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.

Pearlz

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!

Beware: Love spell gone wrong!

It’s Halloween time, which is the time of year I love the most. ‘Tis the season for witches and werewolves, vampires and ghosts. Every October, I drink too much Pumpkin Spice coffee. I watch horror movies I’ve seen a million times. I decorate my house to look like a crypt. My neighbors probably think I attended Hogwarts, so it seems apropos that today would mark the release of two very witchy tales.

From World Weaver Press, SonofaWitch! presents six stories of spells gone wrong. In my comedic short, “The Trouble with Love Spells,” witch Violet has been crushing on her local Coffee Boy for over a year when she decides to work some magic and make him notice her. Things don’t quite go to plan …


Read a teaser for “The Trouble with Love Spells:”

A year earlier, Violet had never expected to order a tall redeye and meet the man of her dreams, but one look into those big, grey eyes, and she was finished. Maxwell was hipster hot, and he walked like he knew it, in his tight trousers, vests, and multi-colored button downs. He kept clean-shaven, without the traditional hipster stubble, but his hair was long on top, short on the sides, and it often flopped down over his eyes.

“Have we decided if his hair is black or brown yet?”

Zoe sipped her chai tea. “I vote brown. I saw him in the sun once, and it was kind of reddish on the ends.”

Violet gawked at her friend’s good fortune. “You saw him in the sun?”

Zoe lifted dark brows. “Yeah, it’s official: he’s not a vampire.”

“Okay, there’s no one in line, and I need a refill. How do I look?” She ran her palms down the sides of her blonde pixie cut and pressed her lips together.

“Gorgeous. Now, go get that hot piece of ass.”

Violet focused on walking with a little hip shimmy as she made her way up to the counter, where Maxwell leaned on a bar stool and read a faded book by Elmore Leonard. “Hey,” she said. She attempted nonchalance but felt awkward with her hands hanging at her sides. She crossed them under her chest instead and gave her breasts a boost.

He looked up momentarily. “Hey.”

“Could I get a refill? French roast.”

He put the book down and reached across the counter for her cup but not before a blue spark flew from her finger and into the back of his hand. “Ow!”

“Sorry!” It was only the eighth time she’d done that—the wussy witch’s subconscious equivalent of a hand caress. “Must be static electricity.”

He gingerly picked up her mug and filled it. “I’m worried if you have anymore coffee, you’re going to start bouncing around the room.”

She laughed, surprised at her own volume, and tucked her hands behind her back. “Uh, I can hold my caffeine.”

“I know.” He slid the mug across the counter, smiled just a little, and picked up his book.

Violet practically danced across the floor. “I zapped him again, but he talked to me at least,” she whispered to Zoe.

“Well, I would hope so. It’d be weird if he just stood there in silence.” She turned a page just as Violet noticed her chai tea refilling on its own.

Violet put her hand over Zoe’s mug. “Hey. No magic in public.”

“Says the girl who occasionally shoots blue sparks at the guy she likes.”


Already, SonofaWitch! has been called “a must-read for anyone who loves modern fantasy” and “heartily recommended for all fans of funny romance.” If you liked the Bite Somebody series, this is an anthology for you! Buy your copy today!

Also out today is Elphame Realms Issue #2, featuring my story, “Forget Me Do.” A bit on the serious side, this one features a witch who believes she can heal a broken heart … but what if that heart doesn’t want to be healed? The eBook is currently on sale for .99 but won’t be for long! If you need MORE witches in your life this holiday season (and who doesn’t?), buy your copy of Elphame Realms HERE.

Happy spell casting! Remember to cuddle your black cat, burn your sage, and curse not lest ye be cursed. Blessed be.

“The Trouble with Love Spells” aesthetic.

Sexy new cover reveal for Wolf Among Sheep

My scary-sexy novella, Wolf Among Sheep, was originally published by Hot Ink Press in 2016, but it’s just had an overhaul. The new cover is gasp-worthy, but before I share it, read all about this twisted tale. (It’s not for the faint of heart.)


“What exactly do you deduce we proposed?”
“That I enter into a sexual relationship with a married couple.”

Avery Collins is an ambitious young journalist in early 1900s Charleston, South Carolina, when exotic newcomers Timothy and Vonnie Duke spot him at a fancy gala on the Battery. The Dukes like bringing pretty playthings to their marriage bed, and with a promotion in mind, Avery entertains their advances not knowing lust can quickly turn to love — and love to murder.

Vividly atmospheric and told from three points of view, Wolf Among Sheep proves sexual prowess can get a man far in life in exchange for his soul.


