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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ads in books: coming to a novel near you

The topic of advertising in books has been around for years and we've already seen it in more subtle forms. The back matter of many novels feature ads for other books, whether they're from the author or not. I recall reading romance novels that had ads inserted in the middle, mailing cards I could punch out and send off to receive more books or to sign up for a book club. But for some reason, the thought of a few pages of actual ads at the back of a book really freak out some authors, publishers and readers. Quill & Quire recently blogged about this, as have many bloggers and book industry sites.

I have a confession to make. I've sold advertising in my books. I may just be one of the pioneers of advertising in books and ebooks. To date, these ads are very subtle and you may not even be aware they are an ad. Sometimes I've mentioned a company's name (ie. product placement). Sometimes I've thanked them on my acknowledgement page (not everyone I thanked paid for advertising). Sometimes they're part of a bigger sponsorship campaign. Sometimes it's just a small bit of promotion.

This doesn't mean that every product or business or real person I've ever mentioned has paid me. The majority haven't. With some, money has exchanged hands. With others, I've bartered for services in exchange for advertising. Advertising in one of my novels is an opportunity that is affordable (my ad rates are cheap compared to many alternatives) and reach a wide demographic.

People in the book industry are talking more and more about advertising in the back of books. Why? With the falling prices of ebooks, publishers and authors have to look for alternative means to make an income. Selling ad space makes sense. Like television, these ads would be in front of many eyes. Makes sense to me! And it doesn't bother me a bit, especially if the ads are interesting.

As an author publishing my own ebooks, I like the flexibility of being able to choose my sponsors and my advertisers. I'm looking for specific kinds of ads, ones that are complimentary with each novel or with writing in general. I won't ever do blatant overwhelming product placement ads in the actual story (you know, sentence after sentence with name brands mentioned), but if I can fit a product or service in naturally, I'll do so. Or I'll place ads at the back of my books, which is my preference.

I've just sold ad space for ads at the back of my bestselling inspiring novel Whale Song, which will be re-released in paperback before Christmas, if all goes well. This may make Whale Song the first novel to feature actual ads at the back. This novel is very popular with schools all over the world. It's also very popular with film industry professionals.

Next, I'll be looking for advertisers for the paperback edition of my contemporary romantic suspense Lancelot's Lady, which is slated for publication in 2011. The ebook is being released September 27th and will be released with a huge 100+ online virtual blog tour.

If you're interested in purchasing advertising space in one of my upcoming ebooks, please email me via my website at Let me know a bit about your product or service and who your target audience is. I am especially interested in selling ad space to suspense authors, YA authors, romance authors, publishers, agents, editors, freelance book professionals and more.

"Whale Song is a very touching and very admirable novel"

Another critique from an ESC Trillium student, this time from a young man:
Whale Song is a very touching and very admirable novel that makes you want to just keep on reading and it keeps you interested throughout the whole book. The fact that there is many things that are going on at the same time usually causes a sense of confusion for the reader but in this case the story is very well written and that makes the novel exceptionally fun to read for almost any levels or readers and for people of all ages.
Out of all the books I have read this novel is one of the most interesting and fastest books I have read. The fact that at the end of every chapter that you read you want to know more and that is why the novel is very easy to read. Also the fact that this novel is not only adults or only for children makes it a great book for anyone to have no matter what type of person you are there is something in the book for everyone to like.
My opinion on this book is that everyone should read it. It’s not only a good book to read but it touches many aspects in real life that some people can refer too suck as assisted suicide if if they have someone in their family that is very sick. Even bullying. People can learn so many things from this novel because there is so many themes involved.
The biggest reason that I liked reading this book and that I finished it so fast is because i can refer to it and some parts relate to my life and any book that relates to someone’s life is worth reading and even if it isn’t related at all it is still very interesting. --Jeffrey 
Whale Song is currently only available as an ebook. You can read it on your PC, laptop, smartphone and select ereaders. Online retailers include Amazon's Kindle Store, KoboBooks, Smashwords and more.

Monday, August 30, 2010

An author's thoughts on the Kindle 3, the iPad, ebooks and piracy

I'm interested in the Kindle 3 ereader for 2 reasons. I'm an avid reader and I'm an author. I've been able to check out 3 ereaders to date: the Kindle, the iPad and the Kobo. They each have their pros and cons, but today I'm going to focus on the Kindle 3, with a few comparisons to the iPad.

While many people are very happy with the new Kindle 3 ereader, others are upset about the restricted library size, pricing of ebooks, the lack of sharing abilities and the fact that they can only purchase ebooks via the Kindle Store.

Regarding library size, they all have large libraries and more books than any one person will ever read. Kindle and Kobo have great selections. The only advantage the iPad has over the others with regards to library size is that you can download free apps for the iPad that will give you access to Kindle, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and many others.

I was impressed with the iPad. Then again, I own an iPhone so I know that the experience is similar, just on a larger scale. But if all you're looking for is an affordable ereader, then the iPad is just too much machine for you. And the back-lit screen may be great at night, but it's wearing on the eyes during the day. This new Kindle sounds like it has some great features. At the very least, the Kindle team listened to customers and gave them some of the things they wanted, like a lighter ereader, quieter buttons etc.

I do agree that an ereader should be able to read multiple formats though. And I don't think we should have to buy all our books at one store. If ePub truly does become the universal format and ereader manufacturers create a way for us to add books from multiple ebook retailers, then the majority of readers will be very happy.

As an author, DRM is important. It protects writers against piracy. Most authors understand you want to share the book with your best bud. I want you to share it. What I don't want is for someone to be able to make copies of the file and then share (or sell) those files illegally. And sadly, that's what's happening.

I'm not sure what the solution is. Nobody is. Do we eliminate DRM and keep ebook prices high to help compensate for pirated copies? Or do we lower prices and keep some DRM intact? Is there a way to design an ereader that can share files between your computer, laptop and ereader, yet only share with other readers if they pay a small surcharge to the publisher (and therefore the author)? Would that satisfy readers?

