Bite Somebody Else Cover Reveal

The much anticipated book two in the Bite Somebody series is Imogene’s story, so of course, Imogene had to be on the cover. It’s been generally acknowledged that Imogene looks a lot like me, so when the cover artist asked for a description of my lovable (albeit twisted) female lead, I sent her this, from a photo shoot I did with photographer Chris Loomis:

Add some animation magic and the artistic acumen of Amanda C. Davis, and you get the Bite Somebody Else cover, revealed … in a moment. First, here’s a little bit about the book.

Imogene helped her newbie vampire friend Celia hook up with an adorable human, but now Celia has dropped an atomic bomb of surprise: she has a possibly blood-sucking baby on the way. Imogene is not pleased, especially when a mysterious, ancient, and annoyingly gorgeous vampire historian shows up to monitor Celia’s unprecedented pregnancy.
 
Lord Nicholas Christopher Cuthbert III is everything Imogene hates: posh, mannerly, and totally uninterested in her. Plus, she thinks he’s hiding something. So what if he smells like a fresh garden and looks like a rich boarding school kid just begging to be debauched? Imogene has self-control. Or something.
 
As Celia’s pregnancy progresses at a freakishly fast pace, Imogene and Nicholas play an ever-escalating game of will they or won’t they, until his sexy maker shows up on Admiral Key, forcing Nicholas to reveal his true intentions toward Celia’s soon-to-arrive infant.

Have I teased you enough? Okay, fine!!!!!!! Drum roll …

THERE SHE IS!! IMOGENE!!!! She’s perfect!!!!

For a little something extra, there’s a brand new Bite Somebody Else excerpt on the World Weaver Press website. Read more about Imogene and Nicholas HERE.  And while you’re there, you  might as well pre-order your paperback copy of Bite Somebody Else today!!

The book doesn’t hit shelves until June 20th, but I’m already thrilled to unleash Imogene on the world again (as well as Celia and Ian, of course). I’m also thrilled for you to meet Nicholas. Happy Hump Day! And don’t forget, #Imogene4Life.

KINKED contributors: What makes a great sex scene?

Ben glanced at his college friends, and finally, finally, took her hand and pulled her around the corner of a women’s clothing store.

Mr. Manners was pleasantly un-mannerly in private. He pushed her back against the wall and dove for her lips. She was ready, open-mouthed and hungry. She pulled hard on his hair and wrapped one leg around to the back of his, which gave her better leverage to stick her tongue in his mouth. His hands cupped the bottom of her ass, and she moaned when pelvis found pelvis. They separated momentarily, both panting.

“I live two blocks from here,” Angie said.

He leaned down and sucked at her painted shoulder, which made her head fall back and hit the building.

“Jesus, your mouth.” She pulled his lips back up to hers. “I love your mouth. Come home with me, Ben.”

He moved back enough to still be touching her but to be able to look at her, too, and again, those blue eyes found her tats as he licked his bottom lip.

“What?” she said.

“Can I confess something?”

Angie shrugged.

“I have a little fetish for tattoos.”

She chuckled, dark and deep. “Mr. Manners likes a bit of ink?”

“Ben, let’s go!” someone shouted from the street, and he looked in the direction of his friends.

“Uh-uh,” she said, latching onto the back of his head. “No. You’re coming home with me.”

“Can’t. Don’t even know you. Could be a serial killer.”

She rolled her eyes.

“You wouldn’t believe how many court cases start like this. Two people, drunk, making bad decisions.”

“This is a good decision.”

She really enjoyed the view of his furrowed brow, teeth chewing at his bottom lip. Then, his eyes popped open. “Be my date to the wedding.”

“You want to bring an inked-up sex shop girl to a Yale lacrosse wedding?”

“Yeah. Definitely.” He nodded, grinning.

***

There it is: a taste of my new short story, “Painted Red,” featured in Pen and Kink Publishing’s KINKED anthology. Every tattoo tells a story, as evidenced by the characters and relationships explored in KINKED. Many of those ink-based stories are sexy, so I asked a few of my fellow contributors: What makes a great sex scene? Here’s what they said …

“As a reader, it’s definitely the ability to put my imaginary self in the scene. If I’m analyzing what worked after the fact, it’s usually pacing, word-choice, and generalizations that leave room for my imagination to slot me into the scene. Especially if it’s one comprised of elements I’ve never personally experienced (for example, M/M). I like a certain level of specificity and frank language, but too much specific detail can bounce me out of a sex scene faster than anything. If I’m thinking about mechanics, you’ve lost me. Therefore, as a writer, I look for that sweet spot of details and generalizations and I depend on my beta readers to tell me where I’ve gone off the rails.”  Renee Dominick, author of “Through Glass A Stranger”

“For me, a good sex scene is organic. When it doesn’t follow a natural progression for the characters, when it was obviously the entire point of the story, that seems to be when it is more ‘smut’ than ‘quality sex’ for me. The scenes that resonate with me, that linger in my mind and tease the edges of my memory long after I close the book, are the ones that feel inevitable by the time you get to them. The heat between two characters has built and smoldered over the course of the story and when it finally bursts into flame for those characters, you have been smoldering along with them.” – Danielle Davis, author of “The Courier”

“I need to know how they wound up in bed together, which is a fancy way of saying I need character development. Show me the magnetism, the sexual frustration, perhaps the conflict between two characters that leads to great sex. I’m here for the ride, so give me one (pun intended, of course). Without understanding why characters want to hook up with each other, it’s like walking in on people getting down; it’s abrupt and devoid of context or invitation. Isn’t it so much sexier when you’re invited in instead and you know the players?” Tiffany Michelle Brown, author of ”Begin Again”

“What makes a great sex scene? In a word: details. If you’re going to write an actual sex scene rather than fading to black (which is perfectly legitimate and far preferable to a bad sex scene), don’t leave things to the imagination. … Paint a clear picture. Put me in the head and body of one of the characters. Make me feel what they’re feeling. If your sex scene can’t do that, re-write or ditch the effort in favor of a fade-to-black. There will be far less eye-rolling and pent up frustration.”  – Nicole Blackwood, author of “Sae-ri”

***

Want to see what these lovely ladies have come up with for their sexy stories? Pick up your copy of KINKED today. Every tattoo tells a story … and those stories should be read.

BUY KINKED AND READ “PAINTED RED:”

Angie and Ben … quite literally, in fact 😉

Zombie Walk

The worst thing about being dead, in Don’s opinion, was the critters. His coffin was damn comfortable—better have been, what with all the cash he left behind after that car accident on the I-10. It was nice and cushy, top of the line soft velvet interior with solid bronze to keep him warm. Despite all this, there were the critters, the little beetles and centipedes and God knew what else that crawled up his nose when he slept. He spent most mornings huffing them out like snot rockets.

The best thing about being dead was the Zombie Walk, and according to his gold Rolex—still working, thank you—it was that time of year again.

October was the month for zombie walks, but Don had one in particular he frequented, along with a few of his dead pals. They met in the same place every year, going on three now, down at Tempe Town Lake. It was amazing what mortuary guys could do, pumping corpses full of chemicals to keep ‘em in good shape. They’d even used string to tie Don’s right arm back on after the accident, but the string was long gone. He carried his limp appendage around nowadays like a briefcase, force of habit.

Carl was already waiting when he arrived.

“Carrrrrl!” Don gargled.

“Donnnnn,” Carl moaned.

“How the hell—” He spat out a cockroach. “How are you?”

“My baaaack.”

“That wife of yours really shoulda gone the extra mile with the coffin cushion,” Don said. “I’m telling ya, I don’t feel a day over six months dead.”

“Gaaahhh …” Sometimes Carl didn’t make much sense.

“Where’s the rest of the gang?” Don did a slow visual sweep of the black, nighttime water, nearby white lights of the bridge quivering in the reflection like fried eggs.

“Dunno.” Carl itched his head, and his ear fell off.

“Here, I’ll get that.” Don picked up the fallen lobe with his one working arm and handed it to his bloody bud.

Carl ate it.

Carl had been dead for twenty years—heart attack. He wore a tattered gray suit that was green and black with mold. He still had a couple white hairs on his head, but he was mostly just a skeleton with skin on top. He had a tendency to lose things, not because he was absent-minded but because shit just fell off. That’s what happened to three of his fingers the year before. At least that’s what Carl claimed. Don had a sneaking suspicion he’d slammed his fingers in his casket on his way back to bed.

“We can’t wait much longer,” Don said. He pointed his amputated arm in the direction of Mill Avenue. “Don’t want to be late.”

“Here,” said a rough female voice.

“Carissa!”

She limped up to them, the only gal who still thought the Tempe Zombie Walk was sort of funny. She’d been dead a long time, and Don thought she must have been kind of crazy, being buried in her wedding dress and all. He noticed something on her face.

“Is that blood on your—”

“Ate a cat,” she said loudly. She shook her head. “Timmy!”

No, the cat wasn’t named Timmy. Timmy was their fourth, but based on the squeaky quiver of Carissa’s head, he wasn’t coming. When she moved, she reminded Don of Oz’s Tin Man. He made a joke one year about bringing an oilcan, but Carissa wasn’t good with jokes.

“Oh, shucks.” With some finesse, Don folded his detached arm over his chest. “What’s the matter with Timmy?”

“Ate him.”

“You ate Timmy?”

Carl said, “Fruuuu.”

Carissa nodded and pointed to Mill Avenue.

Don sighed. “Well, he was dead already. Let’s go, team!” He lifted his detached arm like a baton, and off they walked … or rather, stumbled, up the loose rock path of Tempe Town Lake and toward the lively, glittering streets of the city.

