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, December 23, 2011

FREE eBook: IMAJIN THIS!

IMAJIN THIS!

Imajin This!
This special chapter preview book showcases all fiction titles published by Imajin Books in 2010/2011. Sample the first three chapters of each book.

Our international authors strive to entertain you with a wide range of genres - mystery, suspense, romance, horror, fantasy, paranormal, YA and more.

Featuring the following authors: Alison Bruce, Anna Patricio, Catherine Astolfo, Cherish D'Angelo, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Chris Redding, Christian A. Larsen, C. Robert Lee, Gloria Ferris, Jeani Rector (editor), Kat Flannery, Melodie Campbell, Ric Wasley, Simon Clark, and Susan J. McLeod.

"Quality fiction beyond your wildest dreams." All ebooks under $5.

Available FREE at Smashwords.com (various file formats for all major ereaders, including Kindle, Nook and Kobo.)

Or you can download the PDF for Imajin This! HERE.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Amazon's new carrot: KDP Select

Today someone asked me what I thought about Amazon's new KDP Select program, a program that has an exclusivity clause that prohibits participating authors from selling their ebooks anywhere else. After sending him my thoughts on the matter, I realized something: I had enough for a blog post. So here is my answer to his question of whether I was tempted to enroll and what I thought about the program...

I’m happy to share my thoughts on KDP Select, though I’ll warn you, they’re very “strong”. 

First, I think this is a ballsy move on Amazon’s part to try to monopolize the industry. From a business perspective, it’s not necessarily wrong, but they won’t make a lot of people happy.

I am definitely against aspects of this new “program” of Amazon’s, but it's compelling all the same. I think they’re using much higher numbers and authors won’t be too pleased when they realize how little they’ll actually make from it. That’s my prediction anyhow. It sounds good at first glance, sharing a pool of money, but at what cost?

The exclusivity clause is a big red flag for me. Amazon is asking authors to put all their “eggs into one basket.” It’s obvious they’re hoping to weed out other ebook retailers like Smashwords. They want the monopoly. But this is a huge risk for authors who blindly follow Amazon. Once they’re “in” and bound by exclusivity contracts, Amazon can basically do what they want and those authors won’t have any choices. They could raise ebook prices, put ebooks on sale etc.

The automatic renewal poses a serious problem as well. If it isn’t timed properly, authors who do want out will find themselves locked into another term.

I think new authors, especially the very young or very old, may be drawn into this “program” without realizing the full effects and risks. That bothers me. I’ve already seen on forums where authors have blindly signed up, not realizing until it’s too late that they won’t be able to sell anywhere else. It’s amazing how many writers don’t read the fine print—or understand it—or question it.

I don’t think the increased numbers came necessarily from Smashwords. Many writers who dealt with Smashwords and KDP probably thought it was a good idea. Some probably thought it worth checking out or experimenting with. Then again, who’s to say the increase came from authors in this program? Amazon often makes “deals” with publishers and it wouldn’t surprise me if they held back a large number of titles so it would appear that authors are “jumping ship.” Nothing Amazon may do would surprise me.

Amazon is a huge company. There’s no way around that. I have a Kindle and love it. I also have a Kobo. I have friends who have Sony ereaders. With KDP Select in place, readers with Kobo, Nook or Sony ereaders won’t be able to get the same content, unless these ereaders can download a Kindle app, which some don’t.

As for the free ebook option, it’s a short one-time promotion opportunity that probably won’t do much good for the average KDP author. If Amazon allowed unlimited free ebooks, that may draw in more authors. Many would like to offer a free ebook, just to get people interested. But even if they had that as an incentive, it wouldn’t be enough to entice me to cross over to the “dark side”.

What would entice me? If Amazon stopped their greed campaign long enough to remember that authors deserve respect. And KDP Select shows zero respect for authors and their rights by making us sign any kind of exclusivity contract. Amazon needs to learn to play fair. They don’t have to have it all. There’s room for Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks, B&N and more. And readers deserve the choice.

Ok, I’m climbing off my soapbox now...well, you did ask. hehe

For more information on KDP Select, please check out the following:
http://blog.smashwords.com/2011/12/amazon-shows-predatory-spots-with-kdp.html
https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/KDPSelect
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/violetblue/amazon-kdp-select-controversy-golden-opportunity-or-trap/861
http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2011/12/fine-print-of-amazons-new-kdp-select.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-coker/amazon-ebooks-kdp-select_b_1139260.html
http://kaitnolan.com/2011/12/21/feeling-grinchy-about-kdp-select/


P.S. Authors: Do NOT enroll your books until you understand all of the risks and conditions.


KDP - Kill Da comPetition...

UPDATE: January 6, 2012

I thought I'd clarify a few things: I still don't agree with the exclusivity clause; I think Amazon should remember that not everyone owns or wants a Kindle ereader. But I AM glad that this exclusivity is short-termed. This allows authors to test the waters. Those who see great results may stay in the program; those who don't will leave.

Anyone who knows me knows that I've always been a risk-taker. I don't shy away from taking the plunge into uncharted waters, but I do my homework and investigate everything carefully. I like to be informed.

I know there are pluses to this program. That's always been a given. If authors are paid more, that's great. If a book makes a top 100 list, and sells thousands as a result of this program, even better.

I never said Amazon was stupid. :-) Though I don't like or agree with their tactics, this program is something to be tested. Since it's a short-term (3 months), there's less risk. My biggest concern is alienating readers who don't own a Kindle. But as an author trying to get my name out there among an overcrowded pool, I've decided I WILL test these waters, but only with one or two of my titles.

Always do your homework and read the fine print. Then if you think it'll work for you, take the risk.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Cheryl takes on the role of judge (but not executioner)

As bestselling suspense author Cheryl Kaye Tardif, I wear one hat--that of a writer. But as Cheryl Tardif, I wear so many hats I need a bigger closet. As well as wife and mother, I am the publisher and acquisitions editor at Imajin Books, a new innovative publishing company that publishes quality fiction. This month, I'll be adding a new hat--as one of the judges for Scribes Digest's 'Best Pitch Contest.' If you're a writer, here's a great way to pitch one of your finished works.

Here's some info on the contest...
Hello writers of all genres! The November Scribes Digest contest is FREE to enter and will give you a chance to publish your entry in our December issued EZINE!
In order to enter, you must have a completed work in any of these genres: feature film, short film, short story or novel.
We are looking for the TOP 3 best elevator pitches! An elevator pitch (or elevator speech or statement) is a short summary used to quickly and simply define your script, short story or novel. It should take no more than 5 lines to give your pitch and the writers with the best 3 pitches will have excerpts from their completed script, story or novel published in our December EZINE.
Our team of editors will be joined by two fantastic industry judges to choose the winners: Michael Baker, Producer and Founder of Bunk 11 Pictures Inc. and Cheryl Tardif, Publisher & Acquisitions Editor of Imajin Books.
Read more.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Count your blessings this Thanksgiving weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Whale Song Reaches Out to Kids Who Are Bullied

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

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

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

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

So what’s WHALE SONG about?

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

Some things are easier to forget.

But now a familiar voice from her childhood sends Sarah, a talented mid-twenties ad exec, back to her past. A past that she had thought was long buried.

Some things are meant to be buried.

Torn by nightmares and visions of a yellow-eyed wolf and aided by creatures of the Earth and killer whales that call to her in the night, Sarah must face her fears and recover her memories―even if it destroys her.

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

Reviews:

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

"Moving...sweet and sad." ―Booklist

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

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

The Discussion Guide:

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

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

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

But I survived. It gets better.

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

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

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

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

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

I invite you to check out my books at http://www.whalesongbook.com and http://www.cherylktardif.com.

Connect with me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cherylktardif

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazon lowers Kindle ereader prices and introduces new Kindle ereaders

Amazon has announced 4 new Kindle products, and you'll be happy to see that part of the "new" is a LOWER price. Finally, we have Kindle ereaders for under $100, just as many (including me) have been predicting. And what perfect timing--just in time for early Christmas shoppers.

Read more.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A publisher speaks out about the new Amazon Kindle library program

With the news release about the new library program that supplies Amazon Kindle ebooks to public and school library patrons comes the obvious question the many authors are asking: How the heck do I get paid if they're giving away my ebooks?

This is what I was told:

Only ebooks distributed through OverDrive will be available as library books for this program. As there are other benefits to being distributed by OverDrive, I've tried applying to them twice in the past year or so and was turned down both times—most likely because all the books published at the time were my own, which is no longer the case as my company Imajin Books now publishes other authors and operates much like a regular traditional publisher.

If your books are carried by OverDrive, your books are then available for this new library program. Currently this only applies to US public and school libraries.

It’s my understanding that once you've been accepted by OverDrive, they would pay either the publisher or independent author. But I'm still unclear as to how they operate. Do they only loan out an ebook one at a time and wait for it to be returned before it's loaned out again? Or are they sending out an ebook multiple times?

As an author and publisher, this program raises some red flags for me. And I'm not sure it's a bad thing that we aren't using OverDrive. I want my authors to be paid for their works. I want to be paid for mine too. And our publishing company relies on sales--not giving away our products.

I'm not alone. 

Macmillan and Simon & Schuster are not supplying ebooks to this library program, as the New York Times reported. Adam Rothberg, a spokesperson for Simon & Schuster states, "We haven’t yet found a business model with which we are comfortable and that we feel properly addresses the long-term interests of our authors."

I feel the way Rothberg does. Some of our ebooks ARE  currently available via Booklending.com, but not through this latest library program, and I'm not sure there is any advantage to Imajin Books or our authors to get involved. We work far too hard on these ebooks; we just can't be expected to provide unlimited content for free.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Whale Song wins KBR Bestseller Award

A couple of days ago I was notified that my bestselling novel Whale Song was a finalist in the Kindle Book Review Awards. This is what the awards are all about:

"The Indie Awards is all about honoring indie authors who have written exceptional fiction, have worked hard to get their work out there, and who are getting great reviews. There are 10 finalists chosen from our previous "Picks of the Day" and there will be 5 winners. Best of all, the KBR will have some great prizes for these talented authors, like a complete editing package for their next book, a publicity package, proofreading, and announcements at The Pub Write Group and Digital Book Today."

Out of the 10 finalist, 5 prizes were awarded:
First Place: The KBR Literary Excellence Award
Second Place: The KBR Mover & Shaker Award
Third Place: The KBR Bestseller Award
and a Fourth Place and Fifth Place Award

I was honored to be in the finals, and even more honored to have Whale Song pick up Third Place. This is what was said about Whale Song winning the KBR Bestseller Award: "Cheryl gets this award because Whale Song is the veteran of the bunch. First published in 2003, this book was collecting rave reviews long before the ebook revolution and still continues to do so today!"

Thank you to Kindle Book Review.

Whale Song is available in English in ebook and paperback at your favorite online retailer, includingAmazon, Kobo Books, B&N, Smashwords and more. Ask your bookstore to bring it in.

Whale Song in translation for Chinese and German markets

I just realized that I hadn't actually announced that I have two translation rights deals for Whale Song.

First, I've signed a deal with a Chinese company and an ebook edition will be in translation in a few months. There's also a possibility that there may be a Chinese print edition later. Over the next few months, I'll be assisting in the translation by explaining parts of the novel to the translators.

I also have another deal in place for a German translation of Whale Song. It will be published in ebook and trade paperback edition. This is especially exciting as Amazon has recently opened their Germany site to ebooks.

Of course, with both editions this will mean new book covers, which I'll post here as soon as I have them.

Whale Song is available in English in ebook and paperback at your favorite online retailer, including Amazon, Kobo Books, B&N, Smashwords and more. Ask your bookstore to bring it in.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Today on The Russell Show: Children of the Fog

What would you do if a kidnapper told you you had 10 seconds to make a decision: let him take your child, or watch your son die?



A special thank you to my friend Russell Brooks for always being so enthusiastic about my books. Check out his narration from my bestselling supernatural thriller, CHILDREN OF THE FOG.

CHILDREN OF THE FOG is available at Amazon, SmashwordsBarnes and Noble and more.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Do you know Mary Higginson?

There's not a lot about school that I liked when I was a kid, but over those years, there were a couple of teachers that made a definite impact on my life. One of them was Mary Higginson. Do you know her?

Mary Higginson was my English teacher at Bermuda High School for Girls when I lived in Bermuda for three glorious years. She was from the UK somewhere. She was kind, pleasant and always encouraging. She recognized my love for writing and encouraged me to "grow" it.

When she found out I was going through some teen/parent conflicts, she said, "Why don't you start writing in a diary, Cheryl? It might help you."

I hadn't thought about that before.

I mentioned this to my best friend.

"You should do what Mrs. Higginson suggested," she said.

"But what if my mom or dad find my diary?"

"Hide it between your mattresses. That's what I do."

It's probably what every teen does. But I did it anyway.

I hid the tiny key in my jewelry box. Does every girl do that too?

I wrote about the arguments with my mom, and how much my dad annoyed me. You know, all the normal teenage angst stuff. Every now and then when I was bored, I'd write a poem in my diary. Sometimes I'd write short stories.

When Mrs. Higginson assigned us story writing, I was in my glory. I wrote my heart out and created characters that made me laugh. Sometimes they made me cry. When I handed in my assignments, I would wait with bated breath for my teacher's reaction.

One day, she said to the class, "Let me read you a story."

I don't recall the story title or even the plot. All I know is that it was mine.

She praised my writing in front of the class and told me that one day I'd be a great writer.

I'm not sure I have the "great" part down yet--I'll leave that up to my idol, Stephen King--but I AM a writer. And Mrs. Higginson was responsible for part of my creation. Without her encouragement, I'd never have known my words could have impact and meaning to others.

So now my search is on. Mary Higginson, where are you???

Do you know a Mary Higginson? If so, please have her contact me through my site or blog.

I have contacted the school, but they have no current info. I dream of the day when I can give her one of my novels and tell her how grateful I will always be. Teachers never get enough credit. She took a depressed teenager and helped turn her into a dreamer, who then went on to achieve her dreams.

Mary Higginson, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif
I invite you to check out my novels

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cheryl Kaye Tardif Novels Go International & I Need Your Help

Okay, so I'm trying to be calm, cool and collected while typing this, but it ain't easy! Already I've made a bunch of typos as I try to find the words to tell you my news. I've received two queries regarding foreign rights for my novels--one from a company in China, and the other in Turkey.

One was an outright offer and included a contract.

Now stay with me here, I know I may be rambling, and if you stick this out you may just win a free ebook...

Both companies contacted me regarding my supernatural suspense, Children of the Fog. But at least one is interested in ALL my titles.

My books include:

  1. Whale Song
  2. Children of the Fog
  3. Divine Intervention
  4. Divine Justice, 
  5. The River
  6. Lancelot's Lady
  7. Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories
  8. Whale Song: School Edition, which comes with a teacher's discussion guide on bullying, racism and more.

So here's my question for you...

If these companies decided to take only 3 of my titles, which 3 should they choose--and WHY? 


Five people who leave their answers to my question will receive one of my ebooks--their choice. I'll do this draw on September 7th, 2011. I'd truly appreciate your input, and I'll direct both companies to this post and your comments. Thank you!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My short story OUIJA is featured in WHAT FEARS BECOME: An Anthology from The Horror Zine

I'm very excited to announce that one of my short stories, OUIJA, is in a new anthology filled with some of the biggest names in horror. Check it out...

From classic horror and pure suspense to Twilight-Zone-style dark fantasy, WHAT FEARS BECOME relentlessly explores our basic fears and leaves you with twisted endings that will make your skin crawl…

This spine-tingling, international anthology contains contributions from the critically acclaimed online horror magazine, The Horror Zine, and features bestselling authors such as Bentley Little, Graham Masterton, Ramsey Campbell, Joe R. Lansdale, Elizabeth Massie, Ronald Malfi, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Melanie Tem, Scott Nicholson, Piers Anthony, Conrad Williams, and many more.

Edited by Jeani Rector of The Horror Zine and featuring a foreword by award-winning, bestselling author Simon Clark, it also contains deliciously dark delights from morbidly creative writers, poets and artists who have not yet made it big―but will very soon.

Come and discover…
WHAT FEARS BECOME

Buy the Kindle edition today! (You can even read it on your PC/laptop)

Reviews:

"Each spine-tingling chiller takes the reader into the depths of eerie imaginations!" ―Fangoria

"A bold, brilliant collection of some of the most innovative and eloquent voices in modern horror." ―Gabrielle Faust, author of Eternal Vigilance

"An inspired mix of energetic and captivating horror...like a fearful breath from an ancient crypt; enter if you dare!" ―Midnight Street Magazine

"Dip in and you're hooked...a high-bar mix of new and established talent." ―Stephen Gallagher, author of Kingdom of Bones

"Read one and be scared…or read the whole book and lock all the doors and stay up all night listening to the house creak." ―William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Back Bay

"Unusual and deeply disturbing horror fiction by numerous distinguished authors." ― Margaret L. Carter, author of Different Blood: The Vampire as Alien

"Frightful fiction pulls in an impressive cast..." ―The Future Fire

"The well crafted stories, and list of writers new and well known make WHAT FEARS BECOME a must read for horror lovers." ―Selina Rosen, author of The Host trilogy

Buy the Kindle edition today!

(Other editions are forthcoming, including a trade paperback edition later this year.)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Sharon Osbourne, Grace & Heroes

I've never met Sharon Osbourne, MrsSOsbourne on Twitter, and I probably never will. She's known worldwide and I am only a small Canadian writer. I doubt she's ever read any of my novels, though I really wish she'd read WHALE SONG because it has impacted so many people's lives and I believe she would love it.

I'd love to meet Sharon, but that's not why I'm writing this post. The chance of Sharon Osbourne "dropping by" my little piece of the blogosphere is slim to none. And I can pretty much assure you she's never heard of Cheryl Kaye Tardif, or read my blog or my books before.

The reason I'm blogging about a woman I've never met is that she inspires me. Truly. Deeply.

Sharon inspires me because of all she has accomplished and overcome in her life. She has managed countless performers, including her husband and famous rocker Ozzy. Yeah, I bet that hasn't been easy. I can barely manage to get my husband to take out the trash some days.

I do share one thing in common with Sharon. We both have red hair. Okay, two things maybe. I love music. Almost any genre, young or old performers, professional and those just starting their dreams.

Sharon has raised her children, and any parent will tell you that's not easy. Sure, they've had their ups and downs, but don't we all? Through everything, through the grime of celebrity, Sharon rises above with grace and genuine caring. Just watch her on America's Got Talent! She wants people to find their dreams.

So do I. I've always been a dreamer. My motto has been "Dare to Dream...and Dream BIG!" I have that on the wall of my office. Being a part of someone's dream might mean giving them advice or a little direction or a caring word or encouragement to keep on keeping on.

I'm sure Sharon has had her awful days. I'm sure she's lost her cool at times. She's probably done things she regrets. Haven't we all? I know I have.

I suspect Sharon has had some ungraceful moments. But again, haven't we all?

I love Sharon Osbourne. Not the crazy kind of fan worship love, but just one human being to another. She epitomizes grace, selflessness, determination, persistence and more, and I strive to be just like her "when I grow up".

Sharon has faced cancer. Again, with grace. In this, she reminds me of my mother, who also faced cancer and won. Two very strong ladies, in my books. Two strong, heroic, admirable ladies. My mom and Sharon Osbourne should get together...and then invite me over for margaritas.

Sharon is my hero, and I don't say that about just anyone.

My novels are filled with fictional heroes, strong courageous men and women who have to battle against darker forces of evil. Jasi McLellan from Divine Intervention. Sadie O'Connell from Children of the Fog. Del Hawthorne from The River...

You probably know a hero, maybe even have one in your family. Maybe it's your neighbor, or a teacher.

My hero is Sharon Osbourne--and all the Sharons out there like her. I salute you for your grace.

Who's your hero?

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif
I invite you to check out my novels

Monday, August 01, 2011

Imajin Books Summer Sizzler Scavenger Hunt


This August, the fun continues with an exciting Summer Sizzler Scavenger Hunt over at Imajin Books.

This event runs Aug 1 - August 31. 

Participants have a chance to win some fabulous prizes, including a Kindle ereader with wi-fi.

For more info and contest details, please visit http://www.imajinbooks.com

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Reviewer Giveaway - July 1-August 31

A special notice from Imajin Books:
This July & August, we hope you'll join us for our Summer Reviewer Giveaway. No, we aren't giving away reviewers (though I'm sure some authors would LOVE to have their very own). We're rewarding reviewers!
We think reviewers are special. They take the time to read our books and then post their thoughts about our titles on blogs, websites, Facebook pages, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Shelfari etc. And it's time they get some real appreciation. So we're giving away ebooks to reviewers.
And our reviewers will be entered in a draw for a Mystery Prize worth at least $120.
Here's how it works:
  • Borrow an Imajin Books title (ebook or paperback) from a friend or lending site, or buy from your favourite retailer. 
  • Then post a review on Amazon, B&N or Goodreads. Only reviews posted between July 1, 2011 and August 31, 2011 qualify.
  • Email us with the links to your reviews.
  • You'll receive 1 free ebook of your choice (from our titles). No obligation to review your ebook prize.
  • 1 Mystery Prize valued at $120 (minimum) will be given away to one lucky winner.
  • Anyone, anywhere, 18+, can enter this giveaway. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. No cash value.
  • Imajin Books authors, their families and any subcontracted associates of Imajin Books are excluded from this contest.
  • All prizes will be awarded after September 1st and before September 3rd. The Mystery Prize may take up to 4 weeks to be received.
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif
I invite you to check out my ebooks and paperbacks.

    Friday, July 29, 2011

    I Know What You're Thinking...

    A few weeks ago I printed off a new batch of free ebook coupon cards. The only problem is I'd forgotten to put them in my purse. And isn't that just like fate that, while I was traveling, someone wanted to know about my books and I had no card to give her.

    I know what you're thinking. What kind of author am I if I don't even have a card to give someone?

    "I'm so sorry I don't have a free ebook coupon card to give you," I said, mentally kicking myself. "I forgot to pack them in my purse. But I might have something..."

    I dug around in my purse and gave her a slightly worn bookmark (with out of date book covers). She took it as though I'd offered her gold. I didn't realize that for her it was gold. She was a book club member and needed some new book suggestions. Now she had some.

    "This Divine Intervention looks really good," she told me. "What's it about?"

    "It's about a covert team of psychic agents searching for a deadly serial arsonist in BC."

    You had me at 'covert'," she said with a laugh.

    We chatted for a while and I learned a lot about this woman in a very short time. She was an older lady living on her own, with only the residents of a very small town to chat with. To her, I was a bit of excitement on what would normally be an average day.

    "My book club would love to meet you. Do you think you'll be back here again any time soon?" she asked.

    "To be honest, I'm not planning on another trip here for a while," I said.

    The light in her eyes dimmed for a second.

    "But," I told her with a smile, "I'd be happy to do a Skype visit with you and your book club."

    "Really? You'd do that?" She couldn't sit still, she was so excited.

    "I'd be happy to," I said. "Just give me enough warning so I can make sure my hair and makeup are done." I grinned at her.

    "You look pretty as you are," she said.

    I think I blushed. "Thank you. That's sweet of you to say."

    Suddenly, I had an idea. I didn't have a coupon card to give her a free ebook, but I had something even better.

    "Hold on a minute," I said. "I'll be right back."

    I had a box in the back of my car. I plucked something out of it and ran back inside the restaurant. I handed her a copy of Divine Intervention. "I call this my Random Act of Divineness."

    She was overwhelmed. "Will you autograph it for me?"

    "Of course," I said. Then my smile faltered.

    "I know what you're thinking," she said.

    Surprised, I said, "And what is that?"

    "You forgot to pack a pen too, didn't you?"

    I know what you're thinking? How can an author not have a pen?

    I nodded, redfaced.

    "Do you have a pen we can borrow," the woman said to the couple at the next table. "This here lady is an author."

    "Do you have a business card or something?" the second woman asked me.

    ~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif
    I invite you to check out my novels.

    Friday, July 01, 2011

    Summer eBook Sale - July 1-31

    To start our 'Summer Sizzles with Imajin Books' event off with a bang, we've priced all of our ebooks between $0.99 and $2.99 USD.