If publishers and authors could be sure that readers would give away THEIR copy of the ebook and not make copies, things would be easier. But there are unscrupulous people out there who think authors and publishers are all rich. We're not. Or they just think they're entitled to do what they want, whether it's against the law or not. You've purchased one copy of an ebook. The copyright belongs to the author. COPY right. When you lend someone a print book, you've given them your copy. you haven't reprinted it and loaned them a copy. When you file share ebooks, you're pirating extra copies.

Anyone who says authors write and promote every hour they can for the fun of it is full of crap. I want to make an income. I have a right to make an income. That's why I'm a professional writer and not a hobbyist. Although I'm a bestselling author with multiple titles, if I calculated what I actually make per hour, it probably ranges in the poverty level. But this is a business to me and I look at it the same way I would if I'd bought a restaurant. I have to work it and work it hard before I see the rewards.

Anyways, piracy aside, the issue here is ebooks and the future. You can hold onto your paper books all you want, but ebooks are here to stay. This is the future of reading. People who enjoy reading will try an ereader and they'll realize they like it. Schools will have ereaders and computers, no more textbooks--eventually. Pricing will drop as more publishers realize that quantity is what they want. Already you can find awesome reads for under $10.

My own ebooks all retail for less than $5. One sells for $0.99. And I'm not the only author out there that has affordable ebooks. Sometimes we even offer them for free. :-)

I hope my post offers a bit more insight into the world of ebooks--at least now you have an author's point of view. I'm embracing ebooks and ereaders. :-)

Happy reading, everyone--whether you're reading a hardcover, paperback, e-ink or back-lit screen.

Sell Your Book, Not Your Soul: A Workshop by Marty Chan

The Canadian Authors Association - Alberta Branch and Get Publishing Communications Society present...

Sell Your Book, Not Your Soul
A Workshop by Marty Chan
9 A.M. – 1 P.M.
Saturday, September 11

Campus Saint-Jean
8406 Marie-Anne-Gaboury Street (91st Street)
Lacerte Pavillion (3rd floor)
Edmonton, Alberta

Marketing a book doesn’t have to make writers feel like taking a shower. Playwright/author Marty Chan shares his tips and tricks on how to sell your book without selling your soul. Through humorous anecdotes, he’ll highlight his successes and failures to illustrate the dos and don’ts of book marketing campaigns and how to approach self-promotion in a positive and productive way. Participants should be prepared for group work.

Marty Chan is a cross-genre writer with successes in theatre, television, radio and kids’ fiction. He’s best known for his cross-cultural hit, Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl. Edmonton audiences may know of his work from CBC Radio, the Edmonton Journal or the Fringe Festival. Currently, he has been entertaining kids across Canada with his hilarious mystery novels and picture book. He works and lives in Edmonton with his wife and their two cats. For more information about Marty, please visit

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Whale Song is "the best book I ever read in school"

Here's another Whale Song review from an ESC Trillium student.
I read “Whale Song” by Cheryl Kaye Tardif in my grade 11 English class and I think that it was the best book I ever read in school. The characters were really charming. I loved the way that she used old native legends or even just a wise phrase at the beginning of the novel and came back to it later on. By doing that, I was able to connect to the story more than other books. The reason why I loved it so much was because we saw the main character’s whole journey and I really loved how the author never forgot about anything. At the end of the novel, there were no questions left except for “Is she gonna marry him?” I love how the author gave us the choice to finish it ourselves, if we want her to marry him or not.
I really want to have the book because I would love to re-read it and lend it to friends and family and let them read it. It’s a really awesome book and I really recommend it to everyone. It’s the kind of book that everybody can enjoy. There are so many different feelings. Some parts, you laugh and others you cry. I got really attached to the characters and when stuff happened, I was really sad, but it also makes you think how fast everything can turn around and ruin everything. 
When[Sarah] first moved to Canada, she had absolutely no idea of what was coming up. Her biggest problem was that she was leaving her best friend behind. It made me think that my parents are really precious and you really need to keep them close to you no matter what. Don’t ever let a little fight get in between you and your parents because you have absolutely no idea of what is coming up.
So all of this is to say that the book is awesome and I would definitely read it again. I would also love to read the other books that she wrote. If they are one quarter as good as “Whale Song”, they will be excellent. Cheryl Kaye Tardif really inspired me to continue with my work and to never give up. It's possible to share with the world a story, no matter how hard it may be. --Marie-Eve
Thank you, Marie-Eve. I really appreciate everything you wrote here. I am so glad you enjoyed my "heart book".

Extreme Home Makeover: Coventry Edition - Day 178 We've Got Cabinets

Now that I got you caught up to the drywall stage of our Extreme Home Makeover: Coventry Edition, I'll now show you what they put in during the past couple of days. Caninets! This is the stage where building a home starts to resemble something closer to the finished product. this is where the design elements start coming into play.

First, in the basement, there's an art niche wall. I call it my "Stairway to Heaven". It will hold my angel collection and photos of family members and friends who have passed away. This is a wonderful way to pay tribute to loved ones. I'll be sure to take a picture once this wall is finished and my angels and photos are on it.

You'll now notice that the walls are a light green color. This isn't the actual paint color. It's a primer sealer. Our wall color throughout the main part of the house will be a slightly darker shade of green. I find green to be a very soothing, spa-like color. Makes me feel like I'm surrounded by plants, even though I don't have a green thumb.

The most noticeable additions were the beautiful cabinets installed in the kitchen. I'm such a red wood person, so having this luxurious shade of red in the cabinets works for me. This will be topped by a granite counter in a dark forest green (almost black) shade with small flecks of gold.

The cupboards on the top are staggered, which gives it a nice decorative effect. It will have some molding at along the top too. I added more drawers and a china cabinet with glass windows at the end by the window because I like storage. I prefer drawers to cabinets as I have back issues. Here's a tip: use pull-out drawers in the bottom of lower cupboards for easy reaching and cleaning.

The island will hold an over-sized sink and the dishwasher. I also made the island longer to give me more drawers. It will have the same granite top. The counter will have a small overhang so we can put a couple of stools underneath if we want.

Jessica's bathroom downstairs is HUGE. Not only does she have large shower, she has a ton of counter space and a makeup area. She also has a closet for storing linens. All inside her bathroom.

