THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR CHERYL KAYE TARDIF
Thursday, June 28, 2007
"Cheryl Kaye Tardif's novel, Whale Song, would be a tough act to follow for any written genre." --Fresh Fiction
To read the entire review, please go to FreshFiction.com.
Whale Song: A Novel
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
"Cheryl Kaye Tardif's Whale Song is as haunting as it is lyrical. For those who have a soft spot for coming of age and young adult stories, it is reminiscent of Madeleine L'Engle's Ring of Endless Light with its nautical images and the journey of a young girl. And yet Whale Song also holds together on the adult level and reminds me of Anna Quindlen's gripping novel, One True Thing. Both comparisons are high praise.
Whale Song is that of Sarah Richardson, a young girl who has had too much happen in her pre-teen and teen years. Moving from Wyoming to Vancouver Island is only the beginning of this young girl's journey. She thinks losing her best friend is the worst life can offer, but she quickly makes new friends, encounters killer whales and gains wisdom and insight from Nana, a spiritual Nootka Indian grandmother who will impact her life from the day she meets her and continue her guiding hand on the girl's life. We all need a grandmother like Nana.
And then, all that Sarah loves and believes is torn from her. The love of her family, the forlorn song of the whales and Indian folklore is needed to sustain her through a family tragedy that brings in tow accusations of murder, assisted suicide and what she can't remember that takes the reader headlong into a tumultuous climax and deeply satisfying ending.
Tardif is a consummate storyteller. She's up there with Jodi Picoult and Sue Monk Kidd in her ability to bring a character to life on the page. You can see her sitting on a beach in the dark around a campfire weaving a yarn--and all her readers are gathered in that circle holding onto every word. I believe Tardif is in for a long and satisfying career because she seems to know intuitively how to satisfy the human spirit."
--Kody C. Amick, Amazon.com reviewer
(printed with permission)
To order or read more reviews of Whale Song on Amazon, please go HERE.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I really hate birthdays (mine) and I have an aversion to the number 4, although I have to admit, the last 4 years have been amazing. Please help me celebrate my 44th (OMG!) birthday on AUGUST 12th, 2007 and enter to WIN FREE BOOKS, MUGS, BOOKMARKS and more.
Here’s how it works:
- On August 12th ONLY be one of the first 44 people to order Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif on either Amazon.com (US customers) or Chapters.ca (Canadian customers).
- On August 30th ONLY email me a copy of your Amazon or Chapters “order has been shipped” receipt as proof of purchase (don’t worry; it doesn’t have your credit card info on it). firstname.lastname@example.org
- The first 44 people to send me their receipt WILL WIN one of 44 exciting PRIZE PACKAGES! Make sure you mark those dates on your calendar!
- Grand Prize: The first receipt that I receive on August 30th will WIN a limited edition collector’s copy (autographed) of the original Whale Song novel featuring cover art by world-famous David Miller; a beautiful Whale Song limited edition collector’s mug; an autographed copy of BOTH Divine Intervention and The River; and some beautiful bookmarks. Prize valued at approximately $100.00.
- 43 Second place prizes: The next 43 receipts that I receive on August 30th will WIN their choice of either Divine Intervention or The River (autographed) and a beautiful bookmark.
Rules: (please read carefully)
- You must be 18 years of age or older and be a resident of Canada or the US.
- You must order Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif ON AUGUST 12th, NOT BEFORE OR AFTER. (Cheryl’s birthday!).
- On August 30th, you must email the receipt that has the following in the subject line: “Your Amazon.com order has shipped (#...). Do NOT send the first confirmation order receipt.
- 1 prize per receipt.
- Winners will be contacted on August 31st.
- No returns, exchanges or refunds on prizes.
- I am not responsible for late or missing emails.
- Of course, you may order my books any other time, but you will not qualify for this contest. If you do order on a different date, you may email me and request an autographed bookplate (sticker) for your book.
- It really is easier to enter this contest than it may look, and I wish you all GOOD LUCK! This is my way to celebrate turning 44 and I hope you’ll help me make my birthday a day to remember. I love giving away prizes! CKT
Note: I chose what I thought would be the two easiest methods (Amazon and Chapters) for people to enter this contest. To all other bookstores--chains and independents--who sell my books, please know that I luv ya and I will have a special contest for you too.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Ever since I can remember, I have dreamt of killer whales. I have imagined their magnificent forms gliding majestically, gracefully, through a star-lit ocean, breaking the surface, while I look on in awe. And in my dreams I am pulled toward the water, wanting nothing more than to swim with the whales.