Now, do you wanna see the cover? Thought so. Many thanks to designer Rue Volley for being so dang talented. I swoon every time I take a look …

What people are saying about Wolf Among Sheep

“Sporting sexy characters, erotic manipulations, and sensual settings, Sara Dobie Bauer’s new novella is riveting, delicious, and delightfully decadent.” -Jeff Mann, author of Desire and Devour

“Incendiary, sensual, and wicked, Wolf Among Sheep is a thrilling reminder that the ecstasy of lust can be peppered with dark and sinister desires. With crackling prose and tension aplenty, Dobie Bauer weaves a sumptuous picture of the American South, alight with characters that will lure you into their beds … and then won’t let you go.” -Tiffany Michelle Brown, author of Spin and Give It Back

“Sly and sexy, Wolf Among Sheep captures three beautifully fierce creatures straining against proper Southern society and shows what dangerous passions can happen when their lusts break them free.” – Cassie Alexander, author of the Edie Spence Series


IF YOU LOVE A BIT OF DARK ROMANCE, BUY WOLF AMONG SHEEP TODAY.
CLICK HERE!!!!!


 

I left my liver in South Carolina

A three-day there-and-back trip involving airports and road trips is not my idea of a good time. However, I was promised two things: Charleston, South Carolina, and time with my little brother.

Jake, a group of our friends, and I left Ohio Friday afternoon to head south via Cleveland airport, flying into Myrtle and then, driving to Charleston. By the time we finally arrived at our hostel Friday night, I was in desperate need of beer.

We went out that evening, did a quick tour of downtown—which had changed markedly since my time living there nine years ago—and headed back to the hostel for some sleep. Everything felt crowded thanks to the Charleston Pride Festival, an event taking place in conjunction with our trip.

The thing about hostels: you share the area, which meant six of us friends had to share the room with two strangers, one of whom snored like a grizzly bear. I acquired approximately three hours of sleep from 2 to 8 AM, which was when I finally admitted defeat and took a shower.

No wonder horror movies take place in hostels.

(I did, incidentally, chat with Grizzly Bear Saturday morning. I jokingly asked him if he slept well. He didn’t get the joke.)

Pretty quickly, I realized Saturday was going to be a good day, though. Jake and I ditched our still-sleeping chums and headed to Sunrise Bistro for the best breakfast bagel in history, followed by The Bearded Café for cold brew coffee, where we were charmed by the cheerful owner.

With “the kids” awake (Jake and I call our friends “the kids” because they’re all about ten years younger than us), we headed to Folly Beach in our rented minivan. We stopped on the way for Firefly—sweet tea vodka, a Charleston staple. Cocktails in hand, we attacked the beach … or maybe the beach attacked us. The height of the waves was alarming, but we dove in headfirst. I only lost my top twice.

My bro and his wife arrived, and off we went to Taco Boy for margaritas and Mexican snacks. Something I love about Charleston is the endless beach vibe. The music, the clothes, the décor: everything screams, “You are on vacation,” even if you live there.

By the time I returned to my friends on the beach, I had a stomach full of tequila and quickly realized that, despite this, I was one of the most sober of the group because my gang hit up a bar and did shots in my absence.

Back at the hostel, we met a dozen other party animals, including travelers from France, England, and India (by way of New Jersey). As a massive group, we Ubered our way to the Recovery Room, where shenanigans included foosball, dancing to 90s rap, and having drinks spilled all over us by drunken strangers.

Following the purchase of thirteen-dollar burritos—worth it—we went to bed around 3 AM and got up at 8:30. Overall, I slept a total of about nine hours over the course of two nights. Again: worth it.

Sunday was spent reminiscing as we walked the Battery and Rainbow Row, stared over the edge of the Pavilion Hotel rooftop, and ate pralines before rushing to make our flight and, yes, almost missing it.

Whether it was the bit of confusion in regards to my guy friends (“Y’all must be here for that gay pride parade”), fear of the minivan back seat, or the realization that we were in “the path of totality” all weekend, I laughed for two days straight.

Did I feel worse Monday than Sunday? Of course, which means I must have still been drunk all day Sunday and the hangover just kicked in Monday morning. Am I a little old to be doing shots and dancing until 2 AM? Nah. That’s like saying I’m too old to laugh, and the laughter, the inside jokes, the awkward TMI conversations … those memories are evidence of a fabulous trip.

Good friends are great, but friends who can make you laugh until you might vomit are priceless.

Got witches? Enchanted: Magic Spark Cover Reveal and Giveaway

It may come as no surprise to you that I love witches. I’m a Halloween fanatic who adores Harry Potter and actually owns a magic wand. When Pen and Kink Publishing editor Cori Vidae asked if I wanted to be part of a series about witches, I was like, YES.

