writing

The Second 100 Kisses is now LIVE!

EEEP! At long last, Book 2 in The Practice Makes Perfect Series is LIVE! More platforms will be coming soon!

How do you date your best friend?

That’s the nagging question on Chloe Clark’s mind after she lands her romantic storybook ending with her bestie/next-door neighbor, Liam McGeary. Now that they are officially a couple, what does that mean for their relationship?

How do they go from snarky conversations about who has the longest fry to heavy petting? The situation is only made harder because Liam is a virgin and wants to save that part of himself for marriage. Chloe knows she won’t be the girl Liam ends up walking down the aisle with, but boy oh boy, she’ll have fun playing with him in the meantime, riding that purity line as far as she can. 

But with Liam always eager and ready to play, it makes the job of restraining her desire a constant challenge. Chloe knows herself well when it comes to guys, though. She always jumps in too fast, becomes clingy, and scares men away. If she wants this moment to last with Liam, she’ll have to turn the heat down and learn how to date him without her usual moves. Practice makes perfect, right? 

It worked for their first hundred kisses. Now comes the hard part: dating.

The Second 100 Kisses is the full steam ahead contemporary friends-to-lovers sequel to The First 100 Kisses. Proceed with caution and grab a fan. It’s about to get steamy.

Still need to read book one?

Book 1: The First 100 Kisses

Next week I’ll share the first chapter here for those who are curious!

Danielle Bannister, author and releaser of books!

writing

2 Day ONLY Sale!

To celebrate Liam’s Irish heritage, I’m putting The First 100 Kisses on sale now through St. Patrick’s Day for only .99 cents. Regularly $2.99!

This sale won’t last so nab it NOW! Then, be sure to pre-order book 2, The Second Hundred Kisses, releasing next month!

*CAUTION: These books are for mature audiences only. STRONG sexual content/situations.

Need Book 1 in a different format?

Amazon: smarturl.it/TheFirst100KissesAMZ
Apple: smarturl.it/TheFirst100KissesAP
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/First100KissesSW
Nook: http://bit.ly/First100KissesBN
Kobo: http://bit.ly/First100KissesKobo
GooglePlay: smarturl.it/TheFirst100KissesGOG

Not on sale but if you need it in Paperback: http://bit.ly/100KissesPB

On March 18th I’ll be reverting the sale price back to $2.99 so nab it now!

Danielle Bannister, author, and pusher of all the sales

writing

What’s in a name?

More than smelling like a rose, I’ll tell ya. It’s taken me ten years, but I’ve finally bitten the bullet and decided on a name ‘brand.’ The way I want my name to appear on all my indie book titles. Obviously, that’s not true for my traditionally published titles. (Your hands are tied, and not in a fun way, with a publisher with how your name looks.)

For many years, I resisted the idea of having one name (look) to rule them all, but I have now seen the light. I get it now. My name is part of my “brand” of being an author. It’s as important as food chains not changing up the look of their signs when they open another of their restaurants in a new town. Can you imagine if KFC used a different logo for every location? How confusing for the consumer! It’s the same for books if you get right down to it.

For instance, this is the spread of my titles before the name branding. You can’t see my name in a vast majority of them. Like the author’s name was an afterthought.

But now, after making that one small change to the books on the lower level (the titles I CAN change) there is a cohesive look. It looks more professional. Cleaner. Intentional.

The upper row does NOT carry my new “brand” for a few reasons.

  1. The Twin Flames Trilogy will be tended to…this summer. Wait and see what I have planned. 😉
  2. The Hallowed Realms Trilogy will remain as is as it is a joint project and together, we decided on this look. It’s not just my name being branded. You make compromises when you collaborate.
  3. The Lurkers Within is with a publishing house which means I get NO say. They have their own branding that they need to stick with.
  4. Eagle-eyed readers will notice that Enigma is NOT on this revised list. I’m starting to phase it out of graphics as it will not be available for much longer under that name/cover as it was recently acquired by City Owl Press. My name brand will not be on that cover either, as it’s not within my power to place it on there.

A shift like this takes some planning. Authors need to work with their cover designer to find a font that works to represent not only the author but a font that will work across all the genres they write in (and have yet to write.) Now, you may notice the font I landed on, my name is NOT centered. Usually, that would irk me. I’m a Libra. I like things balanced. BUT it totally makes sense for my brand. I write out-of-the-box stories that are a little off-center. So, naturally, that should be reflected in my branding.

