Pillow Fort to Mars, a contemporary Middle Grade hybrid SFF/mystery novel complete at 53,000 words, is a standalone with series potential.
Twelve-year-old Mateo Morales was born with magic so small everyone he meets thinks he’s fooling them with sleight of hand. Until, that is, he moves to seemingly perfect Wheaton, Illinois. In his new apartment building, Mateo meets fellow seventh-grader and science genius Sienna Ketema, who proves to be the ideal friend by finding a way to boost his magic with her science.
When a mysterious helper leaves a trail of puzzling clues for Mateo and Sienna to follow, they uncover evidence that the local rumors may be true. There really may be a massive alien spaceship that long ago crashed and buried itself beneath Wheaton. Worse, the spaceship appears ready to power back on. If it lifts off and flies away, the city and every one of its 53,389 residents will be annihilated. So, Mateo and Sienna must embark on a magical mission to save Wheaton from doom — and from those who profit by keeping buried secrets buried.