Book Review: To Dream in Daylight, by Candace J. Thomas

It’s always a treat when a friend puts out a new book, and this is no exception. Candie and I first met at my very first event where I attended as an actual author. My short story “Breath”, which is now the freebie I give to those joining my newsletter list, had been picked up by a small press for a fantasy anthology and I was ridiculously proud of it.

Candie, on the other hand, already had two books out at the time, making her a superstar in my eyes. She was everything I wanted to be, friendly, confident, and knowledgeable about the publishing world. We instantly became friends and co-conspirators.

Which makes me even more excited to share her book with my readers.

The Story

Adrianna, or Adri for short, is a classic introvert. She loves curling up with books, writing, and only spending time with people in short meaningful bursts. Ever since she was little, she’d had a recurring dream with the same boy, Simon. They’ve essentially grown up together, neither knowing that the other was a real, living, breathing person – that is until Simon spots Adri in a random video online.

Completely dumbstruck by learning that his dream girl is real, Simon is compelled to meet her in person. One problem, he doesn’t know where she is.

My Review

This story is told from both Simon’s and Adri’s point of view in alternating chapters, with dream chapters nestled in-between. We see their lives unfold piece at a time and how this unusual dream the two of them share influences their decisions. Because of this unique construction, the story is definitely a slow burn. Different connections and realizations are carefully orchestrated to keep the reader wanting to see what’s next.

What I loved most is how the dream sequences were painted. As dreamers, they have control over the setting of the dream, meaning that these dreams occur in all the places an introvert would ever wish to go including Middle Earth, a space station, and different beautiful natural settings. Not only does this reveal several of the different interests of the dreamers, but it gives the reader a fascinating question to answer – where would you visit in your dream?

My biggest challenge with reading this book is that because it’s written in first person, it often took reading a few paragraphs of the new chapter before I as a reader was able to settle into the right character’s mindset. The chapter headers do tell the reader where the chapter occurs, which is a huge clue to who’s head you’re in, but I personally needed a minute or two for it to click.

Thomas does a wonderful job creating compelling characters with great emotional depth and dreams of their own. I was eager to see if Simon succeeded in his quest to find Adri and was very happy with the ending.

My Recommendations

This book is perfect for those who love an interesting romantic comedy. It’s got all the feel good connections, the threats to happiness, and two people that are perfect for each other, should they ever meet. There is that touch of magic with the dream elements, but not enough to deter anyone who isn’t fond of the fantasy genre.

As for age recommendations, there are several instances of alcohol consumption as well as appropriate romantic leanings that don’t stray into anything more than kissing. For that, I’d recommend this book for high school aged readers and older.

I give To Dream in Daylight 4/5 for being a cute romantic read that’s perfect for curling up with after a long day.


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Fyrecon 2019

Summer is usually a dry spell for writing conferences in Utah, most tend to be in the spring or fall. There is one shining exception – Fyrecon, happening this weekend from June 20-22. Boldly proclaiming its independence from the norm, Fyrecon takes the standard writing conference plan and bumps it up a notch. Its motto “Burn Through Barriers” captures this feeling. There are classes for all flavors of creatives ranging from visual arts to fiber arts to table top RPG to gaming software design – all very cool.

Hey, I know her!

Even better, they let me come play! This year I’m teaching three classes:

  • The Art of Active Setting: Bring your stories to life through the principles of active setting, including the importance of sensory integration, character viewpoints, and how to anchor a scene.
  • Inside-Out Worldbuilding: Learn how to build a unique and engaging fantasy world using your main character as a guide.
  • Magic Systems 101: From Tolkien to Sanderson, a review of what makes good magic a great read and even better, how to build your own

And best yet – I get to play with some pretty cool friends on two different round table discussions:

  • Blood Basics for Beginners with Candace J. Thomas and Maxwell Alexander Drake
  • Muddling Through the Middle: What to do When You’ve Lost Your Map, with Maria V. Snyder, Eric Flint, and David Mark Brown

If you’re a creative in Utah, there’s lots of good stuff for you to find here at Fyrecon.

For more info, go check out their website.


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Discussing Worldview with Candace J Thomas

Today we are privileged to have my dear friend and fellow fantasy author, Candace J Thomas, here on the blog. Candace has been my cheerleader and spirit animal from the first day we spent time together behind Xchyler Publishing’s sales table at the 2015 Life, the Universe, and Everything Symposium. At that point, she embodied everything I wanted to be. She had two amazing books and was working on the third, she radiated warmth and confidence, and she knew the industry.

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My big question for her is:

How has creating new worlds and characters changed your world view?

Candace’s answer:

This is a beautiful question.

There are two answers that I came up with.

My first answer – It’s all in the details. I am an observer of life. I’ve always been a people-watcher. People fascinate me, their mannerisms, drives, motivations. When building characters, I focus on these kind of things and strive to make them real, as real as if I knew them in high school.

Also, as an observer, the world becomes a more vivid and interesting place. I search for the interesting peculiarities to bring a more human experience – or basically, the Charm of things.

Currently, I am writing a story that takes place in Chicago. When I visited, there were little things I noticed, like how sidewalks wind around where trees are planted. It’s a charming fact that makes it interesting and human. Maybe the casual reader wouldn’t notice such a little detail, but I find it fulfilling and necessary to my stories. Adding charm is attractive to me.

When in Austin, I saw a side wall outside of bar completely littered with industrial staples where band flyers once hung. I admired the dreams that once were and wondered what happened to the thousands of dreams that came and went.

Nature is a big fascination to me. I like the veins in leaves and how they change color. I like watching fuzzy caterpillars slink across the tree branches, just wandering about their day. I like broken sidewalks and aged cobblestone. As an author, I have a responsibility to bring an experience to the reader. If I don’t add the little details, the bits of charm, I feel like I’m failing. You can find little details in everything I write.

As to the second answer – being an author, in general, has changed my world view. I’m a simple person, with a very simple idea of life, but I am driven by creativity. I view things differently and communicate in the language of art. I am also dyslexic, but that never changed my desire to be creative and write. It did bring challenges and insecurities to what I was trying to do.

I have always ached to be a writer and had the drive to do it and be successful. There are pros and cons to authoring. Becoming an author has pushed my private writing public. It takes me out of my comfort zone and brings this out-going character to the stage. As an author, there is no hiding your mistakes and insecurities in writing. It’s out there for readers, and every reader has an opinion.

I’ve had to learn that not everyone loves reading fantasy, and not everyone will like what I’ve done. I’ve really grown and matured over the last five years being published. I’ve become a confident author and mentor to others. I’m much wiser and more conscientious about how my name, as a brand, is perceived. It’s like I took the blue pill in the Matrix and I can never view the world as general as I did before. But on the flipside, I get to influence readers and creators every time they open my books. That is the very best feeling in the world.

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Want to connect with Candace? Of course you do, she’s awesome.

Links: 
Twitter: cjtwrites
Instagram: candacejthomas
News! Candace’s book, Everstar, will be released in Audio very, very soon. Watch these links:

Candace J Thomas is an award-winning of Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-fi. She is the author of the Vivatera Series and Hawkweed, published by Xchyler Publishing. Her debut novel Vivatera won the LUW Diamond Award for Novel of the Year. Her Paranormal Satire, Vampire-ish: A Hypochondriac’s Tale, was published July 2016.

Candace is a freelance editor of the award-winning Billy Blacksmith series by Ben Ireland. as well as founder of Shadesilk Press.

Candace is known for her extreme fanatical love for both Count Chocula and smart, witty writing that expands her imagination and makes her wish she had thought of the idea.

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Candace also hosted me on her blog in an Author Spotlight, go check it out!

Interested in doing a blog swap? Send me a line! Don’t worry, I don’t bite.

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Love staying in touch? So do I! Let’s connect. You can follow here on WordPress, or choose your favorite social media – I’m on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.