Am I on fire or just burning out?

Photo by Chris Loomis.

Best friend, writer, and editor Trysh Thompson has been warning me for months about “burnout.” When a creative person creates too much, we crash.

Over the past three months, I wrote the final 30K word segment of the Escape Trilogy. I wrote the Bite Somebody screenplay.  I wrote a 10K word Sherlock fan fiction. I have so far celebrated the release of parts one and two of the Enchanted Series in January and February (the third coming in April). And as of Friday, I rewrote an entire 55K novel called We Still Live over the span of 18 days … and then, had to attend a three-day geek convention to promote my work.

Monday night, after sending We Still Live to my famed first readers, I panicked. Dunno why really. Would you like a taste of my hysterical text messages?

“The more I think about it, the more I think my rewrite sucks and I’m kind of having a panic attack and should just be a stripper because I’m a horrible writer. Jesus, what’s wrong with me? Seriously, I feel sick.”

“I’m in crisis. Can’t even read right now without fixating on how every writer is apparently better than me. Feeling highly talentless and impostery right now.”

Photo by J. Dell.

Yeah, that is just a smidgen of what my closest friends have been dealing with. But is this burnout, or is this basically what happens in the mind of every writer, everywhere?

Do you know what I did yesterday? (I hope not, because if you do know, you’re a stalker.) I went to a fancy lunch place with my friend Ingrid, had a total vocal-vomit fest, and downed two, yes TWO, huge IPAs before dragging her to a dive bar for round three. I fell asleep last night listening to my favorite Debussy, Chopin, and Puccini tunes because the idea of picking up a book made me sick. Words have become the enemy.

So is this burnout? I have no idea. I just know it’s unlike me, especially as I prepare my line edits for the Escape Trilogy to be released by NineStar Press this July.

My brain is a fuzz ball of angst and confusion, maybe partially due to the beers of afternoons past. Or perhaps it’s time to step away and not write for a couple days? See what happens. Will the muse return, or will I spend eternity staring at walls?

When “career stuff” is going well, we assume we’ll feel a sense of peace, but let’s face it: the better the “career stuff,” the busier we are. I’m not complaining about the early success of 2018, but I will say I am overwhelmed and probably need to step away from creative writing for a little while.

Luckily, the famous (infamous) Bite Somebody Pilgrimage to Longboat Key, Florida, is in two weeks. There, I can unwind and think about nothing but cocktail hour. I think I’m ready. In the meantime, take a look at your own job and make sure you’re not burning the proverbial two-sided candle. It’s hell on the bar tab.

I don’t usually tell sad stories, but …

Watching my grandparents grow older, grow sicker, and eventually die is that hardest thing I’ve ever done. The memory of their loss haunts me to this day. One night, I was lucky enough to have them visit my dreams. Well, I thought I was lucky.

The dream became a nightmare in which I had to watch them die all over again, trapped inside “the old homestead” where I spent every childhood Christmas and which now belongs to a whole other family. (I can’t even drive  by the house in my hometown without crying.)

Anyway, since I had to live this nightmare, I thought I might as well write about it so the creepiness and despair could exist forever in the published medium. Wow, that sounded sadistic!

Sadism aside, I’m honored to be the For Books’ Sake Weekend Read: “The Weekend Read publishes outstanding fiction by women every Friday. We feature prize-winning stories, stories from published collections, and brand new work by established authors as well as showcasing new, emerging voices from across the globe.”

Here’s an excerpt from “They Lived in the House on Cherry Street.” Be sure to check out the story in its entirety at For Books’ Sake!

I expected nothing but silence and the stale smell of age when I walked through the breezeway and turned the familiar key in the familiar side door lock. Imagine my surprise when I smelled cigarettes and heard the rickety echo of Glenn Miller’s orchestra on a turntable.

The side door led into the kitchen, which was filled with blue smoke, illuminated by early evening light through windows that led to the backyard.

Then, a voice:

“Home at last,” she said. Mom.

The kitchen was as I remembered it: filled with blooming cacti and framed cross-stitch phrases in Italian. Beneath the cigarette smoke, I smelled tomato sauce. My mother stood at the counter, salting pasta, dousing it in olive oil, and stirring, stirring with a wooden spoon.

She must have been in her thirties: carefully curled black hair, red lipstick, a tiny waist, and a simple stained apron that belonged to my father but that she claimed was her favourite.

Mom turned to face me and smiled. She wiped her hands on her apron and opened her arms. “Give me a hug, Sandi. And why are you so late from school?”

We’d burned her decrepit, sick body three days before. She was ashes in the ground at St. Rose Cemetery, where all the Catholics ended up.

One of my knees gave out, so I reached for the edge of the stove for balance. I shouted and pulled my hand back from the heat, which made my mother run to me and yell, “Albert!”

I felt her hands on me—not the paper-thin flesh of a dying old woman but the strong, supple hands of a lifetime cook who kept our Cherry Street house clean and made my bed every morning. Her hands wrapped around my thin wrists and led me to the kitchen table that wasn’t supposed to be there. No, we’d sold the family table at the estate sale.

She pushed me into a chair  and rushed to the sink to wet a washcloth. She pressed the cloth to my hand, and I smelled her perfume: Chanel No. 5.

“What’s all the ruckus, Ella?”

Dad stood in the doorway that led from kitchen to living room—the place where we’d spent over forty Christmas morns. His head was already bald, but his hair was still brown around the sides of his head. He looked strong, the Naval officer he once was, not the wasted sack of bones who died in their bedroom ten years before.

I ignored the cold cloth on my scalded hand and ran to him. He almost dropped his newspaper at my exuberance. He smelled like smoke and Old Spice. He felt warm and soft, full around the middle from all the new-fangled light beer. He stuck his face in my hair and whispered, “Sandi, baby, are you all right?”

I cried, and Mom tutted. “She just burned her hand, silly thing.” She grabbed at me and wrapped the cloth firmly against my palm. “Now, sit down, you two. Time to eat.”

Read “They Lived in the House on Cherry Street” in its entirety at For Books’ Sake.

Good witch or bad witch? Choose sides in Enchanted: Magic Ember

PART TWO of the Enchanted series is out today from Pen and Kink Publishing!

The love story of Cyan and Liam continues in Enchanted: Magic Ember. Due to the violent arrival of a dark witch in Charleston, Cyan’s powers awaken. She is the foretold white witch, fated to save the world, but her skills must be honed with the help of her powerful family.

Liam fears the loss of his beloved Zoe while feeling strangely connected to Cyan. His entire life is turned upside-down when wicked witches involve him in the forthcoming War. The search for a dark witch intensifies, as do questions surrounding Liam’s past.

Enchanted: Magic Ember also features stories from Wendy Sparrow and Em Shotwell!

She glanced at Liam. “There’s this old prophecy in the Celtic Book of Shadows. It speaks of the rise of a dark witch and also a light witch, who will save the day. It’s the Dorcha versus the Loach in a great War.”

“The Dorcha is bad. The Loach is good.”

Cyan nodded. “The prophecy is obnoxiously vague, but we do know the lifelines of the Dorcha and Loach will transect.”

“How does it go exactly?”

She seemed hesitant to tell him, as though revealing some grand secret, and perhaps she was—some secret of witches.

“You don’t have to tell me.”

“It’s all about murder and death.” She wrapped her arms around her knees. “Before I was born, my grandmother foretold that I was the Loach, which meant the Dorcha was alive somewhere, as well. My father suspects the dark witch who flipped the trolley might be the Dorcha, which would explain why my powers have arrived.”

“What do you mean, arrived?”

“I didn’t have any powers until the accident. In fact, the first spell I ever cast was to get rid of your headache.”

“I don’t understand,” he said.

“Part of the prophecy states the powers of the Loach won’t show up until the Dorcha makes an appearance. Their powers feed off each other.”

“And what of this War?”

“The Dorcha wants to cover the world in darkness. The Loach has to stop him.”

“Kill him.”

She nodded.

“Good,” Liam said.

Cyan stared. He wondered if he’d said something wrong but then realized he didn’t care. He’d be willing to kill this Dorcha himself—if he thought he stood half a chance against a man who could flip an entire trolley with the power of magic.

Be sure to read Enchanted: Magic Spark before picking up your copy of Enchanted: Magic Ember. You really don’t want to miss PART ONE of Liam and Cyan’s story. Then, in April, the big finale with Enchanted: Magic Flame. It’s getting very witchy around here!

Buy your copy of Enchanted: Magic Ember on Amazon today! Click here:

Call Me By Your Name: A Powerful Writing Lesson

As I write the Bite Somebody screenplay, I’m constantly doing “research.” Recently, my research included seeing Oscar-nominated film Call Me By Your Name and then reading the book.

