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THE CRIMSON ORB: While others seek the Crimson Orb, teenage Nissa searches for her mysteriously missing magic teacher, Madoc the wizard, and discovers how little she knows about her world and how resourceful she can be.


The Crimson Orb was published by Phantasm Books, a division of Assent Publications 2014. It is now available from Amazon.

The ebook has been republished:

The print version has also been republished with the new cover shown above.


UNDER TWO MOONS: In the sequel to The Crimson Orb, Nissa, Madoc and their siblings seek the source of two mysterious books. Instead, they learn the truth about their world and its two moons.

Now available in ebook and print formats.

ACROSS THE SEA  In the third story in the series, Nissa, Madoc, their siblings and friends continue their search for the source of Madoc's books, hoping the technology one shows is still alive in the continent of Fartek, across the Great Sea.

Across the Sea is available in both ebook and print at Amazon.


and print:

HOMEWARD BOUND is the final book in the Crystal Odyssey Series. 

The voyage back from Fartek isn’t as uneventful as Nissa and her friends and family expected. There’s a sea monster to deal with and a new island that turns out to be an artificial landing surface for an autoplane. The pilot and passengers on the plane are from Northern Point and seek the Eye of Mulbari. In exchange for help with their search, the Northerners agreed to remove a portion of their island to allow the ships to pass through.


First stop is Fairhaven for Carys and Blane’s wedding. The group must deal with a squadron of Legionnaires there and on their way back to Solwintor. Nissa, Madoc and company have their hands—and minds—full in the final novel in the Crystal Odyssey series.

A Bite of the Apple

My fantasy novella was published 8/7/16

Apple print cover.jpg

Anabet Haines dreamed about traveling from the family farm to the exotic places her Aunt Gillian described, so when her aunt recruited her as the next portal traveler, Bet jumped at the chance. In the capital of Nokar, Bet and Gill learned their next assignment was to travel through a portal to locate a thief and the portal key he stole. But due to circumstances, Bet must travel through the portal alone, equipped only with an ornamental knife and four enchanted apples. Did she bite off more than she could chew?

And in print at

See my character bios for Bet's photo and more.

So You Want To Be A Dragon



My book for kids of all ages. When the harbor of Lorando is torched by three dragons, Bekka, her little sister Cora and their neighbor Derry devise a plan to keep the dragons away. They will parlay with the dragons, plead with them. But to get close enough to do that, they must transform themselves into dragons. They ask a shapeshifter for help, and he reluctantly tells them the steps needed to take on the form of a dragon. Can the three children achieve their plan to convince the dragons to leave Lorando alone? If they do, how will they shift back into their human forms?




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In the sequel to A Bite of the Apple, the entrances to the portals from Nokar to other worlds are moving or have disappeared. Anabet Haines, her Aunt Gill, their friends and all the other portal travelers are asked to investigate why the people of those other worlds have been abducted. Where do the whirlwinds take them and who's controlling the winds? Can Bet, with help from sorcerers Cass and Morgan, reverse their effects?




Forty passengers and crew stranded in the middle of Missouri after a train wreck due to the collapse of a trestle over a deep ravine must survive long enough to be rescued. Computer analysts Mimi, Eddie and Josh, Josh's girlfriend Abby, retired British doctor Reginald Wainwright, New York lawyer Vivien Chang, train attendant Marlene Roberts, four children and the others settle in at a derelict motel after the wary people from a nearby town suggest it, but will their stay be temporary? With communication and electricity lost, how will they survive?

What if, instead of a pandemic, we’d had to deal with destruction of our electric grids, cellphone towers and essential bridges? That’s what they must face.

The first book in this new series is a departure from my stories. It still poses the question What if?

Train joycehertzoff_edited.jpg

My story The Bus Station appears in this anthology of short stories, published in April 2024. a collection of stories by shawn levin

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