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

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Introducing the New Whale Song Book Site

Check out my new Whale Song Book site!

Please drop by and check out everything about Whale Song, my new Kunati release scheduled for April 2007.

Don't forget to sign my guestbook there and let me know what you think!

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, Divine Intervention and The River

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Year of Tears and Joy

Well, now that 2006 is nearly over, I look back at this past year with a mixture of sadness, grief, overwhelming gratitude and joy. For a year that started off so tragically for me and my family, it is ending on a positive and hopeful note.

On January 15th, 2006, my youngest brother Jason celebrated his 28th birthday. At least with friends. My brother lived the life of a wanderer, caught up in the enticing addiction of alcohol. He was a good kid (and I always thought of him that way), with a good heart. But he was incapable of living a life of what we would consider normalcy. He couldn't hold a job or a relationship and he had cut himself off from our family in many ways. This perhaps is what hurts us most of all. We couldn't be there for him when he needed us.

Two weeks after his 28th birthday, my brother Jason Kaye was murdered in a back alley in Edmonton, not far from the Mustard Seed Church where he sometimes found respite. He was beaten and left to die alone. And that hurts me even more. I have placed flowers on the spot where police found him, and have to stop my thoughts and imagination from playing out what could have been his last moments. The place still haunts my thoughts, and I know I will visit it again this January. As his birthday and anniversary of his death approaches, I feel overwhelmed by his loss.

This January 7th, a special memorial will be held in downtown Edmonton to honor homeless or inner city people who have died this past year. I will be there with my husband and daughter, representing all of my family who cannot make it because of distance and jobs. And somehow I must find the words to paint a picture of a brother who seemed so lost in many ways, but maybe knew far more happiness with his accepting friends downtown.

Jason is tied to me in many ways. He was the baby in my family when I was 14. I used to lie and tell people he was mine, regardless of the dirty looks I'd receive. I once helped him lose weight after he endured so much bullying and low self-esteem as a teenager...but in the end, he did it himself. He was a computer genius with a heart of gold, and he never seemed to hold a grudge. He never blamed our parents for his predicament; he just lived his life as best as he could.

My novel Whale Song was the only novel of mine he had ever read. And this ties him to me even closer.

On April 7th, 2007, with the launch of Whale Song, it will be an exciting and bittersweet moment for me, one that I would have given anything if he could have been part of. But he can't be. So instead, Whale Song is dedicated to my brother Jason. This story is as much a celebration of love, life and family as it is a poignant tale of family tragedy and grief. Whale Song touches upon a mother's death in a way that is sorrowful, hopeful and meaningful, and I believe it will be a book that will touch the hearts of many.

I have decided that a portion of my Whale Song royalties in 2007 will be donated to the three organizations that helped my brother when his family could not. Donations will be made at the end of 2007 or in early 2008 (whenever I get my royalties) to:

If anyone else feels so inclined, I hope you will consider donating to these worthy causes, or to your own inner city organizations. The people living on the street once had families--parents, siblings, and maybe jobs, houses, kids of their own...and for whatever reason they are not equipped to do this alone. I have spent time on the streets of Edmonton, talking to some of them, and their stories could be your stories. There is not much that separates some of them from my own neighbors. One bad paycheck, one wrong choice, one addiction, and of course abuse, neglect and loss of a job. They are people, with hearts, dreams and wishes...and many want out. They just don't know how.

My brother was no angel...but he was an angel to us in many ways. He would never have hurt a soul. He always forgave, and that last conversation I had with him was about just that--forgiveness. And that is the message of Whale Song...

"Forgiveness sets you free."

For more information about Jason Kaye, his death, the investigation and Jason's special gifts that we found in his apartment, please visit his memorial site at

To learn more about me, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, check out my pages on Kunati or my web site at

To pre-order Whale Song, you can order online (orders won't be shipped until April) and know that a portion of your money spent will go to the above organizations. To order, see the links below or visit your favorite bookstore:

I wish you peace, love, family and forgiveness in 2007!

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Short Story: Separation Anxiety by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Separation Anxiety

Last night I was viciously tortured and tormented.

It began with a piercing howl that shattered the barren calm of night. When I awoke, I fervently prayed that whoever was making the godawful noise would just shut up.

Then I realized that it was I making that horrific sound.

My tormentors lurked in the shadows. I watched with eyes bulging as they approached, their droning conversation mesmerizing me. I screamed, terrified, as they descended upon me. They covered my body, their hairy fingers reaching, grasping, pinching me…

Waking abruptly from my nightmarish sleep, I struggled desperately to steady my erratic breathing. Inhaling a breath of air, I pried open my sleep-glued eyes. Confused and disoriented, I sensed that something was very, very wrong.

A void of darkness surrounded me ― a heavy blanket of fear.

Every night for the past three days I have been haunted by the same harrowing nightmare. Strangers pursued me. Hundreds of them swarmed around me. I could feel them torturing my body with exquisite anguish ― those faceless creatures of the night.

I hate dreaming!

I heard strangled sobs ― an infant dying to be held, dying to be loved.

Struggling against the smooth coolness of satin sheets, I sighed heavily with frustration. Will I ever get a full night's sleep?

Nothingness enveloped me like a leather glove ― slick and cool against my skin. I reached a tentative hand to my forehead. Massaging its icy surface, I could feel faint electrical impulses course along my temple. How cold I felt!

The baby's cries grew more persistent.

I must get up and feed him. Perhaps then he'll go back to sleep.

My hand groped forward, reaching for the lamp on my bedside table. Then it paused in mid-air ― paralyzed. Inexplicably I yanked my hand back, frightened of touching something hideous … something other than the lamp.

"Waa!" the baby screamed.

Why doesn't Joseph go get him?

Opening my eyes cautiously, I peered into the pitch-black obscurity of night. Not even a sliver of moonlight shone through the opaque blinds of our bedroom.

How could Joseph sleep through this ruckus?

I peered into the void yet could not discern one solitary object. In fact, the room seemed devoid of anything substantial. Empty.

I must feed the baby.


A vaguely familiar buzzing sound interrupted my thoughts. As the irritating noise hummed closer, my hands clenched the satin sheets.


Then I heard voices, muffled and droning. I stretched tiredly, my aching muscles rebelling against the sudden movement.

Without warning, a narrow crack of light appeared along the ceiling.

A car passing by on the street outside?

My baby wailed again ― his ragged sobs undulating like whitecaps on a raging sea.

I must get up.

Rolling reluctantly to one side, my forehead cracked against something unyielding.

Damn! What the hell?

I apprehensively stretched upwards, clawing at the air around me. My fingers grazed along a wall ― a wall that should not be there.

When did Joseph move the bed against the wall? We've always had it in the middle of our bedroom.

Panic constricted my dehydrated throat and I edged closer to the left side, only to come up against another solid mass. A convulsive chill swept through me as I noticed that the droning buzz was just outside these walls. My fingers groped blindly above my head, encountering an unimaginable punishment ― the nightmare of all nightmares. There was something peculiar above my head ― a ceiling.

Oh my God! I am trapped in a box!

I blinked unblinkingly in disbelief as vague comprehension trickled through my oxygen-deprived brain and light teasingly flickered through the cracks above me. My blue-tinged lips whispered a silent plea. My ragged fingernails bit into my palms. All this, yet I felt nothing.

Suddenly, an intense light shot daggers into my eyes. I saw faces ― too many to count. They were all staring sorrowfully at me, tearfully whispering my name.

"Good-bye, Maddy," their collective voices murmur.

Good-bye? Am I going somewhere?

Then my husband's face appeared. He raised one hand and lashed out at something in the air.

Joseph? What's going on?

He ignored me. Darling, irritating Joseph was sobbing.

There's no reason to cry, Joseph, my love.

My gaze traveled across the strange box that encompassed me and I realized that I was dead wrong. There was a reason to cry…and scream.

I was in a coffin.

Is this some practical joke? I'm not dead.

"Goodbye, Maddy," Joseph moaned.

Listen to me, Joseph. I'M NOT DEAD!

"At least now you'll be with our son," Joseph whispered in my ear.

Our son?

He caressed my frigid cheek, leaned down and kissed my lips.

Wait, Joseph! What happened to the baby?

Somewhere a wailing baby drifted into oblivion.

