USA Today Best of 2012

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Too Done 2009

Before I get ahead of myself and start dreaming what I'd like to accomplish next year, I thought I'd pause to reflect on my Too Done List big items for this year:
  • 18 years after the dentist told me to do it, and after 15 years of ouch, I finally got rid of those painmaker wisdom teeth and another molar they'd crushed beyond repair. Feels great!
  • Published my first book, Waiting for Revenge, along with Lone Star Trouble. (I'd call that a twofer)
  • Made peace (and jokes) with many middle-schoolers during my longterm subbing assignment -- and somehow the house did not crumble or fall into bio-hazarddom in the interim
  • Wiped out that bastard spider and all his little friends too, with my many cans of Raid. Teach him to bite me with his nasty dirty mouth and infect my arm! Our home may not be chemical free, but it will remain arachnid-free, I vow it.
  • Managed to ferry two kids around to their baseball practice and games all summer
  • Conquered the Old Lady Acne (hey, it was big for me) and held ground in the ever-escalating battle against GuyBrows
  • Mastered my Sony Reader
  • Joined a bookclub
  • Started (writing) one novel and have almost finished another (give me the weekend and it'll be done)
  • Edited 9 books released this year
  • Accumulated about 100 more Facebook friends -- who are all really my friends, because I ditched the dead weights
  • Laundered and folded approximately 575,000 loads of wash
  • Indentured my kids into dishwashing slavery (feels almost as good as losing the painmakers)
  • Cleaned the toilets. Once. (Kidding! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention)

A happy and productive 2010 to you!

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yes! We're Closed

I've been kinda hiding out, spending lots of facetime with my laptop this week. In one of those beautiful, marvelous, fantastic spurts of inspiration, aka writing.

It's kinda like being "born again" for me, because (between you, me, and the rest of the 'net) I'd honestly worried whether I could still write or not, it's been so long since I had.

Good news, though. I can.

Off to do just that!

Autumn - OUT

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

My daughter loves to dress herself up in fabric remnants, then practice sweeping pseudo-balletic moves around the house, often to no music at all, and of course with as large an audience as she can drum up. So last night she outfitted herself in some gauzy black and white number gathered with hair clips and secured with bobby pins, and presented us with the following invitations:

Mademn Lady (I think she's onto something here. This spelling bespeaks of respect, whereas "madam" just makes me think of madman -- not at all solemn or prestigious. Now who do I write about getting this spelling altered?)
Dad got Sir Dad (also quite solemn and dignified, as opposed to Corn-fuscius...)

The neatly folded purple construction paper opened to:
You are gradually invited to Lindsey's dance recietal! Join me as I prance throughout the floor as soon as all the lights go out! Please accept a front row seat on the sofa!

I had to run the spotlight (aka Mag flashlight), but it was definitely a show like no other.

Happy Tuesday.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Movie Monday

Small deviation this week - no sucky Monday tales. Instead, I'll review a movie I watched this weekend: The new Star Trek.

I should qualify this review by saying, I'm by no means a trekkie, but I do enjoy the old Star Trek movies and the (few) original TV episodes. That said, I only occasionally watched The Next Generation and have had no interest in subsequent series. But I did really want to see what they'd done with our original characters.

The verdict? Pleasant surprise. Lots of humor -- poor old Kirk really does get his butt kicked left and right in this movie, but comes through it like a champ, albeit a bruised one. He's always got a smart remark, plenty of womanizing comments, and those pretty eyes of his... yum. The plot? Awesome! Very nice job creating parallel fiction in the space-time continuum. Wonderful subplot romance between Spock and Uhura, Spock remains an endearing enigma as always. And having Nimoy (the Real Nimoy! LOL) on the scene just sealed the deal for me. I'd give this one 5 stars. So glad we bought it!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hohohoping everybody has a wonderful holiday. In the spirit of giving, Harlequin is giving away 12 free ebooks (freeeebooks). I've read several of these, as they were also given away in HQ's anniversary celebration earlier this year -- and they were quite good.

Check it out. Might be something good to do while the Mister dozes in front of a football game. This is a link to Books on Board, but I suspect you can also get the titles at the Harlequin site.

On a personal note, I'm pleased as punch with some new nifty Crocs, a badass paper trimmer (thanks eA, now I can get to work on those Venus bookmarks), and from Santa -- my very own large and small Maglite flashlights. Don' hate me cuz my flashlight is soooo BIG.

Merry Christmas!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Best in Class

This one earns a double nomination -- for Best Boss, and for Best Gift:

Our friend Sandor moved here as an adult from Hungary, and has gone home to visit a few times, but none of his family has been to the U.S. and he didn't expect they ever would, unless he flew there and accompanied them on their trip (not so many signs in Hungarian to aid the nonEnglish speakers throughout our airports). Factor in the financial aspect for his widowed mother and teen brother, and he pretty much planned on doing the visiting -- a real bummer because he'd no doubt love to show off his beautiful baby girl.

Enter one generous boss, who bought tickets for Mom and little Brother to visit this Christmas, one Wonderful Wife who managed to keep it secret for 3 months, right up through the trip to the airport with his boss to pick up "some friend of the boss's daughter". Yah, it was a pretty big surprise, and a pretty good one. His last text our way was a heartwarming, "Best ever Xmas!"

Kinda makes me wanta go hug his boss.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Autumn Piper
Got holiday spirit?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Guest spot for Piper

Today I'm celebrating the release of A Fireman for Christmas as guest over at the Whipped Cream blog. We're chatting about those yummy firemen, so do stop by.

Huge congrats to pal Nyla Rose on her release of Yuletide Fire. Go Nyla!

May your holiday prep go smoothly and your dollars stretch like Elasta-Girl,

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Chances to Win

Leave a comment over at Nights of Passion for a chance to win a copy of Lone Star Trouble today.

