CD Hersh Knows How To Leave ‘Em Hanging!

Today I'm excited to have my pals CD Hersh return to the blog. Today, they're chatting about something all readers love to hate ~ that moment when the writer leaves them wanting more.

Leave 'em hanging

Want to make the readers keep reading? Leave ’em hanging. Not like they did to the bad guys in the old western movies. Not from the end of a rope.

We’re talking about leaving ’em hanging at the end of a scene or a chapter. You want the reader to turn the page not take a break. If things resolve completely for the moment, the book can be put down and, horror-of-horrors, it might not get picked back up.
The same thing can be true for the books in a series, especially those with an over-arching story line that runs through all of the books. We’re believers in making sure each one of our scenes and chapters leaves the reader with a story question or a hook of some kind that forces them to turn the page. When we finish each book in our series, The Turning Stone Chronicles, we have tried to make sure that, while we resolve the plots for the hero and heroine of that book, we also leave our readers with a hook that will make them want to know what happens next for our characters Alexi and Rhys.

Catherine’s sister just finished reading Son of the Moonless Night and she called asking, “When is the next book coming out? I want to know what happens next!” Just what we wanted to hear. It’s also what every author wants to hear.

Here’s some tips we’ve learned to keep the readers turning those pages.

1. When you resolve one problem, create another one for the characters to deal with.
2. End a scene, a chapter, or a book in a series with a sentence that foreshadows something to come.
3. Leave the reader with a story question.
4. Make your characters suffer so the reader will want to know how they solve the problem.
5. Most important of all, never let your characters know the cavalry is coming. Leave ’em hanging.

Do you have a favorite author who leaves you hanging?

Now here is something from our new book, Son of the Moonless Night, that will hopefully leave you hanging.

Thrust back into the world of paranormal huntress, Deputy Coroner Katrina Romanovski must unravel a string of murders she believes are vampire attacks. When she discovers the shape shifter she’s in love with is the murderer, she must reconcile her feelings for him, examine her life of violence against paranormals, and justify deceiving him in order to bring him to justice.

As he put on his coat, he said, “Not a word about why I’m here, Captain. If anything gets out about the cell I’m tracking it could cost me months of undercover work and put the entire operation in jeopardy.”

“Do you know what they’re planning?”

“Only that it involves chemical nerve agents coming into the US illegally. A lot of them.”

“And shifters,” Delaney added, “which puts whatever you’re investigating on a bigger scale than you might imagine.”

“Terrorism is as big as it gets, as far as I’m concerned.” Hugh put on his hat, swiping the brim between his thumb and middle finger. The worried glance Delaney cast at Alexi caused him to pause. “What aren’t you telling me, Delaney?”

Alexi opened her mouth and promptly clamped it shut when Delaney touched her arm. “I need to talk to Eli first. Maybe I’ll have an answer tomorrow.”

“Answers would be nice now,” Hugh said.

“I don’t know if you have the clearance for what I think I need to tell you. I’m sorry.” She shrugged and pursed her lips into a frown. “Chain of command and need to know.”

“With the amount of toxins coming into the country, I need to know anything that will help me find these guys. I’m worried an attack is imminent.”

“If shifters are involved in this, I’m afraid it’s more than a localized attack,” Delaney said.

“Are you talking citywide? Statewide?” When she didn’t reply, boulders jostled in his stomach. Was the nation at risk? He grasped the door handle and turned it. “Go talk to Eli. I want answers. Tomorrow.”

Genre – Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Suspense Romance
Heat Level – Sensual
Amazon buy links:
The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1):

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2):

Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3):

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first three books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon.

Where you can find CD:
Soul Mate Publishing:
Amazon Author Page:

I'm so happy CD could stop by today. I know I love to leave readers hanging! Do you? Do you want a nice, all-encompasing ending? Or do you want to wait on talons for the next installment of your favorite book series?

8 thoughts on “CD Hersh Knows How To Leave ‘Em Hanging!”

  1. C.D. HershC.D. Hersh

    Tameri – Thanks for hosting us today and we hope your readers enjoy being left hanging. We have begun working on the next book in the series tentatively due out late this year. Not sure we’ll make it but going to give it a go. 🙂

  2. Gay YellenGay Yellen

    A very useful post, and one writer’s need. Whether you write mysteries or other genres, keeping the reader involved is paramount. I tend to write in cliffhanger mode, too, and I try to end chapters with a little carrot to make readers want to read the next one. It’s fun for me as a reader, too. Thanks for spreading the wisdom.

    • C.D. HershC.D. Hersh

      Gay – thanks for commenting and adding vegetables to the mix. Carrots do make for stronger reading. 🙂

      • Gay YellenGay Yellen

        I’ve always heard that carrots are good for the eyes, ergo:
        carrot:eyes:reading. Looks like a hashtag.

  3. Patricia RickrodePatricia Rickrode

    Oh definitely leave ’em hanging – just not at the end of the book. I hate that. I love the idea of ending a chapter with foreshadowing. I’m going to try to incorporate that one.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • C.D. HershC.D. Hersh

      Patricia – definitely not at the end of book. Course there needs to be some items unresolved if there is a series. Thanks for commenting.

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