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Thursday, June 26, 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!

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


Kayelle Allen said...

Trailing Kaiwulf, by Kayelle Allen
Travel to a godforsaken planet on the outskirts of space. Check. Hold intrusive military types at bay. Check. Find an invisible man in a different dimension. Check. Finish out the vacation TRAIL yanked you back from to do it? Easier said than done.
Yanked back from their first vacation in ages, Jee and Dane get handed a top priority mission. The pay is better than any they've earned before as agents for the Trace, Rescue, and Identification League. With this much money, they might not need jobs. They're the best there is, and the item, person, or secret hasn't been invented that these two can't recover. Until now.
Locating this quarry might be a bit past even their considerable skills. After all, how do you find an invisible man in another dimension? And who, exactly, is footing a bill this steep? Certainly not the archaeologist in charge. The military wants to get involved, but they have no monetary stake either. So who -- or what -- is behind the request to trail Kaiwulf?

Susan Macatee said...

From my Civil War romance novel, Confederate Rose.

"If I could trust you to stay put and keep quiet, I could make sure it's safe to go inside." He lifted his revolver and gestured toward the cabin.

"Go right ahead, Mr. Hart, she said. "I'll stay right here. Without me sidearm, I won't be much help if there's a Yankee scout hiding in there."

He hoped she wouldn't be foolish enough to do anything to alert anyone who might be inside. "Can I trust you to keep quiet?"

"I'll not cause you any trouble. How would it benefit me? I'm cold and hungry. If that house is empty..." She stopped, apparently considering the possibilities.

The truth was, he didn't trust her for a minute, but they both needed to get warm and dry. Keeping his weapon raised, he crept forward, grasped the doorknob, and forced his way through the door. He tried to rely on his night vision, but the yawning blackness inside unnerved him. He pulled out another match and struck it against his boot.

The cabin consisted of two large rooms. Both appeared to be unoccupied. A large stone hearth sat to his left with a stack of cut wood beside it. A bed lay on one side of the fireplace, and a crude wooden table surrounded by four chairs stood in the center of the room. By the hearth sat a wooden rocking chair with the only other furnishings a couple of large wooden chests.

Alex crept to the open doorway that led into the second room. A gasp behind him made him tense. His heart raced, and he turned, revolver drawn, toward the sound.

Debra Glass said...

From my erotic historical romance, Rakehell

Primrose squinted as she stepped toward what appeared to be a man lying on a silk bed between two completely nude women whose limbs draped possessively over his. One of the long, narrow opium pipes lay discarded at the side of the bed.
She hadn’t laid eyes on Lord Black in the five years since their wedding night. But even in this sordid place, her heart fluttered as she recognized her husband.
But for the nasty bruise over his left eye, he looked content—so unlike the last time she’d seen him, his expression stormy and black, his hair wild about his swarthy face, his amber eyes glittering like the garnet pin secured in the folds of his snowy neckcloth. In his wedding finery, he’d been devastatingly handsome.
Naked, even after all this time, he was magnificent.
Dark hairs wisped across the muscled plane of his chest, growing thicker and wilder as they formed a tight trail leading from his navel downward. Primrose pursed her lips as she looked her fill at his flaccid phallus, lying so innocently in its nest of curls.
Her breathing hitched as she recalled how that particular part of his anatomy had looked on their wedding night. Erect, proud—and terrifying.
Then she’d been but a green debutante, barely old enough to marry and wholly unprepared to become a wife.
Well, she was different now. Older. More mature. Better acquainted with the depths of deception men would go to in order to advance themselves in the world.
Lord Black hadn’t changed. That was obvious. He was still a rakehell and a rogue.
She kept that foremost in her mind as terror that he could have easily been killed at the hands of some back alley mobsman.
With her thumb and index finger, Primrose lifted one of the women’s hands off his chest, flung it aside, and then punched him in the shoulder. Hard.
His eyes snapped open and focused. His clouded gaze collided with hers and held. Then the hardness returned. The ice. His brows lowered. “I’ve died and gone to hell.”
“Not quite yet, dear husband.”

Amazon -

Andrea Cooper said...

