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!
BUY IT HERE.


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!
BUY IT HERE.


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

LifeWithoutHarry_Cover2
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 · Life without Harry · Music · Writing

The Soundtrack to “Life without Harry”

Florence-And-The-Machine-005
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.

fireflies1

Arizona · Publishing · Writing

Now Available: “Life without Harry”

Cover by Katie Purcell.
Cover by Katie Purcell.

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 Voldemort) arrives for the literary festival … and possibly Sam’s head.

How to Get Your Copy:
Life without Harry is available on Amazon.

Why Today?
I met my husband four years ago today. I consider August 14th the luckiest day of my life.

What Can You Do?

Tell your friends!!! Happy reading!

Arizona · Publishing · Writing

Teaser: Excerpt from “Life without Harry”

The full eBook download of my first novel, Life without Harry, will be available Wednesday. Until then, something to whet your appetite …

Life without Harry

by Sara Dobie Bauer

Chapter 1

Samantha Elliot was talking on the phone in the car on a Tuesday when she hit a large, white owl in downtown Phoenix. At least she thought it was an owl. They never found the body.

Her agent, Elaine Umbert, was on the other end of the line. Screaming. “Changing Hands Bookstore called me about a promo event once your new book is released. Me. Why would they call me?”

Sam had no idea, other than to say, “Well, you are my agent.”

“Not good enough.”

“Then, I have no idea?”

“Isn’t the owner a friend of yours?”

She used to be, before Sam acquired an anxiety disorder and basically stopped writing; not that her agent knew that. Her agent thought Sam was almost finished with book number two. See, Elaine Umbert was a positive thinker.
“I just need to know: is the book almost finished?”

Sam honked the horn on her 1996 Toyota Camry twice and shouted, “Stay in your own lane!” There was no one in front of her, but she needed a distraction.

2104116828_cb895c8211“You know, JK Rowling was never behind on a deadline. You like her, don’t you?”

“I love her.”

“And can you imagine what would have happened to her if she failed to deliver? What if Harry Potter seven never happened?”

“She would have been burnt at the stake as a witch.”

“Exactly.” Sam heard a telltale inhale-exhale, which meant Elaine was smoking again, somewhere in San Diego. “So just …” she sighed. “Finish the damn thing, and fast.”

“Stephenie Meyer rushed the last Twilight book, and everyone agreed it sucked.”

“You don’t suck, Sam. You can’t suck.”

“Yes. I can.” She turned her car onto Seventh Avenue on the way to her gym and almost rear-ended a handicapped driver, which made her scream and slam on the brakes.

“Sam! What is it?”

“I’m driving in downtown Phoenix at lunch hour. I shouldn’t be on a phone.”

“I’m almost finished. Look, I’ll be there in three weeks, and the manuscript will be done, and we will make an announcement at the literary festival.”

Sam stopped at a red light and refused to say “yes” to any of those things. “Uh … uh …”

A man in a black pickup truck pulled up next to her. He nodded and smiled when he noticed her looking at him, but she was really noticing his obnoxious mariachi music—which gave Sam an idea. She reached for the radio and turned to one of the high-100s. When she found the proper brand of Mexican, she turned up the volume and started to shout.

“Elaine! Some gang-bangers just pulled up next to me. I really need to get off the phone.”

“What?”

“I think I see a gun!”

“Sam!”

“I’ll call you later!” She hung up, wondering if her little act was enough to keep her literary agent distracted at least until tomorrow.

First, Sam turned down the music. Then, when the light turned green, she waved at the guy next to her and kept driving. If she got to the gym, she’d be all right. At the gym, her anxiety went away, beat beneath the soles of her running shoes. At the gym, she didn’t think about the manuscript, behind deadline—the manuscript that sucked, really. She just ran and ran and didn’t wonder if her fifteen minutes were up, because if anything, Samantha Elliot was famous: one of the rare best-selling authors who appeared on the late shows and with her favorite, Jon Stewart. But that was all two years ago.