As expected, people were decked out. Those kids really looked dead. Everywhere Don looked, college students were covered in fake blood. Their healthy, glowing skin was painted in mottled shades of gray, green, and purple. It did his dead heart good to see the youth of his country standing up united for a cause.

Carl started up his usual routine. He walked around on the tips of his toes, arms extended in front of him. He growled and clicked his teeth together. Carissa chewed on one of her own fingers until it broke off. She swallowed it.

Don was no slouch either. He loved swinging his arm around, shaking it in kid’s faces. They loved it! They laughed, applauded, until Don took a bow. He needed Carl’s help to stand up straight when one of his vertebrae cracked. Maybe he was showing his dead age more than he thought, but hell, rotting flesh just ain’t that malleable.

He stepped in when a tall guy in a torn football uniform started talking up Carissa and she tried to bite his arm.

“No,” Don said.

Carissa lolled back and forth on her heels, glassy eyes forever open.

“No,” he said again, but the football guy didn’t seem offended. He even tucked Carissa’s would-be snack around her shoulders.

“You guys look amazing,” the kid said. “Love the zombie bride thing. Let me buy you,” he pointed at Don, “a beer.”

“Well, son, that is mighty kind of you, but—” He choked when he felt a tickle in the back of his throat. He hacked until he got the beetle up and spat on the sidewalk. “Jesus, them critters.” He wiped his mouth, using his disembodied hand like a handkerchief.

Carl wandered up from behind and hit him soundly on the back until one of Don’s eyes popped out.

“Shit, Carl,” he said. He knelt down to search the pavement, and by the time he’d popped the thing back in, Carissa was covered in the football kid’s blood. Don shouted and dragged her off his throat. “Damn it! You guys don’t know how to have fun anymore.”

Carissa kept fighting to get back to the kid’s mangled body, but Don held her until her head popped off in his hand, which didn’t deter her body from its continued motion—although, without a mouth, munching was a futile endeavor. He shook her head in his hand and pointed at her with the other, which wasn’t so much a point as a limp wave of his dead-arm wrist.

“We’re going home,” he said. “Carl!”

“Nung?”

“Yes, home.” He dragged Carissa’s body up by the back of her once-white wedding gown and shoved her head against her neck. She lifted her bloody hands to hold it in place and frowned at him. “This is not my fault,” he told her. “If you can’t behave like a civilized dead person, we won’t be having any fun. Now, let’s go, both of you.”

Carl and Carissa followed Don back to the lake’s edge like pecking chickens, occasionally breaking from the path to grab at chipmunks and birds, although the birds usually got away.

At the edge of the lake, Don pointed at his so-called friends. “You’re not invited next year.”

Carl gesticulated as if to say, “What did I do?” Another of his fingers fell off and landed in the nearby black water with a quiet plop.

“Nope.” Don shook his head. “I won’t have this sort of behavior. We can’t go around eating people, just perpetuating a stereotype. No, sirs, I won’t stand for it. Y’all just stay underground next October, you hear me? I’ll make some new friends, damn it.”

Carl at least had the presence of mind to look forlorn—maybe. It was hard to tell with his papery skin, but his shoulders did sag some. Carissa, though, lifted her bloody head from her neck and shook it in Don’s face before moaning and wandering off under the bridge.

Don sighed. “I’m sorry, Carl.”

“Donnnnnn.”

“All right, you can come back next year, but no eating people.”

Carl nodded.

Don tapped his amputated arm against his thigh. “You know what? We should hit some fraternity parties. Would you like that, Carl?”

Carl said, clearly, “Yes.” See, he had his moments.

“Let’s do it!” Don trundled ahead, knowing Carl followed due to the stomp-drag sound that was his familiar walking cadence. Together, they explored the night, wowing party people and making pretty girls squeal. Don knew he was a bit old for the late night college scene, but he figured, why not? He would sleep when he was deader.

(Winner of The Traveler Fiction Contest, 2nd Place.)

I’m the featured speaker at Arizona’s Mental Health Awareness Week

For the past month, I’ve been weaning off my anxiety meds—little blue pills that have been my crutch for six years. Meanwhile, University of Arizona called and asked me to fly to Tucson to be their featured speaker at Mental Health Awareness Week. One of the reasons I started taking anxiety pills was due to my fear of being in public. The irony is not lost on me.

So why on Earth did I agree to speak in front of God knows how many complete strangers in the Arizona desert? Honestly, I was pleased as punch with the theme. My contact at the university informed me that they want my speech to be funny, happy, and cheerful. Instead of bemoaning my depression and PTSD, they want me to talk about not just surviving mental illness but thriving despite it.

treeApparently, I’m the poster child for this thriving thing, which is surprising to me as I currently battle drug withdrawal, insomnia, and depression. I don’t feel like I’m thriving right now. I feel like I’m drowning. Despite my head being underwater this week, however, I sort of see what Arizona means.

Despite my social anxiety, I attend book conferences and speak on panels. (People actually consider me charming and funny at these things. I find this shocking.)

