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.

ABOUT ESCAPING EXILE

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?

ADVANCE PRAISE

“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.)

FANTASY MOVIE CAST

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

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.

Bite Somebody

Bite Somebody is FREE!!

Thanks to the magic of Instafreebie, you can read the first eleven chapters of my bestselling vampire rom-com for free starting right now! (Let’s face it; you didn’t actually want to work today, did you?)

About Bite Somebody:

“Do you want to be perfect?”

That’s what Danny asked Celia the night he turned her into a vampire. Three months have passed since, and immortality didn’t transform her into the glamorous, sexy vamp she was expecting but left her awkward, lonely, and working at a Florida gas station. On top of that, she’s a giant screw-up of an immortal, because the only blood she consumes is from illegally obtained hospital blood bags.

What she needs to do–according to her moody vampire friend Imogene–is just … bite somebody. But Celia wants her first bite to be special, and she has yet to meet Mr. Right Bite. Then, Ian moves in next door. His scent creeps through her kitchen wall and makes her nose tingle, but insecure Celia can’t bring herself to meet the guy face-to-face.

When she finally gets a look at Ian’s cyclist physique, curly black hair, and sun-kissed skin, other parts of Celia tingle, as well. Could he be the first bite she’s been waiting for to complete her vampire transformation? His kisses certainly have a way of making her fangs throb.

Just when Celia starts to believe Ian may be the fairy tale ending she always wanted, her jerk of a creator returns to town, which spells nothing but trouble for everyone involved.


Claim your free eleven-chapter excerpt of Bite Somebody on Instafreebie!! There’s even a little box you can check to subscribe to my mailing list, which will keep you updated on upcoming releases, reading suggestions, and random weird news. Come on, join the SDB Cook Kids Club!

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE GOODIES:

And, hey, if you’ve already devoured the entire Bite Somebody series, feel free to pass this along to a friend who might also like ridiculously awkward blood-suckers in Florida! The freebies are unlimited! And remember: Only bite the people you love.

 

Modeling

The Naked Photo Shoot

It’s not what you think … Back in January, I visited family out in Tucson, Arizona. My brother and I hit up the gay bar, and I got a little wild (as one is wont to do at the gay bar). In the hungover morning, I posted a silly selfie wrapped in a sheet. Photographer Bill Thornhill, who’s obviously quite mad, messaged me immediately and said, “I want to shoot you like THAT.”

What he meant was: shoot me with almost no makeup, no hairstyling, and pretty much just out of bed at my house. Considering most of my photo shoots are so theatrical, it was a pleasure sitting around, drinking coffee with Bill while the camera captured moments that were just … me … laugh lines, freckles, and all.

I give you “The Naked Photo Shoot:” naked in that we’re being completely honest and, frankly, just having a good time. (All photos by Bill Thornhill Photography. Many thanks to Bill, who I am blessed to know.)

 

Charleston · Enchanted Series · Sara Dobie Bauer

Saying goodbye: The end of Enchanted

“I should have told you about the paintings,” Cyan said. “Earlier.”

Liam chuckled and shook his head. “No. I think working up to that was probably a good idea. It’s kind of offputting when a girl you don’t know has, like, fifty paintings of your face.”

“Do you feel like you know me now?”

“Of course I know you. I might need therapy for the rest of my life because of it, but I know you.”

Cyan sipped her tea and held tightly to the small cup as if it might protect her. “Do you think you could ever love me, Liam?”

He closed his eyes and pressed his thumb and forefinger against his eye sockets. His forehead wrinkled, and his breath turned shallow as if his own ribs threatened to suffocate.

“Is that a no?” she asked.

He opened his eyes. She couldn’t be sure in the dimness, but she thought they looked wet, red around the edges.


Oh, the angst! It’s so weird that today, today, today … the final book in the Enchanted Trilogy marks the end of an era. I have spent the past two years with Liam and Cyan, and it is so strange to wave goodbye. I know, it sounds super dramatic, but if you’re writer, you understand: our characters are real people, and today, I say farewell to two of my favorites. Read all about part three of my novel, “Destiny’s Dark Light:”

The love story of Cyan and Liam comes to its enchanted end. With the identity of the dreaded dark witch revealed, both Cyan and Liam must find ways to deal with the ramifications. War approaches at an ever-increasing pace. Dark witches and white will soon battle on the streets of Charleston. Still, Cyan remains focused on the man she’s come to love. She is destined to protect Liam, but how can she keep him safe and save the world when her powers are barely under control?

I have to thank the boss lady at Pen and Kink Publishing, Cori Vidae, for trusting me with this three-part opportunity to write about witches and romance. Without her faith in me, this story never would have happened. Many thanks also to Pen and Kink publicist Elesha Teskey for making me look so good (and even sound mildly intelligent in interviews). Finally, thanks to my creative sisters Em Shotwell and Wendy Sparrow for joining me on this incredible journey.

It’s time for me to leave Charleston and head back to the real world. Do Liam and Cyan get their happily-ever-after, or will their love story be twisted as their destinies? Find out in the final installment of Enchanted. Get your copy today!

Photo by Bill Thornhill.
Charleston · Enchanted Series · Entertainment in SC

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

“How does it go exactly?”

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

“You don’t have to tell me.”

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

“What do you mean, arrived?”

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

“I don’t understand,” he said.

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

“And what of this War?”

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

“Kill him.”

She nodded.

“Good,” Liam said.

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


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

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

Ohio · Sara Dobie Bauer

Meet the sexy small town boys of Craving: Country

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

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

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

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

“Must Love Grapes”
An Excerpt
By Sara Dobie Bauer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Did Janis drive you into Geneva?”

“Yes.”

“Where is she?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But I have a secret,” she said.


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

Charleston · Enchanted Series

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.

 

Charleston · Enchanted Series · Sara Dobie Bauer

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.