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.

Friday, March 28, 2008

"I'm Sorry."

WARNING: The following post may reduce you to jello. This is a 2 tissue post.

Coming up on the 1 year anniversary of Whale Song's release, I find I'm feeling retrospective. Sometimes it's good to look back over the year, analyze what went well...what didn't. We all have regrets and sometimes they hang over us, a dark cloud in an otherwise endlessly blue sky. I have a few. But for the most part, everything I've experienced--even the traumatic events in my life like the death of my son and the murder of my brother--has made me who I am as a person...and as a writer.

They say: write what you know. I've always agreed, to some extent, and I've done exactly that. There are also times to write what you don't know, in which case, having good research instincts comes in handy. In Whale Song, I wrote about broken relationships and death--two things I know maybe far too much about.

Although I am writing mainly fiction now, I wrote a lot of poetry and song lyrics as a teen. Last year, while getting ready for the release of Whale Song, I was so inspired by the story that I wrote a song. My daughter Jessica also plays guitar and sings and she performed the following song at the book launch for Whale Song last April.

Sarah Richardson, the main character, has always been a reflection of me--the bullied child I once was, the awkward teen I grew into, and the once bitter adult who harbored resentment towards her father. But Sarah's journey and experiences are her own, and in her darkest moment, when she realizes a truth that changes her life forever, she is devastated. This is Sarah's song to her father--her words, her thoughts...her regrets.

I'm Sorry

I can't believe so much time has passed,

That you'll be with me once again, at last,

Through all the pain my life has been,

I'm sorry for not trusting you,

For pushing you so far away,

For all you did,

I hated you.

I didn’t understand what you were doing,

I thought your actions selfish and confusing,

If only I had really known,

The truth of all that happened,

I’d realize far sooner

That you loved me,

Really loved me.

I’m sorry,

So very sorry,

If I could take those hurtful words away, I would,

If I only knew,

What you'd put me through,

That it was for my own good.

I’m sorry,

So very sorry,

If I could turn back the hands of time, I would,

If you only knew,

I’d make the suffering mine,

But nothing can change time.

I realize you loved me more than ever,

A father’s love could never be more pure,

But, Daddy, I wish you’d stayed,

And never have gone away,

I needed my father,

I missed you,

I love you.

I’m sorry,

So very sorry,

If I could take those hurtful words away, I would,

If I only knew,

What you'd put me through,

That it was for my own good.

I’m sorry,

So very sorry,

If I could turn back the hands of time, I would,

If you only knew,

What I’d do for you,

I’d tell you this,

I’m…sorry.

©2007 Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Read an excerpt from Whale Song.

Pick up a copy of Whale Song from Amazon or your favorite bookstore or library.

I hope you enjoyed this post. And thank you all for making Whale Song the success that it is.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fathers and daughters

Relationships need special, ongoing care, and often a bit of mending. The bonds between fathers and daughters are so important and often very shaky. I see this in my own life and I can see how not having a good relationship early on with my own father has affected my choices, thoughts and my life. But as with every relationship, there is always a chance of healing, and sometimes this comes many years down the road.

Before I wrote Whale Song, my relationship with my father had changed--evolved into something relaxing, accepting and loving. He had changed. And so had I. I watched him interact with my daughter Jessica from the time she was a baby and realized that he was making it up to me--through Jessica.

Later, when my parents divorced after 36 years of marriage, I was devastated. I blamed my father and returned to my old feelings for him. Divorce is never easy on children--even adult ones. It felt as though my life had almost been a lie, that everything I had known had changed into something unrecognizable. It affected my own marriage.

Ironically, it was at this time that I wrote Whale Song. As the story progressed, it became apparent that my character Sarah was going to have to deal with a tragic event in her life and that her father, who had always been her hero, would make some life-altering decisions.

Writing the last few chapters, I also realized that Sarah was finally ready to accept her father's decisions and forgive him. "Forgiveness sets you free." This strong message weighed heavily on my mind, and I decided that I had some forgiving to do of my own.

To date, I have received dozens of emails from readers who have shared how Whale Song has affected them. It has brought fathers and daughters closer together. It has mended broken spirits and relationships. It has brought mothers and daughters closer together as well. I had no idea that my novel--Sarah's story--would have the power to do such things.

