Free eBooks Now Through Cyber Monday

Middle-Grade kids read a lot in school, but that can seem a chore. They need to be able to read for fun.

If your child loves magic, I have two books on Kindle they will enjoy. FREE THIS WEEKEND. The Adventures of the Power Girls takes place on an island in the Florida Keys. There are magic stones, friendly dolphins, and a castle made of chocolate. But beneath all that, the books are about believing in yourself and standing up for what you believe is right.

Keepers framed (2015_12_11 19_18_09 UTC)

In KEEPERS OF MAGIC, Emma Rose is ten years old. She has four best friends and an older sister who loves to play pranks on her. She is as normal as a girl can be. Until the morning when she wakes up with blue streaks in her hair. At first, she thinks it is another of her sister’s pranks. But when she gets to school, she finds out that her friends have streaks in their hair, too. Red, green, purple, white. What’s worse, they all have magical powers. Emma has to get to the bottom of this. An old book leads her and her friends to a secret island in the Florida Keys. There they find a queen in a chocolate castle. The queen agrees to teach them about their new powers. Little do they know that this is just the beginning of the adventures of the power girls.

Get the eBook for free on Amazon.

Island framed (2015_12_11 19_18_09 UTC)

In ISLAND OF MAGIC, Emma Rose and her best friends are leaving for boarding school. This is no ordinary school, and Emma and her friends aren’t ordinary girls. They have magical powers. The Academy of Elemental Magic will teach them how to use their powers. It lies inside a sleeping volcano on the Island of Magic. But when Emma and her friends arrive, they find that the island is being poisoned. The magical fog that protects it from prying eyes is disappearing. Some of the students have gotten sick. Some have even lost their powers. Emma has to find out why. However, when her investigation uncovers a conspiracy among the students themselves, no one will believe her—not even her best friends. Emma is on her own. Her only hope is to heal the island. But the poor island’s weakening defenses has allowed enemies to reach its shores. Her powers are not strong enough to battle an evil sorceress who can control the weather. Can she foil the plot in time to save the Island and the girls who live there before more enemies appear?

Get the eBook for free on Amazon.

You might notice that the book covers look like they were drawn by a ten-year-old. That’s because they were. I wrote these books with the help of my two young granddaughters. They dictated. I typed.

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If your child’s tastes run more toward puppies, I have an excellent read for them. VIOLET AND THE MISSING PUPPY is my most popular middle-grade book. It teaches the danger of judging people. When her friends lose their puppy after only one week, eleven-year-old Violet thinks they are irresponsible. But as time goes by, she realizes the puppy is in real trouble. She needs to put aside her feelings and solve the mystery or little Snowball might die. The book is also about family values. Violet never wants to include her little sister, but in the end, she must rely on her help to save the puppy.

Get the eBook for free on Amazon.

How to Format Your Novel

Also free this weekend is my popular tutorial, HOW TO FORMAT YOUR NOVEL FOR CREATESPACE. Formatting your novel for publication can be a maddening experience, but it’s not nearly as difficult or time-consuming as writing the book in the first place. Just follow these steps and before you know it, you will be a proud author. And you should be proud. You’ve accomplished something amazing. HOW TO FORMAT YOUR NOVEL FOR CREATESPACE is a writing tool to help you self-publish with Amazon. The step-by-step guide will take you from MS Word to published author—and you don’t have to be a Word power user to understand it. Note: This guide is written for CreateSpace, but it will help you format for other platforms as well. Also, while the tips cite MS Word, they work with most word processing programs.

Get the eBook for free on Amazon.

And don’t forget my science fiction trilogy for teens, COLONIAL SCOUTS, is on sale now through the end of November for only 99 cents each. The Colonial Scouts are an elite group of teenage explorers who seek out habitable planets for the Colonial Expansion Board. They travel through space via programmable wormholes.

AlienWorldsKindleCover (Small)

In ALIEN WORLDS, a brilliant girl with a dark past dreams of escaping the streets by becoming a Scout. Because she is homeless, she feels she must study twice as hard to get into the program. The day before her final exam, however, a transporter malfunction sends her jumping uncontrollably from planet to planet. Although the error could be corrected from inside the wormhole, the Board decides she is too young to understand that level of tech. Will she prove them wrong? Or will she die on an alien world?

ALIEN WORLDS is about trusting yourself and others.

Get the eBook for 99 cents on Amazon.

