• Tag Archives tombs
  • Grave Discoveries: St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans – Part Three

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    This is the final St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 post. I didn’t even make it to the St. Louis Nos. 2 and 3 let alone the other 39 cemeteries in New Orleans. All the more reason for a return trip.

    This post is all about the finer details of some of the graves in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.

    There were few remaining statues on top of tombs but theft through the years has eliminated many of them. In fact, only a month prior to my visit, an unlicensed tour guide was spotted desecrating tombs and removing bones. Someone even painted Marie Lavaeu’s tomb pink. Seriously people. Not. cool.

    There are still some fantastic wrought iron, statuary and vault details that I found amazing.

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    Here is a great video of more tombs in the cemetery…complete with catchy NOLA tunage.

     

    There is more great history on St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 from the Save Our Cemeteries site. It’s worth the read.

    Speaking of graves…and reading…have you read Reap & Repent?

    What are you waiting for?

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    Reap & Repent blurb

    Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)They see death. Can they share a life?

    Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

    Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

    A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

     

     


  • Grave Discoveries: St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans – Part Two

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    Last week I showed you a few of the highlights from St. Louis Cemetery, No. 1 in New Orleans. NOLA is my sort of town and this cemetery was a real gem.

    First off, all of the tombs are above ground due to extensive flooding through the years. You can read some great history on that here. Yellow fever was a real problem in south and thousands succumbed to it before officials realized parading dead bodies through town before going to their resting place wasn’t the greatest idea.

    The cemetery was moved back away from the city two or three times before it became what it is today. It takes up one square block but is the resting place of thousands thanks to a ruling that by tradition you can, after one year and one day, put another loved one in the same space. 

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    These tombs are basically condos in the City of the Dead. Stuff one in, seal it over and a year and a day later you can add the next. Mostly the bodies go in pine or cardboard boxes and with the NOLA heat and humidity the bodies decompose to bones and ash pretty quickly. When it’s time to add another, they sweep the bodies to the back and in it goes. I admire the efficiency. I’ve never understood spending thousands of dollars on a metal box and trying to keep your corpse fine.

    You’re dead.

    Go with it.

    Following are some of the more interesting tombs. I don’t know who’s buried in any of these but you can do some sleuthing of your own here if you are so inclined.

    I am, however, fairly certain these are some long lost relatives of my own.

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    Come back next week for one more St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 post. More grave goodness than can fit into two posts.

    Speaking of graves…Have you read Reap & Repent?

    Find it here:  AMAZON | B&N  | KOBO 

    Reap & Repent blurb

    Reap & Repent final revised (647x1024)They see death. Can they share a life?

    Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

    Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

    A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

     

     

     

     


  • Five Real-Life Cemeteries That Inspired The Reaper Series

    Cemeteries are integral to the characters of Reap & Repent who spend a lot of time traveling to, from, and through them. All of the cemeteries of The Reaper Series were inspired by real-life cemeteries near my own hometown. Here are a few fictionalized places you’ll be visiting in The Reaper Series. Want to visit the real places? Click the links below and see where the bodies are buried.

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    Good Springs Cemetery-  outside Huntsbury – rural cemetery two miles from Ruth’s home.

    Excerpt from Reap & Repent

    He lingered longer than necessary in the window and for a second, she thought he was going to kiss her again. After a moment’s hesitation, he turned and walked through the Good Springs archway. He didn’t even look back as he grabbed hold of the first headstone he came to and swirled and shimmered in a mini tornado until poof, he was gone. Just like that.

    Ruth rolled up her window and locked the doors. All of them. She was not ashamed to admit that she was more than a little scared. As far as she could tell at the moment, there wasn’t anything to actually be scared of in her immediate vicinity.

    It’s the things you can’t see.

    She backed her big-ass car out of the cemetery and headed into town with the radio blasting so that she couldn’t think too much.

     

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    Meridian National Cemetery downtown Meridian

    Excerpt from Reap & Repent

    She felt the pull, and in a few seconds they were in the middle of Meridian National Cemetery. The cemetery was situated along two very busy main roads in town. They landed in the middle of the grounds under a gazebo.

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    Panther Valley Cemetery – where Ruth’s parents are buried.

    Excerpt from Reap & Repent

    Panther Valley Cemetery is an old and rural cemetery in Steele County, Arkansas. Hundreds of similar cemeteries dotted the state. Since it was a week before Memorial Day, the grounds were neat and clipped. The headstones had been trimmed by the volunteer caretaker. The grounds were empty as they pulled up and through the gate. The entire area was bucolic with the rolling green hills, waist deep with the first growth of fescue of the year. A lush green line of trees demarked Panther Creek as it trickled through the bottom land.

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    East Lawn Cemetery, Meridian: – outskirts of Meridian

    Excerpt from Reap & Repent

    East Lawn Cemetery was another one of the larger cemeteries in town but at least it was off the main streets. The cemetery covered more than eight acres. The street lights were far enough away that the numerous trees made it almost impossible to navigate until their eyes adjusted. One by one, the white headstones appeared out of the darkness like blooming moon flowers.

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    Maple Park Cemetery, Meridian – near downtown neighborhood.

    Excerpt from Reap & Repent

    They landed in Maple Park Cemetery next, which was tiny in comparison but much darker. With no visible street traffic, they had about zero chance of being spotted as they made their way through the grounds, which was a relief. The entire cemetery covered a couple of wooded acres. It didn’t take long to find the next candidate: Evelyn Opal Carson, aged eighty-seven.  

    Want to read more? Reap & Repent, from Harlequin E, now available at all e-book retailers.

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