I invite you to pick up a copy of Whale Song from your favorite bookstore or online retailer. If you know someone with a broken relationship, Whale Song makes a wonderful healing gift.

If my novel impacts your life and you'd like to share this with me, I would be honored. I won't reveal your story or information unless you give me permission to, but hearing how my book--any book--changed your thoughts or life keeps me focused on always delivering a story with emotion, depth and value.

In the end, writing Whale Song changed my life and my own relationship with my father. I may not always agree with his choices, but I love my father. And that's all that is really important.

Whale Song set me free.

~*~
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blast From My Past: Scissor Trix & Stories

It's been a while since I wrote a Blast From My Past. So here's one that takes me back to the early '80's. Seems like centuries ago...

Something that most of my readers don't know is that I was once a hair stylist with my own salon. After high school, I moved to Vancouver, BC, and took a cosmetology course at Moler's School of Hairdressing. I'm not sure, but I don't think it is there any more. Back then, "cosmetology" consisted of mainly hair and some general aesthetics. My big dream was to become a stylist and makeup artist for the stars. Although I still dreamt of becoming a published author, I knew that I could actually make a living as a cosmetologist.

The course was about a year long, and then we were required to apprentice for one year before we could get our licence. And that's where I hit a brick wall. Back in the '80's, salons weren't looking for apprentices. They wanted fully qualified stylists WITH clientele.

So I moved around a bit, trying to complete my year. I went to Terrace, BC, then moved back home to the Queen Charlotte Islands. In Masset, the town my parents lived in, there were 2 salons at the time and one was on the military base. I was very fortunate to continue my apprenticeship with Linda, the owner of the salon.

I had about 2 months to go when I got some bad news. Linda and her husband were moving. The shop had to be sold and the chances of me continuing my apprenticeship with a new owner were slim. I had hit another brick wall.

But then Linda had an idea. I had completed my cosmetology course with flying colors and although I hadn't completed my 1 year apprenticeship, I had been working from my home for over 2 years. Hair styling is artistic and creative and right up my alley, and I was very good at it. Linda thought so too.

Because the salon was on military property, all potential owners had to go through a "competition". Licensed stylists were allowed to apply for the shop and had to prove they were the best person. Linda backed me 150%, but there was still something standing in my way. The apprenticeship.

Linda contacted the apprenticeship board and explained the situation, plus gave me a glowing recommendation. A few days later, a fellow from the board flew to the island to watch me work. I was a bit nervous at first, but then forgot he was there. I was in my element--creating. My apprenticeship term was written off as completed, and I received my license shortly afterward.

With Linda and my father (who was in the military) batting for me, I was in my glory when it was announced that I had 'won' the competition for the salon. I bought the equipment, supplies, said goodbye to Linda and embarked on my exciting journey. At about 21, I was the youngest salon owner in BC.

I renamed the salon Cheryl's Scissor Trix. The 'x' was a pair of scissors. :)

I have always said that I have written something at every job I have ever had. During my time as a salon owner, I told stories to the kids that came to get their hair cut. Even the most difficult ones would sit quiet as a mouse as I told them about Ty-Lor, the Knot Elfling, and how he was so tiny and would climb up their sheets at night and tie knots in their hair so that they'd learn to brush their hair each morning. I had created this fantasy world of Elflings--fairylike creatures with colorful glowing skin and hair. The girls had glowing wings.

Years later, I painted a series of illustrations and wrote the text for my first Elfling Kingdom book--The Elfling Princess. It remains unpublished at this time, but I did get some prototypes made (completely bound hardcover picture books) and took them to schools, libraries and daycares and read my story to the children. I even fashioned a Barbie doll after one of the characters. Shortly afterward, I wrote and illustrated a children's book called My Imaginary Friend. One day, I'll get these books published.

For now, I am very happy to be Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling Canadian suspense author. ;-)

http://www.cherylktardif.com

http://www.whalesongbook.com

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Frustrating flu, fantastic fans and flukes

I've been out of commission for the past week, due to a nasty flu bug. I believe I am on the upswing of recuperation, but I have to say, this was the nastiest flu I've had in my life. For more than 4 days I could barely get out of bed and my voice came and went. When it returned, I sounded like a "chain-smoking crack whore", or at least that's what I told my friends. :)

I spent 3 days watching the first 2 seasons of Dexter in between bouts of coughing and sneezing. Gotta love Dexter though. I felt better just watching all the trouble he got into.

