2023 Release Plan-Get the scoop!

Well, 2022 has been properly kicked to the curb! That means it’s time to ramp up the action for 2023.

Last year, I was able to maintain my goal of four releases in one year. They all happened to be under my pen name, oddly enough. I published Volumes 1-3 of my 5 novella series, Where You Left Me, then ended the year with my rom-com Waiting in the Wings. A lot of W titles for 2022. Totally not planned!

On January 1st, I got the cover image for the Yonder App serial story, A Single Step: A Kaden’s Keeper Series. As of this posting, I don’t have a release day for when it will go on the app, but I’m told early this year so… I’ll let you know!

After that first book, the second and third releases are close behind. The last two novellas in the Where You Left Me series will be out in 2023 as Vol. 4 is already up for pre-order for Feb. 7, 2023. Vol. 5 will release in May of 2023. 🙂 Then, the unrevealed title in August will be released by my publisher City Owl Press. As for the 5th release, on paper, it can be done, but in reality, it might not work out. Hence, why I write all my plans in pencil. Life happens. That’s what erasers are for.

With 2023 penciled out, do I already have tentative writing plans for 2024, 2025, and 2026? I sure do. Are any of those books written yet? Some have drafts going, other titles are only ideas at this point. But this is how I turn the ideas into reality. I give them a deadline by which they can realistically come to fruition. Then, using that deadline, make monthly goals, then daily goals. If you meet the daily goals, you reach the monthly goals, and if you meet the monthly goals, chances are, you’re going to meet your yearly goals. 🙂

Clearly, I have my work cut out for me this year, but I have a plan. And that is, after all, step one.

Until next week, I have a few words to write.

Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and planner of all the words


And the winner is…

During Dec. 1-24, I ran a huge giveaway on my Facebook author page. 24 days with a new ‘gift’ each day. All gifts would go to one US winner. But just what was up for grabs?

  • A moody and broody swag bag
  • A signed copy of Short Shorts
  • A rom-com swag bag
  • A signed copy of The ABCs of Dee
  • A character’s name of the winner’s choosing in an upcoming book of mine
  • A signed copy of Pulled
  • A signed copy of Pulled Back
  • A signed copy of Pulled Back Again
  • A bookmark swag collection
  • A signed copy of The Lurkers Within
  • A signed copy of What Moons Do
  • A signed copy of Doppelganger
  • A signed copy of Must Love Coffee
  • A signed copy of Taking Stock
  • A 30 min Zoom call with me to talk about whatever
  • A sexy swag bag
  • A signed copy of The First 100 Kisses
  • A signed copy of The Second 100 Kisses
  • A signed copy of Where You Left Me, Vol. 1
  • A signed copy of Where You Left Me, Vol. 2
  • A signed copy of Where You Left Me, Vol. 3
  • A signed copy of Girl on Fire
  • A signed limited print run hardcover of the 10th Anniversary Edition of Pulled
  • A signed copy of Waiting in the Wings

And a partridge in a pear tree! Ha! Almost ALL of my books (except for the fantasy trilogy.) The rules were pretty simple. Each day, I’d post the daily gift and people could enter using a Google Form. The more days they entered, the more names their name was put in the ‘virtual’ hat. Then, I used to pick a winner from the list of entries.

And that winner was…

The winner has been notified and their package will be on the way this week. Fair warning, it’s gonna be a big and heavy box!

In 2023, I plan more giveaways on a variety of platforms, so be sure you’re following me in the places below to get in on all of them because sometimes I make the giveaways exclusive to the platform. I’m sneaky like that.

Places to Follow for Future Giveaways:

My Facebook Author Page (general release/book news):

My Facebook Reader Page (behind the scenes look into my insanity):

My Newsletter (subscribers get monthly perks):

This Blog (all the news and personal stuff too):

Well, I think that about does it for 2022! Next week, you’ll get an update on what the 2023 releases are shaping up to be! Hope you all have a WONDERFUL New Year and catch you in 2023!

-Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and epic giveaway giver



I know things have been a little nuts with me and my recent trip to the ER, (I can move my limbs now. More details on that once a new med has been chosen.)

But do any of you remember a slightly vague post I mentioned a bit ago about signing a deal for something but I couldn’t quite share the details until the ink was dry? Well, it’s dry!

