USA Today Best of 2012

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Funny

I got to work through my first round of copy edits for Waiting for Revenge yesterday. Doing this reminded me of a title a friend of mine suggested when I was having a hard time choosing.

The heroine Mandy has a southern belle sister-in-law who out of the blue one day calls Mandy's husband a rather swearalicious name. Mandy is so cracked up by it that she feels like going home and marking the day on her calendar.

My palio Amanda's (no relation to the heroine!) title suggestion? Kenna Says Mother%@#$er!!

Can't you just see it on the shelf at B&N? Well, it would defnitely garner attention whereve it was sold.

Thanks again for the laugh, A.

Got romance?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hark! Yonder hastens... Spring?

So I was driving to town this afternoon and saw some things that really warmed my heart. First, there were geese at the unfrozen end of the reservoir. Not little ducks, but geese.

Then - and I actually stopped right on the dam to listen - water running over the spillway. Yes, it probably seems minor, but the lake has been filling and filling and I've been watching and watching... but there's been this giant block of ice right at the spillway. And don't ask me why I should care if the reservoir is full. Maybe it's because my great Grandpa was one of the farmers who built it and it's a sign of plenty water for the season or something. Maybe it just tells me things are melting up at the creek source, which is a sign of thawing and warm weather to come. Either way, I'm thrilled to see the ice breaking up and don't even feel sorry for the fishermen who can't park their shanties out there anymore.

One last marvelous sign of spring: people on the golf course. And it wasn't the convicts out getting the greens ready, either. (Don't get any wild ideas about me living in a "golf community". We rent a small house on a little ranch way past the golf course.) Mind you, the golfers had to wear rubber boots to slog around in the puddles and the greens are virtually covered in elk poo, but they were out there knocking balls around nonetheless. Did my heart good to see them.

Hope springs eternal.

Spring really will come again. It's not just a legend!


Got romance?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

More stupid emails than you can shake a stick at.

Seriously. I've started doing the research and replying to the sender just to show them they look like idiots. Last week it was a message from some snotty Pampered Chef rep who was upset that a Tupperware gal didn't like her being a pain in the butt customer. Tuppergirl posted a names-free whine about it on some email group which, unfortunately, Pamered Bitch was a member of. So our Pampered friend dashed off an inflammatory message and sent it to everyone in her address book and asked all of them to send it on, blackballing Tuppergirl.

Nice. On careful scrutiny it was obvious Pampered Bitch had no leg to stand on for her complaints and really didn't know what she was talking about. (her main tweak was that the Tuppergal wouldn't order her product without prepayment. In fact, Tupperware requires their consultants to prepay for their orders, which this girl could not afford, nor should she have to) In this instance, I emailed PB directly and told her how crummy I thought it was for her to be trying to destroy this woman's business, after which she told me they'd talked it out and made up. Of course, no mention of her emailing everyone she knew to tell them this...

Today it was an erumor from 2002 about McDonald's buying beef from South America and how we should boycott them. Fact is, the U.S. gets almost all its beef from New Zealand and Australia and we export ours to Canada and Asia. But twice in one week I've received this message, and it's all in the name of protecting the U.S. economy. Which is silly. I mean - the beefgrowers are still sellling their product. If everyone boycotted McDonald's, their sales would tank and they'd lay off people by the thousands (or just cut their hours til the employees ended up on Public Assistance). Wouldn't that hurt the economy much more?

It amazes me how many people are willing to just read and hit FORWARD as instructed. Don't people know how to think for themselves anymore? (she said in her best Crotchety Old Andy Rooney Voice) I can't help thinking, if somebody walked up to these folks and whispered a rumor in their ear and then told them to tell everyone they know, would they simply repeat it without verifying?

Who needs a damn computer virus to get in address books when you've got Email Zombies!

-Bitchy and Knowing It

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Has. Now. Chewed up. My. Phone charging cord.

Would it be totally inhumane to set up a "sting" operation where he bites into a "hot" cord and gets the shock of the week?

New Dell laptop cord: $30 plus shipping.
New generic Rock Band foot pedal: $22 plus shipping

Tripped circuit breaker.... priceless.

Not the person on the PETA Wanted poster,
Got romance?

Monday, February 23, 2009

What Sucks More Than Mondays

This from young 'Fuscius, who just spent his birthday money to buy the to-die-for mega Rock Band set, complete with guitar, drums, and microphone. (Way suhweet!) He's been banging on those drums every spare moment for the last week.

What sucks? Well, everything is wireless, except for one cord going from the foot pedal to the drums... this, the cat chewed up.

Damn cat.

Autumn Piper
Romance is sexy.

