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Author’s Website: www.cherylktardif.com
Reviews:"A chilling and tense journey into every parent's deepest fear." --Scott Nicholson, author of The Red Church
"A nightmarish thriller with a ghostly twist, CHILDREN OF THE FOG will keep you awake...and turning pages!" --Amanda Stevens, author of The Restorer
"Reminiscent of The Lovely Bones, Cheryl Kaye Tardif weaves a tale of terror that will have you rushing to check on your children as they sleep." --bestselling author Danielle Q. Lee, author of Inhuman
"Ripe with engaging twists and turns reminiscent of the work of James Patterson...Children of the Fog possesses you..." --Kelly Komm, author of Sacrifice, an award-winning fantasy
YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS TO MAKE A DECISION:
Let A Kidnapper Take Your Child, Or Watch Your Son Die.
Sadie O'Connell is a bestselling author and a proud mother. But her life is about to spiral out of control. After her six-year-old son Sam is kidnapped by a serial abductor, she nearly goes insane. But it isn't just the fear and grief that is ripping her apart. It's the guilt. Sadie is the only person who knows what the kidnapper looks like. And she can't tell a soul. For if she does, her son will be sent back to her in "little bloody pieces".
When Sadie's unfaithful husband stumbles across her drawing of the kidnapper, he sets into play a series of horrific events that sends her hurtling over the edge. Sadie's descent into alcoholism leads to strange apparitions and a face-to-face encounter with the monster who abducted her son--a man known only as...The Fog.
About Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, bestselling Canadian suspense author. Her novels include Divine Justice, Children of the Fog, The River, Divine Intervention, and Whale Song, which New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice calls "a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart...a beautiful, haunting novel."
She also enjoys writing short stories, which has resulted in Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories (ebook) and Remote Control (novelette ebook).
Cheryl recently detoured from suspense with her debut contemporary romantic suspense novel, Lancelot's Lady, written under the pen name of Cherish D'Angelo.
Booklist raves, "Tardif, already a big hit in Canada...a name to reckon with south of the border."
She walked down the hall and stopped in front of Sam's room. Her toes tingled as a draft teased her feet. She shivered, then opened the door.
The window that Philip had replaced gaped open―black and hungry―like a mouth waiting to be fed. The curtains flapped in the night wind, two tongues lashing out.
She frowned. Philip hadn't left the window open. He'd gone to work early, without a word to either of them. And Sam couldn't have opened it. He wasn't tall enough.
Did I leave it open?
She crossed the room, barely looking at the mound in the bed. She reached for the window and tugged it shut. The lock clicked into place, the sharp sound shattering the stillness.
Then she glanced at the bed.
Sam hadn't even stirred. But then again, he never did. He was almost comatose when he slept and nothing could wake him early, short of a sonic boom.
She tiptoed to the bed and touched his hair. Then, closing her eyes, she leaned down, kissed his warm forehead and breathed in his sweet child scent. He smelled of chocolate and sunshine.
"Snug as a bug," she whispered.
She stepped back, her foot connecting with something soft and furry. Reaching down, she fumbled in the dark until she found the stuffed toy dog that Philip had given Sam the night before. She moved quietly toward the closet, inched the door open and tossed the toy inside. Then she stepped out into the hall, shutting the bedroom door behind her.
Her gaze flitted to the far end of the hallway, where shadows danced between silk trees that stood in the alcove. Beside the trees―two-thirds up the wall―was a small oval window, and through it, a new moon was visible. It hung in the cloudless sky, a pearlescent pendant on invisible string.
It was a beautiful night, one that was meant to be shared.
Loneliness filled her, but she shrugged it off and plodded down to the kitchen to get a glass of juice. Five minutes later, she went back upstairs, with every intention of crawling into bed and ignoring the fact that Philip hadn't even bothered to call on the night of their son's birthday party.