As a child, I grew up looking forward to trips to the Vancouver Aquarium, knowing that I would see Skana, Canada's most famous killer whale. I would sit as close to the glass as possible and watch Skana's trainers as they prepared for the show. I would clasp my hands, my eyes trained on the water, ignoring everything around me. Nothing mattered...except my Skana. I would hold my breath when a ripple disturbed the surface and wait eagerly for that first sight...that first glimpse into Skana's eyes--for I know she only had eyes for me. And I for her.
During a breath-taking performance where Skana performed tricks and jumped, I laughed and cheered until my throat burned. And all the while I watched her trainers and wished that I could be just like them. Oh, to swim with a whale! To glide through the water with such an awesome creation. I had no fear, regardless of the fact that I knew that in the open sea orca are known for their vicious attacks. Survival! That's what it is--pure and simple. I still want to swim with them...in my dreams. They are wild animals and deserve to be free and wild and most of all, respected.
I have seen whales from a distance in the ocean, I have seen them from above while flying in a seaplane. They are still in my dreams, and they are my inspiration, and certainly the inspiration of my novel Whale Song. While I now understand the downside of captivity, and while I would have given anything to have seen the whales on my recent trip to BC, even a sighting at an aquarium can take my breath away.
And now, something for you to enjoy--a beautiful video I saw on YouTube. Here is someone who is doing what I have always dreamed--swimming with a killer whale.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Thanks also to Pete, the mike guy, who had a great sound system set up so I could do readings. We had about 12 chairs set up too. I actually read from Whale Song and The River...TWICE! That was the most reading I'd done at one signing, and I have to admit, I loved it! I also enjoyed talking to the customers afterward.
A special thank you to some wonderful people for stopping by and talking to me, for welcoming me and for buying my novels: to Edith and Leni (I think they are sisters) who both bought Whale Song; Adam, my youngest customer who was drawn to Whale Song three times; Colby, who bought Whale Song for a friend; Wanting, a delightful Chinese woman who chatted with me about Whale Song; and Lorraine, an avid book lover and proud mom who is inspired by poetry and motivational works. Thank you for sharing that poem! I enjoyed it. To everyone who congratulated me on all the movie interest, I thank you.
In the end, it is the people that I have met in Victoria and the Vancouver area who made my work all the more worthwhile. It is that way wherever I go. Each wonderful person leaves an impression, a mark on my soul. Thank you for being part of my journey and part of my 2007 BC Book Tour! :)
After driving every day since June 5th, I am glad to be home. Today was my daughter's 17th birthday. I still recall bunny blankets, Barbies and party dresses. But I don't see them anymore. Instead, I see lip rings, makeup and a boyfriend. How time flies!
Life is a journey. One exciting step at a time, one movement forward, toward destiny or fate...I can't wait!
~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Friday, June 15, 2007
So we sped off the ferry in order to get to the hotel, check in and then find the whale watching office. But it took a bit longer than we expected, and then we hit some one way roads and no left turns. Well, needless to say, my husband's French-Canadian background kicked in. I won't translate what he said. :)
We reached Five Star Whale Watching Expeditions and sped around the block looking for parking. Not a fun thing to do when you're already 5 minutes late! Finally, Marc let me out while he went to park the car. When I reached Five Star's office, the man behind the counter said we were scheduled for the NEXT trip out...in 2 hours. Yikes! Somehow I was sure the gal had said 2 pm on the phone. And I had that terrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach--the kind that says 'oh boy, did you screw up...and Marc is going to be sooo happy to find out he just sped through town, cursing and getting lost.'
Then the very nice fellow behind the desk said he could get us on the 2 o'clock tour! YES!!! Marc showed up after finally finding a parking spot and off we went down to the boat dock to board a 45-passenger catamaran. On the way to the dock I let it slip that we had luckily been squeezed onto the 2 pm tour. Jeesh, honesty can be a bitch! hehe I think it's a good thing they did squeeze us in. I have a feeling I would have been swimming in the bay.
The cruise was breath-taking. We sat outside at the bow, the wind whipping at my hair, the sun on my face, the smell of the ocean all around us, while glistening diamonds covered the surface. We hit a few choppy patches and the boat bucked, slapping the ocean and sending huge sprays over the back end, uh...stern. In some areas the currents clashed and swirled and it looked like we were speeding over mini-whirlpools.
For three hours we looked for whales. We saw sea lions, seals, porpoises, many different species of birds (seagulls, bald eagle, cormorants and more), lots of seaweed...uh, driftwood...a couple of buoys...
