Happy book birthday, Must Love Coffee!

It’s Release Day for Must Love Coffee!

Avail now FB MLC


A later in life romance about a coffee shop owner and the barista who loathed it.
Must Love Coffee. That was the first requirement coffee shop owner, Finn Allen, insisted upon in his ad for a new barista.
He wasn’t expecting his valedictorian, coffee-hating nemesis, Samantha Whitman, to answer the ad, or for her to look smoking after all these years.
It was too bad she was married because that’s a line Finn, a recovering playboy, wouldn’t cross. Things get muddy, however, when Sam turns to him for comfort during a crisis.
Can Finn keep his emotions in check or will he screw things up yet again?


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“An amusing, yet touching story from a male’s point of view! Finn and Sam’s hate to love romance transpires while helping each other mend their hearts.” ~ Josie Bordeaux, Author of Alluring Promises series

“I loved this book. It’s different. The characters felt real. He is not a 20 or 30-something man with abs of steel. She isn’t a model type of woman with sultry moves. Now, don’t get me wrong I do love those characters. What I am saying is Finn and Sam are different. I need and crave different once in awhile so I am glad I read this book.”  Sandra Shipman ~ Two Book Pushers

“You don’t need to love coffee to love Must Love Coffee! I love the tender and honest presentation of his feelings as he rediscovers what is important to him. The transformation of all the characters is both beautiful and believable. I highly recommend reading “Must Love Coffee”, even if you don’t. “-Jeanne McCartney


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“Let me guess, you’re a tea lover?” They were the worst sort of person. I felt myself shiver.
“I do drink tea, yes.” Her voice was strong.

“I should have waited for you to avert your eyes. No one needs to see this body sober.”

“How exactly did I ruin your plan to become a crazy cat lady?”


MUST LOVE COFFEE (A Later in Life Romance)

Amazon  Smashwords   iBooks   Nook   Kobo   Paperback

Companion Novel Sale

Must Love Coffee takes place in the same fictional town of Bucksville, New Hampshire. This is just one of several Later in Life Romance stories planned for Bucksville. The first stand-alone book I wrote in this town was Doppelganger. It’s currently on sale for .99 cents if you want to find a few Easter Eggs in crossover characters!

dopp and mlc

DOPPELGANGER (A Later in Life Romance)

Amazon  Smashwords   iBooks   Nook   Kobo   Paperback



Chapter 1 of Must Love Coffee

Must Love Coffee releases Tuesday, so I thought it might be fun to share with you the first chapter of the book! So without further adieu…


MUST LOVE COFFEE. I frowned at the words on the screen. Those three words were the only ones I could think to list in my “wants” section of this stupid online dating site. For the last half hour, I’d been staring at the screen, trying to come up with something better. Apparently, having an addiction to caffeine was the only thing I wanted.

That wasn’t totally true, but it’s not like you can say, I’m looking for someone with big tits and who’s great in bed. Women don’t care for that. I had to be serious. I needed to list things that reflected who I was. What was I besides a coffee shop owner?

Therein was the problem. No chick in their right mind was going to love a balding, four-eyed guy in his mid-forties, who had no aspirations outside of waking up in the morning without a hangover.

Twenty years ago I could have bragged about my dreams of starting a band and traveling the world. But now, my guitar sat collecting dust in my perpetual bachelor pad. I was no longer the sort of guy a girl would be jumping up and down to meet, let alone date.

That’s not to say I was this hideous creature from a horror movie. It’s just, over the last ten years or so, I’d become…average—nothing to write home about. The sort of person you’d pass on the street and not even notice.

Somehow, I’d become an adult who couldn’t even keep a house plant alive. A few years ago, that idea didn’t faze me in the least. Staring down the barrel of middle age terrified me. I was going to die alone if something didn’t change.

Hence the dating sites. I needed to branch out of my tiny town of Bucksville, New Hampshire. Because, as my sister, Jackie, had so eloquently put it: “You’ve slept with every woman in a ten-mile radius over the years. Online dating is your only option left.”