Despite my depression, I continue to write and work. I go to the gym and beat up weight machines. I cook dinner for my husband even when my appetite is gone, and I laugh at ridiculous things even when my heart hurts.

Despite my PTSD triggers (never walk up behind me when I’m sitting at my desk), I create. One of my friends recently called me the most prolific writer she’s ever seen—probably because I write to combat my mental illness.

I now have a speech to write. I need to talk about what it feels like to have a mental illness. I need to discuss treatments and techniques to manage. I need to put a positive spin on all the bad stuff, and even though it’s hard to be positive when you’re not sleeping, it’s possible. Anything’s possible.

On March 30, I will stand at the high tide of University of Arizona’s Mental Health Awareness Week, completely terrified to be the center of attention. I will share my story, though, which is something I’ve never been scared of. I’ve always been open about my illnesses, because demystifying a taboo steals its power. I will be funny, I hope. I will be honest. I’ll also be free of anxiety pills for the first time in several years.

Part of thriving is acknowledging our problems. We can’t hide behind mental illness. We can admit to it and move on. As I told a friend recently, “Slay the day.” Even if you’re terribly sad. Even if you’re scared to leave the house (or fly to Tucson, for that matter). Even if you’re just too tired. Don’t just survive … but thrive.

(Photo of me by Bill Thornhill Photography.)

The Wrong Christians

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I’ve heard the phrase “hanging out with the wrong crowd.” Usually, this is in regards to teenagers hanging out with kids who drink, smoke, and cuss. Usually, this refers to people who are a bad influence. It wasn’t until recently that I realized there’s such a thing as “hanging out with the wrong Christians.”

As a practicing Christian, I realize I’m not the poster child of morality. I drink, smoke, and cuss, for instance. I also write gay and straight erotica. I have a terrible temper, and I do not “Let the little children come to me,” like Jesus said. (No. Really. Keep the children away from me.)

As an educated Christian, I realize we don’t all hold to the same doctrine. We differ in our beliefs due to Biblical interpretation and denominational guidelines. I understand this, but I did think we all had one thing in common: LOVE.

I don’t know about your god, but mine is loving. For example, Psalm 36:7 says, “How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of Your wings.”

I attended a Bible study recently (not at my own church, praise the Lord) that made me feel anything but loved. Instead, I felt sick.

Some gems from said Bible study included:
Homosexuals can’t be Christians.
Women shouldn’t be pastors.
Although unrelated, Halloween and meditation are both quite evil.

As a gay rights supporter, woman, and Halloween enthusiast, you can understand my distress. I sat through said Bible study silently because I understood these teachers were not “my Christians.” These were people with differing opinions than my own, and we will never agree.

Their teaching almost made me decide to quit my current ministry efforts because I didn’t want to work with these “wrong Christians” (not that they’re wrong in their beliefs, because who am I to judge? Their beliefs are just wrong for me. Very, very wrong).

However, when I got home yesterday after Bible study, I explained my concerns to Jake. Brilliant man that he is, he pointed out that I have to continue my ministry so that I can preach my God—a God of love, acceptance, and forgiveness.

My husband really is a smart guy. Saturday night, he had a dream that the apocalypse came and God chose a select group of humans to basically restart civilization. The conversation Sunday morning went something like this …

Sara: Well, I’m pretty sure God would never choose someone as messed up as me to restart civilization.

Jake: Actually, He would pick people exactly like you. Look at how messed up all the heroes were in the Bible.

Sara: Oh. Right. Huh.

God doesn’t only care about perfect people. He doesn’t only care about people who follow all His rules or people who point fingers at sinners. He doesn’t only care about the non-drinkers, non-smokers, non-cussers. He cares about everyone, and He cares forever.

Christian author Jim Burns said, “God loves you not for what you do but for who you are. You never need to earn God’s love. He loves you because you are His special creation. Because of God’s unconditional love, you are free to blossom into all He wants you to be. His love has no strings attached.”

Now, that’s a Bible study I can get behind! As we enter a new week—a new dreaded Monday—I think it’s time we remembered to love. Love each other. Love God. Love life, even when it’s ugly and messed up. Even when we’re ugly and messed up.

My mom quoted the Book of Matthew to me this morning: “Live as the light that you are.” My light might be tinted purple and flicker sometimes, but yeah, I plan to live brightly, surrounded by people who “get me” and love me, despite all my mistakes, imperfections, and f-bombs.

Bite Somebody Else release date PLUS join the BSE Army

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This year is the year of Bite Somebody Else, due to be released (drum roll) June 20th. That’s right, folks, we have an official release date.

JUNE 20. JUNE 20. JUNE 20. Mark your calendars!!!!!

If you’d like to read all about the sequel to Bite Somebody, click HERE.

As I prepare for exciting things like the cover reveal and completion of the Bite Somebody screenplay, I ask you to enlist in the Bite Somebody Else Army.

