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, August 20, 2019

An Author's Journey to Diagnosis of Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, hEDS

"You can't slay the beast if you don't know what it is."

This is what I say when someone asks me about pursuing a diagnosis of any kind.

It's not easy to be completely vulnerable and admit to the world that your body is defective, that it is being destroyed from the inside out, and that there is NO cure.

Even worse is discovering that most professionals in the health industry have no idea what hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is or how to treat it.

My journey to find out what was wrong started over 15 years ago, though I had symptoms even as a child. My ankles were weak and rolled easily. I was highly flexible, but the muscles were often not strong enough to bring me back to a stable position. I could do the splits. I could sit on the floor, legs in a V, forehead or the side of my face touching the floor. My thumbs curved backwards; back then they considered it double-jointed. Back pain, sensitivity to bumps in mattress, super sensitive skin. My skin is so sensitive I can feel the tiniest crumb in my bed. I used to laugh and say I had "Princess and the Pea" Syndrome.

In my thirties, I experienced a lot of lower back pain. I was advised to go to a chiropractor. And I did. BIG mistake! The chiropractor did manipulations I later discovered were dangerous for someone with hEDS. He didn't know. And I did what I was told. I was on the chiropractor merry-go-round for over a year--and I was in constant pain. Some days I could barely walk. When I stopped going to the chiropractor, I got better. Not cured, but far less pain. I'll never go back!

Some people have a mild form of Hypermobile Spectrum Disorder, often with little pain and no dislocations. At the far end of that scale is hEDS, and that affects every part of your body. My collagen is defective. I liken it to knitting a blanket and dropping stitches along the way. My skin is stretchy, I scar easily, I bruise easily, and my joints can dislocate any time.

As you can imagine, when dealing with something like this and all the testing that's needed, it affects every part of your life. hEDS has reduced my mobility. I can walk but not long distances. I need to sit with my legs raised as much as possible during the day. I also have dysautonomia, common with hEDS, and that can be scary. I've now had a number of fainting episodes. The first time it happened, I ended up in the hospital. Dysautonomia also makes my body temperature control go all wonky; it looks like a hot flash but worse because it doesn't turn off for hours sometimes.

The good news? EDSes of all kinds (13) are now being researched around the globe, and the most helpful website for information is the Ehlers-Danlos Society. A couple of years ago there were several breakthroughs in EDS research, and new criteria and diagnostics emerged. Out of the 13 types, only one is not easily identified by a marker--and of course, that's the one I have.

hEDS isn't easy to diagnose if you don't know what to look for. Thankfully, there's a diagnostic checklist that can help. If you suspect you or someone you know has hEDS, please bring this form to your doctor. If you meet the criteria, you'll have your beast.

As you can imagine, hEDS has affected my life in ways I wasn't expecting. I'm 56, a bestselling writer with numerous plots sitting on my computer. I experience brain fog and extreme fatigue during the day. I cannot write in a my work has suffered.

But here's the thing...

Writing fulfills my soul like nothing else, so I will continue to write when I can. I still have dreams I want to pursue, goals to fulfill and a television crime series script to finish. And I will pursue them, because I have always said: "Dare to Dream...and Dream BIG!" That has been my motto since my first book was published.

So if I need thumb splints, wrist splints, ankle splints, knee splints etc., and mobility aids like a cane and a scooter, then I will use them because that improves quality of life. And QUALITY of life is what it's about, not quantity.

There is still a lot I need to learn about my beast, hEDS, but I'm getting there.

So if you were wondering where I've been or what I'm doing, now you know. The main reason why I decided to blog about something so deeply personal is to educate others about EDS. The more we know, the more people will be helped.

Live a good life, be kind to those less fortunate, love those you love.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Cheryl Kaye Tardif - An Author Interview at the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today I've been featured and interviewed over at HBS Author's Spotlight...
"Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Bestselling Canadian Suspense Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif. She is the author of the Divine Trilogy. Also, Cheryl writes Romance novels as Cherish D'Angelo..."

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Special Guest: Judy Penz Sheluk interviews character Calamity Barnstable from SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC

Judy Penz Sheluk’s latest release is Skeletons in the Attic, the first book in the Marketville Mystery Series, and her first title with Imajin Books. The protagonist in Skeletons is Calamity (Callie) Barnstable, a thirty-six-year-old woman from Toronto. Judy recently sat down with Callie in her new home to find out why she moved to the commuter town of Marketville, which is located about an hour north of Toronto.

Judy: You’re thirty-six and single. By your own admission, Marketville is the sort of town where folks with two kids, a cat, and a collie come to live. Why the move?

Callie: Trust me, it wasn’t my idea. My father died recently in an at-work accident and he left me this house. I didn’t even know the house existed, if you can believe that. On top of it all, in order to inherit, I have to live here for a year.

