THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR CHERYL KAYE TARDIF
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Update on the 3rd Annual Local Authors Extravaganza
There were some new faces in the crowd, like Patricia Marie Budd, a historical fiction author, and a few others--I should have written their names down. (Sorry...)
And it was great to see so many familiar faces, like Marty Chan, Dan MacDonald, Jackson Carter, and Kelly Komm.
Marty Chan is a well-known Alberta children's author and his play 'The Forbidden Phoenix' will be at the Citadel Theatre from October 25th to November 9th. It's a "fusion of Peking Opera, martial arts, acrobatics and 'western' musical theatre"--and perfect for the entire family.
Dan MacDonald has a series of small and handy (fits in a purse/pocket) booklets that empower people who want to achieve success in any business venture. Dan also conducts seminars, e-training and more through his company BIS--Business Improvement Solutions.
Jackson Carter is a good friend of mine, and he writes conspiracy thrillers with a Canadian flavor. Check out his novels Bull and Sins in the Name of the Father. He came from the airport to the event--a busy guy!
Kelly Komm is another very good friend of mine. Her debut novel Sacrifice officially released in March. I've read this YA fantasy novel and loved it. She's busy working on the sequel. Although Sacrifice is marketed mainly as Young Adult, it is perfectly suitable for adults, especially if you're looking for a light summer or beach read.
The store special of the day was 'Buy any 3 books, get the 4th FREE'. Between Kelly and I, we had everyone covered. :) I think this awesome sale might be on for a while longer, so if you need more books this summer, now's the time to buy them.
I had a great visit with a fan who popped by my table and let me know he really enjoyed The River. Richard visited for a bit, and I was very excited to hear that he's delving back into his own writing. He has a premise for a thriller set in a very mysterious Canadian location that I think will sell like hotcakes! And thanks for your support, Richard. I hope you enjoy Whale Song! :)
The Authors Extravaganza was fun. Thanks to Trish, Maria, Angie and everyone else at Chapters!! Oh, and the cake was delicious. :)
My next event is the Canadian Authors Association's 2008 CanWrite! Conference, which starts next week from July 3rd-6th.
After that, Edmontonians can pick up my books at Capital Ex (formerly kinown as Klondike Days!) July 17th to 26th. I'll be there to personally sign books on Saturday, July 19th from 12-5. Ex marks the spot! See you there! :)
P.S. I SIGNED a few copies of Whale Song before I left South Point Chapters (3227 Calgary Trail, Edmonton), so if you're collecting autographed books, be sure to pick one up. Don't forget, a percent of my royalties for every sale of Whale Song goes to 3 local nonprofits. :)
Happy reading all!
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Friday, June 27, 2008
Book Trailers: Do they sell more books?
As an author who has no access to knowing where book buyers come from or whether they bought because of a trailer, I am very interested in the answer to this question...
To read my article on book trailers, please visit Books on the Brain.
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
James Patterson inspires me
As an avid reader, I've always enjoyed the thrill of suspense--from following the clues, to uncovering the 'red herrings' and the yearning to know just who did it and why. I've been drawn into criminal minds, wondering what motivates people to do things, and I've loved some of the characters that authors have given birth to--the ones that I can't forget--like Max and Lindsay Boxer.
As an author, I've admired James Patterson--his vision, story plots, writing techniques and his success. His stories are usually character driven, and he is well-known by authors for his short chapters--something I experimented with in my novel The River.
I've been extremely impressed by James' willingness to partner with other authors, usually ones who are up-and-coming success stories in their own right--authors like Andrew Gross, whom I've chatted with via email. I can only imagine what Andrew learned from James Patterson, and I hope one day to be one of the lucky authors selected to pair up with him. His willingness to share what he's learned over the years and to inspire other authors makes me determined to be 'just like him, when I grow up'. :)
I think most of all, he's has taught me that there is longevity in the writing world if you can find the right 'groove' or genre. He's taught me by example to persevere, never give up and keep writing.
Thank you, James!
