Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Worst Nightmare Blog Hop!

Today, I’m taking part in Vicki Leigh’s “My Worst Nightmare” blog hop, to celebrate the recent release of her young-adult, paranormal-romance/ urban-fantasy, CATCH ME WHEN I FALL, which centers around seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham, a Protector of the Night, who has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. 

I’ve had two recurring nightmares for as long as I can remember. They’re pretty standard, really: falling, and spiders. I know I share my fear of these two things with pretty much half the world. More, even; if politicians campaigned on universal spider extermination initiatives, they’d win in a landslide. Just writing about them, even talking about them, doesn’t really do the topic justice, though.

You have to dream them.

The first dream has endless variations, but one thing never changes: it starts with the familiar.  Just beyond the shower curtain. The bedspread, before you turn it down. See, the thing about spiders is how little and unnoticeable they are. You could have an infestation (creeping you out yet?) and never know- until one of them catches your attention. So easy to overlook- until someone shines a light. Then they become moving  pinpoints of horror.  In my dream, the familiar turns nightmarish. Hundreds- no, thousands- of spiders reveal themselves hiding behind every day things, making my sanctuary into a nightmare. They swarm my bed; I step into a mass of them after my shower. But that isn’t even the worst.

There’s also the falling. That nightmare is literally endless, in that I never remember why I’m falling or even where I am. Sometimes I trip and fall into a never-ending chasm or off the tallest cliff in the world. Mostly, though, this dream begins where it stops: in the middle, with no reason or location. There’s simply that stomach-dropping stasis that never leaves, not for as long as I’m caught in the nightmare. I never hit the bottom but I wish that I would. Anything to stop the sick queasy feeling of falling.

But the worst- the very worst- are the dreams that combine the two.

I’m standing in my kitchen, cooking. Usually it’s something that sizzles and steams, like meat frying, or eggs. That’s why I can’t hear them coming. The cooking food covers the approach of thousands, maybe millions, of tiny legs. I do something routine, something comforting I’ve done a million times, like reach for the spatula or a dishtowel. That’s when I see the movement- spiders are everywhere. They pool around my feet and skitter up the sides of the stove. Soon every surface of my kitchen swarms with a million tiny bodies. I scream until my throat hurts and back away. My kitchen has vanished. A strong wind blasts me from all directions and I stumble backward. My heel catches on something- I never see what- and I’m falling, flailing in space. Empty darkness rushes past as my hands grasp at nothing. Until something sticky and soft clings to them. I’m falling through spider webs. They are my only companions on this endless descent. If I stay in the dream long enough, they even stop my screaming. That’s what happens when your mouth fills up with spider webs: silence.

If something were to feed off my fears, it would look like spiders and wind. Spiders because, well, did you just read my nightmare? Yes? So spiders are kind of a given, then, right? And wind because falling is kind of hard to do.

Want to play too? 

·         On 11.03.14 post about your worst nightmare, and what form the clawed, red-eyed creatures would take if they fed off your fears.
·         Visit the other participants of the blog hop, and comment on their worst nightmares

At the end of the blog tour, on 11.14.14, Vicki Leigh will pick one of the participants at random and award them with [prize].

Visit the other participants:
Sharon Bayliss | Emma Adams at From the Writer's Nest               | The Writer Diaries      
Jennifer Brooks at The Cubicle Escapee | Katja at Cautious                          
Cait Spivey | Lucy Lala at Book-A-Holic                   
About Catch Me When I Fall:
Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.
Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.
A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.

Find Catch Me When I Fall Online:
About Vicki Leigh:
Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom, Vicki Leigh grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. If she couldn’t be a writer, Vicki would be a Hunter (think Dean and Sam Winchester) or a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes.
Vicki is an editor for Curiosity Quills Press and is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
Find Vicki Leigh Online:


  1. I found myself shuddering just reading about those dreams. I hate spiders and they freak me out, but I very rarely have nightmares about them. (Oddly enough, I keep waking up with the sense that there's a spider on the wall next to my bed...) As for falling... I've had that really weird sense where I've tripped just as I'm about to drift off to sleep. That's a pretty weird experience.

  2. Yikes! It's fascinating to see how often spiders are named. I loved your line: "That’s why I can’t hear them coming." *shivers*