USA Today Best of 2012

Friday, May 29, 2009

On books as babies...

I recently had a (laughing) discussion with someone else in "the biz" about certain authors who fight edits and like to claim their books are "just like their children" to them, which they try to use as justification for not altering them in any way.

To this, I have lots of semi-verbal, hard-to-spell responses. The kindest and least profane is something like, "Huhwha?"

"Like their children" tells me immediately these are non-parents. First thing any parent will tell you is... their kids change so fast, they can hardly keep up with them. They're always a work in progress! Most of us parental units will also tell you our offspring are far from perfect. As opposed to these so-called Book Parents, nearly all of us real parents have solicited and/or taken advice about our kids on at least on occasion. And how many of us really think our child can go off to the big bad world and be hugely successful without going to college and learning from experts in their intended field? A novel may be somebody's brain child, but it damn well better mature and go through some finishing school, or it's not fit to be viewed by society. And for sure, if it weighs seven or eight pounds, it's not very attractive to readers in general. :)

Last but not least: I am proud of the books I've written. You could say I love them. But hey, let's get real here. That feeling is nothing like a mother's love. My kiddos are, like, a thousand times cooler than my books. At least.

Home with the kids and currently loving it,

Got romance?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Instant Print Books!

This just in - a sneak preview from Lightning Source, book printer connected with Ingram's, The Majah Playah in book distribution for North America - will be revealed at this weekend's Book Expo America:


Lightning Source is pleased to announce the launch the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) Channel officially at BookExpo America starting this Friday. The EBM, an ATM for books, is located in bookstores, libraries and other sites. The Espresso Book Machine is the latest pioneering distribution channel to join the Lightning Source family of publisher-to-market pathways.

The Lightning Source Espresso Book Machine Channel will give publishers the option to make available the books they have stored in the Lightning Source digital library, and have those titles printed, bound, and delivered at point of sale, on demand, in minutes.

The compact size of the Espresso Book Machine® 2.0 (3.8 feet wide by 2.7 feet deep by 4.5 feet high) dramatically expands the opportunity to place machines in a variety of retail and library environments worldwide. More sites mean more opportunities for selling your books.

Reach regional localized markets. Streamline the import and export of books by avoiding costly fees and tariffs that are typically incurred when shipping physical copies internationally.

Why am I pumped about this? Aside from the obvious coolness of being able to walk up the gizmo, order the book of choice, and receive it - literally - hot off the press, this could help level the playing field for book stores struggling to compete against Amazon. What's Amazon's best feature? Variety, in my opinion. Espresso Book Machine gives readers the variety, plus NO WAITING. Oh yeah. That's big. Plus, think how many books even a big box store can "stock" using the EBM compared to what they currently have on their shelf space.

Very cool for Canada, where shipping costs make buying so many print on demand books just silly. Overseas? This should knock their socks off.

My only worry is how much the machine will cost the retailer and if it'll be equitable for small-timers to have one.

Are the printers starting to worry about how to compete with ebooks?

Purty nifty.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

This week's review book is Swept Away, by Toni Blake. (and I read it on my Sony Reader...)

The blurb:

Of all the islands in the world, he had to wash up onto hers . . .

Five days before her wedding to a man she admires but doesn't love, Katrina Spencer escapes to a private island. There she can let the sun warm her body as she contemplates a future without the passion she craves. Then she lazily opens her eyes, only to see Brock Denton . . . muscular, half-naked, the one who got away—the one who makes her body tingle with arousal.

How Brock arrived is a mystery, but it's clear he's in danger. Kat faces danger, too, in the arms of a man who is determined to free her from her every inhibition with his hands, his mouth, and ore

Kat has five steamy days and five sultry nights to make up her mind—return home to a man she doesn't love, or satisfy her wildest passions with Brock and let herself be . . . Swept Away

The first half of this book, the sexual tension is so thick it was hard for me to breathe properly. (or at least as slowly as normal!) I'm talking hot, edge-of-your-seat stuff. Makes you remember how it is to want somebody so bad, you'll kell over if you don't have them. And both characters' points of view are equally sympathetic, equally hot. I have to say (my one and only gripe), once the characters got it on, the tension flagged and it seemed like I was killing time as much as they were, awaiting rescue while they had sex, sex, sex. Of course, post-rescue, we went back to the high tension as we hung on for the nice happy ending.

Brock is a good, hot guy women can like - a former bad boy trying hard to outrun his past and all the hangups it comes with. Kat is totally relatable for any woman who's ever stayed in some type of relationship because it seemed like too much hassle to end it.

I'd rate this book a 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. - I'll definitely be looking for more Toni Blake titles.

On the Reader: Klondike Wedding, by Kate Bridges
On the nightstand: Drums of Autumn, by Diana Gabaldon

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Porta blog

I'm blogger o' the day over at LPI:

It's all about sexual tension. Check it out!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fever pitch?

