Fanny Fitzpatrick and the Brother Problem


Fanny Fitzpatrick and the Brother Problem

by Dana Hammer

GENRE: Middle Grade Greek Mythology

Dion Isaacs (the reincarnation of Dionysius), Athena’s brother, is wreaking havoc. After to an unfortunate bee-venom poisoning at his wine business, he is down on his luck and crashing at Athena’s place. But the former god of wine, feasting, and excess is a bad influence on Fanny’s best friends, with his partying, wacky business schemes, and general debauchery. Sure, Dion is a fun guy. But there is such a thing as too much fun, and Fanny seems to be the only one who sees it.

Meanwhile, Fanny’s mother is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, which basically means she pukes all the time, because she’s pregnant. With her mom unable to work, her dad is taking extra shifts to make more money, and things are getting tense at home. Fanny is excited to be a big sister, but all this sickness and stress over money are starting to take their toll on her.

Can Fanny save her friends from Dion’s negative influence, while also solving her family’s money problems? Of course she can. She’s Fanny Fitzpatrick.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

I hope Mom doesn’t have breast cancer. She would have told me about that though, right? You don’t hide cancer from your only daughter. That would be messed up. I get out of bed and pad down the hallway until I get to the bathroom. The puking is louder now, and I can hear Mom gasping between retches. I knock on the door.

“Mom? Are you OK?”

“I’m fine, Sweetie.”

Then she retches again.

“No you’re not Mom! You’re sick! Do you want some Sprite?”

Mom gives me Sprite when I’m nauseated, and it usually helps.

“Mom? I think you need to see a doctor. You’re not getting better.”

“Fanny! Go away!”

I don’t know what to do. My dad has already left for work, so he can’t help. I think about calling an ambulance, but then I remember that 911 is only for emergencies, and I don’t think this counts as an emergency.

“Mom, I’m gonna call an ambulance,” I say.


“But Mom—”

“Fanny, go decorate the tree!”

This stops me for a moment. Decorate the tree? Why?


“I’m not feeling up to it. Go decorate the Christmas tree. It’ll be a big help.”

I stand by the door, not knowing what to do. Is Mom trying to be tough, like the time she hurt her ankle and refused to go get X-rays, and she just limped around the house for a week until it swole up to like twice its size, and Dad finally made her go to the hospital, and it turned out she’d FRACTURED IT? Should I be like Dad and put my foot down and call an ambulance?

About the Author:

Dana Hammer is a novelist, screenwriter and playwright. She has won over forty awards and honors for her writing, few of which generated income, all of which were deeply appreciated. She is not a cannibal, but she is the author of A Cannibals Guide to Fasting. Dana is also the author of middle grade fantasy My Best Friend Athena which was inspired by a desire to write something her 9 year old daughter could read.

A Word from the Author


By Dana Hammer

In my new novel, Fanny Fitzpatrick and the Brother Problem, Fanny’s mother is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, which is a thing that happens sometimes when you’re pregnant. It basically means you can’t stop puking. I didn’t put this disorder into the book at random. I put it in because it’s one of the worst things I can imagine. Because, I, Dana Hammer, am nausea-phobic.

Once, my daughter asked me what I would change in the world, if I could change anything. I answered immediately — “I would get rid of stomach viruses.” 

“What about world peace?” 

“No. Stomach viruses.”

“What about-“

“I would get rid of stomach viruses.”

You see, I’ve always suffered from a twitchy stomach. Here is a list of some of the things that can make me nauseated. This list is not comprehensive.

*spinning rides

*winding country roads

*being too cold

*being too hot

*listening to unpleasant music

*eating food I don’t like

*being hungry

*eating too much




*fake sugar


*being tired



*cough syrup

I have tried every kind of stomach remedy. I have tried Pepto, Emetrol, peppermint, ginger, acupressure, Sprite, Coke, laying still, yoga poses, Dramamine, crackers, hard candy, and every other thing imaginable. I am the High Priestess of Nausea Remedies. And even though I know that remedies exist, it doesn’t matter, because I hate nausea so much that experiencing it, even for a few minutes, is my nightmare. It doesn’t matter that I know it will end. It doesn’t matter that I know it’s a common experience and it won’t kill me. All that matters is my suffering.

It’s worse when you’re pregnant, because you can’t take any medicine for it. Peppermint and ginger are cruel jokes that do not help, at all. You will puke up crackers and hard candy. You might be able to keep Sprite down, but it’s not healthy to drink it all day for nine months. Forget about weed or actual prescribed medication. As far as the medical community is concerned, you’re basically an unfit mother if you ingest anything other than organic kale and baked salmon, so no meds for you. And so, you suffer and suffer and suffer, and everyone smiles and sighs because it’s cute, the pregnant lady puking, but it’s not cute, it’s awful. 

But it’s not over when you have the baby. Because then you have to deal with rotavirus and norovirus and all those other stomach viruses that your sweet baby will bring home and infect you with. And those are even worse, because the sickness is much more severe, and also, you have to take care of a puking baby as well. When my child was in preschool, we started having play dates, and sometimes the mom would say “Oh, yesterday Hayden was throwing up and had some diarrhea, so she’s a little fussy today.”

And I would pick up my child and run to the car and never come back. How dare you bring that contagious bag of sick to spread her illness to me and mine? There is absolutely no excuse for bringing a kid with a stomach virus to a play date until she has been symptom free for minimum 48 hours. MINIMUM. And I think anyone who doesn’t abide by this rule should be arrested and publicly shamed. And I am not bluffing. I would 100% sign a petition to make this into a law. 

My child, when she was a toddler, would run to me for comfort when she was sick. I was Mommy. The one who administers hugs and cuddles and food and love. So when her stomach hurt, and she felt the nausea coming on, she would run right into my arms — and puke all over me. 

You guys. I am not a monster. I would never deny my child the comfort of my hugging. But when I tell you that you have never taken a shower as thorough as I did after these vomit-hugs, know I am serious. Not only would I wash my skin with the hottest possible water, I would use antibacterial hand soap, not meant for sensitive skin. Sometimes I would even use Lysol wipes — the kind used for cleaning toilets and sinks. I would bleach my clothes, or if they couldn’t be bleached, I would just throw them away. Then I would spray bleach all over the shower, to make sure none of the stomach virus particles remained in the tub. Such is my fear of stomach viruses.

So, when I gave Linda Fitzpatrick hyperemesis gravidarum, I wanted you to understand how very serious the situation was, and why Fanny was so concerned about her mother. When her mom can no longer work, the family’s finances take a turn for the worse, and Fanny has to do something to help. And while she can’t cure hyperemesis, she can ALWAYS help. Of course she can. She’s Fanny Fitzpatrick.


Dana Hammer will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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