Destiny's Dark Light · Halloween Town · Modeling · Ohio

Halloween Photo Shoot 2019

It’s beginning to seem like every Halloween Steph Gentry, Megan Lacy Sullivan, and I do a spooky photo shoot. It was originally unintentional; now, I’m beginning to think it’s intentional. We all just LOVE this time of year so hard … and we all love being creepy.

This year, we returned to the Madison Seminary in Madison, Ohio. The seminary was recently featured on A&E’s Ghost Hunters TV show, because apparently something like 200 people have died there. Last year when we did our photo shoot, Steph and I heard footsteps coming down an empty hallway, and an antique wheelchair snuck up behind me (and scared the shit out of Steph).

Anyway, once Steph saw the costume I was wearing for my Destiny’s Dark Light book launch parties, there was zero question we were going back to Madison.

Photos by Steph Gentry; hair by Megan Lacy Sullivan of Nevermore Salon and Studios.

In celebration of Halloween 2019, I offer you Sara as an evil witch specter creature who, like, eats children for breakfast. (That’s as specific as we got with our theme.) HAVE A SPOOKY DAY!

Destiny's Dark Light

“Are you witches?”

“This is going to sound odd, I assume, but are you witches?”

(Ohhhh, poor Liam. This sexy Irishman has no idea what he’s gotten himself into.)

Destiny’s Dark Light, my witchy Southern romance, is out TODAY from Pen and Kink Publishing. It’s time to meet the charmingly befuddled Liam and prophesied super witch Cyan. Can their destined love survive a war?


About the book:

In modern day Charleston, two fated lovers meet at the beginning of a world-ending witch war…

Cyan Burroughs is a lonely light witch prophesied to battle the dreaded Dorcha—a dark sorcerer with the power to rule the world. There’s one problem: Cyan doesn’t have any powers of her own.

An unknown witch flips a trolley and causes mass carnage, and Cyan’s dormant magic awakens. When she drags handsome Irishman Liam Cody from the wreckage, she recognizes his face from her aunt’s psychic portraits. He is the man Cyan is destined to love.

As she and her magical family seek to unveil the murderous witch who caused the accident, Cyan and Liam grow closer, but Liam’s mysterious past is not the only thing keeping them apart.

Dark witches and light will soon fight to the death, and Cyan must face her calling. How can she protect Liam and win the war when her immense powers are barely under control?


Learn more about DDL:

EXCERPT!!

Why is this dark romance set in Charleston, SC?

Amazing reader reviews!!

BUY ON AMAZON >>

Many thanks to Pen and Kink Publishing for loving this book and giving it a happy home.

As Halloween creeps ever closer, this is the perfect time of year to curl up with some pumpkin coffee (or, better yet, pumpkin beer) and read a spooky book by the fire. (Destiny’s Dark Light comes to mind.)

The air grows crisper. Whispering wind ruffles the changing leaves. Ignore that flash of light in the night; it’s probably just Cyan protecting the man she loves.

books · Halloween Town · Ohio

I’m feeling very haunted

Boo!! Scared ya! HAHAHAHA!!

It’s creeping ever closer to my favorite time of year. Halloween time. It’s almost time for ghouls and goblins, so as a pre-October treat, HAUNTED is out today! Read all about this fantastic anthology, featuring my short story, “I Spy.”

About the book:

Not all ghost stories are simple sightings and things going bump in the night. Not all ghosts are left behind because of simple unfinished business. No, sometimes that unfinished business is messy, complicated, and even deadly.

These are not your typical ghost stories—they are desire, love, and most importantly, revenge—all rolled into one. Revenge for a love stolen away, a love that never was, a retribution for a horrific act, or even an act of war.

Containing original stories and poetry by A.K. Alexander, Sara Dobie Bauer, Clint Collins, Harley Easton, Rhonda Parrish, Wendy Sparrow, Elesha Teskey, and ReLynn Vaughn.


I’ll give you a little teaser of my short story.

“I Spy” is about a happy young couple who wanna fix up an old seminary and make it a home for troubled kids. Well, there’s plenty of trouble when the vengeful ghost of a dead nun gets involved.

(Interestingly, “I Spy” is based on an actual place near my house called Madison Seminary that I’ve toured several times. Learn more about this haunted attraction HERE.)

Now, the tease …

“I Spy” (excerpt)
By Sara Dobie Bauer

“Look, I know we’re not supposed to talk about this, but …” I chew my fingernail. “The ghost stories.”

Tyler freezes, and I wish I could see his face. He can’t hide anything from me if I can see his face. “Tell me you haven’t been on Google. You promised.”

“I know, I … I haven’t been on Google, Tyler.”

