BREATH OF EARTH Sale + Trade Reviews for CALL OF FIRE

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Blog, breath of earth, call of fire | 0 comments

Call of Fire releases in less than two months, and so far three trade reviews have come in, all of them good. Like, really, really, good. Starred reviews from both Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, and an enthusiastic review from Kirkus, too. I can’t even express how relieved I am by this reception!

This is a good time to point out that Call of Fire is available for preorder everywhere, and the first book in the series, Breath of Earth, is still on sale for $1.99.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to get book 3, Roar of Sky, in decent shape to send to my editor next month. My brain. It is breaking.



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5 Tips for Writers Writing Book Reviews

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Blog, others books, writerly advice | 0 comments

Book reviews are vital to authors, but when you’re an author yourself, writing reviews of other books can be tricky. If you’re snarky and cruel, wielding one-star reviews like shurikens, you run a real risk of isolating yourself within the author community and with publishers.

That doesn’t mean that you lie and say you like a book that you loathe. It does, however, mean you act with tact and regard the author and their work with respect. This is not easy if you feel rather vehemently about a certain book.

My own background here: I review everything I read, and I’m in the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads with over 1100 titles listed.

Clockwork Dagger
- Don’t be afraid to remove or hide old reviews. Let’s say that your publishing career has evolved and you’re now publishing books in a genre that you have reviewed rather harshly in the past. Consider this: you will meet these authors at conventions or be on panels together or they might even be asked to blurb your book. Set those old reviews to be private or remove them, and you’ll be removing some potential awkwardness, too.

- Another approach: some authors keep a separate account for book reviews so they can do so anonymously and honestly.

- Be careful about marking a friend’s book as being “currently read.” If you end up not liking it, and they know you are reading it… yeah. I like to wait until I am deeply into a book before I list the status online.

- Don’t be afraid to mark a book as Did Not Finish (DNF). If you’re like me, you have gobs of books waiting in the to-read pile. Life is short; don’t waste it on an unpleasant book! This is also a tactful way to avoid the dilemma of writing a review for a book that just plain didn’t work for you.

Along those same lines, you should not feel like you must finish a book sent from the publisher on places like NetGalley. Mind you, it took me a few years to get the nerve to do this because I felt obligated to finish the provided books. No more. I will go through NetGalley, mark the book as done, and send a note saying something like, “This isn’t a review. I found the book was not to my taste, but I’m very grateful you gave me the opportunity to read it.”

- The most important advice of all: Write every review as if the author will read it. They very well might. I think of it as like writing a story critique: I note the positive, and gently and constructively make observations about the negative.

If you finish a book but have mostly unkind things to say (especially if it’s in your genre), act with care. In such situations, I will type up the review on Goodreads/LibraryThing but keep it set as “private” so I can access it later for my own records. I may or may not leave a star rating.

Always keep in mind the Golden Rule: Treat other authors as you would like to be treated. Most books are not inherently awful. We each possess different tastes; respect that.

Reposted from Novelocity.



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Sunday Quote has a new book out in August

Posted by on Jun 25, 2017 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

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Interview with Sara Dobie Bauer, author of BITE SOMEBODY ELSE

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017 in Blog, guest, others books | 0 comments

I’m happy to welcome back my good friend Sara Dobie Bauer! We’ve been IRL friends for years, though she’s now moved to Ohio, we keep in touch–and we love each other’s books! Case in point: her new release Bite Somebody Else from World Weaver Press. In this sequel, she delves into the POV of raunchy, ’80s-loving vampire Imogene. The book came out this week–and be sure to check out the first book, Bite Somebody.


You’re an ex sexpert for SheKnows and your characters sure enjoy rambunctious love lives. Your love scenes read so easily—do you find them easy to write? What types of scenes DO you have a hard time writing?

Based on reader reaction (and my penchant for landing in erotica anthologies), I’m apparently good at writing sex. Honestly, though, sex scenes take time. A two-page sex scene can take me an hour to write as most of that time is spent staring at the screen and choreographing in my head. I also tend to mix dialogue within the sexual choreography, so not only do I stare at the screen, but I also talk to myself. This is why I don’t write in public. Plus, since I’m choreographing sex scenes in my head, I can only imagine the ridiculous faces I might make. That’s the long story.

The short story: sex scenes are my specialty. I enjoy writing them. I’m good at writing them. But they are “a process.”

Action scenes are hard to write. Talk about choreography! There are several fight scenes in Bite Somebody Else, and you almost literally need to work these out with a partner. (Bahaha, I guess a partner helps in writing sex scenes, too … there might be a short story there …). ANYWAY. Fight scenes are difficult. Oh, so are dance scenes, of which there are a couple in Bite Somebody Else because, duh, Imogene.

Ian versus Nicholas_smYour muse is Benedict Cumberbatch. What would happen if you saw him in person? Would security personnel be involved?

My husband is legitimately worried that, if I ever met Benedict Cumberbatch, I would become a black hole and destroy the universe. Honestly, though, if I ever met the British stud in person, I imagine it would be a lot like the time I met Neil Gaiman. I smiled, panted a little, and he took pity on me and gave me a hug. I like to think I’d be all cool and collected and sexy (like Imogene), but I’d be more like Celia, drooling and stuttering and saying a bunch of really dumb shit.

