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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cliff Hanger Thursday!

Our new Thursday meme is all about the cliff hanger. How do you leave your characters and readers dangling?

In comments, and in 300 words or less, share a bit of suspense from your story. Make us want more!

Don't forget your buy link and website/blog link. Have fun!

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ready-to-go tweet. Or make your own.

Come see my snippet on Exquisite Quills' Cliff Hanger Thursday!    


Kayelle Allen said...

In Rai's bedroom, Koo stood before her. She'd stretched out on the bed and was watching him, hands tucked behind her head, legs crossed at the ankles.
"I'm ready to see you strip, Koo. Do you need music?" She lifted one eyebrow.
"No, mistress, but if you want music, I'll use it."
"Hmm." She picked up a remote and pointed it. A dance tune started, and she skipped it, listened a moment, and skipped again. Two more songs and she turned it off. "No. I only want you. No distractions. Strip for me." She tucked her hands behind her head again. Quite unlike her, she added, "Please."
Koo began by unfastening his hair. Straight, healthy, it reached halfway to his waist, and shone like raven's wings. He'd inherited it from his Japanese father. His Irish mother had imparted the splash of freckles across his nose and shoulders, and grey eyes. Rai liked his hair down, and he ran his fingers through the long tresses, shook his head, and let it fall.
He lifted one foot at a time to unfasten the plain black shoes, and slipped them off, pulling off each sock. He crossed his arms over his chest, slowly opened them, and pulled his tuxedo coat down his shoulders. It slipped down his arms, and he caught it, held it, and then slid it all the way off and tossed it over the hassock.
He reached up to the front of the vest, unfastened it one button at a time, doing it as slow as he could, taking care to keep her gaze on his hands. He pulled it open, let it slip down his arms, and then caught it at his elbows. He crossed his hands over his chest, hands spread.
Keeper of My Pleasure on Ellora's Cave

JoAnne Myers said...

Cliff Hanger from "The Crime of the Century"

At 5:45 pm., Chief White used his walkie-talkie, to radio Lt.
Phillipes, who stayed at the command post with Richard and Nancy. Only a few short words were needed.
“We found something, but we don’t know what it is,” said the chief. What searchers found . . . was unthinkable.

Rose Anderson said...

Excellent teaser!

Rose Anderson said...

The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo (book1) ~by Rose Anderson
A story woven from legend and actual modern day eyewitness accounts.
The True Beginning

Ten years ago, a reporter for a small-town newspaper heard word of strange dawn and dusk sightings of a wolf-like creature roaming the Wisconsin countryside. Her investigation revealed the local police officials had initially taken these calls lightly, but this had changed when calls began coming from upstanding citizens.
Authorities had determined what these eyewitnesses had actually seen was a lone wolf broken off from a pack running in the wilds of northern Wisconsin. Young male wolves seeking to start a new pack are known to strike off on their own. Leaving the vast stretches of wooded landscape, they might travel one hundred miles in a day. It seemed likely. However, the witnesses were adamant that what they’d seen had been no ordinary wolf. This wolf walked like a man.

Intrigued, the reporter collected the stories. To her surprise, other witnesses came forward telling of sightings that they’d never reported. In fact, some eyewitness accounts had occurred more than seventy years prior, the details only whispered to relatives who were sworn to secrecy lest friends and neighbors think heavy drinking was involved. These stories she also collected, for she knew hushed secrecy was not a direction fame-seekers usually take.

More curious now, the reporter deepened her investigation and uncovered another bizarre detail: the sightings were mentioned in ancient oral traditions of the Native Americans in the region. In those tales, dog men or witchy wolves looked after burial mounds in much the same way jackal-headed Anubis guarded the tombs of ancient Egypt. And even more bizarre, early French explorers knew of them too. They called these wolf-men the loup-garou.
Find wherever books are sold. Sample here:

Get to know Rose

James D said...

From book #2 of the Dream Series, DREAM DOCTOR:

Sara is in an office, a very cluttered office. From the titles of the books scattered all about, it’s clear that it belongs to of one of her teachers, but which one? She searches around fruitlessly, until the door opens and in walks Dr. Morris.

It’s his office, but not, she knows, his dream. Whose, then? The answer comes walking in right behind Dr. Morris – an older woman, an inch or two taller than Sara, her hair just beginning to gray, a frown on her face. Sara thinks she’s seen the woman in the halls – she is, Sara thinks, Dr. Morris’ secretary. “I won’t be ignored, Abraham!” she shouts as she slams the door shut behind her. “Not after so many years, not after everything I’ve done for you!”

Dr. Morris sits down in his chair, leans back, sighs deeply. “You’re being childish, Maureen. This is a delicate time, and I cannot allow any suggestion of impropriety if I am to be the next Dean.”

The secretary – Maureen – does not sit. She glares at Dr. Morris, momentarily speechless. Then she picks up a crystal paperweight from his desk and hurls it at the wall, where it shatters instantly. “Really!” Dr. Morris stares at her with a combination of alarm and contempt.

“You liked that, Abraham? Then you’ll love this!” Maureen digs into her purse, pulls out a pistol. She aims it with shaking hands at Dr. Morris.

“Maureen, calm yourself!”

“Good luck becoming the Dean with a hole in your head!” Maureen shouts as she pulls the trigger…

I wake up with the sound of – was it a gunshot? – echoing in my head. What the hell are they getting up to next door? No – not next door. It was a dream, it was – of course, Dr. Morris again. I remember it all now.

This time it was his secretary. He’s having an affair with her – I don’t see how else to interpret “I won’t be ignored.” I think it’s safe to assume that Dr. Morris isn’t the type to have a pet rabbit, so I guess she just decided to escalate straight to murder. That’s officially four different people who’ve dreamed of killing him now...

D'Ann said...

Oh, fun!
Mine is from Lily's Summer Cowboy:

They embraced again until Maggie released her. “Keep an eye out for my grandson in the next day or two.”
Lily reached for the check. Her turn to pay. “How will I know him?”
“You’ll know him.” Maggie grinned. “Trust me.”
As Lily drove home she thought about the evening behind her. Maggie had really shocked her when she dropped the bomb about going on the highway. Never in a million years had Lily expected her friend to take off on a road trip by herself.
A little tingle of envy rippled through her. How wonderful would it be like to leave all responsibilities behind to travel around the country? Almost as quick as that thought arose she banished it. She loved her job, hard work and all.
Would Maggie’s grandson be the godsend Lily needed to keep her business going? Damn. She had forgotten to ask his name.
Well, she reasoned, recognizing him shouldn’t be hard—just look for the first teenager who showed up on her doorstep.

Michele Drier said...

SNAP: All That Jazz, The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles

"I’m sorry?
Nik dropped a bomb and said, “I’m sorry?”
Her mind wasn’t comprehending this. Surely he didn’t mean he was leaving her, breaking off the relationship, throwing away their love?
She must have misunderstood. Three days of having drugs in her system must have caused some psychotic break, some disturbance of her synapses.
Jazz was stunned, but she stood and went to the bedroom door. If they could talk about this, she could try to understand. And maybe talk him through his misgivings. Of course they had differences. What couple didn’t?
And she even knew couples who’d made long distance relationships work. Well, those people lived in the same country, but they didn’t have the resources of time and money that Nik had.
She reached for the knob on the bedroom door. It wouldn’t turn. It was locked. Nik locked her out. Suddenly, the awful truth smacked her brain...he’d meant it. He was dumping her!
Stunned, she stumbled back to one of the deep leather chairs, pulled her legs up and hugged herself into a ball. How could he! All these months of loving him, wanting him, needing him. Even now, her skin craved his touch, her body ached for his. To watch his glimmer come up as he looked at her, to hear those words of love and sounds of fulfillment as they made love.
And to watch him. Just to watch his ease, his containment, his sense of self, his grace of movement, his power. His able-ness and presence. When he walked into a room, the center of gravity shifted and she felt as though she became a moon, not reflecting his light but sharing a light, affecting his tides and phases just as he affected hers."

Margaret Fieland said...

Martin andd Tom walked a short way and

started to talk, too softly for me to hear much. The conversation didn't seem important, so I

ignored it, deciding to go for a close up of prickle bush leaves, red and spiky. They made for an

interesting composition when I crouched under the bush to photograph them against the sky.

Investigating would have meant getting up and missing the shot or risking using psi. I took the

photo. The shot in the preview wasn't bad, but I continued to lie on my stomach under the bush,

trying for another.

