USA Today Best of 2012

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Unsolicited advice, anyone?

Today I'm talking about unsolicited advice, (and I got a really nice review) over at Romance Me for my blog tour. This blog was kind enough to host me and do my review in somewhat of a pinch when the tour organizers couldn't reach the site who was supposed to host me. Very nice of them!

The ladies at Buy the Book have been very helpful and done a really nice job, with both my tours. I highly recommend them. They scheduled everything for me, organized all the posts and interviews, got me the interview questions, and I send all the post things to them...then I use the links they've sent me in my schedule to go find my posts on the right days. Easy, peasy. Well...there is a lot of guest-post-writing involved. LOL. But still. I'm pleased. I'd use them again--they took the headache out of the blog tour, and they hooked me up with a bunch of bloggers I didn't know.

Here's hoping my Tuesday is as productive as my Monday was.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

And the beat goes on...

Today I've got a guest post (talking about a trope turned sideways) and a really wonderful review from the lovely Jennifer Lowery, at the Buy the Book site.

Also, I have a guest spot at Romance Book Junkies (Workplace romance to the Nth degree).

Whew. I still have 2 more guest spots this week. LOL Keeping me on my wool-sock-encased toes. (damn, it's been cold here)

Have a great Wednesday.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Guest Jessi Gage

Today I'm so excited to welcome Jessi Gage, whose novel Wishing for a Highlander is on the Goodreads Best Highland/Scotland Romance Novels list (number 35 last I checked)...which is well-deserved, yet so amazing. She's up there with Diana Gabaldon (who has like 12 of the top 30, LOL), and Julie Garwood.

I truly loved Wishing for a Highlander...and that's even after I edited it. And yes, I'm totally owning that. I "found" Jessi last year when I took pitches at Word Wranglers. Asked to read her synopsis, then needed the full, and fell absolutely in loooooove with Darcy. He's very yummy, and strong, and...vulnerable. Fabulous combination. I'll confess, often when I take on a book to edit, I'm feeling a little "meh" about it. But not with this one.

Anyway. I'll let Jessi get to her guest post:

Is that a stick shift under your kilt, or are you just happy to see me?

Thanks so much for having me, Piper. I'm so excited to be here promoting WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER, out now with Lyrical Press!

I've been hitting the blogs talking about the research I've done to help make WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER historically accurate and super fun. One of my favorite bits of research involved working out how a sixteenth-century Scot might manage a modern-day car.

Darcy is the 6'7" kitled hero of WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER, and he is hotter than a piston firing at full power. He operates the windmills that make his home village profitable, he is the best warrior in his clan due to his looong reach, and he is a virgin who thinks he is too big under his kilt to ever be intimate with a woman.

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, Darcy's adventures in trying to help his wife return to her home in the future land him the driver's seat of a modern-day car. He must figure out how to drive the contraption before an angry mob sets fire to it and kills him and the friends he has made in Inverness, a gypsy and an albino with magical blood.

I started out with the car being a manual transmission, thinking, Darcy runs windmills all day. He'd be fascinated by gears, and he'd have an intuitive understanding of how to shift once he gave it some thought. Unfortunately, when I ran what I had in mind past some gearheads, they looked dubious. They seemed to think I was putting too much faith in my hero (is that even possible in a romance novel?). After much thought, I made the car an automatic, and I'm glad I did, because poor Darcy has enough going on in that scene without having to manage a clutch.

I hope you'll check out WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER, if for no other reason than to see a sixteenth-century Scot manage a modern-day car. But I promise, there are plenty of other reasons, including the fact that it's half price at Lyrical all month! Here's the blurb for WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER:

While examining Andrew Carnegie’s lucky rosewood box, single-and-pregnant museum worker Melanie makes a tongue in cheek wish on the artifact--for a Highland warrior to help her forget about her cheating ex. Suddenly transported to the middle of a clan skirmish in sixteenth-century Scotland, she realizes she should have been a tad more specific.

