Please join Linda Lee Graham as she tours the blogosphere for the release of Voices of Echo, from November 3 - 28!
Publication Date: June 16, 2014
Repository Press, LLC
eBook; 570 pages
Series: Voices Series
Genre: Romantic Historical Suspense
The third book in the VOICES series, VOICES ECHO stands alone as a riveting depiction of both the beauty of 18th-century Jamaica and the horrors of plantation life in the British West Indies.
When Albert Ross sailed to Jamaica months after their wedding, Rhiannon Ross believed he’d abandoned her for the sanctuary of his West Indies plantation and complacent mulatta mistress. Not one to live life in limbo, Rhiannon has followed in a bid to secure the funds necessary to ensure her financial independence and position as his lawful wife, and to quell her growing attraction to her unsuitable American advisor, Liam Brock.
Determined to put the enticing Mrs. Ross out of his mind, Liam Brock accepts an assignment to escort a young heiress to her father’s Jamaican estate. Convinced his and Rhiannon’s ships have crossed paths, he is stunned to learn Rhiannon is still with her husband, and shocked when he finds her isolated and frightened–a shell of the vibrant woman who still fills his dreams. He begins to suspect that beneath the exotic beauty of an island teeming with vitality, there beats a sinister pulse.
As evidence of smuggling and dark magic are uncovered, Rhiannon realizes that not only is her plantation in danger, but the lives of those she holds dearest are at stake. Though she struggles to hide her feelings for Liam, she cannot bear the thought of him coming to harm because of her. As greed on the island evolves into violence and violence into murder, Liam and Rhiannon find themselves in the midst of a deadly intrigue. Both must decide how far they will go in the name of protecting the other, and how much they will sacrifice to attain a future neither thought possible.
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Torchlight flickered over the silent dark faces of those gathered in the graveyard, and Rhiannon drew in a long, ragged breath, catching the scent of freshly turned dirt. Sliding from her horse, she clutched her amulet and crossed to the open grave. Craning forward, she watched Maisie sprinkle something over the coffin and suddenly recalled Quaminah’s words, surprised to find she no longer found them foolish: “Them didn’t plant his duppy down, missus . . . that’s why him plague you so.” Perhaps, but he’d plague her no longer. With a few whispered words, Rhiannon persuaded Maisie to hand her the shovel. Ignoring the surprised murmur that rustled amongst the slaves, she rammed it into the piled dirt. Her movements clumsy, three-quarters of her load spilled before she tilted it over the grave. A clap of laughter broke off as abruptly as it’d begun. Her belly now lodged in her chest, Rhiannon swallowed. Swiping her palms down her nightclothes and soiling her white wrap, she shoved her braid over her shoulder, gripped the shovel, and tried again. This was her battle, and she’d be the one to end it.
In Voices Echo, an undercurrent of duppies and obeah black magic undermine Rhiannon Ross’ confidence when she joins her elderly husband in 18th-century Jamaica, causing the twenty-year old heroine to lose her fearless edge. Jamaica abounds with tales of the duppy. The African word takes on two meanings in Jamaican spirit lore. The first, the subject of this post, refers to a soul, which may manifest in either human form or animal form. The second has evolved from the first type and is a sort of supernatural race of mischievous little people not associated with the dead—a duppy-folk akin to fairy-folk. Jamaican folklore presupposes a person has two souls. One is good, originating with God, the other is secular. When someone dies, the good soul soars to heaven to answer for earthly sins. The other remains coffin-bound for three days, after which its shadow emerges, and its duppy is born. If the duppy manifests in human form, it will often resemble the body it abandoned. If animalistic, it can appear in the guise of a snake, a lizard, a horse, you name it—but not, I think, a lamb or a donkey. These manifestations aren’t ghostly apparitions or demonic possessions in the European sense; they have substance. Even so, a duppy can disappear into the shadows at will.
There’s the good duppy, and then there’s the evil . . .
