Escape Trilogy

Happy Halloween Time! ESCAPING SOLITUDE Cover Reveal

When Escaping Exile (book one in The Escape Trilogy) came out, I didn’t think designer Natasha Snow could do any better. Oh, I was wrong, so wrong. She has given me a true gift with the cover for Escaping Solitude … but first, read about book two (otherwise known as “Edmund in trouble”).

Ancient vampire Andrew escaped his tropical island exile with his beloved human sailor, Edmund. They’ve now returned to Andrew’s home in nineteenth-century New Orleans and must navigate not only their developing relationship—and equally haunted pasts—but also a hungry coven of vampires Andrew used to call friends.

Desperate to stay by Andrew’s side forever, Edmund examines the impressive coven library in search of an Elder, the only creature capable of turning Edmund. Although missing for centuries, Andrew believes an Elder must still survive somewhere; they just have to find him.

The search is put on hold when Edmund receives word that his mother is ill in London, and the lovers set off on an oceanic journey surrounded by new friends and old enemies. When things go terribly wrong, Edmund’s fragile human life hangs in the balance, and an Elder must be found or Andrew will be alone forever.

Ain’t that cover something else? Man, I got lucky when I found this model! He’s delicious.

Escaping Solitude will be officially released October 29 by NineStar Press, just in time for Halloween, my favorite day of the year. The book is filled with spooky New Orleans settings and scorching hot sex. (Just ask my first readers about the famous threesome.) For now, you can pre-order Escaping Solitude from NineStar Press or Amazon and wait impatiently for its big birthday!



(And just to be super annoying, there’s even a little teaser for book three at the end of Escaping Solitude.

Escaping Mortality, the third and final book of the trilogy, comes out in January 2019. Whereas Escaping Solitude is considered “Edmund in trouble,” Escaping Mortality sings the tune of “Andrew in BIG trouble.” Oh, how I love to be a dirty, little tease! Happy Halloween Time!!!)


Hungry vampires coming for you December 21st

Oh, I love vampires!!!! Love them!!! Y’all know that, I would assume, if we’ve ever spoken for more than five seconds. I was thrilled to be invited to join Once Upon AnthologiesLongest Night collection, coming December 21. Read all about it, see the AMAZING cover, and check out the Kickstarter campaign below!

The longest night. A vampire’s delight.

The winter solstice, a time of birth and rebirth, life and death, waning light and rising darkness. A time when those who flee the sun and crave the taste of blood find their greatest solace.

But one never knows what the longest night might hold.

Once Upon the Longest Night, a collection of adult paranormal romances, features nine novelettes of lovers and their battles against one of the greatest legends of our time: the vampire. A 15th-century seaman and the love of his life come face to face with a vengeful manjasang. In ancient Rome, a hunted priestess captured by a loyal centurion offers her aid to the enemy. With the help of a handsome Royal courier, a reluctant Romanian princess braves the curse flowing within her noble blood. Danger awaits when a vampire in the far reaches of North Dakota must endure the lethal cold to protect the woman she loves. And in a future New York, a broken general returns home for the Longest Night Ball where he meets a young male witch who might change his life forever.

This anthology combines vampire mythos and affairs of the heart with the sacred symbolism and magic of the winter season.

Sit back and let us tell you a tale. Welcome to the Longest Night.

About my story, “His Last Battle:”

Suffering from PTSD, vampire general Devlin Frost returns home from the war on Lycans and attends the historic Longest Night Ball. Here, royal witch Elijah Crow must choose three immortal suitors to compete for his love and power. When Devlin is shockingly chosen as one of the three, his immediate attraction to the young witch coaxes him into entering the fray, but this battle is for more than Elijah’s love. The broken general might also win back his ruined heart and bruised soul—if he survives the night.

About the Kickstarter:

There are so many ways you can support this anthology, coming December 21. In the Kickstarter campaign, you can become an Ambient Feeder, Member of the Court, or even win a full Sara Dobie Bauer Bundle! Click on the REWARDS button and learn more:

The Once Upon Anthologies imprint was created to offer readers a variety of themed paranormal romances along with mythological and fairytale retellings from mostly New-To-You authors. It’s a way to showcase talent in the fantasy romance genre all while delivering bite-size nighttime tales you can’t put down. “The way we see it, we still love a good fairytale or ghost story, we just like them a little sexier now.” Amen to that!!


JL Gribble reveals her fantasy movie cast for the Steel Empires series

Book 4 of the Steel Empires urban fantasy series is out TODAY! In a world with vampires, warrior-mages, weredragons, and sarcastic violin players, time travel seems like the obvious next step. To celebrate Steel Time, author JL Gribble is here to share her fantasy movie cast for the main characters in her book.


You’re never too young or too old to experience a paradigm shift.

Toria Connor is 25 when tripping over an artifact in the ruins of Nacostina thrusts her a century into the past, before the city is destroyed during the Last War. Now, she finds herself alone. Adrift in a time where she must hide everything important to her, from her mercenary career to her true magical ability.

Victory is over eight centuries old when she follows her adopted daughter. She has seen empires rise and fall, but never anything like this. She must survive alone in a city inhospitable to vampires, dodging friends and foes from her past alike.

Both of them know the clock is ticking down to the moment when the city is wiped off the map. Now, they’re in a race against time. To find each other. To escape the past. And to save the future.

Currently available from:
Barnes & Noble
Direct from publisher
Carpe Librum (JL’s local indie bookseller)
… or support your own local independent bookstore by requesting a copy today!


It is possible to read Steel Time as a stand-alone book, but don’t miss out on Toria and Victory’s previous adventures!

Book 1: Steel Victory
Book 2: Steel Magic
Book 3: Steel Blood


Toria Connor

While Toria Connor started this series in college, in this book she’s reached her mid-twenties. She’s settled into her life and career as a mercenary warrior-mage. She’s tough, resourceful, and independent. But her life gets turned upside-down, and suddenly she has to hide everything about herself and pretend to be a normal woman in an old-fashioned world. I cast Lauren Cohan as Toria because of both her physical appearance and how her role as Maggie showed how she can be both fierce and sweet.


As Toria gets older, she now looks more like a sister than a child to her adopted vampire mother. Victory has made the transition from career mercenary to local politician, but she’s never afraid to return to the sword when her daughter needs help with a job. Returning to the past reminds her of a world that used to be, and how she doesn’t necessarily want to return to the person she used to be. Jaimie Alexander is my Victory, because I fell in love with her presentation as the strong and gorgeous Lady Sif in the first Thor movie.


The elven assistant curator at the Museum of New Continental History goes by Liam in casual company. He is originally tasked with helping Toria acclimate to life in the “future,” but their relationship gets off to a rocky start before sparks start to fly. This nerdy intellectual is much, much older than a human his apparent age would be, but Toria proves herself more than a match for him. I first saw Luke Mitchell in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and though I didn’t love his character, this photograph of him evokes Liam to a T. Just needs pointier ears.


While Toria is Victory’s adopted human child, Jarimis is Victory’s vampire progeny. Bred and raised to be an assassin, he embraced Victory’s mercenary lifestyle before abandoning it to pursue his true passion of academia. I’ve had Jarimis in my head as a character for at least a decade, but it wasn’t until this book that I started looking at actors to represent him. Luckily, I didn’t have to go far. I’m a huge fan of iZombie, and Rahul Kohli was exactly what I was looking for.


By day, JL Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. She is currently working on the Steel Empires series for Dog Star Books, the science-fiction/adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press. Previously, she was an editor for the Far Worlds anthology.

Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where her debut novel Steel Victory was her thesis for the program.

She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats.

Find her online at:

Escape Trilogy

The Secret Life of a Publishing House Editor

For Escaping Exile, book one in The Escape Trilogy from NineStar Press, I had the pleasure of working with editor Jason Bradley. Working with a new editor is sorta like trying on a new pair of jeans because you’re pretty sure everything looks right but you won’t know until you’ve worn them around a couple times.

Not that Jason is a pair of jeans BUT there are always questions with a new editor: Will we work well together? Will we argue? Will there be banter? I got lucky. While working on Escaping Exile, the banter was brilliant, and Jason helped make my sexy novella better than ever.

As someone who usually works behind the scenes, Jason was a little nervous about a blog interview … but I made him do it anyway. Meet editor Jason Bradley.

What’s your background? In other words, how did you become an editor?

Oh boy, um… when I was laid off from my job in an attorney’s office, I enrolled online to finish my psych degree. While doing that, I took on some side jobs proofing and editing. I liked it so much, I signed contracts with several publishers and ended up as an editor-in-chief for one of them. That publisher is no longer in existence, but I have continued to edit with multiple publishers as my career.

As an editor, are you a writer, too? If so, what do you write? (And can we buy your work anywhere?)