But no whales. :(
I was disappointed, as were many of the people on the trip. In the end, the only whales we saw were the photographs that one of the gals showed us and the whales on my bookmarks, which I left near the coffee and hot chocolate. However, I did enjoy the trip and the time 'off', so it wasn't a complete waste, but it was the whales--in particular, the killer whales--that I wanted so dearly to see.
Although I completely understand that Five Star and the other whale watching tours can't really guarantee we'll see whales, I was surprised that with technology these days there wasn't a more reliable way to know where they were hiding. And yes, there was a part of me that thought those darned whales should have stayed where they were that morning and waited for me! :)
Oh, well. Now I have an excuse to come back. (Not that I ever really need an excuse to come to Victoria.)
My reward last night was a delicious dinner at Vintage Wine Bar & Grill. It's a gem of a restaurant that I think must often be overlooked since it's in the Super 8 Hotel on Douglas Street. And they don't serve your ordinary Super 8 fair.
Marc had the grilled 8 oz. AAA New York Steak with a wild mushroom demi-glace, shallot mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies--broccoli, paper-thin onion rings and what I am sure was panfried squash (perhaps spaghetti squash).
I had the Pacific Seafood Linguine, which was absolutely heavenly. The linguine was tossed with a delicate white wine sauce, spinach, grape tomatoes and red peppers, and then topped with a generous portion of mussells, clams, halibut and prawns, and sprinkled with shaved parmesan.
We also shared one of the best Caesar salads I've ever had. The Vintage Caesar is made with hearts of romaine, shaved fresh parmesan, double-smoked bacon, parmesan crisps and foccacia croutons. The homemade creamy Caesar dressing had an extra bite of anchovy, just the way I like it. In fact, I had it for supper again tonight! :)
While we were waiting, our attentive waiter Gordon treated us to some tapas--amuse-bouche, pan-seared tuna 'kissed' with wasabi aiolo on a flatbread croustini. Delicious! We finished our dinner with a dessert that was almost sinful--a coconut & pineapple creme caramel, light and fluffy, served with whip cream, pineapple crisps and presented with flair. I wish I had my camera! Maybe I'll have to go downstairs to the restaurant later and order it again...uh, just so I can get a picture of it, of course...
Great service, relaxing ambiance, generous portions and concoctions by a talented chef--what more could you ask for? I give Vintage Wine Bar & Grill...5 ankhs! :)
My day in a nutshell: I saw more sea creatures at suppertime on my plate than on my whale watching trip. But all in all, it was a divine day!
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE!
Monday, June 11, 2007
Julie Blue is a film composer, performing artist, recording artist and music facilitator, who was born in Calgary, Alberta, and now lives in North Vancouver, BC. At 5 years old, she started playing the piano and she hasn't stopped since. At 17, she began singing professionally, and later trained at Capilano College, Vancouver, BC. She has toured and performed with many bands, mainly jazz and R & B. She has performed on stage with numerous singers and musicians, and has traveled to Africa, Australia, Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean and Japan.
In 1989 she founded the Singspiration Creative Empowerment Programs. She also writes music for and directs a 50-voice gospel choir, 'The Singspiration Singers'. I had the pleasure of hearing this wonderfully group of amazing people sing at Julie's release party. They made me want to jump up and join them. I had a blast!
Julie has written and composed musicals and film scores, including the award-winning documentaries Close to the Heart and Stolen Lives. Some of her past projects include a performance as Musical Keynote Performer for Goldie Hawn's Bright Light Foundation 2005 fundraising event, as well as a Musical Keynote Performance at Matthew Fox's Earth Revival Cosmic Mass, Vancouver 2005 event. She also performed at the Minerva Foundation's Life in Balance forum 2004.
I met Julie at T. Harv Eker's Enlightened Warrior Training Camp in Squamish in 2003. And she has been a valued friend and a promoter/supporter of my work, as I have been of hers. We are both determined that one day she will be composing the music score to one of my movies. If I have any say, she WILL be. I can SEE it.
After Julie's release party, my husband Marc and I were invited by her friends to join them for the "after after party". We went dancing! That was a bloody miracle in itself. My husband doesn't like dancing. While chatting with these lovely people, I ended up selling my books (literally out of the trunk of my car...lol) to Sandy and Julia...and I couldn't resist giving Jody a copy of The River for her birthday, since that was the book she was interested in. One fellow sitting across from us asked us if we were part of a book club. HA! Marc and I got home at 3 a.m. Good grief! I can't tell you the last time we did that, but I was wide awake and still feeling rejuvenated from Julie's performance...a performance that I must say made me feel deeply connected to my brother Jason who was murdered last year.
