The Day Job: One Year Later

Today is the one year that I’ve been working for athenahealth. More specifically, I work in an app they own called epocrates. It’s a medical app used by doctors and patients to look up drugs to find out information about dosage, prescription side effects, read up on medical news, and all that fun stuff. It’s a remote job that I currently work M-F 8:30-5:00. How is it going?

When I first started last year, I’ll be honest. I had NO idea what I was hired to do. I knew that it would involve HTLM coding (of which I had zero knowledge) but that was about it. Not only that, this life-long PC user needed to learn how to use a Mac and a whole slew of corporate tools like Teams and Sharepoint that I’d never used before. The learning curve was steep, to say the least. Because I was so green they knew that it would probably take two years before I was up to speed in my job.

And then, just a few months after I was hired, the woman training me got pregnant. At that moment, my training timetable escalated. When she left on maternity leave guess who was going to have to fill her role? Yep. Me. That meant I’d need to lead meetings, be the US point person for account managers, and push THE button to launch some of our products to the app. Oh, yeah, and learn how to code as well. So much for that two-year learning curve. Ha.

It’s now a year later and the maternity coverage will be over by the end of the month. And you know what… I’m doing okay. I know enough coding to do the tasks I need to do and will learn more once she’s back and can dive into more training. I’m handling launches, answering account manager emails, and leading calls. All while maintaining my book release plan, raising two teenagers as a single mom, and living with a chronic illness. I’m still a bit shocked at how far I’ve come in such a short window, honestly.

Work essentials: the Mac, my ergonomic mouse, my folder of notes, my work iPhone, my personal Android (which is taking the pic,) my coffee/tea warmer, and lip balm.

In April, I’ll be working a four 10-hour day work schedule which will likely throw my writing schedule off track until I get my groove back. The plan is to still try to do my power hour before I log into work, but that will mean basically writing the second I wake up, which will take some adjusting. It might be worth it though to have a weekday off. Working a 9-5 I never realized how hard it was to schedule simple things like an oil change or a doctor’s visit. (When you’re covering for maternity leave, getting time off is challenging.) Having a weekday off will be a great benefit to the work-life balance. Not just for errands, but for catching up on the writing stuff I might fall behind on.

So far, releases for this year are still on track. The first one is already out, and the second release (Vol. 5) is on target for May. The manuscript for my August release with City Owl Press is already in their hands. It’s just awaiting their final edits so that should be good. And my fourth release for this year is being polished off now. I tend to work about six months to a year in advance. That means I’m already working on projects for next year. That gives me breathing room and time to adjust to things that come up, like figuring out a new work schedule.

Speaking of writing, it’s time for me to get some words down!

Until next week, friends!

Danielle/Dani Bannister author and anniversary maker


Book Birthday Time! Vol. 4 is LIVE!

Epp! It’s another book birthday for me! This makes #21. She’s legal, baby! hehe. I actually had to get up and count my books because I’d lost track! I LOST TRACK! How have I written so many books that I’ve lost track? I used to marvel when authors told me they wrote so many books they couldn’t remember how many they had. I’d laugh and think, I’ll always know how many titles I’ve published. And now, boom. Karma is laughing at me. ha.

WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 1 (.99 Cents)
WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 5 (Pre-Order)

I’d post the blurb for Vol. 4 but that would give away spoilers to those who haven’t started the series yet, so if you want to read the blurb, just click on the link above. 🙂

If you wanted to help lend a hand with the release, the best thing you could do is to copy/paste the info below with maybe a sentence or two about how you’ve enjoyed the series, or if you haven’t read it, if you had plans to. It’s soooooooooooooooooooo hard to be seen in the romance world. Especially with a 4th book in a series, so any shares I can get I totally appreciate!

Info to share, if you can:

Where You Left Me, Vol. 1-5 by Dani Bannister

No groom? No problem. Jasmine Fairchild has been left at the altar. Literally. With the bouquet still in her hands, she’s determined not to let her cheating ex have all the fun. She was going on her honeymoon to The Bahamas. All she needed was a ‘groom.’ Fortunately, she found a mysterious cutie in the crowd willing to partake in a fake wedding and go on an all-expenses-paid cruise with her. In less than 24 hours, she’d be far away from her failures and the embarrassment of being left at the altar. The only hiccup is she can’t keep her hands off her pretend husband. Not that he appears to mind. He can’t seem to resist her either. Is he playing for keeps or toying with her heart? Will Jasmine be able to avoid rebounding with a perfect stranger or will desire win the day? Find out in this red-hot contemporary romance novella series: Where You Left Me, Volumes 1-5. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09P7K8X1Z

Ok, that’s all for this week. In the meantime, I’ll be hard at work polishing off Vol. 5 to go to the editor in April, then the series is finished in May! Craziness!