Tom said, “...leave him...”

And Martin answered, “...can't abandon...”

Leave him? Leave who? Me? I picked my head up, hoping to hear more.

“...John says...psi freaker...”

“So what?”

“...don't you, too...”

My heart pounded. My palms started to sweat. The camera slipped. I picked it up and started

to roll over.

Martin said, “You really mean it? You're really going to do it? You're kidding, right?”

“Not a chance. The freaker deserves to suffer. He's one of the enemy.”

Enemy? Me? Why call me the enemy? Blood rushed in my ears. I turned to see Tom’s hand.

He grasped a rock. I opened my mouth but no words came out. Tom kicked me and brought the

rock down on my head, hard enough to make me woozy. I rolled out of the way. The sky above

me appeared to whirl, and the sand heaved under me. My head pounded where Tom had bashed

me. I tried to move, but Tom sat on me, grabbed my hands and tied them together with a rope he

pulled out of the carry sack. He tied my feet with another.

“Hey.” Martin’s voice. “What are you doing?”

“Tying the freaker up, and if you don’t shut up, I’ll tie you up, too.” Tom's voice, low and

tense, filled me with fear.

“You can't leave him here.” Martin's voice shook. “I thought you were joking.”

“Watch me.” Tom kicked me. “And stay away from my girl.”

Both of them turned and walked away.

E. Ayers said...

This is from my summer read, MARINER'S COVE.
Brook left his daughter with his cousin Frank for a few hours and well... Frank was a lousy babysitter!

"That's the problem. There's nothing I can do. What were you thinking?'' Brook's heart thumped in his chest, every fiber of his being was twisted into a knot. "You don't think. I left you for less than three hours with a six year old, and you can't manage to watch her?''
"Hey, she's a kid. She'll be fine.''
"She'll be fine?'' He spun around as his hands fisted. "She's in the Atlantic Ocean with a sailboat that she can barely handle with guidance. And you think she'll be fine?" The words spewed forth rapidly. "Do you even bother to think? If she lives through this, do you think any court is going to give me custody of her?''
"How was I supposed to know she was going to take the Sunfish? I figured she was coloring or something. I wanted to watch the race. It's important to me.''
"And my child is not?'' He splayed his fingers, fisted them, and then spread them again.
"What was I supposed to do, stand over her the whole time?''

Elysa said...

From my jungle adventure romance TANGO IN PARADISE.

"I doubt it's her real name, but get on the line and find out all you can about this Darcy Colby," Jase directed Barry after he filled the men in on what little he knew about their unwelcome and unwilling guest. "Dismissed."

"Right, Boss." Barry headed toward the communications tent. Connor nodded and strolled away apparently unconcerned and uninterested in the outcome.

"I don't like this," Gillard grumbled. "Who is she? She could mess up our whole operation. There's too much money at stake here. With the revolution in full swing, no one will question it if she just disappears. If you've got a problem taking care of her, I'll handle it for you."

The gleam in Gillard's eyes set Jase's nerves on edge. The rumors he'd heard about Gillard came back to haunt him. Gillard would dispose of the woman all right, but her death wouldn't be quick or clean. If Jase hadn't been shorthanded and pressed for time, Gillard wouldn't be on this mission. Mercenaries were a tough breed, but he preferred ones who could distinguish between the enemy and the innocent bystanders.

"She's not your problem, Gillard. I'll deal with whatever needs doing." Somehow he had to keep a lid on this mission as well as guarantee DC's safety. He was afraid the two goals were going to prove mutually impossible to achieve. "Go relieve Jimmy."

Gillard hesitated, his gaze sullen.

"You have a problem with your orders?"

"No, Sir."

"Then get going."

"Yes, Sir." Gillard grabbed up his rifle and pack and stomped out of the clearing.

Jase rubbed his hand around the back of his neck. He'd averted the explosion - this time. But the fuse was getting shorter every minute.

He turned back toward his tent, and the small, deadly bundle of feminine explosives wrapped up there. Time for some answers and some even harder decisions.

Elaine Hopper said...

This cliffhanger is from Cooking Up A Storm by Ashley Ladd published by Totally Bound at:

Cooking Up A Storm will be available at Amazon and other booksellers on Friday July 11th –tomorrow!

