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