Sunday, December 31, 2006

Recycling the Manchester way

I’ve never met Cheryl (much as I would like to one day) but, from what little I have gleaned since joining Kunati, she is one determined and focused lady! So, when Cheryl told me to ‘post a blog!’, that’s exactly what I did. Oh, and before I forget, the other stipulation that Cheryl made was.’.....and don’t you dare forget a link to Whale Song!’, so here it is.
Of course I’m joking, and by the way, thanks very much for all your help with getting me to this point Cheryl, much appreciated.

Now that I am here, I guess I best introduce myself. My name is Andy Tilley and I’m basically three things; a divorced dad, an international oilfield worker and a soon to be published author with Kunati. If you asked me to describe the emotions that I feel about being the things that I am (and allowed me only a single word for each) I’d go for roller-coaster, lucky and exhilarated. No complaints here whatsoever and indeed, if some grey haired future me had popped out of a worm hole (wearing boot cut denims accessorised with a silver bangle) to tell a giggling, chubby ten year old me (probably sneaking my first ciggy round the back of the garages) that my life would turn out the way that it has, then I would have settled for it.
The garages I refer to are in Manchester, on Bideford road to be exact, and having discovered them one day after school, that’s where me and my mates were to spend the best part of seven years; kicking back, learning to drink and smoke and honing the art of defending yourself against verbal abuse. All valuable lessons, all hard earned skills that have served me well in my grown up life. Manchester is also where my novel, Recycling Jimmy, is set. It’s a great place to grow up and a great place for a book to happen. So many things to learn about life, right there on your doorstep; in pubs and streets filled to the brim with urban philosophers. But like many childhood memories, it’s also a great place to leave as, to be honest, too much street life can get on your tits after a bit. Writing the book naturally brought a lot of all that back to me (the people and their sharp wit, the places and their role in moulding my life) but, and as I keep trying to convince my girlfriend, only a small part of the book is actually based on my own experience. Which bits actually happened I’ll leave up to the reader to decide but can I ask that, if any of you do uncover the truths in there, please don’t tell my missus.

Andy Tilley
Author: Recycling Jimmy (Kunati 2007)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Introducing the New Whale Song Book Site


Check out my new Whale Song Book site!

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

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

www.whalesongbook.com

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

Friday, December 29, 2006

Will that ‘ groovy kind of love, ‘fade away’ with the ‘Love Generation’?

It was the Saturday before Christmas and my wife and I were hosting an annual neighborhood get-together. Old friends and new acquaintances were dropping by with cookies and fruitcakes to share a bit of holiday cheer with us.
The table in the hall was filling up with these small mementos of red and green confections and liquid yuletide remembrances.
But my wife and I had already gotten the best gift any parent could have. All three kids were home. They’d come back for Christmas from all across America and the globe. From Australia (now happily Boston), Ohio and California.
I looked around at these three young adults; ages, 20, 24 and 27, conversing with some of their friends as well as our old friends and neighbors. Two generations in the same room; chatting, nibbling and laughing. And… all listening quite happily to the same music.
As an old rock & roller and musician, this intrigued me, so I began to listen a little more carefully.

I noticed that quite unconsciously both generations were tapping their feet or humming or even subconsciously murmuring a word or two of the lyrics here and there.
All of these songs were familiar; the words, the music, the lyrics – to a room full of people ranging in age from about 10 years old to late 60’s. I stepped into the family room to catch the stations call letters to identify the format. It was what we used to call when I was working in the radio industry, an MOR station (middle of the road).
These are stations that specialize in playing music that will be familiar and enjoyed by the widest range of audience possible. So then what was this music that had spanned a half a century and is now familiar and loved by kids, parents and even grandparents alike?
As Bob Seegar sang, it’s that ‘old time rock & roll’. It’s groups like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Eric Clapton … even Sonny & Cher!
And mind you, this was not an ‘oldies’ station. This was ‘middle of the road’. Music for everyone.

I started to think. How did the music that typified the feelings of rebellion and unfettered love, evolve from the music that separated my generation from my parents’, become the music that my kids still love today?
To be brutally honest, as my 20 year old son Chris tells me, “Dad everything your generation did becomes the standard like it or not – because there’s so damn many of you.”
True enough. Remember that funny chart they showed us as kids? The one that they described as an ‘elephant moving through a python’ because every new phase that we, the Boomer children entered, would explode out of proportion in population and influence to all previous generations - or to any generation since!

Is that good or bad?

Well probably both. We certainly raised the collective consciousness about things such as racial injustice, war and poverty. But ironically enough, probably one of the most far reaching consequents the ‘Baby Boomer’ (my/our) generation will have on the social fabric for generations to come, will be the twin revolution/evolution that we had on the two items that make the world of youth go ‘round. Music and sex.
Yeah, I know I left out the third part of the 1960’s triumverant of ‘Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll’. But quite frankly I think if you asked anyone who lived through the liberated 60’s to choose the most important two out of that three, it would be no contest. It would be Rock & Roll and sex every time. And to any of my fellow ‘Boomers’ who are clucking thier tounge (hummm is that a Freudian slip?) and/or shaking their head, I have but one question. What were you doing during the ‘Summer of Love’ in 1967?
I thought so.
So anyway… as I listened to the music and thought about the early Beatles or Stones or hey, the Loving Spoonful… it struck me that in addition to changing the ways we looked at the world during the time of JFK, LBJ, John, Paul, George & Ringo. Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin; the central theme running through the music was not necessarily the revolution and protest banners of social change that everyone has come to associate with that period. Uh-uh, the real message delivered in almost every song was … LOVE.

How many songs of the 60’s had the word Love in the title? Even more telling, how many songs didn’t at least have the word Love in the lyrics?!
All you need is love, Love me do, She loves you, Good Lovin’, You’ve lost that Lovin’ feeling, and so on. And that’s just a tiny sample of titles with the word love. Like I said, I challenge you to find a hit song from the ‘Love Generation’ where the word ‘Love’ doesn’t appear at least once in the title or lyrics. Try it – you’ll be surprised.
Quite different wasn’t it than many of today’s groups like Jet who sing about a ‘cold, hard bitch’. Great tune but not, well… terribly romantic. I mean could you picture that as a sentiment to snuggle to like, ‘all we need is love’?
Ah yes, come here and ‘put your head on my shoulder’ my sweet little… ‘cold, hard bitch’? Ummm – nope, I just don’t think that makes it.
Has the sexual part of love that 40 years ago was portrayed as running through a field of flowers bursting with psychedelic colors, faded and gone dull around the edges? Or has the wonderful world of sexual liberation that we pioneered, now become as mundane as a casual handshake?

And yes, before you say it, I won’t deny that we were the generation that championed ‘Free Love’. Although to paraphrase Janis Joplin, “nothin’ honey it ain’t free.”
But while we shattered every taboo against sex before marriage, there was still a feeling – or for the more cynical among us – at least the pretense - that the person with whom you shared that lumpy mattress or hard apartment floor, was someone who you loved. Even if it was just for that one night. Or as Stephan Stills so adroitly summed it up; “ if you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with.” And we did.

So I guess that brings me down to my final point. Will the ‘groovy kind of silly, sappy, intense love that the Love Generation created in books and films but especially the music that came out of the ‘psychedelic 60’s’, fade away with those idealistic, wide-eyed innocent flower children that grew up with all of that spiritual, metaphysical and physical love?
Will the naive but sweet trust of the ‘Love Generation’ fade away ‘ like the Rolling Stone’s ‘dead flowers’? Or will a generation of the ‘cold, hard bitch’ view sex as just as a casual handshake or just another competitive game - an extension of soccer or lacrosse?

Or will they eventually want something more, and perhaps come back around to that incense and flower strewn ‘groovy kind of love’?

Stay tuned.

Ric Wasley
Author
Shadow of Innocence
Kunati - April 2007
http://www.kunati.com
http://www.kunati.com/shadow-of-innocence-hip-myster/

Ric Wasley has spent almost forty years wandering through corporate board rooms and honky-tonk bars. He now divides his time between writing mystery novels – Shadow or Innocence – A McCarthy Family Mystery – Published by Kunati, http://www.kunati.com , and observing the really ‘juicy parts’ of the human condition.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

"I Read About You in the Bathroom."

Today, I packed up my laptop and headed for my favorite haunt (if you don't know where that is, click on the link above!) I got there in the morning, sipped four jumbo mugs of cinnamon hazelnut coffee, had lunch (the Cheryl's Special Quesadilla), then later had a slice of lemon poppy seed loaf. I didn't leave until after 10:00 PM.

Talk about buzzed!!

I worked on Children of the Fog, my new suspense novel that asks, "How far would you go for your child?" I wrote in a frenzy, finishing 2 chapters, plus some editing. I was lost. Lost in my world--the one I had created for Sadie and Sam, the mother and son in my novel.

But a small voice brought me back to reality.

"Are you Cheryl...T?" a young girl asked hesitantly.

"Yes," I answered. "Are you a friend of my daughter's?"

The girl shook her head. "I read about you in the bathroom."

I smiled. I had two posters on the bathroom walls of the coffee shop--one with the cover of The River, one with the cover of Divine Intervention.

"Do you have any of your books here?" the girl asked me.

Without a second thought, I put aside my laptop and searched the canvas tote bag, coming up with one Divine Intervention and the very last copy of The River (it had sold out across Edmonton by December 20th).

"I have both," I said.

She immediately raced off. "I'm going to tell my mom!"

A minute later, she reappeared with her mother in tow. The girl's enthusiasm was contagious and for a moment, I forgot they were here to see me...and not some rock star. :) The mother introduced herself and asked about my books. A minute later, Julie was writing me a cheque and I was signing her new books. Her daughter smiled all the while, then made my day all the more special by a simple request.

"Can I have your autograph?"

"Of course," I said, happily signing one of my bookmarks for her.

Julie walked away with her 2 books, while her daughter skipped away with her treasure--the bookmark.

I had to smile. The simplest of things and a few minutes of my time had made two people happy.

It wasn't until I got home that I recalled the girl's words: "I read about you in the bathroom."

Suddenly, I was confused. I realized that my posters couldn't possibly have indicated who I was. After all, they showed book covers, not ads saying, "Look for the woman with red hair typing maniacally on a laptop. That's Cheryl Kaye Tardif."

So how had she known?

When realization hit me, I began to laugh. You see, earlier that day I had switched the cover posters in the men's and women's washrooms. And I removed a smaller sign that announced past book signing events. On the bottom of those signs I had mentioned that I could often be found in this coffee shop. There was even a small photo of me. I had folded the signs in half and tossed them in the garbage can.

THAT'S how this young girl knew who I was.

Bless her heart for being so interested! :)

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

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Meet the McCarthy Family - Part III

Shadow of Innocence - Synopsis"The Thin Man" meets "Pulp Fiction"
In a unique mystery set amid the drugs-and-music scene of the sixties. When a friend is charged with murder, Viet Nam vet Mick McCarthy and brainy Irish partner Bridget hop on their motorcycle and swing into action. Tough but sensitive Mick and cute but hard-as-nails Bridget quip, banter and make love as they match wits with the mob and a shadowy psychopathic killer. Groovy collides with square in affluent Newport, Rhode Island, home of the famous folk festival.Shadow of Innocence has it all: adventure, sleuthing, humor, DSM (drugs, sex, music), and a perverse, shadowy secret that threatens to tear apart the posh Newport town. Don't miss the McCarthy family in action.
Ric Wasley - Author Shadow of Innocence
Meet the McCarthy Family - Part III
Hello Readers: As promised last week, here is the next installment in Meet the McCarthy Family.

As I've been getting a lot of requests for additional information about the McCarthy clan, I thought it might be kind of fun to let them introduce themselves and say a few words about their roles in their latest adventure, Shadow of Innocence.
The immediate and extended McCarthy family is headed by the 'old man' himself, 'Big Mike' McCarthy, former Boston PD patrolman, Sergeant and Detective grade cop. Now due to a forced early retirement, he's out on his own as a private detective working out of a small office in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Then there's his wife, the former (and now again through divorce) Miss Felicity Parker Prescott of the Beacon Hill Prescotts, who on a whim back in 1938 married the big, good looking Irish cop who rescued her from a mugging on the Boston Commons. The culturally mismatched marriage was doomed from the start but as Miss Felicity is fond of saying, "It did produce three lovely and talented children." Francis, Bronwyn and Michael Jr.Francis McCarthy (Frankie to his father and Franklin to his mother) is a Harvard graduate and junior partner in the venerable Boston law firm of Hayward, Elliott & Delbert. Next, there's kid sister Bronwyn, a freshman at her mother’s Alma Mater, Radcliffe. And last but certainly not least, the middle child Michael Jr.…Mick. Oh, and we can't forget about the extended McCarthy family and Mick's two wild cousins from Southie, Kevin and Danny McCarthy.But let’s have them say a few words about themselves and Shadow of Innocence. And of course that means starting with the 'stars' of the novel, Mick and the cute, sexy (and tough) love of his life, Bridget Ann Connolly. Last week we met Mick. This week we get to meet Mick’s Mom, the elegant Felicity Parker Prescott…McCarthy, herself.
And remember, if you'd like to see more interviews with the McCarthy's I'm going to be posting a new one every week on this site

------------------------------------------------------------------------As promised last week, here is the next installment in Meet the Mccarthy Family. And next up of course is;
The mother of his three children―the former Mrs. Michael McCarthy, Felicity Parker Prescott.

Felicity: Thank you. Well, where to begin? Let me see…as you already know, I'm Felicity Parker Prescott of the Beacon Hill Prescotts and the Back Bay and Brattle Street Parkers on my maternal side. I graduated from Radcliffe College with a degree in French Literature and took an active role in running many of the Prescott charitable foundations prior to my marriage. I suppose that I should comment on that, shouldn't I?

Well even now, I really don't feel that I have anything to reproach myself for, except perhaps a certain youthful impetuosity. I mean after all, if you had been put through the ordeal of being molested and threatened by hooligans and had feared for your very life, and then at the last moment had been heroically rescued, wouldn't you feel grateful? And if your young Galahad had been a handsome, young police officer who quite literally swept you off your feet and escorted you back to Beacon Hill―well, who could blame you for becoming infatuated?

I must confess that I was just a tad bit flighty and 'spur of the moment' in those days, and perhaps when Michael asked me to marry him three weeks later, I may not have thought things through as carefully as I should have. My analyst even says that I secretly did it to spite Daddy. What nonsense. Why would I ever do that? I have always had the greatest admiration for Daddy―his certainty, control and authority.

Why, I should imagine that those were some of the same qualities that I sensed in Michael. And of course the fact that he was big, strong and handsome certainly didn't hurt either. Unfortunately, the one area that Michael wasn't able to live up to Daddy's example was in business. And as much as I'll always love Michael, I won't deny that I was somewhat frustrated that he insisted on remaining a policeman―even after Daddy offered to put him in charge of security for all of his Massachusetts companies. Why, he didn't even want to accept the Brattle Street house that Daddy gave us for a wedding present. Where did he expect us to live―in South Boston, for heaven sakes? As I recall, it really wasn't until we had our first child Franklin that he finally seemed to reconcile himself to living on Brattle Street.

