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

Thursday, February 27, 2014

3 Days 'til SUBMERGED hits Nooks, Kobos, iPads & iPhones everywhere!

Nook, Kobo, iBooks owners: Pre-order today for only $0.99 US and receive it on March 2nd via:

Barnes and Noble (Nook):

Kobo Books (Kobo):

iTunes (iBooks):

And don't forget, from March 2-8th, pick up the Kindle edition on Amazon and your purchase will help Cheryl reach her BIG goal--New York Times and USA Today bestsellers lists.

Plus, join Cheryl's SUBMERGED Army on Facebook and support her BIG dream while winning great prizes!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Guest Author: Eileen Schuh, author of FIREWALLS, talks suspense

"Sergeant Kindle wants us in his office," Syd said. The tension inside her coiled tighter. She glued her eyes to her computer monitor and slipped the black Jack onto the red Queen. Syd’s announcement ended her doubt; she was just moments away from losing her job. “Katrina?”

So begins my newest release, FIREWALLS – Book 3 in the BackTracker Series. It’s an opening that reflects what I’ve learned over the years from my mentor, publisher and best-selling author, Cheryl Kaye Tardif.

Thank you, Cheryl, for inviting me to guest on “The Suspense is Killing Me”, an appropriate title for your blog since you’re the master of the Suspense novel.

Although my books aren’t in the Suspense genre, every good book must have suspense—that ‘what-will-happen-next?’ feeling that drives readers to turn the page, read one more chapter, put dinner on hold, stay up until the sun rises in order to finish the novel.

For FIREWALLS, it’s my hope that Katrina’s coiling tension immediately becomes my readers’, that they will want to walk down the hall with her to Sergeant Kindle’s office—eager to find out what the heck she did that got her fired...if she gets fired.

I hope that by the end of the first page, my readers’ pulses and breathing have quickened, their jaws have tightened and their blood pressures have risen (only to safe levels, though, please).

In this opening chapter of FIREWALLS “What happens next?” is closely related to “What happened before?”—a very useful type of suspense when beginning a tale that requires background information. In writing a series like BackTracker, there’s a lot of back story from THE TRAZ and FATAL ERROR that has to get relayed in an entertaining manner.

Although what Katrina did to put her in danger of losing her job isn’t part of the preceding novels, Sergeant Kindle’s interrogation in the opening chapters of FIREWALLS reveals important details about her past that were. These details will hopefully help those who read previous novels remember the important stuff and make those who haven’t read them, want to.

It’s not just the suspense, though, that is important to a story; the resolution is, too. When the novel ends, the readers must feel satisfied. There has to be a wonderful, glorious, “Ah ha!” feeling when one finds out the past—“Now I know why that happened! Understand why she did that, why he said that, why he didn’t do what she wanted him to...”

And when all the ‘what happens next’s?’ are answered, readers should be left with a sense of fulfillment, of accomplishment and satisfaction—a feeling that reading this book was not a waste of time. That everything makes sense, even the surprises.

It’s not just at the beginning of FIREWALLS that I use the “What happened before?” suspense-building technique, I use it throughout the book, throughout the series. Several of my main characters, most notably Katrina and Shrug, have dark secrets, concealed motives, painful hidden pasts that readers want them to share. Some of those secrets remained veiled for many books to come.

In the BackTracker series, although each novel is a complete story, there are always lingering questions, that arise not from the plot (those questions are all answered) but from the characters themselves. We love them so much we just have to know what happened to them before we met them in THE TRAZ and what happens to them next?

What kind of kid were they? What kind of mother, husband, wife, boss will each of them become? Will the romance last forever? Will lost loves be reignited? Will Katrina ever be safe from the bikers? Will Shrug ever (please!) reveal his past?

Tell me more. Keep telling me more...


"Be prepared for a rollercoaster of emotions..."

"Packed with humanity, crafted with insight."

"Schuh has created a character worthy of being called a hero."

"A tale of comfort and hope that we, too, can slay our own dragons."

"A gritty, fast-paced thriller"

* * * * * 

Eileen Schuh, author


THE TRAZ School Edition



Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Call (movie) vs. Submerged (novel)

I was very intrigued when I first saw the teaser trailers for Halle Berry's new movie, The Call. For one thing, she plays a 911 dispatcher, the same occupation as Marcus Taylor, the main character in my new thriller, SUBMERGED. And like Marcus, she decides to jump into the action rather than just be the voice on the other end of the phone.

The Call is described as being an "intense," "high concept" thriller. You could use a similar description for SUBMERGED.

Here's a brief description of the movie, The Call:

Halle Berry plays a veteran 911 operator who takes a life-altering call -- but when she makes a fatal mistake that costs a young girl her life, she has one chance to redeem herself when the serial killer strikes again.

This is how I'd describe SUBMERGED:

Marcus Taylor is a 911 operator who takes a life-altering call -- after making choices that resulted in the tragic deaths of his wife and son. And now he has one chance to redeem himself when a killer runs a woman and her children off the road.

In The Call, Halle Berry's character must confront a killer from her past, while in SUBMERGED, Marcus must confront his past--period.

Check out the trailer for The Call:

Now check out the trailer for SUBMERGED:

So here's my final analysis:

I love the thrill of being in suspense, of the ticking clock, the race to salvation, the redemption of a flawed character. If you do too, and if you have seen The Call and enjoyed it, pick up a copy of SUBMERGED, a thriller that will leave you breathless.

Pre-order today for only $0.99 US and receive it on March 2nd via:

Barnes and Noble (Nook):

Kobo Books (Kobo):

iTunes (iBooks):

And don't forget to enter join my SUBMERGED Army at

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif bares her soul in "A Letter to Myself at Thirteen"

Dear thirteen-year-old Cheryl,

This is one of the toughest letters I have ever had to write, because I know that right now you won't believe most of what I'm about to tell you. You're thirteen, and in your mind life kind of sucks. You're not happy; you're miserable. You hate the town you're living in. You hate being different, and in this town that means white and a military brat. You hate school because that's where the bad things happen—the bullying, teasing and embarrassment. You have nightmares of school, and I hate to tell you this, but you'll have recurring nightmares about school for most of your life. One day you'll laugh about that fact.

I know you're dealing with self-esteem issues. You're not one of the popular crowd. You're not considered one of the pretty girls. You're too shy, too introverted. The boys aren't hovering around you, even when you have a secret crush on one. Trust me, the one you think of most isn't for you—and his future self is not to be admired. He turns into what you'll call a "real dick." There is someone so much better waiting for you. And your life with him will be beyond wonderful. He will do anything for you. He'll encourage you to follow your dreams, and he'll support you so you can make that happen. One day, you'll see yourself as being very lucky.

I know you harbor resentment towards your parents for what you view as their failings. You have felt ignored, uncared for, bullied sometimes. You have felt unloved, especially by your father. Trust me, this is your perception; there's so much you don't know or understand. Yes, there have been times your parents have failed you. But what parent hasn't done that at some point? You'll understand when you're a parent. We sometimes fail our children. You will, at times, fail your own daughter. However, there are amazing rewards in store for you—including close relationships with both parents. One day you'll understand why your parents are the way they are. You'll learn to understand, forgive and let go. And once you do, you'll learn to value every moment with each of your parents. They helped make you who you are and they helped prepare you for your adult life.

Cheryl, there is no one else on earth like you. When you look in the mirror, you see a redheaded girl with freckles who is not very pretty and who is chubby. Believe me when I tell you, you are beautiful inside and out, and you are not as "fat" as you think you are. You may hold a few extra pounds—and you'll always battle with this—but you won't let it hold you back from following your dreams. Others will see you as beautiful, even if you don't. And when you graduate and you're wearing a stunning emerald dress, you will be gorgeous. There is more to Cheryl than the shell of your body.