I now have a one-year contract via City Owl Press with Webtoons under their Yonder app! For those unfamiliar with either, they are massive reading apps that do very well internationally. Yonder is a new serialized fiction line that they are launching, so my story is literally starting on the ground floor of the platform. Only one way to grow from there! (Think Kindle Vella, in terms of format, chapter-by-chapter releases, but on a larger distribution scale.)

Partnership with Yonder app by Webtoons

They asked me to submit a proposal with the genre, the word count, a log line, and any troupes. If they were interested in seeing the first three chapters after reading that, they would reach out.

Well, a few weeks later, they asked for the first three chapters. A few days later, a contract was signed before they even saw the finished manuscript. They were hooked. Eeep! So what now? Currently, we are designing the cover, and soon, I’ll be told when it will appear on the app which should be in early 2023. Once I have those details, you can be assured that you will be in the know!

Until next time, I need to log into the day job!

Danielle/Dani Bannister


My ER trip. What happened?

For those of you not following along, On 12.5.22 I got a new infusion medication to treat my ulcerative colitis. It was supposed to put my colitis into remission and keep it there. Most people have no issues with the treatment. I, am not most people. According to the drug’s website, delayed reactions can occur up to 12 days later. My reaction decided to come on day 8.

On Tuesday afternoon, I started to feel achy in my arms. I instantly assumed it was the flu going around. I had been to a signing the weekend prior, and while I wore a mask, (because I’m immunocompromised) I assumed some germs snuck through. I made myself some soup, took some Tylenol, and went to bed early trying to sleep it off.

That night I was miserable. Everything hurt. I got up to pee during the night and because the pain was so much, I passed out and woke up on the floor sometime later. I now have a lovely bruise on my forehead to remind me of that. By Wednesday morning, I couldn’t move my arms. Like, at all. It hurt so bad. I felt so achy and heavy and I had no grip strength. The rest of my joints/muscles weren’t feeling so hot either. Even eating hurt. If it moved on my body, it hurt. After comparing symptoms of the flu/Covid AND allergic reactions to Inflectra, I determined it was likely a reaction to the latter. I reached out to my GI doc but got no reply after several messages.

I attempted to log into work hoping if I just sat and typed I’d be okay. I was not. Everything hurt. I couldn’t get off the couch, I couldn’t put my hair up, and I couldn’t do anything without pain. Not great. I messaged my son to see if he could get out of school to come to help me. He did, took one look at me, and said, “I can either call an ambulance or I’m driving you, but you’re going to the ER.” Meany. But he had a point. I couldn’t move. Probably not a good thing. So, with much time and pain, he got me into his car, and even got me a wheelchair and help get me all signed in. He sat with me in the ER room for HOURS, tending to my every need. Scratching my forehead, helping me sip on Ginger Ale, and escorting me to the bathroom so I wouldn’t fall. He’s a good kid.


My son used my jacket as a blanket as they never provided me one. They wanted me to get into a johnny, and I was like, dude, not gonna happen. I. CAN’T MOVE. At first, they assumed I had the flu. Dude, I’m telling you, this isn’t the flu. I’ve had the flu. A lot. This is not that, but I understand they have to rule it out. They ran tests for both strains and for Covid. Negative. That’s when they started to move a little faster (as fast as one can in the ER.)

After six hours in the ER, and 8 vials of blood were taken (with 5 pokes cause my veins aren’t great) they determined that it probably likey was an allergic reaction. My immune makers were spiked. My body was angry with me. They gave me oxi for the pain, but it didn’t touch it. Then, they switched me over to some prednisone to help with the inflammation and said within a few days, I should see movement in my body again and follow up with my GI doc. Ya think?

My son is taking the day off from school to fill my prescription for me since I can’t lift my hands up that high to drive, and to help me as needed, but already I can tell it’s working. While I’m not 100% yet, I am maybe 30%. Which is a big improvement when you couldn’t move at all without pain. There is SOME range of motion now. Enough to type without severe pain. I can open the refrigerator if I use both hands. I still can’t lift my hands over my chest and my grip strength is still shotty, but I can at least slowly waddle off the couch now. It just takes several minutes.