Then I remembered…

Our baby was dead!

I remembered finding his unconscious body in the crib. He had reacted violently to a single bee sting. It had triggered a deadly allergic reaction with the devastating force of a nuclear weapon. His tiny, frail body could not defend itself against the lethal invasion. The bee's poison had attacked each cell, replicating its infection and swarming into his lungs.

Sobbing and wailing incessantly, I had rocked him in my arms, watching helplessly as my poor baby's head swelled grotesquely. Ten minutes before the paramedics arrived, his respiration had ceased with a final droning hiss of breath. My beloved baby who had only breathed our polluted air for three days had died from the bee's venom.

I always believed that payback was the sweetest form of revenge.

Mad with grief, I hunted down the buzzing sound that dared me to destroy its malignancy. Its owner ― a plump Queen bee. I chased that bee-atch all over the house with a fly swatter. Yet, she escaped , laughing and droning triumphantly.

"Go ahead, you murderous bitch. Make my day!" I had screamed at her.

Cackling hysterically, I finally crushed that stupid bitch, her guts splattering all over my kitchen window. One minute she had been buzzing defiantly ― the next, I had silenced her forever.

Then a weird thing happened.

While I was cleaning her remains from the glass, I noticed another bee outside. It hovered furtively, witnessing every move I made. I knew then that it was one of the Queen's loyal workers. A shiver of trepidation slithered up my back as I locked eyes with that bee. Then it flew off and I released a titanic sigh of relief.

A sympathetic voice jostled me back to the present, followed closely by the sibilant sound of doom.

"I'll miss you, Madeleine," my mother wept, choking on my name. Her lips kissed my cosmetic-coated face. "What a terrible way to die."

"Yes," Joseph agreed, his handsome face wavering before me.

Then he shook his head in disbelief. "It was horrifying. Who would ever have thought that a swarm of bees would attack a human being like that? Maddy was completely covered ― only her eyes were left untouched. It was almost as if they wanted her to watch, to see what they were doing to her."

Oh God!

Memories of burning pain sliced through my mind. I remembered the heat of their bodies engulfing me in a jacket of gold and black fuzz. I had staggered with arms flailing, trying to dislodge the ungodly hoard attached to my already bloating body. I could still hear their deafening roar. It was like standing at the edge of a railroad while a locomotive endlessly whizzed by.

"The bastards!" Joseph muttered. "I'd like to kill the whole bloody hive."

"At least Maddy is not suffering anymore," my mother rasped.

I screamed silently as Joseph's hand caressed the coffin lid. Panic gripped my mindless body and my stomach rebelled, churning bloodlessly. I fought against a tide of nausea, although my body was physically empty.

But I'm still alive! Aren't I? How could I see or hear any of you if I wasn't?

Comprehension dawned and I realized that my soul still lingered. Too many things had been left undone ― unsaid. I could no longer move anything but my soul's eyes. I was hearing through my soul's ears.

But I, Madeleine Anne Decker, was dead.

What the hell is that godawful noise?


I gasped airlessly when a diminishing ray of light grazed across a sinister specter.

The worker bee was inside my coffin ― its feathery legs whispering closer to my face.

Get it out! Don't close the lid!

I cursed my motionless lips.

As the coffin lid firmly closed, I was trapped with the endless buzzing of vengeance. I could feel the bee's microscopic legs tickling my cheek, tormenting me as he made his way furtively across my face. When he reached my nose, his droning hum vibrated forcefully, shattering the cartilage under my skin.

I sensed his thoughts, his desire for revenge…for justice. I had irreverently murdered his Queen ― his mother. I had, in essence, ripped her asunder and torn her from her family. And he had returned the favor.

The coffin rocked slightly.

I was being lowered into the decaying, musty earth, and soon I heard the muffled sound of dirt being packed on top, surrounding and severing me from all that I loved…separating me from Life.

Separation from those you love is torture. There is no worse torment than to be ripped apart from those you hold most dear. It is a terror of the soul. Nothing can compare to the pounding of your heart, extreme breathlessness and the endless aching that you feel.


The worker bee flew into my left nostril and Death swarmed into my icy corpse, claiming my unrepentant soul for all eternity.

I should have asked for the strength to forgive and for forgiveness for my own sin. I realized that now. Instead, I hungered for revenge and feasted on the annihilation of a Queen. Together, we had created a vicious circle of death, and all because I had thirsted for payback.

I had always believed that payback was the sweetest form of revenge.

I realize now…I was wrong ― dead wrong.

Payback can also bee…murder!

Copyright © 2004 by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Favorite Haunt - Where Does Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif Love to Write?

Working from home provides many comforts...

But my favorite 'haunt' is a quiet little place that I can bring my laptop to and write in, one that offers me gourmet coffees and hot chocolates, a table by a fireplace and interesting people to spy on—I mean, study.

Find out where Cheryl writes.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Author of Whale Song, and Authors' Row

I wanted to let you know about a special event I organize twice a year. Authors' Row is a group of authors (never exactly the same ones each year) who promote their books at the Edmonton Woman's Show. The next Show takes place on April 14th and 15th at the Northlands AgriCom in Edmonton, Alberta. It will feature a bigger and better Authors' Row, with fascinating bios of authors, photos, excerpts and exciting contests for everyone to participate in online at the official Edmonton Woman's Show web site.

Keep an eye on my events page.

Find out more about Cheryl Kaye Tardif and her novels, Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Interview with Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Author of Whale Song, the Controversial Novel that Explores Assisted Suicide

Book reviewer and film critic Jack Anthony interviews author Cheryl Kaye Tardif about Whale Song, her upcoming Kunati Books release. This is Part 1 of the interview. Part 2 will follow in May 2007.

Jack Anthony (JA): Whale Song seems at first an innocent, sweet and poignant tale with a hint of mystery. But there is a darker side to this novel―the shocking assisted suicide of a key character. What compelled you to tackle such a controversial and emotional topic?

The Birth of a Writer

It never fails that when I am at a book signing promoting my books, there are two questions that come up most: which book is your favorite and when did you start writing? Today, I'll address the latter.

I've been writing all my life. Well, at least ever since I can remember. I recall my mother telling me how she had caught me 'defacing' a Dr. Seuss book when I was a very young child. She was naturally appalled and asked me what I was doing. I showed her my carefully scribbled lines under each line of text and said 'I'm writing the story'. Although, my scribbling was nothing more than a line with loops and jagged edges, I had already decided my path. I was going to write stories like Dr. Seuss.

And thus, a writer was born...

To read more, click HERE.

:) Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, Divine Intervention and The River

Thursday, December 07, 2006

BookTelevision Sponsors The Whale Song Book Launch

As I get ready to launch Whale Song on April 7th, 2007, I have been pounding the pavement in search of some fabulous door prizes and have found some, courtesy of wonderful sponsors like BookTelevision, Joe Li Tutoring and many more. And I expect to add to this list over the next 3 months.

Please visit my website at to read more about The Whale Song Book Launch ~ A KILLER Whale of a Launch Party.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song (2007 Kunati Books)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Review: Day into Night by Dave Hugelschaffer

Day into Night Sizzles with Tension, Mystery and Murder

When two separate investigations―a forest fire on the slopes of the Caribou mountain range and an ecoterrorist bombing in the Rocky Mountains―leave authorities stumped, Porter Cassel is called to the job as an arson investigator. Sifting through the debris and ashes, he unwittingly compromises evidence of a serial arsonist’s delay mechanism at the arson crime scene, then stumbles upon something more hideous at the bombing scene―blackened human remains.

For Cassel, the bombing instantly becomes personal. Haunted by the murder of his fiancĂ©e Nina Pirelli―a murder that bears a startling similarity to the current bombing case―Cassel launches his own unofficial investigation to discover the identity of the ecoterrorist, who calls himself the Lorax, while investigating an apparently unrelated string of serial arsons.

Caught between duty and desire, he treads on the toes of other officials on the case, particularly the Mounties, and suddenly finds himself framed for murder. There is only one way to prove his innocence, and that’s to find the persons responsible.

Fast-paced and filled with enough turbo-charged action to keep you reading to the very last page, Day Into Night is a smokin’ read. And Dave Hugelschaffer, who writes with a unique style and voice, is an author to watch for.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song and Divine Intervention

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Meet Mystery Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Edmonton, Alberta, book signing events for December 2006:
  • · 1st Coles, Millwoods Town Centre from 12-4 pm
  • · 2nd Indigo, South Edmonton Common from 12-4 pm
  • · 8th Chapters, West Side from 12-4 pm
  • · 9th Coles, Southgate Shopping Centre from 12-4 pm
  • · 15th Indigo, South Edmonton Common from 12-4 pm
  • · 16th Coles, Londonderry Mall from 12-4 pm
  • · 17th Coles, Sherwood Park Mall, Sherwood Park* from 12-4 pm
  • · 19th Indigo, South Edmonton Common from 12-4 pm
  • · 20th Coles, Southgate Shopping Centre from 12-4 pm
  • · 21st Coles, Londonderry Mall from 12-4 pm

I will be autographing copies of Divine Intervention and The River, and I'll be promoting my upcoming new release, Whale Song (April 2007 - Kunati Books). Please drop by and visit me if you are in the Edmonton area. I love meeting my fans and potential new fans!

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Whale Song Available for Pre-Orders!

You can now order advanced copies of the new Whale Song, which won't see bookstore shelves until April 2007...but keep in mind, this is a PRE-ORDER. This means you won't receive your copies of Whale Song until sometime in April after my novel is launched.

The new Whale Song has a stunning and mysterious cover designed by Kam Wai Yu, an award winning graphic artist, and the book features extra scenes from an existing screenplay and a very special dedication you'll want to read.

If you order now, you'll accomplish 3 things:

  1. You can give a copy of Whale Song as a Christmas gift (give them a card that says their gift will arrive in April and that it is a very special edition of Whale Song).
  2. You can give a copy as an Easter gift (order now and it'll arrive close to Easter)
  3. You'll help me achieve one of my life goals, which is to make a best sellers' list. :)

Advanced pre-orders are now open for Whale Song on,, and soon, plus you can pre-order from your favorite bookstores, so please consider ordering copies now. Don't wait!

The best news? The cost is ONLY $12.95 US!!! Far less than the $26.00 Cdn that my other books go for.

So if you're looking for a great gift item, especially for the females (9 to 109) in your life, order the new Whale Song NOW. Heck, order 3! :)

I invite you all to check out my haunting book trailer on my publisher's site, and don't forget to order your copy of the new Whale Song (ISBN:1-60164-007-2 or 978-1-60164-007-9) right away.

You should receive your order around Easter (April) 2007, so order extra copies to give as Easter gifts! Whale Song also makes the PERFECT Mother's Day gift for Moms of all ages!

Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a haunting story about love, betrayal and secrets.

Order your copies now!

Please order advanced copies through the links below:

Or ask your favorite bookstore to order Whale Song (ISBN: 1-60164-007-2) for you.


Please tell your friends! And tell your public libraries too!

Sincerest thanks, Cheryl Kaye Tardif Author of Whale Song
View the sensational book trailer!
Cheryl on Kunati

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Movie Interest in Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention

Exciting news regarding possible books to movies!

I've known for a couple of months now that two film companies were reading Whale Song, my new 2007 Kunati Books release. In fact, I have received emails from advanced reviewers who have expressed a great desire to see my novel transformed onto the big screen. And since I started writing it, I had always envisioned it as a much so that I can taste the popcorn.

Whale Song--the movie--won't leave a dry eye in the house! And that makes me strangely ecstatic. I hope it happens. :)

*Published by Kunati Books

I just received word that there is movie interest in The River, my action-packed suspense thriller that deals with nanotechnology and the search for longevity. I am so thrilled! A while ago, I was told by someone in the film industry that "The River has every element to make a major blockbuster". When I was contacted yesterday, I was told they were "looking for some good thrillers to adapt" and they ordered a copy of The River.

They went on further to say this about The River, "This sounds like an intriquing premise."

*Not published by Kunati Books

Divine Intervention, my psychic suspense thriller about a group of covert, psychic government agents, has also captured their eye, and they are interested in reading it too! Since Divine Intervention is the first in my Divine series, I'm thinking a possible TV movie, much the same as Gail Bowen's series. My first novel is complete on its own and would work well.

Divine Intervention or divine intervention? I am truly beginning to feel that my life is falling into place. And it's a place that feels extraordinary, wonderful and full of hope!

*Not published by Kunati Books
Anyone interested in pursuing possible movie/film rights for Whale Song must contact Kunati Books directly.

Anyone interested in film rights or options for The River or Divine Intervention should contact
the author directly.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif Now Available for Advanced Pre-Orders on

For those who may not know it yet, Whale Song was picked up by a hip and highly motivated publishing company. Kunati Inc. Book Publishers has been making waves in the publishing world for their innovative book trailers and their marketing expertise.

Whale Song will have major distribution across North America. There has already been some foreign rights interest as well, so we may see it translated soon into French, German, Spanish, etc.

Right now 2 major Hollywood film companies are reading Whale Song and considering it for a major motion picture.

You can now order advanced copies of the new Whale Song, which won't see bookstore shelves until April 2007...but keep in mind, this is a PRE-ORDER. This means you won't receive your copies of Whale Song until sometime in April after my novel is launched.

The new Whale Song has a stunning and mysterious cover designed by an award winning graphic artist, and it features extra scenes (20% more text) from an existing screenplay and a very special dedication you'll want to read.

If you order now, you'll accomplish 3 things:

  1. You can give a copy of Whale Song as a Christmas gift (give them a card that says their gift will arrive in April and that it is a very special edition of Whale Song).
  2. You can give a copy as an Easter gift (order now and it'll arrive close to Easter)
  3. You'll help me achieve one of my life goals, which is to make a best sellers list. :)
    One other note: Kunati is also considering taking Divine Intervention and The River. If they see fantastic advanced orders of Whale Song, they will be more inclined to take the other 2. It's always risky for publishers to pick up a previously published book. But I intend on proving that my novels are worth that risk...that they DO and WILL sell, even a couple of years after the first printing!

Advanced pre-orders are now open for Whale Song on,, and soon, plus you can pre-order from your favorite bookstores, so please consider ordering copies now. Don't wait!

The best news? The cost is ONLY $12.95 US!!! Far less than the $26.00 Cdn that my other books go for.

So if you're looking for a great gift item, especially for the females (9 to 109) in your life, order the new Whale Song NOW. Heck, order 3! :)

I invite you all to check out my haunting book trailer on my publisher's site, and don't forget to order your copy of the new Whale Song (ISBN:1-60164-007-2 or 978-1-60164-007-9) right away.

You should receive your order around Easter (April) 2007, so order extra copies to give as Easter gifts! Whale Song also makes the PERFECT Mother's Day gift for Moms of all ages!

Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a haunting story about love, betrayal and secrets. Order your copies now!

Please order advanced copies through the link below.


Please tell your friends! And tell your public libraries too!

Sincerest thanks,
Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Author of Whale Song
View the sensational book trailer!

Cheryl on Kunati

Thursday, November 16, 2006

These are a few of my favorite things...

Cheryl Kaye Tardif's Favorite Addictions:
  • All-Time Favorite Books: Misery by Stephen King, Outlander (series) by Diana Gabaldon, ...In Death (series) by J. D. Robb
  • Most Recent Book Favorites: The Game by Derek Armstrong, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  • All-Time Favorite Movies: Sleeping with the Enemy, Titanic, Lord of the Rings (all 3), Speed, Trapped
  • Most Recent Movie Favorites: Crash, Crash, Crash!
  • All-Time Favorite TV Shows: CSI (all 3), Law & Order (all), Survivor, House, Medium, Prison Break, Ghost Whisper, Lost...ok, yes I'm a TV addict!
  • Most Recent TV Favorites: Heroes, Bones, Brothers and Sisters
  • All-Time Favorite Soap: Days of Our Lives
  • Most Recent Soap Favorite: cocoa butter...HA!
  • All-Time Favorite Actors: Halle Berry, Dakota Fanning, Charlize Theron, Diane Lane, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Jim Carrey, Denzel Washington
  • Most Recent Favorite Actor: Sally Field
  • All-Time Fast Food Favorites: Chinese Food
  • Most Recent Favorite Fast Food: Quizno's Subs
  • All-Time Favorite Color: purple
  • Most Recent Favorite Color: aquamarine
  • All-Time Favorite Pet: dogs
  • Most Recent Favorite Pet: Royale, a fluffy white Miniature American Eskimo (named for the toilet paper because she's a sh*t disturber!)
  • All-Time Favorite Book I've Written: Whale Song
  • Most Recent Favorite Book I've Written: Whale Song! :)

~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention

Monday, November 13, 2006

My Latest Read: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

***** 5 Stars! A Powerfully Emotional Story of Friendship and Betrayal

Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a deeply personal look into the lifelong friendship of two nineteenth-century Chinese women--a friendship that began when they were paired together as laotongs or ‘old sames’, what we might refer to as ‘soul sisters’. Lily and Snow Flower send messages back and forth, written in the secret women’s language of nu shu. Hidden in the folds of a fan or on delicate handkerchiefs, the messages linked these two women together in a friendship that was more powerful than a marriage.

