This is the third book I’ve reviewed for Denise and I absolutely love it! I *may* be a little biased because I provided the copyedits for this book, but I’d already fallen in love with her writing from previous books, so I was *thrilled* to get the chance to help her launch this one into the world.
What a deliciously descriptive read! I’ve been a fan of E. Denise Billups for a while now, and I love her scene and setting descriptions! She captures the eerieness of her characters’ supernatural encounters very well. I love stories with ghosts and the strange ability to interact with them on some level. I enjoy books that have some sort of ancestral element as well as different time periods, so this book and Denise’s writing really draw me in and have everything I look for in this genre. This second book in the series can be read alone but also has some references to the first book, which is equally evocative.
In this story, the reader gets to experience New Orleans both present-day and historically. The main character, Simone, has ghostly encounters and must figure out why she’s being haunted, how she’s connected, and what she must do to help them rest peacefully. She’s inhabited by these spectres, so she experiences life as it was back then through their eyes. At times this is fascinating and even made me feel a strange sort of nostalgia, and other times she must face the darker side of what really happened in order to get to the truth. The story fills you with the dream of what once was, evoking powerful visions in your mind as you read.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
From the back cover:
A 103-year-old murder mystery.
An amateur sleuth.
Can a wrong be rectified in death?
Eight months ago, Simone experienced her first spectral encounter. It awakened a dormant second sight and opened a chasm to the afterlife. Now, another spirit from 1917 New Orleans has wandered through that passage, haunting her with an intoxicating jasmine fragrance and wicked antics.
To escape this mysterious ghost, Simone jumps at a seven-day complimentary Mardi Gras hotel package, unaware there might be an ancestral power behind her decision, an identity she grapples with. Is the ghost’s name Bleu?
She’s a lady of the night who lived a dangerous life in the infamous Storyville. A place lined with mansion-like brothels on the edge of the French Quarter run by unscrupulous madams and frequented by dangerous criminals. WWI is on the horizon, jazz music is burgeoning, and Bleu’s life unravels.
Visions of her past and horrific death beset Simone as she explores present-day New Orleans with her three roommates.
But why are the images fragmented? Has Bleu forgotten what happened the stormy night she died? Can Simone uncover Bleu’s murderer and reunite her with her loved ones before it’s too late?
About the Author:
E. Denise Billups was born in Monroeville, Alabama, and raised in New York City, where she currently resides. She’s a former Financial Analyst turned writer. A multi-genre fiction author, she’s published six novels and several supernatural short stories. A skilled artist, she trained as a dancer (ballet, modern, and jazz dance) in her younger years and dabbled in writing, which she did not pursue until much later. As an avid reader of many genres, she was greatly influenced by magical realism, mystery, suspense, and supernatural novels. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s running miles in the park, finding her inner calm with yoga, experimenting with vegan dishes, and enjoying time with family and friends.
Currently, she’s working on book two of the Twilight Ends Trilogy, a paranormal historical fiction, and book three of the Simone Doucet Series.
Please visit her at www.edenisebillups.com. You can sign up for author updates at www.edenisebillups.net.
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