Ah well, as the poets say, "C'est la vie.” And we did have three lovely and talented children. And I love them all dearly, of course, but well…I do have to confess that sometimes Michael Junior takes after his father just a tiny bit too much. I mean he has numerous admirable qualities. He's highly intelligent, and I don't mean to brag but all of the Prescotts and Parkers were renowned for their scholastic abilities. And he has obviously inherited his father’s courage and physical prowess, but unfortunately also his father’s temperament and reckless disregard for his own personal safety.

Oh, and one other thing―and please, I don't mean for this to sound rude or snobbish, but―well, how do I put this delicately? I'm afraid that Michael Junior has not inherited his father’s sense of setting his sights on a woman who exceeds his own social sphere (as his father did) or at least equal it. No, I'm afraid that Michael Junior must have some sort of throwback tendency to the McCarthys, because against all reason, breeding and advice, he seems to be utterly infatuated with a…a little Irish…waitress.

I know I should be more discreet about my feelings because Michael becomes furiously defensive about her, and apparently she does go to Radcliffe on some sort of a charity scholarship. And of course I certainly do believe in charity and good works and helping the underprivileged...but all the same, an Irish waitress? And must he insist on dragging her along with him everywhere he goes? Why, even when he's doing detective work for his father―which I am not happy about by the way―he brings her with him. She was even with him in Newport when Bronwyn and I were visiting Bunny Cortland and Margaret Vanderwall. Although I suppose in all fairness I must admit that she showed herself to be remarkably resourceful during that absolutely terrifying incident in―well, I've probably gone on long enough. You can read all about it in Shadow of Innocence. Toodles!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Provocative Publisher Goes Big Internationally With Top Reviews, Movie Negotiations and Major Advance Sales Press Release

From an official press release dated December 22, 2006:

Kunati Books can seem to do no wrong as its aggressive marketing position, and, according to Publisher Derek Armstrong, "smart bomb targeted list of books," creates a big stir internationally.

Kunati books earned starred reviews from the majors, including a "brilliant" from Booklist, "sexy" and "impressive" from Publishers Weekly, "absolutely charming but sure to enrage" from Kirkus, "tongue-in-cheek thriller" from Library Journal, "hugely cinematic" from Films and Books, and—impressively—"a new publisher to watch" from the venerable journal Booklist.

More than twenty Hollywood production companies are currently reading most of the spring list, with good initial response and early negotiations.

There has been foreign rights and book club interest as well.

Library orders for several Kunati titles are extraordinarily high due to starred reviews from Booklist and great reviews in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly...
Read the entire review about Kunati Books.

http://www.kunati.com

Posted by Cheryl Kaye Tardif, a proud Kunati author, author of Whale Song

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Interview with Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Author of a Controversial Novel that Explores the Right to Die

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

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

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

...and the Cat Gnawed Off its Tail

From a writer’s perspective, everything I’ve experienced in the last two years says that writing does not generate a living income. I write short stories in the neighbourhood of 10,000 words and they vary in subject or genre. I send them out into the world seeking acceptance and in so doing have discovered two guidelines within the industry that are counter-productive for writers.

There are three words that stand out when reading the guidelines to determine where to send a story – no simultaneous submissions, inevitably followed by not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. Responds in 3-4 months. Many times there is no response, and when there is, the odds are there will be several rejections before acceptance (hopefully). In the meantime, the writer is prohibited from soliciting another market while those who have the story contemplate its fate.

Rejection is a companion of the writer. Not every story will find a home, but for those writers that do hope, and that takes in everyone, how many rejections can we expect before the story is either accepted or eventually discarded by the writer? It varies, but by complying with the no simultaneous submissions guideline, I figure not in how many letters but in how many years.

No one is denying anyone the opportunity to earn an income, but what is being denied is the freedom to make it in a more competitive environment. We are being held down by not being allowed to explore a wider audience of publications in a shorter period. We are prevented from realizing our stories real net worth. We are compelled to accept the only offer on the table, afraid to jeopardize what we already have – which may be fair, but have no way of knowing.

Another issue is first North American rights. Almost everyone demands them. Even an obscure so-called publication in some small community demands it. Payment: two copies of a mimeo, stapled, ugly covered representation of a magazine. Many universities stipulate it. Payment: depended on resources. Slick glossies stipulate it. Payment: after publication a year away. I generalize of course. Not all are as I described, but the majority of publications fall into this category. Regrettably, almost all writers complain silently while still complying, fearing possible retaliation, but from whom?

It seems logical from a writer’s standpoint, that whenever any publication stipulates first North American rights that should only be when fair compensation is offered, not copies or bragging rights that the story was published. They must realize they are denying the writer his due by stipulating that which takes rather than gives to the writer – an income. And what constitutes a publication – the image or the run? Is a publication of 600 copies throughout North America justly recognized as an infringement on first rights? To some, it does. There is no uniformity throughout the industry on this matter, no conformity – just confusion and the writer’s loss.

Over the past two years, I have sold stories, had stories published for copies, given stories away, had a book published where I received royalties and had another published where I’m still trying to get royalties. I think by now I have a comprehensive assessment of the industry.

I hear the word tradition often and I don’t understand. Tradition is a convention established by constant practice. Tradition in the printing/publishing industry ceased with the death of the linotype machine and what we have now is evolution – a changing of ways. I still remember my contemporaries telling me in the seventies when I got my first computer, that it was a toy. Very little of that era remains.

Consider an old-fashioned milk bottle. The cream inevitably rises to the top, but if the container is shaken, there is that moment when the milk ascends and the cream mingles, making for a richer, tastier drink. What is needed is that the bottle should be shaken and the contents examined more closely to see if maybe they have soured because they stood still too long and weren’t properly utilized.

And yes, I was a linotype operator, and change has not hurt our industry. It has opened doors never known to exist, but upon opening some of those doors, the cobwebs still cling.

Author of:
THE LIGHT AFTER THE DARK (non-fiction)
THE LIGHT AFTER THE DARK II (non-fiction)
Why, ZAIDA? (children's book)
THe UNLIKELY VICTIMS (nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award -- 2002)
STORIES I WROTE (short sties)
AN EYE FOR AN EYE (winner of the 2005 International BookAdz Award)
THE MINYAN (mystery fiction)

E: bubbameinsa@yahoo.com
w: alvinabram.ca

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Birth of a Writer

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

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

And thus, a writer was born...

To read more, click HERE.

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

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Meet the McCarthy Family - Part II

As promised last week, here is the next installment in Meet the Mccarthy Family. And next up of course is Mick our 'main man' and Bridget's friend and lover. And although he says that he doesn't really feel comfortable about expressing his feelings―except to Bridget―maybe he can fill us in about how he and Bridge got involved in detective work.


Mick: Hey, what's shaking? Yeah, I guess I can tell you about that. And probably a little about me, if you’re interested. Let's see…I'm twenty-two, I've got brown hair, and these weird gray-blue eyes. I ride a BSA 650 and am totally zonked out over a cute little 5' 2" chick with the greenest eyes on either side of the Atlantic Ocean.

I'm the middle kid in our family, for whatever difference that makes. In one of my psych classes, the professor is always babbling on about how birth order runs your life and all that crap, but I don't buy it. Although I gotta admit, being raised half McCarthy and half Prescott is weird enough to fill up a psych textbook all by itself. Mom wanted me to be one of the Prescott aristocracy. And Pop? He just wanted me to be a man.

I guess that's why I never could seem to be able to figure out just what the hell I wanted to do with my life. I mean my mom and the Prescotts had it all neatly worked out. They sent me to Andover and got me into Harvard and then I was supposed to join Frankie at Hayward, Elliott & Delbert―or one of the Prescott holding companies. Mom even had the perfect little wife picked out for me, one of the partners’ daughter's―Paige Elliott. Yeah, my whole life had been planned right down to the last little detail. The only part that Mom didn't plan for was the part where I got kicked out of Harvard for fighting and then the part where Pop got so pissed at me for getting kicked out that he told me, "If you love fighting so much, why don't you join the army!"

