USA Today Best of 2012

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Funny

This from one of those real-life cop footage shows:

Cop to possible DUI offender roadside: Sir, without moving your head, please follow the path of my flashlight with your eyes.

DUI dude: Well, I’ll try.

Cop: Whaddaya mean you’ll try? You got two good eyes, right?

Dude: No.

Cop: You got a glass eye or something?

Dude: No. I’ve got two glass eyes.


Happy Halloween, everybody!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Book renewal - Failure or resolve?

My copy of Duma Key is due back at the library tomorrow and I’m not yet halfway through it! What is it about renewing a book that makes me feel like I’ve failed? I’m certainly enjoying the book, reading every chance I get. And of course there wouldn’t even BE the option to renew, if others didn’t need it. I could list my excuses, such as the book is so big and heavy, I don’t tote it around with me like I would something smaller, plus I’m writing again (at long last!) in my free time. Still, I can’t help feeling I haven’t quite done what I set out to do, the last three weeks…

Does anybody else feel guilty, inadequate, or otherwise less-than-literate if you don’t finish a book during the original loan time, or am I just nuts?

Autumn
Got romance?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

This week's review selection: Fearless by Diana Palmer. Harlequin, 2008

This hard back book was on the New Selections shelf of my library. I liked the title and the blurb sounded interesting, so I took a chance. Even though I’ve never read anything by this author who has apparently published around 100 titles.

On the positive side, Fearless was a fast read. No mechanical issues or misspellings to interrupt. And kudos to Palmer for giving us a less than perfect physically heroine who uses a cane.

As someone who writes and edits others’ work, however, I had a hard time staying involved with the story. Point of view shifted constantly, often mid-paragraph. The hero, Rodrigo — rich-boy-gone-DEA special operative undercover as a farm manager — believes he’s far better than the heroine, Gloryanne, who is an Assistant DA undercover as his farm cook. Neither knows the other’s true profession – a nice premise. Even though Rodrigo finds himself falling for Gloryanne, he repeatedly tells those around him what a lowlife she is. Unlike the tried and true romance plot where a heroine overhears a hero and misconstrues what he’s said, in this case Rodrigo really does think Gloryanne is unworthy of being his wife. Only after he learns she’s successful and connected to one of Texas’ wealthiest families does he have an about-face and suddenly love her. In today’s politically correct climate, Rodrigo’s attitude is backward, perhaps even reprehensible, and definitely uncool. I’m not sure most readers will forgive him, and really, how could Gloryanne?

Sadly, I’d give this read a Don’t Bother.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!


Our rating system:

Get Your Own Copy! A book you love so much, no way are you loaning it out. Worthy of high praise and frequent recommendations – but trust us, if you let someone borrow this one, they’ll “forget” to return it. Don’t miss the next title by this author.

Keeper. You won’t regret either time or money spent with this book. It has a permanent spot on your shelf. Recommend it freely and lend it carefully to that trustworthy “inner circle” of reader friends. Put the author on your To Be Read list.

Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck. Well worth your time and money, but not necessarily worth a re-read. Pass it on to someone who’ll enjoy it and keep the author on your radar.

Borrow It. An okay read, but try to borrow it from a friend or library. This author will likely improve with experience, so remember him/her.

Don’t Bother. We won’t sink into varying degrees of badness – one size fits all in our “not worthy” category. Do remember, this is just one opinion, so take us with a grain of salt.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time out for Tubesday

I just love this guy, Dylan Moran.

This little clip is on his thoughts about Americans in general, and Ahnold as governor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlLpCh-lE54&feature=related

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Love Marilyn

And no, I don’t mean “Norma Jean.” I mean Marilyn vos Savant, the genius (I am NOT being facetious) who writes a weekly column for Parade Magazine. People write in with their toughest questions or puzzles and she answers them. Sometimes she has word games or trivia questions. I subscribe to the paper just for Parade, and she’s my favorite part. (Second place goes to all the snippets about celebs in the “PersonalityParade” section, but only because they often feature Hugh Laurie…)

Marilyn featured this word a couple of weeks ago. I just love it. It’s schemozzle, which means “a totally confused state of affairs”. Now that’s a fun word.
www.parade.com/marilyn

Whose household hasn’t been in a schemozzle the first day of school, or on Christmas Eve? How about the last hour of loading up for a road trip or the first week after a move? Or hey, maybe about half hour before dark on Halloween, when your kids are trying to costume up and those early bird trick-or-treaters keep showing up at the door, even though you’ve got the lights out (do you know how hard it is to paint “lips like wine” on Snow White in the dark?) because you forgot to buy candy, have handed out all the loot your kids scored at their school parties that day, plus the Easter bunny’s leftover stash from atop the fridge, and your hubby (who absolutely refuses to ignore the doorbell and play not-at-home) is now handing out cans of soda, VHS tapes, and packs of AA batteries. Yeah, that’s a schemozzle, all right. Good times, though. And it only happens once. After that, you learn to be one of those early bird families.


