USA Today Best of 2012

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Less really is more

For months now, I've been wondering why I have such a hard time coming up with topics and opinions for blog posts.

And this morning it hit me. Because of Twitter.

When I get hit by those notions, they end up on Twitter in little tidbits, instead of a 1/2 page post here on the blog. So in essence, I'm still writing about as much, it's just coming out in fewer words.


Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, August 29, 2011

There really should be a law

People who write letters to the editor should know what they're talking about. They should have their facts right, or face... I don't know... flogging? No, I'm kidding--but it would be awesome if they lost the privilege of using that venue to get their "opinions" out there.

Around here, if you see a letter to the editor trashtalking our school system/school board/school administrators/teachers, etc, you can pretty much count on the signature at the bottom being from one particular lady--and hopefully most people simply roll their eyes and skip over her drivel. She seldom knows what she's talking about. In fact, I've never seen her inside a school volunteering--just appearing to complain about something and then going on her seldom-merry way. This time she's published false facts about the end-of-year district employee party, which she claims to have "witnessed" and says is at the taxpayers' expense. It's not--the funds for that party come from a contractor the school has used for several buildings, and the money is earmarked for that party only. She also said in her letter that the employees' lodging is included. It's not--employees have always paid for their own rooms, and in fact this year, were asked to pay a small fee at the door to help cover the cost of their dinner, too.

I just have to wonder how one person can be so petty. Every time the district tries to get a mill levy override, she's out there campaigning hard against it, slandering their efforts. Kinda makes me wonder if she once tried for a job there and was turned down, or what? If she was someone who knew what she was talking about, it'd all be different. But man. It's really hard for me to hold my tongue (fingers) and keep from replying to her, correcting all her misinformation. I could so flame this nasty old lady...

Maybe I'll just sit on my fingers and hope a miracle happens and she gets a clue. Stranger things have happened, right?

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Still slacking

Because I still haven't composed my post on How Authors Sabotage Their Own Social Networking Efforts (aka Things That People Do to Piss Me Off on Twitter)...

Here's a link to a few interesting tidbits about men, women, and older folk, and their buying habits in regards to ereaders vs tablets. Kinda cool. Seems women are leaning toward dedicated book-reading devices, whereas men go for all the bells and whistles. Hm. Gadget envy? Function envy? I-can't-afford-the-fuel-for-a-Vette-so-I-got-this-tablet, ain't-I-a-stud envy?

I'm pretty excited about the older crowd getting ereaders--so nice for those who need larger fonts to read comfortably!

Anyhow. Have a great weekend.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dressing a character, by guest Stephanie Beck

Today I've got an awesome guest blogger, Stephanie Beck--author of the new Panties Optional.

Here's what Steph has for us:

When I was twenty-two my best friend took me shopping and very gently told me to quit dressing like a twelve year old boy. Looking back, I’m grateful for her intervention. T-shirts and jeans are fantastic and I still wear them all the time, but let’s just say...yeah things are better now.

Dressing characters is something I really have to think about because fashion to me isn’t that important. I know to some people, clothes really say a lot about a personality and I want the details to line up. A woman who wears long skirts and flowy blouses provides a softer feel. Piercings and tattoos give a completely different impression. That goes for men as well. The button up shirt, slacks vs. jeans, how they cut their hair—each detail adds another dimension.

Sometimes the clothes really mean something. If there’s been trauma a certain outfit or piece of clothing might be a comfort. It could add to a mask the character wears around others. Not wearing a certain item might signify freedom.

What a character wears or doesn’t wear can set a mood and tone of a story. Starting out by leaving the panties at home sets an immediate sexy scene where layering on long underwear, jeans, snow pants and parka...not so much.

Has a character ever had a style you wanted to emulate? A pair of shoes you really wanted?

Panties Optional-A One Night Stand Story by Stephanie Beck

Blurb: Maggie Chase has a wild night of passion planned with the help of Madame Evangeline’s dating service, 1NightStand. A single night with an incredible man, what more can a busy girl ask for?

Sam Peterson requests that Madame Evangeline help him find a woman who isn’t after him for his money. Maggie may just fit the bill, but with her list of fantasies in hand, she may be more than he bargained for.

Forever isn’t on either one of their minds, but maybe it doesn’t have to be.


“Maggie Chase?”

“That’s me,” she said, adjusting her purse higher on her shoulder. The big tote didn’t quite match her outfit, but the sexy clutch she preferred wouldn’t have held a change of clothes and her toothbrush.

“Follow me, please. Madame Evangeline has arranged for your caller to meet you in the lounge.”

Lounge. Which meant they were going to the super-fancy part of the Castillo. She loved how decadent she felt within the expensive, gorgeous walls of the hotel. Rare art and beautiful fabrics surrounded her at every corner. As an interior decorator, she recognized them for the treasures they were. Could they have held back on the gold plating? Sure, but it suited the hotel and Vegas lifestyle.

