IndieWritersReview’s spotlight of “The Guardian Of Bastet “by Jacqueline Battisti (Bewitching Book Tour!)


Hello Everyone! Today I am participating as a host for Bewitching Book Tours. I am hosting The Guardian Of Bastet by Jacqueline Battisti. I am very excited, so check out the deets on this awesome read below:)

For Older Teens

The Guardian of Bastet By Jacqueline Battisti    

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Carina Press

Date of Publication: 8/20/2012

ISBN: 978-14268-9424-4

ASIN: B0088NH1Z8

Number of pages: 237

Word Count: 84,000

Amazon  Barnes & Noble

Carina Press – http://carinapress.com/blog/coming-soon

Book Description:

Cat-shifter Trinity Morrigan-Caine has discovered a demon is killing supernaturals. Magically challenged, she has every intention of letting handsome Alpha werewolf Gordon Barnes handle it. But after a dying vampire gifts Trinity a mystical amulet, she is drawn into the fray as the legendary Guardian of Bastet, a warrior born when the need arises.

Though Trinity initially rejects the role, she warms to the idea when Gordon agrees to train her—and their passion for each other grows as he teaches her to embrace her animal instincts.

As she begins to accept her destiny and believe in her growing powers, Trinity realizes the danger is even closer to home than she ever imagined—and she and Gordon are going to have to face the demon in a fight to the death.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jacqueline Battisti was raised in Little Falls, New York where she met and married her high school sweetheart. They have two children and live near Rochester, New York where she is a stay at home mom and writer of the paranormal and urban fantasy of her vivid imagination.
Her first novel, The Guardian of Bastet, is being published by Carina Press August 20, 2012. She is currently working on a sequel as well as a dystopian paranormal.
Her life has taken her from the trials and tribulations of working as an administrative assistant at various companies, back to college as an adult student, and then into the adventurous world of motherhood.
Jacqueline began writing seriously in 2007 after attempting NaNoWriMo for the first time. It was the first time she had disciplined herself to finish a novel. From there, her supportive critique group was formed and attended, and then she attended RT Booklovers Convention in 2009. Jacqueline attended their aspiring authors workshops and met with many talented writers who inspired her to continue writing.
Flash forward to today: Jacqueline has two children who are very outgoing and keep her on her toes. Cub Scouts, Daisy Scouts, play dates, school activities for the kids…then writing, reading current authors, following blogs, facebook, household chores, gardening and exhaustion for mom. Add in a new puppy, two furry feline children and fish and you have the craziness that is the Battisti household.
Twitter:@jmbattisti

The Guardian of Bastet Short Excerpt:

Like a good girl, I try to say my prayers every morning. This morning was no exception.

“Goddess, it’s me, Trinity Morrigan-Caine. Could you please let me get through today without pissing off too many people or wanting to kill anyone? And would you please grant me patience for the idiots I meet and guidance to keep my mouth shut when they say something really freakin’ stupid? Thank you.”

Afterward, I felt better. Today was just one of those days. I slept through the alarm. My familiar, a longhaired Birman feline named Bronwyn, had to wake me up and there is nothing like being swatted in the face with a clawed paw first thing in the morning. I showered and then realized I had no clean work scrubs. Crap. I put on already worn scrubs which didn’t smell too bad. The only brightness of the morning was my cousin and roommate, Lily, had made a pot of coffee and saved me some before she left for work—and probably on time, of course.

Once again, I was late and I knew my boss was going to have kittens because of it. Okay, not literally, although the thought of that made me giggle aloud. No, I was the one who turned into a furry feline once a month. She was just a human pain in my ass.

I grabbed the travel mug and took a swig of the coffee I had heated up before leaving. I didn’t even care I burned my lips on the brew. I let out a deep sigh. Ah coffee, the elixir of gods and humans. There was just nothing better than the jolt of caffeine to wake up to. I drove to work whistling.