I am a writer. My author name is Jason Huffman-Black, and I have a few free shorts, a short in the anthology Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open, and one novel entitled Snakes Among Sweet Flowers. I also have a bunch of half-finished manuscripts because I really don’t have time to write.

(Sara side note: Snakes Among Sweet Flowers is FANTASTIC, and I want to make out with Cam. Just saying. Buy your copy HERE.)

What made you want to work on The Escape Trilogy?

Well, I’m a sucker for vampire historicals, so there’s that. I’m also a sucker for a good story and smooth writing style. Between those three points, you won me over.

What’s your favorite thing about The Escape Trilogy?

That’s a hard one. I think I like how deep and three-dimensional your characters are. There are layers and faults that make them compelling and keep the reader engaged.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

I hate these kinds of questions! Mostly because my life revolves around reading amazing stories and I couldn’t possibly name all the authors I want to mention. I will admit that one of my guilty pleasures is a not-top-tier author who I still cannot stop reading: JR Ward. But yeah, big hunky vampires…

Mary Renault is a personal favorite. Her Alexander the Great series made me feel all the emotions. Another is Storm Constantine. Her Wraeththu series is amazing.

I based my characters on Alexander Skarsgard and Timothee Chalamet. Who are your Hollywood crushes?

I’m not a big fanboy, although I have to say Alexander is very nice. Jason Momoa is another I really find sexy. I stopped watching Game of Thrones when his character died and have never gone back to it. But I must add that I’m not much of a TV watcher so that’s not a big shocker for those that know me. One of my unfinished manuscripts has a character that is partially based on Jason.

Most of my “crushes” are more eclectic and a little weird. Wolverine and Cable (before they were movie characters, back when they were just comic characters), the Predator in the last movie, the Wookie with dreds, umm…Garnet from Steven Universe… I’m sure there are more. ~shrugs~

What’s the best part about being an editor? The worst part?

The best part is getting paid to do my favorite thing… read! The worst part? Hmmm… not getting paid insane amounts of money?

Any advice for newbie authors?

Sure! Lots! Write! Don’t stop. Get beta readers you trust to give feedback and don’t be afraid to change your story if need be.  Don’t be afraid to submit, even if you are rejected at first.

Your editor should be your friend, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to say things you don’t want to hear about your baby (your story). Ask questions, debate a change, but don’t get all bent over it. If you can’t handle what the editor is saying, how are you ever going to handle reviews?

Learn from your edits. If your editor goes to the trouble to explain why something should be a certain way, try to incorporate that into your writing. But don’t worry if it’s a rule you can’t grasp. Job security for me.

I really want to thank Jason for not only accepting my interview invite (which, trust me, scared the crap out of him) but also for being so kind to my lover boys, Andrew and Edmund, in Escaping Exile. This book (most books) would not be the same without editors. WE WRITERS NEED YOU! Have you hugged an editor today?

In other news, have you bought your copy of Escaping Exile yet? Book two, Escaping Solitude, comes out October 8, so get reading, my lovelies!

Buy Escaping Exile right now >>

Escape Trilogy

Happy Book Birthday to Escaping Exile!

It’s been a long time coming … but my sexy new novella is finally here. Thanks to publisher Raevyn McCann, editor Jason Bradley, and the team at NineStar Press, my bit of angsty, dark LGBTQ romance has now been set free upon the world, biting people far and wide. Here’s all you need to know, including “about the book,” theme song, and fantasy movie cast.


Andrew is a vampire from New Orleans, exiled to a tropical island in the 1800s as punishment for his human bloodlust. During a storm, a ship crashes off shore. After rescuing a sailor from the cannibals native to the land, Andrew becomes fascinated with his brilliant, beautiful new companion, Edmund.

Edmund is a British naturalist who has sailed the world seeking new species. Intrigued by creatures that might kill him, immortal Andrew is this scientist’s dream—but so is making his way back home. Edmund will fight to survive, even while wrapped in the arms of a monster.

As light touches and laughter turn to something much more passionate, the cannibals creep ever closer to Edmund. Can the ancient vampire keep his human alive long enough to escape exile and explore their newfound love, or will Andrew’s bloodlust seal his own doom?