Thank you! Here is mine from Cursed in Shadow Book 1.5 Legends of Oblivion series - Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance

Since she hadn’t slept in days, I let the sun reach high overhead, then stirred her from slumber.
She yawned, then frowned when she realized the late hour. “You should’ve woken me.”
“Thought extra sleep would help. Perhaps we’ll walk Shadowdancer through this forest?” According to our instructions, we must not ride Shadowdancer on this day unless the sun hung directly overhead.
Even though noon, we didn’t want to chance him collapsing. It wouldn’t hurt to wait and walk him for a while.
“Aye.” After she dressed, she helped me clean up camp. She ate a piece of flatbread while I poured water onto our campfire’s ashes. After the embers seized hissing, I refilled the waterskin and tied it to the saddle.
With everything ready, we hiked through the forest.
In the silence, we held hands. Then about a mile through the forest, my heart slammed inside my chest.
Every sound crashed into me, something hunted us. I drew my sword, hoping that for once my instinct was wrong.

Nina Pierce said...

This is from my romantic suspense, IN HIS EYES. The heroine is at a beach cottage by herself with a stalker watching her every move:

His phone rang through the dashboard. “This is Alex.”

“Hey, Alex, it’s Maggie.” There was a nervousness in her tone that knotted cold and hard in his gut.


“We’re spending the night at Nana’s.”

His children hollered over each other.

“Are you in the car?” she asked quietly.

“Nana Jo’s invited the kids to spend the night,” he said with a false joviality “I thought I’d surprise you with a romantic visit at the cottage.” He figured with the kids in the car, Maggie couldn’t argue too vehemently.

“That sounds good, actually.”

“Everything all right?”

“Yeah. The furnace seems to be on the fritz is all. No biggie.” He heard the forced bravado in her voice. “I’ve got a fire in the fireplace. I was just hoping you might be able to come over and check it out.”

They’d been married long enough for him to recognize that Maggie didn’t think it was a small deal. Her nonchalance had to do with little ears and only increased his anxiety.

“I’m almost at Jo’s. Shouldn’t take more than thirty minutes for me to get to the cottage.”

“That sounds good. I love you all.” There was an odd sense of finality to her words that had Alex pushing the van even faster through the storm.

“We love you, Mom,” the kids chimed in together.

“And Alex…” Maggie hesitated.


“The Audi won’t start.”


Chris Eboch said...

She had to get out of the house. She wouldn’t wait upstairs for the burglars, if that’s what they were, to find her. If she could get to her car – damn. Her keys were in her purse, which was downstairs on the living room couch. So she couldn’t drive, but she could still go to the Lodge, break in if she had to. Use the phone in the office, call the police.

Still shaking, Jenny crouched and felt along the floor for her shoes. She was wearing flannel pajama bottoms and a tank top; no need to waste time putting on clothes. She was already cold, but her jacket was downstairs, lying over her purse on the couch. It didn’t matter. She just had to get out.

Jenny slipped from the room and down the hall. She paused at the top of the stairs, which were open to the living room on one side. She had to figure out where the intruders were, so she didn’t walk right into their arms. She stood taut, senses straining.

A screech sounded, maybe a chair leg on tile, and then kitchen cabinets clattered open and closed. The kitchen was as far away as they could get from the front door. But were they both – or all, if there were more than two – back there?

What choice did she have? If they kept going through the house, eventually they would find her. She refused to think about what that might mean. She had to get out.

Counterfeits: An Art Theft Romantic Suspense, is on sale for $.99 for the Kindle, until June 28:

Rosemary Gemmell said...

From my reissued Regency novel, Dangerous Deceit by Romy Gemmell, when Lydia is 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.

Sam Cheever said...

