Frequently Asked Question: If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?

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Hi, friends. It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means that it’s time for a question from the Insecure Writers Support Group.

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Your intrepid author, with our waiter … and a photobomb by the bartender/chef

 

 

I didn’t have to think twice about the answer this time. The Restaurant Jardin-Notre Dame is kitty-corner from Shakespeare and Company, in Paris’ Latin Quarter. It has a gorgeous view of Notre Dame Cathedral. The food is good, the staff is congenial … and it’s in Paris.

558847_10200514647644636_303051565_nThe restaurant has been there for decades; one of the photos on the wall shows the Resistance outside the establishment during World War II. There are bullet holes in the walls (I am not kidding) from the fighting during that period.

I loved this place so much that I had Catherine and Farukh visit it during their first date in His Beloved Infidel. I can think of no better place to sit and write.

(All photos from the author’s collection)

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Sample Saturday: “His Beloved Infidel”

31432511Hi, everyone. This week’s sample is from my inter-ethnic vintage romance, set in Paris during the time of the Islamic Revolution.


Farukh was relieved to be back in Paris. Although the school was closed for two weeks, there were progress reports to write and paperwork to complete. Besides, he was worn out with the revolutionary zeal Dadash and the rest of Ayatollah’s men displayed — and even more exhausted at trying to fit in with them.

Farukh pulled the papers out of his mail slot and went to his classroom. On top of the array of mimeographs was a small envelope addressed to him in an unfamiliar, but decidedly feminine, hand.

He slit the envelope carefully with a letter opener and read Catherine’s note of appreciation. Without stopping to think, he walked out of his classroom and down the hall to hers.

Catherine looked up as he entered.

“Monsieur Aria,” she smiled. “Thank you again for your generosity.” She stood up and stepped away from her desk. She wore a blue knit dress that emphasized the color of her eyes, and a pair of fashionable black leather boots.

“I …” he paused and took a deep breath. “There is a city in my country called Isfahan. This perfume is named after it.”

He wanted to slap himself. Had anyone ever sounded so foolish?

She stepped a little closer. “I know. I looked it up.”

Catherine had never realized how intense Farukh’s brown eyes were until that moment; they were so dark that she could barely tell where the iris left off and the pupil began.


His Beloved Infidel is part of the Summer/Winter Promotion at Smashwords this month. You can get a free copy by clicking here.

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.

Summer/Winter Promotion – All of My Titles are #Free or #Discounted on #Smashwords

Summer_Winter Sale 2019

Hi, everyone. It’s that time of year again, when I heavily discount my eBook titles on Smashwords. The great thing about the Smashwords platform is that there are formats available regardless of which eReader you use. Here are direct links to my books on the site, broken down by discount level. The promotion runs July 1-31, 2019. Thanks for checking it out!

Free

2010 Hindsight     A Light Across the Lake     Around the World in 80 Pages
Bayou Fire     Clytie’s Caller     Down on the Corner of Love     His Beloved Infidel
Last Stop: Storyville     Les Pensées Dangereuses     The Rock Star in the Mirror
Some Brief Advice for Indie Authors     Sui Generis     Two Days in June
Yellowjack and the River Man

50% off

Brief Interludes     In The Eye of The Beholder     Music, Mayhem, and Bad Decisions
Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes: The Omnibus Edition

25% off

Hugs and Hisses     In The Eye of The Storm     Through the Opera Glass

Sample Saturday: “His Beloved Infidel”

31432511As most of you know, my dad passed away in February. Today would have been my parents’ 56th wedding anniversary. So, I started thinking about which of my titles could most honor that. I immediately thought of the scene in His Beloved Infidel where some older women are talking about their weddings. Enjoy!


“Tell us about your wedding,” Catherine said to Yasmin.

“Well, I think I have told you before that my parents wanted someone more traditional for me. They would rather I married the farmer down the road, like the matchmaker said, than a Western-stricken shazdeh like Mahmoud. They wanted someone who would stick to the old ways. But I knew I did not want a life behind the chador, hidden away; I was educated in the West, and wanted something more. It was hard; my mami and I are both stubborn people. In the end, they approved of Mahmoud, but it took a great many gifts to my family — better gifts than cows and goats, I can tell you — to make it happen. We had a traditional Persian wedding; I think there were three or four hundred people there. I remember saying the words, and dancing — and not much else!”

“I look back on my wedding day and think the same thing,” Mae put in. “It all went by in a blur and suddenly we were married.”

“Your grandpa and I stood up in front of the church after services one Sunday,” Helen said. “I wore my best dress, and Grandpa wore his good suit. It was during the Depression, and no one had much. I think one of the neighbors gave us a ham he’d put up, and my folks gave us five dollars.”


Want your own copy of His Beloved Infidel? Here are the back cover copy and purchase links.

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.

Amazon (this link will automatically take you to the store for your country/region)

Apple Books

Barnes and Noble

Chapters Indigo (Canada)

FNAC (France)

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

Mondadori (Italy)

Overdrive (check to see if your library uses this system)

Scribd

Smashwords

Thalia (Germany)

Winter Promotion Metrics, and a Call to Action

downloadHi, everyone. As you know, I participated in Smashwords’ annual winter promotion. I listed all of my books for free (including Hugs and Hisses, which was entirely by accident since I donate my royalties to Humane Society Silicon Valley and usually do not discount it).

Anyway, I did this because a lot of people are hurting. A lot of people have very little spending money, and I wanted to give a gift to my readers.

In the period between Dec. 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019, I gave away 188 books. Some people literally selected my whole catalog, which made me feel good. By far the most popular was my multi-award winning historical paranormal, Bayou Fire.

Here’s how it all fell out, from most popular to least popular in terms of copies chosen/downloaded.

Bayou Fire – 28

Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes (The Omnibus Edition) – 21

Clytie’s Caller – 19

A Light Across the Lake – 18

Yellowjack and the River Man – 15

Last Stop: Storyville – 14

In The Eye of The Beholder – 11

Brief Interludes – 9

In The Eye of The Storm – 9

Hugs and Hisses: My Mission of Love as a Shelter Volunteer – 8

His Beloved Infidel – 7

Through the Opera Glass – 6

Les Pensees Dangereuses – 5

Music, Mayhem, and Bad Decisions – 5

The Rock Star in the Mirror (Or, How David Bowie Ruined My Life) – 4

2010 Hindsight: A Year of Growth, In Spite of Myself – 3

If you were one of the people who chose my titles during the promotion, you have my thanks. I appreciate every single one of you who showed an interest in my work.

And now, here is the call to action mentioned in the headline. If you liked my work, I would truly love for you to share a review on your blog (feel free to link it in comments), GoodReads, or any other review site you use. Thanks for that as well.