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, suspense author
Whale Song "caught you from the beginning and never let you go"
"A wonderful read. A book that would appeal to all age groups and all genders. The book caught you from the beginning and never let you go. The characters were wonderful and very human. Absolutely loved this book."
-- Ursula Hindle, a Chapters.ca reviewer
Friday, June 20, 2008
Janeology is a mesmerizing read!
My reviewrating: 5 of 5 stars
ISBN 13: 978-1601640208
Publish date: April 2008
Hardcover; 256 pages; $24.95
Fiction; Legal thriller; Paranormal
Janeology is a mesmerizing read!
Janeology is a unique and captivating blend of legal drama and paranormal suspense. Jane and Tom Nelson represent an average American family, with twins Simon and Sarah, and the family dog. But one incomprehensible act forever changes their lives: Jane attempts to drown her children and the dog—and only one survives.
What follows is unexpected. Instead of the courtroom drama with Jane in the hot-seat, we’re taken to a time when she is already committed to a psychiatric hospital, and Tom now stands trial in his own fight—the battle to prove that he was not responsible for his wife’s actions, that the charges of “failure to protect” will see him as innocent.
Starting off as a legal thriller, the novel takes an interesting detour when a psychic with family ties is brought in to provide an unusual and compelling genealogical defense—that Jane inherited her indifference and un-motherly qualities from generations of ancestors.
I found the flashbacks into Jane’s ancestors’ lives very intriguing, and some of the complexly drawn characters still linger in my mind. Karen Harrington expertly paints her characters with multiple layers, and with vivid imagery that quickly carries the reader through the pages. You won’t want to put it down.
Perhaps the author has touched upon a truth here. Having actually known and befriended a woman who, years after I’d lost touch with her, had abused, imprisoned and starved her young son to death, I have asked myself many of the same questions that Tom asked. What makes a mother kill her own child? Why didn’t I recognize the signs?
Janeology is a novel you won’t soon forget. I know I won’t. It delves into a highly sensitive topic that is sadly ripped from the headlines in nearly any given month and is never discussed in such detail. All in all, Janeology is a mesmerizing read! I can’t recommend this novel enough!
~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Whale Song
View all my GoodReads reviews.
Cheryl visits Books on the Brain and talks about book clubs
As a suspense author, I’m often asked whether any of my books are suitable for book clubs, and I usually answer with: “Definitely! But which one depends on what your book club is looking for.”
So what can I offer to a book club?
Check out my guest post at Books on the Brain for the answer.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Book clubs: Looking for next month's pick?
I hope you'll check out my post, especially if you're in a book club that is looking for their next picks.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Help the homeless find shelter from the storm
The wind howled fiercely, pained perhaps by its dutiful bending of the trees. Then the rains came, torrential waterfalls that washed everything clean. Let's start over, the Universe seemed to say. The wind calmed, the skies lightened, the rains faded to quiet teardrops...and the day was fresh and renewed.
I turned to my computer, feeling listless as thunder boomed across the sky--the angels are bowling again. Lightning streaked past my window and I jumped. Then all was still...quiet...the calm before--
Another angry thunder growl.
This is the kind of day when you want to curl up with a good book, maybe snuggled up by a fireplace, glad you're safe and warm and dry in your home. I did this for a while, until a thought crossed my mind. I wonder where the homeless are taking shelter from this storm.
I think about them often--these nameless, faceless people that walk our inner-city streets and alleys, ghostly wisps that come and go as they please, occasionally begging for money or dumpster-diving for treasures to pawn, lost in their own small world of fight or flight. But to me, they aren't all nameless or faceless. I've seen some of them, met them, talked with them...cried with them.
I came across an article about bestselling author Danielle Steel, whom I've read ever since I was a teen. Danielle is involved with helping the homeless in San Francisco. She started an outreach team that she named Yo! Angel! and has been secretly helping people in her community. In an article in Newsweek about Danielle Steel's homeless endeavors, she says, "Dealing with homelessness feels like emptying the ocean with a thimble. But sometimes making a difference in the world, a big difference, happens one person at a time."
