USA Today Best of 2012

Friday, January 30, 2009

Cute Kid Quote

I subbed in preschool this week, always an interesting experience. One very cute little girl told me she's going to be a princess when she grows up. I replied by telling her that would be a fun job. She told me, "Being a princess is not a job. It's who you are. I'm gonna stay at home and take care of my babies so my prince can go to his job."

In your face, women's lib.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Something Old... but New For Me

Last night, Google gave me an interesting tidbit. Somebody on a file-sharing site for ebooks (think Napster) posted a request to anybody who has All Fore Revenge.

Hmm. First reaction? (oh, aside from the fact that she misspelled All as Al? heh, Al Fore Revenge – gives me a picture of that Tim Allen show, Home Improvement. Can totally see his helper Al going after him with a seven iron on the green…) Now where were we? Oh. First reaction. I thought, “Whoa. Somebody really wants my book. Somebody who doesn’t even know me! (hopefully, cause it would be totally scummy if this person did know me and was trying to steal my book).”

And then I thought, “Hey. It’s kinda scummy that anybody is trying to steal a $5.50 ebook anyway. Especially when the book will last forever and is the latest greatest technology in reading. Especially when it’s from a brand-new, struggling writer(not saying starving, cause that would be an outright lie, which anybody could tell by looking at my waistline or lack thereof).” I wonder if the people who set up these forums have any idea what we make?

I mean, if you’ve published a book, you’re like, set for life! Right?

Well, let’s do the math. I get 40% royalties off each ebook sale. Which sounds like a lot. It’s $2.20 for each ebook sold thru the LIP bookstore. Less if it goes via a third party retailer. Like, $1.10 for Kindle editions. Which still sounds like big bucks. Except, I’ve only got 3 cousins and 4 friends. (I’m kidding of course. I have sold a few more than that. But not many.) And now I’ve got to really meet people and beg them to buy my book. In other words, work for each and every sale. Because, have you seen how many books are out there for sale? Where do you even start deciding which to buy? And then there’s my poor editor. She gets like $0.45 for each copy, and about half that if it’s on Kindle or through somewhere like Fictionwise. As you can guess, she’s already considering stock options. No, not Wall Street stock – pantry stock. And with her check, her options would be, “Iodized, or not iodized?”

Although I wrote All Fore Revenge pretty quickly, I’ve got at least 300 hours into it writing, revising, querying, submitting, editing, creating the trailer, and promoting. So far. When I divide what I’ve earned by this number of hours, I get a very sad hourly rate, probably the minimum wage when they invented coins. And I’ve spent more on advertising than my royalties thus far. Some might ask why bother writing, then? To me, it’s an investment in my future. Writers are, after all, optimists by nature. How else could we toil for months over something without any certainty that it’ll ever be published?

So I guess for those determined to read books and not pay for them, all I can say is, “Visit the library, already!” At least the library pays for the books before it loans them out. And librarians track the number of times books are borrowed – highly used titles mean the author’s next book will be purchased, too. Most libraries now even have ebook programs. Best of all – they’re LEGAL.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday Warm-up

Still reading Pigtopia, so I can't do a review on it yet. Instead, we'll light a fire on this frigid old January Wednesday with one of my new favorite heart throbs.

David Boreanaz plays agent Seeley Booth on one of my fave shows - Fox's Bones. Last week he almost gave me a heart attack when he and Dr. Brennan went undercover to the circus and he spent nearly the entire episode in a sleeveless shirt. So, for your viewing pleasure:

In a word, YUM.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tube Tuesday

Went to see Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories this weekend. It was a blast - lots of laughs, and it's always funny to watch a Sandler movie and see where Rob Schneider turns up. Cause you know he always does! This movie is totally clean and suitable for all audiences, too. (Even though, I confess, we let our kids watch all his other movies.) I'd definitely give this movie two thumbs up!
So this week's 'Tube selection is an interview between Sandler and an Irish journalist. It's just as much fun listening to the questions as his answers!

I'll leave you with a little question. What's your favorite Sandler scene/quote? Mine has to be his scene with Bob Barker in Happy Gilmore, where they brawl and Barker is a total SOB and Happy ends the fight with the sage words, "The price is wrong, bitch!" I will always laugh out loud at that.

Happy Tuesday!

Got romance?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Things That Suck More Than Mondays

This one's a real bugger for me. The sun hasn't showed its face around our house in like 4 days. Not good. Without further ado, this week's list, all worthy of the Dyson Award in my opinion:
  • Rain in the winter time. Rain + snow=slush = a big sloppy mess it's impossible to drive through
  • SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) - think I've got a mild case
  • When your mom invites you on a trip to Mexico but you can't even get your life together enough to get a damn passport, let alone schedule all the logistics necessary to make it.
  • When something gets put on the cover of your book (and its listing) because you had NO IDEA what the heck was going on.
  • Trying to actually get the books you want in the correct ebook format for your fancy shmancy digital reader. It really shouldn't be hard! I'm not a techno-tard. At least I don't think so...
  • Listening to somebody else's whines when you've got your own Monday issues to deal with.

Happy dealing!


Got romance?

Friday, January 23, 2009

'Fuscius says

Cornfuscius says it might be time to slow down when you sit down to write a To-do List... and fall asleep.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Multitasking, or "losing it"?

Whoever coined the term “multi-tasking” was witty. Whoever suggested it’s an evolutionary holdover - enabling women to rear children while keeping up with other responsibilities to The Clan – was full of horsehooey.

It’s not a skill, this so-called ability to do multiple things at once (which, when scrutinized looks more like juggling than a balancing act), it’s a freaking handicap! Well, aside from being able to wallop your kid while driving and applying lipstick and remembering if you unplugged the iron and helping the other kid review for a spelling test, that is. (yeah, it'd probably be a good idea to put thru legislation that prohibits having your kids in the car. Forget about cell phones. But that's a whole other topic...)

And I’m confident if one Being is responsible for creating all humans (I know it’s a man – a woman would never put men’s silly-looking junk on the outside of their bodies, or let eyebrow hairs grow beyond attractive boundaries), that person afflicted us with this inability to focus as a JOKE. Not a survival skill. (“Muahahahaha. Let me see how funny they’ll be to watch scurry around when I give them this…”)

Seriously. For example:

I schedule the day “off” from work, so I can write. I do the dishes before getting the kids to school. So far I’m scoring an A+ in Clearing the Decks.

Return home. Ignore the pile of laundry calling my name. It’ll keep til after school.
Scribble plans on a notepad, for the chapter I’m working on. Sit down to write. Check email. Reply to 2 messages. Take call from hubby. Check a promo loop and send a couple of friendly posts.
Get serious. Open manuscript file to write. Review where I’m at so far. Did I pay the insurance? Check bank account. Reconcile checkbook. Chug a Red Bull for mental power and inspiration. Add items to grocery list.
Sit back down to write. Write 2 sentences. Think. Hard. Stare at the wall above the cat dish. Daydream about that website I need to build. Feed the cats. Water a plant. Stop myself. The other plants have waited weeks, they’ll be fine a few more hours, til after school!
Sit down to write. Visit the bathroom. Notice toilet needs cleaning. Clean both toilets, all the while muttering about writing time wasting away. Fetch more paper towels from garage, to clean mirrors and sinks. Add Windex and toilet cleaner to shopping list. Can I wait til tomorrow to go shopping?Think about how much it sucks to clean around the toilet’s sides and how only a guy would design them with so many damn curves and places for lint & gunk to collect. Finish and wash up. Ignore the laundry again.
Consider a lunch break. And that open manuscript file. Is that the blinking cursor calling my name? Or leftover garlic bread? Their voices are so similar…
Grab the notepad again and compose a blog entry

Got sanity?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Watcha Doin' Wednesday

Not reading so much. Not even editing a whole lot right now. Working on my own marketing and promo, actually. I feel like this is the part where I can really mess up. This is what I've got to get right, to make my books successful.

Yacking about my books coming out will only take me so far (though 2 of my fab friends have already told me they ordered All Fore Revenge off Amazon, so that rocks!). In order to get out there and grab attention, I've got to really reach. And do something different, ya know?

So. I believe Fantasy Mountain is going to need 2 separate trailers: one for the resort, one for Victoria and Brett. (Have I mentioned how much I love his accent? Reading him last weekend made me fall for him all over again. Those English accents... yeah, baby!) I'm in the process of building a website for Fantasy Mountain, too. Hopefully it'll be fun once it's done. And still thinking about the brochure - is it something I can send along with my publisher's PR lady to conventions and the like?

Whatever I do, it won't be more of the "same ole". Gotta stand out in this business, or you'll simply get buried.

Sometimes the muse taps me on the shoulder and titters, "Yoohoo, Piper? What are you going to sell now? You better write some more..." But I suppose that's a worry for another day.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

'Tube Tuesday - signatures

I'm still on the graphology kick, so if you don't like it, this post isn't for you. In this one, our expert analyzes signatures of famous people.

Made me think I'd better start practicing my autograph...

Got romance?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Things That Don't Suck This Monday

This is a very exciting time for me, and I couldn't bring myself to blog about things that suck today.

  • All Fore Revenge is having its print release verra, verra soon. It's now available in the Ingram's catalog, for booksellers and librarians to order. (cause for woohoos in and of itself!)
  • Fantasy Mountain is heading to the printer this week. I've seen the cover wrap image and done final proofreads, and I am so stoked for this book to be releasing!
  • I found out this weekend, All Fore Revenge is now listed on Yes. Target! My book! wowza!

Things are really starting to move now. I am so pumped. What if one day I can be just a writer? A full time writer. One who "normal" people speak about with raised eyebrows and THE tone of voice, you know, the one where they think the person in question is just some weird artsy type and how can she stand to hole herself up in her house and do nothing but type all day, for God's sake? Is she crazy or what?

muahahahahaha. What they don't know won't hurt them. Probably.

Maybe I'll start a weird hat collection and go around with one on at all times...

Piper Denna

Romance is sexy!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Vocabulary expansion

I have a new entry to suggest for Webster's:

ventilate: v. to air burning grievances with a friend, especially pertaining to in-laws, spouse, boss, or a nemesis. Ventilation prevents problems such as heads exploding from extreme annoyance. Can be accomplished via a good over-the-phone rant, email, or IMing. Not recommended to do while texting as messages are generally too lengthy for this venue. Moms are usually an excellent aid in ventilation. A properly ventilated woman can function like a normal member of society, but one who has not recently let off steam is in contant danger of blowing her top.
Note: Men are able to ventilate in 3-5 words (or zero, if intercourse is substituted) whereas women experience a build-up of toxic topics until they are properly released.
A woman who has friends by which she ventilates values those friends beyond measure. She truly loves them. They are "the bomb".

See also rat race, women's lib, PMS, and when there just aren't enough carbs.

Got romance?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just a short rant today.
You know how you see those houses with Christmas lights still up, in like, the middle of summer?
Now, I'm not talking about when it takes a couple months to get out there and pull down the stone-cold-stiff strands of lights, or when your lights are frozen in a glacial floe (like mine were last year) so it's like, March before you're "de-holidayed".
Regardless of how long you leave your lights up this year, you're okay.
Because I keep seeing houses decorated to the nines, with the gaint blow-up items, animated reindeer, wooden cutouts... and guess what? The owners are still turning on the power every night!!!

Cracks me up.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

Nothing to review this week, but I'm working on Pigtopia, by Kitty Fitzgerald. Loving it.

Now. What am I watching?
American Idol. God, I love that show. Got all vehklempt with the opening montage. Watching all those people with the emotional highs and lows of the show... yowza. And no, it's not a hormone thing. My very favorite part (no, not all the goofballs who show up, although I enjoy them just like the next person) is when Simon winks. Something about that guy...he's not wildly handsome or anything, but when he smiles, his face just lights up. And the winks make my heart pitter-patter.

I think Idol is just about the best thing about January. Even better than big sales.

Now, if only there was some sort of discovery show like this, for writers....American Novelist? Noveling with the Bestsellers? Noveling Idol?

Got romance?

P.S. What am I not reading? New ebooks on my Sony Reader. Why? Because so many ebook retailers ONLY offer their selections in Mobi format. Thanks very little. But that's a long topic for another day...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

'Tube Tuesday - Loner or Lover?

I'm totally into this handwriting analysis thing now. In this clip, the graphologist explains how to tell if your man is a lover or a loner (i.e. marriage material), based on his handwriting.

There is some science behind all this. I might have to get a book on it.

Got romance?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Things That Suck More Than Mondays

Why break tradition? Here are just a few things worse than today:
  • Finding out your favorite TV show won't air this week (not even a re-run)
  • Accidentally deleting something (permanently)
  • Viruses (computer and biological)
  • Cute shoes that hurt your feet
  • Washing that brand-new pair of pants you've waited months to buy, only to have them shrink
  • When you discover you've been going around all day with a colorful piece of food stuck between your teeth

Do your Monday, but don't let Monday do you in.


Romance is sexy!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fear for 'Fuscius Friday

Our friend Cornfuscius could very well have put himself in mortal peril late last night. Mrs. Cornfuscius has this to say about the matter:

"The very next time Cornfuscius chooses to dink around in the garage till all hours and I've long since gone to sleep and he comes in, clubbing around the bedroom with his flashlight five times, WHISTLING all the while, I am going to shove something big and permanent down his whistler."

*ahem* We're sincerely hoping the Mrs. gets a nap later today and can catch up on her sleep.

Romance is sexy!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Okay, girls. I want to know if anybody has a definitive answer for this:

You’re stranded on a tropical island with only

  • your biggest heartthrob ever (think Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Pierce Brosnan, etc)
  • one beauty item, which you chose and snatched from the floor of the plane shortly before jumping with your ‘chute.

Which beauty item did you choose? And let's make this harder – HunkMan has a comb you can use.

I think I'd probably choose mascara. Although if we were stranded long, that would run out. Maybe my favorite hair scrunchy? Toothbrush?

A couple of health and beauty DON'TS, from Mrs. Cornfuscius:

  1. If your daughter plays Spa with you, don't allow her to use hand and body lotion on your face. Not good for the complexion.
  2. The meditative effects of yoga are somewhat negated by slurping a Rock Star energy drink between poses. (Dude! Like, my everything was wagging by the time I got to Downward-Facing Dog.)

Fear not, it's Thursday. We've almost made it through the week.


Got romance?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday - Good Grief

No, I'm not stealing Charlie Brown's catch phrase. That's the title of this week's review selection: Good Grief, by Lolly Winston. (2004 Warner Books)

If you liked P.S. I Love You, then you'll like this novel, too. I came by this book via the post-Christmas deep markdowns at B& last year, and yes - just got around to reading it. Sophie Stanton is recently widowed after battling cancer with her husband and suffering the ultimate loss. The first-person, present point of view plants us front and center as she tries to cope - and at times fails. Instead of a steady uphill climb, Sophie suffers a more realistic up-and-down (and for a while just down down down) ride through grief. While many of the things she goes through are awful, all are realistic and I rooted for her all the way. Her marriage was by no means perfect, which we see as she spends time resenting Ethan's dedication to his job. I cried and cried when she remembered the last time she and Ethan made love (and they knew it was the last time...). When she relocates and joins the Big Sisters program, and tries her hand at a new career, she meets other people whose lives are even more messed up than hers.

I'd rate Good Grief a
Keeper. You won't regret either time or money spent with this book. It has a permanent spot on your shelf. Lend it carefully to that trustworthy "inner circle" of reader friends. Put the author on your To Be Read list.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

'Tube Tuesday - Handwriting champion

I was digging around YouTube looking for clips on writing and somehow ended up in the handwriting sector. Came across this:

Cute kid, but as a mom of an all-but-OCD kid, I worry for his parents. LOL. And it sounds as if all the extra time he's spent on handwriting might have taken away from geography - he seems to be missing count on how many states are in the U.S.

Still, it's good to see a 9-year-old who's interested in something besides Super Mario and Spongebob.

Got romance?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Additions to the Monday Suckdom

As millions of students, teachers, and various other school staff head back to class after their holiday break, this Monday will rank right up there with the first one after the spring time change. So, without further ado, let's put things in perspective with a few more Things That Suck More Than Mondays:
  • Having to put your last twenty INTO the ATM to make sure that one remaining check clears.
  • Using the Wal-mart giftcard from gifts you returned, to buy milk, eggs, and bread.
  • Subzero temperatures
  • When the "new" episode of your favorite show is nothing more than patched together pieces of old reruns. (a la LOST)
  • PMS
  • Running out of printer ink (and you've got no more cartridges on hand, and naturally when you go to the ONLY STORE IN TOWN that carries them, they are out. Naturally.)
  • Oversleeping (I bet lots of folks are with me on this one today!)

Stay warm, look at the comics section, and for God's sake, wake up! :)

Happy Monday to ya's.

Piper Denna

Romance is sexy!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday funny

A man kills a deer and takes it home to cook for dinner.

Both he and his wife decide that they won't tell the kids what kind of meat it is, but will give them a clue and let them guess. The kids are eager to know what the meat is on their plates, so they beg their dad for the clue.

"Well," he says, "It's what mommy calls me sometimes".

The little girl screams, "Don't eat it, it's an asshole!"

Got romance?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Pat(ter) Yourself on the Back

It's a brand new year. Take a break from worrying about how you'll improve yourself in the upcoming months and reflect. Think about something great you did in '08. Something uncalled-for, or exceptionally kind. Or just right. Maybe you met a goal you set for yourself, or helped somebody else. Could be big or small.

Hey, I'll get us started. A financial babystep: I haven't had a NSF notice from my bank in over 6 months! (LOL and noooo, I did not just request to have them sent electronically). Now see, surely you can top that.

Family-wise, well, we're living in the country in a house that isn't by any means fancy, but I'll tell ya. I just get a vibe here, something that tells me, "Things will be okay here". And that counts for a lot.

Mr. Cornfuscius has a new job, one that's steady, in the daytime, and not nearly as dangerous as when he did electrical repairs and installs on the drilling rigs. And he's a Master electrician now! (note the capital on Master - between you and me, only. He won't hear me calling him that...)

Parenting? Well, what can I say? I've restrained myself from supergluing them together for fighting, so I'm feeling pretty proud.

I've got 2 books coming out this year. Finally!

Another proud demonstration of restraint: We did not return to the house we rented from the Landbitch(she was no lady) From Hell and squirt derogatory (if true) words about her in the lawn with bottles of Round-Up, like we vowed to, after vacating her squat little piece of crap tract home.

And on the "just because it was the right thing to do" list, I fessed up to the school district when they overpaid me by a half day. Even though on occasion I've covered for more than one person at work. Even though the sub budget goes grossly underspent. Even though nobody would've ever noticed. Just cause it was the right thing to do. Cha-ching goes the karma register.

See? My list might not look like much to somebody else, but it's a big deal to me. Give yourself a break and be proud. You were Great in '08!

Happy New Year, everybody! I think this one's gonna be the best one yet.


Got romance?