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, 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!


Sunday, September 10, 2006

My New TV Series

Okay, well it's not really mine...but I can dream, can't I?

Below is a brief description of what I actually mean to say...

Edmonton mystery author Cheryl Kaye Tardif will be appearing in the reality TV writing competition 'A Total Write-Off', hosted by award-winning stand-up comic and writer, Barbara North, and produced by Panacea Entertainment.

During this grueling competition teams of authors and writers will be pitted against each other to write short stories based on live audience participation. It is a mix of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Just for Laughs.

Filming is expected to commence in October.

Cheryl is the author of The River, Divine Intervention and the upcoming 2007 Kunati Books release Whale Song, an expanded special edition of her 2003 debut. A few months ago she entered the 3-Day Novel contest that was produced by Book TV. She was not selected to participate. So she entered 'A Total Write-Off', expecting the result to be the same.

When I received the call that I had been accepted, I was stunned, honored, excited and terrified at the same time. Now that the news has settled in, I feel confident. Years ago, when I operated a dayhome, Ie played the same kind of game with my dayhome children, asking them to throw out words, occupations, names etc. so I could write a story for them.

Wish me luck!

The competition will be produced by Panacea Entertainment for Book Television, Access-The Education Station and Canadian Learning Television.

More information on the competition to follow at a later date.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Universal Alignment is Featured on Women at Heart

Cheryl's inspirational article Universal Alignment is featured on Women at Heart!

More info to follow...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"Another Wonderful Tardif Novel Shows Her Mastery of Any Genre."

5 Star Review:

"Tardif first enthralled me with Whale Song. What a magnificent transition she accomplishes here with Divine Intervention, a future-thriller, or speculative crime fiction, or sci-fi/mystery. Tardif shows that a great story and wonderful voice can bring any genre to life. Of course, I know her secret. Characters. Jasi and her team make this oh-so-very-hip story jump. Okay, I wouldn't normally read a speculative fiction crossover to mystery, but Tardif's past triumph in Whale Song convinced me to try. As with her previous novel, I sense a potential movie here. Powerful, emotional, riveting, transcending genre. Which is a good thing, because here is a blend of speculative fiction and crime novel, although clearly more of the latter. Thumbs up and waiting for more from Cheryl Tardif."

~ Derek Armstrong, author of the darkly humorous reality television mystery-thriller The Game (Kunati Books -

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Eva Avila - A True Canadian Idol

Well, I will admit to my fans that I am a bit of a TV junkie, and lately my eyes have been glued to Canadian Idol and my fingers have been glued to speed dial. This year's top three idols show poise, grace and versitility beyond their years, and I am proud that our country continuously showcases such fabulous talent and memorable voices.

After introducing our Japanese exchange student Miha to Canadian Idol, I will confess that with two phone lines in my house, I religiously program our favorite idol's number into the speed dial. Since we can vote as often as we want, Miha and I have stayed on task for over an hour the past few voting nights.


So we can vote for 'our girl Eva', as we call her.

That's Eva Avila...girl of a thousand voices, with poise, grace, humility and a beautiful spirit...and soon to be our Canadian Idol!

Now there's a true Canadian Idol who's got the whole package. And the standards night showed Canada that the girl can sing ANYTHING! She has more grace in her little finger than most adult women twice her age. Not only is she perhaps one of Canada's most sensational voices, she is also the humblest, never forgetting to thank those around her.

Congratulations, Eva...for making it into the top 2!

Miha and I have worn out the redial button on two phones, but it was all worth it. You are one idol whom I will personally support by buying your debut album.

About Eva:
This nineteen-year-old beauty hails from Gatineau, Quebec, (my husband lived there as a teen) but was born in Ottawa, Ontario, (hey, my hubby lived there too!) and works (or should that be 'worked'?) as a postal clerk and beauty consultant.

Well, Eva, you let me know if you ever need a good book to read. I will gladly send you an autographed copy of Whale Song (the new 2007 special edition)! You deserve a holiday after Canadian Idol...but I suspect your upcoming "holidays" will feature stages, sound studios, other artists/singers and some award shows as opposed to lying on a beach getting a tan.

Miha and I can't wait for your album! Kudos, you shining star!!!