Blurb:Phoebe Matlin has always felt broken. While one of her sisters sees the future, and the other can heal people, Phoebe has come to accept that her truth telling gift just doesn't work.
Then her best friend, Tonya, lies to her and Phoebe's gift flares to life. With Tonya pissed at her, being a Truth Teller suddenly doesn't seem like such a great gift. Although, it is nice knowing she was the reason her crush, Nathan, dumped his stalker girlfriend.
But in lies, intention is everything and Tonya's lies are a cry for help. The fear that her friend is covering darker and more serious truths is something Phoebe can't ignore. But knowing when someone is lying is the easy part. Now she has to decide what to do about it. And with Nathan and his doubts about her ability confusing things, finding a way to help Tonya isn't as easy as Phoebe thought it would be.
Vivian was such a drama queen. What did Nathan ever see in her? I rolled my eyes, then slid the note over to Tonya. Her soaring eyebrows made me wish I hadn’t. No way would she believe me about the first note now. My best chance against her questioning was a quick escape after class, before she started the interrogation.
Luck, however, deserted me. The bell rang and Tonya grabbed my bag, holding it hostage behind her as she stood with the table between us. That was the problem with having a best friend; they always knew what you were going to do. She was almost as bad, or good depending on your point of view, as Chloe sometimes, though I’d never say that to Chloe. Doing that would just open Chloe’s vision floodgates and I’d be constantly bombarded with every detail of every soon to be minute of my life.
I refused to struggle for my bag. Tonya would only take it as confirmation that I was hiding something from her. Instead, I screwed my face up in confusion and hoped she’d buy it.
“What’s wrong?” I sank back further in my chair, tipping it up on its back legs again as Mrs. Schaeffer went out the door, following the rest of the students. Owen and Bianca stopped behind Tonya, waiting, Owen looking mildly disinterested, while Bianca was completely confused.
“What are you hiding?” Tonya asked, her head tilting to the side.
“Cut the crap, Phoebs. Vivian is pissed and you’ve been looking guilty all class, well at least the part where you were awake.” Her eyes narrowed, and she crossed her arms over her chest, ignoring my bag as it swung around and bumped her hip. There was no way to get out of this, but if I told her now it’d be all over campus within an hour.
“Fine, but not at school. I’ll tell you when you come over tomorrow.”
“I can’t tomorrow.” Her face shuttered and she turned around, tossing my bag to me in a quick motion. I caught it as it slammed into my chest.
“Why? I thought we were gonna go Christmas shopping? You already ditched me last weekend.” There were only six days left to shop and I needed to get, well, everything, and Tonya was one of those people that managed to find the best things the instant she walked into a store.
She shrugged and twisted a strand of her straightened hair.
“I’ve gotta go see my mom.”
Liar. It whispered through me, my stomach churning to the point I thought I’d puke. There was a moment when my brain tried to make sense of what I was hearing, what I was feeling, then it came again. Liar.
“Liar.” The word slipped out, unrestrained in its harshness, and almost instantly, my stomach settled. Until I saw the expression on Tonya’s face.
“What did you call me?” Her back stiffened and her head reared back. Shit. Owen and Bianca went bug-eyed behind her. Tonya’s lips pursed and her eyes narrowed, darkening from brown to black.
“I...I...” My voice faded, unsure if I should call her on it again, or try and fib my way out of it. This wasn’t the first time I’d called her a liar and she’d always laughed it off before. Her reaction and the flush coloring the soft brown of her cheeks told me I’d actually caught her.
“Screw you,” she snapped as I stood there with my mouth moving like a gasping fish. “I don’t need to tell you every move I make, and I don’t need my best friend calling me a liar.” She spun, shoved Owen out of her way, and took off out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
My bag thudded to the floor. Owen and Bianca stared at me, the question in their faces a reflection I was sure of my own. What the hell had just happened?
Born in Northern Canada, Angela grew up on the Canadian prairies amid dreams of becoming the next Dian Fossey or a world famous flight attendant. Those, however, were never meant to be. Instead, she moved to Texas and then eventually beautiful Colorado where she divides her time between her family, writing and her other job, teaching.
Angela was the winner and double finalist in Romance category of The Strongest Start 2010 Contest hosted by TheNextBigWriter.com. Songbird, published by Little Prince Publishing, is Angela's first novel.