Teenagers are always "testing the waters." From creating new hairstyles to selecting offbeat clothes and accessories, they are willing to experiment in all areas of life. For teens today, Zumba and pilates have replaced calisthenics, and iPads have been substituted for PCs as they show they are unafraid to push the limits society has set for them. This behavior can sometimes be dangerous, but often enlightening. Testing the Waters is set in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at a summer camp focused on environmental concerns. When several teens from diverse backgrounds gather together to explore the area, they discover animal deaths and deformities around a creek that resemble toxic poisoning.
----In Part One of Testing the Waters, teens at a summer camp uncover a frightening sight at a creek bed that indicates toxic waste. A mystical figure guides them toward finding the answer to what caused it. --In Part Two, the teens take risks and defy authorities. They seek the help of an ambitious member of the press as well as that of a techno savvy camper who is ostracized for being dyslexic. One teen in particular, Reid Williams, has discovered months earlier that she may have inherited a psychic ability to see apparitions. These visions help her uncover the mystery of deaths and destruction of an otherwise pristine area of nature. --Throughout the novel, the "testing the waters" theme reveals conflicts and betrayals among the campers, but ultimately conveys a message of tolerance, persistence, and friendship.
Outside the Circle
In Part 1: Bullied and Betrayed, Jamie Callahan, an elite level teenage volleyball player, has faced almost daily bullying after an accident kills both her drunk driving mother and a popular classmate. Haunted by visions and nightmares, Jamie and her father move from Knoxville to the fictional Merrell, Tennessee, to start over.
However, they encounter even more problems in their new environment. It takes a community disaster to change their lives and shape the lives of those around them. Under the direction of a nefarious apparition, Jamie faces the obstacles in her way to achieve acceptance from her classmates.
In Part 2: Rescued and Redeemed, Jamie learns the meaning of friendship, her father discovers a secret part of his deceased wife's life, and the high school students face the reality of death.