Thursday, February 12, 2015

Friday's featured Author

The Dream Sequence Series
J.J. (James) Di Benedetto's

What if you could see everyone else’s dreams?  That’s the question that my Dream Series novels answers.  But the whole series began with a different question:
Why do people in mystery stories decide to try and catch the bad guy themselves, instead of going to the police like any normal person would do? 
Obviously the first answer to that is, “because then there wouldn’t be a story!”  But I wanted an answer that made sense within the story.  And what I came up with was that you’d have to have proof that only you could see, and that no one else would believe.  Psychic proof.  If you could see the crimes through the eyes of the criminal, you’d know who they were, and who the victims were – but what could you possibly tell the police?  If you saw the crimes replayed in the nightly dreams of the criminal, you’d be the only witness, and there wouldn’t be a thing you could do to stop the next crime – except investigate it yourself.
With that answer, the Dream Series was born.  Sara, the main character, came into being right along with the basic idea.  She was there from the beginning, as was her boyfriend (later husband, as the series goes on).  And the setting for the first book (back when I had no idea there would be anything past that!) was always college, and in the spirit of “write what you know,” Sara’s college is a very thinly veiled version of where I actually went to school.
I wrote the story – and then let it sit on my computer for a decade.  When I finally came back to it, I still liked the idea, but not the actual writing.  So I went back and rewrote the whole thing from page one.  I made two big changes: I told the story entirely from Sara’s first-person perspective; and I set it in the winter of 1989-90.  Why?  First, because, again, “write what you know.”  That’s when I was in college.  Second, it’s a time before Google, cell phones and all the other technology we take for granted today (and which would make solving the mystery in the book far too easy).
That’s the story behind the story of the first book in the series, DREAM STUDENT.  But there’s plenty more to the Dream Series.  I’ve collected the first three books into a mini box set called DREAM SEQUENCE.  Here’s what’s in it:

It’s bad enough that, thanks to her supernatural talent, Sara is learning more than she ever needed to know about her friends and classmates, watching their most secret fantasies whether she wants to or not. Much worse are the other dreams, the ones she sees nearly every night, featuring a strange, terrifying man who commits unspeakable crimes. Now Sara wonders if she’s the only witness to a serial killer – and the only one who knows when and where he’s going to strike next. 

Medical school and life as a newlywed would be enough by themselves for anybody to handle. But Sara’s got another problem – her dreams have started up again. Almost everyone at the medical school is dreaming about the death of the school’s least popular teacher, Dr. Morris, and once again, Sara finds herself in the role of unwilling witness to a murder before it happens. But this time, there are too many suspects to count, and it doesn’t help matters that she hates Dr. Morris every bit as much as any of his would-be murderers do. 

Sara thought she had made peace with her dreaming talent, but she’s got a surprise coming: her four-year-old daughter has inherited it, too. Unraveling a mystery with lives on the line is difficult enough under the best of circumstances. But when Sara has to view all the evidence through the eyes – and dreams - of a toddler, it may be an impossible task. 
It’s also available as one big Audible audiobook!
Buy links: (Amazon - all countries)
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J.J. Di Benedetto's fans would swear he's got a sixth sense when it comes to seeing into the minds of others and often wonder if his stories could possibly be fiction. He enjoys suspending disbelief with suspenseful paranormal tales that are a perfect blend of reality meets fantasy.
His popular Dream Series continues to delight readers with each and every exciting installment.
Born in Yonkers, New York, he currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and a cat he is sure has taken full advantage of its nine lives. When it comes to the cat, he often wonders, but then again it might just be his imagination.

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