REVIEW
The Guardian Of Bastet was awesome guys! Seriously, I usually can tell within the first few pages whether a story will be a good read; or a “Oh My Goodness… I can’t put this down”…epic adventure!:) Well, The Guardian Of Bastet was definitely the latter.
The fresh take of the heroine intrigued me from the start, in her own eyes, Trinity did not see herself as this “kick butt” wicked, cool super hero or whatever. In fact she describes herself as basically mediocre; her power as a witch is mediocre, and when she shapeshifts…it’s into a household cat! Also, she has a hateful boss, no real long-term relationship and mommy issues! Wow, how real is that?! I loved how the author created someone so “normal” with insecurities and such, and allowed that person to be the  vessel for greatness!
Trinity is a heroine you can root for even as she is beginning to walk in her newfound destiny; she is relatable with sometimes being late for work, extremely disagreeable in the mornings and penchant for being stubborn. How can this character be likable?; because she is just like all of us, flawed but the potential for greatness inside; and of course watching this butterfly evolve, and her interactions with the hot Alfa, well this makes the book all the better. Also the story is well-written, flows, and extremely witty at times; This truly is a fantastic debut;a” I do not want to put it down, but if I have to…I can’t wait to get back to it read!”
I recommend this book for those that like funny,feisty heroines, hot guys, a slew of various paranormals thrown into a community and told to get along, action, passion and a little mystery…so if you are someone like that…then this book is a must try:)
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Okay everyone here is where I give you the details on how you can enter to win some great prizes in the Guardian Of Bastet giveaway!
What you can win is Tour Wide Giveaway 5 free copies of The Guardian of Bastet – Winners can choose epub or .pdf format3-Pewter Egyptian Bastet Cat Pendants, The Goddess Bastet (cat goddess) is an important role in The Guardian of Bastet Open to North American ShippingHow you enter is simple, click this link and follow the instructions on the handy dandy Rafflecopter and then sit back and wait to see if you are a winner!http://www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com/2012/08/now-on-tour-guardian-of-bastet-by.htmlHappy reading all:)

IndieWritersReview’s ” SHIFT (Firstborn Trilogy, Book 2) by Raine Thomas Book Promo/Review!”


Hello Everyone! Today I am participating in the Shift (FirstBorn Trilogy,Book2) by Raine Thomas tour! I am so excited about this…so below check out the book promo and I also share a review of  Shift!

Having the ability to shapeshift, Sophia is familiar with change. But even she feels the rising tension in her homeland.

A shadowy male and deadly beast reside in their midst. The births of the newest Kynzesti loom. Hostile Mercesti continue to hunt for the Elder Scroll, and a traumatized female is too afraid to use her abilities to stop them.

Topping off Sophia’s stress is Quincy, the male she’s convinced can’t stand her. She rues the loss of their friendship, but can’t figure out how to move past it. She’ll soon learn, however, that mending that rift bears more significance than she ever imagined.

The search for the Elder Scroll takes on unexpected urgency, and Sophia finds herself in a race across the mainland. To stop the Mercesti led by Eirik, she and her companions must get past their differences and unite against them. If they don’t, Eirik will acquire the immense power he seeks, and two of the beings Sophia loves most will die

On Sale Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0091LDMZO
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shift-raine-thomas/1112629923

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Raine Thomas is the author of the exciting and original series of YA fantasy/romance novels about the Estilorian plane. Her passion for writing prompted her to earn her bachelor’s degree in English with a focus in Creative Writing from Georgia State University, then her master’s degree in Humanities from Central Michigan University. She is also a proud member of Romance Writers of America.

Residing in Orlando, Florida, Raine is a hopeless romantic with a background in the fields of mental health and wedding planning…two areas that intersect far more than one would think. Her years working with children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral challenges inspired her to create young protagonists who overcome their own conflicts. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives

SUMMARY/REVIEW 

I have followed Ms. Raine’s works from the first book Becoming; this is where I fell in love the new world and characters that she created. So it is a joy to have read Shift which proved to be just as great as it’s predecessors… Shift follows the tale of one of the children of the original cast from the Daughters Of Saraquel trilogy, Sophia. Sophia has always felt “different” from the others in her family, smaller, she felt more fragile, and she also hated how she was fairer than the others, in fact Sopia felt herself a freak! But she grew up with her families closeness and acceptance, and her best friend Quincy, a friend of the family, who also was her closest counter part while growing.

But Sophia noticed a change in their relationship when she finally obtained her final form, Quincy became more stand offish, and this solidified her feelings that she indeed was somehow “less” than the others. But soon things change and Sophia comes into her own, when she learns to control her shifts(she is a shapeshifter) and Sophia is one of those who has to go on the journey for the scroll piece; which fast becomes a race to save members of her direct family, but possibly her people….In this journey, she finds out the truth regarding what is happeningwith Quincy, why he is so standoffish…and Sophia also learns the truth in why she is different than the others, and must learn to accept who she is, and embrace where her life is leading, and not how it begun.

