Psychological Thriller; Supernatural Suspense; Horror
Date Published: August 21, 2018 (Second Edition with new cover)
* International & National Bestseller (200,000+ copies sold worldwide)
* Top 100 Paid Best Seller on Amazon
* #4 in Amazon Top 100 Paid Best Sellers Overall
* Top 100 Bestseller in Thrillers, Suspense, Horror, Paranormal, Occult, Ghosts
* #1 Horror, #1 Occult, #1 Ghosts
YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS TO MAKE A DECISION: Let A Kidnapper Take Your Child, Or Watch Your Son Die. Choose!
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. 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.
***CHILDREN OF THE FOG has a unique tie-in to Tardif`s newest thriller, SUBMERGED.
Sadie's woeful gaze drifted around the living room. Paper plates were piled everywhere. They had somehow gone astray and hadn't made it into the garbage can that she had so thoughtfully provided next to the dining room table. Plastic cups, some half full of pop, were on every table and counter space. There were more cups than there had been kids.
"Ugh," Leah said behind her.
Sadie followed her friend's gaze.
A chocolate cake smear—so dark it almost looked like dried blood—stretched across the kitchen wall, three feet from the ground, a small handprint at the end.
"Your house is a disaster," Leah said unnecessarily.
Sadie sighed. "Well, at least it's quiet."
Sam had gone upstairs to his room, tired from all the excitement and junk food. The last time she had seen him, he was lying on his bed.
"He's probably asleep," Leah said, reading her thoughts.
Sadie gulped down her ice tea, then set to work on the kitchen, while Leah looked after the living room. After an hour had passed, all that was left to do was run the vacuum over the carpets and turn on the dishwasher.
"All done," Leah said, wiping a bead of sweat from her brow.
"Thanks. I can handle what's left."
As Sadie watched Leah climb into her car, a part of her wanted to holler, 'Come back!'
"You're being silly," she muttered.
Sadie closed the door and slid the deadbolt into place. Then she locked up the rest of the house, set the alarm for the night and went upstairs to check on Sam.
When she opened the door to his room, she smiled. Sam was stretched out across his bed. On top of the blankets. A soft snore issued from his half-opened mouth. He had passed out from exhaustion, his face covered with chocolate cake, white, black and blue icing, and an orange pop mustache.
"Happy birthday, little man," she whispered, tucking an extra blanket around him.
She closed the door and headed downstairs to wait for Philip.
* * *
Sadie was abruptly roused from a deep sleep. She jerked to a sitting position, inhaling deeply, and looked at the space beside her. It was unoccupied, the blanket still tucked under the pillow. She had waited for Philip downstairs for hours. Eventually, she had given up and gone to bed.
She peered at the bedroom clock. It was half past midnight. She'd only been asleep for about forty-five minutes. In the murky shadows of the room, she felt a foreign presence, a movement of air that was so subtle it could have been her own breath.
She squinted at the window. It was closed.
Somewhere in the house a floorboard creaked.
Philip must be home.
Tossing the blankets aside, she slid from the bed and walked to the door. Remembering the brick thrown through Sam's window, she froze. Her stomach fluttered as she imagined a gang of teen hoodlums breaking into the house.
But the alarm would go off, silly.
Still, she pressed an ear to the door and strained to listen.
At first, there was silence. Then another creak.
"Philip," she mumbled.
She was about to open the door when she heard an unfamiliar ticking sound. Had Philip bought a clock for the hall?
She listened again.
Tick… tick, tick.
Whatever it was, it was coming closer.
Her heart began to pound a maniacal rhythm and her breath quickened. When a shadow passed underneath the door, she held her breath. Her heart thumped almost painfully in her chest.
Then the shadow was gone.
Cautiously, she opened the door. Just a crack.
The hall was empty.
And no ticking.
Maybe I dreamt it.
With a tremulous laugh, she flung open the door, a show of false bravado. Maybe Philip was working in his office. Maybe he'd gone to check on Sam.
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 full 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.
About the Author
Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author published by various publishers. Some of her most popular novels have been translated into foreign languages. She is best known for CHILDREN OF THE FOG (over 200,000 copies sold worldwide) and WHALE SONG.