Also, small update: after several long soaks/stain cycles and lots of OxyClean, all my holiday keepsakes are nearly clean. Only one stuffed snowman shows signs of his traumatic mildewy imprisonment, and the Mom stocking has a couple of battle scars.

Hooray for OxyClean!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm all over the place today.

Take a gander at my interview over at Nights of Passion and leave a comment for your chance to win an ebook copy of Waiting for Revenge.

Also... I'm guest holiday blogger over at Long and Short Romance Reviews, chatting about romantic holiday traditions. It's an opportunity to snag a copy of Lone Star Trouble, or -- if you meet my challenge head-on -- to win both Lone Star Trouble and my upcoming release, Trouble Under Venus.

Happy Monday, and may your holiday shopping be nearly at an end.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Friday, December 18, 2009

...And to all, wi-fi.

I had to share this article -- it's great news.

Of course, highlight for me is probably the dig to high-end hotels still charging for wi-fi, but... really?

Wi-fi has come to be an amenity people expect, and the reasoning seems to be, if the establishment has it, then why charge the public for it? Which is pretty much where I am.

And who knows how many people in this economy might decide to hang out with their laptop in a McDonald's sipping coffee instead of a Starbucks while working on whatever. Maybe somebody will sit at a McDucks and write the next amazing tween/YA series!!!

Happy Friday, everybody. I'm looking at the next two weeks "off", at least from the Teacher Stunt Double gig.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Book vs. Movie Review

Once again, I've been disappointed by a movie which didn't live up to the book.

The book? Q and A, by Vikas Swarup. The movie: Slumdog Millionaire.

The premise: A very poor young Indian man wins a record amount on a quiz show, then gets arrested on suspicion of cheating.

Don't get me wrong; I think the movie was... okay... as movies go. However, when comparing plot and characterization, the book stands head and shoulders above. Some of the things they changed for the movie, I just didn't get. Like the jackpot amount. Why? Why change that? And the real reason he was arrested... why?

I do have to wonder, though, if someone saw the movie first and fell in love with its story, then read the book, would they feel the same way?

Things that make ya go "hmm".

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tube Tuesday

This is an oldie (1985) but still relevant, this time of year when we think about others less fortunate. Plus, it's really cool to see all the celebs way-back-when.

We Are the World

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Far Suckier Than Monday

Today's big gripe most likely falls partly under the "My own damn fault" category, but...

We got our Christmas tree this weekend and hauled in all the totes full of ornaments and lights, household decorations, holiday wrap, etc. and had a very nasty (and sad) surprise. My favorite snowglobe apparently froze last winter and the pressure pushed open the plug at the bottom, spewing all the lovely fluid out into a tote full of all kinds of treasures. The chemically spill wasn't bad enough though -- since it was in an airtight container, everything mildewed. My collection of stuffed snowmen, all the little battery powered dancing snowmen, penguins, etc, the big dancing Santa, and worst of all: Our stockings, which I sewed by hand before I even had a sewing machine, the year my daughter was born. :( Big black mildew spots accompanied by some lovely rust marks.

This really does suck.

Piper Denna
Mildew is not sexy.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lesson in Legumes

I cooked a big pot of pinto beans and ham for dinner one night this week, which I always serve with the tried and true bread & butter (Parkay! -- sorry, just had to). So when we sit down and start filling our bowls, hubbyhead piles in the beans, then tops them with a couple of huge tablespoons of butter (Parkay! -- it's like a mild form of Tourette's. Impossible to control). I raise a brow at him and he replies, deadpan, "Now they're butter beans."

And here I had no idea...

Happy Friday!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Next Fitness Craze?

After shoveling my way out of 2 feet of recent snow, I came inside thinking the state should include a fee in property taxes to provide a snowblower with every residence. This might prevent quite a few heart attacks. On the other hand... it is a damn good workout. So maybe we should go the other way with this. It's gotta burn more calories than just about every machine in a gym. Perhaps somebody should find a way to simulate snowshoveling on a fitness machine! (Although I can't decide whether the aerobic benefits would be enhanced or decline in a controlled climate where your nostrils aren't freezing together...)

Of course, the machine should have different modes for maximum fitness benefit:

  • Warm-up -- aka Just Enough Snow Fell to Necessitate Shoveling mode -- makes you think maybe your 6-year-old is big enough for this job
  • Speedwork --aka I'm So Dang Late for Work mode -- where you've gotta go for all you're worth, burning lungs included
  • Strength mode -- aka The Storm from Hell Just Passed Over and Left Me a Few Hundred Acre-Feet of Superwet Snow mode -- you know, the heavy, deep stuff that makes you wonder why humans continue to live in places like Wisconsin and Minnesota
  • Intervals -- aka Wasn't Freaking Snow Enough of a Curse? The Wind Had to Blow Too? mode -- simulates those marvelous snow drifts alternating with thinner bits
  • Cool-down -- aka Standing Out by the Mailbox Leaning on the Shovel and Chatting with Old Mr. Peterson about his Overactive Bladder mode -- where the rivulets of sweat running from your stocking cap become runnels of ice pasted to your cheeks and damp layers chill you into a shivering mess of achey muscles

Yeah, I know. It does sound fun, doesn't it? Think of all the specialized fitness gear this sport would need... Ergonomic shovels with special squishie handles, fur-trimmed workout shorts, spangly/sparkly weight belts, hot pink fingerless gloves, and dear God, the legwarmers... think of the legwarmers!!! This idea just might save the economy if it falls into the right hands.

Have a great Thursday.

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday - a review

This week I'm reviewing Jennifer Crusie's Anyone But You. (I read it on the Reader!) Actually obtaining it was a bit of a tribulation, as I'd originally purchased it with a discount from doing a review, but ended up with some wonky format for Palms which I was supposed to be able to convert to usefulness with software -- but never could. Eventually I just bought it with a discount from Fictionwise.

