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

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The birth of my pseudonym Cherish D'Angelo and Lancelot's Lady

The Birth of Cherish D’Angelo, aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Call me Cheryl; I prefer first names. You could also call me Cherish, since that’s the name I’ve adopted as my pseudonym so that I can detour from writing mainly suspense and venture into the romance genre. Cherish D’Angelo is my flowery, romantic pen name. I selected it a few years ago when I started writing my first romance novel. Since my real first name is Cheryl, which means “dear one” or “beloved”, I wanted something similar, and “Cherish” came to mind. Finding a last name to go with it proved to be trickier. After all, when I make it big in romance, I’ll have to sign that name on thousands of books. Hundreds of thousands, hopefully.

I started an angel collection years ago as a memorial for my son, who died at birth. Prior to his birth and death, I’d ordered two angels from a friend who made ceramics. She wasn’t sure if I’d want them after he died, but I did, and this started a collection that grew every year around his birthday and at Christmas. Angels…hmmm…Cherish Angel? No. Cherish D’Angelo. YES! I’d found my new name. It means: “Beloved angel.” Yeah, that’s me.

After Cherish D’Angelo was “born”, she went to work on her first contemporary romance―Reflections. It was a story of a woman stranded on a tropical island with a reclusive rich guy, who had a deaf daughter. Cherish wrote about half of it, then hid it away on my computer. I’d realized that I had other stories that were demanding my attention―darker, more suspenseful stories. It wasn’t the right time for Cherish. So she slipped into a kind of coma, though every now and then she opened her eyes and said, “What about me?” before slipping back to sleep.

In June, I heard about a contest over at Now I’m really not much of a contest person. I love giving them and awarding prizes, but I don’t usually like entering them. I’d been a member on Textnovel ever since the CEO Stan Soper emailed me and invited me to check out the relatively new website.

What drew me to Textnovel’s newest contest was the fact that Dorchester Publishing, the oldest independent mass-market publisher in the US, had paired with Textnovel and was offering a small advance and a book contract. I’m very familiar with Dorchester. I’ve been hooked on their books since I was a teen, and my agent recently submitted my new thriller Children of the Fog to Dorchester. Plus, one of my author friends, thriller author Jeff Buick, is published with them, and I recently connected with one of their romance authors, Colleen Thompson, who is absolutely wonderful and writes awesome romantic suspense. Both told me that being at Dorchester was like being a part of a family. I want that! I want a publishing partner.

The Dorchester/Textnovel “Next Best Celler” contest is looking for the “New Voice in Romance”, and I want to be that voice. Cherish D’Angelo wants to be that voice. She’s ready now! She woke up from that virtual coma and dug out the file for Reflections. The old chapters were used as guidelines, but to date, about 80% of it is new material. Cherish has been on a roll with this novel and it’ll be finished by the end of October.

The Birth of Lancelot’s Lady

Reflections has grown into something far bigger and better than the original. A few days in, I changed the name to Lancelot’s Lady. It’s still the story of Rhianna, a young woman stranded on a tropical island with a rich recluse, but she has far more back story and Jonathan is far angrier, making for a complicated relationship and some humorous scenes. Then there’s Misty, Jonathan’s young, deaf daughter who can’t seem to keep a tutor; not to mention the development of JT Lance, Rhianna’s dying patient, and his butler Higginson, plus the inclusion of the Atkinsons, Jonathan’s caretakers.

As with my other novels, I have come to love these characters. I can picture them, right down to their flaws. And believe, me, they’re all flawed. Rhianna has survived a terrible past filled with horror and death, and Jonathan has cut himself off from family, friends and the world.

Since Lancelot’s Lady is a romantic suspense, both Cherish and Cheryl get to work on this story. I know that sounds weird, and truly, I haven’t lost it. Well, not completely. I think Lancelot’s Lady is a potpourri of sexual chemistry, sizzling tension, spicy passion, illusive danger and triumphant love. But in the end, it doesn’t matter so much what I think. I want to know what YOU think.

This leads me back to the “Next Best Celler” contest and how YOU can be involved. I really need your help to have a chance at winning this contest and to win that publishing contract. Even more, I want to know what YOU think about my newest venture and I’m willing to reward you for your time. For the months of October and November, I’ll be holding Giveaways. Right now you can visit my contest page to see how to enter this month’s Giveaway contest. You’ll have a chance to win signed novels and a $75 Starbucks gift card.

To have a chance at winning Dorchester’s contest, I really need votes and subscribers. I can’t do this without your support. Lancelot’s Lady must stay in the top 10 Most Popular, preferably the top 3. It’ll take about 5 minutes of your time to vote, but I truly hope you’ll check out Lancelot’s Lady and read it for free. And please leave me a comment there. Judges are also reading them. I truly hope you enjoy the debut of Cherish D’Angelo and Lancelot’s Lady.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, aka Cherish D’Angelo

Read & vote for Lancelot’s Lady, a Dorchester “Next Best Celler” entry, at

Enter my October & November Giveaways

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