Message From The Author

Amanda Stevens

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

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Set against the dark, dreamy, withering backdrop of an abandoned cemetery, The Restorer is the first tale in my new series, The Graveyard Queen. These Southern Gothic ghost stories offer peeks into the lush dreamscape of haunted cemeteries, deranged killers and doomed lovers. 

And it all started with a Google search for unusual jobs… 

Up popped cemetery restorer and the tagline practically wrote itself: every cemetery has a story; every grave, its secrets. Of course, I had to set it in the South because that’s where I’m from and because we do love our graveyards down here—particularly those shadowy resting places with weeping angels, trailing ivy, and Spanish moss dripping from the live oaks. I could even see the cover…something mysteriously evocative like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

I wanted my cemetery restorer to see ghosts, but I didn’t want to stray too far into The Sixth Sense territory. So I came up with the idea of ghosts as nebulous parasites that feed off human warmth and energy, draining away the person’s life force until nothing remains but a walking shell. My ghosts are almost vampire-like in their voracious appetites. And those humans who can see them—like Amelia—are in particular peril because the thing these diaphanous leeches crave above all else is acknowledgement by the living so they can feel a part of our world again.

I had ghosts, a protagonist with a strange job and now I needed a love interest…

Enter John Devlin, an enigmatic police detective haunted by his past. To everyone else, Devlin appears to be a man wasting away from guilt and grief, but Amelia knows he’s being drained by ghosts that he can’t—or won’t—release. And to warn him would be to put herself at risk. Even worse, she learns that Devlin is unwittingly replenishing his spent energy with hers. And there are ghosts she can’t see called the Others–colder, darker, hungrier than any entities she’s ever known. By associating with a haunted man, she’s inviting these ravenous phantoms into her world and once that door is opened…it can never be closed.

As for the mystery plot, I can’t divulge too much of the setup without giving something away, but suffice it to say, the clues to the killer are hidden within the gravestone symbols and epitaphs in an abandoned cemetery and can only be unraveled by Amelia: Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

For more glimpses into Amelia’s withering world, please visit my new website and let me know what you think!

Happy Restorations!

- Amanda Stevens

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