Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Love-Hate Relationship

Apryl Baker's The Promise inspires a love-hate relationship for me. I love that she keeps me guessing about who's lying and who's telling the truth, but I hate not being able to figure it out! Read along...tell me if any of you had everything figured out before the end. Just don't spoil it and tell everyone the end!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Check this review of Twin Souls!

Linda Ulleseit just posted of review of my book Twin Souls on her blog, Read Like Good Readers Do.

Check it out!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I was lucky enough to read The Promise while it was being workshopped, and ever since then, when I see M&Ms it makes me think of this book. Read the first few chapters of The Promise to find out why.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Guest Post by Apryl Baker (Author of "The Promise")

Random Thoughts by Apryl Baker

Hi, guys, thanks for having me and I just wanted to share some things with you.  I get asked a lot of questions and I thought I’d just answer a few of them here for anyone who is trying to write their first novel or break into print. 

The biggest question I get is how did you come up with your story?  The Promise, book one of The Coven series, is what I refer to as my little Post It Note idea.  I was driving home one day listening to Theory of a Dead Man’s Not Meant To Be, and I passed this little community called New Salem.  I got this image in my head of a girl sitting beside a gravestone.  I couldn’t get it out of my head.  I kept asking myself, why is she sitting there all alone looking so sad?  When I got home, I grabbed a yellow sticky, wrote the idea down, and then stuck it to the wall beside my computer.  Over the next couple days, I kept getting ideas, writing them down on stickies, and before I knew it, I had the outline of a novel in a wall of orange, yellow, and pink.  A good idea is great, but you still have to make it work. 

To me the most important part of any novel, whether it’s set in a past or modern reality, an alternate reality, or a completely new world, is that it has to be believable.  Many people ask me how do you do it, how do you create something you know isn’t real and make it seem as real as the air you breathe?  It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also one of the simplest.  Contradictory I know.  It comes down to research.  You have to know what you are writing about.  If you have a good grasp on what you are trying to accomplish, you can do anything with it. 

Witchcraft is what my novel, The Promise, centers on.  I had to create a place where it was as common for teens to be having meetings on spell crafting as it was for them to be hanging out at the mall.  I literally went to the mall every Saturday for a month straight and sat in the food court watching teens, listening to how they talked to each other, their mannerisms, and watching how they interacted with each other.  It was an eye opening experience.  I had no idea.  I wanted my novel to be as real as I could get it in relation to how the characters were in comparison to modern teens.  The mall experience played a big role in that.  If you are not a teen writing a teen book, I’d recommend spending a couple Saturdays at the mall.  It’s well worth it to the aspiring young adult writer.

The Salem Witch Trials also plays a huge role in the book.  I read just about every book I could find on the subject.  I studied web sites, spoke with curators at museums, and learned more about that horrible time in history than I could ever have wanted to.  I hope I managed to get some of the tragedy of that time in the words and emotions in The Promise. 

I remember when I went looking for books on Wiccan and/or witchcraft initiation ceremonies, my first stop was my local library.  The attendant behind the information desk was a lovely elderly woman who was seventy if she was a day.  When I asked her if they had anything on the subject, she looked at me as if I’d grown horns right then and there. She answered me in a very soft, very stiff voice, “No, we do not have anything on any such thing.”  She still gives me odd looks every time she sees me.  Suffice to say, I stuck to things I could order online as far as books went on that particular subject.

Armed with all this knowledge, I went back and filled in the gaps in the story I’d started writing a while back.  Because I lived and breathed the subject, my characters did too.  The best advice I can give anyone is to jump in head first and learn everything you can.  Once you do, it becomes as easy as breathing to make it sound real, because it sorta is to you for just a little while.  If you believe it, if you write like you believe it, then anyone who reads it will too.

The hard part is to be able to put all this background in without having it sound like an information dump that will glaze over the readers eyes and make them skim pages.  What I did was broke it up a bit.  I used various ways of letting the reader know.  My biggest trick is diary entries.  I let the reader see the past through her sister’s eyes by way of a diary she found that explained so much and gave her even more questions.  I also used dreams.  There is a part in the book where the main character, Cassie Jayne, actually goes back into the past on the day of the burning, via a dream.  She hears and see’s everything trapped inside the conscious mind of one of the witches that are being burned at the stake.  You get to feel the pain, anguish and fear because she does.  You get to experience her terror at the feel of the flames licking her skin.  All this is done via a dream. 

You have to find unique ways to show the past, to show the reader the character backgrounds without a monotone of information.  The best way to do this can also be done via dialogue.  You can learn just as much by characters talking about each other as you can by droning on and on in paragraph after paragraph of information. It’s the show VS tell argument.  I’d rather see it through dialogue or actions than I would read about it.  It makes it interesting for the reader and keeps the attention of so many teens who are used to the fast paced world of now, now, now or I lose interest.

I am a huge, huge fan of old noir mysteries and I incorporated my love of mysteries into my writing.  For me, the buildup has to be gradual and in the beginning the more answers you find, the more questions you get.  That is what I did.  For every answer Cassie found, it made her question everything more.  It has to be subtle, you can’t just throw it in people’s faces.  I drop hints of answers in most chapters, just enough to make you start to think on your own, but in the end, the answer to the mystery is so shocking you gasp and think, I never suspected.  To me that is what a good mystery does and hopefully I did that with The Promise.

After I’d done all this, edited, polished, edited, polished, and prayed it was good enough, I began the agent hunt.  Agents are like the elusive white whale.  You know they’re out there, but getting one can be next to impossible.  I’ve come to believe it’s sheer luck.  When your novel lands on an agents desk, if they get to see it mind you – I think sometime the assistants sit there and go, eeny meeny, miney moe – I think the agent has to be in the mood to read that particular type of story.  It’s either that or they just are afraid to take a chance on something that isn’t old and tried and true.  And that is just my opinion mind you, no slight or slander meant to agents in general.  It’s how I rationalize all those rejection letters.

So you send your brand spanking new novel out into the world and hope for the best.  You will get rejection letters.  Prepare yourselves ahead of time.  Most agents will tell you what they didn’t like about the work if they requested it or a partial.  Look for things that are common, go back to the novel, rework what doesn’t work and try, try again.  Make a list of agents, list A – your top choices, and list B – your second choices.  Always query list B first so you can take their advice and make your book the best it can be for your list A agents.  It’s always best to test the waters first with a second or third choice.

I went with a smaller publisher for my first book.  I started researching small publishers as opposed to the bigger houses.  Yes, it requires more work on my part as far as promoting, but the smaller publisher will work harder for you.  You also get more profits from your books as well.  For me it was a good fit at the time.  I went with Black Matrix Publishing because after talking with the owner and the editors, it was just a really good fit for me.  Do I want an agent and a bigger publisher?  Maybe in the future, but for now I’m happy where I am and my book is doing extremely well simply because of all the hard work that is going into the promotion of it.  I’m not sure I’d be given the same attention at the bigger houses, at least not for my first book.  So all in all, I’m happy.

The best advice I was ever given was to find a good writing group.  I was directed to by an agent.  Those guys are the best resource I have.  You have to be able to take criticism, but if you can, the people on that site will take your work, shred it and then help you whip it into shape.  I would not be where I am today without the support of the friends I made on that site.  They are always the first to grind me into the dust and the first to shout for joy with me when I get it right.  They took a mediocre book and turned it into something amazing and I owe them more than I can ever possibly repay them.  For anyone who is trying to write their first novel, hone their skills, or take an old novel and revamp it, I’d highly recommend that site to anyone.

Thanks so much for listening to my ramblings on the makings of a novel, or at least the key features for me.  I appreciate your time and hope that I’ve at least helped a few people out there who are scratching their heads and wondering how in the world do you do that?

Most of all, my parting advice is to just have fun.  It should never be work, it should be something you love to do.  If you love it, then so will everyone else.

~Apryl Baker

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Book!

The Edible Bookshelf is moving on to Witchcraft and yummy boys. Apryl Baker's The Promise is up next for review, and later this week I'll be posting a guest post from Apryl Baker about her book and her thoughts on writing in general. So take a look at the blurb for The Promise, and then follow the links to get your own copy and read along.

The Promise (Apryl Baker) Black Matrix Publishing

"Cassie Jayne Bishop grew up in the sleepy town of New Salem, NC, the only
non-believer in the tradition and power of the town Coven. When a stranger
comes to New Salem, everything she thought was normal about her life
unravels around her. Ethan makes her question everything, even her sister's
death in a car crash years ago. As Cassie discovers the full truth about her
heritage, and the clues start to pile up, she becomes determined to find out
if the Coven was actually involved in her sister's death. What she uncovers
terrifies her.