P.S. Taxes still suck, too!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Feel-good Friday

It's been a good week for me. I finished both trailers for Fantasy Mountain, almost have the website done (should finish it later this morning before my p.m. work assignment), managed to avoid any mental breakdowns despite several very gray days outside, and... scored one very pleasing review. In fact, I've been told I'm a "top pick" and can display their graphic on my website and such. Like a badge! :) Here's the review in case by any miracle I didn't already shout at you about it:

Now, it's probably lame for me to be repeating it, because virtually all of my "virtual" friends and the couple of real life friends who know about these books already heard about the review last night, but hey. I'm still pumped about it today. Only 2 reviewers even touched All Fore Revenge. Because of its premise, it's basically forbidden territory in the romance world. Little did I know when I set out to write it that romance readers were such... romantics. They don't even want to read about somebody cheating even if it means somebody else is going to meet Mr. Fantastic and be happier than before. Ah well. Now it's on my "back list".

Off to finish the Fantasy Mountain website. That's been a total blast. I can't wait to show it off!

Happy Friday!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Six a.m. and I haven't blogged!

Yeesh. Seems like life (and this writing career) has got me by the, erm... ear lobes.

I'd just like to take time today to thank my mahhhhvelous critique partners, past and present. Every one of them has taught me something different and made their own impact on my work, previous and future.

Thanks, girls!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Watcha Readin Wednesday

I'm reviewing Victoria Dahl's Talk Me Down this week, an actual new release! Shocking, I know, but it was part of what I got with my Christmas B&N gift cards.

This book was a real blast. An undeniable attraction both Molly and Ben have been carrying for years (he's the police chief and she's a secret erotica writer!), a quaint Colorado mountain burg with a bevy of fun citizens, a psycho stalker or two, and one major conflict: he loathes scandal and the secret of what she does is The Topic once she returns to her hometown. Maybe a bit heavy on the sex scenes, it's still a fun and interesting read. Lots of snappy dialogue, very modern.

This book is a Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck. Well worth your time and money. Pass it on to someone who’ll enjoy it and keep the author on your radar.

(And off it goes to the galpal who first suggested it to me. Danka, eA!)

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

On the nightstand: Welcome to Temptation, by Jennifer Crusie
On the Reader: Still What the Lady Wants - yes, I'm slow. But I'm incredibly busy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tootin' Tuesday

YouTube video? Got nothin' for you today. And though all you faithful readers no doubt already know, I'll just use today to announce Fantasy Mountain's arrival on the market. Got notification last night, it's now up for sale on Fictionwise:

This is so exciting! I now have a backlist. LOL Of course, now I need to spend the time making sure it's tagged properly on all the sites, especially Amazon, and add it to my Amazon profile, and I need to get the trailer(s) made for it most ricky-tick, and try to finish a couple of interviews I've got set This on top of writing and editing and promoting another book Probably I should buy one of those gallon-size jugs of Gorrilla glue so I can hold it all together for the next few weeks!

Beats sitting around, waiting for rejections to roll in, though...Beats it with a stick.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

What Sucks More Than Mondays?

Figuring taxes.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday funny - weird but true

Cornfuscius took the day off, but his cat stepped into his boots for the day (right after he hid one of his little toy mice in the toe of the left one).

Last night, dear daughter came screaming and barging into the bathroom to tell me the kitty had ruined her knitting. Well, sure enough. But cats do that. I mean... we all have a mental image of a cat with a ball of yarn, right? No biggie. At least to me. For her, it was something akin to the satellite TV blipping out during a David Archuleta guest appearance.

Anyway. This morning she came screaming out into the living room, wailing that she'd stepped in "barf". So I went looking, armed with paper towels. I found two piles of undigested-but-clearly-regurgitated yarn. Long pieces. Like, the goofy cat must've sat and sucked it up spaghetti style.

What the....?
Is this an indication he's missing, er, fiber? ;<)

But I see perhaps he's not the only kitty with an appetite for synthetic blend. Check out the "grocery list" in this cartoon...

Happy Friday!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another milestone

Today's something of a milestone for me. My son is turning 13. Which means I'm officially the mother of a teenager. Which is darn hard to swallow.

I just don't look at him and think "teenager", or "hormones" or "driver's license". He's still that same baby I blew countless mornings gazing at like some starstruck roadie. The same lil man who left a "fi" (his shortcut for pacifier) in every nook and corner of our first house and yard, so when we sold it and moved, we still found several, their rubber nipples sticky and gross. In my mommy heart, he loves Barney and Pooh and Sesame Street. Not ESPN and South Park and AC/DC. His favorite toy? Oh, that's easy. His tool bench or a Hot Wheels set. Not an iPod touch or Guitar Hero. He's the baby I damn near roasted in the hospital by bundling him up in so many layers his wee heart was racing when the nurse came in to check his vitals and explained to me that he wasn't going to freeze to death in a hospital room. I just wanted so much to do everything right. (He now fights me tooth and nail over wearing his coat instead of his Rockies sweatshirt every freezingass cold morning!)

