FREE Kindle Edition 2-3 April
Dream Student: Dreams, Book 1
by J. J. DiBenedetto
J. J. DiBenedetto’s debut novel is free for two days. Grab it while you can. Stay tuned for my interview with the author and a giveaway of the first four books in this series, coming soon.
What would you do if you could see other people’s dreams? If you could watch their hidden fantasies and uncover their deepest, darkest secrets … without them ever knowing?
Sara Barnes is about to find out. She thought that all she had to worry about was final exams, Christmas shopping and deciding whether she likes the cute freshman in the next dorm who’s got a crush on her.
But when she starts seeing dreams that aren’t hers, she learns more than she ever wanted to know about her friends, her classmates … and a strange, terrifying man whose dreams could get Sara killed.
Dream Student is the thrilling first installment of the Dreams series. There are currently three more books available in the series: Dream Doctor, Dream Child, and Dream Family. Whilst this is a series for adults, it is suitable for ages 15+.
I don’t have to tell Beth all that, so I skip ahead to the awful part: the man and the girl and the bedroom. I realize, as I’m telling her about it, it wasn’t separate dreams, it was the same dream. I was in one place, and then in the other, just like that. And it was the same feeling of being not in my own mind again, just like all the other times. I must have been on the street, at the accident scene, and then I was in the bedroom watching. There wasn’t any in-between at all.
By the time I get to the end, I can barely get the words out. I don’t want to see it, but it’s there, playing out over and over and over.
I don’t know how long I cry for this time, but Beth is a real trooper, she holds me until I finally recover a little. Not much, but enough to keep talking. “He killed her. I watched the whole thing, and I tried to help but I couldn’t move, and they didn’t hear me and there wasn’t anything I could do. She was – she was kicking and fighting but it didn’t do any good.”
Beth thinks about that. She’s staring hard at me, and I can tell exactly what’s going through her head. She’s wondering where the hell this came from. I don’t like horror movies; I hate even watching the news sometimes. And nothing’s ever happened in my life or to anyone I know like what I dreamed. Beth knows all that, and I can see from her expression that she’s nearly as freaked out as I am.
Most of us sleep and wake up not remembering or even wanting to remember our dreams. Some of us wake and do remember our dreams but tend to regard them as maybe curious, quirky or even perhaps a little zany. Overall, we tend to regard them as irrelevant and having no bearing whatsoever on our waking life. And then there’s Sara. Sara does remember her dreams and her dreams are very relevant to waking life because not only do they involve people she knows, they involve people she knows doing things in her dreams that they are also doing or wish they would be doing in their real lives. In most cases, what people are doing in her dreams are innocuous enough: students cramming for exams, students having crushes on and fantasies about other students but then there’s a mystery man who looks like he’s hurting people, maybe even murdering people. It’s not like Sara experimented with lucid dreaming techniques or self-hypnosis, no, she’s just like the rest of us: she goes to bed, sleeps, dreams and wakes up. However, what she does witness in her dreams changes her and everyone around her. Thank heavens she’s got her best friend and roommate, Beth and her new dreamboat and devoted boyfriend, Brian to help her not only keep her sanity but also help her become a sleuth and possibly save lives. The more I read this book, the more I had to remind myself that this is a first book by a first time novelist. Terrific book and terrific writer who definitely has a bright future. Bravo!
About the Author
J.J. (James) DiBenedetto was born in Yonkers, New York. He attended Case Western Reserve university, where as his classmates can attest, he was a complete nerd. Very little has changed since then.
He currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). When he’s not writing, James works in the direct marketing field, enjoys the opera, photography and the New York Giants, among other interests.
The “Dreams” series is James’ first published work.