Bite Somebody · Forever Dead · Life without Harry · Sara Dobie Bauer

Christmas sale for Life without Harry and Forever Dead

Now that it’s December 1st, I can say it: MERRY CHRISTMAS! I try to keep to one holiday per month, but today, I embrace the Bing Crosby ringtone on my phone and my Jacquie Lawson advent calendar. I also embrace … a sale.

Both my Amazon-published novel and short story are cheaper than ever for the next twenty-five days, at only 99-cents a pop. It’s the perfect time to catch up on your reading and buy yourself an extremely inexpensive Christmas gift.

What people are saying about Life without Harry:

LifeWithoutHarry_Cover2“Anyone who loved Harry Potter but had to grow up will love this heartfelt story about a woman just trying to make life work.”

“Especially delightful for all us Harry Potter lovers who yearn for more.”

“There are millions who wondered what on earth we would do when the series was done. I even named my cat Harry Potter. Magical and yet not what you might expect. Buy it and escape in a new direction.”

About the book: Xanax-dependent author Samantha Elliot is on deadline with a literary festival three weeks away when a white owl flies into her windshield and then disappears. This wouldn’t be the strangest thing, if not for the magic wand that soon shows up and the Invisibility Cloak that just happens to make Sam invisible. Then, there’s Paul Rudolph: the office crush who finally asks her on a date. With the help of anti-depressants and her friend, Julie, Sam must navigate an ever-escalating world of Harry Potter and an ever-hotter relationship with Paul while finishing a manuscript before her agent (who might be Lord Voldemort) arrives for the literary festival … and possibly Sam’s head.

385 pages
F/M romantic relationship; Magic realism
Rating: PG-13
Now available on Amazon for only 99-cents and FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

What people are saying about Forever Dead:

forever-dead1“Bauer’s steamy vampire erotica story delves past the raw sex (though that has its place here, too) and to the nature of love itself.”

“Sara Dobie Bauer’s writing is spellbinding, on par with the greats. Sink your teeth into this wonderful story … now!”

“Her tale of vamp erotica inspires a case of goosebumps for gay lovers Dario and Zach. Their taboo affair stirs the heart and mind, with visions of Anne Rice dancing in the background.”

About the story: When ancient vampire Dario almost murders Detective Zach Mede for the fun of it, he is stopped by a sexual connection that threatens to ruin both their reputations. Despite keeping their forbidden tryst secret from the world, a vengeful female vampire finds out and makes Zach a target. Will Dario be in time to save the young mortal he has come to love and … at what price?

26 pages
M/M romantic relationship; Noir thriller erotica
Rating: Mature
Now available on Amazon for only 99-cents and FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

Wishing everyone a fun, steamy, and adventurous holiday season. Guaranteed, my stories will keep you warm and smiling! As they say, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … And don’t forget: my novel Bite Somebody will be published by Red Moon Romance in 2016. CHEERS!

Arizona · Entertainment in AZ · Life without Harry · Mental Health · Publishing · Sara Dobie Bauer · Writing

LIFE WITHOUT HARRY official release on Amazon: For the Harry Potter fans

Cover art by Katie Stout Purcell.

Today, I re-released my 2013 novel LIFE WITHOUT HARRY on Amazon. What’s it about? Consider it an homage to my love of Harry Potter …

Xanax-dependent author Samantha Elliot is on deadline with a literary festival three weeks away when a white owl flies into her windshield and then disappears. This wouldn’t be the strangest thing, if not for the magic wand that soon shows up and the Invisibility Cloak that just happens to make Sam invisible.

Then, there’s Paul Rudolph: the office crush who finally asks her on a date. With the help of anti-depressants and her friend, Julie, Sam must navigate an ever-escalating world of Harry Potter and an ever-hotter relationship with Paul while finishing a manuscript before her agent (who might be Lord Voldemort) arrives for the literary festival … and possibly Sam’s head.

An excerpt for your enjoyment!

“An owl? You hit an owl in the middle of the day on a crowded downtown street?” Sam had her best friend, Julie Grant, on speakerphone while she brushed her teeth. “Are you sure?”

“I’m pretty damn sure.” She spat toothpaste into the bathroom sink. “Then again, there was an ambulance involved.”

“An ambulance?” The volume of Julie’s voice increased. “Are you hurt?”

“No. I had a panic attack.”

“I thought you weren’t having those anymore.”

“Yeah, well.” Sam rested her palms on her bathroom sink. “Tell that to the owl.”

“I thought the drugs were supposed to help with all that.”

“They have been helping, generally, but there’s no pill that fits the category, ‘Feel like you’re going to pass out? Take this.’ You should have seen the paramedics. I swear they thought I was dying. I’m pretty sure I was the color of sea foam.”

“What about the owl?” Julie asked. “Its bloody corpse must have been nearby.”

“The critter disappeared.” She made a heebie-jeebie noise and rinsed her toothbrush before grabbing the mouthwash under the sink. “Or maybe I’m just nuts.”