Thanks so much EQ, for letting me share! This little snippet is from my newest release, Tall, Dark & Apocalyptic:

Cold, black eyes stared at her from atop a large cabinet. Black wings, glossy in the soft, overhead light, lifted slightly as the big raven resettled itself on the blood-covered surface of the furniture. A chunk of something meaty and raw hung from its beak and Yeira had to swallow down bile.
She stood perfectly still, staring at the big, black bird, shocked at the sight. It was Edwige’s familiar. “What are you doing here, Ebon?”
The big bird blinked and hopped from foot to foot, then opened its beak and swallowed its disgusting meal before lifting its wings and gliding toward her across the room.
Yeira stepped backward as the raven landed a few feet away, its bright eyes watching her every move. Her hand tightened on her weapon. She would use it if Ebon moved any closer.
But the bird didn’t move near. Instead it lifted its sleek head and opened its beak, responding to her question in its strident voice, “Eventide, lovey. Witching hour.”
Yeira gasped and backed away from the raven, her eyes swinging around the space. She no longer saw the carnage around her, in fact she slipped on a puddle of black, slimy blood before she noted it and took pains to step around it. The need to run away burned in her, her limbs twitching with it. But she was afraid to turn her back on the hated familiar.
“Eventide, lovey. Witching hour.”
Yeira gasped and gave up trying to remain calm. She turned around and started to run, feeling as if the hounds of hell were chasing her.
The fear was irrational, based on childhood experiences she should have long since gotten over. But the message in the words was clear.
Painfully so.
Yeira had lost all sense of control in her situation.
The hunter had just become the hunted.
All Romance eBooks:
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glenys said...

Here's a comment from Winters & Somers, my Irish romantic mystery/comedy from Tirgearr Publishing:
He turned around with an evil smile.
“I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse,” he told her, sidling away from the window and towards where she still stood by her desk.
That smile alone was enough to alert her that something nasty was afoot. Winters grinned wolfishly as Cíara stepped backwards instinctively. And then he stepped forward and she moved back again, until she ran out of space. The wall was cold against her back, and she shivered.
His smile widened.
“Touch me, and I’ll hurt you,” she intoned.
“Yeah, Bill told me you were quite the little street fighter.” Winters chuckled again.
“Bill had no right talking to you about me, and I’ll see to it that he regrets it,” she snarled.
Winters leaned forwards, one hand on either side of Cíara’s head, flat against the wall.
“I’ll look forward to witnessing that,” he said softly. “Now, I have a proposition for you.”
She was just about to hurl back a quick rejoinder when she realized that Winters was leaning back to look into her face, his lower body was pressed lightly against hers. But not lightly enough. She figured the man wasn’t carrying a gun, so that meant he was definitely happy to see her! A delighted grin began to spread over her face.

Buy Link: or
Free First Chapters on my Website: Romance Can Be Murder!

Thanks for reading!

Rose Anderson said...

You're welcome, Sam. Great snippet! Love that last line. :)

Maggie Le Page said...

I'm loving these excerpts. :)

Here's a wee cliffhanger from A Heat Of The Moment Thing by Maggie Le Page...

Warning bubbles fizzed past my cheeks. I lifted my head and stared as some lane-hogging idiot approached in a mess of arms and churned-up water. What was he doing? Oh, for goodness sake . . . butterfly? I held my breath, thought thin and scraped past, earning a poke in the ribs and a clipped ankle.

I switched to backstroke, plunging my annoyance into my strokes.

Get fit, to hell with men, have a life. It had sounded good at the time, but the fitness thing? Big mistake. Even so, lose that resolution and I’d still be winning. Fancy new haircut, fancy new job, and as for asshole Mickey—Mickey who?

Butterfly guy’s next attack was an arm-thunk to the head that knocked my goggles askew and turned my in-breath into an in-water. I floundered, spluttering. No time to rest, though: behind me approached another swimmer, then another. I did a one-handed goggle adjustment and reverted to freestyle, but I’d lost my rhythm. Each breath became a gasp. My legs sank, my arms slowed. Come on. I forced my head down, counting the strokes, kicking faster, regulating my breathing.

Poker-hot pain exploded in my head. I gasped, taking in a mouthful of water that burned a fiery route straight down to my lungs. I choked.

Air! I clawed for oxygen. Surfaced. Floundered.

Pain. Pain everywhere.

Lazy swirls of red blended with the water. My world kaleidoscoped then shattered into dizzy blackness. Thunder in my head. Rocks in my limbs. Inferno in my lungs.

Everything decelerated. White noise pressed in, closer and closer. Fear mutated into raw panic. Oh God. Please don’t let me die. Not now. Not ready. Too young.

My heart pumped louder and faster, louder and faster. Shite. Maybe thirty-one wasn’t too young.

