Sara Dobie Bauer’s Best Books of 2017 (so far)

In celebration of the release of Bite Somebody Else, I look back on the books I’ve read since January and what really tickled my fancy. (In some cases, literally.) So far this year, I’ve read thirty-seven books. Of those thirty-seven, here are the top five in no particular order.


Gun to My Head by Dira Lewis

When I met Dira at a convention, she told me—in no uncertain terms—that Gun to My Head was not a romance. Okay, but it is … if you squint. Injured vampire Sin is on the run when he meets lonely Dominic and imprints on the heartbroken young man. Now, they’re bound together, even as other vampires hunt Dominic. Even as Sin does some horrible things to his sort of “boyfriend.” Even though Dominic is pretty much willing to die for Sin. So maybe it’s not exactly a romance, but it’s action-packed, featuring a complicated relationship between a vampire and his human. I loved this gritty vampire book so much, I had to limit myself to a certain number of pages a night. So worth the read.


Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham

A love story told entirely via text messages, emails, and social media stalking, I’ve never read a romance novel that better mimics our modern idea of “dating.” Madeline and Elliot meet at a New York City restaurant opening, and so begins their psychotic adventure. Why psychotic? Because, in relationships, we’re all nuts—as evidenced by the overly analytical email exchanges between Madeline and her best friend and Elliot and his. (“He did this, but did he mean that?”) We’ve all fielded the madly insecure ramblings of a friend in a new relationship. I want to make this required reading for all college students. Not only does it show you what not to do in a relationship, but it commiserates with the madness we’ve all felt while searching blindly for The One.


An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel

This book had me snort laughing for sure. Ancient vampire Yulric Bile has been sleeping underground for three hundred years. When he wakes, he finds the world has become a stupid, terrifying place filled with stupid, beautiful vampires who have no idea how to be monsters. Modern vampires are apparently attractive, much to Yulric’s distaste since he’s one ugly dude. Think Nosferatu, creeping around, sucking blood and stuff. Now, with the help of an unlikely duo, he hunts the doofus responsible for this pretty vampire trend—with hilarious results. A book (much like Bite Somebody Else) that does not take itself seriously, I don’t suggest you read this in public because your insane laughter might scare people.


Sublime by Christina Lauren

Disclaimer: I got rid of this book as soon as I finished reading it because I will never, ever read it again. Need I explain? All right. In Sublime, ghost girl Lucy wakes up years after her death on the grounds of a private high school. She is immediately drawn to handsome Colin, the resident orphaned thrill seeker. Soon, they’re more than drawn to each other; they’re obsessed with each other, and it looks as though Lucy has come back for Colin. But why? Is she there to save him or destroy him? Halfway though this novel, I called the friend who sent it to me and asked, “Is the end of this book going to ruin me?” Basically, yes. Sublime is beautifully written with amazing characters—but it is sad enough to make your eyes bleed, which is why I will never read it again. If you like tragic love stories, this is the book for you. You’ve been warned!


The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles

I read this in one day, probably because I love a good Victorian ghost story slash romance featuring a super hot dude. (Who doesn’t?) Following the deaths of his odious father and brother, Lucien Vaudrey returns home to accept his legacy as Lord Crane. Too bad someone attempts his murder using magic. He calls in a specialist: magician Stephen Day. Whereas Lucian is walking sex, Stephen is a strange little man whose contempt for the new Lord Crane soon turns to lust. (Crane’s tattoos sure do help.) Together, they have to figure out the mystery of the magpies and find Crane’s would-be killer before they both end up dead. If there’s extra time for some heated M/M sex, all the better! Meow.


Author bio:

Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model, and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Her short story, “Don’t Ball the Boss,” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is a member of RWA and author of the paranormal rom-com Bite Somebody, among other ridiculously entertaining things.


About Bite Somebody Else (Book 2 in the Bite Somebody series):

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.





World Weaver Press:




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What’s life like as an erotica author?

What’s life like as an erotica author?

By Sara Dobie Bauer

With the release of kINKED and my short story “Painted Red,” I add another story to my ever-growing list of erotic short fiction flying free in the world. I wasn’t always like this. I used to write pretty PG-13. Then, I got older and stopped caring so much about what people thought. I started writing what I wanted to write … and apparently, I wanted to write about sex.

It’s true: I don’t really care what people think of me. But they do think things about me. Because I write erotica, I must wear leather and whipped cream all the time, right? Well, no. Let’s have a chat, shall we?

Do people expect you to be super-sexed up? Slutty? Are you assumed to be more sexually open than you are?

Yes… However, I am pretty sexed up in reality, so it’s less an assumption and more a foregone conclusion. It’s true, though: people do assume I’m way more sexual than I really am. I think some of my readers believe I have a dungeon filled with floggers and chains. (I do not.) However, I am very comfortable with my sexuality and talk about it openly with my husband, so I have a very fulfilling sex life. I’m not only assumed to be sexually open; I am sexually open—just not in the way people’s imaginations might lead them to think.

Do people over share about their sex lives? 

Yes. Always. However, so do I, so that’s partially my fault. People read my stories and want to talk about what they’ve read. I’m not one to judge (I’ll try anything twice), so I open the door for conversation and people tend to walk right through. It’s amazing how much you can learn and apply to your own sex life just by talking with friends.

Do people expect you to be transparent about YOUR sex life? Like, supply them with wild stories of your sexual escapades at cocktails? 

I am transparent. Very much so. I love talking about sex, so I don’t mind sharing stories. Plus, I’m a writer; stories are kind of my gig. Sex is a human right, damn it. Everyone should be having it, and if you’re not having it, you should be talking about it and learning about the newest positions/toys/kinks so that you’re prepared to have tons of fun once you are having sex again.

Do you find yourself in the role of sex therapist? 

Strangely, for men more than women. I have both married and single guy friends who want to know how they can get their wife to be wilder in the bedroom—as if I’m the expert because I write about crazy sex. Sometimes, my imagination just gets a bit out of control, but it’s easy to assume that what I write is based on fact—and some of it is. In “Painted Red,” my male lead has a tattoo fetish, as do I, so fiction does occasionally imitate life. (There’s another bit in “Painted Red” that’s autobiographical, too, but I’m not telling you what it is.)

What keeps you interested in writing erotica? What’s the draw for you? 

I love writing about two characters falling in love and getting laid. I just do. Falling in love (and falling in lust) is a huge part of the human experience. It’s something we can all relate to, so I write to warm hearts, to entertain, but also to titillate. Why not? This world is so dark and destructive sometimes. Why not shine a sexy light?

About the author: Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model, and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Her short story, “Don’t Ball the Boss,” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is author of the paranormal rom-com Bite Somebody, among other ridiculously entertaining things. Learn more at

Available Now!

Amazon (US) (CA) (UK)


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Cover Reveal: Forget Me Not

Maybe falling for the good guy isn’t so bad?

When Rex Somersby’s family matchmaker sets him up with the famous Evelyn Cadeau, he can’t believe his luck. Evelyn is the woman with the perfect Gift—the woman every man wants—while Rex’s own magical ability leaves much to be desired.  He travels from Missouri to meet his dream girl in her rural Mississippi home, where Evelyn makes it clear that winning her heart won’t be an easy task. Good thing farm-boy Rex has never been afraid of a little hard work.

Evelyn Cadeau is used to getting her way. As the woman with the most powerful Gift, she knows she can have her pick of anyone she wants. And who she wants is slick, handsome, and off-limits Guy McCallister—not gawky, buttoned-up Rex Somersby. Yet, after an arranged date with Rex takes a dramatic turn, leading to a bottle of wine and sneaking to the creek for a late night skinny dip, she realizes there may be more to by-the-rules Rex than meets the eye.

Just as the young couple start to think their family’s tradition of matchmaking isn’t quite so backward, Rex is drafted to Vietnam. With war threatening to tear them apart, will love be able to save them? Or will it take a bit of magic?

Forget Me Not is Em Shotwell’s 1969 pequel to Blackbird Summer and Em is donating all of her royalties to the military charity Operation Homefront. Pre-order your copy now and save money while benefiting a good cause:



Em Shotwell is a cancer survivor, foster care advocate, and casual geek. Sometimes she writes books about misfits and the people who love them.

When she’s not frowning at her computer screen, Em enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, or indoors daydreaming and wishing she could play the banjo.

Visit her online at She hangs out on facebook at  where she often hosts giveaways and posts witty memes.

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Rebellion and Refuge

I’m going to be editing an anthology with superstar Laura Harvey!

This year has been a politically rough one and Laura and I wanted to do something. Something to make us feel a little bit less helpless, and also to help. So I suggested we do an anthology to benefit the civil liberties organisations in our individual countries and Laura enthusiastically agreed.


