USA Today Best of 2012

Friday, April 30, 2010

That's cool!

The Espresso Book machine is designed for use in stores, where the customer chooses from many titles the store doesn't normally stock (such as Print on Demand selections, hint, hint), slips in payment, and the book is produced in 4 minutes.

The upcoming link shows some pretty awesome inside looks at the machine. Think of it as the Piper Patter version of How It's Made...

Now, isn't that much cooler than printing up a whole bunch of copies of books and sending them out to stores which don't sell them, then return them for credit and they end up in a landfill?

Have a great weekend. Tomorrow starts one of my favorite months!

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

In a perfect world

In a perfect world...
  • Fun shopping days with a girlfriend would last and last as long as you both wanted
  • Dork dudes wouldn't drive for miles in the left lane doing 15 under (with or without a cellphone to the ear), so that somebody cool had to honk the entire time she swerved into the right lane and passed -- that was so awesome, A! :)
  • Springtime would mean gradually warming temps, snow giving way to rain. No backtracking, no random snowstorms after the tulips are blooming. NONE.
  • The wind would not blow garbage cans (full ones!) around the yard, under the fence, and down across an entire field. Even Kansas isn't in Kansas anymore!
That's my punchlist for today.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kids. Gotta love 'em

I got to work with 3rd graders yesterday, and it's been quite a while since I've been with grade-school kids. What always surprises me most, is how expressive and sweet the younger kids are.

This particular class made me a batch of cards, whereas usually I just come home with a note or card from one or two of the quieter ones. I really love the picture of me one little boy drew, complete with my black slacks and watermelon shirt. (still pondering what caused the yellow face, but hoping it was just a color-shortage) And I got one really awesome tiny sticky note which reads simply, "you are nice". Came from the little dude who was last to finish his work, and didn't have much free time to draw. Might keep that one in my sub bag, actually.

They sure have no problem saying "I love you", which is a very good thing.

Highlight of my day (heh, not exactly, cue the sound of the record needle screeching to a stop) was when one of the girls asked me if I was born in the 1800s. Kids, huh?

Anyway, I've got some more treasures to add to my stash. Who says riches are measured in numbers next to dollar signs? :)

Happy Wednesday!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I think it's genetic.

Remember back to school days, when a teacher would give a writing assignment of so many "pages"? And most of the class would subsequently start putting much larger spaces between their words, stretch their handwriting to newer and bigger letters, and maybe even try to sneak in a couple of sheets of wide-ruled paper in an effort to make their paltry words fulfill the length requirement?

Yeah, I remember that too (wasn't me, but I remember seeing it!).

Last night my daughter was telling me they'd begun this writing assignment she's been looking forward to (yes, some kids DO look forward to them, that's my point...). Well. She's bummed because the teacher told her she could only write 3 pages. Max. And in an effort to get in all the details she wanted for this narrative, the last several lines she ended up writing microscopically, scrunching double rows of text per line. She laughed about it and figures her teacher will have to go get a magnifying glass to read them.

Yeah, that's my girl. :)

Happy Tuesday.

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Monday, April 26, 2010

That was fun!

I consider the signing a smashing success -- wasn't very publicized in the town where it happened, but I had lots of friends and family rally and come from as far away as 100 miles (Holls, you rock, and so does your mama!). Met a few new readers, met one Facebook friend for the first time. Lots of laughing and fun.
So today will be a little different on the ole blog. Usually it's all about pattering, but today we'll have photos...

Tha's me, and all my goods. Somehow situated in front of somebody else's big old book display. We eventually angled my table a little so it didn't look like the "damn Mennonite book" was mine. And thanks to dear hubby, I had space for all my goods, because I was set up with just half that table space -- one of those itty bitty cafe tables. Heh. Little did they know all the goods I was going to drag in there!

That's my pal Holly, and I can't even remember what silly conversation we were having, for us to end up with those expressions.
It looks like I've just seen the "money scene" in The Full Monty, but I'm really not sure what was going on. Just good times. Perhaps I was puzzling over what the heck to write in somebody's book. That's definitely tougher than I'd imagined. Will have to work on thinking-while-signing-and-talking-skills.

Photo credits go out to Pal Amanda, who missed an entire day with her hubby and toddler to loiter with me, take pictures, and generally be supportive in all the important ways. And she even paid for copies of my books! :) Which probably makes her my Number 1 customer, because she also has ebook copies (which are rather hard to sign, but hey A, I'll be happy to sign your ebook reader! ).