You may notice that I’ve even changed the name on my newest release, and updated the front of book 1 to match the sequel.

All that is left to change is the trilogy, and boy oh boy, is that gonna change. I cannot WAIT to show you how!

Writing. It’s more than just putting words on a page. It’s also putting words on covers. 😉 Until next time, my peeps…

Danielle Bannister, author and brander of names.

writing

Title and Cover Reveal Time!

It’s time, it’s time!

May I proudly present to you the sequel to The First 100 Kisses…

THE SECOND 100 KISSES!

How do you date your best friend?

That’s the nagging question on Chloe Clark’s mind after she lands her romantic storybook ending with her bestie/next-door neighbor, Liam McGeary. Now that they are officially a couple, what does that mean for their relationship?

How do they go from snarky conversations about who has the longest fry to heavy petting? The situation is only made harder because Liam is a virgin and wants to save that part of himself for marriage. Chloe knows she won’t be the girl Liam ends up walking down the aisle with, but boy oh boy, she’ll have fun playing with him in the meantime, riding that purity line as far as she can.

But with Liam always eager and ready to play, it makes the job of restraining her desire a constant challenge. Chloe knows herself well when it comes to guys, though. She always jumps in too fast, becomes clingy, and scares men away. If she wants this moment to last with Liam, she’ll have to turn the heat down and learn how to date him without her usual moves. Practice makes perfect, right?

It worked for their first hundred kisses. Now comes the hard part: dating.

The Second 100 Kisses is the full steam ahead contemporary friends-to-lovers sequel to The First 100 Kisses. Proceed with caution and grab a fan. It’s about to get steamy.

Haven’t read book 1 yet? No problem, you can snag it here!

Both covers were designed by Q Design Cover and Brand Premades

Stay tuned for excerpts from this one, as well as sales and giveaways coming your way!

Danielle Bannister, Author and revealer of covers

writing

Book 16 is off to the editor!

After a shift in release plans to accommodate an author collaboration to later in the year, I found myself with a release slot open in April. The only book that was close enough at the time to being done was the sequel to The First 100 Kisses. (The title will be revealed when the cover is done!) If you haven’t read this one or need a refresher, now is a good time to dive in.

WARNING: This is NOT for anyone under 18. This is a full-steam level book.

Chloe and Liam’s story continues! The new book is coming soon!

Well, I’m off to work on manuscript number 17 because a writer’s work is never done.

Danielle Bannister, author and writer of all the words

Theatre, writing

Finding my groove again.

It happens to the best of us. In every creative art. Dry spells. Moments when the grind of real life takes over and creativity and desire to create art shrivels. For some people that lasts a few days, for some a few years or decades. I am in week three of such a spell. How? By sitting in the damn chair and putting words on the screen even when all I WANT to do is sit on the couch in my PJs and binge watch something on Netflix. That, my friends, is the hardest part of writing. Staying in the chair.

To be fair with myself, it’s not that I just stopped reaching my daily goals one day and just let the dust collect on my keyboard. I was legitimately out straight all through March, April, and half of May. Being a lead in a play does consume a bit of your time.

On top of that, I also had a book release in March…This one: The First 100 Kisses, and co-hosted Maine March Madness over at Between Two Couch Cushions with R.J. Keller. My kids were also involved as leads in their school production of Mary Poppins at this same time, so I became a taxi. Time to write was limited, and on the days that I could write…I was so mentally drained that there was nothing to draw from. I needed some serious vegging time. Lucifer to the rescue!


Now, the play is over (oh, sure, a new play responsibility is coming up this week, but I’m stage managing so I don’t need to learn lines so there is less of a creative brain cell suck…I hope) I can get back into the swing of things again. My set writing days can go back to being my writing days and words will flow…

In theory. I’m easing my creative toes back into the water by writing this blog post, and then I need to send off a newsletter as I have been lax on that too while my theatre side got to come out and play. After that, out comes the WIP…which is still in its awful, wonderful, plot-hole filled first draft phase.

So, what happens when I’m staring at another blank page and the muse has forgotten all about me?