Judy: The house needs some work, but how bad could it be? Plus I caught a glimpse of your next-door neighbor. He’s handsome in that hunky reality TV handyman sort of way, and I didn’t spot a wedding band.

Callie: That would be Royce Ashford, and yes, he’s hot and single. [blushes] But you didn’t let me finish. In order to inherit, I have to try and find out who murdered my mother thirty years ago.

Judy: Wow. Your mom was murdered when you were six? That must have been hard on you and your father.

Callie: I’m sure it was hard on my dad, especially since her body was never found and he was considered a suspect. But until the reading of the will, I always thought my mother had left us for the milkman or some other male equivalent. So the big shocker was finding out that my dad had kept the true story away from me all these years. I suppose that’s why we moved to Toronto when I was seven. I don’t have any real memories of living here, though I’m starting to get the odd flashback.

Judy: Why would your father put that clause in the will? Do you have a background in investigation?

Callie: Hardly. Before I moved here, I worked in a bank call center. But I’ve already found a few things in the house that have provided clues to my mother’s past. [shivers] Not everything was a welcome find. One of the things I found was a skeleton in the attic.

Judy: A skeleton? In the attic?

Callie: Uh huh. Among other things. I’d rather not say any more about it. Can we switch subjects?

Judy: Of course. Do you have anyone helping you?

Callie: [laughs] There’s this self-proclaimed psychic, Misty Rivers. She managed to convince my dad that she could help find out what happened to my mother—for a fee, of course. As if I was going to fall for that.

Judy: This sounds like it would make a great book. Do you mind if I write about your experience trying to solve a thirty-year-old mystery?

Callie: Let me pour you a cup of tea. If you’re going to write a book about me, I have a whole lot more to tell you…

SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC is now available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle for the special introductory price of $0.99 US (reg. $4.99). 

Find it here:

Find Judy Penz Sheluk at, where she blogs about her writing journey and interviews other authors.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Special Guest: Eileen Schuh, author of SHADOW RIDERS

Today I welcome a good friend, author Eileen Schuh, to my blog. Eileen has a new release, and it even references one of my books. And today YOU get to read an excerpt. How cool is that? Take it away, Eileen...


And all fine online book retailers.

If it is not on the shelves of your local library or bookstore, please ask to have it ordered in for you.

“In Shadow Riders, Schuh takes us along on a horrifying, suspenseful trip.” ~ Catherine Astolfo, award-winning author of Sweet Karoline

“A riveting plot and dynamic characters will leave you craving more." ~ Luke Murphy, international bestselling author of Dead Man’s Hand and Kiss & Tell

From the moment she falls in love with the ‘bad boy’, the very core of her being is forever changed. 

Allison Montgomery is wrapping up a career as a successful entrepreneur when she’s brutally kidnapped and whisked to South Korea. To ensure her survival, she gradually forges a bond with Carbon, her smooth-talking but abusive captor, a bond that over time proves incredibly strong. Jail time, death threats, counselling—nothing can convince Allie to betray her illicit lover.

However, a team of dedicated cops, an understanding lawyer, her ex-husband— there are those who persist in believing she can break free of Carbon’s hold. She must. Justice for six massacred men depends on it.

- An exploration of the emotional ties that trap women in violent relationships. -

Excerpt from SHADOW RIDERS:

She ran her fingers over the embossed lettering on the cover of her book, Lancelot’s Lady by Cherish D’Angelo. Tim had the dark hair and deep eyes of the handsome hero, but he wasn’t rugged like the cover model. Tim was gentle, both in appearance and personality…

The long hours and extensive travel involved in running their business had often kept her and Tim apart. He had offered to change things—sell the company, hire more help, downsize. She’d tried to envision their marriage returning to the way it had been in the early years. However, she knew that it could never be the same. They were no longer young and full of energy and dreaming and sharing dreams and chasing dreams. They were old and worn and destined to walk in separate, dreamless worlds.

Allie traced the firm jaw of the hero on the cover. Love ought to be forever but seldom was. She had fought a dark, churning, growing feeling of doom for what seemed like a decade before they had split….

There was no doubt Tim loved her. He respected her. Allie thumbed through the first chapters of her book to refresh her memory. Tim wanted her, like Lancelot was driven to possess his lady on the Caribbean island. When her doorbell rang, she greeted her guests with her eyes still on the page…

Ah, yes. The romance novel versus the reality. We all eventually must face it—the truth about ‘happily ever after.’ The reality of being ‘old and worn and destined to walk in separate, dreamless worlds.”

It’s just that…the protagonist in a novel generally doesn’t face it.

Allison Montgomery does many things that fictional protagonists generally don’t do; she does things that real women do. Things like divorce her husband, go through menopause and…refuse to leave a violent relationship.

I thank Cheryl Kaye Tardif for allowing me to use her romance novel Lancelot’s Lady released under her pen name, Cherish D’Angelo, to help me shine light on the contrast between the fantasy and the reality in matters of the heart.

I like the irony of have a fictional character reading a novel. It somehow makes Allie more real. In fact, she becomes desperately real, uncomfortable so for some.

We see in her our weaknesses, and our desperation. Her poor decisions become ours, her illicit love ours…and we know none of it should be, because we are strong, we are woman.

Yet in reality we fail and flail and fall. And at times, do not want to rise back up.

We are victimized, manipulated, lied to, and loved…all by the very same man.

Allison Montgomery is us. Lancelot’s Lady is but a dream.

Author bio:

In addition to SHADOW RIDERS, Canadian author, Eileen Schuh has published three novels in her ongoing gritty Young Adult BackTracker Series: The Traz, Fatal Error and Firewalls. The Traz also comes in a School Edition. As well, she has to her credit two adult science fiction novellas, Schrödinger's Cat and Dispassionate Lies.

Born Eileen Fairbrother on a small farm near Tofield, Alberta, Canada, she now lives with her husband in Alberta’s northern boreal forest in the St. Paul area.  In addition to writing, she enjoys speaking to youth and adults about the magic of literacy and the social and personal issues addressed in her novels.

Schuh recently retired from a life of careers that varied from nurse to journalist to editor to business woman.

She invites you to visit her online:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Special Guest: Jesse Giles Christiansen offers a glimpse into the mysterious Doomsday Man

A special welcome to author Jesse Giles Christiansen, who is sharing (in his own unique way) his newest release, REVENGE OF THE SEA...

A Letter from Doomsday Man
November 24th, 2015
Address Unknown 
Dear Land Misfits,

I should like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Cheryl Kaye Tardif, owner and acquisitions editor of Imajin Books, for allowing me the opportunity to share a few words with you today. I am writing this from a location I am strictly forbidden to disclose, both for the protection of your emotional well-being and out of the deepest respect for the entity whom I serve.

First and foremost, I encourage everyone not to be altogether unsettled by the book cover. Things are not always as they appear. For example, I took great pains to present myself in a reasonable and favorable manner, but my actions around the sea earned me a shady status among all of you, something of which I shall remain always regretful. Furthermore, it is of no fault of mine that I possess such a dynamic personality that the lightning seems incapable of being shooed away from me, especially on deliciously darker, rainy days.

Secondly, those of you reading these words should in no way whatsoever hold me directly responsible for any dark, negative, or otherwise untoward feelings you may experience as a result of reading my story. Both here and during the days laid out in the novel, Revenge of the Sea, I always made great efforts to be polite and agreeable toward you, despite the awful circumstances which all of you deservedly rained upon yourselves.

Finally, the release date of December 1st, 2015 was in no way intended to disturb anyone during the Holiday Season, and I shall kindly ask each and every one of you to duly note that villains are made, not born, and that you already had plenty of devils skipping jovially about Christmas long before I arrived.

In closing, I should like to make one humble request, which I think is perfectly reasonable under the circumstances. Please keep an open mind when reading my story, for when you judge others you also judge yourselves—and while you may think you stand outside the bars of the prison of your own convictions, you may realize all too soon that your cell is tragically less comfortable than ever imagined.

Yours truly,  Mr. DM

REVENGE OF THE SEA by Jesse Giles Christiansen

Beware of what the tide may bring…

Ethan Hodges is deeply unsettled when thousands of decomposed starfish inexplicably wash up along the shore of Pelican Bay. As the ominous sea epidemic spreads to other marine life, he continues to see a suspicious-looking man loitering on the beach.

To solve the mystery, Ethan seeks help from longtime friend, Sheriff Dansby, and Reagan Langsley, a beautiful marine biologist from Lighthouse Point. Spurred by curiosity and jealousy, Ethan’s estranged wife, Morgan, joins them in the investigation.

When the elusive outsider is finally arrested, an enigmatic relationship develops between Ethan and the man. With cautious prodding, Ethan learns that the fate of the world appears to rest in the hands of the tall stranger named…Mr. DM.

Amazon Book Link:

About Jesse:

#1 bestselling author in sea adventures, Jesse Giles Christiansen is an American author whose page-turning fiction weaves the real with the surreal, while also speaking to the human condition. He was hailed by New York Times bestselling author, William R. Forstchen, as "leaving readers so tantalized by the story lines, they think the events actually happened—a demonstration of skill surely to launch this author into the big leagues."

Jesse was born in Miami, FL, playing on beaches as a boy, the sky bronzing him forever and the sea turning his heart lyrical. After spending a summer in Alaska before graduating from Florida State University with a degree in literature and philosophy, he wrote his first novel, Journey into the Mystic.

He feels he is haunted by Hemingway's ghost, not just by the poster in his writing studio that stares at him, saying, "What else you got?" but also by having a café called Hemingway's in the small European city where he writes. Finally, Hemingway became his neighbor on Amazon when his novel, Pelican Bay, outsold Old Man and the Sea.

He currently lives in Lüneburg, Germany, with his wife and their precocious White Siamese cat.

To learn more about this author, visit him at

Author Blog:



Saturday, October 10, 2015

SALE: Over 50% off SWEET & SENSUAL Romance Bundle

Oct 10-16 SALE: Get over 50% OFF SWEET & SENSUAL Romance Bundle via and

SWEET & SENSUAL contains 6 complete romance novels by award-winning and international bestselling authors: Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Chris Redding, Kat Flannery, Melodie Campbell, Alison Bruce and Catherine Astolfo. 

1. LANCELOT’S LADY by Cherish D'Angelo/Cheryl Kaye Tardif – A Bahamas holiday from dying billionaire JT Lance, a man with a dark secret, leads palliative nurse Rhianna McLeod to Jonathan, a man with his own troubled past, and Rhianna finds herself drawn to the handsome recluse, while unbeknownst to her, someone with a horrific plan is hunting her down. 

2. BLONDE DEMOLITION by Chris Redding – Mallory Sage lives in a small, idyllic town where no one, not even her fellow volunteer firefighters, knows about her past life as an agent for Homeland Security. But a twisted serial killer has found her, as well as her former partner and lover, Trey McCrane. Now Mallory and Trey are on the run, and time is running out. 

3. CHASING CLOVERS by Kat Flannery – Mail-order bride, Livy Green, is desperate to escape the memories of her past. John Taylor will never love another woman again, but his children need a mother. As Livy's past catches up with her and suspicious accidents begin to happen on the ranch, she is tempted to tell John the truth. But will he send her back if she does? 

4. ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL by Melodie Campbell – When Rowena falls through her classroom wall and lands in an alternate world, she doesn't count on being kidnapped―not once, but twice―and the stakes get higher as the men get hotter. Unwanted husbands keep piling up, but that doesn't stop her from falling for the wrong brother. Good thing she can go back through the wall. Or can she? 

5. UNDER A TEXAS STAR by Alison Bruce – When Marly Landers is fooled by con man Charlie Meese, she's determined to bring him to justice―even if it means dressing up as a boy and setting off across the plains to find him. Texas Ranger Jase Strachan is also after Meese. Under the Texas stars, Marly and Jase are drawn together, yet fate plots to tear them apart. 

6. SWEET KAROLINE by Catherine Astolfo – Anne Williams says she killed her best friend, Karoline. But did she? Or is there more to Karoline's mysterious death than meets the eye? Anne embarks on a compelling journey to discover her past and exposes an unusual history, horrific crimes and appalling betrayals. 

With a list price total of nearly $24.00 US and over 340 reviews on, SWEET & SENSUAL is a value-packed romance bundle of complete novels that takes you from romantic suspense to historical romance to fantasy romance all set in captivating worlds that will leave you wanting more.

Oct 10-16 SALE: Get over 50% OFF SWEET & SENSUAL Romance Bundle via and

SALE: Over 50% off DEADLY DOZEN Mystery/Thriller Bundle

Oct 10-16 SALE: Get over 50% OFF the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle via and

This bundle contains 12 complete mystery/thriller novels by award-winning and international bestselling authors: Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Catherine Astolfo, Alison Bruce, Melodie Campbell/Cynthia St-Pierre, Gloria Ferris, Donna Galanti, Kat Flannery, Jesse Giles Christiansen, Rosemary McCracken, Susan J. McLeod, C. S. Lakin and Linda Merlino. 

1. THE BRIDGEMAN by Catherine Astolfo 
2. DEADLY LEGACY by Alison Bruce 
3. A PURSE TO DIE FOR by Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre 
4. CHEAT THE HANGMAN by Gloria Ferris 
5. A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti 
6. LAKOTA HONOR by Kat Flannery 
7. PELICAN BAY by Jesse Giles Christiansen 
8. SAFE HARBOR by Rosemary McCracken 
9. SOUL AND SHADOW by Susan J. McLeod 
11. ROOM OF TEARS by Linda Merlino 
12. DIVINE INTERVENTION by Cheryl Kaye Tardif 

With an individual list price total of more than $45.00 and over 640 reviews collectively on, the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle is a value-packed, rollercoaster thrill ride that takes you from amateur sleuth to detective to paranormal to ancient mysteries set in intriguing worlds and so much more. 

Oct 10-16 SALE: Get over 50% OFF the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle via and