Meet the Exquisite Quill Authors


Thursday, July 31, 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!

 Share that you're participating with our
ready-to-go tweet. Or make your own.

Discover great reads on Exquisite Quills' Cliff Hanger Thursday!    

17 comments:

Rose Anderson said...

Enchanted Skye ~by Rose Anderson
Not your average selkie love story.
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004XDGWL6
...........................................
Jenna hugged the empty vessel close and nodded. Alone now, she knelt over the floating ashes and watched with aching heart as they drifted out to sea. When the tide rose later, all would be washed away. Her tears flowed freely.
***
He watched with mild interest from the rocks, but when Angus and the reverend walked back to the house, his interest got the better of him. He scooted a little closer and lifted his head to get a better view. He didn’t recognize this young woman on the land but watched her kneel before the pool. Her dark sable hair covered her face as she keened and for some reason he felt compelled to go to her side. He slid into the water and the closer he drew, the stranger he felt. Only feet from her now, he blinked the saltwater from his eyes and watched her. The wind whipped at her hair and the sea mist clung to her clothing as she hugged an urn tightly to her chest. He knew what he was seeing then. They’d scattered ashes on the water. He considered her. Who was this woman to Angus MacLeod?

The woman must have felt his presence for she looked up from her grief. Meeting his eyes, she looked startled to see him so close. She rose slowly and backed away...
...........................................
Find wherever books are sold. Sample here:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333971

Get to know Rose
http://calliopeswritingtablet.com/

Pepper Phillips said...

The Devil Has Dimples by Pepper Phillips

Available at Amazon http://authl.it/B005RQ26IQ
B&N, iTunes and KOBO

This is at a graveside funeral service…

Mackie said, “I’ve never known Sedge to dress in a suit. Didn’t even know that he had one.”
“Maybe he’s in costume,” I replied.
“As what? A funeral director?” Grant asked.
“He could be a mourner, what with the flowers and all. He and Maudie have been friends for a quarter of a century.”
Sedge placed his hand on the casket and started to cry.
The three of us stood there, uncomfortable, not knowing what to do.
Someone dressed up in a witch’s costume walked over to him and patted him on the back, giving him what comfort she could, and handed him a handkerchief. He was so overcome with grief that he almost toppled into the grave.
Finally the singing stopped, and while everyone wiped tears and smirks off their faces, the casket was lowered, and old Sedge dropped his bouquet on top.
Then Silas threw in Bitsy’s candle and that started a candle throwing frenzy. Needless to say, folks had a really big blaze going in no time.
The grave diggers got hopping and shoveled dirt in fast. Eventually the blaze was buried and so was Maudie.
The town’s sure going to miss that old gal. She sure knew how to enjoy life, and her death wasn’t so bad either.
Then came the biggest surprise of all.
The next day the daughter no one knew existed showed up in Boggy Bayou.

Pepper Phillips
http://pepperphillips.com

Anne Stenhouse said...

Hi Rose, thanks again for a chance to share. I love your extract - Selkies are so mysterious. Mine is from Bella's Betrothal, published by MuseItUp and available from them or on amazon etc. amazon UK is here: http://goo.gl/5RBzIm

Bella's Betrothal Anne Stenhouse

“Get out, Mr. Lindsay, before I scream so loudly everyone in this...”

Before Bella could finish, Lindsay reached for her and drew her up out of the chair, hard against the long muscles of his legs. His arms encircled her and the flickering light was extinguished as his head came down. With a restraining hand in her voluminous curls, he held her while his mouth covered hers.

The kiss was pitiless, and Bella, who had never been so insulted despite what the scandal sheets said, was stunned. She did not struggle or respond, but squirmed in exquisite discomfort when Lindsay’s other hand found the curve of her buttock and lifted her into the apex of his thighs. She felt hard pressure against her abdomen and realised exactly how vulnerable she was.

Drenching fear gave way to fury. When Lindsay released her, she would grab the fire-irons again and she would kill him.

There was a knock on the door.

Maggie Le Page said...

Hi and thanks for the opportunity to post an excerpt. My cliffhanger is from A Heat Of The Moment Thing. In this scene Becky is flying to a work conference . . .

-----

I took a couple of deep breaths and tried to think happy thoughts.

Okay, the happy thoughts weren’t working.

I tried a different approach.

“How do you know so much about air disasters?” Get her talking about herself.

“Reading. Lots of reading. Some people are into horror movies; I’m into plane crashes. I mean, think about it. Isn’t it just fascinating that these huge machines can fall out of the sky and get smashed beyond recognition and experts can still work out what happened?”