He shimmies backwards out of the hole in the wall, and I snort.

“You have a million cobwebs in your hair, love. You look like a piece of that old furniture in the basement.”

He uses the back of his hand to push too-long locks from his forehead. “Bean, there’s no such thing as ghosts.”

“Right. Logically.” I bury my hands in my pockets. I don’t remember what it’s like to feel warm. “Look, logically, I know, ghosts aren’t real. It’s just, I’ve had some strange things happen, like my things goin’ missing, and sometimes I feel like I’m being watched.”

“Shit, can you actually feel when I’m checking out your ass?”

I clear my throat and glare.

He hops up to his feet, and I reach to dust off his hair, which takes me back to the first time we met when I helped clean vomit from his head.

Unlike Tyler, I come from a well-to-do family. For his job, Dad moved us from Ireland to Cleveland, Ohio, when I was sixteen, so maybe I did a bit of acting out, which ended with me having to do community service. Thanks to my underage drinking, the judge sent me to volunteer at a homeless shelter, which I thought would be just bloody awful.

Instead, I walked in to see this six-foot guy in hand-me-down clothes with the most beautiful face I’d ever seen, holding a bucket while some kid puked through withdrawal symptoms. The kid missed and ended up puking all over Tyler. I considered it my judge-appointed civic duty to assist the hot guy. That was seven years ago.

Now, I’m a business major at Cleveland State University, Tyler is an entrepreneur, and we often talk about adult things like marriage and kids—eventually.

He rubs his nose against mine. “Ghosts aren’t real.”

“But bad things happened here, right?”

He tilts his chin down. “Bad things happen everywhere.”

The scars on his body are proof of that—but that’s not what we’re discussing.

“People died here, though. Right? Like, in bad ways.”

He scratches his head, and I sneeze on released dust.

“Bless you,” he mutters.

“Tell me.”

He glances back at the hole in the wall, eyes puffy because he hasn’t been sleeping enough. “Let me just finish this. Why don’t you go downstairs, make some of your gross tea.” He only drinks coffee. “And we’ll talk. Just give me twenty.”

I hug my sweater-clad arms and nod. He kisses my forehead and crawls back into the hole in the wall, leaving me near him but alone in the long hallway on the fourth floor with tiles that look like eyes of a storm. Some of the tiles are rotted away, but the ones that remain are red and white and I swear they stare at me.


Wanna know what happens next? Duh, of course you do!

I hope you enjoy this haunting collection and that it gets you ready for the SPOOKIEST time of year!

Destiny's Dark Light

Witches are coming to Charleston this October

You want a witchy book just in time for Halloween? Oh, I got your witchy book.

Announcing today … Destiny’s Dark Light.


In modern day Charleston, two fated lovers meet at the beginning of a world-ending witch war …

Cyan Burroughs is a lonely light witch prophesied to battle the dreaded Dorcha—a dark sorcerer with the power to rule the world. There’s one problem: Cyan doesn’t have any powers of her own.

An unknown witch flips a trolley and causes mass carnage, and Cyan’s dormant magic awakens. When she drags handsome Irishman Liam Cody from the wreckage, she recognizes his face from her aunt’s psychic portraits. He is the man Cyan is destined to love.

As she and her magical family seek to unveil the murderous witch who caused the accident, Cyan and Liam grow closer, but Liam’s mysterious past is not the only thing keeping them apart.

Dark witches and light will soon fight to the death, and Cyan must face her calling. How can she protect Liam and win the war when her immense powers are barely under control?

Add Destiny’s Dark Light to your Goodreads bookshelf today!


Previously released as part of the Enchanted Trilogy, I’m so pumped for this to be its own stand-alone book. (And the cover is gorgeous, but you don’t get to see it until September!) This is the perfect way to celebrate Halloween, and I plan to do so with October costume parties and book signings mwahahaha!

Entertainment in AZ · Halloween Town

Halloween Town: Ghosts of Phoenix and More …

Saturday night, dressed as my wicked witchy self, I had the pleasure of attending the Hotel San Carlos’ Ghosts of Phoenix tour. I was not disappointed.

The Hotel San Carlos officially opened in 1928. It was the premiere luxury hotel of its day and the first hotel in Phoenix to feature air conditioning! Plenty of famous folk stayed the night, including Mae West, Clark Gable, and the lovely Marilyn Monroe (who has a suite named after her near the pool—of course). The years have passed, but the hotel is still a beautifully spooky spot with antique lighting and long hallways, reminiscent of Kubrick’s Shining.