Crusies' note at the beginning says readers call this "Fred's book" and I can see why.

Fred is a beagle/basset mix who Nina (the heroine) adopts in the opening scene. She's after a perky puppy but ends up with a middle-aged, saggy, somewhat depressed overeater. He does help cheer her up, however, and makes her new apartment less lonely. After a long divorce and even longer time when her house on the uppity side of town was for sale, she's finally on her own, doing just what she wants. Everybody thinks she's nuts, but she's okay with that.

Teaching Fred to use the fire escape so he can "walk" himself down to the building's back yard for potty breaks proves to be a boon when he goes back in her downstairs neighbor's window instead of hers. And downstairs is yummy Alex - a handsome, single, and younger than Nina ER doc.

I like the way these two characters are instantly comfy together, hang out to watch TV, and even "rescue" one another from dates. Nina's hangups about her age are easy for us as readers to wave off, but also relatable and realistic. As a secondary character, Fred is something of a scene-stealer. Very cute. Of course you'll root for Fred's mom and dad to get together, and afterward you'll think of him often and wonder how he's doing.

Anyone But You is a Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck.

Up next: Heartbreakers, by Lori Foster

Happy Wednesday,

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tube Tuesday

Damn. And I thought it would be awesome to be Cindy Crawford before...

Bon Jovi Please Come Home for Christmas

Well, what can I say? It's romantic.

Autumn Piper
Got romance? (I should hope so, after watching that!)

Monday, December 7, 2009

No-Suck Cleaning Tip

Even though this blog isn't really "about" housecleaning stuff (and that's one of my least favorite topics/activities), I did want to share this quick tip, gleaned from a kind friend of mine who used to clean houses for a living.

If you've got one of those bumpy fiberglass showers or tubs, you'll know what a drag it can be to remove soap scum and water stains from them. (Or, if you've got an antique cast-iron, porcelain-coated clawfoot tub that was last cleaned 15 years before you took it over...) The quick and clean answer? Oven cleaner. Cheap off-brand stuff works just fine here. Spray it on and leave the offending room for an hour or so (close the door behind you so no pets decide to head in and sample the neat foamy stuff). When you return, removing stuck-on goop is a cinch. Make sure to use gloves and turn on the exhaust fan or open a window, lest all the good guck in your lungs also be stripped away.

So that's my tip -- probably the extent of my miniscule cleaning knowledge, other than using liquid dish soap to treat grease stains in the laundry. Hope it helps somebody out when prepping for holiday guests.

May your Monday be fast and nonsucky.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wee spot o' news

So I was playing tag yesterday (well, not playing, so much as working, and it wasn't really hard to catch the object of my attention, because I was actually on Amazon tagging my books so they'll come up in searches more readily) and came across something quite thrilling. Pardon me while I yell it:


Yes, I know. I was excited, too. Release date shows as December 31st on our Amazon, but in Canada it says January 1. Either way... squeeeeeeeee!

This means all those people I know who don't really "get" ebooks will finally believe I am a published author. squeeeeee!

In other news, young Fuscius-etta turns a strapping 12 years old tomorrow. (when I think back to 12 years ago... hoooboy. What a miserable time. I didn't even wish for it all to be over -- I was certain it would be soon, and I'd be dead. ugg. Having another baby wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to have the baby, ya know... it was not a good childbirth. Definitely not a textbook delivery) Anyway. We're going to see David Archuleta (double squeeeee on her behalf) live -- in concert -- and I'll bare my soul further today and admit this is my. Very. First. Concert. Aside from seeing part of a live Nelson performance at a 6 Flags park in 1992, when I'm pretty sure they were already on their way out, oh and whiny little SIL was along so we had to stand in BACK because the loud noise hurt her ears. Good God. I dare say, this will be much more fun. One swooning pre-teen, a good galpal, me, and about 1000 other screamin tweens and their kind moms. Oh, and one cutie petutie ArchieKid up on stage crooning to us all.

Are ya excited yet, eA? :)

Happy Friday, I'm off the 5th Grade class of Children of the Corn today. Pray for me and wish me hair at day's end.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gone Tubin' Again

Today's tube is the special Christmas trailer for Waiting for Revenge. Since the story is set between Thanksgiving and New Year's, I made both "regular" and holiday versions. (and only a minute long, too, which is tough)

Waiting for Revenge Christmas

Have a great one and stay warm.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Can we heal the rift?

We have a serious, swept-under-the-rug problem in this society. Nobody really talks about it, but it's there, destroying things we hold dear and undermining relationships.

I think it's a fairly modern problem, although our ancestors may have dealt with it in milder form. Today I'm looking for solutions, suggestions, and similar stories. With any luck, maybe I can start a grass-roots movement and get some public education going.

Educating couples (particularly men!) at the onset of committed relationships would go a long way toward closing the gap.

So, you might be asking (WTH is she yammering about?), what is this big conundrum?

The trouble starts when a non-laundry-doing partner in a relationship leaves something (valuable or breakable or with possible destructive properties such as an ink pen) in HIS pockets and the item gets washed. And usually dried as well. Some items simply do not survive the tumbling and power-jetting of a modern washing machine, which is likely to infuriate the negligent owner of said pocketed item. Of course, other clothing can also be ruined in the process, which is likely to infuriate the owner of said clothing (otherwise why in the name of Hercules would she have bothered to wash the damn clothes??? She'd simply have thrown them in the garbage if she wanted them ruined!).

Inevitably, NonLaundryDoer blames LaundryDoer for Not. Checking. Pockets. (wherein somebody's head immediately spins in circles while green guck spews from her lips)

Hello? Is not the fact that she is washing his freaking clothes enough burden to lay upon her soft shoulders? Now she's got to poke thru his pocket lint in search of useful items too?

LaundryDoer, naturally (and correctly) argues that it was HIS responsibility to remove his shit from his pockets before depositing his clothing in the hamper. *with her arms folded over her chest*

Well, there you have the crux of it, and boy has this caused problems in many a relationship.

Stalemate? I think not. The solution is to find someone these men admire/trust/adore and have him or her educate them, whether through a stand-up comedy act, an episode of South Park/Reno 911, or Public Service Announcements in Sports Illustrated and during half-times and The Victoria's Secret Fall Fashion Show. There's got to be a way to get to these men, I just know it. After all, we know they are wrong...

So please, offer up your war stories or suggestions, or even just a funny laundry-oops story.

Myself, I've washed everything from receipts and checks to pocket-knives (God if only I had a buck for every time the pocket knife when into the washer, and I got hollered at for it. You know, it's not good for knives to get so wet...) to screws, wirenuts, a red ink pen (neato permanent design inside my dryer and on the rest of the load), cans of Copenhagen (yuck and super yuck), too many lip balms to count (and did I yell and berate myself for leaving them in my jeans pocket? heck no), a few Polly Pockets and Legos, Hot Wheels cars, pacifiers, hairbrushes (this is on purpose -- works really well to clean them up, but do pull the hair out of them first) and of course quite a few items belonging to the US Treasury. The last don't distress me in the least. I tend to pocket them with a grin. :D

Have a safe and laundry-surprise free day!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy! (laundry is not...)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tube Tuesday

This song says so much... really speaks to me (for me?), some days. Sure makes me wish I had an ocean to run away to, those times.

Have a great day.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Not sucky at all

Instead of the usual Monday gripedom:
Yesterday I got to take care of our a little friend (almost 14 months old) for a couple hours. And she's one of those mellow, easy-going kids...
She actually fell asleep while I held her, with the TV on, the family hanging out around us. Very sweet having a little one snuggled up against me. You know that dead-weight state they get in, let-it-all-hang-out kinda relaxed. Yeah, pretty sweet.
Brought back warm fuzzy memories.
Didn't suck at all.

Happy Monday to ya.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

For all those weary shoppers

This one goes out especially to my friend Kate (a hard-core Johnny fan)...

It's Mariah's fun and sexy version of a well-known Christmas song. Featuring Johnny Depp! Hubba hubba.

All I Want for Christmas is You

Happy Black Friday, everybody. May you find great deals on all you seek.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving treat

I probably did this last year, but...
Can't resist. It's Adam Sandler's Thanksgiving Song, and somebody paired it with funny pics. Have to admit too, in some of the photos, Sandler looks kinda cute. I never thought of him as cute before...

Hey! Shouldn't you be checking something in the oven right now?

Happy Thanksgiving.

Autumn Piper
Got turkey?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Good Things

Again, these are random:

  • I'm thankful that, after 15 years of varying degrees of pain, my wisdom teeth no longer hurt.
  • I'm thankful I will never, ever, have to get my wisdom teeth extracted again.
  • I'm thankful for my two cool kitties.
  • Yesterday I wrote an entire chapter, so I'm thankful my muse has not abandoned me like I'd feared. (and because I'm still scared of messing it up, that is ALL I'm gonna say)
  • To all my wonderful friends, I am grateful. They say love makes the world go round, but I think it's more likely friendship. :)
  • Every day the sun is out in full force, I am thankful. Love that sunshine!
  • I'm thankful I don't get ear- and nose-hair growing rampant like, erm... guys. Yikes. Seriously, as the population ages, it might be good to buy stock in tweezers and some painless hair removal apparati...
  • I am eternally thankful for uplifting bras, comfy shoes, and stretchy jeans. Thanks, fashion fairy!
  • I soooo totally thankful big earrings are back. Love them.
  • Tomorrow I'll be thankful Cornfuscius is cooking the turkey outside in a fryer while I've got the oven crammed full of other goodies.
  • Last but not least, I'm thankful for the XM/Syrius music stations on our DirecTV - especially The Blend.

Have a wonderful day tomorrow, everybody! Happy, happy turkey day.

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tube Tuesday

This video combines 3 of my favorite things: the ocean, a nifty beat, and Jack Johnson's ultra-soothing voice. It's like a nice warm bath for my soul.

Happy Tuesday.

Piper Denna
Soothing is sexy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Good Things

Before I get all caught up in this week's holiday riff-raff, thought I'd take a few minutes to think about what I'm thankful for. So here they are, some silly, some... not:

  • First, a biggie -- I'm thankful my husband and I both still have jobs.
  • I'm thankful for a woodburning stove and the big pile of firewood we gathered this year.
  • I'm thankful for over-the-counter hair color.
  • Almost daily, I'm thankful I have two healthy, well-behaved kids. (will have to tell them later)
  • SO thankful women's eyebrows don't become what mens' do when we age. :)
  • Superduper thankful today, because my pal just alerted me that Garfield County Library NOW HAS EBOOKS!!!!
  • I'm thankful for marvelous book covers from my publisher and cover artist extraordinaire, Renee Rocco.
  • Most days I'm pretty thankful for our DVR. I do still roll my eyes a bit when I see 75 episodes of Wizards of Waverly Place or Zach & Cody, or the ongoing hundreds of episodes of Modern Marvels and This Old House saved there, but hey: I'm totally OK with my son saving 25 Jay Leno Shows... perspective is important here.
  • I'm thankful for every new episode of Bones, House, and Glee.
  • I'm extra thankful nobody in my family has food allergies.
  • Today I'm thankful the RE-2 School District decided to take a full week off for Thanksgiving this year.

That's enough for now. We'll take a short YouTube break tomorrow, and maybe I'll have some more for Wednesday. Hopefully by then I'll be thankful for all the stuff I've crossed off my Too Done list, and still think my kids are well behaved...

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Funny - generation gap?

We had an appointment after school yesterday, and by the time we headed home, it was almost dinner time. The kiddos wanted to stop and eat, but Dad was waiting at home for dinner with us -- so I told them we were going straight home.