I’ll sit in the chair. I’ll write crappy words. I’ll show up until the muse sees that I won’t abandon her for Netflix.

writing

The First 100 Kisses (LIVE)

Title: The First Hundred Kisses

Author: Danielle Bannister

Genre: Steamy Contemporary Romance Novella

Release Date: March 29, 2019

Length: 265 pages

Price: $2.99

Cover:

Blurb:

“I have a huge favor to ask.”

Chloe Clark, a thirtysomething waitress, and Liam McGeary, her socially awkward bestie of seven years, were close. Movie nights with popcorn, coffee shop catch-ups, and take out Tuesdays. Their friendship was unique. Zero sparks. Perfectly platonic. 

Until Liam asked Chloe for help with a problem. A problem he only trusted his bestie to teach him: help with kissing. He had a date with a former high school sweetheart and he was embarrassingly…inexperienced. 

Although Chloe was shocked by the request, Liam wasn’t hard on the eyes and she did love to kiss. Helping him was a no-brainer. He just needed the first 100 kisses under his belt, then he’d be all set for his date. 

What Chloe hadn’t counted on, was liking it. A favor that started out as a play-book of moves quickly turned into something dangerously steamy. 

Something neither one of them were prepared for.

Buy Links

The First 100 Kisses- a novella by Danielle Bannister 

Amazon: http://bit.ly/First100Kisses

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/First100KissesSW

iBooks: http://bit.ly/First100KissesiBook

Nook: http://bit.ly/First100KissesBN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/First100KissesKobo

Paperback: http://bit.ly/100KissesPB

What ARC readers are saying:

“You dirty bird! I LOVED IT!”

“YOWZA. O_O.”

“I’m hanging on every word of this.

”Omg. I Floved this one! I couldn’t put it down “

“Every kiss was HOT. Liam never knew what hit him.”

Teasers:

Excerpt

“What’s crawling up your ass?” I asked, putting my feet on the coffee table instead. It wasn’t nearly as nice as his warm lap.

He stopped pacing, “How long have we been friends, Chloe?” he asked.

I cocked my head and thought. “Well, you moved into the building about seven years ago. I helped you move your boxes. You lectured me on the right way to lift a box, I thought you were flirting. I tried, unsuccessfully, to hit on you. We didn’t speak for months after because I was mortified of how epically bad I’d read you. Then, you got locked out of your apartment one day. The super was out of town. I crawled out on the fire escape because you are a chicken who can’t deal with heights, and I shimmed my ass into your apartment and saved the day, and we sort have been friends ever since.”

He nodded along, validating my word-vomited list of events leading to our friendship. “And in that time, how many women have you seen me bring home?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know. A few.”

He narrowed his eyes at me because he knew I was lying. I totally checked his dates out through my peep hole. He knew ‘cause I told him. I’m a moron.

“Okay, fine, I know you brought home a few, like, five or six maybe? I can tell you this: they were all blonde and big boobed. You, sir, are a cliché,” I said, looking down at my very opposite body type. Rail thin, smallish boobs, no real hips. Tack on basic brown hair and eyes and you had an amalgamation of all the qualities guys didn’t want.

“They haven’t all been blonde,” he said, affronted. “One had dark hair.”

I stood up and dusted the bits of popcorn off my oversized Sassenach sweatshirt. “Please, she was dirty blonde and easily had double D’s.”

He didn’t argue with me because he knew I was right.

I’ll admit, I was jealous the first time he brought one of the bimbos back to his place. Mostly because I realized that he had a ‘type’ and I would never be it. A bootylicious Barbie I wasn’t. I finally got over crushing on Liam by pretending he was gay and that he had the male anatomy of a Ken doll. Seeing Liam as untouchable in that intimate viewpoint helped me. Seeing Liam as asexual helped our friendship flourish.

He let out a breath and began pacing again. I headed over to turn off the TV by hand, because who knew where the remote was anymore.

“Liam, help a girl out. What is bugging you? Let’s figure it out so we can have ice cream and talk about the show.”

He turned and ran his hands through his own dirty blonde hair. I frowned. He had that perfect beach hair that no one from New England should be blessed with. And his eyes. Good gravy. Gorgeous eyes. That’s what I’d first noticed about him, and quite honestly, why I offered to help a perfect stranger move boxes. They were the lightest shade of blue I’d ever seen on anyone before or since.

