Sample Saturday: Bayou Fire

byou ifreWe are approaching the anniversary of the June Rebellion, an event of which we would have little knowledge had author Victor Hugo not been caught behind the barricades created by students of the Sorbonne during General Jean Maximilien Lamarque’s funeral.  These are the events captured in Les Misérables.

Evangeline DuPre, who has been sent for “finishing” in Paris by her wealthy New Orleans Creole family, sees some of the effects first-hand in this segment.


Paris
June 5, 1832

Evangeline was browsing through a favorite bookstore in the rue Chanvriere when Jean-Claude saw her through the window. He went inside immediately.

“Mademoiselle DuPre,” he said, “Evangeline. I beg your pardon for interrupting. You must go home and stay there. It is soon going to be dangerous in these streets. I dare not tell you more. Please, just trust me. Go quickly. Now.”

Evangeline was so surprised that she obeyed him without question. She put down the book she’d been considering and went directly home after collecting Monette at the tea house next door. Jean-Claude would not have told her to do so unless he had good cause, she reasoned. She would ask him about it during their next dancing lesson.

The following day, she learned that Jean-Claude and many of his fellow students had died as they tried to raise a revolution against the king. Their goal had been to ensure that the hungry were fed and those living on the streets had shelter. They believed that the people of Paris would rise and join them, but the people of Paris stayed home. In the end, there were thousands of soldiers from the National Guard standing against a couple of hundred students and believers. It was best and sadly described as a massacre.

Monsieur Delacroix, a black band tied around his sleeve, was the one who told her the sad news when he came the following morning for what would be one of her final dancing lessons. She went through the steps by rote in Monsieur Delacroix’s arms as he counted out the rhythms he would ordinarily have played on the piano, a tear sliding down her face as she thought of all that Jean-Claude and his friends had tried to accomplish. It was a fortunate thing, she thought, that her feet could remember the dance steps while her mind was a thousand miles away.


Want your own copy of Bayou Fire?  Here are the book blurb and purchasing links:

Diana Corbett’s childhood was plagued by unceasing dreams of smoke and flames. The nightmares went away, until the noted travel writer’s first night on assignment in Louisiana … when they returned with a vengeance. Could the handsome Cajun, Amos Boudreaux, be the key to unlocking the secret of BAYOU FIRE?

Award-winning author Sharon E. Cathcart presents her first full-length historical paranormal tale, set against the backdrops of modern-day and 1830s New Orleans.

Amazon (click through on this link to be taken to the page for your country)

Barnes & Noble

Chapters Indigo (Canada)

FNAC (France)

iBookstore

Kobobooks (available for 2400 SuperPoints if you are part of the program)

Smashwords

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Blast from the Past: Remembering Joseph Carey Merrick

128 years ago today.

Sharon E. Cathcart

A text-only version of this article appeared on the now-defunct Red Room in 2004 and on Wattpad in 2010.  I’ve updated the date information and provided some new links. Enjoy!


joseph_merrick_carte_de_visite_photo2c_c-_1889Sometimes I think my head is so big, because it is full of ideas. — Joseph Merrick, in Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man

Those who have read In The Eye of The Beholder: A Novel of the Phantom of the Opera know this already, but I don’t mind sharing it here: Joseph Merrick is featured in the story.  No spoilers, I promise.

Joseph Carey Merrick, aka “The Elephant Man,” lived during the Victorian era.  He suffered from what we now understand as Proteus syndrome, where parts of the body grow at different rates.

Merrick lived part of his life as a sideshow freak until he was taken in by Dr. Sir Frederick Treves.  Treves arranged a home for Merrick…

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Nowruz: Persian New Year and an #eBook #Freebie

1514565836_254_happy-persian-new-year-2018-nowruz-iranian-happy-new-year-in-iran-2018
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!

Reblogging: Executive Order 9066, Signed on This Day in 1942

Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the reason that Japanese-American citizens like actor-activist George Takei and his family were taken to live in concentration camps. Before the camps were built, many Japanese-Americans had to live in the stables at race tracks. One of them, Tanforan (which is now a shopping center), is only 45 minutes from where I live.

via Facts from My Fiction: Executive Order 9066 – Sharon E. Cathcart

Balfa Brothers – La Danse de Mardi Gras

Hi, everyone.  Today is Mardi Gras, so I thought I would share some images from the Cajun version of the celebration, as referenced in this snippet from my award-winning novel, Bayou Fire:

M&M frt Verson 1Diana went back inside for a few minutes to scribble some notes about the food and music. When she walked by the fireplace, she noticed a number of photos on the mantel and went to investigate them. One of them was a much younger Amos, in a rather peculiar tassel-covered shirt and matching pointed hat, riding a black horse. A strand of large wooden beads circled his neck, draping down his chest.

“That’s Cajun Mardi Gras,” Annie said, coming up behind her. “It’s not like what they do over in New Orleans. Out here, all the men dress in traditional costumes and ride horses from house to house, trying to get the women to give up something for the gumbo pot. At the end, everyone puts the ingredients together and there’s a big batch of soup to share. Amos was always one of the best riders, with those long legs of his. That black mare belonged to a neighbor, and they’d always let Amos borrow her for Mardi Gras. Every year he managed to get some woman to give up the chicken; we said he just batted his eyelashes and that was all she wrote. The chicken was the big prize for the stew pot.”

“That’s fascinating,” Diana said. “Thank you!” It seemed that Amos was even more multi-talented than she’d thought.

She followed Annie back outside. There, Amos, Harmon, and Billy were singing an a cappella song in French. Diana was able to understand only about half of it, something about the keys to the prison, but it didn’t matter. The three of them sounded marvelous together.