Friday, April 8, 2016

Cover Reveal: TWIST by Kylie Scott

Twist (Book Two) in the Dive Bar Series by Kylie Scott releases on November 22nd!

About Twist

When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot, bearded, bartender extraordinaire, Joe Collins, only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, friendly, and pretty much everything he's been looking for in a woman. And in no time at all they're emailing up a storm, telling each other their deepest darkest secrets...apart from the one that really matters.

And when it comes to love, serving it straight up works better than with a twist.

From Kylie Scott, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Stage Dive series, comes a fresh, hilarious, and sexy new series. Welcome to Dive Bar, where the tattoed bartenders keep the drinks - and romance - flowing with a perfect cocktail of heartbreak, humor, and sweet, sexy romance.

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Are you ready to get Dirty? Dirty is Book One in Kylie Scott's Dive Bar Series releasing April 19th!
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About Kylie

Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Kylie is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, New York.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Cover Reveal: INFLICT (Muse #2) by Cora Carmack

Yay! It's cover reveal time for Inflict by Cora Carmack. And not only is Inflict getting a cover reveal, but the first book in the Muse Series, Inspire, also is also getting a re-cover reveal.

About Inspire

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

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About Inflict

Wilder Bell made a dangerous bargain...

For a chance at love, he gave up his life.

History knew Kalliope as an ancient Greek muse, but to Wilder, she was simply the woman he wanted to fall asleep with every night and wake up next to every morning. He made a deal with Hades, but the only thing the Lord of the Underworld deals in is death. Now Wilder is wasting away in a cold and wretched afterlife, waiting for Kalli to come for him. She will come. He has to believe that. Because the alternative is worse than death.

Kalliope lived her entire existence knowing that she was both a blessing and a curse to anyone she encountered. Wilder was no different. She loved him, and she got him killed. Now to get him back, she’ll have to face a scheming god, a perilous task, and death itself. But before it’s done, the Underworld will take more from her than she ever thought possible.

To be made whole, all must first be lost.

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About Cora Carmack

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

NaNo 2015 - Week 1 Check-In

Originally I wanted to do regular writing craft related posts for November. After a tiny bit of though, I changed my mind. There was no way I was going to get away with writing 50K words and four blog posts. So, I decided to do weekly updates.

Week one started with a bang on the first. I wrote well over 2k, but didn't write down the number. I thought I could recall the exact word count by day on the NaNo website. I was wrong. Good thing I either posted my daily word counts to Facebook or on a sticky note.

Here's my week one breakdown by day.

Day 1: 2,670
Day 2: 3,778
Day 3: 2,581
Day 4: 1,134
Day 5: 2,331
Day 6: 2,461
Day 7: 3,959

Week 1 Total Words Written: 18,914

The words came fast and the story is taking shape. I'm getting to know the characters and their world. It's fun and exciting. Of course, once I'm finished and do a read through I'll probably be saying it's a total piece of junk. Until I set it aside for a little bit and then polish it. 

So I did really good for week one. Which I made a huge push on. Mainly because starting in week two, things get crazy around here and my writing time slashes drastically. In fact, day 8 didn't see a single word, but that's for next week's recap.

And hopefully, I will have some NaNo related links to add in to that post. I wanted to do that this week, but I got way behind and completely forgot to write this recap in time for an early Monday morning post. So it's a late Monday evening post, written on the fly.

If you're doing NaNo, how did you do on week one? (Don't compare to my week one, it's a fluke! I swear the daily word count is dropping.)

Friday, October 30, 2015

November 2015 Releases

Ten Thousand Skies Above You Cover
Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2) by Claudia Gray

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Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents' invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart Cover
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

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Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she's spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps, she's ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?

Neverseen Cover
Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities #4) by Shannon Messenger

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Sophie Foster is on the run—but at least she's not alone.

Her closest friends from the Lost Cities have gone with her to join the Black Swan. They still have doubts about the shadowy organization, but the only way to find answers is to start working with them. And as they settle into their new lives, they uncover secrets far bigger than anything they’d imagined.

But their enemies are far from done, and unleash a terrifying plague that threatens the safety of an entire species. Sophie and her friends fight with everything they have—with new allies joining them—but every choice has consequences. And trusting the wrong person could prove deadly.

In this game-changing fourth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must question everything to find a truth that will either save her world—or shatter it.

Dangerous Lies Cover
Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

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A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

Winter Cover
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer

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Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Trailer Reveal: OBLIVION by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Oblivion (Lux #1.5)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: December 1, 2015

About Oblivion

Experience the epic love story of OBSIDIAN as told by its hero, Daemon Black…

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can't stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won't just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen...