If you enjoy bluesy, soulful, inspiring music that makes you want to sway, dance or just feel glad to be alive, please visit Julie's site. You can download some of her songs and listen to clips. I invite you to check out this marvelous, talented, gifted, spiritual human being who has uplifted hundreds of thousands of people worldwide with her amazing voice, sensational skill and generous spirit.
Please visit Julie Blue at http://www.julieblue.com and I highly recommend that you pick up her new CD One of a Kind Woman.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Upon entering the store, however, I was met with a great welcome. They had a table set up with a beautiful bouquet of flowers that smelled heavenly. And of course, copies of Whale Song. I was met at first by Diane, one of the managers, who made me feel right at home. In fact, so did all the staff who took time to come by my table and talk to me, including two aspiring writers. (Don't forget my words of wisdom: Don't just say you WANT to write; DO IT! WRITE! :)
But I think the highlight of my afternoon at Langley Chapters was that a few feet from my table was my very own security guard. I couldn't believe I had my own bodyguard for the day. And I must confess, as a mystery author used to "killing off" people, there was a bit of a thrill in that. Mike--my bodyguard from Crusade Security--stayed ever-vigilant a few feet away, sometimes barely moving. At one time I threatened to prod him with a cane (that I planned to get off a customer) if he dozed off. After all, he's gotta keep all my crazy fans in line...lol. Well, not ever having my own bodyguard at a signing before, I spent part of my time chatting with him...and wondering how I could fit him into my next novel. Mike...I apologize in advance if I create a bodyguard named 'Mike' who just so happens to not make it past chapter three.
During my time there, I met a general manager in training and the regional manager, who took a moment to welcome me. A special thank you to all the staff: Diane (manager), Joanne (manager), Kim, Nadine, Amy, Megan, Karen, Christina, Barandon, Rebecca, Jordan and everyone else I didn't get a chance to meet. Your enthusiasm and interest made such a difference to me.
Ok...well I'd like to leave it at that and sign off...
But, I guess I should explain that (in case you haven't already figured it out) Mike, my bodyguard, wasn't actually hired for me...sob, sniff! Did you forget I write fiction? :) Mike was hired because of the protestors in front of the store. The funny thing was, I think they left about an hour after I got there...yet he still stood there watching the door. But come on, you've gotta admit...my story sounded better.
Yes, I figured I should confess. I wouldn't want to be hauled away for false advertising!
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention
Friday, June 08, 2007
The staff was all very friendly. Many of them came over to the table and asked about all three of my titles. Caitlin and Pali rang in my sales until closing time. Earlier, I witnessed Pali making an elastic attack on the gal from Starbucks. We tried to get Pali back but the darn elastic wasn't cooperating. I'll have to brush up on my elastic snapping skills before I come back! :)
I found the customers to be very friendly, and many of them were quite excited to hear that I was originally from Vancouver. Of course, that always leads to the age old question: why did you leave Van for Edmonton?
Ok, so here's the scoop: I moved around a lot when I was first married because my husband was in the Armed Forces. We lived in Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC; then moved to Chatham, NB; then on to Petawawa, ON. After 8 years Marc got out--a tough decision in some ways since there were generations of Tardif's in the military. As a civilian, Marc realized we could move wherever we wanted, so we moved to Port Coquitlam. That was about 16 years ago.
A year later, I was offered a position in management with a home security company I was working for, as long as I agreed to move to Edmonton. So for the first time, we made a move based on my job. Unfortunately, the company I was working for wasn't very ethical and I quit, taking most of my team with me. The company folded shortly afterward. By this time Marc and I had already made Edmonton our home.
We've lived there for about 15 years now, and I must confess, Edmonton has been very good to us. My husband got an awesome job as a cable installer with Shaw Cable. Yeah, he's "the cable guy", and boy, does he have some stories to tell! I may just write a book about his experiences! :) We built our first home there, and it is the place where my own dream has finally come true--to be a published author. Talk about the land of opportunity!
But I have to say, it is a thrill to stand in the Pinetree Chapters and look out the window and see lush woods, colorful bushes and mountains. Yeah, BC is in my blood. So thank you to everyone at Pinetree Chapters for making my signing a fun and welcoming event. I really had a great time. Thank you also to the wonderful customers, like Carolyn, Leila, and all the others who stopped by and purchased Whale Song, The River or Divine Intervention. Oh, and there is a woman named Evelyn who is going to get the complete Cheryl Kaye Tardif set as a gift. :) A special thanks for the smiles and coos from little Ava, probably the happiest customer in the store!
For those of you who wanted to drop by but couldn't make it, Linda has said that the table with Whale Song will be displayed all day tomorrow at the front of the store. Every book on the table has been signed by me. :) If you're looking for Divine Intervention or The River, you can order them at the kiosk or at the tills. I had limited copies and was unable to leave any behind...sorry.