Fascinating? No. Gruesome.

“Daddy and I used to talk about planes all the time. He was an aircraft engineer.”

She fell silent. I sent up a prayer of thanks.

“Until he got blamed for that crash back in ninety-seven,” she said.

I jerked my head up, shocked. “Oh no. What happened?”

“A plane crashed, Daddy got blamed, so he hung himself in the bathroom.”

I opened my mouth to speak. Closed it again. Freaking hell. Poor Amanda.

I looked across at headphone guy. He met my eyes with an expression somewhere between deer-in-the-headlamps and pass-me-a-sickbag. His music obviously hadn’t saved him.

“Anyway,” she said, businesslike, “that was years ago. Things have changed since then. But even though technology’s so much better, loads of things can still go wrong.”

She gave us a run-down on all the ‘technical hitches’ that could send our plane plummeting down from the sky.

I broke out in a cold sweat. I hadn’t realised air travel was still so risky.

Headphone guy clapped a hand to his forehead then closed his eyes.

I grabbed the emergency evacuation manual and committed it to memory. Hopefully we’d crash into a nice flat field where we might have half a chance of surviving.

-----

Sample and/or buy at all the usual online bookstores, including
Amazon http://amzn.com/B00BUCJV70
iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-heat-of-the-moment-thing/id686786995?mt=11&uo=4
Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/344767

Lynda Bailey said...

Good morning!

This excerpt is from my upcoming release, Shattered Trust - set to go live in less than 2 weeks... ;)

The nearness of his voice whipped Kate around. Liam stood close—very close—to her. So close she could see the dove gray flecks swimming in his sea-green eyes. She wanted to be strong, to stand up to him, but his presence gobbled up all the oxygen, and she couldn’t breathe.

She gulped for air and spun away, but his arm rifled out, cutting off her escape. He stood right behind her, trapping her. The metal edge of the sink dug into her hip.

Her pulse rapped out an erratic beat. She hunched her shoulders to make herself smaller, to make sure he didn’t touch her, and stared at his hand. It looked burly, with a light dusting of hair on his knuckles, and able to inflict damage. A lot of damage. “Move back.” She hated that her voice shook.

“But you asked me a question.” His voice, so low and so hard, roiled her stomach. “And it’d be rude not to answer it, right?” His warm breath wafted over the nape of her neck. “Right?”

His steel-edged voice weakened her knees. Tears gathered in her eyes. Her breaths came faster. It felt like the elephant from that asthma commercial was parked on her chest. “I said to move back.”

“Make me move,” he purred into her ear.

She pressed her lips together to keep from crying out. Her entire body quaked.

“What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?”

Stars crowded her vision. Her mouth dried up.

“You’re all about ordering me around like I’m your little bitch. So order me now. Go on. I dare you. Make. Me. Move.”

Blackness swallowed her, and she was falling…down…down. Into an endless abyss.

“Red light…”

No buy link yet, but you can read more about Kate and Liam (who's a good guy - I swear!) on my website... http://www.lyndabailey.net.
Thanks for the opportunity to share!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

From my British Regency novel, Dangerous Deceit by Romy Gemmell, when Lydia becomes lost in Vauxhall Gardens!

Quickening her footsteps, Lydia wondered at the length of time it was taking to reach the end. She had no recollection of such a long walk on the way down. Although a few lamps lit the way enough to see by, it was still darker than she liked and she was disconcerted to hear whispers and subdued laughter at regular intervals along the path. She noticed slight gaps in the hedge now and then, which presumably led to other paths and arbours, but kept walking straight ahead. She was not quite sure whether to be grateful for the solitude, or apprehensive at the eerie stillness.

Suddenly, an arm shot out from one such gap that Lydia had failed to see. She barely had time to realise what was happening before she was half dragged towards a secluded arbour. Gathering her wits about her, Lydia dug her heels in as far as she could and began to resist.

http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Deceit-Romy-Gemmell-ebook/dp/B00LADYDKY

Romy Gemmell: http://www.rosemarygemmmell.com

Gilli Allan said...

New Year’s morning

Jess opened her eyes. Though her brain was crystal clear, her head ached and her mouth was sour and parched. Drunk’s dawn. Brilliant.
For a moment she had the sense she was alone. What a relief. The man had had the decency to creep away while she slept. She could get up and fetch herself a glass of water. Then she heard his breathing and the dip of the mattress as he stirred. She froze, revolted by the thought that her skin might come into contact with his. The idea of touching a bony, hairy male leg – or worse – was repellent. And if he was rousing she didn’t want him to know she was awake. He turned over and then turned back again. She remained still, feigning sleep.
It was a long time since she’d done anything so impetuous, so stupid, and had lost some of the brazenness needed to face the stranger in the morning. Especially after you’ve thrown your guts up down the loo a few hours earlier, she thought. Had he fancied her sufficiently, after she’d vomited, to proceed with what he had every right to believe was on offer before? If there had been any sex she’d been too far-gone to remember it now.
She had only the haziest memory of what he actually looked like. More importantly did he use a condom?

From TORN, by Gilli Allan
http://www.amazon.co.uk/TORN-ebook/dp/B004UVR81Y or
http://www.amazon.com/TORN-ebook/dp/B004UVR81Y

P.J. MacLayne said...

A short one from my cozy mystery, The Marquesa's Necklace

http://www.amazon.com/Marquesas-Necklace-Grove-Mysteries-Volume/dp/1500471100

The cake was too big for two people and I remembered it didn't freeze well. I took some of the leftovers down to the boys. Yes, Luke and Joe are much older than me, but that's what I call them. Not to their faces, of course. It was a quick trip, just downstairs and back up again. They were busy discussing the current installment of their favorite cop show and trying to figure out who done it during the commercial breaks. I didn't want to stick around and spoil their friendly argument. Besides, I had accidentally gotten some of the frosting on my blouse and wanted to rinse it out.
It seems Freddie didn't expect me to get back so fast. He wasn't on the loveseat where I had left him, and I didn't hear him in the kitchen either. Because the door was closed, I assumed he was using the bathroom. I headed down the hallway towards my bedroom to change into a T-shirt. That way I wouldn’t have to change in front of him.
I wondered why the light in my closet was on as I flipped the switch for the overhead fixture in the bedroom. A quick glance showed two legs sticking out from my closet, and for a moment I had the terrible fantasy that Freddie had passed out on the floor.

Reality was worse.

Lena Hart said...

Good morning! Thanks for the opportunity to share a sexy teaser from my latest release, HIS BEDPOST QUEEN:
~~~
With her lush curves silhouetted against the white sheets, it was hard for him to focus anywhere else. He glanced further down and noticed the piece of silk masquerading as panties, barely covering her very sexy lady parts. The visual came complete with shapely thighs covered in long, black thigh-highs. His cock stirred at the display before him.

She was sexy.

But she didn’t move. She didn’t say anything. She just sat there, perched on the bed like an erotic dream—or sexy offering. He couldn’t decide which, but he would be lying if he pretended he didn’t want to sample.

While he continued to stare down at her in all her lush glory, she grabbed the sheet to cover herself.

But he was quicker.

He jerked it from her hands and tossed it to the end of the bed. She swept her bangs aside, and he caught a glimpse of irritation in her beautiful, deep-set eyes. He would have laughed then had her escorted out if he hadn’t been so intrigued.

“Stop.”

The unexpected command jarred him from his fascinated trance. Or rather, her husky voice did. It was low with a light rasp to it. Incredibly sexy…

“Stop what?” He stifled a groan, mentally shaking his head at himself. One word and she had him asking stupid questions. He should be demanding who the hell she was.

“Stop staring at me.”

David raised an eyebrow. She apparently didn’t know where she was. Or who he was.

“Sweetheart,” he drawled. “You’re in my bed. I plan to do more than just stare.”
~~~
Buy it here: http://amzn.com/B00M3A1S42
Read more here: http://www.lenahartsite.com/his-bedpost-queen.html

Anonymous said...

This cliffhanger is from my 1st book "SENTI" G W Pickle
organ music blares into the traditional bridal march. The doors open slowly, framing Maggie and her father.
I open my eyes and raise my head to see her in all her glory. I’m glad she opted for the wedding gown instead of her uniform. She’s like an angel. Here they come. Carl and Maggie stop before me. He lifts the veil over her head and kisses her, and then turning to me, places her hand in mine and says, “Welcome to the family, son.”
He steps back. I gaze at her face thinking, I’ve never seen a more beautiful woman in all my life. We turn towards the minister. I can’t remember when I’ve felt so happy.
Everything goes smoothly until the minister pronounces us husband and wife. “You may kiss the bride.”
As we kiss, an explosion rocks the chapel. Thick, black smoke billows up, coating the back of my throat with a dry, burning sensation as it fills the air. People are screaming and trying to get away. In the distance, we hear emergency sirens wailing their two-tone song. Carl and Doug head toward the main foyer to see if anyone is hurt. Hilton and the minister usher guests out of the chapel’s back and side entrances. Sitting down in disbelief, I hold Maggie in my arms, trying to calm her.
She sobs, “Why? Why did this have to happen? Why today, of all days?” She bawls on my shoulder.
Carl approaches. “Luckily no one was hurt in the blast, but I did find this.” He hands me a black envelope.
I open it and read the message out loud. “Congratulations on your wedding. You may have eliminated POE and Bishop, but your troubles are far from over. Enjoy your honeymoon. We’ll get back to you soon enough.”

http://www.amazon.com/Senti-G-W-Pickle-ebook/dp/B00AYR09UA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396974704&sr=1-1&keywords=G+W+Pickle

Anonymous said...

This is from my 1st book "SENTI"G W Pickle
organ music blares into the traditional bridal march. The doors open slowly, framing Maggie and her father.
I open my eyes and raise my head to see her in all her glory. I’m glad she opted for the wedding gown instead of her uniform. She’s like an angel. Here they come. Carl and Maggie stop before me. He lifts the veil over her head and kisses her, and then turning to me, places her hand in mine and says, “Welcome to the family, son.”
He steps back. I gaze at her face thinking, I’ve never seen a more beautiful woman in all my life. We turn towards the minister. I can’t remember when I’ve felt so happy.
Everything goes smoothly until the minister pronounces us husband and wife. “You may kiss the bride.”
As we kiss, an explosion rocks the chapel. Thick, black smoke billows up, coating the back of my throat with a dry, burning sensation as it fills the air. People are screaming and trying to get away. In the distance, we hear emergency sirens wailing their two-tone song. Carl and Doug head toward the main foyer to see if anyone is hurt. Hilton and the minister usher guests out of the chapel’s back and side entrances. Sitting down in disbelief, I hold Maggie in my arms, trying to calm her.
She sobs, “Why? Why did this have to happen? Why today, of all days?” She bawls on my shoulder.
Carl approaches. “Luckily no one was hurt in the blast, but I did find this.” He hands me a black envelope.
I open it and read the message out loud. “Congratulations on your wedding. You may have eliminated POE and Bishop, but your troubles are far from over. Enjoy your honeymoon. We’ll get back to you soon enough.”
http://www.amazon.com/Senti-G-W-Pickle-ebook/dp/B00AYR09UA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396974704&sr=1-1&keywords=G+W+Pickle

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the double post. I had problems getting the blog site to accept my comments G W Pickle

JoAnne Myers said...

This is from "Welcome to Anna" one story in my fantasy anthology, "Loves, Myths, and Monsters"

Welcome to Anna

“A small stream runs through here, leading to the waterfall,” Darrell said, and the men continued.
Minutes later, Jake yelled, “Looks like a cave behind the falls. This could be the animal’s den. Coyotes often hunt in pairs. Better stay close together and load every bullet ya’ got into those damned things. We can’t let them escape the cave if they’re in there.”
Nodding their heads in unison, the men must have realized they were about to look danger—if not death—in the eye. They slowed, none too eager. Once the dogs quieted, the group advanced, led by the sheriff.
Checking their weapons once more, they slowly entered, preparing to hide and wait if necessary.
“Turn on your flashlights, men,” instructed the sheriff in a loud whisper lighting up the cave like a Christmas tree. The men gaped—it was huge!
“Let’s look around” Jake suggested, and advanced while the rest hung back.
Their lights further revealed the true size of the cave, further amazing the officers. “From the outside, this is barely noticeable.”
“Do you think it’s a bear?” someone asked.
“How would I know?” the sheriff replied.
Guy, clutching his dog with one hand, held his outstretched weapon in the other, ready for the slightest movement. “Then let’s find out, damn it!”
A spine-chilling scream suddenly echoed throughout the length of the cave.

Website: http://www.booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com

AMAZON KINDLE STORE
http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Myths-Monsters-Collection-Urban-ebook/dp/B00JL3J4P4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1397151617&sr=1-1&keywords=Loves%2C+Myths+and+Monsters

David Russell said...

Again, she motioned him to the sofa. “Darling, we’re going to do a rehearsal for our plunge into the ocean of love. I love my body, angel and I’m pretty sure you do yours—but you could probably make more of it with a bit of encouragement. I always get erections, delicious tingles when I put on my bathing suit, and I think you’re the same about your trunks, darling…”
Blushing, Hector nodded in eager agreement. She continued, “It’s like getting dressed and undressed at the same time. The feeling of a clinging costume is a mirror image of being embraced by a beautiful sensual, tactile partner.”
She reached down to the pile of outfits and found a pair of black retro trunks, which she handed to Hector. “Now, into the bathroom with you and put them on, while I prepare a nice little surprise.”
Hector quivered with his shoelaces, zips and buttons. He felt great, the trunks were just right, his erection felt intense, but looked aesthetically subdued. He knocked at the door, “come in,” came the reply.
Before him was the catwalk beach belle—in that same costume which he had first observed at a distance from his window. Going to close up was such a turn-on. Eyes were gorged, shoulders merged, waists were clasped. She ushered him towards the bed. “Lie down,” she said, gently, but firmly. He could not resist such an instruction. She lay down beside him, then on top of him. They had a long drawn-out kiss, their hands caressing the edges of their costumes. Facing sideways, Hector began to take down her left shoulder strap. A gentle smack on the hand stopped him in his tracks. She pushed him away slightly, they both got into a sitting position.

Dreamtime Sensuality Antho - Devine Destinies

www.devinedestinies.com/Dreamtime-Sensuality-Antho/
www.davidrussell-author.blogspot.co.uk

margobondcollins.com said...

As Malcolm moved the chairs back into place and began to vacuum the rest of the room, I walked to the next office.

I had just stepped inside the doorway when a hand came down over my mouth. I was jerked backwards, hard up against the body that had been waiting behind the door.

Greg buried his face in my neck and inhaled deeply.

Then he let out one of those creepy vampire hisses, and I could feel his breath brush against my shoulder.

“Did you think I wouldn’t recognize you? You might look different, but you smell exactly the same.”


LEGALLY UNDEAD by Margo Bond Collins
http://www.amazon.com/Legally-Undead-Vampirarchy-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00KKV44BK/

http://www.MargoBondCollins.net

Linda said...

From Linda Bond's Alive at 5 :
http://bit.ly/Aliveat5Amazonlink
www.lindabond.com


“Let’s do it.” Now they had to make this look real. Turning to face Zack, Sam suddenly realized the chemistry of the moment had stopped her anxiety from building. She was nervous, but it felt different today. “So, cave diving is inherently dangerous. Why do it?”
He cocked his head and grinned like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. “I’m an adventurer.”
Those simple words ignited heat in her belly. Or maybe it was that confident smile. She licked her lips.
“I want to explore the unknown,” he continued, looking right into her eyes. “To seek out what I’ve never explored before. I want to run my fingers down a virgin passage, squeeze through a small opening. I may get stuck a few times, move back and forth, and work my way through, you know, into this mysterious place where I’ve never been. It’s magical.”
Oh. My. God. She took a deep breath, her heart drumming like tiny, nervous fingertips. He was just playing with her. She had to remember that.
“There’s no audience, no crowd.” He motioned to the sinkhole. “It’s your own personal achievement. The ultimate pleasure.”
She started to ask a question. “But—”
He cut her off. “I’m a man who loves beauty.” His gaze bathed her again, warming her with its intensity. “Very few people can say they’ve seen the light as it breaks through crevices in the rock, painting an underwater cave in a rainbow of colors.” He closed his eyes, the vision in his mind obviously blissful enough to raise his lips into a smile. “There are no computers, no phones, no interruptions.” He opened his eyes and stared deep into hers. “Do you know what I do when I’m in an unexplored cavern?”
Her heart pounded loud enough in the silent pause she was sure her microphone would pick up the beat. “What?” She held her breath.

Kim said...

Big Horn Storm cliff hanger…

Niki remained low to the horse’s neck as he wove in and out of trees, branches slapping violently, threatening to dislodge her from Storm’s back. He stumbled several times as he maneuvered through the erratically strewn timber, but regained his footing and continued to run. She clung to the horn, hoping the horse knew what he was doing, doubting she still had the ability to think quickly or clearly enough to make a good decision, nor did she want to risk a look up for fear of being stabbed in the eye by a low-hanging branch.

Storm leapt over logs and wove his way around everything he couldn’t clear. His nose was stretched out as if reaching for the finish line at the Kentucky Derby. His breathing huffed above the pounding of his hooves and the breaking of branches and Niki hoped his strength and endurance would last until they were safely away from the armed men.

As the horse finally managed to put distance between them and the sound of the bikes, Niki took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled. The noise of the engines had all but faded when she dared her first glimpse up since entering the trees. The sight brought a gasp from her lips. The sheer drop off was the last thing she saw as Storm launched himself over the edge without hesitation.

Buy on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1b8wEma
For more info, please follow my blog at http://kimmcmahill.blogspot.com or on twitter at https://twitter.com/kimmcmahill