writing

Things that go bump in the night

I have always been creeped out by ghosts. Always. Horror movies are not in my collection. I am TERRIFIED by the things that go bump in the night.

Then, WHY, did I WRITE a novella about GHOSTS and the paranormal?

Because I’m a moron.

Maybe I thought if I wrote about the things I was scared of that would somehow cure my fears? It did not. Not even a little. Even so, I know that there ARE people who like to read about spooky things so it feels appropriate to mention the novella I wrote for Havenwood Falls. An author collective of an INSANE number of stories that are stand-alone, yet connected with character and location crossovers. So, if you like the paranormal and haven’t discovered the huge collections of stories set in the same fictional town where the paranormal walk among the humans, then here is your chance!

oooooo, spooooky!

Welcome to the secluded mountain town of Havenwood Falls, home to sexy men, strong women, and neighbors who bite. Discover supernatural mystery, thrills, and romance in a place where everyone has a deep, dark, and often deadly secret.

When a modern day ghostbuster is trapped in the spirit world, the future for all is at risk.

Spirit Agent Tasha Young has never fit in. Her talents as a modern-day ghost buster make her a loner by necessity. Her job is an easy one. Enter a haunted house, remove the misbehaving spirit, collect the cash, and move on to the next city. When she and her team are invited to Havenwood Falls for a special case, she quickly discovers that this retrieval isn’t a simple bag and tag.

What lurks within is not one aura, but hundreds, and they all have their sights set on Tasha. With only five traps in her possession and a team member already sucked into the spirit world, Tasha is forced to come face to face with her greatest enemy: the Indrori.

If she can’t find her way out of the spirit realm in time, the Indrori will win the prize he’s been waiting centuries to claim. The future of Tasha, her team, and all of Havenwood Falls rests on the sultry black-haired beauty with the snake tattoo.

That’s all for now. Talk soon!

Danielle Bannister, author and writer of spooky things *shivers

Writers On Writers

Writers on Writers-Paranormal

During a pandemic when in-person meetings and book signings are a no-go, what is a creative type to do? We Zoom, that’s what! I’ve decided to kick off a monthly virtual video broadcast of writers talking to each other about, wait for it… Writing! Each month will be a new genre/theme with a new author.

On Tuesday afternoon, I sat down with Paranormal author Belinda Boring to talk about all things paranormal.

I met Belinda years ago at one of the above mentioned book signings, Penned Con. She is a delightful woman with 25 books in her back list and counting. Below are some of the books we talked about in our broadcast.

As you can see, she’s written a LOT in the Havenwood Falls series. I have one title with them (The Lurkers Within) but she has a bunch, so we talked in our broadcast about the challenges and the rewards of writing in such a complex world that currently has 46 authors writing in the universe and about 85 individual titles, 2 multi-author collaborative books and soon to be 3 holiday anthologies to delight any paranormal reader. She also has a werewolf series readers can sink their teeth into as well!

You can catch the first broadcast of WOW: Writers on Writing on my author page (on Facebook) Bannister Books on October 30th at 7:00 PM (ET)

Danielle Bannister, author and interview host

writing

The Lurkers Within Release Day!!!

Today’s the day! The Lurkers Within releases today! I am so excited (and nervous) about this release. This was one of the hardest books I’ve had to write for so many reasons: It’s not my genre, it’s a shared world, which meant sharing characters and locations, it is a novella which is shorter than a novel and changes how you approach the story arc, it’s about ghosts which terrify me, and did I mention it’s not my usual genre? Ha. 

But it is now finally here!

You can read a sample of  the book HERE

THE LURKERS WITHIN

(A Havenwood Falls Novella)

Amazon   iBooks    Nook    Kobo   Paperback (Coming soon)

writing

The Lurkers Within tease…

I have ANOTHER book release coming up in just a few days. ACK!! So, I thought it would be fun to share a little bit from the first chapter. This is a novella that I wrote for the Havenwood Falls line. But don’t despair! If you have never read anything from Havenwood Falls, that doesn’t mean you can’t read this one. Each story is meant to be a stand-alone (there are a few sequels in the mix, but this isn’t one of them.) It is my first solo effort onto the world of fantasy (I always relied on Amy Miles to help me figure things out for our Hallowed Realms Trilogy.)

This short novella (about 100 pages) is WAY outside my comfort zone and not my norm at all, so hopefully, you will like it. You can read the full manuscript on release day, Nov. 30. Without further ado…I give you Chapter 1…

Chapter 1

“Want me to take point?” Adam asked. His trap was raised high, like you might raise a gun going into a drug bust. His muscles flexed, showing delicious chocolate biceps. There were no two ways about it—that man was fine, but also not on my radar. Poor boy wanted some quaint Christian girl. That’s definitely not me.

