PW #325: Young Adult Contemporary: LOVE, LIES, AND THE OTHER TEAM DIES

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: Marty Mayberry
Mentee: Amelia Creed
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 85,000


Masha Herrera meets the perfect geeky guy at Comic Con, only to discover he’s her sworn online enemy—and they’re both in the same gaming tournament. With an internship at stake, the event turns into a publicity nightmare, and the reportedly haunted hotel venue psyches everyone out. When battles turn nasty, Masha must decide how far she dares go in order to win.


Becoming the next meme floating around the sketchy parts of the Internet was definitely not on my to-do list, thank you very much.

At Comic Con, everyone and their Star Wars cosplaying cousin had a phone ready to snap a celebrity or a wardrobe mishap, so I was being extra careful. My costume had gone full diva, poised to expose its seams at the slightest hint of attention.  If I hadn’t spent so much time crafting the damn horned helmet, accidental dents and all, I would’ve flung it halfway across the Con by now. Instead, I tilted it up my forehead every five seconds so I could actually see where I was going—straight to the Age of Souls panel, the reason I’d driven more than a hundred miles on a scorching Saturday.

Only two main halls separated me from the chance to talk about my favorite video game for at least an hour. I had big plans for today. Huge. I needed to block out all distractions in my path, like that booth promising to anime my face. Or that cute photographer—wait. Was he dressed like an Age of Souls character?

I peered back, but the black blur wielding a camera was long gone. And he wasn’t the only one to vanish in the flurry of funky hats, claws, and one too many scantily-clad Pikachus.

My two best friends were no longer behind me. Drat.

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