His eyes made him stand out, which I think he knew. He tended to keep his gaze down in public, though it could also be that people, in general, made him uncomfortable. And eye contact, when you thought about it, was really something intimate. Maybe that’s why you had to know Liam for a long time before he would maintain eye contact with you for longer than two seconds. We’d advanced to the normal level of eye contact, but it took years to get him there.

Even though we are not involved in a sexual way, nor would we ever be, my heart still did a little flip when he looked into my eyes sometimes. There was just something so captivating about them. I called them his voodoo eyes. Women were powerless against them. Men, too, for that matter. It was his curse. Poor baby. Must be hard to be beautiful.

WANNA FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS TO THESE BEST OF FRIENDS WHEN LIAM ASKS FOR SOME UNCONVENTIONAL HELP? Download your copy today!

Author Bio

Danielle Bannister lives with her two children in Midcoast Maine along with her precious coffee pot and peppermint mocha creamer. She holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Southern Maine and her Master’s degree in Literary Education from the University of Orono. Her writing includes: a collection of short stories called Short Shorts, The Twin Flames Trilogy: Pulled, Pulled Back, and Pulled Back Again, The ABC’s of Dee, Enigma, Doppelganger, and Must Love Coffee. She’s also co-authored a fantasy novel with Amy Miles called Netherworld and Hollow Earth. Book three will be available later this year. She has also written The Lurkers Within, which is located in the Havenwood Falls Series. When she’s not on the stage, on the page, or engrossed in a good book, you’ll find her binge-watching all the Netflix. As one does.

Author Links:

Website: https://daniellebannister.wordpress.com/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bNvK7D  

email: daniellebannisterbooks@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BannisterBooks/

Group: http://bit.ly/WriteAllTheWordsDanielle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dbannisterbooks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/bannisterbooks/pins/

Amazon: http://bit.ly/DanielleBannister

Insta: daniellebannisterbooks

BookBub: http://bit.ly/BookBubAuthorPage

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5114859.Danielle_Bannister

Between Two Couch Cushions: http://bit.ly/Betweentwocouchcushions

writing

The First Chapter

Well, it’s that time again, where I share the first chapter of an upcoming release. Today, I’ll share with you the first chapter of The First 100 Kisses which releases THIS FRIDAY, March 29th! AHHHHHH!

“Chloe, I have a huge favor to ask,” my bestie, Liam, said just as the theme song for Outlander started. The side-eye glare he got in response should have been all the answer required, but Liam didn’t pick up the meaning.

“The answer is ‘yes’ to whatever you need but shut it now. The show’s about to start.” If my glare were actual daggers, Liam would be as bloody as the men were about to become in the Battle of Culloden. Seriously, what the hell was he doing speaking right now? He knew this was a no-talk-hour. Gasp or squeal, sure, but no conversations, boy! This was sacred time. If our years of friendships taught him anything, it was to never cross me when my shows were on.

I took this stuff seriously. Just like take out Tuesdays and longest fry Fridays. I always won and thereby got to use the ketchup first. We had our rituals that we’d developed over the years –well, I had developed and drug him along, and tonight was movies and munchies. You don’t just abandon dedicated viewing time to ask favors. You do that nonsense after the post-show discussion with wine and whiskey. It’s like he was new here.

He opened his mouth to speak but I hucked a piece of popcorn at him.

“Not another word, mister. Or the M & M’s are next.” I lifted a red one for good measure. Liam hated the red ones. He thought they had deadly dyes in them or some shit.

“Fine,” he huffed as he settled into the couch.

Satisfied I had won that argument, I swung my legs over, flopping my feet unceremoniously in his lap. Liam looked at my feet, then at me, and shook his head. Still, he took my feet in his hands to massage them. It was heaven. I smiled at him, then diverted my eyes back onto the screen.

As he worked my feet, I couldn’t help realizing that nights like this never happened when I dated a guy. I was never as chill as I am with Liam. On the rare times I went on a repeat date with someone, I could never fully relax into myself. I was too busy pretending to be a version of the woman that the guy wanted me to be. I was a chameleon. I’m sure a therapist would say I had issues with abandonment or was just trying to be loved or some shit, but we all had our neurosis and mine was knowing I’d never really be good enough for someone. I didn’t need to pay a shrink to tell me that. I already knew it.