I have prods all over my body where they checked my heart that I don’t have the strength to pull off yet, but hopefully soon. And maybe a shower tomorrow when I can lift my leg to get inside and maybe wash my hair if my arms work! Wouldn’t that be a treat!

What does this mean for my Ulcerative Colitis treatment? I’m not sure, the saga to get me into remission continues. But one thing I DO know, I’m not showing up to my next infusion treatment on Monday. No thank you.

I’ll do my best to keep you posted. Until next time,

Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and ER trip taker.


So… How did the signing go?

Glad you asked! 😉 As I prepped for the First Annual Bangor Area Maine Author’s Book Fair, I wondered one, if anyone would come since it was the first year, and two, if they did come, would they want romance books?

In my experience, Maine readers tend to be looking for coastal covers, stories told on the ocean… lobsters and lighthouses. All of the things that I do NOT write. I went into this signing knowing I’d be the odd duck out but hoping for the best.

Upon set up, I quickly realized I might be a tad over the top for this event. In romance, your table HAS to be flashy because there is so much competition in the genre, but here, I kept looking around at the tables that just had books and a few bookmarks on an empty card table, and here I was setting up this elaborate display. I kept wondering if I was coming off as a showoff? Was my book display overt? Was the bedsheet I used as a tablecloth too obnoxious. Was my swag over the top? I was almost embarrassed by my table.

There wasn’t much time to fret though because once I had finished setting up, people were already coming in the door. And they kept coming. Steady from 11- to about 3:30. When the sun started to set, so too did the foot traffic. But in that time, I remained busy. I sold 22 books, which was way more than I thought I’d sell!

When things had died down, a few of the authors approached my table to inquire about where I got my stand, how I made my swag, and to just ask marketing questions in general. Me, the one who has felt like a fraud her whole writing life. Oh, irony. I happily answered their questions as best I could and I left the signing thinking, maybe I had learned a thing or two over the years. Baby steps. Even after 11 years at it.

Now, what will I do with the money earned? Replenish my stock for one thing, ha. And the rest will go into the account to pay for future edits/covers/swag/marketing etc. And maybe some Chinese takeout for the author. 😉

Until next week, friends!

Danielle/Dani Bannister author and local signing seller


The GI Follow-Up & 2 Fun Things!

Here’s a post no one asked for. But this is a follow-up to The GI Update I posted a few months ago. Back in September, my GI doc informed me that my Ulcerative Colitis that I had been managing for 16 years on two different pills was no longer cutting it. After a colonoscopy, a stool sample, and special labs came back, it was determined: This course of treatment is not working. I was going to have to try a new med. I second tier drug, with higher risk factors. Great. I’d been avoiding having to make that switch for as long as I could but it was time to switch.

After a long battle with my insurance (because this type of drug is NOT cheap), I finally went in for my first treatment. It needs to be given via an IV at the hospital and takes about 3 hours to administer. They had to use a special light to find my veins which are, apparently deep, and why people have such trouble giving me an IV. This new light was like a road map. One jab and we were golden. I did feel silly asking for a footstool, but my feet didn’t touch the floor and I had no desire to sit for 3 hours with my feet dangling.

All and all it wasn’t bad. Long, but no discomfort from the meds during or after. I’ll have two more visits this year to finish my ‘loading’ doses’ and then I’ll be getting the treatment every 8 weeks if all goes well. In theory, I should start to see a pretty fast improvement. Which is odd, because I feel okay already. But here’s the thing. Maybe my ‘ok’ is just something I’ve learned to deal with over the last 16 years. Maybe in the coming days/weeks, I’ll realize that what I have been enduring has NOT been okay. Maybe I’ve just gotten used to the discomfort? Who knows, maybe this medicine is my manifestation of wanting my UC to be under control? I’ll keep you posted (even if you don’t want to be.)

Well, enough of the GI talk. (GROSS) Now, for the fun things!

  1. If you haven’t been on my Facebook author page lately, you should go! I’m hosting a 24-Days of Giving event! One winner is going to take it all so the more days you enter, the better your odds! Here are just the first few days posted so far!

If you don’t know if you’re following that page, you can check it out here:

2. If you’re in the Bangor Maine Area, you should stop by this event and say hi! I’ll be there selling books, but so will a lot of other Maine authors. Books signed by the author make great gifts for those hard-to-shop-for people on your list! The event will take place at 120 Park Street (the Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor Church) Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11-5PM!