“This book harkens back to Anne Rice in her prime, where Andrew and Edmund are just as memorable as Lestat and Louis.” – Quin Perin, author of Obsessed

“This is not a love story I ever expected to read, and even though ‘ancient vampire + madcap human’ feels like it should be quite a trope, Andrew and Edmund are a whirlwind pair who challenge and delight each other.” – JL Gribble, author of the Steel Empires Series

“If you like a little twist to your vampires, a jagged edge to your British aristocracy, and want a master class in developing complex characters over a minimal number of pages, you’ll really dig this story.” – J. Leigh Bailey, author of Guyliner

THEME SONG (Go ahead; stare at Hozier and Alexander Skarsgard.)


Alexander Skarsgard as “Andrew,” my bad boy vampire.

Timothee Chalamet as “Edmund,” the sexy shipwrecked sailor.

Tilda Swinton as “Michelle,” cruel coven leader.

Stuart Townsend as “Felipe,” that murdering son of a …

I’ve been shocked and honored by all the amazing advance praise and support Escaping Exile has already received … and it was only born this morning! Pick up your copy today, and start reading part one of The Escape Trilogy.

You better get reading because part two of the trilogy, Escaping Solitude, will be here in October. Until then, enjoy the blossoming love story of Andrew and Edmund, but watch out for those cannibals.


Escape Trilogy

Escaping Exile fan art by the brilliant Nikita Ryan

Twitter isn’t all bad. Sometimes, Twitter introduces me to amazing new artists I never would have found anywhere else … which is how I stumbled upon the work of Nikita Ryan. She is a master of gay erotic art, and since Escaping Exile is pretty dang erotic, I really, really wanted her take on my characters.

Her art focuses on the male form, and according to her website:

“I believe that love is love and that the attraction between two men (and two women for that matter) is beautiful, valid, and perfectly acceptable. People should be able to be with who they want to be with, without judgement. I just want to celebrate that fact.”

(It’s a shame she lives across an ocean, because I would really love to buy this lady a drink.)

Nikita got the chance to read the Escaping Exile manuscript way before it saw an editor or proofreader, and she delivered this outstanding vision of dark-haired Edmund and his blond vampire Andrew:

(Doesn’t it just make your eyes happy?!?)

Honored that she spent time drawing my lovely boys, I wanted to pick her brain a bit about her work, her influences, and (of course) what she thought of Escaping Exile.

What’s your artistic background?

I’ve always drawn and painted for as long as I can remember. My mum is also an artist so I guess it is in my genes! I went to art college and eventually got a degree in Web and Graphic Design. More recently I also completed another degree in Interior Design, but have ended up not working in either field!

What inspired you to draw M/M subjects?

I also write my own M/M romance/fantasy stories and have several projects on the go (as per normal!) and it was a way of bringing my own characters to life. And what’s not to like about the male body? I have always loved life drawing, but now I am more interested in trying to capture emotions, and two men together does it for me.

I am also hoping to “normalise” the love between two guys through my art and to help that be accepted in society, as I am a firm believer that Love is Love.

You perfectly captured Andrew and Edmund in this drawing. What was the most challenging part about bringing these boys to life? Most satisfying part?

The most challenging part was having to bring someone else’s vision to life. When you write, you have an idea in your head of what your characters look like, and I was worried that my interpretation wouldn’t be what was in Sara’s head.

The most satisfying part was hearing that I had got it right! And that my drawing was well received.

Can you tell me a bit about your process when drawing something like this?

The process involves research, and lots of it! Luckily I had been given an idea of what Sara could see her characters looking like, so this was a helpful starting point. Although this can sometimes add to the pressure! I wanted a pose to capture their emotions and something that would show both of their faces. Other than that it was just a case of drawing them and seeing how it turned out.

Who are your main artistic influences?

I love abstract art and the cubism style, and have always loved the art of Wassily Kandinsky, Georges Braques, and the abstracts of Picasso. One of my artistic influences is Tamara de Lempicka. l love her angular style of painting, and more recently I have discovered the art of Steve Walker, Oliver Frey, Huang Tao, and Steven Clayton Corry, to name but a few. These are artists that paint and draw with a gay theme, and I especially love the way that Steve Walker’s paintings capture emotion and make you think about what is going on in them.

What did you enjoy best about Escaping Exile?

I loved the characters in Escaping Exile and can’t wait to see what happens next. I don’t suppose I can say too much because I don’t want to give away the story! But I loved it.

To learn more about Nikita Ryan (or to buy some of her amazing work), follow her online!




Did you pre-order your copy of Escaping Exile yet? Have it delivered to your Kindle immediately Monday, August 13, by buying it today. CLICK HERE.