Oh, and I think I will ask Linda if I could return on the 14th. I never planned a signing for that date but I do have some time available and Pinetree is very close to where I am staying. So keep an eye out for me on June 14th. I may be there!
Thank you to everyone for making me feel welcome!
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Not only did they have a table waiting for me, they had copies of Whale Song set up on a blue wheely! :) Not every author gets one of those. They even had a copy of my latest press release up on the table. A great welcome!
I met some very interesting customers at Metrotown Chapters as well. One of the first people to welcome me to the store was Neil McKinnon, a fellow author. Neil and I talked for a bit about writing, and then he purchased a copy of Whale Song. Thanks, Neil! Neil is the author of Tuckahoe Slidebottle, the story of a small prairie town and its very interesting residents. You can check out Neil's book at: http://www.thistledownpress.com/cgi-bin/thistle/thistle.cgi?function=dispbook&bkid=207&nf.
Thank you to Rita for stopping by and showing such an interest in me and my novels. I enjoyed our conversation. :) Like many others I've spoken to over the years, Rita is an aspiring author who has written various works but hasn't gotten published yet. She is also at a crossroads, and I think she'll see opportunities start to open up for her. They are often there, lying in wait for that right place, right time moment. Sometimes we have to slow down just long enough to see the opportunities. Rita, when you're ready, I think you will find the way. Thanks for helping me with my books too.
Anyone who writes seriously knows the natural high you feel when working on a story, article, poem etc. There is nothing better than having edited a piece over and over until the day you believe you are done. "The End". Two very powerful words. I am always amazed at the people I meet while signing books. Some are gifted writers who just need a gentle push in the right direction. Sometimes I feel like that is the reason I am there.
Today a young girl asked me if it was "hard to write a book and hard to get published". I answered 'no' and 'yes'. Writing a novel is a journey for me--one I have carefully planned before writing the first word. And like a journey, I have a destination in mind. But I may not take the most obvious route. In fact, I often like to go off course, steer my readers into an area that seems perhaps innocent. But in the end, I know where I'm going and I don't hit major roadblocks (or writer's block), and those detours just make the journey that much more interesting. Of course, plotting someone's demise or grisly murder may seem a bit demented (ok, a lot demented!), but there is a certain thrill that goes with the territory of writing stories with suspense elements. Once I have a story in mind, it is like a movie flickering before me. I sure wish I could type faster to keep up though!
As for publishing, there are many options out there for writers. But finding and getting a traditional publisher to accept you and your work is certainly a challenge. Less than 2% of manuscripts are being accepted, which means the odds are low. This also means you had better have written an excellent story and you'd better know how to write, that means knowing how to construct proper sentences and paragraphs and how to write POV, beats, tags, proper pacing, etc. There are two parts to writing a work of fiction: the creative plotting of story and characters and the technical knowledge of language and composition. Writing is a craft, and like any craft it must be carefully honed and always perfected.
My day at Metrotown Chapters ended with an unexpected surprise. The staff had put together a lovely basket for me. I was stunned. A complete set of books by James Herriot, Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, some flower seeds and yummy chocolate, all in a huge straw basket tied with pink ribbon. What a nice gesture! Thank you, Metrotown Chapters. You made me feel like a star! :)
Monday, June 04, 2007
I hope to see you at one of my signings. I will be leaving behind some autographed copies for those who can't make my dates.
June - TBA - "Urban Rush" at Shaw TV in Vancouver - (in person) to discuss Whale Song and The River and movie interest, especially Hollywood. I'll be giving away 1 copy of Whale Song and 1 copy of The River.
June 7th Book signing
Where: Chapters – Metrotown Eaton Centre (#762), Burnaby, BC
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 pm
June 8th Book signing
Where: Chapters – Pinetree Village (#771), Coquitlam, BC
Time: 6:30 to 9:30 pm
June 9th Reading and Book signing
Where: Chapters – Langley By-Pass (#788), Langley, BC
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 pm
June 10th Book signing
Where: Chapters – Richport Town Centre (#768), Richmond, BC
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 pm
June 15th Book signing
Where: Chapters – Victoria (#787), Victoria, BC
Time: 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Friday, June 01, 2007
Every voter will be entered in a drawing for the winning title.
Voting is simple, and the instructions are on the voting page at: http://www.erinaislinn.com/BookCoveroftheMonth.htm
Voting will run through JUNE 30th.
Thank you for your votes! :)
Best in Success,
Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Author of The River, Divine Intervention and the bestselling novel Whale Song