Thursday, July 18, 2013

THE STUFF OF DREAMS By TARA FOX HALL ~ Significance of Dreams in the Promise Me Series and other writings

Broken Promise, which changes their relationship, pushing former reluctant friends to become lovers.
Dreams play an important role in my various writings, influencing my short stories and novels. But they are most pervasive in my Promise Me Series. In this series, a dream is never “just a dream.” There is always some deeper meaning. Whole plot arcs revolve around dreams, with the one of the longest running plot arcs between the lovers Sar and Theo. This mortal woman and werecougar share a dream in Book #2 of the series,

            In Broken Promise, Theo and Sar also share a dream as a byproduct of a spell Terian cast. Meant to get Sar to reveal if she could ever come to love him, Terian shares the spell from his lips to Sar’s in a kiss. Instead of a HEA, though, Terian hears that Sar does not have any romantic feelings for him. Worse, Sar kisses Theo shortly after in the midst of a fight, and shares the spell with him. Prompted by the spell, Theo confesses a secret love he had kept hidden for Sar, though Sar herself rejects his advances. As a rare side effect of the spell, Theo and Sar make love in a dream that night. It is only months later that she learns that Theo experienced every moment of the dream with her.

            After Theo goes missing in Book #3, Taken in the Night, Sar goes to Terian, asking him about the shared dream, and if she can use it to locate Theo:


“What do you want, Sar?” Terian said finally. “You didn’t come here to chat.”

He knew me too well. “I want a potion that will let me dream of Theo like I did before, so I’ll know if he’s alive.”

“I don’t know of one,” Terian replied. “Not one you can take by yourself to share his dreams, without any physical contact with him.”

“Is there anything magical that will let us know?” I persisted.

“Sar, most of the ones that deal in dreams can mess you up big time if you have a nightmare instead of a good dream—”

“Terian, it’s been months now. I can’t live like this any longer. I decide he’s gone, and then something comes along, and I’m so hopeful that I can’t eat or sleep. I can’t live like this any longer without knowing.”

“Well, you’re going to have to,” Terian said seriously. “I can’t tell you if Theo is alive. Sorcery is imperfect.” He touched my hand with his. “I can’t tell you the future Sar. If I could, I’d try to foresee mine.”


Later in the book, Terian relents, giving Sar a potion that will let her relive the dream she shared with Theo. But not only will Theo not be in this dream with her…once it fades, so will Sar’s memory of both the new dream…and her old one she shared with Theo, which till now had remained perfectly intact.


“You said you didn’t want to forget,” Terian said. “I can’t bring Theo back to you, Sar. But I can help you remember him.”

I eased myself down onto the stone bench, before I fell down. “What are you saying, Terian. What will this do to me?” I asked, fearful.

“You’ll relive the dream that Theo and you shared. It won’t be any different, just a replay of what you dreamed last time. But it will be as real as it was last time you dreamed it.”

To feel Theo again with me, loving me…I closed my eyes. If Terian had not been with me, I’d have downed it immediately. As it was, my hand brought it involuntarily to my lips.

Terian saw the look on my face, and grabbed my hand. “No, not tonight. Save this until you can’t remember the dream clearly anymore, until your memories of Theo are almost gone. I can’t do this for you again, not ever. This will use up the last of the bond between you and Theo, and he’s not here to renew it with you.”

“What are you saying?”

“When the dream is done a second time, it will start to fade immediately like a normal dream does. You may even wake up without remembering,” he finished sadly. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be,” I said finally, wiping away tears. “Thank you, Terian.”


When Sar learns that Theo is not dead at the beginning of Book #4, Taken for His Own, she journeys west to find him, taking the vial along with her. When she finds that Theo has made a new start with another woman—a werecougar like he is—she takes the dream potion in an effort to forget Theo, figuring that after one last dream of him she will be able to let him go as the dream fades. But she neglects to remember Terian’s exact words of warning…and instead shares another dream of Theo…leading to him seeking her out in the waking world.


I cried a few tears, turned out the light and let my mind drift. Just as I was falling asleep, I remembered the potion. Terian had said the potion would recreate the dream with Theo, but that when it ended, the dream would fade from memory.

I needed to put my feelings for Theo to rest and let him get on with his life. It was time to be done with dreams and get back to reality.

I turned the light back on and got up, rummaging around in my duffel bag. I found it and spent a few minutes removing the vial from the bubble wrap I’d taped around it for safekeeping. I uncorked the top and drank. The taste was bitter. This was it, the end of him and me. I packed the empty potion vial for Terian for reuse, then lay down. I drifted in a sleep-sort of fog and finally begin to dream.

It was my home, my farm. Again, I stood there, calling out to Theo to wait, not to leave.

Again, he stood motionless at the door for a second and then he turned to me, riding me to the floor. Kissing me roughly, as we tore off our clothes as fast as we could.

Every memory came back in full force, sweeping me away in a storm of emotion. It washed away the years with Danial, even everything I felt for Elle and Theoron. There was only Theo and I. We were one.

Theo made love to me again and again. I relished his body next to mine, his muscles holding me, moving me, pleasuring me. Soreness set in as night fell, but I renewed my efforts, knowing that the end was near. As Theo finished and reached for me, I pushed him away.

“Sar?” he said questioningly, his eyes worried, his hand outstretched.

In a few seconds, Danial’s voice would sound. This was it, the end.

In desperation, I shouted, “Theo, I love you, I love you more than anything or anyone. I’ll love you the rest of my life!”

As my words tore out of me, Theo’s body flickered. Suddenly thin scars appeared on his shoulders from a whip, the edges raised and red, then similar scars on his chest. A mass of scar tissue bloomed whitely on his hip.

I lunged for his outstretched hand as he faded before me.

I fell out of the motel room bed, landing on the floor. The room reeked with the odor of lovemaking, the odor of sex.

“God damn it, no!” I screamed at the top of my lungs.

I’d fucked up badly. I’d forgotten Terian’s words to me the night he’d given me the potion, telling me about the dream it would create for me one last time.

“And he’s not here to renew it with you…”

Terian had said it, thinking as I did that Theo was dead. But Theo wasn’t dead, he was alive. I’d reached out and touched him again with another dream. Moreover, this time, he’d know immediately that what had happened was no regular dream. He’d come looking for me, remembering the scent he’d caught wind of a week ago.

God, I had to get gone as fast as I could!

I threw on some clothes and frantically gathered up my things. There was no time for a shower or food. We had to get moving!

I grabbed up my duffel and ran for the door, my keys in my hand. A footstep sounded outside my door and then the door was kicked open, flying back hard to slam the outer wall.

Theo stood there breathing hard, his eyes dark as a storm. He reeked of sex the way I did.

I hoped for his sake he’d woken up alone.


This shared dream in Broken Promise is meant to represent the bond between Sar and Theo. But the reasons for why they dreamed together, it’s real meaning for them both, and the consequences that result are not only complicated, but have far reaching results reaching all the way to the very end of the series. Stay tuned!


Blurb: After learning Theo is alive, Sar immediately embarks on a mission to find him. Reunited, the lovers return to New York; Danial, Terian and Theo uneasily combining forces to protect Sar from Al’s assassins still seeking her. But when Sar is taken prisoner in an all-out attack, only one man can save her: her old adversary, Devlin.


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  1. this is really cool! I am part of Tara's blog hop that starts next week. I haven't read the books as of yet but the more I hear about them the more I am intrigued!

  2. Thanks so much for having me at your blog, MCV! I'd have been more on time, but my computer went down. Have a fab summer!

    I'll be seeing you soon, Amanda! :)