We chose white cabinets for all the bathrooms (upstairs and down) as it helps to brighten up a room and looks clean. The counter top is beautiful; it has specks of pale gold in it. They still have to cut the hole in the top for the sink.

The laundry room is one of my favorite rooms in the house--go figure! Never thought I'd ever say that. It's on the main floor and at the opposite end of the house from our bedroom. Far enough away that we won't hear it, yet close enough to make doing laundry a breeze.

The washer and dryer will go in the space in the first photo. My husband is going to build a box that they'll sit on to raise them up about a foot off the ground. It's a nice touch to add if you have back problems.

There are upper and lower cabinets along three walls. There's even a small closet with shelves to the left of where the washer and dryer will go. There will be a sink under the window, and two of the lower cabinets pull out to display 4 plastic bins that act as our recycling center. Our small freezer will fit at the other end of the cabinets. Again, lots of storage and counter space.

This will be a great room to store those little extras like paper towels and light bulbs, not to mention seasonal things like bug spray and sunscreen. Again, storage was something I really wanted and needed. You can never have too much of that!

Well, that's it for today's update on our Extreme Home Makeover: Coventry Edition. I hope you've enjoyed watching this process and following along with us as we have a new home built. This is our second build by Coventry Homes* and I highly recommend the process to anyone thinking of buying a new home. It's often cheaper to build than to buy, and the great thing about building is that you get what you want. There's nothing better than moving into your new home and knowing that the colors, flooring, back-splashes and cabinets were all selected by you. Except maybe knowing you designed the interior layout.

Enjoy your home, wherever you may be.

*Coventry Homes is the sponsor of Whale Song, my bestselling inspirational novel. A new paperback edition is in the works. Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Whale Song: "I’ve never really read a book that good; and I’ve read a lot of books!"

Receiving reviews from fans always makes my day. Receiving reviews from students who read my novel in school is even more special, because I sure remember the novel studies I did in school and the book reports that followed. I feel blessed to have touched so many people through my words.
‘Whale Song’ was a wonderful novel. It is rare and I’ve never really read a book that good; and I’ve read a lot of books! I guess it was all in the way that everything started out so good, and so perfect and then it all fell to pieces to be brought back together again in the end. It kept you wondering, guessing and even made you feel frustrated and sad. It made me cry...I had to put the book away, at some point to remember that it was just a book. It felt so real, I felt so touched by everything that I had trouble separating her reality from mine.
If I had the power to change something about the book, I would not. I guess it was meant to be that way and there is no apparent reason to change it into something different. Books, I usually want to re write the ending or the beginning because somewhere and somehow I wasn’t satisfied. ‘Whale Song’ has a lot of details. Which permits you to imagine everything very detailed and lets you feel and be a part of the story in some unexplainable way. You feel like you're watching from afar everything that’s happening.
There is one thing I’m especially glad about...the end. I was so happy, I mean who doesn’t like a cute happy ending? I love romance and I’m just glad that it found its self in the novel. At least that made you realise that in life you have to move on, and just because something terrible happens, your life is not yet over. Even if you want it to be.
And there is also ONE thing that I was kinda disappointed about: how once everything was good and joyful again, the book ended. I mean, it has to end somehow and not a lot of people want to read about ‘how wonderful it is and how much they love etch other’; people need action.
But for some reason, I like it better when its all lovey dovey; but apart from that it was a good ending. The author didn't explain everything, she kinda gave them their privacy and let the readers imagine how the rest may of happened. Which is good.
All the legends, the heartbreaks, the bullying and the racism. Who would of thought it was possible to glue them all together and to make them work in such harmony for the benefits of a novel? It was different, and new and exciting and obvious at some parts. I don’t know what else to say about it, it was just a good novel. --Marianne
 Marianne, I am so glad Whale Song made an impact on you and I hope you'll always keep reading. :-)

Extreme Home Makeover: Coventry Edition - Day 177 The Walls Are Up

Today is Day 177 of our Extreme Home Makeover: Coventry Edition, aka the building of our new house in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A lot has happened inside and outside of our house, but we're not ready to move in yet. They're saying November 1st now. Because this is a custom build, our house has taken longer than usual to build. It's been a bit frustrating because we're so excited about moving in. And we want to do so before winter sets in.

Unfortunately we were missing a chord for our camera, so some of these pics are a few weeks/months old. By tomorrow's post, I'll have you updated completely on where we're at in our build--or should I say, where Coventry Homes is at in building our home.

First, the outside of our house. The siding, a light gray-green, is completed, as well as the shingles on the roof and the dark green trim. What's interesting is that we hadn't paid as much attention to the outside design of the house, which was taken from Coventry's existing "Triumph" plan. We had spent most of our time redesigning the interior, so we were surprised to find a neat accent on the outside--faux shingles in a darker gray-green. What's great about these shingle accents on the front peaks over the garages is that they make our house different from everyone else's on the street, though very discreetly. Better yet, there's no real upkeep, no painting or staining to do.

Though our front door and porch is partially hidden by a side fence, I like the privacy. Especially since my office if behind that large window you see. I can't wait to move in and start working in that room. It's huge and bright and I plan to put plants on the porch to enjoy through the window. Ahhh...yes, it'll be a great place to create.

As you can see the walls are up. They've been drywalled, mudded and sanded. This really brightens up each room and makes the house seem that much larger. Funny how this works. When they poured the basement walls, it looked small. Even the framing made each room seem smaller than it now appears. Our mind plays strange tricks on us. Perception is everything. Until it's not.

The entrance way opens up with a closet that is accessible via the front door and the garage door, unlike the original plan. I like my design better. :-) In fact, I made so many changes to the inside of Coventry's Triumph floor plan, that I now call it "the Tardif Triumph". I think I'm quite good at designing functional, spacious homes because I know what most women want--space and storage. Men want a large garage. Well, Marc sure has one. It fits 3 cars, something you don't see much in our new neighborhood.

Our living room seems endless. The room spans half the length of the house, more if you include the open kitchen design. The ceiling is 10' high, adding to the airiness of the room. I'm going to love it here. The kitchen is a dream, with an island (you'll see in my next post) and so many cabinets I'll never run out of storage. The pantry is small, but sufficient.

