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

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Count your blessings this Thanksgiving weekend

This Thanksgiving I am really counting my blessings, but most of all I'm thankful I'm here to celebrate another Thanksgiving with my family. A week ago, something could have changed this forever.

On September 30th, I was involved in a 3-car accident. A car slammed into my car and pushed me into the vehicle in front. It happened so fast that I didn't even realize at first that I'd been hit from behind. My heart raced and my hands shook as I tried to find my emergency lights.

I was the first one out of my vehicle. I went to the car behind me and discovered two girls a bit younger than my own daughter. The driver was visibly shaken by the accident. It was her first--and her first car. I felt very bad for her and was relieved that neither she nor her passenger were seriously injured--or worse.

Next I checked on the car in front of me. An elderly couple. No one hurt there either. They told me all they felt was a "bump" when my car was pushed into theirs. We checked their bumper and were stunned to find no visible damage. Yet the front end of my car had large scrapes and the hood was dented.

I went back to the girls and called 911. While waiting for the police to show, I noted the damage to our vehicles. The front end of the car behind me was sitting somewhat underneath the back end of mine, which was ripped off in places. My muffler was on the ground. Other parts dangled from underneath. The cars would have to be peeled apart.

I have no idea how long we were standing on the road waiting for the police to do what they needed to do. It's kind of a blur now. But after about 2 hours, the soreness began to creep into my body. Soft tissue damage and whiplash level 2. Not fun.

It's hard not to feel frustrated that this accident happened. The driver behind me wasn't paying close enough attention to the traffic in front. As a result, I'm suffering with pain and with the realization that my new Mustang convertible that my husband drove all the way down to BC to pick up has been damaged. We'll get it repaired, but it'll never be the same or have the same value. It was our first real luxury car and my birthday present. We'd worked so hard to get it.

And now Thanksgiving is upon us. I'm too sore to spend the day cooking and the thought of lifting a turkey or ham out of the oven makes me nauseous. So we're going out for dinner. Our anniversary is on the 11th. We'd thought about going somewhere for a few days to celebrate 25 years--our silver anniversary. Mexico maybe. But I'm too sore to travel or rush through airports. I'll admit, it really does suck that our plans have been cancelled.

But things could have been worse. Someone could have died in that accident.

It has left me very sore, but very grateful. No one was seriously hurt that day, though I'm sure that everyone involved has been somewhat scarred emotionally. It's not every day that you're faced with your own mortality. It's a huge wake-up call.

So count your blessings this weekend. Drive alert and drive safe! Don't do something that could cost a life. And be thankful for every day you wake up. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Whale Song Reaches Out to Kids Who Are Bullied

I always love sharing my writing experiences and my books. Especially when the topic is timely, universal and sadly, never-ending.

And that topic is...bullying. I am sure you know someone who has been bullied. Maybe you were, as a child. Maybe your son or daughter was or is being bullied.

Just days ago, a new edition of my international bestseller, WHALE SONG, was released in a special School Edition. This edition contains a detailed discussion guide at the back. It’s something that any school teacher can use or readers can use on their own.

WHALE SONG explores issues of racism and bullying, among others, and it has been used in schools and book clubs around the world. It is one of my biggest dreams to see my “heart book” in even more schools. One teacher from ESC Trillium in Ontario, Canada, has used this book for novel study for a few years now. You can read what some of her students had to say about WHALE SONG on my blog HERE.

So what’s WHALE SONG about?

Thirteen years ago, Sarah Richardson’s life was shattered after the tragic death of her mother. The shocking event left a grief-stricken teen-aged Sarah with partial amnesia.

Some things are easier to forget.

But now a familiar voice from her childhood 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 and aided by creatures of the Earth and killer whales that call to her in the night, Sarah must face her fears and recover her memories―even if it destroys her.

Some things are meant to be remembered―at all cost.


New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice has this to say: "Whale Song is deep and true, a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart...a beautiful, haunting novel."

"Moving...sweet and sad." ―Booklist

"I read Whale Song and loved it." ―actress Jodelle Ferland (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse)

"Tardif again leaves a lasting mark on her readers...Moving and irresistible." ―Midwest Book Review

The Discussion Guide:

When we were young, many of us were inspired by different books and authors. We learned about the invisible walls built by societies, and it’s my goal to tear apart the walls that separate bullies from victims by challenging readers to dig deep.

Here are some samples from the guide:
·     Sarah is bullied by Annie in school. Why do you think Annie picked on Sarah so much? What clues are there in the story that might lead you to conclusions about Annie’s life and her “reasons” for being a bully?
·       Sarah’s mom told her to find a way to forgive Annie. Do you think this was good advice?
·     Have you ever been bullied? How did that make you feel? Have you ever bullied someone else? Why? What kinds of bullying are there nowadays? How can we as a society (or school) prevent bullying?
I also have strong messages for those who have been bullied:

I was a bullied child. I was the chubby redhead in the back row, who was too shy to speak out and lacked self-confidence. I’ve experienced bullying just like Sarah did. Exactly like Sarah did. I did not fight back physically, though I tried to fight verbally. That rarely works out well. I’ve experienced racism too. I was a white child living in a small town, and the native Indians weren’t too happy about the whites. Like all kids, I had my friendship issues, my first love...and my second, and family problems.

But I survived. It gets better.

If you take nothing away from this guide than those two sentences above, I’ve fulfilled another goal.

If you are bullied or if you know someone who was or is, WHALE SONG is the perfect gift. But this novel is about so much more than that. It’s about family, relationships and boundless love. From my heart to yours, I wish you the very best and I hope you read my “heart book” and experience what others of all ages have told me changed their lives forever.

If you’re a teacher, I recommend you bring WHALE SONG into your classroom. It is perfect for any ages, 11-111.

Tell your friends and family about WHALE SONG. If you know a teacher, tell them. Whale Song could be swimming to a school near you in the future. And one of its greatest messages is this: Life gets better. Now that’s something every bully and victim needs to hear.

WHALE SONG is available in ebook edition for only $2.99 at Amazon and Smashwords (more retailers coming soon), and it will be available in trade paperback any day now on Amazon and more.

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