Darling daughter, in all her melodramatic outrage, gasps, "You have no idea what it's like to be growing!"

Yes, darling: when the mothership dropped me, I immediately obtained a full-grown body.

Is it okay for the older half of the generational chasm to roll her eyes?

Happy Friday!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The New Efficient - a Too Done List

I'm taking a radical new approach to "getting things done".

Instead of just making a to-do list with different priority levels (or time frames, or likelihood of gettting finished...) I will sketch out a to-do list in the morning, but thennnnnnn:

All those silly things we do throughout the course of the day, the tiny errands, the appointment making, the bringing in meat from the freezer to thaw, I'm going to add those under my list and CROSS THEM OFF as I do them. ha. So at the end of the day I've got this massive list off crossed-off items and only a few pristine undone ones. My To Do list has transformed to a Too Done list!

For example, today I started out with a list of editor-tasks to accomplish. But. I also got to write and mark off:

Washing the pots and pans (even those hiding in the oven)
a load of laundry
paying the cell bill
figuring out how to pay Cornfuscius' business liability insurance online (this was toughie - had to go to the website on the bill, register... everything. whew! But much more convenient for me, a pay-in-the-11th-hour kind of customer)

Course, I run into certain detours. For instance, while signing in my google ID so I could look up the scheduled release date for a new author I'm introducing myself to, I got stuck on my Blogger dashboard reading all the current (and old) Meg Cabot blog entries, which included watching highlights from and entire SNL episode, texting my friend about the blog entries... and now that editor task still glares at me from The List - unscribbled-off...

Which reminds me, I've got a meeting tonight and a scheduled chat and dinner to make... need to add those to The List also.

Now I'm stumped, though. Should I count making my own lunch as a job (well) done? And my nap? :)

Happy Thursday

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday - a review

This week (the last 3 days, really) I read Tempt Me at Twilight, by Lisa Kleypas. It's 3rd in the Hathaway series, and I'm totally bummed the next installment is not out until next summer!

Kleypas weaves a convincing network of secondary characters and setting, and manages to create a vortex around her hero and heroine, which sucks me in every time. Outstanding tension. Though Kleypas gets away with changing character point of view more often than most publishers allow, it's always obvious whose thoughts we're getting. As historicals go, hers are the perfect blend for me - not too much time describing outfits and decor. One of my favorite couples-to-be got some time in the limelight, and involved a little mystery, including a cliffhanger the writers of Dallas should envy. Made me suck in my breath and wish I'd never started reading the series until it was all published!

I highly recommend this set of books - for me, they go in the Keeper category.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tube Tuesday

This song totally inspires me. And is it my imagination, or is Bon Jovi's cleft getting better and better?


Piper Denna
Rock is sexy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things That Suck More Than Mondays

The old "Jesus" bait and switch.

Let me just say (lest I be struck down by lightning for the following diatribe), if you want to write a novel about characters being born again, the healing power of faith, or God in general, more power to ya.

But don't market it with a blurb to make it sound like mainstream fiction. Please. Not everyone wants or needs a good preaching-to during their pleasure reading. I think if the story is substantially faith-based, this should be included in a Content Warning.

Let me be a little more blunt. If I want to hear testimonials about Jesus Christ and how he changes lives and heals hearts, I can get that at church for free, off the 700 Club, or all over the internet (and in numerous un-asked-for emails). For free. I don't need to drop $5.50 of my hard-earned money on Fictionwise.

So there's my Weekly Peeve. 80 pages in and I gave up on this novel. Liked the premise, found the characters' sudden emotional upheaval a bit old-school Harlequin, hated all the church talk. Not a recommended read for me, Full Time Wife, by Anna Dynowski.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Friday, November 13, 2009


I blogged a little (okay, a lot) over at Lyrical Press today.

Talking about new language.

Check me out.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Has the applause stopped yet?

Watched the CMA awards last night, and was so happy to see Miss Taylor Swift win -- she probably needed to pull home a trailer behind her limo, to transport her awards. I love how CMA inserted a skit where an elderly gentleman interrupted one of the emcees to talk about how great her video was (note to MTV: this did NOT make you look cool or provide any positive publicity so you might consider that next time you decide to seat an "interrupter" in the front). Taylor also thanked everyone in the room for not running up on the stage, during one of her acceptance speeches. The thing I like about her is the way kids relate to her and her music - they don't only idolize her, but feel connected. And she so darn sweet!

Is there a Triple Crown at the CMA awards? I think Ms. Swift might have won it: Album of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Entertainer of the Year. Pretty big deal for a 19-year-old. And I started out watching on behalf of my daughter to give her a report this morning (well, that and to see George Strait, every glimpse is like gold, ya know), but totally teared up during her final speech.

In other gossip, Reba McEntire looks great for her age, Barbara Mandrell... well, she's aging but still looks good, and the Judds - a little clownish on the makeup, IMO. As for LeAnn Rimes, I don't know WTF? but my daughter said, "Um. Halloween is over." Looked like her makeup crew was going for the Uncle Fester look. Not good.

The Zac Brown Band performed probably the best rendition of Devil Went Down to Georgia, at least that I've ever seen. Very cool.

And last but not least, my own dear George Strait performed and was up for a few awards. Sadly, he didn't walk away with any huge glass trophies, (and even lost out to Taylor Swift for EOY, but hey, it's not like he hasn't got a pile of those awards at home!). Still, it's always great to see My George. *sigh*

Off to hang with a really sweet bunch of kiddos again today.

Happy Thursday!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday - a review

It finally happened. Fantasy Mountain got a less-than-stellar review, poste on

You'll have to scroll down to the Rebecca Bauman review - which has actually just been copied from Amazon. My first reaction, is... bummer. Somebody didn't "grow to love" my heroine? That's bad.

But then... meh. I mean, the reviewer thinks Brett is a cad for dropping his fiance Andrea - who tells him she's intent on sleeping with every man and woman at the resort. Hmm. I think he's... normal. He's carried this torch for Victoria for years and restrained himself, at great pain. Now he realizes this flame isn't going to die, and Andrea's not ready for marriage or monogamy. Cad?

So, could be perhaps she didn't really pay much attention to what she was reading, or could be evidence of the old adage, "Ya can't win 'em all."

Happy Humpday.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tube Tuesday

OK, I'm almost over my MJ kick, but had to post this one. It was filmed in Denver at the old McNichols arena - and it's the one where Michael's hair caught fire from the pyrotechnics!

Have a great Tuesday.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Things That Suck More Than Mondays

What's got the suck-ometer redlining today?

Being pushed around. People who think they can do/say whatever to you, because you won't raise a stir about it, because you're too damn nice.

Well, I'm in a bit of a stirred up mood (the old saying is perfect: Mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore) so today, a few people will be hearing from me in a not so nice way. Sometimes it seems like it'd be easier to be "that woman" -- you know the one. When she enters her doctor's office, the front office staff cringes. When she walks into her kids' school, the secretary wonders whose head is going to roll. She complains (loudly) about poor service or screwed up paychecks or an error on her bill. You get the picture. Wouldn't it be nice to have other people walk on eggshells, making sure they didn't do you wrong?

Off to raise a ruckus.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Funny

Another lyric-done-wrong by the lovely young Fusci-etta.

From Bon Jovi:

"Shot through the heart, and you're too lame!"

Sung to her brother, no less.

Kids. Can't use 'em for slave labor, can't trade 'em off for a MiniCooper.

Happy Friday!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

On ebooks and Nooks

You may (or may not) recall, when B&N stepped back into the ebook business, I blogged about it. Was so excited to have a big retailer giving so much spotlight time to ebooks. While the exposure is still a good thing, overall I'm disappointed with B&N.

Of course it was no surprise when they intro'd their new e-reader. They'd be silly not to sell one. I have to say, though, I'm not seeing its success. At least, not in the way they must be hoping it to succeed. (Note to B&N: You do not carry the retail muscle Amazon does. Readers aren't gonna "go for" another exclusive reading device.) If you buy a Nook, you're stuck buying ebooks for it from B&N. And sorry, but their selection just is NOT what Amazon's is. (Have I mentioned B&N's site is 2nd in slow-as-hellness only to DirecTV's??? It's like entering the net in 1994 going there.) Nooks have this fab "loaning" feature where you can send out ebooks you've purchased for a friend to borrow. Which would be bitchin', except that friend has to also own a Nook, a la Microsoft's Zune and its music share feature -- and just look at it's wild success compared to iPod, eh?

But my biggest gripe is NOT with the Nook. I've already got a reader, why do I care if B&N shoots itself in the profit-margin foot? What really grinds me is this: They've taken all the time to set up an ebook store, list these thousands of books, yet they are only selling in formats usable to the iPhone, Blackberry, and Nook. (oh yes, and of course you can read their books on a computer. Anybody notice how ebook sales have taken off since portable readers entered the market? Most ebook readers simply don't want to spend that much more facetime with their laptops.) It would've made much more retail sense for B&N to include formats the rest of us could use and buy, such as PDF, which almost all readers can utilize. Who knows, maybe since B&N owns Fictionwise, they figure they're already providing multi-formats.

Which brings me to another gripe (on a roll here): Fictionwise. I'm a card-carrying (well, a virtual card) member, yet I'm about to take my ebook $$ to Books on Board. Why? FW has so many great books - unavailable in PDF. WTF??? Every time I find a title I want, it's not available in PDF. It takes me ages to shop there, and then downloading the books and managing to open them (because of the DRMs on their Secure Adobe files) is always a new adventure.

Which reminds me, note to Sony: Your ebook library software sucks pond sludge. Yesterday it totally jacked my Secure Adobe downloads and pulled them into the Library but then wouldn't load them on my Reader. The Adobe Digital Editions software is nice, and free, although yesterday the update seemed to have made it function badly, turning a 10 minute coupon purchase into an hour-long loading ordeal...

All the hassles and time spent dealing with ebook conundrums (twice now I've bought books in formats which the sites told me I'd be able to use if I downloaded certain software, only to discover that hehhhll no, that file was NOT opening for me and what pissed me off even more than the money I was out, was the time I spent screwing with it)... well, it makes me feel like a techno-toddler. And lemme tell ya - I might not be a supergeek, but I do find my way around gadgets. Eventually. And often with the help of my tech-wiz bud, eA.

On the positive side, I've had excellent results with ebooks directly from both Lyrical Press (you get a zip file with all the formats inside. yippee!) and Harlequin. Simple, fast, and the files worked.

Just like it should be.

Happy Thursday.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Blog in motion

I've posted over on the LPI blog today.

Join me as I discuss relationship changes. :0

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tube Tuesday

And oldie but a goodie, and the outfits on the kids bring back fond memories:

I think it's safe to say the Pepsi Generation misses MJ.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

She begs, she pleads

Lone Star Trouble is up for a book-of-the-month award so I'm out campaigning for votes.

Here's the polling place:

Dark Divas reviews

What will I get if I win? A nifty graphic for my website, and bragging rights.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Friday!

Happy Halloween-Eve (not sure if that's quite proper, since Halloween is technically All Hallows Eve so now we have eve of an eve... but I digress).

I got two reviews in yesterday for Lone Star Trouble.
The first was a good review (however, I kept waiting for the big "but") so I can't complain:
Night Owl Romance

This second, is wonderful (and so is the reviewer's name ):
Dark Diva Reviews

I do very much appreciate the time and effort it takes these folks to do reviews. It's a big (generally unpaid) contribution to the industry as a whole. Thanks, reviewers!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, October 29, 2009


This is the official back cover copy for my next release, Trouble Under Venus:

For some, love lasts a long time, for others, a lifetime. Can theirs outlast space-time?

