USA Today Best of 2012

Friday, September 30, 2011

Amazon poised to kick Apple's butt?

I've gotta love Amazon for being determined to go out there and rumble in the marketplace. Now they're unveiling a tablet--the Kindle Fire--which will do pretty much everything the iPad does, for just $199. They're actually going to sell it at a loss, counting on sales of books/music/movies/general merchandise. I can see this working out for them.

Also--they'll be unveiling a $79 Kindle. Have I mentioned libraries have started loaning Kindle-formatted ebooks now?

And you know, this could be just in time, because my poor Sony Reader's battery just doesn't last anymore.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another Meg, another Wednesday

Just a short review about another Meg Cabot book (yes, I've been on a binge). This one is She Went All the Way. It's a fun, fast read...but this one isn't really appropriate for the YA crowd, in my opinion. Definitely more of an adult selection.

I'd rate it 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 think next on my reading list will be Irresistible Forces, by Brenda Jackson (currently FREE at the Kindle store--I think I got my copy at a holiday giveaway).

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Interview with Lux Zakari

*insert Special Guest music*

Do I have Special Guest music? Well, anyway... today's feature is an interview with authorosa fabulosa, Lux Zakari:

1. What do you like most about writing erotica, and why?

I like that when I write about sex, it feels deserved. I want the scene to be both hot and like nothing else is more important, like the characters’ whole lives were leading up to this one moment. (And, because I am the boss of them, that is the case!) I enjoy creating intense relationships and having them culminate in a satisfying payoff. Doing so also allows me to get creative with ideas I may not have found sexy before, but now they absolutely are.

2. Conversely, what do you hate most about writing erotica/being an erotica author?

Ooh, I enjoy this question! The thing I hate the most about being an erotica author is that I often feel I can’t admit to most people what I write about and, subsequently, that I have a few published works under belt, which is a great achievement and I’m very proud of that. Children’s authors have it easy! I, on the other hand, never know how people will react, with all the writing about erogenous zones I do. I know personally that if I met someone or was interviewing someone for a job and he or she said they wrote erotica novels in their spare time, I’d be all, “Tell me more, tell me more, didja get very far?” and clamoring for details. But I know not everyone’s like that. Some are fainter of heart.

3. Do you think any stereotypes about romance writers or readers are true?

I’m not even sure what stereotypes of romance writers exist! I can’t even begin to suppose. I will say no, because I enjoy romance stories and feel that I am as weird as they come. (Or are romance writers/readers weird as they come? I don’t know!)

4. Finale doesn’t look like the typical romance. (HEA?) Was it a big deviation from your “usual” work?

Finale is definitely not the typical romance. I consider it an unconventional love story, with stress on “unconventional,” considering the story opens with the hero being dead. (On that note, I should probably clarify that there is zero necrophilia in this story! There is not that much stress on “unconventional.”)

As for it being a deviation from my usual work, I don’t think that I yet have usual work for myself. Coercion was my first novel, and it was both erotic and dark, and I suppose that did set a standard for what my future work would be like. However, Finale is definitely a departure from that; I think readers will be surprised at the differences between the two stories. Two other stories of mine that are in pre-publication deviate even further. I hope that readers will associate my work with not any kind of presumption of a plot, but rather that the story will be sexy, funny and intriguing. I’d like my readers to expect not knowing what to expect!

5. If you had it to do over, would you start your writing career differently?

Not at all. I worked hard to get where I am, and actually, I don’t really consider myself truly anywhere yet! I think I’m still at the start of it. There is more to come.

6. Any advice for new/unpublished writers?

Actively seek opportunities that grant you and your writing exposure; you never know where one of those opportunities will lead. For example, writing articles for a local paper may seem far from your dreams of being a famous novelist, but it isn’t. You’re improving your writing, padding your resume and making contacts – people who know other people, who may have other opportunities for you. Wedge that foot of yours in the door. Use social media to make friends with other authors; bounce ideas off each other and don’t be shy about asking for advice. Most of the time, people are happy to help.

Thanks, Lux! You've been awesome. (and now I have that song from Grease in my head for the day, LOL)

Readers, check out Finale, or learn more about Lux at

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Person of Interest... Interesting

Because it's so hard to track down reviews of new shows... :)

We watched Person of Interest last night, with Michael Emerson, best known for his portrayal of Ben on LOST (and I have to confess, he's half the reason I decided to try it. While his characters are creepy, he does creepy so darn well, I have a hard time resisting).

Verdict? Definitely will be watching next week. Although the premise is a bit dark, the acting and storyline were good, and hello hottie Jim Caviezel. Talk about a badass character! I think I've found my replacement for Human Target (Though Caviezel isn't quite a Mark Valley for me, at least not yet).

Anyway. Here's a professional review, too.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sometimes a few minutes is plenty.

It's premiere week--one of my favorite times of the year. I love finding new, awesome shows. (although I'll admit, sometimes I'm a slowpoke and don't really catch on to the really good ones until their 2nd season or beyond)

We watched 2 Broke Girls Monday, and the snarky bits really cracked me up. (tender moments, not so much; don't know if it was the acting or the script was just smarmy in places) I'll probably watch it again next week. 2 1/2 Men con Ashton is a big YES from me.

Last night I gave Unforgettable a shot. Briefly. And you know, I love The Mentalist, and there was another show a few years ago about a psychic who "witnessed" crimes (murders?) that I kinda got into. But this one? Meh. Maybe I was permanently turned off by the show's expert, who went through a crime scene/home and determined the woman who lived there was a "lonely woman" because all her books were romances.


Now, I understand it was the character's opinion, and not necessarily the script writer's... except none of the other characters refuted his call. Kinda irked me. Kinda irked me enough that I picked up my phone and cruised Twitter til I was caught up, then glanced up in time to see some psychic scenes flashing by and really couldn't bring myself to care about the story anymore. Changed the channel to the news. See, for a character to be a successful, liked-by-fans jackass, he's got to have established a relationship with his audience first. Be an amazing, smart-as-hell doctor, like Greg House. But not some dude who just spouts jerky opinions. (wrong opinions, by the way. LOL)

So that's a free time slot I'll have every week. :)

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy! (not lonely, you asinine, opinionated twit of a cop-character)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jelly plunge

Life is all about trying new things, right?

This week I'm going to attempt making jelly. We've got 5 trees sagging with awesome little purple plums, and just can't see letting them go to waste (we can only eat so many, LOL). So, jelly it is. Seems like a relatively simple venture into the World of Canning.

Won't be today, though--I've got a truckload of editing projects to get caught up, reformatted, turned around, uploaded and/or forwarded to the correct place. And tomorrow I'm teacher stunt-doubling. So maybe Wednesday... will report back with the results.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bigger may not always be better...

...but in this case, I think it is.

We've got cottonwood trees around our house, and a few of them seem to be from some goliath species. The trees themselves aren't particularly large, but they grow the most awesome, gargantuan leaves.

The photo shows an average size cottonwood leaf, one from our Lou Ferrigno tree (Texas tree? Google tree?), and a block of Post-It notes, just for size reference.

Big, huh?

I'm collecting the leaves, thinking there's gotta be something craftalicious and MarthaStewarty I can do with them...

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Weview

Sorry, now I've got a particular character from Blazing Saddles stuck in my head...

Anyway. As promised, I'm ready to review Boy Meets Girl, by Meg Cabot.

Yes. I give it a hearty 2 thumbs up, 5 stars, erm... what was the Piper Patter book review highest honors? Oh yeah. Get Your Own Copy. Yeah, that.

This book is so much fun! As mentioned Monday, it's written with zero narrative, entirely of IMs, emails, voice mails (texting wasn't huge when this book came out, 2004ish). This makes it superfast to read, and chock full of character voice, quirks, and snark. I giggled very much. (really, though, I can kind of see why it's hard to track down these types of books in ebook--with all the special formatting involved, it'd be pretty hard to put out a readable version)

The romance is fun, with endearing H and h, both of whom have many reasons to mistrust/dislike the other. And the "bad guys"? A couple who are so utterly despisable (is that a word, or is this what despicable is supposed to replace?), their emails made me wrinkle my nose and hold the book away, in an effort to ward off their stinky snottiness. In other words, they are perfect for each other. LOL

What are you waiting for? Go read it, already. :)

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fun Read

I'm reading Meg Cabot's Boy Meets Girl, and it's such a fun book to read. The entire novel is emails, voice mails, and IMs between the characters. Very funny. (Her Every Boy's Got One is also like this, and it made me laugh out loud so many times.) Rather an unusual delivery, with no narrative at all, but it's snappy and fast-paced, and makes me wonder how much of our narrative is really necessary.

Will probably be delivery review... soon.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yore dumb is showing.

The following post will probably be offensive to idiots, illegals, illiterates, and anyone who feels it necessary or "PC" to coddle them. So if you might belong in one of those categories (don't worry about admitting to the Idiot category--true idiots have no idea of their condition), then please click away and go somewhere else. And without further ado...

Why can't people use the friggin' correct form of "your"? This is not rocket science. "Your" is a pronoun which describes something belonging to you. Your house, your car, your big fat pimple. Your grammar, your education, your whatthehellever you have. "You're"--as indicated by that magical punctuation mark known as an apostrophe--is two words smooshed together, with some letters gone. Those words are "you" and "are". You're kidding me, you're insane, you're invited.

You're invited.
(also, let us not forget "You're in my bubble", which some brilliant mom in town has on the back of her SUV--misspelled as "Your in my bubble", big as shit, to let the whole world know she's illiterate in not just one but two languages)

Which brings me to the cause of this post. Some group calling themselves Literacy Outreach or something similar with the word LITERACY is going around handing out flyers with "YOUR INVITED" plastered in giant letters across the top. Encouraging us all to raise readers.

Uh. *insert Beavis laugh* How 'bout we raise some spellers first? I blame part of this rash of illiteracy on the mishmash of languages and nonEnglish speakers who feel English is just too darn hard to master, so they'll just take a stab at it however sounds right. (like the sign at the front of the neighborhood that read: Yar Sao. I am not making this up! Yar Sao, when said quickly, on a Saturday morning, translates to Yard Sale, in case you're*yore* wondering.) At least one of my kids has tried to tell me it doesn't matter whether you use "your" or "you're". The furious lil texters insist that nobody cares about those things anymore.

Excuse me? I damn well care! I care so much, that here's what I think:

I think if yore ass is dumb enough to go around misusing words like "there, their, they're" and "you're, your"--particularly while claiming to be affiliated with anything educational and/or literate (and yes, this includes the fools making up the flyers for school pictures who think apostrophes belong in plurals--they don't; that's why God created the letter "s"--but that's a whole other rant) then you (ewe? ha!) should be punished. If you can't use the English language properly, then yore not allowed to use it at all. Period. Yore (God, isn't that annoying how I keep f***ing that up?) grounded from English. So go learn (or relearn) another language, or go take a refresher course at yore local college. In the meantime, don't write it or speak it. (Here's where Big Brother would come in handy) Once ewe feel ewe can behave and use it correctly, yore welcome to take a re-English test. Administered at the DMV. Enjoy the hell out of that. Oh, and if you have misworded crap on your car, you'll have to also get a new driver's license. And take that test in English, too.

If you've moved here from another country, and really don't intend to learn English (as only the very most recent rush of immigrants have decided, the last 20 years or so), go the hell back to where it's easy to talk. No, really. I'm not being bitchy. I'm being serious. All the immigrants who came here from Russia and Poland and Nigeria and all over the damn world managed to master English. It's spoken the world over. If you can't get it right, then there might be something wrong with you, not with the rest of the world.

Piper Denna

Special place in hell

Ahh. I love whipping out a squeaky-clean, fresh-off-the-assembly-line-smelling new feature. And my newest, as indicated by the post title, is all about naming those humans for whom there'll be a special place in hell.

Today I'm spotlighting dumpers. I live in a somewhat rural area, and it seems everywhere there's a natural wash type area (aka gulch)--or even just a long, quiet stretch of county road--some asshat decides to dump used tires, appliances, rotten sofas, bags of trash, etc. What gives? Do these losers suddenly get a bug up their butt one day and decide to clean up the yard, load the junk up in the back of their pickup, and cruise around looking for a place to chuck it all? (We do have areas set up just for this type of thing. We nosebreathers call them "landfills".)

Enter the ever-informative sign. Which always makes me shake my head. First of all, it's a crying shame we actually need a sign to tell people they can't just throw their garbage on the side of the road. But also... what is the likelihood a potential dumper read that sign and say, "Oh. I'm not supposed to dump here. Better find another spot. Maybe I'll go to the dump." Pretty slim.

We can only hope they get something special later on, right?

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Of movies and superheroes, hotels and hardbacks.

The "old folks" used to say you learn something every day, but I like to think with all the information coming at us from so many different types of media, we learn quite a few things every day.

We spent last weekend in Denver, in part to get away and lounge by a pool at a nice hotel, and in part to celebrate the Big Mister's birthday. And like every day, I did learn some things:

  • It's really not that hot poolside, when the outside temp is 70 degrees. To that end, goosebumps go a long way to preventing sunburn. (incidentally, we were not the only family who figured out the posh Denver Tech Center hotels/suites are dirt cheap on weekends, thus making it a very affordable destination for chillin' and shopping at the nearby AWESOME Park Meadows Mall.)
  • Teenagers can maintain "pissy", regardless what fun thing you take them to do.
  • $90 jeans for girls size 4-16 (daughterhead is out of that size, BTW, but we noticed the designer name when walking by). $90?? Oh, my smoking head! 90 bucks for jeans that'll fit a little girl for about 15 minutes--unless she's in size 16 and has missed her appointment with the Pituitary Gland OR is of certain Asian descent and will never be taller than Danny DeVito. Crazyshit, dat.
  • Reading a hardcover book makes me really appreciate my Reader. I'm all ebooks, all the time, from here on out, library be damned.
  • Except... I did get hold of a Lori Foster for nice-n-cheap at the Borders final 10 day sale. It's paperback, though, which is infinitely easier to lug around and hold open than a hardback. (I also bought a stack of my own books for just $4 each, which might sound weird, but hey, that's much cheaper than I can replenish inventory, and I sure didn't want them coming back to haunt me on a Returns statement.)
We also went to the movies to see Cowboys and Aliens (which I totally enjoyed--the "good" cowboy isn't all that good, and the "bad" cowboy isn't nearly as bad as everyone thinks, plus I like the actress who played "13" on House, and she's in this movie). I also learned some things from the movie previews:
  • There'll never be too many inspirational movies about horses, and the humans' whose lives they touch. (as evidenced by Disney's War Horse)
  • Medical marijuana is an endless source of comedy (preview for 50/50)
  • We can definitely have more movies with Bradley Cooper as the male lead.
  • The cast of The Big Bang Theory is everywhere. Which is fine--I love all those actors; I'll just be sad when they move on to bigger and better, which'll be the end of a really funny series.
  • I'd have been just fine if they'd have stopped making Batman, Dark Knight movies after, say, the first one. I've got zero interest in seeing this next, "final" one. The preview doesn't thrill me at all. Besides, I'm fundamentally against actors portraying more than one superhero. I applaud Robert Downey, Jr. and think it's awesome he's turned is life--and career-around, but he's Iron Man. Not Batman. And what the heck is the deal with Batman anyhow? Nobody sticks around for more than one movie in that role. Batman is not friggin' James Bond, for God's sake. It's bad enough running all these different actors through the role, but one who's known as another Superhero? No way. I can't imagine Toby Maguire stepping in to play Superman, or Christopher Reeves playing Spidey. One superhero per actor. Should be a law. And hey, maybe the next Bond Boy should be Bradley Cooper...
  • And, most importantly of all: JON BON JOVI is in the sequel to Valentine's Day--New Year's Eve. Jon Bon Jovi, people!!! I almost had to whip out the iPhone and text my pal about it.
I'm off now to ponder future roles for Sir Bradley. And sir JonBon.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Another made it to Amazon

A Fireman for Christmas is now available on Amazon for Kindle.


I'm also set up to Kindlegraph it, if anybody wants an autograph. :)

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

There oughtta be a genre

What will be the "next hot thing" in publishing?

People are talking about knit lit. People are grumbling about vampires, wondering when their popularity will die. (as my friend Sutton pointed out to me, vampires probably won't die--they are undead. LOL) Readers still argue about chick lit: is it over, or is it alive and kicking, or perhaps living under an alias? One thing is for certain: Genres with a bit of alliteration or rhyme in their name tend to flare in popularity.

So here are some Next Hot Thing possibilities--I'll be watching the inbox for these:

  • Fit Lit: All about people into fitness. Perhaps they work in health clubs, teach workout classes, or are just really into being in shape. (I'm guessing the H and h will often be wearing Spandex on these covers) Think Love at Bally's, 24-Hour Romance, Bench Press My Heart
  • Twit Lit: Stories about men and women who aren't the brightest bulbs on the block(aka dumbasses), but find true love with similar souls. Think I Forgot my PIN, But I Can't Forget You;
  • Sit Lit: Stories about coach potatoes who find love online. She's watching child birth stories on Discovery Health while surfing; he's on a break from Age of Empires while the kid in Singapore he's playing with eats his dinner, and his basement-dwelling friend in Canada has to run an errand for his mother. He logs on to all 3 dating sites he's registered with, sees her profile, and Bam! something clicks (well, something besides her peripheral mouse and his Playstation controller)
  • Sick Lit: About those who are perpetually ill, and hypochondriacs. Think Who Needs Sucrets When We Can Make Out?, Heart Aches and Pains, Love Me Like Tiger Balm
  • Wit Lit: Romances involving comedians (sexier ones than on Seinfeld, I hope). Think Tough Crowd, Hot Sex and My Love is No Joke. Expect some wonderful one-liners in the proposals from these heroes.
  • Pit Lit: Tales of those who work in the pit at car races. These people deal with speed, power, risk... and a nice bonus for a win. Besides, what could be sexier than coveralls and strategic oil smudges? Strip My Tires, Check My Oil and Heart Torque
  • Mitt Lit: Even though pretty much any player with an ounce of cool says "glove" and not "mitt" (and this is one genre I could totally get into--I'd love to read these)... Stories about baseball players, their managers, coaches, etc. Yum. I probably shouldn't even get started on mock-up titles--way too much fodder for bad puns. This one might really have a market--look how many baseball movies are out there!
  • Kick Lit: How about a series based in a country bar? Cowboys, beer, shots of whiskey, line dancin', cowboys... it's a recipe for short-term love, at the very least. Did I mention cowboys?
Okay, that should be enough suggestions to get some wheels turning in the industry. Thank me later, when bookshelves are chock full of books with covers featuring a honky-tonk, a baseball diamond, or a weight machine.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy! (so are cowboys) (and baseball players) (what if there was a baseball player who rodeo'd in the offseason? Oh lord, I need to get writing again)