As they meandered through the crowd, Maggie wondered why she wasn’t more nervous. One-night stands and paid escorts never entered her normal strategies for getting laid. Not that she expected the guy waiting for her to be some gigolo, but still, hooking up with a stranger to get string-free sex should have felt at least a little wrong. And maybe it did. Maybe that little bit of naughty provided the catalyst making her so hot.

Her escort stopped short, and Maggie nearly tripped. She grabbed the booth end before she fell on her ass and embarrassed herself, while forcing her heels to stop before she impaled the poor man. The stilettos were tall and wickedly sharp. They were plain wicked, but that didn’t mean she wanted to draw blood with them.

“Mr. Peterson, allow me to introduce Ms. Chase. If either of you have a need, wave from here. I’ll be watching.”

With those instructions, the liaison walked away. Despite the dim light, Maggie could see the man across from her. A stranger. A hot stranger wearing a gray shirt too nice to be called casual but far from fussy. He stood and offered a hand, showing a slim-to-the-point-of-scrawny frame, but when he leaned forward, his face, lean like the rest of him, made her breath catch.

Panties Optional is also available from Amazon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Too good to not pass on.

Caught this link on Twitter... Ten Things About Publishing That Keep Me Up at Night. Cute.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book review: Midnight Sun, by MJ Fredrick

I tried this book because, well... it's by an author on my roster and I love her stuff. Plus, it was a good deal, and I'll admit to a smidgen of curiosity because she'd self-pubbed it. (We've all heard the really bad reports about self-pubbed books that are a total trainwreck, but I had faith in her.) So here's my review:

Ever do something one night, and regret it the next day?

From the moment Marcus wakes up to find Brylie gone, he misses her. And from the moment later in the day when Brylie discovers hottie Marcus--her hook-up from the night before--is actually her boss, she knows this voyage is going to be trouble. Brylie’s got more reason than “office politics” to be wary of a relationship with a silver-spooned snowboarder who has the power to fire her from her job as head chef aboard a tourist ship to Antarctica. When Marcus’s family sent him cruising on one of their ships to keep him out of trouble, they had no idea the danger they’d sentenced him to—or that their “bad boy” would end up a hero.

Cruise ships and conflict, pirates and private pasts, tension and tempestuous seas… MJ Fredrick grabs with an action-packed plot, relatable characters, sizzling hot romance, and plenty of suspense--proof positive that “self published” is not synonymous with shoddy fiction.

I rate this book a Get Your Own Copy! A book you love so much, no way are you loaning it out. Worthy of high praise and frequent recommendations – but trust us, if you let someone borrow this one, they’ll “forget” to return it. Don’t miss the next title by this author.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Good outlook, and... cowardly authors?

Yet another news article detailing the explosion in ereading since 2008--this one brought on by info from the techno-makers behind eInk displays. Good news.

Which goes on to discuss ebooks, ebooks conquering paperbacks on Amazon, another self-pubbed author hitting it big (1 million Kindle copies) on Amazon, and the inevitable... ebook pricing.

Oh, and let us not forget, we've got yet another best-selling author who has apparently relied upon a somewhat gutless agent for eons and believes authors' hands are tied by this newfangled ebook business because publishers just don't want to pay authors properly for their hard work. Pardon me, but there's this document called a contract... unless somebody's holding la pistola to your head or has tied a fair maiden to parallel iron tracks with an attached locomotive barreling straight for her, you don't have to sign it (even if the handle-bar mustached agent tells you to). You're legally free to find one someplace else, where they will pay you properly. Heck, here's an idea. Why not search out some small press whose entire year(existence?) you'd like to make, sign with them (for a whopping huge percentage compared to what you're used to), and use your significant fan base to sell your next book? You don't need no stinking big publisher. People buy your books because your name is on them--not because of that publisher logo on the cover. Grow some business cajones and go for it. You'll be able to stand much taller in your boots, knowing you stood up for yourself and took charge of your business, rather than... whatever it is you're doing now.

I predict about the time each of our friendly large publishers lose a couple of their "star" authors who've set out on their own, said large publishers will begin offering much better terms on electronic royalties. Or is that just wild thinking?

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New release--Sea's Sorceress

I'm pleased to announce the release of Sea's Sorceress, #4 in the Elemental Magic series by Brynna Curry. It's 30% off this week at the Lyrical Press bookstore, for just $2.45.

It's a fast read, about best friends whose relationship grows a bit deeper, family values, and a bit of Irish magic. (and I've been waiting 3 books to see Skye get his happily ever after)

Only 1 more book in this series, and then I'll be a bit lost. Brynna'd better come up with something else for me to edit!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

On editing

I've been interviewed by Naughty Nights Press on the subject of editing. (this month they've also interviewed cover artists and other editors) Lots of info on the down-and-dirty work of editing.

(there's a content warning, and it's because of a few racey photos at the top of the blog, but not anything in my interview)

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wonder if they saw that coming?

Apple and 5 of the Big 6 publishers are being sued for illegal price fixing via the agency model.


You can read all about it here... an Apple Insider article

Or, at the other end of the spectrum and laid out in more crisp black and white, a Windows IT article. I rather enjoyed this article more--especially the quote from Steve Jobs "Apple CEO Steve Jobs infamously dissed ebooks two years before releasing iBooks, claiming, "The fact is that people don't read anymore. The whole conception is flawed at the top."

Heh. Although I'm sure Jobs is man enough to admit he was wrong, it is funny to see how wrong so many bigwigs were about ebooks.

Meanwhile...Both articles say ebook sales have jumped 1274% since 2008, which is a much more feasible figure than that 39% in the article I cited in Wednesday's post, about ebooks saving the publishing biz. I still have no freaking idea where that number came from.

In yet another article, this one on the site belonging to the law firm representing the plaintiffs,
we discover that anyone who has purchased an ebook by one of the big 6, since the agency model was adopted (basically since iPad released). The site even has a link to register as potential plaintiff. Which makes it very easy and also makes me wonder if this isn't The Case this firm is hoping for to make their name. And yet... I really don't think it's okay for those big publishers to have told Amazon what price they could sell their books for--and if Amazon didn't comply, they pulled the books. Hello? Amazon is largely responsible for making ebooks what they are now. Go anyplace and listen to somebody mention ebook readers--somebody will invariably say, "You mean a Kindle?" On our flights last month, when the attendants asked everyone to power off electronic devices, they'd say, "This includes Kindle book readers." Kindle is the Kleenex (Band-Aid) of ereaders. For those publishers to waltz in and take advantage of Amazon's much-earned success in ebooks by saying, "Whoa. Now this is the new craze. We're going to make more money on it, and you're going to charge that money for us"... is not okay. Do filmmakers get to tell theaters how much they'll charge per ticket for people to see their movies? Digitally downloaded songs and CDs are usually cheaper than buying the actual CD, and we don't see music artists bitching that they are losing money. In fact, the music business has realized their products move like hotcakes now--with different types of distribution costs, and yet, artists and producers are still making money, and consumers are still consuming.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Contrary to a snarky comment from a best-selling author to me last summer, something along the lines of, "Sure, I'll sign your Sony Reader, even though I hate what ebooks are doing to the publishing industry" it seems the sale of ebooks has driven overall growth in that industry. (and is me, or does that guy reading in the photo look like the head Nazi in Raiders of the Lost Ark? You know, the one whose face melted off when they opened the Ark?)

I'm a bit confused about some of their numbers--for instance, I'm pretty sure ebook sales overall have gone up more than 39% in the past three years (more like 300% if I was to guess). But still.

People obviously think there are jobs to be had in the publishing business too, judging by the number of people who query me every day asking about editing jobs.

Recession much? Seems like everybody is after a 2nd job, which unfortunately many people believe will pay millions because "SusieLou in your hometown is earning $8000 a week working at home!" People just don't want to hear that those jobs don't really exist. (live webcams not withstanding)

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

New cover art

Fantasy Mountain is slated for release in early January with Lyrical Press. (I'm so excited to get this book "out there" to a wider reading audience!)

And I got the cover art for it....

Isn't it lovely? I still swear Renee does the best cover art in the business.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Things That Work

This is probably my favorite bra of all time. Not only can you change the straps out and attach them halter-style, racerback, or normal, but you can also change where they attach along the back strap. (very nice for women like me with somewhat narrow slip-off shouders--you can adjust the straps to hook toward the middle, without being crisscrossed, and still hide them under any type of tank top) It comes with a set of clear straps also, though I'll admit those drive me nuts. The last option would be strapless... which makes this the ultimate bra to wear shopping, because no matter what you're trying on, this bra will work with it.

At $50, it's not cheap, but not more than most of Victoria's Secret bras.

Definitely gets the Piper Patter Seal of Affection.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Catching up

A few of my online pals have been asking for some photos from our trip. So... Here we go.

This is me on the first evening, in all my just-showered-and-didn't-bother-with-much-makeup-or-hairstyling glory:

One of many floaties we spent hours on. Kinda cute how somebody pushed it out there with 2 straws in 1 cup. Every beach chair at the resort comes with one of these--makes it nice and cushy for laying on the chair, and divine for floating in the water.

"World famous" Rick's Cafe... Lots of cliff diving there for entertainment. Go
od food and drinks, too!

Dear hubby Jim:

The view from our balcony:

This was a crucial component. Stand it up, and somebody appeared quickly (if not magically) to take a drink order. I might've set a record for beachside mimosa consumption....

Last day, while we were waiting for our airport shuttle. My half-open eyes were probably a symptom of trying not to cry!

I *heart* Jamaica, mon!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Monday, August 1, 2011


Nope, not a typo. I'm not talking about Very Important Peeps, I'm talking about a Very Ponderous Inbox.

Ugh. Only problem with skimming emails for pressing matters for 2 weeks is, all those not-so-pressing items become a bit more important with the time lapse.

I spent yesterday planning a strategy (aka composing Mongo To Do List) for conquering it. So away I go. If I don't surface by Wednesday, send in reinforcements, will ya?

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!