Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ebook Giveaway!

Second Wind is celebrating the release of two new mystery anthologies, Murder in the Wind and Mystery in the Wind, and they are offering you a chance to win an ecopy of either book. They will be giving away three ecopies of each anthology.To enter the econtest, all you have to do is leave a comment on their blog. (Click here to find the blog: Ebook Giveaway!.) If you prefer one of the books over the other, please state that preference in your comment, otherwise you will be entered into both drawings. The winners will be chosen at random on July 7th. Best of luck to all of you!

They are also running a contest for print copies of both books. Find the rules for that contest here: Win Print Copies of Our Mystery Anthologies!!

You can read about the anthologies here: Murder in the Wind and Mystery in the Wind

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Win Copies of Second Wind's Mystery Anthologies

Second Wind Publishing is celebrating the release of two new anthologies, Murder in the Wind and Mystery in the Wind, and they are offering you a chance to win a print copy of both books. All you have to do is write a sentence using the words “murder,” “mystery,” and “wind,” then post on the Second Wind Blog as a comment. (Click here: to find the blog.) The person who writes the most original sentence (in the opinion of the authors of Second Wind) will win a print edition of each of the anthologies. One other person, chosen at random, will win a print edition of Murder in the Wind.

The contest starts now and ends on July 6.

On your marks, get set . . . write!

You can find out more about the anthologies here: Murder in the Wind and Mystery in the Wind

My story, "The Stygian Night", is published in the Murder in the Wind anthology

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Penticton Bound

Today, I finished revising the last chapter of my Casey Holland mystery and am about to send the entire book to my editor for one last look before it goes to the publisher. It’s been an incredible two and a half months: intense, meaningful, joyful. I’m rarely happier than when I see my work change for the better. That’s what it’s all about, growing and developing skills to become a better writer and produce the best book I can. By the way, the new title is THE OPPOSITE OF DARK.

While the book is in the publisher’s hands, I’ll be driving to Penticton, BC for a book signing event at:

Hooked on Books, 225 Main Street, Penticton
Friday, July 2nd from 11 to 3 p.m.

Besides chatting with people and signing books, there might also be a discussion about mysteries and possibly a reading from FATAL ENCRYPTION. It all depends on what the customers want. If you live in the area, I hope to see you there!

As always, my amateur sleuth, Vancouver-based, Alex Bellamy mysteries can be purchased at

Friday, June 25, 2010

Promote My Novel: How to use a message board's private message feature is an online service that helps writers

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Editing Progress Report #5

It’s been an intense three weeks as I juggle editing demands with the day job and family responsibilities, but that’s all part of the challenge a writer’s life. With eleven days left before deadline, I’ve revised two thirds of the book, and the last third should be go smoothly. My editor was right: the hardest part of editing a novel is the first half where most of the changes take place. The second half is a matter of making sure I’ve followed through with those changes.

Still, I can’t help changing words or sentences here and there, and I’ll probably do so right up until the end. My editor assures me that we’re still on track to meet the July 1st deadline without any problem, so I feel a bit of relief over that. But I won’t completely relax until the book is finished and submitted.

I had my publicity photo taken by a wonderful photographer, so another prepublication task is now done, but there will be more things to do. There always is in the making and selling of a book.

As always, my amateur sleuth, Vancouver-based, Alex Bellamy mysteries can be purchased at

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Not a Mistake. Not

Well, now I'm confused; I thought I was wrong, but now I think I wasn't. In other words, I was wrong when I thought I was mistaken. Not to put too fine a point on it, I was right.

Here's what happened:

Way back in 1972, when I was just a tiny little baby and a senior in college (I was a very smart tiny little baby), we read Matthew Arnold's super-romantic poem, "The Forsaken Merman". It's from the point of view of a merman who allowed his human wife to leave him with the kids while she went back topside for Easter service. When she didn't come back, he brought the children up to look for her, but they found her in church, unwilling or unable to hear them crying for her. At the time of the narration, she wasn't expected to come back to the sea.

It says:

We went up the beach, by the sandy down
Where the sea-stocks bloom, to the white-walled town;
Through the narrow paved streets, where all was still,
To the little gray church on the windy hill....
We climbed on the graves, on the stones worn with rains,
And we gazed up the aisle through the small leaded panes.

Now, I ask you, does that or does that not sound as if the merman and merchildren were navigating on land? I think it sounds as if they're navigating on land. But I was told NOOO-OOO, that's metaphorical, that is.

But before that happened, I made a note in the margin, and here it is:

Write story with merman lower body like a fluked eel's body can move out of water like a snake.

And I did.

EEL'S REVERENCE will be re-issued by Echelon Press in July of 2010. It features humans and "mermayds" in conflict and partnership. Mermayds can produce sperm or eggs which they broadcast or deposit like fish. They have (wait for it) lower bodies like fluked eel's bodies and can move out of water like snakes. The story begins when a young mermayd robs an old woman who is also a priest, feels sorry about it and buys her food and shelter, then gets exiled into the desert with her by priests who don't want her around.

So I don't care whether Matthew Arnold was being metaphorical or not--there's nothing metaphorical about my mermayds, or about my desert, either, for that matter.

I just have one more thing to say on the subject:

Ha ha on whoever told me I was wrong.


