THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR CHERYL KAYE TARDIF

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

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Introducing the New Whale Song Book Site


Check out my new Whale Song Book site!

Please drop by and check out everything about Whale Song, my new Kunati release scheduled for April 2007.

Don't forget to sign my guestbook there and let me know what you think!

www.whalesongbook.com

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, Divine Intervention and The River

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Year of Tears and Joy

Well, now that 2006 is nearly over, I look back at this past year with a mixture of sadness, grief, overwhelming gratitude and joy. For a year that started off so tragically for me and my family, it is ending on a positive and hopeful note.

On January 15th, 2006, my youngest brother Jason celebrated his 28th birthday. At least with friends. My brother lived the life of a wanderer, caught up in the enticing addiction of alcohol. He was a good kid (and I always thought of him that way), with a good heart. But he was incapable of living a life of what we would consider normalcy. He couldn't hold a job or a relationship and he had cut himself off from our family in many ways. This perhaps is what hurts us most of all. We couldn't be there for him when he needed us.

Two weeks after his 28th birthday, my brother Jason Kaye was murdered in a back alley in Edmonton, not far from the Mustard Seed Church where he sometimes found respite. He was beaten and left to die alone. And that hurts me even more. I have placed flowers on the spot where police found him, and have to stop my thoughts and imagination from playing out what could have been his last moments. The place still haunts my thoughts, and I know I will visit it again this January. As his birthday and anniversary of his death approaches, I feel overwhelmed by emotions...by his loss.

This January 7th, a special memorial will be held in downtown Edmonton to honor homeless or inner city people who have died this past year. I will be there with my husband and daughter, representing all of my family who cannot make it because of distance and jobs. And somehow I must find the words to paint a picture of a brother who seemed so lost in many ways, but maybe knew far more happiness with his accepting friends downtown.

Jason is tied to me in many ways. He was the baby in my family when I was 14. I used to lie and tell people he was mine, regardless of the dirty looks I'd receive. I once helped him lose weight after he endured so much bullying and low self-esteem as a teenager...but in the end, he did it himself. He was a computer genius with a heart of gold, and he never seemed to hold a grudge. He never blamed our parents for his predicament; he just lived his life as best as he could.

My novel Whale Song was the only novel of mine he had ever read. And this ties him to me even closer.

On April 7th, 2007, with the launch of Whale Song, it will be an exciting and bittersweet moment for me, one that I would have given anything if he could have been part of. But he can't be. So instead, Whale Song is dedicated to my brother Jason. This story is as much a celebration of love, life and family as it is a poignant tale of family tragedy and grief. Whale Song touches upon a mother's death in a way that is sorrowful, hopeful and meaningful, and I believe it will be a book that will touch the hearts of many.

I have decided that a portion of my Whale Song royalties in 2007 will be donated to the three organizations that helped my brother when his family could not. Donations will be made at the end of 2007 or in early 2008 (whenever I get my royalties) to:

If anyone else feels so inclined, I hope you will consider donating to these worthy causes, or to your own inner city organizations. The people living on the street once had families--parents, siblings, and maybe jobs, houses, kids of their own...and for whatever reason they are not equipped to do this alone. I have spent time on the streets of Edmonton, talking to some of them, and their stories could be your stories. There is not much that separates some of them from my own neighbors. One bad paycheck, one wrong choice, one addiction, and of course abuse, neglect and loss of a job. They are people, with hearts, dreams and wishes...and many want out. They just don't know how.

My brother was no angel...but he was an angel to us in many ways. He would never have hurt a soul. He always forgave, and that last conversation I had with him was about just that--forgiveness. And that is the message of Whale Song...

"Forgiveness sets you free."

For more information about Jason Kaye, his death, the investigation and Jason's special gifts that we found in his apartment, please visit his memorial site at http://www.jaysporchmonkeys.com/.

To learn more about me, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, check out my pages on Kunati or my web site at http://www.cherylktardif.com/.

To pre-order Whale Song, you can order online (orders won't be shipped until April) and know that a portion of your money spent will go to the above organizations. To order, see the links below or visit your favorite bookstore:

I wish you peace, love, family and forgiveness in 2007!

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Short Story: Separation Anxiety by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Separation Anxiety

Last night I was viciously tortured and tormented.

It began with a piercing howl that shattered the barren calm of night. When I awoke, I fervently prayed that whoever was making the godawful noise would just shut up.

Then I realized that it was I making that horrific sound.