Autumn
Got romance?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mommy out of the loop

Sad news yesterday. I was substituting at my son’s school and a girl from his class told me he and his girlfriend (his first one!) had broken up. “Like a month ago.” Well, my first reaction was to try and remember if he’d had a particularly blue or moody day recently. My poor little boy and his first love – over. And then I couldn’t believe he hadn’t told me. Mind you, I’m not deluded enough to believe he tells me everything. But… this is a biggie!

It’s not like I expected – or even wanted – them to be a forever item. But she was a really sweet, quiet kid. Friendly and respectful, you know? No hoochie vibes whatsoever. And how could I not know this vital thing? I used to know everything that happened to him all day long!

The newsbearer seemed rather pleased about the breakup. Rather like she’s interested, herself. And I’m not sure how I feel about that. Maybe I need some time to heal, first. Maybe I’d rather have him just be my boy again for a couple years.


Autumn
Got romance?





Thursday, October 23, 2008

Funny for ya!

Found this one in Parade Magazine.
http://cartoons.parade.com/main.php?g2_itemId=257

Autumn
Got romance?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

Our version of a book review. Ratings are as follows:

Get Your Own Copy! A book you love so much, no way are you loaning it out. Worthy of high praise and frequent recommendations – but trust us, if you let someone borrow this one, they’ll “forget” to return it. Don’t miss the next title by this author.

Keeper. You won’t regret either time or money spent with this book. It has a permanent spot on your shelf. Recommend it freely and lend it carefully to that trustworthy “inner circle” of reader friends. Put the author on your To Be Read list.

Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck. Well worth your time and money, but not necessarily worth a re-read. Pass it on to someone who’ll enjoy it and keep the author on your radar.

Borrow It. An okay read, but try to borrow it from a friend or library. This author will likely improve with experience, so remember him/her.

Don’t Bother. We won’t sink into varying degrees of badness – one size fits all in our “not worthy” category. Do remember, this is just one opinion, so take us with a grain of salt.

First selection for review: This Charming Man, by Marian Keyes, Harper Collins 2008.

A main theme of this book – revenge – is one of our favorites.

Four very different women. One very debonair politician who changes each of their lives. Humor, mystery, romance, alcoholism, second chances, violence…this book truly has it all. Women’s fiction from Ireland just seems to be the bomb.

Keyes sheds new light on alcoholism and the tumbled thought processes of victims on both sides of the bottle. Likewise domestic violence. It’s so easy to be the outsider condemning “those stupid women” who put up with it. An inside look is both enlightening and terrifying.

The women are so real, I found myself relating to all of them, pulling my hair at their demise, and rooting for one incredibly "heroic" heroine, who has the most to lose and risks it all to help the others.

The dry wit made me laugh out loud, often. I was shocked to the point of exclaiming out loud (EOL?) and cheered like crazy at the climactic revenge. And yes, thanks to both a new romance and one meant-to-be relationship repair, I got my awwwwwsome ending.

Rating? Absolutely, positively, without a doubt Get your own copy!
I’ve now got a request at the library for Keyes’ backlist.

On the nightstand: Stephen King’s Duma Key. It’s no disappointment so far, I tell you. King sinks us right into the hero’s poor, addled brain.

Autumn
Got romance?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Time out for Tubesday

Hereafter, we are dubbing this second day of the dreaded workweek as "Tubesday" - a day to click a link, sit back, and savor a trailer or silly video from YouTube.

Today's selection?

The trailer for Sutton Fox's Lion Tamers.

Enjoy!

Autumn
Got romance?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Accent on sexy

Since it's Monday and it hurts to think about serious stuff...

We're looking for input on what accent is sexiest?

Irish?
English?
Finnish? (heh)
Or perhaps, Jamaican, man?

Leave us a comment!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Music and Lyrics

Fabulous Friday and I just had to share – my pal Felicity Kates recommended this movie, and it’s great.

Here's the Amazon link for it if you'd like to read the blurb...

Of course, I’m a big Hugh Grant fan, but back to the movie.

Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. Hugh plays the perfect 80’s has been pop star (his butt shaking reminded me of dear George Michaels every time) and Drew plays a wonderful, average, insecure wannabe writer. They are hilarious together. A laugh a minute, and a very “ohmantic” ending. (couple of cute songs, too)

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pardon me during a brief rant

Sometimes when people get busy, they forget common etiquette (i.e. professional behavior). To wit:
In May, I queried An Agent Who Will Remain Unnamed. By email. Just a letter, mind you, but every well-aimed query is built on plenty of research (what the agent is looking for, who she has sold in the past, how to reach her, what she wants to see included in a submission).
It’s now October, and frankly after five months I’d figured this would be one of those unreplied-to queries. But, no. Yesterday I got a reply! (Fantastic; now I can put a definitive answer in the Reply column of the Big Ass Spreadsheet.)

The reply said – and I quote – “Sorry, not for me.” Followed by a clever contraction of her first and last name. No introduction, greeting, nothing.

Really?

We’ve all heard other writers complain about getting the “form” rejection letter, but hey, at least a form letter is courteous! I’m not asking for a full critique or even a reason for the rejection. Seriously though, would it kill this person to set up a signature in her email program, name it Kiss Off, Fledgling Writer! or Too Damn Busy to Do More, and type in a professional sentence or two? Then all she’d have to do is copy the author’s name from the email below, paste it, and then insert the signature. What would that take, ten minutes, tops?

I realize signing a new author is a risk for an agent. Unless he sells this writer’s work to a very BIG publisher, he’s looking at earning 15% of a pittance, until the author grows a readership. Lots of work for little return. And of course, he has nothing at all to gain from a writer he rejects.

Except maybe down the road, that writer nourishes her fan base, improves her craft, promos her butt off, and starts to really move books. She’ll probably stop to think, “Hey. If Agent Unnamed wasn’t Miss Manners with me, perhaps she’s not a friendly pro with editors, either. Do I want her representing me with potential publishers?” Er, no.

Autumn

Got romance?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happiness is a good book.

After many failed attempts, I scored this weekend at the library. Their copy of Stephen King's Duma Key was in. woohooo! Needless to say, it is now checked out....

Ever since I saw the trailer for that book, I've wanted to read it. And have really just been too darn poor to afford a hard cover copy of my own.

Still finishing up This Charming Man by Marian Keyes, which I found on the New Rack at our library. I'm totally loving it and wishing could spend the day curled up reading the end.

Next to public schools, libraries may be the best public instution in America.


Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Keep warm this fall

Check out this hot short story by my friend Jasmine Black, Marital Affair.

It's available now from Mystic Moon Press.

Autumn

Got romance?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chance for free money

Who couldn't use a little extra money and some free entertainment these days?

My pal, Author Sutton Fox, is hosting a contest on her web site where you can win lots of great prizes.

Check it out!

SuttonFox.com

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happiness

It's a good day when you find a box of clothes you forgot you had. And inside are one of your favorite winter things EVER - sheepskin slippers!

Very happy today.

Autumn
Got romance?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"True" Love

Today I’m thinking about baby love. Not a childhood crush, and not that sudden urge many of us feel to have a baby. This is the deep, binding, instant love between a new parent and infant. The kind of love that feels about 10,000 times stronger than any romantic love.

My friend Amanda just became a new mommy (and I’d like to add, she’ll probably be the world’s best at it!). When I saw the first photos of her and her beautiful little girl, I recognized that true love. There’s nothing in the world to send your heart soaring like having a new baby. This isn’t “thank God above I lived through labor” happy, or “I can probably fit my feet into my shoes again” happy. It’s “Oh my God. I am in love like I’ve never been before” happy. The very best part? When your baby looks at you, you can see that she loves you right back. And she’ll keep on loving you, no matter what.

What an awesome feeling. I remember days when my son was tiny, some days all I did was feed him, change him, and snuggle. While he was awake, we’d stare into one another’s eyes. While he slept, I’d stare at him until I fell asleep, too. Just couldn’t get enough of his amazingness.

Seeing that look on my friend’s face, along with her words yesterday, “I’m so glad she’s mine”, gives me warm goosebumps. And a few happy tears.

The new daddy looks like he’s in love, too. Just like he should be.

Autumn
Got romance?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Paper or cloth?

What’s your preferred type of book?

Are you a paperback person, loving the compact, lightweight, cheap version of the printed word?

Or do you prefer a good, solid hard cover edition for its feeling of permanence and general worthiness?

I’m a paperbacker. I love the way a well-loved paperback wears, love feeling free to dog-ear pages as I like (I’d never, ever, dog-ear in a hard cover), love shoving one in my purse for reading in a waiting room or a long line.