Barking sounded nearby. Rique frowned. “Does Jonah own dogs? Did they get loose, too?”
David locked the butt of his gun to his shoulder and circled Rique. “That’s not a dog. I’d say that was a wolf.”
Cunning, conniving, lightning-fast wolves? Rique gulped. “Wolf?”
As if he’d aggravated them with his question, more barking tangled with the wind. The voices were different as if there was a pack. “Heaven help us.”
“Yeah. Get your rifle ready and stand back to back to me. They’re talking about us.” David squinted down his double barrel, his finger ready on the trigger.
“Now you speak wolf?” Rique steadied his finger and his soul. He’d never shot a living creature, not even in the bayou, so he girded himself in case today was a first. Just as he finished his thought, four wolves leaped out of the bushes and stared them down as they snarled and bared their fangs.
“Don’t wait! Shoot now. We’re outnumbered and there could be more.”
“More? Do you remember how many were in the zoo?” Rique gulped. He hadn’t counted but remembered that there were more than four. He didn’t think he could bank on another crocodile saving him.
As Rique tried to get the closest wolf in his sights, it growled and bounded into the air, its fangs and claws bared.

P.J. MacLayne said...

From The Marquesa's Necklace

“No way. I'm going to overdose on sugar if I eat any more.” I took a sip of my tea. It tasted off, but the ice hadn't had time to chill it to the perfect temperature. That wouldn't take long. I stirred it idly to speed up the process. “So what are you thinking about buying for Sarah?”
“Just a little gift, nothing expensive. I thought about a nice bracelet or something.”
I took another sip of my tea. It was colder already. “She would like that.”
“I can't remember if she wears more silver or gold.” He coughed. “I'm usually not looking at her jewelry.”
Maybe he wasn't such a bad guy after all. “So what are you looking at?” I teased.
“Her eyes. Her beautiful eyes.” he answered without having to think about it.
Bonus points scored. “Well, she wears both but silver is her favorite.”
He nodded. “I hoped so. I spotted the perfect bracelet at a store in Pittsburgh. It’s delicate chains woven together into what reminds me of Celtic knots.” He leaned forward. “You won't tell her, right?”
“Cross my heart and hope to die.” I picked up the ice tea and drank some more. My throat was dry all of a sudden, and there was a furious buzzing in my ears. It must have been the ice cream. And then I got hit by a massive headache, but it was no brain freeze.
He leaned across the table. “Harmony?”
Why was he leering at me? I stood, wobbled a bit, and he was right beside me, grabbing my arm.
“Are you all right?” he asked
No, I wasn't. I was dizzy and started to sweat. He slipped an arm around my waist. “I'll take you home,” he said. “Sarah can come get your car when she gets off work.”
I remember wondering how he knew where I lived, but I allowed him to take me out to his car. He opened the door for me and when I slid into the passenger seat he fastened my seat belt for me. I needed to close my eyes for a moment and make the pinwheel in my head stop turning. And why was he chuckling?

Casey Sheridan said...

From: Sirus Bandai - The Invisible Bandit
Erotic Romance

Devyn dove under a desk as the storm sent one bolt after another into the lab. His throat burned from the smoke caused by the fires, and the acrid smell of wet electricity filled the room.

He needed to get to Jameson and get him out of the lab. He leaped over the desk and headed for his friend, but lost his footing on the wet floor. His feet slid out from under him and he landed with a thud on his back; stars burst behind his eyes from the pain running up his spine.

Out of the corner of his eye, he caught movement. Devyn winced at the pain, but managed to get to his hands and knees just as Mabel darted out from underneath a piece of debris. The spider stopped when she spotted him.

Devyn backed slowly away from the deadly arachnid just as another thunderbolt shot through the air. It hit Mabel, pinning her to the spot, and sent out another tendril that crackled across the floor right to Devyn.

His body went rigid and he sucked in air as every muscle drew taut. Every atom in his body felt as if it exploded. Neon-blue sparks burst behind his eyes. He collapsed.

When his eyes fluttered open, he was lying on the wet floor, the tile cool against his cheek. He stared at Mabel as she sat motionless next to him. Not able to move, his body drained of energy, he watched as the rare and deadly Siberian Black Phantom spider sank her fangs into his hand.

A scream caught in his throat as the spider’s venom ripped through his veins. His vision dimmed; then all went black.