I don't plan on storing all the stuff I have in the rental's pantry; I'll have my laundry room for extra storage. There will be cabinets, a sink, a small freezer and the washer and dryer in here. What's great is that there will be counter space, so I can fold laundry before placing it in the basket. I may just enjoy doing laundry. Shhh...don't tell my husband.

In the back corner is the open dining area surrounded by big windows that look out onto our deck and beyond to the backyard. I love these windows as they let in a lot of light. Right now they're covered with a protective film so you don't get the full effect. There are two tall windows you can't really see, one to the left of the sliding door and one to the right of the two large windows. Don't forget, these are 10' ceilings. The windows are quite tall.

We have a large deck that wraps around from far left of the sliding doors to past the windows. We're waiting for Coventry to pour the cement pad for our hot tub. We plan to build a lattice wall around the hot tub for privacy. Our deck is one of the highest in the area, which seems really strange since our house is a bungalow, not a two-story or split-level like the other homes in the neighborhood.

What's best about the deck and backyard is how big they both are and the view. Not only will we eventually have our yard landscaped, there are already existing trees lining the chain-link fence in the back and the wood fence on one side.

Beyond our yard lies the circle with it's Stonehenge of tall trees. I find it very peaceful. I've decided that when I landscape the yard, I'll be leaving the view of the circle open so that we can see it from our deck and from the back corner of our yard.

Other plans for the backyard: I'd love to have a Bermuda moongate, a Japanese bridge and a dry riverbed, not to mention lots of low maintenance plants and bushes. Thank God for the DIY channel on TV. My husband and I love it!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Whale Song "always leaves you wanting more"

Students from ESC Trillium High School in Ontario studied Whale Song last year, and here's another critique from a student there.
The novel Whale Song has been my favourite book read thus far during my high school career. From the minute I picked up Whale Song, I was hooked. The story develops at a good pace and always leaves you wanting more. The story that this novel recounts has aspects that everyone can relate to, from living through a move or the death of a loved one. 
The character of Sarah is very relatable to people of all ages because her age progresses throughout the novel.  Sarah also experiences many obstacles that a lot of people experience growing up, such as making new friends, facing a bully and finding your first love.  
I believe reading this novel in a grade 11 pre-university English class is very appropriate.  The novel does contain some material that can be very emotional and requires a certain maturity to comprehend. I would definitely recommend this book to family and friends; it was a very smooth read. Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a very gifted author and I cannot wait to read more of her novels. --Cailin
Thank you, Cailin. This is an awesome review and I can tell you really "got" Whale Song. :-)

Bestselling Canadian author Cheryl Kaye Tardif organizes the biggest online book tour ever

Today marks one month before I launch my contemporary romantic suspense, Lancelot's Lady, with the BIGGEST online book tour ever. Over 108 blogs in 15 days! I'm so excited. Especially because anyone who follows me to these blogs will have a chance to win great prizes and everyone who leaves a comment with their email address will receive FREE EBOOKS during my Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour.

I guess you could say Cherish D'Angelo, my romance pen name, has pulled off this major event. It's taken three months of organization, researching and contacting blog hosts, plus I've spent the last month writing articles and answering interview questions. I'm nearly finished that part. Whew!

Next month I'll be working on press releases and other promotions to advertise this huge event. I also have to post all the links on my website/blog and confirm prize sponsors and hosts, plus make sure they get their posts well in advance. The key to organizing such a huge event is organization and planning.

As far as I know, no other author has attempted this many blog stops in such a short time--over 108 blogs in 15 days. Some people called me crazy when I told them my goal. But I'm adventurous and I love a challenge.

I hope you'll join me next month as I celebrate the release of Lancelot's Lady.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another review from an ESC Trillium student

Students at ESC Trillium High School in Ontario studied Whale Song last year and as part of their novel study, they wrote reviews of my novel. I'm printing them here with their permission. Please keep in mind that many of these students do not speak English as a first language, but French.

Here's a critique from one of the young men in the class:
I will be totally and truly honest on what I think of the story that is told in Whale Song. I think that this story is a good one because there are a lot of little details that are based on true story. A lot of people can identify their self to the story or even just to one part of the story. I loved the story in general but I disliked all the parts where they were in the hospital because it remember me bad memories. I’m sure that there’s a lot of people that had a flashback reading this story because the author is able to write so well that we can feel what the characters feel. 
That book have taken a long time before being finished but at least the book was well done. I think that when Sarah saved her bully from the drown and after that they have became friends isn’t reflecting the reality. I know that this part of the story is essential but I wouldn’t have put this solution to bullying in this story. I would have make both girls drown and being saved by Goldie and she would be asked what she want and, that would be the peace between those two girls. 
One other thing that I liked is that there’s suspense...That book is good for people of our age because there is a lot of issue that we face as teenagers that are present in the story. --Kevin
Thank you so much, Kevin, for all your comments here. I'm glad you enjoyed Whale Song. One of the great things about being a writer is that I can allow my characters to tell ME the story, and that's what I've done here. Happy reading!

'Eclipse' actress Jodelle Ferland "loved" Whale Song

A couple of years ago, I connected with Canadian actress Jodelle Ferland, who recently played Bree Tanner in the popular Twilight sequel, Eclipse. I actually "met" her and her mother online as a result of a friend of Jodelle's who had contacted me regarding Whale Song, which has been very popular with people in the film industry. I am determined that one day Whale Song will be a major motion picture.

I arranged to send Jodelle a copy of Whale Song. Her mother emailed me and told me they'd both read it and enjoyed it.

Then just the other day, Jodelle graciously gave me permission to add her review blurb to my website and blog, so here it is--short and sweet, but it says it all. I value her words so much, not just because she's a celebrity, but because she's a young woman who read Whale Song and really "got" it. Thank you so much, Jodelle!

"I read Whale Song and loved it." --Jodelle Ferland

Check out Jodelle's Facebook page and follow her on Twitter.