Sam’s dog, Ripley, watched from the hallway, listening. She was the color of Bambie with a wrinkled forehead that made her look constantly concerned.

“Is hallucinating owls a side effect of your meds?”

“I don’t think so, but I can check.” Sam poured mouthwash into her mouth and swished it around. She tried to remember all the Paxil commercials she’d seen on TV. When they listed possible side effects, she didn’t remember anything about birds.

This is a novel for the true Harry Potter fan but also for the true romantic … and for people who generally just want a good laugh and some magic in their day-to-day. Head on over to Amazon and buy your eBook today!

Arizona · Book Review · Charleston · Life without Harry · Something about a Ghost · Writing

Don’t Slack on Setting

I picked up a book recently because it’s set in New Orleans. The plot sounded okay, but really, New Orleans. As someone who used to live in the American Lowcountry, I miss the South. As an Anne Rice fan, I feel I’ve visited New Orleans many times, even though I haven’t.

I was excited to start this book, escape the desert for a while, and be lulled into a sensuous stupor by the sights, sounds, and smells of what many consider the most beautiful city in the world.

To say I’ve been disappointed is an understatement. Here’s what I’ve gotten so far: “There was something about New Orleans—something about the air itself—a certain sultriness found nowhere else, that silky touch of humidity on skin like fingertips dragged slowly over your flesh.”

Great! And that was the first line. Since that first line, nothing, nadda. The author could be writing about Wall, South Dakota, and I wouldn’t know. Where is my French Quarter? Where is the overwhelming, sweet scent of magnolia? Where are the horse-drawn buggies for tourists?

ef5f114d06dfe0799832eb2df94d3424I’ll tell you where: in New Orleans. But not in this author’s book.

As a writer, setting is important. In my novels (even in my short stories), the city becomes a character. When I wrote Life without Harry, my readers rejoiced over places they recognized and couldn’t wait to visit places they did not. Same goes for Something about a Ghost, set in Phoenix. You know damn well you’re in Phoenix. You feel the dry heat and smell the spring-blooming orange blossoms. You see the purple-red sunsets, because Phoenix has a persona. Setting should have a persona.

As I mentioned, I was once lucky enough to live in the American Lowcountry. I lived in Charleston, South Carolina (aka “Heaven on Earth”), and the novel I’m writing at present takes place there. An excerpt:

“The air felt crisp, clean, light, and although most of the flowers were long dead, the air still smelled like some sweet bloomer over the usual scent of saltwater and wet sand. He clunked down the metal stairs that led to the ground floor and paused as his boat shoes met grass.

“He walked through the yard and its overabundance of dormant gardenia plants, their waxy leaves still green and lush despite the chill. The Crepe Myrtles at the end of his sidewalk were almost bare, beyond a few dark orange leaves that clung. He pulled a leaf free and held it between his fingers as he took a left and walked down Church Street toward Battery Park.

fbe2a39fb38fcb522ed53d63611ecbd2-3“He passed the houses where rich people lived, passed their well-kept gardens, their BMWs. He passed over brick roads, beneath the sprawling, wicked arms of Angel Oaks. He paused at Stoll’s Alley, a tiny walkway of brick, overwrought with climbing ivy—one of his usual short cuts—and kept moving until he entered Battery Park, the very tip of the Charleston peninsula.

“He stayed on the edge of the Battery. He stood on the walkway overlooking the harbor with his elbows leaned against the cold metal rail. The sky was cloudy, so the water looked dark green, tumultuous as though a storm would soon arrive. In the distance, he could see Fort Sumter and an American flag that flapped in the wind. There was a wind, a slight one that brushed softly over his face and brought with it the smell of dead fish.”

Do you smell the smells? See the sights? Feel the air? I hope so. I worked hard to take you to Charleston, even if you’ve never been there. This is setting, and for some reason, we’ve forgotten it. We’ve gotten so caught up in plot, character, conflict—but what is a story without a world, a sense of place?

This is a reminder to writers and readers alike: don’t let books get away with weak settings. Don’t be lulled by pretty people. People are but a thin pie slice of what is really happening in a story. Don’t disappoint me. I’ll find you and write about you on my blog.

Book Review · Life without Harry · Sara Dobie Bauer

Best Books of 2013

I read an embarrassingly high number of books in 2013. (No wonder my laundry never gets done.) Whereas many people spend the first few days of a new year looking forward, making resolutions, et cetera, I want to look back and pay homage to the greatest of the great—the best books of 2013.

18343847This does not mean the books were all released in 2013. But they were read in 2013, and they left a lasting impression that will not lessen with the passing of time. With great gnashing of teeth, I came up with nine, in no particular order.

1. Life without Harry
(Sara Dobie Bauer)
How could I? Pimp my own book on my “best of” list? Hey, gimme a break. I’m an author. If I don’t sell myself, who will? If you miss Harry Potter, head to Goodreads and download the eBook. Late Merry Christmas.

2. Splendors and Glooms
(Laura Amy Schlitz)
Puppets, weird magicians, London … well, it goes without saying I was going to love this one. I suppose it could be considered young adult, but there are enough twists, turns, and general creepy critters to keep any grown-up interested.

