Mental Health · Uncategorized

Successfully Mad: My new mental health blog


I’ve been riding the crazy train since I was fourteen, ebbing and flowing on tides of happiness, depression, and anxiety. Many writers can probably say the same. Hell, engineers can say the same. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate.

I didn’t talk openly about my mental health (or lack thereof) until Robin Williams committed suicide. I realized that if someone as “happy” as him could do such a thing, maybe there were other people struggling in silence, too. I first started writing about my personal demons; then, I gave a big speech at the University of Arizona’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

Yeah, I was terrified, but since then, I’ve spoken a lot IN PUBLIC (arrrgggguhh) about mental illness: its causes and its treatments. Last November, I had a pretty nasty relapse. My mental health was the worst it had been in years. The depression, anxiety, and overwhelming fear wouldn’t stop, negatively affecting my work, my sleep, and my relationships

Sorta scared of medication, I sought therapy instead, and my therapist suggested I start a mental health blog … so I did.

Successfully Mad: Accepting Yourself and Your Mental Illness is now up and running. There, I do my best to write honestly about what I’m going through in an attempt to exorcise my own demons and maybe help other people, too.

Mental illness is a solitary disease, but it’s important to realize you are not alone. I’m just as messed up as you, I promise. There are plenty of us out there going through similar battles with body image, self confidence, paranoia, and severe melancholy. Let’s remove the stigma and talk about it.

If you’re up for a journey, come visit me HERE at Successfully Mad and subscribe in the sidebar. (You can learn more about my mental health speech there, too, and learn a bit about my background.) I’m going to try to be brave, so be brave with me.

Whatever you’re going through, have a hug through the internet. You’re not alone, and we’re gonna get through all this nasty shit together.

We Still Live

We Still Live: A book about much more than a shooting

I’m not sure what finally pushed me over the edge. Was it the 2015 mass shooting in Paris? Was it the Orlando nightclub shooting of 2016? Was it moving to Chardon, Ohio, where, in 2012, a high school student opened fire and killed three of his classmates?

I can’t be sure of the exact moment when my brain screamed, “Enough!” I do know that the first words of the first draft of We Still Live were penned August 16, 2016. I also know I signed a contract with NineStar Press yesterday that will finally bring this manuscript to life.

A rough “about the book:”

Running from a scandal that shattered his marriage and threatened to ruin his life, Isaac Twain accepts a teaching position at Hambden University where, three months prior, Professor John Conlon stopped a campus nightmare by stepping in front of an active shooter. John carries with him the gravity of the event as well as the last words the shooter spoke before taking his own life.

When John and Isaac become faculty advisors for Being Frank, the school’s contentious literary magazine focused on the shooting and its victims, their professional relationship evolves. Despite the strict code of conduct forbidding faculty fraternization, they delve into a secret affair, both men assuaging past pain through their present embrace—until Simon arrives.

Isaac’s violent ex threatens not only their careers, but also John’s life. His PTSD triggered by an attempted attack, John must come to terms with the truth of that bloody day on College Green and the irony of his nickname, “the Hambden hero.” Isaac intends to love John completely, but he can’t with John hiding so much of himself, frightened of revealing the severity of his mental illness and its true cause. For both Isaac and John, the misdeeds of their pasts might destroy what they could become.

We Still Live is about a college shooting, but the shooting isn’t the focus; the aftermath is. What happens to the survivors, including the hero who stopped the bloodshed? What happens to a small town racked with grief?

Told by way of a tragic love story, the novel also tackles mental illness (especially depression, anxiety, and PTSD), but it’s not all sad. There’s love, too, because we need love to heal—and understanding, especially as John plummets and Isaac realizes maybe he can’t save him.

I have spent years fighting my own demons. I recently started a blog, Successfully Mad, where I write openly about my mental health battle. Like John, I have trouble watching the news. I cry every time there’s another shooting.

We Still Live is an exorcism of many personal fears. Not only is the setting based on Athens, Ohio (location of my alma mater Ohio University), but also every character is a little bit of me. The meltdowns are me. The self-medicating is me. Maybe it’s a little bit of you, too.

We Still Live is funny, sad, sexy, and dark. It’s a mirror, reflecting back the things we fear and don’t want to face. Sometimes, everything isn’t going to be all right, but that’s okay, as long as we keep living.

Release details coming soon, but many thanks to NineStar Press for believing in me and in this book.

