The Abandoned - By Amanda Stevens
The Graveyard Queen Series
There are rules for dealing with ghosts. Too bad Ree Hutchins doesn’t know them.
When her favorite patient at a private mental hospital passes away, psychology student Ree Hutchins mourns the elderly woman’s death. But more unsettling is her growing suspicion that something unnatural is shadowing her.
Amateur ghost hunter Hayden Priest believes Ree is being haunted. Even Amelia Gray, known in Charleston as The Graveyard Queen, senses a gathering darkness. Driven by a force she doesn’t understand, Ree is compelled to uncover an old secret and put abandoned souls to rest—before she is locked away forever….
An ebook exclusive prequel to The Graveyard Queen series.
Please allow me to introduce Miss Amelia Gray, aka The Graveyard Queen. She’s a taphophile, a blogger and a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. Hungry ghosts. Greedy, grasping, ravenous ghosts. In order to protect herself from these netherworld parasites, Amelia has always followed her father rules.
BUT…a haunted police detective has entered her world and his ghosts have tried to make contact. Another has coerced her into a deadly (!) alliance and she’s just discovered a whole new realm of nasty specters called the Others. Oh, and a deranged taphophile is using gravestone symbolism to target victims.
And it’s not even Tuesday yet.
You, too, can enter Amelia’s misty world via The Graveyard Queen Series—The Restorer (May 2011), The Kingdom (November 2011) and The Prophet (May 2012)—available wherever MIRA Books are sold.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ree Hutchins was dozing at the old woman’s bedside, a dog-eared copy of The Call of the Wild open on her lap, when Violet Tisdale passed away.
Exhausted from her hectic schedule, Ree had fallen asleep reading from the leather-bound edition Miss Violet always kept on her nightstand. Ree often wondered how many times the old woman had heard Buck’s story during her confinement at the Milton H. Farrante Psychiatric Hospital. She was well into her eighties and had been institutionalized for as long as anyone could remember. Other than her clothing and toiletries, the book was the only personal item in her quarters, although the inscription in the front read: To my daughter, Ilsa, on the occasion of her tenth birthday. June 3, 1915.
No doubt the tattered volume was a hand-me-down from some former staff member or another patient perhaps, because no one could remember the last time Miss Violet had a visitor.
Ree shivered awake as a chill seeped into the room. The fluorescent reading lamp over her shoulder flickered and she would later remember that the clock on the nightstand had stopped precisely at 8:30. Twilight had fallen, which meant she’d been asleep for close to an hour. Miss Violet lay propped against her pillows, eyes open but unseeing, lips parted but forever silent. She hadn’t been gone long. Her wrist was still warm where Ree felt for a pulse.
Closing the book, Ree set it aside and rose to summon a nurse. Trudy McIntyre came at once with a stethoscope and mirror, and after a cursory examination, left to notify the proper authorities. Ree didn’t know what else to do so she followed her out.
“What about next of kin?”
Trudy was an efficient woman with a careworn face and weary eyes. She’d been at the hospital for a very long time. “There is no next of kin that I know of. I expect Dr. Farrante will handle the arrangements himself. He always does in cases like this.”
At the mere mention of his name, Ree’s heart fluttered. Dr. Nicholas Farrante was out of her league and much too old for any serious romantic notions, but that didn’t stop her and every other female student in the Emerson University psych department from hanging on his every word. Not that Ree wouldn’t have found “Experimental Psychology and Human Aging” fascinating regardless of the professor, but Dr. Farrante brought so much to the classroom beyond his charm and charisma. The niche his family had carved in the field of developmental psychology was astounding, going all the way back to his grandfather, Dr. Milton H. Farrante, who had been a student of Wilhelm Wundt, the father of modern psychology.
Milton had opened the facility in the early 1900s and for nearly a century, it had remained one of the preeminent private psychiatric hospitals in the country. Ree was lucky to have been accepted as a volunteer because even the unpaid positions were quickly snapped up, usually by other grad students whose families had a lot more