Anyways, my apologies for not blogging sooner.

I am now catching up again on emails. Thank you to everyone who sent me fanmail about Whale Song this past week. I really enjoy hearing that my novel touched your life. I invite you to take a pic--you and Whale Song--and submit it to me for my Whale Song Fan Pics contest.

Also, don't forget to vote for Whale Song for Book Cover of the Year. Just click on the link below and type Whale Song in the body and send.

Vote For Whale Song!

And check out the new reviews of Whale Song at Amazon.

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

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Plunge into "The River" for a thrilling adventure! Get carried away by the flow of Tardif's magical prose!"

I'm sick today, suffering from an awful flu bug that my daughter Jessica decided to gift me with. :) I've been feeling like crap for 2 days--until I checked my email and found a message from an Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer. She wanted to let me know she had posted a review for The River, my 2005 techno-thriller.

As always, I held my breath and went to the page to check it out.

I think Betty used up every possible awesome adjective out there. And trying to quote a bit from it has proved challenging, but I'll share part of it with you. You can go to Amazon to read the entire review, which I must admit left me wanting to read The River again.

5.0 out of 5 stars"...Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif hooked me from the first sentence. I couldn't wait to read it. Having already read and raved over her later release, Whale Song: A Novel, I knew I would like The River, but didn't think anything could come up to Whale.
How wrong I was! This book is outstanding, too, and I'm learning that all of this author's works are brilliant.

The superb writing in The River flowed along smoothly, as naturally as the Mississippi River; then as the story progressed it picked up speed and energy like the turbulent white-water of the Colorado...There are thrills aplenty in this novel...Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a true wordsmith, writing fluently while making it seem easy. Her plot is well-paced, with characters so believable the reader cares what happens to them, and above all, her imagination soars. This is a true high-concept story.

I invite you to plunge into this intriguing story ... head-first or feet-first, it doesn't matter. You're in for an absorbing adventure--with more twists and turns than the Nahanni River itself--and a surprising, yet satisfying ending that leaves you gasping for more."

--Reviewed by Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer Betty Dravis, 2008, Millennium Babe: The Prophecy

To read the entire review, please check it out on Amazon and don't forget to vote it as "helpful".



Friday, March 14, 2008

What's your definition of having a bad day?

To a writer, a bad day might mean stumbling over a story plot, or backing your characters into a proverbial corner, or God forbid that dreaded 'writer's block'.

Everyone has their own definition of a bad day.

Check out this bad day video and then leave me a comment on what you think a bad day is.

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

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Reality TV: Survivor Apprentice

It's no secret that I'm a reality TV fan and tonight I dish the dirt on Survivor: Micronesia and The Celebrity Apprentice.

Spoiler alert! Don't click on the link below if you don't want to know what happened.

Read my Survivor Apprentice post on Film Clipz & TV Showz.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author and UNofficial reporter for Survivor: Micronesia and The Celebrity Apprentice

Video blog: The Blogging Tsunami of 2008


Please VOTE for this video on YouTube.

The blogs mentioned in this video are:

My main website: http://www.cherylktardif.com/

And now...a blooper or out-take from this video. Enjoy.


Please VOTE for this video on YouTube.

Please leave me a (kind) comment. It took a lot of convincing for me to post these.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author

*Music on these videos used with permission from Julie Blue.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chikezie and Carly rock American Idol!

The following is my American Idol update, based on tonight's show. Thes are my opinions only, and I'm just a fan. Okay, I'm an Idol addict.

First, I have to say...WOW! This was the first show this season that I actually think has that WOW Factor that is so necessary in this competition. In fact, it's the first time I actually said "WOW!" out loud. That's always a bit of a 'tell' for me--as in it tells me that someone just did a damned good job at entertaining me. Tonight's theme: Paul McCartney/John Lennon songs.