You have always had the power to inspire others. This has been one of your greatest gifts. At thirteen, you are "Dear Abby" to many friends, helping them with personal problems, even though you have your own. You are always generous this way. You don't like to see anyone in pain, and you can always sense when someone is hurting, even if they don't tell you. Your empathy will grow stronger as you mature. Sometimes it will cause you pain, but most times it will enable you to find the right words to help someone else. Trust that instinct. Always. Words are your greatest gift.

At thirteen, you live a life of fear. You're afraid of some of your classmates. You've been taunted and bullied and physically hurt by other girls. You're terrified of some of the boys. You're afraid to tell anyone, afraid of what these bullies might do. You don't understand this racial hatred around you, and you don't like how it makes you hate others. I know you think this will never end, that you can't handle it another day, that maybe you'd be better off dead. A part of me wishes you had told an adult, but you didn't. You endured.

You've contemplated suicide already—how sad for a young girl to have such thoughts. But I understand. Life can be so very tough at times. Yet believe me when I tell you, this shall pass. This will become a very brief part of your childhood, even though now it seems like an eternity of misery. You just have to hold on for one more day, then one more. When you're 50 years old and looking back at those days, you'll understand how miserable those bullies were. You'll see that some of them never went on to enjoy the happiness that you have. You'll pity them. You'll forgive them because they did the only thing they knew how to do at that time—they hated. You WILL survive this. And you'll help others survive this.

Believe me, I understand what you're going through, and I promise you this: you will survive, and you'll come out ahead of all adversities. And in doing so, you will one day be able to achieve your greatest dream, to become a writer. And not just any writer, but one that has the power to affect people emotionally. Your thirteen years of life will be compiled in your first novel and you'll draw upon all of your negative experiences, turning them into a radiant positive one. And this novel, WHALE SONG, will be so powerful it will literally change people's lives. Your words will mend relationships, bring people closer together and will even save the life of one woman. How powerful is that?

One day in the future, you'll realize you have changed so much that you've outgrown your shyness. People who know you will laugh when you tell them you were once a shy wallflower whom no one ever noticed. You'll find confidence and boldness, and it'll feel like you've always had them. You'll never be able to pinpoint exactly when things changed for you. Was it when you became the youngest salon owner in BC? Was it when you got married? Was it when your first book was published? Who knows. I don't.

Your future holds many surprises. You will face challenges. You will make some bad choices. You will witness death. And you will learn from it all. Your goal now is to make it through the tough years. You can do it! You will do it! You will learn from all your experiences, both negative and positive, and each one will help mold you into the adult you become. When you're an adult, you will know that your parents love you and are proud of you. In your future, you are confident, always ready to help another and you educate yourself continuously in your field. Your love of learning and courage in experimenting makes you a very successful author. Yes, Cheryl. In your future, your greatest wish comes true. You become a successful published author.

Your journey won't be an easy one, and you will be tested. You will come up against brick walls that seem impenetrable. You'll be told you can't do it. You'll be told so many negative things that you'll half-believe them. You'll feel like your dream will never come true. You may think you can't do it, and you may want to give up. But keep pushing on. You'll prove to yourself and others that you can achieve your dreams. You won't let anyone bully you. You'll prove them wrong. The rewards are there, and they are countless and beautiful. You'll connect with people who will stay in your life forever. And your writing will take you on amazing journeys. You'll even become a publisher, helping other authors achieve their dreams. How rewarding is that!

Thirteen…so young, so lost, but with a future filled with happiness. Yes, there will be sadness too, but that is life. Right now, your goal is to keep your integrity, stay hopeful and persevere. Soon you'll be fourteen. Then fifteen, sixteen… One day you'll be fifty, and you'll decide to write this letter to your thirteen-year-old self. And you'll write all the above, remembering the negative with none of the pain you once felt and knowing just how far you've come.

Shortly afterward, you're going shoot for a major dream—to make the USA Today and New York Times bestsellers lists with your thriller, SUBMERGED—and you'll gather a "SUBMERGED Army" to do it.

PS: You know that box of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch that you and Cathy bought with your allowances because neither of your parents would let you eat "junky cereal"? Don't eat the whole box! You'll regret it!

With love,

Cheryl, your future self