That wasn’t true. Well, not really. I hadn’t slept with all the women in this town, just a dozen or so…several times over. That wasn’t my fault, though. There weren’t a lot of options in a small town.

Maybe that’s what started this sudden mid-life panic. The old standby girls just weren’t doing it for me anymore. I was craving…I don’t know, something more.

“What’s wrong with one-night stands, Finny, old boy?” my pal Joe had asked one night at the bar, wiggling his thick eyebrows. Joe had been my dad’s best friend and was in the pub more often than in his day job, it seemed. His face was always red from drink, which stood out against a bad bleached-blond hair dye. It was a look that may have made him attractive back in the day, but now made his bloated face stand out like a stop sign.

I’d known Joe since I was a kid. After Dad passed, Joe sort of stepped in, thinking I needed a father figure. Or maybe he just wanted a drinking buddy. Dad had never been a big drinker, but I sure was after his death. Joe had seen some of my darkest days. He cleaned up my drunken messes more times than a friend should, I’m ashamed to admit.

“Finn, you’re in the prime of your life,” Joe had said the other night. “This is when you should be going out and buying a convertible, banging some college chick, or moving to Paris. It’s not the time to settle down!”

Joe was talking out of his ass. He was happily married, and as far as I knew, as faithful as they came. Still, he was getting older and likely wanted to live vicariously through my bad life choices. And boy, oh boy, did I make a few of those.

“I gotta grow up sometime, Joe. I’m not in college anymore,” I said, nursing the last of my beer.

College. Man, back then, there had been no shortage of women vying for a spot on my arm. All the sorority girls wanted to date the hunky grunge rocker who played free gigs at their parties. It didn’t matter they didn’t know my name or even what my major was. The truth was, I didn’t care about theirs either.

After college I had plans—epic, backpacking through Europe plans—except, I didn’t have the cash to do it. So, I’d decided I’d earn my way there by taking on a few shifts at my folks’ shop, Must Love Coffee. A summer job. That turned into working just a few months after the season ended. Then, months turned into years, and all my grand aspirations of a better life outside of the snore-inducing Bucksville faded away, right along with my hairline.

Things were monotonous until Ma was killed by a drunk driver, and I went into a tailspin when Dad died of a heart attack three months later. From that point on, life pretty much sucked.

I was thirty-five when they passed. A full decade had slid through my fingers…and what had I done in that time? Other than keeping the shop open? Nothing. I hadn’t even moved out of the stupid little apartment above the shop I’d had when I was in college. I had made no attempt to better my situation, so it was my own fault. And yet, I was still bitter with the universe that my life hadn’t magically morphed into something meaningful all on its own.

“You just haven’t found your purpose yet,” Jackie had told me one morning over the phone.

“My purpose?” My eyes practically rolled out of my head.

“Yes. That thing, or person, who’s going to make you want to be a better man.”

I snorted. “You don’t think I’m a good man now?”

Her voice dropped to a whisper. “I think you have the potential to be so much more than you are.”

I wasn’t convinced of the potential part, but I did feel like I was stuck in a rut. For the last ten years, I’d been on autopilot, surviving from day to day. I woke up, went to work, headed to the bar, and then back home. That was it.

There had to be more to life than that. Right? I found I was craving someone to come home to at the end of a day—someone to talk to, to hold, and grow old with. It was sappy, but it was the truth.

I suppose that’s why I relented to my sister’s endless suggestions of online dating. So far, however, no one was turning my eye in the surrounding towns.

I deliberately left out the area I lived in on my search because besides knowing everyone here, there wasn’t anything exciting about Bucksville. We had a population of just over a thousand people. There was one grocery store and one fast food joint but three gas stations. Why we needed so many, I had no idea.

