As Red as a Munka Bean

Beings from all over the universe have gathered on Kamim for the yearly Interstellar Beauty Contest. Fifteen-year-old Liam and his best (and only) friend Absalom are there to represent Earth, although they never actually agreed to come. Now Absalom must put his reservations aside and convince the judges of something he doesn’t quite believe himself: that his short, fat, brown body is beautiful.

Liam only has to announce Absalom and translate the other beings‘ sign language for him, a simple enough task for a deaf boy. But when he meets pretty Sadie right before the announcement, his mind goes blank and his hands can’t find the right words.

And then there is Topher, the boy who bullies Liam and Absalom on Earth and was accidentally brought to Kamim with them. He is sullen and mean, but he knows how to be cool and confident, two traits which would help Absalom immensely in the contest…

This contemporary fantasy for young adults and tweens is an adventure story about the power of friendship and believing in yourself.

The Magic of the Valipuria

Fifteen-year-old Lizzy Senning never knew her family had ancestral ties to another planet until she is visited by a shaman with long, flowing green curls who asks for her help. An evil sorceress is attempting to gain control over one of the valipuria, rare and powerful magical objects which control the elements on the shaman’s planet. Lizzy’s family has always returned to help protect the valipuria, and now it is Lizzy’s turn.

Nervous but determined to help, Lizzy teleports with the shaman to his planet, a colorful world of magical, mooselike allies, giant six-armed creatures who live underground, and dangerous lions with spikes on their tails and an extra eye for surreptitiously seeking out their prey. In the shaman’s village, each person has a different hair color as an outward expression of their inner personalities, and Lizzy feels out of place with her straight brown hair. She soon begins to love this new world, however, for she starts learning the shaman’s magic.

When Lizzy, the shaman, and a group of warriors set out from the village to track down the sorceress, she attacks. The shaman pursues her but never returns, and Lizzy must attempt to protect the valipuria and survive a confrontation with the evil sorceress without him. The only person who may be able to help her is an attractive, pink-haired young man named Farokin.

The Intertwined Branches

Up, up, up Saskia climbed until she reached the topmost branches of the old maple, where she had seen the two intertwined branches. The gap they made was shaped perfectly like a hand, and she longed to place hers in it. But when she did, everything changed, for on the other side another hand was waiting and Listlem, the boy attached to that hand, pulled her into the other side of the sky. There the cloudmakers lived, the eagles soaked up the sun’s rays, and in the faraway mountains, the Beings of the North could be found.

Twelve-year-old Saskia loved seeing the other side of the sky, sliding down the outside of a cloud, and bouncing around with her new friend Listlem, but the gap which let her come there would not allow her to return home and she was beginning to get worried. She would have to seek out the Beings of the North for help. Luckily, Listlem wanted to join her.

The Beings of the North were not people at all, but their strangeness was combined with wisdom, and Saskia hoped to enlist their assistance, for otherwise her chances of returning home were slim indeed.