“No need,” I said. “It’s only a Class C spirit. It’s not going anywhere.”

Generally speaking, Class C spirits were harmless and confined to the places where they died, unless they were way older than this dipshit ghost, who chose to spend his afterlife tormenting a politician. We had him right where we wanted.

I was the last thing a pissed off ghost wanted to see, for good reason, too. I was the best spirit agent around. When a spirit felt me walk into a room, they knew their time was up. What can I say? I was infamous for being a bitch in both the human and spiritual realms. I wouldn’t apologize for my skills. Or for being the best in my field. I was paid quite well by the feds for handling these “classified” cases. My job was simple: enter a haunted house, remove the misbehaving spirit, collect the cash, and move on to the next city. The world was none the wiser as to just how many ghosts they walked the earth with. Most were harmless. I only went after the ones that became a problem.

My team was called in this morning to remove a less-than-friendly Casper. This one was trapped in the attic. In a matter of minutes, the job would be over, and I could go back to the hotel, where I planned to sink into their hot tub. It really was the world’s easiest job.

More often than not, I got assigned a Class B spirit. Those assholes became strong enough to emit sounds but were mostly harmless. Sure, I might end up with a scratch or two from the older ones, but those went away by the end of a day. Because they were so powerless, demonic spirits specialized in the psychological mind-game damage they could do to the humans they’d been forced to live with. This type of auras wrongly blamed humans for the reasons they were trapped between realms. These were the douchebags I specialized in. Grumpy spirits who liked to bite. That didn’t scare me. I was into the rough stuff.

“Room is clear. Waiting on your call, Agent Young,” the voice in my headpiece said. Ah, Winston was on today’s mission. How wonderful. He was scared shitless of me. As he should have been.

“We go in when I say we go in, Winston.”

Winston bumbled an apology, and I focused back on the door.

Beside me, Adam and my other team member, Eduardo, were all business, their traps poised and ready. They were so serious on these missions. For them, I imagined, this was pretty scary shit. Going up against a spirit wasn’t as simple for them, mostly because they couldn’t see them the way I could. The imagination was always worse than reality when it came to fear. I could see what I was after, so ghosts didn’t frighten me in the least. The rest of the world was less fortunate.

To be clear, I couldn’t see a ghost in the same way I could see a human. Spirits were not of this realm anymore, and therefore didn’t hold the same shape as living, breathing humans. Instead, I saw the fragments of what was left of them—their auras. Their souls. It was sort of like looking at humans with heat-seeking glasses. A blob of pulsing energy. It wasn’t crystal clear, but it was enough to be able to aim a trap accurately.

This baddie in the attic would be a cake walk. Normally, I wouldn’t be called in for such an easy bag and tag but when this spirit took up residency at a VIP’s place, my team was called in by the feds. Of course, if the FBI was asked about its Soul Searcher program and my place on it, it would deny any and all knowledge of me and the other spirit agents. Such was the risk of a confidential job. I was like a ghost myself. Now you see me, now you don’t.

Only a few dozen teams like mine existed around the world, though most of them didn’t have a team member like me. They had to rely on malfunctioning gadgets and incompetent tech to bring a spirit down. They didn’t actually remove the spirit permanently. They simply pushed them somewhere else, but that wasn’t my concern.

There were only five of us that the feds had in their employment who were also Recoverers. There were likely dozens more, but none of them wanted to be controlled by the bureaucracy. I didn’t mind. It paid well. Being a Recoverer was another special skill of mine. I could bring back the recently crossed over. Well, I could bring them back if I could get to them within a few hours. I couldn’t bring back anyone long dead like Elvis or Prince, though I totally would if I could.

Hell, a lot of those “near-death experiences” you read about? Nine times out of ten, it wasn’t a miracle. It was a Recoverer sent to bring the soul back to the human realm. These souls weren’t fully dead. They were stuck in the spirit realm and hadn’t officially crossed over. Like purgatory, I guess. We snatched them out of the waiting rooms of death to live another day. I’d like to say why we brought back who we did had to do with noble reasons like true love, or they had the formula to cure cancer, or some shit like that, but it was usually because they owed money to the mob or were a family member of someone important. The feds charged a pretty penny for a recovery and only those with power could pay it.