Her fate lies at the very heart of the secret the Coven protects. It's the
reason she was born. Now, betrayed on every side, can she find a way to
survive or will she be the catalyst that triggers a centuries old act of

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Interview with Angela Fristoe (author of Songbird)

A few weeks ago I reviewed Angela Fristoe's Songbird on the blog. I am excited that Angela agreed to do an interview and tell us all a little more about the book, how it was written, and about her upcoming works. Thank you, Angela, for sharing with us. Read on to find out more about Angela and Songbird.

1. Songbird was a little different from your usual writing, which for those who haven't read any of your other work usually includes some magical realism and paranormal fantasy. What was the inspiration for Songbird? 

Songbird was all about Dani and where she needed to go as a character. I wanted her to have a very emotional journey and for the reader to see what she was going through in the present and how her past experiences were shaping her choices and her beliefs about what was happening to herself and those around her.

2. I've noticed that you have used music in several of your books. Do you share a love for music like your characters do? Do you play and instrument or sing? 

I played the cello in fourth grade, and that's about the extent to my musical abilities. Pretty sad considering the musical abilities of the rest of my family. I do love music though and wish I was musically talented. I don't listen to music as I write, but sometimes I'll hear a song on the radio that will bring something to mind and I'll use it for inspiration later on.

3. Dani's situation with alcoholic and abusive parents must have been difficult to write. Did you do any research for Songbird? What helped you to convey her emotions so well? 

The only research I did was into the cancer symptoms and treatments, as well as a bit into the legal system in Colorado. I've known a number of adults and children who have faced situations like Dani does with her parents and I really tried to put myself into their position and let myself react to them.

4. I know this was a NANO (National Novel Writing Month) project, are you willing to admit to how much of the story you had planned out at the beginning, or did pieces fall into place with the mystery side of the story as you wrote? 

Absolutely nothing planned. I didn't sign up for NANO until the day before and even then I almost chickened out. I rarely knew what I was going to write each evening until I sat down at my computer.

5. How many times have you participated in NANO? Did you finish Songbird in 30 days (which is the challenge of NANO for those not familiar with the project)? 

Songbird was my first NANO novel, and I've since won two more times. With Songbird I managed to eke out a chapter a day. Once NANO was done and I had my 50,000words, it took me another four months to finish the last 5 chapters, and then another year to get through the editing process. The second year was pretty much a wash and I have no intentions of ever revisiting that work again. This year I worked on Heal Me, the second book in the Graced Trilogy and it's really given me a boost of energy to finish Liar.

6. The mystery in Songbird sometimes feels secondary to the romance and Dani's personally difficulties, even though it still plays a very important part of the book. Was the mystery a planned part of the book from the beginning, or something the developed later as you wrote

It wasn't planned out to the last detail, but once I wrote the character of Colin I knew I wanted there to be something more to his life, deeper than just being a possible love interest, and how it affected Dani. The last few chapters of Songbird were the hardest to write because I didn't know where I wanted it to go. Right up until the end I kept changing my mind about what would happen.

7. Can you tell us a little about Raven's Mark and Liar: A Graced Trilogy? 

Raven's Mark is still under serious revisions while I try to work in a bit of Norse mythology. The story centers around Anya Lindgren who discovers that the town she's living in is not exactly normal, and that they're watching her, believing that her death will end the curse that they live under.

Liar (A Graced Trilogy, Book 1) is the first in a series about three sisters who have been graced with different abilities. Phoebe is supposed to be the Truth Teller in her family, able to know when someone is lying, and until now she's figured she's broken. Then a simple lie awakens her ability and she's left wondering how to deal with a best friend whose lies could end in tragedy.

8. Who are your favorite authors? 

I love Shakespeare. I'm not much of a historical reader, but I make an exception for him. Part of that is because I had the most amazing Shakespeare teach in ninth grade. Other than Shakespeare it's hard for me to pin down favorites. Sometimes a book will just click with me, but I don't like any of the author's other work. For me it's all about the story.

9. Who or what inspires you when you write? 

A lot of times I'll hear a song on the radio, and it'll get me thinking about a situation, and from there the characters start taking shape. Sometimes, such as with Songbird, I'll remember experiences I had and take it from there. The more emotional it is for me, the more likely I am to include it in my writing.  