I still want to do everything right, but I'm sure I won't. Nor will I be able to protect him from heartbreaks, failing at things, and the land mines of school social life. I won't be any more responsible for his great successes than I was when he took his first steps. All I can do is keep cheering him on and hope he still wants me in a front row seat (hey, I said hope). The lines of communication are wide open, but now I've got to be careful and not call him too often, or he feels bothered. He can come plop on my bed and have a heart to heart with me at any time, but if I wander into his room and plop onto his bed, I get the "Mom. Seriously?" look. Speaking of looks, the "Whatever" makes its appearance around here all too often now. I see this one used mostly in regards to his dad. Of course, his back is always to the recipient, so I could be getting the same!

The experts consider the first few years to be "formative". I think they're like a foundation, though. I believe the upcoming years are the most life-altering, the most likely to determine who he'll be and how he'll turn out. The most formative. So many kids get into serious trouble as teens. Many never get back out of that kind of trouble. Teens (whose brains are not fully grown) decide whether to study hard and go to college. Whether to join the military, go to work right away...will he follow his baseball dream as far as it'll take him, or abandon it and go to school for something else? He's got the option of joining his dad's trade and being part of his business, too. Will he meet his soul mate and marry young, or have his heart broken and become a bitter bachelor? Will he be a player? Suffer through a divorce?

Geez, the questions. And imagine if he read this! I'd totally get the "whatever plus eyeroll" for it.

Kids. ....can't lock 'em in a cellar.

Happy Thursday. We are going to make it through February. I just know it.

Heartbroken and scared shitless,

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

This week's review is Baby, Oh Baby! by Robin Wells. (another Friends of the Library used book sale find) It's a Love Spell book, published February 2001. Here's the Amazon link for the blurb and cover pic:

Based on a very modern premise (a crooked doctor used sperm Jake and his now-dead wife had left at the fertility clinic, to impregnate Annie when she went in for artificial insemination), this book also uses the old "marriage of convenience" angle. Jake and Annie are as different as two people can be. Their conflict is huge - he believes he'll never love another woman like he loved his dead wife, and she has no intention of playing second best again, after she did so in her first marriage. Neither trusts the other and each fears the other will try to take baby Madeline away. Their attraction is undeniable, though. I loved being in each character's point-of-view. Wells does a great job of making us like and root for her characters, even those in the secondary romance plot. Jake's proposal just capped this story for me as the most original I've read. I got my awwwwsome ending.

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

On the nightstand: Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl
On Sony Reader: What the Lady Wants, by Jennifer Crusie

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

'Tube Tuesday

Piper Patter isn't intended to be political, but this video is so very relevant to the topic of both All Fore Revenge and Waiting for Revenge, it just had to be 'Tube feature this week.

Okay, now that I'm done chuckling, again...

Just let this be a lesson to men everywhere:

If you screw up and stray, and somehow she doesn't kick your sorry butt to the curb, then you can count on hearing about it for the rest of your life. And you deserve to. Oh, and both Autumn and Piper agree - you also totally deserve it if she decides to upgrade and leave you in the dust.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Things That Suck More Than Mondays

Hopefully your Monday sucks less than the following:

  • A scratch on your best pair of shades (always dead center on the lens)
  • A dead iPod battery
  • Cracked heels
  • Pretty much anything that requires the use of a Dr. Sholl's product
  • Stomach flu

Carry on, and take heart. Tomorrow we shall chuckle at a man's expense.

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Funny

Here's hoping you get the same belly laugh I did:

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out.
The Genie says, 'I'll give each of you just one wish.'
'Me first! Me first!' says the admin clerk. 'I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.' Puff! She's gone.
'Me next! Me next!' says the sales rep. 'I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.' Puff! He's gone.
'OK, you're up,' the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, 'I want those two back in the office after lunch.'

Moral of the story? Always let your boss have the first say.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Whole World in Our Hands?

I got something fabulous in the mail yesterday and holding it made me think of that old song, He's Got the Whole World in His Hands.

So, okay. If you're reading this blog, chances are I've already emailed you, but I'm stoked enough to repeat myself: I got my author copy of All Fore Revenge! A lovely trade paperback version.