I was recovering more souls than I trapped these days. It’s like all the Recoverers decided to go on vacation at the same time. Lazy fuckers. No one had a strong work ethic anymore. But that was just fine by me. I’d happily take their fees.

Just then, Eduardo lifted his trap as he winked at me. Unlike Adam, he got off on this part of the gig. He knew the men on this team were there only for show. I was the star, and he liked seeing me in action. Well, Eduardo liked seeing every aspect of me.

I don’t say I was the star player merely because of my ability to see the spirits and bring back the dead, though those were pretty kick-ass skills. No, I was the leader of the team because I was the only one who could actually use the trap properly. I don’t know if they were just slow on the trigger, aimed wrong, if their guns weren’t calibrated right, or what. Whatever the reason, whatever the job, my traps were the only ones that took the spirits down. Adam and Eduardo were basically my backup dancers. I didn’t need them at my side, but it sure made an intimidating picture to the spirit.

Nodding, I gave Adam the signal to kick down the attic door. Did we need to break the door to get to the spirit? Hell no. Breaking shit was for the politician’s benefit. Might as well make him believe it was harder than it looked, right? Smoke and mirrors. That’s all ghost hunting and politics were, after all.

Adam went in first, followed by Eduardo. Each of them shouted for the ghost to show itself. This was really quite a ridiculous thing to say to a ghost, especially with me on the job, but it made them feel useful and masculine to yell.

The ghost was there, plain as day to me. Eduardo and Adam watched my face to follow where I was looking, so they would know where to aim their traps. Usually, I had to walk around to find the thing cowering in a corner, but this spirit was hovering right in front of me. Almost as if it wanted to be found. In fact, I swear it cocked its head when it saw me.

“Why, hello,” I said with a smirk.

Adam and Eduardo raised their traps to where I was focused, but my trap remained at my side as I studied the boldness of the spirit. This was unusual behavior for a spirit. They were typically more skittish when they knew their time was up. Color me intrigued.

“Fire?” Adam whispered when I stalled the command.

“Not yet. I need to check on one thing first,” I said, tapping against my earpiece. My eyes never left the aura. Though I couldn’t see actual eyes, I had the sneaking suspicion its focus was directly on me as well.

“Go ahead, Agent Young,” Winston said in my earpiece.

“Is my room ready at the Ritz?”

“Yes. I have booked a king bed, just like you asked.”

“Good,” I purred. “Eduardo and I plan on making good use of it later.” There was a silence on the other end of the com, which assured me I had made poor Winston blush. I knew full well all our conversations during missions were recorded. I didn’t say such things to torment Winston, but to annoy my commanding officer, Agent Duncan. He didn’t care for the fact that Eduardo and I were screwing around. It was jealousy, pure and simple. They all got that way when I tired of them.

“I suppose it’s time to trap this spirit and go play, eh, Eduardo?” I whispered into his ear.

His lips curled into a mischievous smile for a half a second, but then he refocused on the mission, like a good boy.

I lifted my trap in one fluid movement, waiting for the spirit to make a run for it, but it didn’t move. It held its ground in front of me. Smart spirit. It would have been wasted energy trying to escape from me.

“Your time is coming,” the female-sounding spirit said, though only I could hear it. I raised my eyebrows, impressed in spite of myself. They normally couldn’t communicate. It took too much energy. Those four words likely drained her completely. She was easy prey now. Not that she wasn’t before.

“Yeah, yeah, we all meet our maker soon enough. Right now, though, it’s your turn,” I said, before walking right up to her. I pointed the gun to where her head was and pulled the trigger. My wrist singed a bit from the kickback of the gun, but it was a small price to pay.

“Target acquired.”

I handed the trap to Adam, who held onto it like it was worth more than gold. Spirits fascinated him. He longed to be able to see them as I did. He always took meticulous notes after each capture, begging me to describe each spirit in as much detail as possible. Apparently, saying it looked like colored smoke wasn’t enough for him. I wished he could see an aura, just once, so he’d get off my back about them.

Eduardo was less professional about the completion of our mission and opted to grab my ass instead. He pulled me close for a congratulatory kiss. I wasn’t about to object. That man knew how to use his tongue.

“Get a room,” Adam groaned. Eduardo and I did this sort of thing all the time, so you’d think he’d be used to it by now, but his prudish ways always left me feeling a little dirty. In the good way. “Great idea,” I said. I’d had enough work for one day. It was well past time to let off some steam. Eduardo was the perfect way to do it, too. We left the attic, arm in arm, leaving all thoughts of the job behind.

THE LURKERS WITHIN (A Havenwood Falls Novella)
Pre-Order Releasing Nov. 30
Amazon US: http://bit.ly/TheLurkersWithin
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/UKLurkersWithin
iBooks: http://bit.ly/ibooksLurkersWithin
Kobo: http://bit.ly/TLWKobo
Nook: http://bit.ly/TLWNook

Well, there you have it. Stay tuned here and on my social media platforms for more fun and games leading up to release day!

Danielle Bannister, Author and sneak peeker

writing

What? ANOTHER Cover Reveal?

Didn’t you just have a cover reveal not that long ago, Danielle? Why, yes, yes I did. It’s madness, I say. Madness! But, oh, how much fun!

Today, I’m revealing the cover for my novella, The Lurkers Within, which is part of the Havenwood Falls series which you can learn more about here. These novellas are published by  Ang’dora Productions, LLC.

My title will be part of their New Adult/Adult Paranormal Fantasy line.

In a town where supernatural beings mix in among the humans, what did I choose to write about? Ghosts. *shivers. They terrify me, so why not write about them, eh?

But you came here to see a cover, not to yammer on, and a cover you shall have! I present the e-book cover for The Lurkers Within:

The Lurkers Within

By Danielle Bannister

Series: Havenwood Falls

Genre: Supernatural Thriller

Release Date: November 30, 2018

Cover Design: Regina Wamba, MaeIDesign.com

Preorder

iBooks: http://bit.ly/ibooksLurkersWithin 

Amazon US: Coming soon! (They are currently bogged down due to the Createspace shift. Blarg.)

Amazon UK: Coming soon! (As above)

Coming soon to Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Blurb

Welcome to the secluded mountain town of Havenwood Falls, home to sexy men, strong women, and neighbors who bite. Discover supernatural mystery, thrills, and romance in a place where everyone has a deep, dark, and often deadly secret.

Spirit Agent Tasha Young has never fit in. Her talents as a modern-day ghost buster make her a loner by necessity. Her job is an easy one. Enter a haunted house, remove the misbehaving spirit, collect the cash, and move on to the next city. When she and her team are invited to Havenwood Falls for a special case, she quickly discovers that this retrieval isn’t a simple bag and tag.

What lurks within is not one aura, but hundreds and they all have their sights set on Tasha. With only five traps in her possession and a team member already sucked into the spirit world, Tasha is forced to come face to face with her greatest enemy: the Indrori.

If she can’t find her way out of the spirit realm in time, the Indrori will win the prize he’s been waiting centuries to claim. The future of Tasha, her team, and all of Havenwood Falls rests on the sultry black-haired beauty with the snake tattoo.

The Havenwood Falls shared world is a collaborative effort by multiple authors across multiple series all in the paranormal fantasy genre, allowing readers to discover new authors and stories to fall in love with. Each author brings a stand-alone plotline so they can be read in any order, but there are many crossovers among the stories.

Books in the signature Havenwood Falls adult series:

  • Forget You Not by Kristie Cook
  • Fate, Love & Loyalty by E.J. Fechenda
  • Old Wounds by Susan Burdorf
  • Covetousness by Randi Cooley Wilson
  • The Winged & the Wicked by T.V. Hahn & Kristie Cook
  • Alpha’s Queen by Lila Felix
  • Ink & Fire by R.K. Ryals
  • Lose You Not by Kristie Cook
  • Tragic Ink by Heather Hildenbrand
  • Nowhere to Hide by Belinda Boring
  • Flames Among the Frost by Amy Hale
  • Rock Me Gently by Susan Burdorf
  • From the Embers by Amy Miles
  • Defying Gravity by Kallie Ross
  • Gypsy Heart by Randi Cooley Wilson
  • Break Me Not by Kristie Cook (September 2018)
  • How the Dead Lie by Stacey Rourke (October 2018)
  • The Lurkers Within by Danielle Bannister (November 2018)

Coming soon are books by CJ Pinard, Melissa Wright, Morgan Wylie, Emily Cyr, and more.

Also look for Havenwood Falls High, a Young Adult series; Legends of Havenwood Falls, a historical paranormal series; and Havenwood Falls Sin & Silk, the darker, sexier side of town.

Immerse yourself in the world of Havenwood Falls and stay up-to-date on news and announcements at http://www.HavenwoodFalls.com. Join our reader group, Havenwood Falls Book Club, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HavenwoodFallsBookClub/

Well, now that the reveal is done, I probably give the novella one last look before it goes to the editor in a few weeks, eh? Eeep!

Danielle Bannister, Author and revealer of all the covers