Crimson Dream by David J. Normoyle

Centuries ago, Deren’s people fled to a hidden valley deep in the mountains chased by the Domain, whose powerful Seers could not find them.

Deren’s safe world disintegrates when his vision foretells his sister’s death by a Domain soldier. Deren can’t defend Bennie because of his asthmatic attacks, so he trains her in archery and prepares his people for war against their ancient foe.

As the invasion advances, Bennie’s mastery of the bow leads her along unexpected paths. Although she hates killing, she must make hard choices. Her loved ones will die if she doesn’t help them.

Will Bennie’s encounter with an enemy prince prove the key to survival? Can Deren overcome his physical weaknesses and the doubts of his own father to lead his people?

With fate and overwhelming force stacked against them, it seems their best efforts will be in vain.

Read an excerpt!

Deren tried to get up to help Oso and Bennie and fell onto his back. He began to gasp, his breath labouring through his lungs, fighting for every mouthful. He took deep sucking drags of air, clutching his neck with his hands. His own lungs were drowning him, refusing to breathe. He looked into the sky, thinking he would die. Although it was only twilight, a ghostly moon peeked over the trees.

Whistling noises crept up and down his throat. He prayed to the Goddess of the Moon. Yenara, help me. Please, don’t let me die. Bennie needs me. Please.
A face swam across his vision. “Deren, are you okay?” the face asked. “Deren, try to calm yourself.”

The voice was laden with worry. A hand touched the side of his face. Warm drops landed on his forehead. “Don’t give up on me,” the voice said in a fierce whisper.


David was born in Australia, but moved to Ireland at an early age. The early globe crossing must have gone to his head, as he has since backpacked through and lived in numerous countries. He grew up on a farm as the eldest of nine unruly siblings, but since his escape, he prefers city living. His electronic engineering degree is currently gathering dust while he tries new and strange pursuits such as novel writing.

Visit David online at:




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Coming soon from MuseItUp Publishing: Shortcomings by Ginger Simpson

Our shortcomings don’t define who we are, unless we let them. Cindy Johnson needs to learn that. Born with one leg shorter than the other, she has no self-esteem because of the cruel comments and cold stares she receives from her classmates.  When Cory Neil, the football quarterback asks her to Homecoming, she’s quite sure he’s asked her on a dare and refuses.  It takes more than just her mother’s assurances that Cindy’s beautiful before she realizes she may have made a mistake in turning him down.

Read an excerpt!

Cindy paused outside the door to her Math class and took a deep breath. So far, she’d avoided an encounter with Cory or Sally, and now she’d have to face them both. Surely Sally would make sure Cindy heard all about the dance and her fabulous date. She’d never cut class before, but the thought crossed her mind. Instead, she pushed through her anxiety and limped inside.

Head down, she made her way to her desk beneath the burning weight of everyone‘s stares. She slid into her seat, wishing she could turn invisible, but knowing she eventually had to face the music.
“Welcome back, Miss Johnson,” the teacher called out. “We’re happy you’ve made such a rapid recovery. We only just learned on Friday about your accident.”

Cindy plastered a smile on her face. “Thank you, Mr. Hansen. It’s good to be back.” Had she really said that? She dared a glance at Sally and curled her lip at the pep captain’s conceited smirk. With Cory behind her, seeing his reaction was impossible. She dared not make an obvious turn in her seat.
Mr. Hansen fished through papers on his desk then looked up. “See me after class about your missed homework. I have the assignments listed for you.” He picked up a textbook from his desk. “If everyone will turn to page one hundred fifty, we’ll get started.”

She retrieved her book from her backpack and flipped to the correct section. Following the droning voice of the instructor, she felt a tickling sensation along her side. Lifting her arm, she found Cory had tucked a note there. Before removing it, she glanced up at the teacher. Sweet relief, his back was turned to the class as he focused on the blackboard. She hid the missive in the open pages of her book and read. “I missed you while you were gone, and I’m glad you weren’t badly hurt. Did you get my card?”

With her jaw tensed over that blasted non-emotion revealing card, she took pencil in hand and jotted her response on the back of his note: Yes, I got your card and I thank you for thinking of me, especially on a weekend when I know you must have been very busy.

She stared at the last remark and grimaced. Was it too catty? No, he deserved it. She quickly folded the paper in half, and while eyeing Mr. Hansen, did a half-swivel in her seat and pushed the note across Cory’s desk. She straightened, faced forward and enjoyed feeling rather vindicated. She dipped her chin and tuned into the teacher’s voice as he explained the formula on the board.

“Misterrrr Neal.” At the teacher’s voice, her gaze popped up. “Would you care to share with the class what you’re reading? I assume from your latest test grade, it isn’t your lesson!”

She could only imagine the horrified look on Cory’s face at the moment, and she cringed, awaiting his response. From the corner of her eye, she saw Sally’s smug smile.

“I’d prefer not to share, sir.” His voice sounded steady and in control, quite unlike her nerves.

“Then please pass the note in your hand forward and I’ll be happy to read it aloud.” Mr. Hansen’s gaze bored past her.

Cindy’s stomach roiled. If Cory got into trouble he could lose his place on the football team, and the season wasn’t over yet. Cindy slid from beneath her desk and stood. “Mr. Hansen.” Her voice trembled in rhythm to her knees. “It’s my fault. Cory sent me a get well card and I passed a thank you note to him. I apologize for disrupting the class.”

