Cover Image: A Dream to Die For

A Dream to Die For

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Member Reviews

Thank you OrangeSky Audio, NetGalley and Author for this advance ebook copy in return for an honest review!

A Dream to Die For was such a great audio read! I started this book yesterday and finished it in one sitting! 
An engaging page-turner with well developed characters, this unpredictable story is very well crafted and suspenseful!
The characters are complex and wonderful. The whole atmosphere of the book was great!
For this to be Ritz's first novel she did an outstanding job!
The narrator also did an outstanding job reading this story!. Very much enjoyable. 

Thanks again NetGalley, Publisher and Author for the chance to read and review this amazing book!
I'll post to my Social media platforms closer to pub date!
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𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦, 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘱𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘥!

Buckle up and prepare for a really wild ride.
Crazy, weird, twisty and surprising. I’m still trying to order my thoughts with this one. 
It’s fast-paced, riveting and will keep you at the edge of your seat questioning what’s real. It was nuts.

Thank you BookSparks, NetGalley, OrangeSky Audio by Findaway and Susan Z. Ritz for this gifted copy.

𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘪𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦: 𝘔𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘛𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘳𝘴, 𝘗𝘴𝘺𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘛𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘳𝘴, 𝘞𝘪𝘭𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘛𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘺 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴.

https://www.instagram.com/booksandcoffeemx/
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I found it hard to engage with the audiobook. Maybe I would’ve liked the paper or hardback version better. The narrator’s voice made the book sound like a textbook was being read to me.
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EXCERPT: Larry talked right over her. 'I'm serious here, Cel. If ya wanna keep working with me, then ya gotta keep up. How many times do I gotta say it? You go right back to the same old defensive patterns. Look at how you're sitting, all locked up around yourself, keeping that heart all suited up for battle, but afraid to make a move. Am I right?'

Celeste shook her head, staring down. She watched as a fat tear from each eye fell into her lap, and then she hugged herself tighter. How could he still have this much power over her? Do it, goddamn it, she yelled inside her head. Tell him!

'I'm not -'

'Feel the pain,' Pete squawked, drowning out her whispered words.

Larry wasn't listening to her, anyway. 'Like how you still got that ring on.'

Celeste protectively covered the engagement ring with her right hand. Jake had designed it for her before he'd even asked her to marry him - a sapphire, her birthstone, a sky blue Ceylon surrounded by diamond chips in an antique white gold setting - the most beautiful thing she'd ever owned, better than anything she'd ever imagined - though engagement rings had never been something she'd thought much about.

'Jesus, Cel, when are you ever going to let go and move on in your life? Don't you know it's over with Jake? We've gone around and around on this. Your dreams are crystal clear, even if you refuse to believe them. Jake's no good for you; he's holding you back, keeping you from surrendering to the Dreamscape, to Dreamland. Let go of him. The choice is clear. You can't keep living this double life.' Larry shook his head, puckering his lips as if he wanted to spit. 'Jeez, just make your mind up once and for all.'

Celeste felt her face flush red. 'Jake's none of your business, Larry. In fact, I'm . . . this is . . .' She drew in her breath, trying to summon her earlier resolve, but just as she was about to get the practiced words out, Larry exploded from his chair, arms outstretched, hands waving like signals in the air. He suddenly looked like a furious dwarf out of some Grimm's fairytale, bellowing and snorting at her as he shot out from behind his desk on his stumpy little legs.

'No, I'm just your therapist! Are you fucking kidding me? Everything's my business! When are you going to finally get that?'

ABOUT 'A DREAM TO DIE FOR': In Riverton Falls, a small New England town, globe-trotting bartender Celeste Fortune stands in her kitchen puzzling over last night’s frightening dream—a woman at a window, lilacs blowing in the breeze, someone’s hands tight around her neck. Celeste is sure the dream belongs to someone else. Perhaps she has finally broken through to the collective dreams of Dreamland cult. Hoping her therapist and cult leader will help her untangle it, she heads off into the cold November morning to her final appointment with him—or so she hopes. Her estranged fiancé has delivered an ultimatum: Leave the cult of Dreamers, or end their relationship for good.

Instead of help, however, Celeste discovers her therapist dying in a pool of blood, skull stove in by his own healing crystal. His computer, containing the intimate dreams and secrets of half the town, is gone. Suspicion immediately falls on Celeste, known to be a rebellious member of his cult. To clear her name, Celeste enlists the help of her old friend, Gloria. But when the two women discover the power of the stolen dreams, they unwittingly become the killer’s next target.

MY THOUGHTS: A Dream to Die For is much more a story about the 'Dreamers' cult, than it is a murder mystery, which is one of the reasons I didn't like this. I felt very much like tossing this in at the ten percent mark, but figured that it must get better. And it did, briefly. But just before the fifty percent point, I could stand it no longer, and pushed the delete option.