Then I stumbled across a blog called Tri to End Homelessness, where Robyn Durham wrote about how she is trying to be a solution, make a difference.
I, too, know this homeless issue all too well. My brother Jason lived on the streets of Edmonton for a while, then in a run-down boarding house. One time I filed a missing persons report on him.
My brother was funny, a practical joker who was also a whiz at anything computer related. As a teen, Jason offered his knowledge to people who needed help with their computers. He was the original Geek Squad. In his early twenties or so, Jason's life seemed normal. At first, we saw a young man who struggled like most young people do to find himself and his place in the world.
I invited Jason to live with my husband and daughter in Edmonton, to make a new life for himself. I had such hopes for him. Jason had such wonderful dreams for himself too.
But something went terribly wrong.
Jason suffered from mental illness (depression, maybe more) and alcoholism. Eventually he was unable to hold a job or budget his money. We didn't know how to help him. We gave him money, food, clothing and other things in the beginning, hoping it would help him get over this hurdle in his life.
Then we tried the "tough love" approach and stopped giving him any money. We didn't want to feed his addictions. It's so hard to know what to do. Jason gradually distanced himself from his family until we rarely heard from him. We often talked about if one day we'd hear he had died in a ditch somewhere.
Some thoughts should never be spoken aloud.
Jason was murdered and left to die in a cold, dark alley on January 23rd, 2006. He was only 28 years old. None of his street family knew anything about his family, other than he had a sister in Edmonton named Cheryl and she wrote a book about whales. That's it.
I'll never forget the day I opened my front door and found two police detectives on my porch. And I'll never forget my brother Jason.
I so admire Danielle Steel and her caring, unselfish desire to help the people on her streets. I've also done what I can (although it is never enough). I have spoken openly about my brother, tried to educate people about the homeless issue.
I was fortunate to meet some of Jason's inner-city 'family', and they are wonderful, caring people who loved my brother. I am so glad he had them! My experiences opened my eyes, gave me some insights and made it easier for me to see behind the addictions, dirt and bruises.
Every person you see on the street, every 'drunken bum', dirty person dressed in ragged clothing, is part of someone's family. They did not choose to live on the streets. Their situation, and in many cases, a misdiagnosed or undiagnosed mental illness or addiction problem is what puts them on the streets. They are people who had hopes and dreams--although most have been squashed by their circumstances.
To those of you who think: "Why don't they just get a job?", would YOU hire them?
Most people wouldn't. And it's not that cut and dry. The homeless need medications and community services that are usually only available in an inner-city area. Many don't have transportation or bank accounts. Many don't have clean clothes to work in, and their addictions lead to late arrivals at work and lack of skills and education make it nearly impossible for them to get hired.
So please don't think that these people are just milking the system. For what--used clothes and disgusting boarding houses with communal bathrooms that are caked in dirt and excrement? Yeah, that's some life! Some 'free' ride they're getting, huh? Don't you wish you could not have to work so you can live like that?
The problem of homelessness will NEVER be eliminated until people start to realize these people need and deserve help. Number of homeless will only increase until society takes them in, accepts them, gets them help, and appreciates them as people--human beings who have lost their way.
What have YOU done for YOUR city's homeless this month? If you've done something helpful or inspiring, I salute your courage and caring. If you've done nothing because you think it's "their problem" and not yours, then you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Like Danielle Steel, I'm doing what I can to help combat homelessness--I hope to educate people, while I donate money, food and other items and my time. In October, I'll be participating in the Mission of Hope Radio-thon in Edmonton.
My plea to you: please consider getting involved and bring the homeless home to a community that respects them and wants to help. Be 'the one'; make a difference. Help the homeless find shelter from the storm.
~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author of Whale Song
P.S. Every time someone buys a copy of Whale Song, a percent of my royalties is donated to Hope Mission and two other nonprofits that help the homeless, poverty-stricken and those with addictions.
Friday, June 13, 2008
The River - "A definite "must read" from Cheryl Kaye Tardif!"
