Friday, October 4, 2013

Dream Family - J.J. DiBenedetto

Dream Family
"Why is this so hard for me?  Why am I having so much trouble?  Why do I feel so helpless, so hopeless?  What the hell is wrong with me?"
After tangling with murders and mobsters, not to mention medical school and three years of residency, Sara thought she could handle anything.  And then the police show up without warning at her new office and arrest her for a crime she can't possibly have committed.  Sara's confidence, and her grip on reality, is shattered during one terrifying night in jail.
Now, the very dreams that have endangered her life and driven her to the edge of madness may be the only thing that can help Sara find herself again...
"Dream Family" is the powerful fourth novel in the "Dreams" series.


DiBenedetto surprised me on this one!  Maybe horrified would be a better word.  This book really grabbed me.  Unprepared and caught off guard, much like I imagine Sara being, I even found myself crying along with the family.  This gripping installment of the Dream series definitely held me and didn't let go.

DeBenedetto has grown as a writer through the series and has shown his powerful skill in capturing his audience.  I absolutely love the supportive family structure that not only holds together, but also grows stronger in Dream Family.  While Lizzie continues to be a child prodigy, we also get a bit more interaction with the twins (since they are getting older).  But to have the entire family pull together and show their love and support during this most difficult time in Sara's life.... It is refreshing to see this connection instead of it tearing the family apart as many books and even real families in the world today might. 

Interview Bonus!!!

Me: WOW!  

JJ DiBenedetto: Wow?

Me: Dream Family... Just, wow!  You caught me off guard with this one!  Where did you get the inspiration for such a twist?

JJ DiBenedetto:  Thanks!

What was the inspiration? Originally, this book was going to have a completely different story. I planned to write about Sara facing a stranger who shared her ability to step into other people's dreams. And I thought that, as an obstacle later in the book, Sara would find herself arrested and spend a night in jail. I saw it as a minor roadblock in the story, and something that wouldn't be a big deal. But when I started writing the scene, it quickly became a lot more serious and dark. And I realized that was the story to tell - when Sara goes through something that's extremely traumatic, and that almost (or really does) "break" her, how does she recover from it?

Me:  You certainly did a wonderful job at showing the trauma of her experience. I have to say, I like the idea of her meeting a stranger with the same ability though.   

JJ DiBenedetto: I didn't forget that idea. I hung on to it and used it for the next book, "Waking Dream."

Me:  That's what I was hoping.  I haven't started that one yet.  
How often do you find your own characters "surprising" you?

JJ DiBenedetto: Very often. This whole book was a surprise - I didn't expect Sara to react the way she did, and that changed the whole plot. There's one point in this book where I "overruled" Sara. One of the signs she hasn't recovered from her experience is that she can't make herself put her wedding ring back on. She "wanted" to either break her own finger so she'd have an excuse, or "accidentally" throw her jewelry away. But I thought that was going too far, even though it fit what she was feeling and how she was (not) coping at that point in the story.

Me:  Sometimes our characters need to be reined in like that.  Now I really can't wait to jump into "Waking Dreams"!!!  

JJ DiBenedetto:  I think you'll like it.

Me: I'm certain of it. Each book just gets better.

JJ DiBenedetto:  Thank you!

Me:  You're welcome! So, how close are you to finishing book 6??!?!?!?!

JJ DiBenedetto: I'm about halfway done. I'm still hoping to have the first draft done by the end of October, and to have it released by early December.
I've got the basic idea for book #7 mapped out, too, and I already know the ending.

Me:  Awesome! I will definitely be looking for it.  Thank you so much for sharing.

JJ DiBenedetto:  I'm glad to!

Buy links:

Amazon:  ·         Dream Student  ·         Dream Doctor
·         Dream Child  ·         Dream Family  ·         Waking Dream

Smashword:  ·         Dream Student  ·         Dream Doctor  
·         Dream Child  ·         Dream Family  ·         Waking Dream

Barnes & Noble:  ·         Dream Student  
·         Dream Doctor  ·         Dream Child  
·         Dream Family  ·         Waking Dream

Meet 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.

Author Links:  Facebook - Twitter - Website - Amazon - Smashwords - Goodreads

Oct 1:            K.C Sprayberry               Out of Control Characters 
      &                Tiffany Kidd                     556 Book Chicks 

Oct 2:            Tich Brewster                  Loves All Things Books 
      &                Doris Orman                    Dowie’s Place 

Oct 3:            Penny                              Spoilers, Sweetie 
      &               KC Cavanaugh                The Cavanaugh Connection 

Oct 4:           Ann Snizek                       Rambling Voices in My Head 

Oct 5:           M.C.V Egan                    4covert2overt A Day in theSpotlight 

Oct 6:           Mary Lou                        Page Princess 

Oct 7:           Kay LaLone                    Kay LaLone Loves Books 

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