Escape Trilogy · Modeling

Fun at the Beach: The ESCAPING EXILE Photo Shoot

I don’t get to do “pretty shoots” very often. Or beach shoots, for that matter. To celebrate the upcoming release of my sexy novella, Escaping Exile, I did both. My usual crew (Bill, Steph, and Megan) went to Headlands Beach on Lake Erie and had fun in the sun … and the wind … and the wild, wild waves.

Escaping Exile is the story of bad boy vampire Andrew, exiled to a tropical island, and his shipwrecked sailor Edmund. Together, they find love, lust, and danger, so for this photo shoot, we brought a bit of drama to the water and enjoyed a fantastic sunset.

Scroll down for all the pretties and pre-order Escaping Exile today!

All hair and styling by Megan Lacy Does Hair.

Photos by Steph Gentry:

Photos by Bill Thornhill:


Hot Summer Nights: A flashy film with loads of darkness

Full disclosure: I’ll watch Timothee Chalamet in anything. I will watch him drink coffee while reading the newspaper and be enthralled. When his newest film, Hot Summer Nights (out in limited release today), got mixed reviews, did I care? Nope. I was going to see this movie, even if it was filmed before Call Me By Your Name, so the guy looks about twelve.

Hot Summer Nights is the directorial debut of Elijah Bynum. He wrote the screenplay, too, and even based it on two guys he knew from college. Well, the guys he knew were more like legends—as are the characters in Hot Summer Nights. Narrated by a thirteen-year-old observer, it’s the story of Daniel and Hunter: two mismatched teenage boys who pretty much rule a drug empire in Cape Cod for a single summer before things go totally to shit.

From the first fast-paced opening minutes, rife with over-the-top dialogue and rapid scene changes, I was hooked. Hot Summer Nights takes place in ’91, so all that music, those clothes, that hair? Oh, I remember. It was like time traveling in my chair.

As Daniel, Timothee is the perfect ambitious nerd, while Hunter (played by yum-yum Alex Roe) is his brutal, cool-guy foil. The love story between Daniel and local sex goddess McKayla is a thing of little boy fantasies, especially a certain scene involving a lollipop.

About halfway through, with Hurricane Bob inching ever closer to Cape Cod, you feel the literal and metaphorical storm coming. The shift in tone is jarring, to be frank. Bynum goes from playful bathroom make out scenes to a sense of impending doom—but, in his defense, he set it up from the beginning, all via the character of Daniel.

Bynum said he cast a very, very young Timothee Chalamet as this character because he has a boyish quality but also a certain amount of darkness. Yeah, dude, spot on.

There’s a scene pretty early in Hot Summer Nights where Hunter beats the crap out of a dude in front of Daniel, and Daniel sort of smiles about it. He’s set up as a bit of a psychopath from the get go, so when the movie takes a twisted turn, it’s not surprising if you’ve been paying attention.


Honestly? Daniel is not a good guy. He selfishly lies to the two people he loves the most and makes horrible life choices—not for money or fame but for the thrill. When everything goes haywire with a literal hurricane in the background, it is not a shock. It’s sad, sure, because lives are ruined, but maybe Daniel and Hunter had this coming?

I understand why some reviewers are tearing the movie apart, because it is strange and almost a little silly. But when you consider the whole thing is told from the perspective of a thirteen-year-old boy, watching from the sidelines, every moment should feel epic and ridiculous. Yet there’s this huge amount of horror that creeps up like a monster in the night, especially a scene involving cocaine and Timothee in a trucker hat (an unexpected new fetish of mine).

Hot Summer Nights is and isn’t what you expect. It is a fast-paced summer movie about drugs, sex, and parties, but it’s also a violent drama about the end of innocence and youth. The lead players—both the boys and romantic interest Maika Monroe—are strong young actors, and there are definite glimpses of “Academy Award Nominee Timothee Chalamet.”

My advice? Get high and watch it. I mean, it’s a movie about weed. Smoke a little reefer and laugh at Daniel’s early shenanigans. Here’s hoping you mellow out by the time the storm arrives, because hell, by the end of the movie, it seriously arrives.


Escape Trilogy

TODAY: Escaping Exile Cover Reveal

I always joked that I would never have a half-naked hot guy on the cover of one of my books, and now, I don’t remember why. I mean, I love hot guys, especially when they’re half-naked.