Members of my BSE Army receive news about Celia, Ian, and Imogene as soon as it’s released via email. In exchange, I ask that you share my exciting news on your social media. Whether that be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr, I need help spreading the news about Bite Somebody Else.

If you’d like to join the BSE Army, feel free to:
Email me at sara@saradobie.com.
OR
Leave your email address in the comments below.

As most people know, it’s super important for authors to have promotional help with new releases. With Bite Somebody Else coming June 20th, I need your help. Yes, you! So please consider joining the BSE Army and keep up to date on all things vamp. #Imogene4Life

How to be friends with someone with an anxiety disorder

1. Do invite me to parties filled with strangers because I need a reason to shower.
When you do, give me a week’s notice so I can practice smiling without wincing. I will also make up a dozen intelligent phrases to sprinkle into the conversation. For instance, “Funyuns are actually pig intestine.” And, for the love of God, don’t leave me alone.

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2. Do invite me to parties filled with people I actually know because friends are good.
In this situation, understand I really have to be on point because I will see these people again, and sometimes, that’s nice because they know I’m weird from previous encounters. Other times, it’s worse because I just get weirder every time they see me.

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3. Do send me random gifs of Benedict Cumberbatch.
This man’s ridiculous giggle is quite soothing.

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4. Do make sure all the pictures in your house are straight.
If your pictures are crooked when I come over, I’ll walk around fixing them for a half hour before realizing you’re still in the room.

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5. Do learn to recognize my “Get Me The Hell Out Of Here” face.
When things start going south (usually about two hours into any social situation), I start looking like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. When this happens, kindly usher me to the nearest exit.

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6. Do not hand me a small child without asking first.
If you honestly think throwing a baby at me is a good idea, may the consequences be on your head. It’s not that I’m scared of children. It’s just that I think I’ll drop them and I’m scared of children.

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7. Do forget when I say awkward things.
Sometimes, I might text you after we’ve hung out to say, “OMG, I can’t believe I said THAT. Please forgive me.” You probably won’t remember I said THAT, but I’ll have been obsessing over THAT for the past three hours.

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8. Do expect me to cancel plans without a viable excuse.
Some days, I can’t leave the house. Admitting this to you is way better than me breaking a finger on purpose just so I can say, “Hey, broke my finger. Rain check?”

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9. Do not talk to me at the gym.
The gym is a very safe place where I am in the zone. If you break that zone, I might notice I’m in public, surrounded by sweaty strangers. Don’t let me notice.

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10. Do laugh when I immediately assume everyone hates me.
Basically, every day, I think someone hates me. Realistically, I don’t think people hate me, but my anxiety does, so laugh. I might just laugh with you.

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Sherlock and Our Final Problem

SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. If you have not watched all of BBC Sherlock’s season 4, stop reading immediately. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT.

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As of last night, we’ve come to the end of an era. Although some reviewers have been saying things like “this certainly can’t be the last season” of Sherlock, I disagree. Last night’s episode, “The Final Problem,” was indeed the final episode—and the show’s creators, Gatiss and Moffat, had been preparing us all season long.

Well. I say “all season,” but it’s not like we had ten episodes. No, as Sherlock fans, we always only get three, but, in the case of this final season, the three episodes were really just one long episode that culminated in fully developed characters and plot lines decisively closed.

I won’t get into the nitty-gritty. If you watched all of season four, you know what happened (good and bad). After last night’s episode, my husband expected me to be sobbing. I wasn’t. In fact, I was grinning like a goose, possibly relieved that everyone important lived, possibly because the final montage was just so damn cheerful. It took hours for me to wind down from my Sherlock high.

This morning, I reassess as I take a look back at season four in its entirety.

The first episode, “The Six Thatchers,” was brilliantly acted, had a kick ass Cumberbatch fight scene, and killed off one of the show’s lead characters. The second episode, “The Lying Detective,” was arguably the best of the entire series (despite poor Sherlock looking like a beat up drug addict for its duration). “The Lying Detective” is the episode that will win this show awards. Awards should, in fact, be thrown at Cumberbatch and Freeman’s feet for that episode and no one could tell me otherwise.

sherl4Then, “The Final Problem” premiered. I loved the casting of Sian Brooke (I adored her as Ophelia in Cumberbatch’s Hamlet and really enjoy seeing them work together). The revelation of a secret psychotic sister was brilliant. Despite the amazing, again, emotional performances from not only Cumberbatch and Freeman but also Gatiss and Brooke, the episode took suspension of disbelief to a whole new level with its escape room tactics and melodrama.

The further revelations into Sherlock’s childhood were heart-wrenching (as was that tragic “I love you” moment between Sherlock and Molly). Yet, in the end, everything was all right. Sherlock even managed to save his crazy sister via the medium of music. They could finally “play” together.

