Mortsafes and Progress Meters

By October 4, 2014

mortsafesA few weeks ago, I posted a photograph of a caged grave as a clue for the fifth Graveyard Queen book, The Sinner. At that time, I had no idea how I would work one of these mortsafes into the story, only that I wanted to. As it turns out, the concept of a caged grave(s) is pivotal to the main plot line.

Contrary to urban legend and folklore, the heavy iron cages were never intended to keep something in the grave, i.e. zombies and vampires. Instead, they were a means of keeping out grave robbers and body snatchers. As you might suspect, the mortsafes in Amelia’s world will do both—keep something in, keep something out. 😉

Here is a very small taste of The Sinner:

The caged grave was an anomaly to Beaufort County. In all my cemetery travels, I’d come across only a handful of mortsafes, mostly in Europe. They were a Scottish invention, cleverly devised and manufactured in the early nineteenth century as a means of thwarting the resurrection men, a rather chivalrous appellation given to the nefarious grave robbers that dug up fresh human remains for profit.

But body snatching wasn’t a modern-day concern and from what I could see through the tall grass, the cage didn’t appear that old. No more than a few decades, if that. The heavy iron grates had rusted in the salt air, but the rods and plates were still in tact. My heart quickened as I made my way along the overgrown pathway. It wasn’t every day I stumbled across such a fascinating find.

Although ‘stumbled’ was perhaps a misnomer because nothing in my life happened by accident.


As you may have noticed, I’ve added a meter in the right sidebar to track the progress of The Sinner and my other works. The bars will remain static for a few days because I’ll be traveling. But when I get back, I’m going to seriously get those things moving again. 🙂

Question. As a title, which do you find more evocative: The Sinner or The Resurrectionists?

Join the discussion 46 Comments

  • Sabrina says:

    So excited for this book to come out! Do you think you’ll make RT Convention 15? #RT15

    • Amanda says:

      I would love to come to RT! I haven’t been in a few years so I think it’s way past time! 🙂

      • Sabrina says:

        That would be awesome! Last year was simply amazing. It would be great to have an opportunity to meet you and possibly see you on some panels. 🙂

        • Amanda says:

          It’s in Dallas next year? That’s just a hop, skip and a jump from me. 😉

          BTW, I love your site! That banner is just too cool!

  • Debbie Bradley says:

    This is such a fantastic series. Just started book two. I love walking in cemeteries and find a lot of peace there. Loving book 2 bc it involves a lake. Amazeballs! Thanks. Looking forward to getting to this one. So much to be learned (and imagined).

  • Yodamom says:

    Squeeee, more more more, I always want more. I love how it’s headed

  • StefAnie doran says:

    Wow….. That’s all I’ve got 🙂 cannot wait!!!! Btw I prefer the sinner as a title. Keep up the great work!!

    • Amanda says:

      Oh, good, thanks for weighing in on the title! I like The Sinner, too. When I started researching mortsafes, The Rurrectionists kind of grabbed me.

  • Keri says:

    Yayyyyyyyyy!!! So ready for another book! I think the Resurrectionists is a great title-unusual and makes you curious about the story inside.

    • Amanda says:

      I never knew body snatchers were called resurrectionists until I researched caged graves. I found that term so interesting given the circumstances. 🙂

  • Morgannah LeFevre says:

    Wow, thank you so much for posting that! I own the entire series including the short novella ebook. You are so talented and I feel blessed that I get to read your work. I vote for The Resurrectionist.

  • Jessica says:

    I like the Resurrectionist.

  • Holly says:

    Awesome!! I love the snippet and the title The Sinner. Catches peoples attention.

  • Karla says:

    OMG! I can not wait until April!!! Both titles are great. I just want to have it on my hands 🙂

  • Weiting says:

    I can’t wait for the next book!!!! I love this series so much that I reread it almost 5 times!!! In my opinion, The Resurrectionist catches people attention. Though The Sinner also sounds attractive, The Resurrectionist may make reader ponder about the contents. So I prefer The Resurrectionist as the title.

  • Holly T. says:

    I like The Sinner. I can’t wait to read it. It is rainy and cold here in Oklahoma. Perfect for book reading. I love the whole series.

  • Joanne says:

    I cannot tell you how many times I have recommended this series to people — and they are always so pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed the books. I vote for the title, “The Sinner.” It just seems to flow with the other titles in the series and sounds intriguing. Can’t wait for the story to continue!

  • lee ann daugherty, B&N bookseller says:

    I like the Resurrectionists as a more earcatching title, but it screams “historical” to me as the book or two I’ve read mentioning them were in that genre. Plus Sinner just sounds dangerous with a little temptation on the side! The mortsafe looks dangerous and forbidding which means it’s a perfect fit for this series.

    • Amanda says:

      Great point and great insight, lee ann. I’d never heard body snatchers referred to as resurrectionists until I started my research. It fascinated me.

  • Cathey says:

    I like The Ressurectionist. It fits with the mortsafe. It was made to keep someone out, but it could also keep someone in.

  • Jayni says:

    I am so excited to see that another book is on the way. I have been waiting to hear this news. Can’t wait. Love the whole series.

    • Amanda says:

      I’m excited, too! I know it’s been a long wait and there’s still another wait while the publisher decides when to bring the books out. But the good news is that all three should be published close together. And in the meantime, I’m working on the first book of a new series in my spare time so that I’ll have some extra to give you. 🙂

  • Michaela Furiakova says:

    I really love the series. I couldn´t stop reading even i knew I wake up very early. I´m looking forward to next one! PS: and will read in original, cause if i wait for the translation into my native lang.(Czech rep., Europe) i would get mad :-).

  • Zendegy says:

    I absolutely LOVE this series. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I just hate that I have to wait for Book 3. I listened to the other 2, one right after the other with minimal interruption. The books have such atmosphere! So gothic. And I cannot wait to see what is going to become of the Gabriel situation.
    I throw in my vote for Ressurectionists, by the way.

    • Amanda says:

      The wait is a pain, but it’ll be fun to have the next three books come out close together. 🙂

      Meanwhile, in my spare time, I’m plotting and outlining my witch series. 🙂

  • Aimee Tidwell says:

    I love your series, especially since I live near Hilton Head. I grew up in Charleston and love that you captivate it’s history and charm. Do you ever do any signings any where in Charleston?

    • Amanda says:

      Aimee–Thank you! I try very hard to capture the charm and atmosphere of Charleston, but it’s a city that needs to be experienced in person. I’ve never done a signing, but I was there for another visit back in November. Had so much fun and can’t wait to go back! 🙂

  • Anne King says:

    This is my favorite book series! So VERY well written! I get lost in every book right from page 1! So excited for the next installment! I like both titles but The Resurrectionists seems more relevant. That one gets my vote.

    • Amanda says:

      Wow, thanks, Anne! Now that I’m almost finished with the book, I think The Resurrectionists fits the theme better. We’ll see if my publisher agrees. 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    I found the titles on a review through some blogs on the internet, so I decided to bought them. As I live in Chile I had to wait a little… But it totally worth it!!! Now I can’t wait for “The Visitor”… I’m totally your N°1 fan at the end of the world 😀

  • Karen Miller says:

    Hey Amanda I just wanted to tell u that like most of us I love ur books! Amelia voice as amazing through all three books so much so I feel like I know her personally. I have so much in common with her it has in sometimes sent chills for me! I started she ghost as early as 3 and was told that it was something that was passed down through the women in my family…. I lived in Charleston for a couple yrs and its a very haunting city! U can feel the history in the very air u breath! Now that I’m back home in the Georgia mountains I almost crave that feeling that that amazing city gave me! I can’t wait for the next book to experience Amelia’s world again. Thank u for this wonderful character!

    • Amanda says:

      Oh, my goodness, Karen, your post gave me chills! I’m so glad you connect with Amelia. I could feel her everywhere I went in Charleston. It was a little eerie, to be honest! I can’t wait to go back, hopefully again in the fall.

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