Monday, August 22, 2016

Cheryl Kaye Tardif - An Author Interview at the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Bestselling Canadian Suspense Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif. She is the author of the Divine Trilogy. Also, Cheryl writes Romance novels as Cherish D'Angelo.

Author Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Paranormal

Website: Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Author's Blog: The Suspense is Killing me
Twitter: @cherylktardif
E-Mail: cherylktardif (at)
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:

I'm an international bestselling Canadian author who loves to say, "I kill people off for a living!" You can imagine the looks I get from people. Sometimes I'll tell them, "Fictitiously, of course. I'm an author." Sometimes I won't say anything; I'll let them wonder...

Submerged, my latest novel, is a psychological suspense thriller with a hint of supernatural, and it promises to leave you breathless. But I am probably best known for Children of the Fog, a supernatural suspense thriller that has sold over 60,000 copies and made Amazon's Top 100 bestsellers list (#4 in overall list) multiple times out of nearly 2 million ebooks; and Whale Song, a much-loved, inspiring family tale with a hint of mystery, which is now available in its third edition--plus a school edition with a discussion guide.

Whale Song, an emotional mystery that explores controversial issues like assisted suicide, school bullies and racism, has captured the attention of numerous film companies. A screenplay, which I wrote with co-writer Alison Neuman, was completed in 2006, along with a movie treatment. I'm pursuing possible film deals for many of my books. And sometimes when I think of a movie deal, I smell buttered popcorn.

Booklist calls me "a big hit in Canada...a name to reckon with south of the border."

In September 2005, my gripping action-packed techno-thriller The River was released. This well-researched novel explores the mysterious Nahanni River area, nanotechnology and man's obsession with longevity. The River has been compared to works by Michael Crichton, James Patterson, Dean Koontz and Dan Brown.

I'm also the author of the 2004 "sizzling psychic suspense" Divine Intervention, a 'psi-fi' suspense thriller (or paranormal romance) that has been compared to works by authors such as Iris Johansen, Kay Hooper and Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb's 'In Death' series. Divine Justice, the second in the Divine mystery series, was also released in 2011.

In 2009, I branched off into romance with my debut romantic suspense Lancelot's Lady. Since romance is a different genre from my usual suspense/thrillers and YA, I wrote Lancelot's Lady under the pen name of Cherish D'Angelo. Lancelot's Lady was a semi-finalist in the Dorchester Publishing Next Best Celler contest hosted by Textnovel. It also won an Editor's Choice award from Textnovel in 2010.

A novelette of suspense titled Remote Control was released in ebook edition in July 2010; and a collection of stories titled Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories in August 2010.

In 2006, I participated in a hilarious new TV series 'A Total Write-Off', hosted by comedian Barbara North. In 2004, I was nominated for the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award. In 2003, I wrote a public service announcement for a racial harmony campaign. My PSA script, One Voice ~ One World, placed third and was produced and aired on cable channels in Alberta.

I have not only held hundreds of book signings, I have also organized multi-author signings, held virtual book tours and other online events, and I've taught others how to promote their books. My book How I Made Over $42,000 in 1 Month Selling My Kindle eBooks is the #1 Marketing book specifically designed for Amazon's KDP Select program.

I've been interviewed by numerous TV and radio stations in Canada and the US, and I've been featured in a variety of newspapers and magazines in both countries.

I'm also the publisher at Imajin Books, a venture that is dear to my heart. Imajin Books publishes quality international fiction at affordable prices, with a focus on ebooks.

Born in Vancouver, BC, I was a "military brat" and a "military wife" who has lived all across Canada and in Bermuda. I now reside in Edmonton, AB, with my husband Marc and our Pomeranian Princess, Chai.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your novella: INFESTATION. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Thank you. INFESTATION is creeping out readers one page at a time. I am currently working on EAGLE E.Y.E., book 2 in my E.Y.E. Spy Mystery series. This Qwickie novella should be out later this fall. I'm also working on a thriller. Ironically, I had the story plotted while living in Alberta, with the setting in Banff, but upon moving to West Kelowna, BC, I've decided to set the story here in the Okanagan Valley. That meant I had to start plotting from scratch, so this one is taking a bit longer than usual. I am planning to give my thriller to my agent at Trident Media Group. I believe it has HUGE potential. Then again, I'm the author. LOL

You have a good following on twitter. Since you started before the social media buzz, what impact has social media relationships had on your current success? How did you build your following in your niche? How much has it changed your book launch process?

I believe social media is responsible for a high percentage of my sales. Whether Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, they each have a purpose, and authors should be using these. I built my following one connection at a time. I contacted and connected with other authors, particularly in my genres. I connected with other book professionals. I joined many groups on FB. I joined Tweet teams. But readers are the connections I enjoy most. I love chatting with a reader after they've read one of my works. My book launches used to be held at various Chapters, Coles, Indigo stores. I also did more blog tours in the past. Nowadays, I tend to do more social network events, especially FB launch parties. These make my book launches international.

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

We have a wonderful cover designer at Imajin Books, my publishing company. Ryan Doan is a magician. I can give him a cover concept in an email, explaining colors, mood and imagery, and he will make it appear. He and I work on every cover together until it's perfect. His covers are extremely professional looking. I'm proud that my books can stand next to the biggest names. I haven't had readers involved in cover creation, but I often hold contests where readers can name a character I kill off (Create a Corpse Contest) or where they can have their name as a character (Become a Character Contest). For the latter, I usually ask if they prefer being a "good" or "bad" character…and I can't promise the character will survive.

You have written several short stories and novellas. Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work?

Imajin Books has trademarked "Qwickies" as a term used for novellas in the Qwickie imprint. I love writing stories of all lengths, but not all readers have time for long novels. Qwickies are designed to be short and complete (though many are series titles) reads for busy people. You can imagine the looks I get when I ask: "Have you had a Qwickie today?" Novellas have become more popular over the past 10 years, and I have definitely sold more novels as a result. Sometimes readers want to test a new author. Buying a Qwickie is perfect for this; and I often receive email from readers who have decided to buy a novel because they enjoyed reading INFESTATION or E.Y.E. OF THE SCORPION.

I like the idea of Author bundles. You are a part of a couple novel collections: Deadly Dozen and Sweet & Sensual. What was the impact on your other sales? What was the main objective of bundling your works with other authors? How did you put something like that together?

Author bundles (anthologies) are an awesome way to reach a wider readership. Unfortunately both bundles I was in have been retired due to reverted rights of some of the titles within. However, I plan to do more bundles next year. Every author in a bundle has their own readership. When you bundle, you're sharing a much larger audience, and that definitely helps to bring in more sales of other works and new readers. The main objective of our two bundles was to give the authors involved increased exposure, especially since all authors involved did their own promoting of the bundles.

Also you have bundled a series of your own novels called Divine Trilogy. What was the impact on your other sales? What was your main objective in bundling your novels?

I've seen a definite increase in other title sales since offering my DIVINE TRILOGY bundle. I wanted readers to be able to get all 3 titles at a reduced rate.

Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?

Yes, although my list is combined with Imajin Books. I was sending 2 newsletters (one personal and one for IB) but that got to be too much work, so I've decided to send out only the IB one. My titles will get recognition there anyway, as well as the other authors published by Imajin Books. My mailing list has developed over the past 13 years from random emails from fans, list opt-ins via my website or the IB site, FB posts and more. If you go to, you'll notice we're offering free ebooks to those who join our newsletter and benefits program--I.B.I.C., Imajin Books Inner Circle.

You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and helping other writers gain exposure. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?

My primary goal with my blog is to entertain, educate and provide escapism to those needing it. For my Blogger blog, I like to feature other authors and events. I also have a blog on my website but I'll admit I haven't updated it as much as I'd like. It's difficult to find time to do everything--and to do it right. It's a fine balance, and some days I'm a bit tipsy. Lol I do have an assistant that helps with some tasks--and I'm hoping to have her do more for me over the next year, though she does website updating and promotional tasks. I still handle all my own fan mail--and I plan to always do so.