--Linda Mercier, an Amazon.com reviewer
--Linda Mercier, an Amazon.com reviewer
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Kissed by an Angel (a poem for Sebastien)
Tiny baby, wrapped within
Where no sin could ever rest,
A mother's prayer for skin on skin,
A prayer of thanks for being blessed.
Nine full months anticipation
New formation of a life,
Daughter, friend and wanderer,
Now true definition of a wife.
Welcomed pain, joyful love
From above, God sent a child,
Small and sweet, so innocent
But to live a little while.
At birth, I saw his life grow dim,
I cherished him, please don't go!
But four short hours brought an end,
My first-born son, I'll never know.
Many years have come and gone,
Life goes on, in light and dark,
And in my son's photograph,
Between his eyes he bears a mark.
My daughter arrived one year after,
Through the laughter, I remember this,
She was born with the very same mark,
A mark that is called an "Angel's Kiss".
© Copyright 2004 Cheryl Kaye Tardif. All rights reserved.
In memory of Sebastien
June 12th, 1989...
After a perfect pregnancy, I gave birth to a son. Within seconds I knew that something was wrong. His legs were dark purplish gray and there was no response when the nurse lifted them and let them go. I could see it on everyone's face--the nurses and my doctor knew it too. My baby--my firstborn--was dying.
He died 4 hours after birth--in an ambulance heading for a special children's hospital.
I never held him.
My husband did, but I never held my son. After they first took him away, they put him in an incubator. I was afraid to touch him. The minister from our church came to the hospital and baptized our son. Sebastien Pierre Tardif--"Pierre" after my husband's father.
Today was Sebastien's birthday. He would have been 19.
This afternoon I thought about him. I wondered if he would have looked a bit like our daughter, if he would have looked like my husband Marc.
Would Sebastien have had a girlfriend he really loved? Would he be getting ready to go to college, university...or would he be joining the company where his dad works? Would he have liked fixing cars like his dad? I like to think so. Would he be getting ready to leave, to move out?
Would he have skipped school, tried pot, beaten up the neighbor's boy, taken my car for a joyride before he got his license? Would he have had a wild party when Marc and I went to Mexico? Would he fight with Jessica over everything?
I wish he would have had the opportunity to do ALL of this and more.
I have made peace with all that happened, with his death, and the hole in my life is not so big. I have learned very early on to accept it for what it was--mercy. Sebastien had a brain aneurism minutes before he was born. If he had survived he would have had no use of his legs, possibly his arms and his brain was damaged. In fact, he would not have done many of the things I would have dreamed for my son. He is at peace now, at rest.
And I will never forget him.
Happy birthday, my beautiful son.
Canadian Suspense Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif Signs With New York Literary Agency
Canadian Suspense Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif Signs With New York Literary Agency
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Cheryl Kaye Tardif on Hope Mission Connection
Read this short post and learn more about Hope Mission.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Subscribe to Cheryl Kaye Tardif's Divine News newsletter
It goes out about once a month, and often contains contests JUST FOR MY SUBSCRIBERS.
I don't do anything else with your email addy, so if you'd like to be kept up-to-date on all my news and if you like to win prizes, please sign up.
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, The River, and Divine Intervention
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Canadian author Cheryl Kaye Tardif signs with New York literary agent
In 2006, I managed to get an originally self-published work (Whale Song) picked up by Kunati Books.
Whale Song was published in April 2007 and launched Kunati's UNA trade paperback imprint. Other trade paperbacks will be joining the UNA imprint shortly, but I'm proud that Whale Song was the first.
This week, I signed a contract with an enthusiastic literary agent from New York. It's an all-inclusive contract, meaning he'll represent me and ALL of my books--past and future--in any upcoming deals.
To me, securing an agent represents climbing another ladder rung--or two. If you're a writer, you know how tough that can be to accomplish. And wait! I haven't told you the clincher...
I am Canadian.
No, this isn't a beer commercial. I'm a Canadian author, and in Canada, it's nearly impossible to get an agent here. First, we don't have the population of the US, and hence, we just don't have that many agents here. So many Canadian authors go across the border--or even the ocean--in search of that illusive literary agent.
