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Friday, January 15, 2010

The Dream House: Visions and Nightmares by Victoria Roder

The Dream House: Visions and Nightmares by Victoria Roder
Publisher: Asylett Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (170 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Queen Anne’s Lace

Dreams ... visions ... nightmares ...

Recurring dreams of a house Hope Graham’s family rented when she was a child, taunt her nights with nightmares of a woman in a bloody nightgown pleading for help. Dream sequences of children metamorphosing into rats, blood spewing out of windows, and walking across decaying bones, foretell of sins of the past and forewarn of danger in the present. In an attempt to end the agony of her sleep depriving dreams, Hope travels to her hometown...only to discover that the truth can be more frightening than a nightmare.

For fans of CBS’s Ghost Whisperer and other tales regarding the supernatural, The Dream House: Visions and Nightmaresshould not be missed. I originally wanted to read Ms. Roder’s novel because the blurb reminded me of this show as well as many other beloved paranormal stories I’ve read. I must admit that I feared the book wouldn’t live up to my expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The story first introduces us to Hope Graham, our heroine. She’s a divorced mother with a 19-year-old son who works with families going through crisis. Ironically, she’s plagued by her own predicament. For almost six months now she’s had recurring nightmares which take place at her old childhood home. Hope realizes that she must face her nightmares or lose her mind. She travels to her sister’s house, who now lives near the childhood home, to face her fears and the woman in the white nightgown who haunts her dreams.

Then enters our hero. The sexy and great cooking baker, Brock Cooper. Brock adds a masculine charm to our story as well as a certain amount of suspense with his eyewitness accounts of his experiences with the haunted house and the ghost. One in particular made the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up!

Our haunted house provides the perfect sinister stage for the story. It becomes a real, almost living and breathing entity that jumps right off the page and makes your heart stop cold. “The odor of mold and decay reached me before I even got near the front porch. The old wood siding seemed to expand and contract in time with my inhales and exhales. It was no longer an inanimate object. The house was alive!”

I’m reminded of the Amityville Horror story. And The House of the Seven Gables, where Hawthorne describes the house as if it were human; he says, ‘The aspect of the venerable mansion has always affected me like a human countenance…expressive of the long lapse of mortal life.’ Personification continues in later descriptions of the house as ‘a great human heart, with a life of its own, and full of rich and somber reminiscences,’ its ‘meditative look’ suggesting ‘that it had secrets to keep, and an eventful history to moralize upon.’

The Dream House: Visions and Nightmares begins strong and keeps the reader in a death grip until the spine-tingling conclusion, which you’ll never see coming. Don’t miss out on this wonderful thrill. A+++ job, Ms. Roder.