Sample Saturday: “A Light Across the Lake”

A Light Across the Lake V2Hi, everyone. Today’s sample comes from A Light Across the Lake, one of the tales in my Pocketful of Stories series. Enjoy!


Sunday was Lucien’s one day off for the week. No one cared how late he slept, or where he went. Sometimes, he would go to mass with his family; they all favored the priest at Saint Sulpice. Sometimes, he read a book. Sometimes he walked around the beautiful city that he called home. In these ways, he was like most of the other apprentices.

What set him apart from his fellows, more than anything else, was his nearly insatiable curiosity.

Off came the white gloves; it was time for the dirty work. The metal ash bucket felt heavier than usual, simply because Lucien was in a hurry to be done with his sweeping and cleaning. The refuse was hauled out to the heap, where the ash would be wetted down to make lye for soap and the trash carried away by the rag and junk man.

Lucien was proud of his work, even in the steward’s serving role. He was able to give money to his family, and the hard work made his body strong. The women of the costume shop had remarked on his handsome face, dark curls, and deep blue eyes more than once and always loudly enough for him to hear. He was tall and well-built.

Despite the attentions of the seamstresses, Lucien kept largely to himself. He preferred the opera’s library, with its collection of set models right alongside the books, to carousing with his fellow apprentices. Lucien had dreams of becoming known for his designs, and thus spent what little spare time he had in study.

Lucien was one of the few apprentices who did not spend his money in the cribs of Place Pigalle. Not that he was priggish; he knew his funds were needed at home and could not see the point of wasting money on whores and absinthe. That was not to say that he had no dreams of romance. Lucien had fancied himself in love a few times. There had been the chorine who enjoyed his company until she found a wealthy “sponsor” amongst the opera’s male patrons. And there had been a scullery maid who eventually went back to her home in the country, saying the city was “too fast” for her.

And how his fellow apprentices teased him over his fondness for the dark-haired equestrienne who rode the big black mare! He loved watching her practice; the horse seemed to float across the ground with no visible command from the woman on her back.


Want your own copy of A Light Across the Lake? Back cover copy and purchase links:

Return to Paris’ glamorous Opera Garnier, and the world of the award-winning Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes series! A Light Across the Lake is the tale of apprentice set builder Lucien Dubois, who is determined to see what lies in the fifth cellar. Will his exploration raise the ire of the infamous Opera Ghost?

This edition of Pocketful of Stories contains a sample chapter from In The Eye of The Beholder, the Phantom tale that started it all.

Click through on the link to your favorite retailer to get your copy today:

Amazon (geo-targeted link will take you to the site for your country); Apple Books; Barnes & Noble; BOL (Netherlands and Belgium); Booktopia (Australia); Chapters Indigo (Canada); FNAC (France); Gandhi (Mexico); Kobobooks (available for 2400 SuperPoints if you are a member); La Feltrinelli (Italy); Livraria Cultura (Brazil); Mondadori (Italy); Overdrive (via your local library); Porrua (Mexico); Rakuten Japan; Scribd; Smashwords.

Sample Saturday: “Pompeii Fire”

Pompeii Fire v 2Hi, everyone. Today’s snippet is from my current work-in-progress, Pompeii Fire. As always, this is an early draft and likely to change. Enjoy!


“Ave, Suetonius,” Drusus said, as though it were his own office into which the other man had entered. “You need no introduction.”

“Ave, Drusus Gaius. My apologies for not coming during visiting hours, or requesting an appointment. I understand that you have only just returned to town, and so I made haste. I have come to speak to you of your daughter.”

“So I gathered from my conversation with her. Tell me, how will you care for her should I agree to your suit? You have a competitor in Stephanus, who is a successful businessman.”

“I have put aside funds from my purses these many years, with an eye to purchasing a home. Whether it be in my native Britain, I cannot say; I have long been away from there. I am minded to find a place in Neapolis, but if it would better suit Drusilla I could look here. If she would prefer, we could even to go Oplontis, or Rome.”

