The Graveyard Queen: Amanda Stevens & Considerations of ‘Darkness’

Dear Reader:

(I mean that literally.  Wordpress stats tell me I have one reader: you.  My singular one.)

If you happen to like your paranormal mysteries in a super romance-y form, you might want to check out this writer that I’ve just read about.  Her name is Amanda Stevens, and she is writing The Graveyard Queen Series.

I think her latest book is called The Restorer.

Here’s a blurb.  Now brace yourself, it’s quite long:

Never acknowledge the dead

Never stray far from hallowed ground

Never associate with those who are haunted

Never, ever tempt fate.

My father’s rules.  I’ve never broken them…until now.

My name is Amelia Gray.  I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts.  In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father.  But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore.  The clues to the killer–and to his other victims–like in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret.  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.

Okay — that’s all I know.  Haven’t read the book, you’ll just have to check it out yourself and let me know what you think.  I do, however, quite admire the angel on the cover.  She reminds me of an evocative gravestone at Hollywood Cemetery, which is a famous old place here in Richmond.

See?

I admit I was instantly drawn to this author because she’s a self-proclaimed taphophile.  I didn’t even know what that was, but I quite liked the sound of it.

Turns out a taphophile, or if you prefer, someone afflicted with taphophilia, is drawn to morbid curiosities, all things funeral and associated with death.

Cool.

Speaking of using words with great precision:

Let’s agree to bring back the word macabre into common parlance, shall we?  First of all, it’s a very exact word, less jokey than ghoulish, and more precise than perverse.

Second of all, everyone describes books, plots, villains, and post-apocalyptic situations as dark these days.  Why–why–why? I’m not thinking this blog post will change the world or anything, but I’d just like to put it out there:

Doesn’t describing a plot, etc. in a way that connotes a negative edge or problematic depth as ‘dark‘ seem well, a little racist? I don’t put this out there lightly.  Living in the South–and the heart of the old confederacy at that, I kind of wince every time I see the word used that way.  What are people thinking? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.

Meanwhile, I have a few other issues with using the word the word dark to describe stuff.

1) it’s vague.

2) dark stuff is not negative to me, it’s mostly awesome.  Sleep, for instance–one of my favorite all time occupations–is often done in the dark.  Sex–another of my altogether favorite occupations– frequently occurs in light challenged contexts.  Right there, you’ve got two worthy reasons to embrace total darkness.

Meanwhile, dark chocolate is sublime, and I am quite fond of the color black–both in terms of clothing choices and in terms of skin.  I embrace dark wooden floors, teak stained antique furniture…I mean, the list goes on and on.  It’s sunny here in the South.  I burn easily.  All hail darkness.

To me dark is cozy.  To me darkness is divine.

I suggest we go back to the good old days and use the word macabre when flinging down our adjectival descriptors.  When you say it (mah-cawb) —-it just bursts forth from your mouth like flying crows.

Does language get any better than that?

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2 thoughts on “The Graveyard Queen: Amanda Stevens & Considerations of ‘Darkness’

    • Thanks! Ha-ha-ha. You know this is all just an absurd attempt to send people mining the dictionary for all those cool under-used words in it. Saturnine. Pulchritudinous. You know what I mean….

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