MENTOR: Megan Whitmer

MENTEE: Tara Harte



WORD COUNT: 86,000



When horror movie lover Barbra discovers she’s the granddaughter of the original zombie hunter, she’s forced to master her brain-bashing skills STAT and figure out who’s behind the zombies shuffling through town. Her survival as new kid at Hunter High—a secret military school where zombie hunters scratch and scrape the bottom of the popularity pole—depends on it.



Monday afternoon. Last period French class. I was ten minutes in to the weekly pop quiz and question seven mocked me. Jerk.

I hunched my shoulders and scraped the nail polish off my middle finger. Knowing the difference between passé simple and pluperfect wouldn’t solve the real problems in my life: fifteen was too young to drive, the monster zit on my chin throbbed, and I had yet to participate in the adolescent ritual known as hooking up. Yep, this girl’s never been kissed, groped, or nibbled by the opposite sex.

Sweet sixteen better be freaking fabulous.

Sighing, I gripped my pen, eager to mangle more verb tenses, but a groan from Madame Beaumont’s desk made me perk up. Thanks to my front row seat, I enjoyed a privileged view of her lolling head. She rocked a bird’s nest—bits of leaves and grass tangled with her matted brown strands. I spotted a burr. A night spent in a ditch, no doubt. Sometimes, if I stood too close to her, I could identify the liquor she had guzzled during lunch. Peach schnapps was a favorite.

I cringed as spittle dripped from Madame’s lips. This afternoon had been her best performance yet. While handing out our quizzes, she had lurched against my desk, pawing the air. I had ducked and weaved, but I swore her fingers had caressed my ponytail.

Students often placed bets on when Madame would be axed.

My money said today.

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