“The Final Problem” wasn’t my favorite episode. I haven’t read many reviews yet today, and I don’t plan to. I don’t need to. I also haven’t perused Tumblr, because I know the Johnlock hordes are going to be up in arms over the fact that John and Sherlock never kissed and the series is over. Resolutely, the series is over, although for the Johnlock shippers, it could be argued that John and Sherlock are some sort of couple—platonic—as they are back living together and raising a child while Sherlock apparently balances the women who try to love him: Molly and Irene Adler. More importantly, they’re back to being the crime fighters of Arthur Conan Doyle canon.

What mattered most to me in season four was the character of Sherlock and not only because I’m singularly obsessed with Cumberbatch. The show is called Sherlock, after all. The show is about the man, his friends background noise to the great detective’s struggles.

As a writer, I was impressed with what Gatiss and Moffat achieved with Sherlock’s character development. We all remember the coarse man of season one, blind to social graces. In season four, we find a man who has learned to love his friends, protect his friends. He was so soft, even giving a comforting hug to John Watson after the loss of his wife. He saved John. He saved his sister. He even saved his imperious elder brother.

The moment that resounded most was in “The Lying Detective,” after Sherlock’s pained pronouncement of “I don’t want to die” in the hospital bed. It happened while sitting in the quiet warmth of 221B, chatting with John. Sherlock suggested he might come and see John’s daughter, and that moment—that single look—showed how vulnerable our coarse, biting detective had become.

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I realize the famed stories of Sherlock Holmes are thrilling mysteries, and from my time spent reading Conan Doyle, he wasn’t huge on character development, which is where Gatiss and Moffat surpass him. This show wasn’t about a calculating, brilliant man solving mysteries; it was about a calculating, brilliant man becoming weak, human, and ultimately, loved despite his flaws—by his fellow characters and by us, the fans.

People are going to complain today that they didn’t get everything they wanted from Sherlock’s final season. I get that. (For instance, I would have liked the reappearance of Irene Adler in the flesh, as opposed to just on Sherlock’s phone, since she is arguably the love of his life.) Despite complaints, we will all remember this show fondly for not only introducing many of us to Benedict Cumberbatch but for introducing us to a new Sherlock Holmes: a man riddled with demons and yet fighting to keep them at bay for the sake of the people who love him.

As Sherlock perceptively said, “Taking your own life. Interesting expression. Taking it from whom? Once it’s over it’s not you who will miss it. Your own death is something that happens to everybody else. Your life is not your own, keep your hands off it.” Thanks for sharing your “life” with us, Sherlock. It was one hell of a ride, and we will indeed miss you an awful lot, you beautiful bastard.

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LEGENDARY, spooky urban legends with a romantic twist, now available

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Urban legends. We’ve all heard them, and we’ve all told them. They fill the role that fairy tales once held—morality lessons meant to frighten us into sticking with the herd, obeying society’s rules, and not taking any chances.

In most urban legends, once someone transgresses, we know things won’t end well for them. In other words, drink or have sex and you’re dead. But what if romance gets in the way of total terror? What if romance, in fact, saves the day?

LEGENDARY is the newest anthology from Pen and Kink Publishing, and it’s out today. (Buy it HERE.) For my story, I went with an old classic: the couple making out in the car who gets attacked by a hook man. Of course, I made my couple two gay college dudes. And the hook guy? Well, he’s got some history.

Of all the stories in LEGENDARY, mine is by far the most ridiculous, but that’s due to my love for B-horror films and camp comedy. Here’s a teaser of “Not Again.” To see how things work out for Rob and Colin, you’ll have to buy a copy of this spine-tingling anthology!


“Not Again”
By Sara Dobie Bauer
Featured in LEGENDARY

Mord Hollow College sat less than a mile from the rocky, often frigid Oregon coast like a gargoyle hanging from the side of a grand cathedral. Colin liked its grand spires, poking up into the habitually gray skies. He liked how it resembled a Carpathian castle, identical to something Bram Stoker would have imagined, but more so, he liked its proximity to the sea—and the fact that Rob Clooney walked its green, tree-lined paths.

As Colin and his housemate, Izzy, loaded the back of their car full of cases of beer, he considered the remaining months of his senior year and the likelihood he would graduate never knowing what Rob’s mouth tasted like.

“You’re doing it again,” Izzy said, bottle of whisky in his hand.

“Doing what?”

“Pining.”

Colin slammed the trunk of his beat up automobile, a hand-me-down from his parents who lived a couple hours away. Colin had only set foot outside Oregon once, and that was to see the California Redwoods on a family vacation. Depending on where he got a job as a hotshot reporter, he could end up anywhere. The thought frightened and thrilled him in equal measure… sort of like Rob.

He circled to the front of the car. “Do we have enough blankets? What about firewood?”

legendaryMouth full of whisky, Izzy leaned his head back and gargled, “Pining.”

“I’m not pining. I’m thinking. I want to make sure everyone has a good time tonight.”

“Did you invite Roberto?”

Colin winced. “Don’t call him that. He’s not even Hispanic. He’s paler than—”

“Freshly fallen snow,” Izzy sang.

