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Night's Gift

Night's Gift

by Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour
editor-in-chief Bethany Jamieson
cover design or artwork by Abdul Rahman & Terry Davis
prepared for publication by CAVERN OF DREAMS PUBLISHING
edition:Paperback
tagged : fantasy
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Excerpt

Night’s Gift

I began running down the stairs, taking some of them two at a time. I stumbled several times in my haste, but the railing saved me from tumbling to the bottom. I prayed that wherever these steps led, it would be better than where I had just been. I could smell the moisture from the walls. I could hear dripping water up ahead. All of a sudden, I felt a rush of fresh air. I could not believe my good fortune; I had actually managed to stumble on a way out! I wanted to shout for joy but did not dare for fear they would hear me.

The stairs exited into a small courtyard. Rain poured down, drenching my body. Cool, cleansing rain it was, washing this place from my skin and my clothes. I lifted my face up to the night sky. I was free! The smell of freedom was so sensuous to my quivering nostrils that I…

Something flew past my face and landed on the wall in front of me. I imagined I could see two tiny, bright red lights emanating from whatever it was. Could it be? No…I did not want to believe my eyes. I started to shake. It could not be! How was it possible? I had to find a way out of here…

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Why it's on the list ...
Night's Gift is the first book in the ever-popular Night's Vampire series.
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Night's Children

Night's Children

by Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour
cover design or artwork by Terry Davis
prepared for publication by CAVERN OF DREAMS PUBLISHING
photographs by Heather Cardle
editor-in-chief Bethany Jamieson
edition:Paperback
tagged : fantasy
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Excerpt

My Dearest Emelia: I trust this letter finds you in good health; and, by now, Basarab has found it in his heart—if he has one—to forgive you… Santan grows daily. I am worried because he still cannot tolerate the sun. I thought by now he would have adjusted, even just a bit. He sleeps most of the day and wants to play in the night. An unfortunate incident happened the other day. The young man, Randy, who drives me around, thought to take a peek at Santan, and he pulled across the special cover I had made for the baby’s car seat. The sun seared Santan’s cheeks. I had tried to stress to Randy that Santan had a serious sensitivity to the sun. Well, he believes me now… Now for the most urgent news I have to burden you with. I am with child again—his child. I guess, in some ways, I should be thankful, for it means Santan will have a brother or sister. However, I cannot help worrying. Will this child be the same as its brother, or will it be more like me? Either way, I could be in trouble. Do you have any advice for me? If Santan eventually partakes in his father’s ‘habits,’ how will I be able to protect this new child? How safe will I be?... I’ll wait (eagerly) to hear from you. Love, Virginia

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Why it's on the list ...
Night's Children is the gripping, second installment in the Night's Vampire series.
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Night's Return

Night's Return

cover design or artwork by Terry Davis & Elena Dudina
by Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour
prepared for publication by CAVERN OF DREAMS PUBLISHING
photographs by Cathleen Tarawhiti
editor-in-chief Bethany Jamieson
edition:Paperback
tagged : fantasy
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Excerpt

Night’s Return

I thought I had already experienced my greatest fears, but what was happening now surpassed them all. As I drove away from the house, leaving my children in the care of others, I had no idea what our next moves were going to be. I glanced at Emelia. “Do you have plans beyond tonight?” “No.” “I can’t leave my children for so long––I won’t. You must figure out a way we can be together again.” “That may not be possible for a while. We must ensure that no one can get their hands on the children, especially Santan. If anything were to happen to his son, Basarab would lose all focus. If that happens, the Dracul family will lose control and humankind will be annihilated.” “I could help protect them.” Emelia reached out and laid her hand on my leg. “No … no, you cannot protect them because you will need protection, too. Only our kind can fully save them from harm now. If the wrong individual gets hold of you, you will be expendable. The count will not care what happens to you––leastwise, not above his duty to his throne––and you can be assured, Radu and Elizabeth know that.”… I had an idea growing in my head, but it would take some planning. I glanced at Emelia and felt a twinge of guilt… I tiptoed from the building and headed to the car. Just as I was putting the key in the car door, I heard the sound of a motor approaching up the driveway … Around the corner came a familiar red Volkswagen … The car came to a halt behind my vehicle, blocking my exit. Randy jumped out, and ran to me ... and then, Vacaresti approached us. “What are you doing, Virginia? Why is Emelia not with you?”… My feet felt like lead as I walked back to the office … my plan had failed…

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Why it's on the list ...
Night's Return is the riveting conclusion of the Night's Vampire series.
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Is It Really Goodbye?