About the biggest excitement we had in Bucksville was that we had a movie star who vacationed here from time to time. She lived up in a big-ass mansion on Miller Street. The town went nuts when she bothered to show her face to the locals, but thankfully, that wasn’t often. My staff still liked to talk about the day she had come into the shop for coffee. I definitely didn’t want someone as high-maintenance as her. I wanted a woman who’d look hot in both heels and sweats and who’d steal a slice of pizza out of my hands. It wouldn’t hurt if she loved hockey, either. Could I say that in the ad? Probably make me look like a jackass.

I shook my head at the waiting cursor on my computer screen and blew out a breath of defeat. This was getting nowhere. I closed my laptop and focused on the waiting pile of bills on my desk. I shouldn’t really call it a desk. It’s a card table tucked into the former walk-in pantry I’d converted into an office. It wasn’t pretty, but it did the trick.

As I cut checks, I fought off a yawn. It was late. The shop had long since closed. I wanted to go home, have a beer, maybe watch some porn, and go to bed. That was the sucky part of being a shop owner. Bills had to be tended to regardless of what I wanted.

I spent several aggravating minutes shoving paid invoices into the overstuffed filing cabinet in the corner. I cursed myself for not going digital. One of these days, I’d take the time and do it, but I didn’t have the patience to learn a new way when the old one worked just fine.

Christ, I’m starting to sound like my dad.

When I reached the bottom of the waiting envelopes, I noticed it wasn’t another bill but rather a letter. The envelope only said “Finn” on the outside.

Tearing it open, I adjusted my glasses to read the small handprint, which looked like it was scribbled down in haste.

I recognized the writing as Kenny’s. Kenny was my only full-time barista. He was the real reason the shop did so well. That man knew how to make a mean cup of coffee. Kenny trained all the other part-timers how to use the machines, but none of them were particularly good at it. I knew I should give him a raise, but the funds weren’t there.

Curious about why he’d write me a letter versus talking to me in the morning, I tore it open and skimmed over his words. I clutched my stomach as it rolled over. It was his letter of resignation. He’d taken a better paying job at a shop the next town over. It was closer to his daughter’s school and offered him medical coverage.


I couldn’t counter that offer.

The letter was his two-week notice. I had fourteen days to find a barista willing to work full-time for a measly minimum wage job with no benefits.

Opening my laptop again, I went to our community bulletin board website to post a help-wanted ad. I began it with the line MUST LOVE COFFEE.

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Want more? You can preorder it here!

And don’t forget, Doppelganger (another love story set in the same town is on sale!)

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Danielle Bannister, Author, and chapter sharing fiend! 


I walk alone

…and other fun, moody and broody song lyrics.

I’m in research mood and I need YOUR help! For what, you ask? For a novel that is several books away from being written, but I’m already collecting inspiration for when this book is ready to be birthed. Part of that ‘research’ is creating a playlist on Spotify. While I don’t write with music on (I’m a write in total silence kind of girl) I will listen to a playlist as I’m doing other tasks in the months leading up to starting a first draft. Music helps set a tone for my muse.

That said. I’m looking for some musical help from you. What are some songs that resonate a sense of solitude for you? The book will be the last in the Later in Life Romance series and will about a woman coming to terms with her newly single status.  So the songs could be bittersweet, angry, or, like Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day, contemplative.

Here’s what is already on my list:

Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me (ugh, what a gut wrencher!)

No Doubt’s Don’t Speak (Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt!)

Natalie Imbruglia’s  Torn (“Nothing’s fine…I’m torn.” Torn, indeed!)

Matchbox Twenty’s Bent  (“Can you help me I’m bent I’m so scared that I’ll never get put back together.”) How can you not be inspired after a lyric like that?

The Killers- Mr. Brightside (“She takes off her dress now, letting me go” Guy’s point of view, but still hits the mark of feeling of being discarded)

Pink- Try (Because no playlist is complete without her)

Janet Jackson’s If (How is THAT song for a woman wronged? Tee hee)

As you can see, the playlist is far from complete. I need some help rounding it out. So, what do you suggest? If you found yourself newly single…what sort of songs would help you get through it? Sad ones? Raging ones? Ones of acceptance? Comment with a song you think should go on my list!


