Title: DIE TO LIVE ANOTHER DAY
Genre: MG Fantasy
Word Count: 89,000
Thirteen-year-old Parker Ward never believed his little sister's stories about monsters, until he was mistaken for one. After his sister dies, Parker hops on the wrong bus and—like going from the black-and-white world to the Technicolor Land of Oz—finds himself at Underlake Academy. The school is a quirky, supernatural refuge from his grief, but unlike his classmates, his body parts don’t grow back. How is a hemophobic human boy expected to be a convincing vampire if he is to survive?
Parker adapts to this new world where valkyries blow things up for fun, Cupid’s arrows have real barbs, and the school’s favorite sport has rules against unnecessary decapitation. Just as he starts to fit in, his dead sister begins to haunt him, warning him of an ancient evil threatening Underlake, determined to destroy the supernatural. Parker must choose between sacrificing himself or once again being the only survivor among all he has grown to care about.
The shadow slid under the door and across the Berber carpet. That was where it usually appeared. Sometimes it drifted from behind the lamp, or snuck in through the window, but only on occasion.
The bedroom door whipped open. Her tiny feet scurried across the carpet and the shadow returned as her companion. A sniffling nose, a quick tug of covers, a soft plea.
There would be no sleep for Parker Ward tonight. Bonny was running from monsters.
“They’re not real.” Parker stroked his little sister’s hair as she curled up beside him.
She answered with tears. They dripped onto his arm, where she’d laid her head.
Parker wiped her cheeks with the soft edge of his blanket. “Let’s go look under your bed.”
She burrowed closer to him. They weren’t going anywhere.
Her nightmares began a few years ago, around the time he’d seen the first bruise. Welts on her arms and legs, deep scratches on her shoulder—she’d never tell who was hurting her. So he kept a spare blanket draped over his footboard—the one thing he could do for her.
He tucked her head under his chin. Another moment of looking into her teary eyes would break him. He would have taken her place.
Bonny seemed perfectly fine during the day. Perfectly fine, not perfectly normal. Unusual, eccentric, one cookie short of a full box—all reasonable descriptions for his little sister, especially when she wasn’t running from monsters. Parker never understood how anyone could be scared of things that didn’t exist.