A well-intentioned duppy might stick around to sit with the children or guard the family valuables. A malevolent duppy is the one to outwit. A whiff of its hot breath has power to kill, and it can do irreparable damage to one’s finances, health, property, or love life. A dead husband’s duppy, for example, might return to reclaim his conjugal rights, causing his widow to become barren well before her time, or worse, to bear dead babies. It’s best to silence a duppy from the start and take no chances. Thanks to the aforementioned three day grace period, mourners have an opportunity to plant the duppy down.
Plant the duppy down!
A properly planted duppy is unable to leave its coffin. These methods have had success in the past:
1) Throw a shovelful of parched peas into the grave. If the peas don’t grow, the duppy can’t escape. 2) Plant a shrub upside down in the grave, roots out.
3) Place a cotton tree limb on the coffin. Granted, planting a duppy down isn’t possible if the duppy’s already roaming. Still, one has a number of options.
Ways to escape a pursuing duppy:
1. Stay in the shadows at night, out of moonlight.
2. Climb a tree.
3. Buy time by “cutting ten,” that is, making the sign of the cross ten times in the dirt with a knife. A duppy must count all the crosses before continuing pursuit, and it’s said a duppy can’t count past nine--nor does it care much for crosses.
4. Cast peas, rice, or sand before a pursuing duppy. Same concept as in #3. The duppy must count the grains, thereby granting its victim precious time to escape.
5. Shout these words from an unknown tongue: “Ig no ring ya no bar ditos doranti placitus.”
6. If the duppy’s inside, expel it by burning cow dung mixed with hoof and horn.
7. Brew tea with magical herbs.
8. Wash with the same water used to cleanse a dead person. (While this protection should last one’s lifetime, I’m not certain it will outlast a subsequent bath with clean water).
9. If all else fails, employ an obeah man as a duppy catcher.
Real or imagined, a malevolent, vengeful duppy can wreak havoc with one’s senses, as the pragmatic Rhiannon Ross learned in the third book of the Voices series, Voices Echo. Whether she believed in duppies or not, Rhiannon recognized the power of rituals to release us from haunting memories that hold us captive. My thanks to the folks at Bookish for hosting Voices Echo on its blog tour!
To learn more of the Voices series, please visit www.lindaleegraham.com.
Set in diverse 18th-century settings, the books follow the endearing, inspiring, and often tumultuous, young lives of David, Liam, Elisabeth, and Rhiannon. ~ Linda Lee Graham
Bibliography Leach, MacEdward. “Jamaican Duppy Lore.” The Journal of American Folklore Vol 74, No. 293 (Jul.-Sept., 1961): 207-215, Courtesy of JSTOR; stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/537633
Buy the book:
Follow the tour:
Monday, November 3
Review & Giveaway at Historical Romance Lover
Tuesday, November 4
Review & Interview at A Cup of Tea & A Big Book
Wednesday, November 5
Review at Book Nerd
Friday, November 7
Review & Giveaway at Curiouser and Curiouser
Monday, November 10
Spotlight & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf
Spotlight & Giveaway at Romance Junkies Blog
Wednesday, November 12
Review at Turning the Pages
Thursday, November 13
Guest Post at Bookish
Review at Romantic Historical Lovers
Monday, November 17
Interview at Book Babe
Tuesday, November 18
Review at My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews
Thursday, November 20
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews & More
Sunday, November 23
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book
Monday, November 24
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Wednesday, November 26
Review, Interview, and Giveaway at A Way With Words
Friday, November 28
Interview at Triclinium
About the author:
History and real-life narratives had always blended in Graham’s imagination, particularly when she delved into the stories of her family’s ancestors. Eventually the engaging voices of characters who might have lived emerged. Tracing paper trails quickly gave way to creating her own stories, and she hasn’t looked back since.
For more information please visit Linda Lee Graham’s website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,Google+, and Goodreads