"I read this book in one sitting. The romance part was sweet, and the memories disturbing. I rooted for Dani from page one!" - Linda Ulleseit, author of the Flying Horse Books series
"Songbird is a sweet story that perfectly captures the quest for love, laced with moments of pain and suspense, and you end up being sucked in from the very first words." - Courtney Vail, author of Kings & Queens
"I found Songbird to be a beautiful and honest book to read. I enjoyed reading about Dani and her love for Reece, who is her best friend." - Crystal Fulcher, Vine Voice
From the Back Cover
I was six when Jace died. He took me to the park while babysitting me. He always did things like that. At sixteen, he was my superhero. It didn't matter we only went there so he could make out with his girlfriend, Kayla. What mattered was he took me.
Mom and Dad never bothered. Dad was always too busy working or drinking, and Mom...well, Mom couldn't leave the house, or people might have questioned the bruises lining her jaw.
That last day at the park, I felt like a beautiful bird. I sat on the swing with Jace behind me, pushing me higher until I soared toward the sky, the air pushing through my hair. I gripped the chains harder and let go at the highest point, gliding down to the ground. I landed on my feet, and with a laugh, I let myself crumble onto the prickly grass before rolling over.
"Dani Blair Mays, I'm gonna get you!"
Before I could scamper away, he pounced on me, tickling me to death. I giggled uncontrollably until finally he let me up. I hugged him around his waist. There wasn't anyone I loved more than Jace. He spun me in a wide circle and my legs flew out. When he stopped spinning, my feet dropped back to the ground. My knees gave way, and I held onto him, laughing as I let myself sag against him.
"Hey, squirt, Kayla's here. You've got thirty minutes." He gave me a shove towards the playground, and I ran for the equipment then scurried up the rope ladder, climbing into the large red tunnel bridge. This was my hiding place. From outside no one could see me, but I could see out. At some point, a teenager had taken a cigarette and burned holes into the plastic, creating perfect peepholes for me.
I pulled a marker from my pocket and scrawled my name inside the tube. I didn't like peeking out when Kayla was there. They were always kissing, yuck! I didn't mind Kayla. She was always nice to me, not like Jace's last girlfriend. Kayla sometimes even pushed me on the swing while they talked. Her black curls bounced around her pink cheeks. I wanted hair like hers. The kind a person wanted to pull out straight then let spring back into its wildly haphazard place.
Most important was that Jace loved her. He always called her and said things like, "Kayla likes roses. Kayla's gonna be a lawyer." That he loved her was enough for me.
I put the cap back on the marker and was shoving it into my pocket when I heard the first blast. I twisted around and plastered my face to the side of the tunnel, staring through the hole in terror at what was happening beside the swings.
"Boy, I told you to get your ass home!" Daddy. His blue Chevy was parked crookedly, one of its front tires pushed up onto the grass. He was weaving his way towards Jace, flailing his arms. My heart thumped wildly, and my hands slid along the warm plastic as sweat slickened my palms. He held his gun in one hand.
I'd never seen Daddy with his gun before. He quit the force before I was born. My stomach churned and cramped, seeing him holding it now.
"Dad, I did go home after school. Mom told me to take Dani out while you guys went to Grandma's." Jace moved in a wide circle, forcing Dad to turn. Once Kayla was out of his line of sight, she ran. I wanted to run with her. I wanted Jace to run, too.