Del follows up historical fiction with heartfelt nonfiction, on a subject close to home. In Happily Ever After: A Tribute to Marriage from a Fifty-Year Veteran, Hayes attempts to restore to marriage the respect and admiration he believes it deserves. Having recently celebrated his own fiftieth wedding anniversary, Hayes can speak from experience. Personalizing the book with his own marriage story as a case study, Hayes shares the secrets—and not-so-secrets—of enjoying a successful marriage. In doing so, and examining the causes and effects of current attitudes about marriage, Hayes reveals marriage as the best path for true happiness and discovering one's full potential as a person.
Filled with humor and humility, Happily Ever After is at once a candid memoir about an enduring marriage, and a love letter to the "sacred institution."
Praise for Happily Ever After:
From the Foreword: "Happily Ever After: A Tribute to Marriage From a Fifty-Year Veteran is a rare peek into the nooks and crannies of an honest, real, ordinary fifty-year marriage with extraordinary candor and insight. Del and Colleen’s story rings with sweetness and devotion; a moving journey to be enjoyed. What they have to share with those of us who care about marriage makes their journey all the more special.... These fifty-year veterans have much to teach to anyone willing to listen."
Dr. Stacy Ikard
Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church
"This is a well-written and informative addition to the marriage genre. Hayes succeeds in relaying universal truths while maintaining a down-to-earth, conversational tone. I found the wisdom quite accessible and easy to absorb. It is at various moments touching, humorous, and inspiring. Society is in great need of this sort of counsel; there is a definite vacuum on the bookshelves where this approach to marriage is concerned. Not many people make fifty years. We should be thankful that one of them has, and done it so well. Well enough, in fact, that I've instructed our son to read it. Indeed, Happily Ever After should be required reading material for all young men."
Del Hayes made his debut with The Old Man, an historical romance that received five-out-of-five stars in the 2006 Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Contest. Described by the judges as "a very sweet love story," The Old Man begins with just that—a mysterious old stranger in a tavern and the rumors swirling around him—and reveals the remarkable past behind the mystery. Using the War of 1812 as its backdrop, it tells a story of love at all cost, pitted against contemporary mores, political ambition, and revenge. Eschewing the earnest, bodice-ripping style of so many romances, Hayes instead crafts a smart, compelling love story with poignant commentary on the nature and complexity of love.
Praise for The Old Man:
"The Old Man, a book by Delmer D. Hayes, is a very sweet love story that crosses social and international boundaries. Hayes expertly weaves historical facts into a novel that follows one couple’s search for love against all odds. And just when readers think things are winding down, Hayes shocks them with a surprise ending.
"Throughout the old man’s retelling of the story, Hayes intersperses chapters where the old man is remembering the story in the present-tense. These, combined with the historical facts, expertly orient readers and make it hard to put the book down."
Writer's Digest judge, 2006 Self-Published Book Contest
"I was given this book by a friend so I'd have something to read on the plane coming home. From the moment I opened the first pages, I was hooked. Finished half of it and a couple of days later read the rest in the car on the way back from a meeting in Ft. Collins. Couldn't put it down. Was reading the last page as we drove into the driveway...practically in the dark as it was around 6 pm, but I refused to wait till I got in the house to finish it and find out the ending. Outstanding and engaging love story set in historic times. Even a day or two later, memories of the characters seemed to live in my thoughts and flashbacks. I felt I'd somehow met these characters in real life."
Jeannette Holtham, Amazon.com