I was nine when I saw my first ghost.
My father and I were raking leaves in the cemetery where he’d worked for years as the caretaker. It was early autumn, not yet cool enough for a sweater, but on that particular afternoon there was a noticeable bite in the air as the sun dipped toward the horizon. A mild breeze carried the scent of wood smoke and pine needles, and as the wind picked up, a flock of black birds took flight from the treetops and glided like a storm cloud across the pale blue sky.
I put a hand to my eyes as I watched them. When my gaze finally dropped, I saw him in the distance. He stood beneath the drooping branches of a live oak, and the green-gold light that glimmered down through the Spanish moss cast a preternatural glow on the space around him. But he was in shadows, so much so that I wondered for a moment if he was only a mirage.
As the light faded, he became more defined, and I could even make out his features. He was old, even more ancient than my father, with white hair brushing the collar of his suit coat and eyes that seemed to burn with an inner flame.
My father was bent to his work and as the rake moved steadily over the graves, he said under his breath, “Don’t look at him.”
I turned in surprise. “You see him, too?”
“Yes, I see him. Now get back to work.”
“But who is he—”
“I said don’t look at him!”
His sharp tone stunned me. I could count on one hand the number of times he’d ever raised his voice to me. That he had done so now, without provocation, made me instantly tear up. The one thing I could never abide was my father’s disapproval.
There was regret in his tone and what I would later come to understand as pity in his blue eyes. “I’m sorry I spoke so harshly, but it’s important that you do as I say. You mustn’t look at him,” he said in a softer tone. “Any of them.”
“Is he a—”
Something cold touched my spine and it was all I could do to keep my gaze trained on the ground. “Papa,” I whispered. I had always called him this. I don’t know why I’d latched on to such an old-fashioned moniker, but it suited him. He had always seemed very old to me, even though he was not yet fifty. For as long as I could remember, his face had been heavily lined and weathered, like the cracked mud of a dry creek bed, and his shoulders drooped from years of bending over the graves.
But despite his poor posture, there was great dignity in his bearing and much kindness in his eyes and in his smile. I loved him with every fiber of my nine-year-old being. He and Mama were my whole world. Or had been, until that moment.
Copyright © 2011 by Marilyn Medlock Amann
Amelia Gray may see ghosts, but she’s always heeded her father’s advice to avoid acknowledging them—until a woman is murdered in a Charleston cemetery she is restoring. Amelia offers to help detective John Devlin when the killer begins leaving more bodies on old graves bearing symbols that could be grisly clues to his motives. But soon another warning from Amelia’s father, to never associate with those who are haunted, becomes impossible. For while she sees the ghosts shadowing Devlin, associating with the handsome detective is exactly what Amelia wants as she joins him in trying to lift the thin veil separating this world from the next.
The Restorer, first in Amanda Stevens’ Graveyard Queen series, is hauntingly irresistible.
Hardcover Book : 384 pages
Publisher: Mira/Harlequin Enterprises ( March 23, 2012 )
Item #: 13-405049
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.86inches
Product Weight: 14.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I will definetly be reading the other books in this series
Reviewer: Hooked a
This was not at all what I expected or was looking for. It is a romance novel with a supernatural bent. While the story was well written it was obviously written for a female audience and a PG-13 audience at that.
If you are male and straight there is just enough of longing looks and
admiring appraisal of the male characters to make listening to it offputting.
I found a new favorite author. Shortly after starting this book I had to stop and see if she had written and others. I got online and quickly ordered the other two before I ever finished this one. Really enjoyed it. Can't wait for more!
I found this book to be interesting and somewhat scary - enough to keep one reading. I do feel there were too many tunnels and secret rooms and too much slime and gore. "Ghosts" can be interesting and entertaining without the smells and hype of decay.