Guest Post/Virtual Tour ~ Dream Student by J.J. DiBenedetto


Ten Books, Ten Facts

There are ten books in my Dream Series, following our heroine Sara as she learns to deal with her unexpected (and often unwanted!) ability to step into other people’s dreams. 

Here are ten things you might not know about the series, one for each book…

  • The college Sara attends in Dream Student is based on where I went to college.  “Crewe University” is really Case Western Reserve University with the names changed to protect the innocent.
  • Before writing Dream Doctor, I didn’t know a thing about medical school.  But thanks to a lot of research, I was able to create a pretty realistic picture of what the first year is like.  I actually had one reviewer, who is in the medical profession herself, ask me where I went to med school!
  • It wasn’t until I got nearly to the end of Dream Doctor before I realized that I was basing the character of Helen Alderson, Sara’s mother-in-law, totally on a TV character.  Specifically, Emily Gilmore from “Gilmore Girls.”  I’d been doing it unconsciously the whole time!
  • Just as I’ve never been to medical school, I’ve never been to jail.  But in digging around, I was able to find resources to paint a very accurate picture of the booking process and how horrible it can be – as we see for poor Sara in Dream Family.
  • Waking Dream features something new for the series – a nemesis for Sara, someone who can do what she does, but who uses the dreaming ability for selfish, harmful purposes.  That was originally supposed to be the plot for Dream Family, but that story completely changed after I wrote the jail scene and realized how hard it affected Sara, and her recovery became the story of that book instead.
  • Dream Reunion takes Sara back to college for her ten-year class reunion.  I didn’t go to mine, but several friends who did gave me invaluable material to include in the story (and a couple of them make cameo appearances, too!)
  • When Sara and her family move to the small town of Aisling, New York in Dream Home, that town is modelled after the real-life town of Cold Spring, and the house they buy is modelled after my uncle’s old house there.
  • I had the title for Dream Vacation long before I had a story for it.  I was actually holding that title in reserve ever since the third book in the series!
  • In Fever Dream, I do something I haven’t done in any of the other books – a “Law And Order” style ripped-from-the-headlines plot.  The villain of the book, Attorney General Edgar Spinner is a not-at-all thinly veiled take on former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.
  • I knew from the third book how the series would end – bringing things full circle with the wedding of Sara’s daughter, just as the first book ends with Sara about to get engaged. 

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dreamSeries: Dreams, Book 1
Publisher: CreateSpace  (March 22, 2013)
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
ISBN-10: 1482716275
ISBN-13: 978-1482716276
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


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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jjJ.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.

Website * Twitter * Goodreads * Blog

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Excerpt ~

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? 

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Tour Schedule

Monday, November 2

Interview at I’m Shelf-ish

Tuesday, November 3

Interview at The Book Rack

Wednesday, November 4

Interview at The Writer’s Life

Monday, November 9

Book Featured at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, November 10

Guest Blogging at Kristy Centeno’s blog

Wednesday, November 11

Book Review at Emeralfire’s Bookmark

Monday, November 16

Book Review at Ashley’s Bookshelf

Tuesday, November 17

Interview at Becky on Books

Wednesday, November 18

Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Monday, November 23

Book Review at I Smell Sheep

Tuesday, November 24

Book Featured at Jody’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, November 25

Book Review at Book Bite Reviews

Book Featured at Around the World in Books



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