Where do I start explaining why I didn't like this? The characters? They were all weird. Now I don't mind a bit of weird. I find weird quite entertaining. But not here. Celeste had no backbone. Why would a person who is probably on minimum wage and living off her tips pay $150 an hour to talk to this therapist, Larry, simply because 'everyone in town goes to him'? Especially when her friend Gloria, the reason she moved to Riverton Falls, has already warned her against him, as has her fiance Jake. Celeste is the sort of person who would consult her therapist, or a tarot card reader, before she blew her nose, or changed her underwear.

Larry, the therapist, is a totally unbelievable twit. The only thing about him that astounds me is how he lived so long. I don't know why someone didn't murder him earlier.

Jake, the fiance, has been married before to the woman who is Larry's right hand woman in the cult. I completely understand why he broke up with Celeste. But he does behave very strangely . . .

Gloria, Celeste's estranged friend, is an environmental lawyer, but is the only person she can think to call when she is taken into custody at the murder scene.

The supporting cast is made up of 'Adam', the tarot card reader in the park, and the 'Dreamers', Celeste's so called friends who turn on her when they believe she murdered Larry.

And if you're wondering who the Pete in the extract is, he's a parrot.

How can anyone believe that if they are able to dream each other's dreams, or all dream the same dream, it is going to elevate them to a higher plane of being? Puhlease!

I started listening with interest, which rapidly faded, peaked with Larry's murder, then plummeted again. This read is seriously Weird.

And the murder mystery isn't even much of a mystery. It's pretty obvious from very early on who killed Larry, but I did check with someone else who read and enjoyed A Dream to Die For, after I had abandoned it, just to make sure.

I would like to point out that the narrator, Rachel Perry, was excellent, and certainly had nothing to do with my abandoning this book.

I am well aware that I am very much on my own with my feelings on A Dream to Die For, and that it may well be a book that you enjoy, so please check out a selection of the many positive reviews.

⭐

#ADreamtoDieFor #NetGalley

I: @susanzritz @ orangeskyaudio

T: #SusanZRitz #OrangeSkyAudio

#audiobook #crime #cultfiction #murdermystery

THE AUTHOR: Susan Ritz grew up in Minnesota, but she left home to become a wandering scholar; she lived, studied, and worked as a social worker in Kenya, Japan, Singapore, and Indonesia in the 1970s. She worked as a human rights lobbyist in Washington, DC, during the Carter Administration before moving to Dachau, Germany, the setting for her memoir in progress, On the Edge of Dachau. For the past thirty years she has lived with her husband and three children in Montpelier, Vermont, where she has worked as a fund raiser, events coordinator, and philanthropic advisor for a wide range of nonprofit organizations, especially those promoting economic equality for women. Writing, however, has always been her passion, and after receiving an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College, she began writing for local publications, teaching creative writing to adults and high school students, and writing her first novel.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Orange Sky Audio via Netgalley for providing an audio ARC of A Dream to Die For, written by Susan Z. Ritz and narrated by Rachel Perry, for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage
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Celeste is part of a cult group who’s group analyzes dreams. The leader of the group is a Svengali like man named Larry. He influences Celeste in every way and seems to take control of her life her till she wants out. Celeste has a romantic relationship with Jake and he warns her that she must leave the Dreamers or things are over between them. 
The story is a combination of murder mystery, romance and science fiction! Celeste renews an old friendship and the two women attempt to solve Larry’s murder and stay alive in the process. 
It was interesting story that the author kept me reading with characters I found had a lot of personality. The ending made sense and it tied the story together. 
Thank you for the free audio copy
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My thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the chance to review this audio.   Unfortunately it did not connect with me.  I thought this was going to be a cut and dry murder mystery,  but it got a bit out there with the dreamscapes, cut stuff, analysis,  then the Jake plot.  Too many subplots.  Hard to focus.  Cannot recommend.
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Rachel Perry did a fantastic job narrating A Dream to Die For.  Unfortunately, I just didn't enjoy the story. I had a difficult time connecting with any of the characters and I had a hard time following the plot.
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This was a very unique premise for a whodunnit and a great way to introduce a full cast of characters. Celeste Fortune has been wrangled into the cult of dreamers for a few years now but has been given an ultimatum by her fiancé to leave the cult or their relationship is over. Just as she's on the cusp of getting to know and understand her dreams, she's finally able to confront her therapist (and cult leader) to end their sessions, but someone has killed the therapist and after finding him in his last moments of life she's the number one suspect. There are lots of wonderful characters in this story that lead to a number of potential other suspects that thrill and entertain the reader. You've got to love a mystery that isn't solved until the very end
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I'd like to thank NetGalley and OrangeSky Audio for sending me this audiobook! The story itself is interesting, but I had a hard time getting into it and think it may just not have been exactly up my alley in terms of the thrillers I normally gravitate towards. Celeste as a character is somewhat unlikable and from the get-go, the cult element was an ick factor I don't think I could quite buy into. However, if you're looking for an interesting thriller that's different from the rest, this one might be right up your alley!
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In A Dream to Die For, Celeste is told by her fiance that she needs to leave the cult of Dreamers or end their relationship. She has been seeing her therapist/cult leader for years to have her dreams untangled for her. When she finally works up the courage to leave the cult, she finds her therapist dying in his office. Celeste becomes the number one suspect. 

