Q&A & Giveaway with Cheryl Kaye Tardif!

Today’s featured author is Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of The River!

Read below to discover more about Cheryl and her writing… and enter the giveaway – Three Frugal eReaders will win either an Amazon Gifted Kindle Copy* of  The River, or two of her other novels, Children of the Fog and Whale Song! Just leave a comment on this post for entry, and let us know which you’d prefer!

See the bonus entry details after the Q&A!


Thank you for spending some time with us Frugal eReaders! Can you please tell us a little about yourself?

Thank you, Elizabeth. I’m very happy to be featured on your blog. I’m an international bestselling suspense author from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. When someone asks me what I do for a living, I like to say, “I kill people off for a living.” I get a kick out of the looks I get afterward. Sometimes I’ll add, “Fictitiously, of course.” Sometimes I say nothing more and let them ponder on what I really mean. I’m evil that way. LOL.

When did you first know that you wanted to write? What inspired you to start?

I knew I wanted to write much earlier than most writers I know. When I was a toddler, my mom found me scribbling underneath the words in a Dr. Seuss book. She was horrified that I was defacing a book. When she asked me what I was doing, I looked up at her and said, “I’m writing the story.” I mean, couldn’t she figure that out for herself?

How would you describe the style of your writing?

According to reviewers, I am a mix of Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Margaret Atwood, Dan Brown, J.D. Robb, Luanne Rice, Stephen King, Michael Crichton…in other words, my works are very versatile, very unique and very different. I don’t write novels that are formulaic. I allow my characters to tell their stories, and there is always an element of suspense and sometimes a paranormal twist.

The River was such an interesting premise, and definitely held my attention through the entire novel! Can you talk about how you came up with the story line?

One day when my mother was visiting, I tried to help her locate old friends. She told me about this one friend who had told her she always wanted to travel down some mysterious river where people had gone missing. As soon as my mom mentioned this river, my novel was born. I mean, who wouldn’t want to write about a mysterious river where people had disappeared. This got me thinking. What really happened to these people?

After days of research, we finally found the river. The Nahanni River in Canada’s Northwest Territories is nicknamed the “Bermuda Triangle of Canada.” Not only have people gone missing, headless corpses have been discovered there. It is a wild, enigmatic area that is isolated and dangerous. While writing this novel, I figured out what really happened to the people who had disappeared…

What were the challenges of writing this novel?

One of the biggest challenges was writing about an area of Canada I had never seen. Ironically, I had caught the tail end of a documentary but didn’t realize until later that it was about the Nahanni. In order to set the scene and create a believable journey, I connected with Neil Hartling, author and founder of Nahanni River Adventures. He not only answered my endless questions but sent me the cookbook the guides use.

What was your favorite part of writing The River?

The research was my number 1 favorite part. I was swept away by photos of the Nahanni, by stories and history that were intriguing and sometimes gruesome. I have loved researching every book I’ve written.

The second favorite part of writing this book happened when my husband and I were playing cards—Hearts—with our friends, Bobbi and Rus. I’d already let the story of The River ferment in my head and hadn’t started writing it yet. Rus joked about how I always led with hearts as we played, and then he bet me $500 that I couldn’t begin a story with, “She always leads with her heart.” I accepted the bet. And won.

You have many other novels available Frugally on the Kindle. Do you have a favorite that stands out above the others? If it’s not The River, how is it different and/or similar?

I have two favorites, though I’m not sure I should. It’s kind of like having a bunch of children and singling two out. Yikes, bad mother! But I won’t lie. My favorites are Whale Song and Children of the Fog.

Whale Song is what I call “my heart book.” It has more of “me” in it than any other and I’m more emotionally connected to it because it has changed my life and the lives of so many of my readers. One reader told me it saved her life. How powerful is that?

Children of the Fog is another book I feel connected to. It explores one of my deepest fears—that someone would abduct my child. My daughter is now 21 and that fear has subsided somewhat, but the concept behind Children of the Fog runs even deeper than a kidnapping. Sadie, the mother, is flawed by a previous battle with alcoholism, and when her son Sam is abducted, she has to make a terrifying choice—let the kidnapper take her son, or watch Sam die. She sinks into despair and reverts to her addiction. What happens next is both horrifying and amazing. This is one of my best stories to date.

What is your creative process for determining the final title and cover for your novels?

I always know the title before I start writing. They often come to me seconds before the plot emerges. The covers often come to me as strong images in my mind. Creating them is a collaboration between me and my wonderful book cover designer, Jennifer Johnson of Sapphire Designs. She takes my concepts and brings them to life.

Would you like to share anything about an upcoming release, or anything else you’re working on?

I’m working on a ghost writing project that is going to be phenomenal. It’s a novel inspired by true events about a woman and her male friend who were lost in the Amazon back in the 90s. It is rich with description, heart-wrenching and terrifying. It portrays the strength and determination these two people had to fulfill one goal—to survive.

I’m also writing a new thriller.

What is one of your favorite passages from The River?

Here’s a scene I always remember when I think of The River


Del’s stomach lurched.

We aren’t going anywhere.

Muffled sounds caught her attention.

A shadowy shape jumped from the first canoe. Someone with a long ponytail and sharp nose.


“Just bring your day bags,” he said. “Leave the rest of the gear.”

She turned to Jake’s shadow. “Is it safe to walk in here?”

“I don’t think we have a choice.”


After making slow and careful progress through the winding tunnel, the blue light brightened.

And they stopped.

They had to. It was a dead end.

The tunnel ended in a cave, roughly the size of an average family room. The walls were solid rock, with no visible exit. On each side of the cave, two strips of large, sharp, sapphire-like crystals ran down the walls, from ceiling to floor. They gleamed, casting an eerie blue glow over everything and everyone.

