Thursday, September 25, 2008


I've got the feeling that once I blow this blog box open I'll really be able to run with it; so far I'm only peeking out through the cracks. An experiment or two or three or many more is what is required here.

Too busy writing my book to write about writing my book
- just wait till it's done though
- you'll be hearing alot more from me.

Oh, yeah, after that book is written I have five scripts to do for our new website; Mystery Factory or, as the case may be. And the case will be. The case for kids mysteries, the case for professional mysteries and the case for cluetrail capers. I get so excited about this stuff. I'd love to tell you about it but I think it's a bad idea to talk about things still in process, before they are ready to be released. The whole Chinese law of secrecy and all that.

Entertainment is suppose to thrive in tough economic times and it feels like those are upon us. Book sales should go up - if the books are not to expensive. Distraction at any cost is probably not true but distraction will be the attraction for sure.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Remote Control, a suspenseful serialized work-in-progress, is updated

If you've been following Remote Control, my suspenseful novelette that is based on a short story I wrote back in 1987, it has been updated and a new scene has been added.

Harry Fielding has just discovered that he has a strange power. And he's ready and willing to use it. No matter the consequences.

“Be careful what you wish for,” they say, but for forty-four-year-old Harold Fielding, who unfortunately isn’t one to listen to such good advice, those words will come back to haunt him...

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

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blurb Me!

By attending writers’ conventions and being personable I've been able to get some pretty nice folks to write blurbs for some of my books. Warren Murphy and Ken Bruen have blurbs on my published works, and people like Libby Fisher Hellman and David Hagberg have given me blurbs on manuscripts that are still making the rounds. In the same vein, I've written blurbs for other authors whose work impressed me. I always thought this was simply one good way to give a book s little more credibility, but now I'm no longer so sure.

I recently learned about a company called Blurbings LLC that offers writers the chance to buy and sell book endorsements. In other words, they traffic in blurbs. Blurbs for cash? From who? After all, getting one unknown writer to endorse another unknown writer probably doesn’t do much for either one. On the other hand, some might say that this company has simply put a price on what mainstream publishers and agents ask authors to do all the time. Yes, most of my blurbs have come from writers with whom I have made friends, and that may make them seem less impartial. I got David Hagburg’s kind words only because we share the same agent, although he assured me face to face that he would never give a blurb for a book he didn’t think was very good. But it’s fair to wonder to what extent all these blurbs represent friends being nice or favors being traded.

In any case it sure can’t hurt to have a published author praise your work - although before you plunk down your $19.95 you should clearly understand that there’s no real evidence that blurbs actually help sell books.

I must admit that when I pick up a piece of fiction I may be swayed by whose blurb is present. If a writer whose work I love praises a book I am more likely to buy it. But I wish there was a way to know if the author landed the blurb himself or if his publisher requested it. One seems somehow more valuable than the other to me.

The bottom line is that I feel as if blurbs are worth less now that you can buy them, much like reviews which can also be purchased. I will still offer this favor for authors who really impress me, and still ask it of my heroes, but that’s more for my ego than with the thought that it will help my book sales.

But I’m curious. What do you think of blurbs on books? Do you ignore them, or do they help you make the purchase decision?

Friday, September 19, 2008

3 cool sites for writers and readers

1. Author Joshua Palmatier has put together The Query Project where he asked a handful of writers to share their specific tips and advice on how they crafted THE query letter that landed them an agent. Visit the site and scroll down for the links to the various authors. Taken together, this is a good primer for any new writer.

2. Ever wonder what rejection does to the aspiring writer? It inspires, of course. Author Keith Cronin has combined his angst and considerable talent to create The Adventures of Comma Boy offering some hilarious commentary on writers trying to get their words read.

3. And last, I have discovered another scobberlotcher's dream website called StoryCasting. Simply, this is a site where YOU can go and cast the celebrities you'd love to see in the film adaptation of your favorite books. I just had fun casting my novel JANEOLOGY with Ashley Judd and Mark Ruffalo in the leads. Wouldn't I be so lucky!


