Spooktacular Blog Hop + Prizes Galore

Happy Thursday!

Today, I’m participating in the Spooktacular Blog Hop with a superfantubulous group of HisFic, YA, SciFi and all kinds of other AMAZING Authors. {{And there are goodies to be had…I’m giving away a $15.00 Amazon gift card AND some delish Halloween treats. Check out the deets below. Oh yeah!}}

The challenge was to post an excerpt from your novel, that is creepy, scary, gory, bloody, entrail-y, or otherwise all shivery and whatnot.

Spooktacular blog hop

If you’d like to join in, the rules are as easy as running away from one of those slow, shambling, face-rotting zombies.

rotting zombie

(Now, if you’re unlucky enough to have FAST zombies in your apocalypse, well.. SEEYA)

running zombie

To be entered, all you have to do is read the following excerpt from my upcoming YA Time Travel novel, THE DIM (coming spring 2016-Houghton Mifflin Harcourt-woohoo!!).

Then, check out the deets at the bottom on how to enter!

And make sure and visit all the other wonderful participating author blogs below and see what fab gifts they’re giving away!!

For a little heads-up on what’s happening in the snippet below: Here is the news from Pub Weekly:

Sarah Landis at HMH has acquired at auction Janet Taylor’s debut The Dim and a sequel, pitched as Outlander for teens, about a 16-year-old girl who must travel back in time to 12th-century England to rescue her mother. Along the way, she becomes entangled with a secret society of time travelers and a mysterious boy who may be the key to setting her mother free. The book is scheduled for summer 2016; Mollie Glick at Foundry Literary + Media did the deal for North American rights.

And now… an excerpt from THE DIM

A sound like the cracking of the earth’s crust screamed in my head. I clamped my hands over my ears, trying to block it out, and felt the warm trickle of blood as it ran from my nose. “Oh God!”

“Don’t fight it,” Collum called over the noise. “Makes it worse. Relax and let it take you.”

Phoebe’s freckles stood out in 3-D. She pulled me close to yell in my ear. “Don’t worry. Gram claims it reminds her of childbirth. Afterward, you barely remember the pain.”

Sweat slicked the back of my neck. Childbirth? Oh sweet Moses. I want out. I can’t do this. No way. No freaking way. Let me…


I was wrenched upward and into a darkness so dense it seemed to leech the blood from my veins and peel the skin from my flesh. Tumbling, falling, endlessly falling through a living entity of black. It surrounded me. Choked me. The nightmare tree rose up before me. Black spiky branches reached down to stab at me. They picked me up, hoisting me high into an inky sky. I was crashing through the branches, the icy wood slamming into my back as it stuffed me into its mouth. I was back inside. Things crawled in my hair and down the back of my dress. I screamed. I screamed and sobbed and fought. But no one could hear me.

Then, my descent sickeningly halted. Before I could orient myself, I was hurtling backwards. Faster and faster. My hair lashed at my face. My stomach heaved as colors and spears of light surrounded me. Shades of plum and green and yellow flashed. Decay. Death.

Faces appeared and disappeared. Fat-cheeked babies morphed into crumbling skulls in an instant. Millions of faces. An unending stream of shrieking mouths on either side. I closed my eyes, or thought I did. But I could still see them.

A familiar, burning odor. Fire blazed in an endless space around me. Limbs—not made of wood—writhed inside them. The fatty scent of cooking meat. A small boy’s face appeared. That one didn’t dissolve into a flaking skull, but stayed whole before me. Black hair hung down on each side of hollow cheeks that were smudged with dirt.

Horror shot through me as he slowly opened his eyes. His blue and green eyes.


As the face vanished, the darkness consumed me again. I scrabbled for something…Anything…To hold on to. But there was nothing. I was nothing. A microbe. A grain of sand on a beach surrounded by a dry ocean.

On and on and on it went. For seconds. Years. A thousand lifetimes.

If you like what you read, please put THE DIM on your to-be-read list on Goodreads!

For a chance to WIN!! Either like or share this post on FB, Share on Tumblr, Tweet it, then shoot me a quick comment letting me know you’ve done it! Or you can just Comment below. Either way, you’ll be entered into the drawing for a $15.00 gift card from Amazon AND some delish Halloween treats.  (And I totally promise not to put a spell on any of it!! Mwahahaaaa)

And please click over to more spooooookkktacular blog participants below, and see what kind of goodies they’re giving away….










*Giveaway ends on October 31, 2014 at 11:59pm EDT.  Prize mailed only to North American addresses. Entrants must be 18 years old or older to win.


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It finally Happened!!!!! (Subtitled: My BIG News)

Hello, my loyal readers. Are all three of you sitting down?

I hope so, cause I’ve got news!!! Do you have your dancing shoes on?

(Of course, if you’re sitting, you won’t necessarily need your dancing shoes…Hmm. I’m torn now..)

Oh well.. Sit or stand. Your call..



It finally happened!!! I GOT A BOOK DEAL!!


I KNOW, Right?? For so long, it seemed like it would never happen. But I learned something….And now that I’m on this side, I am going to share it with you…. Lean close now, cause it’s a closely-kept industry secret they don’t really like to share. It’s how all these big-time writers get rich and famous, and it all comes down to ONE word…… You ready?


wide eyes

That’s right, guys. NEVER. GIVE. UP.

If you believe in your writing. If you want to be a published author. If this is your dream….Keep going. Keep learning. Keep getting better. And it WILL HAPPEN.

I am a perfect example of how it can happen to anyone. I don’t have an MFA. My degree is in science. I didn’t write for years, while I raised a family and lived my life. But when I decided to set out on this excruciating adventure, I never gave up.

Now don’t get me wrong. It is a painful experience. There were times when I wanted to curl up in a little ball, hide from the world, and never write again.


The querying experience is one I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I didn’t have one of those fairy-tale querying journeys where I sent out my first draft and had ten agents vying for my book. Nope. I got crushed under a lot of boots before I finally got there.

For me, the best thing I ever, EVER did was find a wonderful group of writer-friends who helped me learn. Who taught me both the craft and the business of trying to be an author. My friends at the SFWG….You know who you are…Led this newbie writer by the hand and taught me so much, I can never repay them.

But I try. Every day.

Those are my two biggest pieces of advice for any of you out there who are reading this, and working toward the same goal.

1) Find a great writing group, LISTEN to them, LEARN from them, and always, always GIVE BACK.


2) And most importantly…..

Never give up. Never Surrender.

Snape in a rubber head



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