Being so old (old in a Phoenix sort of way, that is), the Hotel San Carlos has plenty of ghost stories—which the staff was oh so happy to share. The Hotel San Carlos is famous for its history and alleged hauntings.  It has been featured on the Travel Channel’s “Weird Travels” and received the #3 spot on Horror.com’s list of “America’s Top 10 Haunted Hotels.” Oo-oo-oo … spooky!

It helped that the night itself felt spooky, as nights near Halloween are wont to do. By the time I arrived, the sun had long since set, and the busy city bustled beneath a star-lit sky. When I walked into the hotel, I noticed the Ghost Lounge was covered in creepy cobwebs. A wedding reception was in full swing near the lobby, the bride wearing a dress that would have fit fine in the late 1920s. Basically, the scene was set.

Our tour guide, Julia, was a heck of a storyteller. First, she took us down to the dastardly dark basement, where the ghosts of three children apparently like to play. The adoringly curious crowd snapped several photos, and even I caught a ghoulish “orb” on film. Then, it was up to the seventh floor, where the ghost of actress Leone Jensen floats. Leone jumped from the roof of the hotel, but her death was suspicious. She wore a fancy evening gown, and she was still clutching her purse. Plus, why would a suicide victim have mysterious bruises on her wrist?

The list of strange deaths goes on, but the tour is definitely worth it for the spook factor. It added greatly to my Halloween mentality, the staff was spook-tacular, and I can’t wait to someday spend a night in the haunted Hotel San Carlos. The tours will continue on through December, so get in touch with the hotel and book your reservation! All the info you need is on the Ghosts of Phoenix tour website: http://www.ghostsofphoenix.com/.

Now … You know what day it is. It’s Halloween, which means you have a few things to prepare for tonight. We all know the ghosts are free to wander this eve. If you want to stay safe, it’s time to carve that jack-o-lantern, or Stingy Jack might come and get you. Jack once made a deal with the Devil to never take his soul. But Jack wasn’t a nice guy, so when he died, Heaven wouldn’t take him either. Jack has since been trapped on earth, carrying a carved out turnip with a light inside. To keep him (and other wandering spirits, for that matter) away from your home, light a jack-o-lantern and put it in the window. You don’t want your house to end up like the haunted Hotel San Carlos, do you?

Next, you better get on a costume to confuse the spirits and make them think you’re a ghoul, too. That way, they’ll leave you be! Don’t forget to have candy for the trick-or-treaters. You don’t want any curses on your head.

For the single ladies, Halloween is the best night for divination. Legend says that if a young woman goes to a lake at midnight on Halloween and gazes at her image in the water, she will see her future husband’s face reflected before her.

Remember those who have gone before by building your own mini Day of the Dead altar. And hey, why not play a prank or two, because “treat” wouldn’t be the same without “trick.”

It is finally the frightful night of Halloween. Go out and raise some mischief, but beware the ghosts and goblins that wander, hidden among frolicking children on this night to remember the dead … BOO!

“Witches’ hats and harvest moon / Ghosts that dance to haunted tune. / Apples, goodies, food galore / Halloween has this and more. / Fairies, gnomes, and funny clowns / Mom and I go ‘round the town. / Cats and pumpkins, friends to meet / Everyone says “trick or treat!”

Halloween Town

Halloween Town: Ohio University and Contact Highs

I attended Ohio University for several reasons. 1) Even though I visited during the dreaded cicada season, it was still one of the most beautiful places on earth. 2) Its journalism school kicked butt. 3) It was way more affordable than out-of-state. And 4) Well … come on, let’s be honest: it was a party school, most notably on the night of Halloween.

As I’ve mentioned before, Athens, Ohio, has been called one of the most haunted places on the planet, and, perhaps by coincidence, the city is also host to one of the largest Halloween block parties in the nation. Every year anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 costumed party goers fill Court Street in Uptown Athens. Lucky me, I lived on Court Street my junior and senior years. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
I was drunk the first night I set foot in Athens, Ohio, after unpacking all my junk, meeting my new roommate (Katie Nichols/Laver, the sweetest girl on earth), and saying goodbye to my tearful ma and pa. Literally, as soon as our parents’ cars could be seen driving away from Washington Hall on East Green, Katie and I turned to each other and said, “So what are we doing tonight?” We went out, wandered around, and ended up at an upper-class kegger. I was eighteen! Drinking a beer! And I didn’t have to worry about my parents finding out! Because they were back in Perrysburg!

The months continued liked this, until it was made apparent: Halloween is a big deal. You must have a good costume. You must hang out on Court Street. You must possibly get arrested for public urination. It was all part of the tradition. The first year, I was a mafia princess. The second year, I was Trinity from The Matrix, and by the second year, three of my best friends rolled into town for the event. Halloween in Athens became their tradition, too. Even Jake was in Athens for Halloween one year, while I was at the university. It’s a small world … where Halloween celebration at Ohio University is concerned.

