Site icon Joanna Campbell Slan

The Art of the Cliffhanger and a Contest!

Okay, I know some of you don’t like cliffhangers, but just so you know, I intend to keep writing books that sort of flow into each other. Someone once told me that the first sentence sells the current book but the last sentence sells the next one. I know that I simulaneously love and hate how my favorite television programs end with question mark. But even as I might curse the writers, I find myself eagerly tuning in each week for more.

So what cliffhangers can you expect in the upcoming Kiki Lowenstein books? More specifically in Make, Take, Murder when it comes out May 1, 2011?

First, you’ll learn more about Bama Vess, Kiki’s new co-worker. Bama (pronounced “Bam-ma” and named long before our president took residence in the White House) is a conflicted woman. She’s spurned all Kiki’s overtures for friendship. At the same time, Bama does a great job of organizing and running Time in a Bottle. Will she and Kiki make good business partners? What’s stopping Bama from being nice to Kiki? Could it be that Bama is as jealous of Kiki as Kiki is of her?

Second, you’ll see what happens with Sheila and Police Chief Holmes. This is an old flame, rekindled, but they have a big problem. You see, Sheila is Jewish and Police Chief Holmes is Roman Catholic. Since Sheila is so very, very inflexible…you might guess there will be problems ahead.

Third, Dodie’s health problems. Yes, they’ll have an impact on how the store runs, and who’s involved in Time in a Bottle. That’s a given.

Of course, the biggest snafu ahead concerns Brenda Detweiler. There have been hints about problems with her marriage, but what are those problems? And why is Chad Detweiler unwilling to say, “Goodbye?”

You know, I’ve rarely seen people up and divorce each other. There’s always a back-and-forth, a questioning, a sorting out of feelings. I don’t think that marriage is a commitment to take lightly, and I truly believe that most people don’t. This would be Detective Detweiler’s second marriage. Since he’s clearly such a cool guy, you have to wonder, what’s up? Is he not everything he seems? Or has he simply gotten lost along the way? (My sister keeps teasing me that everything I write seems to be about redemption. Well, I’m a big believer in redemption, the art of the second chance. Most days, I think it’s all we have to live for, that hope that we’ll be forgiven, that we’ll learn something, and we’ll do better in the future.)


Meanwhile, I’m always curious. Which characters do you want to see return? And why? So here’s the deal–you tell me, and I’ll choose one of your comments to win a Kiki Lowenstein Fan Club tee shirt! You have until August 15 to comment. (Hey, why not get a friend to comment, too? Maybe she or he will let you share the tee!)

By the way, here’s a sweet review of Paper, Scissors, Death,

Made my day!

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