Saturday, August 25, 2012

Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem

How do you explain a sudden illness or broken jug?  What was your neighbor muttering as she walked away giving you a strange look?  Why did your cow suddenly begin to twitch and convulse?  The answer, at least for the people of Salem, was witchcraft!

This fascinating book tells the story of the Salem witch trials beginning with two sick little girls and all the horrifying events to follow.  This story is compelling and succinct detailing the accusations, the eventual trials, and the "evidence" that condemned people to death.  This was mainly spectral evidence that only the afflicted could see.

The girls saw spirits and birds who pecked and pinched and stopped their breath, and the courts were only too happy to believe them.

The accused were housed in filthy disease-filled prisons while they awaited trail where they were expected to pay rent and provide their own food.

This frenzy was caused by a fear of some unearthly power, but, as Rosalyn Schanzer describes, the real horror was the hysteria of ordinary people.


In Beatrice Prior's future version of Chicago, the architecture and highway systems of the past are largely destroyed, and the population is divided into five factions.  The Amity value peace, the Dauntless value courage, the Candor value honesty, the Erudite value intelligence, and the Abnegation, Beatrice's faction, value selflessness.

Beatrice has grown up believing that she should put everyone above herself, that to think of her own desires or wants is selfish and immoral.  The abnegation don't even have mirrors in their homes; vanity is selfish.  As Beatrice approaches her sixteenth birthday and the ceremony where she will choose her faction, she is uncertain.

The idea of spending her life in Abnegation doesn't appeal to Beatrice; she feels trapped and alone, but to choose another faction is to turn away from her entire family.  Her new faction would become her family.

Beatrice chooses freedom over family and becomes a Dauntless initiate.  This life is wilder and freer than anything she's ever known, and she will experience friendship, cruelty, and love like she never would in Abnegation.

As exhilarating as this new life is, Beatrice notices strange and frightening things happening in her society, things that most everyone else is unaware of.  The danger increases, and Beatrice may lose more than she ever dreamed possible.

Read Veronica Roth's thrilling adventure to find out what happens!


In the sequel to Divergent, Tris is still reeling from the death of her parents and most of her former faction.  She also struggles with her own grief and horror over killing Will to save herself that horrible night when the most of the dauntless became mindless robots of the Erudite.

Now that everyone knows Tris and Tobias are Divergent, they face fear and stigma from those around them.  With the Dauntless home base filled with memories of horror and surveillance cameras, the few Dauntless who are have not joined the Erudite are left to search for shelter and belonging.

Tris loves Tobias more than ever, but she she finds herself drawn to his abusive father and his teasing hints about a secret.  Marcus Eaton swears that this secret is so powerful that the Erudite would do anything keep it from getting out.  Tris believes him despite herself, but she feels disloyal to Tobias.

The city is becoming a battleground of faction against faction, and the thousands of disenfranchised factionless may be the deciding factor.

Friday, August 3, 2012


This short Unwind story (about 500 words) is only available in a digital format from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Have you ever wondered what happened to Lev after he left Cy-Fi and before he arrived at the Graveyard?  This is your lucky day!  "Unstrung" follows Lev as he seeks sanctuary with the ChanceFolk who are immune from the laws regarding unwinds.  There he meets people with special gifts to heal and help each other.

He also discovers that the ChanceFolk have found ways practice medicine without resorting to human transplant.  Lev feels happy and accepted here until the day the outside world shows up to destroy everything.

"Unstrung" is the perfect thing to hold you over while you wait for the release of Unwholly!


I don't know about you, but I am super excited about Neal Shusterman's forthcoming sequel to Unwind out this October!  In preparation, I decided to reread the original.  If you haven't read it yet, get busy, so you can read the sequel when it comes out. :)

The second American Civil War, known as the Heartland War, was fought over the right to life.  After a great loss of life, both sides decided to ban terminating pregnancies but to give parents the right have children unwound between the ages of thirteen and eighteen.  Parents of unwinds can be comforted that 99.44% of their children will live on as transplant material in a divided state.

When Connor discovered that his parents wanted to have him unwound, he knew he would have to run away.  From the beginning, things go wrong, and Connor's impulsiveness just makes things worse.

Lev is a tithe.  He was raised to believe that it is his duty to God and society to offer himself up for unwinding.  He is prepared to be unwound until a chance meeting with Connor and a split second decision change his course in ways he could never imagine.

Risa is a StaHo girl, raised by the state and trained as a classical pianist until one day a committee decides she isn't a good enough musician to be worth the effort or the cost of her continued life.  The committee decides society and she will be happier in a divided state.

The fates of these three teens will intersect and change all three of them and the country forever.

Baseball Great

Josh is the new kid at Grant Middle School, but things are starting off pretty well.  A reporter for the school paper (who happens to be a cute girl who knows a lot about sports) has written an article praising his baseball talents and predicting a winning season.  He even has a best friend, Benji.

Unfortunately, he also has an enemy who is bigger and stronger and who thinks Josh is trying to steal his girlfriend.  And he's about to get a lot more enemies when his dad gets him a place on Rocky Valentine's U14 travel team.  Josh wants to play with his friends, but his dad thinks this is his best chance for a future career in the majors.  Plus Rocky Valentine gave him a job, too.

The Titans are scary big and intense.  Josh is intimidated and exhausted, but Rocky's supplements and workouts are making him stronger.

When a member of the team offers him something than the supplements to improve his game and the team's prospects, Josh is in a difficult position.  He doesn't want to risk his health, but he doesn't want to get his father in trouble, too.

Josh and his friends will have to rely on each to find the truth against an enemy more dangerous than any they've faced before.

Read the latest book from Tim Green for a story packed with sports, mystery, and danger!

Watch the video below to hear Tim Green talk about what makes a good story.