While writing Escaping Exile for NineStar Press, I got to create some super hot fictional dudes. When it came time for cover design, I said SCREW IT. Give me that hot guy! Designer Natasha Snow did not disappoint …

About Escaping Exile (available from NineStar Press August 13):

Andrew is a vampire from New Orleans, exiled to a tropical island in the 1800s as punishment for his human bloodlust. During a storm, a ship crashes off shore. After rescuing a sailor from the cannibals native to the land, Andrew becomes fascinated with his brilliant, beautiful new companion, Edmund.

Edmund is a British naturalist who has sailed the world seeking new species. Intrigued by creatures that might kill him, immortal Andrew is this scientist’s dream—but so is making his way back home. Edmund will fight to survive, even while wrapped in the arms of a monster.

As light touches and laughter turn to something much more passionate, the cannibals creep ever closer to Edmund. Can the ancient vampire keep his human alive long enough to escape exile and explore their newfound love, or will Andrew’s bloodlust seal his own doom?

Add this beauty to your Goodreads shelf today and start reading August 13!

I’m so excited for you to meet Andrew and Edmund. You get three novellas with them (totaling almost 90K words!!!), but Escaping Exile is the first with Escaping Solitude and Escaping Mortality to follow in the coming months.

Which means, yes, I get two MORE covers from the amazing Natasha. Mind=blown.


The Chicken Incident, Ohio, or why raccoons are evil

At 2 AM last night, I woke to the sound of chickens screaming. I’m pretty sure my husband could sleep through an atomic bomb, so of course, he heard nothing. Because I apparently have not seen enough horror movies, I ran outside in my pajamas (no bra) with a flashlight, deserving to be killed by Leatherface.

As I neared our chicken coop, I at first saw nothing out of the ordinary. Then, I got closer. I saw what appeared to be a bloody stump of a chicken leg hanging halfway out the closed door. Yes, the chicken coop was still closed. Yes, half a chicken was sticking out of it. Yes, some fanged monster had tried to drag a large chicken through a tiny hole, and oh, dear God, what is life?

About five seconds later, a pair of glowing eyes crept into my yard. Ah-ha, the culprit: a skinny raccoon. I wasn’t sure how to proceed since wildlife should be scared of humans because we’re awful, but this raccoon just stood there like he wanted to shoot the shit.

How is your night, human?

Oh, fine, Mr. Raccoon. I just sort of wish you wouldn’t do scary stuff like disembowel my chickens at 2 AM.

Noted, human. I shall now depart.

Except he didn’t depart. He stood there staring at me until I made the rash decision to run directly at the raccoon. Well, he didn’t like that, so he left. The chickens continued screaming … Well, one in particular. You guessed it: the one with half a body torn off and hanging from the chicken coop door. Yeah, that guy? He was still alive.

We had now entered Jake territory.

I calmly cleared my throat and went back to the house. By the way, I was barefoot, so not only was I chasing a raccoon barefoot but I was also trying to avoid dog poop in the dark.

I got back to the bedroom and announced, “Jake. Wake up,” in the calmest voice possible, images of silver eyes and bloody stumps just ricocheting around my brain like ping pong balls.

Jake isn’t a good waker-upper. He startled and made a confused noise before I was like, “Dude, the chickens are being murdered.” Whelp, that got his attention.

I don’t know why I joined him outside. The chickens are my husband’s project, and although, yes, I was the earlier hero, they’re his babies. Jake was understandably not pleased at the state of things. I stayed there with him, holding the flashlight, until he tugged the half-eaten still alive chicken out into the open and said something about “sorry, buddy” and … Yeah, I fled inside at that point.

It took forever to fall back to sleep. I’m sore everywhere today and have a dozen times realized I’m staring at walls and not working.

I’m not upset about the chickens, not really. It sucks that we lost four last night to a hungry fanged beast, and I feel bad that my hubby puts so much work into raising these birds—for us—and then, they go and get their dumb asses killed. (Chickens are really dumb; trust me on this.)

Instead of being upset, I’m entertained today because, before I met my husband, I don’t think I’d ever met a chicken outside of a plate and yet, last night I wielded a massive flashlight and chased a monster from my yard. Most days, I write about monsters, but I don’t often stare one down and have an imaginary conversation at 2 AM.

Life is awkward and weird and sometimes horrible, and yeah, we rush around all the time. Days go so fast, and we’re like, “How did I get here?” But, man, sometimes life is just so dang funny with its metaphorical blood and guts hanging out for all to see. It’s a mess. Enjoy the mess. Now, go about your day and try not to hear the sound of screaming chickens.

(If you want to read about The Chicken Incident, Arizona, feel free, but it’s equally as alarming as what you just read. Cheers!)