THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR CHERYL KAYE TARDIF

Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Guest author Eileen Schuh talks about intensifying suspense with secret codes

Today I'd like to welcome my good friend, author Eileen Schuh to my blog. Be sure to read to the end and enter her contest--you might win some fabulous prizes. Take it away, Eileen...

There’s nothing that intensifies suspense like a good secret code.

In my new release, DISPASSIONATE LIES, my heroine, Ladesque, is living that suspense. The mysterious markings that are stymieing her are splashed across the DISPASSIONATE LIES book cover—squiggles and lines that conceal the secrets to her past.

It’s no secret why codes are intriguing. Shrug, one of my beloved characters in the BackTracker series, tells those who listen that knowledge is power and at some deep level we all agree. Since a code implies someone is keeping knowledge from us, we can’t help but believe that if we decipher the code, special powers will be ours.

I’ve used codes in past novels; there are several in FATAL ERROR that Katrina, my genius young BackTracker series protagonist, capably solves. One involves an encrypted message between gang members and another, a password.

The most memorable fictional code for me is in the movie Close Encounters when the aliens begin their communication with humans using colours and music. In fact, I liked that code so much I mention it in DISPASSIONATE LIES.

Codes come in many shapes and sizes. Encryption is what supposedly keeps our secure internet transactions secure. Yes, I know, it doesn’t work too well and works even less effectively in 2035 which is why in DISPASSIONATE LIES Ladesque is battling to give the world an internet system that can’t be breached.

Although they say easily deciphering codes is one of the main benefit mankind would receive from a quantum computer (and there is a futuristic quantum computer in DISPASSIONATE LIES), the mysterious language Ladesque is trying to decode is unrelated to that. She’s trying to uncover the truth about the intrigue, conspiracies and perhaps even murder blemishing her past. Without that knowledge, she’s not prepared to face her future, even if it might hold the massive power of a quantum computer.

It would not just be human codes that a quantum computer could decipher, it might make short work of uncovering the history of the universe as encoded in the stars. It might reveal to us the true nature of gravity, time and space and perhaps even time-travel. It might be able to translate into English, the songs of whales and relics of the past.

Whoever is the master of that first quantum computer will possess unfathomable knowledge—a power that can all be Ladesque’s, should she choose. However, first she must decode the diary that contains the facts about her past.

DISPASSIONATE LIES - Official Launch price ONLY $1.99 July 13 -26, 2014 on Amazon and Smashwords (Use coupon code GS42H on Smashwords for the eFormat of your choice.)

SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT joins the celebration at only 99₵ on Amazon and Smashwords! Smashwords coupon JU57W

About Eileen:

Eileen Schuh has published two adult Science Fiction novellas, SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT and her new near-future release, DISPASSIONATE LIES. She also has authored three novels in her young adult BackTracker series, THE TRAZ, FATAL ERROR and FIREWALLS. THE TRAZ is also available in a School Edition.

Her new near-future release, DISPASSIONATE LIES explores female sexuality against a backdrop of high-tech science, governmental and pharmaceutical conspiracies, espionage, and perhaps even murder.

SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT, with its tangled relationships, weaves intense emotion into the science of multi-universes.

Schuh, born Eileen Fairbrother in Tofield, Alberta, lives in Canada’s northern boreal forests and draws her inspiration from the wilderness, her grandchildren, family and friends, and her adopted community of St. Paul, Alberta.

Visit her online:
Blog: http://eileenschuh.blogspot.com
Website: http://www.eileenschuh.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EileenSchuhAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eileenschuh

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Kindle Unlimited: Amazon's new program for KDP Select authors and publishers--and readers

As I predicted months ago, Amazon has come out with a new program to entice indie authors and publishers using KDP back to the Select program, and it's called Kindle Unlimited. The easiest way to explain this program is that it's just like Netflix, only for ebooks and audiobooks.

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription-based service similar to Oyster and a few others that gives customers unlimited ebooks and audiobooks, providing those ebooks/audiobooks have been enrolled in Amazon's KDP Select program.

You may all remember that I was one of KDP Select's success stories in 2012/13 and a strong proponent of the program until it slowed to a crawl.

Let's break down the advantages and disadvantages of Kindle Unlimited for readers and indie authors/indie publishers...