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  Check out the other books in the Lux Series!

Lux: Beginnings
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Lux: Consequences  
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About Jennifer L. Armentrout

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

NaNoWriMo Survival Guide

This will be my last writing craft post leading into NaNoWriMo. Here is my advice to surviving November! Some of the tips are essential, others might not fit into your life right now. That's okay, pick and choose which ones work for you and use them.

Tip #1: Schedule, Schedule, Schedule (Essential Tip #1)

This is no joke. Set aside time every single day to write. I'm not a morning person, by a long shot. Yet I'm up every morning around 5:30. Usually I do my workouts right after I get my little guy in bed. This month I will be doing my workouts a bit earlier in the evening. That way I can use that later time to write. I still have to get to bed early to be able to function at 5:30am the next day.

And I'll be attempting to schedule extra writing time on the weekends to offset any possible loss in writing time during the week.

Tip #2: Enlist Your Family 

This is a big one. My family knows that when November comes around I need that quiet writing time. Which basically means I stick in my earbuds, turn on the music, tune everything out, and write like a crazy person.

Let them know what you're doing. Chances are, they will help you stay on track. Tell them you need time to write. Ask them to help give you that time. Ask them to keep you accountable.

Tip #3: The Mess Will Still Be There December 1st 

Seriously. Don't worry about all that mess piling up around you during November. It's not going anywhere. Schedule time at the first of December to take care of everything. If you have other adults in the house, they can either wait for you to return to your regularly scheduled life in December or they will get tired and take care of it themselves. lol 

Tip #4: Share Your Progress

Get on your social media and share your daily goals and your word counts. Remember to tag your posts (#NaNoWriMo or #NaNo or #NaNo2015). Other writers following those hashtags will keep you accountable and cheer you on. In fact, this is it a great way increase your writing network.

Follow writers on the NaNo site. As they update their word count you can see how everyone is doing. And as you update your totals, anyone who follows you will be able to see your progress. It's a great tool. Remember to make sure you have the correct region selected. That's another fun way to see how your region compares to others around the world. It's also fun to watch your graph climb to 50K over the thirty days. That's a huge motivator.

Tip #5: Do a Write-In

I've never gone to a write-in, but I plan on doing so this year. Or at least I'm hoping to. Here's the scoop on write-ins. A group of writers get together in one location and write non-stop during certain hours. No interruptions. No laundry staring at you. No phones ringing. Just pure writing time.

I'd love it if The Writing Barn would do a write-in or two. I'd definitely go there. But, I just joined The Writers' League of Texas, and word is they are hosting a bunch of write-ins around Austin during November. Also, NaNoWriMo has their own write-ins scheduled by region.

Tip #6: Keep a Steal Journal

Okay, so this is new for me. I usually like to keep one notebook per project. But, last week I went to see Austin Kleon speak at BookPeople about his new book, Steal Like An Artist Journal. If you haven't heard of him and his books, you really need to check him out. I've added his books to my Resources For Writers tab above.

Basically, drag around one journal, everywhere, all day, and write anything that interests you in any way. You never know what you're going to use, how you're going to use it, or when.

Tip #7: Keep a NaNo Journal

This is going to be me, in addition to the Steal Journal. Why? Because there will inevitably be times inspiration will hit you, or you have a few minutes to write, but you are not any where near your computer. For me, this will be lunch time. I'm sure I'll be found hiding in a corner, huddled over my notebook, jotting a few lines to type up later.

Tip #8: Forget Order! 

Some writers jump out of order when they write. I've had the urge to do this occasionally, but somehow every time I've tried this I get all sorts of mixed up with my momentum and can't go back to fill in the space between the scenes. If you need to, and can manage it, do it. Don't let yourself get into a rut and lose momentum entirely.

Tip #9: Go Off Track

don't worry if you have a detailed outline and your characters decide they need to go somewhere else entirely. That's part of the fun with NaNo. Follow your gut and your characters. Let them lead you. You might be surprised by what you learn about them and you. Plus, you can always edit it out after November 30th. 