    If you order Kindle ebooks via Amazon, you can visit any of our books' Amazon pages (links in Books section) and you'll see the new price listed. These prices will be in effect until August 1st, 2011.

    WHALE SONG - http://www.amazon.com/Whale-Song-ebook/dp/B003NX7LSA

    UNDER A TEXAS STAR - http://www.amazon.com/Under-a-Texas-Star-ebook/dp/B00501H6YM

    ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL - http://www.amazon.com/Rowena-Through-the-Wall-ebook/dp/B00557Z2QU

    REMOTE CONTROL - http://www.amazon.com/Remote-Control-ebook/dp/B003U6Z7JK (This novelette is FREE via Smashwords and $0.99 on Amazon; Amazon users: get the mobi file FREE from Smashwords)

    LANCELOT'S LADY - http://www.amazon.com/Lancelots-Lady-ebook/dp/B0043GX8C4

    DIVINE JUSTICE (BOOK 2) - http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Justice-series-ebook/dp/B004Z1UX70

    DIVINE INTERVENTION (BOOK 1) - http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Intervention-series-ebook/dp/B003AYEJSC

    CHILDREN OF THE FOG - http://www.amazon.com/Children-of-the-Fog-ebook/dp/B004PVSTLW

    If you usually buy ebooks for a Nook, Kobo, Sony, iPad or other ereader or for your PC, you can purchase our discounted ebooks via Smashwords.com. To receive our sale price, simply use the codes below when purchasing. You can click on the links below to go right to Smashwords. Go through the buy process like normal and enter the code in the coupon code box to receive the discount.


    WHALE SONG - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/15512 - Code: SP97D

    UNDER A TEXAS STAR - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/58583 - Code: UT34B

    THE RIVER - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/13708 - Code: CS52Q

    SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET & OTHER CREEPY STORIES - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/19902 - Code: ZT62S

    ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/65519 - Code: QX53C

    REMOTE CONTROL - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/17800 - Code: HP96H 
    (This novelette is FREE via Smashwords and $0.99 on Amazon; Amazon users: get the mobi file FREE from Smashwords)

    LANCELOT'S LADY - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/24617 - Code: NY68Q

    DIVINE JUSTICE (BOOK 2) - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/57388 - Code: XB64K

    DIVINE INTERVENTION (BOOK 1) - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/13677 - Code: KL89F

    CHILDREN OF THE FOG - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/46137 - Code: WE65U

    Happy reading!

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    The Saturday Giveaway: Five Kindle Copies of Divine Intervention!

    The Frugal eReader is featuring a special contest. Five Kindle copies of my bestselling psychic suspense, Divine Intervention, will be given away to 5 lucky people.

    To enter, leave a comment at the link below. If you tweet this contest using the buttons above the post and comment that you tweeted, you'll get an extra entry. You'll get more entries if you share the post link via Facebook or other sites.

    Good luck!

    Now here's the contest link. Check it out!

    The Saturday Giveaway: Five Kindle Copies of Divine Intervention!

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Whale Song review: "I would recommend this book to anyone."

    5 STARS! "Whale Song is full of colorful images and descriptive passages. Cheryl Tardiff brings her characters alive with words. The reader is thrown into the lives of the characters and shares their emotions. I would recommend this book to anyone. Read it. You will enjoy it. I promise." -- Susan Schmelzer

    Monday, June 06, 2011

    Edmonton author Alison Neuman inspires a day camp for children with and without disabilities

    Every now and then I come across a person who truly inspires me, and Alison Neuman is one such person. ~Cheryl

    Alison Neuman, author of Ice Rose, a young adult spy novel, is proud to be organizing Camp Mission Access. Inspired by her love of the world of secret agents and the concept of having a day camp for children with and without a disability, Alison will host a camp that has received interest for additional locations in Canada and the United States even before it debuts this August. 

    On August 4 & 5 and 8 & 9, 2011, at The Glenrose Hospital School in Edmonton, Alberta, Camp Mission Access will use a secret agent theme to inspire children. Each secret agent-in-training will complete four missions through writing, inclusive activities, games, and dance.

    Despite her own disability, Alison has achieved regular life milestones, but when she was a child she dreamed of being able to go to a day camp with children of any and every ability. Her dream of writing and publishing a book was achieved when her novel Ice Rose was released in September 2010. Elissa, the main character, also has a disability but rather than dwell on it, uses it to be stronger and grow. Elissa mirrors Alison in that they both love dance and wanted to be professional dancers but were unable to due to the limitations of their health realities.

    In March 2010, Alison was able to reconnect with her dance dreams when she began iDANCE Edmonton Community Dance Classes. She is thrilled to have iDANCE Edmonton presenting the ‘Stealth Moves’ dance workshops each day of the camp. Along with dance, each secret-agent-in-training will also explore their imagination as they create their own secret agent profile, polish their skills as they navigate an obstacle course created for every ability, learn and try memory techniques, and then test their skills trying to crack a code and open a myserious attach√©. The secret-agent-in-training who opens the attach√© gets to take home the revealed goodies.

    Ice Rose - A teenager's world is turned upside down when an explosion steals her dad and her identity. Entering an exclusive academy that immerses her in the world of secret agents, she must overcome her fears and disabilities to discover the truth about her dad's mission, his software, and the mystery man stalking her before she ends up like her father―lost.

    For more information, or to register for Camp Mission Access, check out:
    http://www.alisonneuman.ca/blog/camp-mission-access/

    Wednesday, June 01, 2011

    Paperback sale: THE RIVER and DIVINE INTERVENTION

    SALE: While supplies last, I am selling the original (before covers) first editions of Divine Intervention and The River for only $15 each, including shipping and no GST for Canadians. This offer is for Canadian and US residents only, due to shipping costs.

    Payments via PayPal only. Email me first to ensure I have stock left.

    I'll be happy to autograph the books you order and personalize them too. These make great gifts!

    As you may know, my bestselling novels The River and Divine Intervention have gone through a bit of a change in the past few months.

    Divine Intervention was originally published in 2004, and while I liked the cover, I didn't LOVE it. It was the first book cover I had ever designed. Yes, me. lol And believe me, back then my design skills were limited. What I always wanted was a way to brand this series, something that carried over to the next book, and the next. I want readers to take one look at the cover and be intrigued. I also want them to recognize the cover as part of a series. So I came up with this cool concept in the new cover--but I did not design it. This time I left it to a professional. Jennifer Johnson is a fabulous graphic designer!

