PW-31 (YA): 7 DAYS

MENTOR: Lindsay Currie

MENTEE:  Kes Trester


GENRE: YA Thriller

WORD COUNT: 65,000


A teenage science prodigy uses her expertise to find her mentor’s killer, track a ticking time bomb, and save an American city from destruction.  Think Veronica Mars meets Jack Bauer.


Spilling tea on my white cotton button-down threw me completely off schedule.  I was forced to change into my only other tailored blouse, this one an overly bright shade of pink.

I quickly shouldered my backpack and strapped on a helmet before rolling my bike out from behind the sofa.  Emerging from the apartment building, I glanced at the threatening clouds and wished I’d grabbed my jacket.  If there was one thing I’d learned after living in Boston for seven years, it was that springtime was totally unpredictable.

Minutes later, I dashed into the small auditorium the university had assigned us for the presentation.  About two dozen people, including Senator Harrington, were already there.  His many aides flitted about him like a flock of sparrows circling a preening hawk, albeit one with an expensive haircut and custom-tailored suit.

But there was no sign of Dr. Farris.

I dug out my scratched up smart phone and texted furiously.  He usually replied immediately, but this time, my own words just sat on the screen staring back at me.  As much as he hated phone calls, I hit “Genius” on my Favorites list and listened to it ring, over and over.

It had taken us many months and a boatload of favors to convince the chairman of the House Energy Committee to visit Cambridge.  With a single stroke of his pen, he had the authority to grant us the funding needed to drive our program to the finish line.

Everything depended on the next few minutes.

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