Life still has me by the short-n-curlies today - with copy edits, a manuscript of my own in need of final proofing, twice daily trips to town for baseball, and finishing up the Weekend of BBQ's - 3 cookouts plus a park birthday party - I'm trying to figure out which way is up. (Did I mention I'm the guest for my publisher's blog tomorrow?)

So, without further procrastinating, a little cookout humor:

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Funny

I've always wondered about this...


The Silent Generation -
People born before 1946.
The Baby Boomers - People born between 1946 and 1959
Generation X - People born between 1960 and 1979
Generation Y - People born between 1980 and 2008.

Why do we call the last one Generation Y?

Happy Friday!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

You know you've married a long time when... wake at 4 a.m., realize your sig-other never came to bed, stretch yourself across the entire available space, enjoy the blessed quiet, and smile your way back to sleep.

Back to my editing cave.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

Got a nice review link from Google Alerts today:
Poor thing had a hard time with my name. But it was nice to wake up and find.

Also, doing copy edits on Six Foot Hero, out later this summer from Lyrical Press.

Will post review for Swept Away, by Toni Blake, next week.

On the nightstand (and gathering dust, I might add) Drums of Autumn, of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

Back to the mayhem,

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm in love.

It's the simplest thing, and I honestly don't know how I've failed to notice it before. Maybe it's the warm weather and the smell of lilacs outside the window, all the baby animals appearing and the other signs of spring. Maybe it's because life is just so darn hectic right now and I needed something basic and uncomplicated. But... like a new romantic interest, I just can't get enough. My mind constantly goes back to one thing.

Veggies. Mixed, steamed in foil on the grill, salt-n-peppered.

Why now?
Who knows. Guess I'll just embrace it and hope it lasts, like, long enough to help me dump some weight!

Off for probably my last day of chaos in the classroom this school year (I'm now officially known as Stunt Double, rather than Substitute),

Got romance?

Tube Tuesday

It's not all that romantic and it really isn't funny (aside from the fact that so much screen time is spent on his all-too-worthy butt) - but it's this week's Tube selection.

The George Michael Faith video.

Guess I'm feeling nostalgic. It was a fine ass, wasn't it?


Piper Denna
Romance is sexy! (and so are some old music videos!)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday grins

Check out this funny from my pal, author Maya Blake (she's new to blogging, so I bet she'll appreciate your visit):

Back to the insanity, but only for this week and then we're done with school!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday, uhm... silly

One choir concert down, one graduation party down.
Today we've got one afterschool party at teacher's house to go, plus one community yard sale to prep for (no, I'm not at all interested in this one, but the kids want to get rid of some junk at Grandma's sale, so who am I to stop them?), a sleep-over, a carnival, and another graduation this weekend. The truck's going in the shop, I've got line edits and important forms due (probably overdue, but I did just get them back yesterday) on Waiting for Revenge, a looming copy edit deadline for a project I'm editing, I got orphaned and re-assigned to an awesome new editor, and I've adopted another author this week. Please don't ask if there's anything else - there probably is, and I honestly would rather pretend not.

Sooo. Without further ado, a joke my son provided yesterday:

What's an owl's favorite subject in school?

I know - sounds like a class at Hogwart's, huh?

Off to middle school P.E. today. Happy Friday to all!

Got romance?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Did I say that?

Earlier this week, I vowed I'd take on any substitute assignments I could get my hands on this week, since May is such a short month on the school calendar (we get out of school next week). Ugg. How could I have forgotten how crazy the last two weeks of the academic year are? Graduations, choir concerts (which require wardrobe additions and thus, shopping trips), major projects due, and last-minute parties needing treats... oh my.

And now I'm working almost every day til school is over. Why'd I do it? Why?

Please pardon the mess while my life is under construction.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

At long last, I've finished Diana Gabaldon's Voyager. It's an awesome book - just extremely long. Third in the Outlander series (after Dragonfly in Amber), this story reunites Claire and Jamie, while revisiting old fears and bringing them into new journeys, and of course new dangers.

Right up to the last page, I was glued to the story, waiting to see whether this installment would end with our lovers in a good or bad situation.

Now I'm delving into Drums of Autumn - book number 4.

This books is totally a Keeper. I treasure this collection and will no doubt read it again.

On the Reader (and no doubt next week's review): Swept Away, by Toni Blake.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tube Tuesday

The day we fell in love with Jon...

Who can forget Ducky? Our hearts bled for the poor guy friend in Pretty in Pink, trapped in an impossible love triangle. This montage shows Jon Cryer's great acting. The raw emotion, plus set to OMD's If You Leave... *sigh*. This one's going in my favorites. So much angst for writing inspiration!

Got romance?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Doesn't Suck At All

....Cruising through town with Paradise City starting to play on a decent sound system, the windows down on the first warmish evening of the year, the music just loud enough you can feel it rockin inside you, just awesome enough you feel a little like flipping your hair around, Axl-style, and maybe doing a little air-headbanging.

Give the kiddos something to remember...

This bit of weirdness brought to you by one very satisfactory Saturday evening drive.

Got romance?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Funny - More Lyrics Mixups

Another of Fusciusetta's "special" song lyrics...

