I have an extra copy of Graveminder to give away, courtesy of HarperCollins, so please see below the review for details!
Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Source: From publisher for review
Three sips to mind the dead . . .
Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”
Now Maylene is dead, and Bek must go back to the place she left a decade earlier. She soon discovers that Claysville is not just the sleepy town she remembers, and that
Maylene had good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in Claysville the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected; beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. If the dead are not properly cared for, they will come back to satiate themselves with food, drink, and stories from the land of the living. Only the Graveminder, by tradition a Barrow woman, and her Undertaker—in this case Byron Montgomery, with whom Bek shares a complicated past—can set things right once the dead begin to walk.
Although she is still grieving for Maylene, Rebekkah will soon find that she has more than a funeral to attend to in Claysville, and that what awaits her may be far worse: dark secrets, a centuries-old bargain, a romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility—to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.
Undertaker Byron Montgomery grew up in Claysville, but recently came back after 8 years to work in the town he grew up in. After Rebekkah’s grandmother Maylene is murdered, she must return to Claysville to take care of unfinished business. Meanwhile, Byron is frustrated at the sheriff’s unwillingness to look into a death that, to Byron, was obviously murder, and the fact that the only woman he’s ever loved, but could never really have, is back in town doesn’t help matters. Rebekkah and Byron are meant for something bigger, and as a sinister figure makes its way through the town, devouring the living, they must resign themselves to their fate before the dead take over.
Byron is the Undertaker and Rebekkah is the Graveminder. Bound together by fate, and by an ancient contract to keep the town of Claysville safe, they’ll have to put aside years of repressed feelings and fears if they are to keep their wits about them. Rebekkah has been pushing Byron away for ages, always denying her love for him. Byron has always loved Rebekkah and will do anything to have her in his life. I’ll admit it, Rebekkah frustrated me. She’s got this wonderful man professing his undying love to her, and she pushes it away. Sometimes I wanted to smack Byron for making moonie eyes for someone that just makes him crazy, but it does makes for wonderful tension, and also threatens to affect their ability to come together for the sake of Claysville, and their own futures.
Melissa Marr turns up the creep factor in this one, and creates an atmosphere that’s at once oppressive and fascinating in its mystery. I especially enjoyed the trips to the land of the dead, and into Mr D.’s lair, where different times and places come together to create a dangerous landscape that’s as seductive as it is terrifying. That’s actually the only change I would have made to this book; more land of the dead, more Mr. D., and more Alicia (trust me on this one.) Murder, the Hungry Dead, and long held secrets, with an eerie Southern Gothic feel, make Graveminder a creepy treat (especially on a rainy night.) Highly recommended!
1. Giveaway is for one copy of Graveminder to one winner
2. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. Following is not required but is always appreciated.
3. Giveaway is open to the US only
4. Giveaway ENDS Friday, August 19th, 2011