Okay, that will do it for me for now. Talk to you next week!

Danielle/Dani Bannister author and oversharer of info


Needed by November…a project update

In early November, I shared a post about some exciting news. I’d lined up a project that would pay me my first-ever advance. Well, that project needed to be turned in to my editor by the end of November. 80,000 words. Obviously, my Nanowrimo project was kicked to the curb to make room for this very large and looming deadline.

To be fair, I didn’t have to write all 80,000 words in November. I’m not THAT fast of a writer. I have a day job, after all. Even pulling off 50,000 for Nanowrimo is a struggle. And those words aren’t great. They are mostly word vomit. I couldn’t turn in word vomit on this. I needed to turn in as polished a manuscript as I could.

What I had was about 56K words of a third draft. I tend to do 4-5 drafts. My original plan with this book was to add an additional 10K words, then send it off to City Owl Press for a 2023 or 2024 release, and work on the next in the series in the meantime, so that I’d have something to follow it up with. In other words, this project wasn’t on the front burner. I’d planned to send it to them in February of next year. I had a whole different project in mind for Nanowrimo. That plan was tossed to the curb the second I got the offer to turn that manuscript into a longer piece.

Suddenly, I had three weeks to make 24,000 words appear. That may not seem like much, but when you have already completed the story arc, it’s a little trickier to find new plot points. To that end, I had a beta reader read my draft to let me know what she wanted me to expand upon. She gave me some great feedback and I ended up pulling in a plot line I’d been planning to introduce later in the series. Her feedback showed me it would be beneficial to add it now. It helped to round out an otherwise 2-dimensional character. Thanks, Cassy!

It is now November 29th. One day before the deadline. Did I make it?

I did! I even had time to do a final read-through of it before I sent it along. What happens now? Well, I’ll be getting a contract very soon (and then I can tell you more about it) but until then, it will be edited by City Owl Press, sent back to me for approval, and then sent off to where it will eventually be distributed. The when and where of that will be in the upcoming contract, so stay tuned!

Until then, I find that I have a few days ‘off’ from my writing schedule. A first for me in a very long time. Not to worry, a new project kicks off on Thursday. 😉 No rest for the wicked!

Until next time, friends!

Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and crusher of looming deadlines


A week after release: The numbers

As an author, I’ve always tried to be transparent about my process, my success, and my failures. It’s just who I am. Well, it’s been a week since Waiting in the Wings, my 19th romance novel dropped. So…how is it going?

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As of this writing, I have sold a grand total of 25 copies. That’s all she wrote. I ordered myself more paperbacks than that. What does this number tell me?

  1. Making back my ROI (return on investment) is going to be tricky. Not impossible, just really hard. See, you have about 90 days from release to earn back the money you spent on the book. (editing, cover costs, etc.) After 90 days, the book drops off algorithm radars. Hell, with so few sales it has probably fallen off already. But the rule of thumb is 90 days.
  2. This is the second book I’ve released since starting the new day job. And it shows. Not in the quality of the books, mind you. Both releases were written prior to starting the day job. What has changed is the amount of TIME I can devote to marketing. I used to have time to email bloggers, make a ton of graphics. Post on social media, experiment with ads, do fun giveaways, create engagement, buzz. etc.
  3. November might not be the greatest month for a release. With Midterms, Nanowrimo, and the holidays, people are not thinking about books. I know I’m not. I like to release books quarterly, but maybe that will mean October instead of November. Cause December is totally out. Nope. No way. Lessons learned the hard way.
  4. First in a series books are always a harder sell. No one wants to start a series that isn’t finished yet. Most readers are binge readers. And since this is part of a series, (of how many books even I don’t know yet) there is some hesitation. I get it.
  5. I picked a pretty niche place to hold my romance. At a theater. A theater-focused light romance is not exactly the same thing as a steamy billionaire bad-boy troupe.
  6. It’s written under my pen name, Dani Bannister, which, let’s be face it, isn’t well known. Not that Danielle Bannister is mind you, but that one has been around longer.

What does all this mean? Is it time to throw in the towel? Pat yourself on the back and say you gave it the old college try?