Dani/Danielle Bannister, author and releaser or a drinking age amount of books


Books & Health Update: All the Deets

Some of you may recall that I ended up in the ER about a month ago with serum sickness. I had a rare reaction to a new infusion medication they were trying for my ulcerative colitis as my current meds were no longer cutting it. My body said ‘No thank you’ to that infusion and promptly made my entire body hurt. Like, even walking was agony. So, that was fun. After a round of steroids, I’m able to move again. Huzzah. Our next approach to treating my illness is a drug called Stelara. It consists of a one-time infusion at the hospital and then I’ll give myself an injection every eight weeks thereafter. (Fun. Not) I go for that infusion this week so… stay tuned?

As for book news, I do have a few updates. My Yonder project? This one?

Well, it IS still coming soon, just not as soon as we’d hoped. My publisher, who handled the rights negotiations for this story, City Owl Press, met with representatives from Yonder this week and while they are very eager to get my project (and others) onto their platform, they also want to invest some time to do proper strategic marketing for the titles they release. This tells me they are invested and want to make sure these stories get the best launch they can. They aren’t just going to throw a bunch of stuff to see what sticks. They want to do this right. Not a bad thing. For this research, they need about a month to figure out the marketing push they want to put behind each of the titles. So, for now, it’s a ‘hurry up and wait’ situation with possibly a Feb/March release timeframe. Another stay-tuned moment! I’m hopeful that this marketing effort will only benefit the authors and readers on the app!

While A Single Step is outside of my publishing control, my contemporary steamy romance novella series Where You Left Me is not. The release of that series is still very much on track. In fact, Vol. 4 just went to the editor on Friday the 13th (ooooo) and I just finished the second round of Vol. 5 so that’s still on target for its May release.

I’ve also put Vol. 4 on sale for 0.99 cents and there is always the free prequel PDF if you want to get a sense of the story before you buy which is right here on my website.

WHERE YOU MET ME (Free prequel chapter)




WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 4 (02.07.23)

WHERE YOU LEFT ME, Vol. 5 (Pre-Order)

Phew, that’s a lot of updates for one week but there you have it. New year, new med, new writing projects. Bring it!

Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and updater of all the news



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.

Link: https://books2read.com/WITW

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)


NaNoWriMo Begins Again! *yikes

Today’s the day, November 1st. Time to write with literary abandon.

Say what now? Let me explain. No. There is too much, let me sum up (*million points if you got that reference.)

For the last several years, I have been participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.) NaNoWriMo is a personal challenge you make to yourself to write 50,000 words in the month of November, or 1,667 words a day.

Ready or not, here we go!

Usually, I have a project planned out months in advance for what I work on for the month of November. It’s always a first draft and I almost always just barely make my daily word count. This year, however, my plan for NaNoWriMo was tossed out of the window. Instead, my publisher has encouraged me to focus on beefing up a story that was at 55,000 words and bring it up to 80,000 by the end of November.

Now, even those poor at math know that 80,000 minus 55,000 words does not equal NaNoWriMo’s 50,000 words in 30-day criteria. Noted. However, time is of the essence for this request, so I’m putting the project I had planned for November’s challenge and putting the addition of these 25,000 words as the priority as a necessary evil.

IF, I hit that 80,000-word count by mid-November, then I will shift gears and focus on adding 25,000 words either on the original project OR another project that also needs some heavy revisions. So, there is a plan, just not a liniar story, which is a first for me.

What’s also a first for me is that I’m at a new day job so the hours I used to devote to NaNoWriMo in the past will not be the same as it was. On the surface, 1,667 doesn’t seem like much. But trying to write 1,667 words in my one power hour each day… Might not happen ha. BUT, I should still make the 80,000 goal if I keep on target which means maybe I won’t win NaNoWriMo, but if all goes well, I’ll still meet my goals. And that to me is a win.

Oh, and also, I have a book releasing in 15 days, and I have a book signing I’m going to be at. Um… when am I supposed to write all these words again? I guess it’s a good thing I have no social life. 😉 But like, seriously!

That’s all for now. Apparently, these words won’t write themselves.

Danielle/Dani Bannister author and attempter of NaNoWriMo


It’s Formatting and ARC time! Already?

