19 July 2017

Book Review of Love in the Time of Apocalypse


In this week's post I'm changing things up a bit. I recently had the pleasure of reading the book Love in the Time of Apocalypse by brilliant author Mark E. Thomas, who pens his work using the pseudonym T.E. Mark. While I do not review books often, I felt compelled by the premise of the story. 


Love in the Time of Apocalypse  
by T.E. Mark




T.E. Mark has done it again! He spun a new cosmic tale filled with adventures and good humour. Do not be fooled by the book cover! This is not some quaint fairy tale à la Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. In his inimitable style, the author knitted this romantic spoof, sprinkled it with witty satire and hid an urgent message of peace within.

When a booming voice rips through the sky with the verdict, that the Intergalactic Affairs Committee has declared Earth a danger to the universe, London journalist Perry Bramble is the only one who doesn't fall to his knees in prayer. He's just a cynical, opinionated guy, bogged down by looming deadlines, trying to finish his work while constantly getting interrupted by his wife, Isadora. As a matter of fact, Perry is not at all impressed by the omnipotent being named Olgarb, the pain in the rear from another universe. Or is he from another dimension? Who cares!  And although Olgarb makes it abundantly clear that he's an alien not Deity, the people of Earth continue to worship him.

After decidedly voicing his opinions, Perry Bramble is whisked away to another planet located halfway across the universe, where he becomes young again. Now, a 22-year old geeky journalism student, he's tasked with guiding Earth’s leaders. He must teach them how to govern and negotiate rather than constantly wage war and save the world from damnation. And it is here that the main character learns the truth about nature, humanity and what really matters at the end of the day.

Love in the Time of Apocalypse is a great read that grabbed me after just a couple of pages, and didn't let me go until the end! T.E. Mark's seemingly endless imagination is showcased once again, in this meaningful yet silly novel about love, saving worlds, and above all preserving Mother Earth.





Piper is the author of several non-fiction books, and recently added her debut historical fiction novel In the Shadow of Her Majesty to her ever-expanding collection of published writings. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+.

12 July 2017

Editing Made Easier





As most of my readers already know, I'm in the midst of editing my newest historical fiction piece. With that in mind, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share some tips and tricks that help me along the way to polish my writing.

Take a Break

After finishing your initial draft put it aside for a day, a week, a month or however long you need to return to it with fresh eyes.

Structure the Task

Tackle the largest tasks first, such as plot structure. Once you are satisfied with it, move on to the smaller details, like grammar, style, and punctuation.

Use Online Tools

Don't be afraid to utilize online tools, such as grammarly.com or hemingwayapp.com to discover which sentences might be difficult to read, improve your vocabulary and check for contextual spelling. While these online tools do not replace a flesh and blood editor, they can certainly help along the way. 

Read Aloud

It might sound strange, but read your work aloud; you can even record your own voice. Hearing the rhythm of the words can help you edit the flow. Sometimes it's easier to hear the mistakes than to see them. 

Check the Tense

Errors in tense can sneak up on anyone when in the midst of writing. Double-check to make sure you didn't inadvertently switch back and forth. 

Change it up

After reading the same text over and over again, you begin to see what you want to see. Try reading from back to front to uncover previously undiscovered errors. 

Be Ruthless

Do not be afraid to cut passages from your manuscript that just don't work! So it doesn't feel like a complete loss, paste the cut passages to a blank document for future reference. 

Change the Look

Modify the font, colour and/or font size to give you a new perspective. The altered appearance could help you see the text in a different light.


Since my list of self-editing tips is not all inclusive, I would love to hear what works for you. Please feel free to add to this list in the comment section!






Piper is the author of several non-fiction books, and recently added her debut historical fiction novel In the Shadow of Her Majesty to her ever-expanding collection of published writings. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+.

05 July 2017

Top 5 Blog Posts for June 2017





Hope everyone had an enjoyable Independence Day! Can you believe that the month of June has already come and gone? Summertime is in full swing, and the outdoor fun doesn't seem to stop. But, before I get sidetracked by my plans for our upcoming garden party, it's time to recap last month. And now, without further ado, here's the list of the most popular blog posts for June 2017, chosen by you, the readers:



Thank you for reading my blog! Please feel free to come by often to catch up on my latest endeavours and Happy Writing!




Piper is the author of several non-fiction books, and recently added her debut historical fiction novel In the Shadow of Her Majesty to her ever-expanding collection of published writings. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+.

28 June 2017

Return to Blogging and a Book Cover Reveal


And I'm back to my regular blogging schedule, and although I've been away for several weeks, this post is going to be a short one. Even though I had a great time while on holiday, I wasn't a complete slouch. I continued to edit my newest historical fiction piece The Country Girl Empress and worked on the cover since I can't leave the "Image Coming Soon" placeholder posted indefinitely. So, without further ado, here it is: 



So, what have you been doing all this time? What are you currently working on? 
Feel free to tell us all about it in the comment section!  =)



Piper is the author of several non-fiction books, and recently added her debut historical fiction novel In the Shadow of Her Majesty to her ever-expanding collection of published writings. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+.




31 May 2017

Taking a Break




Sometimes even an author needs a holiday! I am taking a break from writing/blogging for a few weeks to find inspiration for new projects.  I shall return with new writing and publishing tips, tricks and info on 28 June 2017. In the meantime, should you have any questions or just want to say 'Hello', feel free to drop me a line here or any of my other social media channels. I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy some great weather. Happy Writing!


                                                                          Piper




Piper is the author of several non-fiction books, and recently added her debut historical fiction novel In the Shadow of Her Majesty to her ever-expanding collection of published writings. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+.

24 May 2017

Canine Summer Safety




With Memorial Day weekend and the start of summer right around the corner, I decided to write another blog post about a subject matter near and dear to my heart. As most of my readers know, I am a devoted pet owner, and I just adore my furry children.

Summertime means lots of fun in the sun for us and our four-legged family members….well, that is when the weather plays along. While long days are spent frolicking outdoors creates many priceless memories, it can also pose hidden dangers to your fur babies. However, when you follow common sense, you can ensure everyone, including your pet(s), enjoy summer safely.

Please, do not leave your animal companion in the car!

I have read the heart-breaking story too many times. Someone’s beloved pet was found dead in a vehicle, even though the pet parent was only gone for a short period. Even with the windows cracked, the inside of a car can heat up in a matter of minutes. Leaving the A/C running also does not guarantee your furry companion’s safety. If you are planning on running errands to places that do not allow pets on their premises, consider keeping them at home. You would not leave a human baby in the car with the windows cracked open! Then why would you do that to a furry baby? 

Hydration is key! 

Pets that spend time outdoors in the heat require plenty of water. To avoid dehydration, always bring fresh water with you and offer it to your pet at least every half hour. There are many styles of portable dog bowls available that are convenient to carry in a small handbag; some dogs even learn how to drink from a bottle and water packs.  

Pets can get sunburned, too!

Dogs and cats are susceptible to the same damage from ultraviolet rays just like we are. This is especially so for white or light-colored pets and areas of the body with thin hair, such as the nose, ears, and bellies. It might look a bit silly, but a light T-Shirt can help protect them, along with some pet-safe sunscreen. 

It's time to chill out!

The amount of time a dog can exercise in the warm weather depends on several factors: How long and often has the animal been exposed to hot temperatures, the animal's current health and fitness level, and hydration status.

In general, once it gets above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, dog owners should be cautious when exercising their dog outdoors. For most of them, moderate activity for thirty minutes is safe. When the temperature exceeds 95 degrees Fahrenheit, it is probably best for pet and pet parent to skip the outdoor workout until it cools down.

If your dog displays rapid or labored breathing, starts to resist walking or acts depressed, your dog may be overheating. In these cases, stop, rest, and re-hydrate. This does not mean you need to cease exercising because your dog is panting, just be mindful of your dog's behavior. Watch him/her carefully to determine if the panting is excessive or abnormal. When in doubt, take a break!

Water safety

Many pet owners enjoy taking their animal companions to the beach for a dip or a boat ride. Such activities are great ways to bond with your furry children. I love to include my pets in outdoor fun whenever possible, but not every animal is a strong swimmer. When you plan to take your pet in the water or on a boat, please consider the use of a pet flotation vest.  The ones with a sturdy, convenient handle will allow you to safely retrieve your companion should he/she get tuckered out from swimming or fall overboard. Fun in the sun can get hot, so remember to provide plenty of shade and lots of drinking water during your outings.

After an enjoyable day in the water, you might want to give your dog's coat a quick rinse with plenty of clean, fresh water and some pet shampoo. Don't forget to clean and dry the ears (especially the floppy ones) with an ear cleaning solution! Ear infections are often caused by allowing moisture to remain in the ears after swimming or bathing.

Summertime is a great time of the year for people and their pets. The activities you share with your furry companions this season will last a lifetime. Be smart, and stay safe!



by A. Piper Burgi


Piper is the author of several non-fiction books, and recently added her debut historical fiction novel In the Shadow of Her Majesty to her ever-expanding collection of published writings. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+.

17 May 2017

Is a Physical Description Enough When Developing Your Novel's Characters?




When I begin to write a new story, one of the first things I attempt to do is imagine what my characters might look like. I find it sometimes difficult to bring my books' characters to life if I don't know what they look like. Granted, since I mostly write historical fiction, it's relatively easy to find pictures of my main characters online, but the rest is usually up to my imagination. 

But stories almost always have more than just a few main characters, and I find there are numerous ways to develop the appearance of the supporting characters beyond their eye and hair colour. Often times I like to make notes of details such as the character's height, weight, body type, or other unique physical traits for reference.

Although part of the description, include eye and hair colour it is so easy to rely on such physical characteristics that we might be tempted to neglect everything else.  But how can writers go beyond the obvious? 

Here are some methods that have worked for me so far:

1. Main characters will, more than likely, need a description of their hair and eyes and so much more to help our readers visualize our main characters right from the start, instead of leaving them confused for halfway through the book and then spring an image on them that might not match what they've already visualized. 

2. Supporting characters descriptions can probably do without hair and eye colour unless one or both play a role in the plot. Otherwise, why even bother mentioning them? Writers can use much more creative ways to describe them...with traits that add to the story in some peculiar and memorable way, such as mood, or tension. 

3. Give your characters unique tags, something that will help the reader identify a character throughout the book. It can be something simple such as a physical abnormality such as a beet red face or a wart on the tip of the nose. Give the character a tick such as a catchphrase which only one character uses throughout the story. Your character could also be plagued by extreme shyness, or have a bad habit such as nail-biting. While these tags can be incredibly useful, it's important not to over-use them. It can become tiring when you mention these tags every time a character makes an appearance. And that leads me to my last point...

4. Ultimately, the physical description is only the tip of the iceberg in bringing a character to life, and their actions will always be more memorable than the words they speak. It is also important to show how our characters react to certain situations, what their goals, and dreams are, etc. All of these things combined, help build an impression in the reader’s mind about who the characters really are.

What unique ways have you developed to describe the characters in your fiction writing? Feel free to share your writing experience with us in the comment section!









Piper is the author of several non-fiction books, and recently added her debut historical fiction novel In the Shadow of Her Majesty to her ever-expanding collection of published writings. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+.