When I was with Liam, though, I didn’t have to pretend to be anyone other than me because we’re just friends. Perfectly platonic. Seriously. We’d been friends forever. Well, not forever, forever, but a long freaking time. He was the only guy friend that I had that I hadn’t screwed. Not that Liam wasn’t screwable. The man was delish, and he knew it. Normally, that was a turn off for me, but Liam seemed truly annoyed that he had good looks. I often felt like he wished he were more common, like us peasants.

Liam was like me when I went on dates. Uncomfortable in his own skin, but he was like this anytime he was out in public. Liam liked routines, and schedules, hence why he liked my weekly themed events. He liked knowing when and how things were going to happen and when they didn’t go as planned, he got anxious.

Unfortunately, this was one of the many reasons he was probably still single. He was a handful, that one. But he was my crazy friend, and I had no problem keeping him in check when he crossed a line (not that he did all that often).

Sometimes he’d blurt something inappropriate, not out of spite but out of not stopping to think first. And there was zero danger of him crossing a physical line with me. He had drawn that line in the sand years ago. A really deep line.

And I got the message. Loud and clear. After a few years, that is. What? He’s pretty! Can you really blame a girl for lusting even if it was a dead end?

Liam warmed my cold feet with his long fingers and I moaned in content. He knew I loved having my feet rubbed. Couple that massage with the drool-worthy kilt action on the screen, and I couldn’t be happier. This was why I busted my ass each week as a lowly waitress in a city of a thousand restaurants: This end of week bliss. Scottish men, foot rubs, and wine. Nothing could be finer.

As the show progressed, I couldn’t help but see Liam out of the corner of my eye each time I grabbed more popcorn, which, I noticed, he hadn’t eaten any of it yet. It was clear that he was frustrated. Probably a costume was wrong or one of the weapons wasn’t quite period. Liam was a bit anal retentive about that sort of thing. He was a bit anal about everything, truth be told. Most people couldn’t stand Liam once they got to know him. I got it, he was a gigantic know-it-all, and no one likes a braggart. It wasn’t his fault. It’s just how his brain was programmed.

Liam made a low grumble and I shushed him.

“It’s almost over. Cool your jets.”

When the end credits rolled, I really wanted to discuss what happened in the show, because Holy Hell what an episode, but it was clear we were going to be talking about other things first. Liam shoved my feet off his lap and began to pace around my small living room floor.

That couldn’t be good. Liam paced when he was having a hard time figuring something out. He hated when there was a problem he couldn’t solve, or if there was something he didn’t know at least the basic information on. He became obsessed. Frantic. When he got like this, it made him hard to be around, which meant I needed to help him solve whatever was on his mind or I’d be the one ultimately suffering.

“Okay. You may speak now. What’s crawling up your ass?” I asked, putting my feet on the coffee table instead. It wasn’t nearly as nice as his warm lap.

He stopped pacing, “How long have we been friends, Chloe?” he asked.

I cocked my head and thought. “Well, you moved into the building about seven years ago. I helped you move your boxes. You lectured me on the right way to lift a box, I thought you were flirting. I tried, unsuccessfully, to hit on you. We didn’t speak for months after because I was mortified of how epically bad I’d read you. Then, you got locked out of your apartment one day. The super was out of town. I crawled out on the fire escape because you are a chicken who can’t deal with heights, and I shimmed my ass into your apartment and saved the day, and we sort have been friends ever since.”

He nodded along, validating my word-vomited list of events leading to our friendship. “And in that time, how many women have you seen me bring home?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know. A few.”

He narrowed his eyes at me because he knew I was lying. I totally checked his dates out through my peep hole. He knew ‘cause I told him. I’m a moron.

“Okay, fine, I know you brought home a few, like, five or six maybe? I can tell you this: they were all blonde and big boobed. You, sir, are a cliché,” I said, looking down at my very opposite body type. Rail thin, smallish boobs, no real hips. Tack on basic brown hair and eyes and you had an amalgamation of all the qualities guys didn’t want.

“They haven’t all been blonde,” he said, affronted. “One had dark hair.”

I stood up and dusted the bits of popcorn off my oversized Sassenach sweatshirt. “Please, she was dirty blonde and easily had double D’s.”

He didn’t argue with me because he knew I was right.