P.S. I'd love to hear from any of Jodelle's fan club organizers. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Whale Song is an extraordinary story"

Check out this critique from another ESC Trillium student who studied Whale Song in her Grade 11 English class.
Whale Song is a story about a little girl who faces a lot of obstacles in her life. Even though she gets hurt a couple of times, she has friends and family to help her get through it and that is the reason why I loved that book. 
This book tells us a lot about Sarah who is in her teenage years. Yet she moves into a new town, she meets new people, she gets bullied...She hits a lot of bumps in the road. But thanks to Goldie’s friendship and Nana’s native stories, Sarah learns more and more about life and you can see that she grows up and making decisions. 
There’s a lot of emotions behind it all like sadness, happiness, anger etc. Whale Song also teaches you that you will get some bumps in the road, but you have to keep going and finish the life that you started...Whale Song is an extraordinary story. The feelings inside the character’s are moving. You can see them growing and changing. This story is what can happen during a teenager’s life. 
I can read this story over and over again since I’m a teenager and there’s a lot of things that we go through like relationships, bullying, friendship and a lot of feelings that we discover. Teenager are kids that are growing up to become someone that they want to be. This book can get you thinking about feelings. --Jade
Thank you, Jade. This is an awesome review and I can tell Whale Song reached you where I wanted it to--your emotions.

ONE CHILD by Jeff Buick is Powerful...Explosive...Moving

In Jeff Buick's powerful thriller, One Child, the world of high stakes stock exchanges, illegal arms dealing, the never-ending war in Afghanistan and past sins collide. From the moment young Halima awakes in Kandahar and tells her father she had a dream she would be someone "important" to the tragic yet hopeful ending, we are drawn into this story of interconnecting lives and cultures.

Buick's writing is descriptive and intelligent, and the author's expert research allows him to set out the bait, while the mounting tension draws you into the streets of war-torn Afghanistan and beyond. Reading this novel is like walking a tightrope with your eyes closed.

One Child portrays our world as it is―flawed and dangerous, yet ripe with opportunity and humanity. We are each shaped by our experiences and must follow our own paths. Destiny might guide us, but in the end, it's what we make of our lives that counts.

Explosive and moving, One Child is a must read.

[Review of the ARC supplied by the author.]

For more information, please visit and

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
Bestselling author

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Whale Song review: "Cheryl Kaye Tardif will leave you overwhelmed with emotions"

Here's another Whale Song review from an ESC Trillium student. ESC students studied Whale Song as part of their English studies. My novel has been used as part of the curriculum for a couple of years now, along with my thriller The River.

Here's Mélanie's critique:
Whale Song is a book that opens new feel the emotions of joy, sadness, anger, sympathy, and frustration, all in one book of 22 chapters. In all the emotions you feel in this book it is really impossible not to show them, because they just explode and you don’t want to keep them bottled up inside you. Whale Song is really appropriate for kids be coming of age, in their teens and for adults of any age, the emotions are the same.
In this book you can see many different themes like euthanasia, bullying and racism. Usually when there are many themes, it is too much to handle and understand, but in Whale Song you can understand the different themes and keep in to mind the meaning of them. Cheryl Kaye Tardif really represented the themes well in this book because if she didn’t you wouldn’t be able to feel the wouldn’t have felt the joy within Sarah and Goldie’s friendship, the anger you feel when Annie bullies Sarah and how you want to go and stop her, but at the same time you wouldn’t feel the sympathy for Annie...with Sarah you wouldn’t feel the frustration, because she doesn’t remember and she doesn’t want to remember, but if she did remember...maybe the story wouldn’t have went as far as it did.
Cheryl Kaye Tardif will leave you overwhelmed with emotions. This book will leave you with a smile, on your face and in your heart. --Mélanie
Thank you so much for your review, Mélanie. I appreciate everything you've said.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Guest blogger: Author Stacey Cochran stops by during his CLAWS 2 Blog Tour to talk about publishing and more

Today's special guest blogger is author Stacey Cochran, author of CLAWS, CLAWS 2 and more. Welcome, Stacey!

Thanks so much for hosting me today during my CLAWS 2 Blog Tour. Today I’d like to talk about the process and decision to self-publish and will break this down into the following categories: 1) Proof-reading and editing, 2) Cover Design, 3) Pricing, and 4) Selling to a traditional publisher

To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish
The decision to self-publish my books was not an easy one. I self-published my first novel in 2004 after querying traditional publishers and literary agents. Subsequently I have self-published five more books over the past five years, and during that time I have sent out roughly 3,000 query letters (via postal and e-mail). In the past half decade, I have signed on with two different literary agents who both worked extremely hard to sell my novels to traditional publishers. As yet, no publisher has made an offer.

I only self-publish a book after it has been pitched for many months to traditional publishers and everyone says “Not interested.” For most first-time authors, I recommend the same. Try to get a literary agent first. If that doesn’t work, pitch as many editors as you can on your own. If the net result after a year or two is that no one is interested, then you should self-publish your book.

Proof-Reading and Editing
For both CLAWS and CLAWS 2, I worked with a writing group to critique the manuscripts. My standard writing process is to revise as I go along. That is, I don’t usually move to Chapter 2 until I have edited Chapter 1 for quite a while.

Once I have the whole first draft of a manuscript done, I normally do a full-scale edit on my own that can take from one to six months. It is that revised version that typically goes in front of my writing group. The group reads the manuscript closely and makes both surface and content edits.

I then apply their feedback, a process that takes about a month. Then, I give the manuscript to my wife. She reads and critiques, and I apply her feedback. Another month or two.

With CLAWS and CLAWS 2, I had two different literary agents over five years, and both agents gave me thorough editorial feedback that went into yet another two rounds of revision. Additionally, nearly every major thriller editor in the business gave us feedback on the novels, and I applied all of their comments into the novels as well.

Finally, the novels went through two years of editing in the booking and formatting phase, once the decision was reached to self-publish the books.

Editing a novel this much is painstaking work, but it is essential if you’re going to put your work out to a paying public.