10. Do you have any fun or interesting rituals when you write? 

I don't have any rituals, but I do the majority of my writing between 11pm - 2am. I work fulltime during the day, and have a four-year-old daughter, so it's difficult to fit in writing time during normal hours. I've tried listening to music, but it just distracts me since I'm one of those annoying sing along types. I do tend to be a bit ADD when I'm on the computer, so I try to plan my word count as I go. I'm obsessive about competition, so I try to beat my weekly goal by the middle of the week.

Check out more about Angela and here writing at:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Review of Trailer Park Juggernauts

If I gave you five seemingly random words like, Maraca, Squid, Kismet, Reaper, and Wings, would you be able to guess what they have in common? Unless you’ve read the eclectic and entertaining short story collection, Trailer Park Juggernauts, by Jesse Anderson I doubt you would have a chance at guessing.

Just like the five words above, Jesse Anderson has filled Trailer Park Juggernauts with a variety of  topics, from kitten rescuing angels and Hell-bound overlords to alcohol-fueled squid chasers and Frankensteinish big-girl sitters toting ancient swords. The variety of topics will certainly keep you guessing. Every time I finished a story I knew I was going to be surprised by what the next one was about. Who would expect a gator wrestler to end up in a fight with lightning wielder?

One thing that tied all of Jesse’s stories together was the type of characters he employed. Not to say that his characters were too similar, because they most definitely were not, but each of them were, as Jesse puts it, “hillbillies with superpowers.” The characters hailed from places like the Deep South, Alaska, New Mexico, and similar areas away from the big cities and supposed refinement. For anyone who has lived or visited these places, you’ll definitely recognize them, and chuckled at some of the local oddities locals know all too well. Jesse’s accurate descriptions and skillful use of familiar culture brought each setting to life, and his unique choices in characters and even more unusual special gifts turned the familiar into something completely new.

Reviewing every story in Trailer Park Juggernauts would make this review way too long, so I’ll touch on my three favorites and then move on to the book as a whole. So here we go…

In Kismet, I really enjoyed the simplicity of its beginning. Checking the mail is nothing unusual, but a young woman checking her mail at night, gives it an edge. Add in a kitten named Monday, purposely injured, and a lurking presence unseen by Catelynn, and I was eager to figure out what Catelynn’s power was, because I suspected she was going to need it. Rescuing an injured kitten certainly seems angelic, but only after taking it on a disastrous trip to the vet do you realize just how true that might be. I won’t give away the ending, but I did appreciate that softhearted Catelynn doesn’t falter when avenging Monday’s abuse.

Karma’s Harbinger, was one of those stories that I started reading, wondering how bored Britney, sitting in her aunt’s stifling salon, was going to turn into something filled with battling superpowers. When Tim Reppord, a recruiting office with cryptic, hidden motives, wanders into the salon I had the feeling the next time they met was going to be interesting. When comparing their revealed superpowers it doesn’t seem very evenly matched. Britney can dole out Karmic punishment, but Reppord has a much more final power. Their clash doesn’t disappoint.

My favorite story out of the whole collection was the last one, which was very well placed by Jesse in my opinion. The Velveteen Maraca was the perfect story to finish on. The opening scene presents a couple meeting with their lawyer to finalize their wills. When the topic of handling their remains when the time comes is brought up and Rowland chuckles at the idea of willing his body to government use I knew I was going to enjoy his story. What I didn’t expect was how his body was going to be used, and the path that would lead him to become the big-girl sitter for Little Monster. I loved the interaction between the two characters. Rowland’s blasé attitude about life isn’t wholly displaced upon stumbling upon the little girl, but the progressive weakening of disinterest makes their relationship even sweeter.

As a whole, Trailer Park Juggernauts was a fun read. I never knew what was coming next, but I like books that surprise me. Jesse obviously has a very creative mind, which shows in his variety of characters and story lines. I’m usually not much of a short story reader unless it’s Poe or Asimov, but like Jesse said in his interview, most of these stories wouldn’t feel the same if they were any longer.

Having said that, I did feel like some of the stories could have been, not necessarily added to, but developed a little more at the end. Roulette in Pestilence, in particular, was engaging through most of the story, but the end seemed to be more of a summary than a concrete ending. I wanted to know more detail about how Tiffany and Shady went about hunting down pimps, and how their mission turned out in the long run.

