Tuesday, 14 May 2013

CBLS: "Dream Student" by J. J DiBenedetto

Dream Student (Dreams #1)
by J.J. DiBenedetto
Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Categories: Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Heat Level: Sensual
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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.

We stop at McDonalds for a quick bite on the way home, and we just sit for a few minutes after we’ve eaten.  Dad is staring longingly at his autograph.  “This is beautiful,” he says, a faraway look in his eye.  I look at Brian’s gift.  Mike Schmidt signed it, “Brian – Go get ‘em, slugger! – Mike Schmidt, #20.”

He’s going to love it.  How could he not?  I just stare at the words, picturing Brian opening up his gift, imagining his reaction, feeling him holding me, kissing me…

There’s a sound, my Dad clearing his throat, and I’m back in the here and now.  He looks at the picture in my hand, and then, with a very odd expression on his face he wags his finger at me.  “I think I need to meet your young man.”

“You’re going to, Dad.  On Sunday.”  What’s going on?

He’s still got that expression.  He’s looking at me as though he’s noticing something he’s never seen before.  “I see so much of your mother in you.  I don’t think you realize how like her you are,” he says, finally. 

I do, actually.  I look a lot like her.  I’ve seen pictures of her when she was young, and if you didn’t know it you might think you were looking at me.  I start to say that, but he shakes his head.  

“It’s not just that you look like her,” he says, reading my mind.  “It’s - well, I was watching you just now.  I saw how your eyes lit up when you were thinking about your Brian.”  How long was I staring at that picture?

“Nobody else has eyes like yours.  Nobody else’s are that bright.  Nobody else’s light up the way yours did just now.  Except…” and now he chokes up a bit, and he has to have some water before he can go on, “Nobody except your mother.  How you looked just now, that’s how she looks sometimes, when she’s looking at me.”


Oh, my.

I didn’t expect that.  “Um – I - I don’t know - Dad, I’m not sure what…”  As I’m babbling, it hits me.  I’ve heard this before.  From Brian, the night we met, at the club.  He said something very similar to me, and suddenly I’m feeling dizzy, and warm.  I have to hold on to the edge of the table to steady myself.

 “I saw it, honey,” he says with a gentle smile.  “I see it right now.  You’re done for.  This Brian, he’s in your heart.  You can’t hide that, and you can’t fake it, either.” 

I can’t believe I’m having this conversation with my father.  But he’s right.  Brian’s in my heart, that’s exactly how it is.  There’s no point pretending it’s not true.  And it’s such a relief to have someone really and truly get what I’m feeling.  Even if it is Dad.

“Can I ask you something?”  My voice is very small and very far away.  I still need to hang on to the table for support.

“Always.  Anything.  You know that,” he says.

I already know the answer, but I want to hear it anyway.  I let go of the table and my hands are shaking.  “Sometimes when I look at him, when I look into his eyes, I mean really look into them, and he catches mine, it’s like everything else just disappears.  Like we’re the only two people in the whole world.  Even if we’re in a crowd, or at the movies or wherever.  Is - is it like that with you and Mom?” 

He reaches across the table, takes my hands in his.  “Boy, you do have it bad.  Worst case I ever saw.  Or the second-worst, anyway.”  He lets go of my hands.  “It was.  It was exactly like that.”

 “Was?”  What does that mean?  Why not “is?” That’s not what I was expecting to hear at all!  Dad reads my mind again.  “I can tell you the exact day that it stopped being like that.  October 12th, 1968.”

Wait.  October 12th.  That’s my…

 “What?  I don’t understand.  October 12th is my birthday.  1968, that’s when I was born.  I don’t…”

Other stops on the Tour if you want to visit them are here:

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.

Connect with J.J. DiBenedetto
Email: jamesd@elevendayempire.com


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