Alle Wells Author of RAILROAD MAN
This is a cleverly written tale of a writer's ultimate dream and a villain's ultimate nightmare. The story follows the lives of two people living in opposite worlds in Northern California. The reader shares the aspirations and fresh success of young protagonist, Decker Jones, as she purchases a coastal dream home in Northern California. Meanwhile, we are introduced to the dark underworld of Albert Crawford, a convicted bank robber and murderer. The author paints a stimulating, hair-raising picture of prison life and the depravity that lurks in the mind of a desperate criminal in a California penitentiary. Crawford's conniving schemes and evil deeds seem to jump from the page straight into the mind's eye. Crawford's wickedness is closely matched by his mate, Ruby, who follows him blindly until her own self-interest takes priority over her professed love for Crawford.
When Decker's dreams turn to nightmares, she prevails so triumphantly that you'll want to cheer her on and shout for joy. DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES is a unique, colorful, action-packed thriller that left me with the elated feeling I get at the end of a great movie
For most of the book, I had no idea how Albert and Decker’s lives would intersect. That Werner managed to keep that under wraps is impressive. The book shifts from one character’s story to another until they intersect in the last quarter of the book. The stories are interesting in their own right, but trying to sort out how they will come together – and then watching them collide – is what makes Dreams and Nightmares so compelling.
The story is well thought-out and well written. The characters are believable and the descriptions evocative.
I enjoyed this book a great deal and would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a novel that’s neither fluffy nor weighty but just right.
I couldn't put this one down! It was a very well-crafted thriller. There are two story lines running parallel – it's obvious they are going to come together at some point, but you are kept riveted and guessing until the point at which they do. Even after the merge of the threads, you are still kept on the edge of your seat – there are no clues how the final scene might end – it could go either way.
Decker Jones (Decker?? Even one of the book characters thought this an odd name!) is a struggling author whose bad day, when her boyfriend unexpectedly dumps her, is made quite considerably better when she finds out her novel has been finally accepted by a publisher. Success at last. She can begin to realise her dreams.
Albert Crawford is an unbelievably ugly, violent bank robber whose last job is going to be the finale in his 'lucrative' career before winging his way to Mexico for the good life. He can begin to realise his dreams.
However….things go horribly wrong. His final destination is prison, not Mexico. He arrogantly believes this is but a minor obstacle and his Mexican dream is simply delayed not erased.
Decker is reaping the success of her two-book deal and continues to fulfil the dreams she had as a struggling writer. All the while, the paths of these two completely different people from completely different walks of life are getting closer and closer to crossing……do dreams turn into nightmares?
This was a superbly-written book and the characters brilliantly portrayed: Albert is intensely repulsive in looks, character and speech, his associates no less, all of them products of damaged childhoods and the consequences thereof. There is very little danger that you ever grow to like him or his friends – they are somewhat captivating, however; something about their strangeness, their vileness and depravity makes them compelling. Decker is the complete antithesis: it's very easy to admire and feel happy for the success of this gentle, hardworking young woman and with little flamboyance or showiness she quietly goes about building her dreams. I thought it was a nice touch to portray her as a dedicated and hopeful writer, many of whose characters and book plots resemble very much those with which she ultimately finds herself involved.
Dreams and Nightmares is an excellent and enthralling thriller.
The Midwest Book Review
In pursuit of our destiny, we often find the last things we wanted. Dreams and Nightmares follows Ruby as she tries to pull her life together, leaving her on a path of violence and uncertainty. A story of life and what's lost as we pursue our dreams, Dreams and Nightmares is a fine and much recommended read.
Melanie's Blog Spot
The dream : A struggling writer turned bestselling author is living her dream. Recently dumped by her long time boyfriend, Decker Jones is now living the life she always wanted and has just purchased her dream home. Meanwhile, a criminal plans to escape prison life. Getting himself stabbed in jail in order to go to hospital, Albert with the help of his girlfriend and his cousin plans to run away to Mexico causing havoc wherever they go. The nightmare : Decker is taken hostage and must help Albert escape to Mexico.
Dreams and Nightmares is a fantastic read! Ann Werner has crafted a wonderfully written novel. I love that in the first few pages, the author fooled us in thinking Decker's boyfriend was going to propose to her but it turns out he was nervous and wanted a huge crowd at the restaurant so she wouldn't make a scene when he dumped her. I'm not usually grossed out while reading a book but Ann Werner did a great job doing just that in a particular scene where she describes how much Albert loves to chew on his toenails. I guess when you're in jail, there's not much you can do! She even goes on by describing that the criminal keeps his toenail clippings in marinated pickle juice for flavor! What I'm trying to say is the writing's excellent!
I finished most of the book in one sitting. I couldn't put it down! I love how both stories just came together and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out how it would all end. Dreams and Nightmares is a highly recommended read!