Shift (FirstBorn Trilogy,Book2) is a perfect addition to add to your Estilorians collection; a perfect escape into the world that Raine Thomas has created,and what a world! This world is full of  adventure, passion, devotion and never can forget love! Shift has something for everyone, and the intircate plotline keeps the reader intrigue, wondering what will happen next, what WILL the author throw next to these captivating characters! This is a must read if you have been following Ms. Thomas’s books and if you are new, then please go back and check out Author Raine Thomas’s other titles and you will become hooked too:)

Hey check out Shift’s  trailer!(THIS IS THE COOLEST TRAILER GUYS!:)

If I wasn’t already a fan, I would be after this trailer!:)

Indiewritersreview’s Music Monday!


Happy Monday everyone! It’s Monday and around here that means music:) I just want to invite you to check out Jamie B Musings and my interview with Hip Hop Educator LAK this past Saturday on IndieReview Behind The Scenes internet radio http://www.blogtalkradio.com/indiereviews-behind-the-scenes/2012/08/25/indiereview-behind-the-scenes-and-hip-hop-educator-lak

During this segment we discuss his album, his motivations, why he chose this inspiring road in using his talent and what’s next? So go check it out!

In My Music Mailbox today

Listening and viewing discretion advised

Hip Hop artist STIXX

 STIXX is emerging artist from Brooklyn New York. Gritty, raw, with an overdose of confidence best describes his lyrical abilities. Raised in Brownsville and Flatbush STIXX grew up with a passion for music, his family played everything from Pop, Reggae, Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Roll. However it was Hip Hop that struck a cord with him.

   At the age of 12, He would freestyle with his friends around the neighborhood for fun but never took it seriously. However he recorded his first song and the reaction was enough to let know STIXX he had a way with words and communicating. He took on the name STIXX, a childhood name given to him due to his body frame.
   In 2010 STIXX released Road to Success, an album that paints the ups and downs he’s faces on his path to achieving his dreams. An underground success RTS, showed the out the box thinking STIXX is known for, with hits Getting Paper, Take You to Heaven and RTS.
   Always pushing to create his own lane STIXX debuted the experimental music video Jungle, where he almost stood still in a variety of gritty locations for almost the whole entire video. The avant-garde video showed a young man discovering the nature of his exists, it is still praised by critics.
   STIXX followed with the music video New York Love and ode to the Big Apple New York City. The mainstream song and video gave viewers a tour of the city that never sleeps and more importantly the different people and workers that make it run.
   Refusing to be placed inside of a bracket, STIXX has been putting the finishing touches to his second serving Dom P & Cubans. With different experiences and his jet setting lifestyle STIXX plans on giving listeners a new perspective on his style of music.
Check out his website for more information! http://www.iamstixx.com/

Writing Time:”Look” Meme (Just got tagged:)


Hello:) The always fabulous author Emmae Meadehttp://emmameade.com/2012/08/25/writing-time-look-meme/  tagged me in this game going around the blogosphere.

How To Play

You run a search for the word “look” in your current WIP and then paste the surrounding paragraph

So here is a brief, excerpt from Night School  Vampire Hunter2(Dark Angel)

We all stopped and turned, breathing heavily, watching as the queen herself, Drama Queen, Bella Donna….walked down the shaded path from Ame Academy, clapping her hands slightly; She stopped directly in front of me, looking at me, arms folded…head tilted to the side as if she observed a bug; just the tip of her fangs showed, and said” Well done, Hunter, you just might not get us all killed, like I originally believed”

Jeez, where did I put that stake again?

Okay so I tag 🙂

JamieBmusings jamiebmusings.webs.com

Laura Deluca http://authorlauradeluca.blogspot.com/

Janiera Eldridge www.janieraeldridge.blogspot.com

Radio spotlight on Hip Hop Educator LAK!


Hello Fam:)

Just stopping by quickly asking you to stop by IndieReview Behind The Scenes and check out the radio segment of co-host Jaime B.Musings and myself as we interview Hip Hop Educator Lak!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/indiereviews-behind-the-scenes/2012/08/25/indiereview-behind-the-scenes-and-hip-hop-educator-lak

Happy Saturday all:)

Review Blitz of Savage by Willow Rose (Innovative Online Book Tour!)


Hello everyone! Today I am taking part in the Review Blitz for Savage by Willow Rose this event is sponsored by Innovative Online Book Tours!

I am featuring the book and giving details about the awesome Savage giveaway too! Also, check out my review of Savage:)

So let’s get started!