Escape Trilogy


It’s officially LAUNCH DAY for the final installment of the Escape Trilogy from NineStar Press! It’s sad to “close the book” on my dark, beautiful boys, but I’m thrilled to share Escaping Mortality with you!

About book three:

Their ocean journey was successful, and Andrew and Edmund found an Elder just in time. As they wished, Edmund is now a vampire like Andrew. They have eternity together, but first, they must visit Edmund’s ailing mother in the English countryside with their flock of immortals, including the Elder, who has taken an ominous liking to his new creation.

When they arrive at Edmund’s family estate, his sick mother and her loathsome best friend await them. While ducking religious curses, Edmund struggles to harness an unexpected power gifted him by the Elder. Andrew fears for his beloved as Edmund becomes more and more monstrous—but vampires have always been monsters, haven’t they?

A battle is coming, for Edmund’s heart and his soul, and Andrew will lose neither. He escaped island exile and a near tragedy at sea to be with Edmund, the beautiful young sailor he loves. Andrew will do anything to keep Edmund by his side, but his most dangerous adversary may be Edmund himself.

Order from Amazon >>

Order from NineStar Press >>

Add to Goodreads >>

What people are saying …

“Andrew and Edmund have become two of my favorite vampires in literature, and they deserve every bit of their happy ending.” – author JL Gribble

“Everyone should read this vampire trilogy. It’s excellent storytelling with evocative writing and a beautiful but dangerous love story.” – author Lillian Francis

“I’m sad because this was the last installment of the trilogy, but Sara Dobie Bauer is one helluva author and wrote an EPIC ending to this tale! This story is filled with action and drama. It has plenty of angsty moments that will make your heart break a little, and it is probably my newest favorite paranormal series of all time!” – Rainbow Gold Reviews

“Sara Dobie Bauer propels her vampires through escapades and adventures while weaving a tale of love, dark magic, sensuality, and violence.” – author Elizabeth Lister

“Reflecting back on Andrew and Edmund’s experiences, I can really appreciate everything Ms. Bauer is doing with this trilogy. Of course, we’re treated to thrilling adventures, and all the intimacies this couple shares, but Ms. Bauer weaves messages about good and evil, sin and atonement, and the grace of forgiveness into the story as well.” – Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter

Get your copy today, and find out what happens to Andrew and Edmund in the big finale of Escaping Mortality! If you didn’t already check out the Escape Trilogy fantasy movie cast, click HERE. Annnnnnnd … exciting news! The paperback edition of all three books will be released May 27 from NineStar Press, so these boys can make a happy home on your bookshelf.

Escape Trilogy

The Escape Trilogy Fantasy Movie Cast

I know it’s totally unrealistic for everyone to be hot, but this is my series and everyone is hot. Take THAT.

With the release of Escaping Mortality imminent (Monday, people), I thought it was time I revealed the actors I pictured while writing the dark, tempestuous love story of Andrew and Edmund. Since the beginning, these boys have been through a lot, including but not limited to: exile, shipwreck, cannibals, New Orleans gangsters, hungry vampires, and finally a life-threatening injury in the middle of the ocean.

In Escaping Mortality, nothing gets easier. In fact, things get more difficult (or, if I wanted to make a sex joke, harder). Will love prevail? Can Andrew save his beloved sailor one more time … or will Edmund have to do the saving? Find out Monday.

In the meantime, you can pre-order your copy of Escaping Mortality HERE. Also in the meantime, enjoy the fantasy movie cast. AND!!! AND!!! Let me know who you pictured while reading! I would love to hear!


Alexander Skarsgard as Andrew, our vampire hero

Ever since True Blood, this dude has been under my skin (and I wouldn’t mind him under my shirt). As a vampire, Andrew is a balance of sex and danger. He (used to) play with his victims, and this bad behavior got him exiled in the first place. Then, he meets Edmund and becomes a softie … sort of. Not really. He’s still just as dangerous, but he’s also desperately in love and will fight to protect what’s his. Skarsgard is the perfect mix of bad boy with a sensitive side. He’s my perfect Andrew (especially with those abs. Sweet baby Jesus).