When people ask her what she does, Cheryl likes to say, “I kill people off for a living!” You can imagine the looks she gets. Sometimes she’ll add, "Fictitiously, of course. I'm a suspense author." Sometimes she won't say anything else.
Inspired by Stephen King, Dean Koontz and others, Cheryl strives to create stories that feel real, characters you’ll love or hate, and a pace that will keep you reading.
In 2014, she penned her first “Qwickie” (novella) for Imajin Books™ new imprint, Imajin Qwickies™. E.Y.E. of the Scorpion is the first in her E.Y.E. Spy Mystery series.
Residing in West Kelowna, BC, Canada, Cheryl is now working on her next thriller.
Booklist raves, “Tardif, already a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border.”
Alien Blood is a roller coaster of an adventure that looks behind today's headlines to discover the truth behind several so-called conspiracy theories. America's secret pact with the Grays and the Draconians to permit human abductions in return for technology is in danger now that both alien races fear the return of a far more ancient race.
Ann Swift suffered from frequent alien abductions before killing herself, and now her daughter astrobiologist Heather Swift is in great danger because her DNA and special talents might provide clues about the returning race. Did those aliens bio-engineer hybrid humans and leave clues as to their own abilities? When government agents kidnap her, it is up to her brother and ex-SEAL Ben Swift to rescue her and learn the secrets hidden in their DNA. Along the way he discovers the dark secrets hidden in Area 51 and Dulce as well as a secret base on Mars. Along the way he learns that aliens from several worlds already reside on Earth and that those closest to you might actually not be human.
Ben and Heather grew up believing their mother to be mad, as she claimed to be an alien abductee. Now adults, they discover the truth. She wasn't mad and aliens are very real. A rollercoaster ride full of intrigue, secrets and an answer to that fundamental question - are we alone in the universe. Highly recommended.
✨Cover Reveal! ✨
A Hell Of A Way To Die: Gods of Chaos Book 2✨
Released 12/12/18 - https://amzn.to/2QeKIq0
Genre: YA Horror/Paranormal/Fantasy
The dead are easy to talk to. Live people, not so much.
Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar.
Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn river near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.
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I don’t know what else to say. My brain just shuts down.
She is wearing the sheet, wound around her like a toga. It trails behind her bare feet, sort of like a painting about Greek goddesses I’ve seen in art books. She’s leaning over another body stored in the cooler unit on a cart. Her back is to me, and I can only see her pale skin and her burgundy-black hair shuddering.
She turns at the sound of my voice, seeming only to hear me for the first time. Her face is covered in dark blood. In her hand, she’s holding a big chunk of purple flesh. Her eyes are half-closed. The autopsy incision on the elderly body below her has been ripped open, and I’m pretty sure that what she’s holding is a lung.
“So hungry…” she murmurs.
I retreat until my back presses against the cold door. A whimper escapes my lips, and I drop the laundry basket with a sharp crack of plastic on the tile floor. This has to be a dream. A screwed-up anxiety dream that I’ll wake up from any moment now…
Amanda’s black eyes snap open. She stares at the chunk of flesh in her hand. “I…Agh…What’s going on?”
Lothar waddles over to her and begins to beg. Bile rises in my throat. “That’s Mrs. Canner,” I manage to answer. “She’s seventy-two and died of surgery complications for varicose veins. Deep vein thrombosis, I think. I don’t remember.” I’m babbling, trying to keep the bile down.
Amanda drops the lung with a wet splat. Lothar scrambles to it and begins scarfing it down. Her hands are trembling. She presses them to her temples. “I don’t understand. I don’t understand.”
I nudge the laundry basket closer to her with my foot. “I brought you some clothes. And, um. Food. You should get dressed.”
I think I should be afraid. I think I really ought to be. But Amanda seems genuinely confused. She reaches for the clothes I’ve brought her. To be polite, I know that I should really look away. But I can’t move. I am not turning my back on her. My heart pounds, and I struggle to take deep, uneven breaths.
Amanda unwinds the sheet and slips into my clothes. Though I avert my eyes, I see that her shoulder and side are still torn open. But my mother hasn’t begun the autopsy yet, so there is no Y-incision across her chest and abdomen.
“Do you remember what happened to you?” I manage to ask. I congratulate myself for having a rational thought. Woot.