Darcy, laird in waiting, should be the most eligible bachelor in Ackergill, but a cruel prank played on him in his teenage years has led him to believe he is too large under his kilt to ever join with a woman. He has committed himself to a life of bachelorhood, running his deceased father's windmills and keeping up the family manor house...alone.

Darcy's uncle, Laird Steafan welcomes the strangely dressed woman into his clan, immediately marrying her to Darcy in hopes of an heir. But when Steafan learns of her magic box and brands her a witch, Darcy must do what any good husband would--protect his wife, even if it means forsaking his clan.

WARNING: A pregnant museum worker, a sixteenth-century Scot, and a meddlesome wishing box.


Size might have its advantages when it came to fighting, but those few boons fell far short of making up for the problems it caused. Being the biggest and the strongest had gotten him into far more trouble than it had gotten him out of. Swallowing his regret for how careless he’d been with her, he sought to determine whom she belonged to, whom, saints forbid, he might owe.

“Whose wife are ye, then? Not a Gunn’s or I wouldna have had to rescue you from one.”

“I’m not married,” the lass said. “And thank you for the rescuing, by the way. I can’t believe I dropped the dirk. Stupid.” She shook her head.

His heart warmed at her thanks. He didn’t hear many kind words from the lasses and would take what he could get, even from a dishonored woman who had caught a bairn out wedlock. Oddly, he didn’t think poorly of her. Whether it was her worried brow, her guileless, soft mouth, or her vulnerable size, he had not the heart to condemn her.

He didn’t even mind so much that she found him distasteful for his size, although talking with her now, she didn’t seem overly upset to be in his arms. He endeavored to keep her talking, keep her distracted from her disgust.

“Ye never answered my first question,” he said. “Who are you? And where are ye from if ye’re no’ English?”

“Ugh. I don’t know. Is there an answer that won’t get me burned at the stake or locked up in a ward for the hopelessly insane?”

Like most things out of her mouth, that had been a peculiar answer. “Ye could try the truth,” he offered, slowing his pace since he heard Archie’s voice not far off.

“No,” she said flatly. “I couldn’t. At least not the whole truth. How about we just go with my name, Melanie, and with the honest fact that I’m a long way from home and I have no idea how to get back.” Her green eyes pierced his. “I’m afraid you might be stuck with me, Darcy Keith.”

Thanks again for having me Piper! It's been a pleasure working with you on my first romance novel More details on WISHING FOR A HIGHLANDER and on the blog hops I'm participating in (prizes, people!) can be found on my blog and website.

Buy links:

Follow Jessi Gage on Twitter

Jessi Gage Bio

Jessi lives with her husband and children in the Seattle area. In addition to writing paranormal romance, she’s a wife, a mom, an audiologist, a church-goer, a Ford driver, a PC user, and a coffee snob. Her guiding tenet in her writing is that good triumphs over evil, but not before evil gives good one heck of a run for its money. The last time she imagined a world without romance novels, her husband found her crouched in the corner, rocking.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Busy week, couple more spots

Wow, this week has flown by. And for those of you who don't think it's over yet, well, you probably don't have kids in a 4-day school week. LOL Yeah, Thursday is my kids' Friday. I'm trying very hard this semester to keep on working on Friday, though, so I'll have more time to write those other 4 days. (a mom's work schedule is never set, right?)


Today Piper is over at Tory Michael's World with an interview (Tory remembered me from RomCon, when we had an erotic romance party. Things got a little wild that night. I think I was first up, and we played madlibs, using "dirty" words. LOL) I loved Tory's interview questions, because they were few in number and a little different from those "same-same" ones I've been answering all month.

Autumn is at Waves of Fiction, with an interview and also a book review by Arlene. (I saw Arlene's review yesterday on Goodreads, and am so thankful she cross-posted). Her review is forthright, thorough, and I can totally live with her final rating of 3.5 "suns". These interview questions were a little different also. I'm so ready for fresh interview material!

I managed to (finally) set up the Autumn Piper Goodreads author page yesterday. That took some time! But hopefully it'll start flourishing now. I was amazed--and pleased--to see how many reviews my books have. Kinda bummed, though--a blog can only "feed" to one Goodreads profile, and it's already going to the Piper Denna page. Ah well.

Happy Thursday.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

And I'm OK with not pleasing everyone.

First off, let me announce a couple of guest spots. Piper is guest posting at Mama Knows Best  today, and Autumn has a guest post at Anatea's Bookshelf. (the guest post is there, but down the page a ways after the book blurb and excerpt) At least both of these ladies got all the names spelled right. LOL I had one last week where "Piper" was replaced with "Pepper". But hey, it was a nice spot otherwise, so I'm not one of those people who'd ask for a correction or anything. Since I have an actual difficult last name in "real" life, I'm often amazed at how hard it is for people to get "Piper" and "Denna" correct. Even when people are applying for jobs or submitting manuscripts at Lyrical Press! I get lots of "Dena"s and "Dina"s and even a "Dinna" before. Also a "Ms. Dena Piper". LOL

Anyway. I shrug it off. Not worth getting upset over.

Last night I got a Google alert about a new review posted for All Fore Revenge. It was almost bedtime (probably past, actually), so I clicked the link and read the review on my phone. And it was a rather...unfriendly review. I'm not sure how else to term it, because the reviewer seemed more annoyed with me personally than with my book, and she (maybe a she? Blog belongs to someone with a female's identity, but overall tone of the writing sounded more like a dude) pretty much said she had no idea why she even had the book or why at one time she'd decided to read it. Which kinda leads me to believe it's not even her preferred genre. It was really strange. But the thing she seemed most irritated with me about was because the main character's name is "Shurre". Apparently this blogger has never seen the name "Shurre" and thus she found it ridiculous that I used it in the book.

Seriously? I knew that name because I had friend growing up, with it. But surely she couldn't be the only person in the world... So I did some Google searches, found a couple of Shurres. Looked it up on Facebook, found a couple. The reviewer was upset because she didn't know how to pronounce the name. It's actually like the French version, "Cherie". And I realize this spelling looks a little ebonic, a little white trash. But the character Shurre in All Fore Revenge, is pretty much white trash. So, whatever. The reviewer also didn't care for the additional story lines going on in the book, such as Shurre's abuse problem. Well, sorry. Shurre's "issues" have affected main character Ali on a deep level, ever since they were teenagers. Only Ali hasn't dealt with them--and neither has Shurre--for all these years. It ties in with Ali's discoveries about herself, her character journey, and the way she's handled sexual relationships with men all her adult life.

Some readers simply don't like side stories. They want a basic, category romance in which every page is focused solely on that one relationship. And that's fine. But my stories aren't that way, and they probably never will be. I'm okay with that. I'm also okay with the reviewer's final rating, a 3 out of 5 stars. At least if she cross-posts elsewhere, it won't bring down my star rating by much.

Anyway, happy Tuesday. Life is gradually getting back to normal now that the kids have gone back to school. :)

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Back in the saddle.

Whew. December was a whirlwind for me, and so was last week. But now the kids are going back to school, hubby's work schedule is regular again, and it's time for me to actually put my resolutions on paper.

First thing, I'm going to get links for all my guest blog spots from my tour here on Piper Patter. (I've put up the very pretty banners Buy the Book made me, over on the right.....----------->

Today I kick off the Fantasy Mountain tour with an author interview on You Gotta Read. They provide a list of the usual questions to choose from for the interview, but I attempted to provide not-so-standard answers.

And I've decided this is the year I take back my writing time. Honestly, that's what's important for me to leave behind (besides, you know, a couple of grown kids who contribute positively to society). So even if it means shifting work responsibilities or decreasing the number of books I edit, I WILL make time to write regularly.

Happy Monday, and may the Force of Resolutions be with you!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!