Advantages of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited for Readers: 
  • You can sign up for a free 1-month trial of unlimited, participating ebooks and audiobooks. 
  • After the trial period, you pay $9.99 US per month to subscribe to this service and read as many ebooks and listen to as many audiobooks as you want.
  • You can cancel any time.
  • Anyone in the US can read a Kindle ebook in this program, even without a Kindle ereader, by downloading a free app for smartphones, tablets or PC.
Disadvantages of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited for Readers: 
  • You'll pay $9.99 US each month, even if you don't download any books.
  • Not all ebooks on Amazon will qualify for this program.
  • It is only available for US readers at this time. There is no word yet on when it will open to Canada, UK or other countries.
Advantages of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited for Indie Authors & Publishers:
  • You'll most likely earn more per download than you would per sale without participating.
  • Your books will have more exposure and a better chance of being discovered with this program.
  • Even if someone only reads 10% of your title, you will receive your royalties for that title.
Disadvantages of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited for Indie Authors & Publishers: 
  • eBook/Audiobook titles enrolled in Kindle Unlimited will be exclusive to Amazon and won't be sold anywhere else in ebook/audio format (other than Audible, an Amazon company).
  • Authors will risk alienating customers who read ebooks on other ereading devices.
US readers, sign up here: Kindle Unlimited

Indie Authors/Publishers, learn more here: KDP Select - Kindle Unlimited

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Sizzles Event, July 12-20, 2014 - eBook Sale, Contest & Giveaways, Facebook Party


Great things come in threes this July!

  • 'Share the Imajin Books Buzz' contest - share our events on Twitter and Facebook, and share your pics of our books on your ereaders or you holding one, and receive entries into a grand prize draw for a $100 Amazon/Kobo gift card! Other prizes include: a poster of "Sanctuary" by critically acclaimed artist David Miller, and three $20 Amazon or Kobo Books gift cards (winners' choice). Open to anyone 18+. Void where prohibited. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below from July 12-20.
  • Imajin Books eBook Sale – www.imajinbooks.com/sale – most ebooks will be priced at $0.99 or $1.99 from July 12-20 via Amazon & Smashwords. 
  • Facebook Party - for one day only, Thursday, July 17th, we'll be holding a Facebook Party online and giving away prizes (ebooks and gift cards from Amazon, Smashwords and Kobo.) Join us at: https://www.facebook.com/events/659449144144070. The party begins 2:00 PM EDT and goes until 8:00 PM EDT. Our authors will drop by when they can. Be sure to also like our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/imajinbooks.  

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

DES NEBELS KINDER - an Amazon.de Top 100 bestseller for a month

I can't believe that my German translation, DES NEBELS KINDER, just spent a month on Amazon.de's Top 100 overall list! Or that it already has 35 reviews, with the majority being 4-5 stars. It blows me away that German readers are embracing my book with excitement and are so generous with their reviews.

I would love to see it listed on more blogs, so if anyone reading this has a blog that caters to German readers, feel free to post something about DES NEBELS KINDER. And I am open to interviews or guest blogging any time.

Thank you!!!

Translation from Google Translate (my apologies if this is incorrect):

Ich kann nicht glauben, dass meine deutsche Übersetzung, DES NEBELS KINDER, nur einen Monat lang auf Amazon.de 's Top 100 Gesamtliste! Oder dass es bereits 35 Bewertungen, wobei die Mehrheit 4-5 Sterne. Es haut mich, dass die deutschen Leser sind umfassende mein Buch mit Spannung und sind so großzügig mit ihren Bewertungen.

Ich würde gerne sehen, es auf mehr Blogs aufgeführt, also wenn jemand dies liest ein Blog, das die deutschen Leser richtet hat, fühlen Sie sich frei, etwas über DES NEBELS KINDER zu posten. Und ich bin offen für Interviews oder Gastblogging jederzeit.

Danke!!!

Friday, July 04, 2014

Canada's New Anti-Spam Law Creates Chaos and Confusion

On July 1, 2014, a new anti-spam legislation came into effect in Canada, and it's considered to be the toughest anti-spam law in the world. It affects any kind of commercial electronic message (CEM) or communication, whether it be emails, text messages sent from computers or phones, and even message systems within social networks. Did you know about this?

Penalties: Up to a maximum of $1 million (individual) or $10 million (business).

This law will primarily affect anyone conducting commercial business via email, text and message systems. But it also affects any individual trying to sell anything via these methods, unless you know the recipients "personally," and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has their own definition of a personal relationship, so you'd better be sure to read up on it.

