Karin Tabke HEA vs Cliffhanger Endings!

Dun Dun Dun DUUUN!


Ok, that’s supposed to be the sound they make in the movies when the big scary reveal is coming!  Today, I want to talk about HEA vs Cliffhanger endings.  Dun Dun Dun DUN:
Which do you prefer?

(before I  go further, thank you, Hales for having me as your guest again!!)

Here’s why I ask the above question: BLOOD LAW, the first book in my Blood Moon Rising trilogy releases in less than two weeks, Tuesday May 3rd to be exact, and while I have written cliffhangers in books, I have never written a cliffhanger where it involves the hero and heroine’s relationship!  I knew when I wrote BLOOD LAW it was going to have to end up that way, I mean the trilogy is about two brothers, one woman and who gets the girl in the end, but frankly, the ending didn’t play out, quite the way I had envisioned it.  Those characters have a mind of their own and well, I had to run with them.  I never gave the ending of BLOOD LAW a second thought when I wrote it. Yes, I knew it was shocking, hell, I was shocked when I wrote it!  But it was 100% right for the story and the characters. My editor thought so too. But then, I read this:  RT Book Reviews thoughts about BLOOD LAW:


“Book one of the Blood Moon trilogy gets the series off to an impressive start with plenty of action and sex, emotional depth and a well-crafted plot. The shocking ending has no HEA but it has a definite to-be- continued hook. 

Rafael kills his brother Lucien’s chosen mate because he knows she is a slayer who is holding his brother in thrall. It’s against wolf pack law for a lycan to mate with a slayer. But for 14 years no one has believed him and they hold him to the Blood Law, which says he must sacrifice his own chosen to his brother.

Rafael doesn’t care about that, until he meets Falon. She is everything he desires in a mate, despite the fact that she’s human. She begins to show her worth to his people with powers she didn’t know she possessed. In a frenzy of passion, Rafael marks her. He seeks ways to break the Blood Law, knowing tradition is against him. Then the slayers kidnap a young girl, forcing a confrontation that reveals more of Falon’s abilities.”

When I read this, I thought, wow, I didn’t think BLOOD LAW didn’t have an HEA, I mean. I knew it didn’t, not in the classic sense and maybe not in any sense since the story is still unfolding, but then I was thinking, hmmm, will this turn readers off?  Or will it intrigue them to read book two, BLOOD RIGHT (yes, right not rite, when you read the book, you’ll know why it’s right not rite). You see, BLOOD LAW is Rafael and Falon’s love story. It is a true love story, no doubt about it. Book two, BLOOD RIGHT, is Falon and Lucien’s story. Another love story, but when you have two brothers who refuse to share…Book three, BLOOD MOON RISING, is Falon, Rafael’s and Lucien’s story. Let’s just say it’s complicated. Very complicated, but I am, after all a romance writer first and foremost, so how do you think I’m going to end their story?

OK, I got off track here, but I’d really like to hear your thoughts about HEA’s vs Cliffhanger endings. 

I have a $15 Amazon or BN cyber gift card for a lucky commenter that we’ll randomly select when Hales says it’s ok.  J

Karin Tabke* aka Harlow

 😛 We decided to pick the winner Tuesday morning to give everyone who can stop by time to with Good Friday and Easter this weekend! ~Hales


About mahalia2010

Mother, Sister, Friend, Author

Posted on April 21, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 52 Comments.

  1. OMG I”ve been salivating since you posted snippets and the cover for this book.

    I don’t believe a book has to have an HEA in a ongoing series or trilogy the reader knows the story wil continue and from book to book the plot will ramp up. I am super excited for this to come out so I can disappear into your writing again!

    And it’s a pleasure to have you again ;P

  2. Well, cliffhangers didn’t stop Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series from being read by tons of people, so i don’t think it will turn readers off. What i have read of snippets of Blood Law it sounds really, REALLY good. and also that the reader already knows it is a triology and doesn’t have to wonder if they will get the rest of the story is awesome, too. i don’t mind have to read a trilogy to get the full love story…as long as it is good!

  3. elizabeth gray

    Normally there are heas in each book of each trilogy. That is not the case here. The hea is in the last book. I do not have a very wide reading spance, but I know I have never read a trilogy quite like this one. I think it’s refreshing, and if the storyline is very good, which I am sure this willl be, the payoff will be great. It gives a new take on the hea’s that have been written so many times and ways, there might be a shortage on a new twist to them. Here is the new twist.

    Congratulations for giving the readers a new idea.


    • Elizabeth there is an HEA as far as the love story between Falon and Rafe goes, it’s what happens to that HEA that is the cliffhanger. Dun dun dun DUN! and you know by the cliff hanger, that there is going to be some serious problems in book two, some of them quite serious but quite delish. dun dun dun DUN! Did I mention today I love my job?

  4. I think you have to go where the characters take you. It sounds like a great unique story. Putting it on my wish list.

  5. This book sounds really great! And I will buy a copy as soon as it comes out. But knowing it has a cliff hanger ending, I will wait unitl I have collected all 3 books to read them – for a few reasons.

    1 – cliff hangers drive me nuts!! LOL On tv, and in books.
    2 – I have a terrible memory, so I forget lots of details from one book to the next. I would re-read them each time, but with a TBR pile of over 400 books, I want to get through some of those before re-reading a series each time one comes out.

    I do that with most series now. I buy them when they come out, and collect them unitl I have them all, and then read them back to back.

    That being said – I can’t wait till all of these are out!! 🙂 Sounds like an awesome series!!!

  6. I like cliffhangers and if a book is in a series that makes it very much more interesting and you know the reader will go for the other books as well. I like to wait until I get all the books in a series and then I start reading them one after another. I had done some reviews when I had to read the book before I had all of them but I ended up rereading that book when all the series came out. There’s many HEA books out there so a few cliffhangers would be wonderful I Think. susan garysue@dejazzd.com

    • Hi, Susan! It never occurred to me to acquire all of the books in a series before reading. I think that may be because I have no self control. 🙂 But it makes sense with those series with cliffhanger endings. It would certainly bring down my blood pressure. Thanks!

  7. This is such a wonderful story! I can’t wait to hold it and the gorgeousssss cover in my hands!!

  8. I am going to answer the question with an example. I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I loved it. I read the book in 2 days flat. When I reached the end of book one, even knowing that it HAD to be a cliffhanger, I threw the book across the room and screamed. Bloody murder screamed, actually. I’m lucky the cops weren’t called. How embarassing! I wanted, I needed, I was like a crack addict without a source. Yes, cliffhangers can be very, very good.

    As far as the needing the HEA, I feel like you must have the sense of HEA in each of the books but you don’t have to have a cut and dry HEA in every book when they are a trilogy like the Blood series. In fact, I think that some really great authors have gotten themselves all knotted up because they feel like they must have the neat, tidy, super speedy HEA. It’s kind of sad.

    I look forward to reading these books. I like it when an author goes with their gut and thinks out of the box.

  9. This book is HAWT *drool* I can hardly wait til the next one!! Cliffhangers seem to be popular these days – and as long as I know for certain I will be getting the next story, I’m just fine with them.
    Cool review from RT!! Thanks for sharing with us =D

  10. I’m a huge fan so I can’t wait to read this book….

  11. I just got my pre-release order for Blood Law today! I have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers. I hate them because they make me wait and I hate not knowing. That being said, I secretly love cliffhangers in books and lets face it – they do it on TV shows every year. Always leave the reader wanting more as long as I eventually get my HEA. I love the feeling of excitment I get when a new book is about to be released and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

  12. Oh man… after reading some of the other people’s comments, I know I’m going to be the odd person out. I’m a HEA girl all the way. Or at least HFN. If I know it’s a cliffhanger, I have to have read something else by the author and absolutely loved, loved, loved, their writing style for me to even consider picking it up. And then I will wait until the rest of the series comes out. What can I say? I loath cliffhangers. lol. I don’t normally read a series where it’s the same characters in each book. They can be in the book as secondaries, just not the main focus for that book. With that said, Karin, your series sounds excellent. Very unique. I’ll keep an eye out for when the other 2 come out. Happy Writing!

    • Charlie, I can totally relate to the loathing of cliffhangers. I used to be there too. I would refuse to read a book with one. But I think I might have morphed into a silent sufferer over the years. I love the anxiety and anticipation of waiting to get my hands on the next installment.