Tip #10: Breathe (Essential Tip #2)

NaNo only last thirty days. It's doable. Trust me. Just remember to breath. Don't get worked up if you're behind. Calmly adjust your word count goals and get right back to writing. Thirty days goes quicker than you think. There isn't time to have panic attacks over word counts. Or worry about editing that sentence that doesn't feel right from day two. There certainly isn't time to freeze up and lose momentum. Keep going. Keep writing. Every. Day. You can do it. Even if you don't hit the 50,000 words by the end of the month, keep going and you'll have a really good start to a novel. You can keep going through December. While the challenge ends at midnight on November 30th, there is nothing stopping you from adding more words to your manuscript until you are done.

Note for November Blogging: During November I will still be blogging, but not about writing craft. It will be more of a check in style posting every Friday, or Saturday - I haven't decided yet. This is a way to let others see how I'm doing, keep myself accountable, and let other writers brag about their word counts in the comments below. I will be back to a regular writing craft blog in December. I also may be moving the postings to Saturday. It's a bit difficult to get to my personal computer and share the posts on Fridays. 

See you during NaNo.

Friday, October 16, 2015

NaNoWriMo Like a Pro

Last week I shared outlining methods you can use for NaNo. This week I thought I'd share some other ways to gear up for your month long writing sprint.

Set a Word Count: 

The entire goal is to write a 50,000 novel (or start to one) in 30 days. And looking at that number is seriously daunting. 50k words in 30 days. Um, yeah, that's nearly impossible. Right?

Wrong. It's manageable. All it takes is 1,667 words a day. That's it. Not so bad now, huh? I have my own number in mind when I sit down, though. A more even number. One that helps if I have a bad writing day later on. 2,000 words every day. That's my goal. I've heard of other writers setting the goal even higher. Some writers even set their word count for the entire month at 100,000. *gasping for air* That's insane if you ask me, but that's just me. If you can do it, then do it.

Regardless of what your goal is, set a daily word count and stick to it. Get those words in. Every. Single. Day.

Plan Ahead: 

It's November which means Thanksgiving. There will be at least two or three days this month where you will not get in your word count. At all.  I get it. My youngest's birthday is in November. So on top of Thanksgiving, there's his birthday. There is also the day I will be traveling with my daughter to a college visit. We're staying over night. I have plenty of days during November where I will not be getting in my word count.

Here's how I deal with that. I plan out 2,000 words every day. Then looking at my calendar I figure out which days will be no writing days. Then I spread out the word count on the days leading up to those non-writing days. 500 words here and there. So for every day I know I will miss there are four days I have to add 500 words to. It's not too bad. Especially in the first week. I really go strong there and if I can get extra words in at the beginning I will do it. If I'm on a roll and I have the time, I refuse to stop writing just because I made word count for the day. This helps out immensely around Thanksgiving, because the extra words are done. 

If you don't plan ahead, you will have to make up those words later on. I can honestly say from experience, it's not a good feeling. It tends to stress me out and make me nervous that I won't make word count in the end. I get too preoccupied with worrying about making word count that I lose momentum. So I try to do extra as much as possible in the beginning of the month.

Use an Outline: 

I use a very loose outline. One that I don't worry about if I change my mind and veer in another direction. Because, I always find some crazy twist that just has to happen. One I didn't think about while I was outlining, but now I know I have to add in. I don't fret over changing directions.

Here's why. I like to think of my outline as a map. There are multiple ways to get from point A to point B on the plot map. Instead of taking a direct route, I can take a longer route, or stick with the plan. It doesn't matter. I will still get to point B no matter what. There are certain places along the way that are, in a sense, non-negotiable for me. Those are the points where something does not go according to the character's plans. Those are the turning points that I know have to happen to further the story.

Or you can always do what I did my first NaNo. Fly by the seat of your pants. I didn't hit my word count that year. I fell short by just over 11,000 words. But I did finish a rough draft. And it's still sitting in a folder on my computer. Untouched because I have no clue where I was going with it. Hence, the reason I use outlines to at least figure out major plot points ahead of time. 

Don't Look Back:

This is one of the most important lessons NaNo teaches. Turn off your inner editor. Shut that thing down. I know writers who refuse to move on to the next chapter until they get the current chapter perfect. I can't do that. I lose momentum. When I lose momentum I lose the story. I get annoyed with the story quickly. And guess what? It never gets completed.

News flash: The story will still be there to edit when the rough draft is completed. If you want to make word count you CANNOT go back and edit while you write. Don't do it. NEVER do this. You will not in fact make word count. Nor will you finish that draft. Please, do not edit while you write for NaNo.

Yes, the draft will be a mess, but that's what rough drafts are for. They aren't supposed to be perfect. Not by a long shot. I love messy drafts. They're fun to clean up after NaNo. There are a lot of writers who band together again after NaNo to clean up their NaNo drafts.