As a collection of short stories, Trailer Park Juggernauts had stories I really connected with and others that didn’t grab me quite as much. I think the nice thing about short story compilations is that every reader will latch onto the elements that speak to them. Those won’t be the same stories for everyone, but I do think everyone who reads Trailer Park Juggernauts will connect with something different and enjoy the read. It will definitely get the creative side of your mind running around, making you wonder what kind of unique characters and obscure superpowers you could come up with! Maybe we’ll have to start a running post about that. I would love to hear what kind of power my fellow readers and bloggers would bestow opon themselves. If you’re short on ideas, pick up a copy of Trailer Park Juggernauts and I can guarantee you’ll come up with something!

Would I recommend Trailer Park Juggernauts? Yes. If you’re looking for a creative boost, or simply want to get away from the ordinary for a while, then get your copy and start reading.

Who would I recommend this book too? Definitely to those readers who are already fans of short stories, but for those who aren’t I would encourage you to give this a try. You’ll appreciate how much unique story and character development can be squashed into one of Jesse’s stories.  

So if you haven’t already, get your copy of Trailer Park Juggernauts today in Paperback or Kindle

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Author Interview with Jesse Anderson, author of Trailer Park Juggernauts

I've had a lot of fun reading Trailer Park Juggernauts this past week. It has been nice to take a break from school every so often and indulge in variety of superpowers and interesting characters. There was such a wide range, I had to know what was behind some of these stories. Jesse Anderson was kind enough to answer my questions about his work and his inspiration. His answers were as fun and interesting as his short stories! So read on to find out more about Jesse. 

1.  Where did your inspiration for hillbillies with superpowers come from? Some of them had a DC or Marvel Comics feel to them. Did you read comics when you were younger?

My father gave me and early copy of Spiderman when I was three or four that I’m sure would be worth thousands now but I turned it in to a coloring book. I’ve never really been into the “graphic novel” but I can see the allure, and you’re not the first person to make the comparison. As for inspiration, I grew up in the backwoods of Alaska and I’ve worked in the oilfield for ten years; redneck/hillbilly character studies have never been in short supply.  

2. Have you ever considered turning some of your short stories into full length novels?

Of the stories subsumed within Trailer Park Juggernauts, no. Every time I tried to expand one it felt as if I was cheapening my original idea with filler. I’ll get there though. I have two projects between now and my first full length novel.  

3. You write very well from such a variety of settings, from Alaska to the South. The descriptions and colloquialisms seemed very realistic. Have you lived in or visited most of the places you write about?

Yes. I’m not quite sure if I could set a story someplace I’ve never been. I’d be lying at least and giving an inaccurate portrayal at best. 

4. Some of your stories were about common paranormal beings like angels and the devil (although you always managed to make them very non-ordinary), but others were very unique, like the man who uses alcohol to fuel his powers. Do you intentionally choose a power or being to write about, or do the ideas just come to you spontaneously? 

The man who uses booze to fuel his powers came to me when I wondered what an evil version of Popeye would be like. You know; spinach is to Popeye what rum is to Super Sport. All the other ideas were spawned by idle speculation. Anytime I intentionally tried to choose a power it felt trite, so I just let my mind wander. It’s a cliché, but it works. If a notion makes me laugh, or at least smirk, I explore it. 

5. What authors have inspired you? Which authors are your favorites?

I know I’m supposed to say that I’m a fan of Hemmingway and Vonnegut, and I own books by each, but I’ve found that I only read them when I’m feeling pretentious. To be honest, I like trashy novels. I’ll reach for anything that can be considered the literary equivalent of an action movie. They’re fun, but in no danger of ever winning an award. George R. R. Martin is an absolute ninja and right now I’m wading through that never ending saga by Robert Jordan. 

6. Do you have any interesting rituals or tricks when you write?

I need to be distracted. I write in the middle of the living room with my iPod blaring all sorts of incongruent music into my head. It’s hard to focus, or maybe imagine, otherwise. I haven’t tried to figure out why that is, and I don’t plan to because it might point towards a need for medication.  

7. Do you have any other projects you're working on right now? Can you tell us about them? 

I’ll publish a follow up anthology of short stories sometime in 2013, but I think I’m going to put together a collection of satirical essays first (David Sedaris did it so I don’t see why I can’t). The essay was my first love (as odd as that sounds) and I’d like to revisit that writing form. I just posted one here if you’re curious: Other than that, I have a five thousand word outline for my first novel and all sorts of delusions as to where I’ll go from there.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Angels, alcohol fueled superpowers, conjoined twins, teenage Reapers...

