Friday, March 17, 2017

Please Learn How to Behave in Restaurants

When I was a kid, meals were consumed at home. Today's kids grow up on Chipotle and Chinese takeout. In fact, Americans now spend more on restaurant dining than groceries.

With its growing popularity comes the realization that some human beings just don't know how to behave in public. So I've compiled a list of things you should STOP doing if you choose to eat your meals in public.

1. Blowing your nose

Sneezing and coughing you can't help, but blowing your nose? Puh-leeze. It's just disgusting. If you can't leave the table to blow your nose in the restroom like a civilized human being, stay home.

2. Showing up at closing time

If you've never worked with the public, I have a newsflash: employees hate people who show up at closing time. This is especially true at full-service restaurants where you'll be occupying someone's table long after the doors are locked. Before you enter a place at the last minute, ask if you could reasonably be out of there by their official closing time. If not, go somewhere else.

3. Refusing to tip

I've heard all kinds of excuses for not tipping. While I'll agree that it's gotten a little out of hand (i.e.: the tip question on the checkout terminal at Jersey Mike's), there's no excuse for not tipping when it's customary. No, you aren't making some fancy "statement" toward business owners who don't pay minimum wage. Tip or stay away from restaurants with servers. Those are your choices.

4. Complaining online

The internet has given customers a voice. We can give five stars when we love an establishment or one star when we hate it. Unfortunately, too many people abuse that privilege, firing off a missive about any imperfect situation. Consider that the restaurant you're bashing is filled with workers who rely on the money they make to pay the bills. If you have one bad experience, acknowledge that it may simply be an off night and refrain from telling the world about it.

What are your restaurant pet peeves?

My next Piper Morgan book, Piper Morgan Makes a Splash, comes out April 4, 2017. Sign up if you'd like to help out by posting on your blog about it!

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

What Inspires Medeia Sharif

Today I'm bringing you a new book from a name many of you know all too well. If you've been around a while, you probably miss Medeia Sharif as much as I do! Today she has a new book out and she's sharing what inspired her to write it. Scroll down to read all about the book and buy your copy after her guest post.

What inspired me to write GIRL WITHOUT A FACE…
by Medeia Sharif

We all see the same thing as we go to and from our workplaces. On my route, I see my favorite trees—African tulip, yellow tab, and golden shower—and the stores and gas stations that are frequent stops. One thing that I kept seeing years ago—and that is still there—is a memorial marker.

In Florida, we have lollipop-shaped markers indicating where someone died in a traffic accident. They all read “Drive Safely, In Memory,” followed by the deceased person’s name. Loved ones can request them from the Department of Transportation.

On my way back home, I saw one particular marker that always had flowers. For quite a while I thought about writing a book involving one. I just had to wait for the idea to come to me. When GIRL WITHOUT A FACE was in its planning stages, I didn’t want to let it go. I sometimes write outlines that I don’t follow up on, but this outline became a book that I drafted fast—my published works seem to always be drafted fast, while the ones that don’t become drawer manuscripts until I’m passionate enough to rewrite them. So, that’s how GIRL WITHOUT A FACE came to be. It was from stopping at a particular intersection and seeing this memorial marker five days a week.


Destiny awakes with amnesia. She'd been driving on a wet road, about to leave flowers at a memorial marker of a deceased classmate, when she almost met that same fate.

Her mother, Mildred, is beyond restrictive, and she doesn’t want Destiny to have her cellphone back. A nurse sneaks it into her room, but it’s useless without the passcode. After her hospital stay, her mother becomes physically abusive.

Destiny and the boy she’s developing feelings for decide to drive around to spark her memory. She’s positive she crashed near a memorial marker. When they find the place in question, and when Destiny remembers her phone’s passcode, nothing is as it seems—and Mildred is crazier than she first thought.

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I was born in New York City and I presently call Miami my home. I received my master’s degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. After becoming a voracious reader in high school and a relentless writer dabbling in many genres in college, I found my niche writing for young people. Today I'm a MG and YA writer published through various presses. In addition to being a writer, I'm a public school teacher. My memberships include Mensa, ALAN, and SCBWI.


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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Introducing My Top Secret Dares & Don’ts by Trudi Trueit, Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee, AND Cover Reveal: Incense and Peppermints by Cathrina Constantine

First, thank you to Donna for featuring Piper on her blog. Click over and check it out if you get a chance!

Today, I'm celebrating two book birthdays AND a cover reveal, which is super exciting! Today's books come from Trudi Trueit, Barbara Dee, and Cathrina Constantine--all talented authors AND great people. Be sure to read all about their books and order your copy of each!


Twelve-year-old Kestrel must battle evil twin sisters and overcome her own worst fear to prevent the foreclosure of her grandmother’s beloved lodge in this fresh, funny M!X novel.

Kestrel and her family are headed out to Vancouver, BC, to help out her grandmother at her beautiful ski lodge. It’s been in the family for generations, but the business is in trouble—and there are lots of people looking to take over the property.

Kestrel is determined to help her family retain their precious business—one that her grandfather built literally from the ground up. But two evil twins—who happen to be the daughters of a property developer determined to drive the lodge out of business—prove to be her nemeses in every way possible. Can Kestrel help save the lodge and beat the twins at their own game?

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Trudi Trueit knew she’d found her life’s passion after writing (and directing) her first play in fourth grade. Since then, she’s been a newspaper journalist, television news reporter and anchor, media specialist, freelance writer, and is now a children’s book author. She has published more than forty fiction and nonfiction titles for young readers and lives near Seattle, Washington.


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Mattie is chosen to play Romeo opposite her crush in the eighth grade production of Shakespeare’s most beloved play in this Romeo and Juliet inspired novel from the author of Truth or Dare.

Mattie, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging Romeo and Juliet. And she is even more excited when, after a series of events, she finds herself playing Romeo, opposite Gemma Braithwaite’s Juliet. Gemma, the new girl at school, is brilliant, pretty, outgoing—and, if all that wasn’t enough: British.

As the cast prepares for opening night, Mattie finds herself growing increasingly attracted to Gemma and confused, since, just days before, she had found herself crushing on a boy named Elijah. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things backstage at the production are starting to rival any Shakespearean drama! In this sweet and funny look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to be the lead player in her own life.

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Barbara Dee is the author of TRUTH OR DARE, THE (ALMOST) PERFECT GUIDE TO IMPERFECT BOYS, TRAUMA QUEEN, THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON, SOLVING ZOE (2010 Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year) and JUST ANOTHER DAY IN MY INSANELY REAL LIFE (Publishers Weekly starred review). In 2017, Aladdin/S&S will be publishing her next tween novels, STAR-CROSSED (March) and HALFWAY NORMAL (December). Barbara is one of the founders and directors of the Chappaqua Children's Book Festival. You can visit her on the web at



Peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning the U.S. flag following the escalation of the Vietnam War are leading to a catalyst known to the world as the Sixties, and a musical revolution, flower power, hippies, marijuana, and drugs are carrying the generations—young and old—into a new decade. All the while sixteen-year-old Mary Monroe is caught between being an innocent good girl and an autumn of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

When her brother offers a solution to her dilemma in the form of a little pill, Mary ignores the rumba in her brain and takes a walk on the wild side. Plunged into popularity and a life she’s only imagined, she meets Michael Covington, the hot newcomer, and she’s instantly drawn in by his less than flawless exterior and bad boy sex appeal. Caught up in the danger and excitement as they drift from party to party, into underground fight clubs, and through a series of drug and alcohol fueled adventures, Mary follows her new crush into a world where young girls are never truly safe from the predators lurking in the shadows and young men are hiding from the harsh reality of war.

Feeling buzzed and as if her life is spinning out of control, Mary is assaulted by an unknown man at a party, and she’s left questioning if the enigmatic Michael is truly her hero or if he is the face behind the terrible attack. With every piece of information Mary learns about Michael, her doubts grow deeper, but with every minute she spends in his presence, so does her love.

With the war and her fear threatening to separate Mary and Michael forever, only the death of a friend, a crushing confession, and her own sensibilities can carry her over the threshold between adolescence and adulthood.


Cathrina Constantine is the Best Selling author of Don’t Forget To Breathe. Her book won Readers’ Favorite International Book Award for 2015 and The Literary Classics Seal of Approval and Literary Classics Gold Award. Her Paranormal Fantasy, Wickedly They Come has been awarded the 5 Star Seal from Reader’s Favorite. Tallas from her dystopian series received Literary Classics Silver Award and Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

Cathrina resides in Western New York with her husband, five children, two Labrador Retrievers and her cat, Bones. Author @chbbpublishing. Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. When not attached to her computer, she likes to take long walks in the woods with her dogs, drink way too much coffee, and is an avid movie watcher. She loves music and doesn’t need a dance floor to shake a leg.


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Monday, March 13, 2017

Mystery Monday: Isidor Fink

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...

For today's mystery, we take you back in time a March 9, 1929. A laundryman by the name of Isidor Fink was in his laundry in New York City.

At approximately 10:30 pm, a neighbor heard screams. He tracked down a police officer and they headed straight for the laundry. They found all of the windows and doors locked from the inside.

5th Avenue, NYC, 1920s

There was a transom, but they couldn't fit through it. Only a small child could squeeze into the space. They found a young boy who crawled in and let them in. This is a transom:

Once inside, they found Isidor dead from three gunshot wounds. Yet there was no gun. Very little time had passed since the neighbor had heard the scream.

Nothing had been stolen, so robbery was ruled out. Fink was known to be a careful man who never opened the door to strangers. The only fingerprints found in the room were Isidor's.

The case was never solved. Not only was there no motive, detectives couldn't figure out how anyone had committed the crime and escaped, since the room was sealed from the inside.

Can you solve this mystery?

My next Piper Morgan book, Piper Morgan Makes a Splash, comes out April 4, 2017. Sign up if you'd like to help out by posting on your blog about it!

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