Timothee Chalamet as Edmund, seventh Duke of Wilshire and shipwrecked sailor

True, Edmund is a brilliant naturalist and skilled sailor when he washes up on Andrew’s island in book one, but he’s also terribly pretty. He’s a funny guy, a friendly guy, unless you piss him off, which is when the unexpected Bad Ass Factor appears. I see this duality in Chalamet (although, I realize, we gotta age him up a couple years). He’s super pretty and sweet, but he gets this “I’m sexy and I know it” look in his eyes sometimes that knocks a girl over. Edmund is sweet and beautiful, but he’s got serious issues that only begin surfacing in book two. In book three, those issues are at the forefront, and Chalamet would rock Edmund’s bad boy side. GIF evidence:

Tilda Swinton as Michelle, coven leader, and Stuart Townsend as Felipe, her loyal love

Can’t go wrong with Tilda Swinton in anything, but she’d be a perfect match for cold-hearted vampire leader Michelle in the Escape Trilogy. True, she exiled Andrew to a tropical island, but hey, he wouldn’t have met Edmund otherwise … so maybe she’s a hero? I really do love Michelle, even when she’s bloodthirsty. And she would be terribly lonely without her constant companion Felipe, Andrew’s old friend who might enjoy a good murder even more than our leading male. After seeing Stuart Townsend play the vampire Lestat, I’m convinced he actually is a vampire and would therefore be perfect for the role of fancy boy Felipe.

Gabriel Byrne as the Elder, Brien

There’s something agelessly sexy about Gabriel Byrne. I would have humped him in the 1980s; I’d hump him now. Although Brien, our Elder, doesn’t show much emotion, there’s a depth to his character that expresses eternity. He’s drawn to Edmund (much to Andrew’s dismay), but that is the relationship between maker and sire. However, Brien is hiding something, isn’t he? Wonder what it is …

Miranda Richardson as Lady Patricia and Mary Steenburgen as Evelyn, Edmund’s mum

Edmund’s mother is ill in the English countryside, which is why they rush to her in book three. True, she and Edmund have been at odds, considering she saw his sexual escapades as something to be “healed.” But she’s still his mother, and Edmund still loves her. Lady Patricia, on the other hand, is pure evil wrapped in a religious bow. I loved Richardson in Sleepy Hollow, so she thoroughly inspired Lady Patricia. Steenburgen impressed me as a semi-villain in Justified, so she works here as Edmund’s ailing mum, showcasing tough love with a side of madness.

Kevin Adrian as sweetie boy Flynn

I’m already getting screams from readers that Flynn needs his own book. This beautiful blood slave has the entire coven under his thrall … but sad boy only has eyes for Edmund. Flynn is so sweet and so soft with his floofy red hair and pouty lips. Adrian has the perfect look for our dear human. Is there more to come for heartbroken Flynn? One never knows.

Okay, I did my part. What do you think of the fantasy movie cast? Who do you think would make a perfect Andrew, Edmund, Brien, Flynn ….? Do tell!

And don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Escaping Mortality. Book birthday is MONDAY!

Escape Trilogy

ESCAPING MORTALITY cover reveal and excerpt! The big finale is almost here!

I drove a lot of folks crazy with the insanely cruel cliffhanger at the end of Escaping Solitude. (Sorry.) The good news? It’s almost time for the release of book three, the BIG FINALE, of the Escape Trilogy.

Escaping Mortality will be available January 28 from NineStar Press. Read all about it. Then, check out the dark, sexy cover (because, yeah, this book gets pretty dark) PLUS an excerpt below.

About the book:

Their ocean journey was successful, and Andrew and Edmund found an Elder just in time. As they wished, Edmund is now a vampire like Andrew. They have eternity together, but first, they must visit Edmund’s ailing mother in the English countryside with their flock of immortals, including the Elder, who has taken an ominous liking to his new creation.

When they arrive at Edmund’s family estate, his sick mother and her loathsome best friend await them. While ducking religious curses, Edmund struggles to harness an unexpected power gifted him by the Elder. Andrew fears for his beloved as Edmund becomes more and more monstrous—but vampires have always been monsters, haven’t they?

A battle is coming, for Edmund’s heart and his soul, and Andrew will lose neither. He escaped island exile and a near tragedy at sea to be with Edmund, the beautiful young sailor he loves. Andrew will do anything to keep Edmund by his side, but his most dangerous adversary may be Edmund himself.

Now, the cover reveal!!! Thanks to Natasha Snow Designs for this amazing look!

As I said, this twisted, sexy BIG FINALE of the Escape Trilogy will be available January 28. It has been such an exciting journey with Andrew and Edmund (and with all of you, of course). I can’t wait to share the big finish. I hope you love it.