“God, I hate you.” He laughed and climbed into the driver seat. Colin only ever drove his car to the ocean, so it smelled like salt and mold inside. They didn’t technically need to drive to the seaside, but it was the general consensus that carrying multiple cases of beer through the woods just off campus sucked. Ergo, they drove. He started up his car. It wheezed, sputtered, and vibrated as the engine kicked to life.

“That’s our pretty girl.” Izzy pet the dashboard and took another glug of cheap liquor as Colin pulled out of their driveway.

They lived in a crooked house a block from campus. The roof leaked when it rained, which was often, but it was all either journalism student could afford.

“So you didn’t invite him?”

“No, Izzy, I didn’t invite Rob Clooney.”

“Tick-tock-tick-tock.”

Colin pointed his car toward the black sea, stars overhead. They were lucky to have a clear night, although a possible thunderstorm was in the forecast for later. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“One semester left before you have to leave campus, get an actual job, and stop ogling the kid on a daily basis.”

Colin scoffed. “I do not ogle.”

“You get pathetic puppy dog face whenever he’s in a twenty foot radius.” Izzy reached into his back pocket.

“You will not smoke in my car, and you know it.”

“No shit, Sherlock. I got Rob’s number today, and I invited him.”

“What?” Colin’s grip wobbled on the wheel, making the car sway across the narrow road.

Izzy’s thumbs poked away at his keyboard, and light illuminated the acne scars on his face like sunshine crossing the moon. “Did you not want him to come to the kick ass drunk fest we’re about to have so that you could take advantage of him?”

“I wouldn’t—Izzy, he doesn’t party. Everyone knows that. He’s a health nut and with good reason.”

Rob Clooney was one of the only male dance majors at Mord Hollow College. Not only was he a dance major, but he was also a ballet dancer. Colin never knew ballet could be sexy until he covered a school dance show for the college newspaper. That damned show had changed, possibly ruined, Colin forever. Once he saw Rob flying across that stage, dark eyes ablaze, there was really no use hitting on anyone else. No one else would ever compare.

“I told Rob you have a crush on him.”

Colin hit the brakes.


To read the rest of “Not Again,” as well as four other amazing scary-sexy stories, buy your copy of LEGENDARY by clicking HERE. And if you’re of the social media ilk, we’re having our Facebook launch party tonight. Come join us for some silly fun and book giveaways from 5-7 PM EST HERE.

Vampires, movie magic, and best books: 2016 in review

Every December, I do inventory of what the hell happened over the course of the previous twelve months. As you may have noticed, 2016 was (by far) the most chaotic and successful of my life … which might be why I refuse to get dressed today. In fact, you’re lucky I’m even sitting upright. In homage to a year of utter, beautiful insanity, I offer you a look back.

1. BITE SOMEBODY

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Dreams do come true. After years of angst, in June, my first published novel was released into the innocent, unsuspecting world. Bite Somebody–a ridiculous paranormal romantic comedy about an awkward vampire, her sexy human surfer boy, and a psychotic blood-sucking best friend–found fans the world over. I hosted two massively successful (and anxiety-inducing) launch parties and attended my first conventions as an author. If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, click HERE, because as you may have heard, the sequel, Bite Somebody Else, comes out in 2017. The rodeo is far from over, folks. With all the upcoming promo and additional events, let’s just hope I don’t start looking rode hard and put away wet.

2. DECENT PEOPLE

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Once upon a time, I was an actress, so when my high school buddy asked me to be in a movie, I agreed. I had an absolute blast making Decent People, but I had no idea how hard it is to make a full-length film. (You can read all about it HERE.) Despite the laughs and new friends made, I walked away from the experience with bronchitis, laryngitis, and a phobia of having to smoke on screen ever again. (The reality just isn’t as sexy as it looks.) The film should be released in spring or summer of 2017. Since I refused to watch the dailies, I’ll surely watch the film from between my fingers, but I’m so glad I got the opportunity to slip back into my acting shoes–and have a damn good time playing a bitch in the process.

3. MODELING

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Moving to Ohio from Phoenix (where I had a full, colorful cast of photographer friends), I wasn’t sure how much modeling I would do in my new state. Surprise! About a ton. Thanks to networking, I’ve gotten to shoot in a famous cemetery, in a creepy church basement, and yes, in my underwear. I even got to do a runway show in Cleveland. As always, I encourage everyone to do a photo shoot at least once. You won’t believe what you look like on camera, and when you’re old and crinkly, you’ll be amazed at how beautiful you are and always have been. (Above photos thanks to Bill Thornhill, Devon Adams, Steph Gentry, and Dennis Mong.)

4. SHORT STORIES

Other than Bite Somebody, what else got thrown into the world this year?

