have our moments. I love your list Syrie. Great advice from a veteran of 38 years. Congrats to you both.