And before you send out your next commercial email, text message or private FB message, you'd better ensure you now have the correct information within it. Canadians who send commercial messages are required to include their full mailing address, plus a way for people to remove themselves or unsubscribe from receiving your commercial emails/texts/messages. Good luck trying to figure out a way to do that on Facebook and Twitter's messaging system.

Before sending anyone a commercial electronic message, Canadians are now required to ask for consent, which can be given by email or snail mail or any method where you can SAVE this information. But it can also be given orally. However, the onus is on the sender to prove they were given consent, so you must save all replies consenting to receiving your commercial messages, and you must document oral consent. It must be expressed consent and not implied consent.

So remember the three requirements you need in place before sending a CEM of any kind: 1) consent, 2) your name and mailing address, 3) an unsubscribe, removal or opt-out method.

"But what if I was given consent a while ago, before this law came into effect?" As long as you have proof and the proper information was given to that person and they have a way to opt out, you should be fine. But you'd better have proof. Otherwise, ask again.

Examples of a spam CEM:

  • Any email where a service or product is promoted for sale and sent to someone who has not given consent.
  • Any direct message to an individual or group of people, on a network such as Twitter DMs or Facebook's private messaging system and chat, where consent was not obtained first.

What IS allowed:

  • General posts to your Facebook pages/groups/events and other social network pages, blog posts, websites, forums etc. where you're focusing on reaching the general public who may or may not see your message.
  • Emails to people who provide services for you and your business.
  • CEMs to people who have given you expressed permission, providing you include your name and mailing address and an opt-out method.

For 36 months beginning July 1, 2014, we have been given a grace period, where consent is implied for those we have dealt with in the past. But again, you'd better have proof after the three years is up that they have consented. And if someone asks to be removed/unsubscribed, you must do so. Personally, I have always done this.

You may wonder why I'd even be worried about this since I say I don't send spam. I also don't send spam tweets (DMs) or spam text messages, but I do receive them often. But like many people conducting a business via email, I have contacted people who have contacted me in the past, especially reviewers or fans who have emailed me to say they loved a book. But now I can't just reply to them telling them about my new release--I must ask their permission first. This is where it gets crazy.

What constitutes as spam can be misinterpreted by people. People forget; and it's easy to forget they gave you permission. What constitutes as consent can also be misinterpreted. We're human after all. And where I once felt confident about anything I sent to people about my books, I am now second-guessing everything. Plus, it has created more work for me at a time that is my busiest. I've had to email everyone in my email database to ask for permission, and I'm only up to "S."

Many Canadians will feel relieved by this law, thinking their email inboxes and social message systems will be now empty of all spam. I get that. I hate spam too. While I get that we're all inundated with spam nowadays, and it would be a relief to receive less crap in the inbox, approximately 95% of the spam I receive is from OUTSIDE Canada. And I suspect that's the case for most Canadians. This law won't prevent those emails or text messages from spamming me. And don't get me started on telemarketers!! Now THAT'S where the CRTC should have spent their money!

My biggest beef with this new anti-spam law is that the CRTC has not efficiently prepared Canadians. It's creating chaos for many larger companies. And individuals must constantly monitor what they say on social networks now. It makes me leery of even promoting myself online--and that is where 99% of my income comes from.

I had never heard anything about this law until about June 25th-ish. I only found out about it because my husband works for Shaw Cable, and their employees were educated about the law. If it weren't for Shaw, I'd be completely in the dark about this anti-spam law--like so many Canadians still are. I've mentioned this to other Canadian authors, who immediately went into panic mode because they hadn't heard a thing.

So to the Canadian government and CRTC, I have to give you two thumbs down, not only for implementing an anti-spam that will NOT cut down our spam but also for not properly getting word out to the people of Canada. Seriously, go after the freakin' telemarketers that call me every single bloody day, even in the middle of then night! Go after the telemarketers that call my cell phone every day, even though I've only given that number out to maybe 6 people!That affect my life far more than the 50+ spam emails I get daily that I CAN EASILY BLOCK AND DELETE within 5 minutes.

For more information on the new anti-spam legislation, please visit: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/casl-lcap.htm. But take a couple of aspirins before doing so--you'll need them for the headache you're about to get.

Frequently Asked Questions

Update: Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation in the News:

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Edmonton author turns a 4-book German translation deal into a 5-book deal

Most authors dream of having their works translated into foreign languages, and I am one of them. There is an immense thrill and satisfaction in knowing my books are being read by people across the world.

