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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ever Play Chicken?

You're probably all familiar with the deadly game of "Playing Chicken." Usually this is a teen thing; drive towards oncoming traffic and the most cowardly veers off at the last minute—hence, he's the "chicken." Why would someone do this? For the adrenaline rush, some say. Or for the honor of being thought of as the bravest. Or because they think they have something to prove to others.

Most of us would consider this game just plain stupid. And highly dangerous. But many of us aren't aware that we're involved in our own versions of "Playing Chicken." Ever put yourself in a situation of risk, only to bail out at the first sign of challenge? Ever decide not to do something because you're afraid of it? It's a natural reaction. Self-preservation. Sometimes, though, it becomes a form of self-sabotage.

In SUBMERGED, Marcus Taylor has lived for years "Playing Chicken." As a recovering addict he knows what it's like to be in a head-on collision course of disaster. He doesn't need a vehicle; drugs are his weapon of choice and his adrenaline rush. He told himself he needed them in order to be an effective paramedic working long hours and witnessing horrific tragedies weekly, sometimes daily. But he lost control, nearly crashing, coming close to death. Until instinct kicked in and he veered off the path.

Marcus lives with his guilt, like many of us live with a family member. He feeds it, strokes it, gives it life. He thinks he's done "Playing Chicken," but he's not. He has slipped into a life of monotony, taking no risks, making no new connections, seeing a bleak future. He has veered off the road of Life, chickened out.

Until he takes a call while working as a 911 dispatcher, and he has no time for "Playing Chicken." He is spurred into action, driven by the need for redemption, and his life changes forever.

"Submerged reads like an approaching storm, full of darkness, dread and electricity. Prepare for your skin to crawl."
—Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author of 15 Seconds

Two strangers submerged in guilt, brought together by fate…

After a tragic car accident claims the lives of his wife, Jane, and son, Ryan, Marcus Taylor is immersed in grief. But his family isn't the only thing he has lost. An addiction to painkillers has taken away his career as a paramedic. Working as a 911 operator is now the closest he gets to redemption—until he gets a call from a woman trapped in a car.

Rebecca Kingston yearns for a quiet weekend getaway, so she can think about her impending divorce from her abusive husband. When a mysterious truck runs her off the road, she is pinned behind the steering wheel, unable to help her two children in the back seat. Her only lifeline is a cell phone with a quickly depleting battery and a stranger's calm voice on the other end telling her everything will be all right.

Get SUBMERGED today. On sale for only $0.99 US.

Learn more about Cheryl Kaye Tardif at and follow her on Twitter.

Enter Cheryl’s Kindle Fire HDX Giveaway:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Recipe for a Bestselling Novel

Wouldn't it be great if there was a recipe for making a bestselling novel and if all a writer had to do was gather the ingredients and mix them in, and voila!―a bestselling novel is created? The reality is there are combinations of ingredients that can either get your name on a bestseller's list or fall flatter than an airless cheese soufflé. However, there are some common ingredients that have helped authors achieve bestseller status.

Ingredients for a Bestseller:

·         1 cup of well written novel
·         1 cup of professional editing
·         1 cup of professional layout and interior design
·         2 cups of professional book cover, including gripping back cover text
·         1 cup of decent distribution via major online retailers
·         2 cups of book launch, tours and other events, plus advertising
·         3 cups of contests and giveaways by author, publisher or both
·         Countless hours of organization and time
·         Generous dash of excitement


Take the well written novel and beat in professional editing until light and readable. Add professional layout and interior design, then stir in professional cover art and back cover text until well combined. Sprinkle in decent distribution until coated and roll mixture out with book launch, tours and events. Top with contests and giveaways, and fold in countless hours of organization and time before adding the finishing touch―a huge dash of excitement. Share with everyone and enjoy!

Reality Check:

While the recipe above may seem kind of silly, these ingredients can lead to a bestselling novel. I know because I've used them all successfully. My novels have made bestsellers lists multiple times on Amazon. Some of my novels are international bestsellers, some are national bestsellers, all have made multiple Top 100 genre lists on Amazon, and a couple have made the coveted prize of Top 100 bestsellers overall on Amazon. That's out of nearly 2 million ebooks.

Check out my hold-your-breath thriller, SUBMERGED. It is a tale of guilt, fear, greed, addiction and redemption, and I know you're going to love it.

"Tardif once again delivers a suspenseful supernatural masterpiece."
—Scott Nicholson, international bestselling author of The Home

Get SUBMERGED today. On sale for only $0.99 US.

Learn more about Cheryl Kaye Tardif at and follow her on Twitter.

Enter Cheryl’s Kindle Fire HDX Giveaway:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif talks about fear & SUBMERGED

What inspires me most to write the novels I've written? Fear!

One of the most common questions I hear as an author is: "What inspired you to write this novel?" If I were to answer 100% truthfully, my answer is: "Fear." As a suspense author, my goal is to tap into the deepest of fears and make them one hundred times more terrifying. I am always asking, "What are you afraid of?"