And I did. Vietnam in 1966. An all expense paid tour, courtesy of Uncle Sam. When I managed to survive three months without getting my head blown off, they made me corporal. And when Mendez, our platoon sergeant, got his blown off, they gave me his job. Strangely, even though most of it was ninety-nine percent mind-numbing boredom followed by one percent pure terror, I actually seemed to be good at it. At least that's what my guys told me. And I kept most of 'em in one piece too―until that day in June on that jungle trail when everything hit the fan and...

Bridge says I've got to let it go. Keep telling myself it's over and to leave it there. And believe me, I want to. And most of the time when I'm busy and we're doing a case or I've got an interesting class―oh yeah, Bridge even got me to go back to Harvard part time. You know as long as I'm busy, doing something that counts, then it's OK. It's just at night sometimes. Sometimes when I dream...they come back.

Damn! Sorry. I'm not thinking about that anymore. Anyway...oh yeah. Here's what got me thinking about 'Nam. My best friend and corporal, Smitty from Harlan County, Kentucky, has this cousin Cody, who got himself accused of murder down in Newport, Rhode Island. Seems that Cody was in a band that was playing down at the Newport Folk Festival when he met a beautiful little blond fox who just happened to be the only daughter of the most wealthy and powerful man in Newport. And everyone saw good old Cody, grinning from ear to ear, leave the club with her that night.

Sounds pretty sweet, huh? Problem was, the next morning she just happened to wind up dead. That's when I got a phone call from Smitty and that's how me and Bridge wound up taking a little trip to Newport. Man, I'll tell you, it was...ah, but you can read about the whole thing in Shadow of Innocence.
I'm getting too longwinded anyway. Just let me say that I may bitch about my family. But then, who doesn't? They're OK. But the one who really keeps my head screwed on straight―well as straight as I'm ever gonna get it―is Bridge. No, I'm not gonna go all poetic and romantic on you but she is one dynamite, smart, gutsy chick. And cute as they come too. I know that most guys would think it was weird. You know, teaming up with your girlfriend on a case that can get pretty rough sometimes.

Did I mention that she's got five brothers and a father who are as tough as they come? And let me tell you, outside of my old squad, there's no one who I'd rather have watching my back. And come to think of it, I rather enjoy watching her back too. And her front. Actually, I don't believe that there's single part of Miss Connolly that I don't enjoy watching. OK, now I really do have to shut up―before I dig this hole any deeper for myself. Anyway, you can get all the details in Shadow of Innocence and I can promise you, it's a wild ride.


Hope you enjoyed meeting Mick and hope to see you back here next week when we'll be meeting Mick's Mom !

Ric Wasley - Author
Shadow of Innocence - Kunati"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

BookTelevision Sponsors The Whale Song Book Launch

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Review: Day into Night by Dave Hugelschaffer


Day into Night Sizzles with Tension, Mystery and Murder

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

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

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

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

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

GOOD NEWS

I would like to share some good news. While learning the craft of writing, I wrote about 100 short stories. The subject could be family, crime or the Holocaust. In learning how to write short, I was able to adapt to long.

I changed over to writing novels BUT early this year decided to submit a story to ARS MEDICA, Canada's only literary medical journal looking for 'well-crafted' stories about illness. I submitted one about my mother who had Alzheimer AND yesterday was informed that it was accepted.

After it is published, I will make a copy for this site.

This has motivated me to send a story to Manitoba Writers Guild looking for stories about 'Friends'.

Author of;
The Light After The Dark (non-fiction)
The Light After the Dark II (non-fiction)
Why, Zaida? (children's book)
The Unlikely Victims (nominated for Arthur Ellis Award -- 2002)
An Eye For An Eye (winner of BookAdz Award -- 2005)
The Minyan (novel)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Meet Mystery Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif

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


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

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

Friday, December 01, 2006

It Is Your First; It Is Your Present!

Excerpted from my monthly newsletter...


Seasons Greeting from Inspiration from a Blind, brought to you monthly by ShirleyCheng.com!


What is wrong with the below sentence? (Nah, this isn't a grammar quiz!)

"Live each day as though it is your last."


Sure, everyone (at least, it feels like it's everyone) is saying this...I hear it, read it, everywhere. People say this to encourage others to live life to its fullest. It may seem encouraging, but there's always something I don't quite like about that "encouragement" but never could really point out (to myself) why; personally, I've never used this phrase. But recently, it suddenly hit me when I was lying in bed--which is usually the time when ideas come knocking on my brain door. For the first time, I publicly had a chance to point out why during my last radio show interview on The Namaste Show with host Jennifer Clark.


I told the audience that my motto is:
"Don't live each day as though it is your last; live each day as though it is your first!"


That surprised the host (she said so herself). She had never realized that "living each day as though it's your last" is really so negative.


I said that live in a way that is like a new experience for you. Just like a child receiving a brand new present, you are experiencing the present for the first time; life is the gift from God; explore and discover new things, and live as though each day is your first day!


Death is inevitable, but why let it hover over your head like a dark cloud? Why live each day as though you're going to die tomorrow? Subtract the negativity! So enjoy your new day!

A Review of THE MINYAN by Alvin Abram

A review by Paul and Gwendolyn Merkley.

AN EYE FOR AN EYE and THE MINYAN
The birth on November 11, 1921 of Aaron Ackerman and the murder of his mother Miriam in the same moment marks the beginning of a chain of consequences carrying several families of the small Jewish community in Lodz, Poland, through unspeakably painful adventures in pre-war and wartime Poland. People who do not know this history of this period will find much that Alvin Abraham describes as incredible; but those who know this history will recognize that nothing that happens here, even the most grotesque detail, is groundless invention. He has built his account scrupulously on the abundant literature of the holocaust years.

At the end of the first book, we are told of a covenant which is entered into by ten survivors of the worst of the death camps – a minyan imposing on themselves the duty of achieving revenge on ten specific individuals whose murderous activities in those camps they have seen and suffered themselves.

At the beginning of the second book, we find ourselves in the midst of a murder mystery set in the heart of what in our youth was the Jewish section of central Toronto. We are introduced to the case long after it has gone cold; but tantalizing details are leading police investigators and freelance citizen-investigators on parallel paths of inquiry. At first, everybody gets everything wrong. But the two parallel investigations converge as two young people who imagine that the lives of their parents and grandparents are bound up in this story meet in Poland to pursue the leads which they find in journal of the minyan. They soon find that they have stirred up dark forces – some left over from the years of the holocaust, and others representing by self-appointed custodians of Hitler’s legacy, embarked on a well-organized scheme for finishing Hitler’s unfinished work.

At one level, this is an exercise in the art of vivid-story telling, with special appeal to readers of historical fiction. At an a deeper level, it is a sophisticated essay in moral philosophy – an examination through examples of the dialectic of revenge and forgiveness, or remembering and forgetting, of keeping alive and putting to rest the traces of deeds so dark that the historians have always failed to expose their meaning.

- Paul C. Merkley.
______________________________

Having read the historical novels of Bodie Thoene -- The Zion Covenant Series which deal with the plight of Jewish and Christian families in 1930s Europe, and the Zion Chronicles covering the period of the coming into being of the State of Israel -- I found your novels gave me insight into the horrendous period of the Holocaust in the years between.

I’m sure other readers of Christian Zionist fiction would find this as well, and as I did would enjoy the fast-pace and realistic story lines. You may find the Christian book market worth looking into as a venue for your book.

Thanks again for a mesmerizing read!

Gwen Merkley.

____________________________

The Merkleys have lived in Israel and visit there frequently. They have a long-standing interest in Jewish history, Judaism, and Christian-Jewish relations. Paul is the author of Christian Attitudes Towards the State of Israel (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001) and American Presidents, Religion, and Israel (Praeger, 2004.)