Mind, blown.

If you don’t know, Call Me By Your Name (nominated for Best Picture) is the  story of Elio and Oliver, two young men who fall in love over the course of a summer in 1980s Italy. Elio is seventeen; Oliver is twenty-four. In the film version, Elio is played by Timothee Chalamet (at 22, the youngest Best Actor nominee since 1944). Oliver is played by Armie Hammer.

The movie messed me up in a good way. Watching it is a visceral, emotional experience … although it was semi-awkward watching CMBYN in the theater, surrounded by middle-aged heterosexual couples. Chalamet and Hammer do not hold back in the sensuality department. In fact, despite its lack of nudity, CMBYN is possibly the sexiest movie I’ve ever seen.

The book, written by Andre Aciman, was so much darker and more disturbing. I chalk this up to the power of movie magic. In the book, we are in Elio’s head the whole time. We are there as his infatuation with Oliver grows. We are there for his eventual heartbreak. We are present for both emotions in the film version, as well, but the book takes it to another level because we don’t hear Elio’s thoughts in the film; we see only his actions.

What an excellent reminder for me as I wrestle with the Bite Somebody screenplay. My novel is all from Celia’s perspective, so—like Elio—we’re with her through every moment of self-doubt. In the screenplay, I have little more than dialogue to work with. I am forced to simplify, as was CMBYN screenwriter James Ivory (nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay).

Simplify, simplify is exactly what occurs when Ivory translates the book into film, which worked wonderfully. Ivory cuts characters and lengthy scenes, and it’s his artistic decisions that (for me) make the movie so much stronger. Yet, he also managed to make some characters more important (like Elio’s parents and Marzia) with resounding success.

And the dialogue? Bless me, baby Jesus, I can’t even … Astounding! There’s one scene in particular in which Elio and Oliver circle a fountain and Elio tells Oliver he’s a virgin but literally never says anything about virginity. For real, I can’t even. Watch:

Don’t get me wrong, Aciman is an outstanding author. I’d like to slurp some of his sentences with a spoon. And yet, the film … Young Timothee Chalamet is a marvel as Elio. Rarely have I fallen in love with a character so quickly. He and Armie Hammer have sizzling chemistry, even as they navigate messy kisses and boyish wrestling. The two actors (both heterosexual BTW) grew very close in real life over the course of filming, and it shows.

Elio is just more likeable in the film—sweeter, softer—and although, yes, he does have sex with a peach, Ivory cut some of the more unsavory scenes from the book. Scenes so disturbing that I cringed. The most disturbing thing about the movie was that Hammer is so much bigger than Chalamet. I worried the cute, little guy might get hurt.

Chalamet: ” a skinny, little nugget.”

Ivory also chose the perfect place to end the movie, and well, SPOILER!!!! (Skip the next paragraph if you’re worried.)

In the book, we jump forward in time and watch Elio age and never get over Oliver. In the film, Elio and Oliver say goodbye when Elio is just seventeen. Sure, the final movie scene is just … sob … but there’s a glimmer of hope that Elio will someday have another great love. Maybe he’ll even meet up with Oliver again. We don’t know what will happen, and I love the openness of the film’s conclusion. It doesn’t feel as definite as the book. It’s not so damn tragic.

Seeing Call Me By Your Name and reading the novel was fun, albeit emotionally daunting. What an amazing learning tool on so many levels. For one, I usually believe books are better than film versions. Wrong in this case. I also witnessed what sorts of things to streamline in a screenplay and even what moments make a character likable. I owe a lot to both James Ivory and Andre Aciman for their unique brilliance. This movie deserves awards, and what an inspiration for a fledgling screenwriter!

Meet the sexy small town boys of Craving: Country

I rarely write anything “sweet.” Sure, there’s always a hint of romance in my work (even in the twisted stuff), but it’s rare that I write traditional romance. I finally did for the new romance anthology from Crave Publishing.

About Craving: Country: “There’s something about a country boy that makes us hot for denim jeans and leather hats. They’re mysterious, intriguing, confident, and demand our attention in everything they do. Then there’s the fierce loyalty you see in their eyes that makes you think of tangled sheets and sinful deeds. So pull on those jeans, roll up your sleeves, and grab your boots. Things are about to get dirty.”

