Friday, March 20, 2015

J.J. DiBenedetto shows off his book, Dream Student - and it is FREE

Today is my two-year anniversary as an author. Two years ago today, March 20, 2013, I logged onto Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing system and hit “publish” on the first four Dream Series books (DREAM STUDENT, DREAM DOCTOR, DREAM CHILD and DREAM FAMILY).
It’s been a great ride since then; I had no idea what to expect, and I certainly didn’t know if anyone would want to buy the books (let alone read them and enjoy them). 260 rviews, 7,500 sales and over 70,000 free downloads later, I have my answer. Somebody likes me. They really like me!
I’ve gotten to work with a lot of very talented people, including a local artist who hand-painted the original covers of the first few books, a fantastic designer who created the new covers you can see for the books now, three great Audible narrators who turned the first five books into audiobooks, and “Doctor Who” star Nicola Bryant, who narrated a short story set in the Dream Series. I never in a million years could have imagined that I’d be working with the actress who played Peri Brown – how cool is that?
I’ve also enjoyed the process of writing the books, and delving ever deeper into the lives of my heroine, Sara, and her friends and family. It all started with a question: what would drive an ordinary person who suspected a crime was being committed to investigate it themelves, rather than call in the police. My answer was: if they only saw the crime in their mind, through the eyes of the criminal, through his dreams. And Sara sprang up, fully grown, from that idea. Eight books later, she’s got a husband, five kids and a whole cast of friends (and enemies, too!).
To celebrate my anniversary, I’m giving away an ebook (or audiobook; winner’s choice) box set of my first five books – I’ll pick a winner from the comments to this post. And here’s a little more about the books themselves:

What if you could see everyone else’s dreams? 

Sara Barnes has just discovered that she can. And this gift – or curse – will lead her on an extraordinary journey.

Follow Sara as her newfound ability leads her into adventures she never imagined. She will hunt down a serial killer, investigate a plot to murder one of her teachers, unravel a conspiracy between a mobster and a corrupt politician and face off against her nemesis: a woman who shares her talent, but uses it to destroy lives rather than save them. And Sara will have to manage all that while finishing college, becoming a doctor and falling in love, too.

Here are the first five books of the Dream Series, along with bonus material created especially for this collection. Included in this set are DREAM STUDENT, DREAM DOCTOR, DREAM CHILD, DREAM FAMILY and WAKING DREAM. In addition, you’ll find the short story BETTY & HOWARD’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE starring Sara’s parents. But most of all, when you open this box of dreams, you’ll find romance, suspense, humor and plenty of heart…

You can find the books on Amazon. Book one, DREAM STUDENT, is free:

You can listen to samples from my audiobooks at:

And here’s a small excerpt (it’s from early in book two, DREAM DOCTOR):

My eyes open, and I’m out of bed in one swift motion. I have to call 911. Someone’s very sick, they might be dead, they…
It was a dream. Someone else’s dream.
Brian’s awake; he’s staring at me. My hand is still on the phone. “What – who – are you calling someone?”
I sit down on the bed. “I – I guess I have to tell you, don’t I? I had a dream.”
He knows immediately what I mean. “Who?” is all he asks.
“Dr. Morris. Well, his wife.” I haven’t had a dream since the night before our wedding, and that one was about Dr. Morris, too. Someone was dreaming about his funeral. “I assume it was his wife, she must have been. She gave him some tea, and he took one sip and - basically he dropped dead as soon as he did.” As I tell it, I realize that I have seen her before – sometime during orientation. Maybe at the reception for my class that first night? It makes sense; a lot of the faculty had their spouses there.
I can’t think about it anymore – I’m starting to get a splitting headache. Brian takes me in his arms. “Are you all right?” I don’t answer; I want – need - to just sit here and be held for a while.

I’m still awake. I closed my eyes so Brian would think I had fallen asleep, and that way he would go back to sleep himself, which he did after a few minutes. I didn’t want to keep him up all night just because I was. But now that I’m lying here and unable to get the dream out of mind, it doesn’t seem like such a great idea.
I thought about the dreams all during our honeymoon; I was worried they were going to keep coming, but they never did. I told myself the one I had must have been a fluke, something random.
Then school started, and still nothing, and it was completely out of my mind. Especially once I actually saw Dr. Morris, alive and walking around just as he should be. But now, tonight, it’s happened again. And it was about him again - twice now I've seen Dr. Morris dead. I assume that first dream was his wife as well, but what does it mean? Is she worried about him dying, or does she want him dead?
Or, even worse, is she actively planning on making him that way? 

My Amazon Author Page is at:


  1. Thanks, J.J., for stopping by today. I love those covers! Your book sounds great, also!

  2. Thank you for sharing. Going to get mine.