My tormentors lurked in the shadows. I watched with eyes bulging as they approached, their droning conversation mesmerizing me. I screamed, terrified, as they descended upon me. They covered my body, their hairy fingers reaching, grasping, pinching me…

Waking abruptly from my nightmarish sleep, I struggled desperately to steady my erratic breathing. Inhaling a breath of air, I pried open my sleep-glued eyes. Confused and disoriented, I sensed that something was very, very wrong.

A void of darkness surrounded me ― a heavy blanket of fear.

Every night for the past three days I have been haunted by the same harrowing nightmare. Strangers pursued me. Hundreds of them swarmed around me. I could feel them torturing my body with exquisite anguish ― those faceless creatures of the night.

I hate dreaming!

I heard strangled sobs ― an infant dying to be held, dying to be loved.

Struggling against the smooth coolness of satin sheets, I sighed heavily with frustration. Will I ever get a full night's sleep?

Nothingness enveloped me like a leather glove ― slick and cool against my skin. I reached a tentative hand to my forehead. Massaging its icy surface, I could feel faint electrical impulses course along my temple. How cold I felt!

The baby's cries grew more persistent.

I must get up and feed him. Perhaps then he'll go back to sleep.

My hand groped forward, reaching for the lamp on my bedside table. Then it paused in mid-air ― paralyzed. Inexplicably I yanked my hand back, frightened of touching something hideous … something other than the lamp.

"Waa!" the baby screamed.

Why doesn't Joseph go get him?

Opening my eyes cautiously, I peered into the pitch-black obscurity of night. Not even a sliver of moonlight shone through the opaque blinds of our bedroom.

How could Joseph sleep through this ruckus?

I peered into the void yet could not discern one solitary object. In fact, the room seemed devoid of anything substantial. Empty.

I must feed the baby.

Buzz…

A vaguely familiar buzzing sound interrupted my thoughts. As the irritating noise hummed closer, my hands clenched the satin sheets.

Buzzzz…

Then I heard voices, muffled and droning. I stretched tiredly, my aching muscles rebelling against the sudden movement.

Without warning, a narrow crack of light appeared along the ceiling.

A car passing by on the street outside?

My baby wailed again ― his ragged sobs undulating like whitecaps on a raging sea.

I must get up.

Rolling reluctantly to one side, my forehead cracked against something unyielding.

Damn! What the hell?

I apprehensively stretched upwards, clawing at the air around me. My fingers grazed along a wall ― a wall that should not be there.

When did Joseph move the bed against the wall? We've always had it in the middle of our bedroom.

Panic constricted my dehydrated throat and I edged closer to the left side, only to come up against another solid mass. A convulsive chill swept through me as I noticed that the droning buzz was just outside these walls. My fingers groped blindly above my head, encountering an unimaginable punishment ― the nightmare of all nightmares. There was something peculiar above my head ― a ceiling.

Oh my God! I am trapped in a box!

I blinked unblinkingly in disbelief as vague comprehension trickled through my oxygen-deprived brain and light teasingly flickered through the cracks above me. My blue-tinged lips whispered a silent plea. My ragged fingernails bit into my palms. All this, yet I felt nothing.

Suddenly, an intense light shot daggers into my eyes. I saw faces ― too many to count. They were all staring sorrowfully at me, tearfully whispering my name.

"Good-bye, Maddy," their collective voices murmur.

Good-bye? Am I going somewhere?

Then my husband's face appeared. He raised one hand and lashed out at something in the air.

Joseph? What's going on?

He ignored me. Darling, irritating Joseph was sobbing.

There's no reason to cry, Joseph, my love.

My gaze traveled across the strange box that encompassed me and I realized that I was dead wrong. There was a reason to cry…and scream.

I was in a coffin.

Is this some practical joke? I'm not dead.

"Goodbye, Maddy," Joseph moaned.

Listen to me, Joseph. I'M NOT DEAD!

"At least now you'll be with our son," Joseph whispered in my ear.

Our son?

He caressed my frigid cheek, leaned down and kissed my lips.

Wait, Joseph! What happened to the baby?

Somewhere a wailing baby drifted into oblivion.

Then I remembered…

Our baby was dead!

I remembered finding his unconscious body in the crib. He had reacted violently to a single bee sting. It had triggered a deadly allergic reaction with the devastating force of a nuclear weapon. His tiny, frail body could not defend itself against the lethal invasion. The bee's poison had attacked each cell, replicating its infection and swarming into his lungs.

Sobbing and wailing incessantly, I had rocked him in my arms, watching helplessly as my poor baby's head swelled grotesquely. Ten minutes before the paramedics arrived, his respiration had ceased with a final droning hiss of breath. My beloved baby who had only breathed our polluted air for three days had died from the bee's venom.