“Let us be frank with one another, Suetonius. Drusilla’s dowry will be modest at best. I am looking to establish a new household with a woman in Herculaneum and must take that into consideration as well.”

“Since we are being frank with one another, Drusus, I will tell you that I would wish for Drusilla’s hand even if she came with nothing but the clothes on her back. Your daughter is an extraordinary woman.”

“I have much to think on, Suetonius. Perhaps you will call on me again tomorrow, that we might talk further.”

They said their goodbyes and Drusus watched Suetonius walk out of the house. The gladiator’s clothing was of a finer quality than his own, and he had certainly made at least a small case for himself. There was also the matter that Drusilla had made her preferences well known, but that had to be weighed against the debts he owed Stephanus.

The only thing that made sense right now was to delay making the decision and hope that his strong-willed daughter could be persuaded to accept the fuller.

Sample Saturday: “Bayou Fire”

smartmockups_khewgcr0Hi, everyone. This week’s sample is from my multi-award winning historical paranormal, Bayou Fire. Enjoy!


Evangeline heard the murmurs at her coming-out ball before she saw him.

“Alcide Devereaux is here,” Juliette Dubois squealed as she went by on her way to the punch bowl. Her blonde hair was tied up in an Apollo knot, and she wore a green-sprigged ballgown with sheer lace idiot sleeves. Juliette was always at the height of New Orleans fashion. “He’s sure to be the catch of the Season now.”

Evangeline wanted to be unsurprised by the news; Antoine, Alexandre, and their father Edouard had all succumbed to yellow fever that summer. Alcide had been away from the Quarter for almost ten years, coming back to help his mother and claim his inheritance. And, of course, Marie Laveau had hinted broadly at Alcide’s attendance. Still, she couldn’t wait to see the man on whom her childhood hopes had set. She wondered whether she would even recognize him.

Evangeline and her father led out the reel, and she found herself watching the crowd. Luckily, she knew the steps so well that no one noticed her attention was elsewhere. It was one of the skills she’d learned in Paris that stood her in good stead.

There he was, leaning against a wall and watching the dancers. Alcide was still taller than just about every other man in the room, but now he was lean, his skin bronzed by the sun. His hair was slicked straight back with macassar oil; none of those silly curls over his ears that the other men sported. He also had a thin, closely trimmed black mustache but no beard. For those things alone he would have stood out from the other men, but there was also an air of fearlessness about him that none of the others possessed. Gone was the soft, coddled planter’s son. Evangeline had heard that he’d been at sea or some such before reading the law up in Illinois among the American Yankees. It seemed impossible, but the man was even more handsome than the boy she remembered. His sharp profile and steady gaze put her in mind of a hawk watching for likely prey.


Want your own copy of Bayou Fire? Here are the back cover copy and purchase 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.

Abebooks; Alibris; Angus & Robertson (Australia); Amazon (click through on this link to be taken to the page for your country); Apple Books; Barnes & Noble; Better World Books; Blackwell’s (UK); Bokus (Sweden); BOL (Belgium & Netherlands); Book Depository; Bookshop; Booktopia (Australia); Chapters Indigo (Canada); Exclusive Books (South Africa); FNAC (France); Kobobooks (available for 2400 SuperPoints if you are part of the program); La Feltrinelli (Italy); Livraria Cultura (Brazil); Mondadori (Italy); Porrua (Mexico); Rakuten Japan; Scribd; Smashwords.

Sample Saturday, “Pompeii Fire”

Pompeii Fire v 2Hi, everyone. This week’s sample is from my current work-in-progress, Pompeii Fire. As always, since this is an early draft, the final version may be different. Enjoy!


“Let us be frank with one another, Suetonius. Drusilla’s dowry will be modest at best. I am looking to establish a new household with a woman in Herculaneum and must take that into consideration as well.”

“Since we are being frank with one another, Drusus, I will tell you that I would wish for Drusilla’s hand even if she came with nothing but the clothes on her back. Your daughter is an extraordinary woman.”

