Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome – 99 cents for Kindle.

Astrid Maxxim 2Girl inventor Astrid Maxxim and her friends are back. This time Astrid is building an observation dome beneath the sea. Will she complete her amazing construction project, or will she be sidetracked by underwater monsters, the evil organization known as the Black Hand, or her snotty cousin Gloria?

Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome is available for the Kindle for just 99 cents.  Find it by searching the menu on your device or follow this link.

If you’ve already purchased this book for the Kindle– thank you.  Would you please leave a review?


Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome – 99 cents at ‘txtr

Astrid Maxxim 2Girl inventor Astrid Maxxim and her friends are back. This time Astrid is building an observation dome beneath the sea. Will she complete her amazing construction project, or will she be sidetracked by underwater monsters, the evil organization known as the Black Hand, or her snotty cousin Gloria?

Follow this link to purchase Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome for 99 cents at ‘txtr.


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Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome – Now just $3.99 in Paperback

Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea DomeGirl inventor Astrid Maxxim and her friends are back. This time Astrid is building an observation dome beneath the sea. Will she complete her amazing construction project, or will she be sidetracked by underwater monsters, the evil organization known as the Black Hand, or her snotty cousin Gloria?

Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome is now available in digest format paperback for only $3.99.  Check out the Books page on this site or follow this link to purchase your copy today.

Free Books for Read An Ebook Week

Read an ebook week starts today, and for the next seven days, you can get the following books free at Smashwords.  Follow the links below and be sure to use the coupon code: RW100.

Princess of Amathar

Princess of Amathar

The Voyage of the Minotaur

The Voyage of the Minotaur

Tesla’s Stepdaughters

Tesla's Stepdaughters

Women of Power

Women of Power New

Astrid Maxxim and her Amazing Hoverbike

Astrid Maxxim Cover

Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome

Astrid Maxxim 2

Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome – at B&N

Astrid Maxxim 2Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome  is available now at Barnes and Noble for the Nook.  It’s designed for readers of middle-school age, and is just 99 cents.

Girl inventor Astrid Maxxim and her friends are back. This time Astrid is building an observation dome beneath the sea. Will she complete her amazing construction project, or will she be sidetracked by underwater monsters, the evil organization known as the Black Hand, or her snotty cousin Gloria?

Follow this link, or look for the book on your Nook device or app.

Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome – Chapter 18 Excerpt

Astrid Maxxim 2The Hawaiian waters were crystal clear and even at a hundred feet below the surface the visibility was excellent.  Astrid looked down at the undersea dome, suspended on massive cables from the ship above, as she dove her mini-sub in a sweeping downward spiral.  She noticed a shadow passing her just as the radio popped to life.

“Astrid!” called Toby.  “Look up.”

The girl inventor leaned forward and looked up through the Plexiglas canopy of the mini-sub, to see the massive form of a humpback whale swimming above her.  The great beast paused for a moment and rolled over onto its side as though giving the strange man-made devices a good once-over, and then with a kick of its great tale, it swam away.

“That makes you feel tiny, doesn’t it?” said Toby.

“It sure does.  I didn’t expect to see any humpbacks.  Their season is just about done.”

They continued descending until both mini-subs reached the bottom edges of the dome, which thanks to preplaced guide wires, now rested snuggly in place on its foundation.  Astrid flipped on the external spotlight, even though at this depth it was still just light enough to see.  Using the manipulator arms, she withdrew a large nut from a container on the foundation and threaded it onto a massive bolt sticking up from the concrete through a hole in the dome’s titanium frame.  She did this twice more and then maneuvered to the next attachment point.  Toby did the same thing, starting on the far side of the dome, and between them they connected all twelve points.

“This thing is huge,” said Toby over the radio.

“It does look pretty giant down here, at least from the outside.  I’m wondering how big it’s going to seem from the inside.”

“All right.  Shall we go on up?”


They began spiraling upward, their propellers leaving a double helix of bubbles in their wake.  Halfway to the surface, a shadow passed overhead, and Astrid looked up expecting to see their humpback whale once again.  It wasn’t the whale though.  It was another submarine.  This craft was not a huge vessel like a US Navy sub, but it wasn’t a small one man sub like Astrid’s either.  It was about fifty feet long, longer than the humpback, but not quite as big around.  It was painted flat black, making it difficult for anyone on the surface to see it.  Suddenly as she watched, the unknown submarine tilted its bow down.

“What is that guy doing?” she said aloud.

“What was that, Astrid?” called Toby.

“Toby!  Look out!”

She realized what the strange submarine was doing, but it was too late to do anything about it.  The dark vessel’s turn had sent it on a collision course with Toby’s mini-sub.  Astrid could hear the loud crunch as the nose of the black undersea boat smashed into the little yellow vehicle.  The mini-sub flipped over as a huge cloud of bubbles burst from it and shot toward the surface.