Alien Jungle Kindle Cover

In ALIEN JUNGLE, a new Scout wants desperately to prove himself to both the Board and to his girlfriend. But when he leads a rescue party to a failing colony, everything goes against him. His estranged father turns out to be the leader of the settlement. The colonists think he is inept because he is a teenager. And his disgruntled teammates think he was named team leader because of his dad. He can tell no one about his secret mission to save only fifteen of the seventy people. Will he follow orders, leaving the rest of the colonists to die? Or will he find a way to save them all?

ALIEN JUNGLE is about accepting yourself and others.

Get the eBook for 99 cents on Amazon.

alien-seas-kindle

In ALIEN SEAS, a girl who is drowning in siblings hopes that if she becomes a Scout she will rise above her brothers and sisters and shine. But when a man dies because of her mistake, she leaves the elite program and returns home a failure. Her homecoming is even worse than she imagined, however. Her twin brother is missing. Despite warnings from the authorities, she searches for him and embroils herself in a growing mystery with far-reaching consequences. Will she save her brother from himself? Or will he save her?

ALIEN SEAS is about forgiving yourself and others.

Get the eBook for 99 cents on Amazon.

These eBooks are on sale for a limited time, so don’t delay. I hope everyone has a wondrous holiday season. Keep on reading!

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For Young SciFi Lovers

I have great news for young science fiction lovers. The first three Colonial Scouts books (Alien Worlds, Alien Jungle, and Alien Seas) are now in one eBook titled Alien Beginnings. You can get it at your favorite online bookstore.

alien-beginnings-ebook

Or if you prefer print books, as so many teens do, you can get the books separately at Amazon. And don’t think you have to read them in order. They’re good on their own.

The Colonial Scouts are an elite group of explorers who seek out habitable planets for the Colonial Expansion Board. They travel through space via programmable wormholes. 

Alien Worlds: Impani, a brilliant girl with a dark past, dreams of escaping the streets by becoming a Scout. Because she is homeless, she feels she must study twice as hard to get AlienWorldsKindleCover (Small)into the program. The day before her final exam, however, a transporter malfunction sends her jumping uncontrollably from planet to planet. Although the error could be corrected from inside the wormhole, the Board decides she is too young to understand that level of tech.

Will she prove them wrong? Or will she die on an alien world?

Alien Worlds is available in print and eBook at Amazon.

It’s also available, and this is really exciting, as an audiobook at Audible. Pretty cool.

You can listen to a sample here.

Alien Jungle: This one is my favorite. Trace, a new Scout, wants desperately to prove himself to both the Board and to his girlfriend (who is Impani, by the way.) But when he leads a rescue party to a failing colony, everything goes against him.Alien Jungle Kindle Cover

His estranged father turns out to be the leader of the settlement. The colonists think he is inept because he is a teenager. And his disgruntled teammates believe he was named team leader because of his dad. He can tell no one about his secret mission to save only fifteen of the seventy people.

Will he follow orders and leave the colonists to die? Or will he find a way to save them all?

Alien Jungle is available in print or eBook at Amazon.

The audiobook is in production now. I hope to have it out at Christmastime, 2016.

Alien Seas: Natica is drowning in siblings. She hopes that if she becomes a Scout, she will rise above her brothers and sisters and shine. But when a man dies because of her mistake, she leaves the program and returns home a failure.

alien-seas-kindle

Her homecoming is even worse than she imagined. Her twin brother is missing. Despite warnings from the authorities, she searches for him and embroils herself in a growing mystery with far-reaching consequences.

Will she save her brother from himself? Or will he save her?

Alien Seas is available in print or eBook at Amazon.

The audiobook should be out early 2017.

 

 

So there you have it. The Colonial Scout Series. If you love science fiction adventures on distant planets, you’ll love these books!

Storytelling as a Narrative Medium

Storytelling is an oral tradition shared by every culture on Earth. It predates writing.

Street tellers would travel from village to village, thrilling their audiences and embellishing the story with each rendition. Their aim was to entertain, but also to educate, instill moral values, and preserve cultural customs.

I first became enamored with narrative storytelling at a local Renaissance Fair. The ragged performer gathered his audience to sit on hay bales placed in a circle around him. He then enthralled us with a magical story about heroes and dragons complete with exaggerated facial expressions and character voices. Afterward, he passed his hat for payment. Stories like his should never be free.

In this digital age, village storytellers are rare, but oral stories are not. Dramatic podcasts abound on the internet. My favorite is Welcome to Night Vale.

Audiobooks have gained popularity because you can listen to a book while completing other tasks. The majority of audiobook users listen in the car. That way, a long commute turns into an enjoyable ride. An interesting story becomes even more gripping with a good voice actor. I love Jim Dale’s performance in the Harry Potter books. He makes the characters come alive.

Enter audible.com, an Amazon company. Audible is the world’s largest producer of downloadable audiobooks. It’s easy to use. Just install the Audible App on your phone, MP3 player, tablet, or computer. You can then download and store any book purchased through audible.com.

My book, Alien Worlds, is now available on Audible. It is read by the esteemed voice actor Jennifer Fournier. Alien Worlds is a fast-paced science fiction adventure that takes you to eleven unique planets. It is safe for teens—no sex, no profanity—so you can listen without worry with the whole family in the car. Give it a try with Audible’s 30-day free trial. You have nothing to lose!

The face of a robot woman.

ALIEN WORLDS

Regular Price: $19.95

Free

With 30-Day Trial
Membership

Membership Details:

  • First book free with 30-day trial
  • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
  • Cancel easily anytime
  • Exchange books you don’t like
  • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel

 

#Werewolf lovers-get this box set #IARTG

boxsetgraphic

What happens when a bumbling nerd becomes a werewolf?

Cody Forester would like nothing better than to be a normal kid. Party with friends on the weekends. Maybe have a girlfriend. But those things aren’t meant for him. He’s a werewolf. And his powers are growing.

Join Cody’s journey with this three-book box set.

The Amazing Wolf Boy – Cody Forester plans to become a doctor. Instead, he becomes a werewolf. The first time Cody shows fang and fur, his parents ship him off to Loxahatchee, Florida, to live with his black sheep uncle. His revised career choice is social hermit. As the new kid, he makes more enemies than friends. His high school teachers label him a troublemaker. The whole town hates him. Except Brittany. She’s beautiful, with her eyes painted black and her lips dark purple. When Brittany discovers his secret, she tries to cure him using crystals, candles, and magic potions. Cody falls head-over-tails in love. But he can never tell her. Girls like her aren’t for him. He’s the amazing wolf boy. Astound your family and mystify your friends. While Cody moons over Brittany, a murderous pack of lycanthropes howls into town. They want Cody to join them. When he refuses, they kidnap Brittany and threaten to kill her at moonrise. Cody must master his untried superpowers or the girl he loves dies. Can he defeat the pack and save both their lives?

Werewolf Asylum – Sixteen-year-old Cody Forester is a werewolf. He lives in Loxahatchee, Florida, where his horrified parents banished him. He works hard at keeping his superpowers secret, yet the circle of people who know about him is expanding. Now a bona fide mad scientist is taking an interest in him. Cody learns that her posh werewolf retreat is actually a secret laboratory. Her inmates endure tests and torture to further her megalomaniac dream—while their unwitting families pay dearly in the hope of her finding a cure for lycanthropy. Cody doesn’t want to be her science experiment. Moreover, he doesn’t want to be taken away from Brittany, the most beautiful girl in the world. Brittany is the love of his life—even though she is no longer speaking to him. She wants a normal boyfriend. Desperate and alone, Cody faces the evil doctor. He has one chance of saving himself. Will his reckless ploy be enough to free him from her clutches? Or will he face certain death in the Werewolf Asylum?

Wolfsbane Brew – Cody Forester is a sixteen-year-old werewolf. He only found out six months ago, and already he is showing powers that Uncle Bob, his mentor, cannot match. His closest friends begin to think he is dangerous. Even Brittany, the girl he loves, says he is scary. Cody learns to keep his new abilities under wraps. Until another super-werewolf comes to South Florida. Vilk Bodark owns Georgia. He has a hand in a variety of illegal ventures: loan sharking, money laundering, gambling. He has police chiefs, judges, and even sorcerers in his employ. He conscripts werewolves by force—join or die. He wants to expand his operations to Florida—and he decides Brittany, a fledgling witch, would make a fine addition to his staff. Cody can’t defeat Bodark in a straight-up fight. He must take his new powers in a different direction—in ways that scare even him. If he doesn’t succeed, Brittany will be lost forever. Will his hidden superpowers be enough to save her?

Three complete books for less than the price of two!

The Wolf Boy Box Set is now available at kobo, iBooks, nook, and kindle.

Countdown Deals – Satan’s Mirror

For a fun summer read, buy Satan’s Mirror now on sale at the Amazon Kindle Store. This is a Countdown Deal, so don’t hesitate or you’ll miss the best price.

Satan’s Mirror is based on the myth of Persephone, the goddess who was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the Underworld. In my story, a young mother storms the gates of hell to save her kidnapped daughter. My granddaughter’s name is Persephone, and I would go to hell and back for her.

Hell Hath No Fury…

When Satan kidnaps her six-year-old daughter, a vengeful mother battles the demons of hell to get her back.

Emily is the host of a paranormal television show. Her mission is to debunk all myths and urban legends. But when she meets Satan in a haunted house and calls him a fraud, the repercussions change her life. Satan kidnaps her six-year-old daughter, and Emily vows vengeance.

For centuries, demons have been abducting people and pulling them through wormholes to an alternate universe. The hapless victims are then tortured for the demons’ pleasure. Because humans are out of sync with time, they cannot die. They must endure the sadistic revelry for eternity.

Emily will do anything to rescue her daughter, even if it means storming the underworld and battling the denizens of hell. But if she does somehow find her little girl, how will they find their way out?

satan's mirror countdown

 

 

Satan’s Mirror is on sale from July 4th through July 11. Buy early to get the best price.

Countdown Deals – The Power Girls

Just in time for summer reading, The Power Girls Adventures (Keepers of Magic and Island of Magic) are on sale for only 99 cents each. This is a Countdown Deal, so be sure to buy early.

 

Keepers of Magic: Emma Rose is ten years old. She has four best friends and an older sister who loves to play pranks on her. She is as normal as a girl can be. Until the morning when she wakes up with blue streaks in her hair.

At first, she thinks it is another of her sister’s pranks. But when she gets to school, she finds out that her friends have streaks in their hair, too–red, green, purple, white. What’s worse, they all have magical powers. Emma has to get to the bottom of this.

An old book leads her and her friends to a secret island in the Florida Keys. There they find a queen in a chocolate castle. The queen agrees to teach them about their new powers. Little do they know that this is just the beginning of the adventures of the power girls.

Island of Magic: Ten-year-old Emma Rose is excited. Finally, she and her best friends are leaving for boarding school. This is no ordinary school—and Emma and her friends aren’t ordinary girls. They have magical powers. Emma has Water magic. Ashley has Fire magic. Amanda has Ice magic. Flora has Earth magic. And Lora can teleport. The Academy of Elemental Magic will teach them how to use their powers. It lies inside a sleeping volcano on the Island of Magic.

But when Emma and her friends arrive, they find that the island is being poisoned. The magical fog that protects it from prying eyes is disappearing. Some of the students have gotten sick. Some have even lost their powers. Emma has to find out why. However, when her investigation uncovers a conspiracy among the students themselves, no one will believe her—not even her best friends. Emma is on her own.

Her only hope is to heal the island. But the poor island’s weakening defenses has allowed enemies to reach its shores. Her powers are not strong enough to battle an evil sorceress who can control the weather. Can she foil the plot in time to save the Island and the girls who live there before more enemies appear?

Magical Fun for Girls 8-12

 Kindle Countdown Deal from July 5th through July 12th

Countdown Deals – Colonial Scouts

Kindle Countdown Deals are in progress for my Colonial Scouts books, Alien Worlds and Alien Jungle. If you haven’t read them yet, now’s your chance.

 

Alien Worlds: The Girl and the Wormhole

The Colonial Scouts are an elite group of explorers who seek out habitable planets for the Colonial Expansion Board. They travel through space via programmable wormholes.

Impani, a brilliant girl with a dark past, dreams of escaping the streets by becoming a Scout. Because she is homeless, she feels she must study twice as hard to get into the program. The day before her final exam, however, a transporter malfunction sends her jumping uncontrollably from planet to planet. Although the error could be corrected from inside the wormhole, the Board decides she is too young to understand that level of tech.

Will she prove them wrong? Or will she die on an alien world?

Alien Jungle: When the Jungle Fights Back

The Colonial Scouts are an elite group of explorers who seek out habitable planets for the Colonial Expansion Board. They travel through space via programmable wormholes.

Trace, a new Scout, wants desperately to prove himself to both the Board and to his girlfriend. But when he leads a rescue party to a failing colony, everything goes against him.

His estranged father turns out to be the leader of the settlement. The colonists think he is inept because he is a teenager. And his disgruntled teammates think he was named team leader because of his dad. He can tell no one about his secret mission to save only fifteen of the seventy people.

Will he follow orders, leaving the rest of the colonists to die? Or will he find a way to save them all?

A Little Background

Readers always ask where I get my characters. Are they part of me? No. Are they based on people I know? No. Here is a little background on my two main Colonial Scouts.