Stop by my blog to say hello :

K. Harrington

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Review Review

If you use reviews to decide what to read next, it’s not a good time for you. The Hartford Courant laid off its books editor. The Los Angeles Times no longer publishes a freestanding Sunday book review. It’s been more than a year since the Atlanta Journal-Constitution lost book reviews.

Losing newspaper review sections is bad news for authors, but it’s worse news for the newspaper business and beyond that, for our whole culture. The fact is, newspapers are shrinking because fewer and fewer people are reading them. There’s no good side to that.

But don’t despair. Review-loving readers do have options, because many of your peers write excellent reviews. Check out the top 100 reviewers on Some of them specialize in a particular genre. And authors often recommend fellow writers’ work on some of the best, award-winning blogs (like, ahem… THIS one.) Elsewhere on line I'd recommend: - which features more than 100 qualified book reviewers and over 15,000 book reviews. -Featuring detailed book reviews from all genres, and readers can enter book reviews and get listed as reviewers. - Collects reviews from well-known sources like The Atlantic Online, Esquire, The New Republic,, and Powell's own staff. - Danny Yee has posted over 1000 book reviews covering almost everything - history, literature, popular science, computing, sf + fantasy, biology, historical fiction, anthropology...

And you can bet that we authors will be stepping into the 21st century too. We’ll be sending more and more review copies to Amazon reviewers and to influential bloggers. So even if newspapers are struggling and fading away, book reviews will move very smoothly to the internet.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

5 things you didn't know about me...

Today I tried to challenge myself to come up with 5 things that most of my readers wouldn't know about me.

And here they are:

1. I was a teacher (informally) - When I was an older teen, I substituted for Kindergarten and Grade 1 teachers in a small BC school. Years later, I taught my daughter to read and by 3 and a half, she was reading sentences. I then went on to homeschool her for 4 years, after which she decided to try public school. She just graduated from high school.

2. I sold Pampered Chef kitchen items for about 2 years and loved going to people's homes and showing them new tools and recipes. I quit Pampered Chef about 6 months after the original Whale Song came out because I wanted to dedicate myself to my passion--writing.

3. I hate bugs, especially spiders. I can't stand the idea of bugs on me. I was once bitten by an unknown type of black bulbous arachnid. Its venom bleached out an area below my neck, removing all my freckles. It didn't hurt, but it took years for the white patch to go away.

4. I've survived flying over the Bermuda Triangle 4 times. At least, I think I have. Perhaps I'm in an alternate universe...

5. I've had a number of premonitory dreams since I was a teenager. In one dream I saw my mother with a baby in a green pink and white blanket. Later, my mother told me she was pregnant. My baby brother Jason was brought home in a green, pink and white blanket knitted by my grandmother. The most horrific dream happened one night when I dreamt of a massive explosion that gutted a huge government building and killed many people, including children. I saw scorched remains, smoke and ash...and skulls. The following day brought with it the Oklahoma bombing. One could say that it's because of my own paranormal experiences that I am drawn to the characters in my Divine series.

So now you know a bit more about me, that I am more than just an author who hopes to entertain you. If you haven't read all of my novels, I hope you'll check them out now--Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Why Child 44 should be on your to-read list

It has been a LONG time since I was bowled over by a book for both its story, characters and writing. But as soon as I purchased Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith, the wait for this kind of story was over.
Child 44, a thriller about a Stalinist era MGB agent who begins to lose faith in the system after he begins investigating a series of child murders, was inspired by a real Soviet serial killer, Andrei Chikatilo.
The way Smith writes has been described by many as "propulsive" and I agree. Once you start reading, you are drawn in at once and it never lets up. One of the story features not often elaborated on by other reviewers of this tale is the heart-aching love story that churns beneath the thriller plot. It is astonishing how contemporary, how real, Smith portrays the bittersweet marriage underneath the political struggles in paranoid, Stalinist Russia, making it one of the most satisfying elements of the book for me. It made me care about the characters personal - and political - plights. And that's the true mastery of this author - he gives you unforgettable characters in the midst of both thriller and history lesson. Most authors settle for merely the later two elements. I suspect this will be one of the grounding elements of the film, set to begin production in 2009. Who to cast? I envisioned the latest Bond actor - Daniel Craig as Leo Demidov and Rachel Wiesz as his wife, Raisa.
Here's a clip about the story from the author himself.

Visit to read a chapter of Janeology, a psychological thriller exploring the intersection of nature and nurture in one Jane Nelson: wife, mother and murderess.

Killer Instincts...

No fiction written beats real life. I know because my mind churns all the time. Stories swirl and twirl in my brain often distracting me from mundane chores and absolute necessities. The other day I had to deal with one such chore, an ongoing, now chronic situation with the brakes on my car. Since May I've spent more money than I care to think about on righting the wrongs done to my disks, linings, rotors and pads. Last Friday on yet another visit to my car dealership I passed the time waiting in the customer lounge reading the newspaper. Their television was on with a newscast station reporting late breaking grim news.

I looked up from the political headlines to see the face of a sweet child about two or three years old. Her mother charged with her disappearance and possible death was now, out of jail on a generous bail. As she was being led into a car for the drive to momentary freedom, DNA samples were being taken to a crime lab in another part of the city. These samples came from the trunk of this woman's car, the place where authorities believe this little girl was stowed for an undisclosed time. An expert in forensics was being interviewed on his opinion of how the child was killed. Traces of chloroform along with decomposition were found through tests in the trunk and this doctor seemed confident that someone had given the child a form of a drug that would put the child to sleep so the parent could go out without paying a babysitter. Perhaps not meaning to, but without using any common sense this woman had killed her own child to save a few dollars an hour.

Killers come in all sizes and all descriptions and so do victims.

Blog what you see, hear, think and feel.

Linda Merlino

Criminal Minds at Work wins 'Best Blog of the Day' award

Blog Awards Winner

Bill Austin at Blog of the Day Awards announced that Criminal Minds at Work is being awarded the 'Best Blog of the Day' award, on Sunday, September 7th.
"Blog of the Day Awards offers the best selection of weblogs and famous blogs on a variety of topics. Selection of Best Blogs of the Day is usually done a few days ahead of time based on nominations up to that point. Criteria include content, quality, creativity, and the personal opinion of the judges.

Judges grant up to four awards each day in recognition of outstanding nominees who are recommended by visitors to the site and by a panel of judges who bestow the honor of a Daily Blog Award upon the recipients. Being named a Blog of the Day Awards Winner can be the crowning achievement of a lifetime of work or it can be the beginning of a new chapter in the life of a blogger. Presentation of these awards can bring acclaim and notoriety beyond their wildest imaginings. The accolades and praise heaped upon winners of these prestigious awards can be best described as fabulous and the stuff of legends."
On behalf of all the "criminal minds" here at Criminal Minds at Work, I'd like to thank Bill, the judges and anyone who may have nominated us. We sincerely thank you and we'll do our best to keep our posts provocative, controversial, interesting and at times criminally insane.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, on behalf of all Criminal Minds at Work authors

Monday, September 01, 2008

Happy Labor Day - and a scholarly book

Labor Day is here, and not only am I not working - I’m not writing! I’ve come to believe the words of Elbert Hubbard who said that the man who doesn't relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.

Besides, I hope that my mind will be like the fertile field that, after it has been rested, gives a more bountiful crop.

But I WILL be on BlogTalk Radio tonight, talking about a worthy additions to your library: African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study. I’ve met the author, Frankie Y. Bailey, at a number of writing events and she is one of the sweetest ladies who ever killed off an innocent victim - in fiction of course, in her Lizzie Stuart mystery series of course.

Frankie is both a successful crime fiction writer and a serious scholar of the subject. As a criminal justice professor at the University at Albany she has a keen insight into both true crime and the people who write about it. Oh, and yours truly might have gotten a small mention in this volume.

“African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study” is available for pre-order now at, and you can learn a lot more about it tonight, because Frankie I my guest on my BlogTalkRadio show Book Bridge: from Authors to Writers at 8:30 pm Eastern Time on your computer. Join us if you can.

And Happy Labor Day, everyone!