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Tortured Dreams (Dreams & Reality Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 394 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hadena James began writing at the age of eight. As a teenager, she had several short stories published in literary magazines. She completed writing her first novel at the age of 17. Hadena graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in European History with minors in German and Russian studies. She has always wanted to be a writer so she also took several classes in creative writing. Hadena’s primary literary genre is action/thriller. She currently writes two series, both use action/thriller. “The Brenna Strachan Series” uses fantasy and the “Dreams & Reality Series” uses murder mystery as its secondary genre. She continues to explore and expand her writing and hopes to soon produce a comedic action/thriller. When she isn’t busy writing or running her business, Hadena enjoys playing in a steel-tip dart league. She also loves to travel throughout North America and Europe. Her favorite cities are Chicago, Illinois and Berlin, Germany. She is an avid reader, reading everything from the classics like Jane Austen to modern writers like Terry Pratchett. One of her all-time favorite books is “Good Omens” by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett. She writes all of her books while listening to music and the bands tend to get “honorable mentions” within the pages.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1920 KB
  • Print Length: 394 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: February 22, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BK99NIU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,434 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I've been writing for over two decades and before that, I was creating my own bedtime stories to tell myself. I penned my first short story at the ripe old age of 8. It was a fable about how the raccoon got its eye-mask and was roughly three pages of handwritten, 8 year old scrawl. My mother still has it and occasionally, I still dig it out and admire it.

When I got my first computer, I took all my handwritten stories and typed them in. Afterwards, I tossed the originals. In my early twenties, I had a bit of a writer's meltdown and deleted everything. So, with the exception of the story about the raccoon, I actually have none of my writings from before I was 23. Which is sad, because I had seven Aislinn Cain novels written along with a half dozen other novels and well over two hundred short stories. It has all been offered up to the computer and writing gods as a sacrifice and show of humility or some such nonsense that makes me feel less like an idiot about it.
I have been offered contracts with publishing houses in the past and always turned them down. Now that I have experimented with being an Indie Author, I really like it and I'm really glad I turned them down. However, if you had asked me this in the early years of 2000, I would have told you that I was an idiot (and it was a huge contributing factor to my deleting all my work).
Personally, I really do suffer from a severe anxiety disorder and migraines. I find both to be huge impediments to the life I would like to lead. I find solace in the fact that I have found a significant other that tries to understand my obsession with writing, wonderful family members who support my writing obsession and a best friend who understands and accepts me regardless of my quirks and idiosyncrasies (for the record, she is more like Alex from The Dysfunctional Chronicles than Nyleena).

When I'm not writing, I play in a steel-tip dart league and enjoy going to dart tournaments. I enjoy renaissance festivals and sanitized pirates who sing sea shanties. My appetite for reading is ferocious and I consume two to three books a week as well as writing my own. Aside from introducing me to darts, my SO has introduced me to camping, which I, surprisingly, enjoy. We can often be found in the summer at Mark Twain Lake in Missouri, where his parents own a campground.

I am a native of Columbia, Missouri, which I will probably call home for the rest of my life, but I love to travel. Day trips, week trips, vacations on other continents, wherever the path takes me is where I want to be and I'm hoping to be able to travel more in the future.
And no, I don't always write in complete sentences... I refuse to... It sounds stiff and formal when I do.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Coorlim on September 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I obtained a copy of Tortured Dreams from the author. This review contains no spoilers.

Tortured Dreams is a mystery thriller by Hadena James. It tells the story of a self-professed sociopath, a magnet for violence prone to attracting the attention of serial killers. She's recruited by a US Marshal Serial Crimes Tracking Unit to pursue a murderer who kills using medieval torture methods.

I like the premise of the book, and in parts Hadena's prose brings to mind Jeff Lindsay's Dexter series, particularly with the thought patterns of the book's first-person narrator.

Unfortunately this cadence is pervasive throughout the course of the book, seldom varying, and the uniform short and punchy sentence structure grows tiring upon prolonged reading. I found myself taking frequent breaks, not because of the gruesome subject matter, just because the way the prose plodded along.

