TITLE – Dream Vacation
SERIES – Book #8 in the Dream Series
AUTHOR – J.J. DiBenedetto
GENRE – Paranormal Fantasy Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – October 2014
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 256 pages
PUBLISHER – CreateSpace Independent Publishing
J.J. (James) DiBenedetto’s fans would swear he’s got a sixth sense when it comes to seeing into the minds of others and often wonder if his stories could possibly be fiction. He enjoys suspending disbelief with suspenseful paranormal tales that are a perfect blend of reality meets fantasy.
His popular Dream Series continues to delight readers with each and every exciting installment.
Born in Yonkers, New York, he currently resides in Arlington Virginia with his beautiful wife and a cat he is sure has taken full advantage of its nine lives. When it comes to the cat, he often wonders, but then again it might just be his imagination.
ABOUT THE DREAM SERIES
What if you could see everyone else’s dreams? That’s the question Sara has to wrestle with in the Dream Series. We first meet her as a shy, bookish college student who doesn’t think there’s anything extraordinary about herself. And then the dreams start…
Over the course of the series, Sara learns to live with these supernatural dreams and all the trouble they plunge her into. At the same time, she grows from a student to a practicing doctor; and from a single girl to a wife and mother. But every time she thinks she’s got everything figured out, life – and her extraordinary dreams – teach her that she’s always got more to learn…
|SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS|
Blurb for Dream Vacation (book 8 in the Dream Series)
Thanks to her unique ability to step into other people’s dreams, Dr. Sara Alderson has solved murders, unraveled conspiracies and saved lives. But when a crisis hits close to home, even her supernatural gift might not be enough to avert disaster.
On a family vacation to Paris, Sara’s fifteen-year-old daughter Grace disappears without a trace. The only way to find her is through Sara’s dreams. But her gift has taken an unwanted vacation, and without it, Sara has no idea how to rescue Grace. In a foreign city, with no clues, and her dreaming talent failing her for the first time, Sara must figure out another way to find Grace before it’s too late.
Dream Vacation is the eighth book of the Dream Series
Book Review by M.C. Simon
I just finished reading the book and I ran to my computer. I cannot wait anymore… not even five more minutes.
The book I just finished reading, I wish all people will read.
Dream Vacation starts with a Prologue that can be a story. Inside this book, the hooks are everywhere and they appear when you least expect them. Being structured as an alternate between day life and dreams that also seemed to be real, the book made me wonder from its beginning how this alternation will be developed. And guess what? I was not disappointed for one single minute.
I will avoid talking about so many of these moments now that my heart is racing.
Before I finished reading the book, I was imagining myself providing a very professional review, filled with quotes and examples. But… I simply cannot do this now.
I imagined myself commenting on what parts I enjoyed most. I wanted to talk about Will’s marriage proposal to Victoria while the eyes of a teenager were looking at them; a teenage girl who was hurt enough to see the one she fell for, proposing to someone else.
I imagined myself talking a lot about the way the author knew how to handle and describe the feelings a teenager’s parent were crossing.
I wanted to talk about how much I enjoyed visiting Paris through the author’s eyes, even if I never intended on visiting.
I imagined myself talking quite a lot about the paranormal twist in the middle of the action; the twist was such a big and pleasant surprise for me.
But… I now decided not talk about all these things anymore. Not even about the nightmare caused by the abduction Grace had to deal with.
I decided to say this:
If you are a parent, if you are a child, if you are a grandparent, if you are a grandchild, if you are a doctor or a police officer involved in missing person’s cases… if you are any of these and much more… buy this book and read it. It will make you think a lot and I am sure you will be able to handle your life much better. Moreover, most of all… you will know how to help others also. In addition, more than anything… if you are a person possessing extrasensory capacities, read this book. You will soon know why.
Sara is somewhere high up, looking down over Paris. The Eiffel Tower – there’s nowhere else this could be. She wonders whose dream it is, and then she sees the girl.
Blonde, young – a high schooler. Hair down to her – Sara has to blink, look away, look again. Hair in a ponytail all the way down her back, and then curled up around her until Sara can’t see where it ends. It’s a dream, she reminds herself, not questioning what she’s seeing. It doesn’t have to make sense.
She’s seen this girl before, but where? The memory comes back almost immediately – last night, in another dream. She was on the plane. And here she is, and the boy, too. Definitely her brother.
Sara watches as the siblings peer far below to the ground, looking for something – or someone. After a while, the girl lets out a little shout. “There! In the blue! Do you see?” The boy follows her finger, pointing hundreds of feet down. “I knew we’d find him again. We’ve got the money, we just need to get down to him now.”
And then the girl burrows into the endless tangle of her hair, pulls up what looks like it actually is the end, and Sara has to laugh; now she understands the hair. She remembers this fairy tale from her childhood. The girl begins to tie her hair to one of the girders. She ties a double-knot, then pulls on it, hard. The knot doesn’t slip.
“Ready, Jamie?” The boy nods, and throws his arms around her neck. She takes hold of her hair about halfway down her back, and, in one fluid motion, leaps off the Tower.
Sara knows what to expect now; she isn’t even surprised when she looks over the edge to find the girl rappelling down the tower a few bouncy steps at a time…
What’s going on? I – I was sleeping, but there’s a sound. Banging, louder and louder. And yelling. It’s – oh, God. It’s the door. It’s Lizzie. She woke Brian up, too – he’s halfway to the door already.
Two steps later, with me right behind him, adjusting my pajamas as I go, he’s at the door. He opens it and Lizzie runs inside immediately. “Mom! Dad! It’s Grace! She’s gone!”
What? What did she say? Grace? Gone? That doesn’t make any sense. How could she be gone? They’re all in the room together, next door. Where would Grace go? How could she be gone and her siblings not notice it?
Brian’s as confused as I am. “Lizzie, what happened?”
“Grace! She’s gone! She even took her new boots with her!” Lizzie’s grabbing my hand, pulling me back towards the door. Her boots?
I feel my legs go out from under me suddenly and I have to grab onto the door to hold myself up. My head is spinning. I feel – I don’t even know – nauseous, for a start. It all hits me: I know exactly what happened. If she took her boots – if she snuck out of the room – there’s only one thing she could be doing.
“How long has she been gone?” I try to keep my voice level, but I don’t really succeed.
“I don’t know, Mom. She woke me up, just for a minute, and I thought she was going to the bathroom and I closed my eyes and I guess I fell right back asleep. I didn’t look at the clock. But then just now, I had to go, and she wasn’t in the bed. And I saw her boots were missing.” She blurts it all out without taking a breath, but she’s still managing to keep herself calmer than I am.
I glance at the clock: it’s 12:15 AM. We got back a little before eleven. Ben and Steffy were nearly asleep on their feet, and Lizzie wasn’t far behind them. So, say they actually got to sleep by a quarter after eleven. Grace must have been pretending to sleep, and then as soon as she thought all her siblings were out for good, she made her move. She probably waited at least fifteen minutes, and then after she disturbed Lizzie, she probably sat there in the bathroom for another fifteen minutes or so, just to be safe. So she probably left the room half an hour ago.
I watch her eyes in the rear-view mirror. They’re darting all around; I assume she’s trying to decide whether to keep on lying, or to just tell us what she was really doing today. Her internal debate goes on for a while, and, finally, Mom fills the silence. “It was a boy.” Now Grace starts to speak, but Mom goes on. “We’re not stupid, Grace. Of course it was a boy. You didn’t come all the way out here just to ride on the Cyclone, any more than your mother took a job as a lifeguard in high school just because she liked the smell of chlorine.”
I want to protest that, but I hold my tongue. First of all because she’s right. But mostly because I think I see what she’s doing: letting Grace know that we are really upset – but that it’s something we’ll all get past.
“I – I didn’t think you’d – I didn’t think you’d want me to – I was afraid.” Grace stammers, in a small voice.
I don’t think this is an act. “Afraid of what?”
“It was a boy. I knew him from – from before.” I’m about to ask “before what?” when Mom lets out a little gasp, and it hits me. Before she came to us. We’ve never said anything about her seeing – or not seeing – anybody from her family, her old life. And until this moment, neither has she.
Three AM. Why is it always three AM with these dreams?
“Who was it?” He doesn’t need to ask why I’m awake and muttering at three – sorry, 3:01 AM, now. All he needs is the details.
“Grace,” I say. He stares at me, his eyes asking a question. I hold his eyes, shrugging apologetically, and he’s got his answer. A whole conversation in five seconds and one word – I guess that’s what happens after almost fourteen years of marriage.
“You were going to tell me last night, weren’t you?”
I was. But when I walked into the bedroom and saw him lying there, just waiting for me – well, what was I supposed to do?
I scoot up next to him, smile, and trace a finger the whole length of his scar. It really isn’t that bad. I did about as well as anyone could have when I operated on him, considering the circumstances. If I’d had more time to prepare, or a full surgical team, or the right facilities, there might not be a visible scar at all. But I didn’t – and if I hadn’t operated when I did, in the middle of that horrible storm a year and a half ago, I might not have a husband now.
He doesn’t mind the scar, and, anyway, it’s just something we have in common now. I still have the old scar from my appendectomy, so we match. His finger goes to it now, and I shudder a little at his touch. Just like always. “What can I say? I just can’t resist you.”
“I get that,” he says, with a wicked grin. “And you didn’t tell me beforehand because…?”
He knows perfectly well why. “You can’t keep a secret. I mean, you can at work, I know that. But not with me, or the kids.”
He starts to shake his head, but I glare at him, and he sighs heavily. “I admit it,” he says finally. It’s the same reason that, when we want to really surprise one of the kids on their birthday, I handle everything. Brian and I agree on a dollar amount and a general idea, but I buy the actual gift myself, and he doesn’t see it until it’s unwrapped.