Tempting. Very tempting. That inner critic inside of us all is loud. Persistent. And persuasive. That voice makes it so easy to believe that you’ll never be good enough. That you’re a hack. That no one will ever read your books. You’re no writer. You should give up.

At some point, you are faced with the question: Is this writing thing just an expensive hobby?


Look, inner critic. I hear you. I do. Trust me. But I’m choosing to ignore you. I am choosing to believe that these last eleven years have been

Instead, I’m focusing my energy on the deal I just landed that will more than cover the lost sales of one book.

Take that, inner critic.

But also, I won’t be made if you want to buy Waiting in the Wings. *cough

Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and defier of the inner critic



It’s my 19th book birthday! 20th written (because Vol. 4 is next in line. And books 21, 22, and 23 are close behind.) Holy crap! How did I get to have so many titles? Insanity!

Today, it’s time for Waiting in the Wings to take the ‘spotlight’ (see what I did there?)

Title: Waiting in the Wings

Author Name: Dani Bannister 

Genre: Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance

Release Date: Nov. 15, 2022

Blurb: In the world of theater, talent counts but chemistry is king.

Eva Shaw loves her job as an administrative assistant at The Red Curtain Theater Company. She spends her days daydreaming about playing pretend alongside the lead actor, Adam “Those-Abs-Are-To-Die-For” Rice. Adam is the envy of all as he commands the stage and his leading ladies.

Life is good for Eva as she watches the drama of the theater unfold from behind the safety of her admin desk…until she’s asked to star opposite Adam in their new production.

Thrust into the spotlight with the hottest actor around, Eva doesn’t know what to do. Sure, they have chemistry on stage, but her experience doesn’t hold a candle to the pros acting alongside her. And it shows.

Taking pity on Eva, the Stage Manager, Owen, helps her to get a handle on what it means to be a performer. He’s surprisingly supportive and completely adorkable. The more time they spend together, the less she’s thinking about how perfect an Adam and Eva love story would be. Should she forget about the man who used to get her all hot and bothered for the dorky, but lovable Owen?

Waiting in the Wings is the first stand-alone novel in The Red Curtain Romance series. If you like love triangles, forced proximity, and fish-out-of-water romances, then you’ll love Dani Bannister’s contemporary romance with a hint of heat.

Buy Waiting In The Wings and fall in love with the world of theater!

*Includes excerpts of an in-book script written by Maine playwright, Randy Hunt.


For those who might want a taste of what the book will be like, I’m including the first chapter below.

Chapter 1

It was a frizzy-hair-inducing sort of morning. The kind of day no leave-in conditioner could tame. The air outside would either be snot-freezing or brisk and beautiful. October in New York City was like that. Moody and unpredictable, just like Eva Shaw’s hair every sunrise.

There was no time to do anything but pull the wild strands back into a low ponytail as she sucked down a sip of her morning coffee. Without even glancing at her watch, Eva knew she had only twenty minutes to arrive at the Red Curtain Theater, unlock the doors, kick the heat on, and prep the black box. The black box was smaller of the theater’s performance spaces. It only held fifty people and was used mostly for rehearsals and experimental shows, but it was Eva’s favorite. It was far more intimate than the main stage.

The black box is where the auditions would be held so she wanted to make it look presentable. Gerri, the theater’s artistic director, would likely arrive early to go over audition sides, which had already been copied and neatly sorted into the numbered piles just the way Gerri liked. While Eva technically wasn’t due at work for another hour, Gerri would expect her to arrive early. After all, it was audition week!

Audition weeks were always exciting, but this one was even more so. Adam Rice was rumored to be auditioning for the lead role. While not a Hollywood star yet, he might as well have been. It wouldn’t take long for him to be plucked out of the theater world and given a movie as a leading man. The guy exuded sex appeal. Which was why Eva was so excited for this week to begin. From her vantage point behind the desk, she’d be able to spend the next few months ogling him from afar should he audition. If he showed up, he was guaranteed a part. He was that good.

Eva sighed, still in her daydream of Adam as she bent down to scratch behind Bowie’s ears as he munched his salmon delight. He gave her a few purrs of appreciation before she stood up and stretched.