Some of tonight's contestants actually made me feel as though I were watching them perform at their own concert. For me there were really only 2 weak performances out of the Top 12--and that would be Kristy Lee Cook and (I really hate to say this) my little Idol "crush" I wrote about last week, David Archuleta. While Kristy Lee tried to put a country twang that just didn't work to her McCartney/Lennon song, poor David had a rough time dealing with nerves and lyrics that he couldn't remember in at least 3 places. Drat! I was rooting for you, David.

I can't vote, people. I live in Canada. So I am relying on those of you in the US to pick the greatest performers based on ALL of their performances. And David still ranks high with me. Kristy Lee, on the other hand, may just be seeing the exit sign. Unfortunately, someone has to go, although all these performers are extremely talented.

Now on to best performances of the night and that WOW factor I was talking about. I am selecting a male and female performer in two categories: sweetest performance and awesome rock performance.

First, with the sweetest, most poignant performances, I have to say Ramiele Mulabay takes this one for her pure, sweet voice that emanated emotion. Her control is astonishing and her lovely youthfulness adds a certain vulnerability that can move you to tears. In the same degree, I found Jason Castro's song choice to be tenderly wrought with his amazing voice and recognizable tone. When he performs those softer songs, he is mesmerizing to watch.

My final top choices are for awesome 'rock the house' performances. These next two contestants had that WOW Factor to the max. The first is Carly Smithson. That girl can belt out a tune! Not only does she have sensational vocal control, she also knows how to give a crowd-pleasing performance. Tonight, Carly radiated confidence, showing us the true star that she really is. (In my opinion, a close second for female rocker was Amanda Overmyer, but she just didn't show the range that Carly did, and like Simon, I couldn't understand some of what Amanda was singing.)

The top male who rocked the house dooowwwwnn is getting my last paragraph to himself--maybe 2 or three paragraphs. This guy astonished me tonight by giving me the performance that made me get up, clap my hands and shout "WOW! I've liked him before but always thought he was a quiet guy who blended in at times.

But tonight Chikezie is king! He rocked the house down with an amazing performance of 'She's a Woman'. I loved Chikezie's interpretation of the song and his stage presence commanded attention. He started off sitting with three band members front stage. The music arrangement was inspired and dead on--a perfect fit for his voice, showcasing his range, gritty tones--AWESOME!

I believe it was Paula Abdul who said it sounded a bit like "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" rockabilly music in the opening...and it did. I loved it! Like Paula, I almost expected the musicians to be playing the spoons and jug. When Chikezie stood up, I wasn't sure what to expect because I had enjoyed the opening so much. That boy let loose--his voice had every nuance necessary to make the song come alive. Way to go, Chikezie!!!

One last thing: WOW! King Chikezie's in the house! This contest is ON!

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,

bestselling author and self-proclaimed, unofficial Idol reporter. :)

Fiction masquerading as memoir

Lying about factual book content is a crime. So why do some authors insist on trying to skirt the law with fictitious claims? Over the past 60 years, thousands of authors have claimed to have led fascinating lives and have bared all in gritty, nonfiction memoirs. Yet, some have outright lied.

Who can forget the James Frey scandal that resulted in a public admonishment from Oprah Winfrey?

Or more recently, Misha Defonseca, who claims in her "memoire" that she travelled with a pack of wolves during the Holocaust.

Or Margaret B. Jones...aka Margaret Seltzer...who professed to be part Native American when her parents are white/caucasian and further claimed she was raised in foster care.

Los Angeles Times has a series of related stories based on authors who misrepresent fiction as fact. Just check out some of the posts:

The New York Times has their own list of fraudulent memoir stories:


As an author, I have to shake my head. Fact is fact, people. If you lived it and people around you know you lived it, that's fact. Facts are usually fact-checked by someone. Eventually. FACT...also known as nonfiction in the book world. What part of this don't you understand?

These lies hurt the entire industry--from publishers to distributors to agents to reviewers to other authors and to readers. Especially to readers! By lying, you are shortchanging readers who have invested time, money and emotion in your work. And readers deserve more.

So why do these authors masquerade fiction as memoir? For more "WOW factor", because otherwise their lives would seem just like ours--fraught with bad childhoods, bad parents, bad memories, bad husbands, wifes, children...etc. Let's face it, we all have had challenges in life, but for most of us our lives just aren't interesting enough to warrant writing a book, much less finding a publisher to publish it.