The main attraction of Halloween in Athens was Court Street, my home for two years. The City of Athens closed down the entire street to accommodate the crowds, and as spectators/ participants, we gratefully obliged. The walk to Court Street was always a challenge, even when I lived there. By the time you actually left your house, you’d probably been drinking for about six hours. (One year a visiting pal of mine never even made it to Court Street. She blamed it on the avid game of flip cup we’d played that afternoon.)

Court Street. The insanity.
Once on Court Street, the drunkenness of the entire town functioned as a contact high. You made friends and got hugs from perfect strangers—especially if they were dressed as, say, Indiana Jones or a postal carrier. It was a good thing you made new friends, because you usually lost the ones you came with anyway. (Once, I lost another out-of-town visitor on Court Street, only to later find out she’d been drinking a bottle of straight vodka, walking down the middle of the street, right past policemen … who were thankfully watching someone else do something stupid.) By the end of it all, Court Street was a thriving, pulsating, single entity of friends for a night, acting as they never would on any other night of the year.

Maybe that’s what it was all about. Halloween is about costumes, right? Maybe on Halloween, we all do things we normally wouldn’t. Smoke cigarettes. Make out with a vampire. Latch onto people you’ve never seen and probably never will see again. It was something I loved about Athens on Halloween; it was something I loved about Athens all year long, because in college, you do tend to make friends with people you never would have expected. Those friendships last the rest of your life; my OU group meets at least once a year, and whenever we’re together, it’s like we’re back on Court Street.

I’ve been back for Halloween since graduation, to visit my little bro, Matt, while he was a student at Ohio University. People say things change. What you remember about the “good times” will never be quite as good when you go back. I say that’s a bunch of bull crap. Athens, Ohio, was exactly the same. And so am I, whenever I go back—21 and a total idiot. But I was always a happy idiot. Especially on Halloween.

Matt Dobie on the left, as Snidely Whiplash.
Halloween Town

This is Halloween

There are people who love Christmas. They decorate their houses the day after Thanksgiving, and they play cheerful Rat Pack carols all month. Well, I’m not one of those people. I love Halloween. I already have black nail polish on my fingertips, and I’ve added about a dozen horror movies to my Netflix queue.

Have you seen Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas? It begins with a swooping camera dive past a sign that says “Halloween Town.” In Halloween Town, everything is dark and spooky. There are witches, vampires, werewolves, and most importantly, Jack, the Pumpkin King. There are ghouls in kids’ closets, and the sun never shines. It’s always gray, and even the street musicians are waiting to freak you out.

This is where I want to live.

Don’t think I’m morbid, okay? I don’t literally want to be a ghost or a blood-sucking albino. But I love Halloween time—most notably, Halloween time in Ohio. In Ohio at Halloween time, the weather starts to change. The summer air turns cold and crisp. The green leaves begin to turn orange and red, and it rains every day. There’s this smell up north, like clove cigarettes and wet moss, and I’ve missed that smell, ever since heading south, to warmer climates.

I also love being scared—horror movies, haunted houses, walks in pitch black cemeteries at midnight. These are things I used to do often, especially as a student at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio—widely considered one of the most haunted places in the US. (Don’t believe me? See episode of Scariest Places on Earth, Part 1 and Part 2. And, trust me, watch at your own risk.)

So what happened to the spook in me? I guess I got busy and important, and what a stupid excuse for missing out on my favorite month of the year, blessed October.

While wallowing in the horrendously dull summer heat of Arizona, I realized I was not going to miss my favorite month this year. I would not allow October to fly by, to be left wondering, what happened to Halloween? No, my freaky friends, I’ve decided to dedicate the entire month of October to … Halloween Town.

Over the next month, we will meet a Wiccan priestess, voyage through a Glendale pumpkin patch, visit the walking dead at a haunted house in Surprise, and finally, relive the glory of Halloween at OU. There will be plenty more, too, but you’ll just have to wait and see.

Since it’s October 1st today, I officially declare it time to eat, drink, and be scary. It’s time to decorate our houses with orange and purple lights. It’s time to stick our arms, elbow deep, into the slimy pit of a pumpkin and cower in fear as Jamie Lee Curtis dares to ask “Is somebody out there?” And it’s time to figure out what the heck I’m going to wear for my costume to the Haunted Hotel Ball in Scottsdale a month from now.

Get ready for Halloween. Your dreams are about to become nightmares. Oh, and don’t worry about the sound of footsteps behind you in that dark alley. By the time you see who’s following you, it’ll be too late.