Spotlight: Dream Magic by Dawn Harshaw

Ah, here’s another one from my review list that I have yet to get to. Yes, yes, I shall post a review soon, but for now, read more about this cool fantasy novel, Dream Magic: Awakenings by author Dawn Harshaw.

About the book

A young boy battles demons and learns magic in a shared lucid dream.

Eric, a young boy, has enough of nightmares ruining his dreams. Determined to grow stronger, he tackles magical disciplines one at a time – be it flying, blade magic, or telepathy – and stares down his fears. But, will he survive the battles and the trial of nightmare mastery? And at what cost?

“Dream Magic: Awakenings” reaches for deep metaphysical concepts and uses introspective experiences to offer an immersive feeling of MAGIC.

Read an excerpt

Eric was running. Not this nightmare again, he thought.

He was gazing ahead, his eyes seeing only the path where his next two or three steps would land. The surroundings were nothing but a colorless blur he was running through. His mind worked frenetically to see not what was ahead, but what was behind: two goblins half his height trying to catch up to him. Eric could very clearly see in his mind the dark green skin and the multitude of those pointy, crooked teeth. They were swinging small clubs made from hard wood, the smoothness of which was most likely forged by a lot of clobbering action. Eric could not stop envisioning the jagged teeth and burnished weapons, since he was constantly hearing a grinding and munching “rawbrawrawrblr” sound coming from behind – a sound similar to that of a hungry dog attacking a bare bone.

I hate this nightmare. I hate it hate it hate it! This is the sixth time already.

Eric tried to increase his pace, reasoning that short goblin legs should be no match for an energetic, young boy. When he sprinted ahead, the ground became muddy and his rapid steps sluggish. The rambling sound became more distant just for a moment, then returned with the same intensity. With a feeling of resignation, Eric resumed his normal pace and the ground was solid again.

This is my dream! I should be able to dream whatever I want, not these stupid nightmares…

Still running forward, Eric tried to push the thoughts of failure out of his mind. There was a kind of calming rhythm to making one step after the other, but the grinding sound intruded each time he tried to let the pace soothe his feelings. The dread he was hearing was also the dread he was feeling. His whole body was tense, but the knot in his stomach was the worst.

Why can’t I do something?!

A new feeling was growing alongside the fear: anger. Eric was angry not at the goblins, but at himself. I’m weak, I’m pitiful. He felt the anger stir up inside him, displacing some of the fear. He instinctively knew that this is something he could use, and tried to intensify it.


He let out his anger in what seemed to be part shout, part scream, and part battle cry. His anger propelled him forward; he didn’t even feel his steps but seemed to float ahead with haste. He kept going in this half-conscious state as long as he could.

The moment the cloud of anger receded from his mind, the fear came back more powerful than before: his stomach tightened and he bent over as if a powerful force punched him. Eric misplaced a step and fell.

Get up get up get up, they’re going to get you, faster faster faster-

What little sense of balance he had, abandoned him. His mind was in a state of panic; his heart raced arrhythmically and cold sweat was all he could sense. Trapped in the nightmare, he continued to stumble forward.

Running seemingly forever with the smell of sweat and fear in one’s nose would weary anyone, and it was getting to Eric too. He was tired of running and tired of being in a state of fear. The path he was following led across a shallow riverbed, where he absent-mindedly hopped through the stepping stones.

Not long after passing the river, exhaustion finally overpowered the fear: Eric stumbled a few more steps and put his hands on his knees to prevent himself from collapsing. His lungs burned with each struggling breath, and when he noticed this particular pain, he became aware of all the aching muscles in his body. He kept breathing: in-out-in-out-in-out, until his breathing settled into a more relaxed rhythm. He rolled down and stretched out on his back.

Abruptly, he remembered the reason for running all night and lifted his head to see where the goblins are. He saw two small shapes in the distance, jumping up and down on the riverbank. Haha, they don’t like water. He closed his eyes, let his head slump back down and succumbed to fatigue. The grass feels so nice…

About the author:

Ever since I was little I was interested in how things work. This led me to learn more about logic and science, but I also became fascinated by the more mystical side of the universe to which there are no easy explanations. Lucid dreaming and out of body experiences (you know, that “light at the end of a tunnel” thing) I found particularly interesting.

Since I didn’t find the ‘Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything’ in any books – well, not in a way that would satisfy my curiosity – I’ve spent years pondering related questions. As my ponderings got more complex, I started writing to help me formulate my thoughts. After writing many bits and pieces of creative non-fiction, I have turned to fantasy to bring my ideas to life, and the result is “Dream Magic: Awakenings!”

Links: Amazon | Goodreads | Smashwords | Author Website

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