Her voice is halting, and her brow wrinkles as she struggles to button my jeans. “I remember…something was chasing me. Jesus, it hurt…” Her hand comes up to her neck, and she seems to remember, fingering the edges of the wound. “Am I in a hospital?” she asks again.
I suck in a breath. “No. You’re at my house.” It’s not a lie. Not really.
She scans the room, as if registering the sight of the cadavers. “You’re the girl whose parents run the funeral home. The Ghoul Girl.”
“It’s gonna be okay,” I tell her.
“Why am I here?” Her breath makes ghosts in the cold air.
“The Sheriff found you, alongside the road.” That’s true also, even if not the whole truth.
“I think we should get you upstairs, so you can talk to my parents…”
She shakes her head, and her dark hair slaps across her face. “No. I…Oh my god. I’m here because…somebody thought I was dead?”
I swallow hard. “Yeah.”
Her hands press to the wound on her side. “But I’m not dead!”
“I…uh…I think we need to get you to the hospital.” I tentatively reach toward her, to grasp her arm and guide her upstairs, toward the light of the much more civilized parlor and rational discussion. This is so far over my head, and I need my parents to handle it.
She shakes her head. “No. No. No.”
I hold her elbow gently, trying to keep her calm until I can get her upstairs to my parents. Her skin radiates cold through the sweatshirt, and I can see that the edges of her neck wound are dry, not seeping so much as a hint of blood. “Come with me.” I open the door and gently lead her into the lab, as if I’m herding a frightened cat. She gazes at the stainless-steel equipment. “I was here. I remember being here.”
“Come upstairs,” I urge, struggling to keep my composure. I use all the empathy that I’ve learned, dealing with grieving family members, trying to understand the shock and lead her away from the Body Shop.
She squints up at the buzzing light. “You were here, weren’t you? You and that woman. Looking at me.”
“My mother,” I say. I’m thinking crap crap crap. I’ve heard of cases of people whose vitals have dropped far beyond detection, who have awoken in hospital morgues. This has never happened to us. Not ever. Oh shit. The other body. Maybe it the same thing…
“The woman with that knife…” Her fingers go to her sternum, where my mother’s scalpel had rested. All of a sudden, Amanda becomes rooted in place, as immovable as a mountain.
“No one’s going to hurt you,” I promise. “Let me make you some coffee.”
She shakes her head, and I feel her trembling. Her eyes slide to the back door.
She slips from my grip. Before I can stop her, she rushes to the back door. She slams it open with a sound like a gunshot and plunges into the darkness.
About the Author:
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology-Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer
Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.
More information about Laura’s work can be found at
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I really enjoyed this story, I love the idea of it being in a morgue and that for Charlie, that is her life. The characters were well developed and there was some great dialogue. I thought the story was different, quirky and very enjoyable. Five stars!
Welcome to the Halloween Scavenger Hunt brought to you by the authors of Rite to Reign. Each day you will find a variety of witchy prizes with a Grand Prize on Halloween. Click here to find the complete map of participating authors.
HOW TO ENTER:
How to Enter: It's super easy. Follow the link to follow me on Bookbub. You could win a copy of Grave Danger. My giveaway is open worldwide. The book will be purchased via Amazon and sent directly to the winner on Oct 31st 2018.
But not to worry, there are new prizes every day. Click here to find tomorrow's host author. And if you haven't done so already, don't forget to preorder your copy of Rite to Reign.
Click here to find a complete list of participating authors as well as the complete rules and regulations for the RITE TO REIGN Scavenger Hunt.
LINK TO PREV DAY AUTHOR: Unavailable. Will get to you ASAP.
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If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to let me know.
Coming up in November, I will be sharing interviews for a secret project that I am taking part in. There will be an announcement around mid month and interviews with multiple award winning authors. As a special treat I will be offering a prize too, but you will have to read each interview in order to win it.
More info soon.
The Fall Book Fair is next weekend on Facebook and will feature books in the following genres:
Wild Spirits of the Hollow
Genre: Contemporary fantasy/Supernatural fiction
Publisher: NightLark Publishing
Date of Publication: 08/28/2018
Number of pages: 163
Word Count: 43000
Cover Artist: RL Bender
Tagline: An ancient evil is murdering residents in the isolated village of Mistwalk. Can Shannon survive long enough to save them all?