         
                                                           before                                 after

    With The River, originally published in 2005, my decision to revamp the cover was a bit tougher. I was emotionally connected to the cover. Not because I designed it--I didn't. My daughter did. When she was only 14. I've always been so proud of that cover because of Jessica's involvement. As she grew older, she began telling me she wasn't that pleased with her cover. And that led me to rethink the idea of replacing it. When I mentioned this to Jessica, she was very happy--not what I expected. This time Jessica designed the background picture--of an underground river. And Jennifer put the cover together with the text. I think they made a great team on this one.

      
                                                           before                               after


    First editions of Divine Intervention and The River - only $15 each, including shipping and no GST for Canadians. This offer is for Canadian and US residents only, due to shipping costs.

    Payments via PayPal only. Email me first to ensure I have stock left.

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    The River is re-released in trade paperback with stunning new cover

    My 2005 techno-thriller THE RIVER was recently released in ebook edition with a stunning new cover. Today the new trade paperback edition became available for only $9.99 US at Createspace. Soon it will be available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers.

    The new second edition contains the same critically acclaimed story about a woman who takes a group of near strangers up north to the Nahanni River area of Canada's Northwest Territories, in search of her father who went missing years earlier and was presumed dead.

    This new edition comes out prior to a highly anticipated ABC television series, also titled THE RIVER, which airs this fall. The storyline is very similar to my novel; in fact, I've already been asked by one fan if this series was based on my novel.

    THE RIVER television series - A father goes missing in the Amazon and is presumed dead. His family and friends go looking for him. What they find is paranormal and beyond belief.

    My bestselling thriller THE RIVER - Del and her followers hunt for her father along the Nahanni River and also encounter the paranormal...and a deadly plot that threatens all of mankind.

    Check out my novel THE RIVER.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Read an Excerpt of Divine Justice by Kindle Author: Cheryl Kaye Tardif

    Read an excerpt of DIVINE JUSTICE by Cheryl Kaye Tardif


    Kindle Price: $3.99

    Available from Amazon and more

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Imajin Books gives away 150 ebooks of Divine Intervention to LibraryThing members

    Over the next 3 weeks, Imajin Books will be giving away 150 ebook copies of the bestselling psychic suspense, Divine Intervention, by Cheryl Kaye Tardif to LibraryThing members.

    This special promotion is on until June 13, 2011, so reserve your free ebook now.

    Go to LibraryThing's Giveaway list and scroll down until you see DIVINE INTERVENTION. Click on Request it!

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Review: Divine Intervention

    Thank you to Betty Gelean for allowing me to quote some of her recent review.

    "When Cheryl Kaye Tardif writes a book you know it will grip you right from the beginning and take you on an intense and fascinating ride...this is fun, intense, serious, futuristic fiction done up with great characterizations, full of futuristic tools...This book is exceptionally well-written, interesting in its handling of unusual circumstances, and equally unusual characters. It is taut, cohesive, yet personal...The author has a way of creating reality from paranormal or psychic abilities and puts the words in her characters' mouths. I was completely glued to the book. I heartily recommend Cheryl Kaye's books, no matter the subject. I have the feeling she could write about any subject and makes us want more."

    You can read Betty's full review (which I stumbled across by accident) at:
     

    Review: Divine Intervention

    Last night, I came across a review of my psychic suspense thriller, Divine Intervention.

    I am so honored by this reviewer's words and I'm so glad she enjoyed this novel. Jasi and her covert team of psychic agents hold a special place in my heart.

    Please note: There is a new second edition with a stunning new cover (shown) now available, published by Imajin Books. :-)

    Enjoy this review:

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    I see dead people...

    I am often asked where I get my inspiration for my stories, and I must confess that many of my ideas come from dreams. You see, my mind must be quite twisted. At least you'd think so if you could see what I dream about some nights.

    I see dead people. I've always been haunted--by horrifying images, mind-numbing sounds and things that go creak in the night. These dreams are creations, no matter how scary or horrible they may be. My creations.

    Perhaps my dreams stem from all those horror movies I watched as a teen. Or perhaps it's all Stephen King's fault. Yeah, let's blame the King. After all, he got me in trouble plenty of times when my parents would yell at me to put down my book and turn off my light. Thank God for flashlights and Duracell!

    Some people ask me if my books are written from true experiences. Yes, I once was a young girl living on an island and being bullied while dreaming of killer whales and wolves. Yes, I once traveled down the Nahanni River in search of my father who had been presumed dead but was actually alive and in danger. Yes, I'm actually "Jasi McLellan", a psychic government agent who hunts down serial killers and is haunted by a dead girl in my closet. Yes, I once saw ghost children outside a cabin near Cadomin Cave, Alberta. Yes, I once fell madly in love with a handsome recluse who lives on a private island in the Bahamas. Ok, not really.

    I see dead people. It's not my fault. They're in my dreams. They're in my head.

    And they want out.

    That's why I write. Well, one of the reasons. After all, every fictional character is "dead" until a writer brings them to life. That's my goal with every book. To bring you characters that you'll love, hate, feel something for.

    I see dead people. I hear them too. Right now they're saying, "Go to bed. You've got some dreaming to do."

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Divine Justice - book trailer video



    DIVINE JUSTICE is available in ebook edition from Amazon (Kindle), Smashwords and soon to be available at more ebook retailers.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Limited time offer: get REMOTE CONTROL Kindle ebook FREE!

    FREE KINDLE eBOOK- For a limited time, you can pick up the Kindle edition of my award-winning suspenseful novelette REMOTE CONTROL. This story warns: "Be careful what you wish for."

    You can read the Kindle edition on your Kindle ereader, smartphone app or your computer via Kindle for PC, which you can download free.

    What's REMOTE CONTROL about?
    In this dark, suspenseful and somewhat comical look at one man's desires, Remote Control, a novelette by bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif delivers a strong message: Be careful what you wish for!

    Meet Harold Fielding--plumber by part of the day, slacker/tv addict the rest of the day and night. Harry believes that fame and fortune will come to him if he wishes hard enough. God forbid if he should actually work for it.

    Beatrice Fielding is Harry's hardworking wife. She holds down multiple jobs so her husband can laze about on his recliner, eating popcorn and drinking cola while watching his favorite shows. She has many wishes--some aren't so nice.
    Get your free Kindle edition of REMOTE CONTROL right now and start reading it in 30 seconds.

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    THE RIVER gets a new look

    My bestselling techno-thriller, THE RIVER, will be released next month in a second edition trade paperback, priced to be more affordable than the older version. Nothing inside has changed much; it's the same action-packed story, same mystery, same chills and thrills. But as you'll see, the front cover now has a more ominous feel to it and there's a new publisher.

    In 2005, the original cover was designed. The book retailed for $25.99 and was then reduced to $22.50. But to be honest, that price has bothered me and I've been trying to find a way to bring THE RIVER to everyone--with a lower price. And now I have!

    In June 2011, the second edition trade paperback of THE RIVER will retail for only $9.99 on Amazon. Over the following month or two, the new edition will be distributed to other retailers.
    Seven years ago, Del Hawthorne’s father and three of his friends disappeared near the Nahanni River and were presumed dead. When one of the missing men stumbles onto the University grounds, alive but barely recognizable and aging before her eyes, Del is shocked. Especially when the man tells her something inconceivable. Her father is still alive!
    Check out the following covers:

    2005 cover

    2011 cover

    What do you think? Do you like the new cover?

    THE RIVER is available in ebook edition at Amazon, KoboBooks, Smashwords, B&N and more.

    Thursday, May 05, 2011

    Read an excerpt from DIVINE JUSTICE, a paranormal suspense by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

    Prologue

    Jasi McLellan drifted in and out of consciousness, her thoughts like waves lapping restlessly against the shore. When she opened her eyes, distorted faces flashed past her and indistinct words assaulted her ears. She reached for the names that belonged to those faces, but they eluded her. She tried to swallow, but her mouth and tongue were sandpaper-dry. She inhaled slowly, trying to place the smell, a mix of antiseptic and sweat.
    Where the hell am I? And why is it so dark, so cold?
    She blinked once and everything changed.
    Before her lay a long, murky corridor. At her feet, the bare hardwood floor was polished to a reflective shine. Her sandals clicked as she headed toward the door at the end of the hall. A crack of backlighting outlined the door's shape. As she moved toward it, the door appeared to drift further away.
    She paused and leaned down to look at her reflection in the gleaming floor. A face she didn't recognize stared back at her. Amidst charred skin, blue eyes blinked at her.
    I have green eyes.
    She cried out in terror when the face became two.
    The dead girl from her closet was coming for her.
    Jasi faced the girl. "Why can't you leave me alone?"
    "I can't leave. You need me, and I need you."
    The girl's accent was soft―from South Carolina maybe―and the pink skipping rope noose cut deeply into her lolling neck with every word she spoke.
    "He keeps callin' me," the dead girl whispered.
    "Who?"
    The girl began to sob and Jasi reached out to touch the child's blistered shoulder. She snatched her hand back when it encountered skin that was morgue cold.
    "Who are you?"
    "Emily," came the soft reply.
    "What do you want, Emily?"
    The girl's next words turned Jasi's blood to ice.
    "I want you to find me."
    Confused, Jasi shook her head and took a few steps backward. "What do you mean? You're right here."
    The girl said nothing.
    "I've seen you ever since I was a child," Jasi said. "You've never spoken to me before. Why now?"
    Emily lowered her head. "You jes never heard me before. Now you're open-minded. Now you're hearin' me fine."
    A light flickered at the end of the hall and Jasi glanced over her shoulder.
    "It's okay, Jasmine." Emily smiled weakly. "Go."
    The girl drifted backward toward the shadows.
    "Emily, wait!" Jasi cried. "How do I find you?"
    "When you're ready, I'll find you."
    As Jasi drifted off into a peaceful, healing sleep, she made a solemn vow to the dead girl in her closet.
    I'll find you, Emily. I promise.
    The dead girl finally had a name―Emily.



    1

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012
    ~ Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC

    Natassia Prushenko was scared―really scared.
    She looked down at the woman lying motionless in the bed. She's so pale, so still. Like death.
    The door opened behind her. Someone stepped into the room.
    "Is Jasi awake yet?"
    Natassia glanced over her shoulder. "No, she hasn't moved an inch. I'm worried about her, Ben."
    Benjamin Roberts crossed the room, bringing with him an air of calm authority. When he reached Natassia, they stood side-by-side, keeping vigil over the woman in the hospital bed.
    It had been nearly two weeks since their partner and team leader Jasmine McLellan had taken a bullet high on her left arm. She'd been doing well, was even out of Vancouver General Hospital for nearly a week, but then she'd taken an unexpected turn for the worse. Her arm had swelled painfully, the bullet wound festering. Without warning, a blood infection invaded Jasi's body, causing serious complications and a sudden trip back to the hospital. That's where they discovered she had a concussion and mild swelling of the brain, probably from when she hit the ground after an explosion during the last case.
    Natassia stared down at Jasi. "I don't think she's getting any better, Ben. She looks like she's barely breathing." She reached out to touch Jasi's arm, but snatched back her hand as if she'd touched a hot flame.
    Ben raised a brow. "Natassia…"
    "You know what can happen if I touch her. After all she's been through, the last thing she needs is me poking around in her mind. Anyway, we already know what happened during the Gemini Murders. It's not as if we need to know any more."
    She studied the woman in the bed, taking in the tangled mane of shoulder-length auburn hair and the sprinkle of cinnamon freckles that appeared much darker against the creamy whiteness of her face.
    "It's up to Jasi now," Ben said quietly. "We both know how stubborn she is."
    He turned away, but not before Natassia saw tears in his eyes. "Where are you going?" she asked.
    "I want to check on her status. I'll get her doctor."
    Natassia felt a void in the room as soon as he was gone. She couldn't help but feel a little better when he was around. If there was one thing she'd learned, Ben knew how to take care of things―especially the people he cared for.
    She watched Jasi. "And he sure cares a lot for you, my new friend."
    Although she'd only known Jasi for about three months, she'd grown fond of her. The slender redhead had a lot of spunk. That was something she could appreciate.
    Natassia had spent a few years consulting with a Russian agency similar to the Canadian Federal Bureau of Investigation, which had been formed in 2003. As a Victim Empath capable of receiving cryptic flashes from the minds of victims, she was responsible for bringing down some notorious criminals. After a brief scandalous affair with a married field agent, Natassia was 'traded' to Canada's CFBI. Recently, she'd been assigned to the PSI Division and relocated to Vancouver, B.C.
    "Remember when we first met, Jasi? You thought I was an escort hitting on Ben." She laughed. "The poor guy practically fell over in his chair when I sat down with you two."
    It had been an awkward first meeting.
    Natassia let out a sigh.
    She still felt like the new kid on the block, having only been a Psychic Skills Investigator with the CFBI for the past three months. As a PSI, her gift of reading victims, live or dead ones, had helped crack the last case. But not before Jasi had been shot. Natassia hadn't been able to prevent that. Or Jasi's subsequent heartbreak.
    She pulled the chair up to the side of the bed. "Get well, my friend. We've got cases to solve, murderers to catch and good-looking men to tease."
    There was no answer.
    She leaned closer. "Jasi? Can you hear me?"
    No reply.
    "Jasmine McLellan, it's time to wake up now."
    The woman in the bed remained still.
    Out in the hall, footsteps approached. Ben entered the room, followed by Jasi's father and Brady, her brother. Dr. Mohinder Habib entered the room after them and immediately picked up the chart at the end of Jasi's bed.
    "So?" Natassia said impatiently.
    When the doctor looked up from the file, his expression was guarded. That made her nervous.
    "When is she going to wake up?" she blurted.
    "We've been monitoring her stats closely," Dr. Habib said, his black eyes drifting to the bed. "Ms. McLellan has been only slightly responsive to antibiotics."
    Natassia frowned. "But she's getting better, right?"
    "Your friend is too exhausted to fight off the infection, and the swelling in her brain is impeding her recovery." Dr. Habib tried to smile. "She's in a very deep sleep."
    "You mean she's in a coma," Ben stated.
    The doctor nodded. "Yes, but she's still breathing on her own."
    Jasi's father looked stunned. "When will she wake up?"
    "I'm afraid we don't know when," Dr. Habib said gently. "The body often reacts this way when it's under attack. Some people wake up within days, once an infection is under control. Some remain in a coma for longer periods of time." He made a note on Jasi's chart and adjusted the IV drip.
    "What's the worst case scenario?" Ben asked.
    Natassia knew it was the one question everyone had on their minds.
    "Well, worst case―and I mean very worst―would be that we can't control the swelling in her brain or the infection in her arm." He turned away from his patient. "And if the infection travels up her arm toward her heart, we might have to take more aggressive action."
    "What kind of action?" Jasi's brother demanded.
    "Brady," his father warned. "Let him finish."
    Dr. Habib's expression darkened. "If the infection spreads upward, it could reach her heart or brain and that would complicate matters. There is a slim possibility that we might have to amputate her arm."
    Natassia let out a soft cry. "No!"
    "We might not have a choice," the doctor said quietly.
    Natassia moved closer to the bed. As she gazed at Jasi, her mouth tightened. I won't let them take your arm.
    "For now, her vitals are good," Dr. Habib said, moving toward the door. "We have every reason to believe she'll fight the infection and regain consciousness. When she's ready. I'll check in on her in a couple of hours, but I can assure you we're doing everything we can for her."
    Brady and his father followed the doctor out into the hall, while Natassia sank into the chair by Jasi's bed.
    "They might take her arm, Ben. Oh, God…"
    Ben placed a gloved hand on her shoulder. "Hey, you heard the doctor. She's stable and she's a fighter. She'll wake up soon enough, and when she does, she'll be bossier than hell."
    Natassia studied the woman in the bed, yearning for Jasi to open her green eyes. "Come on, Jasi. You've gotta fight this thing."
    Behind her, Ben said, "She's probably dreaming about lying on a tropical beach somewhere, sipping mojitos and getting that tan she always wanted."

    While her partners discussed tropical beaches and tanning, Jasi drifted on a turbulent river of unconsciousness, reliving flashes of conversations and glimpses of past murder scenes that all led her back to the one case that had hit close to home.
    Too close.
     She'd let her guard down, opened herself to a personal connection instead of her ordinary measure of distance, something she always strived for.
    In her drug-induced world, faces flashed before her.
    Brandon…Ben…Natassia.
    A burnt corpse floated past her on a cresting wave.
    Monty Winkler.
    The dream took her closer to the water. She saw her reflection. And something else just below the surface.
    She scrunched her eyes. What is that?
    Suddenly, a hand broke the surface. Fingers clawed at empty air, yet as quickly as it had appeared, the hand sank below, returning to its watery grave.
    No!
    A rush of emotions assaulted her. Death…loss…pain.
    Jasi was suddenly transported to the day she had returned to Divine Operations, the covert location of the PSI Division. Divine Ops was cloaked within an isolated, heavily guarded complex in the Rocky Mountains. Not even the one hundred or so residents of Divine, BC, knew what went on inside the complex―or underground. They believed the signage that stated it was a company called Enviro-Safe Research Facility.
    In her dream world, Jasi found herself standing in front of Matthew Divine, the mysterious creator of the PSI Division. With shoulder-length gray hair tied in a ponytail and old-fashioned tortoise-shell glasses, the man could be easily mistaken for an aging hippie or a computer geek.
    The latter was true.
    "Hi, Matthew," Jasi said.
    She knew he wasn't pleased. Why should he be? She had another dead body on her hands, someone who could've been saved if she'd bothered to call for back up. Plus, she had a wounded friend who wouldn't have been shot if it wasn't for her stubborn refusal to follow protocol.
    "I-I'm sorry," she told him.
    A bright flash sent her muddled mind back to the case that still haunted her. The Parliament Murders. Memories flooded her mind. She couldn't fight them, or stop them. All she could do was remember.
    As usual, everything had started with a dead body...

    DIVINE JUSTICE is now available at Amazon and Smashwords.

    Over the next week or so, it will become available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books, iBooks, Sony eReader Store, Diesel and more.