After grabbing her mason jar salad that she’d prepped the night before out of the fridge, she bundled herself up to endure the hell of whatever weather was awaiting. There had been an unprecedented cold snap in the last few days that had taken all the vest-loving, knee-boot-wearing, cappuccino-drinking tourists by surprise. Eva secretly looked forward to watching them in their misery on her walk to work. She’d looked ahead at the forecast and had already taken her winter coat and boots out of the storage bin under her bed. She had a delightful selection of scarves, hats, and gloves, thanks to the predictable Christmas gifts her parents gave her year after year. Money would have been a more helpful gift for them to give a single woman trying to survive in the city, but then again, her parents never approved of her moving out of the suburbs. New gloves were part of her penance for being stubborn. Today she would wear them and gloat at those who were less prepared than she was.

“Morning, Henry,” Eva said to the lab that lived in Apartment 2B, who was coming in as she was heading out. She still had no idea the name of the owner, but whoever the older woman was, she never seemed happy to be delayed by Eva’s greetings. The dog licked his “hello” as the woman tugged against his leash, eager to get back into the warmth.

“Bye, Henry.” She laughed to herself. People were always in such a rush in the city. Something she would never get used to despite having gone to high school there. Her parents had insisted they move back to the suburbs the day she graduated, and she’d longed to return ever since.

The only thing she missed about the suburbs was the slower pace. Eva loved nothing more than to lounge in her pajamas and sip coffee all day and have deep conversations with a friend or go for a walk with no agenda in mind. A novelty there. City life was rush, rush, rush. But she wouldn’t trade it for anything. Because that rush also got her closer to the one thing she loved more than the calm of suburban life: the theater.

The off-off-Broadway theater Eva worked at was small but had a great reputation for producing quality work. Many of their shows were extended, and a few lucky shows had made the move over to Broadway. They had one small main stage theater and two smaller black box studios used primarily for rehearsal space or small showcases.

Eva felt a strong sense of pride being the company’s administrative assistant, even if she was too afraid to let her parents know that was the “office” she worked for. They wouldn’t understand, so why bother fighting about it?

As she approached the front door, she made a mental note to change out the marquee to display the upcoming audition information. Eva was quite excited about this one. The show was a new play by an up-and-coming playwright from Maine, of all places. Sure, he was also Gerri’s nephew, but she wouldn’t entertain a play if it wasn’t good. She had a nose for talent.

Because of the quality of the play and the possibility of Adam Rice auditioning, there was a buzz among the actors who called, asking for information about auditions. They attempted to butter her up as though Eva had any real say in casting. Still, it felt nice to be connected to the magic, even if it was from well off stage.

That was the strange reality of theater. It was alive. Even when a show was dark. A theater held a lifeforce to it. It was hard to describe but universally felt by anyone who had ever been a part of a show. It was that magic that had sucked Eva in at a young age. That drive fueled her choice to minor in theater in college, even if her courage to try acting never panned out the way she’d hoped. She did the bare minimum the minor required in terms of acting, taking ensemble parts or the non-speaking villager. Still, she’d learned so much about the world she was now a part of. If only from the administrative end.

Placing her master key in the door, Eva banged her hip against the glass to pry the lock free from its semi-frozen state. The lights were already on, which was odd, considering the hour.

“Calvin? Is that you?” Calvin was the resident ghost. She’d never seen him or witnessed anything amiss during her time there, but he helped form the theater when he was alive sometime in the 1800s. People swore they heard him still roaming the theater. And because theater people were ripe with superstition, the Red Curtain Theater, and others like it, left a light on backstage that was never turned off. It was called The Ghost Light. Theater people did lots of superstitious things like never wishing anyone “good luck” before a show, and never, ever uttering the play “Macbeth” inside a theater, instead referring to it only as “the Scottish play.”It was all nonsense, and yet, Eva did find herself worried for a moment since the light was on in the lobby when it shouldn’t have been.

“Calvin, come out, come out wherever you are,” Eva whispered, really hoping she wasn’t about to be jump-scared.

“Morning, Eva.”

Instantly, she relaxed. Not Calvin. “Gerri, you’re here early. I didn’t expect you for at least another hour.” Gerri merely grunted and then gestured for Eva to follow her into the black box. Eva ditched her coat and bag and did as told.