Mr. Hansen’s dark brow furrowed as he eyed her. “Well, Miss Johnson, because you’ve already suffered a great deal recently, I’ll let this pass, but…” His gaze scanned the entire class. “I will not tolerate any further note passing by anyone.”


Ginger Simpson retired from the University of California in 2003 in order to devote more time to her writing. She’s multi-published with several small houses and has decided to bloom where she’s planted rather than seeking a contract with a bigger house. Her grandson, Spencer, is autistic, and has been the biggest inspiration in her life. Watching him develop and improve has shone her that with perseverance, most hurdles aren’t all that tall.

Visit Ginger online at:

Interview with Nancy M. Bell, Author of the YA Novel Laurel’s Miracle

Joining us today is Nancy M Bell, author of Laurel’s Miracle. This is a children’s book geared toward ages nine to thirteen. We’ll be talking to her today about why she writes for children, about Laurel’s Miracle, and what’s coming up next.

Welcome to The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection, Nancy. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Thank you for inviting me Cheryl. This is always the hard part because I think I’m pretty boring. <laughs> I am a wife and mother and grandmother living in Alberta, Canada. I love horses and all animals, I have two horses and a pony for the grandkids at the moment. I write for all ages but I enjoy writing for middle grade and young adult the most. There are always horses in my stories, I don’t plan for that, it just seems to happen. I am a full time author which is a lovely gift. It is so nice to have the time to follow my Muse where she leads me.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

Honestly, I have been writing since I was very young. My grandmother had a friend who was an author, her name was Gilean Douglas and she lived on an island in B.C. She encouraged me to keep writing even though no one else really took my scribblings seriously. I had some short stories and poems published in the local newspaper while I was in grade school and high school.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

I’m not sure I made a conscious decision to write for children. The ideas for the stories come from so many different places and some of them just work better from a young person’s point of view.

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

I don’t really, you just have to fine tune the ability to see the world from their point of view and filter out things young people wouldn’t be aware of yet.

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

Getting to be a kid again! Writing for young people is fun and I can use many amusing situations from my own experiences growing up, so in a strange way I get to re-visit my own childhood. Except this time I have some control of the outcome. <laughs>

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Laurel’s Miracle will be released from MuseItUp Publishing in September, 2011. I am so excited about this book. The basic story line is this: Laurel is a young girl living in Southern Alberta, her mom is diagnosed with cancer and Laurel’s dad sends her to Cornwall, England to stay with an old friend of the family. He is having trouble dealing with his wife’s illness and can’t take care of his daughter while running to the hospital in Calgary and managing his ranch. Laurel meets some new friends and she also comes in contact with a spirit at a holy well. There are many holy wells in Cornwall associated with healing spirits. Laurel is given a riddle to solve, if she can complete her task then the spirits will intervene and save her mother. There is a lot of educational information hidden in the story which makes it kind of fun to write. Laurel and her friends follow the clues across the countryside and follow the famous earth energy line known as the Michael Line. It crosses SE England, from Carn les Boels through St. Michael’s Mount, the CheeseWring on Bodmin Moor, Glastonbury Tor and beyond. Laurel’s journey ends at Glastonbury Tor but how she gets there is quite interesting. The foursome of friends have to deal with many things that are common in today’s world, one of the boys lives with an abusive uncle, they face and deal with some incidents of bullying and like all young people they are gaining confidence and learning to believe in themselves.

There is a good dose of magic and magical creatures which make the story fun as well, a mischievous Cornish Piskie, a sea monster and a shape shifting Selkie. Readers who enjoyed the Harry Potter series or the Golden Compass will find this an enjoyable read.

What inspired you to write it?

I was studying earth energy patterns, ley lines and co-relation between them and the stone circles and religious buildings that crop up along the lines. The idea of introducing this information to young people crossed my mind and I thought what fun it would be to write a ‘quest’ novel.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

The book will be available from MuseItUp Publishing, release date is September 2011. Once I receive the cover art there will be a page in the Muse book store where you can go and click on the ‘notify’ button. Once the book is released you will receive one email telling you it is available and ready for purchase.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Yes I do. My website is

I am on Facebook and Twitter as well. I post information on my interviews, new releases, book signing etc there.
There is some information on earth energy, ley lines and the source of some of the character’s names on my website. Lots of interesting things.

What is up next for you?

I am promoting my book of poetry, Through This Door,  which released in October 2010. It is a collection of forty-five poems drawing on experiences form the last six or seven years of my life. None of my earlier poetry got included, when I get time that’s another project.

There is another book in the series coming out December, 2011 called A Step Sideways and I am in the middle of a third one which tells the story of Laurel’s grandmother and answers some questions about the back story in Laurel’s Miracle.

Do you have anything else to add?

I want readers to know why I use Nancy M. Bell as my writing name. Quite funny actually. There is another author Nancy Bell who has some books on Amazon and I’m not sure where else, however I received an email from a woman chastising me for using foul language in my book. I wrote back and assured her it wasn’t me but another author with the same name. It took me three emails to convince her I wasn’t the right person. So I use Nancy M. Bell to help distinguish between us.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Nancy. We wish you much success.

Thanks for the privilege of visiting with you and your readers. It’s been fun.