Is It Really Goodbye?

One Woman's Journey Through Grief
associate editor Danielle Tanguay
by Diane J. Lewis
prepared for publication by CAVERN OF DREAMS PUBLISHING
cover design or artwork by Terry Davis
managing editor Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour
editor-in-chief Bethany Jamieson
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

“This is our story, Gram, yours and mine.”

Amanda’s statement, spoken through my psychic medium, Hazel, was the spark that ignited the writing of this book.

The sudden passing of Amanda Owen, my eighteen-year-old granddaughter, in a car accident, turned my life upside down. I had no idea how I was going to move forward with my life; however, I know that when God calls us, we have no choice in the matter.

After my visit with Hazel, and hearing what Amanda had relayed to her, I knew Amanda wanted me to write this book to help anyone who had lost a loved one. She wanted me to share what to look for after they have passed: the little things spirits will do to let you know they are okay. One should be aware of things being moved for no reason; doors that stand open when they should be closed; doorbells that ring, yet no one is there; and the television changing channels on its own. Those are just a few of the occurrences I have experienced, and will share with you.

Although I had various unexplained experiences before Amanda’s death, the shock of her passing seems to have opened me wide to receiving from the Other Side—Amanda has opened a whole new world to me. I have learned so much about the other dimension since she was called away from us; she has shown me that there is life after death. I am on a journey that I would never have believed possible––a trail of discovery.

I am blessed.

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Why it's on the list ...
Is It Really Goodbye? is the journey through one woman's grief and the paranormal, following the death of her beloved granddaughter.
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Get Out Of My Dreams

Get Out Of My Dreams

managing editor Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour
prepared for publication by CAVERN OF DREAMS PUBLISHING
photographs by Cathleen Tarawhiti
cover design or artwork by Terry Davis
editor-in-chief Bethany Jamieson
by Allan J. Lewis
edition:Paperback
tagged : suspense
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Excerpt

The Magic Man sometimes cursed his gift of getting into people's minds. He knew the world would look on him as a freak. He had powers that frightened even him. He could control anyone's mind and have them do whatever he asked of them. If the United States government didn't kill him, other countries would want him dead because they couldn't allow the USA to have a weapon like him. Although his gift gave him many nights of pleasure, through the sexual fantasies he played out in his victims' dreams, he would never use his powers to hypnotize a woman into having sex with him physically. That would be rape, and he could never lower himself to do anything like that, nor could he use his ability to physically hurt anyone. He had been raised to be a law-abiding citizen. He felt he had been given this gift for a reason, and he should put it to good use to help humankind.

Nevertheless, he had to keep his identity a secret. and if it meant using John and Alice a bit longer to keep himself informed of what the FBI thought and wanted, then so be it.

The Magic Man realized he had gone too far with John. He should have left his dreams on the second night—that would have been enough punishment for John—leaving him thinking he was just having terrible dreams of the past, which caused him to sleepwalk. But Alice's beauty had kept him longer than he should have stayed; he wanted to play out his fantasy with her. And now the FBI was on to him. The only way he could make amends to John and Alice was to plant thoughts in their subconscious minds. He needed them to relax, and take their situation in stride—to turn the frightening trauma they had gone through into an extraordinary adventure that few people had experienced. Whenever they felt scared or unsure, he wanted them to remember: "It's only a dream."

The Magic Man stayed in Alice's mind in order to see and hear what the Feds had to say. Through Alice's eyes, he had a front seat view as he stayed in her subconscious. Alice had no idea he was there.