Astrid steered toward the other two submersibles, watching in horror as Toby’s slid sideways toward the ocean floor.  The dark-colored sub accelerated away into the fading light.  Toby’s propeller came to a stop and the little vehicle finally came to rest in the silt on the bottom.  The girl inventor maneuvered next to him and, using her vessel’s manipulator arms, flipped him right side up.  Astrid’s heart leapt into her throat.  The Plexiglas canopy of Toby’s mini-sub had been cracked and water was quickly filling up the compartment.

“Toby, can you hear me?” she radioed, but she almost immediately realized that he couldn’t.  The incoming water must have shorted out the electrical systems.  That meant no radio and no power.

“Astrid to Toronto,” she called the construction ship.  “Toby’s in trouble.  His sub is disabled.”

Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome – Chapter 15 Excerpt

Dome3dThe young inventor glanced around and sure enough, there were half a dozen boys forming a circle around her.

“How do I pick one to dance with?” she asked, but Penelope was already moving away through the crowd.  A tall, dark-haired boy took her place as another song thrummed into existence.  Without a word, he started dancing.  Astrid followed along.

She couldn’t have said how long she had been dancing, but after seven or eight dance partners, Astrid was exhausted and dripping with perspiration.  She waved off a disappointed-looking and rather short boy with blond hair and started through the crowd toward the bar.  The counter was two or three patrons thick all along its extent.  Apparently a lot of others had the same idea that she did.  Reaching forward, she waved for one of the servers.

“Here, have a drink,” said a voice right beside her.

Astrid turned and found herself nose to nose with one of the boys she had danced with.  He was handsome and about sixteen years old, with brown hair and green eyes.  He pushed a tall glass with a red straw toward her.

“No thanks.”

“They don’t serve alcohol here,” he said.  “All the drinks are just soda.”

“I don’t know you though,” said Astrid.  “I don’t take drinks from anyone I don’t know.”

“Sorry,” she called to him, as he turned with a frown and melted into the crowd.

“Isn’t this fantastic?” shouted Denise, suddenly hanging onto Astrid’s arm.  “We should do this all the time.  Why don’t they have any clubs like this in Maxxim City?”

“Did you dance?” asked Astrid.

“I danced with three really cute boys, two sort of cute boys, and one drop-dead gorgeous boy.”

“What can I get you?” called the server, finally ready to take their drink order.

“Two sodas,” said Astrid.

“Four,” corrected Denise.  “Valerie has a table over there for us.”

Making their way through the crowd, their hands filled with drinks, Astrid and Denise found Valerie and Valerie looking very shyly across the table at two boys who seemed fixated on them.

“You see,” Valerie told the boys.  “Here are our friends now.”

The two reluctantly relinquished their seats to the two girls and then were lost among the swaying masses.

“I don’t think they have enough chairs in this club,” said Robot Valerie.  “Those boys insisted on sitting here until you got back.”

“They just wanted to sit near two pretty girls,” said Denise.

“Valerie is the one they’re all watching,” said Regular Valerie.  “Everybody is fascinated by her.”

“That’s to be expected, I guess,” said Astrid.

“Why?” wondered Robot Valerie.

“Because you’re a robot.”

“Oh, yeah.”

Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome – Chapter 8 Excerpt

Dome3dThe next morning, the stranger was all that Astrid could think about, at least until she and her friends arrived at Rachel Carson High School on the monorail.  The school was abuzz, but not about any strange man arrested by police.  Instead, everyone was talking about the lake monster.  Boys drew pictures of various marine reptiles on the backs of their notebooks.  Girls recounted how strange Pearl Lake had seemed last summer when they went swimming.  And every conversation seemed to revolve around Austin Tretower.  Some of the teachers even got into the act.  Dr. Ikeda decorated the science hallway with a gigantic Elasmosaurus mural, and Mr. Hall assigned essays on the Loch Ness Monster in English Composition.

“I want an alternate assignment,” said Astrid, raising her hand.

“What?” said a startled Mr. Hall.

“I don’t want to write about something as silly as the Loch Ness Monster.”

Astrid could feel Denise and Christopher, on either side of her, staring.

“You’re not limited in the way that you approach the assignment, Astrid,” said Mr. Hall.  “You have written more than enough persuasive essays.  Perhaps you’d like to do something more creative—a fictional story, perhaps?”

“No, Mr. Hall, I don’t think I would like that at all.”

“What’s going on?” whispered Christopher.

Denise shrugged, and then made a crazy circle with her finger next to her head.

“Then Astrid,” continued the teacher, “if you insist on sticking to your routine, why don’t you write a paper explaining why you believe the Loch Ness Monster does not exist?  Might I recommend the book by Steuart Campbell…?”

“I read it when I was five,” said Astrid.  “Right after I figured out that there was no Santa Claus.”

“Wait a second,” said Madison Laurel from the far side of the room.  “You mean Santa Claus isn’t real?”

“Oh no,” said Denise.  “Santa Claus is totally real.”

The class erupted into laughter, and Mr. Hall, with difficulty, brought them back on task.

“Your parents may expect a call this evening,” he told Astrid.

Astrid didn’t enjoy her next three classes as much as usual, but at least the talk of monsters was limited to the students.  As they left US History on their way to lunch, Christopher pulled her aside.