Schedule Writing Time: 

This is another very important thing to do. Know when you will write each day. I know exactly when I will be writing every day, at the beginning of the week. Some days it will be in the morning, others in the afternoon, and others in the evening. My family understands, I'm unavailable most of November. Except on the days I will be too busy with family to write. My mom is really good about keeping my son entertained so I can write. My daughter knows not to bug me when I say I'm writing. My son is still learning that writing time is not his time to come beg me for computer time for him. lol He sees me on the computer and decides he needs to steal it from me.

Set the time aside. Explain what you are doing to your family. Get them on board. You might be surprised at how willing they are to help you reach your goals. Let them know you need time to set aside for writing. Time that is for the story and nothing else. Be serious about that time. It might seem selfish, but it really isn't. Think of it as study time. You're paying your dues before becoming published. Or, if you're already published, it's your time to work on your craft, your next book, or any number of ways to further your writing career.

Be fiercely protective of this writing time. Make it a habit. One that, hopefully, will stick around longer than just November. After all, you will need that time later to edit this manuscript.

Keep a Notebook: 

I always keep a notebook nearby. Why? I don't edit as I go. And I veer from my original outline. Every. Single. Time. Therefore, having a notebook to make edit notes to myself helps later on. When it's time to edit my manuscript I have notes to myself to go back and fix things at the beginning of the draft to make other things happen later on in the draft. Sometimes I make notes to cut an entire chapter during edits. Truth is, I wrote those words during NaNo, so they are going to stay and count towards my word count goal. If I edit and cut them in the midst of NaNo, they are no longer there to use for my word count. And that just flat out sucks.

So I keep every word during NaNo, but I cut a vast amount of those words in the editing process. A lot of my rough draft is me thinking out loud, well on paper out loud. I don't worry about words I tend to over use while I'm drafting. There will be plenty of time to edit the heck out of it and cut those words later when I revise. I like to think of my rough draft as the bones of the project. The final draft that others will see will eventually be smoothed out on top of those bones.

Since I usually don't get time to get back to my NaNo project until January or February I have a tendency to forget those little ideas I have while drafting. This is where that notebook comes in handy. Those thoughts are all there. Not lost or forgotten. It makes revising a heck of a lot easier.


This is pretty much the hardest thing for writers to do. Unplug. Get off the internet. When I NaNo, I do not go on the internet until after I get my word count in. When I sit down to write, that's the only thing I can do at that time. No checking in on Twitter. Or checking to see if my friends are posting anything interesting on Facebook. Blog posts can be read later. Some writers turn off their WiFi access on their computers while they write. Others use apps that keep them on track and not wandering away from their computer or getting on the internet during certain times.

I just use good old fashioned will power. It's really hard, but I refuse to let myself open my browser until after my daily word count has been met. If I need to research an aspect for my project, it goes into my notebook for later, for my internet time.

Writing time is sacred and should not be used playing on social media sites.

Get a Squad: 

NaNoers are everywhere during November. Just look for these hastags: #NaNo #NaNoWriMo and you will find your people. If you are on Twitter, which you should be, pay attention to your friends' tweets. They may be taking part. Do NaNo sprints and tweet about it. Use the hashtags. Cheer others on, they'll cheer you on. Tweet about your goals. Tweet about your word counts, daily. Before you know it, you will have a squad. Those that you know have your back. Your squad will be your ultimate cheerleaders and accountability partners. Chances are, they need to be held accountable for their word count goals as much as you do.

Find me on Twitter, I'll cheer you on. And you can hold me accountable, too. @HeatherHeleneYA.

Set a Reward: 

What are you going to give yourself when you hit your 50,000 word count goal? I'm still not sure what my reward will be, but I will be setting a reward. Chances are, it will be linked to reading. I never read while I draft a manuscript. If I read, I chance having the voice of my project influenced by the other author's writing voice. And, most importantly, that time goes to writing time instead of reading. By the end of November I'm usually foaming at the mouth to just sit down and read.

Regardless of what your reward is, set it. Something that you can only have if you meet your goals. Clearly I need to rethink my reading reward. Because, honestly, I will be reading no matter what in December. Maybe I'll have a cheat day with regards to my eating and have a cupcake. I tend to stay away from sugar as much as possible these days, so that sounds like a much better reward. Something I know I won't be having unless I reach my goal. I'll even post a picture of the cupcake if I hit my word count by November 30th.

What are ways you prepare for NaNo?