There is a love/hate relationship I have with formatting the paperback and ebook versions of a new book. One the one hand, I love that I’m at this stage. It means the book is back from the editor and is one step closer to being released. On the other, I do the paperback formatting myself (not via a system that does it automatically) and it takes TIME and loads of patience.

Thankfully most ebook distributors now how free tools in place to help you format the ebooks but I like to make the paperbacks a little special.

Now that I have my graphics in place, and the editor has hacked out all of my emotional support commas (rude of her) I was able to provide the cover designer with the details she needed to create the final wrap of the book so I can upload it for ordering. (The spine width of a book cover changes based on the number of pages and type of paper used. Lots of math happens once the book is final which is why I am so glad she does it for me!)

Here’s a little breakdown of what the book will be:

  • 372 pages which hold 70,801 words
  • It will be printed on white paper (which is more expensive and hurt my royalty rate but with a bright white cover, cream pages just look wrong.)
  • 5.25 x 8 inches

I’ll be sure to let you all know when the pre-order for the paperback is up, don’t worry. 🙂

Now that I have a formatted book, I can open up the form for ARC readers. (Advance Review Copies.) ARCs are given a free digital copy of the book prior to its release day in exchange for an honest review. (Yeah, even if you hate the book. So, it’s kinda scary. ha.)

ARC readers are SOOOOO helpful to an author. They act as the final set of eyes before it goes live. And we all know that even a manuscript that has been through six drafts, four beta readers, and passed over an editor’s eyes twice, still:

If you think you might like to be an ARC reader, just fill out this form to see if this book might be for you!

Until next week friends!

Dani/Danielle Bannister, author and formatter of books


So… When’s the next book coming?

Valid question. Very soon! I’ll be releasing a full-length contemporary romance this November! More details will follow, fret not, but this will be the book that I worked on with fellow Maine playwright/Actor, Randy Hunt. I wrote the novel, and he wrote the play that my characters are rehearsing in the novel. How meta! Stay tuned for interviews and more details about how this book came together in the coming weeks.

Title and Cover reveal also coming soon!

For those of you reading my Where You Left Me series, you might be saying, but what about Vol. 4 and 5 of that series? Is that still happening? YES. Vol. 4 has gone through 2 drafts and Vol. 5 is being written at this very moment.

There is a grand writing plan, that is written in pencil in my handy-dandy notebook (20 pts if you get that reference.) In fact, the next three years have been roughed out.

My precious

Now, even with this detailed writing plan, sneaky stories find their way in. This morning, for instance, I was supposed to be writing a post for my newsletter but instead, my fingers, of their own accord, opened up a blank word doc and typed out a chapter for a new suspense story that was not on the 3-year-plan. I write things down in pencil for a reason. I need to be flexible with this muse of mine. She has a mind of her own, and I want to know where she goes, I have to be willing to pivot. (You all yelled “Pivot!” didn’t you?)

Well, that’s it for now. In the meantime, know that I am hard at work on several projects at once and publish them as soon as I am able within the confines of a day job! Until next week!

Danielle/Dani Bannister


The GI Update

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I’ve had Ulcerative Colitis for about 16 years. It’s a fun little autoimmune illness that decides to attack your colon. Good times. To combat this, I take a handful of meds every day and have to limit my fiber intake (narrow colon + ulcers = a lousy place for roughage.)

Because of this diagnosis, I have to get a colonoscopy every 2 years. You may have read one of my blogs on the adventure. Thanks to the pandemic, my routine procedure was pushed, leaving a 4-year gap. Not to fear. I was doing great. I was having normal (for me) trips to the bathroom, no cramping, and short-lived flare-ups. When they had me do a stool test to check for active disease, I was like “I’m gonna pass with flying colors.”

I did NOT pass. My stool sample showed I had active disease going on. What? Really? But I felt great. How can that be? A colonoscopy was pushed up the schedule, which I had recently, and yep, the colonoscopy said the same: Active disease.

Well, shit. Literally.

The good news, the biopsies they took show that the illness hasn’t progressed any further up my colon. No polyps needed to be removed. All good things. Today, I went in for bloodwork to see if the meds I’m on are still working. If they are, great. But we’re gonna bump up my dose. If they aren’t? Well, it will be time to try out new meds.

In the meantime, I’m on my flare-up meds (even though I don’t feel like I’m flaring) another stool sample had been ordered for a month from now, and I’m upping the dose of one of the two meds I take to control this, and I have to take fiber gummies. Since I can’t eat fiber the normal way without hurting my plumbing, the gummies are going to help make it so there are, er, no clogs in an already fragile system. I hate the texture of gummies, so this will be fun.