Through the decades, Lily, the narrator, suffers many hardships and challenges. At the early age of seven, she and her laotong endure the common practice of footbinding. The author paints a vivid picture of this ancient torture, used to determine a girl’s worth--especially regarding marriage. Lily and Snow Flower are bound by ritual and by their growing friendship and reliance on one another. And then something happens that rips at the core of their friendship.

Betrayal, misunderstandings and anger lead to hurt feelings and separation. Forgiveness is needed. But can these women learn to forgive and let go of old pain? Or will they let their lifelong friendship die?

This wonderful, loving and tragic story of friendship and betrayal will teach the reader much about Chinese traditions. The stunning description of the lands, the sights and smells, paints vivid images upon the reader’s mind. But it is the loving friendship of Lily and Snow Flower that will grip your heart and fill it with yearning to have a laotong of your own. What a powerful and emotional story!

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of The River, Divine Intervention and Whale Song (ISBN: 978-1-60164-007-9 available April 2007 from Kunati Books)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Si, Si, Senor! One of Cheryl's Articles is Now in Spanish!

My article Attitude is Contagious - Would Anyone Want Yours? has been translated into Spanish! Check it out, if you can read Spanish. :)

If you can't, you can view the article in English at:

My Spanish amounts to being able to read and understand some of it and speaking a few words and one sentence. My one sentence is this:
Hay dos banos en mi casa.

(I am sure that will get me far when I go to Mexico or Spain! lol)

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song (2007 Kunati Books), Divine Intervention and The River

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Picture Perfect by Cheryl Kaye Tardif...Now an Amazon Short!

Cheryl's chilling and suspenseful short story, Picture Perfect, was selected as an Amazon Short.

When my sister, Belle, vanished back in 1956, I lost more than you could possibly imagine. And in the last forty-eight years, I've never told anyone what I saw. That summer day, I lost a part of my family, a piece of my heart…and I think I lost my soul as well...

~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, Divine Intervention and The River

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I LOVE Book Signings!

Ok, here's a quick recap of what I've been doing this past week. I had 3 signings this past week at Edmonton, Alberta, bookstores. Now that the exciting news is getting out to my fans about Whale Song being released in April 2007 (and about 2 Hollywood film companies reading it), word is spreading fast.

Today, I had four people stop by my table to tell me how much they loved my books! And that is music to an author's ears. When a Chapters employee asked me if I was getting tired after my third hour, I said "No! I love signings. I love meeting people." A minute after that someone stopped by and told me she cried when she read one of my books. My reaction: I smiled with glee and clapped my hands. YAY! I made someone cry!!! :) Note: this is only a good thing if you want people to cry when reading your book (which I did.) Now, aren't I mean?

I write because I am compelled to write. It is my passion.

But I also write to impact others. And there is no greater reward than hearing back from a fan!

~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song

Friday, October 27, 2006

Whale Song Goes to Hollywood!

My new April 2007 release, Whale Song, is currently being read by two Hollywood film companies. And they are not the first to consider it for movie potential.

Just over a year ago, I approached Mind's Eye Productions, a Canadian film company. They asked for a screenplay, which I then wrote with a fellow writer, Alison Neuman. After careful consideration, they turned it down, I believe due to budget constraints.

And now Hollywood has Whale Song!

Since the day I started writing this haunting story, I have 'seen' it unfold like a movie. And I am thankful that my new publisher, Kunati Books, saw the potential as well.

I have envisioned the emotional impact on the audience and can taste the popcorn. I have dreamed of watching the premier, with a case of Kleenex on hand. And I have imagined potential young stars as the possible main character, like Mackenzie Rosman or Dakota Fanning for the younger Sarahs.

Whale Song has also garnered some foreign rights interest, so keep your fingers crossed. One day you may see Whale Song on the BIG SCREEN and read a copy of it in Spanish while visiting Spain.

Fans have begged me for a movie, and even Writer's Digest had this to say:

"A wonderfully well-written novel. Wonderful characters [that] shine. The settings are exquisitely described. The writing is lyrical. Whale Song would make a wonderful movie."

So, send Hollywood some Whale Song energy! :)

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, a 2007 Kunati Books release.

6-Word Short Stories

Ok...a friend of mine, a fellow writer Kelly Komm, sent me this fascinating (and addictive) link to some 6-word short stories. When you read the premise, you'll get it.

I posted my own contribution at the bottom...

but, oh heck...I'll post it here as well!

To hell and back. Refund, please!

Check out the link...what do you think, should I have won? :)

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song (2007 Kunati Books)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Atrophy ~ a short story by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Sometimes an obsession overtakes the mind and heart. Sometimes an obsession can be deadly.

Aggie was stuffed.
She was so full that she couldn’t digest even a single thought.
Homer stroked her hair lovingly while she stared at him, speechless. Her mouth stretched into a slight smile and he leaned forward, gently kissing her lips.
“Happy anniversary, honey. You’re the love of my life, Aggie. Always have been, always will.”
When a tear trickled from her eye, he wiped it away with a tissue.
“I’m not very good at this, but I want you to know that you look almost as lovely as the day we met.”

In the summer of 1968, Homer Duggan’s life changed forever at the Klondike Days fairgrounds in Edmonton. That was the year he had met Agnes McFadden.
She was in line ahead of him, her long coppery hair covered with wisps of pink cotton candy. Noticing the sticky mess, Homer reached out a scrawny hand and plucked at her hair.
“Hey!” Aggie scowled, outraged that some tall, skinny kid with freckles splayed across his nose would have the audacity to touch her.
Homer grinned. “Well, aren’t you a sweet thing?”
Over the summer he followed her everywhere. He was in love. Well, as in love as any sixteen year old could be. Aggie was his dream girl, and he knew they were meant to be together…forever.
When she finally gave in and rewarded him with a date, Homer was in ecstasy. Two days later, Aggie―with hair the color of a shiny new penny and eyes as blue as the cloudless sky―became his girlfriend. A week after his nineteenth birthday he married her.
“I’ll love you forever,” Aggie whispered that first night.
The next morning Homer told her that he refused to have children. He loved her so much that he didn’t want to share her with anyone. Aggie reluctantly agreed, and their life together was perfect.

Until last month, when Matthew Patterson moved in next door.
Homer took a steadying breath.
“It’s all Patterson’s fault, Aggie.”
He leaned back in his chair and stared at the ceiling. Some things just had to be said, he realized. Hell, if their relationship didn’t have honesty and trust, how could they possibly last?
“For better or worse, Aggie. That’s what you promised. Remember?”
When she stubbornly refused to answer, he crossed his arms and glared back at her.
“If it wasn’t for Matthew Patterson, none of us would be in this predicament.”
Ten years younger than Homer, Patterson operated a business out of his basement. People would drop by at all hours of the day or night, carrying large packages that they left behind.
At first, Aggie and Homer suspected he was a drug dealer. Then late one night, Homer saw Patterson carrying a garbage bag out to the curb. He decided to investigate, and what he found made his stomach heave.
Immediately stomping over to Patterson’s door, he pounded furiously until the man opened it.
“Homer? What are you do―”
“Explain this!” Homer growled, shoving the bag in the man’s hands.
Patterson stared at it, uncomprehending. Then a slow smile crept across his face.
“What the hell’s so funny?” Homer demanded.
“You must be wondering if I’ve slaughtered someone in here,” Patterson said with a chuckle. “I can assure you, it’s all quite innocent. Come inside.”
Homer shuddered as he entered the pitch-black house. An unpleasant, coppery chemical smell lingered in the air. It reminded him of a hospital.
He paused at the basement door, suddenly terrified. “W-what’s down there?”
“Follow me. I’ll show you my masterpiece.”
In the basement, Patterson flicked on a light, and Homer saw two worktables lining one wall. Over twenty glass jars were neatly labeled and stored on a nearby shelf. But it was the thing in the corner that made his heart skip a beat.
A large Doberman sat upright on the floor, its tongue lolling lifelessly to one side.
“H-he’s dead!” Homer sputtered.
“Rejuvenated,” Patterson corrected as he tenderly stroked the dog’s shiny coat. “I’m a Pet Rejuvenator. What you found in that garbage bag came from Mrs. O’Brien’s dog. Max was hit by a car yesterday.”
He explained how he had preserved the dog by draining the fluids, removing its organs, then filling the body with material to maintain its shape.
Homer had to admit that the dog was mesmerizing. Almost lifelike.
“But why?”
Patterson smiled. “I’m like GE. I bring good things to life. Mrs. O’Brien told me she’d wither away to nothing if she was left alone. She couldn’t stand to be separated from Max. He was all she had left. Lots of people feel that way about their loved ones.”
Homer left Patterson’s house feeling slightly relieved.
When he told Aggie about their neighbor’s strange business, she shrugged. “He’s not doing anything illegal.”
Nothing illegal, maybe. But was it right?

Homer swallowed hard.
“I should have known something was up when you started staying out late, playing cards with the girls.”
He knew that she was going to deny it, so he shushed her. “There’s no point in lying to me. Not now. I saw you go into his house.”
He had confronted Patterson four days ago, knowing without a doubt that his neighbor had been messing with his wife. The man actually had the nerve to deny it, to say that it wasn’t what Homer thought.
“You were sleeping with him, Aggie. And you were going to leave me for him.”
Homer’s throat began to burn as his anger simmered.
“Do you want him now?” he sneered, turning Aggie’s head toward her lover.
Matthew Patterson’s twisted atrophied body was a nightmare.
It was obscenely fastened to the basement wall with hooks and long spikes. The man’s motionless eyes stared at them, unseeing. His temple was caked with crusted skin and congealed blood, and the stench of death oozed from every pore.
Almost perfect, Homer thought.
Except Patterson’s stomach was deflated and he looked…dead.
“Practice makes perfect,” he muttered. “I tried to remember what he showed me. I should have paid better attention when he did Max.”
Of course, having a body kicking and screaming on the worktable didn’t make it easy. Homer had to take a hammer to the man’s head, knock him out a bit and tie him up with duct tape.
Red Green would be proud!
“I’ll do a better job with you, Aggie. I promise.”
He smiled at her. A trophy bride.
Aggie was stuffed. And almost completely drained. Tears poured from her horrified eyes and she made raspy mewing sounds that grew fainter with each dying breath. Her deceitful mouth was glued shut, but a few pieces of stuffing had escaped.
“I’ll have to clip these,” he murmured. “I’ll glue your eyes shut too, my love. So your tears won’t ruin your makeup.”
Suddenly the doorbell rang.
Hurrying upstairs, Homer was greeted by a young courier who was holding a small box. Perplexed, he signed for the package and brought it inside. He opened it slowly, then wheezed in a gulp of air.
A stuffed squirrel was nestled in the bottom of the box.
A card was attached to it. It read:

My dearest Homer,
Matthew found Rocky stuck in the tree. He was dead.
I know you loved watching and feeding little Rocky so I had Matthew stuff him for you.
Happy anniversary and all my love.
Forever yours,

Homer sucked in a breath and struggled to slow his hammering heart.
Forever was a very long time.

Copyright © 2006 by Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Previously published in the March 2006 issue of Silver Moon Magazine.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Films and Books Features a Review on The River by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Films and Books, a magazine that reviews--uh, films and books--is currently featuring a review of...The River, "a Must Read thriller".

Reviewed by Christina Francine:

Cheryl Kaye Tardif skillfully balances scientific intrigue, and the human desire to retain a youthful body, with tantalizing sexual tension, and vivid characterizations in this engrossing romantic thriller.

The plot steps beyond reality, but by how much? Science grows in its knowledge more every day. One thing is for sure, and history shows it to be true, greed and absolute power taint fabulous discoveries and inventions...

Read the entire review at

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of The River, Divine Intervention and Whale Song (2007 Kunati Books)

Fellow Kunati Author Receives High Praise for The Game

My fellow Kunati author, Derek Armstrong, received a "Must Read" for his darkly humorous novel The Game on Films and Books.

Reviewed by T. Sentell:

Fathering two teenage daughters, you’d think detective Alban Bane would have enough to fret about, but in The Game, a hugely cinematic thriller with hilarious dark comic moments, we find him quickly dealing with headless corpses. Not that headless corpses give you much trouble because they’re usually real still and don’t talk back and you don’t have to worry about making meaningful eye contact with them, it’s just that this scrappy, witty cop is pretty motivated to find out how they lost so much weight real quick … especially after he gets a creepy letter inviting him to come find out.

This is an irresistible story that centers around a new American reality television show called “Haunted Survivor,” where a boiling-pot mix of soon-to-be-dead-but-they-don’t know-it-yet contestants see how long they can survive in an old Vermont mansion haunted by its former occupant, a mass murder, who left the planet in the first chapter by execution by lethal injection. Survive and get one million dollars, but these contestants are having a hard time surviving. They’re having an easy time, however, getting slaughtered.

You’ve got to love a novel that crystallizes, in a single line, our squirmy fascination with this sort of thing, delivered by Haunted Survivor’s uptight producer who finally becomes good and unstrung at the end of the story herself, “We’re assuming,” she said, “America’s fascination with reality television and crime will continue.” Sure does, lady. Sure does. And you’ve got to love a thriller, like all great literate thrillers, that makes you feel pretty sure you know who the killer is … but guess what...

Want to read the full review?
The Game - Hugely Cinematic Thriller With Dark Comic Moments: Must Read

Armstrong's The Game is due out in April 2007, along with my novel, Whale Song. Check them both out!

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, Divine Intervention and The River

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Authors' Row at the Edmonton Woman's Show

Well, the Fall Edmonton Woman's Show just isn't complete without Authors' Row, a multi-author event I organize with the Show's producer each fall and spring. This year's event took place on October 14th and 15th, at Northlands Agri-Com in Edmonton, Alberta. This show featured Robert Hoffman from TV's hit show Vanished. Hoffman plays the sexy cameraman and has some steamy scenes with co-star Rebecca Gayheart. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta...Oh to be her! :)

Authors' Row featured 7 Edmonton and area authors, including Bruce Atchison from Radway, Alberta. Atchison's debut is part memoir/part bunny care and is titled appropriately When a Man Loves a Rabbit. If you have bunnies or know someone who does, I recommend this book. Patricia Brine, Carissa Reiniger, Jackson Carter, Sue Paulson and Rosalie Rasmussen also participated in Authors' Row. And of course, there was me--Cheryl Kaye Tardif.

This year I promoted my April 2007 release Whale Song (978-1-60164-007-9 Kunati Books) as well as selling my psychic suspense Divine Intervention and my action-packed thriller The River.

A prize package valued at over $100.00 was awarded to Stephanie L. Congratulations, Stephanie, and thanks for stopping by my booth.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song (2007 Kunati Books)

A Total Write-Off Was a Total Blast!

Well, this week has been very hectic. On the 11th of October, I celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary by participating in the new TV series A Total Write-Off with host comedian Barbara North. I don't want to say too much about the competition because I want to encourage everyone to watch it when it airs (I believe in early 2007) on Book Television, Access-The Education Station and Canadian Learning Television. The show producer Lisa Miller and all the people at Panacea Entertainment put on a memorable event for writers from all genres and for the live audience who participated in this hilarious show.

On October 12th, my husband Marc and I returned as part of the audience. I had to see what it was like on the other side of the stage! It was definitely two days I won't ever forget. The highlights for me, apart from the show itself, were meeting Barbara North, a fellow army brat, being paired with Damien James, a talented ventriloquist, and chatting with Alan Kellogg, an Edmonton Journal columnist and the show's critic, who I will tell you said our story "roared like a lion".

I'll post the air dates ASAP.

To Lisa, Erin, Mike, Guy and Sarge...and all the others at Panacea, THANK YOU for selecting me to participate. Thanks also to the talented and crazy mime dancers, the band and my fellow writers.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song (2007 Kunati Books)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Surprising a Fan is So Rewarding!

Ok, I'm back from high school--a Catholic high school to be exact. Not because I'm a student or a geek, but because I got to surprise a fan today. And you should have seen her reaction!

Alora had been emailing me the last month. She told me she enjoyed two of my novels and was so genuinely excited for me with my news (new publisher, TV series, etc). She even went so far as to convince her family and friends to order Divine Intervention and The River from to help persuade my new publisher to take my other two books! lol

Now that's a fan!

So after sneakily getting the name of her school, I plotted my surprise. I contacted the school and arranged a visit this afternoon. I loaded up a bag with goodies for Alora, her teacher and the class. I waited in the classroom, wondering if she'd recognize me. We'd only met once, but she did see my photo on my site. But she didn't really notice me until her teacher announced a guest.

I was watching Alora. When she looked at me, at first she didn't connect things. But I saw the second she realized who I was. It was quite funny! Part of me was nervous--not about visiting or speaking, but that I might embarrass her. But that wasn't the case...and that made my day even more special. A teenage girl was happy I was visiting her! Jeesh, sometimes my own daughter barely talks to me!! :)

I gave Alora some yellow carnations and a card. Then I gave her tickets to be part of the audience at the filming of the TV series episode I'll be in (see: A Total Write-Off in blog), and tickets to the Edmonton Woman's Show, plus some other goodies. And then I had to give her a copy of the only book she hadn't read--Divine Intervention.

The other students received bookmarks and postcards. Two of the postcards were marked, so those student got their pick of one of my books. Then I talked to them about writing, my books, the TV series/competition, my future projects (including Submerged, which features a young girl named Alora), publishing and more.

All in all, it was a very rewarding day!

A blue binder - $2.99
A black pen - $1.49
A colorful bag $14.99
The look on Alora's face?

I had a blast! Thanks to Denise and Hillaria at Holy Trinity Catholic School for helping me plan this surprise visit, for making me feel so welcome and for buying my novels for your library. Thank you to the students in the grade 11 English class for being interested in my work and asking questions.

But most of all, thank you to Alora for being a fan and wanting to read all my books. I always look forward to your emails! :)

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song (2007 Kunati Books)

Surprise Visit to a High School to See a Fan

Just a quick note to let you all know that one lucky fan is going to receive a surprise visit from me this afternoon. I've arranged this with her high school and she has no idea I'll be dropping by.

Not only that, but she'll be receiving an autographed copy of Divine Intervention, the only one of my books she hasn't read. And I'll be bringing some extra little goodies for her classmates too.

I'll post again and tell you all about it.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song (2007 Kunati Books)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Belief Goes a Long Way for a Writer

During a recent discussion in one of my writer's groups, the topic of book signings, marketing, shyness and belief came up. Some authors expressed that they find signings or sales to be difficult, 'embarrassing', nerve wracking experiences. They don't like them or don't want to do them. Others felt it was a necessary part of a writer's life.

This was my reply:

I understand where you're coming from. My husband is like you and many others. If he had to live off his sales, he'd starve too. Thank God he's into the labour side of things. 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 saleman or telemarketer who won't let us hang up.

Personally, I've always been good at sales...well, as an adult. But I always set my boundaries and had to believe in the product/service, no matter what it was, charity fundraisers, vacuum cleaners, dayhome directories (which I published myself years ago), Pampered Chef, cosmetics, security systems, vehicles, to name a few. Then I had to believe in myself, that what I had to sell was what many people (not all) needed. That's what got me the sales--not shoving a book in someone's face saying 'Hey, buy this! It's the best book you'll ever read!" (which incidentally is the 'technique' of an author I know).

Years ago, my husband had gotten out of the Armed Forces and had gone into car sales until he could figure out what he really wanted to do. Every night he'd come home and tell me how difficult it was. And this was coming from a guy who lived and breathed cars. He knew them inside and out. I barely knew how to drive one--and only if it was automatic.

The more he complained about his job, the worse it got. Until one day, I'd had enough. I told him to quit, but he refused. Then I said "Learn how to be better and believe you can do it." He said, "You have no idea how hard it is to sell cars. You should try it." Well, one thing led to another and finally I told him I was going to apply for a part-time job at a different dealership. He laughed and said they wouldn't even hire me. So I took the challenge and told him that I thought it was believability that was holding him back from sales. He didn't believe he could do it, therefore he couldn't.

He was right about one thing. I know nothing about vehicles. The next week I started a part time job at a Jeep dealership.

Then my husband said, "It took me weeks to sell my first car. It'll take you months."

On my third day I sold a brand new, fresh off the lot truck...I think it was a Ford F150 or something. :) Did I push my 'sales techniques' down the buyer s throat? No. I stood beside him, believing I could sell cars, while he said "Great, this has blah blah blah..."

When he asked me a question, I said, "I'm new here. Let me go verify that for you." Belief sells! Honesty sells.

I quit after 2 weeks. I had taken the job to prove a point. After that, my husband's sales started to improve. Now, that doesn't mean that he turned into a fabulous salesman, because he didn't. It was still out of his comfort zone. But he learned to improve by believing he could do it--even if only temporarily.

I know many authors who have a published book (traditionally and self) that don't do booksignings. I asked one of my friends why, and he said he just didn't feel comfortable doing it, he 'hated' doing them and then later he grumbled that his sales were low.

People pick up on your attitude. That's why it's key to LOVE those book signings. Unfortunately, you just can't have it both ways.

I know some authors who write more as a hobby. They have a self-published book and don't care how many they sell or if they sell. They did it more for themselves. And that's fine, if that's all they want. Although, I can guarantee that if they started seeing bigger paychecks rolling in, a few of them would change their perspective.

To each their own. I think it's important to understand your individual goal. If all you want is your name on a cover of a book and to sell a few copies to family and friends, that's your choice. Go for it! If your hobby is to self-publish a book every couple of years without any editing, that's your choice too, but don't be surprised if people complain. But if you want this as a career, there are things you must do in order to succeed. Like always learn. Learn more about writing, editing, marketing.

If writing is your passion and you want New York Times best selling status or to catch the attention of a highly motivated traditional publisher, I believe 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.

And that's the key! I have a friend who is an artist. Her dream is to sell her paintings for tens of thousands of dollars each. I asked her what she was doing to get there and she said 'not much'. She'd only finished a few paintings. I asked how she was going to market them, she didn't have a clue. I asked if she could envision her art gallery opening with hundreds of people attending. She couldn't. I believe that when my friend can see that art gallery show, imagine, envision, taste the wine, hear the people's comments, that's when she'll believe it herself. Then and only then will she be on the right track to success. She has to develop a 'whatever it takes' attitude first.

Now consider that all I've said above is coming from the shyest kid there ever was in a BC kid. The kid who sat in the back row, who had zero self esteem. Sure I became very good at sales. My last professional J.O.B. was managing a sales department for a large security company and writing copy. I also became a motivational speaker for a major international organization. I overcame my shyness because I had to--I wanted to. And I wanted 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 booksignings because there was no other choice.

It all boils down, I think, to one key question: How badly do you want it? Then it's up to you to define what 'it' is. Are you happy with your success? Satisfied with your sales? Want more?

We choose our success; it doesn't choose us. And we all have different definitions of what that success is. So for those who are happy with the odd signing and a bit of spending money, that's great. For those who want more, choose more. Then find ways to get it.

I totally respect where some authors are coming from, but I'm hoping this reaches a few that are looking for some inspiration to become more motivated with book signings or marketing in general.

This is what award winning author Alvin Abram has to say:
"Selling yourself is selling your product. I practice reading out loud every day. I try not to say uh, you know, or any such repetitive remark. It takes practice. I, too, was an introvert until I realized that I was a bottle with a cork that wanted to explode. If you want to sell, pop your cork, forget about the word 'can't and do."