I always believed that payback was the sweetest form of revenge.

Mad with grief, I hunted down the buzzing sound that dared me to destroy its malignancy. Its owner ― a plump Queen bee. I chased that bee-atch all over the house with a fly swatter. Yet, she escaped , laughing and droning triumphantly.

"Go ahead, you murderous bitch. Make my day!" I had screamed at her.

Cackling hysterically, I finally crushed that stupid bitch, her guts splattering all over my kitchen window. One minute she had been buzzing defiantly ― the next, I had silenced her forever.

Then a weird thing happened.

While I was cleaning her remains from the glass, I noticed another bee outside. It hovered furtively, witnessing every move I made. I knew then that it was one of the Queen's loyal workers. A shiver of trepidation slithered up my back as I locked eyes with that bee. Then it flew off and I released a titanic sigh of relief.

A sympathetic voice jostled me back to the present, followed closely by the sibilant sound of doom.

"I'll miss you, Madeleine," my mother wept, choking on my name. Her lips kissed my cosmetic-coated face. "What a terrible way to die."

"Yes," Joseph agreed, his handsome face wavering before me.

Then he shook his head in disbelief. "It was horrifying. Who would ever have thought that a swarm of bees would attack a human being like that? Maddy was completely covered ― only her eyes were left untouched. It was almost as if they wanted her to watch, to see what they were doing to her."

Oh God!

Memories of burning pain sliced through my mind. I remembered the heat of their bodies engulfing me in a jacket of gold and black fuzz. I had staggered with arms flailing, trying to dislodge the ungodly hoard attached to my already bloating body. I could still hear their deafening roar. It was like standing at the edge of a railroad while a locomotive endlessly whizzed by.

"The bastards!" Joseph muttered. "I'd like to kill the whole bloody hive."

"At least Maddy is not suffering anymore," my mother rasped.

I screamed silently as Joseph's hand caressed the coffin lid. Panic gripped my mindless body and my stomach rebelled, churning bloodlessly. I fought against a tide of nausea, although my body was physically empty.

But I'm still alive! Aren't I? How could I see or hear any of you if I wasn't?

Comprehension dawned and I realized that my soul still lingered. Too many things had been left undone ― unsaid. I could no longer move anything but my soul's eyes. I was hearing through my soul's ears.

But I, Madeleine Anne Decker, was dead.

What the hell is that godawful noise?

BUZZ…

I gasped airlessly when a diminishing ray of light grazed across a sinister specter.

The worker bee was inside my coffin ― its feathery legs whispering closer to my face.

Get it out! Don't close the lid!

I cursed my motionless lips.

As the coffin lid firmly closed, I was trapped with the endless buzzing of vengeance. I could feel the bee's microscopic legs tickling my cheek, tormenting me as he made his way furtively across my face. When he reached my nose, his droning hum vibrated forcefully, shattering the cartilage under my skin.

I sensed his thoughts, his desire for revenge…for justice. I had irreverently murdered his Queen ― his mother. I had, in essence, ripped her asunder and torn her from her family. And he had returned the favor.

The coffin rocked slightly.

I was being lowered into the decaying, musty earth, and soon I heard the muffled sound of dirt being packed on top, surrounding and severing me from all that I loved…separating me from Life.

Separation from those you love is torture. There is no worse torment than to be ripped apart from those you hold most dear. It is a terror of the soul. Nothing can compare to the pounding of your heart, extreme breathlessness and the endless aching that you feel.

BUZZZZ…

The worker bee flew into my left nostril and Death swarmed into my icy corpse, claiming my unrepentant soul for all eternity.

I should have asked for the strength to forgive and for forgiveness for my own sin. I realized that now. Instead, I hungered for revenge and feasted on the annihilation of a Queen. Together, we had created a vicious circle of death, and all because I had thirsted for payback.

I had always believed that payback was the sweetest form of revenge.

I realize now…I was wrong ― dead wrong.

Payback can also bee…murder!

Copyright © 2004 by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

http://www.cherylktardif.com/

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Favorite Haunt - Where Does Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif Love to Write?

Working from home provides many comforts...

But my favorite 'haunt' is a quiet little place that I can bring my laptop to and write in, one that offers me gourmet coffees and hot chocolates, a table by a fireplace and interesting people to spy on—I mean, study.