3. Neverwhere
(Neil Gaiman)
I can hear you: “How in the hell did you not read this book until 2013?” Yeah, yeah, I know, pathetic, especially when you consider The Graveyard Book is in my all-time top ten. Well, Neverwhere is better than The Graveyard Book. It’s a journey into the English underground where there are angels and any manner of murderous creatures. Follow the beloved hero, Richard Mayhew, to the place where the forgotten go …

157835144. The Great Gatsby
(F. Scott Fitzgerald)
I read this book in high school; didn’t get it. I read it this year; was crushed—by the story’s decadence, tragedy, and yearning for things lost. Maybe it’s me getting older, but I finally understand why this is a classic. If you didn’t “get it” last time you read Gatsby, read it again.

5. The Awakening
(Kate Chopin)
Also read this in high school, and although I liked it then, I fully understand it now. I’m a married woman, like sad, little Miss Pontellier. Chopin gives voice to the difficulties women go through, and although she was a pariah in her own age, her story is true and timeless.

6. The Ocean at the End of the Lane
(Neil Gaiman)
Again? Gaiman! Again? Yes, get over it. He signed this book for me, and I read it in two days. This, like Gatsby and The Awakening, is a book best understood after having lived a little. There are monsters and magic creatures, but there is truth and thorough melancholy as one man says goodbye to a childhood lost. Possibly the truest book Gaiman has yet penned.

7. Bellman & Black
(Diane Setterfield)
In this book, you just have to know what comes next. The lead character, William Bellman, is a curiosity yet someone you would like to know—at least for the experience of saying you once met him. It’s a novel about our own mortality and how the rooks are always watching and waiting to carry our souls away.

175719078. The Chatelet Apprentice
(Jean-Francois Parot)
Nicholas le Floche, investigator in 18th century Paris—what a sexy beast. I received this, the first in the several-book mystery series, as a review copy. I then ordered books two through six from ENGLAND. Yeah, I was that desperate. If you like mysteries, scandal, and sex, call London; tell them to toss Nicholas ‘cross the pond.

9. The Longings of Wayward Girls
(Karen Brown)
A woman searches for meaning in her current life by returning to a mysterious summer in her past, and we all know how scandalous things can get in the suburbs. This isn’t desperate housewife crap, though; this is a painful novel of regret and the blood that never washes away.

So that’s it for 2013, folks. One year over, a bunch of books read, and now, a new year. Know what that means? MORE BOOKS!

Arizona · Life without Harry · Music · Writing

The Soundtrack to “Life without Harry”

Do you listen to music when you create? As a writer, I must say I do not, but I know Stephen King has a penchant for hard rock and metal bands when he writes. What about painters? Sculptors? Dancers don’t count, because you obviously listen to music when you create.

Artists out there: what does music mean to you?

I only ask because I’d like to know I’m not alone. See, every time I start a new book, I slowly develop the movie soundtrack. I’m a geek, right? Like, totally, but for real: every book I have ever written has a playlist in iTunes, complete with the book title and a full list of songs that inspired the project.

Sometimes, the list is built before the book even begins. Other times, the playlist grows as the book grows. Generally, there is a main band that frames the novel. I swear, each time I start a new novel, some band out there releases an album that fits perfectly with my project. Very cosmic, yes? It goes back to the theory that we’re all connected: artists and non-artists alike.

What we do inspires other people even if we aren’t aware—which is, I suppose, why we should be cautious of what we create. There’s a lot of pressure, putting something new out into the world. You never know what effect you might have, which is part of the excitement and part of the danger. But I digress …

This blog post is actually a playlist for my first completed novel Life without Harry (available in eBook). I started writing Life without Harry during the summer of last year, and it just so happened that Florence + the Machine released Ceremonials around the same time. Voila. Soundtrack created. But as the book grew, so did the songs.

I’d now like to share the very special, very personal song list that went along with the writing of Life without Harry. I can even tell you the specific scene where each song belongs. Enjoy some good music today and realize how much music affects you, your life, and your art.

Official Soundtrack to Life without Harry

We Are Young – Fun (Movie Trailer)
Prologue – John Williams (Just because.)
Only If For A Night – Florence + the Machine (Opening Credits)
I Won’t Let You Down – Alex Clare (Kissing in the Fireflies)
Heartlines – Florence + the Machine (Running from Cops on Camelback)
Transatlantic – Silver Rocket (Anywhere. This song fits anywhere.)
Between Two Lungs – Florence + the Machine (Sam Begins to Write)
Arizona – Kings of Leon (Paul Takes Sam Broom-Flying)
Never Let Me Go – Florence + the Machine (The Haboob Chase)
Soon or Never – Punch Brothers (The Final Goodbye to Sig)

Thanks for reading … er, listening. In the future, I think I’ll always include a playlist in the content of my novels. It seems to make the experience so much more personal, for me and my reader. We can not only share words and images but sounds, as well, no matter the distance between us, and I like that.