Shannon lies to almost everyone she meets. When she gets lost and winds up trapped in an Appalachian valley village, her lies don’t get her far.
Mistwalk Vale may look like a fairy tale, but nightmares lurk in the shadows.
Villagers are dying grisly deaths, their bodies reduced to bones and left in the streets for their friends and family to find. Worse, some people suspect that Shannon is involved. They accuse her of coming from the tribe of vicious earth witches down in the hollow.
A man named Owen believes Shannon is innocent. He tries to protect her as best he can, but there’s only so much he can do. She feels herself falling for him, despite her plan to leave as soon as she gets an opportunity.
Caught between angry mobs and an ancient darkness, she will be forced to fight for her survival. Can she save herself and the village before evil consumes them all?
Excerpt from Chapter 1
I stood at the edge of the trees, staring at the light deep within the forest. Between it and me, a sea of shadow concealed the underbrush and all that lurked there. This forest, like many other forests, would have its insects, snakes, tangles of who-knew-what, maybe wildcats or some other thing ready to pounce on and maim me.
After hours of walking along a secluded, mountain highway, my brain was thoroughly scrambled. I knew enough to know that, and I knew enough to not fully trust what I was seeing.
It might be a lie, the light, a mirage conjured by some desperate part of my mind. I'd told enough lies to others, why not myself?
A fantasy of stumbling upon a cabin with friendly occupants swam through my mind. They’d have food left over from dinner, a plate they’d be happy to hand over to someone who really needed it, and I did really need it. Lunch was a distant memory, as well as the Skittles from my backpack, my bottle of water. If I made it anywhere alive, I would really have to reevaluate my packing priorities.
I sighed. Unless I wanted to sleep next to the highway, that light was my only hope. I adjusted my backpack straps and stepped into the trees.
I plodded through the darkness in high tops that weren’t made for terrain any more intense than a mall floor. I also regretted wearing shorts and a t-shirt because there was no trail, only weeds and trees and rustling sounds made by small animals nearby.
All the while, the light in the distance remained bright, burning my eyes, but I kept my sights on it because that was hope, even if it never seemed to get any closer.
I kept my mind off my creepy surroundings by considering who I would be for the people who awaited me. Had someone picked me up as I attempted to hitchhike, that lucky individual would’ve had the opportunity to hang out with a model, who was on her way to Miami.
Everybody likes to hang out with famous people and people who are about to be famous. I’ve noticed this before. When I tell them whatever version of the story I’d concocted for the evening, their eyes would light up as if I had offered to take them along to fame and fortune.
The model story was my go-to. I was lanky and odd looking in a way that some people found attractive or interesting, at the very least, plausible model material. This was not the person I would be in the cabin. I didn’t have the energy to keep up the behaviors that went along with that lie.
Models didn’t eat substantial food. Models ate iceberg lettuce and drank lemon, cucumber water. My model did, anyway.
There in the woods with possible food ahead of me, there was no way I could keep that up. I didn’t care what food someone shoved under my nose. The idea of grilled opossum made my mouth water. Boiled weeds? Fine. I'd eat anything.
I tried to come up with another story, but the most compelling at that moment was my own. Broken car. Girl wandering the woods in hope of finding food and shelter. I was filthy and growing filthier by the minute. If I had scissors in my backpack, I would’ve chopped off at least half of my long, brown hair just to get rid of the tangles. That evening, I wouldn’t have to fake a look of utter desperation. So I let the story be what it was.
About the Author:
Lea Ryan is the author of several books and stories. She writes about the strange and the dark, as well as the light and love and strives to immerse readers in vivid fictional worlds. She currently lives in Indiana with assorted family members and various pets. Her website and blog can be found at www.LeaRyan.com.
Website and blog - https://authorlearyan.wordpress.com/
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2 paperback copies
The Familiar Magick Tale Collection is available now. Each book can be read as a standalone. This urban fantasy collection follows the Merrick family and their familiar Lauralei, once a witch, now serving her sentence as a cat familiar. Each book is 99c and they are all available in KU.
Book 1: https://amzn.to/2LOu2mc
Book 2: https://amzn.to/2PrW1KI
Book 3: https://amzn.to/2OODVmI
Book 4: https://amzn.to/2PtZnwF
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