Dream Student 

Dream Student (Dream Series, book one)

Genre Paranormal Romance/Suspense
Author Name J.J. DiBenedetto
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG
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.

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Interview with Sara Barnes

Tell us about yourself,
I guess I should start with my name. I’m Sara Barnes. I’m twenty-one
years old, as of last month. I’m in my junior year of college, at Crewe University.
I’m in the pre-med program – I’ve wanted to be a doctor for years – as long as I
can remember.
Most people would probably say I’m kind of shy. They might even
say I’m a nerd, although I dispute that. Yes, I like studying – what’s so weird
about that? Biology is fun, and so is chemistry. What’s not to like?
I have one brother, Bob, who’s three years younger than me, and
he’s also a huge pain in the rear end. I have a best friend – my roommate, Beth
– who might as well be a sister. I’m not jealous at all of her, even though she’s
tall and has perfect blonde hair and all of that, and I’m nothing like that.
What is it that you want,
but cannot have? Authors call this the conflict of the story.
I want my weird dreams to stop. I’ve been seeing other people’s
dreams for a month- I don’t know why it started, or why I can even do it in the
first place, but I wish it would just stop already.
What’s your internal limitation?
Meaning, what is it about you that makes it so you cannot do what it is you need
to do during this story?
I’m not always great at navigating relationships and “reading
between the lines” with what other people say and do. I can be pretty slow
sometimes, when it comes to that.
What inner doubt causes
you the most difficulty?
I’m terrified of not being able to live up to my responsibilities.
I know I’m having these dreams for a reason – I’m the one who has to deal with them.
I’m the only one who knows what’s going on in them, and what if I’m wrong about
what I see, or what I think it means? People could die, and it would be my fault.
What’s your external complication?
In the story world your author created, explain what it is you fear most.
It has to do with the dreams. There’s a man who’s – I don’t even
want to say it out loud, what he’s doing in the dreams. He takes girls, teenage
girls, and – I’ll leave it to your imagination. But it’s real, too. I’ve seen two
of the girls in the newspaper, their pictures, and their – their obituaries. And
they were in my dreams.
I’m the only one who knows what’s going on, or who’s doing all
this, and that means I have to stop him. And that scares me to death.
Tell us about your significant
other, that person who makes living worthwhile.
Oh, God. I love Brian so much. I’ve only known him a month, but
it’s like we’ve been together all our lives. I never believed in love at first sight,
or soulmates, or any of that, but I was wrong, because I’ve experienced that with
He’s younger than me – just a freshman. But he’s so strong, so
supportive of me. And he’s just beautiful – he has the most browny brown eyes I’ve
ever seen.
What would that person
say about you?
Can I not be modest for a minute? He’d say that I’m his soulmate,
just like he’s mine. He’d say that I brought him out of his shell, and made his
life worth living. And – even though it’s not true, it still IS true, because he
believes it – he’d say I’m beautiful, too.
What is your family like?
My parents are wonderful – they’ve always given me plenty of
responsibility and trusted me. And they’re totally in love, even after twenty-some
years – I can see it. They’re pretty young, too – Dad’s only 44 years old, and Mom
is 45.
I already mentioned my brother, Bob, so I don’t need to say anything
more about him. I’ve only got one grandparent – Mom’s mother, Grandma Lucy. And
there’s my godmother, Kat – she’s not related, but she’s still family.
What special skills do
you rely on?
Besides the dreams? Just my brains, I guess. It’s not bragging
– I am pretty smart. That makes up for my total lack of athletic, artistic and musical
If someone from your past
showed up, who would you NOT want it to be, and why?
Richard – my boyfriend back in high school. I lost my – well,
you can figure that out for yourself. It was the worst – God, I hated myself so
much after that night. I only ever spoke to him once more, to break up with him.
Are you happy with the
way your story ended? Why or why not?
Yes – I got through it in one piece (well, except for a broken
leg!), I’m probably going to have my choice of medical schools to go to, and I found
my Brian. AND, I have a feeling that before too long, he’s going to ask me to marry
him! What more could I ask for?

About the Writer

Why did you choose to
write about this character?
Sara pretty much emerged at the same time as the initial story
idea. I wanted to come up with an explanation for why a civilian/amateur would find
themselves pursuing a killer, rather than the police. That’s where the dreams came
from – if you could see other people’s dreams, what if you saw a crime? You’d be
the only witness, but it’s not something you could bring to the police or anyone
else. You’d have to investigate yourself, if you wanted to stop it.
And Sara just was there – right from the start, she was always
the person having the dreams.
Why do you write?
Because I love these characters – not just Sara, but her family
and friends, too. They’re very real to me, and I want to get their stories down.
If readers enjoy them, too, I’m thrilled.
What other character from
this book do you want to write about? Care to tell us why?
I definitely want to give Sara’s best friend, Beth, a story of
her own. She’s been a supporting character for going on seven books now, and she
deserves her turn in the spotlight!
Are any sequels planned
for this book?
I’ve already written five sequels, and I’m working on number
six right now. I think there’ll be probably ten books in all before I’m finished.
Is there anything you’d
like to say to your readers?
Really, there’s only one thing: THANK YOU!

Author Bio

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.

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