Author of:
The Light After the Dark (non-fiction)
The Light After the Dark II (non-fiction)
Whu, Zaida? (childrens book)
The Unlikely Victim (fiction novel)
Stories I Wrote (anthology)
An Eye For An Eye (fiction novel)
The Minyan (fiction novel)

ALVIN ABRAM
bubbameinsa@yahoo.com

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Shadow of Innocence - Synopsis

"The Thin Man" meets "Pulp Fiction"
In a unique mystery set amid the drugs-and-music scene of the sixties. When a friend is charged with murder, Viet Nam vet Mick McCarthy and brainy Irish partner Bridget hop on their motorcycle and swing into action. Tough but sensitive Mick and cute but hard-as-nails Bridget quip, banter and make love as they match wits with the mob and a shadowy psychopathic killer. Groovy collides with square in affluent Newport, Rhode Island, home of the famous folk festival.

Shadow of Innocence has it all: adventure, sleuthing, humor, DSM (drugs, sex, music), and a perverse, shadowy secret that threatens to tear apart the posh Newport town. Don't miss the McCarthy family in action.

Ric Wasley - Author
Shadow of Innocence - Kunati

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Meet the McCarthy Family

Hello Readers:

I've been getting a lot of requests for additional information about the McCarthy clan so I thought it might be kind of fun to let them introduce themselves and say a few words about their roles in their latest adventure, Shadow of Innocence.

The immediate and extended McCarthy family is headed by the 'old man' himself, 'Big Mike' McCarthy, former Boston PD patrolman, Sergeant and Detective grade cop. Now due to a forced early retirement, he's out on his own as a private detective working out of a small office in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Then there's his wife, the former (and now again through divorce) Miss Felicity Parker Prescott of the Beacon Hill Prescotts, who on a whim back in 1938 married the big, good looking Irish cop who rescued her from a mugging on the Boston Commons. The culturally mismatched marriage was doomed from the start but as Miss Felicity is fond of saying, "It did produce three lovely and talented children." Francis, Bronwyn and Michael Jr.

Francis McCarthy (Frankie to his father and Franklin to his mother) is a Harvard graduate and junior partner in the venerable Boston law firm of Hayward, Elliott & Delbert. Next, there's kid sister Bronwyn, a freshman at her mother’s Alma Mater, Radcliffe. And last but certainly not least, the middle child Michael Jr.…Mick. Oh, and we can't forget about the extended McCarthy family and Mick's two wild cousins from Southie, Kevin and Danny McCarthy.

But let’s have them say a few words about themselves and Shadow of Innocence. And of course that means starting with the 'stars' of the novel, Mick and Bridget. Although they may be liberated products of the swinging sixties, Mick is just old fashioned enough to insist on 'ladies first', so we'll start off with Bridget. Now Bridget isn't technically a McCarthy―­yet. (Oops, she's blushing―­­­and tapping her foot. Not a good sign, so I'd better get on with this.) Like I said, she's technically not a McCarthy but she and Mick are a team in every sense of the word and as close as two people can get spiritually, emotionally, physically and…ah, yeah…well, I'll just let Bridget tell you in her own words.

Bridget: Well then, to get right to it. I was christened Bridget Ann Connolly in St. Mary's Church in Ballykill, County Cork, Ireland. I've got five brothers and I'm not ashamed ta say that my Da' and oldest brother Colin are fightin' fer Ireland's freedom in the Irish Republican Army. There are some as call 'em killers and such but they're wrong, they're patriots is all, and…ah, sorry, I get a bit carried away sometimes. Let me leave that lie.

About me. As I said, I grew up in County Cork and was educated by the Sisters at St. Thomas School who made sure we knew our Latin and Greek and never hesitated to use the ruler if we didn't. But I can't complain because when I was seventeen I was entered into an international scholastic contest by the school and wound up winnin’ a four-year scholarship to one of the most prestigious women's colleges in America―Radcliffe College.

That's where I met Mickey―I mean Michael. His mother hates it when anyone calls him Mickey. That probably explains her 'feelings' for me. But I'm ramblin’ then, aren't I? Anyways, I guess I fell fer the big darlin' fool the moment I laid eyes on him. It was in the Club 47 down on Mt. Auburn Street just off Harvard Square. A few of us were collectin' money to help the children up in Belfast that had been orphaned by the 'Troubles', and he was there with his two rowdy cousins, listenin’ to the music.

Of course I acted like I didn't even notice him, even though he gave me every last dollar in his wallet. I knew he was watchin’ me the whole time until we left and I was more than a little perturbed that he didn't even ask for my name. But what I didn't know then was that he was pretty good at findin' things out, and a few weeks later who should I see sittin’ at one of the tables I was waitin’ on in the Blue Parrot where I worked, but himself. I was pretty cool to him at first, I gotta admit. I mean, after all, there he sat with some blond chippy at his side, starin’ at me with this big foolish grin on his face.

But...well, I guess that's just somethin’ about Mickey. He can make me mad and sure does it often enough but I can never stay mad at him for long. And just between you and me, it's the makin' up as makes it all worth while. And...and well, that's all I'm gonna say about that. But if ya really want ta know why I'm so perishin’ besotted with the lad, I guess yer just gonna have to read Shadow of Innocence. Well, and it's been nice chattin' then and thank you very much.


Thank you Bridget for your candid comments and after that, I'm sure we're all looking forward to finding out more about you and Mick in Shadow of Inocence.

And if you'd like to see more interviews with the McCarthy's I'm going to be posting a new one every week on this site.
Next week Mick is up and I can guarantee that you won't want to miss his take on Bridget, his parents and the events in his new mystery (now available for pre-order) Shadow of Innocence.
See you next week!

Ric Wasley - Author
Shadow of Innocence - Kunati

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Self-Marketing

SCHOOLS:
My first two books were non-fiction books on the Holocaust, written as mysteries that defy logic. My third book was a children's fully illustrated hard cover book on the Holocaust using metaphors. My fourth was a detective murder mystery novel, my first novel, nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award in 2002. My fifth was an anthology of 18 previously published short stories in several magazines, newspapers or anthologies. My sixth was the beginning of a three-part trilogy that won the International BookAds Award in 2005. My seventh was the second part of the trilogy, presently being judged for consideration for the Jewish Book Awards for 2006.

The non-fiction and the children’s book has made me a yearly attraction with elementary and secondary schools in the GTA and north. I get calls to participate in either writing programs or to relate stories from the Holocaust. I'm dealing with children and as such do not attempt to sell my books. My fee to the school is that they must stock all books in their library at a cost of $125. This has on a number of occasions resulted in orders coming from the school for my books because several of the students want to buy one. I have had some schools buy as many as 20 copies and made one of the books a part of the curriculum. I am not referring to Jewish schools but to schools that have a predominantly non-Jewish population. The attraction for buying the books is that they are about children.

So I am marketing to children who go home and tell their parents about me. This connects me with adults. I have received many, many letters from children telling me about the impact of my stories. This had to have carried over to the parents. In some cases I have received orders for the other books I've written. Marketing is to make ones self known. The most successful and least expensive method is word of mouth.

I have been asked to speak on the writing game at OISE College. This has resulted in the teacher student who heard me, calling me up later when they are working in a school to ask me to come to their school and talk about writing. Word of mouth leads to speaking at Reading Groups.


READING GROUPS and SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
I canvass neighbourhood newspapers for reading groups and send a brochure and resume.
I send my brochure and resume to non-profit organizations, churches and synagogues informing them of my background and ask if they would like to have me as a speaker.

I don't charge but require permission to sell my books at the end of meeting. If I have more than 25 in attendance I will sell about $150 in books. Over 40 – more than $250. Over 65 – $400. I have had more than 100 such speaking engagements since 1998. Do this enough times and word of mouth replaces cold calls.