SYNOPSIS

The year is 1983. Christian is 22 years old when he leaves his home in Denmark to spend a year in Florida with a very wealthy family and go to med-school. A joyful night out with friends is shattered by an encounter with a savage predator that changes his life forever. Soon he faces challenges he had never expected. A supernatural gift he has no idea how to embrace. A haunting family in the house next door. A spirit-filled girl who seems to carry all the answers. An ancient secret hidden in the swamps of Florida. One life never the same. One love that becomes an obsession. Two destinies that will be forever entangled.

Savage is a paranormal romance with some language, violence, and sexual situations recommended for ages sixteen and up

SAVAGE EXCERPT

So how much do you know about St. Augustine, Chris?”

The woman driving gently touched her elegant yellow hair, careful not to mess it up with her colored nails. She spoke with a strong southern accent and was incredibly beautiful for her age, which I guessed was more than twice my age of twenty-two. Her name was Mrs. Kirk. I had just met her at Orlando Airport for the first time a few minutes before. She was waiting for me holding a sign with my name, Christian Langaa, printed on it.

The year was 1983 and I had recently finished my third year of med school at a university in Denmark. I had just left my country of birth for St. Augustine in Florida.  Leaving Denmark was my father’s idea, really. I guess he thought it was about time I left the nest, so he called in a favor with an old friend of his, an American eye surgeon, to take me in and help me get a year at a medical school “over-there.” I can’t say I was unhappy about it. At that time all kids my age wanted to go to the States where stone-washed jeans and Michael Jackson came from. His latest album “Thriller” had just been released and was played on every radio station all over the world. Like so many else I bought the cassette and played it again and again on my Walkman. Where I came from anything that was American was considered hip and cool. That summer before I left, my friends and I had watched the movie Flashdance that made ripped sweatshirts popular and we loved the TV show Dallas and Dynasty that made everybody wear increasingly oversized shoulder pads – even us guys. We drank lots of Coke and dreamt of watching MTV, which at that time wasn’t something you could do in Europe yet and especially not in my small home-country Denmark, where we only had one national channel on our TV.

The older generation in our country thought we were indifferent to the times we lived in and didn’t understand us at all. They named us the “So what-generation” or the “No future-generation” because they felt like we didn’t care about what went on in the world around us. We weren’t even rebellious. We didn’t have ideals and dreams about changing the world like they had back in ’68. Meanwhile they were terrified of the A-bomb, the Cold War and the communists. While we listened to disco music on our ghetto blasters and danced electric boogie, they fought with a bad economy and the fear of someone deciding to push the big red button, dropping the A-bomb and ending the world as we know it. Not to mention the increasing fear of AIDS that was spreading among people, commonly referred to as the “Gay-Plague” since it was believed back then to be an “epidemic of a rare form of cancer triggered by the lifestyle of some male homosexuals,” as the headline said in one newspaper.

The older generation simply felt like our generation just didn’t care about anything. And maybe they were right. We weren’t that concerned about political affairs and foreign threats. Politics simply didn’t interest us, especially not me. I was fed up with listening to my father talk about politics and war during my upbringing. I was a dreamer not a fighter. You can’t be both. Not in my book. And AIDS? Well, I guess we thought we couldn’t get it since it was a disease for the homosexuals. Plus we were in our twenties. We didn’t think we could die at all.

We ran over a bump and I was rudely jolted out of my reverie.

“Not much,” I answered Mrs. Kirk a little timid. “I know it calls itself the nation’s oldest city. I know it was here Ponce de León came to look for the legendary Fountain of Youth. I know the city of St. Augustine is home to the Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park, a tribute to the spot where Ponce de León is traditionally said to have landed. Though there is no evidence that the fountain located in the park today is the storied fountain or has any restorative effects, visitors drink the water. The park exhibits native and colonial artifacts to celebrate St. Augustine’s Timucuan and Spanish heritage.”

Mrs. Kirk looked at me with a small impressed smile. “Very well, you have done your homework. Dr. Kirk will be pleased to hear that you have not come unprepared.”

“My dad gave me a book on Florida to read on the plane. I have a photographic memory. I remember things easily. It helps me a lot in school.”

I stared out the window at swamps and what seemed to me like wild-growing brushes and forests. I was desperately hoping to catch a glimpse of an alligator, an animal I had never seen before and of which I had been told you could find in pretty much every waterhole in Florida. I was deeply fascinated by creatures of the wild. By predators of any kind. But as a city boy, I had only seen them behind their bars at the zoo, never in the wild. By now we had passed several waterholes and I had still not seen any to my great disappointment.

It felt like my headband was getting tighter, and I was sweating in my tight jeans and jacket with shoulder-pads and rolled up sleeves. I took the jacket off and put it in my lap. Florida was a lot warmer than I had expected it to be. And a lot more humid, too. I wasn’t used to this kind of heat, coming from a country where we would be lucky to have three weeks of summer. I still remember the feeling when I stepped out of the airplane in Orlando airport for the first time. It felt like someone had taken a winter jacket and swept me in it. Like the air itself was hugging me and welcoming me home. I remember sweating just from walking from the airport to the big black Mercedes that Mrs. Kirk picked me up in.

She cranked up the air conditioning and I soon felt a little cooler. I touched the nice leather seats and suddenly felt so insignificant. Coming from a rich family by Danish standards I was used to some luxury, yet I had never been in a car like this.

“Well, maybe you will have to think about losing some of those unruly curls once you become a doctor,” Mrs. Kirk said.

I touched my hair gently. I liked my blond curls and had let them grow past my ears. And I wasn’t the only one who liked them. The girls did too. Along with my deep-set blue eyes, my curls were my finest feature. Why parents and others older than thirty-five insisted they want me to cut them off was beyond me. My dad was the worst. “You look like a savage,” he would say. But I didn’t care. Deciding what I was going to do for a living was one thing, but he wasn’t going to change the way I looked, too.

He was the one who wanted me to go to med school, not me. All I wanted to do was play my acoustic guitar. “But you can’t make a living out of just playing the guitar. You need to grow up, Chris. It is about time,” my father said just before he told me about his plans for me. It wasn’t like he gave me a choice. I was going to take over the family practice. It had always been his dream for me ever since I was a child, so I never questioned it, simply because it would break his heart. I never said no to my father in these matters and I didn’t argue when he told me he was going to send me away for a year, either. Instead, I decided to make the best of it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Willow Rose writes Paranormal Romance, fantasy and mystery. Originally from Denmark shenow lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her husband and twodaughters. She is a huge fan of Anne Rice and Isabel Allende. When she is not writing or reading she enjoys to watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willowredrose
twitter: @madamwillowrose
blog: http://www.willow-rose.blogspot.com/
link to booktrailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwzYsoUn2VY&feature=player_embedded
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Savage-Daughters-Jaguar-ebook/dp/B008BP5ONY/ref=la_B004X2WHBQ_1_8_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1341005661&sr=1-8
Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13648992-savage

SAVAGE GIVEAWAYS

Giveaway international 

Click to enter giveaway! http://innovativeonlinebooktours.com/-M5R8.html

1       Print Book

1      E-book

One Two…He Is Coming For You

http://www.amazon.com/One-Two-coming-ebook/dp/B004WPP8YW/ref=la_B004X2WHBQ_1_1_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1343393815&sr=1-1

Buy link  .99 cents

The Eye of the Crystal Ball

http://www.amazon.com/Eye-Crystal-Ball-ebook/dp/B0057XUZ7I/ref=la_B004X2WHBQ_1_2_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1343393866&sr=1-2
Buy link  3.99

Beyond

http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Afterlife-1-ebook/dp/B005ME7P8Y/ref=la_B004X2WHBQ_1_10_title_0_main?ie=UTF8&qid=1343393946&sr=1-10
Buy link  .99 cents

Serenity

http://www.amazon.com/Serenity-Afterlife-2-ebook/dp/B005UZGAOK/ref=la_B004X2WHBQ_1_3_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1343393974&sr=1-3

Buy link  .99 cents

Endurance

http://www.amazon.com/Endurance-Afterlife-3-ebook/dp/B006VJHZSE/ref=la_B004X2WHBQ_1_5_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1343393991&sr=1-5

Buy link  .99 cents

REVIEW

Savage was right up my alley. I loved the haunting,suspenseful, almost eerie feel of the novel; the story of Christian, a very accomplished 22-year-old,that is obedient to the wishes and plans of his father, a young man who has accepted the path his life has taken. But a faithful trip down south, is the beginning of a turn of events that will cause Christian to question his sanity, reality and beliefs. Savage, is a tale of youthful passion, and discovery, because although Christian is thrust into surreal situations, it really appears to be the beginning of true freedom.

I really enjoyed this book, the author captured the free lifestyle of the 80’s and created a world that whisked you away from reality and completely draws you into it; Savage is well written with a poetic quality, a lyrical writing style. I fully recommend this read for anyone that enjoys a good paranormal and a slightly darker romance.

I will look forward to other works by this author:)

Indiewritersreview’s Tuesday Tips


Hey Fam:) Thought I would reach quickly and actually veer off from my normal spotlight and showcase for just a minute:) If you have visited Twitter the last day of so, you might have seen my message that I actually took the plunge, I signed up for the NaNoWriMO for November writing challenge; yep, and to be honest, I’m a little nervous:)

Now, I am in the process of writing Novella#2 of Night School Vampire Hunter, but no, that did not discourage me from adding MORE to my plate and then going out on a limb and talking about it across the net! So, um…not sure how smart that was:) But nevertheless, I am gearing up for the challenge, and so, I am locating resources to inspire and prepare for the challenges ahead, and thought to myself, hey…why not share these great resources!

So Tuesday Tips was born, this will be a semi regular post, so anyway here we go. I was given this info on prioritizing writing time from my hubby:) The post comes from Writers Digest University(for anyone interested…called “Fitting Writing Into Your LIfe”)…to check out details and register for this webinar go to Course?CourseId=1102-7&utm_source=WDUPromo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=wdpb082012&et_mid=575224&rid=3054402 , so check it out!

and here is a pep talk  on writing taken from NaNoWriMO website http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/pep/holly-black

Holly Black

Holly Black is the bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for teens and children. Her first book, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, was published in 2002 by Simon & Schuster. Holly has since written two other books in the same universe, Valiant, and the sequel to Tithe, Ironside, which spent five weeks on the New York Times bestseller list…

 Takn from the NaNoWriMo website…

Holly Black’s Pep Talk

Greetings fellow writers,

Here are some things I wish someone had told me when I was writing my first book. I want to say them to you in the hopes they will help and encourage you. Even if you’ve heard them before, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded.

1) No one can tell if the writing was fun or if it was hard. Trust me. I know it seems like writing that pours out of your brain in a passionate flood should be better than writing that comes slowly and miserably, but the only person who will ever know the difference is you. So no excuses—get the word count done.

2) You don’t have to believe you can; you just have to do it. I remember everyone telling me I had to think positive when I was writing my first book. If I believed I could do it, then I could! If I pictured myself published, then it was going to happen! Which sounded great, except…could I do it? If I didn’t think I could, was I doomed to fail? What if I was almost totally sure I would fail? I am here to tell you—what matters is sticking with it. Even if you don’t know if you can make it through NaNoWriMo, just get through today. Then get through tomorrow. Don’t worry about the day after that, until it’s today. Then you know what to do.

3) There aren’t good books and bad books. There are finished books and books that still need more work. Please don’t let wondering if there’s a market for your book or wondering if the book you’re writing is genius or evidence that you should be heavily medicated get in the way of the writing. Remember, right now you are not writing a good book, you are writing a good draft. Later, you will have lots of time to kill your darlings, make the suspense more suspenseful, to add foreshadowing and subplots. Later you will have time to change the beginning or change the ending or change the middle. Later, you will have time to cut and polish and engooden. For now, trust the process and write (that said, if you suddenly wake up in the middle of the night and realize what’s wrong with Chapter 7, then by all means, jot that down for later).

4) Figure out what happens next. Some people swear by outlines; other writers are like to find the story along the way. Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, before you quit for the day, write a little bit of the next scene or a couple of lines on what you think will happen next. That way, you are never looking at a blank page.

5) Write for your reader self, not your writer self. You are the best audience for your own work. If you would absolutely love a character like the one you are writing about, if you adore books like the one you are working on, then you are going to know how to make the book appealing—write it like you were the person who was going to read it. Remember the fun bits, the juicy bits, the stuff you linger over in other books—the good stuff.

6) Talk it through. When you get stuck, sometimes it helps to talk through the book out loud—even if only your cat is listening. Sometimes hearing the plot is enough to engage a different part of your brain in solving the problem.

7) Give yourself regular rewards. A fresh cup of coffee (even if it is your 353rd) when you get to the end of a scene, an episode of your favorite show, a snack, a couple of minutes rearranging your My Book is Awesome mix—if you give yourself regular motivational rewards, you will have small goals to work toward.

Over the course of this November, you are going to feel frustrated, despairing, elated and exhausted. You will walk around in a foggy haze at your job or the bank or the supermarket. People will talk to you for twenty minutes and you won’t have heard a word they said because you just thought of a fantastic new subplot. You will look up things on the internet that make you look like a serial killer. But it’s good practice—just think, once you become a professional writer, that’s how you’ll behave all the time!

Holly Black