• Title: Keeper of the Gate (Twilight Ends Book 1)
  • Author: E. Denise Billups
  • Publisher: Shadow City (Next Chapter) on February 6, 2021
  • Genre: Psychic Thriller
  • Pages: 299
  • Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, & Digital Edition
  • Rating: 3/5

Trigger Warnings: Violence, Rape, Racism, Spousal Abuse (Alluded to)

Many thanks to E. Denise Billups and Blackthorn Book Tours or providing me with a digital copy of Keepers of the Gate with a request for an honest review.

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Keepers of the Gate Blurb

In 1779 Kanadasaga, Sullivan’s Expedition torches a Seneca village and many others, destroying the Iroquois Confederacy. Awakened from sleep, Pilan and Teka flee their blazing longhouse into the woodlands. After a soldier’s bullet thwarts their escape, Pilan vows to meet his beloved Teka again in another life.

Two hundred years later in present-day Geneva, New York, historical relics rise. Twilight Ends, a grand Victorian bed-and-breakfast run by the Newhouse family, sits on the property the Iroquois village used to thrive on.

After Twilight Ends’ long-standing matriarch Tessa Newhouse dies, her daughter and granddaughter, Skylar and Twyla, discover two artifacts under the maple tree in the backyard, and an ancient mystery as old as time begins to unravel.

But will they have the courage to follow the path their ancestors did?

Provided by Blackthorn Book Tours for Tour Use

My Review

Keepers of the Gate brings suspense, daring, and a bit of the supernatural to the forefront. E. Denise Billups captures the Iroquois in a way that makes my history-loving heart happy. Not all that shocking, I know little about our Native American history. Billup’s novel brought a Native family to life, and she does it so readers with no background may understand.

Colonial soldiers torch a Native settlement. Then kills the Iroquois warriors trying to save the village. The narrative then jumps to the present day with Tessa, an ancestor of the torched village. Tessa holds a deep secret about Twilight’s End, the bed and breakfast run by Tessa and her family. However, the B&B sits on ruins of the Native village from long ago. These ruins carry magic that allows movement through time.

Keepers of the Gate is a novel that sounded fantastic when I read the blurb. The story itself is much different and hard to describe. There is no mention of magic or anything supernatural in the blurb. Had I known this when I started reading, I likely would not have. The book is good, of that, there is no doubt. But, this book borders on what I would call light horror, and I had terrible nightmares while reading. So, this is not a book that I would choose ordinarily.

Though with that said, I did enjoy the novel. The parallels between the old and new bring an interesting view of Native beliefs. I loved getting to know the characters in their past and present forms. Tessa and Twyla are favorites because they are spunky and have few inhibitions. Even when faced with the strange occurrences around the inn. Jayson is another character I enjoyed. His Native faith allows him to accept Twyla’s story, not only accept but encourage. I loved that. Skylar and Charlie are there, but I felt no real connection to them.

Several things bothered me about the authors writing style. The thing that frustrated me the most was Twyla using her parents’ first names when talking to or about them. Twyla calls her grandparents Grams and Papa, yet calls her mother and father by their given names. It doesn’t fit Twyla’s character. Another thing is that I often wondered if the author is from Britain. She uses British words and phrases when the setting is present-day New York. When I learned that she is American, it caught me off guard. And one last thing that irked me is that the ending is a big cliffhanger. It frustrates me when authors use this to segway into the next book in a series. Why can’t each volume be a bit tidy while still giving a glimpse of what is coming next? To me, a cliffhanger feels unfinished.

So, with my feelings pulled in two directions. One is loving the book’s originality, and then the feeling of irritation about some things. I award Keepers of the Gate 3 out of 5 stars. The book is good, but my reading preference is different. I recommend giving this a try. If you love supernatural historical fiction mixed with present-day, choose this novel.

About the Author – E. Denise Billups

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. 

Currently, she is writing a paranormal historical fiction novella to be released in late 2021. 

Author Contact Links: Website | Next Chapter Publishing | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | YouTube

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  1. Nightmares! This is why I stay away from horror books. But, so glad you still was able to enjoy the book, especially the history and Native American History.

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