Wolf Among Sheep (Hot Ink Press)
“I was not at all prepared for what I deduce you proposed yesterday,” he says. I just adore that strange accent, so much like my husband’s: a mismatch of places and times, trapped somewhere between New York and the low south—musical yet clipped and precise.
“What exactly do you deduce we proposed?” I ask.
“That I enter into a sexual relationship with a married couple.”
I laugh; people around us turn to stare. I take Timothy’s hand. “Well. Perhaps these Americans aren’t quite as close-minded as I thought.”

I Hate Myself for Loving You (Lunch Ticket Magazine)
Timmy shoves him over and joins him in the dirt. He thumps Jason in the side of the face. I think I should tell them to stop—scream it even. Instead, coward that I am, my boys keep going until they see blood. Then, they fall back. They yell about catching Jason’s “gay disease,” named by some mad scientists a couple years back in ‘82. My best friends drag me away.
Jason rolls onto his side in the dirt and wipes at the split skin below his right eye. He doesn’t look up at me, but I keep watching as we hurry from the scene of the crime. I keep watching Jason and think I’d like to wipe his blood all over me.

The Saguaro Apocalypse (Stoneslide Corrective “Striking Use of Wit” Winner)
I opened the door. At first I thought it was some really tall, skinny dude with short arms.
Then, I realized it was a saguaro cactus. Must have been a young one, since its limbs were only about two feet long and pin wheeling in my face. I had the momentary thought: What the hell was in that weed? The cactus kept brandishing its T-Rex arms at me.
“Thomas?”
“What now?” I heard the shuffling of his sock-clad feet.
By the time Thomas reached me, the cactus was banging its rounded top against the doorframe; guess it couldn’t figure how to duck.

You’re Glowing (Omnia Veritas Review)
I haven’t had sex in two years. This unfortunate situation could be ignored except men have started glowing. The doorman outside my apartment glows dark blue, like his nicely tailored suits. I shudder beneath his smile and barely acknowledge his mannerly door holding.
The cop on the corner near the elementary school, he glows green. I don’t know if he’s supposed to, but he always holds up his orange “Don’t Walk” sign when I pass his crosswalk. He winks at me every day, which makes my forehead sweat.
The guy who makes my morning coffee glows pink. I hate the color pink, but I don’t hold it against him. He’s always nice to me. He tells me I smell good. I’m probably old enough to be his mother.

Forget Me Do (Red Rose Review)
Her friends called her a witch. It was only a joke. Whenever one of the girls posted on Facebook that she felt a cold coming on, Debra was on the road with her herbal tea mixtures and tinctures. Then, miraculously, within days, her girlfriends would be completely healed and winning track meets. That was why they called her a witch. That and, well …
“You just made out with Stan in the back of his dad’s car.”
“I hate when you do that,” Rebecca said.
Debra couldn’t help knowing things.

If It Ain’t Broke (Marked by Scorn Anthology)
“This thing for Henry Oliver … You’ve got it under control, right?”
“Of course. I’d never do anything about it.”
“You are kind of touchy-feely with the kid.”
Nate slowly turned his mug on the sticky, wooden table. “God, am I?”
Ella shrugged one shoulder. “A little. I think it’s cute, but other people might not.”

Ghosts of Ice Cream (Bop Dead City)
My fingers rest like a sleeping spider against his collarbone. I breathe the scent of him: salty sweat with an undercurrent of men’s cologne, leftover from his day at the office. He take small inhales, exhales, and hums a little when my fingers touch his throat.
And then I hear it: the ice cream truck. I finally recognize the song: an off-key, off-tempo version of “Beyond the Sea” that comes to me like screams through water. It was our wedding song. I shiver and pull closer to Michael, who falls apart, a pile of ash in my hands.

Sick Like Me (Honeydew Erotic Review)
“What kind of help do you need exactly?”
Evan shrugged. He played with the strap on his motorcycle helmet. He had long, skeletal fingers with squeaky-clean nails. He chewed on his bottom lip. “You think I’m attractive.”
“I’m sure a lot of people think you’re attractive.”
Evan shook his head. “I’m not talking about them.”
Cam sighed. “You’re making this too easy.”

5. BOOKS READ: 58!!

bestbooks2016

Best of the best:
The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Wreck You by Randi Perrin
The Train Derails in Boston by Jessica McHugh
Captive Prince Trilogy by CS Pacat

6. COMING IN 2017

Bite Somebody Else (Bite Somebody, #2). Read all about it HERE.
“Not Again” – LEGENDARY Anthology (January 13)
“They Lived in the House On Cherry Street” – Black Denim Lit
“The Emmett File” – Stoneslide Corrective
“Painted Red” – kINKED Anthology
Enchanted Series: Magic SparkPen and Kink Publishing

Frankly, I’m exhausted just reading all this. I guess I should go take a nap, duck and cover until 2017 officially rolls around. I do want to thank everyone who supported me this year, whether that involved a Tweet or a glass of whiskey. I have wonderful friends, family, and fans, and I could not have achieved all of this without YOU. So here comes my British boyfriend to blow you a kiss … Cheers!

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