My agent is in New York, the frenzied hub of the book industry. I couldn't be happier. He came highly recommended by one of his clients. I am positive this will be a productive and successful venture. Why? Because I'm a positive person. So there! :)
To every writer who has struck out sending query after query to agents and publishers over the years, I'll share my two secret strategies: UNWAVERING BELIEF and STUBBORN PERSISTENCE. You must have both.
Having a literary agent will open so many doors that have, in the past, been closed to me. Having a New York agent will even get past the ones that seemed deadbolted shut. I view my agent as my new business partner, someone who knows what he's doing and that I can trust to do the best for us both.
So I'm off to New York. Well, not really. But I am in spirit! My best friend said I should have a "pahty" to celebrate. I'm thinking of having one with a New York theme. You know...New York steaks, New York fries and New York cheesecake. Am I missing anything? Oh yes, and maybe Liza can show up and sing for me so that I'm not forced to Karaoke everyone to death.
And now...a musical interlude. You know the tune.
(music, please...)Start spreading the news
I got an agent today
I want to be a part of it, New York, New York
My vagabond books
Are longing to stray
And make a brand new start of it
New York, New York
I want an agent in the city that never sleeps
So I can be queen of the hill, top of the heap
These Edmonton blues
Are melting away
I'll make a brand new start of it
In old New York
If I can make it there
I'll make it anywhere
It's up to you, New York, New York.(This is my shamelessly adapted version of 'New York, New York'--strictly for entertainment purposes.)
And no, I'm not mentioning my agent's name yet. Now you'll just have to check back here. :)
P.S. I welcome any other 'New York' themed ideas for my "pahty".
Divine Intervention is "a unique crime thriller...highly recommended"
"Tardif writes a unique crime thriller set in British Columbia. Her use of psychically gifted characters adds to the uniqueness of the story, as well as adding extra layers...A crime novel at its best, with a Canadian twist, this book is a really thrilling page-turner, and is highly recommended..."
Read the entire review on Amazon.com.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
YOU select the movie cast for Whale Song!
At the very least, it'll tell them that Whale Song (the movie) is something that readers want to see.
Come on! Have some fun. Who did you envision as young Sarah? Or what about adult Adam?
Cast real film actors in the roles in Whale Song.
Just go to: StoryCasting.com, where Whale Song is currently #2 Top Cast Works of All Time.
I look forward to seeing who YOU pick.
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention
Monday, June 02, 2008
Whale Song ~ an emotional read that will inspire you
"Whale Song is deep and true, a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart...a beautiful, haunting novel."
--New York Times Bestselling novelist Luanne Rice, author of Beach Girls
Thirteen years ago, Sarah Richardson’s life was shattered after the tragic assisted suicide of her mother. The shocking tragedy left a grief-stricken teen-aged Sarah with partial amnesia.
Some things are easier to forget.
But now a familiar voice from her past sends Sarah, a talented mid-twenties ad exec, back to her past. A past that she had thought was long buried.
Some things are meant to be buried.
Torn by nightmares and visions of a yellow-eyed wolf, yet aided by the creatures of the Earth and by the killer whales that call to her in the night, Sarah must face her fears and uncover the truth―even if it destroys her.
Some things are meant to be remembered―at all cost.
Because of Whale Song's powerful and inspiring message of hope, this novel is being used by Community Welcome House, a women's shelter in Georgia, as recommended and mandatory reading for all women coming into their program.
Order from Amazon, or from Barnes and Noble, BookSense.com (select your favorite independent bookstore), McNally Robinson, Audreys Books (Edmonton), Chapters.ca or your favorite independent bookstore.
"Moving...sweet and sad." --Booklist
"A wonderfully well-written novel...would make a wonderful movie." --Writer's Digest
*A portion of my royalties from every sale of my novel Whale Song go to 3 nonprofit organizations to help combat social issues, like poverty, homelessness and addictions. Please help these organizations by ordering Whale Song for all your women and YA women friends.Thank you. CKT
Whale Song makes a wonderful gift--especially for young adults and women.