Louder and faster, louder and faster, louder and faster, until the din obliterated everything . . . obliterated me.

Thanks for reading. :) If you'd like to read more, you can find A Heat Of The Moment Thing at any of the following links:

Barnes & Noble
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I'd love you to pop in and say hi. :) You can find me here:
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Elaine Hopper said...

This excerpt is from "Cooking Up A Storm" available at Totally Bound at:

Enrique parted his lips as if he was about to say something but bit his words back. He crawled onto a Ferris wheel seat and patted the seat next to him. “Join me.”
Brooks couldn’t wait. The gorgeous man with his slight Hispanic accent fascinated him even more than their host. He wished they weren’t competitors. He wished he’d never heard of Xavier.
Damn Xavier! He scooted onto the seat beside Enrique and locked the bar into position. Then he cupped his hands around his mouth and called to the operator, “We’re ready.”
The ride jolted then swayed and started to circle backward. “Up, up and away,” Brooks said in a sing song voice.
“This gets better and better like the best dream of my life.” He hung over the bar looking down at the area outside the compound, then exclaimed, “Gorgeous!”
Delighted by the view, Brooks chuckled. Lush foliage was a shiny and slick evergreen under the harsh bright lights instead of their emerald green colour of earlier in the day. Then a couple grunts and roars turned his blood cold and he clutched Enrique’s hand. “What was that? It sounded like tigers?”
Enrique’s fingers squeezed his. “Sounds like crocodiles. Ax said they live on the island. Are tigers native to the Caribbean?”
“I don’t know. But Jonah’s zoo might have tigers.” Feeling better that the tiger was safely behind bars, Brooks let his hand remain where it was. He desired another drink but more than that he craved closer contact to the man by his side and he scooted closer until their thighs touched. When Enrique squirmed and left his hand in Brooks’, his heart swelled.

Stephanie Queen said...


“It’s late. I think we should start fresh in the morning.” Madeline arched her brow and nodded good-bye to Val and Jon, then looked back at Sarah. Jonathan was perfect for the key campaign spot of chief of staff. Sarah was smart enough not to find further fault with him, at least not for the moment, Madeline observed. Sarah stood and started to help clear out the room while Valerie and Jonathan said their good-byes.
They were all startled by the knock on the door. Sarah opened it.
Peter John Douglas walked in.
Heads turned.
People froze.
Silence fell.
Madeline stopped dead in her tracks when she saw him. Sarah turned pink. Before Jonathan dragged Valerie out the door, he gave Madeline a wink.
Peter walked up to Madeline, all the way across the room, before she emerged from her shock. He stopped in front of her and looked at her without smiling. It was his signature unreadable face. She looked around and saw that he was unaccompanied by any of his staff. Neither was there any media riffraff.
“I liked your speech,” he said. He continued to stare at her. The room was still.
Now what? She could feel the pinpricks of stares from everyone in the room. There was only one thing to do at a time like this. Lower the boom.
“Everyone. You know Peter John Douglas, my opponent?” Madeline looked around at their faces. She took a deep breath.
“He and I are old friends. Six years ago we were engaged to be married.”

AMAZON Buy Link:

Stephanie Queen said...

Nina, great cliff-hanger! What suspense!

Stephanie Queen said...

Excellent! Love it! I'm a sucker for rogues in regencies!

Mardi Maxwell said...

This is from THEIR TEMPORARY SUB (The Doms of Club Mystique 3)