Find out where Cheryl writes.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Author of Whale Song, and Authors' Row

I wanted to let you know about a special event I organize twice a year. Authors' Row is a group of authors (never exactly the same ones each year) who promote their books at the Edmonton Woman's Show. The next Show takes place on April 14th and 15th at the Northlands AgriCom in Edmonton, Alberta. It will feature a bigger and better Authors' Row, with fascinating bios of authors, photos, excerpts and exciting contests for everyone to participate in online at the official Edmonton Woman's Show web site.

Keep an eye on my events page.

Find out more about Cheryl Kaye Tardif and her novels, Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Interview with Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Author of Whale Song, the Controversial Novel that Explores Assisted Suicide

Book reviewer and film critic Jack Anthony interviews author Cheryl Kaye Tardif about Whale Song, her upcoming Kunati Books release. This is Part 1 of the interview. Part 2 will follow in May 2007.

Jack Anthony (JA): Whale Song seems at first an innocent, sweet and poignant tale with a hint of mystery. But there is a darker side to this novel―the shocking assisted suicide of a key character. What compelled you to tackle such a controversial and emotional topic?

The Birth of a Writer

It never fails that when I am at a book signing promoting my books, there are two questions that come up most: which book is your favorite and when did you start writing? Today, I'll address the latter.

I've been writing all my life. Well, at least ever since I can remember. I recall my mother telling me how she had caught me 'defacing' a Dr. Seuss book when I was a very young child. She was naturally appalled and asked me what I was doing. I showed her my carefully scribbled lines under each line of text and said 'I'm writing the story'. Although, my scribbling was nothing more than a line with loops and jagged edges, I had already decided my path. I was going to write stories like Dr. Seuss.

And thus, a writer was born...

To read more, click HERE.

:) Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, Divine Intervention and The River

Thursday, December 07, 2006

BookTelevision Sponsors The Whale Song Book Launch

As I get ready to launch Whale Song on April 7th, 2007, I have been pounding the pavement in search of some fabulous door prizes and have found some, courtesy of wonderful sponsors like BookTelevision, Joe Li Tutoring and many more. And I expect to add to this list over the next 3 months.

Please visit my website at http://www.cherylktardif.com/whale_song_launch.htm to read more about The Whale Song Book Launch ~ A KILLER Whale of a Launch Party.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song (2007 Kunati Books)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Review: Day into Night by Dave Hugelschaffer


Day into Night Sizzles with Tension, Mystery and Murder

When two separate investigations―a forest fire on the slopes of the Caribou mountain range and an ecoterrorist bombing in the Rocky Mountains―leave authorities stumped, Porter Cassel is called to the job as an arson investigator. Sifting through the debris and ashes, he unwittingly compromises evidence of a serial arsonist’s delay mechanism at the arson crime scene, then stumbles upon something more hideous at the bombing scene―blackened human remains.

For Cassel, the bombing instantly becomes personal. Haunted by the murder of his fiancĂ©e Nina Pirelli―a murder that bears a startling similarity to the current bombing case―Cassel launches his own unofficial investigation to discover the identity of the ecoterrorist, who calls himself the Lorax, while investigating an apparently unrelated string of serial arsons.

Caught between duty and desire, he treads on the toes of other officials on the case, particularly the Mounties, and suddenly finds himself framed for murder. There is only one way to prove his innocence, and that’s to find the persons responsible.

Fast-paced and filled with enough turbo-charged action to keep you reading to the very last page, Day Into Night is a smokin’ read. And Dave Hugelschaffer, who writes with a unique style and voice, is an author to watch for.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song and Divine Intervention

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Meet Mystery Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Edmonton, Alberta, book signing events for December 2006:
  • · 1st Coles, Millwoods Town Centre from 12-4 pm
  • · 2nd Indigo, South Edmonton Common from 12-4 pm
  • · 8th Chapters, West Side from 12-4 pm
  • · 9th Coles, Southgate Shopping Centre from 12-4 pm
  • · 15th Indigo, South Edmonton Common from 12-4 pm
  • · 16th Coles, Londonderry Mall from 12-4 pm
  • · 17th Coles, Sherwood Park Mall, Sherwood Park* from 12-4 pm
  • · 19th Indigo, South Edmonton Common from 12-4 pm
  • · 20th Coles, Southgate Shopping Centre from 12-4 pm
  • · 21st Coles, Londonderry Mall from 12-4 pm


I will be autographing copies of Divine Intervention and The River, and I'll be promoting my upcoming new release, Whale Song (April 2007 - Kunati Books). Please drop by and visit me if you are in the Edmonton area. I love meeting my fans and potential new fans!

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif
http://www.cherylktardif.com