The review for Trailer Park Juggernauts is coming up this week along with an interview with author, Jesse Anderson. It's been fun to read about so many different characters in this book. You never know who or what is going to pop up next, but I can guarantee it won't be the same old characters. One of my favorites so far has been Brit, a teenage girl who is compelled to maintain a Karmic balance (take in a homeless kitten...balance the good by stealing some pot) while she dishes out Karmic rewards or punishment depending on what you deserve. Very original!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Get ready for Valentine's Day...

I wanted to share a link with everyone. Get in the mood for Valentine's Day by popping over to Heroines of Fantasy and indulging in a little bit of tragic romance and writing fun. Read the blurb about Adalaide and Valentine, and then finish the story. I love the idea of this, so check it out, and show us your romantic side, whether it be candy-sweet or dark and dangerous!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Book!!!

Get ready for some sci-fi adventures. The next book to be featured and reviewed on The Edible Bookshelf is Trailer Park Juggernauts by Jesse Anderson.

"Trailer Park Juggernauts is a collection of short stories about hillbillies with superpowers. A landlocked angel battles a midget and his army of parasites. A mermaid working the nine-to-five in a crab shack finds her freedom through a stalker. The reborn prophet of Rastafarianism and his green thumb leave the oilfield to square off against the religious right. Conjoined twins with deadly harmony take a break from brewing moonshine to take down an ex-ATF agent who loves murder and methamphetamines. In short, this book is a campy exploration into a world wherein working class heroes have godlike powers as well as blue collars." 

Get your copy today and read along with me in Kindle or Paperback

**Update on the next set of Author Interviews: We will be hearing from Angela Fristoe and Jesse Anderson over the next week, so stayed tuned to learn more about their books! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review of Songbird by Angela Fristoe

Some readers love to read books that will let them escape the real world for a few hours. Some prefer the realism of everyday life, joyful or tragic. I tend to be among the first group...usually. I know there are bad people in the world who do horrible things, so I don't typically like reading about them for fun. For anyone like me, don't pass Songbird by just because it doesn't have any magic, vampires, or alternate realities.

Dani Mays is a victim of tragedy. Watching her brother shot down by her own father left scars, there is no doubt about that, but that one event would have more effects on her life than she would realize as a small child.

Songbird opens with Dani as a small child, but the death of her brother cuts her childhood short personally and in the book. Jumping forward to a seventeen year old Dani, the effects of her difficult life are seen in almost everything she does. She is careful, slow to trust and even slower to forget, and desperate to please those she loves partially out of a need to show her love, and partially out of fear that if she doesn't she will lose them.

That duel need frames the romantic portion of Songbird's story line. Reece Tyler is Dani's link to acceptance and hope for a better life. She loves him. She can't say no to him. She treasures him above anyone else in the world...except maybe the memory of her dead brother. Their love story is tainted early on by Dani's past.

Angela does such a great job of weaving past hurt into the current time and twisting it into a mess you are sure will never be worked out. At different points in the novel you will be routing for Reece, but then lean toward Colin. A few times I found myself so frustrated with Reece I didn't want him to end up with Dani, but at other times I wanted to shake Dani for not seeing her own faults and fixing them. Needless to say, Angela's portrayal of a young girl so damaged by failed family relationships that forming a new, normal one seems almost impossible is engaging and hard to put down.

But if you're thinking all Songbird has to offer is some teenage romance complicated by death, keep reading. Not only does Dani's past make having a romantic relationship difficult, it brings her safety into question as well. When Dani starts receiving strange and threatening phone calls she begins to worry that someone from her past has caught up with her. Who is causing her so much distress...I'm not going to tell, of course, but it isn't easy to guess. Angela kept her hints small and the possibilities great for who could be the culprit. You'll guess, sure you know, only to find out you were wrong.

The combination of romance and mystery is balanced very well. I found both sides of the engaging, with neither one becoming to dark or graphic. The scary side of humanity is represented very well, but the reader isn't bombarded with it. I finished the book saddened by what some people will do, but comforted that there is still enough good in people to make up for it.

Would I recommend Songbird?  Yes, it's a great read if you need to satisfy a taste for something dark and beautiful at the same time. It's a book that definitely pulls at your emotions.

Who would I recommend it to? YA readers, romance readers, cozy mystery readers, literary fiction readers...really I can't think of many readers who wouldn't enjoy this book.

Don't rely on just my opinion, go out and get your own copy to read, then come back and tell me what you thought. Get Songbird in Kindle, Paperback, or in most ebook formats at Smashwords.