It reads very matter of fact, even in the way the characters speak, and the dialog doesn't entirely ring true. This is especially the case considering the varied extreme personalities presented. They all end up speaking with the same "voice".

I also found it somewhat difficult to connect to the characters, to the point where I was ambivalent regarding their fates. It wasn't that the protagonist is a sociopath, but rather that she didn't quite ring true as genuine. She seemed to me as a vehicle for the movement of the plot, rather than a character in her own right.

Despite these flaws Tortured Dreams isn't a terrible book, and if you're a big fan of sociopathic protagonists or serial killer thrillers you'll enjoy it.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By D. Ann on May 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A sociopath, crime-solver...I think I've seen everything now. I didn't know what to think about this book once Aislinn was introduced. I kept thinking, "How is she going to be able to work with the government solving crimes when she's one large trouble magnet, who has no feelings and doesn't get along with people?" Thankfully, once I got past the first few chapters and got to know Aislinn more, it made perfect sense.

Each of the characters was likeable in their own way. Hard to do with a bad of misfits, sociopaths, psychopaths and steroid abusers. Even as Aislinn is creepy in her frank accounting of her life, her knowledge of torture implements, and the way she handles each new experience, she's strangely endearing. With each new facet of her personality revealed I found myself liking her more and more. She tries, in her odd way, to make connections with the world around her. While she's not looking for best friends she can function in the real world to a certain degree.

The only issue I had with the book was I felt certain sections were too "tell-y" and not enough "showy". I don't know if it's the short sentences or the fact that Aislinn doesn't really have emotions, but some parts seemed very choppy, like, `I did this, then this happened, and then I did this.' However, I'm leaning more towards the second reason since a lot of how I relate to characters and the world is through the character's thoughts and emotions.

Regardless, that fact did not stop me from devouring this book. James does a great job of sucking you into the book and what started out as a few minutes reading ended up being hours because I had to finish the book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Reading Librarian on May 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an extremely interesting read that deserved 5 stars but I couldn't give it 5 because there were a few mistakes that jolted me out of the story. One example is that tensile steel became tinsel steel. Proof reading is a must for me and it doesn't matter if the author is self published or published with a well known publisher- it has to be accurate and not jerk me out of my reading.

Having said that the characters were so interesting and different at the same time. The topic matter was so different and unique to anything I had read for a while, being about various torture devices and their use in medieval times and of course now in the present. It was also about a woman who just seems to attract would be rapists and serial killers and even manages to kill some of them! It really shows psychopaths and mentally fractured people in a different light and on the trail of a serial killer. Aislinn is such a fascinating character and I would love to learn more about Malachi and his secrets as well as learn more about the rest of the team! Definitely worth picking up!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By BrWesterberg on July 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I would give it 3.5 stars, technically.

I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I have to say, I was intrigued by the story, and it pulled me along nicely. I found myself liking the main character, in spite of the type of person she really was (in real life, I'd probably dislike her a lot if I ever met her). Despite a couple times when the story dragged a bit, I wanted to keep reading.

I'm not sure if the book is set in the future or in a kind of alternate reality, but it plays off the increasing number of serial killers in our society. In my opinion, serial killers were always around. It just wasn't as easy to track them down in the past centuries, and there wasn't the news coverage to publicize it as easily. However, the theme in this book is it's an increasing number, a kind of de-evolvement of the species, and it's an interesting theory. Since the story is obviously about serial killers, there are some graphic details in the book. It's easy to gloss over them - again, because of the personalities in the book and the sociopathic tendencies of some of the characters - but I wouldn't say this book is for anyone who is squeamish.

There was a lot of talking and I didn't always find the dialogue believable, but considering the personality types in this book, I won't say it really takes away from the book. I wasn't always sure who was speaking, since a lot of times there were conversations in a group and they went back and forth quickly without a "she said" or "he said" to help me figure it out. I found myself having to go back and reread more than a few times in order to try and figure it out.

I do have this major criticism: the book needs a good proofread by a copy editor.
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