“That’s why they’re hunting her,” Luc said. “They know she’s starting to remember more details and she’ll be able to identify them. We’ve got to find her.”
“We will,” Logan said. “Let’s take this to Thor.”
“No, first we need to search her things then we’ll talk to our brothers and Thor.”
# # #
Cassie waited until after nine the next evening before she called Marisol.
After one ring Marisol answered. “Cassie?” Marisol asked, her voice quiet.
“Yes. It’s me.”
“Everyone is hunting for you.”
“The police?” Cassie asked.
“No. Luc and Logan, their brothers and Thor and his guys.”
Cassie quickly told Marisol everything that had happened including that her memory was coming back and that she had remembered the tattoo on the man’s left hand and left a sketch of it in the trunk of her car. The more she talked the more Marisol cursed in Spanish. “When she finally stopped talking Marisol asked, “Where are you?”
“Do you promise not to tell anyone? Not even Addison or Jenna?”
“Cassie, you’re not safe. Thor and the Ramsey’s are not the only people hunting for you.”
“I know that but I don’t trust them anymore. They betrayed me, Marisol.” Cassie grabbed a pen and pad of paper then asked Marisol, “You said your cousin might be able to help me.”
“Cassie, listen to me—you’ve got to call Luc and Logan. They’re going out of their minds worrying about you. Let them protect you.”
“No. I don’t trust them now.”
After a pause, Marisol said, “Promise me you’ll call Vincent and tell him everything you just told me.”
“I’ll call him. I promise.” Marisol gave her the number then Cassie said, “Don’t worry about me, Marisol. I’ll be okay. I have a car now.”
“Cassie, did you steal a car?” Marisol asked.

Rose Anderson said...

Thanks for participating, everyone. Come back this weekend for Snippet Sunday.

Sam Cheever said...

LOL, thanks Rose!

Debra Glass said...

Thank you!!

Charmaine Gordon said...

Hi from Charmaine Gordon. This is from my latest release Farewell, Hello, a story set in 1948. Pilot Danny Wilson has words with his fiancee never to be retrieved and tries to take them back:

The communal phone rang nearby. Danny had to answer.
Joy sobbed. “Danny, forgive me if you can. Mother’s in the hospital in Chicago with a top specialist taking her case. We can get married as soon as there’s a diagnosis and a plan.” Silence on the line. “ Danny, are you there?”
“Yeah, I’m here and you’re not.”
“Oh.” He heard her sigh. “I’ll give the engagement ring back to you if, um, if you don’t want to wait.”
“Keep it.” He hung up. What a waste of time loving her and saving for the ring for nothing. What a fool.
Danny stared at the black phone, his lifeline to Joy cut forever. “Oh God, what did I do? “ He called the operator, gave her the number and threw in a bunch of quarters.
“Sorry, Sir, the line is busy. Should I try again.”
“Yeah and right away. It’s an emergency. Please.” Maybe Joy’s calling Liz to tell her the bad news., he thought. I’m so sorry, Joy.”
The operator called. “No one is answering at that number, Sir. I tried several times and let it ring.”
“Thanks.” Desperate to reach her as fast as possible, Danny called information for Western Union. Telegrams got there fast, same day or even overnight.
“Operator, I need to get this to my sweetheart in Chicago as fast you can. I’m a pilot in the Air Force stationed in San Antonio, Texas. Can Western Union help me?”
Danny heard the smile in her voice. “Of course. Your message, please and remember to say Stop after every sentence, the shorter the less expensive.”
He looked at the dwindling stack of coins. “Okay. Here goes.
Please forgive me. STOP
Will wait for you. STOP
Love forever Danny STOP
“Good. Her address, name and phone number, please.”
Excited that he’d taken action no matter what his pals said and did, Danny rattled off the information, listened to the ping in the coin box. A weight lifted from his heart. Joy would read and understand.
The operator came back on the line. “Sorry to say there’s a tornado watch and heavy winds across Kansas and all the way through the Midwest.”
“As far as Chicago?”
“Yes. I’m on the late shift here and I’ll keep trying. Good luck.” She hung up.
So that’s why he couldn’t connect with her. The storm in his heart had reached out to the weather God and cursed him just like in the Shakespeare plays he’d loved in high school.

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JoAnne Myers said...

The Agreement: 5*****Stars by The Paranormal-Romance Guild staff reviewer.

Twenty-one year old spoiled rich boy, Brice Conrad, is speeding through the small town of Roseville, Ohio, when he is picked up by the police. Unlike other jails, Brice is given the royal treatment. He is provided with entertainment, good food, drinks, and girls to keep him company. The only problem is the drunk he has to share the cell with on occasion, Mr. Nomed. Brice is finally allowed his one phone call to his lawyer, but he has no idea who Mr. Nomed is or what he is. It seems Mr. Nomed has an agreement with the town, but what is that agreement and what does it have to do with Brice?


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