You have published your books in German and French. How is your audience abroad? Does marketing online help in this situation?

Amazon Crossing and Luzifer-Verlag are my two major foreign publishers, and I'm happy to report sales are going exceptionally well with both publishers. Imajin Books has also published some of my foreign titles. The German market is particularly HOT right now. The French market is not too shabby either, but that could be because of my French last name--Tardif. Both German and French readers have been awesome. Marketing online, joining foreign sites like, and connecting with people from these countries is so much easier with social networks. I've chatted online with some awesome people from Germany and France.

You are published under several names and genres. Does changing hats create any problems? Any tricks you can share with us? Which genre did you enjoy writing the most? Does moving from one to the other give you some breathing room?

Most of my works are published under Cheryl Kaye Tardif, but I did write a steamy romantic suspense under Cherish D'Angelo. I did this because the sex scenes have more sizzle (though not erotica!) than my other works. But I went public about the name. There aren't many benefits to using a pseudonym and being secretive about it. Plus I'd spent years building up my Cheryl Kaye Tardif brand, and I didn't want to lose that audience. So I included both names on the cover. There were no issues with using a pen name--it's more preference. When people ask what I write, I usually say, "Suspense." Whether paranormal, romantic, supernatural, horror, thriller...the majority of my works have amped-up suspense. I've also written an illustrated a sweet picture book for kids under 8, THE ELFLING PRINCESS. Sometimes I need a break from writing intense suspense.

Author's Book List
INFESTATION is a hair-raising, skin-itching Qwickie® novella inspired by true events and laced with a heavy dose of horror and a dash of tongue-in-cheek Tardif humor…

Every house has its secrets, some more perverse and horrific than others…

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Lancelot's Lady
A beautiful nurse, a handsome recluse and an evil PI equals one deadly adventure.

When palliative care nurse Rhianna McLeod is given a gift of a dream holiday to the Bahamas from her dying patient, billionaire JT Lance, she has no idea that her 'holiday' will include being stranded on a private island with Jonathan, an irritating but irresistibly handsome recluse. Or that she'll fall head over heels for the man.

Jonathan isn't happy to discover a drop-dead gorgeous redhead has invaded his island. But his anger soon turns to attraction. After one failed marriage, he has guarded his heart, but Rhianna's sudden appearance makes him yearn to throw caution to the wind.

To live fully in the present, Rhianna must resolve her own murky past, unravel the secret that haunts JT, foil the plans of a sleazy, blackmailing private investigator and help Jonathan find his muse. Only then can Rhianna find the love she's been searching for, and finally become…Lancelot's Lady.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

E.Y.E. of the Scorpion - E.Y.E. Spy Mystery Book 1
When Eileen Edwards, a former-cop-turned-PI, is given the task to find a missing street kid named Zipper, she has no idea what she has let into her life. Not only did the boy witness a murder, he’s now being hunted by at least one motorcycle gang. Finding Zipper is the easy part; keeping him alive is the challenge.

As a killer prowls the streets of Vancouver looking for the kid, Eileen discovers that Zipper not only can’t remember what he saw, he’s also hiding a shocking secret. With the assistance of Constable Larry Norman from Eileen’s old Gang Task Force unit, she helps to expose a ruthless killer, and in the process, Eileen learns that sometimes one must let go of the past in order to move forward.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Divine Sanctuary - Divine Trilogy Book 3
There's no place like home…

In the Divine trilogy finale, the heat is tripled when CFBI Agent Jasi McLellan must rescue Emily, the ghost girl that haunts her dreams; expose her own mother's killer; and uncover a murderer that preys on the weak at Sanctuary, a controversial cult nestled in the woods near Mission, BC.

Something insidious lurks behind the safe haven of Sanctuary's wrought iron gates. Led by the charismatic Father Jeremiah, the cult's idyllic lifestyle seems perfect on the outside. But a lethal hunter is on the prowl, and in a carefully executed game of cat and mouse, the body count rises.

Along with Victim Empath Natassia Prushenko, Psychometric Empath Ben Roberts and Special Consultant Brandon Walsh, Jasi follows three trails of clues that lead to one terrifying conclusion: home is not always the safest place on earth.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

How I Made Over $42,000 in 1 Month Selling My Kindle eBooks

#1 Marketing book specifically designed for Amazon's KDP Select program

In March 2012 one Canadian author boldly went where few have gone before—into the land of making real money with Amazon's KDP Select program.

This is her story…

My name is Cheryl Kaye Tardif and I am an international bestselling suspense author who earned over $42,000 dollars in March 2012 selling ebooks via Amazon's KDP Select program, captured the interest of a major literary agency, and went on to sign with a foreign rights agent. And I'm about to tell you HOW I did all that.

I don't normally tell people how much money I make, but I believe writers need to know it IS possible to earn a real income from your books. Seriously, if I can do it, anyone can—if you have the right combination of criteria and techniques.

In this book, I'll share with you what I believe are four key elements you must have in place to see high sales. And I'll reveal the strategic techniques I used during my KDP Select promotions that resulted in earning over $42,000—with $32,000 of that from ONE title alone.

Not only did I earn over $42,000 in ebook sales, I was contacted by Trident Media, one of the leading literary agencies in New York. The chairman, Robert Gottlieb, saw my success when my one title made #4 in the Top 100 Bestselling Kindle ebooks, right under The Hunger Games trilogy. I am now represented by Trident Media Group and I have 2 audiobook deals in the works.

So, if you're ready to earn some real money with Select, let's begin…

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories
Thirteen stories take you from one hold-your-breath chapter to the next.

Stories include:

A Grave Error
The Death of an Old Cow
Maid of Dishonor
Picture Perfect
Sweet Dreams
Separation Anxiety
The Car
Deadly Reunion
Remote Control
Caller Unknown
Skeletons in the Closet

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Divine Justice - Divine Trilogy Book 2
CFBI Agent and Pyro-Psychic Jasi McLellan battles a serious infection that threatens to claim her life. Slipping in and out of consciousness, she remembers the Parliament Murders...

One by one, members of Ontario's Parliament are disappearing, only to be found days later, disoriented and drugged. Or worse?dead. Police are stumped and the CFBI brings in a covert PSI team, agents with special psychic abilities.

Accompanied by Psychometric Empath Ben Roberts and new team member Victim Empath Natassia Prushenko, Jasi heads for Ottawa and uncovers a plot so devious that Canada's national security is at risk. If that isn't enough to deal with, Jasi bumps into old flame, Zane Underhill, who wants to rekindle their relationship that ended three years earlier.

But the investigation takes precedent and Jasi is forced to place her feelings for Zane on hold in order to find a killer who has more than justice in mind for his victims, and in the end she makes a gut-wrenching decision?one that will cost the life of someone close to her.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Children of the Fog
Sadie O'Connell is a bestselling author and a proud mother. But her life is about to spiral out of control. After her six-year-old son Sam is kidnapped by a serial abductor, she nearly goes insane. But it isn't just the fear and grief that is ripping her apart. It's the guilt. Sadie is the only person who knows what the kidnapper looks like. And she can't tell a soul. For if she does, her son will be sent back to her in “little bloody pieces.”

When Sadie's unfaithful husband stumbles across her drawing of the kidnapper, he sets into play a series of horrific events that sends her hurtling over the edge. Sadie's descent into alcoholism leads to strange apparitions and a face-to-face encounter with the monster who abducted her son--a man known only as…The Fog.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Two strangers submerged in guilt, brought together by fate...

After a tragic car accident claims the lives of his wife, Jane, and son, Ryan, Marcus Taylor is immersed in grief. But his family isn't the only thing he has lost. An addiction to painkillers has taken away his career as a paramedic. Working as a 911 operator is now the closest he gets to redemption--until he gets a call from a woman trapped in a car.

Rebecca Kingston yearns for a quiet weekend getaway, so she can think about her impending divorce from her abusive husband. When a mysterious truck runs her off the road, she is pinned behind the steering wheel, unable to help her two children in the back seat. Her only lifeline is a cell phone with a quickly depleting battery and a stranger's calm voice on the other end telling her everything will be all right.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Divine Intervention
CFBI agent Jasmine McLellan leads a psychically gifted team in the hunt for a serial arsonist--a murderer who has already taken the lives of three people.

Jasi and her team members--Psychometric Empath and profiler Ben Roberst and Victim Empath Natassia Prushenko--are joined by Brandon Walsh, the handsome but skeptical Chief of Arson Investigations. In a manhunt that takes them from Vancouver to Kelowna, Penticton and Victoria, they are led down a twisting path of sinister secrets.

Sifting through ashes and clues, Jasi realizes that there is more to the third victim than meets the eye. Perhaps not all the victims were that innocent. The hunt intensifies when she learns that someone they know is next on the arsonist's list.

Unleashing her gift as a Pyro-Psychic, Jasi is compelled toward smoldering ashes and enters the killer's mind--a mind bent on destruction and revenge. And in the heat of early summer, Jasi discovers that a murderer lies in wait...much closer than she ever imagined.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Whale Song
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.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

The River

The South Nahanni River area of Canada's Northwest Territories has a history of mysterious deaths, disappearances and headless corpses, but it may also hold the key to humanity’s survival?or its destruction.

Del thought her father was long dead. But someone from her past says otherwise. Now she and a group of near strangers embark on a perilous mission...

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!

Gathering a group of volunteers, Del travels to the Nahanni River to rescue her father. There, she finds a secret river that plunges her into a technologically advanced world of nanobots and painful serums. Del uncovers a conspiracy of unimaginable horror, a plot that threatens to destroy us all. Will humanity be sacrificed for the taste of eternal life?

At what point have we become…God?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble
KOBO Store
iTunes Store

Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
HBS Author's Spotlight
eBook Author’s Corner
Top Shelf Author Advice
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.


  1. Many thanks for featuring me in your Author's Spotlight. :-)

  2. Tardif caused a lot headaches during the development of the second namesake as she wanted to change the title of the thing on me. In the 2011 era when I decided to bring the second namesake to the fold, I knew of Cheryl from her years on But the bad company she ran with, one of them lied about her story being a reprint to my magazine and she was found on when I appeared on there. Tardif might not realize the first namesake became my most personal project because of the David Boyer incident. She might be cussing me out because I am still putting her on the spot for this but what she attempted to pull by suggesting a different title well she had Elton John syndrome; the writers who came on where my guests and came after seeing my own entry. The artist and the introduction were thing that gave the project it's sheen as I tapped Joni who did the final edits of Bite of the Spider in Reality Check. Horns who knew me from when my diary-x journal emerged joined on writing not only his first PG-13 rated horror story but also was the opus.
         Tardif was also extremely greedy as this project was a 4theluv. She didn't approve of the title and suggested a cover that resembled the inside of a goddamned video game; as I saw a rival publisher do this as I would quip that the covers looked like video games. I.E. computer rendered (the only one who was able to do the computer art right was Tales of the Talisman. I avoided doing this with my own magazine as I saw oil paintings, pencil art, and did my own photography on some of the issues.) It was designed for a museum in mind as the writers involved right away knew of the first project going into the Poe Museum. What she pulled was on par to Marc Lyth and Andrew Hook when they pulled after the magazine was published as the one of them was lifting my titles and praising the plagiarist behind my first novel. Then covered for the rent-a-badge who put his name on The Pattern of Diagnosis as he was dismissing the incident as a prank. The second namesake commentary will be a sore spot for Tardif; as her co-hort was caught dismissing Issue Five as one of the guys eventually was portrayed in Spotlight and wrote for Huffington Post. Much like one of the writers of Tabloid Purposes One when he was alive.