As she passed Sam's door, a flicker of light beneath it caught her eye. Then she heard a soft thud. Sam must have fallen out of bed again. He had done that on two other occasions. Usually he woke up screaming.
She opened the door and sucked in a breath as her gaze was captured by something that made no sense at all.
The window was open again.
She blinked. "What the―?"
Moonlight streamed through the window, illuminating the bed. It was empty.
She reached for the light switch.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you."
At the sound of a stranger's hoarse whisper in her son's bedroom, she did the most natural thing.
She flicked on the light.
Interview with Cheryl Kaye Tardif
What will readers like about your book?
I think readers will like that I have taken a terrifying premise, one that any parent can relate to, and turned it into a "what would YOU do in this situation?" kind of read. Sadie O'Connell is a proud mother of a young boy. Her son Sam is mute, but very bright, and he is her everything. They have such a sweet relationship, something that any parent would treasure.
One night, something horrifying happens. A serial kidnapper breaks into Sadie's house and attempts to abduct Sam. Sadie tries to stop him, but she is overpowered. Not only that, the faceless kidnapper holds a gun to her son's head and tells Sadie he will kill Sam before her eyes if she doesn't let him take Sam.
What would YOU do? And what if he says he'll send your son back in pieces if you tell a soul or describe the abductor? Do you tell?
Readers will also enjoy the moody, isolated setting and the children that come to visit Sadie in CHILDREN OF THE FOG.
Why did you self publish?
I started my writing career as a self-published author back in 2003. I successfully self-published three novels. Then in 2006, my debut novel WHALE SONG was picked up by a small traditional publisher and re-released. I learned a lot from that experience. I was a strong marketer and I absorbed everything I could about the publishing business. Then ebooks came into the picture. It blew traditional publishing models out of the water, and the entire industry shifted.
When I left the traditional publisher, I went back to self-publishing and plunged into ebooks as soon as it was open to Canadians. I've never looked back. My novels have all made various bestsellers lists on Amazon, and WHALE SONG is a national bestseller in Canada. Some of my novels have won small awards. And I'm not finished; I have other books I plan to write.
What is your writing process?
I allow a story plot to ferment in my head for a few days. If it's strong enough, the plot will build almost on its own. That's when I know I have something. I almost always have the title right away. I'll open a folder on my laptop and make notes on the story plot and characters. Then I let it sit until I'm ready to work on it.
When I start writing a novel, I dive in. But I don't rush. I spend a lot of time on the very first sentence. I want it to grab your attention and lure you in. Next, I work on a gripping first paragraph and first page. I like to leave my chapters on a hook or cliff-hanger, something I hope will compel readers to turn the page and keep reading.
I don't write from an outline, but I do use my notes. They usually comprise of an opening scene, a few middle scenes and the ending. From there, I allow my characters to show me where they need to go to complete their journey. They've never led me completely astray from my plot notes, though they do sometimes take me on interesting detours.
I often have editing days where that's all I do. Every time I sit down to write, I edit the last couple of pages to get me "in the mood" and so my characters know I'm there. Yeah, I know that sounds kind of crazy, but that's how I feel. J
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
For CHILDREN OF THE FOG it took about 6 months. Since I don't really do "drafts" as I edit along the way, that is 6 months to write it and edit it to the point that it's ready for a professional editor to do the final touches and catch all my dyslexic mistakes, typos and continuity errors.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
I am inspired by fear, by things that terrify, and sometimes my fears find their ways into my novels.
Though my daughter is now 21, when she was a child, I worried that something would happen to her. This fear was strengthened by the fact that I had lost my first baby―a son who was born after a perfect pregnancy, but died 4 hours later from a fluky brain stem hemorrhage.
So when Jessica was born, I spent the next 18 or so years worried that something would happen to her. Abduction was something I had nightmares about. I'd often wake up and check on her because I was scared someone had crept in and taken her while I was sleeping.
Thus, CHILDREN OF THE FOG was born.
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