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)
A very easy read for an afternoon on the beach. I read this book in one day because I could not put it down. I immediately picked up the second book in the series and am waiting for the third to come in the mail. A spooky ghost story I originally picked up because it takes place in Charleston.
Great book! Happy to hear there are more coming
I had not heard of her before, but I have now ordered the other two in the series. It was a spooky book even in the daylight, but I couldn't put it down! Can't wait for the other two to arrive!
Reviewer: Kathy B
I really got into this book I am so glad there are more books to read in this series. I am getting them as soon as I can.
The characters were really good,and made me want to get to know them better.I am so glad there is more of them!