The concept for this book was really cool. I liked the idea of a cult who shares literal dreams, since I'm not sure I've ever heard of that before. I'm not sure I would have seen the appeal of Larry, since he came off as so condescending and self righteous, but I guess he must have been different at the beginning of their sessions. I found the reasoning behind things a little bit of a stretch and a lot of coincidental things occurred. The narrator for the audiobook did a good job with making Celeste seem very confused about what was going on. I could feel her frustration when other characters kept telling her to trust them while also not telling her what was important for her to know. For me, this was a 3.5/5. 

If you like cult reads, dreams that seem to come to life, or a main character surrounded by people who are keeping things from her, this is the one for you. 

I received a copy of this audiobook free from NetGalley and OrangeSky Audio in exchange for an honest review.
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This was such an interesting story. Once I started, I couldn't stop and ended up finishing the audiobook in just two days. I only stopped at all because I had other obligations.

This is a quick read and fast paced. The story itself is so detailed and unique. There are twists and turns along the way you won't see coming. Others, as with most stories weren't super hard to figure out, but kept me interested and didn't take away for the story at all.

The characters were interesting, and I really enjoyed there interactions no matter how short or detailed they were. The relationship that Larry has with the Dreamland members is interesting and intense and we see most of that through Celeste, who is our MC. I enjoyed how the author showed how much control Larry had over people with Celeste still hearing his voice and "teachings" in her mind even after he is found dead.

The Dream aspects and explanations that come later in the story were so very interesting and I hadven't really read another book like it. It was so refreshing and had my full attention, I didn't want to miss any of it. 

The Audiobook was really well done and I think the narrator was just perfect for this story. There were distinct differences in each character vocal that made the story easy to follow and all the more enjoyable and enthrawling.

I can't believe this is the authors first published work! Ritz is definitely an author to keep your eye one, I'm dying to see what comes next.

Thank you to OrangeSky Audio and Netgalley for a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review
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While I did enjoy this book it had some issues that were a little tough to ignore. First, it’s a whodunnit but the “who” is pretty predictable from the start. Several of the “twists” and reveals were not that revealing. Second, the main character Celeste was a little hard to root for, only because she was pretty whiny, co-dependent, and needy. They kept talking about how she was going to be the Tough girl she used to be, but I never saw that happen. Literally she’s wanted for murder from the beginning but the only thing she talks about is her ex fiancé and her feelings for him. It felt pretty unrealistic and vapid. 

The story itself was interesting tho. The premise of a murder being solved related to this mysterious cult leader and the he background behind the theories and ideas related to it is what really kept me reading. 

The narrator could have been better. It was really hard to distinguish who was talking because all the characters sounded so much the same.
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3 stars

It was based on an interesting concept, but something about this one just didn’t work for me. Some of the plot was really weird, which I often enjoy, and it was fine, but it didn’t keep my attention the way I would have hoped. Maybe I’ll try another story from this writer at some point in the future, but this one wasn’t my favourite.
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The cover was so pretty. The writing style was great it made me feel like i 2qs surrounded by mystery and was living in the book. The narrator's voice was soothing and so cool. This was nice overall , though at times it was a bit confusing it was a nice book
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I'd like to thank NetGally and OrangeSky Audio for sending me this audiobook~ this is definitely not what I imagined the story would be, but my oh my, it was so much fun! 

This is the most unique thriller that I've ever read. Usually thrillers follow similar patterns and have similar characters. But not this one, A Dream to Die for is something else entirely.

It follows the story of Celeste Fortune, or as people at the police station call her "Miss Fortune". So Miss Fortune, our protagonist is plagued by strange dreams. She enlists a Dream Cult, but she doesn't let her fiance know about it. When he finds out, he gives her an ultimatum - she must stop visiting Larry, or he will leave her. And he does. She's left alone, longing for her ex-fiance... But she can't escape the larger than life cult leader, Larry. 

Then we get into a murder mystery. Our Miss Fortune is the suspect, but she isn't the one who did it. So who did? 

Celeste doesn't know who she can trust and what she has gotten herself into when she joined Larry's Dreamscape. 

Dreams are not all what they seem.

The writing style reminds me of a combination between Grady Hendrix and Elizabeth Hand. In other words, I loved it!

As far as the narrator goes, she was excellent. There wasn't a single technical difficulty or any other problem with the narration. The audiobook is flawless and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes surreal thrillers and twisted stories. 

I'd love to read more by this author and listen to more audiobooks from OrangeSky Audio.
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Unfortunately, this book was not for me.  I could not engage with the main character.  Although the storyline is unique, I felt it fell flat.
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Celeste is a member of a strange cult, Dreamers. They really are shocking and amazing believers.

Suddenly, the leader was found dead. And Celeste was the one who was there and wanted something back. Her fiancé wants to leave the cult, but with some weird things happening for the cult as well, she wants Celeste to know what happened.

The story is really sad, but in the end I was pleased and happy with the turn and the end.

Thank you Netgalley and OrangeSky Audio for a listening copy.
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