Saturday, September 30, 2006

More Info on 'A Total Write-Off'

A Total Write Off!
13 x half-hour TV series

A Total Write-Off is a fast-paced and fun television series where two teams of writers match wits in a writing showdown as they compete to create short stories based on spontaneous audience suggestions. With comedian Barbara North as host and ringmaster, it's a hip Whose Line Is It Anyway? meets Just for Laughs for both wordsmiths and fans of the written word.

Our guest authors run the gamut from novelists to screenwriters to journalists--even some not-so-famous writers who collaborate with our pros. Anyone who writes, whether it be novels, grocery store flyers, technical journals or even obits will be eligible to enter the fray. The object? To win what all writers desperately crave - the thumbs up from an adoring public! Our writers are divided into two teams.

With Barbara interacting with the audience and the writers in their "pit," these impromptu literary masterpieces unfold on display screens before our eyes, based on plot parameters tossed out with wild abandon by audience members. Barbara also interviews the writers to find out where they get their inspiration, how they face the blank page and hear about their current projects.

It's a car wreck of creativity, featuring a ticking clock, cliche alarms and instant reviews of the works-in-progress by a literary critic.After "pencils down", the completed short stories are read aloud by the writers--while simultaneously acted out by the comical A Total Write-Off Mime/Dancers! And it just wouldn't be a complete write-off without the audience choosing their favourite story to close the show.

A Total Write-Off is created and hosted by Barbara North, who has appeared on Just For Laughs, CBC, W Network, Canadian Learning Television, and more. Barbara also recently created and starred in the CBC TV comedy special Army Brats.

Produced by Panacea Entertainment for Access--The Education Station, Canadian Learning Television and Book Television.

© Panacea Entertainment

The Final Bomb (Short Story)

I wrote this short story back in 1988. It was for an assignment in a writing course that I received 'Highest Honors' in. I think the project was to write a story illustrating irony.

This is the story of a man who thought he was God's gift to a small and desperate town. "Pride cometh before a fall."

In the small British settlement of Nitherton, the townspeople eagerly assembled for the first mayoral election since the Great White War had ended. The scarcely populated town needed someone to restore a sense of organization and stability--someone who genuinely cared about the barren, blackened fields that had been bombed mercilessly, turning thriving crops to snowy ash in less than the blink of an eye. They needed someone who cared that unfortunate victims had lost their homes, their belongings and countless family members and friends. They needed someone to guide them to a future of hope.
Sir Reginald Appleby appeared to be that someone.
He waited anxiously outside the ruins of the town hall, shaking hands with farmers and kissing soured babies with soaked diapers. He'd do anything to get their votes.
His mouth curled in disdain. Even smell like urine for the next hour or so.
Beside the ravaged skeleton of the town hall stood a forbidding statue that had miraculously been ignored by the war, forgotten and untouched by the blasts of bombs or the splattering of shrapnel. The statue was made in the image of Archibald Appleby--Sir Reg­inald's Great, Great, Great Grandpapa--who had founded the orig­inal settlement of Nitherton in 1837. The imperious form was carved from bronze and copper, and it bore a striking resemblance to the only heir to the Appleby name--Sir Reginald.
Every day, except during the relentless air raids, Sir Reginald would cautiously make his way through the scattered ruins of Nitherton to the bomb site where an elaborate town hall had once stood, and where the statue remained defiantly protesting the surrounding destruction. Every day, the sole survivor and heir to the Appleby fortune--a bomb-leveled mansion and two thousand dollars in debts--would reverently clean and polish the statue bearing his face. It was rubbed to a glowing shine, its radiance a beacon on a dreary moonless night. It was almost as if the statue knew that it was the only object of beauty left in the devastated town.
Sir Reginald stood quietly beside his statue and smoothly promised the townspeople that he would be a true leader. "It may have taken five minutes to annihilate our town, but it will take years to restore it. I'm your man. I will work for you and help you to build a stable and prosperous community."
Of course, he thought, only an Appleby could show the stability needed in the office of Mayor. And the pay won't hurt, either.
"I will be to you what Archibald Appleby was to our ancestors―the voice of the town. We will rebuild Nitherton from the soils of this barren land and we will make it fruitful again."
He turned slowly, observing the crowds. A greedy gleam glinted from the depths of his soul. He knew that he had everyone wrapped around his finger. A smile slowly stretched across his face. "And Archibald here is a witness to my promises. He was the past. I am your future."
A murmur of nodding heads and serious contemplation moved through his audience. They were impressed by his speech. He had given them what they needed, someone solid and strong--a real leader.
Sir Reginald smiled with self-content. He was going to be the next Mayor of Nitherton.
"But Sir Reginald," one older man huffed. "This week you want to be mayor. Last week you wanted to be fire chief. How do we know you'll actually follow through this time?"
"Yeah," shouted a tall skinny man. "How do we know you won't bail on us and run back to the city, like you did a year ago just before the bombs hit."
Sir Reginald scowled. He was losing ground. And fast.
He glanced at the statue and a spark of inspiration flared. If the statue had survived four wars in total, then it prob­ably would survive the next one. That would give Sir Reginald lots of time to put the Appleby name on everybody's lips.
"As long as Archibald stands watch­ing over us all, I will serve you unselfishly and faithfully."
He regarded the gleaming replica with satisfaction. It represented undaunted strength, stubbornness and stability, all of which were key elements in the making of a Mayor. The statue was as much a part of Nitherton--if not more--than the ground it stood upon.
Everyone smiled with admiration as Sir Reginald answer­ed questions for the press. No one stopped to wonder how the photographers would develop their films when their darkrooms had been turned to dust. No one stopped to inquire how the local newspapers expected to print their story when the offices had been thoroughly obliterated from the face of the earth.
And no one stopped to ask the smiling statue of Archi­bald Appleby what he thought.
"'Sir Reginald?" a young, inexperienced photographer asked. "Could I have a picture of you beside Archie, please?"
Sir Reginald stood with his arm around the statue, waiting impatiently for the blond-haired girl to get her escaping locks out of the camera lens. He smiled--a stiff, glued-on smile--hoping that she was getting his good side. Were his teeth showing too much?
The girl focused.
It was a sound more devastating than any bomb.
Maybe it was Sir Reginald's weight leaning against the cold metallic body, or maybe it was simply fate suggesting to the onlookers that the Applebys were not as stable as they thought. That innocent click of a camera set off a chain of events that forever changed the history of Nitherton.
People screamed, pointing fingers at Sir Reginald. "Look! What's happening?"
That was when the final bomb fell.
A low groaning sound rose from inside the dignified statue, as if poor Archibald had a bad case of indigestion. It began to hum, vibrating against Sir Reginald so badly that his glasses fell off.
Someone peeled him away from the shaking monument.
"Wait!" he shouted. "I need your votes!"
Only the statue answered.
Sir Reginald's final vision of the noble face was that of an exploding breeze of debris. When he finally opened his eyes, nothing remained of Archibald Appleby. Nothing except a chunk of copper that lay at Sir Reginald's feet.
He searched the crowd in shock. There must be an explanation. Everyone was staring in disbelief at the deserted ground where a bronze image had once proudly stood.
"Guess Sir Reginald just isn't meant to be Mayor," someone muttered.
An old woman nodded, then glared in Sir Reginald's direction. "It's fate, I tell ya."
The crowd slowly dispersed--except the young girl with the golden hair. She chewed her gum impatiently and frowned at the photographic contraption in her hands. Then she looked up at him, blew a bubble.
Pop! "Don't think that picture will turn out, Sir Reginald. Can we take that shot again?"

© 1988/2006 Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Kunati Titles Receive Strong Kirkus Reviews

BANG-BANG Author: Hoffman, Lynn
Review Date: OCTOBER 01, 2006 Publisher:Kunati Pages: 176 Price (hardback): $19.95 Publication Date: 1/1/2007 0:00:00 ISBN: 1-60164-000-5 ISBN (hardback): 1-60164-000-5 Category: FICTION A sweet Philadelphia waitress takes on the pro-gun set.

Plump Paula Sherman, who waits tables in a modestly swell Center City restaurant when she should be singing professionally, accidentally drifts into the sights of the United Gun Association (UGA), America's most powerful gun lobby, after her best friend dies in a street shooting. Understandably distraught, Paula blamed the killer rather than the handgun, just what the UGA wanted to hear. To her horror, Paula sees herself quoted out of context by not only Pennsylvania's pro-gun senator but by the UGA. Her efforts to disclaim the remark and to remove her image from campaign ads and pro-gun advertising are fruitless. But the pro-gun coalition has underestimated the singing waitress. Determined to avenge the death of her friend and to put the lying bastards in their place, Paula finds a way to turn the guns on the gun-lovers, who, she observes, proudly identify themselves by placing UGA stickers on their automobiles. Wouldn't those stickers make great targets for someone armed with—well, a pistol? Couldn't Paula be that vigilante? She could indeed, but to be safe on the streets, she needs to whip herself into shape with a program of running, an activity that not only makes it possible to cover a great many streets looking for UGA stickers to shoot with the wee air gun she has bought, but also results in a new svelte figure. Even before her shooting of gun-lovers' windshields is noticed by the city, it is noted by a neighboring journalist who keeps her secret until he is enlisted in the battle. And the battle catches fire. As Paula first runs and then rollerblades her way through Philadelphia's neighborhoods, picking off the conspicuous UGA stickers, copy-cats in other cities, outraged by abuse of the Second Amendment, send the same message. Thoroughly charming and sure to enrage the NRA, which is, of course, the point.

THE SECRET EVER KEEPS Author: Tirrell, Art
Review Date: OCTOBER 01, 2006 Publisher:Kunati Pages: 352 Price (hardback): $24.95 Publication Date: 1/1/2007 0:00:00 ISBN: 1-60164-004-8 ISBN (hardback): 1-60164-004-8 Category: FICTION In a debut intended to launch a series, attractive but lovelorn Laurel Kinsgsford finds romance, adventure, a kindly grandfather and a shocking letter on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Furious to learn that a protege has been promoted over her head, the brainy young naval engineer quits her job only to find when she gets home that her live-in boyfriend has cleaned out the closets and their checking accounts. Licking her wounds and alone in the world, Laurel retreats to the Twice Told Hotel on the southeastern shore of Lake Ontario, which she had visited several times as a child. There, she bonds with Jake Eastland, the hotel's elderly owner, whose career arc has taken him from Prohibition-era smuggler to 21st-century multibillionaire. The reader quickly learns, though Laurel does not, that Jake is her grandfather. Long estranged from his late wife, he's been secretly pulling strings in Laurel's life (as revealed in interspersed flashbacks that take up half the text). Unaware of his wealth and their connection, Laurel just likes the old gaffer for his crusty self. Jake might just be ready to reveal the family tie, but first he needs to help his granddaughter recover her self-confidence. He involves Laurel, a proficient diver, in efforts to locate some jazz-age hooch he dumped when the Coast Guard got too close, and he tantalizes her with tales of a treasure-laden Revolutionary War ship that sank nearby. To assist them in their quest, Jake hires Michael Marvin McKean, a handsome former Coast Guard captain with a broken heart who is, coincidentally, a descendant of the officer who nearly caught bootlegger Eastland with the goods all those years ago. But before romance can blossom, Laurel and Mike must first weather rough seas and danger from a tough clan Jake has tangled with. YA adventure for the older set.

Friday, September 22, 2006

My Life List and Ellen

I watched The Ellen DeGeneres Show today and broke into a sweat. No, not because she had some hot, studly actor on, but because I was exercising on my treadmill. I've been watching more daytime TV in the past 2 weeks because of that darned thing...but at least I don't watch the counter plod along (especially when it feels like forever!)

So today Ellen burned some about a messy cook! My husband thinks she's my long lost sister though, because lately I've been cooking the same way. Ssssmokin'!

Ellen talked about Life Lists again, and I decided that even though I'm a big dreamer and a positive manifester, it was time to write down my own list. So, here it is, folks. But let's keep one thing in's a work in progress. I am sure I will add to it as the weeks go by.

  • 1. See Whale Song (my 2007 novel) made into a movie!!!!!!!!!!
    2. Have at least one of my novels reach New York Times Best Seller status before I’m 45 (I'm 43 now).
    3. Be a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. (I suppose that should be my #1…oops)
    4. Be a guest on Oprah. (she doesn’t dance like Ellen…)
    5. Be a guest on The View. (love those gals!)
    6. Buy my mother her own home within the next five years. So far I have $300.00 saved!
    8. Send my mother to Scotland and Bermuda and provide a return ticket...if I have to.
    9. Make more money than my he can retire from his physically demanding job.
    10. See The River (another of my novels) made into a movie.
    11. Help other writers, especially new ones.
    12. Invest in a publishing company
    13. Get glasses or contacts, so I can read this list on Ellen's site :)
    14. Be a 'dead body' on CSI (the original) and hope I don't drool or start breathing hard while Grissom is looking me over :)
    15. Go to Florida or Maui to meet David Miller, the acclaimed environmental artist who licensed me his painting for the original cover of Whale Song (2003 version), and his lovely wife Nancy, whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude.

I encourage you all to think about what you want in life. Then dream about it in full color, make your list and start doing whatever it takes to get these goals. Today, I emailed Ellen and Rosie (from The View). Tomorrow, I'll email Oprah.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

'Our Girl Eva' is the New Canadian Idol!

Way to go, Eva!

Well, the night that my Japanese daughter Miha and I were waiting for has finally arrived. The 'crowning' of our new Canadian Idol and the culmination of weeks of speed dialling ended the way that Miha and I predicted--"Our girl" (as we affectionately call her) Eva Avila is the winner!

We watched as her name was called, and laughed as she turned to muffle the shocked outburst. It was quite comical. We agree, Eva. "Oh, my..."

The finale of Canadian Idol is all a bit of a blur; all we wanted to hear was that Eva would be the winner, that she would be releasing the album produced by Cindi Lauper and going on tour with Martina McBride.

What a voice that Eva has! And grace to boot! She managed to pull off an awesome finale song 'Meant to Fly' like a seasoned pro. I don't think it all had sunk in...and maybe won't until tomorrow.

What touched us the most (throughout the entire season of Canadian Idol) was how proud Eva's father is. "She's mine!" he shouted to the audience after holding her hand up high and spinning her around. Awww...Eva, you're so blessed to have such supportive and proud parents.

I'm sure she knows this.

Well, all I can say is: Eva, please, please hurry up and get that album out! And let me know ASAP. AND as Farley said, you could have it all - singing, movies...Hey, I have the perfect movie role for you, Eva. 'Sarah' in Whale Song would suit you perfectly.

Here's hoping Eva sees this blog and contacts me! :)

Well, with the recent success of Canadian Lukas Rossi on Rock Star Supernova, and Eva Avila on Canadian Idol, I hope it's obvious to the rest of the world what we Canadians have always known--



Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Eva Avila is Meant to Fly

Here's my Canadian Idol update...because most of you know my eyes have been glued to the show. Not only am I an Idol fan (and yes, American Idol too), I am an Eva fan. That girl rocks!

In last night's final voting show, it was Eva Avila versus Craig Sharpe. I will admit, I thought it was Craig's best night ever. He really did let loose, and he has a distinctive voice and has done his province and country proud (not to mention his family). He's put Newfoundland truly on the music map! (Not that a lot of sensational talent hasn't come from there.)

But let's get back to Eva...or "our Eva", as my Japanese daughter and I call her. I have converted her into an Idol fan too--a teenager from Japan who is in Canada for one year to learn about our country and culture. And what better way, than to have her watch Canadian Idol with me. These have been special nights, with us critiquing everyone's performances and knowing that it didn't matter in the end. We'd be voting for Eva. (Ok, I probably sound like a teenager myself...instead of a grown woman with a teenager of her own.)

So there we were last night, phones programmed on speed dial from the moment the show started. I dialled for an hour while watching Vanished on TV, until the lines jammed.

We shook our heads in amazement when Eva sang Meant to Fly, the new Idol winner's single. She sang that song with such grace and emotion that she completely 'owned' it!

I believe Eva is meant to fly.

I believe Eva Avila is meant to SOAR!

And I'll be first in line to buy her album.

There are only a few Idols (Canadian and American) who have 'stayed with me' after the show. I predict that Fantasia and Eva will be around for a very long time. The tears of pride in her Poppa's eyes told me that nothing's gonna stop Eva Avila now!

Eva, you're a Canadian jewel!