Randi's summer vacation plans? Attending Professor Sudo's Time Travel Academy so she can blast back to 1980 Miami and figure out where her father disappeared to. She's head of her class until hottie Mitch arrives disguised as a geeky geologist and totally messes up her meditation. Goodbye Soulful in Sedona, hello Yearning in Yoga. So long solo time travel, hello pushy partner--who happens to be a buff triathlete, a sympathetic listener and an ace FBI agent on a top-secret mission. With is help, she'll conga her way into the Cuban mafia, try not to destroy the delicate fabric of the space-time continuum, dodge a few bullets, and solve the Mystery of the Missing Dad. And maybe fall just a little in love...

Content Warning: A new adventure in women's fiction, with a heroine who boldly goes where no chick has gone before, tons of danger and intrigue, a roller-discoing granny, life and death betrayal, steamy Miami nights and one hot FBI agent.

Hope it sounds fun!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tube Tuesday

This whole video is cute, but I really love her "light bulb moment" at the end.

Happy Tuesday to ya.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Things That Suck More Than Mondays

These are "super-noyas", things that irritated me so much I thought my head would implode like a dying star...

Yesterday morning I woke up only to find my Reader had de-charged itself all night while plugged into my laptop, rather than re-charging. When the laptop went into its power-save mode, the Reader seemed to think it was plugged into nothing (as it does when plugged into a charger which fits its port but isn't the $50 Sony accessory....grrr) and kept searching for a computer. So it was beyond dead and I had to wait to read the fabulous manuscript I've been previewing (A Bitch Named Karma - so excited to be working on it!). Yah, not what I wanted to wake up to.

This morning at 6 AM we got serenaded by some God-awful racket coming from our Universal Power Supply, from which all sorts of things get their juice - my son's desktop, the printer, the router and modem. Took forever to stumble around his room and figure out what gadget was making the racket (which makes the sound from smoke detectors sound like a lullaby). Luckily my man found the power switch and was able to shut the sucker down, and a while later it powered up okay. Might be time to replace that puppy, though.

Hope your Monday started off better!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Just for Halloween - Coffin Crocs

We thought we were being clever when we installed the kitty door and moved le box d' litter out to the garage/storage area.

Except. One of our brilliant kitties keeps catching mice and hauling them inside through said kitty door, to play with and occasionally lose in our house.


One morning this week, I'd just come out of the shower in my robe to find both cats actively pursuing a lil gray rodent in the kitchen and living room area. From experience, I've learned to kinda stay out of the way and wait for them to do their thing with the mouse and then swoop in and remove at the earliest possible wiggle-less moment.

Senor Gato lost le mouse in all the shoes parked under the bench by the front door. But he knew where it was and waited patiently, and I wasn't all that wild about moving shoes and having the critter run up my leg or something. So I let him wait. It finally became obvious the mouse was in or under one of my cute pink crocs (image above for those not in the Croc-know).
Still, I waited.
Until my daughter started screaming, and I went to check it out, and there was little mousy-poo with his head, neck, and some shoulders, trying to fit out through one of the holes near the toe of the shoe. I mean, the shoes are made of stretchy stuff, but really?
Kinda wish I'd gotten a photo.
Epilogue: I put the shoe outdoors and let the lil bugger go, hoping he doesn't ever return to the garage.
Happy Friday.
Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some days

Sometimes you just need a day to fall apart.
But then I have to wonder: Who's gonna help pick up the pieces? It's probably too much trouble.

Piper Denna

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What we're up against

So I was on my flight home Monday, sandwiched between an elderly couple (a victim of SouthWest's new open-seating policy -- make sure to do earlybird internet check-in so you can get on the early boarding group and get good seats! And even after getting dissed on seating for this return flight, I'm still all for SW because they don't charge for luggage like all those shyster airlines do), and had my *whoosh* handy-dandy Sony Reader out, doing galley reviews and using the oh-so-spiffy bookmark feature to dogear virtual pages where things need fixed.

The old guy started asking me questions about the Reader. He loved it. Plans to buy one for his daughter for Christmas because whenever she visits from Phoenix, she brings a ton of books. And it's available at Target? How convenient! He has a Target nearby in San Francisco.

When his wife took a breather from reading and glared back at the screaming baby behind us, he says, "Hey Ma, look at this. This is a book!"

She poked at her Target discount paperback and said, "This is a book." Like so the hell what?

Eh. Can't win 'em all, right? When you think about it, though, naturally the dudes would be attracted to electronics. Maybe some store should run a sale - buy the new Crichton/Grisham/King ebook for $250 and get the Reader free! Guys don't seem to look at prices anyhow, so they'd be totally stoked about getting such a neato gadget.

Autumn Piper
Got romance? (Got reader?)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nominating my Mom

I'm personally nominating my mother for both Grandma of the Year and Mom of the Year...

She took care of the niblets for the last 5 days, fed them, put up with fighting, took them shopping, played Monopoly with them, and even washed up their clothes!!


Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Jet Junkie

Today's the last leg home, which means my last flight for awhile. And I have to confess: Contrary to the many people who hate it, I love it. Including and especially the take-off.

I'm stoked.

Hasta la byebye, heartland.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blogland to the Heartland

I'm on a trip and don't have lots of time to blog today, but I did get to preview the very lovely wraparound cover for Lone Star Trouble's print edition. It's awesome.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Autumn Piper
Got romance

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kinda Disappointing

I was killing time at Walmart the other day and (naturally) went to the book department. What I found in the Young Readers section was a real bummer. 90% of what they stock is geared toward girls and nearly every one of those titles is a vampire story.


Is that ALL they think kids want to read? What if, say, a girl didn't want to read about vamps? Or her mom wouldn't let her?

And of the boy-books, half of those were Harry Potter (granted, fabuloso, grade A reading, but so many boys have already done them). Not much to entice the young guys into cracking open a book these days. I think we need J.K. Rowling to step back into the YA arena and give them something new and thrilling...

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

I started reading the new Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol, for a book club, but keep finding myself with the Reader open to the next book I'll be editing... A Bitch Named Karma, by Stephanie Haefner. It's chick-lit (which I'm thrilled to finally have on my editing roster!) and a ton of fun.

Mr. Brown will just have to wait.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just for giggles

...Not to be viewed in the workplace.

My fab friend Amanda turned on me on to this site (Thanks, A). Makes me giggle every time I go there looking for new stuff. I'm even considering going Twitter just so I can get the feeds immediately...

Happy Tuesday.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Things That Suck More Than Mondays - Runaway mouths, part deux

Let me just express this one very strong opinion. I don't believe in the heat of the moment that people say things they don't mean. I fervently believe they DO mean what they say - even though they might later regret it.

Which just goes back to my belief that you can't take words back. Ever. Once they're out there... consider them like space trash, always hovering out there someplace...

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy - big mouths, not so much.

Friday, October 9, 2009

'Fuscius Friday

A gem on marriage, this one from Mrs. Fuscius:

You know you've been married forever when his foot brushes against yours, and you nudge him back thinking he's playing footsie, only to be informed he was trying to shove you out of his "space".

Ahh, wedded bliss. And we wonder where the romance goes?

Have a great weekend!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New entry for writer's dictionary

Edi-dar: \ed-uh-dar\noun:
Ability to spot flaws, mechanical errors, and see room for improvement in any piece of writing. Commonly afflicts those who participate heavily in critique groups or edit. Sudden onset is the bane of an avid reader’s existence. A terminal condition – once symbiosis with reading skills has occurred, impossible to be rid of. Remains active whether reading for pleasure, ordering from a menu, scanning news articles or assembling a new purchase using the owner’s manual. Known to create writer’s block. Active edi-dar can induce rolled eyes, palm imprints on foreheads, and pulled-out hair. Not to be confused with edi-doh, a situation where an obvious error slips notice during edits.
See also inner editor.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday WOOT

Big congrats going out to one of my newer authors, Brynna Curry, and her fab cover win for the first in her series, Earth Enchanted.

Check it out:

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tube Tuesday - Alien Song, an oldie but goodie

I think we had this one on our first ever internet-connected computer, but it still makes me grin:

Alien Song

Happy Tuesday to ya!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Things That Suck More Than Mondays

... Big, Fat, Mouths.

I'm talking about people who say mean things because it apparently makes them feel good, and then think they can take it back later. I'm also talking about people who speak without thinking and say careless, hurtful things, then claim innocence.

To which I say,

You're responsible for what comes out of your mouth. We hold young school children responsible for what they say, so why not adults? I don't think apologies are acceptable consequences for verbal unkindness.

"Let the punishment fit the crime," is the old saying. Anybody have ideas?

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy, but big fat mouths, notsomuch.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fun Fact for Friday

My groggy early morning forays into wakefulness seem to be churning up a plethora of seldom-useful, if often well-known facts (such as it's easier if you wait to cut the bread until after you've built the sandwich). I have yet to run coffee all over the counter this school year, but the day is probably a-comin'.

Well, this morning my half-awake unalertness resulted in an interesting quality test. Jim's off work so I didn't have to make a lunch for him (or run the highly risky coffee maker), which meant I had more time. Maybe it'd be a good day to remove some girth on my legs by shaving...

I unintentionally slathered Jim's shave gel (rather than my pink lady kind, which is a splurge from my normal use of hair conditioner) on my leg in preparation to shave. So I went with it, and then used the lady stuff on my other leg... which made me think of a commercial, but did help me wake up. And the result? The Gillette Fusion man-gel is thick and rich (and smells way more marvelous). It really clings to the skin, which I think might be part of why that leg feels so much nicer and not as itchy. It could also be why I missed more spots on the Envi leg - the stuff wanted to slide right off and it's harder to keep track of what's been shaved and what hasn't! So, nothing scientific, but I did use the same razor on each leg (you know, the constant), and the Fusion skin feels nice, not irritated like the other. Using man-gel might just encourage me to shave more often...

Autumn Piper
Got sleep?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Candy Corn and Spiders

Welcome to October (don't ask who died and made me hostess...)! This month always makes me think of blowing leaves, caramel apples (just the caramels are fine too) and candy corn, which I find rather disgustingly sweet now that I'm grown, but are cute and cheap to buy and have around for my kids. So I'm not one of those moms who avoid sweets... sue me. :)

Almost everyone who reads my blog knows by now I've had a yucky spiderbite experience this week. A couple of my more clever friends have made Spiderman innuendos (Amanda and Kate, you silly-heads), which got me thinking... well of course Spidey got super powers after being bit by a tiny 8-legged monster! It was a comic/movie -- how boring would it have been if instead he ended up with injectable antibiotics!!! (not fun, really). Soooo. About these superpowers. I don't suppose the swinging-from-tall buildings power would do me much good, since Rifle is a bit deficient in the skyscraper department (although to be honest the short people in classrooms some days do make me wanta climb the walls!). Hyper-hearing? Uh, no thanks. Again, kidlets often make me yearn for temporary hearing loss... think how peaceful it would be, how easy to tune out unwanted sounds... But I digress, as usual. Now, super-vision might be okay. As one who suffers extreme near-sightedness, I could totally dig seeing extra-well. And what I'd really really like to have is Spidey's Foresight power - the way he's so aware, he can see things happen seconds ahead of time. God, that would be fun to employ in the classroom!

Before I start sewing my suit (pink and black would be good, no?), I'll wait a couple days for the powers to develop. And I've no plans to go cage-fighting with fat, sweaty men, by the way...

Happy Thursday!

Autumn Spider
Got romance?