  13. Oh I love these. i don’t care if there is a HEA in a book if I know that there is another book coming coming to complete the series. I hate being left to hang…not knowing if there is another story. But with such good authors these days, and I know I can count on the next one in the series is coming. In the olds days..(does that date me? lol) I wouldn’t buy a book if I knew there wasn’t a for sure one coming next in their series. I was left hanging for a long time with Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. As each book came out I bought it, and boxed it without reading itwith the rest of them. Then when I had the last one, I reread the first one and completed the whole series in 5 days. Now that was worth the wait….*S*

    But this one looks like one I really, really want…*S*
    I got this on my gotta have list..*S*
    Thank you!

  14. LOOK at all these fantastic comments!

    Thanks ladies for coming by awesome answers!

  15. I feel like if a person knows what they’re getting into with a cliffy but not necessarily an HEA then they get the right to scream at the end of the story, espeically if said story has lured them in. But no an HEA isn’t needed for me to read a cliffy, just a damn good concept.
    And I have to say yours has truly gotton me intriguied. Congrats on the great review. Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  16. I don’t mind cliffhangers, necessarily. I will often collect the trilogies before I read the first one. I do like reading about wolf shifters, and your story sounds good. I don’t like reading excerpts,,,just the summary of the plot.

  17. Ann, I hope you pick up a copy of BLOOD LAW, and love it!

  18. Teresa Kleeman


    I like HEA but not in every story. I think certain books and certain characters want you to see the problems that they have to overcome and work out before they get to a point where they can be happy.
    I recently won a book by Allison Pang. Her book a Brush Of Darkness is just one example. I loved the book but my two main characters had so much baggage attached to there past, that they could not have that HEA in this first book.(Sorry spoiler). However it was very obvious that these two loved each other to no return. They have to work there own life out before they can move on. When I talked to Allison and voiced my opinion she agreed that those two had a lot to work out and that they had two more books to do so. So in the end, I have hope for them two.

    I believe it will be so in your books. Just because they dont have the HEA in the first, doesn’t make it not be so. You just have to listen to them. The characters no what the want. And that is there own happiness. I love this cover on the Blood Law book it is beautiful and dark and sexy. I will have to buy myself. I love anything to do with Vamps.

    Teresa K.

  19. Your books sound awesome – I can’t wait to check them o ut! 🙂

    • Thank you, Tina! I hope you enjoy!

      • Teresa Kleeman


        I don’t think it so much as patience. When I read, I’m actually drawn into the story as if I’m the character. So I am playing out what the character wants said.

        Trust me I know what your saying. I hear the voices in my head where they want me to write them into existence. I have so many people that know me , tell me I should write. I’m a descriptive writer. My son say, “when he reads what I write it’s like watching a movie in his head because I’m so detailed”. I love to write but I don’t have the confidence in myself to do so. For one reason being is I speak another language and its hard for me with English composition. I’m not very good with grammar.
        My college professors love me for this.lol Thanks for the kind words though.

        Teresa K.

      • Teresa, writers, regardless of language write! Do it! The more you write the better you become. Read, read and read more, and write!
        and fwiw? When I started writing, I SUCKED at grammar, and by all the marks my copy editors make on my ms, I still do, but I didn’t let it stop me. I took online courses to improve. Write!

  20. Look at all the great comments 🙂 Thanks Tina and Teresa, Jen, Savannah 🙂 all else, I think I thanked veryone else already for coming by

  21. I’m intrigued. No hea, not even a hfn? I think that can work if the story requires it in order for bk 2 to be as it needs to. I mean, if Rafael and Falon find their hea in bk one, when Falon was meant to be Lucien’s mate, where would it leave Lucien? It can’t end there with Kucien being ‘wrongfully punished’ so? I think in some cases there’s no way around it.

    Hi Hales!

  22. Oh wow, this looks like a book I could easily fall in love with and a cliffhanger? I love them! Can’t wait to read it.

    Happy Easter!

  23. Hey Calisa and Val thanks for coming by

    Happy Easter Everyone!

  24. I apologize for not posting the winner picked was pommawolfjohnson. Hugs and thanks for lovely comments everyone!

    • Thank you for this wonderful surprise. *S*
      I was catching up on the news about the royal wedding this morning as was bit early for me to get up to watch it. Being at the end of the time zone on Alaska time I seem to be playing a lot of the catch up. The sun is is still up at 10:30 pm, just barely seen an the horizon so the whole time adjustment gets me every time this time year. Land of the midnight sun during the spring and summer play forever on my time clock…..LOL

  25. Sorry, the wifi decided to disconnect before I was finished typing….LOL
    Thank you again for this lovely surprise!


    pommawolf @ hotmail dot com

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