“I have much to think on, Suetonius. Perhaps you will call on me again tomorrow, that we might talk further.”

They said their goodbyes and Drusus watched Suetonius walk out of the house. The gladiator’s clothing was of a finer quality than his own, and he had certainly made at least a small case for himself. There was also the matter that Drusilla had made her preferences well known, but that had to be weighed against the debts he owed Stephanus.

The only thing that made sense right now was to delay making the decision and hope that his strong-willed daughter could be persuaded to accept the fuller.

Sample Saturday, a Day Late: “It Happened in Memphis”

It Happened in MemphisHi, everyone. The day just got away from me yesterday, and I didn’t get my sample posted. This snippet is from the title tale in It Happened in Memphis, the seventh entry in my Pocketful of Stories series. Enjoy this little time-slip moment!


“Whoo-ee, ain’t you a pretty thing?” One of the other men who’d been in that big photograph came over to Evie. He had wavy, peroxide-blonde hair and the most arresting amber eyes that Evie had ever seen. “What’s your name, baby doll”

“I’m Evangeline Boudreaux. I think I left my purse in here earlier. It’s turquoise and white, to go with my dress. I don’t imagine you’ve seen it?”

“I ain’t seen no pocketbook, no. But I tell you what; with a name like Evangeline Boudreaux, and that sweet accent of yours, you must be from Louisiana. Guess what? I am, too. Jerry Lee Lewis, from Ferriday. What do they call you at home, baby doll?”

“Evie.”

“Nah, that ain’t right. That’s a little girl’s name. Reckon I’ll call you Lina. How ‘bout that?”

“Sure.”

This can’t be happening. This has got to be a reenactment of some kind. But they couldn’t have taken those photographs down so fast.

“Elvis, Carl, I want you all to meet Lina Boudreaux. She’s from Louisiana, too.”

Everyone turned around and made polite noises of greeting. Elvis looked a little askance. “When did your date show up, Jerry?”

“Just now. See? You ain’t the only one got a pretty girl at your side.”

“You got a real pretty wife named Jane, is what I hear.” Carl took a long drink from a flask.

“I will have you to know, Mister Perkins, that me and Janie is what you’d call estranged. We are seekin’ to divorce.”

“Not the first time for you, either, is it?”

“Carl, I don’t know what kind of bug you have up your a— your backside. ‘Scuse my language, Miss Lina. But yes, it’s my second divorce. Not that it’s any of your concern.”

This was like no reenactment that Evie could have imagined. Something very strange was going on.

“So, we gonna make this-here ‘Matchbox’ record of yours or not?” Jerry Lee continued.

His question went unnoticed, as Elvis was talking about seeing a group in Las Vegas, where he’d met Marilyn, called Billy Ward’s Dominoes. As he described the singer who had covered “Don’t Be Cruel” in such an unexpected way, he started playing and singing. Carl rolled his eyes a little.

“You sit down next to me, Lina.” Jerry Lee scooted over on the bench. “Looks like we’re gonna be here for a while.”


Want your own copy of It Happened in Memphis? Here are the back cover copy and purchase links.

Evie Boudreaux has a knack for seeing history in action. Why? Because she sees ghosts. Come along on a visit to Tupelo and Memphis, and see the earliest days of rock music through Evie’s eyes! Buy It Happened in Memphis, Pocketful of Stories No. 7, today!

Angus & Robertson (Australia); Amazon (geo-targeted link will take you to your country’s website); Apple BooksBarnes & Noble; BOL (Belgium & Netherlands); Booktopia (Australia); Chapters Indigo (Canada); Fnac (France); Kobobooks (available for 2400 SuperPoints); La Feltrinelli (Italy); Librerias Gandhi (Mexico); Livraria Cultura (Brazil); Mondadori (Italy); Porrua (Mexico); Rakuten JapanRakuten Overdrive (via your local library); Scribd; SmashwordsWalmart.