It's so pretty! And solid. And real! And when I flip the pages, I read words that I WROTE. Oh yeah. This rocks.

FYI, my pal Sutton Fox got her copy of Lion Tamers too, and we both agree. This is THE SHIT. Pretty much what it's been about thus far, the sum of all struggles in our writing careers.

Probably we're not holding the entire world. But it sure feels like we are.

And in another aside, it's been way more fabulous going through this one of my best buds. Kinda like the rollercoaster ride is way better with a friend in the seat beside you.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy! (and fun as hell)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

This week, I’ll review Pigtopia, by Kitty Fitzgerald, published 2005 by Hyperion.

This was another “bargain” book I got on a clearance sale from B&N last January. I liked that it sounded different – fresh.

I was not disappointed. Jack Plum is about as different as they come. Most of the book is written from his perspective. He’s a thirty-something, uneducated man-boy who has a very large head, an abusive mother (who blames his malformation for her being bound to a wheelchair), and a deep kinship and understanding of pigs. Yes, hogs. In fact, between caring for his mother, Jack has created a special place below their house, a walk-out cellar leading to the woods out back, where his pig “tribe” dwells. His pigs are his friends and his family. The only human love Jack has ever known was from his father, who has been gone for years. His mother tells him it’s his fault his father abandoned them. When Jack decides to befriend Holly Lock, a teenaged neighbor girl, things change in ways he’d never expected.

I really enjoyed this book. It took a couple of chapters for me to sink into his jargon and understand him, but once I did, it was amazing. Something like one of those emails designed to show you how your brain can still read with all the letters in words jumbled. This is NOT a romance, in any way. I can’t really call it literary fiction, because, well, I liked it and I don’t generally care for literary pompousness. It’s just general fiction with very deep point of view. Nicely done. A nice change from “the usual” for me.

This book is a Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck. Well worth your time and money, but not one you'll have to keep around. Pass it on to someone who’ll enjoy it and keep the author on your radar.

On the nightstand now? Baby, Oh Baby, by Robin Wells.

On the Sony Reader? What the Lady Wants, by Jennifer Crusie

Yes, now that I've got the Reader too, I'll have to do the schizo/balance act thing and read more than one book at a time!

Piper Denna

Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

'Tube Tuesday

I'm pretty sure this video was intended to be an actual lesson on how to write a novel. It might be useful to students, as a guideline. Her graphics are cute and I can totally see this clip being shown in a high school literacy class as an intro to a semester-long project.

However. For anyone who plans to actually publish their completed novel, this plan has a few holes.
  • Writing a 10-30 page synopsis and using it for submission. In all my querying, I never saw a single agent or editor who wanted to read more a synopsis more than 5 pages long, and the shorter, the better.
  • Writing a first draft, rewriting, and then submitting. (I do appreciate that she used the word "polished", but she failed to recommend writing partners or critiques) A self-edited file does not a polished manuscript make!
  • Unfortunately, writing a novel and selling a novel are two entirely different processes. Thus, they probably belong in different videos. From watching this piece, a novice might believe that writing the book is actually the hard part, whereas both the editing process and the selling process are much more involved.

But hey, the graphics were cute!

Piper Denna

Romance is sexy!

Monday, February 2, 2009

One Monday suck item, and one cool thing

I've been sending out Fantasy Mountain for reviews, which has been a learning experience. After spending most of Saturday covering the usual review sites, I set out to hit some big-name magazines. Enter suck item: Now, Cornfuscius found this funny, and many men might be pleased. But I learned through my search that Playgirl has gone out of business. It's last issue was Jan/Feb 2009. Now don't get me wrong - I'm not a regular customer (obviously, or I'd have known it was all over...) - but did you know it was the ONLY magazine for women with nude men? This can be interpreted in a number of ways, but probably women are just smart enough to know they can find their mancandy online for free and don't really need to pay for a magazine. Now, the really sad part (in my opinion) is that it had recently catered more to gay men than to young women, and the website remains, aimed at gay men. Because, we all know it's impossible to find gay porn, right?

Okay. Nonsuck item: Harlequin is celebrating 60 years and offering free ebooks. Not just one, but 16 titles to choose from! I'm not exactly an avid Harlequin reader, because I usually like some meat to my stories and theirs just seem so darn quick, but hey. I picked out 8 that really seemed promising and downloaded them. Now I've got an awesome selection of goodies on my Sony Reader. Here's the link:

So there we have it. Two opposite ends of the female entertainment spectrum. Porn is gone and the romance remains. Coincidence? Probably not. Still, a few hot male bods spread across a centerfold wasn't such a bad thing.

Happy Monday, and happy reading!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!