Leaving You Wanting More – It’s Not a Cliffhanger!

cliffhangerCliffhanger definition from Reference.com: A cliffhanger in a story occurs when the author leaves the reader or viewer unsure of what happens to the main characters involved. The story ends suddenly, almost in mid-scene, with no real resolution to the plot.

Cliffhangers are a great plot device for serializations, but most readers would tell you that they don’t like to see them in series books. The main plot in a series book should generally be resolved. If it’s a romance there should be an HEA (happy ever after) or at the very least an HFN (happy for now). A mystery should always be solved, and in a suspense or thriller the villain should be caught. But that doesn’t mean an author can’t leave some non-core tidbits of the story open, to be addressed in the next book. Real life rarely allows for the opportunity to tie everything up in a tidy bow. Usually it takes time and work to tie off every thread. So a realistic series should present the same way.

Secondary characters and plot lines are prime content for follow-up books in a series. If you’ve gotten to know a secondary character through several books, growing attached and feeling empathy for his or her problems, you’ll be excited to finally read the book where that character is featured so you can find out how everything’s resolved. A character or story line that filters through several books in a series can build up expectations and make the books that eventually feature those threads even more fun for the reader.

So if the author resolves the main plot, gives the main characters closure, and leaves you a taste of something that needs to be resolved in the future, the book didn’t end in a “cliffhanger”.  If they’ve done what they’re supposed to do with the core story line, they haven’t left you hanging…they’ve simply given you a great reason to read the next book!

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IMG_7837 USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

If you haven’t already connected, Sam would love it if you Liked/Followed her wherever you enjoy hanging out online. Here are her online haunts:

Newsletter: http://www.samcheever.com/newsletter.html Subscribe to Sam’s newsletter and win a free copy of the fun and sexy Honeybun Fever Box Set
Text News Alerts: https://mobile-text-alerts.com/samnews
Website: www.SamCheever.com

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10 Reasons Your Favorite Author NEEDS to Sell to You

Like many authors, I’m sensitive to overselling to my readers. I work hard to earn their support. I give away a free box set in exchange for their emails in joining my newsletter. I do monthly contests so they can win prizes. I give them a gift on their birthdays. And on Christmas every year they get free books from me. In exchange, I ask them to take a look at the books I write and if one of them sparks their interest, to buy it. That seems fair to me. But if you still need convincing, here are 10 reasons why you should consider embracing an author’s occasional request to buy a book:

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10.

99.99% of authors are introverts and marketing is our Achilles heel, so when we make an attempt to sell something to someone, we’re actually performing step five in our Introverts Anonymous program. No really. I’m holding my 2 Year chip in my  hand right now. I’m about to plunge it into some onion dip.

9.

We must sell books to support our coffee and chocolate fetish.

8.

Writers are unrepentant liars (see number 10 above) and writing is the only acceptable job where we can legally lie (unacceptable options include lawyer or politician), so we really need to sell books or we’ll end up living in our parents’ basements and blogging all day in our underwear. (trust me, nobody wants to see that!)

7.

Writers have very…shall we say…interesting search histories on our computers. Only the fact that we actually put the information we discover in story form and sell it keeps us out of jail.

6.

We’re desperate to keep our writing jobs because of the dress code. The writer’s version of Casual Friday involves flannel pjs and bunny slippers!

5.

If we don’t sell books our husbands/wives will make us get real jobs.

4.

Being an artist explains the weirdness and strange tics…like talking to invisible people…all writers are inflicted with.

3.

Despite what some people believe, most of us don’t write books as a hobby and we are NOT independently wealthy! (I wish.)

2.

If we don’t sell any books there’s no excuse for spending copious amounts of time on social media.

1.

There are only so many relatives, neighbors and blackmail subjects we can sell to. At some point even the most victim-prolific author has to reach out to actual readers to sell his/her books.

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IMG_7837_120x180USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

If you haven’t already connected, Sam would love it if you Liked/Followed her wherever you enjoy hanging out online. Here are her online haunts:

Newsletter: http://www.samcheever.com/newsletter.html Subscribe to Sam’s newsletter and win a free copy of the fun and sexy Honeybun Fever Box Set
Text News Alerts: https://mobile-text-alerts.com/samnews
Website: www.SamCheever.com

Posted in Just for Fun, Reading and Books, Sam's Rants, Thursday Tidbit | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Adding Romance to Suspense is Okay

pre-publication-teaser

Peppering a strong story plot with random sex (a.k.a. romance) for no good reason is stupid. I actually quit one of my publishers because my editor told me there was too much plot in my story. Uh…yeah. I struggled mightily with the requirement to stick another sex scene in the middle of a battle just because…well…one can never have too much sex…right?

Wrong.

Romance is one aspect of a great story. Like all plot devices, it needs to be used sensibly and judiciously. Great suspense needs to feel real. It is physiologically possible for a couple to have heightened sexual feelings after an event that raises their adrenaline. It isn’t real for them to drop in the middle of a chase or fight scene and have sex. I suppose somewhere, at sometime in history, someone might have done this, but the average  person doesn’t believe it can happen. This disbelief will pull a reader out of the story and ruin the plausibility of the whole book.

However, having said this, there are still opportunities for romance in a well-written suspense. Great suspense is like listening to an orchestra play. There need to be highs and lows…sprints and respites. Just as a good belly laugh can dispel high tension, giving the reader a much needed break that will help her rise happily to the next plot elevation, a tender moment of romance, set in a quiet scene between crises, can be very effective for defusing tension of one kind and creating tension of another kind. This new relationship component also aids character growth and provides more obstacles for resolution, which in turn makes the story more suspenseful. And what that means to you, the reader, is that reading romance with suspense isn’t just all right. It’s actually a great idea!

Happy reading, Everybody!

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Stay tuned for my brand new, upcoming La Fortuna DeVitis romantic suspense series. The first three books will release February through April 2017:

The DeVitis Family is old money and perennial power with an ancient code of ethics. Violence is part of their everyday existence. And the DeVitis’ have paid a high price for their way of life. As each generation falls to age and treachery, a new generation must protect the vital treasure at the core of the family. The current generation is soft, prone to ignoring that which upsets them. And worse, In Nicola and Franco’s case, untrained in the ways of the DeVitis’. Are they ready for their lives to inexplicably change? Do they have what it takes? If not, survival will quickly become a nearly impossible goal and the fire they’re building between them will be squelched beneath an avalanche of danger and intrigue.

 

IMG_7837USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

If you haven’t already connected, Sam would love it if you Liked/Followed her wherever you enjoy hanging out online. Here are her online haunts:

Newsletter: http://www.samcheever.com/newsletter.html Subscribe to Sam’s newsletter and win a free copy of the fun and sexy Honeybun Fever Box Set
Text News Alerts: https://mobile-text-alerts.com/samnews
Website: www.SamCheever.com

Posted in Just for Fun, Mystery, Reading and Books, Romantic Suspense, The Writing Life | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment