USA Today Best of 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Made the USA Today list!

Trouble Won't Wait made the Best of 2012 for USA Today's Happy Ever After list!!!

Yes!

It truly did.

Check it out: http://
usat.ly/Z1PRUV
Doing a little Piper pitter-patter-jig thingy right now. :)

Now that's the way to end the year with a bang!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bonus just for you!

On Monday I mentioned the creepy quandary Mandy was in when a strange man approached her while she was out walking alone on Thanksgiving day. He seemed nice, and was easy on the eyes, but admitted he'd been watching her walk by his house every day. She wasn't sure whether to feel flattered, or freak out.

Today I've got a special bonus, for your eyes only (it's not in Trouble Won't Wait). After their conversation ends and Mandy heads home, Adam gets a surprise visit from Rifle's finest:


Adam watched Mandy until she took a right onto the next street and he couldn’t see her anymore.

That had gone pretty well. Actually, it had gone great. Those eyes of hers…he’d almost forgotten to speak at one point when he’d been looking into them. Things felt better than they had since--in a long time. He hadn’t come across as a total dork, and Mandy had seemed to like him. She’d opened up, an unexpected bonus.

He shoved his hands into his jeans pockets and headed back home, whistling. Had almost made it back to his driveway, when a police cruiser pulled up beside him and stopped. Weird. Maybe he’d keep walking…but the cop killed the engine and opened his door.

“Stop right there.” No mistaking the command was meant for him. “Officer Tisdale, Rifle PD.”

He froze in place, and eased his hands out of his pockets.

The cop came around the car and stood in front of him, hands on his hips. “We got a call about a suspicious male, matching your description, possibly harassing a female in the area.”

“Call?” Adam looked around. “From who?”

“Don’t you worry about it. A concerned neighbor called in, said you followed the lone woman into the cemetery, and then when she came out, you were tailing her home.”

Christ. “I live next to the cemetery. Walked in there, introduced myself. Last I heard, it’s still legal for a guy to have a friendly conversation with a woman.” What a bunch of BS. He hadn’t done anything wrong. In fact, he could probably call one of the company lawyers tomorrow and have this small-time Fife reprimanded for harassment.

“Don’t get smart. What’d you want from her?”

“Look. She’s cute. Okay? I’ve…noticed her before.” He scuffed the toe of his Doc in the gravel, then looked back up at the cop. “She was having a bad day, so I went out to make sure she’s okay.”

“Bad day.” The cop narrowed his eyes. “How would you know, if you just introduced yourself?”

What a dumbass. “I could tell by the way she was walking. And her eyes were puffy. She’d been crying.” Some things a guy just knew, and had to act on. But he wasn’t about to tell Officer Bigshot that.

“Uh-huh. So what was she upset about?”

Adam looked the cop in the eye. “Not my story to tell.” She’d been pretty determined to keep it quiet until she had time to think things through.

The cop turned red and shook his head. “So. Your story is, you saw her walk by, could tell she’d been crying, and went out to check on her. At which point she confided her problems in you, then you walked her up the street.”

“Yes.”

“No chance you’ve been stalking her, since you think she’s cute?”

Stalking? Not exactly. But he’d definitely gone out of his way to make sure he could see her go by each day. And today, he’d needed to go meet her, even before he noticed she was upset. Not something he could share, though. Or he’d end up on some watch-list. He shook his head. “Nope. No stalking.”

The cop jabbed his finger toward him. “You’re new in town, arencha?”

“Been here about two months.”

“And you live alone?”

Adam nodded, the lump of misery pressing inside his chest like something he’d eaten hadn’t done down all the way. Alone. His least favorite word.
“Name?” The officer pulled notepad from his pocket. “Don’t suppose you got any ID on ya, so I’m going on your word here.”

He swallowed the lump and took a deep breath. “Adam Kraft.” Shit. He could only hope the guy didn’t go digging too deep. Some things in his past needed to stay there.

Tisdale noted his name and looked over at Adam’s house. “This your address?” At Adam’s nod, he scribbled some more, then snapped the pad shut and shoved it in his pocket. “Here’s the thing. Any women come up missing, I’m thinking of you first. Got it?”

He shrugged and nodded. What choice did he have? “Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, officer.”

His face burned as he walked up his drive. All he’d done was meet Mandy. After two months. Now this. But it wouldn’t keep him from coming out to talk to her tomorrow, or the day after. Unless she told him she didn’t want him to. And then he’d…Christ. He just hoped she wouldn’t.

Trouble Won't Wait hit Amazon yesterday!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?
Twitter: AutumnPiperAuth
autumnpiper.com


Monday, November 5, 2012

Stalk-mantic?


In certain social situations, we expect to meet new people, make new acquaintances, possibly launch meaningful relationships. In other situations…notsomuch. In fact, if a “strange” adult approaches a child, everyone goes on alert. Likewise if an unfamiliar man starts a conversation with a woman. Sure, if you’re out in a bar or at a party, you might expect men and women to exchange numbers.

But what if you’re a woman out alone for a walk or jog? And what if the guy approaches in an isolated spot? That’s what happens to Mandy, the heroine in Trouble Won’t Wait. She’s out on a walk, alone, and goes through the cemetery to use the solitude for some soul-searching. This strange—although incredibly hunky—guy walks straight for her and strikes up a conversation…and then admits he watches her every day when she runs by his house.

Um. Creepy? Or flattering? She knows her head isn’t on straight today…too much emotional upheaval. So is that making her more willing to accept Adam’s attention, or more suspicious of him? After all, he’s just a guy, and he’s not acting like a stalker. Other than the confession about eyeballing her from his window. But if he’s really a creep, would he admit to that? Is she nuts for feeling like the whole thing is kinda romantc?

In the end, gut instinct is all she’s got to go on. She doesn’t lug around mace or a Taser; after all, and she probably couldn’t outrun a buff guy like him…even if she wanted to.

Does her instinct steer her wrong?


Good things may come to those who wait, but trouble waits for no one…

Cheating is a dealbreaker...or so Mandy’s always thought. But when she catches her husband getting some “strange,” she realizes how hard it is to cut and run, or even file papers. She agrees to a month of counseling, which will give her time to grieve the loss of her marriage before she has to tell the world—and the kids. Then she meets Adam, who gives her a hunky--if mysterious--shoulder to cry on, and that thirty-day waiting period seems like an eternity.

Adam has no problem confessing that he’s watched Mandy from his window for months as she runs by his house. If he told her why, though, she’d freak out for sure. He knows they’ve got a future together, if he can think of a way to explain his past. And he’s sure the rat-bastard who cheated on her is putting the moves on her again, but he won’t be the revenge guy. The month-long cooling off period she agreed to is lasting forever, and might just be indefinite, if trouble keeps getting in their way.

WARNING: Eccentric old lady pushing salt-of-the-earth advice, bossy big brother, kooky counselor, super-secretive hunk, and perfect justice served amidst adult situations and language.


It's been a little iffy, whether Trouble Won't Wait would be available for sale today. Hurricane Sandy knocked out power for a week at Lyrical Press headquarters, and only came back on last night. So please be patient, if you buy books for Kindle. It'll be available soon, I promise!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?
Twitter: AutumnPiperAuth

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Balls in the air, and balls to the wall

Okay, before you get too excited, this post is not about testicles. :) Perv.

It's about having a lot going on at once (like, you know, juggling so many balls at one time) and going all-out, full-speed ahead (aka balls to the wall). That second analogy has some interesting history. Most places I researched say it refers to fighter jets, when they slide their joystick/throttle lever into the fully open position, the knob at the top (ball) hits the wall. Clever, eh? And I thought "balls to the wall" meant the G-force kinda, you know... mashed a guy's junk. I feel so enlightened.

I find myself looking up phrases such as this all the time when I'm editing. Sometimes the author misspells a word, or uses a similar-sounding word in the metaphor, and I have to go looking to make sure I have the phrase right. For an interesting time, Google "raising Cain".

In any case, I seemingly have more time than ever to do my job(s) as Quickbookskeeper for hubby's business, editor, executive editor, and writer. But every week is just as busy as the last. That could be due in part to my enormously grown roster (I think I've added about 10 authors since this time last year). Also, I'm trying like heck to edit 2 books per month. Which means in a world where I'm all caught up (aka Imaginaryland), I'm reviewing 2 successful submissions per month, getting 2 authors per month started on their pre-edits, formatting 2, content editing 2, reviewing line edits for 2, building galleys for 2, correcting galleys for 2, and completing the final file formats for 2. Whew! Listing that out makes me tired. LOL

But it's part of my master plan, to be home where I'm more likely to have writing time. Did I write today? Well, a paltry 200 words, but hey. It's something. If I did that every weekday, it'd only take like a year and a half to write a full book, right? ;)

So, well, I went looking for a YouTube clip to embed here. Remember on the old Star Trek when they'd take off at Warp Speed, and crew would be tossed and thrashed around their stations? Yeah, that's what I wanted to embed. LOL But after dinking around for 10 minutes, I got nothin' (even tried for a clip of the Delorian from Back to the Future, but ended up watching some parody trailer for Brokeback to the Future. Not the best use of my time...And now I might have bad dreams about Marty and Doc getting it on). So use the imagination God and Willy Wonka gave you, and picture me slamming around in my office chair in front of my laptop, will ya?

Cause I'm taking this publishing career on... Warp Speed!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tubesday

In honor of a most lovely country tune I used for my Tune Trivia today on Facebook, I had to share an (almost) equally famous rendition of Tammy Wynette's classic: 



Have a great Tuesday.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Things That Suck More Than Mondays

All I got today is...stomach flu. And it defiinitely sucks more than Mondays.
Doing it on a Monday is about as suckish as... I dunno. Quicksand?

Blech.

Good day to lay around and read submissions, I suppose.

Piper

Friday, September 7, 2012

You don't know what other people do with their time.

Soapbox moment here.

A certain someone who I follow on Twitter (and who often has informative and/or entertaining things to share) ruffled my feathers this morning, in a big way.

She's pretty proud because she's written 25k in 5 days, and expects to top 35k by day 7. Awesome. Really cool thing to share. Except she prefaces this pride by saying those people who don't have time to write simply don't make the time. Because, after all, she has a full time job and a blog. So don't tell "her" you don't have time to write.

Now, hold on here, Ms. Superpants. You have no idea what responsibilities other people take care of. Maybe they have kids. (doesn't sound like you do, since you're singing the anthem of singles everywhere, so proud of yourself for managing 1 whole fulltime job. *insert Welcome Back Kotter gang going "wooooooo!"*) Maybe they care for aging/ill family members. Maybe they--gasp--have more than 1 job, or maybe they go to school in addition to working. Perhaps they have health problems, or direct the local charity organization.

Yes, women--moms especially--are prone to putting their needs on the backburner, and often forfeiting their wants entirely. I have to make a conscious effort to claim my writing time, or it'd be taken over by cleaning bathrooms more often, mowing, painting the house, laundry, errands, you name it. I'm well aware some days I don't get time to write because of my own poor time management or lack of aggression in claiming the time. But I also know people with little kids, with businesses, with multiple jobs, with diseases like MS who impress the hell out of me when they turn out a chapter.

So in the end, I didn't unfollow Ms. Judgmental. Nor did I post a reply comment saying "You are far superior!" like I'd wanted. But it probably would've been worth it. :)

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy! --bragging is fun, judging is neither


Friday, August 31, 2012

LK Below talks about favorite characters


24 Days until the release of This Blackened Night, The Order: Book 3!

Every author has a set of characters more dear to their hearts than any others. In most cases, this stems from these characters being among the first ever created. I won't claim Lori and Terrence were my very first, but they did come close. Their first book, Stalking Shade, which released in 2011, was originally written in 2007. And rewritten. And rewritten.

And now it feels like a dear friend is moving away. With the release of This Blackened Night on September 24th, 2012, the trilogy will come to an end. Lori might be a prickly character, not easy for anyone but Terrence to love, but I had a lot of fun with her. When I wrote this third book late last year, I dragged my feet to see it finished for the same reason. I didn't want to let the pair of them go. A not-so-secret part of me is hoping for an overwhelming response from readers asking me to continue so I have an excuse to revisit my favorite characters.

For now, I'm counting down the days until the third book releases. Maybe you'll fall in love with Lori and Terrence every bit as fiercely as I have. Lori might be stubborn in pushing people away, but Terrence is the most persistent character I've ever written. Good thing, too.

Join me in celebrating the release of the third book a bit early with this short, sweet teaser excerpt:


This Blackened Night by L.K. Below

With murders cropping up all around, who should she trust?

After months of searching, Lori finally scrounges up a clue as to the whereabouts of the missing leader of her secret organization. But her vision isn't encouraging--it points to her vampire companion Terrence as the culprit.

Terrence is adamant that he isn't at fault. Even though she knows she might be walking into a trap, she follows his lead to a shabby island port. When her informants start turning up dead with puncture wounds in their necks, Lori wonders just how well she knows Terrence. And why does he act different during the search than in their hotel room?

Lori doesn't know who to trust anymore. She only hopes that she won't be the next victim.


Six Sweet Sentences from the book:

“Are you planning on standing here all night?”

Terrence’s voice, but it held none of his usual warmth. Lori jumped. She turned, her fingers itching for the stake in her boot. Did he suspect she’d followed him? From his tone of voice, she thought so.



Learn more about the series as a whole on the Lyrical Press, Inc. website: http://bit.ly/TheOrderSeries.

Read a longer excerpt from This Blackened Night at http://bit.ly/ThisBlackenedNight.


Bio: If L.K. Below gets far too attached to her characters, well, that's because they're interesting people. Read two of her favorites in her urban fantasy series, The Order. Join her online at www.lbelow.net to learn more. Want to keep up to date with her tour stops? Follow her on Twitter (http://twitter.com/LBelowtheauthor) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/LK-BelowLindsay-Below/355586159614)

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Awesome Mom!

I read this blip from the AP in the paper on Sunday, and it struck a chord with me.

A woman in Maine gave birth to her grandson.

Yep, her grandson. Because her daughter has a heart condition and can't carry a baby, she offered to be a gestational surrogate. Mom (Grandma) is 49, has 4 kids of her own, and the youngest are in college, so it's been awhile since she's done this...but she says she thinks this last pregnancy was the easiest for her.

Baby Madden was 7 lbs, 14 oz and is doing great.

But...isn't that so sweet? What an awesome mom!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Things That Suck More Than Mondays

I'm reinstating an oldie-but-goodie from years back on Piper Patter: Things That Suck More Than Mondays, in which I try to make us all feel a bit better about having to rise and shine on this most dastardly of days.

So...

  • Choosing that toilet stall with only those two squares of toilet paper (not mentioning when you get the one with no TP at all... even Mondays aren't bad enough to bring that up!)
  • Stubbing your toe
  • Funerals

And that's all I've got today. Must go convince myself it's good to be up and about, instead of tucked nice and warm inside the bed.

Happy Monday, y'all.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Why Nora is The Bomb

I read a book I chose this week--for the first time since last January: Nora Roberts' The Next Always. With my eye problem, my normal workload got quite backlogged and reading for fun just hasn't been an option. But now I'm mostly caught up, so when I took my daughter to the library and saw Nora on the "New" rack, I grabbed the book without even reading the jacket copy.

And I'm so glad I did it.

No matter the naysayers' spew, I can always count on Nora to deliver just what I want from a romance. This one roped me in from the beginning, with characters who have a dog named Dumbass (and yes, upon getting to know the dog better, I had to agree his name fits, LOL). I know it's a trilogy and by about 50 pages in I could tell you what couples the other 2 books will be about, and...I'm so ready to read them too.

Here's a couple lines from the book, the place where I had my "awwww moment".

"Maybe she'd been sliding, she realized, inching her way along.  But this was the finish line, the moment she knew--no doubts--she loved. The moment she could see herself with him next month, next year, next always."

See? Is there anything un-bombish about those wonderful lines? Anything at all?

I give this book an unquestionable 5 stars. It was such a nice, nice break from reading submissions (some of which have been good, don't get me wrong!). I could relax and depend on that happy ending, that moment of awwww.... Yeah. That's what reading for pleasure is all about.

And now I'm off to the library, hoping the next in the series is available. Wish me luck!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A bachelorette interview

What if the bachelorette could choose 2 guys? These and many other sordid thoughts go through my head sometimes...or else how could I write erotic romance, right? 

Super awesome author LK Below had the great idea of doing a Bachelorette-style interview with my main characters from Victoria's Secret Wish.

And I have to admit, I felt extremely... daunted when I first looked at the questions. But I got myself back inside the characters' heads--eventually--and here's how it turned out. Fun!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rockin' the bad girl

I'm still working with the bad girl from Victoria's Secret Wish. She's interviewed by my favorite fictional news mag/show: The Scoop Zone, or TSZ. (sound familiar? LOL), posted on Sara Jayne Townsend's blog.

Have a great day!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another review in

...and another review is in for Victoria's Secret Wish, this time from author Jessi Gage. Jessi does great reviews, and quotes lines from books, citing their Kindle locations. Awesome.

Anyway, she made me feel all warm inside.

Please check it out.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Today I'm guest blogging at Fox Tales, where Sutton was kind enough to display all the deets about Victoria's Secret Wish, and I talk about why I'd mess with Vic & Britt's lovely HEA by taking them triad. She'll be posting a review on Friday!

At Sondrae Bennett's blog, we have a fun interview, with the villain(ess) of Victoria's Secret Wish. (I love writing bad guys, so why not interview them too, right?)

Thanks for stopping by!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Characters on the spot, and messing with a good thing.

Today I'm out and about in a couple of guest spots.

First, I discuss Why mess with a good thing? with author Calisa Rhose... as in, why take chances in my characters' Brett and Victoria's perfectly good relationship when my muse insisted they'd do well in a menage. We're giving away a copy of Victoria's Secret Wish, to one random commenter.

And my characters--all 3 of them, Vic, Britt, and David, get interviewed on author Jennifer Lowery's blog. Some candid answers to tough questions.

Off to work up my guest post for tomorrow.

Toodaloooo!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, August 6, 2012

An Olympic swimmer and some sizzle for your summer

Coincidentally and through no pre-planning of my own (really!), my newest story, in which I have a hero who is an Olympic gold medal swimmer (read hot, hot, hottie), releases today.

Victoria's Secret Wish is here! This is book 2 of the Fantasies, Inc series, where Victoria and Brett do a little experimenting in their marriage...

The Very Awesome Maya Blake was kind enough to review an ARC, and here are her thoughts:

Miss Denna is back again with her awesome Fantasy Series! Book Two – Fantasies Inc, Victoria's Secret Wish moves the action from the mountains of Wyoming to the decks of Fantasy, Inc - Aphrodite cruise ship where, once again, all sorts of fantasies are catered for. Book One took us on a roller coaster of "will they? won't they?" between Victoria and Brett (or Britt as she affectionately calls him). I happy-sighed for them when they got their HEA, so I was a bit, okay, a lot curious to see where Miss Denna would take their story next. I wasn't disappointed.
Victoria is a self-confessed control freak (you'll have to read Book One to find out why!) and Brett is determined to make her lose control just once. Inviting another man into their marriage bed in order to push their relationship forward was always going to be a tricky proposition. David is a younger guy, a seriously hot swimmer, with a bod to die for, and a career and reputation to protect. Vic and Brett are at the stage in their marriage where trying for a baby seems the natural step. Despite these huge stumbling blocks, all three were prepared to take a chance on one another. At first, David seemed to slot in (pardon the pun) perfectly. By the end of the book, this love triangle seemed almost meant to be. I was a bit wary of how a Happy Ever After would work for this trio. Happily, the clever Miss Denna chose a Happy For Now ending that left me satisfied that they'd work out whatever road bumps that came their way.
Victoria's Secret Wish is a hot, erotic, fantastic must-read and I count myself lucky enough to have been one of the first to get my grubby little hands on it!!
And for those readers who love a bit of suspense to keep the blood boiling, our not-so-friendly stalker is back…and this time, he has an accomplice!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Guest author, LK Below

Today I welcome a guest, LK Below. Her newest release, Beauty in His Bed is set in New Orleans, and includes an awesome tarot scene. So she's talking a little about tarot cards:




Ten Fun Facts About Tarot Readings

1. Tarot originated as early as 1540. A book entitled The Oracles of Francesco Marcolino da Forli from that time period shows a rudimentary form of divination, though the cards held little meaning. By 1735-1750, the cards had developed means based on the symbolism of the drawings.

2. The most common deck is the Rider-Waite deck, designed by Pamela Coleman Smith based on instructions from occultist Arthur Edward Waite and originally published by the Rider Company in 1910.

3. Before tarot developed, the cards were called trifoni cards and used as playing cards for games like trumps.

4. There are 78 cards in a deck: 22 in the Major Arcana, and 56 in the Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana consists of four suits, most commonly shown as: wands/staffs, swords, cups, and pentacles/coins. The cards in the Minor Arcana number from Aces to Ten and include Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings.

5. There are over fifty commonly used tarot layouts, and more being created all the time.

6. The oldest surviving tarot cards are from fifteen fragmented dekcs painted in the mid 1400s. They belonged to the Visconti-Sforza family, who were at the time the rulers of Milan.

7. Giacomo Casanova had a Russian mistress who read tarot cards.

8. The Bioardo Tarrochi poem, written between 1461 and 1494, describes the symbolism of the tarot (tarrochi) cards at that time.

9. Guido Gillabel has a museum called Tarot Haven, which contains over one thousand different decks.

10. It's featured briefly in my newest release, Beauty in His Bed!


Here's an excerpt:

After a minute, she looked up. “Has something turbulent happened to you recently?”

Flabbergasted, Amy felt her mouth drop open. She craned her neck to peer at the cards. Did they show that Tim had broken up with her? All she saw was a bunch of swords and staffs. What did that mean?

Danielle continued, “I only ask because of these cards.” She pointed at the first two. “This one, representing the past, is the two of swords. You see how the figure is blindfolded? That could indicate that you were once blinded to something or someone. Even so, based on the figure’s position, you also felt defensive. Maybe you’ve felt that way for a long time.” She moved on to the second card. “But here in the spot representing the present, you have the six of swords. It shows that you’re running away from something. See the choppy water on this side of the boat? You’re sailing from something bad into calmer waters. That could be the reason you’re here in New Orleans.”

Amy didn’t look at Monique. But she didn’t have to. Danielle was completely right--she was running from something. Her breakup.

When she didn’t say anything, Danielle pointed to the third and last card. This one was brighter than the others, with a yellow background and garland twining around four staffs. “This is your future, the four of wands. It indicates a celebration to come. Normally, this card means there will be a wedding in the future, but it could be any kind of party. A baby shower, a housewarming party, or even the celebration of an accomplishment.”

Unfortunately, Amy knew which one the card indicated. There would be a wedding in the future--it just wouldn’t be hers.


Beauty in His Bed is now available from Lyrical Press, Inc. Read more or buy it at http://bit.ly/BeautyInHisBed. Visit L.K. Below online at www.lbelow.net.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Doing a character interview today...

The wonderful Jennifer Lowery has interviewed my favorite couple (from my own books, that is): Victoria and Brett. And they had so much fun! Check it out.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why God Made Offices

Yeah, plenty of people probably envy me because I work from home. Heck, if I didn't work from home, I'd envy it, too.


But some days, I can really understand why some employers are reluctant to let employees "telecommute" (is there a new word? because that one sounds "So 90's" to me"). It's probably because certain people in high places at those companies have tried working from home on occasion and figured out how hard it is. Particularly for women.


What could be hard about working from home?


Picture me sitting down to my laptop (it's on the kitchen table, because somebody else whose business office is in our home commandeered the good spot for his desk). I'm cracking open a book file to edit, and looking at my To Do List. Uh-oh. I need to pay a couple bills. Which means I've also gotta transfer money. No problem, though. People do that all the time at work, right? When I go downstairs to fetch the receipt I printed, I notice the kids have left an empty soda 12-pack box on the floor. Which I pick up. Wait. Does this mean I'm out of Pepsi? I check the fridge. Good on Pepsi, almost out of milk, though. So back upstairs, I put MILK on the grocery list, then drop the empty box in the recycle bin. And notice the cats have spilled food all over the floor. So I fetch the broom to sweep it up. The broom is in the laundry room, where I remember I've got a load of clothes waiting for the dryer. Which is still harboring yesterday's dry clothes. So I move the dry clothes to my bed--the laundry Staging Area--and stop by the bathroom, where I notice the mirror is very spotted up. But that's fine, because the window cleaner is in the laundry room, and dangit! I still didn't transfer those clothes to the dryer. Once I've got the dryer loaded, mirror wiped, and laundry sorted on the bed, I high-tail it back to the kitchen, because I have screwed around long enough. It's time to get serious and seriously get some work done!


So I check my emails, then settle in with the file, and just as I reach the 3rd paragraph, hubby calls to ask me if I can do an invoice on his computer.


Oh, and who's that at the door? It's only the mailman delivering an Amazon purchase, but the flowers out front need water. And the trash should be at the curb.


Once I get back inside, I head back to work, but then remember that bill I'm supposed to be making up. And don't I have to call the insurance agent today?


When am I gonna make it to the grocery store for milk? Probably before I go, I should scan the sale flyer and stock up on whatever's cheap, and like, something for dinner. Which means I probably need to clip this week's coupons too. Oh jeez. And get the mail at the Post Office, because there might be a check waiting to be deposited, and I may as well go to the bank while I'm already running around town.


*** 90 minutes later: I'm putting away the last of the groceries, have started another load of laundry, and almost finished that customer invoice. This is good. Now I have a solid 3 hours to work on that edit this afternoon... at which time my phone rings and one of the kids needs a ride home from Wherever. Right away.


Hubby and kids look at me at the end of the day like I'm mentally damaged and wonder why I can't get anything done when I'm right here all day long. Right here, all day long.


Piper Denna
Romance is sexy! (working from home? sometimes.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

...and it happened!

Today while I was out for my walk, I got waylaid by a story idea (complete with a title, and honestly, I've never, ever had a title for book before I started writing it, so this is BIG for me).


Can I just say, I love when that happens.


Also, I'll admit, I've been hoping it'd happen, and starting to feel a little desperate, worrying it might not happen for me again.


Because, it's been, like... a really long time since I've been inspired to write. Not that I've exactly had the time to write since the Great Eye Secession of  '12. But still. You wanta feel like there are still stories in your head, like you can still grow stuff in there. Ya know? Maybe it's the walking that's gotten me back on track. Or other creative outlets (I have been growing stuff--oodles of flowers I've stuck in the ground outside, baby). Or maybe my head is just back in a "happy place".


Whatever the impetus, I'm thrilled with the results. The story might be a bit of challenge--my hero is the ex, the somewhat-bad-guy in Trouble Won't Wait (re-releasing this fall; previously Waiting for Revenge). Well, honestly, Mike was never a "bad" guy, which was part of what made some old hens mad when they read that story in the first place, and they were sure Mandy should forgive him for cheating. So now she's moved on to her happily-ever-after with a new, faithful replacement, and realizing she was meant to meet Adam, she's forgive Mike for his transgression(s). But can he forgive himself? Hm. Doubting his own fortitude, Mike seeks the advice of a better counselor than Baldwin, the crackpot he and Mandy saw together for marital counseling. Trouble is, the office staff mixes up his appointment and he ends up right back in the kooky counselor's office, and gets talked into attending Baldwin's group sessions for therapy... where he meets Ashleigh, also in therapy for a "cheating problem".


Ashleigh is no cheater, but she'll jump through the hoops her court-ordered hippie counselor requires, so she can keep her record clean. Smashing up her ex's truck with a bat wasn't the wisest choice, but he did have it coming, even though she won't admit what he did to deserve it. And since she's maintaining her silence on that matter, it's impossible to convince Baldwin that she isn't a cheater, and doesn't belong in his Cheaters Anonymous group. She'll just attend the group sessions, cringe at what a bunch of creeps most of them are, and keep her eyes OFF that cute older guy who seems so out of place in the group, the only other person who seems appalled by the group of pervs they're stuck meeting with every week. But no, she can't possibly have anything in common with Mike. Even if she has bumped into his ex, who grudgingly tells her he's an okay guy who made some stupid mistakes. He sure won't be her next mistake. No way. Even if she does connect with his kids. Once a cheater, always a cheater, right? Maybe not. Maybe people--even guys--can learn from their past screw-ups. Only problem is, Mike believes she's a cheater too, and the only way she'll be able to clear up that misconception is to tell him the truth about why she went Carrie Underwood on Connor's Chevy. And she's not ready to admit that. At least, not yet.




....Well, it's kinda rough. But I'm calling it Trouble Anonymous. Hoping I can redeem Mike, as well as show Baldwin has some psychiatric skills, even if they are unorthodox and make us laugh along the way.


Hoping to get started writing it tomorrow, even if it's just a rough plot outline.


Back in the saddle, right?


Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Funny and sexy, lethal romance combo

One of my favorite editing projects ever (and honestly, one of the best books I've read in several years) just earned 4.5 stars from Two Lips Reviews. Morning Man, by Barbara Kellyn, is so very funny and sexy, and well-written, reading it was like watching a wonderfully written movie script play out before my eyes. I loved the heck out of it.


The reviewer felt about the same: http://www.twolipsreviews.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7550&Itemid=36


Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Score 1 for the Senior Team

Last week was my son's baseball tournament. One of our moms had arrived early and was watching the boys warm up on the field when some of the girls from the home school were out on lunch checking out our boys. Of course the girls had their own running commentary about the boys (hello, baseball uniforms!). The mom tuned most of it out until she heard one of the girls say, "Wow! Number 17 has a nice butt!"


Number 17 is our 40-something coach. :)


And for the rest of the tournament, spectators hollered out to the field, "Hey coach, nice buns!"

Monday, April 30, 2012

Call for Irish submissions


Lyrical Press is actively seeking submissions for our 3rd annual set of Irish-themed novels/novellas, to release March 2013. We want romantic, sexy stories either set in Ireland or including an Irish hero/heroine. Any subgenre of romance/erotica is welcome (we’re still looking for an Irishman in a steampunk).

Word counts can range between 20,000-100,000 words. Deadline for submissions is May 31, 2012.

Please include a 1-2 pages synopsis and your full manuscript, attached (in either .doc format, or .rtf). Enter “Irish Submission” in subject line and email directly to mary_murray@lyricalpress.com OR piper@lyricalpress.com

Monday, April 23, 2012

Milestone Moments

Today is a big day for me. (and not only because I've finally blogged again, after a 2 month absence. More about that below.) Today my kids went off to school without me. As in, in a car. Which my son drove. He got his license on Friday, and he's been several places on his own. And each time he goes, I feel a little pull... kinda like the one I felt the first time I had to hand him over to somebody else to hold. The first night he slept without me, the steps he took without my help. Yeah, you get the picture. It's mostly a mommy thing, I know. Dad felt a little "something"--he tells me guys don't "worry" like women do, he just knows some of the things he got up to behind the wheel when he was younger, which can't be worry, right? LOL--but it's a whole different concern for him. For me, I guess it's still about being needed (or not), being able to help and nurture. I don't worry so much about his driving. He's pretty solid behind the wheel, I think. It's more like that first day of 2nd grade when we walked to school and he didn't need a kiss goodbye. Watching him drive away early Saturday morning to meet the bus to his baseball game, I thought to myself, "This isn't a moment you ever imagine when your little guy is 2 and needs you for everything." You know the kid's gonna grow up, and you want him to, to be independent and successful. But sometimes it's damn hard letting go. I probably won't ever watch that car insurance commercial where the guy is admonishing his little girl, who's in the driver's seat, to be careful, and handing her the car keys, without getting a little, um, emotional.


But on the positive front, no more driving kids to school. Woohoo! Which means I can get "my" day going that much earlier. And that's a very good thing. Because I have so much catching up to do. Which leads me to the explanation for my extended absence:


No, I did not go on a walking tour of Europe. Or have an extended hiatus on Tahiti. I had a little eye trouble. As in, my left retina detached. Which was scary, and dark, and a little bit expensive (though not nearly as much as I'd feared, since we're "one of those" uninsured families). Good news is, I should make a full recovery, though it'll be slow. For now, reading/focusing with that left eye is tough sometimes and just ain't happening other times. But I can see with it, which is a truly amazing accomplishment of modern medicine. Here's a little info about it if it all sounds confusing, and the treatment I had was Pneumatic retinopexy --which we had to do multiple times, because the retina kept coming away in new spots. But now I only have a little fluid still trapped behind my retina, making things a bit "wrinkled" when I look at them. And the vision in that eye is kind of dark, like I'm wearing a sunglass lens over it, because the fluid in front of my eye is discolored from the many laser treatments it took. Anyway. I couldn't read much at all for about 3 weeks, which put me miles behind in my editing, completely off track from writing. So I'm playing a little catch-up, and hoping the new 30-45 minutes a day I've been gifted with by my son's driving will help me get that to-do list back in check.


And though I didn't have a life-threatening experience, it was scary enough to shake me up and make me think about what things are important. So I'm doing a little "restructuring" with my career(s) right now. Going to focus on editing, writing, and promoting my books. Helping hubby with his business books, and making the home function like it used to when I didn't work out of the home. Probably I will only be working out of the home from here on, and we'll be fine without that "day job". Hopefully. :)


Time to map out that To Do List.



Monday, February 27, 2012

Teaching... and learning

I've spent a lot of time the past couple weeks being a student as well as planning my first foray into the world of writing workshops. In August, I'll be teaching a workshop on deep 3rd point of view at Passionate Ink--which I'm so excited about, but I waited until the last possible day to get them my bio, photo, and the dreaded workshop description (which for me meant I had to compile a rough rubric so I'd know what I was describing). Got me thinking a whole lot about how much I've learned (as did an outcry via Twitter when I posited that romance novels cannot headhop or they won't get contracted), what I still work on in my writing, and what submissions seem to be most lacking in. Deeep thoughts, let me tell ya.


So what have I been learning? Well, we're down to about 12 days left of judging Lyrical's first-ever writing contest, and the experience has taught me a number of "do's n don'ts" for next year.

  • Do: Organize the contest in 2 rounds, first round consisting of the synopsis and 1st 25 pages.
  • Do: Make the 2nd round ONLY for the top-5 scoring entries in each genre.
  • Don't: Ever agree to judge an un-specified number of full manuscripts. Period.
  • Do: Specify in contest rules that all entries in "romance" genres have a happy ending.
I also learned tons from my first pitch-taking.
  • Do: Specify word count. Lyrical publishes only up to 100k word books, and I've had to turn away several promising projects because they go over the word count.
  • Do: Emphasize that I only want pitches for completed novels. (I sorta thought this went without saying; everywhere you look at tips on querying or pitching fiction, that's the first rule--the book must be finished. But apparently things have changed since I started querying 5 or so years ago)
  • Don't: Be shy about signing up for pitch days. It was an exhausting 15 hours, but I fielded 48 pitches that day, and have had nothing but positive feedback. Also have offered contract on 2 books (very soon to be #3) and have 2 more promising fulls awaiting my reading pleasure. Turned out to be a fantastic way to get new blood in my editing "stable". Even the few people I've already sent R's or R-and-R's to, have replied positively and I'm hoping they'll think of Lyrical (and me) in the future.
Oh. One more incredible discovery I've made: It's so amazingly easy to send .doc or PDF files to my Kindle so I can read them there! I love my Fire. I really do.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Romance Day!

Happy Valentine's Day. Here's hoping you're among those who celebrate love and romance (and not that bitter crowd I'm hearing from on Twitter, LOL).


Lyrical Press has a huge sale today--50% off all ebooks. http://www.lyricalpress.com/


Find a love story that tickles your fancy, download, and enjoy. :)




Piper Denna and Autumn Piper
Got sexy romance?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pitches, pitches

I'm taking pitches over at Word Wranglers next Tuesday. Here are the deets:



On Tuesday, February 7th, http://www.wordwranglers.blogspot.com will host Lyrical Press Editor, Piper Denna.

Piper will be taking 1-3 line pitches.
The rules are simple:
1. Contest opens at 7:00 A.M. EST and closes at Midnight
2. 1-3 lines
3. 1 pitch per person
That's it. We're easygoing over at Wordwranglers, but if you break the rules, you'll be disqualified.
Don't miss this chance to get your pitch in front of an editor!

Piper's bio:

Writing is a craft, a skill which improves with practice. Grammar can be learned.

Spelling...notsomuch. Either you're good at spelling, or you're not. And unfortunately, Spellcheck might be helpful, but let's face it: it's only as good as its programmers, and we all know how many problems certain software programs have. Which is why, no matter who you are, no matter what you write, you need an editor. If you don't believe me, ask Stephen King-we're very close. Like two peas in a pod. (At least, in my mind, which I mean in a completely un-stalkerlike way.)

Now that I'm done name-dropping... Books have always been my thing. And I've been a writer since I could pick up a pencil. My thoughts didn't turn toward writing professionally until about 2005, when I wrote three novels. Through a couple of critique groups and thousands of crits, both given and received, I honed my craft quite a lot. So much so, in 2008 after watching two of my books go through the editing process at publishers, I got the wild idea (the wild, incredibly overconfident idea, in retrospect), that I could do that.

My poor authors have to learn my lingo: "Innerds"-deep third inner thoughts from a character, generally requested as a replacement for narrative ("She wondered why he hadn't arrived yet" comes off much stronger as "Where the hell was he already?") or "Holding Pattern", which I type as a shortcut to remind an author to mix up sentence structure, rather than going with a repetitive subject/predicate format every time.

And I still write. (When I have time, and when I can tranquilize that inner editor enough to shut her up so I can type.) My characters must endure extensive suffering and conflict, and sometimes they do things certain readers don't approve of, but they always get their happy ending.

What kind of books do I prefer to edit? Deep conflict, relatable characters, believable plots, and a strong romantic element. Because romance makes the world go round. Right?

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

All about acquisitions

We contracted a record number of books at Lyrical Press last month. Check out my blog post about it.


Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!