From Joan Jett's Nag: Run down to the butcher shop and buy me a rose!

That's all I've got today.

Happy Friday - may yours be sunny and warm.

Got romance?

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Here's a blog/review site worth visiting:

Girls With Books

I like the upbeat language and quirky attitudes.
Plus, they gave Unseen World a nice review (which reflects upon the awesome editor of said novel...)

Check 'em out.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

Finally, a book review! This week I'm reviewing Snowbound, by Janice Kay Johnson. This was another freebie from eHarlequin's anniversary giveaway. *I READ IT ON MY SONY READER!*

An unexpected blizzard strands Fiona and a vanfull of her Hi-Q students on the way home from a weekend competition, leaving her no choice but to impose upon John, who owns a remote lodge. At first surly but dutifully hospitable, John turns out to be a sufferer of PTSD, from his tour in Iraq. Over the course of their stay, he and Fiona grow close. With a houseful of her pupils, it's impossible for them to get much time alone, much less act upon their atttaction.

This is not a hot, steamy read. It's a sweet romance, with full bodied characters and a true to life story. John has lots to overcome in order to build a serious relationship, and Fiona is smart enough to realize as much. It's a good story, played out over a long period of time, with the trademark happy ending, of course!

I'd rate it a Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck.

Happy reading!

Next up on the Reader: Forever In Your Embrace, by Kathleen Woodiwiss (chose it as my free book with my Fictionwise membership)

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tube Tuesday

Now, for all you gals who know about my Sawyer fetish, the answer is "No." I did not make this video. But I can sure use it as inspiration any time of the day.

Sawyer. Mercy!
He's the baddest bad boy on LOST. Makes me dream of crashing on an island stuck in a time warp...

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Things That Blow, Not Quite Like Mondays

I totally refuse to spend more than a sentence complaining about the desktop computer I'm using, which has now decided to dump its sound card for the second time this weekend (I'm pretty sure the first time was my doing) and is generally causing malaise for my kids, who just can't be without youTube...

Instead, I'd rather discuss volcanoes, because we've been making one with our daughter all weekend. Definitely a learning process! The $10 box of plaster of paris we bought hardened right in the bowl while we were mixing, which was a blast (pun intended) to dispose of. Plan B for the volcanic structure seemed good and cheap at a time - a box of borrowed drywall finish compound (mud). We built the mountain, but alas, it would've taken a week to dry (we have til tomorrow) and it had more crack and crevasses than the San Andreas Fault. On to Plan C - spray foam insulation. Awesome. Just don't touch it when it's wet - it really does bond to everything! And by "bond", I mean this stuff makes Sharpie marker look like chalk... Did I mention this foam expands as it dries? Oh boy, do we have a LARGE volcano now! Good thing is, it weighs next to nothing and is totally carvable and paintable.

While we wait for our structure to dry, we decided to test different means of making eruptions. The internet is full of suggestions, which might be a little like cheating but has allowed little Fusciusetta to experiment with stuff we'd never have thought up. What we've learned so far: Mentos and Diet Coke did nothing at all. (we might repeat and crumble the Mentos first). Peroxide and yeast foamed slowly and looked wicked cool but didn't expand much. Maybe it wasn't enough of one or the other...Baking soda and vinegar is about the same as baking soda and alka-seltzer, except the alka is slower and longer lasting. Adding liquid dish soap makes it bubble more and move - I think this is going to be our method. We've just gotta master the "how much" factor.

We made a Forest Ranger station house, painteda hot wheels truck and added Forest Service "stickers" to the sides, made signage for the mountain and warnings about explosions, and built fun little pine trees from pipe cleaners. When it's all done, I'll post a pic of it here, because, ya know, I'm certain all the romance readers out there are dying to know how it turns out. LOL.

Have a decent Monday!

Got romance?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday's Thotful Spot

In the time honored tradition of Pooh's Thotful Spot and modern-day philosophers such as SNL's Jack Handy, allow me to induct a new Piper Patter feature - the Thotful Spot, where we examine deep modern quandaries.

First up: Have you ever wondered...Why don't they make mouse flavored cat food? Most of the flavors available really aren't part of a cat's natural diet. How many kitties could manage to land themselves sea food, unleass they followed a fisherman around like in cartoons? And chicken? Although I'm confident a cat would mau(no pun intended) down on a chicken, he wouldn't be able to catch one unless it was very small. 9Lives should start selling some new flavors: Field Mouse, Sparrow, and Moth, to name a few. Exotic flavors could include Chipmunk, Young Rabbit, and - just for my own Einstein - Yarn (or perhaps Power Cord Sheath, as he's now demolished Cornfuscius' laptop cord as well). Some cats would enjoy Houseplant, fresh-baked Birthday Cake (yeah, I kept that one to myself and nobody knew the difference once I'd frosted it!), and the ever-popular Shower Water.

Geez. Who's in charge of product development in the pet food industry, anyhow?

Happy Friday! God knows I'm ecstatic about it...

Autumn Piper
Got romance?