At the next stoplight, she glanced through her windshield into the clear, blue Arizona sky and realized, huh, the sky was not clear blue. The sky was mostly blue, but a rim of dark clouds poked out between spaces in skyscrapers. As the light turned green, her fingertips returned to the radio to check the possibility of a coming storm in October, but as she did so, someone whispered her name—“Samantha.”

white-owl-animal-planet-3294871-688-469A white blur descended on the car. Sam thought it was all true, what the Bible said. The Rapture was in Phoenix, and an angel was there to take her away. She was mistaken, of course. Instead of some divine being, Sam recognized a round, flat face; big, yellow eyes; and a wide open beak Sam suspected was saying, “Shit,” before an owl crashed into her windshield.

Sam closed her eyes and shouted something like, “Whathfub!”

After the thunderous thwack of the bird’s carcass, her eyes opened and she watched her windshield crack-crack all the way across. She didn’t realize she slammed on the breaks until she got rear-ended, followed soon after by the sound of a million horns.

Sam knew she was supposed to pull her car to the side of the road in the event of an accident, but all she could think was, “Gotta find that bird.” She opened the driver-side door and stepped out. Cars whizzed past on either side. The driver behind her vehicle shook his fist and cussed in Spanish. Sam ignored him and scoured the pavement for a dead, white owl.

But the owl had disappeared.

(See Wednesday’s blog post for full Life without Harry download information!)

Publishing · Writing

All about “Life without Harry”

Most of you know I finished writing a book in August. I’ve been quiet about it so far, as the editing process goes on, but now, I’m ready to share. Here’s a teaser to hold you over until you buy a copy someday … because you will buy a copy.

What is the working title of your book?
Life without Harry

486889_10151256293916318_1495784855_nWhere did the idea come from for the book?
Last December, I was without a project. (See “I Quit.”) Then, I watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (viewing five-million-twenty-seven), and I realized how much I missed the world of Harry Potter! Images floated around my head, most notably an image of an owl landing on a car windshield in the middle of downtown Phoenix. Why? Dunno, but the image stuck, and well, so did the first scene of what would become Life without Harry.

What genre does your book fall under?
Adventure fiction with a side of magic-realism, romance, and comedy.

What is the one-paragraph synopsis of your 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 Voldemort) arrives for the literary festival … and possibly Sam’s head.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hard to say (since the characters are mostly based on real people), but I could see Zooey Deschanel as the lead and Ryan Reynolds as the romantic interest. (Who else is hot enough to portray a character based on my husband?)

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Four months.

What other books would you compare this story to?
The magic of Harry Potter.
The humor of David Sedaris.
The fast-paced dialogue of Bunnicula.
The romance of The Princess Bride.
The occasional darkness of The Graveyard Book.

Drinking Butterbeers at Harry Potter World.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Life without Harry deals with the down and dirty of anxiety, depression, and the loss of a loved one to unexpected death. It is funny (because I love making people laugh), but in order for Sam to be a fully developed character, she has to have an internal darkness … because frankly I have an internal darkness. In order for the story to be well-rounded and complete, each of the characters must go to a dark place and, like Harry Potter, realize that hope, love, and friendship abound.

Why do you want to write and sell a book?
I have a card on my desk that says, “We must play all the keys, seek the tunes only we can hear, and deliver them to those outside our box.” I write to tell a story. I write because I have to. I write because God wants me to write; why else would He have given me the obsessive drive to do so? Mostly, though, I write to give people light and laughter in a world that is growing less and less funny.

Writing

Empty Head Syndrome

I’m sad to inform you that I now suffer from what is known as EHS, or “Empty Head Syndrome.” I am a writer who finds herself incapable of writing. Should I feel guilty about my newly developed mental condition? According to my writers’ group, no; they’re happy to point out that I finished writing a novel a month ago, and my mind deserves a break. However, here’s the catch: although my rapidly typing fingers might be taking a break, my nightmares are not.

That’s right; when I do not exercise my mind creatively during the day, my subconscious tortures me at night. I mean, all night long. It’s not that the dreams wake me up necessarily; they are merely disorienting. These dreams usually feature friends I haven’t seen in years. They feature tornados and sharks. In my dreams, friends tell me they are pregnant, and I wake up wondering if friends are really pregnant. Without an outlet for my overly imaginative mind, my dreams have become vivid, horrifying, and downright inappropriate, and I want this to stop.

And yet. And yet. I have nary a tale to tell. Nadda. Zilch.

I am an addicted daydreamer. Usually, when I daydream, I set up elaborate fantasy stories that don’t have good plotlines, but hey, they’re fun for me, and they send me into a state of blissful relaxation. I can’t even do that anymore! What is a daydreamer incapable of a simple daydream? A crazy person, that’s what! A sufferer of EHS, Empty Head Syndrome.

I’ve been doing my best to therapeutically heal my condition by reading. I’ve finished four books in the past two weeks: The Language Police, Felix Palma’s newest release Map of the Sky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (heart-wrenching), and All Quiet on the Western Front (even more heart-wrenching). Instead of my morning routine of writing, I read. I read and I read and I read, hoping that the creative inspirations of others might inspire something in me. So far, we’re still at zero.

Does this happen to all authors? Does the process of writing a full-length novel so exhaust the psyche that all creative thought is removed for, say, the length of time it took to write the novel? Somebody tell me I’m not alone here, because I’m losing my mind. I think it’s because it has been years since I haven’t had a story in my head. Before I began the recently completed Life without Harry (which is floating around with first readers as I type), I spent two years working on a novel I ended up trashing. Before that, I spent about a year writing short stories. Before that … who knows? I’m getting too old to remember.

What I’m getting at is that it’s been years since I’ve been without a story in my brain, and without my creative outlet, I’m having trouble remembering how to relax—how to fade out when real life gets a little too intense. Because that’s what I’ve realized: writing is and always will be an escape for me. If I am unable to write, where is my escape? Where can my mind go to rest? Sure, reading other people’s work will help for a while. Watching Law and Order has a way of lulling me into a hypnotic trance of TV zombie-land. But how long will my subconscious be sated by these silly distractions? How long before I wake up in a cold sweat, haunted by never ending dreams?

Usually, stories have a way of falling into my lap, so I’m playing the waiting game—waiting for my first readers to have feedback on Life without Harry and waiting to wake up with something new to work on. Jake wants me to write something fantastical with a Halloween theme, and let’s face it—wouldn’t that be fun? Certain songs bring to mind scenes that have no relevance, and yet there are scenes already floating in my head, scenes from some mysterious story as yet undiscovered. But I still have no actual story, and folks, a writer needs a story like a surfer needs the sea. Until the images make sense, until inspiration strikes, I will wallow in this Empty Head Syndrome, waiting for the Fiction Fairy to bop me on the head.

Writing

The Book is Done

I feel dizzy. I’m giggling and crying. My hands are shaking, and I’m staring blankly at my living room wall. Frankly, I feel kind of sick to my stomach. Because it’s done. My book, Life without Harry, is done.

Outlining began in January. Writing began in February. A complete overhaul happened in April, and now, as of August 16, 2012, the first draft of my new novel is finished.

How do you encompass this feeling? Finality. I’ve spent months with these characters, nights thinking about them, days obsessing over dialogue. I’ve worked out the entire movie soundtrack (lots of Florence + the Machine and Alex Clare with Punch Brothers thrown in). I’ve traveled Phoenix without leaving my house. I’ve become my lead—or perhaps, she became me. I’ve been honest with myself and with my manuscript. Now, the first draft is done, so what do I do?

Buy champagne. Probably, yes. My parents are here, which makes it even cooler that the monster has been conquered. Classes start next week at Glendale Community College, and I’m taking one about revising your manuscript. Clutch. But literally, I mean, what do I do RIGHT NOW? I feel exhausted all of a sudden. Ripley the dog is sleeping at my feet, snoring softy. She has no idea what just occurred twenty-four inches from her face.

There’s a sense of melancholy creeping nearby, since in a way, I just said goodbye to several great fictional friends. There’s a sense of joy at mission accomplished. There’s trepidation, knowing the next steps—revision, workshop, sales—are the worst parts of being a writer. I can feel my heart beating hard in my chest, and now, again, here come more tears. What a mixed bag.

Life without Harry is no longer some dream in my head; the story of Sam, Paul, and dear Sig are on the page now. Their story has come full circle. In a way, mine has, too, because how can I say this book is all fiction when I know it isn’t? No novel is ever all fiction.

The clouds in Phoenix today are for me. They add a sense of calm to my raging emotions. They add dimness to the blinding light of success, because the book is done, but my job is far from over.