Impani was found in a shoe box beneath a bus stop bench. She’d been making a mewing sound, so the old woman who found her named her after a cat she’d once had. Although they lived on the streets, Impani never felt homeless. The streets were her home. The old woman looked out for her and taught her right from wrong. But she died when Impani was ten. Not long after that, Impani got trapped in a trash compactor while searching for food. She spent the night in the dark with insects skittering over her arms. When the workers came to compact the garbage, they heard her screams. She was remanded to a local orphanage. The institution was not for her; she hated the structure and the rules but was thrilled to finally learn how to read. She ran away two years later but continued to read all she could. That was how she learned of the Colonial Scouts. It became her dream.

Trace Hanson is the only child of a wealthy and influential landowner. His mother, a biologist, was lighthearted and loving and kept his brusque, domineering father in line. When Trace was fourteen, his mother contracted Maramus Disease, a rare, disfiguring cancer. While his father toured the galaxy on a fund-raising mission, Trace struggled to care for his mother. Watching her die was devastating. Worse, when his father returned home, he never mentioned her. Instead, he began hosting gala events designed to find Trace a suitable spouse. At sixteen, Trace left home and found a job as an off-loader for a galactic shipping firm. While on leave on a distant world, he stumbled across a man assaulting a girl in an alley and stepped in to save her. The man turned out to be a local politician who, trying to salvage his political career, claimed Trace had robbed him. The girl settled out of court and wouldn’t corroborate Trace’s story. Trace was sent to a penal colony. But when the courts found out he was underage, they pulled him out of the colony and sent him to the Colonial Scouts.

So you see, my characters aren’t like me at all.

I hope you’ll take advantage of this Countdown Deal for Alien Worlds and Alien Jungle. And keep watch for Alien Seas, coming soon.

Kids Going Crazy This Summer?

If your kids are driving you crazy this summer, why not buy them a book they will read again and again. The Violet books are now on sale at Amazon.

Violet Countdown

I wrote the Violet and Olivia books with my granddaughters who were then seven and ten years old. It was a fun experience and taught me a lot about taking chances in writing.

Before they would even talk about a story, they created the characters.

They wanted the youngest girl to have a disability of some kind. As a result, the character was blind, deaf, and in a wheelchair. When I insisted they pick only one, they decided she should be deaf.

Her older sister had to be clever and popular, yet a little insecure. The two girls should get on each other’s nerves, as sisters often do, and squabble throughout the story. But in the end, it should be clear that they truly care about one another.

They wanted both parents to be overseas in the Army, forcing the siblings to live with their dingbat-but-wise grandmother whom I only assume they modeled after me.

Both books are on sale this week, just in time to give your kids something to do. This is a Countdown Deal, which means time is running out. Buy it for their Kindle today. (Or if you prefer, they are also available in print.)

Violet and the Missing Laptop

Violet and the Missing Puppy

Science Fiction Giveaway!

Craving a summer getaway? Enter for a chance to win one of two advance copies of Alien Jungle and travel to another world.

The Colonial Scouts are an elite group of explorers who seek out habitable planets for the Colonial Expansion Board. They travel through space via programmable wormholes.

Trace, a new Scout, wants desperately to prove himself to both the Board and to his girlfriend. But when he leads a rescue party to a failing colony, everything goes against him.

His estranged father turns out to be the leader of the settlement. The colonists think he is inept because he is a teenager. And his disgruntled teammates think he was named team leader because of his dad. He can tell no one about his secret mission to save only fifteen of the seventy people.

Will he follow orders, leaving the rest of the colonists to die? Or will he find a way to save them all?

Alien Jungle has one of the happiest endings I’ve ever written. But you be the judge. Enter to win now!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Alien Jungle by Roxanne Smolen

Alien Jungle

by Roxanne Smolen

Giveaway ends May 11, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Alien Worlds Giveaway

Attention Science Fiction Fans

Do you like fast-paced science fiction? Enter to win one of two advance copies of Alien Worlds, the story of a girl and a wormhole. Impani, a brilliant girl with a dark past, dreams of escaping the streets by becoming a Colonial Scout. On the day before her final exam, however, a transporter malfunction sends her jumping uncontrollably from planet to planet. Will she find her way home? Or will she die on an alien world? Alien Worlds takes the reader to eleven unique planets. Be the first of your friends to read it.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Alien Worlds by Roxanne Smolen

Alien Worlds

by Roxanne Smolen

Giveaway ends April 28, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway