The Visitor

Amanda Stevens is one of my favorite authors. March 29, her new book in the Graveyard Queen series, The Visitor,  is due for release. Because of devastating circumstances, it has been a long time between books. So I’m re-reading the first three books in the series before the release date.

 

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The main character, Amelia Gray, is a graveyard restorer in the South, mostly the Charleston area. The ambiance of the series is creepy, charming, mysterious, filled with Southern well-mannered gentility, laced with suspense and Spanish moss, with an underlying core of something rotten. Very evocative of  Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. At the heart, this series is a Gothic era ghost story set in present day. Also, think of Turn of the Screw or  Woman in Black.

For maximum effect, I turn out the lights and read on my Kindle Paperwhite. I love the downlight feature!

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Taphophile

According to the regular old English-language dictionary, taphophile (pronounced taf′ōfil) is an interest in cemeteries, funerals. According to medical dictionaries taphophilia is a morbid attraction to the same. Trust doctors to make a passion into an illness. Pffft!

I am also a bit of an insomniac. Two or three o’clock rolls around and I’m wide awake. Reading can help me ease back into sleep mode. Thank goodness for my man Vishous — my Kindle Paperwhite. I no longer have to turn on a reading light or a flashlight to read in the dark.

At the moment I’m reading The Graveyard Queen series by Amanda Stevens. The main character, Amelia Gray, restores cemeteries and has a blog called Digging Graves. To me, that sounds cozy and inviting. However, these books are paranormal thrillers in the best sense of the word. The creepy factor ranks up there with The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Normally I can still read a couple of chapters and go back to sleep, as long as nothing to terrible creepy has happened.

So last night I was reading The Kingdom and was at a particularly creepy spot in a chapter — at a point where there was no way I was putting that book down and going to sleep — when

BAM!

my black cat, Pywacket, jumped up on the bed. It was time for lovies.

After my heart rate slowed to normal, I petted and rubbed him. Then — time to play fetch, of course! By the time he tired of that and wandered off, it was after four and I was able to sleep without delving into the book again.

Luckily, I had time to read while I had my coffee. This series has moved in to the top 5 for all-time favorite series, kicking Sookie Stackhouse to the curb. This isn’t a surprise. Sookie’s been on her way out for about three books now.

Book 4, (not counting the prequel) The Visitor, is due out October 2013. As yet, I haven’t seen any announcement of Amazon, but as soon as it’s out, IT’S MINE!