Let's keep fiction where it's meant to be and memoirs filled with good ole honest truth.

On that note: I hope you will all read my memoir The River, which you can order from Amazon...the link to follow.

This is the true story of how I went searching for my father in the Nahanni River area and stumbled into a deadly conspiracy to do with nanotechnology; I barely escaped with my life. My father went missing about 7 years ago and my mother and I thought he was dead. We even had a funeral--even though there was no body. But investigators did find his blood, lots of it and after a while, they presumed him dead.

I would never have doubted it if it wasn't for my father's friend showing up in my university classroom, where I was teaching. I just about passed out when I saw him. He looked really old and was pale like a ghost! He should have been one too because he went missing along with my father. But what this man told me...I could barely believe his words. He said that my father was alive...up north...but that people were trying to kill him.

It didn't take me long to decide that there was only one thing to do--go to the Nahanni and find my father. I managed to convince some really great people to come with me. I could never have done that journey alone. It was exciting at first, but it didn't take long to become the most terrifying time in my life. It makes me shake just thinking about everything that happened...and the people who died as a result of my decision to go to an area of Canada that is nicknamed The Bermuda Triangle. Really! Not kidding!

I can't tell you everything here. My doctor says I am suffering from PTSD and I have to be careful. It was hard enough to get everything written down in my memoir. But if you want to know everything that happened...well, you'll have read it yourself by picking up a copy of my bestselling book The River (by Cheryl Kaye Tardif, in case you've forgotten).

My mother and I are doing better now. As for my father...well...I did find him. But I didn't expect to nearly drown, find a hidden river, or become a prisoner of a lunatic.

Read my memoir.

The River by Cheryl Kaye Tardif.

P.S. I hope you all realize that I was being completely sarcastic about The River being my memoir. It isn't. It's a suspense thriller--pure fiction. But I bet I had some of you going, didn't I? It certainly sounds far more exciting than telling you I was a military brat, moved around a lot and threw orange pop at the first boy who kissed me, doesn't it? :) The point is, this is fine as a joke, but not fine if I made this claim because I wanted to benefit from a lie financially and never told the truth until someone found me out.

P.P.S. I hope you'll still read The River. Everything I told you was from the perspective of Del, the main character, and the plot is as it is above.

I hope you'll read my novel, The River by Cheryl Kaye Tardif.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

AllTheseBooks.com Interviews Cheryl Kaye Tardif

I think in all my excitement and planning for my trip to Mexico, I forgot to let people know about a new interview. Check out my interview on AllTheseBooks.com.

Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by.

http://allthesebooks.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=40

Friday, March 07, 2008

Take The Canadian Book Challenge!

I came across a blog today that invites readers to read Canadian books and participate in a challenge of reading 13 book before Canada Day--July 1st, 2008.

The Book Mine Set blog, operated by John Mutford from Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada, which for those who don't know if far north, is where you can find information on this contest. There are even prizes. Very interesting ones, I can assure you.

So check out The Canadian Book Challenge, post a comment to let John know you're participating, and start reading!

Also, I found the above site and event by accident when I discovered that someone was writing about me here:

http://farmschool.wordpress.com/2008/03/07/saluting-canadian-authors/

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling Canadian suspense author

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Piers "slaughters" Omarosa!

A few months ago, during the WGA strike, I complained a bit about how I wanted my favorite TV shows back. Then I confessed that I was watching The Celebrity Apprentice for lack of better programming and because I was tired of watching reruns. I have missed a few episodes, but I've seen the most fiery ones, and I have formed a definite opinion of Piers Morgan and Omarosa whatever-her-last-name-is.

First, regarding Omarosa, who reminds me somewhat of a black widow spider...I have said this since the beginning: what on earth is she doing on a show for celebrities? She was a reality TV guest in a past Apprentice. Heck, I was a reality guest on A Total Write-Off, a TV game show for writers, but does that make me a celebrity worthy to be teamed up with such big names as Gene Simmons, Carol Alt, Marilu Henner and Lennox Lewis, to name a few? I'd like to think so, but I'm realistic. I haven't reached that level of celebritydom...yet!