Danielle Bannister, Author and playlist maker



Get by with a little help from my friends

When an author types those two wonderful words “The End,” it’s a euphoric and daunting feeling. Relief that phase 1 is over, dread that the journey to the finish line is still so very far away.

For my latest release, Must Love Coffee, I am in the finale and hardest part of the book’s life: the marketing end. For many authors, this is where we flail around on the ground like a fish out of water with no idea what to do now that the words are done. I am no exception. I want to get back to the water. Back to the keyboard to create more stories.

Or maybe that’s just me as the introvert wanting to hide in the writing cave. Marketing, for me, is an extroverted task. It’s the time where you have to say, “Hey, look at me and my book! Buy it, buy it!” *shivers. That kind of stuff makes me feel slimy.  And yet, it’s a necessary evil.

Which is why I put out a plea to friends. I’m getting a list together of people willing to share the release day information on March 13 on whatever social media outlet they want. Willing to help? Fill out this super quick form HERE.

I also wanted to let you know that I’ve put Doppelganger on sale for 0.99 in anticipation of this release.

dopp and mlc sale and pre order

The plan right now, is to have four books in this Later in Life Romance series. None of them need to be read in any particular order, but they all take place in the same town of Bucksville, New Hampshire so there will be some Easter Eggs for those that read them all. 🙂  These are light-hearted romance reads.

While Must Love Coffee is in marketing mode, I’m in writing mode for two other titles. I’m working with Amy Miles on the sequel to Netherworld and my novella for the Havenwood Falls series. The final two books in the Later in Life Romance series are in first draft and outline formats so stay tuned there.

And finally, I’ll be doing a LIVE broadcast with my writing pal, RJ Keller, Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7pm EST for our Valentine’s Special of Between Two Couch Cushions.

Feb 13

Okay, that’s all for now. Remember, if you wanna help spread the word about my next release I’d be super grateful. You can commit your support  HERE.

Danielle Bannister, Author and book pusher



Let’s go crazy!

Let’s get nuts! (Pause for a Prince dance break…)

So I’m going to be doing something crazy tomorrow (2-6-18.) I’m going to be taking to Facebook and doing my first solo LIVE broadcast. *gulp. I have done Facebook Live broadcasts before with my author pal RJ Keller, but this will be my first solo outing. Hence the nerves.  I haven’t cemented the time, as it may take me all day to build up the courage to do it (and maybe some wine, too.)  I’ll be doing these LIVE broadcasts every Tuesday until the release of Must Love Coffee happens and maybe after that depending on how things go.

dopp and mlc sale and pre order

I also wanted to let you know that in anticipation of Must Love Coffee‘s release, I have put Doppelganger on sale for 0.99 cents.

Finally, I wanted to invite you to a private group for anyone that wants more Danielle insanity in their lives. If you want to join in the fun. Just click on Write all the words, Danielle and I’ll let ya in!

Okay, that’s all for now. Perhaps I’ll see some of you tomorrow on the LIVE broadcast. *gulping again.

Danielle Bannister, Author and Facebook LIVE person-thingy


Today, I take it all off…

The wrapping of my cover reveal that is. What did you think I meant? 😉

Over the last year, I’ve been working on a book that is set in Bucksville, NH. This is the same fictional town that Doppelganger took place in. I’m working on a series of books that will all take place in this same small town. They will all be stand alones but they will have some small crossover characters that act as Easter eggs for those that read all the books.

This will be the second book in this Later in Life Romance series. Today I reveal not only the cover but the actual name of the book too! Eeep!

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World, I introduce you to Must Love Coffee.

Here is the blurb in a bigger font.

Must Love Coffee. That was the first requirement coffee shop owner, Finn Allen, insisted upon in his ad for a new barista.

He wasn’t expecting his valedictorian, coffee-hating nemesis, Samantha Whitman, to answer the ad, or for her to look smoking after all these years.

It was too bad she was married because that’s a line Finn, a recovering playboy, wouldn’t cross. Things get muddy, however, when Sam turns to him for comfort during a crisis.