PUBLICIST
I asked KP if they would finance a mid-western book tour. I had two inquiries: Saskatoon and Calgary to come out and do a reading and be interviewed. They said it wasn't practical. I needed more engagements. I made calls to some organizations that knew me and called KP and said that I now had Edmonton and Regina booked. KP said it wasn't in the budget.

I decided to make my own tour. I bought 100 books from KP at 40% off, packaged them into four lots and mailed them to drops in the four cities. I arranged an eight day tour using my air miles and hired a publicist in Regina where I was staying for three days. By the time I returned, I sold all my books and grossed $1,100. It cost me $300 for the publicist. I stayed in a hotel twice for two days. Two cities I was housed by the host. I was on TV, Cable, interviewed by four newspapers, spoke at six groups, two schools, signed books at two stores and met some terrific people. I returned exhausted and with money in my pocket.

Since then I have hired two publicists in Toronto for my last three books. It costs $1,500 for 30 days. I've been on TV in London, Hamilton, Kingston, Montreal and Toronto. I have been interviewed on radio more than a dozen times from several cities in Ontario from my office. I've been interviewed via e-mail and appeared in newspapers in Canada and U.S. I could have gone to Ottawa and Windsor for TV interviews but work got in the way. I've appeared on Mystery TV three times. Twice because of CW and once by personal contact. London TV has asked me back and all because I was introduced to the media by a publicist.

A couple of years ago I was on a Caribbean Cruise. I met by chance the same host from Regina where I spent the three days. I have been invited back to speak on my new book.


FREE BOOKS MAKE MONEY
Another way I make money is I give my books away to the libraries. I walk in to a library, introduce myself by asking the librarian to call up a book of mine on screen and then smile and say – that's me.

I started doing this six years ago. Are you aware books taken out in a library result in money for you? I go around the GTA dropping off my books. Most took them. The following February I received a cheque for $278.80 from Public Lending Right Commission. The following year, two libraries called and asked if I could replace a book. It had been stolen. I dropped off more books at other libraries. The next year I received $356.04. The following year I received a cheque for $538.75 and a similar amount thereafter. The average the authors receive is $620.00. I've sent my books to Winnipeg and Ottawa. I keep my books in my car so that as I pass a large library I can go in and make them an offer they can't refuse – I hope.

When you are a writer, it is time to set aside modesty and tell people who you are. To do otherwise will make success more difficult; like paddling against the current with only your hands. There comes a time when your arm will get tired and all the momentum will be backwards.

Author of:
The Light After the Dark
The Light After the Dark II
Why, Zaida?
The Unlikely Victim
Stories I Wrote
An Eye For An Eye
The Minyan

ALVIN ABRAM
bubbameinsa@yahoo.com

Thursday, November 23, 2006

What Makes Alvin Abram Run . . .

It’s a strange opening but I’ve never been able to figure out what I am or have become. I seem to be a lot of things. I believe I have evolved rather than grown up.

If there is any one person that motivated me to amount to something, it would have to be my father but for all the wrong reasons. My father was a barber by trade but never made a living. Not because he couldn’t but because he devoted himself to his left-wing cause. He was an intellectual who believed in socialism; a writer and an orator. I was born at the time of the Depression and my mother worked at Tip Top Tailors making pennies for every pad lapel she sewed into a jacket. She was the breadwinner of the family. My father’s time was devoted to improving mankind; not his family’s circumstances. He was full of anger and, he would strike out at my older brother Murray and me as a form of punishment, whether justified or not. He ignored our youngest brother Mort, the child who wasn’t supposed to be. Eventually, Murray ran away from home at age 16 and joined the air force.

I didn’t know at the time that I had A.D.D. – Attention Deficit Disorder. My grades in school were very poor. I was called a malingerer, a troublemaker and someone who would amount to nothing. My brothers and I were an embarrassment to my father. To him we were losers. None of us attained the academic heights worthy of his expectations. To my relatives we were known as “Annie’s kids”, a term that was derogatory, a put-down. My father, however, was not associated with our disgrace.

While in my teens, I worked in a printing plant from 4:00 p.m. until midnight, Mondays through Fridays to supplement my mother’s income, and, on weekends I sold programmes at the CNE, Pinecrest and, on occasion at Ancaster. I wanted to be a journalist but high school was a dismal failure for me and I didn’t have the grades. When it came time to graduate, I was given my high school diploma on the condition that I not return. Two weeks after I graduated, my father died of a fatal heart attack and school was no longer an option anyway. I was 18.

My father’s friend, a printer, took me under his wings and taught me to be a typographer. I discovered I had a talent to create images from the visuals in my head. Because of my A.D.D. it was harder for me to focus but it was easier to cast aside the stigma of failure and try again. To accomplish anything, I did things the long way, not the efficient way. I learned to be a plodder. I never would allow myself the luxury of quitting. Quitting was not an option. Whatever I did, I had to succeed. And to me, success was determined by wealth. I needed to prove to my relatives that I wasn’t what my father once called me – a loser.

When I was 21, I met 15-year-old Marilyn Epstein, a short, overweight girl with bangs and braces, who stuttered. Three years later, in 1960, I married her. Over the years, I have discovered the swan inside the young duckling. A swan with foresight and direction.

The year we married, we formed The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of Ontario. My cousin Pauline was afflicted with this illness, a life-threatening disease that robbed women of the ability to swallow. Pauline died shortly afterwards but I managed the Foundation for ten years raising thousands of dollars for research Fellowships. I joined the Grand Order of Israel, rising to Vice Noble Master and I received The Man of the Year Award for my volunteer work in the community before moving on to B’nai Brith where I refined my commitment to service volunteering.

Together we became volunteers for The Muscular Dystrophy Association. We were part of the first telephone canvassers for the Labour Day Telethon, in the days when we had to bring our own dinner with us to Sears in Hamilton where the telephones were located. Marilyn stayed with them for over 15 years but by 1970, I was drained both physically and mentally. Many of the friends I had made, patients with the illness, had died and each death took its toll on me. I arranged with Ruth Aziz of The Muscular Dystrophy Foundation to take over my work and to include my members as a Chapter within the Foundation. When I turned over all funds in my possession I also turned over another leaf in my life.

In 1963, I embarked on my own business. The printing industry was in flux. Technology was changing the method of typesetting. I built the largest linotype house in North York and I wrote several white papers on the changing technology that won International Awards. In 1972, I took a partner, Dennis Rowe, whose foresight changed the direction of the company. It became a forerunner in what would become known as a graphic studio using computers to create images. My focus was the Jewish community – non-profit organizations. Dennis left the company in 1979 to join the gay community. In his absence, my company maintained its position in the graphic field but no longer grew.

I became the President of Leonard Mayzel Ontario Lodge, B’nai Brith in 1978. That year, we were the first Lodge to raise in excess of $100,000 and the first Lodge to make a single donation to one group of $10,000 to Baycrest Home and the second largest contributor to Jewish National Fund. I received the Man of the Year Award from LMOL. It was the year I had my first heart attack.

In 1979, Marilyn and I became volunteers with Jewish National Fund, both of us becoming Directors and I continued on to be Vice President until I stepped down in 2005. I was awarded the Bernard M. Bloomfield Medal in 2002 for my work in the organization.

By the end of the 70s, Marilyn and I were also the parents of three children – two daughters and a son. I purchased other companies and sold some. In 1979, in agreement with a sale, I withdrew for one year from the graphic industry. I chose to become an art auctioneer during that time, travelling from Halifax to Edmonton selling art as a means of fundraising for Jewish non-profit organizations. I was responsible for raising a million dollars being raised throughout the Jewish community until I gave the business up in 1990.