Sometimes I wonder if Donald Trump didn't just bring her in because he's a smart man and knows there will be guaranteed controversy. He knows what he's doing and I am just amazed that he kept her on for so long.

Now normally, I am not so bold in my observations of people, and I usually never write about them. But Omarosa has always bugged me. I find her demeanor to be hard-nosed, vulgar and brash. She certainly has a problem with people skills--or the lack thereof.

In one episode of The Celebrity Apprentice, she laid into Piers, attacking him personally and bringing his family into the conversation. It's apparent she has some smarts, I guess. She obviously researched her competition and filed away any sleazy tidbit she could use later. I found this attack on Piers to be thoroughly reprehensible. She couldn't get any lower. Or so I thought.

Warning: the following may contain spoilers!

On tonight's episode, we see Omarosa reeling from embarrassment at yet again ANOTHER failure as Project Manager and failing the SAME task that got her fired the other time she was on Apprentice. Knowing her team had already lost, she acknowledged that Piers and his team pulled a coup de gras. In fact, Omarosa's team, consisting of Stephen Baldwin, Trace Adkins and the wicked witch herself, were totally "slaughtered" (Trump's words), selling only $7000 of artwork, compared to the other team's $140,000+ (or whatever it was).

Not wanting to acknowledge her complete failure, Omarosa first tries to point the finger at Stephen Baldwin. I'll admit, he didn't seem to contribute much in this challenge, other than spying on the other team, which was obviously a waste of effort. Then as a last ditch effort to redeem herself, she attacks Piers after he has left the boardroom and knowing that he would be watching, this time with accusations that he wasn't "out of the closet" yet. I could almost hear jaws hitting the floor all across Canada and the US.

In the boardroom, Mr. Trump called her on her latest stunt. It was obvious by his careful wording that he was not impressed. He questioned her about her accusations that Piers was homosexual. Try and back pedal your way out of that one, Omarosa.

Then Mr. Trump suggested that Piers come back to defend himself. My heart sank a bit at that, especially when I saw Piers take him up and head the boardroom. In the past, I have cringed while watching Omarosa chew him up and spit him out, and I have sometimes shaken my head when Piers let her get to him and reacted. But can anyone blame him?

I held my breath as Piers Morgan entered the room and headed straight toward Omarosa. Or so I thought. For a brief second, I wondered if he'd smack her. But instead, much to my relief and surprise, he leaned down and planted a kiss on the cheek of country singer Trace Adkins. A cheeky move, Piers!

Poor Trace didn't know how to react. Then Piers left the room. We all got the message--even Trace, eventually. Rather than react to Omarosa, Piers held his head high. Kudos to you for your inner strength, Piers! I am sure that all across America people were cheering for you to deck her.

Why does Omarosa stoop so low? I've heard people refer to her as OmaGrosa! This woman has no shame, decency or respect for herself or anyone else. She'll use ANYTHING to get ahead. I've managed businesses, worked as a motivator and inspirational speaker and I can't imagine what it would be like to work with this woman.

Piers, on the other hand, is a man who loves his family and has a great sense of 'self'. I know some people found him arrogant at times, but I have always admired him. Yes, he may cave in at times and react, just as many of us would do when contactly badgered. But he has a genuine goal to succeed for his chosen charity--the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which provides financial relief to families of United States military personnel lost in performance of their duty.

As a Canadian military brat, wife of a former military man and sister to a military man stationed in Nova Scotia, I can understand why Piers wishes to help this charity. The Celebrity Apprentice site reports, "Piers' brother fought in 2 tours of duty in Iraq and his brother-in-law fought in 2 tours of duty in Afghanistan. They both have lost several friends and comrades..."

Congratulations, Piers, for a very successful slaughter and for ridding us of the wicked witch Omarosa. You have proven numerous times that you know how to get things done. It was great to see that you remembered to thank the man at the gallery for his contributions and it is impressive to see how many well-known people you know. That is a testament to who you are!