Once Eva came in, Gerri looked up from the papers she was holding. All of Eva’s carefully arranged sides were strewn about on the ground. Eva flinched, knowing it would take hours to re-sort them. Gerri’s hair looked as frazzled as the piles on the floor. She shoved her red glasses up to perch on top of her head, caging her gray shoulder-length bob from her face.

“I know, but I could not sleep at all last night thinking about how crucial the casting of this show is going to be. I’ve been here for hours.”

“Yikes. Need coffee?” Eva asked, holding her cold fingers to her mouth to warm them with her breath.

“God, yes. I tried to make some earlier, but it came out as mostly grounds.” Gerri made a face. “I still drank it, mind you, but I’d love a cup I don’t need to chew.”

“On it.” Eva chuckled. “That machine is persnickety. If you don’t put the filter in the right way, it will revolt.”

Gerri leaned back in her chair, smiling. “I adore that you use words like persnickety.”

Eva shrugged. “Comes from being a bookworm, I guess. No friends, but lots of books.”

Gerri laughed. “My parents didn’t own a single book between the both of them.” Gerri’s family, from what little Eva had discovered, was from Kentucky, and poor. Though you’d never know that by looking at Gerri. She was the epitome of a city girl. Always wore nice clothes, expensive jewelry, and heels. None of the looks Eva could pull off, much to her family’s dismay, but Gerri did it with an ease she envied. There was a confidence that lived in her that Eva could only dream of.

Eva came back into the lobby a few minutes later and handed the coffee to a grateful Gerri, who had emerged from the black box and was now leaning against Eva’s desk. Her eyes were weary.

“Oh, Kenneth called after you left last night,” Eva said, going over to her desk and handing Gerri the message.

“Perfect. I hoped he’d be willing to come earlier today, too. He’s worried. Especially after the last show. Nightmare. Totally his fault, too. That Kathy girl was all wrong for the part. I don’t know what he was thinking when casting her.”

“Probably that she was drop-dead gorgeous,” Eva said mostly to her coffee cup.

“Yes, well, that is precisely why I’m insisting on being at the auditions this time. Kenneth is brilliant as a director, but he is not great at seeing actor potential the way I am. I mean, I’m the one who plucked Adam Rice out of obscurity. Did you know that?”

“I had heard that rumor.” Eva smiled, her mind wandering to him yet again. He was now a God in the theater community. If a production landed Adam Rice, then you would guarantee there were butts in seats on opening night. His talent was legendary. It didn’t hurt that he was also that perfect-looking sort of guy. The quintessential tall, dark, and handsome man everyone lusted over. Including Eva.

“Do you really think he’ll come out to audition for Inside Man?” Eva did her best to hide the nervous hitch in her voice. While she certainly knew who Adam was, he’d never worked at this theater while Eva was the admin. She was hoping this show would change that.

“He’d better show up. I had drinks with him last night.” She laughed. “I practically told him the part was his, he just needed to come in to read. Stroked his ego. He’ll demand top billing, which of course he’d get. Nick is the lead, after all. Hell, even if I cast Adam as an off-stage voice, I’d still probably give him top billing. He’s worth it.”

Yes, he is. Eva swooned.

“So, he seemed interested then?” It pained Eva to push the matter. She knew she must sound desperate, but if Adam Rice was coming to auditions, she had to be prepared.

Gerri considered the question. “He did. He loves Kenneth as a director. Despite—”

“The disaster?”


“So, has Kenneth officially offered him the part?”

Geri frowned. “No. Kenneth is making him audition. He loathes the idea of pre-casting, no matter how strong a talent he has. It’s sort of become this badge of honor for him. He’s an idiot.”

“Some actors would be put off by having to do an audition at Adam’s caliber.”

“I know.” Geri moaned dramatically. “So much ego in the world of theater. But I will say this. Adam is intrigued by the hype of the playwright. I am, too, and not just because he’s blood. Have you read the script? It is simply delicious.”

“No. Just the sides you had me copy. I’m anxious to read the full script, though,” Eva conceded.

“Well then, we must remedy that at once.” Gerri stood up and stretched her arms to the sky. She looked exhausted already. “Why don’t you put up the new audition notice on the marquis, and I’ll hunt down a script for you?”

“Deal.” Eva took one last sip of her coffee, which had already grown colder than she preferred. Even with tepid coffee, random work hours, and knowing she’d have to go back out in that cold again, she really did have the best job in the world.