For now, add this to your Goodreads list >>

Pre-order from Amazon >>

Pre-order from NineStar Press >>

PS: The entire trilogy will be available in paperback this coming May. You’ll be able to hold this beauty in your hot little hands this summer. Signed copies will be available, too, and I promise to kiss every copy I send. Happy New Year!

Excerpt from Escaping Mortality

Edmund tries desperately not to shiver, but he forgets himself every minute or so and allows a full body shake that vibrates the wet edges of his hair. We’re back on deck after our desperate leap into the ocean, my sailor and I. A half-hysterical Michelle wrapped us both in the heaviest fabric she could find, once we were both safely lifted back onboard with our new passenger: the Elder.

He sits across from Edmund at a large table in our ship’s common area while I stand and glare. Michelle and Felipe linger silently to my left and right.

This Elder is nothing more than a rotting skeleton, covered in loose, hanging flesh. He smells of dead fish and refuses to take his dark eyes off the man I love.

“You are dying,” the creature says, his voice like the swinging of a rusted gate.

Edmund chuckles. “Yes. So you understand why I need your help.”

“Why do you want this gift, dead man? Power? Prestige?”


“Then, why?”


The creature’s gaze momentarily swings up, and I stand straighter. For the first time since we escaped the rolling waves, the Elder addresses me: “How frustrating for a strong vampire such as yourself that you cannot save the one you adore.”

I’m about to respond when Edmund speaks first. “I would prefer to keep this conversation between the two of us, if you don’t mind. It is, after all, my life we discuss.”

The Elder studies Edmund and says nothing. For a long moment, he merely observes. Although the blanket covers Edmund’s black, infected flesh, it’s impossible to miss the green pallor of his skin, the purple circles around his eyes, and the color of his lips, now practically white. All signs of the healthy young man I first met are gone.

“You have no fear right now, dead man. Strange for one with so little time left. I tasted it underwater, your fear. Quite a strong bouquet.” A tongue like a slippery snail pokes out from the Elder’s mouth to lick cracked lips.

“You tried to pull me under.”

“You offered yourself.”

“I needed to get your attention.”

I’m not sure, but I think the Elder smiles. He shows his teeth anyway—long, pointed fangs bigger than any I’ve seen. “And now, you have it, dead man.”

“My name is Edmund. And you?”

Again, those eyes—so dark as to be almost black—glance at me. “Brien.” He growls the R. “If the world is still how I recall, Edmund, nothing is free. You woke me with your dying flesh because you need something.” He opens his hands before him, skin wrinkled, sharp fingernails like weapons. “What do I get from you?”

Edmund shivers and groans. When he bends over in pain and rests his forehead on the table, Michelle stops me from rushing forward. “What do you want?” Edmund asks.

As my darling struggles to find the strength to sit, Brien watches with interest—I assume. It’s difficult to tell with the sagging, wet flesh. Logic says the Elder should be dry by now, but he continues to drip foul water as though made of the stuff.

“You can have anything,” Edmund says.

Brien leans forward and sniffs, seeking Edmund’s scent. “I want to kill you.”

I step toward them. “No.”

The Elder stares at me. “No?”

“Edmund requested I do that.” I could say more about how I want to taste his soul, how I want that moment to belong to me and me alone. I want him in my arms the moment he takes his last breath. So many things do I want, and this monster of the sea would steal it all.

“Dead man?” Brien practically purrs.

“Damn it.” Edmund closes his eyes. “Fine. My life is yours.”


“It is better than the alternative, love,” Edmund mutters. “Is that all you require?”

“I will travel with you wherever you now go.”

“Michelle?” Edmund says her name but doesn’t turn. I don’t think he’s strong enough to move anymore.

My old friend—once enemy, now leader—steps forward in her sweeping skirts. “Of course, Elder Brien. We are at your service.”

“You might want to…” Edmund coughs. “Find something to wear. They frown upon naked corpses walking around London.”

Felipe laughs—one short burst of amusement.

“Do we have a deal?”

Brien lowers his head. “Yes, Edmund.” He looks up and shows his teeth. “Ah, there it is—the smell. Now, you are afraid.”

Edmund’s eyes are red. I don’t know if he cries from pain or from the thought of his own murder at the hands of a hideous monster. Perhaps he found comfort in the thought of me doing it because he knew I wouldn’t let him hurt. Brien appears liable to chop off each of Edmund’s fingers before letting him die—but I will not let that happen. I will be at his side. I will hold Edmund’s hand as his heart stops beating. Thinking of this, my own chest begins to ache.