Now, Piers, I need you to call your friends, including Gordon Ramsay, and help me sell more books. :)

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author of Whale Song

Whale Song is "beautiful, mystical and bittersweet"

"Mystical Journey. Utilizing a first person narrative technique, the reader experiences Sarah's initial acclimation first-hand under Tardif's very skillful voice...Tardif relays her sense of uncertainty and the ups and downs of triumphs and failures in an adept way that cements her ability to capture the sensibilities of this burgeoning adolescent with great credibility. Driven by Tardif's strength in creating such a believable character, the story moves along with great readability...Cheryl Kaye Tardif writes a most satisfactory story about a young girl's coming-of-age amidst a background that is simultaneously beautiful, mystical and bittersweet. Recommended for all young adults."

--Diana Faillace Von Behren, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

My American Idol "crush"

Most of you know that I am a huge Idol fan--Canadian and American. In fact, I not only voted for hours for past Canadian Idol Eva Avila, I've become friends with her, had lunch with her and she's reading Whale Song. But now, I have to confess I have a huge "crush" on a younger man from American Idol.

In the past 2 shows where the men have performed, I have found myself drawn to this young cutie. Okay, not in a romantic way because that would make me a "cougar", but more in a somewhat motherly--God, you're so damed cute and have the sweetest smile and the purest voice that sends shivers up my spine--way.

This "crush" is none other than David Archuleta, an extremely talented and humble 17-year old from Murray, Utah. This boy/man has a voice that has brought me to tears, and I, for one, would pay to see him perform and make me cry more.

I predict great things for you, David. I believe you could win Idol, and at the very least, you'll have recording studios knocking on your door and fighting over you. Heck, if a happily married woman in her 40's and mother of a 17-year-old daughter can fall in love with your voice in just a few short weeks, you'd better be prepared for all the US and Canada to love you too.

My advice to you: Keep on believing! Dreams DO come true if you work towards them. So dare to dream, dream BIG and keep singing those songs that dig at our hearts and souls. You are already a shining star, David Archuleta. Keep shining!

For anyone who hasn't experienced this talented young man's voice, check out American Idol!

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, a bestselling author who knows that dreams are always worth dreaming and everything is possible!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Cheryl is selected as the Spotlight Artist for CTI

I am back in Edmonton now, wading through thousands of emails after an awesome trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (pronounced "Meh-hee-ko" after a few pina coladas!) This was a long overdue holiday and the first REAL vacation my husband and I have had together in 21 years--the last one was our honeymoon.

While I am tempted to run out and buy margarita and pina colada mix and keep on holidaying, reality set in when I turned on my computer and opened up my email program, which took almost 10 minutes to upload.

I felt like I was wading through a swamp of emails without a bathing suit! I stepped ankle deep into a bunch of spam mail and quickly deleted it. Then knee high into business emails.

And that's when I found a hidden gem, amidst notices to send in book information and fanmail.
"Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif has won the attention and admiration of readers worldwide with her uniquely compelling suspense novels, including the celebrated “Whale Song,” “Divine Intervention,” and “The River.”

Those who have noted her blogs at Creative Thinkers International and elsewhere know the author is not one to simply rest on her five-star literary laurels, but often shares quality communication with her readers and lends humanitarian support to the causes and issues that concern her. We are honored to present Ms. Tardif as the CTI Spotlight Artist for March 1-15, 2008, and invite you learn more about this gifted Canadian author at http://creativethinkersintl.ning.com/profile/CherylKayeTardif."

I also received an email from Aberjhani at CTI:

"It is our pleasure at Creative Thinkers International to inform you that in recognition of your outstanding literary accomplishments, inspiring interaction with your reading audience, and participation at CTI, you have been selected the CTI Spotlight Artist for March 1-15, 2008. We hope this token of recognition helps in some way to further enhance your individual creative vision and marketing efforts."

I invite you to check out my page at Creative Thinkers International.

And please check out CherylKTardif.com and sign my guestbook and sign up for my monthly newsletter.

Hasta Manana...

Random Acts of Giving Books Away

During our stay at the Riu Vallarta Hotel in Mexico, I had the pleasure of meeting some great people and giving away some of my novels. Ironically, most of the people I talked to were from Canada. The funny thing was that two people--one Canadian and one American--said they thought I was from the States. Apparently, I have an American accent. Go figure! :)

One day I passed by a woman who told me she liked my red hair. Then we went our separate ways.

