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WOW. This story gave me all the feels. It’s the second book I’ve read by E. Denise Billups and I enjoyed this one equally as much as the first. Her vivid, lyrical descriptions left my senses enraptured. She describes bone-chilling scenes with extraordinary detail, putting me right there in the story. I love how the past and present collide, first in dreams and then in ethereal experiences. The ancestry is of particular interest as well, as I love stories dealing with aspects of genealogy. She also includes haunting stanzas of a poem of great significance to the story, clues to her main character’s journey of discovery and understanding.
This line really stuck out to me. The historical story deals with accounts of so many horrors that were forced upon slaves, and the aftermath of the wickedness inflicted on so many. It dives deep into the condemnable segregation of cultures and races, the physical, emotional, and psychological pain it imprinted on those who experienced it, and how the repercussions of those heinous crimes against humanity have carried on to this day.
My heart broke for Delphine, her babies, and Maw, and I found myself in tears more than once in reading this book. It was excellently written with so much emotion.
If you’ve followed my writing posts, you’ll know I really love the supernatural aspect that ties it all together, too. I thoroughly enjoy eerie ghosty scenes, and Billups has nailed the creepiness once again.
Content Warnings: allusion to rape; racism and slavery issues; disrespectful language
From the cover copy:
She escaped servitude for a worse fate. Now she wants everyone to know what happened.
Travel writer Simone Doucet is searching for a meaningful life, but she hasn’t found a purpose yet. But after she accepts an assignment that takes her to Magnolia Sunrise – a historical bed-and-breakfast on the bluffs of Natchez, Mississippi – strange events begin to take place.
Frightful images of a young slave girl, Delphine, haunt her nights. The first night at the B&B, Simone is transported to 1863, antebellum Natchez. Through spectral eyes, Simone sees Delphine’s history; the horrors she witnessed and was subjected to.
Delphine wants everyone to know what happened to her, and she won’t stop haunting Simone until she tells her story. But why has Delphine chosen Simone, and will this awakening bring new purpose to her life, or open up more untold mysteries to be discovered?
About the Author:
E. Denise Billups is an author with a rare mixture of Southern and Northern charm. She was born in Monroeville, Alabama, and raised in New York City, where she currently lives, acquired an MBA, and works in finance and as a freelance columnist.
A multi-genre author of fiction, she’s published four novels–Keepers Of The Gate: Twilight Ends (Book1), Kalorama Road, Chasing Victoria, and By Chance. She’s also written several supernatural short stories, Off The Grid, Ravine Lereux: Unearthing A Family Curse, The Playground, and Rebound. As an avid reader of mystery, psychological thrillers, historical fiction, and supernatural thrillers, she was greatly influenced by authors of these genres.
She is currently working on book two of the Twilight Ends trilogy and book two of the Simone Doucet series, to be released in 2022.
You can connect with E. Denise Billups on Twitter @DeniseBillups and on Instagram @e.denisebillups and her website at www.edenisebillups.net.