Click here to read an excerpt from EEL'S REVERENCE.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rethinking My Writers' Group

I’ve belonged to an extremely supportive, helpful writers’ group for about seven years. This group isn’t an informal gathering in someone’s living room, but a course offered by my community’s recreation department. We pay a fee to meet at one of the recreation centre's rooms for two hours once a week in three, three-month sessions, and this year a summer session will be added. The members of this group, moderated by an experienced, multi-published author, have produced countless published articles, essays, short stories, and books of fiction and nonfiction. A growing number of us have also landed contracts with traditional publishers and many members have gained valuable promotion and marketing experience through self-publishing ventures and speaking engagements. So, it’s no surprise that our group’s success has prompted new writers to join. Unfortunately, success has now become a double-edged sword.

While we love hearing new voices and new writing styles, the group is now eighteen members strong and more were on a waiting list for the current session. While not everyone shows up every week, there are still so many people eager to read their work that, at best, members can read only every two or three weeks. Our reading time is restricted to ten minutes, but critiquing time is unlimited, which has also become a bit of a problem.

Naturally, newer writers need more critique and have more questions, which inevitably swallows up reading and critiquing time for everyone. Adding to mounting frustration is that some members have deadlines, yet they must also wait for their ten minutes every two to three weeks. Lately, every time we meet, I feel that someone is getting short changed, whether new or experienced, so changes need to be made. The big question is how to make changes that will satisfy the majority?

We’re struggling with this issue right now. Do we split into two, multi-genre groups, one for novices and the other for advanced writers? Do we lengthen each session, which has already stretched to two-and-a-half hours per week to accommodate more reading time? Do we cap the attendance at say, 13 or 14, and leave it on a first come, first serve basis? Do we restrict critiquing time?

Our spring session winds up next week and the dilemma must be resolved soon so the recreation department can add a possible second course in their brochure for an August release. Personally, I’m in favour of an additional group, capped at 12, as well as an informal advanced writing group for those with deadlines. Still, I’ll miss the insights and comments from those who aren’t in my group, but whatever happens, I hope it works out for everyone.

As always, my amateur sleuth, Vancouver-based, Alex Bellamy mysteries can be purchased at

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cheryl & Cherish talk murder and romance over at I Love Canadian Authors

Please join me and my alter-ego Cherish D'Angelo as we discuss murder and romance, and answer questions from readers over at I Love Canadian Authors on

I'll be popping by the group throughout today, so be sure to leave me a question or two and I'll do my best to answer them. :-)

And be sure to sign up on my website for FREeBOOK FRIDAY. I'll be giving away an ebook sometime on Friday. To enter, sign up for Divine News (top right corner) at

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Cheryl Kaye Tardif issues a challenge to book pirates

So the great book piracy debate is still churning stomachs over at JA Konrath's blog, especially now that his "experiment" has proven one thing: Joe knows how to sell books. Something I didn't doubt for a minute.

Since his experiment is rather skewed in one direction--for piracy--I thought I'd had my own "control" side. I'm issuing my own "experiment" or challenge to book pirates...if they dare to take the challenge.

Konrath says "steal this book"; Tardif says "please don't steal mine"

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author

Sunday, June 06, 2010

More Interesting Book Stats

I came across interesting publishing statistics for Canada on Dan Poynter’s Para Publishing website. The page, shows 2008 and earlier years for several countries. In Canada in 2008, there was:

. Over $1.5 billion in sales, mostly generated through the 230 Indigo Books and Music stores

. About 50,000 titles published. (I’m not sure this is correct. Seems like a lot.)

. Over 630 publishers

. Government grants to publishers totalled $48 million

. Export books totalled $154.8 million; foreign rights, $313 million (probably under-reported)

In 2007, 31% of Canadian adults did not read a single book for pleasure. The percentage was 27% in the U.S., but of those who did read most read more than 20 books during the year, which was the same for U.S.

Here are highlights of stats on small press and self-publishing taken from

. 54% of small independent publishers are male, 42% are female (3% won’t say)

. California has six times the number of small publishers than any other state

. Small presses publish an average of 7 titles each

. Half of the high income small publishers earned over $1 million in 1997 working out of home offices

. The typical independent publisher (indie) works 50 hours a week

. They produce four times as many nonfiction titles as fiction titles. Juvenile and poetry are the most popular fiction genres. Self-help, how-to and business lead in the nonfiction categories

. Their most popular publishing publications are the PMA Newsletter, Publishers Weekly and the SPAN newsletter

. Book design costs between $10 and $150 an hour

. They pay between $5 and $18 per page for interior page layout. (keep in mind this is for print books)

. On average it takes 475 hours to write a fiction title and 725 hours to write a nonfiction title

I would dispute that last stat. Either that or I take much longer than average. There are many more stats to browse over at the above links

As always, my amateur sleuth, Vancouver-based, Alex Bellamy mysteries can be purchased at

Friday, June 04, 2010

Cheryl visits Polished Publishing Group blog and gives her Recipe for a Bestselling Novel

Two nights ago Kim Staflund, a publisher I've recently connected with, asked me if I'd like to write a guest post for their blog. Of course I said yes. I love writing, and even more I love a good writing challenge.

The topic she wanted me to blog about was on becoming a bestselling author. She gave me a good week to complete it. I was finished that evening. :-)

I invite you to check out my post on the PPG blog, and please leave a comment for us if you find it helpful. Now, get your mixing bowl ready...
Recipe for a Bestselling Novel

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif