||The Wild Rose Press
||May 25, 2007
Zebulon, a Civil War soldier, has wandered the streets of Richmond, Virginia since his death looking for true love. Abigail Willis, because of a familial trait, is able to see Zebulon once she reaches menopause.
Although everyone else thinks she's crazy, she falls in love with him which causes her to lose her job and many of her friends.
The Wild Rose Press
He stood by the trunk of a large oak whose gnarly roots were protruding in its 4 x 4 space of ground between the chunks of concrete. I slowed down not knowing what I’d say, but I was going to speak to him. He was much more handsome than Brit, my boyfriend of the last few years. Judging by the dignified way he carried himself, something also told me he’d be much more interesting.
Before I could think of what I’d say, he smiled and removed his hat. “Good afternoon, Ma’am.” He bowed slightly making his long coat sway around his knees.
“Good afternoon,” I repeated and smiled at his ceremonious gestures.
He took a step back looking like he’d faint when I responded. I reached out afraid he’d fall to the ground.
“Are you okay?” His coat felt so soft to the touch I thought it might disintegrate in my hands.
“I am quite all right.” His hue changed from ghostly pale to ruddy again.
“Have I seen you around here before?” I asked brazenly. Maybe I’d met him and didn’t remember it? I hardly thought it possible I’d forget anyone like him.
“I don’t know, but I can assure you that I’ve never been introduced to you.”
He stood erect and I saw the belt buckle. It certainly looked authentic. I looked down and I noticed that his boots didn’t quite match as factory-made boots do. His appeared to be hand-stitched where they met the sole.
“Your outfit is very authentic,” I said wondering how he’d react. Was he a nutcase wanting attention or… I thought I remembered a play being shown down at The Mosque - a Civil War play - he had to be one of the actors. “Of course, I must have seen your picture on one of the flyers. You’re in the play, aren’t you?”
“The play?” He took a step toward me. “Yes, certainly, the theatre.”
I looked down when I saw that he limped.
I laughed so hard I nearly doubled over. “You’re really in to your part, aren’t you?”
“I am Zebulon Perry.” He stretched out his palm. I loved the way he was staying in character.
My hand left my side as if propelled by a magnet. His fingers grasped mine pulling my hand to his lips. A feeling ran through me, like when you find that perfect dress, the one with the right fit, but a thousand times stronger. This was silly - an actor - I didn’t even know where he was from, but his accent did sound like he lived in the Richmond area.
“It is an honor,” he said. I could still feel the moistness from his lips as he let my hand gently drop. “You are the great writer, Abigail Willis.”
“You know my books?” I smoothed my hair wondering if I looked as good as those photographs on the covers Camille made me have taken. It always cost me an entire day at the beauty parlor. “You’ve read my books?”
“Of course. I’ve hung on every word.”
If it was a line, it was working on me. I wondered how Brit would react to my flirtation with this Zebulon character. Zebulon sounded so 19th century, I wondered what his real name was.
“May I invite you out for a walk? Perhaps tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow, no, I have so many appointments. I can give you my card and you can phone me?” I reached into my purse, fished out a card, and held it out toward him.
He stared at it curiously then finally took it and put it in his pocket. “I prefer to come a’calling.”
“You really do get into your part, Zebulon.” The word sounded so strange on my lips. “Can I call you Zeb?”
His lips blushed with color and his eyes twinkled. “You may call me anything you wish.” When he smiled dimples formed in his cheeks.
“Well, I am home-” I started.
“I’ll know when you’re home.”
I laughed self-consciously wondering why he was being so mysterious, but I was dying to know more about him. The fact that he’d read my books made me even more interested in him.
As Camille was always telling me: You could never have too many fans.
Zebulon is available at The Wild Rose Press (http://thewildrosepress.com)!
4 angels from Fallen Angels Reviews
Zebulon is a ghost. A very handsome ghost, one who makes author Abigail Willis forget her mood swings, aches and pains and the rest of her change-of-life physical ailments. When she first meets Zeb, as she calls him, Abigail is convinced he’s playing a part. A very convincing part, but a part, nonetheless.
When her sister reminds her that their grandmother and Aunt Ruby both spoke to imaginary people, she realizes that the rest of the world can’t see Zeb. Is he really a ghost, or is she losing her mind?
Leigh Barbour has created a world where historians/authors mix freely with centuries-old men, and she’s done it convincingly. I enjoyed Zebulon for a number of reasons, but the most pressing is that this story feels like one that any of us could have.
Gail is a heroine that could be any of us, or anyone we know. The characters, even the apparitions, are detailed, vivid and believable. Although there are points where the dialogue is stilted and the narrative’s flow stumbles, the richness of this story makes up for any flaws it has.
And when Gail’s troubles begin in earnest, I found myself rooting for her and Zebulon to succeed in a way that I hadn’t expected to. I sincerely cared for these characters. Zebulon is a fine, satisfying read. The ending is a real kicker!
4 lips from Two Lips Reviews
Abigail Willis is a historian turned author. The Civil War era is her passion so when she meets a man dressed in authentic clothing from the period, she is intrigued.
Zebulon is a strikingly handsome man and one would expect that the girls would be all over him, but it seems that Abigail is the only one who can see him. Zebulon was in fact a Civil War soldier and has roaming Richmond, Virginia ever since his death, looking for true love. As soon as he sets eyes on Abigail, he knows that his wait is over.
Zebulon is an old-fashioned, sweet romance from author Leigh Barbour. It starts out rather slow and it takes a while before the characters are lined up on the stage, making the first half of the novel drag.
Abigail and Zeb are interesting characters who manage to overcome the difficulties in their path. The villains are truly villainous, and help move the story along nicely. All in all, an unconventional but entertaining read.
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