Over the past couple of years I've seen Chinese translations of WHALE SONG and CHILDREN OF THE FOG, a Turkish translation of THE RIVER (GIZEMLI NEHIR), a Spanish translation of my nonfiction marketing book, HOW I MADE OVER $42,000 IN 1 MONTH SELLING MY KINDLE eBOOKS, and most recently a German translation for my #1 bestseller CHILDREN OF THE FOG.

DES NEBELS KINDER (CHILDREN OF THE FOG) was released on June 10 and was published by Amazon Crossing, a division of Amazon Publishing. It immediately made 7+ Top 100 lists on Amazon.de. And German readers are loving it, as evidenced by the 5-star reviews it's receiving.

But my most amazing book deal is with a small independent publishing company, Luzifer-Verlag, which is owned by Steffen Janssen. Steffen had contacted me 2 years ago to inquire about German rights for THE RIVER. I found his email a week ago while cleaning out my email folders. I almost deleted it! Thank God I didn't. My finger hovered over the "delete" button. But a thought crossed my mind. Whatever had happened with this? I couldn't recall why it hadn't gone through.

I immediately emailed Steffen to see if he was still interested. I mentioned I was just releasing book 3 in my Divine Trilogy and that DES NEBELS KINDER had just released. The reply I received stunned me. An offer! For THE RIVER and the Divine Trilogy. Within a few days that deal was secured, and we are underway to publishing these 4 titles in ebook and paperback.

But wait! There's more! lol

I had one other title that I KNEW would do well in the German market--SUBMERGED. It has cool tie-ins or connections to CHILDREN OF THE FOG, although this is not a series. And with DES NEBELS KINDER doing so well, there was no doubt in my mind that SUBMERGED would sell in Germany.

So with some hesitation, I contacted Steffen and offered him SUBMERGED, letting him know its connection to DES NEBELS KINDER. And he made an offer.

It is rare enough for an author to receive a 2-3 book deal, but even more rare to secure a 5-book deal. And from what I've seen so far, these German translations are going to take that country by storm.

As I recently posted on Facebook:
Dear Germany and German readers:
Watch out for the Cheryl Kaye Tardif invasion!!!!!!!!!! I'm on my way!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New release: DIVINE SANCTUARY, book 3 in Divine Trilogy - Plus DIVINE SANCTUARY FB Launch Party

Book 3 in the Divine Trilogy

There's no place like home…

In the Divine trilogy finale, the heat is tripled when CFBI Agent Jasi McLellan must rescue Emily, the ghost girl that haunts her dreams; expose her own mother's killer; and uncover a murderer that preys on the weak at Sanctuary, a controversial cult nestled in the woods near Mission, BC.

Something insidious lurks behind the safe haven of Sanctuary's wrought iron gates. Led by the charismatic Father Jeremiah, the cult's idyllic lifestyle seems perfect on the outside. But a lethal hunter is on the prowl, and in a carefully executed game of cat and mouse, the body count rises.

Along with Victim Empath Natassia Prushenko, Psychometric Empath Ben Roberts and Special Consultant Brandon Walsh, Jasi follows three trails of clues that lead to one terrifying conclusion: home is not always the safest place on earth.

Editorial Reviews:

“An excellent last installment to this psychic mystery/thriller series! Fast-paced action from cover to cover!” —Dale Mayer, international bestselling author of the Psychic Vision series

“Dark and compelling with details so vivid the reader can smell the smoldering corpse as he follows Pyro-Psychic, Jasi McLellan, who has the ungodly ability to enter the mind of a serial arsonist. This Canadian FBI psychic team moves like wildfire in the hands of consummate thriller author, Cheryl Kaye Tardif.” —Barbara Silkstone, international bestselling author of Miami Mummies

“You'll find yourself rooting for Jasi, Brandon, Natassia, and Ben as the Top-Secret PSI team comes face to face with the depths of human evil in Divine Sanctuary. The story unfolds with Tardif's signature razor-taut pacing as she sets her likable protagonists against the charismatic leader of a disturbing cult where all is not as it seems, and the shattering revelations that await them will leave Jasi's life changed forever. Hunt this one down and read it!” —Paul Draker, international bestselling author of Pyramid Lake

Available at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

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iTunes

Kobo Books

Smashwords

LAUNCH PARTY - June 18 from 1-6 PM ET and June 19 from 2-9 PM ET