I’ll admit, I was jealous the first time he brought one of the bimbos back to his place. Mostly because I realized that he had a ‘type’ and I would never be it. A bootylicious Barbie I wasn’t. I finally got over crushing on Liam by pretending he was gay and that he had the male anatomy of a Ken doll. Seeing Liam as untouchable in that intimate viewpoint helped me. Seeing Liam as asexual helped our friendship flourish.

He let out a breath and began pacing again. I headed over to turn off the TV by hand, because who knew where the remote was anymore.

“Liam, help a girl out. What is bugging you? Let’s figure it out so we can have ice cream and talk about the show.”

He turned and ran his hands through his own dirty blonde hair. I frowned. He had that perfect beach hair that no one from New England should be blessed with. And his eyes. Good gravy. Gorgeous eyes. That’s what I’d first noticed about him, and quite honestly, why I offered to help a perfect stranger move boxes. They were the lightest shade of blue I’d ever seen on anyone before or since.

His eyes made him stand out, which I think he knew. He tended to keep his gaze down in public, though it could also be that people, in general, made him uncomfortable. And eye contact, when you thought about it, was really something intimate. Maybe that’s why you had to know Liam for a long time before he would maintain eye contact with you for longer than two seconds. We’d advanced to the normal level of eye contact, but it took years to get him there.

Even though we are not involved in a sexual way, nor would we ever be, my heart still did a little flip when he looked into my eyes sometimes. There was just something so captivating about them. I called them his voodoo eyes. Women were powerless against them. Men, too, for that matter. It was his curse. Poor baby. Must be hard to be beautiful.

“Okay,” Liam asked, “In the time that we’ve been friends, how many gentlemen callers have you had over?”

“Um…I don’t know.” I said, trying to dodge this bullet by pretending I had no idea. 27. I might be a Plain Jane but that didn’t mean I didn’t like me some booty. The number wasn’t skank high, but it wasn’t prudish either.

Liam’s lips pressed together. He was agitated by my uninformative answer. “Can you ballpark it? It’s important. I’m trying to collect the data before I ask the favor.”

Good old socially awkward Liam. The things that came out of his mouth, sometimes. He came off as a normal guy, until he opens his mouth and says crap like that. “Collecting data,” I mumbled. “You mean in the last seven years?”

“Yes, please,” he said.

“I don’t know, Liam…A few dozen or so. It’s not like I keep a journal of the guys I have over,” I huffed. At least, not since I got out of high school. After that, it was just a mental list.

He nodded again. “And of those scores of men, how many of them stayed over?”

Did he just call me a whore?

“Scores of men?” I hissed.

“That’s not what I meant,” he sighed, “I’m sorry. I realize this is none of my business. I am merely trying to assess if you are the appropriate person to ask this favor of.”

I looked at him, my mouth agape. “By asking me how many guys I’ve slept with?”

Sure, we were best friends, but we don’t talk about this kind of thing. We have discussed, in detail, what we had for dinner, or what the homeless guy in front of our building peed on today, or, my personal favorite, who ticked us off at work, but never about the people we were dating. If he was bringing up a clearly uncomfortable topic, it must be something huge he was struggling with.

“Yes. The number of men is essential for the data I am trying to compute.”

Jesus, sometimes he sounded more like a robot than he did a man. “Not that it’s any of your business, but like 99% of them. Now, can you tell me what the hell is going on in that head of yours?”

Liam sat down on the couch and started to bounce his leg up and down. A nervous twitch he got in socially uncomfortable situations. I knew from being one of his only friends that this meant he was feeling overwhelmed by something.

I sat down beside him and put firm pressure on his knee with my hand to quiet his nerves, knowing that heavy touch was soothing to him in times of anxiety.

Liam looked down at my hand and quickly stood up. “See. That, right there,” he said. “What do I do if…” He broke off his thought and went to the window, looking out at the night sky.

“What? Liam? What is going on? You’re kind of freaking me out.”

“Angel is moving back to town.”

“Oh?”

Angel was his ex. They were serious high school sweet hearts. I didn’t like her. Why, I had no idea, as I’d never met or even seen a photo of her. I just knew that she’d done a number on my friend. Well, that and he’s been hung up on her ever since. He’d mentioned her name maybe five times since we met, but every time he said her name, there was a lingering hurt in his eyes. I’m taking a shot in the dark that she’s blonde with big boobs.

