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.

Winter Promotion

sale with red shopping bags, vector background

Hi, everyone. As you know, I occasionally do sales and promotions of my eBooks. Through January 1, 2021, my eBooks are either free or heavily discounted on Smashwords. Sales links and prices:

Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes Series

In The Eye of The Beholder – 99 cents; Through the Opera Glass – Free; In The Eye of The Storm – 99 cents; Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes Omnibus – $2.99

Pocketful of Stories Series – All Free

Last Stop: Storyville; Yellowjack and the Riverman; A Light Across the Lake; Down on the Corner of Love; Two Days in June; Flowers of Europe; It Happened in Memphis; Hard-Boiled Blues

Full Length Fiction

Bayou Fire – 99 cents

Short Fiction

Around the World in 80 Pages – Free; The Rock Star in the Mirror (Or, How David Bowie Ruined My Life) – Free; His Beloved Infidel – Free; Brief Interludes – Free; Clytie’s Caller – Free

Non-fiction and Essays

Les Pensées Dangereuses – Free; Sui Generis – Free; 2010 Hindsight: A Year of Personal Growth In Spite of Myself – Free; Some Brief Advice for Indie Authors – Free; Hugs and Hisses (benefits Humane Society Silicon Valley) – $1.99; Music, Mayhem, and Bad Decisions – $1.49

If you enjoy my work; I would appreciate reviews wherever you prefer to leave them. Thank you!

Sample Saturday: “A Light Across the Lake”

Hi, everyone. This week’s sample is from a set of short stories, originally published in Twelve Hours Later, set in my Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes series universe. Enjoy!


A Light Across the Lake V2A bell chimed in the distance; the signal had not rung its alert in a long time. Erik LeMaître kissed Claire one more time – would he ever feel sated where her lips were concerned? – and got out of bed.

“What is it?” Claire murmured as she sat up, pulling the coverlet over herself. She wore nothing but the sapphire necklace.

“There’s something outside, and I don’t think it’s that sturgeon.” Her lover drew on his trousers and slipped a mask over his face.

Claire reached for Erik’s discarded shirt and pulled it over her head. She got out of bed and followed him out of his underground home and into the cavernous cellar.

“God in heaven!” she exclaimed as Erik turned an unconscious body over on the walkway. “It’s Lucien Dubois, the steward from the Grand Foyer.”

“Yes, and also one of the set shop apprentices.” Erik peered into the distance, seeing a speck of light. “The idiot swam here! I’ll take the gondola to bring back his lantern before a rat upsets it and burns the whole place to the ground.”


Want your own copy of A Light Across the Lake? Here are the 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.

Authors Give Back – Listing Update

AGB Promo

Hi, everyone. After having nearly everything in my Smashwords catalog available free of charge for a full month, I’ve decided to change it up for a little bit. As of right now, I have left only my historical fiction in the promotion. The only exception is my Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes omnibus, as all of the included volumes are still listed separately.

If you have selected any of my titles, I hope you will write a review either in your blog or at your favorite review site. Thank you, as always. List of available titles, with direct links, below, in alphabetical order.

A Light Across the Lake V2A Light Across the Lake – 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?

Bayou Fire – 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?

Clyties_CallerClytie’s Caller – Bath, 1816. Clytemnestra Preston has become so terrified of life that she refuses to leave her room. Not even her family can convince her to take her place in Society again. Doctor Samuel Whittington, late of His Majesty’s Army, may be her only chance for a cure … and romance. Can Sam convince Clytie to open the door, and her heart?

DOTCOL V2Down on the Corner of Love – Being a civil rights activist isn’t easy in rural Louisiana. Raine’s found herself ostracized and alone because she’s a woman who speaks her mind. Fed up, she leaves her country world behind for beautiful San Francisco. There, Raine meets a new best friend, Jo, who is free-spirited and living life to the fullest. But Jo’s in more danger than Raine realizes, “Down on the Corner of Love.”

Flowers of EuropeFlowers of Europe – 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.

Hard-Boiled Blues

Hard-Boiled Blues – Two dead bodies. Two policemen, one in New Orleans and one in Memphis. Not all crimes have easy solutions in the Jim Crow South. It’s enough to make you sing the blues. Grab the final entry in “Pocketful of Stories” today!

31432511His Beloved Infidel – 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?

ITEOTB Wrap Cover frtIn The Eye of The Beholder– When French equestrian Claire Delacroix loses her fiance in a tragic accident, she comes to live at the Paris Opera during its 1890s heyday. 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.

eye2In The Eye of The Storm – San Francisco, 1948. When a mysterious stranger approaches Clarice Kaye in her favorite restaurant, his words trigger a voyage of discovery: “You look just like your grandmother, but you have your mother’s eyes. There was only one question in Clarice’s mind: how could he know? Armed with family diaries that tell of the scandalous grandmother for whom she was named, Clarice embarks on a journey through Paris’ modern art movement, 1906 San Francisco, and the depths of the Opéra Garnier in this long-awaited sequel to “In The Eye of The Beholder.” “In The Eye of The Storm” is the 2015 Silver Medal winner for best fan fiction in the Global eBook Awards.

It Happened in MemphisIt Happened in Memphis – 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!

Storyville V2Last Stop: Storyville – Riding a New Orleans streetcar is an everyday occurrence for Tulane freshman Jimmy Arceneaux (“Bayou Fire”). But one evening, things are different. Find out how in “Last Stop: Storyville.”

Opera Glass AlternateThrough the Opera Glass – Author Sharon E. Cathcart took up a challenge in 2012: to write flash fiction and full length short stories based on various prompts. Each story features one or more characters from “In The Eye of The Beholder: A Novel of the Phantom of the Opera” or its sequel, “In The Eye of The Storm.” Brimming with historical detail, the stories in this collection range in place and time from 19th Century Persia to post-World War II San Francisco. “Through the Opera Glass” was the runner-up for “Best Short Story Collection” in the 2014 eFestival of Words Independent Book Awards.

Two Days in June V2Two Days in June – Starvation. Fear. Fighting in the streets. It’s June 1832, and Paris is once again at war. The students of the Sorbonne rise up against those in power, believing that right and the people are on their side. But King Louis-Philippe has other plans.

Yellowjack V2Yellowjack and the River Man – Yellow fever. Voodoo queen Marie Laveau. A long-lost relative’s homecoming. The Underground Railroad. All of them are part of Alcide Devereaux’s (“Bayou Fire”) continuing story. See what adventures come his way in “Yellowjack and the River Man.”

 

Authors Give Back – Extended!

AGB Promo

Hi, everyone. The Authors Give Back promotion on Smashwords has been extended through May 31, 2020, and I decided to continue participating.

This means that you can get almost all of my eBooks free of charge until the end of May. The one exception is Hugs and Hisses. which benefits Humane Society Silicon Valley; that book is discounted, so I still have some modest royalties to give them.

Visit my Smashwords profile to make your selections. You’ll find formats for any eReader, or to read on-line. Thank you!

Click here: Sharon E. Cathcart’s books on Smashwords