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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

Dreaming Not Sleeping
by Julia Kavan


Her nightmares were simply too good to resist. A woman is tempted away from the safety of her husband’s arms by a skilful night-time visitor. But they both find nothing is what it seems…

Cover Image For 'Dreamin, Not Sleeping' by Julia Kavan

This story is now available in print, as part of a dark-fiction anthology ‘Touched by Darkness’, featuring short stories by Julia and eleven of her fellow writers.


Image of author Julia KavanJulia, was born and has spent most of her life living in Cambridgeshire, England – the perfect place for discovering inspiration for ghost stories.

She was an avid reader of  horror stories as a teenager, including, James Herbert,  Stephen King, Clive Barker and Peter Straub, in her list of favourite authors. As a child she would watch anything that even vaguely looked as if it may be scary… so perhaps it is only natural that this is the area her writing tends to wander into – even if she doesn’t always intend it to!… a true Scorpio!

She has taught creative writing classes for the last ten years, whilst writing screenplays, tackling a novel and experimenting with short stories.

For a more detailed view of Julia’s take on life, check out this great guest interview with her, over at ‘Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog’.


“I love a good story about the supernatural… but I love a good nightmare more, after all there is probably nothing as scary as our own subconscious”

“Our dreams are where we sometimes live out fantasies that perhaps our conscious mind refuses to acknowledge. We are allowed to do things in our dreams that we can’t (or perhaps shouldn’t) do in real life. What if, one day, you decide that your dream life is more exciting, more stimulating than the boring, safe, routine life you lead from day to day? If you could stay, would you?”


It was a kiss that brought me here. Soft and gentle. It ripped away my breath and tore away my soul. Now I can’t find my way back. I don’t want to find my way back. I hope you understand.

Cover Image For 'Dreamin, Not Sleeping' by Julia Kavan


“Sometimes our nightmares are too good to resist.”

Best to be warned that this is a very short story, only some 12 pages long, a mere 2,500 words.

The book also contains references to some mild eroticism.

I haven’t read a short story for many years and I really don’t know why. For an author a short story must be as, if not more, difficult to write than a full length novel. Being able to construct a mini plot, with a structured sequence of events, must need some intense planning and thought.

Not a precious word is wasted in this haunting, eerie and often poignant story, which has an almost ethereal quality in the way it captures the sensual yet horrifying feelings evoked by our nameless female protagonist.

The erotic passion, sensual language, horror and suspense, provide an atmospheric, chilling and unsettling read, as she constantly dreams a dream from which she cannot and often, does not, want to wake.

Slowly, her dream becomes a nightmare of sexual longing, losing someone she loves and being powerless to stop it, falling out of love with one person and in love, or is it lust with someone, or something else!

Her husband, worried by by the depth of her dreams, becomes drawn into her passionate alter ego, only to be used by whatever force is controlling his wife, for an uknown purpose and then tossing him aside like a leftover when she becomes totally obsessed….leaving me to ponder and speculate on the conclusion long after I had finished reading ….

A well spent few minutes, I loved this short story for what it is, but I didn’t really want it to end. Julia has a way with the language she uses, the style in which she writes is totally captivating and enthralling, and her ability to set a mood shows a rare talent.

So, if you get to see this post Julia, can we please have more of the same, only slightly longer next time.

Image of author Julia Kavan

‘Dreaming Not Sleeping’, was recommended to me by Cath, over at ‘Read Warbler’, who read it as part of her R.I.P. challenge in 2011.

I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a book, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from reader to reader. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a 4 out of 5.


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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Written by Yvonne