In DIVINE INTERVENTION, I deal with the fear of not being accepted for who you are. I also explore the fear of being hunted by a serial arsonist. I'm sure most of us can identify with the first fear, but hopefully none of you can identify with the latter. This thriller also deals with the fear of the unknown, of past events and secrets. Or of moving on with one's life.

In THE RIVER, I deal with the fear of discovering that a father you thought was dead was actually alive...and in danger. It also touches on the fear that the world as we know it may end much sooner than we think. There are many who fear conspiracies, and that is a key factor in this thriller. How are we changing this world for the worst, and at what point have we become God?

In my thriller, CHILDREN OF THE FOG, I explore every mother's worst nightmare―the fear of losing a child. What's more, I take this to a more terrifying level by delving into the fear of having a child abducted and of having the main character make a terrible choice:  to let a kidnapper take her child, or watch her son die. What would YOU choose?

And in my psychological thriller, SUBMERGED, I explore one of my own fears—the fear of being trapped in a car that is submerged underwater. Just the thought of this happening makes my breath freeze in my lungs and makes my fingers curl. I can imagine the fear, the burning water in my nose and lungs, the moment when I know I can't hold my breath any longer…and the realization that I'm about to drown.

When my husband and I are traveling, I am always leery of driving too close to the edge of the road if water sits at the bottom of an embankment. When writing this novel, I often found myself holding my breath and then gulping in air when I finally remembered to breathe.

And now I have an important question to ask you: What are YOU afraid of?

Get SUBMERGED today. On sale for only $0.99 US.

Learn more about Cheryl Kaye Tardif at and follow her on Twitter.

Enter Cheryl’s Kindle Fire HDX Giveaway:

Monday, October 27, 2014

UK readers: SUBMERGED is on sale for only 0.99

From the international bestselling author that brought you CHILDREN OF THE FOG comes a terrifying psychological thriller that will leave you breathless...

"Submerged reads like an approaching storm, full of darkness, dread and electricity. Prepare for your skin to crawl." --Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author of 15 Seconds

Two strangers submerged in guilt, brought together by fate...

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Authors: Do You Believe in Yourself & Your Book?

Over the years I've talked to several authors about book promotion, and many expressed that shyness, or a lack of self-confidence or belief hindered their success. Some authors expressed that they find marketing to be difficult, embarrassing, nerve-wracking experiences. They don't like or don't want to do events or interviews. Others felt it was a necessary part of a writer's life. I agree with the latter.

You cannot expect to put a book out into the world and then abandon it. Yet, many authors do just this. Often it's fear that gets in their way. Fear of failing…or fear of success. They don't believe they can succeed. They don't believe they know how to promote. Or that they can learn how to promote. So they don't.

I understand where these authors are coming from. It's true that some people are more natural at selling, some can learn how easily, and some are just overly pushy. We all know the arrogant salesman or telemarketer who won't let us hang up. And no author wants to be that person.

As an adult, I've always been good at sales. I can sell something—if I believe in it. Of course when it comes to my books, I've believed in them from day one; otherwise I wouldn't have put them out into the world. I believe my books are worth reading, that they are entertaining, that many (not all) will enjoy them. That's what gets me the sales—not shoving a book in someone's face saying 'Buy this! It's the best book you'll ever read!"

People pick up on your attitude. That's why it's key to LOVE those doing events, especially online ones. Remember, you never know who you will meet, whether in person or online. Building relationships with people can lead to exciting possibilities. I've been interviewed on TV, radio, in newspapers and magazines; invited to participate in major events; asked to speak at conferences; and invited to be a beta tester for many new advertising companies because I was visible online.

Now consider that all I've said above is coming from the shyest kid there ever was, the kid who sat in the back row at school, who had zero self-esteem. Sure I became very good at sales, but that took time—and a lot of practice. I learned how to be good at promoting my books and myself through trial and error, and through taking risks.

I want be the best at everything I do, and since writing has always been my intense passion and I want to be very successful at it, I overcame my nervousness of book signings and meeting people online because there was no other choice. I had to—and I wanted to.

We choose our success; it doesn't choose us. And we all have different definitions of what success is. So for those who are happy with the odd book signing, a bit of advertising, and a few sales a month, that's great. For those who want more, choose more. Then find ways to get it. Are you happy with your success? Satisfied with your sales? Want more?

It all boils down, I think, to one key question: How badly do you want success? If writing is your passion and you want New York Times bestseller's status or you want to catch the attention of a highly motivated traditional publisher, you have to put yourself out there, step out of your comfort zone and grab onto the belief that you CAN do it. If you want it badly enough, you'll make it happen.

BELIEVE in yourself! BELIEVE that your book is good enough to be read, that it will find its audience as long as you are actively seeking it. Once you truly believe, great things will happen. BELIEVE it!

~ * ~

Learn more about Cheryl Kaye Tardif at and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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:

Enter the Rafflecopter draw below to win one of many books, ebooks and paperbacks! Enter now; enter every day!

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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