It’s funny, but both male leads in the Bite Somebody Series are based on different incarnations of Mr. Cumberbatch (because, as you said, he is my muse). Ian in Bite Somebody is laid back, behind-the-scenes Benedict. Nicholas in Bite Somebody Else is suave, red carpet Benedict. No wonder the two characters get along so well …

Imogene loves her rum punch. Do you love it, too?

I do love rum punches. The first time I had a rum punch was in Belize on Ambergris Caye during my honeymoon. I don’t know if it was the drink or the location or my husband—but I was euphoric. I’m pretty sure I almost drank the island dry that week, but I did figure out the recipe! Simple. Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour a double shot of Captain Morgan’s on top. Fill three-quarters of the way with strawberry-banana juice and one quarter peach juice. Stir and slurp, preferably on a beach or while reading your shiny new copy of Bite Somebody Else.

Bite Somebody was told from the viewpoint of Celia, who is more of a frumpy every-girl. In the sequel, you get deep into Imogene’s POV. She is more like a force of nature, profane, crude, and utterly honest. Was it easier to get into one character than the other?

Not really. As women, I think we encompass both characters depending on the situation. At times, we can all be nervous and frumpy. Other times, we can be fierce. Celia and Imogene represent two extremes, but the rest of us float somewhere in the middle. That said, in my daily life, I’m a bit more profane and honest, like Imogene. My sense of humor is the Bite Somebody Series to a T, so it was easy to write both books—probably because I was just having so much fun!

What’s next for you?

Sleep until Halloween? No, better not. Ummm, I have short stories in a couple upcoming anthologies. My story that has caused the most arguments about how we define “sexuality” will be in Stoneslide Corrective this fall. (Keep an eye out; see if it pisses you off.)

Next year, I’m part of a three book series with Pen and Kink Publishing called Enchanted. A bit about that …
In modern day Charleston, lonely white witch Cyan Burroughs has waited her whole life to lead the battle against dark witches and eventually meets 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.

With the release of Bite Somebody Else comes a certain amount of freedom. As you can attest, finishing a series is sad because you have to say goodbye to a bunch of people you’ve spent years hanging out with. However, finishing a series is also a relief, as you are free to think about other projects with a clear head. I have two finished manuscripts to rewrite (both a bit darker than the Bite Somebody Series), so come July, it’s time to dive in. Wish me luck, and remember … only bite the people you love.

sara_dobie_bauer_smSara 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.




Amazon Author Page

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Bready or Not: Maple Krispy Treats

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, maple, no-bake dessert | 0 comments

Regular Bready or Not readers know that I espouse that everything is better with maple. Case in point: Rice Krispy Treats, now with maple.

Bready or Not: Maple Krispy Treats

I had to make this several times to get the right flavor and balance. An onerous task, I assure you. In the end, I created an original recipe that’s perfect for maple lovers.

Bready or Not: Maple Krispy Treats

This recipe can be made in the microwave or on the stovetop. Just make sure you’re using a large bowl or pot, as you need room to stir in a lot of cereal, and take care when heating. Burned marshmallows are a bad, bad thing.

Bready or Not: Maple Krispy Treats

If you do this in the microwave, which is my preference, you will have ready to eat treats in under 30 minutes.

Even more importantly–for people in hot environs like me–you won’t heat up the house when it’s already a zillion degrees outside. That makes this the perfect summer recipe.

Bready or Not: Maple Krispy Treats

Did someone scoff at that because of the maple flavor? Pfft. Maple flavor knows no season. If it’s tasty and you like it, make it, no matter what the calendar says.


A Bready or Not Original: Maple Krispy Treats

Bready or Not: Maple Krispy Treats

These goodies have the scrumptious chewy texture of Rice Krispy Treats with the bonus sweetness of maple. A Bready or Not original.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons maple sugar (or use brown sugar and more maple flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons maple flavor
  • 10 ounces miniature marshmallows (1 bag)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies or similar puffed rice cereal
  • more maple sugar and kosher or pretzel salt for the top (optional)

Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil then coat the surface with butter or non-stick spray. Stage the maple sugar, maple flavor, and marshmallows so they are ready to add quickly.

These treats can be made in the microwave or on the stovetop. Either method: on low, gradual heat, melt the butter in a large bowl.

Once the butter is melted, remove from heat and stir in the maple sugar and maple flavor. Add marshmallows and stir. This will just barely start to soften the mix, so continue to heat gradually until the marshmallows become smooth goop; in the microwave, use 20 second zaps and stir well between each pass. Stir until no white streaks remain. Remove from heat again, if needed.

Add the cereal and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix until everything is coated, then pour into the prepared pan. Quickly spread it to the corners and evenly press it down with a rubber spatula. (If the goop sticks to the spatula too much, quickly use nonstick spray on it or rub it with butter.)

When the cereal mix is even, sprinkle coarse salt and maple sugar on the top, if desired.

Let the pan cool for at least 15 minutes. Slice into bars while everything is still in the pan, then use the foil to lift them all out at once. Store for up to two days in a sealed container, with waxed paper between layers to prevent sticking.



Bready or Not: Maple Krispy Treats

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Sunday Quote extends Happy Father’s Day wishes

Posted by on Jun 18, 2017 in Blog, Quote | 0 comments

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”

~ Joseph Brodsky


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