I'll probably have a few more photos tomorrow.

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ready... Set...

One day to my big day, the booksigning at Borders.

I'm ready. Mostly. Panicked and decided to print a few more bookmarks, so today I'll need to cut them apart, laminate, and then trim. Finished the last 20 sunglass sacks yesterday. Going to print a few more little slips to hand out, with Cool Sites to Visit. And I'll print just a few more of my entry forms - they're simple, but hopefully a good way for me to get names and email addresses of lots of romance readers, and they'll be up for a chance to win a free copy of Fallen Star Trouble.

Got my outfit all picked out, and I'm thinking I might do the unthinkable and polish my nails tonight. Maybe...

In the meantime, it's off to play in the dirt, aka roto-till the garden space with my Ma.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Still surprises me

I got another of those fantastic (and by fantastic I mean, yes, as a new writer I've long fantasized about getting these. Many a time) email from a reader. She loved the book she read, is going to buy my backlist, and went to my website, where she found the loot page and subsequently requested I send her the bookmarks and sunglass saver sack. Perfect! That's what I believe building a writing career is all about -- acquiring loyal readers and establishing a relationship with them.

So how the heck does that happen? I mean, really. Of all the books out there for sale, how exactly did she happen across mine? I can attribute a certain number of my sales to the stunning covers Renee designs. Eyecatching is good. But it's not as if I've got a million-dollar publicity campaign going, or like my books were mass-produced and landed on retail endcaps across the nation. Somehow readers are perusing the net, coming across my books, and going for them. I like it!

I also see a steady rise in the number of visits to my site, and that always (pleasantly) surprises me. Of all the websites on the internet, why....? Some might be readers, some probably potential readers who are shopping books and decide to look me up. In this case, I truly hope what I've got on my site makes me appear interesting and fun, just as I hope my books are.

No matter what's driving women to buy my books, and visit my site, it's a trip. A real trip!

Happy Thursday to everyone. I've got a sad day ahead, but really needed to focus on some positive things for a few. And people reading my books does make me happy. :)

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Whatcha Readin' Wednesday

It's been an eon since the last Wednesday book review. Unfortunately, the eon will continue to stretch.

No review this week; just a little book-dishing. In paperback, I'm reading Lisa Kleypas' Someone to Watch Over Me. I like the premise, but it's not exactly roping me in. Her more recent stuff seems stronger to me.

On the iPhone I've got Tails of Love, which is an anothology for animal charities (includes a novella from the fab Lori Foster). And on the Reader, which hasn't been turned on in a while...another Lori Foster, which is an awesome read, but I've just been too darn busy to sit down with it.

What's on your nightstand?

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Learning Curve

I've heard you learn something every day. Sometimes what you learn is usable; other times it's fluffy trivia. Some is just life experience. Well, here's what I learned yesterday:

  • Once a student discovers a live, loose mouse in the classroom and girls scramble on top of their desks while boys crowd into a corner hoping to find and stomp the rodent, not much learning will occur during the remainder of the class period. (perhaps there's an equation for this. Like, Productivity = Focus divided by screams minus general excitement)
  • My kids still won't eat (try) sauerkraut. Not even the boy. Not even when I told him it would give him a leg up on next year's German class.
  • It's possible to fall asleep sitting upright, watching a favorite laugh-out-loud show, with the fam hooting and giggling all around.
Happy Tuesday -- it's Tacoday at our house, I'm thinkin'.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Monday, April 19, 2010

More of the Big Things

Off to work today in our middle school again. Kinda feels like "home" to me now, and today it's going to be a rough day there, but I feel like that's where I'd most like to be.

We lost one of our 8th graders last Thursday, and I'm sure the kids will have a tough time dealing with it today, as will lots of the staff.

The suddenness of this tragedy (car accident) has really made my family think about how precious everything is, and how quickly it can all go away. And to quote my husband, "Really makes you stop and think about what forever means." As in, gone forever. We've had a few discussions about watching what you say to others, because you never know when it might be your last words to someone. I've also felt a little softer toward my kids... Is it really necessary to harp at them for leaving their socks inside-out in the laundry? Nah, I'll just flip them myself. Let them be kids and enjoy themselves. Is it too much for me to step in and feed/water the cats again instead of yelling at whoever is supposed to do it? I'd hate to lose one of my kids and (well I'd hate to lose one anyway) look back and remember all the times I nagged at them about chores, or grades, or whatever. And yes, they still need to learn responsibility, but there's a balance. After all, they're only kids for so long. Today, I'd rather hug them.