She shuddered.

This can’t be the end of the underground river.

“Very unusual,” Hawk said, staring at the light.

Jake nodded. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Del marched forward, determined to find a sign.

Jake’s arm snaked out. “Wait!”

She raised a hand, warding him off, then strode toward the far wall. She made it halfway across the room when the air shifted around her. She stopped.

There has to be something! Schroeder wouldn’t lead us here for nothing.

She stepped forward, between the two strips of crystal.

And something weird happened.

The blue light of the crystals flared…alive.

Jake pulled her back. “Don’t go any closer, Del. It’s not safe.”

His blue eyes pleaded with her, but she shook her head, ignoring him. Her father needed her. She was his only hope. And there was no way on earth that she had come this far only to give up.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Peter heave a frustrated groan. He muttered something beneath his breath, then stumbled between the crystals.


Frozen with fear, she gulped in a huge breath as two slender trails of metallic sapphire light crawled down the cave walls toward him. The tentacles of light slithered across the floor, colliding at his feet. Inch by inch, they wrapped around his legs, throbbing to the beat of the alarm. Within seconds, he was enveloped in a strange liquid mercury radiance.

“Oh my God,” she whispered.

Peter’s jaw dropped and his eyes widened, terrified. Bit by bit, his entire body disintegrated―each molecule separating, stretching grotesquely. He slowly became…dust.

In a flash, Peter Cavanaugh was gone.

Del knew that there were times when a decision must be made, and made fast―regardless of the possible outcome. A decision of fate. Or destiny.

Catching Jake’s eye, she threw him a beaming smile. Before he could stop her, she stepped between the crystals, welcoming the sapphire light that skimmed icily up her body.

Jake’s mouth opened in horror. “No, Del!”

She dissolved into an infinite number of particles…

Thank you so much for taking the time to let us learn more about you and your book! I wish you the best!


You can learn more about Cheryl Kaye Tardif at http://www.cherylktardif.com.

Visit her blog: http://www.cherylktardif.blogspot.com

Connect on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cherylktardif and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheryl-Kaye-Tardif-novels/29769736630




The South Nahanni River area of Canada’s Northwest Territories has a history of mysterious deaths, disappearances and headless corpses, but it may also hold the key to humanity’s survival―or its destruction.

Del thought her father was long dead. But someone from her past says otherwise. Now she and a group of near strangers embark on a perilous mission…

Seven years ago, Del Hawthorne’s father and three of his friends disappeared near the Nahanni River and were presumed dead. When one of the missing men stumbles onto the University grounds, alive but barely recognizable and aging before her eyes, Del is shocked. Especially when the man tells her something inconceivable. Her father is still alive!

Gathering a group of volunteers, Del travels to the Nahanni River to rescue her father. There, she finds a secret river that plunges her into a technologically advanced world of nanobots and painful serums. Del uncovers a conspiracy of unimaginable horror, a plot that threatens to destroy us all. Will humanity be sacrificed for the taste of eternal life?

At what point have we become…God?

“Cheryl Kaye Tardif specializes in mile-a-minute pot-boiler mysteries.” –Edmonton Sun

“Exciting and vivid. Tardif’s latest novel sweeps readers along into uncharted, wild Canadian territory.A thrilling adventure…”―Midwest Book Review

The River is available from Amazon for $2.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!


How to enter The River Giveaway:

Leave a comment on this post! Let us know if you want to win a copy of The River, Whale Song or Children of the Fog!

Bonus Entries {leave an additional comment for each one!}:

Happy eReading!


*Please note that the copies will be purchased and gifted directly from Amazon to the reader!

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  1. Kim White says:

    I would love to win a Kindle copy of The River! This book sounds incredible!! Thanks for the opportunity :)

  2. Carmee Ross says:

    This certainly does sound like an attention grabber….I would love a chance to win this read. Thank you for the opportunity! Wishing Ms. Tardif continued success.

  3. JJT says:

    I would love a copy of The River.
    Thank you.

  4. Heather S. says:

    The first book I read on my K3 was Children of the Fog! Awesome book!! I have recommended it to all my fellow book junkies. Would love to win a copy of The River.

  5. Thank you for the “continued success” wishes, Carmee. And thank you, Heather, for recommending Children of the Fog. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    Good luck to you all!!! :-)

  6. Diana says:

    Great Q and A! I would love to win a copy.

  7. Diana says:

    oppss, I forgot. My choice to win is The River. Thanks.

  8. Linda S Moore says:

    I would love The River for my nook color.. Sounds great. Thank you

  9. Debbie R says:

    The River is my book of choice if I win.

  10. Krissie says:

    Would love to win and read Children of the Fog. Thanks so much.

  11. laura thomas says:

    I would really love to win a kindle copy of The River. Want to see what happens! Thanks for awesome, fun giveaway:)

  12. laura thomas says:

    My second choice would be Children of the Fog. Been wanting to read it.

  13. laura thomas says:

    Last but certainly not least I would love to win Whale Song. All of these books sound wonderful. Thank you!

  14. Mati says:

    Children of the Fog, I would love to win a copy.

  15. Shirley says:

    I enjoyed this Q&A, would be nice to read Whale Song. Thank you.

  16. Debbie Bo says:

    I would be interested to read The Whale Song. Thanks for this chance to win a copy

  17. gracie says:

    I hope I win The River book.

  18. Carla says:

    Wonderful Q and A! I enjoyed it. Would like to win The River.

  19. Linda says:

    I would LOVE to win a copy of “The River”!!

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