Later that day or the next, I decided to pass out some more of my books. By the pool, a couple sat to my right and I debated on leaving a book. Neither of them seemed to be reading, but I felt compelled to leave a copy of Whale Song anyway. I did so when the couple went to the pool.

Then switched seats with my husband and waited.

When the woman returned, she gathered her belongings and gave a few glances at the book lying on her chair. She walked away, and I felt a bit deflated. But she returned right away and made a beeline for the book. She asked my husband if it was his. He said, "No. It's my wife's."

When she turned to me, I explained that I was the author and that I had left it for her as a gift, if she thought she'd enjoy it. The next thing I knew, she was sitting down on her lounger and reading Whale Song. I had to laugh when my husband and hers started talking. She moved away slightly and gave me an apologetic look. "I don't want to be distracted from your book," she said with a smile.

I may have gifted her with a book, but she gave me something unexpected back in return. With all the book signings and special events I have held, it is a rare treat for me to actually observe someone reading one of my books. It is an indescribable feeling--a delightful mix of accomplishment and humble thankfulness.

A while later I took a walk with 4 books in hand, one each of Divine Intervention and The River and 2 of Whale Song. I walked down one row of loungers until I reached some women who were reading. I introduced myself, assured them I wasn't selling anything and told them I wanted to give away my books. Within seconds I had no books left.

The last gal took The River, I think. When she first glanced up at me, she said, "Hey, you're the one with the red hair." It was the same woman I had passed earlier.

Coincidence? I don't think so. I don't believe in coincidence.

Have you ever been the recipient of a Random Act of Kindness from a total stranger? If so, please share.

Have you ever "given" a Random Act of Kindness? If so, please tell us about it.

I challenge each of you to do one totally random "nice" thing for a stranger--someone you've never met before. Do this by Sunday, March 9th. I guarantee you will impact a life and you'll feel really great afterward. :)

If you're unsure of what to do, give someone a copy of Whale Song. :)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Michael Connelly and Cheryl Kaye Tardif

While vacationing in Mexico last week, I realized how many people read books while on holiday and I said to my husband that one of my dreams was to walk past someone reading one of my books. I had no idea that would happen by the end of that week.

The second day, we decided to spend some time on the beachfront of the Riu Vallarta. By the way, I highly recommend this hotel! Beautiful rooms, stunning views, soft sandy beach, yummy all inclusive buffets and restaurants and refreshing pools.

While relaxing on a lounger and working on my freckles, I noticed two couples a row in front and a few seats down. I saw books in their hands. Immediately, I plotted how I could anonymously leave them one of my books. When they disappeared into the beach restaurant for lunch, I strode toward their loungers and left a copy of The River on one seat and Divine Intervention on the other.

Inside each book, I wrote a special message--something like this:

If you found this book, it is yours.

This is a Random Act of Kindness from the author.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,

Riu Vallarta - Feb. 22 - Mar. 1st, 2008

When the two couples returned, I shamelessly spied on them and watched their puzzling looks. Okay, I admit, it was fun to do this unexpected thing, even though my husband Marc was worried they'd just throw the books away. But mischief me got a big kick out of watching them covertly from my wrap-around sunglasses while I tried hard not to smile.

I saw them look around, then finally one of the men opened the book and saw my message. I was torn between wanting to go over and say Hi and just wanting to revel in doing this random act. So I remained in my seat. The reward came first when I saw one of the men open up my book and start reading.

Even more ironic was the fact that on the day we left, we came across the same couples. As we drew closer I realized that one of the men was holding Divine Intervention. He was halfway through it. Then I saw the other man with The River, also halfway finished. So I leaned down and said, "Can I ask if you're enjoying your book?"

It didn't take them long to figure out who I was and I was rewarded with smiles and praise.

But it's the words of the one fellow I won't soon forget.

"Your style is similar to Michael Connelly's," said the man reading Divine Intervention.

WOW! That is high praise! And I am immensely honored.

So, to these kind couples, if you come across my site and blog, please sign my guestbook.

And to anyone reading this blog post, please check out Divine Intervention and The River on Amazon, and please let me know what you think when you read them. :)

http://www.cherylktardif.com/