Vampires and romance: The Longest Night is HERE

Today is the Winter Solstice. What do vampires do on the longest night of the year? Find out with a brand new (super sexy) short story collection from Once Upon Anthologies. About Once Upon the Longest Night:

The longest night. A vampire’s delight …

The winter solstice, a time of birth and rebirth, life and death, waning light and rising darkness. A time when those who flee the sun and crave the taste of blood find their greatest solace. But one never knows what the longest night might hold.

Once Upon the Longest Night, a collection of adult paranormal romances, features eight novelettes of lovers and their battles against one of the greatest legends of our time: the vampire.

A 15th-century seaman and the love of his life come face to face with a vengeful manjasang. In ancient Rome, a hunted priestess captured by a loyal centurion offers her aid to the enemy. With the help of a handsome Royal courier, a reluctant Romanian princess braves the curse flowing within her noble blood. Danger awaits when a vampire in the far reaches of North Dakota must endure the lethal cold to protect the woman she loves. And in a future New York, a broken general returns home for the Longest Night Ball where he meets a young male witch who might change his life forever.

This anthology combines vampire mythos and affairs of the heart with the sacred symbolism and magic of the winter season. Sit back and let us tell you a tale. Welcome to the Longest Night.

Because I love all things vampire, I’m honored to be included in this beautiful anthology with my story, “His Last Battle.”

Suffering from PTSD, vampire general Devlin Frost returns home from the war on Lycans and attends the historic Longest Night Ball. Here, royal witch Elijah Crow must choose three immortal suitors to compete for his love and power. When Devlin is shockingly chosen as one of the three, his immediate attraction to the young witch coaxes him into entering the fray, but this battle is for more than Elijah’s love. The broken general might also win back his ruined heart and bruised soul—if he survives the night.

Today, to celebrate the longest, darkest night of the year, buy your copy of Once Upon the Longest Night (available now in eBook; available later in paperback … which is awesome, considering I can’t WAIT to get my hands on this pretty pretty). Order your copy from Amazon, and find an excerpt from “His Last Battle” below!

“His Last Battle:” An Excerpt
by Sara Dobie Bauer
Featured in Once Upon the Longest Night

Frank Sinatra played somewhere nearby. He sang about being home for Christmas as Devlin melted into the couch of a room that might as well have existed under the sea. Painted in vibrant shades of blue and green, the décor was white like sea corral. A nearby candle smelled of rushing water and moss.

“This place is like Masque of the Red Death.”

Elijah poured two glasses of something clear. “How so?”

“Every room a different color.”

He handed the drink to Devlin and sat in a chair across from him. “Yes, but Death arrived at sunset, and we all know he’s here.”


Elijah lifted his chin in a gesture to Devlin’s glass.

Devlin followed orders. “What is it?”

Elijah struck a putout expression only the very young could muster. “It’s water.” He half-rolled his eyes. “Just water.”

Devlin cut him a look of caution. “Careful. I’m already tempted to put you over my knee.”

Frozen in his seat, Elijah blinked, but his cheeks turned a delicious shade of pink. Devlin had trouble remembering what his face had looked like looming over him in the ballroom, filled with fear.

“What happened to me out there?”

Elijah crossed his legs. “Time release holy water.”

“Come again?”

“An expensive invention of the vampire aristocracy to torture one another. Developed a couple years ago. Burns you from the inside out, but only after it’s made its way into all your nooks and crannies.”

“Jesus.” He held his glass up and stared at it. “Thank Christ the Lycans could never afford such technology to use against us. I suddenly yearn for the comfort of battle. Thank you for saving my life.”

“Well, it wouldn’t do to have you dead right out the gate.”

Devlin put his glass down and leaned forward, elbows on knees. “You were scared.”

Elijah’s lips parted before he shook his head, just a little. “Wasn’t.”

“You were. Yet you don’t even know me.”

Elijah looked away toward the turquoise curtains that shone like a mid-afternoon sea. He folded his hands in his lap and played thumb war with himself, a playful gesture that alluded to his youth. “My grandfather used to say you were the best vampire soldier in history. General Devlin, the great. I grew up listening to stories about you. You see, my grandfather was my only friend. Everyone—except for my parents—was always scared of me.”

“You don’t seem very scary.”

Elijah’s dark eyes glowed green for a moment. “Are you sure?”