Not that I won’t snap up hard cover editions of my friend’s books when they come out, then happily pay for their heft when I mail them off for autographs! And those spines will probably stay forever in tact. Can’t wait.



Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

On Napping

Watching the “submarine races” is for teenagers. “Listening to the pillows” is for Moms.

Confuscius say: He who try to nap during neighbor’s target practice not get much rest.

Note to self: Gun control might be a cause complementary to The Nationwide Siesta Measure.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Read more on Piper's Siesta Measure, see Decisive Issues

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tiny Retraction

On reading my remaining RWRs, I did find a really fabulous reason for being an RWA member: Reading the Contest Winners segment and seeing a friend’s names up in lights. (see former blog post )

Congratulations, Mary Murray for taking 1st place in the Windy City 4 Seasons contest in the Historical category! Remember is a fabulous story. Can’t wait til the day I get to blog about your contract for it…

You rock, baby.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I know the real reason guys have a higher metabolism

…and it’s not because fate is fickle, genes are a gyp, or because we women are doomed to bear heavier crosses (or derrieres).

The real reason is simple: Men burn more calories per hour because they are genetically unable to sit still!

Even enthralled by The History Channel, my husband must beat a tattoo on an end table with the remote, flip his phone open and shut, or thrum his fingers on something. Endlessly. Just when I get him to stop one, he starts up with another.

Maybe the Need to Twitch is an evolutionary holdover – he’s got to keep adrenaline flowing in case of attack by a neighboring clan and he needs to protect his territory (brother-in-law showing up to borrow a tool) or some type of prey stumbles into his path (the batch of cookies coming out of the oven? Hey, with two adolescents around, he’d better be able to pounce fast!).

So, if I start Twitching, too, will I drop pounds or just get carpal tunnel syndrome?

Autumn

Thursday, October 2, 2008

8 Degrees of Broke

This post is dedicated to everyone who’s ever opened the mailbox to find the dreaded “thin” envelope from their bank. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just close this window and be on your merry way. You won’t understand any of this.

Good, now that the one financially solvent person I know has left the room…

I’ve devised a Busted-ometer, a scale by which I can measure just how poor I am at any given time.

You’re a .... IF
$20 bill – You’re Broke But Not Overdrawn. Funds are low in the ole checking account, but things should be fine till payday.

$10 bill – You’ve avoided checking your balance online. Ignorance is bliss, right? Still, you hold your breath while waiting for the debit transaction approval at the grocery checkout.

$5 bill – You borrow money from your kids (with or without asking) to get by till payday. Because hey, chances are they got their money from you anyhow. Danny’s Song, by Anne Murray, says it all. Love can surely solve any financial woes.

$1 bill – By transferring that last $6.47 from savings to checking, you just may have saved your ass from the NSF Ogre. Heave a sigh of relief. Relish it, cause here come your kids. They need money for a yearbook/school pictures/field trip. Today.

Half dollar coin – No poorhouse for you, baby! You turn in your recycling and come away with a nifty sum. Kudos to you, my thrifty green friend. And just in the nick of time - you’ve run out of shampoo. Now instead of using the bottle of crappy stuff you pilfered from your last hotel stay, you can afford to buy yourself a trial size bottle of a drugstore brand!

Quarter – In a sudden moment of genius, you rifle through old purses and coat pockets. And come away newly, if temporarily, flush. You play Danny’s Song on purpose. In the words of Anne, “Everything’s gonna be alright.”

Dime – It’s your lucky day! The $2 rebate check from Procter & Gamble has finally arrived!

Nickel – Some wealthy person in your family forgot to empty their pockets before undressing. Which means a windfall for you, the launderer. They’ll never miss that buck and a quarter, will they?

Penny – This is a low day. You’ve scrounged just enough change to buy toilet paper. And hey, who cares if it’s generic? It beats swiping a roll from the gas station restroom. Even if the teenage cashier did roll her eyes at you when the last buck fifty was green pennies with odd bits of stuff stuck to them. Unfortunately, you return home to find you’re totally out of ketchup/sandwich bread/any other staple your family positively cannot be without. Thank the lord above for that crumpled scratch ticket worth $3 under the floormat of your car.

Chuck E. Cheese token – You’ve been out of mascara for 4 days. But remember that thing you’ve gotta return to Wal-Mart? Cash in hand, baby! Cover Girl Aisle, here ya come. Too bad you’ve got to save those bucks so you can put one more gallon of fuel in your car, which will just get you to the bank with your paycheck tomorrow. Why’d the DJ have to play Danny’s Song now?

This, too, shall pass.
Broke is temporary condition.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!