What we came up with in the end (after much brainstorming) is an anthology we’re calling Rebellion and Refuge (or RAR!):

Rebellion and Refuge

(Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Sometimes resistance is good–a bondage-loving submissive struggling against the things that bind her. Sometimes resistance is necessary–a rebel alliance fighting back against an evil empire. One thing it never is, however, is easy.

This anthology will explore resistance and rebellion within a romantic context—because sometimes love has to take a stand—but it will also include stories of refuge because you can’t fight all the time, and sometimes love is the only thing that brings you peace (or at least a place to breathe).

We want stories of feisty park rangers fighting the good fight, couples falling in love at protest marches (bonus points if they start out on opposite sides of the issue) and people forced to choose between what is right and what is easy. We want stories where a character’s only emotional refuge is within the arms of their lover and ones where couples work together to do the things they believe will make the world a better place.

We’re open to stories at every heat and kink level, and any sort of pairing (or more-ing) that you can imagine. Stories must have a real conflict and tension with a HEA or HFN ending.

Rebellion and Refuge: resistance is sensual.

The details:

• Stories between 1,000 – 15,000 words long (query for longer)

• Reprints accepted but not preferred. When submitting a reprint include information about its original publication in your submission email.

• Open to all gender pairings and multiple partners

• Simultaneous & multiple submissions = No

• Kink is welcome but not required

Payment: $10 USD and a paperback copy of the anthology in exchange for the non-exclusive right to include the story in both the print and electronic versions of the anthology.

Open submission period: October 1, 2017 – November 30, 2017

Expected publication date: Autumn 2018

Submission details will be revealed closer to the submission window opening

All profits from the sale of this anthology will be donated to the ACLU and CCLA.

About the Anthologists:

Laura Harvey is an editor, writer, bibliophile, horsewoman, historian, teacher, debate coach, nerd, DIY junkie and occasional rescuer of kittens. She holds a BA, MA, and is ABD, making her an exceptional asset in Trivial Pursuit. She loves reading so much that all of her handbags share one crucial ability: fitting a standard paperback or Kindle. She lives in northern California with a menagerie of beasts (dogs, cats, horses, and family members). Her previous anthology efforts include Demons, Imps and Incubi from World Weaver Press and Legendary from Pen and Kink Publishing.

Cori Vidae is an editor, anthologist and the founder of Pen and Kink Publishing. She works as an Assistant Editor at World Weaver Press and also occasionally finds time to write things. You can find her on Twitter at @CoriVidae or on her website at

Note: That photo was taken at the site of a hockey riot, not a protest… but it still captures the feeling we’re going for.

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The Battle for Vimy Ridge

I don’t usually get too serious on this blog, but today I’m going to, because this is important.

This weekend is the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of the Battle for Vimy Ridge.

You can’t grow up in Canada and not know about Vimy Ridge — it’s seen as one of the things which helped shape our nation, which brought us together as a nation and inspired national pride. Documentaries and Heritage Minutes tend to frame it as ‘Other nations tried to take the ridge but we prevailed where they did not!’

It continues to instill pride to this day. I’ve never served in the military (though a good number of my ancestors have) but I still tear up with pride (and sadness) whenever I watch a Heritage Minute or documentary about Vimy Ridge.

It matters.

It mattered to the war, to the world, to our country and it matters to me.

So it was only a question of time before it showed up in my fiction. But when it did I knew I was going to have to tread very carefully. And I did.

Although it’s never expressly stated in the text, in my story, Circles Within Circles, Michael is about to participate in this battle when he contacts his sister for help. That help made me really nervous, because in no way did I want to tell a story where incubus magic was the thing which made the Canadians successful in taking the ridge but I also really wanted for that to be the battle Michael was about to engage in.

In fact, Michael is in the same battalion that my family served in during WWI and WWII. It matters to me that even in something as fluffy as a paranormal romance story I  respect those men and what they fought and died for. That I not minimize their struggles or their victories.

In the end the magic that shields Michael actually unshields some of his fellows–balance. That didn’t feel disrespectful. It worked for my conscience, my pride, and the story.

As I said, this weekend is the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of that terrible battle and I will be spending a lot of time thinking about those soldiers–what they were fighting for, what they endured and what they accomplished. I hope you will too.

Never forget.


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