In “Must Love Grapes,” California wine saleswoman Emily travels to the small town of Geneva, Ohio (right near where I live), to test out the famed Tuppence Estate wine cellars. She never expects to be so seriously attracted to grumpy grape farmer Shelby Tuppence, especially since she just broke up with her boss. But, well, sparks fly … or corks pop … or … you get it.

Here, Emily has a drunken encounter with Shelby. If you want to read the rest of “Must Love Grapes,” order your copy of Craving: Country today, available in eBook and paperback from Crave Publishing!

“Must Love Grapes”
An Excerpt
By Sara Dobie Bauer

By the time it occurred to Emily that she should maybe slow down, it was too late. At wine tastings, she always made it a practice to spit, which probably explained her level of inebriation upon her return to the estate. Over the course of the late morning and early afternoon, she’d spit nothing but venom toward Todd.

Janis declared she would be taking a nap before starting dinner preparations, but Emily made her way to the kitchen. The way was slow, considering there appeared to be two of everything—Shelby Tuppence included.

“Oh.” She stood in the kitchen doorframe, hands on either side for balance, and frowned at the man in front of her. “You. Fantastic. Do you have any cheese and crackers?”

He stared at her from his seat at the butcher-block kitchen island. “What happened to you?”

“The Jamboree.” She moved her hand in a circle and made a clicking sound with her tongue. “I don’t think Ohio wines are that bad, but maybe the high residu … resid … that’s a hard word. Res-i-du-al sugar was high, so maybe it’s in my brain.”

He laughed once, quickly, before covering his mouth with his hand.

“You have a nice mouth.” She stepped over the threshold. “Too bad you’re mean.”

She wasn’t so drunk that she missed the sad look on his face. He pushed the bar stool out from behind him and stood, moving quickly for the fridge. “What kind of cheese do you like?”

Emily slumped onto his abandoned seat. “Any kind. And crackers! I need to soak up the alcohol.”

“Did Janis drive you into Geneva?”


“Where is she?”

“Sleeping. She needed a nap. But I …” She pointed to herself. “Needed cheese and crackers. Did you know wine and cheese go well together?”

“I did.” He stood there, frozen, a block of what looked like white cheddar in his hand. “I’m sorry about yesterday, but I’m not mean. I’m just not very good with people.”

“No, you are good with grapes.” She nodded as if she’d just come to some until-then-unknown conclusion and watched him hurry to the pantry as he unwrapped the cheese.

Shelby looked much as he had the day before in dirt-covered jeans and another slim fitting, worn button-down—plaid, that day, in shades of light blue that should have matched his eyes but didn’t since his eyes were dark brown. It was equal parts unnerving and attractive, the way his dark eyes were in direct contrast to his light, bright hair. And her earlier drunken confession was accurate: he did have a nice mouth with a full bottom lip that would have been perfect for sucking.

In front of her, he placed a small cutting board, complete with a big block of cheese and water crackers. She grabbed the little knife from his hand and went to work while he lingered, standing, across from her.

“I usually spit, you see, which you’re supposed to do at wine tastings. This immaturity here.” She waved her hand in front of her face. “This is newbie shit, and I’m not a newbie. I’m thirty-four. Thirty-four.” She groaned and shoved some cheese and cracker into her mouth. “It’s your sister’s fault. Janis wanted to get me drunk so I would tell her all the dirty secrets about Wallace Distribution, but—”

“I don’t know that you want to be talking to me right now. Should I leave?” He took a backwards step toward the door.

“No, stay. No, you’re so cute, you have to stay.”

He grinned and turned the shade of, well, red wine.

“Oh, you smiled again. You’ve smiled twice today. That’s good.” The cheese was definitely aged and salty and perfect.

Shelby rushed toward the sink. “Water. You need water.”

“So there’s nothing really bad about Wallace Distribution, except maybe Todd.” She put her head in her hands and moaned. “Oh, my God, Todd. Todd is my ex-boyfriend. He wasn’t really my boyfriend. He’s my boss, but we were sleeping together, and I messed it up. Just like you messed up your marriage, I guess. All work and no play …”

He handed her a glass of water and blinked—a lot.

“Look at those eyelashes.” Emily sat up on her knees on the bar stool, and he hurried around the counter to steady her with his hands on her upper arms. Up close, he carried that smell again, of clean earth and yummy sweat. She grabbed his face. “You have amazing eyelashes. Look at them!”

“Ms. Seymour, I should really give you some time to sober up.”

“But I have a secret,” she said.

“Must Love Grapes” and a steamy assortment of love stories from other authors is available today in Craving: Country! Buy your paperback copy from Amazon HERE, or your eBook copy HERE.

The X-Files: My First Love Story

I was eleven years old when the first episode of The X-Files premiered. I wish I remember how I found out about the show and how I knew to watch it when I was just a kid. Granted, I was already creepy and weird and loved Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark—but how did I know about Mulder and Scully?

Once I started watching, I became a rabid fan. I owned all the behind-the-scenes books, episode guides, and posters. I knew all the trivia and fell desperately in teenage love with David Duchovny. I wanted to be Scully, albeit in a better suit. With the full approval of my paranormal-infatuated father, I researched UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, and even serial killers. If there had been government watch lists in the mid-1990s, I would have been on all the watch lists.

I’ve now made it through all ten seasons, two movies, and am thoroughly enjoying the new revamp. Have I always loved the twisted comedy? For sure. The jumps and screams? Totally. But last week’s episode, “Plus One,” made me realize that, at its most basic, The X-Files is a love story. My very first love story.

For so many years, we watched Fox Mulder and Dana Scully dance around each other. Maybe they were a little heavy handed in the series pilot when Scully panicked about a bug bite and ran into Mulder’s hotel room in her bra and undies, but things stayed platonic. Ever since then, Chris Carter and the rest of his team made these two mismatched FBI agents not only a great duo but also madly in love.

Spoiler: When they had sex in recent episode “Plus One,” I was like YES! Mulder and Scully deserve all the sex! They belong together always and forever!

Do I have this cheerleader mentality because of the character chemistry or because I spent so much of my childhood watching these two characters adore each other?

The X-Files taught me, at a very young age, that men and women could be just friends. They could work together, and the woman could even be tougher and smarter than the man. Perhaps most importantly, though, The X-Files taught me how crucial it is to be best friends with the person you love.

Mulder and Scully were best buddies long before sex got involved. They had fun together, respected each other, and protected each other way before the nookie. What an amazing example for a lonely, young goth girl.

Sure, in my youth, I still wanted to date a dude that looked like David Duchovny, and yeah, I totally wanted to hunt monsters. But the takeaway that has stuck with me to this day? Laugh with the person you love. Take care of them. Be best friends, first and foremost.

The X-Files was my first love story, and I waited a long time for Mulder and Scully to finally get laid. It was worth the wait. Next episode airs Wednesday at 8 PM EST on Fox, and it looks like it’s gonna be a classic.

Enchanted: Magic Spark – Soundtrack and Pretty Things

I love music. I consider music one of my main inspirations. Thanks to programs like Pandora, I can be driving to yoga, hear a new song, and have a new story. For Enchanted: Magic Spark, set in the Lowcountry of Charleston, South Carolina, I needed songs not only Southern but also sort of dark. These aren’t happy tunes really, but they’re beautiful and haunting … sort of like my story. Bring on the love and angst!

1) “Disarm” – The Civil Wars

2) “Storm Comin'” – The Wailin’ Jennys

3) “Bottom of the River” – Delta Rae

4) “I Still Care For You” – Ray LaMontagne

5) “Tell Me True” – Sarah Jarosz

Now, for some aesthetics, because we all like pretty things. When considering the witches in Enchanted: Magic Spark, I looked through plenty of Pinterest. I found images that set the right mood, for the story and for the photo shoot I did in homage to the series.

Prior to writing, I also had to get an idea of what goodies my witches might own. For instance, below, you’ll see the Plainacher family scrying mirror, crystal ball, and Cyan’s lucky necklace.

In closing, need a feel for the whole book? Well, here’s a final tease of people, places, and things. If you haven’t bought your copy of Enchanted: Magic Spark, it’s now available for order on Amazon. I hope you enjoy my magical story of a witch destined to love her sexy Irishman.


I put a spell on you … Enchanted: Magic Spark is out TODAY!

Liam reached out to wipe a tear from the edge of her cheek, and Cyan’s small hand covered his. He knew he should feel wrong with Zoe comatose behind him, but something about Cyan made it all so innocent. Yet, she also felt powerful.

Just as the thought passed, Cyan’s skin burned blue. Her eyes popped open as Liam twitched his hand backwards, fell on his ass, and smacked the back of his head against Zoe’s hospital bed.

“Shit,” he said, hand to his skull. “Did you see that? Did you just glow?”

She was on her feet and running before he could even stand. He yelled after her, but the sound of her retreating feet indicated she had no intention of turning back—and he wasn’t sure he wanted to follow.

TODAY, TODAY, TODAY! Enchanted: Magic Spark is finally out today! The first part of my witchy, Southern gothic trilogy is HERE!

Read about my story “Destiny’s Dark Light:”
In modern day Charleston, lonely white witch Cyan Burroughs has waited her whole life to lead the battle against dark witches and eventually meet the man she is fated to love. A tragic trolley accident brings Liam Cody into her life. He is her destiny, but he’s also in love with someone else. Now, Cyan and her magic family must find the dark witch who caused the accident while Cyan fights her feelings for Liam—a charming Irishman with secrets of his own.

Enchanted: Magic Spark also features stories from Wendy Sparrow and Em Shotwell!

What are reviewers saying?

“The writing was awesome, with great descriptions and well-defined characters that will keep readers engaged and turning pages.”

“The first thing that struck me with each story is that they’re all quite quirky, reminiscent of indie music in the fact that they have their own feel and individuality. They’re like hidden gems just waiting to be found.”

“Each author brings a little something different, but all of them bring something magical, and I can’t wait to dive into the next one.”

(One more with a bit of a “Destiny’s Dark Light” spoiler …)
“The characters were solid, believable, and relatable. The world Sara has created is colorful, mysterious, unique, and magic-filled. I can’t wait for more! And even though I was a bit irked that this was a ‘To be continued…’ ending, I’m hooked and will be really looking forward to what comes next in this world.”

(Don’t worry; part two, Enchanted: Magic Ember, comes out February 20.)

The Enchanted series and “Destiny’s Dark Light” mean so much to me since I’ve always had a thing for witches and I miss living in Charleston, South Carolina. Writing it was like going on a vacation of the mind. If you’re like me and couldn’t get enough of The Craft, Practical Magic, and the Harry Potter series, get your copy of Enchanted: Magic Spark today …

Photo by Bill Thornhill.

The Enchanted: Magic Spark setting – Why Charleston, SC?

I lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for two years. I would have probably lived there forever, dying an old lady on a porch swing, but I met my wonderful Jake. Jake asked me to move, so I did because there was no way I was letting go of the best thing in my life.

I do miss Charleston, what with its seafood restaurants, Southern charm, and beach life. It wasn’t all oysters and champagne, though. I also developed my totally awesome anxiety disorder there. I battled heavy depression. A job that was terribly wrong for me proved something write. That’s not a typo. Charleston proved I was born to be a writer, and I finally embraced the mad career path, consequences be damned.

It was a whirlwind of a two years, during which everyone called me “Yankee,” but I still go back to Charleston whenever I can. It’s still one of my favorite places on Earth. It’s so beautiful as to be almost blinding … but there is a darkness there, what with its sordid history, ghost stories, and copious cemeteries.

For a story about a family of Southern witches, set to battle a dark witch who intends to end the world, Charleston just felt right, so I set my Enchanted trilogy on its gas-lit, brick streets. Read about the locations frequented by the characters of Enchanted: Magic Spark.

Broad Street

Arguably the prettiest street in downtown Charleston (followed closely by East Bay), most of the action in my story happens here, starting with a violent trolley explosion. Did I want to blow up my favorite street? No. But the palm trees will forgive me. It was an Enchanted plot necessity.

Oak Steakhouse

In Enchanted, I renamed this little gem the Broad Street Bistro, but Oak exists right in the center of Broad. It’s three stories of buttery seafood and killer steaks. I worked here for a hot minute before I remembered I’m terrible at customer service. It’s where Liam, my male lead, works in the book.


I didn’t rename this joint in the book because I just … couldn’t. I practically lived at Pearlz when I was in Charleston, and I always pay her a visit when I’m in SC. This is where I learned to eat raw oysters, and I am forever grateful. They also make the best Bloody Mary’s and is frequented by my female lead, Cyan, and her big, bad daddy, Drake.

Charleston Grill

Posh as you can get, I used to pretend to be rich and have martinis here. Back in my day, there was a jazz group that played every weekend. I had friends who worked here, which helped with the fat bill. Worth it. If you want real, old school, Southern charm, this is the place. Liam likes it, although it’s a little fancy for Cyan’s taste.

Circular Congregational Church Graveyard

No surprise: I have a thing for cemeteries, especially when the tombs are mostly above ground, like the ones in Charleston. Cyan visits her wise, dead grandmother here, hunkered beneath the beautiful Angel Oaks. It’s a quiet place high on Meeting Street next to a gorgeous church.

If you want to read more about Charleston, South Carolina, read the story of how I met my husband HERE.

We’re getting very close to the release of Enchanted: Magic Spark on January 9. Pre-order your eBook copy HERE, but rest assured, it’ll be available in print on release day. Have a happy New Year!

Witches and sexy Irishmen – The Enchanted: Magic Spark Fantasy Movie Cast

I’m a visual person. When I set out to write a new novel, I always cast real people in the roles. Not only does it help me paint a vivid picture, but it’s good fun looking at photos of attractive people all day.

Enchanted: Magic Spark comes out January 9, featuring my three-part novel series “Destiny’s Dark Light.” Set in Charleston, South Carolina, DDL features battling witches, a trolley accident tragedy, and a mournful Irishman. Read on to see who would star in my movie version.

Cyan Burroughs

Who better to play this tough-as-nails young witch than Angelina Jolie? Cyan is destined to save light witches the world over from an evil dark witch who hopes to destroy. If only her powers would show up. When she meets Liam, the man she’s destined to love, imagine her surprise when she finds out he already loves someone else. Good things she’s tough. She’s gonna need to be strong to survive this.

Liam Cody

Yes, I know Liam is Irish, but Benedict Cumberbatch could play Irish.  Liam is Cyan’s supposed destiny. When he and his girlfriend are injured in a magic-induced trolley accident, Cyan saves them–but the woman Liam adores ends up in critical condition. He’s thankful for Cyan’s friendly presence at the hospital, but he’s terrified of losing his Zoe. An orphan, he can’t imagine being left alone all over again.

Drake Burroughs

Cyan’s daddy dearest has got to be played by the rugged Clive Owen. Drake was once a dark witch, saved by the strength of his wife’s love. He uses  blood to work difficult spells and is the size of an NFL linebacker. He would do anything to protect his daughter, even give Liam the stink eye. He doesn’t want Cyan to get hurt. As her powers awaken, he will prepare her for War, but how can he prepare her for finding out Liam loves someone else?

Rue Burroughs

Cyan’s strict magic mother who never wears shoes requires the gravitas and charisma of one Michelle Pfeiffer. Rue has been a powerful light witch her whole life. (Runs in the family.) She knows her daughter is the destined witch who will save the world … or die trying. She also knows Cyan is supposed to love this Liam Cody fellow, and although he’s charming, he seems desperately in love with his injured Zoe. What if the fates are wrong?

Sybil Plainacher

Played by Julianne Moore, Cyan’s all-seeing witch aunt Sybil has had visions of Liam since Cyan was born. She’s painted his picture a million times (although he’s even better looking in person). She swears Cyan is destined to love this man, no matter his dedication to another woman. Sybil knows things that other witches don’t, and although she’s a little shy and eccentric, she’s never been wrong before.

Zoe Hibbins

Anne Hathaway would play the beautiful, tragic Zoe. Seriously injured and left unconscious by the trolley accident, she’s an orphan like Liam: a shared trait that brought them together when they met years ago drinking wine. She thinks Liam’s idiosyncrasies are adorable, but she’s been more and more worried about his weird headaches. To continue loving him, though, she first has to wake up.

Max Henny

Liam’s boss at the bistro where he works should be played by Mark Strong. Ever since Liam moved to Charleston with Zoe, Max has taken it upon himself to act as a sort of father figure to the younger man. With Zoe’s hospitalization, Max fears Liam might fall apart, and no amount of scotch can fix him. Can Max help Liam find his way back from the edge of despair? And what’s the story with this Cyan chick who keeps hanging around Zoe’s hospital room?

There you have it: the full movie cast of “Destiny’s Dark Light.” This Friday, I will be releasing a newsletter exclusive excerpt from the book. If you’re interested, be sure to sign up HERE.

If you want to read more about DDL or pre-order an eBook copy of Enchanted: Magic Spark, click HERE. (Paperback will be available January 9!)

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