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Why it's on the list ...
Get Out of My Dreams is the exciting and suspenseful debut novel of Allan J. Lewis.
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A Story of Day & Night

A Story of Day & Night

by Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour
prepared for publication by CAVERN OF DREAMS PUBLISHING
associate editor Danielle Tanguay
editor-in-chief Bethany Jamieson
cover design or artwork by Terry Davis
edition:Paperback
More Info
Excerpt

Chapter One The Dilemma

There was a beginning––and the people of Earth were happy. There was a war, and then there was an end to the happiness and Old Earth. New Earth was consumed by an evil force that had sprung up during this time––one that burdened the people of Earth with a misery that penetrated deep into their existence––one that saddened the multitudes to the point the ancient legends of a land once filled with goodness were almost forgotten. For the New Earth, after the Great Battle, was stayed in its tracks, leaving one side to cool under the gibbous moon, the other to burn under the searing sun. It was into such a world that two maidens were born. One who lived in darkness, Lunaria; one who lived in light, Raycindia.

There was great sadness on Earth because of this. The people and animals that lived on the dark side would cry because everything around them was difficult to see, and they were always so tired that they wanted to do nothing more than sleep. The vegetation was lifeless and creepy in its struggle for what few beams of light the moon cared to cast down from its lofty position. The animals huddled in eclipsed corners, their once grand strengths withering away.

Great sadness tormented the other side of Earth, as well, but for the opposite reason. Here, where the sun always shone, the people could not get enough sleep because even when they closed their eyes, the sun’s golden waves would penetrate through them. The vegetation was wrinkled and scorched from the constant searing of its rays. The animals scattered, trying to find a shelter cool enough to sooth their burning hides.

Thus were the tales of Old Earth––bright and happy, filled with light and darkness for all––beginning to dim with the misery cast on the people, dimming in the hearts of all but two young maidens.

Lunaria, the maiden from the dark side, tall and muscular, with long black hair and milk-white skin, would sit in her shadowy corners. Helped by the light of her precious candles, her black eyes poured through the book of ancient tales bequeathed to her by her beloved grandmother. Grandmother had instructed Lunaria to read the stories carefully, and had also said that she, Lunaria, would one day accomplish great things. Lunaria had dismissed the ramblings as those of an aged woman about to embark on her final journey; but, she obliged her grandmother’s final wish and read on. And the seeds of thought began to germinate within her mind.

Raycindia, too, was a reader of tales. Raycindia was the maiden from the light side. She was tall, but of a slight, more frail nature than Lunaria’s robust stature. Raycindia’s long curls had been bleached white by the sun and her soft blue eyes contrasted brightly against her bronzed skin.

A unique book had been bequeathed to her, as well––a book that was one and the same as Lunaria’s. She, too, was instructed by her grandmother to read the stories carefully. On her deathbed, Raycindia’s grandmother had cradled her hand on her heart and whispered into Raycindia’s ear that one day she would accomplish great things. Raycindia had smiled and dismissed the ramblings as those of an aged woman about to embark on her last journey; but, she obliged her grandmother’s final wish, and read on. And the seeds of thought began to germinate within her mind.

As the maidens read through the stories, they each came upon the one that spoke of the Border of Light and Dark. The story spoke of the many who had tried to live on the border, but nothing of any goodness would ever grow from the sparse soil. Misery that was worse than in their previous homes became the lot of those people. Soon everyone stayed away and left the border to its moods of light and dark––to the forces of evil that ruled with a ruthlessness the like that could not be fully described in the books. Only those who had been there could tell the full truths of that world.

The story the girls had read told how the border led to the top of a mountain where there dwelled the keeper of ancient records. The story alluded that this keeper held within their grasp the secret that could free the world from its torment. The keeper’s name was Zemia. The rest of the story was vague; but, it had wetted the appetite of Lunaria and Raycindia, and the seeds began to sprout further within their hearts.

So it was that one hour, when the moon stood high in the sky, Lunaria called her family together and told them of her intentions.

“I am embarking on a journey,” Lunaria began. “There is something that can be done about this curse that has been cast on our earth and I feel that Grandmother knew of things and mysteries from beyond our earth––from another time and place. She bequeathed to me a unique book and told me I would one day accomplish great things. I have read much, and there is a stirring from within my breast; the time has come for me to begin my journey. I know Grandmother is watching over me from above, and she will guide my way toward the Border of Light and Dark.”

Lunaria’s mother spoke up softly: “I always knew there was something special about you, my dear child. My mother would rebuke me if I scolded you too firmly. She would tell me to let you be; you were strong-willed because the gods had decreed it so. She said your willpower would be a staying force when the time came––when it would be most needed. She said you were destined for great things and that I should be patient and nurture your strength, not harness it.” She walked over to her daughter, embraced her with a kiss, and added, “Go with my blessing, child, and may the gods watch over you and bring you home safe to us.”

Lunaria turned to her father, wiping away the tears from the corners of her eyes. She searched his constant face for a moment of approval. He had stood back and listened to his wife as she had rambled on, and something inside him had moved his heart to bless the child standing before him.

"May the gods guide your footsteps, child, and bring you home safe.” His constant face mellowed as he spoke.

Lunaria had one last person to bid farewell. He would be the most difficult to break ties with, for it was he that she was to be wed to within the next month. Her feet dragged on the path that led to his cottage.

“Lunaria,” he greeted her with a flashing smile. “To what do I owe this great pleasure?”

Lunaria’s gaze fell to the ground. “Samson, love of my heart, I have come to inform you that I must take a trip. I know not when, or even if I will return, but I ask your indulgence on this matter. I beg of you to wait for me until I come back to your arms, or until word is sent to you that I shall not return.”

Samson, who was wise beyond his years, had sensed in his heart for some time now the maiden he was in love with was destined for great things. He gathered her into his arms and brushed away her tears with his lips.

“Say no more,” he murmured softly. “I shall be here––waiting––only death can part us.” Thus, it was that Lunaria left her family and her love to embark on a quest.

At the same hour, on the other side of the earth, when the sun was at its highest in the sky, Raycindia gathered her family and her love, and broke the news to them of her intentions. Her mother stood by the stove, apron on waist, ladle in hand, and fought back the tears that strove to pour forth. The mother knew her daughter was special; her mother had informed her so. She had been told to be gentle with Raycindia––that one day she was destined for great things.

Raycindia’s father stood by the doorway, as though his standing there would stop his precious daughter from her journey. The baby sister bubbled and laughed at the gathering, and continued with her play.

And Leonardo, handsome and wise––Raycindia’s betrothed––poured the tears from his heart into his soul so she might not witness his pain. He smiled and gathered his love to his breast, blessing her with the words that he would wait for her until eternity, and beyond––if necessary.

Thus, it was that Raycindia left her family and her love to embark on a quest.

It was unknown to each other that the two young maidens set out in search of the Border of Light and Dark. Lunaria rode an ebony black stallion called Noiria. His mane and tail sparkled of star dust, and he breathed a cool mist from his nostrils. Raycindia rode a crystal white stallion called Blanco. His mane and tail were like golden ripples of sunlight, and he breathed fire from his nostrils.

After a multitude of long, tedious hours of travel, the two maidens happened on each other on the Border of Light and Dark. They stood, each on their side, contemplating their next move. They gazed at each other, and at the barren, rocky land that lay along the line that was not fit for man or beast.

Finally, Lunaria spoke. “I see that you are from the land of never-ending light. I would have a word with you. I am from the land of never-ending darkness, and my people tire of their life. There is little will left to continue under the circumstances; all they wish to do is sleep.”

Raycindia answered: “I too desire to have a word with you. I have travelled far in search of the land of darkness so my people might have some night in which to rest their weary eyes. They tire of having so little sleep to fully rest their bodies.”

The maidens smiled to each other. They dismounted from their horses, embraced like old friends, and then sat on the ground face to face. The haziness of the border was eerie, for it was neither light nor dark. They talked for many hours, getting to know each other, sharing the stories from their grandmothers’ books and discussing a possible solution to Earth’s predicament.

Suddenly, Raycindia’s face lit up: “I have an idea,” she began. “If I was to give you some of my light, and you were to give me some of your darkness, then we would each have a bit of both and everybody would be happy.”

Lunaria smiled. “Why that is a superb idea. I wish I had thought of that. But, the question is, how are we going to carry out such a feat?” They both laughed at the silliness of such a notion.

Once again, the maidens sat reflecting, engrossed in silence. Without warning, Lunaria sprang up from her spot and declared, “I know what we must do. As the book instructed, the Chosen Ones were to travel to the high mountain situated on the Border of Light and Dark at the peak of the earth. I have read accounts that there lives the old, wise woman named Zemia. She is, supposedly, the last of the peoples of Ancient Earth and the stories written say she holds many secrets within her breast.”

“Yes, I too have read of her,” said Raycindia. “If there is anyone able to help us, I am sure it will be her.”

The maidens resumed their journey, this time with a newfound friend and companion––joined by a mysterious trust bequeathed to them from long ago. They travelled up rocky hills, down into stony valleys, across barren plains, through bushes of towering trees, and plunged headlong through rivers of turbulent waters. Finally, they reached the base of the high mountain. Lunaria and Raycindia put their hands to their eyes and gazed upward at the towering mass. The way to the top would be long and treacherous, but the maidens were brave of heart, and their steeds were as strong and steady as the rocks in the mountain’s belly.

On they pushed, through the eerie mist that covered the trail, going ever upward toward the grey smoke at the top. Suddenly, Blanco and Noiria began to snort and dance around on the narrow pathway. Their tails twitched from side to side, and the maidens could feel the quivering of their massive muscles. Without warning, a huge, black creature descended on the travellers, blocking their upward passage.

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Why it's on the list ...
A Story of Day & Night is a page-turning fantasy for young readers, ages 8 to 14.
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Night's Temptress

Night's Temptress

general editor Danielle Tanguay
by Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour
photographs by Cathleen Tarawhiti
cover design or artwork by Terry Davis
prepared for publication by CAVERN OF DREAMS PUBLISHING
editor-in-chief Bethany Jamieson
edition:Paperback
tagged : fantasy
More Info
Excerpt

Santan looked at his sister. He knew that at some point they would both move away from their childhood lives and embrace their responsibilities within the family unity. He knew what was in store for him––the throne. What Samara’s role would be was yet to be decided. Samara walked over to Santan and grabbed hold of his arm. “Tell me, brother, why you’re not excited about this confirmation of who we truly are? We should have no secrets from each other.” Santan grinned. “I believe you have many secrets from me, sister.” “How can you accuse me like that,” Samara pouted. “I’ve no secrets from you.” Now, Santan laughed. “Do you think your nightly escapades have gone unnoticed by your ever-watchful brother?” “What do you mean?” “I follow you––most nights that you venture out. I’ve kept your secrets of your liaisons with your boy toys.” “Why didn’t you tell Mother and Father?” “And have their wrath reign down on my beautiful sister! You are daddy’s little girl…”

“You’ll sit on the throne one day, Santan––doesn’t that excite you?” “Do you want the truth, Samara? Are you able to keep a secret, as I’ve kept yours?” “Of course.” “I don’t wish the throne when our father is ready to step down. I’m in love with someone whom he would never approve of.”

As Samara walked toward the house, she could not help but to feel a certain amount of satisfaction. Santan was clearing the way for her to have her ultimate dream––that of sitting on the throne of power!

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Why it's on the list ...
Night's Temptress is the captivating, brand new installment in the "Night's Vampire Series" by beloved Cavern of Dreams' award-winning author Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour.
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Dreaming is Believing

Dreaming is Believing

A Collection of Children's Poems
edition:Paperback

"Dreaming is Believing" is a collection of children's poems, consisting of bedtime lullabies and nursery rhymes. These poems encourage children to use their imaginations and to dream big.

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Excerpt

Sweet dreams, my love

Sweet dreams, My love, Sweet dreams.

For in your dreams You can be so many things. But where should you start? By believing in your heart!

I love dreaming, It’s the best! ––why? Because dreaming is believing…

You’re a famous hockey player, A ballerina, a horse trainer, Or a mighty dragon slayer.

An astronaut, police officer, A computer wizard, A doctor, a firefighter, Or snowplough driver in a blizzard.

Now close your eyes, I’ve turned out the lights. It’s time for us To say goodnight.

Sweet dreams, My love, Sweet dreams.

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