Sunday, August 23, 2015

Songbird by Colleen Helme




Title: Songbird

Author: Colleen Helme

Genre: Romance Fantasy



As the ambassador from Braemar, Bran is sent on a diplomatic mission to the Old Country to establish trade relations. But the real reason for his mission is to uncover the secrets of a potent elixir that can give magic to anyone who drinks it.

While there he encounters the Songbird, a beautiful, exotic woman, and the king’s most prized possession. Her song is full of magic, and he determines that her people must be connected to the deadly elixir. In exchange for her help, he is willing to risk his life to set her free.
What he doesn’t expect, is to fall under her spell…

EXCERPT:

The crowd parted unexpectedly and the ambassador froze at the vision of beauty standing only ten
feet away. Raven-black hair flowed around her slender shoulders, falling in feathered waves and
creating a sharp contrast to her porcelain skin. She caught his gaze with startling sapphire blue eyes,
and his mind went blank.

After a short silence, the king’s top advisor cleared his throat, and Bran came back to his senses. An
embarrassing rush of color stained his dark complexion, and Bran cursed the fates that the king’s
advisor had witnessed his reaction.
“Don’t worry,” Chancellor Turner said, noticing his discomfort. “The Songbird affects everyone that
way the first time they see her. Beauty like that commands attention, and no one is immune to her
exotic looks. But don’t be deceived. She is not to be trusted or taken lightly.
None of the Kalorians are. Their race has a penchant to hurt and manipulate others, and must be controlled. That is why we enslave them. But don’t worry.” He smiled at Bran.
“You see the collar around her neck? It’s called a kundar, and keeps them under control. Without it, we would be nothing but dirt under their feet. She could devour both your mind and your soul with one look into those fathomless eyes.”

Bran was familiar with the kundar, although he didn’t agree with the reason for its use. It was said
that the Kalorians were evil because of their magic, but he wasn’t sure he believed it. If the Kalorians
really did have magic, it didn’t make them bad, and tales told by power-hungry men weren’t always
true. It sickened him that the king would force the suppression and slavery of another race.

The Songbird was a symbol of that enslavement. Although they softened the truth and made it sound
like the taming of a wild bird, it was nothing short of bondage. She had no choices, no freedom,
nothing. It was wrong, and it grated on him.
Couldn’t something positive come from a reciprocal relationship with people like her? People who
had magic at their command? He drew his brows together in confusion, pretending he hadn’t been
studying their culture for the last several months. “Is that it? The golden circlet around her neck?”

The chancellor turned his full attention on Bran. “The kundar is much more than a simple necklace. It causes excruciating pain if the Songbird uses too much magic. It is like the safety-catch on your
weapon and, fortunately for us, she can’t remove it.” His eyes narrowed. “Neither can anyone else.”
His pointed look left no question of his warning.

Bran allowed a smile. “I was merely curious. My sole purpose here is to form a liaison between our
countries that I hope will be mutually beneficial.” The Chancellor nodded absently, returning his
attention to the Songbird.








If you are expecting a fantasy romance with a happily ever after ending, this Songbird will make you work for it. Magically paranormal fantasy romance with endless twists, turns, danger and setbacks.
Kidnapped at the tender age of ten years, Teya was not even aware of her magical abilities.
She comes from a peaceful people, the Kalorian race.
Her magical potential is sought after by the leaders of neighboring countries and her kidnapping is part of political strategy. The full story begins ten years later.

Teya has been a captive and isolated most of that time. She is shown off as a prized possession, singing to entertain the king's guests. One day an ambassador from an outlying country arrives. His secret mission is to hunt down the source of a magical elixar. He believes the Kalorians are key to this drug. Stealing the Songbird (he thinks of it as rescuing) may lead him to other Kalorians.
Yes, he does get the Songbird out of the castle, but they are far from safe. Anyone who helps is in danger of being executed. Everyone's motives must be questioned.
Having been sheltered all her life, Teya is naive and trusting.

They meet a musician who appears to be Kalorian. Teya believes her race is honest and trustworthy.
Her trust again places them in danger including physical harm. Except for the Songbird, no one is who they appear on the surface. As she spends time among others, Teya finds herself in need of keeping secrets. Captured and needing to escape several times, Teya must learn to control her magic and her emotions. Danger and excitement at every turn of the page!

This book will interest those readers who appreciate military strategy even if they are not normally fantasy fans. Historical fiction readers will also enjoy it. This would make a wonderful book club read with much to discuss. I would share it with teehave male readers.
It is difficult to put down.

I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.




As the author of the Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, Colleen is often asked if Shelby Nichols is her
alter-ego. “Definitely,” she says. “Shelby is the epitome of everything I wish I dared to be.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and
continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. “I love getting Shelby into trouble… I just don’t always know how to get her out of it!”
Colleen lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family. Besides writing, she loves a good book, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.

Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Songbird-Colleen-Helme-

ebook/dp/B00ZYVF3YI/ref=tmm_kin_title_0&tag=collhelm

Website: http://colleenhelme.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColleenHelmeAuthor

Author Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Colleen-

Helme/e/B004JP9RWO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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