Now, if you know my writing at all, I never leave my characters in this happy, content moment for long. 😉 What wrenches will I toss into Eva’s seemingly content life? Read Waiting in the Wings to find out more!

That’s all for now! Until next time!

Dani/Danielle Bannister author and release of 19 books (and counting)


TWO Big News Items To Share!

I know you’re probably sick to death hearing from me lately what with Nanowrimo, the book signing I have going on tomorrow, and my release Tuesday, but I have news and I need to share it!

One is of a personal nature and one is a writing-related one.

On the personal front, MY SON GOT INTO COLLEGE! Now, that may not seem like a huge deal. Kids get into college every day. It’s a huge deal for us because up until a few weeks ago, my son had ZERO interest in any additional education after graduation. No trade schools, no community colleges, and definitely no universities. He wanted to just start his life already. He was sick of school.

Then, came a mandatory college fair at school. He picked four schools literally at random. He wasn’t going, so what did it matter what he picked, right? Well, one of the schools he picked was CMCC. He didn’t even know what the letters stood for. Turns out it stands for Central Maine Community College. A school about an hour and a half away from his parents.

As he was at the CMCC session, not really paying attention to any of it, he heard the recruiter say the words “Esports and gaming.” They have a college Esports team. With tryouts, uniforms, the whole 9 yards. Suddenly, he was all ears. He came home with a pamphlet and we jumped on the chance to go on a tour. Maybe if he could SEE what college would be like, SO NOT like high school, he might change his tune about wanting to go.

The next week, on a gorgeous fall day we toured the campus. He thought he might like to look into graphic design, cause he has some mad drawing skills. No clue where he got that from. While on the tour, we stopped at the Esports section.

It was here that he learned he could not only try out to be on their Esports team, (yes, you have to try out to be on an online gaming team) he could also major in Esports Management. Managing tournaments. Who knew that was a thing? Apparently, it is a growing market that has some pretty good salaries the longer you’re at it. His eyes lit up. He could major in the thing he loves? Get out of dodge! He applied the second he got home, and we just found out, he was accepted into the program!

And to think, all from choosing a recruiter at random to listen to. To that woman, I say, THANK YOU!

The second bit of news happened the same day that he got accepted. And it’s kind of bizarre how it happened. For the last year or so, I’ve been working on manifesting things that I wanted into my life. I wanted to get a better job with benefits. I got one. I wanted a very particular blue couch. I got the couch. I wanted a car that wouldn’t slide all over the place in winter and constantly be in the shop. I got my first 2019 Jeep with 4WD in the spring. Ask it, believe it, receive it. That is my routine.

When I manifest, I try to picture myself in the moment of the change I want to see. For instance, with the couch, I imagined myself sitting on the couch in my living room, curled up with a blanket and a good book. I tried to feel how comfortable it might be. That sort of thing. For this book-related manifestation, I imagined I’d be at my desk grinding away at the day job. Things would be going nuts. I would be stressed. Out straight. But then, I’d get a call from my publisher with some sort of a deal. I didn’t even care what. I just wanted them to call and offer me something. That would be validation that I was on the right path. That was the manifestation. Let me know that I shouldn’t give up on writing. For months, I replayed that moment when I got the call in my head. Months!

Then, on Wednesday afternoon, I was in the middle of a high-stakes task at the day job. Rush tasks were piling up. E-mails and notifications kept pinging. I could feel the stress building up. Then, I get a notification on my cell phone. I almost didn’t look at it because I was so busy. But I checked in case it was one of my kids. It wasn’t them. It was my publisher, saying, ‘I know you’re working but do you have time for a quick call?’

Holy shit. My manifestation was happening just as I imagined it would. I took the call, obviously, and an offer WAS made with a nice advance (for me.) I can’t tell you the details yet as the contract is currently being drawn up, but once it’s signed, I’ll fill you in! Validation. The message was clear.

Don’t you dare give up writing. I have plans for you.

-The Universe

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go do some more manifesting. And some writing. I need to submit the book they want by end of the month. Nanowrimo who? Sorry, you have been kicked to the curb. Mama needs to focus on something else!

Dani/Danielle Bannister, author and manifestor of all the things