Title: The Dream Series
Author: J.J. Dibenedetto
Publisher: Writing Dreams
Pages: 280 (each book)
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Sara Barnes thought her life was perfectly ordinary – until the night she began stepping into other people’s dreams.
Follow Sara as she learns to cope with this extraordinary gift (or curse) in the Dream Series:
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.
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I’m staring at my clock radio. According to the big green digital numbers, it’s exactly 3:14 AM. I think it might be off by a minute or two, but that’s not really the point. The point is that I’m awake to know it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 3:14 AM.
This is not by choice. Actually, it sort of is, I guess. I’m awake because I don’t want to fall asleep. And why I don’t want to fall asleep? It’s a fair question. I’d ask, if it were someone else.
The answer sounds stupid, even to me. If I’m honest, I have to admit I’m just being a baby about this. I don’t want to fall asleep because of the dreams I’ve been having. “Nightmares” is a better word. I don’t think even that really gets the point across, though. Is there a word for dreams that are worse than nightmares? There should be.
It’s been the same the last four nights, exactly the same. The people in it are the same, the places are the same, everything happens exactly the same way, in the same order, and the worst part is that it all feels so real. There isn’t any of that weird imagery that people always talk about–talking rabbits or losing your teeth while flying naked behind trains through long dark tunnels or whatever else. Everything that happens in this nightmare could come right out of the news. It could all really happen.
Oh, my. That’s a horrible thought. What if–maybe it is really happening?
Casting the Dream Series
I think all authors “cast” their books for who’d play their characters in a movie or TV show, and I’m no exception. But I have to admit that it took me a long time to come up with the perfect matches for the Dream Series.
The first character I cast is actually a pretty minor one – Sara’s mother-in-law, Helen Alderson. As I was writing the third book of the series, DREAM CHILD, I realized I’d been modelling Helen unconsciously on the character of Emily Gilmore from “Gilmore Girls” (actress Kelly Bishop).
Next came Sara’s mother, Betty Barnes. I’m not sure where the idea came from, but as soon as it hit me, I knew it was right. British actress Nicola Bryant (who played companion Peri Brown on “Doctor Who”) was a perfect choice for the role.
I was stuck for a while after that. It wasn’t until last fall, when I began watching the new TV version of “The Flash” that I was able to cast the main characters. Danielle Panabaker, who plays Dr. Caitlin Snow on “The Flash” is a perfect match for Sara, both looks-wise (she is a little tall, but nothing’s perfect!) and as far as her character on the show, personality-wise.
The Flash himself, actor Grant Gustin, is an ideal Brian – loyal, heroic, and sometimes a little bit awkward. Actress Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Felicity Smoak on both “Arrow” and “The Flash” is ideal as Sara’s best friend, Beth.
And finally, Tom Cavanaugh, who plays the villainous Dr. Harrison Wells, would be a great Howard Barnes (Sara’s father).
The really good thing about my choices for Sara, Brian and Beth, is that they’re all in their mid twenties. They could play the college-age characters of the first two books, and also the more mature versions of Sara and company as the books move forward in time. So if Hollywood ever comes calling, I’ve got a whole cast ready for them!
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 “” series is James’ first published work.
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