Cover Design
Cover design differs from book to book. I worked with a graphic designer friend on the first CLAWS cover, but I did CLAWS 2 on my own. For CLAWS 2, I first searched for the perfect photo. I knew I wanted to have snow in the image, but I wasn’t sure about how much to suggest. I first tried doing a trickle of blood in a snowy field, etc., but none of that worked well and I wanted to go for a “cleaner” noirish feel, since CLAWS 2 is more of a story about the character Angie Rippard.

I was totally inspired by the original Into the Wild cover for the runaway bestseller by Jon Krakauer. His book cover gave me the confidence to go black-and-white, and from there I did everything in PhotoShop.

Unless you have experience working in PhotoShop, I suggest working with a graphic designer. A fair price for a great cover should come in under $300, but depending on your network of friends, you may be able to find someone who will do it for less. Shop around. Ask questions. Get estimates.

How to price a book is one of the most hotly debated topics in the eBook world today. For the indie author, pricing a book the right way is paramount to success.

The best indie author I’ve seen who knew how to move prices around to drum up business was Sam Landstrom. Using the now-defunct “Mobipocket Method” Sam would drop his price to free, blast up into the rankings, and then raise the price and sell like mad for several weeks. He did this effectively enough over the course of nine months to earn tons of positive reviews, visibility, and word of mouth, and he now has a contract with AmazonEncore.

Because I have four books available on Kindle, I can experiment with pricing. The new thriller CLAWS 2 was first set at $2.99 to take advantage of the new 70% royalty rate. My other titles were all listed at 99 cents. After six weeks, I changed the price of CLAWS 2 to 99 cents and raised the price of the first book to $2.99 because my hunch was that the good reviews could move it at the higher price point.

There is no iron rule that will work for everybody. That said, if you price your book reasonably you’re much more likely to increase sales.

At some point in your marketing process, you’ll need to assess whether your goal is to build a readership or to make money. It may be that you have to do the former before you can do the latter.

Mainstream Publisher Interest
So, if a mainstream publisher approached me and wanted to publish my novel(s), how would I respond?

I would be happy. One part of my own personal equation in building a writing career is establishing credibility. Credibility factors into success. That is, if readers trust you, they are much more likely to buy your book, and if you can get a mainstream publisher to publish your work, it is a sign to many potential readers that you’re a pretty good writer.

There are a number of mid-list authors on the web who are now weighing whether to accept offers from traditional publishers or to self-publish. They’re in a good position to be able to make that decision because they’ve already been established by the mainstream houses, and thus have the credibility that contributes to high reader trust.

For writers without that credibility, I would recommend going with a traditional publisher, even if you have to settle on a lower royalty rate. Consider a hardcover or paperback deal as a stamp of credibility that will be on your resume forever, particularly if it’s with a well-known and well-respected publisher.


Stacey Cochran was born in the Carolinas, where his family traces its roots to the mid 1800s. In 1998 he was selected as a finalist in the Dell Magazines undergraduate fiction competition, and he made his first professional short story sale to CutBank in 2001. In 2004, he was selected as a finalist in the St. Martin’s Press/PWA Best First Private Eye Novel Contest. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Dr. Susan K. Miller-Cochran and their son Sam, and he teaches writing at North Carolina State University. His books include CLAWS, CLAWS 2, The Colorado Sequence, Amber Page, and The Kiribati Test.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Whale Song review: "Out of 1 to 10 I’d give this book a 10"

Here is another review from an ESC Trillium student. Most of the students in this class are French-Canadian hoping to improve their English skills.
The Whale Song book was a really good book. It was honestly the first book that I actually finished on my own because most of the time when I read books I just give up in the middle of it. It is now one of my favorites. But while I was reading Whale Song I just felt like I always wanted to read, I just wanted to keep reading to know what was gunna happen. That is probably the thing I love the most about reading books, is that while I’m reading I never wanna stop because I know that something interesting is going to happen. 
While I read books I don’t expect myself to get many different emotions towards it, but while I was reading Whale Song I got so many different emotions which where sad, happy, confused and more... Out of 1 to 10 I’d give this book a 10 and I do recommend this book to other people. The thing that bothered me the most is that I really wanted to know what was going to happen with Sarah and Adam, I figured that they just lived there life’s together and that they got married later on in there life, I felt like I never wanted this book to end. 
It is probably a book that I will read a couple of times and I won’t even mind. I heard that there was a movie coming out and I seriously can’t wait for it to come out if the movie is as good as the book this could possibly become like twilight, lol --Melissa

Giveaway: Review a Cheryl Kaye Tardif novel and receive free ebooks or your name in my next novel

August is my birthday month and anyone who knows me knows I love giving away books around my birthday. So for the month of August, I have a fun giveaway that rewards my favorite people--my readers.

Reviews are something that every author needs in order to compete in today's book world, and I don't always ask people to write them or post them. Now that I've branched out into ebooks, I really could use some fresh reviews from readers who want to share their thoughts and feelings about my work.

I appreciate honest reviews, so even if you don't think my work deserves 5 stars, if you follow the rules of this giveaway, I'll still give you your prize.

Here's how the giveaways will work...
  • Read any of my novels, whether print or ebook (the text is the same). I have 5 titles available for you to buy and review: Whale Song, The River, Divine Intervention, Remote Control, and Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories. The last 2 are not on every review site listed below.
  • Write a short, honest review. It doesn't have to give a detailed account of the story plot. I really want to know what YOU thought and felt, what made you read it. I want to know why you'd recommend my book to your friends--or not.
  • Post your review to any or all of the following sites:,,,,,,, and to gain points.
  • Send me the links to your reviews once they've been published and by August 31st, 2010.
  • You'll get 1 point for every review you post. Please note: you get 1 point per book title so though Amazon will post your review to multiple editions, you will only get the 1 point.
  • 33-40 points - will receive an ebook of my upcoming new release Lancelot's Lady, plus your name as a character in one of my next novels (or a name of your choosing), plus an ebook of that book once it's published.
  • 24-32 points - will receive 2 ebooks of your choosing from my current list, plus a special thank you on the Acknowledgement page of one of my new novels.
  • 17-24 points - will receive 2 ebooks of your choice from my current list.
  • 6-16 points - will receive 1 ebook of your choice from my current list, plus a special thank you on the Acknowledgement page of one of my new novels.
  • 1-5 points - will receive 1 ebook of your choice from my current list.
Important notice: You can start reading and reviewing now--I'll give you a head start! Any existing reviews on the above review sites that you've already done will count towards this contest, but you must write and post at least one review in August 2010.

