Blood and Fire: Book Two of the Talbot Trilogy is a paranormal romance by Tori L. Ridgewood that was released February 2014.
What chance does one witch have against five vampires? Alone, not much. But Rayvin’s allies are gathering…The battle between good and evil supernatural forces heats up in the long, cold November nights of the former mining town. But how will Rayvin’s motley crew of spellcasters and shapeshifters cope when they discover the threat they face is even greater than they imagined?
Blood and Fire is available for sale on:
The Talbot Trilogy books:
0. Mist and Midnight (prequel)
1. Wind and Shadow
2. Blood and Fire
3. Crystal and Wand
About the Author:
After her first heartbreak, Tori found solace in two things: reading romance novels and listening to an after-dark radio program called Lovers and Other Strangers. Throughout the summer and fall of 1990, the new kid in town found reading fiction and writing her own short stories gave her a much needed creative outlet. Determined to become a published author, Tori amassed stacks of notebooks and boxes of filed-away stories, most only half-finished before another idea would overtake her and demand to be written down. Then, while on parental leave with her second baby, one story formed and refused to be packed away. Between teaching full-time, parenting, and life in general, it would take almost seven years before the first novel in her first trilogy would be completed. In the process, Tori finally found her stride as a writer.
At present, on her off-time, Tori not only enjoys reading, but also listening to an eclectic mix of music as she walks the family dog (Skittles), attempts to turn her thumb green, or makes needlework gifts for her friends and family members. She loves to travel, collect and make miniature furniture, and a good cup of tea during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. Under it all, she is always intrigued by history, the supernatural, vampire and shapeshifter mythology, romance, and other dangers.
Tori is currently working on Crystal and Wand: Book Three of The Talbot Trilogy.
She lives in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two children. She is a full-time teacher at a local high school.
Tori’s Thoughts on Cliffhanger Endings
In all honesty, some of my best experiences with fiction have involved cliffhanger endings. I know that there are a lot of individuals who dislike a lack of resolution, but for myself, the unfinished denouement that clearly leads into another installment is as satisfying as a well-rounded conclusion. Perhaps even more.
I don’t remember the first time I ever encountered a cliffhanger, but there are some that stand out in my mind because a) the element was used very effectively, and
b) I’d already fallen enough in love with the story that I didn’t mind having to wait for search for the next book. And even then, some stories left unfinished have left me with the room to daydream about where the characters ended up.
Gone With the Wind, for example, leaves us after the disastrous implosion of Scarlett’s marriage to Rhett Butler, a radical decision on the part of Margaret Mitchell. I haven’t read many romances that end with the break-up of the protagonists. Some years after I first read GWTW, I found another author’s interpretation of the story — Scarlett, by Alexandra Ripley, takes over where Mitchell left off and provides some satisfaction for those of us who wanted to know what happened to that Southern belle and her blockade-running lover. It was a good read, compelling enough that it led me to enjoy more work by Ripley, but I decided afterward that I would have been just as happy with my imagination filling in the blank. I liked that Mitchell didn’t provide any easy answers, because the cliffhanger allowed me the freedom to fantasize on my own about all the possible directions the story might have taken.
Another significant cliffhanger for me was in watching the end of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. I’d already read the books, I knew what was in store, and yet as the plot played out on the screen and I lost myself in the characters, being hit by the credits and mournful music felt like hitting the ground after jumping off a swing: jolting, jarring, and still thrilling all the same. I wanted more, I wanted the movie to take
us all the way to Mordor, but being forced to wait for the final installment made that experience all the sweeter. In the interim, I reread the books, and when the DVD was made available, we got our own copy right away to refresh our memories of the visuals before heading to the theatre for Return of the King. The cliffhanger enhanced my interest, in some respects, and strengthened my investment in the characters.
When it’s written effectively, as a deliberate feature of the story that will lead the reader onward, an incomplete ending will create irresistible anticipation and extend the enjoyment of the story in the reader. It’s a deliberate crafting by the writer, a drawing out of pleasure and a thoughtful pause in the telling, both of which are the writer’s gift to his or her readers. When I write a cliffhanger ending, it’s not just because I want to drive my readers crazy — it’s to urge them on to the next course, to set the pace of the delivery, and suit the story itself. Some tales cannot be confined to a single volume; some characters, like real people, cannot complete their journey in only one series of chapters.
The best part of a good cliffhanger ending is that it is not an ending — that there is the possibility of more. And when a novel is carrying you along with excellent writing, well-drawn characters, and original turns and twists in the plot, it’s an occasion that you never want to end. Diana Gabaldon is like that with her Outlander series. She leaves her readers hanging by the threads of her tapestry of images and dialogue, desperate to find out what happens next. Waiting for the latest installment is like waiting for a favourite holiday, and it’s nothing new — there are reports that people would wait along the docks for ships carrying Charles Dickens’ latest serial installment, excited to get back into the lives of their heroes and villains. Cliffhangers keep us going through the long winter nights and arduous summer work, engaging our imaginations and inspiring even more storytelling.
Writers are driven to fill in the blank as much as their readers are. Many of us don’t know exactly how the story will end until we get there, but we can choose when to pause for dramatic effect. The lull between sequels is the space between the waves on the beach, building the thrill that makes the next splash even more delightful.Cliffhangers make us angry, frustrated, speculative, and spur our imaginations. They start conversations, inspire disagreement, and fuel other works of creativity. I often wonder whether even well-rounded stand-alone novels are truly complete — after all, there is always another story waiting to be told. Maybe some cliffhangers are just more difficult to see.
Thank you so much for having me on Simply At Home Mom. Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in completing this guest post. I hope you enjoyed it!
All my best,