Can Finn keep his emotions in check or will he screw things up yet again?

The book is set for a March 13th release but you can pre-order it here:



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If you missed out on Doppelganger, you can find that here:

The Power of Positivity

Start Where You Are…

For Christmas, my sister got me a gift certificate to Amazon. My intention had been to buy some much-needed clothing, or some novels I’ve been dying to read, but instead, I purchased something my soul was hungry for: Positivity.

You see, over the last several years, I’ve noticed I’ve become more cynical than I used to be. I blame the horrific dating scene for the beginning of that downward spiral, but I digress.  At work and with friends, I would tend to get hung up on whatever bad thing was happening: car repair, a sick child, more snow…you get the point.

how could

That’s when it hit me: I was turning into a bitter old lady.  Snarky, I was okay with, but whoever was emerging, I was not. How could things possibly get any better if I never took my eyes off the ground to look for the rainbows? This realization hit at the start of the New Year. A good a time as any to make a change.

Thus began my hunt for some books on the topic. There were several self-help and how-to manuals on positivity, but I knew myself. I wasn’t going to read them. They’d sit on the shelf and collect dust. No. I needed something less passive. Something that demanded something of me. That’s when I stumbled upon these beauties. (Note: Maine doesn’t allow affiliate links so I don’t make a cent if you buy these.)


These were the two I got. The positivity kit is just for fun, as you’ll see below. Something silly (yet reflective) for me to do at the end of a stressful day.

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The second book takes itself more seriously. It is filled with inspirational quotes and is designed to make you do some hard work. The tiger one has been my favorite so far.

Start Where You Are

When the pages of these fill up, I’ll be on the hunt again for things to help, but for now, these workbooks are keeping me focused on my goal; challenging me to look at what I DO have and not what I don’t. And that can’t be such a bad thing.

Danielle Bannister, Author and colored-pencil fiend.


And now for something completely different…

Some of you may remember me talking about signing a contract a few months ago to write a novella for the shared world called Havenwood Falls. Well, now that my next release is in ‘Marketing Mode’ that means this is next in the queue.  This novella of roughly 20k doesn’t release until November, but I need to put fingers on the keyboard, stat, but I’m terrified.

Why? Three reasons.

  1. This is fantasy. Not my genre. But wait, you say. You wrote Netherworld with Amy Miles. Surely you can write fantasy! It was about Banshees! Well, yes. And also no. AMY wrote the fantasy elements. I wrote the humans. I dipped a toe into fantasy but didn’t get in the pool.
  2. It’s a shared world. That means there are many different authors writing characters all in the same town.  A supernatural town that has lots of supernatural beings. Each with their own lore. There is a new novella EVERY MONTH in this world so that’s a lot of new data. We use an online bible of information to help us all get it right, but trying to wrap all this information around my noggin is challenging.
  3. It’s about ghosts. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I’m terrified of ghosts. Things that go bump in the night do not make me a happy camper so WHY oh WHY did I pick ghosts???shadows-of-hands-and-humans-in-gloomy-room-USE Photo Credit

So what’s a romance author to do when challenged to write fantasy? Pour herself a bowl of BBQ chips, turn the coffee pot on, and write. (During the day, with all of the lights on.)

Danielle Bannister, Author and fraidy-cat 

The Power of Positivity

The Power of Positivity?

I’ve heard this phrase a lot lately: Like attracts like. Meaning, you get what you give out. If you are a positive, outgoing person, those sorts of outcomes seem to fall into your lap. Whereas, if you have a dark cloud over your head, it seems to follow you wherever you go. You put out positive energy, positive energy finds you. You put out negative, negative energy latches on. Which, I notice to be true in my own life. I have friends who are just bursting with sunshine and rainbows despite what’s thrown at them and others who never seem to catch a break no matter how hard they try. Why is that? Could it really a simple mindset that is blessing or cursing us?

I mean, it seems too easy to think that it’s merely our own energy that shapes our destiny? Or maybe it’s really that hard.

Case in point. The other day, I went to see my folks for a belated Christmas due to a blizzard on the actual holiday. My mom put me and my kiddos up in a local hotel so we could spend extra time together. The hotel room was spacious and the kids love sleeping over. All was good and right with the world. Then the muffled talking from the room next door happened as we settled into bed. Followed by loud music, odd and random tapping noises and finally, dogs winning. At midnight, it was hard to find the positivity in the situation. But I tried, nonetheless, and believe it or not, the noise stopped. The children fell asleep, as did I. Coincidence? Probably. So I tried again.

The next day we drove home with a carload of gifts in the car in sub-zero temps. We were all eager to get home and nap, unpack and chill for a bit. It had been a LONG few days for me and I was really craving my couch. Alas, a rest was not in the cards. During the night away, my pipes had frozen. Deep breaths were taken. Exhausted from a night of no sleep, I called my landlord’s son since my landlord was away for a few days, naturally, and he came over to help.

Though it took four hours and two propane heaters under my house to do the trick, eventually the sound of running water filled the air. Huzzah! Did my positive energy do the trick there? Not likely, as I was a grumpy Gus most of the time, but maybe my son’s energy helped? He gave me no less than three hugs in that time because he thought I needed them. I sure did, buddy. I sure did. He could FEEL that the energy in the house was different. He told me as much and he hated that feeling. With his hugs, he was trying to bring balance back. I, for one, think it helped.

So does positive thinking help? Maybe? Maybe not. Therefore, this realist and snarky, self-deprecating soul is going to give it a whirl. I’m going to try…no… Do or do not. There is no try (Thanks, Yoda.) Starting in January, I’m going to work REALLY hard at changing my mindset to favor the scale of positivity, vs keeping the light and dark in balance as is my Libra way.

like attracts like


Over the next year, I’ll keep you updated now and again on my progress, which I anticipate will be bogged down by my own cynicism, but I’ll work to get out of my own way. Heck, I may even start a facebook group if people wanna join in the experiment.

Having said that, are there books or words of wisdom you can share as I begin this journey of positivity? I’ve ordered a couple to get me going but could use some more. If you found a good one for yourself drop the suggestions in the comments. I have a feeling I may need some help along the way!


Danielle Bannister, author and attitude changer


Send. More. Coffee.

Anyone else having an insanely busy November? (Drinks all the coffee.)

Mine kicked off with a 5 day trip to Denver for work, and while it was fun and educational, I was more than happy to leave behind the bloody noses and altitude sickness. Now, I’m gearing up for another big work project this weekend that will surely leave me drained and in need of several days of sleep to catch up, but there will be no time for that! There are lines I need to learn for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a book I need to finish editing and, oh yea, Thanksgiving food to prep. (Shut up. I can cook..like two things.) Mercifully, filming has taken a bit of a hiatus but that is still ongoing as well.

So while I know I haven’t posted here on da blog in awhile, it’s not because I have dropped off of the face of the planet, but rather up to my eyeballs in deadlines. I’m in the final round of my personal edits of my next book which I’m going to reveal a cover for sometime in December or January with a February anticipated release date (unless the editor finds fatal flaws that is.) What I can tell you about the book is that this is another ‘Later in Life’ romance that takes place in the same fictional town of Bucksville, NH which is where Doppelganger is set.  There will be a few tiny crossover characters for those that read them all. Little Easter eggs planted here and there.  So far, there are four planned for this series, the notes for all, live in this handy, dandy notebook.

On top of that, I’m still working with Amy Miles on the sequel to Netherworld as well. We have the cover and outline done and are hammering out chapters as quickly as we can. We don’t like to wait for sequels any more than readers do!

As a final note, before I dive into my edits for the day, I wanted to point out that Facebook is cracking down on ‘business-like’ posts on your personal pages, so if you want to be up to date on all things books from me, be sure to follow my business page:  https://www.facebook.com/BannisterBooks/

Okay, signing off to red-line all the words!


Danielle Bannister, author and reviser of all the words