“No.” Devlin chuckled. He hadn’t been this entertained since the fourth great Lycan upheaval. He eyed Elijah’s open collar and the revealed pale skin beneath. “But I am sure I want to touch you.”

Elijah’s brow furrowed. “I don’t know if you deserve that.”

“Oh, I deserve to touch you. I think you even want me to.” He tilted his head. “Your pulse is elevated.”

Read the tumultuous longest night love story of this vampire and his bad boy witch in Once Upon the Longest Night, available now!! A happy solstice and merry Christmas to all xoxo


Tumblr has made a frightening mistake

Ironically, I was going to wake up and write erotica this morning. Instead, I have to deal with Tumblr banning all adult content, and my heart hurts.

According to The Verve, “Tumblr will permanently ban adult content from its platform on December 17th in a move that will eradicate porn-related communities on the platform and fundamentally alter how the service is used. The ban includes explicit sexual content and nudity with a few exceptions.” Such content includes “female-presenting nipples and any media involving sex acts, including illustrations.”

This is all due to an Apple freak out. Somebody on Tumblr somewhere posted child pornography, so Apple removed the Tumblr app from its app store, creating this knee-jerk ban from Tumblr. I don’t condone child pornography, but people are people—good and bad—and post things—good and bad. The result is the rest of us (a massive, loving community of geeks, fans, and artists) being emotionally torn apart.

For me, it is emotional, but it’s a lot more than that. It’s downright scary.

I adore Tumblr. Ever since discovering the BBC Sherlock fandom, I’ve embraced Tumblr as a warm, safe space to drool over Benedict Cumberbatch and wallow in the Johnlock theories. Since then, I’ve moved on to join the hordes of Call Me By Your Name fans who giggle over every Timothee Chalamet / Armie Hammer hug.

As of yesterday, GIFs featuring Call Me By Your Name have been flagged as “adult content,” possibly due to the amount of skin or possibly due to the LGBTQ distinction. See, that’s the problem with Tumblr’s new method of “flagging” posts: it’s not an exact science, so if there’s too much flesh or something Puritanical Christian America deems “other,” it’s going to get flagged as explicit—and boom. Posts gets flagged; accounts get deleted.

A crucifixion painting of Jesus got flagged yesterday because of the nudity. So did the Venus de Milo, most likely because Venus is a female with (gasp) nipples.

Of course, Tumblr wants its followers to know everything is going to be all right because, “There are no shortage of sites on the internet that feature adult content.” Well, no shit, but do they really want a bunch of sexually curious eighteen-year-olds on Pornhub?

Tumblr is/was a safe space for young people to find sexual content that was not explicit in any way but beautiful. As I mentioned, Call Me By Your Name GIFs are being flagged. Want an example of one?

This moment of utter tenderness and fluff between Elio and Oliver is apparently not safe for consumption because heaven forbid we see two men naked and in love—mind you without their dicks flapping around.

For one Tumblr user, “I learned to embrace my sexuality through Tumblr. It is a place of much joy to me, not simply as a place to research, but a place to be creative, to discuss fandom, to build fandoms, and to make connections with people… in short—everything I have come to love and everything I will be sad to lose.”

Instead of a joyful, creative environment, Tumblr wants us to go to some porn site and watch an actress pretending to enjoy herself while being railed by some big, sweaty dude.

Tumblr is trying to cover its own ass by changing its image and, in turn, it is killing itself. We users are scrambling to find a place where it’s safe for us to be ourselves without fear of censorship or judgment—but we don’t know where to go because Tumblr has for years been a safe space where fans can get together and intelligently (and sometimes ridiculously) discuss not only our sexualities but also the perfection of Cumberbatch’s Sherlock hair and Chalamet’s jawline. There are literal hashtags like #hairporn as we jokingly embrace such innocent, escapist addictions when the real world—with its war and idiot politicians—becomes too much to handle. Now, using the word “porn” will probably get me deleted.

Once again, we’re back to “violence is okay but sex is not.” How dare we depict people in love? How dare we present a female nipple? How dare artists draw pictures of Sherlock and John in a heated embrace? None of that for kids, damn it! But violent video games in which we shoot exotic dancers is a-okay?

Ever since reading Fahrenheit 451 in eighth grade, I’ve feared censorship. I’ve watched it happen, little by little, via news stories about people wanting to burn books and laws that would allow florists to turn down a wedding on the basis of straight or gay. Yet, there was always Tumblr: this warm, happy place where I could squee over beautiful people, happy people, and make friends with geeks like me—friends I am now afraid to lose because of the mass Tumblr exodus.

Tumblr is where I’ve found most of my fan fiction readers. It’s where I market my novels (the covers of which, thankfully, only feature male nipples). It’s where I have given and received support from people who understand me—and now, it’s being butchered because the site itself went into Apple-induced panic mode (which, by the way, makes me rethink the terrifying cultural monopoly that is Apple).

I don’t want Tumblr to die, but the platform isn’t giving us much of a choice. I won’t be deleting my profile because I hope they see the error of their ways and reassess. I won’t delete my profile because Tumblr is where I go when I need to relax—and this bitch needs to relax. That said, Tumblr is turning its back on millions of dedicated users. It is changing, mutating, into something none of us ever asked for or wanted. If this is a sign of the times, please keep a look out. Soon, the firemen might be coming to burn your books. And I plan to burn with them.


The Emmett File: A Gender/Sexuality Debate?

When I first wrote my short story, “The Emmett File,” I had no idea it was going to cause so many arguments. I just through it was a cute, happy story about love and a charismatic British dude named Emmett. Instead, I sent the staff of one magazine into an uproar as they debated love versus gender versus sexuality. (Needless to say, the story got rejected from said magazine.)

“The Emmett File” is a love story in which a straight male falls in love with a gay male and they actually have a successful short term relationship that alters both their lives. The big debate: Can you love someone (really, really love them) with no regard for their gender or sexuality? Can you love someone just because of who they are?

Let me know what you think, as “The Emmett File” is now featured at Erotic Review Magazine. Here, have a taste, and follow the link at the bottom to read the whole dang thing.

“The Emmett File”
An Excerpt by Sara Dobie Bauer
Featured in Erotic Review Magazine

Emmett’s odd pizza creation was perfect. The IPAs were perfect. When we stepped into the summer air, even the night felt perfect. The sun had set, but tiny twinkle lights illuminated the immortal desert trees that lined the center of Mill Avenue. Kids were out in droves looking for a buzz. I floated on my full belly, my beer, and the presence of the man at my side.

“Nightcap at my place?” he asked.

“Of course.” I smiled.

Emmett’s apartment was exactly like him: charming and odd.

“Go on.” He waved his hand at me as he approached the kitchen. “Go through my things. Figure out all my secrets. Damn writers,” he muttered into the humming glow of his open fridge.

I thought I was bad, but Emmett’s book collection rivaled the Library of Congress. Several were textbooks. I recognized about a half dozen dog-eared Jane Austen novels. There was science fiction, horror, and comedy. No self-help. No surprise.

He didn’t have pictures on the walls. The wallpaper itself was decoration: an atrocious pattern of reds and oranges that mimicked cheap hotel lobby carpet.

He stepped to my side and gestured to the wall. “I didn’t do that. Came like that.”

“Sure, Emmett.” I accepted the beer from his hand. I took a few steps forward and then turned in a circle. “It’s funny. The only thing about you without personality is your apartment.”

“Probably because I’m never here.” He casually rubbed one thumb over his bottom lip.

I turned away to picked up a copy of Fahrenheit 451. “You might love books as much as I do.”

“Think so?”

I tossed Bradbury on a crooked pile. “Maybe.”

I felt his hand on my lower back, which made me stand up straight and face him. I expected a pithy comment; he dealt them like cards. Instead, he leaned in and kissed me, once, on the lips. His lips were surprisingly soft. Then again, I’d never kissed a man before. Maybe other men’s lips were usually soft. He went in for another, and I dipped my head.

“Uh-h …” I muttered.

“What?” He had his hand on my shoulder.

“Emmett, I’m not …”

I watched his eyes close. He pulled his hand off my shoulder. “Fuck, I usually have spot on radar for this. Shit.” He tugged his hand through his hair.

I felt an unfamiliar desperation, a fear of losing this friend I barely knew. Maybe it was the fear of losing a character like Emmett. “Please don’t make this weird. I’ve been here two weeks, and you’re the only person I’ve had a conversation with.”

“Charlie, God, I’m sorry.” He took another step away from me and leaned against the kitchen counter. “You just seem really comfortable around me. We went to dinner together. You kept staring at me.”

“Was I really staring at you? I’m sorry. It’s a cataloguing thing for writing. It’s probably why women think I’m creepy.”

Emmett smiled. Just like that, I knew the storm had passed.


Halloween Town · Modeling

Visiting the haunted Madison Seminary

People say Madison Seminary is the most haunted place in Northeast Ohio, and its owners agree. A female Civil War spy named Elizabeth Stiles died here. It served as a mental hospital with a locked wing in the attic that held the more violent and mentally ill patients. Visitors report seeing shadows and hearing footsteps.

When photographer Steph Gentry invited me to model at Madison? Of course, I said yes, so we had some spooky fun one chilly October afternoon. (All photos by Gentry Photography. Hair color/style and makeup by Megan Lacy Does Hair.)

(Did we hear footsteps in the empty hallway right after this picture was taken? Yep.)

PS: You can take tours at Madison Seminary. For more info, check out their website:

Escape Trilogy

ESCAPING SOLITUDE (Escape Trilogy #2) is here!!!

Today, Escaping Solitude (Escape Trilogy #2) has arrived!

What readers are saying …

“While some middles of trilogies drag, I enjoyed this story even more than the first one! Andrew and Edmund, and their relationship with each other, continue to delight. Bauer strikes the perfect balance between erotica and excellent plotting.” – JL Gribble, author of The Steel Empires Series

“This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. In fact, this series is one of the best I’ve read in a long time.” – Scattered Thoughts and Rouge Words

“The second book in Sara’s Escape series takes her vampire and his sailor to their inevitable home base: New Orleans. The comparison to Interview is unavoidable, so let’s say this series is like if Lestat could actually get it up, and if Louis weren’t such a damned mope.” – Kim Alexander, author of the paranormal romance Pure

About Escaping Solitude:

Ancient vampire Andrew escaped his tropical island exile with his beloved human sailor, Edmund. They’ve now returned to Andrew’s home in nineteenth-century New Orleans and must navigate not only their developing relationship—and equally haunted pasts—but also a hungry coven of vampires Andrew used to call friends.

Desperate to stay by Andrew’s side forever, Edmund examines the impressive coven library in search of an Elder, the only creature capable of turning Edmund. Although missing for centuries, Andrew believes an Elder must still survive somewhere; they just have to find him.

The search is put on hold when Edmund receives word that his mother is ill in London, and the lovers set off on an oceanic journey surrounded by new friends and old enemies. When things go terribly wrong, Edmund’s fragile human life hangs in the balance, and an Elder must be found or Andrew will be alone forever.


An excerpt from Escaping Solitude

It’s hard to not focus on Edmund’s bare skin as he drinks straight from the water jug before wiping his face with the back of his hand. The long, angry scar on his back dances in the moonlight, and the bandage on his arm glows white. I suppose it’s my fault he earned a new scar during our time on the island. His blood was a gift to me that managed to save his life.

He rubs at his shoulder as though sore. “My body is confused,” he says.

I lean up on my elbows. “How so?”

“It’s accustomed to hard work.”

“I’ll work you hard.”

He laughs, and the sight of his lean stomach contracting has me half hard already. He flops into bed on his belly. “Do you even listen when I talk?”

I run my fingers through his dark hair. It’s shorter now than when we first met. “I love listening to you talk.”

“I’ve spent years living at sea. When I wasn’t busy playing sailor on deck, I walked through wild forests and fought cannibals and pirates. Now, I’m here in this bloody posh hotel, eating pastries all day—”

I steal a kiss. “They’re called beignets.”

“And, if we’re not careful, I’m going to end up fat and lazy like all the other British dukes.” Edmund’s eyes go wide in the darkness. “Jesus, Andrew, I have to write my mother! She might think me mad, but she doesn’t want me dead. And the trading company. Their ship is at the bottom of the sea!”

I tackle him and put my hand over his mouth. “Quiet. Are you trying to wake the entire hotel? It’s nowhere close to morning yet. Your letter writing will have to wait.”

He mumbles against my skin.

“What was that?” I pull my hand away.

“Are we going to see the city in the morning?”

“Yes. I have plans.” I think of my tailor, Peters…and a possible nocturnal enticement.

Edmund’s callused palms run up the sides of my biceps. “I’ll have to pretend I don’t adore you, won’t I? Out in the city. Two men together is frowned upon. I won’t be able to do this…” He cups my head in his hands and pulls me closer until his open mouth finds mine. He sucks on my tongue until I grind against his hip.

I pull away and press my forehead to his. “Will I ever stop wanting you?”

“No.” He smiles. “Men rarely do.”

Escaping Solitude Now Available