In a month or so, I’ll have a better grasp on what’s going on, but my new GI doc seemed confident he could get me back into remission easily enough, so I’m holding onto that. Perhaps my ‘normal’ doesn’t need to be quite so annoying? Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Until next time, friends!

Danielle/Dani Bannister author and hater of gummies


Thor: Love & Thunder-Some thoughts

For those of you who follow my blog, or my social media, you know I dig the MCU. They raised my eyebrow with Iron Man and sealed the deal with Avengers. In all the movies that followed, have they all been winners? No. Not by a long shot. But their track record is pretty good in my book. With top-tier gems like The Winter Soldier, Civil War, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarock, Infinity War, and Endgame, they are entitled to have a few duds. (I’m looking at you Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.)

Of the (up until now) trilogies, Thor’s movies had been the weakest entry. Until Ragnarok. That completely changed how I felt about Thor. The once bland, boring, 2-dimensional beefcake character now had depth, humor, and heart. They’d finally figured out Thor. Or so I thought.

I was so ready to be entertained!

My daughter (whom I’ve proudly introduced the MCU to) and I went to see Thor: Love & Thunder on opening night. Each of us was pumped to see the Thor from Ragnarok once again. And then, before our eyes, Thor turned back into the bland, boring, 2-dimensional, even bigger beefcake who was forcing out dialogue that was trying really hard to be funny but just wasn’t. Thor was working so hard for laughs that he lost his heart. His humility. He felt more like a caricature rather than the fleshed-out character we’d seen change and evolve over the movies. He’d gone backward in development.

Now maybe that is some bigger arc for him. That he’s attempting to use humor to hide his hurt, which we saw a tiny glimpse of but it was quickly rushed over in favor of a weird battle with bird aliens?

(Spoilers Ahead) But the biggest issue with this movie for me was the warring tones. On one side, you have this colorful, humorous (or attempting to be), song and dance vibe, and then on the other, you have a dark character of Gorr the God Butcher played brilliantly by Christain Bale, a terminal breast cancer diagnosis of Jane, and a forced rekindling of a romance that never had any chemistry from the start. The two tones did NOT play well together so it felt like you were watching two different movies. As a result, the stakes never felt real. The ‘sacrifices’ didn’t feel earned. I was being told a story instead of feeling the story.

That said, was it as bad as Multiverse of Madness? No, that was just awful in my opinion. Love & Thunder I’ll watch again. But it will hold the same weight as the first Thor. Which ain’t saying much.

If you want to hear more about my thoughts on why tone matters so much in writing, check out the podcast I did with writer, Tina Moss, on our podcast Bound By Books.

Until next time friends,

Danielle/Dani Bannister author and still lover of MCU despite some not-so-great recent entries.


Well, that was unexpected: New Contract

If you’re in my reader group, Write all the words, Danielle, then this isn’t news. I’ve been wanting to talk about it sooner, but you know… life.

Recently, City Owl Press (the press that published Girl on Fire) has been pitching for film/TV for that book hard, because they love it, but they were hearing that what a lot of studios were looking for was diversity. The subject of one of my characters being an undiagnosed adult on the spectrum came up. I gave her the elevator pitch of the plot and she said, ‘gimmie.’

I sent her a copy of the book to read, and a day later, I had a contract in hand.


That’s right, The First 100 Kisses is now in their hands to shop around for film/TV projects. This doesn’t guarantee anything, but it is a step in a great direction. Not to mention that it’s nice to have a company that believes strongly enough in my work to even attempt to get either this title or Girl on Fire onto a screen.

How cool would seeing this on a screen be?

I mean, it was kind of wild to daydream a little when she asked me to compile who my dream cast would be so she’d have some names to mention when she went in to pitch. Naturally, I had my own answers to give her because, as you know, I make book bibles for my stories. I rattled off Anna Kendrick’s name lightning fast. She has always been my Chloe, but I’m not so sure she’d be down for all of the, er, ‘action’ this book has. Though, I could totally see a TV/Film project taming some of those scenes anyway so… maybe? Come on Universe, make it happen. 😉

Liam was harder for me because the actor I had in mind is now far too old for the part of a man in his mid-30s, so I went with a blonde Cole Sprouse. (And yes, I know his brother Dylan wears his hair blond normally, and while they may be twins, their acting is not at the same level. Sorry, Dylan.)

I’m curious, however, if you’ve read The First 100 Kisses, who would you pick to play Chloe and Liam? I’d happily toss other names her way!

Until next week, dream a little dream with me!

Danielle/Dani Bannister author and dreamer of all the good things