Everyone must email me with those links to reviews to qualify.

Prizes will be awarded in the first 2 weeks of September.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

"I’ve never had a book affect me the way Whale Song affected me"

Here is another critique from an ESC Trillium student. I've removed any major spoilers.

Friendship, death and love are just a few of the things that were portrayed out of the book I read in my grade 11 class with Mme Pam. It was a wonderful book and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a great book full of emotions.

Whale Song was an easy read so I believe we could have read it in grade 9 or 10, but I’m not complaining. The story was amazing, it’s wonderful how deep the emotion is behind the book. For example: When Goldie's brother was the boy who died trying to swim out to the island, the amazing friendship between Goldie and Sarah, Annie the bully, the friendship between Annie, Goldie and Sarah, the friendship between the Dixons and the Richardson’s.

I’ve never had a book affect me the way Whale Song affected me. Here are some examples of when the book affected me: ...when Adam came back in the story near the end of the book and when I found out why the book was called Whale Song.

I was so into the book that I finished it in 3 days. That’s a record for me because it usually takes me a long time before I finish a book. It was interesting from the beginning, that’s a good thing because when I find the beginning of a book boring, I probably wouldn’t read it. When you watch a really good movie, all the viewers will be “on the edge of their seat”, well that’s what I felt when I was reading Whale Song. The suspense was killing me, I just wanted to find out what was going to happen next.

For a long time, I imagined Sarah staying down for the rest of her life. So when Nana got into the car accident, I had mixed emotions, I was hoping that would help Sarah, but at the same time I was sad Nana was in a car accident. Nana was such a strong character...happy, loving and full of life even after the accident. Those are just a few of the reasons I enjoyed the novel Whale Song. --Katrina

Katrina's entry was a close second for the contest I held, in which the winning reviewer received a Chapters gift card for his or her review. Thank you, Katrina! I really enjoyed reading your critique.

Giveaway contests can result in free books and ebooks

One thing I've done since my first book was published was hold contests and giveaways. I often give away my books and ebooks.

During my upcoming Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour from September 27th to October 10th, I'll be giving away my books (print and ebooks), pendants, pens, and other items. I'll also be giving away free ebooks donated by some fabulous author sponsors.

For those of you who love entering contests, there's a great website you can visit that will offer you all sorts of giveaways. Check out

Friday, August 20, 2010

"'The River' is so much a part of my life"

"Cheryl,your book 'The River' is so much a part of my life, I grew up on stories of the Nahanni (including the headless part), my father trapped there and was the main source of all the stories I heard. How uncanny that your story involved the love from a father. I look forward to reading your next book and hopefully there will be many more for us avid readers." --Roseann

ESC Trillium student wins a Chapters gift card with her Whale Song review

ESC Trillium is a high school in Ontario that has been incorporating two of my novels--WHALE SONG and THE RIVER into their English novel study curriculum. This has been a very rewarding experience for me. I've been able to speak with the students during Skype conferences and read their critiques or reviews. From what I hear from their teacher Pam Morin, this has been a great experience for the students too.

Last year, students studied WHALE SONG and I decided to hold a contest. The winner would receive a Chapters gift card. Students would submit their critique and I was the judge. It wasn't easy picking a winner from all the great entries, but in the end I had to give the prize to the one student whom I thought really got all the messages and themes in WHALE SONG.

And the winner is...JULIE. Here is her entry (I have edited out all spoilers)...

After reading the novel Whale Song, I can safely say that I loved the book. I liked the way every character played an important part in the book, no matter how often they appear. I also loved the native legends that were mentioned, because they can be applicable to everyday life. A perfect example of one of the native legends I really like, would be the legend of Seagull, because it applies to everyday life and helps to deal with difficult situations, such as death. 
This novel stirred up a lot of emotions, I laughed, I cried, I got angry, I could feel what Sarah felt. Whale Song is certainly a good novel to read in an 11 grade English class, because it deals with issues that we are old enough to comprehend, and we are not to old to no longer understand all of Sarah’s feelings. As you age, you tend to forget how you felt as a youth, but when you are closer to that age, you tend to remember the feelings you felt, such as Sarah’s crush on Adam, Sarah’s strong friendship with Amber-Lynn, Sarah’s friendship with Goldie, etc. Adults tend to put less emphasis on their friends and more on their life and jobs. 
Another thing I like in the novel would be the love of a parent... My favourite character in Whale Song would certainly be Nana, because of her spiritual beliefs and powers. She really would be a fascinating woman to meet. She helped Sarah get through the loss of her mother, by telling her multiple native legends. She always knew exactly what to say and when to say it. 
Finally, I love the way we find out [the] big secret in the end...[which] adds an unexpected twist to the story.  I was not in any way expecting that. Whale Song is a great novel, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a good book.   --Julie
Congratulations on winning my contest, Julie. Thank you for sharing with me and my readers how you felt when reading Whale Song.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"I read Whale Song in one day"

"I am an avid reader and am sometimes frustrated that my favourite authors' don't write more books. It is so exciting to find a new, competent and interesting author! Cheryl Kaye Tardif has a writing style that is so refreshing - she has the confidence to leave some of it to the readers' imagination - I love it! I read 'Whale Song' in one day." --Roseann

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Add a little fantasy to your life with SACRIFICE by Kelly Komm

When a good friend, writer Kelly Komm, asked me to read her fantasy novel, I was thrilled. I read SACRIFICE: Book One of the Last Forever in one sitting, unable to put it down. When I was done, I wanted more.

I am so pleased to announce that Kelly Komm's novel is now available as an ebook in multiple formats. So if you own a Kindle or other ereader, or you want to read it on you PC, laptop or smartphone, you can now do so.

Though this novel is classified as a Young Adult Fantasy, SACRIFICE appeals to adults too. Many have fallen in love with the characters and the fantasy world of Cantro.

