Search This Blog for Authors, Publishers, Reviewers and Books

Add Your Logo or Avatar to This New Book Review Reader List:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Paranormal Romance Just Released by Victoria Roder

The Dream House Visions And Nightmares
Victoria Roder
Paranormal Romance
ISBN 978-1-934337-64-6
Asylett Press
4 bricks out of 5

Reviewed by Bea Ware for Writers Wall, Valerie J. Patterson for

When I sat down to read Dream House—Visions and Nightmares, the debut novel by Victoria Roder, I expected a book full of ghosts and attempts at spine-tingling scenes. What Roder actually delivers is a taut story with an ending only the most attentive of readers will figure out prior to reading the final chapters.

Roder strategically introduces characters, allowing the reader to gradually learn their significance. This prevents information overload, but also affords Roder the opportunity to develop multifaceted characters the reader comes to either care about or despise. Every good book has a villain, but Roder offers up more than one—and they all have their place artfully etched out in the plot.

The book opens with Hope Graham fighting off sleep and losing the battle. Nightmares plague her. Horrible, unsettling nightmares. The lack of sleep and plentiful nightmares begin to intrude on Hope’s waking hours, causing her boss at the resource center where she works to issue the ultimatum: Get it together or get out. After one nightmare too many, Hope calls her sister, Samantha and, at 3 in the morning, decides she’s going back home to Sheboygan where her sister still lives and where the house of her dreams can be found.

Hope begins to unravel the purpose of the haunting nightmares by investigating the house those nightmares center around. With a little bit of help from her sister and a lot of help from the locals, Hope not only uncovers history about the house, but she unearths secrets that force her to dig deep into her own past and confront the very real nightmare she lived through as a child.

The sunshine in the darkness of the plot comes in the form of very sexy bakery owner, Brock Cooper. Brock offers Hope all the things her ex-husband couldn’t: romance, friendship, support, encouragement, tenderness, understanding, and love. He’s her sounding board, her confidant, and her romance when she needs a break from the intense mystery surrounding her dream house. Roder holds back and successfully allows the romance to slowly blossom between these two, which is refreshing given the fact this is not a romance, but rather a paranormal thriller that serves up a happily ever after in spite of the odds against it happening.

Hope also finds an ally in the elderly busybody living across the road from the dream house. Ida is full of knowledge, but is not as forthcoming as Hope—or this reader—wants her to be. Instead, Ida has a foresight most people wished they had, and there’s a purpose for disclosing information slowly. Hope’s on a voyage of self-discovery and too much information too soon not only makes for a short book, but would defeat what Roder obviously worked so hard to combine into one exciting, unpredictable plot.

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've loved. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by author names, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the index handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.


Harvey said...

Great review. It grabs my interest immediately. I hope this becomes a big seller

Tammy Eron said...

I look very forward to reading Ms. Roder's book!