Maybe some of the little things really are big things.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Big Things

My previously-planned post seems pretty insignificant now, in the face of the tragedy a local family is enduring.

So I'll just say this: Grab your loved ones and give them a big, meaningful hug today.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Smart-ass Thursday

Tax day here in the U.S., so I thought it would be fitting to celebrate a little "smartness" with "the man":

The police officer got out of his car as the kid who had been speeding rolled down his window.
"I've been waiting for you all day," the officer said.
The kid replied, "Yeah, well I got here as fast as I could."
When the cop finally stopped laughing, he sent the kid on his way without a ticket.

Piper Denna

Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Amazon has a change of heart

Remember when the only place you could read a Kindle book was on a Kindle device? -- and for the most part, the only file format you could read on a Kindle device was the Kindle book? Well, different people figured out how to crack the format problem right away, so enterprising Kindle users could get books on their devices from sources other than Amazon. Until recently, though, pretty much the only people buying Kindle books were Kindle device owners... except a few iPod Touch and iPhone owners (and I do love this free app, because now I've always got a book along with me, and reading on the iPhone screen is really a snap. Plus turning the pages is FUN).

But now the game has changed. Now, Amazon has introduced new apps to add Windows, Mac, and Blackberry to the list of devices where you can read their Kindle books. With "more new apps coming soon", which makes me hopeful they'll soon add PDF and EPUB readers to the list. I'm thinking with the introduction of iPad, they've seen the light: Kindle isn't the only game in town, and if they want to keep selling the most ebooks, they've gotta make their product usable to more customers. Good news for consumers, because Amazon has the best selection, and best price, nearly every time. Good news for authors, since Amazon changed its share-taking percentage policy.

Except, of course, if you're an author with a publisher who STILL hasn't put your book on Amazon. (we're out there, believe it or not) Lame? Absolutely. But that's a whole other rant...

Piper Denna

Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Communication error

Sometimes words just don't mean the same thing to the receiver as the do for the sender.

I was helping my son with a project for school (it involved posterboard, scissors, and printing lots of stuff from the internet). We came to a point where we really needed the double-sided tape--cause, ya know, only dorks use glue in 8th grade--but it was missing from the desk drawer. I knew one of the kids had swiped it. He swore he hadn't, and I believed him because that kid never lets anything extra dwell in his room.

Which left his sister. Who Dad called out to the living room, and the following conversation took place:

DAD: Do you have your mother's double-sided tape?
HER LOVELINESS (hereafter, HL): No.
DAD: The double-sided tape is gone. Your brother doesn't have it. Do you?
HL: I have a roll of double-sided tape.
DAD: Go get it. (she produces the tape and he asks me if this is the roll I'm looking for)
ME: Yes, that's the one I keep in the drawer.
HL: Am I going to get that back?
ME: It's my tape!
HL: It was in my room!
ME: But you took it from my desk drawer.
HL: It was in my room (I really need to get as good as she is, at stopping with one point and repeating it). Am I gonna get it back?
ME: What do you need double-sided tape in your room for?
HL: (as if I'm the biggest dummy in town) To stick stuff!

For the record, the tape went back in the desk when I was finished with it.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Moment of Silent Panic

I realized this weekend that it's only 2 weeks until my signing at Borders. (which, now, is less than 2 weeks away... as they'd say on Scooby Doo, "Zoiks!") And since I've somehow managed to give out almost all the black-with-blue-embroidery-flowered sunglass bags (see them here), I've now got to start sewing like a fiend!

Got a super-fantastic-nice email from a reader (dare I say "fan") on Saturday after she finished reading Trouble Under Venus--gave me goosebumps and then brimming eyes. Way wonderful to receive. She loved Goodbody and says
"and as for....Goodbody...well, all I can say is he is one of my most favorite ooey gooey heroes for 2010...ahhhhh..." She went outside to look at Venus when she'd finished, which is like a homerun in a writer's book, I'd say. I'd love to share her whole message, but it'd be an enormous spoiler. Suffice it to say, her tears were jerked at the tearjerker scene.

Ta-ta, and wish me speedy needles!

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Friday, April 9, 2010


Fellow author Lux Zakari created a special interview for me (you know, not one of those form-type interviews where everybody answers the same thing. Not that those are bad, but this was a nice change).

Here's the link:

Happy Friday, everybody!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I found it!

This is going to sound silly, but I misplaced something and it's kinda been driving me nuts. (OK, it's really been driving me nuts).

It's the renewal card for the license tags on my truck. Of course I could walk into the DMV office and they'd look it up for me when I'm ready to buy them. Of course. But I knew, just knew, there was no way I'd throw that sucker out. So where the heck was it?

I tore this place up last week, looking for it because I wanted to find out how much I'd be out when I finally go down to buy the tags...
Nada. Nothin'. Zippo.

And then this morning, I was curling my hair and it hit me... Yep. In the handy pocket flap of the calendar -- you know, the one put there specially so you won't lose stuff?

Sometimes it's probably better if nobody tries to help me with my chaos. LOL

Happy Thursday!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Smart-ass Wednesday

Another goodie:

A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store but she couldn't find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, ' Do these turkeys get any bigger?'
The stock boy replied, 'No ma'am, they're dead...

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Because my next story is about a rock star...

...and because my heroine's must-soon-become-an-ex plays not only air guitar, but air Guitar Hero... A definition from my old pal's Urban Dictionary

Air guitar:

An ancient art that originated after God wanted to rock out but had no electric guitar on hand. He realised how sweet a thing he had just created so he wanted to pass it down onto man when man had no axe to rock with. This talent was given to man, by God, through Jesus. Jesus showed the world the ineffable art of air guitar during his ressurection. Jesus was radiating with a bright white light because he was rocking so hard.

The art of the air guitar was thus written down in the Bible and succesfully passed on to man. The practice of air guitar since it's inception has been shown throughout the history of the world. Jesus is discretely air guitaring in the famous painting The Last Supper in the Galleria Borghese, Rome.

On and on has this holy tradition gone. It is kept alive by generations of rockers young and old. If you are listening to a really sweet guitar solo and you have no real guitar to emulate the action of rocking, pick up your hands, put them in position, and rock and roll all night.

Remember...rock on.

Adam was listening to Communication Breakdown by Led Zeppelin and it was nearing the kickass guitar solo. But he had no guitar. So he took matters into his own hands. He played air guitar and never stopped rocking.

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Monday, April 5, 2010

It wasn't what I expected, but....

I do love my cover for Falling Star Trouble (and have I mentioned, a really cool bonus of working with a digital publisher is I get neat surprises like this on the weekend, whereas I'm sure some "big New York" outfits only go to the office on weekdays). It's different than my other covers -- having a chick and all -- but all the elements I asked for are there.

An inside secret for my blog followers: Cara is not wearing pants in this picture. I did ask my cover artist (Renee Rocco, and she's awesome) to move Brady and Cara down a bit so the nudey petootie wasn't quite so evident. :) My husband asked me what the heck I was thinking...
See, another bonus of working with a digital publisher. Cover art request? No problem!

Have a good Monday.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cute Easter humor


Don't put all of your eggs in one basket

Walk softly and carry a big carrot

Everyone needs a friend who is all ears

There's no such thing as too much candy

All work and no play can make you a basket case

A cute little tail attracts a lot of attention

Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day

Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits

Some body parts should be floppy

Keep your paws off other people's jellybeans

Good things come in small sugarcoated packages

The grass is always greener in someone else's basket

An Easter bonnet can tame even the wildest hare

To show your true colors you have to come out of your shell

The best things in life are still sweet and gooey

May your Cadbury's be boundless and your Jellybeans any color but black!

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

April Fool's, anyone?

It's been a lot of years since I cooked up a really good April Fool's gag. Will have to work on that today.

One year when I worked as an optometric assistant, I really messed with my coworkers. The front office lady was OCD -- I mean, she was a pencil straightener, a line-up-appointment-book-with-edge-of-desk-er, the kind of person who filed stuff the second it landed in her Inbox, but first stopped to re-straighten the pencils, then fixed them again when she returned to her desk... Well, I dug out 6 patient files with unusual names, 3 of them on the ancient side, and stuck them in her box to be filed. Which she promptly put where they belonged. And I promptly pulled and slipped into her box again when she wasn't looking. About the 6th time, she asked the office manager and I if we knew why she kept seeing the same files. LOL. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to keep a straight face for the conversation...
But she did help me out with convincing one of the docs that he had a very late appointment with Problem Patient. He was not at all happy. Even when we told him it was a joke and he didn't really have to see his Number One Pain in the Butt... Perhaps his toupee was on too tight? :)

So. What's your favorite April Fool's joke? Do tell! Below! In the Comment section!

Autumn Piper

Got gags?