At this time, my desire to be a writer never died. I continually scribbled down stories that were never published. I was self-trained which meant I was not trained at all. In the early 1980s I agreed to compile the writings of Rabbi Abraham Feffer: My Shtetl Drobin. My mother would ask me when I was going to put my dreams onto paper. That was her way of referring to the stories I made up but never wrote. I answered that I was too old to become a writer. To which her answer was, “It is never too late to dream.”

Then in 1989, my friend, Andy Reti, asked that I meet his mother Ibi Grossman, a Holocaust survivor. I thought I knew all about the Holocaust, about the Jews and Hitler. I wasn’t interested in the Holocaust and found many reasons not to meet her. Finally I relented. What happened at that meeting changed my life forever. I expected to hear a story of pain and death; about loss and anger. I was wrong. I listened as Ibi read to me love letters she had sent to her husband in a labour camp which were returned to her by mail, unopened, when the war ended. He had died and she had been unaware. When she read me those letters, I then realized that the Holocaust was not about numbers but about people and each one had a story that needed to be told.

I was born with Congestive Heart Disease and in 1990, I was advised that my heart had weakened and that my work pace had to be modified. I dissolved the art business and stopped buying companies, focusing on the original graphic design business. In 1990 and 1992 in anticipation of my health declining Marilyn and I went to Israel and found ourselves committed to the survival of this fragile country.

I also volunteered to assist the Survivors of the Shoah in videotaping Holocaust survivors in Toronto and heard stories of bravery and love. I realized there was pain but I also became aware that these people did something unheard of; they experienced something that set them apart from most of us. They had lived life second by second and that had changed them.

It was at this time that my values changed as well. I no longer worked a 15-hour day. Marilyn had insisted that I come for Sabbath dinner one Friday night. I had hardly seen my two daughters in weeks. When I came home, I was too tired to do more than eat and doze off before dragging my tired body up to bed. I had to be up at 5:30York University in September 1995 and I found myself enrolled as a day student in the Fourth Year Creative Writing Course. the next morning to begin my cycle again. In 1995, I had an almost fatal heart attack. If not for Marilyn’s insistence that I go the hospital I might not be alive. I was told I was beyond surgery. While sitting in the hospital waiting for the doctor, Marilyn asked if I had any regrets. I told her my secret of wanting to be a writer. I had stories in my head but didn’t know how to put them on paper. When the doctor came, he confined me to the house and non-work activities for three months. But Marilyn had other plans. Without my knowing why she drove me to

By the time I returned to work, I was torn between trying to run a business and being a student. I found myself contemplating quitting school because I found the two activities too much of a mental burden for me. Age does not lessen the effects of A.D.D. To live with this affliction, it is necessary to find a formula that allows the person to function at their peak. School and work were two problems that I had trouble formulizing. But one day, Dennis Rowe walked into my office. I hadn’t seen him in years. We discussed the ‘old days.’ He asked me where his old desk was. I told him it was in the plant. I asked him why he wanted to know and he said he was staying until I got better. He stayed until I retired five years later. I continued with my education. I graduated from York, went on to University of Toronto for a night course and then the following summer to Humber College.

In 1997, I wrote my first manuscript, The Light After the Dark; true stories of six children who survived the Holocaust by chance and circumstance and turned their lives into something positive. I was 61-years-old and unpublished. No one was interested. Marilyn insisted that I self-publish. She felt the stories needed to be told even if only to a handful of people. I self-published and sold more than a 1,000 books within six months and had to publish another run. Professor Irving Abella interceded on my behalf and gave Key Porter Books a book. They offered me a contract and published a further 3,100 copies. All together, more than 8,000 copies were published and almost all have been sold.

Three important things came about because of that book. A woman in Orlando, Florida read it and called me to find the address of Michael Rosenberg, one of the people in the book who she had thought had died in the war. Another woman in Miami, Florida was told that her long-lost friend, Faigie (Schmidt) Libman from the DP camp, was living in Toronto. She flew to Toronto and they were reunited.

Finally, I had promised the six people in my book that if the book every made a profit, I would donate the profit to Jewish Charities. In 2004, I invited the six to my home, and turned over $20,500 in royalties to several charities. Fifteen thousand went to J.N.F. to purchase a grove of trees in Israel in their names.

In 1998, I sold my first short story to Chicken Soup for the Parents Soul. I have had 30 stories published to date in such publications like Women’s World Magazine (New York), mystery anthologies, newspapers, short story collections and in-house publications. Between 1998 and 1999, I suffered three more silent heart attacks. Fortunately the damage was minimal but enough to curtail some of my involvement in community work.

Over the years, I have published a children’s book, Why, Zaida?, other short stories collections, The Light After the Dark II, and Stories I Wrote, a detective mystery, The Unlikely Victims, which was nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award in 2002, the first novel in a trilogy, An Eye For An Eye, which won the International BookAdz Award in 2005, and now The Minyan, part two of the trilogy. I am currently writing the third novel, In the Name of Justice – a story of anti-Semitism.

All my stories are about being Jewish. Many of the incidents I write about have been taken from my own experience or from the stories of those who revealed portions of their past to me and that I felt were significant enough to put into a story. I try to show those readers who may not be Jewish what a Jew is. My stories are character driven. They are about people. I use the Holocaust as the backdrop because I feel it is a subject that should not be forgotten.

I have had more than 100 speaking engagements. I try to focus on non-Jewish organizations and, especially feel it is important that schools in which English is a second language become aware of what the Jewish faith represents. The purpose is to destroy the myth that Jews control the government, that all Jews are rich, that Jews never fought in the war, and so on.

What makes me run?

Adrenalin. And the need to put onto paper what I see.



Author of:
The Light After the Dark
The Light After the Dark II
Why, Zaida?
The Unlikely Victim
Stories I Wrote
An Eye For An Eye
The Minyan

ALVIN ABRAM
bubbameinsa@yahoo.com

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Movie Interest in Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention

Exciting news regarding possible books to movies!


WHALE SONG:
I've known for a couple of months now that two film companies were reading Whale Song, my new 2007 Kunati Books release. In fact, I have received emails from advanced reviewers who have expressed a great desire to see my novel transformed onto the big screen. And since I started writing it, I had always envisioned it as a movie...so much so that I can taste the popcorn.

Whale Song--the movie--won't leave a dry eye in the house! And that makes me strangely ecstatic. I hope it happens. :)

*Published by Kunati Books

THE RIVER:
I just received word that there is movie interest in The River, my action-packed suspense thriller that deals with nanotechnology and the search for longevity. I am so thrilled! A while ago, I was told by someone in the film industry that "The River has every element to make a major blockbuster". When I was contacted, I was told they were "looking for some good thrillers to adapt" and they ordered a copy of The River.

They went on further to say this about The River, "This sounds like an intriquing premise."

*Not published by Kunati Books

DIVINE INTERVENTION:
Divine Intervention, my psychic suspense thriller about a group of covert, psychic government agents, has also captured their eye, and they are interested in reading it too! Since Divine Intervention is the first in my Divine series, I'm thinking a possible TV movie, much the same as Gail Bowen's series. My first novel is complete on its own and would work well.

Divine Intervention or divine intervention? I am truly beginning to feel that my life is falling into place. And it's a place that feels extraordinary, wonderful and full of hope!

*Not published by Kunati Books
Anyone interested in pursuing possible movie/film rights for Whale Song must contact Kunati Books directly.

Anyone interested in film rights or options for The River or Divine Intervention should contact
the author directly.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif Now Available for Advanced Orders on Amazon.com


For those who may not know it yet, Whale Song was picked up by a hip and highly motivated publishing company. Kunati Inc. Book Publishers has been making waves in the publishing world for their innovative book trailers and their marketing expertise.

Whale Song will have major distribution across North America. There has already been some foreign rights interest as well, so we may see it translated soon into French, German, Spanish, etc.

