Weekend Reads: “I’m Still Here,” by Austin Channing Brown

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for WhitenessI’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been struggling with how to review this book. It’s brilliant and important and, frankly, it made me very angry with myself. And no, this isn’t white guilt talking. This is “How could I just be so unaware of some of these issues, and what can I do to get better” anger.

Author Austin Channing Brown talks frankly about what it’s like to be a person of color in primarily white spaces like evangelical Christianity. She addresses white fragility, white guilt, and microaggressions alongside overt racism and bigotry. (For those who aren’t sure about the difference, racism is about systemic power and bigotry is individual).

One of the most important chapters (okay, they’re all important, but still …) was entitled “How to Survive Racism in an Organization that Claims to be Anti-racist.” In this chapter, Brown addresses diversity policies that turn out to be more lip service than reality; this is, sadly, a common occurrence.

Brown also has a chapter called “Nice White People.” This is the place where she addresses the important matter of microaggressions. It is indeed possible to display bigotry if one has friends of color. It is indeed possible to display bigotry without using the n-word or belonging to the KKK.

I truly believe this book is a vital, eye-opening read. Those of us who are determined to confront our own privilege and do better would be well-advised to read it.

View all my reviews


Nowruz: Persian New Year and an #eBook #Freebie

Via HappyNewYearWala.com

Hi, everyone.  I meant to post this earlier, and the day just got away from me.

Today, along with being the Vernal Equinox, is Nowruz (there are many variant spellings, including Norooz, No Ruz, and Navruz), the Persian New Year.  I have written about it before, here.

31432511Since I’m not Persian, you may be wondering why I remark on this event.  Well, it is an important part of my inter-ethnic romance novella, His Beloved Infidel.  In celebration, I am offering the eBook edition free of charge on Smashwords through March 24.

Back cover copy:

Farukh and Catherine are colleagues at Paris’ World Language Institute. He is Persian; she is American. Can their newly-discovered love survive the strain of Iran’s Islamic Revolution?

Author Sharon E. Cathcart (In The Eye of The Beholder, Through the Opera Glass) presents her first tale of inter-ethnic romance. Set against the backdrop of real-world events, Cathcart tells the story of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events.

Simply visit this link: Nowruz eBook Special, and enter coupon RQ52Q at checkout.  You can select the version that works for your eReader, or even choose to just read on your computer.  Thank you for having a look!

Blogging from A to Z 2018: Theme Reveal

atoz-theme-reveal-2018Hi, everyone.  April is Blogging from A to Z month.  As you know, I entered into the challenge last year with no clear plan, but decided to share facts from my fiction.  During the event, I was already planning for this year’s series.

So, with no further ado, here is my theme for 2018:

The Music of David Bowie

My plan is to share not only hits, but some “deep cuts” from his albums.  Information will include not only the album title, but also some trivia. As often as I am able to find them, I’ll use live performance videos.  Seeing Bowie live six times was a privilege, and I want to be able to share it as much as possible here.

Oh, and you might see some samples from The Rock Star in the Mirror (Or, How David Bowie Ruined My Life) along the way.

To give you a little preview, here’s Music Monday:  David Bowie performing “Sorrow,” from Pinups, on 1983’s “Serious Moonlight” tour … which happens to be the first time I saw him.  Enjoy!


What amount of research goes into writing fiction? Don’t we just make it all up anyway? #AmWriting #AmReading

What amount of research goes into writing fiction? Don’t we just make it all up anyway? #AmWriting #AmReading

Research is crucial, no matter the subject matter of your novel. Someone will always notice if you get it wrong. The challenging bit is avoiding going down a research rabbit hole!

D.E. Haggerty

Readers (and friends and acquaintances and strangers you meet during tennis matches) often have ‘funny’ ideas about what it’s like to be a fiction writer. These ideas are mostly so far off base it isn’t even funny (No, actually, I don’t spend the entire day staring at my screen trying to think up things to do!). Take researching a novel as an example. Most readers understand that writing historical fiction involves hours and hours of researching. But what about chick lit or other guilty pleasure type novels? Surely, no research or perhaps only a bit of research is required to write one of those? Um, no. I think most readers would be shocked by the amount of research writers put into their writing. (Of course, there are always exceptions. I, for one, almost never read a novel with a hero or heroine who is a lawyer as most writers have…

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Sample Saturday: In The Eye of The Beholder

25908261Hi, everyone.  Today’s sample is a little different from usual.  This is from a broadcast a few years ago, in which I read the first chapter of In The Eye of The Beholder to the program’s listeners.  Enjoy!


Want your own copy of In The Eye of The Beholder?  Here are the book blurb and purchasing links.

When French equestrian Claire Delacroix loses her fiancé in a tragic accident, she comes to live at the Paris Opera during its 1890s heyday. Life is not easy for a woman in fin de siècle France, where her rights are determined by a male guardian. Claire, both intelligent and independent, chafes under the strictures of her time.

Whilst working at the opera, she meets a mysterious, masked stranger: Erik. Is it possible that the two of them will heal the pain of each other’s past?

Updated for 2015 with glossaries of equestrian terms and French words used in the text.

Amazon (This link will automatically click through to the correct site for your country)

Barnes & Noble

Chapters Indigo (Canada)

FNAC (France)