The Enchanted series is three parts:
Magic Spark
Magic Ember
Magic Flame

The first part, Magic Spark, comes out January 9, 2018.
(Enter the giveaway for a free copy on Goodreads HERE.)

My story is called “Destiny’s Dark Light,” separated into three segments. Read all about its witchy wonder …

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.

So have I teased you enough? Urg, okay. Here’s the cover for Enchanted: Magic Spark!

I’m lucky to be joined in the Enchanted series by Wendy Sparrow and Em Shotwell, two women whose work I greatly admire (and whose Magic Spark stories are fantastic).

It’s too soon for me to give you an excerpt from “Destiny’s Dark Light,” but I will say it’s funny, sexy, and angsty. It features a witchy girl with blonde dreadlocks and a sweet boy with an Irish accent. In Charleston. It doesn’t get more magical than that.

For now, be sure to add Enchanted: Magic Spark to your Goodreads list by clicking HERE.  (You can read about Wendy and Em’s stories, there, as well.) Pre-order links coming in November, but you can enter this giveaway for a free copy. Blessed be!

“Destiny’s Dark Light” aesthetic.

Light and Scales: Freaky Friday Fiction

There are people out there who would have you believe love cures mental illness. Find the right guy or girl, and your depression will go away. Your monsters will go away. Fact is, no one can heal you but YOU. Be wary of thinking otherwise …

Light and Scales (Excerpt)
by Sara Dobie Bauer
Featured in Twisted Sister Magazine

You meet him your second day in Charleston. More so, perhaps, you meet his violin. He’s wearing a suit you imagine cost as much as a car. As he speaks to you, he’s still holding his violin: a red piece of wood with scratch marks and a faded veneer. You wonder at the abuse the instrument has taken but soon think these are not marks of abuse but marks of love—of devotion.

You’re in a place called the Charleston Grill. Waiters scurry like albino beetles in white shirts and dark slacks. The restaurant smells of butter and fish but mostly butter.

After the jazz quintet finishes their last set, you find out his name is Graydon Kelly and he would like to take you to dinner. At first, you think you should say no. He has that look about him: the thorn on the rose, the sugared rim of a poisoned glass.

When he shows up to your date, though, you reassess. He’s in a pastel linen button-down and torn jeans. He has on boat shoes, and his curly black hair is a mess. He smells like pine.

“Rosin,” he explains. Something to do with his violin.

He takes your hand and leads you to a table in the courtyard. His left hand is callused against yours. Outside, winding, wrestling fig vines grow up the exterior wall, illuminated by white twinkle lights that mimic the stars. He pulls out your chair and sighs into his seat.

He must notice you looking at him, because he smiles. “I look different when I’m not on stage.”

You fall into conversation, and it’s not the usual, polite, getting to know you babble. Graydon Kelly says odd, irresponsible things like, “You seem like you’re running from something” or “You have an amazing mouth” or the worst, “What do you think of me exactly?”

You only respond to the last comment: a terse, “I’m not sure.”

He walks you home in a rainstorm, leaving you both soaked on the crooked front porch of the yellow plantation house you rent. He smells like rain and marinara sauce with the lingering touch of pine. He tastes like tiramisu.

Later, in your bed, you find him conversational. He makes himself at home. He is comfortable with pillow talk, even with an almost stranger. Again, you doubt your assessments.

He seemed so dangerous in his dark suit at Charleston Grill but so playful in his boat shoes with his messy hair: almost innocent. His comfort in your bed, though, is his tell, his admission. He does this all the time. He makes love to women he doesn’t know because they ask him to, because of his violin and his face and the strange questions he spouts over champagne.

When you ask about a white scar on his rib cage, he tells you his father used to beat him. One day, his father broke his ribs. One poked through the skin. In Graydon’s words, the bone looked like “a stick dipped in marmalade.”

His honesty makes you awkward. You feel a need to share something, too, so you tell him you’ve been diagnosed schizophrenic. He doesn’t know what this means, not really, so you explain to him that you see things sometimes—children in white light on sidewalks; grown men covered in red scales. You tell him things have been better since the medication …

Read the rest today at Twisted Sister Literary Magazine.

BOOK BIRTHDAY: WOLF AMONG SHEEP

Wolf Among Sheep


CLICK HERE TO BUY WOLF AMONG SHEEP.

It’s ALIVE! Today, my erotic suspense novella Wolf Among Sheep (Hot Ink Press) is available to the masses on Amazon and Goodreads.

About Wolf Among Sheep:

“What exactly do you deduce we proposed?”
“That I enter into a sexual relationship with a married couple.”

Avery Collins is an ambitious young journalist in early-1900s Charleston, South Carolina, when exotic newcomers Timothy and Vonnie Duke spot him at a fancy gala on the Battery. The Dukes like bringing pretty playthings to their marriage bed, and with a promotion in mind, Avery entertains their advances not knowing lust can quickly turn to love — and love to murder.

Vividly atmospheric and told from three points of view, Wolf Among Sheep proves sexual prowess can get a man far in life in exchange for his soul.

CLICK HERE TO BUY WOLF AMONG SHEEP.

Today, we’re celebrating with a Facebook event from 1 to 4 PM EST, so if you want to join, come visit HERE, and enter to win Amazon gift cards and book giveaways. If you can’t make it, be sure to pick up your copy of Wolf Among Sheep anyway and leave a review on Amazon!

What people are saying about Wolf Among Sheep:

“Incendiary, sensual, and wicked, Wolf Among Sheep is a thrilling reminder that the ecstasy of lust can be peppered with dark and sinister desires. With crackling prose and tension aplenty, Dobie Bauer weaves a sumptuous picture of the American South, alight with characters that will lure you into their beds … and then won’t let you go.”

-Tiffany Michelle Brown, author of Spin and Give It Back

“Sly and sexy, Dobie Bauer’s Wolf Among Sheep captures three beautifully fierce creatures straining against proper Southern society and shows what dangerous passions can happen when their lusts break them free.”

-Cassie Alexander, author of the Edie Spence Series 

“Sporting sexy characters, erotic manipulations, and sensual settings, Sara Dobie Bauer’s new novella is riveting, delicious, and delightfully decadent.”

—Jeff Mann, author of Fog and Desire and Devour

CLICK HERE TO BUY WOLF AMONG SHEEP.

Wolf Among Sheep teaser: Beware a husband’s wrath

WAS-banner-smoke

As I unlock my dingy apartment, I still taste her on my lips. I rush inside, don’t bother to lock up, and drink whisky from the bottle. I swallow and drink again, this time spitting onto the floor. What have I done? What have I done to a married woman?

The door opens behind me. Of course, he followed me from the hotel, and now, he means to kill me. Was that the game all along, to kill the man who tongued his wife? I deserve it—no time to atone. I think of all the offhand remarks with Chas, the cruel internal dialogue at those stupid society events, but this … this is the worst thing I’ve ever done. Now, I will die for it with no hope of forgiveness or a final confession. The man comes to send me to Hell.

I don’t back away or hold up my fists when he approaches. My guilt freezes me to the spot, so much so that when he sticks his tongue in my mouth, instead of a knife in my chest, I don’t fight back. But then, I do. My fists push against his chest and our mouths disengage.

My reflex is to throw one good punch at his jaw, but I miss. He catches my arm in his hand and twists it behind my back until an unwanted cry escapes my throat. Our feet tumble and wrestle beneath us, but damn it, Timothy Duke is much larger than me.

WAS-twistedHe twists my arm higher until I fear it might break and then pushes my face down against the cluttered desk in the corner. I smell ink and stale tobacco. It takes me a moment to recognize my vulnerable position. He has me bent over, pinned. His body weight crushes the air from my lungs, and he kicks at my feet, spreading my legs farther apart. I panic and renew the fight, but it’s useless.

“Don’t,” I mutter, pathetically begging.

A sound like airy laughter escapes through his nose. “I knew you were a fighter. Could see it in your hands.”

“I shouldn’t have touched your wife.”

“You think that’s why I followed you here, Avery? Because I’m jealous?” His grip loosens on my arm. Not enough for me to escape, but his fingers now move against my wrist, almost a caress. “You were magnificent.”

I take a shuddering breath.

“I only wanted you to know, if I’d been in that bed, you wouldn’t have left until I was finished with you.”

He lets me go, and I almost tumble to the floor. He adjusts his impeccable suit as he crosses the meager distance from the back of my apartment to the front. With his hand on the doorknob, he glances back.

“We’ll expect you tomorrow, the hotel at six.” He smiles. “Don’t worry. I’ll merely watch. And I believe Vonnie has a special treat.”

Timothy closes the door behind him. I fall over, down to my knees. It will take an entire bottle of whisky for me to find sleep this night.

(WOLF AMONG SHEEP comes out this Saturday, February 27, from Hot Ink Press. To follow all release day hijinks, come party with us on Facebook. Or add me to your “Want to Read” shelf on Goodreads HERE.)