“Flowers of Europe” is one of Amazon’s Top 100 45-Minute Sci-Fi/Fantasy Reads

12-11-2019 1-13-01 PMSo, this just happened. I’m right next to the amazing John Scalzi in the listing, so that’s pretty cool, too.

Want to see what all the excitement is about? Here’s back cover copy, as well as links for Amazon US and Smashwords.

Thaddeus Flowers, American inventor and charming rake, is chasing adventure and romance across Europe. English scientist Arabella Abingdon is always one step ahead of him. Join the excitement in these steampunk-tinged historical tales that take you from Hyde Park to the Place des Vosges.

Amazon     Smashwords

Reposting from Twitter: Some Brief Thoughts on Awards

“Ghosts of Tupelo” earned this ribbon in the WordWeavers competition

Hi, everyone. Yesterday, I created a thread on Twitter that I never imagined would be necessary. Here’s what I wrote:

#ProTip to my #WritingCommunity peeps: don’t say you’ve won awards if you haven’t. You’d think this would go without saying, right? Well, today I saw a fellow author here on Twitter tell someone that “95 percent of people just put ‘award winning author’ in their bio whether or not it’s true, so just go ahead and say it.” This is such ludicrously bad advice that I don’t even know where to start. I asked him for a source for his assertion, and then he claimed that “a lot of people have told me that.” This is, of course, not a source … and it’s also most likely untrue.

Don’t lie in your bio, friends. If you have an award for your work, be proud of it … but don’t make false claims.

If you want awards, you have to be willing to put your work out there. Do your homework. Some awards require outside nomination. Some awards require you to submit your work and provide a reading fee.

Look. I’ve received a few awards … and I was also a judge in the historical fiction category of the Global eBook Awards. It’s hard work to do the judging properly, and it’s not just “politics and hot air,” as another author claimed. (I suspect that a couple of people were airing their bitterness, but that’s a story for another time).

If you are looking for a list of awards that accept #indieauthors, start here. selfpublishingadvice.org/author-awards- It’s always better to try and come out empty-handed (which has happened to me plenty of times) than to lie.

Deciding to lie about your accomplishments just makes you look like a person of low integrity rather than someone clever … or whose books I would ever want to read.

You will find some of my award badges on the home page of this blog, or a complete listing in the “Awards and Honors” page of my static website.

Music Monday: “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen”

Hi, everyone. I thought I would combine a little seasonal music with my ongoing series of artists I’ve seen perform live.

Laurence Juber has been my favorite guitarist since the late 1970s, when he was a member of Wings. I’ve been fortunate enough to see him in person about half a dozen times, and he blows me away with every show. He’s a classically trained player, and a tremendous talent. Please enjoy this lovely performance.

Author’s Inspiration: “2010 Hindsight”

Hindsight - NEWHi, everyone. I’m feeling quite a bit better, but still coughing a lot. I’m staying home from a lot of social obligations, and possibly even a concert tomorrow, because I don’t want to distract people around me with my barking!

Anyway, this week I want to talk about the inspiration behind another memoir/essay book, 2010 Hindsight: A Year of Personal Growth, In Spite of Myself.

2010 was the year I gave myself a set of challenges: take more exercise, and learn French cookery. I was struggling to write the next fictional work, and fell back on my role as a journalist/essayist by writing about some of the things I experienced in the process of doing those things. Each chapter covered a month in the year. I shared resources, emotional upsets, and more.

I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, so some of the challenges I faced were made even more difficult — and there was no way for me to know it when I published this work.

If you would like your own copy of 2010 Hindsight, here are the purchase links and back cover copy:

Author Sharon E. Cathcart started 2010 with two resolutions: take more exercise and learn French cookery. Instead, she found herself on a journey of personal growth as she rose to unanticipated challenges.

Amazon (click through to the store for your country/region)

Apple Books

Barnes & Noble

Fnac (France)

Kobobooks (also available for 2400 SuperPoints)

Mondadori (Italy)

Overdrive (via your local library)




Weekend Reads: “A Town Like Alice:

A Town Like AliceA Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jean Paget comes into a great deal of money … but it’s held in trust for her until she turns 35. Her trustee is solicitor Noel Strachan, who is also the book’s narrator. It’s not hard to tell that, despite the significant difference in age, Noel is in love with Jean, who is smart, organized, and kind.

Through Noel, we learn about how Jean was on what amounted to a death march in Malaya (this is based on actual events in Sumatra, and in which one of author Nevil Shute’s friends was involved). When Jean learns about this inheritance, she wants to go back to Malaya to dig a well for some villagers there, in memory of an Australian stockman named Joe Harman. Joe was also a POW, and he risked his life to steal food for the women in Jean’s group.

Well, not too shockingly, we learn that Joe is still alive over the course of the book … and that he had believed Jean to be a married woman. So, through a variety of stumbles, Jean and Joe wind up in Australia together. Once that happens, there are even more adventures.

This book was published in 1950, just a few short years after the Japanese invasion of Sumatra. It’s not historical fiction; it was a contemporary work. I had to keep this in front of me as I read the very casual racism used in reference to Japanese and Australian indigenous peoples. This is not how most people find it appropriate to speak or behave these days (there are, of course, exceptions …). It was jarring, for certain.

However, if one keeps in mind that this book is a product of its time, it really is an amazing tale of perseverance, and a finely crafted romance novel to boot. Recommended.

View all my reviews