Right now 2 major Hollywood film companies are reading Whale Song and considering it for a major motion picture.

You can now order advanced copies of the new Whale Song, which won't see bookstore shelves until April 2007...but keep in mind, this is a PRE-ORDER. This means you won't receive your copies of Whale Song until sometime in April after my novel is launched.

The new Whale Song has a stunning and mysterious cover designed by an award winning graphic artist, and it features extra scenes (20% more text) from an existing screenplay and a very special dedication you'll want to read.

If you order now, you'll accomplish 3 things:

  1. You can give a copy of Whale Song as a Christmas gift (give them a card that says their gift will arrive in April and that it is a very special edition of Whale Song).
  2. You can give a copy as an Easter gift (order now and it'll arrive close to Easter)
  3. You'll help me achieve one of my life goals, which is to make a best sellers list. :)
    One other note: Kunati is also considering taking Divine Intervention and The River. If they see fantastic advanced orders of Whale Song, they will be more inclined to take the other 2. It's always risky for publishers to pick up a previously published book. But I intend on proving that my novels are worth that risk...that they DO and WILL sell, even a couple of years after the first printing!

Advanced pre-orders are now open for Whale Song on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Chapters.ca and soon BarnesandNoble.com, plus you can pre-order from your favorite bookstores, so please consider ordering copies now. Don't wait!

The best news? The cost is ONLY $12.95 US!!! Far less than the $26.00 Cdn that my other books go for.

So if you're looking for a great gift item, especially for the females (9 to 109) in your life, order the new Whale Song NOW. Heck, order 3! :)

I invite you all to check out my haunting book trailer on my publisher's site, and don't forget to order your copy of the new Whale Song (ISBN:1-60164-007-2 or 978-1-60164-007-9) right away.

You should receive your order around Easter (April) 2007, so order extra copies to give as Easter gifts! Whale Song also makes the PERFECT Mother's Day gift for Moms of all ages!

Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a haunting story about love, betrayal and secrets. Order your copies now!

Please order advanced copies through the link below.
http://www.amazon.com/Whale-Song-Cheryl-Kaye-Tardif/dp/1601640072/sr=8-3/qid=1163782594/ref=pd_bbs_3/002-1549114-3042410?ie=UTF8&s=books

ORDER TODAY! :)

Please tell your friends! And tell your public libraries too!

Sincerest thanks,
Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Author of Whale Song
View the sensational book trailer!

Cheryl on Kunati
http://www.cherylktardif.com/
http://cherylktardif.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 16, 2006

These are a few of my favorite things...

Cheryl Kaye Tardif's Favorite Addictions:
  • All-Time Favorite Books: Misery by Stephen King, Outlander (series) by Diana Gabaldon, ...In Death (series) by J. D. Robb
  • Most Recent Book Favorites: The Game by Derek Armstrong, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  • All-Time Favorite Movies: Sleeping with the Enemy, Titanic, Lord of the Rings (all 3), Speed, Trapped
  • Most Recent Movie Favorites: Crash, Crash, Crash!
  • All-Time Favorite TV Shows: CSI (all 3), Law & Order (all), Survivor, House, Medium, Prison Break, Ghost Whisper, Lost...ok, yes I'm a TV addict!
  • Most Recent TV Favorites: Heroes, Bones, Brothers and Sisters
  • All-Time Favorite Soap: Days of Our Lives
  • Most Recent Soap Favorite: cocoa butter...HA!
  • All-Time Favorite Actors: Halle Berry, Dakota Fanning, Charlize Theron, Diane Lane, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Jim Carrey, Denzel Washington
  • Most Recent Favorite Actor: Sally Field
  • All-Time Fast Food Favorites: Chinese Food
  • Most Recent Favorite Fast Food: Quizno's Subs
  • All-Time Favorite Color: purple
  • Most Recent Favorite Color: aquamarine
  • All-Time Favorite Pet: dogs
  • Most Recent Favorite Pet: Royale, a fluffy white Miniature American Eskimo (named for the toilet paper because she's a sh*t disturber!)
  • All-Time Favorite Book I've Written: Whale Song
  • Most Recent Favorite Book I've Written: Whale Song! :)

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

Friday, November 10, 2006

Si, Si, Senor! One of Cheryl's Articles is Now in Spanish!


My article Attitude is Contagious - Would Anyone Want Yours? has been translated into Spanish! Check it out, if you can read Spanish. :)

If you can't, you can view the article in English at:
www.bookadz.com/attitude.htm

My Spanish amounts to being able to read and understand some of it and speaking a few words and one sentence. My one sentence is this:
Hay dos banos en mi casa.

(I am sure that will get me far when I go to Mexico or Spain! lol)

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song (2007 Kunati Books), Divine Intervention and The River

Thursday, November 09, 2006

101 Heads Are Better Than 1

Here's a review for the book, 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, Volume 2, which I co-authored with 100 self-improvement experts, including the highly acclaimed Jack Canfield, Dr. John Gray, Dr. Richard Carlson, Alan Cohen, and Bob Proctor.

Personalized autographed copies are available via my site at http://www.shirleycheng.com

101 Heads Are Better Than One


Reviewed by Dr. Alan Gettis, author of The Happiness Solution, and, Seven Times Down, Eight Times Up


David Riklan has done it again. He managed to get 101 self-improvement gurus to collaborate and share their collective wisdom. The result is '101 Great Ways To Improve Your Life - Volume 2'. The stories will improve your relationship with yourself, others, and the universe. Covering an enormous array of topics, the common denominator of the stories is that they will help you think more positively and feel and function better.


Shirley Cheng's chapter entitled 'Dance With Your Heart: How To Befriend Your Heart And The World Around You' is my favorite. She provides clear guidelines on how to not only dance with your heart but on how to become a dancing heart. It is a beautiful and instructive chapter written by this young woman who is a blind and physically disabled poet and author. I learned more about her by visiting the website shirleycheng.com.


The book is filled with many other stories to help you discover countless ways of feeling better and improving your life. Enthusiastically recommended.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Picture Perfect by Cheryl Kaye Tardif...Now an Amazon Short!


Cheryl's chilling and suspenseful short story, Picture Perfect, was selected as an Amazon Short.

When my sister, Belle, vanished back in 1956, I lost more than you could possibly imagine. And in the last forty-eight years, I've never told anyone what I saw. That summer day, I lost a part of my family, a piece of my heart…and I think I lost my soul as well...

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

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Updates: Site Award + Radio Interview



My site http://www.shirleycheng.com has received the Preditors and Editors' Author's Site of Excellence award! Needless to say, I am honored and delighted, especially because of the fact that I am a blind webmistress.




On November 7 at 12:15 p.m. EST, I will be the guest on The Namaste Show with host Jennifer Clark on CKCU-FM 93.1 FM, Ottawa, Canada, and it can be heard locally within a 200 kms radius and on http://www.ckcufm.com



Saturday, November 04, 2006

I LOVE Book Signings!


Ok, here's a quick recap of what I've been doing this past week. I had 3 signings this past week at Edmonton, Alberta, bookstores. Now that the exciting news is getting out to my fans about Whale Song being released in April 2007 (and about 2 Hollywood film companies reading it), word is spreading fast.

Today, I had four people stop by my table to tell me how much they loved my books! And that is music to an author's ears. When a Chapters employee asked me if I was getting tired after my third hour, I said "No! I love signings. I love meeting people." A minute after that someone stopped by and told me she cried when she read one of my books. My reaction: I smiled with glee and clapped my hands. YAY! I made someone cry!!! :) Note: this is only a good thing if you want people to cry when reading your book (which I did.) Now, aren't I mean?

I write because I am compelled to write. It is my passion.

But I also write to impact others. And there is no greater reward than hearing back from a fan!

~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song