This novel is adventurous, suspenseful, intriguing and complex. There is magic, danger and a hint of romance.

Allow me to introduce you to Nell, who is about to embark on an exciting but dangerous journey...
In a land called Cantro, the Goddess Saros created eight races. One has been wiped out by another. Or so it is thought…
Nell has been raised in solitude by her Elf guardian. Her world is turned upside down as she is told she is in fact Human, a race thought to have been destroyed by the savage Garshu. She discovers these creatures murdered her parents and ruined any hopes she had for a normal life.
Lachlin and Liam are twin Humans on the run with the last of their kind: A kindly elderly couple, strong Treyton and young Bean. Lachlin hides a terrible secret about the vicious Merfolk and fears for the time her secret will come out.
Nell must now join forces with these last Humans, as they fight to take back their right to exist.
Winner of Premier Book Awards Best Fantasy Novel of 2008!
Check out the trailer for SACRIFICE: Book One of the Last Forever:

You can learn more about Kelly Komm and her fantasy novels at And in the interest of full disclosure, I have another reason to promote Kelly's new ebook (other than it's a fabulous read by a wonderful friend). She dedicated it to me! Thank you, Kelly. I am sooo honored!

Pick up a copy of SACRIFICE at Amazon's Kindle Store or Smashwords. I've heard rumors that book two is on its way shortly. I can't wait!

Friday, August 13, 2010

How I turned a year YOUNGER on my birthday

Yesterday was my birthday, but unlike most people, I turned a year YOUNGER. Really! Okay, let me explain...

It all started a few months ago when someone (I forget who) asked me how old I was. Anyone who is over 44 knows that once you reach that age, you can't just answer spontaneously anymore. You have to mentally calculate your age. So when that person asked me, I did a quick mental calculation--2010 minus 1963 is 47.

"I'm 47," I told them. "I'll be 48 in August."

Okay, I know what you're thinking, but hey, math never was my strong suit. I do WORDS, not numbers.

A few days before my birthday, I realized I was depressed. I was about to turn 48. That meant only 2 years til 50. But gosh darn it anyway, I don't feel two years from 50! In my heart, I still feel 36. Okay, I know that's pushing it a bit, but that's how I feel.

The night before my birthday, I sulked about turning 48. Good God I was old!

Then a miracle happened. I awoke the morning of August 12th and a sudden realization hit me. 2010 minus 1963 is 47. On August 12th! I had just turned 47!!

Instantly, I felt happy and youthful. I still had 3 years before turning 50! I'm still young!!! Whoo-ooo! I'm not depressed now, though I am a bit ticked that I missed the last half of 46.

I called my husband and told him all about this, how I'd thought I was turning 48. He laughed. Then he said, "Only you, Cheryl, would find a way to turn a year YOUNGER on your birthday."

Friday, August 06, 2010

Kobo eReader goes on sale this weekend - $128

Buy the Kobo eReader this weekend for only $128.

Designed by booklovers for booklovers, the Kobo eReader includes:

  • E Ink technology and adjustable font sizes - makes reading easy on the eyes
  • Read right out of the box – comes pre-loaded with 100 FREE eBooks
  • Sync N'Read – The Kobo eReader includes the Kobo Desktop Application which means you can shop for eBooks, organize your library and download eBooks right away!

You can buy the Kobo eReader at Chapters, Indigo, Walmart and select Coles (Canada), Borders (US and Australia), Angus & Robertson (Australia), and Whitcoulls (New Zealand)

If you need some book ideas for your Kobo eReader, please check out these ebooks.

Twitter Contest: Enter to win a free ebook

>TWITTER CONTEST: Follow me on Twitter from now until October 10th to be entered in daily draws to win a FREE EBOOK of your choice (Skeletons in the Closet, Remote Control, Whale Song, The River, or Divine Intervention.)

Twitter Contest details

Thursday, August 05, 2010

5 STAR review for Whale Song: "A powerful story of love and loss"

"I read Whale Song over a few nights and was unable to put it down at the end. Whale Song is a powerful story of love and loss, family and friendship, bullying and ultimate forgiveness. Cheryl draws you into the lives of the Nootka Indians and allows the reader to experience Indian folklore firsthand. I experienced a myriad of emotions...I laughed and cried and my heart soared at the ultimate act of love. I will recommend this book to everyone who is looking for a great book." --Virginia Stephens

Printed with permission from the reviewer.

Whale Song is available at Amazon's Kindle Store, Kobo Books, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and more. You can read it on various ereaders, tablets, smartphones, laptops and your PC.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Review of Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories

Here's a review of my latest release, Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories, printed here with permission from the reviewer, John Zur.

"If you like Stephen King's quirky short stories or are a fan of the Twilight Zone, you will enjoy "Skeletons in the Closet" from author Cheryl Kaye Tardif. The book contains 13 short stories...The title short story is worth the price of the book. I also enjoyed "Ouija" and "Remote Control". Check out Cheryl's other great books, including "The River" and "Whale Song" - two of my favorite books!"

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Press Release: If you like Stephen King's short stories or The Twilight Zone, you'll really enjoy Skeletons in the Closet

#1 Featured press release at

Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories by bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a cross between a Stephen King short story collection and episodes of The Twilight Zone and The Hitchhiker. Enter the closet...if you dare.

EDMONTON, AB, August 01, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Stephen King's short story collections, Night Shift, Skeleton Crew and Everything's Eventual, plus episodes of The Twilight Zone and The Hitchhiker television series, are what inspired bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif's earlier writing, and now she has released a novelette e-book titled Remote Control and an e-book collection of short stories titled Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories...

Read the full press release at
Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories is available in ebook edition at Amazon's Kindle Store and Smashwords. Pick up your copy today! Makes a great gift.

New release: Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories

Today launches my new short story collection, kind of a mix between Stephen King's short collections, The Twilight Zone and The Hitchhiker.

In Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories you'll find 13 suspenseful shorts, including my novelette Remote Control. Some of the stories are based on true events.

Skeletons in the Closet is now available in ebook edition for only $2.99 US at Amazon's Kindle Store and Smashwords.

Pick up your copy today! It makes an awesome gift for anyone who likes a good scare.