“What’s going on with you, Astrid?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re awfully testy today,” he said.  “Everybody has an off day now and then… I mean everybody but you.  I’ve never seen you have an off day, and I’ve never seen you short with a teacher before.”

“There’s a lot going on, I guess,” said Astrid.  “And this lake monster talk is really annoying.  You know there’s no such thing as a lake monster.  We’ve gone swimming in Pearl Lake a hundred times.”

“I know,” said Christopher.

“Plesiosaurs like Elasmosaurus died out 65 million years ago.”

“Sixty five point two million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous,” confirmed Christopher.

“Loch Ness is less than 10,000 years old, and Pearl Lake is only about a thousand years old.  There’s no way there could be a prehistoric monster in either of them.”

“Of course not,” said Christopher.  “Kids just like monsters, Astrid.  It’s like all those zombie movies or that vampire that the girl’s like.  I don’t know why you’re letting it get under your skin.”

Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome – now for nook!

Dome3dAstrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome is now available for the nook and nook apps.  You can get it now at Barnes and Noble for 99 cents by following the link.

Girl inventor Astrid Maxxim and her friends are back. This time Astrid is building an observation dome beneath the sea. Will she complete her amazing construction project, or will she be sidetracked by underwater monsters, the evil organization known as the Black Hand, or her snotty cousin Gloria?

Astrid Maxxim and her Undersea Dome – Chapter 11 Excerpt

Astrid Maxxim 2Before she could make any further protests, Astrid was pulled quickly onto the bus by Christopher and Denise.  The vehicle made a single stop at a gate guarded by military police and then it was out onto the Queen Liliuokalani Freeway.  From there it was a remarkably short trip across the island to Kailua.  Less than an hour after arriving in Hawaii, Astrid and the others stepped off the bus in front of the palatial beachfront property owned by Maxxim Industries.

The estate had been created years before when Mrs. Maxxim had purchased seven properties and combined them.  The original houses, which had been in bad repair, had been removed and five lovely multi-level modern homes had been built, interspersed with gardens and common areas.

“Where’s the swimming pool?” asked Denise as soon as she stepped out of the bus.

“We’re a hundred yards away from the most beautiful beach in the world,” said her brother, “and you want a swimming pool?”

“I don’t swim in the ocean with Astrid anymore.”

“There are three swimming pools,” said Astrid.  “You can swim in all three of them.”

“After we get settled,” interjected Mr. Brown.  “Do you know where we’re staying, Astrid?”

“Hold on,” replied the girl inventor, pulling out her tablet and flipping her fingers across the screen.  “My mom gave me the arrangements.  You and Denise are staying at Orchid House, and Dennis too of course.  The Harrises are at Plumeria House.  The Diazes are at Antherium House.  And Toby and Mr. Bundersmith are at Chrysanthemum House.”

“What about me?” asked Austin.

“Oh, um… you’re with Toby and his dad.  And I’ll be at Gardenia House.”

Carrying their luggage with them, the travelers from Maxxim City split up and headed in small groups toward each of the assigned houses.  Astrid all alone, walked down the sidewalk and up the steps to the front door of Gardenia House, pulling her suitcase along on its wheels.  It was a medium-sized home, far smaller than the Maxxim Mansion, but quite striking.  A central portion rose up into two stories plus a loft, while wings on either side were a single level.  The gently sloping roof and the coral façade fit perfectly with the tropical plants that filled carefully arranged flowerbeds all around the perimeter.  The front door accepted Astrid’s thumbprint and she stepped inside.

Walking through the foyer and into the kitchen, Astrid opened the refrigerator to find an apple, which she washed in the sink before taking a bite.  The interior of the house was beautifully furnished and spotlessly kept; not surprising since it was used only a few weeks a year.  Opening the patio door, the fourteen year-old breathed in the floral scent that floated on the gentle breeze.  She could hear the ocean waves crashing against the nearby beach with an irregular rhythm.

Astrid sat down in one of the heavy wooden patio chairs as the breeze whipped up slightly around her.  It was pleasantly warm and neither the small cloud that moved over her head, nor the scattered drops that fell from it detracted the feeling that the entire island was giving her one big hug.  She finished her apple and walked back inside, dropping the core in the recycle bin before taking her suitcase to the bedroom she had used when she had stayed in the house the previous summer.  She had just started unpacking when she received a text.

ß already at the pool,” said Denise’s text, pointing at her name.

How’s the water?” typed Astrid.

Not in water.  Laying out… duh.

Astrid texted back.  “I’ll be there in a few minutes.

She had barely finished typing when another text arrived, this one from Valerie.

We’re here!  See you in an hour.


Astrid sat her phone, her tablet, and her MX-360 on the nightstand and then quickly unpacked her suitcase, placing her clothes in the dresser drawers.  The exception was her pink and yellow swimsuit.  It wasn’t so much that she wanted to lay out by the pool, she told herself, so much as she needed to keep an eye on Denise to see that she properly protected her skin.  Decked out in her bikini and her matching flip-flops, she skipped out the bedroom door and into the hallway to come face to face with two strange men.