Author Spotlight: Joyce Hertzoff

joyceRetiring in 2008 after forty-five years in the scientific literature publishing business, SciFan author Joyce Hertzoff moved from the dreary mid-west to the sunny southwest where she and her husband love their mountain view and spicy food.

Joyce tried her hand at a novel for the 2008 NaNoWriMo, producing a romantic mystery that’s still in the editing phase. Since then, through several more NaNo sessions and classes at Writers Village University, she wrote two fantasy series and several short stories. The Crimson Orb, the first novel in The Crystal Odyssey series, was published by the Phantasm Books imprint of Assent Publications in June, 2014. In August 2015 she self-published A Bite of the Apple, a YA novella. Both The Crimson Orb and A Bite of the Apple are SciFan stories.

Joyce also wrote two flash mysteries: Natural Causes and Say Cheese, which were published in the anthologies The Darwin Murders and Tasteful Murders respectfully. A short story of hers, Princess Petra, also appears in The Way Back anthology.
Currently she works as a mentor and facilitator for online classes at Writers Village University. She’s also a member of Southwest Writers, and participates in two offline critique groups.

Today we are featuring her novel, The Crimson Orb.

Check it out!


While thousands of people travel to Meecham to seek the legendary Crimson Orb, teenage Nissa Day is more concerned about her missing magic teacher, the wizard Madoc, who failed to return after a journey to care for his ailing father. Together with her older brother Blane, she rides east from Holm Manor to look for him, taking two strange books they found in Madoc’s chambers. They secure passage from East Harbor to Fairhaven, the capital of the East Islands. At the Citadel in Fairhaven, they are joined by Madoc’s brother Gareth, sister Carys, and two of Gareth’s men. Their perilous journey back across the sea by ship, then south on horseback and west through the Frozen Tundra of Sorn eventually brings them to Meecham, a town teaming with Orb seekers. They learn Madoc is being held by four outlaws, who believe he can lead them to the red crystal before anyone else. Through their adventures, Nissa learns how little she knows about her world. She is able to develop unexpected skills, including the ability to mindspeak with Madoc. Will Nissa and her companions be able to use their combined abilities to rescue Madoc? Is the Orb really in Meecham?

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