“How is she doing?” I asked.

“She’s well. I think. She’s staying with her mother until she finds a place.” He turned around. A pained expression was on his face. “She wants to get together in a few weeks.”

“Ah.” That explained it.

It was one thing to catch up with an old flame on the phone. A whole different scenario when they wanted a face to face. He must be freaking out.

“Okay…” I said gently, as though approaching a wounded animal. “Dinner is good.”

“Chloe, I haven’t seen her since she broke off our relationship. We were kids then. So much time has passed. I don’t know what to say to her. How to act. I don’t know anything, especially what she wants from me.”

“She probably just wants to see how you’re doing. You know, catch up. I wouldn’t stress about it.”

He looked at me. “She said, and I quote verbatim, ‘She missed me.’”

“Ha! Well, in that case, she wants to bang ya, buddy.” I said, hoping that would clear up his confusion and we could start our ice cream. Liam wasn’t great at reading people’s body language and worse at understanding subtext. Now that he understood her intentions, I thought we’d be able to move on to dessert, but my translation seemed to upset him even more.

“I was afraid you were going to say that.” His eyes were drawn tight with worry.

“Dude, it’s okay. I got you. No stressing out allowed. I’ll help make sure the evening is perfect. I can hook you up with a good restaurant. Maybe get you in to a fancy-pants place.” Being a waitress had very few perks but knowing other waiters and hostesses from other restaurants helped bump you up the reservation lists. It also came in handy knowing which places were worth the money and which ones were dodging the health inspector. “Whatever you need,” I continued. “I can help with your outfit, picking out the right flowers, where to go after. Whatever you need, just ask.”

Liam turned around and put his hands in his pockets. His shoulders slumped. His eyes hid on the floor.

“Sex,” he whispered so low I barely heard him.

“Come again,” I replied. He didn’t get the innuendo. I was used to that. He never got them—part of that sub-text block.

“You heard me,” he said, still looking at the floor.

“Actually, I don’t think I did.”

“Chloe…I…sex, okay? I need help with a sex thing,” he repeated. He looked up at me, with his intense eyes.

“Whoa, buddy, I know you wanna make a good impression with the ex, but is a threesome really the right play here?” I laughed, trying to ease his tension. Why did guys get so uncomfortable talking about sex? They loved doing it but God forbid you talk about what the other person wants.

Liam’s eyes grew wide for a moment then he vehemently shook his head.

“No. Not that. God. No. Not that.” He was blushing, something he did quite a lot. Especially on Outlander nights. Not that I could blame him— Those sex scenes were hot.

“Okay then, what do you need help with, lube, condoms, toy recommendations?” I wiggled my eyebrows. I could recommend some great things for him to try. I might be single, but I wasn’t dead.

“No. Nothing like that.” His face was beet-red now. This was getting fun. It was amusing seeing Liam so out of sorts. It didn’t happen often. He liked to be in control of his environment and this was a new situation to navigate. Whatever that might be.

“Then what is it, Liam?” I laughed, feeling totally clueless. “Help me help you. What exactly do you need help with around sex?”

Liam let out a slow measured breath, then locked his crystal blue eyes with me to make sure I was listening. “I need to know how to do it.”




Want to read more?

The First 100 Kisses

a novella by Danielle Bannister

(Releasing March 29)
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writing

I have the March Madness

And no, I don’t mean the sportsball thingy.

This has been a wildly insane March, and it’s only half over! Both my children have large parts in a school musical, Mary Poppins, playing Jane and Bert, which opens this weekend. This means lots of late nights until Friday. That’s fine. All good. I’m used to that. But I also have rehearsals for a different show. And I’m helping with the kid’s makeup in Poppins. Oh, and releasing a book on the 29th. Why did I think March would be a good month to release? Good gravy!

Anywho, I wanted to pop the blog to assure you the release is still happening. Just got the paperbacks squared away and the final versions of the ebooks uploaded. I recorded a snippet of the first chapter on facebook if you wanna take a look at that you can do that here.

Ten days, people. The book drops in ten days. Commence screaming.

The First 100 Kisses- a novella by Danielle Bannister (Pre-Order)
Amazon
Smashwords
iBooks
Nook
Kobo
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